thisisatempaccount Comments

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  • Here's what Monster Hunter World's Day One microtransaction prices look like

  • thisisatempaccount 27/01/2018

    In my opinion, gestures are not cosmetic. They're a means of communicating with your party and therefore a gameplay feature. Reply 0
  • One of the original Splatoon's best maps is coming to the sequel this Saturday

  • thisisatempaccount 14/09/2017

    Kelp Dome is indeed a great one. But Saltspray Rig remains my true love. Reply 0
  • Steam update helps you discover games you're interested in

  • thisisatempaccount 08/11/2016

    This is actually a cool idea. I kind of liked the idea of the discovery queue, but I made zero use of it because any game I was slightly interested in I either had to 'follow' or 'add to my wishlist'. I didn't want to do either of those things, so Steam never 'learned' the types of games I was interested in and only ever showed me things that were popular. Reply 0
  • Mafia 3 review

  • thisisatempaccount 12/10/2016

    It sounds like around 8 hours of interesting story marred by thirty hours of open world icon em up stodge. That's not a trade I'd usually take, but I really want to try it at least. The game genuinely seems to have been made with a lot of ambition and care.

    This review makes me think of Spec Ops: The Line. I didn't care much for that game's generic shooting, or even ultimately it's muddled story, but I really appreciated the fact that it was a reasonably high-budget title attempting to do something genuinely different. Too many games play it safe these days, especially those coming out of the big publishing houses.
    Reply 0
  • What happened to Japan's once bountiful vintage game stores?

  • thisisatempaccount 08/10/2016

    I really don't understand this website sometimes. The broad message in most of the editorial seems to be that games are for everyone; that nobody gets to gate-keep our hobby, that where barricades that have been thrown up they must be pulled down, that the words 'casual', 'hardcore', 'master race' and 'peasant' must be stricken from the lexicon. All valid arguments, up to a point.

    But then we get articles like these, with the implicit message that you'll never *really* get what it means to love games unless you (or your employer) have paid for a flight to the other side of the planet, so you can spend hour after hour, that most could ill afford not to spend working for their daily crust, trawling obscure, artisanal retailers for an 'authentic' experience.

    The tone of many gaming sites can be absolutely acid when it comes to depicting the gamer as an unthinking consumerist, a jealous fetishist, sneering at the normies outside the walls of his parents' basement, desperate that nobody comes to take his toys away. But then this - apparently if that fetishisation is rarified to the nth degree, it wraps back around again to being cool and valid?

    Even more puzzlingly, the author seems to be moaning (and quoting other people just like him moaning) that his favourite Oriental hotspots are being 'scoured clean' by the baka gaijin Westerners.. without even a shred of self-awareness that he constitutes exactly a member of the demographic who has both been doing the scouring, and telling everyone else how great it is. Who perpetuated the myth of the cool and sexy electric city? Who did all those write ups of visits to maid cafes (expensed to the publisher, natch?) Um, it couldn't have been Western gaming and tech journalists, could it?

    For me the real message of the article is that the internet has democratised this sector of the hobby. The average gamer does not have the privilege of a cool jet-setting career lifestyle that lets them casually rock into Akihabara in the middle of the working week, to spend days in pursuit of a more authentic gaming experience. But now thanks to ebay that barricade has been pulled down. Sorry, but if EG's line is that this is somehow a bad thing, I really think they could use a dose of perspective.
    Reply 0
  • Worms WMD review

  • thisisatempaccount 30/08/2016

    Armageddon this! Reply 0
  • Call of Duty 2 frame-rates massively improved on Xbox One

  • thisisatempaccount 24/08/2016

    Well. I mean. You'd bloody well hope so, wouldn't you? Reply -1
  • Japan's Prime Minister just rocked up to the Olympics dressed as Mario

  • thisisatempaccount 22/08/2016

    Nintendo may not have won e3 in a while, but at least they can say they won the most recent Olympics! Reply -4
  • No Man's Sky is a fine example of one type of game (but many people were expecting another)

  • thisisatempaccount 20/08/2016

    No mention of the games press' collective role in this mess, then? Who's responsible for peoples' 'expectations'?

    It seems to me that journalists work themselves up into a frenzy of hype every time a big, well-marketed game comes along. Enormous, irrepressible, inescapable hype: the kind of hype that maybe only one in a hundred such games could ever hope to live up to.

    A game like No Man's Sky Might be an adjective game - I don't know, it sounds like windy guff to me - but I do know that vastly more 'adjectives' were expended in its pre-release orgy of positive press. And all of them were superlatives.

    Whether it's because games sites are just manned by innocent, overly excitable souls, bless them, or whether it's because this cycle has been cynically established as the one that provides maximised benefit to both them and the industry they feed off of - at the expense of the consumers who get caught up in the maelstrom of hyperbole, and the poor sods at the end of customer support email addresses and managing forums who have to deal with the backlash - well, I'll not speculate. Further, that is.

    But I'm not surprised to see another article of this type coming out shifting the blame of inflated expectations from the salesmen to people who swallowed the pitch.

    "Know what you want, and know what you're getting into."

    Of course this is sensible advice. But if what we, as purchasers, were 'getting into' was accurately conveyed by the people holding the information - i.e. the developers - and the people mediating and communicating that information - you guys with the websites - then I suspect a non-trivial number of people would know that what they wanted wasn't, in fact, to hand over their money for a copy of No Man's Sky.

