dirigiblebill Comments

Page 2 of 26

  • How video games win back time

  • dirigiblebill 26/08/2017

    An interesting Thing I turned up during research for this feature - juries are more likely to perceive conscious intent when watching footage of defendants in slow motion. http://www.pnas.org/content/113/33/9250.full Reply +17
  • Why did 3D Sonic struggle?

  • dirigiblebill 24/08/2017

    I've just realised I didn't pay any attention to the music. Consider this your opportunity to fill the comments thread with soundtrack posts.

    Reply +5
  • Blizzard gamescom 2017 show live report

  • dirigiblebill 23/08/2017

    Snowball? Snowball! SNOWBAAAAAAAAA Reply 0
  • EA gamescom 2017 live show report

  • dirigiblebill 21/08/2017

    No dog though. Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 21/08/2017

    In case anybody's wondering, the eclipse has better shoutcasters. Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 21/08/2017

    EA goes full Ubisoft. Reply 0
  • Observer review

  • dirigiblebill 19/08/2017

    @MrTummyGiggles They are only a couple of those sequences, in fairness, but yeah it's annoying. Reply +1
  • Why the spirit of Flash gaming must never die

  • dirigiblebill 18/08/2017

    @GreyBeard true, the strap is a bit fast-and-loose, isn't it. Have edited! Reply +3
  • Sonic Mania review

  • dirigiblebill 17/08/2017

    @djclae Yeah, but they're not exactly 3D platforming at its finest. Well, IMO. I'd be interested to read (or, perversely, write) a defence of the Sonic 3D era at this point. My sister was a big Sonic Heroes fan and I do like the Sonic Adventures 2 soundtrack. Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 17/08/2017

    @Matroska_ Hey! Sorry to hear you've been feeling down in the dumps, and glad the article helped. If you can beat Chemical Plant you can beat anything ;) Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 16/08/2017

    @Atropos Hmm, interesting. The concept I'm talking about comes from psychology - I caught a Develop presentation on it a couple of years ago. Possibly there are two kinds of "flow"? In any case, "flaux" is brilliant and I am definitely pinching it.

    Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 15/08/2017

    I wasn't really trying to suggest that Sonic is the worse for punishing reckless speed - as I wrote, resisting the urge to speg it is part of the thrill, and sure, once you've gotten a feel for the courses you can avoid those hazards at pace. I was trying to characterise 16-bit Sonic's contribution versus what we associate with "good gameplay" today. Reply +1
  • dirigiblebill 15/08/2017

    @Zanxion22 So why not use another word that resembles "retro"? "Retrograde", perhaps. What's so amusing about "retard"?

    As for my thoughts on this game, I wrote the review.
    Reply +7
  • dirigiblebill 15/08/2017

    @Zanxion22 But your joke about the Retro Engine implies that "retard" is a slur, and your follow-up about not being able to read is a callous generalisation. Reply +6
  • dirigiblebill 15/08/2017

    @Zanxion22 My brother has Down's Syndrome, and he can read, and he has to put up with a lot of this casual just-for-fun prejudice in daily life. It's easy to say there's no harm done when you're not on the receiving end. Reply +9
  • dirigiblebill 14/08/2017

    @Zerobob Sorry! There's an autosave now, and you can pick zones from the level select once you've completed them. Reply +4
  • dirigiblebill 14/08/2017

    @VariousThings Hey up, thanks for the spot! And good to see some follow-up discussion of the inertia/unpredictability stuff. I will try to chime back in later if I have time. Reply +1
  • Sundered review

  • dirigiblebill 11/08/2017

    @Brainflowers You should check out Wayne June's stuff if you haven't already - he's the voice of the Ancestor from Darkest Dungeon. Exceedingly sepulchral! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0eDis-w-90 Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 11/08/2017

    @Brainflowers I've taken to listening to Lovecraft audiobooks to help me sleep. Which is probably a bit worrying. Reply +1
  • dirigiblebill 11/08/2017

    There seems to be this perception that I've gone on some massive Lovecraft-hating spree - we're talking about one line out of a 1300 word review! I like Lovecraft's stories immensely, as silly as they often are, but I think it's useful to remind ourselves of his prejudices given how much clout he carries among creators of horror/fantasy fiction. Reply +2
  • dirigiblebill 10/08/2017

    @flaming.carrot In itself the word isn't necessarily racist, no, but when you're using it predominantly with reference to hideous cosmic aberrations eating away at the foundations of civilisation, there's a certain subtext in play. :) Reply +1
  • dirigiblebill 10/08/2017

    @cakelawd It's not totally unpredictable - the major landmarks are always the same and each "chunk" of layout is designed by hand around the player's capabilities. Sorry, probably could have been clearer on that front. Reply +4
  • Remembering G-Police, the best Blade Runner game ever

  • dirigiblebill 23/07/2017

    @pelican_ I feel G-Police's city spaces capture the Blade Runner vibe better than any direct adaptation, but I agree that the Westwood title is great - never played to the end, mind you. Reply +1
  • dirigiblebill 23/07/2017

