The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on July 25th, 2010 at 5:55 pm.

Sundays are for waking up for the sixth day in a row of less than 5 hours of sleep a night, ironing a suit, discussing whether orgasms are an emotion or not then compiling a list of the fine (mostly) games related reading I’ve picked up before I came here then running off to San Diego Comic Con for another hard day on the floor. Let’s just hope I don’t link to a Daisy-age rap song I’ve been trying to explain to McKelvie all week.

Failed.

.

73 Comments »

  1. Markachy says:

    That culture clash article is a good read, about Obsidian being Obsidian, being incapable of making technically accomplished games. I can’t help but wonder why, after multiple tech-dodgy releases, they don’t just go to their programmers and deliver an ultimatum: learn to code properly or be sacked.

    Or indeed make sure they have enough time to polish their games, if that is the cause. I would love an Obsidian-Bethesda/Bioware lovechild to come about…wait-a-sec…

    For me New Vegas will be make or break. I love Obsidian and am a firm believer in KOTOR2′s brilliance, indeed over Biowares original. But I can only take so many bugs. I haven’t even touched Alpha Protocol as it sounds ludicrously bugged and I don’t want to waste hard-earned cash on it.

    • Freud says:

      I didn’t find any technical bugs with AP in two playthroughs (though some people have reported to finding some clipping errors) apart from the game having problems with preserving game state when loading a level mid way through.

      However there were loads of baffling design choices. I suspect with that particular game the problem was mostly with design, possibly running out of time rather than coding.

      I don’t think AP was flawed in the typical Obsidian way but in new ones. What that has to tell us about FO:NV I have no idea.

    • Markachy says:

      I reckon Bethesda will have been keeping Obsidian on a leash for FO:NV, too much potential risk to their IP otherwise. Although as the tech is already in place and is tried and tested, hopefully there will be no problems.

      I can’t wait for it. I’m a massive Black Isle fan, and good as Fallout 3 was, the writing was TERRIBLE, in classic Bethesda style. The horrendous ending will forever be seared in my mind. Anticlimax anyone? I’m hoping that NV will be a sequel truer to the original games, not in a fanboy sense, just in the sense of genuinely interesting dialogue and options, as KOTORII and AP (apparently) have had. The writing in KOTORII still stands out today as being phenomenal.

      I feel a reply coming on…

    • Premium User Badge jaheira says:

      Technical issues I’ve had with Alpha Protocol in two playthroughs amount to one instance of being stuck in the scenery. This makes it one of the morestable games I’ve played in recent times.

    • Wednesday says:

      Y’know, I just don’t agree F3′s writing was awful, or that Bethesda can’t write, I mean, did you play Morrowind? Give some of the books in that a read. Or consider the bizzare plot.

      And well, yes, alot of the dialogue in F3 was not great, but there were some gems in all that. The President for example. Some of the stuff he says is fantastic.

    • Markachy says:

      I’ll have to disagree there! The writing was so basic and formulaic. “Hi I am your dad. I abandoned you, but its ok because I was saving the world. Lets go bring fresh water to the wasteland like Jesus.”
      “Hi. we are bloodsucking cannibals. If you kill us you are mean. Please don’t.”

      There was nothing deeper, no Kreia-esque intrigue, no points where I felt morals were properly questioned. I think there was the sheriff in Megaton that you could kill? And all his SON would say if you did kill him was along the lines of “You killed Dad. I will now not speak to you.” Bare-bones stuff. Missions like the vampire story started off so well with finding the mutilated corpses, but the wooden dialogue of all the characters involved ruined any potential intrigue for me.

      It may have been the voice-acting as much as the dialogue/story itself. To be fair my bar is set by KOTOR 2, Planescape Torment etc, pretty high!

    • Collic says:

      AP isn’t really that buggy. The game has its problems but those are down to poor execution rather than faulty code.

      For the record, I personally think it’s still worth playing, and ran through it twice.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Markachy

      Don’t believe the hype on the bugs (Jim Sterling couldn’t play his way out of a paper bag if his life depended on it). Alpha protocol is a decent solid game 7-8/10. It’s not as slick as Mass Effect 2 in the shooting stakes, and there are a couple of annoying boss fights, however from an RPG perspective it’s well worth giving it a look see, as it’s superior to Bioware’s efforts in that respect.

