We’ll be back to playing first and talking later next year.
May God help us all.
We’ll be back to playing first and talking later next year.
May God help us all.
Spoilers for a specific fight scene in Rise of the Tomb Raider
Well, I’m never finishing this game because this fight in the pool under the ice is fucking impossible (I just surface and die! I don’t even make a DENT in those guys!) so this is discussion in the abstract, but I read today’s post in which I idly speculate about whether the head of the REMNANT is mommy dearest, forgetting that just the other day we wondered who the head of TRINITY is.
I got a theory.
No, not mom. Though that would be quite the twist. No.
Uncle whatever his name is.
First, he’s icky. Second, he, too, has a vested interest in saving mommy dearest. Third, he’s rich, even richer than the Crofts, so he has the resources. Fourth, you know how when you played Blood Ties you were cheesed that there was a document you couldn’t find? Well, I forgot to tell you, you can’t find it….now. When you finish Blood Ties it tells you there’s gonna be other stuff to find at Croft Manor AFTER you finish the main game.
So how much you wanna bet that final document is something along the lines of Lara saying “Oh FUCK you Uncle….I’m gonna both kill your ass AND be the one to save mom in TR3?”
I died a lot in that fight, too. That’s the one that made me think “OK, they just liked this idea, so they had to give you the rebreather just for this fight.”
First guy is easy, just reach up and drag him into the water, but after that it’s all smoke and chaos. In the end I succeeded more by getting out of the water when they weren’t looking and then hiding behind boxes, than by getting out, killing a dude or two, and diving back to safety, which I think is probably how they imagined it playing out.
I mean, it’s a fun idea. Lurk under the ice, pop up and murder some dude, disappear under the ice again. Makes you all scary, like a horror-movie monster! But in practice, I’d come up, get into a brawl, stagger away into the water, be unable to heal underwater, finally emerge and die before I could heal, etc.
Enh. You’ll get it. It was a tough one, though.
I like your theory about the uncle…the only thing is it would come pretty much completely out of nowhere for people who hadn’t played the Croft Manor DLC (i.e., the people who played this game first), and I wonder if
a) they would want to spring something like that on players at the very end of a game, and
b) if they did, wouldn’t it be a planned surprise twist for those players, that would be ruined for people who did play the DLC during the game?
This seems like sloppy writing in either the original game, or the DLC-inclusive game. However, we shall see! Conniving uncle is certainly up to something, whether it plays a big role in the end of this game or not.
I’m getting that sense, too, but the fight is not playing out they way they thought.
YES! I brawl, can’t heal underwater, come up to try to heal and then die. Or, worse, surface, have them say “THERE SHE IS!” get shot, say “WAIT! WAIT!” die.
Even the hints aren’t really hinty. She says “Ok…wait…let them come to you….” So I did. I waited. They did not come to me. I sat. I waited. They walked. I watched. They walked away. I said “Maybe next time.” Nope. I mean, ok….COME TO ME! But they didn’t.
And I tried the boxes! I found a place I could get out, even had a couple of bottles. Killed, maybe, four dudes, got swarmed, died.
As for Croft Manor…Oh right…..yeah, the original X1 players wouldn’t have any idea who that guy is…. Hmm. Yeah, with that in mind, forget it.
Well, we’ll go check that last document, to be sure.
But then, are they good at planning ahead, these developers? We act like they had a grand plan, but we already know Crystal Dynamics ISN’T doing 3 (that isn’t wild speculation), but another studio is. That’s not good for continuity. Also, even WITH CD, there was oddness. I remembered that the first game ended with Lara sailing off into the sunset looking at documents or something with “Croatoan” written on them, which was, what, Roanoke? Something? Something very much NOT Siberia and something very much not in this game. So we have precedent for big set ups that go nowhere.
Not that this game is unique in that by any means, but still.
You can do it! Don’t despair!
I also tried just waiting out of sight for them to walk near the holes, but you’re right, they never did. I did once manage to leap out, knife a guy who had his back turned, and leap back into the water, but that didn’t work consistently.
Still, you’ll get there. Keep a finger close to the ‘heal’ button. It’ll be fine.
And yeah, whether or not the uncle has anything to do with the end of this game, I’ll totally go back and look for the last document in Croft Manor.
I haven’t had a real reaper moment in such a long time. Can’t really remember the last one. But this is BAD. I mean, sure, there are hard fights, ones where you sometimes get CLOSE to winning, but this one I’ve tried 12 times and I don’t get anywhere near winning. I’ve forgotten what real reaper moments are like.
At least I have not one but two clicks of difficulty below where I am.
Ah! Nice one with the backstabbing! I managed to sneak out, chuck not one but two molotovs, which I THINK killed four or five guys, but then I died immediately.
I was thinking chuck a bottle WAY over there, then hope they congregate, then poison them.
Or just turn down the difficulty.
Yeah, try poison! Poison is cool.
And if that doesn’t work, turn down the difficulty. We want to ENJOY games, after all.
I had a kind of frustrating non-combat situation last night–it turned out to be simple, but Survival Instincts was highlighting something that turned out to be completely irrelevant, so I spent way too long on this tangent.
So, uh…if you get to a place, and there’s a thing, and it’s highlighted but it seems to be completely on the wrong side of the other thing to be any good, it actually isn’t any good and you should ignore it.
Heed my vague words of wisdom!
What’s scary is I know you well enough that weird shit like that has, in the past, made sense. I’ll probably know what you mean when I find it.
This eerie game-related communication is what powers the awesomeness of the blog.
Ooh, I’m like a classic oracle, pronouncing a vague, not-that-helpful prophecy! The kind where you always think “you know, a little specific DETAIL wouldn’t be amiss here…”
But the oracle doesn’t want to ruin the surprise! Oracles and prophets: avoiding spoilers for 10,000 years of human history!
Or so…let the experts debate when predicting the future with vague generalities first became a thing.
Helpful, though. I’ve wasted too much time on this impossible fight.
It’s also a quiet irony that I spend a great deal of my first play session with this sweet new TV doing something that is a) underwater and b) in smoke. “Hey! A scene where you can’t see anything! So glad I got this TV.”
Fuck this fight.
Kinda scary how similar “oracle” and “college English major” seem to be in practice.
Ah, the irony.
“Enjoy the perfect clarity of this confusing and indistinct scene!”
It’ll get nice later, though.
It was rather ironic.
Especially as the HDR really makes red pop, so the smoke was even more so.
It’s almost creepily clear. And it’s not even 4K yet……
Some plot spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider, once the new TV gets hooked up
Got no laptop but that’s ok cuz I haven’t played. Holidays. Some days you just gotta drink, eat leftovers and watch sports. Anyway, I was so into the idea of new tv that I just couldn’t face hair in such low resolution.
And my tv is being installed.
The spirit of post-Christmas!
I’m just watching dinosaur train and its creepily better. I can’t wait to see the hair.
So buying the tank top.
Dinosaur train! Dinosaur train! All aboard the dinosaur train!
Like 3D dinosaurs.
Christmas monkey’s gonna rule. Only a little late.
You won’t be able to look away.
Not that you can anyway.
All kidding aside…..
Get a new tv.
Dude, I don’t even have the 4K yet and it’s so much cooler. The colors, man! The hdr! You just see every little detail. It’s already like a movie. I’m not sure what else a pro can do.
Not kidding. It’s amazing.
