Harmonica Comments

Page 1 of 25

  • DICE: why Star Wars Battlefront AT-ATs are on-rails

  • Harmonica 26/06/2015

    @TheDarkSide I agree with your sentiment but for the record that is basically exactly how we felt about the original Battlefront games. And then we tried to play them online and for 90% of games they were a mess. Some of the worst netcode and general online support and design ever, despite the fact that yeah, it was Star Wars, they got the license and they made it look attractive. Reply +1
  • Harmonica 26/06/2015

    I'd prefer to hear that they tried it and it didn't work, rather than about them being big and bulky and that being the reason. The best justification they could have offered is that playing the AT-AT's properly was in itself like being on rails, because there wasn't much scope for player flair or doing things differently. That would be a more understandable reason to not allow players to take control.

    Mainly it seems like old Battlefront games were scripted, they've followed that lead rather than trying something innovative, and so the big assets are going to be scripted. The old Star Wars Battlefront games had many issues so if they've obviously used them as design templates, that's not particularly inspiring. Although a visually impressive Star Wars experience is nice, I'd actually like to see them shake things up a bit more than just giving the game series a new coat of paint.

    The justification that players might lose if they play badly also seems questionable. You can very easily lose games of Battlefield (Rush in particular) in the first 30 seconds of the game if you take an asset like a tank and run into into a mine. Or even if your team fails to rush (hence the game mode) the correct objective en masse and hangs back, you have more than likely lost that round. Actually it's one of the strengths of good online competitive games that there's something at stake and you have to play well to win (I mean, obviously right?). Curtailing the ability to interact with the battlefield is generally a negative, there's even some Battlefield maps that swing in this direction, where essentially the odds are really stacked against you ever losing a round as long as you attritionally grind down the defenders, regardless of actually playing well. Those maps are much less fun.

    I'd like to be given the opportunity to play the game badly and lose, as well as to play the game differently and take advantage of it.
    Reply +3
  • Fan attempts to pre-order Fallout 4 with bottle caps

  • Harmonica 17/06/2015

    'I put some bottle caps in a box, I'm totally original, my Steam ID is... please give me free stuff.'

    And then adding that he's essentially blackmailing them into giving him the game.

    No, this is not how you're meant to do things.

    Bethesda can win my plaudit by blanking him completely.
    Reply +7
  • XCOM 2 likely won't launch with gamepad support

  • Harmonica 06/06/2015

    @williamarthurfenton You'll obviously have no problem explaining which elements of the sophisticated strategy of 'moving dudes behind cover', 'firing at aliens' and 'hiring new recruits' are compromised by using a gamepad in the case of XCOM.

    Oh wait, there aren't any.

    The units move on a grid. The rest of the game is menu screens. There's nothing that can't be easily translated for gamepad control.
    Reply +12
  • Harmonica 06/06/2015

    I feel like someone should tell them that in the year of our lord 2015 people play PC games with gamepads. Incredible concept, using gamepads with computers, we've only been doing it since the 80s after all. Reply +12
  • Rockstar launches BBC lawsuit over Grand Theft Auto drama

  • Harmonica 21/05/2015

    @liveswired You can very much make documentaries and drama about whatever you want. People don't have to approve it. Reply +1
  • Homophobic and transphobic game removed from Steam Greenlight

  • Harmonica 06/05/2015

    The bigger issue here is that Valve are apparently afraid of moderating their own services until there's a public outcry, at which point, they'll go with whatever the public response is. This kind of attitude is carried across how they manage their game environments, too.

    I feel like they need to be setting higher standards, and absolutely nobody has a problem with them stating 'this is our house, you play by our rules'. Nobody, or at least nobody that matters, would have a problem with them preemptively removing this game from the Greenlight process.

    This is a billion dollar company that can't be bothered with moderating their services which are used by tens of millions of people daily. It's kind of poor.
    Reply +4
  • Winners might use drugs

  • Harmonica 09/04/2015

    @willys You can't use banned drugs in sports, legitimately or otherwise. Reply 0
  • Harmonica 09/04/2015

    Interesting, important article.

