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About flunky

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  1. Infinity Ward - MW2 news

    I'd agree with everything he says. The level is cheap, exploitative, and sadly, completely crap. As I said in a quite long comment on Shacknews, the player is given no motivation to fire except that it's what the designers expect or have the idea that you will do. If you try to pretend you are the character in the game, if you try to put yourself into the game, and involve yourself in it, which I usually do even with shooters, you won't want to fire. What IW should have done, if they had even a single brain cell, is have had you playing this undercover agent throughout the entire game, making infiltrating Makarov's gang your ultimate aim, and then sprung this level on you right at the end, making you as a player role play the choice between blowing your cover, and losing the whole game, or gunning people down. Then it would have been the mind-blowing headfuck they are so badly wishing it could be, but which it definitely isn't, the way they've done it. The way they've done it, as Gillen rightly points out, the level is completely without context, it just feels shoved in arbitrarily, which just makes it exploitative, cheap, crass, shock-value, trashy crap. There is no proper integration with the story. But I suppose when the story is told entirely during loading screens you can't expect much...
  2. Infinity Ward - MW2 news

    The MW2 singleplayer really has a totally demented plot, it's totally in the realms of fantasy, out there with the wackiest, most far-fetched and overblown James Bond movies. But it's also almost impossible to follow just from playing the game. I think they try to tell the story partly through the gameplay, but unlike something like HL2, which they seem to have been influenced by, there are no lulls in the action, so it's almost impossible to concentrate on the story being told, except for the very last scene of the game. The 30-second monologues over the loading screens really don't give enough detail to convey what is going on, in terms of telling a coherent story the game really suffers from not having cutscenes, or any lulls in the action where you can catch up with the story. Although things like that would have slowed the game down and made it less intense, I guess, and more boring, so maybe they could have just made the loading screen monologues a bit less cryptic, and a bit more explanatory. I eventually figured out what was going on by reading this page on the COD wiki: http://callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Shepherd (warning:spoilers) There is no way I'd ever have picked all that up from a casual playthrough.
  3. Shattered Horizon

    Bought this today after seeing someone mention it on Shacknews, also remembered Chris mentioned it in the podcast. What finally sold me was someone saying the graphics were really awesome, but now that I've got the game I find that my card (8800 GTX) isn't powerful enough to run it it with anything except the lowest settings. It's really weird, up until now no games have really pushed my graphics card, even though it's now 3 years old, presumably because most games have been aimed at console hardware so I've been able to run them easily at max settings. But I have to run this game on the lowest settings, presumably because it is a PC-only game and is also DX10 only, so is optimized only for the very latest graphics hardware. Even so, I don't think it looks any better than any other game, it doesn't look that amazing considering the system requirements - Resident Evil 5 looks way better and runs way smoother on my system. I don't think this game does anywhere near as much graphically as you'd expect for the demands it makes. Anyway, for the first time ever I'm having to play a PC game on the lowest settings, even having to lower my resolution, but nevertheless I'm enjoying the game a huge amount. The best thing about this game (for those who don't know it's a zero-g first person shooter set in space, multiplayer only) is turning off your suit power so all you can hear is your breathing, and then watching the space battle going on around you in silence, drifting weightlessly along, shooting guys and watching them spin off into the distance, with only the sound of your breathing and the vibrations from your gun (audible as a muffled sound). It is really so atmospheric and immersive, it's a really pleasurable, full-on trippy sci-fi experience to see the the bullets (visible as coloured tracer) lighting up the sky and to see bodies spinning past weightlessly, all in silence. Really a novel experience, I love that you have the option to play that way, in fact I think the game would have been even better if there were no gun sounds at all, although that might have annoyed some players (when you turn your suit power on, your gun makes a standard assault rifle sound, supposedly it is simulated by your suit). The actual shooting gameplay is pretty good, up to par, I would say, it works fine, gives the same enjoyment you get out of most FPS battles. The zero-g really doesn't affect the gameplay that much, you get used to it almost immediately, the main thing it does is recontextualize the action into a nice sci-fi setting for people who like that, and like a bit of spectacle. It's pretty cool shooting at someone as they float past you, or shooting at someone who is upside-down, relative to you. I like the game.
