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03-05-2012, 12:09 AM #1
Tom Bisell' public inmolation: "Never have I been more content to be a console gamer"
Never have I been more content to be a console gamer. PC gamers like to lord over console gamers and claim that console games irrevocably dumb down PC game experiences. The PC Witcher 2 is said to be an unusually rich experience, but my suspicion is that it's actually just an incredibly complicated experience.The Witcher 2 was available to play only on PC — and only on highly powerful PCs at that.The Witcher 2's tutorial does the impossible: It somehow succeeds in making its already too-complicated gameplay systems harder to understand. It took me six and a half minutes to figure out how to make one potion.Then again, I played The Witcher 2 for only six hours;
Well this bro has made a several thousand words worth of rant, and most of it is not even making sense.
Last edited by pakoito; 03-05-2012 at 12:14 AM.
03-05-2012, 12:15 AM #2
God, I love console gamers. They're so funny.
I love how bad most "game reviewers" these days are at games too. It's hilarious.
03-05-2012, 12:19 AM #3
"I don't recall, in my roughly six hours of play, any unusually memorable lines of dialogue."
True. I'm in Chapter III and nothing so far was as memorable as "your mother sucks dwarf cock".
I don't really like the game but I can't agree with his criticisms except for one: the "come back in the evening" part. I was also annoyed by that and it happened more than one time.
03-05-2012, 12:42 AM #4
I thought I recognised that name from somewhere. Just saw that he wrote God Lives in Saint Petersburg. Pretty sure he was a the Edinburgh International Book Festival a number of years ago. Oh, duh, I see he wrote that piece about video games and too much coke as well.
Reading through the Mass Effect article he posted in Grantland, I think you're unfairly portraying him as dumb. His points in that seem pretty well thought out.
03-05-2012, 01:04 AM #5
I don't agree with most of his points, but to be honest I don't like any of the Wither games. I just don't find any of it particularly engaging, and I also can't pick out any memorable dialogue. I don't see why everyone thinks it's so incredibly mature; granted, it doesn't conform to the high fantasy middle-ages idea, but the fact that it includes prostitutes and lines like 'your mother sucks dwarf cock' doesn't really strike me as super mature.
Still I keep giving the series a chance every so often, but man it's tough going.
03-05-2012, 01:13 AM #6
It's a post to get pageviews, nothing more. If someone wants to close themselves off to a form of media then they are very welcome to. It's fucking stupid, but it's their life to do with as they wish.
03-05-2012, 01:18 AM #7
I can see why he might feel let down, although I'm somewhat bemused why someone who was happy with all the inventory fiddling in ME1 suddenly finds it a chore in The Witcher 2. But I'm not playing it on a console, and maybe they haven't designed the interface to be as intuitive as it could be for console controllers. No idea.
I do disagree with the point about the world not feeling grounded in slavic myth - I thought the beasties and general lore in the first witcher were quite distinctive, and it certainly felt more unique to me than most reworkings of genre fantasy. I've not read the books, but wouldn't mind reading them at some point. I can see why if you just played a short bit, you might feel that the dwarves and elves were all too familiar.
It reads like someone who has found the game design to be a real obstruction to getting into the narrative, and now can't be arsed and is judging the narrative on what little he can see. Maybe it's a bad port to the console. Shame if that's the case.
03-05-2012, 01:35 AM #8
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03-05-2012, 01:41 AM #9
Meanwhile we lambast Eastern European RPGs because they have (gasp) nudity and cursing, when ironically enough their female characters are actually change agents in the world and not just eye candy. Sure, there's still eye-candy (apparently some things are not lost in translation) but the game isn't just whores and lewd insults. In my opinion, it probably has the most mature depiction of a fantasy medieval world - warts and all, politics especially - than anything in this generation.
Similarly, we lambast JRPGs for their fetishized pre-pubescent girls and melancholy loser boys, but to say there's no there there because of that is just plain wrong. Everybody has their conventions, their touchstones, their grab-bag of tropes to allow audiences to familiarize themselves with the story. We cling to ours just as strongly as they cling to theirs, and we're all deeply flawed.
