Maddeningly, we’ve all had the experience. You’re progressing through an enjoyable game, devoting your time and being rewarded for it, when all of a sudden there’s a glitch. A glitch that makes it impossible for you to carry on as you were.
In 1941, the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote a story called “The Garden of Forking Paths” that was basically a “wouldn’t it be cool” vision of a story that could include all of its different possible outcomes—when a decision was made, the story could follow each of the forking paths that result.
I have killed a lot of digital enemies in my day. I can’t even imagine what my overall gamer kill count and bullet count are—I’ve popped enough related trophies and achievements to know it’s got to be high. Which is why I really appreciated the short, contemplative puzzle adventure title Valiant Hearts: The Great War, which follows four characters through the madness, heartbreak, and tenacity of the Western front in World War I.
Video games are primarily a visual medium—it’s right there in the word itself. But of course they’re more than that, too. There’s the interactivity, of course, and the sound design can really improve or drag down a game…and then there’s reading. 
I recently finished two games that I had been looking forward to for some time: a quirky little mobile game (originally on PC in 1997) about game developers called Game Dev Story and the culmination of the Desmond trilogy, Assassin’s Creed III.
I’m a pretty big Final Fantasy fan. I came into the series with VII and have played everything since besides the MMOs and the two sequels to the lackluster XIII. I’ve had conversations with friends about what the Final Fantasy musical RPG that never was would have looked like (I would totally play that—good or bad, it would be hilarious).
I’m not the kind of player who longs for “the good old days” when games seemed to hate you and want you to die. My attempt to replay Paperboy and recapture the glory of my NES days was short-lived as I realized how needlessly, unrewardingly cruel that game is—I just didn’t know any better as a kid. 
In another article, I discuss awesome moments or levels in otherwise mediocre (or merely good) games. Here, I’ll consider the other side of the coin: good or great games dragged down by terrible moments or terrible design decisions. 
I played Thief this month when I got it free for PS3 from PlayStation Plus. Thief is not a great game. It’s mostly a pretty mediocre game, especially if you’ve played the far superior Dishonored.
Over the past couple of months, I sunk over 120 hours into a playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition. That comes out to an average of 2-3 hours a day. I’m a married man with graduate degrees and a lot of things to do, but for the last couple of months, most of my free time went into fighting dragons in Thedas in a single-player game (I only spent a few hours in DA:I’s multiplayer mode).

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