  4. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    Well I don't know about you guys, but that happens to me all the time. I think they are just trying to reflect real life.
  5. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    Well, grenades are good but they don't last forever, and sometimes even with grenades you're in trouble, like when you are surrounded by snipers. I hate all those snipers lasers shining on me so I can't stand still, especially the way as soon as you kill one another few will spawn somewhere else. What about that courtyard in the monastery, it's so annoying, as soon as you run into the middle a sniper spawns in every direction, one in front, one behind, one left, one right... or that's what it seemed like anyway. Plus you have a guy with a grenade launcher. I hate that, not being able to take cover anywhere without having a laser on your back or a grenade in the face. Does anyone actually like that feeling of being surrounded and not being able to take cover anywhere? I shouldn't be dying every other minute on easy mode. On easy mode they should get rid of at least half of the snipers and rpg guys... keep them for the hard mode in my view. Anyway, sorry to be so negative, I still love this game to bits, I'll be starting my 3rd playthrough pretty soon. Love this game.
  6. Guys, I'm warning you, if you stop doing the Idle Thumbs podcast, I am going to kill myself. How would you like that on your conscience? Also, I will kill 1 indie game developer/old-style adventure game developer for every day the podcast is not on the air... You have been warned...
  7. Any reason why Nick can't still do the podcast over Skype or something? Plenty of other podcasts are done over the phone...
  8. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    Did you figure out how to kill him? I only let myself get killed once before going online to find out how to it was done, I don't think I would have figured it out myself. I really don't have time for boss fights, I think they're a daft idea that should have died out in the arcades of Japan a long time ago.
  9. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    No I didn't play the first one, might get it though. Yeah I think on my 3rd playthrough and subsequent ones I probably won't find things as difficult. It's not always that easy to take people out if they are behind cover though, because while you are waiting for them to pop out you are getting shot from 20 other directions. In the end I think I switched to one of the pistols which was a bit more accurate than the AK seemed to be and that helped. (I haven't really clocked up that many hours on console shooters either, having been predominantly a PC gamer in recent years, so my accuracy with the analogue stick is probably well below the majority of players). Still, it's a bit annoying getting attacked from so many directions. I'm not really a big fan of turrets either, or people behind riot shields. I just like ordinary combat, shooting ordinary enemies, I don't see why that's seen as so dull. I'd rather have that kind of doable combat throughout games rather than contending with snipers and RPG guys and turrets all the time, and being surrounded. I find it satisfying enough to kill ordinary enemies, making them difficult to kill doesn't really increase the satisfaction or enjoyment for me, just the annoyance. I suppose some people want more of a challenge, I don't really actually want any challenge from a computer game gun battle, all I really want is the simulated experience of shooting people dead, preferably while striking a cool pose (I love the blindfire poses in UC2, and the way Drake sometimes holds the assault rifles sideways when firing over cover). I know that might sound a bit twisted but to me video game killing is just like play-fighting, it's not related to actual violence and doesn't indicate an interest in real violence. Anyway I will let Uncharted 2 off because the environments are so great and the production quality is so high, otherwise I would probably be hating on it a bit more...
