Sunday, December 1, 2013

Steam Sale–Autumn 2013

It’s that time again, and this time I’m not all that impressed. I don’t even think it’s because I have most of what I want, the whole thing just seems rather lackluster. Maybe they’re waiting for the winter sale to drop the prices to ridiculous levels. Thus far I’m only been tempted by Shadowrun for 8.99. Still, I passed. I think mainly because I realized I spent to much on Black Friday. Ah well.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Unpleasant Implications

Santa… apparently didn’t give a shit all the other reindeer were bullying Rudolph until he needed a new headlight for the sleigh.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Horrible Things in Disney Movies

Males lions, when they take over a pride, will usually kill any existing cubs so that only their offspring remain. Nala and Simba are the same age, in the same pride…

Granted it’s not 100% she’s Mufasa’s daughter.

There’s a remote possibility Scar’s her dad.

Monday, June 24, 2013’s Summer Sale

It’s that time again, and apparently is beating Steam to the punch. currently has pretty much everything 50% off with daily sales bringing things lower. I picked up Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and FTL for just over 5 bucks.

I’m kinda tempted with the Wing Commander Series. You can grab everything for $12, including Privateer. I have fond memories of Privateer, a game I never ‘finished’ but lost countless hours just flying around killing shit, collecting bounties and playing the stock market. I have a feeling though, that it’s one of those series where the graphics just does not hold up. At all. I’ll boot up once and avert my eyes in horror. Plus, I don’t have a flight stick. If got X-Wing or TIE Fighter I’d get a flight stick. I’m also pondering Medal of Honor Allied Assault. I think, maybe, that might hold up better.

On a related note, I expect Steam will be having it’s summer sale soon. I’m curious what I’ll end up being tempted with. It’s an odd cycle of diminishing returns each season as I buy up titles I want, there’s less to interest me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Survey says…

I received an email invitation to do a Funimation survey today. Incase you don’t know, Funimation is the publisher for Dragon Ball Z. Seems they are considering remastering the series for Blu-ray and wanted opinions. I basically told them I already had Dragon Ball Z Kai on blue-ray and had no intention of buying the series again. Prolly not what they want to hear.

Still, I give them feedback on with video format to use. Uncropped, I don’t want any image cut. Really, who cares about little black bars?

Finally I loved they way they asked if I wanted to join the newsletter:

*No, I don't want to get awesome correspondence from the amazing people at FUNimation.
*Yes, sign me up!

Microsoft and the X-Box 180, and DRM thoughts

So Microsoft caved into consumer pressure and dropped it’s (mostly) always on requirement and used game restrictions. I wonder what Sony execs are saying behind closed doors. PS4 is still $100 cheaper and arguably has the better specs minus Kinect. I am curious how things will play out.

With the changes though, Microsoft is also seemingly needing to cut back on some other things they’d planed. Dorkly has a great tongue in cheek mock up of Microsoft’s first draft of the changes announcement. Some of the things mention do actually sound cool (though I do think it’s wishful thinking Steam like sells would ever happen). Honestly, most complaining was probably hyperbole, the DRM now previously implemented would not have been that restrictive, if at all. A few isolated cases such as servicemen and living in rural areas may have had issues sure. But really, that’s why the market has choice. I doubt I personally would have ever be affected by it next generation.

But then, my concern has never been about a current generation, it’s about the previous generations. Looking at my shelf right now I have 43 (holy crap) PS3 titles. Four of them were bought used. It’s just not something that I normally do.

However, out of 15 Playstation *2* games, 9 of them were bought used. Most of them are sequels to titles I did buy new and enjoyed, but simply couldn’t afford when I was younger (Xenosaga 2-3, FFX-2, Dark Cloud 2). If PS2 had the types of DRM XBone has intended, I would not be able to play those titles.

Some people will respond that the PC has had to deal with DRM for years and it’s doing fine. Well… yes and no. We can look at server issues for always on DRM on the PC to see how it doesn’t work. When it does work though… The thing to keep in mind is that a 20 year old PC game is still a 20 year old PC game. I can still play Baldur’s Gate on a modern PC. I can’t put in Halo into a XBone and play it. Once 360 came out support for Xbox was dropped almost immediately.

For the record I intend to eventually get a PS4, though probably not at launch. I’ll take Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank and Sly Cooper over Halo and Gears any day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Best Quote from E3

“And then Sony played The Rains of Castamere…” – random spectator

Monday, June 10, 2013

PS4 and Used Games

OMG this literally made me LOL.