    @Mr.DNA Lol. Just for that, the next few thousand words will be about climate change in the Gears of War series. In all honesty, I'd have given more attention to the plot - and the feminine commodity politics of Blade Runner, for that matter - if I'd had more time to reflect. Had to fit this in at the back end of last week. Reply +1
  • The pleasures of a good video game horizon

  • dirigiblebill 17/07/2017

    Reply +6
  • Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age review

  • dirigiblebill 10/07/2017

    @Brainflowers Indeed, it's Vaan for the history books. Reply +3
  • Mercy me: in praise of gaming's greatest healer

  • dirigiblebill 10/07/2017

    If anybody's in the mood for more Mercy, this is great - explores the character's abilities in the context of eSports sexism: https://medium.com/@veryapplecider/why-does-everyone-hate-mercy-5888dfcd9aea Reply -2
  • dirigiblebill 10/07/2017

    @_TheDarkSide_ @Fourfoldroot I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but it's often used as a code word for "African-American man" in the US. Reply -1
  • dirigiblebill 10/07/2017

    @Demios101 I've edited the caption. Sorry, the word doesn't have the same racial connotations in British English in my experience (I'm from London). Reply +18
  • In memory of Call of Duty's cyborgs

  • dirigiblebill 24/06/2017

    @frazzl Mate, I am going to have to butt out - I have to pick something up in town. I thank you for your commitment to the topic. I strongly disagree with your reading of the piece, and I feel many of your follow-up points are clutching at straws, but I'm grateful that you took the time to defend your position. All best, genuinely. Reply +8
  • dirigiblebill 24/06/2017

    @frazzl “Last I check Gideon was a Brit, Cormack was African American and Ilona Russian.”

    The protagonist is a white American male soldier, the antagonist is a white American businessman, a significant proportion of the cast are white English-speaking Westerners, and the plot is chiefly concerned with threats to the USA, the USA's military-industrial complex and the USA's status as self-proclaimed head of the global order. If you want a longer analysis, I'll have to see if I can pitch one! Of course there are the usual sops to other nationalities and cultures – see also, Hollywood action movies - but to suggest that it is simply invalid to look at the game (not exclusively!) in the context of the capitalist west is silly.

    “You are talking about technology not culture in this article. Implying that the West is technologically advanced over the rest of the world is rather erroneous, and in my opinion prejudicial.”

    Except that this is your, so-far-unsupported interpretation based on a single paragraph, not my implication.

    “I was hoping you would bring this up. I suggest you read some of your reviews starting with your Get Even review. Then we can resume this conversation about "projecting".”

    I think I'm good, thanks. I haven't been particularly convinced by your analysis in the past. By all means post additional comments – I'll happily give them a look when I can.

    “1) I have never said you're glamourising Western society. I feel I was pretty clear that I thought you were implying the West is technologically ahead of the rest of the world. If I wasn't clear enough, my apologies. This post should eliminate any further confusion about what I am implying.

    2) I highlighted a single statement of yours. That hardly qualifies as a manifesto. I did find it prejudicial as I have explained in my replies to you.”

    I would argue that the difference between “glamourising” and “implying the West is technologically ahead of the rest of the world” is negligible here. And I am obviously exaggerating for effect with “manifesto”. The point is that you described the passage as racist.

    “I have also stated that I acknowledge you may not have done this intentionally. Which begs the question why are you so intent on highlighting the West when, as you claim, you were not out to portray them as being technologically advanced?”

    I'm going to break it down for you again: I don't concede that I have portrayed the west as more technologically advanced, intentionally or unintentionally. Had I portrayed the west as more technologically advanced, this would not be the same as claiming that the west is in some way superior, because, amongst other things, the article describes the technology in question as a dangerous force. And I am “highlighting” the decision because I am, in fact, actively defending the decision to word the article this way (!).

    “This article is about how technology is portrayed in military video games. Surely games like Advanced Warfare are a product of our times rather than based on the geography of the development team!”

    In my experience, one's “times” are partly the product of one's specific geographical circumstances, and in this case, the game is strongly focused on the US. Of course the topic is bigger than one country, but the object of discussion here is a game with a specific cultural orientation.
    Reply +4
  • dirigiblebill 24/06/2017

    @frazzl No, Sledgehammer made a game about white American men waging war across the globe on behalf of US strategic and corporate interest. Please, let's not try to recast Advanced Warfare as some sort of uber-cosmopolitan project for the sake of having the last word in a comments thread. It is an American-made game for an audience that consists overwhelmingly of Americans and Europeans.

    And again, to claim a greater "prevalence" of certain products in one region (which I wasn't!) is not the same thing as stating that one culture is superior to another.

    I'm sorry to hear you've been subject to this kind of snobbery, and I apologise if you feel slighted here, but I think you are projecting an *enormous* amount onto a fairly innocuous sentence. The article is, amongst other things, about access to cybernetic tech being invasive and destructive. The sentence you quote describes the society you accuse me of glamourising as "inglorious". I have no idea how you're getting from all that to some kind of racist manifesto.
    Reply +7
  • dirigiblebill 24/06/2017

    @frazzl I wasn't suggesting that countries outside North America and Europe don't have access to this kind of tech. I singled out the west in this para because that's where Sledgehammer is based. And even if I /had/ been making that claim, how you'd get from an observation that certain products are more prevalent in some regions than others to outright racism escapes me. As the rest of the article makes plain, I'm very ambivalent about this kind of technology, and I don't regard access to it as some kind of mark of cultural superiority.

