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Tycho / on Wed, Jan 22 2014 at 12:01 am

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Commoditized

The Bravely Default demo doesn’t really scratch the surface of the game.  To a certain extent, that concept is contained within the word “demo.”  But it communicates specifically incorrect information, a partial class list, and a couple systems are simply missing in action.  It also makes the game seem like it has that sort of MMO statelessness, where you’re just sort of floating around an environment hauling monster organs from place to place.

The demo was like a scale shed by some massive reptile, and I recommended it because it was still good.  So, if you liked the demo also, the actual shit is going to invert your hairpiece.  If you felt like the demo was weirdly dry, well, it totally is.  They wanted something that people wouldn’t have to go all the way through again when the game proper came out, and probably erred too far on that side.  When you see it blown out, though - when it swivels its narrative and systemic weaponry your way - don’t be surprized if you say “yowza!” entirely without irony.

We primarily borrow the context and look for the strip; I wouldn’t know if a king dies or not.  It probably happens, though.  Kings are always doing shit like that.

Alright.  So, I’m playing a few fights in The Banner Saga every night, trying not to start completely over after every one.  It’s hard not to.  When you are lying on your back because parts which have historically been inside parts are now coming out, you have a lot of time to think about your choices.

Tactics games have varying amounts of wobble, which appeals to different tastes.  Minimal Wobble would be something like Chess, where identical armies move each unit according to its inherencies, and pieces are taken when one piece moves into another’s square.  Chess 2 introduces some wobble, but not too much; dueling when pieces are taken with a currency called “stones” expands the range of outcomes.  When you start talking about a combination of things like accuracy and damage - where variable outcomes parse interactions into possibility ranges, as opposed to binary states - or equipment slotted into asymmetrical armies, I start to salivate.  I’m vastly more comfortable with that, and the longer I spend with them, the more work I can offload to “intuition,” that perpetual unconscious simulation.  Negotiating between my conscious and unconscious perceptions to wrestle success out of a machine is what I want out of a day.  I want to empty a jar of spaghetti sauce over a table of terrain and Warmachine miniatures and eat the whole thing.

I like games in general, and I’ll play both.  But the less wobble, the more intimidated I get.  They’re like stark, Northern European desserts made from snow-topped sheets of polished grey granite.  Aptitude for raw numerics is not a part of my skillset or self-concept, and fighting people in The Banner Saga is about the relationship between Armor and Strength, where your hit points are also your damage output.  It’s also, at root, Survival Horror.  One resource buys equipment, buys levels for characters, and purchases supplies.  They’ve have completely sold me, and I have purchased, the idea that I have a responsibility to these people.  I can never shake the feeling that I am always doing everything wrong.

(CW)TB out.

i'm pretty sure


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