spekkeh Comments

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  • Mario Kart 8 x Animal Crossing DLC review

  • spekkeh 24/04/2015


    I think you're right that Mario Kart 8 doesn't appreciably change your perception of the medium or give you any newfound knowledge of yourself or the world. But if you're not playing it, you are definitely missing out!
    Reply +8
  • Steam Workshop now allows modders to sell their work

  • spekkeh 24/04/2015

    So there's going to be no curation or certification but they still want to grab 75%.

    Seems fair.
    Reply +12
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and the particular joy of the British apocalypse

  • spekkeh 22/04/2015

    I was really looking forward to this game, but I really don't like [thing] (scattered audio logs) especially in the form of statics ghostly apparitions. I hope there's at least some puzzle that has to be solved somehow.

    Really well written piece. I could almost see your wife reaching for some tea and crumpets as the traffic came rushing towards you. Seems topical. Hope you didn't get hurt too much.
    Reply +1
  • Party Hard lets you slay everyone at an obnoxious shindig

  • spekkeh 22/04/2015

    At first I read 'lets you slap everyone at an obnoxious shindig'. Would've preferred that actually. Stealth killing has become so rote you know? Reply +3
  • Shovel Knight tunnels to Xbox One next week

  • spekkeh 21/04/2015

    All indie games are created parity but some more parity than others. Reply +1
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 played on omni-directional treadmill and Oculus Rift

  • spekkeh 19/04/2015

    The overall subject is too big for a comment, but try to understand why some would agree and disagree with you (and its not because one side is bad and the other good)
    Well my primary remark was an ethical one, and of course ethics are a personal thing; a matter of opinion. You don't have to share my morals. And I'm certainly not saying I expect you to.

    But I do think a lot of the misunderstanding here is that people are (logically) reasoning from the passive consumer side. They're seeing it as a negative remark on their experience, like I want to shoot people in a game just to see what happens, who are you to judge with your high horse, f*ck off, you can't look inside my head. And you know what that's totally fine. Did I shoot the shopkeeper the first time just to see what happened? Absolutely! But I'm not reasoning from that side. I'm not saying that's right or wrong per se.

    It's a bit different when you're a producer of new things. Simple case in point, my tag will tell you I regularly teach classes as one of my job responsibilities. Now I'm a very blunt person and the kind who likes to crack offensive jokes. Mostly at the expense of myself but also regularly at others, groups, etc. But in front of a class I take very special care not to exclude anyone. Don't make teasing jokes about women etc., because at that point my words have power, and they shape how people perceive the world. Maybe not everyone, heck probably almost none of the lazy bastards, but some. And that changes things.

    If that's obvious for teachers, it's even more (not less) so when you're a producer of material and you're creating new things that are put into the world. Innovation is transformative; it literally changes society. The idea that the engineer is agnostic of the world around him/her and just makes something and lets the world decide is not very in vogue anymore. Hasn't been since Oppenheimer of course, but nowadays most technical universities have ethics as a compulsory course. You need to be very careful how your product is going to change society, be mindful not just of the positive but also the negative effects it may have, and react accordingly.

    Now on the topic of games and violence, which I consider a scientific debate and not a matter of opinion, I don't believe games breed real world violence. At least not so far. Games however do affect us. You can see it in the multibillion dollar serious games industry, but also simply as a corollary of entertainment. We can act like entertainment is purely frivolous, but humans like entertainment because it makes them grow. Whether it's learning new patterns, an emotional maturing process or reflecting back on yourself and society.

    There's ample evidence that violent games desensitize us to an extent (examples abound in this comment section imo), but I don't think they lead to real world violence, rates of which have been dropping with the advent of games. However, at the same time we should be mindful that most of these studies have been performed on pre PS2 era games (Sonic and the like), not on the more realistic contemporary ones, and crucially with an important disconnect between a controller and an on-screen avatar. We don't know what happens if we put people in simulators like the Omni because they didn't exist before, it's a new scientific question. We do know that simulators are used to train people effectively, so at the least there's precedence that should make us very prudent.

