Randall Theil

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About Randall Theil

  • Rank
    Crip crazy


  • Location
    Washington state, USA
  • Interests
    gaming, reading, music
  • Occupation
    managing editor
  • Favorite Games
    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Persona 4, Earthbound, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  1. Without the book club to keep me going, I probably wouldn't have read past the first part of this book. That would have been a shame for me, because the middle section of the book really knocked me out. The subject matter of this book reminded me of the Raymond Carver short story Cathedral, except that story is reaffirming, and I think The Sense of an Ending's outlook on humanity is much more cynical. I agree with the person earlier who said they felt sorry for brother Jack. Tony even says once or twice he feels sorry for making assumptions about Jack, but he still uses him like a jackass right up until the end. Tony seems unable to change his behavior. No matter how much he learns about Veronica's situation he keeps trying to use that information to press the reset button on their relationship. None of the characters in The Sense of an Ending seem capable of transcending their character flaws.
  2. Movie/TV recommendations

    How much imagination is there in spending millions to remake a show that's barely fifteen years old?
  3. I think I might be becoming a Megami Tensei fan...

    Not that much, but you do have to do some grinding to get through some of the later dungeons, and after a while the random encounter rate and the size of the dungeons wore me out. Digital Devil Saga pretty much confirmed for me that I never want to play another game with random encounters.
  4. I think I might be becoming a Megami Tensei fan...

    If you liked Persona 4, you'll almost certainly like Persona 3. The two games are very similar. I own like three copies of P3 at this point. If I had to choose one to get, I'd pick the PSP version for the female game and extras, but FES is an excellent choice that might be easier to find in your region. FES has an epilogue that continues the story after the ending. P3 PSP has a female option with different music, menu design, and some different scenes and dialogue. the PSP version also has a redone voice script which I think flows better than the original, but you miss out on animated and in-game cutscenes (which have been re-done visual novel-style.) Digital Devil Saga and Nocturne are much more weighted towards dungeon crawling. I loved the minimalist storytelling and crazy visuals of DDS, but I really had to power through some of the later parts of the game.
  5. Scott Pilgrim [video game]

    I bought the 360 version this morning and have played through the first two levels. So far I'm very impressed by the amount of fan-service they've managed to cram in, and the amount and variety of unique sprites they created. It's great to see so many characters from the books rendered so well, and the game seems fine too. One problem I've run into that I don't think PS3 users were experiencing (or not to the same degree, anyway) is the game hanging and dropping a few frames every few minutes. It's not a big deal, but it's kind of annoying, and it seems to happen whenever there's a lot going on, which will make getting the achievement for finishing a stage without getting hit a bitch. Unfortunately this game seems to just be cursed with technical problems, but for the price it's still a steal as far as I'm concerned.
  6. Scott Pilgrim [graphic novel/motion picture]

    I just finished volume 6. Overall impression is they're very clever and charming books. Wallace is one of my favorite comic relief characters in comics. Just the way O'Malley draws him makes me smile.
  7. Alpha Protocol

    I just finished this. I played a stealth/pistol specced character and I really enjoyed the game in the middle sections, after I had enough stealth to get through the levels easily enough and enough pistol skill to beat some of the bosses. In the end I thought it was kind of a strange and uneven game. There were parts of it that seemed to be trying for the super-campy 70s spy aesthetic but it wasn't really funny or charming like a No One Lives Forever. I actually found almost all of the characters related to Alpha Protocol/the main plot to be grating, uninteresting douchebags, main character included. It also really annoyed me how every time a plot even was supposed to happen Thorton would jump out of stealth and walk into the room, announcing himself to all of the guards/boss. Weird game.
  8. Gran Turismo 5

    I'm definitely getting this. I put dozens of hours into GT3. Of course, their last full game came out 6 years ago, and the racing genre has moved on since then. Forza 3 was my favorite game of 09. I'm not expecting them to compete with Forza as far as online systems go, mostly I'm just looking for a more developed campaign mode and larger selection of cars/tuning stuff.
  9. Sad video game music

    ZWuNf4gxwuM While Morrowind's music isn't sad per se, it always makes me feel wistful. 6miaTf1gF4g Some of the tracks from MGS make me feel the same way.
  10. Osmos

    The difficulty spike is pretty rough, but some of the later levels are awesome. The levels where you orbit around the core are probably the neatest, but my favorite level was the one where you start out packed in a grid with a bunch of smaller and larger orbs, and none of them are moving at the start. Very puzzle-like, and you have to be careful, because just the force of your bubble jets can send a titanic orb on a course where it's going to become huge and prevent you from advancing.
  11. Books, books, books...

    I read some of Yiddish Policemen's Union and it seemed fine, but I lost interest somewhere about 100 pages in. Kavalier and Klay is great, though. I picked up Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe at the library today. I'm pretty stoked. I've only read the books he wrote in the 60s, so it'll be interesting to see how his style has changed across 50 years. A Personal Matter is one of my favorite novels of all time, so I have high hopes.
  12. Rage

    John Carmack is the wizard. It's amazing that he was able to make the engines for Keen, Doom and Quake more or less by himself. I'm really glad he didn't retire permanently after Doom III.
  13. BioShock Infinite

    I like everything but the title.
  14. BioShock Infinite

    Well, not long now. I don't think this is going to be a completely new IP. It's a teaser trailer, and Levine said he wants people to see the video before they read any external news about it, so it has to be something people will recognize, right?
  15. BioShock Infinite

    something-shock that isn't system shock or bioshock. They've done space and the ocean, so maybe some kind of underground game?