    So condescending, blame-shifting articles like this aren't really very fair.
    Reply +4
  • Metroid Prime Federation Force review

  • thisisatempaccount 19/08/2016

    A strange direction to take the series in, but I'm not going to throw a strop at Nintendo for experimenting. Remember that the Prime series itself also presented a rather fundamental departure from a core tenet of its 2D predecessors. There were histrionics then, too, as there were with Windwaker's move to cel shaded goodness. But in those cases Nintendo was right and the fanbase, for all its fury, was wrong. Those games stand up as some of the best of all time (although I'm not trying to suggest Federation Force comes anywhere close to that.)

    Having said that, I kind of agree with Ubergine. They wouldn't be fighting against fan expectation if this wasn't a Metroid game, and instead people would probably be congratulating them on taking a risk with a new intellectual property. It would've garnered less attention, but more of it would've been positive. From a marketing perspective, do those things balance out? What would be the ultimate effect on the bottom line? I have no idea.

    In short: people loved Splatoon, but I'm sceptical that F Zero: Paintball would have been a marketing success.

    In any case, not sure what to make of the review. A 'competent, enjoyable co-op experience' is encouraging, and what I'd expect from Next Level Games, but this talk of a missing spark makes me apprehensive - there's so many games to choose from now, and little time for filler. I might pick up a copy if I can find some willing comrades in arms.
    Reply +9
  • Blizzard changes Overwatch "gg ez" messages into something very different

  • thisisatempaccount 18/08/2016

    Not sure how I feel about this. I don't really like Blizzard locking down voice comms as if they know what's best for people; it seems overbearing and control freakish to me. On the other hand I always think the option to deal with abusive behaviour should be there in any online game and the player should have a full suite of tools to prevent exposure to it. That includes muting and reporting individuals, as well as stuff like the client automatically filtering out swear words and epithets for those who don't want to see them.

    I think the best thing would be if games provided optional word filters, and those filters actually hid the GG EZ altogether. Ideally you let the player add or remove whatever they want to or from the filter. This would help prevent abusers finding easy workarounds, such just typing 'gege easy' instead of gg ez. Empower the player; let them feel like they know what's best for themselves, not you.

    Having these substitutes is a cute idea that will get Blizzard a bit more press exposure (as if they needed it), but I don't agree with Jeffrey that they'll be less irritating to receive. Over time everyone will be so exposed to every permutation of the word filter that they'll know when someone has typed 'gg ez', and the intent behind it, and the effect of reading the substitute will be exactly the same, if not worse.
    Reply +1
  • Putting the magic back into magic in fantasy games

  • thisisatempaccount 13/08/2016

    Some great comments so far on a great article. I'd also like to add that the class system and the need to maintain balance between magic-using and non-magic-using classes works against games, electronic and otherwise.

    Compare the rulesets for, say, 2nd edition AD&D and 4th edition. In 2nd edition, mages start out horrendously weak. They have a limited arsenal of unimpressive spells, and can only cast a couple of them per day! But around by the time they reach level 5 they are the equal of a warrior, and by the time they reach 10, they are miles ahead. The warrior meanwhile is progressing at a steady rate in keeping with the monsters he faces. This is known as the 'linear warriors, quadratic wizards' rule.

    In 4th edition, the designers of D&D decided to even out the power curves of all character classes. Additionally, they gave all classes spell-like abilities, really spells by any other name, which allowed them to do things like high bursts of single-target damage, AoE damage, rapid mobility across the battlefield and so on, which were (generally) the preserve of magic users in previous editions of the game.

    It's hard to argue with this decision too much, as it's more equitable for players, who don't have to suffer the grass is greener feeling of watching a class rocket away from them in the power stakes, and also makes designing campaigns a lot less of a headache for DMs due to less variance in overall party power. But an unintended consequence was that magic suddenly felt a lot less magical. Everything felt a lot more 'videogamey', unique spells with cool out-of-combat utility became rarer, and the flow of the game began to feel a lot more focused on encounters because now everything was bent towards them (some people even complained of 4th ed that it was a pen-and-paper MMO).

    Now you might rightly pull me up here and point out that these perhaps are separate issues. But for some reason they get conflated in my mind. I think my point is that a truly 'magical' magic system is inherently 'cruft'-y, in that it stands outside of the world's established rules and specifically exists to break them - and that if you bend your system towards the game not being broken, because that might frustrate or upset someone, well, that's good for player experience, but it kind of precludes the idea that magic can be something awesome and unique as opposed to another well-balanced way of outputting DPS, or healing or whatever.
    Reply +4
  • Jelly Deals roundup: A Link Between Worlds, Uncharted 4, Street Fighter 5 and more

  • thisisatempaccount 30/07/2016

    If there's anyone looking at this guff and wondering where they might actually save some decent money, here are some better sites I would recommend:

    savygamer (dot) co (dot) uk
    hotukdeals (dot) com
    isthereanydeal (dot) com
    Reply +4
  • Has Steam Greenlight had its day?

  • thisisatempaccount 16/07/2016

    @Rogueywon Good points. Valve are in a difficult situation with this, because the solution to the problem is, paradoxically, a problem to which Greenlight was intended to be a solution.

    The way Steam used to work is that it was curated by Valve. There was a lot of back and forth to getting a game on Steam back then, a lot of waiting and hoping, with more preference shown to successful publishers and independent developers who already had a proven track record.

    Some indie developers felt excluded by this system. They would critique it in their blogs and on Twitter, usually pointing to bad games and saying 'why are these bad games allowed through the trickle of Valve releases, while good [i.e. my] games miss out?'

    Sympathetic games sites would then pick up the story, usually painting Valve as an impassive and uncaring monolith that was either too greedy and profit-driven to take a chance on bold games that would push the medium forward, or too incompetent to see the vast profits running through its fingers by not bringing their favourite indies into the fold.

