Stephen Totilo leaves MTV Multiplayer for Kotaku

Wed May 06, 2009 at 02:00:19 PM EST

Stephen Totilo, who has participated in several of our "I Claim Shenanigans" podcasts, has left MTV Multiplayer for Kotaku.  Am I out of the loop because I can't believe that I missed this info.

Read the news here: Totilo leaves MTV for Kotak

Gears 2: Miyamoto's Shooter?

Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 06:58:52 PM EST

I'm not sure if anyone has written about this yet, but I haven't seen it.  Stephen Totilo, who joined SweetTea and I for one of the best Gearheads podcasts I think we ever did, wrote a piece basically saying that Gears of War 2 is pretty much what Nintendo legend Miyamoto would have made had he ever made a bloody shooter.  And if you think he's being over-the-top gushing about it, well, I beg to differ.

I haven't finished the game yet, so I'm not going to discuss the campaign in detail until I finish it.  I just don't think that it's fair and I don't want to spoil it for others who haven't had a chance to get through it yet.  But in this game, more than Gears 1, you can see it being a horizontal, 3-D platformer.  

This part, in particular, is especially true.

The best Miyamoto games have always been exceptional at teaching their players to do extraordinary things, one enjoyable, playable step at a time. You’re first encouraged to jump in "Super Mario Bros." so you can avoid a Goomba. As soon as you master that, you’re using that jump to break a brick. As soon as you’re good at breaking bricks, you find that breaking bricks lets you find secret passages. And so on. In every "Zelda" dungeon ever made, you’re given a new tool that you’re forced to use, usually initially, just to get out of the room you found it in. Then you usually have to use it to beat that dungeon’s boss. And after that, with that on-the-job training done, you’re usually good enough to start improvising.

I know somewhere my brother is smiling because Miyamoto was one of his great heroes growing up.  I know that of anything that will be written about Gears of War 2 in the weeks and months and years ahead, that post will touch him more than anything else.  The best part is that I fully believe it's true, especially if you've ever studied Miyamoto's game design and how he's sucked us all into those experiences for so many years.  It may seem strange to compare a game about sticking explosive arrows in your opponents' derriere to that plumber who grows by eating mushrooms and shoots fireballs out of his hands by eating a flower, but the essential foundation of both games is there as Totilo points out.

Now to finally try and get closer to the end of the game.