redcrayon Comments

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  • "We're not evil villains building an empire"

  • redcrayon 15/04/2014

    there's been a shortage of goodwill towards King from a more core audience - one that's sceptical not just about the mechanics of games like Candy Crush Saga, but also towards the free-to-play business model that's behind it.
    'Shortage of goodwill' is putting it very mildly considering EGs usually slightly more robust line of questioning.
    I think EG missed the opportunity to ask 'why do you think the term 'FTP' has become so toxic'. This comes across as a bit too friendly considering their recent actions covered in the news stories, did they just ring up and ask for an opportunity for 'right of reply' to put their side of the story across? I think you could have grilled them a bit harder.

    I don't mind this kind of stuff being covered though- it is part of the industry whether we like it or not, there are all kinds of things about gaming I find tedious that should still be covered. If EG didn't cover this stuff occasionally, they wouldn't have a credible leg to stand on when taking it to task later on, and it is an attempt to move a story on that affected games we might be interested in, like The Banner Saga.
    Reply +3
  • EA apologises for Frostbite's "stupid" anti-Nintendo April Fool

  • redcrayon 02/04/2014

    @Bilstar
    I'm not upset about it at all, I just think it was a shit idea to think that a professional account spamming multiple, obvious, tired jokes on twitter about other games companies counts as 'April Fool'.

    Once can be funny, after that it's just tedious and comes across as unsporting, can you really not see why it forced an exec god-knows how many levels above the twitter account holder to apologise? If my chief exec had to do that after something I'd repeatedly broadcasted about a former business partner, I'd be in for a bit of a shoeing too.

    It's not about playing favourites with global corporations, it's that sometimes people do stupid things on twitter. News at 11.
    Reply +7
  • redcrayon 02/04/2014

    @Liuwil

    No, it's because neither Half-Life 3 or the WiiU are amazing, bold new ground for videogames comedy, they are enough of a joke as it is.

    The companies that get April fools right usually do one message that is vaguely believable and then keep quiet for the rest of the day, not fire out multiple tweets about the same old jokes. It's just forced, as if someone thought 'we should do an April fools' and slammed out the first tired things that came into their head. It's just completely missing the point of the morning of April 1 and just using it as an excuse to take a pop at other companies with no real thought or wit behind it.

    I'm sure your argument about developers not needing to be professional when dealing with social media will go down really well when the press officer with the keys to the twitter account is explaining to Moore why he thought it was hilarious though.
    Reply +4
  • redcrayon 02/04/2014

    Hmm. I think they probably should have just run one joke, and made it actually funny and vaguely believable at first glance. Taking a scattergun approach on April Fools just looks desperate.

    From a business point of view, especially in the long term, there's no reason for huge companies to wind each other up like this. It's unprofessional and gains absolutely nothing while risking souring future opportunities. Leave it to the news websites, or, if you have to run a gag, have the humility to take a crack at yourself rather than easy targets. It's not like taking the piss out of the WiiU or Half-life 3 is bold new ground for videogames comedy.
    Reply +4
  • Remember Desert Strike? Meet Killstorm

  • redcrayon 28/03/2014

    While I loved Desert Strike and it's sequels, and am looking forward to seeing how this turns out, I think 'killstorm' is the most generic-sounding computer game title for a while. Reply +3
  • PlayStation Plus for April: Mercenary Kings, PES 2014, Sly Cooper, more

  • redcrayon 28/03/2014

    Hotline Miami is the only thing that interests me and I've already picked it up in the sales, but to be honest my PS+ sub has paid for itself already with previous free offerings this year, so I'm a happy punter. Anything else I get is a bonus. Reply +4
  • Rampage review

  • redcrayon 26/03/2014

    @GAmbrose

    Yeah, as a general rule, if you only play with four then Baratheon tends to win, as they land grab while the only other land power south of Winterfell, the Lannisters, get caught up in a scrap with the Greyjoys looking for easy resources nearby.

    We've also found that the Starks need a navy to be able to force a win in smaller games as otherwise they get caught up in the Lannister/Greyjoy scrap at the bridges too, but too far from their strongholds for easy reinforcement. The Greyjoys struggle to win with any number of players but act as a spoiler to both the Lannisters and Starks in any size of game. The only way they tend to lose is being stormed early on by the Lannisters, otherwise they tend to either cling on to the nearby fortresses or,if they get kicked off the mainland, resort to destroying everyone's navy and making an empire out of odd islands and scraps here and there. Generally the Starks never lose as no one can be bothered to go all the way up north to storm Winterfell, but only win if a major battle kicks off between the southern houses, in a 5 or 6 player game, allowing them to sneak down and grab the spoils. 5 or 6 players is best for added backstabbery as otherwise it's too easy for everyone to make truces as resources are plentiful. The addition of the two most-southern houses gives Baratheon (and to a lesser extent Lannister) a challenge for territory that they sorely need from a game balance perspective.

