What I'm Not Playing This Week: Fever Dreams Edition
So you probably heard that last week was PAX East. We’re still putting up the last scraps of our coverage from the event, and by now, it’s entirely possible that you’re totally sick of hearing about it. However, you can take solace in the fact that while you’re sick of it, most of the team is simply sick. That’s right folks, it’s post-con plague season, and while mine was somewhat delayed, I’ve spent the past few days sweating through my bedsheets and and keeping everyone on my floor awake with the sound of what must be whooping cough. I speak to you now through a small break in my fevered hallucinations, provided only by the miracle that is DayQuil. We must speak quickly, for it won’t belong before the darkness takes me once again.
Lesson learned: Bring hand sanitizer next time.
For now, though, I’m left to deal with the consequences of my ill-deserved confidence in my immune system and do my best to recover in a timely manner. So in my heavily medicated state, it’s important to keep in mind that my sense of reality is somewhat fragile, and I should be wary of certain games that have the potential to become a reality that would be extremely harmful.
Follow me past the jump, and I’ll tell you which games must be avoided when your consciousness is as compromised as mine.
Pictured at the top of this post is the cult classic PS1 game, LSD. It was never released outside of Japan, so you kind of have to go out of your way to actually experience it, but it’s really something else. As you could probably guess from the title, the game is extremely psychedelic. It has the player experiencing a sequence of “dreams”, exploring various surreal environments with morphing textures and soundscapes, and things can change extremely rapidly. Touching anything will teleport you to a new area, and areas can undergo bizarre transformations before your eyes. It’s possible that the game was designed to be experienced with some exotic cocktail of chemicals acting on the player’s brain, but I will have none of it. Getting committed to a psych ward doesn’t exactly mesh well with my other plans for this week.
Following pretty directly from that line of reasoning comes Noby Noby Boy, brainchild of Katamari creator Keita Takahashi. If you’re not familiar with this PSN / iOS title, well, get youtubin’. There’s no good way to communicate what this game is like with words, so let the videos wash over you until you understand that you cannot understand. Mostly my trouble here is that when I’m popping pills at my current rate, this is already how I perceive reality. The colors, models, and general atmosphere seem completely normal right now, when logically, I know that it’s all pretty batsh*t. Mostly I’m afraid that if I play too much of it, I’ll start getting way too into the idea of stretching my body to ridiculous lengths, or maybe something about space travel. Or I’ll start a cult dedicated to Girl.
Lastly, I promise you that I’ll be staying far, far away from Suda51’s Killer 7 for the duration of my illness. The game is actually pretty excellent, but the reality it weaves is not something in which I have any interest in getting lost. It’s a world populated entirely by perpetually giggling, sinister creatures, a supporting cast of murderous psychopaths, a very helpful severed head, and it’s all communicated in a language that finds itself a lexical uncanny valley. Even healthy, I have trouble playing this game for more than a few hours at a time.
I’d tell you more, but I feel the voices calling again, so I’d best retreat to my disease den so as not to put everyone in my dorm at risk for catching my zombie virus. Any other games in this vein you guys steer clear of when you’re sick? There’s actually quite a few of them.
Other people are still healthy, though. What are they playing?
John “In A Band” Colaw: Okamiden, because the promise of pet wolves in Minecraft has made all other wolves seem totally irrelevant.
Allen “Bones Jones” Park: Crysis 2 because i’m pretty sure my computer’s not up to snuff for it. I’m trying some good old-fashioned Asian guilt to make it better, but it doesn’t seem to be working.