Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nanoha StrikerS: Wins tricks but who's keeping score?

Nanoha StrikerS episode 26: Someone is about to be pwnt
Solid snipers win games, or can just ruin your day if you're on the wrong side of that scope. They sit in the back, don't make much noise, and hand you a one-way ticket back to your respawn point only after you've fought past a host of obstacles. That little sniper rifle icon in the corner with your name to the right of it feels completely arbitrary.

At the same time, the stereotypical sniper is underutilized, precisely because they choose to sit around waiting for enemies to round that fateful (and fatal) corner. When they add to their points column, it is a result that was a split second in the making.

Vice is that stereotypical sniper, by coincidence more than choice, but that coincidence was fabricated by a story writer. His situation is merely one coincidence in a battle marked by numerous arbitrary moments that seemed written with, what else, a split second's worth of consideration.

Playing trump does happen, especially in Euchre, but:

a) The universe, and by extension, Life, may be deterministic but since we can't compute the universe's interactions in general, we'll live with stochastic processes and random variables (that are neither random nor variables).

b) Since Life is random for all that we know, bad things can and do happen to everyone and everything, you included.

c) On the bright side, you might just be misfortune incarnate to your opponents, and will derive much hilarity when you dish out the pain. The probability of this event occurring is non-zero.

In a story context, it's a one-way street, which usually manifests as a I Am Not Left Handed scenario. This is convenient for writers, and not so interesting to viewers. Specific to StrikerS, we are teased with the use of never before seen abilities from almost every Section 6 combatant, abilities which basically win games, and then the series is over. I feel like I missed the PWN train and had to settle for the Half Decent bus.

At least we caught a glimpse of said train as it left the station.