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Author Topic: My 2004 pc gaming year in review  (Read 6310 times)
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« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2004, 07:45:30 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
ou honestly think Doom is only remembered for its co-op and deathmatch?


Single player Doom was one of my top 10 gaming experiences.

The first doom was incredibely immersive. It's the only game I've ever played that had me looking over my (real, not virtual) shoulder to see who was shooting at me. Then comes Dooom 3, and I am amazed that a game that is so realistic in terms of graphics is so less immersive than something that looks like an Atari 2600 game in comparison. For me, Doom 3 was a "boo"-driven haunted house that had none of the fun spirit of the original.

I haven't played Half-Life 2 yet. It's on my Christmas List.  I loved Half-Life 1, and I think it is still the best example of the genre that I have played. We will see if HL2 dethrones it for me.
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« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2004, 03:35:02 PM »

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The physics were about on par with Deus Ex Invisable War. Some of the Character models were nice. The best I can say is they were evolutionary.


 :shock:
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« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2004, 03:40:49 PM »

Quote
oddly enough Pirates and Thief 3 didn't have this problem. They actually delivered on their hype.


Thief 3 delivered??????
That's why opinions are just thatt...opinions.  The Thief 3/Deus Ex 2 engine sucks.  In my opinion, Theif 3 was an ok game at best, and that's it.
Pirates I can't comment on, because I have not played it.
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« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2004, 03:45:46 PM »

Not all of us who don't think HL2 is the best thing since sliced bread feel that way due to unrealistic expectations.  Interestingly, I had no expectations for HL2. The game I had high expectations for and looked forward to was WoW.  What got me interested in HL2 was all the good things I read about it after release.  And, yes, it was a good game.  But, Far Cry immersed me more.  Maybe it was sneaking around the jungle gameplay vs. all out gun fights.  I don't know, but there was something about the gameplay in HL2 that felt lacking to me.  Had I not played Far Cry, HL2 would be my top of this year.
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« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2004, 03:47:03 PM »

Quote from: "Qbert"
Thief 3 delivered??????
That's why opinions are just thatt...opinions.  The Thief 3/Deus Ex 2 engine sucks.  In my opinion, Theif 3 was an ok game at best, and that's it.
Pirates I can't comment on, because I have not played it.


Maybe my hardware was fast enough to run Thief 3. It ran great. I do wish the maps were larger but nothing is perfect.
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« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2004, 03:47:47 PM »

I know opinions are yours and I would never expect to change your views, but to comprise a list like this, your just asking to get flamed.  I mean, come on, you put Leisure Suit Larry as one of the best games this year, when most reviews of this game totally ripped it to shreds.  

Looking FORWARD to Dungeon Siege 2????  What...didn't learn from the first one?
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« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2004, 03:52:38 PM »

Quote from: "Interloper"
Not all of us who don't think HL2 is the best thing since sliced bread feel that way due to unrealistic expectations.  Interestingly, I had no expectations for HL2. The game I had high expectations for and looked forward to was WoW.  What got me interested in HL2 was all the good things I read about it after release.  And, yes, it was a good game.  But, Far Cry immersed me more.  Maybe it was sneaking around the jungle gameplay vs. all out gun fights.  I don't know, but there was something about the gameplay in HL2 that felt lacking to me.  Had I not played Far Cry, HL2 would be my top of this year.


I haven't play HL2 either, and may not for awhile, just not interested.
What I meant by the high expectations, is that I see a trend lately of gamers just expecting too much.  I've seen beautiful games, and people say the graphics are ugly.  I've seen people say the graphics are ugly for Deus Ex 2, EQ2, Doom 3, etc, and I'm like, damn, I must be looking at a different game.
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« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2004, 03:56:33 PM »

Quote from: "Qbert"
I know opinions are yours and I would never expect to change your views, but to comprise a list like this, your just asking to get flamed.  I mean, come on, you put Leisure Suit Larry as one of the best games this year, when most reviews of this game totally ripped it to shreds.  

Looking FORWARD to Dungeon Siege 2????  What...didn't learn from the first one?


Pretty much every LSL game has gotten ripped to shreds. LSL7 Love for Sail was considered a pox on man kind when it came out. Yet somehow as the years passed, people say how great it was. I just accept that for reviewers, sex=bad, humor = bad. Unless its a gritty nihilistic blood fest, it will never be considered a good game in the pages of Computer Games magazine.

