@bluesforbuddha That would be me… or at least I think so. The one I’m using is GameAccess.ca. Pretty satisfied with the service. Note that they are based here in Montreal so I don’t know how that impacts shipping times outside of the province.
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I finished Spec Ops. I definitely need a little while to digest it, but I feel confident saying that I just played something important. I want a bit to write up my thoughts before I read Killing Is Harmless, but I have a lot to say on the subject. I think we can get a Squadcast out of it for sure if we want to go that route.
Edit: @bluesforbuddha You seriously never tag your posts… It took me a solid 20 minutes of digging to find the posts you wrote on Spec Ops… I read through everyone else’s posts on the game too. I’m not playing favorites. Everyone else’s was easier to find, though… 😉
I can’t address the question directly because I haven’t played it yet, but there are a few people @bluesforbuddha is one of them) who I trust well enough that I will jump on something they recommend. I also want to play it so I can read the book that was written about it and referenced earlier.
Oh jeez. I just watched the video for the Barkley Kickstarter, and I had a similar reaction to @bluesforbuddha. Everything about it is pitch perfect.
This is canon. Attributing a Nietzsche quote to Hoopz. Hell yeah. I’m in. I don’t think I can go in for $100, because it would be way too hard to explain a body pillow, but yeah…
Let’s do it like the True Doom Murderheads I know we all are.
COME ON IT’S TIME TO GET HYPE!
@cptcarnage Whoop! There it is!
IT’S TIME TO SLAM JAM!
@bluesforbuddha I am going to come back and read your spiel on Resonance after I play it, but I am glad to hear that someone is talking about it. I follow one of the voice actors on Twitter, and I’ve been excited to try it out.
It is, by the way, one of the games on the GOG sale going on right now. I already have a lot of the stuff on there, but I’m a consumer whore and will be picking up Resonance and four other indie games…
@bluesforbuddha If it is worth it, let me know. I’ll give it a go before our eventual Spec Ops squadcast 😉
@bluesforbuddha Saw that the other day — be interested to hear your thoughts on it. Won’t be picking it up myself as I’m not a big fan of the author, but I’d certainly like to hear your thoughts on whether it’s a worthwhile piece.
@bluesforbuddha It is indeed. I had to explain this to my brother after E3 two years ago. It’s kind amazing how little Nintendo has been able to hype up their new console 18 months after first revealing it. I for one think it was a mistake to hold back the TV ad campaign until the month of launch. Maybe Nintendo was waiting for the Wii U to pick up the word-of-mouth leading up to launch that the Wii did. Despite the Wii U not being as much of a marketing hit right off the bat, I think we can still pretty comfortably say that they’er gonna sell all their units for this fall. Anyone else who would theoretically buy one probably wouldn’t be able to until spring, giving Nintendo’s marketing department a little time. Maybe Nintendo getting the system out just prior to Thanksgiving will turn out to be a smart move when people share it with visiting family. I hear NintendoLand is actually turning out to be an excellent family game.
@bowlisimo Hopefully you can dock, I’ve been wondering this as I’ve got another friend with a Hornet, his buddy has a Constellation as well. Convoy anyone 🙂
@bluesforbuddha every little bit helps, thanks for the offer, package was $250 for that ship so anything you can throw my way would help. I’m currently resisting all the “additional” ships they are offering. I’m hoping we can design a custom livery for the squad at some point.
The great thing is though is that any ship you get through the preorder/kickstarter has lifetime insurance, you just lose any mod’s you’ve added to the ship. If you were to achieve the ship in game, you’d need to pay a fee for insurance, and even then you’d only get back a percentage of its value.
Its the exploration aspect that has me a little stoked for the game, dog fightings all well and good but I love the prospect of an open universe to explore and trade in. Or pirate if the whim takes me.
@bluesforbuddha The nice thing about RPG Maker is that it has a nice character generator built in, so one of the most pain-in-the-ass bits of making a top-down game (sprites) is taken care of no problem. It would be cool if we could have some Corpse Party-style close-ups for some scenes, though — but not essential.
