- March 18th, 2009
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I’ll start by being as concise as I can: I TEMPORARILY DID NOT EXIST UNTIL A FEW WEEKS AGO. After having my wallet stolen by a sidhe following a bungled attempt by yours truly to open a portal to the Emain Ablach (moral of the story: never trust a drunken Tuatha de Danaan no matter how many coeds he enchants for you), I was further discombobulated from the corporeal world when one of the fans on my PC’s motherboard decided to pry itself free and Tarzan swing along its power cable into the RAM sticks and take down the whole burrito in a blazing display of sparks and scorched ozone. Bereft of legal identification and worse yet, my Only One True Silicon Love, I drifted alone and cold in a Purgatorial void. Really I just drank a lot of beer and took long naps but if that isn’t a post-modern version of the Buddhist Sunyata, well I don’t know what to tell you.
Anyway, fuck it, chicken in a bucket and all that. Reborn anew with a legit driver’s license and – roughly 700 monkey fingers American later – a completely overhauled and upgraded PC, I felt the world was at my fingertips. I could play any game I wanted, really. I had no constraints. I was the Tathagata, a true uttama-puriso, and my gameboner was positively Kantian in substance.
Any normal, rational person in my battered Skechers would make posthaste to the nearest computer gaming retail outlet and purchase whatever game had the biggest dick. Or tits, you worthless misogynistic homophobes. I flirted with Crysis: Warhead: 10FPS Or You’re Lying, but my recent endeavor through the Ethereal Plane had left me with a odd craving for something altogether different than technical beefcake. I wanted to sex up a game for its brains, fella, can you dig it? I wanted a game wearing smudgy glasses and an ill-fitting sweater, carrying a battered copy of The Dharma Bums, self-consciously sweeping stray wisps of mousy brown hair from its face. You see where I’m coming from.
Being the sad old broken-down washout burnout brownout has-been never-was that I am, I hit up Steam for some easy action and lo and behold, I see The Path on the verge of becoming available for download.The Path! What the fuck is The Path? RPS loved it! Wait, no they hated it! Wait, they can’t decide! Tom Chick said it was one of the better…things…he’s ever…somethinged. Then somewhere in there pops up the word “art” and I go to Defcon 5 and send 10 bucks into the ether.
I have purposely divided this blogsploration, this deblogstruction if you will, of The Path into two parts such that Part One will provide only nonspecific impressions of the…erm, “experience which defines The Path as a discrete portion of existence” (more on that later). Part Two will be more explicit. And by explicit I mean dick jokes, of course.
Firstly, on the OH MY GOD RANDY IS IT SCARY? Scale, I give The Path a solid Tijuana Taco Stand Taco, 11:00PM Purchase Time. Not as easy-breezy as Late Afternoon and the Ingredients Are Still Mostly Fresh nor as hardcore as 2:00AM and It’s the Last One Left, either. If you go into The Path wanting to be affected, you will get your wish. I guess you could say The Path moves. Lick my face and call me a Creamsicle, am I ever clever.
Furthermore, The Path gives great aural. Composer Jarboe’s music is distinct and shifts and swells in just the right places. It is an active, functioning part of the experience The Path offers. I would be so bold as to say it is far and away the best aspect of The Path. Humming indistinct choir voices suddenly transition into lucid, foreboding phrases as you approach an area of interest. Squeaky violins cut in over the unmistakable bass double note mimicking a heartbeat. The only appreciable drawback is that parts of the score can, and do, become repetitive – a tendency that is mitigated significantly by its compositional elegance. Excuse me, I have to go don an ascot and sodomize an English Lit major after writing that pile of twaddle just now.
I will also echo the sentiments of others who have already played The Path by saying that if you are interested in it, then go drop the tenspot and sacrifice the six or so hours it takes to get through it without reservation. Figuring out what to do and what is even going on is the game. Go in hungry, I say. Go in willing. Let The Path do to you what it wants to do.
Then come back here for Part Two and we’ll settle some hash. I promise I will do everything in my power to remain in the secular world in the meanwhile. And if you should happen to see or hear tell of a certain shifty Celtic faerie trying to buy booze and cigarettes with a Nevada driver’s license, drop me a line, won’t you? His ass has an appointment with my size 12’s.