    So Valve develops Greenlight and - over time - the trickle of Steam releases becomes an indie-embracing flood. Race The Sun is released on Steam! Hurrah. Fairness and balance is restored to the gaming universe once more.

    But the obvious flipside to the 'not enough games' side of the coin is the 'too many games' side of the coin. It was barely days before the same devs and sites who had been criticising Valve were now doing so again, but for the opposite reason.

    Because it turned out the indies didn't want a truly universal Steam where every underdog and their underdog-dog could have a shot at glory. What they had really wanted was THEIR games on Steam, and their friends' games on Steam, and then the drawbridge to be very quickly pulled back up behind them so they didn't have an effectively infinite amount of competition on their lucrative sales platform.

    I'm not saying that Valve have got this right. They clearly haven't solved the problem - but then, it's kind of an impossible problem to solve? There could stand to be less games on Steam, that much is certain. The system as it stands is kind of broken. But look at it from their perspective - if you go back to curation, the second someone with good games media and social media reach is left outside the pen, everyone will be up in arms again and you'll be doing business in the headwind of a blizzard of negative publicity.

    If this solution is crappy, that's because it reflects how the market - and really, how the world - is crappy. At least it's equitable and everyone gets their shot, no matter how remote that shot actually is.
    Reply +30
  • BoxBoxBoy! release date set this month

  • thisisatempaccount 15/06/2016

    Sweet! I've been waiting for a BoxBoy discount for ages, cheap git that I am. Some other pretty good discounts on the eShop at moment too. Reply 0
  • Deus Ex Mankind Divided gets new online challenge mode, microtransactions

  • thisisatempaccount 08/06/2016

    The original Deus Ex's storyline gave us a glimpse of a dark and often depressing future, where an unsuspecting consumerist society was preyed upon by greedy corporations abusing the relentless advance of technology.

    Clearly, Eidos Montreal have taken that vision to heart. They have embedded it in every facet of the game, not just the setting and the mechanics, but even the way the game is paid for. I for one applaud their noble attempt to open our eyes, through the use of the humble microtransaction, to the existence of the krypto-corporate-Freemason reptileocracy that has ensnared us all.
    Reply +6
  • Homefront: The Revolution review

  • thisisatempaccount 17/05/2016

    [Scene: Paddy's Pub, ground floor interior. Dust and rubble cover everything. Dee, Dennis and Mac are peering through the cracks between the heavily boarded windows. Dennis is wearing inexpicably spotless military officer fatigues. Mac is wearing a trench coat which has been badly spray-painted with a camoflague effect.]

    Dennis: I think they're coming over here.
    Mac: Ok, here's the plan. I'm gonna kick the door open, come out blasting. I'll do a perfect John Woo dive behind that pickup, catching one guy between the eyes with my last bullet. Then I'll vault the back of it, deliver a spinning roundhouse to the back of the next guy's head, seamlessly transition into a Mongolian neck snap, then I'll grab his gun and shoot the last guy with it.
    Dennis: Ok. And what am I doing during all of this?
    Mac [hands Dennis a camera]: Recording it.
    Dennis: I'm on board with the not going outside and confronting the murderous gunmen part, but I dunno man. I don't really feel like my contribution here is fittingly glamorous for a man of my rank.
    Mac: All right, first of all, you're aware you're not an actual officer right?
    Dennis: I'm awaiting commission, yes -
    Mac: Second, not 'fittingly glamorous'? This isn't a movie Dennis! These are real, ruthless killers out there, coming to pillage our riches and despoil our womenfolk.
    Dennis: Well I don't see what we have to worry about then. It's not like we have shit worth pillaging or women worth despoiling in here.
    Dee: RIGHT here guys.
    Mac: That's exactly my point Dennis! They get in here and see we already drank the place dry months back, they're going to be mad - and horny - as hell!
    Dennis: Oh my God.
    Mac: You see now?
    Dennis: I did not have being despoiled on my to-do list for today.
    Dee: Guys-
    Mac: Well I mean - you don't have to worry about that.
    Dennis: What are you talking about?
    Mac: Well. obviously, if anyone's getting despoiled here it's going to be me.
    Dee: Guys!
    Dennis: Are you kidding me?
    Mac: I am absolutely not kidding you.
    Dennis: You really think anyone's going to want to despoil that skinny piece of brisket you're packing back there?
    Mac: Skinny? We're all skinny Dennis! We haven't eaten in four days! That doesn't mean these guys aren't going to be lining up to despoil all over my face.
    Dennis [sneering]: You're delusional.

    [A huge explosion. The walls shake. Dust and smoke blow in through the cracks around the boarded windows.]

    Frank [from off screen]: HEYOOO!

    [Frank, covered in soot and carrying a spent RPG, enters from the floor above.]

    Frank: Did you SEE that shit!?
    Dee [looking unwell]: I kind of wish I hadn't.
    Mac [mumbling]: My plan would have been more efficient. And a lot cooler.
    Frank [pointing his finger]: You ungrateful son of a -
    Dennis [interposing]: I think what my unattractive friend here is trying to say is, good job Frank. You certainly saved our asses. Mine quite literally.
    Frank: I blew those Norks to kingdom come!
    Dennis: WOAH WOAH WOAH
    Mac: HEY NOW!
    Dee: Frank!
    Frank: What? What?!
    Dennis: You can't call them 'Norks', man!
    Mac: That's racist as hell!
    Frank: Racist! I'm not a racist! I'm a patriot.
    Dee: You changed your citizenship to Vietnamese to avoid paying state income tax.
    Frank: That was a long time ago Deandre. Things were different back then.
    Dee: It was three months after we were invaded!
    Frank: Well what am I gonna call them then? Gooks?
    All: No!
    Frank: Slant-eyes?
    All: NO!!
    Dennis: Look - we can discuss this later, Frank. Right now we need you to go into the alley out back and lay down some fresh caltrops.
    Frank: I'm not doing that! That's Charlie work!
    Mac: Yeah, but ever since Charlie went collaborator because they promised to teach him to read, we've had no one making sure nobody's about to sneak in and -

    [Charlie bursts in through the back door. He is wearing a bomb jacket and has a North Korean flag tied around his head.]


