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5521  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Possible hacked XBox accounts on: June 11, 2009, 09:47:29 AM
I'm actually amazed that people are still being fooled by these simple phishing scams. If someone sends you a link to a site that requires some kind of login information from you, this should trigger every alarm bell in your head. If it doesn't, then perhaps being scammed is just what the doctor ordered.
5522  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Max Payne 3? on: June 10, 2009, 08:29:28 PM
I can hear Max Payne's inner monologue already:

"Outside the sun was shining, mocking the dark, wet hole where my heart used to be."
"Pale blue waves crashed against the shore in a desperate attempt to escape the monotony of the ocean, but were pulled back within moments. The deathly white sand would have none of it."

Man, noir is so easy to write, yet it always becomes so cheesy. I can't wait.  icon_biggrin
5523  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: June 10, 2009, 08:13:24 PM
Wow, I have no idea why I missed that. I didn't even catch it on my second read through your post, and had to use Find in Page.  retard
5524  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Why do I keep getting MMO's on: June 10, 2009, 08:11:13 PM

Quote from: Khoram on June 10, 2009, 08:02:01 PM

and I haven't logged into LotrO for about a week...
Ugh.

And why is that a bad thing? As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I think we all collectively need to get out of the mindset that a MMORPG needs to be played all the time. Taking a break (even for months at a time) is healthy. LOTRO is also great at supporting this kind of playstyle (well, except for a change that's coming to housing in the next patch which means that if you go for weeks at a time without paying upkeep, you'll end up having to pay 90% of your house's value to get it back. That's a lot of gold).
5525  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: June 10, 2009, 08:08:14 PM
jersoc, I don't know if you've played The Witcher, but based on your comments I think you'd really like it... well, except for the boobs part, of which The Witcher contains numerous examples.

"Mature" is a word that is greatly abused by more game companies than just Bioware though. For the most part when a developer says their game is "mature", they really mean to say that it's "adolescent".
5526  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Max Payne 3? on: June 10, 2009, 08:04:36 PM
I disagree. One of the two previous games' main strenghts were how focused and cinematic they were (for the time). Max Payne would become too much like GTA if they opened it up like that, and that would just lead to a lack of focus in this case.
5527  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Max Payne 3? on: June 10, 2009, 07:46:42 PM
Why would a Max Payne game need a day/night cycle? Are they trying to make it into an open world game?
5528  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bing, Microsoft's new search engine on: June 10, 2009, 08:18:26 AM
If you change your country to the USA in the upper right corner, you'll get the Video option.
5529  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Knee pain on: June 09, 2009, 10:18:06 PM
Keep in mind that knee damage takes a long time to heal and probably needs to be excercised back in shape. I tore off two ligaments in my knee in March, and I'm still struggling with daily pain and limitations (I can't jog, run or jump, for example), and I have to excercise following a strict program 5-6 days a week.

If the doctor said you're going to have pain for a week, he's probably right. Let your knee rest. If it keeps hurting, let him know.
5530  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 09, 2009, 10:06:46 PM
The romantic options can be hard to get until you realize how they work. At the most basic level, you'll have access to stuff like "Flirt", "Flirtatious Joke", "Compliment Appearance", etc. Do a few of those, and you'll unlock the next set of options, such as "First Kiss", "Confess Attraction", and so on. Pay attention to the other sim's thoughts about your sim while doing this. It'll start out saying (hopefully) that he/she thinks your sim is being flirty. Then it'll go through a few other stages, such as alluring and irresistible. If you see it drop back to Flirty or anything that doesn't sound romantic, you've done something wrong.

Here's the trick though: If you break up the romantic stuff with a friendly action for example, your romantic level will drop instantly again, even if married. You need to bring it back up by going through the motions again. If you've previously made the sim fall in love with you, it'll be easier to get to the interesting levels (which is what's happening with those of you who can only Woohoo! after marriage or going steady).

In other words, if you want to WooHoo!, you need to keep spamming the romantic conversation options. Try not to repeat the same ones too much, or you'll bore the other sim. Don't try non-romantic stuff until you've achieved your romantic goals.

