Tag Archives: games

Here’s a Letter I Wrote To BioWare

I enjoy so much of Star Wars: The Old Republic that it almost physically hurt me to quit playing it, there are just so many cool things and ideas in this game.  But I just couldn’t take the dragging game play and the clearly, at this point, draconian shell of MMORPGs that it kind of shut itself into.  I wanted to make sure that BioWare, the developers of SWTOR, knew that I was concerned about their first foray into the MMORPG market.

When confronted with the questions asking me why I was quitting The Old Republic, I had to enter Other/Other because the problems I had with this title were so far reaching that they really didn’t have a valid category in the drop downs.  What happened afterward was basically a brain dump of the biggest, glaring issues I had with SWTOR, a game that could have easily been so much better.  And here it is in full:

——————————

I feel that there are many flaws to this game that stem from the predisposed requirements of traditional MMORPGs that this game could easily transcend and still allow to be marketable, profitable and allow players to keep coming back for more.  I have not leveled a character to maximum because, as fun as the story is to play and as fun as it is to keep building my character as an actual character and not just controlling it as a puppeteer does to a marionette it is an absolute slog to get to the parts that make my character matter.  If you were to reduce the experience requirements to get to maximum level by at least 10% across the board past 20 I believe this would make the game a bit more streamlined and allow the player to change environments more frequently and reduce the diminishing returns one feels by being on Tatooine for five hours, or even Hoth for longer.
The second issue I feel that really drags this title down from its full potential is the combat.  BioWare has made so many strides in this industry, be it the interlocking stories between games you’re famous for, or even switching up combat and trying new things with each new title, some things less successful than others, it seems odd to me that you’d keep in the trappings of EverQuest, a nearly 13 year old game.  Combat is boring button mashing that isn’t made any better by the simultaneous competing with the ideologies and paradigms of the much more subscribed to World of Warcraft.  And I mean this by no offense, but you’re innovators in the world of gaming.  Able to craft fine stories and gameplay to boot.  Wouldn’t it have been better to figure out a way to maybe make your skills more reactive?  Or more action oriented in the vein of Mass Effect 2?  Or just somehow different from every other MMO out there?  I’m not saying it’s possible, or even probable, to fix this glaring issue, but my character grows, both in personality and in skill, but the gameplay does not reflect this.  All you are doing is sending us more monsters with more HP that do the same things.  If any company could do it, BioWare is the company that can make combat in an MMO interesting, if at least a bit more like a combination between Aion and TERA.
There are so many things in this game that I absolutely adore.  I love the companion system.  I love the settings and the freedom I have with my character.  I love that socializing matters.  I am really impressed with what you have done.  But the pacing for the grind has to be improved, as the leveling is not at all the point of an MMO.  A player should be able to do their class quests alone and get through a planet easily, that should be the pace to set, the other stuff should be lumped with the [BONUS] strings of quests that come at the end of planets, after your character has made a name for themselves.  I, and I feel that many others, aren’t playing the game to run around for random people, but for the chance to play their characters, and there is very little character building to be had in these non-class quests from my experience.  Sure there might be some Dark or Light Side points or what-have-you, but that really isn’t something that ultimately matters, since you can get those later in the game doing the end game Operations and Flashpoints, or you should if that isn’t already an option.
Perhaps if things get ironed out, I will return to this game, because it fascinates me, and my character was my own creation that had a life of its own.  But it feels that the developers did not do any forward thinking enough in the gameplay aspects.  I look forward to future news and additions you will be coming up with for this title.

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Generational

I’ve been playing Sonic Generations almost nonstop since I rented it on Thursday.  And it’s pretty awesome, all things considered.  Also, I am almost completely done with it.  So I’m pretty glad I didn’t pay 40 dollars for it, otherwise I might have been a little peeved.  Nevertheless, it’s the most fun I’ve had for a long time, and it’s pretty much the reason why I didn’t update earlier, but I have a self-imposed deadline, one article every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

So, unfortunately for you, I have to adhere to that.

But I’ve noticed a few things for the first time that I should have realized probably more than a decade ago, the most jarring of which is that those little dinging sounds that happen randomly when you’re underwater are submarine sonar radar noises.  I know!  You’re probably like, of course, what else would it be?  I didn’t know until, like, yesterday.  Mostly because I wouldn’t guess why it was happening because there was no submarine and there was nothing indicating such qualities.  Yeah, leave me alone.  It was dumb that I didn’t know, but now I do, so shut up.