    Esports really has nothing to lose and everything to gain from drugs screening, I think it's something we should demand as fans and players alike.
    Reply 0
  • Borderlands 2 writer regrets nearly silent protagonists

  • Harmonica 17/03/2015

    @Ffordesoon The difficulty of giving your player character a personality is when it's written in conflict with the player's own desires, intentions and idealogies.

    There is not a direct analogy between writing in other media and games. It's not inherently a negative in games to have a player protagonist who is less authored.
    Reply +3
  • Harmonica 17/03/2015

    @ThinkingGamR I think your actions in the game speak to your character far more than what the character looks like. Reply 0
  • Harmonica 17/03/2015

    More accurately: we're not the characters we play (if we play a character).

    If you have a silent protagonist, it's a player-character, it's deliberately blurring the line between the two.

    As a player I feel far more comfortable playing the 'role' of a silent protagonist, than a protagonist stuffing words into my mouth.
    Reply +2
  • 1.34GB Battlefield 4 Winter Patch rolls out

  • Harmonica 03/03/2015

    @AlucardSX It's evolved into a great game, however I still feel the map design overall is not as strong as those in BF3 (kind of understandable given that game had 3 or 4 classic maps). Reply 0
  • Video: The Best Sex I've Ever Had (In Games)

  • Harmonica 25/02/2015

    Wrote an intelligent post about sex on EG. Thanks for all the delicious downvotes, why don't you ignoranuses try to hit the reply button just once? I know, discussing things is scary. Reply 0
  • Harmonica 24/02/2015

    @Krane To the extent that Witcher's sex is sex for the sake of it, and pretty full on sex, yes.

    However I'm still not really sure why it needs to be in the game and tied to a reward mechanic. Have your unabashed softcore porn sequences in your game but just have it happen.
    Reply -2
  • Harmonica 24/02/2015

    Coming Out on Top looks solid from the int-fiction game perspective, but I'm not sure I could ever get excited by the particular brand of blokes they chose. I mean it's good that the game exists and I can even complain about this at all, but I feel that the top-heavy (hurr durr) muscle bound guys are just a disappointingly played out trope. It's either portraying incredibly vanilla sex, or it's not actually meant to be played by guys.

    The hair customisation options screen is also very weird, and it sort of gives me the impression that it's rather more slanted towards straight women than what you might assume. If that's true I think it's kind of a betrayal of the subject matter, and not really as big a step forward as we might like to think. Not that guys won't play it and enjoy it, but it represents a pretty homogenised lite-erotica impression of what gay sex is. Being able to tailor their particular body hair is not really in line with what I think modern, progressive, accepting sex is about.

    Ultimately I feel the same about sex in games as I do in other mediums - its only use is to get people off, otherwise it's irrelevent. It's one of the most absolutely urbane things that people do, so it's not really interesting or entertaining. It can barely ever be used to forward the plot, and something that does nothing to forward the plot doesn't have merit being included. So essentially, if you're making interactive porn, go nuts, but you'd better make the sex incredible.
    Reply -2
  • Don't buy Darkest Dungeon from the Windows Game Store, dev warns

  • Harmonica 24/02/2015

    It's pretty ridiculous that a company of their size cannot moderate submissions better, or that it takes so long for things to get taken down.

    This was one of the reasons I moved away from Apple. Their store is absolutely clogged up with cloneware and crapware. It's actually pretty much impossible to seriously browse apps that get added to the appstore, which of course makes it really great for the big publishers because they can just get their app reviewed on popular sites, but impossible for smaller indie developers to get noticed.

    Of course, it's the same on Android as well, so really, all these companies are currently behind the game in terms of moderation user content.
    Reply +1
  • Troll deletes 11-year-old's Destiny characters

  • Harmonica 23/02/2015

    @elfergos Times don't change, technology advances, a generation gets older and worries about whatever new technology exists being potentially worrisome for their children.

    Unfortunately it is unlikely that we will avoid this fate, we just won't be talking about illicit VHS watching or sneaking into cinemas or playing videogames, it'll be virtual reality or something.
    Reply 0
  • Harmonica 23/02/2015

    Something like this has been happening every day of the year in every game ever made for decades. And out on the playground, kids are taking your ball and kicking it over the fence. It's a rite of passage, that doesn't make it interesting to read about.