03-05-2012, 01:44 AM #10
Thing is we could agree the dialogues are not memorable, but fuck me if I remember any dialogue I had today. Is "videogame realism" now boiled down to perfect diction and rhythmic snarky dialogues? I crossed a chavette the other day that told me to fuck myself and go back to my country, it is not literature but it feels real. I have the same feeling in The Witcher, nobody is memorable or epic in the same way the guy that sells me bread everyday isn't. Welcome to low-fantasy, where everyone is average.
EDIT OUT: Ad Hominem.
Last edited by pakoito; 03-05-2012 at 02:12 AM.
03-05-2012, 01:56 AM #11
I think a lot of his disillusionment is down to the fact that for whatever reason he was expecting something more from the writing, and it's unclear to me why he would think that when he's been a gamer for a long time, and must surely be used to mediocre writing that's heralded as brilliant. I'm sure he's not holding up the writing in mass effect as a shining example, but he clearly loves the series judging from what he wrote about that.
I truly struggle to remember the last piece of game dialogue (or even game descriptive text) that I thought was truly memorable. Writing, I can think of, and same for films and television (I've just been working on a new edition of War of the Worlds, and I had forgotten till re-reading it how some of the writing from that was acutely funny as well as smart and elegant). Now when it comes to scenes, or moments or landscapes or atmosphere, or compelling storylines, I've got no trouble reeling of a list for games. But dialogue and descriptive text in games seems to me to be uniformly average.
03-05-2012, 01:56 AM #12
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Aye, he spent many, many words justifying the purchase of Mass Effect 3 and then slams The Witcher 2 with hardly a second thought. The man clearly has impeccable taste.
I stipulate that it is a mistake to search too strainingly for lyrical dialogue or prose in any video game. There's a part of our brains that knows it isn't realistic, and it therefore destroys any suspension of disbelief because we have to interact with the world in a (at least semi-)realistic way. The games that do it best, I find, are jRPG's, where one isn't so concerned with being "immersed" as much as one is watching a series of events unfold. FFXII had some memorable writing, I think, as did the Chrono games. Thoughts?
Last edited by outoffeelinsobad; 03-05-2012 at 02:05 AM.
03-05-2012, 01:58 AM #13
Remember how RPS (John?) was annoyed by that woman's tits in the dungeon demo?
Nudity is a non-issue for me. Sure it can get stupid, but then I'll laugh at it rather than start a moral crusade. Boy how I laughed at the robot's camel toe in ME3! If the nudity is appropriate in the context (as in TW2's dungeon), why the fuck should I complain? Shallow chivalry is not a good thing.
The full-frontal dryad in the first Witcher was a complete non-issue for me at the time, I just registered it as "well I guess it makes sense that dryads are nude" and moved on. Later I saw she was censored in the US version. And I laughed.
Related: I can't believe people bitched about the nude corpses in LA Noire, but they did.
03-05-2012, 02:11 AM #14
The naked lady scene in TW2 was changed before release because of that article. Her nudity was trivialized later, but originally the camera was focusing on the best lighting angle for the ladie's bazongas than in the script itself. IIRC.
03-05-2012, 02:14 AM #15
Good post, Nalano.
03-05-2012, 02:20 AM #16
03-05-2012, 02:28 AM #17
Yeah, this guy exagerates his points and is kind of a dick to PC gamers. BUT most PC players treat console gamers in the same way. Nothing that is said in this guy's article is worse than what gets said in the comment sections on this very site whenever Call of Duty or Battlefield 3 get mentioned.
I'm not defending either this Idiot or the PC Gaming Hipster Snobs, it's just something I've noticed as someone who splits his gaming time about 70/30 between PC and Consoles.
03-05-2012, 02:35 AM #18
03-05-2012, 02:40 AM #19
03-05-2012, 02:56 AM #20