The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on February 8th, 2009 at 2:13 pm.

Sundays are for finding yourself somehow awake at a silly hour with a lack of sleep because you’ve got a comic signing at 10am. 10am? 10pm, possibly. 10am is madness. Anyway – that means I better compile this list of writing found by the good ship RPS across the week and resist linking to songs I found myself singing while replacing central words with the name of a talented comics artist. Go!

Failed.

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105 Comments »

  1. Tworak says:

    sitting on the fence eating a bag of chips looking at the feces throwing console gamers. nothing better. so awesome

  2. qrter says:

    I never understood the appeal of large scale LAN parties, myself. Hundreds of people sitting in a large hall, lovely.

    Small scale, homely LAN parties are a lot of fun, though. It’s been years since my last LAN party – who wants to lug around all that equipment (yes, not all of us have laptops..), connect everything up, etc.

  3. Oak says:

    I imagine the appeal is getting a kill and hearing someone yell “GOD DAMMIT!” at the other end of the hall.

  4. Larington says:

    I do know what a LAN party is, honest. Its just not as convenient as a console for quick pick up and play ‘cos we’re bored fun. I suppose I should’ve made it more clear I was pointing to the caveat of multiple plug sockets and other issues like lugging a desktop PC around. My mistake.

    Yikes, I’m pretty much a PC only gamer and I suddenly seem to be defending consoles, the world does seem to work in funny ways.

  5. jalf says:

    Especially those Xbox fans that still don’t realize the PS3 has their precious Xbox technically dominated. :P

    Aw, come on. Saying one console has better games than the other is fine, that’s just plain fanboyism, but please, can we leave the half-understood technical specs at the door?
    Despite Sony’s claims, the PS3 is not some universe-simulator from the far future. It’s no more powerful than the 360 at games.
    It’s ridiculously powerful at certain scientific computations (and yes, I’ve spent some 8 months programming one for that very purpose), but for games, most of that is useless. As far as specs go, the PS3′s only real advantage is blu-ray (which is a two-edged sword, with slower reads, but *far* greater storage). The 360 has a better GPU, and while the Cell CPU is humongously powerful, it’s also ridiculously specialized, to the point where it’s largely useless at games.

    Argue that 360 sux if you must, but base it on the games, not the specs. Please.

  6. Arathain says:

    I’m a little sad about the TF2 changes. I love criticals. Getting killed by a lucky crit bothers me to the point of causing a small frown to crease my forehead, which fades well before the respawn timer ticks down. Getting a crit streak on a Heavy that blows away two guys, or blasting someone with a lucky Scattergun crit causes me to guffaw and dance in my chair. A strong net positive for me, I think you’ll all agree.

    I get very sad and puzzled when I scan down a list of servers and see so many of them are nocrit tagged. Is some dry luddic sense of skill dependence really worth removing the joy? I don’t even agree with the premise anyway (I think crits allow luck in the micro sense, and skill dominates in the macro sense).

    Don’t get me started on mucking with the respawn timer…

  7. Kieron Gillen says:

    Skizello: I met Colleen this week actually. She’s lovely. I avoided gushing about Banana Sunday.

    FernandoDANTE: It’s a joke.

    KG

  8. PHeMoX says:

    “” Best response is G4’s video one to their mailbag after they gave it a disgracefully low 5/5.”

    That doesn’t make any sense.”

    Go watch that video and read the comments, it makes perfect sense.

  9. PHeMoX says:

    Oh lol, didn’t spot Kieron Gillen’s reply there, my bad.

  10. bhlaab says:

    Two months from now:

    “Alright alright it wasn’t THAT good”

  11. PHeMoX says:

    “Argue that 360 sux if you must, but base it on the games, not the specs. Please.”

    That would make even less sense. Developers don’t take enough time to take the PS3 to it’s limits and the Xbox360 is nearly there already. Go figure… it’s just silly to compare games when the developers never even tried to max it all out. It’s also why Killzone 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 are pretty good examples of where the average PS3 game might go eventually.

  12. PHeMoX says:

    “Two months from now:

    “Alright alright it wasn’t THAT good””

    … that has been true for GTAIV, Halo3, SPORE and Gears of War 2 also, just to name a few. It’s just that nowadays reviewers get carried away with hype. Anyone scoring a game 5/5 loses credibility in my book. :p

  13. PJ says:

    I’m assuming that was Killzone 2 in the background during Adam’s rant?

    it looks pretty cool

    Oh and PC gamers are not even remotely removed from fanboy wars. Take a look at MMO forums, Intel vs AMD, ATI vs Nvidia, or Unreal series vs Quake series.

