Friday, December 10, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Duke & Pilgrim : Overhyped pieces of sh**

OK, Duke Nukem Forever.
Somehow, it has to be funny. There's the "Duke humour".
No. Feels like staring at the botoxed face of Stallone without being able to feel any sympathy for his refusal to let it go (the pseudo youth). Passé. Bye bye.
I've never seen such an appalling pandering. Such a cheap exploitation of nostalgia (aside from the pre-order scandal of the Deus Ex cameo in the new reboot).
Oh LOOOOOL ROFL, he can draw dicks on white boards. He can pee. Twin blowjob! That's fucking hilarious. More! MORE!!
In a way, I think what was funny about Duke Nukem was the fact that the engine, like all engines of that day, was limited to displaying fist sized texels. You would let it pass. The imagination played a lot. A damn lot, more than you think.
But now, the super duper realism... kills a part of that. And Postal did better btw.
You know what? I don't care about Duke. I never waited even one year for that game, because I moved on, and played other fun games. But the most pathetic part of the Amsterdam show wasn't even the game itself, but the PR guy trying too hard to be cool, and the dumb sheeple. I wish them great joy. *Yawn*

And then there's that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World flick, craving to the geekest and lowliest layers of the society. A silly plot which perhaps was good enough on paper, its original medium, full of cultural jokes ripped off of forums, and a flood of special effects and boring battles, nothing new to geeks actually.
It just tries too hard. Hot Fuzz, that was sufficiently funny. Of course the result would have been wholly different with someone else than Simon Pegg as the main star. I'm an old Big Train fan, and the man is simply outrageously talented.
But Pilgrim, huhwah. Oh no. No. Just no. Cera... is there a human soul inside that flesh bag? Something you could feel empathy for, you know, relate to, despite the difference of age. I was looking for a real character. Not a real human, a real character, something as simple as a perfect chemistry of traits and emotions which really build up a sum of excellency, to which the audience can stick with through the full length of that movie without sensing the tickling annoyance of the writers' deep lack of inspiration.
Nah. Nothing. Truth said, the foes are much more interesting. Even the Chinese chick. In a way, I'd have preferred to have the story told through her eyes, if only for the whole "a geek's girlfriend" perspective.
And it's just not a thing of "culture", because I grew with that as well. It's just dumb beyond words.

Hey, let's not end on this sour note!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quake Wars Online : About Time!

Time to take a look at that game called Quake Wars Online.
Yep, you heard it.
Someone overseas thought it was a good idea to revive that game.
Revive... it's been out for three years only and already dead in 2009. Activision closed servers and forums. People were divided about that game. It had flaws, it was a bastard child of Battlefield and RTCW... and it was slow.
How can a Quake game be slow??
Well, don't ask. What you need to know is that some crazy Koreans have decided not to pay attention and give the game a second chance.

They have updated some aspects of it. Those QW vets will easily spot the differences. Well now that's just a made up trailer. The real game is pretty much identical visually speaking, as far as models go. The HUDs and menus have been tweaked at tad. But true gameplay videos allow you to "sense" that some things have been altered. Namely the weapon mechanics.
Weapons seem far more potent, fast and perhaps a tad more accurate, which is all good because I could understand why this would put Wolf players off. Rules are altered in the Objective mode (objectives get auto-completed after a while, but then the team supposed to achieve said objective gets no point, if I get it right). There's a special fatal last minute, where all players just get one life. That's quite nice.
I'm not sure if QW's true potential has been unleashed, but it seems they moved closer to this transcendental point.
And it's free.

Now it's not all good news. It's not all perfect. OK, stuff happens.Yeah yeah yeah, I know, it's all in Korean and only available in Korea thus far.

But... it doesn't matter, because Dragonfly seems to have gotten it right. It's a successful company, and the Korean players are rather reliable when it comes to obsessive high quality PC gaming (yes, that does exist, Mr. transconsole).

Let's salivate a bit more. Maps were released in packs of three or four, or something along those lines. Probably three if they were released as part of campaigns, since each campaign was about that many maps.
Careful. They have changed them, and sometimes it shows a lot. Volcano has been altered in several ways... and I think it's for good, because that map was truly ill designed from get go.

Now, with this injection of Stroyent achieved, we can speculate a bit.
Players have been asking for new official maps on and on and on and... yet nothing came.
Worse. I recently read, possibly at Gamasutra but I can't put my hands on the news, that Splash Damage had ditched no less than a dozen maps because they were not deemed good enough.
I guess throwing them to the fans and letting them improve those "broken" maps was just too much to ask?

Well, maybe we won't have to ask. Maybe. If the game's successful enough in its new online version, perhaps the Korean gamers will begin to ask for new maps as well... and it seems that at least someone listens to them, at least.

That said, those used to ETQWpro may not care much, but I don't think it would be wise to snob this. First, the game is simply not popular enough, for a good number of reasons. Secondly, what made RCTW:ET successful at large was that it was free. It gave Splash Damage a fan base ... which they spoiled :(

Notice that this time, they decided to take the players by the hand (and by something else), just to be sure that noobs wouldn't spoil games by whining about how they don't get the map's point, that it sucks, etc.:

You can see examples of games here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quake Legacy - Stroggin' around

Shivers... :)
That was Sonic Mayhem's Quad Machine track. That's also the heavy stuff I like to listen to when I play Quake Wars, Winamp running in the background, running a medley of Quake II 's and Quake II: Ground Zero's OSTs.

