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Spoilers for chapters near the end of Heavy Rain

Butch:

Kids were batshit today. Performance week at camp, so they’ve been out till ten last two nights. Total. Crazy.

I’m gonna walk a few miles to chill. Then I’ll play.

Feminina:

See: exercise! Who knew it could provide mental as well as physical health benefits? Walk. Chill.

If it helps, the most egregious material is out of the way…there’s no more unpleasant nudity (and those are two words we don’t like to have to use together). Unless I’ve managed to suppress it, or it happened in a scene I didn’t get because I didn’t take a shower.

Butch:

Who indeed! Well, besides the entire medical community. But what do they know?

I sincerely hope we never use “unpleasant” and “nudity” together again.

But you know what we can use? “Laughably implausible sex.” I mean….what? Way to take some narrative shortcut. (I could ask how on earth he managed to get that bra off with one good hand, but I guess I’m just good at QTEs). And then the “I hate you!” “But I love you!” “Well…ok then…I guess I love you” bit that things do.

This is getting silly. Or gotten silly.

Which is too bad cuz that chase scene was really good.

But on to the next chapter.

Feminina:

Yes! With the one hand! How! I also wondered.

I also noted the contrast in how relatively tastefully and discreetly the scene was handled, limiting the amount of visible skin. (Though I kind of winced at the thought of them on the no-doubt dingy and unappealing motel room carpet, because ew. Especially with all those burns, man! There’s a bed RIGHT THERE, you know?)

Women: get naked at gunpoint, or when someone is leering at you in the shower, but conceal yourself modestly during sex! Or something.

I mean, not that I WANTED to watch a graphic sex scene, necessarily, but isn’t it interesting that consensual nudity is apparently not worth looking at, but voyeuristic or forced nudity is? There’s some weird subconscious moralistic nonsense or something going on here, David Cage. You might want to get that looked at.

Anyway! Romance! Sort of.

You know, when I was encouraging you to play this game, and I was all “I laughed! It has romance!” I was THIS CLOSE to adding “sort of.” But I didn’t, because I didn’t want to be discouraging in case, I don’t know, maybe your romance somehow worked out to be more believable than mine.

Apparently that was not the case. And now we know.

Butch:

Ah, good. I was thinking, as a woman, you would mock me about the bra.

Yes! Tastefully conceal the sex! Cuz…uh….something something.

Maybe David Cage doesn’t get out much.

But, gotta say, he did get away from the nudity in Beyond. Yes, two showers, but each were very discreet.

But maybe that was Ellen Page.

Cage: “So Ellen now you-“
Page: “No.”
Cage: “But-“
Page: “No.”
Cage: “Please?”
Page: “You want a real movie star in this or not?”

Maybe they read our blog and patched it just yesterday. Ha.

Now we know. But I would have charged blindly on anyway. I mean, I paid for it and…..shit.

But charged blindly ahead even more! Cuz exercise means energy!

What’d I do….Hmmm….

Saved Lauren. I like Lauren. How do you not save Lauren?

Shot a bunch of dudes. Liked that scene. About time someone was badass instead of mopey/druggie. Go Shelby go! And let asshole die cuz of the “no one will miss him” crack. And don’t say “But he was just caring for his son” cuz no. Asshole. I will kill all other fathers who cares video game.

And then did the old lady bit. Why do old ladies whisper JUST when the audience wants to hear? Cuz games.

So I have two rather burning questions.

1) Why don’t the police seem to give a shit about Madison? You’d think SOMEONE would have noticed her stuff. Or the receptionist or SOMETHING. At the very least they’d question her, right? But there she is. Zooming along, not a care in the world.

2) Ok, so Gordi killed a kid. But if it was just an accident, why’d he do the origami and the flower and stuff? Was there some kid who didn’t have all that? I mean, if you kill someone by accident, is “Hey, let’s make this look like a serial killer did it so we’re linked to five other murders that the whole world is caring about?” Or….not? Who was the kid he killed?

I sense inconsistencies in narrative.

Even to the point where the old lady said “I wanted a TV but I didn’t have the money” as I was standing right in front of a TV.

Sums the game up nicely.

Feminina:

I thought that the “I don’t have a TV” while the TV is right there was intentional, designed to sort of cast doubt on everything the old lady said. She’s obviously entirely out of it, how can we trust whatever she says? Maybe what she whispered to Madison was a lie!

Nice work with Shelby there…this was a scene where I just could NOT get the QTEs. I kept getting shot, couldn’t hit anyone, and wound up passing out and missing the entire confrontation with Kramer (which I had to read about later when I was trying to figure out why the hell he was leaving flowers on that kid’s grave).

How do you let Lauren die…with regret, and because of your own poor reflexes. I can’t even blame the false sense of urgency, I was totally going to stay down there and try to save her even if it killed me, but when I went to move in her direction I hit the stick the wrong way, or something, and instead of being able to try to free her, I just zipped right out the window and swam away.

