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About I_smell

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  1. Kickstarters

    I have to say I backed the Broken Age kickstarter and got much more out of the documentary they made than the actual game. I didn't even get around to playing the game! Over the course of the documentary I became a huge Double-Fine fan and enjoyed hearing from their whole team.
  2. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    I have to echo this; nothing is like Idle Thumbs. Podcasts weren't talking about Far Cry 2 in a funny anecdotal way OR for the unsung merits of it's design perspective. They were just talking about features and review scores. Even now, where we DO have people digging deep into design decisions, everyone else just seems too self-serious, not experienced enough or less inquisitive. When Bioshock Infinite came out, I was refreshing the page waiting for the Idle Thumbs episode. It felt like a perfect storm for picking apart ambitious endeavors that were often very well achieved, sometimes not, and always lead to bizarre cool-dude antics that don't hold up to scrutiny. I agree, I like listening to Waypoint Radio when they have an episode about what a "game developers union" would actually look like, or when Quantic Dream is arguing with journalists, or somebody says the N-word, but I don't tune in to listen to them talk about games. Forum-wise, I've checked into this forum very sparingly over the passed 10 years. Similar to the podcast, it's my outlet for going way too obsessively in-depth about something when nobody else is. Because I trust that this community is on that wavelength, I take my recommendations from here and deposit my own thoughts, even though I don't track who's reading them. I generally don't use fora any more. When I was 13 I joined an internet forum called "Stick-Suicide.com" so I could learn to make Flash cartoons. That site closed down in 2007, and sprang up again as "Explosm.net", the web-comic. I stayed there being a snarky teenage asshole until I was about 19. Now I'm 27, and I've long since quit fora. I guess I still check in here, like I said. If there were anything I wanted to say to members who might be leaving, I'm sorry I failed to attend a community meet-up in real life. I almost did, one time when I moved through town on a work trip, but I didn't have the space to break away. I was a real junior at my own company, and was paddling a lot to just keep my head above water, but from another perspective I probably looked like a jerk. Now I've missed out on that memory of meeting a bunch of real-life nerds who know what baboo is, and it probably won't come around again. Oh well, remember 555-Wizard-No?
  3. Netflix Originals

    I haven't seen many Netflix Original movies. All I can say is that I laughed at the trailer for BRIGHT, and then I watched the movie and it was just as dumb, so I enjoyed that dumb, bad movie. Here are some shows I'd recommend: The Get-Down - This is a human story about teenagers and young adults living around the death of Disco and the birth of Hip-Hop in the late 70s. It's colourful, it's got big personality, the characters are passionate and emotional, and there's always some looming danger. It's about real music and battling MCs who were really around at the time, but this isn't a documentary it's a character-driven story from a young person's perspective as the events are happening. Only problem: Each episode is MOVIE-LENGTH! Watch episode 1 if you have time for a film- don't worry, it tells a fully encapsulated story. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - I watched 2 episodes of this, and the whole premise of a woman in a bunker kind of freaked me out and I didn't wanna laugh. Then I came back to it a year later, and once the characters and setting had settled in, I absolutely loved this show. It's so fast-paced, it's jokes back-to-back-to-back, there are jokes packed into the script, the performance, the props, the set, everything. It's very similar to 30 Rock. Dirty Money - Watch this if you like documentaries or podcasts about strange real-life events. Each episode of this series is a different story about some heist, or some con, or some hundred-million dollars being embezzled. There are a lot of interviews, and usually an exciting or scary timeline of events. I'd also agree that American Vandal is a fun, weird show. I've only watched season 1, season 2 seems gross. A bunch of teenagers give some SPOT ON performances in this show, they ride the documentary style, the true crime drama and the underplayed comedy so well. I was actually drawn in to the mystery by the end. Man my girlfriend watches Orange Is The New Black, and I can't stand it. I think a women's prison is a good setting for a show, but every character devolves into this corny, candy-floss youth-club entertainer. They're all talking about Buzzfeed factoids and Twitter trends and American brands I don't know about like one big homogeneous blob all written by the same bored dude. The emotion is so up and down, and the villains so cartoonish, it feels like a Disney Channel show. What a disappointment! Maybe it was good 4 years ago? I also think that Netflix is generally getting worse as other services are fighting for their audience. I used to be excited to check out these quality Netflix Originals, but nowadays there's just as much filler garbage here as there is everywhere else, unfortunately.
  4. Cyberpunk 2077

