Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Good on you, Andromeda.You're really no where near as bad as I feared. Doomed to be the red headed step child of the Bioware library, but still genuinely fun. Also thanks for getting DA2 out of the dog house, it never deserved the rap it got. Avaline forever!
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
|'Scuse me for Goldbluming but this game is just... ummmmm... well, yeah.|
I've gone through some mental gymnastics to appreciate Andromeda. I'm pretending this came out two years after ME3 and I've put off buying it until they remastered it. Because this couldn't possibly have been in development for 6 years. Because that would be a goddamned tragedy.
Everything you've heard about the first hour or two is true. ME's dialogue wasn't exactly Mamet* at the best of times, yet this manages to be a pale imitation of that. I'm still in, though. There's no question it's the worst cast in the series but that's still good enough. At least for me... at least for now.
There is still one amazing thing Andromeda's got that the originals don't have and that thing is jetpack fights.
|Motherf*&%ing Jetpack Fights. That is all.|
*look how crazy young Spacey is! I bet the guy passed for 50 in his 30's
Monday, March 20, 2017
For 7 years I've never hesitated to buy a Bioware game. Not even for a second. Yes, ME3 and I had irreconcilable differences. Sure, Inquisition ultimately drowned in a sea of it's own half baked "content". But Bioware has never hit below an 8/10 for me. Andromeda looks poised to break that streak.
It looks... rough. Like a cheap straight to video spin off of a once great series. Reviews are harsh. Polygon literally called it "a total goddamned mess." I do not wish to play it at launch as I'm already knee deep in Horizon. While it's pretty bland in the story department, it's refreshingly confidant and reeeeeaaaaalllllly pretty. Andromeda is none of those things, but I need to know. I need to know how far a great studio has fallen, if at all. The blog and the podcast deserve to know too. Hope tips are good next week.
Friday, March 17, 2017
People may argue that NITW is visual novel, that it's not interactive enough, that it's forced ending robs it of any lasting impact. You may feel like your time in Possum Springs is "wasted" and there are solid arguments for calling this a flash in the pan. I'll even fess up that the final act is a rushed misstep. But I say it's all about the journey. I can only speak to my own experience and my own experience was a goddamn trip, man.
The story of Night in the Woods is a new one, though painfully familiar to anyone in their 20's. Mae is a cat that was too anxious and depressed to finish college and chose to move back home with her parents while she figures out what to do next. All day every day she hops around town meeting up with her friends at their workplaces, walking on power lines, getting heckled by old neighbors, anything to drown out her creeping feelings of failure and inadequacy.
This shouldn't be anything but a stone cold bummer. So why did it make me laugh out loud more than any game I've ever played? I'll give you a hint, because this is the seminal creative text of my generation. It earns that title by understanding that everyday life can be funny or sad and is routinely both at once. This is the millennial tragedy writ small and it. Is. Hilarious.
Punch lines are set up that don't pay off for hours. There are quick 30 second conversations with your mother that manage to be emotional roller coasters. There's a scene in which you start a knife fight with your best friend and it's not a mellow dramatic showdown. It's just some dumb fun you're both having.
When NITW has characters read poetry, it's actually poetic. When you think the story is going to point towards a happy ending for anyone, a barbed anecdote about their past suddenly makes it impossible. Addiction, abuse, loss, and irrational self destruction are given a grace and humor that escapes not just most games, but a lot of writing in general. No, really. Stephen King couldn't pull off characters this three-dimensional or fun to save his life and remember I warned ya'll about the superlatives.
The one aspect that falls short is it's attempt at cosmic horror. That's kinda my wheelhouse and if you came to play you best not give me the ending to American Gods (but with a mine this time instead of a lake). How is it that in a game about a sad small town the ghostly kidnapper manages to be the least interesting thing about it? It also comes perilously close to having the villain be a problem that solves itself and for a game that's so good at dialogue and characters... that's a stark rookie mistake.
So I'd say take your time. Talk to everyone. Climb the buildings. Go to Church. Just fall in love with Possum Springs and take the ghost hunt with a grain of salt. This is just the first project from these guys and they've already thrown down the gauntlet for anyone trying to tell stories through games. If you can't see that this is now the high water mark then you aren't paying close enough attention.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
My twitter got hacked for the very first time. Chance pointed it out to me as well as making me this lovely screen grab. It's like a magic eye poster but with words. The harder I try to read it, the less it makes sense. So thank you twitter bot, thank you for being a confounding word salad.
Monday, March 13, 2017
A woman who has been a tenant for 5 years got a package this morning and asked if I was "new." I said that I had been here for a year and a half. She then said I didn't have to be so rude about it and I wanted to scream "I wasn't the first 2 times we had this conversation!!!!"
Saturday, March 11, 2017
You can tell a lot about a game by it's bestiary. Did the designers bother to write a story for their enemies or did they just make a bunch of monsters that looked cool? There's nothing wrong with either approach but I love it when they try. All these enemies speak in a Japanese like gibberish and it's charming as all f**k. So you know I'm going to try to kill enough of them to see what the game's sociopathic hunter god thinks of them. Some are not worthy, some are delicious, and some are painful reminders of the fall of the Hollow Nest.
For a game obstinately aimed at children (that's still pretty damn hard) it's strange how much of the spirit of Dark Souls translates to a G rating. Oh, and you need to buy it. Hardly anyone is playing it and THAT I cannot abide.