Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • bowlisimo 6:45 pm on December 8, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko @angryjedi So, Beige was saying that game over screens are a part of the experience, is that how you guys felt? Or should I just go in on easy?

    For context, I started it on both difficulties, played maybe the first hour each. I’m pretty good at PC shooters. “Easy” felt like I was playing with hacks (one shot whack-a-mole) and medium was fine, I guess. I wouldn’t mind dying if the firefights were fun, but they are fairly rote. I don’t like the cover controls either.

    How hard do those battles get?

  • Pete Davison 11:29 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko ah, now, see, the moment I got that message I dropped the difficulty down to “easy”. Still moderately challenging for someone as bad at shooters as me, but not so frustrating you can’t progress.

    There’s a lot to talk about with Spec Ops and I get the feeling I didn’t appreciate it as much as others, but I’d be interested in a discussion.

    Re: SquadCast, next week is like The Week From Hell for me. I have my friend’s wedding today, getting ahead on work and packing tomorrow, jury service from Monday, moving house on Wednesday and somewhere in the midst of all that, getting the rest of my work done. So don’t hold your breath for the podcast just yet — I will get to it, just not when my head wants to explode with ARRRRGHs.

  • mjpilon 2:40 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink

    @unmanneddrone @cgrajko @redswir1 Having just completed Hotline Miami this morning, I also would include it as one of my favourite games in 2012. Love the vibe this game has. The twitchy nature of the action, the graphic violence, the 80s neon lighting, the absolutely amazing synth soundtrack that accompanies it. Everything about this game screams 80s drug bender. Never completely approaches Super Meat Boy level of brutal difficulty/ repeated attempts but I could see it get there for some.

    I tended to stick to that mask as well @cgrajko – the fists of fury really helped keep things stealthy. I would also love to hear your theory – if only because the game can lead to interesting interpretations and I’m curious where yours went.

  • unmanneddrone 10:51 pm on December 2, 2012 Permalink
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    @sinfony Awesome. I don’t think I’ve met another bloke who had played it! What a rich and intriguing world, like some sort of techno-Crimson Skies. I really hope we see another Yager down the line, especially with current gen/next-gen tech. Both that and Battle Engine Aquila need high definition sequels. Two absolute favourites.

    @cgrajko That game leaves a fellow breathless and twitchy.

  • unmanneddrone 11:55 am on November 29, 2012 Permalink  

    Welcome to the Squadron of Sale! Good to see a lot of hard…and well, comparatively easy sales being made. Just glad a few folks leapt aboard the Cargo Commander business. It is a joy.

    @beige Oh, indeed. Farming Simulator 2013…outside of being industrial vehicle pornography – consider it research material – the game milks that same dopamine teat stroked by the Harvest Moons and Animal Crossings of this world, minus the marriage proposals and raccoon mafioso respectively.

    I mean, just latch your orbs onto that trailer! I half expected a moustachioed Franz Mueller to walk towards the camera to introduce this week’s episode of EuroFarm and the unveiling of the new Krone wheat header. “Willkommen, unt haf ve got a great show in store!” he says, a shiny Case plough-rig turning clods in the background. This show, and the host, are sadly figments of imagination.

    There’s online co-op, if anyone picks it up and feels like shunting a Porsche bailer around a paddock while I turn a field for the canola crop. One of those curiosities that the German PC developer environment could not only make and sustain, but have a serious fanbase to the point of oodles of mods being available for the game.

    I do go to a fair few agricultural shows, but like you’d expect, we’re not dealing with the American midwest or the Australian wheat basin…so the hardware is pocket-sized for the most part – discounting earthworks machinery. Paddy planters and rice combine harvesters, tea picking caterpillar tractors and such. Certainly very specified gear, but the size of the big Western rigs is magical, perhaps even romantic. I certainly love to wander about these contemporary feats of industrial engineering whenever I get a chance.

    @cgrajko @shingro It’d be great to get some EYE co-op in, but it’s so hard to snag uninterrupted stretches of gaming these days, compounded by our time differences. Would love to, though, so perhaps if I can get a weekend to myself over the Christmas/New Year period, we can hack gothically…as the French seem to insist we must.

