Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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.

  • ckim 8:40 pm on December 2, 2012 Permalink

    @unmanneddrone @redswir1 Hotline Miami is also one of my favorites of the year. I talk mush about it during the final segment of the most recent Squadcast that we recorded. I love how eventually you go from playing really timidly (because everything is ridiculously lethal) to just bursting through doors and slaughtering fools with your hands. I can’t remember the name of the mask, but the one that lets you kill stuff with your bare fists has become my favorite. (I also love the one that kills enemies by opening doors on them, but there’s something so beautiful about becoming a vortex of carnage with just your fists I can’t pass up.)

    I also have a theory that it’s impossible to discuss this game without coming off as completely misanthropic and sociopathic. As @unmanneddrone said to me when we were discussing the game over Steam, “this is the game that parents have been worried about their kids playing for years.”

  • unmanneddrone 7:31 am on December 2, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 Good man. That’s one hell of a game. I’d say it’s my favourite puzzle game of the year! 😀

  • unmanneddrone 5:50 am on December 2, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 I’d go with the Squaddie intelligentsia on this one, because I felt the same way about the demo as well – and let’s be honest, it was a horrible demo but I gather there’s really nothing you could squash into the demo that wouldn’t be detrimental to the overarching narrative.

    And it’s Yager! You know, Yager! Magnus Tide? No? No.

    …I remember you, Magnus Tide.

  • ckim 3:22 pm on November 28, 2012 Permalink  

    @sinfony I didn’t mean to come off like I was badmouthing the game. I was just overwhelmed by the menu options, as I couldn’t figure out how to just play an exhibition match, even after scrolling through the menu many, many times. (It doesn’t help that the game suffers from the same shit as a lot of new games and the manual is of zero help at all… Also, the manual for ME2 is on the disc… I don’t know why they did that.)

    @redswir1 I am super jealous of your being in possession of P4 Arena. I still need to get a joystick and hop on that.

  • unmanneddrone 4:26 am on November 22, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 Jump into Armored Core then, man. I know we’ve discussed it in the past, but it’s certainly a bipedal tank tinkerer’s nocturnal emission. The only think missing is that big, heavy awesomeness captured in the original Steel Battalion. And maybe a touch of character.

    I think we need Chromehounds back. Or at least MAV to take over. And it’s certainly looking that way!

  • unmanneddrone 1:00 am on November 22, 2012 Permalink
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    @redswir1 I think they’ve managed to capture that mechanised delay and inertia of battlesuit combat so very effectively; from the temporary actuation lag between fire control systems and chassis direction to that very specific speed and turning. It’s an evocative, artistic triumph. Funnily enough, this is where I’m happy to rest the rump in the vacuum left by the classic arena shooters that has been unfortunately filled by back-pat manshoots like CoD – quality aside.

    There are few things in this meagre life I take as brow-furrowingly seriously as vehicle design pornography. Hawken thus far is top tier, besting out even the old FASA stalwarts in the Battletech universe. It’s like Khang Le said “Let’s grizzle up them Phantom Crash/SLAI Scobies some.” Sweet, hot sauce. Stirring in the loins.

    @bowlisimo I will agree to your requirement to a point, but it’s all about conveyance. I personally prefer smaller-scale machines, because rarely do they get the evocation of scale right with the bigger Mech franchises. Never felt that way with the Mechwarrior games to any great extent. The little I played of Chromehounds was almost there, but it lacked a sense of inertia and oomph in missing chassis bob or sway.

    Give me a mech game that comes close to a proper tank sim (cramped cockpit, appropriate dials/readouts/systems management, crew etc.) and not be some Kinect-powered flail festival…throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going.

  • bowlisimo 12:50 am on November 22, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 That’s because that’s what Hawken is. Really, you can reduce any mech sim down to: “It’s a shooter, but you’re a mech instead of a guy”. A lot of people feel that way.

    Here’s the thing though, the older games, such as Mechwarrior, were more immersion and simulation than they were shooter. It can still devolve into circle strafing, but it’s about the cockpit, the heavy footsteps, towering over everything else on the battlefield, ridiculously devastating weapons, heat management, weapon groups, torso twisting while walking a different direction, taking massive amounts of damage, massive missile volleys arcing across the sky, lasers cutting through smoke, overriding automatic shutdown and firing everything you’ve got despite every klaxon and warning light telling you your reactor is about to go critical, the inevitable mushroom cloud from said reactor going critical, I could go on and on.

