The Coefficient of FrictionDue to ongoing technical difficulties, Frictionless Insight will stop updating. We've reposted several past reviews below, to keep the front page mildly interesting. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact editor [at]
Lollipop Chainsaw Originally posted on June 12, 2012.

Somewhere deep down, Lollipop Chainsaw comes from the same place as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But Buffy came from distilled camp sauced in kitsch, while Lollipop Chainsaw throws grindhouse-style violence with a barely-legal porn sensibility through a filter that's half cheery Japanese manga, half gory graphic novel.

In the opening cinematic, before I'd even gotten to the "Game Start" screen, Juliet had flashed panties, (almost) explicitly offered sex, mentioned her vagina, her love of cheerleading, and her now-18th birthday, and shoved a lollipop in her mouth. If someone catches me watching Buffy, I feel the shame of a middle-aged man watching teenage vampire hunters. But Lollipop Chainsaw is beyond embarrassment. I can't even get away with claiming "Uh... I'm reviewing this." Still, this is a game from Grasshopper Manufacture's Goichi Suda (the guy responsible for the unbelievably good, and mindbending, Killer 7), so I resolved to keep an open mind. I still doubted – Lollipop Chainsaw was developed in conjunction with James Gunn, the guy behind Slither, so I was worried it was exactly what it appeared to be.

Brutal Legend Publisher: Double Fine
Developer: Electronic Arts

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Eddie Riggs is the ultimate roadie. On a night like any other, when Riggs was saving a show while remaining in the shadows and behind the scenes, an injury caused his blood to trickle into his belt buckle. But Riggs is no ordinary roadie. He's the best roadie who ever lived. His belt buckle, too, is no ordinary buckle. Fueled by blood, it transports Riggs to an ancient age when man is oppressed by demons, heavy metal is the source of all power and a revolution is about to begin...

Originally posted on October 26, 2009.

Dark Souls Review (Repost)

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Dark Souls Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: From Software

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Oh, yes. Dark Souls has a plot – something about the world filling with hollow men, undead who are imprisoned until the end of time, and a single hollow one who will fulfill a prophecy. Mostly it's about death. Your death. Over and over. Dark Souls prides itself on being the most difficult game in stores.

Originally posted on October 6, 2011.

BioShock Review (Repost)

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Publisher: Take-Two Interactive (2K Games)
Developer: 2K Boston (Irrational Games)

Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

BioShock paints the portrait of an underwater utopia – a city beneath the waves, constructed by a Russian industrialist in 1946 to serve as a haven for other brilliant industrialists, as well as artists and scientists. The city of Rapture, accessible only through bathyspheres anchored in a remote tower in the middle of the North Atlantic, was designed as a place where the free market could flourish and all its brilliant inhabitants could live in decadent harmony. Certainly, there were perils: leaks of cold seawater could be deadly, oxygen was a precious commodity and the entire community needed to be kept secret from the world above. But for a time, Rapture prospered.

Rapture prospered so well that its residents uncovered marvels of science unparalleled in the surface world. With a firm grasp of genetics, Rapture's fisheries were precious, not as much as a source of food, but because of the treasure trove of genotypes represented by the undersea web. With one fortuitous discovery, the people of Rapture uncovered mysteries of genetics that could allow people to be reformed. The crippled were healed. Race and gender became irrelevant because they could be changed. Unique powers were unlocked, coded genetically and inserted into the human genome.

But playing fast and loose with deoxyribonucleic acid isn't without risk. As the residents of Rapture learned, such changes can cause physical and mental instability. So when the player's plane crashes from the sky, it's perhaps calamitous that the wreck landed near the entrance to Rapture. The city is now something more dystopian than its original design. You're thrown into a genetic civil war that has devastated Rapture – and that will also test the mettle of your personality.

Originally posted on August 28, 2007.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Publisher: Bethesda Softworks (ZeniMax Media)
Developer: Bethesda Softworks

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

"The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered.

"Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel.

"The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons."

Originally posted on November 10, 2011.

Publisher: Cheapass Games
Developer: Digital Eel

Official Site:

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
System Requirements: Pentium II 350 MHz, 64 MB RAM, OpenGL 1.1 compatible video card

Dr. Blob is rumored to be indulging his odd affection for giant protozoans, and is brewing up giant, vicious variants of the normally tiny creatures in his mystery kitchen.

Originally posted on June 8, 2003.

Publisher: Atlus USA
Developer: Atlus

Platform: DS
Reviewed on DS

Surgeon Derek Stiles just completed his residency and started his new posting as a surgeon with Hope Hospital. Derek must face the challenges of saving patients from disastrous accidents and afflictions such as cancer, but his tremendous gift for healing soon puts Derek at the vanguard of a force battling bioterrorism.

Originally posted on January 27, 2006.

