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dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




The Stanley Parable

(wait, no, do it again)

THE STANLEY PARABLE

wait didn't you want THE STANLEY PARABLE?!?!

yeah but, more

yes thank you very much there you go

-----

For a game that really got me for a good couple of months and made quite the lasting impression, I never got to elaborate what I felt with it in a proper reflection. Looking back, it makes sense - I needed a lot more experience and learning to be able to do so. So, fair warning, this isn’t going to be a conventional review; that is not going to work with this.

The Stanley Parable is one of the finest expressions of postmodernism ever made. Actually, let me try it again: one of the finest expressions of the postmodern condition ever made. That’s it. You can go read other posts now. Review over. Ah, I changed my mind. Or did I lie? Maybe I planned this, or am I improvising? If this sounds like a bunch of pretentious wankery, yeah, sorry about that, but I wanted to give you a taste of the feel of both postmodernism and the game. The game has much better things going for it than a semester on art history though: first, it is much funnier; second, it is decisively smarter and much more clever than it appears.



See, postmodernism smashed itself into a wall quite hard like two decades and something now. David Foster Wallace was tearing it apart in the 90s with decisive property on the matter. Just because everybody goes “all conventions are off”, you put the knob into maximum “NOTHING MATTERS LOL” and cultivate acute irony poisoning because you are so incredibly smart and clever and brilliant, that doesn’t change the fact that art is made by people, and people are going to seek out the meaningful, the sublime, the transcendental in expression. It is something that we just do - it’s both necessity and desire as part of our shared condition. Irony, as such, is pervasive and subverts even itself in the end: turns out that putting effort into something that is supposed to be ironic means that you are still committing to the sincere expression of something you desire to say. Psychotherapists - particularly those of a psychoanalytic tradition - are pretty observant to the use of ironic speech by their patients, exactly to pay attention to what they are really conveying in such cases. The same happens to their art.



TV was determined to say “no, gently caress you” to David Foster Wallace during the years to follow. Let’s consider cartoons oriented to “young adults”: Beavis and Butthead, South Park, Family Guy, Rick and Morty; it can be argued that they can be not postmodern works themselves (and we are not saying that they are good works here), but they are definitely expressive of our postmodern period. They are the pulpy, dirty counterpart (the garbage that reveals what culture is processing subconsciously according to guys like Zizek) to, say, Cormac McCarthy; McCarthy’s books are definitely not ironic, much to the contrary. They are powerful, highly charged statements of our human experience, with things like true evil seething in the background. Satan is just a laughingstock in South Park, rather cheap and just too drat lulzy at that; Judge Holden is loving terrifying in imagination and implication, more awful and full of terror than entire theologies of some religious sects of our time. Get the difference?



If you got it, it means you realize the difference between what makes a postmodern work or not and more importantly, that you understand that you live in postmodernity. You don’t live with the subconscious terror of metaphysical religious evil waiting in shadows; you live with the fear of the very real, actual Evil that lies in broad daylight, of dying because your government is sequestered by the interests of the most wealthy and stopping things during a loving once-in-a-century plague is too much. Living in postmodernity means that ironism is something present in your life in different ways and forms, whether you like it or not.



A couple of highly bearded German dudes will tell you that hey, what you are experiencing is alienation: a side-effect of how our economic organization destroys autonomy and historical meaning from our lives. Maybe you shirk to that and react - religion and “traditional” values as moral bedrock served to many so far, might as well try it for yourself. Maybe you just accept that what’s going is the best that can be done and there are no better alternatives and that's that. Any way it goes, the postmodern condition requires dealing with irony and alienation.



The Stanley Parable is exactly that. It even does that explicitly on a couple of occasions, literally telling you “hey, just letting you know, we are doing this specific thing”. It’s the experience of dealing with irony as an existential condition. By criticizing video games and their conventions through a masterful exploration through a mode of analysis as if by literary theory - the juxtaposition of player, narrator, author and character as different interested parties in the execution of a narrative - it goes far, far beyond what the initial appearances might suggest. Suddenly, you are laughing at a well-crafted joke about closets, then the next moment you are in a dialogue about what you are doing with your life that can be downright harrowing in its argument. Terror in implication.



Just a videogame critique? Nah, that doesn’t work for me. Too good for that. A tightly packed philosophical musing with lots of legitimately funny humor? Whether that was the intent or not, I can’t say: Davey Wreden and Davey Pugh might be radical neomodernists of the fiercest cut or just a couple of guys just goofing the gently caress out while high, but what they accomplished here is amazing. Kevan Brighting, the narrator, is absolutely the star of the show here and perhaps one of the best VA efforts in all videogame history. The Stanley Parable is a game that you should definitely play because, above all else, it is very interesting in the fullest meaning of the term.

p.s.: Actually, the Stanley Parable ~~experience~~ is bigger than itself: should you decide to go for that, you should watch the trailers on youtube, play the demo and then play the main game. Those videos will give you a lot of its feel without telling you anything about it, then the demo has nothing to do with it while also being a critical piece of the narrative suggested.



p.p.s.: the Stanley Parable ULTRA DELUXE remake is happening this year apparently, which was another reason for this write-up. There's going to be a lot more content, it seems. The official site (https://stanleyparable.com/) only says this year, no hard date set.

dead gay comedy forums fucked around with this message at 06:17 on Jul 29, 2021

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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

Cross posting from the Things Dragging The Game Down thread but

I think I'm the only person in history who ganked themselves in Prey, which I've heard is impossible. Whatever it was I did wrong, my particular build hit a hard loving wall about half way in and I was getting wrecked no matter where I went or tried to do. Still a really loving great game though, worthy of all the praise it gets.