    [Room explodes]

    Reply +2
  • Why Zangief is the worst character in Street Fighter 5

  • thisisatempaccount 16/05/2016

    So this is why Snake Eyez has been dodging Wednesday Night Fights!! Reply +1
  • Nine ways the the 8-bit era made gaming what it is today

  • thisisatempaccount 15/05/2016

    "Nine ways the the 8-bit era made gaming what it is today"

    Number 5 will shock you!
    Reply +8
  • The first fandom

  • thisisatempaccount 14/05/2016

    @Sendlinger Well you see, Richard III was found buried beneath a car park in Leicester, which reminds me of the summer I spent on the dole playing Crusader Kings II, having dropped out of my creative writing course at UEA... er, my first module was on Kefka, who wrote something interesting about metamorphosis, which reminds me that really, we're all just human cockroaches at the grand cosmic scale ... that Stellaris looks pretty interesting... can I have my £200 yet please Eurogamer? [no - ed.] Reply +3
  • In honour of Tom Hanks' Desert Island Discs, here is a belated piece about his typewriter app

  • thisisatempaccount 13/05/2016

    Guys, if you want the link to videogames, think about it from this angle: a young boy, trapped inside a grown man's body...

    Tom Hanks is the original gamer! ;)
    Reply +1
  • Watch: Let's Play Star Fox 64

  • thisisatempaccount 23/04/2016

    I believe you mean Lylat Wars, Eurogamer. Hmph!

    This game is a true classic. So replayable with all the different routes and the scoring system. The sound work was incredible, the voice actors really put a lot of charm into those Saturday morning cartoon lines.

    Reply +16
  • Why is video game lore so awful?

  • thisisatempaccount 23/04/2016


    I know, right? You can obfuscate your plot with too much lore/exposition, but it's just as easy to do it with too little. Minimalist games can be a breath of fresh air in a medium often too in love with its own lore, but I don't think we should put them on sort of ultimate pedestal of narrative design. For anyone coming into a game who really likes to understand what's going on, or why their character is doing what they're doing, a Dark Souls or a SotC is going to be a long and frustrating Shaggy Dog story.

    And that's kind of the point I think. Much like game difficulty, the problem for developers is that exposition tolerance is a moving target. What works for one person is anathema to the next. Keith is entitled to write an article on what works for him, and more power to him for starting an interesting discussion, but the implication that all games should be written to cater exactly to his tastes is a tad presumptuous.
    Reply 0
  • The end of Nintendo's weird GamePad era

  • thisisatempaccount 13/04/2016

    I think I must have weird hands, because holding this giant shonky pad always felt completely natural, whereas anything over half an hour with an Xbox controller leaves me with a pair of useless claws. It's good for role-playing Dark Souls, though, I can pretend the game is slowly robbing me of my humanity as I play.

    The pad worked supremely for Splatoon, but that wasn't the only software that made great use of it. Remember Art Academy? Of course you don't, you never even reviewed it you cads, but it was mint. I don't know the first thing about how to draw fings wot look good, but thanks to the game pad and a few million hours practise I was able to do this:

    Not exactly Michaelangelo, but you'd have to go some to replicate it with a DualShock!

    Throw in bed gaming (the best kind of gaming) via the second screen and a host of games which made good, if not full, use of the pad's potential - the Murphy sections in Rayman Legends really feel better on the system they were designed for - and I feel the tech's done more than enough to justify its place in console history.
    Reply +29
  • Punch-Out!! player discovers cool Easter egg

  • thisisatempaccount 11/04/2016

    If nothing else this article is valuable for reminding me of the Iwata Asks interviews. They're so good and there's still a bunch of them I haven't gotten around to reading. Reply +1
  • Bandai Namco launches a Dark Souls clothing line, but...

  • thisisatempaccount 08/04/2016

    I actually welcome this, in a perverse way.

    I hope it convinces some that if le dank maymays can be egregious, and tacky, and can in fact ruin what might have otherwise been a perfectly good line of apparel, then it might also not be fine to stuff them into translated/localised work when the source material didn't contain any.

    And that it isn't just a case of entitled nerds and frothing shitlords needing to get over themselves, but rather developers needing to show a defter touch and more respect for their own games.

    But I'm not holding my breath...
    Reply +8
  • Why R. Mika is the most hated character in Street Fighter 5 right now

  • thisisatempaccount 05/04/2016

    I think I understand the source of the hatred. It's not necessarily about being overpowered. It's about fundamentally altering the game to be something which players simply don't want to play.

    In Dota 2 (a game I play quite a lot) there's a character called Techies. Of the 111 heroes in the game, Techies is easily the most unusual. Three of Techies' four abilities are invisible mines that variously do damage or disable enemies who come near.

    Avoiding these mines is a difficult task, because they are invisible to the naked eye, and anti-invisibility items in this game are either expensive or unreliable or both. Ignoring them isn't an option either, because they can be stacked to the point of near-instant lethality. You can't just tank your way through the blasts and hope to shrug them off.

