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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Significant (though vaguely described) plot spoilers for Uncharted 4; vague description of a section of The Last of Us

Butch:

Ok. Did the flashback. I see what you mean about the after scene there.

I’m……not sure I get what they were trying to do there……

Ok, good. We see them become “them,” as it were. Ok. But MAN there was a lot of wandering and picking shit up and all that. Ok, I get that those letters were really watching a family so hell bent on adventure and treasure that they ended up tearing themselves apart, us looking in at a family that did what we are doing right now, but it was slow, and wordy, and fell a little flat.

I think they were going for a “Story of Ish” vibe like in The Last of Us, finding an emotional story in letters and all that. But this didn’t work anywhere NEAR as well because of the environment. Ish, you were walking through the very place where the story happened. You saw the bodies. You saw where the fights happened. You saw the security that failed. And you felt the fear of the people that were there, as you were afraid clickers would hit at any moment. This, you were in a house. Ok, there’s the treasure, there’s the FRUIT of the adventures that tore them apart, dusty and empty and useless in the end, but it wasn’t the same. It was too distant. If you have the distance of reading a story left behind, you can’t add distance like this. It has to have the visceral quality of the story of Ish.

I give them credit for trying. There were good moments. The hospital bed, the painkillers, the lonely end that awaits when was great. But it didn’t come together for me.

Feminina:

I actually kind of liked the flashback, even just the puttering around looking at random stuff in a random house, but I agree it was slow and long for what it accomplished.

Because it’s true, we learned something about the kids and their history, something telling about families torn apart by an obsession with treasure hunting, something about where the interest in both Drake (as an inspiration) and Avery (as a treasure to be found) comes from, and that’s all good, but it did take a long time to get there and a lot of minimally action-packed poking around an abandoned house.

I think it was meant to be mood-setting, and I found it interesting and basically enjoyed it, but again, I can see that it went on for a while.

Butch:

WAY too long for what it accomplished. WAY.

It was almost as if they took the (well deserved) praise for the Ish bit and missed what made it so good. “Ooo! They like wandering and finding notes! Let’s make them wander and find notes in an extended sequence!” And, no. Cuz the Ish bit really had no action until the very end (like this one). But that worked because of the tension, the immediacy. This bit missed all of that. What ND did here would be like Nabisco being all “People like Oreos because of the blue package!” and changing the cookies but keeping the package. Which is odd, cuz usually ND gets that sort of thing right.

Feminina:

Maybe the searching-the-house bit should have somehow been like the optional dialogue choices. Go ahead and poke around if you want, or just go straight to the old lady’s office.

Or maybe they just thought we were overstimulated from all the action and needed to take a break and relax for a bit.

Thanks for the thought! But it turns out going too long without murdering a few dudes makes us twitchy.

Butch:

I fear that this is going to be a trend. I mean, how many times has self aware game been self aware? Or just a little too enamored with itself? Naughty Dog makes very, very good games. The problem, a problem, is that Naughty Dog KNOWS it makes very, very good games, and, at times, we can see it being just a tad overindulgent in how “well” it does narrative. With the success of this, critically and financially, I fear that there might be even more self aware self indulgence in the next thing they make. I hope not. Never good.

Feminina:

Naughty Dog will probably have to work through various issues in terms of self-awareness and its relationship to game goodness. It’s all part of the developmental process.

Uh oh…I got Pokemon Go working again.

No good can come of this.

Butch:

Yeah. This game….Don’t get me wrong, it’s great. But there’s certainly some self indulgence.

Dude? Pokemon again? Why did you TRY?

Feminina:

I don’t know, man. My brain overloaded with all the actual work I’ve been doing at work, and I thought “I must take a break! Maybe THIS trick would get it going…” and there it is.

And now I have to get back to actual work, but, you know, I just caught a gastly, which is a super, super important contribution to the productivity of the office today.

I can only answer so many questions about archives, you know.

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