Alan Wake EP11: Physics and Pasties

By Josh
on May 11, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

116 comments


Link (YouTube)

So this wasn’t actually a short week or anything; I didn’t delay this post because we didn’t have a fourth episode. No, I was just sick Thursday morning. I suspect Shamus might be trying to get back at me for crushing all of those sleeping pills into his tea last week.

Also, for those of you interested, Josh Plays is totally actually really coming back tomorrow. For real this time. Like, the post is (almost) all written, I just need to finish the last bit and compile all of the images for upload. And of course there will be the fourth Spoiler Warning episode next week too. And hey, Shamus might have even written an article for the Escapist this week! (But I get bonus points if Shamus only remembers that he was supposed to do that when he reads this post.)

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Footnotes:


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From the Archives:

  1. ps238principal says:

    I may have missed it if it’s been said (or suggested in the comments), but I’d love it if, when taking damage from the Taken, Josh would start growling, “STOP HAUNTING ME!!!”

  2. Nyctef says:

    I feel that Digital Mumbles is sorely lacking a neo-classical reggae punk post :)

    Finding the power company stuff didn’t seem too bad – they could legitimately have been going out to fix a broken light or something (heh) and gotten taken by the Taken

    Also Rutskarn, you have to remember to skip articles [a, the] for good Russian accent.

    At end of video, was that Psychonauts reference from leetle girl-child?

    • Thomas says:

      I figured it was going to be plot because the yellow writing was over the house and it looked like someone who knew what he was doing hat forted the house out a bit. We know yellow writing guy knows what he’s doing but I don’t know if he’s the sort of person who could aquire some builders lights

      • Vic 2.0 says:

        “Finding the power company stuff didn’t seem too bad – they could legitimately have been going out to fix a broken light or something (heh) and gotten taken by the Taken”

        Or, Zane left them the same way he was leaving the manuscripts.

        “I figured it was going to be plot because the yellow writing was over the house and it looked like someone who knew what he was doing hat forted the house out a bit. We know yellow writing guy knows what he’s doing but I don’t know if he’s the sort of person who could aquire some builders lights”

        Cynthia Weaver‘s the one responsible for the yellow writing, along with the hidden chests.

  3. Pete says:

    …is there any reason why you’d ever want to switch the heavy duty flashlight for a regular one?

    • RTBones says:

      Seconded. Having not played the game, is there anything attractive about the heavy duty flashlight? Does it require a special skill to switch it on that needs to be trained? Or is it just one more loco thing about this game?

      Completely off topic: for those that havent purchased it yet, Skyrim is on sale for 33% off this weekend on Steam.

      • Duhad says:

        Nope, its just an upgrade that you can chose to ignore if you happen to be playing the game for the internet to troll them, by handy capping your self for no god dame reason.

      • Klay F. says:

        I only have personal experience do go off of, but I’m pretty sure the heavy duty flashlight both lasts longer on a single battery and burns off the darkness faster. So yeah, it makes zero sense. A more powerful flashlight should eat batteries faster, but alas.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          That would be relevant if only they didnt introduce new enemies right after that have slightly bigger shields,so you need to burn them with the new flashlight just as long as you burned the old enemies with the old flashlight.

          • Sumanai says:

            Seriously? They went out of their way to make something that doesn’t make sense only to then remove the only reason to have it in the game to begin with?

            • Vic 2.0 says:

              No. First off, critics can’t make up their minds. They want to claim the enemies are all the same, but then they make statements like that.

              The purpose of the heavy duty flashlight (that lasts longer, as the term “heavy duty” usually means) is to allow you to deal with the stronger enemies as well as have the advantage in those areas in which the enemies do not change. Sometimes an upgrade foretells that stronger enemies are coming; sometimes it doesn’t foretell anything at all.

        • Vic 2.0 says:

          Incorrect. “Heavy duty” is referring to how long the battery lasts only. It means, as is typically the case everywhere, that it will last longer. That’s it. Lanterns, however, are more powerful (burn the darkness away faster), which also makes sense because they emit more light. Absolute best portable light source is the heavy duty lantern (pretty rare).