I just reached a point where it seemed impossible to unfuck myself and decided I'd seen and had enough.

Reveilled
Apr 19, 2007

Take up your rifles


Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

My top game of The Long 2020 was Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. If you think about it in an extremely twisted way, it is the Dark Souls of Walking Simulators. Sort of. Okay, not really. But please listen while I stretch the analogy til it breaks.


In a walking simulator, you progress through various environments while hearing a story. The gameplay is often fairly minimal, sometimes (as in the case of both ur-example Dear Esther and delightful parody/subversion The Stanley Parable) consisting of only one mechanic: motion. There is only one mechanic in Getting Over It: you have a hammer which you can use to drag yourself up a mountain, and the objective of the game is to get to the top of that mountain. There are no enemies, no minigames, no points, just motion. And like a walking simulator, the "game" serves as a vehicle for the writer to serve you a narrative. As you climb, you hear Foddy's thoughts on the nature of games, what it's like to design or play a game, and--when you fall--what the notion of failure means.


That last part is why it's the Dark Souls of Walking Simulators: most walking simulators are of minimal difficulty, but climbing a mountain with a hammer, on the other hand, is not easy. As you climb, you will fall, over and over and over again. Sometimes, Foddy sympathises with you, tries to motivate you to continue. Other times he is mocking with sarcasm and false sympathy, I believe because he knows that determination to succeed comes both from support and a desire to prove your doubters wrong. That might in some ways seem antithetical to the notion of a walking simulator; after all, lots of games are hard, lots of games let you fail, walking simulators don't tend to have those properties. But here I think is where Getting Over It's design is quintessentially special: though you will fall, you never fail. There's no game over screen, there's no checkpoint to be sent back to. If you fall, you land where you land, down hill, but not downtrodden, at least, not unless you let yourself. And that's where it's like a walking simulator again, there can be setbacks in the story, but never true failure for the player. The trick is that the story of Getting Over It is your story, it's your climb, your defeat, your triumph.

Okay, enough of the dumb metaphor, this is my story.


As I fell on my first climb, there were several points where I told myself I was done with the game. I made peace with my failure, that I'd never reach the top. But each time, I found myself coming back. I started over a few times, because I let other people play the game, but when I finally reached the summit, I was told I had finished the game in five hours. Maybe add another five for time spent on unfinished runs. But there I was, officially Over It. It felt nice.


There are exactly three achievements for Getting Over It. Complete the game, Complete the game twice, and Complete the game 50 times. I discussed the game with a friend during my first climb, and I commented that I would never get the last one. I was determined to get complete the game, so the first was a given, and the second, well, that shouldn't be too hard to achieve once done once. So, of course, I started right over. This time, it took me just under eighty minutes.


And that was that. Completing the game fifty times for an achievement is insane, and I definitely wasn't going to do that for a meaningless little picture to pop up on my screen to confirm I had done it.


But there's a funny thing about this game's achievement stats. 6.8% of players who purchase the game complete it. Obviously that's not very many, but not surprising for a game where brutal difficulty is the part of the appeal. But 1.7% of players have the 50 completions achievement. A much smaller number still, but if you think about it, that means fully 25% of players who complete this game once go on to complete it fifty times! What does that say about the sort of people who complete this game? Its interesting to consider.


In any case, I continued to play the game over the course of the pandemic, most times, a little faster than before. It was satisfying, as difficult areas transitioned to tricky, to annoyance, to triviality. In July, between my first and second doses of the vaccine, I completed Getting Over It for the fiftieth time. To date it is literally the only game I have 100%ed the achievements on. But I didn't do it for the ribbon or the little box in the corner, I did it for me. And I didn't need any other reason.


I wanted to. That's all.

Elentor
Dec 14, 2004


Reveilled posted:

that means fully 25% of players who complete this game once go on to complete it fifty times!

Not gonna lie, as someone who doesn't care about achievements, this stat seems particularly wild like goddamn.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Elentor posted:

Not gonna lie, as someone who doesn't care about achievements, this stat seems particularly wild like goddamn.

It makes a lot of sense and is not at all surprising to me based on achievement seekers; read the thread on this very forum for people posting absolutely insane things they've done for platinums in a game.

