The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

When it comes to video games, I’ve mentioned that I play mainly on console. And the first console I ever had was the Nintendo 64, which is why I care a great deal for many of those games. And my absolute favorites for the system are “Castlevania 64/ Legacy of Darkness” and the two Legend of Zelda games. And as the title suggests, this article concerns the latter two.

The last time I covered this topic, it was to dissect a stupid fan theory about Majora’s Mask. Today, I’d like revisit that game, not because of a fan theory, but to point out a something that really puzzles me about it.

Obviously, there are more than a few deeply confusing things about the game, most notably the children that are running around on the moon.

(and if you’ve never played the game, I would say it makes sense in context but… it really doesn’t)

But this is an issue I realized just recently about the game, and I think it’s worth examining. You see, I don’t quite.. understand the timeline of Majora’s Mask. I don’t mean the timeline during the game, but before the game starts.

Now, I won’t bother to sum up the plot, because if you haven’t played the game, there is no way for me to explain the plot of the game. To paraphrase Morpheus from the Matrix:

Nobody can be TOLD what Majora’s Mask is. You have to play it for yourself.

So I’m sorry, but if you haven’t played this game, this article will make no sense at all.

With that out of the way, let the nitpicking begin.

Now the issue with the timeline concerns the Skull Kid. We know, for example, that the Skull Kid in Majora’s Mask is the same skull kid you meet in Ocarina of Time. We know that, because he himself mentions that he recognises how Link smells.

Now, we also know that the Skull Kid met Tatl and Tael soon after the Giants left Clock Town, since Tatl mentions the Skull Kid “had been fighting with his friends and they left him all alone”.

This, in turn, is referencing the Story of the Four Giants, which we are told in the game. The Skull Kid felt neglected by the Four Giants deciding to go into dormancy. He turned that frustration towards the people of Termina, who called for the Gaints to help them. The Giants, in turn, told the Skull Kid to leave Termina, threatening to tear him apart otherwise.

Do you see the issue yet?

This is an OLD story, but it must have happened AFTER you met Skull Kid in Ocarina of Time. Now, the question is, how is that at all possible? Clearly, since the Giants went dormant, a lot of time has passed in Termina. As in, many many years. But the Skull Kid only recently met Tatl and Tael, and that was very soon after the Giants left.

The timeline goes like this:

  • Link meets Skull Kid, the events of Ocarina of Time takes place.

  • Skull Kid befriends the Giants.

  • The events of the Story of the Four Giants take place.

  • Tatl and Tael meets Skull Kid.

  • Skull Kid steals Majora’s Mask.

  • Skull Kid turns Link into a Deku Scrub. The events of Majora’s Mask takes place.

It doesn’t quite add up, does it? Link isn’t an adult during Majora’s Mask, so it can’t be more than 7 years since Ocarina of Time. In fact, the implication is that it is very soon after.

Now, is this a mistake? Is Majora’s Mask just making things up to create a narrative, with little consideration of how much sense it makes?

It is possible.

But I would like to offer a different suggestion, assuming that this isn’t just a screw-up on the part of Nintendo.

The suggestion is this:

Time in Termina must move at a much, much quicker pace than in Hyrule.

By which I mean a few days in Hyrule could mean several DECADES in Termina. That is the only way this could make sense.

The Skull Kid meets Link in Ocarina of Time, then in the few days between the end of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, he comes to Termina and befriends the Giants. Then the giants go dormant, Skull Kid gets angry, they order him to leave. He meets Tatl and Tael, and they spend a short while playing around, and Skull Kid makes a carving of the three of them on a tree.

Then they leave for Hyrule, where they come across the Happy Mask Salesman and steal the mask. In the short time they’re in Hyrule, many many years must pass in Termina. The Woodfall Temple needs to be all overgrown with vegetation, the kingdom of Ikana has to rise and then collapse, the old tradition of the Carnival of Time has to be established, generations must come and go…

And luckily for the game, there is actually something to support this idea.

Tatl  is clearly as confused as everyone else about the recent developments, meaning she can’t have been involved in any of Skull Kids actions in Termina while under the masks influence, like the opening of the temples, breaking the Great Fairies up, turning Kafei into a child or dragging the moon down to destroy Termina.

So all of that MUST have happened between Tatl being separated from Tael and Skull Kid, and her and Link emerging from the Clock Tower for the first time.

And because we know that time doesn’t pass inside the clock tower, that means that in the few minutes between Link being turned into a scrub and him meeting the Happy Mask Salesman for the first time, several DAYS must have passed in Termina.

Either that, or it is just a terrible mistake, and I’m just reading way too much into it. But it’s an interesting thought, I feel.

And in any case, the game remains very good, and delightfully twisted and confusing. It’s as close to a horror game as the Legend of Zelda has, and I can’t help but love it for that, even if the basic premise doesn’t quite add up.

Advertisements

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

It’s the start of a fresh, new year, and since we’ve had so much absolute idiocy, courtesy of the “Three Weeks of Fan-Mas”, I figured we should start this year off with something positive.

So, I have decided to share my views about one of my absolute favourite games.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War.

Obviously, beware of spoilers ahead. Also, I will apologize beforehand that this might not be my best written article.

The main reason being that I am not used to writing about things I like in such great detail. With that out of the way, let the gushing begin.

I did, at one point, plan to write about the previous game, Shadow of Mordor, but eventually decided not to. The reason being that I couldn’t find a lot about it to write about. It had its good points, it had it bad points, but overall, I found it to just be… kind of mediocre.

The villains were unimpressive, the supporting characters were boring and flat, and just seemed to appear for a bit, and then vanish, never to be mentioned again. It just seemed generally to be a pointless game.

But then, last year, I played the sequel. And the difference in quality was breathtaking.

In a way, it reminds me of games like GTA V or Assassin’s Creed IV. With their predecessors, you got the feeling they were experiments, testing out concepts for future games. They looked at what worked, what didn’t and what improvements could be made, and then made a new game based on that.

The same applies here, with things being much more developed and improved.

Just to list a few things:

Instead of a hit-streak meter á la Batman: Arkham Asylum to perform special moves, it instead has a “might meter”, which increases when hits connect, and decreases when you miss.

Gone are the random plants everywhere, all doing the same thing: refilling health. No more using captains to gain intel, meaning you have to find worms.

Instead of captains dropping runes, they instead drop new weapons and armor, which leads to the next addition.

Alternate weapons and armor, offering challenges to unlock bonuses, as well as aesthetic changes.