          There is actually a point where you can choose between a regular lantern or a heavy duty flashlight. It’s up to your preferences there.

      • Dasick says:

        Skyrim? Waste of money. At least, it was for me. Silly me, expecting Bethesda to deliver what they promised.

    • Even says:

      If the combat was actually fun, I might opt for it in a scenario where the combat feels too easy and I want to feel a little thrill if possible.

    • Amnestic says:

      The Heavy Duty Flashlight is a direct and complete upgrade from the normal flashlight. We get “Lanterns” later (which are really just the portable spotlight things rather than old timey time lanterns). Those are different in that they drain battery significantly faster but are stronger and have wider beams. There’s also a heavy-duty lantern which, just like the flashlight, is a straight upgrade.

      If they’d cut out the Heavy Duty ones and added two more different light sources for you to use, it would’ve added a little more depth. Not much, but some. Adding a tiny light which burned slow but drained almost no power to the point where you basically recharged instantly would’ve been a good start.

  4. Axion says:

    Best Murder She Wrote theme song ever!
    Everyone would have watched that :D

  5. Tzeneth says:

    Because someone hasn’t linked it yet:

    Murder She Wrote

  6. Thomas says:

    Having a bridge shake about and do weird things could be pretty cool.

    Having Alan Wake do battle with his flashlight against a wheel barrow and possessed girder isn’t.

  7. Michael says:

    No, no. Don’t replace the Energizer bunny with Alan Wake; put the Energizer bunny in the game as a boss fight, complete with combat taunts like “A word to the wise: energize.”

    There. I just made this game at least 70% better.

  8. Doctor Broccoli says:

    18:42 “Look! They have two different kinds of guys to f-”

    That made me giggle for some reason.

    • harborpirate says:

      A good sarcastic riff.

      Interestingly, this particular sequence did try to shake things up. However, since this is Alan Wake, apparently they were required to botch it.

      Somebody on the QA team must have finally said “fighting this endless series of dudes is deathly boring”, so the developers decided to make up something worse. Pipes that just fly at you because, who really cares about why, these are Angry Pipes!

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      Who cares what they look like, kill ’em and get outta there!

  9. McNutcase says:

    You guys disappoint me. Mumbles has sounded good all week, and nobody’s said a damn thing. She’s actually sounding like she does in real life!

  10. Even says:

    “Judas Priest!”

    Oh wow.

    I found it kinda odd that the only door not locked in the radio shack is the front door. He’s alone in the middle of nowhere, he runs the show mostly at night, is seemingly paranoid enough to lock all doors inside, but then leaves the front door open and still isn’t even startled seeing Alan?

    • Shamus says:

      This is probably a question for Mumbles, but I assumed the inside door was always locked. The idea being that this is the sound room, and you don’t want people barging in while you’re doing a live show. Of course, it’s REALLY locked because the cutscene requires that Mr. Radio have a way to finish his lines before we crash the show. I don’t know if real radio stations have anything on the door to the sound room to keep random visitors from blundering in, but that’s what I assumed.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        Absent Mumbles chiming in, based on some experience with some Real Commercial Radio Stations, the usual procedure is that the outside doors are locked up tight, and the only interior door that you’d expect to be inevitably locked is access to the transmitter gear. That’s not the same as the studio gear, and may not even be on the same site, or same building if on site at all. The transmitter gear even at a small station will use a fearsome amount of power: big fat cables carrying 20-100 thousand volts, insulated by fairly fragile ceramic, glass, and air, none of which will protect someone from immediate annihilation by rich, chunky watts. So, that door’s kept locked, and *nobody* goes in there without the station engineer. The rest of the place is kept fairly open. The studio is protected by basically a lamp that says “ON AIR” that might be wired to the microphone switch and illuminated when the microphone is on and listening, but more likely is just a switch. What really keeps people from entering and messing things up is the monitors scattered around the station offices that let everyone know exactly what’s going out, and usually a big glass window between studio and the reception area so the public coming in can admire all the fancy audio equipment and the faces of people that got into radio because the audience couldn’t see them. At night, outer doors are kept locked, but inner doors aren’t. You don’t want to have anything between the overnight talent and the coffee and snacks, and if you don’t let them out for smoke breaks they start playing “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” alternately with the extended version of “I Would Die 4 U”, and things get ugly.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      It doesn’t take much effort to see both reason and realism here. Front door’s locked for just the reason Shamus assumed: to keep someone from popping in on his broadcasts. But it can also be considered a sort of security measure. Now, the front door is unlocked purely because that makes it easier to go out for a smoke.

