Harmonica Comments

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  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is in open beta

  • Harmonica 09/04/2014

    @dr_lha MOBA is the term Riot invented to describe the genre of games that LoL fits into, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Which is basically analagous to 'ARTS' (action RTS), the genre that Dota popularised (though a lot of people won't be happy drawing a straight comparison).

    Basically tower defense, creeps, lanes, pushing, heroes, all that good stuff.
    Reply +2
  • Harmonica 09/04/2014

    The game looks a lot better in reality than the trailer suggests. I thought the graphics were going to be really zany and outdated but they're not bad, and the game has a style which is sort of in between Smite and Dota.

    It's fun enough to play, but not sure it is bringing anything new to the party yet. The hero design at least is better than other recent new MOBA attempts, but the map feels a little generic in the recent tradition of LoL clones.

    As a Dota player the controls are a little fussy, even after switching things from smart casting to (sort of) click->cast style control there are some oddities in how abilities are used. I also miss my screen grab. But at least you can move the map to the correct corner of the screen!

    edit: I will add that there are some minor things on the UXE front that are quite nice. Ability to pick a role before the game, which grants different bonuses appropriately, is interesting. And after the match, there is the chance to select players who you feel improved the game experience, which is a nice touch for potentially pushing people towards good behaviour.
    Reply +2
  • Cut the Rope dev hopes to cancel King's "candy" trademark

  • Harmonica 27/03/2014

    @Elias289 85% of 4 billion is also quite a lot. Reply -1
  • UK video game tax breaks approved

  • Harmonica 27/03/2014

    I'm not sure it's entirely culturally beneficial if we end up receiving a raft of twee Anglophile nonsense purely because the finance is slanted in that direction. Legislature really has no place stipulating what the content of creative works should be. Laughable.

    And as for restoring the UK to a great developer nation, pretty sure our chief export is still videogames and our videogames still sell absolute bucketloads globally (especially if you rope in things like GTA - which you probably shouldn't).
    Reply -2
  • Respawn locks Titanfall cheaters into "the Wimbledon of aimbot contests"

  • Harmonica 27/03/2014

    @arcam But the players themselves are permanently tainted, and all their friends if they have any will also know they are a cheater. Getting people to realise that cheating is shameful and that people won't want to play with them is the main purpose.

    And if people want to purchase another copy of the game on a new account (assuming it doesn't attach to their IP), then I am sure EA have no problem with that.
    Reply +17
  • First Sacred 3 gameplay video

  • Harmonica 19/03/2014

    Sacred 2 was honestly brilliant, worlds away from the disappointment of D3 and it came out years before. I'm pretty excited about this.

    "more colourful - more cheery" sums it up well, which isn't a bad thing. The map design was vivid and adventurous, and there was a lot of humour in the writing. The best part though was the actual leveling process, which in proper rpg tradition offered pretty powerful builds which you could ruin if you didn't think your skill choices through first. It was sort of doing what Path of Exile does - but much better and with less passive grinding.
    Reply 0
  • Asymmetrical competitive roguelike Crawl looks bloody, brilliant

  • Harmonica 05/03/2014

    @sarcasticjones It's not easy to do good pixel art, and if it's cheap it's only because the artists themselves are nice people who will work for peanuts. Reply +3
  • Harmonica 05/03/2014

    Sounds amazing, and counter-coop games are a relatively rarity, so I can't wait to try this.

    Only disappointment is that it's local only, which is unfortunately a bit of a limitation too far (especially on PC). Netcode really is an absolute must.
    Reply +1
  • Warner Bros. working on Minecraft movie

  • Harmonica 01/03/2014

    A live action film taking the core gameplay and translating it literally to reality on the screen, would certainly be something. A group of miners and builders surving a hostile landscape and competing with rival factions for the great riches deep, deep, down, etc etc.

    You'd need quite a talent at the helm to ensure it wasn't entirely risible though.

    I'm sure Hollywood is thinking more along the lines of a souped up CGI version of the game, with colourful whacky characters, etc etc.
    Reply 0
  • Has Microsoft fixed the Xbox One scaler?

  • Harmonica 17/02/2014

    I really wish they would fix the terrible gamma issues on Killer Instinct. Best exclusive launch title of the two platforms, potentially a great title for the fighting game genre (if it continues to be supported and enhanced), and it's currently languishing with overly dark visuals - on top of the already highly stylised in-game contrast.

