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 Hades

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Jimbob
The Cappuccino Kid
Buskalilly
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masofdas
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OrangeRakoon
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptySat 26 Feb 2022 - 23:21

Rum wrote:
I just want to see if there is any chat about Patroclus and Achilles. Having met them both there's been very little reference to them knowing each other... in my playthroughs at least. Maybe those references do exist!

It's very definitely a major thing in the game, to the point where I'm wondering if I'm missing a joke...
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptySun 27 Feb 2022 - 15:12

Oh no, you're not! I just haven't bumped into Patroclus very often and nothing either of them has said so far has clearly referenced the other, I don't think - though I haven't read through the codex recently either!
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OrangeRakoon
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptyMon 28 Feb 2022 - 14:47

You probably just need to talk more and gift more nectar Smile
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptyThu 3 Mar 2022 - 14:00

Yeah, the trick to progressing most character's storylines is that sweet, sweet nectar.

Balla: I'm not altogether unsurprised you've given up with Hades considering your preferences regarding roguelikes, but you gave it more of a go then I expected so fair play.

I recently fired this up on PS5 as the chat in this thread got me hankering to revisit the game. My muscle memory has managed to get me to the end after 3 runs, but I slipped on the final hurdle sadly. The upgrades definitely matter a lot for consistent clears, I'd say. Still, it was fun barrelling through the Underworld with a rather underpower Zag!
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OrangeRakoon
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptyTue 8 Mar 2022 - 11:01

Balladeer wrote:
I have now played this game, and while I can definitely see why some people like it, the outright love for it is completely beyond my comprehension.

From the switch vote thread... this made me wonder if you had any thoughts about the overall game's structure and how the story ties in to the genre? It's one of the (many) great things about Celeste, that the twitch platforming not only compliments but reinforces the game's theme and character arc. Hades is another rare example of a similar marriage in design - the roguelite structure isn't just a game mechanic, it's the central plot conceit. Runs aren't some abstract way the game is played, they are actually-happening in universe. Zagreus learning by repetition and familiarity, the other character's reacting to his stubbornly made progress (the bosses and Hades especially). It's one of the major aspects that sets this apart from other rougelites to me and puts Hades on par with Celeste. Did you get any of that? Or do you disagree? Or is that even not a major reason for your appreciation of Celeste?!
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptyWed 9 Mar 2022 - 19:34

First off: I'm not actually super into writing in games in general, unless the game is built around the writing and the gameplay takes a backseat (e.g. Ace Attorney games, Ghost Trick, good point-and-clicks).  Even in Celeste, while I liked the writing, I wasn't really there for it.  The exact same game with a 'save the princess' basic plot would still have been the best 2D platformer I'd ever played, and no doubt a 9/10 if not the 9.5 I see it as now.  The one exception is the 'it doesn't matter how much you die' letter, which I did appreciate and which really tied into the game structure well.  That's good.  I liked that.

My more general issue with not being able to see the love for Hades, though, is that to me it feels like what you've described is small fry compared to the problems the structure introduces.  To play reductio ad absurdum, if Desert Bus had writing that was perfectly structured around its intentionally bad gameplay, writing that might have come from the pen of the greatest scribe ever and was seamlessly integrated into the driving, it would still be an awful game.  The best writing in the world can't make up for annoying gameplay in a game, and that's exactly what happens here.  The structure, the macro-scale repetition and repeated randomised trudges to make it back to the same gameplay progress point, and the degree to which that's essential to the game, are bad to me, to the extent that they're impossible to look past.  Structuring the writing around that can at best assuage the bad mechanic.  It can't make it a good one.  I outright do not understand how anybody else can see this a different way, bar misplaced nostalgia for the manipulative cash-grab that was arcade gaming.  I respect that they do, but I don't understand it.

On a note that I can see past for other people but which is still big for me: I am used to, and indeed enjoy, earning story beats through my successes in games.  When I get the big red THERE IS NO ESCAPE text, I don't feel like I've earned the story beats that follow.  I don't feel like I've earned anything, not now that I've got to the end of the game and cannot extend my gameplay progress further, only complete a successful run or not.  So the writing between failed runs feels hollow, and in fact it feels like I'm trying the game's patience, when in reality it's just trying mine.  (Also: screw Hypnos.  I talk to him every time because I talk to everybody, but 'oh you died there this time did you' is never what I want to read/hear.)

Anyway, Celeste's story beats felt earned through my skill, and a death meant losing at most ten seconds of progress.  Those are much more important to me than any ludonarrative assonance I'm afraid!
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptyThu 10 Mar 2022 - 9:52

I've always been a little confused by your approach to story in games, Balla. I know you're a big reader and even writer, and that in film you prefer a film with story than dumb popcorn entertainment. And yet in games, you're a big gameplay before anything else guy. And yet and yet, you don't like games which use the medium's interactivity in their stories!

Just one of the contradictions that makes you you, I guess.
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OrangeRakoon
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptyThu 10 Mar 2022 - 10:19

That's a good reply. I don't agree with you, but it is interesting to read!
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PostSubject: Re: Hades   Hades - Page 5 EmptyFri 11 Mar 2022 - 21:40

That's all I can ask for really! (Apart from Celeste beating it the next time we do a Switch vote.)

Buskalilly wrote:
I've always been a little confused by your approach to story in games, Balla. I know you're a big reader and even writer, and that in film you prefer a film with story than dumb popcorn entertainment. And yet in games, you're a big gameplay before anything else guy. And yet and yet, you don't like games which use the medium's interactivity in their stories!

Just one of the contradictions that makes you you, I guess.

My man. I was all ready to post a big 'NO U' to your 'you're just wrong' post I saw earlier. What am I meant to do with this much more nuanced take!? It's a Friday evening damn it, I can't engage my brain now!

I think I've thought about, and answered, this before - but I'm damned if I can remember what I came up with. Laughing I think it's a mindset thing? I go into a book wanting a good story - or rather, good writing and characters that can frankly paper over a lousy story and I'll still be happy. I go into a visual novel expecting much the same thing. I go into an action game, or a platformer, with a very different set of desires! (I go into an action film unable to take part in the action myself, which is where I stumble. If there's fighting going on I want to be doing some of that fighting.) As for 'use of the medium's interactivity in their stories', it's not so much that I don't like that, and more that it's normally bound up inextricably with something I don't like in games, and that wins out. For roguelikes it's macro-scale repetition, for choices it's my desire to get all the things (without said macro-scale repetition).

I think that's right. Like I said: Friday evening. Also, hot chocolate with Cointreau in. Er, NO U?
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