redcrayon Comments

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  • Nintendo hardware sales in the Americas are worse than you'd expect

  • redcrayon 27/09/2016

    @Xboxfanuk
    As someone who spends over two hours a day on trains, nobody cares what anyone else is doing, everyone is toying with a black/grey gadget of some sort ranging in size from looking at phones to watching TV on tablets to staring at football manager on laptops. I left worrying about what was a 'socially acceptable' gadget to be seen with behind about twenty years ago, when I stopped sitting on public transport with the other kids and worrying about my gameboy getting nicked and my main worry became staring at the misinformation boards with the other grown-up commuters instead. The only people commuters think are knobs are those who play music without headphones or who think the whole carriage wants to listen to one half of a banal conversation as they bellow into a phone. People who can sit quietly and entertain themselves? Welcome aboard.

    Personally I'd draw the line at wearing VR goggles on the train, but to each their own.
    Reply 0
  • Castlevania turns 30

  • redcrayon 27/09/2016

    Super Castlevania IV is the best one for me. In terms of the best one in the last decade or so, Order of Ecclesia is my favourite by a long way. Reply +9
  • Pirates of the airwaves: How Sega won the hearts and minds of a generation

  • redcrayon 25/09/2016

    Nice read, thanks EG Reply +6
  • Report: Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey secretly funded pro-Trump meme website

  • redcrayon 23/09/2016

    @bodthekiller
    Leftist shite on Eurogamer hey can you stick to game news and avoid politics. Are you not aware that most of us don't want our countries over run by shit bags from failed states and sitting in an ivory tower telling everyone else they should give up there safety and way of life so the elite can sit back while we fight over scrap's just fuck off
    The argument over freedom of speech for what is a mainstream view in U.S. politics I understand, but this is just blatant racism. Do jog on.
    Reply +14
  • The Bunker review

  • redcrayon 21/09/2016

    @dailygeek
    I love that even the signposts to Kelvedon Hatch are badged with arrows pointing to 'secret nuclear bunker', definitely worth a visit. The rooms full of empty, army-style bunk-beds and mannequins sitting everywhere combined with the unchanged Cold War-era decor makes for a really eerie afternoon.
    Reply +1
  • "We got caught in a s***storm"

  • redcrayon 20/09/2016

    @dfernand
    Super Mario is the only 2d to 3d success story I can think of
    Zelda managed it successfully, and Metroid's transition to the Prime games is probably the best equivalent going. You could possibly argue Kid Icarus too, on the basis that it might not be full 3D but was at least a big shift in genre, mechanics and perspective.

    Agree that several attempts by other 2D series fell by the wayside though, I wasn't that keen on the 3D Mega Man games either, and that's a series prone to the same problem Konami perceived with Castlevania of formulaic, iterative entries with fast turnarounds yet diminishing returns. Funny really, when OOE was my favourite one in ages. Castlevania had a tricky start in 3D with the awful N64 games that SOTN wiped the floor with. They were what pretty much sunk it's attempted jump to 3D at roughly the same time as Mario, Zelda etc.

    You then also had the PS2 Castlevania games, I thought they were pretty good and laid the groundwork for Castlevania as a 3D action game, it wasn't as if LOS was the first attempt to break from 2D although from this article you might think so.
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 20/09/2016

    Just to add my voice to those saying this was a great interview. More like this please EG. Reply +6
  • redcrayon 20/09/2016

    I thought Lords of Shadow was OK, if a bit of a GoW clone. An accessible AAA action game for everyone based on what was popular at the time and with a marketing campaign to match, no wonder it's sales were higher than a 2D exploration game launched to comparatively little visibility in the west when almost every major series in gaming was going 3D on the PSOne and N64 and with the press in full support.

    LOS2 lost out because the mass-market for action games had moved from God of War to Assassins Creed games with a huge variety of stuff to do, and LOS2 was poor in comparison when part of its variety of stuff to do was just awful and the environments drab. What I liked about it was the idea of a modern, gothic Transylvania complete with shopping centre, I thought that was at least imaginative, if poorly designed.

