Schiraman Comments

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  • David Braben on how Elite: Dangerous on console will actually work

  • Schiraman 06/03/2015

    Still don't understand the need for this game to be always online; surely any updates to the galaxy are essentially optional, and could just be downloaded the next time an internet connection is available?

    Why prevent people from playing at all just because their ISP is doing maintenance work, their router is broken, they're travelling without a reliable connection, or whatever?
    Reply +7
  • Final Fantasy concert album launches today

  • Schiraman 23/02/2015

    So is it actually available from "all leading digital music retailers"? Because it seems to be only on itunes. Anyone know of anywhere else it can be purchased?

    Also does anyone have any more details on the concert returning to London? I can't find anything to back that up, offhand.
    Reply +1
  • Asteroids is getting rebooted as an open-world survival MMO

  • Schiraman 11/02/2015

    So they're making a clone of Space Engineers but using the Asteroids IP? Reply 0
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel review

  • Schiraman 14/10/2014

    While I'd have been happy if this had pushed the BL formula forwards and/or was an exceptionally good standalone game, in all honesty what I was expecting was more of the same with some new characters to play - and it sounds like it delivers on that front. Basically it's an expandalone, and I'm fine with that.

    I kind of agree with people complaining about the price though; I preordered it from Amazon for 25 which I thought was fair - but charging any more for it seems like it might be a bit of a rip-off.
    Reply +3
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Season Pass detailed

  • Schiraman 02/09/2014

    The DLC included in the BL2 season pass ranged from pretty good to excellent, which made it good value overall - but I'm a bit unclear what's actually included this time around.

    Is this going to be four episodes of story-based DLC like the BL2 pass, but with extra characters in some (or all) of them? If so, excellent. But if it's a case of some character packs, some story packs, maybe even some challenge or customisation packs then I'd really like to know upfront what the mix is.
    Reply +2
  • Payday developer Overkill is making a co-op The Walking Dead FPS

  • Schiraman 14/08/2014

    @cw- There are some other key differences too, which could have a big impact on a game:

    - More often than not it's actually other people that are the real threat.
    - Gunshots attract zombies, potentially in huge numbers.
    - A single zombie bite will kill you.
    Reply +3
  • Platinum Games reveals Legend of Korra gameplay

  • Schiraman 29/07/2014

    My god that looks boring. And really if they're going to do an Avatar game the one thing they need to get right is the look and feel of the bending powers - which they've completely failed to capture here.

    Basically this is just a cheap, generic brawler with an Avatar skin.
    Reply -3
  • Eurogamer readership survey 2014

  • Schiraman 19/05/2014

    #5: What, no option for Rock, Paper, Shotgun?

    #12: Seems a pretty limited selection of genres - what about Turn-Based Strategy/4X, Point & Click Adventures, Space Sims, Platform Games, etc? I know these have been unfashionable for a while, but they're coming back in a big way recently. At the very least an 'other' box would have been good here.

    #21: Absolutely mental to not have Amazon, Steam and Origin as options here. Well, alright, I can understand missing Origin... ;)
    Reply +7
  • Age of Wonders 3 review

  • Schiraman 11/04/2014

    I'm not finding this review very helpful TBH - it seems to indicate that the game is solid rather than great, but doesn't really say why.

    As someone who loved Master of Magic, but has never played an Age of Wonders game, is this worth looking at? I didn't get on with Warlock or Fallen Enchantress, so I'm still looking for something to live up to MoM's legacy...
    Reply +1
  • Mercenary Kings review

  • Schiraman 08/04/2014

    Really enjoyed this on Steam Early-Access a few months back. Although I think a lot of the criticisms people are levelling at it are broadly fair, it's still a really fun and good-looking game. Reply +1
  • Tales from the Borderlands story, mechanics detailed

  • Schiraman 10/03/2014

    @ShiftyGeezer Actually I do sort of agree - Borderlands 1 wasn't that great, writing-wise (although still funny, which is hard) - but I'll stand by Borderlands 2 being good writing, certainly by game standards.

