The Sunday Papers

Sundays are only Sundays because the clocks have gone back an hour today, so I better get a move on pulling together a compilation of the finest (mainly) videogame related reading from across the week, while trying not to slip in a pop-recording of some manner or another.

Failed.

109 Comments

  1. Craig L says:

    We didn’t call machinarium a modern classic, I don’t think. Dunno. Thanks for the links anyway Mr Gillen. Also, cutting it fine aren’t we?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Craig: Tweaked to make it even clearer I wasn’t talking about Gaming Daily, but the general array of glowing reviews.

      And I suspect going to start posting Sunday Papers later in the day, even if I write it earlier. I used to regularly do it after 6, but that I’ve had a good run of doing it earlier has clearly bred entitlement which must be quashed by a mighty steel gauntlet.

      KG

    • ChaosSmurf says:

      I did give it like 91% >.> It’s awesome.

  2. Dominic White says:

    That left vs right infographic seems about on the money… which seems to be incredibly angering to self-labelled conservatives, according to the comment box beneath it.

    It really needs to add a note about how conservative thought seems to frown on introspection and the examination of self.

    • Gorgeras says:

      Conservatism begins with Aristotle and Confucius.

      “This I gain from philosophy; that I do without being told that which others do only through fear of the law” – Aristotle

      “When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.” – Confucius

      I’m mostly liberal in my world-view but would prefer to be conservative. But it’s difficult when just about every ‘conservative’ in media seems to be an ass. That doesn’t distract me from appreciating conservative philosophy and if anything I could say liberal people suffer as much from a lack of introspection and self-criticism.

    • merc says:

      I don’t thiink shallow stereotypes of huge and diverse areas of political thought counts as introspection, and being angry at being reduced to a shallow stereotype isn’t anti-introspection either.

    • James T says:

      That left-right infographic is a load of bollocks, partly due to the brokenness of American political language — see “liberalism” being used only to refer to social liberalism. “Liberalism”, properly used, is DEFINED by its placement of freedom above all, but what do we see on that chart?…
      (also: what Gap Gen said down there).

    • Dave says:

      In America, “Liberal” is the dirty word that media conservatives and their followers use to describe everyone else. It’s their word. I prefer to describe myself as “progressive.”

    • Kanamit says:

      Fun fact: liberal was originally used by FDR to describe his ideology because progressivism was extremely unpopular by the time of the great depression.

    • TeeJay says:

      Saying communism is all about “fair trade” and “personal freedom” is ‘on the money’?

    • James T says:

      …And meanwhile, right-wing nationalism is supposed to be about -not- interfering with society and social lives? Tell that to [insert minority]! The more I look back at that thing, the more idiotic it is.

    • perilisk says:

      Wow, politics!

      But as far as the “what’s wrong with this picture” game
      1) Progressive idea of progress: Evolution. Conservative values: Survival of the fittest. As I understand politics, conservatives don’t believe that evolution exists, while progressives believe that it’s immoral. Meanwhile, the cold, uncaring universe doesn’t give a shit what rhetoric they espouse, as long as they keep reproducing and continue to prevent other things from killing them.

      2) Conservative idea of social progress = Status Quo. Um… no, that’s the conservative idea of the status quo, which they want to conserve. If they were pursing an ideal of social progress, they would be progressive. More importantly, conservatives don’t exist to suggest that the status quo is ideal, but rather to draw attention to the side effects and unintended consequences of changes intended to better society. Much like defense attorneys in a trial, they exist not to make a case, but to poke holes in one. Moreover, political progressives tend to play the role of conservative as well in certain arenas — it isn’t theocrats that typically raise concerns about the potential consequences of using GM crops, or lament the mixed blessings of steel and fire granted us by the gods of industrial revolution.

      3) What is the difference between morals and ethics as used there? The only significance is that some people like the sound of one word better; in context they’re essentially the same. Which probably says something about the whole exercise. “Those Progressives have no morals!” “Conservatives and their obsession with morality. If only they could be ethical like us!”

      4) Rights: “Others must observe” “Others must not interfere”. So, people should observe your rights. Versus people should not interfere with your rights… If you can’t think of different blurbs for each side, maybe just drop it? Here’s a more practical assessment: Progressive/Conservative = A) Give me the rights that I will use on a regular basis and never violate them under any circumstances, B) of the remainder, remove the ones that others use in a way that irritates me or offends my personal sense of morals/ethics, even if the harm done to them in being deprived of a lifestyle of their choosing vastly outweighs the harm their freedom does to me on the whole, C) I don’t give a shit about the rest unless it gives me an excuse to call the other side “fascists”.

      5) The Hawks/Doves thing is, in political practice, also completely bullshit. Speaking only for the American experience, which side is pro-war and which side is anti-war is almost solely related to which side actually gets to be in charge of the war. The Republicans that were gung ho for invading Iraq bitched about Clinton’s excursions in Africa and the Balkans, and it was progressive heroes Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy that launched us into WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, respectively.