      Other doors are locked by the janitor or someone who has reason to go into those rooms, whereas the DJ doesn’t.

      But of course, restrooms? Got nothin’ to explain those, in any of the buildings :(

  11. GiantRaven says:

    Did I just hear something negative about Tarantino? I don’t think I can watch Spoiler Warning anymore…

    • Rutskarn says:

      While I’m not sure what Chris’ real evaluation of Tarantino is, I will say that I partially agree with him–I just don’t think it’s necessarily a criticism. Most of Tarantino’s films are pure experience, like a cinematic rollercoaster, and in making those he’s the best filmmaker in the world. I’m a great fan of his work.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      I think their first point is actually a pretty fair criticism of his work. Tarantino’s a film geek and loves to use random shots or reference things for no reason whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, it’s interesting (and watching his movies with film students tends to turn it into a geek-off) but sometimes his inner fanboy gets the best of him.

      The second criticism I can’t really agree with because well-done style tends to outshine a lack of substance, and Tarantino’s excellent in that regard.

    • Warrax says:

      When they started comparing this to a Tarentino film, my first thought was Jackie Brown. That movie was all the style with little of the substance, and it went on for a really long time without really going anywhere.

    • Dude says:

      Tarantino is a hack. There, I said it. I’ll go sit in the corner now.

      • Shamus says:

        I just can’t see this. The man understands the techniques and language of cinema better than most. I can understand not liking his stuff, but a hack? Like, some clueless, artless know-nothing that doesn’t understand the tools or the medium? It’s like saying Hitchcock was “too saccharine”. Technique is Tarantino’s whole thing!

        If I were going to criticize him I’d call him pretentious and self-indulgent. I dig a lot of his stuff, but it’s pretty clear he’s making movies because they amuse him, not because he has anything to say to the audience. His stuff can come off as dense, too self-referential, and kind of a fan-wank to 70’s *sploitation cinema.

        I guess you can call him a hack in the sense that his movies don’t work very well to people that aren’t film buffs, but I’d rather save the word hack for people like Bay: No sense of pacing, no sense of story, no understanding of the language of cinema*, completely unable to compose a shot and while you can’t blame him directly for the script, he does seem to end up filming a lot of stuff written by screenwriter-hacks.

        * HEY EVERYBODY WE’RE HAVING A FIGHT SCENE! LOOKIT THESE LENS FLARES AND SHAKEY CAMS!

        • Dude says:

          I wasn’t entirely serious, but all right:

          Tarantino’s films sometimes fill me with the exact same sense of having wasted the time I spent watching them as Michael Bay flicks do. Except, by recognizing that he’s consciously doing the things he’s doing, he sort of escapes criticism.

          The man knows how to fill a shot, how to edit a strong cut with loads of great musical cues, and he has the beat of filmmaking down, indeed, but I think it’s about time he stopped spending all that talent on movies that feel like exercises in telling the world, “Hey, you guys! I’m smart! Look how smart I am!”

          I loved his work when I was 20 or so. Now I need more than a tongue in cheek two hour joke about Nazis. I look back on Pulp Fiction quite fondly, but you couldn’t pay me enough to watch Kill Bill again. The exact same way I look back on Unbreakable quite fondly, but you couldn’t pay me enough to ever watch another Shyamalan movie.

          • Shamus says:

            Yeah, I can’t defend him on those grounds. I have the same impression of his work over the years.

            Also agreed on M. Night. Man, I had huge hopes for that guy after I saw Unbreakable. I still have trouble reconciling his early flashes of brilliance with what he made later.

