Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #200

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:28 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:It's not just being good with a gun. Being able to survive everything she went through was more than just being good with a gun. Getting Joel out of the university, nursing him to health, having to hunt for her food, having to think on her feet after she's captured by David, being able to get away from him... how many adults would be capable of doing that? I mean, I get there are different types and levels of maturity, but one of the main goals of raising children is to teach them to survive/thrive on their own, and Ellie is very much capable of that, and even beyond that given that she also takes care of Joel.

I... honestly can't believe you're making a comparison between Joel and Kony. Joel isn't recruiting kids and turning them into soldiers in order to fight in a holy war for a cult where he's the messiah. Him teaching Ellie to use a gun/fight was mostly out of necessity given their situation.
I don't think any of that is "thriving"- at best it teaches violent, selfish sociopathy that only perpetuates the terrible world they currently live in. This is beyond just basic self-defense.

I don't think Kony is that ridiculous of a comparison at all. The end of the game is Joel abducting Ellie from a hospital and feeding her propaganda about how he ended up with her ("The Fireflies have stopped looking for you, they don't need a cure" etc.). He's already more or less turned Ellie into a child soldier (Just look at the list of skills and accomplishments you've outlined above).

It just sets off warning bells for me. I wouldn't be surprised if Last of Us II: Attack of the Fungus Clones really makes an effort to discern the differences between Ellie and Joel, and specifically if she's going to ultimately follow in his footsteps and continue his legacy or ultimately reject it and him. Here's hoping for the latter.

Yes, in a normal world she should have stability and support from a loving family, gone to school until she was 18, then either gone to college or got a job. TLOU isn't a normal world. The parameters for what maturity means will vary depending on the world and society you're in. A good chunk of what we'd call "mature adults" wouldn't be able to survive in the world of TLOU because our definitions of maturity is predicated on the society we've set up. In our world, being able to manage a credit card is a more valuable survival skill than being able to shoot Clickers in the head.
The "kill or killed" attitude that characters like Joel espouse is just thinly veiled fascistic ideology- that's what makes the world of TLOU so terrible, this downplaying of empathy and kindness toward others as somehow a sign of weakness, not the zombies or decaying concrete or whatever.

Even in the game's prologue, before Stock Daughter #1 is killed, Joel is already ignoring the cries of help and his neighbors and such, encouraging Tommy to drive on past them. The "we need to survive!!!!!" excuse is just a thin rationalization (And keeping Ellie along in the ending provides perfect rationalization for that), not much just different than Walter White cooking meth "for his family". It's never really been about staying alive for Joel, just like Walt was only a drug kingpin for himself.

I think to say such things exist in TLOU is pretty tenuous. Pretty much everyone we meet is fighting for survival or living in a kind of totalitarian nightmare. Even Tommy, whom you suggest they should've stayed with, is hardly ideal; it's basically a military complex that's regularly raided by enemies. I fail to see how that's safe and stable. Perhaps it's better than many alternatives, but I guarantee that for him/them to survive the children are also going to be growing up quite fast and learning how to use guns.
Tommy's society is hardly a coded as a military state (How could it even be one when they've only been there for like a week?). If any setting in the game is a military complex its the city you start the game out in, where people are being literally shot in the streets (It's one of the first things the game shows you for a reason). You don't really see such things at the powerplant.

I don't know how much Joel intentionally "relied" on Ellie. They're trying to get across country with tons of enemies in their way. Without a gun, Ellie is nothing but a liability. With one she can at least help. It's less that Joel's "relying" on her and more that she's helping rather than hurting.
What is Joel's plans for Ellie after the ending of the game? What are they even going to do?

Either they're becoming scavengers themselves, or he's taking her back to his "home" to continue the kind of work he was doing beforehand. The kind of work that made them "shitty people" in Tess' eyes.

The notion that they should've never gone on the mission to begin with... the world has gone to hell because of a virus, you've found the only person who's immune and may hold the key to a cure, and the right thing is to just lock her up without even trying to get her to people who could possibly create a cure? That seems even more selfish and fucked up then what ends up happening. I get why Joel does what he does in the end, but to not even try at all?
It's not even a cure they're developing, it's a vaccine, and a vaccine won't get rid of the fungus zombies that already exist (Or make you immune to being physically killed by them), won't recivilize the bandits and raiders running around etc. This is to say nothing of the logistics of actually mass producing and distributing a vaccine, let alone whether they could even create the vaccine in the first place (TLOU fans seem to particularly debate this last part. I tend to think they could at least create one vaccine, because otherwise the Joel's choices in the ending are just robbed of too much dramatic power).

A vaccine alone won't fix the broken society. Creating a new society of people that actually adapt to the existence of fungus zombies are how people will live in the long run. This is what Tommy and co. are trying to do.

Of course it's not going to be perfect transition, but it is still better than endless cycle of killing and raiding that only perpetuates itself. Can Joel even conceive of an alternative to his violent life style?

I don't see why she wouldn't be conscious of what that entails. I'm not sure why you think young people would be more prone to suicide idealization than others.
I didn't say they were MORE prone than others, that's a massive misread of what I wrote. I said they were "very susceptible". Sucide is second leading cause of death of in people age 10-24.

This is to say nothing of Ellie not only being an LGBT youth (According to that link LGBT youth are three times more likely than straight kids to contemplate suicide but also having survivor's guilt This latter aspect IIRC is more prevalent in the DLC than the main game but still comes up in the latter, and I think whether Ellie can make an informed whether decision or whether or not a desire for death is just itself a manifestation of some kind of depression or guilt becomes a very relevant question.

Final cutscene of the game even drives the survivor's guilt point home.

Ellie: Hey, wait. Back in Boston -- back when I was bitten -- I wasn't alone.
My best friend was there. And she got bit too. We didn't know what to
do. So...she says "Let's just wait it out. Y'know, we can be all poetic
and just lose our minds together." I'm still waiting for my turn.

