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Spoilers for the end of Heavy Rain

Butch:

Insanity has set in. Not really cuz of a lack of game, but because of exhausted children, grumpy grandparents, and the fact that HOLY SHIT I JUST WANT TO EAT A BAG OF CHIPS FUCK THIS SHIT.

So really, fuck it. Fucking Fitbit only says five days a week. I’m gonna lie on the couch and moan quietly to myself.

But, as we wait to see if PS+ will save us 17 bucks, we need something. So I ponder more loose ends:

So we cheer Ethan, right? Police chief calls him a hero? Aren’t we forgetting that….he’s a killer? He MURDERED a guy! Or mine did. Now, does that tie into the whole “Gordi got away with it isn’t that ironic” thing? Ethan got away with it, too? My Kramer also said, of the boy that Gordi killed, “He was just street trash, no one will miss him.” Are we relying on the same thing with Ethan and the drug dealer? Was that supposed to be a parallel?

Or is it just a cop out and and oversight?

MORE LOOSE ENDS!

So after all that work to track down the killer’s car…where the fuck was the killer’s car? WHY DID I DO THAT????

Loose ends.

After Beyond, I said that the more I think about Beyond, the more mixed feelings I have. I have a feeling that the more I think about Heavy Rain the more it’ll piss me off.

Feminina:

Hm. My Ethan never killed anyone. It does seem a bit odd that even if you do commit murder, there are no consequences. You’d think it would be part of the game that “hey, if you’re willing to kill to save your son, you have to accept the fact that you’ll spend some time in jail for it.” But apparently no.

Well…nice work getting away with murder. Gordi too. Maybe it’s a parallel? I’m not sure it seems focused enough to be an intentional one, but…maybe? I don’t think I liked this game enough to give it the benefit of the doubt, though, honestly.

When did you track down the killer’s car? I don’t remember tracking down the killer’s car! Which, if I didn’t do it, definitely suggests it was unnecessary filler.

Butch:

Me, neither on willingness to extend the benefit of the doubt. Just not worth bending themes for. Which is too bad, really. I was expecting a better narrative.

But we’re not playing anything right now, so I’m grasping. I’m trying here, Femmy!

Beats exercising. And the kids are home, cuz these are the days between camp and vacation, and help me.

There were the tire tracks at the crime scene, and the whole bit in Mad Jack’s garage, and all those clues that it was an 83 Malibu, a video of it, etc. I guess it was just a way to get us to Mad Jack so we could fight another offensively stereotyped person of color!

This game, man.

Feminina:

Oh man, that’s true. We were so busy griping about other things we never even MENTIONED Mad Jack’s glaring offensiveness, and how it stands out even more considering he was apparently the only black person in the city.

This game really has it all.

This is going to be one of those weeks where we just hunker down and pray for the end, isn’t it?

Butch:

There was just so much to be offended by! SO VERY MUCH!

Didn’t it just have it all? Didn’t it just?

And yet, it drew you in! You lapped it up! You couldn’t get enough of it! What gives?

Pray for the end of what? We’re done!

And if this is an existential reference, remember I’m emotionally delicate due to this “I have to get fit” bullshit. I’m fragile here!

Feminina:

The end of the WEEK, man, the end of the week. Sorry if that sounded more portentous than I meant. We’re only praying for the end of the week. Probably. Or for vacation in your case.

Also, I don’t think it’s fair to say I couldn’t get enough. I couldn’t get to the end FAST enough, that’s true. Because it was an engaging beach game! It did that much well.

But once it was over, I was definitely not thinking “man, I wish I were still playing that game!”

I admit I was thinking “I will totally play Detroit,” but I think that was a result of getting into beach game mode. I was all “I need more tense, fast-paced action that I can race through!”

It’s like when you finish a bag of chips and immediately want another bag of chips, but if you wait a while you realize that maybe another bag of chips is not that great an idea after all, and in fact, even the first bag wasn’t quite as thrilling as you found it while you were in the middle of it.

You didn’t play it fast enough, that’s your problem. You had more time to realize how unpleasant it was while you were still playing. I raced through it so quickly that even though I was cringing at something in every other scene, I always moved on before I could get distracted.

Of course, I was still left reflecting on it LATER, but at least I got more enjoyment out of it at the time. In between cringes.

Butch:

I got too much portent. Too much stress. Planning vacation.

