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Penny Arcade - Comic - Animus (Definition One)

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited November 2020 in The Penny Arcade Hub
imagePenny Arcade - Comic - Animus (Definition One)

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

Read the full story here

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Posts

  • OctoberRavenOctoberRaven Plays fighting games for the story Skyeline Hotel Apartment 4ARegistered User regular
    Have to agree with Gabe here. The modern-day stuff is the worst, rivaled only by the First Civilization parts of the plot. The only worthwhile parts of it are the encyclopedia bits, which you can have without the rest of that baggage.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I think they could do the Animus stuff as a system interface/menu that you choose to navigate over to. Use it as a 4th wall encyclopedia, and add supplemental story. But don't force players out of the real game into it.

    What is this I don't even.
    Ringosuprachromat
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    edited November 2020
    I don't hate the idea of an overarching frame narrative that ties the games together in some sort of meaningful way. The concept itself is fine.

    The problem is the execution.

    First of all, they came up with an overly complicated solution to a very simple problem. Instead of doing this whole animus, blood memories, evil corporation secretly harvesting the history of dead people from an unwilling science participant, they should have gone with something much simpler. You know what would have made a way better and less invasive frame story? If a character was just researching their ancient family tree. Use that idea to bookend the game, with no interruptions in the action. Start the game with a journal, or a trip to a library, or to an old cathedral cemetary, or something. Anything that makes more sense than the sentence I described above.

    Secondly, the animus plot is too invasive to the action and to the main story of each game. It's better now than it was, but in my opinion, any interruption is a bad one. I buy these games for the stealth muder simulation that takes place in the crusades/renaissance/other time periods. Anything that cuts into those time periods and pulls me as jarringly out of the story as the animus sections do is a bad thing.

    Third, the AC series has had multiple misfires on the animus portions of the game. They completely botched and abandoned the Desmond plot. I think it was because they knew they were losing their voice actor, so they killed him off, pissing off everybody and providing no closure or satisfaction to that storyline after like 4 games worth of time invested in it. They also introduced the cheeky British guy and his merry band of hackers, but I feel like I haven't seen them in a while either. They keep droping these story threads with no resolution to any of them, and for long-time fans of the series who have played literally every installment, it stings even worse. Knowing that the story they're showing in the animus parts is likely to be abandoned, or end abruptly, or take some sort of weird detour into irrelevancy, it just makes it all the worse.

    Lucascraft on
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  • OctoberRavenOctoberRaven Plays fighting games for the story Skyeline Hotel Apartment 4ARegistered User regular
    Speaking of abandoned plot lines, remember how in AC1 when that one girl had a missing digit as a way to tell Desmond she's an Assassin, only for them to realize how dumb that version of the Hidden Blade was and have Da Vinci make a better one in the second game?

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  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    Gabe is 100% correct about people who like nuts in brownies. Not every food needs a crunch texture and even if you do want it in there, there's dozens of better ingredients.

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  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    I like nuts in brownies for the crunch AND for the taste. Walnuts are best.

    Frosting on brownies, though? That's vile.

    V1m
  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Confession time: i love raisins in cookies.
    Raisins are nature's candy.

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Daimar wrote: »
    Gabe is 100% correct about people who like nuts in brownies. Not every food needs a crunch texture and even if you do want it in there, there's dozens of better ingredients.

    Well I guess I'll just eat these pecan brownies myself then!

    I mean I would anyway, but now I feel morally justified

    BremenYoungFreyNightslyrKamar
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Lots of stuff is great in brownies. Nuts. Chocolate chips. Caramel chips. Peanutbutter chips. Fudge.

    dennisZilla360NightslyrYoungFreyKamar
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Lots of stuff is great in brownies. Nuts. Chocolate chips. Caramel chips. Peanutbutter chips. Fudge.

    People said I was crazy to put SweeTARTS in my brownies.



    They were right.



    (Also, that's apparently the official way to write the name of that candy. Another thing to add to the list of why they are terrible.)

    Ringo
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Honestly Valhalla has the most abrupt modern day parts as well. Like I played all of origins and odyssey and they have you come in rough to Valhalla where if you didn't play those games you wouldn't know what the fuck is going on and that seems like an odd choice for games that stand apart in gameplay and history.

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  • p9600p9600 Registered User new member
    We also like the modern day parts in AC. My s.o. doesn't care much for the historical parts, but wants to see every contemporary cut scene (or there will be a dozen questions about the events later).

  • Jgr9Jgr9 Registered User regular
    I liked the Modern segments back in the day (though email reading isn't exactly fun).
    But I don't care for nuts in brownies, though I can tolerate them.

  • T-DangerT-Danger Registered User regular
    They still do the modern day parts in Assassin's Creed? I'd assumed they'd stopped doing them once Desmond left.

