@mjpilon I played that a while back when they first accidentally released it, and I thought it was a complete turd. Not up to Double Fine’s usual standards at all — the usual shallow free-to-play business “sim” (and I use the term loosely) gameplay with only some fairly amusing writing to redeem it from the million and one other almost identical titles on the App Store. (And believe me, given my day job, I see nearly all of the fucking things). I’d hope they’ve improved it a bit since then — the version they released was supposedly not intended for public consumption — but it left a very sour taste in my mouth.
Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts
@mjpilon PC/Mac version has 360 pad support.
@angryjedi The problem with hardware reviews from my perspective (by the way, tech heads probably do review cameras) is that there’s no metric to which to compare it. What is a 9/10 or 10/10 piece of hardware? Do we even remember what people gave the 360 and PS3 seven and six years ago respectively? From my experience people were also quite negative on those two launches, even from a software standpoint.
Not to be down on the Vita, but I kind of agree on the main criticism of its software library lacking unique games. I think it’s a great piece of hardware, but I can only think of maybe two games that I’d want to own on it. I already own quite a bit of unique 3DS software in comparison. That’s another discussion though. I think the Vita has great potential for certain kinds of games that just aren’t appearing.
I tried out the Wii U controller at a GameStop and personally I like it a lot from a tactility standpoint. The screen is somewhere between the 3DS touch screen and an iPhone screen, which makes sense given the whole console costs less than an unsubsidized iPhone. I especially love the D pad and face buttons, which remind me a lot of the DS Lite pad and buttons.
And on the whole artistic side, yeah it is the games that still matter. I’ve heard that several of the third party ports run worse than on 360. If I bought one now it would be for Mario, NintendoLand, and to check out ZombiU. That said, Rayman, 101, and Pikmin are gonna be looking pretty good in a few months.
@mjpilon In terms of the next Xbox and PlayStation, I wouldn’t be surprised if people ended up being disappointed that the graphics weren’t “HD enough.” We really don’t know a damn thing, but some speculations are saying they won’t be much better than a current mid-range PC, and that a lot of the games will still be 720p and 30 frames per second in order to get more horsepower out of the hardware. Seven years ago a lot of people were unimpressed that the leap from PS2 to Xbox 360 wasn’t as amazing as the leap from PS1 to PS2. It’s very possible we could see that happen again next year. Personally, I’d be satisfied with graphics similar to what I’ve seen in PC gameplay videos of Crysis 3 and Medal of Honor Warfighter (seriously, the latter game looks insane on PC).
@mjpilon Sounds like advice from my Assassin’s Creed pamphlet. Yeah, I’m picking up thermoses (Why?) and pages if they’re in front of me, but I generally try to get from dark woods section A to location B as quickly as possible. I stop for hidden chests.
I can’t get enough of the fake episodic nature of this game. There’s something inside of me that gets excited the instant “Previously on Alan Wake” is uttered, and the recap gets going. This is a great format. I can take the game in chunks, digest it, and come back to it later. Built in stopping points with cliff hangers as opposed to one long unbroken narrative that you quit out of when you’ve had enough. Or, maybe I’m down with this because of all of those childhood years being conditioned by television. “Previously on X-men”
The PC version has the DLC (except American Nightmare) baked in to the game, so nothing to worry about there. Just hope the story holds up til the end.
I found that interesting, but I can see it not being very useful if you’re looking for information. Jeff Gerstmann’s review on Giant Bomb is much more utilitarian. The one on Kotaku reads like one of those editorial pieces that you read a week or two later “Looking back on Black Ops 2″ or whatever.
Neither is better, it just depends on what you’re looking for. As someone who doesn’t plan on playing CoD, reading a review of the experience is more interesting, but that changes with the game. Right now, I’d rather read how broken the PC port of AC3 is or isn’t.
@mjpilon Shit, I guess I need to play Spec Ops now. That description sounds like it fits Dragon Age 2 as well. Boring game, excellent story. It’s too bad, really.
@cgrajko Welcome to the happiness club. It wears off, after a time, but you’ll never forget it. Journey is my GOTY.