As for Dungeon Siege 2. Loved the first one (yeah I bothered to turn off the the automatic player AI and turned up the difficulty a bit. Something no one else did apparently)  Plus I perfer controling a team over "other games".
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« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2004, 04:05:36 PM »

I enjoyed DS, and still do, in short burst, but it was a MAJOR disappointment.  LSL was not ripped into because of sex and humor, but because of damn boring repetition.  Add to that that the sexual humor is not really all that funny.
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« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2004, 04:35:50 PM »

Quote from: "Greggy_D"
LE, I love how you tell people that they are "wrong", as if you were the defining voice in computer gaming. :roll:

Those 4 points illustrated why "I" didn't like it.  Sorry, but someone's opinion can't be wrong.


 :shock: I can't believe I'm about to say this.... -LE- is right on.

1) As to linear paths and plotlines, I don't know if that's really a valid complaint, considering the game is telling a story. The first game was just as linear, so to expect the sequel to be any different without clear indication from Valve advertising is unreasonable. <shrug>

Quote
The Combine AI WAS boring, uninspired, and predictable. A true step down from HL1's Marines.

That statement begs the question. (basically, you are including an "unproven" as a "fact" within your conclusion).

2) If the AI is exactly the same, then it's not a step down at all. IIRC, it has been improved (and considering this is the next version of the product it would require quite the burden of proof to convince otherwise), your "step down" point is then invalid. The first part of your statement still stands, but would need to be revised with something like "I felt" to even be considered an opinion rather than fact.

More likely is that the gaming industry has learned from the AI in Half-Life and now you've become desensitized to the behaviours. Basically, *you* have gotten better/jaded/wiser. That isn't a limitation in software.

As to the combine forces in the square (where you're defending Alex) I found them to be plenty intelligent.  :evil:

3) The Lord Ebonstone granted you point 3 for your own tastes; you are entitled to your opinions with no dispute.

4) "Steam sucked" ?? You use the term "A LOT" and then never extrapolate. "A LOT" is a context sensitive term. 850 people is not "A LOT" in contrast to a million people (0.00085 %). If all 850 people showed up to occupy a 500 square foot living room, they would certainly qualify the term "A LOT".

I guess people in your generalization should have read the system requirements, including the requirement for internet activation.

There was a press release over a month before release detailing the internet requirement for installation. I guess they missed that too?

As far as I'm concerned, point 4 should read: "Ignorant People Suck... They buy a product they can't use and then complain about it". Valve is in no way required to release an offline-only game. I had no problems with steam. I will not be drawn into generalizations or absolutes; I don't know how many people made a mistake in their purchase. Windows XP has been on this activation thing since it's inception; this isn't a new experience, except maybe for pirates. Hell, most downloadable software has some sort of activation process, including your anti-virus software.

The online-requirement complaint is really thin. If you check with Valve they list ways in which to get around this activation as well.

[edited for spelling]
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« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2004, 05:22:31 PM »

I've been asked to reconsider my list and remove expectations. I don't think thats really possible 100% but I took my original list and tried to place it in an order different than one IO'm comfortable with. So basically its quality+gameplay+graphics*originality = ranking.

Sid Meier's Pirates
Thief 3 deadly shadows
Sims 2
Far Cry
Children of the Nile
Unreal Tournament 2004
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Simpsons' Hit & Run
Doom 3
Evil Genuis
Half Life 2 (I am also ignoring the 6 hour install here because of steam.)
Star Wars Battle Grounds
Wanted: A wild West Adventure
Silent Storm
City of Heroes
Pitfall: The Lost Expedition
The Incredibles
Myst IV Revelation
Geneforge 2
The Political Machine
Full Spectrum Warrior
Catwoman
Singles
Shrek 2
Silent Hill 3
Manhunt
Tribes Vengeance
Lords of the Realm 3
Maniac Mansion deluxe
Chris Sawyer's Locomotion
Battlefield Vietnam
Gangland
True Crime
Joint Operations Typhoon Rising
Syberia II
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
Breed
Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior
Beyond Divinity
One Must Fall: Battlegrounds
Rollercoaster tycoon 3
Spider-man 2 The movie
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« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2004, 05:52:01 PM »

Quote from: "Rob_Merritt"
I've been asked to reconsider my list and remove expectations.


So now you're trying to tell us Doom 3 was an objectively better designed game than:

-Half-Life 2
-Silent Storm
-City of Heroes
-Geneforge 2
-Tribes Vengeance
-Battlefield Vietnam
-Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising?

Quote from: "Rob_Merritt"
Lord Ebonstone : I appreciate your enthusiasm for Half Life 2. However your fanaticism has blinded you (and to the many rave reviews) to many problems of this program.