The game also overhauls the nemesis system with, among other things, orcs now being divided into tribes, granting them special perks and bonuses. For example, a Marauder tribe captain gains a pair of rapid-fire crossbows, while the Machine tribe gets a chained hook, pulling enemies closer. Each tribe even has its own special aesthetic and musical theme.

In addition, there are now separate classes of orc, with different traits to define them. Tanks can take more damage and get a second wind when they’re near death. Destroyers drop mines and throw explosives, and trappers, as the name suggests, drop traps during battle, stunning you if you step on them, just to name a few.

And let’s not forget the Olog-Hai, giant trolls that join the ranks of Mordor, both as grunts and as captains to fight or dominate, and who have their own perks and drawbacks in battle.

All of this means the game now forces you to plan your approach more carefully when fighting your enemies.

Captains are now also able to level up, gaining new bonuses and upgrades. They might gain a retinue of warriors, or a weapon that applies poison or fire damage, or a caragor mount to ride. If a captain is a higher level than you, you can’t dominate them. You either have to kill them or shame them, bringing their level down. (turning them either insane or very grumpy in the process).

It also adds the possibility of captains betraying you for various reasons. Maybe they decide you’re too soft, or you murdered their blood brother, or you hit them once too often, or maybe they just got bored. Whatever the reason, it adds a random element of excitement to the game.

And finally, one of the biggest improvements to the last game. Fortresses.

In Shadow of Mordor, once you finished the game, that was pretty much it. Nothing else to do, except running around, maybe kill a few orcs, and that’s it. Shadow of War introduced fortresses, with missions to attack or defend them.

You assign commanders, plan your approach and then play out the battle. Not in some 2D turn based bullshit, but actually fighting the siege. Running around the battlefield, killing captains and, if you’re attacking, battle the Overlord, ruler of the fortress. Each fortress looks different, depending on what tribe its overlord has, and the battles change in difficulty depending on how well defended they are.

And if you are on the attacking side, you have multiple venues for how to weaken the fort. Kill the defending warchiefs in special missions, or insert your own captains as bodyguards who lead warchiefs into an ambush or betray them mid-siege.

Or, if the warchief is dead, you can install your own captains as warchiefs, to sabotage the fort as you attack.

What this means is, even after you’ve finished the entire story of the game, the game still keeps going, as you can play the sieges to your hearts content.

And that leads to another improvement to the game: The story.

The previous game had a pretty weak main story, focused around the three “Black Captains”. These come pretty much from nowhere and confused the hell out of me. They’re supposed to be super special servants of Sauron… except isn’t that what the Nazgûl are supposed to be?

And despite being so super impressive, their background is really dull, with one of them becoming evil because he picked up Saurons hammer, and this made him insane and evil and super powerful… somehow.

And the big bad, main antagonist of the game, the Black Hand? I haven’t the foggiest idea what the hell he was. His entire gimmick was that he was really mysterious, but the mystery around him was never resolved, so it just became pointless!

With this game, it’s a very different story. The enemy is clear right from the word go. It’s Sauron. The other major antagonist? The Witchking of Angmar. You know, exactly as it should be!

Now, throughout most of the game, which has you fight across FOUR separate regions of Mordor, conquering fortresses before make your final battle with the Dark Lord, there’s a notable coldhearted ruthlessness over Celebrimbor.

It starts slow, with the dubious morality about enslaving the minds of orcs. Yes, they’re cruel and sadistic and evil, but they’re still sentient beings…

But as the game goes on, the questionable morals escalate. For example, you develop a power called simply “Worse than Death”, an upgrade to the shaming power. Like I said earlier, sometimes orcs can decide to betray you, and sometimes develop an immunity to your power to dominate them. The only way to counteract that is to shame them, and hope that the drop in level means they lose the immunity.

And when you first learn the upgraded version, you apply that to a captain that betrayed you and has been a thorn in your side for a long time.

And the shaming is so severe that it destroys his mind.

You, as the hero of the game, at the behest of Celebrimbor, the elven wraith that you share your body with, take this massive half troll champion… and reduce him to a whimpering, quivering wretch, repeating the same phrase over and over.

It’s enough to cause other orcs, who I remind you are as evil, cruel and ruthless as it is possible to be, to look at you in absolute disbelief and disgust.

And over time, it becomes more and more apparent that Celebrimbor, the selfproclaimed “Bright Lord”, doesn’t just plan to defeat Sauron.

He plans to dominate and usurp him, taking his place.

This comes to a head during the attack on Barad-Dûr, where Celebrimbor dominates a ringwraith, and when Talion objects, Celebrimbor discards him in favor of the new supporting character Eltariel.

And while I hope that people reading this will be familiar with the rest, there is always the possibility some readers haven’t. So because the ending is quite interesting, I will not reveal what happens after that point in the story.

Instead, I will move from this rampant gushing for a brief moment, to an area that I am more used to. Some good old fashioned nitpicking.

There won’t be much of it, since as I think I’ve made quite clear by now, this game is very good.

One minor issue I have is the fact that you cannot enter the main fortresses once you have conquered them. You can stroll around the courtyards and streets, and look at all your underlings go about their daily lives. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very interesting side of Mordor, seeing an orc cutting up food or sharpening a sword, a blacksmith working on a piece of armor, or watch a bunch of orcs lining up to deliver spoils of war or gathering around a cauldron of grog.

But you can’t enter the main fortress, the overlords personal chamber. Now, on the one hand, this is a disappointment, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense within the logic of the game.

I conquer this place with my army, and pick out a particular captain to serve as my representative in this region… and he doesn’t even open his fucking door and let me look around his throneroom?! Is that any way to treat your boss?!

But on the other, I can understand why not. The only time you ever enter the throneroom is when attacking an enemy fortress. There’s likely to be some coding issues if you have to add two separate versions of the throneroom.

It’s like the fact you can’t go below deck in Assassin’s Creed IV. It’s not that big of a deal and the game isn’t really lacking the option, and it’s unfair to expect the programmers to waste so much time adding something so pointless.

There’s also the issue with Mirian, an in-game currency, with which you pay for upgrades, both for your equipment and for fortresses. You gain Mirian by collecting them from various killed orcs, completing missions or destroying equipment that you may not want anymore. This is fine.

My problem is just that a weapons upgrade costs around 15-25 Mirian to unlock. But destroying weapons gains you around 200-300 Mirian, and collecting Mirian from Orcs gains you about 50 and completing missions gain your up towards 1000 Mirian or more. What this means is that eventually, Mirian becomes a completely superfluous commodity. It just piles up and becomes a non-issue.

