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About eot

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    Zombie Thumb

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  1. Life

    I'm gonna go ahead and say no
  2. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    Never used Slack so I didn't notice people moving there, but I did notice activity drying up well before the podcast went on hiatus, though to be fair this was never the most active of forums anyway. Even though I used to be a diligent IRC user back in the day, I never jumped on Discord / Slack. I try to keep as few apps on my phone as possible, because I hate the idea of having a phone as a distraction, and when I'm on a computer sitting in a chat channel just doesn't feel like the thing to do any more. I probably would if I played more online games.
  3. Blade Runner 2049

    Found this video essay about the film on youtube, and I enjoyed it quite a bit
  4. Not a movie, but a TV show. I finally decided to watch The Sopranos, and while the acting and production is great I struggled with it, mainly because I didn't like hardly any of the characters. Tony, in particular, is a real piece of shit. I don't mean to imply that you can't have characters with questionable morals (of course you can) but I get the sense we as the audience are supposed to care for him. This is also what I found in various essays discussing the show, with many explaining how they relate to Tony. I mean, the family he supposedly cares about would walk out the door if they knew the extent of, or weren't in denial about, his actions. They spend more time on his infidelity than his interactions with his kids. He's constantly bitching about how the therapy isn't helping, and it's true because the only bit of character growth he has comes after a near death experience. I don't know how I'm supposed to care about anyone, except Adriana, in that show.
  5. Cyberpunk 2077

    For me "Deus Ex" is always the original
  6. Cyberpunk 2077

    When you say Deus Ex, are you referring to Human Revolution? As for the pandering, that's not an aspect of the genre. Most of the works I like are very restrained, just like Blade Runner. From what little I know of the pen and paper game Cyberpunk 2077 is based on, it has a slightly different tone and is more interested in the human cost of these types of modifications than making you a badass.
  7. Cyberpunk 2077

    The first thing I noticed was the chromatic aberration, which is hopefully toggleable, but the second thing was the writing. The banter between V and the sidekick dude falls completely flat, I have no interest in hearing that character speak and I hope I'm not saddled with him for the entirety of the game. When they were interacting with the quest givers the dialogue wasn't as bothersome, but clearly a huge step back from their previous efforts. It felt like a quest giver talking directly to the player, instead of a genuine character interaction, something they were great at in the Witcher series. I hope it's not a consequence of the first person perspective, that they don't want to give us big dialogue trees. Deus Ex cut to 3rd person for conversations and I thought that worked well. This is my main worry about the game. From what I've seen of the gameplay I'll probably enjoy the game regardless. However, we don't get many of these hugely ambitious RPGs, and I so badly want a well written story with character's I'll grow attached to, especially now that BioWare seems to be out of the game. Bethesda's writing never did anything for me either. They announced it as soon as they knew they were making it, which was before they actually started making it (afaik they didn't really get started until TW3 wrapped up). Isn't that every game with gunplay or combat though? Nathan Drake is a mass murderer.
  8. Recently completed video games

    I just found a bunch of PC Gamer demo disk, lots of them with Half-Life mods. Was wondering how many of those have been lost to time now. I should give this one a try.
  9. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I don't particularly love Quake II, or its soundtrack (it's alright), but dammit if Descent into Cerberon isn't amazing. Such a cool tune.
  10. Dead Cells

    I binged on this game over the weekend. It's hard to find anything bad to say about the combat mechanics, they're implemented near flawlessly and I'm a big fan of the enemy designs in this game. After sinking quite a few hours into it I do have a few gripes though. First of all, I think for a roguelike (or "roguelite" I suppose) the impact the items you find have on your run is too small. Sure, sometimes I get a better weapon, sometimes a slightly worse one, but in basically every run I can force a certain playstyle, and I never find something that forces or encourages me to fundamentally switch up the way I play. Items like the Cursed Sword sort of do it, but it's an exception and still not that extreme of an item in my opinion. I guess I wish there was either more randomness, or less. To me the appeal of the game is closer to something like Diablo than more traditional roguelikes, because the fun is simply in tearing through a level, collecting gear. This is why I think a different structure could've suited the game better. I would rather have had a persistent character with much deeper customisation options, than the current game where I feel like I'm repeating the same run each time, and the times I do beat the final boss on the same difficulty as before I'm not even rewarded for it. In fact, I'm better off not spending any gold at the end, because if I deplete it I start with zero gold the next run. Another issue I have is that you need to unlock items in order to try them (although you can get locked items as rare drops), but if it turns out that an item is bad (many of them are) you’ve now diluted the pool of good items. So it’s a grind in which you end up poisoning the well. If I started over I would unlock items much more selectively, and I could get the best weapons on every run. Finally, I’m not a fan of the bosses in the game. The three mid-game ones are fine I suppose, because you can breeze past them most of the time, making them a non-issue. However, they still have the same problem as the final boss, which is a damage cap. You can have a build that lets you rip through the entire game, but that gets completely negated by bosses. It favours low damage per shot, high rate of fire weapons over slower weapons. I mean, I can have a build where I one shot every enemy in the last area of the game (which can be fairly tough), and the last boss just shrugs it off. Another mechanical complaint I have is how each scroll you use scales the enemies. Not a fan of enemy scaling in any game.
  11. Dead Cells

