Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by chummer

  1. Making Music. Tunes by Idle Thumbsters

    So I made this tune a while ago, and while I like most of it, I don't like using the bell as a substitute for what would be the vocal part (which I do because I know I have a very limited voice myself). Do any of ya'll run into this problem and if so, how do you address it? Optimally, I think I would a wind instrument of some sort because that feels closer to the expressiveness of a voice, but I don't own any so I can't really go that route.
  2. At this point I've gladly listened to a combination of ya'll talk about True Crime, Mad Men, Twin Peaks, and various books and have always enjoyed it. I trust ya'll to make an interesting thing and if broadening the podcast's topics is what keeps you doing it, then I'm all for it.
  3. is the spot they're looking to fill in GB West? GB East seems sparse and I feel bad for Vinny having to pull double duty as video producer and on-screen person. Also, is there a specific reason people are slowly leaving GameSpot or are Danny, Alexa Ray Corriea and Mary just sticking out in my mind?
  4. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    MGSV update. I'm now 55 hours into the game and my enjoyment fell off soon after I posted my last thoughts here. Having played through so many of the other game recently there's a desire to see this one through that's being battered down with how sated I became of all the gameplay elements here. That said, I think it's important for me to recognize that my particular playstyle of being slow and thorough probably contributed to me getting tired of game right as I hit the second map. I'm also not getting any of the highest highs I got in past MGS games; I think this is Kojima's least interesting game of the series design-wise. I'm at mission 22 or so- if I stopped now would I miss anything great?
  5. Finished this game not too long after my last post here, but I've been letting my thoughts marinate. The folks over at the Video Games Hot Dog podcast recently played the game as a group and echoed a lot of the initial criticisms I had of the game and reinforces the main thought I had of the learning curve: the game doesn't communicate what it wants of players and the possibilities and thus risks putting them off (as it did with that particular podcast crew). I think there's a comparison to be made here with Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman 2016. I've played tons of the former and watched tons of the latter, but I think one of the reasons that the most recent game really hit with folks is that it communicated the game's possibilities in a way the earlier one didn't. In both the case of The Swindle and Hitman: Blood Money, I can testify that I only pushed through those bad initial impressions because I heard about the games' best parts from other people, but I did have to go outside of the games to learn that those parts existed. (I think there's also something to say about how both games are alike in that you're playing a chaotic catalyst moving through a clockwork environment.) I'm not interested in saying this is good or bad design, but I think it's definitely a disservice to what is an otherwise great game.
  6. Recently completed video games

    Mu Cartographer: wow. reminiscent of Mirror Moon EP in that you're given a set of unlabeled knobs and dials that change what reminds me of a sonar readout. You're given points of data that are coupled with some text that tell a tiny story from 3 different characters' points of view. Narrative is much more a tone setting- discovering how to use the tools is really the game. Loved it.
  7. Been enjoying this! Reading earlier in the thread that this was very much not a stealth game changed the way I was playing it for the better. Not getting seen is still an important goal, but I'm much more comfortable running around causing anonymous mayhem. I really enjoy the variety of obstacles the game has and the variety of tools it gives you for dealing with situations that would seem impossible to get through earlier. All the bits and decisions feel very chess-like; observing how enemies move, their sight-lines, which jumps to make, when to hack drones, fire off traps, etc. The design encourages thoughtful play and I love it. A criticism I have is that the game doesn't communicate well. Again, I'll point to how I had to learn how to play by reading this thread- had I not, I probably would have gotten frustrated that I kept on getting caught instead of just rolling with it. Early on, I didn't like how I didn't have a clear idea of how the upgrades worked. Also, even after 14 hours, the controls sometimes don't do what I expect them to do. I'll give the caveat that I'm using the 360 gamepad and its infamous d-pad. Like I said though- 14 hours in. Still enjoying the randomized levels and excited to finish it off.
  8. Cara Ellison for GBEast 2017. Throughout Jeff's points about why DOOM shouldn't be #1, I couldn't help but remember that they gave the really broken Skyrim #1 back in 2011.
  9. Yeah. People think of Austin's Invisible Inc. defense and Brad's DotA 2 and Destiny crusade, but Patrick had a hand in getting ZombiU, Papers Please, and Rayman Origins on those lists.
  10. Sorely missed Austin's presence on the GOTY podcasts this year. Right at the end, Brad says something along the lines of "We should have talked about the games more instead of just dealing on which spot they should be" and my immediate thought was how that's what Austin is really good at- asking people "Why?" in a way that gets them to say interesting things.
  11. General Video Game Deals Thread

    For U.S. folks, Game Stop is selling physical copies of Wasteland 2 for $5.
  12. I can't quite remember the specifics of the comedy question, but I think Tales From the Borderlands counts as a game made specifically as a comedy vehicle. In fact, I think most all of the recent TellTale games and most text-based games would qualify as games more interested in exploring their stories, with mechanics being specific tools to do that, no?
  13. General Video Game Deals Thread

