@zegolf The difference there is that Zynga’s just PUBLISHING that, not developing it. It’s their in-house development stuff that is the real problem.
Updates from August, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts
@zegolf F:NV is one of the only RPGs I’ve quit in mid-stream and never picked up again. I can’t explain why (we were mostly done, past level 30)… I suspect Dark Souls was involved.
That said, you can easily buy more expensive coffees. It’s a deal if you ever have a thought about going back in there — I’m not going to stay your hand.
@zegolf Go ahead and jump on that $15 Walking Dead deal, unless you want to play all the episodes at once later (and for cheaper).
I played the first episode last night and as someone who has read the comic, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing is great and the human drama is right where it needs to be, the dialogue especially. Characters feel three dimensional. Do I console this little girl like I’m her father, just lie to her to make her feel better, or tell her the cold hard truth? Do I trust this guy I just met? Should I be honest with him, tell him half-truths, or lie altogether, just in case? Will I remember my lies? Will that bite me in the ass later if I need his help? Responses are timed and it has a very genuine feel to it. Of course, there are some fucked up snap decisions you need to make, and then consequences you need to live with.
Even the adventure gamey “what order do I need to do stuff in to solve problem X” sections are handled well enough so that they work with the story, and you know, the ever present threat of walkers crashing the party. That said, it’s not perfect either. Some of the voicework for less important characters and animation can be subpar or weird at times, and why the hell does this reporter, who can use a gun like she’s in special forces, not know that appliances sometimes need batteries, or how to put them in correctly…
Anyway, so far I like the main character, Lee. He’s a man with some serious baggage. I want to see where he ends up in this mess. Five episodes doesn’t seem like enough. Movin’ on to episode 2 tonight.
@zegolf I still don’t quite get it. So it doesn’t take that long to reach the year 4,000 and theoretically the same state his game is in? I guess what’s most amazing is that he’s moved the save file through multiple computers and now people want him to put it on Dropbox so they can all have a crack at ending the Seventeen Hundred Years War.
The official Squad crew of elite skeleton clickers
So it seems a few of us are picking up Skeleton Click III shortly. Post your Battle.net details/character names etc in the comments below, along with any thoughts on the experience.
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Hey all! A few quick thoughts as I finally recover from a crazy 6 day long strep which torn me to shreds:
- Only positive of being bedridden on Wednesday and Thursday? Having the chance to play probably around 8 hours of Fez. Got through the first 32 cubes without FAQs and actually figured out some of the game’s “language”. I have started my second playthrough and I’ll admit it…. I gave up on the alphabet after a few hours of trying and I looked up where to find the hint(s) for it. I completely MISSED it/them the 1st time so I would been running around for hours (which I don’t have) aimlessly. Figured it out and I am now working through everything without any more assistance. Just a wonderful experience and completely not what I expected in the end – Jeff Gerstmann ‘s “rant” about it on the last Bombcast sums up the whole thing nicely I think. Don’t think I will get as far as @bluesforbuddha or @gkokoris have but I will try as much as I can handle.
- @zegolf Welcome back! Regarding the board games, I have also started to delve into the area mostly through iOS versions but I have played some in actual board form. I would highly recommend Ticket to Ride and Catan. Great starter games that should peak your interest nicely. I wish I had more to recommend but none of my friends really my interest past Catan and I haven’t really found a board game group in the area to join with to try games like Pandemic or Arkham Horror :p Either way, enjoy the plunge!
- My fitocracy activity for our group will commence soon – my regular running up and down Mont Royal here in MTL will begin as soon as I am 100% from this damn sickness
Ravenmark on iOS is a great original TBS in the vein of RotKXII, combat-wise. Can be a little ball buster at times, too. Deep lore/codex if you want a lot of flavour with your TBS.
I’d also add Legion of the Damned to the list, but your mileage may vary with a sci-fi Cyberstorm-esque experience based around the single mission objective of capturing nodes. Has asynchronous multiplayer, too.
And I’ll just do my usual lonely pimping of Starbase Orion. Portable MoO2, async multi, cures what ails you.