Well, is Detroit still on our list then? Not our “right now” list but our “someday” list? Or did this turn us off David Cage?

That might be it–I went too slowly. It is a lot easier to be critical when you’re letting every cringe sink in.

But still….that ALSO might be a flaw in game design. Some games are designed to make the action go go go go go. Even games with story. Uncharted 4, for example. But in a game that is so obviously, intentionally broken into chapters, you’re almost encouraged to take breaks to ruminate. Shit, the game didn’t even give you the visual signal of mid chapter save points. The only way to be safe was to STOP at a chapter. This game didn’t seem to want you to play it all go go go go go think later. Maybe it should have.

Feminina:

I’m still interested in Detroit, but not in the “must play now” sense. I think Beyond was better than Heavy Rain in many ways–there was still stuff to cringe over, but it wasn’t quite so inescapable and constant (heck, I avoided most of it through QTE failures).

So it’s possible he’s getting better about stuff, and mechanically his games ARE interesting (if sometimes weird), and I’m curious about what he might do next. I think it’s like this: I’d definitely play it for free (and isn’t it mercifully great that we didn’t pay for this?), but I’ll probably read a few reviews before paying for it.

And yeah, maybe it should have been better designed as a go-go-go game, but on the other hand, consider the beach read we keep comparing it to.

Chapters. Short, often cliff-hanger-y chapters, that you sometimes have to stop at the end of to go refill your drink or whatever. I mean, yes, in a sense that encourages rumination, but in another way, it just encourages you to want to get back into it to see what’s next. When you’re standing in line for the bar at the resort, are you really pondering the last chapter you read in that James Patterson thriller, or are you just thinking “can’t wait to get back to the story!”

Oh!–you know what, I think maybe it depends on if you have a blog. Because that’s a major way I had the advantage over you in terms of getting actual enjoyment out of it: I didn’t have any reason to stop and think about it because I knew we weren’t going to discuss it until you played. It was easy for me to think “go-go-go! yes that was annoying/gross/troublesome/awful but let’s see what happens next!”

Whereas you, each time you finished a chapter, got right into the discussion, which means you got right into the (justified) criticism. I mean, there’s no denying this is the kind of game (indeed, the kind of story) you enjoy more if you don’t think about it too much, right?

Well, what’s the blog except a place for thinking about things too much? You were doomed from the beginning, whereas I at least got to be entertained.

Sorry, man.

Butch:

Agreed. I don’t mind the wait for Detroit. It’s likely something that will be free at some point, and, thus, we will get to it. But other things await!

Like LiS Before the Storm. And LiS 2, which is out in September. And Shadow of the TR which we’ve pre ordered. And, lest we forget, the 598274523785 hours of Divinity 2 (which was the reason we played Divinity 1 in the first place) that comes out next week for PS4.

We’ll be fine.

About the beach game…Hmm. Fair point. Except….

We’re calling this a beach game because we felt it was one. I imagine that the folks who write beach read books know full well what they’re doing, and they know that no one is going to ponder too much but who cares as long as the movie rights check clears. David Cage? He was NOT writing a beach game. Or, at the very least, he wasn’t doing it intentionally. This dude Takes. Himself. Seriously. If he read all this, he’d be all “Beach game? BEACH GAME???? How DARE you say that of this MASTERPIECE????”

Strangely, I think the blog has changed the way I think about games, even play them. There have been times in lots of games where I think “Well, I COULD play a little more, but a lot just happened and I want to process all that so I can write about it later.” Maybe I was doing that. Too much.

Eh, whatever. I just got to the cringey truth first.

Feminina:

Heh. I never really thought about it, but yeah, I could see ‘beach game’ being…not exactly the way he intended it. It’s not an insult, exactly, but it doesn’t really suggest Serious Artistic Merit.

And you think he was definitely going for Serious Artistic Merit? It was meant to be a gripping psychological drama instead of a quick whodunnit?

“This is going to be ‘Crime and Punishment’ for our generation!”?

Hm.

That’s interesting, about playing games differently. And a good point. When you know you’re going to be talking about something, you pay more attention to it…or at least pay attention to it in a different way. Like reading a book for a book club, compared to just reading it on your own (not that I’ve ever been in a book club, but so I imagine).

Butch:

I think he was going for something like Crime and Punishment. I’ve read interviews with the guy, and he certainly considers himself to be a Serious Artist, if not the Most Serious Artist in Games.

