Join Club PA

Tycho / 16 hours ago

At first, I thought Ridley Scott was laying the blame for his movie's failure at the door of milliners - hardworking folk whose craft is plied to the delight of the head and scalp. But no! No. It was instead placed on the brow of that oft maligned cadre, The Millennial, whose disinterest in the schemes of their boomer forebears is well known.

Sometimes when there is an article about a director's incredible take-smithing, I can go and read it and - as is my doom - understand what they meant by it, even if they aren't especially invested in the gesticulations and obeisances of the era. He sorta went off, though. We weren't even aware of the movie at all, as we suggest in the strip - which makes his first point, that Disney had done a great job marketing the film, ring false. None of the quoted sections mention the fact that, as a nation, a once in a century plague has scarred and pitted our society in whatever the opposite of terraforming is. That's an indication about the sort of life he leads, which makes the rest of what he's said coherent in its way: that an alien, incursive force ("the millennian") simply can't comprehend that life outside of a phone exists. Set aside the fact that this isn't the problem, and that people watch movies on their phones all the time if you let them, or that people use their phones to cast movies all the time. Literally: let me for rhetorical purposes simply grant the false premise. When we have to live in the world you fucking assholes built, how can you blame anyone for looking away from it?

I've met a ton of millennials, and I simply haven't found the distribution of motherfuckers particularly concentrated within their confines. And it's like, okay. Do they have a deleterious effect on crops? Yes. Do we think they might be to blame for Mrs. Holmann's cow getting the dropsy? Jury's out. Do I have some welts on my forearm that could be, I dunno, millennial in origin? I'm open to it. Probably yes. Keep some space between them and your seedlings for sure. I don't know. Maybe they did fuck up the movie thing. My arms are itching like crazy.

Millennial readers, I hope this hasn't put you off our incredible holiday deals - new announcements are en route today, plus Double Secret Boxes will be made manifest at 4pm PDT!

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

I was telling Mark about this new Riot fighting game, because a trailery thing just came out, and how I'd played its philosophical predecessor Rising Thunder at PAX fuckin'... years ago. I can see why that team would get bought, even just off that sliver, because I've thought about it consistently ever since then.

Those ideas aren't unique to Rising Thunder or Project L or whatever it's going to be called, though - David Sirlin's Fantasy Strike leaned into this years ago. You might find that game's "Accessibility" page, really more of a manifesto about the fighting game genre, utterly fascinating. I like an arcane input as much as the next cloistered genre adherent, but what really stands out in either of these cases - Fantasy Strike or Project L - is where the thinking happens, and what you're thinking about. It's not, like, the Super Soldier serum or some shit; you'd still get wrecked by a pro because their thinking on the actual game being played - beyond the inputs - is so developed. What it let me see, observe, literally have any concept of, was the game those people play.

Anyway, that's not even what the strip is about. The strip is about me telling Garb about this fighting game, and him tentatively asking, "Is it one of these platform fighters?" in a quiet, tired voice. To his mind, it seems like it's required by law that if you have more than five characters you have to make a middling, two-stars-out-of-five platform fighter to show off your wares. The issue is that most places can't execute Smash with anything like Nintendo's skill and precision, and so you end up with a lot of room temperature mush studded with a ton of recognizable logos.

That being said, specifically with MultiVersus, I have a hard time dismissing it because it has a super experienced team plus their 2v2 focus makes it something like a co-op fighter…? These things prevent me from adopting a sneering, preemptively dismissive crouch, even if it would save me a lot of time. I mean… take a look at what they have to say.

I guess I'd kinda like to see that.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

The idea that I delight in killing players is essentially a fiction, and the way you know that's it's not true is because - as suggested previously - a bunch of dead characters and their resentful, starving players aren't a receptive audience for my intricate statue puzzle, whose solution is contained within twelve lines of immaculate, technical verse.