Edit: I have an achievement that, at the time, had 64 total people on the entire Xbox and PC ecosystem unlocked for a game that had been out for over a year and had decent sales and reception. I still don't have its matching mate but at the time 63 other sick fuckers did and sometimes I think about firing up the game to get that last outstanding one even if I would hate every second of it.

Barudak fucked around with this message at 14:30 on Aug 17, 2021

Elentor
Dec 14, 2004


Barudak posted:

It makes a lot of sense and is not at all surprising to me based on achievement seekers; read the thread on this very forum for people posting absolutely insane things they've done for platinums in a game

I have, it's just the number that surprised me. Not unbelievable, it's just a very powerful number. Like Reveilled said it's interesting to consider that 25% of the people who beat that game would also beat it 50 times, like holy poo poo.

Barudak posted:

and sometimes I think about firing up the game to get that last outstanding one even if I would hate every second of it.

I'll never understand this on a visceral level, I have done crazy things for getting high ranks in games but I enjoyed every second of it, and the moment I stopped enjoying either the theorycrafting needed or the game I'd just quit the game no looking back.

Elentor fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Aug 17, 2021

Dik Hz
Feb 22, 2004

Fun with Science



Barudak posted:

Edit: I have an achievement that, at the time, had 64 total people on the entire Xbox and PC ecosystem unlocked for a game that had been out for over a year and had decent sales and reception. I still don't have its matching mate but at the time 63 other sick fuckers did and sometimes I think about firing up the game to get that last outstanding one even if I would hate every second of it.
:justpost:

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

I'm surprised that no one has done this one yet but Doom (1993).



Theres not a huge amount left to say about this game that hasn't been said a gently caress load of times already but it's one of if not the single most important and influential game of all time (and also is my favourite game of all time).

It wasn't the first fps by a long shot but it defined the genre (to the point where almost every fps that came out after that up until maybe Half Life was called a Doom clone). It's still the fastest fps of all time with Doom Guy being able to reach a blistering 40kmph while strafing

It spawned first person shooters as a full on genre and influenced Quake (which was originally going to be an ARPG until iD changed direction) and Half Life, which went on to influence a whole ream of games.

It practically gave birth to the speedrunning genre by having completion times at the end of the each level (with John Romero having set par times so gamers could match their skills to his).

On a more technical level it was the first game to show off the PC as a proper graphical powerhouse. Before this most of the heavy hitting graphical games were on consoles and PCs were confined to graphical adventure games. Doom really changed that to the point where even console ports of it struggled to match the PC counterpart. Iirc it was the first online shooter.

In terms of cultural impact it was huge. Due to the first (and best) chapter being shareware almost everyone I knew had played it at one point or another. The game was practically designed with custom modding via .wad files in mind, first with custom maps and also went on to become totally open source later on in the 90s

A lot of shooters have fallen by the wayside and have been all but lost to time due to technical limitations and just not holding up well compared to modern games and it says a lot that Doom has managed to hold this off. It still plays incredibly well today (with a minor floor polisher graphical mod) and I would absolutely recommend anyone that hasn't played Doom to do so, even if it's just to run around with a chainsaw munching through some Imps.

CyberPingu fucked around with this message at 10:12 on Aug 20, 2021

Party Boat
Oct 31, 2007

where did that other dog come from

who is he




:yeah:

After completing Doom (2016) I realised that all my experience with the original had been with IDDQD and IDKFA because I was an idiot kid who was bad at games. One legit playthrough (only on Hurt Me Plenty because I'm now an idiot adult who's bad at games) confirmed that it's still great. iD created some incredible game making tools and then used them to create some genius levels.

I know a lot of kids took the same approach as me and cheated their way through the game, and I'd encourage anyone who did to give it a proper go.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

Party Boat posted:

:yeah:

After completing Doom (2016) I realised that all my experience with the original had been with IDDQD and IDKFA because I was an idiot kid who was bad at games. One legit playthrough (only on Hurt Me Plenty because I'm now an idiot adult who's bad at games) confirmed that it's still great. iD created some incredible game making tools and then used them to create some genius levels.

I know a lot of kids took the same approach as me and cheated their way through the game, and I'd encourage anyone who did to give it a proper go.

My first time playing it at a friend's house we didn't know about the cheats, we were only playing the shareware version but still got wrecked by the Barons of Hell at the end.

It wasn't until I picked it up again in the collection version which was released around the time of the movie that I discovered the cheats.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



IDSPISPOPD is seared into my brain :sweatdrop:

First PC I got (486 DX2 66mhz with a whopping 420mb harddrive!) came with the Doom shareware and I played it CONSTANTLY. I had friends come around to play it. I played it every waking moment I could, learned the levels backwards and forwards, played with cheats and without them, honed my reflexes to an insane level on quickloads when I'd saved 0.00000002 of a second before getting killed and learned to move in 0.00000001 of a second to dodge the attack etc. The music, the way damage was communicated to the player, the monsters, the atmosphere.... Doom was, is and probably ever will be one of the greatest games ever made.

