thisisatempaccount Comments

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  • The Story of DOTA

  • thisisatempaccount 07/04/2014

    @Number1Laing - It is. Or, it isn't. I thought much the same way, once. My resistance to these games was strong. They seemed antithetical to the kind of experience I (thought) I wanted from my games. I was irritated by the countless articles they generated, invariably with someone or other gloating about their titanic success, be it measure in accounts they had activated, or man-hours sapped out of the economy, or moneyhats hoovered into the corporate swimming pool, or feature films generated about the importance of staying in the trees. Then a friend linked me to a couple of games that were being broadcast of the last International (basically the World Cup of Dota 2). I had more or less zero idea what was going on, but it was enjoyable, in the way that a game of Starcraft or Street Fighter or even (whisper it) football can be when both sides are really, you know, going for it.

    I didn't realise at the time, but that was the first step taken on an irreversible path.

    Over the coming weeks we downloaded the client and had a few games together. I played my first game against bots, and on the proceeds cheerily dismissed the entire genre. Staring at the post-game screen, trying not to pay too close attention to my own Kill/Death/Assist score, I reeled off a list of damning indictments: the start of the match was clunky and weird; some of the mechanics seemed counter-intuitive; it was too easy to die and too hard to get kills. I had played both better RTSs and bettter aRPGs. But when my friend asked me for another game, for some reason I didn't say no. And so we played the next night. And again a couple of nights later. Then again the night after that...

    We logged about 100 hours before we even ventured online. Not because we had to, but simply because the game was compelling enough against bots. When we did, it was a revelation. The toxic community we had been so terrified of from the denouncement of a thousand eurogamer articles simply failed to materialise. The single best tip I can give you here is to find a 'stack' of two to four other friends to matchmake with - it's much better to play against strangers than with them.

    What we encountered instead was a competitive climate like no other. It turns out forty minutes is more or less the perfect time to invest in a battle of wits and reflexes. The investment is substantial enough that you can't simply dispose of the experience when you're done. It lingers in you, emotionally, be it the adrenaline highs of sweet, hard fought victory, or the cognitively dissonant lows of salty, bitter defeat. On the other hand, it doesn't take so long that you can never manage to get a game going. You might only snatch time for one or two games of an evening (we all work 9-5s), but you'll come to value those games vastly more than any rotation of TF2 or Battlefield maps. You get drawn in. Something, somewhere along the line, just clicks.

    One day you open a new browser tab and seven of the nine default bookmarks are Dota related: sites that dole out handy guides for how to play heroes and what to buy for them, sites that hook you up with live broadcasts from the world's best competitive teams (at any given moment, it seems, somebody somewhere is playing this game, breathtakingly), subreddits that g̶a̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶s̶t̶e̶a̶m̶y̶ ̶p̶i̶c̶t̶u̶r̶e̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶'̶s̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶o̶i̶n̶e̶s showcase the best and brightest moments of lunacy that the fanbase can provide.

    Somehow I've accrued more than 600 hours with the game. I still feel like a bit of a noob at times. That's probably the reason I keep coming back, why I came back after that first, unelatory experience: like Dark Souls or Monster Hunter, the game always leaves you with the sensation that there's more you can do to grow and improve. I still play other games, and I still have a social life (albeit one that's retreating faster than my hairline). I never thought I would have the time for this type of game, but if you discover something valuable, you just sort of make time for it. And this type of game, be it League or Dota or whatever, has real value in it. The phenomenal player-bases aren't evidence of some sort of Candy Crush-style herd-mind activity. These are some of the gameiest games you'll ever play. You just have to give them a chance.
    Reply +1
  • Rome 2 killer camel DLC backlash prompts rethink at Creative Assembly

  • thisisatempaccount 20/02/2014

    I'm not a Total War fan. I don't feel aggrieved about anything. But Rob, this "sounds like a 'get out' on a technicality" to me, and to anyone else reading this with more than a couple of neurons to rub together, you miserable shill. Reply -1
  • Taking games seriously

  • thisisatempaccount 01/12/2013

    HotCoffee and Frybird's comments are so good - really, guys, just so, so good - that it feels adding anything to them would be redundant. But dashed if I don't I want to get in on the fun, as Penhalion has it, and enjoy trying to win at the whole criticism a̶r̶g̶u̶m̶e̶n̶t meta-game, so here goes!