    I feel like that's the 100th time I've seen a corporation co-opt a protest hashtag to sell cheeseburgers or something. Why do these community managers keep doing it!? Do they not read the news, or meet up and chat to each other, or anything? Does every company just hire some random kid on 4chan to make funny parody posts of trending topics? We should all instinctively know to slide this tweet idea aside by now.
  5. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    I've recently given up on trying to get to the end of Cultist Simulator. It was a good game, I really liked it, and I even appreciated how there was no tutorial or instructions at all. In the back half of the game though, this drove me crazy. One rougelike run can take a couple hours, which includes installing your cult, managing numbers and waiting. I got very deep into a run, and then realized that I had been pushing step 9 further and further away from myself. ...then I started again, and did the same thing with step 10. ...then I started again, and fumbled the next secret >:[ This is a couple afternoons spent playing a game that's nice, that I do like, but making no progress. It's good and I would recommend it, but if you decide that you want to just see what the back half of the game looks like, looking it up in a guide is the only way. Solving each new puzzle as they come up is doable, but very risky~ and the thing you're risking is your own free time.
  6. Cyberpunk 2077

    Yeah I was talking about Human Revolution before. I didn't know if people actually used that sub-header. Oh phew I'm glad people get where I'm coming from. I had a conversation in the office today where I felt very guilty for dumping on everyone's most anticipated game. These characters are talking about motherfucker this and bitch that, but I just want a history lesson on this "Euro-Dollar" concept!
  7. Recently completed video games

    I've defeated God of War (2018) This game doesn't really do anything new, but everything it does do is accomplished thoroughly, and on a massive budget. It's a decent milestone for triple-A console games, but doesn't leave a blip on the radar for games as a whole. The combat is more layered and beefy than I expected. I expected an off-the-shelf, ticks-all-the-boxes punching bag to grind through, but they really flexed some design muscle here. If you're getting S-ranks in Bayonetta and Devil May Cry on the regular: This isn't quite as replayable as that, but it's a strong showing and you'll be quite satisfied. I think the merging of mid-2000s God of War and current-day over-the-shoulder combat like Bloodborne is an academically interesting mash-up to look at. The storytelling was just compelling enough to pull me deeper into the game. The more time I spend looking back on it though, the more weird, bad choices I see. I guess I can really applaud that their PACING is great. I was on the hook for the whole game, and couldn't put it down. It's really well-made and I enjoyed it at the time, but I won't remember most of it later. Similar to a game like Uncharted or Tomb Raider. Zooming out to a timeline of 15 years; I think the identity and perspective that God of War (2005) gave us will leave a much bigger impact on pop culture, and games, than this new one will. Not just culturally with their quick-time events and brutal, grubby god-strangling, but also the coding techniques developed to allow a player to run up the knuckle of a titan and fight the horde under his fingernails. That's always the case with reboots, I guess. Anyway I also played Bad North. I love Oskar Stalberg's procedural artwork, so I was constantly seeing this game on Twitter. It delivers on the artwork, the game looks very nice. It's a fun time-waster, and commanding 4 squads around a little island is a fresh take, but doesn't stay interesting for very long. I like spending time in this charming game, but it is very slow-paced. There's not much unit variety or many combat options, there's not much enemy variety and there are few surprises. I'm playing on the Switch, and each session lasts a little bit too long to be a great fit for a portable game. This is the developer's debut game, and the portrait it paints of the studio team is still exciting. I really hope the game rakes in some money, because I think these people have the unique perspective and talents to make something very special soon.
  8. Cyberpunk 2077

