Stolen Pixels #248: HI MOM!

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Stolen Pixels #248: HI MOM!

Some people just try a little bit too hard.

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HE IS BACK!!!!!!!!
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
*ahem* excuse me. Anyway, good to see he's as hilarious as ever after his absence.

That ad campaign was sooooooooooo shitty. But if you're going to reference gaming news from months back from after you went on hiatus, you have a lot of material to work with. :)

Dead Space 2 may not be very scary...But managing your limited resources does still make for a tense experience.

I like that feeling. I got it from RE4, and even 5. Until you beat 5 and unlock infinite ammo. Or get the uber-weapons for RE4.

I would never call RE4 scary. And *especially* would never call RE5 scary.

But I love the tension of managing a limited ammo reserve and running away from OHKO melee enemies like the chainsaw guys and the more powerful necromorphs.

TBF, playing Amnesia would kill most of us. Nearly did away with me.

There's an art to horror that so many people think is purely gore. Gore itself isn't scary, it's just red.

Alfred Hitchcock:
Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.

The worst thing you can ever do in horror is bore someone. Unless it's with a drill.

Amen to this; but then again Dead Space 2 has to grab the attention of people; in order to make its investment back whereas Amnesia needed to sell way less copies to make it into the green marker. That, of course, doesn't matter to us who just want a good AAA horror title, but for now; I'm still loving Amnesia and Penumbra both by Frictional Games.

Good to see your comics again too; it was a empty spot in my internet viewings for too long.

Q: Necromorph, did you ever scare ANYONE?
A: I made your mom scream pretty loud last night!

Dead Space is "Survival-Action" rather than "Survival-Horror". Actually, most games are "Survival-Action".

If thats not a genre, it is now.

A silly marketing campaign.

Kind of a dull joke. In fact, as a fan of funny webcomics I find this comic kind of odd. There are these flashes of brilliance mixed in with face-slapping dullness. The humor is so mechanical that there's no sense of a buildup or a punchline. Look at panel. Read text. Wait for punchline to show up. Go back to what you were doing. After a while it's just routine. It's not just NOT funny, it's actually boring.

Shamus Young: Nice try. Fun little comic. But if you think this is funny then reading Penny Arcade would probably kill you.

From laughter.

If the gaming industry at large, or any fraction of it, starts to learn from Amnesia, we'll be in a much better place.

The first half of the return trip to Ishimura almost made me crap my pants. It's quite unnerving.

Y'know, I didn't really have a problem with those ads. Sure, they were dumb on several levels, but how is that any different from the usual run of TV ads? Commercial breaks are hardly known for their intelligent discourse. Besides, seeing the reactions of middle aged women to current-gen video game violence was hilarious.

As for the game itself... eh, it had some good bits.

I like the raptor-ish monsters. They actually acted like they were hunting you. Although sadly it was undermined by the game giving me a selection of great big fuck-off guns and a magical please-stand-still-while-I-cut-your-legs-off machine.

And one scene actually managed to make me a bit sad. ("Isaac, you bastard!")

But the best bit far was the eyeball scene. You know the one I mean. I found that even better then the finger scene in Heavy Rain.

I'm not sure if those few highlights were enough to make the game worth getting though.

Shamus Young:
Playing Amnesia: Dark Descent would probably kill you

If I had Josh, you, Mumbles and Rutskarn to play it with I don't think I would die from it.
I tried the Amnesia demo and quit after 10mins, but watching your Spoiler Warning special of Amnesia it would be possible to for me to watch it all through the end xD

So I guess because of your hiatus, you're going to do old stories?

Awesome!

I take it it wasn't an april fool's joke? Sweet!
Welcome back, hopefully you won't stop for a while more!

This advertisement is incredibly insulting because it implies that mothers are...

1) Stupid
2) Naive
3) Gullible
4) Uninformed
4) Etc., etc., etc.

