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Everything posted by arrr_matey

  1. Canadian games??

    Even though a lot of developers are based in Canada, I can't think of a single game with a Canadian setting or hero. Can anyone? And Canadian troops are never represented in any First World War or Second World War game... The closest I can come is one of the characters in Eternal Darkness is a Canadian soldier. One level of Sly 2: Band of Thieves takes place in Canada. And I remember hearing about some level in a Tom Clancy game that took place in Quebec, I think. Can anyone think of any? Why are there no Mountie games?
  2. Canadian games??

    Yeah, because I'm really desperate to find these games!
  3. Canadian games??

    I enjoy the fact that according to that Wikipedia entry, the only video game character to come from Vancouver is Damian Shade from Power Instincts, and he's also part of the first openly gay fighting team in gaming. Am I missing some stereotype about Canadians that the Japanese have?
  4. Doom

    Does anyone play Doom or Doom 2 anymore? I know everyone's talking about how great Doom 3 is going to be, and I have fond memories of the original Doom, but I tried playing it the other day and it was boring as hell. Same with Quake. It made me wonder why I ever got addicted to it in the first place. Is this going to happen to Half-Life when Half-Life 2 comes out? Or is it just because Doom had absolutely nothing going for it at the time of its release except its graphics? Doom has no redeeming qualities now that technology has surpassed it. Compare to, say, Monkey Island where the technology is totally dated, but the game is still totally playable.
  5. Features all games should have

    I'm playing Splinter Cell right now and I'm getting really freaking annoyed by cutscenes that can't be bypassed, even after you've seen them twelve times since you keep getting killed by freaking Georgian terrorists. Why? Why would any designer do this? Why not just make them skippable? It made me think that it seems like some designers just don't pay attention to what other games have innovated. There should be some kind of standard feature list that gets added to every time a game figures out something cool. Here's two that I think should be implemented in every game right away. 1) Always make cutscenes skippable *and* pausable. I hate having to choose between answering the phone and watching a crucial plot development scene. Why not make them pausable? Is that so hard to do technologically? 2) Every game, but especially stealth and horror games, should have a "look behind you" feature like the GTA games do. It's simple. On pS2 it would just be clicking L3 or R3 like in GTA. Most of the time, those buttons aren't used anyway. How hard can it be? Anybody got others?
  6. Taking on the guv'ment

    In light of a couple of other threads, I'm trying to come up with a list of games where the government is portrayed as the enemy and you actually get to kill government agents. Grand THeft Auto would qualify since you get to kill police officers, but they're not really presented as "bad guys" so much. I'm thinking more along the lines of Half-Life where you get to kill US Marines not just for fun (though it is fun) but because they're the "bad guys" (i.e., they're killing innocent scientists). Red Dead Revolver is another--the US troops are the villains. Beyond Good and Evil is kind of one--the government cannot be trusted. Resident Evil maybe is one--with a corporation and the government in evil cahoots. Is this a video game trend or am I connecting random dots?
  7. Taking on the guv'ment

    I think it probably has a lot to do with the age demographics too. But there's not that many songs about killing US Marines. Even the 60s protesters didn't sing about that. Your point about plot in video games being pretty unimportant and how that's similar to the lyrics in music being ignorable is really interesting. It amazes me, though, that there's no outrage in the States over games where the government is the enemy, given the freakish political climate over there. I think it's because games largely slip under the radar of the usual pro-government freak-out types, which possibly makes it a really subversive art form. I mean, in Half-Life you spend a large amount of time slaughtering US Marines who are working on behalf of their government. Could you imagine the uproar if a James Bond movie (which, arguably, has as little interest in a good plot as a video game) featured the US military as the bad guy. And not a corrupt branch of the military, as is usual in movies (like X-Men, say), but the entire military acting on behalf of its government. I just don't think that movie would ever get made, but video games like that do all the time and are best-sellers (Half-Life, Metal Gear Solid 2).
  8. Gaming principles

    I've just been playing Rise to Honor and some of the security guards in the really annoying and pointless stealth missions scratch their butt when they stand still. A yoyo would be pretty damn funny. Makes me think of the Goonies game for NES. Man, I loved that game, but I could never beat it.
  9. Gaming principles

