Penny Arcade - Comic - Energy Crisis

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited June 22 in The Penny Arcade Hub

imagePenny Arcade - Comic - Energy Crisis

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

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  • dennisdennis Registered User regular
    I wonder that includes during... you know.
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  • mRahmanimRahmani DetroitRegistered User regular
    "Maybe I don't need help feeling sad right now" pretty much sums up why I haven't bought it.

  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    Can someone spoil for me why we're all mad about this? I've read a few things, and if I dismiss the usual stupid shit that's come up before, it sounds like some people are genuinely negative about the game because it essentially railroads you into doing really terrible things over and over and over again, both to support (and subsequently defeat) it's own narrative.

    Or something...



  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited June 22
    ironzerg wrote: »
    Can someone spoil for me why we're all mad about this? I've read a few things, and if I dismiss the usual stupid shit that's come up before, it sounds like some people are genuinely negative about the game because it essentially railroads you into doing really terrible things over and over and over again, both to support (and subsequently defeat) it's own narrative.

    Or something...
    Near as I can tell, a bunch of people don’t like diversity in representation in media, along with the fact that there’s a buff woman in the game, so they came up with post-hoc justifications on why they don’t like it. Other people don’t like that it is triggering to their personal trauma in a very specific way, and the game doesn’t really convey that in its marketing material because that would be a spoiler. Also, lesbians. (There are legitimate critiques of the game out there, too :) But there are definitely some buckets.)

    The game puts you in the shoes of monstrous humans who do monstrous things with violence. However, it’s not a constant grimdark murderfest, despite what you may have read. I think that in this case, the violence is necessary to tell this particular story, although that does not become particularly obvious until the very end of the game. I think there’s a thread that is missing on some of the negative reviews because the epiphany is so sudden during a scene which seemed dumb and gratuitous logically (but humans aren’t really logical creatures, are they?).

    There is a whole lot of violence, though, hoo boy, including violence against dogs. You can also pet dogs and play with dogs, though, so there’s that. But I think it’s more than okay to skip out on a game that will make you feel bad, even if the game contains more emotional payoffs than that particular payload. I highly enjoyed it, but like Schindler’s List or Moonlight, I probably won’t play it again for a long time.

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  • dennisdennis Registered User regular
    There's no personal trauma in my history, but after a while I had to stop watching The Walking Dead (and, later, reading it). I realized it would just be one tragedy after another. Any emotional investment I made with a character would later be used against me. Happy endings don't make for exciting entertainment product.

    Kayne Red Robe
  • beeftruckbeeftruck Registered User regular
    edited June 22
    Okay now I've never played these games, but I love a shitshow, so here's what I've been led to believe people are mad about.
    Some angry muscle lady brutally kills the old man who was the beloved protagonist of the previous game in a way that's just meant to make you feel bad. Then the little lesbian girl wastes like fifty dudes or something just to get her revenge on Muscle Lady, only to decide at the last minute that "Killing would make me no better than you!" and let her go. (Presumably while all the dead minions get up and do a musical number entitled Ludonarrative Dissonance.) Then you play as Muscle Lady even though you hate her at this point.

    Or as the media complex says whenever something flops these days, Product is fantastic, everyone disappointed is just bigoted against Group.

    beeftruck on
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  • PeriSoftPeriSoft Registered User regular
    As someone who remembers the debate a couple of decades ago about whether video games could ever be art, the exchange between Ironzerg and Hahns001 pretty much settles it, to the extent it hadn't already been well and truly settled: There's no way you can have that kind of discussion about something that *isn't* art.

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited June 22
    beeftruck wrote: »
    Okay now I've never played these games, but I love a shitshow, so here's what I've been led to believe people are mad about.
    Some angry muscle lady brutally kills the old man who was the beloved protagonist of the previous game in a way that's just meant to make you feel bad. Then the little lesbian girl wastes like fifty dudes or something just to get her revenge on Muscle Lady, only to decide at the last minute that "Killing would make me no better than you!" and let her go. (Presumably while all the dead minions get up and do a musical number entitled Ludonarrative Dissonance.) Then you play as Muscle Lady even though you hate her at this point.

    Or as the media complex says whenever something flops these days, Product is fantastic, everyone disappointed is just bigoted against Group.
    The order is all wrong here, and there’s a LOT of ground to cover that leads to the finale. How a story is told has an impact on what the story is. But yeah, like you said, you’ve never played it so *shrugs*

    Hahnsoo1 on
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  • Mr_MengMr_Meng Registered User new member
    The Last of Us 2 is basically Dishonored 2 if they forced you to play High Chaos and then called you a horrible monster for having played High Chaos. Still gets me how a game that completely revolves around the message 'hey in case you didn't know violence is bad' forces you to act like a mass murdering psychopath.

