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Posts posted by ethanThomas

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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 = :barf:

    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.

  4. From your description it sounds like they should have gotten a similar score. Instead Beatles: Rock Band got 75% and Guitar Hero 5 got 100%.

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. It came out for other systems? Huh.

    He's just being silly.:mock:

    Also, in looking for other info online, I found out that a third STALKER game is scheduled for release later this fall. Looks like I'm gonna have to put Shadow of Chernobyl and Clear Sky on my priority list.

    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.

  7. 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:


  8. This has reminded me to come back to the game again. The mod seems excellent after a short time's play, but the shader add-ons caused me some very weird glitches. Going into [Stalker folder]/gamedata/shaders and then zipping up all the content before deleting it (except for the zip) left the mod intact except for the visual effects stuff.

    It means you still get all the textures, game fixes and other stuff, but I was seeing these weird vertical black bars - like giant barcodes - moving over the scenery around me.

    I guess it's because my gfx card might only be Shader 2.0-capable? Regardless, small tip for you if you experience the same problem.

    Thanks also, Dan, for the book recommendation. Been able to read that using Adobe Reader Lite on my Nokia phone and it's really good so far.

    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

  9. 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.

    Well that and I think the 'everything is beautiful forever and we'll be best friends for eternity' tone of the ending smacked of the willful naivete that the characters aggressively refuted over the course of the final boss fight

  10. 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.

    I interpreted the last scene with Jenny as taking place in Jackie's head and it's the last thing he thinks before his soul is utterly consumed by the Darkness (similar to the ending in the Director's cut of Brazil).

    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.

    So Jade gets some weird magic powers or something? Maybe? And for me, the cliffhanger at the end was less 'Oh man what's happening?' and more 'What is this Advent Rising type bullshit?'

    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.:sad::getmecoat (Obligatory disclaimer: I certainly didn't hate the game, but my reaction was 'that was pretty decent' rather than 'Oh wow! That was amazing')

  11. Came across this meeting of Olly Moss and a wizzard thought it'd be the appropriate thread.

    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.

  12. 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):mock:

  13. Wow, some of you guys have some pretty hefty lists. My list pales in comparison:


    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.

  14. Dude. you don't quit a game you love just because you get stuck. That's like getting a divorce from your wife over a quibble. if you truly love her then you love her until she dies then you move onto the next game.

    In his defense STALKER would probably be better compared to a girlfriend who is fascinating and beautiful, but also a little nuts:deranged:. Sometimes you can work it out and move forward. Other times it's best for both parties if you just take both a short break from each other. And unfortunately sometimes you're both better off accepting that what you had was good while it lasted, but it's gone now..

  15. Also, Ethan, how long do you have to play this to get Extreme done. I've been playing this since last sunday, most the moment I feel like I have no chance. Never really played a Trials before.

    If you've never played the games before it'll probably take quite awhile. If you haven't already gotten gold on most of the medium and hard levels, I'd strongly recommend doing that before making a real effort to complete the extreme levels.

    (I also only have bronzes on the extreme levels (100+ faults on each of the levels), so I'm still far from a master of the game)

  16. I can see how this would get annoying, there are a few people on my list who just want to get through levels and don't care how many faults they get. When you're trying to minimise faults, a 30 minute time limit seems like a lot of time though. Saying that, I haven't tried extreme yet.

    I was able to complete all the extreme levels without encountering either limit (probably because I played a shit ton of Trials 2: SE), but I really think that these limits are arbitrary and unnecessary. Sure 300 faults is a lot and 30 minutes is a really long time to spend on one track, I guess I just think it's silly to punish players who are already struggling.