Daavpuke's Dreary Discourses (3D)
Welcome to my discourses everyone. I always leave a comment if I read or watch something, so please return us the favor. I like feedback, even if it's redundant. so comment away!
Bioshock Infinite is this years Skyrim: Flawed in just about all design, but completely forgivable due to its overwhelming atmosphere.
Bioshock Infinite is exactly what Spec Ops: The Line wouldve been if its game elements wouldve worked. Instagram filters and chained shooting galleries of a bland shooter that relies mostly on a storyline with an immense twist.
Bioshock Infinite is like the Twilight series, minus the scruples: Its third act becomes as convoluted and incredible as Bella becoming impregnated by a vampire baby that wants to eat her from the womb.
Bioshock Infinite is what Proteus wouldve been if they had forced traditional gameplay elements in it: Simply being present in its universe is more consequential than any other, lesser element of the game.
Bioshock Infinite is Far Cry 3 with opposite priorities: A gorgeous shooter with unnecessary ultra-violence that is accepted because of the overall products excellence.
There are bound to be a few more succinct comparisons to be made in a snappy one-liner. If you have one, feel free to leave a comment!
I periodically will stumble across items that make me do a double take, meaning I check it and then I check it once more for good measure, because the thing I saw is hopefully not the thing I think I just saw. Sadly, sometimes it is. This is the case for a recent Kickstarter project where a seemingly supportive mother wants to help her daughter in a charming sibling rivalry against her older brothers. The mean duo of males has ridiculed the girl, stating that her gender is incapable of producing good games. Still, at just 9 years of age, the girl isnt fazed and with help from mommy dearest, Kickstarter can come to her rescue and send her to RPG Camp, whatever that is, if they can muster the $829.
Its a noble goal and one we all took to heart, because of the low funds, the charming story and the struggle against adversity that puts us all on the cheering squad for the underdog. That all seems fine; except for a few dodgy tactics of manipulation. However, some of the goals had me taken aback. Now, far be it for me to ask why a sub-$1000 project would need high stakes donations; crazier things have happened. Instead, a first thought occurred that some goals seemed rather unrealistic to a child, even as a goal. For instance, how can you deny or ask someone to alter their vision by creating specific, custom NPCs based on backers that have paid the amount? In a regular setting, sure, but this is a 9 year old were asking to play house exactly like we want to. How many times has that ended well in the chronicles of all house playing ever?
Yet, by far the one that took me for that double take was the final tier, the $10,000 powerhouse donation. First off, the amount itself is more than 10 times the funds needed for the project in its entirety. Its a bit much. Still, thats not the thing that made it seem odd. Again: Kickstarter can be strange sometimes. No, its the fact that one of those prizes states that her brothers will personally apologize to you, the backer, for something you have no involvement in. Rather than just being plain weird, its the fact that morality is paired with currency that sickened me. I use a strong term, but it has made a tangible knot in my insides when I read it for what it really was: The literal concept of evil washed away with cash, which is in itself a redundancy of any remorse. The act is solely done to spite and the regret is only achieved when enough funds are acquired.
This was a major turning point in the ancient world with the Church and its concept of indulgences. In fact, its how the Church got to be the powerful, currency-backed institution it is today and why several branches started detaching from the known concept. Anyone who had sinned could buy their way back into the gates of heaven. It was indeed so popular that the Church began breaking down indulgences in fraction, so that poorer people could repay their since in payment plans. It was so ingenious that fractions would never complete, as youd buy 1/8 of an indulgence, which would then break off in another, smaller fraction and so on. To end this brief history lesson, it was a major catalyst for historic figure Martin Luther to denounce the Church for its greed and notify it of its sober and humble roots. If you follow organized religion today, the new Pope, Francis, has uttered a similar desire.
What I dont mention in that history lesson is the revolutionary movements, bloodshed and atrocities that this mentality has brought forth. This is the mentality in that Kickstarter that upset me: the loss of all morality for financial gain, through any means necessary. While the Kickstarter has long since reached its initial mark, I can only hope that it gets shut down for this deplorable action and the many others inside, which will fill the internet shortly.
There are tons of amazing Kickstarter game projects you can back. Developer Craig Stern has come back with Telepath Tactics for the second time and succeeded, but this strategy title can still use your help. More importantly, the glorious open world game Planet Explorers is still seeking funds for its sandbox RPG. You can support it here.
Today, we collectively failed as a community once more. Even though not every one of us acted poorly, the fact that one side clearly pushed its rhetoric through has made this less of an open place and more of a restricted area: No fun allowed. To give this ongoing lament some context: Today, Deep Silver announced a risqué collector's edition called the Zombie Bait Edition, which prominently displayed a severed and dismembered torso with big breasts and small clothing. Is it tacky? Yes, probably. Is it a reason for a mass outcry? Hardly.
Normally, I'd make this into an official piece, thinking up of a point by point case, argument, solution, future thought and that sort of thing. However, that would require me to go on endlessly about a topic that is out of my hands in this industry already. Instead, the swift rebuttal here serves to prove that this is a personal standpoint, though it has the same basis as most of my op-ed pieces, when I'm not using my education to look outside of my values, which I personally believe are the only rules to live by. For those wondering: I live by The Golden Rule. In short, it's that well-known line that goes "treat others like you yourself would wish to be treated." On that aspect, we treated the Zombie Bait Edition news like we would like to be picked apart by vultures. It's a standpoint I can respect, but not one I can condone.