Regarding scope, that’s why I think it would be interesting to have each person handle an “episode” — maybe an hour or two of gameplay, whatever form they choose that to take, each, tops. The whole thing could then be wrapped up in a crisp pastry shell of meta-plot (which I think it would be quite fun to keep secret from everyone until the final product) and then baked until golden brown.
So that’s one “interested”. Anyone else?
In stark contrast to @bluesforbuddha I think that Dishonored is really difficult, even on Medium. I haven’t been able to finish the first assassination mission yet because I am always seen which results in a swordfight which results in my death which results in me throwing the controller across the room and pouting for the rest of the night.
@bluesforbuddha I am very much down for a podcast on Spec Ops should it come about
Also, Barkley 2…. HELL YEAH!!! 😀
So today, I decided to start Spec Ops: the line around 3:30pm and see how far I would go. Next thing I know… it is 8pm and I have completed the game in its entirety. I have not done that in a VERY very long time. I agree with pretty much everything that @bluesforbuddha said previously on this game during his playthrough a few months ago.
This was a very powerful narrative experience from start to finish. In particular, the way the main protagonist and his companions get more and more unhinged and manic as they descend further and further into the madness around them is quite impressive (on that note, props to Nolan North for a very good performance within that context). The quality of the narrative was even more striking to me as I have just finished Modern Warfare 1 and 2 over the past 2 months though my game access sub. No comparison. Not even close.
The “hard” part is getting through the gameplay to see this story played out. Not that it is bad however. The gameplay is just adequate. Nothing more, nothing less. When Patrick Klepek spoke on Giant Bomb about playing on easy to get through it, he was right. That’s what I did and frankly, I feel no worse for it. If anything, some of the firefights I encountered probably would have driven me nuts if the challenge had been greater. The other thing I remember Patrick saying on the Bombcast was just wait until you get to White Phosphorus and….HOLY SHIT. Let’s just say that moment put me over the edge on the narrative of this game. Very happy I got through this game.
I got Hotline Miami as a gift, and it is excellent. I remember @bluesforbuddha doing a big writeup on Super Meatboy a while back, and I think Hotline Miami appeals to the same part of the brain.
For those who are only familiar with the aesthetic, which is definitely wonderful, there’s also a good game underneath the gritty, late 80’s bathed in neon Miami veneer. I’m only four or five chapters in (out of 15, I believe), but the story is as such: you get calls on your answering machine telling you to go to a certain place and do something. (SPOILER: THE THING YOU END UP DOING IS WRECKING FOOLS’ FACES WITH BATS, PIPES, KNIVES, AND GUNS.)
The game plays like a puzzle/action hybrid in which every enemy is incredibly lethal. Each level is meant to be played and replayed in order to beat it as quickly as possible, without dying, and while killing as many people as you can in rapid succession. Given that it’s incredibly brutal, you may spend 20 minutes on a level but only spend about 30 seconds on your final run through the level. Normally I would find this type of game play frustrating, but it’s really gratifying to finish a level that you’ve been struggling with. And, I’m not kidding when I say the enemies are lethal. Being spotted without being 1/4 of a second away from smashing their face in with a bat will end in your death. One time I successfully evaded an enemy’s attack only to have him double back and stab me less than a second later. It’s not about being quick, though, it’s about being smart and careful.
Right now I’m on a level in which everyone seems to have a gun and using a gun yourself draws a ridiculous amount of attention. I have to do things like open a door to knock an enemy down, cross the room to kill someone with a gun, and then double back to kill the downed enemy before he gets up. The game wants you to create your perfect run through the levels, and it’s a lot of fun to do so.
Squad Mission Pitch
@bluesforbuddha and I were talking over Gmail today, and we (accidentally?) may have hit on a good Squad mission that, best of all, won’t take us months to prepare for.
As we all know, it’s horror games month. I have plans to play them, and you probably do too. More importantly, we all have plans to play different ones, at least outside of those of us who are taking up Amnesia. For instance, I intend to explore the world of Penumbra which was lovingly gifted to me by my Squad Santa last year, and Mark intends to scare himself silly with Pixel Horror.