    Also, I agree with a lot of posters here, whilst sharpening textures or the overall image after the fact is generally something you'd want to avoid, in place of sharper, cleaner original graphics, you can upscale or process images in a way that enhances the gameplay, without image loss. Upscale enhancement is not a dirty word in this era (has not been since custom Home Media Centers took off in a big way) and it can bring huge performance gains. What we see with the updated image is an actual loss of fidelity that may make it harder (and/or uncomfortable) to play certain titles.

    Not entirely impressed that the console continues to be a work in progress, but with the TitanFall beta generally seeming pretty underwhelming I think they have longer now to get it right before better games come along (I own the console, I pretty much bought it for TitanFall but now am looking to other titles further into the future).
    Reply 0
  • Prison Architect alpha review

  • Harmonica 13/02/2014

    This is one the few early-access games that has genuinely improved month on month (and improved a lot). It's Introversion so I have no doubt that in time it will be a compelling classic in the vein of their previous games. Reply +1
  • Court favours Valve in not allowing digital content resells

  • Harmonica 07/02/2014

    It remains one of the few things still blotting Valve's copybook as distributor demigods.

    They've hinted at going in the direction of resales in the past, they might have been forced into it had Microsoft's proposed digital re-distro thing taken off in a big way. The account sharing feature (that nobody uses) was probably them testing the water.

    I'm not too pessimistic, they've shown a lot of love for community trading and marketplaces; I think that Steam will move in this direction EVENTUALLY.
    Reply +10
  • A fantastic voyage: The making of Microcosm

  • Harmonica 02/02/2014

    Hmmm, I think I'd probably give more plaudits to Myst. That was considered the CD drive seller at the time. Reply 0
  • EA launches free-to-play Dungeon Keeper for iOS, Android

  • Harmonica 31/01/2014

    @robegan It's in licensing hell, in the sense that EA own the license and it's been stuck in their basement. Reply +1
  • Harmonica 31/01/2014

    So they sit on one of the juciest licenses in all of gaming for 15 years, and then when they finally do something with it, it's to farm it out as a mobile app?

    That's poor even by their standards.

    Of course we'll always have the original, and thats fine, but newcomers don't know about the original, and Dungeon Keeper will just be a dirty word to them - or worse, the new versions just carpet over gaming history.

    Are publishers really still so risk averse, in this climate of Kickstarters and the indie new wave, that they won't take a punt on gold classic series like this?
    Reply +3
  • Kerbal Space Program Early Access review

  • Harmonica 31/01/2014

    The vanilla game is brilliant, but pack in a few of the mods from the equally dedicated community, and you have full-flavour KSP, a real classic.

    It's not just a case of 'here's some more stuff', either, there are mods that completely change the way you approach the game.

    I couldn't imagine playing the game without Deadly Re-entry (does what it says on the tin), Tac Life Support (makes providing key resources a necessity to space survival), and Remote Tech (reworks the entire signal-transmission part of the game for greater realism). Highly recommended for those who've put their Kerbal's in orbit and want an expanded challenge.
    Reply +2
  • Candy Crush dev King has trademarked the word Candy

  • Harmonica 21/01/2014

    EG, you missed the part where they also trademarked Saga a few years ago and they're giving Banner Saga grief for it now.

    As usual the majority of devs working in mobile land are utter money grubbing cunts.
    Reply 0
  • Project Zomboid multiplayer unveiled

  • Harmonica 20/01/2014

    It looks awesome in multiplayer, cooperation always makes survival games better, and might end up balancing the difficulty out quite nicely. I know they always intended to head in this direction, but it felt like a pipedream, so it's nice that they're close to finally releasing it. It will also bridge the gap to having detailed fleshed out NPC gangs, if they release in that order. Reply +3
  • Project Zomboid alpha review

  • Harmonica 13/01/2014

    All those other games mentioned are great, of course, but the thing to point out is that Zomboid arrived before all of them. It was riding the zombie wave (whatever iteration of it) before it really got going (again). Reply +2
  • Is this the patch to fix Battlefield 4 on PS4?