I was like, “Shelby, dude, go back!” but it was a cutscene by then. So my Lauren is dead, sadly.

On your burning questions:

My take on why the police don’t care about Madison is that they’re just fixating on Ethan as the killer and ignoring everything else, in a flamboyant display of bad police work. Which is all very well for Blake, but Jayden did say “what’s a journalist doing here?” when he found her DNA at Paco’s murder site, and then he just never follows up with it. And HE’S not fixated on Ethan as the killer, so I don’t know what his excuse is. I mean, he can maybe rule out that she killed Paco because Paco’s presumed killer was still there when he arrived, and was not a physical match for the description that was probably in ARI’s database, but it would still make sense for him to wonder why she was there and maybe find her and ASK her about it.

I suppose we could generously assume that he MEANT to talk to her but the cops weren’t able to find her by the time the story ends. She hasn’t been at her apartment, after all.

But other than generously reading between the lines, I have no explanation.

On Kramer and the kid, though…no comment. That may actually make more sense at the end.

Speaking of the chase scene at the motel, did you escape? My Ethan got caught and stuck in jail there. I missed the whole final origami-killer trial because he was locked up!

That’s totally the only reason I finished before you.

Butch:

Yeah, man! Cuz I’m PLAYING here! Playing scenes you DIDN’T DO! Again!

Fair point. The old lady is a little out of it.

Ah, so what DID you figure out?

And did your Kramer live? Cuz mine totally died.

Oh dude! I thought you said everyone in your game got out alive!

So what did poor Shelby do? Or is that a spoiler?

And we can’t blame false urgency because I guess there IS urgency in this game. Cuz people can actually die! Like your Lauren. You monster.

Yeah, you’re stretching with that explanation on Madison. Jayden even knew her name and everything cuz ARI knows all.

At the very least she had clues. At worse, she’s a criminal because she’s helping someone they think is a serial killer.

Sheesh.

Ah, ok. Plot point with Kramer! So how did you GET that plot point?

Yeah I escaped jail! I thought you said you were dialed in on this game!

I’ll tell you all about the next trial. I’m sure there’s a group hug.

Feminina:

Yeah, well, you missed two intense combat scenes earlier, in which both Madison and Norman could have died, so we’re even.

When I said “all of mine lived,” I was referring to the four playable characters. Obviously, a good number of my side characters ended up dead who survived in your game: the religious muttering guy Jayden shot, the creepy doctor Madison killed with a drill, Mad Jack (tragically crushed by a car transporter)…and Lauren. I didn’t do it on purpose!

As for how I learned that plot point when I didn’t confront Kramer: I read about it in the wiki. There was otherwise no explanation whatsoever within the game itself, which was an interesting choice. I don’t know, I suppose it encourages replaying (or reading on the internet).

And yes, my Kramer survived. I never even saw him after the whole sunken car episode, and never made any decisions about whether or not to give him his heart medication.

Butch:

Well, not for lack of trying. You were just slow on the draw! My Shelby is Bad. Assed.

It is a cool decision to just have you miss key plot. Hmm.

Feminina:

Yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I mean, I was still able to wrap things up, but I was left thinking “wait, why…and what…?”

My first thought was that it was just a glaring loose plot thread, but once I read about it I saw that it does have an explanation. It was just an interesting decision to leave it as a potential glaring loose thread if the player isn’t motivated enough to look it up.

I guess arguably if you don’t care enough to look it up, it must not bother you/maybe you didn’t even notice, so there’s no reason to worry about somehow cramming that information in if you missed the scene.

Plus, screw you for missing the scene, loser! That was our favorite scene in the whole game! We spent hundreds of hours getting it JUST RIGHT!

Anyway…I kind of forgot where I was going with that.

There is still one glaring loose thread that is not resolved at all except via a rumor on the internet about a previous version of the story. See if you can spot it! When you get to the end, I mean.

You’re close! You’re very close!

Butch:

Spot it? Great. Just great.

But the case IS solveable, right?

Cuz if I don’t know who it is I’m gonna barf.

Feminina:

Oh no, you’re good. You won’t get to the end without figuring out who did it. You might not like it, but you’ll know it.

I just meant “spot the clue from early on that is left completely unexplained and forgotten even once everything else is neatly wrapped up.”

No worries. The truth will be revealed.

Butch:

Oh come now, I like everything else about this game.

Ha.

But there would be more loose ends if you failed more. For example, the whole “She’s a journalist!” thing would’ve gotten lost if the doctor had killed Madison, and you’d be left thinking she was just there for the boobs (cuz she is).

Hey….on Madison…..

So how did she check into THAT hotel? Mighty lucky that she was just six doors down from the guy that….well…lucky. And what’s with her dreams?