Got Jonah stabbed. Gonna kill dudes. Lara’s pissed. I have things to say but no laptop.
But seriously. Yes, you’re cheap. This is worth it.
But what about the hair? Tell us about THE HAIR, man!
Ah, Jonah, Jonah…once again reversing the standard order and being the one who can’t bear to shoot an unarmed person, while Lara was all “shoot him! shoot him already!”
Stereotypically, it would be the more tender-hearted female who would hesitate to shoot a guy at point blank, but here it’s buff, manly Jonah. Which I like, because it not only says that guys MAY actually hesitate to commit murder, but because it kind of lets Jonah stand in for “the average guy” who would in fact probably hesitate to shoot someone point blank, and compares that to Lara’s no-hesitation, kill-the-bastard approach.
And Lara is kind of right–if Jonah had just shot Konstantin, maybe he wouldn’t be in this trouble now–but she’s also less human. She’s lost something by becoming the kind of person who shoots an unarmed enemy without hesitation, and it’s something that Jonah still has, and that we kind of sympathize with even while we say “you really should have just shot him, though.”
It’s not a novel point, to say that going all stone-cold adventurer turns a person into a bit of a monster (we’ve made it many times based on many things in many games), but I thought this was a moderately interesting way to do it.
The hair is better.
I ain’t kidding.
Funny you liked it… I was troubled.
A) she fails entirely. A make hero saves the damsel. She did not. But worse:
B) HER agency was completely taken away. In the end, she goes to save him like a hero, but, at the critical moment, her actions don’t matter. Whether he shoots or not is given back to Jonah, the man. “Yeah, ok, Lara, thanks for coming, but how this scene gets resolved is up to the men”. Like always.
Interesting! I see what you’re saying, but I don’t know that I agree that “she fails entirely.”
I mean, he’s not dead yet, and spoiler alert, she’s now going to kill a bunch of guys to either save him (“I’ll save you even if you can’t be trusted to murder a guy yourself, you big lug!”) or avenge him (another super-classic trope, obviously).
However, I do get your point that at the critical moment it’s not up to her what happens–she IS pointedly left banging helplessly on the glass while her male friend and her male enemy work things out.
“Stay out there, girl. Showing off your ass climbing and jumping is fine, but leave the decisions to the men”.
To argue the opposite side, though, I could say that it was her banging on the glass that stopped Konstantin from killing Jonah right then, by distracting him and giving Jonah a chance to get the gun and be in a position to make that decision at all…so she did save him, for a minute, and it was his own call to not finish the job.
While if he HAD finished the job and killed Konstantin we’d be all “oh, so you can’t let a woman take down one of the main villains?”
Konstantin pretty much had to get away at that point for narrative purposes (I’m sure he’s needed at the Final Confrontation later on), so my reading was more along the lines of “hey, interesting, they had the big manly dude be the one who faltered and couldn’t kill the villain, rather than somehow contriving it that Lara couldn’t finish him off.”
However, I definitely see your point as well. The nice thing about thoughtful literary criticism is we can both be right. Cheers.
We are always both right. It’s how we do.
I think we’re assuming Konstantin is the big bad. I also learned that Ana conned him, cutting his hands. I think the big confrontation might be with Ana. Could’ve let Jonah kill who we thought was the baddie only to have the twist.
No, you’re right, I wasn’t sure if you’d seen that bit, so I didn’t mention that I also believe Ana may be the real main villain. But letting Jonah kill Konstantin now would make that true by default, and I think they want to leave us in some suspense about exactly how that’s going to work out.
Plus, I predict some sort of dramatic showdown between the siblings at some point…Konstantin is going to find out the truth, right? How will he take that? Ana betrayed and used and lied to him, or Ana was simply the unwitting instrument of the Divine carrying out God’s will? Will he turn on her, or forgive her?
Inquiring minds want to know! And we never would, if he hadn’t escaped.
But yeah, we are always both right. It’s in the by-laws of the blog. Once we write some by-laws, I mean.
Some plot spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider
Ok. Hugged Jonah, did the maproom bit (Belloque’s staff is too long…..they’re digging in the wrong place!), saw Jonah get kidnapped, got the “you’re not here but you’re gazing up in this direction so we’ll show you the cutscene” cutscene, got climbing arrows, killed some dudes, got killed by dudes in dumb ways, decided I was tired, stopped.
Well, Jonah really just showed up to be a plot point, didn’t he? “Hey Lara…I just wanted to let you know how much I love you and give you the chance to give me a really earnest hug before I get kidnapped. I mean, the audience has to CARE, right?” The only thing that’s stopping this from being a total eye roll is the whole twist on the damsel in distress trope. Here, the hottie is saving the big butch guy. Indeed, the picked the biggest, butchest guy to be the one in distress. Kinda cool. ALMOST makes me forgive the fact that it’s so very, very contrived.
Maybe it was because we were just talking on jarringness of third person cutscenes, but yeah, that was jarring. But I can see why they did it, and it’s something that games are going to have to wrestle with: complexity of baddies. If you’re going to have a baddie with layers past “I’m a really bad baddie,” (which is what usual video games have) you have to develop them and their motivations somehow. If all your scenes are from the perspective of the PC, this gets tricky. I mean, the hero is probably not going to sit down for a latte with the bad guy just to shoot the shit, talk about the future, hopes, dreams, that sort of thing. When baddie and PC are together, they’ll either be trying to kill each other, or there will be eye rolling villain exposition, which isn’t any better.
So props to game for giving us a baddie that is more than, say, Lazaravic in UC2. He ISN’T just “I’m big man who never takes off bullet proof armor who wants things.” He ISN’T just Trinity’s guy. There’s stuff going on in his head. But in order to show us that, they have to cheat. Or they think they have to cheat. Do they?
Climbing arrows are a cool mechanic. Another oddity, though, in light of the rebreather. We’re both adding mechanics and subtracting them all at once.
What caught my eye with them, though, is body language. The motion capture in this game is pretty fucking perfect, and lets us talk on this sort of thing. Her pose, that balanced sitting pose, is interesting. We’ve talked on her body language in trees and all, how it’s animal. This, she looks scared, poised, in control and deadly all at the same time. It’s great.
Not a bad starting point. That’ll get us to about noon before we derail.
I did enjoy the twist on the classic rescue trope, but yeah, it was pretty contrived. Although not unexpected: I mean, we knew he wasn’t going to just go home even though she said “don’t come after me,” right? (Also a nice touch that he then yells “don’t come after me!” and, of course, she goes after him. Although in some ways it would have been an even MORE interesting twist if she’d said “OK, unlike you, I will respect your wishes and not go after you, especially considering you wouldn’t even be in this trouble if you’d respected my wishes and not come after me.” Cold, though. That would have been very cold.)
That was precisely the jarring cutscene I was talking about. Jarring. Comes out of nowhere and all. And as you say, it complexifies the baddies and that’s all to the good, but it still jars. And now we’re in the position where WE know they’re complex, but Lara doesn’t, so how does that translate? How to we manage our identification with Lara, who doesn’t have this additional understanding, when we ourselves do?
“Uh…for this next bit, pretend you don’t know that…”
It’s hard. It is hard. And there’s really no idea way to do it–you can only get so much across with (also implausible) found documents, a videorecording of their conversation that happened to be saved on a computer Lara stumbled across would have been just as jarring because it would be completely unrealistic…I don’t really have a good answer to the problem, but I definitely noticed it.
