Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
All that I got from someone who really likes the series so yeah, it's not my inner HATERRR speaking or anything.
Honestly, James, I kind of don't care at this stage - I think it's a now a game for people who are invested in Mass Effect, rather than a game by any other definition. But being Mass Effect is sort of enough for me, everything else is gravy. I know that probably sounds a bit wet of me but sometimes you just love things because you love them, and the normal critical rules don't apply. Obviously this isn't a good perspective for a professional reviewer but I'm Kyra and I wanna play Mass Effect :) If it's really really bad I might pout but I just want to be my bad-ass beakless Shepard and see Mordin and Garrus again...
that'd be where our priorities differ, I think--I'm okay with PSS because New Crobuzon is amazing, Mieville's language can be evocative, and mostly the plot exists as an excuse for him to show us New Crobuzon. In that regard I never cared if the book was long because the things he's showing are interesting.
Fair enough, there's always going to be a certain amount of subjectivity in how much weight you give each element of fiction. I loved New Crobuzon too, I just wish we could've had a better reason for being there (like a more character-driven plot; I really liked Isaac and Lin).
a main character whose face I want to see pulped in with stiletto heels but who nevertheless takes up far too many pages and is treated, narratively, entirely too well (Rachel, darling, defenestrate him! No?).
Heh, I agree Dill's pretty boring, I think he's one of those POV characters only in there because the author feels he sees a lot of important plot stuff, rather than because he's interesting. I think your hatred of him might be exaggerating your memories of how important he is, though; he's only one of three major protagonists (Mr. Nettle and the poisoner being the other two). I definitely agree that any of the three minor POV characters (Carnival, Adjunct Crumb, and Rachel) could've taken his place with much better results, though.
Haha, glad its not just me
You should be able to re-design her face at the start of the game?
Yeah, I remember getting rid of the luminous orange top-knot I inexplicably gave Paragon Shepard in 1 at the start of 2 (oh how I miss her), but have entered into some sort of abusive cycle of dependency and hate with the beak of renegade Shepard. It means I can take a sort of savage pleasure every time I kill her and blame her for just not being Original Shepard. Oh dear.
That's ... hilarious.
You should be able to re-design her face at the start of the game?
I made Jesus Shepherd once to be a very bearded paragon but I only played him for about 5 minutes before I couldn't bear to go on.
Well I was trying to distinguish her from my Paragon Shepard who was a total plank, but it a lovable sort of way, so I tried to give her a roguish smirk without checking what she looked like from the side and then unfortunately once she turned sidewise in actual gameplay her mouth stuck out about three inches from her head in a kind of horrendous beak. I really hate her.
...accidentally made look like a duck?! How?! I have my hot renagade femshep who looks like me in my wildest fantasies, assuming I was bad-ass and covered in scars.
Tell me about it. Although the fact that I accidentally deleted my original Shepard has dented my happy somewhat. Am now stuck with my stupid renegade one who I accidentally made look like a duck. Sigh.
Thomsen's primary complaint isn't that this style of gameplay is inappropriate for Dark Souls, or even that this style of gameplay is annoying and overrated, it's that this style of gameplay doesn't give him *insights into the human condition*.
That's sort of what I meant - he brushes up against what I consider some valid points, but while charging madly in the wrong direction.
To be honest, arguments like "it'll help you to learn arbitrary tasks" or "learn to learn by trial and error" don't really convince me, because that's a massively broad field and I'm not sure what transferable skills you could acquire. An encyclopaedic knowledge of enemy attack patterns and vulnerabilities would not have helped in any job or hobby I've encountered. He might learn patience in the face of frustration, but that's about it. It's not nothing, and it's a handy possible side-effect of doing something you enjoy anyway, but it's hardly a reason to play the game. People recommend learning languages or exercising for the concrete benefits, even if you don't enjoy them, but I've yet to hear of anyone urging their citizens or employees to take up gaming. So no, it's not unreasonable, but it's not doing much for me. Anyway, I think I'm all souled out.
i hope the next demon's souls sequel includes readable
books like the elder scrolls series, but they contain paragraphs from war and
peace. reading them all earns you an achievement.
It's funny you mention that, because Thomsen really does seem to view reading books as kind of like grinding for achies in a video game. You engage in a pointless activity for long enough, you get something you brag about, and the aim is to get the maximum amount of bragging rights for the minimum amount of time invested.
Disagreed, though on a general basis rather than having actually played Dark
Souls. Trial-and-error gameplay that relies on losing and reloading (as
opposed to thinking or non-lethal failure) is generally frustrating and just
pads out play.
I think that's a valid personal preference (and one I share) but I don't think it's an absolute statement about Good Game Design. Dark Souls is clearly labeled, advertised and sold as the kind of game where the challenge is to learn the game's mechanics by trial and error (like a much higher budget version of Dungeons of Dredmor), so complaining that the game is designed this way kind of misses the point. I'd be fine with somebody arguing that they don't like this kind of gameplay in general, particularly in the context of a different sort of game, but Thomsen's primary complaint isn't that this style of gameplay is inappropriate for Dark Souls, or even that this style of gameplay is annoying and overrated, it's that this style of gameplay doesn't give him *insights into the human condition*.
I agree that the rebuttal is stupid (learning to play a video game is nothing like learning a foreign language except as the loosest of metaphors) but I don't think it's unreasonable to point out that trial-and-error gameplay can teach you something about learning by trial and error (which is itself useful). If Thomsen doesn't understand why "being good at mastering arbitrary tasks quickly" might be an extremely helpful life skill he's never had a job or for that matter a hobby.
I did like Carnival. I don't understand why she's not the protagonist instead of Dill--I also like Rachel, but again she spends most of her time helping out Dill. Why do fantasy writers so much prefer naive, dim, boring young boys over much more interesting people? Apart from "lots of fantasy writers fucking suck" I mean.