        • ps238principal says:

          I’ve always wondered how much effect a director has on scripts. If I remember correctly, Michael Bay said Transformers 2 didn’t even start with a script, but started instead with making the robot models (presumably with a lot of knocking them together while saying “pew-pew-pew”).

  12. LunaticFringe says:

    Barry? A bad Steve Buscemi character? Hell no, Barry is George Costanza. It gets partially weird after he gets the ‘Eye of Sauron’ and wraps his parka in Christmas lights.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Rutskarn in the original russian,now thats comedy.And the freak thing was hillarious as well.

    Addendum:If you guys make Chris into a freak,would he then be a bearded lady?

  14. Chris says:

    For some reason I am terribly loud this week.

  15. Eric says:

    This comments page is now about folk metal.

    I tend to stay very far away from the “gay Finnish folk metal” variety, i.e. Korpiklaani and Turisas and Eluvitie whatnot, if only because that stuff was already beaten into the ground by Finntroll years ago (and they did it better than anyone). Something about it is just phenomenally annoying and lame – it feels like music written by fourteen-year-olds who just learned the Internet definition of “epic” and decided that meant as many cheesy keyboards, bad costumes and dumb-looking promo photos as possible, all while writing the most stale power metal and chug-chug metalcore riffs imaginable.

    These days I’m much more into groups with a strong black metal influence, i.e. Moonsorrow, Ásmegin, old Ulver, Bathory, Thyrfing, Vintersorg, Drudkh if it qualifies, even stuff like Negură Bunget if you want to include it despite it not being part of the Scandinavian scene. Of course, there’s also a lot of overlap with Viking metal, but then again Viking metal also tends to be the best of the folk metal genre in my opinion (unless of course it’s non-Scandinavian folk like Melechesh, Orphaned Land and so on).

    My black metal phase has long since passed but it serves as an excellent template for exploring virtually every other style of music (which is why I’m a huge fan of post-black stuff like Solefald and Arcturus), and folk really complements black metal well since second-wave Scandinavian black metal is already heavily influenced by folk (Satyricon especially).

    • Dasick says:

      I’m surprised that Josh, with his long-flowing-metal hair and manly-man attitude doesn’t know that “Folk Metal” is a thing.

      The best band (so far) that has come out of it’s Death Metal phase is Therion. They featured Hansi Kuerch in one of their songs (Flesh of the Gods) so they must be doing something right.

      But for me, metal is all about the taming of harsh, chaotic noise. Speed and power empower the message and the tune.

      P.S. You fail at derailing threads :P

    • Blake says:

      I was always quite partial to Eluveitie myself, a girl I once dated linked me to their song Inis Mona http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iijKLHCQw5o and I was sold for life.

      Also explaining it to people as a Celtic melodic folk death metal band is fun times.

  16. MatthewH says:

    This is something which may interest Spoiler Warning fans of DX:HR: Kowloon Walled City. Suddenly Hengsha looks familiar.

    On railroads – there was once a proposed law to make all rail-roads double track. It came up after a major head-on collision. The law was only beat back after the railroad companies came up with ways to make sure it didn’t happen again. The companies devised a series of timetables, signals, and procedures that would ensure that multiple trains didn’t enter the track from opposite ends. It’s one of the forerunners to modern organizational theory -alas the story is only in my notes and didn’t include a citation, so it may be appocryphal.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      The Kowloon Walled City was a truly fascinating place that not many people have written anything on (I’ve tried to find any form of historical writing on its inner ‘ungoverned’ workings but most of their history is unfortunately lost). There was an anarchistic micro-culture that was largely ignored by authorities and has almost no documentation, and frankly that’s just damn cool. Almost makes you sad that they bulldozed it in the early 1990s and built a park.

      • Thomas says:

        I’m having an inner struggle about making a Daily Mail comment, which I guess in itself I shouldn’t have externalised but this is my compromise to completely obviously starting a flame war.

