Balboa Comments

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  • Sony ditches appeal over £250,000 PSN hack fine

  • Balboa 15/07/2013

    @TheEarlOfZinger It goes into the Consolidated Fund Reply 0
  • Battling to stay online

  • Balboa 08/06/2013

    I'm glad people are still playing this. I put 50 hours into the 360 version, it's a great game. Shame EA doesn't seem to value it as much as the players do. Reply +7
  • Ubisoft clarifies "93-95%" PC piracy rate comments

  • Balboa 05/09/2012

    Companies never do anything for the customer unless it gains them money. Always-on DRM was probably costing them more money than piracy. Reply +1
  • Ex-Mass Effect dev pleads: "judge DLC based on what it is"

  • Balboa 12/03/2012

    @Rogueywon You're right, and I agree that it's inevitable, but EA needs to man up and admit that they're hiking prices instead of hiding behind marketing spin.

    Pretending that basic editions are the same value for money as always, and the collector's/digital deluxe/dlc versions are extra side content isn't fooling people any more.

    Alternatively they could reign in the budget a little, and stop launching copies into space and shoehorning in gimick "actresses".
    Reply +7
  • Assassin's Creed 3 will be "back to basics"

  • Balboa 09/03/2012

    @GhostPig Probably not. Washington had the Apple during this period, and is friends with Connor & Assassins. I'd be very surprised if the British are anything but Video Game Nazis. Reply +11
  • Sony confirms Journey goes live for EU PS Plus subscribers a week early

  • Balboa 05/03/2012

    Journey's reviewed really well this week. Delaying sales during this natural marketing period is a fantastic idea, and by "fantastic" I mean "bewildering". Reply +1
  • Tribes: Ascend open beta release date announced

  • Balboa 22/02/2012

    I have a couple of keys if anyone wants to get in before friday.


    Use them here.
    Reply +1
  • GSC denies Stalker 2 cancelled rumour

  • Balboa 09/12/2011

    That tweet seems to be missing now. Reply +4
  • Sony makes PSN Pass official

  • Balboa 06/07/2011

    @lewiep Nice catch Reply +3
  • SW:TOR "highly derivative" of WOW

  • Balboa 13/06/2011

    Jeff Gerstmann was saying similar things in Giantbomb's day zero E3 bombcast (around the 2h25m mark). They both arrived at these conclusions after playing a hands-on.

    This doesn't mean you have to stop being excited for it - just don't expect the mechanics to break new ground. They've pumped a lot of money into this, it's the MMO equivalent of mainstream manshooters.
    Reply +1
  • LOTRO to relaunch as free-to-play

  • Balboa 04/06/2010

    @hiddenranbir - look lower down, for "I have a lifetime subscription to LOTRO. What will Free-to-Play mean for me?"

    "You will receive 500 Free Points every month like the other VIPs, but you do not have to pay a monthly fee since you are a lifetime member."
    Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Red Dead Redemption

  • Balboa 25/05/2010

    re: pier shadow - it's in the background of the boat shot, center left. The boat's top section is missing shadow too. Reply 0
  • Gravity Crash

  • Balboa 02/12/2009

    I couldn't disagree with the tone and score of this review more. At worst it has some interface shortcomings, but for £6 Gravity Crash is an awesome game. Reply +11
  • Gearbox discusses Borderlands ending

  • Balboa 25/11/2009

    @penhalion To be fair, you're probably getting -1s because you've misunderstood the ending. The guardian angel explained why. Reply +1
  • Balboa 25/11/2009

    You'd think people would be happy you saved the universe, but all you sods want is dark orange loot. Greedy buggers :)

    The idea is that you were tricked; The Destroyer isn't guarding anything. The Eridians forced it into the "vault" to stop it from destroying all life.

    It's not explained why it opens every 200 years, but I'd imagine it's got something to do with it weakening the portal, or needing to beat it down regularly to stop it growing too strong.

