steak-flavored gum

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Everything posted by steak-flavored gum

  1. Warcraft Adventures (old old stuff)

    blizzard's heavy-handed, melodramatic storytelling peppered with zany quips and pop culture references has never been at the heart of why i enjoy some of the games they make, so the cancellation of a game in a genre in which this element is brought to the forefront didn't really upset me, if i recall correctly.
  2. Why BG&E failed - written by an UbiSoft PR employee

    how's this: "you play a psychic-in-training who enters the minds of insane persons and fixes their problems"
  3. "How to Become a Better Videogame Journalist"

    quite frankly, i would be more than happy to read lengthy reviews that are able to transcend their function as "buyer's guides" on some level, but when you get right down to it, as buffa points out, a game review doesn't actually always need to be all that lengthy to indicate whether you might want to check it out or not. specifically with regards to internet reviews, all the technical information and specifications of a game is already easily accessible on the web, and this information may be accessed from any number of gaming news websites that also link to reviews. further than buffa goes: if one is not going to bother with making a review an interesting experience on its own and rather a purely functional work, then why not just include the bare minimum with perhaps a link or two for those readers who aren't already familiar with the product being reviewed? personally, when i am interested in consulting reviews to determine whether i should buy a game or not, i have already done my research and i know quite a bit about the game in question; i am not reading the review to see a list of the features i'm already aware of. more often than not, i either end up skimming through reviews (possibly missing some of the bits i'm interested to read) or even going straight to the end for a summary or breakdown of score (an awful way to decide about a game) and as such, a review more tailored to my specific need would probably be much more efficient and useful. my interest in the more extended review i first mentioned lies not necessarily in the function of the more traditional review - i might read this because i am interested in the review in and of itself, almost separate from the game it discusses. it's something like wanting to read an academic paper on a piece of music not just to decide whether it is worthy of a listening, not only to gain higher-level insight on that music, but for the joy of simply reading such higher-level insight written in a satisfactory fashion. nobody wants to read a pitchfork-esque piece that wallows in self-importance but offers no actual interesting synthesis, but at the same time it's a mistake to write off a review that shoots above the least-common-denominator demographic for the product it discusses, as i believe buffa mistakenly does. indie-type review sites correctly recognize that there is more than enough room for multiple sorts of Video game journalism, but perhaps the reason why buffa isn't convinced is that they're not going far enough. there is a unique opportunity in gaming to write material that in a way might be said to cater to the same refined interests of academic writing in a relativistic sense, but in a way that i think more than just ivory tower residents would be excited to read, simply due to the immediate accessibility of the subject matter. there seems to be plenty of room for engaging ‘armchair philosophy’-type discourse here that escapes irrelevance. or maybe the cherry pie that my stomach was enjoying came out onto the screen as a steaming pile of bullshit?
  4. Prey demo

    First off, apologies for a lengthy reply which probably doesn't offer any new opinions you haven't already read concerning the demo. I wasn't very excited by this. The aesthetics weren't bad, but they weren't imaginitive enough for my tastes. Some of the sounds weren't as satisfying as they could be. I could probably come up with a few more minor points of contention if I felt like it, but more importantly, the portals didn't excite me. I realize this is just the beginning of the game in demo format and it could get a lot more interesting from this point, but really, the portals are one of the (if not THE) main selling points (point) of the game, and they don't get used any more creatively than with the monster-knocking-over-the-crate and the miniaturization thing. Aside from these two things, this is all stuff that even I could have been doing (and was doing) back with Descent and the level editor that came with it. There are also related issues with pacing, predictability, and linearity. Whenever I saw a space through which progression was inhibited (by a wall, locked door, whatever) I expected a portal. Regardless of whether they can be said to have been used in a gimmicky fashion or not, they felt gimmicky because of the way they were worked into the pacing and linearity of the experience. Blah blah blah I mean I didn't have a bad time necessarily, it's just I really think we should be expecting much more of games. To mention the classic Descent games again, all the way back in Descent 2 I remember being genuinely impressed at the AI of a large group of robots working together. I felt that with this demo the AI didn't really make any impression or present any challenge at all. It was all about how many hits it took to down an enemy, how much their weapons hurt you and how hard they were to avoid. There was never more than a very small group to combat. I enjoy pretty, "immersive" graphics as much as the next person but it seems in games of this type the number-crunching power required for a single enemy is dumbing down the gameplay to an unacceptable extent, so that the nontrivial, nonsuperficial challenges seemingly foreshadowed by the exciting AI in ancient games can actually only be found in multiplay accompanied by a host of relevant problems. After I had run through the demo I didn't feel that there was anything left for me to gain from it, so I uninstalled it immediately. If a game is going to be unabashedly linear, it can still reward replaying by making up for its linearity in the quality of its other components (although you may not agree, an example of this might be Half-Life 2). I wasn't feeling any of this in Prey.
  5. Steam - Why do you hate/dislike it so much?