News outlets were quick to release statements how "offensive," "disgusting," "repulsive," "outrageous" and more of these strong words on how appalling the limited edition was thought to be. Mayhap; I'm not saying such a provocative item won't burn in anyones eyes. I, too, am offended when Halo thinks it's a good idea to provide their promotional features with Doritos chips and Mountain Dew, implying that we're all greasy pigs. However, would I call for a massive outcry for someone offering a bust? No, not really; I'm not mad at art history for doing the same.
This point can be argued until the cows are dead and we're serving their racks in a self-righteous buffet of hypocrisy, but it's where my mind immediately went to. I immediately associated it with a bust, because that's what it is: a bust, which is defined as "the human chest." That seems accurate to me. Dead Island also features dead women in skimpy, tropical outfits and has dismemberment elements. All these things are fitting and no one gave a crap about that when the original came out. No, more so, prior to that, Deep Silver released a clip containing the "magical negro" trope, which was linked to their character Sam B, but doesn't resemble him in the slightest. That is, unless you're a racist and think all black people look alike. More so, that clip is also filled with objectification, but that is fitting, why exactly? Is it that hip-hop makes it okay? Is it because black people use women as toys? No matter how you look at it, it's going to be bad when a clip shows over a dozen shots of body parts with no face, for no reason other than to show it. Again, here no one cared. It's an issue now that Deep Silver rubs it in our faces. We're not being very consistent in how are brainwashing works, but I'll leave that point open to debate.
This shot of headless torsos is completely justifiable because...???...profit.
No, other than your personal stand on whether or not it's offensive, it's how we reacted like infants to it that caught my eye. Even that would normally not faze me too much, since we all know how the gaming community can be. However, this time is different for one particular reason. This frothing of the mouth; the knee-jerk, quick wit with no further thought came from the very crowd that would pretend to be different: It is those that make the sensible, adult remarks on how we need to evolve, accept each other and so on. I don't know about you, but I've never been taught that acceptance needs to be shoved down my throat and if my opinion is wrong I need to be snuffed out. That sounds like the reverse of accepting anyone for their good or lesser ideas and ideals.
How does acceptance work in Riptide's case? It made a provocative piece, so it needed to be shut down. Well, all this media outrage worked, as Deep Silver issued an apology the same day at how appalled they were by their own behavior. It must've struck them by surprise and so it should, because they did nothing out of the ordinary. They marketed their product with cheap attention grabbing, as anyone else in any walk of life does. No, not in our gaming community; we're fighting for equality in here, so there's no room for this.
That last sentence doesn't work. You can't have your cake and eat it too, then sue the baker for making you fat. At some point, this mass hysteria needs to end. Whatever happened to disagreement? "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Isn't that how the enlightened philosophers thought about equality? There doesnt seem to be any defending in massively coming down on Deep Silver. There seems to be only offense. What people are doing by projecting negativity on this campaign is calling for exclusive behavior that will only allow certain things and disqualify others. This is being part of the very problem you're trying to fight. I'll even leave out the fact that publications were quick to publish the provocative item once more with the apology update, because showing a bloody bust is so disgusting that you should do it twice, right? It can't just be updated in the same appalled article, that picture must be drained for all its juicy contents. Again, consistency is lacking.
Perhaps just use your fingers.
However, the lowest of all points today was not even this sad state of affairs; it's that the dogs weren't appeased with the blood on Deep Silvers hands. Instead, it went after their personnel and showed the true nature of what it means to not know what you're angry about. Some of you may know Maurice Tan from his time with Destructoid. He's now an employee of Deep Silver and earlier today tweeted an off color joke about this ordeal. Seeing as I don't want to actively feed the flames of other people's misery, I wont link it and just state what it said; which goes as follows: "It is cut off, so who knows. S(he) might have a cock down there." The response to it was immediately and overwhelmingly negative. Ill post a screenshot here.
Did we notice a pattern here? It has the same irate state of knee-jerk reactions, immediately going for the jugular, in the name of equality. The community had choice words for Maurice, because this was deemed offensive and bigoted. Yet, nothing in the tweet can be pulled any which way on that topic. There is no divide that would suggest a fixed view. Still, the immediate assumption is negative and the reaction is downright hostile. It's bullying in pure form, skewed on the platform of freedom of speech. It's not offensive, but it might be, so lets presume it is. It's these same presumptions that the community should fight, not endorse. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. The whole day today I thought I'd elevate myself and not fume like I watched people fume about their delusions. I failed, we all failed. Today was a bad day for gaming. We're not welcome in our own world, so what do we do now?
That's my secret...
It's getting to be exhaustingly late, the day was endless and I still need to edit this post with pictures and such, so excuse the longevity and unfiltered approach of this write-up. Again, I'd like to state that this is my personal reactionary movement and thus doesn't come equipped with the necessary softening filters. It is still based on my belief and my idealism focused on inclusion rather than exclusion. Let me end this rant, the only way the internet knows how:
TL;DR: Judge not lest ye be judged. We didn't fight for equality today, we merely fought equality. Deep Silver shouldn't have had to apologize for endorsing freedom of choice and the fact it did has made our world smaller, not more open. We are all to blame.