  • Shingro 1:52 am on November 29, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko EYE does indeed have multiplayer, I always intended to get into that game but never did, though I do understand it’s basic systems, if people head in to play, by all means send me a note, I’d love to get better adjusted in there and some good friends would probably help with that =)

  • Pete Davison 4:04 pm on November 28, 2012 Permalink  

    @bluesforbuddha Fascinating. That is all stuff I haven’t seen mentioned AT ALL in any review of Hitman, and sounds awesome. WTF, games press?

    @cgrajko At least P4A is available in your territory! GODDAMMIT, ATLUS

  • RedSwirl 2:55 pm on November 28, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko The Haul:

    Persona 4 Arena
    Torchlight II
    Hotline Miami (action game of the year?)
    To the Moon
    Mark of the Ninja
    The Walking Dead
    Max Payne 3
    Modern Warfare 3 Collections 3 and 4

  • unmanneddrone 10:56 pm on November 14, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko Don’t you file that in the great escape clause cabinet under ‘irony’ or something? Or something. I don’t know. While I’ve had fun in the PS2 era GTA games, and think they certainly deserve praise for working wonders with audio-visual themes and motifs – Vice City, San Andreas especially – my heart does belong in to the early games.

    I’m all about the *krrsshk*we-got-a-ten-fourteen-in-southwest-hacknslash*krrsshk* GOURANGA! and such.

  • RocGaude 1:06 am on November 14, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko *hand held high* Not enough guns.

    *queue @angryjedi rage post*

  • bowlisimo 9:07 pm on November 13, 2012 Permalink
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    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.

  • unmanneddrone 7:46 am on November 12, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko Now THERE is a contrast for the ages. Miami Hotline to Journey. Good heavens!

  • unmanneddrone 3:32 am on November 9, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko Good stuff, man. Stunning game.

  • RedSwirl 3:53 am on November 6, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko Get started on 3D Dot. It’s basically the first top-down console Zelda game since A Link to the Past. I personally hate people calling other games “Zelda,” but since 3D Dot is a deliberate parody it kinda fits. The funny part is that despite being a parody, it actually manages to be a very good clone of what it’s making fun of. its comedic nature may not carry the sense of adventure and atmosphere that the classic Zelda games had, but that mechanical gamepalay tightness in the combat, exploration, and challenges is all there and fits excellently. The difficulty is somewhere between ALTTP and the original Zelda.

    I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say I’m really starting to like From Software this generation.

  • Pete Davison 1:17 pm on November 1, 2012 Permalink

    @Shingro Yes, from what you told me about your tastes you will enjoy it a great deal. I would love to have some people to talk about it with. @waterkanji, @cgrajko — any interest? There’s plenty of potential podcast discussion value in it, but I appreciate it’s a significant time investment.

  • unmanneddrone 12:06 am on October 30, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Incredipede   

    @cgrajko That’s what I was expecting from Polygon. Proper “new” new games journalism.

    Need a quick browser timewaster? Have a crack at Incredipede. Think…QWOP meets Surrealism? I dunno. It came out on GoG.com recently, but this gives you a taste of the goodness.

  • Shingro 6:40 am on October 29, 2012 Permalink


  • unmanneddrone 10:45 pm on October 25, 2012 Permalink  

    @angryjedi Ol’ Desura…it’s an absolute treasure trove of interesting and unique multiplayer gaming, but the only issue is player base. Makes me sad. However, with this Steam Greenlight business – whatever you may think of it – we can see those barren server population numbers explode if they make the cut. Omegalodon is one that deserves it.

    @redswir1 Couldn’t be a more perfect match than Beevor and Unity of Command!

    @bowlisimo Get your grognard on, I say! Except, we’re heading into AC3 territory for you, so…uh…probably not! Incidentally, the most I’ve played of Civ5 was an exhaustive and not particularly engaging bit of multiplayer a few months ago. Never really grabbed me, those games, despite recognising their excellence.

    @cgrajko More of that, again! Reports. Nervous reports, please!

