Diogo_Ribeiro Comments

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  • Retrospective: Baldur's Gate 1 and 2

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 04/03/2012

    The game's vaunted romances, where non-player characters would grow closer to the player and which prefigured those of Mass Effect or Dragon Age
    Actually, it's Torment that is the precursor. It was released between BG and BG2 and carried much of what Bioware would later do in regards to romances, with one single exception: there wasn't sex. Come to think of it, little surprise Bioware was more successful in that area.
    Reply +3
  • Naughty Dog "disheartened" when games' stories are easily branded "amazing"

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @kirankara

    uh, i didn't subject games to any kind of morality nor did i criticize uncharted for whatever violence may be portrayed. that's not what i was talking about at all. I only brought up shooting because it stands out in stark contrast with the chracter ND are trying to portray. I'd assume the same position with any kind of play mechanics that didn't really carry the theme of the cutscenes. Mushroom Kingdom doesn't have death in the traditional sense of the word, in the sense that an enemy "dying" is never manifested as death as we might know it personally or from media. dump a shotgun in Mario's hands and... well, violent or not, something just doesn't add up.

    because it's not the violence at stake. I mean, Indy has shot people, and being hit with a whip isn't really that good either. it's that shooting people repeatedly, and pretty much remorseless at that, doesn't really make for good characterization when your character is meant to be a nice, even if rough around the edges guy. the game even betrays itself in mechanics at the end of the second game - after hours of shooting people, you actually can't shoot during that decisive sequence. it's a weird series of disconnects. disconnects can be affecting under certain contexts, but in uncharted, like many other games, they make me feel like the game has plans regardless of what I'm doing. story is that thing over there, while gameplay is this thing over here, and you just shut up and press buttons when you're told to.

    which is fine for what it is - i'm certain i enjoy games that do the same, even if in a more reasonable degree - but it can't really be described as great characterization. then again, we have this weird notion that terms like characterization and story not only can be taken from other mediums into videogames, they can be tacked on and retain the same meaning when interaction goes against many of them.

    escapism is fine, and i encourage it far more than realism, but these things called videogames, see, are not without issues. and we talk about them because at the end of the day, that's what we are - players who like games (even when we don't like them!).
    Reply +1
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @newf "Video games can't flesh out a story like a novel or a 2 hour movie. Video games get a few min. of cut scenes to tell a story."

    actually, cutscenes are just the default method designers don't want to move away from. they're not even remotely mandatory. but this also ties into the old debate about narrative as something possible with nothing but play mechanics and dynamics, which as i'm sure you'll notice, isn't trendy or always commercially appealing.
    Reply +8
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @kirankara re: giving a shit. apparently you give enough of it :)

    actually, the cute thing about mario is you don't have to kill the koopas, barring specific cases - bosses, maybe a winged turtle to get to that safe platform, etc (an exception would be Mario RPGs, where you have to defeat enemies in order to get better, which is kind of a reason why I don't enjoy them as much - it's trading skill over giving a shit (!) about menus and numbers).

    meanwhile, how many enemies in uncharted are optional?

    also, heads up: you're criticizing videogame analysys when 1) you're on a site about videogame analysis, and 2) you've just made an analysis behind the would-be intentions of a virtual character in a game.

    mebbe we can go fill out some right wing papers together
    Reply +4
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @steninja "I would say the Uncharted 3 story line (in-fact all 3 Uncharted games) have a better story than the likes of Indiana Jones 4."

    This is very true. However, the beginning sequence of Indy 4 is absolutely marvelous, encapsulating just about all the good things about the character as a sort of retrospective.

    then the movie begins :(

    ...hey, it's like uncharted!
    Reply +8
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @jablonski you can replace minorities with "totally a population of X country" and it's still about shooting blokes dead ;) Reply +2
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @Vemsie the difference has zero to do with being active or passive. it has, however, everything to do with how a designer's idea of "story" doesn't intrude on his own idea of "gameplay". this dissonance exists in movies without them being interactive. in games, it becomes much more pronounced because most stories are constantly in your face, screaming "this is how the story is, this is how the character is, my character is deep and nuanced", then all that's left is a kill counter and side jokes.

    there's quite a difference between punching a nazi during an action sequence with some humor in it and running around shooting dozens of punks with deadly serious intent.