    Still, I think we've had every house but Greyjoy win at one time or another, and that's mainly down to them having little in the way of easy resources without being crushed between two houses apart from the odd island in the bottom left.
    Reply +2
  • redcrayon 26/03/2014

    @GAmbrose
    Battlestar Galactica is awesome, it manages to really sum up the theme of the TV series with some great mechanics regarding tension and mistrust in the ranks where everyone is allegedly on the same side to start with.

    Another licensed one I've really enjoyed is Spartacus: blood on the sand, where you play as a noble house trying to stitch up the others in a politics phase while running a team of gladiators and a household of servants, before a gladiatorial games at the end of every turn where two players's choose a gladiator and everyone else bets on the outcome of a turn-based scrap with miniatures! The house running the games can walk away either incredibly rich or losing money too, it's quite Machiavellian really.

    The Game of Thrones one that looks a bit like Risk is good too, again it's a nice mix of politics, resource management and warfare.

    Then there's always Space Hulk. Playing that through as a campaign is just epic.

    Regarding the cost of board games, some of these games come with lots of nice pieces and an awful lot of cards with beautiful art etc to allow for the game to be different every time too, 40 or even 50 sounds like a lot but if you look at something like BSG or Game of Thrones, you get quite a lot for your money.
    Reply +3
  • Oculus Rift: Step into the game, step out with two billion dollars

  • redcrayon 26/03/2014

    @inewton666
    That's because Kickstarter exists to help initial ideas get off the ground with it's future, for good or ill, being the choice of the creators, not to make profits for anonymous venture capitalists to whom the money is peanuts in exchange for a controlling influence.

    It's pretty clear in the Kickstarter terms and conditions that you are a customer making a donation that can expect the rewards offered in exchange for funding, and not a shareholder. Besides, it isn't obligatory to take part in any way, and if anyone did want to invest a significant amount of money in VR, they would have done much better to get in on the ground floor privately by making an offer. That would involve sharing the financial risk to your capital, risking walking away with nothing, before large companies started making offers though. That's something that people who expect to have a say in a project often seem reluctant to do.

    It all seems pretty clear to me, but I do think the Kickstarter language of 'backers' is potentially misleading considering the amount of people who seem to think they are owed something other than the kit on the reward tiers. Maybe they should call it 'supporters' or something.
    Reply +3
  • Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2 billion

  • redcrayon 26/03/2014

    @Gayrath
    When you put money down on kick starter, the fine print makes it clear that you are a customer, you have zero say or investment in where the company goes from there, despite the use of the word 'backer' meaning that you might actually have a stake in something in other financial arrangements.

    If you put a tenner into a Kickstarter project and got a poster, that's where your contract ends. If you put 400 in and got two dev kits, that's where your contract ends. If you put 5k in because you wanted lunch with the developers, that's cool, but nobody is a high-rolling venture-capitalist on kickstarter, as it exists to give small companies a kick-start and financial freedom from being chained to predatory investors. If you would rather have been a silent shareholder with a stake in the future of VR and were willing to put a huge sum of your own funds large enough to interest them down up front to prove it, their email address was there for all to to see, along with the terms of kickstarter.

    The idea that people get nothing and are owed their money back is silly when the list of exactly what people will get for their money is there for all to see, with the dev kits worth hundreds of pounds. I'm not a huge fan of Facebook but if anyone thinks their noble 20 quid 'investment' in exchange for a tee shirt came with a clause that the tech can't be sold to a huge company with the resources to roll it out globally for epic amounts of cash, then I think that individual has missed the point of kickstarter and has an overly romanticised view of how the tech industry works.

    If a kickstarter project you put money down on takes off, then isn't that what it's for? It's not great for us as gamers but for the creators it's a fucking amazing opportunity. Instead of thinking 'what do I get out of their hard work, outside of the rewards I expected originally', maybe a more magnanimous way of looking at it is 'wow, I helped them achieve that, even if it's not what I wanted for gaming, maybe the tech becoming a household name is what they did.' The tech was always going to be sold to a company with the resources to make use of it, it's just that some of them are more palatable to us than others.
    Reply +5
  • redcrayon 26/03/2014

    @Redcoat-Mic
    They didn't need that money, they had plenty and so much enthusiasm from fans and they've gone and thrown it all away for a short term lump sum.

    Absolutely baffling.
    I'm not sure I find financial security for life for all those involved to be particular baffling, it's not like VR has a particularly rosy past. Enthusiasm from fans is great and all, but it doesn't pay the bills, and neither does the years of development and vapourware from other companies they have in front of them either.