Joel: Ellie--

Ellie: Her name was Riley and she was the first to die. And then it was Tess.
And then Sam.

Joel: None of that is on you.

Ellie: No, you don't understand.

Joel: I struggled for a long time with survivin'. And you-- No matter what,
you keep finding something to fight for. Now, I know that's not what you
want to hear right now, but it's--

Ellie: Swear to me. Swear to me that everything you said about the Fireflies
is true.


How can you look at a line like "I'm still waiting for my turn" and think that's at all the sign of a healthy mind? She's not saying something like "Oh I'm going to live on for my friends, build a good life in their memory" or anything along those lines, its exactly the opposite. She already wants "her turn" out of guilt.

Given the suicide rate is so low among kids/early-teens, and given what Ellie's already gone through to survive, and given that nobody is trying to convince her to sacrifice her life for "the greater good," I don't see why you think she wouldn't be capable of considering that and coming to an unbiased (as possible) decision.
While its true that the rate is lower in the 10-14 years age range, suicide rates massive spike up once you get to 15-24 year old range specifically, and since you thankfully pointed out for us that Ellie is 14, she she's entering that higher range soon. It's not a huge stretch of the imagination that suicidal 15 year olds were contemplating it beforehand.

There's also the actual in-game dialogue to consider.

Marlene: You can't save her. Even if you get her out of here, then what? How
long before she's torn to pieces by a pack of clickers? That is if she
hasn't been raped and murdered first.

Joel: That ain't for you to decide.

Marlene: It's what she'd want. And you know it. Look...

[She starts lowering her gun.]

Marlene: You can still do the right thing here. She won't feel anything.
Point is that such a "greater good" argument WOULD work on Ellie. Otherwise why does this entire segment of dialogue exist? They don't even have stock line of Joel telling Marlene that she's wrong for thinking Ellie would want to die.

Maybe these particular people didn't use that argument on Ellie specifically. Who's to say the next group of people won't?

I'm also curious as to why you think it would clearly be better for him to "explain" that she shouldn't throw her life away. If someone wanted to sacrifice themselves to save humanity, I don't see why that's innately a bad thing. About the worst you can say is that she'd really just be sacrificing herself for a CHANCE (not a guarantee) to save humanity.
I guess I'll just summarize my POV on this topic here: It's a bad thing if Ellie is only making the decision because of some kind of death wish and not because she truly believes it will help humanity- taking time to get older, experience more of life, and hopefully get out from the negative influence of a monster like Joel should give her time to actually think about what she really wants (Somehow I doubt Last of Us II will end with her dying a messiah-esque death). This in addition to the notion that the development of the vaccine being able to save humanity is an incredibly sketchy idea at best.

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Well, sure, the people who are there to support you should try to step in when you are making terrible decisions, but what genuinely terrible decisions is Ciri making? Also, I think part of the difficulty in this is being able to know what are terrible decisions and what aren't.
Wildly blowing up to thrash that dude's house at the very least is a terribly immature way to approach that. Can't say I like the idea that facing the sorceresses alone is somehow good- I know my ass would be calling up the Ghostbusters and whoever else I could find before going to such a meeting, just for backup.

The snowball thing I suppose is more dumb on Geralt's end.

Ultimate bad decision that Ciri can make though is joining the Witchers, especially if her motivation is to help people. At least that one can be prevented.

(As long as he's back when the new Taylor Swift album is released I'll be happy. :)
You guys and your albums...

Pitters knew you were fiery about our disagreement. ;)
Hmm, it seems there's a "Post icon" you can attach to a post every time you click to reply to a thread. I must have selected one on accident.
Last edited by Raxivace on Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #201

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:31 pm

Getting to lighter fare now...

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Think Rei in NGE but split even more so. Perhaps the reason the colossi attack Wander is because by being fragments of a soul they're more animalistic/instinctual rather than conscious. Though it's also worth pointing out some DON'T actively attack Wander. Though it also makes one wonder exactly how Dormin is communicating with Wander if, indeed, it's his spirit is actually in the colossi.
I suppose the Dormin who talks to Wander could be a 17th split of a soul, though if he's intelligent while the others are animalistic that just confuses things.

eah, Agro plummets of the cliff when Wander is riding him across a collapsing bridge. His survival strains credulity a lot, and it doesn't make sense why, if he was reincarnated, he's reincarnated with a limp.
FWIW I didn't mean literal rebirth with Agro, but metaphorical in that they're a character that appears to have died but shows up alive in the ending anyways after a string of characters like the girl actually coming back to life, Wander seeming to be reborn as the baby etc.

LOL, that cynical interpretation of SotC does remind me of what I've come to love about watching Critical Role so much, because death is a real threat and (in some cases) irreversible. It's also much more impactful when you spend that much time with characters that you come to love.
Yeah in a sense SotC seems to lack some actual consequence.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #202

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:47 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I might check them out, though I didn't care too much for the original VR missions.
They're a funny thing because if anything my biggest complaint about MGS2 is that there are too many VR Missions- in other words, too much gameplay!

There are something like 500 VR Missions in MGS2 and I'm not sure they even needed half of that.

Sniping missions were particularly hard from what I remember...

Do those cutscene comps include the Codec conversations? I assume they'd have to. In that case the actual gameplay would be closer to 3.5/4 hours. Still pretty darn short, but given how much of what I love about MGS is its emphasis on story that actually seems like a reasonable balance.
I haven't gone to check, though I'm sure they keep key Codecs in there.

Ah, well, it'll be a shame if none of the later MGSs have better bosses than MGS2. I know MGS3 has always been heavily praised for its bosses... I guess I'll just have to see for myself.
The fights themselves in MGS3 range from fine to good (With The End and The Boss being a lot of people's favorites), though as characters there's not much to most of them.

