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Everything posted by ariskany_evan

  1. Video Game mechanics to retire

    Card games as a side thing to do but then they force you to play and win as one of the missions. Farcry 3 just made me play a hand of poker and I was happy that I knew how to play, because they sit you down and bring up a whole new poker-specific UI. What about those that don't know the rules of poker? I tend to loathe side-mechanics in general. Who put this game inside my game???
  2. Broken Age - Double Fine Adventure!

    My wife and I are slowwwwly making our way through the game. Every couple of days we'll play it for a half hour or so. Leaves it feeling nicely fresh! Puzzle-room games kill my playing momentum. I simplify it to: learning a space, hearing what everyone has to say, figuring out what I'm trying to do, puzzling the puzzle. Rinse, repeat. For some reason I get much more fatigued of this kind of loop compared to other sorts of gameplay loops. (Portal did this to me, so I imagine it's just a function of the way in which I put together the world, rather than a problem with this style of game). That being said, the ability to switch between characters is enough to alleviate some of that loss of momentum.
  3. Dota Today 9: The Dazzle In Question

    I am jealous of your team games! I've heard some middle schoolers at the school I work at mention DOTA as they walk by my office... That'd be creepy to play with a bunch of 12 year olds, though, right? I am excited to try out All Random (they mentioned it on Ep8, I think?), as it sounds a lot less stressful since no one can be expected to playing to their strengths. I'm terrified of playing mid or a carry, so this might be the best way to fail publicly without feeling guilty. I'm booting onto the mac side of my laptop more now to get some music work done... Anyone running the mac version lately? I remember when they first released it every time I would get into a match, the moment my character was about to attack its first creep it would crash.
  4. Rogue Legacy

    It looks like Chris uses the analog stick in Spelunky, as his item/bomb throwing has a diagonal accuracy that would be hard to achieve on a d-pad.
  5. Dota Today 8: Alt-F4 Delete Local Content

    I'm happy these are back!! Maybe I'm crazy, but since I'm trying to play games other than Dota2 like a baby, it's really nice just to hear stories about your matches. Each episode doesn't need to be jam-packed with all-star guests. What I'm saying is you don't need to blow us away. You're both intelligent, funny people (Sean and Brad, obvsly), so even mundane tales of Dota2 matches are fun to hear about.
  6. Movie/TV recommendations

    I would love to do the Blu-Ray thing, but it feels soooo inefficient and wasteful. Plus the only movie I've been tempted to watch a second time in the past two years is "Turin Horse", and mostly just cos it's beautiful and droney and unlike most conventional narrative-based things. Oh! So there's a recommendation: Bela Tarr's Turin Horse. It's on Netflix Instant. It's as if nothing happens, but it goes so deep into so many things. I'll put them in spoilers because having the movie just happen to you is immensely pleasurable without having expectations. Also, OMG the music and the way they use it.
  7. Walking Dead Season the Second

    Finished Ep1 last night with my wife. I enjoyed the length; took us 4 play sessions to move through it. Noticed that there was only one player choice that they graphed that had a 50/50 split. Can't imagine the writers are happy about that! Clem feels much more enjoyable to play. Lee was solid, but there was a bit too much telegraphing of his emotions. Also I'm not anywhere near excited about having kids yet in real life, so the emotional weight of taking care of someone was a bit more exhausting in S1. Had played S1 on the PS3, but made the leap over to PC for S2. The experience is much smoother and sharper. So far I haven't noticed any big ways in which my decisions did or did not carry over. Part of that might be the fact that the game created a save file similar to my decisions, but S1 stuff just didn't come up in a noticeable way. I'm so aware of sophomore slumps that my expectations are pretty low for S2. So far, so good, though.
  8. Shorts in Winter (Gone Home vs Brothers)

    "If I'm playing Gone Home for the empowering story and not the gameplay or design, why is it a game? If I went down to my local Barnes and Noble I could probably find at least a half dozen books in the Teen Fiction section with plots centered around a character discovering their own sexuality." I'm curious to know how you felt about what I felt was the core gameplay element in Gone Home: exploring a space set in a specific point in American cultural history. That is why it is so clearly a game to me. I can't go to Barnes and Noble and find a piece of historical fiction that allows me to do that in the same way that Gone Home does.
  9. Recently completed video games