I think he was aiming for that. He missed, but he was aiming for that.

As for playing differently, there have even been times where something momentous happens early in a playing session, and I cut the session short because I don’t want to forget what I want to say about it. Which I would not do but for the blog. This might come from me being constantly behind, and knowing you well. Like, I’ll say “Ah, this is what she was hinting about” or even just “Man, I KNOW she’s got something to say about this.” And yes, I do find myself paying a bit more attention when Something Is Happening.

I think it’s good. Leads to better thinking about it all. Maybe that’s why people like book clubs.

Feminina:

Yeah, true…about games AND book clubs. I mean, I read a lot of books, and I’ll be honest, I have few deep thoughts about most of them. Which is partly because not every book really prompts deep thoughts, but also because…why bother with deep thoughts if there’s no outlet for them? It’s not as if it’s my JOB to have deep thoughts about books.

I’m not a philosopher. Nor do I have a book blog, which would be another option. I can sit here having deep thoughts about Girl on the Train or whatever, for no real reason since I will never share them, or I can go read another book.

Whereas if I were in a book club, there would be people with whom to share deep thoughts, or even passing thoughts, and so I would be more likely to think them in the first place. “What do I think about this?” is the initiating question, and one that doesn’t even necessarily get asked if I’m just tearing through stuff to keep my brain occupied on the subway.

And the same is kind of true of games. I didn’t bother to have that many thoughts about…uh…that game with the neon–inFamous, thank you internet–because I knew you weren’t going to play it. I’m never going to discuss it in detail, so pretty much what I thought was the minor notes I ended up sticking on the blog. If we’d ever talked about it, no doubt there would be more to say, and we would probably have had clever thoughts about it. Oh well.

So yeah. Good point. We experience things more thoughtfully because we’re going to discuss it. I think this is true. Certainly I will admit that 90% of the books I read I don’t experience thoughtfully at all.

Butch:

Ergo our incredible erudition! We bring out the best in each other!

Well, certainly the most verbose in each other.

Feminina:

DEFINITELY the most verbose.

I was sitting here thinking “man, maybe I’m wasting the experience, not thinking about books more, I read all this stuff and then it’s just gone” but on reflection I don’t feel that bad about it. A game takes a lot more time than a book, so it’s OK to think harder about it.

Not that there probably aren’t in fact lots of interesting discussions to be had about the books I read, if only I had someone to talk about them with, but…I don’t think I have the time to be THAT verbose.

One blog is all I can manage.

Butch:

Well, don’t forget that I don’t read much anymore, what with my lack of public transit usage, so you’d have to get a different blogmate, and, let’s face it, you’ll never find one as good as me.

Or as modest.

Feminina:

It’s true! The in-jokes alone would take years to build up…it’s not even worth it. Plus the lack of modesty would just wreck the whole enterprise.

Butch:

Fuckin’ A.

So today’s the first day in a while I haven’t really exercised, just, you know, taken care of kids.

This fucking thing doesn’t understand the concept of ACTIVE. I’m totally brain fried, and it’s all “You only have 4000 steps. You have no active minutes!”

YOU TAKE CARE OF THE KIDS STUPID FITBIT!

Feminina:

Yeah, computers are stupid like that. I HAVE BEEN ACTIVE! I’ve been back and forth all day with these children! Don’t talk to me about active!

It assumes you’re lounging on the couch playing games. If only, Fitbit. IF ONLY.

Can you placate it by making the kids go for a walk with you, or will they just cause so much stress it will do more harm than good?

Butch:

Well, remember my suggestion to always keep moving to avoid terrible physical pain?

See also rapid, frequent changes in speed.

You ever known a kid that keeps a steady pace for four miles?

Yeah, me neither.

Feminina:

Good point. You spend half the time sprinting and the other half standing still while they look at sticks. And then pick up the sticks, and start fighting over the sticks because one of them is obviously better. And hitting each other with the sticks, so you get one active minute intervening and dragging them away from each other.

Good times. Good times.

Butch:

Not useful for physical fitness, that. Or mental fitness.

And can I really just let them sit and watch ipads while I work out? How would that look?

“Here, kids! Do the very thing that led your father to have to do this very thing!”

Even OUR fitness blog wouldn’t suggest that.

Feminina:

Ha! “You guys lounge here and play games while I stride briskly around the track wishing I were lounging and playing games.”

It’s at least an interesting image.

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