    Let's be honest though, Mirror of Fate, considering it's a 2D platformer with a dozen or more predecessors to take inspiration from, was just mediocre. So much focus on taking the 3D combo-based combat into 2D, but it slowed progress down to a crawl as you
    somersaulted up and down in front of each skeleton and threw impressive radial attacks everywhere that then took far too many hits to kill even the most basic enemy. A focus on looking flashy over combat being efficient and effective, which also has the downside of making the character feel very weak when it takes multiple powerful-looking whip slam attacks to kill a skeleton.
    Reply +19
  • Steam dumps developer for being "hostile" to customers

  • redcrayon 19/09/2016

    @Tslog
    Rather than us guess, how about you tell us which country you're from that has a clear ten-month+ refund stance for consumer rights on digital goods.
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 18/09/2016

    @Tslog
    While I don't think Valve's strict 2 hours/2 weeks policy is in line with UK consumer rights on a number of issues regarding digital (UK law changed last year to say you have thirty days to request a refund for software that doesn't work, the seller can offer to patch within that time but it's buyers choice ), I don't see how, in this instance, they are in breach of your consumer rights ten months later.

    If you are claiming UK consumer rights supersede Valve's company policy (they do) then they don't just kick in when you start using it, it's at the point of purchase. 'When you start using it' is entirely Valve's invention and it's odd to use that while claiming UK consumer rights instead. Collectors can't open a sealed copy of a 1990 NES game and start chasing the seller either. The bastardised version of this is Game's one where, according to them, your consumer rights get worse and no refunds allowed once you open the product but before you've even played it. That's particularly laughable.

    Next time, if you buy a £3 game in the sale that might need a controller, boot it up within a couple of weeks to check. You can't hold a potential refund over a company indefinitely just because you haven't used something or have a huge steam backlog, the publisher wants a cut of your £3 and Valve can't keep them waiting for months just in case you want the money back nearly a year later. That's why there are cut off periods for refunds of thirty days even under consumer rights for digital goods. The seller has to pay someone else a portion of the money once they've sold it to you.
    Reply +8
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice review

  • redcrayon 14/09/2016

    I really liked AA Investigations, certainly more so than Apollo Justice. Reply +1
  • redcrayon 14/09/2016

    @jimmyhill11
    SMTIV: Apocalypse is listed for 'winter' here, so it might not be this year. There's Shantae and the Pirate's curse next month (according to Amazon), Pokemon in November and Mario Maker in December, plus DQVIII early next year.
    Reply 0
  • Recore review

  • redcrayon 13/09/2016

    This is still one of the console releases this year I'm most interested in even if I can't play it, at least it's something a bit different from online multiplayer, RPG elements and the rattle of machine guns. A couple of reviewers have said it reminds them of mid-tier PS2/GC games with all their flaws intact, sounds good to me. Reply +2
  • PlayStation Vita isn't dead, in Japan anyway

  • redcrayon 13/09/2016

    @JamesSwiftDay
    That person was referring to Vita components, I think.
    Reply +1
  • Time crisis: Is this the end of the light gun?

  • redcrayon 10/09/2016

    @jabberwocky
    Yeah, Dead Space: Extraction was one of my favourite Wii games. What I loved about it was how well they translated the atmosphere/lore of the initial disaster hinted at in the original game to the events that take place in the light gun game. Really nicely done. Haven't tried it on the WiiU, might have to give it a go.
    Reply 0
  • Watch: Seven games we'd love to see remastered

  • redcrayon 10/09/2016

    It might seem a bit obscure but I'd love to see my favourite SRPG, Front Mission 3 on the PSOne, have a fresh luck of paint. The core mechanics are still great but it just looks a bit murky these days, it wasn't even much of a looker on release. Those early 3D models and
    lack of detail on the people could do with sprucing up a bit, they could put it on PC/tablets too. I still play it on the Vita but even reduced to a small screen size it looks pretty bad compared to the pixel art games of the time.
    Reply +1
  • Meet the first person to reach level 1000 in Overwatch

  • redcrayon 10/09/2016

    @Meson
    I credit this guy with the same I would a pro sports person or musician. Commitment to your cause, regardless of how insignificant others may find it. Good work!
    Considering that you level up just by putting the hours in, it's more equivalent to someone kicking a ball around in the park or playing the guitar in their room for 17 hours a day. You'll get better at it if the sense of personal achievement is what you crave, and certainly more so than someone putting in two hours a week, but it's hardly the same as being a skilled professional recognised for your ability. I could play a sport, an instrument or a computer game for thousands of hours and still wouldn't be even vaguely close to people who have the talent and passion to do it for a living.