Another thing of less import is that Chemical Plant Zone has some sexy, sexy music.  I always preferred Emerald Hill Zone when I was younger, but now that I’m more aware of musically inclined stuff, there’s a lot going on there, especially for that ridiculous little Sega sound chip.  I mean, this isn’t saying Emerald Hill sucks now, or anything, but I like all the little nuances of Chemical Plant and it’s awesome.  The remixed versions of it in Generations aren’t half bad, either.  But, like with so many other things, the original is far more impressive for multiple reasons.

I also realized that I don’t give a shit about any of the Sonic the Hedgehog games released after Sonic Adventure, mostly because they are garbage.  I don’t think I’ve played any of the non-handheld ones since Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, and that thing is a steaming hunk of trash.  Really, for the A Emblem I can’t hit anything in my terribly controllable go kart?  Thanks, Sonic Team!  Real stand up gents you are!  Go rape a Chao.

So there are some things I noticed.  Maybe there might be more, I don’t know, but I figured this was at least something to put up, at least.  And if you don’t like it?

Tough.


Let’s Tweet: Earthbound

I decided it would be a good idea to make a variant of Let’s Play that utilized Twitter, rather than Youtube or some other video nonsense. It would more or less be a running commentary, as Let’s Plays are, but without someone’s annoying voice mucking everything up. And here’s the collection of them, from both myself and from the people that replied. Maybe spread the word and we can get some more people going on this the next time I attempt a Let’s Tweet. More people might make it more interesting.

So, without further ado:

Day 1 – Nov. 07-08, 2011

radixius Started a new game of Earthbound. Unfortunately, no Picky kill on Starman, Jr. #letstweetEB
radixius Get the map? Are you dumb? #letstweetEB
IanfaceMcGee
Maps are for fucking scrubs and losers. #letstweetEB
radixius
Skate Punk? More like Waaaankeeeeeer! #letstweetEB
radixius
Just withdrew 37 dollars. #letstweetEB
radixius
Beat Frank. Surely nothing terrible cab happen after this. #letstweetEB
Isis86
@radixius
of course it cabn’t 😉 #letstweetEB *Yeah, okay, I made a typo, big whoop, wanna fight about it?
radixius Just had a Cookie and a Can of fruit juice. What am I? Twelve? Yes is the answer to that question. #letstweetEB
Isis86 @radixius I want a cookie too #letstweetEB
radixius Ness gained 37 exp. #letstweetEB
radixius Super Ultra Mambo-Tango-Foxtrot martial arts are taught in Learning Annex B #letstweetEB
radixius I figured all local guys were unassuming. #letstweetEB
Isis86 @radixius apparently only 50% of all local guys are unassuming.
radixius Slingshots and Yo-Yos are for losers! #letstweetEB
radixius Dad just called. Must be two hours since I started. #letstweetEB
radixius Pencil erased! #letstweetEB
radixius Blue, blue. If I had something witty to say, I wouldn’t be using Twitter… #letstweetEB
radixius Fuzzy Pickles Guy knew where Paula was being held and never did anything… What a jerk! #letstweetEB
SBLoveGen Spankety spankety spankety! #letstweetEB
radixius Giant Step and Lilliput Steps down. Time for the Runaway Five-ish and on to Threed. #letstweetEB
radixius Paula’s dad is a whiny bitch. #letstweetEB
radixius Hey, Sidewalk! Get out of my way! #letstweetEB
radixius Meanwhile: At Snow Wood Boarding School! #letstweetEB
radixius “The key is bent and doesn’t fit in the hole.” #thatswhatshesaid #letstweetEB
radixius The only reason the Struttin’ Evil Mushroom exists is so Jeff won’t feel funky. #letstweetEB
radixius Ah, the Sky Walk… errr, I mean Sky Runner #letstweetEB
radixius Second dad call. Four hours. #letstweetEB
radixius Ah, Saturn Valley, where all are Mr. Saturn. This seems as good a place as any to stop for today. #letstweetEB

