Veracity Comments

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  • Saturday Soapbox: Hollow Worlds - Looking for "Look At"

  • Veracity 11/11/2012

    @SvennoJ Games already do that. Mirror's Edge had a whole mini-story (mostly gags) about a disgruntled employee on monitors in the Evil Factory of Evil.

    > no shooter would be improved
    System Shock or, as noted by KDR_11k, Metroid Prime did alright with it, didn't they?
    Reply +1
  • EA predicts a free-to-play-only future

  • Veracity 20/06/2012

    @drhickman1983 Thinking in terms of "unlocking the full game" doesn't cover the whole F2P picture. It's analogous to piecemeal DLC, and there's certainly "free" games that're doing that with vanity upgrades and the ability to pay to avoid doing anything unpleasant like playing the game. But a highly desirable situation for publishers is to have you buying consumables, so there's no end point you're working towards, you just keep paying as long as you keep playing. Stealth subscription, I guess.

    A lot of games have buyable randomized stuff that might give you some really neat pretend shiny thing, but probably won't. How that isn't subject to gambling legislation I don't know, but this stuff is probably carefully formulated so that it isn't. If you really have a strong aversion to the idea, though, trying to whip up some think-of-the-children outrage about minors gambling in the regular press might help hurt its public image.
    Reply +1
  • Okami HD coming to PlayStation 3 this Autumn

  • Veracity 20/06/2012

    @Architect_z because the player character in Okami is the sun.

    Don't see the point of this beyond the obvious (extraordinary reputation, bugger all sales, might as well try yet again with a cheap-to-do port). It made such a virtue of the original platform's limitations I don't think it'll gain anything from four times the pixels. You could always use pcsx2 to preview roughly what it'll look like if you're undecided, I guess.
    Reply 0
  • The Binding of Isaac sold 700,000 copies

  • Veracity 20/06/2012

    @uninspiredcup They can't. The version of Flash it's in can't do it, and they can't update to a later version because the software they use to package it as a self-contained executable with steam-O-cheeve integration wouldn't support it. Something like that, anyway. This is a major reason existing owners should be keen to see it get consolified, since it'd increase the chance of it getting rewritten in something less repulsively awful, much as VVVVVV did, though that didn't need it so badly - BoI's lack of access to your GPU is also why the current version has atrocious performance, more or less regardless of what you're running it on.

    Meanwhile, just use xpadder or joy2key like everyone else. xpadder does profile auto-loading so you can configure once and forget about it, though I think you still have to toss a fiver at it for a version that supports that. Various free things can do the same, though I don't think joy2key is one of them.
    Reply 0
  • Saturday Soapbox: Bring On The Next Generation

  • Veracity 17/12/2011

    So you want something novel, though I'm not too clear what, and the way you'd like to get it is from new shinies (toys and pixels) that'll only make blockbuster publishers more risk-averse? What about an XBox 720 or PS4 will stop the charts being dominated by games with a 3 or a 4 at the end of their title?

    You'd probably be better off just concentrating less on "triple A" games (and thanks for including a definition-for-the-moment, given no two buggers seem able to agree what it actually means). They aren't particularly important unless you own shares in the lumbering behemoths that fund them. Oh, or it's your job to keep up with their doings. Sorry, carry on.
    Reply +1
  • id Software on always-on internet debate

  • Veracity 10/08/2011

    He really should've gone with "true fans". Not sure he absolutely maximized the opportunity to come off as an out-of-touch, condescending twat who should never be allowed within fifty paces of a press pass, there. Reply +4
  • Notch: is Bethesda doing a Langdell?

  • Veracity 08/08/2011

    @Slipstream: they can't license Mojang to use it (for a derisory fee or otherwise) unless Mojang withdraws its application for a trademark that overlaps with and potentially obsoletes one they hold and have been actively using for years.



    My only initial thought on this was that Mojang should be able to afford better legal advice, but amid the predictable internet outrage from people with no idea what they're talking about I've seen it said Sweden's considerably more likely than average to rule in Mojang's favour. No idea whether that's accurate, but possibly they're just being a bit provincial.
    Reply +1
  • Origin of War

  • Veracity 18/06/2011

    Isn't this just part of the more aggressive EA stance Riccitiello's been on about to keep shareholders amused? I think it's a non-issue.