    I picked it up and played a little last night on my laptop, works fine on a keyboard but might take me a while to get comfortable with the controls. What do you guys think about the map randomization in the game? I understand why they included it and it's not something I mind, but I also don't think it adds much. The variety seems to come from the weapons, not the encounters, and I think I might've preferred hand crafted areas over randomized ones, even despite the fact that you'll play through the first area hundreds of times probably.
  12. Dead Cells

    This looks awesome, it's the first game I've seen in ages that I actually want to play. Just debating whether to get it on GoG or Steam
  13. Congrats Ben, I enjoyed seeing your updates along the way, even when you ditched my favourite games
  14. E3 2018

    @Merus While I haven't played Nier (I don't have a PC at the moment), I did play TWD and while it's not what I had in mind, it's not too far from what I meant. TWD doesn't have gameplay in the sense in which I think of it, or the degree to which it does is at least very limited. I don't say that to disparage the game, just to clarify what I mean. The tension I referred to is between gameplay systems that are mechanically engaging (this is what I meant by gameplay, which I think is different from more general interactive elements), which are almost always spatial (driving, jumping, shooting etc.), and narrative ambition. Broadly speaking, releasing that tension requires giving these system narrative meaning, but while there are instances in which this works, it's in general not possible to map a narrative idea onto such a small space of systems. If you think this is a hyper specific version of the problem that I just cooked up in my own head, that's fair. However, I do see a divide between games that are mechanically enjoyable, and games that tell stories well. @TychoCelchuuu I don't think games will stop evolving, and it's not seeing games from E3 that I have no desire to play that makes me pessimistic about storytelling, because most of those games aren't even trying. It's just what triggered me to think about it. If you can give me just five games that you think tackle this problem so well you don't even consider it to exist, then I'll be happy to try them.
  15. E3 2018

    I'm in the same boat. Trying to figure out how much it's me having outgrown these games, and how much it's the opposite, me wanting games that respect what I liked in games growing up. For example, I don't think I'll ever accept the lack of player hosted dedicated servers, level editors, user made skins, mod tools etc. in modern games as non-objectionable. That's because it's a business decision that comes at the expense of things I appreciate. The bigger issue is that most big budget games seem to be marketed at teens (or maybe people in their early 20's), and that's clearly just a problem of me getting older. Also, having played a good amount of games my tastes have probably become too specific to ever be met by AAA titles. I didn't see any of the Cyberpunk coverage, but CDPR is one of the few companies I think could put out something interesting, and I have enough trust in them as a studio to develop something that isn't easily judged pre-release (and franky speaking I don't think they'll make a good shooter, so it'll have to make up for it in other places). It's really a shame that in such a huge industry they are the only ones putting out these kinds of games. After ME:A I consider BioWare lost. While I'm on this negative rant, I've kind of given up on games ever evolving past their current state. I remember, about a decade or so ago, when I used to listen to the 1UP podcasts that they were always talking about how video games are a young medium, and that they will evolve in terms of storytelling. To be honest, I don't think it's a young medium any more and worse, I think it's stagnant. Sure, you can point to the work being done for example by the founders of this site, but the fundamental tension between gameplay and storytelling has only been addressed in a handful of games that I consider to be exceptions, whose methods cannot be generalised. I know lots of people love games that relax their gameplay to focus on story, but they inevitably fail to hold my attention. My strongest impression while playing Dear Esther was my middle finger hurting from holding 'W' and that's not me trying to be cheeky. On the other side you have the problem that the range of stories you can tell that involve the killing of hundreds of people is limited. I don't expect I'll live to see the day when I'll consider video games on par with books and film as a storytelling medium.