I like how much they’ve built up the idea that food absolutely tasteless and sucks unless it’s made by a chef. That’s pretty good timing if you ask me. Didn’t feel too forced, and we got a little bit of food porn, and the resultant typical food orgasm. I laughed.
Log Horizon happens to be another trapped-in-a-game themed anime. And goddamit, I’m going to be hopeful once again while I watch it. It’s such a deep seated desire of mine to see one such themed anime to succeed because once it does, it’s going to permanently earn a seat in the highest of positions. [dot].hack overextended it’s reach and aimed for amazingly ambitious designs that would span multiple media. It only, however, manages to occasionally do anything better than average. Not exactly a good prospect for others trying to pave the way.
Perhaps the trapped-in-a-game theme is weak? I don’t think so. There’s plenty of fiction that would be achieving the same essential theme.
The thing that always seems to fail is world building past the first set of episodes. There’s already a flawed facet in Log Horizon in which player killers can be seen as obtusely angry and villainous just for the sake of having some conflict for the protagonists. It’s not proper in-game stupidity, as I’d like to identify it as. Who knows? Maybe I’m actually getting it wrong and there’s a segment of players in Japan that would act the same way. Or it’s just players acting badly. I’m just trying to think of the reasons why players trapped in a video game would resort to a fear-inducing techniques that just don’t seem that effective. The game’s mechanics have yet to feel believable. Everyone isn’t acting like they’re playing a game anymore; while this makes sense for a drama and the latest developments, it doesn’t help when you see floating GUI elements trying to convince you “Hey! We’re in a game!”. I also started thinking about how loosely PK is handled by this “game”.
Is it done by merely walking up to another player, targeting them, and attacking? Or do they have a menu saying with a tick box that says “Enable PVP” with a warning dialogue indicating that another player is given the ability to retaliate? I laughed, honestly, when the PKers told their victims, leave the money and we won’t hurt you. Maybe it’s my own experience speaking from playing MMOs, but threatening lower level players into giving you money never pays off unless progression in the game is an asset based economy, or if the act of PKing somehow rewards the killer. I also think it’s dumb because there’s better and more efficient ways to grind your way to the top. Perhaps I’m being one-sided in my thoughts. After all, I’m only approaching this from an efficiency standpoint, not considering the idea that maybe these PKers just want a power trip.
EVE Online is lucky enough to be engineered in such a way that PvP is integrated into everything because there are “rewards” for every kind of person: Pirates from destroying their prey, they get a chance at salvageable parts. Mercenaries that get paid for head hunting pirates. Industrialist that make the ammo and ships so that everyone can shoot everyone. Auditors making sure there’s enough ammo so that everyone can keep shooting. There’s people who just want to see a ship spin in their hangar. The list can keep going. Well, it stops at some point. But who can say EVE Online has been failing, since their player count only seems to be growing year after year. For some reason, there’s some sort of inherent flaw in fantasy combining with MMOs, since there’s never a cycle of items going from production to disrepair.
Okay, I might be going a bit deep into video game mechanics. But really, Log Horizon simply manages to let me express myself as a gamer while I watch it. It also helps that our main character Shiroe himself is also debating how much of the game is blending with reality, while having to think of the game meta that still exists because much of it still happens to function like the game. This show.. honestly, it’s fun to watch. But it’s potentially painful if you know the meta and inner workings of current MMOs. Player’s typically don’t PvP for just to be a bad guy, they do it because it proves their prowess and knowledge of the game. If you end up sounding like the hammy Demi-glace guy in Log Horizon episode (4), then you’ve been reading too much manga.
PvP is only then a truly threatening presence in Log Horizon when its modus operandi is to stifle other player’s progress. If it truly sucks to die in Log Horizon, then maybe I might feel a little sympathetic to the plight of the weaker populace. Otherwise, they’re just players who don’t know how to play a game.
I have a feeling that I’m misusing the phrase modum operandi.