Video game review: Warframe, Chains of Harrow update.

Today I am writing a critique on one of my favorite video games. Warframe. In particular I will make my very own critique of the latest update, Chains of Harrow, which I recently had the chance to fully experience.

Before starting with the critique I must warn you that the critique will have nothing to do with cosmetics or PvP gameplay. I simply do not feel necessary to talk about cosmetics, and I rarely play PvP, so I never had the chance to form an opinion on it.

The first thing I would like to talk about is the latest quest in the game. the titular quest, Chains of Harrow. As someone who took a major in English Literature in college, I know a lot about writing. And the new quest has solid writing. I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum in case you, my dear reader, have not played the quest yet.

To keep it simple, the quest revolves around a troubled soul that is now haunting one of the main allied factions in the game. Your objective is to solve the issue and unveil the mysteries surrounding a transmission sent to the Operator. The story combines elements of science fiction and horror in a tone similar to that of the Dead Space series, but of course with Warframe’s signature style and story development, uncovering secrets as you proceed through the quest, with fascinating plot twists that only increase the mystery.

As a reward for the quest you obtain a blueprint for the new Warframe, Harrow. Which will be the next part of my critique.

To begin with, Harrow is not exactly easy to obtain. Each component to build harrow is obtained based on almost random chance. With rather low probability of obtaining the components, and them being scattered all over the map, it can get rather frustrating and repetitive to obtain them. I was fortunate enough and got them during the week. Of course that meant it took me a whole week of grinding and wait to build Harrow, but it was worth the effort, and felt rewarding after all. Another advantage of constant grinding is that I gathered a large amount of resources and credits.

In terms of gameplay harrow is a Warframe I am still getting used to, since I just began to play it yesterday. Within this short span however I was able to test his powers and see what he can do. Since I play solo, most of Harrow’s powers are not as effective as i I played on a team. Harrow is a support frame, which uses acts of self sacrifice to benefit him and his allies, especially his allies, honoring his theme of penitent priest.

His first ability is an efficient all purpose ability, chaining several enemies to allow for easy shots. Hs second ability is more useful in teams, where the player may sacrifice his shields to give his allies a boon. His second ability is more useful when there are allies short on energy around, since the amount of recovered energy is not enough to compensate for it, and has little benefit beyond energy recovery. His ultimate in general is useful, but does its best in a team.

The most important question is. Is it fun to play with? The answer is yes. Harrow is a very fun to play warframe, even though you will probably spam his first ability to have fun.

The new weapons, Scourge and Knell are designed to work specifically with harrow. Scourge is overall a common weapon within its category, and very useful. Knell however is a weirder weapon. With limited ammo and its special effect being based on headshots, it is better to use the weapon on paralyzed enemies (Hence working great with Harrow’s first ability).

The next area I would like to address is the Earth visual rework. Now Earth tilesets look a lot more alive, with new environmental visual effects. New background plants and animal sounds make Earth look a lot better than it did in previous updates. There is however one negative effect resulting from that. Scannable objects on the map are harder to notice. With all that many plants covering the ground, it is easier to miss one or two threshcones.

Finally I will talk of the last major change to the game. The addition of dual wield melee and secondary weapons. So far it only works on thrown melee weapons, and probably will stay that way, and they can only be combined with single handed secondary. When in dual wield mode, your thrown melee weapon acts similar to the one in Dark Sector. The player is able to aim his melee weapon and charge the throw, the crosshair will show a symbol which marks when it is charging and if thrown at the right moment, will release a stronger “power throw”. The downside is that in this mode it is no longer possible to simply launch quick melee strikes.

With that I conclude my critique of the new update. There are some things I left out, like new mods, the new Grineer unit, Nox, and melee riven mods. But there is a reason for that. That is, I am yet to encounter them. Well. I fought a Nox, but my Kavat killed him too quickly for me to evaluate him.

