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We’re out of town, you know how it is.  Before we left though, our boys in tow, Gabriel and I talked about how at his house everybody wants to play Didney Infinty but for different reasons.

I feel confident he’ll break it down in more detail for you when we get back.  But between the main course “playset” content, Toy Box mode, and tiny men, women, and… trees, and raccoons to smash together, shit is apparently quite real.

These things are much more His Games than Mine.  I didn’t do too much Skylanders, and the initial content in the old Disney Infinity set didn’t endure - even with The Incredibles on deck, which is probably my favorite Pixar thing.  If my family is gonna play a game, it’s probably going to be something like Dixit.  It’s not a judgement.  He and I have different mechanisms for governing electronic entertainment, and mine - in its current incarnation a least - strongly privileges machines as venues for solitary entertainment.

Come to think of it, my kids don’t play console games at all.  They might watch me, maybe.  Mario Kart 8, or Rayman Legends.  But Consoles are essentially frontends for Netflix as far as they’re concerned, and I do something with these artifacts when they’re not around maybe, or it’s possible that they come in and I scramble to get the pause screen up so they aren’t doused in arterial blood.

I would never say that Consoles are bad, or “over” to coin a phrase; I’ve just given the counterexample in this very post.  But they’re…  and I have to laugh at this.  In my family they’re something dad does, like befriend waiters or swear in the garage.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

We had to act quickly because Gabriel told us the ride was over - he was quitting League of Legends for the whateverth time due to a string of nightmare losses.  I was in one of those games, a game we managed to lose even though the opposing team had fewer players, and it recalled the days when you were playing on dial-up and your foes were on broadband.  That was a thing, and not a good thing.  That night’s malefactors were having a LAN party at a crossroads, no doubt, their ears stuffed with demonic counsel.

What we determined over various tiny dishes heaped with pickles was that his Darius addiction had become a problem.  Darius is an asshole - look at his asshole face - but when shit goes south, he doesn’t have much of a response.  The trouble is that his “ultimate” ability is too fun.  You’ll play a whole round as him just to use that ability: called Noxian Guillotine, but more commonly called The Dunk, he jumps way up the air and then comes down on your head with a huge axe.  The animation is weirdly fast, and almost…  funny, as funny as a decapitation can be I suppose, but that’s not all.  If you kill a target with it, you can do it a second time.  This loop is incredibly addictive, but might not be a good overlap for his overall style.  The menu we cooked up looks like:

Wukong, who is a kind of Monkey Person,
Irelia, Magic Sword Lady,
Jax, Some Sort Of Guy, and
Talon, The Invisible Asshole.

A few roles to choose from, then.  Also on the list, anybody champion who beats you so bad you want to quit.  There’s this fucking fish dude one of us took up purely because it drives us nuts to play against him.  At this point, we just want others to suffer as we have.

As the last person on Earth to reach level 30, I have to learn other characters now.  At the level of play I’m shooting for, the requirement to

- Ban Characters, and
- Play As a Unique Character

means you can’t just play the equivalent of Ryu in every game; somebody else might be playing Ryu, or they might decide they don’t even want Ryu hanging around.  What this means is that I need to expand my roster.  And what that means is that I don’t win anymore, and I might not for awhile.  I’m cool with it now, I’m building the franchise.  But I do wonder what they’ll tell me, when I decide that being continually pulverized does not constitute a leisure activity.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 4 days ago

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Disney Infinity’s Marvel Toys Are Looking Great!

I just happened to see this article over on Kotaku about the new Disney Infinity Marvel toys looking “a bit rough”. Just as a counterpoint I figured I would share my experience. Fahey suggests that perhaps he got a bad batch and I think he might be right. He posts his Nova as an example of the sloppy paint jobs. Here’s a shot of mine for comparison. I think he looks awesome.

I am sure I received a very similar box to Fahey and when I cracked open all the figs I was really impressed. They certainly seem to be of similar quality to the original 1.0 figures I own and in some cases I felt like the sculpts were significantly better. The Hulk, Spiderman and Drax stick out in my head as being especially awesome looking toys.

And they really are toys in my opinion. These are not hand painted collectibles they are mass produced toy figures. This is how my four year old plays Disney Infinity.

My kids love these toys. My guess is they get played with just as much in the real world as they do in the virtual one. If you’re one of these people that buys toys and then puts them up on a display shelf that’s cool. I’m a nerd about a lot of stuff but that’s not one of my things. I think toys should be played with.

It sucks that the free toy Fahey got had a scratch on it but don’t let that worry you. These are awesome toys that you and your family are going to have a blast playing with.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 5 days ago

I knew that once The Tracksuit had weighed in on Destiny, the conversation would get interesting.  And it has.

Much of Halo’s most savory material has been in the margins of the actual core products: books, hidden journals, and forums devoted to parsing it.  My favorite Halo story - that is to say, the best Halo story - was, technically speaking, an advertisement.  Even before the release of the original Halo, it had already passed into legend: angular, hostile communiques from some kind of Sentient established a frankly intoxicating set of parentheses around a game which was at that time about driving a jeep up a hill.  That isn’t here.  And there is a lot to talk about, regarding whether or not you can Go Home Again.  I would argue as others have that you cannot.  Creating the successor to Halo is an inconceivable undertaking, and I think it’s possible to have too much budget, and the documentary holo-film which catalogs this enterprise a decade or so hence is something I would very much like to see.  Or sense in some other way; it depends on where the technology is at then.  I’m down for smelling what happened if that’s what’s up.

The big picture and the little picture of the game aren’t really stitched together.  With Destiny, they’ve tucked a bunch of worldbuilding away on some of these unlockable cards you’re always unlocking.  They evoke with their art but it doesn’t seem to pay out; I mostly find myself scrunching up my face when I hear the condescension dripping and pooling off the voiceover track.  They broke away from Microsoft because Halo had become a prison, and they achieved escape velocity, but the expectations are always there and they can’t be outrun.  And maybe that’s not fair.  But nobody gives a shit.

What is weird - and I don’t have a USDA Choice explanation for it - is that I have a great time in there.  These things I’ve described are vital to a certain kind of player, and they scaffold long term engagement, for me.  They’re not anywhere near as important to someone like my cohort.  When I’m with him, it all reads as Pulp.  The shooting and the interface itself are very accomplished, the soil is good.  I think back to the first Assassin’s Creed, where there was a delta between what was being made and what was perceived as being made; I think about how that “failure” stands astride the world now with millions of copies sold annually.  It was strong bones, in need of flesh.

(CW)TB out.

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