• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About complexmath

  • Rank
    Thumb Tourist
  1. Idle Weekend May 6, 2016: Top This

    The basic problem with the unlock system in ME3 multi is that the loot chests might contain persistent things like new character classes and weapon upgrades, but they also might contain single use items or even additional "XP" for a class you've already unlocked. So a chance at getting a cool new thing is always competing with the chance to get another of like 50 single use items, each in stacks of 255, not to mention the useless XP upgrades that you can get even for maxed out classes. I've put hundreds of hours into ME3 multi and there are classes and weapons that I still don't have at all, simply because of bad luck with the loot chest RNG. I still enjoy the game and have a ton of cool stuff unlocked, but not having a clear path towards the things I don't have but would like to try can be kind of annoying. That said, they used a similar unlock system for Dragon Age: Inquisition multi, only the tweaks they made to the design were even far worse than was was in ME3 multi. I played a few matches of DAI, got literally nothing towards unlocking new classes or weapons, and just gave up. Though the changes they made to the gameplay resulted in a much worse experience as well. If that had been more fun I might have stuck with it. On the single player ME3 game... all I'll say is that the Geth arc was basically the same as the Reaper arc, only told in a much more effective and personal manner. They could have ripped the Reapers out entirely, made the entire trilogy about the Geth, and I think the series would have been stronger for it.
  2. Idle Weekend May 6, 2016: Top This