    Indeed, the standard way of playing Techies is to ignore the lanes, the creeps, the towers, forgoing the gold and experience that any other player in the game would be seeking to acquire. Instead you spend most of the match scuttling around the map unseen, using inexpensive mana regeneration items to concentrate huge piles of explosives for enemies to stumble into for a swift and unsuspecting demise. An efficient Techies player can get a lethal stack of ordinance in place before the game has even gotten underway!

    Movement across and throughout the map is a key part of Dota. Supports and mids want to rotate between the lanes to set up kills. Cores and carries want to farm the woods between the lanes to gather gold and experience from the creatures that dwell within. The mere presence of a Techies completely distorts your strategy by making all space outside of the lanes potentially lethal. Knowing that each step might mean a sudden and maddening trip to respawn limbo has a chilling effect on where you're willing to set foot. It fundamentally affects the way a team can play the game in a way that no other hero does.

    Techies only has a 47.67% win rate across all games. It's widely considered to be a weak hero, certainly not OP. Once they've finished bitching about the Techies pick, opponents will usually adapt their play-styles and item builds to the threat, while allies are saddled with a hero who is often a poor replacement for a more normally-functioning character. Nonetheless, regardless of his balance within a given meta, Techies is notoriously hated among the player base, because a game featuring Techies almost isn't Dota anymore. And people who want to play Dota.. well, they generally want to *play Dota*.

    From what I can gather, R. Mika is kind of the same? Most people think Street Fighter is about the relationship of moves, hitboxes, timing windows, and how each moment-to-moment encounter can yield positive or negative outcomes which only add up to defeat or victory in aggregate. But she has a drastically different win condition, focused on ushering her opponent into a specific part of the screen, at which point she can completely take over the round. This isn't what people have to come understand as Street Fighter over the years, so from their own perspective their dislike of her stems more from having to play a different 'game' to the one they're attracted than saltiness or entitlement.

    Whether it's all justified complaint, or whingeing, or maybe even justified whingeing I can't say. Over time I've come to learn how to deal with Techies, and I still enjoy Dota a whole lot. But if I had a button that would let me delete the hero from the game? I can't promise you that's a detonator I wouldn't push.
    Reply +17
  • New Baldur's Gate expansion Siege of Dragonspear off to a rough start

  • thisisatempaccount 05/04/2016

    Shameful tantrums against the appearance of a trans character are obviously unacceptable (it staggers me that people still have problems with that in 2016), but let's not let Beamdog use them as cover for the seriously woeful standard of writing in their work. I can't believe they have the temerity to brag about 'fixing' the writing in the Baldur's Gates - for me at least the height of Bioware's output - while loading their derivative slop to the nines with fanfiction-quality dialogue and the resounding clanging of memes. Reply +19
  • EA lambasts Donald Trump for using Mass Effect audio in campaign ad

  • thisisatempaccount 04/04/2016

    We're gonna build a genophage and make the krogans pay for it! Reply +116
  • Star Fox Zero adds invincible mode for beginners, internet reacts

  • thisisatempaccount 14/03/2016

    Eurogamer cherry picks extreme opinions for clickbait, commenters react.

    You're better than this EG!
    Reply -2
  • Hotel Dusk director announces 3DS detective adventure

  • thisisatempaccount 11/03/2016

    Hope it makes it over here. Hotel Dusk was a gem. Reply +3
  • Valve fires Dota2 commentator, Gabe Newell calls him "an ass"

  • thisisatempaccount 27/02/2016

    He's an ass, but he's a *known* ass. This has been how James does his work for years. I'm not saying that to excuse him, but it does make Valve's actions here very puzzling, because how could they not have have seen something like this coming? (Bearing in mind it's still unclear which straw actually broke the camel's back.)

    I'd like to share a little context that this article seems to lack. Valve have hired James to host events in the past, including their flagship The International events for several years in a row. If you were following the scene, it was clear Valve were uncomfortable with his style, because between the third and fourth Internationals somebody had a word and he presented the latter in a much cleaner, more restrained way.

    For the fifth International last August they switched to another host entirely, Paul "RedEye" Chandler, a veteran of professional gaming who brings a cleaner (but still entertaining) style to an analysis desk. It seemed like a permanent shift because, when Valve announced they were moving from one annual official tournament to four, RedEye stayed on as host for the first of these 'Majors' in Frankfurt.

    It seemed like James was out of the scene for good, and everyone was surprised to see him brought back in for this, the second Major in Shanghai. According to him, the instructions he was given were to 'be himself'. I can only imagine this would have been one of the criteria on his agreeing to taking the job, as he had publicly expressed dissatisfaction at having had to reign in his fractious personality when hosting the International 2014.

    Now certain parts of this twisting tale are open to interpretation and the various interested parties attempting to control the narrative. But the underlying fact remains - why would Valve opt to come back to their previous host expecting anything other than what happened to happen?

    One last thing. I'm not sure where Jeffrey is taking this 'most common' speculation he cites from. Among the game's community, the most common speculation for the firing has either been that James refused to cut to a break when the event was facing one of its (many) delays due to production failures, or that one of the players complained about some things that James had said about him on camera.