Even so, it's been a nice theme to return to. Maybe my favorite line in all of Penny Arcade comes from this comic, specifically the last bubble in the first panel. If you read it, and are like, "That's it? Huh," well, it's gonna explain a lot about the site in general. I'm always trying to get back there, whenever I'm not trying to craft some arcane reference to the human peepee. Oh! I suppose I'm also partial to this one, which might address a less rarified audience that consists of a single person who is also the author of said piece.

Hey! I am told your mortal Christmas is near. And what luck - we just made a bunch of new stuff for the store! This promotional image certainly looks timely and official, but it's a complete coincidence I assure you. You might as well check out the new and featured, while you're here!

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I only knew about this because Gabriel's son, who is actually named Gabriel, was incensed enough to bring it to his attention. People watch this for the trailers, that is simply… a fact, but Gen Z is such a spicy cadre that it is hard not to be delighted by it. Servants of Nidhoggr, all.

I couldn't make heads or tails of many categories in the Game Awards, and I am open to explanations as simple as bog-standard illiteracy up to sophisticated theoretical frameworks like "leakage(dimensional membrane)." "Best Sports/Racing Game," incomprehensibly, has one sport and four racing games duking it out. But "Best Sim/Strategy Game" in particular feels like such a grab bag; The Island of Doctor Moreau, where misfit man-beasts strain and twist beneath strange laws. It's stupid. Also, useless. Stupid and useless. I think that covers it.

I've got great news - a comfort in a world swirling with chaos. It's our Acquisitions Incorporated's Winter Morale Festival. And I know what you're saying: I don't have it in me! Well, good thing it's COMPULSORY:

Take note of the Holiday Tiers! There is a sale on apparel broadly, except for the newest stuff - the Jim and Omin shirts, plus the rad new zip-up hoodie. All the AI Stuff can be found in this collection, with good stuff new and old.  And, for reasons way, way beyond our control, ordering sooner rather than later might be a sound strategy.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

At the very highest level, looking down, I think that the Halo Infinite Battle Pass has progressed thinking on this form of monetization in a way that suggests that they have, uh, parents on the team. Or, at the very least, that they have a philosophical bone to pick with the typical FOMO pump that a timed season creates. This is the part I like: you own the Battle Pass. It's like a TTRPG supplement or something, and it even occupies a space on a kind of shelf; the pass itself is something you own, and you can shelve it when a new one comes out if you're excited about that, but you can always come back to the other one, or swap to a third, whatever. This is what respect for my money and time looks like.

In that part, anyway! Holy shit. As if to counterbalance the humanity expressed prior, progress in this model is glacial, measured in Ages Of Man. Time and Money are cosmic twins; in the best versions of this F2P stuff, you feel like you could pay with either one. Obviously the store is there and real and allows you to buy time, but the psychological challenge in this system looks like this: balancing gratitude and resentment. I absolutely buy smurfberries or whatever the fuck for games I feel treated well by, especially if I don't feel manipulated into it.

I feel like the hard part was making an awesome Halo game, which they did. I thought burning limited use cards in multiplayer matches was fucking weird last time around and I'm glad to see it go. Enough people have complained about the pace of rewards that it's gonna have to be addressed, and all the levers are there for them to do it. I don't need a Modern Warfare style heavy metal riff every time I move the mouse or something, but it's like… bro. Bro!


Hello! Tonight, at 4pm PDT, we will be doing the finale of our show Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team. Aside from Penny Arcade itself, it's easily the longest running creative project I've ever undertaken and I'm overjoyed that we'll be performing live from the studio tonight. I'm also sad. But it's okay! I don't think anyone has ever done a game like this before, and some of the reasons for that are noble ones. Also note that there is a supply of Celebratory Artifacts available in the Gift Shoppe, like Dabe's finale tee and a golden "C" Team pin. The URL for the latter says "le cteam pin," which means "Limited Edition" but in this case sounds fancy and really elevates the affair. Happy Valentine's Day. I'll See you tonight.

(CW)TB out.

Club PA - Powered by Patreon

  • Exclusive Podcasts
    & Streams
  • A Club PA
    Pinny Arcade Pin
  • Store Discounts
    & Exclusive Merch
  • Exclusive Comics
    & Art


Follow Penny Arcade