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Posts posted by Joflar

  1. I've never really played Sam & Max but I am somewhat interested in it. Do any of you have a particular suggestion for where to start? Would I be all right jumping straight in with the Devil's Playhouse, as presumably that is the most polished version of Sam & Max?

    What about if I enjoyed that and wanted to play more, could I play them in reverse order without it being totally screwed up? I honestly don't think I can bring myself to go back to Sam & Max Hit the Road if that's what's going to be suggested... I've lost my ability to play games more than ten years old, I think.

    Alternatively, I might be able to play Sam & Max Save the World even if it's not quite as well iterated as the Devil's Playhouse, if the story is very follow-on and I'm going to get the best experience that way.

    Save the World is rough after you've played Season 2 and 3. The episode plots and Voice Acting aren't quite memorable. The puzzles are also rather simple, usually they require a single action to solve them. I'll be rude and call it a baby game.

    Telltale has really hit a creative streak with their puzzles since then, and the storytelling is just fantastic now.

    I wouldn't dismiss S&M Hit the Road just because its old. Its more focused on ribbing American kitsch, whereas the new series touches a broader range of topics. Thats not really a pro or con but its a significantly different game thematically that uses the same main characters. If you're worried about controls or graphics, the game doesn't feel archaic in either respect.

  2. Nice discussion on Kane & Lynch 2. The idea of the cameraman as an actual entity in the game reminded me of "The Experiment" or "eXperience 112" for Europeans. Good talking about it here if anyone is interested:

    One of my favorite scenes in The Experiment:

    The protagonist has to change into a diving suit. She looks at the player camera and says "I'm sorry, I just don't know you well enough to change in front of you. I need some privacy." She then walks into a bathroom stall. Fantastic little moment that worked with the theme of one-way contact and establishing trust with a complete stranger.

    (Also, the link between K&L2 and Super Mario 64 was an amazing conclusion. Gonna miss the incredible pointedness of this podcast...)

  3. Starship Troopers totally rocks... and the CGI is excellent for its day. It's CGI that actually feels "real" (not doubt thanks to the hands of Phil Tippett).

    Edit: Looking at those YouTube videos, I'd say it still holds up, too!

    They go into this in the making of section on the dvd, and a lot of that is because they do a good job of mixing CGI with physical special effects for closeups.

    Early in the movie they show a cow in the same room as an arachnid and a giant CENSORED bar when the bug attacks. Instead of making a cheesy cgi cow getting mauled they cover up a guy spraying out fake blood from a hose to much greater comical effect.

  4. I just beat Bioshock 2 as well. I really enjoyed it. I played it pretty much back to back with the original, and just finished the sequel last night.

    At first I was kinda dismayed by what they were doing to Andrew Ryan.

    Ryan Amusements works great as a simple refresher for those who haven't played the original in a while. It's very simple and heavy handed. However, it didn't strike me as being the quality of propaganda and speech I'd expected from the charismatic Ryan. The weird angry voice was the worst part. That section needed to have more finesse, or a strong aspect of corruption of the innocent, but it just came off as a cheesy ride. That would have been fine for me, without Ryan's direct involvement. I guess overall I don't like what they did to Ryan in this game, especially against such a crazy opponent in Lamb.

    I remember getting an audio log about this. The intent of Ryan Amusements

    was to appeal to the children of Rapture hence the brunt imagery. Andrew is actually dismayed at its gaudiness but then realizes how effective the presentation is to the intended demographic.

    I like how that level is later contrasted with Dionysus Park. Ryan Amusements is simple and has a particular agenda. Dionysus Park is chaotic with amusement being pursued for its own sake.

  5. We never allied. I think early on we had an unspoken understanding about Diggwiggler's stars in the middle. After the alliance with Darth and subsequent invasion, that all went out the window and we were eager to destroy everything there. The only uneasy thing we both shared was the understanding that you would benefit the most from this, and I told him if he were to counter you back I would assist. But I needed a day to regroup and, well, I wasn't going to let Spacelad keep my worlds either. But he never did muster a strong enough assault to weaken you so I kept away.

    So I got an out-of-character message from Spacelad in my inbox that was basically "You monster." :shifty:

    I meant at one point SGP clicked the form alliance button with you while I was attacking him. You replied that you two weren't actually allies, it was just a weird move. Its funny, I asked ens for help attacking Spacelad but she replied that you, SGP, and Chris were all allied and that attacking Spacelad would be a bad move.

    Oh, I did not trust you. Believe you me. By the end after our conflicts you had the far superior science level and when you started to send weapons to Jake, no doubt trying to goad him into attacking me. I knew a war between Jake and me would mean you'd win, despite your message of "not wanting to attack Jake, I'll settle for second". I knew that was full of shit, but I kind of just wanted to end the game and secure second place. So I went for it. I just became annoyed near the end when you started invading me, and only me, and completely bypassed Jake's easy targets in the middle (I had successfully split off his inner worlds from his outer worlds).

    So, annoyed, rather than finishing the job I just sent thousands of ships to fuck with you at the end. It was futile at that point, but it was therapeutic. Plus! I ended the game with my homeworld in my hands, as it should be.

    Oh ok! Yeah that was some really clumsy late game sabotage on my part :shifty: I had an irrational fear that you and ens would ally and start attacking me.

  6. Two questions:

    Why on earth did SGP (Spacelad) ally with n0wak (Mcheese)?

    Was it true that SGP was trying to get illeria (Tophat Mcblasterpants) to attack me, or was that just illeria trying to psych me?

    My strategy at the start was to ignore the center and move sideways instead. Getting attacked early by Sombre was actually a boon because I managed to get his home planet with all its research and industry.