    PS. Hah, I've just seen your comments on the Get Even piece. Frankly, mate, it feels like you have a bit of a grudge against me. I'm not sure why. If you don't like the way I write, by all means give me some criticism I can work with (as opposed to, say, absurd misreadings and lazy trolling). I have plenty of flaws and am always keen to hear suggestions. Or, read other writers - there are plenty out there.
    Reply +6
  • Crash Bandicoot is 3D gaming's underrated pioneer

  • dirigiblebill 19/06/2017

    @Bauul You and Master Milouse are correct - I was confusing it with Wolfenstein 3D. Sorry, updated! Reply +2
  • dirigiblebill 19/06/2017

    @retr0gamer True, the Pac-Man reference is a bit of poetic license, but the intended meaning - that DOOM is a weird and fascinating falsification of polygonal 3D - is, I think, clear. If anybody's in any doubt about the technical specifics, the sentence includes a link to a wiki page on ray-casting. Reply +2
  • dirigiblebill 19/06/2017

    @LittleBigDave Appreciated! Reply +1
  • dirigiblebill 19/06/2017

    @TheDooglet Not per frame - I'm talking about the level in its entirety.

    Also - Vagrant Story! I would very much like to write about Vagrant Story.
    Reply +5
  • dirigiblebill 19/06/2017

    @pisky Ah dang, my bad - have edited. Reply +1
  • On NASA, the video game developer

  • dirigiblebill 01/05/2017

    @The_Legacy Thank you! That genuinely means a lot. Reply +1
  • dirigiblebill 29/04/2017

    @xaml Indeed - hence the call for art that represents the effects of climate change to people who are insulated from them. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound dismissive! Reply +2
  • Why are games so fascinated with cannibalism?

  • dirigiblebill 24/04/2017

    @Brainflowers You are correct! I am a bear of very little brain. Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 22/04/2017

    If the column seems a touch random or under-developed this week that's probably because I had to cobble it together at short notice (one of our regulars had a clash of commitments). If only I'd remembered it was the Gameboy's 28th anniversary, I'd have done something on that. Bah! Reply +4
  • Little Nightmares review

  • dirigiblebill 22/04/2017

    Just caught wind of that GOG deal. Pretty near essential - Inside is diabolically good. I'm not sure Little Nightmares is quite as searching, but it's definitely in the same league. Reply 0
  • dirigiblebill 21/04/2017

    @IncredibleBulk As I said, I'm still pondering the impact of those images - it's hard to talk about them at greater length without giving away the story. I find it hard to believe that the developers weren't aware of the parallel, though - they've suggested as much in interviews, and the game is too steeped in all manner of artistic tradition/historical reference for this to have slipped under their radar.

    Thanks VotesForCows and Mostro for the kind words, by the way!
    Reply +7
  • Learning to love Dwarf Fortress, gaming's deepest simulation

  • dirigiblebill 16/04/2017

    If anyone's looking for a reasonably layman-friendly, nicely written and anecdote-stuffed account of a particular fortress, the Saga of Nutscaves is worth checking out. http://clairefuller.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/saga-of-nutscaves_27.html

    PS. It's definitely worth persisting till you get to the bit about the poison blood.
    Reply +12
  • How DICE's Star Wars Battlefront struck back

  • dirigiblebill 11/04/2017

    @FuzzyMetal "TBH I wish the canned game that Edwin wrote about a few years ago for OXM had survived, it sounded much more interesting than what Battlefront became. (Not 1313, the MP/SP shooter that was supposed to come in three waves: Squad-based online, larger online, SP campaign. I want to say Free Radical had a hand in it.)"

    I'd have loved to have played that game too - tragically canned on the eve of a public beta. It had more of a makeshift, down-to-earth, intimate, git-gud vibe than what we got from DICE, by the sounds of things - stuff like sniping from dropships, and how the prevalence of knockback gizmos would have paid into the CQ gunplay. It was a pleasure to write about, anyway - glad you found the OXM piece interesting.
    Reply 0
  • Microsoft reveals Minecraft Store with virtual currency

  • dirigiblebill 10/04/2017

    @Badoink Sorry, that was a bit dim. I've replaced it with a smaller one. Reply +6
  • From Donkey Kong to Snake Pass: the music of David Wise

  • dirigiblebill 09/04/2017

    We've bumped this back to the top of the site, as it didn't really get a fair shot amid all the Scorpio chaos last week! Reply +7
  • The strange, timeless appeal of early 3D platformers

  • dirigiblebill 08/04/2017

    @dadrester If you're making a spiritual Jumping Flash sequel you can have all of my money-bucks (though I'll happily settle for Vostok going by what I glimpsed of it at Rezzed!). Reply +1
  • dirigiblebill 08/04/2017

    Anyone remember Jumping Flash?

    Reply +9