Day 2 – Nov. 08, 2011

radixius Let’s get this show on the road! It’s time for part two of #letstweetEB
radixius It’s time to wait for three minutes… #letstweetEB
radixius Foppies are ridiculous. That is all. #letstweetEB
radixius Get ready to feel the pain of true nausea! #letstweetEB
radixius Hoverin’ mushrooms! #letstweetEB
radixius Eagleland: Where Wolves Have Poisonous Fangs! #letstweetEB
radixius Sesame Seeds need love too, guys. #letstweetEB
radixius Oh, Tonzura Bros. When will you ever learn? #letstweetEB
radixius There WERE five masters in that hole. #thatswhatshesaid #thirdstrongest #letstweetEB
Isis86 @radixius that’s what she said.#letstweetEB * Indeed it is, madam. Indeed it is…
radixius
“Back in my day we used to fight bosses to jazz music! And we liked it!” #letstweetEB
radixius
Wel come to moo nsi ns dem oons idea… #what #letstweetEB
radixius Trout flavored yogurt? Count me in! #neglectedclass #letstweetEB
radixius Don’t stand behind me and stare at my hips! #pervert #letstweetEB
radixius Milky Well and Rainy Circle down. Halfway done. #letstweetEB
radixius Time for some wicked My Training. #letstweetEB * It’s Mu Training, my fingers just went dumb.
Isis86 @radixius Moo Training. #letstweetEB * It is not this, either.
radixius Oooooh… Venus! Sexier than Angelina, more powerful than Cher! * I forgot the hashtag on this one :<
Isis86: I want a signed banana! #letstweetEB
radixius New goal: Get celebrity to sign a banana Peel. #letstweetEB
radixius Magnet Hill and Pink Cloud captured. And not too soon, those dungeons are the worst. #letstweetEB
radixius Just killed the Kraken in one turn. Though I’m sure most of the credit goes to the sailor’s slippers.
#letstweetEB
radixius And Dungeon Man draws day 2 to a close. Tomorrow brings us swamps, shyness and millions of Starmen. #letstweetEB

Day 3 – Nov. 09, 2011

radixius Day 3: Grind, Grind, Grind! #letstweetEB
radixius Dungeon Man is a friggin’ joke. #butiaintlaughin #letstweetEB
radixius Go, go goldenrod submersible! #letstweetEB
radixius The fact that Bubble Monkey can make a bitchin’ bubble from chewing gum makes him a frickin’ boss. #tessie #letstweetEB
radixius Eraser erased! #what #letstweetEB
radixius Starting Sword of Kings grind. #letstweetEB
Isis86 The Starman is d3d :D. #letstweetEB * Yeah, like, number 208 out of 1076.
radixius Three hours and twenty plus levels, still no sword. I guess today was pretty uneventful. Tomorrow I can finish, hopefully. #letstweetEB

Day 4 – Nov. 10, 2011

radixius Time to resume the grind on day 4! Oh boy! #letstweetEB
radixius Frickin’ finally. Four hours! Now I can get on with this nonsense. #letstweetEB
radixius Oh, and I just got a second sword from the Starman Super I fought directly afterwards. #what #letstweetEB * And that’s absolutely hilarious.
radixius Just took out the Diamond Dog. Take that, David Bowie! #letstweetEB
radixius Just say no to Care-Free Bombs. #letstweetEB
Isis86 Mr. Molecule B rocks my socks ^_^. #letstweetEB * As well he should.
radixius 3… 2… 1… Into the past to kill an ugly baby. #letstweetEB
radixius Pokey Means Bidness. #letstweetEB * This is still the best boss music ever created, don’t give me your One Winged Angels because that would be bad and wrong and badwrong and badong.
radixius I prefer to imagine Giygas as a face screaming forever in eternal pain rather than some deranged abortion fantasy. 1/2 #letstweetEB * This is a real thing.
radixius It’s less stupidly dark my way. 2/2 #letstweetEB
radixius And thus concludes the greatest boss fight ever invented. #letstweetEB
radixius And that’s it, no more Earthbound twits from me. If you paid attention, thanks, if not, spanketty spanketty spanketty. #letsrweetEB * Of course I couldn’t go one day without a typo. And this time in the hashtag. Why not?

I thought this was a fun experiment. If anyone’s paying attention, what game do you think should I do next? I was going to go with Plok! but, good lord, that game is a platforming nightmare. Plus I’d have to do it in one sitting, which may be difficult. Send me some suggestions!


Lame

So, I guess Grand Theft Auto V got announced.  And I guess it’s taking place in Los Santos.  And I guess I’m fucking pissed about it because, if their last excursion to SoCal was any indicator, we can expect 50 square miles of desert, 50 square miles of countryside and about 10% of a decent game drawn out to an ungodly amount of hours that is just unnecessary and useless.