    Like Frybird, Hotline Miami will forever be my touchstone for this subject. So good was that game, so pure, that on release gamers and critics cried out in united delight, causing such a disturbance in the force that George Lucas recoiled in psycholiminal horror and immediately ordered twenty seven terrible new Star Wars games to restore the balance.

    For the critics' part, on the evidence of what got written about the game, it seemed like the delight seemed to stem from, to borrow from the article, the opportunity to at last take a game seriously. (Better yet, a game that wasn't even another f***ing indie puzzle platformer!) The strange, shifting layers of the game's narrative, all those snatched scraps of context and inferred significances, set up against what were at first shocking, then quickly naturalised acts of ultraviolence comprising the game's meat and bread activity - as well as it's drippingly acidic self-awareness of such - was a heady cocktail to be slammed back with abandon, fueling endless pages of yearning and soul-searching prose. Finally, gaming had an artefact that confronted the rampancy of violence indelibly written throughout its very core, like writing in a stick of rock. Finally, a game that held up a mirror to the carnage. Finally, this was a game about the meaning of games.

    Meanwhile, gamers were delighted with the game because Hotline Miami was seriously fucking excellent. I know I'm being glib here, and for no better reason than to add contrast to the comparison: it's not like gamers couldn't or didn't genuflect on the visceral thrill provided by the games' immutable heart-beat (or dance beat) of intrinsically satisfying gameplay-loops; that nobody ever put down the controller to contemplate as to whether the fact that these interactions happened to be brutal and hideous acts of murder might bring into sharp focus whether such acts where in themselves intrinsically compelling; that thousands of gamers didn't, through their time with the game, explore these issues, or respond to them, or enfold the experience in myriad tiny ways into their lives, opinions and identities. And many journos did do a fine job of trying to analyse what made the game such a damnable thrill, as opposed to wittering on for longer even than this comment is becoming about the game's higher, more purposeful message for humanity.

    But if the developers did intend for the game did have any message at all, I don't think it was one about violence. Rather, it was about the secondary value of all this Deeper Meanings business to gaming. Secondary, that is, to the value to be derived from the act of playing itself.

    Consider the god-awful stealth level that comes towards the end of the game. It feels like a rare misstep in what has heretofore been a flawlessly crafted experience - jarring and frustrating, it ruins the flow the player has perfected over god-knows-how-many previous massacre ballets, and he or she can only be grateful when it is over. Could Devolver have really dropped the ball to such a degree as to release the game with this sore-thumb speed bump of anti-fun having just been overlooked? Or was it included intentionally? Does it, dare I say it, have a meaning?

    It almost feels as if Devolver are saying: "you want to prioritise narrative from your games? You want to have meaning? You want these things to such an extent that you'll accept developers twisting and wrenching the mechanics of their games to facilitate these things? (Or just never include compelling gameplay in the first place?) Well, here you go. Here's that bed for you to lie in, the one marked Stealth Levels (And Related Superfluous Dollops of Shit Design).'

    (It should probably go without saying that stealth can - and often are - brilliant in games that are designed around making stealth an intrinsically satisfying mechanic, and not just thrown in because the narrative demanded it.)

    Devolver's crowning achievement in this is that not just any game would have been suitable as a vehicle for this message. They had to design and develop one that was almost flawlessly fun up to that point, was in fact basically perfect, in order for this message to come through without falling on its face.

    But there's the problem. I've fallen into the trap; just like everyone else, I've failed to talk about the mechanistic reasons why the game is such a joy to play. I'm talking about what it's about! Or what it's not about. Narrative and tone, meaning and context: the fatal attraction for any wank-hatted member of the enlightened gaming ubermensch.