      6) Some of the shit in “Support” is so vague as to be useless. War? Really? You sure you’re not referring to a specific one? And 78-87% support God? I mean, good for you, God. Most leaders would kill for those kinds of approval ratings. In fact, most leaders with those ratings probably had to kill to get them.

      7) “Fairness” versus “Social Order”. In principle, both sides support “fairness”, although their impulses about what is fair differ. When a murderer gets a light sentence, conservatives aren’t angry because of “social order”, but because they feel the verdict is unfair to that person’s past (and possibly future) victims. When a poor, minority defendant gets railroaded by racist cops, a politically opportunistic DA, and a timid and apathetic jury, it’s unfairness that angers progressives. One side feels it’s unfair that a person has to suffer deprivation when others have plenty. Another side feels it’s unfair to take from those that have earned their income, to give to people who have done nothing so deserving. And a lot of people get way more nuanced than those extremes of thought would indicate.

      8) Both sides also support social order. Conservative thoughts on social order are obvious enough (hint: it’s the one they grew up with, minus the shitty parts). But progressive thought has a lot to say about the public good, specifically the public health side of progressive thought, such as the CSPI. It’s the side that seeks to control behavior in terms of food intake (no salt, trans fats, bad cholesterol, natural sweetener, artificial sweetener, or anything else that makes food enjoyable), drug intake (they’re anti-booze and anti-cigs, so don’t think for a second they’ll liberalize any other drug), proper amounts of exercise (think of the children!), proper amounts of TV (minimal, mostly educational, thoroughly purged of violence or entertainment value), proper amounts of PC gaming (none), proper forms of music (classical), etc. Despite lip service to democratic ideals, they generally assume that 90% of people are idiots unfit to run even their own lives (let alone a country) and the progressive man’s burden is to correct others’ decisions by legally removing the possibility of bad ones, so that one day his less enlightened countrymen may wake up and deliberately choose the correct lifestyle without compulsion. That they follow an ideology largely committed to cultural relativism only indicates how very much they loathe the very concept of irony. The main difference between nanny-staters and old-school puritans is that instead of quoting Bible verses, they’ll quote statistics and carefully crafted “studies”, and instead of talking about God’s will, it’ll be about society, the public, the nation, the general welfare, the greater good, etc.

  3. Gorgeras says:

    On the matter of Nick Griffin’s QT appearence can I just admit to something? I too find homosexual men kissing in public to be just a little creepy, but this doesn’t mean I’m homophobic: heterosexual men kissing in public creeps me out too. BOOM BOOM!

  4. Quinnbeast says:

    God bless Cassetteboy.

  5. Kenny says:

    Oh god I thought this would be atleast the one newsy site that wouldn’t mention last weeks QT, I haven’t seen something as hammered into the ground since the expenses scandal, and atleast that was something to be infuriated about. (clean your own damn moat)

    • BigJonno says:

      The expenses scandal was completely blown out of all proportion. There is a great video clip of Stephen Fry talking about it and he was right on the money; it’s the least of the problems with British politics at the moment.

    • Thants says:

      Speaking of Stephen Fry, the new Last Chance to See tv-show he did was fantastic. Everyone should watch it.

    • TeeJay says:

      It may be ‘blown out of all proportion’ but it serves to focuses a lot of ‘pissed-off-ness’ onto 645 specific people (give or take a few decent ones). How funny would it be if every single MP was replaced next year?

  6. BigJonno says:

    The retrospective on Bushido Blade made me dig up my old copy and toss it in my PS3. I came to three conclusions:

    1) It’s still a brilliantly playable game.
    2) It’s a bloody travesty that more games don’t have a similar fighting system, especially in the open world RPG line. Yes, Elder Scrolls, Risen, I’m looking at you.
    3) PS1 era 3D games were fugly.

    • Dominic White says:

      So true on all points. That entire era of 3D games were just about tolerable at the time, but have aged very, very badly. Meanwhile, 2d Neo Geo games still look great.

      Oddly enough, hardcore-favourite action RPG Demon’s Souls actually boils down to a remarkably Bushido Blade-ish approach when you get into PvP combat. Fights are sometimes ended by the first hit, and seldom more than 2-3. It’s about maneuvering, blocking and being in the right place at the right time to land that hit.

      Oblivion would have benefited quite nicely from that instead of just whacking away at the other guy until one of you runs out of HP.

    • Fumarole says:

      Bushido Blade was the only fighting game that ever did it for me. It’s a shame so few follow in it in mechanics.

    • Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

      I, too, remember Bushido Blade fondly but was unfortunate enough to have had friends in my youth who weren’t interested, or willing, to play versus against me.

