Patch Notes: The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us has a lot going for it. It's bleak, compelling, expertly crafted with a ton of artistic detail, and it isn't a Minecraft clone or a Gearbox game. While no game can truly be perfect, Naughty Dog hopes that the following changes in their 1.03 patch will get The Last Of Us pretty darn close.

  • Added more of us.
  • Because we felt that - in hindsight - it didn't fit in with the tone of the rest of the game, the button that prompted Joel to dance the Macarena has been removed. In its stead, Joel will now slap his rear end and wag his finger in a "you can't have any of this" gesture.
  • Replaced fungus zombies with shrugging video game designers.
  • That cover of "Mad World" will no longer play over the entirety of the game. The song should now repeat only three times at the beginning of every chapter, increasing in volume dramatically before fading out.
  • Some people aren't into all this sneaking around business. Now every encounter will include an optional turret sequence and/or mech that you can hop into and stomp your enemies while blasting off thousands of rockets.
  • We don't think the brutality of the violence in this game is communicated clearly enough. Now when you bash someone's head in with a brick, every character on screen will remark "Geez, this is really brutal!", including the victim.
  • Reduced the mana cost of Greater Magic Missile by 3.
  • Removed support for the Rez Trance Vibrator. Really wish we had found out about this one sooner.

Multiple Sentence Review: The Raven - Legacy Of A Master Thief

The Raven is what I imagined every adventure game was like before I actually played one, back in the late 90s when I read every issue of PC Gamer despite being too poor to actually own a gaming computer. This is a globe-trotting mystery with museums and old trains and colorful boat captains, an international cast of characters with suspicious backgrounds, murder, butlers, and a red herring or twelve.

King Art also made The Book Of Unwritten Tales, and the easygoing puzzle logic from that game carries over into this episodic adventure. Everything makes sense in a very practical way. If you need to jam a window, you find an object that would fit in the groove. Getting a hard to reach item requires a long tool with something grabby at the end. You spend most of your time casually exploring the environment as your character muses upon whatever you click on. Conversations provide subtle clues as they move the plot along, and (thankfully) your character lets you know when attempting to chat with someone would be fruitless.

While there's a distinctly lighthearted tone at play, this isn't a chuckle riot or a guffaw downpour. Picture something between Clue and Gosford Park, and you probably won't be too far off. Every character is a bit of a stereotype, but they all get fleshed out with a sprinkle of light humor that never veers into terrible jokes.

I'm particularly fond of the main character, a paunchy middle aged dude named Zellner. He isn't trying to save the world, which is novel in itself. The mystery at the heart of this game presents Zellner with a once in a lifetime opportunity to become the investigator he always wanted to be, and he's punching above his weight class to prove himself. The character comes across as a very self-deprecating and fallible man. I like that. I'm a little worried that the next two episodes might reveal more about Zellner and make him out to be secretly gifted (which would in turn make him far less interesting), but with any luck that won't happen.

The Raven - Legacy Of A Master Thief
Solve the following puzzle to find out how much I liked the game - read the number that follows this sentence. 8/10

Ride To Hell: Retribution
Less of a video game than an overt attempt to make you hate actual video games. 2/10

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Almost good enough to excuse the baffling absence of the titular 1992 US men's Olympic basketball team. 8/10

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell (@DennisFarrell)

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