    Anyone who wants to see what games criticism can really be, when a fine mind hones in with laser-like accuracy on the parts of a game most worth discussing, I encourage you to check out just about anything written by Stuart Campbell. He doesn't write so much about games these days, or really at all, which really is a huge shame for the medium.

    TL;DR - What HotCoffee andFrybird said, Hotline Miami is amazing, RevStu and Kieron were our industry's finest critics and we went and lost them bloody both.
    Reply -1
  • Wings of desire: My favourite Hearthstone card

  • thisisatempaccount 25/11/2013

    @Ezzekhiel Thirty nine random other people playing at the same time instantly lose their games through no fault of their own. Reply +16
  • What happens when free-to-play games aren't free?

  • thisisatempaccount 23/11/2013

    This is a good article, Martin; thank you for writing it. But if you fine folks at EG really want to make a difference (and I honestly believe that - unlike 95% of the unholy games media/marketing coagulation - you actually do), you're going to have to do all you can to help people make informed choices about whether or not to spend their money on this crap.

    Which means the laudable spirit in which this piece was written is going to have to manifest itself in places it matters: reviews, previews and interviews. You can do more than just decry the publishers responsible for these scummy practises, you can help us hold them to account. And that's a job for which a one-shot op-ed, even one as good as this, isn't going to be enough.
    Reply +92
  • Crimson Dragon review

  • thisisatempaccount 21/11/2013

    Given the pattern these launch reviews are beginning to suggest will be here to stay for the new generation, I think EG should give serious consideration to flagging up any P2P systems (pay to pay, ie micro-transactions in premium priced software) in their Price and Availability box-outs, as well as the main body of the review.

    I'd also recommend a minimum three point reduction from the score of any game that engages in this manipulative, classless, consumer-hostile, fun-sucking, money-grubbing practice, but of the two it's only the former that I can see any chance of happening. :)
    Reply +15
  • Forza Motorsport 5 review

  • thisisatempaccount 20/11/2013

    Are you fucking kidding me? F2P grind in a £45 game, and you wave it through with a seven??! Jesus! Reply +18
  • What Garriott's new RPG looks like after six months

  • thisisatempaccount 04/11/2013

    @the_dudefather Is it just me or does that skeleton have a willy? Reply +2
  • You're in charge!

  • thisisatempaccount 02/11/2013

    Huh? No, this can't be right. I'm sure I read that the gaming community was full of spoiled, over-entitled man-children, and that not only did we not know what we wanted, but that our brattish behaviour was even threatening to ruin the wonderful buffet of doritos and mountain dew that the industry had so lovingly put out for us. Reply +5
  • MadCatz's M.O.J.O. Android console costs a whoptastic £219.99

  • thisisatempaccount 08/10/2013

    M.O.J.O. mo' problems Reply +2
  • Sonic returning to TV in new CG animation

  • thisisatempaccount 03/10/2013

    Ok, but Reply 0
  • The play's the thing

  • thisisatempaccount 31/08/2013

    I love everything about this article. Story is the context a game gives you to play, but as games like Hotline Miami showed, even if that context doesn't cohere in any way - even if you half think the game is sneakily asking the question 'why should you actually care?', of you and every other story-heavy game in the medium - context will only carry you through the game with a sort of half-curious inertia. What makes you *want* to *play* the game - well, I refer you to the title of the OP.

    Spec Ops: The Line had an interesting story, but that was the only thing that lifted a toe out of the great sea of cover-shooter mediocrity. Actually, that isn't fair, the Abu Dhabi setting also led to some diverting corridors to run through with your mole-vision FoV. On reflection, I would much rather have spend the eight hours playing Super Crate Box and watched the cutscenes on Youtube.
    Reply 0
  • Killer is Dead review

  • thisisatempaccount 28/08/2013

    Punk is just a product. Maybe at one stage it wasn't, or thought it wasn't, at least by definition. Now it's a word people use to make themselves feel good about buying (and selling) corporate goods; it's an aesthetic that said corporations use to capture a segment of the market full of people that for whatever reason like to think themselves above the rest of their brothers and sisters. So the corps shift the message, tweak the marketing, hide the production line behind a more personal face, indulge these ridiculous walking superiority complexes and collect their money all the same.