    If you ask me, a mech battle should be more like two warships broadsiding each other, you know? A slug fest. Two armored up, horribly beweaponed warmachines reducing themselves to boiling slags of armor, dragging limbs behind them. Robot Jox. If you don’t FEEL like you’re a piloting a a 100 ft tall walking tank, then you’re doing it wrong.

  • unmanneddrone 9:34 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 Man, I’d really just recommend going all-in and snagging the full Walking Dead. It’s critically lauded, won’t take up much of your gaming smorgasbord due to length and is pretty much the strongest game in terms of characterisation we’ve seen in years. It’s the safest bet a man can make. Everything else is a personal taste and mechanical crapshoot.

    @bowlisimo Man, if you can run Planetside 2, you can surely run Hawken, so get in on that.

  • unmanneddrone 1:51 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink
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    @angryjedi Good stuff, sir. Sticking the boot into the Black Dog is easier said than done. Bastard of a thing.

    @redswir1 Wadjet really is some sort of glorious anomaly locked in a Lagrange point above an early Revolution Studios-esque world. Killer lo-fi aesthetics dress such wonderful high-concept adventure ideas. Primordia certainly looks the business. Might be the perfect winter game.

    The first screens unveiled a while back made me giddy and tumescent. Look at all them robots.

    Speaking of adventure games, let’s keep that spotlight on Stasis, Red, as I know you’re just as keen. A long and still-ongoing process, but channelling Sanitarium and Mission Critical (anyone play that? Hard sci-fi adventure game with a small VO role by Michael Dorn) and Solaris. I personally can’t wait and have been allowing a tiny rivulet of saliva to escape my rubbery lips since it was unveiled.

    Also, Krater now has a demo on Steam.

  • Mohammad AlHuraiz 12:42 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Indiana Jones & the Fate of Atlantis,   

    @redswir1 I really need to get around playing Gemini Rue, yeah they’re making a game, looks excellent too. They got a nice tutorial for sprite work on the same page as Primordia, really looking forward to what they’re making.

    On the note of Point & Click, I finally got around to finish Indiana Jones & the Fate of atlantis, it was among the first point and click games I’ve ever played and probably the reason why I got into them, gonna listen to the squadcast since the game is pretty fresh in my head right now.

    (yeah, I’ve gone MIA for a while, been busy with plenty of stuff, and I might just pop up every now and then as usual).

  • Pete Davison 7:19 pm on November 19, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 I didn’t deny tech heads reviewed cameras. In fact, they’re the right people to review them, second after actual photographers who can write. 🙂 I said that film critics wouldn’t review cameras, which is a vaguely comparable situation to games critics reviewing hardware.

    The thing with the Vita is that you’re not just buying a Vita, you’re buying a PSP with a delicious screen, too. The PSP has a fucking awesome software library, particularly if you’re into JRPGs or other “interesting” games that you can’t get on any other platform. When people bitch about Vita having “nothing to play” they are completely discounting this fact — and it’s a big selling point, particularly for anyone who never had a PSP. Granted, there may be a dearth of actual Vita titles, but that’s a situation that is gradually improving. And there are some cracking games already — WipeOut, Need for Speed, Gravity Rush, Hot Shots Golf, Uncharted, LBP, Rayman, VLR, Ragnarok Odyssey, Persona 4… I could go on. And then remember it’s a system where you can also play Persona 1, 2 and 3, Trails in the Sky, those two Atlus games that begin with G that I can never remember the names of, Corpse Party and all manner of other goodness on and you actually have a pretty attractive prospect all round — for certain gamers, anyway.

    Re: the “not HD enough” thing, I’m pretty much over graphics. The games I had the most fun with recently are some of the “worst” looking. Xenoblade, Last Story, Pandora’s Tower, the visual novels I’ve been playing, Aselia the Eternal. The more realistic graphics get, the less attractive they are to me. If the new Xbox and PlayStation end up being just CoD and Halo machines, I’ll happily skip them.

    I’m aware I don’t speak for everyone, of course, and in fact am probably in a minority. But I like my colours and big-eyed anime girls, dammit!

  • bowlisimo 9:26 pm on November 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 Sure, I’m interested, just need to see what they’re offering. It’ll have to be pretty compelling because early adoption isn’t really my thing, and I still have a lot of PS3 games to enjoy while this current PC slides further into obsolescence.

  • bowlisimo 1:16 am on November 18, 2012 Permalink
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    Damn, the Star Citizen fundraiser + kickstarter is nearing 4.5 million. I’m resisting the urge to double my pledge and get a Constellation for the squad. No, “Wingnut” level will have to do. The good news is Squadron 42 got extended to 45 missions. Fuck. Yes.

