FINAL FANTASY IX’s Brilliant Opening

I’m a come-and-go fan of the FINAL FANTASY series. Generally, any discourse I have about the franchise ends up with a rant. I’ll avoid ranting today. Instead, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite installments and shout out some of its brilliance. ​​ I really like FINAL FANTASY IX. Frankly, I think it’s easily the best entry […]

Five Things I Learned from EARTHBOUND

o say Nintendo and HAL Laboratory’s EarthBound is an odd game would probably be an understatement. Seldom do you find games that choose to so boldly march to their own rhythm. EarthBound doesn’t so much throw RPG trends out the window as much as it lampoons them. I’m twenty years late to the party, but here are lessons I […]

The Point of Plot in POKEMON X & Y

Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are the arguably the best Pokémon games to date (though I’m sure the upcoming AlphaSapphire and OmegaRuby will happily claim that title soon enough). Why wouldn’t they be, right? They’re the most recent editions in the long-running franchise, so they obviously include the latest and greatest in all aspects. Well, almost all aspects. The mechanics are delicately […]

Confusion and Frustration in ZONE OF THE ENDERS

Let’s roar about Zone of the Enders, a pair of games I’ve heard praised many times. I once saw a fellow dino playing The Second Runner and thought the action looked incredible and fun. I was excited to rent a copy of the HD Collection to finally indulge in the giant, super saiyan robot action myself. Not much […]

Talking About Games with Skye Day and Matty B on THE TOASTY PODCAST

I had the opportunity recently to speak about game development with my brother Skye Day on his show The Toasty Podcast. We talk about how I got into game development as a producer, a little about what I do at ArenaNet, and about trends in the game industry over the past fifteen years. https://toastypodcast.com/guild-wars-arena-net-kye-harris-will-free-to-play-ruin-the-game-industry/ Skye […]

Escapism, Tourism, and Shared Experiences in Video Games

I spend a meaningful amount of time most weeks thinking about culture and how things within culture, produced by culture, helped to shape culture. This isn’t a profession of mine or something I’m formally trained in—it’s more of a hobby, something that commonly swims about in my consciousness. I’m writing this in the summer of […]

Choice in DISHONORED

Dishonored has been getting a lot of well-earned praise of late. Arkane Studios have successfully crafted a unique, deep, atmospheric experience. But beyond the wonderful, captivating atmosphere (which I really did love), I must praise the game’s brilliantly constructed, and purposefully contained, player-choice driven levels. Take note that this is not a massive RPG along the lines […]