        That place seemed like it was crazy, the whole in the middle only makes it stranger. It’s hard to imagine what living in a place like that could possibly have been like

  17. el_b says:

    I bet mumbles Puts people Right into to the cooking pot after she’s hit them with her maglight.

  18. Grudgeal says:

    Oh you did *not* just refer to the X-men, in any shape and form, as ‘making sense’. From a biological point of view they’re… Erm… How do I find a suitably condescending liberal arts degree metaphor to translate this into?…

    They’re like, if you got superpowers by mixing water and oil colours together. And making that colour mix let you shoot lasers from your eyes. Really scientific lasers.

  19. Spirit Bear says:

    Don’t worry Chris Gremlins to gets more air time on TV than the original does(At least on Canadian TV)

    • Sumanai says:

      It is, or has been, shown more often than the first one in Finland as well. I think the last time I saw it there had been a ten year pause in-between showings, yet the second film was shown every two or three years.

      It’s the only one that gets that treatment. During my life Highlander has only been shown twice, maybe thrice, and I only saw it because my sister found it on DVD and I decided I’m buying it that very second.

      By the way, every time Chris said “Gremlins”, even though I knew what he was talking about, I kept hearing “grandmas”.

  20. Jeff R. says:

    Gremlins II was an awesome movie, too. (The “President’s Day” scene was one of the funnier movie movements of all time. Now that’s how you properly do a reference…)

  21. harborpirate says:

    This portion of the game really seems to be wandering aimlessly. First its “get to the radio station”, and then instead of anything interesting happening, Agent Douche arrives and starts shooting within three seconds.
    Now Alan needs to “get to the train station”! I assume Agent Douche will show up there too, and then what?
    I can see it now…

    “I had to get to the bus station.”

    • Thomas says:

      And it’s just… why? It can’t have taken much effort to have some dialogue in the station an it looks like they were desperate for time as it was

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      “No dialogue” in the radio station served a very important purpose, and that was seeing to it that Alan did finally get away from Nightingale. That is, the game was not so predictable in its alleged predictability :P Alan even says “It was probably good I hadn’t had the chance to tell Maine where I was going.”

      Open mouth, insert foot, at your earliest convenience.

  22. Hitch says:

    TotalBicuit spent the first half of his Mailbox yesterday talking about Alan Wake. Specifically, collecting coffee thermoses and manuscript pages. So that link will lead you to eight and a half minutes of him saying basically the same stuff as the Spoiler Warning crew.

  23. “I was under constant barrage by the Dark Presence. After waves of FBI, Taken and objects hurled at me, I reached a cabin. The power was still on and the lights were in working order. As I was just about to leave and head to my meeting with the kidnapper, I saw it: The TV. Temporarily ignoring the fate of my wife, whom I care very deeply for. I decided to rest for a second and watch the tube. This was about the time one of the shows I used to work on, Night Springs, was supposed to air. I thought to myself, ‘I’m currently on the run and Alice’s kidnapper threatened to kill her if I don’t show up, but what the hell? I’ve got time.’ With that in mind, I sat there and watched the whole damn show. You know what? I don’t actually need Alice. Yeah! Fuck it, let’s watch TV! Let’s watch it all… night… long!”

    – excerpt from Random Bullshit by Alan Wake

  24. Bryan says:

    Heavy-duty flashlight:

    http://elektrolumens.com/FireSword-V/FireSword-V.html

    Why yes, this flashlight *is* able to light up an entire apartment to noon light levels, at about midnight. And yes, when you put the light-emitting end on your knee (through jeans) and turn it on, your knee gets uncomfortably hot after about 10s or so. And yes, those *are* heatsinks. Why do you ask?

    Mumbles, you need one of these. …Well, maybe. :-)

  25. ENC says:

    AvP games are scary!

    Unanimous agreement the second one marine campaign is scary, because it lets your mind do the work in the same vein of the first film. The first level doesn’t even have any enemies in it yet has you wandering around alone. Games these days are too afraid to have overtly dark environments, with good cause, as they want their art department to be justified instead of having your vision being filled with a void of black like real life.
    It isn’t merciful in making you cower like Alan Wake is, where the enemies announce their presence before you and cower before your mighty flashlight as you can distinctly see everything happening and aren’t getting false-positives from your motion tracker (which is virtually always beeping in the game from the smallest objects).

