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Some minor spoilers for Red Dead Redemption 2

Butch:

I played! I sent you a note about some thought I had, didn’t I? Well, forgot the thought. I think. But I have others!

Ok, so did the Micah thing. Gonna say it now: Don’t trust Micah. When he was all “We were tying up loose ends” and wouldn’t tell Arthur what he was talking about…don’t trust him.

But in the grander sense, we have a list of things all games should have (dress balls, romance, heists, group hugs, etc.). I think the time has come where we should make a list of things no games should ever have ever, no I mean EVER. I’ll start.

Chase scenes.

They suck. They always, always suck. They’re hard, they’re no fun, they add nothing but frustration. In every single fucking game ever. Not just this one.

It took me a while to get to this point, because, for a while there, I thought it was my adjustment from key/mouse to controller. The first game I played with a controller, AC4, had it’s share of chase bits, both on horseback and at sea. They all sucked. They were hard, they were no fun, they added nothing but frustration. But see, It wasn’t that way on PC. On PC, all you have to do is mash W to go forward, then just kinda follow however you want to go with a mouse, clicking at times to shoot dudes. This isn’t so bad. I just figured that all I would need to do to not hate chase scenes was to get used to all these fiddly sticks and buttons.

Nope. They suck.

I have gotten to the point where I trust my hands with controllers. This isn’t me. This is the inherent suckitude of chase scenes.

I ended this one the way I always end chase scenes: a way the developers didn’t intend. I’m sure there was some exciting thing that was gonna happen, maybe, but, after dying a bunch (or, not dying, FAILING), I said fuck it, charged through EVERYONE, took a bazillion points of damage, got right in front of it, turned around, and charged RIGHT AT IT while shotgunning its horses to death. Then ran away, healed, came back, slaughtered everyone. It wasn’t QUITE as spectacular as the four mine spectacular that got me out of the Frank Pagani chase, but it was close.

Roach got extra oatcakes.

So there’s that.

And I have thoughts on fast travel if you’ve done it.

And I kinda sorta take back my “why gamble?” thing from the other day. Saturday, I was tired, but the kids wanted to watch some game, they were fighting with everyone, I said “Sure, whatever,” but didn’t want to actually PLAY, so I played cards. But here’s the thing: it was in camp. Uncle, Lenny and Pearson just amble over, and you all start shooting the shit. I wound up with another “find an object” thing just from the natural chatter of dudes playing cards, and it was cool. I wasn’t even paying attention to the damn cards. It was like just sitting down and chilling with friends. Very well done. But, also, very skippable. Another nice touch in a game that puts nice little touches of realism there to find, but doesn’t force them at you.

And, in the game, a reinforcement of the moral: if you talk to people, you will get chores.

How about you?

Feminina:

Your earlier note was on wanting to discuss how fast travel changes the game. So you didn’t forget! I have yet to actually use fast travel, though. I keep getting distracted by other things.

I don’t think there was any specific, meaningful way you were ‘supposed’ to end that Micah bit. I did it, eventually, by riding close to the wagon and blasting the driver with a shotgun so it would stop, then shooting the guards. Nothing special. Outpacing it and coming back head-on sounds more interesting, to be honest.

And yeah, as a rule chase scenes do tend to suck.

I gave someone an object last night! I have no idea where I got the object, and I had no idea I even had it on me, but there was a tiny exclamation mark on the person when I wandered into camp, so I went to talk to her and had the option to “give object.” I assume I must have just looted it off someone at some point, because I didn’t buy it or anything. It was a bit underwhelming in terms of providing a feeling of accomplishment, given I hadn’t even realized I’d accomplished anything until that moment, but whatever, I made one person happy that day.

Also…it’s not even white-hot rage and this point, more weary exasperation, but dude. This freaking game.

Had a quest last night where I was doing a thing with three other dudes, and we split up the party: “you two go that way, we’ll go this way, we’ll meet up at X point.”

I crept off with my dude, we did our thing, got the quest note “wait by the wagon for your companions.” Waited. Waited. Waited. Not a damn thing happening.

Finally went off to look for the companions and found them both just standing, frozen, mid-their-part-of-the-mission. Couldn’t talk to them. Couldn’t move them. Couldn’t shoot them! Quest note is just “wait by the wagon for your companions.”

Couldn’t, obviously, have saved at any point during this quest, so had to reload and restart the whole damn thing, which I didn’t have time for because I had to go to bed. There goes another 20 minutes.

And that was NOT my fault. I’ll accept blame for bad save habits, that’s on me, but frozen companions is not my fault.

This freaking game, man. Every time I start to feel like it’s starting to go OK, some other damn thing happens.

Butch:

Damn, man. This game just hates you. Was it a main quest mission? Cuz the second most serious thing to “erasing saves” is “game breaking bug.”

Well, when you fast travel, I will have thoughts.

Maybe I was reading the “we can’t let it get to (wherever)” as foreshadowing, when really it was the game saying “No, really, if it gets there you fail.” This makes sense. Often, games are all “We can’t let it get to (place) because if it gets there, ninety seven dudes who are all coincidentally named Kevin will jump out and there might be an action sequence and we CAN’T let that happen!” So when I stop whatever the thing is before that, I have this sense that 97 Kevins are all “But this was my moment! I went to Juliard for this!”

I guess we were supposed to just stop the damn coach.

Ok, then.

Dear god, do they suck, chase scenes.

Hey! Nicely done making someone happy! Was it Mary Beth? I sure do like Mary Beth.

