Bjorn

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Everything posted by Bjorn

  1. PlayStation+

    Well that's awesome that Brothers is coming to the PS3. I won't bother buying it on Steam now.
  2. Mass Effect 3

    Well, the camera is no better in MP, as it's still a third person shooter. But the mechanics of shooting were much better. Guns had the right "feel" to them, in that heavy shotguns had a satisfying weight to them while light energy weapons felt right too. With up to four people per match, you could really design a character to fit with a squad if you were playing with people you knew. ME3 added an explosion mechanic as well. Certain powers and ammo types would "prime" an enemy. Then other powers would detonate if they hit the same enemy within a certain amount of time. Tech powers would cause a lightning explosion, fire powers a fireball and biotic powers a biotic explosion. Each type of explosion caused varying damage amounts based on if it was hitting shields, health or armor. Which meant that building teams to capitalize on that mechanic was always fun. Then there were new powers that were unique only to MP, like the Krogan Warlord with a warhammer you could prime with different effects, an engineer with a resupply pylon, a crossbow, grenades that recharged your shields. an electic net that pinned enemies down, a wrist mounted blade cannon and more. Some were definitely better than others, but all of them were fun and had a useful role to play. Oh, and melee builds were fantastic. The Batarians had the most satisfying heavy melee in the entire ME series. With the Batarian Vangaurd you could Biotic Charge a group of enemies, stun them, blast one with a shotgun and then punch another one to death, then charge into another group of enemies. There were a bunch of other great melee builds as well. The EDI bot got a Mike Tyson upper cut that was insane when used coming out of Tactical Cloak. The Geth have an AoE electric pulse that was surprisingly useful for as slow as it was. Oh, and they added in the Volus as a playable race. Which was either the best or the worst thing to ever happen, depending on who you talk to. The little guys were hilarious, and surprisingly useful. They have a power that lets them recharge the team's shields once every so often, but were very squishy themselves and were too short to hop over all the cover that normal races could vault over. During the height of its popularity, they ran weekend events that had some story elements that tied back to the SP story. They had one where the reapers had dispatched thousands of Banshees across the galaxy to terrorize troops, which meant that Banshees had a chance to randomly spawn in any match, regardless of the faction you were playing. Stuff like that is what kept me coming back to it. There were so many different builds that were just fun to play. If I just wanted to kill and hour or two having fun with someone, ME3 was there and waiting.
  3. Recently completed video games

    To avoid derailing this thread with any more ME talk, I replied over in the ME3 MP thread with my thoughts on why their horde mode was awesome: https://www.idlethumbs.net/forums/topic/7819-mass-effect-3/
  4. Mass Effect 3

    I'm posting here so as not to derail a non-related thread with ME3 talk with Twig. So it turns out that combat was actually really fun and interesting in ME3, but you would have been hard pressed to figure that out in SP. SP discouraged experimenting, since you had to pick your power/weapon loadouts before leaving for a lengthy mission. But MP rewarded experimenting, as you could radically change character, race, class, weapons and powers each mission. The mechanics of weapons, powers, ammo and the interactions of them all really shined in co-op when you could have much longer running battles with more enemies. And being able to play as all the different races, with their variations in health and mobility, added a ton of diversity. The difference between being a squishy, but lighting fast, Drell versus playing a slow, non-cover using mountain of a Krogan warlord was dramatic. It really was the best thing to come out of ME3. I sank well over 100 hours into it BEFORE I talked my wife into getting into it, and then together we played another 100+ hours. Plus it had just enough RPG hooks with leveling up each of the classes and leveling up guns/equipment to scratch that itch. The random reward store did get very, very, very old though. Yeah, I could gush about ME3 MP for awhile. All I want them to make is a co-op squad game built around it, forget the SP stuff.
  5. Unepic

    This is currently on the Steam Flash sale. Anyone tried the co-op? I'd buy two copies of it if the co-op was worthwhile.
  6. General Video Game Deals Thread

    I've only played it in co-op, and that's been fun, certainly one evening of it justified the $1.49 it cost. I can see it wearing thin very fast by yourself though. I thought that Guacamelee! was a Smash Bros style fighting game based on the name and a couple of screenshots I had seen, so never had any interest in it. Until I actually bothered to read its description this morning and learned that it's a Metroidvania game with heavy Day of the Dead elements that has local co-op! I would have bought it at full price at that point, good thing it was on the Flash sale.
  7. Recently completed video games

    The redeeming value of ME3 was the co-op horde mode. Without that, it would have been a massive disappointment, in part because of the lack Drell, Salarian and Krogan characters. But we got to have 3 sexy pinup models to run around with (that is not a compliment, in case the sarcasm is missed).
  8. General Video Game Deals Thread

    I've been relatively reserved this sale, and I still feel like I've bought to much. But these at least are all games that I have really wanted and fully intend on playing (unlike any number of previous Steam sale purchases). Guacamelee! Gold Edition LEGO Marvel Super Heroes La-Mulana Legend of Dungeon XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Slingshot DLC XCOM: Enemy Within Papers, Please Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut The Stanley Parable Enemy Within is the real gem of the sale so far, I'm blown away by how good that is. Had Xcom shipped like it is with EW, it may well have been declared the best game of the decade.
  9. Recently completed video games

    Trine 2 in co-op. Overall I thought the original was more charming and engaging. Some of the levels feel too long and puzzles too direct. Though the free expansion redeems 2 in a lot of ways, as the puzzle design is better and the mission length is shorter in the Goblin campaign compared to the main story. Still, worth playing if you like the first one.
  10. Idle Thumbs Accompaniment?

