darc Comments

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  • Murder Files dev announces iOS investigative puzzler The Trace

  • darc 26/02/2015

    Looks great. There aren't enough iOS games that really feel like they were designed for touchscreen. The Room is one that does; this might be another. Reply +3
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider puzzles "will take you longer to solve", Crystal Dynamics promises

  • darc 18/02/2015

    @PSfourskin "but lets be honest, there had not been a decent TR games for years before the reboot. it was tired and stale and..."

    Subjective, and in my opinion untrue.

    "...nobody bought the games"

    Factually untrue.
    Reply +1
  • darc 18/02/2015

    I loved the old Tomb Raider games and I loved the reboot. Anything in between is probably going to be fine by me. I only wish they were releasing concurrently on PS4. Reply 0
  • Super Stardust Ultra review

  • darc 18/02/2015

    @IronGiant "The way things are going" = more remasters than actual new games, and that's the root of the problem right there. Reply 0
  • darc 18/02/2015

    @riceNpea Fair enough. I just think it makes more sense to see a placeholder, if nothing else, rather than hunt for something that isn't there. Again, not that it matters much. Reply +2
  • darc 18/02/2015

    @riceNpea We understand; it's not a terribly elevated concept and the condescension isn't necessary. It's simply that the other categories have a logo, and seeing an "Other" logo at a glance would be more immediately determinate. Not that it matters much either way. Reply +2
  • darc 18/02/2015

    @LetsGo "1- Very Bad
    2- Bad
    3- Average
    4- Good
    5- Very Good"

    That's basically where we're at, except that bad and very bad have been combined into "Avoid".

    Even though everyone takes a beating when they say so, I think it would be helpful to add a default "OK" label for games that are neither recommended, nor essential, nor "Avoid".

    It's just a matter of granularity, really. 10/10, 5/5, 4/4. In my personal opinion, more granularity is better, as long as you take the numbers with a grain of salt, i.e. of course they will be partly arbitrary. Honestly, the n/10 system was fine the way it was, except for the fact that nobody can handle it when a reviewer's opinion differs from their own. Be careful what you wish for.
    Reply -2
  • Telltale's Game of Thrones plagued by save bug on Xbox One

  • darc 18/02/2015

    Actually I should amend my previous post: the acting itself is actually quite good; it's more a matter of the facial animation not lending itself to the voice acting consistently, and the script being so obviously comprised of bland chunks of text designed to be self-compatible regardless of your decisions. The nuts and bolts are too obvious.

    And now the game is crashing frequently, and forcing me to replay loooong sections over and over again when frankly they were boring enough the first time. If nothing else, save points ("achievements" LOL) should be much more frequent.

    Thanks for nothing, Tell Tale.
    Reply 0
  • darc 17/02/2015

    Sorry to pile on the hate, but I agree the Telltale formula is no longer compelling enough to justify the headaches. I remember how much I enjoyed the first season of Walking Dead, but now that I'm getting around to Season 2, I just can't believe how formulaic and phoned-in it seems. The script is completely clichéd, the acting is mixed at best, the player's choices rarely have any impact, and the "hammer A to not die" thing is a ridiculous substitute for gameplay.

    No help that it took weeks before I could actually play beyond episode one, and there was no clear indication as to why. I even went as far as playing through Ep. 1 a second time to see if there was some glitch I could work out - another hour of my life I'll never get back. It turned out there was some issue with the Xbox Live Arcade servers, so I guess it was on MS rather than Telltale. Still, the experience as a whole has erased my interest in Game of Thrones and the Wolf Among Us. The illusion is shattered; I'm just not convinced they're games anymore.
    Reply 0
  • The God who Peter Molyneux forgot

  • darc 11/02/2015

    When a guy famous for empty promises says "no guarantees", that means forget it. Reply +18
  • Bloodborne will have shields after all

  • darc 09/02/2015

    @AmorousBadger LOL@Nancies. :)

    I don't dispute that playing without shields takes a whole lot of evasive skill that I haven't fully developed. But for me a big part of enjoying an RPG - as much as the twitch factor - is working the systems, optimizing my equipment, etc. So if I'm presented with loot that works, I want to use it! That's why I kind of fall into the sword+board thing by default. I also really enjoy the slower, weighty rhythm of working the ebb and flow of endurance while letting a shield take a beating. It just *feels* like melee combat to me.