@mjpilon I forgot about that! Go for it! Turn off the lights, immerse yourself in tension and fear (and relief), cower outside of a room for a while, whip open doors, or slowly peek in, whatever works for you, and keep going forward. Also acceptable, is turning off the game to deal with those horrible feelings… just as long as you go back.
@mjpilon I dunno, I kinda like the direction Darksiders 2 is going, I’m getting that “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe too, but it is looking quite fun to me.
Also, what happened to the Minecraft server? I haven’t seen anyone on for the past few days, I haven’t seen any zombies or skeletons either.
Edit: false alarm, I see the hostile mobs again.
@mjpilon Feel free to screw around when you’re there. Start small, make a house in our growing village (or way up in the sky like Sinfony), or dig a cave, and learn the basic tools that way. Everything pretty much follows from there naturally. For instance, “Hmm, now my house needs a stable, and a basement, annnnnd, you know what? Eff this house, this house is dumb now. Let’s make a castle, which needs a moat, and a bridge to it”, etc. etc.
@shingro Horrible deep holes in the ground filled with terrible things already exist! @rampantbicycle finds them daily. Also, you can totally reskin your avatar to look like an anime character, just saying. Make a pixel shrine to Katawa Shoujo, while listening to j-pop, somewhere.
@mjpilon Oh man I hear you, same thing that happens to me, if I went on there I’d probably just dig some horrible deep hole in the ground and fill it with terrible things (enough monsters mean monstergirls right? ;___;)
anyway, on somewhat game related news I went to a nightclub for the first time (yes, I know… >_>) and what were they serving there but Dragon’s Breath. I bellied up to the bar and ordered one…. very good! Didn’t even become a smoking crater or pile of ash or anything!
@mjpilon I think that has more to do with how those particular games are designed. You’re never really set back too far in Rayman Origins and the game feels so playable that you don’t mind jumping back in. Same with Meat Boy.
For some reason though, I CAN NOT take high levels of frustration when playing 2D Mario games. I”m terrible at them and I ragequit very quickly. It’s why I haven’t finished a single one of them.
@sinfony @mjpilon If by any chance the speed is your sole problem with Gears, why not investigate Vanquish? It’s basically Gears but the whole game moves about 300 percent faster. It’s the controls of a shooter combined with the speed and chaos of a Devil May Cry game.
@mjpilon I just picked up Gears 3 after trading in a pile of games, on the theory that I should probably play one of those damn games finally. Played through about 45 minutes last night and I kind of hate it. Everything about it seems best described as “lumbering.” Think it’s going back to the store, to be replaced by god only knows what, took me forever to find something I wanted last time.
@angryjedi The screenshots look interesting, but I learned my lesson from Tiny Tower, which I don’t consider to be a game at all, but rather a busywork generator.
Man, if they made some kind of full-blown Harvest Moon for iOS or something I might be down for that. There’s something that feels very empty about those F2P click-a-thons though.
@mjpilon I’m sure if you search “iOS” or something related you’ll find suggestion posts we made way back that should still apply. Currently I’m actually in the middle of a bunch of RPGs on my iPhone.
@redswir1 Personally, and of course, this is subjective and situational, when I want a console experience, I generally have to fight the Missus or the Daughter for use of the TV/PS3. Even then, I find myself being less and less inclined to turn the console on due to time and fatigue. To be able to recline at the end of the day in bed with a machine that offers horsepower and ergonomic comfort, enjoy console experiences, indulge in my library of PSone (soon, of course) and PSP titles if I feel like it…it’s just a good machine for me. We’re already seeing a trickle of interesting, artsy, Sony-level “indie” titles coming through on the Vita, and they’re not just tap-tap minigames. Retro City Rampage will also be a great portable experience on the machine, no doubt.
I never held much affinity for the DS library outside of Anno 1701 and Panzer Tactics, and it looks the same with the 3DS. Horses for courses, definitely.
@cgrajko Utterly useless factoid that would only be useful to terrorists and/or interrogators: Rez is the only game to ever make me feel woozy. A masterpiece, though!
Another toll from the village bell.
Music To Game By
Submit two tracks via THIS FORM, supply links if you feel the need, send me MP3s IN ADDITION to your form submission with the appropriate details via email at unmanneddrone ( a t ) gmail (d o t) com IF tracks are really obscure.
