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9:46 PM on 12.10.2012  

3 Games you need to play: Part 1: Kerbal Space Program

In a puddle of tears and confusion, I've come to grasp with the fact that I can't recommend one single game above 2 others in my mind. After trying to stuff all 3 games in one blog, I've found instead of presenting a wall of text comparable to a masters thesis I'd break it up over the month of December. SO! In this short 3 part series, I'd like to go over those 3 games, each coming with a glowing recommendation from myself, and try and convince you that these games are worth your hard earned loonies.

But I digress, Here are my favorite games this year. (In no particular order)



Kerbal Space Program.

An effort in quick building, simple game play, easy controls, all on top of a robust and complex
physics simulator. In KSP(Kerbal Space Program) You are tasked with assembling a rocket, and blasting off to what ever destination you feel fit. Assembling a rocket is quick and rewarding. In a few short minutes you can have a multiple stage ship, blasting off into the orbit around Kerbin. (The games "earth"). W,A,S,D,Q,E control your ships direction, space changes ship's stages, ctrl and shift affect throttle. There a computers you can attach to your ship to help with this. It's all very simple, which
is half the strength of the game.

The other half, is the brilliantly complex and compelling physics system. It adds difficulty and challenge to the simple ship building. Sure it's easy to snap a solid rocket booster to a capsule and get a few hundred feet in the air, but the real-world esque physics demand more from your mind, and your rocket. Getting to orbit around the planet is a task and a half. Getting to mun (ksp's version of the moon) is one thing. Properly constructing a lander module to safely land and get back is another task all together. Since version 0.17 came out, they've added a substantial amount of planets and celestial bodies to explore. The recent release 0.18.1, has added ship docking (so you can build an international space station!) and the possibilities and challenges keep on growing.


Here is a quick little video I did when I first got the game. This is one of my first flights ever.


And after some progress, I finally managed to land on Mun. It was one of my most satisfying attachments in gaming. Because it's all on you. No hand holding, just your ingenuity, and skill. (also maybe a lot of luck.)You can check it here

Lastly here, I'd like to give a shout out to the sub reddit for the game. They have a great friendly community, with lots of information and can be found right here.

A simple ship building game, with impressive physics. Incredibly low barrier of entry, with a seemingly endless skill roof. KSP is a simply amazing game, made by dedicated developers, who are set on not releasing the full version until everything is ironed out. Get it while it's still cheap! The developers have indicated they are going to raise the price once more before retail release.   read


5:17 PM on 11.26.2012  

Mechanically Masterful: Chivalry

No game Iíve played this year has nailed itís core game mechanics like Chivalry Medieval warfare has.

In previous entries in this November series, Iíve highlighted games that have a lot going for them. Guildwars 2 has brilliant art direction and pleasant music, Battlefield has lagless net code, great sound design, and obviously the graphics are awesome. Chivalry has none of that. Iím not going to get into what game mechanics are again, please see my last two posts for more detail of what I would define game mechanics to be.



The sound design at the best of times barely breaks the barrier of bad. The Graphical assets in the game hardly inspire. The net code can get pretty bad, and the game has itís share of bugs. But none of that matters. Not a thing. The gameplay mechanics are so great, and are executed so well, that the game is still, after all that is said, still brilliant.

Honestly, itís the best example that I can think of to showcase how a bad game, can be made amazing by having a solid foundation of core game mechanics to base itself around. The level design is bland, but because what you are doing is so awesome, it makes a castle setting, or an arena setting really come to life. ĎA fight in an arenaí seems so clichť. Even typing it out was boring. But god dam the arena level in Chivalry is such a fuck tonne of fun.



The fighting in the game is played out in 3 basic parts, all of which are simple when separated out, but piled on top of eachother in the heat of battle, things get complex fast, and youíll have to think on your feet to stay alive.

