The Vengeful Polyglot

Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

Originally, this post was going to be about Star Wars: The Old Republic alone. I’ve been playing since the beta and enjoying myself immensely, despite generally not being a fan of “space games.” I’d love to start blogging about SW:TOR as I do WoW (that is, inconsistently — har har). I haven’t felt the need to compare SW:TOR to World of Warcraft, though, because they fulfill different niches for me. But the discourse surrounding SW:TOR’s launch (which I’ve been following mostly in the WoW blogosphere since I read those blogs anyway) has been occasionally troubling and disappointing. Without intending to be insulting, I expected better from such a vibrant and fun gamer community.

There has been a wave of criticism directed toward SW:TOR recently, particularly during its beta and at the time of its launch. This is fine. I take no issue, generally, with criticism. In fact, I think criticism of new media is highly important. It’s valuable for developers to incorporate constructive criticism into a final product, or, in the case of MMOs, to address valid concerns after launch. Providing these sorts of evaluations is what a lot of us bloggers are here to do. The issue I have in this specific case is that the criticism of SW:TOR, while sometimes valid, seems to be entirely — not partly, not occasionally, but entirely — based on comparisons to WoW.

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First off, this was not a game I ever figured I’d be playing (or watching Matteo play, as it were). What little I had heard of it seemed to say it was a typical Rockstar game, with a lot of shooting and twitchy nonsense that I tend to fail at. Matteo was interested, though, so I looked into it and saw some write ups claiming it was more like a grown-up Phoenix Wright than GTA. I really didn’t like the latter, but I’m a big fan of the former, not to mention my avowed love of Stephen King, silly forensics shows, and horror fiction.

The more I investigated, the more intrigued I became; not only was the portrayal of the time period supposed to be brilliant and accurate, but Rockstar also employed/outsourced advanced facial-mapping techniques to create faces that could be “read” in order to determine truth or lie during interrogations. Sounded pretty uncanny valley, but it also sounded pretty interesting, so when Matteo brought it over this weekend we played through the first few cases.

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Truly a polished, excellent, hilarious game. The following videos contain some spoilers of the ending, but they’re too adorable to not share. The one with the bigger “spoiler” is behind the cut. 😛

My favorite character:

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Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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