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Changing Games

I keep a spreadsheet of my unplayed games, so I know I have about 900 titles waiting in my backlog, not counting all the interesting free stuff I have bookmarked. Even if I cut out all the crap I don’t really intend to play (most of it, honestly) that’s still an awful lot of games, and even short things will usually take a while to get to. Games are not static, and can keep moving in the meantime.

Recently I played through Fibrillation, which suits my appreciation for short horror pieces. It worked quite well, though left me feeling a bit lost in places. Beating heart sound effects are a cheap shot for stirring panic but they work. I liked the range of environments that sometimes felt lonely and open, and at other times claustrophobic. The themes came through quite clearly. It probably could have been shorter to better maintain its impact, or maybe I’m just a slow-poke at working out where to go.
(Tangent: On short experimental horror games, I preferThe 4th Wall, which I also played recently. But avoid if sensitive to electronic buzz.)

Look up reviews of Fibrillation and pretty much everyone will mention the terrible voice acting. Except it has now mostly been removed, and my experience of Fibrillation lacks this narration. It’s probably a better game for it, but now I’m left wondering. What did it say? I’m a bit of a connoisseur of terrible voice acting; would it have annoyed me as much as other people? It’s funny to think about how different my experience of a game might be from someone else’s even before we get into the interesting stuff about personal history and taste.

I feel like I’ve missed out on experiencing Fibrillation the way others did. Then again, it was just greenlit on Steam so maybe my version will be more common in the end.
I’m not big on HD remakes, or even expansions a lot of the time. I have a misguided sense of “pure” experience that doesn’t necessarily apply to digital media. I was recently talking to friends about the Baldur’s Gate remake, which I don’t see much need for but apparently it addresses some of what the developers originally intended but didn’t have time to include. The sort of things that were already in the code but not linked in and accessible. I can see why that appeals, but to me the original Baldur’s Gate is the “true” Baldur’s Gate, even if that’s imperfect . I don’t even patch Vampire the Masquerade – Bloodlines beyond what’s required to make it work, and in that case there are good arguments to be made for it being an unfinished product without these modifications.

I miss the way some items used to be harder to come by in Dark Souls, and other elements that have been softened. Like the way curses used to stack, though the developers didn’t foresee that anyone would ever get themselves cursed more than twice, and that was a bit of an issue.

If I play Minecraft again it won’t be the same game I used to explore a mine shaft that scared me when I was younger. Linking old writing is like embarrassing change too, although this post already feels like a stream-of-consciousness throwback.

I’m okay with my version of World of Warcraft not existing anymore. Some things are best as transitory experiences, like street art or a good meal. I did use the mouselook mod for System Shock, because there’s really no way I would have played through otherwise. We all have our limits. But I have arbitrary ideas about when this is okay and when it isn’t.

It’s ridiculous for me to try and fight change, of course, and it’s a strength of creations that they can evolve. This topic pulls me in too many directions to make proper sense of.