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.


CyberPingu posted:

I'm surprised that no one has done this one yet but Doom (1993).

It wasn't the first fps by a long shot but it defined the genre (to the point where almost every fps that came out after that up until maybe Half Life was called a Doom clone). It's still the fastest fps of all time with Doom Guy being able to reach a blistering 40kmph while strafing

A lot of shooters have fallen by the wayside and have been all but lost to time due to technical limitations and just not holding up well compared to modern games and it says a lot that Doom has managed to hold this off. It still plays incredibly well today (with a minor floor polisher graphical mod) and I would absolutely recommend anyone that hasn't played Doom to do so, even if it's just to run around with a chainsaw munching through some Imps.

I want to add to this:

A lot of people who play shooters these days probably don't realize just how different they play from Doom. Even though its old, its worth playing to this day because of that particular balance of game mechanics.

One of those being doomguy's ability to move at 40kmph while strafing, and many enemies having projectile attacks, means that Doom almost plays out more like a twin-stick shooter like Robotron than something like Call of Duty. Ducking behind cover rarely happens because moving at full speed means you're nearly as well protected but can also fire back.

Doom also has incredible enemy variety, probably the best and most iconic rogues gallery of videogames.

But the best thing about Doom 1/2 in 2021 is that its so easy to make doom content. If you want to make a map for Crysis 3 you're going to spend hundreds of hours, or only use stock assets (and still spend a long time). If you want to make a map for Battlefield 5, you need to work for DICE. But you, yes you, even if you have no mapping experience, you can build levels of Doom yourself in minutes to a few hours, and play them and share them. Its so fast and easy. And because doom is doom, the bar for detail is very low. You're *expected* to make blocky worlds, that's the doom engine. There's no expectation of hyper-detail photorealism. Its possible to make content that is even better looking than what the original developers did with their full budget! (It was 1993 after all)

Whoever you are, if you're reading this, please download doom builder and try making a map. Its so fun and easy. https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=232&t=66745

As a result, the doom mapping community is insanely prolific and has done things that absolutely dwarf the original releases of doom. Custom WADs have pushed the envelope with new technology and game mechanics and both made better doom maps and also used the doom engine to make non-doom things.

Doom loving rules.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

Jerusalem posted:

IDSPISPOPD is seared into my brain :sweatdrop:

First PC I got (486 DX2 66mhz with a whopping 420mb harddrive!) came with the Doom shareware and I played it CONSTANTLY. I had friends come around to play it. I played it every waking moment I could, learned the levels backwards and forwards, played with cheats and without them, honed my reflexes to an insane level on quickloads when I'd saved 0.00000002 of a second before getting killed and learned to move in 0.00000001 of a second to dodge the attack etc. The music, the way damage was communicated to the player, the monsters, the atmosphere.... Doom was, is and probably ever will be one of the greatest games ever made.

The funny thing about the music is a lot of it is actually rock music from the time just synth'd up and changed juuuust enough to avoid copyright.

That's why e1m1 is basically master of puppets in reverse.

And one of the later stages is a switched around Hells Bells.

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



CyberPingu posted:

I'm surprised that no one has done this one yet but Doom (1993).



Theres not a huge amount left to say about this game that hasn't been said a gently caress load of times already but it's one of if not the single most important and influential game of all time (and also is my favourite game of all time).

It wasn't the first fps by a long shot but it defined the genre (to the point where almost every fps that came out after that up until maybe Half Life was called a Doom clone). It's still the fastest fps of all time with Doom Guy being able to reach a blistering 40kmph while strafing

It spawned first person shooters as a full on genre and influenced Quake (which was originally going to be an ARPG until iD changed direction) and Half Life, which went on to influence a whole ream of games.

It practically gave birth to the speedrunning genre by having completion times at the end of the each level (with John Romero having set par times so gamers could match their skills to his).

On a more technical level it was the first game to show off the PC as a proper graphical powerhouse. Before this most of the heavy hitting graphical games were on consoles and PCs were confined to graphical adventure games. Doom really changed that to the point where even console ports of it struggled to match the PC counterpart. Iirc it was the first online shooter.

In terms of cultural impact it was huge. Due to the first (and best) chapter being shareware almost everyone I knew had played it at one point or another. The game was practically designed with custom modding via .wad files in mind, first with custom maps and also went on to become totally open source later on in the 90s

A lot of shooters have fallen by the wayside and have been all but lost to time due to technical limitations and just not holding up well compared to modern games and it says a lot that Doom has managed to hold this off. It still plays incredibly well today (with a minor floor polisher graphical mod) and I would absolutely recommend anyone that hasn't played Doom to do so, even if it's just to run around with a chainsaw munching through some Imps.

I freaked the gently caress out when I beat this game no cheats on our family's 486 in my stepdad's office. I think I was 10. That might have been the first time I ever properly beat a game, looking back.

Working on a Sekiro effort post because it's the game of my dreams.