    I know Destiny is flavour of the month, every month, right now but this is not really newsworthy. It's pretty banal. And just why would I want to watch a video of some kid in tears? This is not a spectator sport.

    Some people are dicks, and some people are gullible. Really glad that was reaffirmed to me.
    Reply +4
  • Microsoft teases Xbox One screenshot feature

  • Harmonica 14/02/2015

    Sad that it will end up taking them well over a year plus the entire life cycle of the 360 to add a feature that was available on modded original Xboxs back in 2004. You could even bind it to whatever button press combo you wanted (like double stick-press). It's not that complicated, I just don't think engineers at Microsoft actually play games on their Xbox consoles. You can bet that it won't be tied to a button combination as well since they just love to drag you through their menus to do simple things. Reply 0
  • Runescape player swatted in front of 60K Twitch viewers

  • Harmonica 10/02/2015

    I didn't know this was a thing and it's really disgusting how far some sad people will go to hurt others.

    As if it needed to be pointed out that people you see on the internet are real, too. Fucking sociopaths.
    Reply 0
  • Survarium details its DayZ-esque Freeplay mode

  • Harmonica 07/02/2015

    These are some very promising mechanics and they seem to be taking a more developed and different approach to the Day Z-like than the spate of more generic clones.

    Their approach to the 'death by sniper' situation, for example, shows they've thought a bit more than most about it. It's a tough call because you want people to go after high powered gear and you want to allow for dynamic pvp, but they're right, allowing players to hide in a bush and pick people off at will is not particularly fun for either side. The player radar system they're going for worked really well in Stalker since it gave you information on the general danger of the area without actually telling you 'hey there's a guy hiding behind that bush' (but if you were smart enough, you could figure out where people were likely to be hiding). It also ramped up the tension significantly, but allowed you to prepare for combat at the same time.

    I hope they can pull this off.
    Reply +2
  • League of Legends tournament openly discriminates against LGBT players

  • Harmonica 04/02/2015

    The unfair advantage is that they're obviously not the type of people that would ever want to play in a tournament run by idiots or bigots!

    'Oh no, we don't get to play in their tournament, I guess we can.. wash our hair?'
    Reply -3
  • Prison Architect will launch in 2015

  • Harmonica 30/01/2015

    @ghostgate2001 Perhaps a bit harsh considering how much the game changes month on month. Most months it has been entirely worth updating and starting a new game because it has played differently and with more complexity.

    Although I agree with the sentiment that whenever they start on their next project that will be exciting too (but I would not really expect to hear much about that for much of 2016 if at all!).
    Reply +1
  • Four years on, fans are still building Game of Thrones' world in Minecraft

  • Harmonica 29/01/2015

    Collaborating on a rewarding long term project with friends and strangers, yeah, totally a 'waste of time'.

    Some of you are completely sociopaths, let's be honest.
    Reply +8
  • HoloLens is a surreal experience - and full of possibilities

  • Harmonica 22/01/2015

    @ziggy_played_guitar "AS far as I understood this is not for outdoors use."

    It's going to be used outdoors by some people, though - even if it doesn't support it proprietarily. The possibilities for true open world gameplay are kind of staggering when you think about it. This kind of technology, combined with a GPS tracker, stuff from Google Earth, and any basic mechanics would really be a game we haven't seen the likes of yet.

    I think it's fairly realistic to assume that people will get this kit or later versions of it, and play Day Z in their local surroundings (or even games that don't involve shooting people, imagine that!). We're also going to see some terrifying horror games (would such things have to come with a health warning?)