I do like her stance on the arrows. It’s nicely balanced and alert and controlled (and stable enough to shoot more arrows, which is handy).
I played some as well. Roamed around Kitezh (spoiler: eventually you get to the place you’ve been trying to get to for the whole game). Trying to complete challenges and collect loot and stuff. Got the secret from the 9th tomb so now I can go back to that lady in the valley who wanted them. I don’t know if that’s all the tombs in the game or if the rest are just optional to that mission…anyway, I’m 80-something percent now, so we’re closing in on the end. I expect a big fight soon. Once I’m done toodling.
I mean, it’s urgent, there’s doings a-transpirin’ that are supposedly time-sensitive, but one can always spare a moment to explore a hidden crypt, right? Of course right.
Nine tombs is it. And your psn account spoiled it. It was all showing “tomb raider: lost city.” Guess she’s in the lost city.
Even Jacob was stunned that she didn’t twist the trope! “You’re not going to carry on to find the secrets? That we died for? That you pretty much fucked up our whole way of life for? FOR THAT GUY?”
He’s got a point Lara.
And there’s “saw it coming” contrived, and then there’s “we’re gonna bring him back and kidnap him IN THE SAME CUTSCENE” contrived.
I’m with you on the cutscene. Another instance of this game trying to do something good and just kinda missing.
Well, nine it is, then. I guess it makes sense that at this point I’m in the last major ‘region’ and there won’t be any more places to stick tombs. Ah well. It was fun while it lasted! This one was another interesting “things weren’t all sunshine and puppy dogs in this ancient civilization” one.
Jacob does have a point. “Do you want this Divine Source or not, lady? Because going to rescue your manly friend is not going to get you closer to it.”
But she doesn’t even hesitate, just “he came for me, I’m going for him.” It’s touching and all, but you’ll never clear your father’s name with this kind of sentimental nonsense. I mean, I like Jonah too, he’s stuck by her and he seems like a good guy and a true friend, but priorities!
I wonder if at some point in the endfight we’ll see either Konstantin or Ana have to decide whether to take the Source or save the sibling, and they’ll make the opposite choice, and it will drive home the point that that’s why Lara is good and they aren’t.
Calling it, if so!
Or it would be an interesting further complication of the baddies if they had to make that choice and DID save their sibling….we shall see.
That and, until then it was all “Hey, lady, could you go away before we all get shot to shit?” “No…I must not care about your ways…or anything else…for my father….” “Oh…well….then…..” BANG BANG BANG BANG “Well Lara….I hope it was worth it…..I hope you find what you seek…” “What? Seek? Oh, yeah, fuck that…gotta go save this other dude you just met. Sorry about that whole getting shot to shit thing…..”
Dude….you can’t do callsies on both sides of something. That isn’t how callsies works.
But if I can’t call both sides of an issue, how can I be sure I’m going to be right?
You can see my concern here.
But fine, I’ll call the first one because I think it’s more likely, but I’ll be impressed with their subtlety and baddie-complexification if they do the second.
I do admire the attempt at making the baddie interesting. We need more of that.
You know, maybe the whole mechanic of the scene was what was REALLY jarring. I mean, it wasn’t JUST a scene we weren’t at. Lara looked up, there was a zoom in, the scene, then a pull back to Lara, like the game was really TELLING you “And now we’re GOING OVER HERE.” Maybe if they had just DONE it without so deliberately taking you there, we’d have cared less. I mean, I found the other times they did this less jarring.
We do! And making the baddie interesting and complicated also highlights the complicated interesting-ness (or, sometimes, not-that-interesting-ness) of the goodie, who in many cases is not really all that different from the baddie, certainly in practical terms, but even in motivation.
We’re supposed to empathize with Lara more than Konstantin and Ana because her motivations are more sympathetic, but are they, when you get right down to it? She’s obsessed with proving her dead father’s point, which really no one but she cares about. Konstantin and Ana are religious fanatics, and I personally don’t find that sympathetic, but you can’t say they aren’t trying to do what they see as right. Well, Konstantin, anyway. Ana…I’m unsure how strong her faith really is, but even if it’s not about faith, she’s trying to save her own life, which is certainly understandable.
It’s never just black and white, and games–at least the ones we play–very often recognize this at least in passing, but it’s always interesting when they actually address it.
Even really really good games often gloss over the baddie. We have flawed HEROES all the time, but, usually, the baddie is just bad. Which makes sense, given that’s it’s easier to do subtle character development when the character is actually in the scenes.
It was interesting in jarring scene to see that Trinity ISN’T really the ultimate in fanaticism. Konstantin is MORE of a fanatic than they are. That’s a nice twist, too.
Who is the number one of Trinity? Twists….I sense twists…..
I hope it’s Evil Helen Mirren. This could be a prequel!
I did like that hint of “if Trinity isn’t with me on this, hell with ’em” we got from Konstantin. He’s using them for his own purposes to a certain extent. And he REALLY believes in his own purposes! Another look at the power of faith.
Lara believes in her father, Konstantin believes in his own visions, the Remnant believe in the Prophet…
Admit it: You’re going to hold out hope that the overbaddie is Evil Helen Mirren in every game you will ever play forever.
Siiiiiiigh…I will, yes.
My fingers will always be secretly crossed: “come ON, Evil Helen Mirren!”
She was not particularly complex, and she could have used some complexity. What was her story? Why was she so interested in all this stuff? What did she REALLY think of Drake?
We shall never know.
She wasn’t complex at all. But she was EVIL HELEN MIRREN!
Which is enough. It is.
This is my last evening with substandard TV. I’d say I’d take pictures or something, but I don’t think they’ll do it justice.
I just won’t think about how good Civ6 would have looked on it…..
No, don’t think about that. Think about how good Lara Croft will look on it. Also Evil Helen Mirren when she shows up (fingers crossed!). That is enough.
Oh Lara’s gonna look great. Might have to spring for that tank top outfit in the supply shack.
Sadly, not kidding.
I’d mock you, but then, I’d probably spring for a johnson physics add-on if there were such a thing, so…we both have our pet issues.
Buy away, my friend.
I chased down all those coin caches, dammit. I deserve SOMETHING. Not like I NEED another shotgun.
I do like that the supply guy wound up with a stylish tank top number in his shack. Makes sense, though. I mean, he’s sitting there all “What would Trinity miss…..hmm…..not this…..”
Ha! True. “I don’t know how this even got in here with the riot shields and body armor (really not Ana’s style!), so I’m sure no one will ever notice if I sell it to this murderous lady with all the gold. Or recognize it if they later see her wearing it.”
They won’t notice it on her. They’re too mesmerized with the hair.
The hair will TRANSCEND on the new TV.
OMG. The hair. It IS going to be mesmerizing. You’ll spend the first 20 minutes of your game session just staring at it…moving slightly to make it ripple…staring…
That’s how I’ve spent so much of this game already. And that’s in 1080p!
OK, we’re going to go…spend time with our families, or something. We’ll be back in a possibly abbreviated fashion next week, depending on if we have time to play anything.
Have a happy whatever you celebrate this time of year, and if you don’t celebrate anything (not even New Year?! Who are you?), have a happy totally random few days.
Minor spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider locations and that whole complicated metaplot in Assassin’s Creed
Played, but not that much. Raided the “Pit of Judgment” which took longer than it should have, because I knew what I needed to do and took forever actually doing it (twitchy crank things).
