thisisatempaccount Comments

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  • Chris Donlan on: Gaming's cruellest downgrade

  • thisisatempaccount 23/05/2015

    I think you can oversell this argument. There's absolutely no reason 3D art can't be equally - or more - compelling than 2D. (Or: the collaborated work can't be better than the concept.) It's all a question of talent, vision and execution. Admittedly Donlan has a point that time, money and technology can all constrain the realisation of a concept, but just because you can find some examples where that's happened doesn't mean that's always the case.

    Sometimes the reverse can even be true - concept art that doesn't come alive until it's sculpted and animated. An example of this would be Dota 2 - the hero and unit models are so vibrant, have so much character, but the concepts that feature on some loading screens are often painfully generic.

    I think you're also over-egging the 'tortured genius of the lone artist' angle here, which I suspect stems from the temptation so many have to look at a great work and immediately attribute it in full to a single artist. The idea that a group of artists working together can produce work that exceeds the abilities of any one member of the team is something that people seem weirdly reluctant to accept.
    Reply +2
  • Rich Stanton on: The Koj delusion

  • thisisatempaccount 16/05/2015

    Also, EG, please put a word filter in place to stop Rich or indeed anyone else ever using 'Koj' again. It sounds like the kind of nickname that would be coined by my mate Gaz, a.k.a. the Bantersaurus Rex, a.k.a. the Archbishop of Banterbury.

    He's a twat.
    Reply +6
  • thisisatempaccount 16/05/2015

    I was braced for another round of sermonising and finger-wagging, but having read the whole thing I think this is one of the most nuanced, well thought-out and fully-rounded discussions on sex in gaming, among other things, that has ever appeared on this site.

    I'm often not sure what to think about Japan. For a country that is (here and elsewhere) patly dismissed as being sexist, they sure seem to have a much more liberal, permissive and generally less repressed attitude toward sexual mores and taboo than we do in the west. And that's *post* 50 Shades of Grey: don't forget that we live in a country that, during our last parliament, banned the production or possession of S&M porn - criminalising an entire sub-culture of consenting adults who were just doing what made them happy.

    Clearly the Japanese don't have it all figured out, but what I think is to be celebrated about their approach is that, yes, while they do produce a lot of sexual content, the whole spectrum of demographics is embraced as potential consumers of it - spanning the spectra of age, gender and sexuality. Hence otome games, shōjo, yaoi/boys love and bishonen: all of which are consumed voraciously and sit alongside the (still more prevalent) content marketed at 18-30 males of the type that would be (exclusively) released here.

    An aside: Look how much Cara Ellison enjoyed Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi. The first time I read that review, a certain part of my brain wanted to start pointing and yelling about double standards, and hypocrisy, and cross referencing arguments made by social justice advocates who have often criticised the male fantasies typically serviced by romance mechanics in video games.

    Eventually I realised a better response would surely be to celebrate that, when a product exists that caters to a different audience, the appeal of such experiences can be communicated to that audience instantly, at a stroke, crossing the hotly-contested battle lines of politics in a way that shouting and pointing never will. It should never be a case of 'if I don't get to have it, you can't either', but one of 'well, why can't we both have this thing?'

    (I appreciate that in the case of a series like MGS, we're going to be waiting a very long time for the AAA action stealth-em-up starring a female protagonist who can hold X to perve on a dude's almost-exposed package. But in a better universe... at least Bioware are moving us in the right direction on this, whatever reservations you might have about the other qualities of their games.)

    Because it's only one segment of the populace being catered to in the west, we tend to interpret existence of sexual content in our media, especially that which exists specifically to gratify, as A or The Problem. I don't think gratification is the problem. I reckon the real problem has more to do with lack of the diversity for whom these works are aimed - leaving a lot of people outside the tent.
    Reply +9
  • Nintendo's new 3DS Pullblox game is free to download

  • thisisatempaccount 13/05/2015

    Yeah, old fuggers like me will remember this model being called shareware in the nineties. The more things change... Reply +6
  • Christopher Lloyd joins the cast of King's Quest

  • thisisatempaccount 11/05/2015

    I can only pray this is a small step towards a universe in which Lloyd signs on for a Toonstruck 2 Kickstarter. Reply +2
  • The Witcher 3 dev battles leaked footage, spoilers

  • thisisatempaccount 11/05/2015

    So I have a theory. By rushing to shut down all these leaks, they generate news stories, which make people curious and, in a 'screw the man!' kind of way, more likely to go and seek out this footage. I mean, if you wanted people to be exposed to your imminent AAA release, you really couldn't ask for a better free, viral, grass-roots marketing campaign.