My latest sim (a struggling artist) slept with 6 different girls before getting married with no problems. He'd usually get them to bed within minutes of them coming inside his door to visit.
5531  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [First Review on the NET!] PROTOTYPE on: June 09, 2009, 07:36:45 PM
The headers don't really need to be there to separate categories. They need to be there to break up the text. The review is nice, but it could really use some space, such as headers that tease some of the content coming in the following paragraphs.

Anyway, Prototype is now preordered. A major Norwegian gaming site has also given the game 9 out of 10, and GamePro did too. Looking forward to playing it.
5532  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Prototype on: June 09, 2009, 01:53:04 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 09, 2009, 01:49:16 PM

It's actually ship day.  Release day is tomorrow.

According to GameSpot, the US release date is today, not the ship date. The European release date is Friday, sadly. If I preorder it, I'll get it on Thursday.
5533  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Prototype on: June 09, 2009, 01:08:23 PM
Where the hell are all the reviews? I'm not going to order this game until I'm sure it's good. It's usually not a good sign when release day arrives and there are no reviews online at all.
5534  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Scribblenauts on: June 08, 2009, 07:53:11 AM
I'm skeptical to this game. So far I haven't seen much actual gameplay, just the player spawning all kinds of objects to see how they'll interact with each other and the limited world. I can see that being fun for half an hour, but how is the rest of the gameplay? There needs to be some kind of actual challenge in here, not just a (admittedly fun) sandbox.
5535  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Post E3 - Top 5 List? on: June 06, 2009, 03:12:39 PM
Let's hope I don't forget any important ones:

1: Heavy Rain
2: Uncharted 2
3: Assassin's Creed 2
4: The new Monkey Island games (including the remake)
5: Alan Wake

The common denominator for all of the above games is that they are unique in their style and gameplay (yes, even Uncharted 2, mostly because of the way in which it uses story, characters and scenery) except for the Monkey Island games which are in my list because... well, they're Monkey Island! smile
5536  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: First 2 InFAMOUS Review on: June 05, 2009, 09:35:08 PM
Holy crap, the control system is starting to really piss me off. I just finished a 1.5-hour session that did nothing but make me angry. The worst situation was when I tried to pick up a blast shard next to the ocean. It was placed in such a way that a normal person would be able to walk over to it, yet I died THREE times while trying to get to it, despite being really careful. The game doesn't check to see what you're trying to do at all, instead attempting to attach you to whatever is closest. It doesn't work if you're trying to move fast, because then you're not likely to want to attach to anything, so it'll just slow you down. It doesn't work if you're trying to get to some specific point, because you're likely to get stuck on something that has nothing to do with your target since what you're looking for and heading towards seems to have no effect on what you actually get attached to.

Combine that with suddenly having to fight numerous huge bad guys who take several minutes to take down, and a mission with unclear objectives, unobvious linear paths that, if you try to go at them in a non-linear way, will break the mission script. Add in about a dozen endlessly respawning enemies (until you kill the big ones, which takes several minutes of mindless button-mashing) in a constrained area with no places to take cover that will actually cover you from all enemies.

And another mission where I'm supposed to destroy certain things that appear to be invulnerable to damage. There is no obvious way to deal with them except trial and failure, and trying to take your time to think means you get shot.

And another mission where I'm supposed to take down a group of three dustmen, not hurting the fourth who is a good-guy with a special helmet. It was pretty much impossible to see any difference between them, even when fully zoomed in, because of the low-quality graphics. I had to just repeat the mission until I got lucky and killed the right guys.

I don't like turning off games in anger. That's not why I'm into this hobby.
5537  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 05, 2009, 11:47:54 AM
I've played all the three Sims games, and I can say that this is the first one where you don't really have to micromanage anyone's needs. The sims are pretty good at doing what needs to be done without your input, and they have more time each day to do it. I've never seen a sim get anywhere close to soiling himself, and I've never seen them collapse from exhaustion or break down crying out of frustration over anything (well, except for Mr Bob Gump above who breaks out crying for no reason at all). You might sometimes want to override the things your sims want to do simply because they're doing them out of habit. For example, the girl I've mentioned a couple of times above is a computer geek. She'll often get up from bed and head directly for the computer to play games or chat even if she's hungry. If things got really bad though, she would be able to feed herself. It's just that she'd wait until the last second.