Like Vamp is hardly the greatest written character ever or anything, though you still get interesting little details about him, like how he's bisexual and actually had a relationship with Fortune's father in the past. You don't get anything like that about the dude who shoots bees sat you in MGS3 for example, IIRC anyways.

Essentially, our very own prowess for survival and reproduction exacerbate these problems with no "natural" solution possible, and the only solution being a conscious course correction that, again, we're not terribly incentivized to do.
Yeah I have no idea what the solution to this would be. Some days I think the internet should just be turned off altogether, other days I don't think that.

Are you both alive and dead, Raxi?
Yeah.

It also occurred to me: by throwing the dog tag with the player's (supposedy) name on it, isn't Raiden essentially breaking free of OUR control too?
Yes! Though I wonder if, in a sense, the player themselves shouldn't be considered as one of the Patriots...

Thanks. I'm assuming you picked up on the crazy Colonel quotes immediately given how much you've played the game? I thought maybe I could weave a few of them into my review before it became too obvious.
Yeah I think I noticed all of them. Actually, I was pretty impressed that managed to sneak some of the more obscure ones in there, beyond just references scissors and 61 and such.

I'm definitely looking forward to it, given it'll be the first MGS that I haven't played (at all) in ages. My instinct is that it might be a better "game" in some respects, but will probably be far more traditional as well. But that might not be bad given my love for MGS1, and it didn't have any of the metaphysical/metafictional trippiness of MGS2 either.
Ehh, MGS1 still had stuff like finding the code on the "back of the box" and switching controller ports and such, even if wasn't at full MGS2 mindfuck levels.

MGS3 seems much more "contained" to its fictional world, though there is one kind of neat easter egg dream sequence that I think the PS3 version sadly drops.

I was thinking of trying something completely different next like a fighter or FPS. I picked up the new Wolfenstein in the last PSN sale so I may try that just to have a fun palette cleanser after all the heavy artiness of SotC and MGS2. Yeah! Time to blow up some Nazis! U-S-A! U-S-A!
I haven't played Wolfenstein though I think people seem to like it.

BTW whenever you're in the mood for an arty game again, and if you could find it cheap, I'd be curious to get your take on Gone Home. That came out a few years ago and was incredibly divisive (Partly because its like 2 hours long and cost like 20 dollars, and partly because of the game itself), though I think me and maz were some of the only people kind of just in the middle on it.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #203

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:07 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I have a feeling I'd like Shenmue much more now and actually picked them up in another recent PSN sale.
I played Shenmue I and II last year and really liked them, particularly the first game. This is the kind of spoilerly post I wrote about them, though I'm not sure if they're games where the plot quite matters, even if there's a fair amount of plot in them.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #204

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Raxivace wrote:I don't think any of that is "thriving"- at best it teaches violent, selfish sociopathy that only perpetuates the terrible world they currently live in. This is beyond just basic self-defense.

I don't think Kony is that ridiculous of a comparison at all. The end of the game is Joel abducting Ellie from a hospital and feeding her propaganda about how he ended up with her ("The Fireflies have stopped looking for you, they don't need a cure" etc.). He's already more or less turned Ellie into a child soldier (Just look at the list of skills and accomplishments you've outlined above).

It just sets off warning bells for me. I wouldn't be surprised if Last of Us II: Attack of the Fungus Clones really makes an effort to discern the differences between Ellie and Joel, and specifically if she's going to ultimately follow in his footsteps and continue his legacy or ultimately reject it and him. Here's hoping for the latter.
There are certain worlds in which violent selfishness is literally the only way to survive. When the majority of the world would as soon kill you as look at you, there's not much room for empathy or diplomacy. To say that such an attitude "perpetuates" that world is missing the point. The only way you can move towards something more civilized is to have a lot of people on the same page that are willing to do that, and I don't think there's anything in the game that suggests that's the world they're in.

Not to sound all MGS2 AI, but context is everything. Joel didn't abduct Ellie because he wanted her to be a soldier for him in a holy war; he abducted her because he developed a fatherly attachment to her, and likewise "fed her propaganda" for a number of reasons, but primarily to keep her alive, and to prevent her from fighting back if, indeed, she disagreed with Joel's decision. Teaching someone to survive is also very different from turning them into a child soldier, even if the two may share some similar skills. Intent is very important here, and I don't see how you can say Joel and Kony's intentions are remotely similar.

Raxivace wrote:The "kill or killed" attitude that characters like Joel espouse is just thinly veiled fascistic ideology- that's what makes the world of TLOU so terrible, this downplaying of empathy and kindness toward others as somehow a sign of weakness, not the zombies or decaying concrete or whatever.

Even in the game's prologue, before Stock Daughter #1 is killed, Joel is already ignoring the cries of help and his neighbors and such, encouraging Tommy to drive on past them. The "we need to survive!!!!!" excuse is just a thin rationalization (And keeping Ellie along in the ending provides perfect rationalization for that), not much just different than Walter White cooking meth "for his family". It's never really been about staying alive for Joel, just like Walt was only a drug kingpin for himself.
It's fascist ideology in our world where such an attitude (or, at least, its fundamental fears) are patently untrue given the current state of civilization. Meanwhile, everything in the world of TLOU seems to suggest that attitude and its fundamental fears are very true and very well-founded. Empathy and kindness isn't weakness, but it is inherently risky if those you're showing it to are going to exploit it, perhaps violently.

Yes, Joel drives past his neighbors crying for help right after another of his neighbors broke into house and tried to eat him, so the fear isn't unfounded. This is also shortly before they come a city that's burning, where people are being eaten in the streets, and the military is brutally executing people. I don't see how "we need to survive!" is a rationalization; it's literally what they're doing. I mean, what the hell is it a rationalization for? You think that if the city weren't in chaos, if he hadn't just killed a zombie, he wouldn't have stopped to help his neighbors?

