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NoelVeiga

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Look, I get people freaking out... but man, anything that gets Minecraft working on PCs without some janky Java stuff for the client is probably a good thing.

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NoelVeiga

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@rethla: I agree with you, the game isn't about a meaningful story, it's about the parlor trick of piecing together a story from out-of sequence video clips.

That's the part that kind of sucks.

If the puzzling of the story was in service of saying something, even if it's just empathising with some characters, then I'd be all for it. It's why I liked the same mechanics in Gone Home or Papers, Please or hell, even to some extent the Souls series.

But why waste hours of acting if all you want to do is give me a particularly elaborate "put these pictures in order" puzzle? I don't think at that point the mechanical simplicity is justified by the storytelling. I need a better story there, otherwise it's on the level of a logic puzzle in a newspaper puzzle page.

Your mileage may vary, but that's what I very quickly got out of it. Plus yes, the holy trinity of dumb murder mystery twists are:

  1. Her evil twin did it!
  2. Her evil alternate personality did it!
  3. She pretended her evil alternate personality/twin did it to avoid being convicted.

In being ambiguous, Her Story manages to hit a bingo of dumb plot twists. It's all of them at once. Schrodinger's dumb plot twist.

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NoelVeiga

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@rethla: I don't think that's true. Plenty of games don't feel shallow, both narrative and purely mechanical ones.

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NoelVeiga

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@beb said:

Honestly, both the twin theory and the split personality theory are far fetched. They are a "cheap" twist for a murder mystery in general, but I am OK with how this game uses the ideas to keep us digging in to the characters.

I'm not. I can't. The crux of this game is "did we use the laziest, dumbest twist for a murder mystery or the SECOND laziest, dumbest twist? You figure it out!"

It's not like the game is dealing with any particularly deep themes through the twist, like Gone Home or, say, Fight Club were. The story isn't even about the relationship between Hannah and Simon or Hannah and Eve in any meaningful way, because both of those are weird and unlikely in ways that make them mean next to nothing approaching the real world.

Other than bending over backwards to create a whodunit with a single character in it, this twist brings very little to the game and takes away from the characters. So... I guess I'm in the minority on this one?

Look, I get that it's fun and popular this century to crowdsource "what really happened" in stories because Lost happened at one point, but it is pretty cheap unless you're using the device to say something, you know? Done for its own sake it just feels a bit empty.

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NoelVeiga

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Nice, deep piece. I'm not commenting on it because, hey, I mostly agree with you and a lot of people are working their way through it that have divergent views than mine, so why bother.

BUT

But this?

@austin_walker

Part of the reason that I know that is because I just spent the last four years in Canada, which has laws made specifically to insulate itself from American cultural imperialism. One key part of this set of regulations is the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission's “Canadian Content” (or “CanCon”) requirements. These rules govern the required amounts of “Canadian” music and television that must be broadcast by networks and radio stations, and they go on to define what exactly “Canadian” means in terms of production, content, and distribution. These rules exist because (the argument goes), if they didn’t, then Canadian television and radio would be filled with American content, putting Canadians out of jobs and diluting the unique cultural heritage of the country.

Oh, boy. Having been to the US and Canada I'll say this: compared to the most Americanized place in Europe (that'd be the UK), Canada and the US are culturally indistinguishable. Compared to the most Americanized place in Eastern Europe it's even more so. And that's not just the law (although some places have quotas on how much US media is allowed), that's just how different the cultural backgrounds, ongoing culture and language are.

It's easy to mock Americans for navel-gazing, but it's also easy to forget that it's really hard to physically get out of the continent for many of them, even highly cultured ones, and see the extent of culture clash we get in Europe in roughly the same amount of landmass. That said, it is at the core of how simplifying and hostile some of the cultural assumptions from Americans can feel when arguing about global spaces like gaming.

