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What's better: calling found phone numbers, or giant swords?

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Before our Christmas break, I left you with a big winter decision, and I return to see that you have dynamic snow is better than seasonal events. Having hugely enjoyed recent real-world snow but not really done much in terms of seasonal events, yes, this feels correct. Well done. Now our hunt for the best thing resumes, with a choice between rill rill and cold steel. What's better: calling found phone numbers or giant swords?

Calling found phone numbers

Trevor on the phone beneath a flier advertising to 'lengthen your penice' in a Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshot.
Trevor gets curious in GTA V

If a game gives me freedom to dial telephone numbers, and that game has telephone numbers displayed on adverts and signs and such around the world, I will dial every one of those numbers. And if it is a good game, it will have conversations and messages waiting for me.

Grand Theft Auto games often have numbers you can dial on signs, posters, and adverts. You might call up someone furious that their number is on prank fliers offering to "lengthen your penice." Or be greeted by the screeching of a fax machine or dialup modem. Maybe hold music, or an answerphone message. Yeah, many are reused, and loads simply lead to beeping or out-of-service messages, but you can still dial them, and it still does something.

My favourite phone numbers are in Infra, the strange and wonderful first-person explore-o-puzzler about a structural analyst inspecting buildings and facilities. It's a game so far from conventions that it took me ages to feel confident I knew what it was, and even then it threw up surprises. So yes, of course I dialled the numbers I found near a payphone, and of course our weird guy can call companies for weird conversations about beer and kebabs. Splendid.

Cover image for YouTube videoPhone fun in Infra

I know I've done this in many more games but I'm straining to remember examples. Attempting to consult search engines have proved fruitless because they're so over-keen to suggest what they think I might want that results are poisoned by lists of mobile games. So please, reader dear, help out an old dear and remind me of more, won't you?

Giant swords

Given a choice of swords, I will gravitate towards the biggest on offer. Give me that claymore, that zweihänder, that ōdachi, that Moonlight Greatsword. It's a simple supposition: if a sword is cool, a massive sword must be massively cool.

I like slow giant swords offering which run on risk/reward calculations. A long wind-up to raise and swing the heavy blade, a brief window where I could be interrupted but if not, I'll clobber the foe. Dark Souls games often have cracking slow giant swords, these slabs of metal like headstones which can easily flatten foes if they connect. It's especially daft when you get strong enough to one-hand and even dual-wield these swords.

I like the silliness of fast giant swords that sweep with elegance and great reach. Yes, I am thinking mostly of Dark Souls again, the absurdly long 'washing pole' ōdachi. FromSoftware also gave us the fantastic Hand Of Malenia in Elden Ring, with its dancing moveset.

And I like the silliness of games which have ridiculous giant swords that surely weigh more than a car but are moved as fast as a foil. Sure, why not? It's not real, go wild!

Or in games where combat is more abstract, less about specific timings and movesets, and all swords simply shuffle numbers into different attributes that ultimately lead to similar damage-per-second scores, I'll take the giant sword there too. Sure, a smaller blade might make more numbers pop up onto my screen, but the giant sword will show me bigger numbers. And I like my numbers like I like my swords: giant.

Watch on YouTube

But which is better?

I will almost always choose the most immersive sim-ish option, but giant swords are... agh, this is too difficult. I must sit this week out and let you decide. What do you say?

Pick your winner, vote in the poll below, and make your case in the comments to convince others. We'll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.

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In this article

Dark Souls

PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Elden Ring

PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

See 2 more

Final Fantasy VII


Grand Theft Auto V

Video Game

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.