    You say it's easy to make a villain hateable - but I think you're wrong. I rarely care about the villain in a game or film - they're just generic cardboard 'dark lords' 99% of the time. Jack is absurdly OTT, of course, because that's BL's style - but it's still good writing that while playing casually through a funny, silly Diablo-esque shoot-and-loot game, I genuinely wanted to *end* him.

    And the sympathy I felt for him was because of the rage and grief he expresses after you kill his daughter. I'm not saying he's in any way a good guy, or even a justifiable bad guy - but it's to the game's credit that it can make him horrendous, but still human in that one moment.
    Reply +2
  • Schiraman 10/03/2014

    I love Borderlands, so this might be the game to finally make me try a Telltale game.

    Because it's so over-the-top people tend to overlook how good the writing in Borderlands actually is IMO. It's not just funny (although that's a good start), it also produces some pretty interesting characters and situations that are often deeper than they first appear.

    For example, making Handsome Jack a genuinely *hateable* villain is quite an achievement - but then making you have sympathy for him later is even more impressive.
    Reply +2
  • Gearbox's Homeworld HD is now Homeworld Remastered

  • Schiraman 06/03/2014


    Very much agree. Cataclysm was always my favourite of the three games - had the best units and the best storytelling IMO.

    It was created by Barking Dog though, rather than Relic, and they folded a long time ago. I believe some of them went on to found Kerberos and create Sword of the Stars, but I found that a really disappointing game, sadly.
    Reply +2
  • Gigabyte Brix Pro GB-BXi7-4770R review

  • Schiraman 26/02/2014

    Although it's interesting to see boxes like this coming onto the market (however flawed they might be right now), I'm increasingly convinced that having a low-powered box in the living room that streams from a gaming PC elsewhere is the way to go.

    Steam Streaming really does work impressively well, which pretty much negates the need for something like this.
    Reply +1
  • Win a 400 Sony Entertainment Network voucher

  • Schiraman 21/02/2014

    I'm a little late to the party, but as a couple of people have already said - Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is easily my all-time-favourite story-driven DLC.

    Borderlands 2 is great, and there's a lot to like in this expansion just because it's more of the same - but for my money it truly excels in two ways.

    Firstly, the game's ability to balance genuinely dark and emotional themes with wacky comedy and explosions shines brighter here than anywhere in the main game. Tina is a girl in real pain, and the game makes you feel it. It's rare to see that kind of thing in any game, but can anyone really claim they expected to see it in Borderlands 2?

    Secondly, this is an expansion about (tabletop) roleplaying. And, more generally, about being a geek. It gets it. It doesn't mock roleplaying (or geekdom) as an outsider - it makes the jokes that roleplayers make, that geeks make, about themselves. Real, genuinely funny jokes.

    And it also makes another point - that hobbies like roleplaying can be the rock that lets people (like Tina, except real) get by. That can make people who are used to feeling weird and lonely get to feel part of something instead.

    In short: it's a laugh-out-loud funny love letter to roleplaying, that's also a great game. And for that, I love it back.
    Reply 0
  • Iwata: Nintendo losses won't mean "Mario on smartphones"

  • Schiraman 20/01/2014

    I never understand why people get negged for saying it would be good if Nintendo followed in SEGA's footsteps and started releasing games on other platforms rather than producing their own hardware.

    I like Nintendo games, but not enough to buy a special console just to play those games. I'd much rather buy them for a platform that I already own - and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.

    Honestly, can anyone explain why that would be a *bad* thing for the games industry?
    Reply +12
  • Stories with dice: the thrill of old-school D&D

  • Schiraman 20/01/2014

    Great to see P&P roleplaying acknowledged for once. If you enjoy CRPGs then it's definitely worth giving it a go, just for the freedom of choice and the joy of unique characters and plots that can be derailed :)

    I've been GMing games (and writing my own) since I was a teenager and I'm still at it more than twenty years later.

    I don't agree that systems aren't important (otherwise why bother with them at all?), they provide a common framework that players and GM can all agree on - which helps to make the game feel fair and gives players an idea of what they can and can't do. IMO game balance in RPGs isn't about balancing players-vs-GM, it's about making sure that all the players feel their character is useful and fun, and making sure that all character choices have value, rather than only the 'right' builds.