The following little irk in our realm of seemingly unimportant issues came to me during a fit of insomnia, where either everything starts to click or is inane drivel. You decide. In any case, it was triggered by events that keep popping back up to us non-native English tongues. In an order to facilitate us, just about any company brings out their Operating System (henceforthOS) in our custom language. Theres nothing wrong with the amicable gesture per se, but its also not completely helpful.
For instance, the current Windows OS that comes packed with any standardpurchasein other countriesare providedin the local language. Thisis doneto addressless technical folks and introduce them to the basic workings of dealing with technology. Again, that part is helpful. Now, the big issue is that its a standard. Well get to that explanation in a second; first I need to needlessly prattle about how I got pushed to the brink. If you dont care to read, skip the following paragraph:
Since my OS is in a different language, other basic programs, such as browsers, feel the need to adapt to that detected language. Obviously, since it may well be the only language I know, they need to immediately certify Im able to understand their product. However, being on the internet, Ill more than probably understand English; I prefer it for the explanation in following paragraph. Yet, for the umpteenth time, once my settingsare clearedfor updates, maintenance and so forth, the browser will revert to my local language, confusing me in its workings. Thissubsequentlygets picked up by other instances. In this case, it wasYoutubethat updated and needed my detailed info, but asked so in a language I wouldnt be ableto functionproperly from a technical standpoint. All the basic technical notions I know, Iwas handedby the predominantly English internet universe. Here lies the core of the issue.
Did you skip the paragraph? No matter, well get down to business: The standard of offering any OS in a custom language is ironically counterintuitive to its purpose. You see, the user accessibility provided in catering to a specific languageis setto lower the bar for others to get into, yet this poses that these users have little to no prior knowledge of the tech. This means that no matter what the term is, its probably going to sound foreign in the way that any of its intended uses are an abstract notion to that person. Therefore, providing the OS in English or the local setting will have very little significant difference, if at all. Yet, this is only tier 1 of the issue. Since were atstatus quoright now, the level needs to go one deeper, as noted in the exemplary form mentioned above.
Trust me, you want to know exactly what you're doing in BIOS.
Seeing as both languages swing unknown terms at you, your best shot at understanding more is to do some research. So much is true for anything in life. If I want to suck less at cooking, I look at some instructional videos and if I feel really bold, Ill simply look up detailed texts on the pros and cons of certain cooking skills. Twenty minutes later, Ill have a microwaved meal set for a god; a lazy god. Where would that research take place, especially on a multimedia device? If youve guessed the internet, then were already one step closer. Yes, the internets first intended use, before itwas wastedon human decadence, was to provide information. You might have read something about that whilst Tweeting and searching for pornography. I know I have, search for info that is.
Did I mention the internet is predominantly in Englishform? Good; we cleared that. Now, it is true that there are also other languages filled with info, but heres where it starts to stutter. There arevirtuallyendless research possibilities in English. Past the standard, overly complexmumbojumbo provided by sites, such as Microsoft help for Windows, there are millions of forums where people can get an explanation fit to their needs. Whatever the issue, theres probably a solution you can find, explained in a simple step to step basis, even with pictures, just a search engine keystroke away. Again, these also exist in other languages, but the amount is immensely different for both. Past the standard, even more foreign help in a custom language, there are a few thousand topics to research, if any at all, dependent on the language.
Given that any which way, you wont know what the original term really means, this original facilitation of providing an OS to your custom needs is now actually hindering you from working. For a detailed instance, I know full well what a Control Panel is and I know how to get my way around, due to extensively going back and forth between helping resources and the words pointed out. I however have 0 notion of what a Configuratiescherm in Dutch really means, nor the underlying words and finding that out isfrequentlyhard. More so, trying to translate is a lost cause, since idiosyncrasies oft slip in translation. Id bemuch betteroff with an English version to teach me the words that might as well be compared with icons, since their meaning are only esoteric for now. I can click the button that says the thing, even if I dont understand it, because theres a detailed explanation stating it works as intended. I dont need a language for that; thats pattern recognition.
Why can't this just be explained in a simple cookies vs rainbows ratio?
While it is true that any OS will probably offer alternatives, that isnt the point. The point is that theadoptedlanguageshould bethe alternative,thereforeliminating much technological illiteracy by providing amuch largerpool of knowledge in English. Yes, language packs are a nice touch, but for Windows at least, these differences are costly, just for a small boost. Its not fair for usersto bepunished for ignorance; theres already plenty that can go wrong by operating something that is a distant notion to you. Now I should leave you and try to figure out how to thoroughly clean any search and browser histories from a Dutch OS; because I looked up too much info, of course.
I love PCs. Even though this setup is now over 6 years old and has been falling apart at the seams for over a year, I still manage to find new things every so often. Whether it's new features I was unaware of, small tweaks I gather from research or even just new capabilities I didn't foresee possible before; I've learned so much by being a PC owner. One could not say the same for consoles or many other appliances, as those usually stay quite similar in experience. I'd like to share my latest trick with you all. It's nothing big, but it amazed me just how something so simple can make a difference.