Feminina:

Oh yes, it was required. I don’t know that it’s a game-breaking bug, though. Could have just been “lazy console briefly glitching for no apparent reason.” Dragon Age Origins used to occasionally just freeze up on the PS3 and then it would be OK when we played through that part again.

I’m not going to panic over one frozen session. Groan and roll my eyes and mutter “this freaking GAME,” yes. Panic, no. Not yet.

Just don’t do it again, game. I’m begging you, at this point. Just stop doing bad things. I’ve given up on ever really LIKING you, but I still have hopes that we can get some good discussion from you. I did stuff last night! There were themes!

I was thinking “hey, that’s something we can talk about!” and then you go and do something bad, and now I’m talking about that instead.

Just stop.

Butch:

Well, I did google things, and the only game breaker a) we missed and b) has been fixed anyway. If this is a game breaker, you’re the only person on earth you got it, which, given how it’s been with you and this game, wouldn’t surprise me.

You might someday like it! If it behaves! It’s good, I tell you! Good!

I’ll get to some themes as fast as I can. It’s when I slack that we don’t talk and you get antsy and it’s my fault. I blame myself.

I’ll go rob a train. That’ll be something. Is that, then, chapter 3?

I was going to point out that you’re likely cool even if there is a bug because you can always revert to one of your other save slots, but it’s too soon, isn’t it?

Too soon.

Feminina:

Chapter 3? Hahahahaha no.

I mean, go rob a train, definitely do that. It’s not that themey, but it moves things along. And I believe the next major thing you get AFTER that will lead into chapter three.

But that itself is not chapter three, because obviously this game wants to stretch everything out as long as possible to give everyone more opportunities to have things go horribly wrong.

You hush about the save slots. Although yes, I do in fact have them.

Butch:

Ok! On it! Train!

Now now. Here you go again. While, yes, the game’s iffy save point system is a valid knock on it, and bugs are on it for sure, it is not the game’s fault that things got stretched out for you there by doing weird assed things like going to vaudeville shows in places I HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN YET in places that weren’t in any way involved in chapter two. You were the one that ripped a whole lot of pages out of chapter who the fuck knows and put them in chapter two. I’mm’a sayin’.

Nor have you fast traveled, which, gotta admit, I didn’t expect to get as early as chapter two.

You are projecting a lot on this game. You need some cookies. You seem tense.

Ah, see? You have save slots. You’ll be fine. Way to plan ahead.

***cough***

Feminina:

Well, we don’t know how many chapters there are. If there are only, say, four, then getting fast travel in Two isn’t that surprising. If there are 15…maybe.

Since I am maybe midway in Chapter 3 (or maybe just beginning! there’s no way to know!–without looking on the internet which I can’t be bothered to do), and I’m at 38%, and we’d estimate probably the story only takes up, what, 80%?…then maybe five chapters is plausible? In which case, fast travel fairly late in Two is not that outrageous.

Of course, it also depends on how you play…if we’d really been chasing money, and willing to prioritize the map over food and stuff for camp, we could probably have gotten it in Chapter One.

Butch:

Fair enough. Though lately, I’ve been finding I don’t have to chase money that much. The Chez Porter robbery (did you do that yet?) plus Micah, plus the FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR gold bar I just, like, tripped over in Limpany got me over that hump you get to in games where, all of a sudden, you have all the money you need to do everything you want and then some. For a while I felt poor, like they’d likely feel, but now….not so much.

You should do that Chez Porter robbery JUST for the shotgun. The pump shotgun is the shit.

I mean, I got the fast travel map, and food, and did the ammo upgrades, AND upgraded everyone else’s tent cuz why not, and I STILL have fat cash.

So much for poverty.

Feminina:

Is that the one that Javier gave you? I was just in camp a couple of days ago and he had a marker and I was going to go talk to him next, but then I went to bed (in real life) and when I came back it was a different time of day and there was no marker for him. I guess he got tired of waiting for me and wandered off.

“I have a life outside of coming up with things for you to rob, you know.”

Fair enough, Javier. Fair enough.

Butch:

That’s the one. When he’s back, give it a go. It’s quick, lucrative, there’s a shotgun, and it’s remarkably themey.

Just make sure you loot everywhere, like, up ladders and oh wait’s it’s you. You’ll be fine.

Feminina:

He’s definitely on my list. Whenever we manage to meet up, what with both of our busy schedules of casing joints and robbing people and so forth.

Butch:

Much more likely that you’re there at the right time of day than out in the wilderness with wildlife guy, who is doomed to blink in and out of existence for the rest of time.

I also noticed another thing that blink in and out of existence depending on the time of day (and the actual day): newspaper sellers. I want newspapers! They have cheats in them. I was THIS CLOSE to getting one the other day, but I guess he ran out of papers.

On newspapers, did you notice that Arthur keeps a newspaper clipping of his first bank robbery by his bed, like a parent keeps a clipping of, like, a kid’s first chorus concert?

Nice touch.

Feminina:

I did notice Arthur’s clipping! And I’ve noticed that newspaper sellers are extremely picky about who they sell to, or when they sell, or something. I keep going by this one guy and trying to buy a paper, and he just stands there holding it in the air, ignoring me.

“Yes, I have a paper, but this is the only one. I’m advertising the IDEA of newspapers here, not actually trying to make money on selling them.”

Butch:

I have not, because I’ve only found that first one in Valentine forever ago.

I can’t even find people to ignore me!

T SHIRT!!!!!!

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