  10. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    Holy fuck, this game is fucking hard! I am now playing it on easy but I've still died about 20 times on the village level where the tank is chasing you. I admit I was listening to a podcast at the same time so couldn't hear the sound properly, so couldn't always hear the direction shots were coming at me from, but still, it's fucking difficult, so much for easy mode! I think the guys at Naughty Dog need a fucking dictionary to look up what the word easy means. There is no way that having a tank constantly shooting you with a high-calibre machine gun and shells so that you can't remain behind any piece of cover for more than a few seconds, as well being surrounded 360 degrees by a ridiculous number of snipers and guys with rpgs on distant rooftops so that you are almost always being shot from behind whichever way you turn, as well as having numerous guys well hidden behind cover firing on you with machine guns, as well as having guys running up to you and meleeing you, can ever be described as easy. It's fun but only because the graphics are so good, if the graphics and production values weren't so amazingly good I'd have given up on this game a long time ago because I really don't like being surrounded by 50 snipers, 50 rpg guys and being shelled constantly by a fucking tank, and on top of that regularly being surprised by some guy running up and meleeing me or shotgunning me in the face. I don't really know what else they could do to have the intense combat experience they want. Maybe lose the tank, I think the combat was a lot of fun and nice and intense but also not too difficult before the tank came along. Having the tank just made it a bit too fucking difficult and frustrating because you can never stay behind cover when it is shelling you, even behind indestructible cover it damages you. Anyway good game but easy isn't easy at all. Or do other people not find it that hard? I admit I got past the tank more easily when I was playing on normal, maybe because I was paying more attention and wasn't listening to a podcast at the same time. But surely the whole point of easy is that you don't have to put the same amount of effort and concentration in? (I know there is a very easy mode but it turns on auto aim and I don't want to play with that as I'm trying to improve my aiming with a controller for when I play multiplayer).
  11. Shit, I only listened to half the episode before reading this thread, didn't realise Nick was leaving! That's a real pity. Anyway what I wanted to say was that regarding the early stealth section in the museum in Uncharted 2 which Nick had trouble with, and also Tyler on Rebel FM said he had a lot of trouble with, I think the problem arises from the fact that when you enter that room, you are on the left, and the AI character Flynn is on the right. At that point, if you are someone who plays a lot of games, you probably decide (like I did the first couple of times) that you are ready to take things into your own hands, and leap over the wall in front of you to tackle the guards directly ahead. That is the most intuitive thing to do, really, if you trust that the designers know what they are doing, and have finished the previous cutscene with your character facing the direction he is supposed to go in. But if you do go that way, you will almost always be spotted. However, if you hang back for a moment, like a novice gamer might, Flynn will say "head towards the fountain", which is over on the right, past where he is. That is the way the designers want you to go, which means they have started you out on the wrong side of Flynn, and facing the wrong direction, to easily complete the room, which is the main cause of the problems here, I think. The designers have clearly put so much care and attention into the game that you would assume they would be wise enough to start you out looking in the direction you are supposed to go in, rather than having the only path you can take off in a non-intuitive direction, on the opposite side of your partner. (The reason you are on his left in the first place is that in the previous scene he told you to go left, so it is natural to assume you are meant to be there). But they rely on you waiting for Flynn to speak - if you move too soon he won't say anything. If you do wait a few seconds for him to speak, and then do what he says, and go over past him and towards the fountain, this section is just as easy as every other section in the museum. But if you don't wait around, and assume that your character has been placed in a sensible position from which to proceed, or even that the game is flexible enough to allow more than one approach, you will get spotted every time. This is where Naughty Dog have gone wrong, I think, by not making it clear that there is only one way the room can be done, and by not handing control over to you with your character in the correct place and facing in the correct direction to begin the attack. I guess how you tackle the room varies depending on how experienced you are at games. Someone who plays a lot of games might see the guards directly ahead of them as tempting targets, and also might assume that there is no one correct way to do the room, having probably played games which allow more than one approach to be used to most encounters. But someone who isn't that experienced might see the numerous guards ahead of them and not have the confidence to go in that direction, and so might wait longer and hear Flynn telling them the direction to go. So someone who isn't good at games might actually find the room easier than someone who is. Anyway I will now listen to the rest of the episode and find out the bad news about Nick departing, hope the podcast can somehow continue...