  • Harmonica 15/12/2013

    "Removed the blur effect on soldiers that appeared when Commanders were using EMP attacks"

    That alone is worth the patch.
    Reply 0
  • Letter from America: I love Forza 5

  • Harmonica 30/11/2013

    "you don't have to buy these tokens and can earn cars by playing normally"

    This is the main point here. This is optional stuff. Feel free to ignore it. The grind in unlocking cars in Forza has always been a thing. Always. As in, since the first game. It's fundamental to how Turn 10 design the thing, they want you to spend a lot of time refining the cars you do buy and improving your performance with each of them, before you earn enough cash and move onto the next.

    Play an hour or two and you'll have enough to unlock a new car (or two). As you rank up you get larger and larger amounts of cash to spend on things, and the cars and upgrades become cheaper through 'affinity' (even more of a factor in Forza 5).

    And then there's the community marketplace, which isn't activated yet. In Forza 3 I spent some hours creating some nice decals for things, such as replica logos for missing companies and Xbox paraphenelia like achievements and the 'guide' logo. Listing those things on the market earnt me absolutely sackfuls of cash over the years, and I didn't have to do anything other than simply log in and pick up the earnings. There's nothing stopping anyone who feels creative to create a decal, design or tune for a car, and then shipping it off to people for a little in-game income.

    Frankly the series is more than fair in terms of throwing cash at the player, and all it asks in return is you play the thing... If you're not interested in playing and you just want to take shortcuts, well, maybe a racing simulation game is not the best match.

    Nothing out of the ordinary, and this is not a story, despite how much EG seem to want to make a thing.
    Reply -12
  • Faulty Xbox One disc drives emit loud, terrifying noises

  • Harmonica 23/11/2013

    Phoned up Xbox support and got offered the advance exchange, the call op was very well briefed and knew the problem as soon as I described it. Console goes back, they send me out a new one (hopefully by Friday, at most 10 days - I think the Xbox 360 replacements took less than a week to arrive).

    No complaints about their phone support. I just hope the new console that arrives is free from issues.

    Oh and if you're wondering, when you give them the serial of your faulty xbox, they know if it's Day One or whatever version and that's the version you'll get back.

    The email also says not to send back accessories, just the console.
    Reply +1
  • Harmonica 23/11/2013

    @KrissB I've actually not had issues dealing with the Xbox support in the past, multiple times over the past decade. On the phone they're usually pretty swift and friendly. Hopefully it will be the same story this time out. Reply -1
  • Harmonica 23/11/2013

    Here's a video someone posted of my particular fault, in case others are also hearing strange crackling noises:

    Eventually I've managed to learn from the various Xbox Support channels that phoning up later today is going to be the thing to do, and ask for an advanced exchange. The turnaround they talked about is 3-5 days, so we'll see if they can hit that.

    Number is 0800 587 1102 for UK people. Opens at 8am.
    Reply +12
  • Harmonica 23/11/2013

    I've been on at Microsoft through their listed channels, except of course the phone because the line is closed now, and I've recieved absolutely no response so far. Not even via their usually responsive Twitter feed.

    So far it doesn't feel like I'm being taken care of, more like ignored. Amazon said 'we'll get back to you in a few days.' Great...

    edit: Someone just entered the online chat with me after about 3 hours...

    Seems like it's a merry go around of 'power cycle your console', 'lets reset this to factory defaults'. While I say 'there's noise coming from my xbox'.

    Yup, that was completely useless.
    Reply +17
  • Harmonica 22/11/2013

    I think it's the hard drive that is knackered on mine. Sounds like a ten year old drive, constantly chattering very loudly. Definitely DOA. Back to Amazon it goes, we'll see if Microsoft sort me out with a replacment.

    I don't know if the console is meant to make a lot of noise on startup/shutdown, but it does that too.
    Reply +10
  • Harmonica 22/11/2013

    Well I just turned on mine for the first time and it started making horrible noises after it downloaded the update. Kind of staticky electrical noises, but could well also be that the drive is dodgy. Got through the update okay but decided to turn it off.