      On another note, I would say that Demon’s Souls (which isn’t quite as hard as reviews say) has combat that’s about as intense and engaging as Bushido Blade because of sheer lethality. Yes, a few strikes in PvP is all it takes to take you down, so you’ve got to dodge, duck, weave, and block. And Heaven help the poor guy whose attack you actually manage to parry.

  7. the wiseass says:

    Wow so many interesting things. My two cents:

    1. IW & decicated servers … ugh … let’s not go there again.
    2. Fahey’s story was touching. Must be courageous to out yourself on a well know blog like Kotaku.
    3. Dodgem Logic looks promising. Seems to be a magazine about everything and nothing… at the same time.
    4. The “MAINSTREAM’D” video was kind of awkward to be honest. Especially considering the release mess they have produced with the PC version. The whole community is in uproar and to be honest I’m starting to doubt if the game is worth buying. Lies, voice chat problems, UI problems, SECUROM troubles, apparently DX9 only. Borderlands is more and more looking like a bad console port. Here’s the topic (lots of random flaming but some arguments are interesting):
    link to forums.2kgames.com
    5. Aldous Huxley the last one in the list? Wow, I’d never have thought that.
    6. Bushido Blade is a fantastic game. I hope red steel 2 is going to pick up some of its legacy.
    Over and out.

    • rei says:

      Huxley wasn’t the last on the list; it goes on after that. Still, very interesting. I can’t wait for the Grishams and what have yous of today to fade into obscurity.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Rei: That’s the thing about the list. It doesn’t actually support that particular argument. Yeah, they could. But maybe they’ll be the new Agatha Cristie – scorned by places like the Guardian and end up becoming foundation of something else.

      Posterity is odd.

      KG

  8. Vinraith says:

    Re: Adventure games, I sadly have to agree. I used to adore them, but I can’t seem to play them anymore. I’ve had no success going back and enjoying the old ones, and the new ones leave me cold and irrate. I really do feel like I’ve lost something, the whole thing makes me sad.

    • Clovis says:

      I’ve never played the original Monkey Island, but most other AGs. I happily downloaded the re-make of it, played for about 30 minutes, and haven’t gone back. I would have loved it in the past, but the old classics really don’t hold up. I refuse to ever play Grim Fandango again. I’m afraid of what I might find out.

    • Sagan says:

      Yeah sometimes I wish all adventure makers would just start to make RPGs instead. They can tell similar stories in that genre, but without all the boring parts.

      That being said: Whenever I play adventures now, I usually play with gamefaqs open on the other monitor. I use it whenever I feel like it, and like that I can still enjoy adventures.

    • sfury says:

      That it’s a timeless calssic? At least that’s what I’ve found the 3 times I’ve replayed it.

      To be fair though – Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle are the only adventures I’ve replayed so far, and I don’t feel a need to re-visit others (except The Longest Journey perhaps).

    • sfury says:

      “classic”, bloody hell

    • Magnus says:

      I would recommend the Quest for Glory series… as they merge adventure(point-and-click) and RPG. Both are rather lightly done, to avoid them being too difficult (although there are a couple of bugs in QFG4…). I’d avoid the 5th one though, utter trash in my opinion, and I prefer to ignore it.

    • Jimbo says:

      Grim and Full Throttle still hold up. Monkey Island is a bit Pythonesque for my taste, and I don’t think the whole PIRATES LOL! theme being milked to death for the last 10 years has helped it much either.

  9. Freudian Trip says:

    As someone who has never been given the opportunity to have expenses let alone fiddle them I can promise the world that I would definitely fiddle them.

  10. MessyPenguin says:

    At The Drive In were amazing if i could have been in any band it would have been them, their performance on Jools Holland is worth a watch.

    • Trithemius says:

      I so agree. “Relationship of Command” is quite awesome to AudioSurf too BTW.

      Uproar East! Strike West!

  11. Lambchops says:

    As was pointed out in that Game Daily piece about the adventure game the main problem with said games (puzzles leading to frustration and not being able to experience the narrative and dialogue) is quite often being dealt with.

    Developers now have much more appreciation than they did back in the good/bad (depending on your perspective) old days and most adventure games come with hint systems (see Telltale’s games and Machinarium) or subtle well placed prompts in the dialogue (see Time Gentlemen Please). Not being able to follow the logic or not picking up that one little item is becoming a lot less of a problem than it used to be.

    Plus go too far the other way an you’ve just got an interactive adventure and while that can be entertaining it takes away some of the satisfaction you get from figuring out a particularly devious puzzle; which is still part of the fun for me. i guess that despite it’s few years in the relative wilderness the adventure game hasn’t lost its lustre for me.

    —-

    In respons to question time:

    link to youtube.com

    Although i have to say that it’s pretty worrying that there are polls suggesting a rise in support for the BNP after the programme. While this wont be enough to see them get seats in a general election it’s still not a particularly flattering trend for the country.