    Have picked up: Batman Arkham Knight, The Swindle, Undertale, Metal Gear Rising Revengance all for really cheap if anyone has been looking at those.
  14. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    Absolutely, and I also wish everybody who wanted to make big productions out of their creative desires could. Something I wrote down in my notes when I was thinking about this was 'ALEX JONES.' While the conspiratorial similarities between Kojima's plots and Info Wars was what inspired the thought, I was actually thinking about the 'mind vomit' phrase and how I enjoy Jones' brand of it when it's edited down to its most ridiculous parts. I'm not interested in hearing his weird, racist ramblings, but damn I love those videos of him repeatedly using 'goblin,' yelling 'I'm coming.' and going from ripping his shirt to pitching a product. Along with Marginalgloss' observation that Kojima's plots are subject to the play of ideas, I think my conclusion is that Kojima's narrative style isn't really my thing. A separate thought: a lot of MGS characters feel like NES bosses carried forward. Imagine rendering Double Dragon's Abobo with PS4 technology and keeping stylistically faithful to the original 8bit version- it'd be a little silly. I'm reminded of how people teased the Mass Effect 2 boss because it looked like a Contra boss in scale and style. This isn't a criticism, just a revelation I had that I enjoyed. I'm about 30 hours into MGSV and really enjoying it. Before I started, I posted here about why would Kojima make another game in the series, but MGSV feels different enough that it might provide neat, new design challenges in ways that previous games haven't. Overall this makes me a little more interested in Death Stranding, though I'm still hoping it'll be a high production iteration of his old visual novel games. Some assorted MGSV thoughts Dive button is silly and good Giving the players the on-screen visual as to when you're in range to grapple someone has been long needed and appreciated It's very noticeable how little Big Boss speaks, especially with how many times the camera will just linger on his face. Not sure what situation created this (casting Sutherland, intentional choice) but it's bad I was thinking about Nick's comparison of this game to Far Cry 2, and while I appreciate the similarities, I think this also highlights how much less daring Kojima is as a designer than Hocking.
  15. 2016

