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Posts posted by Kester

  1. Oh. My. God. I wasn't going to post this first article, because it's been reported in plenty of other places. So has the second article in fact. But I just can't not post the links here, in case some of you haven't seen them yet. And in case you need your life spoiled. Seriously, this has just scored a +10 crit against my hope for the human race, and most certainly for journalism.

    First unbelievable article, from Cybercast.

    Second unbelievable article, from Townhall.

    Haha, that second guy clearly played Mass Effect: Zapp Brannigan Edition.

  2. I wonder if that reveal should've been the finale. I don't see how they could've accomplished what Duncan asks at all.

    Yeah, I think this would be the only sensible way around it. They'd have had to do something truly amazing to actually achieve what they promised.

    I can see why they didn't make the big reveal the finale, because the game ending with

    you being shot to death by Fontaine's security robots,

    while better from a narrative point of view and probably being one of the most ballsy things in game history, would have pissed off so, so many people. That doesn't make the actual end any less dissatisfying though.

  3. Fallout combat is about tactics

    I think you played a different Fallout to me, the combat in the one I played was about abusing the action point system, and trying to avoid your "allies"' continual attempts to shoot your arms off.

    (Apart from that, don't you need squads for tactical combat? There's only so much you can do with one guy (as in Fallout) unless you have a really advanced stealth system or something.)

    As lobotomy42 points out above, the combat was one of the WORST parts of Fallout. I'm not bothered that it's gone.

    It has to be turn-based because that's how you do tactical combat.

    Eh? You can do tactical combat however you like. I heard this about X-Com Apocalypse, and the UFO series from Cenega, and more besides. I don't just disagree with it, I honestly don't get what people are driving at here. As long as you include the elements and complexity needed for tactical thinking, and as long as planning takes precedence over reaction time, why the need for turn-based combat?

    I much prefer the pausable real-time of the UFO:After... series to turn-based, as it's harder to abuse. I have yet to find an implementation of out-of-turn reaction that isn't unbalanced towards either the mover or the interrupter, and thus possible to abuse horribly.

  4. I can relate to this too. With my 360, I find myself playing XBLA games much more than the "proper" releases, because I can sit down and play for 20 minutes, then go and do other things. I still have Crackdown that I got in a bundle with the console, and I've never even put it in the drive because it looks like it'll take forever to finish.

    Gears of War, on the other hand, is pretty much perfectly paced for my tastes. You can play for just 10 or 15 minutes and know you'll get a good dose of visceral action. Nearly all other shooters have sections where you would feel dissatisifed playing for only a short while. It's like Marek says about having to do stupid shit in a game; Epic realised players shouldn't have to do stupid parts just to play the good parts.

  5. Not shit, still above average, just not as good. This has been covered in another thread though. My problem with the choices that they gave you in Invisible War was that they really only seemed to matter at times like you mentioned. Otherwise, you could assasinate an official from one group under orders from another, then head to that group for your next mission like nothing happened. At worst, they'd scold you a bit. Seemed a tad silly to me. Still, if you can suspend your disbelief and make yourself think that they're pissed off with you, thus avoiding them anyway, it can still be quite immersive.

    I'll agree that this could have been handled a lot better, but it's worth noting that any game that wants the player to make moral choices without obvious rewards for doing so is going to have to rely on them suspending disbelief. This worked with the first Deus Ex for me - I only realised on the second run through the game that none of the choices I made actually had any impact on how the game progresses, and I'm sure the game would've been reduced if I'd realised this first time through. I sometimes wonder if one of the things that held back the second game is that people already knew that this was going to be the case, because they'd played the first game.

  6. Basically what we're saying is that moral judgments should be done as in the early parts of Deus Ex?

    One of the things I thought Invisible War did even better than the first game was how the three factions you could work for had philosophies that weren't good/bad, they were different. (Although I do recall the templars getting increasingly insane as the game progressed, but that may just have been me). I also liked how renouncing all three philosophies at the end of the game (there was something unpalatable about them all) led to global nuclear war with only the cyborg chaps surviving. It was a real "Shit, that was totally irresponsible" moment; the game was totally rejecting the 'renegade who plays by his own rules' as a hero, and forcing you to make a choice. In Invisible War, you can't save the world through indecision. I think that's the time I've really been made to think, and hard, about a choice I've made in a game. I remember procrastinating for about 20 minutes trying to decide which course of action was the more moral.

