• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Simon

  1. Keeping your data safe

    I've become terrified of losing files too. I've started using Dropbox for an online backup of the most crucial (work) files, on top of an external hard drive. With the free 2GB, you don't get enough space for music and photos, though. I think at some point I'd consider paying for online backups, perhaps if the sync was really smart and just pulled from certain folders so I didn't need to worry about putting it in the right sync-spot on my computer (which also uses double the hard disk space of course). Is there anything like that?
  2. Mother 3

    I wanted to mention that the fan-made handbook for Mother 3 is really lovely work. Also, did anyone else get round to playing the translation? I just played through my first three hours and I'm enjoying it. It's too early to tell if this game is as true-to-formula it could well be, and maybe I'll never finish it if so. Of course it has something close to the proper JRPG combat seen in Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, and I'll probably always feel like the Zelda school of real-time bashing (with puzzley twists for the boss fights) would have suited this game better. But there's enough polish and thoughtful storytelling and weirdness elsewhere, so far. There is one particular key plot-point cutscene early on that is both absolutely hilarious and surprisingly tragic in the same moment. It's worth playing for that, probably. It's the bit with ...
  3. Sam & Max 2010

    Fair enough. I'd resisted getting season two, and then when I got a free episode with the Tales pre-order, I picked that one, based on all the glowing reviews. Maybe it is only underwhelming when played out of context.
  4. Sam & Max 2010

    I hope it's something of a rethink. I played most of Season One but got bored, and then I tried 'Chariot Of the Dogs' (the best of the last season, I heard), and found it similarly wide of the mark and never finished it. So many elements were in place with those games, but they came off as much less fun than a Sam & Max game should be. I think that's partly because it's hard to seem as kinetic and stuffed-with-ideas as Hit The Road or the comics when you invest the story with so few locations and characters... But Tales of Monkey Island very much makes me interested to see what they do with Sam & Max next. I think Tales has been really assured and polished and fun throughout (well, I still need to play the last chapter this evening, but I give it the benefit of the doubt) and they clearly thought a lot about nailing a certain feel, across the whole game. After that massive step up for Telltale, Sam & Max 2010 could be ace.
  5. Another fine 'cast. Glad to see you will be blogging again too... I also read Hound of the Baskervilles in the past year or so and was similarly struck by how it had been around for so long and influenced so much, yet didn't feel like it had been dated or surpassed. Such a cracking good book. I followed that up with the complete Brigadier Gerard stories that Conan Doyle wrote too, and I recommend those. They follow the adventures of an extremely vain, slightly hapless, very likeable French hussar in the Napoleonic wars, and are super fun and charming. Gerard is a great character. He sort of narrates the tales as a wistful old-timer looking back on his glory days, exaggerating and digressing lots. I'm definitely going to read one of the Umberto Eco books soon. Maybe Name of the Rose first, as that seems to have hooked you in to him, Chris...
  6. Tales of Monkey Island

    I finished 'Siege of Spinner Cay' today and it was great. The puzzling was a little more obvious here than in the first part I think, as I didn't get stumped besides failing to notice the bucket for a while. More importantly, the story is skipping along nicely, and the game is super fun. Van Winslow is blossoming into a pretty charming and hilarious sidekick (responsible for me laughing out loud a few times), with some excellent banter between him and Guybrush. I find that he is making up a little for those occasional generic repurposed pirates. I am also enjoying the friendly LeChuck twist. The island-hopping was handled very neatly, although someday I hope they get round to a 'Four Map Pieces' type section with several proper islands to flit between, solving different branches of puzzles. That sort of size and complexity seems way beyond what Telltale is aiming for with their episodes, understandably. The old games had parts which were quite variable in how much gameplay they represented (for instance 'The Three Trials' take significantly longer than 'The Journey'), but even if it were possible to develop that much gameplay, I guess Telltale have to balance everything and can't really justify putting out a mammoth chunk of gameplay one month and then a 'Guybrush Kicks Butt' or smaller the next. My favourite observation on this game I've seen so far is: That's CapnNacho in Mojo comments, referring to .
  7. Google Chrome

    Yep, I went through this and wasn't impressed by Chrome. Eventually, I switched to Opera, and I recommend that. It's a very speedy and smart browser these days...loads up super quick and has a bunch of clever features, some of them quite inventive, like the 'Speed dial'. I don't understand why Firefox is so adored compared to Internet Explorer, both are just fine. I guess there are hundreds of add-ons for Firefox if you like extending the browser lots.
  8. Tales of Monkey Island