    I don't engage in a whole lot of multiplayer (except to defend as needed) which probably affects my style and load-out a bit, too.

    Anyway, respect to anyone who recognizes what great games these are. Have fun with your own approach, then try out a few others for good measure! :)
    Reply +1
  • darc 06/02/2015

    @AmorousBadger Miracle-stuff-on-the-side has been pretty much an inevitability for me in every Souls game, because the cost of entry is pretty low and early on the Heal spell is so helpful... with Homeward teasing you on shortly after that.

    Otherwise, I can't seem to get away from a good longsword and a 100% dmg/high-stability shield, with tons of STR, DEX, and END. (Not in that order - END is everything!) And a killer bow, of course. Obviously there are a million ways to skin the cat, but unless I'm *trying* to play an alternate build, this seems to be where I end up.
    Reply +2
  • darc 06/02/2015

    @IronSoldier That's what happens when your gameplay is basically perfect. :) People want more of the same. To be honest, I don't recall anyone asking for new IP from From Software. If anything, some have asked that they step *back* and give us a Demon's Souls 2.

    (Having said that, I'm really excited to see whatever new twists Bloodborne brings to the table.)
    Reply +4
  • darc 06/02/2015

    I favored a shield - sword+board to you old-timey RPG guys :) - through Demon's Souls, Dark Souls and much of Dark Souls 2. Late into DS2 I started to realize that 2-handing it was the only way to do adequate damage in a lot of boss battles. But even then, having a shield on your back was usually a good idea for one reason or another - to add a buff, or to switch to in case of emergency.

    The only play style I never managed to wrap my head around was dual-wielding, and it drives me crazy because it *sounds* like it should be so interesting. I was just never able to convince myself that any weapon combinations/ movesets were doing as much damage per time as double-handing, and it was so much riskier than having a shield in the off hand. I wish someone could sit me down and school me in the art/science of Souls dual-wielding. I imagine there's a whole different game hidden in there somewhere...
    Reply +4
  • Sunless Sea review

  • darc 07/02/2015

    @Lunatic4ever - Thanks for that. Louis CK is great! :) Reply +1
  • darc 06/02/2015

    @Mar27w - No worries. I've been married for 10 years. I'm pretty well desensitized to having my intelligence level questioned. ;) Reply +5
  • darc 06/02/2015

    @the_sas_man re: "Thank you Darc. This is my EXACT point."

    I'm not sure we're making *exactly* the same point. Actually I can't find your first post, so I'm not 100% sure what that point was, but from what I infer... I don't assume that bias in favor of the game or the developer is the reason the review is lacking in this regard. In fact, I think it's just as likely that there's a blind spot because the reviewer was so enamored of the spirit of the game, that he forgot to take a step back and explain the nuts and bolts.

    In either case, my point is simply that the reader would be better served by a little text explaining the tangible aspects of gameplay.
    Reply +3
  • darc 06/02/2015

    This is a very well-written review, and I'm really interested in the game now, but... the reader is left entirely in the dark about what gameplay actually entails. This could be anything from an RTS to an adventure game to an action game. The screen caps and one brief comment about the cannon range are all I have to work with. I feel like I know a lot about the story, but how is it presented and how does the player interact? Is it basically a process of menu navigation? Reply +9
  • Life is Strange: Episode 1 review

  • darc 30/01/2015

    Man, you guys get awfully defensive about Remember Me. I was actually poking fun at Eurogamer for scoring it as low as they did. Reply +2
  • darc 30/01/2015

    Dontnod has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt thanks to Remember Me's quirky progressive take on sci fi action...
    Wait, we're earning the benefit of the doubt with 7's now?
    Reply -15
  • Swarovski-covered 20th Anniversary PS4 on eBay for £2000

  • darc 30/01/2015

    Pro tip: Modifying collectible items does NOT make them more collectible. Reply +74
  • Bloodborne reveals Collector's Edition goodies

  • darc 12/12/2014

    From Software's highly anticipated Dark Souls 2 follow-up Bloodborne
    No no no no no. Call it a Demon's Souls follow-up. Or at least a Dark Souls follow-up. Why go out of your way to cite the sequel that went partly off the rails in Miyazaki's absence?
    Reply +14
  • Square Enix confirms Microsoft will publish Rise of the Tomb Raider

  • darc 09/12/2014

    This game is a year+ away. Consider how frequently Microsoft 180's on Xbox-related decisions. It's too early to be bothered either way.