I think it would have worked much better if, as the levels on weapons escalate, so does the price for unlocking them. So instead of 25 Mirian to unlock the upgrade for a level 62 sword, it could be around 2500. That adds an additional incentive to keep playing.

Same applies to the gems. Yes, they’re really handy, but eventually you gain more gems than you can actually use. At that point, you should have the option of destroying those in exchange for Mirian as well, the reward escalating with the quality of the gem.

The last issue is less to do with game mechanics, and more to do with writing. This game features the Nazgûl as enemies you can fight. And for some reason, they decide to name some of them.

This, in itself, I don’t have an issue with. My real issue is threefold. First that they only decided to name three of them, not counting the Witchking himself, and explain their backstory. It just seems a bit arbitrary to name three and give them unique appearances, and just let the others be anonymous, faceless ringwraiths.

The second is that none of the named ringwraiths is Khamûl the Easterling. The reason this is strange is that, with the exception of the Witchking, he is the only ringwraith who is named in the books. Granted, he was only named in “Unfinished Tales”, and there might be some copyright issue, but when he is the only canonically named one, it becomes a bit annoying when he’s left out.

But the third and biggest issue, to me, is the ringwraiths they DO name. One is Suladân, an ancient king of Harad who was given a ring of power. Nothing much wrong there.

The second is Helm Hammerhand, the ninth king of Rohan. A bit iffy, but fine. I can go with that.

The third is Isildur.

Fucking WHAT!?

Isildur, as in the guy who DEFEATED SAURON, is a Nazgûl now. According to the game, he was killed, his body taken to Barad Dûr and a ring placed on his finger, reviving him. This confused the hell out of me, because that implies that “The Nine” are just a running title, and they can be destroyed. I just don’t understand why it had to be Isildur. Would it really do that much of a difference, if instead of Isildur, it was just some other numenorian king? If it’s an original character, you wouldn’t shackle yourself to canon so much.

And I don’t know about you, but I feel that kind of takes away their menace, when you know they’re just the latest in a long line.

But those are the biggest nitpicks I have with the game. And even with them, this still remains a strong contender for one of my favourite games.

The first game had an interesting mechanic, hidden behind a somewhat lackluster experience. Here, you get a game with addictive gameplay, a surprising amount of comedy, an interesting story and, while I admit the game has occasionally made me bloodboilingly furious, I have never felt it’s because of bad design, but because of poor planning and clumsiness on my part.

If you haven’t played it, and you didn’t listen to the warning about spoilers earlier, I cannot recommend this game enough.

And with that, we end this unusually happy article. Business as usual will resume shortly. Here’s to the new year and all the nitpicky ranting it will bring.

Assassin’s Creed IV (Yet Again)

Some of you might be wondering why I’ve decided to write about Assassin’s Creed IV again, seeing as I’ve written about it twice before.

The reason for this little revisit is that I decided to play through the game again recently. And on a second playthrough, where I wasn’t distracted by the story and character development, I started noticing some new things about the game, which got me thinking.

Which brings me to the points I’d like to talk about today.

Now, one observation I made was that, to me, the Jackdaw seems a bit… small.

You can perhaps see my reasoning. After all, let’s go over, in brief, what the Jackdaw carries when fully upgraded.

  • 46 cannons.
  • 4 chase cannons.
  • 2 Mortars
  • Ammunition for all of those.
  • 40 Fire Barrels
  • Accomodation for 40 men
  • 1 heavy whaling boat
  • 1 massive metal diving bell
  • space for a total of 10 000 pounds (roughly 4.5 metric tons) of sugar, rum, wood, metal and cloth.
  • presumably supply storage for food, weapons etc

And with the exception of the mortars and 12 cannons, all that would be kept below deck.

All that, to me, seemed at best unlikely for a brig.

However, I’m not comfortable going into that in detail, because I don’t know enough about ships of the era to make decisive, informed statements.

(It doesn’t help that apparantly, standardization for ships wasn’t really a thing at the time, so researching it was a lot of effort that amounted to exactly fuck all…)

All I will say is that firstly, considering a cannon of the period required 3 gunners, and the jackdaw has a grand total of 46 guns and a maximum crew capacity of 40 men, at least 9 of whom are needed to simply sail the ship?

By my count, I am missing at least 38 people for an effective crew. And that’s not counting officers.

For gods sake, Blackbeards ship, the Queen Annes Revenge, is alleged to have had 44 cannons, as in two cannons fewer than the jackdaw, and that was a FRIGATE!

And secondly, there’s the idea of a ”cargo upgrade”. Again, not an expert on ships, but how the hell would that work? How do you upgrade cargo capacity in a ship with a finite amount of space? Shouldn’t I already use the maximum amount of room?

This leads me to another point which, while admittedly unfair in terms of programming, at least is more valid in terms of logic.

And it is this: why can’t you switch ships?

In this game, you are playing as a pirate. A fictional pirate, I admit, but a pirate nonetheless. Now, we know for a fact that pirates didn’t just stop by ships, steal stuff and then leave. Many times, they would seize the ship, especially if they felt the new ship was superior to the old. It makes sense, seeing as a pirate can’t exactly pull into a wharf and comission a new ship when the old one is worn out.

The most famous historical examples of this would probably be the aforementioned Queen Anne’s Revenge, and Bartholomew Roberts’ Royal Fortune, a name that would often pass from ship to ship as they were seized. Note also that both of these pirates appear in the game.

So you would think that, if anyone would follow a similar practise, it’d be Edward Kenway, who throughout the majority of the game seeks wealth and power, as part of his character arc.

Over the course of the game, Edward captures brigs, frigates and Men o’ War left, right and center, and in fact, he seizes several ships to form his own personal fleet.

And yet, over his 7 year piracy career, he sticks with the same ship, through hell and high water.

I mean, it’s not like the game prevents you from climbing onto another ship and kill all the soldiers on board without harming the ship first. At that point, I’ve captured the ship!

I’m just saying, it’d be a pretty cool mechanic, to be able to decide ”I don’t want to use a brig anymore. I want to use a Man o’ War now. Let’s capture one!

There are missions in the game that has you controlling a frigate and a Man o’ War, so clearly the mechanics are there! However, it’s just one of those mechanics you toy with briefly in the game, rather than something more incorporated in the game.