    After happily chipping away at it for the past week, I completed Launch of the Screaming Narwhal this afternoon and I'm really impressed by it and excited for the next episodes. It is cosy and recognisable as a Monkey Island game, whilst feeling fresh and brave with its new story and characters. The puzzling is pitched smartly and I was only a little stuck once or twice. Actually, the tiny difficulties I had made it kind of nice to go away from it after a quick play and look forward to another go the next evening, rather than tear through it all at once. The last Telltale games I played were the first Sam & Max games, and the detail and polish to the art and animation here seemed major leaps ahead and just superb to me. Touches like those , and the zooming-out through the jungle to the menu, and general amount of spiffy animations in the conversations, that I didn't necessarily expect, made it especially fun to play. I loved the music so much. So far it's quite gentle and minimal, and of course less 'live' than Michael Land's work on Curse, which I was listening to lots lately. It's got a lovely feel and it'd be cool to get the tracks out of the game. Especially impressed with the track so far. I guess Telltale will make a CD of it when the series wraps up. Wow, awesome. Really looking forward to all of this...
  9. Oh no. For the time being, I'm going to skip this. I'm more sure now that I will not enjoy it so much. I see the first two games as establishing one kind of idiom for Monkey Island, and then Curse created another one, quite wonderfully, and I think that has been picked up very successfully by Tales, so far. Less so by Escape before that. The Special Edition seems to me to stand well outside of either way of presenting that world, but not in a neat new way that interests me. I think it is just throwing technology at the old game, in a hurry, but not paying much attention to what made it charming. Maybe I will play it some other rainy day and find out for sure. I too hope they don't attempt a remake of Monkey Island 2, that game is an artistic leap ahead in terms of nailing a very particular style and feel. It would not be done justice by any well-meaning enhancements to any part of it. The same is true of the other SCUMM games that followed, though.
  10. Oh okay, maybe there is some hope. It's a 2GHz Core 2 Duo. The computer's handling Tales of Monkey Island fine...
  11. So I was thinking of buying the Monkey Island Special Edition this evening but are those system requirements for real? The required processor speed kind of stands out as strange to me, but maybe this game has more new-fangled fancy-pants bells and whistles than I thought. Besides the processor, I'd easily run it okay. Has anyone else tried to run it on something below the Steam specs? Sorry, super boring question. I'm annoyed by some of the art ideas, and only especially interested in hearing the soundtrack, but I feel like I should support the new friendly LucasArts, and this is a game I don't already own...I mean, I already spent four months' pocket money on Full Throttle when it came out.
  12. Game Damage

    I thought Yahtzee's rant was as lazy and redundant as the Duke Nukem Forever 'skits'. Almost every point he made could have been made, and was made, about ten years ago, and better. The show was awkward, and although it's their first bash at doing a show together, I don't think the chemistry bodes well.
  13. My favourite moment was Jake's outrageous "Yeah dude, we got it." zinger, interrupting Brad's explaination of the 'Abilitease'.
  14. Thankyou for another lively and excellent talky hour. Please keep doing the musical interludes. I loved how the fanboy character just paraphrased his sadness and outrage so excessively. I also enjoyed the silly Peter Molyneux impression.
  15. Excellent! Looking forward to more. The bit about people who play a few games a year, but lots, was interesting. Although it's different with me, in that I am interested in a lot of games and platforms and developers and I check a blog or two, I perversely don't end up playing a lot of these games. I maybe buy less than five, and complete or exhaust two or three over a long time. Maybe you should talk sometime about the idea of finishing games, how they're generally being made as shorter experiences, but even so, do that many people finish everything? A few years ago I kept buying DS games, but I have still barely spent an hour with some of those. Perhaps if I feel like I've got the gist of a game and it's unlikely to show me anything new, I tend to neglect it. I finished Half-Life 2 because it kept throwing new things at me and before I knew it, it was over. It didn't give me a moment's chance to get distracted by other games. That distraction either stems from a tiny attention span, or me just being more interested in whatever big ideas a game contains than the gameplay that reveals those. Like that thing about how you realise you played adventure games for the plot and world, rather than the pointing and clicking. The chat about pixel art and game music poked my brain in interesting ways too. I once wrote a long thing about nostalgia and form that I was going to send in to Thumbs, but it didn't quite click when I read it back.
  16. Idle Thumbs Steam community

    Can I get an invite? I've been quiet for ages but I still check Thumbs and lurk here. You remember me, right? I like all this if the new way of launching non-Steam games logs your favourite gaming, sort of like a for games on top of everything else.
  17. Some free advice to Peter Molyneux...

    I like Molyneux, but his games really do expose that unwarranted focus on a handful of neat touches, seemingly at the expense of a more rewarding whole. Maybe the dog is worth the effort this time, as if it has enough depth, it probably will make the game quite immersive. A few things he says (like the pub door-scratching scene) do sound like wishful thinking or hot air though. And maybe even if they do make it, they will be prime examples of too much fuss over the minutiae of the gameplay. That sounds incredibly cynical. But my main reservation about it all is along the lines of what Ginger wrote - he's doggedly trying to distil 'emotion' into a formula like "dog sidekick + family + world reacting = emotion". I don't know if those games he praised in the Gamespot video had 'wow moments' in their design document like that either. I haven't paid much attention to this game but I like that it seems to have moved more into the age of muskets and carriages and highways.
  18. Annoying gaming news site headlines