    Now we have the manufacturer--again it's not a consumer making a youtube video, it's the producer willfully producing a message--who throws out all prudence out of the window and flirts with the potential negative transformative effect of their machine. Again note that it doesn't mean you or me should be negatively impacted from the device, 99% won't, but we're talking societal scale here. At best this is ignorant of the Omni producer, anything else and it's just blatant immoral.
    Reply 0
  • spekkeh 19/04/2015

    @kimchibaka pardon my gross generalization. Everyone is different of course. I took his remark to mean classic autism, and in general these people show more difficulties with empathy (though could be just a factor of social communication). But just because on average autism means lowered cognitive functioning, it doesn't preclude savants either of course. And I should've not responded to that to begin with. Reply 0
  • spekkeh 17/04/2015

    @atothewest haha couldn't have said it better Reply -1
  • spekkeh 17/04/2015


    My main concern is with using this bit as promotional material, much like the Hatred game, I consider that not something we should encourage if we hold our hobby/work dear. Yes you can kill innocents in GTAV as the game revolves around the feeling of autonomy, but they don't plaster it on the box, because it's not really what the game is about and it would be pretty tacky. NEW: Kill innocents!!! (I know and loved GTA1 and 2 where this was a big feature, but I also consider it childish now that I grew up). I would like to think these are more my own morals, rather than someone else's perception, but sure they're also partly a sociocultural construct (so perceptions of others play a part).

    In addition to that I have some misgivings about the technology. Do we need to be fully immersed, holding an actual replica gun while doing immoral things? And if so, what does this say about why we enjoy the game? I thought it was supposed to be a fantasy. Are we playing it for catharsis or mimesis? For entertainment or training? I think it should be entertainment, in which case the fourth wall in this kind of material is important to uphold.
    Reply +1
  • spekkeh 17/04/2015

    Do you really have this kind of empathy for pixels? It's just a game and it doesn't reflect straight back into reality.
    Every game reflects back to reality. Nearly everyone has empathy for pixels, see e.g. http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/04/05/scan.nsv027
    (also autistic would mean I would have less empathy, also yes not cool)
    No you're not going to go straight out and kill people in real life if you do it in a game, I'm not at all saying that. Just like playing a flight simulator does not make you go out and fly a plane. But it does make you feel like a small bit of a pilot for an ephemeral moment, that's what they do. Also again I'm not saying GTA is a murder simulator, GTA is about ulterior stuff (and killing, though penalizing murder of innocents) I'm saying this brief videoclip makes it look like it.
    Reply 0
  • spekkeh 17/04/2015


    Marketing is designed to sell things.

    This clip makes me want to buy the product.
    Sure I'm not saying it's not effective, I'm saying it's awful. They could also have featured a 2 minute clip of bouncing tits. We all know that as men our restraints lower and our wallets become miraculously untied from those, but it's still an unprofessional image for a company. That's what I'm trying to say. I would very much like to play GTAV in this setup. This clip, eehhhhh.
    Reply -6
  • spekkeh 17/04/2015

    GTA V isn't a 'murder simulator'.
    GTA V the game isn't. The marketing videoclip of Virtuix Omni where you inhabit the epistemic frame of the person pulling the trigger and are actually pulling the trigger on a prop is.

    Also, you seem to be under the impression that (a) GTA games are for kids (b) that any game involving killing people is for kids.
    People enticed by the idea of living this first person are kids of all ages.
    Reply -19
  • spekkeh 17/04/2015

    Awful. Which professional company seriously markets itself with a murder simulator. Hey kids you too can fully immerse yourself while shooting up innocent shop keepers. The fourth wall is important in engaging with violent media.

    edit: seems like people are so defensive about their hobby they like to jump to conclusions. I'm not calling GTA a murder simulator, I'm calling the setup in the short videoclip a murder simulator, a very poor form shock advertisement.
    Reply -27
  • Video: Hands-on with Mario Kart 8's next DLC Pack

  • spekkeh 16/04/2015

    Can't wait to read the review when I'm done playing the DLC.
    So 2016 somewhere.
    Reply +5
  • Mario Kart 8 x Animal Crossing DLC track list and footage

  • spekkeh 15/04/2015

    Looks like what might be gaming's best OST just got a bit better too.

    Reply +22
  • spekkeh 15/04/2015

    And two F-Zero tracks?! A new F-Zero game is sounding more and more likely at this point.
    Don't you mean less? Mario Kart has pretty much subsumed all of F-Zero at this point. 200CC, boostpads, twisting antigrav tracks... But with a much more marketable IP attached to it.

    edit: I can see them leading with F-Zero on the new console though, in which case Mario Kart could come later. Obviously they're keeping the IP alive.
    Reply +16
  • What made Super Mario 64 so special?