    I dunno, does that sound completely paranoid?
    Reply +3
  • The enduring appeal of Nintendo's StreetPass

  • thisisatempaccount 11/05/2015

    If you don't like Pokemon Shuffle, Tom, I recommend getting your hands on Puzzle and Dragons Z. Not only is it a better match 3 (both in its intrinsic mechanics and its RPG meta-layer), but because it's a boxed released it doesn't have a whiff of IAPs. \o/

    On the other hand, it sounds like your problem is that you do like Pokemon Shuffle. For which I think the only solution is to get on the board of a FTSE-100 company or join the City of London.
    Reply +4
  • Huge Dota 2 update adds nod to Terry Pratchett

  • thisisatempaccount 29/04/2015

    @romelpotter The sniper nerf is significant, certainly, but it won't dramatically alter how the character plays. Those sort of nerfs are rare (Tinker in the last patch was fundamentally altered in that his main source of farming was taken away from him). You will still be able to play him and you will still be able to win games.

    Having said that, this game isn't LoL and the whole roster is there for you to pick up whenever you like. Maining isn't really a thing, and the more heroes you play the better you will be when you face up against them. So trying out lots of different heroes is great for all sorts of reasons, even if you have to dial the bots back while you get comfortable.

    Good heroes that are easy to learn the game with: Sven, Death Prophet, Drow Ranger, Lion, Weaver, Luna, Venomancer, Viper, Wraith King, Rikimaru, Shadow Shaman.

    A note about shadow blade: yes, it will save your life a lot of times on a character with no escape. All that it takes to counter it, though, is a 185 gold bag of dust. As such it's best not to rely on it too much as a crutch because for the money there are items which will add greater power to your hero and can't be so easily nullified.
    Reply 0
  • Sofa-nerfing Battlefield Hardline patch out now

  • thisisatempaccount 29/04/2015

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the squeaky teenagers on XBL who keep calling me a pouffe. Reply 0
  • Mortal Kombat X modder makes unplayable characters playable

  • thisisatempaccount 17/04/2015

    I'm sure someone in the games press will be along shortly with an op-ed about why it's a good thing for all of us if (sorry, when) these fighters are released as DLC. Reply 0
  • Mario Kart 8 x Animal Crossing DLC track list and footage

  • thisisatempaccount 15/04/2015


    Reply +4
  • Square Enix tones down Mobius Final Fantasy's "too sexy" leading man

  • thisisatempaccount 07/04/2015

    I think my eyes were really opened by how many girl gamers loved Ghirahim of Skyward Sword. You see posts all over the miiverse praising his sexy/trashy look and his skimpy lycra outfit. I'm not sure if the character was designed with them in mind - it felt a bit like the character's aesthetic existed at least as much to weird out guys as it did to provide fan service for girls (edit: or gay dudes!). Still, he makes a positive case for sexy in games, in that he broadens the appeal for the series to a (perhaps) non-traditional demographic. I don't care for fan service generally, but I'd rather see it provided for everyone than insisting all sides start covering up. It just seems a more generous way to be fair about things. Reply +8
  • Dragon Quest Heroes review

  • thisisatempaccount 07/04/2015

    Huh. The minion system makes it sound a bit like Shiny's Sacrifice. But if it doesn't feature Tim Curry as a squabbling lightning god it just isn't the same. Reply +1
  • Is Bloodborne the best game ever, or just the second best?

  • thisisatempaccount 24/03/2015

    It all sounds very exciting. I have to admit I'm a bit worried about these reports of long loading times though - in a game about brutal difficulty and frequent game overs, that really isn't an enticing prospect.

    Sounds like a digital version of the game will be a must for all but the most ardent of disc-lovers. It might even be worth replacing the PS4 harddrive with an SDD for this game alone.
    Reply +5
  • Use your remaining Club Nintendo stars on digital 3DS, Wii U games

  • thisisatempaccount 20/03/2015

    @kingbelly That's a good point. One more thing to take into consideration. Reply 0
  • thisisatempaccount 20/03/2015

    Two final points to consider. The value of purchasing power per star, translated into real currency, seems relatively even between straight redemption through the Stars Catalogue and points redemption for purchases on the Wii Shopping Channel. For example, Pullblox World costs £8.99 of real currency, or 5600 stars. The exchange rate for Shopping Channel points is £7 for 1000 when purchasing points via credit card, or .7 pence a point. If you do the sums, 5600 stars worth of converted Shopping Channel points would have a real currency value of £9.80 - slightly higher on comparison.

    Secondly, the Nintendo e-Shop often runs special offers, with steep discounts on many of its popular games, so the average price of any e-Shop download over time is not necessarily stable. That is, you might be able to nab any of these listed games for less money in the future. Whereas the Wii Shopping Channel has, to the best of my knowledge, never had a sale. These two things combined make the Wii Shopping Channel a more attractive proposition for getting the most out of your stars, provided a) you do want something for sale there and b) don't want one of the games being offered in both the Stars Catalogue and on the Wii Shopping Channel (including but not limited to Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, Pilotwings, Super Metroid, Super Punch-Out!!, Link To The Past, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link).
    Reply +1
  • thisisatempaccount 20/03/2015

    @Malek86 If Nintendo were to hate me I would figuratively literally die. :*( Reply +1
  • thisisatempaccount 20/03/2015

    NOTE: If you want to buy MARIO'S SUPER PICROSS there is a CHEAPER way to do it which will cost you LESS stars! See below..

