I feel like the colorful descriptors that companies tack onto iterative versions of games has hit an all time low. Since the 80s we have been forced to play a progressively extreme number of versions of a game. During the 90s the Street Fighter franchise for example proved to us all of the ways it could not actually count to 3. We’ve suffered through Super, Hyper, Ultra, Zero, Alpha, Game of the Year, Ultimate, Legendary and innumerable other hardcore and extreme versions of the games we love. This morning as I idly checked Steam I spotted something that made my eye stop dead over it. We really have a game that is a “Velvet Edition”? What is next suede or cordura?
I keep thinking maybe this is a translation error somehow, but “Samten” doesn’t really sound much better. Maybe it is me, and I just have a negative connotation towards the word velvet, and maybe it is completely normal for someone to use that word in place of say “deluxe”. This is just a first for me, and I think maybe this whole descriptor thing has gone a bit far if we have arrived at fabrics now. I mean even though “game of the year” bundles are completely inappropriately named, considering very few of them have actually won a “game of the year” award… at least for awhile they were something standardized. I personally would rather they go with something like “complete edition” considering that is what we are talking about… the version that includes all the damned DLC in one place. Though I guess game companies would probably frown on admitting they have been rationing game content to us for years.
We had a few errands to run last night, and by the time I got home I was not sure what exactly to play for the evening. Since this weekends podcast, Kodra has been urging me to finish up Wolfenstein so he could have someone to talk about it with. So I opted to work on that, and while I did not quite make it through the game I figure I am pretty close to the ending. I suffered a series of technical difficulties where I would crash out and have to load back in restarting me at the previous save point. When this happened the last time I figured I would call it a night, as it seemed like I was probably going to have to repeat a significant chunk of the previous level. It seems to be related to when I go into a cutscene and then come back out of it.
It is really hard to find screenshots that I can show off that don’t really give away anything major about the game. Well other than the fact that you get to experience Nazi’s on the moon… but that doesn’t really give much away plot wise. I feel like that is the aspect of the game I enjoy the most is seeing how this alternate reality evolved without the influence of the United States. So much of everything we experience today is because of the global export of American goods and American values. As a culture we have had a death grip on the entertainment industry and the internet as well… and as a result everything that comes from other countries often feels like an odd remix of something we would see in the United States. So to see this reality that evolved entirely in a different direction is interesting to me. I applaud the level designers because all of the little details feel like they come from a completely different place.
This game is definitely going to warrant a second play through, because there is a single decision that you make early on that causes the game to go in different enough directions that from that point on the chapters of the game branch depending on your choice made. It seems that Kodra and I picked completely different routes, and I think it will be interesting to talk about the differences between them. I don’t feel like this is probably a discussion we can really have on AggroChat because it would be impossible to do this in a way that is not spoilerific. I really hope all of you took advantage of the QuakeCon pricing and picked up this awesome game when it was essentially half price. I have a feeling that this game is going to experience quite a bit of third party modding, and I hope that sooner or later they bring out a multiplayer addon. One of the more enjoyable game play and narrative experiences I have had in awhile.
Sparse Next Few Days
The next few days are going to be interesting for me. Today is technically my last day at work this week, but just because I am off does not mean I won’t actually be working harder. My wife is part of a crew putting on a mathematics conference here in town, and I have opted to take off from work to help her with it. I know Wednesday for example I will be operating an impromptu shuttle service, and then the other days I will likely be filling in a tech support role and general “gopher”. With all of these constraints it will be interesting to see what I end up blogging about, as I doubt I will be playing that many games.
That said it sounds like at least one of the conference attendees is a Magic the Gathering fan, so I will be bringing up a box of decks just in case that happens. Speaking of Magic… I really have no clue what Wizards of the Coast was thinking when they came up with the 2015 product designs. Once upon a time the off brand products that you can get in your grocery store that are branded as Always Save or Best Choice or even Sam’s Choice were simply called “Generic”. They featured white labels with start sans-serif writing on them, similar to government commodities. So I cannot look at this magic the gathering set without thinking “oh its generic magic”. I feel like we arrived at this point out of some sort of hipster minimalist design ethic… but yeah it is just not working for me. I guess they have used every other color of the rainbow lately for the primary theme of a set… so sooner or later they were going to get around to white.
It will be interesting to see how the next few days shake out. Likely you will be getting some more personal posts. Right now the plan is to take my laptop and work on editing my NaNoWriMo novel between times I am needed. The only problem with this is that the guest wifi at the school is horrible. My phone will allow me to tether to it, but not sure how much I can do that without AT&T getting pissy with me. We are grandfathered in on one of the unlimited plans, and I don’t really want to do much to jeopardize that. The positive is that the Galaxy S5 shipped with unlocked tethering software, and it is not like I had to do anything to get it up and running. I just expect that all of the websites I would want to look at would be blocked without it.