I go back to work tomorrow, and I’m surprisingly unstressed by it, although I do have a little bit of work I need to do tonight. No, it’s every other thing in my damn life that’s causing all my stress right now; work this week is going to be a Goddamn refuge.
(Yes, I plan to pivot from that into complaining about a video game; brace yourself accordingly. Talking about anything Real is beyond me at the moment.)
So, yeah. Hollow Knight. You might remember my review of Salt and Sanctuary from a couple of months ago; this is a similar game both in style and structure and in that I downloaded it forever ago, took a shot at it, then walked away, and now I’m back and playing it again. I’ve put about 35 hours into it over Winter Break and right now my main feeling about it is Jesus how is this game so big how can I possibly not be done with this by now, combined with a weird sort of completionist impulse that is keeping me from simply beating the damn thing and being done with it. No, I want to be finished, but I want to 100% the sumnamabitch before I do that, and oh Christ there is so much to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m having fun, but I’m having the kind of fun that is at least 25% I need to be doing twenty other things right now while I’m having it.
Guilt-laced fun is the best kind, of course.
You may get a book review later, since I haven’t posted much in the last few days. I finished this yesterday and am still sorting out my feelings about it. Pay no attention to the fact that Amazon inexplicably thinks the release date is next summer; I assure you, the book is available.
My Rise of Skywalker review is at 5800 words and I’m only maybe 2/3 of the way through the movie, and I’m tapping out. This isn’t getting done tonight. So expect it tomorrow, once I’ve had time to sleep. It gives you another day to go see the movie, right? Sure.
Apparently this four-level monstrosity that I just spent 45 minutes putting together is the next step once three cats are the only pets in the house. I used to be a dog person, goddammit!
The little bastards are ignoring it, of course, as is their wont. We haven’t settled on a final place to put it; a giant cat tree is not the first thing I want people to see when I let them into my house.
I survived work today. I have to do it three more times. It should be possible.
An interesting phenomenon, at least to me: I’ve noticed that the older I get the more annoyed I get by bad worldbuilding in my video games. This isn’t a story concern, necessarily; what I mean is that I need things like levels to make basic physical sense and seem in at least a cursory way to be things that could exist in the actual world the game is portraying.
Why yes, I am playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order right now. How did you guess?
It’s been a running joke for a while, at least among my immediate family: my wife works in occupational health and safety, so we notice these sorts of things: Star Wars doesn’t have OSHA. Everything, everything is positioned with no railings over a bottomless pit or, if there is a railing, there’s not a chance in hell it would keep anyone from falling over it or, uh, being thrown:
That shit is not safe. And don’t even get me started on this bullshit:
So I’m used to the idea that in a Star Wars video game there are going to be some fall hazards. The idea doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t make sense on a fundamental level, but it’s pre-established in the world. But here’s my problem with Fallen Order: you unlock your Force powers as you travel through the game, and you use them extensively to get where you’re going on whatever planet you’re on– particularly the wall run ability, which is used constantly.
So if I had to use half a dozen Jedi wall runs, had to Force Pull a convenient vine over to myself to swing across a huge gap, had to use Force Push to break through a conveniently weak area of wall, and — oh, right — had to exterminate hundreds of incredibly dangerous examples of the local fauna in order to get to an area, how the hell are there two dozen Stormtroopers already there when I get there?
(“Why the hell are the Stormtroopers so much less dangerous than this space goat” is another question relevant to the game, but not the one I’m discussing at the moment.)
This shit gets to me, guys, it really does. You don’t have Jedi powers, Stormtrooper! How the fuck are you here? How did you get to the top of this wroshyr tree on Kashyyyk that I’ve been climbing using my magic Jedi abilities for twenty minutes? Did someone drop you off there in a ship? Why did they do that? Are they going to come get you? Are you here just in case a Jedi shows up? Because they’re supposed to all be dead.
How did any of these chests get here?
Remember these goddamn things?
Random huge pieces of machinery with no clear function whatsoever that seem to exist only to impede player progress are starting to get on my nerves. There are tons of enormous machines everywhere (on abandoned planets; who built all this shit?) that serve no purpose other than to kill you if you don’t figure out how to properly avoid and/or slow them down (Oh, also: Jedi slowing powers. I had to slow down a huge fan and sneak through an airduct to get here! How are you here, Stormtrooper?) and I just want to know what they’re for. Why are there giant spinny blades with holes in them in this area? What’s this thing, that just slams back and forth but doesn’t seem to do anything? Who decided that these catwalks needed to have places where you had to jump over holes? Because every fucking catwalk has holes, and they don’t all appear to be damaged. Some of them just aren’t finished. Why? Is the Empire suing the shit out of their contractors? Because they need to be suing the shit out of their contractors.
I’m having a lot of fun with the game– don’t get me wrong. But Jesus, the level geography is like they deliberately tried to make no damn sense at all.