I just wish I had the ability to push the non-US centric view on gaming further across the global market. It's a goddamn shame that we don't talk about EU indies, let alone Asian or African ones. We don't acknowledge the diversity of creators and content. We think anybody that doesn't show up for PAX doesn't exist. We assume all content will be voiced in English and be readable by American audiences. The market is broken so that if your game is set in the real world in contemporary times, your characters HAVE to be American and English speaking, even if you aren't. And then, when the diversity in gaming is analysed it's done in a strictly American way, by American values and through American views on race and discrimination.

If nothing else, Austin, I hope GB's global audience helps you transcend those limitations more. I think the Witcher conversation at GB has been really healthy. I hope we can keep talking about cultural differences in gaming. I sure have tons of examples, both good and bad, that I haven't seen enough people discuss.

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NoelVeiga

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Oh, Dan knows.

Here's what I'm getting to understand about Dan: Dan thinks the world works like wrestling. Or rather, that all entertainment works like wrestling.

Really, go back and look at his performances on anything even remotely competitive. You can point at the frame where he decides which wrestling archetype he's going to use for it. In a way, it takes the mystique away from why he does what he does. On another, more meta way, that's in itself such a damn Dan thing it's almost better than taking him at face value.

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NoelVeiga

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For those wondering how long a thing like this can disrupt the site, if you've moved around in a large corporate building you know things like this take a day, tops... for desks and office stuff.

If they're moving studios and video gear that may take longer, I don't know. It's not like they are moving to a different building, so I have no idea.

Good move, though. That BLLSL stream had so many sound issues. You just don't build multiple studio stages in the same open space and use more than one at the same time.

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NoelVeiga

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The PSTV there is a big factor. I mean, the Vita works very well with your PS4. If your TV is ever in dispute or if you feel that playing your indie PS4 games on the go with crossplay is a big deal for you, I have all three of those and I have use for all.

That said, I also have a 3DS, or I wouldn't have doubled down on Vita+PSTV. If you're already playing all those Sony games and indies consistently on your big screens the 3DS gives you access to a big, BIG library, including a bunch of DS games that are just great, if you're into that kind of thing and never had a DS.

So yeah, as much as I vocally defend how much value I continue to get out of my Vita, that's a tough sell in your situation. It'd help to know what you're looking for, but there's a ton of stuff and a ton of genres that you're unlocking on 3DS by having at least an in to that Nintendo ecosystem that are deep into diminishing returns for you having two Sony platforms already. Like, if you're into Persona there's Persona Q, Devil Survivor Overclocked 1 and 2 and SMT IV you can play on 3DS, while all the Sony Personas are already available to you (right? Not sure if 3 works on PSTV).

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NoelVeiga

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OK, so let's rethink this based on what Jeff said about it on the old games stream, what I was saying before and what everybody else is listing. So here's a stream friendly list. To qualify you must

a) Be Amiga-first or Amiga-best

b) Have been a big deal in Europe. We're talking about magazine covers here, not rare curios.

c) Be mostly forgotten in the US, as far as I can tell from gaming media.

  • Fury of the Furries. Americans know this one as Pac-Man 2. Well worth checking the original game they reskinned. It was actually really charming.
  • Xenon 1 and 2. Very different shooters, but they epitomized the genre in different ways. Seriously, this is Europe's R-Type.
  • Stardust/Super Stardust. Because Jeff doesn't know what this really is and it's worth checking out.
  • Gods. It could also have been Zool, but Zool's Mega Drive version was big enough in the US to disqualify it. Gods was more disproportionally hyped up over here, I think. It was also the tail end of the Bitmap Brothers' fantastic Amiga run, so it's historically important.
  • I want to keep this short on RPGs, but it's hard to avoid how big of a deal Elvira 1 and 2 were. Maybe also too popular in the US? How about we meet in the middle and go with spiritual successor Waxworks? Was that big over there?
  • The rest of them. I feel that Speedball/Cannon Fodder/Turrican/Shadow of the Beast/Barbarian and the like are not news to anybody, but they're definitely what built that platform, so... there's that.
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NoelVeiga

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Oh, man, everything about Brad in this one is amazing:

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I mean, just look at that thumbnail.