Whiplash Review (Repost)

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Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Crystal Dynamics

Platform: Xbox, PlayStation 2
Reviewed on Xbox

"Spanx is a crazy weasel once used for electro-shock testing. Redmond is a know-it-all rabbit who failed his last mascara test in the makeup lab." So what if Spanx may have killed and eaten Redmond's mother? They both have a common cause – they need to escape from Genron, a conglomerate that can solve any problem with animal testing. They also have a common bond - a chain that shackles them together. Spanx and Redmond will have to cooperate to reach freedom and avenge animal kind.

Originally posted on December 16, 2003.

Silent Storm Review (Repost)

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Publisher: Encore Software/JoWooD Productions
Developer: Nival Interactive

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium 600 MHz (2.2 GHz recommended), 128 MB RAM, 32 MB video card, 2.5 GB HD space, CD ROM drive, Windows 98 or more recent operating system

The year is 1943 and war has enveloped the globe. Vast forces are engaging each other in Europe and elsewhere, but both the Allied and Axis sides have a use for a talented, multi-national group of special operatives. Both sides may have larger concerns than just each other. There appears to be a covert, third side that offers allegiance to neither the Germans nor the British. Instead, that new force has access to frightening technology and is working to bring to fruition a frightening operation – Operation Silent Storm.

Originally posted on January 28, 2004.

Epic Quest Table for Pinball FX 2 Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Zen Studios

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS and Android
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Max the Knight is a typical adventurer. He collects absurdly powerful loot, wanders through dungeons and enchanted forests, and quests after a wealthy princess. When he acquires enchanted ability-enhancing items after defeating yet another vicious creature, he even wonders "Do these stats make me look fat?" How does Max pursue the ultimate adventuring kit while pursuing the wealth that only rescuing a princess can grant? With pinball, of course!

Originally posted on February 14, 2012.

Today, there's a new Xbox Live Arcade title, and a downloadable PC version of a Vita launch title. Read on for the details...
The pulse around here is erratic and quickly failing, but here's a list of games available today, with the headliners being the latest Darksiders and some soporific canines. Read on for the full list...
It's Friday, but there are still downloadable games for the PC being released, including one that's achieved a cult following on iOS. Read on for the list...
Today's game releases are the latest downloadable titles for Nintendo's various devices. Read on for the list and details...
In today's news, Blizzard joins the long list of the hacked, Nexon reported making money and En Masse is firing. Read on for details...
Today's Xbox Live Arcade release is having launch pains, but there are also several downloadable games for the PC reaching Steam today. Read on for the list...
Mad Catz and NCsoft announced selected financial results, will acquire a middleware provider and Valve announced that Steam will soon carry productivity and creativity software. Read on for more details...
Today's new game releases are primarily newly available digital downloads of previously released games, but there's a Persona-related fighting game among today's other releases. Read on for the full list...
Not only has Square Enix reported its financial results, but now your room can smell like Mega Man. Read on for more info...
It's bound to be a quiet week for game releases, and Mondays are always lighter than Tuesdays, so there are two downloadable games that popped into our view today. Read on for the list...
THQ announced positive net income today (although the company is deeply in the midst of a restructuring), and last week Namco Bandai announced its own financial results. Read on for more details...
Activision BlizzardThe internet is currently awash in sites reporting that World of Warcraft subscriptions have dropped to 9.1 million in Activision Blizzard's most recent fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2012. That compares to the last reported number of 10.2 million on March 31, 2012. Previous numbers were as high as 12 million. That sounds like a more than 10% drop. It also sounds bad. But the reality is probably a lot worse. Read on to understand why we think so...
Two more downloadable PC games reached Steam today. Read on for the names and links...
Electronic Arts has thrown down the gauntlet before Zynga, bringing Zynga's long-running practices to the forefront with a legal complaint. Also, GameSpy has changed hands again and Junbud is out of commission. Read on for details...
Nintendo's downloadable store is having a particularly light day, and there's a downloadable game for grognards, but it's an otherwise light day. Read on for the list of today's releases...
There are several major financial releases today, but none of the big boys have good news to share. Activision Blizzard appears to be going to great lengths to avoid drawing attention to dropping revenues from World of Warcraft, while Sony doesn't want anyone to notice how poorly the Vita is selling. At least Mad Catz reduced its borrowing costs. Read on for more details on all the news of the day...
The highest-profile release of the day is probably Deadlight on Xbox Live Arcade, but there are also some downloadable releases on the PC, including a retro-futuristic game of two-dimensional combat and a TOM, bent on revenge. Read on for the list...
In gaming-related news today, Atlus has changed upper management, and the former CEO of Wizards of the Coast has opened a media company to enhance role-playing games. Read on for details...
Many of today's releases are downloadable games on the PlayStation Network, but two free-to-play games (from Sony Online Entertainment and Gravity Interactive) have officially launched (meaning that the cash shops are now open). There's even a not-so-secret update for The Secret World. Read on for the full list and details...


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