    A different way to look at this is that Indy was written as adventurous; of course, adventure would soon follow. Even the concept is risky: an archeologist dressed in leather and carrying a whip. The whip has a lot to do with it no one expects such an unconventional weapon, especially one that struck at his ego in an early age, and that doesn't ellicit as much fear in the heart of his enemies as, say, a sword. Errol Flynn used swords in his dashing escapades, but he also used tights, which means the threatening phallic portent of the blade was kinda wasted. Then again, it was a more innocent era. Yet both were incredibly powerful agents of imagination the roguish hero with a heart of gold that fights as well as he can taunt, flourishing both wit and skill.

    Uncharted is Indiana Jones minus the whip. Its narrative follows videogame convention with admirable rigour: Nathan Drake, globe-throtting archeologist, with middle class-appealing jeans and white T-shirt, driven to do what's right, at all costs, with enough confidence and stubble to win the affection of women but the character loses all logic once the game begins. The whip, then, is an obvious vehicle not just for action sequences, but for great character development through its narrative. Uncharted doesn't have a whip; it has guns and the guns kill the narrative (and probably a thousand guys along with it).

    Another example, already mentioned in the comments, is Kane and Lynch. Whatever one feels about the game or its characters is moot: it's a game about assholes who are killers. no part of the "story" contradicts this, nor does it obscure it. using presentation and reinforcing characterization through gameplay has little to do with videogames being a "10 hour game in an artform that is active instead of passive", but has everything to do with doing a good job at it. ND may provide a good story and a good game, but are lousy at making them feel one and the same. uncharted as story and as game are two different things entirely.
    Reply +17
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @Vemsie indiana jones is about adventure, not killing bad people. most conflicts in indiana jones are really about his self (the offbeat look, the unconventional weapon, wit instead of muscle) - deaths are pretty sparse and not gratuituous. he doesn't kill because people are in his way, he kills because out of all people in his way some are a direct threat on his life or those he cares about.

    in uncharted, everything is forced to be a threat because otherwise, people would moan about it not being enough of a game with shooterisms.
    Reply +9
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    @SeanBeansGravyBoat it's the context. Gears of War doesn't disconnect because its story is about relatively human slabs of meat protecting their turf. so's the gameplay. uncharted, presumably about a modern indiana jones, is actually about murdering hundred of enemies, with the ocasional stopgap of "puzzles". Reply +6
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 24/01/2012

    we work so hard at it
    That you do, except it has no bearing on what I'm playing. The minute your cutscenes end, I'm no longer playing the Uncharted about Drake, the hardened adventurer with a heart of gold; I'm playing that other Uncharted, which is about a one man's crusade against ethnic minorities shooting at me so I can't climb things. Maybe that's a hint.
    Reply +28
  • Dead Space developer working on new IP

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 23/01/2012

    "Press RT for American History X" Reply 0
  • Capcom Digital Collection release date announced

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 23/01/2012

    "Uranus expansion"

    Slap it an intro with Freakazoid and I'm in.
    Reply 0
  • Fan feedback prompts BioShock Infinite 1999 Mode

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 23/01/2012

    @Gecks

    Well, that's my main point - "it's a shame it has to be a mode".

    I'm not criticizing the idea of a harder difficulty, or added challenge, or irreversible choice and consequence. On the contrary, I wish these were more rampant, and beyond the "higher difficulty? just make that guy take 200 rockets to the face as if they were mojitos".

    The way it's being handled, however, just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I just need a good rub, but I'm not going there.
    Reply 0
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 21/01/2012

    PS: I'm long winded and harsh because I care ;) Reply -1
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 21/01/2012

    @Chaud

    I think you misunderstood me. I didn't single out X or Y features as good design. I said good design isn't just adapting do different needs of different players but also achieving a common ground that does not compromise the end result.

    To cite "common sense" doesn't sound particularly useful, because by your logic, since any feature can be potentially off putting, we'd have different game modes for every such feature. Difficulty, consequences, weight limits, universal ammunition, save points, etc. Another different way to look at what Irrational is doing is... Looking at what they're actually doing: only focusing on one or two things, despite the fact that any game, inevitably, will disppoint some people over more than one or two things.

    Whatever you or me may feel is "good design" isn't really the issue. I certainly enjoy games which many others would describe as having "bad design". The issue is that Irrational believes what they did in the first Bioshock is now "bad", on accounts of criticism levelled by people who wanted to play a game other than Bioshock, but were playing Bioshock regardless. Which is to say, much like other games - Bionic Commando Rearmed comes to mind, to name but one - people assume that their playstyle is right and what the developer does is wrong. Games are not about this, or shouldn't be about this, in the slightest. That's the whole point of different games, play mechanics, genres. Out of many possible examples, there's Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, which had a clear target demographic in mind, and found critical and commercial success regardless of not creating a mode where people wouldn't die as often nor where their choices could be retconned.