EDIT: @zegolf I think a few of us know that feeling of rapidly decreased gaming time and, frankly, the yearning to commit so much time to it.
@zegolf Another for the board game pile – our gaming group has recently experimented with A Touch of Evil, which we find to be a good alternative for those times when we are in the mood to gang up on some supernatural board game horrors without needing either the great whacking chunks of time OR the great whacking table you would need to play Arkham Horror.
You are one of a number of potential heroes living in Vaguely Colonial New England, which may be threatened by any number of supernatural whozits – from werewolves to the Headless Horseman (natch.) Your task is to roam the countryside, fighting monsters, collecting useful items, and investigating the Terrible Thing That Stalks In The Night until at last you are ready to raise a posse consisting of yourself, some village elders, and possibly your friends and go terminate the TTTSITN with extreme prejudice.
Of course, all the village elders have useful powers they can bring to your final showdown. And they also have secrets. Some of them may even be working for the villain – or BE the villain – in which case, you are quite thoroughly hosed.
It’s actually quite a lot of fun with the right group (for best results I recommend people who enjoy making up little narratives to go along with the dice rolling and whatnot. In our first game my straitlaced spinsterly librarian type not only helped to slay the evil, but redeemed a town elder from the tragic evils of alcohol. )
Word of advice, though: the cooperative version of A Touch of Evil is superior. Don’t bother with the competitive rules, IMO.
I also recommend, for a completely different flavor, Space Alert. Totally different flavor and setting – science fiction, in what often ends up being a comedy of errors as your hapless crew of misfits embarks on a mission in what must surely be one of the least functional spacecraft ever designed by man. Lifts fail, communications go out, and there never seems to be enough power for anything. And that’s before the giant space octopus shows up.
Word of advice on this one: you’ll need a device capable of playing CDs. And play the tutorial, whether or not you feel like you need it – you will thank yourself later.
We’ve also recently experimented with Fortune and Glory, which is basically the board game where you get to be Indiana Jones. No, really. Right down to the hunting artifacts in ancient temples and infiltrating Nazi bases. Having only tried this once, all I can really add is that while it’s fun, that airship is a pain in the ass, and you really, really need to keep those bases under control.
…Why, yes, I do prefer cooperative games. Why do you ask?
@zegolf What don’t you like about the tracking? I find it pretty intuitive — though finding the right name for things can be a pain at times. The iPhone app’s pretty neat.
I love Geek and Sundry. Glad someone else is digging it. Also, Felicia Day. Rawr.
Re: board games. Plenty to suggest.
If you’re a newbie to it all, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Catan are your basic “gateway games”.
Ticket to Ride is largely luck-based, though there’s a healthy dose of strategy that increases exponentially the more people you’re playing with. The concept — claiming train routes across America for great pointage — sounds like it should be pretty dull, but it’s a simple to understand, easy to pick up and very competitive game. Highly recommended. There are lots of different variants on it, too, each providing their own twist. I have the original version with the “1910″ expansion.
Carcassonne is a tile-laying game where you collectively build a map. You get points by claiming territories. Once you get a feel for it, there’s plenty of screwing each other over in subtle ways in this one.
Catan is a trading and building game. There’s a healthy dose of luck again, but the highlight of the game is the wheeling and dealing in trading with other players. You have to actually negotiate with one another, and that makes it a constantly interesting title to play. You need at least 3 people to play, though.
Elsewhere, Pandemic is a great game — it’s cooperative, so it’s a nice change of pace, and its mechanics are straightforward to understand but provide a lot of depth. I recommend getting the “On The Brink” expansion with this if you want to try it as it makes the game a whole lot better.
If you have time to burn, Arkham Horror is great fun. It’s another co-op title set in the world of HP Lovecraft’s horrors. It’s a game that encourages you to think about theme and story as much as mechanics. It’s also monstrously difficult, as a lot of co-op games tend to be.
There are lots of great card games worth looking into, too. Ascension and Dominion are both cool games that involve building a deck then using it to your advantage — there’s no Magic-style purchasing booster packs and collecting rare cards, though — everything you need to play is in the box. San Juan is a neat take on a trading and building game using only cards. Bohnanza has lots of interesting negotiating and interacting with each other.