The last shot of my running workspace, before all broke down at once.
For a year now, I've been getting issues with several USB appliances. Whether they were underperforming or malfunctioning, there was never a consistent reason for the defects. Many times I just thought it'd be a temporary problem with my PC or operating system, but it ultimately seemed to be nothing of the sort. Today, I once more tried to connect an underperforming device to my rig. At first, I just popped in the USB adapter on the front of my case and nothing new happened: It still didn't want to function as expected. This is strange, as the device in question performs fine on other computers.
This time though, I didn't sink down to lethargy. I pressed on and just to see if my USB port wasn't broken (and I know it isn't), I plugged in the same device into the back of my PC case where more USB ports sit. To my surprise, my auxiliary item now appeared to work. I'm writing this several hours later after testing vigorously to see if this was a fluke or not: It isn't. There's a difference between plugging your devices in the front or back port of most computers.
After some research, I found out that some setups have slight differences in power between the front and back, due to a number of factors. I realize I could've researched earlier, but similar queries never came up with anything. But now it seems that there are many similar tales of people with a wide array of similar issues. So let me reiterate this small trick:
TIP: Plug your important USB devices in the back ports of your desktop.
I realize that not everyone will want to hear a boring self-discovery story, so I highlighted this tale's most important phrase to glance over immediately. Now that's educational! Myself, I now use my wireless mouse tablet and my printer as the base for my back ports, as those would require the most power to function properly. Anything else like flash drives and whatnot are too troublesome or too temporary a unit to give importance to. You should find out which USB devices you use most and/or which you'd like to have at optimal performance at all times. Perhaps you enjoy games through a USB headset. Perhaps you record footage with a USB capture card. There are several items that require the highest possible performance to wield the best results. I thought I'd pay it forward and see if anyone else could be helped with this neat quirk I just found out.
Of course, this doesn't apply to just any PC. Even though my PC has the same 2.0 ports in all four slots, not all computers have a difference in power, but it doesn't hurt to find out. Additionally, laptops usually have only a few USB ports that connect to the same areas. But I'm a PC gamer by heart and I need a desktop PC for PC gaming. Nothing else would do.
I hope this simple little trick helps a few out there who have been struggling with their USB devices. If not, feel free to add a few of your own tales in the comment section.
It's been a year since Atlus released their controversial game, Catherine. While only being available in Japan at the time, the story and difficulty level of Catherine gained a lot of attention quickly and a localization effort was made to bring the title to Western audiences. American regions were blessed a few months later, with the US release in July. Now, 12 months after the original, the game is finally available for European audiences. Publisher Deep Silver made the smart move of picking this up and releasing it to the Euro crowd, so let's see how the game pans out after 1 year. Consider this a reevaluation.
It's a strange combination to have a duality of part social simulator and part puzzle game, but at least it's original and Catherine makes it work. The story, mainly followed in the daytime social cycle, stars a man named Vincent and his crisis with commitment issues. During the day, he juggles his love life and talks with his friends, hangs at the bar and sends texts; while of course drinking heavily. As protagonists go, Vincent seems some of the least likeable characters, with his questionable, pubescent behavior and low-level morals. But in the end it's the player's choice whether to steer the course of Freedom or Order in a choice-based meter. Answering questions and texts will affect how Vincent feels about things and this will in turn shape the story progression.
At night, Vincent's troubles manifest themselves in nightmares that create the puzzle portion of the game. In his dream state, he must manipulate a set of different blocks in order overcome his adversity and climb towards freedom. This isn't a leisurely stroll though, as the floor gives way underneath him and he might even be chased by actual demons that brandish a deadly arsenal. Throughout levels, there are ways to slow down and rest up on platforms where he can converse with sheep that seem to be in the same predicament. But at the end of levels, he'll need to go into a confessional and the nightmare will start all over again. There is no rest for the wicked.
Just death-defying nightmares, that's all, Catherine baby.
Catherine doesn't deceive the audience; the game is primarily about the story and the simple block puzzles are a mere framing device for the allegories needed within. But that doesn't mean that Vincent can simply push a few cubes around and call it a day; on the contrary. The challenge level, set in 3 degrees, is quite steep and will require both swift wit and a good perception in order to overcome the tricky combinations. Luckily, the resting platforms during each level offer some help to learn new techniques and a way to purchase some helpful items that can be used in the trials. Yet, even with the helping hand, the game will feel more frustrating than rewarding and can even feel needlessly unfair during select times. The reward will come from wanting to know what happens next in the life of Vincent, which once again separates the importance of gameplay and story.
This game is an atmosphere. Its unique social aspect and choice element gets offset by lengthy cutscenes and conversations in either full anime animation or design. The difference between heavy cel-shaded, 3D designs and painted stills creates a visual appeal that makes characters and interest points pop out from the screen. In addition, the smooth textures and animations further enhance the anime styIe that transitions throughout the game. Catherine also expertly spreads touches of music at key points, which vary from updated cIassical music or jazzy tunes where best applicable. Lastly, the voice cast is tremendous and doesn't hold any punches in conversations. These energetic youths talk like youth does; curse words and all. Anything story-related in this story is nearly flawless, even if the order and freedom division might seem arbitrary at some points; it serves its purpose in the end. However, the non-playable parts can become a bit lengthy for those eager to progress with the game and even skipping chapters during replays, for additional endings, can take some time.
