Weekend Recap: moaning and groaning

Truth be told, I don’t feel like writing about games right now.  I’m kinda sickened by what’s happening in Ferguson, and talking about video games seems awfully trite and silly in the wake of Mike Brown’s death.  But I’m going to write about games because if I don’t do something, I’m going to start going crazy.

Ironically, then, there was very little gaming done this weekend; my son was recovering from a bad bit of constipation (that required a visit to the ER on Thursday), and I had (and still have) a pretty bad cold, and we ended up having to cancel a bunch of plans, and when I wasn’t sleeping I was mostly trying to keep my son happy.  That’s a fun game, too, when it’s working.

I did finish The Last of Us Remastered on Friday night, though, and I must admit that I enjoyed it a lot more the second time.  I must also admit (though I’m not ashamed of it) that I played it on Easy, which made it a much less frustrating experience; I still died a few times, but I was able to enjoy and savor the world and the narrative and take many screenshots and still feel dread while not being unnecessarily frustrated.

And speaking of dread, I went ahead and played P.T., and even though I’d already watched a bunch of people’s Let’s Play videos and was somewhat prepared for that first jump scare, it still managed to creep me out.  In this current era of open betas and Early Access and the seeming absence of demos, it is sincerely refreshing to get something like P.T., which is technically a teaser for an upcoming Silent Hill game but which is also a wholly self-contained creep-fest.   As someone with no real hands-on experience with the Silent Hill franchise (beyond a few hours with both SH4 on the 360 and Shattered Memories on the Wii), I came into it not needing to look for hidden SH clues and callbacks, but simply to take in the experience.

And it does capture that feeling of dread pretty goddamned well.  Despite my massive Stephen King collection, I’m not really all that into horror films or games, so I can’t necessarily speak to how effectively creepy it is for other people (although there are lots of YouTube videos of people playing P.T. and freaking out, so I know I’m not alone).  But even just the basic concept of the endlessly looping hallway – my god, it took me right back to a horrific mushroom experience I had in college, where I had the sensation of being caught in a time loop and where the same 2 or 3 things kept happening over and over and over and over and over and over again, and I thought I was going mad.  I might also add that I played P.T. with my wife on Wednesday night, and that’s the night that my son started having stomach pains, and woke us up by crying at 4 in the morning.  So the “crying baby” trope hits pretty goddamned close to home.

I still don’t know whether I’m going to play the actual game.  Like I said – I’m not the biggest fan of horror games, and I’m certainly not a big fan of Hideo Kojima.  That being said, having Guillermo Del Toro on board certainly does a lot to offset Kojima, and if it ends up reviewing well, I will probably feel compelled to check it out.

I’m not sure what’s on tap for this week; I’m not playing the console release of Diablo 3, and in any event most of my recent free time has been taken up by Book 3 of the Locke Lamora series and a rekindled obsession with They Might Be Giants, of which a carefully curated Spotify playlist follows.

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