EDIT: let's just have another one, shall we? It's called Descent into Cerberon.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Browser wars

As an addition to my points presented in my former post titled Chrome sucks - it is not superior to Firefox, see the quick "evolution" of Chrome, and how successful it is.

See the rise of Chrome's versions? I'm surprised they still bother with the .0 ...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Chrome sucks - it is not superior to Firefox

Suspiciously surprised.
That's the descriptive I'd choose if I had to tell how I felt when a friend of my father asked me, right in the middle of a completely unrelated discussion, if I tried Google's web browser Chrome, as it was faster.
The guy's nice, but he's not a geek, nor a techie of any kind. He probably understood the principle of USB ports like two years ago.

So logically, I told him to stick with Firefox for the moment because it was well rounded, and since I didn't know Chrome, I told him that it was relatively fresh, he should wait a bit before moving. In my mind, it was absolutely obvious that he had no clue what he was talking about. Zero. Zip. Nada. The fact that he asked me if Internet Explorer was worth it probably was the final nail in the coffin. Who the fuck uses IE aside from people who don't know how to install any extra software and haven't even asked themselves if there were alternatives to IE?

Still, this bugged me so I decided to go look for comparisons and see what was true.
What became clear is that the word did spread: Chrome is indeed faster. Or is it?
Well, I had to know it myself, so I downloaded and installed it, and made tests.
They say it's super fast. Oh, yes, at launch, it's indeed faster, but I don't really care about the launching, because that's going on once, and I keep my browser open for hours after that.

What matters is how fast tab loading is, once the app is running.

Now, my PC is a +2 GHz dual core with 4 Gb of RAM.
The current Windows install is really a brutish fabric of mine, nothing conventional, but it works fine. As for Firefox, its main core has been completely buried by too many extensions for caring to count.

So I opened Chrome, and kept Firefox running as well, I went on with opening a battery of websites, some of which I knew where rather long to load, others which were snappy-fast.

Result? No effin' difference. My Firefox is a failed attempt at a pieced up hot rod and yet, it loads just as fast as vanilla Chrome. They're just equal. There is no difference at all. So why bother?

And most importantly, what's going on with the massive applause of Chrome?

For example, one of the articles I read was this one, from PC mag's Lance Ulanoff.
It's from 02.02.2010, so it's a bit old, but it's still from this year.
Now what did he say?

When Google launched Chrome in 2008, it was almost laughably under-powered, but it was wicked fast. It let you search right inside the address bar (a feature I love to this day) and loaded pretty much every page (almost always with an odd HTML translation error or two). Wonkiness aside, it just worked. We were all impressed with Google's first effort. Chrome beta was followed in a remarkably short time by a full-blown first version. Now, less than 2 years later, we're testing Google Chrome 4.0. Firefox is still beta testing version 3.6!

No kidding. Did he really make a comparison between release numbers?
What kind of professional is that?

After a half dozen tabs, both made my system feel like it was swimming through molasses.

That, I call bullshit.
I have the old and bad habit of opening like 50 tabs on the average, and that's been going on for years, with plenty of videos running, paused and so on and so forth. Firefox has seldom crashed. And it has certainly not turned into that snail thing he appears to have come across.
I mean, 6 tabs and his PC's core clock runs through syrup?
This guy is a joke!
Perhaps he should stop trying to run Firefox on a Kitchen Honeywell.

He probably forgot that billion dollars heavy Google is running for a monopoly on web browsers here.
You know what companies with billions can do? They can buy good reviews and positive buzz. They can hire legions of gushing anonymous commentators. They can get a good many crucial shrills. And that's just what it looks like.

And this wouldn't be perfect without citing someone who actually seemed to know a thing or two about Google's business guidelines:

mpantani1 February 3, 2010 1:23 PM
Another article about Chrome without a single reference to its essential purpose: private data collection and sale. The price of the product is the value of my personal information. For me that is too expensive, but others sell themselves for less. Lance, maybe you are not concerned but many of your readers are. Aren't you doing a disservice by not telling the whole story?

Think about it. Your private life has a goddamn value, and you're selling it off for less than pennies (this includes the Facebooks and the likes by the way).
The search engines are already devouring your "private" life. The moment you send a query, you're filed in a way or another. Anything you type is tied to a given slot in statistics, with tabs and line numbers.
Against that, you can use the Scroogle Scraper (in theory, it prevents tracking, which is a good thing); and learn more creepy stuff on the home page of Google Watch.
While everything should be done to protect privacy and even prevent the exploitation of non-anonymous data for the sole purpose of making money, we had Google's CEO telling us something like that last year:

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Well, isn't it nice? It's fashionable. It's quite chilling in many ways. Shall we say Orwellian? Right, there's context, and these words are picked apart. But you have the video link, and you'll see that the context is nothing more than mere sugary coating. You don't need to stop there.
In this video, same Schmidt tells you that the IP of your house is stored along whatever goes in and out from that IP. Same goes for a company. CEO guy focuses on the company, picks an example with Washington Post and its countless employees, and that's supposedly proving that it's not hurting privacy, that it is impossible to really sniff anything of private importance in a way that matters. Sure, after all, it's a company, and you don't browse at the office the same way you do at home. Some don't browse at all. Besides, there's lots of people fused at the bottleneck that is the company's firewalled super-router. One IP for all!
But in the house, at home, that's quite different. It's your family, or only you. It is, above all, purely about your private life. Yet he quickly dismisses this little nagging difference. Oh and the data is kept for 18 months.
That's... err... long, no?