    • qrter says:

      Was that article ‘a good read’? Just when I was thinking to myself “Okay, that’s the intro done with”, I hit the end.

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      Most of the good writers from Morrowind left Bethesda halfway through the development of Oblivion or immediately afterward, to obvious results.

      Alpha Protocol was a fantastic exercise in free choice a la Vampire: TMB and Deus Ex, which overcame whatever (few, from my own experience anyway) glitches it had.

      KOTOR II was fucking brilliant, period.

      My opinions on the matter, in a nutshell.

    • Markachy says:

      Those are some serious endorsements! My favourite games of all time are all of Black Isle, Deus Ex, Vampire Bloodlines etc so looks like I’m going to have to get AP. Hope its on the cheap somewhere.

      On another note its currently impossible to get a hold of the Restoration mod (TSLRCM) for KOTORII at the mo as the 2 websites that have it (filefront and deadlystream) aren’t working! Argh! Anyone know where I can get it from?

  2. malkav11 says:

    Indie developers supporting Mac is nothing new. The Mac of the 90s was notable for a great deal of quality shareware, much of it Mac-only or Mac first – indeed, Spiderweb Software still leads on Mac. Valve making a move to Mac support is a bit more of a thing.

  3. bbot says:

    Parsed that last one as “Wash Your Face In My Stink”

    Was briefly alarmed.

  4. FunkyBadger says:

    Lovin’ the Dream Warriors all over again. Big fans of Monkey, looks like. And I’m sure there were some d12s floating around in there somewhere…

  5. nasdff says:

    not a single fuck was give that day.

  6. KillahMate says:

    It was only a matter of time before someone formed a coherent argument linking Inception to videogames. That movie has gaming in its bones, even if it doesn’t know it.

  7. R3D says:

    i look forward to this all week and i feel last week was better.

    • Web Cole says:

      Its a topical compilation. If you want to read about a more interesting week, go do something worthy of linkage.

    • R3D says:

      unfortunatly i dont think i can write well anough to get a link, i work in aged care and i dont see great scope for a comparison of continance and gaming, or sleep paterns of the elderly are just like Diablo , unlike my realisation that playing AI-War is on par with the hangover i had last friday ( punnished for every move i made).
      i was just depresed that this week has been for my interests not that great.

  8. Alaric says:

    Where is my Bargain Bucket, infidels?!

    • LostSoviet says:

      Well first off, did you remember that Savygamer exists?

      In the absence of the Bucket, I’ll toot my own horn again: I track digital distribution deals on my blog. It’s US-centric by necessity – sorry, that’s where I live. Obviously no Bucket, but might help tide you over.

    • Jimbo says:

      I was just wondering this myself. Shall we start one right here? Let’s start one right here.

      ***SUBSTITUTE BARGAIN BUCKET COMMENT THREAD GO!***

      Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway – £4 on Gamersgate. A brilliant installment in a brilliant franchise.
      Call of Juarez 2: Bound in Blood – £10 on Gamersgate. I don’t know about this one, I hear it’s good.
      Mount and Blade: Warband – £12.50 on Steam/Gamersgate. Swordy.

      Failed. Is that right?

    • Vinraith says:

      This is why we maintain a PC Bargains thread in the oft-neglected forums:

      http://rockpapershotgun.com/rpsforum/topic.php?id=827&page=23

    • EthZee says:

      I just wanted to reply to thank you for reminding me of the word “infidels”. I will be sure to use it more often.

  9. Markachy says:

    *replay

  10. Markachy says:

    *Replay

    And on another note why the f**k does the login not work for this??!! Every time I log in and click to go back to RPS, it logs me out!! So frustrating!!

  11. Jake says:

    Secretly want a zombie apocalypse? I met someone the other day who didn’t want a zombie apocalypse and I thought they were strange. I mean, it has to be a zombie apocalypse where you aren’t instantly a zombie, and where somehow you get a bunch of shotguns and armoured trucks and things. It has to be a fun zombie apocalypse.

    Just in case one comes along, it is probably worth planning now so that you have more chance of having fun. It might not seem practical to weld chainsaws to a monster truck right at the moment, but you’ll want to maximise the amount of zombie slaughtering time in the future.

