28 August 2017

Gimme SOMA That Biomech Lovin'

Oh lordy. This game, y'all.

So a friend of mine who knows I love me some survival horror recommended Soma to me a while back. And I was like, eh, perhaps indeed.  And then I tried it. And now I'm like...holy fuck.


I am six beers into a horror game that is tapping into every fear I have so...you know. This shit is happening.

First of all, a lovely warning, as with all amazing games:

Mind it.

So Soma is a game which begins ever so innocently with a fellow in a shitty apartment in Toronto. He seems to have dain bramage, and his place is a fucking mess, mostly because I threw all of his shit around because YOU CAN GRAB EVERYTHING OKAY.

He goes to some shabby joint that looks like someone is either in the process of moving in or moving out hella fast.  There's a syringe on the floor because hep. And an overturned chair in the hallway because YOU CAN GRAB EVERYTHING OKAY.

Then you get in a freaky contraption and...

BOOM. You wake up in Rapture (I mean Upsilon), an underwater facility full of creepy apocalyptic notes and sentient machines. Angry sentient machines. Angry sentient machines that cross the boundaries between antagonistic, stolen, human consciousness and a mechanical, disconnected, strange fascination/empathy.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?
On one hand, machines seem hell bound to hunt you down. On the other, some keep human bodies alive at all costs, downloading their consciousness and memories to replay at your will.


Apparently, this biomechanical nightmare has something to do with everyone at Upsilon either fleeing or dying horribly:

He had a bad day, okay? Just leave him alone. Definitely don't walk over him to see if he squelches.

And has leeched out into the depths of the dark ocean, resulting in half tech fish and roaming crackhead (I mean structure-gel-head) bots:

"You're real. Give me some for the pain. WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO THIS?"
Side note: definitely do not walk right up to this bot and try to give it drugs.
So, without further ado, here are some more creepy screenshots until I can play some more and stream it:

Nothing creepier than boots littered everywhere without anyone to wear them.
Then, BOOM, you're underwater, breathing normally, because tbh you're probably a robot who doesn't want to admit he's no longer a human. I mean how else could you have survived this long, right? Totes robot. "How did I get a flashlight?" Because you're a robot, bitch, deal.

"It won't let me die. Nothing is allowed to die."

I gave that bitch some death. Bitches love death?


01 May 2017

Triggers in Horror Games

Three separate people have warned me not to play Outlast 2.

(Give it to me baby, uh huh, uh huh)

Y'all know Outlast is my favorite game franchise. I'm a Red Barrels fangirl. I follow their Twitter. I played their demo. I want all the things Outlast.

So when three people let me know that I would not be able to play Outlast 2 without being majorly triggered, well, that sucked.

But on the flipside, I don't ever want game designers to hold back.

Hit me with the gnarly, gritty, nasty guts and bits. The blood, the gore. The heartbreaking decisions that make me feel like an awful person. The jump scares, the shock, the rotting, pitted underbelly of humanity and horror.

Now, some people are under the impression that trigger warnings are a bad thing. That they are somehow enabling for the spoiled, weak generation that can't cope.


Trigger warnings exist so that folks who have, oh, I don't know, lived through a very real trauma, don't have to spend the next day or week in a dark place due to an unfortunate surprise.  If that person isn't you, don't worry your pretty little head about it.  Just listen to your fellow gamers.  Watch out for your peeps.  Give 'em a heads up and offer to take over the controller for a bit.  Have their back.  They'll have yours, should you ever need it.

It would be RAD if there was a collectively used, dedicated space for gamers to alert each other to the triggers in various games, since they're not all blatantly obvious.  Maybe there is, and I just don't know about it.  But in the meantime, I'll stick to relying on alerts from my amigos while I get my survival horror on.

               Is it gonna stop me?

Hell to the naw.

But if it stops you, know that you aren't the only one, and I gotchu.

07 October 2015

Why You Absolutely Should Preorder Fallout 4 (If You Want To)

Insert obligatory apology for neglecting the blog.

I have an excuse.

I made this:

It's damn adorable.


I was searching around the web to find the various places one could preorder a game if one was so inclined.  A game such as, oh, say, Fallout 4.

In my search, I came across this article by Forbes "explaining" how preordering was bad for the video game industry.  I have a rebuttal that, for once, was too long to be a Facebook status and finally warranted the typing of a blog post.  Oh yes.

Instead of addressing the status quo of releasing games before they are ready, or any valid concern, which is where I thought it was going - the article centers on the idea that preordering benefits only retailers, hurting both game companies and players.  Erm.  I would disagree.  Obvs.

Where the article comments on preordering leading to mindless purchases based on hype instead of quality, I would point out two things.  First, a lot of us gamers check out games well in advance - we are on YouTube, watching what gameplay tidbits get dropped ahead of time.  We are reading reviews.  We are deciding if this gets our $60 or if something else does.  Because this is real to us.  Because we aren't mindlessly purchasing the next big thing - we are conscientiously purchasing our next few weeks of entertainment.

Second, and this is my big point - BETHESDA HAS EARNED THIS.

It's Fallout 4.

It's the fifth game in its series.

Bethesda has built a steady and strong reputation on which we stake a not-so-naive assumption that this game will thoroughly ROCK OUR SOCKS.

So, not terribly unlike a Kickstarter campaign, we sign up in advance.  We show Bethesda - we have faith in you.  We have faith in Fallout.  Moar gas masks, pls.

The author of the linked article also feels that preordering as a practice discourages valid modes of competition and leaves us picking only based on our favorite perks, favorite retailers, and favorite systems.

Mmkay, but that's...that's a good thing.

Because the price?  The price is not going down for a LONG time.  Over the years, and I don't have a source for this so somebody let me know if I'm wrong, video game prices (as well as their consoles) have stayed at their initial costs for longer and longer before dropping, especially for popular games.  And I guess I don't know what cut Bethesda gets, but I feel like it's not hurting them, either (at least, not if we are assuming rampant preorders, which is the core assumption here).

So if you rule out competitive pricing, and you're picking your store based on how dick or not-dick they are to their employees, how gracious they are with their customer service and, by extension, their release parties/bonuses/ease of preordering, and your love or dislike for them as a retailer...

I'm sorry, but I call that real competition.

"But now we have to be NICE, too?"  Whines the big box store down the road, while the little game exchange shop cackles maniacally.  Because it's no longer about who can cut costs while maintaining profits.  Gamers win, because they have options.  The playing field has been leveled in one respect.  And that's not hurting Bethesda.

The author notes, very briefly, that quality control is questionable at some major game publishers.  I would like them to expand upon this, because I feel that might be where their real ass-bug has taken root.

But as far as Fallout 4 - if you want to play it, preorder your little hearts out.