Furthermore, this commercial also feeds into the popular "I had sex with your mother" insult that is popular among many young men and boys. Apparently the idea that someone's mother is smart enough to REJECT the sexual advances of the person doing the insulting is not even considered. So of course, she also wouldn't be smart enough to understand and dismiss the gratuitous gore and violence of a game like Dead Space.

Honestly, I think "Amnesia: The Dark Descent" is an interesting game, but overrated. It does as many things wrong as "Dead Space 2" does, just in the opposite direction.

I think the problem is ultimatly that nobody wants to make truely scary games, because being scared is an unpleasant experience, which only certain people can appreciate, and horror has ALWAYS gotten a lot of backlash. I look back to the UK's "Video Nasties" thing in the 1980s as an example (dealing with movies).

As a result they either go entirely in the direction of "cereberal horror", or over the top with ridiculous gore and violence, making it so unbelievable that it's hard to take seriously. It's sort of like how Yahtzee talked about how easily all the models came apart in "Dead Space 2" in his review, that detachment was intentional I think, as making a more... dare I say "Visceral" experience would risk generating criticism of a sort they aren't creating or controlling themselves (like happened with their ad campaign).

Developing a good horror game is going to involve matching the atmosphere, pacing, and psychology with a rewarding, shocking, and fairly realistic (for the fantastic situation) combat system. What's more, someone needs to take a list of things that make people uncomfortable, like satanism, graphic torture, rape, child murder, and similar things and consider that as a checklist of things that should be in such games. You WANT to push people's buttons, that's the entire idea, and why it's horror. There are going to be people offended by any good work of horror, and that's something producers and creators just have to get used to.

I'd be very interested to see what kind of a collaberation between the old "Team Silent" crew and "Bioware" to create a horror themed RPG would turn out like.

While not very successful, Bethesda's "Dark Corners Of The Earth" game was interesting enough where I would like to see them re-visit the genere as well.

Someday I got to return to Amnesia. Bought it in sale from Steam, played the first 15 minutes and went away pretty shaken just for not having met a single enemy. The tension was building up so much I had to get away.
Seriously.
Luckly these ads don't arrive in Italy. At least we have something good...

lesterley:
This advertisement is incredibly insulting because it implies that mothers are...

1) Stupid
2) Naive
3) Gullible
4) Uninformed
4) Etc., etc., etc.

Furthermore, this commercial also feeds into the popular "I had sex with your mother" insult that is popular among many young men and boys. Apparently the idea that someone's mother is smart enough to REJECT the sexual advances of the person doing the insulting is not even considered. So of course, she also wouldn't be smart enough to understand and dismiss the gratuitous gore and violence of a game like Dead Space.

I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that you're a mother.

Oi. With the Dead Space 2 bashing again. I thought it was an excellent game overall. Yeah, that portion of the marketing campaign was obnoxious, but guess what? You remember it, don't you? Then the marketing worked, didn't it?

Dead Space 2 wasn't really scary. Yeah, we know. It was more of an action game. Yeah, we know that, too. Is it fun? Well, I thought so. So what if it's effectively a shooter that has mutated corpses as the enemies instead of a generic terrorist/soldier type?

The problem again is people thinking that their expectations should shape reality. I understood the hue and cry about the original Dead Space: it was marketed as a survival horror game, but DS2? You should know by now what you're buying-- an action game in a horror setting.

Shamus Young:
The Extra Credits guys have already explained why the Dead Space 2 "Your mom hates this" campaign was a stupid, irresponsible idea. So did I.

Whereas ENN just kinda made fun of it.

solidstatemind:
Oi. With the Dead Space 2 bashing again. I thought it was an excellent game overall. Yeah, that portion of the marketing campaign was obnoxious, but guess what? You remember it, don't you? Then the marketing worked, didn't it?

Problem: We remember the marketing campaign, NOT THE GAME.

Someone's a bit late to the party.

Your "wild guess" would be wildly wrong. I have no children and never will.

