Virginia

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AndrewBrown
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Virginia

Post by AndrewBrown » September 22nd, 2016, 4:06 pm

This just came out today on PC, PS4, and X1. Reportedly it will be the new, hot narrative game. I picked it up based solely on positive Twitter buzz. Will anyone be joining me?

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ThirdMan
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Re: Virginia

Post by ThirdMan » September 22nd, 2016, 4:15 pm

Snip.

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Re: Virginia

Post by ThirdMan » September 22nd, 2016, 4:39 pm

Snip

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Flabyo
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Re: Virginia

Post by Flabyo » September 22nd, 2016, 5:14 pm

Destructoid just plain don't like 'walking simulators'. The Eurogamer review paints a picture of something interesting that almost certainly won't be of mass appeal.

I'll be playing it, it's been a strong year for this kind of experience and I'm something of a fan of them. (I'm probably the one person that really liked Beyond Eyes last year, for example)

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Re: Virginia

Post by AndrewBrown » September 22nd, 2016, 5:18 pm

I've just been feeling bad since I consider myself a narrative-focused videogames person but I play very, very few of the indie narrative games that come out. Trying to overcome my aversion to the digital distribution model.

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Flabyo
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Re: Virginia

Post by Flabyo » September 22nd, 2016, 5:20 pm

Play Oxenfree. If you play none of the others, play that one. (But you should totally play Firewatch as well).

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Re: Virginia

Post by DomsBeard » September 22nd, 2016, 5:48 pm

I'll be picking it up

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Re: Virginia

Post by AndrewBrown » September 22nd, 2016, 6:19 pm

Flabyo wrote:Play Oxenfree. If you play none of the others, play that one. (But you should totally play Firewatch as well).
Firewatch is definitely on the list, although since I've already missed their launch windows I'm going to wait for a good sale price.

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Re: Virginia

Post by Flabyo » September 22nd, 2016, 8:50 pm

Ok, I really enjoyed playing through this.

I think it probably is a stretch to call it a game, there's not a lot of interaction. It's hard to really pigeon hole it though, in some respects it's a movie from first person. But you have control in most scenes, so the pacing is yours to dictate. Clearly there are interactions I missed because I have less than half the achievements.

If you play it, go in blind. Don't go look up the achievements, just relax and play/watch it like you would a movie.

My earlier comparison with Beyond Eyes holds pretty solidly actually, they're both stories first and interactive narratives second (and 'game' a distant third)

I think perhaps I'll go back through it again later in the year, see if I can find anything I missed. But I'd say I got as much out of my 8 quid here as I have from any BluRay I've bought at that price.

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Re: Virginia

Post by Sean » September 23rd, 2016, 1:33 pm

I'm interested, mostly because I've seen a lot of comparisons to Twin Peaks. This always scares me, though, because that's usually just an easy reference for "mystery that has weird characters."

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Re: Virginia

Post by AndrewBrown » September 23rd, 2016, 4:04 pm

I ended up not getting to it last night. Maybe tonight? I'll let you know what I think.

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Re: Virginia

Post by AndrewBrown » September 24th, 2016, 4:57 am

Yep, that was... really something. I'm not going to say it's "more of a movie than a game," but it is incredibly linear (there is a move and an interact button, that's it--that limits what the game is capable of doing right from the start). It also makes very liberal use of jump cuts but does it without interrupting the gameplay. It's very disorienting at first but you get used to it, especially once you acclimate to simply following the story and resisting the urge to explore the areas (though there are collectibles to find). If nothing else, it's worth looking at just to see how this cinematic technique is applied to a videogame.

Be warned, though, that while it's a fairly straightforward, if disorienting, mystery story to start, the last chapter takes a base jump into Lynchland.

Oh yeah, I'd also say that, unless you really like meaningless collectibles in an esoteric environment, I feel this is one you can safely watch on YouTube and get the full experience out of it.