But did it I did, then couldn’t find my way out, but find my way out I did and now I’m ready to forge ahead with main story.
I’ve already done 8 out of 9 tombs. You sure I’m not almost done? Almost out of tombs…almost out of skills to learn….53%…….
I forge ahead soon.
I like the tombs. I’m not sure they’re more involved than they were in the first game (that was a thing when this game came out: “More and better tombs!”) but I liked game one’s tombs more than most people did (that was a thing when THAT came out: “Where are the tombs?”).
You’re done, aren’t you?
Ah, the Pit of Judgement! With the mining cars you have to crash into things, right? So not ALL sunshine and roses in the glorious city state of Kitezh.
I didn’t play, so I am no closer to done. Still 77% or something. But that’s a fair bit of ground past you. Like I said, you have to use the mystical D20, do some fighting…fighting…story development via found document…fighting…etc.
I like the tombs too. I don’t know if I’m just better at this type of game now (I have been practicing!), or if they’re actually easier, but I haven’t had as much trouble with them as I had with some of the ones in the first game. I mean, I liked them there too, but I remember getting kind of frustrated with a couple of them, and this time, not. These have been a nice balance of puzzle and “OK, I know what to do, now I just have to get up to that ledge” or whatever.
Trying to get into the witch’s valley was way more annoying!–but that’s DLC, and they often ramp things up in DLC.
Anyway, yeah, I like the tombs. Assassin’s Creed used to have tombs (essentially the same sort of climbing/puzzling thing), and I always liked those too.
Yeah, that was kind of a nice touch. It’s rare to see the seedy, practical, underside of these ancient paradises that we raid and loot all so often. And a nice counterpoint to the guilt tomb we discussed. I mean, there it was all “How could such cold hearted people take the coins left for our dead?” Here, the same folks who guilted us look like a bunch of cold hearted money grubbers themselves, using slaves for gold.
Fuck those guys. I’m taking the coins.
And the puzzly bits here are usually along the lines of “tinker with this, learn how it works, then apply,” which is nice puzzle design. “Ok, that raises that, that can attach to that, which will lock that….” etc. It isn’t just “Keep pulling levers until one works.”
Tinker then apply is good. Tinker, apply, drive yourself MAD is The Witness.
Let’s not talk of the witch’s valley again.
Really, AC had puzzles? Wonder why they ditched them. I do like a good puzzle bit from time to time. Better to break things up with that than driving.
Speaking of which, I’m not too happy they seem to have added driving to Mass Effect. This rover thingy….hmm.
I too wonder why AC got rid of the tombs. I loved me some tomb puzzles, man! Those were among my favorite parts of the early games! Climbing all over things trying to find JUST the right hook to get where you need to go…using Eagle Vision to see giant alien barcodes on the sides of buildings…
The latter day AC just isn’t the same.
And yeah, the ‘rover’ bit in the MEA trailer didn’t entirely fill me with glee either. Didn’t they already do that in ME1? It was called the Mako, and didn’t everyone hate it? (Except me, I actually thought it was OK.) There were driving exploration bits that I think were mostly replaced with planet scanning bits in ME2. (Ah, the soothing music of a nice planet scan…good times.)
Are they bringing back the driving exploration bits? Are people not going to hate it this time?
But whatever. We’ll play it.
So I keep hearing about AC. I came to them too late. But at least I got Lowlands Away.
Those pirates should do a Christmas record.
I did not play ME1 (the shame), but I have heard tell of the mako. I thought that was something people actually DID like. But all the same…big worlds usually mean faster ways to get around in them. Maybe it’s just transportation. My heart sort of sank when I heard Geralt was getting a horse in TW3 because that’s driving, when you get right down to it, and I wound up loving the big lug. Though Evelyn’s horse in DAI went unused, and that was bioware. Hmm.
We will play it. And we’ll like it more than most other people. Which isn’t usually the case. We have to rebalance the universe somehow.
You did get Lowlands Away. No previous AC could offer that particular awesomeness. The best thing we could collect in the old days was memory clips of Adam and Eve or something. They didn’t sing.
I would really only want the pirates’ Christmas record if it was all Lowlands Away and What Do We Do With a Drunken Sailor. I guess they could intersperse We Wish You a Merry Christmas or something period-appropriate, but we want the classic hits, man.
I do NOT want the pirate rendition of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. Get right out of here with that nonsense.
Although them singing Christmas Monkey might have a certain bizarre charm…no. Shut up, self. That is horrible.
Memories of Adam and Eve? Uh….ooooookaaaaaaay…..
A bunch of pirates demanding figgy pudding would be kinda awesome.
And they can do the soulful moody thing! If they can rock lowlands away I’m sure we could whip up a good “Oh Holy Night.”
What’s truly horrible is that I, too, was thinking of Christmas Monkey before I even read that paragraph. I was GOING to make a joke about it after your “Rocking around the Xmas Tree” joke. But THEN I thought “I’ll read ahead to see if she went there,” and you had.
We need help.
But, on that front, I can’t get behind any Christmas song written after, say, 1950. Rocking around the Christmas Tree was, really, the beginning of the end. I don’t want John Lennon singing about war being over. I don’t want Wham! singing about last christmas giving his heart to someone. (I don’t really want Wham! singing about anything.) I don’t want some country singer’s grown up Christmas wish. I don’t even want that Charlie Brown shit. Stop it all of you.
Silent Night. We wish you a Merry Christmas. That sort of thing.
Bing Crosby: Good. Kenny Chesney: Bad.
I mean, sure, you could SAY we need more songs, but c’mon. My brother once worked on a Christmas record with Neil Sedaka (a probably gay Jewish guy), and they made some good tunes, sure, but what makes a good Xmas tune is the tradition. The history. There’s only so much Neil Sedaka can do.
We need help. I blame Christmas Monkey.
But I’m with you on traditional Christmas songs. These modern things–don’t need ’em. Don’t like ’em.
I also hate when people use Christmas carols to warble and show off their awesome voices. Carols are not the place to show off!
Just sing the damn song, it’s classic and we like it the way it usually goes. We don’t need you holding that note in the middle for two minutes just to prove you’re great. Yes, you’re great, your voice is impressive, I will admire it in SOME OTHER SONG PLEASE.
Also, stay off my lawn.
But yeah, in the old AC games you were recovering memories from the garden of Eden or something. About the Apple, that was actually a weapon of some kind? But Adam and Eve were really aliens? I think?
It was weird, weird stuff. I played all those games and loved them and I’m still not TOTALLY sure what was going on in the meta-story. But it was awesome anyway! I was into the absolute over-the-top bonkers-ness of it. I kind of miss that in the new ones. They seem tamer, somehow.
DAMN THAT MONKEY!
Nope. Don’t like the modern carols. And yet, they’re EVERYWHERE. Even the all Xmas radio stations which I will listen to from time to time in the car to get my cheer on have them!
Amen to not showing off in the classics. See also the National Anthem. Aretha Franklin did the anthem before one of the Thanksgiving Day football games, and milked it so much that CBS put up a graphic in the middle of the first half that had her leading in time of possession. Seriously. They wheeled her off. I think she’s just now getting to “Rocket’s red glare.”
And yet, when I played AC4, I kept asking you what, exactly, the FUCK was going on, and you’d TRY to explain it and you’d sound like the crazy person on the train.