    ( I'm not trying to clickbait you, this is a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT :D )

    So it's worth remembering that you can still also use your stars to purchase points for the Wii Shopping Channel, accessible from the Wii U menu. The Wii Shopping channel has a lot more stuff to choose from than the games on offer here, and isn't limited to the Virtual Console but offers original and third party games in the form of WiiWare, although running games through the Virtual Console and the Wii U's Wii Mode may result in some visual issues due to double upscaling and other stuff that I'm pulling out of my arse because I don't even slightly have a head for tech stuff.

    NOTE: You will need a NINTENDO CLASSIC CONTROLLER or CLASSIC CONTROLLER PRO to play SNES or N64 games! These are the pads that plug into the bottom of a Wiimote. You CANNOT use a Gamecube controller via WiiU adapter or (I'm pretty certain but do correct me on this if wrong) X-boxy looking Wii U pro controller for these games.

    Everything else on the Wii Shopping Channel can be played with a Wiimote.

    The conversion rate for stars to Wii Shopping points is a flat 4/1; I've done all the conversions for purposes of comparison:

    - A NES game costs 500 points, therefore 2000 stars (2400 for Hanabi festival titles)
    - A SNES game costs 3200 stars (3600 for Hanabi festival titles)
    - An N64 game costs 4000 stars (4800 for Hanabi festival titles)

    So as you can see, if you want to buy Mario's Super Picross it is 900 stars cheaper using this method! Fortunately this isn't true in any other case, Super Punch-Out!! (for example) costs 2100 stars straight from the catalogue as a Wii U download, but 3200 points to obtain through the Wii Shopping Channel, while the Legend of Zelda is 1300 as a Wii U download but 2000 through the Wii Shopping Channel. If you're not taken with any of the games listed in the article, there are a *lot* of other games to choose from, albeit via a slightly fiddly means and at a slight stars premium.

    For anyone interested, here are the prices for the non-Nintendo Virtual Console stuff:
    - Master System games 2000 stars
    - TGFX16 games 2400 stars (2800 for Hanabi)
    - Megadrive games 3200 stars (3600 for Hanabi)
    - NeoGeo games 3600 stars (4000 for Hanabi)

    Finally here's a selection of notable WiiWare titles and their prices in stars:

    - Bit.Trip Beat - 2400 stars
    - Cave Story - 4000 stars
    - La Mulana - 4000 stars
    - Lost Winds / Lost Winds 2 - 4000 stars
    - Retro City Rampage - 4000 stars
    - Sonic 4 Ep. 1 - 6000 stars
    - World of Goo - 6000 stars

    Hope this info proves useful to someone, I've wasted enough time today working it out!
    Reply +10
  • Video: Why Telltale's new IP might be its best game yet

  • thisisatempaccount 27/02/2015

    @TekMerc What an inspired idea. The problem with Star Trek games is that shooty combat (the go-to genre for licensing in games) is only really about 10% of the series - I think they spend less time shooting at things in The Next Generation than they do trapped in the bloody holodeck, and even Jim Kirk was more of a lover than he was a fighter.

    What the series really was, to me at least, is a sort of grand, Ferrero-Rocher themed adventure full of diplomatic tensions, cultural misunderstandings and political dilemmas. The Telltale style isn't a good fit for everything, but I can't think of anything it'd be more perfect for than letting you hang out with Data, Worf and pals while negotiating a peace treaty on a planet full of crinkly-foreheaded telepaths.
    Reply +2
  • Eurogamer has dropped review scores

  • thisisatempaccount 10/02/2015

    I always thought review scores did more harm than good so I applaud both the sentiment and bravery required for EG to make this step. That said I'm not sure how removing a 10 point scale (albeit more a de facto 6 point scale, based on how scores between 1 and 4 were so rarely awarded) and replacing it with what amounts to a 4 point scale is going to be less reductive, exactly.

    The other changes to review policy, well, frankly they should have always been in place, shouldn't they? They're welcome nonetheless.
    Reply 0
  • Resident Evil HD Remaster review

  • thisisatempaccount 20/01/2015

    Perhaps Mr. Parkin would like to share some examples of games that he feels have bettered this one's formative designs? Don't be coy now, Simon. Honestly, I have no horses in this race or anything, but I am genuinely curious to know. Reply +3
  • Club Nintendo to close later this year

  • thisisatempaccount 20/01/2015

    This scheme really came to my rescue when I was at uni. I was flat broke and some bell-end of a best mate stubbed his (cough) cigarette out on my mouse mat, warping the plastic. I couldn't really get on with a piece of paper - the best replacement within the cheeky bugger's means to provide - but a misspent youth's worth of GBA games translated to juuust enough points to secure me an Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City!® mouse pad, delivered promptly and straight to my hall of residence.