    This would certainly spice up your D&D sessions when your party runs into a group of goblins and the goblins are actually there in front of you. (even if they're in your living room!)
    Reply +1
  • Sid Meier's Starships announced for PC, Mac, iPad

  • Harmonica 20/01/2015

    This just seems like a slightly predictable take on GalCiv rather than Space Pirates! or something cooler. Diminishing returns. Reply 0
  • Monopoly Deal is business at its most brutal

  • Harmonica 13/01/2015

    Poleconomy is another take on the basics of Monopoly, for those who can find it. In place of properties and railroads you have the three arms of industry, government and finance, with various interactions. I think I bought it at a car boot sale a long time ago, but it comes out a few times a year on rainy days. Reply 0
  • That was quick: people selling New 3DS Ambassador Edition for up to 400 on eBay

  • Harmonica 06/01/2015

    For all they might protest when people sell their cheap loot, the entire aim of these stunts is to drum up publicity, and this will continue to be a thing so long as sites post news articles about the inevitable ebay auctions that follow.

    I'm not sure what our response is meant to be other than 'this happens every time' or 'this is not interesting' or 'stop posting about it'.

    By posting these articles you are enabling the entire process.
    Reply +31
  • Ubisoft polls public on future Far Cry settings

  • Harmonica 05/01/2015

    There was a mod in the works for Far Cry 3 that replaced all the creatures with dinosaurs, aiming for the Jurassic Park experience. It got people excited at the time. Not sure how far along that got. I can imagine that was part of the inspiration for this poll option.

    It still remains the case that nobody has yet done a prehistoric or dinosaur themed open world game justice, though there's a few currently in development.

    Not sure if a Western themed game would be able to do enough to differentiate itself from Red Dead or the likes of Call of Juarez, even if on the face of it a Western landscape with roving gangs in the Far Cry style sounds fun.
    Reply 0
  • Back from the Brink: the new Splash Damage

  • Harmonica 23/12/2014

    This is a massive fib:

    It had some lag problems on day one of the release, it had some texture caching problems and AI problems. They were all sitting there in a day one patch, but we just couldn't get people to re-review it after the release. To its credit, once we'd patched it everyone gave it 4.5, 5 stars.
    No those weren't the only problems, and no, people who were playing it after the patch would not have given it 4 or 5 stars. If they were being generous they would have given it 3 stars with a 'can do better' sticker. (read: 'must do better pretty soon or I'm returning your game.')

    I remember having some fairly long discussions with the developers during the tail end of development, release, and the weeks that followed, and the overall impression was that they just didn't understand what the fundamental problems with the game were from the players' perspective. Kind of crazy given how tailored and refined an experience their older mods were.

    We all gave them chance after chance to get it right but the BRINK that was definitely possible with some tweaking and polish never materialised. They basically shipped it and wanted to wash their hands of it ASAP, which is ultimately what killed it and what soured the impression people have of the studio. They did not stick it out and work on it month after month and cut the price for sales (as many suggested, to bring in much needed new players). There have been some fairly mediocre games ship which then get improved and polished up to becoming proper classics (something like Natural Selection 2 would be a good example). BRINK could have been that game too.

    The only reasonable way to approach this new game of theirs is to wait for a month post-release, and then see if a) it's playable b) it's any good c) there is anyone still playing it. Because neither of those were true of BRINK a month after release, but a few of us still stuck around to give them a chance... Nope.
    Reply +1
  • Chaos Reborn is a case study in how to revive a classic

  • Harmonica 18/12/2014

    I've almost purchased this a few times, I love the design of it and never played the original. However, I did hear some talk that the player base wasn't exactly massive right now.

    Can anyone talk to that? Are there plenty of people in the matchmaking pool so I can always find a game in a few minutes? Are the games at all balanced or will I just be getting crushed versus veterans?
    Reply 0
  • Elite: Dangerous and the art of the galactic grind

  • Harmonica 16/12/2014

    @bigtechno It's important to remember that the game is absolutely vast, so you can completely avoid trolls if you want to simply by leaving the core systems.

    You could even go solo mode, find your own little route to fly, and then go back online, where you'd only meet people who were also running the same trade missions (outside of the core systems there's absolutely no way that anyone can make a profit doing interdictions, they could in reality never ever see another player).
    Reply +2
  • Harmonica 16/12/2014

    @KrazyFace I guess that Elite will at some point add the whole planet landing experience. They do have procedural planets in the game operating at a basic level (textures are pretty low res/broken at low altitude though).