    On the other hand, on hours spent I must be easily a level 1,000 office worker several times over by now. I asked my boss if he could add RPG elements as an incentive, but apparently the gameplay loop is all about the in-game economy instead. The grind is real :D
    Reply +4
  • Finally, Mario comes to iPhone

  • redcrayon 07/09/2016

    @jasonchurch
    Not really sure they HAVE to make phone games to make money, Nintendo seem to make a fair chunk of cash without them. However, not making phone games in the present environment is leaving money on the table. More importantly for Nintendo, a free-to-download game is basically getting kids to download a taster of Mario onto the device in their pocket for free. That's pretty good advertising for their IP to the future customers they want for their hardware/software/toys etc going forward, I'm pretty sure that they can cross-promote the shit out of their console games once they've got the app in front of kids.

    If Super Mario Run gives people their Mario fix and makes Mario on NX irrelevant, I think that's more a damning criticism of their internal software teams. I think they were waiting on mobile Mario until the Ds/3DS Mario games were done selling (although those things seem to keep selling for years).
    Reply 0
  • Mother Russia Bleeds review

  • redcrayon 06/09/2016

    @Arcam
    Try Double Dragon Neon or Dragon's Crown.

    I can't remember if Odin Sphere has local co-op but I enjoyed that too.
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 06/09/2016

    I don't think the genre has inherent problems, it's that tastes have changed. Double Dragon or Streets of Rage have enemies you can kill with a (literal) handful of punches, and only take half an hour to play through. The difficulty was the only thing stopping you reaching the end on your first try.

    These days games feel they need to pad out the length, and so you end up with basic enemies that require far too long to kill, which makes it boring. Imagine if Mario had to jump on each enemy five times to kill it. I feel the same about shooter bullet-sponge enemies that bizarrely carry riot shields.

    The genre was born in the arcade and meant to be fast, exciting and thus infinitely replayable, not a two-hour-slog in front of the telly hitting punch/punch/kick over and over again with the modern one-and-done, never-play-it-again mentality that encourages padding that critical single playthrough.
    Reply +3
  • Metroid Prime: Federation Force flops

  • redcrayon 05/09/2016

    @mega-gazz
    Considering it's on it's last legs at five-and-a-half years old, the 3DS audience was still
    big enough for Monster Hunter, a game with a very specific niche appeal in the UK, to top the chart on release, but not a Metroid game with comparatively simple controls that's playable by just about anyone. That's why people are surprised- the active 3DS user base here isn't huge, but Nintendo's first-party games and their gentle introductions at least tend to rally it far more than the third-party stuff.
    Reply +2
  • Watch: Games nearly ruined by one terrible level

  • redcrayon 04/09/2016

    The missions I'm really not a fan of is when you spend all game getting good at one style of gameplay, and then the final level is something else that uses new, different skills entirely, and that doesn't let you use what you've learned.

    There's loads of examples, but two that spring to mind are one of the Gears games has you finish with a vehicle level, and the first Devil May Cry that finished with a shmup level out of nowhere. It's not that they are difficult (neither are particularly tough) but that kind of thing always feels like a letdown to me.
    Reply +3
  • Pokémon Go, mid-life crisis and me, by Ellie Gibson

  • redcrayon 03/09/2016

    I'm 37 and have played portables on the train to work for the last 15-odd years (which is about as long as it takes a Southern service to get anywhere). Never had so much as an odd look, even more so in the last decade when everyone is staring at a little gadget of some sort, whether it's a tablet or an e-reader or their phone etc. Its the people playing shitty music out of the crap speakers on the device because wearing headphones would be too much like having regard for others who've failed to grow up.

    When I was an awkward teenager in the 90s I probably would've been mortified if the other kids at school had seen me playing on a gameboy though. These days my wife happily puts my charged Vita/3DS in my bag along with a flask of coffee while I change the baby's nappy and get our daughter ready. Not sure I won the early morning parenting trade off there... Accepting who you are and what makes you tick is good for both you and the people you love (and who love you).
    Reply +3
  • Super Mario Maker headed to 3DS

  • redcrayon 02/09/2016

    Didn't they say something about sharing them via streetpass/Nintendo wifi spots?

