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Everything posted by ariskany_evan

  1. Minimalism

    Cool piece! Kuchera's piece on Mountain was bad. Maybe a bit easy to take down... "Formal qualities are rarely considered as the core of a game. Even in the most formally expressive games, these qualities exist to be interacted with, rather than observed and appreciated in their own right (see Rez, Ico,Journey etc.)." I had no idea what he meant here, though. I wish he had taken a moment to just give us one example of what he means by an interactive formally expressive quality. Also funny how he slips in his dissatisfaction of Mountain in the footnote.
  2. Transistor

    Getting near the end of my NG+. Have been plagued with thoughts about world-building (no pun intended). Just some theories, but I found myself circling around to find these. The way in which things are so carefully just so in this game led me to believe that the world was fully thought out, that there would hopefully be enough clues to create a fuller picture.
  3. Don't Starve

    THAT WOULD BE AMAZING. Crossing my fingers for couch co-op. Reign of Giants sounded like it upped to difficulty on an already difficult game, but if I have a buddy to help out... I like the fact that they're not simply adding a second player, but retooling and implementing new features. Seems to imply that after dying I become a ghost until I can haunt a meat effigy. Also that haunting objects gives beneficial things, but also has a chance to set things on fire! I love that risk/reward design.
  4. Recently completed video games

    I finished that game using the keyboard, y'all. Those later platforming sections felt like playing twister on a tightrope my fingers would get so jumbled and nervous. Guacamelee's plaforming at the end felt tacked on, like a challenge for challenge's sake. Then again, the majority of the world outside of the towns felt like colorful corridors rather than meaningful spaces, so upping the frustration level at the end just underlined the abstraction, bringing with it a shade of meaninglessness. edit: great, top of the page braggart.
  5. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Time to quit Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. They missed an opportunity to have had an Assassin's Creed character set in the early 80s, where the Assassin's are all the SST Records bands. Pretty easy foil would be new wave templars, with the record execs on top. Hüsker Dü would eventually double-cross everyone and sign to Warner Bros. Minutemen's D Boon bus crash was due to a car chase with the templars to get to the crystal tower (or something). And, uh, you get to do psychedelics with the Meat Puppets (where you chat with people from the first civilization). Most of the game, though, is spent on tour. You use rock band instruments and play the exact same setlist for every show. You watch your income incrementally increase with each show. Played AC4 on the PS4. Graphics were pretty good. Some of the sailing moments were stunning, and standing on an islet and framing my ship just offshore had an amazing sense of scale (and ownership). That said, the swimming animation. WHOA. He looked like he was floating above the water with low-res splash effects. It'll be nice when developers stop straddling the generations. AC4 has too many things to do. Underwater diving, dice games, templar hunts, chests, mayan statues, catch the courier, save the pirates, shards, chasing shantys, building your pirate den, upgrading your ship, upgrading your person, hunting, harpooning, ship fighting, ship boarding, fort capturing, fighting, climbing, managing your fleet, assassination contracts, breaking into warehouses, doing stuff outside the animus, and the main storyline. Those are just off the top of my head. There's probably more. I'm on Memory 9, I think? Just got my first mission inside the rank 3 fort area. The game just goes on for too long. I've fallen past my threshold for diminishing returns. I had made a "push" in the past few days to try to get through it, but I just don't have it in me. Enjoyed my time with it, though.
  6. I swear I'm not a dick: the proper pronunciation is "it's" not "its".
  7. From the comments on that story: "David Eggers says: (Metallus!, Idle Thumbs) I don't really know how Jaws got leashed in the first place. The developers should probably explain that in more detail." Love that that joke still had legs on today's episode.
  8. The Idle Thumbs Store

    I voted for glow in the dark because of glow in the dark. go team glow in #the dark
  9. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Oo. Really dig that track, Cine! I'll check out "here comes forever" soon. Here's some straight pop[caan]. Just got a promotion at work two days ago (!!!!), so my brain has latched onto the eponymous line on this track: Listened to the whole album a couple of times. Has a really nice consistency in tone and general vibe. The tracks blur together to create this pleasant, melodic hum.
  10. Movie/TV recommendations

