Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.
This week, Samantha Nelson reported back from inside the 2013 Big Buck HD World Championship, a gathering of and competition between those who have ascended to godlike aptitude at that weird deer hunting game the haunts the corners of dingy bars around the country. GhaleonQ commented on the game’s quality and pointed out a tie-in to another burgeoning hunter-centric brand:
I’m often disappointed when it comes to these mass audience games. Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, Golden Tee, and the like often just turn out to be mediocre or worse. I played Big Buck Hunter a few months ago, and I have no idea how it’s possible to have a championship around it.
That said, it’s no secret how they’re cultivating their fanbase. They’re pulling a NESiCA with their hubs and adding Duck Dynasty sidegame/demo screen to the cabinets across the country. I wish better developers had marketing ideas half as good.
And Wolf brought up some of the fundamental absurdities Big Buck is built from:
I always found Big Buck Hunter interesting simply because it plays more like a bargain-bin zombie shooter than anything remotely like actual hunting. You show up behind some log, and deer just start flying out at you left and right like they’re hungry for blood.
I guess what I’m saying is someone needs to make a zombie-deer hack of the game.
Yesterday, Drew Toal reviewed the first half of BioShock Infinite’s noir-themed follow-up Burial At Sea. He commented on the what seems to be a lingering BioShock problem: Its ideas and intricate settings fail to stand up to the assault from its gunplay. Several commenters added to this sentiment, including needlehacksaw:
I’d like to think of the BioShock developers as some sort of dark horses, the way director Seijun Suzuki used the Japanese studio system to finance genre movies that were not generic at all. But if that’s what’s going on, Irrational haven’t done a good job of balancing necessities and ambitions.
Also, it’s not true that other genres—like the kinds that would better serve the elements of BioShock that Ken Levine and company seem more interested in than the shooting—are not profitable. You wouldn’t have to explore BioShock as a point-and-click adventure game, and the “Immersive Sim” might be too dead to give Rapture or Columbia a treatment similar to Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. (That would be so, so perfect.) But how about a role-playing game in the vein of Fallout 3? One can dream. One can only dream.
Elsewhere, Merve gave us another take on Burial At Sea:
I haven’t finished it yet, but after about 45 minutes with Burial At Sea, I must say that the setting is absolutely gorgeous. Rapture in its prime looks almost exactly as I imagined it—all majestic and gilded.
The problem I have with it is the same problem I had with the first two BioShock games: Rapture doesn’t feel like a place. It feels like a mishmash of concepts and ideologies and architectural styles that don’t fit together. This really hits home when you’re walking through Burial At Sea’s pre-rebellion version of Rapture. Columbia held together as a believable place within the context of BioShock’s fiction, because it twisted something familiar—Disney-fied Americana—into something more sinister; there was at least an entry point for the player. On the other hand, there’s nothing in Rapture’s hodgepodge of art deco and objectivism and deep-sea locations that serves as an anchor for the player, and there’s nothing that ties these disparate elements together. I still don’t buy into Rapture as a setting, and that makes me feel like I can’t fully invest in whatever story this game is trying to tell.
More Like…Yeah, No, Fubsy Is Good
Earlier this week, a bizarre tribute to Bubsy, the epitome of poorly conceived early ’90s video game mascots , and James Turrell took the internet by storm. Many people loved it. Many people were mystified by it. But no one was as peeved about its blatant disregard for the core traits of the Bubsy character as The_Misanthrope.
Charlatans! This is no Bubsy! Where is his righteous ’tude? Where are his smartass quips delivered by the unheralded talent of Lani Minella? No, this is merely a fake Bubsy, a “Fubsy,” if you will! Contact your local congressperson! Don’t wait until this happens to other neglected video game characters, like Gex or Croc!
That’s the end of another week in Gameolological. Thanks for reading and commenting. We’ll see you all next week.