Review: Shadow of Israphel

While I'm writing up a really funny, insightful (and very long) blog post, let me introduce you to a machinima adventure using Minecraft. This comes from The Yogscast, a YouTube channel featuring Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane. The videos and podcast cover lots of video games, but the ones about Minecraft have been quite entertaining. Given the very low-res nature of Minecraft, any machinima using it must necessarily forgo a reliance on animation special effects. That this series pulls it off anyway, and does it through a series of game upgrades that fundamentally altered gameplay, is truly impressive.

I offer this to you, not because Minecraft is a cool game (which it is), or because the maps and scenery are amazing (which they are) or because the two hosts are funny (which they certainly are). No, I'm posting this because this particular series, The Shadow of Israphel, has compelling writing, the kind that pulls you in, the kind that any dramatist could learn from.


Yes, there is a fair bit of keyhunting and ingredient shopping list activity, but the scripting and dialogue from the NPCs is quite well done. You laugh at some of them, come to fear and hate others, and mourn when some are killed. The action builds to a crescendo, and then the rug is yanked from under you, leaving you knocked off your pins.


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