Your sims can also satisfy some of their needs at work. They can go to the bathroom and eat if needed, and they can even socialize if you tell them to.
5538  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 05, 2009, 06:56:49 AM
Started a new sim yesterday, but didn't play him for very long. I deliberately made him very different from my other sims. He's a fat, lazy, dirty slob whose greatest aspiration is to watch TV all day and mooch food and money off anyone who bothers to listen to him for more than a few seconds. His lifetime goal is to marry a rich woman and take over her fortune when she dies. He refuses to take any job.

The first thing he did when I got him his apartment was to lie down in bed and dream about himself. After realizing that he would do this all day long if I didn't stop him, I sent him off to the park, where he seemed to be extremely fascinated by a statue there. He'd stare at it for hours, only interrupted by short bouts of crying. I did mention he's a loser, right? He's such a loser that he'll sometimes cry over his own misfortune until he bravely holds back the tears. Seeing that he was getting hungry, he started chatting up a girl who was passing by. A couple of short-term goals popped up as he did so, which were all very fitting for his personality. They were stuff like "Find out if she is rich" and "Mooch some money off her". Turned out she wasn't rich, she was in a relationship, and she was offended when he asked for money. At least he managed to make her give him some cereal (why was she carying around a bowl of cereal anyway?). He wandered off to a nearby bench and ate the cereal, then put the bowl on the ground. Giving it some extra thought, he picked the bowl back up, licked it clean, then put it back down again. A man can make a living like this!

I very much like how you'll get goals that are appropriate for your sim's personality. One of my other sims was very focused on having everything clean and tidy around him and would become unhappy with any amount of filth around. His goals would often be stuff like carrying out the trash, cleaning the dishes, or taking a bath (even if he was at full hygiene). Another sim who was very romantic and had a lifetime goal of becoming the girlfriend of 10 other sims often had goals like "Woohoo with *sim name*" and things related to romance and friendship.
5539  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: what is your favorite XBLA/PSN game? on: June 05, 2009, 06:30:37 AM
A couple of good PSN titles off the top of my head:

- Flower
- Super Stardust HD
- Echochrome
- Penny Arcade Adventures
- Worms
5540  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 04, 2009, 03:05:12 PM
Well Zarkon, make sure you finish your research before you write the full review so you don't end up complaining about missing features that are already in the game.  icon_wink

NPCs will move in and out of the city according to its size. If there are few people, more will move in. If there are many people, some will move out. Be careful though, because the game can supposedly even move out some of your own families if it feels like it.

Also, as CeeKay says, there are trash cans in the game.
5541  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 04, 2009, 01:28:05 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on June 04, 2009, 01:20:39 PM

I've only played 11 game days (Tilt do you play on fastest speed all the time? How the hell have you progressed so far?).

I used the pirate version before I got the full game in the mail yesterday, so I had a few days extra to play around with it. Aging is set to the level above normal (ie. they age slower), and I tend to micromanage my sims quite a lot instead of letting them do their own thing. At least for this first game. My next family is going to be allowed to do their own thing a lot more.
5542  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 04, 2009, 01:19:50 PM
You need to keep your sims happy for them to be promoted, as well as keep your skills and work relationships up. The career screen shows you how you're doing in each of these fields. You should have more than enough time between each work session to get ready for another one. If it gets too stressful though, try slacking off at work for a while. Pay attention your sims' traits and act accordingly. If they like things squeaky clean for example, you're going to have problems if their apartment is dirty.

In the end though, the game isn't about getting to the top of the promotion ladder. It's about having fun and creating an interesting story. Like this: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/feature-articles/sims-3-life.php
5543  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 04, 2009, 07:01:41 AM
No, there's no murder in the game. The Evil trait is more in the style of Dr Evil from Austin Powers, where you can end up becoming a supervillain (yes, that's an actual career). I've heard that most mundane actions also have evil counterparts, such as "Eat evil food", "Troll on forum" and "Clean toilet fiendishly" (may or may not be actual actions. I know the trolling part is in the game though). As an evil mastermind, you are most likely just going to be mean to people, steal their stuff and rummage through their garbage. And make them cry.