    Although colonial marines, like 2010, doesn’t look scary anymore.

  26. X2Eliah says:

    All these comments and no pun thread yet in here? I am so very disappoint.

  27. HBOrrgg says:

    Alright, I think I’m ready to take a stab at way back when you guys asked why the combat doesn’t really work.
    1. The whole “fight with light” is at it’s best when it is actually answering “how would you use flares, flashbangs, searchlights, car headlamps, etc. as weapons against an entity that can be hurt by light?” However, the flashlight (the tool that forms most of the game-play) falls flat in that regard because the whole being able to focus and having magical recharging batteries is making it feel too phoney. If they wanted to give Alan some sort of focused beam weapon maybe they should have just given him a laser pointer. Heck, it almost doesn’t even fit in with the rest of the world’s logic, most other light sources look pretty effective on their own and flashbangs can even vaporize enemies outright, but light from the flashlight is completely useless unless you use your focus power?
    2. Normally what you want to see out of video game mechanics is a simple set of controls or tools that can be combined give far more versatility and freedom than the sum of its parts. For instance a movement scheme like 4 arrows and a jump button gives a ton of options to the player and lets him cover pretty much every inch of the world if he wants. In Alan Wake though the flashlight/gun gameplay that takes up a significant amount of the time actually sort of takes a step backwards, instead of simpler to greater complexity you have two things that combine to do exactly 1 thing (shine light, shoot, shine light, shoot) the same way over and over again. You’d either have to scale this mechanic way back until it feels more like a treat (but how else will they justify giving you so many guns and bullets if they aren’t throwing bulletproof enemies at you every 10 seconds) or revamp it completely.
    How about if the roles were sort of reversed, the flashlight was your primary damage dealer but couldn’t actually stunlock the enemy. Every time you encountered a threat you have to start making split second decisions: am I comfortable enough to try and doge around until I’ve killed them with only the flashlight or do I need to stun them with the gun to buy more time? How many of my precious bullets am I willing to use at this moment? If I’m facing a group do I only shoot at some of in order to split it apart or do I try to keep them bunched together?

    • Jarenth says:

      That last paragraph of yours actually sounds like a really interesting idea. Here’s hoping some modders or inventive game designers get the same thought.

      • Dasick says:

        People said this before, but Alan Wake is suffering from serious identity crisis. It’s nigh impossible to make suggestions to improve the gameplay because we have no way of knowing what this game wants to be.

        Is it a campy homage? Is it a pretentious shooter? Is it a straight-up survival horror game?

        Whatever changes are made to the gameplay, they will conflict with one another unless a clear theeme is present.

    • scowdich says:

      The flashlight is actually effective if you don’t use the magical lazer mode, it’s just a lot slower.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      “Alright, I think I’m ready to take a stab at way back when you guys asked why the combat doesn’t really work.”

      Worked just fine for me. Scratched an itch no other shooter could scratch… about six times now :)

      “1. The whole “fight with light” is at it’s best when it is actually answering “how would you use flares, flashbangs, searchlights, car headlamps, etc. as weapons against an entity that can be hurt by light?” However, the flashlight (the tool that forms most of the game-play) falls flat in that regard because the whole being able to focus and having magical recharging batteries is making it feel too phoney.”

      The boosting is explained in a manuscript in Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. It’s not a physical function of the flashlight, it’s a sort of telekinetic event which Alan himself isn’t even sure is really occurring.

      There are a couple of half-baked theories here. Essentially, seeing as how every enemy in the game was actually created by Wake, heightened concentration on the enemy is what’s causing the “boosts” and doing more damage to the Taken. It’s almost as if they are being re-conceptualized. Also, the first DLC has Zane telling Alan upon giving him a flashlight, “It’s not the light itself, but what it represents.” He doesn’t elaborate (of course), so you’re left to guess that it might be faith, love for his wife, etc. that’s actually being focused on and more damaging to the Taken, with light as the metaphor for love/faith and the darkness as a metaphor for evil/hatred/fear.