So should I mail @zegolf back his copies of MGS and MGS2 and buy that collection, or what?
@beige There is a revolver that I’m pretty sure is available in Detroit in several places, though I’m not sure what upgrades it takes. I’ve been running around like James Bond with the beefed up “silly initial starting pistol” which has been more than enough for regular bad guys, especially with a silencer, armor piercing rounds and a laser sight. It’s underpowered for the bosses in a stand up fight (on normal difficulty), so you need to break out the bag of tricks in those instances. EMP grenades are pretty damn useful, but they aren’t exactly copious. I don’t have any of the aiming augs, so I don’t know if those help. For actual guns that maim and kill, as far as I have gotten, it has pretty much been pistol, revolver, sub-machine gun, combat rifle, heavy rifle, and sniper rifle. Oh and rocket lawnchair if you have the room. Turret domination + heavy lifting = portable killing machine.
I have lived a life sans Hideo Kojima so far, but I was generously sent Metal Gear 1+2 from @zegolf last year, and 3 came with the PS2 I ebayed, I just need extra hours in the day to actually get to them!
On a lighter note, @zegolf and I are playing Champions Online on Steam. It’s free and actually quite fun, especially if you liked City of Heroes, as it’s pretty much the same game with better comic-book style graphics. Who wants to join us?
@zegolf Impending Squad Game Night on Spiral Nights? I do hope so. It looks as if the servers might be unified, too, so it may even be a (quasi-)MMO that we can all play together for once.
@zegolf A new game with the characteristics that made Earthbound great would be excellent. Problem with making it an “Earthbound” game is that its constrained by the earlier games.
@zegolf Have to say, I disagree 100% on that comic. Something that I find frustrating personally, and that I imagine would drive any developer completely up the wall, is the tendency of the hardcore to demand constant remakes and updates of existing games and series. Earthbound was a pretty cool game. It’s still out there if you want to play it. It never would have existed if everybody just demanded another Kid Icarus.
While there’s not a 1:1 relationship, every remake comes at the expense of new IP or at least new takes on existing IP. I’m as guilty as anybody for buying sequels and HD updates, but I don’t understand the “I don’t want a new console for new technology, I only want it if you release a sequel to my favorite game from childhood” mentality. There’s no need to buy a new console to play a game that already exists. I bought an Xbox for Knights of the Old Republic. I bought a 360 for Skate. If I buy a PS3, it’s not going to be for Twisted Metal. I’m not going to buy a Wii U, or any other system, if it’s just a repository for do-overs.
@zegolf Earthbound is nearly solely responsible for my sister being into gaming. She even named one of her cats Ms Saturn. I myself had my tiny mind blown when I got to the ending playing it on my SNES. Very very clever game for its time and a great example of a game that almost can’t be made by large publishers for modern systems now unfortunately. It’s very hard to make a game that whimsical with a very hard to describe feel all the way through. It’s nearly impossible to make that game via committee, I barely understand how they did it the first time.
But oh yes, wonderful game. You could almost use it as a test for Replicants because the emotions it generates are just so odd and…. subtle? childlike? I dunno something like that.
@zegolf great comic. I personally played probably about 50% of Earthbound back when it came out for the SNES, but I’ve seen someone complete it (long story). Granted, my memory of it is pretty fuzzy, but I remember it being pretty cool. I’m not honestly sure why it gets quite the love it does, though.
@zegolf The first 40 minutes of that show was golden and a great example of why I gave Whiskey Media my $50. Then JB starts complaining about how he can’t make the game he wants to make for XBL because he HAS to put in 12 achievements and the conversation gets awkward. He’s become one of the handful of industry peeps who needs to stay away from podcasts and limit their debates to QT3 threads.
Thoughts on UbiSoft:
Rayman : Awesome. Confession time: I have never played a Rayman game but I think this one will be the first – always up for a 3rd person platformer.
Driver: SF : The series never did anything for me. Nothing changed that here.