When I started playing the game, I made a middle-aged healthy guy and his young girlfriend who had just decided to move in together (without actual commitment). His lifetime goal was to become a superstar athlete. Her lifetime goal was to have 10 different boyfriends/girlfriends throughout her life. The plan was to have her break up with him after having some fun, and then go on her sexual rampage through town. Well, plans only last so long. I quickly realized that they had to rely on each other in order to earn any real money, so they both had to get proper jobs. He got a job selling hot dogs at a stadium, while she started out cleaning kitchens or something. I honestly can't remember at this point. They had a crappy apartment with crappy furniture that would break or clog at the most inopportune moments, which again lead to both of them becoming quite handy with tools. Once in a while one of them would start dreaming of something nice to purchase, like a new stove or a treadmill, which cost me most of the money I had saved up but made them happy.

They had some challenges with their relationship. She got a female lover on the side, who she sometimes spent the night with while he was home alone. On the other hand, he started calling up the maid and inviting her over those nights, and one thing lead to another. Eventually the secrets became hard to hide, which lead to crying, slapping and apologies from both sides.

Over time their careers started to become quite good. She became a top chef, and he eventually became the athlete superstar he had always wanted to be. They managed to afford a great seaside lot on which they built their new house, a rather luxurious place with top quality furniture. They couldn't afford everything they wanted right away, so some rooms were rather sparse initially, but they saved up money where they could, and the house slowly became more and more like their dream home. Despite my plans to go the other direction, one night after a particularly passionate bit of love-making, he brought out a ring and proposed to her. She was giddy with excitement (being a very excitable person after all. It was one of her traits) and they jumped to bed again. They married in private a few days later.

At this point their lives are going so well that they are constantly ecstatic with joy and happiness. They flirt and kiss with each other whenever they can. He has become like David Beckham, one of the world's most famous sports stars. She is a famous chef who can dish up some very exotic foods. She has abandoned her plans to sleep with half the town and is enjoying her marriage. He has just become elderly and is considering retiring.

It's almost sad to see them growing older after all I've seen them go through. I've become attached to them. You know a game works when you get that kind of feeling. smile
5544  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Trailer on: June 04, 2009, 06:40:25 AM
I wish they'd just give us a proper 2D (movement-wise. It would use 3D graphics, of course) Castlevania on a big console like the PS3 and/or the 360. There are so many cool things they could do with that kind of power.
5545  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 03, 2009, 04:25:20 PM
Hmmm, I'm trying to register my game, but the verification image I'm supposed to type in the letters from isn't showing, despite trying two browsers and numerous reloads. I haven't got a firewall problem. Anyone else experiencing this?
5546  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 03, 2009, 01:45:05 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on June 03, 2009, 01:19:02 PM

That's not what I'm referring to- maybe I'm misunderstanding your argument but everything in Star Wars exists simply because that's how Lucas wants it and he made no effort at trying to find scientific rationale for the stuff (that's not a criticism BTW).  So there is no reason to attempt to apply some form of anthropological analysis to the evolution of the Star Wars universe over 4,000 years.  It's like the sad attempts to retcon Lucas's mistake on giving out the Kessel Run record in distance instead of time. 

So any attempt to see rationality and consistency in the Star Wars canon is misguided and sad? That's a pretty extreme view of things which I don't think you share with many other Star Wars fans. Any fantasy story can be described like you do with Star Wars. Anything in such a story exists only because that's how the author wants it, with little or no scientific rationale. While you say that isn't criticism, you clearly argue as if it is.

Star Wars has internal consistency, both as standalone movies and in the EU. Why should science come into it? Science has little to do with Star Wars, but you don't need science to have logic.

Quote
As for Lucas personally approving changes made to the canon- that's untrue.  He is rarely involved at that level.  There are several full time employees at Lucasfilm who handle maintaining that stuff.  He is briefed on the high level stuff (ie, we are proposing a new book series with the following plot) and gets input over that along with major character fates.  But he doesn't even read that vast majority of the EU material that's out there. 

You are indeed right. I checked my facts just now and saw how it works. They do keep a very detailed record of everything in the universe (in what they call the Holocron) and categorize it according to how canon it is. The movies are absolute canon. The TV-series come right after. After that comes the comics, novels and games, all at the same level. Since the comics and the games appear at the same level of canon and are supposed to avoid contradicting each other (by decree of Lucasfilm), it should be assumed that The Old Republic, having come long after Tales of the Jedi, should respect the canon from the latter.