Raxivace wrote:Tommy's society is hardly a coded as a military state (How could it even be one when they've only been there for like a week?). If any setting in the game is a military complex its the city you start the game out in, where people are being literally shot in the streets (It's one of the first things the game shows you for a reason). You don't really see such things at the powerplant.
Everyone walks around the complex carrying guns. Tommy speaks of how they've already been raided before. They're attacked while Joel and Ellie are there. Ellie rides a few minutes away and are attacked at an abandoned home. I'm really not seeing how you're seeing this as "stable" and how it could ever be stable without implementing some kind of "military state" where people are always on guard and those living there are always ready to defend it. Hell, the sewer people seemed to have set up a more stable society before they ended up dead too.

Raxivace wrote:What is Joel's plans for Ellie after the ending of the game? What are they even going to do?

Either they're becoming scavengers themselves, or he's taking her back to his "home" to continue the kind of work he was doing beforehand. The kind of work that made them "shitty people" in Tess' eyes.
I don't know what his exact plans are, but I can't imagine he broke Ellie out of there in order to risk her life even more so. That wouldn't make much sense.

Raxivace wrote:It's not even a cure they're developing, it's a vaccine, and a vaccine won't get rid of the fungus zombies that already exist (Or make you immune to being physically killed by them), won't recivilize the bandits and raiders running around etc. This is to say nothing of the logistics of actually mass producing and distributing a vaccine, let alone whether they could even create the vaccine in the first place (TLOU fans seem to particularly debate this last part. I tend to think they could at least create one vaccine, because otherwise the Joel's choices in the ending are just robbed of too much dramatic power).

A vaccine alone won't fix the broken society. Creating a new society of people that actually adapt to the existence of fungus zombies are how people will live in the long run. This is what Tommy and co. are trying to do.

Of course it's not going to be perfect transition, but it is still better than endless cycle of killing and raiding that only perpetuates itself. Can Joel even conceive of an alternative to his violent life style?
Even a vaccine would be saving tons of people. With a vaccine Tess, Sam, and Riley all would've lived. Of course it wouldn't be an instant fix for the world and yes the logistics would make it hard to implement, but it would be a huge step in the right direction. It would give a lot of people hope and would probably help assuage a lot of the fear that's hugely responsible for the very "survive at all cost" attitudes that you decry in the game.

Of course developing new societies is what's needed, but that's no easier done logistically than what you say about the vaccine. Not in a world that's already been broken that much. Tommy is just more proof of this; how many of his people were killed in that raid? How many are left? It takes years to build a new society, and if you're constantly under attack and people are being killed you'll likely never even get the chance to have a next generation before you're wiped out.

Raxivace wrote:I didn't say they were MORE prone than others, that's a massive misread of what I wrote. I said they were "very susceptible". Sucide is second leading cause of death of in people age 10-24.

This is to say nothing of Ellie not only being an LGBT youth (According to that link LGBT youth are three times more likely than straight kids to contemplate suicide but also having survivor's guilt This latter aspect IIRC is more prevalent in the DLC than the main game but still comes up in the latter, and I think whether Ellie can make an informed whether decision or whether or not a desire for death is just itself a manifestation of some kind of depression or guilt becomes a very relevant question.

Final cutscene of the game even drives the survivor's guilt point home.

Ellie: Hey, wait. Back in Boston -- back when I was bitten -- I wasn't alone.
My best friend was there. And she got bit too. We didn't know what to
do. So...she says "Let's just wait it out. Y'know, we can be all poetic
and just lose our minds together." I'm still waiting for my turn.

Joel: Ellie--

Ellie: Her name was Riley and she was the first to die. And then it was Tess.
And then Sam.

Joel: None of that is on you.

Ellie: No, you don't understand.

Joel: I struggled for a long time with survivin'. And you-- No matter what,
you keep finding something to fight for. Now, I know that's not what you
want to hear right now, but it's--

Ellie: Swear to me. Swear to me that everything you said about the Fireflies
is true.


How can you look at a line like "I'm still waiting for my turn" and think that's at all the sign of a healthy mind? She's not saying something like "Oh I'm going to live on for my friends, build a good life in their memory" or anything along those lines, its exactly the opposite. She already wants "her turn" out of guilt.
"Very susceptible" implies that there is some age group that isn't "very susceptible," but according to statistics the only age group that has almost no suicide is those 14-and-younger, and considering the next age group with the least suicides is those between 15 and early adulthood, it doesn't make much sense to call them "very susceptible." The LGBT stuff is more compelling, but we actually don't know this from TLOU and Joel doesn't know it either, so it's a bit unfair to bring that up in this context. If anything, Ellie's "interest" in the male nudie mag would've suggested the opposite to him.

What would count as a "healthy mind" for someone who's been through what they've been through? How unhealthy is some amount of survivor's guilt? I'd say it's probably pretty natural and only unhealthy to the extent that someone actually started contemplating suicide because of that guilt. But I don't think merely acknowledging that guilt is an indicator of someone who would find suicide appealing. If anything, the kind of depression that usually brings on suicides is what you see at the end of NGE rather than the determinism to survive that you see from Ellie throughout TLOU. So whatever her feelings--which, again, are probably incredibly common and not, IMO, an innate sign of something unhealthy--her actions don't give any indication that she would be particularly prone to wanting to commit suicide. That's also entirely different from being willing to sacrifice yourself to save hundreds if not thousands of people, which wouldn't require that someone be prone to suicide either.

I also read her lines a bit different: "waiting for my turn" isn't saying "I want my turn to come," it's saying "I'm still stuck in that head space of being resigned to a death that never happened." It's got to be weird to come to terms with the fact that you're going to die, only to have it not happen, but then watch it happen to everyone around you that you love.

Raxivace wrote:IThere's also the actual in-game dialogue to consider.

Marlene: You can't save her. Even if you get her out of here, then what? How
long before she's torn to pieces by a pack of clickers? That is if she
hasn't been raped and murdered first.

Joel: That ain't for you to decide.

Marlene: It's what she'd want. And you know it. Look...

[She starts lowering her gun.]