  • spekkeh 12/04/2015

    Wonderful piece. Also hits the nail on the head to me why Nintendo did not 'trim excess fat' (as many reviewers said) when they went back to level select screens in Galaxy 2 and afterwards, but took away a part of our kinetic expression. Super Mario 3D World, while still great, is much more structured and subsequently gives much less opportunity for exploration and playful expression (not in the least because of the time limit). I would love for Nintendo to go back to the ideas of 64. Reply +22
  • Mario Kart 8 comparison footage shows off 200cc speed

  • spekkeh 09/04/2015

    @PirateRoberts agreed but that's not at all what's happening here though. This game was 2014 GOTY even if you don't download the free 200cc boost. In fact it's these updates that keep me playing the game for years to come. Great value. Reply +39
  • The Wii U games confirmed for release in 2015

  • spekkeh 07/04/2015

    Bagging for sure: Splatoon, Xenoblade, Star Fox
    Likely: Mario Maker, Fatal Frame, Affordable Space Adventures, Yoshi
    Maybe: Art Academy

    Not bad.jpg
    Reply +15
  • Gold Mario Amiibo going for 100 each on eBay

  • spekkeh 07/04/2015

    @imagonnawin Erm no this continued frenzy over Amiibos is exactly what Nintendo wants. If they released enough Amiibos for everyone, this Amiibo thing would be dead by the end of next month. Now not only can they milk it for years to come, it's all Nintendo fans are talking about, and even non Nintendo fans are F5ing Amazon at 2am on random moments to get some of those Nintendo goodies. Who cares about a barren release schedule in between Splatoon and Xenoblade. Please understand, we're releasing a special batch in August, preorder quick. Reply 0
  • Square Enix tones down Mobius Final Fantasy's "too sexy" leading man

  • spekkeh 07/04/2015

    Kitase said that there's a chance the original outfit will be reinstated if there's enough demand for it.
    Sure smells like some drummed up controversy as advertisement in the morning.
    Reply +7
  • Chris Donlan on: Bloodborne, Montauk, and travels beyond genre

  • spekkeh 04/04/2015

    This rings pretty true. We should get away from genres and back to topics as soon as possible. Whenever I teach my classes I find that invariably, at least initially, the hardcore gamers tend to make the worst games. Absolutely the worst. They come in with a large set of preconceived notions of what rules and dynamics games within a certain genre should adhere to. And then they start iterating, copying stuff they know. Occasionally I get people from very different studies like Chemistry or Anthropology with no apparent gaming background who seem to by happenstance stumble into my class and then come up with these crazy original ideas, because they're unshackled by preconceptions. As much of theory I can pour into my students and test through exams, I find that after three full courses if they just have opened their mind to the subject, I'm the most satisfied I can be.

    The other day on NeoGAF I think someone asked the question 'which game that you had always dreamed of during the tech-constrained 8-bit days, have they finally made with new technology'. And I thought about it for a time but it struck me as an odd question. The games I dreamed of during that day were the games in front of me. The constraints made you fill in the gaps, made you dream about what could be. And so something like Zelda for the NES for me was a digital game about finding triforce pieces, as well as an extended globetrotting epic going deep into the catacombs of Egypt and other places in my dreams. And sure most of that is childhood wonder that you can never replicate, but part of me wonders whether that failure to replicate the dreams is not due to the system fetish in our game development. With crafting and xp and levels and all the other things we've come to expect that make an experience 'deep'. Yes software is clockwork and predictable, but the initial excitement was that we could put all that clockwork away under the hood, where we wouldn't notice it. Now it's back in the open.

    And speaking of clockwork, a printed book is predictable even more so, forever immutable. Games should be better at this kind of stuff. Gameplay is a dialogue between the game designer and the player, a coconstructed fiction. We need to start subverting AND giving more leeway to the player.
    Reply +5
  • Yoshi Woolly World gets release date, wooly Amiibo

  • spekkeh 02/04/2015

    I'm so glad I have a little boy so I can pretend I'm buying all of these for him.

    Also happy that the game looks like a decent challenge now, as I was a bit apprehensive it would be too easy.
    Reply +4
  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U will not launch in 2015

  • spekkeh 27/03/2015

    It doesn't make much sense business wise. The Wii U has a tiny userbase. Making the best Zelda you can make means more development costs for no returns, and a development team that's not going to be ready for the next console. Business logic would dictate rushing this out of the gate and keeping your great ideas for the next Zelda, when you do have a big following.