    Man, these two laws rank you right up there with Einstein and Newton. That's such an awesome idea. I heard in the new GTA game, your character will get fat unless you exercise, making him run slower and stuff. They should totally implement a piss-your-pants mode!
  10. Doom

    Yeah, I guess it's the singleplayer that makes me yawn. I don't know. Blowing people into pieces *is* pretty fun. It's just that I'd rather play a cutting-edge technology game if I'm going to blow people to pieces, not a ten-year-old game with no story.
  11. Taking on the guv'ment

    Hang on... Mario? Please explain... And yeah, I realise that the list may be a bit obvious, but there's lots of games that don't have this theme--Silent Hill, Syberia, Doom, Police Quest, etc. I'm talking games where you actually are supposed to kill members of the American military. I'm interested because it seems like video games are the only mainstream entertainment where normal US soldiers can be portrayed as the villains. I don't see that in many Jerry Bruckheimer movies or Tom Clancy novels. Not that I'd watch or read either if I could avoid it.
  12. Controversial games and FPS

    Yeah, yeah... I think that's it. I looked it up and sure enough... here's the synopsis from the website: "The Race War has begun. Your skin is your uniform in this battle for the survival of your kind. The White Race depends on you to secure its existence. Your peoples enemies surround you in a sea of decay and filth that they have brought to your once clean and White nation."
  13. Controversial games and FPS

    Has anyone else played Red Dead Revolver? Anyone think it's mildly controversial that you get to play as a Mexican soldier fighting against the corrupt and evil American army at one point? I thought that was pretty bold. Really rubs it in the face of those makers of that crapfest Alamo propaganda-movie.
  14. Inverting Survival Horror

    There's a computer game my girlfriend used to play called Ghost Master. It's like a strategy kind of game, where you're given a map--say, a sorority house--and you have to choose the best ghosts to scare all the college girls out. It's pretty funny. So, I guess in that regard it's more like comedy-horror, not survival-horror. They should have let people play as zombies for the entire game in Resident Evil Outbreak multiplayer. Not just for two seconds after you die, or whatever. I agree with you though, the concept of an inverted survival-horror would be quite fun.
  15. This is an interesting article by GameSpot about whether high-res realism in graphics makes for a better game. I like this part at the end: "Wright encouraged the audience to recall that "a level of physical abstraction invites the use of imagination" and to put that knowledge to good use, in tandem with the newfound tools of computer graphics technology."
  16. Controversial games and FPS

    I believe either Hamas or Hezbollah has a FPS where you get to play against the Israeli army. I'm not sure if there's Americans in it, though. Hell, even the KKK has a FPS game.
  17. I guess that's my point. Saying you want to play an action movie and saying you want realism are contradictory notions.
  18. Loom

