Saturday!

Taster's Choice ad, 1985

We’ve talked before about Telltale Games and how they put you in situations where they give you a choice to make and the choice feels momentous but, when you think about it a little later, it turns out to not really have done anything when it comes to the plot.

Well, we’re going to talk about it some more.

In the first Telltale Batman game, there’s a scene where you are holding a fundraiser for Harvey Dent’s political campaign and Carmine Falcone shows up to the party. Hey, it’s Wayne Manor. It’s a political fundraiser. Dent asks you to play nice with Falcone despite the whole “mafia boss” thing. You walk up to Falcone and the game asks you this:

DO YOU SHAKE FALCONE’S HAND?

There are a dozen reasons to shake Falcone’s hand, after all. You’re Bruce Wayne. This is a fundraiser for Harvey Dent. There are reporters around. This is *YOUR* house.

There are a dozen reasons to not shake Falcone’s hand. You’re Bruce Wayne. This is a fundraiser for Harvey Dent. There are reporters around. This is *YOUR* house.

So… what do you do?

As it turns out, well… it doesn’t matter. The plot is going to go where the plot is going to go and the stuff that happens does not have whether you shook Falcone’s hand as a lynchpin event when the excrement impacts the oscillator.

But in that moment… man. This isn’t about the lynchpin event.

This is about what has precedence over what. Is this about honoring the request of your friend? Is this about honoring the memory of your parents? Is this about what it will look like if you don’t shake his hand? Is this about what it will look like if you do?

Even if the handshake changes nothing with regards to the plot, it changes *EVERYTHING* with regards to how you *FEEL* about the scene.

And so that’s why Telltale Games make games that work (through the first playthrough, anyway). They make you feel things about the story you’re in. Even if you can’t change anything.

And, so, with that said, I’m really looking forward to the *NEW* Telltale Games Batman story currently coming out. Batman: The Enemy Within has released Chapter One (and if this is like the last handful of games, one chapter every two months until all five are out).

Of course, it drives me nuts to be left on a cliffhanger so I’ll only be getting the new game once all of the chapters are out.

But I loved the previous one (even if the choices were somewhat obviously orthogonal to the plot) because they were working with a universe that is absolutely perfect for the medium they’re using to tell their stories. I’m on tenterhooks already.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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17 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. …still Long War 2. XCom 2 on the summer steam sale is likely the best value I’ve ever gotten for a game. Unless you count Hearthstone (because I’ve spent $0 in aggregate on that one)

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  2. I finished The Witcher 3 during the week. By the time I got to the end I was ready for it to be over, but then it took me more than 100 hours to reach that point.

    Now I’m playing Pyre – and it quite different from Supergiant’s previous games.It basically a text RPG mixed with a sport game. It is fascinating though, and the art and music are up to Supergaint’s normal standard.

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    • Dude, did you do all the side quests? 100 hours? That’s like the main storyline.

      Best money i’ve ever spent on a game, in terms of play time.

      Speaking of which, I’m playing it now. Going to hit the qwent quests, which I blew off the previous time.

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      • Still haven’t finished the main quest. Right now, I’m near the end of gather allies for Kaer Morhan (sp?). Haven’t played it in a while. I love open world games, but almost always spend too much time on side quests. You’re right: it’s one of my favorite games, too.

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        • I get teased by some friends about doing the side quests. Right now I’m trying to collect the cards for the qwent decks but I MUST investigate every question mark on the map…I’m level 10, the main quest is set at level 6 and I expect I’ll be at least 15 before I get back to hit.

          Honestly, nothing was more fun than sailing around the skellige islands finding all the question marks and looting…well except for eyeballing the romantic interests backsides :)

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  3. Got the expansions for War for the Overworld so am playing those. The game remains good, they’ve polished it up pretty well but it just doesn’t have the Dungeon Keeper… whatever it is. I fear that it’s not them; it’s me.

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  4. I haven’t been playing much lately, but I did run across an interesting singer on Youtube the other day.

    12 year old singer in beauty contest. She wasn’t in the contest, she was just at it. The contestants throw her some shade.

    Her name is Patricia Jane?ková (Yanechkova) and now she’s 19, and perhaps destined to become one of the immortal sopranos. Pie Jesu in Prague at age 16, Doing Strauss at age 17. There are quite a lot of others. Serious orchestras went with her when she was 13. She kept getting better. Her voice is almost as sweet as the sound of a Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial.

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  5. Still working my way through Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which has been a delight. I played it in arcade mode initially so that I could just go tear-assing around the Bolivian countryside mowing down cocaleros with impunity, but once you hit Level 30 it can go into Tier One mode, where there are forced difficulty increases as your “Tier” increases but you get increasingly large rewards and the ability to upgrade the raw power of your guns. So I’ve slowly worked my way up to Extreme difficulty, and now the game is totally nuts; it’s forced me to gradually completely rework my play style, which has been a weirdly satisfying experience.

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    • Good for you.
      Now, i’d recommend you check out the various story endings and see how you want things to end…..

      And do the side quests. You should get dozens of hours out of this game if you do a lot of the side quests. And explore. Lots of interesting things off the main roads. :)

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        • Assuming you’re referring to the endings.

          IIRC, you have three endings for Ciri, 2 good, 1 bad.
          And of course, you get to choose which Sorceress you want to end up with.

          Probably my favorite part of the game is running around Toussant. It’s just gorgeous, like Provence but with monsters :) It’s nice to do after spending all that time in Skellige.

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