    Chances are I'll own a PS4 by then, and if this is still exclusive and I can afford it I'll add an XBone to the pile. Otherwise, I'll wait the three months for MS to decide to release the rights to PS4 etc. Once the hype dies down and it stops selling consoles, you know they'll want to sell the software to a wider audience.
    Reply 0
  • Watch us play new Lara Croft live from 5pm GMT

  • darc 04/12/2014

    But I vote with my money, and going Xbox Exclusive for what has traditionally been a multiplat game just makes me not want to buy any of their games going forward.
    I look forward to next week's sequel, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, for PS4, Xbox One and Steam.
    I am so confused.
    Reply +1
  • Assassin's Creed Rogue review

  • darc 20/11/2014

    Dear God, another one. I remember 2 coming out before I'd finished the first, and thinking "maybe I'll catch up in a couple of months." Then I blinked and there were 500 AC games. They kind of lost me there. Reply 0
  • Who needs games: PlayStation 4's first year

  • darc 17/11/2014

    Once again: why have we bought these machines?
    I didn't. Sometimes I'm amazed that I've gone a full year without getting lured into a new console, but there's really nothing compelling (yet.)

    Sad thing is, I plan on buying a PS4 eventually (probably the day Bloodborne ships) but if I absolutely had to buy one today, I'd buy an XBone, and play Forza 5. Nothing else has caught my attention this year. That's kind of crazy, really.
    Reply -1
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth review

  • darc 13/11/2014

    I remember playing the first game in the hospital after my daughter was born (we were stuck there for two weeks!) It didn't quite gel with me but all I had was keyboard and touchpad - not even a mouse! If that one supports a 360 controller, I'll have to circle back and give it another go. Reply 0
  • Bloodborne delayed by a month

  • darc 13/11/2014

    March 25th? The snowdrift I was going to freeze myself in to wait it out will have melted before then! Reply 0
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition review

  • darc 11/11/2014

    Concerning the whole, is it an 8 or is it a 6 (and are these good or bad scores to begin with) debate:

    I think I'm extra sensitized since EG called DA2 an 8 as well, and I personally despised the game. Moreover, EG themselves have since published plenty of words to indicate that DA2 was a disappointment. Sometimes I read an 8 and I'm interested; but an 8 at the end of a Dragon Age review will always be a red flag. This game needed to be heads and shoulders above the last. It needed to be a 10.

    It will remain on my radar and maybe wind up in my collection one day, if it's ever cheap or convenient enough. But I was hoping it would be the game that would make me (finally) run out and buy a next gen console this weekend. That is not going to happen.

    I'm especially concerned with the description of combat, which sounds like completely mindless wankery. The politics etc. are interesting, but are likely just a process of navigating dialog trees, which isn't too far from "Press X to Jason" when you really consider it.

    Exploration of this world might be enough to satisfy me, but the GAMEPLAY really is the combat, and in a party-based fantasy RPG this needs to be somewhat tactical. Bioware did OK skewing ME to the action side because ME became a pretty damned good shooter in the process. Dragon Age does not have that luxury.

    So... I'm intrigued, but I'll pass for now.
    Reply +4
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection review

  • darc 10/11/2014

    I somehow missed the Halo thing altogether the first time around - from the original on the first Xbox, through everything on 360. I could see myself owning an Xbox One in a year or two, picking up a used copy of this, and having a lot of fun getting acquainted. Reply 0
  • Video: Has Dragon Age Inquisition's combat found the right balance?