I love you. You are a great singer and a national treasure. But…just SING the national anthem, OK? No need to get fancy. It’s fine. (Although I would kind of love to see someone someday just sing it, moving right along, so everyone thinks, “hey, this will be done in no time!” and then they proceed to sing the two or three extra verses that nobody ever sings. Heh. That would be evil, and amusing.)
The original Assassin’s Creed made everyone into the crazy person on the train.
“It’s aliens I tell you! Greek gods who are actually aliens leaving messages in our DNA! I’ve seen it in my ancestors’ memories!”
Dude, I think Aretha is fully prepared to do every verse.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the movie, what is out right now, does with this. I mean, it’s hard to explain the plot of the first game in two hours, let alone dramatize it. I have a feeling this will follow in a long uninterrupted line of terrible movies based on games. What it will LIKELY do is have a bunch of people who didn’t play the first couple asking people who did what that movie was all about and a lot of crazy train talk.
I am curious about the movie, mostly for that reason. What are they going to do with that whole “these are memories” concept?
“Yeah, I know it looks like a historical movie, but it’s actually set in the present or the near future, only this guy can SEE the past because he can relive his ancestors’ memories, and then he searches their memories for information about a magic weapon or something, and in order to do that he has to, like, relive key moments in their lives, so while he’s doing that it LOOKS like a historical movie, only with assassins with superpowers, and the reason he can see his ancestors’ memories is because of aliens visiting Earth long ago and leaving messages in his DNA. Probably.”
I can see this being a hard sell to anyone who didn’t play the first couple of AC games. Maybe they’ll tone it down on the weirdness, though.
Lately there’s been a lot more just “hey, people can see their ancestors’ memories because DNA, so let’s do it and it’ll be cool!” as opposed to the whole vast alien plot.
Nah, looks from the previews that they’re doubling down on it all. People seem a tad peeved that so much of it takes place in the present and the animus and all that. And they made the animus all nasty! Like, needles in the spine and all. What happened to evil Quebecois hipsters??????
I guess that was a bridge too far, that.
Ooh, spine needles, yikes. Nobody likes that. I mean, unless it’s providing valuable anesthesia for surgery, in which case bring it the hell on. In the games it was just a helmet! But early on you did have to lie on a special table, so maybe there were spine needles we couldn’t see.
I haven’t been following the previews (I don’t see movies anymore, so I don’t see trailers before movies, and I don’t watch TV, and I rarely think to seek them out online even though I’m on the computer 10 hours a day and they are readily available there–my bad), but I have to say, I’m inclined to salute them for doubling down on the weirdness.
Your weirdness was your soul, Assassin’s Creed! Never give up your crazy-train soul!
They had a straight-to-DVD short a few years back that I saw. It was surprisingly non-terrible. I mean, not the most impressive bit of live-action storytelling EVER, but it looked professional, had some nice visuals, decent acting… Whether or not this will also be true for a full length movie, I will not venture to speculate, but at least in terms of visuals, well, you can do a lot these days. I can imagine some pretty sweet shots inspired by air assassinations and rooftop running and so forth.
Perhaps one day when I watch movies again, I will catch it on Netflix.
Oh stop. We’re never watching movies ever again.
You’re right. Not unless they suddenly stop making games we want to play.
Don’t ever do that, game industry. We can’t survive in a world without games we want to play.
Minor content spoilers and general mechanics/mood discussion of Rise of the Tomb Raider
And so today I DO have a laptop and not much to say. Decked the halls instead of doing much of anything else. Didn’t play, but I can vouch that Christmas Monkey is slightly less upsetting when viewed with season appropriate room decor.
To distract me from such things, I turn towards the holidays.
So here we are, starting to idly wonder if this game is getting close to the end (you’ve probably finished it. Haven’t you? You have). We have Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, then Xmas happens and you go west, and then we ponder what to do until Robot Dinosaurs.
I’m still chewing on the Witness, sure. But I also have these kids, so, for them, and, thus, for me, I get The Last Guardian, the rest of King’s Quest and Stardew Valley. You should totally do the first two. And, you know, Xmas.
You getting any good game stuff for/from anyone?
I have not finished–I’m still only at 77% or something. I did play, though, and had a thought: how do we feel about stuff happening in the story that Lara isn’t present for?
There was a scene between Konstantin and Ana when Lara wasn’t around, back in the part that we’ve both played, and I thought it was a bit odd, but then (minor spoiler) there was another such scene that I just played, and…I just don’t know if I like it.
I mean, it adds to our understanding of the story, so that’s good. I like story. BUT…Lara is our POV character, and jumping away from her to show us stuff that she has no way of seeing/hearing, thus putting us in the position of knowing things she has no way of knowing, feels awkward to me, from a narrative standpoint.
It’s not story-breaking information in the sense that we’re now going to be able to act on knowledge Lara doesn’t have about a clever trap, or anything, so it kind of doesn’t even matter: so we know a bit more about the relationship between these two, why not?–but it feels out of place. I don’t know that I like it.
Oh, so I’m not at the endgame? Seriously.
I have that problem in any type of first person medium. It IS awkward. And I think it’s something games especially will have to deal with. It’s the only genre I can think of where the person hearing the story (you) is the same as the main character. It DOES make it hard to flesh things out.
I think one of the many reasons DA2 is so underrated was the way they handled that. By having Varric tell the story, he could tell Cassandra (and you) things Hawke couldn’t have known.
That said, I can’t tell what’s worse: Having cutscenes like that where the PC is nowhere around, or twisting yourself in pretzels contriving ways to get around it. Take UC4 (which I now forgive for being Chloeless). It seemed that Raef and Nadine ALWAYS waited to say anything until they were by a crack in a wall and had a slight feeling people were on the other side of that crack. I mean, ok, now we can say “See? Drake was THERE!” We can say that while rolling our eyes so hard we may hurt ourselves. Part of me says that if you’re gonna do the whole exposition out of place thing, just do it, dammit.
It’s true, the silly contortions you have to go through to have the main character be ‘there’ and able to overhear things is also somewhat narrative-breaking. The eye-rolling alone skews the whole plot!
I guess I just wonder why they bother. We’ve already got the contrivance of everyone leaving documents lying around everywhere that reveal their deepest thoughts, and the contrivance of Lara happening to be in exactly the right place at the right time to overhear SOME things.
Why add the contrivance/odd dose of reality that is “oh, actually you’re not REALLY Lara you’re just a detached observer who PRETENDS to be Lara for most of the game, enjoy this scene she would never have witnessed!”
Just maintain some internal consistency, however implausible, that’s what I prefer. But I do get your argument that given a big enough pile of implausibility, just breaking internal consistency and giving you the other point of view can come as almost a relief. I think I would be more inclined to agree if we didn’t still have all the other implausibility to somehow suspend disbelief on.
Pick an approach, basically.
I was also doing a little swimming and recalled that I never responded to your remarks about the rebreather and how even though you hate swimming, taking the risk out of it with said rebreather feels a little off. Like, why bother? If there’s not some added risk, it’s just another environment.
I think maybe they really really wanted to have a specific fight scene that they had, and that motivated the entire thing? Because it’s quite true, without the risk of drowning and the need to keep looking out for air, underwater is pretty much just another environment to wander through at your leisure.
This almost comes down to the same complaint as above: pick an approach! Is water dangerous or not? Don’t go changing the rules on us!