  12. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    God, I'm playing it on normal but the combat is BRUTALLY fucking difficult! Enemies constantly come at you from all directions, throwing grenades, meleeing, using turrets, firing rockets, and as soon as you think you've finished a wave off some guy will run up behind you and kick your face in, or jump out from behind a bookcase and slot you, I've died about 50 times on the village level, it's unrelenting! It is fun but I think I should have gone through on easy first time. Also I found the Heart of Ice platforming level a bit frustrating, but then I'm not really used to that kind of gameplay. The graphics are still astounding though, and I keep expecting the framerate to dip but it's rock solid, it's an amazing technical achievement. It's almost as if the PS3 was purposely crippled at launch and Sony has only now revealed some secret API to Naughty Dog which lets them to utilise its full power...
  13. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    Just played the train part, totally epic! If you'd asked me yesterday what gameplay cliches I hated most I definitely would have mentioned turrets and helicopters, yet when I reached the turret on the train I was actually excited! Talk about epic! I think it is probably the realism of the graphics which made me actually like the battle this time (though I would have preferred just to shoot the bastard helicopter rather than have to also shoot down rockets). Yes I'm sorry for gushing so much, but after playing so many average games for so long it's nice to have something that stands out like this. Got a bit stuck on the "Mountaineering" chapter just now and that was quite frustrating, one of the jumps looked much too far to make for some reason so I spent ages wondering where I was meant to go and wishing the hint system would pop up. Also I found the combat on the train level, both during the journey and in the areas before and after it, a wee bit too difficult, but still very enjoyable. Again, the realism of the graphics made the combat more enjoyable for me, because it looked so much like a film, it made it more exciting.
  14. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    Why don't people want to talk about the graphics? I've virtually been having orgasms in my eyes. This game is phenomenal. There aren't enough superlatives to describe the amazingness of the graphics, and the design. I'm talking specifically about the Nepalese city. It is just so astonishingly gorgeous, I'm getting a huge amount of pleasure just from looking at it, I just love the way it seems like almost an entire city has been realised, every street and building looks unique, and the colours are absolutely wonderful, I love the colours used on the buildings and especially on the street signs, they are a constant delight to look at. I am really impressed by how far ahead of everything else that's out there the graphics seem to be in terms of realism and detail (including PC games), and how despite this the framerate is rock solid. Amazing game. Oh yeah, the gameplay is a lot of fun too, but it's the graphics which I'm getting the most enjoyment from. Incredible!
  15. But this is a big-budget studio game. Compared to big-budget studio movies, it's miles ahead in its treatment of just about everything. You ever see a Hollywood blockbuster that dealt sensitively with homosexuality? I think it's the rule that they deal with issues very insensitively in big budget movies. Maybe one day games will deal with a broader range of issues in a deeper way, but demanding that a big-budget one should do so is a bit unrealistic, and also fails to acknowledge that Mass Effect probably compares very well to most big-budget movies in terms of its story and characters. Also, this is a combat-oriented game, so issues of why someone might be attracted to violence are arguably more relevant than the issues you mention, however desirable it might be that those issues should feature more prominently. The character isn't horrible, I find her charismatic because of her appearance, I'm surprised people have so little time for this kind of character. Wouldn't having a normal, ordinary-looking character be a bit boring? And wouldn't a supermodel one be too unrealistic? What kind of female character would you have wanted? Or would people have preferred no females to be involved in the combat? I think they've done well by making a potentially complex female character who it is easier to believe would be involved in combat than the usual traditionally beautiful lead females in games and movies. Where they've fallen down is the rubbish script, but then again, you might even find the cliches she delivers somewhat believable if you view them as being the product of someone vulnerable putting on an act, pretending to be tougher than she really is. I doubt that's what the developers intended, still, you could read it that way if you were trying to get the most out of the game. Anyway, overall my reaction to the character is positive - I wouldn't have come up with a character like this if it was up to me, but I don't think she ruins the game.