@mjpilon Just FYI, Saturday Morning RPG is episodic, and you can complete each episode in around an hour and a half, give or take. (One day’s commute both ways).
The first episode is free, I think the next ones are $1.99 each. I enjoyed my time with Commander Hood substantially so have no problem shelling out a buck 99 for the next show. There’s a death laser hidden in my high school apparently and all the teachers have been replaced by Cobra agents. Ooooh that dastardly Hood. Also, my best friend (the tech guy, in a wheelchair, natch) has a design based off of Cutter John from Bloom County.
@mjpilon I hear you on the podcast front, have become a voracious podcast listener over the last couple of years, but always had a thing for radio. Audiobooks, also. I did Ready Player One via audiobook, made for rather pleasant listening on my way to work.
Also, took @beige up on his Mielville recommendation. Embassytown is now ready to go.
@mjpilon Watching that too. I couldn’t live with all that stuff, personally. Most of it would get recycled/thrown out.Thank you digital distribution. The only PC boxes I’m still hanging on to at the moment are Warcraft 3 Collectors and the expensive Darwinia tin I imported.
I need to be careful with this PS3.
@mjpilon Should be an edit button on the top right portion of your comment.
@mjpilon Sadly, I have it on PS3 and PC. Sorry!
Squad Music Mix 3: Get Out the Map0.000000 0.000000
mjpilon, Shingro, RedSwirl, and 9 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
@mjpilon Well, you are the very man for the job! It is now your mandate to get a little drafting/deck-building colonial skirmishing antics injected into your Catan sessions. Tell your fellows it’s a matter of honour.
I dare not check the price of AFAOS, but it might be a little on the pricey side.
@mjpilon I think putting the lists in a separate area for reference is a good call. If I knew how to do that, I would.
@mjpilon I think you’re describing the best-case and most benign scenario for used games. In this argument I agree, used games aren’t killing the industry. I don’t think any of us know how much the “buy it 4 days later for 5 bucks less” version is hurting things, though.
What I’m saying is that it must be taking a significant bite for all of this to be going on.
@mjpilon Locked and loaded, brother. Your tracks are in the marshalling yards. Cheers for that!
@bowlisimo Yeah, I agree. On one hand, butt graphics and homebrew physics. On the other hand, up to 8 (EIGHT) fine Squad gentleman stuck in a Zombie apocolypse trading bon mots and leaving each other for the crows. The elevator just proved that adding multiple Squaddies to an online experience can elevate (hah!) any experience with our particular brand of wry wit. Perhaps with this and Dear Esther we can finally do that Half-Life Mods show.
@mjpilon This is Emperor Palpetine doing a slow clap. Good, goooood. Interestingly, with your particular playthrough you’re saving the best for last, progressively. If you’ve come this far, you will enjoy. I guarantee.
It’s a good long Squadcast with lots of chin wagging but we do spoil the sheeit out of basically every part of the game.
I assume that some of us have put our money where our mouth is and ponied up the $15 to Tim? I have. Now, someone just gotta get on that Kickstarter and make Star Control 3 for real.
@mjpilon Congrats on Chrono Trigger. You are now officially a better man. Much like you, I didn’t play it until way way past the time that the novelty had worn off for the most part but I certainly agree that it deserves its place in the videogame hall of fame for defining the archetype of the JRPG.
I was living in Australia (I think) supernintendoless during the years when CT was making the rounds, which also caused me to miss Final Fantasy III (VI) when it was current. I’ve since rectified this problem. Those mid 90s were some great times for spritebased Japan — I wonder what happened to them. Kind of seems like somehow they hit an evolutionary wall along the line, though good RPGs were coming out for the DS and PSP right up until about 2009 or so. As mentioned by Calin, outside of Lost Oddyssey (and Ni No Kuni?) the JRPG has been notably absent in the current generation, not counting Personae released on PS2 hardware. I’ve always kinda believed it had something to do with the vast amount of $$$ it takes to create art assets for those WORLD SPANNING adventures compared to just cranking out textures for ShooterX. Japan though, what do I know, I’m just talking out of my ass. For all I know they’re still making great games (*cough Xenoblade) and then just refusing to translate or naturalize them for the west. Get Kickstarter on that shizz pronto. Fan translation of Snatcher HD. Think about it.