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



My parents wouldn't buy it for me because it was too violent. Duke Nukem 3D came with a joystick, but they wouldn't let me install it. :(

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

Harold Fjord posted:

I freaked the gently caress out when I beat this game no cheats on our family's 486 in my stepdad's office. I think I was 10. That might have been the first time I ever properly beat a game, looking back.

Working on a Sekiro effort post because it's the game of my dreams.

When we finally beat the Barons of Hell at the end of chapter 1 we marked out. Probably the first time I've really got excited over a video game.

We then spent about 3 hours trying to survive the intended death when you finish chapter 1

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.


CyberPingu posted:

The funny thing about the music is a lot of it is actually rock music from the time just synth'd up and changed juuuust enough to avoid copyright.

Honestly doom released today probably wouldn't pass copyright, they barely even changed half the songs. They're basically straight midi covers of pantera and metallica.

Dominoes posted:

My parents wouldn't buy it for me because it was too violent. Duke Nukem 3D came with a joystick, but they wouldn't let me install it. :(

Same, so I had to play doom and heretic at my friend's house. But they let me play Dark Forces which is just star wars doom.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

Zaphod42 posted:

Honestly doom released today probably wouldn't pass copyright, they barely even changed half the songs. They're basically straight midi covers of pantera and metallica.



Pretty much yeah.

It owns.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Somehow Guilty Gear still keeps on truckin' despite all their songs basically being lifted directly from contemporary prog rock and metal.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

exquisite tea posted:

Somehow Guilty Gear still keeps on truckin' despite all their songs basically being lifted directly from contemporary prog rock and metal.

I don't think anyone* really cares unless you are literally copying it.

*There are obvious exceptions to this.

victrix
Oct 30, 2007




It's why the original Rock n Roll Racing ruled

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55Pk2qNVvKk

Just the cheesiest midi ripoffs

(we played so much multi in that game :allears:)

Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


CyberPingu posted:

The funny thing about the music is a lot of it is actually rock music from the time just synth'd up and changed juuuust enough to avoid copyright.

That's why e1m1 is basically master of puppets in reverse.

And one of the later stages is a switched around Hells Bells.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w0afsPqT8A

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.


exquisite tea posted:

Somehow Guilty Gear still keeps on truckin' despite all their songs basically being lifted directly from contemporary prog rock and metal.

Really? None of their tracks seem as lifted, do you have an example?

Like Blue Water Blue Sky or Awe of She rule, and I can't think of any prog rock with those riffs.

But doom is LITERALLY the same notes.

I did a google for "guilty gear music knockoff" and literally nothing came up. If you do that for doom, there's 200 youtube videos comparing how back to back the doom songs sound exactly the same.

What's more, Guilty Gear has started recording wholly original tracks. And Doom doesn't do the same thing anymore, Doom Eternal did original djenty music, likely because they would get sued to hell if they tried to pull the doom 1/2 soundtracks in 2020.

E: Okay, I found a comparison video, it seems a few of their really old tracks did sorta sound like some power metal songs, but it doesn't seem as bad as doom and they haven't done it in awhile likely for legal reasons. The games are chock full of music references in the game, obviously.

E2: And some of these are beyond a stretch. Somebody is claiming "holy orders be just or be dead" is ripping off Malmsteen's "rising force" and just... no. They're not remotely the same. Chuggy guitars with pedal tones are not all created equal, that's not copying someone's song that's just how you play guitar.

Zaphod42 fucked around with this message at 17:24 on Aug 21, 2021

After The War
Apr 12, 2005

to all of my Architects
let me be traitor



Not to derail too much (I'm working on my own real post, I swear), I love when "showy cheesy studio guy" lead guitar is inserted into punk-based alternative songs like this. And since Kurt is too dead to take offense to that one, here's my favorite time it happened live:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm7flMpKK5Y

(skip to 2:30 for the house band's inappropriate solo followed by Mascis's noiserock tantrum. It's great on headphones!)

Torquemada
Oct 21, 2010

Drei Gläser


Harold Fjord posted:

Working on a Sekiro effort post because it's the game of my dreams.
I loved the look of it, but I think as a 50 year old with hardly any gamepad experience and no Souls-like experience at all I’d be wasting my money.

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.


Torquemada posted:

I loved the look of it, but I think as a 50 year old with hardly any gamepad experience and no Souls-like experience at all I’d be wasting my money.

If you want to learn it you can, and in some ways souls lnowledge can actually slow you down. But if you have little gamepad experience you will have to spend some time building muscle memory. You CAN do it, 100%, its just a question of if you want to.

victrix
Oct 30, 2007




Sekiro is an absolute masterclass is difficulty, challenge, and player growth

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.


The biggest challenge with Sekiro is its only single player. Souls games even if you were ultra bad you could just summon a goon to play the game for you. But Sekiro you can't do that. Still, all it really takes is perseverance and practice.

bewilderment
Nov 22, 2007
man what





I found Sekiro to be much more beatable than Bloodborne, simply because Sekiro gives you back a 100% damage reduction block.

