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The Sunday Papers | Rock Paper Shotgun


Sundays are for indulging in a Walkers grab bag. Before you reach in, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on Polygon, Harri Chan wrote about the Impossible Quiz and how it helped them learn to collaborate. You know me, I’m a sucker for a nostalgia trip and this hits the mark. It’s a look back at an infuriating Flash game called “The Impossible Quiz” and how it took over Harri’s class, first making them rage, then encouraging comradery as they worked together to beat it. This piece is also one part of Polygon’s Computer Lab week, which is filled with other fun bits too. Definitely worth a look!

It was a bit of a phenomenon in class. At any given point, there could have been eight children on different computers playing The Impossible Quiz, young minds at work. We were always trying to see who could make it the furthest. While this was competitive, it also resulted in a strange group collaboration. Because the questions made no sense to us, the only way to move forward was to memorize as many correct answers as we could. By watching each other play, we learned the answers to riddles and practiced memorizing them. I remember playing The Impossible Quiz while another kid coached me on the answers over my shoulder, telling me when to strategically use my skip arrows. (Spoiler: This would later bite us in the butt when the last question required using all seven skips.)

For Eurogamer, Christian Donlan wrote about how it turns out he’s been training for MultiVersus since he was born. An interesting perspective on MultiVersus I hadn’t considered in my MultiVersus open beta impressions. Perhaps it leans on history to compensate for a lack of Nintendo polish?

The second reason goes in the opposite direction a little. You can play as Bugs Bunny in MultiVersus. And Batman. And Shaggy from Scooby Doo. This makes a real difference. It makes the game – for a person like me in their 40s – particularly easy to get into. I know Bugs Bunny. I know Batman, and Shaggy, and Wonder Woman. And this means that I have a strong idea of how they’re going to express themselves on the battlefield.

On PC Gamer, Tyler Colp spoke to the masterminds behind NieR: Automata’s church mystery. If you’re unfamiliar with the church debacle, Alice O’s post is a must-read. Colp’s chat digs deeper into why they bothered misleading folks and how they did so.

“I’ve been tinkering with games for years now while learning programming and reverse-engineering, jumping from one game to another, but the Nier series is the one I have stuck to the longest now,” Wolf said. “I believe it’s because the community is so dedicated no matter how small (compared to others), and nobody was working on making modding tools before! So I thought that had to change!”

Miguel Penabella contemplates the Forza Horizon series and its depiction of a “dream life” for Haywire Magazine. A great summation of the dreamy fantasy the Forza Horizon series represents.

In addition, the handful of “showcase events” provide moments of scripted spectacle, akin to planned moments in a vacation like witnessing the Eiffel Tower light up after dark or catching the sunset over Santorini. These might find players cutting through farmland towards the sight of hot air balloons taking off in the distance, or barreling up a craggy coastline as a storm kicks up over the Mediterranean. What the game seeks to convey in such moments is a particular feeling of being centered, capturing experiences that feel glamorous, cinematic, and romanticized. Unconcerned with competition, many events emphasize driving rather than winning: “Finish in the top 3” or “Drive the Huracán to the festival!” the game excitedly commands players. In this sense, Forza Horizon 2 resembles the sunnier flipside to the nocturnal 2015 Need for Speed, another game that deemphasizes competition in favor of simply cruising with friends, capturing the feeling of youthful freedom.

Music this week is Arpeggio by Alexandros. Here’s the YouTube link and Spotify link. Judgment’s opening song happens to be excellent.

That’s it for now, catch you next week folks!

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