kenbarnes Comments

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  • Windows 10 leak reveals new Xbox app for PC

  • kenbarnes 15/12/2014

    @UncleLou No, I'm not too proud to admit that. I apologise for clearly exaggerating that the lowest priced Mac is 1,500 in a comments section where intelligent non-pedants would clearly understand the point of the exaggeration. I clearly should have stated that a 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 iMac with just 8GB of RAM costs 1,199, when a Windows PC with similar specifications would be hundreds of pounds cheaper.

    I apologise for any offence caused to Apple, and therefore by the transitive property, yourself.

    However, the "various strawmen arguments" that I have made are actually only one. As you haven't been able to keep up, I'll state it clearly: Windows upgrades being 100 versus Mac OS upgrades being free is negated by the GENERAL variance in the cost of the hardware.

    TTFN.
    Reply -1
  • kenbarnes 15/12/2014

    @FMV-GAMER Sure thing. My main system is used for software development, so I usually upgrade in line with my clients, while keeping old versions to hand as VMs. Reply 0
  • kenbarnes 15/12/2014

    @UncleLou My post was about how free Mac OS updates don't offset the cost of the hardware required to run them, your reply was about how I was wrong because of how much cheaper underpowered Macs are than I had stated, and my final reply stated how much cheaper similarly specced and OS upgraded Windows PCs can be, in order to prove my initial point.

    You're right. No relationship between those posts at all.
    Reply +3
  • kenbarnes 15/12/2014

    @UncleLou The Windows PC I use for work - which is plenty powerful enough - cost 400. Upgrade to Windows 8 from the OEM Windows 7 was 80. If I upgrade to Windows 10, it'll (probably) be another 100, so 680 in total.

    You carry on.
    Reply +2
  • kenbarnes 15/12/2014

    @frunk True, but the 100 upgrades are offset by the fact that the rig you install them on doesn't have to cost 1,500. Reply +8
  • Which is the better media player? PlayStation 4 and Xbox One revisited

  • kenbarnes 14/12/2014

    "While inexpensive streaming boxes - and indeed in-built Smart TV media hubs - offer access to more TV shows, more movies and a wider variety of content providers in general, both consoles feel somewhat surplus to requirements."

    My smart TV supports Netflix, but not NHL Gamecenter, Wuaki, Crunchyroll, Now TV, or WWE Network. Samsung's login system is frequently down - at least once a week it's out of action for an hour or two - meaning that I'm locked out of ALL smart services. The BBC iPlayer and Amazon Instant Video support is patchy, and the apps that it does support get updates VERY rarely.

    My Xbox One supports all those services. They all work perfectly and are updated frequently, and my PS4 supports some of those services very well also.

    But, if I have one or both of those consoles under my TV, you're saying that for media playback, they're surplus to requirements because I could buy ANOTHER device (an "inexpensive streaming box") that supports all of those services? Surely the streaming box or my smart TV are the things that are surplus to requirements if my console can do most of the things they can do, while also allowing me to play games? And no, I'm not saying you don't need a TV, obviously, just that you could get a cheaper, larger, non-smart TV and have an often better experience if you already have an Xbox One or PS4 to hand.
    Reply +9
  • Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions review

  • kenbarnes 01/12/2014

    @Gaz9000 "You would have thought there could have at least been an option to play it without loadouts , (expert mode if you like), and this would have it's own seperate leaderboard, to me this doesn't seem like somthing that would be too hard to patch in."

    There is. Classic mode allows you to play Evolved, Pacifism, King, and three others from GW2, all with their own leaderboards, and with no loadouts.

    Major part of the game, but isn't mentioned for some reason.
    Reply +3
  • kenbarnes 01/12/2014

    "The first problem is that drones consistently make the game less interesting. As soon as you have the ramming drone, you don't have to worry about close-up threats quite as much as you did before. As soon as you have the collection drone, you can pretty much forget the need to scramble for Geoms - a brilliant piece of design that encourages you to get into so much glorious trouble. "

    You can only equip one drone at a time, so equipping the ramming drone means you have to collect Geoms and get into trouble, and equipping the collection drone means that your Geoms are collected automatically (although only some of them) so still have to worry about close-up threats that would have been taken care of by the ramming drone.