  12. PleasingFungus says:

    The Bushido Blade piece came at an interesting time for me. I’d just been talking/arguing with my brother about why World in Conflict wasn’t really doing anything for me – the last RTS I’d played was Men of War, and compared to that, the simplistic HP system WiC uses for its units seemed completely… plastic. Fake. Tank group A shoots Tank group B, group B shoots back, repeat until something happens… compared to Men of War’s system, where turrets would be damaged and treads wrecked and engines set afire and facing mattered, it seemed pitiable.

    The introductory “stealth” section, in which your squad murders guards with automatic weapons-fire while the men right next to them stare vacantly into space, probably didn’t help. Nor did the performance problems I was having – set things a little too high. But the simplicity of the damage model was the problem I latched on to. So Quinns’ Bushido blade thing was interesting in the way it supported my argument for more complex damage models in games.

    Also, it was excellently written.

    • Gap Gen says:

      WiC is totally an action RTS. It doesn’t care about armour types or penetration statistics – it’s a game where you can click on the land and it blows up. It’s almost an FPS in that respect. I really liked WiC, but mostly from the point of view of the way it built up the campaign (I really should try the MP at some point, though…)

    • MadMatty says:

      So totally with you there… i enjoyed the realistic damage systems, in say, the Close Combat series a lot, tracks failing and turrets getting jammed there too…. sometimes the enemy squads would even surrender ! (they knew i was coming for them!)

  13. Gap Gen says:

    We talked about the Left vs Right graphics elsewhere. Personally, I’m not convinced. If it shows anything, it’s that left and right aren’t concepts that demonstrate any kind of dichotomy – particularly since the death of heavy industry in Britain and the rise of New Labour. After all, I’d argue that a social conservative and a libertarian are both right-wing, but both are entirely different. Perhaps the two-axis social/economic scale is better, but a single axis is doomed to be mostly irrelevant, or at least very specific to a given population.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      Yeah, I don’t see what the appeal of the chart is. It’s maybe high school level complexity. I mean, it looks interesting, sort of. But that’s it.

    • Dave says:

      High school level complexity is exactly what the Republican Party uses to gain votes. AKA W’s infamous “You’re either with us or against us.” They don’t see shades of grey and certain things are sacred and never to be questioned or messed with (the military, their own money, “family values”, and the rights of corporations to screw over everyone because anything else would be “socialist” and thus, unamerican).

      I would love to hear a true conservative explain themselves intelligently, and why they think, for instance, that the current health care system which guarantees huge profits for insurance companies at the expense of every other person in the country is better than OH NOES “SOCIALISM”… but not a one has been able to in my experience. Just “it would be immoral to pass a big tax burden on to our (aka rich peoples’) children” and the like.

    • Kanamit says:

      The info graphic seems to go by George Lakoff’s “strict father” theory, which says that the left and the right are defined by differences in morals rooted in how they approach parenthood. That’s some fairly complex stuff; the info graphic itself isn’t, but it’s an info graphic, what do you expect?

    • Ozzie says:

      I think the graphic shows that it is unhelpful to allocate certain political concepts to just one word, or to directions, more left, more right…
      …and in this regard, I think it’s pretty helpful.

  14. Gap Gen says:

    Oh, and I only just read The Man Who Was Thursday (linking into the Guardian list-making thing), and it’s really, really funny. There’s a kind of nervous energy and insanity to the whole thing, which is only improved by the writing style.

  15. JimmyJames says:

    I loved Bushido Blade. I bought a PS1 pretty much just for it and haven’t owned a console since. I would shell out cash in a heartbeat for a version with updated graphics, good PC controller support and some sort of multiplayer along the lines of SFIV (with perhaps a bit better matchmaking).

    The last few lines of that article really summed up what it’s about – cautious, calculated moves and burst of intense action. Awesome.

  16. BigJonno says:

    My biggest frustration with adventure games isn’t the inability to figure out the solution to a problem, but figuring out a perfectly valid solution that the game won’t allow you to do. It’s briefly touched upon in the article using one of the most obvious examples; how often have you been confronted with a locked door that you had to find the key for, despite having the means to break the lock or kick the door in?
    I wonder how long it will be before we have a completely physics-based adventure game where the you can solve problems with pretty much any method you could use in real life.

    • Lambchops says:

      Yeah that can be annoying. Again this was another thing that the Zombie Cow games had a solution of sorts for as by deciding to come up with individual dialogue responses for every combination of items in the game instead of the generic and utterly irritating cry of “that doesn’t work” they’ve also forced on themselves a sanity check on whether their items can have dual uses. Of course it still means you need to find their particular solution but hearing a joke about why it wont work can serve to not only alleviate the frustration of lack of progress by being funny but also help provide hints on what you actually need to do. which is another reason to sing the praises of their games.
      i reckon a completely physics based adventure could be cool but it would have to be well designed in that it could suffer from the player always being able to take the easy option. I know it’s not an adventure game but for me an example of this was Crayon Physics. i found it became frightfully dull after a while as I just used the same methods more or less to pass every stage. Sure you’ve given me the oppurtunity to do what I want – but why be creative and play the game in imaginative ways when it’s much easier to achieve your goals by doing things the simple but dull way? Sure it might ruin the game for yourself but again; why spend ages being elaborate but risking complete failure when there’s a surefire 20 second solution?
      I realise I’m getting on a tangent here; I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are development challenges associated with introducing a lot of freedom as well as with forcing players to take the approach the developer wants. Both need good design to carry off and can easily lead to frustration or a dull game if not handled well.