    That article seems pretty redundant to me, it may as well say that secretly everyone wants to be the star of an awesome action movie with their friends instead of going to work.

  12. Noc says:

    I was totally excited when I started reading that Tumblr and it namedropped both Rice Boy and Dresden Codak in the first couple of posts.

    …and then I realized who’s Tumblr it was, and became significantly less surprised. But remained quite pleased with the discovery.

    . . .

    And that’s what happened.

    • matte_k says:

      Codak is a genius,one of the best web artists i’ve managed to read, and a smart and interesting character to boot.
      Through him, i’ve also discovered things like Rice Boy and Lackadaisy, not to mention learning a considerable bit about transhumanism, Jungian archetypes and what cetaphobia is. It pleases me no end to see him linked in another of my favourite web watering holes :)
      Can’t wait to see where this “Dark Science” series is going.

  13. Vinraith says:

    Hmm, I’d never heard about Telepath RPG prior to that article. Party based, classic design, strategic, it sounds exactly like my kind of game but the artist’s caginess about the intent of his work, and its ties to religion, do make me hesitant. Simply put: I’ve no interest in supporting someone whose work is preachy, and I’ve no way to determine whether said work is preachy without playing the game. I guess I’ll wait for reviews/word of mouth to tell me what the author won’t.

    • Karthik says:

      The demo isn’t preachy.

      I’m having a blast with it right now.

      The writing’s terrible, though. Everybody sounds the same.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Karthik

      That’s good to hear. I’m glad there’s a demo, I’d somehow missed that. I’ll give it a look.

    • Premium User Badge Saul says:

      @Vinraith: He’s directing his comments at you. If it’s good art, it’s unlikely to be preachy. If it’s bad art, then it really makes no difference either way.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Saul

      I’m well aware that I’m part of the audience for his comments, hence my response. Something can be good art and still be propaganda for a mindset and worldview I dislike and wish to avoid supporting. It’s funny, if I’d come across this game via another route, and hadn’t read his comments, it’s unlikely that I’d have jumped to the conclusion that the piece might be religious propaganda of some stripe. The title doesn’t read that way, after all. His own caginess raises the concern that there might be an underlying agenda I wouldn’t like.

      Regardless, I’ll play the demo (eventually, my backlog has become completely absurd) and judge from that.

  14. Lambchops says:

    The point made about price at the end of that Culture Clash article definitely rings true for me. The last example was when I commented on the Aaah; A Reckless Disregard for Gravity demo with a haughty “that seems like fun but I’m not buying it for that price.” when I did eventually buy it in a Steam sale it became one of my go to games for filling in some idle half hours and i felt somewhat guilty; I’d happily have payed more for it seeing how much fun and play time I got out of it.

    • Jimbo says:

      I like to think of it as the price reflecting the risk in buying the game – “will I like it or not?” – rather than the game itself. I think a lot of developers would benefit from keeping that in mind when they are initially pricing their game.

  15. Wednesday says:

    Re Mathew Sakey’s piece: I’m skeptical of anyone who puts market factors down to “people being sheep”. Or anyone saying “people are sheep” to begin with. When did he stop being a people?

  16. Kirian says:

    Mmmph…

    The Inception piece is barely tangentially related to videogames. Most of his complaints come down to ‘I didn’t get/follow it’. Also a shout-out to ‘The Matrix’, something I’m seeing in a lot of the negative writing about Inception. That comparison is not a good one because in the few similarities the films do share+, they show completely different understandings of the same topic and arguably ‘The Matrix’ comes out looking rather childish in comparison.

    I think the best piece about Inception was A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times. It could have been a little more negative, I reckon, but it’s completely right about the film. I do agree that some bits may feel under-delivered. I didn’t have a problem with the film, I felt everything bit of information given to us was cleverly given in lines that advanced the plot/characters and as such was rather clever. I can see how some people might but I think ‘I didn’t get it’ is a bit weak. It’s a good reason not to like the film but not a reason to criticise it. The information is definitely all there and digestible first time around.

    On a side-note, Inception has nothing to do with videogames and a lot to do with film-making/viewing, if the subtext of the interviews and the current readings are to be believed. I believe them.

    Obviously, the above is all opinion, probably not fully expounded (wahey!) and so on.