    The drones actually make the game MORE interesting for me, as it means you can approach levels a little more tactically.
    Reply +2
  • It Came From the Desert is getting an Extended Cut... on Sega Mega Drive

  • kenbarnes 01/12/2014

    @IronSoldier "Christmas 2014" - Does that help? Reply +10
  • Digital Foundry vs Far Cry 4

  • kenbarnes 15/11/2014

    @Rooster41 So does the Xbox One version. In fact, both versions go through periods of play where even in NON "busy" scenes, the game grinds to a full pause.

    Seriously, stop with the fanboy nonsense. You're making us Xbox One owners look even worse than the PS4 fanboys try to.
    Reply +19
  • kenbarnes 15/11/2014

    @Playstationman Ooh, salty.

    On the latest high-end PC hardware, ACU runs like a dog.

    So in short, no, they weren't. They just aren't great at finishing games in time for release dates that they set two years in advance.
    Reply 0
  • Who needs games: PlayStation 4's first year

  • kenbarnes 15/11/2014

    @SeesThroughAll For what reason, please? I didn't attack the PS4. There would be little point, given that I've owned one since launch and think it's a great machine.

    Being a grown up has a lot of great perks.
    Reply -3
  • kenbarnes 15/11/2014

    @Slartibartfast-33 So, you read an opinion piece and then get upset because it contains opinions?

    Makes sense.
    Reply +3
  • Assassin's Creed Unity review

  • kenbarnes 13/11/2014

    @OmegaNemesis28 Ah yes. Apologies if I came across as if I was claiming that Ubisoft carry out such tactics. Just to be clear for anyone else reading, I was suggesting no such thing. Ubisoft have never even so much as dropped a hint to me that I would ever be penalised for a low score.

    You're right, what I meant was that small time critics are doing it as a matter of course. They've heard the stories - both true and untrue - from people who have been around longer than them, and they just assume that they'll get "into trouble" if they're actually honest with their reviews. It's a shame, as they're blighting their careers before they've even really gotten started.
    Reply +1
  • kenbarnes 12/11/2014

    @Plofo "And on the last paragraph, you assume by default that Metacritic is THE source for scoring a product."

    Not at all. The Metacritic score is usually the score that game companies award bonuses on, shareholders are informed about, PR departments are judged on and therefore report on, and creative teams bandy about in order to get more funding/time/promotion.

    I was mentioning it from an industry standpoint, not that of the consumer.
    Reply +1
  • kenbarnes 12/11/2014

    @Plofo No, my problem is the people that THINK that they're going to be blacklisted, and therefore "enhance" their score in order to stay in favour with the PR teams. Reply +3
  • kenbarnes 12/11/2014

    @OmegaNemesis28 I actually agree with you about the game. I completed it and I found it to be enjoyable, but heavily flawed. BUT, it was enjoyable when it wasn't crashing.

    The fact is though, that smaller sites are rating the game massively positively (at least one perfect score, a few 90+) whilst entirely ignoring all of the flaws. The review from the site with the perfect rating reads like something you'd see on the back of a game box.

    THAT is something with which I have a problem. There's a reason behind that, and it isn't usually just that they love the game. It's either that they're reviewing a game in the hope that a patch will sort the issues - which is the wrong way to go about it - or that they're scared of running the wrath of Ubisoft and losing access to games and "swag" *rolls eyes*

    I have to say that in all my years of dealing with Ubisoft's PR teams, I have NEVER had them so much as comment on a score that I've given a game, nor threaten to put me on any "blacklist" no matter how harshly I've scored a title. They're good, reasonable people.

    But, some publishers and PR teams do employ the practice of blacklisting - they either just stop responding, or actively tell you that they won't "support" you anymore - so when a high-profile publisher such as Ubisoft puts a smaller site on their review code list, the smaller site will often overhype in the belief that bad things will happen if they don't, simply based on other people's experiences with other publishers. When you've got multiple games coming out from the same publisher in a short space of time (Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew) then the problem is amplified.