In conclusion, Chains of Harrow is a fun to play update, that unfortunately does not make it any different of other equally great updates in Warframe, which means it could be easily ignored due to it being just as good as all the other great updates the game had recently.


Harry Potter is a loser

When I was close to my teenage years, back when I was eleven years old, I was a big fan of Harry Potter. I was fascinated by the many creatures and fantasy element in the series setting, by the fact that the main characters were close in age to me, and by the fact that I found Hermione Granger, back then portrayed by a young Emma Watson, extremely attractive (All you 90’s kids know what I am talking about).

But as I grew older, and closer to other works of fantasy, as well as works in the field of science fiction and horror, and as all nerds do, I began to compare them and even put them to scale for in depth comparisons. Eventually I grew further away from Harry Potter and began to feel a certain disdain for it. My disdain has never been enough to completely hate the books, I would still recommend them, and I don’t regret watching the films. But to be honest, the whole setting feels just weak, and after J. K. Rowling’s constant self contradictory revisionism (Hermione is now black even though the books describe her as pale, in case you didn’t get the memo) and her constant explanations over the meaning of different elements (Dementors are depression, Voldemort is magic Hitler, Harry Potter was basically a Jew), now the whole series feels like a big compilation of allegories and allusions held together by a bland yet enjoyable plot.

When you stop and think about it there are few heroes or villains more pathetic than those in the Harry Potter series.

To begin with the whole “wizarding world” is pathetic. Compared to other fantasy settings, in particular set in 1980’s modern Earth, the wizards and sorcerers in Rowling’s setting are scientifically illiterate to the point of shame, they know so little about science that you could easily get rid of them by using a pistol or throwing a grenade in proximity. In fact they are so retarded in regards to science you could get rid of a room full of Death Eaters by dropping a grenade, still locked, and wait for one of them to pull the pin for you in an act of curiosity.

Their spell casting method is simply ridiculous. At least in the whole Western world, all wizards need to speak pseudo Latin and yell “Wingardium leviosaaaaahhhh” properly, making sure to sound as if they were reaching their sexual climax when saying “leviosaaah”. We are never shown exactly what words other regions use, in fact, if they don’t use the very same pseudo Latin in Africa and Asia, probably they don’t need specific words, which means it is all an absurd and all they need is to speak a word to convey an idea, or even cut the middle man and just think the idea and cast the spell, this might produce compulsive transmutation of objects into teacups by the way.

Then we go to the part that spell casting requires an artificial augment. At no point we see any sort of mage casting spells without an artifact, more precisely a wand. Or should I say pointy stick? And the pointy stick has some complex construction. It can’t be just any pointy stick, it has to be from a special wood, with a special part of some life form, and you can’t just grab any, it chooses you. With all those restrictions I find it difficult for any primitive wizard to discover how it worked, let alone start a whole civilization on it.

Now, on their scientific illiteracy, it would make sense if they were completely isolated from the non magical world, as in Narnia. But that is not the case, these babbling fools with pointy sticks have somehow managed to get involved in non magical politics to the point that they have a currency exchange rate, and often non magical families have one or more magical relative, which means somehow they meddle in non magical affairs yet manage to avoid any form of science, including basic medicine.

Their foolishness however extends beyond that. They clearly have the magic to produce artifacts which could replicate modern technology, they could, in theory, make a device that transmitted audiovisual information and use automated transport, yet they prefer to carry their messages, no matter how important or classified, through owls. And of all the magically enhanced transportation methods they could use, they stick to flying brooms, uncomfortable, poorly balanced, lacking of any safety measure, flying brooms. They might be wizards, but they have the wisdom of a potato.

The fantasy creatures that once fascinated me also turned less interesting as I further studied them and found most of them to be either perversions, remixes, or copies of those in other myths and works. To put it in simple terms, the small winged faeries, which in folklore are basically part of the lowest rank of a large caste of species, are nothing but glorified flies (with the intellect of flies) in the so called “wizarding world”. I never liked Rowling’s elves by the way, they looked more like goblins wearing rags. In fact I was probably the only one pleased by Dobby’s death.