  • bowlisimo 1:40 pm on October 25, 2012 Permalink
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    @cgrajko Excellent. Excellent. Optimal conditions for the Amnesia experience. Feel the fear flow through you. Beige said this to me, and now I’m telling you: your nerves will steel themselves the farther you push yourself into that place. Keep going!

    @redswir1 @unmanneddrone I really like the look of that game. Heard about it a while ago. I don’t know why, but I haven’t been on a grognard kick for a long time, hell, I barely even touched Empire/Napoleon Total War or Civ V. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?

  • RedSwirl 1:13 am on October 24, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko I heard RE4 just went on sale for $10 on XBL.

  • RedSwirl 5:29 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko As far as I’m aware both HD versions play the same, but in my opinion the game feels slightly better on a 360 pad.

  • unmanneddrone 10:59 pm on October 18, 2012 Permalink
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    I think art direction makes for great discussion, especially if we’ve got something like HL2 and Dishonored to compare and contrast. I figure I can’t hold sustained art direction in a bad light, even when jumping IPs. It seems like a decent fit. In such a position as art director, you can’t help but bring your own style to the table.

    If I were ever in charge of doing something with Wuthering Heights, I’d try and squeeze in a dropship and some battlesuits.

    @cgrajko @impynickers Bring on dat Cyberpunk! Sumptuous.

    Hot on the heels of FTL and other indie gems that somehow outdo even a triumvirate of As, I present to you November’s corker of a game. Meet Cargo Commander:

    Spelunky in space? Either way, it has that rogue-like risk/reward aspect. You’re charged with attracting massive floating space containers to temporarily collide with your station, then go aboard to retrieve whatever you can find. It sounds simplistic, but I’ve spent a little bit of time with a preview code and it’s amazing. Especially when you’ve gone three or four containers out from your home and a wormhole starts to suck them away, collapsing walls and bulkheads – leaving you frantically trying to pick your way back the way you came, or desperately drilling out into the void for a distance-saving space-hop. Really good stuff. Impressions for GamesAreEvil next week, plus a developer interview then the final review.

  • impynickers 6:58 pm on October 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko I am amazed that they have been able to port so many games to Mac. I don’t own one, but the game library was certainly one of the factors that kept me on the PC side. They have been working hard. CD Projekt Red is also really good to their fans as well. Those mod tools look like a ton of fun. Wish they had of shown footage of Cyberpunk, but its clearly early in development. They did succeed in making me more excited for the game though.

  • impynickers 6:06 pm on October 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko Sweet. Watching now. Bizarre Polish humor intact.

  • unmanneddrone 11:42 pm on October 16, 2012 Permalink
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    @cgrajko People love that Avellone character!

    Poor old Nexus 2 won’t make it, I tearfully predict. This last ditch effort will be met with indifference, and as her superstructure perforates and vents the dreams of tactical bliss into the void in a mist of despair, a despondent group of space-grognards on a lonely moon will mourn her stillbirth and flick the latches open on their helmets. They will join her, becoming nothing more than a drifting, silent mass of missed opportunity and a reminder that there’s no accounting for good taste.

    Also, read @beige’s FTL review. Get comfy and revel in the analysis.

  • unmanneddrone 5:42 am on October 13, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 It’d be interesting for you to go and play the Thief games after you’re done with Dishonored. If not solely for the stealth, but for one of the greatest game characters of all time in Garrett. Thief 2: The Metal Age is a surefire slice of gaming magnificence, with more class and style that just about anything even remotely near the genre.

    @cgrajko *standing ovation* More of that.

  • Shingro 1:28 am on October 12, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko With youmacon coming up I think I’ll have to poke at something else, maybe Lone Survivor?

  • Shingro 1:17 am on October 12, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko I did always intend to do The Void, dunno how long it’d take to play that though, I’m going to have serious trouble pulling myself away from X-Com

    Speaking of which, I’ve currently worked my way both up to the first alien base, and through about 16 some soldiers, rookies and veterans alike. Many faces have come and gone through the X-Com halls, but only one has ever stayed. A sniper from China, she’s proved herself time and again with a steady hand and impeccable aim, standing strong where others have lost their heads and shortly after their lives. Her transfer papers name her Min Ju Park, but her squadmates know her as…

    “The Lady Grey”

    damn I love this game (even if I’m cruising for a digital bruising, 3 countries have bailed already and all the awesome nicknames in the world won’t stop that c_c

  • unmanneddrone 1:43 pm on October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Someone puuhleeaase try WhiteDay while you’re figuring out your Halloween business.