Which is a pseudo-intellectual, haughty way of saying, "Whoops, I can't actually argue with any of your points.  Better stamp you as a fanatic instead."

You realize how easy it'd be for me to turn your statement back around on you, don't you?
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« Reply #52 on: December 13, 2004, 06:30:50 PM »

Quote from: "bluefugue"
Some day, Ebby baby, you will learn to disagree with other human beings without being unbearably condescending toward them...


I kid you not.. I was reading the response and I thought "that has to be LE".  I looked up and sure enough..

Hes Gotta disagree with everyone and try to make them feel stupid at the same time.
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« Reply #53 on: December 13, 2004, 06:30:56 PM »

Jesus, Purge.  I quit this discussion.  It was simply my opinion, nothing more.  I really don't need my posts dissected to the nth degree, pointing out what I should have said and should have meant.
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« Reply #54 on: December 13, 2004, 06:37:52 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "SuperHiro"
Man this list is nothing compared to MY LIST
Best list evar, bar none.   :lol:

Quote from: "Scuba-V"
Far Cry was a good game but HL2 was just so much better.  I haven't played any of the other games, but I get the strong feeling that Rob is not a good barometer for the quality of games, at least for me.


100% agreed.  I liked Far Cry enough to play all the way through it.  It was an enjoyable game, but it can't come anywhere near Half-Life 2.  What made me respond the way I did to Rob about Far Cry was the fact he chose objectively the weakest points of the game in explaining why he liked it.  Indeed, aside from the wide open environs, Half-Life 2 is objectively superior to Far Cry in each of Rob's listed reasons.

Quote from: "leo8877"
Can someone please explain to me why it's not ok to not really like HL2?


Sure.

It's because those who don't like it feel compelled to overreact in their dislike for it to be cool and edgy.  



You mean like how at every oportunity you make sure you let everyone know you disliked Doom 3?  Pot meet Kettle
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« Reply #55 on: December 13, 2004, 06:49:15 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Which is a pseudo-intellectual, haughty way of saying, "Whoops, I can't actually argue with any of your points.  Better stamp you as a fanatic instead."

You realize how easy it'd be for me to turn your statement back around on you, don't you?


The simple fact is I don't like Either Doom 3 or Half Life 2 to get into an ego stroking debate with you.

And to be frank, I'm trying to be kind, I don't like you and your banning on other forums brought a smile to my face.  As a rule, I don't spend my free time with toxic people such as yourself.  So whether you have a valid point or not on any subject, I am chosing to ignore you now and in the future.
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« Reply #56 on: December 13, 2004, 07:58:18 PM »

Quote from: "croman"
You mean like how at every oportunity you make sure you let everyone know you disliked Doom 3?
Disliking Doom 3 isn't counter-culture, though.  I think the general consensus on the game among experienced gamers is that it's a decent engine strapped to an amateurish, vapid game design.

Quote
Pot meet Kettle

Seriously, I'll pay you if you promise to never use that saying again.  Already I've read some variation on that idiotic line about ten times today.  Find some new material, people!


Quote from: "Rob_Merritt"
The simple fact is I don't like Either Doom 3 or Half Life 2 to get into an ego stroking debate with you.
I'm sorry you think this is an "ego stroking debate."  We're talking about games, at least, I was.

Quote
And to be frank, I'm trying to be kind, I don't like you and your banning on other forums brought a smile to my face.  As a rule, I don't spend my free time with toxic people such as yourself.  So whether you have a valid point or not on any subject, I am chosing to ignore you now and in the future.


Raunchy!

If I was in a Gone Gold mood, I'd go crying to the mods citing a personal attack.  Lucky for you I'm more than glad to turn the other cheek.

All I'll say regarding this matter is that when I hear people like you describe me as 'toxic,' I know I'm doing something right.

Thanks for the moral support.   smile
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« Reply #57 on: December 13, 2004, 08:02:44 PM »

Lets all keep our Christmas spirts showing.  

Remember Santa is watching so lets keep this about games not about people.
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« Reply #58 on: December 13, 2004, 08:12:04 PM »

Just to get back to actual points rather than stuff that will just get the thread locked.


Quote
4.) Too bad. Steam is one of those "big changes in the industry people try to resist." It happened with the change from 3.5" floppies to CDs. It happened with the change from DOS to Win95. It happened with 3D Acceleration. (I've still got a PC Gamer issue which suggests "Thinking hard before jumping onto the 3D bandwagon" as the PC Gamer writers weren't forward-thinking enough to realize how 'big' 3D acelleration would become.) It happened with DirectX. And right now we're seeing the exact same growing pains coupled with ignorant shortsightedness in three major sectors of the gaming industry:


Says who?  I mean I know Valve is pushing Steam but I don't see many publishers pushing Steam type distribution.  