To worsen the matter, the whole spellcasting thing feels really shameful. When the most advanced, and illegal, spells are a madness inducing spell, a spell that inflicts pain, a phylactery making spell, and a cheap shot insta kill spell, you can be pretty much sure no one will make fire and brimstone fall from the skies or summon an otherworldly being. In fact there is no summoning of any kind in the series, the closest thing is the Patronus spell, which is just a temporary construct. No powerful wizard in the whole “wizarding world” concocted by Rowling’s sellout hag mind could handle the might of a single cosmic being no matter how puny, they couldn’t even summon one for that matter. There is little to no necromancy, no undead armies, no revival or quick healing spells, in fact I don’t remember the mention of elemental manipulation either, unless you count making an object float as such.

And the main characters are the worst offenders of cognitive dissonance. Harry Potter is nothing but a glorified weak kid. He for most of the part does little to contribute to his goals, he never overcomes a single obstacle alone. Even when he seems to be “alone” there is someone in the background acting to his benefit. The battle against the basilisk? Dumbledore sends Fawkes to save Harry by bringing the Sword of Griffindor, the only time an actual weapon is used in a relevant way. Cedric dies saving Harry. There is not a single instance in which he was not saved by someone else, even his “The Boy who Lived” title is hogwash. He survived because of the deus ex machina of a lingering motherly love spell. Yet still the wimpy fucker gets all the credit, even his opponents in the story point at it! And he has the nerve of going full Shinji Ikari and complaining about the burden that credit taking gets on him. I am pretty much sure I would actually enjoy that undeserved fame if I was in his place, since because of that same undeserved fame he could often violate the rules and get little more than a slap on the wrist for it until the bad guys got in charge.

And going to the bad guys leads me to my second piece of evidence. Voldemort is just magic Hitler minus the political pull. He is not even that much of a powerful wizard or a cosmic menace, think about it, he died at the very beginning of the story and half of it is him connecting to his phylacteries in order to revive. And his death was the most stupid death ever for a dark lord, a pretty much basic death spell, which he already dominated with almost depraved mastery, backfired because he wasted it on a baby. Of all the things he could do to get rid of that baby or neutralize its possible threat he had to go for the most retarded form of overkill. He could burn the house, with the baby inside, or go right to incinerate the baby, he could raise him as his own child and make a perfect acolyte out of him, he could even just slam the baby to the floor and that could be enough to neutralize it by killing him or crippling him. Were I in his place I wouldn’t even bother, I could ask one of my subordinates to do the dirty job, in front of me to make sure I was not crossed of course.

Voldemort’s goals were so simple, world domination and ethnical cleansing. Considering the many villains that share one or both goals with him, his performance is shameful. The fact that he failed to accomplish his goals but still manages to strike fear with his sole memory makes him look like an abject failure. Even the real Hitler got close to accomplish those goals, and it took a combination of infighting, espionage, intrigue, and a rather uncanny alliance of friends and foes to defeat him and his forces and push the man to “suicide” (Let’s face it, he probably escaped to Argentina). Voldemort had more loyal followers, less spies to deal with, and less organized opponents to deal with, and his actions never caught wind beyond the local British sphere, his villainous spree didn’t even take over a nation, he was more of a school shooter or a local white supremacist than an actual Nazi. Voldemort as both a dark lord and as allusion to Hitler is an abject failure.

And even considering how much Voldemort failed as a villain, he still manages to induce deep seated fear in the heart of all wizards, old and young, even those who lived long before him and probably dealt with their fair share of tyrants. His name, or rather names, are forbidden to mention, and naming him shocks people as much as if one yelled “Cock and balls, and also dick!” in a public square if not more. His names shock wizards more than “Allahu Ahkbar!” before someone gets stabbed to death shocks modern day brits (Which tells a lot about how fucked Britain is in that regard). He is not a cosmic horror, he is basically defeated from the beginning, he failed in all his goals, and still people are afraid of naming him as if doing so would break objects around them as in some parodies of his character. People are less afraid of naming Nyarlathotep than of naming Voldemort, even though the mere name of an old god is enough to damage minds and worlds.

