Last time, you decided that present decisions deciding past events is better than that puzzle where switches turn on some things while turning off others. I can’t say I am surprised by the result, and suspect it was heavily influenced by spite, but I am very grateful to the people who stood up and explained why they like that puzzle where etc. I do try to make a case for both things but won’t pretend I understand (or appreciate) every thing in games, so I appreciate your help. This week, I ask you to pick between two ways of being there and then not. What’s better: summoning spectral animals or blink teleports?
Summoning spectral animals
Animal companions are great. It’s lovely to have an animal friend. I always want a fuzzy buddy by my side. Or a scaly one. Or a slimy one. Or a fleshy one. Wildlife and me, best of friends. But I don’t want anyone to hit my wolf, or my bear, or my salamander, or my shark, or even my bats. Don’t hurt my wee pal. I don’t want to hear their yelps, yowls, hisses, or groans. So honestly, best of all is when I summon a spectral animal companion.
You can’t hurt my spectral wolf, not really. She’s not an actual wolf. She’s made of aether or ectoplasm or psionic energy or other non-blood materials. She doesn’t really feel pain. Even if she does have a healthbar, it doesn’t really matter if you splat her; she’ll be back, hale and hearty, whenever my ability comes off cooldown.
Spectral beasties can be more ephemeral, too. I game might not let me have a murder of crows permanently flapping around my head, uncertain how it should portray this, but it’s relatively likely to let me summon a stream of crows to peck at an enemy’s eyes. Everyone wins when the animals are not really there. Well. Except for when it’s bedtime and I can’t rest my head next to a spectral kitten. A terrible shame.
The coolest superpower, I think, is blinking. A teeny little teleport which hops you a short distance in the blink of an eye. Now you’re here. Now you’re there. Now over here. Blinking in and out, skipping distances and surprising enemies.
I like blinks so much because they’re both utility ability and violence ability. In Dishonored, for example, this one skill will let you dodge patrolling enemies, reach ledges beyond leaping range to find paths and secrets, get the jump on enemies, hop back from a fight which got out of hand, and so much more. I will take a blink in any game I can.
Facing blinkers is a delightfully unpleasant experience too. Whether you’re fighting Dota 2’s Anti-Mage or Dishonored’s Whalers, you feel pressed and panicked. Just because you can’t see them, it doesn’t mean you’re safe. You can’t outrun but maybe you can lose them, fake them out, or even turn the tables and ambush them. Many an Anti-Mage has been baited into getting absolutely burst by backup hiding in the trees while their teamie dangled as bait.
A blink just feels unfair in a very stylish way. Always a great noise and spell animation with devestating effects. The dirty trick of wizard spells. If you won’t give me pocket sand, I’ll take a blink.
But which is better?
As much as I adore spectral animals bouncing around a bit for a spot of violence before fading away, bouncing is cooler when I’m doing it. Blinks for me! But what do you think, reader dear?
Pick your winner, vote in the poll below, and make your case in the comments to convince others. We’ll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.
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