      This also can explain the batteries recharging. They are not batteries in a flashlight, but energy in the practice of concentration, faith, love, or something else entirely.

      “If they wanted to give Alan some sort of focused beam weapon maybe they should have just given him a laser pointer. Heck, it almost doesn’t even fit in with the rest of the world’s logic, most other light sources look pretty effective on their own and flashbangs can even vaporize enemies outright, but light from the flashlight is completely useless unless you use your focus power?”

      Well, no, most enemies’ shields can be broken without boosting; it just takes longer. But on the subject of those light sources that can actually kill the Taken, perhaps it would help you to compare light on the Taken with heat on you and I. Certain levels do not affect us at all, certain levels are uncomfortable and can weaken us in some way, and other levels can kill us outright.

      “2. Normally what you want to see out of video game mechanics is a simple set of controls or tools that can be combined give far more versatility and freedom than the sum of its parts. For instance a movement scheme like 4 arrows and a jump button gives a ton of options to the player and lets him cover pretty much every inch of the world if he wants. In Alan Wake though the flashlight/gun gameplay that takes up a significant amount of the time actually sort of takes a step backwards, instead of simpler to greater complexity you have two things that combine to do exactly 1 thing (shine light, shoot, shine light, shoot) the same way over and over again.”

      Whereas most shooters are just 1 thing that amounts to 1 thing: shoot, shoot, shoot, over and over again?

      “How about if the roles were sort of reversed, the flashlight was your primary damage dealer but couldn’t actually stunlock the enemy. Every time you encountered a threat you have to start making split second decisions: am I comfortable enough to try and doge around until I’ve killed them with only the flashlight or do I need to stun them with the gun to buy more time? How many of my precious bullets am I willing to use at this moment? If I’m facing a group do I only shoot at some of in order to split it apart or do I try to keep them bunched together?”

      Not a bad idea, I’ll give you that. But switching them around isn’t really necessary. If they had only put less ammo in the game, it would require people to use the flashlight to stun the Taken in conjunction with dodge and run to evade them.

  28. some random dood says:

    Surprised no-one has gone off on a music-based theme (and no, black metal does not count as music >:-P [sorry, deliberate troll riffing off a post from several days ago from Shamus’ disco-days linkage!])
    Anyway, back to the point of this – who’s for rastabilly skank?

    • X2Eliah says:

      Well, there is the group who named themselves after that fictional Red Dwarf band (rasta billy skank).. Having not bothered to torture my ears with whatever that style is, I can’t tell if there are other, more genuine bands along that sound.

      • some random dood says:

        You mean someone has named themselves after that? Wow, I think I am going to have to try to find out what they sound like. Probably going to regret it, but then it’s not as if I haven’t regretted anything else before anyway!

        • some random dood says:

          OK, I did find a band on Youtube (link). Um, a least it looks like they were having fun! (Don’t really recommend it, as it’s a very poor recording; don’t even recognise the language! Also, in the notes, it mentions that this was only the second time they had ever played together. Still, think it fits with the ethos of the music – and everyone does seem to have fun :-))

  29. Jarenth says:

    Hey! I’ll have no talking smack about Gremlins II on my internet. I must’ve watched that movie over a dozen times as a kid, and it’s made me the man I am today.

  30. Dasick says:

    Having finished the epidsoe and upon hearing Rutskarn imitating a Russian accent, I must say that I am deeply insulted.

    I mean, how dare he even suggest that a Russian(!) can sound like a pre-pubescent little girl?!

    I am loading my nuclear vvessels. Prepare for vvar.

  31. silentlambda says:

    Whoa, things just got very Silent Hill for about five minutes there. We had an inexplicable phone call from a missing loved one followed by what I think was a schoolhouse. More homage!