To conclude, compared to many other works of fiction, which I do not need to name for the reader to realize I am telling the truth, Harry Potter is a weak setting with weak characters. In order of making my point clear I will however list works of fiction which make any and all “wizards” in Rowling’s work look like weaklings. Magic: The Gathering, Any and all lovecraftian works. The Lord of The Rings, Final Fantasy, Any and all depictions of Dracula, My Little Pony (Both G1 and Friendship is Magic), Any Marvel story (Yes, even FemThor) especially Doctor Strange, Any DC story, Neverwinter Nights, The Witcher, Game of Thrones (Even though I hate George R. R. Martin I must admit he made a better fantasy setting), Slayers, Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Pokemon, Dragon Age, Berserk, Saint Seiya, He Man, Thundercats, Samurai Jack, nearly any fantasy anime, nearly any fantasy comic or video game for that matter.

The Dangers of Fictional Human Rights

Dan Kanemitsu's Paper Trail

I have written in the past about some of the seductive qualities of suppressing unpleasant speech in my entry titled, The Seduction of the Thought Police.

Below are some points that I made in that entry:

“…when faced with realities that seem unforgiving or complicated, fiction quickly becomes a tantalizing target to control and punish.”

“Regulating fiction and art is never effective, and it never addresses the causes behind violence, but it makes us feel better. We feel we have done something, even if it is futile.”

“Thought policing never stops a person from having evil thoughts. Thought policing makes us feel better. It does not make us safer.”

I would like to add a few more points, specifically about the dangers of introducing real life rights into the realm of fiction and how that can be a losing proposition for everybody.

How would you respond to the following…

Ver la entrada original 1.562 palabras más

Pasta Fun Fact

History Fun Fact!

In 1957 the BBC broadcasted an April Fools’ report in which a family in Southern Switzerland “harvested” spaghetti from the “spaghetti tree”. Showing footage which made it seem as if Spaghetti came from trees.

Due to the fact that Spaghetti was uncommon and exotic at the time in Great Britain, many believed the joke was real and even asked the BBC how to get their own Spaghetti tree. They doubled down on the joke telling them to “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best”. Even some people in high places among the BBC fell in the joke.

I guess the BBC spreading lies was not a modern thing. But back then it was mostly for jokes and not for political correctness.

Vampyric Fun Fact

History Fun Fact!

Vlad the impaler’s reputation as a tyrant could be an exaggeration. In Romania he is held in high regard as a national hero, and most accounts of violence from him are based on claims made by his political opponents.

Most Romanian historians consider his acts of cruelty were necessary to preserve the safety of his nation and his people. And it is generally considered that his acts of cruelty were not much worse than those of other contemporary rulers during conflict.

The idea of him being a vampire is also at odds with his historic identity and his depiction in Romania. Romanian myths tell of him fighting strigoi (Local vampires) and other demonic and pagan forces, and Vlad Dracula was a devout christian, rejecting Islam during his time as Murad II’s prisoner. Contrary to his brother Radu who converted to Islam. In fact Vlad Dracula was at odds with the Pope because, to Dracula, the Pope did not provide enough help to prevent the Ottoman expansion in Wallachian territory.

Vlad the impaler was actually a devout christian who opposed the spread of Islam and the Ottoman empire in his nation and protected his people, not a sadistic tyrant.