    For me, the moment-to-moment of Lost could be interesting with the survivalism, etc. but it was usually bogged down by the interpersonal relationships between the survivors. Plus I didn't like any of them! Maybe the dog. Walt had the right idea getting the heck off that island and away from his whiny dad. The backstories were excruciating for me from the get-go. The more they happened, the less I liked everyone. Lost was ultimately very disappointing for me in the big picture mystery as well, but that was a descent rather than starting at zero. The exploration and mystery of the island unfolded nicely for the first few seasons, but, yeah... fell apart after awhile. The reason I brought this up regarding the Leftovers: I'm not super enthused about the characters and the moment-to-moment drama so far, but the hook of the mystery seems like it has potential for interesting plot points/world building. But because I had a similar disinterest in Lost's characters and their dramas, I don't want to get burned again by following a long-tail promise.
  11. Movie/TV recommendations

    Started watching The Leftovers on hbo. They've got two episodes so far. Feels more like a 1-hour mystery/drama on network television rather than an HBO SHOW. The setup is pretty interesting, but has so-so execution. Happy to see Paterson Joseph (Alan Johnson on Peep Show) getting a role that suits his craziness (though I'm not terribly jazzed about that particular storyline). Considering how disappointing Lost was moment-to-moment, I'm giving this show two more episodes to get me to care about anything more than the over-arching mystery otherwise it's a goner! Birthday Boys on Netflix (IFC originally) is pretty fantastic. They tend to favor "joke dump" sketches, which I have no problem with. I can count now at least 3 recent sketch/sketch-ish shows whose voice seems focused entirely on spoofing old and new television shows. BDay Boys, Comedy Bang Bang, and Kroll Show all kind of do the same thing. I don't mind the voice, it's just weird that they're all from the same LA comedy scene, doing a similar goofs, and that they're all guesting on each others shows!
  12. Plug your shit

    If anyone needs more music, my album appeared on Spotify today! Ariskany Records - Heraclitus w/ Boombox 7 tracks, 16 minutes. Starts with a drone track to whet your palette. Followed by a strange appropriation of the sound of Miles Davis's "On the Street". Then an attempt to very clearly underline some base fears in blatant terms. A short instrumental break. Followed by a nesting doll of pop construction. "A bit of nostalgia for the old folks." Ending with a gentle dissolving. Recorded in Logic using soft synths and sampled instruments, except for a few stray guitar parts and vox. My wife tells me I have too much of a penchant for "bad sounding" things in my writing (read: maybe a bit too idiosyncratic), but this one thankfully still gets her seal of approval. Phew.
  13. DOTA 2

    The noob stream is so good. Since pro-level play doesn't really correspond to low-level play, regular commentary doesn't teach me enough. I feel much more engaged this way! My wife's family will be visiting the whole weekend of TI4, so I'll miss everything good, but I will definitely go back through all of the noob archives once they leave. I don't really care who wins, so spoilers won't really ruin it, thankfully.
  14. I Had A Random Thought...

    I'm tired of people complaining about millennials and/or using them as the butt of their jokes. It's becoming part of everyday conversation for the people around me. "He's a millennial... Don't know if he'll ever find his way..." "These millennials just don't understand how to work hard." etc. The group-think is getting to a point where if any person under a certain age exhibits any traces of millennialism they get spoken of impersonally as part of the larger grouping. It doubly frustrates me when I hear it coming from people who are not that much older than the millennials they're disparaging. It's lazy snobbery. A lot of the young people I meet seem no different than the rest of us. I had ~15 college kids work under me at my previous job, and it seemed like an even split of those who were lazy and bad at their job and those who were great and nice and good workers. Nothing out of the ordinary that made me wonder "what is the deal with the kids these days?!" Does anyone else have experience with that age range?
  15. Transistor

    Great points!!
  16. Idle Thumbs Criterion Film Club?