Now one could say that independent companies will be pushing for Steam type stuff, but a whole lot of them don't have the money to make games, build a distribution method, support that, etc.  

They need publishers to fund their games.  So until publishers get on board with Internet distribution it will only be developers with rather deep pockets who can do it.  That isn't a large number.


I also think we need to look more seriously at the advantages and disadvantages.  There is a tendency to look at new technology and just assume it is great!   But not every technology is good.

Steam for example -  What are its serious pros and cons.

Pro - developers make more money, patches are easier to put out.

Con - hard for people without connections to get games, makes it hard for them to get patches.   It also doesn't stop pirates (one of the big assumed pros)  

So does Steam make sense?  Is it a good business model?  (and let me give you the answer - I don't have a clue! smile  But I do think it is a real discussion which needs to take place)
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« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2004, 09:32:20 PM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
Steam for example -  What are its serious pros and cons.

Pro - developers make more money, patches are easier to put out.

Con - hard for people without connections to get games, makes it hard for them to get patches.   It also doesn't stop pirates (one of the big assumed pros)  


I just wanted to comment on the "doesn't stop pirates" bit.

You're right, Steam doesn't stop pirates dead.  Nothing short of hardware-based anti-piracy routines would do that.  What Steam did stop, however, was a functional pre-release pirate release.

Most publishers/developers will tell you, the point of copy protection is to defend the game before it hits shelves and, ideally, during the first week of purchases.  Think about it--if you're interested in a game, would you rather play a week earlier via a pirate release, or be a good boy/girl and wait til release?

Devices like Steam and the mythical "big red button" to unlock game files force the latter option.  There is no "early release."
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« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2004, 09:46:12 PM »

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't steam and HL2 cracked within 24 hours of Nov. 16? The things I hate about steam is that it acts as spyware connecting to Valve every time I want to play the game. If I don't want that, I disable my network connection then I'm good to go. I can respect the "connect to authenticate" method though, so for that one point I can see developers using similar methods in the future. I hate that it tries to connect every day time I launch though. The first should be it, IMO. But it's not a deal breaker, just more of an annoyance than anything else.

Regardless of steam and HL2 vs Doom 3, let's get back to Rob's list. I don't understand how the hell LSL: Magna Cum Laude could be on anyone's list of solid games for the year. As I stated in my review, I thought the humor was forced, juvenile even for juvenile humor, and more of a collection game without the genuine raunch from the Al Lowe era. Although the gay bar was hilarious. smile
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« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2004, 09:53:42 PM »

Few developers have as a goal stopping all pirates.  What they want to stop are casual pirates -- normal folks who might loan the game to some friends, who then install it and return the disc.  While I certainly am not an expert on this, I remember many discussions while working in the industry.  EVERY game will be pirated, and the people who have the knowledge and are willing to go online to get the cracks will do so.  However (and this may well be different than it was 5 years ago), stopping the so-called 'casual pirates' is a goal that is more easy to achieve and usually the goal of a lot of anti-piracy schemes.

As for this thread in general, instead of attacking Rob for taking the time to express his opinion here -- it IS his opinion, after all, and regardless of what you think, he's entitled to it and should be proud of it -- why don't you all start your own threads with your opinions?
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« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2004, 12:11:07 AM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"


I just wanted to comment on the "doesn't stop pirates" bit.

You're right, Steam doesn't stop pirates dead.  Nothing short of hardware-based anti-piracy routines would do that.  What Steam did stop, however, was a functional pre-release pirate release.

Most publishers/developers will tell you, the point of copy protection is to defend the game before it hits shelves and, ideally, during the first week of purchases.  Think about it--if you're interested in a game, would you rather play a week earlier via a pirate release, or be a good boy/girl and wait til release?

Devices like Steam and the mythical "big red button" to unlock game files force the latter option.  There is no "early release."


Ah but so does starforce!  It takes a few weeks usually for Starforce games to be cracked, so it might actually be better at slowing down pirates than Steam.

It has its own drawbacks though.
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« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2004, 12:14:22 AM »

Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't steam and HL2 cracked within 24 hours of Nov. 16?


Good question, actually.

