Anyone here played the latest chapter of Deltarune? I'm sure a few have.
Thus far, I'm not sure how I feel about Deltarune as a whole. The second chapter is better than the first on a technical level. The direction of the story is cryptic as hell, though. I know it's supposed to be the "mirror Undertale" or whatever, but what does that really work out to?
Toby Fox's stuff is a weird one for me. It's got a whimsy that can be cute and funny and all that, but I feel kinda lost about some things. There's always sensibilities and choices of words and designs that make me feel like Toby's sitting there giggling at me because I don't get some Homestuck reference or something. Or maybe it's just in-jokey.
>>24844 Gonna be honest, Undertale didn't really speak to me. I get what it was supposed to be and all, but I didn't really find it all that engaging story-wise or gameplay-wise. Maybe I'm just a little intolerant of rough edges, but Deltarune's gameplay feels to me a bit how Undertale would have been designed if Toby had a team back then. Could be recency bias speaking, of course.
There's other stuff on my Switch I probably ought to be playing; I've barely touched Trails of Cold Steel III.
I kind of get where people are coming from with the "anti undertale" stuff but I disagree. Deltarune feels less like its trying to not be undertale and more like its trying to take the parts of it that worked and refine them. Though it probably helps that I can actually stand to play deltarune for more than 5 minutes, given its also an actual game and not a walking simulator slash visual novel constantly interrupted by fights I didn't enjoy.
>>24852 How is it the anti undertale though? Basically all of the theming is the same, as is the basic idea of the world in that its "you enter this place on the left, and must go right so you can leave."
The only part that's really inverse far as I can tell is that Dr puts emphasis on your choices not mattering, where in undertale that was merely a present theme in late game, and not the central idea.
>>24844 Surprising to hear that the concepts were made in reverse.
Toby Fox's storytelling always irks me in some way that I can't really describe. It may be some of the usual 'ew normie junk' nonsense, but even when I sit on Undertale's story for a while it still feels like it's in my face.
>>24857 I notice it more in terms of little details; e.g., the cat and alligator who were friends in Undertale can't stand each other in Deltarune. Fuck me if I can tell if the themes and such are inverted or whatever. I didn't really 'get' Undertale on more than a surface level, if I'm totally honest. I played it through once and never touched it again.
>>24857 It's about you not being you much more explicitly. You can't kill random characters at least in chapter 1 idk about 2 I'm not that interested in playing more Characters show up again, but in different roles The game plays at being dark and spooky rather than vibrant and colorful
>>24880 Oh, and the town mechanic was a thing I thought was kinda neat. I figured it might come in somewhere, though I suspected it might end up being more of a parody of town building mechanics in games than a straight take. Good that I was proved wrong, I guess?
>>24886 >>24887 I'm a bit of a shit about that game. Sometimes a piece of media releases and I look at it and think, "This thing is trying to get my attention", and so I treat it like I'd treat a kid doing the same: by ignoring it. I'm definitely cunty about stuff like that. Like I get an impression of "marketing to weebs" and not an impression of "I genuinely thought this was a good idea and wanted to make it". I've gotten the same vibe from Hazbin Hotel and Guacamelee (though that was an outright good game, just still also had the vibe), not that I think the two things are similar in actual content. From what I can tell the game looked fine for what it was, but contained nothing that wouldn't feel hollow to me.
Like call me crazy but anime-styled art from western devs, sweatdrop, meta humor, obnoxious subtitle a la MGS because the joke is hey Japanese titles amirite it might even have a bunch of things in it that I would like, and it would still put me off
>>24888 I definitely know what you mean; I get that feeling a lot. What I can say is that once you've identified it, it's not necessarily a reason to reject something out of hand; it should just be one factor among many in consideration. Always take a moment to deliberately un-see the marketing, and then ask yourself if you might still be interested.
Sometimes the answer is still "no". But at least you'll have given it a fair shake.
>>24888 There's a lot of things in the game that make me roll my eyes at times, but I don't really care all that much about being 'pandered to' or whatever. I just like the atmosphere. And it's really fucking cosy to play. I can't think of run-of-the-mill VNs that have been like that for me.
>>24888 I find some of the stuff a little cringy but it was made in earnest by people who very much loved the early 4chan culture and who really, really appreciate the atmosphere, music and art of many of these early VNs. I'm willing to overlook some of the excess when it comes from a place of genuine affection.
>>24894 >early 4chan Eh, not sure I see it. Circa 2010-and-later-ish, maybe? Also, probably planted largely somewhere in the /a/-/jp/ axis.
>early VNs If we're talking like PC-98, then even that's kind of off the mark. A lot of the music doesn't bear much resemblance to that style or period. If they were going for that particular aesthetic, the music would have been really heavy on FM synthesis. The art would also be half dithering.
Not that any of that detracts from anything. I'm not super, super into the whole 'cyberpunk' thing — it tends to make me roll my eyes more often than not — but VA-11 Hall-A is irreverent enough with its setting that it's actually interesting. Probably in part because of how sparing the game is with information outside of what the characters provide and what you can immediately observe. Makes me want a game where you do more than bartend in the same universe.