I really do try and not act like a Sony fanboy, but OMG! This is just perfection.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Quote of the Week

“Book stores get HBO a decade early.”

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Humble Bundle w/o the Bundle

The Humble Bundle people have a new thing starting today called the Humble Weekly Sale. Apparently one game will be for sale each week and they retain the whole ‘pay what you want’ thing. They have however created a tiered system where paying more will get you more. Interesting, though I do wonder how this will affect future bundles. We’d certainly be less likely to go after a bundle if we already have an included title, or wait for a certain title to show up. Guess we’ll see what happens.  For it’s debut the lucky game is Bastion.

Paying at least $1 will get you a Steam key, game works on Mac, Windows and Linux. Paying more than the average (currently $2.68) opens up a bonuses including the soundtrack, a digital art pack, sheet music and ringtones. Perhaps for the first time there’s also physical bonuses if you cough up $25, including a bandana, a soundtrack CD and 2 postcards, this tier includes free shipping on the bonus items.

Also while I don’t see it specifically advertised, I believe you can still pay 0.01, one freakin’ penny, to get the game directly from Humble with no Steam key.

I don’t have Bastion, apparently having missed it in various bundles t’s been in. It’s currently $15 on Steam, with the soundtrack an extra $10. I love soundtracks and feel they should be included in everything. How hard is it to stick a few MP3s in a zip file anyway?

I think I’m gonna pop on this. Though I must say I often feel embarrassed on behalf of my fellow gamers when I forums filled with people paying $1. Do they expect the developer to turn a profit on that and remain in business? I’m leaning towards paying $7. Even that seems low from a standpoint of the developer turning a profit. We’re such entilted blowhards. On the other hand it’s more than I paid for Mass Effect during a Steam sale. If an indie title really needs to make more than Mass Effect to stay afloat, that shit ain’t my fault.

Friday, March 15, 2013


So the gaming community has decided the SimCity fiasco is just yet another example of how EA is The Devil and how Always on DRM is a demonic entity. And people say gamers never over react.*

Full disclosure, I have not played the new SimCity so I don’t have first hand knowledge of how bad or overblown the situation actually is. I’ve always looked at the SimCity franchise and though ‘That looks cool. But… complicated…’. The streamlining (curious how a game I’m interested in is streamline, while a game I’m not interested in is dumbed down) of the latest SimCity has almost moved me to buy it. Almost. And no, it’s not because of all the horror stories, it’s simply because of finances and I can’t afford another new game right now.

However, let’s look at the problem and try to be rational. A heavily anticipated game is released and there’s so much interest it crashes servers… Is this really a surprise? Let’s take a deep breath and chill out for just a minute. On launch day everyone that got the game tried to log in and play, servers weren’t designed for this and the system broke. Sucks yes, but let’s be realistic here. Aside from the first week after release, there’s no way everybody who bought the game is going to be playing at the same time and it would be ludicrous for EA to devote resources to make servers that can cover everyone when after the initial wave hits numbers will balance out. EA in the last week has more than doubled it’s capacity, capacity it likely wont need next week.

When Star Wars The Old Republic was released they had 77 servers up and running to prevent this kind of launch day problems. A month later many of those were ghost towns. The game has since consolidated to eight servers. The quality of the game aside (I still say it’s better than most give credit, it just should have been a single player game – KOTOR3), they obviously didn’t need that huge capacity. Merging nearly 10 servers into 1 I’m sure damaged communities that had formed and caused many irritations. Notably I personally was forced to change my Legacy name, and out of 11 characters only 2 were able to retain their name. Due to unique names I simply could not find a name I wanted that was available. I ended up naming my Jedi Knight Arbitraryname just so I could log in. Haven’t played him since because that’s a stupid name, but apparently the only one not taken. Is this going to happen to Simcity a few months from now when EA doesn’t need all the servers they added and starts consolidating? Will people need to rename the towns they’ve created?

Does it suck not to be able to play something you just bought? Yes, yes it does. But people also need to not flip out. If you go see a highly anticipated movie on opening weekend, say Dark Knight or The Avengers, there’s probably going to be a line. Don’t bitch about the line. Suck it up. Or go next week.

As I said I haven’t bought Simcity, yet. I probably will at some point. Right now I’m trying to decide if I should go ahead and do it now to take advantage of the free game EA’s offered for the problems or hold off hoping for a sale. Origin doesn’t really seem to have good sales… but lacking any specific details I’m assuming EA’s free game is a choice between Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 2 or Dead Space 2. All of which I have.