The whole "300 years between the stories" thing is clouding the argument here, so let's just look at KOTOR itself, which suffered from many of the same problems. The events in KOTOR took place merely 10 years after well-documented Tales of the Jedi events, yet the technology has still made many of the same massive jumps. Arguing that this doesn't matter because many scientific laws are broken in Star Wars misses the whole point. Civilization and people in the Star Wars universe work rationally within the rules of the setting they live in, despite its setting being scientifically incorrect. Thus we should be able to apply rational arguments as to their development and reasonable actions over time.

Having said that, I think this whole discussion is pointless. You are obviously a very casual Star Wars fan, while I'm pretty hardcore. A discussion about Star Wars canon between the two of us is meaningless since we have very different levels of respect for the universe it takes place in. I find Bioware's lack of respect for the canon to be insulting, while you don't care. That's pretty much the end of the story.
5547  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 03, 2009, 01:02:03 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on June 03, 2009, 12:50:36 PM

Because it was never made with that kind of logical consistency in mind.  Star Wars is more Space Fantasy than Science Fiction. 

On the contrary, George Lucas was extraordinarily interested in maintaining internal consistency and adding great amounts of detail to seemingly inconsequential details. If you see an alien creature walking around in the background in the original trilogy, you can be pretty sure Lucas wrote at least a short section on its name, history and motivations, and probably much more than that. The Star Wars universe was extremely rich even before anyone started dealing with the Extended Universe, and Lucas has always insisted on personally approving anything that was to be added to the canon. Yes, there have been mistakes (with the massive amount of stories written for Star Wars, that's not surprising), but a very good job has historically been done at keeping the internal consistency in the setting strong.

I find it surprising that you say that it wasn't made with logical consistency in mind. Do you base that on anything in particular except for the movies being Space Opera? Can't a fantasy story have logical consistency just because it's not based on science?
5548  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves revealed! on: June 03, 2009, 12:22:35 PM
I'm impressed at how cool they managed to make the trailer without filling it up with standard trailer-music. In fact, most of it didn't have any music at all. That they're able to do that and still make such an impression is a very, very good sign. smile
5549  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tales of Monkey Island plus Monkey Island SE on: June 03, 2009, 10:25:22 AM
The new version of Monkey Island 1 isn't a 3D game, from what I can see. It appears it's just had its original graphics replaced with ones that look more similar to what we've seen in newer Monkey Island titles. Of course, you can also switch between the original and the remade version at any point from what I've heard.

I've preordered Tales of Monkey Island already. The devs and Dominic Armato (the voice of Guybrush Threepwood) are spilling their guts over there.
5550  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 03, 2009, 08:25:22 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 03, 2009, 07:53:38 AM

Quote from: TiLT on June 02, 2009, 07:08:55 PM

Also keep in mind that the Star Wars universe is very capitalistic in how it works, and they've always been portrayed as very hungry for new inventions and technology (yes, even in TotJ). While it's entirely possible that technology on a galactic scale regressed over the 3000 years between the KOTOR MMORPG and the movies, there is absolutely nothing in Star Wars lore to support this, and I find it very hard to believe.

where did they fill out the lore between KotOR and Episode One?  that'd be an interesting read and something I didn't known they did.

You can read up on it here. There appears to have been some decline in the Republic (technology isn't mentioned, with the exception of the Holonet becoming too expensive to maintain at one point) over a period of about 1000 years in between Tales of the Jedi and the movies, but the rest of the period was relatively uneventful and prosperous.
5551  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 03, 2009, 06:04:40 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on June 03, 2009, 05:25:09 AM

You can't try to apply some sense of real worldbuilding to a series that always begins "A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...."

Why not?
5552  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Can someone who works (or worked) for Gamestop explain why... on: June 02, 2009, 08:46:48 PM
A little tip for removing those tricky stickers: Use a hair dryer or similar object to heat the sticker for a while. The glue will melt, allowing you to easily peel the sticker off while it's still warm.
5553  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 02, 2009, 07:08:55 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 02, 2009, 06:48:36 PM

they haven't explained what may have happened during the intervening years, so who knows why tech didn't progress.  from what I understand technology actually regressed during Palpatines reign due to the way he ran things, so something could have happened on a longer scale.