    While my interest in the product has certainly waned with facebook's involvement, I also don't find it baffling that they would find that amount hard to resist. They probably didn't need it, sure, but the difference between 'you have enough cash to keep your new technology company going for a few years, with any luck it'll be a huge success' and 'you have enough cash that, even if it fails, you'll never need to work again' is a huge gap in terms of financial security.
    Reply +5
  • Misogyny, racism and homophobia: where do video games stand?

  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @Les
    I'm aware of that, I was just saying an all-male cast in a military game set in our world isn't unrealistic, not that female characters would be.
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @SpaceInvader2
    Real-world shooters, where using the realistic guns, vehicles etc is part of the appeal, absolutely, of course a male cast makes perfect sense. But in the same way, I think it's totally fine for soldiers in fantastical games where people are using railguns, flying spaceships or fighting dragons with magic swords that triple their strength to be female too- if we have physics-defying flying lizards I find it hard to object to female knights :-) I suppose that's what you are getting at about context, so it looks like we agree there.

    I also agree entirely that there is a cash value attached to appealing to your core market, it's hard to avoid that, but it does lead to circular reasoning which is what the speech this article is based on was railing against. Games imagined with a female lead get lower budgets and aren't expected to be as popular, so less is spent on marketing, and the circle continues. On the other hand, Bioware hedge their bets by allowing either a male or female lead in their RPGs, so I don't think it's entirely fair for them to call for a braver approach from others who want a single, non-customisable character. Lara Croft is a bit of an exception to the rule given her historical role as a PSOne icon.

    While, off the top of my head, neither Heavenly Sword and Mirror's Edge were ever really going to do fantastically well, I wonder what would happen, if, for example, something a bit more mainstream in its approach and fantastical like Gears or Resident Evil had a female lead and a budget to match. I suppose we are talking about such a huge budget that nobody is going to want to take the risk and put their job on the line to find out, and I'm not sure I blame them after even Tomb Raider, which was a pretty decent game, took quite a while to break even.

    I don't know, I realise the money is in having a male lead every time when you are making something mainstream and fairly violent like a sci-fi shooter or a fantasy stab-em-up, but it just seems a bit limiting in terms of imagination when considering that you can set your story anywhere you can imagine. Anyway, I know, you're right, am happy to concede the argument there, maybe I should stick to moaning about Bioware sex scenes and Wynne's chest :-)
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @SpaceInvader2
    Fair points both, I'll happily concede them, but I suppose female characters are the most obvious one then.
    Reply +1
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @SpaceInvader2
    I don't think it's about representation at all, (have literally just edited my initial reply to you to say so). Representation is a poor way to go about storytelling and game design, it tends to lead to cliched characters as far as I can see. What I think is important is not removing options before you've even begun (I.e. Deciding the protagonist must be a straight male before settling on a story).

    As for religion being an option, sure, why not, if handled very carefully (something I'm not sure I trust many developers with). But I wouldn't want it to be about representation, only if it made sense in the game- plenty of US cop stories have played with a characters Catholicism, giving them an arc of struggling with faith in the face of violence amid the escapades of the historically fairly common law-enforcement chaps of Irish descent. That kinda makes sense for an interesting character in situ though, rather than Johnny Mars, Space-Marine Hero, being the only Catholic on the planet and having a rosary around his neck with little in-story reason for it.
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @SpaceInvader2
    The difference is that modern religious life is generally avoided in games, it's rare that it bears any relevance to any main characters at all, usually for fear of them getting it wrong and causing mass offence, so it's not like there's a constant religious value seen as the 'standard template' for a lead character.

    On the other hand human relationships are very much prevalent in storytelling, always have been, and will continue to be so if games head down the more cinematic path, so it seems a bit odd not to acknowledge the variety of them every now and then if games discuss love interests romance, flirting etc etc.

    I take your point on games not representing my life either, I wouldn't particularly want to play a game as myself, but variety is key, and, if a game has to contain a lead human character and romance, I'd just like to see some of the options in the broad spectrum of humanity not immediately removed from the table before the story has even been thought up. At that point, it's not about representation, which would be poor design to me, but about a variety giving you more storytelling options regarding something you were going to add (romance and the sex of the protagonist) anyway, which I think is a good thing.

    To be fair it's something facing film too regarding return on investment, the speech was idealistic, but that's ok, idealists can be good for a bit of a morality check every once in a while :-)
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @spacemidget75

    Good post. While developers are going to have to choose to put their money where their mouth is regarding these issues, they will also have to trust that players will buy good games regardless, and that if a game fails, it might just be because it was rubbish. Much as I'm interested in social issues etc there's plenty of games that address them that I didn't buy just because the latest stab-em-up just looked far more enjoyable to play.
    Reply +1
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @DeathMetal
    Does it bother you that art, of which you personally consider games to be, at the moment is slaved to the oft-spoken rule regarding the dollar value of aiming it at white males just so it pleases the publisher?