    Considering the "choice and consequence" bit of this news, let's assume two distinct possibilities.

    One, is that Irrational's decision to shift irreversible consequences to a harder mode is taking into account narrative. This is... Wierd, considering how Bioshock was critically praised for its choices and consequences, regardless of them being quite binary. Doubly weird when they depended on players' choices and consequences to work - had they not been so, I very much doubt they'd be praised at all. It's like retroactively declaring Bioshock - otherwise a game that Levine so fervently defended as different from other then contemporaries, and one that was all about free will - unapproachable, user unfriendly, badly designed. Considering that sales are still seen as a sign of quality, it's basically saying Bioshock is good *and* bad (not as vocal or almost offensive as a Molyneux, but still).

    Two, Irrational are only considering this in regards to play mechanics, specifically Plasmid acquisition and selection, presumably because some players don't like being stuck with the same Plasmid selection during the entire game. But this doesn't quite make sense either because everything that can be said regarding the reception of its narrative can be said of its play mechanics. Also, there wasn't much of a point to retconning Plasmids in Bioshock - barring different names, their uses were largely similar, and level design wasn't diverse enough to justify taking different Plasmids (a kinder way to say this is that level design was diverse "just enough" to cater to more than one approach, but not diverse enough to make every enemy encounter terribly different from the previous one).

    Novelty, or seeing "everything" in the game might be a factor, sure, but it's not a factor espoused by Levine or Irrational, at least not at this time. And if it is, they might as well make "normal mode" give every ending to a player. I mean, not everyone likes having to replay games to see them.

    And if what this means, in the greater scheme of things, is that players will be able to retool their Plasmid selection, then all a different mode is doing is wasting my time because this can be worked into the default mode. Like many other options in Bioshock, it can be delegated to an Option Mode (see: disabling Vita Chambers). I hardly think this requires incredibly large amounts of code, so effectively splicing an overall experience in two seems excessive. And like the chambers, a simple toggle already can provide different experiences to the two most significant types of players.

    But even moreso: calling it 1999 Mode is conceptually self-defeating, because in 1999, we were playing games now held by the mainstream public and many reviewers as having "bad design": no recharging health, no leaning instead of third-person cameras, no unlimited ammo, etc. If nostalgia for people who though 1999 was great is their goal, hey, it doesn't bother me. But saying that it goes back "to their roots" is ironic, considering that games like System Shock 2 did not place weapon degradation, for instance, was present on all play modes, not just the harder ones - and that's a highly divise play mechanic.
    Reply -2
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    @Scarmath

    I disagree, but that's to be expected considering what else I've said previously.

    Tension in videogames is often down to tricking players into thinking they'll lose but to not let that materialize. Dying isn't tense; it's the possibility of it happening creeping up on you. Being repeatedly killed in a game is frustrating, and a waste of time. A Game Over is trial and error at its worst, with the added (abrupt) conclusion that you're not performing what the designer wants. Vita Chambers aren't an optimal solution; but neither is replacing them with a Game Over. The former directly and indirectly appels to divergent players, the one that is only in it for the experience (and don't mind "losing" ) and the one looking for the challenge (actively avoid getting killed; besides, it's nothing short of mind boggling that hardcore players criticized the chambers - if they're so hardcore, they shouldn't have to resort to them, would they?). The latter is just Pavlovian conditioning: it's the designer's boot stamping on your face forever until you "get it right".

    Edit: tl;dr: once again, I'm fine with options. Just not at the expense of meaningful choice and consequence. Good design isn't just understanding that there are different players, it's also understanding that you don't have to create separate experiences for them. There's nothing preventing Irrational from realizing their ideas without sacrificing challenge and without shafting people just looking for an "experience".
    Reply 0
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    @Unknown27 "To have only one option will be forcing one of these types of players into an experience they won't enjoy to the fullest."

    Well, see, the problem aren't more options. It's assuming that more options just for the sake of more options is a better idea than, say, designing a game that's neither a harsh mistress nor a walk in the park. Difficulty levels have almost always been a decoy because of this: developers couldn't think of any better way to challenge players than adding more hit points to enemies.

    And this is precisely the same problem now. Game Over isn't "hardcore" because there is no penalty another than reloading. This doesn't make for a more compelling game; just longer tedium and busywork. Which is why Vita Chambers were a good idea: they hit players in the gut of self-confidence, because even if they were no game over, they were a constant reminder of a player's lack of preparation, awareness and general failure to keep up. The challenge was not to so much killing enemies, as it was to prove to yourself you didn't need the chambers; and hey, if you "lost", they were there anyway.

