Games get better when paired with books, movies and TV shows, just like alcohol

Three reds
Image: ABC / Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples / David Hellman & Tevis Thompson

I don’t know much about alcohol, but I definitely like to pretend I do, and I bet I’m not alone. Who else here – of drinking age – bought a red wine to go with dinner, because it “goes well with pasta”? How many times have you been poured a glass of wine for a “taste” in a fancy restaurant, going through the whole rigorous process of biting your lips together and saying “oh yeah, lovely“even though it just tastes like wine? And, honestly, do you do that now when you try a new wine and then try to guess the random fruits on the label to show off in front of you?” your friends?” , yes, plum, see, did I mention stone fruit, Janice? “Yeah, we’re all the same, and we all don’t know what we’re talking about.

But here’s what I know: Video games. I’ve been doing this for a while and I’ve played quite a few of them. I don’t know much about digital media, but I’m certainly knowledgeable enough to be able to recommend you a strong, powerful RPG or a nice indie palate cleanser, whichever you prefer. your. But I’d like to suggest a change in the way we talk about the game, at the risk of making me look like the kind of person who won’t shut up about alcohol.

There are some great video games out there, but even than so when paired with a book, a movie or a TV show. There are many reasons: A book can give you more historical context; it may interest you in a particular genre; or it can make you see characters or locations in a new light. The right book can elevate a game’s theme beyond the screen world or help you understand the game’s theme better. And sometimes, it’s nice to completely immerse yourself in a subgenre that you really interesting.

With that in mind, I suggest we discuss our favorite “wine pairings” of gaming and other media. I will go first!

Hades + Iliad / Achilles’ song

Picture: Supergiant/Altes Museum, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We’ll start off easy. Hades, the superb narrative roguelite of the Supergiant, is heavily based on ancient Greek mythology. There’s no particular myth, of course, but a collection of lovely bits from all over.

My instinctive suggestion would be The Iliad – a massive war epic depicting the end of the Trojan War, but mostly Achilles’ fury after some prize-related beef with his commanding officer – but honestly, it’s a bit heavy. There were whole chapters just listing all the ships available, or lengthy passages describing shields. It’s a great story, but it’s much better as something to listen to than something to read, in my opinion.

(In reality, a group of Hades fans got together to read the Iliad, with a preface from Hades letter writer Greg Kasavin. That’s lucky.)

You can appreciate better with a more modern approach, like the Trojan war novel, which will give you more insight into Hades’ treatment of Achilles and Patroclus, who his love/cousin depends on which scholar you believe (but the more interesting reading is the former, of course). Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles is the perfect companion to Hades, because it takes the same approach: lovers cross the stars, divided by fate and fortune. Even so, good luck getting through the beautiful prose without sobbing.

Life is strange + Double top

Picture: DONTNOD / ABC

If you’re in the mood for some bad stuff going on on the US West Coast, then you really can’t go wrong with this dual feature. Life Is Strange may not have quite reached its strange Lynchian climax, but it needed more than a light-hearted inspiration from the ’90s drama.

Who killed Laura Palmer? What happened to Rachel Amber? Of course, the answer to the latter is a bit simpler than the former, but you’ll have to go through supernatural events, prophetic nightmares, and time-jumping to get there.

Mix with Alan Wake and Silent Hill for a stronger effect.

Heaven’s Vault + Come

Hv come
Picture: Photos of Inkle / Paramount

Alien civilizations and decoding languages. Both are prominent plot themes in both Heaven’s Vault and Arrival, but it’s not just the surface level they share: Both are about communication, translation, and it may not be perfect. how to create a common understanding between the two factions.

Heaven’s Vault focuses on the past, through history, archaeology, and anthropology; Arrival is more focused on the present and the future through actively trying to talk to an alien race. But both are interested in what it mean to communicate and why we do it in the first place. The two come together in a shared appreciation and understanding of linguistics, and how it impacts philosophy.

Definitely one for language geeks.

Disco Elysium + Dungeons & Dragons: Player’s Handbook

De And Dnd
Picture: ZA / UM / Wizards of the Coast

Reference books and non-fiction are still books, and I think this is a Excellent pairing. Disco Elysium is an incredibly complex RPG that borrows heavily from the world of tabletop role-playing, most notably Planescape set of Dungeons and Dragons.

Now, I could recommend a lot of books from D&D, but I think the easiest book to learn is probably the Player’s Handbook, which will introduce you to the world, the races, the classes and the overall D&D vibe. Understanding a game like Dungeons and Dragons – and how to play it well – will give you a huge amount of insight (WIS) into how a game like Disco Elysium works.