    Brothers! Felt like playing a children's storybook. Gameplay suffered a bit from the Limbo problem: puzzles are clearly puzzles, and always appear as roadblocks to traversal. You come to a room that you need to drag some things around in order to continue moving forward. You enter a room and a single enemy appears that you need to beat to continue moving forward. This makes the game feel like a series of hallways (forward traversal) and puzzle rooms (blockage). It's easy to lose motivation to keep going. Some of that may be that I didn't have a lot of faith that the game would present a fresh take on familial relationships, which ended up being the case for me (jaded jerk that I am). It's a cool game, though! Glad I experienced it.
  10. Books, books, books...

    Made the mistake of reading the final story on a plane and had to hold back from sobbing. I remember there was a live Comedy Bang Bang podcast where Neil Campbell plays a character that finishes 10th in a coffee shop and some teenagers make fun of him for tearing up. Any of you break down? I loved that the stories in 10th of December were all thematically linked. I get a bit exhausted reading short story books because you're constantly starting over in accumulating where/who/when, etc. Once you read a few of them in 10th, though, starting the next story had more momentum because it was a question of when/how the theme would be incorporated. Also echoing the comments on prose. Delightfully not challenging or obtuse.
  11. Armada

    I downloaded this in the hopes of getting to it next week when things are less hectic. I thoroughly enjoyed the manual, though. They sold me at: "Slime for girls" I'M IN.
  12. Life

    I usually switch up my workout routine every few months. I'll do a stint of jogging a mile or 2 every other day, then I'll get bored and move on to yoga, or do a stupid Gillian Michaels workout DVD. I would imagine the dread you feel about doing a workout you loathe has to counteract the some of the positive benefits of the workout itself. I also find that the more bored I am in a workout the more careless I am, which means injuries! Hopefully you can find a gym/ymca in your area with pool. Regular exercise helps me a TON with my day-to-day depression. Whenever I start feeling that kind of bad it tends to correspond with times I've been too busy to exercise...
  13. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    Oh man, I loved Cabin in the Woods! So fun. Nailed the tone. So she mentions: "Where in the house would you go to express, or investigate, the suspicion that the mother is having an affair?" As a way in which "The exploration can’t be directed by the player in such a way that it elicits more information of the kind the player is most interested in". My problem with this is that the house was what I was most interested in. The story itself was unraveling as a matter of course. The systems of Gone Home let me know that as I explored the house, the story of the family would be pieced together. I was most interested in the next doorway, and what kind of "moment" it would present. I think if I took all of the documents like she said and moved through them hypertext style I would completely agree with her. I don't think that would hold up very well. A bummer she couldn't see outside of this while playing!
  14. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I got a year's subscription to the Met's online streaming thing as a gift. I studied music in undergrad and even did a senior performance in voice, but opera always eluded me. Could never find the "space" in my life; the DVDs at school were shoddy quality, and purely listening to an opera always felt tiresome. So! I'm hoping that this Met subscription thing will change things in opera's favor... I do enjoy Benjamin Britton's "The Turn of the Screw". And Alban Berg's "Lulu" is pretty fun, too!
  15. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    I first thought she was negatively criticizing Gone Home, but reading the article a second time it's clear she's looking at Gone Home through the lens of a very specific kind of artistic experience. ("... it did not satisfy me either as an experience of hypothesis-based reading or as a way of building a complex view of its characters.") I think my only big complaint and something I'd like to see her expound upon is her insistence that the player's character doesn't act in a realistic manner: "If we were at all invested in the protagonist’s story, in what is happening in the present of Gone Home, I’d expect the player’s reaction to involve such things as standing in the foyer and yelling, racing around the hallways and banging on doors, or looking for a phone to call friends or neighbors to find out what’s going on. Not, in any event, a methodical exploration of the desk drawers in the study." Isn't this like watching a horror movie and going: "The main character is so dumb. No one in reality would choose to go down into the basement with those crazy noises happening."? @mikemariano It's cool that there was enough freedom in the game that you were given the opportunity to act like your version of Katie! Both my wife and I saw Katie as a costume for us to inhabit, rather than a fleshed out character, so our own interests in opening every single damn drawer became part of the fiction.
  16. New people: Read this, say hi.

