Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Stray, Firewatch, and What Remains of Edith Finch Complete


Firewatch graphic since I used Stray last time

Three relatively short games that I finished recently and just wanted to record my thoughts.  I'm hoping to keep this going about monthly so I can keep some track of my gaming here.

Stray was my favorite of the three, mainly because most of it felt like it allowed you to be a cat.  Yes, there were parts where no cat would intentionally do what I did but the animation and the interactive parts felt appropriate for a cat.  As mentioned in my previous post, it encouraged to get Playstation Plus Extra and I have no regrets.  I did die a lot on some of the platforming and I did take advantage of the built in hint system I few times but I never felt like I couldn't do it.  I have limited play time and it certainly saved me some trial an error, particularly on some of the longer platforming runs.

Who can resist a photo op with a snuggled cat?

Above is the loan screenshot I've used from my PS5 (or PS4 for that matter).  I guess this means I can do it and it looks like they've made it easier using the PS App.  Besides the places you could rest (how appropriate for a cat), there were places you could scratch using back and forth paw motions. I have heard concern about having the cat get hurt in the game but, as with most games, I just see it as part of the challenge and it didn't bother me (other than when I made the same mistake too may times).  For the record, I'm not particularly good at platforming and it took me about 8 hours according to my Playstation.  The fact that it seems like I played it longer I see as a good thing.  I definitely enjoyed my time.

I started What Remains of Edith Finch (2015, Edith Finch going forward) after Firewatch but completed it first so I'll include it here.  I saw that it was also published by Annapurna that published Stray and it was a way to see what else they did for free since it was also available on PS Plus Extra.  It had been on my I did take one wrong turn which confused me, but generally this is more of a walking simulator.  They did have creative ways through the imagination of the different members of the Finch family to change the appearance and navigation within an almost completely linear game.

It was beautiful and I'm glad I played it but I am also glad it was as short as was (3 hours for me).

My first photo from Firewatch

Firewatch had the most depressing start of a game I have ever experienced.  It again had been on my wish list for years (published in 2016) and one of my daughters bought it for me on Steam (Thank you!).  Overall I'm glad I played it, but, again, I don't see myself returning to it.  It is beautiful but I did experience some motion sickness from the movement (I did adjust it in the setting and it helped some).  Even thought I used to be primarily a PC gamer, I did connect my PS4 remote to my computer and it felt better playing with it than with keyboard and mouse.

I felt invested in the characters even though, by the end, I don't think my choices changed the outcome.   It was mostly walking around a beautiful forest (for 2016 graphics) and talking to a single person.  However, it was more of a game then Edith Finch because you felt the choices made a difference. I had one issue with the controls in that I would be looking at the map (required for much of the game) and a dialog would come up and I couldn't respond in time because I kept trying to respond rather than closing the map first.  The two characters felt real and felt like they were dealing with real problems, not the normal topic of a video game.  According to Steam I played 5 hours and that seems about right.

Next up I think will be Ghost of Tsushima, another Playstation Plus Extra game.  I'm doubtful whether I will finish it.  When I was younger I'd love to get hours and hours from games like Warlords or Civilization but these days I'd rather experience more games.  I also want to go back to Horizon Forbidden West, a game I do want to finish after finishing Zero Dawn but I'm not in a rush.

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