    It's the pursuit of "free" stuff (though I could earn more money working on other things than playing a game for review, so I don't see how it's "free") rather than the pursuit of truth-telling and being honest with your readers. It doesn't sit well, but these sites make up - in some cases - the majority of the Metacritic score for a given title.
    Reply +10
  • kenbarnes 11/11/2014

    @SeesThroughAll No, it quite clearly has not. Reply +1
  • kenbarnes 11/11/2014

    @George-Roper "Glad it seems to be coming to an end" - In what world is it coming to an end?

    Just because the game is poor, doesn't mean they're going to can the series. Otherwise, how would they make money from books, CDs, shirts, coats, hats, gloves, action figures, and everything else the Assassin's Creed die-hards lap up?

    Plus, the fact that the game is technically shaky hasn't stopped it from picking up a Metacritic score of 76 (XO) and 81 (PS4) due to toothless reviewers who are scared that they won't get their hands on Far Cry 4 when Ubi starts to consider who to send review copies to in the next day or so.

    This series will be alive in 2020, and probably playing identically to how it does now.
    Reply +1
  • Performance Analysis: Assassin's Creed Unity

  • kenbarnes 12/11/2014

    @FMV-GAMER Yup. Seriously, one mission where you run through a crowd of ten people runs at the same speed as a mission where the entire town square is full of people watching a beheading. There must be 500 NPCs in that scene, and it runs at the same speed as any other scene. Reply +2
  • kenbarnes 12/11/2014

    @Unstable_ISOtope "Do modern game devs even have playtesters anymore?"

    Yes, they do.

    The problem, however, is that in order to get the hype train running, the publishers set the release date almost a year in advance. So, when the playtesters find problems, they get filed away into the "post-launch patch" folder (or ignored), because shipping something - ANYTHING - is better than missing that release date.

    Gotta get preorders, and you can't do that as effectively without getting a release date in place. They're essentially counting the money before the game launches.

    Of course, a lot of it is steeped in the consumer culture that demands to know every little thing about a game - including the release date - before it's even reached alpha, but there you go.
    Reply +3
  • kenbarnes 12/11/2014

    @FMV-GAMER "his game is very obviously taxing the CPU because it manages a locked 30fps until you run into the crowds which increases the amount of draw calls made"

    No, that's not true. The game is never locked at 30fps, and the slowdown doesn't get worse as you run into crowds. You can be stood in a four-walled courtyard, spin around, and it'll be smooth-ish. Spin around again in an identical manner, and it'll drop to 5fps.
    Reply +2
  • kenbarnes 11/11/2014

    @tomacwhite To be fair, it's the whole industry. 76 (XO) and 81 (PS4) on Metacritic right now. Reply +1
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection's massive day one update shrinks to 15GB

  • kenbarnes 06/11/2014

    @lucassmith Multiplayer isn't playable without a digital download. I didn't say it was.

    In fact, I said "if you go to play Halo MCC while not connected to the internet, you can play all four of the single-player campaigns."

    But there you go.
    Reply +3
  • kenbarnes 06/11/2014

    @lucassmith Well that's just not true now, is it?

    If your console isn't connected to the internet and you go to load up a game, it isn't aware that any patch is available, and just loads up the on-disc content. If you go to play Halo MCC while not connected to the internet, you can play all four of the single-player campaigns. And if you aren't connected, you wouldn't expect to be able to play online multiplayer anyway, really.

    I haven't seen any games that have *required* day one updates to be playable.

    So, pray tell, how are Microsoft "controlling my ownership"? Even if my console is connected to the net, I can take the disc and trade it, lend it, or sell it. I won't be able to play the game that is installed on my drive, but that's because I don't own the game anymore. I can buy games at retail or digitally - my choice. So...what part of my ownership is controlled?

    Is this the part where you tell me that I'll never understand because "the man" has me brainwashed?
    Reply +6
  • Smaller, cheaper, cooler Xbox One processor in development

  • kenbarnes 31/10/2014

    @Zerobob For some, it's a factor. I'm not sure why though, if I'm honest.

    Does the system run a game I want to play? If yes, sold. If no, no sale. As a gamer, that's my concern. It could be five feet by three feet and covered in purple glitter, but if it plays a game that I really want to play then I'll still buy it.