It seems like there’s enough under the radar horror stuff for us to do a show on if everyone plays something different and we discuss. What say you?
I can’t believe you guys with Dishonored man. I just decided to pull the trigger on the purchase, for really little reason other than the world of the game, which is basically City 17 200 years ago. I didn’t even really get started on the first mission of my rental copy before I decided this. It was around the time I got a sense of how deep I’d have to get into the environment before actually completing the first mission. That and everyone telling me how much of a real fucking stealth game it was, because that’s one thing I really can’t resist.
That, and the people suggesting this game have convinced me to put installing my copy of Thief at the top of my backlog journey. I thought you loved Thief @bluesforbuddha.
Has anyone else heard of Receiver? If not, it seems like the kind of thing at least a few of us would dig on.
Here’s the basic pitch: Receiver is an FPS roguelike that has ridiculously detailed handgun mechanics. You start with one gun (out of three possibilities) and it’s up to you to determine how many bullets you have, whether the magazine is loaded if it’s an automatic (check the cylinder if it’s a revolver) and whether or not the safety is on. You can pull back the slide on automatics and rotate the cylinder on the revolver. It seems that it’s possible to load a magazine but forget to chamber a bullet and be unable to fire the gun. It’s also possible to load the revolver incorrectly and end up with a missing bullet in one of the chambers. It sounds like the epitome of gun porn, but it also sounds pretty damn cool.
The environment of the game is a randomly generated facility that has randomly determined ammo, flashlights, and audio logs. The audio logs (of which there are 11) are the primary goal of the game (very Slender like). However, there are turrets and drones standing in your way, and I haven’t heard of anyone hwo has found more than five audiologs. The story is a nightmarish Philip K. Dick sort of thing. (I’m looking at you @bluesforbuddha).
Anyway, the team is constantly updating the game, so it might not be the best time to hop on, but I thought I would put it on everyone’s radar: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92927535&searchtext=
@impynickers Yes… Hawken. We’ll see how many of us unload that game onto the Squawkbox once the NDA runs out.
@bluesforbuddha Agreed on Persona 4 Arena and Last Story.
I couldn’t afford P4A yet, but whenever I can I’ll be totally down for its visual novel storyline. With any other game (like BlazBlue) I wouldn’t even remotely give a shit, but since I’m actually invested in P4’s characters, I’m totally prepared to spend 40 hours reading a book on my 55″ HDTV. Speaking of visual novels, 999 2 comes out on the 23rd of this month.
I actually finished Last Story within a rental a couple weeks back, and it felt like a good typical JRPG mashed into the structure of Mass Effect 3 – one central town, real time combat with somewhat scripted tactics, etc. The character designs were cool and you’ll really hear Uematso enter the scene during the final boss fights. Otherwise though, Xenoblade at least has me invested in terms of sheer amount of content and freedom of exploration.
@cgrajko I know that exact shop in Japantown. I’ve been there many times and it’s one of the places I miss the most in the bay area. I grabbed a copy of the Japanese Persona 4 art book for less then Amazon sells it.
Oh yeah…games. Played about 1 1/2 hours of Sleeping Dogs last night. Pretty much agree with @bluesforbuddha.
So, my son is playing through Borderlands 2 right now (more like devouring it) and I’m not paying it any mind. Last night he tells me of an incredibly awesome sniper rifle that you can earn that has a major downside: it has the voice of a teenaged girl and makes you feel guilty about each person you kill. “They had a family, you know?” and “maybe they were just having a bad day.” I am now very interested in this game.
@unmanneddrone @bluesforbuddha Yeah I guess that described the whole appeal for Halo to me. It actually stretches back to when I saw the very first screenshots of the game back in like 1998 in PC Gamer.
From the very start the early screens of Halo looked cool because it resembled modern heavy military hardware, but with just the right tinge of sci-fi. One of the major “things” about the game from the beginning was hopping into that heavy-looking Warthog and driving around with another dude on the 50 cal. Bungie just nailed that feel down to the look and controls, which I think is the core of why Halo is popular.
