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Everything posted by malkav11

  1. BioShock Infinite

    Like a lot of time travel/quantum reality stories their rules require a fair bit of handwaving and suspension of disbelief, but I don't agree that the ending they present contradicts or fails to account for those rules.
  2. Oh yes. I'll just leave a link to this remix album that's equally fantastic: (I didn't upload the videos, but I rearranged them into album order.)
  3. Oh, incidentally, the reason that BSI is less tense than Bioshock and Bioshock 2 is that a splicer really could come around the corner at any time. (Not sure if this was brought up on episode 100 or 101, but whatevs.) Like System Shock, new enemies randomly spawn over time. Infinite, by contrast, has (big, chaotic) combat sequences, and then you kill the last enemy and you're done and can poke around to your heart's content without danger. I'm not sure if this is better or worse, but it's definitely a meaningful difference. And that I did go and poke around between combat sequences probably contributes to my not feeling it was overstuffed with them. If anything, for much of the game it felt positively combat light, though most of the big setpieces with skyrails and such were thrilling, mobile, and kinetic. My main complaint is that the guns and their upgrades were not particularly imaginative, made worse by the split between Founder weapons and Vox weapons despite the two being largely interchangeable. Certain guns were reasonably satisfying to use, but the vigors were much more fun. (And, alas, not usable on a skyline.)
  4. Mass Effect never once gave me the feeling there was something deeply weird and wrong going on behind the scenes, which Bioshock Infinite does repeatedly from the very beginning. It's not open, overt horror tropes, but it's unsettling in a way that very few games (even explicitly horror-oriented ones) have managed in my experience.
  5. I've seen this argument elsewhere, and I think it's a misunderstanding/misrepresentation of what the ending is actually presenting. I'm not saying it's perfect, but I think it hangs together well enough. Insofar as these sorts of stories ever do. On an unrelated note, I highly second the earlier recommendation of Nier. That game is fantastic.
  6. I just wanted to say that as far as I'm concerned Bioshock Infinite is every bit as much a a horror game as Bioshock 1, honestly a tad more so. Which is to say, it isn't really -about- horror the way, say, Dead Space is, but it replaces the overt wrongness and unease of Bioshock's fallen utopia inhabited by rabid mutants and maniacs with subtler hints that things are very wrong in and around Columbia. More so the tear-related phenomena, but also the casual racism and cultish fundamentalism made my skin crawl. And a certain near-final area was far creepier to me than anything in the first Bioshock.
  7. Until GoG came along, there were a lot of similar situations with video games. The games were out of print, not being sold in any sort of meaningful sense, but the ESA or individual companies would come along and shut down any attempts to make them available in an archival role. My feeling is that this is one of many signs that American (and presumably other countries') intellectual property laws are deeply broken. I am absolutely behind the original intent of these systems, and 100% support creators being enabled to profit off their works and have at least some level of control over how they are used and distributed...but I do think it should be implicit that you must make those works -available- to be used and distributed if you're going to maintain that control and profit stream. (It should probably also expire at some point, and so on.) Yeah, there are definitely logistical issues with the size and population distribution of the US that aren't present in a lot of the countries with better internet. And my understanding is that infrastructure replacement in much of Europe and Japan post-WWII meant that those countries have started from a more modern telecommunications infrastructure than a lot of US cities. But still, we could be in a far better place than we are if the internet providers had any incentive to improve their networks, provide unlimited data, or lower their prices.
  8. eReaders - What is everyone's thoughts?

    I completely poo-pooed the idea back when the original Kindle came out, bought a Kindle 2 for reasons that I still don't entirely understand, and never looked back. The only reason I buy physical books anymore (and pretty much never new) is to have something I can hand to friends or family and go "read this".
  9. John Dies at the End - David Wong/Jason Pargin

    Both books are among my favorites of all time. John Dies at the End is kinda scattered, yeah, and is really three novellas and maybe one or two short stories with a bit of interstitial stuff to make it seem like a cohesive whole, probably an artifact of its web origins. But it strikes such a perfect balance between the sort of absurdist comedy that most precisely targets my sense of humor and genuinely creepy horror elements that it winds up being a magical experience anyway. This Book is Full of Spiders (besides having one of the best book titles ever conceived) is a much tighter narrative but does lose a little of the more crazed anything goes gonzo feel of the previous book. I've never actually read any of his Cracked stuff, but I possibly should. Mostly when I've visited it Cracked seems to be a lot of lists of stuff, some of which are actually kind of interesting, but none of which have made me laugh very much.
  10. I was definitely not recommending Pandemic as a starter for a complete boardgame novice, but rather as one of a couple of fairly lightweight games that would probably be decent ways to ease into specifically cooperative boardgaming. I'm not really a fan of it -or- Forbidden Island because they're too simple for me personally, but I understand that not everyone's willing to just jump into the deep end like I prefer to do. I don't even know what I'd recommend as an introduction to hobbyist boardgaming. Games that are most suitable for that tend to be stuff that doesn't work for me. Incidentally, for people who like a meatier coop experience, besides Ghost Stories and Yggdrasil (both available on iOS, incidentally), I would also highly, highly recommend Sentinels of the Multiverse. It's a cooperative superhero card game, with 3-5 superheroes (each represented by their own unique deck of cards) facing off against a single powerful supervillain (w/ associated deck) in one of several different hazardous environments (also decks). The basic rules are very straightforward and easy to learn (I haven't even touched the rulebook since the second game except to check how difficult villains are considered to be), but the various decks are all unique and highly thematic, with a dizzying array of possible combinations and interactions. As of now there's a base set, three expansions, and a few addon decks that were stretch goals on Kickstarter projects for the expansions but can be purchased separately now, for a total of 18 heroes, 18 villains, and 10 environments. It's really quite brilliant.
  11. I won't swear I'm not the only one, but I really like the SF overlay in the Assassin's Creed games. In fact, it pretty much makes them for me. The historical stories are okay, but they're kind of a history's greatest hits affair with some fairly dramatic liberties taken with characters, places, and so on, and they don't really have the time or attention paid to make them come alive much beyond justifying the various gameplay scenarios you get up to. But the weird conspiracy stuff, hidden clues, and secret history that Desmond's uncovering through use of the Animus? That stuff is probably not going anywhere satisfying in the long run (it would take a hell of an ending to payoff all the setup they've got so far, and it's such a cash cow that the idea they'll be allowed to end it at all is suspect), but it's certainly intriguing and really good at stringing me along. Hell, I even played their Facebook game, Project Legacy, for more hints at backstory. (It doesn't even really work at this point, and they never followed through on expansion plans they'd talked up, but as Facebook games go it was nonspammy and didn't want to bleed your wallet dry over time, so that's something.) And Pandemic's a solid starter coop boardgame (along with Forbidden Island, by the same people - a bit simpler, and available for <$20), but for my tastes it's a little too limited in scope, mechanics, and choices to really reward long term play. If you like that sort of thing I'd recommend eventually moving up to games like Ghost Stories and Yggdrasil, which are incredibly hard fought wars of attrition where every decision is fraught with tension because the enemy advances every single player turn but some turns have to be spent gathering resources or getting into position, and there are a variety of threats each nasty in their own unique way.