    I very much fear that the game not showing up at E3 means that it won't be delayed by just a few months but at least a year and, because it makes even less sense to stall the largest release to the very end of the console's life, indicates a Twilight Princess scenario, where it will be a cross gen game.
    Reply -13
  • spekkeh 27/03/2015

    Not completely unexpected, but still

    Reply +2
  • EA defends Fifa Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges

  • spekkeh 25/03/2015

    Well we can't have someone else benefiting from our racket now can we. Reply +23
  • Dragon Age Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon review

  • spekkeh 25/03/2015

    @TomPhillipsEG Well during my playthrough I had to go back to the Hinterlands multiple times to farm Power in order to get into some of the more Power-hungry zones. It took a while before I realized my mistake: that I should be closing all the rifts and setting up the camp sites I encountered. I had a surplus of power since, but the reason I didn't do it in the first place is because I'm incredibly allergic to checkbox game design; essentially the quest markers you said you can ignore (you can't really). Reply +3
  • spekkeh 25/03/2015

    You'll finish the main story with a surplus of power unless you have a real aversion to exploring
    Seems like the author or creative director Mike Laidlaw is suffering from somewhat of a miscalibration, doing the same thing over and over again (e.g. setting up 200 camp sites, defeating yet another groups of bandits or closing the upteenth rift)--the things your get power from--is inimical to exploring. You're not discovering something new, you're discovering something old. Yes it has pretty scenery, but without a compelling (i.e. meaningful) story, that's all it has going for it.
    Reply +9
  • First screenshots of Dragon Age: Inquisition single-player DLC

  • spekkeh 23/03/2015

    I'm somewhat positively surprised their first singleplayer DLC isn't a timer removal. Reply -4
  • Nintendo might be making the most exciting online shooter in years

  • spekkeh 23/03/2015

    @vert1go That doesn't seem very contradictory. If it has been a flop, any good use is easily 'the best use since launch'. Reply +18
  • spekkeh 23/03/2015

    This is fast becoming my most anticipated game this side of MGS5. I have not heard a single person that tried it who wasn't excited about how much fun it was (after a few minutes of getting used to the controls). Reply +13
  • Batman: Arkham Knight delayed by a few weeks

  • spekkeh 23/03/2015

    Still not really sure what this game does different from the previous ones that I should be excited about it. Especially considering I thought the openness of Arkham City diluted the concept. It looks nice and has that oomph though, I have to give em that.

    (neg away)
    Reply +5
  • The best PS4 games

  • spekkeh 22/03/2015

    Awful list. FEZ, Spelunky and Hotline Miami (1!) have no place on a best of PS4 list. (Destiny neither but for different reasons). GTA5 is somewhat dubious too. There's a reason Metroid Prime Trilogy isn't on the Wii U list either. It's a port from a previous gen, not even a remaster.

    In their place you could have easily put Never Alone or Life is Strange. DAI over Ground Zeroes or Shadow of Mordor? What changed from your own GOTY list just two months ago?
    Reply +10
  • World Bank exec discovers son spent $4500 on FIFA packs

  • spekkeh 18/03/2015


    where were the parents? where was the parents common sense to monitor their child's activity and the bank activity...as parents!

    Sick and tired of ignorant parents blaming console platforms for their ignorance when it comes to instances like this.The kid clearly knew exactly what he was doing, and if you can have $4,500 going out of your bank account or onto a credit card and you do not notice until after its gone, you are a failure as a human being.

    The parents should have paid more attention.They should have researched the game more before giving the console and it to their child. Fault is theirs and theirs alone.
    You sound like you do not have a very busy, high paying job. The 4500 didn't all disappear at once, but in increments. If you have hundreds of transactions a month you just kind of look at grand totals, especially if you're busy moving. He noticed when it didn't add up.
    Reply +4
  • spekkeh 18/03/2015

    Lots of people predictably jumping to the defense of the platform holder, ostensibly without having read the full article. It's obvious these companies are preying on addiction-prone, ignorant or dumb people. Sure they don't have to idiot proof everything (though who knows about the US), but also, you know, just don't be a fucking predator. He's right to call out their morals. Reply +7
  • A new, Rare-approved Banjo-Kazooie game was shown off at the weekend

  • spekkeh 16/03/2015

    Heh that's a really cool social dynamic. Like a rollercoaster. Could imagine it being a great way to get an audience fired up. Reply +2
  • Watch The Last of Us star Ashley Johnson's emotional BAFTA speech

  • spekkeh 13/03/2015

    Well who doesn't want to be Ellie Gibson.