Compared to other shooters Halo’s campaigns even still managed to remain more open-ended and arena-like than the scripted corridors of Call of Duty. That open battlefield structure mixed with the aforementioned “feel” results in the perfectly illustrated narrative of you hopping into a tank and turning the tide of what looks like a real AI-driven fight. To be honest I don’t even like using Covenant weaponry. Doesn’t look nearly as cool to me outside of the energy blade.
But anyway, I said earlier that Asura’s Wrath was basically an anime show rendered in Unreal Engine 3, right down to the commercial break transitions.
Oh, and I finished Arx Fatalis over labor day weekend. Looking back that actually fits the description of a “shame” game very well. It was the first game from Dishonored developer Arkane Studios and from what I can tell the last “real” first person dungeon crawler until very recently. It basically tried to revisit the Ultima Underworld motif a decade later but ended up getting overshadowed by Morrowind.
Full thoughts are on my wordpress page.
@bluesforbuddha I’ll be honest in saying that I haven’t really played much of this F2P stuff yet because almost every game I see using the format looks horrible cheap. That doesn’t mean I think it’s impossible for there to be F2P games that look like, y’know, GAMES.
Crytek seems dead-set on convincing people they can do this, and if they succeed, then more power to them. The first Crysis convinced me that they know how to design a game. While I still know jack shit about DOTA 2 (I honestly don’t even know what you do in the game), I’m interested in it – it seems like something a lot of people really enjoy and don’t mind being F2P. Same with League of Legends or Path of Exile. Next year I’m probably going to play the shit out of Phantasy Star Online 2 which will also be F2P.
I just think that the “conventional” game developers that we all respect here are behind on the F2P train, and I can only hope that when they decide to jump on it, that they’ll show the new kids how shit is done, man.
@bluesforbuddha I can imagine it had something to do with the obvious inherent fun of causing chaos in a world with systems, as opposed to one where you have to somewhat(?) work with them, right? Sleeping Dogs sounds rad though, how the hell did that happen? Not that I’m complaining. And the PC version is the version to get? I love these transition periods.
@unmanneddrone Age of Chivalry, whoa, shiny. Didn’t play the mod, opted for PVK instead. As much as I love them, I can’t wait for the day when medieval FPS melee games don’t have everyone looking like a bunch of morons wildly flailing about. Speaking of which, I’ll have to check out that Mount & Blade mod. My English history has huge gaping holes in it (ignorant American here, hi!), War of the Roses included. I saw they released a Napoleonic mod a while ago, but it was multi only 😦
In other news, haven’t played much in the past few weeks. Not sure why. A little bit of Minecraft here, a little bit of Kerbal Space Program there, and a skosh of TF2 Mann vs Machine horde mode. That last one isn’t too shabby, pretty fun (and HARD) in fact, but that whole pay real money to make progress and get loot thing turns me off. No thanks.
@bluesforbuddha Tch. Look at you. I am constantly hunting down and recommending you stuff which you then go on about as if you did all the leg work yourself. 😉
I agree that if you want the “full Wallander experience” then yes, you probably want to sit down with one of Henning Mankell’s books. They’re very, very Scandinavian, which I suppose may not mean much unless you have read lots of OTHER Scandinavian crime novels – as a shorthand allow me to say that they have a particular flavor of bleak up there. Very introspective and not given to as many dramatic displays of angst.
Fossum, to me, is a bit less truly “police procedural” and a bit more homespun, though there are of course cops. This is not to say she is in any way a “cozy” mystery writer. No no no. Just that there is less of that slick Big City Crime feeling to them.
If Britishness is specifically what you want, then in addition to all those things named by @unmanneddrone (you have good taste, sir. I’d love to see more Wire in the Blood) you could also try anything based on the novels of P.D. James (An Unsuitable Job for a Woman comes to mind, as well as a number of the Dalgliesh adaptations, some of which are very good) or the very successful Prime Suspect, which made it to Masterpiece Theatre (Hey, it’s got Helen Mirren!)