    Again, I'm not defending James. I think Gabe's assessment of him is basically correct. But I think it's a greater failure of judgement on their part in knowing this and the re-hiring him anyway. And when you look at other personalities they allow to be associated with their other games - such as the misogynistic Thorin, and Richard Lewis, the guy who attempted to choke a player backstage at a recent tournament - it would seems that this is an area in which Valve deserve little credit.
    Reply +17
  • Ubisoft fights hostile takeover bid from Vivendi

  • thisisatempaccount 26/02/2016

    If anyone wants another reason for this bid not to go through, think all the groan-worthy 'ubendi' headlines that will be clogging up games sites for years to come. Reply +5
  • Best-selling Steam games of 2015 list has a few surprises

  • thisisatempaccount 05/01/2016

    @nothough You're going to catch some downvotes from fanboys but you're absolutely right. All the major console platforms have a backwards-looking strategy for online pricing and pay far too much heed to the dinosaur that is brick and mortar retail.

    The PC market shows that you can transition to a post-box release model and still make large profits, all while selling more copies than ever through strategic discounting. The lack of a physical overhead keeps this profitable while making gamers happier, because they're getting less gouged, which in turn makes them more likely to evangelise your product for some nice free marketing. It's win-win-win and I don't understand why everyone is so slow to catch on to it.
    Reply +12
  • Steam winter sale live now

  • thisisatempaccount 23/12/2015

    A lot of folk in this thread seem to be keen to depict developers as passive victims with no agency or control over their prices. They're not! The reason developers take part in sales isn't because they're forced to, it's because they make more money by doing so than by sitting them out.

    It's like there's this weird moral lens that people seem to view sales through, like somehow paying less or being paid less for a game is indicative of somebody is getting screwed over or being taken advantage of. I don't understand where that comes from. A hundred gamers buy Footie Ball 2015 at £1, or ten gamers buy it at £10. Valve gets the same cut, the developer gets the same cut. The only differences are that 1) more people now own the game and can enjoy playing it, and 2) Valve has to deal with a tenfold increase in traffic on their servers in one case over the other. Well, I guess there's also the issue of paypal/debit card surcharges and shit. I don't know who absorbs that stuff, I'd hope it was Valve. That's a regrettable cost of doing business, but again, if you don't make money from lowering your prices, you have the choice not to.

    People are willing to buy games at different prices. Some people buy into the day one hype, others wait for the GOTY edition to drop under a fiver, and in between there's a whole spectrum of people who will jump on when the price is right. As a developer, you have a choice. You could act like some commenters on here, view the people who will only buy a game when it's discounted as dicks, rant about 'pound land' like you're Jeremy Kyle, get on your high horse and never discount your games. But most developers don't, and they don't because it would be flatly stupid, as you'd be ignoring a huge chunk of your potential market; basically leaving money on the table. As well as reducing the number of people playing your game, telling their mates about it and getting enthused about your future output.

    That's why devs and publishers have a coherent strategy for selling their game which will incorporate a whole range of discounts at various points in its post-release life cycle. They don't do this because they're forced to, but because it makes them more money, not less.

    And stuff like the ARGs and especially the potato sack in-game content, yeah it was hella fun but don't forget it was the developers doing most of the extra work with that. It would have taken a lot of time and money to essentially pump out free DLC for marketing purposes. You can contrive a scenario in which it's Valve's fault that developers didn't want to revisit that kind of event, but I suspect the more likely explanation is that said devs sat down, took a very rational look at the returns they got from developing completely new content for the sake of a one-off sale event and decided the extra revenue it generated hadn't been worth the cost.
    Reply +24
  • Unsung games of 2015: Code Name: STEAM

  • thisisatempaccount 21/12/2015

    The crazy thing is, for the right kind of gamer it really is GREAT. The story is lurid pop-culture wet nightmare, but I'll take that over most of what passes for plot in games. The gameplay offers a smart and engaging line in turn-based tactics. You can really feel the hand of intelligent design at work, even if it isn't exactly what the install base was demanding.

    For all it's entreated of them, I can see why Nintendo are reluctant to bring new IP to the table when it gets this kind of reception. On the other hand, it IS up to them to work out in advance what will appeal.. I'm just happy they found the right formula with Splatoon. Lovely, lovely Splatoon.

    See also Tri Force Heroes, another game which doesn't fit the crowd-pleasing mould but really just SINGS if you just get over yourself and actually play it. Hopefully that'll get an entry of its own in this series.

    Thanks to you Donlan for flying the flag for this game! I really don't like when the entire internet seems to reach an hive mind-like consensus on a game's worth, good or bad. Here's to an internet where a little differing opinion is an opportunity for discussion and not an immediate signal to circle the wagons.
    Reply +7
  • Eurogamer says farewell to Dan Whitehead

  • thisisatempaccount 18/12/2015

    For my money, neck and neck with Donlan for Eurogamer's best hack. Great writer, bags of experience and never forgot the purpose of a review being to give the reader a better sense of what the game is like, as opposed to the reviewer. All the best Dan with your new, inevitably-in-PR job. Reply +1
  • EA announces Competitive Gaming Division, led by Peter Moore

  • thisisatempaccount 11/12/2015

    "Competitiveness is in our DNA... if we find someone we can't compete with, we buy them and shut them down." Reply +2
  • Why I play video games

  • thisisatempaccount 05/12/2015

    @super_monty Nintendo are still plugging away, although even their ratio of 2D platformers to bold new experiments is creeping in the wrong direction. Splatoon at least shows they still have the magic touch. That game really is a thing of wonder.

    I agree that the big-name games of the last decade have had alarmingly little new to show for their ballooning budgets. That we seem to be reaching Peak Graphics seems to have increasingly turned their efforts to sneaking in ways to keep rinsing the gamer for cash after they've already bought the game.

    This seems to be where all the innovation and creativity in the industry can be found today. Yes you technically don't need to buy REQ packs or whatever in Halo. And a few years ago you didn't need to set aside an extra £20 for a season pass, and a few years before that you didn't need to pre-order from an exclusive retailer to get this or that scrap of content.. individually these ploys are designed not to look too egregiously offensive, but seen as a whole the trend is just depressing.