    I already have an Origin account, iirc because EADM was the only place to buy Mirror's Edge DLC. So does anyone who's played more or less any recent EA game with DLC or some online component. The client's less intrusive than Steam as a store app - you don't need it running for phone-home authentication, though that could change with new releases - and has even occasionally managed to put anything up at a reasonable price. You can register EA serials on it for download access from physical copies and from other digital retailers.



    They haven't even pulled all their games from Steam. At most, they'll probably make a handful of things big enough to get away with it exclusive, and why wouldn't they? About fragmentation, just how many publishers have anything resembling the clout to pull exclusivity shenanigans? Blizzard already does it. Ubisoft has some digital guff or other of its own, but no one uses it or cares. Microsoft is still somehow managing to convince developers to cripple their games with GfWL, but their PC marketplace is a failure. 1c sells its games directly, for heaven's sake, as do half or more of the independents on Steam - you might want Steam for the exposure, but throwing up at least a basic direct option that hands you more of the money from people willing to use it is just sensible. I don't see the impending fragmentation of the market. EA can talk big, but it'll always cave and put titles on Steam if it's set to lose a lot of money, otherwise.
    Reply +1
  • This Dirt 3 racing seat costs 490

  • Veracity 31/05/2011

    Surely the bumper cars at the fair are realistic, being real?



    If your waist measures more than 42" you should probably save the money for a heart transplant.
    Reply +5
  • No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise

  • Veracity 18/05/2011

    That is the definitive box quote.



    "Give them a show with lots of flash in it/and the reaction will be passionate" is a more excruciating rhyme than "Shakespearos". Less stupid, though, I suppose.
    Reply 0
  • Valve: "Jerks" should pay extra for games

  • Veracity 17/05/2011

    @beep: gamersgate does that. Not a permanent discount, just a loyalty card thing. Don't know of any other DD outlets that've tried it, though I know some of those quaint shelf-based retailers have.



    The vast majority of stuff on Steam doesn't have one price, though. I don't mean the regional variation bugbear. Video games mostly depreciate at an absurd rate. Maybe more true in conventional retail, but Steam seems to do nearly the same thing with its ever more frequent temporary reductions on almost everything.
    Reply +1
  • Retrospective: Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Veracity 02/05/2011

    That has to be the first reference to "Crystal Maze chic" in anything, ever. I salute this development, even if it's probably also the last. Reply +2
  • Retrospective: Mirror's Edge

  • Veracity 10/04/2011

    Bestest game ever where you play a terrorist, and bestest on the latest batch of TV boxes.



    I'd probably buy a sequel if it just fixed the more questionable physics and not much else (cool as double jumping always is, I'm pretty sure Faith shouldn't be able to do it). Still, almost hope it stays indefinitely shelved because there's too many ways it could easily go horribly wrong.
    Reply 0
  • No Silver Lining

  • Veracity 09/04/2011

    Agree that thin client delivery hasn't done much to convince end users why they're supposed to want it. There are already perfectly reasonable cheap alternatives to playing expensive PC games, the most obvious being a cheap PC, and consoles aren't really expensive, in the first place (the games are).



    I don't think not being an anti-piracy magic bullet is really a problem, though. You don't need to migrate everyone to your piracy proof platform to make it appealing, just some people. And it doesn't even need to impact piracy significantly, just to convince publishers that it might, arguably much like most existing DRM.
    Reply 0
  • Dreamcast Collection

  • Veracity 01/04/2011

    I bought Crazy Taxi when it turned up on Steam. I don't think the soundtrack substitution's the end of the world - this sort of licensing issue with old games isn't all that uncommon, and you can fudge a manual fix if it upsets you from a nostalgic point of view. It is symptomatic of the overall "not even trying" attitude, though. The port's complete and utter arse, really, that special depth of arse that makes you wish it were possible to delete games from your Steam list entirely so they don't offend you by their mere presence when you go to launch something that isn't terrible. Reply +1
  • Braben clarifies journo Metacritic idea

  • Veracity 17/03/2011

    Who jumped down his throat for "criticizing reviewers"? People said he was talking balls because he's suggesting reviews that land closer to a game's metascore are more correct than those that don't, which is two or three kinds of forehead-smackingly wrong. Aaaand he just did it again ("stand out...look silly"). He should talk about hob nobs more, it's far more endearing. Other gritty roasted porridge is available. Reply +5
  • Threat Level