    The Bioshock phrase right at the start was a tip-off. I pretty much expected to get the shaft at some point.
    Reply +2
  • Free DDO boosts subs by 40 per cent

  • Balboa 19/10/2009

    You need 50k XP to hit level 5, and you get between 1 and 2.5k base XP per quest. There are 5 level 4 quests available. I'm not going to total up the number of purchasable quests and XP, but I'm willing to bet it covers the deficit.

    This is what I'm talking about when I say DDO FTP isn't less frills. There is plenty of content at the start (18 quests at level 2), and then it drops off rather quickly.

    I'm sorry if this seems critical of a game you like, but I think the numbers speak for themselves.
    Reply -1
  • Balboa 18/10/2009

    Sure, but there are diminishing returns, and you need a lot of XP to level past the Marketplace. Grinding isn't really DDO's thing, unless you want more than one of the quest rewards (or a levelling token).

    When you have fresh stuff to explore, the game is pretty awesome. The quests are it's strong point; and if you don't buy them, you're not losing frills, you're missing out on the core game.
    Reply 0
  • Balboa 16/10/2009

    It's not really a "less frills" thing - it's very hard to level once you reach the marketplace if you don't buy some extra content. It's more of a really generous demo than free-to-play.

    Buying this content ends up more expensive than subbing, unless you sub for years. Actually I guess they admit that in the article, heh.

    The problem with the store model, for players, is that it reduces incentive for the company to roll out content as part of subscriptions. You can see this happening with Lotro; Mirkwood has about the same level of content as some previous book updates, but they're charging for it. Subscriptions are becoming access fees, rather than funding content updates.
    Reply 0
  • Risen

  • Balboa 02/10/2009

    @sneetch Jeff Gerstmann said recently (in a Bombcast, I think), that reviewers typically just get software; no manuals or other retail-package stuff.

    I don't think the lack of a manual invalidates the review, personally. In fact, I hate having to look up stuff in manuals, because it usually means the game isn't doing a good enough job at informing you.
    Reply +1
  • APB beta opens next week

  • Balboa 01/10/2009

    It's not coming out for console at this time, last I heard Reply +1
  • LOTRO: Mirkwood in December

  • Balboa 30/09/2009

    Yeah, cross-character storage was originally part of the expansion.

    Splitting it out and charging another $20 seems a little tight to me; I think the DDO store has gone to their heads.
    Reply +2
  • Balboa 30/09/2009

    Apparently they're still finalising details. Reply 0
  • Brutal Legend demo now on Live

  • Balboa 24/09/2009

    @MrChallacombe Out of the 19 stories in the main list on the front page, 10 are Sony-centric.

    So if EG are biased towards the 360, they're about as good at is as they are telling the difference between the US and EU marketplaces :p
    Reply +7
  • Aion trumpets 400,000 pre-orders

  • Balboa 18/09/2009

    @Kremlik Yeah, they need to remove it permanently.

    The worst thing is that it only screws up honest players. It's piss-easy to circumvent.
    Reply 0
  • LOTRO's new Skirmishes mode detailed

  • Balboa 09/09/2009

    Massively stated 3, 6 and 12, but slightly earlier coverage said they support solo characters as well. Reply 0
  • Balboa 09/09/2009

    @hiddenranbir Never going to happen. They said it's designed around the Turbine account system, which Codemasters replaced with their own. Which is probably why they're not doing anything with DDO in Europe.

    Hopefully Siege of Mirkwood will work as a code-based expansion, otherwise we probably won't see that either.
    Reply 0
  • D&D Online relaunch a success

  • Balboa 08/09/2009

    @joe90 The client is specifically blocking Europeans now? Reply 0
  • The Edge of Reason?

  • Balboa 09/08/2009

    And so, five days later, Langdell threatens to sue us.