Now, you can see how this mechanic could work, right? Different ships would have different perks, of course. Bigger ships like frigates or galleons have more guns and armor, but are much slower and less maneuverable, and prevents access to certain areas because of size. Brigs would be faster and more maneuverable, but more vulnerable, with a ramming attack, and schooners would be very quick and nimble, relying more on darting in front of the enemy and dropping fire barrels.

If nothing else, that would actually give the fire barrels a legitimate use, whereas now, they’re more trouble than they’re worth. After all, you can either drop a fire barrel on a pursuer, hoping they hit it, or just turn the ship round and blast them with a few broadsides.

Not a difficult choice.

And schooners and brigs would of course be a bit too small for, say, a diving bell or for whaling. Decently balanced, no ship would be perfect, but all would be unique and useful in their own way.

And if you want to get another ship? Just head out and get a new one! You’re a pirate, it’s what you do!

And finally, I’d like to share some more notes about the Legendary Ships, a subject I’ve mentioned on previous occasions.

The first thing is that on I discovered something pretty crucial about the battle against the HMS Fearless and The Royal Sovereign, AKA the Brothers-in-Arms, a pair of Men O’ War that fight in tandem.

The thing about this battle is that it makes no fucking sense! See, for the most part, the fight is pretty straightforward. The two ships work together, attempting to box you in and hit you with double broadsides. They’re also very fast and have a really impressive range.

This, I can understand.

But once you manage to sink one of them, things take a sudden turn towards complete madness.

Because as soon as one of them sinks, the other ship immediatly SETS ITSELF ON FUCKING FIRE  and tries to ram you!

Now, I’m not an expert on military strategy, but I’m pretty sure SETTING FIRE TO YOURSELF is a pretty bad fucking plan, regardless of what type of battle you’re fighting!

 

Now, I would understand if this was some last ditch final attack, from a captain and crew knowing full well they’re not going to survive the fight. It would actually be a pretty interesting mechanic to have the final ship, when its health reached a certain point, just set itself ablaze and did a kamikaze run. Maybe the health starts slowly dropping, and a timer appears.

Suddenly, it becomes a race against time, to get away from the suicidal ship and crew, avoiding the devastating ram attack. And then, when the timer reaches zero, the ship explodes and sinks!

But no! Appearantly, the captain of this ship (who I remind you, is supposed to be a real person, commanding a real navy ship) saw the other ship sink, and ordered all hands on board to douse their perfectly fine, pristine and unharmed ship in oil and light it up like a roman candle! And the crew FUCKING AGREED WITH HIM!

Keep in mind, this isn’t some tiny sloop or worn out barge. This is a royal navy war ship, with a crewsize of about 300 people! And NOBODY thought “Hey, maybe burning the ship we’re on isn’t the best possible strategy“!?

What kind of lunatic fucking logic is that!? Even if they manage to destroy the Jackdaw, they still lose, because THEIR SHIP IS ON FIRE!

In what universe does it make any sense for a war ship, that can fire mortars and a 52 cannon broadside, to set itself on fire because another ship has sunk rather than, oh I don’t know… use those cannons to destroy the enemy vessel!?

And the most astounding thing of all? They did the same fucking thing in Assassin’s Creed: Rogue!

Now, I have one other issue with these Legendary Ships. See, they are legendary and special and awesome, supposedly the most fearsome ships to stalk the West Indies. So surely, ships like that would be pretty famous, right?

Well, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only are they not famous, but there is no evidence they ever existed at all!

The only one vaguely related to a real ship is HMS Prince. There WAS a ship around that period with that name, originally the HMS Ossory, then renamed HMS Prince, HMS Princess and finally HMS Princess Royal.

And while that ship was around in the early 1700’s, it wasn’t sunk, but was broken up… in 1773…

Now, maybe this is just me, but wouldn’t it be more interesting to have legendary ships that actually WERE legendary?

In fact, I believed that was the plan when I first encountered a legendary ship, namely HMS Prince. In the game, the crew cry out that it’s a ghost ship risen from the sea. Of course, I got excited, until I realized that no, it just LOOKED like a ghost ship. That’s all.

But that begs the question: Why wasn’t that a thing? Imagine if, instead of El Impoluto, you fight the fucking FLYING DUTCHMAN? Wouldn’t that be pretty damn cool?

And yes, I know what some of you are thinking. This is supposed to be alternate history, not some fantasy stuff. Ghosts aren’t real, so how would they justify that?

Simple! The framing device for the game is that you’re working for a video game company. Just have an email or an encounter where your boss tells you the programmers have been working on some concepts for the ”Devils of the Carribean” game, and seeing as you’ve done such a good job, they’re giving you a sneak peak, which if anyone asks, they can just call ”Beta testing”.

Cue appearances of the Legendary ships on the map!

And finding examples of ghostly ships? Not a problem.

The Flying Dutchman, The obvious candidate, well known in pop culture, which is said to have sunk around the Cape of Good Hope, and since then appearing to sailors as an omen of doom.

Palatine, a ship that, according to folklore and a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, ran aground around Rhode Island, being lured by false beacons and then robbed, its crew murdered and the ship itself burned.

The Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait, said to be the apparition of a burning ship (not unlike what happens to one of the twin ships in the game already), claimed to appear near New Brunswick in Canada. In fact, The Baie De Chaleur is also described as a burning, three mast ship, seen around the area. Suppose that, instead of the HMS Fearless and Royal Sovereign, you could have The Northumberland Ghost and The Baie De Chaleur in a two-against-one sea battle?

Caleuche, A ghost ship in Chilean mythology, described as a beautiful, three mast sailing ship.

The designs, you can just make up, and you can play a bit loose with the quirks. I’m not going to pretend I’m  great writer, but here are a few ideas:

The Palatine just creates a ghostly fog during the battle, The Caleuche slowly regenerates, the twin fire ships occasionally doing a burning ram attack, and the Dutchman appears in the middle of a storm, and occasionally teleports/disappears beneath the waves. Sounds pretty interesting, in my humble opinion.

That’s four different ghost ship battles, and coming up with those ideas weren’t all that difficult, truth be told.

Even the fact they’re not accurate for the period or area can be handwaved by actually lampshading it in the game. Have an email where someone points it out, and a response that players won’t care about details like that, artistic license and/or ”the programmers just wanted to show off”.

 

And just like that, you have covered yourself, while simultaneously making some really interesting naval battles with legendary ships that actually ARE legendary! Worst case scenario, people fighting the Flying Dutchman get upset there isn’t an tentacle faced Bill Nighy on board!

Or… you know, make up a ship, call it ”legendary” and forbid us from replaying it, for no adequatly explained reason.