  • Veracity 06/03/2011

    The threat of smartphone and online downstream gaming has never been to [blockbuster] games



    I don't see why not. It might not seem fair to the people green-lighting the next sequel that'll cost the GDP of Venezuela to produce, but increased availability and visibility of cheap alternatives can undermine their perceived value. Those things can obviously still be profitable and I do take your point in context about more direct comparability, but it's all video games, and if I can keep myself amused with Shatter and Bejeweled until Dragon Age gets knocked down to a tenner with all its horse armour bundled in, why wouldn't I?
    Reply +1
  • Eurogamer presents... GDC After Dusk

  • Veracity 06/03/2011

    This was good. Could someone kidnap Mr Teti and post him to Brighton, or wherever you people live? Reply 0
  • Beyond Good and Evil HD

  • Veracity 11/02/2011

    Propaganda. Does this mean they'll have to put the website back up so you can actually get that disc you needed it for?



    If you played this on PC, is an "HD" update actually going to do much for it? Higher-res textures, I guess. It does work on vaguely recent hardware, though as far as I recall it's one of those things you really want to limit to one core, or it'll behave peculiarly. I think I also needed xpadder or its ilk to compensate for it assuming PC folk don't know what controllers are for. Considering how big a deal it is to some people they probably just want to throw money at it in the hope of encouraging a sequel to come out in their lifetime.
    Reply 0
  • Dark Souls almost called Dark Race

  • Veracity 08/02/2011

    Slang for what? Where in England? Ok, if they say so. Would that the producers of Epic Mickey had been as assiduous in their research. Reply +3
  • Eurogamer.net Podcast #55

  • Veracity 08/02/2011

    Vanquish underperforming: it's short, isn't it? That makes a lot of people grumpy about forking over anything approaching RRP. Also, maybe some people don't trust Japan to make a game about shooting men in the head, even with the added bonus of sliding around on bum. But yeah, mostly it's probably just that it's not a sequel to anything. Even Bayonetta was seen by some as the natural heir to Devil May Cry, which probably helped it.



    The Sandy Island Games jingle is insanely terrible. Please keep it.
    Reply +3
  • United We Stand?

  • Veracity 06/02/2011

    It'd be neat if they'd get together and hash out a mutually acceptable response to that whole mess of publishers thinking they're entitled to a cut of retailers' egregious second-hand disc profits. That's always looked a bit of a "whoever wins, consumers lose" fight to me.



    What are the uncontested "problems in education"? I don't mean I think there aren't any, just a bit knee-jerk suspicious when any industry makes claims to that effect. Obviously, they'd like not to have to spend money training their staff, but that doesn't necessarily mean universities should be doing it for them.
    Reply +1
  • Download Games Roundup

  • Veracity 04/02/2011

    Trino for 0.00, in an earlier incarnation, and assuming you don't mind creating a login with whatever all-consuming media blob includes Gamespot. Hopefully not churlish linking to that - I think it's a good game easily worth the buy, but it doesn't seem to have an actual demo. Reply -1
  • Retrospective: Blinx: The Time Sweeper

  • Veracity 23/01/2011

    in the 80's, Shirley? Reply +2
  • Eurogamer.net Podcast #33

  • Veracity 24/08/2010

    Anyone complaining that this is like trying to hear people mumbling at you from opposite ends of a very long tunnel: set your player's output format to mono and it'll put everything down the middle. Reply 0
  • Eurogamer.net Podcast #27

  • Veracity 17/07/2010

    I've never played a Broken Sword, but now I want to. Good advertising, I guess. Reply +1
  • Schafer: "I need to keep my mouth shut"

  • Veracity 15/07/2010

    @mr_writer: as long as you're trying to secure deals with publishers, "the people that matter" are the ones with their fingers hovering over a green light button, not a gaggle of anonymous internet men who call you a hero and fail to buy your games in sufficient numbers to secure sequels, anyway.



    The impolitic comment was directed specifically at Kotick, though. In itself, I would think that endangers any potential relationship with Activision only as long as he's there.
    Reply 0
  • Disciples III: Renaissance

  • Veracity 09/07/2010

    @samk: I agree, in principle, that letting us move our little pointy-eared ponces and angels around isn't necessarily an upgrade, especially if the developers haven't included line of sight. Puzzle Quest et al are other fairly obvious examples. Even King's Bounty uses very limited arenas. Age of Wonders has the most simulation-y encounters of the HOMM rip-offs I'm aware of. I think that series is dead, though.



