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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor story spoilers for one part of Rise of the Tomb Raider

Butch:

So I can’t help but notice that in the two plus years (how time does fly) that we’ve been blogging, we’ve gone from two relatively normal people (at least compared to the people we know) to people who can actually post something with the accurate tags of:

console, food, nudity, romance, VR.

What HAPPENED to us? Or were we this all along and didn’t know it?

I might have caught you. I got the pesticide stuff, raided a crypt, rescued a couple dudes, died once by thinking I was jumping into the icy river and hitting a rock instead, found a cave that needs explosives (sounds like the one you found….by the river?) called it a day. I’m off to the Wicked Vale next to give Nadia her stuff and get high or not high or something. I don’t really trust Nadia. I don’t really trust anyone.

Also I dusted off The Witness, which I haven’t played in a while, and solved about 15 panels with Jr. Forgot how good that game is. If it ever goes free, grab it.

You ever gonna play again?

Feminina:

I will play tonight! I swear!

I haven’t really done anything lately, though, so I can say very little. I took half an hour to murder a few dudes, but that’s it lately. I still need to make the pesticide and then go back and get high, or not get high, or whatever. I’m not sure about Nadia…does she seem to be willfully avoiding the obvious conclusion that her grandmother is Baba Yaga, or is that just me?

And Lara is all “oh, poor Nadia,” as if she’s sympathetic to the sad truth that Nadia will eventually have to face, but she doesn’t try to actually point out the implications of what she’s discovered, so…she’s intentionally leaving Nadia to her illusions? Or…maybe she’s not even sharing the information she’s gathering from these documents, so she’s intentionally letting Nadia remain in ignorance?

Anyway, I think I also saved those dudes, and most recently I met Jacob on Copper Mountain or whatever and am currently moving forward in the main story with no way to get back to the Soviet Installation to follow up on Baba Yaga, but first chance I get, I’m on it.

Butch:

Dude you can fast travel back to the wicked vale. Campsite. Them campsites.

So I didn’t catch you. I have yet to meet up with Jacob again. Just got to the very base if copper mountain.

Did we really think I’d catch you?

I’m way ahead of you in the Witness. Don’t burst my bubble by pointing out you aren’t playing it.

Feminina:

That’s what I thought, but when you’re in the middle of certain bits of the story, you’ll get to a campsite but it will say “fast travel unavailable.” So I have to get through this…thing I’m doing (spoiler: it involves murdering some dudes and figuring out how to get into a place) before I can go back to the Vale.

You’re winning at Witness, and don’t forget that you’ll always have Grim Fandango.

Butch:

That I will. That I will.

But it’s not a contest. It’s a blog.

Ah yes. I’ve had the not available thing. This I get.

Feminina:

Yeah–to be fair, it wouldn’t make logical sense in the story for me to just be able to pick up from where I am, trapped in a…place…and trot back to the Vale, so I understand why they kind of lock you down in certain sections. It’s already KIND OF silly that you can stroll on back to the Siberian Wilderness anytime you feel like it without it really impacting anything, but that’s the same urgency/time to explore issue that games deal with all the time, and I don’t have a problem with it.

Letting you go anywhere at any time, even in during a break in the middle of a tense murderfest, would be too silly.

It’s all good, but I AM a little anxious to get back and figure out the deal with Baba Yaga.

Butch:

It’s why I’m dealing with it before I climb the copper mill. Narrative sense. Sorta.

Fast travel ALWAYS suspends disbelief. I mean, you have to accept that you just didn’t get attacked by randits or scorpions or dark spawn or whatever despite the fact you ALWAYS get attacked by randits or scorpions or dark spawn or whatever every time you walk to where you’re going.

The first two fallouts dealt with this with a cool mechanic: the map (primitive though it was) had you marked with an icon, and every interesting place you could go was a green blob. So you clicked on whatever blob, and you watched as your icon moved (quickly, mind you) towards same. Sometimes you got there, sometimes there was a random encounter and you had to fight, or a merchant showed up or something. Rather like D&D. But then, the place you spawned was this very small square with, maybe, a cactus or two in the way. They didn’t have to render a whole damn world if you hit a random encounter.

A rare case where significantly better tech makes things more difficult to do.

Feminina:

Didn’t Dragon Age Origins have a thing where if you were fast-traveling, there’d be a chance that you’d get attacked by darkspawn or run into a traveling merchant? So sometimes you got straight to where you were going, and sometimes you were interrupted…oh yeah, here–this reviewer thought it was great. Ah, that trail of blood on the map, and sometimes the clang of swords! I remember so clearly now. That game did love its blood graphics.

I guess not enough people liked that mechanic, though, since it doesn’t seem to have caught on.

Butch:

Hmm. Forgot about that. Maybe it just got too complex.

I, too, liked it. Added some tension. I mean, there was always this “I’m low on ammo….do I try to get to the good store that’s far away or stay safe and go to the close one with, like, three rounds?” You don’t have to think that anymore.

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