It's nice to see that last week's Stolen Pixels wasn't a one-shot return. It's not that I don't like your other stuff, it's excellent, but I missed SP :)

It seems you were expecting a scary game, but maybe they were not out to create a "scary game", but a Sci-Fi action game were you shoot at ugly, freakish monsters.

Just trying to broaden the perspective here.

[edit]
Though I must admit that this argument of "It's not scary!" is starting to annoy me a bit. It reminds me of the Doom 3 bashing back when it was released. Sometimes you have to take and experience a game for what it is, and not for all the expectations you put into it for whatever reasons.

My brain insists that the necromorph speak in Jeremy Petters' voice from the Basement videos from LRR.
It doesn't make any sense.

Ehm... Excuse me but.

*SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* SHAMUS IS BACK! SUN SHINES AGAIN!AND IT'S NOT JUST APRIL FOOLS!

Now wild fangirl creepy vibe off.

Does it not seem highly illogical to advertise a game and presenting why a mother should hate it to the audience that is going to ask their mothers for money to purchase said game?

Nice to have you back in a full capacity Shamus, we missed you!

admittedly I'm not one for any form of "scary" so I haven't gotten into Dead Space yet, but I take the word of experts of "horror" and leave it at that haha

poiumty:
Kind of a dull joke. In fact, as a fan of funny webcomics I find this comic kind of odd. There are these flashes of brilliance mixed in with face-slapping dullness. The humor is so mechanical that there's no sense of a buildup or a punchline. Look at panel. Read text. Wait for punchline to show up. Go back to what you were doing. After a while it's just routine. It's not just NOT funny, it's actually boring.

Shamus Young: Nice try. Fun little comic. But if you think this is funny then reading Penny Arcade would probably kill you.

From laughter.

Glad to see someone express this. These comments seem to suffer from Vampires Suck Syndrome: People are saying it's funny not because it's actually funny, but because it makes fun of something they don't like.

I can't say that I agree with Shamus on Amnesia. It's not scary to me. It just makes me really nervous.

Taking away any way to defend myself and then putting me in a pitch black room just, like I said, makes me nervous. Not scared.

Worrying about when a monster is going to show up in Dead Space 2 is scary. Waiting for a monster to show up in Amnesia is not because you know when it's going to happen - almost always after you find some important part or solve a puzzle.

I agree with most of the pro-Dead Space 2 points in these comments, and really think the gaming press need to shut up about that ad campaign. They were the ones who blew it all out of proportion, instead of leaving it be as a silly ad.

Lol

But in all seriousness I did find Dead Space 2 scary...mainly cause I'm a massive pussy. I have never seen a horrer movie either.

lesterley:
This advertisement is incredibly insulting because it implies that mothers are...

1) Stupid
2) Naive
3) Gullible
4) Uninformed
4) Etc., etc., etc.

Furthermore, this commercial also feeds into the popular "I had sex with your mother" insult that is popular among many young men and boys. Apparently the idea that someone's mother is smart enough to REJECT the sexual advances of the person doing the insulting is not even considered. So of course, she also wouldn't be smart enough to understand and dismiss the gratuitous gore and violence of a game like Dead Space.

I don't really enjoy the whole I had sex with your mother jokes...I like the your momma so [insert x variable] that she [insert y variable].
Your momma so old that she knew burger king when he was a prince always has me break down in tears of laughter if the right person says it.
Your momma so nasty she makes right guard turn left!
Your momma so poor that when she was kicking a can down the street I asked her what she was doing and she said "moving"
Jolly good fun, my mom even knows a few classics.
The sacrifices you women make to be mom's always has wowed me. But of all of them I think what homonal teens say should be in last place.

You know, I think this comic would still be good if it was only the first speech balloon. Not even the panel, just the balloon. A big monster shouting 'RAWR! THIS IS A SCARY GAME!' summons my thoughts on the franchise brilliantly.

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