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Everything posted by Beasteh

  1. Sounds like a case of the Mondays. Life hack: download the podcast whenever you want to, and listen on Fridays. You're not missing out by waiting. Anyway, Tomb Raider. For all the emphasis on character development in the new games, they have this weird clash between the story and the gameplay - Lara's a young, inexperienced treasure hunter (who cries a lot) stranded on a hostile island, but then a few hours later, she's an unstoppable killing machine chaining the headshots together. I found it jarring in a way that didn't happen with Legend/Underworld Lara - in those games, she's still portrayed as the generic badass hero, and of course there's less combat. I wonder if the new games have lost something in trying to follow in in the footsteps of Nathan Drake.
  2. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    So the portable screen is 720p, about 44% of the pixels , which implies the GPU is scaling to meet the reduced demand when undocked. It's not a linear relationship (the GPU still has to render geometry, do lighting, textures, etc) so there's likely some degradation when on the move, but it's not too bad. Remember we don't know much about how the hardware will run (to-the-metal coding is possible on Switch, unlike Shield/Android) so performance could be adequate. Guess we have to wait until final hardware is in DF's hands. It doesn't have to be a powerhouse; the Wii was a sales success despite low power, but the games released on Wii were not the same AAA titles found on PS3/360. Switch seems powerful enough to run PS3 games, and so long as the main developers keep releasing titles for PS3/360, a Switch port is always a possibility. I do wonder if AAA studios will dig up some older titles for re-release on Switch (Burnout Paradise on the go?). That said I'm not so sure on the idea that Switch will be a second console. For hardcore gamers, sure, but we're a limited audience. I'm thinking more of younger gamers who are only allowed one console (although the Switch's portability may be a get-out clause on that one) or more casual players that already have a PS4. Switch would have to bring something really special to the table to get traction with those groups. Can Nintendo do it? Well, they've got a reputation for it...
  3. It's not the most controversial topic you've been involved in. It's hardly "ketchup on pizza" levels of acrimony here!
  4. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    Rumours abound at Eurogamer: Modest tech indeed. I understand why they did it, but it's concerning for those hoping for third party ports! Dark Souls on the go might be out of the question, unless it scales well.
  5. Making games into respectable things just isn't something I can see happening in my lifetime. If it is even possible to change public perception, it's a long road against a self-sustaining culture of which Gamergate and polite society are two opposed halves. It's as if the subculture that currently brands itself as GG has already won, and the thought depresses me. For the people who are creating these new experiences right now, mainstream acceptance (and arts funding) is going to come too late. If a developer really wants their output to be called a game, and wants to sell on Steam, that's fine - I'm saying that they're missing out. Maybe that's not their fault, and blame lies at the feet of the audence for being closed-off (gators for saying "not-game lol", and polite society for saying "ugh, video games") but maybe the problem is that the experiences aren't being represented properly. So a more positive term for Dear Esther -likes becomes necessary. Comic books have at times been rebranded as "graphic novels" to escape the perceived baggage that medium carries around. There's no reason something similar could happen for altgames (or whatever word we're going to use - I don't have any answers on this, language is slippery!) To address your direct question - "Alt-games" as a compromise leans heavily on that "alt" prefix to convey that there's something different, something subversive about them. I'm not advocating the use of the term personally - the word "games" may be a turn-off as you have spotted - although I think Zoe's right that it has the potential to grab the attention of a new audience. It's also something that will in time be co-opted and absorbed into the whole, so works well to meet your objective of ensuring titles with artistic merit are called "games" eventually. Don't get me wrong - I would love for games to get some attention as a legitimate medium for expression. There's a whole world of possibilities other than Bullet To The Face Simulator 2017, left unexplored. I just can't see how you get the mainstream to sit up and take notice when they wrinkle their nose at any mention of a game. Horses and water...
  6. What is game? the term carries a lot of baggage, most of it negative. The culture war was lost long before GG was a thing - games have been shaped by their early history and the industry that has grown around it. For better or worse, "game" means something specific and brings certain assumptions to the table. Mainstream culture doesn't like "games" because they they think they already know what games are. So we're stuck with calling experiences like Dear Esther "games" and sticking them in the ghetto with GTA, where the mainstream can happily ignore them. The mainstream doesn't care about GOTY, and isn't reading RPS or Eurogamer to look for their next fix. They're reading articles in the NYT about how gamers harrass women, or seeing reports on Fox about "murder sims" - y'know, baggage. Do you refer to yourself as a gamer in polite society? Robert Yang, often a scathing critic of the games industry, has a few thoughts on setting the rules for VR in an attempt to escape gaming's past. He cites the mobile platform as a model for the future. I'm inclined to agree - Interactive Fiction seems to have succeeded in attracting a new crowd on mobile, away from toxic "gamers" [emphasis mine] Zoe Quinn suggests calling these new experiences "altgames" - a compromise that acknowledges they're like games, but also evokes memories of alternative music, alt-lit, and the like [emphasis mine]: I don't have the answers, but I think Dear Esther would be better off not being weighed down with all the baggage of gaming, if it wants to reach a wider audience. We might all be better off as a result.
  7. Recently completed video games