    EDIT: Also super keen to read @cgrajko‘s thoughts on Amnesia and whatever else he has up his gaming sleeve.

  • mjpilon 3:20 am on October 10, 2012 Permalink
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    @cgrajko @bowlisimo As promised earlier this year after our secret santa, I will *attempt* to play Amnesia as a Halloween challenge. I am REALLY not a horror guy but I’ll try for the Squad.

    On a related note: Are people still interested in doing that again this year? It’s early to discuss it but writing that just made it come to mind

  • bowlisimo 11:52 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink
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    @cgrajko Please do! Make it a Halloween challenge? Amnesia will test your will to continue on like no other horror game out there.

    I think my personal Halloween game will be RE4 (PSN), and whatever crazy hijinks TF2 gets up to.

  • unmanneddrone 6:28 am on October 2, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko Good man! I got my complimentary builds/eventual final copy of Receiver for pre-ordering Overgrowth many moons ago (incidentally, one of the craziest fighting/brawl/parkour/rabbit-wolf simulators ever), and it is truly something else. It’s funny how the firearm has become such a simplified point and click mechanic in games, when Receiver really highlights the complexities of a gun.

    You really do spend a lot of time going over the checklist in preparation to fire, to the point where it becomes as big a part of the game as actually pulling trigger on the damn thing. Makes a player very aware of the mechanisms and ammunition component of a gun.

    Love the way you roll, @cgrajko. We’ll have to compare experiences. If anyone else is interested, you can pick up Receiver as is for five bucks.

    Hawken. Stupid NDA. But Hawken!!

  • bowlisimo 3:28 pm on October 1, 2012 Permalink
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    Ugh, me too. I get that simulator sickness thing sporadically and it’s usually due to a low default FOV setting. Prime offenders: Duke Nukem 3D, Half-life 2, Minecraft. I also don’t think I would do well with one of those VR headsets the industry seems to be so into at the moment. Mind sees jumping + body feels not jumping = wtfvomit?

    @unmanneddrone Jebediah Kerman landed on the Mun last night, intact. Unfortunately, the top heavy munar lander tipped over upon touch down (after a nail biting few seconds of teetering) and rendered the ascent stage impossible. Whatever, achievement unlocked. Total cost in Kerbals? 50+? Worth it. Hopping around in low grav is a delight. Next time, rover mod. If only you could establish a forward base…

    That game really opens itself up once you understand how to achieve orbit and manipulate your orbit by burning at certain points in certain directions. Gravity does most of the work. Still, any results are mostly by accident. I feel like a chimpanzee trying to operate the large hadron collider sometimes.

    @cgrajko @beige @angryjedi Whenever you guys want to play Torchlight 2…

  • unmanneddrone 8:26 am on October 1, 2012 Permalink
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    @cgrajko Good sir, you are not alone. I was ready to heave after a few levels. Amazing game, but carsick simulator ahoy. I suspect it has/had something to do with the lurching with every turn, the classic low ceiling of the early era and the sprite rotation. We’ve come a long way, it must be said.

    EDIT: I keep trying to play a little White Day: A Labyrinth Named School before hitting the hay, but it’s really too nerve-racking. For such a comparatively primitive game, it sure knows how to evoke palpable unease. A real proto-Amnesia, and it has some of the most chilling “audio-log”-like notes scattered about, particularly alleged ghost stories.

    I was standing in a darkened classroom, just reading a particular story…and simply got the chills and had to quit. Hope some other squaddies check it out.

    EDIT 2: THE EDITING: I’m going to zip up White Day, plus the patches required, into a bundle and host it on my dropbox for you folks who’re keen, along with installation instructions. Will post a link when it’s done.