    I'll just hide the thing behind the TV unit. :)
    Reply 0
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection has 20GB day one patch to unlock multiplayer

  • kenbarnes 17/10/2014

    @Chikken You're right, but don't try to think about it.

    They would have been wrong whatever they had done because Microsoft.
    Reply -1
  • Surprise! The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season out now for Xbox One

  • kenbarnes 14/10/2014

    To be fair, the October 14th release date was confirmed last week. Reply 0
  • What the hell is Gamechurch?

  • kenbarnes 10/10/2014

    @PSfourskin Genuine round of applause required for that. Well played. :) Reply -1
  • Digital Foundry vs DriveClub

  • kenbarnes 08/10/2014

    @dogmanstaruk Yup, it puzzles me, too. Although, I haven't played it yet so I'll reserve judgement.

    Waiting for the PS+ version to finally be released so I can take it for a spin!
    Reply 0
  • kenbarnes 08/10/2014

    @SvennoJ I guess I can see how that would be a problem for some, but I can't say that I've had a problem with it. The lack of easy memorization just makes me keep my wits about me, I've found, which makes it feel more exciting to play.

    I'd much rather a game allowed me to go offroad than put me inside an invisible glass corridor that took me entirely out of the game experience. But then, I also enjoy the F1 games so... :)
    Reply -1
  • kenbarnes 08/10/2014

    @SeeNoWeevil Pong isn't tennis?

    Run that by me again. What part of Pong isn't tennis? The two players hitting a ball back and forth across the court, with the intention of hitting a passing shot?

    My analogy is fine, I think. Pong was a game featuring just the very basic mechanics of tennis. Step forward to the likes of Top Spin and the later Virtua Tennis titles, and you have training, equipment, tournaments, qualifications, rankings, injuries, and all manner of other things. On top of that, you have an incredibly refined version of the mechanics of tennis, including drop shots, lobs, volleys, spin, etc.

    Oh, and world travel.

    In short, players are having a "bunch of other game mechanics forced onto them" in order to play the newer representation of the same sport.

    As for "some people just want cars and roads", I'm at a loss. Open world racers very often - especially in the case of Forza Horizon 2 - give you exactly that. Drive wherever you want, whenever you want, however you want. It isn't always in a race setting, but the cars, the speed, and the roads are all there.

    I think what the people who are complaining are complaining about, is the structure of progression, not open worlds. They just want "Race. Race. Race. You won a championship. Race. Race. Race. You won a championship. You've finished the game. Well done. Here's a trophy." and that's fine.

    To each, their own.
    Reply -6
  • kenbarnes 08/10/2014

    @IronSoldier Well yeah, that is true. But to be honest, I was too busy enjoying Forza Horizon 2 to notice the framerate so it doesn't bother me :) Reply +1
  • kenbarnes 08/10/2014

    @SeeNoWeevil You're right. But a tennis game that is just two lines and a square ball isn't enough anymore either (for most people.) Reply -4
  • DriveClub review

  • kenbarnes 07/10/2014

    @Snake_2011 But what does you having every console have to do with anything?

    I wasn't listing consoles to sound like a big man. I was listing them to prove the point that I've been involved with all of them and in YOUR opinion, I should therefore not be allowed to review games for any of them.

    Do you even know what your point is, anymore? You throw out "fanboy" as if everyone else is acting like fanboys, when you're the one saying that people can't be balanced about more than one console. Therefore suggesting that you WANT people to be fanboys.

    And there's no need to call me names, is there?
    Reply +13
  • kenbarnes 07/10/2014

    @Snake_2011 Makes absolutely no sense, and it isn't down to "how I imply it." (You mean "interpret.")

    I own 360, XO, PS4, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, and Vita, and I've reviewed games for all of them. I've also reviewed games for everything back to the PSOne and earlier.

    You're effectively telling me that I'm not allowed to review anything for anything ever again, as I've been "involved" with the other platforms.

    I'd rather a balanced view, than that of a fanboy who only ever plays one console ever.
    Reply +38
  • kenbarnes 07/10/2014

    @Snake_2011 That's exactly what you're saying, actually. In one comment you say the Sony bosses won't be happy (not that they should have ANY say in the matter) and in another you state that the "wrong" reviewer was chosen.