Gameplay also suffers from a few additional quirks, such as some control issues that will occasionally make Vincent slip up in his non-apologetic environment. Additionally, whenever he falls behind blocks, the view gets obscured, which can get truly aggravating in these already tense situations. Luckily, suspense, urgency and a clever use of space usually overtakes any indiscretion. The drive to overcome obstacles and progress in the story will serve as the main motivation, even after plentiful rage quitting. It's that small voice in the back of the head, wondering what happened next, which will propel players to turn on the console once more and check out what Vincent is up to.
In the end, players will want to finish the game, because Catherine bogards additional content in the form of a very entertaining competitive feature. It's a shame players are forced into this decision, because the two player mode does create many additional hours of gameplay competition with a friend, even in its limited state. In this mode, players go head to head in order to reach the top first or destroy the opponent sheep in best out of 3 matches. In a similar way, more content is taken hostage in the form of loose challenges that players can unlock, but only by getting the difficult golden ratings in the story. The game does thrive on the challenge, but showing at least an increment of leniency would've benefited it at this particular point.
Catherine isn't a game for just anyone, as its gameplay is rough, limited and the story is the main focus. Still, a brilliant execution to an equally marvelous concept creates a game unique in its kind, with rousing puzzles and compelling interaction that urge players to go on. Determined players get rewarded in the end with a grand finale and additional gameplay content, but most of all, with the satisfaction of having persisted. This is an experience unlike anything else available at this time and the craftsmanship of Atlus makes it a satisfying venture worthy of any person wanting to play it through. Also, it's pretty damned sexy.
This large, nay humongous game combines the best of both roleplay and strategy into a game that's much more than just war. I got some free Steam codes and you'll want to give this game a try! Just follow the link to get 1 of 2 chances to win.
Sengoku, a feudal Japan war game from Paradox Interactive, whom also created great titles like Europa Universalis III and Magicka. Well, if you like oriental things, war and a side of humor, then I got you covered. For a chance to win a copy of the game, simply follow the link by clicking the picture. It's so spam and virus free, it's being tested as a clinical aid.
I was able to participate in the Gamespot Game Night for once. I fooled around in Minecraft for a bit and created an ice cabin, when I stumbled on some strange ice formation. It's the flimsiest house ever built. Take out 1 stone in any direction and the walls will come flooding down with water. I also took a brief escape into the world and stuff, but I still have 0 idea how to build things, so I just stayed and perfected my home. Here's some pics:
I never know where I am, so I make pillars to find my bearings.
I found my way back to the GS civilization just in time for the group pic.
My sunroof. My first one melted .
Right in the end, I found how to make a bed so I could make this place my home.
EDIT: If you participated in the game night, you are now a proud owner of a shiny new blocky emblem.
There is a certain redeeming quality to having to play Civilization V on a completely decrepit, ancient PC. During turns, it takes the bedazzled adding machine about 10 minutes to process all the other players moves, meaning there's a lot of downtime. Of course, at first, you spend your time looking at the screen like an addicted idiot, but somewhere down the line you realize you're wasting your life…more than usual. So, after doing lots of productive stuff I won't bore you about, I went back to the drawing board for a second comic.
And you know what? Having inspiration is one thing, but coming up with a fitting title is hard. Therefore, I had to slap one on, because my vision didn't really have a name. Feel free to think up a better title. It's a horizontal comic, so you'll have to click the link for it to get the complete picture.
Click here now.
Tell us your thoughts and whether or not you got the theme and references.
You know that time in between games we all have? It's that time where you finished a game, in this case a game of Civilization V, and you don't know what to do next. Even though you might have some games waiting, in my case I have about 50-70 untouched games these days (I know, shame on me), you just have no idea which to pick. There's a time of anticipation and trying to decide, but it has to feel right. During that time where we don't want to start a new game, we fall into this black hole of spare time, so what to do?
After creating a comic, I decided it was time to update my images a little. I had been taking pictures of my finished games and all, but hadn't felt like updating them for a long time now, due to some personal issues. I figured I'd use this time to go ahead and edit them for upload. There are some loose pictures, but most are about my finished games, so naturally slight spoilers ensue.
Please go view my images and leave a comment here and/or there, whatever feels right. Did you notice I got my first ever 100% complete on Steam achievements? That's right completionists; I'm now one of you. Next up is video edit, which is an entirely different ball park. I seem to have archived 20 Gb of crappy Gemini Rue footage for some reason. I can't even remember the reasoning behind it, so it's going to take a while to finish that and 5-6 other projects, amongst whom one or two more finished games.
Note: These aren't all the games I finished in the last 6 months. Sometimes I don't remember or can't take pictures and I never take a camera with me when playing PS3 or Xbox 360.
Either way, enjoy.
This is a continuation of this blog.
And there it is: It only took a few days for Steam's devious marketing to crack my 'strong' willpower and make me give in to their consumerist ways. What swayed me? The thing that always gets me: The perfect game.
