Monday, January 30, 2017

Personal note. And Game Diary.

My basic setting, at the moment, is fuck this.  Fuck that.  And fuck everything.  

Fuck everything. 

My Overwatch game has just gone to shit.  Just shit.

Season 3 has been live since like November, but I never did my placements for competitive.  Didn't much feel like it - felt pretty negative, and didn't... want to try.  Didn't want to let Overwatch's placement and medal system judge me, because it couldn't have anything positive to say.  And if it did, I can't imagine I would believe it anyway.

My Mercy game is still pretty solid - or at least, I can rock shit when the team around me is humming.  My Tracer game... well it might still be awesome, and I've certainly had some awesome moments, but ending up gold in kills, objective kills, objective time and damage is absolutely meaningless if the team around me isn't capitalizing on the fact that D.Va isn't being healed any more or their tanks just went boom.

I did get a pretty sweet quad-kill PotG with Tracer's new highlight intro and skin.  Just one, though.

I don't think it's my teams, though.  I think I'm just playing shittier.  Maybe Gravity Rush 2 is to blame - this always happens when I play anything but Overwatch, and then return to Overwatch.

Anyway.  I finished my placements today, and landed at 2100.  Gold.  Another 400 comp points in the coffers towards a golden gun.   Not bad at all!   Especially when you consider that most folks were placed pretty low this season.  I mean, I'll take it.

But still, fuck it.  Fuck this and that and ev-er-y thing.

Due to some things happening around the house, my anxiety was at max all day, fearing for my mother.  Everything's fine, for the record, but I was climbing the walls at work.  I was very nice and polite to everyone and I blitzed my workload to keep busy but all day I just wanted... I don't know.  A fucking hug.

And if I got one, I know, I would still feel as empty and angry and helpless as I do now.

I never talked about Fate EXTELLA on the podcast last week.  I played Fate EXTELLA.

Unless you're a fan of musou games, I would stay away.  I was hoping for an arena brawler with RPG aspects and a decent story.  I got the most simultaneously convoluted and soporific narrative I've seen in an age, and paper-thin combat in what is basically a Dynasty Warriors game with characters from an anime I've never seen.

I stopped playing my Vita for almost a week because whenever I reached for it, my first thought was the fact that I'm playing Fate EXTELLA, and I would just put it back down.  Then I played a bit of Odin Sphere and felt a lot better.  Then I started up a new Amazon in Dragon's Crown and, again, felt a nice warm comfort and affection for my beloved Vanillaware.

But really, the best game I'm playing lately that's not Overwatch is Gravity Rush 2.  The worst thing I can say about it is they took the online servers off, over the weekend, for maintenance.  Because nobody plays fucking video games on the weekend and I'm really sore I didn't get to do a bunch of treasure hunts, but I cleared a ton of side quests and story missions.

It's pretty fucking spectacular.  I'm (kind of?  Sort of?  Not really but a little?) interested in that Gust Magical Girl RPG, but I pegged the original Gravity Rush as a spectacular Magical Girl Action Game years ago - and its sequel is, to its credit and glory, more of the same.

Its environments are absolutely stunning on a regular basis - and not, thankfully, stunning in like the Uncharted way or the Alien Isolation way.  This world is gorgeous in the Okami way or the Sly Cooper way, where technology merely exists in service to art.

The only downside to the presentation, I'm prepared to say, is that when you stop using aftertouch as you fall up or down or across the sky, Kat can settle in to a perfectly static position.  Like usually she's beautifully animated as she falls - always making slight adjustments and stretching a bit, almost casually, as sky skydives - but sometimes she'll like find a position that I guess she thinks is perfect for maintaining this speed and heading, and she'll freeze, motionless as she plummets along, until you tell her you need her to pull up or left or right and she'll begin a gentle spin that will see her around the next obstacle.

It happens... oh... one out of ten times, I guess?  So for the most part, watching her flip and fall and go soaring over the city to skid to a stop across its cobbles is pretty goddamned spectacular.  She's like a dancer.  An action-dancer.

This is a game in which me and my Flying Magical Girl Bestie, Raven, face off against two evil (or at least misguided) man-made magical girls, swooping and soaring and dogfighting above a huge park, and as I go for a flying kick against one, the other will sieze me by my ankle and fling me down towards the pavement - and at the last moment I can catch myself in mid-air, send out a pulse that gathers the park benches nearby into swirling orbits around me and fling them back at my attacker as I sail in for a heavier attack.

This is not shifting gravity.  This is just snapping the left stick forward and tapping X, in Moon Style. 

This is a game where I can leap, horizontally, two hundred yards in a long, low arc, touch down for a moment on the top of a light post and fling myself another quarter-mile.  Its greatest satisfaction is found in knowing when to cut gravity shifting completely to go into a natural freefall, or switching on Moon Style or Jupiter Style at the precise right moment to kick off this wall or rocket through that pipe.  There's a lot of very pleasant depth to the game's locomotion - far more than in the original - and pulling off cool shit, here, feels very cool because it's so skill-based.  It's like Grin's Bionic Commando reboot - and as a result, Gravity Rush 2 is one of these games whose missions and challenges are just kind of cherries on top of the experience of just flinging one's self around its lovely environments.

Honestly, like half my time with it is spent just dicking around its floating boroughs, running up a building to leap off just before I get to the roof to go soaring over the city, cutting gravity shift to go plummeting below, switching to Moon Style to charge a jump that automatically connects to a nearby wall and with a mighty leap, send myself skyward again.

I said it about Protoype, and I'll say it about this - Gravity Rush 2 is a dream of freedom, and power.  It's almost hard to stop enjoying its spectacular locomotion and bring up your map to find an objective, a side quest, a conversation to go check out.  Why bother?  You're already having so much fun.

The game loads and you're standing there, on a beautiful street in this spectacular floating city.  You swipe up on the touchpad and with a supernatural hum, silvery ornaments appear along your arms and calves.  Your arms float out a little bit, for balance, and you bounce ever so lightly on a single toe.  Hold down X.  You crouch, coiling like a spring.  Release.  You explode straight up, a hundred feet into the air.  And then, you don't stop.

Because you're strong.  And you're free.

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