    What I like to remind myself is that at least indies are genuinely pushing games forward. It's not all retro rehashes and there's more developers out there than ever before. Visibility is becoming a bit of a problem, DestinyGamer here isn't even keeping up with reviews for the AAA-slate, let alone the wider market, but sites like DieHard GameFan and NicheGamer often pop up with some weird little thing I've never heard of.

    Unfortunately the writing isn't a patch on what you typically get here. I'm hoping Mr Biffo over at Digitiser 2000 starts reviewing more indie games. For my money that site is the most interesting that happened in the games space for a while.
    Reply +3
  • Quantic Dream addresses Beyond PS4 skin tone changes

  • thisisatempaccount 04/12/2015

    Tyler is a weird one and a reminder that I suddenly feel on pretty thin ice whenever I'm defending David Quantic (it isn't something that happens very often). Still, here goes.

    I always assumed that many aspects of Tyler's superficial depiction were so hilariously stereotypical that DQ had to have done it with some kind of post-modernist intent. There's a contrast to be made between the rather crass, blaxploitative peripheral elements of his character - his apartment decor, his love of basketball and so on, and his actual characterisation - he was warm, well-rounded, had a more interesting and believable relationship with his girlfriend than Carla or Lucas have with the people in their lives, etc.

    I almost felt like DQ was trying to say, 'well actually, so what if this particular dude is black and these are the things that he happens to like? Should his preferences be invalidated because they coincide with a socially repudiated stereotype?'

    Not that I necessarily think this is a problem-free approach. When a high proportion of fiction already uses lazy stereotypes in their depiction of black culture, is it really the right move to have a character of which could be said, 'well, this guy might appear to be a stereotype, but actually the hope was for the audience to look beyond that and see this more nuanced position, one that may or may not exist because it's never explicitly confirmed either way'?

    In short: I dunno.
    Reply +2
  • thisisatempaccount 04/12/2015


    "If you want a company to look into what happened, at least give them a chance to do it properly before dragging them through the mud because they are the subject of Twitter's trending anger that day and you don't want to miss the bandwagon."

    This comment should be printed, framed and hung on the wall opposite the desk of every journalist of every stripe.

    It's not like there wasn't a legitimate question to be asked here. ('Why did QD feel the need to make these changes to the skin tone of these NPCs?') But it seems pretty important to me that, if you're actually interested in hearing the answer to that question, you at least *wait* for the person you're asking to get back to you with their reply. As opposed to just pre-empting them with your own set of inferred answers and calling it a day.

    In other words: if you're going to drop someone into the epicentre of an intercontinental shitstorm, that person at the very least deserves the opportunity to reach for their parachute before you toss them out of the plane.
    Reply +7
  • Better than Halo?

  • thisisatempaccount 30/11/2015

    I'm not sure you've really explained the difference between advancing through the apparently drab progression system in Halo 5, and the magical, near-mythical "getting shit done" in Destiny? Isn't it exactly the same thing? Or are you arguing that in other, non-MMO games, ones the average gamer might want to pick up and play, weapons and other actual fun stuff should be locked behind XP walls so that the hopelessly addicted can feel better about the mind-boggling amounts of time they've sunk into them?

    Personally I reckon even Halo's system demands too much for the time-poor player. If that makes me "archaic" then I guess the new generation of games will increasingly pass me by.
    Reply +31
  • Xbox 360 at 10: Major Nelson, voice of a generation

  • thisisatempaccount 25/11/2015

    Let's be honest, he's no Independint Charles. Reply +2
  • Take-Two sends private investigators to GTA5 modder's home - report

  • thisisatempaccount 10/11/2015

    When you stare into the third-rate mafia film script, the third-rate mafia film script stares also into you. Reply +2
  • Cibele review

  • thisisatempaccount 05/11/2015

    Nice review. Probably worth mentioning that while this might set a new trend of commercial autobiographical games, they've been a mainstay of the freeware scene for years and years.

    While I can't imagine wanting to play anything less than I would a game about teenage love, I'm glad it exists. Games should push shoots out in every conceivable direction, that's the healthy direction for any medium to take. I'd much prefer that than for the industry to just keep ploughing the same well-defined genre furrows over and over, until we're playing infinitesimally-varied iterations of the same flagship games every year.. oh wait...
    Reply +12
  • Marathon, the original Bungie sci-fi shooter

  • thisisatempaccount 01/11/2015

    A fun game, even having committed the cardinal sin of putting jumping puzzles in a ray-casting engine.

    [spoilers] What I remember most about it is that plot, though. It was so grim! In many ways it was ahead of its time. Most linear games try to obfuscate the player's lack of any real agency in their on-rails story. Not so here: Bungie aren't remotely shy about treating you like the dogsbody grunt that almost all gaming protagonists are, but have masked behind a million layers of trumpet-tooting and you-are-the-chosen-one bullshit.

    If you do anything heroic at all in Marathon, it's merely a by-product of Durandal's inscrutable and utterly amoral greater plan. Very little you do can be said to be making things better. Even as you save your compatriots on the ship, you're really only deferring their deaths to a time and place more convenient for your scheming overlord.

    Or so it goes for the first game, anyway. Sadly I can't really attest to what happens over the course of the next two games, because it gets so weird I eventually gave up on it altogether. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ [/spoilers]
    Reply +3
  • Sonic Team apologises for scandalous in-game typo

  • thisisatempaccount 24/10/2015

    A lot of broken sarcasm detectors on EG today! All this stick Jeff is getting is udderly ridiculous. Reply +6
  • Watch: When should we review games?