Thanks to 2K and Sid Meier's incredible genius, I am now the owner of the 2K Complete pack, which holds too many titles indeed. When Steam had a summer achievement to try a demo a few days ago, I tried out Civilization V, just to see how it would run on my ancient rig. To my surprise, it didn't literally melt my PC, like Metro 2033 did (yeah, literally). Not only that, but it immediately hooked me back to the gameplay that Civilization hasn't really changed since its conception. To that I say: Touché, Mr. Meier.
The 2K pack came with Civ V and all existing add-ons so far, Civ IV and all add-ons ( which I already owned), Civ III Complete and CivCity Rome. That alone will keep me playing until I'm dead; but it also had some deals I thought made the 80 bucks more than worthwhile. For instance, it has X-com, all Strongholds, but most importantly it features Duke Nukem Forever. Even if it's a horrible game; that's a brand new, full price release! And then overkill it all with both Bioshocks and Mafias, but also Borderlands GOTY Edition and there's really no reason why anyone should pass this up. Especially since there's actually even more; it's somewhat mind-boggling.
It's only a shame that one can't gift a game or two from a pack to more interested souls, because why would I want an NBA franchise game; let alone 2 yearly releases? It would be nice to give away one or two games from a complete line-up, just to share the wealth. But then again, Valve would not make the billions of consumerist cash if they were this friendly; the packs alone are courteous enough.
Here's to you, shallow materialism. You have won this round and I'm officially relying on charity to eat this month. Luckily, I have games to keep me distracted from retching hunger and poverty.
It's official! My first purchase through Steam has finally clamored my descent into absolute destitution. Being able to purchase things at the drop of a (TF2 reference) hat is by far the worst idea ever for consumers. And I mean that only in the sense that our sense of fickle consumerism makes us buy much more than we need. Cue my newest additions.
As you can see, I'm finally the proud owner of Torchlight, where I can act out my Hack 'n Slash (now Action RPG) dreams. Just for the hell of it and because Steam suckered me in with their low, low price, I also bought into Tropico 3. And I didn't just go for the regular one, oh no; Steam marketing agents know exactly how to get sheep like me in line. Ergo, I went for the complete package, since I was going to go for it down the line anyway.
So here we are, mere moments before my irresponsible spending ushers in my downfall. With a digital outlet that lets me legally own all the games I want for pennies, I'm bound to be on the streets before long. This is all because my low impulse control is no match for a fraudulent need for materialism. I'm a consumer whore, but at least I'm upfront about it. None if this is necessary, but I do it anyway.
Since programs running on your computer that aren't functioning or doing what you want can be considered viruses, I decided to uninstall Raptr. I gave it the benefit of the doubt during the PSN debacle, but now it was just getting sad.
Not one game was properly displayed in game hours, I hadn't had an achievement update in ages, and so what was it really tracking? I'll tell you what it was tracking: My CPU Memory usage; through the dirt.
I even attempted giving it yet another chance by browsing the Forums and the FAQ, but that was even more confusing. So goodbye Raptr, you useless old bag; come back when you're a program that actually works. You know, like how competent people create something? Remember those days?
Naturally, I gladly took their uninstall survey to give some insight into their befuddlement as to why I would uninstall something that doesn't work. You can see an excerpt of it below.
Don't sit by in wishful thinking, hoping one day this piece of crap will work correctly. You don't owe them anything. So, uninstall it and wait for them to show you they can make something that actually operates.
Soap's up everyone?
I recently acquired the new Magic The Gathering game and being the fanatic that I am, I'm playing and enjoying the hell out of it. I decided to upload a video of me playing a match. Unfortunately, Gamespot doesn't allow for Youtube embedding, so please go watch my match here. Subscribe if you like, please.
If you'd like a complete view of the game, then you can read my review and many others here.
Bloodrayne is a game. It's a game about this vampire girl that goes about hacking everything to pieces. In Bloodrayne: The Third Reich, the director has similar thoughts not only about the film, but about the genre in general; just hack it all to pieces.
Behold: The entire movie.
There's a certain appeal that comes from literally seeing the first 30 seconds of a movie and already knowing it's going to be yet another Uwe Boll nightmare. Just like a car crash, it's impossible to look away and even in the most dire circumstances, it's the main reason why anyone would want to watch NASCAR. You could debate that this genre is so bad, it's good or at least comical, but sadly it's not. Just like Mr. Boll is dead-set on ruining my envy in this dubious crapfest genre, let me spoil the basics of the entire film for you. It wouldn't be quite as tasteful should I not do that, because the very reason this movie is so terrible in detail is the reason I'm writing now, at 2:30AM.
For starters, the movie plugs rape within 20 seconds of the movie; just in case the audience attention span was shorter than that. Less than 10 seconds later, the theme will already be set with a child watching her mother die at the hands of a Nazi. This is all before the credits, of course. And here is where the air quotes start: To everyone's 'big' surprise, the Bloodrayne heroine has huge 'assets' which need to be fully 'exposed' at all times. Which leads us to the first of many inconsistencies, where her wardrobe is only as consistent as the scene needs to show 'depth' into certain 'points'. Seriously though; this must be the most easily spotted flaw in the history of film, certainly from a male point of view, sort of speak. At one point, Rayne is wearing a brazier that defies all laws of physics and the next, in the same scene, this is changed to a top with equal gravity bending powers. At least it's consistent enough that there's barely fabric present, but I find it hard to believe none of the male editors of this film failed to spot that 'area'. If you haven't caught on by now, I'm referring to female breast parts.