    Did anyone enjoy System Shock 2 because spirit manifestation and weapon downgrading were optional, or because they were inexorably a part of the experience?
    Reply 0
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    @DaemonSpawn "if game designers can provide optional old-school mode where you have to think beforehand"

    I'd love to see your design doc for Portal 3. I'm guessing in normal mode players just use the gun to cross walls, while puzzles are only available in hard mode. Y'know, for people that optionally like to think beforehand.

    10/10 IGN.
    Reply -4
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    If you think your ideas for irreversible choices and consequences are good, make them available from the start. I want to be challenged, not dangled a carrot. It's like all the neat ideas they have for the game are optional. Seriously, man up. And kisses, because I'm being harsh because I care. Reply 0
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    Yes, it's 1999 again, right down to the idea that "Game Over" somehow makes for a harder or more compelling game.

    Don't be toothless, Irrational. Don't become modern day Konami, who place all their neat ideas and challenges for Castlevania in optional modes so the people looking for games first have to play the game as it was designed for fetishists or the stunted manchildren reviewers, then thrawl through the Hard Mode.
    Reply -2
  • Capcom announces Resident Evil 6

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    @eightbit maybe but if this is the case, then it has less to do with odious backtracking, scavenging for colored keys or irrational difficulty spikes for "shock value" and more with giving players a reason to keep moving forward at all costs. genuinely tense moments where the player has to act and think fast, not sure of what lies ahead. not run around looking for typewriters. Reply 0
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    @Nevflinn making a sandwich. Reply +7
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 19/01/2012

    Oh yeah, I was missing the usual moans about something not remaining "true" to arbitrary things one vaguely enjoys out of nostalgic devotion. Reply 0
  • Flatout 3: Chaos & Destruction Review

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 06/01/2012

    I like how people defending the game on that Steam thread, including Ronnie, all seem to have registered in December 2011.

    I'm sure it's all just coincidence.
    Reply +1
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 06/01/2012

    Flatout 2 UC was a surprisingly good racer, which I sometimes go back to. It's no Outrun CTC (what is?) but it's as Destruction Derby as it gets, besided being pretty competent as driving rather than just driving to smash things.

    This seems like it'll be popular... in torrent sites, with people downloading it just to see how horrible it is.
    Reply 0
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic Review

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 03/01/2012

    8ers gonna 8 Reply +12
  • The 3rd Birthday

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 06/04/2011

    "She wakes up in a blood-soaked wedding dress in 2010 without a single memory of what came before..."



    So, is The 3rd Birthday Kill Bill for people who desperately wanted to see Thurman's clothes being torn apart?
    Reply +1
  • AC Brotherhood: The Da Vinci Edition

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 01/03/2011

    Is this like previous releases where the "free DLC included" actually isn't included at all, and simply provides a code to download it? Reply +1
  • First gritty Battlefield 3 screenshots

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 23/02/2011

    randompanda: of course, it's not that they're claiming the pics are exclusive. But watermarks should only be used in that circumstance. I suspect that, yes, there are loads of amateur/hobbyist sites which don't have access to the pictures themselves and would leech off EG. This is a fair countermeasure to that. But nowadays, if one follows the main communication channels and social networks, there's hardly a need for that. In this case it's particularly weird, as it's a watermark on top of another one. Reply -3
  • Diogo_Ribeiro 23/02/2011

    I always wonder how screenshots widely accessible everywhere (from fan sites to press hubs like Gamespress) get watermarked as if they're exclusive. No jab against EG (they're not the only ones to do so, after all), just curious. Reply +1
  • de Blob 2

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 22/02/2011

    :D Reply 0
  • PCGA: PC game piracy is declining

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 18/02/2011

    ""So even if you pirate the game you're still not getting the bragging rights. You've got all these additional mechanisms where the value proposition of the game, where if you pirate it, it's just not going to be as fun." "



    Not unlike the kind of mechanisms "hardcore" gamers bitch about against "casual" and social games.
    Reply +2
  • Download Games Roundup

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 18/02/2011

    "Welcome to the party, pal"



    I need back up assistance now! Now, goddamnit, NOW!