    Gears carves into Japan Chainsaws into top ten. The 'chainsaws into top ten' makes me suspect they've read this thread.
  19. Haha, Boris. As an English and American Literature graduate who spent his whole youth in the thrall of these 'hypnotic little machines', I take exception. I suppose he is typically picking and choosing, or more likely only aware of, certain kinds of games. Spending all your time with anything is not going to make you particularly well-rounded, but the bigger picture is always frustratingly absent from an article like this. If anything, some the first games I played may have resulted in me being more literate. I reckon they got me hooked on storytelling, actually spurred me on to read more and also to be a pretty creative youngster.
  20. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

    I've completed the first temple and it's hugely enjoyable. A tiny criticism that I've seen in most reviews is that it all boils down to the typical Zelda formula, that rings true so far and I'm not expecting them to fuck around with it at all before it's over. It hasn't stumped me yet but it's early, and having played Ocarina recently maybe I'm breezing through it a bit more than I would otherwise. I think enough Zelda conditions you to know what to look for in these games, because it is a familiar formula. Still, I hope some fiendish dungeon puzzles are yet to come and also that it opens up a bit into a sprawling world of choices rather than linear areas with a set of puzzles to solve each. That'd be my worry right now. So far, so riveting and satisfying, and Also, I think the Wii controls work great and I like sounds coming out of my remote and widescreen Zelda, but I know some people prefer it Cubed.
  21. DS Games

    Just finished Zelda Minish Cap on GBA and I'm gonna break up my mission to play every Zelda game ever for the first time (on GBA, borrowed N64, Gameboy Color emulator, new Wii sometime) with some new DS games. I've got Star Fox Command and Contact on the way, both of which had some iffy reviews, but Contact in particular sounded interesting enough to give a try. My friend has Yoshi's Island DS and says that it's technically good in being 'more of the same', but doesn't have that same fine-tuned level design and wonderful variation. I might get round to it eventually but I'm feeling more about that than a space-dogfight-strategy melodrama and a quirky high-concept RPG.
  22. Sam and Max

    Trying to order it through the demo didn't work, and it crashed once, but the actual game was very good indeed. It went at least as far as Hit The Road in capturing the twisted nuances of the comics, when for some reason (I don't know why) I expected it to be a more clean-cut and innocuous thing altogether. I'd forgotten how much I love Sam & Max at their best, and it feels like they really got it, I was grinning and sniggering. And enjoyable adventure game puzzling for the first time I can remember in a long while. Can't wait for more.
  23. From the little I've played of more recent Sonic, I find the voices obnoxious. Even the tiny bits of Tails moving between levels in Sonic Rush were horrible. With Mario I hadn't really thought about the fact that they gave him a voice in the mid-90s until I read this. I suppose that's a sign that it fits well, at least the way it's been used so far. In any case, I think the stakes were a lot higher with something like Monkey Island because the nature of those games is that the characters do lots of talking. Whatever voices they picked, we'd be stuck with them through vast tracts of dialogue and these are characters we've already spent two games with. So getting it right was an especially big deal, and they did it well. I wonder if anyone hated the voices and just played CoMI with just the text on...
  24. Futurama

    It always seemed to me that the show was really finding its feet in season 4, although season 1 is the most consistent. It was going to have to tread a thin line to avoid overdoing certain things, like maybe the Fry and Leela thread, but I am convinced it had a few more very good seasons in it. I like Jurassic Bark. The ending is highly manipulative, and a strange note for Futurama to want to end on, but beautiful and affecting for what it is. I like that it becomes such a different kind of episode. I think there should be room for that as a show evolves. If it had been my first episode of Futurama I'd be very confused though, so maybe it is a big risk/mistake. The ones that build this epic story thread are great, so The Luck Of The Fryrish, The Day The Earth Stood Stupid, The Why Of Fry... Also Less Than Zero (the Zookeeper!), Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings, Parasites Lost, Insane In The Mainframe, I, Roommate, Bicyclops Built For Two, 30% Iron many really.
  25. Oblivion

    I spent my first long afternoon with Oblivion yesterday. Did the first batch of stuff I was meant to and then explored a bit and side-quested. I'm thoroughly impressed. My last Elder Scrollsing was Daggerfall, which I enjoyed up to a point (the point of realising just how homogenous the world outside the main questing was), but the polish here is something else. It's probably less sprawling, but that means it can be properly designed, so it's rewarding and interesting to wander from the story. Not fast-travelling sometimes between places throws up cool stuff to see and do, which surprised me. It's interesting the amount of people who have been going nuts waiting for what is essentially a traditional PC-style RPG. It's the graphics that have done it, but it turns out this is clearly not just a pretty face. I should know, it looks ugly on my computer. My ageing ATI card has been called out of retirement for one last mission, wheezing every time we crest a hill and complaining 'I'm gettin' too old for this shit' when more than a few enemies appear on screen. And I get jealous of people who can see it with everything turned up. But it's still a lot of fun. Even if I can't work out how to change my character's stupid haircut. Time will tell, but so far, so One criticism: the map that came in the box is crap. No-one has ever made a map as good as Ultima VII's exciting cloth map, but this one looks boring and hardly shows anything.