That works too, I guess…

Mortal Kombat

Today, I’ve decided talk briefly about what is perhaps the most infamous franchise in video game history: Mortal Kombat.

Now, I should make it clear from the start that when it comes to games, I prefer RPG’s. I am not denying that for a moment. With a few exceptions, fighting games usually bore me to tears (probably because I am so absolutely terrible at them). As such, I can’t say I have followed the franchise in much detail. Therefore, I will not jump to conclusions regarding the quality of the games.

However, I do believe that, while I am far from an expert, I don’t need to be, in order to notice when something makes no sense.

So with that in mind, I’d like to spotlight an addition to the newer games in the franchise that really annoys me.

That addition being the X-Ray moves.

As their name suggests, they are powerful attacks that feature a slow motion x-ray of the victim, showing their bones and organs breaking or rupturing.

Now, this kind of violence is hardly new to Mortal Kombat. I did describe it as “Infamous” earlier for a reason, after all. The term “Fatality” is all but ingrained into pop culture by now. People lose arms, blow up, are incinerated, crushed, beaten to pulps or impaled left, right and center in these games.

What, then, is so special about the X-Ray moves for them to annoy me?

The answer is that they happen mid-fight! The characters are subjected to them… and then get right back up again.

I’m sorry, but that’s flat out idiotic.

And I know what you’re thinking. These games are hyper-violent. That’s the point. Ridiculously over the top carnage with a side of magic and gore is the dish of the day for these games. I understand that. I know that I am being much more nitpicky than usual with this.

But even in the face of everything this franchise presents, like sorcery, otherworldly monsters, cyborgs, a literal god of thunder and fire-breathing skeleton ninjas, I have to call this out as insane. This is where I draw the line.

I’m not an expert on anatomy, but I’m pretty damn sure that if I kick you in the back, to the point where it shatters your spine like a bread-stick, or snap your femur like dry spaghetti, you’re not getting back up. You’re not standing, walking, running or bicycle kicking. You’re in a wheelchair, eating through a straw for the rest of your life.

And I promise that if a giant with four arms grabs you, lifts you up and squeezes your head so that your cranium cracks like an egg, there’s no “second wind” for you. That’s it. You’re dead.

Not dazed, not stunned, not unconscious. Dead. Game over. Fatality.

If I may borrow a phrase, you’re not passed out, you’ve passed on! You are no more! You have ceased to be. You have expired and gone to meet your maker! You’re a stiff. Bereft of life, you rest in peace. If you weren’t left in Outworld, you’d be pushing up the daisies! You’ve snuffed it! You have rung down the curtain and joined the fucking choir invisible!

YOU ARE AN EX-FIGHTER!

Take any X-Ray move in the game, and you’ve got something that, if it doesn’t kill you, will actually cripple you for life.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with these moves in and of themselves. But if you go through all that trouble, designing them and putting them in the game, showing us in such graphic, gritty detail exactly what just happened…

That has to have consequences! They need to have a lingering effect, beyond losing part of your life meter. If you just have them appear, but there are no discernible effects, then showing the x-rays is meaningless!

And the thing is, you CAN still have those in the game, without them be a wasted effort. You know how?

Just have the attack, without the X-ray parts. When you activate it, you unleash an incredibly powerful attack string.

However, if that attack string ends up KILLING the opponent, THEN you show the X-Rays. Because at that point, it shows that the characters are going all out, with their final attacks being so powerful, they shatter bones, split organs and crack skulls. You’d effectively combine X-ray moves and brutalities.

It’d make far more sense, and it’d be much more satisfying to see.

That’s really all I have to say about Mortal Kombat. Hopefully, people will not now hunt me down and beat me to a quivering pulp, for nitpicking a game they like.

Assuming that doesn’t happen, and they instead agree with me:

Travis Wins.

Flawless Reasoning.

Pedantry.

Dying Light

Today, I’d like to talk a little about the game Dying Light, and some concerns I have with it.

First, however, I’d like to get a few things out of the way. One thing I’d like to make clear is that I really like this game. It reminds me, in a way, of the game Prototype, in that both games are great if you just want to run around at random. It’s also fun to make weapons out of scavenged scrap, running around and fighting zombies. Somehow, throwing a machete into the cranium of a rotting, walking corpse never seems to get old…

The other thing I will make clear is that there will be plenty of spoilers, so if you haven’t played this game and don’t want stuff spoiled for you, you shouldn’t keep reading.

With these things done with, let the ranting begin.

My issue with this game concerns the DLC, “The Following”.

The plot of the DLC has protagonist Kyle Crane find a secret way out of the quarantined city of Harran, in search of a group of people who are said to be immune to the infection that is turning people into zombies.

The reason for this journey is that the research for a cure against the zombie infection, which Dr. Camden is working on, is seemingly yielding no results, and the people within the quarantine are rapidly running low on suppressant drugs.

Now, before we get to my main issue, can I just get a few things clear?

Harran is under quarantine. The entire city is in lockdown and nobody gets in or out. The only way out, as you discover, is deep within an old, disused sewer passage, which connects to an old cave system that finally leads out to the countryside. And finding this place required a map, which was taken from a delirious smuggler.

In other words, not many knew about this passage.

So why the flying hell is the countryside shock full of zombies!?

The fucking place is crawling with them! They’re all over the roads and fields and woods and bridges and beaches and god knows what else!

I mean, it makes sense that Harran is full of zombies, since it’s a city. This is farmlands, with just a small town to the south, which is far from big enough to support even half the amount of ex-humans running around.

So how the fuck did they get there? The point of a quarantine is that nobody is getting in or out! If more people are getting into this area, then the quarantine has been breached, and we’re looking at a fucking pandemic!

Now, on a side note, one would think that this being the countryside, we’d see more than just zombies and bandits running around, and actually find zombified animals. But no, the area seems devoid of animal life.

Now, this is perhaps because designing and animating  various animals is very costly and complicated. It’s also possible that it’s to maintain the ambiguity of the location, since Harran is obviously a fictional place, and could, from the looks of it, take place anywhere from Spain to Turkey.

So adding regional animals might be more trouble than it’s worth.

Not to mention that it’s possible that the infection doesn’t turn animals, and just kills them instead.

And of course, either way, I can’t say it’s a big loss. I’ve got enough trouble avoiding zombie mutants and freaks with machine guns and machetes. I do NOT need to worry about zombie gerbils gnawing my feet off or rabid, rotting mountain lions tearing my stomach open.

