Rust / 7 Days to Die

Once upon a time there was a game called Minecraft.  It was a game where you could mine, and then craft things out of the things that you mined.  So the name was appropriate, you see.  And I thought to myself “This is all I have ever wanted from a game.  Why did it take so fucking long for someone to make it?”  And then about 8000 other games tried to copy it and all of them fucked it up somehow, so I honestly am not sure why such a simple formula seems so hard to pull off.  Let me collect resources and use those resources to modify the world I am in, and ideally give me a purpose for doing so, and I will start throwing money at you.

Today I am going to compare and contrast two games we’ve tried recently: Rust, and 7 Days to Die.  Both are Early Access with similar themes of “scavenge to survive”, and both borrow somewhat from the Minecraft formula with resource collection and base building and cowering from zombies that want to wreck your shit. (Sort of.  I’ll explain soon.)
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Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Finale)

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

These are good books and you should read them. The final book in the series holds up its end of the bargain and keeps you reading. It has its flaws (and a fair amount of cheesiness…) but it still deserves a five.

I still hate the random misspellings in Todd’s sections. They add nothing. Stop it. I don’t mean during dialogue where it dictates an obvious speech pattern, I mean in his thoughts where any word that ends in “-tion” is butchered into “-shun” for no reason. I got over it but it’s pointless. I still appreciate that every character sounds distinct, though.

Speaking of which, I absolutely loved the way the alien voice is written. It’s a challenging task to take on a language that is intended to be mostly pictorial and then change it into text, but it was effectively done (even if there were some shortcuts here and there). It felt alien. The worst thing about it is that I don’t think it can ever effectively be translated into a movie format. I almost hope no one tries to make this series into a movie because so much of it will likely be lost in translation.

Many of the complaints I had about the characterization of the villains were completely eradicated in the final book – which brings me to a whole new complaint (no, you can’t win). This series should not have been a trilogy. It doesn’t really feel like a cheap cash-in attempt (selling three books is better than selling one after all) but the books feel decidedly unfinished when you hit the break points between them. You need to read all three to get the whole picture and really appreciate it. It was amazing, but I wonder how polished it could have been if it were constructed as a cohesive whole…

Frozen

I started this blog so I could call attention to lesser known or obscure things that I enjoyed, so I try to avoid doing reviews of things which are obviously popular unless I have bitching to do.  Winning Oscars is kind of a good clue that something is popular… but at the same time I have been utterly obsessed with Frozen since I watched it and I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack.  I can’t even explain why I enjoyed it so much.  I grew up on Disney musicals (I have a Disney soundtrack collection.  Shut up.  It’s probably why I have such good scores in Rock Band so it’s not like it hasn’t paid off!  If only there was a Disney Rock Band edition…).  Frozen just struck a nostalgia chord that nothing else has done in the past 5-10 years.  It could be related to the fact that they apparently started writing this movie in fucking 1990 so it literally is a “Disney renaissance” classic, but as far as I can tell it’s gone through about 80,000 revisions since then and in no way resembles their original scripts, so who knows.

I could even nitpick the fuck out of bits of it because you know what, it wasn’t even that good.  There were story plotholes, character plotholes… if you dig into it it’s really obvious they re-wrote the story eight times.  But it was so good.  I am completely incapable of being coherent right now and that’s okay because I am blissfully happy.

I briefly considered addressing the conspiracy theories surrounding the themes underlying the film but you know what, it’s not even worth it.  From the Lion King spelling “sex” in dust clouds (OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN) to The Little Mermaid apparently being a metaphor for transgender issues, someone will make a fuss about something.  It’s like Life of Pi with probably significantly less intention in its potential interpretations.  It’s a fucking awesome movie no matter how you choose to interpret it, for so many reasons.

The characters are amazing.  The subversions of tropes are amazing.  The CGI is amazing (holy shit the snow).  This movie is amazing.

I wish the collectors edition had like cool figurines and shit.  I would so buy it.  Lithographs??! meh.  Maybe for the obvious-cash-in 3D edition they release later…

Alright, I still love this movie but I feel like I should weigh in on some common criticisms about the writing.  Because I agree with them, and nagging about the ways writing could have been improved is kind of my thing.  Read more of this post