    I've gotta say that I'm surprised at Rob's dislike of ME3 multi. I ignored it on principal for probably 6 months following release. Finished the single player game, and eventually gave it a try as a means of doing more Mass Effect stuff. Man, that game. The monetization aspect of it is abhorable (some back of the napkin math I did suggests that buying BioWare points for chests to unlock everything in the game would be $5000 in the absolute best case), but the gameplay itself is in the running for being the best cooperative multiplayer game I've ever played. In fact, enough people are still playing it that you can fire up the game and be into a match via the matchmaker within 30 seconds of logging in, any time of the day or night. Great fun.
  3. What I've always loved about Street Fighter is that it's possible to be quite good without using hardly any special attacks. Mastering reach and timing are a huge factor in success at that game. In contrast, I've found that some games that are ostensibly more newb-friendly, like Mortal Kombat, place special attacks much more front-and-center to the point where I don't think it's possible to be competent without them. I really enjoyed the perspectives as well. Like Rob, I used to fence competitively as well, and for some reason never made the connection that the similarity was one reason I'm so fond of Street Fighter, but it totally is. And as Danielle mentioned, it's really cool being able to play as fighters with fighting styles totally different from my own. I remember back in the day with SF2 in arcades, as fighter power fluctuated over the constant balance passes that game underwent (which at the time meant ROM updates for the stand-ups), I mastered a good number of the fighters in the game, each with a totally different fighting style. Zangief, Dhalsim, E-Honda... though none of them hold a candle to Chun Li. She is the best and if anyone says otherwise then I'm sorry to say that they're horribly misinformed.
  4. That sort of fear-mongering is pretty much standard advertising practice, though that obviously has no bearing on whether it's a "moral" approach to advertising.
  5. From what I heard, SFV was rushed to market because it was needed for some tournament, and people are skeptical that it will ever get things like a training mode. Most people I know have gone back to SF4.
  6. I didn't know Her Story had an actual end. I played until I thought I had figured out what happened and then I stopped playing. I guess the game simply decides you're done once you've viewed a certain percentage of all available video clips? That's kind of an interesting design choice in itself.
  7. So I had reason to reference Old Man Murray's original objective review system today, and it occurred to me that it would be useful here as well. The reason I went looking for it is because I was mulling over the game industry's obsession with butts, and I started to wonder if perhaps we need a "start to butt" evaluation vector, with Murray's crate vector as a template. Thoughts?
  8. It's perhaps worth noting that the inspiration for The Division was supposedly an extrapolation of Bush's Directive 51 as applied to a biological war scenario per Operation Dark Winter. Only, you know, since this is a shooter, the point is to save the world by shooting everyone. As you do. That doesn't make the execution any less reprehensible or wildly implausible though. But then Watch Dogs was about the same, just built as a poor GTA clone instead of a cover shooter.
  9. Copyright law in general is really tricky in this area, and I'm not sure any of it really covers let's plays. For example, there are provisions that attempt to reimburse producers for having their songs played at DJ performances. That's probably as close as you can get to a let's play from a technical perspective. However, that doesn't really cover the entirety of let's plays. I can see video-based game reviews considered to be closer to academic work, for example, where things like fair use comes into play. Returning to the DJ comparison, while provisions exist to reimburse producers, they don't really work, and many artists consider DJ performances to basically be free advertisement. And that's the big unquantifiable here as well. Do game producers benefit more from the increased visibility than they lose in sales? Actual sales, mind you, not simply people who like watching let's plays who never would have actually played the game on their own. I don't know that anyone has a clear answer to that. As Danielle mentioned based on that GDC talk I think game designers have to be cognizant of the let's play phenomenon, but whether there's any positive or negative effect on sales seems very much tied to the type of game they intend to make, if any connection is to be made at all. By the way, Murdered: Soul Suspect was an excellent game, and also counts as one of the few games that year which I played to completion (possibly in part because it's so short). It had issues, but the theme was really cool. Weirdly, it ended up feeling kind of like a history lesson at times. I didn't at all expect that going in. So here's at least one more vote in favor of M:SS.
  10. The story is basically that you're a special agent in NYC trying to save the city from a pandemic by murdering poor people. And to occasionally give someone a candy bar or water bottle in exchange for their pants.
  11. Bringing up car reviews as an example of objective reviews is interesting, because as far as technical reviews go, car reviews are about as nonobjective as they come. By design. A huge part of car appeal is based on factors that have nothing to do with utility--comfort, aesthestics, even engine sound (which has been a big deal for the past 5 years, because makers of sportscars have been doing things like installing speakers and sound channels designed to replicate or amplify signature engine sounds that are no longer produced by the modern, more efficient engines). That isn't to say that information on whether a car drives and handles well is unimportant. But it can be sorted out in either a focused review, like Consumer Reports as Rob mentioned, or summarized as a part of a review with a more subjective focus. Even bare data reviews aren't necessarily useful, because such reviews don't account for differences in how a thing might be used. For example, I've burned out a heck of a lot of paper shredders because consumer-grade paper shredders aren't rated for continual use. With this in mind, I might be interested in how far a particular shredder can be pushed before falling over, which wouldn't come up in an interview that simply evaluates how it performs within manufacturer-specified guidelines. But it would come up in a subjective review written by someone who uses paper shredders the same way I do. That perspective is of value to me because it's more personalized. Finally, I'm honestly baffled why there's a continual cry for objectivity in reviews for products that are specifically intended to be fun. Or interesting, assuming you subscribe to the idea that some games might be designed to make you think, or feel. How does one objectively describe whether a game was fun? As for whether a game functions, if it doesn't function I'm sure the reviewer will tell me that. And the specifics of gameplay can be found from screenshots or video footage. And for reviewers that are going for a pulitzer with their writing... more power to them. They'll find their audience, or they won't, and people who aren't interested can look elsewhere. Diversity is an amazing thing. It means everyone can get the kind of experience they want without imposing their desires on others. Amazing, huh.
  12. I hadn't heard of S and it's awesome. Thanks! I actually picked up Ken Hite's Dracula Dossier recently because the material includes an annotated copy of Stoker's Dracula, "Dracula Unredacted". The basic premise is that the original version of Dracula was an after action report about an attempt to recruit the actual real Dracula as a black ops agent, which was later redacted and released to the public as disinformation. That story within a story thing fascinates me, and in the case of Dracula Unredacted, is a way to make a well known story fresh and interesting again.
  13. A friend of mine asked if I wanted to roleplay in The Division recently and so I and a few other people basically hung out in an apartment for an hour or so. It was really weird and really interesting to look at the contents of an ARPG from the perspective of someone who might conceivably be living in that world. I spent a while just looking at the art on the walls, along with a ton of other stuff people normally ignore in their rush to the to the glowing loot chest. I think I'm going take time out now and then to do this some more.
  14. Darnit now I'm going to have to go back and finish Spec Ops. The middling shooter mechanics drove me away, but clearly the game is interesting from a story perspective.
  15. My only issue with Burnout Paradise is that in order to win races you either need to play a ton so you learn the map really well by sight, or you need to pause the race periodically to check the in-game map to check your route. The game really needs a route planner that generates the route overlay we see in other games. And generally speaking on Burnout and N4S, the turn markers and such aren't obvious enough. They need to be bolder. Even in the latest game the majority of races I lose is because I missed a turn. Dynamic routing needs work as well. In Rivals, the routes chosen by the ad-hoc race generator are often screwed up. They send you the wrong way up highway exits, and if you miss these the rerouting just goes insane. Worse, the AI cars ignore the route line and pick their own, which is always the correct path to take. So it's not like that game doesn't know what we should be doing, it just isn't communicating this to the player. One thing that can be said for the series is that every game changes a lot from the previous one. Most of these changes don't end up working out, but it's a lot nicer than if they were just releasing graphics updates and tiny refinements in order to keep the money rolling in. As far as the car wrecks are concerned, it's totally obvious what restrictions the car company imposed because every car reacts differently to damage. Some get properly banged up and others barely look scratched. I know it would mean more design work, but I'd love to go back to the time of made up cars so that we could blow them to bits as was possible in the early games.