Ah, thanks for the heads up. Kind of a shame that they threw the Platinum rewards up at the top of the list even though I'm only gold. I was pretty pleased when I saw Game & Wario and Earthbound, either of which I would have been very happy to have, but it was then disappointing to see that they weren't even relevant to my reward tier. I guess I'll probably grab Ice Climber or Zelda II. Fairly underwhelming selection, but free stuff is free stuff. Enjoy your rewards, everybody.
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I'd think the chinese version should be spun off into its own category if it inherently plays faster. Wonder if that kind of thing starts shit in the speedrunner community.
Although I've never heard of anyone using a Chinese version, my understanding is that it's totally normal and expected for people to use a language that has less text. For that reason, you generally see a lot of speedruns for older games with unskippable text played in Japanese, which generally has less text than English counterparts. You'll even occasionally see a Japanese version used because it was the first to come out, and some glitch that is used was corrected by the time the English translation was finished and released. Unfortunately I can't immediately think of any examples of the latter situation, but I'm sure I've heard that said before in a speedrun I was watching...
Episode 1: Huntsman survives an AXE TO THE HEAD.
Episode 2-4: "Fables are really hard to kill, guys!" "You can't kill Fables easily!" "It takes a ton to kill a Fable!"
Episode 5: Georgie bleeds out from a stab to the stomach... And even if there's a "SURPRISE! I DIDN'T DIE!" moment in Season 2, we're supposed to believe that George and Bigby both thought he would die despite Huntsman SURVIVING A FUCKING AXE TO THE HEAD.
The more I think about it, the more utterly dismayed I am at the lazy writing of this episode.
I had the same problem. To me, it's part of a larger problem with the whole game. I just never fully understood the rules that governed the world. Echoing some of what you said, it's nigh impossible to assess how much danger you are in at any moment. With Walking Dead, threats made sense and you had to take every confrontation seriously, as you understood the basics of human mortality along with the simple supplement of "don't let a zombie bite you." In Wolf Among Us, I eventually came to accept that Bigby was more or less immortal aside from silver bullets, so why exactly should I care about something like the Tweedles showing up? Why should I care about the Jersey Devil? Bloody Mary at least was established as pretty spooky, but that last fight with her was incomprehensible, which others have already mentioned, so I won't go into that. Looking through this topic I can at least see some explanation is given in the comics for why someone like Georgie is at more risk than the others, but that certainly didn't do me any good while I was just playing the game.
Outside of physical confrontations, I didn't understand much of anything about how the Fabletown government worked, why anyone wanted to live there, what was up with the Farm (at least that got cleared up by a Book of Fables entry), and the numerous uncertainties numbed me to a lot of the game's drama. I honestly did like it, but both seasons of Walking Dead stand head and shoulders above it. Hopefully if they do another season it will work out a bit better.
So it sounds to me like you mainly use the site for audio. If that's the case, the best thing in premium would probably be Jeff's periodic Jar Time videos, which consist of him answering questions sent by users.
I personally find my annual premium account to be a great purchase, but I watch a lot of videos. If you're mainly looking for more things that would make good background noise, I'm not sure if a premium membership would do a lot for you. Jar Time videos certainly aren't on a consistent schedule like Bombing the A.M. is. Still, you could always try dropping 5 bucks on one month of membership to see if you like it.
I have a lot of love for all three of those games. I can certainly understand your criticisms of Thomas Was Alone. If the story didn't grab you, then the platforming is completely pointless. The platforming in Thomas Was Alone is supplementary to the narration, not vice versa. The strengths and weaknesses of each character along with the actions that must be taken to solve the puzzles serve to support and demonstrate what the narrator has said about each character and their interactions. The actions that you take are essentially their own lines in the script. An example of that is the way in which you can hop around early courses with ease when controlling John, but Thomas and Christopher lag behind, requiring his help. Giving them help as John isn't in itself challenging or particularly interesting, but participating in the story in that peculiar fashion was compelling to me. Since I found the story charming and engaging, I found the platforming to be plenty enjoyable as well.
Lone Survivor is my favorite horror game. As you mentioned, a lack of clear explanations for anything going on is a key trait of the game. I thought that it was done quite well. However, I won't say much more about that since hopefully people reading this topic will go on to play the game for themselves. One thing that I will emphasize is how much I love that game's sound design. Everything in the audio is extremely well done. From little sound effects to the background music, everything has a level of polish that stood out and drew me into the world.
Hotline Miami...I like it for the same reasons just about everyone does. It's interesting doing subsequent playthroughs and piecing together what actually happened in the story.
Hm. Although I haven't played any Dead Space aside from a few minutes of the first, it's fun seeing people defend games that have a poor reputation. Your points certainly make sense, particularly the part about Dead Space 3 having a more believable world than 2. For what these games appear to be going for, that seems important. Well written stuff.
I don't know about Skyward Sword though...that one I have played. I didn't hate it or anything, but it just seemed boring. I'm glad there are people who like it though! I'm sure part of my distaste for it is that I really wasn't ready for another Zelda when it came out.