Llamando a superar el pasado

Durante la semana vi muchas publicaciones expresando quejas del aniversario de la llegada de Colón a América. Y ahora creo que me toca expresar mi punto de vista al respecto.
Primero, la queja sobre las enfermedades. Ni Colón ni los españoles trajeron las enfermedades intencionalmente, ellos no sabían que no existían en el territorio que era extraño para ellos. Y no trajeron solo enfermedades, trajeron muchas cosas, tecnología, arte, medicina (De solo traer las enfermedades nadie hubiese vivido para contar la historia), gastronomía (Ese arroz no es mexicano, ni la cochinita pibil), entre muchas otras cosas.
Segundo, sobre la invasión. Si, llegaron para ocupar el territorio e imponer su cultura. Pero todas las civilizaciones lo han hecho en algún punto, y de hecho eso fue lo que les facilitó las cosas en América porque las diferentes culturas ya tenían conflictos con otras culturas más fuertes que los invadieron y eligieron ayudar a los españoles a cambio de la oportunidad de venganza.
Tercero. Sobre la crueldad. Los españoles no eran más crueles que los nativos. Recordemos que los nativos estaban en constante conflicto, realizaban sacrificios humanos, y practicaban la guerra de forma ritual.
Cuarto. Sobre la esclavitud. En esa época todo aquel que tenía fuerza militar entraba en el intercambio de esclavos usando como esclavos a los habitantes de territorios dominados. No era algo exclusivo de los españoles y de hecho hasta los nativos esclavizaban a pueblos más débiles.
Quinto. Sobre la genética. Malas noticias señor Robles, Sanchez, Martines, ets. Tu no eres indígena puro, y probablemente de indígena tienes menos que de español, negro, o moro. Te tengo que decir que la mayoría de los indígenas se reprodujeron con los colonos de diferentes maneras y por diferentes motivos, desde matrimonios por afecto hasta violaciones. Así que si vas a tirarle piedras a los españoles probablemente te vendría bien considerar que tu ales incluído.
Sexto. Sobre la culpa. La gente de España no tiene la culpa de lo que ocurrió hace siglos. Todo eso pasó antes de que nacieran ellos y ustedes. No pueden pedir que se arrepientan o paguen por algo que ellos no hicieron. Los hijos no cargan con la culpa de los actos de sus padres.
Esos son puntos que se deben considerar. Y no, no digo que se deba glorificar la conquista española. Pero se debe enfrentar la verdad. Admitir que es parte de nuestra historia que no podemos cambiar y que ya terminó, que nos moldeó como nación y que nos aportó más que solo cosas malas. Si nos hacemos conscientes de esto podremos salir adelante y abandonar esa carga emocional de la colonia. No somos el único país donde los nativos fuero desplazados y convertidos en minoría, pero si no dejamos de buscar en eso un motivo para conflicto, salir adelante será mas difícil. Es por esto que Japón sale adelante y nosotros no.
Japón admite que fueron invadidos, pero no resiente eso sino que lo toma como parte de su historia. Lo ocurrido durante la colonia Española se parece a lo que le ocurrió a los Jomon cuando llegaron de China los Yamato. Los Yamato desplazaron a los Jomon, cuyo único rastro ahora son los Ainu. Y así como a los indios americanos, por mucho tiempo los Japoneses marginaron a los Ainu. Actualmente aunque siguen siendo marginados, los Ainu so vistos como parte de Japón. Y los Japoneses aprecian sus raíces Yamato y Jomon.
Como pueblo deberíamos apreciar tanto nuestras raíces indígenas como las españolas, apoyar a los pueblos e idiomas nativos, y no condenar nuestras raíces españolas mientras apoyamos a los nativos solo en papel y dejamos que se mueran.
Al final el 12 de octubre debería ser visto como el primer contacto, el día en que hubo un choque de culturas que de manera caótica moldeó a nuestras naciones. No verlo ni con alegría ni con amargura, sino como un suceso que ocurrió, nos dio forma, y no se puede cambiar. No fue ni la llegada salvadora del Europeo a una nación de salvajes ni la violación de una cultura impoluta y perfecta. Fue un choque. Y en un choque hay heridas, pero se puede salir adelante.