Derik Badman's Journal

2019-12-19 08:39

I have really fallen behind writing this week for no clear reason, or rather for multiple reasons on different days.

Earlier in the week I was trying to finish up Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. In the end, it was a mediocre game. Dark Souls inspired but without the (thankfully) brutal difficulty or (unfortunately) the real spark of creepiness and originality. The maps were a fun mix of environments, secrets, shortcuts, puzzles, and fights, that you could neatly navigate as a projection from your droid. I liked seeing how the paths and sections swung around to meet each other in different ways. But, the secrets to be found were all pretty boring. You'd find little story bits that amounted to no more than a paragraph of text that revealed little, or you'd find chests that basically contained color customization options. Most of those related to customizing your lightsaber, which was really pointless because other than the color of the blade it is mostly too small to actually see anyway, especially considering how much it is moving around.

The storyline was choice-free, pretty simplistic, and fairly rote Star Wars: gambler ship pilot, old jedis, young (male) jedi, good jedi turned evil who was the student of old jedi. One thing they did really well at the end is a run-in with Darth Vader. Visually he was large, sturdy, and moved slowly with nonchalance. Instead of being quick and agile like a lot of the enemies, he just walks at you looking scary and waves his arm to deflect force powers or blocks lightsaber attacks as if he hasn't noticed them. The designers really made him seem tough and scary (and naturaly, the game has you escape him rather than defeat him).

Watchmen also finished up its season this week and felt hollow. Visually interesting, well acted, and with a plotline that retained a sense of mystery throughout, it didn't feel like it was anything more than an excuse to unfold the mystery and then, unfolded, it just lay there like a blank piece of paper. Sean T Collins, writing at Decider, has a good take on the finale. Sean's one of the few TV critics I read regular, and his piece on the first episode got me interested to watch the show, and, like him, I feel like it didn't really live up to it.