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About Salvius23

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    Watertown, Wisconsin
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    Software QA Engineer
  1. Played through all of Vella first, then Shay, and did not see the ending coming. And this is coming from someone who, the first time I saw Sixth Sense, turned to my girlfriend about 10-15 minutes in and said, "I wonder how long they can keep this up?" (the answer, in the end, being, "the entire movie, apparently").
  2. Peter McConnell is probably my favorite videogame soundtrack composer (yes, I have a favorite videogame soundtrack composer). The soundtrack to Grim Fandango remains one of my favorite videogame soundtracks, ever. So let's talk about the music for Broken Age. I'm going to start this off with the thing that really jumped out at me as impressive, on my first playthrough of Act I: Right at the very end of the Maiden's Feast scene, so (spoilers, but not far into the game) when Vella is meant to be sacrificed to Mog Chothra (if you have the soundtrack, the very end of the track "Mog Chothra" is what I'm talking about here), the music seems to quote a flute run from the climax of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. For those unfamiliar with 20th-century ballet, this depicts a young maiden being sacrificed to the gods. That flute run is the very last bit of music just before the final chord of the ballet (looking at my copy of the score: It's literally the 3rd-to-last measure). When Rite of Spring is staged, the final chord is typically where the sacrificial maiden actually dies... so not only does McConnell's music allude to this famous sacrificial dance, but it is interrupted just before the point where that sacrificial dance ends with the maiden dying.
  3. Mine just came in the mail yesterday, so I wore it out grocery shopping. I find I don't need to fight off the crowd of fine ladies (and, let's be honest, a few fine gentlemen as well), because they tend to simply swoon in my path.
  4. I cast my vote for The Longest Journey, because it took my personal top spot. But since it's got so few votes at the moment, I want to give a shout out to The Whispered World. Definitely one that stood out for me as particularly good, even if it didn't quite rise to the very top.
  5. Well, yeah, there's that too: You don't want to find out later on that you're stuck because the bridge troll will only let you past if you give him a DFA Backer t-shirt. >
  6. Going way back to the C64/Amiga days, I was fond of Neuromancer: (screenshot from the Amiga version, which is probably the best one) The game consists of two basic areas: The real world, and cyberspace. The real world bits are more like a traditional PnC adventure, while cyberspace has an RPG/combat element of breaking through security (though even that pretty much boils down to whether or not you've grabbed the right versions of the hacking "software"). But the cleverest thing it did was that when you broke into a new computer system, there would typically be discussion boards or news posts to read, some of which advanced the plot, others just for amusement. This struck me as clever because it showed the designer(s) understood the difference between rewarding the character for success and rewarding the player. Where (for games at the time), for example, a typical RPG game would reward the character with gold/experience/etc. for success in battle, this game rewarded the player with information, the only real reward you can actually give to the player of your videogame. There are some issues: As the game goes on, the focus shifts so completely into cyberspace and away from the real world that you can pretty much spend the entire second half of the the game "physically" in your hotel room. Plus, the ending completely discards the moral ambiguity of the novel in favor of "kill the evil AI".
  7. My reasons for backing: 1) Double Fine. I may not have played every one of their games to completion. And they're not even all entirely my cup of tea (Psychonauts is great, but I'm lousy at platformers...). But every one of them is at least interesting. It gives me joy just to see that something as off-the-wall as Stacking can even exist. 2) Point-and-click adventures. It used to be my very favorite genre of game (and still among my favorites). Supporting this project is partly a way of sending a message that we adventure gamers are still out here. 3) Tim Schafer. As the second post in the thread put it: "The perfection of Grim Fandango haunts me still." I believe Grim Fandango is the closest thing to Literature (with a capital L) anyone has yet produced in the medium of videogames. You could write a whole high-school English essay just on the way the opening cinematic foreshadows the entire game, the travel brochures reflected in Manny's own travels, even down to Celso's departure on foot being echoed in the final leg of Manny's journey, walking through the snow. 4) A History of Firsts: The first time I ever literally laughed out loud at a game was in Monkey Island ("I think we're having a real moment here."). The first time I ever felt genuine poignancy was the aforementioned trudging-through-the-snow in Grim Fandango. I think Tim and Ron Gilbert, between them, may be the masters of narrative in games. Put all of that together, and I have absolute faith that whatever these people do with my $100, it will be worth playing. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I may need to go dig out one of my copies of Grim Fandango* and play through it again. *Well, see, I bought it when it first came out, and then later I bought a discount-bin copy as a backup, because the cardboard sleeve from that original release seemed to want to scratch the discs...
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