Pair this with Citizen Sleeper or Divinity: Original Sin 2 if you really like a TTRPG style game.

The Legend of Zelda + Second mission

Zelda and the 2nd quest
Picture: Nintendo / David Hellman and Tevis Thompson

The second quest is a graphic novel by David Hellman and Tevis Thompson that seeks to uncover the “true meaning of courage”. It questions adventure, legend, and even the game itself, and you’ll not only see Link and Zelda in its pages, but in yourself.

The book comes from Hellman and Thompson’s displeasure with Zelda in Wind Waker and Skyward Sword years, during which Nintendo moved away from the sense of discovery that existed in its early years and toward more linear, traditional games. Hellman and Thompson instead imagined a world more like Zelda 1, where mysteries remained unsolved, in a saved world. It’s a mature, thoughtful, and thought-provoking take on the Zelda mythology that raises the question: What happens after the credits roll?

Haven + Saga

Haven Saga
Picture: The Game Bakers / Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples

This is easy. A couple on the run from the forces that want to tear them apart, with a theme of strangeness, have found family, freedom, and love in the face of hate. Is it the exploration game Haven, or the sci-fi graphic novel Saga? Tip question! It’s both!

Haven and Saga are a really good match, almost also good, like wine and chocolate. It feels like cheating. It helps both brilliantalso.

Isaac’s Constraints + Mass at midnight

Isaac And Midnight Mass
Picture: Edmund McMillen / Netflix and Intrepid Pictures

Not everyone is familiar with the themes of Catholic sin and religious persecution that a film like Edmund McMillen’s The Binding of Isaac draws from. Early in the game, the protagonist’s mother receives a message from God to sacrifice her son as proof of her faith, and the rest of the game is all about Isaac trying to hide. escape, facing death, birth, and other heavy religious themes. based on McMillen’s family experience.

The obvious pairing is Biblical, as you know, that’s where all the religions come from in this case, but I think Midnight Mass can bring terror more effectively. After all, The Binding of Isaac is not about the source material, it’s about appropriating it for abuse, and the ways in which religion can be turned into a weapon. Fun!

Subway 2033 + Roadside picnic

Subway and roadside
Picture: Game 4A / Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Roadside Picnic is a 1972 Soviet Russian novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, which takes place in the aftermath of an extraterrestrial event that leaves several “Visites of Visitation” in which strange phenomena occur and cannot be explained. Scavengers – known as stalkers – enter these areas to steal artifacts for a profit. It was these stalkers that ultimately inspired the game EXPERTSamong many other movies, books and video games.

Metro 2033 is Not based on Roadside Picnic. It’s actually based on another novel by another Russian author, Dmitry Glukhovsky, called Metro 2033 – but since Metro 2033 (the book) was also influenced by Roadside Picnic, it’s clear that all of them all belong to the same family. It even has something to do with the Metro 2033 Roadside Picnic!

If you’re a fan of sad, post-apocalyptic Russian stories, they all revolve around trying to find existence in a miserable, almost uninhabitable world of scarcity and uncertainty. Sure, well, have fun with this combination!

Great lawyer + Better to call Saul

Aa Bcs
Image: Capcom / AMC

Let’s have a good time rounding this up, shall we? Everyone knows that Ace Attorney isn’t an accurate depiction of the legal system, and that’s part of the reason it’s so interesting. Cross-check a parrot? Prove that an orca is innocent? Magic accepted in court? Sure, why not! This is the confusing world of Phoenix Wright, where your prosecutor is more likely to be the real killer than your friend!

Better Call Saul, on the other hand, deals with the dirty, inefficient nature of the courts in a town where all the crimes are white-collar murders, or drug production, smuggling, and murder. collective person. You don’t get these stories in Ace Attorney, and likewise, you’ll never see Saul Goodman or Jimmy McGill try to accuse a ghost of murder.

But sometimes it’s interesting to see the law from multiple angles. Death in Better Call Saul is a terrible thing that tears families apart; Death in Ace Attorney doesn’t even stop people from getting to work the next day, thanks to Fey’s ability to control the spirits of the family. But one thing Jimmy and Phoenix have in common is their ability to turn cases around in a split second, and it’s thrilling to watch both.

I may not know much about wine, other than the fact that it’s nice to drink a glass of sangria in the sun, but I like to think that a video game/book/movie/tv pairing is just as satisfying. such a Rioja. go really great with steak. I hope you also find some hot pairings on this menu – and I’d love to know what your recommendations are in the comments!

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