    • Clovis says:

      The Penumbra games take a step in this direction. They also take several steps into the standard AG morass and terrible combat. One thing I loved about Penumbra was the searching. No pixel hunts. Instead you opened drawers, and moved objects around. For example, searching through a bookcase by moving books out of the way (a la Half Life 2) to find stuff you need behind them. The games have major problems, but I think they are an example of how AGs can become interesting again.

    • Risingson says:

      But again adventure games are about solving puzzles in the context of the game… the challenge is precisely to open the door without kicking it. That is what differenciates them from action games, for example.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Lambchops, I really like how you think. And write. :)

    • Ozzie says:

      @Risingson: What does “in the context” of the game mean? If you mean that Bernard from DoTT would be too feeble to kick down a door, so he would rather look for the key, then I’d agree. Meanwhile, Ben from Full Throttle didn’t have a problem at all with kicking down doors.
      Don’t forget that it’s third person, people! Your character should comment on what you’re trying to do, though. If he doesn’t, then it’s frustrating. I don’t like to play robots that say the same things over and over again. I like to play a charming robot like the one in Machinarium, though.
      But: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis offered multiple solutions and all of them fitted to the personality of Indy. And first person games don’t have any context excuse at all.

      I enjoy puzzles in my games, but I don’t enjoy articifical and unexplained limitations that are put upon me. Sam & Max S1E5 was also a big offender in this regard. I made up some quite nice solutions in my head, but the game didn’t allow me to try any of them out. It didn’t even comment on them. That frustrated me a lot, so I stopped playing. I don’t like to read the designer’s minds, sorry.

    • Klaus says:

      Heh. I found a lot of the puzzles in Scribblenauts can be solved with a helicopter and a rope. I am occasionally more inventive, but goddamn; the helicopter/rope is just so useful.

  17. Quinnbeast says:

    Blistering indeed.

    Shame it all went a bit wanky with The Mars Volta. Seeing them live was a bit like watching someone knock one out on stage.

  18. DMcCool says:

    Lets not ALL confuse liberialism with conservativism, shall we? That chart only works as a lazy, common-media understanding of modern politics (or any type of politics actually). It basically just lists sterotypes that float around the american left and the american right. The exact same chart is reproduced all over the country in AS Level Politics classes by rooms of 17 year olds being picked on by bored teachers.

    Christian interpretations of Aristotle can be seen as the earliest foundations of liberialism (nothing in common with the american use of the term “liberial”), and it is true that since the 19th century Liberial Philosophy and Politics has been totally absorbed by the conservative right, the most extreme example being Magret “There is no such thing as societity” Thatcher, a less convsersative leader you could not imagine.

    Both sides of the chart mix old liberial ideas with on the left side communist ideals and on the right conservative ones. Until you realise that both the left and the right are in -constant- conflict over having to basardise their loyalties in the name of liberialism you are no better placed to comment on politics than those 17 year olds making a mind map in their very first politics class.

    • DMcCool says:

      Oops! Was meant to be a reply to Dominic White/Gorgeras’ posts.

  19. Geezus says:

    I can smell Alan Moore from here.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    From the Bushido Blade article:
    .

    I wonder how much memory all the combined file sizes of all the panty textures that have ever appeared in a Japanese videogame would take up.

    .
    The combined file sizes? I’m guessing sizeof(long long int). ;)
    .
    Of course, the fact that you need a long long int sorta proves the point, I guess.
    .
    Great article, though. I bought a used copy, and even if I’ve barely had chances to play it, it was definitely worth it. I should hook up my PS2 again …

    • DarkNoghri says:

      long long ints are what, 2 bytes? 4?

      Edit: You probably meant you'd need a long long to measure it. But that's not what you said.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      Yeah, I meant “long long”… it’s been way too long since I did any work in C.

  21. LewieP says:

    You linked the wrong At-the drive in song:
    link to youtube.com

    Listen carefully kids.

  22. Octacon100 says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    Blistering indeed.

    Shame it all went a bit wanky with The Mars Volta. Seeing them live was a bit like watching someone knock one out on stage.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      No wonder rock’s gone to hell these days, musicians aren’t allowed to SING properly (it has to be emo screaming or mixed too low to hear what they’re singin), let alone – shock horror – play solos or something other than 4/4 fucking time sigs.

