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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Extremely minimal spoilers for Unfinished Swan

Butch:

Busy today, but I will say that anyone who doubts the variety of video games in 2015 should just play The Unfinished Swan right after the Witcher.

Weird little game. I like it, though. As do the kids.

Feminina:

It is a weird little game. Cool, though. And kids like throwing paint/water at things.

Butch:

The storybook vibe is cool. We could compare it to old Dandelion. Or not. I’m busy.

Feminina:

Hm. I’ll try.

There’s an interesting contrast with old Dandelion in that it has a (not noticeably old) woman’s voice instead of a gravelly (I guess old…honestly, he doesn’t sound especially OLD to me, just kind of pompous and way different from in-game Dandelion) man’s voice. Also, the woman is pretty much the only voice in the game, since all Milo does is call “hello?” and stuff rather than conveying any information vocally.

So the Unfinished Swan narrator is more reliable than old Dandelion, if only because we don’t see any evidence to contradict her version of the story. A straightforward narrator, without the inconsistencies seen in TW3.

But I don’t have much more to say than that.

Butch:

She is more reliable, which is also, I think, related to the fact that Swan is less “believable.” I mean, sure, they’re both obviously fictional worlds, but since Swan is SOOOO abstract, it seems easier to accept that it’s someone telling the story. The narration doesn’t jar the way it jarred in TW3.

Yes, internet, we are actually comparing TW3 to Swan.

Feminina:

Yes, Swan is a dream world, and in a dream world a trustworthy narrator explaining things is perfectly plausible, and indeed very helpful.

Whereas, right, who are you Narrator Dandelion, and exactly what is your relationship to Game Dandelion, and WHEN are you telling us all this, anyway? And how much should we believe you? And why do I need you filling in these details anyway? I DID just play that scene you’re talking about. Until it gets to be two weeks later and I’m doing something else and you’re still reminding me about that one scene, which is…not normally that helpful, although I can see that in a very long game they maybe felt that they needed a ‘reminding figure’ to tie various plot elements together in case you really couldn’t remember who that one character was or whatever.

I mean, they’re right, it’s not as if we’re going to look at the codex. That’s for losers.

Ha.

Butch:

That and it’s rather like we’re taking part in it in Unfinished Swan. Illustrating it, really. We’re walking through a rather non threatening book.

I’m still pissed it wasn’t really explained who that old Dandelion was.

Nobody looks at the codex…Except when you’re trying to remind yourself what Corrine looks like. Um…. yeah.

Feminina:

Here I was trying to gibe at you because you’re always telling me I should look at the codex, implying that you get all kinds of useful information there about, you know, plot and character development and monster vulnerabilities. Now that I know you only use it to look at pictures of attractive women, I’ll be even less inclined to pay attention next time.

And yes, Swan is pretty unthreatening. It took me quite a while to die (falling into the water). Later on there are some mildly sinister things, but I think they wouldn’t have really disturbed O’Jr. even if he’d been watching that section (which by chance he wasn’t). He asked about it the other day, “can we play that game on the little screen?”

I would have done it (once you finish you can go back to whatever ‘chapter’ you want, so it would have been easy to just go back to the throwing-ink-in-the-garden bit or whatever), but sadly the Vita was out of power, and by the time it was charged up he had forgotten about it.

Butch:

There were pictures of dudes too! I think.

You really should’ve been able to romance Corrine. And Cerys. Cerys could have stolen my heart from triss.

Corrine was just hot.

You can die in Swan? Shit. Did not know that.

I might go back. I know I’ve already missed some balloons. But realistically I won’t cuz Fallout 4.

Feminina:

Well, you don’t really die, you just get a blank screen and then it instantly reloads back before you fell into the water (or whatever). The speedy reload is very refreshing after TW3, that’s another point of comparison! Of course, it’s about a 2-hour game instead of 900, so we do accept these trade-offs.

Anyway, death is extremely non-traumatic. More like “oops, I had a vision of falling into the water, so let me not do that this time.” (Although I didn’t know if I could swim until I jumped, now did I?) I think maybe you can’t even do it until you get to the big maze-palace where you have to throw water instead of ink. If you’re not there yet…ignore me. It’ll all make sense later.

Butch:

I have been able to chuck ink into water, but that water seemed like a barrier, not a hazard. Maybe I’m just careful.

Feminina:

No, I couldn’t walk into that water either. (Although it’s cool when you throw ink and catch a leaping fish!) I think at that point it is just a barrier. Don’t worry, it’ll become a deadly, deadly hazard later. In the sense that you might have to look at a blank screen for 2 seconds if you fall into it. (The HORROR!!!!)

Butch:

Maybe the witcher was only like 22 hours. The rest was load screens. And gwent.

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