My main problem is that whenever I get the urge to do a full review of a game on here, it never goes anywhere and I'm left with a bunch of jumbled words in a messy beta blog. Well it hit me that maybe all I really want to do is complain about the game?
Not as spry as I used to be, video games are getting more complaints from me than anything else. So here's the idea: Take a game that could probably be reviewed, don't review it, instead focus on what bothered me about it. It's shorter, it gets one main argument across and there's still room to be creative... and so forth.
So here's the problem with...
Stick it to the Man!
...there is a hidden feature! No I'm serious, I didn't know about it, so it MUST be hidden if dictionaries still serve their purpose. Ok I'm starting to sound nuts. Whilst playing Stick it to the Man! I ran into something that will no doubt snowball into talking more about the PS4 than this game.
Stick it to the Man! is a game where Ray, whose character design is seemingly of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters influence, is a chump with a pink hand sticking out of his head after radiation defiled his otherwise tepid life. The arm allows the player to peel loose paper to reveal stuff going on in the background, Indiana Jones it from platform to platform by way of large thumb tacks, slap people in the faces with stickers, but most importantly, see into minds!
No not that kind of mind control. Instead you get to hear people's thoughts. This allows you to extract new stickers to advance through the main story. The way mind reading works in this game is very pretty. Background music goes silent, replaced by the music of Purgatory's elevators, camera pans closer to the subject and the game gets a purple-ish pink filter. And that's it. "That's it? What the fuck why can't I read their minds?" I said to myself early on into this game. Yeah until you turn on the subtitles, there's no way of actually reading thoughts. I'm dead serious. No look at me, d-e-a-d serious. Who made this horrid design choice? Fire them because this is about as broken as a state snack bill.
I mean really, why wouldn't the subtitles for this part of the game just show up anyway. Otherwise, you're just left staring at the character with no indication of what they're thinking.
But ...Oh my, you know what really happened here? This confusion is all because of a PS4 exclusive feature. Basically there IS audio playing when you read a characters mind and surely my TV is fried? Actually it's because the audio is emitted from the PS4 controller. That's right folks, for those of you who didn't know, SONY went with not only a light barand a touch pad but also a built in speaker to pump out select audio or SFX from the game you are playing.
Heh, no wonder this thing runs out of battery faster than I run out of analogies.
So the reason I didn't hear their thought-dialogue audio is because long ago I dismissed the speaker functionality on my dualshock 4 simply by muting it in the settings -- side note, the ds4 has its own menu it's got so many damn features. Which is fantastic [that you can mute it] but then weird stuff like this can happen. I'm not sure if it's on the dev or SONY's side for me to place the blame but if the controller speaker is already muted then all the game audio should come from the TV.
But on the speaker functionality. I had it turned off since it annoyed me in Killzone: Shadowfall where it was totally unnecessary and forced in my opinion. "I am an adult male," I said in a red misty rage, "and I refuse to have my precious fucking PS4 controller be a fisher price toy. I WON'T STAND FOR IT."
Well that's why I muted it [again thank God they let you do that though shit on them for not programming game audio better when it's muted] however long ago. Yet, I like it in Stick it to the Man! Somehow it's been worked really well into this game. It does that, I-CAN-HEAR-ALL-THE-VOICES-AT-ONCE thing when you're not warping into a characters thoughts, kind of like in Futurama. This part of the audio comes out of the dualshock 4. And when you are mind thieving, the voice of the thought comes from the controller as well. Well yeah, it has a rather nice effect I have to admit.
Since this blog post has been very unorthodox, I want to talk about another game called Doki-Doki Universe. Now I have talked about Doki before, but that was kind of a joke and missed a chance to actually say anything about the game.
Doki-Doki Universe and Stick it to the Man! are strikingly similar games. You get stickers from talking to NPCs and use that to chain solve everyone's problems, in the style of that Legend of Zelda parody on Newgrounds "Lampshade of No Real Significance" ... or you know, just Zelda.
Only with Doki-Doki there wasn't much in terms of level design, where this is a platform adventure. Also gameplay was much more basic, hell by comparison the gameplay felt empty. Stick it to the Man! feels like if you took Doki-Doki Universe's concept and slapped it onto The Cave... like a sticker. Anyway, just wanted to bring that up because I loved Doki and everything that made it awesome is magnified with Stick it to the Man!
So again, I'm writing this totally unorthodox today. If my blog series were numbered episodically, this would be episode 2.5. I just wanted a place to put my thoughts down. That's also why -- in case you were expecting -- I didn't talk about difficulty curves mentioned in "episode 2."
And there really is no conclusion here. However I will say that my speaker will remain unmuted only for Stick it to the Man! and I wonder if this'll cause me to run into this unique [to the PS4] WHERE-IS-MY-AUDIO problem with some other game down the line.
Butthanksfor reading! I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back for another installment next Tuesday when we will finally talk about DIFFICULTY CURVES!