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tegan, February 22, 2014 in Video Gaming
This thread makes me realise I don't take enough screen shots. Probably for the exact same reason I never take photos of things. I'm too busy enjoying the moment to even consider pressing that button or pulling out a camera. Double edged sword I guess.
Spoilering for plot details in Alien (the movie) and because this is some disturbing stuff to discuss:
I don't like the implications of this one. In Alien, the reason Ash tries to kill Ripley with the extremely odd choice of a rolled-up magazine is because it contributes to the pervasive theme of sexual violence present in the film .Ash understands the concept of rape, but isn't equipped to perform it himself. The rolled-up magazine is his attempt to compensate. This just makes it look like a weird go-to choice for crazy murderin' robots.
I'm going to have to disagree with your assessment there.
I don't think Ash is trying to rape Ripley, nor do I think he's trying to assert his dominance over her in some sexualized power fantasy. He's trying to kill because he's protecting Weyland-Yutani's corporate interests, and he's clearly malfunctioning by that point.
The magazine is used because it's what he has on hand. He could simply choke her to death, but that's not nearly as disturbing and probably as open to the same interpretation?
Original in-movie intent aside, I think that its presence in Isolation is more due to enthusiastic devs wanting to acknowledge their love of the material with referential touches. Remember that drinking bird? We've got that! How about half an android torso? We did that, too!
I think the point though is that it's not that respectful to emulate something you don't entirely understand.
A bit of both, I'd say - clumsy fan-service that also unthinkingly broaches some dark themes.
Regardless of one's diegetic interpretation of
Ash's motivations for the mag-in-mouth manoeuvre
I think it's safe to say that it has sexual tones to it, considering they run through the entire film and it specifically mirrors the
facehugger forcing itself down Kane's throat
Ridley Scott has outright stated that that's what the scene is about.
it's even a porn magazine, for fuck's sake
Death of the author, etc! It could mean anything! Maybe Ash just thinks humans eat magazines for sustenance. WHO KNOWS.
All right sorry I'm leaving now.
So Guild Wars 2 opened up a new part of the desert; a small village filled with skritt - rat creatures that are obsessed with 'shinies', in a parody of the average MMO player mindset. The village has a wooden ramp leading down into a small cave, which goes into a somewhat larger cave:
... which is pretty cool all on its own - but then someone noticed that there's more to this cave system. There's a new achievement called Retrospective Runaround, which means there's a jumping puzzle down here. Jumping puzzles are one of GW2's signature gameplay types, where they take away the combat and it's just clambering over things, exploring. They're the pet project of one of ArenaNet's best environment artists, so they're usually as beautiful as they are challenging, and often there's no clear path forward and the challenge is in trying to work out where you can get to and whether that's going to help you any. Retrospective Runaround is one of these, but it's also one of the most ridiculous additions to the game since that time they added an 8-bit platformer.
Let me show you what I mean.
See that ship waaaay in the distance? That's where we start. To get there, we'll need to get down and cross the bridge from the skritt's meeting platform.
They have a meeting platform. They're building this ship according to agile principles, and they're confident they'll be done within two to five weeks. They have a stand-up meeting every day at 10:30am server time.
There's a couple of fundamental flaws in their design, but probably nothing that can't be fixed in the next rev.
There's a way to get onto another outcropping from the ship, and there's a rocky tunnel that leads further into the cave system. These tanks have 'velocity elixir' flowing out of them, which applies a swiftness boon. Very helpful.
When you manage to clamber through the tunnel, you'll come out near some buried ruins. There's light coming from above, and any branches from here have been covered by whatever built their city here, long ago.
So we go up.
We reach the top of the cave...
... and emerge on the cliffs above the base camp in this area. This base camp was added a month ago, and players are fairly familiar with it, now. It's startling to see it from a new perspective, and it's delightful to be running across things that appeared to be set dressing only a month ago.
One of the real joys of jumping puzzles, especially in GW2, is the transgressive feeling of many of them. About half of them are placed in a way that they feel like you're breaking out of the map or going somewhere where developers didn't really intend for you to go. There's probably some truth to that - ArenaNet appears to build its maps out of pieces that need to respond properly no matter the orientation, and so there's really nothing stopping the artist responsible for many of the jumping puzzles from repurposing a building or cliff face, putting a platform down, and then putting a chest on the other side of a series of baskets strung between two mountains.
You can see other players down below, escorting supplies and defending outposts.
It's actually kind of difficult to work out where to go. I ask my mechanical chicken pet where to go next, but if it knows, it's not telling.
This looks promising. Maybe there's a way inside.
It turns out there isn't, and that I missed a vital clue in the shot two screens up: a chest, the small greeny-grey device on the outcropping on the other side of the chasm. You can't get back up from there, but there's something further down: a series of stone arches that you can't reach from the ground. That's our way forward.