  7. I picked it up for £20, which is about what it's worth at the moment - some bits of it are great, some bits of it are pretty unprofessional. From reading around others' comments, I think you're more likely to enjoy it if you're the "Cool I have spaceships and planets and things" type (like me!) than the type who wants to know every single number in the game and how it affects your chances of winning. I've seen some of the latter types call the game "fundamentally broken", make of that what you will. I think an upcoming patch is supposed to sort a lot of those issues though.

    Oh, I'm having great fun with it by the way!

  8. Oooh, this is definitely on my watch-list! My one reservation is that I'm not sure Chris Taylor is actually the ideal person to make a TA successor - like people have pointed out already, TA wasn't exactly bursting with character, and the kindest word I can find for those Supreme Commander screenshots is "generic". Hopefully theres someone on the dev team who can make him realise you need to make people want to play your game before they'll realise how great your revolutionary gameplay is. Got my fingers crossed for this one turning out well though!

    As a side note, I do like the way RTS developers are slowly catching onto the idea of making RTS games more about prioritising your attention onto different theatres than on empire/base-building: Dawn of War also had this to an extent with the control point system. Here's hoping to it catching on with more people!

  9. <- Westwood's composer. Almost all C&C tracks.

    Fight! Win! Prevail!

    Two thumbs up for that link, this takes me back! I never was too keen on the music in the rest of the series though, even though its done by the same guy. Odd.

    I think one of the reasons this music is so well remembered was that you could actually access and edit the playlist from the options menu. With a few exceptions, thats not something you can even do on most games nowadays. Wish you could though.

  10. Best game noone played: Silent Storm... you know I had completely forgotten this one. I played the demo and it really did seem great, except it was fucking too hard for me. Or too slow-paced. Or maybe I just suck.

    I don't really get the hype around this game - I think people are just happy that someone made a turn-based tactical game, so they don't pay much attention to the quality. It's decent, but nothing special at all. This is by far my favourite game genre as well, I still play X-Com pretty regularly, so I really wanted it to be good. I actually bought it, then returned it a few days later because I simply wasn't having fun. ;(

    FWIW, I preferred UFO:Aftermath, for all its flaws, just because it was actually trying to do something new. Silent Storm seemed perfectly happy to try and recreate Jagged Alliance 2 (by no means a perfect game, regardless of what some people would have you believe) in 3D. Eh, I'm just rambling now. :shifty:

  11. "A handful of lucky audience members will be selected to come up on stage and actually play a video game while the orchestra plays interactively with them!"

    This sounds really cool if they could pull it off well.

    "You'll be entertained by characters in costume acting out your favorite scenes with a fully designed laser and light show synchronized with music and video."

    This, on the other hand, sounds truly cringe-worthy.

    I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this project - I'd love to hear the BG&E soundtrack done, I'm still upset they didn't release it on CD. It'd be nice if they could get some more retro music on there as well as Ghosts & Goblins. Sonic 2 would be my personal pick, it has probably my favourite soundtrack ever.

  12. This happens a lot nowadays, releasing a noCD patch about a month after the game comes out. Mainly I think they're trying to protect initial sales - most people who want the game will get it pretty soon after it comes out, so they're trying to stop piracy by these people. It's the same principle as Valve unlocking games via Steam, only not so secure.

    Once the game has been out a while, they can get a bit of customer goodwill back by removing the CD check.

  13. I agree with you in terms of the movie's message; it's not one I would support generally. However, I gave it credit for HAVING a message that wasn't something like "Friends are good" or "Help other people" as is the case in pretty much every other general-audience animated film.

    Yeah, I liked the fact that the film did try to raise some interesting issues, it's just a pity that they lost interest in them. Mr Incredible's partial responsibilty in making Syndrome who he was could really have gone somewhere, but they seemed to forget about it and instead go for the somewhat unsatisfying 'big finish' you've mentioned already.

  14. The only REAL flaw of the movie is that Violet, dear sweet cute innocent Violet chooses the POPULAR BOY at the end as her romantic interest -instead of realising that good looks mean NOTHING and choosing for the non-existent teased nerdboy who is actually the COOLEST of all schoolkids.

