Blogging Games

A new fad in the game blog world seems to be Game Blogging, or taking a series and blogging your experience of playing an entire series all the way through.

I like this approach to game writing, if done well. There are examples out there where the author knows the series well, adds in commentary about gameplay changes, the backstory and coherence of the game world, and it works incredibly well. Others, end up being a walkthrough of the game with little more to add than what you could find on Gamefaqs.

Here’s a listing of a few I’ve found, some are better than others, but all are worth a look:

Blogging Ultima – The first that I found, and so far the best example of what blogging a game should be about. He’s up to Ultima VII already, but he’s played as well the side games along the way like Ultima Underworld, and Savage Empires. He offers less a running commentary on “went here, did this, then did this”, but more of a look at the mechanics, the history of the Ultima world, how they tie together, fun ways of gaming the systems and more all while still progressing you through the story of the game. Done quite well.

Blogging Zelda – The author’s only up to Zelda II so we’re pretty early into it, but already I feel a bit let down by it. He’s done a great job of keeping the tone informal and fun, but I feel like he’s missing opportunities to really explore the lore of the Zelda games (how nerdy does that sound). Zelda II is a perfect game to make connections to others ones with, but while his commenters are helping him out with them, I wish they were there already. Still, it’s a fun read, and he’s got a great writing voice for the games. *Update* – See below.
Blogging Final Fantasy – This one is more for a great fun take on the games, done with humor, and forgetting any stuffy over analyzing of the games. Perfect for a series that has way too much fanboy background to it, and has been done to death over and over and over.

Final Fantasy I – 4 White Wizards – This brave blogger, inspired by the blogs above, has taken on the task of completing FFI using a team consisting entirely of just 4 white wizards, the game’s weakest fighters, but best healers. He’s just getting started but could be worth watching.

Blogging Dragon Quest – Another “walkthrough” style game blog. Here’s a series that has a long history behind it, but unlike Final Fantasy, it hasn’t been done to death by American audiences. Still, like all of the blogs, reading along with an adventure is always fun, I just wish there was a bit more “meat”.

So you want to be an ARCADE Champion? – Concept? Take the Twin Galaxies arcade record book, start at A and play through till Z, and see if you can beat, or even place in the top scores that are in the book. It’s a great ride so far, through obscure games that we’ve all forgotten about in our MAME libraries.

That’s all I’ve found at the moment. I’m sure there are more out there. Drop me a line if you know of another one and we’ll add it on in!

Update 6/20/07 – Blogging Zelda linked back to me, and I think I now understand more where he’s coming from on the blog and appreciate it a lot more. He’s played through a few of the games, but has forgotten a lot of what he’s played and is more re-exploring the games all over again, and making new discoveries along the way. He’s not pretending to be a treasure chest of background information, and frankly I’d rather not have him be that way. Some of the best insights into games, books, movies or music can come from those who don’t have the baggage hanging over them, like the 20+ years of Zelda in this case. I look forward to reading more by him over these next few months as he continues to go places I have not made the journey into yet at all.

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