    To this day I've never played a game from the series, but it taught me an important lesson about the value of free promotional tat. Probably the wrong one, but...
    Reply +28
  • Nintendo experimenting with free-to-play, cross-buy for Mario and Pokémon spin-offs

  • thisisatempaccount 14/01/2015

    Ugh. We've seen how this sort of thing has been the thin end of the wedge on pretty much every platform on which it's arrived. Sometimes it feels like Nintendo are one of the few developers who aren't treating their audience with total contempt, so this feels like a bad direction to be moving in. Reply +23
  • Succulent is a popsicle-sucking parody game you have to see

  • thisisatempaccount 14/01/2015

    I have to see it? Am I on buzzfeed? Reply +17
  • How Duke Nukem 3D managed to be ahead of its time while trapped in the past

  • thisisatempaccount 13/01/2015

    @DeLoftie All right, I think we've reached an understanding. You don't see evidence of subversion in those early levels (it's worth noting that the game doesn't actually revisit the red light district over and over, even if that's what it's remembered for), and I do. That's actually totally fine.

    A creator's responsibilities when creating, versus their right to create what they want, well, gosh. That's a whole other can of worms and not something I've frankly taken the effort to hammer out a coherent opinion on. I do sometimes worry about the term 'problematic' being deployed euphemistically by critics in an attempt to circumscribe the sphere of permissible art, but I can hardly fault its use in connection with Duke as he's obviously a divisive figure whose games pose for many people obvious and legitimate problems. And I totally agree that the game deserves critical assessment, I just didn't happen to agree with the job Dan did of it, or at least not all of it, because he seemed to come at the question of the developer's intent with a very straight bat.

    At any rate I'd like to thank you for the discussion, which I enjoyed and feel I got a lot out of.
    Reply +3
  • thisisatempaccount 13/01/2015

    @DeLoftie We seem to be arguing past each other. I just don't accept this idea I'm getting from you that you can only subvert something didactically. Incongruence and absurdity can be hung around an environment for the player to notice, or not; the player can continue blithely to receive gratification that the surface level a grubby game like Duke provides (a handy way to get sales from the immature, I'm by no means arguing that 3D Realms wasn't using this stuff to sell games), while still leaving open (encouraging, even) the possibility that at some point they might have a little think about what they're doing - whether the game has earnestly created that environment as an altar of eroticism to be celebrated, or whether its secretly quite amused by it and its adherents.

    Maybe it's just me, but I think stalking the aisles of porno mag shop, the level following the cinema, the representations of individual titles too grainy to even decipher, much less be titillated by, couldn't fail to give players pause. What am I doing here? Was I really getting turned on by this stuff in the last level? I wan't, right? That would have been.. pathetic.

    I agree totally on your points about the normalisations of strip clubs in other media, I think you made them very well. But let's not forget that Duke doesn't wow the sex workers with his alpha status in this game, he doesn't get 'a free show'; he has to pay his dollar like any other hapless schmoe. The seedy environments Duke inhabits are absolutely constructed from 80s Hollywood pastiche, but I feel like if you look at the details there really is a lot of subversion going on. It just isn't the explicitly communicated, take-a-trope-and-tweak-it-like-a-clown's-nose stuff you seem to demand be the bar for permissible satire.
    Reply +1
  • thisisatempaccount 13/01/2015

    @DeLoftie I dunno mate. I definitely think it's possible to subvert something without needing Duke to wink to the camera while THIS IS SATIRE is flashed up on the screen.

    Does anybody - did anybody ever - really think strippers are cool? Having to pay for sex (or more pathetically, a voyeuristic skin flick, jazz mag or flash of tasselled nipple - Duke never actually gets his bone on in the game) is a socially derided act, the behaviour of the sexually desperate and ineffectual, at complete odds with Duke's portrayal as the all-conquering hero. That juxtaposition is subversive, as is the early levels' depiction of L.A. - that vaunted beacon of American affluence, culture and spiritual home of those supposedly-admired 80s action movies - being that of a grimy, dismal hell-hole barely worth the saving.

    It may not be not very clever, it may not be very nuanced, but it's there.

    I know wikipedia isn't much of a source, but for what it's worth, from the opening paragraphs:

    "Reviewers praised the interactivity of the environment, level design, gameplay, and unique risqué humor, a mix of pop-culture satire and lampooning of over-the-top Hollywood action heroes."
    Reply +4
  • thisisatempaccount 13/01/2015

    Even as a teenager, I always thought the grossness in this game was intentional parody. If Duke is such an awesome babe magnet, it struck me, what was he doing hanging around in these porn shops and peep-show booths anyway? Why was I? (Not that I didn't lap it up of course.) The game is depicting his hyper sexual/sexist identity with a tongue firmly in cheek.

