September 2015 News

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newsletter
2015-09-012021-01-04 finished certainty: log importance: 0


This is the Sep­tem­ber 2015 edi­tion of the Gw­ern.net newslet­ter; pre­vi­ous, . This is a sum­mary of the re­vi­sion-his­tory RSS feed, over­lap­ping with & ; brought to you by my donors on Pa­treon.

Writings

Media

Books

Non­fic­tion:

Film/TV

Live-ac­tion:

Ani­me:

Other Media

  • : 2012 turn-based tac­ti­cal strat­egy (i­so­met­ric 3D) game; on Steam for Lin­ux. You kill aliens. Heavy on the at­mos­phere and moody graph­ics, with many spe­cial effects and lit­tle cut-scenes. As a tac­ti­cal strat­e­gy, it has weak­ness­es; units must be trained & up­graded over many mis­sions so they are worth their weight in gold, one-shot kills are al­ways pos­si­ble, get­ting in the first shot is crit­i­cal, and the level lay­out has the stan­dard mech­a­nism where clus­ters of aliens are trig­gered when one moves, all of which com­bine to force on you an ex­tremely con­ser­v­a­tive game­play style where you move as slowly as pos­si­ble through the level with all your sol­diers al­ways in cov­er, lest you trig­ger 3 or 4 groups of aliens si­mul­ta­ne­ously and lose one or more near-ir­re­place­able units. It is quite an in­cen­tive to re­load lev­els that go badly and one well-placed en­emy or even-s­light­ly-ag­gres­sive move costs you 2 or 3 elites of your squad (I did­n’t re­load… much.) As such, the snipers level up with the great­est of ease as they do most of the killing, and they only get more over­pow­ered when Archangel ar­mor is de­vel­oped and they can now shoot across al­most en­tire lev­els with­out hav­ing to move! The lev­els them­selves are not too imag­i­na­tive ei­ther, with all of them boil­ing down to search-and-de­stroy in lev­els which are copies of each oth­er, even the hostage-res­cue and bom­b-de­fus­ing mis­sions (where the best strat­egy seems to be to, yes, just killing the aliens as fast as pos­si­ble). Tech up­grades are doled out spar­ing­ly, so that one only gets the funnest weapons like the Ghost ar­mor (tem­po­rary in­vis­i­bil­i­ty) or Blaster Launcher (rock­ets that go around cor­ners) as the game is end­ing. (Hold­ing Ghost ar­mor un­til the end is par­tic­u­larly un­for­tu­nate, since it helps re­duce the in­cen­tive for ul­tra­-con­ser­v­a­tive ex­plo­rations and the 4-turn limit makes it a chal­lenge to use op­ti­mal­ly.) I have to con­trast the tac­ti­cal strat­egy as­pect of XCOM un­fa­vor­ably to the last game I was play­ing, : units can be risked in gam­bits and at­tacks be­cause los­ing them is not so dev­as­tat­ing, the first-at­tacker still has a huge ad­van­tage but this makes for in­ter­est­ing am­bushes and tac­tics rather than forc­ing pas­siv­i­ty, and since the en­emy is al­ways in mo­tion, you are con­stantly un­der pres­sure to act too. Over­all, I en­joyed it, but don’t feel any need to play it again.

Music

Touhou:

Dou­jin:

  • “youth­ful” (スズム; 青春の味と空論の君 {C84}) [in­stru­men­tal]