    If you value games as art, surely it should be about pushing limits, not just sticking with the rules we consider to be the norm at this moment in time.

    I don't think ticking boxes to avoid hurting people's feelings is a particularly good way to design a game. But then I don't think starting off by ticking the same box as everyone else creates particularly good art either.
    Reply +5
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    Over the years I've played games as an egg, a fox, hedgehog, bat, bobcat, robot, dolphin, a computer, a vampire, an alien, an ant, snake, lemmings, worms, owl, angels, demons, gods, wolves (multiple) and all manner of non-human types. Hell, I even played as a lawyer. I think I can handle playing as a protagonist human being that might only have a different sexual preference.

    /longwinded lawyerist gag, move along, nothing to see here
    Reply +18
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @Fatum
    The problem with that outlook is that games (for good or ill) are becoming more like films in their scope for storytelling. It's going to be hard to tell hundreds of stories all without touching on any kind of human relationships at all, flirting, romance, lost loves, desire, rejection, (or, mystifyingly for games, the rarity of two characters being in a healthy relationship) etc etc, which means some orientation, whether it's straight or gay, is going to be 'shoved in somebody's face' or at least be apparent on screen. I mean, how often do we see soldiers flirting with female support characters. It happens all the time, and it's perfectly natural.

    Virtually all of my favourite films have a little bit of mild flirting like that, even if it's family friendly like Star Wars or Indiana Jones. The thing is, if that's an acceptable level of 'shoving straight orientation in your face', then I don't see why the same can't be true of gay characters. If that very minor acknowledgement of straight relationships in games is seen as OK, I don't see why it can't be for others.
    Reply +4
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @diegodasilvapinto
    No, it won't. You seem to be viewing this as if one developer has the power to enforce everyone to make games that way. There will always be games that focus on straight men killing things with pretty girls as the support characters. That pretty much sums up a huge amount of fiction over the last several hundred years, and still forms the bulk of action films now. It isn't going away as that's where the money is, and there is absolutely no problem with that at all.

    I just don't see what the problem is if a few developers have a think at the start of the process and wonder if they might be able to differentiate their game by trying something else. It's not going to happen overnight, and the ones that are overtly about a political/social message first rather than being an awesome game first and foremost will still fail (and deservedly so). But what if we get a few more awesome games that try something different? isn't that worth trying? We still get the option not to buy them if they turn out to be rubbish, the crap ones will fail just like with games we aren't fans of now.
    Reply +6
  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    Bioware's treatment of this stuff is a mixed bag.

    Female soldiers in Mass effect/dragon age- handled reasonably well, as the armour and weaponry is generally practical. Aveline in DA2 is a great example of this- she's tooled for a fight with layered leather and chain armour, not a striptease.

    Age- the above is let down by having a focus on buxom cleavage even for elderly women like Wynne and Hawke's mother though, but at least the same applies to the men- they pretty much an idealised, attractive body shape for all human characters age 16+, so at least it's even-handed in its silliness.

    Sex- I really think Bioware should stop making sex the reward for a sidequest. It's just silly. While the initial steps of a relationship are often the most charged ones, I can't help but think that the best way to achieve the stated goal of showing various relationships as being totally cool is to show them as being part of the background for NPCs too- the shuttle pilot in ME3 did much more to show gay relationships in the alliance military as being utterly inconsequential to the job than having shepherd desperately fending off everyone's advances as if a special ops spaceship had the same level of emotional maturity as a sixth form common room. If the player has to have romance options for their 30+ year old protagonist, if would be great if we could be given the tools this gen to make them part of the story in a way that isn't an adolescent's idea of how they function. Gift/gift/gift/kill their enemies/sex. Awesome.
    Reply +27
  • Microsoft talks PS4 sales: "This is a marathon, not a sprint"

  • redcrayon 21/03/2014

    @Farzlepot
    While I agree with everything else in your post, the attach rate of the 360 wasn't 'leaps and bounds' ahead of the Wii, it's a popular myth that it had a low attach rate. As of last year, the 360 was around 10.25 games per console, and the Wii about 8.8.