    Organic vegetables are punk. Collecting vinyl in the age of digital music is punk. And so too indie games must be punk. What does it matter, you might ask, if the consumers are happy with the veggies, vinyl and games in question? Well, exactly. Lots of indie games are, in fact, amazing. But that has everything to do with their qualities as product, and naff all to do with ridiculous categorical obsessions such as whether something is punk or not.
    Reply +3
  • Payday 2 review

  • thisisatempaccount 14/08/2013

    I have no idea whether the game is any good or not - the review and these comments seem equally conflicted on that - but I have to take issue with Dan's opening jibe that 'a couple of years to tidy things up' is some kind of gross extravagance for a comparatively tiny dev to take with their game. The sad fact that most AAA franchises are getting sequelised instalments churned out on a yearly basis, by bloated developer behemoths who struggle to keep the lights on despite millions of sales annually, should be considered an industry affliction, not an aspiration. Reply 0
  • Jeremy Soule: "Pac-Man will eat Mark Zuckerberg's lunch"

  • thisisatempaccount 06/08/2013

    A cabinet level seat at the round table of design does make it sound like SOE have hired office space in a furniture shop. Reply +1
  • thisisatempaccount 06/08/2013

    I'm happy that he's clearly excited about the project, that he feels more engagement in his position than he has in the past and that he's able to feel like he's pushing the boundaries of his field. On the other hand, I'll believe it when I see it. So many MMOs have been hyped as 'the true next gen breakthrough' - SWTOR, Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World in just the last couple of years, but we've been fed this story before, time and again, by developers and games sites since the likes of Everquest 2, Champions Online, Conan - that I'm a little sick of having my fingers burned. Best of luck, anyway, Jeremy. Reply +1
  • Cancelled $123K Kickstarter board game finds new publisher

  • thisisatempaccount 01/08/2013

    Nice one Cryptozoic. They say you can't buy PR this good.. turns out they were wrong! In all seriousness, I'm quite happy for the backers. Somebody just made one hell of a saving throw. Reply +29
  • Pay what you want for Saints Row: The Third in the Humble Deep Silver Bundle

  • thisisatempaccount 31/07/2013

    Hold on there, my hand-wringing friends. It's pay what you want. Deep Silver didn't have to make it pay what you want! And they wouldn't have made it pay what you want unless they thought doing so would make them *more* money than not doing so. They could have gone with a bundle sale through Steam, for example - priced these games at 10$, or 25$ - but they were happier doing it this way.

    So I honestly can't see what the griping is about - all parties have given consent, here, even at a 1$ price point. All parties are happy - the gamers are elated, and I'm sure Deep Silver are happy too, getting an injection of revenue for games that are no longer generating income at full price. They wouldn't be doing that in the bad old days of boxed retail, either, btw - they'd no longer be on the shop shelves, so they'd be making the publisher squat.

    It's not like there are Colombian coffee growers getting burned in this deal, either! The cost of selling digital products is trivial. Especially as Steam takes care of the infrastructure costs of distribution. Devs can set any unit price on a game they like - there's no such thing as selling at a loss here, like with hardware, or the bad old days of retail. Speaking more generally, if turned out that publishers made more money buy selling games at a cheaper base price than they currently do, would it makes sense for anyone to chastise gamers for buying them? Because that's what's happening here!

    So by my reasoning, at least, there is nothing unethical about paying what you want in a pay what you want deal. Thus I don't understand the general grumpiness in these here comments.

    Admittedly, I may have an incentive in looking at it this way. *Checks progress on downloads for his five-for-five-dollars games*
    Reply +13
  • How Plants vs. Zombies 2 works as a free-to-play game so far

  • thisisatempaccount 15/07/2013

    @BunjiquoBianco 'Free to Pay' seems apposite. Reply +1
  • Pokémon X and Y adds mounts, is set in an alternate version of France

  • thisisatempaccount 14/05/2013

    @TechnicPuppet Thread won, we can all go home. Reply +1
  • Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move review

  • thisisatempaccount 13/05/2013

    Reply +2
  • Saturday Soapbox: The magic of dedicated hardware

  • thisisatempaccount 04/05/2013

    I'm sorry, but this article just strikes me as incredibly, incredibly mean spirited. I just can't understand this mindset that could ever be in favour of around and telling people that their experiences in gaming are impure or - and let's face it, this is the logical extension - invalid.