    As a fan of puzzle games, I was tempted by Quantum Conundrum's charm. Unfortunately the damning reviews put me off - they all seemed to agree that it was too reliant on twitch reactions, which is absolutely not what I'm looking for in a puzzle. That's not to rubbish the suggestion though, if you derive fun from a tricky execution of a solution, more power to you!
  8. Recently completed video games

    Portal 2 is well worth a look if you liked the humour in the first game. It's genuinely funny. The puzzles are a little too streamlined though; the game is too good at limiting your options so that you can brute-force a solution. Shout out again to Portal Stories:Mel for having deep, challenging puzzles - and it's free if you have Portal 2.
  9. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    Otacon says something about the railgun being a way to launch warheads completely undetected. That's quite scary! On the story: MGS1 was played quite straight. Because I never played the PS2 games, I came back to 4 and had no idea what the fuck was going on. Seriously, I bailed when Raiden and Vamp showed up because none of it was making any sense at that point. Shame because the gameplay was excellent!
  10. Clearly the preserve-making industry needs to lobby ICANN for a .jam TLD...
  11. Recently completed video games

    Just finished Portal Stories: Mel for a second time. Picked it up after hearing about it on the podcast - the words "portal" and "free" caught my attention. It's a superb mod/map-pack woven together with a story (that borrows heavily from Portal 2) and neat voice acting. The puzzles get really challenging in their logistics, rather than twitch reflexes like some custom Portal maps, which suited my style. It's always satisfying to pull off a complicated series of moves that get everything where it needs to be, even if it does take 15 minutes or more. It's not quite as polished as the real deal, but it's not far off either. Recommended!
  12. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    There's one part about halfway through the first game where you're probably going to need a buttload of chaff grenades. Shouldn't be a problem though - the game gives you plenty (just be economical with your supplies and look for more when you can). The only other advice is that your life will be considerably easier if you pick up the thermal goggles near the start (I think it's the third area). They're not required for finishing the game though.
  13. For a guy that contradicts himself as often as he does, "he didn't mean it" makes sense. That's where a lot of the fear stems from - no-one knows what he's going to do, and from some of what he's said, it could be bad news for minorities. Certainly the party backing him wants to roll back Obama's changes. Athis, as an outsider looking in, you've got no problem if Trump does half of what he says he's going to do, but some of the posters on here have targets painted on their backs now. It's not suprising they're afraid and angry. Personal opinion: I don't think a majority of Trump voters are racist (beyond supporting the status quo) - key swing states previously voted for Obama, who is not on any racist's Christmas card list. Trump won partly because of the two-party system where 40% of the population votes based on wherether there's an (R) or (D) by the name ("you gotta hold your nose and vote for the least worst candidate, so even if he is a racist, sexist, fascist, it's better than socialism, amirite?") and partly because of promises to bring prosperity back to neglected regions - anyone see him in Michigan, promising to bring the car industry back? Those jobs are gone forever, but it sounds good, doesn't it? Especially if you're a dirt-poor blue-collar worker. Let's not forget Trump lost over 3 million votes to Johnson, either, and he still won. Hillary was just about the worst choice. All you hear about her being crooked and so on? Part of a decades-long campaign going back to when Bill was in White House. Also, why the hell haven't the Democrats got their shit together enough to win Congress? Trump couldn't do shit against an organised opposition, but nope, it's Republicans all the way down...
  14. "Cars sucks." - A Pixar Thread