Or you could also try:
- Foyle’s War (historical; never seen it but it’s supposed to be fantastic)
- Inspector Morse (goes through many seasons to a very definitely final ending)
- The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (though the author of the books there is American if that matters)
…and so on. Several of these venture close to or INTO “detective series” rather than “true” police procedural, but the lines do get very blurry.
@bluesforbuddha Sounds like it’s just two names. “Papo Y Yo” would be translated to “Papo and I”.
@bluesforbuddha Oh man, “Infernal Affairs: the Game” is exactly what I was thinking when I first read EGM’s old article for “True Crime: Hong Kong”. I’ve been thinking about throwing this in the GameFly Que at least but I can’t afford much time or money-wise right now. I’m thinking Steam deal later on, especially after that preview video showing they actually give a damn a bout the PC version.
In TV news… British police procedurals? Anyone?
@bluesforbuddha Yeah BlazBlue did the same thing – inject its story mode with a visual novel. Even Soul Calibur V kinda did this too but screwed up at it. I wouldn’t be down for it with any other set of characters.
On the subject of visual novels, we have a western release date for the sequel to 999. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward hits the 3DS and Vita in English on October 23rd.
The reason I’ve been short of time to get into P4A though is because I decided to play through Dark Messiah Might and Magic over the last week and am preparing to barrel right into its predecessor – Arx Fatalis. The latest post on my page sums op what I thought about DM if you’re interested. Part of the reason I’m getting into Arx, other than investigating the back catalog of Arkane Studios before Dishonored comes out, is because I’m been in the mood for a dungeon crawler for a while – a DUNGEON CRAWLER if you know what I mean. I’ll probably install Grimrock after this.
Oh, and anybody around here played a game called Mace Grifin: Bounty Hunter? Garnett just endorsed the game on Weekend Confirmed and I’m interested in the ability to seamlessly switch between shooting up dudes with guns and shooting up dudes with a spaceship.
So, I have a bit of a Feenwager Challenge update: LA Noire is the first Rockstar game I’ve found enjoyable since GTA: Vice City, and I mostly like that game for the soundtrack and the 80’s charm. I pulled up the map today and realized that I live only 4 blocks west of the western most point on Wilshire on the map. I know I mentioned it earlier, but it’s so cool to see the town you live in so lovingly constructed. I remember @bluesforbuddha making a similar comment when Scott Pilgrim lovingly recreated some of the hipper parts of Toronto, but it is a really cool feeling.
According to a case list I pulled up, I’m about halfway through the game, which is a shame. It’s gone by too fast, and there is way too much DLC.
Edit: I’M SO BAD AT INTERROGATING PEOPLE!
@bluesforbuddha Shit like that makes me just not want to buy the game. Like, “oh, this is what you think of your customer base? Alright…”
@bluesforbuddha Actually, she’s a big fan of the shooty shooty stuff. She has, on several occasions, forced me to sit down and play Halo with her. I’m glad to hear I was in the right with Assassin’s Creed, and we have an (unfinished) copy of LA Noire somewhere. I will also keep Red Dead Redemption in mind. Thanks!
Basically, if you’re a US subscriber to HBO through any cable or satellite service, you can download an app called HBO Go that let’s you stream any HBO programming at any time. That’s all movies currently showing on HBO, any episode of any series that HBO ever aired, all sports, documentaries, comedy, etc. Currently it’s offered on devices like the Roku, iOS, and Xbox. I don’t have to catch The Newsroom every Sunday evening. I just wake up Monday morning and turn on the Xbox. People are currently wondering why the fuck you can’t just subscribe to the app by itself.
Why the hell did “HBO J-Drama” show up on the tag list?
@bluesforbuddha I’ll hit you for the IP this afternoon, and be on this evening (hopefully).
Nice Fraggle Rock reference too 🙂
@bluesforbuddha I don’t know, man, I guess I am just not as endgame-driven as you. 🙂 I quite like just futzing around giving myself little goals like “learn to farm mushrooms” or “try not to suck too hard at combat” or “learn a better path marking system.”
I am uncertain quite how long it will take me to get tired of having “gear up and explore that mountain over there” as a mission but suspect it’ll be a while.