    @redswir1 No, I just paid for a full tour and cut the lines when it opened. Maybe not worth 6 dollars, but was fun while it lasted. Demoman 4 life.

    @angryjedi I have no creative skills to contribute to a project like that at the moment, but good luck, man.

  • Pete Davison 9:35 pm on November 10, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 I’m not sure what’s up with the resolution of Japanese doujin games, they always seem to be 4:3 aspect ratio at 640×480 or 800×600. Same for visual novels. I’m assuming that the Japanese PC gaming market isn’t so hung up on big screens and visually-impressive stuff as the West is — the whole “impressive graphics” thing is apparently console territory.

    Japanese PC gaming has pretty much stayed exactly the same in terms of specs for a large number of years now — while VNs and the like used to be incredibly demanding mainly due to the amount of storage space required for all that art and speech, nowadays the system requirements for a typical Japanese PC game look fairly laughable. CTHCC is a 95MB download and requires 128MB of RAM and a Pentium III to run. I have visual novels on my shelf that list Windows 98 as the lowest required OS.

    I don’t think all this is necessarily a bad thing, though; it means these games can run on pretty much anything, and it’s not as if it looks terrible. I played CTHCC on my laptop, as it happens, and it looked fine in full-screen mode, but I’ve played a bunch of visual novels on the 1080p TV without incident. Aselia the Eternal is only 640×480, I believe, and still looks great — the only minor inconvenience is having to manually switch the TV to 4:3 to get rid of automatic stretching, and that’s only an inconvenience if you’re either a lazy bastard or your remote’s batteries aren’t working. The thing with anime-style art (and pixel art, for that matter) is that it actually doesn’t look terrible at low resolution on a big screen — certainly nowhere near as bad as a 10 year old 3D engine running at 640×480 would.

  • bowlisimo 2:58 am on November 8, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 You won’t regret getting either game. They are both solid for clicking monsters and getting loot. They also both have really boring stories.

  • unmanneddrone 11:30 pm on November 6, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 Hmmm, they’re just utterly dry – detrimentally so, if you’re not a specific fan or type of gamer – optimisation equations at the end of the day. You take a group of components, each component having a variety of different stats and requirements that feed into holistic operational capabilities, and fit them together to create a very unique machine. You don’t really play these games for the story, you play the game to test your mech and refine the shortfalls.

    I highly recommend Armored Core: Formula Front on PSP. No digital release, sadly, but it’s actually more like Carnage Heart, because you can choose to let the AI fight for you. You program the AI and behaviour of the machine using a timeline, combat chips and intricate parameters, but it’s the best way to truly optimise your creation for combat.

    I generally don’t like the newer AC games, because they’re a little too flighty for me. I really don’t have patience for the hyper-speed/boost everywhere, non-Real Mecha, so any game on the PS2 is a good place to start – primarily Nexus or Last Raven. Nexus introduced dual analog control to the series, too.

    In a nutshell, they’re vehicular test beds and if the idea of tweaking the calorific value of your generator to better manage your anti-missile lasers or trying to find a nice balance between your fire-control systems and AI movement plotting, Armored Core is the pinnacle. Glacial series in terms of iteration, but magnificent in terms of attention to detail.

    EDIT: Ha, look at that. I wrote a review for AC:FF back in 2008 for the Giant Bomb database. Forgotten all about it.

  • Shingro 7:23 am on November 1, 2012 Permalink
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    @redswir1 Best way to figure out if you’re interested is to try the demo =) There’s certainly components from different places but it’s really very much it’s own thing.

    You’ve nothing to lose~

    (besides, much as I love the complexity of the old games I really don’t think it’s necessary to play them to play this reboot, in fact, I’d go so far as to say it’d be detrimental to your enjoyment if you do)

    @angryjedi Sounds brilliant, I’m definately going to pick it up, I just gotta get past Youmacon and all the 4th quarter money sinks x_X

  • 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?

  • unmanneddrone 5:44 am on October 25, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 Good man. Yeah, UoC is certainly both a gateway into more complex wargaming and a damn fine operation-level strategy experience in its own right. A near-perfect illustration of the importance of supply.

    Quite frankly, its UI is best-in-show for the genre, with easily-accessible information and sense of progression and army state. Good show, Red. Damn good show. Keep us posted of your exploits on the Eastern Front.

  • ckim 5:48 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 Awesome. Thank you sir. I can definitely see where it would feel good on the 360 pad and will be taking your recommendation the next time I pick up some Itchy and Scratchy money.