Marlene: You can still do the right thing here. She won't feel anything.
Point is that such a "greater good" argument WOULD work on Ellie. Otherwise why does this entire segment of dialogue exist? They don't even have stock line of Joel telling Marlene that she's wrong for thinking Ellie would want to die.

Maybe these particular people didn't use that argument on Ellie specifically. Who's to say the next group of people won't?
I'd say that segment of dialogue exists for two reasons: one is that it explicitly spells out the dilemma for the audience, and two is because that's what Marlene thinks given that she's someone with "the greater good" in mind. Joel's right too when he says "that's not for you to decide." Neither of them actually gave Ellie a choice.

Raxivace wrote:I guess I'll just summarize my POV on this topic here: It's a bad thing if Ellie is only making the decision because of some kind of death wish and not because she truly believes it will help humanity- taking time to get older, experience more of life, and hopefully get out from the negative influence of a monster like Joel should give her time to actually think about what she really wants (Somehow I doubt Last of Us II will end with her dying a messiah-esque death). This in addition to the notion that the development of the vaccine being able to save humanity is an incredibly sketchy idea at best.
We don't actually disagree here, though I'm less adamant about how much doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is actually doing the wrong thing at all.

Raxivace wrote:Wildly blowing up to thrash that dude's house at the very least is a terribly immature way to approach that. Can't say I like the idea that facing the sorceresses alone is somehow good- I know my ass would be calling up the Ghostbusters and whoever else I could find before going to such a meeting, just for backup.

The snowball thing I suppose is more dumb on Geralt's end.

Ultimate bad decision that Ciri can make though is joining the Witchers, especially if her motivation is to help people. At least that one can be prevented.
Immature and dumb/silly are hardly what I'd call terrible decisions though. Blowing off steam in such ways can probably be net beneficial under such stressful circumstances.

You'll have to elaborate on the last bit. Seems Witchers very much have the ability to help people; whether they do or not would depend on their attitude/temperament/approach.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #205

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:42 pm

Raxivace wrote:Getting to lighter fare now...

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Think Rei in NGE but split even more so. Perhaps the reason the colossi attack Wander is because by being fragments of a soul they're more animalistic/instinctual rather than conscious. Though it's also worth pointing out some DON'T actively attack Wander. Though it also makes one wonder exactly how Dormin is communicating with Wander if, indeed, it's his spirit is actually in the colossi.
I suppose the Dormin who talks to Wander could be a 17th split of a soul, though if he's intelligent while the others are animalistic that just confuses things.
There are ways to make it work, though, since you could imagine that the higher mind functions are separate from the instinctual ones within the colossi; or you could propose a mind/body dualism where the colossi represent Dormin's "spiritual body" while his mind is trapped in the temple.

Raxivace wrote:
eah, Agro plummets of the cliff when Wander is riding him across a collapsing bridge. His survival strains credulity a lot, and it doesn't make sense why, if he was reincarnated, he's reincarnated with a limp.
FWIW I didn't mean literal rebirth with Agro, but metaphorical in that they're a character that appears to have died but shows up alive in the ending anyways after a string of characters like the girl actually coming back to life, Wander seeming to be reborn as the baby etc.
Ah, gotcha.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #206

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:53 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:I might check them out, though I didn't care too much for the original VR missions.
They're a funny thing because if anything my biggest complaint about MGS2 is that there are too many VR Missions- in other words, too much gameplay!

There are something like 500 VR Missions in MGS2 and I'm not sure they even needed half of that.

Sniping missions were particularly hard from what I remember...
I might check them out, but I guess, to me, MGS without the story or story-related objectives and interesting bosses just isn't all that appealing.

Speaking of which, what do you make of the theory that either all or the ending of MGS2 is itself a VR mission? I admit, it would make a lot of sense stuff like the Ray fight where you seem to be in a VR arena, and the fact that you're walking on a seemingly digitized ground, and how much of the enemies switch to being ninjas. Much of it doesn't make sense taken literally. Though I've MGS4 essentially nixed this idea, just looking at MGS2 it makes a lot of sense.

Raxivace wrote:
Essentially, our very own prowess for survival and reproduction exacerbate these problems with no "natural" solution possible, and the only solution being a conscious course correction that, again, we're not terribly incentivized to do.
Yeah I have no idea what the solution to this would be. Some days I think the internet should just be turned off altogether, other days I don't think that.
The internet is just a tool like anything else and subject to the best and worst aspects of humanity. I know it's been immensely beneficial to my life, but that's just me.

Raxivace wrote:
It also occurred to me: by throwing the dog tag with the player's (supposedy) name on it, isn't Raiden essentially breaking free of OUR control too?
Yes! Though I wonder if, in a sense, the player themselves shouldn't be considered as one of the Patriots...
Or perhaps an agent of The Patriots, since they'd be controlling us controlling Raiden.

Raxivace wrote:
Thanks. I'm assuming you picked up on the crazy Colonel quotes immediately given how much you've played the game? I thought maybe I could weave a few of them into my review before it became too obvious.
Yeah I think I noticed all of them. Actually, I was pretty impressed that managed to sneak some of the more obscure ones in there, beyond just references scissors and 61 and such.
I had to look up a list of them as there was a ton I missed playing the actual game. I think I included one at the end of every paragraph after the first few.

Raxivace wrote:
I'm definitely looking forward to it, given it'll be the first MGS that I haven't played (at all) in ages. My instinct is that it might be a better "game" in some respects, but will probably be far more traditional as well. But that might not be bad given my love for MGS1, and it didn't have any of the metaphysical/metafictional trippiness of MGS2 either.
Ehh, MGS1 still had stuff like finding the code on the "back of the box" and switching controller ports and such, even if wasn't at full MGS2 mindfuck levels.