So, what is my big issue with the DLC, then? Well, It concerns the ending of the DLC’s story.

As you play through the story, you find that the immunity to the virus is connected to the cult known as “The Children of the Sun”, and especially with their leader, known as “The Mother”. At the end of the DLC,  it is revealed that The Mother, who’s husband was a colonel who died during the outbreak, had discovered what she believed to be a cure for the virus, inside a military installation. However, it turns out that if you find a cache of strange, non-labeled vials of serum in a locked crate requiring high level clearance, it is a VERY bad idea to down it like it’s a jägerbomb. Go figure…

Whether the serum reacted with the infection in her body or it was just inherently asshole science á la The Umbrella Corporation, it mutated her into a sentient volatile. While exposed to light, she would retain her faculties, and even be able to communicate telepathically to others who were exposed to the serum. However, once the light turned off, she’d devolve into a crazed, murderous monster.

Horrified at what she’d become, and having just murdered her companions under the aforementioned murderous frenzy, she resolved to make amends and “Become the Mother they deserved”, using the vaporized serum to grant temporary immunity to the members of the cult.

And after all this is revealed, you are given a choice. Fulfill your part of the Prophecy of the Sun, and cleanse the infection, or reject her offer in order to procure the serum for Dr. Camden.

Now, option A seems like the more sensible and kind option, right? Cleanse the infection is, after all, your end goal anyway, so everyone wins!

There’s only one problem. Her idea of “cleansing the infection” is to detonate a nuclear bomb, which will wipe out the countryside and probably Harran as well.

So, clearly then, option B is the better choice. So you reject her offer, since surely there is some suppressant within the serum that could perhaps be isolated and synthesized.

Her reaction? Sticking the vial down your throat and forcing you to drink it, to see things “through her eyes”.

And she then decides to fight you to the death. Her reasoning being that even breathing the serum will eventually result in more sentient volatiles, who will rip their own families apart once the sun sets. So she has to kill you to keep the serum from reaching anyone else.

Now, I have so many questions that I’m not sure where to start…

OK, so she doesn’t want more sentient volatiles, since they are a threat to everyone once the sun sets and they lose their minds. This, of course, is nothing like the regular volatiles who only come out at night, when the sun can’t burn them…

Oh wait. They’re exactly the same degree of threat.

And even if they weren’t, she doesn’t want you to leave with the serum, because it might create more sentient volatiles… so she crams the serum down your neck, to turn you into a sentient volatile… the thing she doesn’t want more of… And if that wasn’t bad enough, she then decides to fight you to the death.

AFTER she gave you the serum that makes you an equal match for her.

And then, let’s go one step further. In order to protect her children from the infection, she uses the vapours made from the serum to make them immune…

The same serum that she made clear still turns you into a sentient volatile if you breathe it instead of drinking it, just with a slower process.

Granted, it’s worth mentioning that we never see or hear of any other sentient volatiles, despite a lot of cult members breathing in the vapours over a long time, so what she bases that on, I’ve no idea.

But if she’s right, that means that to protect her followers from the infection, she exposed them to a substance that slowly infects them and turns them into the same kind of monster she is now trying to kill you to keep you from creating more of. 

HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT MAKE SENSE!?

You don’t want more senseless killing, so your plan is to expose people to a serum that turns them into monsters that kill people senselessly, until you can find a way to access the codes so you can nuke the entire region, killing everyone.

There’s being a religious fanatic, there’s being a genocidal maniac and then there’s being a complete fucking moron

Setting off a nuke because you don’t want people to die needlessly is absolutely idiotic! Especially if she’s wrong about the effects of breathing the vapours, since that means she fucks you over for having a good idea, in favour of her own plan that, like I said, is both counterproductive and idiotic!

Then again, I’m sure the people who survive will be thrilled! Sure, they are slowly dying of third degree burns and shitting out their entrails thanks to radioactive fallout, and you’ve made the entire region pretty much uninhabitable for about 20.000 years.

But thank fuck, now they don’t have to sleep uneasy in their pretty comfortable beds, with their books and games and music and their protective fences and UV lights keeping the volatiles away, eating candy bars and fruits and vegetables and food from disaster relief drops, waiting for Dr. Camden to find the cure for the zombie apocalypse…

Thanks a lot, Mother of the Sun. Truly, your plan was foolproof. What ever would we do without you…

And this brings us to the main issue I have with this ending.

It makes the entire story of the game fucking pointless!

Think about it. You’re here in the countryside, trying to find a cure for the zombie infection. You know, that thing you spent the entire end of the game trying to secure from Rais? The thing you used as leverage to make sure the GRE didn’t try to pull some bullshit like WIPING OUT HARRAN?

Turns out, that research was a dead end. All the people who died as a result of trying to reclaim it? Their deaths were in vain. Everything you fought and killed for was utterly meaningless.

And the choice you’re given is also meaningless! Both choices result in a crap ending! Even if you chose not to blow up everyone and manage to defeat the Mother, you’re still fucked, since now you’ve turned into a sentient volatile yourself, and arrive in front of a mother and her two children, just as the sun sets.

Fucking BRILLIANT!

I know zombie stories aren’t the happiest, but come on! This is just a slap in the face, it’s so bleak!

And the most annoying thing of all is that it’s all so pointless! Throughout the DLC, you get messages from Harran, telling you that the antizin is running low and that people have begun to turn.

Because hey, even though the GRE, corrupt as it may be, has a vested interest in the progress of that cure and by extension the well-being of everyone in the city, that doesn’t mean they will do something sensible like, you know… SEND THE MEDICINE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM TURNING INTO ZOMBIES!

Not a single air drop containing a single vial of antizin? All those air drops full of food and water and other disaster relief supplies, is missing the drug that is designed for this, exact purpose? That’s pure, unadulterated bullshit, right there.

So that’s my issue with this game. The DLC just ends up making you feel like nothing you did mattered.

They could have removed the choice at the end, and just have you fight the Mother for the serum, without her sticking it down your neck, since that is twenty flavours of stupid. The serum could then be the final piece of the puzzle to make the cure. That would have been triumphant and uplifting, you could have a nice boss fight and bring the story to a satisfying ending.

That would have been perfectly serviceable! And guess what! If you do that, it actually makes sense that the game keeps going after the final mission! As it is, you effectively die either way, and yet you keep playing like a normal human after the credits!

But hey, what does internal continuity matter, in the grand scheme of things?