    As the article acknowledges, Duke was a throwback on release and a knowing one at that. His rampaging id may impress on its own terms, all bombastic machismo and priapic delight, but looks ridiculous when placed in pretty much any other context besides those grubby environs.

    Don't get me wrong. Many games are casually sexist and I find that frustrating, from Samus getting progressively more stripperific in Smash Bros., to MMOs that only let you create an obese avatar if you're playing a man, or make the femmes in all their monstrous races inexplicable supermodels. EG are right to call that out, be it overt or covert, but I feel this is a game that needs examining beneath surface values. Which is to be fair is exactly what Dan's tried to do, but, well, I dunno.

    Think of it this way: is this a game that's trying to normalise, much less glorify, the hyper-inflated representations of gender it portrays? It seems impossible to me that it's doing anything other than subverting the mindset of trashy Hollywood macho-man culture by holding it up to a circus mirror.
    Reply 0
  • This third-party Wii U GameCube controller adapter works with PC, too

  • thisisatempaccount 13/01/2015

    My theory is that everyone's hand sizes are different, but pad sizes are constant, so the comfort/discomfort in using a given pad deriving from this probably has a vast amount more to do with how 'well-designed' it is for a given person than things like ergonomics and symmetry.

    Personally I found the N64 and gamecube controllers to be absolute brillo, but couldn't get on with either xbox or 360 controller (too big). I also quite like the various species of dualshock so it's with some trepidation that I must conclude I have smaller than average hands.
    Reply +4
  • Reader's top 50 games of 2014

  • thisisatempaccount 02/01/2015

    Alternative tagline: 8 out of 50. Reply 0
  • Video: The Tekken characters more ridiculous than Lucky Chloe

  • thisisatempaccount 17/12/2014

    @AoifeLockhart As per Hurricane's image, surely it's Gon with the Wind?

    I'll see myself out.
    Reply +6
  • The serene, interconnected world of the brilliant The Settlers 2

  • thisisatempaccount 14/12/2014

    Yes! I also loved the clockwork intricacy of the settlements in this game. What breaks that illusion a bit is how literally all activity in the game only furthers the end of fuelling your military. There's no resource in the game, no technology that doesn't terminate in improving your capacity to make war - and therefore no point to your villagers' existence, whatever hat they're wearing, beyond that ultimate goal. It isn't a grand, chin-strokingly emergent triumph of the game that your 'Utopias' all bend this way, Richard - it's literally stamped into the game's DNA like a stick of rock.

    Which isn't a fault, I should stress - otherwise I'd be criticising the game for something it wasn't. But I do sometimes look at the beauty of this game in motion, which the article paints so well, and wish more games had borrowed it for more interesting ends. I say more interesting not because I'm a wet liberal - OK, not only that - but because the actual combat in this game was bobbins, and turned the campaign into a dreary slog past the first few levels.
    Reply +2
  • The Crew review

  • thisisatempaccount 10/12/2014

    "Where the grind really manifests itself, though, is in the quest for new cars. Anything desirable is guaranteed to be phenomenally expensive and, in one of The Crew's more insidious moments, it bestows 100,000 of its secondary 'Crew Credits' currency upon you - enough to have you mooning over the Ferraris, but not quite enough to buy one without dipping into microtransactions."



    Reply +39
  • Escape Dead Island review

  • thisisatempaccount 27/11/2014

    Good review, Dan. If I were to take issue with one aspect of it it would be this line:

    "The only way Escape Dead Island could be reasonably enjoyed is if it were actually a game from 1999, and in terms of both visuals and gameplay there's no reason it couldn't have been."

    It's probably not what you intended, but it's kind of a weird picture of history you're painting here, that in the last fifteen years the industry has seen nothing but successive improvements in gameplay. I think most gamers would tell you that for all the improvements in technological grunt and graphical fidelity, things have been stagnant on the gameplay front for the best part of a decade. What freshness there is in the market has largely come from the indies, and let's face it, even the most celebrated examples there have been remixes of Rogue, Mario and Zelda.

    And some mechanics which are becoming more widespread are actually backwards steps for gaming - real money transactions, grinding, energy gating, QTEs, obsession with Hollywood and cutscene overload, always online requirements, companion apps, content removal by mandatory update, in-game advertising, pay2win, cheats repackaged as DLC - etc etc etc.