    All that said, systems are very much horses for courses and good GMing is ultimately more important than a good system. Just experiment a bit and find a system you enjoy. Personally I've got a lot more time for the likes of GURPS than any flavour of D&D, and I certainly don't hark back to the 'good old days' of Basic D&D, but YMMV :)
    Reply 0
  • The strongest next-gen line-up from the unlikeliest source

  • Schiraman 26/10/2013

    Comparing the Wii U to the next-gen consoles really is just an apples-and-oranges comparison, and thus a bit pointless. Of course a console that's been out for a year has a better lineup available than the new consoles will have at launch - you could write the same article about any console launch.

    What you're really asking is is it better to buy a powerful console that doesn't have many games yet, or a console that (technologically speaking) belongs to the current gen but has been around for long enough to have more games available. In which case not including the PS3 and 360 as options is fairly disingenuous.

    Not to mention: why no love for PC? You could consider it either current or next gen (it's arguably either, depending on components chosen). And I'm confident in saying that it's got a better lineup than any console ;)
    Reply +1
  • Saints Row 4 GAT 5 DLC free on Steam today

  • Schiraman 17/09/2013

    As long as Rockstar continue to ignore the PC market, I'm happy to ignore their game.

    That said, I'd be more impressed with Volition taking the piss if SR4 wasn't so crazy overpriced on PC (in the UK, at least). On release it was 10 cheaper to buy the console version of SR4 from Amazon than it was to buy a digital copy on Steam. And Amazon's price is still more than I paid for SR3 (which I preordered)...

    So I guess I'll give both of them a miss for now - I'm sure they'll turn up in a Steam sale sooner or later. And there's no shortage of other things to play in the meantime :)
    Reply +2
  • FPS Space Hulk: Deathwing gets teaser trailer

  • Schiraman 03/09/2013

    In fact, has there ever been a good non-Relic WH40K game?
    Yes, Chaos Gate. It was an X-Com style turn-based strategy title with a persistent team of Space Marines. Somewhat buggy, but basically glorious.
    Reply +3
  • Nvidia says GTA5 on PC this autumn

  • Schiraman 13/08/2013


    I'm sure there were some people just complaining about not being able to run the game in max res - but I don't think that explains the sheer volume of complaints, and it certainly wasn't the issue I was having.

    Probably safe to say that the port did have some very serious problems, and even if they didn't affect everyone they clearly affected enough people for it to generate a lot of noise.
    Reply +2
  • Schiraman 13/08/2013


    Sorry, I feel like my last post was needlessly pissy. Long day at work...

    How about this: the PC version had serious problems at launch, which were later resolved on some systems but not others. Seem like a fair summary?

    Perhaps it's an issue with some graphics cards or CPUs, but not others? Maybe an Nvidia vs ATI issue or something?

    All I know is it didn't run for me until I bought a new PC, and forum posts at the time suggested it was a common problem. All in all, it didn't leave a great impression and makes me wary of future R* ports.
    Reply +1
  • Schiraman 13/08/2013


    No, the problems weren't just at launch. They persisted (at the least) for several years, and I have no reason to believe they were ever fixed.

    Yes, it runs fine with a powerful enough PC - which are now common. That is not the same thing.

    Since you apparently think anyone who gainsays your version of events is just lying to you, I don't think it's worth discussing further.
    Reply +3
  • Schiraman 13/08/2013


    Well, all I can say for sure is that it wasn't playable (even at low settings) on my PC - which was fairly new and fairly decent at the time I played it (and that was a year or two after it came out on PC).

    And from looking at forums at the time, and from other responses here, I know that I was far from the only one having issues with it.

    So yes, I'd say you were lucky. Go you. I guess that probably means all the problems everyone else had are just made up then.

    And to be clear: I never claimed that it doesn't run on (what are now) modern systems - I said it didn't run on many systems that were modern at the time.
    Reply +1
  • Schiraman 13/08/2013

    @bad09 Yes, I've played both.

    The fact that the PC version wouldn't run on most modern hardware when it was released (and still wouldn't after a couple of years) was shockingly poor.