    • mrrobsa says:

      Hear hear!
      Love At the Drive In, but Mars Volta take the trophy for having more technical songs, concept albums, improv sections and delicious prog imagery. (I am, let it be known, a massive prog rock fan though)
      Oh and more Bushido Blade please.

  23. Po0py says:

    More journo’s like Tim Edwards, please. Game journo’s need to stick their neck out a bit more in this industry. The big hitter devs and publishers have too much sway over the print industry that most people are too afraid to critisize when shit needs to be critisized. Even publishers can and have weilded the ban hammer and have stopped co operating with publications that “go too far”. It’s bullshit, to be frank. We need more honesty. It is frustrating as a a PC gamer to have to constantly fight for things that should be a natural right to Pc gamers and not have the writers of your favourate publications ever go near the subject for fear of retribution. People need to call bullshit more often. Especially us PC gamers.

    • Po0py says:

      In addition. I’d like to direct that last post toward my favourate Pc publication at the moment, RPS. You guys need to take sides more often. Just saying. Your critics, right? I’m not suggesting you are a bunch of flakes. You’ve built a great site here and there is always terrific content on here which is why it has grown so much. But any PC gamer site nowadays is a niche site by default. It needn’t be. Our little hobby is fine, we will always have Pc games but we need to start getting in peoples faces more often. Give this industry more attitude, y’know. Just sayin.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      P0opy: Well, I point at the last half of my Born To Rhun piece, but yeah – not entirely sure I disagree with you.

      KG

  24. Matzerath says:

    Speaking of Bushido Blade, after playing a lot of the Mount & blade multiplayer beta, it occurred to me that it would be a near perfect engine for a Bushido Blade mod. Dear god I hope someone makes it!!!

    • Weylund says:

      Onin No Ran is a good one for SP Mount and Blade, if there’s a new version around. Heavy weapons, calculated combat, death in one blow. It has a very detailed damage model that was developed for it and has since been ported around to the major mods (though I dunno if vanilla has it).

      Of course, you can also just ride around on a horse and whack people as always, but when played properly it’s a tactical funhouse.

  25. Breaker Morant's Ghost says:

    The left/right chart is mising a crucial element: “10s of millions of innocent citizens killed”. It would be something like 100 million plus for the caring left and something tiny for the right.

    • Gap Gen says:

      If you’re referring to the USSR, it kinda highlights my point that left-right isn’t enough. Broadly, the US represented liberalism over the USSR’s authoritarianism and conservatism. After all, only one of those countries banned rock music. (Less broadly, 50s America was quite conservative, with open racism).

      Also, it depends where you are. Salvador Allende was a democratically-elected communist who was overthrown in a West-backed coup by a right-wing Pinochet, who tortured and killed his political opponents. Neither side was particularly clean in the Cold War – but like I said, the old cold war left-right dichotomy is dead, anyway.

    • Jochen Scheisse says:

      As was said, that chart depicts US left-right divisions, and nothing more.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “The left/right chart is mising a crucial element: “10s of millions of innocent citizens killed”. It would be something like 100 million plus for the caring left and something tiny for the right.”

      This statement right here? You foreigners should pay attention.

      This statement is what American politics are like.

    • Jochen Scheisse says:

      Psychopomp: Don’t blame me, I voted Kodos!

    • jalf says:

      Waitwhat? What is left-wing about brutal dictatorships? Here’s some news for you, saying “I declare this country to be a communist state” does not magically make it left-wing. The actual policies have to follow suit. And “screw the people, I/we am/are in charge here, and let’s kill any who disagree” is not really compatible with any left-wing ideology I know of.

      Perhaps you could enlighten us with some *actual* communist country which has killed those hundreds of millions? Not just a corrupt dictatorship run by someone who wanted the “communist” label because it sounded better than “dictator”.

    • Dominic White says:

      “This statement is what American politics are like.”

      Oh so painfully true. I’ve been unfortunate enough to spend quite some time in America, and it really is the average level of political discourse there. “The namby-pamby liberals are the REAL racists and warmongers and tyrants.. now SUPPORT THE TROOPS OR GET OUT, OORAH!”

    • James G says:

      While the need to ‘take sides’ is going to be almost inevitable in party based political systems, I’m always a bit confused at to how far some people try and stretch it. People try and play hot potato with particularly unpopular political groups, such as the BNP or various dictatorships, lumping them in with the opposing side. In some cases this is a genuine attempt at disowning a group you find objectionable, which can seem quite heartening, but more regularly it just seems to be an attempt to smear your rivals, as though an agreement over some element of taxation also indicates that given half the chance you’d also be committing genocide.

    • Breaker Morant's Ghost says:

      Ha, you guys are hysterical. A True Scotsman would never murder tens of millions eh?

      Not American by the way. Enjoy living in your non-communist paradises guys, I know I do.