  14. Larington says:

    I’ve started to get the sense that when a game gets over-rated by a reviewer (It does kinda happen) its not because of a pay out or anything stupid like that, but more likely its either they get carried away with the multiplayer (Halo series), or with the level of choice offered in the single player (Fallout3) – Either way they’ve gotten carried away by something, and its that the point of games?
    I’ll have to bear this theory in mind and see if it works in future over-rating scenarios.

  15. Larington says:

    And before anyone says anything about the level of choice comment, I should append: Or at least tries to offer in the single player.

  16. Tei says:

    Judging from Mario Galaxy, the WII is a powerfull graphic console. And this is the problem of using only one game to score the power of a console. There will be always some games that somehow (Genius?) extract the 120% of the power of a console. Maybe Killzone is one of these games, so maybe is 120% more pretty than a normal PS3 title.

  17. dhex says:

    “Take a look at MMO forums, Intel vs AMD, ATI vs Nvidia, or Unreal series vs Quake series.”

    one of my favorite things about the internet is the shitty banners that people make up for their “rigs” in various pc hardware forums.

    this is one of my favorites of all time (vaguely not safe for work, though)

    http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/3272/signature3bmg6.jpg

    these are pretty nifty, too:

    http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o308/trespass_cmt/fireyesand1-1.gif

    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s55/The_Assassin47/BigSigtest-1.gif

    it makes a good case for requiring some kind of voight kampff test to even look at photoshop.

  18. unique_identifier says:

    @ arathain : The only time I regularly noticed massive critical chance bonuses from recent damage was when a demo+medic pair had snuck behind enemy lines and was camping the enemy’s spawn. Arguably a camping demoman doesn’t really need a 20% chance to throw a crit sticky out every time.

    The lower net chance to crit is interesting. I guess it will reduce the amount of background crit spam. I understand random crits give less skilled players (as well as more skilled players) the chance for occasional glee, but running around a corner to receive a spammed crit rocket in the face gets a little old.

    @ dhex: i reckon those replicants would have far more interesting sigs. you wouldn’t believe the things they’ve seen.

  19. Nick says:

    “Oh and PC gamers are not even remotely removed from fanboy wars. Take a look at MMO forums, Intel vs AMD, ATI vs Nvidia, or Unreal series vs Quake series.”

    Exactly, twas the reason for my harking back to the cry of old =)

  20. Larington says:

    I can’t comment on other folks, but I’ve always distanced myself from inter-PC-Gaming fanboyism too, maybe its just that I’d rather be playing or designing games than giving a crap about whether game series x is better than game series y, same goes for competing hardware technologies.

  21. DigitalSignalX says:

    Just finished Dead Space as well this week, and found the seamless integration of player data as part of the game environment to be spectacular. The use of elements related to gravity was also excellent. It makes me wish the actual game itself was better, the plot and various dramatic bits fell well short imho.

    I hope other big budget titles rip off dead space and shove that sort of cleverness into much better games.

  22. jalf says:

    That would make even less sense. Developers don’t take enough time to take the PS3 to it’s limits and the Xbox360 is nearly there already. Go figure

    And how do you measure that? Do you have a device for detecting unused hardware capabilities? Why is it that when anyone else say “our computer is 20 times more powerful than the competition, people laugh… Except when it’s Sony. Then everyone assumes it must be true. And when games come out that look identical on 360 and PS3, it must be because “they were too lazy to make proper use of the PS3″. It makes me wonder why Sony even has a marketing department. It seems 90% of the world’s population firmly believe anything they say anyway.

    You can always tweak better performance out of any system, including the 360. But no, there are no magical turbo switches that make the PS3 unleash a bajillion extra megahurtz.

    Once again, the Cell is powerful, but it’s also not very well suited for your typical game. Is the only “fair” comparison in your mind the one where the PS3 game was given 15 times as much development time? The one where the PS3′s performance is multiplied by 3 to account for the “untapped potential”? Is it untapped potential if a SPU on the Cell goes unused *because there is nothing the game needs done that it is able to do*? Or is it the one where we feed dummy instructions to each SPE just so we can claim it’s being utilized?

    Or do you want to explain how games should compensate for the Cell’s nonexistent branch prediction? It’s inability to process integers larger than 16 bit? The latency involved in DMA transfers to the SPE’s? The ridiculously small amount of storage on each SPE?

    I’m sorry for the rant.
    I couldn’t care less about most of the console wars, but people who claim that the PS3 must be more powerful “because Sony said so” really rub me the wrong way. How much experience do you have programming the thing?