  • T-DangerT-Danger Registered User regular
    My issue with TLOU2's story is that it has some potentially interesting elements which could have worked and made for a compelling story, but they're all executed in really poor ways, which make the characters come off as illogical and moronic at the worst of times. It feels less like a true continuation of the story, and more like someone's fanfic of the original game written when they were thirteen.

    Actually, now I think about it, TLOU2 really shares a lot with bad fanfics:

    -Characters acting inconsistently and unlike their established personalities
    -A focus on romantic themes and pairings above most other things.
    -Excessive gore, violence and edginess just for the sake of it.
    -And a brand new character with hardly any backstory and personality, but suddenly receives lots of attention and focus, and seems to be stronger and more capable than the main cast.

    TLOU2 is the My Immortal of videogames.

  • ZenigataZenigata Registered User regular
    I never thought the original TLOU was that great, but it seems the issue at hand is with the ham fisted way they tell you "violence is BAD" and yet your only way to progress through the game is to be violent. They didn't take a clever stance on this like Spec Ops: The Line where that was part of the plot, they just do it to say you're bad for playing the game the only way it lets you.

    There are enough games with really dumb moral systems that pan out to super nice hero that saves everyone, pets all the dogs, and calls his mom every night to total jerk who eats flowers, splashes people waiting at the bus stop by driving through a puddle, and pushes old ladies in front of traffic at a crosswalk. Naughty Dog is way too heady of themselves, but I think years of those Uncharted games and the original TLOU are why. Don't think either are a real great service to video games.

  • KagatoACKagatoAC Registered User regular
    I honestly thought about picking it up until I heard about that, Animal Abuse is pretty much where i draw the line. No Im not kidding. I have no problem murdering virtual people all day long, but do not mess with the Puppers..

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    I don't have a PS Anything so have not really followed this, but from Twitter there's been some noise about poor treatment
    of LGBTQ folk, particularly a trans person. Misgendering, deadnaming, etc.

    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • SolaceInRageSolaceInRage Registered User regular
    edited June 23
    If you need a synopsis, TLOU2 is essentially a hate fantasy designed to appeal to the LGBT community, but done so ham fistedly that it comes off as crowbarred in and becomes more of a caricature. They also canned the original author and replaced her because she refused to say the industry was sexist, as she had not experienced anything like that. She was replaced with a hack that would not be qualified to write for Buzzfeed, which is why the story is awful, interactions are cringey, and there is a sex scene that is as sexy as a shoe full of tapioca. And not even a particularly exciting shoe.

    SolaceInRage on
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited June 23
    If it was a hate fantasy, then it wouldn't end the way that it does, and it wouldn't have the cutscenes between the chapters after you reach Seattle and after the events of Seattle. If it's a hate fantasy, it's a pretty shitty fantasy, as characters end up broken at the end, not heroic. I think the word "ham fisted" is getting thrown around a lot by people who are reading the same hot takes from folks who dissected the story leaks, rather than played through the game.

    The sex scene is depicted as a mistake within the game by the characters involved, and rightly so. I don't think it was ever meant to be a positive romantic encounter. "The sex scene should be SEXIER" is a weird complaint to lodge against it, given the context.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited June 23
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    I don't have a PS Anything so have not really followed this, but from Twitter there's been some noise about poor treatment
    of LGBTQ folk, particularly a trans person. Misgendering, deadnaming, etc.
    Major spoilers about this:
    There is a prominent trans character named Lev who is one of the major NPC companions of one of the protagonists. He belongs to a cult-like religious tribe that espouses enlightenment and a return to nature, away from "the Old World" (modern civilization), but it turns into a regressive colony where the Elders basically take everything from the tribe members and things like forced marriages of children to the Elders occurs. Lev is a victim of abuse from this religious cult, the cult dead-names Lev and tries to hunt him down as "an apostate", an affront to their religion. Lev, as a character, is a pretty positive and heroic character compared to pretty much everyone else in the game, and is probably the only person with a strong moral compass left. I will also note that the main characters have no problems with calling Lev by his chosen name and gender.

    The problem of this representation is that it hews closely to the actual abuse that is experienced by many trans people right now, without being telegraphed in any way through the marketing of the game. They are often shunned or abused by their family members, who supposedly love them, because it goes against their perception of their religious "values". It is quite triggering for people to face that kind of trauma as their representation in a video game. No one wants to play a video game to face the tribulations of their real life. My wife died of cancer a few years ago, and there's no way in hell that I'd play "That Dragon, Cancer" ever again. It also reduces the story of the one major trans character in the game into a story of trauma and abuse. This is done with the intention of depicting how evil this particular religious cult is, I think, but it's not a fun thing for someone to experience, regardless of their identity.

