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  1. #18381
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    Quote Originally Posted by aoanla View Post
    *snip*(Hence the emotional tone of the repudiation of your post by Eight Rooks - they simply don't want to be forced to be that kind of person, and this taints the rest of the game experience for them deeply.)
    Eh... I probably should shut up (he said, on the internet), but - see, this is why I shouldn't have bothered posting anything in the first place, because it really would require pages and pages of carefully thought-out arguments to make my point(s) without resorting to sounding like I'm riding the whaaaaambulance, and I simply don't have the time or the energy. Still, it isn't solely being forced into being a nasty man, though that does sour the experience for me to some degree - I'll always go for a non-lethal playthrough of something given the choice, and I'll rarely if ever try the Dark Side option.

    But I'm just not smart enough to lay out my feelings about the game clearly and succinctly without being confrontational. I get deeply, deeply frustrated when I try because it really is one of those games where nothing I've seen anyone say in its defence has made me stop thinking "You're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong", to the point where I... basically don't want to say "Hmmm, you make some good points; perhaps I should be a little less critical of the whole thing with that in mind?" - I just want to insist that no, Elizabeth is not a character, she's a MacGuffin: no, the Vox Populi are not an insightful examination of prejudice and the two sides of the coin being the same, they're simply breaking a complex and deeply painful real-world issue down into nothing more cerebral than "RACE WAR!!1!!!": no, the Luteces are not the sign of a complex, twisting sci-fi narrative, they're pretentious, wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey nonsense that could comfortably be excised almost entirely from the narrative without losing anything of value: no, Columbia isn't a convincing, fully detailed world, it's a theme park built on fatally flawed logic that makes no sense and that no (remotely) sane human being would ever consider building (and the game is clearly trying to convince you otherwise, it wants you to think Columbia is a real place, not a dream built on metaphors and what-ifs)... and on, and on, and on.

    And I've seen all of these things defended, I've seen people bring up counterpoints for all of them and more, and every damn time I've seen nothing put forward to make me think of any response more mature than "You're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong".

    Sigh. And I honestly don't like doing this because I know I sound like a dick, and I wouldn't blame anyone for getting annoyed with or rolling their eyes at my intransigence. But sometimes, for whatever reason, a piece of creative media gets to me like that - and for a whole lot of reasons I'm really not very good at live and let live when I get worked up over something, even if I typically just bottle it up. Again, it's just sometimes - I couldn't stand Tomb Raider 2013, I couldn't stand Far Cry 3 (whether as a piece of storytelling or a game, the praise it gets baffles me), I really liked Assassin's Creed 3 when most discerning fans seemed to hate it, and so on - but I can compromise on all of those, I can concede some of their good points, I can point to things I liked or didn't like, I can live and let live. But not Infinite. Yes, it's partly being railroaded down a route I don't want to take, but it's a hundred more things as well... it's just I simply lack the presence of mind or the smarts or the maturity to boil it down to anything more elegant than: you're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong.

    (Seriously, I'm not saying all this because I think I can wear stubbornness as a badge of honour or something, just trying to explain something of how attempting to debate the game's pros and cons makes me feel. But I'll shut up now.)

  2. #18382
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    Hmmm.

    I guess for me, as mentioned earlier, violence is something which needs to be justified, and I think at length about instances in which it arises or is a key element, and as mentioned earlier Infinite passes that test for me. I, personally, find the concept or reality of violence distressing, it's what it means or stands for, rather than how it looks. To me,, killing people is killing people is killing people, irrespective of how nasty or sanguine it is visually.
    Well, except that you're not killing people. You're "killing" arrangements of pixels. The closer that comes to resembling actually killing people, the more it becomes "like" killing people, in terms of the experience, arguably.

    And that's the rub for me. What makes Booker more unpleasant than any other video game FPS protagonist? I'd argue that it's that the game candidly informs you of the fact, and goes to narrative lengths to explore it. But every FPS game, by definition, is about being someone who kills hundreds of people, or being a Booker, a shoot first think later progress through violence type. If you're unsure about the idea of playing Booker, then I would suggest you don't play any other FPS either. And unlike Infinite, most of those examples have nothing whatever to say about how very violent a person you are playing.
    Well, playing Quake or Doom or whatever, you're not killing people, you're killing Evil Monsters, which presumably is less of a moral issue. I should note that I actually did have a moment of (self-)loathing for the player character in Quake 4, when he kills the stroylent processing beastie by a rather gratitiously unpleasant means, so I'm certainly not exempting other FPS protagonists from any moral judgement.