  32. Sumanai says:

    Is Jubilee (real name: Jubilation Lee. No, no hack writers at Marvel. None at all.) really all that well known? When I read comics I got the impression she only really hung out with Wolverine and most Wolverine fans preferred Kitty, so they most likely were reading before she came up. And the few I’ve read from 90s seemed to have delegated her to a “cameo for older readers” role, instead of a mainstay so people younger than me don’t really have a reason to remember her even if they’ve read something with her in it.

    When Mumbles mentioned what she does here on Twitter I later thought that wouldn’t it work better if horror games wouldn’t pick up existing phobias or things that are scary by themselves, but instead pick something that isn’t menacing and making it scary? The player would be fighting with cognitive dissonance so they’d find it harder to rationalise.

    • Sumanai says:

      I’ll have to expand on the “younger than me” thing. I’m not all that old (born in 1985) but I don’t think I’ve ever read a comic from Marvel that had come out the same year and most I have were from the 70s or 80s. Now, there’s no reason why other’s couldn’t do the same, but the impression I’ve got from people online is that most have only read current* comics.

      * Current in the sense that they were read close to the release of the comic, unless it’s a famous piece like V for Vendetta, Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns

  33. Venalitor says:

    Finntroll – Humppa Folk Metal
    edit*
    strange thing just happened. I just saw my steam account downloading a game at 1byte/sec.

  34. Vic 2.0 says:

    1:40 – “So… Running through the forest with a flashlight… This is new.”

    Disingenuity! I’m calling it. This section (like most others) is providing plenty of variety. You’ve been introduced to the flashbang grenade (new) and it is actually your only weapon (also new). That you have a flashlight doesn’t mean a thing *eye roll*

    2:30 – What rule did you invent that said the Taken can’t stand a dozen feet in front of a neon sign?

    4:40 – What do you mean, it was all fluff? What is with this assumption that you shouldn’t have combat in between your cut scenes and dialogue with other characters? News to me. Seems to me we’ve been doing just that since video games were invented…

    5:00 – “Can I just say what a genius move it is for Alan Wake, the one fugitive with all the police after him, to go to a radio station, and have the radio station announcer say, ‘Oh, guess who I’ve got in the studio!'”

    Are you suggesting that Alan Wake had some way of knowing Pat Maine would immediately tell the city he was there before actually speaking with Alan one-on-one, or just that Alan should’ve ran past the station in hopes there would be someone else who could help him?

    You know what. Either way, it wouldn’t be a good suggestion on your part, so nevermind.

    “Going to the radio station! Because it’s cool!”

    …Moving on…

    7:20 – It never says “Things have to make sense”. The idea of the Taken alone would contradict such a rule. However, even if it did say that, it would be referring to what he can write into the manuscript only. Other factors can play on the story unless specifically forbidden in writing. There’s nothing to say that only what’s written in the manuscript can happen and nothing else. Therefore, Alan probably couldn’t write “Supplies were there, for no apparent reason”. However, characters who are not restricted from doing so by the manuscript, can intervene any way they wish. So I would guess it’s Zane leaving all this stuff in Alan’s path. After all, he has the manuscript in his possession, so he knows where Alan’s going to be.

    The TVs do mention balance, I believe, though. And so you have your explanation for why he keeps losing all of his equipment for no apparent reason: He keeps finding it for no apparent reason! Easy come, easy go :P

    8:30 – How is “They keep referencing shit, but they don’t say anything about the things they’re referencing” a criticism at all, much less a “fair criticism? How and why are they obligated to make some statement about The Shining or Twin Peaks? This is just another totally made-up rule, one which Remedy shouldn’t be expected to follow before its even been invented… by a couple of people on the internet. “Rips” and “homages”; you’re the only ones assuming they’re trying to do either of those things, or insisting that they should.

    13:00 – I like how you threw the standard “The enemies are so repetitive in this game” complaint in there just before the game introduced new ones. Very clever!

    At 18:40 you do it again! Right before it introduces the poltergeist Bulldozer. WTF’s going on here?

    14:15 – “You know, when they did this scene in Half Life 2, the bridge wasn’t falling apart on me.”

    That would mean they didn’t do this scene in Half Life 2 :P

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