Far Cry 2: I liked the first one but never felt like trying the second one… looks great like all Far Cry games. We’ll see as we approach
Furious 4: Okay…. I like the trailer and the Inglorious Basterds approach it seems to be taking. Guess we’ll have to see but that’s enough to get me interested.
Tintin: As someone who grew up reading Tintin (I still have all the comics at my parents’ house), I’m very interested in this game although I am always leery of movie tie-in games.
Ghost recon: Have never really cared for the series and the demo did nothing to change that.
Trackmania 2: very nice although I should probably finally play Trackmania :p
Rayman Rabbids: Always enjoyed the minigames of the Rabbids series. Looks like a lot of fun.
Just Dance 3: Having experienced my family enjoying the second one at xmas this year in a way that mimics the videos that they showed, I fully understand the appeal of this series…
Rocksmith: I’m always leery of the “you’re actually learning this instrument for real” argument re: music games so I will need to see more evidence of this as we approach release. As someone who is trying to learn guitar as we speak, I would be interested if it actually “works”
Your Shape: the addition of online friend support is logical for a game like this
Assassin’s Creed: HELL YEAH!!!
I liked the videos of “old school” version of the games UbiSoft was presented – a nice and creative touch to the festivities. The host, Mr. Caffeine, was god awful – all his jokes bombed and he almost killed the show. Otherwise, UbiSoft did a pretty good job with their games.
@zegolf Believe me… I’ll all for dumb fun. I don’t take myself so seriously as to require every game I place to be a thoughtful and moving piece of entertainment. I love simple, good fun as much as the next guy – my game library is pretty good indication of that. I guess with regards to the press conference, to me, these pressers should be about highlighting the creative and amazing new things that you have to show us. You can show us dumb fun anytime you want. I’m all for MS showing us Disneyland and Sesame Street because yes, those are the types of Kinect products they should be highlighted to promote this hardware. I love that they are going in those directions and those are two of the first games that actually have me wanting to buy Kinect…. things like the gun stuff in Ghost Recon don’t strike me as fun… just over the point and un-necessary.
At the same time, while I appreciated the creativity of things like Kinect fun labs, you need to show me actual game applications to get me hyped for things. Things like object scanning and finger tracking are cool but if you can’t show me a game application during an E3 press conference, why should I believe these things work as well as you portray? I guess I’ve been burned by tech demos too much over the years to jump in automatically. I will give these things their chance as I do with everything but I was just left wanting more from Microsoft today…..
@zegolf Hey, I thought that was MY role?
As for your rant, consider me the dude in the back of the room yelling “yeah!” or, for your inner redneck, hollerin’ “amen!”.
@zegolf — Good man. Think I added you to in-game buddies.
Anyone else playing, let me know your usernames and I’ll see if I can remember how the “Group” system works.
@angryjedi Good heavens, yes. Those smug ad nauseam quoters of Python. My main issue with this new iOS game is that people aren’t afraid to tweet like its going out of fashion, and to have a game sequentially spoiled via wanton abuse of social media is a reprehensible act. Rift has really taken the cake recently. High scores, I’m okay with…but if someone digs a hole in an MMO, we probably don’t need to know.
@zegolf From what I understand, Sword & Sworcery was originally for the iPhone, so they’ve got similar assets for the pocket version. Should be okay! You paint a very nice picture, too. Looking forward to it.
EDIT: Forgot to add this little multiplayer gem, now in pre-alpha state for PC, free to try out. May I present…
A.R.C. Squadron. Think good ol’ Starfox meets Crimson Skies with a slight aesthetic of the MMO Space Cowboy/Ace Online. The developers behind are the guys who made Supersonic Aerobatic Rocket-powered Battle Cars on PSN. They’re doing something of a Minecraft by allowing folks to nab their alpha, taking feedback and implementing new features and overhauls as production progresses. As it stands, I’ve spent an hour in the game and played a nice number of rounds – it’s TDM only at the moment. Has huge potential.