    remember the audio tape that came with Loom? it was all dramatic and foreboding and stuff. yeah, i loved that game. although i loved it more because it came bundled with Secret of Monkey Island. someone was talking about emergent gameplay in another thread. remember the part in loom where you had to stop the dragon from stealing sheep. i think you could either turn the sheep green or cast some other spell to freak them all out and make them leave. the only other two-solution puzzle I can remember from that time period was the Orat part in the first Space Quest. the origins of non-linear gaming?
  19. Someone else made this point before me, but I can't remember where I read it so I'm just going to paraphrase... but essentially, an article I read argued that the last thing that gamers want is realism. Think about it and it's true. Here's one example. Your character in most games refills their health by running over a little icon in the shape of a heart, or first aid kit, or eating a leaf or something. Now, does anyone want to abandon this abstracted, metaphorical kind of gameplay for something more realistic? Could you imagine a game where your character could only regain health and heal injuries by going to a hospital, spending a few weeks there, then rehabilitating him/herself. It's absurd. Even if a game just had something more realistic like a character having to find bandages and then spend ten minutes or so bandaging herself up, it would bore me to tears. I don't want that level of realism AT ALL. Reality sucks and is tedious most of the time, why would I want more of it? I'm playing Rise to Honour right now--the Jet Li game--and even though you could argue that it's designed in a realistic style. Like, the characters are semi-realistic looking to the extent of trying to make the main character resemble Jet Li and the backgrounds are the same style, etc. But since the game is like a kung fu movie, the actual gameplay is ridiculously unrealistic. Fighting fifteen karate dudes at the same time while dodging motorcylists trying to run you down is pure fantasy. But, it's so effin' fun that I don't care at all. If the game were realistic, it would blow. I think the same holds true for artistic style. Realism just requires far more effort than it's worth. Not only that, but it's deceptive and misleading. Realism as a genre, I think, is always tied to a desire to fool the public. That's probably an overstatement, but realism in video games to me seems to me to have a strong tie to military games (Kuma War being the extreme example--now you can kill Saddam Hussein!). And these military games pretend to be realistic by making the gun sounds authentic and crap like that while totally distorting the conflicts that they portray. Realism my buttocks! More like propaganda.
  20. When it comes down to it, i just think it's improper for art to try and recreate reality since all such attempts are destined to fail. Abstraction, stylization, whatever we call it are all ways for an artist to say, "Hey, look monkeys. This ain't real life so don't go pretending it is." Realism is a trick used by things like soap operas, crap movies like Black Hawk Down, and old Russian authors. It's boring, dangerous, and unimaginative. I'm not saying that means you can't draw characters realistically. But until we get holodeck technology, there's always going to be a gap between reality and art so why not use that instead of trying to fool people into thinking there isn't one. MGS is a beautiful example of this, since the game wraps you up in a "realistic" shell and then blows it all away at the end with all of that "you're actually living in a video game" stuff. MGS is a perfect example of a game that uses realism as a trap and then totally subverts it by the end.
  21. yeah, that's fair enough, although i think we're stretching the definition of realism as soon as inter-dimensional aliens are involved. and i still didn't see no crapping in either half-life or MGS!
  22. Animators did a good job of realistic mouth movements in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, but I guess they were all vampires or undead creatures, so that's not realistic for most of us. Personally, I detest any form of realism. It's pointless. Real life is the only real life. Why bother? It's far cooler to immerse yourself in a place that doesn't look like the one you get to see everyday anyway. Besides, until they start letting characters use the toilets in games, true 100% realism will always remain elusive.
  23. Multiple endings are wasted on people like me

    I also hate pointless ones like the alien ending in the original Silent Hill. Not only did you have to play it the whole way through to see it, it was completely stupid. And had nothing to do with the game. At least the ones where you make choices that affect the outcome make sense. It's getting stupid with DVDs where the movies have multiple endings as well. Like, a piece of film art should logically lead only to one ending. It can't just be arbitrary that the main character either lives or dies at the end, for example. Well, I guess unless your making a movie about the arbitrariness of life. Hey, that's a good idea... anybody got a camera?
  24. The Geneology of Games

    I haven't played it, but isn't that Viewtiful Joe game a sidescroller? The worst was turning Castlevania and Mega Man into 3D games. That was like taking some classic book, like say the Iliad, and turning it into some big Hollywood blockbuster crap fest starring like Brad Pitt or somebody. Er... What about when adventure games turned to point-and-click instead of typing in the commands. Yeah, it sucked when you wrote things that the computer didn't understand, but now just clicking a couple of times on things makes things either way too easy. Or the designers have to come up with puzzles that are totally ridiculous like in the newest Monkey Island game where you have to combine like sixty items together in the most illogical arrangements just to open a door or something.
  25. Multiple endings are wasted on people like me

    My friend and I are currently obsessively trying to get 100% completion on the PS2 Grand Theft Auto games. It's pretty fun, but really there's no reward save for appeasing our compulsions. I really like Hitman 2 and Contracts for the way you can try a whole bunch of different scenarios. And the way it actually rewards you for how good a hitman you can be. Man, I can play the hotel level in Contracts forever just exploring and trying stuff out. Anyone else seen the bit where the maid and the bellboy duck into a room to get it on? Hilarious! I hate games like Final Fantasy and Siren where you're expected to hunt around to every pixel on the map to find stupid bonus items that fill in the storyline. Although I guess I'm doing that in GTA which makes me a complete hypocrite pretty much. Ah, who am I kidding. I just like shooting people.