After The Stanley Parable

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What do you play after The Stanley Parable?

After a game that has you questioning choice, agency and free will and openly mocks video game conventions like linear storytelling, achievements and – ha! – winning, what’s next? Do you go back to acting out the role of captain Blazkowicz (who chose young guy over old guy using the old utilitarian moral choice crutch of ‘lifetime still to be had’) and make him jump though hoops to save the day?

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Brotiful

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My main gaming computer is currently down so any gaming gallivanting has to limit itself to whatever my (work) laptop is comfortable with. And while I could plug in a proper mouse, laptop gaming in my view is something you do on a couch with a scorching piece of meat plastic in your lap. And as little touching of the clit clit as possible. Whether using mouse or trackpad it’s just not really comfortable couch gaming.

That has meant lots and lots Spelunky. But even Spelunky can get a bit samey after 100 hours. So when the RPS impressions piece¬†on Broforce mentioned that there wasn’t any targetting (or ‘run-and-gun’) I signed up.

I suspect the gimmick of using caricatured 80s action heros will wear thin soon (though it hasn’t yet) but the sheer delight in the absolutely classic over-the-top mayhem this little gem can produce will never fade, I hope. Surrounded by pathetically screaming, flaming enemies my bro strikes a nonchalant pose while spewing endless bullets acroos the screen, making the the very ground shake, bake and quake . And I’m grinning from ear to ear. It’s just fucking brotiful, bro.

The Ancient & Secret Forebears of Spelunky

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I finally caught the Spelunky bug after the HD version hit the Steam sale this past Christmas. Since then Steam informs me, I’ve sunk 36 hours into the game. I don’t wanna do the percentage math on that one.

I have also read up on what peope are saying about the game (in case you didn’t know, they like it) They also makes references to previous games. It feels like we’re establishing a lineage so that it becomes clear that we’re not just talking about a good game but a game that has entered a pantheon alongside The Classics. Which is fair and just. Spelunky feels classic in the same sense that Donkey Kong is. It’s fairly easy to get started but the underlying complexity means that you could spend years getting better and stil not achieving completely mastery. Note the tense of the verb could in that sentence; I’m not about to dedicate my life to a game. Just a day and a half. And whatever is required to get to the end. And then some, probably.

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Super Meat Boy is a drill sergeant who screams in your face while you whimper “It’s too hard”

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The terrible keyboard controls of Super Meat Boy originally put me off the game. I got three levels in and quit in disgust. I say disgust rather than annoyance because the developers point out to you on every startup of the game that they didn’t care jack shit about keyboard gamers. Use a controller, they tell you, or fuck off. Which infuriated me not because I took offense but because they made their own failing at creating decent controls somehow your fault.

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