    Can I please be added to the list?
  17. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Really enjoying the new James Ferraro mix: Last I checked in with him was Far Side Virtual in 2011, and though I appreciated the concept and execution, it left me pretty cold. The new mix is a really good collection of beats.
  18. Other podcasts

    Do they discuss philosophical literature or is it more about philosophical topics? I've been trying to get through some Bergson for the last year(s, if I'm being honest), and feel like a companion podcast to works of philosophy would be an amazing thing. I really doubt I'll ever read Hegel or make it through a full Derrida book without someone else to discuss it with, so a podcast of people reading something and chatting about broad strokes stuff would probably kick-start my habit.
  19. Guess I'm doubly an idiot, because I missed him describing him doing the same thing. Sorry.
  20. Wow!! That makes sense now. I feel like a huge idiot, as I probably spent a cumulative 30-45 minutes traveling equidistant from the next waypoint. (I guess I'm the reason we all have to play through elaborate tutorials...). The game feels so different now!
  21. Happy to hear some talk about Capsule! I picked it up after Mr. Remo tweetered about it, too. Hearing you all talk about it, I'm left wondering if I'm playing it right. I'll move to the "depth" mentioned, but then there's an entire range of 360 degrees that the waypoint could exist within. I find that trying to stay on 1700m, for instance, and explore the full 360 degrees of that depth to be quite a pain. It seems almost impossible to get my ship to stay in a straight line. After a while it feels like a really punishing balancing act. Little to the left, little to the right, spacebar, little to the left, little more to the left, spacebar. I don't feel like I'm exploring or surviving so much as trying to make a number stay put. I also tried ignoring the suggested meter depth and exploring, but there's not much to find in the world other than the next waypoint. Am I doing this wrong? Maybe I have too much anxiety regarding indirect controls to be able to enjoy this game?
  22. Feminism

    Does anyone mind explaining how the term "fanservice" is being used here? I don't follow that sort of media, so I'm unfamiliar with the term. soft-quotes: You can rest assured, women aren't put in compromising sexual positions!!!!! Their restraint is pretty incredible, right? You know who's a cool guy? Takaki-san, the producer. He's a self-proclaimed pervert, but unlike most perverts, he has an incredible attention to detail, and needs to control every position the women are in. I admire his hard work and focus. Let me tell you about the dressing rooms. You can make their boobs jiggle, but, like, they're not naked, geez. I am barfing all of my lunch on everything.
  23. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    True! I will most likely come back, especially since I got it for free on PS+, I'll probably try that version when I resubscribe.... I know they were going for an unobtrusive interface, but I'd really prefer that they had a customizable "quick craft" menu as the sidebar, and then have a full-blown interface that covered the screen (it could remain unpaused for added drama) for crafting. Bigger icons, easier to find items. If I ever do come back to the PC version, though, I'll definitely look up some mods!
  24. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Quitting Don't Starve. Cool game! There's a pretty satisfying sense of mastery to the game, but it's just a bit too open-ended for me. I'd set myself some long-term goals, accomplish them, then be stuck at that point of wondering what to do next. Inventory management felt cluttered. Crafting menus were unbearable. It was always a chore to remember which tab certain items came from. The way the list of items appears locked out didn't inspire me to craft more. Usually I'd scroll through the list of possible things to build, and just be overwhelmed by a bunch of stuff I had no idea why I'd want to make. The upgrades up from the basic items didn't feel worth the effort, especially when I seemed to be surviving just fine. That said, the art really grue on me. Something about the snow falling while standing near the campfire and warming up my egg felt magical. It's a wonderful game. Loved my time with it. Just felt my interest waning, and with no end game it seems like as good a time as any to move on.
  25. General Video Game Deals Thread

    If they're not in the daily sale or flash sale, wait!! You can always wait until the final day of the sale to make sure they're not gonna go cheaper.