  • thisisatempaccount 24/10/2015

    It's a difficult question, for sure. From a consumer advocacy point of view, you're ideally wanting to get the review out before the money starts changing hands. Gamers making their purchasing decisions on nothing more substantial than the publisher's own marketing material is a recipe for disaster - not that publishers care as long as they are raking it in, as the increasingly bug-ridden AAA-release fiascos we see proves.

    But these publishers are canny, and will look to control the flow of information either way. So they come up with measures such as invite-exclusive review events, where playtime is restricted and PRs shadow the reviewers at all times, or provide special review servers which have better capacity for multiplayer games. If this is all that reviewers have to go on prior to release, it would be better for their reviews to be delayed, until they provide insight into a typical play experience rather than a privileged one which suits the publisher narrative.

    The need to be first to publish a review or miss out on crucial ad revenue can cause even sites with the best of intentions to miss serious flaws or important details by accident. As the old journo maxim has it, it's better to be first than to be right.

    So it's a fine line for review sites to walk. The interests of gamers, publishers and review sites are all caught up in the flow of money, in an arrangement that often seems dysfunctional and sometimes unhealthy, and missteps are guaranteed to cause conflict, suspicion and mutual resentment. A better arrangement presumably exists in some theoretical world, but ultimately I think we get the media we deserve (i.e. the one that we aren't willing to pay for, so has to make its own arrangements.)
    Reply -1
  • Please games, let me be stumped

  • thisisatempaccount 03/10/2015

    "Why don't bigger games do this?"

    If I was being glib I would say that certain websites giving 10/10 reviews to certain bigger games (cough Fable 2 cough) with literal bread crumb trails might have something to do with it. :P

    This is still a good article though. I think the problem with allowing people to get stuck is that you can't control the amount of stuck they get. A little bit of stuck makes the experience of working out the solution that much more satisfying. Too much stuck makes the game frustrating, and possibly tarnishes the experience and memory of the game. Beyond that point the player either quits altogether or goes online looking for answers.

    (I'm sure everyone has had that experience where they valiantly hold out on looking at a guide for a game for as long as possible, but once they've caved and done it once, suddenly find themselves quickly resorting to it over and over again, even at bits they could've worked out for themselves with a little effort. It's been the bane of many an adventure game for me, and arguably was a key part of what killed the genre for a decade.)

    The real kicker is that the amount of frustration at which point a guide is sought and a game spoiled is different for every player. It's disappointing that developers have increasingly responded by just dumbing everything down to the point where even the lowest common denominator is guaranteed not to get stuck (I don't mean that disparagingly; the lowest common denominator is in most cases a kid who shouldn't be expected to know any better). There are other approaches which they could have taken, and some to their credit have.

    One is to embrace complexity and the joy of learning like Rob mentions Kingdom doing. Or go further: make the game so arcane and ornate that referring to a wiki is not only necessary, but part of the gameplay itself. This trend has found popularity recently, with the likes of Minecraft, Terraria and Dwarf Fortress, but has been visible since the days of rogue-likes like nethack.

    You see it with mobas too: your first game, your first ten games, your first HUNDRED games - you'll not really have a clue. Assuming you survive that long, it'll be because you're learning just enough each time to stimulate the part of your brain that craves this kind of gradual mastery. Not every game can provide this, as Rob says, most games today don't even try to come close. Dota 2 completely consumes me with its morass of complexity. I'm addicted to the build-making and theory-crafting side of the game; the wiki has pride of place in my goddamn search bar!

    On the other end of the spectrum, with the revival of the adventure game, developers are embracing players getting stuck and incorporating it into their design so as to smooth over the potential damage it can cause. Machinarium brought its hints and solutions in-game, though whether this protects your immersion in the game or puts further strains on the fourth wall is subjective. The Zero Escape series has your companions at the ready to provide clues as to a puzzle you keep failing, or the use for an inventory item you keep inspecting - although arguably they're a bit too quick to butt in with the hints, showing that even a hands-off approach to, er, hand-holding is a delicate operation.

    Lastly I just want to plug a fantastic website: . If you ever find yourself stuck on a game that still allows for it, in need of assistance, but don't want to automatically have direct solutions and potential spoilers flung in your face, this site has you covered. Gradually-revealed layers of hints that can coax out enlightenment without necessarily putting the cat hairs right onto the moustache for you. It really is a treasure of a thing.
    Reply +17
  • Blood Bowl 2 review

  • thisisatempaccount 01/10/2015

    So at the moment you can buy the Chaos Edition of the original game for £20 and get 24 teams. Or you can buy this version of the game, which costs £35 and gives you 8. Eight. Oh, and the privilege of paying again for additional teams in the future.

    It looks a bit nicer, sure. But the teams are the lifeblood of this game - not just to play as, but to provide a diversity to the opponents your team faces. The unique skills and attributes of each race makes each match-up a compelling little puzzle. A Dark Elves versus Dwarves match-up was completely different to Wood Elves versus Chaos Dwarves - and from that, Humans versus, say, Necromantics was night and day. Cyanide's last release had 253 such unique match-ups. This game has 21.

    I'm not sure Richie has his priorities in order when he devotes 149 words to the repetitive nature of the voice commentary, but only 12 to the fact that there's barely a third of the races available, and stemming from that, over 10 times more repetitiveness in the gameplay itself. In comparison to the game that's nearly half the price. But it's okay, I guess, because there's a "slickness to proceedings" which more than makes up for it..?
    Reply +6