Clint Howard is probably happy not to be the ugliest one in a scene for once.
However, it is nice to see Clint Howard get a big role in the film, together with that guy from Rampage, also known as the only decent Uwe Boll flick. Clint plays a strange doctor that wants to grant Hitler supreme immortality by fusing vampire blood into the Fuhrer's system. There's a cockamamie story behind it all that is barely strung together, but for his sake, let's say that should work. His luck changes when he meets a Nazi officer that has been turned into a vampire and from there the duo try and obtain this state of Übermensch, or uber-german-for-vampire. And while his accent and delivery are dreadful, Clint's performance is the only thing remotely trying to 'topple' the main 'feature'.
I have no idea who came up with the accents or casting in general though, as it all sounds flat and awful. In most cases, the Nazi scum sounded more Dutch than German. I'm sure the Fuhrer will be pleased with that. Perhaps it was the same person who directed every scene, as all scenes are shot in the same nonsensical way and then put onto a gray filter. Now, I'm no master storyteller, but I'm pretty sure scenes need a certain set-up or explanation for the audience to know why something is happening or occurring at all. Instead; out come a dozen scenes at random with barely known characters, for no apparent reason or consequence and shot where ever the camera was put to storage. It's hard to create a compelling shot when there aren't certain 'assets' to pinpoint, but that doesn't mean I want to be looking at a shot that is more wall than focus point. But before I digress too much, let me just state that this is true for the entirety of the film in all facets.
Sorry kids, this is all the PG version allows of vampire lesbian sex. It's not that good anyway.
Always save the best for last (and for those that don't like to read); I still have 1 detail to share with you. You couldn't possibly think that Uwe Boll would do a movie without gratuitous sex would you? I mean, with the protagonist's 'boons' it's pretty much mandatory. So, one of the random shots will be at a brothel, which is the opportune place to be during pre-demonic apocalypse. After flashing enough skin, Rayne realizes it has been over 3 minutes with no skulls kicked in and relieves a patron of his manhood. To reward her, the maidens grant her some free vampire lesbian sex, which of course she's immediately into without fear of ripping some harlots to shreds. At some point, I was dead sure she was going to say "Lesbian our way!" Especially since this is portrayed as unnatural and impossible as possible; except if women have erogenous zones from humping their kneecaps. If so, I hereby apologize to the entire female community for doing it wrong all this time.
But the grand finale is even better. When Rayne and the Rampage dude get captured and brought to near extinction, they're shoved in a bus and transported to Berlin to execute plan "make Hitler into a vampiric Rambo". Now, the mere fact that Rayne recovered instantly is almost pure madness, but then…then it happens: Rampage guy touches her boob. Being that they're larger than her face, she is immediately so aroused, they start humping violently in the same awkward manner as stated before. I can't decide whether this is the dumbest thing ever or the smartest thing to do when in face of almost certain death. Chances look pretty positive to instant doom in a few minutes, might as well bang a vampire girl with huge knockers before you leave. I have no idea why they get completely naked though, nor why they bother or have time to get perfectly groomed and dressed afterwards, but I never had sex with a vampire.
Who knew that making yourself superhuman would make you supervulnerable too...
The ending is as 'climactic' as before mentioned sex scenes. The Nazi officer takes the superhuman serum made by the doctor and becomes all-powerful. He was already tough to kill before, but it has taken the entire movie to do this: Swiftly take him to the floor with a few moves and dispatch of him with 1 quick outburst. Yup, that's all it took; there was just nobody who thought about it before. Then cue ridiculous death drama scene and epilogue of more dead Krauts and end scene!
If I could rate this, I would, but it'd be an insult to ratings everywhere. Chapeau to Uwe Boll for making another mind-boggling charade that spits logic and common sense in the eye and then humps its kneecaps.
I hope you enjoyed reading this dreck. If anything, it wasn't as long as the movie.
The universe of Darkspore has seen genetic manipulation grow severely out of hand. At first, Crogenitors scientists were content with creating the ultimate army of genetically superior creatures, known as Living Weapons. But then they discovered Exponential DNA; a substance so powerful, it could alter and perfect normal DNA at enormous speeds; making evolution seem like a joke. But as all tampering with nature goes, it would be soon enough that Living Weapons crafted with this E-DNA took a turn for the worst. As the E-DNA was very unstable, it began mutating out of the control of the scientists and soon, the beasts affected turned into Darkspore.
As more creatures were affected, the galaxy began to grow dire and soon a war emerged where the Crogenitor race was easily outmatched by the natural selection they had started. In their final hour, the scientists hid away select groups of Living Weapons throughout the galaxy, together with a program that would ultimately stabilize this E-DNA. These chosen warriors would later rise back up and fight the Darkspore usurpation with their stabilized, new, evolved state. And while it's not completely logical that the Darkspore couldn't locate these hideouts during aeons of research; such is the premise of the game.