    Being prettier than the console version is no bloody good if the game isn't playable.

    Most other companies manage to bring their console games to the PC looking nicer and running fine. Rockstar were apparently not capable of this, and deserve criticism for it. No idea why you're defending them TBH.
    Reply +1
  • Schiraman 13/08/2013

    @bad09 It's a port of a PS3/360 game FFS - if it's extremely demanding (such that decent-spec gaming machines can't handle it years after launch), then it's a bad port: end of.

    We're not talking about Crysis or something here - we're talking about a game that ran smooth as silk on console hardware that (in PC terms) was obsolete before the game even came out. Being unable to get that same game running on hardware that was many times more powerful, years later, is shockingly bad and not something that customers should have to put up with.
    Reply +5
  • Schiraman 13/08/2013


    It wasn't just a messy launch, I bought it a long time after that and it was utterly unplayable on my PC at the time (which was still far more powerful than any current gen console).

    I can play it now, having bought an even more powerful PC since, but that has nothing to do with them fixing anything - just me throwing even more power at their atrociously optimised port.
    Reply +11
  • Saints Row dev "didn't appreciate" THQ's focus on porn actresses

  • Schiraman 06/08/2013

    TBH I kind of agree with her - although SR is pretty dumb, and often exploitative, it does also have strong female characters - and the option to play as anyone you like (male, female, black, white, etc.) is incredibly rare in gaming and is a lot of fun.

    I'd also agree that using strippers to market the game doesn't help anything, but personally I'd go further and say that using a white male lead character in all the marketing materials is also a bit crap. At the very least perhaps it's time for a FemShep-style alternative cover with a female lead?
    Reply +5
  • Sega "investigating concerns" after Russian distributor pulls Company of Heroes 2

  • Schiraman 06/08/2013

    Honestly people need to get a grip - of course the game isn't 100% historically accurate and it does tend to exaggerate both the good and the bad for dramatic effect, but at least it *tries* to present a balanced, nuanced view of history. That's more than you can say for 99.9% of games (or films) for heaven's sake!

    And it certainly doesn't show the Soviets in an exclusively negative light - the campaign makes a big deal of how heroic the ordinary soldiers were, and what a difficult uphill battle it was to drive back the Nazis - but at the same time it tries to show that a lot of sacrifices had to be made to achieve this, and some of them were very morally grey (at best!).

    Every country (including the UK) has things in its past that it can be rightly proud of, and things that were shameful. And often there's a great deal of overlap between the two. The sooner we all get used to that idea, the better.
    Reply +9
  • Sony backtracks on real-money Planetside 2 buffs following fan outcry

  • Schiraman 18/07/2013

    In fairness this concept wasn't quite as pay-to-win as some people are making out - the idea was that implants would be something you could purchase either with real-world cash, or with experience earned in-game - which is exactly how guns are unlocked already.

    The difference is that a level 1 character starts with decent guns, so unlocking other options isn't (generally) a boost to actual power - whereas implants would be an actual buff.

    Also they wanted implants to be a limited-duration buff, and I think that's something that people really didn't like.
    Reply +6
  • Borderlands dev Gearbox Software working on new IP for next-gen

  • Schiraman 09/07/2013

    Thought the DLC so far was pretty good, though I definitely liked the Captain Scarlett and Tiny Tina chapters more than the other two.

    Wonder if they'll do a second season pass for 'season 2' DLC? Will probably buy it if they do.
    Reply 0
  • New Square Enix boss promises "fundamental review" of the entire company

  • Schiraman 03/04/2013

    Seems like Eidos is doing fine, they just need to be a bit more realistic about sales targets and drop the stupid tacked-on multiplayer.

    As for Square's own games the recipe for success isn't hard to see: make less of the crappy spin-offs and sequels and concentrate on a few, high-quality games that play to their traditional strengths. And no more MMOs, those things are horrible money-sinks that kill companies.

    Once all the crap they currently have lined up is out of the way, what I'd like to see is a FF XV that harks back to the best bits of VII, IX, X and XII. And for the love of god either do a proper Kingdom Hearts 3 or just drop the franchise completely.