  • bowlisimo 6:58 pm on October 22, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 Started RE4. Gaaaah, the controls! Ok, I expected them to be awful. What I didn’t expect was dying over and over again 15 minutes into the game.

    You know when you first get to the village, and there are a bunch of dirty villagers moving back and forth saying “mierda!” every 5 seconds? That part. My guess is they want me to stealth, but if their idea of stealth is to conspicuously stroll through the village without even being able to duck my head or sneaky crouch walk, I’m very disappointed.

    Speaking of disappointed, in the opening, I feel like they missed a big opportunity to go the Lovecraft route. What I mean is, they didn’t even try to lure me in and creep me out with suspiciously shifty village folk that turn on me once I’ve started asking too many questions. No, instead in the first 5 minutes I get “raaaaa, I will murder you with this axe!” Tension, there is none.

    I know you said this is more Aliens than Alien, but even Aliens had a TON of tension and a big build up to that eventual “LET’S ROOOCK!” firefight.

    RE4 and I are off on the wrong foot. -50 cool game points for shitty opening.

  • Pete Davison 3:33 pm on October 22, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 waaaaaaay ahead of ya: http://gamesareevil.com/2012/10/news-corpse-party-book-shadows-coming-europe-winter/


    Those of you who own a PSP, BUY THAT GAME. It’s amazing. (EDIT: and here’s why: http://gamesareevil.com/2012/09/readme-darkness-scissors-horror-corpse-party/ )

  • unmanneddrone 12:05 am on October 21, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 @bowlisimo @shingro Kickstarter has had fantastic success with boardgame creation and production, but I think that’s more a reflection of that particular scene. Creators in the past have pitched an idea through manufacturing/publisher houses, audience interest is gauged, then a limited production run is made. With Kickstarter, the money just arrives earlier.

    May as well do some house-keeping and updates:

    Hotline Miami is coming out in a few days, a.k.a. psychotic Ryan Gosling simulator/rogue-like set in a nightmarish neon wonderland of depravity and carnage.

    Krater is getting its long-awaited co-op update and systems/loot/mechanics overhaul, with Mac version to follow hot on its heels. If you’re looking for a slightly different take on the ARPG, this is certainly where you’ll find it.

    Brain Candy are updating their slightly wonky but massively-promising Fray with a Reloaded Edition, which is free for prior owners and features single-player training, new UI and overhauled systems plus new maps and accoutrements. Very high hopes for this.

  • unmanneddrone 8:57 am on October 20, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 I tried the Vita demo. Not for me, found the exposition to be a touch tedious – which I blame wholesale on The Walking Dead game just being a concentrated tour de force. However, the premise seems okay and certainly has a Squad factor. I gifted the original DS game to a friend back in the day, but that’s all I can offer on the franchise.

  • 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.

  • bowlisimo 11:45 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 I’ve watched the quick look, so I’m only going by what I’ve seen. It’s not the steampunk that is turning me off, I think it’s the unappealing combination of a weird looking protagonist that runs around with a knife and a crossbow, is weirdly magical, possesses things, hacks shit, and phases around like Nightcrawler, in a boring looking dystopian world with music that is too minimalistic and horrific (at times) for the setting and my tastes.

  • unmanneddrone 10:23 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 I know, right!? I dunno. It’s perhaps inhabiting a strange middle-ground, taking more from the Regency or Georgian period than Victorian. It might be the character designs, actually.

    I shall refrain from commenting further without playing it, as it is getting rapturous reception from places like RPS. A good sign.

  • unmanneddrone 5:35 am on October 2, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 So good, all these years on. Just so good.

  • unmanneddrone 12:03 am on October 2, 2012 Permalink

    @beige @bowlisimo @redswir1 Glorious! We simply need more mech games. Hawken is a tour de force, design and ‘feel’-wise, whatever that Halo walker is, it looks terrific…

    More mechs. In fact, Capcom, instead of churning out overblown zombie turds, just give us more of your mech goodness. More Vital Suits, more Steel Battalion that isn’t a hand-waving frustration simulator. More machines.

    EDIT: It does break my heart Halo 2 was the last PC outing for the franchise. I would put up with GFWL just to play a new game. Heavy duty stuff right there. GFWL.

  • unmanneddrone 4:53 am on October 1, 2012 Permalink
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    @bowlisimo Magnificent. To SPAAAAACE!

    @redswir1 I’d forgotten the name of this damn thing when we last conversed on Borderlands 2’s pace, on the back of your Doom run-through, but here it is! Still in alpha, by freely available for download as is, I highly recommend you check out – even just for a single session – Retro Blazer!