Part 1. Positioning The first step of any battle in Chivalry is position. Position is key. Youíll have to pick where you fight your enemy in an area that isnít advantageous to your enemy, and gives you a clear stricking path. This means, looking at hills (there are a lot of mounds and raised platforms in the game), looking for obstructions so your swings arenít obstructed. Fighting in and around buildings. Picking where you fight is paramount to survival.

Part 2. Timing The fight mechanics in chivalry are built around timing your attacks and block. You have 3 types of attacks, overhead, stab, and slash. Each to my knowledge to the same amount of damage, but all have different timings. Much like in a street fighter game, where you have heavy, medium, and light attacks for different purposes, Stab, slash, and overhead are used for different things. Stab gives you a quick lunge with a long reach, slash sweeps wide hitting a large area in front of you, and overhead is a long slow hit. Each can be used to throw off the timing of your opponent. If the block in time and parry you, you stagger and are exposed to a direct attack. So timing of your attacks, mixing up the range between you and your enemy, and changing from stabs to slashes, to overheads is key.



Part 3. Mind games Mind games in Chivalry, just like any other fighting game you've played, play a paramount part when you partake in battle. Running forward to feint a charge, just to back up at the last second and let your opponent swing at the air, thus exposing himself for a quick lunge to the chest, is how you start to rack up a kill count. Wildly slashing at your opponent pushing him close to a ledge, to all of a sudden switch to a kick, propelling him to his doom? Changing strategies, doing different things, tricking your opponent with different thingsÖ.justÖ.ughÖ.fucking love this game.

Seriously Chivalry is awesome. Itís not a perfect game as I noted early in this blog thing, but the game mechanics are so solid you are going to have fun no matter what. Even if you play it for a few hours and put it down, youíll have a blast for those few hours.

PS: Bought a wii-u, add me @Lenigod   read


8:44 PM on 11.06.2012  

Mechanically Masterful: Guild Wars 2

In the world of mmo's game mechanics often take the passenger seat to a skinner-box theory of game design. The notion that you have to do one repetitive task over and over until you eventually get a reward. Kill 100 mobs to get a level, Collect 1000 pieces of iron to get a new sword, get gear, get better gear, get even better gear. Anything to keep the player invested for a long period of time, with little reward actually given, yet tons of incentive to keep going. If you just level up twice more, you can use that sweet new shield. So you do, and you use it, and your happy. If you just kill that one last boss, it might drop that last piece of gear you need to complete the set. It does, and you move on to getting a whole new set of gear. It's an endless cycle of tedium. Often called the gear treadmill, it's constantly running forward without getting anywhere.

Generally mmo's find a lot of people wanting more, which is because the game design of them has been purposefully warped in such a way that it keeps people playing for thousands of hours, and keeps people paying thousands of dollars. Because of this, a lot of mmos take a hit in other areas to support that monetization model. Things that don't lend themselves to that golden chalice of continued support.

Guild wars 2 changes all that.



At it's core. Guildwars 2 well seem very familiar to world of Warcraft, or Everquest 2, or Final fantasy 14, or any other mmo. The art style is somewhat reminiscent of WoW(World of warcraft), there is that grand scale of things like in EQ2(Everquest 2) and to me the story and theme of the game feels a lot like FF14(Final Fantasy 14). But what GW2(Guild wars 2) does that WoW, or FF14 doesn't, is nail game mechanics.

What are game mechanics though? There is a popular misconception that game mechanics are rules. For example and since we are talking about it, how much damage you gun does to an enemy per bullet. That is a rule of the game. It take 3 bullets to kill some one for example. You can fire 10 bullets a second, that's a rule. You can have 32 people per team, that's a rule. What a game mechanic is, is the underlying architecture of the game. That is, it's what makes the game feel a certain way. How fast you can run, what your sprint animation looks like, the sound of your laboured breath, and the vulnerability as you put your gun to your side while you go full bore across an open field. All these things are the game mechanic of sprinting. Sprinting makes you feel fast, vulnerable, it has an intense tone to it, like this is something difficult to do, yet it's easily done, simply by holding shift.