    Disciples II's combat was unmitigated arse-water, though, so it bumps this up from "definitely don't care" to "maybe" for me. I doubt I'm alone - fantasy T-RPG/wargame grognard Venn circles probably overlap rather a lot.



    And it may have been prettily ("autumnal", even), but it kind of sacrificed actually being able to see what the hell was going on.



    @Obiwanshinobi: Etherlords! Now there's a game that might've been really good if the developer hadn't abandoned it within five minutes. I seem to recall they made one of the single-player campaign's tutorial stage basically unwinnable as a side-effect of a skill patch for multiplayer.
    Reply 0
  • PC Conviction delay not DRM related

  • Veracity 01/04/2010

    @ignatius

    Listen to the podcasts if you want editorial. They're shambolic, but certainly more opinionated than anything the site generally prints.



    I think you're overlooking that EG does betray a slant purely in what it considers news and what spin it puts on it even without injecting editorial - not really a negative criticism, as that's true of any news outlet. They're (presumably) always motivated primarily by the almighty click count, but this article's using a trivial delay as an excuse to smack Ubisoft with the DRM bat again - for all we know, it might genuinely have nothing to do with beleaguered DRM or the conspiracies PC users see in every shadow. It's the same sort of thing you see often in satire about sensationalism:

    Headline: Bobby Kotick does not deny procuring child prostitutes

    Buried in paragraph 4: (No one has asked him about it.)



    I would like to see someone, ideally in something like a feature report rather than a news item (too narrow) or outright editorial, talking to publishers and actually pressing for less evasive bullshit. I don't think this'd even necessarily be bad PR - certainly, this "benefits to gamers" guff makes them come across as weaselly scum, whereas "We're sick of piracy and believe this will reduce it enough to be worth the hate we incur from a relatively obsessive subset of potential buyers." would let them off as merely regular scum with whose exasperation you might even sympathize. Who's going to volunteer for this when annoying a publisher will lose you future interviews and timely review code, I'm not so sure.
    Reply 0
  • Game Room

  • Veracity 30/03/2010

    @Jaz666

    If they allow importing textures and models you could customize it yourself to include used needles, paedophiles and drunken day-trippers vomiting in Space Harrier for the authentic British seaside experience. With skin support you could share such things.



    About MAME, I would think the big problem at the moment is that it's not even a good front end. I don't use MAME much, but off the top of my head:



    MAME supports peculiar rectangular-pixel resolutions and can sync to the freakish refresh rates a lot of arcade games have. Doesn't sound like this can do that. Doubt most will be using it with a CRT, so of questionable significance. Further, though, MAME lets you pick from a whole variety of ways to make it look like you've smeared vaseline over the screen or produce pretend scanlines. MAME also supports rotating video output 90 degrees for 3:4 - unclear to me whether you can do this with Game Room.



    MAME will bind practically any input to the game's controls. Depending on version, it may also have custom autofire. Game Room apparently doesn't even necessarily let you bind buttons. Then you consider something like playing Arkanoid with no dial - a mouse kind of works, but I can't imagine it being playable on a thumb stick.



    The only obvious disadvantage of MAME versus the arcade titles here is that it's (mostly) illegal. But if the legit option's going to compete so miserably on features, I don't see why anyone would bother using it.



    Maybe it's not really trying to compete, though. Struggling to see how it's good for anything but completely cynical cash grabbing at impulse prices. As others have suggested, most old stuff that a good number of people would want probably warrants a somewhat more tarted-up rehash for more money on XBLA.
    Reply +1
  • Obsidian's Chris Avellone

  • Veracity 17/03/2010

    Faldrath wrote:

    there's still nothing like Torment out there. Nothing at all.

    Torment: You have a painful hole where your mortality used to be that draws damaged people to you and makes you unable to die. Most of the early game is spent trying to locate an insane hag whose relationship with you is not what you'll probably have been expecting. Most of the drama arises from how you respond to Planescape's rigid alignment-by-numbers morality and what it means for your character.

    KOTOR2: You have a painful hole where the Force used to be that draws damaged people to you and acts as a source of power. Your most important relationship is with an insane hag who's basically your mother. Most of the plot is concerned with whether Star Wars's cheesy black and white morality is just and, if not, what anyone could hope to do about it.