    Now, I'm not about the defend the relative quality of those games, nor is it exactly a point in their favour the Wii has been dead for well over two years, I'm just debunking that particular misconception. Attach rate doesn't mean much for the future health of a successor when it also includes the people buying those games that you correctly say aren't indicative of future loyalty, lots of those Wii Fit etc games sold a hell of a lot of copies at the time even if they aren't likely to do so again.
    Reply +1
  • inFamous: Second Son review

  • redcrayon 20/03/2014

    @George-Roper
    While I remember the EG review mentioning that Titanfall still stuck to the same very safe weapon set of shotgun/rifle/machine gun (which is a bit unimaginative in a sci-fi game), I don't think it's quite as simple as that, it's comparing apples to oranges, they clearly aren't the same issues. I'm not a fan of shooters at all but at least Titanfall seems to add verticality and piloting giant robots and having them slaved to your command and also making sure that even noobs like me get a go at stomping around in our own personal mech. That sounds like a few things I haven't seen before, whereas Second Son sounds exactly like every other third-person, open-worldly game we've seen over the last seven years. I haven't played either game but I think that's what the reviews were getting at, Titanfall plays it far too safe where it could have pushed further, but Second Son doesn't really push at all.

    I don't know, I just think a point's difference between two games in two genres by two different reviewers isn't worth getting wound up about or calling journos out over, both sound worth playing, neither is the second coming and the only reason it's assigned importance is because they're exclusives.
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 20/03/2014

    @perakisg
    So, hang on, the metacritic score is a whole point off of EGs, and that means shenanigans? You realise that for for metacritic to give an average score of 81, there has to be a range of scores to start with, so presumably you aren't that bothered if people award it more than an 8, but are if it goes lower? If every single reviewer all said '8/10' at the same time, I'd be even more deeply suspicious of that kind of universal agreement than if, like this, there were a couple of outliers.

    We had this with Uncharted 3, then the-recent-shooter-that-shall-not-be-named, now this. Why do some people care so much about 1 point on the high end of the scale? I don't see people commenting on film review sites that something's an outrage if it scores 3.5 stars and not 4. Nor do we see anyone arguing that a 9 should be a 10, or about the relative merits of something scoring a 4 actually deserving a 5. No, it's always a 7 should be an 8, and an 8 should be a 9. I'd love to know why, it's as if either a 9 OR a ten is an acceptable testament to an amazing game, but that one point of difference is far more critical in the 7-8 zone than at any other point on the scale. Why not just kill the numbers on the end of the reviews. If enough sites did it there's the added bonus of two fingers up to metacritic for leeching off of other people's editorial and we wouldn't get boxes plastered with them.
    Reply +1
  • redcrayon 20/03/2014

    Delsin Rowe is a free-running, free-climbing, graffiti-spraying slacker kid from a Washington State Native American tribe.
    Let me guess, he's also wisecracking, edgy and has a problem with authority. What a tediously hip protagonist. I'm getting flashbacks to DmC.

    Game looks nice otherwise though, I like a bit of superheroing.
    Reply +7
  • Luftrausers review

  • redcrayon 18/03/2014

    Vita version for me. Reply +4
  • Witcher dev CD Projekt announces mobile game

  • redcrayon 18/03/2014

    @PlugMonkey
    I agree with you in that it's an interesting experiment to see what the best developers can do with mobile games. For me the problem is with licensing a brand rather than creating something new- other AAA brands that have been farmed out for mobile games include Dead Space, Deus Ex, Dragon Age and Final Fantasy, with variable results ranging from forgettable at best to downright gouging at worst. It's no wonder utter cynicism is the order of the day, the major mobile releases that are great games first are outnumbered by their IAP-business-model first brethren by a significant degree, although sure, there are gems to be found if you can be bothered to sift through the Internet and the stores.

    The best mobile games are designed from the ground up as mobile games, not a combination of recognisable brand + FTP/IAP business model with gameplay a distinctly third consideration. Still, as you say, one to keep an eye on, if anyone can make (or encourage) a mobile game that's palatable to the EG readership surely these guys have a chance. I'm just slightly concerned that the first thing we always hear in these press releases is 'business model'. It would be refreshing to hear about a game that is planned to be profitable by being awesome first for a change.
    Reply +1
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes review

  • redcrayon 18/03/2014

    Most of my favourite games of all time can be finished in under an hour. Super Mario World, Contra III, various shmups and fighting games. I'm not sure at what point the bloated cinematic modern game started defining that running time defined value for money rather than replayability, especially when that running time involves hours of cut scenes that indulge the director rather than the player.

    Now, I have no idea whether this is something I'd want to play over and over again, I'm not even much of a fan of Metal Gear or it's storytelling. But I do like the idea of being able to tackle the content in multiple ways, and I'm just making the point that I've run through short games over and over again over the last twenty-five years, whereas the vast majority of modern twelve-hour+ action games I've played once and then never touched again.