    looking at all y'alls lists and realizing that the only new 'popular' game i played this year was Firewatch, which i didn't end up feeling so hot on due to my specific experience with it. i played Deadly Tower of Monsters as well, and though i ended up finding it kind of dull, i was happy to help keep ACE Team making their weird stuff. so, for games of this year, i'm going to have to post-up Zen and the Art of Transhumanism, which has so many wonderful, tactile mechanics. it's free and short, so there's little reason to not try it out. thinking about games that came out in previous years but i first played in this one, i really enjoyed Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 3, and Dying Light. i've been playing through the entire MGS series for the first time, and both 1 and 3 have left really good impressions on me. 1 has great scope and level design, 3 has amazing plotting and great boss fights. Dying Light is just an incredibly fun place to run around in.
  16. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    Played through both 3 and 4, and I can see why 3 is a lot of people's favorite. I also think my opinion of 2 has worsened, especially as it stands between 1 and 3. I think the main word that comes to mind when thinking about MGS2 is 'dull.' The world design doesn't match up to 1/3 and neither does the level design. Moving through 1 & 3 felt like I was actually making progress through a space. The continuous circling around the shell in 2 was unsatisfying even when all three games lean on going back through the same areas. 1 feels concise and focused. 3 is longer than the other two but the plotting is incredibly good so it never felt like a drag like 2 did. I even think the writing is better in 3. I'm also obviously not saying anything new when I say how good a lot of the boss fights are in 3. Not all of them are great, but when they hit, they hit really well. I also can't imagine trying to play the original version where you didn't have complete 3rd person camera control while not having a Soliton radar; what a wild design choice. While I think there are some fun moments in 2 i think a lot of it is hampered down by the rest of the game. 4 really feels like a last hurrah from Kojima. Not just narratively, but mechanically as well. It also feels the most indulgent of the series, with the most detrimental of these indulgences being the overlong cutscenes. That said, There's also a part of me that wants to say that 4 feels very much like a game of its time, though I'm curious if that's just because I'm more familiar with games of that era. To be clear, I'm not necessarily looking for someone to restrain Kojima, but just help him to express his ideas in more coherent ways. I think the variety/expansiveness of ideas he wants to tackle is really neat, it's just that I don't think he always manages to hit them in more than a superficial way. 'Mind vomit' also made me think of Twitter and how much I legitimately enjoy reading people's stuff there, and maybe that's why the idea of pure spew isn't as appealing to me when it's so easy to get that already (and better versions of that, I might argue). I also can't help but think about Kojima's use of repeated elements throughout the series and George Lucas with Star Wars. There's a clear way in which Kojima seems to be both criticizing video game sequels and meta-commenting on his own exhaustion with making these games that I find sympathetic. In fact- going back to how MGS4 feels like a 'last hurrah'- I'm actually really curious as to why Kojima went back to the series to make MGSV. I'm also curious as to what Death Stranding will be. If he makes another 3rd-person stealth shooter, I'm going to be incredibly baffled. One question for ya'll: should I play Peace Walker? It came with the Legacy Collection I'm not sure if it counts as part of the 'main series.'
  17. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    MGS2 in the bag! i think my enjoyment of the game may have suffered a bit because of how much MGS2 is a mechanical iteration of MGS. sure, there are cool, minute changes, but it felt like i was playing the same game in a lot of ways for another 12 hours. my only criticism here is that a lot of the ideas don't ever feel like they're conveyed well through the medium of video games or storytelling (at least in these first 2 games). the last section of the game feels like i'm reading a high school essay where the writer is trying to explain a thesis in their last paragraph that they didn't express through the rest of the piece. this is unfortunate because i think something interesting is happening in the way which MGS2 intentionally recreates moments/plot elements from MGS that Kojima didn't really explore. there's also something really fascinating about the way in which Kojima played with player knowledge and expectations, but what we end up with is 5 minutes on a character monologuing about internet echo chambers. to be clear, there's enough compelling stuff here to keep me interested and excited to play MGS3, but i think i now more fully understand the criticism of Kojima needing an editor.
  18. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    this is an interesting observation and i'll keep this in mind as i go through the series. i knew a lot of the standout moments from MGS (Pysho Mantis reading the memory card, codec on back of the box, etc) from cultural osmosis, but i never heard about this specific one, and i was pleasantly surprised when i ran into it. for me personally, what made understanding the MGS series difficult was just the names. As much as I enjoy Kojima's way with proper nouns, explaining the story with "Big Boss sends FOXHOUND rookie Solid Snake to Outer Heaven in search of Metal Gear" is utterly baffling if you don't have the context. I didn't even know what a Metal Gear was until I took the time to look it up a couple of years ago. also, a thing that's bothering me is why is everyone worked up about Metal Gear specifically as a nuclear delivery device? i understand the advantages of a walking tank, but when you're firing nuclear-level destructive fire power, isn't a stealth bomber a smarter way to go as it avoids the terrain problems and can carry just as effective a payload?
  19. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    it's neat how visually readable everything is while sticking to what feels like a narrow set of colors. I wrapped up MGS and here are some thoughts presented in easily consumable bullet points: story didn't feel as wild as i expected from second-hand descriptions of Kojima games. that said 'Super Baby Method,' Otacon and roaring robots were pretty good Dialogue was mediocre and verbose, but what made it drag was how a lot of interactions felt like they were 3 or 4 conversations jammed into one. it was amusing to think about Assassin's Creed 1 boss kills which were criticized for having death monologues and then seeing them here controls are super-particular in a way that made it feel less like a 'Tactical Espionage Action' and more like 'bumbling goof stumbles into saving the world' the 'stealth' aspects of the game show their age, but i still really enjoyed playing the game. Onto MGS2!
  20. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    appreciate these tips! because i'm shameless, i looked up how to get the thermals and it turns out i have already made difficult for myself. if you don't pick up the gun in the first area, the spot where the thermals are will instead spawn a gun! also, having to hold X while holding square to run and gun feels like a really bad choice. that said, i'm about 2 hours into the game and having fun with it. i really like the low poly, low res texture style going on here.
  21. The Ultimate Playthrough, Metal Gears!?

    well, looks like I'm one year late to this, but i got the Metal Gear collection for PS3 and am going to go through the Solid series. the only MG game i've played is AC!D 2! the one thing i'm worried about is that since i'm going back to a game so old, i'm not enthused about the possibility about reaching a point in the game where i can't continue on because i didn't do something 3 hours earlier and kills all my progress- does this happen anywhere in the series? don't be afraid to be explicit, as i'd rather save myself the headache than the spoiler.
  22. question about bad online advertisements: 1- Does anyone have a link to this millionaire hideout video? I've never run into this type of scam and while it's probably much less exciting than I'm imagining it to be, I'm still interested in seeing it. 2- What ad did Chris click? Did he want to be shocked by how a celebrity looks now, see what has experts hating on person, learn a weird trick, or find out how to get money from Obama?
  23. Those Dark Souls 1 bosses with the multiple enemies (Ornstein & Smough, Capra Demon, Bell Gargoyles) are the most memorable for me because the way they divert attention really throw me off my usual strategy of kiting and isolating. O&S is where I quit myself, so I can understand Nick's pain. I think that paint that absorbs all light that Jake mentioned is vantablack, which is a thing I'm fascinated by. Every time I see images of it my eyeballs feel like they're looking at an image where someone has photoshopped black onto it.
  24. that Disney Avatar animatronic reminds me of Fallout 1 NPCs
  25. The Next President

    also, this has helped.