So by my definition, rules of a game are small simple things. You jump only this high. You run only this fast. It takes 10 seconds to re-spawn. These are rules. Where as mechanics of a game, are large broad strokes. It feels like this to sprint, and you get this reaction from sprinting. Those big ideas, those are what I consider game mechanics, and Battlefield 3 nails game mechanics.



The main thing that is different, and what becomes immediately apparent, is the combat in the game. Movement, positioning, and dodging take precedence over the standard all out dps(Damage per second) fire fights of other mmos. (*Note. When I say other mmo's, let's just assume I'm talking about WoW, because I have the most time investment in that mmo) The way the game is played, at a fundamental level, is completely different. You are not spamming spells, over and over, just to kill a boss. In GW2, the game is more about, dodging enemy attacks, healing yourself, putting on some buffs, getting a few attacks in, and then repeating that process.



Almost all attacks require no target, rather, they are cast when you press them, and need to be aimed. Again, the emphasis in all this is on position. You need to be free of obstacles, need a line of sight, need to be the right distance. It's all daunting at first, but the battle mechanics in GW2 are brilliant. Add on top of all that how fast paced the game is. Where in other mmos you'd fight a boss who might have a few phases, each with a unique 'twist' to them, in GW2 those bosses are similar, but because the combat is so loose, fluid, and fast, the 'twists' come up a lot more often.

For example, there is one ogre-like boss, who has a giant mouth where his belly should be. You fight him in a giant arena, and he vomits fire balls at you that you have to dodge (The fire targets you so you must dodge, or take a lot of damage). Then he'll send a shock wave out in front of him (you'll have to be in a position to avoid that). Finally he well start to suck in air from his belly-mouth. You have to pick up the vomit fire balls, and throw them into his mouth to stop him, else he'll do a large area of effect attack (you'll have to be near the front of him to get a good throwing angle, see the pattern emerging here?). These 'twists' happen a lot. It's a lot of fun, it keeps you on your toes, and most importantly, the game mechanic of a regular mmo, where you are concerned about damage metres, is subtlety shifted to an area, where you are having more fun fighting bosses and enemies because the fights are more engaging, because of the mechanics of the game. It's not a focus on damage, it's a focus on fun boss fights. It's brilliant.



The other piece of the puzzle here is the platforming mechanics. Jumping, probably one of the most important things in an mmo, Is implemented extremely well in GW2. So much so that the game has jumping puzzles built right into it, with rewards at the end. Arena net really knew they hit something special, and it shows.

The problem other mmo's, and platforming games have, is either a lack of control, or too much control when you jump. The jump might feel off compared to the tone of the game. For a game like Killzone, The jump feels laboured, heavy, you don't jump very high or far. It's spot on for the game, and the mechanics for jumping in Killzone are great. For a game like Jak and Daxter, the jumping feels tight, not floaty, but nice and high, and very predictable, which is exactly what you want in a fantasy platformer. Where a game like Limbo, you can never quite tell if a high jump is going to end in a fall-death. It wasn't quite high or fast enough, or maybe it wasn't low and slow enough. It's hard to tell, but while limbo might be a fantastic puzzle game and amazing visual experience, it's platforming was lackluster. That right mix is a difficult thing to get, but GW2 nails it.

The jumping in the game is nice and high compared to your character. It feels like you can jump really high, but not unrealistically so. There's no double jump, or extra height mechanic, because even with the game being a fantasy one, its built in such a way that it's grounded in a realistic way. Gravity, jump height, speed and length of jumps feel spot on. You have a decent amount of control in the air (You can juke right, and left in the air, and then back again, think megaman). The platforming mechanics in the game are spot on, and it's a ton of fun to do platforming sections.