I met another player on the way back, but they fell along the way, and I left them behind. I'm ruthless.
This is unusual for jumping puzzles, having to find your way down after climbing up high, and it's one of the concepts that inspired the puzzle. I'd bet the other was the amount of times players managed to break out of this map and the previous desert map, Dry Top, emerging in massive caves that were in reality bits of environment that were to be sliced up and turned into smaller caves in later releases.
There's actually several ways down, which come out at different points along this series of arches.
And this is the end of the ruins. The flag here is a milestone.
Some jumping puzzles have special revive mechanics if you fall. Coddler's Cove is above a baby quaggan hatchery, and if you slip and die a baby quaggan will come and hug you until you regain consciousness. Spekk's and Goemm's Labs both have fast travel systems to take you from module to module that teleport you if you die, and as Goemm's Lab is floating high above Metrica Province, it'll also automatically teleport you back to the entrance if you fall off. (You can also see the jumping puzzle from the ground.) Griffonrook Run has a fellow explorer that'll retrieve you if you fall, which is helpful because that puzzle involves running a fragile bomb through a flock of hostile griffons, including several death-defying leaps from very tall rocks.
We're going up again.
Retro Runaround also has a revive mechanic - if you fall and die, a skritt will burrow out of the nearby sand and revive you, and there's a nearby tunnel that'll take you back up. Also, there's a skritt next to the tunnel that is not asking for a tip, as such, but if you feel generous then maybe that tunnel will take you back up to the last milestone you passed instead of back to the SS Topsy Turvy.
More importantly, if you don't find all the milestones, you can't open the chest at the end, a protection against people using teleports to shortcut the jumping puzzle.
This path is more straightforward, and the lighting here draws the eye. We're going down again.
So far, we've passed four of nine milestones.
Inside the cave, we see the fifth milestone, and soft lighting pointing the way further down.
You can stand on those beams, and they do go somewhere. Alongside the Retrospective Runaround achievement, 30 Golden Lost Badges were added, each worth 1 AP. It became clear that only a few of them were in the more sedate, aboveground areas - the vast majority of them were in out-of-the-way branches somewhere in the vast caverns of Retrospective Runaround, and some of them were at the end of their own, even nastier jumping puzzles, involving leap from narrow beam to narrow beam to alcove to platform. It took players several days to even find them all. This is why the path splits so often - the more obscure paths lead to Golden Lost Badges, with alternate ways down to the next checkpoint.
We've dropped down nearly as far as it's safe to go. We're getting closer. Three milestones left.
We're crossing to the other cave wall, finding a way down that won't send us plummeting to the sandy floor below, and heading along the rocks. Two milestones left.
And then, finally, we see an end to the cave. There's fine sand catching the sunlight here, making this cave, Quarrel Gully, sparkle.
There's only one way forward, and that's up. One milestone left. We've crossed an entire zone to get to this point. It took me an hour and a half to get to this point the first time, and it's a full five minute run on the surface.
Quarrel Gully's riddled with skritt tunnels, which means that most of your time is spent working out which tunnel to take. A poor choice dumps you out lower down. A good choice might get you higher. Some tunnels take you higher in ways where there's no way up. Others aren't on the same level as any other tunnel, and just as with the mesas earlier, you need to make a leap of faith, hoping that giving up height will get you forward.
We're going up.
There's a long path, wrapping around the outside of the gully, and then, finally, the chest, and the final milestone.
The chest is locked, and you don't have the key.
So that was Retrospective Runaround. It didn't need to be big to be entertaining, but instead ArenaNet went huge with it, sending players through caves, across mesas and ruins, and dropping them down into the depths. I love that, just underneath the soil, there's this absolutely enormous cave, and I love how often it's willing to just leave players hanging, with no clear path forward.
That was really cool.
Proteus looks nice
I've really gotten into taking screenshots a lot more over the last year or so, especially when I can do them HUD-less. Also been starting to collect some of my favorite screenshots on this tumblr here
Maybe he's eating it for the articles.
In all seriousness, seeing that the intent has been explicitly stated by Ridley Scott does make it come off as tone-deaf, even if it was done in ignorance. If the devs really do care about the source material as much as they seem to, it's weird that they would just sort of paper over it for some sort of strange fan service.
I win this thread.
Heres my engies unique look with some rare expensive unusuals and stranges:
The scenery in Dragon Age Inquisition looks fantastic:
from the recently released Frontiers beta..
from the recently released Frontiers beta..
I don't even know what Frontiers is, but I'm interested. I'm really hoping its a old timey home decorating sim.
game is an openworld rpg that focuses on exploration and survival over combat. if anyone deserved a 'hey here's $15 for your hard work' it's Lars..
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