    Constraints abound for billions of gamers the world over - even for those above the poverty line, money, leisure time and local access are still the obvious three that come straight to mind. How can it possibly be worth anyone's while to denigrate whatever 'second-rate' experiences can be secured by people who don't have the luxury of, say, trawling ebay til the small hours to more 'purely' appreciate their hobby for at £100+ a time, or spending a week or more chasing down an original 80s arcade cabinet (for the sake of experiencing their sprites at the correct fucking level of blurriness? See, it's a subject that can drive me to swear too.)

    That someone can enjoy 99% of the experience - say, like a child today listening to Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club on mp3 - and be sneered at for missing the 1% of crackling and warping that comes from hearing it 'pure' on vinyl. That child's conciousness just expanded to include something as brilliant as the Beatles, man! That's an event to be fucking celebrated! Not qualified and caveated and belittled with meanness. There's no need for gatekeepers in music or gaming. I say throw the fucking doors open! Let's have everyone in!
    Reply +30
  • Molyneux adds option to re-grow Curiosity cube

  • thisisatempaccount 19/04/2013

    @DanWhitehead Congrats on your 1,337th comment!

    You realise you can never comment again, now, right?

    Ah! Ah ah! What are you doing? Don't reply to this! What did I just tell you, man?!
    Reply +1
  • Muramasa Rebirth dated for June in North America

  • thisisatempaccount 10/04/2013

    It was a fair review. I loved Muramasa, but its length and combat are entirely legitimate gripes to have, and 7/10 isn't a bad score, it just reflects that the game wasn't perfect. Obviously it's a breathtakingly beautiful game, and the weird blend of JRPG and platformer systems is worth every gamer's attention, even just as an experimental curio. But those mechanics were a little shallow, and the story? The story made absolutely no sense whatsoever! Reply 0
  • Plastic Soul: One man's quest to build an AI that can create games

  • thisisatempaccount 03/04/2013

    Best thing I've read in ages, phenomenal article on a fascinating subject. Top work EG.

    As far as getting the AI to recognise and differentiate between good and bad level designs goes, as opposed to valid and illegal ones, how about teaching ANGELINA enough rules to solve some examples of good levels and bad levels that already exist in other games?

    So say, in a game such as Little Big Planet, you have an enormous collection of levels collected and peer-reviewed by the player base. So you can start grabbing from either end of the scale - the five star levels and the one star ones. If ANGELINA could take notes about what was - for want of a better word - happening in every level as it solved them, and used a large enough sample, wouldn't it be able to distil some 'universal' rules about what elements of level design are frequently considered to be good and bad, and feed that back into its own platform games? Maybe even contrast this data and interrogate the differences, look for the patterns?

    It still wouldn't be 'her' - sorry, its own opinion, so much as an amalgam of the LBP player base's. And the reason levels get the scores that they do isn't purely qualitative - ANGELINA would never understand why an imperfect but otherwise enjoyable recreation of Super Mario Bros. 1-1 got a lower score than a more faithful replication - but it'd be something other than the random iterations and binary value-judgement the evolution approach provides.
    Reply +7
  • Draw Something studio boss quits Zynga

  • thisisatempaccount 03/04/2013

    @AOFanboi It was hardly a Zynga. Reply +5
  • David Hayter, the voice of Solid Snake, waves goodbye to Metal Gear

  • thisisatempaccount 02/04/2013

    Hey EG, think I've picked up a typo in your article. Small deal, really, a word in the wrong tense. Should read

    "I drove home through Laurel Canyon, bummed, and thought about Snake."