    Whereas 1999 was arguably one of the most exciting times to be a gamer. Rare, Valve, iD, Epic, Nintendo, Square, Sega, Westwood, Shiny, Looking Glass, Black Isle, Blizzard and so many more devs were in their arguable primacy. The transition to 3D was an exciting milestone and was delivering real, new concepts, verbs and possibilities to play that we'd never seen before. I would take 1999 over what we have today in a heartbeat!
    Reply +4
  • Who needs games: PlayStation 4's first year

  • thisisatempaccount 15/11/2014

    "the shambles that is the one exception, Assassin's Creed Unity"

    Reply +46
  • How Assassin's Creed Unity's micro-transactions work

  • thisisatempaccount 14/11/2014

    @menage Fair enough if that's your opinion, mate. I would have agreed with you a few years ago. But that was when the business model didn't need reviewing, because most games were on an even footing and so it could be taken as read that you'd pays yer money and you'd get yer content in return. That really doesn't seem to be the case any more:

    I think it's only fair that our friends in the games media adapt to the changes that are happening to the industry they cover. I don't see how the status quo of the past thirty-odd years can really be maintained; when the business model pursued by some publishers gets as invasive as we're beginning to see now, that's going to have an impact on whether the game's any good, as you put it, and reviews are going to have to reflect that when delivering their verdicts.
    Reply +11
  • thisisatempaccount 14/11/2014

    Not EG's finest hour, this. Notice this article has followed on only after the review, which relegated any mention to a mere screen-shot caption. Even if it isn't, it very much looks like a cynical ploy to draw in those delicious outrage-clicks while foregoing the ire of the publisher in question by holding them to account via the review score.

    Pricing has been allowed to positively influence scores in the past on this site - budget games, especially indie ones, haven't been held to the same scoring criteria of a full-price release. So surely the fact that the true cost of this game could run into the hundreds of pounds should be factored in the same way? It's all very well protesting that they weren't privy to what was going on here, but now that they are, will they change their review? Considering the game is a technical horror-show and even that hasn't moved them to make amends, I'm doubtful.

    As long as EG keep waving games that employ these gross practises through with 7s or higher, they'll be a complicit party in the slide of our beloved hobby into a trashy, hyper-commercialised sludge, even as they decry exploitative mechanics in their weekend op-eds, character-assassinate their own readership as mindless consumer Neanderthals, and churn out paragraph after purple paragraph praising gaming as the greatest growing art form of our time.

    Unfortunately my prediction is that this gutter they've made their bed is one they'll be only too happy to lie in.
    Reply +17
  • Volgarr the Viking review

  • thisisatempaccount 07/11/2014

    It's weird that throughout the '00s this sort of challenge was seen as typical of a Dark Age of gaming, out of which there was widespread relief we had progressed. From same-screen checkpoints to regenerating health, a whole panoply of cures were discovered for the great gaming ailment: frustration.

    How frustrating to not instantly get what we wanted! To have to see the same level more than once! Frustration in games is a real thing, I'm not trying to deny it exists, but somehow a whole industry still managed to flourish, rather than spiralling into terminal decline, while we were grimacing our way through the three Ms of gaming difficulty: Megaman, Maximo and.. er.. Mgradius.

    Back in the noughties, phrases like 'trial and error' were routinely deployed in op-eds to inveigh against the sorry past; 'quality of life' to depict the Whigsian march towards a better, less frustrating tomorrow. Dara Ó Briain was wheeled out now and then to demand developers provide us with chapter select menus, the better to give us (as consumers with Consumer Rights) access to the content we had paid for; you know, like that other life-enriching, ultra-modern technology, the DVD.

    It's funny then that after a scant few years into this great new future of accessible gaming, critics seem to have been afflicted with a terrible ennui. The penny seems to have dropped that games now all but play themselves, and the thrills that most offer come not from the intrinsic satisfaction of having risen to a challenge, but the extrinsic food-pellets of meted-out, sub-Hollywood-quality cutscenery, and a collection of unlockable tchotchkes for their arsenal of murder-rifles.

    Ok, so they were a few years behind the rest of us, but it's good to see the press is now recognising the reality of the gaming landscape with the cold sobriety that only a Mountain Dew hangover can provide. Challenge is back in vogue. Dan is right that hard games aren't for everyone, but easy games aren't for everyone either, and for a long while the dominant philosophy demanded everything defer to the lowest common denominator.

    Just one request. Please. Stop comparing every and any difficult game to Dark Souls. I know it's a useful short-hand. I know it was the first hard game in a few years to catch the public mood. But it wasn't the first hard game EVER. Difficult as it is to keep track of gaming's labyrinthine web of ancestry and influence, it'll be all but impossible if people start actively re- and overwriting it for the sake of conveniences. And that's a challenge I don't think anybody needs.
    Reply +29
  • Destiny guide

  • thisisatempaccount 05/11/2014

    Actually, it's about the frequency of Destiny articles in games journalism.

    Reply +10
  • EA cancels MOBA Dawngate

  • thisisatempaccount 05/11/2014

    It's not that new Lane-Pushers* shouldn't be made. By all means, developers, have a crack at it if that's what you want to do. Competition is healthy for everyone, despite what we might instinctively feel when we're invested in something (I know well that it's hard to resist being a fanboy, even when I also know fanboyism never produced any good in the world).

