Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the October edition of the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.
On Monday, I tweeted that while Thumper (Drool, 2016) looked and sounded great, I had already decided I wasn’t putting myself through that. I didn’t want the stress.
The next day I put myself through THOTH (Carlsen Games, 2016), a twin-stick arena shooter with an important twist. Normally, shooting is the act of cleaning. Not here. In THOTH, shooting is the act of making your life fucking worse.
Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is the second series, episode 5 of 10.
- This is a co-op title for the Nintendo Wii U
- The car horn is adorable
- "Whoa whoa whoa whoaaaaa we got a little bit close there"
- Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren of Knytt Stories worked on this title with KnapNok Games
If you enjoy the series, please like our videos and subscribe to our channel.
Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.
Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the September edition of the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.
So I had this week's post Arithmophobia in my head for months as “write some words on how RPG numbers put me off playing” using The Story of Thor and Dark Souls as examples from different sides of the numerical wall. It was meant to be short, more about these individual games, but something happened on the way to the Publish button: I started to question why those numbers were important.
I had no conclusion so instead turned the ending into an invitation to discuss. And a lot of people got in touch, through the comments and on Twitter. This has been great and helped sharpen up my thoughts.
This post is a more structured take on RPG stats than the original Arithmophobia, touching on different aspects such as grind, feedback, accessibility and more. It was supposed to be short. Who would have guessed that evaluating the role of numbers in an RPG turns out to be a goddamn rabbit hole...
To show I’m not biased against numbers, I’m going to number every subsection. P.S. I also have a PhD in mathematics.
Tony Van was the producer in charge of localizing a Japanese RPG called The Story of Thor: Hikari wo Tsugu Mono (Ancient, 1994) for Western audiences, but received a badly translated copy of the story to work from.
In an interview for the The Game Localization Handbook, he explained: “I tried my hardest to figure it out, but was completely baffled. I was under extreme time pressure to get it out for Christmas, so I didn’t have time to contact the Japanese office to track down the original source and get it re-translated. I simply rewrote the story and dialogue using all the plot points I could understand as references and writing that sounded good to me when I didn’t understand the plot points!”
Instead of the action taking place in “the world of Thor”, the English translation located everything in “the land of Oasis” and the game was sold in North America as Beyond Oasis. Someone decided it would sell better in Europe under its original title of The Story of Thor: A Successor of the Light except it left thousands of European Sega Megadrive owners with a mystery: who the bloody Hell is Thor?
I will forever remember it as The Story of Thor because Thor is one of my personal favourites. I’ve played through it three times: the first time was in 1994 as the academic chapter of my life was coming to a close; the second time in 2006 as pure comfort gaming on an emulator; the third time, this year, was a performance for my children, who enjoyed the watching but had little interest in the doing. It can now be bought on Steam for a couple of dollars.
This recent and perhaps final playthrough was illuminating because I was simultaneously playing… dun-dun-duuuunnnn Dark Souls (From Software, 2011).
I completed the first-person thriller Asemblance (Nilo Studios, 2016) in a few hours but what had started out as excitement morphed into frustration and eventually liquefied into a bitter soup of dissatisfaction.
Like Cradle (Flying Cafe for Semianimals, 2015) which I discussed recently, it marries interesting ideas to some big flaws. But it has a lethal problem which cannot be fixed: something that’s vital to enjoy the game is not included in the purchase price.
Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the August SPECIAL NO MAN'S SKY edition of the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.
Hidden inside The Unbearable Now was access to a secret video. After three weeks, I decided to make the video public for everyone. Here it is, twenty random observations about The Witness (Thelka, 2016) which had no home in The Unbearable Now.
There be much spoilers for The Witness from the very beginning; the focus is more on puzzle mechanics.
Also here’s the audience retention graph for The Unbearable Now! Click the image for a larger version.
The red band indicates the twenty second challenge. I was pleased to discover that the audience who hung on this far stayed for the ride and did not let me down. The green circle seems to be interest in Sokobond, but I can’t be sure. The spike at the end is clearly a lot of viewers trying to solve the mystery of the secret video.
Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the slightly late July edition of the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.