    In this regard, I definitely think it is problematic, as you can tell the same story and themes without a trans character as the victim of the abuse. The decision to do this probably did not come from a person who is intimately familiar with this specific kind of abuse, but there's no way for me to know, I guess.

    Hahnsoo1 on
    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    KagatoAC wrote: »
    I honestly thought about picking it up until I heard about that, Animal Abuse is pretty much where i draw the line. No Im not kidding. I have no problem murdering virtual people all day long, but do not mess with the Puppers..
    There is one dog that you have to kill, during a story sequence (not a random combat encounter), in self-defense. But it is very difficult to sneak past the dogs in the combat encounters, who can track you by scent. I'm not sure it is even possible to dodge them all through stealth during the combat set-pieces.

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    I don't have a PS Anything so have not really followed this, but from Twitter there's been some noise about poor treatment
    of LGBTQ folk, particularly a trans person. Misgendering, deadnaming, etc.
    Major spoilers about this:
    There is a prominent trans character named Lev who is one of the major NPC companions of one of the protagonists. He belongs to a cult-like religious tribe that espouses enlightenment and a return to nature, away from "the Old World" (modern civilization), but it turns into a regressive colony where the Elders basically take everything from the tribe members and things like forced marriages of children to the Elders occurs. Lev is a victim of abuse from this religious cult, the cult dead-names Lev and tries to hunt him down as "an apostate", an affront to their religion. Lev, as a character, is a pretty positive and heroic character compared to pretty much everyone else in the game, and is probably the only person with a strong moral compass left. I will also note that the main characters have no problems with calling Lev by his chosen name and gender.

    The problem of this representation is that it hews closely to the actual abuse that is experienced by many trans people right now, without being telegraphed in any way through the marketing of the game. They are often shunned or abused by their family members, who supposedly love them, because it goes against their perception of their religious "values". It is quite triggering for people to face that kind of trauma as their representation in a video game. No one wants to play a video game to face the tribulations of their real life. My wife died of cancer a few years ago, and there's no way in hell that I'd play "That Dragon, Cancer" ever again. It also reduces the story of the one major trans character in the game into a story of trauma and abuse. This is done with the intention of depicting how evil this particular religious cult is, I think, but it's not a fun thing for someone to experience, regardless of their identity.

    In this regard, I definitely think it is problematic, as you can tell the same story and themes without a trans character as the victim of the abuse. The decision to do this probably did not come from a person who is intimately familiar with this specific kind of abuse, but there's no way for me to know, I guess.

    Thanks, that was a 'good' read. Big spoilers for those who care and seems to fit with what I've read here and on GB about the story as a whole.

    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    I'm just so tired of the idea that "good story" always seems to mean grim and relentlessly depressing. It got so bad with Indies that I expected just about every indie to end with some bleak metaphor about abuse.

    If you'll excuse me I need to go play Wandersong again.

  • beeftruckbeeftruck Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    The order is all wrong here, and there’s a LOT of ground to cover that leads to the finale. How a story is told has an impact on what the story is. But yeah, like you said, you’ve never played it so *shrugs*
    Point is grusomely killing off the well-liked protagonist of the previous installment and then never having the killer explicitly punished is a completely uncontroversial move that could never generate backlash, so clearly the negative reaction is entirely due to the LGBT stuff as I'm sure an assortment of sober and measured outlets have demonstrated through links to like a dozen not-at-all-cherrypicked tweets or something.

    Tube on
  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Be conscious of spoilers please

    Hobnail wrote: »
    This forum has taken everything from me
    This hurts but I deserve it

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    beeftruck wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    The order is all wrong here, and there’s a LOT of ground to cover that leads to the finale. How a story is told has an impact on what the story is. But yeah, like you said, you’ve never played it so *shrugs*
    Point is grusomely killing off the well-liked protagonist of the previous installment and then never having the killer explicitly punished is a completely uncontroversial move that could never generate backlash, so clearly the negative reaction is entirely due to the LGBT stuff as I'm sure an assortment of sober and measured outlets have demonstrated through links to like a dozen not-at-all-cherrypicked tweets or something.
    Again, you've never played it. *shrugs* I'll reserve my energy for someone who isn't arguing out of complete ignorance. There's a whole thread in G&T to discuss the game if you want to carry this further and tell us how you REALLY feel about cherry-picked tweets or something.

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    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
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