    Mask of the Betrayer: You have a painful hole where your soul used to be that allows you to eat souls. Three insane hags, that I can recall, one of whom actually is the mother of one of your companions, another (the Founder) the creepiest of the bunch, yet. Setting has harshly prescriptive rules about what happens to some people's souls; several key NPCs, fairly probably your character, and, as we have to begin to assume at this point, Avellone, do not entirely approve.



    Reductive, obviously, but still, hard to overlook some of the recurring preoccupations. Mask of the Betrayer's a fine game, very much in the Torment vein, that more people probably should have played. I guess being an expansion did it no favours, especially an expansion to the not all that well received NWN2. KOTOR2's harder to recommend for well-rehearsed reasons.



    Other than that, try Geneforge? Mostly more Fallouty than Tormenty, but does branching narrative fairly well. If you're just after something with brambly dialogue trees and less than interesting combat, maybe Vampire: Bloodlines.
    Reply +1
  • Activision: WOW could become "obsolete"

  • Veracity 03/03/2010

    kangarootoo wrote:

    being aware of the future weaknesses of your product is of course a good idea



    In this instance, it's the law - it's a bleeding SEC filing. A load of that is more or less boilerplate - see if you can find one that doesn't witter about "attracting and retaining key personnel".



    But, as others have said, EG in selective quoting for sensationalist headline shocker. Predictable commentard frothing ensues. To be fair, wander round ft.com or summat for a bit if you want disabusing of the idea "real" business journalism is less silly. And Activision is worse than Hitler - EG could probably save resources at the moment by just typing up "Activision" into a headline and letting the comments take it from there.



    Veracity grouses about obvious, refers to self in third person, gets coat.
    Reply +4
  • Off the Map

  • Veracity 30/09/2009

    Neatest thing about Thief in this respect was the automap giving you only minimal, broad information. In a fairly early mission (Bonehoard, I think) there's another example of that comfort zone jolt. You've had time to get cocky thinking you can manage the vague map, then you have to take a diversion through some (relatively) recent tunnels that aren't even on the map you brought, and the auto highlight switches to a scrawled note that says "Where Am I??". Reply -1
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume

  • Veracity 23/04/2009

    depressing forced sacrifice of team-mates



    You don't have to use the plume again beyond the tutorial's scripted murder of your only friend that introduces how it works. That's clearly forced, but the rest of the plot wouldn't really work without it unless there were a mass of alternate dialogue for all Wyl's grousing over what a bad man he's become, so I can live with it. Also worth noting is that you'll quite likely rather want to kill at least some of the rabble that attaches itself to you.



    Snidesworth wrote:

    recruiting miserable bastard after miserable bastard, their lives left devoid of purpose and joy[...]good fun



    Glad to know at least someone else enjoys the series' characteristic tone. I can certainly understand the reviewer's issue with lack of comic relief, but I find it a pleasant change to play something unrelentingly dour that doesn't feel the need to brighten things up with a squeaky mascot or by assaulting the fourth wall every twenty minutes.
    Reply 0
  • Tecmo shows new PS3 shooter

  • Veracity 08/10/2008

    > It's third-person, FPS,

    /raises hand to pontificate

    /gets distracted by shiny penny

    /wanders off looking for pennies
    Reply 0
  • Building BioShock

  • Veracity 08/08/2008

    Coughthulu wrote:

    I'm not sure he meant it that way, Jonathan Blow is very vocal on the design of getting ideas across, he's given several presentations on it (some of them ranty, by his own admission!).

    Sorry, should've used [facetious] tags. I suppose there could be some personal beef there I know nothing about, but, no, I doubt it was meant to be a dig. The two somewhat negative things I associate with Levine are rambling on a bit and being, if anything, too anxious not to be seen to be taking swipes at competing products/design approaches in an industry where everyone else seems to consider it all but obligatory. Hence something from him that could be construed as a bit handbags at dawn made me smile. Blow I know little about and have no particular opinion on, other than broadly agreeing with his ranting about "exploitative" game mechanics (that is him, aye?), though I'm not sure who I think is principally to blame for their success or what can be done about it.