300MB – http://bit.ly/gw3jzW
Plug in those gamepads, because it’s pure arcade madness with them. R1/L1 allows for one to “DO A BARREL ROLL” in either direction, R2/L2 zoom and fire respectively, analog sticks control pitch, roll and yaw, X (or whatever the 360 controller’s equivalent is) controls boost and Triangle swaps weaponry.
@allofyous It’ll probably take most of the night to install and patch, so maybe tomorrow? Anyone else getting on board say so now.
@zegolf Elune it is.
@zegolf If you ask me, you can really just skip AC1 all together. I mean, I guess now that you’re at the very end, you might as well finish it, but I would’ve just looked up the Wikipedia plot synopsis.
@zegolf Feen’s right, I really liked the original Assassin’s Creed, but I’ve been playing AC2 all week and it’s an order of magnitude better. Instead of going to a city, gathering intel forever with the same five missions, and then assassinating, there’s a coherent, linear, and much better paced set of missions that lead to the same goal without all the “faffing about”. Of course, you can do those side missions if you want, they’re there, but they aren’t mandatory, in fact I think I’ve only done two of them. Someone must have filled them in on the progression and reward part of video games too.
Edit: Also, Leonardo Da Vinci is Q and no stupid pointless hub world.
@zegolf stay the course. I can’t tell you how much better AC2 is.
@redswirl Thanks, man. Awfully considerate of ya.
@zegolf Oh yes, please.
@zegolf To be fair, who hasn’t gobbled up everything they’ve been meaning to play from their past sales? I’m all out except for Dawn of War 2.
@zegolf Jesus, what a blast from the past. Technically, a “pile of shame” game is considered a game worth playing but hasn’t received the attention it deserves. I’m not so sure ET qualifies.
@cptcarnage For the record, I grabbed AC: Brodeo yesterday but told the Mrs. to wrap it up for me for Christmas since I still have AC2 to play through. You won’t be alone.
Wow, this discussion has made me feel less guilty about never finishing Half-Life 2. Like @Rocgaude and @zegolf , I’ve started it a number of times without ever finishing it. The further I’ve ever gotten is the prison and needing to defend myself using the turrets. While I do wish to get through it to “see what the fuss is about”, it seems more and more unlikely as time goes on.
Also, I am now 6 hours into Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and yeah, it’s just more Assassin’s Creed 2 but with improvements. I am totally sucked back in and have spent the past 3 hours of my playtime ignoring the story missions and simply finding all the glyphs, killing all the Borgia generals, destroying the Borgia towers and unlocking all the stores. This will likely continue for sometime. I spent 25 hours with AC2 and I get the impression I may top that with this game. I simply love this game. I haven’t played any multiplayer yet and will do so eventually. The next Squad night can’t come soon enough.
@zegolf @RocGaude @beige I still firmly believe Half-Life 2 to be the best game of the 2000 – 2010 decade (with the possible exception of Phantasy Star Online). It is my favorite singleplayer first person shooter ever. It’s one of those games that I have to restrain myself from playing all the way through AGAIN. So no, I don’t think it’s that overrated.
Why? Well first of all, I still firmly believe Valve to be head-and-shoulders above most of the rest of the pack when it comes to storytelling techniques in games. It’s not just the fact that they use no cut scenes or breakaways, but that they use that perspective with great skill, even planting clues to the story in the environment itself (like what the aliens have done to Earth). Even if what is actually being told isn’t that interesting (I mean Jesus, the entire first half of the game happens directly because of Lamar), how Valve is telling it is pretty damn progressive and skillful compared to the rest of the gaming landscape.
Secondly, Valve are some damn good level designers. They know how to take the tools they have at their disposal and use them with maximum ingenuity. What amazes me playing through HL2 and the episodes is the sheer variety of gameplay hooks and shticks they employ to keep things interesting while keeping you in the same control interface 100 percent of the way through. You start out shooting guys in a train yard, then you ride a hovercraft through a canal, then you slice up zombies, then you go on a road trip in a buggie, then you command an army of insects, and it all transitions with amazing fluidity.
Half-Life 2 is just a finely-crafted motherfucking game with exquisite pacing and level design.