    Reply +1
  • Mirror's Edge still "important" for EA

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 18/02/2011

    Cut out the nonsense story, drop weapons, focus on the movement like you did in the Pure DLC or whatever it was called, and do it. Reply 0
  • Leaks could force console-only Crysis 3

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 15/02/2011

    Makes no goddamn sense, really, seeing as how Killzone 3 was piratred as well. Duh much? The question is not about platform, it's about safety measures - Crytek apparently had lousy ones. Deal with it instead of shafting an entire consumer base. Reply +5
  • The EGTV Show: Killzone 3 vs. Resistance 3

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 15/02/2011

    "What's 2011's best PS3 shooter?"

    The year's barely begun, y'know. Stop it.

    Also, this is priceless: "I think what helps define Resistance are two things, that alternate history 1950s and second is weapons. Resistance is all about the weapons". It's amazing how studio people still feel the need to defend their games with "oh, it's not just a shooter, see, it's cool because of this 1950s element", than WHAM, "oh, alright, it's all about the guns".

    Also, pt. 2: Don't bother telling me about worlds without hope, and great alternative universes, when all you have to show are weapons, and grey and brown everywhere.
    Reply -4
  • Voltron game in development

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 15/02/2011

    "Now all we need are games based on The Mysterious Cities of Gold"



    Actually, something about the tone and style of The Last Guardian already reminds me of the Cities of Gold.



    Though, someone should make a Saber Riders game. CAN YOU FEEL THE THUNDER INSIDE?
    Reply +1
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood total sales

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 14/02/2011

    Shipped or sold? Reply -5
  • Report: EA rejects Mirror's Edge 2 pitch

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 14/02/2011

    I'd rather see a sequel to this than to Dead Space, tbh. Reply +28
  • City of Heroes Animal Pack price, date

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 11/02/2011

    Excelent tagline :D Reply 0
  • Yamauchi wants you to think about death

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 11/02/2011

    GT5 already makes me think about death. Like, on my deathbed, am I gonna regret the time I wasted playing it or not. Reply 0
  • Champions Online

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 11/02/2011

    I think the first review wasn't particularly fair, so, finally, it's good to see the game is getting the recognition it deserves.



    I was (am) a life sub, and - for work reasons - had totally stopped playing the game... Only to remember it after the F2P announcement. I've been playing it now non-stop, whenever possible, and messed around with silver and gold options. It's pretty well balanced; the microtransactions aren't particularly expensive and, let's face it, if you pay for a month, you basically can get everything the game tries to sell you and have it accessible to all characters you create.



    My pet peeve with the game - other than, like most MMOs, it sticks too closely to the "find X items, kill Y enemies" - is the combat. It's satisfying, provided you haven't gimped yourself with a freeform build (although new players have it easier since the prefixed builds are more balanced), but I can never get behind the concept of mechanics operating in a way that they undo presentation. Like AOE attacks that leave frighten enemies but they still attack - mechanically, it may make sense; visually, you see an enemy cowering in fear but your character is still being attacked by it, with no visual clue. Also, it's disappointing how the rules still make it so someone with superspeed cannot outrun projectiles - the idea of playing something akin to the Flash is undone by bullets bending corners just to hit you. And Cryptic's idea of "fair" means that every single enemy has a melee and ranged attack, which results in stuff like wolves launching shadowy energy balls at you and other silliness.



    F2P or not, what I like better in CO is that the world feels alive. Sure, the Champions may sound generic, random NPCs may sometimes say trivial things, but it does add to the idea of, say, a metropolis (in the case of Millenium City). The new mission flow is much better than before as well. Hats off to DCUO's combat and movement, but everything else about it just came across as something in desperate need of focus (though, I do like the idea that I can play as a villain). It's a game that, being tied to its own license, doesn't explore it as much as it could. CO isn't "limited" in that way, and it can drop everything and the kitchen sink on the player. It doesn't have Batman or Supes telling you to go on missions, but that's the point - people will recognize their influences and nod along (look at Grond, for instance).



    Reply +3
  • Download Games Roundup

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 04/02/2011

    @Doctor_What: No, I was too. Then again, it was more out of curiosity for the PS3 port - I had already played the Wii version. Which, in some ways, manages to be better than the main "series". Reply +1
  • Eurogamer seeks Features Editor

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 04/02/2011

    *swoons*



    *is poor and is not in UK*



    *lacks social skills*



    *cries inside*
    Reply +1
  • Western Vanquish and FM11 sales "slow"

  • Diogo_Ribeiro 04/02/2011

    "SEGA sold just under six million game units in Europe, 5.8 million in the US and 1.9 million in Japan and other regions."



    Are these million units regarding Vanquish alone, or are combined sales of all the games mentioned? If it's the first case, 5.8 millions for any games is pretty good, slow or not.
    Reply +1