The stealth also helps - other than the bosses, getting through any given area in Sekiro is actually pretty easy most of the time.

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

bewilderment posted:

I found Sekiro to be much more beatable than Bloodborne, simply because Sekiro gives you back a 100% damage reduction block.

The stealth also helps - other than the bosses, getting through any given area in Sekiro is actually pretty easy most of the time.

I found Sekiro a lot harder. I dunno something about the parry mechanic in Sekiro just took a lot longer to get than Bloodbornes. I still don't have Sekiros parry timings down very well at all

Groovelord Neato
Dec 6, 2014




Torquemada posted:

I loved the look of it, but I think as a 50 year old with hardly any gamepad experience and no Souls-like experience at all I’d be wasting my money.

Sekiro has my second favorite combat in a game (after Bloodborne) and people even worse at games than me have beat it so I do think the difficulty is exaggerated like with all FromSoft games but it is a solo affair you can't really grind or summon help (apart from some NPCs in certain fights) that does trivialize some tough encounters in the other games.

edit: Look like Zaphod beat me to it:

Zaphod42 posted:

The biggest challenge with Sekiro is its only single player. Souls games even if you were ultra bad you could just summon a goon to play the game for you. But Sekiro you can't do that. Still, all it really takes is perseverance and practice.

fast cars loose anus
Mar 2, 2007

Your 2017 World Series MVP




Pillbug

CyberPingu posted:

The funny thing about the music is a lot of it is actually rock music from the time just synth'd up and changed juuuust enough to avoid copyright.

That's why e1m1 is basically master of puppets in reverse.

And one of the later stages is a switched around Hells Bells.

e1m1 is the chorus of No Remorse :colbert:

I forget what levels they are but the ones that use Them Bones, Angry Chair (both Alice in Chains) and This Love (Pantera) are just complete, straight up ripoffs without a single attempt to disguise them from what I can tell. I'm sure there are other examples. I'm surprised they got away with it back then but they definitely wouldn't now.

Thothanon
May 3, 2007


THE ELDER SCROLLS II: DAGGERFALL

Daggerfall takes the idea of procedural generation that is so trendy these days and says, 'hold my beer.' The game world encompasses approximately 209,331 square kilometers, filled with towns and graveyards and temples and dungeons. Most of the towns are procedurally-generated. Most of the dungeons are procedurally-generated. Quests are drawn from a general list and filled out with specific NPCs, items, and dungeons.

The game is brutally hard. Those who have played Morrowind or other old-school fantasy RPGs will be familiar with 'to-hit,' which means you have a chance to hit an enemy. That also means, unfortunately, you have a chance to miss an enemy. And you will miss. Over and over. Which means you will die, over and over. Some people have difficulty escaping the first dungeon (between the monsters and the maze). Every enemy is a potential threat.

And the dungeons, oh the dungeons. They are huge and convoluted mazes full of deadly monsters. I have spent hours wandering a single dungeon. There are hundreds, if not thousands, in the game. They can be incredibly frustrating. There are some spells that can make things more tolerable and, if all else fails, a console command that can bring you to the quest target.

You can make magic items. You can create your own spells. You can summon Daedra. You can teleport. You can join the Guilds or the Temples and run quests until you advance in rank. You can break into houses and steal things. You can pickpocket people. You can join the Dark Brotherhood. Improve your skills. Save Daggerfall from the King's ghost.

I never got to play Daggerfall when it came out. The computer we had wasn't powerful enough. All I could do was drool over the pictures in gaming mags and imagine how cool it must be.

DAGGERFALL UNITY

What is Daggerfall Unity? It is a fascinating bit of wizard magic that allows you to play Daggerfall in the Unity engine. With hundreds of quality-of-life changes and a wide variety of mods. It reached parity with the original Daggerfall (in terms of functionality and content) three years ago. Since then it's been all about implementing new functionality and extending things for mods.

Installation instructions: https://forums.dfworkshop.net/viewtopic.php?t=2360

It's my understanding that the Daggerfall Game Files have been released to the public, so this should be on the up and up. However, if someone has different information then I can edit out the link.

Daggerfall Unity is how I imagined the game in my head all those years ago.

THE MODS
https://www.nexusmods.com/daggerfallunity/mods/top/

There are a decent number of mods that significantly alter the game. I have installed most of them, and surprisingly the game works great. I don't recommend Real Grass as it tanked my loading speed. If you have a question about a particular mod feel free to ask. The best thing to do if you're having a problem is disable all mods and re-enable them one at a time, testing in between each mod.

D.R.E.A.M. is the mod you have to have. It remasters all the audio-visual assets. It takes Daggerfall from a 149 Mb game to over 3 gigs. I also highly recommend Physical Combat and Armor Overhaul. It alters combat just enough to make it interesting. I have found that rather than lots of misses punctuated by instantly lethal hits combat becomes about wearing down the enemy.