Although I personally am much more forgiving of the rebreather because whatever, it’s consistent with the accumulation of gadgets and it makes my life easier. I mean, the rope ascender makes climbing a rope just another environment to charge through without pausing because there’s nothing interesting in it. Gadgets, man.
Still, I see your point.
Indeed, we did roll our eyes at such contortions in UC4 at the time.
“Pick an approach” is something games very often fail to do. I think that, too, is a gamey thing. I mean, you never say that movies fail to do that. You’ve never read a book that switches from third to first person halfway through. I mean, on one hand, games are so great cuz there are no set rules yet. That said, the lack of set rules often leads to odd decisions like this that wouldn’t happen if there were set rules. Still, I’d rather have free wheeling art that fails sometimes than predictable.
And OK about the rebreather, except the rope thingy is there for speed and convenience. The rebreather takes a peril and just scraps it.
But back to the peril: swimming bits PRE rebreather were both tense and had some puzzlely elements. “Where’s the light? QUICK find it! Hurry hurry hurry!” Now it’s just lazily “Oh, this way? No…oh..whatever…”
This game (gonna harsh on it again) seems to be doing weird things re scaling difficulty. I mean, most every game increases the scope and power of your gear as you go, but this is usually to give you a) some variety and b) an ADDED challenge/wrinkle of getting to pick how to approach a fight/puzzle. Do I sit here and snipe for a while or pick the shotgun and charge? I’m low on rifle bullets, do I use them or try to make do with the pistol? Etc. Multiply that times 100 for RPGs like The Witcher. Also, gear upgrades are usually accompanied by upgrades in enemies. You stopped seeing drowners so much after you got that griffin armor. Here, gear seems to just make killing the same dudes easier, and gizmos just take whole gameplay elements out. The game is getting less complex and easier. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.
That’s an interesting point about how we don’t complain about this sort of viewpoint switching with movies and books. I think this is mostly true, because you’re right that movies and books have mostly settled on conventions that structure stories in ways that avoid these issues…it’s not entirely true, because I’ve certainly read books where I thought “wait a sec, what is this chapter from some omniscient narrator doing here in what has been a limited third person?” So it happens, and we notice it when it happens, but it’s perhaps true that it doesn’t happen as often because this sort of inconsistency maybe tends to get ironed out in the editing process in a way that doesn’t necessarily happen in games because the “pick an approach” rule hasn’t been as firmly established as “the right way to do story” that way it has in books.
Movies…hm. I’m sure there are movies that mostly follow one character around and only show us what he/she sees, but then inexplicably leap to a broad view that the character has no way of seeing, and I’m sure if I noticed this I would object to it in principle the way I’m objecting to it in this game, but I can’t think of a specific instance. Perhaps it’s just not as noticeable (to me) because I’m not as accustomed to playing a movie in my own head the way I read a book in my own head, so the disconnect isn’t as jarring?
While with a game, the visual aspect is like a movie, but the way we’re asked to identify with and “be” a single character is more like a book, so I noticed it?
I dunno. And you’re right, of course, that we’d rather see interesting experiments than every game following the same hallowed path of “the right way to do it.” Although I don’t know that the general ‘pick an approach’ rule has ruined literature, or prevented authors from breaking the ‘rule’ if they choose, so I’ll only let them off the hook so much. And that much is basically “I see your narrative inconsistency, and it bugs me, but whatever, I’m still playing your game and it’s not as if this is going to keep me from playing the next one.”
A minor annoyance, really, but I notice, and I nitpick. It’s what we do.
Well, that and books tend to be written by one person, who, one would think, has a set idea as to how it’s going to go. Games, AAA games anyway, are made by BIG teams over long periods of time, so things can get lost.
And not just BE a single character, but control said character. I mean, we very literally control how our characters look at the world. WHERE they look. Where they go. What they do. Sometimes, what they say. So when we’re actively choosing what to see, what to focus on, and then BOOM, we are getting this weird thing, it’s jarring. In a movie, sure, there’s weird perspective changes, but none of the perspectives were one we were choosing ourselves.
We nitpick because we care.
I like this game. I do. I feel I’m spending a great deal of time harshing this game, and I like this game. I have to find something nice to say, soon.
We like the running and climbing. The action. Although your point about the game getting easier as we go…I’ve just had some fights that seemed like maybe they should be pretty big fights, and I just hacked the hell out of people and it wasn’t even that big a deal.
Didn’t even remember to explode anything (I never remember to trigger the explosives), completely failed to sneak, but it was just not that big a deal.
However!–I do enjoy the running and climbing, there are some lovely environments, the story is fine if not particularly complex…and there’s supernatural! (You know, maybe.) I think I’m not LOVING this game with the fiery passion I feel for a Dragon Age Origins, but it’s perfectly solid and serviceable and I’m enjoying it. More than AC Black Flag. As much as the Uncharted series it so resembles.
I feel the same way about the fights. Which, on one hand, I kinda like. I mean, we bitch all the time about how repeatedly dying late in games (I’m not almost done, am I?) breaks momentum, and lordy knows I am NOT repeatedly dying. But then again….here we are a notch UP on difficulty, getting late, and we’re just cruising. If it’s TOO easy, it runs the risk of just having fights because video game.
So far, I’m ok because, despite the not dying, the fights FEEL tense. I ran out of leaves in my last fight, and that was rather harrowing. So I haven’t felt like “Oh, ho hum, whatever” in a fight yet…. but still. There’s a ways to go.
We, once again, agree overall on this game. I think I liked UC4 more. This is on par with the other UCs, though, and I liked them. They had Chloe.
Well, you’re not NOT almost done. I mean, you’re closer to the end than to the beginning. I think. I haven’t gotten to the end myself, but I have the feeling it must be out there somewhere in this region I’m currently exploring.
While you’re still in…the flooded…place? Or not yet? Which is a region or so away from me right now.
I just snagged the mystical D20. I’m about to go into the observatory. I was confused because I was at 51% but the load screen was all “At last….we’re here….” which was endgamey.
But after “This ends….NOW!” you have to question Lara’s sense of time.
Of course I’m closer to the end. 51%. Ha.
Her sense of time is about as good as my game planning clock.
Ah, the mystical D20! That’s right, we talked about that fight before you get that. Exciting!
Yeah, now you have to use the mystical D20, and…stuff happens…there’s some fighting…and so it goes. 51%. This ends NOW!!!!!
Or, you know, later. Much later.
Maybe this game is about unfounded optimism. We’ve talked about belief already: maybe the belief that you’re ALMOST there is part of that. It keeps you going, and even when it turns out you were totally wrong, well, you’re farther along by now than you were when you first said that!
Faith: needed encouragement to persevere in difficult times, or filthy lie?
HA! We’re sharing in her unfounded optimism. Almost there dad….
Watch: The Platinum in this game is “Only 17 more trophies to go….”
I am glad that it doesn’t end at 59%. I’d’ve been pissed. And robot dinosaurs is still a ways away.
Minor spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider
Ok. We got distracted yesterday. Where are we?
Played a bunch. Did the whole “fight in the greek fire” bit which was pretty damn awesome. Smoke, lasers, great, great stuff. Then ran and ran, which was ALSO awesome. Got the rebreather (more on that later), and went back to bear tomb to do bear tomb which I’ll do soon.