Here’s some motivation for MJ courtesy of the 1400+ strong (I say again, 1400+!!!) image thread going on over at Know Your Meme.
@mjpilon I played Chrono Trigger after the fact, although not quite as after the fact as playing it in 2012, and I am inclined to agree. My first exposure to the game was via the PSX version that came out with Final Fantasy IV. I’m told it’s a piece of shit and has terrible loading times, but I didn’t notice since I didn’t play the SNES version.
At any rate, I agree that there is a lot to like. The combination attacks are done very well, and I feel like the whole “avoiding a fight by seeing enemies on the map” thing is just now getting the respect that it deserves. (Super Mario RPG did this as well, so you seem to have chosen well with your forays in to JRPGs.)
Depending on what you liked about Chrono Trigger, I’m happy to offer a few recommendations. If the idea of combo attacks appealed to you, I would recommend Phantasy Star IV. It’s widely regarded as among the best 16 Bit RPGs, and it’s probably the only one that cracks the upper echelons and came out on the Genesis. I view it as the culmination of everything that was great about JRPGs of that era, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a devout worshiper of the first four Phantasy Star games. It gives you an interesting cast of characters, just like Chrono Trigger, but unlike Chrono Trigger you don’t have quite as much choice in who you use throughout the game. Though, this does change towards the end. The only downside I can point to, at least in terms of your post, is that you will probably forced to grind levels in a few places. It’s not as brutal of a grind as something like the original Phantasy Star or Phantasy Star II, but there are definitely some places where you won’t be able to afford new equipment without walking around in circles for an hour or two. It is, however, a pretty dope combination of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and I can recommend it for that alone.
If you haven’t played it yet, Final Fantasy VI offers an almost overwhelmingly large number of characters to choose from, and the second half of the game is basically “go wherever you want, find adventure, make friends and influence people.” It’s probably the most open-world of all the FF games, if that appeals to you at all. FFVI is also generally considered the highpoint of JRPGs on the SNES (though some people would probably argue Chrono Trigger.)
If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, there have been slim pickings for console RPGs this generation. Lost Odyssey is the only one I can point to and say that it’s worth playing, but it’s very much a traditional JRPG wrapped up in a pretty package. It does have very cool stories, though.
Final Fantasy XIII has an extremely gratifying battle system, but a lot of people hate it, and the battle system doesn’t open up to its full potential for a long, long time.
Waiting on SCP till the opportune moment of quiet darkness. I am quite curious… though unaware of exactly what it is. I love surprises.
So I have Resistance 3 on rental, and have been couch co-oping the game. The oddest thing about that experience is the classic random 2nd player that is never referenced in the story, and actually has to merge into the main character in order to open doors. My player 2 and I have devised a rather comprehensive subplot for what we consider a figment of our main characters imagination. It is a strange design choice, especially since there is almost always a story based A.I character with you throughout the game. You would think that player 2 would assume one of those roles. Our theory about the character being imaginary took an even bigger twist when we realized in one on rails part that we were in a motorized cart that had no apparent driver and we were both shooting at an oncoming monster. So… who was driving? Another Imaginary individual no doubt. The imaginary 2nd player has a big beard and looks like he is hiding something. If I find out what it is I will tell you.
In other news, I finally pre-ordered Natural Selection 2 to play the beta. Their new trailer worked.
(I encourage others to watch it) Holy shoot is the game ever great though.
No other game really makes me feel the teamwork vibe quite like NS. Commanders barking orders, team mates looking out for one another. All the lovely upgrades. I wasn’t very good at the original, but seem to be better coordinated this time around. There are some user friendliness tweaks, and of course not everything is in the game yet. Balancing can be a little off in the beta, but that is due to its… betaness. I cannot wait for the final release. Once it hits steam I hope it gets the attention of the larger community, because this game deserves it.
@mjpilon Good job man. A classic for sure. What is next?
@Redswirl I never beat XIII. I believe there are 13 chapters, I think I stopped around 9.
The battle system was cool, true, but everything else was so flamboyantly uninteresting. If that is possible.
@mjpilon Chrono Trigger took me almost 30 hours, but a normal JRPG player could probably do it in under 25. I am the smell the roses type sometimes. Great game.