By the way, does anyone know any other cosy games like VA-11 Hall-A? I don't get much into VNs, especially not 'pure' ones that don't feature any gameplay beyond selecting dialogue options. I come here for that.
>>24890 I'm not sure I know how to 'un-see the marketing'. How exactly does one do that? Maybe I'm just not cynical enough. Asking in earnest because >>24888 reminds me of how little criticism of media I do.
Anyone know any good books on looking at media critically? Or just reasoning about things generally?
>>24906 >How exactly does one do that? Just don't update your expectations based on it; pretend as though you understood nothing except the fact that you were advertised to in a certain way, and try to be objective about how much that really matters. Pretend that the marketing was targeted towards "someone else"—take the outside view, basically. Only form your judgements once you have some actual knowledge about the gameplay.
This isn't really a strategy for media criticism, since the point is specifically not to engage with every single detail that might seem relevant. It's just my strategy for finding things that I might care about.
>Or just reasoning about things generally? To be honest, there are things I could link but they would make me look like a crank, so instead I'll just give a very broad tl;dr: assign weights to your evidence, compare it with what you would have expected otherwise, and make sure it actually falls within the scope of what you're trying to reason about. Proportionality is everything.
>>24922 >Only form your judgements once you have some actual knowledge about the gameplay. Not sure I can really do that. Like, something's gotta pull me in first before I'm even aware of it, and knowing about gameplay and dry factual stuff just kinda... doesn't? I dunno. I guess it's just hard to ignore why I care about something to assess it neutrally.
>I could link but If it's not against the rules, why not? You're anon. Others' opinions of you don't matter a whit.
Anyway, I honestly didn't understand your explanation. I read the words and got them as pieces, but that was kind of where comprehension stopped for me. It's like... something I can't really internalise?
>>24930 >I guess it's just hard to ignore why I care about something to assess it neutrally. That's not really it. You have to care one way or another in the first place to form any kind of judgement. It's just that your goal is to increase the likelihood of having a good experience, and decrease the likelihood of missing out on what could have been a good experience. This means acknowledging what you feel about any particular detail; but then evaluating whether it really needs to be a dealbreaker, or if it can be subsumed together with other details into a single wider point that can be sort of isolated from everything else—again, this is prior to actually playing the game or watched or read the whatever, so you're trying to treat these feelings as potential evidence, rather than coming to an overall impression.
Basically, when you smell shit, don't go purposefully looking for more, especially not in the same general place. It occupies just as much of your attention, and so you care just as strongly, as if you'd just acknowledged it and then continued to examine whatever it is you're examining from another direction instead; but the latter gives you more useful information (and therefore information which you should care more about) because it's less correlated with the information you already had.
Afterwards, once you're actually engaging with the core thing itself, go hog wild; go where your nose leads you. It might turn out well; it might not. But now you have one more point of data that you can use to moderate your expectations the next time around.
>If it's not against the rules, why not? Because it would be low-quality information; most of it I don't actually endorse or don't endorse very strongly and the externalities would outweigh the intended messaging. But now that I've hemmed and hawed about it at such length I suppose I've done the due diligence: https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/original-sequences#Death_Spirals_and_the_Cult_Attractor The linked section is the most directly relevant; though you may find worth while exploring elsewhere.
>>24933 >lesswrong You know, I was actually asking after this kind of thing because, in short succession, I recently stumbled over that way and also found out it's a gathering point for transhumanists and other oddballs. Thinking better is cool and all; it just seems to be hard to find resources that don't come with weird baggage online.
Anyway, apparently VA-11 Hall-A has links to another game I've never played, and there are secrets in the game that are kind of contingent on that. I only know this because of the wiki. That's a little annoying to me, even if it's not incredibly weird nowadays. It's one thing if it's knowledge between sequels in a series; it's another if it's between technically unrelated series.
So, I'm in an odd spot. I actually quite enjoyed watching playthroughs of Undertale and Deltarune, but the only part of either game I've bothered to play was Deltarune chapter 1.
Honestly, both feel to me like they're more of an experience than they are a game. Aside from quite enjoying the Jevil secret boss, the gameplay of the series is just... there. Decent enough not to be irritating, but also not something I'd bother with if not for the story and characters involved. This is probably why I'm content to watch the games rather than play them (not something I typically do).
And on that note, I don't think Deltarune really stands without Undertale. A lot of the tension and mystery in the story comes from knowledge of Undertale, like Kris/Chara and Ralsei/Asriel. Without that, I'd be much less interested.
>gameplay of the series It's weighted pretty heavily towards a niche subset of people who like shmups and the Megami Tensei talking system. If you're not a fan of either, well...
>I don't think Deltarune really stands without Undertale. It's not meant to. Pretty sure it says on the official site that you ought to have played the previous game before playing it. I know it was mentioned somewhere.