There are lots of other mods I use that I can't see living without: NPC and enemy health bars, a clock, enhanced skybox.

Have fun getting lost!

fast cars loose anus
Mar 2, 2007

Your 2017 World Series MVP




Pillbug

You fucker.

I played an astonishing number of hours of Daggerfall and never beat the main quest until I bought a guide, but it didn't matter because I could make up my own story over that giant chunk of land and here I am installing it and looking at mods again.

I do miss that aspect of being a child where you were able to make your own stories in your head in games like Privateer and Daggerfall etc rather than needing it made for you, but that's part of growing up I suppose.

e: maybe not "were able to" but "it was a lot easier for me then than now"

fast cars loose anus fucked around with this message at 19:13 on Sep 8, 2021

dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




Homeworld
Relic Entertainment
1999

In his “Why Read the Classics?”, when discussing the Odyssey, Italo Calvino brings perhaps one of the best commentaries on why it is such a fundamental work of what we call literature. To make it short, his analysis is about the many odysseys within the Odyssey, because of peculiar elements of narrative structure that allow the astute reader to realize that Ulysses’ odyssey might not be the only one. Ulysses hears about his feats from a blind man (not too dissimilar to Homer), to then finish the tale himself; inside that recollection, he goes to Tiresias in Hades, who then describes what Ulysses did next. This constant recalling, constant back-and-forth, constant retelling is elementary to the ancient Greek oral tradition: the ability to recover the tale was the most precious attribute of the rhapsode (or storyteller if you prefer) and forgetfulness was their dread. Whether Ulysses or Homer, they must recall the story; they must learn how to return. If they forget how to return, then they forget themselves. As Italo puts it:

quote:

The return must be sought out and thought of and remembered: the danger is that it can be forgotten before it even happens.

On closer examination, this risk of forgetfulness is one which is threatened several times in books 9—12: first in the invitation of the Lotus-eaters, then in Circe's drugs, then again in the Sirens' song. On each occasion Ulysses must take care, if he does not want to forget in an instant… Forget what? The Trojan War? The siege? The Trojan horse? No: his home, his return voyage, the whole point of his journey. The expression used by Homer on these occasions is 'to forget the return'. Ulysses must not forget the road he has to travel, the shape of his destiny: in short, he must not forget The Odyssey.



In Homeworld, that happened to an entire civilization. The Kushan, the people that comprise the nations of the desert planet of Kharak, not only learn that they were not indigenous to that world but also that they were driven from theirs, somehow. “Hiigara” - home - was marked on a stone map found in the wreck of a spaceship buried in the sands. United in purpose, the Kushan put themselves into a great work that takes more than a century, a massive effort, unparalleled in scale and endeavor, focused entirely on solving that one problem: how to return?

For a debut title, Homeworld can easily be considered one of the finest in the history of gaming. More than twenty years from its release, it still remains incredibly singular in the medium. Sadly, it might have been lightning in a bottle: Relic’s later body of work, personally, did not reach the great heights set by its first game. The sequel, while a great game by its own right, has a much poorer presentation and narrative quality. Not coincidentally, it flounders because it forgets, or does not realize, what has made the predecessor great. A lot has been said about its gameplay, the third dimension allowing for some truly amazing tactical approaches and spectacular visuals, yet Homeworld remains underrated and underappreciated in its aesthetics. The story, the art, the sound: there’s something of Frank Herbert’s Dune that permeates the game in the best of ways, a great reference that subtly informs but never trespasses, perhaps most represented in Paul Ruskay’s truly spectacular music that conveys the feel of distant eastern deserts. Expanses invulnerable to time, made of impossible distances. It is fitting. Is there any greater desert than space itself?

It is fortuitous that the Kushan have become a desert people, then. To return to Hiigara they must again cross the greatest emptiness of all, without knowing what led them there first. As the player learns the game and the Kushan remember their spacefaring, what started as an expedition to find their home becomes an Exodus by necessity. Through powerful circumstances established millennia ago, in an antiquity forgotten to those desert tribes, Kharak was a sentence of exile. In leaving, having forgotten the ancient terms, the Kushan invited the punishment from the skies that their mythology ever hounded them about. This is exodus in its most profound meaning: in trying to return to their true home, they lose the only one they ever knew.



Maybe any exodus is an odyssey? Moses, raised an Egyptian, must become again a Hebrew to truly be his people’s prophet and lawgiver as ordained by God. In a mythical sense, he has to remember his origins - he must return to himself. Only by doing this he can then deliver the Israelites. However, such things are far from easy. He has to learn on the job (so to speak) to be a prophet of God. In one of the most difficult passages of the Torah, God tries to kill Moses. He is saved by his wife, Zipporah, who circumcises their firstborn on the spot with a stone. Why would He try to do so, wondered the theologists? One of the main arguments from Jewish scholars is to demonstrate that nobody is exempt from divine commandment, not even the prophet of the Exodus. Moses, not fostered as a Hebrew, believed they could circumcise their son once their journey was done, and didn’t realize he was defying God.