  23. bhlaab says:

    For dead space, the integrated menus don’t work as well on pc, though

  24. ascagnel says:

    Bah! I was hoping to make it to the iFanboy meetup last night (and possibly buy you a nice cold adult beer-beverage in exchange for a signed Phonogram) but instead came down with some nasty bug that’s kept me room-bound for the better part of what has been a beautiful February weekend in the NYC area.

    Did Garnett Lee get drunk? That would have been a sight to see.

  25. ascagnel says:

    @jalf:

    I got to talk with someone who worked on the engine tech for Frontlines: Fuel of War (UE3-based, which was designed for the PS3 before the X360). His main comment was in terms of raw horsepower, there was more there, but getting to that horsepower was a strenuous activity that would typically end up with them getting in at a very low-level, with either great big gobs of C or assembly code. This would lead large chunks of the codebase being extremely hard to maintain.

  26. born2expire says:

    neat.

  27. Dave L. says:

    @ascagnel: The Frontlines guys didn’t know wtf they were doing from pretty much day 1, so I wouldn’t take anything they say as any form of gospel.

  28. waffles says:

    @Dave L.
    Their only previous release was a mod, right?
    Also i think the “lol i trol u” mentality is partially to blame for all this.

  29. pepper says:

    @Jalf, i completely agree with you, sony fucked up big time with the PS3 pipeline. They even admitted that they made it extremely overly zealous to code for the PS3 in a gamasutra article last month. Which actually baffled me because it showed exactly how much the sony execs live in there own little world..

  30. Tei says:

    The PC hardware already exist, the XBox use alike hardware, minus tons of ram, minus tons of Hard-disk, etc.. theres no need for the PS3 to be *another* PC-ish hardware. Dev’s need to stop ranting, and start figuring out how to create new games with a *different* hardware. Not creating more games that *sure* will work good on a PC-ish hardware. What about raytracers? what about a really good physic engine? what about simulating a huge city or set of NPC’s, or flock movements, etc.. Make the XBox hardware looks ridiculous!.
    Ok, Ok.. I know this will never hands, as professional dev’s have limits on then, schedules and things. Something hard like the PS3 hardware could have worked better with hobbyism game programmers toying with the hardware, maybe. Maybe if the console is unlocked to everyone to code for it, will show the potential, but will never happends, as consoles are locked, and for some strange reaseon, the owners of the consoles are happy with that.

  31. James T says:

    I think the correct word may be ‘lovemob’.

  32. Radiant says:

    You can understand a kid’s fanaticism if you think about how much time they spend playing these games.
    I was watching a mates younger brother play Gears of War 2 and I was shocked firstly because he’s 13 and secondly he bought the game the day before and he was already about two thirds of the way into the game.
    I spent a month playing through Bioshock and it took me a good week or so to stop hearing the bloody security bot whistles in my head [or the hellish vending machine giggling jingles] so imagine what a full burn through ‘badass’ country does to someone in his teens?

  33. Radiant says:

    Anyway; fuck all that.
    Why is Killzone called Killzone anyway?

  34. Gap Gen says:

    Larington: Your comment on over-rating games implies that there is some objective scale of reviewing, and that the reviewer is objectively wrong. Am I missing something?

    Granted, their score may be at odds with what the majority of the people on the internet think, but that doesn’t mean that they’re wrong.

    Maybe what you’re trying to say is “they liked the game more than me”, which I would agree with, but then the point sort of becomes a tautology.

  35. Bobsy says:

    I know I’ve missed a lot on t his Killzone thing. But… why exactly is Killzone 2 special? I mean, apart from being on the PS3.

  36. Dinger says:

    It’s testosterone poisoning.

    I remember when, pre-beta, the WW2OL developers were talking about their table-top prototype of their game, and the TF2 fanbois came in posting how Team Fortress 2 was going to kick WW2OL’s ass all over the realistic military arms MP simspace.

    It’s funny how: A. the WW2OL prototype failed to point out the numerous severe problems with their game design choices. B. TF2 turned out to be a great game, but not at all the one those kids thought it would be. C. Those kids are now in their early twenties, laughing at the console fanbois and bragging that PC gaming is immune from such crap.

    At some point, you have to realize that you’re arguing with 12-year-old males, and just let it go.

    PS3 may have more untapped potential, but you have to make developers want to explore it. If a platform and its tools don’t inspire love, or at least obsession, with the people that make the games (and not just the 12-year-olds), you won’t get games that test the limits. That’s why the Amiga rocked so hard.

  37. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Tei: I’d imagine a big damper on exploring the potential of the PS3 at the moment is the fact that it’s very much playing second fiddle to the 360 in the race for second place in the console ‘war’. It doesn’t really make much sense to throw R&D money at the platform with the smallest installed base, unless you’re Sony obviously.

