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Everything posted by ethanThomas

  1. Down in the Zone (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)

    I said come in, don’t stand there! Hello, hello. I figured I’d start a thread for the discussion of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games. Have you played any of the games? If so did you like them? I have some information that might be of use to you. If you’ve heard of the game but haven’t played it yet, the first game (Shadow of Chernobyl) is available for USD$20 on Steam or at your friendly local retailer. I would recommend installing the STALKER Complete 2009 mega-mod since it makes the game look much better, it also fixes many of the bugs and issues that the devs weren’t able to fix. One word of warning: even with the mod installed, this is still a game that might not be your cup of tea. I rather love the game, but I certainly understand that slogging around in a radioactive hellhole is a bit of an acquired taste. If you’ve already played SoC and either completed it or quit in frustration, revisiting the game with the mod installed would probably be worth your time. Okay, that’s it. Get out of here stalker!
  2. The Myth of Sisyphus (Trials HD)

    So...Trials HD... Great game or greatest game?
  3. Fucking PC gaming!

    I have nothing else to add.
  4. Manhunt 2

    So apparently Manhunt 2 is coming to the PC in all it's AO-rated, uncut glory. I'm curious to see if there will be any media controversy or whether it will pass under the radar since it's a digital distribution only release. I thought the first Manhunt was kinda interesting, so I might check out the second one once the price drops a bit.
  5. Persona 4 Endurance Run

    So Giant Bomb's play-through of Persona 4 wrapped up today. Did anyone else here follow it? What did you think of it? (either the game or GB's presentation of it) I thought the story was pretty neat-o, even if there are some points where everything grinds to a halt in order either beat you over the head with the game's themes or to provide yet another unnecessary reiteration of the plot so far.
  6. Persona 4 Endurance Run

    Personally I just loaded up the whole segment before I started watching, this allowed me to easily skip over the grindy bits.
  7. I'm looking for some RPG goodness, but I have little interest in swords and/or sorcery. Any recommendations? Games like this I'm already aware of: Fallout franchise KOTOR I&II Mass Effect Arcanum (it's admittedly half fantasy, but the steampunk was neat-o) Alpha Protocol (not out yet of course)
  8. Kotor 2: The Sith Lords (now with additional content)

    I just completed a light side play-through with the mod installed. There are no extremely major additions as far as I can tell, just a lot of minor scenes added in here and there. The only significant addition is the HK droid factory and I found that to be a slow and difficult slog even on easy. The mod doesn't really address any of the issues raised by the Idle Thumbs review. I don't think this should be terribly surprising since the issues raised are pretty fundamental issues for the game and are way beyond the scope of a fairly straightforward content restoration mod. If you've never played KOTOR II and want to, or if your planning on revisiting the game anyway the mod is certainly worth installing. It doesn't offer any fundamental changes to the game, so if you hated KOTOR II initially or have played it through once or twice and got your fill, the mod really has nothing to offer you. The Team Gizka mod looks to be significantly more ambitious, but we'll see if they're ever able to finish. Also the 'open' beta wasn't really intended to be open, from what I understand it was leaked by one of the beta testers much to the annoyance of the Gizka dudes.
  9. Comics

    I would actually warn you away from Watchmen. Not because I think it's bad or anything, but rather I think you will get a lot more out of it if you wait until you become more versed in the cliches and archetypes of superhero comics. I really Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol. It's a nice bit of crazy, but it's not everyone's cup of tea so I'd recommend trying to borrow the first book or two from a friend if you can (Morrison's run fills 6 trades, if you're curious).
  10. Majesty 2

    Some of the fine gentlemen at Giant Bomb did one of their quick looks for this game if anyone's curious:
  11. Cryostasis

    I've been playing it a bit recently. I can't play in very long increments because the game doesn't run very consistently on my computer and low framerate + first person perspective = Other than that I really like it, at it's best Cryostasis feels like a cross between Condemned and Bioshock. The linear first person brawler bits from Condemned plus the exploring a decrepit waterlogged (also icy, very icy) environment trying to piece together what happened to the previous occupants from Bioshock.
  12. RE5 PC giveaway

    Have you guys figured out how you're going to give away the RE5 code yet? Also, did toblix ever get his DOW II code from the old cyborg contest?
  13. RE5 PC giveaway

    Didn't we tie for second in the cyborg drawing contest? Nappi won and chose the Cyborg Mouse of Awesome, and I had already bought DOW II. So in theory the code should be yours, right?
  14. Guitar Zero