    I have a crush on a polygon character and I'm not even ashamed of it.

    I know you're joking here, but did anyone else find the general message of the movie a bit, well, disturbing? As far as I could tell, the Incredibles were ensuring that they got to remain superior to everyone else. The scene mentioned above has Violet basically assuming a place at the top of the high school food chain, and the scene with Dash in the school race especially smacked of them affirming a kind of smug superiority complex. Syndrome, nutcase though he may have been, had a fundamentally good idea of equalising the playing field so that normal people weren't at the whim of superheroes/villains.

    Or have I just been listening to too much Pulp so have class warfare on the brain?

    PS: Yes, the baby was a bad decision.

  15. Of course, Ghost in the Shell didn't come out until almost 15 years after her script was written... And your point has SOME merit, but that's just how genres work; almost any action movie or buddy comedy or whatever has the same basic formula, but they're still different movies. Once someone comes up with a good idea, it's often emulated and just becomes a facet of the genre.

    From what I can gather, she's been saying that the entire movie is pretty much a direct ripoff of her script, not just "heavily influenced" or whatever. So I think the point about the myriad references in the Matrix does stand up; hell, even Neuromancer wasn't written until 1984, which according to her is 3 years after she wrote her script. There might well be some truth to what she's saying, but the way they're implying that the entire movie is pretty much her work makes her seem either a) a bit of a nutjob or B) terribly terribly bitter (which is understandable).

    I'm also a bit bemused by the lack of coverage this has gotten - some of the sources would have you believe this is the giant evil news megacorporations exerting their control. Bollocks. Newspapers will pick up a story if they think it will get them readers, regardless of whether they're owned by the company involved about 5 steps up the corporate chain.

  16. ThunderPeel2001:

    It's the fastest selling PC game ever. I'm sure it didn't touch San Andreas. Still, it just shows how geeky us PC gamers actually are


    It's the fastest-selling PC game ever in North America. Oh right, North America is the only place that exists in the world. I forgot.

    I thought the title smelled funny.

    Bah, pedants! :mock: And I imagine N. America is probably a fairly good yardstick for the rest of the world as far as game-buying habits go. Apart from Korea, because everyone knows the country is crazy and will buy 10 copies of any Blizzard product for every citizen.


    Colour me surprised. I knew the PC market was something of a niche market, but I didn't realise just how much that was true. Or have MMORPGs suddenly become mainstream while I wasn't paying attention?

    Is the PC market really this dominated by 'hardcore' (or whatever this week's epithet is) gamers? If so, I'm not sure I hold out much hope for it lasting too long at all. :frown:

  18. You don't need a big budget to set up a content delivery system like steam, just use (your own version of) the bittorrent network. Everything is already there for fast & cheap content delivery, the industry is just affraid to use it.

    That's a good point, I hadn't really considered peer-to-peer distribution. You get to use other people's hardware to distribute, just as long as they are happy to let you.

  19. So what do all you guys think of Steam? Are those of you buying from it doing so just because its convenient, or because you think it's the "future of games" or somesuch and needs to be supported?

    I see people all over the internet saying how it will revolutionise game delivery and put more power back in the hands of the developers, but I just don't see it. Sure, I think it's going to work fine for Valve, but they have a founder with fat stacks of cash to throw at the company. They're kind of the Chelsea FC of the gaming world, and as such are the exception rather than the rule. I don't see how a typical small developer on a shoestring budget is going to have the infrastructure to set up a delivery system like this. I imagine they could 'rent' the service from Valve (or whoever else sets something like this up - I believe Fileplanet is trying to get a less sophisticated version of this system running), but isn't all you're doing then just creating a new middleman?

    I'd honestly like for this to work for small developers, I just don't see how it can.

  20. I continue to be highly interested in Valve's cabal thing.

    Knowing about this does shine something of a light on the original Half-Life. I've always been bemused by how different some levels of that game were. Not just that some were awesome (fighting helicopters!) and some were downright awful (jumping puzzles over slime pits!), but in the general design approach, both artistically and gameplay-wise. Black Mesa just never seemed to form a cohesive whole to me. Now I know why! :)