And yes, I’m interested in squad play. Unsure whether you should count Mark and me as one “player” or two, though. 🙂
@bluesforbuddha build-it-yerself spells like in Magicka? Because, I’ll be honest, I have every expansion for that game and haven’t played more than 10 minutes of it for 2 reasons:
1. My magic mouse doesn’t really work well with it
2. I don’t understand it
I’m a simple man, and I need simple things.
@bluesforbuddha How’s that cord-cutting going for TV programming? DirecTV just decided to drop Viacom when they asked for more money (Nick, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, Spike, a bunch of other popular channels). One less reason to pay for cable and satellite, but companies seem to like making cord-cutting as hard as possible. One more reason to just hook a computer up to your TV.
Anyone checked out Yesterday (iOS) yet? It’s a new adventure game from the folks that made Runaway. Looks right up @bluesforbuddha‘s alley.
@bluesforbuddha My brother is planning to build an “emulator box” PC for his TV, he’s been showing me tons of small cases for that purpose. He already built a “smaller” PC for LAN parties and such, I can ask him for you if you want.
http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=291&area=en he has this one but there’s a smaller case too:
silver stone has a few others too.
edit update: brother asks what size are you looking for?
@bluesforbuddha @bowlisimo Yeah I’m trying to go the Pete route too – a home theater PC for enjoying Steam, MKV videos, and streaming on my television. Instead of trying to find nefarious ways of getting streaming sites and downloaded videos to work on my consoles I think the best solution is to just hook up the goddamn computer to your TV. Right off the bat you get Hulu for free, and you don’t have to worry about using apps for HBO Go or YouTube or any other streaming service.
The other reason is that while I love the advantages of PC gaming, I actually found myself missing the “feel” (I guess) of console gaming – sitting on front of a TV on a couch with a controller in-hand. Why not have both? I even tried it with my current system and the results were kind of mind-blowing.
My 5-year-old current desktop can actually run Crysis 2 in 1080p at 60fps if I turn it down to DirectX 9, and it feels like a fucking next gen game. People probably roll their eyes now whenever a videophile complains about how most console games only render in 720p at 30fps, but finally seeing a video game like Crysis run at full 1080p on a TV kinda made me think (so this is what HD console gaming would be like).
Thing is, if I go with a new system, this year I’ll probably still go for a sub-$200 card, possibly even just another HD6850. That card is $150 right now and is more than adequate for just about anything save Crysis 2 at DX11, The Witcher 2 maxed out (and even that will still run on high settings), and Battlefield 3.
@bluesforbuddha Yeah, GAF and TouchArcade control the skies between them, pretty much, but we’ve been putting in a respectable performance. I can’t help at the moment as all my airports are on mainland North America. I guess I could close them all down and relocate to Australia (I probably have enough Bux saved up to do that) but… hmm.
The prizes for even getting in the top 100 are pretty decent, so it’s worth doing the global events when they show up if you’re in a position to do so.
@bluesforbuddha The “C:\ as game directory” thing is how DOSbox works. It mounts just what it needs to as a virtual drive — the GOG shortcuts simply run DOSbox, mount the relevant game’s directory as the root of the C: drive and then run the game. So yes, this situation will be the same for all of the DOS-based games in the series.
@bluesforbuddha That sounds incredibly compelling, and that article was a good read. Everyone on the board should check it out.
@bluesforbuddha @unmanneddrone @angryjedi I still don’t see enough shit actually unique to the Vita. I was hoping E3 would start to fix that but came away disappointed. Assassin’s Creed Liberation looks good and Call of Duty could move some numbers but it’s still all just a handful of games, nowhere near where the DS was at this stage in its life. PS3 ports just ain’t enough. They tried that with the PSP and it didn’t really work, and you don’t see Nintendo trying console game ports with the 3DS.
Maybe TGS might bring some stuff. The PSP only got good when Monster Hunter effectively moved all the AAA Japanese developer support to the PSP. People are hoping the Vita becomes Japan’s gateway into more actual console gaming, but it seems like they’ve already started a general movement to the 3DS, which in my opinion is starting to have a pretty good lineup depending on your tastes.