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Tycho / 2 days ago

I like Pokemon, but if it were to pass me a note in class with an option to indicate whether I like-liked it, I would have to think about it for a while. At the individual game level for new mainline releases, I rigorously follow the stories because… they're legitimately kinda cool? But the specific grind loop in the game is something my brain will only tolerate for around ten hours total, after which it's like asking me to put my hand on a hot stove.

Pokemon UNITE, though, is something I can do.

I should elaborate. When I say I can "do" it, I don't mean that I can win. Absolutely not! What I mean is that the likelihood of me playing a MOBA with Mr. and Mrs. Gribbs for a couple hours is a thousand times higher than getting ten pokemon to level 100. As for gameplay? You already know. Well, except for the main thing you do I guess, which is that as you battle creeps, I mean, uh, Wild Pokemon, you are amassing points in the form of Aeos Energy which we just call Balls. Instead of towers to push, there are scoring hoops where those towers would be - and you deposit those balls into them, ultimately destroying them if you can drop eighty or more in there. So it's even more sporty than regular eSports, because Pikachu dunks. Most of the other stuff kinda maps onto genre expectations, but I really, really like the play. You level up like a Pokemon would, and you can even auto-set what moves you branch into.

The 3v3 mode is on another map so distinct from the first and built around such radically different concepts that it's hard to compare it directly - it's more of a Dominion thing than a Twisted Treeline thing, references that should tell you when I last tried to play any League. Anytime you deposit balls into its hoops - hoops each team shares, in this mode - it makes anything you deposit afterward counts twice.  It's nuts.

The UI is sort of a freemium mess on Switch, and when it hits Mobile I suspect that it'll be more or less the same because creatures of this kind roam free and grow fat there. I think it needs to be a little snappier to navigate, and there's some odd lag sometimes in multi but on balance I'm just really impressed with it. Eldegoss and Crustle are where I'm at now - I can support the team either by cushioning enemy attacks against them with downy fluff, or I can take on the role of the Unkillable Crab God Whose Maw Spans Time And Whose Claw Cuts The Thread.

Today, GOLGOLFA returns - but at 12pm PDT because Naomi has to go to the Eye Man, which is either an optometrist or something else I don't want to think about. Gary Whitta, once a foe, is… well, he's still totally a foe but he will also be there. I haven't played since I played against them last time, so this will be the ultimate test of my abilities. The game? Mario Golf: Super Rush. The site where it will be visible? Only the hottest hole for youth video, Twanch. It's Twitch. Sorry - I mean, Twitch. I have a condition where I can't just deploy brands without an ironic lacquer sometimes.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 4 days ago

Gabe has been getting into Cris Tales, and one of the main reasons for that is that his psychological reward structure has no defense against the onslaught of beautiful art in this game. Because our world is a fallen and decrepit place, we never had a collaboration between Square Enix and Mary Blair so it's nice to see these devs making up for some lost time.

One thing he won't, physically can't do is listen to characters - even lovingly rendered, visionary characters - talk about school or pastries or their dad or whatever. This extends into the books he likes - even when reading a book, historically a rich source of text, what he's looking for is a big idea whose size crowds out a lot of "snappy" dialogue or 4k navel analysis. He likes - for example - a book about a single person on Mars from the perspective of the same Mars person I was just mentioning. I'd say that book is configured something like his desired zenith.

He wants to be shown things and not told things, and he can alter the ratio by pressing the skip button over and over but sometimes he presses it too many times which occasionally leads to despair. For my part, crushing disappointment is sort of the baseline, but the chasm between that blasted plain and joy is one I will happily fill with orcs for the third time.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Alright, so: let's go down the list of fascinations Gabriel has undertaken during The Plague Years.

1. Simulated Racing Of Cars, which became Real Racing Of Cars
2. Building Gunpla, which became watching something like a hundred hours of Gundam

And now, improbably, startlingly, Digimon.

Look at that thing. Have they changed this device at all?! It looks like something you might extract from a time capsule. We're at the point now where Bandai Namco extracts something like ninety percent of his entertainment dollar. Last I saw, he was suggesting people come battle him "at the mal;."

I'm still out, theoretically, but! If the poll on Gabe's Twittre is anything to go by, he might be checking out Pokemon UNITE, that surprise MOBA thing? Statistically it would be that, but the other way it could go is with Monster Hunter Stories 2, which is also pretty cool. In any event, he'll bewarming up the stream at around 2pm for your edification slash enjoyment.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

This space shit is the most thoroughly dunked phenomenon; it comes pre-dunked, in the package. Dunk runs off it, down your arm, until it pools and drips from your elbow.

They've managed to make space boring. And then, in the manner of a Moses returning from Mount Sinai, Bezos has returned to these benighted shores with a moral framework around something called "civility" with some tactically deployed love bombs to inoculate them from criticism. When you start talking about this shit, there's an inbuilt Greek chorus of people to chew on your ankle because you were critical in any way of their demigod - their liege lord has won business and is thus proven supreme. Don't look too close at that success! It's rude.

If you dwell in this continuum, I've already entertained your position. I understand it well: we live among leviathans, we might as well choose one to serve. Nevermind that our leaders' intense allergy to governing created them - they're here, and maybe they can be placated with the right symbols or rituals. I can't argue with its practicality. Try my read: this is a neo-cyberpapacy buying its own indulgences. I'm gonna feel any way I want to feel about it.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

If you aren't sort of a dork, the fact that cheat prevention software and emulation is in a problematic state currently and the impact it might have on a device like the Steam Deck isn't broadly understood. Before we entered The Hell Dimension a year and a half ago, my main work machine was Linux Mint, and I really liked it. I had to stretch my mind taut over a hoop and embroider it meticulously to resolve a couple issues I had, and I got way smarter, but I'm by no means an expert. The official Known Issues section in the Proton documentation goes into what they consider best practices a bit, and these practices differ from the current state of the universe in some ways.

Kiko is way, way into Valve's hardware excursions. He doesn't give a shit - he'll pull out a Steam controller in an airplane, fuck it. He'll juke and twist the controller in mid-air as though he were controlling the plane itself; he'll augur into my torso with an errant elbow. He's way in, especially if there's a scenario where we start going places again. Gabe doesn't really get the point, especially if it can't get at big competitive shooters. I'm not even thinking about it in the right terms, which is to say, I'm not thinking about its utility as a gaming device. I think that's how you should think about it! I'm trying to figure out if something like this, from these players, properly applied at this juncture, can actually create the kind of momentum needed to solve the problem we discussed at the beginning. Because it's cool if this device can do a specific thing but that would reach way, way beyond this machine.

I'm trying to not work this week, theoretically, but I'm writing this so clearly this is something I don't understand well! But since I'm not physically at home, I won't be able to do the main streams I commit to each week - Acquisitions Intoxicated on Tuesday, Golgolfa(!) on Wednesday, and Motorsport Manager on Friday. What I will be doing this week is thinking a lot about Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team, which had its triumphant return during PAX Online East and comes back to our channel officially on August 11th!

Good news, finally Remember that?

(CW)TB out.

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