    If it's great but short, that's totally cool, we can pick it up cheap later on and know we've got a good evenings play to look forward to. Better that than a bloated mess where everyone tells you to stick it out past the first dozen hours of cut scenes that don't allow any gameplay and tutorials because it might become good later on. That's what put me off Metal Gear in the first place.
    Reply +1
  • Xbox One closing monthly US sales gap on PS4

  • redcrayon 14/03/2014

    @sloth09
    It didn't, that chart doesn't take into account download sales.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ErrenVanDuine/status/444256816642260994?screen_name=ErrenVanDuine
    Reply +1
  • As Monster Hunter turns 10, can Capcom finally make the west listen?

  • redcrayon 11/03/2014

    Long-term, I expect to see a PS4/Vita cross-play version of it. They haven't been shy in getting monster hunter onto every system under the sun, but they obviously aren't going to discuss anything until after early 2015 for MH4G on 3DS in the west. They've invested too much to think about pulling the rug out from underneath that plan now, I don't see what demanding that they sabotage their own strategy does to help. They don't have a duty to save the Vita, only to sell as many copies of MonHun as possible (so they can fund more mobile phone games. :D)

    By that point, the PS4 user base will be significantly higher globally too. I'd be very surprised if they weren't working on new monster hunter assets already.
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 11/03/2014

    @bavelb
    Yeah, it works for everyone. Having a range of skills in a group means you have the safety net of an experienced hunter who knows what to do and probably reserves of traps etc so the hunt won't fail. What does the veteran get out of it? Why, they get to show off the outfit that they skinned off of something fifty times their size! Often people are just looking for company while grinding for a particular armour piece too, if you need to kill 20 of something, newbies can be hilarious as they learn the trade the hard way :D

    My favourite one was when our team kept doing the mission requiring everyone to wear nothing but their pants and kill sea monsters. One new guy thought it was a bizarre hazing ritual (well, y'know, it was an EG team) when we kept telling him to go home and take his trousers off.

    Ah, those were the days. Can't wait for next year.
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 11/03/2014

    @Rogueywon
    What I found interesting was that when I tried playing Monster Hunter alone, years ago, I found the opening really slow and confusing too. Then I played Tri, and ever since then I have to say the best way to start is to jump straight into online and learn by watching other hunters, what they scavenge, what they bring with them on a hunt, the weapons they choose etc. Because it's solely a co-op game, I found the MH community probably the friendliest and most helpful of any MMO group I've ever joined. What was particularly hilarious was having to take an urgent phone call, moving to a safe area first, being followed by the wyvern and watching the rest of the team try to lure it away before eventually kicking me back into another safe area!

    Hopefully we'll get the opportunity to do this with a MH4 EG tavern, I'll be there on day one to show off my rudimentary veteran skills, and pass them on as they were handed down to me :-)
    Reply +5
  • Titanfall review

  • redcrayon 11/03/2014

    @alexcross
    your fool and killzone is crap just the like the others where.
    If you are going to trash comments threads by calling people fools, inferring that they might prefer a different, lesser game about space marines shooting at each other (I know it's hard to believe but other genres do exist), perhaps it would sound better if you could compose an actual sentence. Can we have a higher quality of trash talk (if we have to have it at all) please.
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 11/03/2014

    I'd really rather next-gen gaming wasn't defined by online faceshooting after the last decade or so of the industry obsession with it, but at least this seems like a good one if you like that kind of thing.

    Wake me up when something like Dark Souls 2 is available for the newer systems and the threads aren't full of people having to argue over which of the dozen available tech demos for their new toy is best. Stuff built with a bit more heart a couple of years down the line almost always makes the launch games look dated and suffering from a complete lack of imagination.

    On another note, its a bit meta having a huge set of banners regarding Titanfall surrounding the review when the quote used in the ad is 'believe the hype!' :D
    Reply +1
  • Microsoft bosses still "extremely committed" to Xbox

  • redcrayon 10/03/2014

    @ChromeMud
    I'm not really sure what your point is regarding Sony losing money, seeing as MS is also giving away free games on XBL gold these days. Those free digital games aren't exactly a huge loss as they cost nothing to give, there was no guarantee people would buy them anyway, they've already made most of their cash at launch and they keep people paying 40-50 a year for the foreseeable future as a baseline and also returning to the store on a regular basis. Guaranteed money on a regular basis is what companies like, having a massive gamble on a new release once or twice a year is what has been killing development houses off in recent years.
    Reply +2
  • Tomb Raider's reboot "exceeded profit expectations" after all

  • redcrayon 07/03/2014

    More puzzles and tomb raiding, less mindless shooting and tacked-on multiplayer.

    I don't even mind if, to stop people trading it in, they develop a series of additional DLC tombs/caverns/temples etc to explore (as long as the main game still has a decent amount of content), but for crying out loud it didn't need to be yet another shooter. Pick a theme and do it well rather than trying to be a Jack-of-all-trades game, that seems to be a curse of modern AAA game development.