    I'm wondering what the issue is with losing a Steam password; isn't that situation something akin to that of losing a password for, say, an online banking service? Both offer measures to be taken in the case of a forgotton password, and if for some reason one is unable to take advantage of those measures then due to their nature it really can't be blamed on Steam. This is not to belittle the issue - losing an investment in games all linked to one account is annoying and expensive - but prevention of such an issue isn't exactly difficult.
  6. Double Fine kitten & game leak

    The first thing I noticed was that there were several white spaces appearing on the right side every fifth line, accompanied by similar-looking wording directly preceding. Upon further study it is fairly clear that this is a larger pattern resulting from the copying of a single phrase over and over again, laying across the line differently each time until it loops back after five lines. Even further study led to my discovery of larger capital-type letters that give the phrase "Double Fine's" away like a year's worth of haircuts. It's also reasonably clear that the next two words are 'new game'. I'm not absolutely sure about the rest of it but it looks something like "Hundreds of secrets about Double Fine's new game!" I hope for my sake it is not; oh, the legal trouble I could get into by revealing Hundreds of secrets about Double Fine's new game!. Extra note: super sleuthing really requires no effort. First result on for 'curiosities' shows up a lookalike book, Albertus Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.
  7. Why Games Suck:

    Not to consistently be in disagreement, but isn't this how most things work? All the writing education in the world doesn't ensure that you will be able to write an awesome novel or collection of nonfiction essays. Great skill in calculus does not directly translate to cool architectural designs. If I do an intensive crash course in parenting at my local library, will my child turn out okay? That the quality of the tools does not provide the primary indicator of the quality of the product is not exactly a new, controversial idea.
  8. Why Games Suck:

    Not only is this horribly bigoted, it is also incorrect.
  9. Why Games Suck:

    I think we need to get to the bottom of "What makes software engineers all nerdy and only interested in making games that add up mathematical stats and simulate physics and emulate their favorite action movies when they were 10 years old, therefore leading to poor results in games that are enjoyable?" I'll go mine some data and see if anything turns up.
  10. Ballmer is going to kill google?

    He sounds super excited
  11. How did you lose your gaming virginity ?

    Well, you know, long history of blow-jobs, but it wasn't until Tie Fighter that I got into it black tar-style
  12. A generation of irrelevance

    Yes, I agree with that - it is impossible for the next generation to be irrelevant under these terms, even if it's just going to be another few years of gestation. You just have to insert the eggsack right on the inside-rear of the thigh and be sure to inconspicuously let the fluid discharge whenever you're near and then you'll be gold!
  13. A generation of irrelevance

    Is this really going to happen, though? I don't see the demographic for the people that buy consoles as something that is about to be dramatically changed. Prices are rising significantly. It's possible that this time the marketing propaganda will turn out to be true, but I highly doubt it. As an afterthought: I see culture (in general) influencing the next generation of consoles and their games much more than the consoles and the games will influence culture. This is more what I mean by cultural irrelevance.
  14. A generation of irrelevance