    Watched the show live, very well done. Well up until the very last award, what a farce man. The sponsors showing up right after didn't help their case either.
    Reply +10
  • Discworld author Terry Pratchett dies aged 66

  • spekkeh 12/03/2015

    Boy I remember back in 2002 thinking 'ye gods, this thing is still running?', and it still is!
    Reply +2
  • spekkeh 12/03/2015

    Bugger. Robin Williams was one thing, but today was the day humour truly died for me. And to some extent my youth at that. Interesting that they both have a prolific daughter in gaming. I don't really identify with anyone, but Discworld was as close to my heart in my teenage years as anything, and the only books I've never been able to throw away. Time for a reread I reckon. Does the Discworld MUD still exist? Reply +6
  • Uncharted 4 delayed to spring 2016

  • spekkeh 11/03/2015

    Poor Squeenix. Now it's probably going up against Tomb Raider again. Reply +1
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number review

  • spekkeh 10/03/2015


    Seems like you just made that up to fit your complaint
    Erm, no, let me cite Oli Welsh just four weeks ago

    [on recommended] - For example, a flawed game that we love for its originality and creativity might be Recommended, while a technically accomplished but derivative game might not be.

    [on no recommendation] - This is where you'd find, for example, a sports game that provides no meaningful advance on last year's model

    [on dropping scores in relation to metacritic] - The result has been conservatism in mainstream game design and a stifling of variety in critical voices. In short: it's meant less interesting and innovative games.

    So we felt it was the right thing to do to stop feeding this system. It's not the reason we decided to drop scores, but it is an important benefit of the move.
    Now, obviously Hotline Miami is still relatively so unique that it might still warrant a look, but if the author is right that it's like Portal 2 where the added features sour the initial concept, then this seems to me to be the quintessential "first one is essential, second one just for the fans" type of game.
    Reply +1
  • spekkeh 10/03/2015

    Sorry to be that guy (that we thought got rid off due to the recommendation system). But this does not read like a recommended.

    Hotline Miami 2 is definitely to be recommended. It's the sequel that everyone expected, perhaps
    Wasn't the idea of the recommended system to get away from the 'it ticks all the boxes' sequels? To reward (good) innovation over derivation? If not, might as well have stayed with the scoring system. I guess some people might like it, slap an eight on it.
    Reply +9
  • Editor's blog: We've revised our editorial policy

  • spekkeh 09/03/2015

    So because there weren't enough special editions, we're going to crowdfund the ones that weren't commercially viable. Rightey-o. I'm sure there's a big audience. Alas. Reply +2
  • The Witcher 3 was going to include ice-skating - but it was cut

  • spekkeh 07/03/2015

    introducing new game mechanics at the end of the game was quite wonky
    I dunno, they probably had their reasons, but for me this often separates good games from grindy ones.
    Reply +3
  • The IGF 2015 winners and indies to look out for are...

  • spekkeh 05/03/2015

    Awesome. As always, can't wait to try them out. Close your sounds fascinating (even though the art looks suspicially a bit like Thirty flights..).
    Too bad Bounden didn't win, but these sound equally deserving.
    Reply -1
  • Shadow of Mordor does simply win GDC 2015 Game of the Year

  • spekkeh 05/03/2015

    I can get behind this. It wasn't my GOTY (I believe it came in fourth or fifth), but it was the only game that meaningfully innovated in a major AAA trend, making the open world sandbox genre actually sandbox. As such I can see why a majority of the game developers would vote for this.

    At least it makes a lot more sense than DAI winning the DICE award.
    Reply +16
  • Future Assassin's Creed games will have "more robust modern day" than Unity

  • spekkeh 27/02/2015

    600 Years... That's... a lot of chickens that need to be plucked for our collectibles.

    Reply +8
  • University dives into the physics of Assassin's Creed's haystacks

  • spekkeh 25/02/2015

    Neat idea to have a mock journal for students. Note to the editor: this article isn't as nice as the Mario one though. Reply +7
  • Hunger Games film studio Lionsgate announces Telltale Games partnership

  • spekkeh 24/02/2015

    Interesting, it's probably a format that could do well with the teen girl demographic too (though take that stereotyping with a grain of salt) and we've already seen the possibilities for licensing. Here's hoping the investment means they can shake up the formula (let alone the engine) a bit though. Reply +1
  • Video: The Best Sex I've Ever Had (In Games)

  • spekkeh 23/02/2015

    Fun video, well made too, I should watch these more often. Since we're talking about Aoife's accent, as a non-native speaker I have to say her accent weirds me out a bit; like it's Irish but also it isn't. I think I'd prefer her to embrace the Irish. So much of the video was about coming out anyway. Then again I'm not one to talk about weird accents wish my heffy cloggy intonashion. Reply +3