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17-04-2013, 10:49 AM #14241
Tidalis: Someone made a comment on the front page about how Arcen really sucks at art assets, and man, they weren't kidding. Wading through the CD key screen and first few menus to shut off that music was tantamount to waiting for Hulu's commercials. I wanted to rip my eardrums out.
As for the actual game, I made it as far as the first "falling blocks" tutorial before realizing that my brain can't quite wrap around the combos. The control system seems inadequate for the quickness of the game, but I can't for the life of me think of another way they could have done it. I may come back for the "brain teasers" but Tidalis lacks the simplicity (not to mention the music!) that makes Lumines and Tetris so great.
Darwinia: The complete opposite situation! It's pretty and the music is inoffensive, but Christ, what awful implementation. An RTS that's 100% focused on micromanagement? Does the AI and pathfinding ever reach a level beyond "absolute dogshit"? Can I ever queue orders? Do I ever get to select more than one unit at a time? Do my soldiers ever reach a point where they throw grenades and shoot the enemy that's ripping them apart without my direct orders? I barely made it through the first mission. No thanks. I don't think that the overall idea for the game is awful, but the way it was executed is horrendous.
17-04-2013, 11:33 AM #14242I am once again writing a blog, vaguely about playing games the wrong way
17-04-2013, 12:15 PM #14243
Finished the Darkness II. I would like to play more games like it.
The shooting is as silly as you would expect from a game where you a mob boss fused with a snake demon. But games in which you shoot people are basically silly anyway. Unless you ďonlyĒ kill a few people throughout a game or are presented with a situation in which it makes sense to kill lots of people, such as in a war/isolated shootout and basically nothing else, then repeatedly killing people in games is silly. It doesnít make you stupid for playing them necessarily, but it is a very silly conceit. So having snakes attached to my body rip peopleís spines out or shoot bees at them while Iím shooting five hundred guys makes as much sense as just killing 500 people singlehandedly as far as Iím concerned. Maybe more, even. Ditto with the convenient ammo drops and other power ups. And it makes it more fun. So Iím all for that.
Two elements really lift the game to another level though. The first is that itís primarily a love story, very simply told but effective on account of its simplicity, and the object of the protagonists affections being likeable, believable and recognisably human. Even though the object of the game is basically to save her she isnít a damsel in distress object to be won, but a person the character clearly cares about to the point of self-sacrifice. Itís odd that in computer games, where you can essentially do whatever fantastical thing you want without consequence, that love is presented in such a formulaic win girl and live happily ever after, the safe, easily communicated and inclusive option, as opposed to totally denying self for sake of girlís happiness, the painful, compromising option which is far truer to most peopleís experience of what they suffer for a loved one. Itís not a story of someone powerfully sweeping aside all obstacles in an irresistible quest for their beloved, but that of someone sacrificing everything they own, bodily and soul, for them. Itís not earth shattering, but a welcome tonal shift nonetheless.
The second is the exploration of institutionalisation and mental delusion. It would spoil things to go into too much detail here but suffice to say that itís use offers a far better reconciliation between the silliness of mass carnage and the plausibility of recognisable elements such as love and powerlessness than pretty much any other FPS Iíve played manages to. The Andrew Ryan reveal, as dramatically impressive and well done as it is, looks logically frail in comparison.
Thereís enough in the latter two elements, in terms of the pacing and tightness in the writing, to suggest that without being shackled to a murder simulator it could have been something narratively very strong and different. As well as it explains the meshing of the two It is nonetheless brought down by the need to straddle ď conventional drama with a comic book twistĒ and Ďshoot everythingí. For example, Itís hard to get away from the idea that the Mafia elements are there to justify the mass carnage, and said context is easily the weakest point of the game. Every single member of the family is a cartoon with basically no redeeming feature. They exist, both mechanically and narratively, as murderous comic relief and to kill a lot. Thereís a bit where you have to choose which one of your two loyal knuckle heads gets killed, and I have never been as emotionally removed from a game choice option in my life. Whoever. Neither. Both. Donít.give.a.fuck. And Itís an absolute mystery as to why someone as well rounded and pleasant as Jenny, the protagonists love interest, is so infatuated with the sociopathic prick.