    In short, you're saying that the reviewer should be hand-picked to please the platform holder.

    What you actually mean, is that the reviewer should be hand-picked to give a better score to games you're excited for, so that you personally don't feel disappointment.
    Reply +51
  • Skate 3 gets reprinted following its recent YouTube popularity

  • kenbarnes 27/08/2014

    My local Tesco and Sainsbury have both had copies for 8 or less for AGES. They seem to be having trouble shifting them! Reply +3
  • Blurred lines: Are YouTubers breaking the law?

  • kenbarnes 17/07/2014

    @Hyrulian But it isn't sponsored. "Sponsored" (generally) suggests that cash has changed hands.

    FGTV were given "access to" a 2DS and the game in the same way that pretty much every site out there is given review copies of games in order to review them, and in the same way that every other site out there is given preview/beta access in order to provide previews and coverage.

    There's a big difference between "we will pay you this many pounds if you provide POSITIVE coverage of our product" and "here is a copy of our latest game so you can review or cover it however you may wish."

    YouTubers glossing over issues with products in fear of not getting paid by the people that make those very same products is a million miles away from what FGTV have done in the video that you've linked.
    Reply +1
  • The real story behind The Sun's "Gaming as addictive as heroin" headline

  • kenbarnes 08/07/2014

    @MonkayMajic Generally the question came with a picture of a tonne of feathers and a picture of a tonne of lead. Lead is heavier, so that pile was smaller.

    Which is why everyone wrote "feathers" rather than having intelligence.
    Reply +7
  • Face-Off: EA Sports UFC

  • kenbarnes 23/06/2014

    In before the standard and ever so super-hilarious "wrestling/MMA is just two sweaty guys in shorts doing homo-erotic things" joke...oh, wait. Turns out I was late to the party this time. Reply +3
  • EA Sports UFC demo performance analysis

  • kenbarnes 06/06/2014

    @craigcarlhowlett Not even remotely true, but keep on keeping on. Reply +1
  • The making of Match Day

  • kenbarnes 01/06/2014

    The sequel was probably the 8-bit game that took up the most of my time. Absolutely superb game. :) Reply +8
  • These are the most popular games on Steam - report

  • kenbarnes 16/04/2014

    Guilty as charged. I'd say that more like 60% of my Steam library is untouched. Reply +4
  • People are using the PS4 and PlayRoom to stream a call-in show

  • kenbarnes 22/11/2013

    Very cool! Love it :) Reply +24
  • What the hell is that?

  • kenbarnes 16/11/2013

    @MMMMMM7 You have to be kidding, surely? Reply +5
  • Rayman Legends owners discover Vita version is missing 28 levels

  • kenbarnes 03/09/2013

    @coffeemix They're denied of the whole game if they don't buy it based on principle, simply because it's missing a handful of levels that at best only provide a limited extension to the core game. If an entire new game (which is excellent), plus challenges, plus 40 Rayman Origins levels aren't enough to splash 30 on the game, then they probably weren't going to buy it anyway and are just posturing because hating corporations is cooooool.

    But yeah, because I enjoy a game, I'm clearly "corporate's bitch."
    Reply +7
  • kenbarnes 03/09/2013

    The Invasion levels are nice additions, but losing them hardly detracts from the overall game experience, in my opinion.

    If you decide not to buy the game based on this, then you're the one that's missing out. Absolutely essential game to anyone who actually enjoys games and doesn't just sit on the internet all day bitching about them.
    Reply +12
  • Nintendo announces Nintendo 2DS handheld console

  • kenbarnes 29/08/2013

    @Stealth20k Not going to get into a slanging match with you my friend. But the fact that you instantly go on the attack about the console I write about, rather than trying to form any real defense of the 2DS says more than I ever could. Reply +3
  • kenbarnes 28/08/2013

    Horrible. Nintendo are slowly committing suicide. It'll take a while, but with the Wii U and ideas like this, it'll happen.

    They need someone to captain their brain-ship, as the guy in charge is quite clearly drunk at the wheel.
    Reply -2