    +Mainly covering philosophical topics under the guise of an action film, the major shared one being ‘What is reality?’.

    • The Innocent says:

      I agree for the most part. It seemed like Hamilton was stretching his explanation fairly thinly in order to connect Inception and games, and frankly, saying that you “get it” doesn’t mean that you get it.

    • Kadayi says:

      I must admit I did chuckle a bit in the cinema when they started talking about levels, and using artifice to contain the subject, after all these dream scapes they were creating were limited (unlike those in a real dream). The only mild confusion that arose was when they started going on about being trapped inside fischers mind and the ‘why’, but I kind of just rolled with it (it’s an action thriller after all). But to my mind a film that perhaps requires a second viewing to digest isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Does the film suffer from too much exposition and a lack of characterization of the other players? Sure it does to a degree, but given what it is trying to be (action thriller) characterization isn’t really essential. The storyline is ultimately about 2 men (Cobb & Fischer) facing up to their demons, not about understanding the motivations of Ariadne or Arthur at the end of the day.

    • Quirk says:

      [Inception spoilers warning!]

      Mmm. I don’t think he’s saying he didn’t “get it”. Nolan’s film was confused and self-contradictory. In particular, at the entry point of the big heist in the film you’re led to believe that:
      a) death doesn’t break people out from sedation, but leaves them in limbo
      and
      b) everyone has been sedated for the duration of the ten-hour flight,
      hence the characters must survive two weeks in layer 1 / up to six months in layer 2 / up to ten years in layer 3 / some unspecified huge time in limbo.

      However, right in the first hour or two in layer 1, everything goes wrong. By the end of the movie, no resolution has been given us that even vaguely fits the timescales, and it does go out of its way to show us that Cobb and Fischer have been under for the whole ten-hour flight. The exposition promises a coherent world, but the rest of the movie doesn’t deliver; and some of it (the dying to snap out of a dream thing) is immediately clumsily discarded for the sake of building artifical tension. Arguably the building of that tension is why pretty much all the rules explained get broken; showing the characters surviving for another couple of weeks before returning to reality would be anticlimactic.

      By the end, it has of course left plenty of outs to allow people to argue that the incoherent ending could itself be a dream. However, “it was only a dream” is not a new ending, and using it as an excuse for the film’s failing to live up to its clunky explanations of its world would be simply shabby.

      The Matrix’s philosophy was not any more deep or meaningful than Inception’s, but it was delivered more coherently. Inception had some very nice sci-fi ideas, and parts of it were well executed, but lengthy exposition which doesn’t lead to internal consistency is a bugbear of mine and I wouldn’t hesitate to call it a worse film.

    • sredni says:

      @Quirk

      The timing of the ‘layers’ does work, as does the death thing. Here is how:

      In the original plan, they had weeks, years etc. But because Fischer had already been trained to subconsciously defend himself, the chemist had to wake the others up early. The kick comes too soon, and when they are breaking into the fortress and start hearing the music, Cobb tells Ariadne the adjusted times which are far shorter.

      In the rules of the Inception universe, dying while in a dream does wake the dreamer, but the power of the sedative was far greater than normal, so instead dying in a dream would send the dreamer into limbo.

      It wasn’t incredibly elegant, but these plot holes are stitched up.

    • Quirk says:

      @sredni:

      [more spoilers, of course]

      The “kick” breaks you out of the layer below. It’s not there to break you out of the layer you’re in (as is evidenced by everyone being dragged out of the lake at the end, still dreaming post-kick). They’d need a “kick” in reality to break them out of the first layer of dream, but as no-one out there is conscious that everything’s gone wrong, no-one’s going to be giving them a kick. So, at the very least, they all have to survive another two weeks in layer 1. The movie is guilty of eliding the vast majority of time spent during the flight in some unexplained fashion, if it hasn’t just forgotten about it.