    Anyway, how's about that BioShock, eh? Not nearly enough people have spouted their inconsequential opinions about it in the past year or so, we need some more. I'm still not dead sure it really needed to be a shooter...but it likely wouldn't have sold as anything else. Shadow of the Colossus got away with a game full of non-interactive scenery, though. A lot of the BS criticism also suggests Valve is right: your customers have paid for a fairground ride, so make damned sure you ram all your content in their faces, because they ain't going to play it twice or go hunting for the interesting bits. But those aren't the kind of games I much want to play, myself...crazy thought, but maybe there's room for multiple approaches as long as studios stay away from budgets that require pleasing quite so many people at once.
    Reply 0
  • Veracity 08/08/2008

    Sorry, I don't want to end up sounding like Jonathan Blow or something, but the "gamic" language.

    Ouch, 'ark at 'er. Considering Levine usually manages to deport himself in such a manner as to seem one of the most charming and reasonable people in game development (don't think this can really be fanboyism - I don't actually like the games he's been lead dev on all that much), I think that translates roughly to "Jonathan Blow is a cunt, and so is his mum".



    And thank god for at least one artwank dev taking the angle that "the gamer is always right" even though they're clearly not. Of course, he doesn't really mean quite that, but it's not a bad basic assumption compared to "I'm just making what my muse compels me to, not everyone can be expected to understand". If you're sincerely sure what you're doing is fine art, pitch it to a gallery or start looking for patronage; otherwise, if you're working in a medium that needs to shift a few hundred thousand or more units at a time, best you take that into account somewhere along the line.



    Missing question: Why was the last 33% arse?
    Reply 0
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI dated

  • Veracity 05/08/2008

    "Koei just doesn't seem to understand the concept of 'core gameplay' and how that applies to this series as they littered later versions with ill-concepted minigame fluff that only served to distract from an epic empire-building game."



    Last one I have is PS2 VIII, which I rated pretty highly. Its emphasis on having to "be" one of the characters is fairly heavy (and you can choose to be a relative grunt and work your way up to advisor, or whatever) - this looks like slightly more of a disembodied overseer player role. I think I kind of like the "minigame fluff", though. Part of the appeal of the series to me is its eccentric campiness and the impact of daft, over-the-top personalities - the debate stuff from the trailer looks hilarious, and isn't the sort of thing I object too as distracting, unbalancing, or "not serious enough".



    I think the grotesque inaccessibility gets exaggerated because it's (originally) on a platform that doesn't really do this genre. It's fairly strategy-lite compared to scary grognard-targeted PC games. Quite tempted to give it a shot, despite not really having time for it, and the apparent consensus among many who've been keeping up with the series that it's lost the plot.
    Reply 0
  • Beat The Pirates At Your Own Game

  • Veracity 02/03/2008

    Yet another +1, good piece. Although it's pretty much a polemic, if you're going to throw around fairly inflammatory statements like '[publishers are installing] nasty spyware' I think you ought to cite specific examples - otherwise, you're somewhat open to dismissal on the grounds you're just mirroring the human trafficking/international terrorism FUDmongers, albeit less outrageously. Though I can also see you don't want to get sued, and 'nasty spyware' is sufficiently open to interpretation that if you go specifically naming, say, Wild Tangent, they might get rather cross.



    Echoing others' sentiments, Stardock has proved that costly, intrusive DRM can be dropped altogether without leading to overnight bankruptcy. Apart from a couple of products purchased from them and the occasional game with an important server-side component, I don't remember when I last installed a game without immediately cracking it just as a matter of course - I don't even look to see what DRM it uses any more, since experience has shown the risk of malware infection from third party cracks is utterly insignificant set against the more convenient user experience they all but invariably offer.



    You touch briefly on the relationship between piracy/hacking and the import market, but don't much acknowledge imports as another thing to which manufacturers and publishers have often been quite strongly opposed. They're all over the global market when it entails outsourcing manufacturing to China and code drudgery to India, but let their customers attempt to reap some similar benefits from insane region pricing and release schedule disparities, and they shut down Lik-Sang and prevent play-asia shipping to Europe by sending in the heavies to inform them they're next if they don't shape up. This seems to be relaxing somewhat now, and gi.biz might've covered it some time when I wasn't paying attention, but maybe worth a follow-up article?



