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Tycho / on Tue, Dec 17 2013 at 11:01 pm

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I thought there was a lot to like about Frozen; I could probably talk about it for a long time.  The comic isn’t about that, though - it’s about the Match 3 Puzzler brand extension that Gabriel somehow became ensnared in, and cannot escape, and how it culminated in a kind of spirit quest which I sincerely doubt is even possible.  Having played some Angry Birds Go(!), and seen its stupid energy thing which similarly punishes interest when said interest is not coupled with direct investment, I understand what he means.  The takeaway is that regardless what type of game it is in some specific case, “free to play” must be considered the “genre.”  It reliably warps mechanics to such an extent that it probably offers more stability for the taxonomist.

Every day has been dense with game consumption of various types, none of them complete experiences, but all of them incomplete in distinct ways.

Games called “The Room” are never long enough for me.  I can’t find the Kevin Smith quote, about his own work, but the idea was that the first movies he made reflected the way he felt about reality in general: this is how it should be; friends should be talking about comics, nowhere in particular, forever.  I suspect it is literally true for him, and that he has constructed his life in such a way as to bring that about as often as possible.  I think the true reality involves being terrified constantly, and to be at the behest of a series of devious, alien traps, for which the only medicine is the direct application of the intellect.  I have defeated every Myst for this reason, and I intend to conquer Blow’s Witness also, but Fireproof’s “The Room(s)” have me dialed in with a precision that frankly a stranger shouldn’t be able to muster.  In the same way that Guerilla Games seems to have an uncanny sense of how to manipulate the camera in a first person game, these weirdos here have a sense for simulating digital objects that still somehow feel tactile.  The only concern is that the game they have made is not infinite, which isn’t their fault, and is instead a fault of our universe, which is fundamentally a trap for consciousness.

Too much?  Probably too much.

I have also played the newly hatched beta for Wasteland 2, which is not complete in a more traditional way, in that it is in no way done.  Wasteland begat Fallout, and now in a truly strange fashion the second Wasteland evokes Fallout to the very limits of the law.  It’s very hard to know what to say about such a moist, translucent little grub.  Will it develop wings?  How many legs will it have?  Ultimately, do we think envenomation will be a concern?  Right now it has a ton of callouts to the first game I ever spent my money on, some of them I’m frankly shocked that I remember at all, some of which might be a little on the nose, but most of which actually work.  Not everything does, because stuff is borked for real.  And this is not an especially simple game, even in this state, so you don’t really know if things are doing what they’re doing because you are dumb or if you are contending with incremental functionality.  If you have the problem where you can’t see a specific character’s abilities when you select them in the quickbar, click the button that switches between solo and group, and then click it again.  That one’s on the house.

The first episode of The Walking Dead: Season Two is out also, and gets off to a mean start, but it is unfinished in yet another way.  I found it better executed technically than previous entries - these are not games one comes to for the technology - but one fifth of a game whose reason for being is to show how the ramifications of your behavior spider out from hastily made decisions is not really…  itself, in some way.  I liked the first episode of Season One, but by the time the third and fourth ep came around the launches were atomic - they scoured the deck entirely of competing media.  What they’ve delivered is supremely confident, and I’m glad to have it to look forward to.  But what can truly be said?

(CW)TB out.

hold fast

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