Maybe I just have a chip on my shoulder about San Andreas because of the required flight school that you need to pass in order to progress in the game for whatever reason.  Or the skills and proficiencies system, or the litany of other ridiculous shit that could have been excised from the game and it would have been far more cohesive and desirable.  Not to mention the bragadocious air that Rockstar had about how big the play area was while leaving out the fact that a vast majority of the map was empty save for a little grass or sand.  Or maybe it’s those fucking Zero missions.  Like, seriously, goddamnit, David Cross.  It could be that I spent a good thirty plus hours on the original game, then they had to re-release it and the old save files don’t work because of some pixel tits.  Or due to the fact that the game took itself far too seriously, especially after the  cheesefest that Vice City was.

I could be judging this too harshly as it has just been revealed for a short time, and all we have is the location.  If Grand Theft Auto IV was any indication, they do have the ability to make giant maps and cram them full of interesting and neat looking locations.  They have the ability to write an engrossing story (but there’s that issue of seriousness rearing its gigantic, hydrocephalic head), and even expand upon it with DLC that doesn’t just put in new weapons or locations or items, but entirely new perspectives on the main campaign.  Maybe they can pull it off this time.

Or, just as easily, they could flail about and fall on their asses again.

I’ll give it a chance.  Hell, I’ll probably buy it because I’ve enjoyed all but two of the releases I’ve played in the series since GTA3, but I just don’t want this to be the charm.


Sweatmothers

So, I’ll post this now because I assume the PSN Crisis 2011-2012 is still going to be happening, and why not, it’s not like it’s a huge deal, right?  People are treating this like any other thing that can happen ever forever until the end of time and why the crap are these idiots freaking the Christ out?  You’d think Satan had burst from the crust of the earth emblazoned in Microsoft insignia and donning his green and white horror armor made from the bones and hides of dinosaurs, dragons and fearsome lizards past.  Thrusting a staff at his enemies, it’s tip adorned with the most lustrous emerald, smoothed to a sphere and crosshatched with an X.  A dread, eldritch figure.  He will nod slowly, the sea churning with each dip of his chin, waves rising higher and higher, clouds billowing, lightning embroiled winds billowing upon the Japanese homeland, the target: Sony headquarters, a crash, a mighty roar, a zot or two, and the tower crumbles, the servers cleansed of any entertainment, personal data printed upon every screen known to man, consternation comes to every person, the anger roiled until man can no longer bear its weight and it explodes into uncontrollable rage, fury burning every brow.  The demon, wearing his glistening dreadmail, shall smile at his created scene, painted with such a thin brush, with sumi-e precision, and he will finally gain our attention, the hordes screaming for their network, their social lives, their friends, their games, their entertainment that they feel they have a right to, their free network that has brought them happiness and friendship and hope.  They will ask him for their implement, their will, their lives, and he will reply:

This is Living.”


Harbl

So, video games, amirite?

Where, in the point of history, did they become so absolutely boring and lackluster?  I don’t know if I’m looking at the industry through nostalgia glasses or if there’s some other thing that makes me somewhat revile what has become of a hobby that, in the past, had ruined my life due to the time I invested in it.  I’ve been playing Pokeymans a lot, lately, but I think that’s because it’s not focused on anything other than being fun, which is more than I can say for most of the stuff being released on the big consoles, currently.

Video gaming used to be a hobby that was lambasted for being the root of ADHD and what have you, but considering the genre I used to play most of all, RPGs, have become such a masturbatory exercise in plot lengthening.  I can barely stay invested in the lives of characters in movies, how in the world do they expect me to give a care about a bunch of stereotypically heroic, in the Japanese sense of the word, characters for 60+ hours?  I can’t imagine that’s the case for everyone, because that would be me reveling in ignorance, which is something I’m so completely against it’s excruciating, but why does everything have to take so long in these damned things, anymore?

I guess, maybe, I’m just jaded about something I used to hold so dear, that things have changed to such a degree that I can barely recognize the days where I used to shove a giant gray brick into another giant gray brick and get lost for roughly eight hours a day, seven days a week.  Where completion meant getting to the end of the last level and trouncing the big bad, not collecting thousands of items for a miniscule reward or, worse yet, a trophy or an achievement which means nothing except expanding the size of your electronic junk.

But except for the fact that my favorite genre has become reduced to filler material, there’s also the influx of too many first person shooter-types, but I think that’s another topic for another day.  This topic, while constantly retread and stomped over is something that is somewhat important to what has shaped me into the fiery ball of rage that I have become, so it will probably be gone over plenty in this blog, as well.  So get used to it.