    On pricing: game prices have undershot inflation more often than not for years. I'm thoroughly bored with entitlement-orientated muppets bewailing the 'greed' of an industry allegedly over-charging for products that routinely fail to break even at their current price points. Sure, charging less might make for enough more sales to be worthwhile, and the industry could probably do with some navel-gazing regarding the wisdom of its enormous development budgets. There are multiple ways things could change for the better with regard to prices, but I don't think it's remotely fair to publishers to oversimplify to the extent you're accusing them of simple gouging.
    Reply 0
  • Retrospective: Halo 3

  • Veracity 28/02/2008

    gamesindustry.biz update 27 Feb '08



    Trailblazing video game news and review site eurogamer.net (our grossly exaggerated affiliation with which in no way compromises our pro-journo objectivity credentials) has reported a minor downturn in page impressions, to the consternation of its advertisers. Sources close to eurogamer.net cite recent slight and sporadic dropping-off of hostilities in the 'console wars' and the fact 'there's bugger all games come out after Xmas, innit?'. The editor-in-chief is believed to have been holding in reserve a secret weapon for just such an occasion, bafflingly code-named 'commission more flame-bait fluff'.
    Reply 0
  • No word on Gladius 2, despite rumour

  • Veracity 28/02/2008

    > don't know why it hadn't been done before

    It had, often better, unless I'm missing what you mean. It would've sucked less without the idiotic timing mini-game that made everything unblockable (yes, you can just turn it off), but was altogether a bit too crude to be engaging, anyway.
    Reply 0
  • Gas Powered Games targets casual

  • Veracity 23/02/2008

    > Those [users] want something a lot more sophisticated but as simple. We can't complicate simplicity. It's the idea that depth and complexity are not directly linked. And if something's simple, its not boring



    Has this been quoted badly out of the context that would've made it intelligible, or is 'invite-only lunch' a euphemism for 'booze-laden junket'?
    Reply 0
  • Coming Attractions: The Lost Levels

  • Veracity 06/02/2008

    Wizards!? Blech. What of Shadowrun, KOTOR, Mass Effect, Vampire: Bloodlines, Fallout...? Oh, who am I kidding - yep, RPG means spell slingers in pointy hats, sword waving meatheads and more elf boobs than you can shake a stick at. Carry on. Reply 0
  • BioShock, Halo 3 not "next-gen"

  • Veracity 10/10/2007

    In a surprising new development today, $hack_dev, associated with $ancient_much_loved_game, mouthed off to the effect that $hype_train is "hardly all that and a bag of chips", indeed that it is not really even $empty_buzzword. $hack_dev, as our more aged readers will recall, has produced nothing of note since $ancient_much_loved_game besides a prodigious volume of hot air, but assures us that $vapourware will deliver $empty_buzzword in spades, putting such "Johnny-come-lately upstarts" as $hype_train to shame. Sources close to $hack_dev privately added that their dads could have the developers of $hype_train's dads. $hack_dev's remaining three fans, while expressing certain reservations regarding the substance of today's comments, were overjoyed to see $vapourware receiving some press coverage.



    Mouth, trousers, etc.



    Still, fills column inches and keeps the click-throughs coming. I'll refrain from copy/paste spamming this in the Molyneux comments as well.
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  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

  • Veracity 04/10/2007

    New column request: knitting with Mr Fahey. Pattern for JRPG nerd hat forthcoming, I hope, though one assumes they can be made from wool? Nice to see a reviewer go into a bit of the number crunchy detail of the mechanics for once; only reservation is that you could sum up the first page for a lot of people as 'Tactics Ogre with modified FFV jobs bolted on to the class tree', which is a lot quicker to read and communicates most of the same information. Minor quibble, since probably most chaps to whom that means anything already know how FFT works, anyway.



    retr0gamer wrote:

    >The best thing about the original was how tough it was because it is

    > probably the only SRPG that actually requires strategy.

    Eh...really no, and this would be my not so minor quibble. The game's phenomenally easy to break, exaggeratedly so even for JRPG land (so was Tactics Ogre, in many respects). Nor is it as if you need to pursue obscure stuff you won't figure out without a guide or FAQ - a lot of it is pretty glaring to even a casual min-maxing stat whore. You can have Yell and the break speed knight special within minutes of taking control, for a start, and take a practically arbitrary number of turns to a chosen target's one. The slightly unconventional XP/AP acquisition model is also iffy, as it actively incentivizes mindless spamming of indefinitely repeatable skills simply to power up.



