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Working Title 08.19.12: Working Title Mini-Rants - Persona 4 Arena and Spec Ops: The Line
Posted by Jordan Williams on 08.19.2012

...is like Nintendo's 3DS First Party Games that aren't Mario....always late..

Welcome to the #1 Column to be in a rush and not really have a good enough opening gag this week, WORKING TITLE! You know what sucks guys? Work. Jobs. All dat shit. You know what sucks even more? Having a job that makes you work at a new city almost every other week. You know what makes it suck a little bit less? Working for a pornstar.


Let's just say that being a security has its perks (like free airfare) but man that shit can put everything else on hold. With that being said this week's column is going to be laughably short and is just really going to focus on the two main games I have been playing when I actually do have some downtime. I know I said I was going to rant about the upcoming Deadpool Game, and I AM going to do it...but it's just going to wait. I am pretty much just going to rant about how NOT to fuck up The Deadpool Game (I.E How not to make it anything like current Deadpool) and probably roll that into how NOT to fuck up Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel.

But since I am pressed for time and you are pressed for time as well let me just fire off...

Working Title: Working Mini-Rant Spectacular: Persona 4 Arena and Spec Ops: The Line

Persona 4 Arena - Goin' in Blind

So I got P4A today due to a GameFly error. I have never played a single Persona game. I don't know anything about the characters, the backstories, or anything. And at this point it's so deep/complex/cray cray that I don't even really want to know.

But that doesn't change the fact that the game is here now, and I like fighting games. So it being a fighting game I figure I'd at least give it a chance on its fighting game merits and see how I like it.

So first things first I had to pick a main. The only person I can even RECOGNIZE from Persona is Chie, and that's mostly due to less those wholesome pictures on the Rule 34 area of the internet. But even then I don't know her enough to play as her. So a few days ago I scanned the trailer for the game and no one really jumped out at me until I came across this fellow.

I later figured out that his name was Kanji. Simple enough to remember. But the only thing that drew me to him was the fact that he beat bitches up with a metal folding chair.

And just like that I found my main. So the first thing I did was go through the lesson mode…which was shockingly simple. My fighting games of choice tend to be 3D fighters and the only real 2D fighting games I play are MK9 and AE. So to see this was sort of the same was refreshing. I have dabbled in other ASW games but that was never anything more than mashing out with Zappa on a GG machine.

So after that I did training and challenge mode. And I have got to say that despite me not knowing the subject matter…this game actually feel and play really well. It has just enough familiarity to where I feel like I know what I am doing and can pull off some advance tech like a Capcom game and no so heavy on the execution to where it feels like I am just throwing shit out and hoping it hits like a KOF match. And Kanji, despite picking him up on sight alone actually is pretty damned awesome. Just dicking around in training I found some pretty sweet ass combos and some nice hit confirms and links.

I did do Kanji's Arcade mode but to be perfectly honest the only thing I related to was the fact that Kanji seemed just as lost as I did and I am sure there were some story beats or something in there…but fuck if I know. The game feels easy on the CPU side, which I don't mind because I am still learning. The only characters that took a round off of me were Teddy and The Final Boss, I even perfected two guys (The shirtless punchy dude and the leather cat suit wearing lady with the rapier).

So so far…I am actually pretty goddamned surprise that I am not immediately hating this game yet. Depending on how I feel I might hop into the Story Mode to see if I can make sense of anything but everyone so far has told me to avoid it like the plague.

I did actually take my Kanji online and played exactly two matches and only won once. Maybe I'll pick this up and give it a whirl but with TTT2 and DOA5 just around the corner I might have to go back to my 3D roots.

We'll see.

Spec Ops: The Line - No, it's NOT my fault.


I've had about enough of your bullshit, Mr. Loading Screen Text.

I know that the big story/turning point was supposed to be the White Phos. Mortar and that was supposed to signal the snap in Walker's head. But the fact that the devs made it impossible NOT to use it sort of lessens the impact of the game trying to throw it in your face later.

Yes, I know that was the point of the Devs to make you feel cheated and what not. But by taking the choice out of your hands and simply making it a gameplay cue to go "Okay, now you're the asshole" instead of making you choose "Alright, I have no choice. I have to be the asshole and I am willing to accept all that entails" sort of cheapens it.

So now throughout the rest of this game I have the game pretty much going "WHAT THE FUCK, YOU FUCKING SUCK YOU MURDERER!"

Now had this been the result of some sort of decision where let's say the Last Stand for the Mortar was hard. REALLY HARD.

Like SUPER DEE DUPER HARD…but winnable and you held out long enough to go ‘Alright, fuck this" and then hit the button to start your descend into dickshit territory then I would've felt a little more fucked up about the rest of this game so far. I had taken the easy way out, and had I just held out longer MAYBE things would've changed.

But instead the game locks that off, and instead goes. "Nope. You gotta do this. Not for some moral obligation or dire situation. Because…we really really want you to do this."

Being railroaded takes away emotional punch. Because that that point it wasn't YOU that did this, it was the GAME that did this. So now you are angry and mad but not necessarily because of the actions you did, but because of the actions the GAME made you do to move the plot along.
Which, again, is what the Devs say they intended is for you to feel cheated in the end. I just think you I ended up feeling cheated more by the limits of the games instead of the story.

BioShock pulled this off right because it gave you the illusion of success. In the end it turns out you had no control over your actions because they did a really good job at hiding the seams through its gameplay. At no part did you feel like you were being forced to do something because the game wanted you to do this so it could set you up later to go "A-HA". "Would you kindly…" was just that. The game asking you to do this or do that. When you looked back and went "YOU MOTHERFUCKER YOU TRICKED ME" you were talking about the character in the game, not the developers.

It all flowed perfectly and seamlessly.

Spec Ops doesn't.

It's limited by its mediocre gameplay which makes it really obvious when because the game makes you do stuff because it wants your story to play out a certain way. You just found a Sniper Rifle? Then you should probably start sniping. You just found a rocket launcher? Better start shooting. All of the sudden the game has removed all of the ammo you've had, frozen your A.I in one spot, put Snipers at impossible angles to shoot you AND removed the once-copious amounts of ammo boxes?

Guess you should fire that mortar, huh?

I mean I am not against linear storytelling, I actually think that some of the best stories are told on rails. What I just don't like is how this story was told on rails and when the big moment comes it suddenly wants to hop on a soapbox and point at YOU (the player) as a monster for doing what THEY (the developers) wanted you to do.

So, no Mr. Loading Screen. Fuck you. This wasn't my fault. It was the fault of being shoddily railroaded into the decision.

I didn't bring this on myself, you brought this on me.

And that is that! Once again there is no Working Question because I just don't got the time!
But I DO actually have a video this week!

Until next time, I'm Jordan Williams…and if The Walking Dead can keep up this good of a clip then it will be my Game of the Year.


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