There is a lot to say about any mmo. The design choices are what people usually talk about. What the world looks like, the type of content, the basic design principles of the game, to the over arching design through the entire thing. How parties work, or how dungeons work, and in an mmo, more then any other game, these are extremely important things. GW2 has a lot of excellent design choices, some maybe aren't as strong as others, but GW2 has such strong game mechanics, and ones I enjoy so much, that I don't think I'll stop playing it for a long time to come.   read


8:34 PM on 10.29.2012  

Mechanically Masterful: Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 has long since struck a chord in the long time series fans. Often praised for it's sleek animation sets, stunning visuals, and vast open maps, the other side of the argument abhors it's simple 'consolised' approach to what was supposed to be a return to form in the vein of battlefield 2. Complaints are often raised about the similarity between every gun, the battle log, and the obsession with blue tinting everything.



But what are these things rooted in but aesthetic changes? The animations of a game don't make Rayman origins better then super Mario world. The graphics of Gran Turismo 5 don't make it a better game then the original Forza game. Certainly poor design choices, bad audio, sloppy graphics are detrimental to a game, but those are only pecies that fit around one thing.

Game Mechanics.

What are game mechanics though? There is a popular misconception that game mechanics are rules. For example and since we are talking about it, how much damage you gun does to an enemy per bullet. That is a rule of the game. It take 3 bullets to kill some one for example. You can fire 10 bullets a second, that's a rule. You can have 32 people per team, that's a rule. What a game mechanic is, is the underlying architecture of the game. That is, it's what makes the game feel a certain way. How fast you can run, what your sprint animation looks like, the sound of your laboured breath, and the vulnerability as you put your gun to your side while you go full bore across an open field. All these things are the game mechanic of sprinting. Sprinting makes you feel fast, vulnerable, it has an intense tone to it, like this is something difficult to do, yet it's easily done, simply by holding shift.

So by my definition, rules of a game are small simple things. You jump only this high. You run only this fast. It takes 10 seconds to re-spawn. These are rules. Where as mechanics of a game, are large broad strokes. It feels like this to sprint, and you get this reaction from sprinting. Those big ideas, those are what I consider game mechanics, and Battlefield 3 nails game mechanics.



First and foremost of BF3(Battlefield 3) successes, is movement. Standard walking is at a brisk un-frustrating pace. You can move in all directions, without any hamper to your speed, and you can jump, go prone or otherwise without any frustration. It seems like such a simple thing, but the speed in which you can do things, is incredibly lack lustre in a lot of other games. Killzone 3 for example, while a great game, with a good sprint mechanic, left the normal movement, laggy and slow. There was an odd dichotomy of that game where you could sprint like a gazelle for minutes, but slowed down to the pace of paint drying as soon as you stop sprinting.

Compound this with the animation sets in BF3. Jumping over obstacles, while at first disorienting, is actually used as a sort of 'skip' It's fast, and while it might not actually be faster then a standard jump in the game, that simple mechanic of 'vaulting' over things, feels fast, it looks fast, levels are designed in such a way that there are lots of things to vault over, and you don't feel like an idiot, and vulnerable for vaulting over something. You get a cool animation, a reward, for doing so. It keeps the game visually pleasing. Other animation sets are similar. Reloading doesn't seem overly contrived, and feels fast. First person driving animations don't look obtuse, while still feeling necessary. All the animation sets in the game, add credence to their respective game mechanics underneath.

*Note. I'll give you the stupid death hand animation. While it's there to make the respawn time see less then it actually is, it's kinda dumb after just a few games, and most people i know agree, those extra couple seconds would be better spent in the load out screen waiting for the respawn timer.



Shooting, the most import thing in an fps, feels great. In every great fps game, each gun has a satisfactory feeling to firing it. The anticipation as you pull the trigger, the roar of metal and gunpowder as bullets fly out of the chamber, and the satisfaction of your smoking muzzle after the bullet is fired. The 'weight' of the guns feel proper. They look great, sound great, the recoil feels fair, yet difficult to manage. Every aspect of the shooting in bf3 is near perfect.

