tumblrbot asked: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER WHEN YOU ARE IN A BAD MOOD?
ice cream and self harm, my friend, ice cream and self harm.
I play too many video games: Skyrim and Lord of the Rings: War in the North
I’ve been playing Skyrim (sorry, Sky-mahfuckin-Rim, as its known in several circles) for four days now. I should say something about only having scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg. I hate to mix metaphors, but its the only way I can convey my experience thus far. Its hard to believe something on this scale sprung forth from human minds, yet here it is. Poems will one day be written about the madmen at Bethesda, who saw the constraints of human imagination and said ‘nigga please’.
Morrowind and Oblivion did nothing for me for me so it’s astonishing I’m still playing at all. The improvements are obvious, characters who don’t look like poorly constructed taxidermy specimens, a camera that doesn’t pull directly into their lifeless eyes, an interface re-designed for actual human beings. In short, I’m thrilled Bethesda removed so many of the barriers that have kept me from this series in the past. But ultimately, its an Elder Scrolls game. The fundamental problems I’ve always had with the series remain firmly in place.
In reality, every battle is fought and won in the menu. Its not even Skyrims fault, this has been a trope of the genre for as long as there has been a genre. Numbers are compared, subtracted, added, and averaged, and the only thing that determines whether or not you’re still standing is whether those numbers came up green. It frustrating to think my controller inputs have such little say in the result of an encounter. It’s part of what forced me out of Oblivion, I would hate it if it kept me out of Skyrim.
I keep coming back to Lord of the Rings: War in the North in my head. I don’t know what world the Publishers thought they inhabited when they decided to release it this month. It’s not a bad game, and the sixes and sevens that dot its metacritic page are largely a result of context. Certainly, in the wake of Uncharted, Saints Row, and especially Skyrim, it IS a six. But more so, it’s the antithesis of Skyrim. It couldn’t be more linear in level design, more limited in its character development. And yet combat couldn’t be better. It gives you the same set of tools Skyrim does, and yet a Battleaxe in War in the North FEELS like a fucking Battleaxe. There is a weight and a heft that Bethesdas simulation simply doesn’t bother with. Still, I didn’t escape prison by turning into a werewolf and massacring the inmates and guards in Lord of the Rings. Maybe that’s all a game really needs.