I have always had a weird relationship with the art community; I have an art degree and went to an art school, but my inspirations were more Star Wars, comic books, and video games than the sorts of things you saw at museums or in galleries. For a long time, I deeply resented the pretensions of high art, or refused to see any distinction at all - but more recently I've come to accept that there's a need for non-commercial art to get a spotlight. When you think about the sheer volume of images, sounds, and ideas we get thrown at us every waking minute, its a genuine relief to have some that aren't coming from massive media conglomerates. Its like having a nice park in the middle of a big loud city; it keeps you sane and gives you context.
I still love Star Wars (which has many flaws and, if anything, has become even MORE corporate after being acquired by Disney), I still love comic books (which have provided the grist for some big-time IPs for Warner Brothers and Disney while still struggling as a medium), and I still loves me some video games (which are just all over the damn place in terms of quality and intent). But it does bum me out to know that Tale of Tales won't be around to question some assumptions, push some buttons, and be wonderfully weird.
There are certainly other people in the video game arena who are challenging the status quo, and between movies, print, and video games, I'd say video games are getting more independent voices out there - but the practicalities for these creators simply to survive much less flourish clearly remains an uphill battle. If they express their frustrations as if they are the Last Best Hope for Art - well, that's kind of the sort of ego and ambition you need to have in an outsider space. Check out the sorts of things the guys from the Abstract Expressionist movement said about themselves back in the 50's and Tale of Tales' statements seem positively humble.
Almost (ALMOST) makes you miss aristocratic patronage.
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode (or Mafat Conspiracy). It was a game I kept renting as a kid in the hope of beating, and the more I played it, the more inscrutable it became. I also recall it was the first time I ever saw a video game with a sniping sequence or a love scene, both of which may have played into my fascination.
Also, Sunset Riders, if only because Game Room promised it and never delivered all those years back.
Really enjoying this game. I was never too great at optimizing spells/combat in the older D&D-based Infinity Engine games; I hated how much it leaned on knowing precisely which spell to counter enemy spells with, especially at the higher levels. This one has some good shortcuts and improvements that broaden your options, both for spellcasters and punchy-fighty guys.
My Monk was pretty fragile to begin with, but teamed up with the Fighter he's a beast.
And, yeah, I really like Obsidian's handling of quests - many are purely optional, and most have a wide range of choices you can make. The writing is really sharp, to boot.
I know I numbered this but its not meant to be in a particular order.
1. Jeff and the Creeper Cam on Whiskey Media Happy Hour, particularly when some people call in and he almost breaks.
2. The moment from the first Endurance Run when Mysterious Fox appears in Persona 4. Vinny saying "Yip!" is still hilarious to me to this day.
3. Matt Kessler shakes his virtual tail feathers to sucker some opposing players during one of the episodes of Daily Dota. I honestly can't remember which one it was, and I couldn't tell you which character he was playing either, but it was still pretty great.
4. Patrick playing through the Blair Witch game on Spookin' With Scoops. I have a soft spot in my heart for Nocturne, the game its related to, and it was some funny stuff. His playthrough of "i m scared" is also pretty great.
5. Karen Snider visits Thursday Night Throwdown and plays that dumb shock game.
6. The Flight Club tries to start an A-10 Warthog and mistakes are made.
7. The moment from the Running of the Lanterns (Part Deux maybe?) where Ryan says "I actively hate you Will Smith."
8. "A Flute", from Bioforge.
9. The first Cards Against Humanity game during the TNT where Jeff also plays the Star Trek MMO. There was a pretty funny/horrible answer somebody gave regarding Hurricane Katrina which hit home in a good way.
10. Any time Brad freaked out over seeing a Crystal Lizard in one of those Souls game playthroughs.