    I think the thing that has the potential to bring relevance to this generation of consoles lies in the tools that are given to the developers from Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony. Now that the curve has leveled off substantially on how impressed we generally are with new advances in graphics prettiness, the battleground lies where more creativity and (traditionally) technical aptitude is required. As an example: how many games actually provide to you as vivid a soundscape in surround sound as you actually experience in real life? The increased power of this next generation makes it possible to come closer to this sort of soundscape, but I can never imagine it being made a priority by a developer without being given some sort of advanced toolkit that takes a vast amount of the grunt work out using all sorts of clever automation stuff. This would free the developer to focus on making the sound a really interesting and substantial part of the game, given the time and ability to do a wider range of things. Or how about some sort of weird physics toolkit that allows the developer to be ultra-creative and make a set of natural laws that seem impossibly bizarre? Or maybe something that allows an artist with limited technical skill to modify the way three dimensions are treated in a room so that the dimensions become warped and the room folds in on itself? So for sure, from that last paragraph you're thinking "well, this seems marginally interesting but it has very limited appeal and nobody would ever buy something like this." Here's me telling you you're wrong. If more of the power is put into the hands of the highly creative people that are or could be potentially working in the industry, if it is made easier for them to immediately affect significant change within a game, then all sorts of doors are opened up for the truly creative aspects in games to be much more involved. It's like the whole thing in digital audio stuff right now: as a result of there being powerful and easy-to-use tools available, anyone can make music electronically if they really wanted to. While this has led to an impossibly huge deluge of crappy electronic music available both online and off, it now frees the more brilliant musicians to do some amazing work that could not have been done even with a ton of techincal knowledge and hard work a few decades ago. Sure, the tools have the potential to shape the work almost as much as the person using them, simply because of how the tools are meant to be used, but within the hands of an innovative thinker, this problem is itself made irrelevant by its questionable existence. Aside from all this unreadable bullshit, I do agree with points made thus far and it seems that, without such tools as I describe AND without developer interest in making games uniquely awesome as I have mentioned, the next generation consoles seem as if they really don't bring enough to the table.
  15. Games Are Art . Com

    I frequently find that, when people start ecstatically gushing on about how their favorite whatever is of really high quality, they fling the word 'art' around like fresh figs. What I was trying to say in my first reply is that too much time is spent attempting to add some sort of elitist holier-than-thou qualification to this 'whatever' by slamming down the 'art stamp' as a symbol for all of the 'positive attributes' this 'whatever' possesses. Why bother dressing up this 'whatever' in a '+7 Hat of I Deserve Caviar' when you really just want to 'talk' about your 'experiences' of 'unusually high quality'? There is such thing as bad art, you know, and there are two important things you need to know about it: 1. Bad art exists in much greater plentitude than does good art 2. Bad art is still art The debate over what is 'art' goes far beyond two 45-year-old men thatching roofs and arguing over whether they think an artist should be making money by exhibiting a work like 'Piss Christ'. Out of all the ivory-tower ramblings in the world, I personally believe that academic writings on art theory are actually some of the most important, and it is a pity that most people never even wonder if these sorts of writings exist. Tom Zé describes himself as a journalist rather than an artist - while perhaps not entirely fitting, a similar qualification given to some games might better describe their merits than the more superficial, distracting, and ultimately destructive label of 'art'.
  16. Games Are Art . Com

    Your manifesto seems pretty weak, and I'm sensing floods of Dewey cascading out of the monitor and staining my dinner jacket. Maybe you should invent a new term that, while not being 'art', discusses the positive characteristics and experiential nature of the medium without all of the other stuff that the discussed content seems to be lacking in?
  17. WHo's who at idle thumbs

    hbbla hbbblba hbbubbllbubualbububalbububbuubllaahububla!
  18. a little tribute to the world's greatest sauce

    yeah, um, tabasco sauce is pretty boring i think a more miraculous sauce is fish sauce - it smells awful but when you put it in things it becomes magical and there are fairies and you can have peacocks in your apartment and stuff like that
  19. do zombies have to pooh?

    how about farting? do zombies fart? does it matter if it's a male or female zombie? I would myself imagine that a lot more gas than usual gets generated by the body of a zombie, and depending on where that gas gets pushed out, it may result in a fart. If you're defining flatulence as only coming from the arse then it would all depend on whether the flesh down there was still able to properly clench or not.
  20. Looks like you got your wish...

    So, I can pick up a copy of the latest in the 'Left Behind' series and crudely draw a big-titty ho on page 69 with a red marker, and then post detailed connect-the-dots style instructions online so that anyone can make a similar drawing in their own copy. Can this get the book banned? If so that is totally awesome :deadman:
  21. San Andreas (PC)

  22. Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince...

    hahaha well i won't piss on your little dream there
  23. Happy Birthday Alex!!!!

    omg shut up shut up SHUT UP!!!!!
  24. Dongs and Dong salad

    i'm getting all tintinnabulated over here