    A new FF Tactics game would also be ace. Get to it.
    Reply 0
  • SoulCalibur 5 sales aren't as strong as SoulCalibur 4's

  • Schiraman 06/02/2013

    Well I hated SC5, and never play it - so I'm glad it wasn't a big success for them. I certainly won't be buying any more SC games in the future unless I hear they're really investing in them and bringing something worthwhile to the mix.

    Tekken Tag 2 OTOH was great, and really reignited my interest in the franchise. So there's still hope they can recover SC in the same sort of way.
    Reply +1
  • Chasing Aurora review

  • Schiraman 07/12/2012


    Well, maybe, I guess we'll see :)

    But a new console is definitely a chance to change things for the better, which is why I'm watching the Wii U with interest as well as scepticism ;)
    Reply +4
  • Schiraman 07/12/2012


    I can't claim to speak for all those who are sceptical about the Wii U, but personally it's not so much a matter of 'wanting it to fail' as wishing that Nintendo would take a different approach.

    I was a big fan of Nintendo once, but their over-reliance on key franchises (Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc.), rocky relationship with third-party devs, overpricing of underpowered hardware and increasing reliance on casual and party games using various novelty features has steadily alienated me.

    I understand this strategy has been a big success for them, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
    Reply 0
  • Endless Space Review

  • Schiraman 10/07/2012

    Although it's not completely unfair, I feel like that review was a little bit harsh. It's true that the AI is less than stellar, and there are some areas of the game that could use a little tweaking or clarification - but that's true of any 4X on release, surely?

    I would certainly strongly disagree that 'opacity begins to dominate the game as you reach turn 200 and beyond' or that 'you're increasingly reliant on luck to prosper'.

    If anything I'd say the reverse is true - you might struggle to grasp a game this complex at the start, but as you play things become clear - and while luck plays a notable part in the early stages, it's up to your strategy to compensate for that in the long term. Again, just like any 4X.
    Reply +10
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 DLC characters revealed

  • Schiraman 21/05/2012

    Kunimitsu! \o/ Reply +6
  • Always Online: What Diablo 3's Does Wrong

  • Schiraman 18/05/2012

    Honestly there is really no excuse for D3 being always online.

    While being online may offer some benefits, and some players may be very keen on that, other players will be infuriated by connection problems, lag spikes or just not being able to play the game on the move.

    The solution is blindingly simple: make the 'always-online' mode an *option*, chosen when you first create a character.

    Online characters get the AH, multiplayer on official servers, secure trading, etc. and are guaranteed freedom from duping and cheats. Offline characters get LAN play, mutliplayer via peer-to-peer or on rented servers and support for mods - but also the inherent potential for hacks and cheats.

    Ultimately, until Blizzard offer me Option 2, I won't buy their game. Simple.
    Reply +5
  • Tribes: Ascend sees 1.2m downloads in a month

  • Schiraman 16/05/2012

    @DUFFKING I'd mostly agree with what you say there, except that the XP cost of weapons is often _insanely_ high, and in some cases the unlockable weapons do seem to give a significant advantage (I'm thinking mostly of the Technician's Thumper here).

    Also the gold prices are pretty expensive - if you wanted to unlock all the classes, perks and weapons with gold it'd cost you a lot more than buying a full-price game outright.
    Reply +2
  • Jumpgate creators turn to Kickstarter for new project

  • Schiraman 24/04/2012

    Give me a strong, story-led single player (or better yet, co-op) space shooter - ideally along the lines of Freespace 2, and then we'll talk.

    Free-to-play PvP? No thanks.
    Reply +1
  • Retrospective: Master of Magic

  • Schiraman 22/04/2012

    MoM is an amazing game, easily one of my all-time favourites. The article is absolutely right - it's a game that's never been bettered, and it's an absolute crime that it's never had any kind of sequel. Reply +4
  • SoulCalibur 5 March title update announced

  • Schiraman 15/03/2012

    There's a whole lot wrong with SC5 beyond the terrible character balance (lack of characters and weak SP for starters - as mentioned above) but fixing the terrible character balance would be a good start.