@zegolf Holy shit, man…I was thinking the exact same thing. Had I a Twitter account, I would’ve posted “can we as a diverse collective of gaming enthusiasts agree to refrain from sucking Half Life 2′s dick every time the discussion of ‘narrative and/or pacing in gaming’ comes up?” Seriously, it’s not worth the genital attention it’s been getting.
When it comes to reviews these days, @zegolf nailed it “Most of the time it’s twitter, you guys, and word of mouth.” That’s IF I can’t rent a game first.
If there is absolutely no way I can play a game before paying full price for it I might run up to GameStats and pull up reviews from GamePro or GameSpy, but I’ve found fellow gamer opinion to be more valuable. This is coming from someone who used to write mainline reviews to pass the time. Even today when I do a “writeup” on my 1up page it comes off more like a column than anything else.
@zegolf: Good idea. Only potential problem with that is those of us who are greedy bastards and have all the systems available may be spread a bit thin. I’m sure we can think of a way round that, though, especially if we play “small-group” games like L4D, Alien Swarm and the like.
I would typically gravitate towards 360 as well, since my gaming computer isn’t up to that much. It’ll run Source stuff reasonably-ish, but that’s about it.
Throw some game names (and systems) out there. We’ll go with the popular vote(s).
PS3: Fat Princess
360: Monday Night Combat
@zegolf All for a Pinball FX 2 challenge. That game is super-sweet. Expensive if you want to buy all the tables but you can get a decent experience for 800 points.
In fact, I said much the same thing in my awesome review of the game for The Big Pixels this week. Which you should all go and read and share.
Who here has a copy of PBFX2… or is willing to grab one for the sake of a bit of friendly competition? Top tip: I’m not very good at pinball, so this won’t be another Geometry Wars 2. Probably.
I added a no-ip address to the Squad’s Minecraft server, you can now connect to it using:
GOG Weekend Sale: http://www.gog.com/en/promo/community_favourites
Myst, Jagged Alliance 2, are they necessary?
I don’t even know what kind of game JA2 is. It’s some kind of turn-based strategy right? Is it in any way similar to Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, or any sort of Japanese turn-based tactical game?
@Scribl @RedSwirl No, it isn’t a debug, it is a Gold release copy. I literally just got the UPS package today. They sent it to me for reviewing on Kombo, obviously before they knew Kombo was kaput. I’ll have to do something with it though.
I gotta side with the masses on this one. Playing as the Taliban in MoH multiplayer had no artistic value. It wasn’t meant to provoke thought or show you a different perspective. There’s nothing to defend, and no reason to stand up for it. It’s just kids playing with army toys.
@zegolf Schindler’s List? Let’s be honest with ourselves here. MoH and CoD aren’t mature art. They’re mindless Michael-Bay blockbusters.
Don’t blame the masses—they’re right to be offended. Blame EA and Activision for pumping out mindless bullshit when they have the power and money to do something far more interesting.
@zegolf I just saw that. It’s no problem, then.
@zegolf I found the culprit. It’s a domain called alphainventions.com and it has “referred us” over 130 times. I tried to go there but it doesn’t look like a real site. Not sure if we should block it or how. Thoughts?
@zegolf I don’t know how it happened but your posting of Game Informer’s BioShock Infinite cover brought over a thousand hits to the Squawkbox. Crazy.
@beige That Enslaved review has me kind of excited. It just went straight to the top of my GameFly queue.
I was originally thinking about doing a different theme for the next show but after reading your rage about the Medal of Honor thing, maybe we should hit the “violence in games” topic instead. I feel pretty qualified about this topic and think that I can shed some light as to why EA did what they did.
@zegolf I guess I understand why EA did what they did, but I still feel that playing and fighting against the Taliban was a necessary context for the game. Its that old double standard, just because we are able to ‘play’ as them seems to make everything morally wrong. We can shoot the crap out of them, but we aren’t allowed to see the world from their perspective.
@Zegolf I’ll probably be available for testing tomorrow!
@angryjedi I can’t wait to hear the details of your potential job. Excited for you.
@impynickers Shoot me a message with the email address associated with your WordPress account and I’ll fix it.