Nearly a year later, featuring Transistor!

010-funny-animal-gifs-dog-slapWell, I think the adjoining image perfectly encapsulates my feelings on my negligence of this blog.  Please don’t send any animals to bitch paw(slap) me.  I realize I’ve taken quite an extensive pause from posting.  The past year has been quite a change and due to a six-month reprieve from internet access beyond a cellphone, I was would have been capable of only blog posts no more than a few sentences in length.  Of course, I could have written posts from my smartphone, which throws tantrums like a two-year-old.  Luckily I have access to a much better phone now, but also my lovely computer.  I’ve been back for a while, but it took some time for me to crawl back into old habits.

So a lot has happened since my last post in August of last year.  New Anime series, new films, games, books, comics, and so much more that I spent nearly three months catching up on six months worth of geekery.  SDCC has recently passed and with it a wealth of goodies that have me itching for trailers.  Legend of Korra wrapped up its story arc last year and not only granted the wish of Korrasami shippers but managed to agitate the fans that didn’t see the pairing coming or are hardcore Makorra fans.  I have my own opinion of the finale, but that’s for a later post and when I’m not running on fumes.

transistorRecently, Steam held their summer sale, which just hearing the words “Steam Summer Sale” sends gamers into a hungry frenzy, hoping to devour the best in PC gaming deals and software.  I admit that I’ve not been an active user of Steam, but I decided this year that I would jump on some of the deals being dangled in front me.  Well, I got quite a few of them.

I’m picky when it comes to choosing the right game.  Some huge names made their way into the sale, like Witcher 3 and GTA V.  While I was excited to see such titles featured, I set myself a goal.  Only buy the games that were less than $8.  I’ll admit that most of my haul was games under $3, but they were some games with pretty positive responses from gamers and reviews matter a lot to me when making a purchase.

One title popped up on the list, a title I’d never heard much about but was by Supergiant Games, makers of the acclaimed action-RPG, Bastion.  I’ve played a little of Bastion and I enjoyed it, so I thought that this game had a lot of promise. Unfortunately, I acted too late to snag Transistor the first time, but luckily Steam gives some of their best sellers a second chance.  One play of the trailer and I knew I’d be buying this game just not for play value, but the phenomenal soundtrack.

In Transistor, you play Red, a famous singer that for reasons not yet known, was to be assassinated by a group known as the Camerata.  The assassination failed, but in the process Red’s voice has been absorbed by a weapon known as the Transistor which is buried deep into the body of a man that we assume was serving to protect Red.  His persona is also absorbed by Transistor, which allows the weapon a voice and consciousness, which leads Red through Cloudbank and narrates our journey.  Red takes the weapon into her possession and uses it to fight off intelligent minions of the Camerata, known only as the Process.

I skimmed through some reviews that complained of the game’s confusing storyline and how so little is explained at the beginning.  It’s a game that slowly stitches the story together, to understand just how Red has found herself in this dangerous position.  I view games much like visual and interactive books, so the plot didn’t so much throw me off as it did for some.  The story is interesting, as well as the game’s choice of music and art design.  It also manages to have a protagonist that is mute, but by cut scenes and interactive items, you are able to hear Red’s voice in its full glory.  Admittedly, what sold me on this game was the song that plays in the background of the game’s trailers and I forked out the extra cash just to snatch up this amazing OST.

The game has been entertaining thus far, a game that allows you two methods of battle.  There is real-time battling, where you hit buttons and sequence attacks, but also try to avoid the oncoming blows of enemies.  Or you can choose Turn() battling, which allows you to essentially pause the game, plan out a strategy whether landing an attack, moving to a particular location or dashing away from enemy view.   Unfortunately the Turn() method comes at a price of emptying Red’s action bar, but it refills and until it does, it’s best to line of sight your enemies until Red is able to attack again.  I love that we’re given a choice, rather than forcing us to a singular method of battle.  If you’re willing to wait those extra seconds, the Turn() base system is definitely a fun way of combat.

And the soundtrack. . .have I mentioned the soundtrack?  Ashley Barrett’s voice adds a perfect ethereal touch to this game and I think it’s a huge part

of what makes this game so phenomenal.  As I played, I realized sometime later that even though Red doesn’t speak, we KNOW her voice.  Just those snippets of music give us enough of Red to understand her need to stop the Camerata and to feel the horror of losing something so precious.  I think I played most of this game with a heavy heart and after learning of Sybil’s intentions and what she cost Red, it made the song “In Circles” a powerfully emotional song.

I don’t want to delve much more into the plot and reveal too much to spoil it for those that might purchase the game in the future.  The plot is interesting, very sad in my opinion, and the gameplay is a hell of a lot more fun that I was expecting.  If an excellent soundtrack and quality gameplay doesn’t sell you, maybe the game’s art style will.  I mean, THIS IS A GAME!

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So if you’re looking into something a little different, I HIGHLY recommend this game.  I can only hope that Supergiant’s future games are just as fun and beautiful.