    Sadly, given how rushed and half-arsed the game is overall, I'll be genuinely surprised if the patch actually fixes much.
    Reply +1
  • PS4 ditching Cell-like CPU for AMD PC-like innards - report

  • Schiraman 01/03/2012


    Unless I'm misremembering, the PS2 was *also* notoriously difficult to develop for. What made the PS1 and 2 such strong systems was Sony embracing cheap to produce, high-capacity media (CDs and DVDs) instead of the expensive, low-capacity cartridges used by Nintendo, and their greater willingness to support and cooperate with third-party developers. That, and releasing the PS2 well ahead of the GameCube...

    The trouble is, it turns out that Microsoft is even better at that approach *and* had a console that's easy to write for... ;)
    Reply +43
  • Hironobu Sakaguchi: Fantasy Man

  • Schiraman 27/02/2012

    I actually really enjoyed The Spirits Within, it was a far better film than the stunningly shallow Advent Children.

    Also I recall hearing a few years back that although TSW lost money at the cinema, it made so much on DVD sales that it was actually profitable overall - and that if Square had realised it would do so well on DVD they would have kept on making big-budget movies.

    Makes you wonder what would have happened to the FF franchise if Square had had a little more foresight at that crucial point.
    Reply +29
  • The Last Story Review

  • Schiraman 24/02/2012

    Sounds like a fun game, makes me a bit sad that it's exclusive to a platform that I don't own. It'd be nice to see more JRPGs go multi-platform TBH, that's one thing to be said in favour of FF XIII at least. Reply 0
  • Sony explains why you can't transfer UMDs to your Vita

  • Schiraman 22/02/2012

    Sony's argument here can be summed up as "the deal we're offering to people in Japan is actually a really shitty one, and we realised that gamers elsewhere just wouldn't go for it".

    This is not a reasonable argument however. If a deal is so crap that you're worried you can't sell it to your customers, then the solution is to come up with a better deal, not to shut up shop.

    Honestly there's no real reason they couldn't offer transfers for free - it would cost Sony a little bit of money, but it would be a great promotion for a new console. Consider it a marketing expense.
    Reply +5
  • PlayStation Vita memory card pack pictures

  • Schiraman 07/02/2012

    This pricing strategy strikes me as completely self-defeating - how many potential customers are being put off buying a Vita by these rip-off memory cards and all the bad press that they generate?

    It's cost them my business, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's gone from "day-one purchase" to "wait and see" because of this.
    Reply +7
  • Final Fantasy 10 HD remake for Vita and PS3 is a remaster

  • Schiraman 06/02/2012

    As long as it's at a budget price, I'd be cautiously interested in an HD version of FFX. It's a good game, despite its flaws - but TBH I did think it was a step in the wrong direction in many ways, with its very linear progression and lack of world map.

    And I agree with a lot of the other comments here - I'd be more interested in seeing a remake/release/remastering of FFXII. Although it was a bit hit and miss, FXII had some really great ideas, and had probably the strongest sense of place of any FF game.
    Reply +2
  • Final Fantasy 13-2 "to be continued" ending explained

  • Schiraman 06/02/2012

    Dear Square Enix,

    Please stop wasting time and energy on FFXIII, it's easily the weakest FF game I've ever played - the world, the characters, the story, the battle system - everything about it was rubbish.

    Please just make FFXV already - maybe you can redeem yourselves with that.

    Love and Hugs,
    A Former Fan

    P.S. If you're looking for hints on how to get started, try looking at FFV, VII, IX and XII. They had some great ideas. And while you're at it, why not take a look at FF Tactics - that was just about your best game ever.

    P.P.S. And perhaps try making a story that stands alone, without the need for sequels or DLC? Again, see above games.
    Reply +6
  • Game of the Week: SoulCalibur 5

  • Schiraman 06/02/2012

    Definitely a strange choice for game of the week - I'm enjoying playing it, but it feels really rushed and is a big disappointment in a lot of ways. They've removed more characters than they've added, and the single-player content is an absolute joke - there's not even a Survival mode.

    I expect they'll try to sell us the rest of the modes and characters as (overpriced) DLC...
    Reply 0