The Walking Dead
I bought The Walking Dead on disk a few weeks ago. As someone who cares about story in video games, and hearing all the praise it's been getting, I just needed to check it out. It completely blew away my expectations. Let me get all of the negative out of the way first: Some may argue that as a game, The Walking Dead is a pile of trash. And I could agree with that, to a certain extent. While the whole adventure game aspect of the Walking Dead is totally fine, the parts where they make you shoot zombies can be mediocre at best. The aiming ridicule that they give you feels way too lose and sensitive, and I never got the hang of it. Not to mention that the game has tons of frame rate drops constantly to a point where it looks like a PowerPoint presentation, which makes those shooting parts even more frustrating. And let's not forget about the technical issues that could happen in the game. While I never had my save just straight up ruined, the game did retcon one of my earlier choices in the next episode. (SPOILERS: In episode four, the game changed the choice I made with Kenny killing Duck. Which is for the better, I guess, since I realize that making him do that is horrible, but it still bugged me.)
All of that aside, The Walking Dead has become one of my favorite games. What it does for story telling in video games is important and I think developers need to take note of this if they ever aim to make a story driven game. Like David Cage. Look, I really appreciated what Heavy Rain tired to do and all, and I know that Telltale drew inspiration from that, but the story of Heavy Rain feels really stupid and pretentious compared to Walking Dead. The Walking Dead never had you take a shower or put on eye-liner on or anything stupid and useless like that. And The Walking Dead actually moved me. I felt like I actually cared about the characters and the game had me in tears by the end. Heavy Rain didn't do any of that for me. But I guess the fact that The Walking Dead is episodic benefits Telltale to make improvements and really nail down that parts that they want to get right.
So while the The Walking Dead isn't the best playing game by any means, the fact that it has some of the strongest writing that I've ever seen in a game completely makes up for that. And the fact that you can interact with the characters and they react upon how you play only brings even more life to these already well written characters. The fact that I was able to get so into the story and the fact that the ending emotionally impacted me in a way no other game could is why I fucking love the Walking Dead.
In between episodes of Walking Dead, I've been playing Persona 4. I'm at the last dungeon on the true ending path. Again, as a Giant Bomb user, I think Persona 4 is fucking awesome. But it seems like the last dungeon is a bit of a grind. I guess that the last boss is going to be pretty hard, so maybe that's for the best. I just can't wait to finish it so I could eventually go back and play it on New Game Plus. Unlike Persona 3, I feel really compelled to go back and see all the social links and stuff that I missed the first time around, mostly because the characters are so much more likable than the S.Links in 3. And I can't wait to see what Persona game they make next.
I've been going back to Arkham City after finishing Walking Dead and it seems like that game just gets crazier and crazier. Like the Ra's Al Ghul boss or the Mad Hatter side mission, all of that stuff seems completely crazy in the best possible way. In terms of the story missions, I just got done with the Mr. Freeze boss, which I thought was really well done. I did it without looking at any of the hints, and I thought it was really fun thinking of possible ways to damage his suit. But like I said earlier, the open world nature of Arkham City mixed with the fact that Batman's dying makes little sense, but at least they address the passage of time in certain scenes.
Other than those three games, I haven't really been playing anything else. For Christmas I got an iPod Classic which was much needed since none of my music could fit on my stupid old iPod Touch anymore. I don't even remember why I got that piece of shit in the first place. I guess I was just a stupid 12 year old. Also, I changed my Gamertag. It's still completely stupid, but stupid in a way that I like and can get behind. And if I like it, that's all that matters...right? At least it's just not embarrassing to me anymore like adolescentnerd. Bleh. Anyway, that's all for now, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of your vacation, what's left of it, anyway.