Oh right, it means the DLC makes sense and doesn’t piss people off…

Fallout: New Vegas pt. 2

I’ve been debating about whether or not I should write this article for a long time. On the one hand, I am hesitant to nitpick a game I like a lot. On the other, I have never let that stop me from nitpicking other things I like, like Aladdin or Harry Potter.

You may say that this is silly, seeing as I’ve even written about Fallout: New Vegas once before. But that time, I was nitpicking a feature that had carried over from Fallout 3, namely the fact that you can’t smoke. With this, I would be nitpicking the story of a game I love, where the story is a big reason for WHY I love it.

But now, I have decided that I should indeed write about a few things that have been bugging me about Fallout: New Vegas. What changed my mind, you wonder?

Well, I’ll get back to you on that, but let’s cover the game itself first. I should warn you that there will be some spoilers involved, though.

Now, one complaint I’ve heard which I’m not completely agreeing with, is that the Mojave Wasteland is so small, compared to the Capital Wasteland from Fallout 3.

The thing is, I’m not so sure it is that much smaller. In fact, I think it’s actually slightly bigger. It feels a bit smaller, because there aren’t as many random groups of enemies spawning everywhere, and not as much open desert.

And I think that’s a good thing. After all, the Mojave Wasteland is not a wasteland in the same way the Capital Wasteland is. You can tell, because throughout the game, people switch between calling it “The Mojave Wasteland” and just “The Mojave”. The Capital Wasteland is a desolated, unkempt, hostile desert, where water is scarce and danger lurks beyond every hill. It’s name is describing what it is. A Wasteland.

The Mojave Wasteland, on the other hand, has an active military presence, thriving trade, several settlements that aren’t just tumbledown cottages made from scrap and, of course, Vegas itself. It is, while far from a civilized area, much safer than the Capital Wasteland. The name “Mojave Wasteland” is not a description. It’s just the name of the area.

So I don’t think that complaint is valid. Now, there are other complaints about the game that are more valid, like the voice acting being spotty at times, or the game being glitchy.

Personally, I never really care about either of those, unless the glitches are ruining the game, or the voice acting is truly appalling. But to others, this is a valid concern. When the character Benny, played by Matthew Perry, is supposed to be a suave, smooth-talking Vegas big shot, complete with Baby‘s and Ring-a-ding‘s in his dialogue, it can be distracting when he comes across as flat and uninvolved.

No, my personal issue with the game concerns the ending, or rather one specific ending. The game, like I’ve said, gives you a long slideshow upon completion, concerning the different factions or people you’ve met throughout the game, and how your actions have altered or affected them.

Now, if you finish the game in the Independant storyline, for example, you don’t get a slideshow about what the future will hold for NCR or Caesars Legion.

Of course, this is fine by me. We’re told that you’ve secured Vegas from the NCR, Caesars Legion and Mr. House, and from there we can make educated guesses. If you saved President Kimball, he is likely to be the scapegoat for the loss, and ousted from office, along with General Oliver.

And if Caesar is dead, which he’s likely to be, you’ve pretty much destroyed the legion, whether or not you kill Lanius. After all, if you talked the latter into withdrawing, convinced that taking Vegas is a terrible idea, he will return east. From there, murmurs will be spread among the generals of the legion, since the “unbeatable” Lanius retreated. Not only that, but he retreated from the campaign that killed Caesar, and it was Caesars will that the Legion take the dam. Is Lanius right to go against Caesars will? Distrust, doubt and infighting will likely result from this, eventually leading to the collapse of the legion.

(Probably not helped by the fact that as a result of one DLC, you have the option to drop nukes on Legion lands)

And unless you sided with Mr. House, you will be required to kill him, so his lack of ending is not surprising.

So, what ending, then, do I have an issue with?

The ending regarding the Followers of the Apocalypse.

See, when I played the Independent route, I had the option of asking them to support my cause. In exchange, I promised them protection in the form of robots patrolling the streets and to help them with supply shortages, all so they could establish a proper foothold in the region.

And when I finished the game, what was I told?

That the new, independent Vegas was even more unstable than before, and that the Followers struggled to provide even the most basic services.

What the hell!? Let’s make something clear! Vegas is not just a lawless area of violence now! It’s not without leaders! It’s just independent from Mr. House, NCR and the Legion!

Those robot guards I mentioned? There are a LOT of them, that we’re told are maintaining order and stability in Vegas now. After I made that promise, I would assume that would also include Freeside!

I didn’t just release Vegas. I took control over it, basically usurping Mr. Houses role of ruler of Vegas! The money and influence I now wield should be more than enough to help the Followers!

But now I’m told that I just took power, and completely went back on my promise to the Followers?! I had Good Karma when I finished the game! I know my fucking character, and I wouldn’t screw the Followers over like that without a damn good reason!

I was given the option in the game to enlist their support, so I assumed there would be some difference depending on what I decided, but either choice gets the same result.

It seems pretty likely that there was one ending missing here. They went to the trouble to put that choice in the game, so why the hell didn’t they add the result of the choice?!

Well…

Here’s where I explain the reason why I decided to write this article. That reason being that I found an answer to that question.

The answer, incidentally, addresses the other two complaints, about glitches and the voice acting.

You know who you have to blame for all the things missing from Fallout: New Vegas, the glitches, the lackluster voices?

I’ll tell you.

Bethesda.

And I know, I know. I sound like a broken record, saying that everything is Bethesdas fault. Here I am, saying that, had Bethesda never let Obsidian make the game, these problems wouldn’t exist, right?

Wrong.

Do you want to know why the game is glitchy, why parts seem to be missing and the voice acting is spotty?

Because Obsidian had to cut a few things to meet their deadline.

Now, this sounds like a stupid cliché of an excuse, and you would think that this is more Obsidians fault than Bethesda, seeing as the former were the developers, and they should know how to meet a deadline.

And had you given me that excuse two weeks ago, I would probably have said the same thing.

But that was before I looked into it, and found out what that deadline actually WAS!

You know how long Fallout 3 took to make? What about Skyrim and Oblivion?

4 years.

All three games took four years, from development beginning, to release.

Now, how much time were Obsidian given to complete the game? Because they weren’t given four years.

Three, maybe?

How about 13 months.

A little over a QUARTER of the time it took to make Skyrim. And of course, at least one month was just WRITING the game, and another month of gametesting!

Now, this is of course the point where I say that Obsidian, being excellent at what they do, rose to the challenge, gave it their all, and delivered the massive ball of greatness that is Fallout: New Vegas, just in time to meet the deadline.