MGS3 seems much more "contained" to its fictional world, though there is one kind of neat easter egg dream sequence that I think the PS3 version sadly drops.
Yeah, MGS1's metafictional stuff was mostly just gameplay related, but I was thinking more thematically relevant the way MGS2 was. Why would the PS3 drop a dream sequence from MGS3?

Raxivace wrote:BTW whenever you're in the mood for an arty game again, and if you could find it cheap, I'd be curious to get your take on Gone Home. That came out a few years ago and was incredibly divisive (Partly because its like 2 hours long and cost like 20 dollars, and partly because of the game itself), though I think me and maz were some of the only people kind of just in the middle on it.
Interesting, I'll check it out. I've actually picked up a ton of games over the past few months, especially after PSN's summer sale. I probably have way more than I'll ever end up playing, lol. I was actually thinking of doing FFV next since it's been a while since my last FF game and I have a ton of them to get through.
Last edited by Eva Yojimbo on Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #207

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:55 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:I have a feeling I'd like Shenmue much more now and actually picked them up in another recent PSN sale.
I played Shenmue I and II last year and really liked them, particularly the first game. This is the kind of spoilerly post I wrote about them, though I'm not sure if they're games where the plot quite matters, even if there's a fair amount of plot in them.
Not terribly related, but have you played any of the Yakuza games? Girlfriend Reviews released a video on Yakuza 0 and it looked utterly batshit insane:

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #208

Postby Raxivace » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:15 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Not terribly related, but have you played any of the Yakuza games? Girlfriend Reviews released a video on Yakuza 0 and it looked utterly batshit insane:
Not yet, though I've heard very good things (A lot of people seem to compare them to Shenmue actually) and I do already own 0, Kiwami 1, Kiwami 2, and 6. 3, 4, and 5 seem to be getting PS4 ports at some point as well. I think there are spinoffs and such too but I don't know much about those.

I actually was planning to play Yakuza 0 right after Spider-Man, but Goldeneye and several other games are keeping me away from Spider-Man which keeps me away from Yakuza.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #209

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:27 pm

Image

I won't have a lot to say about this one. It's a really solid FPS. Indeed a good palette cleanser after some arty, complex, and/or long games. There's not much that's particularly excellent, but nothing is egregiously bad either, and there are some interesting elements that keep it from being just bland. Genre-wise, it's interesting mash-up of a war game with noir storytelling in a steampunk world. You play a soldier in WW2 who gets completely disabled (in a vegetable state) after taking shrapnel to the head, ends up in a Polish psych ward for 14 years, and wakes up in 1960 to find the Nazis won the war and have an army of robots and mechanized soldiers. Much of the story is done in a highly stylized and literary voiceover (hence the noir aspect) as your character offers faux-poetic impressions of the war, his memories, his life, emotions, etc. This certainly makes him more interesting than your average FPS protagonist. The game trades depth for caricatures and quirks, which probably works better in a game like this anyway as opposed to going for more dramatic realism. Despite this, there are still some moments of catharsis, especially at its end; and even in select moments before that. I especially liked the ultra-quirky character of Tecla, whom I learned is only available in one of the game's timelines (depending on which character you save early on).

Gameplay wise, it's a pretty typical FPS. There are some stealth sections, but they're optional, and you can just go in guns blazing all the time. I played this on the second-to-hardest difficulty and that definitely made it more of a challenge and made stealthing a much better option most of the time. Still, there are tons of mandatory firefights where you will be swamped by enemies and strategic gameplay--in terms of choosing the best weapons and routes--are mandatory in order to survive. Even then you'll die many, many times before you get lucky enough to survive. The full-on robots in the game are just nightmares to beat, and whenever they come in packs, or are surrounded by soldiers (especially the armored ones), you'll be in for a hell of a fight. The last stage features a section with no less than three of these robot bastards and about a dozen armored soldiers on multiple levels of a compound that took me well over a dozen tries to get through. Still, after playing some on the medium difficulty and breezing through everything I found the challenge of the next level vastly preferable.

Design-wise a few things stand out, especially one level where you assault a train with a mechanized twisty ball that destroys the bridge and train, and you're basically hopping from compartment to compartment--some of them suspended vertically from the bridge--while trying to take out the remaining soldiers, often in the distance. While not one of the more difficult levels, it was the most memorably designed. The boss fights (there's only a few of them) were somewhat disappointing, as most had fairly predictable patterns that, once you found an ideal hiding spot, could simply be cheesed with a little patience. There's also a level (or two) where you visit a moon base, which almost seems like an intentional callback to the moon-based levels in Goldeneye. Perhaps the only thing I found annoying about the game is how, once enemies were alerted to your presence, there was no way to get in any easy shots at them. What I mean is even if you ran to the opposite end of the room, the minute you peaked out from a hiding spot they'd be instantly firing at you, even if there's no way that they'd be able to know you were there.

Anyway, I'll reiterate: solid FPS, a few standout elements, nothing really wrong or bad about it. I'm between a 6 or 7/10, but I think given my new rating system this is closer to a 6/10: "Good" as opposed "Very Good."
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #210

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 pm

Jimbo, only you could post a video about video games I don't even particularly like and somehow get me to continuously defend a position said video argues. [blah]

I'm trying to cut down a bit here (And hopefully we can wrap this up here soon) because I feel like we could go in circles forever about this.

Eva Yojimbo wrote:The only way you can move towards something more civilized is to have a lot of people on the same page that are willing to do that, and I don't think there's anything in the game that suggests that's the world they're in.
I still maintain that Tommy's society is meant to be that. More on this later on in the post, stay tuned...

Intent is very important here, and I don't see how you can say Joel and Kony's intentions are remotely similar.
It's raising child soldiers to fulfill self-centered desires- ignoring "practical" uses of such soldiers for a moment, while Kony may have whatever religious delusions he does, for Joel its to create an idealized version of his daughter to make up for his failure as a father to protect her.

I mean, what the hell is it a rationalization for?
That Joel likes to hurt people. Like that scene where he tortures those guys before murdering them is practically out of a GOP wet dream.