Not done? What about Recorded Future? What would you do if you learned that Google and the CIA thought they should monitor Internet cooperatively (and here's another Wired article)?
Perhaps it would be time to reconsider the importance of privacy once for all. It was recently "discovered" that tracking the verbose on Internet and the way people felt and reacted on the Twitters and else would, in the vast majority of times, prove a decisive indicator of what would happen on the stock market in the next three or four days.
Well, it's not a surprise to me because it's damn obvious that it's all about speculation, and thus bits of info and lots of emotion.

Now, it goes without saying that an organ that collects such data is literally being able to probe the future, to the point of being able to influence the course of action resulting from such privy meta-observations, and that means lots of money. Is it legal? I can't tell. Most likely yes. Anything's legal now as long as it prints toilet money. Is it even fair regarding business and trading rules? I'd almost say hardly.
Not to say that billions of fools would pay for such words right the Oracles's mouths and chicken guts, without realizing the paradox at hand. Irony of all, only the Oracles would know what to do during the next turn, as they would be able to predict the evolution of the market according to those specific massive sales of data and predictions, supposedly used by their clients in order to make the right buy/sell choices for the next few days.
I think they should have called the company Returning Future.

Ah... world of madness. So, where were we?
Well, here comes another problem.
That a big business house follows the law is normal. It's logic. It's expected.
That one big company goes beyond that and decides to mine data alongside the CIA... now that's a new shade of red in the sky.

So you want to help Google beyond the immense advantage they already have with their search engine, by using their web browser now?

It's not just about the tech side of it. It's also about how you live as a human.

But who am I kidding? Google already owns 85% of the Mozilla Foundation, which allows Google to maintain some special deals with MF. And AOL poured more than two millions into it as well.

PS: I posted the browser stats for my own blog here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I saw a Switchblade II coin-up at Flynn's arcade

I finished watching the new trailer for Tron 2, now called Tron Legacy. It is nice. It is very nice. Now I would be lying if I told you I wouldn't miss Yori and that I was a tad reserved on the slick and medicinal coldness of the sets and outfits, and that some shots seem to come out of a clip of Lady Gaga or Rihawhatever.
That said, the equally nice trailer for the game to be release along TL, called Tron Evoluion, which looks equally neat, speaks of a war. So the bleakness can probably begin to be explained somewhere there.

Still, this post is not to tell you how awesome the trailers are, but to point out something amusing I noticed about the end of the second trailer. Everything about the way the title is written, to the sounds, the style and even the low bit percussions, with that vibrating/throbbing effect, remind me of the intro of Switchblade II.

I'll let you compare (the title appears at 1:55 but I can't force the time index on my page, so try that link if you want to go straight to the right moment, or click at 1:55 on the time bar below the video).

Pot or no pot?
That said, the way the Tron title assembles itself reminds me of the first Switchblade.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Back to the Future

Time for another high quality trailer for the original Tron.

Enjoy, user.

And spread the eLove people.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The WIFE Tag

DOG Tag.

I'm already bored and quite worried of these silly pieces of "advanced" technology that pretend making every part of your life a hundred times better. In this case, you're shown how clipping some probe to the collar of your pet (the one that ambulates on four legs) makes its management so easier and smarter, so you can keep track (that's the catch phrase) of anything your pet does all day long.
However, not limiting myself to the advised use of the device, my mind immediately explored new dimensions of concept hijacking and came to realize that it was the perfect tool I needed for the wife.
So here's the original video below, and the WIFE transcript version.

Now if this hasn't freaked you out yet, be sure to watch this video.
Yes. If you're normal, your first and I hope final reaction would be: What. The. Hell?
What next? Tag your kids?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Colours are gay... gray I mean

Yes, the d-pad sucked big times, but is it because we live in rather depressing times that everything needs to be about cold and dull shades of brown, blue or gray?
Simply looking at this pad makes me sad.
Oh yes, now you can screw your d-pad to depress it. Yes, I told you, it's all about depression. It makes the cross... err... stick out.

It seems they didn't understand the problem about the d-pad being a cheap and miserable piece of plastic feeling like it was added at the last minute by bored "designers".

Now you got something that just feels like... like what?
Is it Alfred's first take at a batpad?
Or Q's first non lethal non stunning non useful infrared modulated controller?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chime... funtastic and smooth

If you've played Lumines, you'll surely see where this game is coming from. What Lumines brought to the puzzle game genre as a cross between fine tuned gameplay and a transcendental sensory experience has shattered the industry, and baffled many players.
It also inspired some designers.
But what this game takes from Lumines for the wrapping, takes from the age old principle of piecing up an entire canvas for the substance.
The bonus: it even manages to remind you of Tetris.
Some tunes aren't exactly stellar, and a couple of visual effects might feel overdone at times, but globally the final structure looks solid and well polished. A few hundred MS points are worth it in my opinion. My main criticism is that I'd rather have that kind of game on a handheld.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dim Puzzle

Totally fresh!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jesse Slaughter, coz I ain't got no originalitism

Oh sweet xxxxx.

The Internet is a harsh world. It's wonderful, full of marvels and knowledge, but it's also a dangerous and ruthless place for naive imbeciles. I already said it, I love Internet. It's a revolution, it's liberty, but it's not to be put into the wrong hands, and allowing uneducated people to reach an Internet connection can only get them into trouble and have them suffersome truly disastrous consequences (yes, the true ones)

So, if you don't know about this lil Jesse girl, click here. Miss Kerligirl13 (on Youtube, or Jesse Slaughter in reeeeaaal *sigh*) is an eleven years old (stupid) girl who enjoys wearing tight clothes, struggling to reveal her miserable cleavage, you know, the hot stuff that gives pedophiles a boner, and surely gives her a rightful place on downtown's pavement. Her abundant use of foul language and embarrassing low brow "rhetoric" doesn't help her either (you'll have to torture yourself with the original videos which caused this mess).

