Sunday, August 24, 2014

Antichamber - 20/20 hours

So, going for 100% completion was a bust. I had two secret chambers left to discover, but I'd already been to each at least a half dozen times, so I managed to hold off using a guide for like a minute and a half. Turns out, the puzzle on the first secret was trivial, but it's location on the map was misleading, and the second puzzle, I had actually figured out, but it relied heavily on random chance, and thus I thought that my solution was wrong, when in fact it was just a poorly designed puzzle. It took me less than a half hour.

I then made a very half-hearted stab at finding the pink cubes, but I didn't really enjoy myself, so I went ahead and tried some speed runs.

My first attempt was 144 minutes. I got stuck trying to solve a chamber with the green gun that I had previously visited only after I got they yellow gun (the order in which I visited and and solved the chambers on my first playthrough was pretty random). My second attempt was 91 minutes, a substantial improvement, though I still wasted a lot of time by forgetting the proper route. I think I could probably shave off another half hour at least if I could avoid those little mistakes and actually learned to climb the tower to the red gun in a halfway efficient manner.

That'd still put me nowhere near the first class of Antichamber speedrunners, who can do it in less than three minutes:

Very impressive, though it looks like going so fast involves exploiting glitches and that's not really my scene (on the other hand, with a game like this, it's hard to distinguish between glitches and "emergent gameplay.")

My final verdict is that this game is amazing, I'm glad I played it, and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't experienced it before, but I can't sugar-coat the past - there were times when it made me absolutely miserable. Granted, a significant portion of that can be blamed on my own carelessness (plus, speedrunning taught me that the main path is actually pretty straightforward when you don't stop to explore every damned side-path in the game), but I think I can't discount the fact that this game is simply a poor fit for my personal preferences - I like knowing the rules, and while I've been known to enjoy going off the beaten path from time to time, a game, like Antichamber that is pretty much all off the beaten path is just a little too much responsibility for me to handle.

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