    Imagine if sprite-based twitch FPS games were still made today, and you end up Retro Blazer.

  • unmanneddrone 11:14 am on September 25, 2012 Permalink

    @bowlisimo @redswir1 I can really only speak soundly to the Australian experience, as I’ve no concrete idea outside of franchise appeal, relative cost of living etc in Japan – though it’s the same with CDs and DVDs, which is why a lot of international artists do bonus features for Japanese releases.

    Anyway, with Australia, it’s a domino effect of parallel import restrictions – a strange protectionist hangover that prohibit wholesalers from importing and selling at internationally-competitive prices in the interests of local retail fairness – leading into publishers getting away with being able to set such ridiculous prices, recouping lower returns and distribution costs due to size of the place and relatively small market, vendors facing higher staff wage costs and higher business tax than in other countries…

    …stuff that mattered maybe a decade ago, at least when there wasn’t a product on the market that technically didn’t actually require anything bar internet infrastructure to distribute. You might also say that the draconian, arse-backwards ratings regulation up until recently had a detrimental effect on sales due to age restrictions, but the only thing I can see is little Jimmy having to mow three thousand neighbour’s lawns before he can afford the next triple-A “murder simulator”.

    I dunno, tough stuff. Still, digital has made gaming much more fiscally viable for the convicts down there. I just wish retailers and publishers would catch up. We were used to paying $160USD for SNES cartridges, but the ship of reason on that front has long since sailed.

  • unmanneddrone 9:55 pm on September 23, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 Yeah, that’s the place those scallywags back home used. It used to be a bit of a crapshoot with these operations, but now competition is fierce and if you deliver a bad product, the feedback by customers can sink you when the other bloke is delivering decently.

    Keep an eye out. Pennies can be saved. They should be back in stock soon on that particular site.

  • unmanneddrone 5:58 pm on September 23, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 I’ve a few folks back home who can vouch for Borderlands 2 working beautifully, no need to do any of that VPN business. Personal experiences? Space Marine, Rage, Dead Island and a few others. No issues.

    I’ve read the horror stories, but a lot of that comes from people not reading the fine print on some titles. It also depends on where you stand. Save a few bob and Ivan in a former satellite state lets you into the party, or wait for a sale and let the mighty greenback stay in the land of the free and home of the brave.

    Convic-er, I mean, Australians love their grey market because it’s one of the very few ways to dodge the hideous price gouging that goes on digitally.

    Just something to ponder, if you’re really that keen. I don’t know where the Squad stands on this, but as long as they’re not stolen keys, I consider it just another avenue in a globalised world. Best way to start is to read the feedback under particular games on vendor sites.

  • unmanneddrone 2:06 pm on September 23, 2012 Permalink
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    @redswir1 Ahem…

    Gregor could be heard coming from a mile away, that distinct thrum of a Lada engine whose loud burble syncopated with the screech of clawing gears and backfires. It was a cool Rostov eve, the sun reclaimed once more by the early arrival of a winter’s night. Red cupped his hands, puffing hot air and squeezing his fingers to fend off the encroaching threat of chill. Atop the approaching ratcheting noise of the Russian vehicle, Red heard the blast of horns from the Don harbour, as river traffic turned from ferries to night barges that plied produce down to Voronezh and the sea of Azov.

    Gregor arrived, the dim beams of the headlights playing off the old walls and pipes of the abandoned industrial plant Red found himself waiting in. The Lada’s engine sputtered as Gregor turned the key, opening the door and raising two big burly hands.

    Priyatel! I thought I had wrong address. Now…” Gregor motioned to the back of the Lada, “What you need? I have. You tell me.” The thickset Russian clomped around the Lada and opened the door.
    “It depends.”
    Depends? Let me make deal, Muzhyik.” Dragging a long wooden case from the rear of the Lada, Gregor gestured with a nod at the cargo. “Is prime. Dragunov, I throw in scope and box of bullets. This? Forget the 74, this is Motherland’s best.”
    Red shook his head. “No man, no guns. Not that gun, anyway. I was hoping you could help me wi-.”
    “Kubanskaya!” The Russian interrupted, sliding the box back into the rear of the car and elevating a bottle of vodka. “Is export quality, this I can say. Russian holy water, Priyatel, I baptise in this.”
    “Man, no. Look, I’ve got a plane in an hour. I’m after one thing.”
    The Russian grinned, eyes narrowing and pointing a stubby finger in the dim light.
    “Ah ha, yes. I know. I know! You Americans.” Gregor shook his head and laughed. “You after dirty maga-”
    “Borderlands, man.” Red interrupted, exasperated. “No rifles, no booze, no smut. Borderlands 2.”