    EDIT TRIFECTA: HERE is the complete White Day package, nab away! (466MB)

    It’ll ask you to install HF pAppLoc as part of the main installation, which is necessary for some translation, so just click away and you’re good to go.

  • RocGaude 5:06 pm on September 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Japantown,   

    @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 11:46 pm on September 28, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko I can totally understand that position when it comes to open world games.

  • bowlisimo 7:35 pm on September 19, 2012 Permalink
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    @cgrajko Sure, didn’t know they were selling a 4-pack. If another two squaddies want in on a $15 copy of Torchlight 2 (and 1 apparently), I’m all ears.

    @wrdsmth If the first word I thought was “facepalm” when I clicked on that image, does it make me just as bad of a person, and should I feel bad?

  • unmanneddrone 11:47 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko Cheers, sir. The column, though few in number…I’m quietly proud of that Wargame one. I worked extra-hard on it, because it’s both a fairly intimidating-looking bit of software, but also totally boring at first glance for many folk. Certainly at the head of the pack in terms of my favourite experiences of the year, though.

    Love overflows.

  • Pete Davison 9:08 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko Well, the new game isn’t QUITE a new Quest for Glory. It’ll be a more traditional top-down RPG, but will apparently have a focus on managing time and social interactions (with characters, not SHARE COINS ON FACEBOOK LOL) rather than grind, grind, grind. The website’s here if you were curious. 🙂

  • Pete Davison 4:18 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink  

    @feenwager It’s me, @bluesforbuddha, @shingro and @cgrajko. We talk. A lot. And somehow manage to stay on topic. For about four hours. But then we were covering four games. 🙂

  • RedSwirl 12:23 pm on September 15, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko That Crytek thing was a while ago. Square Enix asked for 8GB of RAM as well. Ain’t gon’ happen.
    Microsoft might go as high as 6GB but end up reserving 2GB of it for the OS. As far as the rumors say Sony is sitting a 2GB for the PS4 but might go up to 4GB.

  • unmanneddrone 6:16 am on September 15, 2012 Permalink
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    @cgrajko The FTL review copy went to a better home! But yes, talk about enticing…the tales, the triumphs and the tears. Interstellar make-or-break missions. Once the valiant reviewer throws down their words, I’m thinking we all indulge. It’s just one of those things, those damndest things.

    I’ve got something a little more…well…I love it, but the next Tactical Tuesday will be for the hardware geeks.

    Anyone else jump into the CYPHER text-adventure business? I’ve been dipping in little by little over the past week and it continues to be just so fresh. What’s old is new again. If you’re on the fence, I’d say get off before you hurt yourself…but in terms of picking up this effort, I’ll let you know when the parser patch is released, because THEN, my friends, it will be peerless.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  • RedSwirl 11:39 pm on September 13, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko I can’t really understand the current rumors we’re hearing. As of now I think the PS4 will have 2GB of total RAM (same as the Wii U) and the next Xbox might actually have as much as 6GB, with two of that being devoted to the OS. Remember, Epic was the reason they went with 512MB on the 360 instead of 256. They’re trying to get Sony to go to 4GB.

    It’s looking like one of the next gen machines might not have enough TeraFlops in its GPU (that’s the measuring unit we’ve got now) to support UE4 to its full extent. The Wii U is rumored to have like 0.6 TFLOPS, and PS4 something like 1.8 or whatever. For reference my current HD 6850 – a mid-range GPU from 2011, has 1.5 TFLOPS.

    I don’t know man. If you ask me the most important thing separating this console gen from the last isn’t even hardware, but the online services. This is the first time game consoles have had complex operating systems and social online services and whatnot. PS3 and 360 are almost at software parity, but people still flock to the 360 because they’re hooked on Live. I’ve stuck with the PC because I’m hooked on Steam. We don’t even know what really entails “next gen” yet.

  • unmanneddrone 9:00 pm on August 10, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko I know what side of the Cretaceous bread is buttered. You can count on this guy, fighting familial duties, work responsibilities and timezones to answer the call!

  • Pete Davison 3:56 pm on August 10, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko To play Neotokyo.