    I realise that's not great for people who don't live near cities/commute etc.

    Madness that you can't just share and download them at home though, what on earth are they thinking with this.

    Sounds like the 100 Mario challenge plays online, so not really sure why sharing courses is so tough. Maybe they think most kids don't have enough space on the memory card if they download it rather than buy the cart? If memory is an issue, why allow them to share them through streetpass?

    Just seems like forcing a use of streetpass where having an online exchange to directly share and download the ones you want is simpler and better.

    It all sounds very confused, maybe they'll clarify later this year.
    Reply 0
  • Watch: Why I'm not sticking with No Man's Sky

  • redcrayon 25/08/2016

    @HappyGator
    To 'bimble' or 'bimbling' is pretty much ambling along, walking without urgency, seemingly without purpose. If you wander through a field without a care in the world, stopping to look at whatever interests you, and being half a world away daydreaming if your friends call back to you, you're probably bimbling. It's been reasonably popular slang amongst my friends for at least a decade, usually used in a fairly good-natured way when other people are in their way ("I was rushing to work but missed my train because of fifty bimbling tourists clogging up the underground") or someone is daydreaming while stumbling along at the back on the way to the pub. Not sure where it's from but Urban Dictionary says it's popular in the army (presumably when someone is holding up a march).
    Reply +2
  • redcrayon 25/08/2016

    @almondo
    People still defending it, wow.
    How simplistic. There's a lot more room to describe and discuss stuff when offering an opinion on a game than to have all commentary divided into 'attack' and 'defence' posts. All that does is encourage people to think there's only one valid reaction to a title out of two possibilities, rather than as many as there are people who play it. Means anyone with an even partially dissenting opinion is dismissed as either not getting something or being part of a defence force too, which is incredibly irritating when you want to criticise/praise a specific aspect of something but not others.

    For what it's worth NMS doesn't look like my cup of tea at all. I prefer my procedurally-generated stuff to be 2D stuff like Spelunky or The Swindle, where random elements appearing nearby means tight mechanics are put into conflict.
    Reply +5
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare developers on the battle with the backlash

  • redcrayon 24/08/2016

    I suppose if you think your shooter isn't generic enough you can always add space marines. Reply +1
  • One of the Vita's prettiest puzzle games is getting an ambitious remake

  • redcrayon 23/08/2016

    @BluWacky
    Thanks for the thought-out post. Just on your points:

    Agree at Vita games appearing elsewhere: fair enough, but it's not like EG regularly covers such titles. Trails of Cold Steel, Odin Sphere etc were all on multiple formats and didn't get covered despite good reviews elsewhere and retail releases.

    Length of games: plenty of modern AAA titles are 30 hours+ due to their open world, sidequests and multiplayer nature, and still get covered. So do MMOs and multiplayer games that are practically endless. Shouldn't be a barrier to a review, I mean Monster Hunter absorbs hundreds of hours of my time but still gets coverage (thanks EG!).

    Quirky puzzle games- I wasn't saying they shouldn't be covered at all, just that I don't see how Metrico is any more 'mainstream' and deserving of multiple articles than various stuff like Odin Sphere instead, which as a fast-paced, combo-heavy action game with a PS2 heritage, you'd think would be a decent fit for EG to at least eyeball.

    The only reason I posted in the first place is that it seems like EG didn't even bother to cover Vita releases when there were multiple decent ones coming out earlier this year, so then having a couple of articles in a row happy to talk about how dead it is rings a bit hollow. Up until MHG, the Vita wiped the floor with the 3DS in terms of software for the first half of the year.

    I mainly play on portables and while EG has been pretty good for the few tentpole major 3DS releases, the Vita coverage of similar JRPG-type stuff has been a bit weak this year.
    Reply +2
  • redcrayon 23/08/2016

    @spamdangled
    I see your point, but you could use that argument to justify covering nothing but the top-selling AAA games. The same issue counts just as much for stuff like Metrico, where I'd guess the audience is also a minuscule percentage of the readership.