    The Russian froze, his stillness portraying fear if it hadn’t been for the lethargic wink Red caught in the moonlight and reflected illumination from the silent Lada’s headlamps.

    “You want sequel? You want good price?” Gregor walked slowly around from behind the vehicle. He stepped up to the foreigner, to such a proximity that the bouquet of spirits, tobacco and cabbage took on a tangible, horrifying presence in Red’s mouth. Gregor squinted. “I give you good price, Tovarish. I give you fine price indeed.”

  • unmanneddrone 5:57 am on September 23, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 I think what’s most comfortable about Borderlands 2, and Borderlands in general, is that it channels that sense of Halo ‘slowness’. Those big, lethargic jumps channel Combat Evolved perfectly – and given Gearbox’s porting efforts, you can tell the inspiration was reaped first-hand.

    Do remember that the skill tree offers upgrades in movement speed etc. That said, I don’t think anything bar Hard Reset or Serious Sam can approach the old id Software magic from yore. Different games, much narrower focus.

  • bowlisimo 4:22 pm on September 21, 2012 Permalink

    @redswir1 Castle Crashers? Huh. What the hell took them so long? Exclusivity? I kind of want to play it, but I also kind of no longer care. You almost never hear anyone mention that game. I guess that’s just the nature of brawlers. One and done.

    The Giantbomb guys mention that effect a lot, actually, how brawlers outside of the arcade, outside of the context of trying to get through on a handful of quarters, are pretty boring once you’ve been through them. Turtles in Time, X-Men, Simpsons, all pretty boring with unlimited continues. Especially after the nostalgia wears off.

    Streets of Rage might be immune, I’d need to test further.

  • ckim 6:35 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink  

    I’m more excited about downloadable remakes than anything else for the rest of the year. Like @redswir1 mentioned, we’ve got the Jet Set Radio and Okami HD ports coming out, and the two of those will keep me busy for a while, especially since I have hit a critical mass of “stuff I own but haven’t played because I am a consumer whore.”

  • Pete Davison 9:09 am on September 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 RE2 is literally only about two hours long so you can get through before RE6 no problem. Even if you want to do all four of the main routes (Claire first, Leon second, Leon first, Claire second) you’ll be done in less than 10 hours, not counting deaths.

    Be interested to hear how well it holds up. I used to dislike those tank controls even when it was originally released, so I can imagine they’ll just be painful now. The plot is highly enjoyable nonsense, though, and there’s some good spring-loaded cat scares throughout.

  • unmanneddrone 4:47 am on September 18, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 It’s the same as the NA/EU/AU Steam clients, same library…although EA stuff is completely off the store, outside of trailers. I expect there to be quite a sizeable expat community, but the true test would be to see how many Japanese-made PC games use Steamworks. Might be a good gauge as to the Japanese steam user contingent. Not my wheelhouse, I’m afraid.

    EDIT: Oh good Lawd. Bacon saved and negated the forlorn look I was going to have to muster for the next month. I see a VPN fix allows folks to unlock Borderlands 2 if not yet available in their region. Praise the BitLords.

  • Pete Davison 11:48 pm on September 15, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 I don’t have a particular issue with episodic content if it’s handled well. By that I mean something like Telltale does — spread out the story and/or allow people to play it a bit at a time. The “first chapter free” approach is good, too. I’ve always disliked the piecemeal DLC approach that groups like BioWare have been doing since Mass Effect 2, though. By the time Mass Effect 2’s DLC came out, I’d already finished that game and moved on to something else and had no intention of returning for some time — and certainly not if I had to pay for the privilege of getting more content. I prefer to play games that I know are complete and aren’t going to mysteriously expand for a fee two months down the line. For one of many reasons, it screws with the pace and structure of your story. It’s “beginning, middle, end” not “beginning, middle, end, WAIT NO WE FORGOT A BIT”.

    What I also dislike with the fire of a thousand suns is when the “business” side of things starts to interfere with the immersion factor of the game. Part of the whole shtick of, say, an RPG is working hard to achieve things — grinding for money, XP and the like. Not everyone likes that and it’s arguably an outdated game concept — but the second you start putting “BUY MORE GOLD!” buttons in your main menu you’re not making a creative work any more — you’re making a product and/or a service. One of the reasons Persona is so effective is because you really have to WORK to make it to the end. It’s a gruelling experience, but because of that you feel GREAT when you make it to the end of it. Same for Demon’s/Dark Souls — all the meaning of those games would be completely destroyed by “GET MOAR SOULS” buttons. Because the moment they’re added in, the game inevitably gets skewed in order to encourage people to pay more — it always happens, in some cases worse than others. Jetpack Joyride handles it quite well, as you say, but is far from guiltless.