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Re: Virginia

Post by DomsBeard » September 24th, 2016, 8:43 am

AndrewBrown wrote:Yep, that was... really something. I'm not going to say it's "more of a movie than a game," but it is incredibly linear (there is a move and an interact button, that's it--that limits what the game is capable of doing right from the start). It also makes very liberal use of jump cuts but does it without interrupting the gameplay. It's very disorienting at first but you get used to it, especially once you acclimate to simply following the story and resisting the urge to explore the areas (though there are collectibles to find). If nothing else, it's worth looking at just to see how this cinematic technique is applied to a videogame.

Be warned, though, that while it's a fairly straightforward, if disorienting, mystery story to start, the last chapter takes a base jump into Lynchland.

Oh yeah, I'd also say that, unless you really like meaningless collectibles in an esoteric environment, I feel this is one you can safely watch on YouTube and get the full experience out of it.
I started it last night and was nodding off when playing it so the jump cuts were confusing me :lol: It is really disorienting. I'm also a bit confused
Spoiler: show
Are we just playing one character?, not sure with the jumps and I'm guessing we are investigating our partner or is it myself under investigation?
didn't feel it was made clear but then I was playing it tired.

Already two or three great pieces for sound of play, the soundtrack is great

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Re: Virginia

Post by Flabyo » September 24th, 2016, 8:58 am

I do understand the disappointment many people will have after playing this. As much as I enjoyed it I do agree that it is flawed in execution and perhaps a bit too vague for its own good.

But I feel that things like this need to exist, and need to continue to be created, because we all want to see this medium grow and I don't think just growing in the one direction that is already massively well served is ultimately healthy for us as an industry.

Yes, it doesn't have too many original ideas of its own. And yes, there's an argument that games really don't need to borrow so much of the visual language of Hollywood when isn't the point of games that we're not bound by the same constraints as linear storytelling?

But if one person playing this is sparked into coming up with the next truly great idea, and we take games into new places, then I think we're all the better for it.

I'm not saying we can't call out things we think are bad, but that to say it shouldn't exist, or 'why didn't they just make a movie?' is too reductive for me. I'm sure plenty of people on seeing their first movie back at the dawn of cinema said 'why didn't they just do this as a stage play?'.

This isn't the first step, but we're not anywhere near the middle when it comes to what can be done with story in games. Each attempt to try something different is an important and valid step towards something greater.

And the idea that all games must appeal to the whole audience when literally no other entertainment media would find that concept even slightly sensible is one of my own personal bugbears.

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Re: Virginia

Post by DomsBeard » September 24th, 2016, 9:22 am

ThirdMan wrote:I see that Destructoid have awarded it 3/10, opening their review with "What defines a game?".

I wonder how many of those that are pushing for the increased recognition of games as an art-form are also rather conservative about bringing new types of experiences into the fold? I suspect there's at least some cross-over, in which case the whole things smacks of hypocrisy. You cannot challenge the old-guard while simultaneously trying to maintain one of your own.
I've just seen this now and it has reminded me that I pretty much ignore game reviews nowadays. I sub to Games TM and their reviews of Telltale Batman and Deus Ex Mankind Divided were embarrassing this month. I think nowadays I tend to trust people on here a lot more if I'm on the fence or go in and make my own mind up. Looking forward to seeing where Virginia goes and I imagine it will be a game you need to go through twice?

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ThirdMan
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Re: Virginia

Post by ThirdMan » September 24th, 2016, 11:18 am

Snip.

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Re: Virginia

Post by Thesnipergecko » September 26th, 2016, 12:24 pm

I was going to pick this up until I tried the PS4 demo. Oh my are the controls sluggish, it gave me a real headache playing through the demo. I had to turn it off :(

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Re: Virginia

Post by Alex79uk » September 26th, 2016, 3:10 pm

I still read reviews. Even if they slate a game I've really enjoyed it's still interesting to read another persons view point.

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Re: Virginia

Post by DomsBeard » September 27th, 2016, 10:16 am

It's 80p cheaper on PSN than Xbox at the moment.

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Re: Virginia

Post by Chopper » September 30th, 2016, 4:16 pm

Sadly, it really fell apart in the final act. If they'd just stuck with a conventional story at that point, I feel there was enough substance to the game and story to carry it off.

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