    Either it's worth using some of the meagre editorial time/budget/staff to cover a small
    amount of niche stuff (like indie puzzlers or vita rpgs, or strategy games etc) for the sake of variety rather than page hits or it isn't. But if you are going to occasionally cover the odd niche game because diversity of coverage is a good thing, which is presumably what's going on here and something I think is great about EG, I'm not sure how something like Trails or Odin Sphere is of even less interest to a readership that likes action games and RPGs than something utterly obscure like Metrico. Especially if coverage is based on perceived popularity.
    Reply +4
  • redcrayon 23/08/2016

    @Ep1cN3ss1e
    I really liked the concept of Metrico, and it was competently made, but it didn't hold my interest for long. Having said that, PS+ introduced me to quite a few games I wouldn't have touched otherwise, so it's all good, I was glad to have the opportunity to try it. The Swapper and Hardboiled Chicken are probably my faves from the service, I'll be buying full paid copies when my subscription runs out.
    Reply +7
  • redcrayon 23/08/2016

    Maybe EG could find a little time for a Trails of Cold Steel 2 Vita review in November, or will wall-to-wall sponsored coverage of CoD, Battlefield, Titanfall and Watch Dogs mean portable stuff outside of Pokemon gets forgotten alongside oddities like Metrico once more?

    I appreciate that you've only got so many writers with so many hours to investigate games for our (unpaid) perusal, and applaud the way that EG occassionally takes an interest in the odd stuff, it's certainly led to me playing fresh stuff here and there. But when even that haphazard spotlight shines more brightly than the coverage of portable games that are far more widely anticipated than an obscure indie puzzler, it seems a little strange.

    Even a roundup every few months for the platforms EG doesn't follow that much would be cool. Mobile too.
    Reply +20
  • redcrayon 23/08/2016

    When I've played Trails of Cold Steel 2, Toukiden 2, Ys VIII, Darkest Dungeon, Cosmic Star Heroine, God Eater 2 and Bloodstained, I'll be happy to finally put my Vita down. Likely to be mid-2017 though. The Vita is done in terms of hardware sales but it's still got shitloads of games coming out, EG just rarely reviews them any more. Just like it didn't bother earlier this year when we had Stranger of Sword City, Odin Sphere, Grand Kingdom, TOCS etc, an awesome dungeon crawler, brawler, SRPG and JRPG with good pedigrees, retail releases and great reviews elsewhere. Not really sure why something like Metrico, which would have gone unnoticed if not for the PS+ deal, warrants multiple articles when better Vita software otherwise gets pretty much ignored.

    By all means call it as you see it, but it seems a bit odd for EG to say that the Vita has nothing left when it has routinely worn blinkers regarding it's software during a run of releases in the last few months that readers might actually be interested in.
    Reply +28
  • Watchdog investigates Future merger with Imagine

  • redcrayon 22/08/2016

    @Aj64
    I still subscribe to Games TM. Sure, news and reviews can't keep pace with online but I prefer the feature writing in articles written for print. I like good magazine design too.

    Filled in the survey and said that, no, if they close that mag I have zero interest in Edge (although some of the graphic design is cool). I find its columnists a bit annoying, with far too many of them.

    Hopefully Retro Gamer will continue in some form as there's less of a conflict of audience. I'm more likely to swap my sub over to that. I used to subscribe but wanted to cut my subs down to one a month.
    Reply +2
  • Disgruntled No Man's Sky players thrust Sony's PS4 refund policy back into the spotlight

  • redcrayon 20/08/2016

    @GreyBeard
    Imagine there's two games shops in town, lets call them Shop A and Shop B.

    The proprietor of Shop A is lovely, he's friendly, he's hip, he's down with the kids and offers a quibble free refund policy.

    The proprietor of Shop B is me, a crusty, uncompromising old cunt, who couldn't give a toss what you think about him and has a harsh NO REFUNDS policy.

    If you buy from Shop B and get knocked-back or given some verbals when you try and return a game because it "gave you motion sickness", "didn't run at x Fps", "didn't live up to the hype", or whatever other trivial reason...