    This “freemium” strategy is starting to spill into full-price games now, too. I don’t know how many of you played the recent SSX game, but that featured an incredibly obnoxious mechanic that I didn’t see mentioned in any reviews. Basically, there was an in-game equipment shop that allowed you to purchase various items to boost your riders’ stats. The most expensive of these were ludicrously expensive — and conveniently only tended to appear in the shop’s random inventory when you didn’t have enough money to afford them — thereby encouraging you to take advantage of EA’s “Exchange Microsoft Space Dollars For EA Space Dollars” program. Because by the time you had grinded (ground?) your way to affording them without paying, they were no longer available in the in-game store. A friend of mine tested this extensively and found that it wasn’t just coincidence — it really was fucking with the player in an attempt to squeeze money out of them.

    There are three types of games around at the moment — games as creative works designed for the love, games as standalone products designed to sell in the short-term and games as ongoing services designed to make money in the long-term. All three have their place, but it’s when they start crossing over that it gets messy.

  • ckim 5:26 pm on September 14, 2012 Permalink

    Oh god Pete. I just read the synopsis for that game. Please tell me that @unmanneddrone took the code for that… I want to read that SOOOO badly.

    @redswir1 Yeah, I agree with you about online functionality being the most important thing. I think the fact that the WiiU will have a lot of the stuff we’re not used to Nintendo offering is going to be a big thing and will require a lot of us to conceptualize their offering a bit differently. Right now, I still think of Nintendo as the company that had to send out new discs when one of their games didn’t perform properly on certain Wiis. I can’t remember which game it was off the top of my head, sadly. I remember Brawl had issues on some Wiis because the disc drive didn’t want to read dual layer discs, but I don’t think that’s what I’m thinking of.

    At any rate, being able to patch your software online on the WiiU would be a huge step forward for them, and allowing free patches (if they go that route) would also likely help them out with acquiring third party software. I don’t think we’ve received confirmation yet that the WiiU will support patching like we’ve grown accustomed to, but I feel like it will since they’ve made a lot of other good moves regarding online support.

    Speaking to the hardware of the other two, I heard a rumor (yesterday?) that Crytek was pushing for 8 gigs of ram… So, uh, yeah… I don’t know what to say about Crytek’s delusional shit, but that’s a thing that I heard. I’m sure a lot of us have 16 gigs or so in our home PCs, but from what I understand, console ram is way more expensive.

    Also, for anyone who’s interested, Obsidian revealed their Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity Fans of Baldur’s Gate II and such will be happy.

  • bowlisimo 7:35 pm on September 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Symphony,   

    It looks like I’m going to have an extra copy of NS2 come October. Who wants to be my friend?

    @redswir1 Interesting that you consider Peace Walker one of the better Metal Gear games, because I’d probably rate it as my least favorite. That has nothing to do with the plot (which was actually pretty good) and everything to do with the bite-sized structure of the game itself. It’s that way for obvious reasons, but playing it on a PS3 just makes it off-putting and repetitive instead of refreshing. Also not big on motion comics, although Ashley Wood’s awesome art + Kojima made it pretty painless.

    A couple quick Whatchabeenplaying notes:

    Walking Dead Episode 3: Fantastic and sooo god damned depressing. Aside from some mostly forgivable Telltale gameplay quirks, that game’s writing and portrayal of strained relationships and stressful decisions is something you probably shouldn’t miss, even if you’re sick of zombies. The Lee & Clem relationship, especially, is quickly becoming my favorite.

    Saints Row: The Third: Finished this a few days ago. I can easily say that was the most fun I’ve ever had in a GTA style game. They designed it to be fun first and then embraced the stupid of video games in a giant, ridiculous bear hug. Ran around with a stereotypical Scottish looking dude in a tweed hat and mutton chops that sounded like Jason Statham. Worked out pretty well.

    Symphony: Bought this after Garnett hyped it on Weekend Confirmed. Fun game. It’s a shmup + audiosurf. A demon takes over your music library and you fight to take it back. Looks kind of like Geometry Wars with that glowing vector style going on. Upgrading your ship with different weapons is a nice touch, but the music side of it isn’t as integrated into the action as much as I’d like. Symphony comes off more as playing a flashy shmup game TO music instead of being directed by it. Gets quite hard too. Worth a try if you have a spare sawbuck hanging around.