@angryjedi I’m in love with Pierce, for his delicious and refreshing politically incorrect outlook.
And Britta. For turning it into a snake.
EDIT: @mjpilon Sir, I don’t know if it’s up your alley or not, but considering you’re a Civ fan and have more than a few strategic metatarsels in your body, Three Moves Ahead is a great podcast on strategy games and boardgames. Been listening since the fuzzy beginning, and with new and improved production values, Rob Zacny, Julian Murdoch (of Gamers With Jobs – another decent podcast), old host Troy Goodfellow and the occasional appearances by Bruce Geryk and Tom Chick, make for a great panel in discussing not only particular strategy games, but the greater strategy realm. Things like a focused show on diplomacy, on end games, the role of the tutorial in the genre etc. etc., as well as having guests on – like Randall Bills, old Battletech hand to discuss the boardgame, the lore and whatnot, or Brian Reynolds or Vic Davis.
@mjpilon I’d be happy to oblige:
- Giant Bombcast – It’s my gaming “comfort food” podcast. I’ve listened to these guys since the HotSpot days and have always liked hearing Gerstmann’s opinions on games. Having added Klepeck last year, they have the strongest regular lineup of any gaming podcast right now.
- Irrational Podcasts – Hands down the highest quality shit out there. The shows are produced by Shawn Elliot, Chris Remo, & Ken Levine, all of whom “get” podcasting and are always cool to listen to. While the shows don’t come out very regularly, every one is worth listening to and makes you proud to be a gaming enthusiast.
- This is Only a Test – As long as Gary Whitta’s on the show, it’s as close to the Brodeo as it gets out there. Fun tech show that’s not too nerdy and most of their guests are great, too.
I still listen to an episode or two of some other shows (8-4 is notable but way too heavy on Japanese gaming for me) but I mostly just tune in if they have a good guest who rarely does podcasts anymore (most notably the old Ziff crew) or if there’s a big reveal on it.
While I appreciate Garnett saying nice things about us from time to time on Weekend Confirmed, the show itself is just too “LA” for my taste. I think Xav brings the best input to the show by far. I used to really like Canata’s take on games but he’s fallen out of favor with me and I can’t remember why.
One last thing, I used to go on and on about G4TV’s Feedback but now the show is falling on hard times. Although Sessler was replaced by the very competent Blair Herter, the quality of the guests is really spotty. Based on the things said on the show and on Sessler’s Soapbox, I think the network is going downhill fast. I fully expect Sessler to leave soon and hopefully to a better place for him to do his thing at.
Secret Santa payload is in the air, ho ho ho. Games incoming.
@mjpilon For me it’s a very hit-or-miss kind of thing where the reward for effort has to be commensurate with the work necessary to achieve said reward. Recent example: Batman AC in which I surprised myself by actually putting in the legwork necessary to round up all (or most) of the 400-or-so riddler/catwoman trophies.
In the case of Batman the argument was certainly augmented by the fact that I only have very few games not in storage right now, but that aside my pattern went like this: Want to catch Riddler, want to see more story and peek inside whatever SAW-style skinner boxes the developers have cooked up. As soon as I actually CAUGHT the Riddler, all interest in rounding up the (probably less than 15) remaining trophies dried up completely. I doubt that I’ll ever go back and get them.
This seems to be pretty solid evidence that Beige will walk a mile for narrative progression but won’t get up off the couch for the unlocking of an achievement. Ironic I guess since the achievement is totally public knowledge and the knowledge of these new rooms and cutscenes is something only I experience. If you need a reason to explain our motivations, there you go.
In the case of subsequent Squad Music Mixes, to avoid monopolising and perhaps marginalising tastes on account of theme, I’ve set up another submission form specifically for theme names. Once you’ve submitted a theme, I’ll randomise the submissions and we’ll move through the theme list with each subsequent mix.
So, go HERE to submit your themes. To add another element of guesswork to the proceedings, the theme’s creator will stay anonymous and be unveiled along with the names of folks with their submissions.
Cut-off for theme submissions is…hell…when all folks submit their theme, but the sooner the better, for planning and assembly’s sake. Oh, and @rampantbicycle, we’ll throw your covers request in there, but do submit another theme in the spirit of post-mix counter-espionage antics.