    It's certainly one way to deal with grief.
    Reply +39
  • The big Battlefield 4 interview: DICE leaves technology behind

  • thisisatempaccount 28/03/2013

    @Rattlepiece It's no surprise they've been able to find examples of 'overwhelming positivity' in the gamer community, considering they've been paying people to put it there:

    Kind of makes you wonder about your fellow commenters, doesn't it? All just part of the chilling effect of the cancerous corporate shill.

    If there are any shills reading this, please be aware that beyond any shadow of a doubt, every day you go into work you are actively making the world a worse place.

    I thought Wesley did a good job with this interview. Kept pressing, even though it got him precisely nowhere beyond The Message that had been briefed. I wouldn't like to have to slog through a conversation with an invincible bullshit PR brick wall, even if I was being paid for the pleasure.
    Reply +8
  • Switch Galaxy review

  • thisisatempaccount 21/03/2013

    @Der_tolle_Emil It does, doesn't it? Reckon it's testament to the quality of the community EG has that within four comments someone mentions the name of the game I'd otherwise have been scratching my head all day trying to remember. Wonderful nostalgia. On the other hand, now I have no reason not to get on with some work. So many conflicting emotions. Reply +2
  • Nintendo solidifies 60Hz support for Wii U Virtual Console with launch of Punch-Out!!

  • thisisatempaccount 18/03/2013

    Punch-Out is one of those series which doesn't have a bad instalment. Great games.

    Also, while I appreciate a gameplay vid's more useful to people curious about the game, this is mandatory:
    Reply +1
  • Plague Inc. review

  • thisisatempaccount 04/03/2013

    Unfortunately it is (or was) a 99% rip-off of Dark Realm's Pandemic series. With app cloning such (forgive the pun) an epidemic on iOS and Android, do EG really not have some sort of policy to make at least a cursory check for clones when they're doing these reviews? If nothing else, they could have given Dark Realms (the Pandemic developers) their due for the original from which this cynical cash-grab has been so shamelessly ripped - instead "one-man English developer Ndemic Creations" seem to be getting away with rewriting history (and soaking up the lucrative exposure from the likes of EG into the bargain). Reply 0
  • Kinect sales equal the original Xbox, higher than GameCube

  • thisisatempaccount 12/02/2013

    From this article:
    "Microsoft also says it has now shifted 76 million Xbox 360 consoles - suggesting an attach rate of nearly one Kinect to every three Xbox 360s."

    From the press release (thanks patch!)
    "Today, there are more than 76 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world. That’s three times the number of original Xbox consoles sold."

    Notice they only use the word 'sold' in one of those two sentences. To me that's a clear indication that they mean 76m shipped but want to imply sold. Either way the article is vague at best and outright wrong at worst, with Tom's choice of the word 'shifted' almost as weasely as Microsoft's.

    Stop trying to feeding us this reheated PR slop please, EG.
    Reply +12
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines "primary development" outsourced to Section 8 developer TimeGate Studios - report

  • thisisatempaccount 12/02/2013


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    No mention of TimeGate anywhere on the page. So Gearbox only see fit to reveal the lie they've been selling the game with a) in the credits or b) when in full-on damage control mode? Sounds to me like a clear-cut case of mis-selling, if not outright fraud.
    Reply +24
  • Codemasters' games to be distributed by Namco Bandai in Europe from now on

  • thisisatempaccount 11/02/2013

    @20GOTO10 Verbing weirds words. Reply +4
  • The future of RPGs according to Obsidian's Urquhart and BioWare's Muzyka

  • thisisatempaccount 11/02/2013

    All of these ideas sound horrible. Reply +12
  • The deleted scenes of Doom

  • thisisatempaccount 30/01/2013

    The article seems to bemoan that we got the Doom on the left instead of the Doom on the right. I know which I'd take in a heartbeat; cutscenes be damned.
    Reply +6
  • The deleted scenes of Deus Ex

  • thisisatempaccount 04/01/2013

    Best game of all time, no argument to be had. Or is there? It came out within years of Banjo Kazooie, Ocarina of Time, Half Life, Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape, Fallout 2.. it was a heady time to be nerdy and young, that's for sure. Reply +1
  • Games of 2012: Risk Legacy

  • thisisatempaccount 26/12/2012

    It's Kieron! Lovely lovely Kieron! Reply +15
  • The Eurogamer Christmas Challenge

  • thisisatempaccount 21/12/2012

    "Or we'll go mental and smash our houses up."