Learning how to return is not so different from remembering how to return. Menelaus, also lost in the Odyssey, binds Proteus with the instructions of his daughter, to ask “tell me how I can return over the sea teeming with fish?”

Proteus knows everything there is to know about the sea. Therefore, he also knows all nostoi, the Greek tales of a hero that returns from nautical voyages. It is a rather interesting context for that question, though. Toying with interpretation, there’s a good metacommentary there: Menelaus asks Proteus about how to return because he forgot his story. The actor forgot his lines. He has to relearn his part from the master storyteller. To tell the Odyssey from memory, the rhapsode must come back to it again and again and again, until they learn it whole and then can perform its return in its entirety. Until then, it is never truly realized.



After a century of learning and studying for their great endeavor, the Kushan start their journey figuring out how to travel in hyperspace without blowing everything up. They become really surprised when they manage to do so. They learn how to cross the interstellar deserts, then how to survive from the many resources scattered in their vastness. Like other great journeys of myth, they also have enemies. These naïve greenhorn spacefarers are called to the sword almost immediately, and to defend all that remains from Kharak, they must build an entire navy worthy of an heroic epic from nothing but salvage and floating rocks. As they manage to survive, as they manage to fight, as they manage to win, one may wonder if these Kushan were not masters of the astral seas in their antiquity. As above, so below: they didn’t just survive on Kharak, they prospered there, somehow. Managed to recreate themselves into an entirely new civilization. Perhaps they always were masters of the desert.

Such mastery must also terrified their adversaries, the Taiidan, who burn down their residence in exile when detecting their first hyperspace jump. Their odyssey and exodus is also a holy war, too. The process of waging retribution becomes inseparable from the return to home as they navigate the stars, meet other cultures, fight their enemies, find strange wondrous places while learning, studying, researching and developing everything necessary to realize their goal, all at once. As they advance, the Taiidan become increasingly maniacal as the Kushan draw near Hiigara, their mighty emperor personally invested in the destruction of these exiles. Fearing either prophecy or some long-forgotten antiquity where they were akin to a Mongol horde among the stars (or both), the Taiidan overcommit in their war on them, opening dissension on their ranks and a massive rebellion is well underway when they come to the home stretch. The rebels sympathize and help them understand their situation: the Kushan have no other way around it. To come home to Hiigara, they must destroy an empire. They succeed.



When the woman once integrated with the Mothership’s circuitry to become Fleet Command puts her feet into Hiigara, the Kushan nations cease to be. As Odysseus returns to Ithaca an entirely new man, so do the people of Kharak transform themselves.

“But”, the question lies in the air, full of expectation, “weren’t they always Hiigarans?”

Here is the greatness of Homeworld’s story, which draws from the greatness of the Odyssey, which is the greatness of all voyages when they enter the language of myth, even personal ones: the miracle of returning into the New. It isn’t reaction or nostalgia. This is the return of transformation, the necessary conclusion for the realization of the future. The voyage is the process of understanding and becoming. Hiigara isn’t just “home”: it is also the future, remembered.

Italo Calvino posted:

On this theme of 'forgetting the future', I wrote a few thoughts some years ago (in the Corriere della sera, 10 August 1975) which ended: 'What Ulysses saves from the power of the lotus, from Circe's drugs, and from the Sirens' song, is not just the past or the future. Memory truly counts — for an individual, a society, a culture — only if it holds together the imprint of the past and the plan for the future, if it allows one to do things without forgetting what one wanted to do, and to become without ceasing to be, to be without ceasing to become.'

Lechtansi
Mar 23, 2004

Item Get


dead gay comedy forums posted:

Homeworld
Relic Entertainment
1999

All of this, yes, but can I just remind everyone of the single most heartbreaking cutscene in the history of video gaming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7sAYbCTmPo

Lechtansi fucked around with this message at 17:10 on Sep 18, 2021

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


If you're not striving to improve, you'll end up going backwards.

poo poo yeah, Homeworld is loving amazing.

My one gripe with it is that you can get into an unwinnable situation and not know about it as units persist over missions.

Sway Grunt
May 15, 2004

Tenochtitlan, looking east.


I did a pretty poor job maintaining my fleet over the course of the Homeworld campaign and made it to the final mission in dodgy shape. Painstakingly micromanaging every ship and quicksaving/loading my way through that mission to just barely get over the finish line is still one of my most cathartic moments / greatest triumphs in games.

Then they ruined it with that lovely Yes song over the credits but oh well!!

dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




Sway Grunt posted:

Then they ruined it with that lovely Yes song over the credits but oh well!!

The less said about that the better. Feels nowadays like a “you had to be there” thing. It was very 90s, Bowie was on videogames, etc

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lllllllllllllllllll
Feb 28, 2010

Now the scene's lighting is perfect!


I had a blast playing Homeworld when it came out. Then I tried to re-experience it again a few years later but was too impatient and it didn't work for me.

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