    I was really interested in this from the E3 trailer, and hearing people just go nuts about it from the secret E3 showing, but wow this footage convinced me outright that CyberPunk 2077 is not my thing. Relevant note here: I don't like Deus Ex either. I think that character's voice, and every square inch of his look, is NEXT-LEVEL try-hard. Someone is DESPERATE for me to think this is sssooooo cccooooool, and that's very off-putting to me. At some time I did think Solid Snake and Wolverine or Devil-May-Cry were cool dudes, but shoving that double-shot of machismo in my face now, especially without any levity, just feels misguided. It felt like the characters in CyberPunk were really trying to jam in as much badass attitude as they could, at the behest of building compelling characters. It really painted the scene with the limp, cold body in a different light after a character said "I've got news as big as MY BALLS!" a couple minutes later. I was ready for the cool car and the cool jacket, but once you introduce the notion that this is all just pandering to my arrested development, it makes the whole thing feel like a pessimistic man-cave wank-fest, like Ready Player One or Duke Nukem. I'm sorry I don't like this big game everyone likes. I did want to! I actually felt myself wondering "Do I just not like the cyberpunk genre?", but I loved watching Blade Runner for the first time recently, and I do like Final Fantasy 7's grubby neon slums. That cyberpunk is mostly about people just feeling abandoned in a very busy world though.
  9. Jurassic Franchise

    I also watched the latest movie, which is Jurassic World 2, and I had to REALLY switch off my brain to enjoy it, because it is a dumb movie. I didn't really have the energy to complain about it, because nobody's that interested. It'd be like giving an in-depth review of why tree-bark makes for a bad lunch: We instinctively already know it's bad, so why bother? The premise of Act 1, though, I just rejected from the word go: They gotta save the dinosaurs from a volcano. Dino Green-Peace (I would say Dino-WWF, but I know what you'd think) really just raised the question for me: What does an animal conservationist charity like this look like in a world where you can clone dinosaurs? In this fiction, we can CLONE more giant pandas. They could spend the dinosaur money on more snow leopards or white rhinos. For the ivory, if nothing else!! Secondly: This year, I found out that California did a smashing job stopping forest-fires for 30 years, and then a massive one roared up out of nowhere because there were 30 years of dead leaves on the ground in one place. It really reminds me of what the good guys were warning about so much in the original Jurassic Park. You couldn't get further away from this theme in Jurassic World 2, where the PROTAGONISTS are circumventing nature to rescue all the dinos, and not one of them stops to think about whether or not they should. It's a volcano, they're on an island, this'll be the first natural thing that happens to these dinosaurs since birth. I found every other major beat in the movie to be a total head-scratcher as well, but hey I'll spare us all the time. This movie is Billy and the Cloneasaurus.
  10. E3 2018

    Yeah I'd love to play Cultist Simulator, but I haven't gotten around to it yet! I had a good time splitting 4 protein bars between 7 people in The Walking Dead. I think that is gameplay, as much as it would be in a board game. Are the decisions you make in 80 Days or Out There any less gameplay than any other games? Maybe they are, now that I write it down... I've never played it, but I imagine that the timeline of how you handle your responsibilities in a systemic game like Prison Architect is a compelling story, and also a compelling game, and I imagine they mesh together fairly well.
  11. E3 2018

