Editorial Miscellany: Joel Is Tired

My missed editorial had made the thematic relevance of Jack Skellington a little less, well, relevant.

The greatest Jack Skellington Costume of all time

After my totally planned and totally not embarrassingly forgotten editorial last week, I have returned with new gaming thoughts about new games! Well, games that are new to me, anyway.

In Case You Missed Fruit Basket

Rune Factory 4 is about a dragon and her lover who is a boy who she insists is a prince until the real prince comes into the room and essentially says “whatever, he got here first. I will instead choose to live in this town as a peasant and also pretend that you are the prince”. As was the case with Fruit Basket, I have now provided the readership with the full experience of the game and they no longer have any need to play it. For those who may be confused about what Fruit Basket is, then now is the time to look inward and realize the problem may lie within.

I Have Finally Gotten Around to The Last of Us

Or my girlfriend has, rather, and I am watching her play it. It is essentially the same thing, except this way I get to gather information about the game so that I can play through it on the harder difficulty setting. Even with Naughty Dog at the helm, I was hesitant to buy into the hype for the game until I saw it myself. The Uncharted series is a blast and I continue to be a fan, but while it has raised the bar for storytelling, immersion, and pacing in a game, the gameplay itself ranges from decent to pretty satisfying. Rarely does it fall too heavily into the terrible or excellent category. The Last of Us however, raises all of gaming up in one impressive motion. The story-telling is more intelligent, patient, and layered than any other game of its length, and it is paced specifically for gaming. There are cutscenes, but the gameplay is as much of the story as they are.

Strategy makes a difference, and being aware of one’s surroundings and assets goes the distance. Players will be rewarded for constantly and intelligently reassessing their situation. The gameplay matches the state of mind the main character must maintain to survive. Relationships are built from not only the great writing that shows commendable restraint in showing rather than telling about the character’s complex backstories and connections to each other, but also during gameplay in how and when allies choose to help. It is also nice that the women characters are treated as both women and complete human beings, a trend that the insecure, weak, and the emotionally undeveloped continue to feel is a threat, but is really no threat at all. The Last of Us did not turn into that nagging, weak, and irrational false stereotype of a woman, as those of weak spirit might assume in their feverish delusion. Luckily the readership of Lusipurr.com is not comprised of such scared and guarded children masquerading as adults and so we can move on.

Thank goodness for that.

Joel is not Nathan Drake.

Of course, I have only seen just over half the game, so maybe it all goes to shit, but assuming that the hype is right about the rest of the game (on account of it being right so far), then I hope its critical and financial success is a bright turning point in gaming’s history.

Yet, I have doubts that executives will understand why The Last Of Us is so good. They will think that it is because it is a zombie game or because it is rated M for Mature or because it is realistic. They will not understand that the game is good because it understood how to make a game built around those design choices. Limbo and Journey and Shadow of the Colossus make similar choices. They understand their games’ themes and the feeling they want the gameplay to inspire and then decisions are made based around that understanding. The Last of Us is not ashamed to be a video game and is not trying to be anything else. It may be informed or inspired by advances in other art forms, but it is not defined by them. I cannot wait to see what the studio has in store for the PlayStation 4.

Enough About That, What Else Did I Play?

Picross. I played Picross. I know it is far from a new game, but although my sister has been raving about it for years, I finally picked it up myself. Well, I picked up the three six dollar eShop versions. Let me tell you, LusiPixels, those eighteen dollars are going to stretch themselves out for a long time to come. The game is like if Sudoku had a child and then that child was better than its parent in every conceivable way.

Final Thoughts

I am in hibernation, so that means that I do not have a lot of tolerance for anybody right now, so I apologize if I got a little terse. This is the time when I recharge my spirit in preparation for another harsh year of awful people and awful happenings. I believe love can heal the world, but I need my hibernation to fool myself into believing that it actually will. Also, Avatar: The Last Airbender is really fucking good. It started off solid, and then, about halfway through the second season, it got really fucking good. So. There you go. Write some comments. Turn the other cheek.

7 comments on “Editorial Miscellany: Joel Is Tired”

  1. Now I’m imagining The Last of Us with Nathan Drake instead of Joel. OR Joel in Uncharted! hahah

  2. Let us hope that your imaginings never come into fruition, Mel.

  3. I’m still laughing at the idea of the Hamburgler. That should be what New Game+ is.

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