You could probably argue that like most bad zombie fiction, the world of The Last of Us is basically a fantasy zone where Joel can live out his repressed desire for violence.

You think that if the city weren't in chaos, if he hadn't just killed a zombie, he wouldn't have stopped to help his neighbors?
Is there literally any indication at all that he would have? I feel like if there was the game would have shown us this- it would make for a very easy contrast between his original self and who he becomes after the zombies attack if that were the case.

What the game does show us though is that Joel is consistently self-centered above all else. Even his relationship with Ellie is more about him than it is her.

Everyone walks around the complex carrying guns.
So did guards at the high school I went to- that hardly makes it or the powerplant a military state.

Tommy speaks of how they've already been raided before. They're attacked while Joel and Ellie are there.
And yet despite multiple raid attempts the society still exists, and there's no real indication that its on its last legs or anything. There was even that epilogue thing that had Joel and Ellie return there- while I don't think that should be taken as an event that actually happens in the game (Otherwise it would be in the game of course), it does add credence to my point of view that Tommy's society is meant to be viewed as the preferable alternative to the life Joel leads.

Interestingly, there was another planned ending at one point where Joel and Ellie live out of the rest of their days in a peaceful San Francisco.

Druckmann wrote:"The original ending when we pitched the game was a much more hopeful ending, where Joel and Ellie make it to San Francisco and that is a town run by people who are trying to restore society," Druckmann revealed. "Joel has killed all these doctors and lied to Ellie, and Ellie just fully buys into the lie. So, you're left with the idea that they are going to live the rest of their lives in this town."

"The camera pulls back and maybe everything is going to be alright for these two. I was working on writing, and it didn't feel honest anymore," he added. "After everything they've done and everything they've been through, that was letting them off a little too easy - especially for Joel."
https://primagames.com/news/naughty-dog-reveals-original-ending-last-us

I think this comment is revealing in a lot of ways- they don't go with this particular ending not because of logistics of society rebuilding itself or anything, but because of what it would mean for Joel's character. That he gets off "too easy" for the things he's done.

Hell, the sewer people seemed to have set up a more stable society before they ended up dead too.
Sewer people can't be more stable by definition if they all ended up dead!!!!

I mean for god's sake they lived in a sewer. Emulating Curt Connors has never been the way to go!

I don't know what his exact plans are, but I can't imagine he broke Ellie out of there in order to risk her life even more so. That wouldn't make much sense.
I don't it's that hard to imagine, especially since a sequel to this game is coming where presumably more rather meaningless action/adventure shenanigans are going to occur.

Even a vaccine would be saving tons of people. With a vaccine Tess, Sam, and Riley all would've lived. Of course it wouldn't be an instant fix for the world and yes the logistics would make it hard to implement, but it would be a huge step in the right direction. It would give a lot of people hope and would probably help assuage a lot of the fear that's hugely responsible for the very "survive at all cost" attitudes that you decry in the game.
I think you're putting much more stock in that "probably" than I ever would. Likewise the idea that Tess. and co. would live with a vaccine seems like speculation rather than a certainty.

Of course developing new societies is what's needed, but that's no easier done logistically than what you say about the vaccine. Not in a world that's already been broken that much. Tommy is just more proof of this; how many of his people were killed in that raid? How many are left? It takes years to build a new society, and if you're constantly under attack and people are being killed you'll likely never even get the chance to have a next generation before you're wiped out.
Apparently enough are left for it to still be maintained...

IIRC the only people that died were redshirts anyways.

"Very susceptible" implies that there is some age group that isn't "very susceptible," but according to statistics the only age group that has almost no suicide is those 14-and-younger, and considering the next age group with the least suicides is those between 15 and early adulthood, it doesn't make much sense to call them "very susceptible."
It's still a pretty massive spike in that next age group though.

The LGBT stuff is more compelling, but we actually don't know this from TLOU and Joel doesn't know it either, so it's a bit unfair to bring that up in this context. If anything, Ellie's "interest" in the male nudie mag would've suggested the opposite to him.
It's in the DLC, so it is in the game (My copy at least), and if Joel doesn't know such basic facts about Ellie after spending literal months with her than that says far more about his ability to form meaningful connections with others than it does about her.

Ellie throws that male nudie mag out the car window too while they're driving IIRC- that should probably be a hint she wasn't actually that interested in dudes, if not to Joel then at least to an actively engaged audience.

What would count as a "healthy mind" for someone who's been through what they've been through?
Someone who is able to move on.

I also read her lines a bit different: "waiting for my turn" isn't saying "I want my turn to come," it's saying "I'm still stuck in that head space of being resigned to a death that never happened." It's got to be weird to come to terms with the fact that you're going to die, only to have it not happen, but then watch it happen to everyone around you that you love.
She specifically feels responsible for the deaths of her loved ones though ("Joel: None of that is on you." "Ellie: No,"), which I think very specifically contextualizes that "I'm still waiting" line beyond what you're saying here.

It seems like a very clear-cut release from guilt she seeks to me.

I'd say that segment of dialogue exists for two reasons: one is that it explicitly spells out the dilemma for the audience, and two is because that's what Marlene thinks given that she's someone with "the greater good" in mind. Joel's right too when he says "that's not for you to decide." Neither of them actually gave Ellie a choice.
They don't give her a choice, though both believe Ellie would choose a specific outcome if given that choice. I think this is the kind of game where we're meant to take Marlene's comments about the choice Ellie would make and Joel's inability to deny it as a factual statement about Ellie's psychology.

We don't actually disagree here, though I'm less adamant about how much doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is actually doing the wrong thing at all.
In the abstract I think its a bad thing if continuing to follow the "wrong reasons" for doing something just because it lead to a good outcome once could lead to undesirable outcomes in the future. Perhaps a comparison can be made to the problem of "results oriented thinking" in games like poker, where a hypothetical bad player only continues to make unoptimal or outright bad moves in future games just because they got lucky once and won a game with a bad card play that normally wouldn't work a few days ago.