    But if you or anyone else just wants that pure exploration experience, I'd recommend checking out SpaceEngine. It's not a game yet, but it's a hell of an experience. Pick any feature you can see in the sky, fly to it, land on planets, and have everything generated in procedural with some beautiful graphics.

    The dev who is creating it does eventually plan to develop it into a full game experience ala Elite, but right now it's just a fantastic toy for would-be space explorers.
    Reply +1
  • The serene, interconnected world of the brilliant The Settlers 2

  • Harmonica 15/12/2014

    The fact that the otherwise excellent Settlers 7 was choked up with DRM is one of my biggest disappointments. After many many attempts to reinvent the wheel they actually produced a worthy sequel.

    @Innocent_Bystander I mean, you're right, Anno is more sophisticated, but it's also focused on being a market simulation. And it arrived many years later. Not the fairest comparison!
    Reply 0
  • Just Cause dev's theHunter: Primal launches on Steam Early Access

  • Harmonica 15/12/2014

    Having watched a little of it this afternoon on streams, it's clear it has a bit of a way to go before it should be considered properly playable. The dinosaur AI/pathing/animation is pretty comical at the moment (although the models are nice), and the game doesn't seem to be balanced. Surviving attacks from any of the dinosaurs shouldn't really be a thing. The island environment, however, is lovely, and the overall atmosphere from the visuals/audio is impressive. It reminds me a lot of Trespasser (EXTEND THE ARM! etc).

    theHunter actually has pretty solid AI for its creatures so I hope they'll polish it up to the same degree.
    Reply 0
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X is coming to Steam next week

  • Harmonica 12/12/2014

    @Chazmeister Hmm, well it's mostly about learning procedures, which get steadily more complicated the larger the aircraft you're flying. The tutorials in FSX are great, though (the instructor Rod Machado is a bit of a legend thanks to just how many thousands of pilots he has tutored!). Although of course with that you're flying in areas with default scenery so they won't be amazingly pretty or anything (I recommend picking up free scenery from the likes of OrbX - they have a lovely Tasmania texture and land mesh (makes the ground model more detailed) - and then heading over there in your Cessna or whatever once you've got your pilot license!

    I find take offs and landings a lot harder in RoF. FSX I can take off and land in my sleep, depending on conditions, though some airstrips are little more challenging than others...
    Reply 0
  • Harmonica 11/12/2014

    @Chazmeister I would think about what planes you want to fly and in what areas of the world, and then look to see what addons are available in X-Plane and whether there's enough to get going with. We don't know if X-Plane is going to be as venerable as FSX, so I would probably make it a relatively short-term decision to buy some stuff for that.

    FSX on the other hand already has more content than you could ever realistically tire of experiencing. It also has a wider array of side-addons that push the gameplay in different directions other than flying. And honestly it still looks as good as the others and has an incredibly loyal army of addon producers that don't seem to be disappearing.

    You're going to be spending money either way, don't spend it thinking that 10 years down the line either game will be the hotness, because it probably won't.
    Reply 0
  • Harmonica 11/12/2014

    @IronSoldier Pilots at pretty much every flight school around the world will use FSX as part of their training. Reply 0
  • Harmonica 10/12/2014

    Flight Sim used to be one of those games I'd read about every month in PCG when I was younger (thank you Tim Stone) and always wondered what it was like. I never played it first hand, until two or three years ago I finally took the plunge with FSX. Since then it's laid claim to some of the best experiences I've had in gaming. There's nothing quite like picking a location anywhere in the world and going exploring. It's a very democratic gaming experience. It can scale in whatever direction you want to go, and you can have as narrow or as wide a focus as you want. You needn't even fly the planes, you can actually play it as a management game or become an ATC, or just craft scenery for others. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves simulation games or complex games which reward time invested.

    Personally I had been unaware how much the game had progressed from the blocky buildings and barren green deserts of yesteryear, but thanks to the endless efforts of modders FSX at its best is an immersive game to rival or surpass any mainstream title.