    I think I got a bad apple :( Hope the rest of you are ok.
    Reply +11
  • Carmack, Sweeney and Andersson Unplugged

  • Harmonica 11/11/2013

    Thanks for the transcript, very interesting discussion, and like others I can't wait to be reading this a decade into the future, when we're even further along than we could have dreamed! Reply +1
  • "We had a goal - to make the prettiest animals in gaming"

  • Harmonica 07/11/2013

    @mouseymouse And applause all round from the peanut gallery, but maybe try contributing something to the discussion next time. Reply -2
  • Harmonica 07/11/2013

    @Liuwil "For fucks sake it's a bloody videogame."

    I think that was entirely my point. But reading comprehension being what it is around here..

    It's a videogame. It's a creative enterprise. The best they could do with all the power at their disposal was prettier creatures in a zoo tycoon game.

    People defending it are absolutely mad.

    And to say it's by the people that made Elite and that makes it okay. That makes it worse, surely?
    Reply -2
  • Harmonica 07/11/2013

    @darkmorgado They're a bad thing because they make it very easy for people to assuage their conscience about declining natural habitats. If all the money that was put into zoos as a whole was diverted to keeping animals alive in the wild, or to diverting industry itself, they wouldn't need to exist.

    As it is, they exist because it's practical (and indeed profitable) economically.

    edit: additionally you're only talking about a relatively small minority of benevolent people. They're not all Gerald Durrell. Not by a long chalk.

    But this needn't even be about the ethics of zoos. It's about a developer choosing to egrandise them over any environment they could have created instead. That represents a dearth of imagination and they should try harder. Now if you want to compare Zoo Tycoon's scope, daring, creativity, etc, with Elite... come on.
    Reply -6
  • Harmonica 07/11/2013

    To the 16 people who negged me without replying: thank you for being witless zombies. I assume you all work at SeaWorld. Reply -17
  • Harmonica 07/11/2013

    @darkmorgado Name some more games between Elite and this and maybe your argument would hold more water.

    It's Zoo Tycoon. I'm sorry that I can't keep a straight face when they're both mentioned in close proximity to each other.

    Your argument that zoos aren't hideous because 'think of the poor endangered species' sort of runs aground when you consider WHY those species are fucked to begin with. Oh yeah, it's us! Great job humanity.

    Do you see? Industry destroys the natural kingdom and displaces species, and another huge industry conveniently pops up to make money out of it.

    But nah, zoos are great! They're totally benevolent! Would that the entire world was a zoo and a developer made a game about it.
    Reply -10
  • Harmonica 07/11/2013

    If they were developers with real talent and imagination they would be letting players explore the wildlife in their natural habit, but instead they took the power of a new console system and painstakingly recreated one of the most hideous inventions of the past centuries. Nice one!

    Zoo Tycoon has always been cack. Now it's prettier cack. So exciting.
    Reply -33
  • Chess 2: The Sequel - How a street fightin' man fixed the world's most famous game

  • Harmonica 04/11/2013

    Reading this article, I am interested to play Chess 2. But I'm also happy that I already play Dota 2, since that's probably the best modern alternative.

    @Scurra "Chess 2 is merely a chess variant that will disappear into the large ghetto marked 'chess variants'"

    Surely that just says more about people who play Chess, than Chess 2.
    Reply -1
  • Xbox One Resolutiongate: the 720p fallout

  • Harmonica 01/11/2013

    If you present a balanced viewpoint in this thread along the lines of 'but why does 720p/1080p matter so much for these titles?' you'll get downvoted by a partisan crowd who so very, very dearly want to see their platform get one over on the Xbox.

    You'll get downvoted and absolutely nobody will have the cohones to hit 'reply'.

    Ah, Eurogamer comments threads. Keep on keepin' on.
    Reply -1
  • Harmonica 31/10/2013

    I appreciate EG making this an issue, because performance is an issue, but I don't buy a BF or COD game and worry about whether it's running in 720p. Not this generation and not in the early stages of the next one. I buy it for new maps in multiplayer. That's it.

    These are just updates to the two shooter franchies. This is par for course.

    Still happening a year from now? Yeah, make a thing out of it.
    Reply -13
  • Microsoft hires Jonathan Ross to work on Xbox

  • Harmonica 29/10/2013

    Can't criticise it based on his credentials, he's a legit gaming nut and sub-culture obsessive.

