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Tycho / on Wed, Oct 14 2009 at 12:00 am

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Garbled For Your Protection

A character creation tool was just released for Dragon Age, precisely the sort of morsel to appetize those for whom simulations of quasi-medieval hack and slashery might appeal.  I know someone who fits this description.

I’m in a position to know, so hear me out: in your enthusiasm to begin playing a game in development so long that it became a kind of myth, don’t leave the creator until you are absolutely overjoyed with your output.  I mean it.  Really look at what you’ve done, then go away for a little while, and then come back and look at it again.  I made a dude that seemed alright, and then leapt in with both feet, but by the fifty hour point I was getting into fights just to watch him die.  His mouth is plaintive and his eyebrows are hoisted in a kind of perpetual surprise that makes every dialogue with seem like he just woke up.

Gabriel plans to play it on the 360, as he imagines himself couch bound for the duration, but (as with Fallout) there’s no way I could bring myself to play it on a console.  I suggested he play it on his powerful new laptop, and I also suggested he call his new laptop the Axis Scythe - rebuffed on both counts.  His decision is rooted in concern for his genitals.  While his Mac laptop was certainly hot, it did not (as his Alienware does) have a knob which lets you choose Bake or Broil.

When Activision left Brutal Legend to twist in the wind, it seemed like just the latest act of villainy from the industry’s new Baphomet, now that Electronic Arts (a company with a market capitalization of six point seven six billion dollars) has been reconfigured as the scrappy rebel.  With the game in hand, it makes a lot more sense.  Brutal Legend is - in no way, shape, or form - something you could call “sure fire” as a piece of entertainment, and it’s clear now that someone at Activision simply did not “get” it.

I knew from Interviews that it had “RTS Elements,” but I’ve reached a part of the game where there’s a whole lot of RTS going on, and it’s not a genre for which I have much aptitude - particularly with a gamepad.  At the same time, my healer units drive around on huge motorcycles emitting waves of healing bass.  This is what we in the business call an impasse: a game I like, but don’t especially want to play.  The brochure would look something like:  “Come for the incredible art and unique comedic voice.  Stay for the…  You know, like, stay for…  for the…  Hmm.”

(CW)TB out.

take me through the centuries


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