    How does one do spoiler quotes?
  17. Rust: It puts the lotion on its skin

    It would be amazing if cults started forming up on the game world. "That's Rock Worshiper territory. You REALLY don't want to go in there unless you want a lecture on silver rocks vs. other rocks. Also they'll kill you."
  18. Don't Starve

    Sadly, the cat didn't respond at all to the bird sounds. She was more interested in attacking my 360 controller cord. I was also intrigued by all the context sensitive commands that appear if you're using a controller. For instance, I had no idea you could cook food in the beginning of the game playing on mouse and keyboard. You build a fire, you have some carrots. I figured you didn't have a pot/skillet to cook them in, so I just ate them raw. But when plugging in the controller, a context sensitive icon appeared that told me I could cook the carrots (I assume for greater hunger replenishment). I guess the logic being you could stick a sharpened stick through the veggie and cook it like a marshmallow? Thanks for the ashes tip. Good to know they're useful for something!
  19. Recently completed video games

    For those that have finished Brothers, is this the kind of game that's fun to play through with a spouse? (as in, the controls sound annoying in a way I don't think she'd appreciate, but it sounds like an "experience" kind of game ala Journey that's fun to just be with someone while playing)
  20. Don't Starve

    Just tested out the hold-the-spacebar thing. I feel like this is going to exponentially increase my enjoyment of the game. Thank you!! I'll let you know how my cat responds...
  21. Intoxication in Video Games

    I found the intoxication in Bioshock Infinite to be pretty... odd. I'd be wandering around the environment, hitting "E" on everything I could find and every once in a while my character would get drunk, woozy camera and all. It would last 30 seconds, then completely go away. Since I was never scavenging during a gunfight, it didn't have any impact on how the game played. Felt like kind of a weird design decision to include. When the primary gameplay is mechanically moving something around (aiming, jumping, etc), drug use just serves as a hindrance, which isn't very interesting. I'd love to see a game that includes conversation trees to see interactions changed by the drugs taken. Sharing more with alcohol, having crazy/funny observations on sativa, becoming paranoid on bad weed, being super friendly and thirsty on molly, being super annoying on coke, etc.
  22. Don't Starve

    I made the mistake with this game of not doing any research on it, figuring it would give me a nice sense of "discovery of systems". But it ended up feeling aimless. The art style is fine, but overall the world feels a little too procedurally generated. The crafting system is massive, and it was hard to figure out what I should make, if anything. Then my inventory filled up with things I crafted, and since I was still aimlessly wandering about the map, I had to start leaving stuff on the ground. I'm a goal-oriented type of person, so I gave myself the goal of uncovering the map before figuring out what to do next. This got boring, and I'd usually get killed by the wild dog things after a while. Thennnn, I caved and did some research, and the whole farm thing made the game come together. I stopped worrying about uncovering the map, and instead started looking for sources of manure to set up a base camp. It's fun now! @Bjorn Been playing it on breaks at work, so I haven't heard the bird sounds. I'm psyched to try it at home and see how my cat reacts! Is this game better with a controller? The Diablo-like controls kinda bug me - I'm not coordinated enough to click on a butterfly which is moving while the entire screen is moving.
  23. Album of the Year, '13

    Yeah! That Holden record feels punchier than most electronic albums - I think because of the acoustic elements he brings in... Haven't heard of Jega before. Thanks for the rec! Added Geometry to my seemingly miles-long "Music to listen to" playlist.
  24. Album of the Year, '13

    The only full-length that kept feeling fresh as a whole entity, and one that I still crave today: Danny Brown - Old Runner's Up: Julia Holter - Loud City Song Gorgeous stuff. Latter half of the album loses momentum Holden - The Inheritors Lots of great work with texture. It's like maximalist drone-based dance music. Rhye - Woman Makeout jams. Maybe a little too smooth production (and some terrible lyric work). Zomby - With Love Some of my favorite tracks of the year from this double-album, but the whole package comes off a little dull.
  25. New people: Read this, say hi.

    Loved LCatGoL! We got pretty far along in the game, but the ramping of the difficulty towards the end caused her too much frustration that we didn't pick it up again. Going to try some Borderlands 2 co-op on easy this weekend. Doubtful she'll be able to get past the garish aesthetics, but always worth a shot!