    Must have hit a nerve.
    Reply +2
  • ShopTo: MW2 price sets "worrying trend"

  • Balboa 28/07/2009

    @jimbo118 The UK price hike was supposedly because the Pound is weak against the Euro. They'll have to invent a different excuse for Ireland. Reply +5
  • Ghostbusters for 360 gets release date

  • Balboa 28/07/2009

    Sony didn't steam-roller anything; Atari's PAL distribution died. Namco Bandai bought it and formed Namco Bandai Partners, but this was happening too late for the Ghostbusters Bluray release. Reply 0
  • Pachter: Activision MW2 price "is a test"

  • Balboa 22/07/2009

    Pachter might be stating the obvious, but I think it's important that someone within the industry is calling them out on it. Reply +13
  • World first complete city capture in WAR

  • Balboa 07/04/2009

    @Kremlik Yeah. When Destruction actually pull their finger out, they own T1-3 on Azgal. There was a 3-warband strong outfit creaming us just the other day. I expect the tide to turn in T4 quite shortly. Reply 0
  • Ross accidentally announces Fable III

  • Balboa 11/03/2009

    If you google for "fable 3" the second hit is an IGN article talking about 3, 4 and 5. This is about as surprising as a Sims expansion. Reply 0
  • Quake Live beta opens tomorrow

  • Balboa 23/02/2009

    I don't remember that training hallway from when I last did it. I saw it as a challenge, and promptly got an asswhooping when I had to fight Crash after getting to the end. I remember when I used to be slightly ok at this, but it's all over now :) Reply 0
  • MS responds to XBL account expiries

  • Balboa 20/02/2009

    I think some people are getting confused with Hotmail and Windows Live IDs. Live IDs aren't email addresses. Live ID is what used to be called Passport - it's mostly an authentication system, that happens to use the text of an email address as a login name.

    It doesn't matter if you used Hotmail, Gmail or something else to register your Live ID, at the moment you still need to log into a Live ID website with it regularly for it to remain active.

    And yeah, my brother has gotten caught out with this. His Gamertag works on Silver, but he can't upgrade to Gold. Signing in on the console doesn't ping the Live ID, and he doesn't log into MS websites.

    Deleting the tag is a worst-case scenario, it's not a requirement for this problem.
    Reply 0
  • MS investigating XBL account blunder

  • Balboa 19/02/2009


    Not sure on the MS points - they can actually expire anyway, which is why you should never let them hang around on your account unused.

    And this is where things get a little shady - you didn't buy the marketplace software with money, you traded MS points. A "currency" entirely owned by MS, with no legal protection outside of the T&C, afaik. However I doubt they'd want the shitstorm that will ensue if they don't replace lost catalogues.

    The problem is it's hard to prove what you've purchased, because you can't log into the xbox live website and look at the marketplace log. This is why I'm glad this story has popped up, because exposure from gaming press and the community voice is probably the only thing that's going to get this stuff back.
    Reply 0
  • Balboa 18/02/2009


    I don't think the XBL account is deleted, I think it just keeps pointing to the now non-existant Windows Live account. This causes problems, because it tries to hook up to this when you try changing your subscription, for instance.


    Your marketplace points are tied to your XBL account, and if their only solution is to make a new gamertag, you're gonna lose those along with anything you've bought previously. Which underlines exactly how fragile both vender currency and DRM'd DLC is.
    Reply 0
  • Balboa 18/02/2009

    I'm glad this has finally popped up as news. Support have been giving my brother the run around for a couple of months now. Hopefully this'll prod MS into fixing it, as creating a new account isn't an option given that he's bought content. Reply 0
  • Uwe Boll gets lifetime Razzie award

  • Balboa 26/01/2009

    Aren't Paul Verhoeven and Halle Berry the only people ever to have collected their Razzies in person?

    John Rogers also turned up to collect for his contribution to Catwoman, but he probably felt ok with it knowing that 3 other writers rewrote it after him.
    Reply 0
  • Game plots are too weak to be films

  • Balboa 26/01/2008

    The Halo universe has 3 games, 6 novels, ARGs and wikis packed with back-story. The medium isn't the problem; the film industry is just incapable of looking past the mechanics of play.

    Books have cycles too: you turn the page, read some paragraphs, and turn another page. This isn't the story, it's just how you progress through it.
    Reply 0
  • Bay attacks MS and HD-DVD

  • Balboa 05/12/2007

    Yes, Microsoft are involved in this massive conspiracy to make Sony fail. They're certainly not just investing in a business to promote growth and make money, because that would be mundane and commonplace.