  • darc 07/11/2014

    For my purposes, DA Origin's combat was exactly as it should have been: a prettier and slightly more accessible take on the tactical combat of the classic Bioware D&D(ish) games. DA2 was a complete miss for me, and I've beaten that horse to death now.

    But I have to admit, even though it's a hybrid and plainly skews more toward action combat, this (Inquisition) really does look like fun to me. Maybe I'm just a sucker for big chunky damage point integers floating away from enemies' heads. :)

    That's me being optimistic. The make-or-break here (again, for me) will come down to whether EA respects classic RPG tactics, at least far enough to make some of the player's thought processes relevant. E.g. mobs can't spawn in random, unpredictable numbers across several waves, because this prevents the player from properly strategizing re: use of consumables, etc. Enemies can't attack or walk directly through party characters, because this completely eliminates the concepts of your tanks, your glass cannons, your archers, and countless other character builds that make party-based RPG's worth playing.

    If these concepts are abused/ignored (looking at you DA2), then you're really just playing a single-player action game where a couple of other NPC's happen to be onscreen attacking the enemy instead of you. And the overhead of coding for those NPC's almost guarantees that it's not as good an action game as it might have been, either.
    Reply +3
  • Hands-on with Nintendo's final Amiibo designs

  • darc 04/11/2014

    Fools. < ------ > Their money. Reply -1
  • Dragon Age Inquisition: the first five hours

  • darc 04/11/2014

    Players who prefer to plan and strategise might enjoy this approach, though I personally just stuck to stabbing and found the AI mostly knew how to take care of itself. I found no need to alter their behaviours ... gave me something different to do rather than just holding the right trigger to spam a basic attack and waiting for one of my special attack cooldowns to tick over.
    I'm trying to keep an open mind about this game, but the above really gives me pause. I fear that, like DA2, Inquisition will try to straddle the fence between action and tactical RPG, and ultimately be a watered-down bore on both counts. In terms of gameplay, Origins (like the old-school Bioware etc. games that preceded it) was a strategy RPG at heart. When DA2 compromised tactics, there just wasn't much left. If I want to play an action game, I can swing a dead cat and hit 20 better ones.

    Paying attention should NOT be optional in this series.
    Reply +9
  • darc 04/11/2014

    @andrewsqual No, really, you don't. Life is too short. Reply +1
  • Eternal Darkness dev Denis Dyack back with ambitious new studio

  • darc 31/10/2014

    "I wanted to do something that was a lot more than just video games."
    Hmm... "just video games." Way to convince me of your passion for video games. I'm sure the next one will be great.

    Wasn't there a scifi TV/ video game tie-in a few months ago that no one cared about? I can't even remember the name.
    Reply +2
  • Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones review

  • darc 29/10/2014

    @Frosty840 You'd think a console with a second screen - a touchscreen at that - would have a pretty easy time of it... Reply 0
  • Lords of the Fallen review

  • darc 29/10/2014

    I'm a bit disappointed - for a while I thought this might be the first PS4 game I'd purchase (along with a PS4, finally.) Looks like I'm waiting.

    Still - imagine if Dark Souls clones were as common this generation as God of War clones were the last two? Even if half of them were passable, I'd be in heaven. :)
    Reply 0
  • The extravagant Witcher 3 intro cinematic is here

  • darc 24/10/2014

    @ShiversDan Agreed. More spectacle and it spoke more to actual gameplay, with nods to certain techniques, etc. Reply +7
  • darc 24/10/2014

    Please don't suck please don't suck please don't suck. Full disclosure: I'm the one person in the universe who thought Witcher 1 and 2 basically sucked. But I'm always interested, I always buy them, and I'm really hoping for Witcher 3 to get it right. Open mind and all that. Reply +20
  • Dark Souls 2 mod adds first-person option

  • darc 24/10/2014

    @MrDurandPierre Fair enough. I was mostly just typing to hear myself click - bored at work. :) Reply 0
  • darc 23/10/2014

    The Xbox 360 and PS3 tags at the top of the article are a little misleading, no? Reply +1
  • Spec Analysis: Alienware Alpha

  • darc 22/10/2014

    @CloudXIV I'm not against PC gaming either. The indie scene is really happening there and the consoles tend to be a "wait and wait and then pay more" proposition.