On the whole though itís a short but very sweet experience that manages to present murderous fun and nuanced, expertly controlled fiction without really compromising either. I would much rather have played a fuller game of the latter, but the two meshed together as The Darkness II managed was nonetheless a great videogame experience. Iím not sure if itís a better one than similar FPSís which try and offer convincing narrative and silly mechanics, but as a package it manages to offer cake and eat it in a far more convincing manner. It understands itís split personality and makes that the game, as opposed to the Bioshock series which goes to extraordinary and seam bursting lengths to suggest that it is not a compromise at all.
Itís beautifully presented in the Cell Shaded Borderlands-esque form which I wish more games would use as it seems to offer a great compromise between ďgood graphicsĒ, performance and the integrity of original artistic design and concept. The voice acting comfortably surpasses that of 98% of other videogames, to the point of being unrecognisable as such. Hear in in the background and youíd think it was a well acted TV show. The Writing is excellent, not in terms of what it explores necessarily, but in terms of pacing, dialogue and delivery it stands on itís own in creating something interesting and pleasurable to encounter, as opposed to most games in which writing serves as exposition to permit videogame shit happening.
So yeah. An ostensibly squirming, messy concept which feels fresh, slick, narratively and mechanically rewarding and appropriately clever. You should give it a go if that sounds like your thing.
17-04-2013, 12:52 PM #14244
The rest are bastards, but you feel like Batman when you manage to complete them.
Also I enjoy the thought of the thugs trying to come up with an explanation for why is batman jumping from a gargoyle again and again and again..
17-04-2013, 01:01 PM #14245
Thinking about getting Age of Empires II HD edition. It was some form of voodoo magic to mine young eyes when if first came out. There appears to be a Steam achievement available for every conceivable action as well so that's nice. You killed a man. One of your men was killed. You played as the Vikings three times. You built a stable. That sort of thing.
17-04-2013, 01:07 PM #14246
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
- Austin, TX
I was doing pretty well on Hard but then the designers decided to break the cardinal sin of FPS at the last minute: endlessly respawning enemies. Couple this with confusion about what I was meant to be doing, and I'd just about had enough of the shooty shooty elements by the end of the game.
Now about to have my first crack at Freespace 2.
17-04-2013, 01:10 PM #14247
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
17-04-2013, 01:27 PM #14248
The more I play Kingdoms of Amalur, the more it feels like one of those nightmare scenes where the dreamer tries to reach a door at the end of a corridor, but the corridor just gets longer anger. In KoA that corridor is filled with people with questions mark above their head and you have this OCD where you must do everything anyone asks you to, even if it's a boring fetch/kill someone request to the point, where the main story is completely lost inside all those side quests and bits of lore. In games like Skyrim and New Vegas it worked, because the role playing was great and fun, but in KoA there isn't much of it (It's basically an action game ).
So I decided to leave it for a while (I still want to see more of the world and story) and started Driftmoon.
It's seems like a nice little RPG with ugly graphics, but good writing and character. It's also rumored to be quite short for an RPG and after KoA it's a big plus.
17-04-2013, 02:01 PM #14249
Your plan was my plan, it did not end well, you might be better off just restarting.
Thanks to another thread on these forums, I started playing King of Dragon Passlast night. It's a sort of 4X/Choose your own adventure hybrid, where you have to lead a barbarian tribe from one amongst many to be their ruler, through fighting, through honouring the gods (and reliving ancient legends in quests - which requires you to actually read and memorize portions of the legends) and through making decisions in the events that come your way.