    What I really found intere-- DOUBLE THE DEMONS?? Hold up, Doom designer: Double the demons is not something you just say. You all spent years making Doom 4, and then scrapping it to spend years again making a totally new, unique type of shooter. Designing one enemy is hard, and an impactful composition of enemies can take a long time to reign in. You doubled it? I'm really champing, and chomping, at the bit to see what DOOM Eternal is. Could it really be a stripped down fountain of enemies, like Devil Daggers? Could it be a rogue-like? Segueing into my next topic, I've played many hours of Devil May Cry 4's Bloody Palace run-based survival mode. It's my favourite way to play it, and I think it could fit DOOM like a glove. I'd love to see it. Devil May Cry 4 is one of my favourite games, and their DMC reboot was not bad either. The reboot was not as tightly designed and didn't quite stick with me, so I'm really trying to parse out whether this newly announced game is really Devil May Cry 5, or "DmC 2". The old designer is working on it, so... should be a step up, right? I hope so, cos a step up from Devil May Cry 4 would really knock my socks off. (I'd embed the video, but I'm on my phone, I'll edit it in later)
  12. Is Steam (Valve) Good? If not, what then?

    Ah I was looking for some real chat about this, so thanks for talking about it guys. Most of my thoughts are basically already covered here. Part of me is excited to let anarchy reign, but it's the part of me that was excited about that back when I was submitting games to Newgrounds as a teenager. That was a badass stance to me there and then, but the punk-rock underground attitude doesn't feel right when lots of small businesses live and die by the Steam store. As a consumer, am I buying today's big blockbuster, or some kid's abandoned college project? The flip side of that coin is that the most popular games throughout 2017 were games that wouldn't have passed certification on consoles, so it seems like customers are ready to pan for gold. Minecraft, Rust, H1Z1, Ark weren't close to finished when they blew up, and a completely bare-bones executable like Cart Life might be adding something legitemate to the conversation as well. I'm mostly flipping back and forth on quality control. Welcoming objectionable content is not really a worry for me, or at least I'm not thinking about it very often. I do think quality control and cultural curating should be two separate discussions, and it's a shame that they're lumped together here. I'll make sure they're not lumped together in my post with this squiggly line: ~~~~~~~~ Can you imagine if there was a game like Papers Please, but you had to pan immigrants for terrorists coming into the US or UK? Or a game that straight-up demonized the police force in your area? Or where you responded to school shootings as the NRA? I'd be interested to see more politically charged games really test Valve's position on this, but luckily those don't exist. Protecting the right to upload anime porno is not that interesting or admirable, so this side of things is more of a deflated shoulder shrug from me right now.
  13. Red Faction: Guerilla

    Wow. I'm just flabbergasted that they used that song. Actually, after a minute I did feel like somebody came in at the very last second and swapped a different song for this one right before they uploaded the video. Really bizarre decision there... Anyway Red Faction Guerrilla is one of my favorite games on the 360. I even just brought it up at work yesterday, saying that the multiplayer was a cool, unique game. I'm doing a lot of console porting and optimization these days, and holy moley; this game running on a 360 is a pure miracle of science to me now. I was impressed then, and in retrospect I'm just blown away. -IGN.com I bet there's more to do with these tools and this design, but I understand that Volition is not the studio it used to be any more. I think?? ...wow this trailer really doesn't show a clean shot of you knocking down a building for like 30 seconds. Who in the world made this?
  14. Id's Rage

    I really liked the trailer as well! I can't 100% tell what kind of game it is, but it seems like a fun place to be. So is it multiplayer??? I dunno! Honestly I like the Tank-Girl, gutter-punk aesthetic, it looks like they're just about pulling it off. I feel like many people are trying it these days and it can easily fall flat. I had a fairly good time with RⒶGE, and I think there was a lot of space to build something better. I think they would have a more potent identity and personality if they funneled all their themes into a character that you could point to, but I guess Bethesda knows that and consistently chooses a different path.
  15. I can't see a number on that page, but the comments do say it's a 7.5/10. It reads like this reviewer is very insulted that the game can soak up so much of your time without doing anything impactful to earn it. This is something I think about with games these days too, so maybe I would agree! It looks like this site gave Persona 5 a negative review with similar thoughts. I definitely agree that Persona 5 dragged it's heels for miles and miles too long, so I'm actually liking this perspective. Wow, their review on Horizon matches closely enough with what I said as well, I'm gonna listen to their podcast.