    But you have to be realistic about breaking into a genre like this. These are games which require an enormous level of commitment just to be have a handle of what's actually going on on the screen - as much as 500 hours, give or take. Then the road to becoming good at the game? That's more like five thousand.

    I'm not bragging with misplaced pride for being a genre vet here (well, I'm not just doing that); this is really just how complicated these games are. (Could you make one that's less complex? You could try, but I wouldn't be surprised if you found it was the complexity that kept people interested in the first place.) And that's important, because if you're going to invest your resources trying to make a hit, you have to consider your potential audience.

    On the one hand you've got these people whose dedication to getting good at one particular game has led them to play it to almost exclusivity - and on the other, you've got people who think the former people are completely barmy and would much rather be able to keep up with the new releases / occasionally receive exposure to sunlight, thank you very much. There might be a third group of people who want to play a Lane-Pusher, but have been waiting for just that perfect-looking, er, indistinguishable League clone to come along before they get on board.

    But is that niche going to be enough to sustain your game? I can't honestly say that I'm surprised to have seen the answer in this particular case.

    (*come on everyone, the MOBA acronym is dumb - Counterstrike is an Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.)
    Reply +13
  • Death to the mini-map

  • thisisatempaccount 01/11/2014

    It has always amazed me that developers and publishers will spend tens of millions of dollars on art and world asset production, all for more or less nothing, because they are framed within a nagging UI that constantly drags the eye away from the world-as-it-is-presented. Not only does it shatter any hope of player/world immersion, it prevents the assets, be they yawning canyons, dense foliage, wondrous alien structures or painstakingly recreated geographical landmarks, from even being seen, rather than parsed like so many turnings or roundabouts en route to your destination.

    In this way, open world games are essentially reduced to a sort of grandiose Pacman - follow the dots and stay within the lines. Except even in pacman that was the actual world, not a UI element, so you felt a greater sense of connection and exploration within that 30 year old game than you do with today's mega-blockbusters, for all their fidelity and expenditure.

    Great article! I also agree with the comments, however - this stuff should always be optional, for the sake of the time poor (although I think most games just need less bloat and filler in that regard, but that's a whole other rant...)

    As other commenters in this thread have also noticed, to some extent this is also bleeding into real life as well, with the advent of smart phones and GPS. Will Self wrote interestingly (and at some length) on this phenomena for the Graun, if anyone is interested in further reading.
    Reply +5
  • Capcom: no new Darkstalkers any time soon

  • thisisatempaccount 09/10/2014

    "When Famitsu's reporter expressed disappointment over the situation with Darkstalkers, Ono joked: "Well, in that case all you have to do is buy about four million copies of Darkstalkers Resurrection!"

    Later in the interview, Ono said that if a game does not sell over two million copies, then Capcom won't greenlight a sequel."

    So.... Darkstalkers Resurrection sold... lemme do the maths... -2,000,000 copies?!
    Reply +10
  • FIFA 15 Ultimate Team: time for a shake-up?

  • thisisatempaccount 29/09/2014

    @dogmanstaruk You've come across as a tad bitter there, but as a card-carrying feminist I actually agree with you. Woman's league football is something I'd love to see in FIFA games.

    I'd even venture even further into MRA territory and suggest it's a significant double standard for Eurogamer not to be holding EA's feet to the fire over this, because - more than in the case of Assassin's Creed or other fantastical series - greater and better female representation (or any at all!) in sports games could have a positive knock-on impact in the real world, where the slant in media coverage has a massive male-centric focus and does little to encourage girls/women to participate in sport or aspire to careers in it.

    My feeling is that EA would never do it, though, not because of the 'cost of animating female models' nonsense we've seen trotted out by Ubisoft et al, but because the question of how they balanced female players' statistics against those of their male counterparts would be politically inflammable (to use a massive dollop of understatement).
    Reply +1
  • Destiny becomes world's best-selling new IP

  • thisisatempaccount 17/09/2014

    @arcam The most sensible thing I've seen posted on here in a while mate. Good on you.

    @George-Roper So, EG, have you been made privy to this 'number of sources'? Or are you just taking Activision's word for it? And journos wonder why so many in the gaming community see them as just another arm of the PR industry. Poachers and game keepers at tea together indeed.
    Reply +2
  • Planetary Annihilation review

  • thisisatempaccount 16/09/2014

    This review left a fair few questions hanging in the air for me. In what way does optimising your construction, managing your armies and responding to your opponent's counter-moves - or speed, efficiency and swarming your opponents as you put it - not count as strategy? What sort of strategy do you have in mind that takes a back seat to these other things?

    And what about these 5v5 or 2v2^6 matches? I'm sure a lot of ears pricked up among your readers when they saw that line - so why mention and then immediately dismiss it in the most cursory manner? Why couldn't you give us an insight into what these intriguing modes are like to play - you say a lot of people would look past the game's flaws to experience such things, and I'm sure many would - if, you know, the review gave any inkling as to whether it would be worth doing so.

