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Which is understandable but at the same time, its only hard to tell its satire because it usually played so straight in this industry.
But the clues are there.
If you've ever seen an example of real satire, you might notice that it's typical, required even, for it to poke fun at the subject material throughout the work, to expose its inherent ridiculousness.
So when you have a game that consists of 20+ hours of wildly incoherent, vaguely racist, excessively violent escapist fantasy presented completely without irony, without only a hilariously ineffective ending cutscene and a collection of high school English class level "symbolic riddles" to convey the author's message of "No, you fools! I am actually against these things, don't you see!?", we don't call that satire. We call it what it is: A wildly incoherent, vaguely racist, excessively violent escapist fantasy with a sprinkling of pretentiousness.
Except it doesn't end with a few riddles and some ineffective ending.
Plenty of times where you have Jason question his motives, Citra questioning his motives, and so forth.
One prime example I will give is after you save Keith.
After you save Keith, the game could pretty much end right there. Keith just told you your brother is dead and as far as you know he is dead.
Your mission on the island is pretty much done but the game keeps going.
Looking at it from Jason's perspective its because he wants revenge for his brother. But if we were to look at it from the player's perspective well, we want to finish the game. Sure we've saved everyone but we haven't killed the "boss" yet.
I think if they really wanted to be ballsy that's where they should have had a choice. To either help your friends repair the boat or go get Vaas and Hoyt.
That said I still think most people would have chose to go after Vaas and Hoyt because a) it would continue the game b) the friends are really a non-issue as far as the game is concerned. They are just there to give you a reason to go out and do the stuff you do.
Along with some other examples I can think of.
As for how excessive the violence is, I also believe that's done on purpose. Like I said, we take violence for granted in games because we're so used to it. So, if you want to bring attention to the violence without knocking people over the head with your "message", making the violence as excessive as possible makes sense.
I don't believe its to make the player feel bad, since while some scenes gave me pause I still stabbed a bunch of guys in the throat. Rather, I think it was made that way to draw attention to it.
And really, I don't think the writer is saying so much that he's against these things, he may or may not be who cares.
The game never punishes you for playing the game. The game doesn't punish you with its mechanics, nor does it force you to go against them. What the game does do, and I enjoyed it, is that it tries to bring gameplay and story together.
Really, and I never got the feeling that the game was criticizing people for enjoying games. If anything I think it was a look at way we play games and a criticuque of things we've come to except in games.
And even if you think the game failed in delivering its message properly that's the interesting thing about it. Because if anything it gets you thinking about how it failed and examining those gaming conventions that you don't agree with.
I don't think anybody would be talking about the story at all beyond the odd "heh, that was dumb" in passing if it weren't for the writer throwing a hissy fit about people being too dumb to understand his grand vision in interviews.
Did you read the article?
The guy isn't really throwing a hissy fit. Sure, he's excited but in a good way.
If anything I felt the guy interviewing him was far more immature.
Also...he isn't saying people are too dumb to get it. Heck, he said he didn't want to beat people over the head because he felt they would be smart enough to put it together. And even if they weren't then they would talk about it.
Which is why I find the ending a little annoying. Because at the end its pretty much just spelling it out.
So basically while Sora is searching for his friends and stuff he notices that some of the worlds have come up missing.
So, thinking this is out of the ordinary he's like "Man, I should figure out what's happening."
He's hears about the "World Eater" a gigantic being that is said to devour entire worlds(as the name implies). So he's like man I should stop this and he goes on an adventure to find him.
So he finally finds him and stuff but to his surprise he's all beat up when he meets him and Sora is all "WTF!?"
And then he(The World Eater) points to what did this to him. ITS DARK PHOENIX! Corrupted by the powers of DARKNESS!!!1t2t0wa5t09t=wy2
So, Sora tries fighting her but she's too much, so with what little is left of his strength the World Eater teleports himself and Sora away.
Introducing himself as Galactus, he tells Sora the story about how Dark Phoneix has been going around fucking shit up and he tried to stop her but he was too hungry and stuff. Galactus then offers to help Sora stop her but says that he first needs subsistence in the form of a world to consume.
Sora is conflicted. Does he help commit one cruel deed to stop others? But seeing that the power of Dark Phoneix is too much for him he has no choice.
And sadly, he is forced to sacrifice Atlantis and we'll never...ever...have to go there again. (Yay!)
So, Galactus agrees to help Sora but he's still not at full strength because of how long he's gone without food.
So, Galactus and Dark Phoenix are fighting and its awesome but Galactus is losing ground. There is no way he can win this fight alone.
So he turns to Sora and he's all "To me, my herald!" and Sora gets the Power Cosmic and a new kickass Drive form and Galactus and him kick Dark Phoenix's ass in an awesome battle and the day is saved.
Oh yeah, you can add the rest of the plot somewhere between there I guess.
That being said if I might be serious for a moment.
I think the main thing Wyborn is complaining about is the frequency of the world bitch. I mean I have been known to call someone a bitch every now and then. But with Morrigan its always "bitch bitch bitch bitchity bitch bitch."
And well, generally speaking even if the term is popular and a long standing part of the human lexicon. It has been used to demean and belittle women for quite some time now. Heck, in some cases of mainstream saturation it isn't even used as an insult, its used as a common identifier for females these days. So much so that you have terms like "bad bitch" which some honestly believe isn't suppose to be negative, which is funny because it obviously is.
But do I believe that you'll never hear the phrase ever again and its reasonable to believe you won't. Or do I think its reasonable to imply that anyone who uses it is being a closet misogynist? No.
Fact of the matter is that it has become such a big part of our language that for better or worse it is here to stay. Also, using it doesn't automatically mean its because used as a sexist term because at this point the phrase is so overused that its become a pretty common insult. If that a good or bad thing well, its up to you.
Personally, whenever I'm wondering if I might be overusing a word I think about a word that's as popular to use but generally less socially accepted and think about how I would sound if I replaced the word I'm using with it.
So if I felt like saying something like bitch...I would think about how the phrase f** or n***** would sound in its place and that usually makes me refrain from using it much. But, you could argue that those are worse and less accepted.
And its true...they are. But honestly they get thrown around so much these days that it isn't really by much.
Not saying that you can't insult people but I mean it isn't that hard to be a tad more creative. Personally, I want to revive retro insults like ragamuffin and rapscallion. Also wretch, can you imagine the look on someones face when you call them a wretch.
Oooohhh, sick burn.
And that's all the seriousness you guys are going to get out of me for today.