    I love this line and (also the caption for Ellie's challenge).

    For you or me it's Christmas, ruined. For Mario Balotelli, it's Tuesday.

    Happy Christmas EG!
    Reply +6
  • Neverwinter Nights retrospective

  • thisisatempaccount 09/12/2012

    This is a seriously excellent article that doesn't so much hit the nail on the head as take a warehouse full of nails and smash an asteroid into it. Neverwinter Nights - the single player campaign, at any rate - was a game without soul.

    I think it has a lot to do with the graphics. The move towards greater fidelity, especially around the time of the great leap from 2D to 3D, demanded we stop seeing visual cues in games - sprites, icons, sumptuous hand-painted backgrounds etc - as the abstractions and symbols they were. What had registered in our brain as obviously artificial, with our imaginations shading in the detail, we were now invited to take at face value. ('What you are seeing isn't the representation of the world - it is the world.')

    And when that world was constructed from low-poly models, endlessly repeating tiles and a thousand iterations of the same stock environments, it was always going to be a bit uninspiring.

    But if the world was formulaic in construction, somehow the formulaic-ness managed to bleed into the rest of the game. You only ever had one companion, so complex, multiple-NPC conversations and intra-party interactions were out right off the bat. Worse than that, though, your individual relationship with each NPC followed exactly the same pattern: early tension, small talk, an ice breaker. Then progressive segments of luekwarm backstory doled out by the level, until a passing mention of some lost item of great importance which - WOAH, it just so HAPPENS you'll find on the course of your quest! Which, having procured in an entirely illogical place (a maritime family heirloom in a subterranean spider's web, etc), means its time to become BFFs and/or - because this is Bioware - start bonking the PC, and then never interact again for the rest of the campaign. NPCs became a box on a list to be ticked.

    All the game's systems were relentless, inescapable treadmills. Every area was a prettified one-way corridor. Compared to the sprawling open-world ethos of the games that preceded it, the disappointment was staggering. And so the Bioware slide into mediocrity began. I use that word carefully - this wasn't a bad game, not by any means. The combat worked just fine and the plot gave you a good enough reason to move from a to b to c. It was just... well, Paul hits it right on the head again. Bland.

    I'd love to see more stuff from him on here. He writes well, with insight and wit, and never lets his subject escape him - no 400-word introductory analogies designed to showcase the writer's other (achingly cool) interests, no woolly arguments trying to extrapolate one detail about one game into a diagnosis of a whole genre/platform/industry. None of that starry-eyed, GMA-award winning guff. Informative, muscular criticism that doesn't get carried away or overreach. Great stuff!
    Reply +11
  • Saturday Soapbox: The story of the microtransaction

  • thisisatempaccount 02/12/2012

    Kudos to you, JedEvangelion, great comment. You articulated what the one-purchase model did for gaming (ie: saved it) with wonderful succinctness and rationality. Qualities I'd have to say are much more in evidence in this comment thread than in the article itself.

    If anyone fancies reading a considered piece about what microtransactions and in-app purchases are doing to gaming, I'd recommend checking out Tim Roger's excellent Who Killed Videogames?. It's long but well worth the read.
    Reply +5
  • thisisatempaccount 01/12/2012

    The author clearly isn't an idiot, but the article does read a bit like an exercise in contrarianism.

    Being nagged for money isn't fun. Neither's being told that, should you not choose to cough up, you will be withheld from content, or that your game experience will be made arbitrarily more difficult, or protracted, or any of the other myriad penalties that devs have dreamt up to incentivise the parting of the fool and his money.
    That's what microtransactions are: the denial of fun, coupled with the (unfun) nagging that brings this denial of fun to your attention. It's a combo multiplier - and for just 0.5$ you can have another pack of four!