    I think part of the reason 1up went to the grades system is to avoid these sort of quibbles about numbers, but wouldn't a B equate to more like 85%, and an A be 95%? (A+ being 100%) From what I've heard, Neversoft has gotten much better at doing the note-tracking. So if you're trying to decide what game to buy, at this point the only thing that really matters is which track-list interests you more.
  15. Guitar Zero

    The overall vibe I got from the RB: Beatles review was that it was kind of easy and doesn't really do anything new. GH5, while not ultra-innovative, nevertheless added some cool new party friendly features and has more challenges to offer up for the experienced player.
  16. Down in the Zone (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)

    He's just being silly. Just a fair warning, STALKER generally needs to be played in large chunks to be really enjoyable. This might be obvious, but I'd strongly recommend playing a fair bit of Shadow of Chernobyl before picking up Clear Sky, just to make sure you like the radioactive open-world hellhole that GSC has to offer. If you do decide to pick up Clear Sky, keep in mind that it's very much Shadow of Chernobyl 1.5 and that a fair number of areas from SoC get reused. I don't want to scare you off CS, but just make sure you have realistic expectations going in.
  17. Down in the Zone (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)

    I can't offer any great tech support, but I'd reinstall the game, reapply all the patches, and make sure I've got all the latest drivers for my video card. Try running vanilla STALKER and seeing if the issues are still there, if they're not then you might just be better off playing STALKER mod-less. The Complete 2009 mod has some great improvements for the game, but I don't think it's essential to enjoying the game. If none of that helps, then I can only hope you will find solace in this image:
  18. Down in the Zone (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)

    I think this might fix your problem if you want to give the upgraded shaders another shot: go into user.ltx and change the r2_sun_near and r2_sun_near_border to this: r2_sun_near 20 r2_sun_near_border 1
  19. Favourite endings to games.

    I really like the ending to Fallout. I think that it managed to be surprising while still following logically from what had been previously established. I found the ending of The Darkness to be bleak and horrible in a way that few games manage to be. The ending to Beyond Good and Evil just left me confused. The controls getting reversed for some portions of the final boss fight annoyed and frustrated me, but I also felt like I didn't understand the ending at all. Though, on the whole I didn't like that game as much as some people did, so I might just be bitter about having bad taste in video games. (Obligatory disclaimer: I certainly didn't hate the game, but my reaction was 'that was pretty decent' rather than 'Oh wow! That was amazing')
  20. What does Nick Breckon look like?

    Seeing Lars Brown's sweet drawing made me want to find out what each thumber looks like. Images of Mr. Remo and Mr. Rodkin were easily obtained using the magic of google, but any current images of Mr. Breckon continue elude my grasp. Also, I was shocked to see how strongly Mr. Rodkin resembles a certain gentleman by the name of Allard...
  21. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

    If you're unsure if you would like MUA 2, might I suggest checking out the first game? It should be pretty cheap by now...
  22. Here's an article written by the Scoops of Hotness himself, Steve Gaynor. Go read it and come back. Finished? If Gaynor's claim about exploration and discovery being one of the core values is true, where does this leave the previews hype train? If you follow the pre-release coverage of a given game, you will know a fair amount of what that game will contain by the time it's released. There will be much less in the way of new things to discover and unfamiliar places to explore. Much of the value of the game will already have been leeched out. Or is the above claim mistaken? If video-games are a fundamentally interactive affair, then wouldn't the words, pictures, and videos that make up a preview not not sap the novelty and excitement? (Also would this mean that film critics who say a film 'feels like a video-game' would be guilty of rather violently misunderstanding both video-games and film?) Please discuss. (Or don't I guess, I'm not the boss of you)
  23. I'm going off the rails on a crazy (hype) train

    Fair enough. It's just that sometimes I (and likely others) lose track of this and I find it worthwhile to keep these things in mind.
  24. Other podcasts

    That's a cool image, but I think you may have accidentally clicked on the podcast thread rather than the Wizard thread. A non-gaming podcast that I rather like is Philosophy Bites. Each week is a quick (10-20min) chat with a philosopher about a random topic. The guests are almost always articulate and able to make complex ideas clear. It's also great if you need a British accent fix and RPS hasn't released a new podcast yet.
  25. Another backlog thread

    Wow, some of you guys have some pretty hefty lists. My list pales in comparison: Cryostasis Men of War Red Alert 3 I'm slightly afraid of Cryostasis and Men of War since they both are likely to be weird Eastern European games that offer high doses of both frustration and fascination.