This doesn’t get answered, does it?

Feminina:

Well, if Madison had been killed by the doctor she wouldn’t have been in Paco’s office in the first place, so no loose ends there. I mean, I ASSUME the game is smart enough not to include a comment about her DNA when she was never there. I can’t be sure, since I’m not going to play it again and let her die just to check, but it seems like a relatively straightforward bit of coding.

Her nightmares are indeed another thing that is never really resolved, but at least they haven’t been presented as an important clue or anything. Nightmares/insomnia is basically just the reason she sometimes checks into that motel, and she just happened to be there when Ethan checked in this time, and hey, didn’t that work out great for everyone!

Lucky indeed. But coincidence is the hinge of many a narrative, both true and fictional, so I don’t object to this particular aspect of the story that strongly. Certainly there are many more objectionable aspects to complain about first.

Butch:

Well, that’s my point. If she had died, we’d be all “Well, she was just there for boobs.” We wouldn’t know she was a journalist.

HA! We’re giving things a pass cuz there’s more stupid things.

Hide your flaws under bigger flaws!

T SHIRT!!!!!

In other news, Butch’s fitness rant of the day:

You know what else has no respect for stay at home parents? Fitbits. Whilst blogging, I dusted the fuck out of my house AND made kid dinner.

It credited me with ONE ACTIVE MINUTE!!!!!

Fitbit, you know how hard this oh never mind. I’m used to it.

Feminina:

COMPLAIN TO THE COMPANY! Fitbit OWES you more active minutes!

Oh I see…you mean if she’d died we’d never have known Madison had a semi-legitimate reason to get involved, and her whole incomprehensible “I just like to bandage wounded child-murderers” storyline would stand unchallenged.

Good point. Very good point.

I think we can just agree that basically everything this game does with Madison is terrible.

And it didn’t even start that badly with regard to women, you know? I actually thought, when we first met Lauren, “hey, they DIDN’T use the fact that she’s a prostitute to show her hanging out in skimpy lingerie or naked! How refreshing!”

But apparently that moment of restraint allowed them–or him, if it’s all on David Cage–to feel justified in not doing a single non-skeevy thing with the character of Madison (the one we can actually play).

“Hey, I treated a prostitute like a human being that time. What more do you want?” (Actually, come to think of it the game continues to do reasonably well by Lauren. She wears clothes, expresses opinions, has good ideas about the investigation. And she’s not the one we get to play.)

Butch:

Seriously! Fit bit gotta get with the times.

While I give you Lauren (save her first scene and the gratuitous bathrobe), know who they blew before Lauren? Grace. Where’s grace? Father fights for kid. Mother gets emotional at police station then vanished from the narrative. What do mothers do except get emotional? They sure as hell don’t matter to a narrative.

Unless she’s the killer, punishing Ethan for losing Jason. But I doubt it. No way this game gives a woman enough credit to plan all this. That and, like, a twin brother.

Would be a great twist. But that would be a woman outwitting everyone. Some games would do that. Not this one.

And yes, Lauren does come up with a key discovery. That the player had nothing to do with. Except eggs.

Feminina:

It’s true…Grace does pretty much nothing except cast a little suspicion on Ethan. Which is legitimate, I will say–if my ex-husband has been acting weird, and my kid has vanished, I’m going to tell the police.

Ninety percent of the time it would be him, after all. Or me. One of the parents, anyway.

The point is, I don’t blame her for casting suspicion, but she does basically vanish after that. She could have been a playable character investigating on her own! Would have made as much sense as an insomniac journalist.

Her turning out to be the killer would have been an interesting twist, but it would have made me angry precisely BECAUSE she just vanished from the story. Also, “I’ll punish you for losing one kid by taking the other one away too” is logical vengeance, but only for someone who does not, herself, give a damn about the kids as people, which is possible for her character (because we know almost nothing about her) but is not something I would immediately leap to.

But no spoilers! You could be right! I won’t rain on your speculation parade. Maybe I was secretly substituting “it DID make me angry!” for “would have” in that sentence up there!

Butch:

True. It’s usually one of the parents. But the jump to “serial killer” is quite the jump.

And yeah, but without the insomniac journalist, where are the boobs? It would have been even more tasteless to have Shaun’s mother do all the stuff Madison did. And let’s face it: this game was gonna have boobs whether we wanted it or not.

Nah, it ain’t Grace.

But Shelby is still on my list. The age is right, he has a typewriter, there’s too much we don’t know about him, and when a game puts little subtle things (typewriter….he was a cop….) then it’s likely.

Though how’d he kill Manfred….hmm.

I wish you hadn’t finished. Speculation is fun.

Feminina:

Speculation IS fun! We get more into it when we’re playing things that are 100 hours long.

We’ll do that again! Sometime.

Butch:

We certainly will.