Think of the time wasted on 4chan. Geez.

Oh yes, isn't funny? Well, yes it is. But it's also a tragedy. If anything, this should be never forgotten, for the perfect example it provides to the entire planet about the feedback loop effect of the network. It also reminds me of how people terribly underrate their privacy. People are so out of reality (and that would be hundreds of millions of people) that they divulge details of their life for free, the kind of information preyed by massive corporations craving it.
They're laughing at you, dumb people.

It's the acts of such uneducated and irresponsible citizens that provide ammo for all the fascists and wackos who want to block Internet, restrain it. The worst part of it being that her parents have actually no real clue about how to deal with it. They never measured the importance and the nature of their daughter's activities on the web, and they're paying for it, harsh style now. The point is that they didn't give her any good education either, and this deficiency is only being transmitted further along this ill fated lineage. Hopefully, this Jesse something will be able to realize that she has to get off the Internet, hooked junkie that she seems to be, and rethink her life.
Indeed, the consequences will never be the same (that's just a notch behind "all your base are belong to us").

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

B S on B B

This one always surprised me.

It should feel appropriate to the current times of Red Dead Redemption wanking.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So you can stomach Hostel?

Then let's see if you can cope with that:

The other name for torture.
And people criticized ALIEN 3 because of the repetitive F word swearing! :D

Monday, May 17, 2010

P S P 2 . . .

PSP 2...

A touch screen. It was about time.
More cores. Well, this will prove useful during winter and will keep the hands warm will sitting on the cold edge of the toilet seat.

Sony also says the new version is going to offer both physical format and download.
Basically, let's merge the failed and sluggish UMD format with the downloadable content function which, as we all know now, has proved to be terrific on the PSP Go.

Read : no intelligent use of a memory card. Yes, those little, light weight, fast access and versatile cards which can be used to store several gigas of data.

Oh, by the way, I just don't get why so many people want the console to be a phone as well. Mmm... perhaps it's because of the 3G support that will also be added to the console?

Tell me, people, does the iPhone handle like a console? Is it even enjoyable?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Waterslidin' the 8 BITUBE!!

Toobin or not Toobin...


Mmm... I bet they already pulled that silly joke decades ago.

Not enough blue pills for this, Neo

Ok, the console mainly has mediocre shooters, and this video is horrible.

Neo Geo Neo Geo Neo Geo Neo Geo Neno Geo Neo Gneo Ne Ogen Oern snk ges ,sd

The rules of Shadow of the Colossus

Now you know why you love it.

Mirror's Edge : the "Poseidon" map

Your opinion? :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cultural resistance much?

Russian Government May Fund Patriotic Game Series

The Russian government has been asked to fund the bulk of a 720 million roubles ($24m / £16m) game project designed to boost the country’s international hi-tech image and increase patriotism among teenagers.

That’s according to Russian daily Vedomosti (via RIA Novosti), which claims that the country’s Communication Ministry wants to work with developer 1C to create a series of six flight simulator games.

1C is one of Russia’s biggest independent software developers and publishers. Outside of its home country, it’s perhaps best known for developing the IL-2 Sturmovik line of combat flight simulator games.

The Ministry has asked the government to allocate 520 million roubles ($17.5m / £11.6m) to the project, with 1C stumping up the remainder. It said that the series would work as low-cost educational and professional simulators for pilots and increase Russia's hi-tech exports.

1C CEO Boris Nuraliev is said to have demonstrated one of the titles to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, although the project has yet to win the backing of the government.

The report claims that the series would be expected to sell ten millions copies worldwide in four years, and help grow Russia's share in the games market to ten per cent.

It would be silly to dismiss the idea that governments would not try reaching plebes via video games. It is necessary for a balanced world to have countries boast their nationalism to some extent, if only to offer a vision that is free from the usual USA productions and the one sided Rambo depictions.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Small detail on mobile gaming

This one news is interesting. We'll see if it gets confirmed in the following months.

US Mobile Gamers Decline 13% - Study

A new mobile gaming study conducted by research firm ComScore suggests that the number of mobile gamers in the US has declined by 13 per cent over the past year.

This company says the overall decline was driven by a 35 per cent drop in mobile gaming among feature phone (non-smartphone) users, who represent approximately 80 per cent of the market.

However, it believes that heavy mobile gaming on smartphones like iPhone – the number of smartphone mobile gamers has leapt by 60 per cent in the past 12 months – means the market is poised for a turnaround.

“Although the number of mobile gamers has declined in the past year, there is reason for significant optimism about the future of this market,” said Mark Donovan, ComScore senior analyst and SVP of mobile.

“As the market transitions from feature phones to smartphones, the dynamics of gameplay are also shifting towards a higher quality experience. As a result, we can expect to see a profound increase in adoption of this activity, both in terms of audience size and overall engagement.”

According to ComScore’s study, 47.1 per cent of smartphone subscribers play games on their device at least once a month, compared to 15.7 per cent of feature phone owners. They are also more than five times as likely to play games almost every day.

Additionally, 27.3 per cent of smartphone users have installed at least one game on their handset, compared to just 5.6 per cent of feature phone subscribers. A third of smartphone subscribers with games have more than five titles installed, a total matched by less than one per cent of feature phone subscribers.

“Smartphones offer a more accessible and compelling mobile gaming experience that is enabling adoption of this behavior, even among consumers who have not traditionally been gamers,” added Donovan.