    Who's really at fault? Me, Shopkeeper B with a clear policy that you might disagree with, but one you knew of on the way in, or you for believing you could impose shopkeeper A's policies on me because it happens to suit you?
    I agree with the general thrust of your point, being that if you know Sony's digital store has shitty customer service, why buy there. However, digital Playstation games are a closed market. I do think it's reasonable to expect the website of an industry leader, and the sole digital provider of products on its games console in 2016, to be a bit more friendly towards its customers than a lone, grumpy indie shopkeeper. Especially when it's motto is 'for the players'.
    Reply +5
  • redcrayon 20/08/2016

    While I've found Sony's digital customer service to be a pain to deal with, their policies do not override UK consumer law, and nor do those of retailers.

    They deliberately make it a lengthy process of dealing with endless letters and emails to layers of management, with frontline staff who will claim until they are blue in the face that company policy is king, as that's the script they have- their job is is protect revenue, not just give money back, and I was the same when I worked in retail. It's not true, company policy isn't worth the paper it's written on, consumer law is more complex and invites the company to try and make things right where a product is not fit for purpose. A game being version 1.0 and all large publishers releasing games that need huge patches is no defence if it crashes all the time, no matter what Sony's 'refund policy' is. They also had to change the wording on their site to say that they will comply with consumer law in whichever country it applies, as it differs by country and some are stronger than others.

    However, in all practicality, pursuing and reaching that resolution will often end up costing more in sheer time spent than just putting it down to experience. It took me about two hours of emails and pointing out the inconsistencies in their multiple support staff's arguments just to get a tenner back from Sony once, which is considerably less than my hourly rate at work.

    The easiest thing to do is just to stop pre-ordering AAA games, as when there are thousands of people throwing £50 at the screen on the basis of hype, it's no wonder they treat people like idiots. Maybe less people blindly paying that kind of money will encourage them to not have such a harsh initial refund policy.
    Reply 0
  • Metroid Prime Federation Force review

  • redcrayon 19/08/2016

    Maybe they should have had the inflatable Samus decoy as the lead character :D Reply +1
  • Putting the magic back into magic in fantasy games

  • redcrayon 13/08/2016

    @thisisatempaccount
    Agree entirely on the problems with RPGs giving all characters similar abilities based around MMO encounter requirements of 'crowd control', 'aggro' etc. (e.g. A Mage has
    'mass fireball', an archer has 'rain of arrows' instead).

    The opposite issue existed in computer game RPGs for years (and still does with NISAs dungeon crawlers) where warrior characters can only ever hammer attack or their skills for 'hit everyone' or 'hit one person a bit harder', while mages and priests end up with 30+ options, most of which go unused.

    While I'm rather fond of character classes stopping all characters slipping into being awesome warrior-healer-mages, the restrictions aren't always great.

    What I always did as a GM was say that you don't have to have a class, but you do have to have a job, and that job's place in society informs the game world and your resources and objectives outside of the more immediate 'stop the bad thing'. If your 'job' is 'knight', then you have a lot of responsibilities and dependants and expectations of you, same if you choose 'priest'. The profession also offers places of sanctuary, natural allies but also powerful superiors that expect you to do your duty and accomplish stuff. In one campaign I made a knight leave the party as his Lord required him on the field of battle elsewhere. The players thought I would make him play an npc for the evening, but instead I had the other players roleplay as fellow company commanders in the camp with the knight the star of the show for the evening (complete with tankards of ale and a battle map). Every character got their own moment to shine, a 'day in the life' showing what they did when they weren't adventuring! If you choose 'thief' or 'mercenary', it grants more freedom but informs your contacts, your background, how others see you once they find out. All far more interesting grist for the RPG mill than 'Barry the Knight gets 'aggro' at level one, 'sword dance' at level three, and gets a magic horse automatically turn up at level 15' :D

    MMOs do offer guilds for that reactive social stuff, but its not quite the same. China Mieville, amongst many other fantasy authors, played tabletop games, it certainly got me into writing too.
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 13/08/2016

    @steviepunk
    I think XP based on goals allows for more interesting play. Otherwise there is an obvious XP min/max bonus for a thief of having killed everything along the way, rather than having escaped unseen. I remember doing that in Dragon Age, escaping a fort then going back to kill stuff because XP was finite.
    Reply +1
  • redcrayon 13/08/2016

    @Mar27w
    RPGs having vast lists of spells you never use is always a bit silly. You often end with 20+ spells that inflict damage, and little reason to cast anything but the most powerful on bosses and keep chugging MP restoring items. Debuffs, if they work at all on bosses, are often less efficient than casting your 20th thunder zap or whatever.

