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Too Many Games Not Enough Something

Seeing as we’ve done three comics in a row about RDR2, it should come as no surprise that I am hooked on this game. Kara is playing it as well and while she is banging out story missions I can’t stop hunting and fishing.

All I want to do is track legendary beasts through this stunning world. There have been times in the game when I just stop and gawk at the visuals. It’s ridiculously big and beautiful. The only thing it needs is the ability for me to rob these trains and banks with my friends. Once they get the multiplayer working it will be damn near perfect.

Speaking of “damn near perfect”, Diablo on the Switch is just that. When Diablo III hit consoles it was a great game to play with the family. We all had a blast but anyone who has played it on a console will tell you it’s also pretty frustrating. Having to wait while your friends sort through their inventory or manage their skills is a pain. Having kids who are always trying to run off in different directions or portal back to town sucks. These are all problems that are fixed when everyone has their own screen. Plus now I can grind between Overwatch rounds!

The Switch version runs great and looks awesome in my opinion. It feels fast and responsive whether I’m playing handheld or docked. I will say it chews up battery but that’s my fault for not being able to put it down.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 1 week ago

I think a lot of people must have this problem, at least, I hope they do, because it will make me stand out less: I have a tendency to to get infected by accents.  It’s not something I’m trying to do, I don’t think it’s, like… funny or something, I just have to do it.  I just got back from PAX Aus, what I would describe as “the best PAX Aus of all time,” and after a few days there it’s almost impossible for me not to stretch a long O out way, way, too far.  Criminally far.  Like “if you could lace an O on the rods of a taffy puller” sort of vowell extension.  It’s decadent, in its way.

Unctuous Mouthfeel.

I heard something new there this time, because in their quest to expose me to every strata of Australian delicacy Enforcers had a Halal Snack Pack brought in.  You should go to the link, probably, but Gyro Fries are a near analogue and I think that poutine is the sort of thing an HSP might see at a sufficiently large family reunion.  Anyway: you know how you can be talking to a person you think you know, and know well, and then all the sudden they pronounce the letter Z like “zed” and in a flash you know them to be a scheming Northron?

There’s never been a situation where I’ve had an Australian just recite the whole alphabet, that just… never came up, so it was very surprising to hear Kwaizy - who I have known for years upon years - pronounce the noble, gentle letter H like “haitch.”  I stumbled out into the street, barely missing a passing carriage.  Had it all been a lie?

I was also offered, and did subsequently consume, a “snot block.”  This was a banner year, truly.

In terms of linguistic infection, the inflection - “inflection” is quite a good term for this actually.  Huh.  I think I’ll name the strip that.  Anyway, the inflection of the untamed West is addictive as fuck.  It started about twenty minutes into playing the game last Thursday and I think I still have it.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

It’s pretty rare that Gabe and I can just, like… sit down and play games.  It’s “the cobbler’s son,” right?  But because I’m trying to be humane to myself after the Aus flight I ended up over at his place yesterday afternoon playing Red Dead, which is ridiculous.  It’s just a ridiculous game.  I think they’ve internalized some troubling ideas about equine health.  He asked me if I was gonna grab it when I got home, but I don’t know yet.  Maybe for the multi.  Right now I’m doing something else.

I’ve been spending almost all my time in Thronebreaker, what I thought was gonna be a string of themed Gwent matches with some choose your own adventure shit in there, but is actually an RPG where the resolution system - it need not be a battle in the classic sense, though that does happen - is a thoroughly considered version of the minigame from Witcher 3.

They’re doing exactly what I always want in these situations, which is to say that they’re constructing virtuous whorls.  You’re going to have to forgive a certain amount of this kind of thing right now, as I’m still very tired from the trip for some reason and I always want to eat and sleep at the wrong times but with tremendous urgency.  But here’s what I mean about the whorls: I really want more connective tissue between the different experiences contained within the parenthesis of… Black Ops 4, just as an example.  When you get a level in Call of Duty, it goes “RAONOWN DOWNT, DA BOW NOWNT,” and your life improves incrementally.  But the three separate games don’t really pretend that there’s much of a bridge between them.  I mentioned this before: Gabriel is actively opposed to this, and I don’t even think it is an interesting enough topic for Kiko to even consider.  But I like the tension and unification of a universal mechanism that sits atop the sum total of play like a jaunty cap.

So I’m doing whatever I’m doing in Thronebreaker - a puzzle, a battle, choosing the slightly less bad of two nightmare options - and I’m regularly rewarded with stuff for Gwent.  Technically, see, Thronebreaker is a standalone card game and it certainly plays like one.  But for the enthusiast, this is also a channel to some really interesting cards and livery of various kinds for the straight multiplayer component.  These might be entirely distinct types of people playing these two games, generally speaking, but I’ve got a foot in each; somebody, at least, appreciates their rare dedication to the chimera.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

Many people asked after Gabriel down in Aus, but I had more or less the same answer for all of them.  Gabriel endeavored to snare the feeling in a lasso of words, but the distillation is that anxiety - the same all encompassing anxiety we have often had the need to discuss - becomes an insurmountable wall.  Except a wall is high.  Let’s say that it becomes an inescapable pit.

In any case, the answer was this: how is he doing?  He’s doing quite well on account of two factors.  One, he prioritized his mental health.  It’s really quite difficult to do - it requires the construction of a personal metaphor that recognizes that thoughts aren’t the self, and then the will to act in a fashion consistent with the notion that you have value.  These are hard lifts for anybody, but there are many in our continuum for whom unironic statements of personal worth are almost impossible.

I’ve never been able to do any of that.  I suspect the reckoning on this is gonna have a seismic component.  I’m kind of excited to see how it turns out!

The second reason he’s doing okay - I didn’t forget - is that while we were all at the show dreaming of Red Dead Redemption 2, he was at home playing Red Dead Redemption 2.  I’m gonna head over there tomorrow to see it for the first time, I’ve never actually seen it running outside of a trailer so it has bloomed into cinematic impossibility in my mind.  I understand you can pull up a mask when it’s crime time, the sort of detail that alchemically elevates its previous Game of the Year materials to Game of the Century.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

I’m in line at the airport, and I’m either on my way through security or being digested by a wholly new form of life.  Speaking of which...

There are whole books about the thoroughly ambient, deeply lethal creatures that roam the streets and sock drawers of the Australian realm.  Australians love to scourge the Outsider with tales of these beasts, of wars lost against savage birds, of tiny spiders deadly as the grave and massive spiders that are, somehow, no big deal.  I had to communicate to Amy that the national sport here is not Rugby but Taking The Piss.  I’ve never seen a single untoward creature here.  In Melbourne and Sydney, at least. The most dangerous thing you’re likely to encounter, don’t laugh, are Uber Eats bicycle couriers.  They make a time calculation between avoiding you and riding a hole through your body and occasionally your body loses.

I am feeling pretty tender psychologically after the trip, so it’s possible that I might range further afield than usual and I apologize in advance. But there’s simply no analogue for the kind of affection people offer us at this show and I have no natural defense against it.  I have been at this a long time, twenty years next month, and as I have suggested previously this website - by which I mean the Internet - is a dangerous worksite by any objective standard.  It is a place where cruel psychopaths demand civility, a place where a kind of shiftless myopia rules.  PAX Aus, on an annual basis, just… gets my head right. The Australians I know are congenitally unable to receive a compliment that isn’t immediately followed by a strategic application of the “c-word,” but look.  People thank us for bringing the show here; I mean, I can’t accept a compliment either.  But you gave the show a home.  And me too, maybe. It’s not something I take lightly.

(CW)TB out.

 




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