“Marketers and advertisers ought to be paying close attention to the opportunity this presents for reaching consumers in new and engaging ways in a cross-platform environment. The potential for highly creative marketing efforts is exciting.”

 Wait and see...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PeeAyssPee - Patch him up!

So, what say we, Mr. Patcher?

I think Sony is kinda running into a brick wall, trying to compete in that [multimedia device] sector.

More like they never really managed to exploit their machine the way they wanted to. Always half-arsed solutions, especially regarding Internet. Sony tried something new with the PSP Go, it seems to have failed.
Still, for their try, it worked well.
The irony here is that with its limited touch screen, the NDS appears now to be more modern than the PSP, since it has none.
Seriously, they should really think about adding one to their console. No one's going to cry. Older games will be playable on the new PSP, and it will make people buy the new PSP, even if they had one of the older models.
The UMD? Yes, get rid of that useless noisy and clanky support, and sell your damn games on a proprietary MEMORY CARD format.

But right now, I’d say they’re probably kind of destined to be in second place to Nintendo on the pure game front, and overall in third place [on the entertainment front] with the iPod thrown in.

If we stop talking about true gaming devices and start considering entertainment software on portable systems which still are currently produced, then I wonder if even the DS did came second to shitty game applications on mobile phones.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

As brutal and cool as God of War?

The animation doesn't look as good as in GoW, but the action might be excellent though. That's quite a gruesome universe, Warhammer 40000.
Oh! ... Kratos in a power armour?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Letter to Bob dillan

After reading an interesting Gamasutra article titled Game UI Discoveries: What Players Want, I decided to comment a bit on the claims made by the author. Then I replied to another person I more or less disagreed with, although I think we essentially meant to convey the same thought.

Quoting myself:

@ jaime kuroiwa

The dashboard is not the problem. The question is about if the fiction were real, could anyone see the HUD (or the dashboard here)?

Say your character has a HUD, but wears a visor that allows for all info to be displayed. We could say that the data's displayed on the visor, and therefore anyone, any teammate or NPC could *theoretically* see it as well.

But Dead Space is more like an example that breaks immersion.

First, it requires a certain kind of will to accept the idea that a given suit would display your life status. Obviously, it's easier to explain as we're dealing with an engineer. You're not dealing with a marine who's not supposed to glow in the dark ( An engineer who works in dangerous environments may want to have his partners know his biostatus just by glancing at his back. Well, sort of (I told you it would be stretched).

Secondly, it hurts immersion because that ethereal concept of a life bar, displayed or not, is literally rammed down your throat and made "real": people in Dead Space literally have life bars.
It literally pulls Dead Space even below the circles of Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Leander, since none of these two games pretended being realistic, but did feature a way to divulge information about the Hero's life without a HUD (Leander's armour changed colour). Mario Bros floats above them, with its purely diegetic treatment of Mario's mushroom-boosted power state in a fantasy world, that somehow totally fits the tale and setting.

Where I agree with Jaime is that having an extradiegetic HUD isn't necessarily hurting (as long as it doesn't saturate the screen) because you know it's abstract.
Take Eye of the Beholder, for example, and that one DID have a cluttered screen. Yet the magic worked.

The absolute diegesis being possible in VR, but we're not there yet. FC2 indeed did a good job about it. FPSes are quite alone, with other simulations, in that department. You won't hear about in-universe HUD integration with a RTS or Tetris. That would be silly.

So that's it. Nothing special. People are free to agree or disagree with me.
Sometimes, though, people just can't simply disagree. They have to be rude... while replying to a straw man and failing to provide a properly constructed argument. Which makes them twice silly.
I invited the person in question to come here and read my reply. Know what? His name is Bob dillan!
Yes, Bob dillan. And Bob dillan disagreed with me. Hell, he even spat at me, but never mind, it's fine. I think I shall feel enchanted for the fact that this famous legend accepted wasting a bit of his divine time with such a lowly mortal as me. Here's what he told me, followed by my humble and pathetic replies:

You are a moron dude, deadspace's lifebar on the guy "hurts immersion"? We know we are playing a f'n game, if you want to get serious about "immersion" breaking rules, how about all the shit that could not happen in the real world or animate like that according to the real laws of physics?

I never pretended that those liberties taken against the real physics would not break immersion as well. Neither did I claim that I wanted as much immersion as possible.
It's merely an observation.
I also thought it was obvious enough that we were talking about immersion while knowing that it's a goddamn game.

Everything in a game is purely imaginary, game UI's do not "break immersion" what breaks immersion is things like the Reaper at the end of mass effect 2 TOTALLY taking away the climax, I just wanted to burn whoever thought it was a good idea to make that reaper a fucking skeleton! who the fucks idea was that? Was one of the dumbest most immersion breaking things ever, YET ME2 was STILL a good game otherwise.

Mass Effect? I don't recall saying it was crap because of X or Y, even less talking about it to begin with.
This person seems to enjoy talking to him/herself but I'm afraid hearing a wacko going through a pointless monologue is only funny for two seconds.

Immersion is a bullshit word, why don't we just talk about whether the art direction, character design and animation and voice overs and sounds are done well?

These are different things. This poor chap apparently can't even manage keeping consistent between two lines. After saying something broke immersion in Mass Effect, now immersion is bullshit and we shall talk about something else entirely?
How enlightening.

"immersion" is really code for "does x, y and z fit together well and add up to a great experience?"