    What's sad is that I'm sure this eventually crawling to decent profits will be used as justification for even less puzzles and even more combat next time.
    Reply 0
  • When will we see a gay protagonist in a triple-A game?

  • redcrayon 28/02/2014

    @StanlWurst
    Ah, fair enough. Personally I'm much the same, I prefer 2D stuff to AAA games. But if that's the way things are going, with a fair few games directors desperate to emulate cinema, I think it's worth discussing the depiction of relationships in games, as wondering if they are actually necessary was a discussion for long before that particular Pandora's box was opened. :-)
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 28/02/2014

    @StahlWurst
    It's not just sexuality though. You're advocating that even mild flirting and sexual tension and everything in between should not be in any games whatsoever unless it's optional, because presumably if you wouldn't like that in gay characters, you wouldn't be keen on it in straight ones either.

    That doesn't sound like much fun in terms of writing an interesting set of characters, and would immediately discount even family adventure films like Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park. If it's ok for male and female characters to flirt in a cinematic game, it should be ok for two men to do so. Out of interest. would you play a game that contained even such a mild, 'PG' approach to it?
    Reply +5
  • redcrayon 28/02/2014

    @dogmanstaruk
    /brofist
    Reply +1
  • redcrayon 28/02/2014

    I've always just assumed that, in games where no romantic option is implied, that the characters are pretty much asexual anyway. When I'm playing as Johnny machine-gun, I'm not thinking, 'I bet he wants to get home and sleep with his wife', I'm thinking 'where the hell is that health pack!'.

    While more cinematic games are obviously adding more relationships in, and this forces the question of why virtually all of them are between straight couples, I don't think it helps to build a game directly around a characters sexuality unless it is relevant to the story, sexuality should be incidental, shouldn't it? I don't play, for example, Uncharted because Drake is a great straight character. I'd be happy to play as him even if he's in a May-to-December romance with Sully for all I care. What would be great would be if we can get to the point where a gay character isn't directly referred to by their sexuality in the same way that their straight hero and heroine colleagues aren't, but what I think will happen is it'll get used as a marketing bullet point and that game will forever be ghettoised as a 'gay' game rather than as a cool RPG/shooter etc.
    Reply +1
  • redcrayon 28/02/2014

    To be honest, I find romance scenes in Bioware's games to be universally awkward as they have little to do with romance or developing relationships in any way, and more about ticking boxes to get a fade-to-black bedroom scene. They deserve credit for creating worlds inclusive of all tastes, and taking a stand on their reasons why, I totally agree with that, but not for actually creating believable relationships.

    Showing stuff like humour and flirtation (like in the Uncharted games) between pairs of characters of all persuasions would be a good start, developers won't get the sex and romance right without mastering that first. At the moment, it seems like some developers are approaching it by making sure they add in the sexual innuendo and cut scene as a 'reward' when they can barely sketch a believable bit of engaging dialogue that might actually signal or trigger romantic interest first. Buying people presents and killing their enemies until they sleep with you isn't exactly the way forward.

    What Bioware does do well is friendships- why not sketch out more of them, especially between gay characters, as it would be a far greater step in establishing the range of human sexuality being totally accepted everywhere in their worlds, rather than assume that just because your cast has multiple characters of a particular sexuality, gay or otherwise, that they must automatically be interested in each other. When games are better written and sexuality takes a back (or at least a bit more subtle) seat in the script of every character that should otherwise be busy trying to stop the apocalypse or whatever, rather than their unhealthy infatuation (straight or otherwise) with the player occupying a third of their dialogue, romance between couples of all persuasions will seem a lot more meaningful and less awkward.

    I know that Bioware are kinda flag wavers for having the balls to actually add gay content in an industry where it's very rare, and kudos for that. But if they stopped adding sex as the shallow, adolescent-esque end goal of a series of side quests, and actually looked at how the bickering friendships between their characters (Hawke, Varric and Aveline, or Shepherd and Garrus) are much more believable, it would really help with attitudes towards all of the games characters.

    I hope that came out ok. TL:DR: more believable flirtation/growing attraction between couples of all persuasions first.
    Reply +3
  • Now European Commission investigates free-to-play games

  • redcrayon 28/02/2014

    @Sercd
    The problem is that it's a term in popular use and it isn't going to go away, not when it's positive connotations means that the publishers love it.
    When a game is free to download, even the worst ones let you play for at least a bit before looking to gouge you, and 99% of the players do indeed play for free (my gf and I have been playing that Marvel Puzzle Quest one for free for months, don't hate me!) it's hard to say why such a title can't claim to be free-to-play.