    • Lambchops says:

      Well . . . a true Scotsman does keep his murdering knife in his sock!

      He also let’s it all hang loose but that’s neither here nor there.

  26. bhlaab says:

    Daylight savings is next weekend you jerks

  27. nabeel says:

    I like the two spinoff bands that were created when ATDI split up, Mars Volta and Sparta.

  28. Dan Lawrence says:

    Who’d have thunk it, a seeming BNP supporter on RPS?

  29. Lars Westergren says:

    “To be honest, I’m in a similar boat. Even classics like Grim Fandango bore me rigid now. I would rather do pretty much anything than play with your ludicrous logic and shitty control systems.”

    Hm. To each his own I guess. I replayed GF for the first time ever recently. I was stunned at how good it still is. The music, the artwork, the voice acting… The puzzles I found pleasantly challenging but not impossible, I have few objections to the control system (apart from a few spots at the island at the edge of the world) and the end almost had me in tears. Again.

  30. robrob says:

    Deloused was a good album.

  31. MadMatty says:

    I´d give Machinarium 95% – if it were an animated movie! .

    The sheer frustration and obscureness of some the latter puzzles ruined it for me, as it gameplay wise, falls into both of the old pitfalls, namely: clicking around screen randomly for objects & not being able to see a completely illogical sollution to the puzzles.
    Using the ingame Walkthrough is convenient, bit slower than finding a walkthrough on the net, coz of the minigame, but still okay-ish…. if it werent for the fact that you might as well see it as an animated movie, as completing it with a walkthrough.
    I did have some fun with the more logical of the puzzles, but a lot of them, im sad to say, falls into the crappy category.
    I prefer ARCADE adventures, if you can remember that name for it (dont think its being used widely anymore), like “Another World” and “Beyong Good and Evil” – ditching puzzles for stints of reaction time based gameplay.
    Machinarium´s artwork does however, invoke the Awe – shame i wont see the last of it :/

    • ZeeKat says:

      Crappy puzzle designs in Machinarium are weird – I haven’t such problems with being stuck with any of the Samorost games, yet some oddly illogical solutions or hopelessly grindy parts like that connect 5 minigame made me seriously frustrated with Machinarium. I guess it’s made on purpose, to hold the player’s progress a bit and make the game seem longer (you’re paying for it quite a lot after all), but it sucks none the less.

      Thanks to Penumbra games and few others (usually found here) I’m started to like adventure games, shame that such beautifully crafted specimen looks like a bit of a letdown so far (didn’t finish it yet – hope later parts are bit better).

  32. Greg Wild says:

    At the Drive-in were indeed quite the band. As good as the Mars Volta are, they’ve not quite got that something that ATDI have…

    Even if it is just a lot of angsty shouting.

  33. Wilson says:

    Whenever I play old adventure games I always end up using a walkthrough, because it is more about the story and characters than the puzzles (for me at least). It’s a little irritating sometimes when the instructions on the guide aren’t clear, but generally it isn’t a problem.

    I would suggest you turn to a guide way before trying everything on everything three times. Often when I have to turn to the guide, I’ve either missed an item which would have made the puzzle clear, or I’m trying to do something almost correct but not quite.

    Not that this doesn’t mean makers of adventure games nowadays should put more effort into solving these problems, just that you can enjoy older adventures if you are willing to use a guide early, and use it often. So long as you don’t play mainly for the puzzles of course.

  34. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    What I don’t get is, looking at the petition, why people seem to have such problem leaving their full name. That’s hardly a valid petition signature, then. What are they afraid of?

  35. Bhazor says:

    From that Prosperity author thing.
    “Well, Galsworthy is still in print, and I’ve recommended the Forsyte Saga to my daughter as a good way of whiling away long cosy hours of breast-feeding.”
    Wow! Talk about pushy parenting, at least wait till the sodhats weened before inflicting Forsyte on her.

  36. ivsnd says:

    Fuck yeah, At The Drive-In.

  37. Casimir's Blake says:

    The Mars Volta > At The Drive In’s screaming emo wankery.

  38. Mungrul says:

    Fahey’s piece was brilliant, and some of the comments equally as touching.
    They ring true with me as well, although I’ve never lost a job over gaming. Well, not yet anyway.

  39. Oak says:

    Oh so painfully true. I’ve been unfortunate enough to spend quite some time in America, and it really is the average level of political discourse there. “The namby-pamby liberals are the REAL racists and warmongers and tyrants.. now SUPPORT THE TROOPS OR GET OUT, OORAH!”

    Haha! That is, like, so us.

  40. Kris says:

    Blocked at work from looking at the political graph, but it reminds me of a political compass test that went left to right (literally and figuratively), but also vertically from libertarian to authoritarianism which gave 4 broad areas for people to fall in.
    They also provide famous people as reference points – I was slap bang next to Gandhi. These things are nice ideas, but these things always seem to be flawed as it seems very difficult for the creators bias to be filtered out. For example Mandela (as is often the case) was shown as a lefty libertarian, but reading Naomi Klein suggests that his actions post election totally contradict such a position and the ANC’s Freedom Charter (with a dollop of blackmail from members of the international community).