These events can range from settling minor adultery disputes to dealing with dragons, all the while balancing a set of priorities -
Do you keep your soldiers happy? your farmers? do you recruit this strong warrior despite the fact they may have been outlawed by another clan? You get numerous advisors on each subject, although some of them are pursuing their own agenda (Tricksters are the best, you can never be sure if they're trying to help the clan or just fuck with you).
When I started playing the game I was on a mumble server still with a friend from playing another game and he was mightily confused by my exclamations of "I'm being invaded by trolls, but little do they know I have the Bagpipes of Ronkaid!"
17-04-2013, 02:20 PM #14250
Enjoy the jumping spiders! If you ever get that far.
17-04-2013, 02:29 PM #14251
And quests have quest marks on the maps, so I just need to go to those marks and kill whatever is waiting for me there, go back and get reward...
I think that next time I'll pick it up, I'll just skip side quest and steamroll main and guilds quests, just to see the sights and play the story.
17-04-2013, 02:38 PM #14252
17-04-2013, 02:58 PM #14253
17-04-2013, 03:48 PM #14254
Thanks to Helio for advising Batman: (better then) Assasin's Creed as its turning out to be a bucket of fun. The combat is simple and silly easy in places, but still feels beefy and amusing to pull off. Not sure why I put off playing this for the longest time.
Also its nice its making my graphics card scream in pain: http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/...41258D11BF539/
(just wish steam screenshots were not so compressed)
17-04-2013, 03:58 PM #14255
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
B to target the nearest missile/bomb fired at your command/escort ships. Keeping command ships alive pays of in spades and bombers typically have long reload times for the bigger weapons so taking down a wave of missiles and then taking the bomber is very doable.
Once you have access to the Prometheus-R laser cannon, use it exclusively. It utterly ruins fighters and works well against smaller capital ships. Its shield removal could be a little more efficient but it just shreds hulls. The Kayser is more powerful but plays havoc with energy management. The later missions often require efficient management of shields and engines. The Kayser simply doesn't allow this; if you can find a balance then go for it as the Kayser is practically a disintegration machine against both shields and hulls.
E for ships you're escorting. If you aren't escorting anything, it automatically targets your command ships.
Stay the fuck away from capital ships duking it out. You WILL get bombarded with a shit load of flak and anti-fighter lasers. While flak is easier to deal with (just fly away fast) lasers physically assault your ship as well and literally throw you around. Its annoying as hell.
Get used to the arrow keys to manage your shield quadrants. Sometimes, taking a hit is a better idea than evasion; especially during bombing and strafing runs.
S for subsystems on enemy ships. Pointless on fighters but necessary against the big mofo ships. Most missions which require precision removal of subsystems will let you know so don't worry. Engines and weapons are the usual priority. K to target specific weapons on the hull - laser cannons, flak cannons, turrets, missile bays, etc.
Ideal combat zones are either a healthy distance from capital ships - generally, stay out of anti-fighter laser range - or go right to the eye of the storm. The one place flak and lasers can't get you is if you hug the hull. Turrets and missiles still can but they're infinitely easier to deal with. Enemy fighters will prioritise you if you do this btw.
Abuse your wingmen. Their AI when commanded is excellent. They're generally decent at taking care of themselves but are incredibly effective when ordered. Memorise those keyboard shortcuts.
The Shivan fighter designated Dragon is a motherfucker of a fighter. Be careful if they're part of an enemy wave. The little things aren't all that strong but evade like all hell and can out manoeuvre you like nobody's business.
Last edited by khaz; 18-04-2013 at 07:56 AM.
17-04-2013, 05:42 PM #14256
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
Quick question, can someone please tell me how to mute players in Dota 2? Was in a game with a foul-mouthed Spanish speaker that absolutely ruined the game for me. I probably won't pick it up again unless I can mute players like that.
17-04-2013, 06:29 PM #14257
There's a little loudspeaker button on the scoreboard for each player.
17-04-2013, 07:03 PM #14258
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
- Austin, TX
17-04-2013, 08:06 PM #14259
17-04-2013, 08:08 PM #14260