Archive for the ‘review’ Category

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Pretty Much Everybody’s Alabaster!

June 15, 2009

(Pretty much everybody, in this case, would be John Cater, Rob Dubbin, Eric Eve, Elizabeth Heller, Jayzee, Kazuki Mishima, Sarah Morayati, Mark Musante, Emily Short, Adam Thornton, & Ziv Wities, if we’re copying and pasting here, which we totally are.  Also here’s the link.  There, I have done my duty to humanity.  That’s it, humanity.  You’re cut off.)

Emily Short has been blogging about this project for a while now using the format “Alabaster <release number> <stuff I have no idea what she’s talking about>,” as in “Alabaster v1.83.907x-5/lavender is out!  A word of caution:  while I had partial success inserting self-referential clotii* randomly into the tree modus, some of the horseshoe nodes had to be replaced with butterfly nodes, which seem to be causing intermittent ruptures in the Marshall stack.   If anyone knows a way to *crackle* *fizz* Inform 7 *fizz* be glad to hear it *fizz* *crackle* went after them with a tire iron but they’re still coming out of the walls and I’m rapidly running out of muffins.  End transmission.”

I do know it’s a retelling of Snow White with some sort of interesting new conversational system, but other than that I am Blogging In Matters I Don’t Understand.  Let’s play the thing and find out.

* “Clotii” being the plural of “clotus,” which of course means a closed circuit in the shape of a lotus blossom.

[for those who haven't played yet; spoiler-free, but don't read if you like going into things knowing as little as possible]

Okay, I’ve been playing for a while, and the game is neat.  It’s definitely an old-school fairy tale, the kind you get when you mix blood and magic and people being just absolute dicks to each other.  Reminds me of Milorad Pavic’s Dictionary of the Khazars, a book of stories (or just one, really) in that same Jungian princesses-and-mirrors vein told in lexicon format, so the reader determines how the thing unfolds, which is cool as hell.  Alabaster’s conversation system does the same thing.  It’s worth playing.  Go play it.

[spoilers begin here]

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Aaron Reed’s Blue Lacuna – Final Thoughts!

February 22, 2009

It’s been several days  since my past self blithely promised to write up some sort of cohesive opinion on Blue Lacuna, then skipped off into the sunset without considering me (Future Her) or my needs.  Selfish bitch.  In the intervening time I have been doing quite a bit of thinking.  For one thing, I’ve thought about how much it would suck if one’s lover were to eat one’s eyeballs.

No, seriously, that’d be pretty traumatic, don’t you think?  So traumatic that you’d probably repress it, and when they came to pick you up from the hospital you would go along without a qualm, maybe even feeling grateful to them for staying with you, and all the time they’d – oh, no, wait, what if they hadn’t eaten your eyeballs after all; what if they had removed them and shellacked them and mounted them on a pair of sproingy antennae and wore them all the time and you never knew because you couldn’t see because they were wearing your eyeballs as antennae. That would be horrible.

Also I thought about Gilligan’s Island syndrome (when the main character’s desires, if fulfilled, would end the story) and whether or not it only happens in episodic-type media, and I thought about what it would be like if everyone’s name changed depending on where they were and what they were doing (confusing and stupid, I decided:  everyone’s driver’s license, for example, would be made out to StandingintheDMV Fillingoutaform), and I wrote a whole big thing comparing the female version of Blue Lacuna’s main character and the male version of her lover to Ayla and Jondalar from Clan of the Cave Bear, but this turned out to be one of those things that’s more fun for me to write than it is for you to read, and honestly, it wasn’t that much fun to write.

So.  Final thoughts.  Blue Lacuna.  You’re getting ‘em.  They might not be all pretty and writerly-looking.  They might be more like someone squatted over this blog and crapped out Spam.  (The potted meat food product, not the internet term.)  You have been warned.

Edit:  Oh, right, the spoiler-free version for people who have not yet played the game.  It’s a good game.  Play it.  That was easy.

[spoilers crapped out below]

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Review – Aaron Reed’s Blue Lacuna, Part Five!

February 18, 2009

After a particularly frustrating session (I must’ve caught stupid recently, ’cause man, y’know?) I am done with the game.  Sadly it is not so much a “whoo, confetti!” feeling as a “thank fuck,” but you take what you can get, I guess, you meaning me.