As so, after identifying what immersion may be, what it may encompass and the fact that he attempted putting a name on a concept, that makes immersion "bullshit" just because... it's a word?
What else? Shall we burn dictionaries and all their bullshit words?
I'm afraid I don't have a solution for someone who has a profound issue with the essential principle of what people generally call language.

When the quality of each of the facets of a game are not done well or corners are cut, THAT is when immersion is broken. For instance the conversation system in ME2 was finally perfected after a lot of games that had conersation systems from bioware, NWN being one of the first games with a conversation system, then Neverwnter nights 2... the Convo system in ME2, is basically an upgraded version of the one found in Neverwinter nights 2.

Here returns the claim that immersion is broken by X, despite immersion being a "bullshit word". I told you, fantastic.
More seriously, our friend here doesn't get the slightest feeling that "the quality of each of the facets of a game" may also include making sure that one element fits with the universe's tenets and the narrative?
I'm sure that if I picked a soldier from Call of Duty and planted a large coloured flower in his buttocks, sticking out of his pants, said flower bearing ten petals, each representing a portion of his life bar and falling when the player would take damage, it would somehow break immersion, don't you think?

Game developers finally got aclue about where to put the camera when dealing with NPC's and making NPC interaction more cinematic BUT, notice in order to do so they had to take hte player out of the game - stop gameplay completely and go into cinema mode where the player has no control to do so.

Compare it against talking and merely listening to characters when not in dialogue mode in mass effect 2, when they in their natural state and the effect is not the same because of where the camera needs to be when you're in gameplay/navigation mode.

They did the exact same thing years earlier in Deus Ex and it went fine.
Or is immersion broken when watching a movie because of the special effects or the way the camera is placed?
Not really. That's technical, mimetic concerns. What would hurt immersion, even in a movie, would be inspector Harry wearing a hat with a neon sign so he would look cool.
It would certainly make him a clearer target, if anything else.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The video says it all. This indie runs on your MP3s, and I find the concept even more interesting than Audiosurf.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Exponential shades of gray

Be sure to be aware of the following issue next time you scale down any picture. I noticed it but didn't have a clue about what was going on.

The Shrike

One day...

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission (prev. CC2)

OK, this is not fresh news, but mainly me missing out this event. Can't believe I didn't notice them.
Still, the first batch of screenshots has been released for the sequel to the oooold game.
You can find them here.
The title has been firmly established now, and we avoided the "II".
Bohemia Interactive (they're Czech, I know the name doesn't really sound that Slavic) are on this one.
There's also a forum here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day of Lolz: Heavy Rain Super Score

Rejoice comrades, for this is the return of the Day of Lulz!!
This time, the object of derision is that mound of silly reviews for Heavy Rain.
Let me give you a good reason about why I stopped reading reviews since many years (that should be near a decade actually): Zero proof of integrity, and I don't see why what worked in the 90s would have changed by now, with all those Famitsu-wannabes.
Perhaps once again allowing more attention than that deplorable system of Metacritic deserves, let's look at their Heavy Rain page.
Notice, first, the literally insane number of perfect scores for such a game (100%):

We're enjoying it immensely... It is a game like none other. [Mar 2010, p.66]
- Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)

I have never played anything so momentous or revolutionary as Heavy Rain. In the coming years I expect the game's influence to be felt throughout the industry in terms of gameplay, storytelling and interactivity. This is a game that deserves all the plaudits it can get. So please go out and buy Heavy Rain and reward those that have made such a groundbreaking videogame event.
- Boomtown

An emotionally engaging thrill-ride from start to finish, Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain is a superbly crafted interactive experience, told expertly through it's stunning visuals and believable characters.
- GamePro

Heavy Rain is a rare experience that can be enjoyed by a watching audience and not just the person with the control pad. It's also one that you'll certainly want to play through at least one more time just to see what you missed and perhaps reach a better outcome.
- Total Video Games

Quantic Dream puts forth some truly incredible ideas and concepts as to what a game can be, but they’ll stay ideas and concepts until gamers are willing to accept that they deserve more than another GTA or Call of Duty clone. Heavy Rain is without a doubt one of the most impressive games of the last five years, and it shouldn’t be missed by anyone.
- Gamervision

Everybody can breathe a sigh of relief, because Heavy Rain was definitely worth the long wait. This is an intriguing murder mystery that will have you guessing all the way to the end. Best of all, the narrative is one of the strongest I've seen in years.
- Gaming Nexus

You can literally hear the watery sucking noise.
I mean, it's obvious Sony is banking a lot on that exclusive to finally make their dream come true, make the PS3 that mature and artsy console they always wanted to make. How in Hell could this game really take so many perfect scores, really?

Kudos to ImpulseGamer and their ridiculous 99 score, whatever that nonsense is supposed to mean. Like, you know, "we couldn't give a perfect score because we are objective and independent professionals, but it's pretty close so there. So close that it's only missing that 1% which we don't even know what it's supposed to correspond to."
It's pathetic. How do you make a difference between 75 and 77, 93 and 94?
How more farcical can this be? Nothing makes sense at all, but it's a good way for your magazine to be picked up by those meta rankings!
Which is probably the sole reason why Edge decided to go with those silly scores as well (see their 100 for Bayonetta... "trying to remain socially relevant" someone commented).

But that wouldn't be perfect if I didn't tell you the full story. Luck of all lucks, my first pick among that miasma of reviews was VideoGamer's. I feel so sorry for the naive poor souls posting in the comments section.

I give them the Objectivity Award!!!


(Click on the picture for a full screen view.)