@mjpilon Nope. Way off bro.
@mjpilon I use a 360 wireless receiver I bought on ebay. You can get them really cheap on there.
In terms of your guess…..
Aint me bro. Though it is stylin’. *Puts on Sunglasses*
*lights cigarette* *raspy voice* Your on the right track kid, but you need to dig deeper. */raspy voice*
I may not be the master of cryptic messages, but someone could still get me in the end. Ill be waiting.
@mjpilon Recently I’ve seen wireless 360 controllers sold with the PC adapters, branded as PC pad. Had to find one hidden in the corner of a computer section at Best Buy though. I had to get my adapter off eBay (or Play N’ Trade I think). Maybe Microsoft might sell them directly?
@mjpilon The Play and Charge kit doesn’t work for connecting a wireless Xbox controller to a PC, particularly if you have an Xbox in the nearby vicinity. You need the official wireless USB thingy.
Wired controllers work with no problems, though.
Anyone around for DunDef later tonight then?
@mjpilon Fixed. I umm’d and ahh’d over the space between, but upon your guidance, did a quick reworking. But yeah, a crazy mix! Enjoy, sir.
After years of talking about it, let’s finally start the yearly “Squad Santa” tradition. This will be a great way to endulge in some holiday spirit with our fellow Squaddies for $15 or less.
Our cheap fu is very strong…
Here’s how it works:
- State your interest to participate here by Sunday, December 11th..
- Send your Steam name and email address to me at: chris [dot] whittington [at] gmail [dot] com.
- Stock up your Steam and/or GOG “wish lists” so that the person who gets your name will know what you want.
- On Monday, December 12th, a non-participant (Mrs. RocGaude) will unanimously draw one name from a hat for each participant.
…and that’s it. Please be sure to have all gifts sent out by January 1st!
Note: We recommend sticking to Steam and/or GOG when gifting. Shipping costs suck.
@rocgaude Amen to that. I’ve definitely been on the receiving end of some amazing squad generosity these past few years. I’m very grateful. Good people here, for sure.
Along those lines, is there any interest in a “Squad Santa” kind of gift exchange for the holiday? You know, people who want to can sign up and randomly get assigned someone’s name to buy something from PSN/XBLA/Steam for, say, 15 dollars or less. Just a thought.
@Feenwager Good point. It’ll have to be on the back burner for a while, but I won’t forget it.
@mjpilon Keep us updated. I decided to stop watching the E.R. to do the same thing eventually.
@mjpilon pish tosh sir, ‘Tis the season and all that jazz… Just figured I’d spread the Xmas cheer a bit =P
Good luck on that CT, Wonderful game. Not a lot of media holds up decades after it was made, but CT I think does in spades
Also: sorry for being somewhat absent, projects and moving put a bit of a dent in my time
@bowlisimo @feenwager @mjpilon I say go for it. I didn’t get to play Chrono Trigger until the DS version came out either. Even though I only made it a little ways into it until taking an indefinite break (that happens a lot with me and handheld RPGs), that game made me wonder what the fuck was wrong with every JRPG that had come out since.
Seriously. CT on the DS felt like a JRPG that had been made that year (2009 I think). It wasn’t just the care with which they ported it to the DS (touchscreen UI is perfect), but a lot of the core design felt more progressive than most of the JRPGs I played on the PS2, and this game came out in 1995. The combat system feels fluid, the exploration is smooth, and the narrative is quite dynamic with around a dozen endings. When people keep talking about how JRPGs are old fashioned, they commonly talk about how most of them still haven’t surpassed Chrono Trigger.
I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here, but one of the issues with JRPGs (and maybe Japanese games in general) is that they don’t iterate off of their peers a whole lot. Over here, Halo will come out and now every shooter since follows that game’s basic UI framework – regenerating health, grenade button, etc. Gears comes out and we got cover systems and horde mode everywhere. Our developers recognize an evolving general “language”. If JRPG developers had all learned from CT and iterated off of that game back in the 90′s we wouldn’t be complaining about them so much today.
@mjpilon Indeed! I was waiting for @beige and whoever else wanted to throw down their guesses, but I can do that in the next day or so.