*Nobody says this, I lied

Thursday, February 21, 2013

PlayStation 4 and the Media

So Sony made the big announcement that the next PlayStation will be called… PlayStation 4. They mentioned some specs (8gigs of RAM!! PS3 has 512MB), showed some trailers for some games, announced every developer in the world is on board (like there’s any chance they wouldn’t be).

They also seemed to concentrate a bit on social aspects which I really couldn’t care less about and cloud services which I’m leery about. The cloud service thing I’ll talk a bit more about later.

The gaming press in general to me almost seems pissed off more information was not handed out, they talk about real issues such as price and off the wall things like does the console have actual buttons or touchpads.

While I do agree it’s a bit of a letdown not to hear about price, we do need to understand Sony’s got approximately 9 months of announcements to plan for. They can’t tell us everything  or there’s nothing to talk about. Let me touch on a few of the odder questions I’ve seen floating around.

How much is it?
Agreed, it’d be nice to know. Sony is probably saving this announcement for E3, they may also be waiting to hear from Microsoft.

When does it launch?
Seriously? You need an exact date, right now? How strict is your job’s time off request system. Holiday 2013 to me is between Oct-Dec. Seems fair enough date range this far out.

Will the system use physical media?
I’ll file this one under the ‘duh’ category though it’s been mentioned at several site’s I’ve seen. I’ll assume it’s because Sony was touting it’s cloud services so much, but really… Did anyone expect PS4 to NOT have a drive? Eventually, but I think we’re still a long way off from streaming everything. Speeds and bandwidth caps just aren’t there yet. Besides, Sony learned that lesson with the PSPgo.

Were the trailers gameplay or cutscenes?
A bit of both, just like every other trailer that’s ever been made.

Will existing peripherals work?
Considering the changes in the controller (touchpad, move integration, built in headphone jack) do you really expect it to? Seems like a non-issue to me, though I suppose families might be irked to buy 3 new controllers again.

Maybe I’m a Sony fanboy and don’t realize it. I mean, I prefer my PS3 to my 360*, but I don’t actively hate the 360. I just don’t care for the controller and honestly, the green cases bug the hell out of me. Many of the authors of these articles I’m reading give the appearance to me, of bitching just to be bitching. Which is what I’m doing right now. I’ll shut up.

*Full disclosure: I actually uh… traded in my 360 to Gamestop last week. Seeing as it’d been collecting dust it seemed time. Paid for a StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm CE!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Graphics Aren’t Everything…

… but they are something.

On a whim I decided to install Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 a whirl. I’ve never beatin’ the game but I have fond memories of it’s outstanding level design for the levels I did get to. My playthrough oddly enough usually stopped once I gained more than one Force Power as the Force interface sucked.

Anyway, I went into this knowing that the soundtrack wouldn’t be there. There’s an weird thing were originally the music played right off the disc in a CD format not MP3 and Steam released ‘as is’. Sucks, but I get that it’s an older game and these things happen.

Also, I expected a certain amount of fiddling to get the game running smoothly. Had to download a hack DLL file to prevent the game from looking like an acid trip (Maybe a mistake..?). Once that was done though, I was ready to jump back into one of my favorite games from the olden games… ACK my eyes!

In these days when a lowly marine is rocking 100k polygons in Starcraft 2, Jedi Knight’s characters seem to be sporting… 30? Jarring to say the least.

I really don’t consider myself a graphics snob (Is that the right term?). To me my mind seems to be stuck in Playstation 2 mode. Most any current gen game will leave me in awe. Baldur’s Gate is still playable for me. And I really don’t get people knocking WoW for it’s ‘outdated graphics, they act as though the engine hasn’t been updated 4 separate times. Go hunt down a vanilla robe, then put something on from Pandaria, the texture differences are shocking.

Still, Jedi Knight was a shock I’m not sure I can overcome, and it saddens me.

Oh well, Crysis 3 comes out soon!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pop Culture

This happens every once in awhile. ‘The Internet’ and perhaps even other assorted mass media will start talking about someone or something as though it’s  assumed I should know what the hell they’re talking about. It happened with Lady Gaga, it happened with Game of Thrones (that has since been rectified) it happened with Parks and Recreation. And now…

Who or what, is a Manti Te'o and why should I give a damn?