      And I was pointing out the sedative thing as mere clumsiness: if you explain to your audience This Is How Things Work, and then, the first time they get to apply the knowledge you explain This Is Not How Things Work Anymore, there’s something flawed in the structure of your film…

      There are a lot more little bits of orphaned plot strands. The dream bazooka, for example; having the superpower to create one at will is brought up exactly once, then forgotten as they carry out firefights for the rest of movie with much smaller guns. Being in free fall in layer 1 makes everything in layer 2 exist in free fall too, but being in free fall in layer 2 has no effect on layer 3. There’s a lack of motivation for the Moll-projection to randomly wreck stuff; it seems entirely at odds with her stated goals in persuading Cobb to her side. Arthur blithely accepts the Moll-projection ruining their plans in Saito’s mind without displaying any real concern that it might happen again.

      There’s a central substory in there that is interesting and affecting, but the vast majority of the movie’s over-long running time is given over to either lengthy exposition, or action for forced and not terribly coherent reasons, rather than character development. (My friend, sitting with me, was much harsher than I, as he found himself incapable of caring about any of the characters.) At one point Arthur and Ariadne kiss. Nothing leading up to it warns us Arthur will do that and it’s never followed up. It’s like a surviving bit from a version of the movie where someone thought about the relationships between characters who weren’t Cobb and Moll.

      It’s a movie that feels like it was either edited or directed by someone who hated it, who compromised most of its interesting ideas in the name of squeezing in as much frantic action as possible, whether it made sense or not. It compares well to a lot of Hollywood films even so, but it’s no Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, no Matrix, just a hi-octane mess with a nice parable buried somewhere deep in the middle and a talented cast.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Quirk

      I’m fairly sure the air hostess is there to provide the ‘kick’ as she’s complicit in the plan.

    • Quirk says:

      @Kadayi:

      Firstly, the air hostess has no way of knowing she has to deliver a kick, not having any contact with the dreamers, and secondly (and more importantly), the waking up takes place to the announcement that they’re arriving at the other end. No kick on display.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Quirk

      Now you’re grasping. That you don’t see the rabbit doesn’t mean the rabbit doesn’t exist. The dream apparatus might well of have a means to deliver an automated kick in response to some inner stimuli. Ultimately it’s unimportant. Also my perception was that it was only really Cobb who emerged as they landed. I was under the impression the others had come back before then and were waiting to see whether he would.

    • Quirk says:

      @Kadayi:

      Or the woman in the front row of economy class is a witch, and she did it.

      I think “grasping” should perhaps be reserved for coming up with a solution which isn’t referred to by the film seemingly at all, and one which would seem something of an important plot point. In any case, if the machine / stewardess did have the means to tell when a sleeper needed awakened, shouldn’t it have kicked in when Saito got shot? Because that would be a really obvious point to do the waking up thing. However, instead we get treated to the lecture on how killing people doesn’t wake them up any more and THERE IS NO SAFETY NET eleventy-one! etc.

      And IIRC Fischer is blinking and stirring at the same time Cobb is. There’s certainly a lack of concern from Cobb’s colleagues.

  17. Cinnamon says:

    I read the article on film critics and have no idea of what the defence was other than that somebody needs to tell students that their films suck because their professors are too spineless to and that someone called “Almond White” is a dick because he doesn’t like Batman.

    I watched the Pervert’s Guide to Cinema the other day though and that was very entertaining and packed with neat insights in the medium. Maybe if there was a game journalist who could compete with Slavoj Žižek in terms of substance and delivery then we could have a similarly entertaining Pervert’s Guide to Computer Games.

    • Nesetalis says:

      Well, i think the article on critics was rather interesting. What he discussed has annoyed me to no end, I am an artist, and I make money off what i create… without proper criticism I cant get better. All these people in this generation are growing up without proper constructive criticism and its doing them no good. They can’t take it now, they can’t get better, and they wont give criticism in the future to their peers when its needed.

      We are raising a bunch of spineless, as you put it. everything has become PC, differing opinions and points of view are ostracized.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I’m willing to be a fly in the ointment myself and saying naughty, but defensible, things about games that people like. I think that younger people are quite critical in ways but there is a tendency for the criticism they give to be of the “this doesn’t give me exactly what I want or expect immediately” type. It seems that those students couldn’t understand the criticism since they had gone out of their way to try and make films that would give their lecturer and them exactly what they wanted without awkward alternate views and unwanted depth sneaking in.