    These two videos were a large part of wowing me and hooking me in, sort of displaying two aspects of the game, the commercial pilot flying their routes, and the hobbyist glider who just wants to be up there in skies. I'll post them for any would-be pilots (the game actually looks even better now):

    Cockpit landing in LAX

    Soaring heroes (in Australia)
    http://www.vimeo.com/1034755

    I assume this Steam release will be the current gold version which has been available for four or five years (that's the version you want to get due to improvements and content additions). If anyone has any questions about how to get started with this mammoth game, post and I am sure people will answer :)
    Reply 0
  • Here's over four minutes of No Man's Sky gameplay

  • Harmonica 08/12/2014

    Once again, it's pretty, but there's still no actual gameplay shown, and a huge dose of developer fakery. At some point they'll have to do more to get people excited, like show how any of their systems actually interact. Reply +2
  • Sony announces PS1-themed PlayStation 4

  • Harmonica 03/12/2014

    Good old greystation Reply +1
  • Sir Clive Sinclair crowdfunding new ZX Spectrum computer

  • Harmonica 02/12/2014

    "The Sinclair intellectual property is owned by a company called Sky In-Home Service (a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting), which grabbed the rights from Amstrad. The Vega is under license."

    And this is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter because...........?

    Fuck. Right. Off.

    Just another case of out of touch people abusing the service rather than seeking proper funding, which they would easily obtain if anyone in the industry was remotely interested, or thought this was a good idea. But it's not. It's a novelty product designed to exploit the nostalgia of others.
    Reply +5
  • Play the original Game Boy in 1080p on an HDTV with hdmyboy

  • Harmonica 02/12/2014

    @Dantonir That's really cute considering how emulation has been a thing for how long now? 15 years? How exactly do they want to claim patent on it, or is it just a case that nobody has bothered in the meantime?

    Not that this matters.
    Reply 0
  • Harmonica 02/12/2014

    I'd be interested to see what the output quality is like, whether there's any input delay and if it's as 1:1 as they want claim. There are already many ways to play GameBoy games on your TV (not least of course Super Gameboy is still a pretty easy option if you have the equipment kicking around - you just need an HDTV adaptor which costs half as much as this would, the quality is pretty decent). Reply 0
  • I am Bread rises on Steam Early Access this week

  • Harmonica 02/12/2014

    @drhickman1983 I'm mostly just down on developers who have the talent to make proper games wasting their time on novelty products.

    These are no different from the store fillers you'd see in the discount racks at videogame stores back in the day and wonder what on earth posessed people to spend their time producing them.

    People need to have some courage and go out on a limb and make something with some real artist integrity. Sorry, but no, a game where you control a piece of bread ain't it..
    Reply 0
  • Eurogamer vs Tom Bramwell

  • Harmonica 28/11/2014

    Thanks Tom, all the best. Reply -4
  • Sunset Overdrive free for all Xbox Live subscribers tomorrow

  • Harmonica 21/11/2014

    Nice to get a demo of a new game for 24 hours (which should be a thing for all their releases), but that would take me 8 hours to download in its entirety thanks to the joys of UK internet. Reply 0
  • Fractured Space launches on Steam Early Access

  • Harmonica 20/11/2014

    No gameplay in your trailer, no deal.

    I just saw this on steam and there's not even any in-game screenshots.

    Poor effort. Show us the game not the fluffy cinematics.
    Reply -1
  • HBO GO is now go on Xbox One (in the US)

  • Harmonica 20/11/2014

    I'd be delighted if this ever arrived in the UK, but I assume Sky nixed any chance of that ever happening.

    I honestly hope that people outside of the US get proper direct access to HBO at some point in the future, but it seems like for the time being they are still continuing down the path of licensing their content out to local distributors.

    I just don't see the appeal in watching their high quality output in a lesser format than advert-less at 24fps HD. Whilst the deal they did with Sky is kind of step forward in terms of how quickly their shows arrive in the UK, the presentation quality is just not there. I don't want ads and I don't want to watch the shows at 25fps in whatever variable visual quality Sky choose to pump out.

    HBO will make far more money by launching their own global streaming or rental service. Give us the ability to pay to watch the shows in our chosen format on our chosen platform. This is the era of democracy of visual entertainment but HBO are way, way behind the times, and they continue to bite the hand of their most loyal fans.
    Reply +4