It finally starts…

Though it’s been sitting here for several months waiting to be installed, I finally started in on RHEM 4.

This is just the first of what I imagine will be many pages of notes, diagrams, hastily-scrawn and dejectedly-erased maps and painstakingly researched clues. RHEM ain’t no walk in the park.

A friend of mine chastised me on AIM a while ago for having bought the game but not played it. He asked me how it was, and I told him it hadn’t been installed yet, and then he chewed my face off a little bit. I think maybe I deserved that. After all, I usually scarf down a new game the very moment it enters my dwelling space. Besides that, RHEM is one of my favorite kinds of game. Why am I wasting time with pointless lard like Laser Cat or Elephant Quest when the New York Strip is sitting right there, waiting to be devoured.

The answer is, I have to be in the right kind of mindset to play this kind of game. I don’t mean the right mood, not exactly; I’m almost always in the mood for a good game. No, it’s more like I can’t start up a game like RHEM unless my brain is sufficiently pumped. I have to get jazzed up for it. I have to be in that zone where my mind is well-rested, finely-toned and very recently exercised. This is not a game you play casually. This is not Portal, where you just pop in for a few levels then pop back out. And it’s not L.A. Noire, where you have an exquisite narrative to hold your attention when the gameplay bogs you down.

RHEM involves a lot of being stuck. It involves a lot of moving through the same screens. It involves a lot of time dropping away while you uselessly fiddle and tweak things, the game utterly resistant to any attempts to change its state. RHEM is seeing a room, then coming back to it six hours later and having to identify what’s been moved. You have to trick your brain into seeing the same things over and over, but somehow processing them differently.

It’s like, you can own and enjoy Schindler’s List, but it’s not something you throw on just because you’re in the mood for a movie. You don’t curl up on the couch and watch Nazis for two hours any more than you nonchalantly kick back and play you some RHEM.

So that’s why I’m just now starting to play RHEM 4: something something excuses Nazis. Hope that explains things!

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