    Next summer, get ready to face the cars again... So as far as I can make out, it's going to be about cars getting old and having to learn new tricks to stay current? (actually I just wanted to dig up this thread to see if anyone had watched anything released later than Wall-E, which was the last Pixar film I saw. Sounds like I haven't missed much)
  15. It looks like your chipset supports Ivy Bridge (intel's 3000-series CPUs). You might be able to get one retail, or check eBay for a used one. You'll need to do research on compatibility, but it looks like Dell did sell the X51 with an i7-3770 so it must be possible to fit something faster than what you've got. If it's compatible, the 3570 would be a decent choice. They're easy enough to swap over, like Cordeos says you'll have to clean off the old thermal paste and put new paste on. From what a web search tells me, the power supply in the X51 was pretty weak (240W), so you may need a new one if you're going to upgrade. Problem there is the X51 was a mini PC so likely doesn't have the standard ATX power supply. On the other hand, a web search indicates the TDP of the GT545 was 105W, so the GTX 1050ti (at 75W) might do the job. It's a cheap card as well - just check it will actually fit in the X51's case.
  16. Anyone play the open beta this weekend? I did, and it sucked me in for hours. I think I've done most of what's available (you're limited to 3 areas, and to a max level of 8 - your level unlocks events and locations, so Ubi have effectively given you a limited-time demo). The moment-to-meoment gameplay is really satisfying, but I didn't get on well with the tricks. The timing is too finicky, and there's too few tricks to be entertaining. It's nothing like the variety in SSX. I enjoyed just coasting around between events more than the events themselves. Sightseeing is pretty good fun! The best challenge was the one where you're simply told to ski to a location at the bottom of the map, and given about 5 minutes to do it. There's no checkpointing or tricks, no swarm of icons demanding your attention, just you and the route to the bottom. It's at sunset, too, so it has that golden-hour feel as the light catches the landscape. It's a beautiful game to be sure. However, I do think I've seen all the game has to offer, and feel like I'm done with it already. More areas probably means more of the same. User-generated routes might be the special something needed to bring me back. What kind of crazy creations will players come up with?
  17. The Next President

    This prescient article, on Cracked of all places, seems to echo the comment on "America is already great" being tone-deaf. Life in rural America seems bleak. It's got to be galling to be told to "check your privelege" when you're living in a leaky trailer, and you see all the money going to the cities. Trump pretends to listen, and suddenly, it doesn't matter he's a billionaire from the city, or that he's said fucktons of reprehensible things - here's a guy that's offering easy solutions to complicated problems. It's seductive, even if deep down, you know he can't deliver.
  18. Rimworld

    He's taken the easy option of depicting today's assumptions about relationships - perhaps making his own assumption that the (mostly white, straight, middle class, male) audience of 2016 would find it relatable. He could have picked another model, although there would need to be some faith that the audience would suspend disbelief (or that they would be aware that you're depicting the mores of something like Ancient Greece). The alternative of giving choice to players would be more complicated to implement, and might detract from the premise that Rimworld's universe is a broken one. Anyway, isn't there something incredibly dystopian about the story of a lesbian being flirted with by a straight guy until one or other of them dies? There's a story to tell there...
  19. Rimworld

    This is well worth reading. Looks like he's calmed down a bit and taken a step back (by god, he was furious on RPS), says the "no bi men" thing is a bug that he will fix, etc. One quote stood out for me: Sometimes I feel like criticism of "problematic" elements of media is carried out from an aspirational view of how the world should be, rather than allowing media to uncritcally depict society's ugly side. Not everything has to be a progressive commentary on society. The RPS piece itself says "it’s flawed in a way that perfectly mirrors existing sexist expectations of romance" - so what? Players feel that there's no escape from sexism to be had here? I don't think that's such a bad thing - it's not right to pretend sexism doesn't exist. I also don't think it's wrong to model relationships based on the social dynamics of the modern world. It'd be interesting to see a comparison between the hard-coded assumptions written into RimWorld's code vs actual sociological data. The best I have access to is OKTrends which isn't exactly going to pass peer review.
  20. Somehow I knew Danielle would be stoked about the Switch! Arcade driving games got kinda absorbed into the open-world game genre. I guess people who like driving games are more into the semi-simulation titles like Gran Turismo. Namco really need to get their act together and make a next-gen Ridge Racer...
  21. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    AvP was hard as nails. Good memories of playing the multiplayer with friends on LAN - as I recall, you could play aliens vs predators vs marines in a kind of asymmetric multiplayer, or co-op against waves of aliens. Totally different to the campaign, but great fun!
  22. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    If it did have a touchscreen, it'd be very similar to an Android tablet (like the Shield, which Switch is being compared to). Could Nintendo be creating an ecosystem for mobile games developers?
  23. Still newer forum!

    Glad I'm not the only one experiencing this - those pictures are yuuuuge! If it helps, I'm on Firefox 49.0.1 & Win 10. EDIT: Fixed now, somehow?
  24. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    Are there many Wii U games that actually need the touchscreen feature? I was under the impression most ports didn't use it, and even the first-party titles tend to be geared around the pro controller.
  25. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    Wow, I haven't been this excited about a Nintendo console since the SNES! Looks like it has potential, hope it can deliver on the essentials. As others have said, good games, long battery life and a decent screen will decide it. Quite like the "play anywhere" concept, it would be great for killing time on long journeys. Skyrim probably wouldn't work for a short hop on the bus, but on a flight, hell yeah.