Yes, technology regressed in the Empire. The Rebel Alliance did massive amounts of research to compensate, and by the time the New Republic was founded, they had the most advanced starfighters ever seen in the galaxy, by far. The X-wing for example, was such a massive leap in starfighter technology that the whole company that made it jumped ship to the Rebels to give them an edge over the Empire.

Also keep in mind that the Star Wars universe is very capitalistic in how it works, and they've always been portrayed as very hungry for new inventions and technology (yes, even in TotJ). While it's entirely possible that technology on a galactic scale regressed over the 3000 years between the KOTOR MMORPG and the movies, there is absolutely nothing in Star Wars lore to support this, and I find it very hard to believe.

No, the simple answer to this conundrum is this: Bioware is afraid of making casual Star Wars fans feel detached from the setting, so they're bending it (breaking it, in my opinion) to bring it closer to what people will recognize, while at the same time adding stuff they think is "hip" and "cool", like jedi armor (I mean, wtf is that all about? What is it supposed to protect them against? Rocks and pebbles from the peasants?).
5554  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 02, 2009, 05:37:05 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 02, 2009, 05:20:17 PM

[edit to add] here's the timeline they're using.  it looks like it's 300 years after the first KotOR game.

Alright, and 311 years after TotJ. Still doesn't explain how they made such a massive leap in technology in a relatively small amount of time (for Star Wars), then in the next 3000 years or so not only didn't progress any more, but actually regressed in technology. And they invented the Star Destroyer 3000 years before its first model actually saw the light of day. And TIE Fighters, a ship class that was created because of Palpatine's demand for cheap starfighters.

The setting they chose to place this game in is rich enough as it is. Why do they have to be revisionists? Do they really have so little faith in themselves?
5555  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 02, 2009, 05:19:23 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 02, 2009, 05:16:20 PM

btw, I think Tales of the Jedi take place further back the Knights of the Old Republic era, which is what this one seems to be focusing on.

There's overlap, actually. I know at least one of the TotJ books takes place about 10 years before KOTOR. Compare that to both being about 3000-4000 years before the movies. If there was THAT dramatic technological advancement in 10 years, what the flying fuck were they doing for the next thousands of years?
5556  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 02, 2009, 04:54:49 PM
OK, wtf? That video managed to completely turn me off for now. The time period this game takes place in has been well documented stylistically through the Tales of the Jedi comics, but Bioware seems to ignore every single thing just so they won't scare away people not familiar with the period. And what's with the TIE-fighters and Star Destroyers? Those ships were designed around the time the Old Republic collapsed. And the technology, the technology... The setting at the time felt ancient. Civilizations on planets were almost medieval in style, even on Coruscant, with actual technology being almost religious in the way it's treated (see the Mandalorian battle armor, which was a status symbol worn by their greatest leader). Space ships were the biggest clue that this was a space-faring galaxy, but even those were primitive (it would often take weeks of travel to move between planets, needing many stops with heavy manual calculations on the way, unless you paid a hefty premium for an explored, "safe" route). Yet here we see a civilization at a HIGHER technological level than we've seen in the movies (even the Jedi wear advanced battle armor). Hello? Could someone please rein in the artists for this project?

Argh, as a Star Wars geek, this was NOT what I needed to see to give me confidence in the game.
5557  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XBLA]Monkey Island on: June 02, 2009, 11:51:00 AM
The goatee isn't a new thing for Guybrush. Remember Monkey Island 2? People kept making fun of his goatee there. In fact, certain elements of the trailer to Tales of Monkey Island makes it look like this might be set to the Monkey Island 2 period since Guybrush has a goatee and LeChuck is still a zombie.
5558  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: First 2 InFAMOUS Review on: June 02, 2009, 07:23:41 AM
I've played this game quite a bit this weekend and now feel ready to give my impressions:

The Bad:
------------

* The graphics are outdated. They look like the first games from this generation, and not even the good ones at that. Compare this to games like Assassin's Creed, and inFAMOUS ends up lacking.
* The animations are possibly the worst I've seen in a AAA-game this generation. They are absolutely atrocious. Everyone moves like robots. There's no acceleration to movement at all. Poses are laughably bad. Facial animation reminds me of Canadians in South Park.
* As soon as you round a corner, if there's any enemy in the city who can draw a straight line to your location without going through a wall (and sometimes they're not even that picky), he will fire at you (and probably hit), even if he's a mile away. There's not even half a second of delay. They see and recognize you immediately and fire upon you at the same split second. This is not fun.
* Enemies will fire at you ALL THE TIME. You'll even get attacked by groups of enemies in supposedly "safe" areas, on completely cleared islands. There's also no way for you to avoid their shots, and since they fire at you from above most of the time, even getting behind cover isn't likely to help much. When it comes to being fired upon in games, there's a good rule of thumb: Always give the player the option to avoid being hit. Either have enemy shots move slow enough that they can be dodged (like the rockets), or make it so that you can move fast or erratic to make enemies miss. For most enemy attacks in the game, the shots are undodgeable, and they'll hit you even if you're zooming along at incredible speed. This is very, very annoying.
* Enemies attack ALL THE TIME. You don't get a moment's rest. I've had missions I ended up abandoning because wave after wave of enemies would come out of a nearby dark zone to attack me. As soon as one massive wave was down, another would come. I never got the chance to actually try the mission, so I had to abandon it until I could bring electricity back to the dark zone. Actually entering one of these zones is tedious. I had hoped to be able to carefully fight my way through them, conserving my power until I needed it the most. Instead I'm under constant attack by respawning enemies, which means that the only option that makes sense is to run like hell to your objective. Not fun.
* Voice acting is bad. Really bad. Really, really bad.
* The NPCs are uninteresting at best. The writing is shoddy and isn't helped by the voice acting.
* The "magnetic" movement of your character is wonky. It mostly works fine, but just try to land on the floor when there are other objects nearby! Also, attempting to jump onto a ladder or other thin, climbable object is incredibly freaking hard. Even if you hit it straight on, you'll most likely slide right past it. This has often sent me flying head first into pools of water and is extremely frustrating. Why couldn't they have made ladders high-priority targets for your magnetism?


The Good:
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* Despite all its flaws, the game is surprisingly fun. I like open-world games. I can't quite put my finger on why it's fun, it just is.
* Generous checkpoints. They've done this absolutely right. Whenever I die, I don't lose much progress. You even get multiple checkpoints through missions, which means that you don't have to replay the entire mission most of the times. This reduces the annoyance factor from many of the negative aspects of the game. If the checkpoints were as poorly placed as in most other games, I would probably toss away inFAMOUS in disgust. Kudos!
* Earning XP and choosing powers is fun. It's too easy to buy everything, but it still adds a little spice to the formula.
* Using electricity to travel at high speed is fun.

Overall I like the game, but it's no classic. It's definitely worth playing, but there are some really strange pieces of game design in here.

Edit: Forgot one bad thing
5559  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Crysis 2 on: June 01, 2009, 08:23:00 PM
The biggest bottleneck on the consoles is their amazingly low amount of RAM. I mean, on the PS3 you've only got about 256 MB of RAM to work with, with another 256 MB that I don't really know how works. On the 360 you've got 512 MB (in theory, which is far from reality). Now, let's assume that a PC's OS uses 1 GB of RAM, to be a bit excessive. That still means most modern PCs have between 1 and 3 GB free RAM for games, plus 512 MB or more on their graphics cards.

The sharp textures we're used to in PC games won't ever become a reality on the current generation of consoles, I'm afraid. I'm still curious about how Crysis 2 will deal with it, but I strongly suggest that the console versions will have considerable pop-up and won't look as good as the first Crysis.
5560  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Freeware cartography app? on: May 27, 2009, 07:39:34 AM
I know you specified that you want a freeware app, but I don't have much experience with those. The freeware cartography apps I've seen haven't been all that impressive, creating only the most basic of maps or being incredibly complex to use.

What I use these days is Campaign Cartographer 3. It's really come a long way since its first two versions, and you can easily make maps that can rival those found in commercial RPG books. Here's the map I made for a D&D campaign I'm currently running, for example.

The problem with Campaign Cartographer is that it's somewhat expensive, so it's probably not what you're looking for. If you're concerned about the quality of the finished work though, you should give it a look.
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