    And yes, arcade games were always a bit of a con. Pointing that out doesn't make the second coming of the microtransaction any less so.

    But above and beyond that, what I really loathe is the coming of the Endless Transaction. It's ugly and mercantile enough when a game's purchase is just a one-time thing, explaining that no, I don't want to preorder Man Shooter 12, or trade in Man Blaster 13, thanks. You start sticking that stuff inside the game? Bam! There goes any hope of immersion. There goes my suspension of disbelief. Thanks. For. That.

    More than anything, that's the poison, right there. Games no longer being games, instead becoming the foot in the door for another sales pitch; one that never ends. Having let him inside, the salesman doesn't leave. He just watches over your shoulder as you play, ever ready to swoop in and suggest you give him just a teensy bit more money.
    Reply +18
  • Lost Humanity 18: A Table of Doritos

  • thisisatempaccount 26/10/2012

    Honestly, this whole sorry episode has left me feeling a little unwell. So much damage to so many reputations, all due to the woeful mishandling of the matter by the parties involved, but none more damaged or more guilty of mismanagement than Eurogamer.

    Rab (and to a lesser extent, John Walker and RevStu for speaking common sense) is the only party to come out of this with any credit whatsoever. If EG don't make some sort of explanation of their actions PDQ, preferably one with an apology to Rab, I don't think I'll be coming here again in future. I'd consider that a tremendous shame. After all, I'd lose out much more than EG would; the writing here is often excellent and I consider it one of the few sites that does right by gamers.

    It's sad, very sad, that it's proved incapable of doing right by its writers.
    Reply +17
  • Closure Review

  • thisisatempaccount 07/09/2012

    @goldbug I have nothing against good quality writing, or being entertaining, or lucid, or considered. I just don't think that taking excessive diversions from discussion of the game in favour of tangential anecdotes or overwrought analogies is a good way to achieve any of that. Reply 0
  • thisisatempaccount 07/09/2012

    @chrismikehunt: That, or the most tortuously over-extended metaphor likening the game to a genre of music. I know, they can write what they like, and maybe - maybe? - it helps in terms of setting tone, but I usually feel like these intros are 200 words that could have been better spent discussing the game. Hell, in some reviews (hello Simon!), you're lucky if you get 200 words discussing the game. Reply 0
  • Gearbox's Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 is being turned into a new IP

  • thisisatempaccount 03/09/2012

    @DrStrangelove I don't know, a game which saw you facing off against the SS in Paris underground street races in a tricked out Volkswagen or SdKfz 231 would be mint.

    Toss in a few grand for the Saving Private Ryan license and you can even get Vin Diesel involved!
    Reply +2
  • Valve Interview: Gabe Newell Isn't The Boss of Me

  • thisisatempaccount 19/07/2012

    I really enjoyed this interview, it had humour, friction, a little bit of everything. A bit like Valve really, with their lovable fingers in every money pie. Reply +1
  • Save corrupting Fez patch back online

  • thisisatempaccount 19/07/2012

    “Fez is a console game, not a PC game,” he states, emphatically. “It’s made to be played with a controller, on a couch, on a Saturday morning. To me, that matters; that’s part of the medium.” I get so many comments shouting at me that I’m an idiot for not making a PC version. ‘You’d make so much more money! Can’t you see? Meatboy sold more on Steam!’ Good for them. But this matters more to me than sales or revenue. It’s a console game on a console. End of story.”

    Ah, hubris.
    Reply +15
  • Free Radical founder: "Pretty much every FPS loses money"

  • thisisatempaccount 03/05/2012

    Dev bemoans dearth of originality in genre, cites lack of appetite for third sequel to his game as evidence.

    Joking aside, I would still buy TS4 without a second thought.
    Reply 0
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City tops Japan chart

  • thisisatempaccount 03/05/2012

    Even if you find the anime in question distasteful (and believe me, I'd understand why you would), I really don't see the reason to start negging landlock here. He's being helpful. Reply +1