Reviews & Catchup

Took the day off yesterday to play, eat and relax with family. Watched a film, ate chocolate, continued our culinary adventures following this cookbook.

Yesterday it was north indian eggs at lunch and amazing meatloaf for dinner.

No art whatsoever.

This evening I have a few hours to devote to the castle terrain card which is presenting a not insignificant challenge.

 

Firewatch

N and I clocked this game over two nights.

It is a rather enjoyable game certainly worth devoting an evening or two to. At times quite suspenseful the plot is driven by an engaging dialog based mode of story exposition. Very much like an interactive audiobook coupled with exploring an altogether very pretty digital natural environment. Good and unusual first person adventure games seem to be becoming a bit of a thing and I’m glad of it. 

Both N and I were left guessing how things would wrap up until the end. Both of us feel that despite the large variety of responses available at certain points, the story almost certainly remains the same no matter how you play it and replay value for anything other than environment exploration and photography is limited. I have already praised the aesthetics in this game but I will say that the lack of tonal variation in the caves and some forest areas subtracts for the beauty and realism. As does the overuse of repeated terrain elements used to signify scrambles, absails, ledges and balance points. In fairness this is an indie game and the achievement with a small team is pretty extraordinary.

Pacing is the one other area I felt could have worked on. Throughout the game we were constantly driven from place to place. Occasionally even forced in to fast travel to achieve this. At times this feels right, there are things to do, the pressure is on. However the nature of the job our avatar has taken on is deeply quiet and contemplative and we are never really given a taste of that. At no time are we given a chance to just sit in the tower and be lookout, even though it would chafe to be so ‘bored’ in a game it seems a missed opportunity. The fact that we never get to use the cool fire pinpointing map setup in the centre of our tower is another missed opportunity.

There is a camera in game, it has limited shots and when introduced it is kind of implied that you may want to save them for important evidence. This is not the case you are really supposed to be snap happy and get your photos printed on whim at the end. My pics are not really worth using so I’ve borrowed another’s.

firewatch

 

Image by Steam user ‘Your Favorite Pussy’ C/o this article

 

 

 

Ant Man

We watched Ant Man last night which although silly, predictable, Marvel superhero pulp was very entertaining.
I was particularly enamoured of the social gossip story telling method in which the tale as related by one actor has who speaks all parts which the actors mime along to. It is used twice to great effect in the film. They play a bit fast and loose with scale in order keep things visible and they mix well know misconceptions of atomic structure in with some very clever visuals when Ant Man inevitably is forced to go subatomic.

It fails Bechdel though not completely

I’m pleased it included bullet ants and I think this film probably explains why so many people have now heard of the Schmidt sting pain index.

 

 

 

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