    End of the day, if you put Infiinite's violence in the against column, you still have plenty left over. If you put down 90% of others FPS's violence in the against column, you have no game left. So again, I'm very confused as to why Infinite, being really quite an exception to the trend of violence in its genre, gets singled out soley on the basis of superficial gore.

    Violence can have it's aesthetic value too, and I genuinely think it's extreme and grotesque and exaggerated to enhance its surrounding themes. It isn't realistic violence, for example, even if it is graphic. Now I fully understand someone might not like that, and that's entirley fine, but if you have a level of disquiet about violence playing a game which is openly marketed as being violent is probably going to lead to some tension I would suggest.
    Well, again, depictions of violence *do* feed into how viscerally we as humans respond to them. By your argument, we should all have conniptions about playing (say) Civilisation, considering the huge numbers of deaths you're responsible for in a given playthrough. (Defcon, of course, has something to say about the connection between abstraction of violence in that end of the scale.) Like it or not, depictions of very visceral violence *feel more violent* and more awful than more abstracted ones. (I completely appreciate the aesthetic and narrative points of the presentational choice as made, but their problem is that they *do* more effectively bring over the fact that Booker, like most FPS protagonists, is a horrible person. And in doing so, they make it less appealing to play him, as it is harder to avoid that aspect of his behaviour.)

  3. #18383
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    On PC, I'm trying to play Walking Dead but finding it pretty dull, with every "shocking" discovery telegraphed far in advance and some pretty inconsistent characters. I'm kind of disappointed, both since it picked up so many plaudits for its writing and because as an Idle Thumbs fan I like Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman.
    TWD clicked for me around the third episode. Up to that point I too found the story dull and obvious. Thing is, the story IS obvious and silly. It's just the generic zombie apocalypse story. It becomes interesting because of character relationships and interactions. There it's were it shines.

    Overall I enjoyed it, but it didn't set my world on fire.

  4. #18384
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    TWD clicked for me around the third episode. Up to that point I too found the story dull and obvious.
    Ah well, I'm only in the middle of episode two, so maybe I should stick with it.

  5. #18385
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drayk's Avatar
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    Played a bit of Hotline Miami on the vita... i am in chapter 3. I am really bad, even if the games keeps giving me scores like B or A-... But anyway I like it a lot. I love the music, I love the art style, the gameplay is simple yet hard to master.

    Strangely the gameplay remembers me of Stealth Inc that I just completed, except you can play each chapter differently while in Stealth inc you have to guess and execute one of the few (if not the only, at least with normal outfit) solutions the devs thaught about. It demands foresight, timing and dexterity... I lack at least two of those...

    Oh well. I am having a blast anyway.

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  6. #18386
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    Going through an indie thing, playing Knytt Underground and Valdis Story, both are totally awesome.

  7. #18387
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    Moving on to Electronic Superjoy and Expeditions Conquistador.

    Conquistador is great, but I was not prepared for as much supply management as I seem to be doing. Fucking crocodile attacks keep handicapping my men, and then I run out of meat because no one has time to hunt, etc. The writing's great, as is the combat system; I love a game where you can get slaughtered one battle, reload and try with better strategy, and then murderate the opposing team.

    Electronic Superjoy is fun platforming with that occasionally gets ruined by really stupid orgasm noises.

  8. #18388
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    Ah well, I'm only in the middle of episode two, so maybe I should stick with it.
    Let me expand on my post.
    I found TWD story always predictable and cliche'd. "Oh, the game is trying to make me like X character, so obviously he/she'll turn out to be an ass or die". And overall I never felt that any of my choices had any impact. It's obvious that those binary choices won't have any effect down the line as they can't make a truly branching story, so whatever impact your decision might have it will be small. They make this worse by showing you the choices at the end. They're saying, "you know what, this is the only stuff that matters, how you talked to people, if you were angry or nice is inconsequential."
    I also made the terrible mistake of playing it right after the Stanley Parable, making even more obvious the puppet strings the developer were using.
    That's what bothered me at first. But by the third episode I realized that the story isn't important here. The game's strength comes from the moment to moment. How character reacts, their stories and personalities become more interesting with time, how do they react to your actions and stance towards them is what the game's about.
    Problem with this game is expectations as they sell you these "meaningful choices" and that the story is crafter after them, which isn't true. My overall story won't be much different from yours, but the details are, and those are the important things here.
    Last edited by Tikey; 20-11-2013 at 02:49 PM.