Need to solidify some thoughts before I post a final opinion.  In the meantime, pants.  Pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants PANTS pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants I really ought to read more Russian literature pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants no wait fuck that pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants pants paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaants.

Phew!

[spoilers begin here]

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Review – Aaron Reed’s Blue Lacuna, Part Four!

February 16, 2009

This review comprises chapters three through the beginning of nine.  I am as surprised by that as you are.  (Chapter eight, where did you go?  Was the harsh light of the Glulxe interpreter too cruel to be granted dancing rights upon thy photosensitive visage?  No, seriously, I missed it completely.)  So far, I have found this game to be as compelling as a thing that is moderately to severely compelling.  It’s not over yet, though, and honestly I’m sort of surprised by that as well.

At this point, to increase word count before the cut, I would like to wax approvingly of Hollywood Alley (on Baseline, near Nappy by Nature).  They have several different beer things on tap for people who actually enjoy beer and can tell different ones apart simply by tasting them, and also they have pear cider for people who just want a pear cider, and no matter what you order, the bartender will say “very good” just like butlers in movies!  Also there is pool and air hockey and foosball and a dartboard with only two darts left, and jungle drum & bass on Tuesdays.  It is very exciting.  You probably don’t live in Mesa.  That’s okay.  When you come to Mesa specifically so you can go to Hollywood Alley, I will meet you there so you don’t feel foolish.

[spoilers begin here]

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Review – Aaron Reed’s Blue Lacuna, Part Three!

February 13, 2009

Want to know what I got done today?  Mapping, that’s what!  Bunches of it!  Want to know whether or not I was amused by a particular section of rainforest in which directions go all wonky and non-Euclidean?  To pose the question is to know the answer!  By which I mean no, I was not very much amused by that at all, actually!

Other than that, though, this game is pretty damn cool so far.  There are all different kinds of cool, of course.  I am referring to the kind where your lips form an O and you say “oooh, check this out, this is cool,” and your friend/lover/family member/complete stranger looks over your shoulder and says “oooh, that is cool.”  That is the kind I mean.  Hope that clears things up.

There will be no Blue Lacuna tomorrow, as I’m going to spend the day looking for a suitable St. Valentine’s Day Massacre game to review.  So, um, look forward to that, I guess.  If it doesn’t suck.  I guess if it does suck it’ll give you a good excuse to cling to your sweetheart and have a nice sob together, which I hear is an important bonding exercise and an excellent prelude to sex.

[spoilers begin here]

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Review – Aaron Reed’s Blue Lacuna, Part Two!

February 12, 2009

This is part two of the Blue Lacuna review, which seems likely to become at least a twenty-part opus and something I’ll be able to milk all the way until Spring Thing.  Seriously.  Still on Chapter Two here.  I am still finding the game big and deep and neat and good, but no longer completely unflawed.  This might not turn out to matter, though, as I have yet to find anything that constitutes a Badness of Significant Proportions.

No gorilla for you today.  I am actually too tired for gorilla.  The following showed up on my Twitter today, though, and it’s cute:

asym CDM: Huh, my son just came up from the basement where they have a kitchen set and exclaimed with glee, “Hey Dad, We’ve GOT THE EGGPLANT!!!!”

asym CDM: Mind you, he did have a plastic eggplant with him. But, it doesn’t seem a cause to celebrate so exuberantly.

[spoilers begin here]

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Review – Aaron Reed’s Blue Lacuna, Part One!

February 11, 2009

Early verdict on Blue Lacuna:  it is big and deep and neat and good, and so far it reminds me of Myst.  That sentence does not contain nearly as many words as the RSS feed spoiler buffer demands, however, and honestly I am all out of brain.  This is a shame, because I feel as though this RSS buffer is open design space which I should fill with something wonderful, creating sort of a… problemtunity… y’know what?  Fuck that.  You’re getting a paragraph full of gorilla.

Gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla.  Gorilla gorilla?  Gorilla.  Gorilla gorilla gorilla, gorilla gorilla gorilla oatmeal gorilla gorilla.

There.  I’m’a take a damn nap.

[spoilers begin here]

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