  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    Speaking of abandoned plot lines, remember how in AC1 when that one girl had a missing digit as a way to tell Desmond she's an Assassin, only for them to realize how dumb that version of the Hidden Blade was and have Da Vinci make a better one in the second game?

    I'm pretty sure she just mimed missing a finger. She was a double agent, missing a finger would have been a pretty big giveaway.

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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    A+ comic title

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  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Lots of stuff is great in brownies. Nuts. Chocolate chips. Caramel chips. Peanutbutter chips. Fudge.

    But not modern day AC segments.

    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • Mr_MengMr_Meng Registered User regular
    I didn't mind the modern day segments until they introduced Layla who I personally find insufferable largely because Ubisoft is trying to push her character so hard and quickly. With Desmond they stretched him out a bit more and let his character develop over the series. With Layla it's 'she's already an expert on everything and after one game she's able to single handedly beat Sigma Team who is trained to deal with Assassins and oh guess what she's the actual chosen one instead of Desmond who sacrificed himself to save the world'.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    The incredibly frustrating part for me in the originals was you were ostensibly going through all this stuff in part to train as a modern day assassin and then almost never use what your guy has learned.

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  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    The incredibly frustrating part for me in the originals was you were ostensibly going through all this stuff in part to train as a modern day assassin and then almost never use what your guy has learned.

    I only played game 2, but honestly it would have been really interesting if when you played Desmond, the controls were all wonky and your jumps were super lame, but every time he'd get a little bit better until, by the end of the game, he has Ezio's full moveset and had to use it to evade the bad guys. Would have justified the gameplay reason for those segments a lot more.

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    The incredibly frustrating part for me in the originals was you were ostensibly going through all this stuff in part to train as a modern day assassin and then almost never use what your guy has learned.

    I only played game 2, but honestly it would have been really interesting if when you played Desmond, the controls were all wonky and your jumps were super lame, but every time he'd get a little bit better until, by the end of the game, he has Ezio's full moveset and had to use it to evade the bad guys. Would have justified the gameplay reason for those segments a lot more.

    It would have!

    IIRC there’s a single modern day level set in a skyscraper and takes about 15 minutes. Then it’s back in to the animus.

    Jacobkosh
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Perhaps if the animus delivered messages to you using brownies chock full of walnuts.

    Until they betray you and one of those walnuts is a poison capsule.

    Preacher
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    I don't mind a nut in a brownie, but like I've never had one where I was like "oh thank god this brownie had a nut in it" Even that time I experimented in college.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

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  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    I liked the modern bits, but it's been obvious for years that Ubisoft doesn't have any real plans for actually having that story go anywhere.

    Oh, and I like nuts as nuts, and that's pretty much it.

  • LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    If Animus was a good idea then other games would’ve copied it

  • GeddoeGeddoe Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Perhaps if the animus delivered messages to you using brownies chock full of walnuts.

    Until they betray you and one of those walnuts is a poison capsule.

    Seems like a dumb idea. Once I see nuts in the brownie the entire batch is going into the trash where brownies with nuts belong.

  • GeorgeVGeorgeV Registered User regular
    I liked the modern parts when there was some semblance of there being a coherent story behind them. Unfortunately these days it's just a bland mess of vague cryptic-sounding nonsense, without any actual story or hopes of a (satisfying) conclusion. It serves no narrative purpose anymore, and it only detracts from the actual story and action.

    At this point they should just cut them out until they have a clear plan with it. Even if they need to maintain the concept of the Animus, just start the game with a 5-min intro in the office, go 'hello [bland office dude 289], we're diving into assassin X this time', plug in and don't come out until the game is finished.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    cckerberos wrote: »
    I liked the modern bits, but it's been obvious for years that Ubisoft doesn't have any real plans for actually having that story go anywhere.

    This. I like the modern day stuff, I liked Desmond a lot, I like the Assassin's Creed games as conspiracy thrillers with weird Fortean elements.

    But Ubisoft backed out of ending the series in a natural-feeling way so hard in 3 (and did Desmond really dirty in the process) that they kind of broke the series and for a decade it's just sort of flopped around like a beached fish.

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  • RingoRingo He/Him Bury me at Lone Tree DenRegistered User regular
    I picked up Odyssey, got bothered by the modern plot, gave the game to my roommate

    I don't know why I have such a visceral reaction to the modern stuff, but I just can't get past it

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
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  • Stubbs CastawayStubbs Castaway Registered User new member
    I like peanut butter cream cheese frosting on my brownies.

  • GrendusGrendus Registered User regular
    Confession time: i love raisins in cookies.
    Raisins are nature's candy.

    Raisins are good in cookies if you're expecting raisins. If you're expecting chocolate chips, they're a bitter disappointment (even though raisins aren't bitter at all).

    Nuts in brownies are the same - good if you're expecting them, awful if you aren't.

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  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    Grendus wrote: »
    Confession time: i love raisins in cookies.
    Raisins are nature's candy.