    Also, Sony decided to develop Blu-ray rather than stick with the HD-DVD consortium because they were furious over Toshiba getting the lion's share of royalties for DVD. To get revenge they decided to sabotage the HD-DVD format - by competing with it!

    Business is basically about mad plots for world domination, betrayal and revenge. I don't know where people get the idea that it's about making money, that's just crazy talk.
    Reply 0
  • Every Extend Extra Extreme

  • Balboa 18/10/2007

    It's not a bad toy if you like these sort of things, but I can't figure out why they stripped out the level changes and bosses. I've gotten a good few hours out of it though, and will probably get a couple more. Can't recommend it though, there's nothing of substance here. Reply 0
  • Gay slur in Scrabble DS

  • Balboa 28/09/2007


    Hah, you beat me to the punch. The IDGA should release a statement claiming that "gays aren't taught in schools that men and woman of any age design games".
    Reply 0
  • Get a Tabula Rasa beta key

  • Balboa 31/08/2007

    What amuses me most is that you honestly don't seem to realise that this isn't an FPS, and is in fact an RPG. Anyway, take a deep breath, and play a different game. You seem rather emotional. Reply 0
  • Balboa 31/08/2007

    It requires no skill? And yet you said "do not forget the "lvl < your level" part since all other creatures will pwn you in a matter of seconds."

    Requiring no skill, and having no skill are two entirely different things.
    Reply 0
  • Balboa 30/08/2007

    This beta is a lot more polished than the last; I'm a bit more confident the game will be reasonably bug-free at launch if they keep this up. Nice to see they've moved crafting to the base tier too.

    "20 press tab to activate autoaim" - that just locks your reticule, chief. You still need to aim to hit properly. And holding down the mouse button is a great way of overheating your weapon (not to mention some enemies, like the miasma, have defenses that mess that plan up.)

    As for the "lvl < your level" part, I had no problem killing multiple orange mobs - probably because I didn't just stand there holding down the mouse button.
    Reply 0
  • Space Giraffe imminent

  • Balboa 20/08/2007

    Some quick searching dug this up

    It sounds like he found it hard, and wasn't very good at it. If I reviewed games like that, Ninja Gaiden would have gotten 2/10 from me.
    Reply 0
  • Xbox Live to charge for demos?

  • Balboa 31/07/2007

    We have a choice?

    Yes, obviously we do have a choice, but in your mind it's "pay now or wait." I've never bought a console magazine because I have the internet, so from my perspective the Marketplace is changing from "free right now for Gold, or wait a week for Silver" to "pay us regardless of Gold, or wait an indeterminate time for free."

    Why would more game publishers take advantage?

    Magazines and the XBL Marketplace are different markets. Don't confuse the issue by believing nothing is changing; this isn't designed to make things better for us, it's an expansion of business. Not everyone wants to go out and spend $6 on a mag with old news, but spending $1.50 from the comfort of your own home? Worst case, it offsets the marketing costs. Best case, marketing a product suddenly becomes profitable on top of actually selling it.
    Reply 0
  • Balboa 31/07/2007

    @phAge re: "Will gamers across the globe continue to prove that when it comes to whining like a bunch of f***ing schoolgirls, no-one even comes close? " etc. etc.

    If you're not happy with something, there's nothing wrong in speaking up. Being passive doesn't really pay off most of the time.

    Anyway, demo exclusivity is just an artifact of magazine publishers throwing cash at their circulation problem, and game publishers accepting the cash because they like rolling around in it.

    Websites like Eurogamer are far and beyond better sources for fresh gaming news, and I think it's time to switch off life-support for adver-zines.
    Reply 0
  • Viva Piñata DS details

  • Balboa 31/07/2007

    Heh, it even has achievements.

    Having the terrain breakdown on the top screen is nice too. Looking forward to this, after the rather disappointing Harvest Moon.
    Reply 0