meidos: (mad men * NNOOOOOOOOO)
mあddy ([personal profile] meidos) wrote2015-04-08 07:28 pm
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vinku sutaato

below the cut i am going to talk about what a terrible show sword art online is, episode by episode.

initially i planned to watch SAO by summarizing my thoughts in between each ep but that soon became way too daunting of a thought, because i would just get mad every two seconds. so i livetweeted for awhile, but even that didn't really total my frustration.

so here we are. after having seen all of SAO season 1, my thoughts, separated (mostly) by episode.

warning: if you liked SAO, you won't like reading this. also, if you liked SAO, get better taste

1)
The World of Swords

this is already a terrible set-up, right from the title. the idea of SAO (the game is the same name as the show, for those unaware) is that you play in a VR setting while... laying in your bed and watching through a VR headset. already this made really little sense to me. are they unconscious while playing SAO? this seemed to be the case, especially later in the show when asuna is one of the few people we see "playing" SAO in real life.

anyway, "world of swords." first off, you don't have to use a sword. everyone seems to have one, and they're the prime weapon of choice, but it doesn't seem to be necessary. they also get into the gameplay mechanics, detailing "movements" they need to get (which is what initially tipped off my "wait, how are they playing this game? do they use a controller?" thought process which still never gets explained (not to say I would want it to. i guess seeing people lay in a bed essentially asleep and being told "they're playing a video game" just didn't really cut it for me. video games aren't like tv, you don't really zone out while doing them, especially an MMO like SAO claims to be)) and reveal a core crux that is rarely ever explored again: being in a party will make you stronger more quickly than being alone. if you have a friend who you've partied with, you can perform different attacks than you can from when you're fighting alone. these attacks are stronger and generally safer. this becomes important later. rando also realizes that MC has a little sister and instantly displays sexual interest in her. it's really creepy given that he knows MC is young, but I don't think calling out every single time SAO giggles about pedophilia and generally endorses it would be worth my time.

the big reveal happens that, surprise! you can't log out. to be completely honest, the reveal is pretty well illustrated. it does enough to show randos reactions that make it really hit home, especially by having them worry about real life things and not, you know, cry out "ooh a video game where we can die? kyaaa! scary!!!" but this reveal is instantly ruined by the infamous "check your pockets for a mirror," and everyone's model turns into what they look like IRL. turns out that hot chick next to you is a middle aged dude! wacky! not only do i hate this, but they make a big deal out of showing "wacky ugly people" in the beginning and the rest of the series is full of extremely anime looking people. i'm not asking for them to be realistic -- surely drawing the same boring people in every scene wouldnt capture an audience -- but it's just weird to have the MC be essentially the only black-haired typical shonen dude in a japan-based userbase who isn't a rando, especially when you make a big deal out of the reveal only to show that your Super Anime Cast is now 1% less anime because kirito lost his blue hair.

it cuts to our hero, kirito, explaining to the guy who was used at the beginning of the episode as exposition fodder, that he is not going to party with anyone. remember what i said before about the whole "being in a party makes you stronger?" this is never explained. it's never explained why anyone doesn't think "we can gain more EXP safely and more efficiently if we team up and work together." there is no penalty for people who don't make it to floor 100 along with whoever else does make it -- the game doesn't cut off there. hell, the only reason it does cut off later is because kirito kills(?) the software engineer. that's literally it.

so kirito runs off and leaves to... gain experience on his own. like literally there's a scene of kirito just running at random mobs and killing them on his own and screaming. I don't get why he bothers even when they reveal he's a....

2)
Beater

the episode opens to tell us a month has passed and 2k of the original 10k are dead and that no one has been able to clear the first of the 100 floors needed to beat the game.

(points slowly to the party mechanic that was explained in detail in the first half of the first episode and looks at you like "can you believe this guy?")

kirito, our hero, was a beta tester, so he is somewhat more knowledgable about how the game works. this is also how the writers were so gleeful about using him for exposition along with the rando -- he knows everything and will gladly explain it all to the viewers! sit back and listen.

anyway. despite playing a video game for a month, no one has been able to beat it and 2 thousand people died. finally pulling their heads out of their asses, a ton of players hold a big meeting on how to beat the first boss. (i'm not kidding, this is literally babies crying over how to beat gohma in deku tree)

by the way, by a bunch of people, i mean like 10 people go to this meeting. 10 people go to a meeting held in order to keep everyone from dying so much.

Asuna is introduced here, as a quiet, mysterious, hooded girl. she says little and shows very little emotion and doesn't concern herself much for others well being. keep this in mind.

a dude then comes in and starts yelling about how it's the beta testers faults for not helping the new players and that's why 2000 people are dead. I'm still trying to wrap my head around both sides of this story. first: aren't you supposed to be bad at a video game in the beginning? sure you can argue that SAO has your life on the line, but you would just be more cautious, focusing on much more lower-level and less risky stuff until you're overlevelled and a bit more confident. this is typical gameplay knowledge. you don't earn EXP by losing after all. so, how is it the beta testers fault that 2000 people didn't know how to play a video game? on the other hand, why didn't the beta testers reach out to the new players, or the reverse? surely a beta tester could have written some sort of how to play book for everyone to use, or recorded something, or ANYTHING. 2000 people in a month just seems stupid, especially if both sides could have been more smart about it.

the idea behind "the beta testers suck" also references how they took all the good camping spots (such as foe spawns, not pitching a tent) and how they didnt help anyone. this is also normal at the beginning of an MMO! and why the main areas are full of resources! i can't believe that 8000 people camped the same spots while 2000 people were like well damn, i guess we're screwed, nowhere to level! like come on, how would that work? they also complain that they "took all the good quests" which is... uh?? what do you mean?? quests are player-specific, and no one player can take a quest from another unless it's for a limited event giveaway or something. basically this whole complaining about beta testers (or "beaters") is like a ten year old complaining about Runescape being unfair.

some rando also reveals that the beta testers were apparently tasked with writing a guide book before the game launched. that sounds cruel. why would you do that to your beta testers.

also kirito creams a piece of bread for asuna and it's ~~such a mystery~~ why he would waste time on a quest for some shitty cream WHEN IM STANDING HERE SCREAMING FOR THE EXP????????? DUH????????????????

to be continued.

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