Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Grandma On Indigo Prophecy: "What the Fuck?"

Grandma took your advice and rented Indigo Prophecy to see if it would be her next game. She was surprised our local Hollywood Video even had a copy, seeing as they never have copies of the newer games until they're scratched to hell by the "Aurora snob-spawn" who call ahead to reserve them and intimidate the poor bastards who work there with a Barrington address. They don't even carry God of War.

Grandma started the game with a short tutorial on how to "fuck around" in Indigo Prophecy. She says you don't really "play" the game, you just sort of ...fuck around. There are a few things to clear up first- you don't start a "New Game" at the title screen, you start a "New Movie." The tutorial explains the overly strange controls of this KOTOR like RPG, but they never say exactly what drugs the designers were on when they made them.

One doesn't have a dialogue menu like in Jade Empire where you scroll down from a selection of choices and press "X" to say it. No, that would be too easy. Indigo Prophecy has a series of short-topic phrases like "See Anything?" and "Advice" from which to quickly select, lest the dialogue timer runs out and you ruin your chances to ask a question. The selections are divided by movements of the right thumbstick. To choose the first phrase, one might have to move the stick to the left, the second one would be down, and so on.

Grandma: "You control several characters within the game, but the need to switch between them isn't very clear; for example- you play two detectives at the scene of the murder; so does one look for clues and the other talk to witnesses, or can one just do both; or will that create like... tension between the two because one partner is hogging all the work in the eyes of the other officers; or should the woman ask the waitress the questions because one is comforted more by a female officer than a male.... The game states right out that each decision holds a consequence on something else in the game, but how far should you think ahead?"

This isn't to say Indigo Prophecy all out sucks; it doesn't. There are many things to which one must pay attention and interact- the voice acting seems excellent, the graphics look great, and it has an engaging story. Already Grandma has made her character die from drinking alcohol and taking medication at the same time, piss, wrap his arm, hide bloody clothes, convince a cop nothing is going on, do the laundry, and drink some milk and a whole lot of water.


"Hey, he's got a MP3 player! ....sounds like Nickelback or some shit- he shouldn't listen to that he's already depressed..."

"Okay, get your band-aids, [Grandma screams] AHHH!!!! Holy Shit, and I knew that was coming!"
Me - "What?"
Grandma - "When he looks in the mirror in the bathroom, he's sees the guy he killed, and it scared the shit out of me and that's the SECOND time that's happened!"

"Nooo..... I can't get the fucking... camera! This is fucking weird...."

"No don't look at the picture! I didn't want to do that! Now he'll get depressed!"

Me - "So what are you doing now?"
Grandma - "I read his e-mail and closed the window. He won't play the guitar."
Me - "Ah."

"What the hell are bonus points?"

This would have been fairly easy to master for Grandma after a half hour of play but the game suffers from a fatal accessibility flaw- there are no subtitles available for Indigo Prophecy. It is vital that one hears the characters speak, and Grandma, even with the headphones, can't fully understand everything being said, creating moments of "No! Wait, I don't know what to say! WAIT!! I don't know what he said!! SHIT!" Update: Hey! There are subtitles! They are hidden though, one cannot select them in the pause options menu, at least not on the PS2 version. The game just got better.

She spent the money on the rental, so chances are she's going to keep trying. If Grandma doesn't buy it I probably will. Without subtitles, however, it's unlikely she'll choose it for her next big thing.


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