    I just hope it will be old Radio 2 Woss and not laery late night chat show host Woss.
    Reply -3
  • EA ditches Tiger Woods for PGA Tour golf series

  • Harmonica 29/10/2013

    I feel like the EA PGA Tour games do genuinely improve pretty much every year, and honestly even if they didn't, the year they introduced the Masters/road to the Masters format makes some years of incremental updates all worth it. To play at that course is really special, and I felt they nailed it. I doubt it's something that many people outside of absolute die-hard golfers (and rich ones) will get to do in real life.

    It's just a shame generally that, as others have mentioned, there's a fundamental difficulty balance problem in golf games, where it's either punishingly difficult and not fun, or more playable, and relatively easy (ie 18 greens in regulation, massively low scores every round, etc). The EA games have pretty much always been fun but they do suffer from the odd imbalance between players and the unseen AI competitors. They will always shoot these myserious rounds that end up being more or less what you also managed. So if the game is too easy and you're shooting -15 on a course, which in real life might be a course record, the AI will also shoot -15! It breaks the illusion a little, in both ways.

    I've always said that we really need to be part of a 2/3 ball with the AI players and to go around the course together so that the game can more accurately generate a round of golf (at least for them, if not for other groups) - so if they shoot a nice score then we get to see exactly how they managed it. This would also add in an element of psychology which of course is a huge factor in the game.
    Reply 0
  • Stunning Star Citizen in-engine 4K resolution gameplay released

  • Harmonica 23/10/2013

    @Lukree If there's an option for 'in space nobody can hear your pew pew' it would be a lot better. Reply 0
  • Harmonica 23/10/2013

    It looks amazing but what % of users will afford a rig to conjure up those visuals? Gameplay is still king, and there's always a certain lack of it in discussions when it comes to this project. I get more excited by teaser videos when I can see the interface. This is a nice piece of visual effects work but it's just window dressing. If it's meant to be representative of gameplay in some way, well, generic dogfights in asteroid fields have been in a thing in every space game or sci-fi movie for the past few decades..

    In principle the idea of pushing hardware tech forward is nice but in practice when you're one of only a handful of games that will actually be doing it, it doesn't really work any more. People voted with their wallets through the 00s and decided that actually they prefer performance over raw numbers and very few were willing to pay for bleeding edge technology - which is what you'll have to have if you actually want to see Star Citizen look like that (now or at release).

    On the whole gamers of any stripe have to accept that unless you're willing to pour money into that kind of PC, hardware moves forward at the pace dictated by each console generation and the various performance gains that are sought after every passing year. This is actually hugely to the consumer's benefit as the performance gains that developers and manufacturers find force down prices in PC-land faster than they would otherwise fall, and impact PC-only title as well.
    Reply 0
  • Rockstar confirms it has halved GTA Online repeat mission payouts

  • Harmonica 21/10/2013

    @Marrrfooo If you can't get people in to the Titan, try changing the order they are trying to get in. Also trying double tapping Y/^ to get in. It seems for some reason some people can't get into certain seats when certain people are flying. Just a glitch. Reply 0
  • Ubisoft cancels the next-generation launch party

  • Harmonica 20/10/2013

    They don't need to release it now for early adopters who are notoriously partisan anyway. They delayed it to put it up against Titanfall. Reply 0
  • Heroes of the Storm is the new name for Blizzard All-Stars

  • Harmonica 18/10/2013

    I think it's fairly obvious that they tried to piss on Dota and got told to sling it by Valve and the community in general, so now they're aping HoN in name and logo form.

    Original content creators Blizzard at their finest.

    Never mind though, game is not exactly relevant within the genre.
    Reply -6
  • Introducing alpha and beta reviews

  • Harmonica 16/10/2013

    By definition you can't review alpha and beta content, and the lack of scores tells as much. This is just previews by another name - and previews are always utterly risible stuff, with plenty of ifs buts and maybes and pandering to the content creators. Click bait stuff.

    If I want to learn about alpha and beta stuff, I talk to those playing it, or watch footage on Youtube.

    I don't want to read an article proclaiming to have reviewed unfinished games, especially if you're not going as far as to stick a score on it (you'd give Godus a pretty terrible one if that would be the case).

    Good to talk about alpha and beta, bad to call it a review when it's nothing of the sort.
    Reply -2
  • Watch Valve show its Steam Controller in action

  • Harmonica 11/10/2013

    Valve are of course geniuses and this won't dent the success of their console, but this controller is way too much of an attempt at reinventing the wheel, when we already have two excellent controllers which have been revised three and four times respectively.

