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DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



More journal!

Episode 18: Journal (Part 2)

Chimera-gui posted:

Yeah, Raz nearly gets an asylum patient killed in their own mental world do to a poor understanding of the problem and his own lack of proper training as a Psychonaut.

So there was a reason to be concerned about morally unscrupulous psychics doing unimaginable mental damage to innocent people. But I had always assumed that the actual Psychonauts would work to prevent that kind of crap since it would hurt their own reputation.

I would imagine that the reason for all the Psychonauts camps and all that are to make sure people don't go nuts and burn things down, yeah. It would be nice if you could get rid of mental disorders with a mind vacuum IRL.

E, 10/12: Not going to be able to update for a couple of days because my head cold is making it hard to speak coherently. Will resume things when I can breathe properly.

DreamShipWrecked fucked around with this message at Oct 12, 2016 around 20:53

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DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



Hey folks, I'm getting over things so that means it's back to videos! I have recording the last of the footage (man, that final boss) and will be putting up the rest of the videos starting next week. Thanks for waiting and sorry for the unscheduled hiatus.

DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



Update!

Episode 19: Even More Reading

The audio here is a little bit hollow sounding due to mic issues, but we're finishing up the journal!

DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



Update!

Episode 20: Jumping Like Clockwork

I have the rest of the audio recorded and everything is set, I am going to edit everything this weekend and we can finish this story up next week!

resurgam40
Jul 22, 2007

Battler, the literal stupidest man on earth. Why are you even here, Battler, why did you come back to this place so you could fuck literally everything up?

I dunno, I always kinda enjoyed Machinations, especially after the relative monotony and confusion of the mazes; it has my favorite track playing throughout and the fact they made the falls non-lethal just allowed me top focus on the puzzles, and I enjoyed the breather from enemies. I suppose the 'puzzle', such as it is, isn't that impressive looking back, but I found it strangely meditative to match my pace to the cogwork around me... maybe it's because I did play it when it came out (or maybe I'm just weird), but it never bothered me so much. In fact, I don't remember being bothered by anything the game threw at me that much; there were some enemies that were trying and annoying to deal with (like the ladybugs for example, or those loving snarks), but on the whole, the game never tipped that far into the frustration part on the fun-to-frustration ratio of game theory. I guess that means I find American McGee to be a competent level designer, all things considered.

DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



Machinations is kind of a good example of the later levels of AMA, in the sense that it is different and the levels are well done but it is missing the more inspired design of the earlier levels, like Skool and Fungiferous Flora. It isn't *bad*, but after the absolute slog that the mazes were something fun and dynamic would do a lot to blow of some steam.

If it was earlier in the game and mixed between some of the other things then I would view it better, but a timing jumping puzzle isn't a great way to round things off after the mazes.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Mary Worth had an illicit affair with Refurb and kidnapped Sophie when she learned the truth. Little did Sophie know, but she was held in Apartment 3G under the watchful eye of The Phantom until Dick Tracy rescued her. Meanwhile, in spite of everything, Working Daze still sucked.



I think there are a few reasons why Alice is so fondly remembered, and a lot of them are to do with the time it came out.

First there's the voice acting. About half of it is poo poo, but that was pretty much standard, so the fact that the remaining half is amazing carries a lot of weight.

Second is the weapons. Most of them are really cool and most of them tie in really well to the story and setting. Some of them remain among my favourite video game weapons even now.

Third is the writing. The story isn't anything special, but there are some really great lines (and Joss Whedon's entire career is evidence of how far that can take you).

Fourth is the gameplay. It's nothing amazing, but it's never terrible. Some bits aren't great, there aren't really any bits that stand out, but when you look back on it you can think "yeah, I had fun the whole time. I never wanted to quit from boredom or frustration." Even now that's not an easy thing to achieve.

Fifth is the music. It's just great and entirely suited to the game.

But mostly I think it comes down to the overall look and feel. The graphics are blocky and low-res, but the way eveything's put together transcends that. They knew what their limitations were and they used the tools at their disposal to great effect. Nothing looks realistic or impressive, but they communicated their ideas incredibly well, so you don't need to see it in order to experience it. Objectively, it looks poo poo. And it's not like we didn't know that at the time either, but it didn't matter because this game sucks you in and makes you believe it.

There's a very solid concept at the core of the game and every part of it works toward that central idea. Some bits aren't executed very well, but nothing is out of place.

BioEnchanted
Aug 9, 2011
I ACTUALLY PLAYED THE GAME "VEXX" IN THE YEAR 2016 HOLY SHIT. THIS ISN'T EVEN AN ANGRY TITLE, I AM A GOD DAMN GAMING HERO

I honestly like some of the Cat's new lines in Madness Returrns, like when Alice is defending Bumby in the beginning and states that he says that different is good. The Cat's response: "Different denotes neither bad, nor good but it certainly means not the same! Find Hatter..."

DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



We're finishing this up! Today we have the second to last episode, and I'm making Halloween the day for the finale. Look forward to it!

Episode 21: Gamut

I will note that it sounds like I am ragging on the game in these last few episodes, I'm really not. I'm just a bit disappointed that the later levels did not live up to the promise of the earlier ones in terms of design and engagement. I still like the game, I just think that it could have been a lot more. It was definitely innovative for the time, and even now is certainly fun to play through.

Crabtree
Oct 17, 2012


I don't think there is a perfect formula for horror. Some are good very vague and some are good very intricate and detailed in lore or world rules. Every horror story doesn't need to be silent hill where you bring your own interpretations of anything, because even that needs the foundation of Silent Hill the Spooky Town itself otherwise there's no franchise. But I think Alice has a very specific grounding that whether or not Wonderland is "real", its a part of Alice that is deeply tied to her. I like how the journal you're given doesn't really have perfect answers as it fits for what its trying to depict, only Alice can see and feel what her personal madness is like and no doctor can really peer into her brain and see it like she does - especially some 19th century quack that probably fumbled with the idea of still using leaches or return to loving humors theory as he readies the laudanum enema.

DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



The ambiguity card is something that makes for the best horror stories but also most of the garbage ones, which is the tricky part. It can bolster an already great story, or completely gently caress up a good one like in the case of Fran Bow, but it very rarely will save a bad plot.

There also is a big difference between ambiguity at the ending and a sequel hook. Hooks are almost universally garbage.

I do agree that the journal is a huge boon to the story, and makes for an interesting change in the sense that Alice isn't just raving this inside her head, she is actually interacting with the real world in symbolic ways. Stabbing the orderlies/Twins is the most obvious example, because if she was just comatose it wouldn't really matter if she ever got better. But since she is a danger to herself and others in the real world there are higher stakes to her fixing her own mind before she gets lobotomized.

DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



We are destined to fight the Red Queen, the outcome is uncertain.

Episode 22: Happy Ending

Thank you all for watching, it has been a lot of fun going through this game. A special thanks to Grimlock and Kriss for their efforts in the earlier videos, my schedule kind of fell apart which made co-commentation difficult but I had a lot of fun commenting with them.

I am going to take a break from SA LPS for a bit but I'll be back with something else soon. In the meantime I'll be streaming and recording regular stuff, which will be announced on my twitter.

And happy Halloween!

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Mary Worth had an illicit affair with Refurb and kidnapped Sophie when she learned the truth. Little did Sophie know, but she was held in Apartment 3G under the watchful eye of The Phantom until Dick Tracy rescued her. Meanwhile, in spite of everything, Working Daze still sucked.


I was hoping it would play whenever you first picked up the tea, but apparently it's just the first one you can find, so you missed the best cat line.

Cat's death is a real shock the first time you lay, it's really effective.

As for why the final boss has Alice's head inside Hatter's inside a monster's, it's because it's all layers of abstraction Alice has built up around her own guilt. She is the final boss because she blames herself, but she can't see that until she's ready. On the surface she's confident, self-assured and powerful, but it's false bravado. She has to face herself in order to stop blaming herself.

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


Tiggum posted:

I was hoping it would play whenever you first picked up the tea, but apparently it's just the first one you can find, so you missed the best cat line.

That's partially why I was hoping he'd find it sooner.

Edit: I honestly don't mind that Wonderland's corruption in the sequel was do to outside influence since, and this is just my understanding, it's supposed to represent Alice's own fragile mind. Remember that even thoughs she was able to leave the asylum, trauma tends to last a long time if not permanently so at best she'd be able to manage her mental state but she has by no means recovered completely and presumably can never recover completely.

Chimera-gui fucked around with this message at Nov 2, 2016 around 19:43

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DreamShipWrecked
Jan 11, 2013



Tiggum posted:

I was hoping it would play whenever you first picked up the tea, but apparently it's just the first one you can find, so you missed the best cat line.

Cat's death is a real shock the first time you lay, it's really effective.

As for why the final boss has Alice's head inside Hatter's inside a monster's, it's because it's all layers of abstraction Alice has built up around her own guilt. She is the final boss because she blames herself, but she can't see that until she's ready. On the surface she's confident, self-assured and powerful, but it's false bravado. She has to face herself in order to stop blaming herself.

I think you messed up your link, because the best line of the game is clearly this


Chimera-gui posted:

That's partially why I was hoping he'd find it sooner.

Edit: I honestly don't mind that Wonderland's corruption in the sequel was do to outside influence since, and this is just my understanding, it's supposed to represent Alice's own fragile mind. Remember that even thoughs she was able to leave the asylum, trauma tends to last a long time if not permanently so at best she'd be able to manage her mental state but she has by no means recovered completely and presumably can never recover completely.

It does open the interesting question of whether Alice would have recovered fully if she had not been intentionally driven back into madness. Time heals all wounds, but not when someone is constantly trying to rip them open again.

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