    Raisins are good in cookies if you're expecting raisins. If you're expecting chocolate chips, they're a bitter disappointment (even though raisins aren't bitter at all).

    Nuts in brownies are the same - good if you're expecting them, awful if you aren't.

    Even though I otherwise like raisins and all, I have a small breakdown when I see cookies with chocolate chips AND raisins (or any dried fruit). It just cheapens the chocolate, somehow. It's like... it had to go and make the whole thing tawdry. The raisins know they're no chocolate chip, and everything else in the cookie is just embarrassed about the whole thing. Even the frosted brownies are over there, saying, "Who do they think they're kidding? Hey, raisins, you're showing your ASS!"

  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of all interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited November 2020
    Like, oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my top favorite cookies (more than chocolate chip, even). But are there really people who mix raisins with chocolate chips? Because that's horrible.

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  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    edited November 2020
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    Like, oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my top favorite cookies (more than chocolate chip, even). But are there really people who mix raisins with chocolate chips? Because that's horrible.

    And cranberries. Though that's probably not as bad, because cranberries can at least be tart.

    Most often I find them in the "kitchen sink" or "monster" cookies. Chocolate chips? Mmmmm. Nuts? Mmmmm. M&Ms? Mmmmmm. Raisins?
    ImdbF0D.gif

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  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    Like, oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my top favorite cookies (more than chocolate chip, even). But are there really people who mix raisins with chocolate chips? Because that's horrible.

    Interesting, because while putting chocolate chips and raisins in the same cookie seems terrible to me, chocolate covered raisins are yummy.

    Also the cookie substrate raisins and chocolate chips go in is usefully different. Chocolate chips tend to go in basically a sugar cookie while raisins go in oatmeal. It just feels weird to think of it being done the other way around.

    Is because of something inherent to the flavors? Or just because that's how I've experienced them for 30 years?

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  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    edited November 2020
    Nah, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies is a pretty common thing. It's actually my favorite cookie. The flavors just go together perfectly.

    dennis on
  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of all interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited November 2020
    dennis wrote: »
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    Like, oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my top favorite cookies (more than chocolate chip, even). But are there really people who mix raisins with chocolate chips? Because that's horrible.

    And cranberries. Though that's probably not as bad, because cranberries can at least be tart.

    Most often I find them in the "kitchen sink" or "monster" cookies. Chocolate chips? Mmmmm. Nuts? Mmmmm. M&Ms? Mmmmmm. Raisins?
    ImdbF0D.gif

    I don't think I've ever had cranberries in a cookie. I've had some really good cranberry-orange muffins & pastries though.

    Yeah, that sounds about right. Chocolate chips, nuts, and M&Ms all belong in the same kind of cookie, and chocolate tastes good with nuts (although I'm not personally a fan of the texture of nuts in brownies). But raisins just require a whole different set-up to shine as a cookie ingredient.
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    Like, oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my top favorite cookies (more than chocolate chip, even). But are there really people who mix raisins with chocolate chips? Because that's horrible.

    Interesting, because while putting chocolate chips and raisins in the same cookie seems terrible to me, chocolate covered raisins are yummy.

    Also the cookie substrate raisins and chocolate chips go in is usefully different. Chocolate chips tend to go in basically a sugar cookie while raisins go in oatmeal. It just feels weird to think of it being done the other way around.

    Is because of something inherent to the flavors? Or just because that's how I've experienced them for 30 years?

    The chocolate in chocolate covered raisins is pretty different from the chocolate used for chocolate chips, so its a bit like your point about the difference in cookie substrates.

    The best oatmeal raisin cookies I've had, have a little honey in the cookie dough. It does something to the texture of the cookie that helps keep it at the perfect chewy balance point between soft and hard.

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  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    Let me say this: if you're ever in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area, please do stop by a Droolin' Moose location (assuming they still exist by then). They have chocolate covered raisins and cherries. I'm not a huge fan of the raisins, but they're not bad. Which for me is absurdly high praise for chocolate covered raisins. But I love the chocolate covered cherries, called "Cherry Bombs". They use this fantastic high quality milk chocolate. And the cherries aren't the disgusting maraschino cherries but more of a dried-yet-very-soft texture. They're absolutely delicious and I can just devour them by the cup.

    Plus the place is just fun. They have at least 50% of their varieties on a free samples bar, and they encourage urge you to try every damn thing you want. If you just get one of everything, we're talking about a box that you'd probably pay at least $10 for. They have about three different varieties of mint chocolate, each of which could be someone's "favorite mint chocolate, ever." Their prices are decently high, but they're incredibly friendly and... dat sample bar.

    So that just shows that dried fruit and chocolate need not be total enemies.

    H3KnucklesRingo
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Chocolate in oatmeal cookies is the darkest of sins and terror. What a horrific cookie.

    What is this I don't even.
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Cranberries in a white chocolate cookie are top tier

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