Monday, May 7, 2018

May Play

Readers! It's been a busy couple weeks, seeing and then reading Ready Player One, and changing my freakin life with the viewing of Avengers: Infinity War. I'm not going to spoil it more than the fact that I really enjoy good villains, and Thanos was able to capture my attention away from the two dozen personalities that are trying to beat him. Black Panther was uncomfortable because you don't really feel good about the opposing force not winning, just as watching some of the protagonists "succeed" in Breaking Bad isn't necessarily a good thing. Good writing and acting can do that. I'm trying to say that I only just realized in the last few years that just because I'm reading/watching a point of view doesn't mean I have to cheer for them. That said, I cheered for Thanos because I like to sympathize with a good villain. Thanos isn't particularly complicated, but he's strong (and thus cool) and opens the movie with a badass speech. I was hooked.

Totally taken from
I saw it again this weekend and was once again shocked by how insanely violent this movie is. There are tons of kids in that audience watching people get tortured, impaled, slammed, smashed, blown up and simply annihilated, and their parents are more riveted than they are. But we didn't see a titty or hear, "Fuck!" so it's all good for the scores of 5-year-olds that saw that movie, right?

Anyhow, going back to narrative, I'm reminded of how the story unfolds in Metroid Prime, which I finished over the weekend. As you collect the story in fragments through scanning and downloading your oppressors' computer, the narrative turns tone as the Space Pirates react to Samus. As she beats bosses and gains abilities, Samus graduates from a nuisance to a threat to a superior force that the colonizing Space Pirates have to prioritize. This gets to the point of their scientists conducting risky experiments on organisms and throwing the ones that didn't die in some horrible failure at you. I spent the majority of April revisiting this classic, as well as Nex Machina (twin-stick shooter) and Overwatch.

I don't own this photo.
Also, in celebration of May the 4th and Revenge of the Fifth, Star Wars Battlefront 2 did a double xp weekend. This is a huge deal because you actually earn 2.5-3x. I say this because the game is poorly optimized. If you're playing half the amount of games, that's a LOT less time waiting for players to fill the queue, as well as the post-battle tally screen and level loading transition. I understand that managing all the resources for the awesome graphics and sound requires loading time and that's fine. However, the game is built so that you constantly have to return to the main menu to upgrade heroes after they gain levels, and this main screen takes over a minute to load. It's like if every domestic flight in the US were required to pass through LAX, despite being Seattle to New York or something.

There isn't much else to say. I hope set up another themed gaming month in 2018, but there is some non-trophy-hunting I want to do like replay the Final Fantasy XIII games. I've always struggled with story coherence in those games, and would really like to play through without side missions and collectibles and just focus on experiencing the story, the same way I did with FFVI last month. What classics are you revisiting?

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I am one of those people that uses the word  perfect subjectively. I think something is perfect if it does what it's intended to do ...