Journals BlazBlue, F1 Race Stars ios, & FF IX

August 5, 2014 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

**BlazBlue Chronophantasma**
There are two types of learning (I have identified in BB) the conscious and environmental learning. In League of Legends I kept playing for awhile after 30, but I never actually broke the game down and gave it serious consideration. I didn’t know why Annie is good against Shaco, it was simply instinctual. Similarly I didn’t know why Amane is good against Hakumen or why I squirm a little whenever Bullet comes on the screen, but then it began to occur to me that my long range gives me a distinct advantage against Hakumen’s slow, but powerful attacks while Bullet’s heavy barrage of up close combos can devastate me quickly. I searched around for combos to slightly improve my damage vs up closers, but this is the thing BlazBlue is a game that goes out of its way to make sure you understand you need to analyze and think about this game. The result is I am working on combos to repel Bullets, Noels, & other close range characters. Similarly Amane is much much weaker than other characters especially in terms of damage. I can be up 10 hits on a character and still have less life. The results are I know Amane needs combos, obviously I have to power up the drill and then end some 10 hit combo with it in order to really win. In other words I am consistently receiving feedback on my game, its just despite all of this I constantly lose. An early game day zero Hakumen or Hazama can over whelm a day zero Noel easily. The reason is their damage output is just higher. I don’t see Hazama in competitive play, but he’s all over the noob charts in ranked games. But getting back to the environmental learning, we don’t always learn in words, but BB is a game that gives us words in order to manifest the learning we acquire from experience. Its just that in my case this growing awareness of the strategies involved means I am over confident in my ability to grow, hence why I suck at this game so much 🙂 p.s. Sorry Bb community for all the lag, its Vietnam. Edit: had 3 wins in a row in ranked today.

Edit: and environmental learning is a kind of manipulation its perfectly possible to build a character whose weaknesses will make you dread playing her, but whose design inspires. In other words its possible Amane is a joke character like Dan intended to troll a demographic as much as the Archers in Chivalry are woefully underpowered. If the designer knows they are designing a low tier character does that make Amane trans-phobic? However, I think time will tell. (Have seen some awesome Amane players). The bigger question is if playing her will pay dividends in the future. However concerning environmental learning, what does this say about LoL? Does the environment of the game teach players to be more toxic? Would better consciousness of the game’s system make pro games more enjoyable? And when designing an environment how should it manipulate the player? Dark Souls is famously difficult, but rewarding meanwhile many FPS games are empowering, but simple. My point is digital environments offer people a future, a temporality & context that manipulate their daesin, the experience of being digitally can have influence on our daily lives.

**Final Fantasy IX**
I had a lot of free time this week which probably means I forgot something important. This game has been covered in depth or to death if you prefer as I write this a neogaf thread once again praises the merits of this game. I arrived in Lindblum, discovered Cid’s secret, and met Freya. The second I stepped outside Lindblum I just wanted to walk around and get out of the story, well ok actually I didn’t but you get the idea. The immense freedom of the over world (which is illusionary) pales compared to the story, the game lets you know a coliseum battle and a fetch quest for Cid are coming up with out check boxes or some type of to-do list simulator and that might be the thing about FF IX: it lets you explore. I know Cid needs me to find his wife and experimental airship, I know I will end up in the festival of the hunt, but unlike so many modern games that shuttle you from objective to objective FF IX stands up and says explore. You’re not given a way point marker that tells you where to go, instead the narrative is compelling enough that I know where to go already, its just I would rather level my character outside, get my mage masher up to snuff, and then synthesize a few weapons before getting into this festival that will no doubt lead under the city somehow. Objectives are well managed, I do wish it kept track of all the optional side quests you receive like the coffee beans guy etc.

**F1 Race Stars**
Mario Kart 8 just didn’t grab me so far… and F1 Race Stars on steam alienated me too, but this little codemasters cash grab is exactly what I need. The tilt controls actually work… I mean like really work as in I prefer them to a virtual joystick. Secondly, you know how in Mario kart those shells hurt and like for a second you really think your racer is in pain? F1 Race Stars uses bubbles, you gently float skyward for a few seconds. I can’t quite identify what about the game makes it great. It has every evil an ios games could have: ubiquitous pop ups asking for my cash, a fairly blatant pay to win model, yet its short tracks (races are cut down to commute digestible lengths) and surprisingly adept motion controls are really enchanting. The game makes you feel good for playing and the bubbles are much better than the shells, maybe the reduced course length also adds something? I also like that you take damage, your wheels corrode as you drift and get hit by bubbles resulting in pit stops. This mechanic works even though it is part of the micro-transaction fest the game exhumes like oxygen and dollars are somehow comparable. I only gave this a minute so my impressions lack analysis and nuance, but so far I am impressed. Oh btw drifts store boost which is released via a button. Like that too. Its like someone took an axe to mario kart and came away with a cherry. Edit: I was just forced to spend an ingame currency to buy a new driver there by losing my upgrades. Le sigh its like someone forcing you to masturbate. Don’t need a game that makes me practice desiring in-game purchases. Good game, solves many mario kart conundrums, but I think I will stick with MK8.

Entry filed under: media.

Design Journals: Soul Sacrifice (omg this is awesome), BL2 redux, & Atelier Totori the mystery continues Design Journal: FF IX, BB:CP, Soul Sacrifice, DonDonPachi

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