Darkspore is partially the sequel to Maxis Software's 2008 hit Spore, but without the cutesy and with a severe twist. More oriented on combat, a set story and character customization, this action RPG builds on its predecessor, but then leaves all the evolutionary build-up behind. Now, the goal is to eradicate the world of the dark threat and to aid you, you will get the help from legendary Crogenitor champions. Divided into 3 cIasses and then split again into 5 genetic types, these heroes scattered throughout the universe will help you in your quest, as you collect and change between them in a group of 3 beasts. Activated abilities create support or powerful suppressing attacks to aid the party. Also, each hero will have a passive ability to aid them with a specific trait, such as an advanced critical hit rate. And as you progress, the abilities of your team will become more in tune with each other and you'll be able to combine some special feats together.
Before each stage, you can view some information about the planet's enemies and adapt towards their weaknesses if necessary. To keep you engaged in the game, there are a few systems to ensure a maxed out gameplay experience. For instance, you can redeem rewards or keep playing to get a chance at much better rewards. Of course, loot hounds will always push themselves and go further into the increasing challenge without redeeming objects. Furthermore, a medal system increases the drop rate even more with set goals, such as defeating all enemies, which honors players that don't simply rush towards the end goal. This all works very well and keeps the pace as fast as you'd like yourself. Although, in co-operative play players will require to communicate as to not frustrate others.
The genetic elements each have their own strength and thus switching between heroes during gameplay can be quite the advantage. Luckily, this is only a button press away and so combat remains fluent throughout playthrough. Additionally, there are equipment and items to be found, which may also contain a certain genetic type to aid that particular hero. A level and power system create an additional customization. This is all pretty well implemented and the constant action sense of combat is therefore quite consistent. Attacks and abilities are easily performed and are divided in a clear interface. Also, movement throughout a map is fairly straight forward. So, the action RPG feel is always present in your party of heroes. Later, you'll also be able to collect new heroes and upgrade these to your liking.
Darkspore wouldn't be a decent successor if the Editor from the original Spore wasn't present and thus upgrades also come with their own customization. As you unlock more equipment and such, more customization options can create a unique hero for each character. Again, you can fiddle away at all sides and thicken, lengthen, widen, shorten and do all sorts of manipulation to the smallest amount of details on the Living Weapons. This is basically half the fun of the Spore concept and many will spend countless of hours just building a hero to their liking. But this is also a clever way of creating a deeper connection between players and their party, as nothing is as empathizing as a creature made with your own two hands. Personally, I enjoyed creating mini-tanks out of each creature the best I could.
The premise of Darkspore does look intriguing. Visually, the game still looks appealing, but promises to add a lot more flash than the original with all abilities and such available. If anything, Darkspore looks to be a promising RPG twist that could potentially offer a lot of unique gameplay with all customizations, cIasses and genetic types in mind. With all those combinations and added equipment, the individual aspect of each playthrough could well create countless hours of gameplay fun. The action orientation of the game can only benefit this. Darkspore is highly addictive in all its facets and may well gobble up all of your free time if you let it. Be on the lookout for its launch on March 29.
It's nice to wake up to the smell of free swag from time. Like today I received a late Valentine Gift from PopCap Games.
But let's quickly head onto what's been going on on NoobFeed (register NAO), while you shamelessly weren't watching:
First off, we've been keeping busy with a bazillion reviews, since we reviewed all the Neo Geo Station cIassic arcade games. I personally took a few great ones for my account, so feel free to read up about Metal Slug, Samurai ShoDown and Super Sidekicks. The last being my favorite arcade game growing up, so I'm really happy I got the chance to play it again.
But that's not even it. In between, I had to bow myself over some more review copies for the indie title Delve Deeper, trivia game You Don't Know Jack! and the PSP Minis title Twin Blades. If you're interested in small titles I suggest you pick up the latter.
Speaking of PSP, I can also announce to all you people that I currently hold some excess PSP codes for the arcade games on the Neo Geo Station, which I'm more than willing to share with gamers, rather than keeping them for myself. In this spirit of spreading the joy, you only have to adhere to some simple rules should you want one. PLease read our NoobFeed SNK Special Contest page for further info. I'm hoping some of you would like some free games.
Lastly, there's also a huge stack of goodie news still to unfurl. Such as my favorite game, Civilization IV (non-surprisingly) making a historic victory by being the first game to win a Grammy! The song Baba Yetu is an instant cIassic, so it really is a well-deserved win.
Other newsy news:
Steam offers screenshot capturing Beta client - I've been using this for a bit now and I must say I'm very pleased with the ease of use. Also, feel free to add me on Steam.
Wolfire's Lugaru HD Kills Counterfeit
Jagged Alliance Is Back In Action - For any fans of this cIassic PC game that are just as excited as me. I'm interested to see where this game is headed!
Delve Deeper Announcements
Be a doll and don't forget I also upload a ton of Youtube vids that can't make it through to GS and such, so subscribe and stay in touch. As always, you're welcome to shower me in love and kisses, but nothing golden. This has been the news, I officially took minutes from your life, so think about that when you're old.