    I did a truce with illeria, but broke it when he started losing ships in his attack on Chris. Patters attacked me some but stopped. After finishing up illeria, I decided to take Patters planets too. Unfortunately for me, this time Chris managed to seize Patters homeworld. Instead of fighting Chris, I hoped to stay on his good side and waited for an opportune moment to attack SGP.

    For most of the game I was on friendly terms with n0wak, we did a lot of technology trading. I figure thats what made him trust me towards the end game.

  7. Again! AGAIN!

    Hahaha no worries. I thought my role-playee spin would have people competing for my help, but it pretty much just ended up amounting to a tech ally and being frustrated at not being able to use persuasion.

    I'll prolly put more later.

    You were pretty terrifying at the height of your power, I was really lucky when Lollie Mcheese (sorry, n0wak) attacked you.

  8. I played through the demo and was a little perturbed that after escaping the restaurant people didn't seem to mind that I was carrying guns and running around. Then something scripted happened and they all freaked out. Also I couldn't seem to grab any civilians for human shields but cops were ok.

    There are some great scripted scenes in this game that build up the world:

    Running into the kitchen and finding all the staff tied up, encountering a cop who puts his hands up and surrenders, barging through a video store off the side of the street and seeing a poster of some bizarre troll thing holding a cow.

    I dunno how this game will pan out but on the whole I'm optimistic.

  9. Will any Thumbs be at Quakecon this year? To sweeten the deal, a scant 13 minutes away lies 10K Wizard Technology (A Limited Liability Corporation)*.

    *After exhaustive research I regret to inform Idle Thumbs that 10K Wizard Technology LLC is now Morningstar Document Researchâ„ . I sincerely apologize for this oversight.

  10. I used to really like Metropolis, especially since it reminded me of Blade Runner so much, but damn is it clumsy. Most of the films from that era I've seen are nowhere near as cumbersome, including Fritz Lang's other films. Especially Fritz Lang's other films.

    Yeah its not a film I'd rewatch immediately but it certainly held my interest the first time through.

  11. This was doing the rounds on Twitter last night: All of Tarkovsky's films are (in a legit way) online for free.

    For a start, Stalker and Solaris were by him :tup:

    Followed this link and found out Fritz Lang's Metropolis was also available. I'd never seen it before but had heard plenty of great things about it.

    Fabulous movie! The lack of "realism" (not quite sure how to describe it) in the backdrops doesn't matter because they're so interesting to look at. Its disappointing that some scenes have been lost to history, since reading title cards doesn't have the same impact as the strong visual storytelling.

  12. Some spolerific remarks:

    There's no final boss. I don't know if it happened because of the complaints of the first game, but it's kinda underwhelming to finish a game on a "horde mode", rather than a significant battle. I ALMOST died, only because I was fighting the brutes and alphas for 10 minutes, until I ran out of heath packs and decided to look at the objective and only then realized that I had to shoot 2 pipes and the game was over.

    But it wasn't all that bad, I especially liked the part where you took the view of the little sister, that was A-MA-ZING. Seriously, after that it made all the sense in the world why the they behaved like they did. Kudos to the person responsible for the design of that part of the game

    Excuse me for a bit as I might exaggerate to describe something impactful about Bioshock 2. Speaking as a 21-year old male going through college and anticipating a bleak future, for me Bioshock 2

    softened a jaded cynicism that I've felt about real life. The Subject Delta in my mind was a world-weary Big Daddy who saw Rapture as a failed state. The three "good/evil" choices seem somewhat trivial since the Rapture ecosystem was eventually going to collapse. This eventuality combined with some latent amount of sympathy meant that I let everybody live, since I cared about eking an existence rather than power or revenge.

    (Minor tangent: Gil Alexander was a tough decision to make with the incongruity between his spliced self and his recorded messages that pleaded for me to kill him.)

    This changed towards the end section, starting with the incredible Little Sister moment that you mentioned. Seeing the world from a childs viewpoint as something beautiful reminded me about all the hopes and aspirations I used to have. Finding out that Eleanor idolized me was an epiphany. She was my shot at redemption after all the time I had wasted as a selfish despondent adult. I was incredibly thankful that she interpreted my actions as benevolent and would use them as a template for her new life. I felt great pity for Sophia Lamb, since she represented an ideology that I used to empathize with. In a way, I'd describe my thoughts about Eleanor as love. I really like the article that Michael Abbot wrote about Bioshock 2 and how it evoked feelings of fatherhood. I realize that plenty of people have played Bioshock 2 and haven't had this experience, but speaking personally my time with the game was pretty phenomenal and I hope I conveyed it somehow. The end sequence wasn't so much about shooting guys, it was about heading to the surface and seeing something good and pure result from a horrible environment.

    Sorry for all this sappiness, I just got back from a family reunion and it reminded me a lot about Bioshock 2.

  13. I didn't ever know Shadow of Chernobyl had multiple endings, the ending I got was:

    I got to the wish granter and then some scary cinematics played, including one where time went forward almost to revealing what actually happened and then went backwards, and it ended with a black screen.

    I guess that's the bad ending?

    If you get one of the two "good" endings it explains a lot of backstory and makes the other five endings even more sinister. I know because I beat it yesterday for the second time!

    I really love the lowish sci-fi setting where modern day technology is contrasted against all these inexplicable phenomena.

  14. The first Max Payne is pretty damn hard. I played it for the first time a year or so ago and it was interesting to face that kind of challenge. I definitely thought "Fuck this game" during sequences like the dream platforming and the stealth section, but there was something rewarding about killing enemies in that game. I think its the vulnerability of Max Payne contrasted with his relative agility to enemies that makes the gunfights interesting. Its kind of like playing the Scout in Team Fortress 2, and I believe it still holds up because modern third person shooters have sort of gravitated towards more defensive cover-based shooting.