Sunday, September 18, 2011

Monday Musings - 19th Sept, 2011

An interesting week for musing all up. Let's muse to it!

Fallout: New Vegas (Steam)

Level 30 was reached. While there were some companions left to acquire (mainly for an achievement), the nature of companions, that they have to open up to you over time, travelling the wastes seemed to prolong gameplay past its interesting point. The final mission was triggered and off to Hoover Dam the party went.

What a spectacular finale. The boomers and remnants made a splash, the legion was dealt with, the NCR was made to listen to reason, and Mr. House triumphed. Then through a series of stills and voiceover, the fates of all the factions and significant characters that the Courier had come into contact with were explained. Most endings were satisfactory. A couple were not but when the DLC goes on sale, some of these problematic endings may be rectified.

Persona 4 (PS2)

Now that New Vegas is over, back to Persona 4. Only a couple hours have been played as it took a little time to reaccustomise to the game. Not all RPGs are created equal after all. Every now and then there's a thought that handing over control of the other party members to the AI is a fine thing to do. They might play out strategies not thought of by a human player. Then after a few battles, control is always changed back to direct commands. The option is nice, and of course it might work for some players, but the ability to fully control all of one's party is just as important.

Accelerator (Kongregate)

The link to the game is above. This column will try to play an indie game each week from now on as they're usually quick to play, and usually interesting. This section will probably be in between a review and the usual analysis.

Accelerator is a game where you see how far you can travel. Using your mouse (complete with sensitivity options in the options screen), you avoid hitting things as each second you travel faster, and faster, and faster, and faster. You start out at 100 and then every hundred after that you unlock that speed to start at, complete with its own leaderboard (a tip: always start a couple hundred back from your maximum).

What sells the game is its oppressive atmosphere. Escher like corridors with a hint of Tron, which branch off similar to an optical illusion, all the meanwhile an ambient soundtrack of dread induced whooshing keeps you tense and unsure how much longer it can last.

It's a nightmarish roller coaster of death, but carries the same exhilaration as you'd expect from such a ride. Will the sequel be named Decelerator? How will that one work?

Final Thoughts

Long time readers will have noticed that there was a bit of a tonal shift in the writing this week. I was trying an experiment where i try not to refer to myself in discussing my gameplay experiences over the last week. Having come this far, i have the impression that aside from forcing me to creatively frame my thoughts better, it serves little purpose and may actually be a detriment. Here's my thinking.

When writing about games, try as we might, we cannot remove our own experiences from our words as our experience is all we have to go on. In this way reviews and critiques are kind of pointless. Every player is going to have a unique experience wholly to themselves no matter how good or bad a game is (and of course this quantifier of quality suffers the same problem). That's why the best a consumer can do if they enjoy reviews, is to scour the net and published material, trying to find a reviewer that seems to share their perceptions of what constitutes a good or bad experience.

Because of this, a lot of conflict is born. People who love or hate a certain title get angry at others who have had a different experience. To try and deflect this before it starts, i write with heavy use of the personal pronoun 'I'. In this way i signal to people that this is my opinion, the way i see and think about things. Without this, i'm still expressing the same opinions, but these opinions seem to carry an extra weight. They seem to try and pass themselves off as factual statements. I mean at this time and place of writing, they are true to me, but they may be false to others, and they may be false to me the next time i think about that game or hear someone else's opinion on the matter.

There's also the thought that heavy use of first person in writing is unprofessional. I'm thinking that's because professional writing tries to pass itself off as the truth on its perspective of a subject. Next week i'll write as i always have. This was an interesting experiment, and hey, it gave me a nice subject for the Final Thoughts segment (some weeks thinking of a good topic is like pulling teeth).

Till next time, happy gaming all!

NB. Typing on a laptop with a touchpad capable of all matters of chicanery is a maddening experience.


  1. You bastard - now I have to play Accelerator all day now.

  2. You have been pulled into the accelematrix