    • alantwelve says:

      I really don’t know where to begin with just how terrible the article about criticism was. For starters, it’s laughable that he complains about the film students being too thin skinned, but the piece then turns into petty score settling against other critics at the end. As for the guy’s two ctiticisms of the students’ work:

      1 – It’s hardly surprising that the student who is singled out for criticism by the visiting film critic gets defensive. Also, if he was even 10% as much of an arrogant, condescending arsehole as he comes across in the piece, he’s lucky he didn’t get his lights punched out, quite frankly. (Also, it comes across that his objection to the guy’s film is political rather than artistic. I may be wrong about this, of course…)

      2 – “Well, the students only had limited resources, so we had to make due with the footage we were able to film,” is an objectively adequate response to his criticism. What exactly did he want them to do? Use footage they hadn’t filmed? How would that work?

      Also, as the first comment under the article points out, he needs to proofread his work. And his response – “It happens when I don’t have a editor around to help me out… ” – strikes me as being neither professional or adequate, funnily enough.

  18. Lars BR says:

    If orgasms are an emotion, so is giggling.

  19. Xercies says:

    i don’t talk to Strangers not because i can’t be bothered but because i am shy and I have been brought up in a soceity that considers talking to random people as weird and people think your crazy if you just go up to them and say Hi. They might be talking about an American thing though since i have been over there and they do like talking to random strangers(i.e. us lot) but that might be because were from England so yeah.

    I think the guy is kind of right…you do need constructive criticism and it helps you even though it may bruise your ego a bit. i seriously don’t like what Rotten tomotoes and metacritic are doing to reviews personnally. But having said that i am guilty of going to the tomato meter and seeing the score whether to watch the movie or not(i know whip me) so yeah I think I’m part of the problem but i do like the real critics like roger ebert.

    Inception could be wabout videogames…never really thought of that but now that i do it could fit. Thats the beuty of that film there are so many things you could attribuite it to and there kind of all right. i didn’t like the article because it was mainly a criticism against the film more then how it attributed to gaming really.

  20. Eight Rooks says:

    High five for linking to Dresden Codak, and yes, his blog is excellent. It’s really weird – in many ways I don’t like his comic at all (it deals with a type of SF I don’t like and a world view I fundamentally disagree with, even hate outright) but his art’s so amazing and he seems like such a nice guy I keep reading it anyway. Plus the non-continuity stuff he does is funny, so there’s that.

    • Levictus says:

      Would you care to give a disagree with his style of SF? I found his blog to very interesting and I considering to start reading his webcomic.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’m guessing it’s the usual gripe. People read Dresden Kodak and believe it’s pretty much standard ‘Transhumanism is life, the singularity will change everything’ sillyness.

      It’s not, though. The obsessive transhumanist main character pretty much fucks everything up for herself and her friends on a regular basis in pursuit of her ideals. Ocassionally there’s a flash of things working out, but for the most part, it’s hardly unbalanced praise of the concepts.

  21. Rath says:

    Everybody should hire Will Self.

    • Jake says:

      If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire…

  22. SofS says:

    On the subject of religious beliefs: there are two games from the dude at http://www.scottgames.com that I always read as being based on religious themes. I’ll try not to reveal too much in mentioning them, but try them before reading if you’re interested; they’re meals best served cold.

    The Desolate Room is about a robot trying to clean a virus from the memory banks of other robots. The others are long destroyed and the main robot has no serious hope of rebuilding them or anything (I don`t recall that the possibility is even mentioned), but he wants to cleanse what remains of their personalities regardless of whether or not they`ll ever live again. I think it’s the only instance of a game built around the theme of respecting and caring for the dead that I’ve played. There are other, stronger religious links later on, but it’s best not to spoil them (not that they’re enormous story-ruining twists or anything; I just like to have storytellers dictate their own pace).

    Iffermoon teases its eventual theme at the beginning, but waits quite a long time to definitively reveal what it’s about. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say that it reminded me a little bit of C.S. Lewis without necessarily being like anything he’s written.

    If you haven’t played these games, please give them a try. The Desolate Room in particular has an approach to RPG combat that I quite enjoyed.

  23. ExplosiveCoot says:

    I also think the movie was about making movies; and was hoping the article would examine it as an allegory about making games instead of just ranting about how the author wasn’t able to follow a complicated plot. I thought that was odd, as everyone I’ve talked to about the movie (even sci-fi phobic friends) were easily able to digest the pretty complicated ideas.