When this game is NOT about toodling, it’s God Damn Awesome in capital letters. It may not be witcher grade story or Gone Home grade themes, but it’s exciting, tense, crisp action that’s just so very well done. When this game IS about toodling….it’s slow. Which begs the question: Is that the game’s fault, or is it innate to toodling? UC didn’t have toodling, and it was able to replace that with writing and themes and stuff (at least 4). We ALWAYS toodle (at least some) and we almost never like it. Maybe we should just not have toodling. The contrast between the awesome bits and the not awesome bits in this game is so jarring, it must mean something.
Thought two: I hate swimming in games. Like, a lot. You know this. And yet….I’m not sure I’m into the idea of the rebreather. After all, the rebreather COMPLETELY removes a gameplay element. When there’s no risk at all from swimming, then swimming becomes just like running down a hall. Just swim. No risk. All that tense stuff you learned about how to go fast and look for places to breathe? Fuck it. No longer. Take your time. It just writes the WHOLE MECHANIC out.
And while that’s a mechanic that I’m happy is gone because I hate swimming, it’s weird to just completely do away with a mechanic at this point of the game. Especially one with some degree of risk. This makes the game, at least in the swimming bits, easier. It’s one less way to die. Usually games ADD ways to die. They get harder. They get MORE tense. They get MORE complex. This is going the other way, and that’s weird, and I’m not sure it should be doing that.
Tangential thought: I’m now at 51%. The load screen plot point is all “Father….we’re finally here….at last!” or something. “Here at last” at least sorta seems to suggest “end game,” or “last act.” Doesn’t it? I’m at 51%. 51% does NOT suggest last act, especially as all that story stuff I did, Cathedral, Anna, greek fire, rebreather, atlas, etc., took me from 46% to 51% (I know this as I use multiple save slots). I mean, I haven’t gotten EVERY little collectible, or even started some of the poster/flag bits, but I’ve gotten a bunch of them, so SOME of my 51% must be that. Do we feel close to the end, here? I didn’t until that load screen……..
I liked the running running running bit too. It was tense and exciting. Not too dangerous, but urgent (I did slip and die once, too, so it was a LITTLE dangerous), and really required you to be on top of the controls.
It’s still so unclear, isn’t it, whether or not the Deathless Ones are actually supernatural, or are just prospectors in sheets?
I…kind of like toodling, man. But I agree, it’s not as intense, nor does it immediately serve the story, hence my participation in regular snide comments about it.
It was very well done. Not really QTE at all. I, too, died once, mostly because I completely forget the “use thingy to get to higher ledges” thing, so if there’s no conveniently placed coil I always die.
I think it remains unclear about the supernatural. Unless there’s something you know I don’t. I mean, “deathless ones” does seem rather magical, but then they were armed with just good ol’ Greek fire and arrows. They weren’t conjuring spirit whirlwinds or anything. They were just all burning oil and arrows.
I have nothing against toodling per se. It has its place. I’m just not sure THIS is the place. Or the WAY. So many of the “challenges” really are just chores. They’re even marked on maps! (Why explorers mark tied up rabbits on secret maps before they die is beyond me.) So it’s “run to circle, shoot easy target, repeat.” So what? Give it some oomph. Like, praise for AC4 here, mark it down, the sheet music. I mean, the sheet music in AC4 was rather pointless and completely inexplicable. But there was some challenge to getting them (they ran…huh? never mind) and some reward (new song!). That’s good toodling.
That’s where I died! I leaped, realized I couldn’t make it without the wire thing, threw the thing–but too late. Really by now I should just be hitting square every time I jump just in case, but no….
The challenges aren’t EXACTLY on the map, though, are they? I mean, it gives you a little marker, but I think that’s where you first picked up the challenge, rather than where you have to go to finish it. At least, whenever I’ve gone to the location on the map to try to pursue a challenge, it’s always just somewhere I’ve already been, not something that’s useful to me in the present. Anyway, I do get what you’re saying. The toodling is always a distraction from the main game, but sometimes it works better than others, and sometimes it doesn’t really work well at all.
I dunno, I’m not as annoyed with it here as you are, but history has shown I have a higher tolerance for junk-collecting than you do, so that’s probably all it is, rather than me seeing some special narrative value in it that you don’t.
I guess I don’t like having to toodle. The “Explore the Valley” stuff. Don’t tell me to toodle! I’ll toodle when, where and how I want!
Ha! That’s true. “I’ll toodle if I feel like it…don’t you be telling me it’s part of my job!”
It’s true that anything you HAVE to do is naturally held to a higher standard of fun/relevance than random junk you’re allowed to do or not as the whimsy takes you.
Exactly! Because the ability to say “Ok, fuck this, I feel like story today” should always be an option, and there are times in this game where it isn’t.
If I recall, AC4 was like that, too. There were times you pretty much had to grind, taking sugar off ships and finding chests, to get enough cash to progress in any relevant way.
I think that the reward of toodling should always be something that makes the main story easier/better, like more XP, documents that FILL IN and not tell, shanties, gear, etc., but there should always be enough gear/resources/etc on the course of the main story to get you through, if you just want to bull through. Here? AC? No.
Ah, AC4–how quickly a moment of praise becomes a moment of condemnation. Which is honestly more what we’re comfortable with here.
However, and to argue in our current game’s defense for a moment, remember that I actually did pursue the main story by accident before I was really even done toodling. So I’m not sure that the amount of toodling that’s REQUIRED was actually as significant as maybe it felt that it was, when you first come out into the valley with orders to explore it.
It seems like that could take forever, but in my memory, at least, it actually wasn’t that long before I had another objective marker. I dunno, though, you played that section more recently than I did, so I may be generously cutting it some slack. As I am wont to do in all things except the absence of male nudity. (Had to bring that back in!)
It’s true, it isn’t necessary per se. But they really want us to. I mean, that spire was WAY on the other side of the valley.
AC4 did that, too. “Hey…there’s an objective. Go ahead and follow it. It’s on the other side of the map. There’s only 97 treasures, 9 forts, a few whales and 493724739825 shards between you and it. But go ahead. Go right there if you want…..”
Oh, well, they can WANT whatever. That doesn’t mean they’re gonna get it.
Although usually they will because I can’t resist a shard, damn it.
Who can? Even I got a bunch of those.
Of course, I was new to AC and thought I would need them to make something. I mean, I played Zelda back in the day. Shards go together to make something awesome. Usually.
In one of the ACs, you could at least collect fragments and use them to unlock additional memories about a tragic love story…that wasn’t so bad. I mean, let me work toward SOMETHING.
Yeah! See? GOOD toodling!
I’m tired. It’s been a long week and it’s only Tuesday and I’m tired.
I want my new TV.
Andromeda’s gonna look amazing in 4K.
I have tech lust. We’re going to want a new TV.
You already want a new TV. You’re just waffling.
I tell ya, man. This was a shitty, depressing year. You have to do something good for yourself. And dude, both you and your spouse will dig it. It’s a two fer.
Imagine: seeing every scale on your Krogan lover…..
And hey, check it: By recording our thoughts, we are making history.
Someday, like a time capsule, someone will read our thoughts and it will be a window to a past lost wisdom.
We better get some potentially magical but probably not things to guard the blog.
I feel valuable!
Also, sold. My krogan lover’s gleaming scales must not go unappreciated.