    • dhex says:

      that linked chart is, probably unintentionally, a very good example of how useless the “left-right” split is as a metaphor for explaining political allegiances in the u.s.

      a better metaphor, which may not roll in the uk, is “sports bar diplomacy” – i.e. it’s the team/party affiliation that’s important, and the cheering and jeering that goes with it. when you’re stuck with only two teams it gets really ugly. (i sometimes envy parliamentary democracy, if only for the lasting entertainment value it provides to outsiders.)

      the political compass is a little better, at least as far as giving more options for general categorization. in the mandela case, for example, he’s to the left on economic issues (the left-right axis) but far less centralized/authoritarian on social issues (the up-down axis).

      not perfect by any stretch but it’s far better than any two-dimensional charting can do.

  41. Lucas says:

    Like others here, I don’t play real adventure games anymore. However, it was always the case that Full Throttle was the right one to replay, as I did many many times. I should also note that the demo had a different trailer-worthy voiceover speech at the end, which did not appear as such in the final game.

  42. Atlanta Roof Company says:

    It’s only the extremes in political discourse that get the media coverage. Anything considered moderate or centrist is just ignored. Yeah, I guess that is America.

  43. mandrill says:

    Bushido Blade, me wants. It is not a fighting game, but a fight simulator.

  44. Po0py says:

    Aye, I noticed that. You pretty much let rip on them and rightly so. But given that Tim Edwards works for a magazine it is actually a kinda riskier move on his part as he could end up on the wrong end of IW’s wrath if he goes too far. I suspect sites like RPS could get away with a whole lot more given that you guys are freelancers. They can’t exactly punish another site like Eurogamer just because you guys write for them from time to time.

    Someone needs to write a big expose on all the bullshit that is piling up around PC games this last five or six years or so. From DRM to GFWL to crappy footy games with outdated engines, to lame excuses for not ponying up and making a decent pc version of a console game, desipite having done it before (Gears of War 2, Brutal Legend) and PC games constantly getting delayed. All of these problems have one thing in common: Lame damage control PR statements. “Piracy!” “DX11 compatibility will make your game so much better so wait just a few months longer!” And so forth. I like the PC for its indie scene but I also want to play the AAA’s and I shouldn’t have to wade through so much crap just to do it.

    If I had an audience as big as RPS I’d have myself a good old fashioned rant about bullshittery and PC gaming.

  45. Jimbo says:

    “I can’t help feeling a little confused as I watch the footage of anti-fascist protesters campaigning against free speech.”

    My thoughts exactly. Mr. Walker nailed that Question Time piece.

    Hopefully these protestors will go and read about Hitler’s rise to power and realise the irony in what they’re doing. They’re about one step away from claiming the BNP burned down the Reichstag.

    We will never end up with a dictatorship as a result of some pantomime villain going on Question Time. The population allowing – and even encouraging – the establishment to start silencing certain political parties is far more dangerous. If you let them think it’s OK to strong-arm the BBC into silencing the (elected) BNP, where does it go from there?

  46. Railick says:

    I think you'll find that very few people actually fall into left or right. Most of the people I know and I would guess most people every where are smart enough to pick and choose what they believe. I support X but not Y so I choose the person who shares most of my views but also vote for the person who I believe will do the best job. I don't just vote party line and I don't just believe party line ect. Just because I'm mainly conservative doesn't mean I believe or agree with everything on that chart that falls under right )Or disagree with everything that falls under left( I want to raise my kids to be self reliant and also self loving , you can nuture your childre and give them hard love at the same time depending on the issue at hand for example :)

    The sad thing is it is mostly these people that claim they're full right or full left that end up on TV acting the fool. Republicans and Demo's alike saying one then then doing the other. It is most funny for me when a Republican that goes nuts about family values get's caught cheating on their wife, then a Democrate comes out and bashs them and it turns out they're doing something hypcritical too (say I dunno talking about how much capitalism sucks and then making a ton of money under that same system)

    I think most people in most countries fall some place in the middle and are getting more and more tired of the parade that politics has become. what do you guys think?

  47. Klaus says:

    Someone on the chart site said; But this paints all the ‘left’ points in a positive light, and most of the ‘right’ points in a negative light.
    Why do people think this way?! Neither side looks all the great. What the die-hard, extremists don’t realize is that they are able to pick and choose which ideas they subscribe to and which ones don’t fit for them, as an individual and still keep their affiliation. Instead they claim that trait _____ is really one of theirs and their dreaded arch-nemesis actually stifle it.

  48. ACardboardRobot says:

    Yeah, At The Drive-In are awesome.