  • unmanneddrone 11:05 pm on August 9, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko Let me stoke the fire a little more then. Have a gander at this preview vid of the Pyro class and, more importantly, the Carnotaurus! Full steam ahead!

    Not to mention, a special charge attack (I’m guessing) from the Rex has that classic Jurassic Park “rending steel meets fog horn” roar we’ve come to know and cherish.

  • unmanneddrone 11:03 pm on August 8, 2012 Permalink

    @cgrajko My good man, it seems the jewel in the crown of Man vs. Beast experiences will inevitably be Primal Carnage. Asymmetrical combat in the thickest of jungle complexes, utterly Muldoonian. Left 4 Dinosaurs is the easiest description. The reptiles look incredibly fun to play as. Should be out soon.

    And that’s my youtube embed quota done for the year!

    Also, Squaddies – leap into the @angryjedi-led fray and get reviewing. Would be good to read some review morsels.

  • rampantbicycle 9:21 pm on July 27, 2012 Permalink  

    Tangent alert!

    @cgrajko What this makes me wonder is which game to date has actually done the best job of simulating the sleuthing experience. Before LA Noire we had Police Quest, which I only played a little of but which I recall as simulating the bureaucratic aspects of police work to a mildly annoying degree (“It’s a 3.414…”) and of course the Laura Bow games, the second of which is notable for the amusing primness of its narrator (“Don’t touch it! You don’t know where it’s been!”) and for the rather merciless way the game will punish you for failing – not just to correctly identify the culprit but also to gather every single shred of evidence along the way. It is perfectly possible to have reached the right answer in your head but fail to be able to back it up, as the game determines “backing it up.”

    Phoenix Wright did a reasonable job with getting you to work your way through the solution in the order the writers had in mind, though it falls a tiny bit foul of that old trick of the Pointedly Pointless Detail one often sees in older mystery shows like Murder, She Wrote. A savvy viewer can learn quickly to spot that one little thing that is being carefully shown to you; even if it doesn’t make sense at the time you see it, once you learn to recognize the style of its presentation you’ll know you’ve just been offered the crux of the “right” answer. Happily, in this series they’ve just gone ahead and made it a gameplay element – those “contradictions” we’re told about in the first few moments after loading up the game. Do you know why a contradiction is important? Not necessarily, no – but you know what you’re looking for even if you may not have worked out what it means. (I actually often had the opposite problem in Ace Attorney games – getting “ahead” of the plot and pointing out things before it was time.)

    LA Noire does it moderately well, I think, as far as the crime scene portions of the investigations are concerned; but I remember wishing repeatedly that in interrogations I could actually have some indication of the tack Cole was going to take if I chose a particular option. If I meant when I selected “Doubt” that I wanted to raise the question of whether he was really SURE he saw X at Y place and time, and Cole instead said something belligerent that was entirely unrelated to what I had in mind, it was really jarring to my play experience. And this happened VERY often while we were playing. Perhaps it just means that I don’t think enough like the developers do. 🙂

    I felt a lot during LA Noire that I was getting Cole’s sleuthing experience…but that it didn’t necessarily jive with MY sleuthing experience, if you know what I mean.

    But that’s kind of the trouble with attempting to tell a mystery story in any interactive medium, isn’t it? Scenario writers for RPGs have the same problem: they know the answer, and they know the route they intend the players to go to GET to that answer, but players are unpredictable creatures and may come up with something entirely outside a writer’s planned scenario.

    I don’t know – Squad, what do you think? Who’s done mystery the best so far, and what should an aspirant to that crown be doing to ensure their supremacy?

  • RedSwirl 2:34 pm on July 27, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko Don’t really know about platform preference. You can’t get the first Mass Effect on PS3 at all. You’ll have to look up the port quality of the other two. The first two Creed games aren’t as good on PS3. Brotherhood and Revelations are equal between consoles I hear. Avoid the PS3 version of Red Dead.

    Why’s everyone throwing out open-world games though? If one of our appeal elements is good scripting, you can’t do much better than Valve. I’m standing by my reccomendation of HL2 and the episodes as well as COD4.