    The one thing I agree with the author about is that some of the characters could stand to be further developed (particularly Ellen Page’s), although Inception does a much better job of establishing interesting characters than the Matrix (for example) did.

  24. michaelfeb16 says:

    Sometimes I feel like I am the only person who thought that Alpha Protocol was an excellent game. Three full plays on the PC and the only problem I noticed is that reloading from last checkpoint (as opposed to manually loading a saved checkpoint) causes problems with enemies disappearing and some doors not opening.

    I found the plot excellent, the minigames above average, and the combat enjoyable.

    Just what is so wrong with the game??

    • Vinraith says:

      Speaking as someone who hasn’t bought he game but has followed the discussion here on RPS, my impression is that it’s gotten a very divisive response. Some people passionately love it, some people vehemently dislike it. That split seems to be somewhere in the range of perhaps 60/40 against if I were to guess, at least in the discussion here on RPS, so you’re a long way from the only one that liked it.

    • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

      @michaelfeb16

      No, you are not the only one, there are others around who loved it.

      Though I do realize that others may have seen lots more of the bugs than I have and may have had a very different experience.
      :)

  25. Arthur Barnhouse says:

    I don’t dismiss works if I know the religious sensibilities of the author. The only problem is that sometimes there are aspects to the story that seem very positive in terms of religion, but if I know that the writer/creator/etc is an atheist, it makes me feel a little sad because then I know that it isn’t. The best example I can think of is The Green Man, by Kingsley Amis which seems somewhat supportive of the idea of an interventionist God until you remember that it’s Kingsley Amis. Extremely negative portrayals of religion bother me, but usually not enough to stop playing or reading or watching whatever it is. The only person I can think of that I don’t read because of religious sensibilities is Christopher Hitchens, but I probably wouldn’t read him anyways, since he has always clearly proven himself to be some sort of crazy person.

  26. Alikchi says:

    I was very excited to try out the Making History II demo mentioned earlier, then read that Niall Ferguson was the historian consulted. I hesitated for the rest of the day until testimonials pushed me over the edge.

  27. Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

    About Alpha Protocol: He says that “that leak didn’t mention bugs and polish”. Then he complains that “Obsidian must have known about these things, but couldn’t be bothered to fix them.”. The project evaluator didn’t mention this in the report, right? Me for one have seen very few bugs in this game. It is a massive step up in quality from their earlier games. It is possible that the game breaking bugs that some have experienced are caused by specific combinations of OS and hardware and were in fact unknown to them.

    And for the “broken shooter mechanics” complaints, are sometimes those who don’t realise they play an RPG. Sometimes the complains are valid. But as he says himself, Obsidian is a studio who creates some of the best writing and RPGs in the industry. Perhaps they put a little more of their resources into that. Some people acts like not putting more resources into the action part is an affront that will not stand. Personally I’ll value Obsidians work higher than 95% of the bland pap being produced today.

    • Tei says:

      No need to raise special hardware conditions. Any non-trivial piece of software have bugs. The bugs can be divided in know-bugs and unknom-bugs. Theres a difference in a piece of software that is rotting in bugs, and a healty one that as a few unknom ones that remain unknom for looong. AP seems to have a few bugs that can strike in rare conditions, but is very possible to have 3 playtroughts and never found one. So to me, is a healthy game bug-whise. It could be better? yes, but is Ok for lots of people.

  28. JackShandy says:

    I really like that dresden codak art blog, but I’m not sure he takes his own advice all the time. It often seems like he stews over the comic so much that it becomes kind of overwrought- like he’s tried to compress three normal updates into one small comic.

    He updates very slowly, and I think that affects the comic layout, makes it a little confusing; when you spend such a huge amount of time thinking about an idea internally, it often seems incomprehensible to the people you’re trying to explain it to. Like how Nolan thought about Inception for ten years, then had to spend half the movie explaining himself.

  29. SofS says:

    I’d heard people complaining about Armond White before, but never bothered to look him up. When I did, I read a review (Toy Story 3) that deployed the phrase “bored game” with what appeared to be a completely unself-conscious attitude. This can only mean two things.

    1. He must have liked Pop Will Eat Itself.

    2. He is secretly Kieron Gillen.