Zero Punctuation: Transistor - Like Bastion But...

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Transistor - Like Bastion But...

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Transistor.

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Was that will.i.am when the word "creative" was uttered? 'cause it certainly made me laugh. Also I think the description is broken, it's the same as last week's description.

Something tells me this isn't a HAL-developed SNES game from 1995 as the video description suggests.

Oh no, not another joke about trans-gendered people. Looks like the description is a little off too, I don't think this game was published in 1995.

I keep being interested in this game and checking it out on Steam but that combat system that Yahtzee brings up is the thing that keeps driving me away again.

"Forced myself to play over the last half hour".

That's exactly my problem. I played for 23 minutes before the information overload finally clicked with my brain with a big message saying, "I'm not having any fun". His explanation to all the "function" nonsense is also part of it. The information is rapidfire and I didn't have any TIME to learn any of the mechanics. Then I kept dieing against the second Jerk unit because despite the game "teaching" me something literally minutes ago, it was too quick and leaked out of my head.

I'm too scared to give it a second go. But 20 minutes for 30$ is not a good play-to-cost ratio.

I thought Switch() was useless until I realized that the Cheerleaders would make *you* invincible if you use it on them. Then the game broke.

I think Jim Sterling had the right take. Its a fun game (and I quite liked it) but its not as deep or clever as it wants to be and tries to cover things up by being confusing.

I really liked Transistor's combat. It was pretty unique and, as Yahtzee said, encouraged experimentation.

That said, I agree with Yahtzee about the game's story. Unlike Bastion, I found it hard to give a damn about any of the characters or the world itself. It kind of jarred me that neither Red nor Sword-Dude seemed to give even the slightest shit about the fact that every single person they ever knew was suddenly dead.

Thank you for your insight. Will wait for it to go on sale and mace myself trying to get everything... Though it does sound similar to the issues Hard Reset has...

Huh, Yahtzee confirmed and validated my opinion. I feel strangely content and fulfilled... :p

Seriously, though, I didn't get into Transistor. I loved Bastion and was all set to love Transistor, but the whole game felt like the developers weren't quite sure what they did right with Bastion, but would really like to do it again, so they stumble around, trying to mimic the previous game while not being the same. And it kinda doesn't work...

Everything is just so needlessly vague and feels like it's trying waaay too hard to be artsy. The setting, the story, the writing, etc. It all felt so insubstantial and pointless. Verbose when they should be to the point, uninformative when information is required. The sad thing is, the underlying ideas and setting are pretty cool, but the way they're presented feels pretentious and needlessly obfuscated. The problem isn't what they're trying to say, it's HOW they are saying it (or not saying it).

As for the gameplay, there really is only one aspect of it, the combat. Ok, preparing for combat would be a second aspect. And both of those are good ideas with poor execution. The combat feels clunky, unresponsive, imprecise and just plain isn't fun. The setting up of custom built abilities is a good concept, but the results are too unpredictable and vague and I just couldn't enjoy any of it.

I was a few hours into the game before I realized I wasn't having fun. But I wanted to, I really did, it's just that the game tried too hard, failed to get there and I couldn't help but feel embarrassed for it...

CrankyStorming:
Something tells me this isn't a HAL-developed SNES game from 1995 as the video description suggests.

I think this game is secretly a unreleased HAL-developed game. [insert conspiracy here].
Either that or the video description has been eating to much copy-pasta. I mean, look at all that pasta at the end ofthe video!

It's too bad that much of the gameplay could have been better served by lengthier pacing, but then I suppose the story itself would have felt a bit more taut. I'm glad that Supergiant played on their strengths by making background story an incentive for experimenting with the different abilities and playstyles.

In media res iz nize for immediate engagement in a story, but it's not so forgiving when it comes to tutoring. Given all that, though, the save arena was a good break from fighting and provided a fun locale for practice or relaxation.

I liked it beginning to end and I found the combat of a sufficient enough depth that the end result was satisfying.

Put it shortly: I loved it, up in top list of games of the year so far.

It's definitely a divisive game. I enjoyed it and going through Recursion mode a second time, but the fact that Red is mute for the whole game made it kind of hard to get a bead of her character. Especially why

. Like... that came out of left field. The only time we get any idea of what kind of person she is comes when she's commenting on news posts. "I need to warn people about the Camarata and the process... wait, no, that makes me sound like a nutjob. I'd sink my career."

But yeah, I was groaning at the programming puns after "The Empty Set". Like... did the final boss need to have the name "Bracket"? Really, game?