    Reply +6
  • Destiny UK's biggest new IP launch ever

  • thisisatempaccount 15/09/2014

    @el_pollo_diablo The weird thing is that without download data the numbers are obviously suspect if not entirely worthless, so why on Earth do Eurogamer give them the credibility of taking them seriously? Reply +1
  • Sometimes I wish more games were just a vertical slice

  • thisisatempaccount 06/09/2014

    I'm not too sure I read this properly, but a game with 426 levels has probably been padded a bit, yeah. Reply +6
  • Why we need more developers like Zoe Quinn

  • thisisatempaccount 30/08/2014

    Hi Dan, thanks for writing this article! I enjoyed it and found much in it that was challenging and thought-provoking. I have three points that I'd like to try to make in response:

    1) I agree with the premise. I like the idea of games with stronger voices, games with something to say. I don't mind the idea of games becoming less game-like in search of that (provided they remain compelling experiences) - as you mention, 'proper' mainstream games are already becoming more and more like films anyway, so what's wrong with games that are more like novels, more like toys, more like paintings or theatre or art installations or happenings or anything else?

    2) That said, I've always had major issues with auteur theory - big games are the product of the blood, sweat and inspiration of dozens, if not hundreds of developers, so how is it fair that one person should get all of the credit? Even if they have nominal creative control over the project, it isn't as if every aspect of the game - writing, art assets, level design, direction, feedback loops, control schema, animation, voice work, music - was born as a pure droplet of concentrated Muse in their minds, woven together to be shared with their disciples to nobly go forth and make into reality. 80 to 90 percent of that shit wouldn't have come out in the form that it did were it not for anonymous schmoes in the company rank and file, each working to accordance of their own hopes, ideals, politics and dreams and producing art in their own voice. Kojima aside, replace half a dozen key people from the production effort of, say, MGS 3, and you'd have a massively different game on your hands.

    Now I'm not saying we have to get rid of collaborative art, because obviously it works: good games and movies and TV shows do get made (occasionally!). But I've always thought it's pretty exploitative to credit the whole outpouring of effort to just a single name. Depression Quest (which I'd call a good game, problematic in parts but still good) is obviously something of a different matter; it's a much smaller game, but hey, weren't there were still two other people on the credits to that game? Can anyone reading this name them off the top of their heads? I can't and I was playing the game last night!

    3) There are more developers like Zoe Quinn out there. There are thousands of Twine games available to play out there. I would imagine most if not all of them were written from an equally personal space. There were thousands of Interactive Fiction games before Twine even existed, just as for decades people have been pouring their souls into Game Maker games, flash games, html5 games, Clickteam games, RPG maker games, AGS games, Megazeux... these people exist. Their voices aren't being heard, and never will be; they'll always go undiscovered and the pains put to expressing them will be in vain.

    And that's probably inevitable because this is how so much of art has always been - only .001% of any creative work ever reaches the audience it deserves. That's alway's been unfortunate, but in the context of articles like this, articles that cry out for personal expression while pointedly ignoring the existence of scads of it everywhere on the internet, I find it poignant and sad.

    Is that gaming's fault? Is it gamers' fault? Yes. Those of us who want more from our games shoud demand more from them, and we should make more of an effort to find games that offer more. But it's also just as much the fault of sites like Eurogamer who have built wide-reaching platforms but fail or refuse to give these very types of games the one thing they depserately need, which is exposure. You could give the oxygen of publicity - I know that's a term loaded with negative connotations, but it needn't always be a bad thing - to nourish hundreds of such developers, simply by reviewing their games.

    Let people know which voices are worth listening to, Dan. Moralising in an editorial will whip everyone up into a frenzy for a while, it might nudge a few onlookers into your camp, but how is it going to really change the status quo? These developers are already out there - come on, of course they are - and these types of article are fine - if a little rude for handwaving a lot of extant creators from reality - but the business of actually finding these games, and letting us know about them, why they're valuable and where we can get our hands on them - that sort of spadework is what I'd be more interested to see.
    Reply +20
  • Video: Ellie's Gibson's best bits

  • thisisatempaccount 29/08/2014

    @Mods Not to be that guy, but both the interview links go to the Mark Rein piece.

    @GamerFreak Ellie's been a part of EG for as long, I'd guess, as pretty much anyone's been reading it. Feels very weird to see her go.
    Reply +2
  • The worst games I've ever played, by Ellie Gibson

  • thisisatempaccount 28/08/2014

    Thanks for the reviews, and the interviews, and for everything else, Ellie. They were good times. You made a pretty crap era of gaming - all middling out and compromise - brighter with your words. The thought that we'll have to soldier on through the next one without you leaves me feeling really quite sad.

    I'll be eternally grateful to you for giving us the [link=">gift of Fruit Mystery. The site is long gone, but fortunately the wayback machine has managed
    Reply +1