  9. #18389
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I went through a similar thing with the Mass Effect trilogy, only it's sort of the reciprocal of that. I realized I was playing for results and feeling frustrated when I didn't get the results I wanted/expected rather than playing for choices and rolling with the consequences. The Paragon/Renegade system makes this worse by locking you out of certain choices somewhat arbitrarily. I still enjoyed my experience because Mass Effect, unlike TWD does have a branching storyline. But it felt so much better once I managed to cut through the game's insistence on there being correct ways (to it's credit, that's a very intentional plural) to experience the story and focus on making in-character choices and enjoying the lovely characters.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

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  10. #18390
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    Risk of Rain.

    It doesn't look like it, but god is it addictive and well-designed.
    Lots of interesting mechanics around risk/reward.

    But fuck it's so hard. I want to unlock all ten characters, but it's been 3 hours and I never managed to beat World 3...

  11. #18391
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    Crusader Kings 2, as a possessed, inbred Zoroastrian Shah that just fought off the Mongols (thanks to patch 2.0).

    Baldur's Gate 2, as a slightly less possessed, inbred Dragon Disciple.

  12. #18392
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    Got a bit exhausted after a certain mission in X-com: EW (one of the new expansion missions), so I started Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Which is so simple and fun that I quickly forgot about those brave operatives, who lost their lives saving the world from a certain whaling boat..

    Now I'm sad again.

  13. #18393
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Put my second playthrough of Infinite on hold until I get a quiet evening to invest in it, as it’s the sort of game I need to play without distraction, so continued with leveling up in Payday last night with my wee brother.

    I’m starting to quite like it. It’s quite addictive. I’m not really sure why. The firefights are pretty good. I like the fact that getting caught in a crossfire or out in the open always verges on lethal. It’s nice that the missions and their structures are relatively varied plays on what is a very simple premise/set of mechanics.

    It’s harsh but fair, I think that’s what it is. If you rush into gunfire you’ll die, but if you’re sensible and skillfull you can really influence the course of a moment, be that standing back at a distance or rushing a position with a shotgun to break suppression fire.

    The levelling system could probably be a bit less arbitrary though. It’s odd going from one mission shooting everyone with a pistol to doing the next jumping off the top of a building and punching everyone before purposefully getting arrested five times in order to level quicker. And the voice acting verges on Men of War levels of oddness, oscillating between incredibly earnest to utterly jilted. “Down on the ground get down on the ground DOWN ON THE GROUN D NOW Get down on the Ground DOWN ON THE GROUND” punctuated by the same one scream sound effect.
    Still, it’s a good time.

  14. #18394
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    F.E.A.R. 2. Last night i worked my way through the school level and i have to say its one of the best FPS level experiences i've had in a while.

  15. #18395
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    Played four or five hours of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and I'm really, really enjoying it. I know, I know, that's not really the done thing around here - I even very much liked playing the opening sequence of Assassin's Creed III, that's right, I said it - but eh. Black Flag takes everything I liked about III, it takes the one or two things I quite liked about the otherwise woeful Farcry 3, and it makes it all better and prettier. Plus it has a sea-shanty about the city I live in. (Game of the year, clearly.) It'd be very difficult for me to dislike it if I even wanted to try.

  16. #18396
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Played four or five hours of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and I'm really, really enjoying it. I know, I know, that's not really the done thing around here - I even very much liked playing the opening sequence of Assassin's Creed III, that's right, I said it - but eh. Black Flag takes everything I liked about III, it takes the one or two things I quite liked about the otherwise woeful Farcry 3, and it makes it all better and prettier. Plus it has a sea-shanty about the city I live in. (Game of the year, clearly.) It'd be very difficult for me to dislike it if I even wanted to try.
    Quite looking forward to being at my desktop to play ACIV myself - and personally, if every part of AC3 was like the opening sequence, it'd have been a much better game in my opinion. Ok, I do get what people say about the endless tutorialising, but I sort of play the games like a sort of interactive horrible history book (with a bit less emphasis on historical accuracy I'd expect) where you just putter about in ye past and it tells you a silly story where you happen to meet just about everyone who mattered at the time.

    The reason AC3 in general failed for me is that I'm just not interested in North America. Its architecture is dull (and the other part of the reason I played the previous games is that italy/constantinople is beautiful) and its characters weren't enjoyably silly. They were all poe-faced apple pah independence gawd save america sorts. The only people I found vaguely interesting were the bad guys, and even they got less interesting once it started being cockerney geezah wot likes 'is moneyyyyyy and 'suddenly my hair is slick and I have 24/7 mad eyes to show that I have turned into a villain' Lee.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I liked the game for Haytham and Ziio and they weren't around often enough to carry it. Especially since it kills one of them off the moment she's spat out a dull as dishwater protagonist and he needs some cheap motivation. Anyway that ramble aside, if I get to climb over some havana and have silly stories yammered at me by drunken pirates in a slightly more interesting locale, as far as I'm concerned the series is back on track.