Transistor is strange. It's a "short game", that I could only play an hour at a time.
The projected combat was kinda annoying sometimes. Like those Young Ladies that would phase if hit once, meaning once you realised, you had to shove in a large strike.

In one or the final encounter, I didn't enjoy my single skill combo (which my build was based around), was disabled because I was like what is going on?!

Loved the game. Great conclusion. It's different from Bastion yet has similarities.

I lost it at "FLOMP"

Hmm, oddly I liked transistor a fair bit more than I liked Bastion, but I can't really say why, both have a similar tone, and as noted, a pretty similar structure. I simply enjoyed the flexibility of combat I guess ( although I did find a few combinations that completely broke the game, even in NG++).

About the nebulousness of the story, I very much liked the sense of digital sci-fi melancholy that it had. Like recovering files from a corrupted hard drive of sorts, and piecing together what used to be there... like some sci-fi archaeologist.

Well, this review basically served to remind me that I really need to go back and play Bastion since I bought it a year ago and just never started it. I'm glad to hear that I can give the spiritual successor a pass at least.

hey i didnt know this game involved programming, im a programmer, i love programming! im a walking programmer stereotype

Please stop fucking referencing transpeople. I am trans, you are not offending me in the slightest and I do not believe that you have anything against us.

But, it is clear that you have a very 1995 understanding of who we are and all this does is start that goddamn tumblr wardrum that will make it a pain in the ass to browse /v/ for the next month just like last time with the Papers Please shit.

And before you guys jump on me and scream censorship; I am against anyone forcing him to change anything that he wishes to say. I am just asking him to consider that 4 people have been killed over their identities and gender expression in the last 30 days. It is not his fault or his problem or his responsibility to make us feel "ok" but I would be eternally grateful if he simply forgot that we exist, at this point..

Fair play Yahtzee, I didn't really like it either.

Karavision:
Please stop fucking referencing transpeople.

It was a pun though. Puns mean less than nothing. Do people really start up on Tumblr when someone like Yahtzee make a pun because the word had "trans" in it?

My sentiments exactly, I also played it for like 40 minutes and then I quit. It's hard to say why exactly I stopped playing, I just wasn't having any fun.

Karavision:
I am just asking him to consider that 4 people have been killed over their identities and gender expression in the last 30 days.

Whoa, what? When did that happen, and where?

OT: AAA publishers, please give Yahtzee something to review! What, are you all scared that what you release will be overshadowed by Destiny?

Fair enough.

I have to say I think I liked the ideas of Transistor more then I liked Transistor itself. More so then the conception behind Bastion even. It suffered a lot in execution though, and while I absolutely loved the in-depth customization the downtime system needed some reworking.

Overall I quite liked it though. The story's pretty good although it definitely seemed to try too hard at points with its vagueness. And the soundtrack is better then Bastions IMO.

The combat sounds clever and unique (always a plus), but the story has some really annoying cliches, such as the amnesiac player character, starting the GAME in the middle of the STORY, and vein intentionally obtuse and vague with the story elements you're supposed to piece to gather. Game story writers, "vague" + "confusing" =/= "smart".

Darth_Payn:
The combat sounds clever and unique (always a plus), but the story has some really annoying cliches, such as the amnesiac player character, starting the GAME in the middle of the STORY, and vein intentionally obtuse and vague with the story elements you're supposed to piece to gather. Game story writers, "vague" + "confusing" =/= "smart".

I don't think they ever implied that Red had amnesia. And to be fair, you're not really in the middle of the story. Mr. Nobody's death is really the only major event that happens before the game starts, and you are around for the processing in it's entirety.

And while I agree that making a story intentionally vague can be annoying, I really did like learning the background of the city through using the abilities.

I still prefer Bastion's storytelling, and I fully acknowledge that Transistor is a much more difficult game to get into, I love it.

Clowndoe:

Karavision:
Please stop fucking referencing transpeople.

It was a pun though. Puns mean less than nothing. Do people really start up on Tumblr when someone like Yahtzee make a pun because the word had "trans" in it?

It's more that his idea of them is very outdated. He seems to think that they are literally switching genders (boy-->girl or girl-->boy) whereas it's actually that their gender (which is their male/femaleness as far as them as a person goes) doesn't match their physical sex; the old 'woman trapped in a man's body' term is basically literal. So the sister in the joke would always have been a sister, she just used to look like a guy.

The reason people get annoyed at this is because the 'girl who used to be a man' thing is often used as a reason for hatred and even violence towards trans people (see Ace Ventura for a good example), a feeling often based on homophobia (some straight men are fucking terrified that a woman they hit on will have a penis because they think that would make them gay). I'll give Yahtzee this though, were his concept of trans people correct that would have been a decent pun.