The site I use to monitor pirate activity, (which, though technically legal, I won't post, PM me if you want to know), shows a release occuring on the 16th.  This release is also tagged as being "nuked," ie, either the image didn't work, didn't follow the unwritten pirate laws, or it wasn't what it advertised itself to be.  There is another release on the 20th and another on the 21st, both by different groups.  These too are "nuked."

The only non-nuked release occurs on November 28th.

Now, the first release may have worked.  OTOH, it is marked as "nuked," so there was something unsatisfactory about the rip/copy job--whether this was just a formality or a real technical issue rendering the game inoperable is anyone's guess.

Steam did two critical things in the fight against piracy, however:

1.)  It froze HL2's release date.  Even if a given group got a copy of the game weeks before the official release date, the files were worthless as Steam wasn't going to unlock the game til November 16th.  This prevented an pre-retail pirate release, which is critical in saving sales.  I can't stress how critical it is for the dev house, instead of a pirate group, to be the first in getting a highly anticipated game to market.

2.)  It offered a legal alternative to those wanting to download the game.  Instead of navigating torrents and pirate sites and other nonsense, you could just pay for it, months in advance, and "pre-load" the game at extremely nice transfer rates--I maxed out my cable connection at 1.5 mb/sec.
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« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2004, 12:17:48 AM »

Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't steam and HL2 cracked within 24 hours of Nov. 16? The things I hate about steam is that it acts as spyware connecting to Valve every time I want to play the game. If I don't want that, I disable my network connection then I'm good to go. I can respect the "connect to authenticate" method though, so for that one point I can see developers using similar methods in the future. I hate that it tries to connect every day time I launch though. The first should be it, IMO. But it's not a deal breaker, just more of an annoyance than anything else.



I wonder about this.  Today it is just to authenticate the game but what about if like TiVo they started seeing the benifit of selling information about game time to someone.  They could sell stats about how many times people drive vehicle X, or use weapon Y, so that developers could make "better" games.  


I know many of you are rolling your eyes but one of the big things in marketing is data on what consumers want, or their habits.  It is a huge industry.  If you think games will somehow be imune to advertising power you are crazy.
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« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2004, 12:18:50 AM »

I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis of Joint Operations.  I think it is a great looking game when you turn up all of the graphics options.  And doesn't gameplay, make the game ?
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« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2004, 12:30:21 AM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
Ah but so does starforce!  It takes a few weeks usually for Starforce games to be cracked, so it might actually be better at slowing down pirates than Steam.

It has its own drawbacks though.

EDIT:  (This is also in response to whiteboyskim's bit about Steam being spyware.  One thing I'll mention right off the bat is that Steam doesn't connect to the internet unless you tell it to.  Show me evidence of Steam connecting without user prompt, or transmitting personal data--and by that I mean things more personal than your system specs--and I'll agree it's spyware.

I mean, World of Warcraft sends information to Blizzard every second I have it running, but that's kind of the nature of the beast.  Such is Steam. )  

I'd say Starforce is actually more intrusive than Steam, the big reason being there is no note on the box that a given game uses Starforce.  Half-Life 2 has "internet connection required" right in its system specs.  Nowhere on a Starforce-enabled box do we read, "This game uses permanent anti-piracy, device-level drivers which run at all times and are not removed upon uninstallation of the game.  Installation, or attempted removal, of these drivers may result in system instability.  These drivers are installed along with the included game and may not be extricated from the game in any matter.  By installing this game you accept full responsibility for any resultant damages or downtime, and aditionally give your consent for these drivers to be installed on your system.  YOU WILL BE GIVEN NO OTHER WARNING!"

Starforce doesn't control release dates.  It doesn't "lock" files like Steam does.  Pirate releases of Starforce games have been held back, yes, but there's not enough evidence to suggest that's thanks to Starforce--most Starforce-enabled games are popular neither before nor after they are released.  Why would a pirate group feel compelled to crack a new copy protection method if the games being released with it are of such little interest?

There's another issue there--Starforce is still new in the timeline of copy protections.  When and if more Starforce games are released, especially if a high-expectation game is released with Starforce, the time it takes for Starforce-enabled games to be cracked will be vastly reduced, possibly to the extent of us seeing pre-retail pirate releases on Starforce games.

In short, show me a game hyped along the lines of Doom 3 or Half-Life 2  that uses Starforce, and let's see it stand up to pirates for a few weeks.  Then I'll believe it's really that good.  Until then, Starforce is intrusive, unnecessary malware I will continue to boycott along with the publishers choosing to utilize it.
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xbl tag = cthonic horror

NNNOOOOOO!!
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