    The review touches on this somewhat, I think, referring to the potentially unpredictable difficulty and the class system's flexibility, but I think it's a bit remiss not to note just how many easy exploits there are - it's left largely to the player's discretion how threatening any encounter is allowed to be, more pronouncedly so than merely from the genre-typical ability to 'overlevel'. For better or worse, I think FFT anticipates the Nippon Ichi trademark 'broken by design' style more than it's usually given credit for, right down to the somewhat overly predictable AI. I think it's intentional (the alternative, that the designers were stupid, seems dubious, to say the least) and whether it's desirable is largely a matter of taste, but I don't think it should be glossed over.
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  • Virtual Console Roundup

  • Veracity 29/09/2007

    > From beloved schmup developer Treasure



    Blech. If you must use that horrid word, at least don't spell it like schmuck.



    @Chtulie: Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga are what they're now legendary for, and notorious eBay scalper fodder. Since it's being reviewed now, not in the context of its original release, I don't think it's unreasonable.
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  • Halo 3

  • Veracity 24/09/2007

    DDevil wrote:

    > Better than Space Giraffe

    In a world with justice, this would indeed be the new better than Halo. Tagline really shoulda been better than halo, tho'.



    Trousers full of wasps are far too kind for the ubiquitous score-bitching tard procession. You want cybernetic wasps like the things in City of Lost Children, modified to inject, oh, I dunno, something really painful. Malignant tumour cells would be a start. Since there's no realistic hope of convincing EG to drop scores altogether, how about at least a 1-5 scale with no half points? The old 1-10 scores could be fairly trivially converted with a blanket ruling on whether to round up or down, or just by allowing .5s on pre-overhaul scores. Still wouldn't be as satisfactory as just ditching them so people have to read and respond to the actual words or piss off, imo. You'd think reviewers, of all people, would be most sympathetic to the idea, for obvious reasons, but the reasons the editorial overlords would never consider it are equally plain.



    Solid review, anyway. Probably best summed up by the concluding 'it's a game about shooting aliens'. Not much for me there - what occasional interest I can muster in FPS is limited to the quasi-intellectual Looking Glass descended cul-de-sac these days - but it sounds like a game that sets its sights on doing one thing really well and nails it. I enjoyed most of God Hand, a game about punching people, so there's certainly potential merit in that. Bungie-itis falling off towards later levels does seem a little vexing, but maybe we just have to assume by now that's an endemic problem in the way the studio works. I'd actually call less than best-on-platform visuals a plus point, if they're the price to be paid for performance without glitches, but I'm probably in a minority on that.
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  • Boogie

  • Veracity 05/09/2007

    Prominent 'crap of the week' promotions in high-street chains are usually outright paid for by publishers in the case of books. Tacky as this seems, I don't think there's anything illegal about it. I don't know if the same applies to games, but it's probable. Reply 0
  • Heavenly Sword

  • Veracity 01/09/2007

    > wade in like a maniac and thrash around until everyone's lying prostate on the ground

    Oh, Lordy.



    Another small voice of dissent, here, on the 'genius' of RPG-alike power progression curves in brawlers that require faffing about collecting currency to buy incremental character upgrades. Some progression isn't necessarily bad, but these systems usually include tiresome crap like 'Jab lvl1->Jab lvl2->Jab lvl3' that I'd personally much rather be spared, so a game with a more limited and low-progression move set could be quite refreshing. Not so much if coupled with imprecise and button-mashy controls, though, so never mind.
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  • DEFCON

  • Veracity 30/05/2007

    > What's with all the hate?

    A few 'I found their games so far a bit meh' and a couple of 'decent company, shame their slogan's so wank' is a fair distance from 'hate', no?

    > If you think you can do any better..

    Is that humour, or are you saying independent game developers should be subject to criticism only from other independent game developers?



    > Seemingly you would prefer every single game we play to be published by one company?

    Where on earth are you getting this? I acknowledge PR as, at the very worst, a necessary evil, and I think poor marketing, whether through over-optimistic reliance on word of mouth or simple lack of resources, is one of the most common failings of independent developers. I'm saying Introversion's PR, while they're clearly doing a better job of it than most comparable shops, could use some work, since I think it creates an unfortunate impression. Can't speak for Shrimp, who brought it up, but what I take issue with is their self-proclaimed status as lone saviours of the independent scene. The most casual interest in freeware, shareware and direct distribution is enough to know there's a lot of independents out there. Of course the slogan's realistically just wanton hyperbole, but taken at face value it can't but be read as ignorance or arrogance.

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