    I agree entirely that I'd prefer us to use a more encompassing definition like 'free to download/FTD' or 'IAP game' instead, but you are never going to get a term to stick over an entrenched one that is constantly reinforced by the industry because it sounds more appealing which is why they came up with it in the first place.

    Even then I wonder if it's just semantics- these games can be so ridiculously popular if they take off, it's worth a big company throwing shitloads of them at the wall until one sticks, and they won't go away until the mobile market completely collapses in on itself and it's more profitable to chase the money elsewhere.
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 28/02/2014

    @VideoGameAddict25
    I have noticed that with a couple of the FTP games I've tried, packs of magic in-game money on sale for 60-90. Some of them have an odd idea of what the definition of 'micro' transactions is.
    Reply +23
  • Nintendo terminating Wii and DS online services

  • redcrayon 27/02/2014

    @sega
    The strategy should have been release the Wii U and continue support of the Wii alongside it. The alternative is the one employed which isn't working at all. To go back now is too late, but they shouldn't have done it in the first place. It's arrogance that they assumed everyone would want to upgrade.
    I can happily agree with you there :-)
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 27/02/2014

    @sega
    The failure of WiiU doesn't upset me at all, but I'm not sure how you think a new Mario Kart on Wii would sell any more than MK8 on WiiU- that audience has been gone for years now. Serving a market that will give them a small income from WiiU MK sales and might drive a few sales of the console they now produce instead is a better use of resources than serving a market that generates no new income at all. The Wii market has already been written off, it's no longer an option, no matter how poor the current options now look.

    The time to look at providing new software for the online Wii crowd was three years ago, not hoping that the few remaining users are somehow worth selling a single piece of software on a dead system to. It isn't a 100m-strong market for Wii games any more. If it was, Wii software sales would still be high, and they aren't.
    Reply 0
  • redcrayon 27/02/2014

    @sega
    I don't think a very large portion of those 100m Wii owners are still playing Mario Kart Wii. How exactly will it backfire if a free service on Wii is dropped shortly before the new free service on WiiU comes out?

    I wonder if it's actually more likely to drive those few remaining tenacious drivers towards the new product. If it pisses them off, then they weren't exactly going to be in a rush to buy the new one if they were still happy with playing the old one for free 6 years after launch anyway.
    Reply +3
  • redcrayon 27/02/2014

    What do people think should be an acceptable length of time for providing free online play? 5 years, 7, 10? Of the games people are most likely to still be playing, newer versions are out shortly afterwards, it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me.

    The one I really got into on the Wii was Monster Hunter Tri, and that got chopped ages ago, back in April last year.
    Reply +4
  • Win a 400 Sony Entertainment Network voucher

  • redcrayon 21/02/2014

    Fallout New Vegas: Old World Blues.

    The reason I love this piece of DLC is that it takes all the things I love about Fallout, the Americana, the mad science, the black humour, the references to the sci-fi and horror flicks of the time, and transports the player to a brand new, all-enclosed world. The campaign isn't some tacked on extra, it pretty much functions as a miniature Fallout game in it's own right, with the player awakening to find themselves with missing pieces, urgent tasks to attend to and lab after lab of crazy mixed up super-science to explore.

    All the while it mercilessly riffs on the grandiose, overblown villains of cinema serials, as the antagonist can't resist taunting you over the areas radio system while sending his latest creations to deal with you. It's being taken from Fallout NV's post-apocalyptic cowboys-and-romans-in-Vegas setting, already full of crazy ideas around every corner, and then taking everything you like from that and being stuck in a world of Quatermass TV episodes and Flash Gordon shorts. Meanwhile, the remaining NPCs are a collection of bickering scientists (who happen to be disembodied brains), who have clearly spent far too many decades arguing about whose experiment was the best while the world was rained in nuclear fire outside. You'll then get to go and see those experiments for yourself. There isn't a spare inch of the big MT crater that's wasted, everywhere there is environmental storytelling. Finally, as I emerged back into the desert, having reached an ending I was happy with, and complete with literal physical scars and changes for the experience, I said to myself as I walked over towards at camp full of chainsaw-wielding homicidal killers in centurion outfits, 'hey, they might be vicious murderers, but at least they aren't as bonkers as the people back there'. That's a glorious trend I've loved in my Fallout campaigns, as my bar for whom I am happy to deal with sinks ever lower. They might want my head on a stick, they might want to eat me, they might want to vote for me, but at least they don't want to replace my spine with a robotic one just to prove to Ted in astrophysics that it works.
    Reply 0
  • Sega secures future of Persona maker Atlus

  • redcrayon 18/02/2014

    @BBIAJ
    Ah, fair enough, I wasn't aware of that, cheers.
    Reply +2