Unfortunatly, real life isn’t a movie with a 1980’s training montage. Obsidian didn’t meet the deadline. Because of course they didn’t! It’s an insane deadline!

Luckily, the deadline was pushed back, giving them time to work out the issues. How much time, you ask?

5 more months.

What the actual fuck!?

Are you actively trying to shoot yourself in the foot?! This isn’t fucking complicated! Just give them a reasonable fucking deadline, so they can give you a great game! You don’t have to give them 4 years, but at least give them 2 years, not a year and a half!

But it turns out, those extra 5 months were exactly what was needed. The game was released, and not only equalled Fallout 3, Oblivion and Skyrim, but blew them all out of the water!

Which might explain why Bethesda took so long making New Vegas compatible on the Xbox One. I wouldn’t blame them for being a bit hesitant about it. I mean, here comes a game that proved that while Bethesda can make a world look good, they are terrible at using that world and its contents effectively.

If you were Bethesda, would you want people to play that game? They’d want people to play Skyrim instead. After all, there’s no way someone could come along and take that engine and humiliate Bethesda all over again…

That is, unless you count the upcoming “Enderal” RPG, which is taking Skyrims engine and attempt to use it properly. I have only seen a trailer, but it looks very interesting. And this is done by hobbyists, for free!

Unfortunately, it’s a mod for Skyrim, and like I said, I play on console, so I won’t be able to enjoy it even if I DID own a copy of Skyrim.

And while I am happy about the engine being used properly, it does also confirm what I’ve been saying all along. Skyrim requires mods to be good, and by the time it is good, it’s a completely different game.

This is just the final expression of that idea.

Now, on the one hand, as I’m writing this, “Enderal” has yet to be released, so I can’t say if it is any good yet. But on the other, it’s not like it could be much WORSE.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Well, Halloween came and went as it is wont to do, so I think I’ll take this opportunity to talk about Castlevania, belated as it might be.

While I’m far from an expert, I have a certain fondness for this series. Castlevania for the Nintendo 64, as it happens, was among the first videogames I ever played, way back in the late 90’s. And call me an old nostalgic, rose-tinted-glasses wearing sentimental fool (which I am) but I still think it’s a very good game.

At some point in the future, I’ll talk about it in more detail, but for now I’ll just say that Castlevania for the N64, and the sequel/prequel/sidequel/remake “Legacy of Darkness” are among my absolute favourite games, with good music, good graphics (for the time) and interesting designs.

However, this article is not me gushing about a game I like a lot. After all, you’re not here because you want to read about stuff I like. You’re here because you want to hear me nitpick stuff. Besides, I’m better at nitpicking than gushing anyway.

With that in mind, I’d like to talk a little about the more recent entry in the series, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.

Now, I should point out that this is not a bad game. True, I didn’t find it as visually interesting as the previous game, but it wasn’t a bad game by any stretch.

So, why then am I talking about it?

Because, as with Alien: Isolation or Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, there are still things that I find confusing, things that I find don’t add up. No game is perfect, and this game is no exception.

And while my issues with the game are fairly simple, I believe they are still valid.

So, what are my issues?

Well, you play as Dracula. I’d call that a fairly legitimate issue.

Of course, I am not against the concept of playing as Dracula in and of itself, nor am I opposed to portraying Dracula as a sympathetic or tragic character.

(Which you’d think was a given, considering his role as the main villain of the series up until this point…)

No, my issues are far simpler.

See, this game is very similar, gameplaywise, to the previous game. That is to say, it is an action platforming game. Get from A to B by jumping, climbing, crawling or shimmying, interspersed with fighting strange enemies. And there is nothing wrong with that. With a few exceptions, that goes for most games in the series, not to mention other games such as Devil May Cry and Dantes Inferno.

However, the problem is that in this game, I am playing a platforming game, and I’m playing as Dracula.

DRACULA CAN FUCKING FLY!

Why the hell am I going around climbing walls and jumping chasms, when the character I’m playing can defy gravity!?

And if that wasn’t enough, if any of you have played a Castlevania game before, and fought Dracula in those games, what is the biggest, prominent trait about him?

Not only can he fly, but he can TELEPORT!

Now, of course, you might argue that this is a Dracula in a separate continuity, and this Dracula might work differently, with other limitations.

Which, of course, is complete bullshit.

In the games intro, we SEE dracula fly. Not the Double jump thing, but him turning into a cloud of smoke and shoot out over a battlefield like a giant, evil comet. We see him teleport around the battlefield and killing people by the hundreds with a single attack.

However, when you unlock the ability to turn to mist in the game, all it does is make you a puff of smoke that sloooooowly moves along, and after about 5 seconds, your stamina runs out and you turn back to normal. The only time you really teleport in the game is if you fall off a ledge and instantly teleport to a safe place to try again.

A process, by the way, that HURTS you.

(Oh, and don’t try to tell me the warp points is teleporting. That is not the same thing, and you know it.)

And before anyone points out that the game revolves around you rediscovering your powers and regain your strength, in order to fight Satan himself, you didn’t have those powers in the prologue either. The prologue which, need I remind you, IS THE SAME SCENE AS IN THE INTRO!

I hate when games do that! They show these awesome powers, showing Dracula as a demon, just an unstoppable killing machine, making you think “Wow! I can’t wait to rain down this kind of destruction on my enemies. This’ll be awesome!”.

And then the game goes “sorry, you’re not allowed to use those powers. Even when you unlock them, they’re not NEARLY as cool as when we showed them earlier”.

It’s not like it’s a trailer to make me buy the game! It’s the fucking intro! I have already bought the game! You don’t have to try and sell it to me anymore!

Now, some might argue that giving you those powers would be gamebreaking, and you can’t have a platforming game where you can just FLY PAST all the platforms, or battles where you kill enemies by the hundreds. That’d make the game completely meaningless. If you are this unstoppable force of nature, wreaking destruction on all around you, there’s no real threat.

Which is an excellent point, which raises a perfectly simple question.

Why am I playing as Dracula?! Why make the main character Dracula, and then not let me actually PLAY as Dracula?!

And if you’re not going to let me do stuff like that, the least you can do is NOT SHOW DRACULA DOING STUFF LIKE THAT IN THE FUCKING GAME!

It’d be like playing a superman game where you’re not superstrong or superfast, and you can’t fly!

WHAT’S THE FUCKING POINT?!

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for this game. Like I said, it’s very good game, with great visuals, interesting gameplay and top notch voice acting.

It’s just that the concept gives me a headache.