    Really, so long as the hardware is reliable (something which MS is still working on, clearly), it shouldn’t really matter too much which platform is more powerful than the other. It’s the software which counts.

    @ Kieron

    Waterloo by Abba. We won’t tell you the comic artist, natch.

    Leinil Yu (assuming his name is pronounced Len-ill You)?

    Also, a mention for the filthy consoles and none for John’s love letter to BG&E? For [Snip! - Ed] RPS!

  38. MrDeVil_909 says:

    Amazing. Console fanboism on RPS, I never thought I’d live to see the day the folks here would be reading marketing press releases at each other.

  39. Gap Gen says:

    I only played BG&E recently after buying it in a Steam sale. It’s awesome. Except for the fricken’ end boss.

  40. SoapBoxFurby says:

    Just watched Sessler’s G4 soapbox piece – is there any way this can be nominated for some kind of award? I mean, do we have awards that reward this kind of rebuttal journalism? Special RPS awards made from tin-plated plywood, perhaps?

    If not, there definitely should be. A copy of Advanced Lawnmower Simulator: 21st Century Remix to the best suggestion.

  41. Larington says:

    @Gap Gen: I simply refer, for example with Fallout 3, that reviewers are more prone to score a game higher if one particular element blows them away, they get tunnel vision on that when scoring it because, understandably, its likely everyone else will flock to that particular element as well. So reviews go out as 10 out of 10, etc. The game still has flaws though, and I get the impression those flaws are more likely to be factored into the score if multiplayer or level of choice fails to ‘blow away’ a reviewer.
    Hope that makes more sense.

  42. Gap Gen says:

    I would have given Fallout 3 a 9 or a 10, tbh. 10/10 doesn’t mean perfect, as no game can be “perfect” so the score would be redundant.

    Can you cite an example where one element of a game made a reviewer unfairly overlook other flaws? I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, although there are of course reviews of games that favoured a game more than I would have done.

    It’s hopefully correct that few reviews will be influenced by financial concerns (although it has happened in some less reputable outlets), but I think that it’s simply a case of differing opinions rather than specifically focusing on one element to the detriment of other elements of a game.

    Then again, I think it’s fair enough to do it – if one particular element of a game is great, I often don’t notice or don’t care so much if other aspects that are a little flawed.

  43. Larington says:

    There are plenty of folks who argue the voice acting in F3 is so awful it puts them right out of the game. However you can avoid a lot of the dialogue by just wandering the wasteland exploring and choosing what to do, so its easier to overlook the dialogue issue, thats probably the best recent example I can think of. Of course, it didn’t help that xmas just gone was so full of releases that reviewers were only about to give it a couple of hours in a number of instances.

  44. Larington says:

    about = able.

    sorry.

  45. cyrenic says:

    The big disclaimer at the beginning of the Adam Sessler video was the best part.

  46. Dolphan says:

    Bobsy – Killzone 2 has been hyped, basically (and bizarrely, since Killzone was hardly the stuff of legend). It’s supposed to show off the power of the PS3, and possibly be its answer to Gears on the 360. Although Resistance was that too. I think. If you concentrate on these things for too long your brain goes into meltdown.

  47. Bobsy says:

    I really liked the alternate history backstory part of Resistance. I remember a big ol’ flash website just before the first one came out which gave a detailed history of the world post-1900 with mysterious somethings slowly conquering the planet. It was almost certainly more entertaining than the game itself, and had a read gripping almost Lovecraftian element to it… right up until it became clear that the somethings were just aliens and the game would just mean fighting aliens over and over.

    I can do that at home.

    Meanwhile Killzone has fancy masks I guess? Despite what I’m learning is an impressive amount of hype it’s completely passed me by (but I guess not having a PS3 will do that) and all I can see is a game where guys shoot things with guns. I know consoles, and Playstations in particular, have never quite got a great big hold on the genre with the exception of Halo (Medal of Honour never quite met its own potential) but I have a pretty definitive “shoot things with guns” game on my shelf. It’s Quake 4, and it’s all I can think about when I see Killzone 2 shots.

    Damn! That Quake bastard works fast!

  48. Catastrophe says:

    @ Larington

    I agree. You also get the reviewers who will score a game 10/10 just on the name alone. (FallOut3 is an example).

  49. Kieron Gillen says:

    ascagnel: I was only there for an hour or so, alas, before trundling off to another party. Didn’t meet Lee either, which is a shame. Did totally hang out with Leigh Alexander and record a podcast though.

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