We had a really good time checking out both games, actually, but yeah. As soon as the bing bong told us it was downloaded, this is what was up. It’s been a long time since I invested myself in the larger budget “Square Games,” we’ve been in different places for awhile now, with my tastes more or less chipped into granite and them trying to broaden scope. But go to a friend’s house and check out that FFXV shit, for reals. It’s a road movie where everybody is some species of sorcerer. The tone is fucking whacked out.
The last controller I broke - actually broke broke it - was an Epyx 500XJ. I consider that a failure state not for the game or for the joystick, even though I suppose it’s literally true in the second case. It’s a failure state for the self, and I’m still ashamed of it. I’m fairly certain I was playing Impossible Mission, which makes sense. I mean, it’s right there on the tin: we are giving you an objective which cannot be completed. “Don’t bring your best joystick” seems to be the subtext. But Ori and the Blind Forest is the game I’ve come closest to breaking another one. I’m in a kind of pre-break state, loosening it up, whitening the flex points in fevered preparation for the final act.
I’m not prepared to say that the game is mean spirited, but it is exacting: it requires that you either bring substantial platforming literacy, or that you develop this literacy “on the job,” in mid-air. And then they layer in various game-busting means of traversal, and ask you to do things that I frankly didn’t think were possible when I started trying them. I don’t want to say anything too specific. But I had this experience a few times in The Swapper also, one of my favorite games from recent years, where I would get an idea about something I had to do that was so fucking insane - such an edge case of the perceived interactions - that I would investigate them just to foreclose the impossibilities. Except that’s what they actually wanted, and I thank them for it in either case. Once you have accomplished the impossible, the rest of the day seems to go better.