    And I wish I had a job that required a lot more than mine does.
  11. Idle Thumbs Accompaniment?

    I listen while I work. Most of what I do doesn't require a lot of brain power, so I listen to podcasts or NPR all day long.
  12. Feminism

    That comment wasn't aimed at anyone here, when I said it, I was specifically thinking of some interactions I've had in Joystiq comment threads in the past. I say emotionally tied because those people I've interacted with seemed to care more about hating on PA than any other aspect of the situation. They aren't particularly well versed in the idea of rape culture. Prone to twist every single thing they could into yet another condemnation of PA (no matter how tenuous the connection might be). What mattered was being angry, and that everyone else should be angry with them. Of course, maybe that's just an internet thing, as the reaction to PA is hardly the only time I've seen it. But it's always online and never in person that I encounter it.
  13. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    That was great!
  14. Feminism

    The only serious time I've ever seen gaming journalists consider boycotting E3 was over SOPA, but never over the treatment of women. I've certainly never seen an outlet make an argument for a blanket boycott of Microsoft coverage. The point I'm trying to make is that the reaction to PA is different than the reaction to other companies, even when the volume of issues over time is similar. I think there are people now who are very emotionally tied to hating PA in a way that they are not emotionally tied to hating other companies. It's an interesting dichotomy to me.
  15. Feminism

    Lots and lots and lots of ignorant boys and men do defend Microsoft. These are probably the same people abusing people on Xbox Live, defending PA and attacking the woman who made DQ. The extreme edge of the fanboys won't stomach any criticism of their platform, combine that with the already simmering misogyny of parts of the gaming community and yes, I've seen people attacking the critics of MS and defending MS' right to do whatever they want with Xbox Live (this was around a lot during the banning gays from Live thing). People don't donate to Microsoft's charity...but they do spend billions buying their hardware, games and accessories. Microsoft doesn't have it's own convention, but it does have Xbox Live, a community service that millions of people use every week, and around which many of its problems are centered. Microsoft is a member and leader of the gaming community, along with PA. And PA is a company the same way that Microsoft is. Other journalists boycotting PAX? Off the top of my head Leigh Alexander and one of the writers for Wired have also declared they are done with PAX. But remain silent on the subject of E3. I get part of the rage at PA. We thought they were one of us. We thought they represented us. They were a powerful voice in the industry that mirrored ours, one that could speak and be listened to. Which isn't try for so many people. And then they ended up being damaged, flawed assholes. It sucks. But the long term targeted focus on them has no other analog in gaming, even though there are other companies who deserve the same level of scorn and attention.
  16. Feminism

    Angry, yes. At each individual incident. But every time a new bad thing is done by Microsoft, someone doesn't feel the need to reiterate every single stupid thing Microsoft has done in terms of women and gays for the last 8 years. Which is exactly what has been happening with Penny Arcade. Tell me where I can find the wiki or curated list of awful things done by any other company or individual in gaming similar to the one for PA. Games journalists aren't calling for boycotts to E3, the way that some of them have announced that they are boycotting PAXes. Why not? Is it because it is safe, journalistically and financially, to boycott PAX whereas boycotting E3 would cost too much? I don't think they are a scapegoat, so please don't put a word in my mouth I didn't use. I think they deserve much of what they get. A scapegoat is predominantly undeserving of its fate. But I do think they pick up extra heat, and draw a lot more ink from journalists particularly, for their crimes compared to the industry as a whole.
  17. Feminism