I do understand your unusual tastes and your right to live your own life, Yatzhee, but I would like you to stop seeing my dad. Dead people cannot give clear consent, and the grave tender wants a word.

Christ know what the fuck mum sees in you.

(from the credits sequence here) "Utopia just ain't what it used to be."
Well, maybe we should have a game where we're sitting pretty in a Utopian society, WITHOUT everything falling apart - or at least not falling apart before we have a full clue what the mythical element that flew over our heads means, Bioshock Infinite.

Clowndoe:

Karavision:
Please stop fucking referencing transpeople.

It was a pun though. Puns mean less than nothing. Do people really start up on Tumblr when someone like Yahtzee make a pun because the word had "trans" in it?

The problem is that puns rely on the meaning of words. The definition of a trans person is major controversy with respect to the discussion about trans people. Yahtzee's joke relies the general public's definition which is based on stereotypes and stigmas. It can be very disheartening for trans people to see uninformed opinions perpetuated and give support to outsiders in deciding who they are instead of letting trans people decide how to represent themselves to the world. Ignoring the social implications, Yahtzee's pun was still shoehorned in just to have a punchline.

THE GAME;

I'm surprised that nobody has brought up the linearity of Transistor. The game is constantly pushing the player forward to advance the plot. You can't do any backtracking or grinding. This makes the use of limiters to adjust the challenge and experience gain an odd design decision. it is not intuitive in a linear game. It does weird things to difficulty curve depending on when and how many limiters you use.

The Plunk:
I really liked Transistor's combat. It was pretty unique and, as Yahtzee said, encouraged experimentation.

That said, I agree with Yahtzee about the game's story. Unlike Bastion, I found it hard to give a damn about any of the characters or the world itself. It kind of jarred me that neither Red nor Sword-Dude seemed to give even the slightest shit about the fact that every single person they ever knew was suddenly dead.

They actually do. In hidden consoles around the levels that flesh out the characters more.

Karavision:
Please stop fucking referencing transpeople. I am trans, you are not offending me in the slightest and I do not believe that you have anything against us.

But, it is clear that you have a very 1995 understanding of who we are and all this does is start that goddamn tumblr wardrum that will make it a pain in the ass to browse /v/ for the next month just like last time with the Papers Please shit.

And before you guys jump on me and scream censorship; I am against anyone forcing him to change anything that he wishes to say. I am just asking him to consider that 4 people have been killed over their identities and gender expression in the last 30 days. It is not his fault or his problem or his responsibility to make us feel "ok" but I would be eternally grateful if he simply forgot that we exist, at this point..

It was a joke, and everyone else moved past it. You're free to not laugh, just like everyone else is.

TaboriHK:

Karavision:
Please stop fucking referencing transpeople. I am trans, you are not offending me in the slightest and I do not believe that you have anything against us.

But, it is clear that you have a very 1995 understanding of who we are and all this does is start that goddamn tumblr wardrum that will make it a pain in the ass to browse /v/ for the next month just like last time with the Papers Please shit.

And before you guys jump on me and scream censorship; I am against anyone forcing him to change anything that he wishes to say. I am just asking him to consider that 4 people have been killed over their identities and gender expression in the last 30 days. It is not his fault or his problem or his responsibility to make us feel "ok" but I would be eternally grateful if he simply forgot that we exist, at this point..

It was a joke, and everyone else moved past it. You're free to not laugh, just like everyone else is.

Amen to that, and not even in the least bit of an offensive one at that.
If the game had been Germonic or something and he talked about it being German harmonica guess how outraged I would be! You're right, I would be 12 outraged.

EDIT: to the 1995 meaning of it where people think that. The person WAS your brother until you (or she) realized fully who she was. The moment they come to terms and identify as a woman then they're your sister. Just like if a gay person has a wife, they were still gay the whole TIME but you didn't know(they didn't know or admit) so it's not like retroactively you should say they were never your spouse.

And now cue the smug, intellectually-insecure people to come in and yell at Yahtzee for using GOTO in a BASIC program.

Transistor looks interesting, but I think I'll wait for a sale on it.

As soon as he mentioned the name, I knew he was going to say "Transistor sounds like a combination of the words trans and sister". Though, he did go on to put some actually funny stuff in afterwards.

marioandsonic:

Karavision:
I am just asking him to consider that 4 people have been killed over their identities and gender expression in the last 30 days.

Whoa, what? When did that happen, and where?

Er, transgender people get murdered for being transgender all the time. It's why there's always a long list of new names for each years's Transgender Memorial Day...and even the fact that people across the world remember them on that one day pisses lots of people off.

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