Of course this is presuming we can even agree upon what the right thing to do in any given situation even is to begin with, let alone what a good path or a bad path to get to said decisions would be.

Immature and dumb/silly are hardly what I'd call terrible decisions though. Blowing off steam in such ways can probably be net beneficial under such stressful circumstances.
If I got mad at Gendo for his bad Blade Runner opinions would I be justified in going to his house and trashing it?

Answer: Yes, because let's be honest someone has to do something about that. Any other reason though would hardly be justified by selfish personal benefits that rampaging through someone else's home would bring me.

You'll have to elaborate on the last bit. Seems Witchers very much have the ability to help people; whether they do or not would depend on their attitude/temperament/approach.
Not on a meaningful macro level though, which Ciri can achieve by becoming Empress and making actual social change. Choosing to become a Witcher over that tells me she cares more about fueling her own ego.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #211

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:31 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:There are ways to make it work, though, since you could imagine that the higher mind functions are separate from the instinctual ones within the colossi; or you could propose a mind/body dualism where the colossi represent Dormin's "spiritual body" while his mind is trapped in the temple.
While there's nothing I can say to really contradict this idea, part of me wonders if any of these more elaborate explanations simply go against the minimalist nature of SotC.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #212

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:42 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Speaking of which, what do you make of the theory that either all or the ending of MGS2 is itself a VR mission? I admit, it would make a lot of sense stuff like the Ray fight where you seem to be in a VR arena, and the fact that you're walking on a seemingly digitized ground, and how much of the enemies switch to being ninjas. Much of it doesn't make sense taken literally. Though I've MGS4 essentially nixed this idea, just looking at MGS2 it makes a lot of sense.
I think if you consider MGS2 in the context of when it was released in makes a lot of sense (At the very least I think you're supposed to consider the idea), though MGS4 and Revengeance take MGS2 as a literal/physical/whatever you want to call it event.

Luckily we can consider the game in multiple different contexts... We have that power!

The internet is just a tool like anything else and subject to the best and worst aspects of humanity. I know it's been immensely beneficial to my life, but that's just me.
I gained a lot from it myself, I just can't say with a comfortable degree of certainty what I gained outweighs the bad the internet has brought.

Or perhaps an agent of The Patriots, since they'd be controlling us controlling Raiden.
Oooohhh, yeah that's a neat way to think of it.

Yeah, MGS1's metafictional stuff was mostly just gameplay related, but I was thinking more thematically relevant the way MGS2 was.
I can't remember where I heard this argument before, though I remember one explanation was that MGS1 stuff was actually Kojima specifically planting thematic seeds for where MGS2 would go.

I'd have to track down wherever that argument originated from, though on the surface there's some merit to it I think. MGS1 is already dropping plot hooks for MGS2 anyways, like revealing Solidus Snake not only existing but being the POTUS as well (IIRC).

I know if you 100% completed MGS1 VR Missions you unlocked a picture of Metal Gear Ray as well (And I think the actual Ray arena in MGS2 is supposed to be based on an area in VR Missions? I know footage of VR Missions is used in the Colonel's freakout at least).

Why would the PS3 drop a dream sequence from MGS3?
I'm not actually sure why it was dropped. I know there was an Ape Escape minigame that was dropped as well though IIRC that was because Ape Escape was owned by Sony and MGS3 HD was getting released on the Xbox 360 as well.

Interesting, I'll check it out. I've actually picked up a ton of games over the past few months, especially after PSN's summer sale. I probably have way more than I'll ever end up playing, lol. I was actually thinking of doing FFV next since it's been a while since my last FF game and I have a ton of them to get through.
I really liked FFV the story is pretty lighthearted, but the combat is quite good in that game and very customizable.

When I played the game I did a challenge run where you restrict each character to a randomly assigned job. It was pretty cool and there are a lot of resources online for these kinds of runs in the game. You end up exploiting very odd strategies to win fights, its cool.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #213

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:44 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Perhaps the only thing I found annoying about the game is how, once enemies were alerted to your presence, there was no way to get in any easy shots at them. What I mean is even if you ran to the opposite end of the room, the minute you peaked out from a hiding spot they'd be instantly firing at you, even if there's no way that they'd be able to know you were there.
This is something I've noticed in some of these FPS games and I've never quite understood why they are that way. Maybe the developers think it would just be too easy if the enemies weren't so instant?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #214

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:52 pm

ThLegendfeldaLinkAwakeningDX.JPG
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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (1993/1998)

I really liked this game as a kid, though I never got too far into it. With the recent announcement of the remake I wanted to go back and beat the original. Er, the DX version of the original anyways.

Anyways, while I skipped Zelda II and Link to the Past, I have to say the improvements this makes to Zelda 1 are noticeable. There's actual guidance where to go! The enemies aren't ridiculous! There are actual puzzles! There's a story and its actually pretty good for a Game Boy title! The ending in particular is ridiculously melancholy for this kind of game.

The only real complaint I had about this was how often you had to switch between items just to traverse around the world, though its excusable as a limitation from the hardware this came out on. The remake seems to be addressing this too by always having certain items equipped.

Also I have to say the photo additions were a really nice touch to the DX version (That from what I hear the remake will sadly drop).

Photograph_3.png
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^Like man they just make Link a straight up goofball in these things and its great. Makes that ending sting a little more too.

Photograph06.png
Photograph06.png (8.94 KiB) Viewed 45 times

^Run away Link! You can do it!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #215

Postby Gendo » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:11 pm

Looking forward to the Switch release. I vaguely remember playing the game a long time ago.

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #216

Postby Raxivace » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:03 pm

Gendo wrote:Looking forward to the Switch release. I vaguely remember playing the game a long time ago.
I really like the art style they’re using for the Switch version. It’s almost like claymation or something, its cool.
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