Since Rock Band burst into my life, I've gotten pretty into my XBox. It is one of those things that I feel I have to "admit," and almost always sheepishly and with some sort of dismissive shrug. But as much as a game may take over my free time for several weeks, it's not like I've abandoned more worthy pursuits -- I still watch a lot of TV, and frequently, bad TV meant for teenagers. Also, I read books. See? I'm being defensive again. Perhaps I should just make my peace with it: I like video games. Though, much like the author of this review, I have a hard time reconciling gaming as an art form.
But Alan Wake may help with that. I've been playing it for the last week or so (after I convinced J.R. to bring it home from the Microsoft store), and I finished it last night. Well, I finished my first run-through anyway. It was pretty freaking awesome, I have to say. The game is like some bastard hybrid of Stephen King and Dean Koontz novels, and as such, it's heavy on the unexplained, really creepy shit. I freely admit that the game made me twitchy -- especially when I played it alone at night. The storyline was compelling and pretty well paced; the characters were interesting; and I appreciated the bits of humor sprinkled throughout. The actual game part wasn't too difficult, but I was playing it on the easiest setting. I have a feeling "nightmare" mode (if I ever try it) will truly kick my ass. Now that it's over, I'm kind of sad to see the story end. Not that it was a conclusive ending, mind you -- they left it plenty open for downloadable episodes, sequels, etc. All of which I will most certainly acquire.