dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
Another of the commentfics from More Joy Day 2017, this one for [personal profile] mollyamory. ♥ Backstory: there's a videogame series called "Dragon Age". And in Dragon Age II, you play a human character named Hawke (you can choose a male or female iteration). Hawke ends up super-besties with the dwarf character Varric Tethras, who is a storyteller by avocation, and in his spare time writes books--hard-boiled detective stories, romance-adventure, etc.

In the next game, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric and Hawke are separated. But in some circumstances, male!Hawke shows up again for a particular portion of the game, and it's still obvious that Varric loves him soooOOooo muuuuch.

And yet, neither of the games allows Hawke to romance Varric, the way Hawke was able to choose from so many other characters! Unfair, unjust. And given Varric's devotion and heart-eyes-admiration for Hawke, plus Varric's subtle ongoing sense of loneliness, mollyamory thought that should be remedied.


The Epic Tale of Jeon the Giant (1603 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dragon Age II, Dragon Age (Video Games), Dragon Age - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Hawke/Varric Tethras, Male Hawke/Varric Tethras
Characters: Varric Tethras, Garrett Hawke
Additional Tags: Requited Unrequited Love, Writing, we already know varric writes rpf

Why couldn't the stupid character stay where he was put? No, all that work to get him face-to-face with the bad guy and into a final battle, and afterward there he went, waltzing away into the wilds to...~~do good~~ or ~~fight the good fight~~ or ~~be brave~~.

Screw Jeon, anyway. That big dumb brawny nug-licking Fereldan. That hero.

dorinda: A vintage b&w shot in which one man whispers in the ear of another as he holds him. (whisper)
One of the other videogames I've been playing since I got my console is the "Assassin's Creed" series, in which you climb gorgeously rendered buildings in various cities/towns of the Renaissance (and other times as well), and unravel machinations, and stabbinate people with great style and panache.

I started with AC2, having heard that AC1 was rough and not a lot of fun, and AC 2 starts you with a new main character who carries on for a few games in a row. And throughout the game, Ezio (said main character) becomes pretty chummy with a young Leonardo da Vinci, and Leonardo helps Ezio in his quests and whatnot. Leonardo is an adorable character, sweet and procrastinatey and absent-minded and a genius.

At one point later in the game, there's a cutscene (so I'm just watching casually, my fingers off the buttons), where Leonardo is saying thanks/see you later, and he moves in to hug Ezio. The screen flashes "PRESS X [or whichever] TO HUG". But I wasn't ready, and it only flashed very briefly, so Leo didn't get his hug, and he hesitates and pulls back, shyly. AWWW MANNNN.

Luckily, people who had the same experience re-played the game and put video of a successful hug on YouTube, so I wouldn't have to remember Leonardo's sad face. (A lot of other people get upset about leaving Leo hanging! My people! :D )

As AC2 and the next game, AC: Brotherhood, unfold, Ezio and Leonardo become very close. It was really enjoyable to see. And in AC:B, when they're both older, there's a scene of a really nice tender eyes-closed hug that felt like possibly a reward for those of us who missed the hug back in AC2.

So, I don't just get satisfaction out of solving puzzles or leaping dramatically from a rooftop like a Renaissance Batman. I get all mushy over VIDEOGAME HUGS. Who knew?
dorinda: A black-and-white portrait of a little girl that gradually shifts to look demonic. (demongirl_animated)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 07:57pm on 14/09/2014 under
Today, I got up early and spent the first half of the day industriously doing laundry and household chores and whatnot. And then the second half of the day, I spent industriously killing giant bipedal radioactive crab-monsters. (And sometimes not killing them. Thank goodness for the Save Game command!)

[personal profile] marycrawford recommended I try a videogame called Fallout 3, which takes place in the post-apocalyptic ruins of Washington D.C. and environs, and I frolicked about there for my entire afternoon. It's an open-world RPG, and has slightly easier settings for people like me who are not deft on the trigger.

*pew pew*

A very restful way to work out my tensions while leaving radioactive corpses littered in my wake, without even having to put my shoes on.
dorinda: A black-and-white portrait of a little girl that gradually shifts to look demonic. (demongirl_animated)
I'd been idly looking forward to Plants vs. Zombies 2 for some time, though not playing super-close attention to its scheduled release date. But suddenly, when I opened up PvZ 1 on my phone during a break at Vividcon, there it was: an announcement that PvZ 2 had dropped!

Let me tell you: I love PvZ 1. I bought it technically before I could even play it. This was before I had a smartphone (and before the game was out for phones), and my Mac wasn't advanced enough (the game required the kind with the Intel chip, and mine was just behind that). I tried the demo on the work computer at my old job, and loved it so much that I 1) bought the game, and then 2) would occasionally sign out a scarce Mac laptop from the University's tech center for a total Lost Weekend. I'd install the game and play the HELL out of it every waking moment, even setting up and advancing the various Zen Gardens, until I'd have to wipe the computer and return it on Monday.

But eventually I got a smartphone, and PvZ 1 was the very first app I got. Been playing it ever since, over and over, trying different strategies, striving for different awards, poking at various minigames, etc. Sometimes I open a new profile so I have to do it all over from scratch and re-earn all the plants and gardens and stuff. So as soon as I saw the new announcement, I downloaded PvZ 2, and have been playing on it now and then since Vividcon.

At first it made me nervous, it being free (the original computer #1 cost money, of course, but so did the #1 phone app, like 8 or 9 bucks). What I didn't want is for it to be one of those supposedly-free games that makes sure it's too imbalanced/hard to get through, and gets you stuck in an impassable level until you start buying a ton of upgrades and shit. (Yes, Candy Crush Saga, I'm looking at you. I gave that one a try, and I liked the visuals and sound design, but since I refused to buy upgrades or pester people about it on Facebook, I ended up getting so stuck for so long that I ended up throwing the game out. Not fun. Pfeh.)

Now, granted, I haven't finished everything in PvZ 2 by a long chalk, there's still lots to do--but I've opened the first three worlds by now (Egypt, Pirates, and just this morning Old West), and haven't purchased a thing. I haven't hit anything that feels utterly impossible, the levels and maps are flexible instead of there being only one path to go down, and I've been able to save up in-game currency/points to spend on boosts and things for the tougher tasks purely by playing. I read a review today that says the same thing, that for a Free To Play game (I think that's what that type is called?), it's nevertheless well-balanced and generous. That's how I'm experiencing it too, and I feel much better. (It also, funnily enough, makes me more willing to consider eventually spending a few bucks on in-game purchases just out of good will...I mean, I spent 8 or 9 clams up front on the first phone version, and I'm enjoying this one too.)

Anyway, I'm having a great time, I love all the new obstacles and new plants that keep turning up. Plus for some reason the yo-ho-piratey-concertina music in the Pirate levels is particularly enjoyable to play to.

(I suppose the one thing that I'm not as cool with is that you can't pause and save in the middle of a level and come back to it. That was a feature of #1 I used all the time, and the only thing that made it worth starting a level on a train ride or something that might end up too short to let me finish. Hmf.)

(Edited to add: I mean, you can pause in the middle of a level, don't get me wrong. But you can't save and quit the game, and have it save just where you were. Sometimes I need that--if for instance I'm going to work and have to pause a level, I don't like to leave the game paused in the background of my phone all during the first half of my workday, sucking down the battery while I'm working. But then, my phone is old and doesn't have the best battery life anymore...maybe other people don't have the same problems.)


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