And last but not least, someone please explain why the hell each of Eurogamer's reviews, for each single country it's edited for, gets listed there? There's the vanilla model, then those three special editions for Spain, Italy and Portugal.
That's four "different" reviews, each of them giving the game a score of 90. How clever!

Not laughing yet?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Technology for the sake of it

Some people like to go for predictions, probing the crystal ball, fiddle about and lay a five to ten years schedule of the next technological steps and evolutions in certain domains.

Like here. There are other places like that, but it doesn't matter much.
The point is, the increase of those specific technologies is essentially boasted as a positive thing.
But those are gimmicks, gadgets, gizmos.
It's geek bullshit, and doesn't make life better.

Healing technologies, devices to harness energy, compounds that pollute less, advanced methods to provide food of quality and water to people and the democratization of information via Internet is what matters.

Touch screens don't help humanity. If anything, they piss me off to no bounds. Tweet spam is noise and anyone should be able to know by now where to get information from. Facebook and simili are fascist cop-shit systems that call for collecting void-friends.
Cellphones that always have to be connected and crammed with a gazillion useless applications are meaningless and tiring. I have one, I barely switch it on, and if there's some important message I need to know about my work or something, there's a nice recording system associated to the phone in the office that is meant to receipt them. Because when I'm out of the office, I really mean it.
These systems all generate anxiety. There is nothing cool about them.
They turn us into rats running dizzy through abstract mazes. It's the dogma of "more more more", "now now now" and that abusive "I want it before yesterday" mentality.

That is not Life.

"Socialization" via Internet generates remoteness and solitude.
Video and games on demand are just another way to milk people until prices really mirror the loss of the physical supports.

They talk about tablet-PC, no keyboard or whatever, and it's almost like if buttons are old school... filthy.
We're supposed to think OnLive is cool and better for everyone.
Surely, it is not. Whoever thinks needing to be connected to a server in order to play is progress is bat shit crazy. It's disguised slavery, not empowerment.

Things are really going too fast. We don't even have time to enjoy and explore a given technology.

We already hear about potential new console projects, even more powerful.
Like we ever needed that now. The problem is not the current generation of consoles, but the fact that it's largely about shovelware and war or shooting (FPS and RTS).

At least I think I'm gonna stick to Flowery sodomistic shaping of minds in any possible way for the coming of the carbon tax.

I think I miss the 90s.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Apple's iPad.
Moving on.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Liberty within the Code, Rules beyond

The code of a video games does not contain the rules. The code is only a tool which is associated to the abstract understanding of the rules that stand outside of it.
Functions given life via code are controlled allowances and automated consequences waiting for specific stimuli. Whereas to know if this means each new block adds a piece of liberty to the virtual construct is another debate, and has probably more to do with the mind willingly shaping itself "down" to those new constraints, and likely exploiting an adaptive offshoot of a survivalist's multiple atavistic tricks, for the individual can only attain transcendence if the constricted milieu is presently assumed as sufficient, and the same individual can only satisfy himself via the limited liberty if there is a sense of accomplishment.

Plug me those amps and listen to that

What say we hear some stuff from Medi and the Medicine Show?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bayonetta sucks? Dunno, but it feels watery

There is a major problem with this game, as far as I’m concerned.
Despite the fact that there’s lot to say about all the problems presented there, it has little to do with the whole sexualisation topic, nor with that grotesque Goth mutant grown in the mind-vats of lubricious otakus who spoon-feed their fetish with the yearly hormonal production of a hundred ovaries, nor with how the textures may be enchanting or not, nor with how the truly miserable musac alternates between J-poop and that pseudo classic/epic monotonic torment, or the overall insipid cosplay-friendly character and monster design.

It is a game that pretends being a beat'em up, but from all I can see, fails on its most crucial task; the necessity to enrapture the player with the sense of power delivered through what is most basic in such a game: the elementary action moves.
And all I can think of about those basic moves is best summed up by those few words:

Impotent, washy

You may ask what I mean by an elementary move.
Let’s say that it is a basic attack which doesn’t really require too many efforts from the player to execute; it's the bread and butter of a brawler’s combat system. In a pyramidal pattern, it would represent the solid base. In general, it will comprise kicks and punches, slashes and dashes when blades are involved, shots with ranged weapons (and therefore gunshots with firearms) and magic projectiles with simple sorcery spells, the fireball and lightning bolt being the most obvious examples when it comes to burning something extra crispy.

Now please pay attention: There is no need to play Bayonetta to see what’s wrong on that side of things. No need to launch any demo.
All you need to do is what any consumer of this frantic society should do: load HD videos and observe.
There are many "Bayonetta gameplay" videos all over the place. As usual, try on Youtube.

Let's get clear here. This game is not horrible. Although I consider it messy at times, especially when Bayonetta engages her foes, it looks like it's properly polished (those places probably corresponding to the peaceful build-ups between each encounter), counting the environments, and relies on a curious and very opinionated art. The profusion of grace, flowers and delicacy departs from the raw and feral feeling of the major contenders of this popular genre. It's also its undoing, as it pushes this gamble too far, losing track of what the backbone of the game should convey and achieve visually.

Regardless of her four pistols, Bayonetta's ballets don't deliver. There's simply no pleasure to be had with that kind of tepid and indistinguishable overcooked omelet of pixels, glam and glow seen from a distance, all of which eternally begs to be redeemed by the use of special powers, including the gory super summons. However, this is the most expected Japanese spin on the genre, and this makes the game feel like a Final Fantasy of the PS1 and PS2 era, with all their boring successive cuts and bangs you were wading through until you could unleash the fury of the mightiest magical creatures.