    I've been trying to figure out a coherent way of explaining why the anti-PA stuff bothers me. Ultimately, Mike is a relatively ignorant about these issues, with a big mouth, a bigger microphone and some mental health/self esteem issues. Combined, this is like a perfect recipe for hurting and angering people. Mike deserves to be criticized and called out for the dumb, hurtful things he says. And even more so when they can't keep elements of their community under control, or recognize the impact they have on that ignorant subset of their community. But, that said, I often feel that the big dumb target that he's painted on himself and PA serves as a stand-in target for all the other sexist, homophobic, transphobic, racist and other bullshit that goes on in the industry. Most of it is quiet. Not talked about, or has a million-dollar PR machine ready to grease over anything that might look or sound bad. Or it's just quickly forgotten about. Look at something like this article on the creepy, rapey E3. Unnamed rude, insulting AAA developers. Unnamed molesting indie dev. Multiple shitty PR reps and the unnamed companies they work for. And yet we don't have months long, hand wringing discussions and tublr summaries of the problems that E3, the ESA and the major supporters of E3 have had with sexism. Because everyone with power wants to sweep these problems under the rug. Or think about the litany of problems that Microsoft has had with women and gay gamers over the last 8 years or so. The recent sexist Xbox One letters. The E3 rape joke. The mocking of a transgender journalist at an Xbox One Europe event. Banning accounts because people identified as gay (sure, they stopped, but it never should have happened and it took 8 years from the launch of Live to have a policy that it was okay to be openly gay). Doing as little as possible (or nothing) to punish abusive and stalking accounts. People talk about safe and comfortable environments. Xbox Live is premium paid service, and I don't think you're going to find a lot of women or girls who would describe it as feeling safe or comfortable. It's toxic, and at times dangerous. And they can take weeks to bother banning accounts that threaten to rape people, and then only if you embarrass MS by pointing out to a whole bunch of people how laughably slow and unaccountable their system is. And that's just recent history stuff in the Xbox division. Let's not get into some of the weird shit that's gone on in other areas. Or inserting boob jokes into the Linux kernel. I would suspect that you could find one or more issues a year, every year, going back to the announcement of the 360 where Microsoft has been insulting or demeaning towards women and/or the LGBQT community. And yet, where is the hate for MS due to this history? Where are the calls for a boycott on them because of their actions? Sure, they apologized for most of this and changed a policy here or there. But it's not all fixed, and some of those apologies were pretty hollow. Much like how the PA guys apologized, and how they're trying to change policies. And lets not even delve into the endless list of terrible things said by individual developers, game journos and others connected to the industry. So my theory is that PA serves as a stand-in for all the other similar crap that goes on in the games industry. Because so much of that crap is faceless. And corporations do a very good job of not talking about stuff like this, except to issue a curt apology and then forget about it. But PA has faces, and voices. Faces and voices that don't know when to shut-up. And they engage with people (for better or worse), something else the faceless corporations don't like to do. So it makes them easy targets to get mad at, focus on and stay mad at. I'm not saying they don't deserve some of it, they do. But I think the anger and concern about these issues ought to be spread around the industry a lot more than it is, and focused less on PA than it is. Hopefully that makes some sense.
  18. Feminism

    The Penny Arcade stuff has confused me for years. You can't really have a rational discussion online about it. If you appear to be on PA's side, you've suddenly become an apologist for them (and painted with the same brush that "white knights" get painted with...which is weird). On a lot of the sites I hang out on, it's become the cool thing to hate on them.
  19. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    I have almost the opposite view of Katie. The family may have been disintegrating, but they are also growing, changing and learning to heal by the time she comes back. I think there's a fascinating contrast in how mundane her "adventure" in Europe was when compared to the lives her parents and sister were living in her absence (which while painful and confusing in some ways, were definitely not mundane). I think it drives home the idea that adventure is where you find it, not where you go.
  20. Feminism

    He pretty much nailed what I always think of the men and boys who freak out about this stuff: "I know that in your head you’re putting somebody in their place, but all you’re really doing is running around and declaring yourself to be afraid and small and stupid…" They all just end up looking like they are terrified of women.
  21. So I was reading through Joystiq's interview with Steve Gaynor, and there was this answer: I'd say he's working on a broken family simulator (because country music), but that seems a little obvious and repetitive. Whatever the influence of classic female country singers is, I'm excited for it. I hated that music when I was a kid, as it was all my grandad listened to when I was around him. But as an adult I've come around to loving it.
  22. This is probably one of the funniest updates I've ever seen on a game on Steam. I wish I would have seen the results before they made the changes. It actually makes me curious about the game. I wonder if they tried to make dong physics like some games make boob physics.
  23. An "Art" genre on Steam would be worth hours of entertainment. Oh how the butthurt would flow.
  24. Rogue Legacy

    Quite!
  25. Feminism

    I know I used it the same way earlier, but technically this isn't nepotism, as no relatives were involved. What is actually being talked about is more commonly referred to as simply networking if viewed in a positive light, or cronyism if viewed in a negative light. Cronyism is a hard one. If you asked me tomorrow to put together a team for a project or new business, I would seed it with at least some people I've worked with before, and I would ask those people that I trust for recommendations for additional candidates. Not necessarily because they are unquestionably the most talented at the jobs, but because I have an understanding of how they work, an intimate knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses and I trust their judgement. I would value that knowledge over the uncertainty of working with an unknown person, at least for a portion of my team. This would all technically be an example of cronyism, as I would certainly bypass other qualified candidates in the process. Things like this happen all the time in business and academics, it's often viewed favorably and most of the time no one even thinks about it.