    The story in COD is definitely dudebro but COD4 at least has excellent set pieces and a couple actually likeable characters as well as the best shooting controls on consoles. I also like to think COD4’s painting of events is just a smidge deeper than other military games as it paints the contrast between the naive US Marines and the capable but morally ambiguous British SAS. The PS3 version is renowned as an exceptional port job.

  • rampantbicycle 1:15 pm on July 27, 2012 Permalink  

    @cgrajko Uncharted is good for many of the same reasons that a movie like Raiders of the Lost Ark (or Romancing the Stone, which is really the best comparison, I think) is good. I was not “driving” but found that the thing that really drove me to keep on paying attention was the combination of well-written and well-timed scripted events in conjunction with a script that had all the right proportions of energy and humor. Also let’s be honest – I effing love Indiana Jones movies. That right there will get you a long way.

    Assassin’s Creed is much more of a “sandbox” arrangement – the criticism of “repetitive!” often leveled in its direction is not completely unfounded, particularly regarding the first game. Later iterations in the series mitigate this a little by giving you the sense that as you undertake various little activities you are helping to build something larger, restoring an area to the bustling metropolis it probably should be. The narrative is something much easier to ignore than it is in Uncharted – you can take as long as you bloody well please to get back to the plot, most of the time – but for me that wasn’t a big deal.

    The real appeal for me in Assassin’s Creed has actually been following along with the story of Ezio (who I found likable as a hero, and it was fun to watch him grow from callow youth to grandmaster assassin) and in particular playing History Bingo with all of the various real-life figures they pull in to spice up the proceedings. I may be the only person who went “Holy shit, Caterina Sforza!” when she showed up, but that is because I’m something of a nerd for history stuff. 🙂 So far, I am honestly not all that invested in Desmond’s story, but the history parts are enjoyable. We’ll see if Desmond’s story actually catches up.

    Probably really the thing that will determine whether you love Assassin’s Creed will be how much you like the sensation of skulking about from stealth, striking quickly and then vanishing into the night (or the crowd as the case may be). Thief-heads like me are all over that shit and to be honest I much prefer it to giant gun battles, generally speaking.

    I would also put a vote in for Red Dead Redemption, which is a very nice piece of work on a number of levels – the lonely Western landscapes do something for the GTA-open-world format that I rather like while also providing a pretty reasonable excuse for whipping out a gun and shooting people on a regular basis, and both the main plot and the side missions tend to be interesting (I love “I Know You,” despite the fact that it’s short and easy to miss entirely – the touch of weird is pleasing to me.) My only real complaint is that they did not have the balls to END THE DAMN THING. There is a moment where that game is over, and they should just have stopped it there, sandbox be damned. Credits roll. Game is over.

    If you have not tried Sly Cooper that may be worth looking into. Whimsical charm in spades, and I am about ready for them to be done over there with Infamous, which frankly I find just this side of ditchwater on the interesting scale, so that we can have more of it. 😉 The question to ask yourself is: how do I feel about that little tippy-toes noise that cartoons make when people are sneaking? Do I love that sound? If so, get out there and play these, because that’s what it’s all about. They’re funny and charming and really rather sweet in a way. They are mission-based rather than open world, though there is a kind of “overworld” map where you can hang out hunting collectables and such between missions. IMO, they also have the Assassin’s Creed thing going on in that things really pick up around game #2.

    L.A. Noire is a really interesting experiment. Whether you think it is an interesting FAILED experiment will depend a lot on how you feel about that interrogation system, I think. (I have mixed feelings about it.) It will also depend a lot on how you feel about the ability to determine your hero’s actions, and how much you like noir fiction. Be advised that L.A. Noire is surprisingly true to many conventions of the true noir genre, and that means some very specific things that not everyone will enjoy. This is not a hard-boiled detective story, though it looks like one at first. This is noir. Lots of people conflate those genres but that’s not really technically correct, and L.A. Noire demonstrates that pretty well. There is a lot of stuff I can’t really expound on without MASSIVE SPOILERS, though, so I hesitate to speak farther.

    I will contemplate this question and see if I can think of some other titles that might appeal. How does she feel about Creepy Shit? We love it in our house, but it’s a flavor not everyone is down with. 🙂

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