Working on the extraordinarily complicated, lethal, one-time-and-it’s-broken puzzles that will guard my keyboard…
How big is your screen now?
It’s…um…like 28 or something. It’s not very big. We’re essentially dwelling in the dark ages.
So 40 will look huge!
It’s going to be overpowering. The intricately detailed beauty of every glance from my krogan lover’s eyes will be so intense I will surely weep with joy.
Damn it, there better be a krogan love interest now.
No spoilers except about our past game love lives
You know, we haven’t talked about this:
Mass Effect Andromeda Game Awards Gameplay Demo in 4K
I dunno, what you think, should we play it?
I guess, dude. Whatever.
In seriousness, it seems a little light on story and heavy on randomly exploring everything, based on this description, but we do like to toodle, so I’m sure it’ll hold our interest for a while.
Nice that they used a female PC for the demo. Good work, people: as a woman, consider me outreached unto.
Nah, it’ll be fine on story. Or, rather, it’ll probably be a typical Bioware game story: There’ll be some rather generic overarching quest thing, like “end of world, or end of humanity, or end of something, go deal,” and the meat and potatoes of what we’ll a) blog about and b) enjoy will be the side stuff and the characters. Really, when you get down to it, that’s every Bioware game ever. We do not play them for the overarching story.
They’ve said that they’ve brought back loyalty missions for this one, and, if you’ll recall, there were themes-o-plenty in how those all related in the first few ME games. That’ll be what we dig the most. As usual.
I’ll go female. Already been a dude in ME.
Yeah, you’re right, that’s going to sum it up.
Plus romance. Never forget the romance. Ideally with some angsty, brooding, heavily armored type.
Ooh, I hope there are fancy dress balls!
Go after a Krogan, Femmy. It’s time. At a ball, no less.
There WAS dancing in the others…..
Krogan are certainly…armored…but I don’t know if they have the level of brooding angst that I generally prefer in my romantic partners. Although maybe we’ll meet the ONE brooding angsty one, in which case my heart is already lost.
It’s all downhill from there.
There do seem to be Turians. Think you can wrest yourself away?
I do have a history with Turians. And whatever Thane was.
Let’s be honest, it’s going to come down to a master level brood-off, and whoever brings the angst most convincingly while also wearing ridiculously heavy armor like it’s no thing is going to be the one I wind up swooning over.
And I will, likely, wind up playing yet another universe saving lesbian.
We are nothing if not consistent.
We gotta be we, man. Our followers would abandon us in droves if we turned away from that core mission.
Some mild spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider main story
No laptop which sucks cuz I kinda fell back in love with this game last night.
Climbed that whole tower, pulled a gun on Anna, saved her by shooting generators (awesome scene), called it quits.
This was one of those sessions that just captured the whole action hero thing perfectly. Just awesome. Climbing with the views, approaching as you overhear the radio stuff, them being scared of you, the generator bit….great.
I also love that Lara shot Anna. Usually there’s all this talking FIRST then the hero cracks or the baddie shoots first. This time, just “BANG” “you betrayed my father!” THEN talking. Or yelling. Lara wants none of your reasoning.
But a complaint: the whole plot through document thing.
Here I am. It’s exciting. I’m in a tower. I’m approaching a moment, man. There’s tense, fast, action music (trust me), and then “oh look a document” and…..pause. Talking. Xp. No music. And then….we’re back.
The one bad moment in the thing.
Oh yeah, the confrontation with Ana. That was nice and dramatic. And the way she sort of spits “kill her” after you, completely abandoning the pretense/attempt at some kind of friendliness between you (as might be expected since you just shot her), is a good character moment for her: she’s so sick and exhausted and desperate and totally filled with rage. Just like me lately! I like this lady! Ha.
I thought it was also a nice balance of cut scene with some bits you actually had to move for, keeping you engaged.
I’m not that much farther than you now, and I haven’t played, so you could still catch up to me! You know, in theory.
It was a good use of cutscenes! Makes a strong case for linear games.
Why the rage?
Oh, just casting back to the election and work and what-not. Trying to find some common ground with Ana, an obviously hard-working, dedicated woman (who’s PROBABLY not romantically involved with her brother) whom Lara treats most harshly.
Ah I feel ya.
Sympathy for the more dedicated fanatic. She hired dudes! Married a weirdo! All Lara did was steal gears and cut down rabbits!
Yeah! Lara’s a dilettante, really. She bums around doing the angsty brooding rich kid thing, amusing herself with treasure hunting while I do the hard work of maintaining a relationship with her father, and then she wants to come swooping in here at the last minute and steal the fruits of MY labor!
And, OK, her father’s, but I worked a lot harder than she did to encourage and support him in his ‘crazy’ quest, so I think I deserve this a lot more than she does.
No wonder I’m filled with rage, man.
Man. You get MAD when they ask you to work at work.
I HATE THEM ALL SO MUCH…mumble mumble.
Ha. Actually, I’m accomplishing things! Doing useful stuff! It’s great! I feel so productive!
Except I can’t concentrate on the important game-related issues as well.
What is this “accomplishing things” of which you speak?
Wait! I put up a wreath today! That’s something!
Aaaaaaand Christmas monkey is in my head.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh, stop! It just stopped being in my head!
We face a renovation that is going to take away some of our space, so we’re desperately scrambling for ways to deal with this that don’t involve just tossing out all the print collections.
Horribly boring stuff, but we feel productive if we, for example, identify things that are online, or that we could put online, thus making tossing the print less damaging.
Bad your-workplace! I bet they’re just gonna make the space they’re taking a lounge and name it after a rich dude. They do that a lot.
Yeah, probably. They like to make study space, which, fine, students gotta study. And the library encourages study. We welcome study! We get students in here studying all the time. We know they aren’t here to hang out with the library staff or, these days, particularly to use the print collection.
It makes sense, kind of.
But from a historical standpoint, if you make us get rid of things we can never get back and that no one else has either, someday you’re going to want it and it’s going to be gone.
I guess I could just make a plan right now to point and laugh? That would take a lot of pressure off in terms of having to decide “OK, what does someone else have, what can we move somewhere else,” etc. Just throw it all out now!
That’s probably what Ana would do.
Murderous religious fanatics: an unexpected role model for librarians in trying times?
No way man. Lara’s the one blowing stuff up. She trashed that tomb in Syria. She busted all sorts of gizmos designed to access ancient codices. Lord only knows what she’s doing with the relics but it sure isn’t packing them in her tight pants.
Ana? She cares so much about archiving the past she takes the time to leave her journal entries right there in Lara’s path for posterity. And to break narrative momentum.
I bet that Syrian tomb is now a student lounge.
Ha! Very true.
Students like nothing better than to kick back in a comfy chair, plug their laptops into the outlets thoughtfully provided on the side of the tomb, and study away in the shadow of a historical event whose memory has been carelessly erased by treasure hunters.
Also good point about Ana and record keeping. She’s admirably committed to documenting the details of the unfolding situation, although her information security practices do leave some room for improvement.
You know, I often did have to climb the outside of the law tower when I went to school at your-workplace. Very finicky elevators, you know.
Those remnants are more like you. Look at all those hunting textbooks they just left out in the rain!
I hear they have more reliable elevators now, but you have to operate them by turning a wheel with a climbing axe. Standard issue to all incoming law students as of 2014.
In my day all they gave us were makeshift bows. No rope arrows or nothing. Spoiled kids today.