    The position of the face buttons all but rule out anyone using this who is serious about playing, well, anything.

    Think about any combinations of actions you might play in and you'll have trouble actually doing them properly when they're split between both thumbs, such as running and reloading. You can't move and reload.

    On top of which it is of course fantastically ugly, like a bad mock up of a next gen controller and it has touch pads. Existing owners of controllers will stick with them, and the PC master race types who have looked down on controllers for so long are really unlikely to turn around and use a device with a touch pad, a poor mans mouse.

    I don't know what market they are aiming at but it's got to be kind of niche.
    Reply 0
  • Author Tom Clancy dies, aged 66

  • Harmonica 02/10/2013

    This is surprisingly upsetting. One of my boyhood favourites who could write a great thriller. His latter day work was perhaps a little diluted stuff, but you can't argue against the Jack Ryan series or Rainbow Six, and the games that have followed in its wake. Loved his association with games over the years, whether personally or in name-form only. Definitely lead to some of the best output from a handful of studios. Reply +2
  • Rockstar hopes new GTA Online patch out today

  • Harmonica 02/10/2013

    @governmentyard "Once again on EG we have people who paid for a product and are complaining because it doesn't work, who are then getting called 'entitled'.

    Indeed they are. They've paid for an online game as of today and they haven't got one."

    Basically this. The games industry is still immune to any lasting backlash when things inevitably fall apart on day one. People say it's not comparable to any other medium - it's not, because those other huge mediums ensure that people who pay for their product get that product, day one, as expected. You walk into a cinema you get to see that film you paid for. There really should not be a 'special case' made for games simply because of internet connectivity. The only reason this still persists today is assumedly because games are still, even in the age of this $1bn juggernaut of a game, a niche entertainment, with a userbase who are basically apathetic (or, you know, teenaged) when it comes to championing better service.

    The publishers accept that all their fans will be pissed off for a few days, no they're not going to shell out for extra servers, they're just going to weather the storm and assume it blows over when x million users aren't all trying to simultaenously squeeze down the pipe.

    We love Rockstar because they make good games, and people who make good stuff and have a history of making great multiplayer are going to be given more leeway. That's fine. The trouble is that that this server overload issue is not going away in future, with more and more people playing games it's only going to get worse. It would be nice if at some point publishers didn't simply treat the outcry over failed launch days as simply free publicity (which is undeniably part of the equation when you see GTA Online trending number one worldwide on Twitter - yet barely anyone is actually talking about playing the damn thing).
    Reply +9
  • Crytek boss discusses Xbox One exclusive Ryse's 900p resolution

  • Harmonica 30/09/2013

    720p is the benchmark for HD, not 1080p, lest some forget.

    If you're obsessive about numbers to the point where 900 and 1080 matters a great deal to you, you're probably doing it wrong - and you probably haven't thought very hard about it.

    Like the dev says there is visually little difference but a huge performance saving from using upscaling in part to that relatively small degree. This is the reason it's still a better idea to get a x900 monitor for a PC, because you're trimming off masses amounts of pixels, gaining huge performance boosts which allow you to up things like AA and aniso filtering across the board, where the same game in 1080p would run worse (as in ~10 or 20 fps less).

    Some people just have a terrible preoccupation with their hardware numbers being bigger than others. Well, sadly there will always be someone with a bigger better system than you. It's not something worth worrying about.

    By the end of the generation we'll be going beyond 1080p but it's no surprise that at first, developers are looking for performance savings in order to meet player expectations with the overall visuals.

    I don't really see it mattering all that much in this case, as Ryse is to all appearances one of those (risible?) fire-and-forget launch titles that looks good demoing in stores but is forgotten about a year later (think things like King Kong).
    Reply +10
  • Rockstar adding more servers to prepare for GTA Online's launch

  • Harmonica 26/09/2013

    @DavidBoring Of course multiplayer is designed to give the game longevity, but in modern Rockstar games the multiplayer is half the reason to buy the game, a proper back of the box feature - if not more.

    When they announced GTA V my first thoughts were not about the single player story - a given - it was wondering how they will build upon the online experiences of IV, and RDR.
    Reply +1