    The way that your combat spells are both focused on and get abandoned en masse is down to
    A) systems that have both PCs and bosses scale infinitely, but not the spells.
    B) compulsory boss fights where the aim is
    almost always to reduce HP to zero.
    If more RPGs had boss fights where, for example, the aim was to escape by collapsing a ceiling on a boss with a tremor power, or to win over a crowd during a riot with a charisma-based power, or slowly tame a dragon with a beastmaster power, rather than just kill all three, we might see more interesting uses of magic that show off the variety of fantastical powers a Mage (or various other fantasy types) can have rather than just reducing HP.

    Designing interesting scenario victory conditions is part of running a tabletop RPG, so I don't see why computer game ones have to always only allow 'reduce HP to zero' in 100+ encounters across a 40-hour game either.

    Maybe the idea of winning being not necessarily killing everything doesn't appeal. Even so, combat magic suffers by having to be at least as efficient as warrior characters that can kill everything with relative mundane ease, and so focuses around the most efficient ways to kill rather than the most spectacular or requiring much in the way of planning or using more than 5% of your toolbox.
    Reply +16
  • redcrayon 13/08/2016

    I always think the worst kind of magic is when it offered even less options than the variety between mundane classes and weapons. If the difference between playing as a rogue with a bow and a knight with a sword is much greater than the difference between flinging green magic and summoning dryads as an Elementalist, and flinging black magic and summoning skeletons as a Necromancer, then it's a game that's managed to make the fantastical into something very mundane.

    Magic in the books listed litters the background, informs the world, explains how people live in a world where it's an everyday occurance, but too often computer games allow characters to choose it with no more hassle than changing their tee-shirt, and then every village both marvels at how rare it is and somehow also sells potions for restoring magic points :D

    For plot-device magic to seem powerful and rare in these books (and the Witcher) it is used sparingly, and characters need to work to give everyday cantrips interesting uses instead- that's then showing off the characters wits and having them improvise, rather than reducing them to a walking artillery battery or a six-litre bottle of healing potion on legs.

    Protagonists in fiction can be deeply flawed or not good at confrontation, but unfortunately RPGs have to manage both players that want to have hours of combat gameplay, and also then magic that isn't either weaker, stronger, less convenient or requires more frustration/preparation than just running up to enemies and hitting them with a sword. Doesn't leave a huge amount of room in Dragon Age for your Mage to plan out an epic, passive series of spells to accomplish your long-term goals, when every encounter is a short, bloody melee where effectiveness is measured in DPS. Works better in stuff like Elder Scrolls where you have multiple plot lines you can ignore.
    Reply +5
  • Watch: Ian introduces Chris to the ZX Spectrum

  • redcrayon 06/08/2016

    Awesome video, more like this please! Made me feel very old. I had an Amstrad 6128 with a seperate tape deck, some games took a lot more than ten minutes to load. Reply +1
  • Pokémon Go banned in Iran due to "security concerns"

  • redcrayon 06/08/2016

    This isn't the first time the Islamic State has deemed a video game developer a security risk.
    Minor bit of grammar pedantry EG, but when using 'the Islamic State' as a descriptive for Iran, there's a big difference between an Islamic state and the Islamic State.
    Reply +33
  • Salt and Sanctuary dev pleads people calm down over delayed Vita port

  • redcrayon 04/08/2016

    @SuperShinobi
    Feeling disappointed, sure. Even letting the devs know, I think that's fine too. It seems we agree there.

    I don't think it's fair to always blame young people- I'm sure a fair chunk of the bile vomited forth onto the Internet is by adults acting like children too.
    Reply +2
  • redcrayon 04/08/2016

    @SuperShinobi
    Personally I would just like to see more honesty and professionalism in the games industry.
    Saying that you're aiming for a release date at x date, and then it slipping because of a problem with dev tools or third parties, is neither dishonest or unprofessional. It's just part of working in a tech industry.

