I was around 600 words into a post yesterday afternoon about the excellent Mark of the Ninja, and about stealth games in general and why they seem to scratch a particularly satisfying itch, but work got in the way and I never had a chance to sit down and polish it and make my point. And then, by the time I got home, I saw that Kotaku had already beaten me to the punch. Very stealthy and ninja-like, in fact.
Their article more or less says exactly what I was trying to say, so much so that trying to polish up my own piece feels futile and empty. Anyway, if you haven’t read it already, go check it out. And then, when you’re done, download and play the hell out of Mark of the Ninja, because it is excellent. Top 10 in GOTY for sure, even though I’m near the end and have hit a massive difficulty spike – which is just as well, because instead of beating my head against the wall, I’m going back and playing all the earlier levels better than I did the first time, which is just as satisfying.
In other news, I tried Steam’s Big Picture Mode last night, although only on my widescreen monitor – but even in my brief time with it, I can confidently say that it’s the best console interface I’ve ever seen. Beats the living shit out of the 360 and PS3 dashboards. Fast and responsive, elegantly designed, super-easy to find the things you’re looking for. I am very much wanting to figure out an easy way of moving my PC tower into the living room to try it out on my HDTV. I kinda can’t believe I’m saying this, but if Valve were to actually make a living room console, I very well might forgo the next Xbox and Playstation altogether.