  17. #18397
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    The reason AC3 in general failed for me is that I'm just not interested in North America. Its architecture is dull (and the other part of the reason I played the previous games is that italy/constantinople is beautiful) and its characters weren't enjoyably silly. They were all poe-faced apple pah independence gawd save america sorts. The only people I found vaguely interesting were the bad guys, and even they got less interesting once it started being cockerney geezah wot likes 'is moneyyyyyy and 'suddenly my hair is slick and I have 24/7 mad eyes to show that I have turned into a villain' Lee.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I liked the game for Haytham and Ziio and they weren't around often enough to carry it. Especially since it kills one of them off the moment she's spat out a dull as dishwater protagonist and he needs some cheap motivation. Anyway that ramble aside, if I get to climb over some havana and have silly stories yammered at me by drunken pirates in a slightly more interesting locale, as far as I'm concerned the series is back on track.
    Eh, I still think III gets something of a raw deal - let's compare it to Borderlands 2 because why no- uh, I mean because I just beat the main campaign in that game (fiiinally). From my point of view Lee wasn't anything like as annoying as, say, Handsome Jack. Despite the comically obviously switch after the gotcha (though I admit the gotcha did, y'know, get me) Lee still felt like something of a person, even with the bug-eyes and the "Now we shall crush you savages like the insects you are" speechifying. For all AC's ridiculous pulp storytelling, even its daftest excesses still have a recognisably human element to them as far as I'm concerned, whereas much as I liked it enough to finish it (and buy the DLC on sale) Borderlands 2 drives me up the wall, because despite the strength of the voice-acting the actual characterisation and development are cardboard at best, awful at worst (I have to say, the guy who does Jack is really, really good, for all I couldn't stand the character).

    I can believe in Lee as someone who genuinely wants to act like a gentleman, but whose belief in rules and order and the value of the social hierarchy translates into puzzlement and then exasperation and then murderous rage that people just won't listen to the Templars and bow their necks like good little sheeple. I can't believe in Handsome Jack as someone who's apparently intelligent and self-possessed and focused enough to reinvent himself and take over the helm of a galaxy-spanning corporation and who still can't understand why people seem to object to all the murderin' and stranglin' he keeps doing. Pretty sure sociopathy doesn't quite work the way Gearbox seem to think it does. I can believe in Connor (not necessarily like him, but believe in him) as someone mad with grief over seeing his mother die in front of him, dour and sullen because he despises the white man for trampling all over him and everyone like him, but I can't believe in Handsome Jack as someone who (uh, spoilers, I guess) is apparently emotionally invested enough in his daughter he'll beg for her life, but doesn't try even once to actually convince her what he's doing to her is for the Greater Good. And on, and on, and yet Borderlands 2 gets praised for its writing up and down the internet whereas everyone beats ACIII and its Forrest Gumpisms like a dead horse. Not that they shouldn't be criticised! Just that there's far, far worse out there, IMO.

    But AC III is a very flawed game, and it does weigh heavily on Americana, and I can totally understand someone who's not interested in the period and/or the setting on top of that either dismissing it or wanting to give it a pass. I just have a soft spot for it as the black sheep of the franchise after coming to it late, reading God knows how much backlash that piled up in the interim and when I finally played it, frequently thinking "Christ, this is amazing" (I particularly loved the Frontier). Still, inasmuch as I'm any judge, so far I fully agree Black Flag is a significant step up either way.

  18. #18398
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    The last month is the same pocket of games
    Blacklist 4E missions shoe horned to feel like hotline miami (no silencers, hardest difficulty). If you shoot you must reposition, if you reposition you are completely defenceless. I started playing like this to unlock the mastery of the assault mode but it's easily my favourite way to play now.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  19. #18399
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    Beat Electronic Superjoy. I give it a B-/C+. It's trying to be a shoot-em-up and brutally hard platformer at the same time and doesn't know how to choose between the two. It's clearest inspiration is VVVVV but it doesn't get that if you have deaths that unfair, you need to have instant resurrection.

    The last world feels so much better than the first two. You fly along and the music plays and the dev even forgets to put orgasm noises in a couple times.

  20. #18400
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Minecraft. So much Minecraft. I'm on a server that runs an Amplified world, and I'm building a base inside a hollow spire in a mountain that's topped by a huge plateau of rolling plains. Gotta exercise that creativity a bit.

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