    I'd like to think reasonable adults would think 'ah well, that's disappointing, I was looking forward to playing that', read the dev's explanation, and then go about their day. But no, gamers have a history of losing their shit and going nuclear over the most minor things. Losing everybody's credit card details is unprofessional. A huge company's marketing dept. lying about what their £400+ device can do is dishonest (these aren't aimed at anything in particular). Running late with a port because of tech issues isn't either.

    Trying to place a slipped release date under the same banner as major industry scandals, rendering everything as 'gamers vs the industry', is a sweeping statement that allows for zero nuance and excuses gamers for all kinds of aggressive, ridiculous tantrums.

    They announced both versions would be out in 2015, which didn't happen. My advice to developers would be: Don't announce a release date, unless you're actually going to stick to it. Be cautious rather than overconfident when announcing release dates. Say game X is in the works, rather than committing to an unrealistic release date.
    I'm sure they didn't think the date was unreasonable at the point of announcement. That's the rub here, how could they have predicted the issues with the tools? People were asking them for a date, and they gave one based on the info they had at the time. If the unwritten second part to 'be overly-cautious' is 'because gamers might lose their shit', then maybe the answer is for such gamers to stop losing it and learn a little about their hobby, that tech products work on a production line where one hitch, which is often unforseeable, slows everything down.
    Reply +4
  • redcrayon 04/08/2016

    It's almost like the accessibility to the industry of social media has changed developers from being these distant, talented creatures that players used have some respect for for turning code, art and sound into fun, memorable games, into people that are looked down on for not working hard enough on a toy some gamers want.

    Worrying when we are continually told that the average age of the players is increasing and is somewhere in the mid-30s now. I'm not convinced that the aggression shown on social media platforms is entirely the preserve of edgelord teens.
    Reply +6
  • redcrayon 04/08/2016

    If a feature is promised in a game, you paid £30+ for it because of it and it isn't there, I can understand people asking questions about promises made in development. When it's about release dates though, and the devs making sure they aren't releasing a pile of crap, I just don't get why people are so quick to get mad about them. Release dates slip all the time, for perfectly understandable reasons, and the devs in this case have said why and apologised to anyone excited for it. There's all kinds of things that can go wrong in a year or more of development.

    Even then it's the tedious anonymous aggression that is rife on the internet that bothers me, not the general criticism. When I was a kid the idea of an immediate link to the developers of a game I was excited about, on a device in my pocket, where I was sure someone there would read my comment, would have been like a dream to me. The thought that, even as a kid, I might use it to moan about platform wars and insult them wouldn't even have occurred to me.
    Reply +7
  • redcrayon 04/08/2016

    @SuperShinobi
    I don't think there's an equivalence in responsibility for 'making the industry a better place' between developers somehow making sure they don't run into unforeseen delays with technical issues and interested players not being vile on social media. One is an unforeseen hitch with a creative project that is already hard work, the other takes absolutely zero effort to not do.

    The obsession with release dates and complete lack of patience, combined with the rush to be as offensive as possible to people who don't have the anonymity these prats have, is bizarre. How hard is it to use social media to write 'hey guys how's that vita port coming', something we couldn't easily do in seconds 15 years ago, rather than a pile of aggressive wank about how rubbish the devs are and how hard-done-by the Vita is instead.
    Reply +8
  • redcrayon 03/08/2016

    I'm amazed that people feel they have the right to insult someone for a game taking a little longer to finish than initially projected. It's just weird and obsessive, like the release dates are critically important to them. It used to be that a game had to be a) actually released and b) a bit crap before people started moaning at developers, and even then they didn't have a direct social media link to the poor sod. Reply +67
  • Darkest Dungeon lights up PS4, Vita next month

  • redcrayon 03/08/2016

    @erp
    I think that's a really good point about text size- I bought Space Hulk on Vita where it was a straight port of a text-heavy, turn-based game from PC, and the text was so small on Vita as to be barely legible.
    Reply +3
  • No Man's Sky leaker claims to have reached the centre of the galaxy already

  • redcrayon 01/08/2016

    I'm far more interested in exploring than racing to reach the end as quickly as possible by using an unbalanced economy. What's the point of that? I like games where they are what you make it and victory is the goals you set yourself. It's possible to race through Skyrim in a few hours but I spend 80 hours just playing as a hunter/trader instead, and never even bothered pursuing the 'main' quest at all with that character. Reply +2