  • bowlisimo 7:49 pm on September 4, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    @redswir1 Thanks for the Arx thoughts. The only thing I knew of that game was of a long haired lonely warrior standing in a sunlit doorway. That box is burned into my brain for no apparent reason. I also tend to confuse it with Nox and Anachronox, which occupy the same ignorant headspace.

    By the way, did you catch the news last weekend that the Black Mesa Half Life remake is being released unfinished in a few weeks? Soundtrack also released. They’ve been working on that thing for like 8 years, wonder why Valve never snatched them up.

    Also last weekend video of Metal Gear Solid: Zeroes was released, which contained 9 minutes of dramatic cutscene (was that kid Snake in the beginning?) and 2 minutes of moist Big Boss sneaking over rocks. Peace Walker references abound. The “Kojima Funtime Show” will return.

  • bowlisimo 1:45 pm on August 30, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @unmanneddrone I have been playing much less than that during the beta and I find I can still be a useful teammate, despite the atrophied aiming and shooting (or biting) skills. This is true for me especially on the Marine team, because the commander often directly gives orders and there is always something to build/weld/defend while the gung-ho guys are on the front squashin’ bugs. As long as you’re not running off and dying needlessly and are assisting teammates, you’re not a burden. The only real way to get yelled at in this game is to jump in the commander position and not know what you’re doing. It’s the difference between winning and losing. That’s still the achilles heel of this game, in my opinion. There is no tutorial for that position either, it’s all on the job training. I avoid it like the plague, like DOTA games.

    @beige @redswir1 Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes?

  • unmanneddrone 10:32 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @redswir1 A great day. ‘Twas a hard struggle amidst the Meat Boy era to sell the magnificence of the Super Crate Box experience, but at the click of a button and the familiarity of Steam, let many come to know thy face, sire of Vlambeer.

  • Pete Davison 9:55 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 That’s cause Jetpack Joyride is actually a decent game and doesn’t gouge you for money to actually play. It’s got a bit heavy-handed with the currency purchases since it launched, but it’s still perfectly playable without any in-app purchases. Compare and contrast with the new iOS version of Pitfall, which charges you in-game currency to activate a checkpoint when you first reach it, then charges you a different in-game currency every time you want to continue from it. ENDLESS MONETIZATION AVENUES, YO

    I hate energy systems the most, though. Yet they still seem to be the de facto method of monetization for a lot of social and mobile games. MAKE YOUR GAME WORTH PAYING FOR THEN I WILL PAY MONEY FOR IT. STOP TRYING TO THROTTLE MY ENJOYMENT OF YOUR GAME UNLESS I PAY YOU.

    @unmanneddrone There is a degree of crossover in titles like Jetpack Joyride, like Red mentioned. But the ones that these devs specifically try and market at so-called “core” gamers are inevitably absolute travesties. If you’d like to see what I mean, try something like Dragons of Atlantis or Edgeworld from Kabam. Kixeye’s Backyard Monsters and Digital Chocolate’s Galaxy Life get closer but still miss the point of what strategy game fans are interested in. You know, strategy.

  • unmanneddrone 9:50 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink  

    @angryjedi Do you see much overlap of audience between FB/iOS gaming and, well, “real” gaming?

    @redswir1 It’s one of the better endless runner games, for sure.

  • Mohammad AlHuraiz 1:14 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Playstation Mobile, , PSOne Classics, ,   

    @redswir1 I reviewed Solatorobo for the squad! I really love the game, I would kill to see a sequel. I do suggest you carry on with the game, I can’t say it’s short (20 hour game where each 10 hours are their own stories), but it is one of those games that will stick to you even after you’ve beaten it and put it back in the shelf.

    @impyknickers yeah, the language in E.Y.E. is made up

    In case you don’t know, the PSOne classics support update for the Vita is up, the emulation but has a pretty inconvenient form of getting the games on it (Oh, Sony…)

    Something that not a lot of people are talking about is that Playstation Mobile games (games that are available on Playstation-certified Android phones) are going to be playable on Vita, I can’t find a way to get the games there but there are a few I would like to finally play on there (Namely the Dead Space mobile game that I keep hearing is pretty good).

    I also recently beat Darksiders 2, in some cases it’s better than the first, but I really do miss the dungeons designed around ruined modern day buildings the first game had, the final boss was pathetic but I guess the ending wasn’t anything to complain about. Looking forward to the next two, I wonder how they play on the next games.

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