Well sorry lads, but when I play a brawler that features a main character blessed with exceptional powers (God of War, Ninja Gaiden), I still don’t feel let down by the basic action moves, as they support the game just as much as the rarer options available to the player to expire large bosses and legions of enemies. And don’t get me started on the time bullet crap, which has been overdone in so many games, but somehow should represent an achievement and a new cornerstone in one of the most used video game genres now?
How convenient! All it does is allow you to smash the buttons like a "voltaged" up monkey. Is there any fun in a game where you have to smash the button a million times, thanks to time dilation, slashing on and on and on the same big creature while floating in mid air? Well, I don't think so, and I could easily picture this becoming old very fast.

In Bayonetta, this is part of pointless junk, which in essence shall be understood and reduced to mere sugar coating, but which still comes in such an overabundance of saccharine that it actually proves repelling. Bayonetta’s guns look like silly plastic toys, and whatever they’re supposed to be shooting has more to do with glowing lollipops than .45 bullets. All of which is even more ruined by gunfire effects that look pitiful from start to finish. It goes without saying that the character model’s frenetic recoil animation looks just as absurd as the guns. Considering the rate of fire we’re dealing with --and I’m sorry for pointing out the obvious here-- why not cut the looping, retarded spasmodic kicked arm animation by putting her out of misery and allowing the lady some automatic rifles? You know, those practical things that generally do “ratatatata!” and spit many bullets a minute.

I don't care if the character is a guy, a chick, a worm in a suit, a semi-digested soul-draining vampire or an octopus with a pink ribbon that shoots stars from its mouth or elsewhere, or if the game is supposed to be totally over-the-top in the most assumed way, if all of them fail on the same point. A beat'em up is not just about how the player feels, but how other people would enjoy watching what's going on on the screen: the self-piecing up supercharged action movie that should be enthralling to all those who stand around you. It's a theater, you're on stage, and you have to deliver. No amount of buttocks and boobs squeezed in tight attires can digress from that reality check.

Although I’m against real violence and not so fond of firearms, it seems I’m capable of grasping basic concepts that elude others. See, when you intend to base at the very least 50% of your game on firearms and gallons of blood, then at least try to get all that stuff right.
If you don’t understand what I’m getting at, let me help you get an idea of how violent and raw gunfights should look like:

Heat, DMC3, Robocop (turn volume up), Predator (you may want to turn the volume down), Public Enemies, The Crow, Dark Angel. You could probably pick examples from a Tarentino, Kitano or Woo, but you caught my drift here. I mean, even the firearms in this one feel more real.

As for the blade, since it’s practically impossible to really distinguish anything, all you must satiate your appetite with is a trail of fiery red something when Bayonetta dices her enemies. Needless to say, this old timer special effect is the same cheap filler we got served with in Japanese action games for more than a decade now. Been there done that would be a considerable understatement.
Let’s not forget the acrobatics, which are just plain silly. I don’t know, but... are they supposed to look cool or something? Is Platinum expecting seasoned gamers to exult like 8 years old kids?

There is nothing gratifying, nothing about that stuff that might be worth looking at, and even if there was, the camera's too far away to really enjoy what the character is doing. Bayonetta literally dissolves into the maelstrom of sprites and particles, failing to stick out in order to remain the focus of this so called entertaining extravaganza.
Logically, the mandatory and forced cutscenes come to the game’s rescue, bringing Bayonetta back under the spotlights, after straying too far from their ecstatic reach for most of the combat sequences; cutscenes which, of course, were put into the game just because the game had to have some. A confession right from the maker’s mouth.

Hear all the screams and cheers of squealing crowds of fans devoured by the hype, for they are not enough to fill the void left by Bayonetta's visually unrewarding display of haphazard action moves. Why should I even want to play a game that feels so piss poor in that department?
Bayonetta banks too much on the style front. With video games, style plays a large role in your experience, it comes along the visual information that makes it from the screen to your brain, and if the art and said style remain unconvincing, there's no point even trying that game just because a legion of magazines and their convoy of perfect scores say we should play this game no matter what.

There’s also something I can’t decide calling sad or amusing: I get that tingling sensation that this brawler shines during the loading screens. Pheh.

More to come... (I’m sure that would surely make for a very bad innuendo in that game. -_-)

EDIT: I found an apt analogy that would illustrate my point here. I like strength, violence, and what should look like genuine violence when I'm asking for it. For example, take shmups. I'm sort of from the old school on that. I hate manic shooters which are about dodging a gazillion pink and blue bobbles. I also hate such shooters where the main avatar is not something that looks like a machine of destruction, but is a little girl flying on a stick, or a pink pig or things of this caliber. When my space defense fighter fires its cannons, I don't want to see weak looking and almost muted silly blobs coming out of the muzzles. I want to see and feel the death of it, the violence, the power of the projectiles. In a word, male or female, I still want to feel the manly power.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy new year (yeah well...)

What do you mean I'm two weeks late?
Ok, who gives?

Anyway, the project I'm part of is calmly and surely shaping up.

@ Marcus
Considering that your typical chan of communication is down since ~one week now, and knowing where what you're stuck in right there, you'll probably read this before getting anything else back online. So...
Regarding the small piece of code we talked about earlier on, it should be good enough for a few procedural tests, but just to be sure, try to see if Joanna's new DTS materials work with the latest sample you got. They're ought to be closer to the final aspect of the design. Nowhere near megatextures, I can give you that he he, but the bump worked absolutely fine. It does actually look ace with the couple effects we added saturday! :)
I also hope it had not been freezing too much up there.