    On the other end of the spectrum AAA multiplats can often be made to look/play better on a PC, provided you have the resources. If I were still single (read: a lot more time and dispensable income) I'd probably still have a cutting edge PC downloading optimized drivers and ultra-HD textures overnight, etc. But the present reality is that work burns me out on technical issues, and if I can spare 30 minutes to game at night, I need something close to 30 minutes of that time to represent actual gameplay. PC's just weren't delivering that for me.
    Reply +2
  • darc 22/10/2014

    @CloudXIV Agreed. This is what finally drove me away from PC gaming. I remember when "scalability" was the buzzword that was supposed to save PC gaming, way back in the late 90's. But one result of scalability is that the gamer winds up doing half the work - trying to find the sweet spot for any given game on their own particular PC. I finally had to draw the line. That's my day job; not my hobby. Reply 0
  • darc 22/10/2014

    This would be nice to have in the living room/bedroom so that I'd actually get around to playing all those Steam/ Humble/ GOG games I can't help myself buying at rock-bottom prices. And that's where you'd recoup some of your costs: PC gaming can be very inexpensive from a software perspective. I can see it working out for some people.

    But... $600+ is still a little rich for my blood. I'll probably go with a PS4 this generation and sit at my desk with my creaking old PC for another year when a game is good enough to warrant that.
    Reply 0
  • Dev behind Paranautical Activity Steam storm resigns, apologises

  • darc 22/10/2014

    @Hiei193 This is what I keep wondering myself. Mainly because I see a few posts defending Maulbeck, on the basis that Steam's error "killed 80% of sales" or what have you. What is the basis for that analysis? I know that release week is important for a game, but certainly moreso for a AAA game where there's a big marketing push. I would think that the reality for this smaller release is something more like, "it will sell when it's broadly available, provided it doesn't suck." I mean, it's not like this guy invented candy canes and missed the Christmas season... Reply +3
  • Valve pulls game from Steam following dev's tweet threatening Gabe Newell

  • darc 21/10/2014

    @Lukus It may seem subtle, but there is a hugely important distinction between, "Argh I want to kill this guy!" and "I am going to kill Gabe Newell. He is going to die." I know that Maulbeck was not being literal, but he intentionally crossed that line. Rather than using language that's part of familiar idiom for frustration, he used explicitly threatening language. And for all intents and purposes, he did so in the workplace.

    I've recently had to deal with this online tough guy BS where that line is crossed. Once you're all grown up and have a family to worry about, etc. you're less inclined to take it lightly.
    Reply +1
  • Video: Crafting and customisation in Dragon Age: Inquisition

  • darc 01/10/2014

    Prefer "Sheathe the one I want", but awesome all the same. :) Reply 0
  • Dark Souls 2 - Crown of the Ivory King walkthrough and game guide

  • darc 01/10/2014

    @penhalion Oh I see your point now. Didn't really bother me, honestly, since I've always seen the "stories" in Souls games as being a bit dubious anyway. I know there a lot of people who are really into the lore, etc. but IMO the games don't really do enough to present any of this (reams of text on a Wiki somewhere doesn't count) so I largely ignore it.

    There are some RPGs that are all about storyline and characters, but for me Souls = exploration and gameplay mechanics.
    Reply 0
  • darc 30/09/2014

    @galson We're in agreement on all counts then. I was pretty burned out by the end of DS2, too. I absolutely could not stop playing it, but I literally hated the game much of the time. A bad Souls game is still a better game than 90% of what's out there, but man did DS2 have some dodgy design flaws. I could write a book about it.

    I expected to be relieved when DS2 finally ended (Christ is it ever loooong), take a long break, and maybe wander back to Demons' or DS1, but the first DLC came out just a couple of days before I finished the main game. The stubborn completionist in me stuck me into that task, and of course I was still working on it when the second installment came out. Somewhere in there I realized: I was actually having fun again! There were points in the Old Iron King that reminded of the feeling I had playing Demons' Souls way back when, and that's high praise!
    Reply 0
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS bug causes characters to inflate

  • darc 30/09/2014

    Best bug ever. Reply +1