Honestly. There is nothing inherently wrong with BF3 at all. The shooting is great, the movement is superb, the animations in the game are spectacular, driving vehicles is immensely fun, getting kills brings a satisfying feeling, winning games feels rewarding, the experience system in the game is well implemented and keeps players yearning for more.



And since the mechanics of the game are so solid, the developers can do anything they want with the dlc. As has been the status quo' for the first 3 packs. They can make more of the same game (karkand), they can do a fast paced, quick mode, small level dlc pack (conquest), and they can do vast open huge worlds, filled with vehicles and explosions and ac130's (Armoured Kill) And it's always going to be fun. Even if there is nothing to destroy, even if there are no vehicles, even if the map was just a completely flat grid and it was only 1v1, it would still be fun. The mechanics of BF3 are so strong, that even if the game mode was don't kill any one, you'd still have a good time playing it.

Even if the game has at times poor level design. Even if it has unbalanced or 'too-same' weapons. Even with some of the more in-depth broken things with the games design, BF3 still comes out on top with the basics. There isn't a FPS that I can think of that feels better. It's that perfect blend of Chocolate and Caramel. While clearly not for everyone, I fucking love me some chocolate.   read


7:24 PM on 10.23.2012  

XBOX 360 FINAL REVIEW OF LIFE

Sony wins?

I'm back   read


2:24 AM on 02.05.2012  

Vanquish review!

This game is the best! It even has a feature that is similar to when metal gear soild shook your ps1 controller while battleing mantis, in that it kills your ps3! It was so cool I never saw it coming!

Watch the video to find out more about vanquish?   read


5:58 PM on 12.16.2011  

THE UNOFFICIAL OFFICIAL DTOID COMMUNITY GAME OF THE YEAR[CONCLUSION]

This has been a fun ride. Even though Mr.Andy totally stole all my thunder on the front page, I've still had fun hosting this little game of the year. The interesting thing has been 2 things in my books. 1 was the close tie between the two top games, Portal 2 and Dark Souls. 2 amazing games, and it brings a smile to see so many people enjoy these titles. The other has been the contempt to the big AAA titles this year. The majority of downvotes have been centered around the big releases of the year. Gears, Uncharted,
Battlefield 3, were all higher up there for downvotes.

Anywho, this is whole thang' is all summerized in one line,
The winner is...Portal 2!


Yaaaaaa space!

If any one is interested, here is the spread sheet where the votes took place
Located here

And if you want to follow along with the blogs of the past
It all started here
It continues on here
And it finishes here.

Well I probably wont be around for a while, have a good holiday break, and if you're not doing the holiday things and working instead, have a depressive sip of your favorite beer in my memory.   read


9:07 PM on 12.09.2011  

THE UNOFFICIAL OFFICIAL DTOID COMMUNITY GAME OF THE YEAR[Update]

So! This little spread sheet has been much more successfull then I had hopped, pretty much 100% thanks to anyone who put their name down on it. You guys, this is your game of the year, I've done nothing but put your thoughts in one place, but thank you all very much for the approval I have recived.

So!, lets get down to some fun stats!YAAAAAAA I LOVE STATS!

Least voted for console: PSP

Most down voted game: Uncharted 3 (tied with) Battlefield 3

Most voted for genre: RPG(thats including things like action/rpg and strategy/rpg)

Most votes from one person: 10

Current Leader in votes: Portal 2(with 11 votes)

Again, here is the link to the spread sheet,
http://tinyurl.com/858lmmq

And here is a link to last weeks blog explaining the rules, incase you missed it.
http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lenigod/the-unofficial-official-dtoid-community-game-of-the-year-217122.phtml

Now go vote down gears 3 because that game is poop trolollooololololollloololol ps3 wins!   read


10:48 PM on 12.02.2011  

THE UNOFFICIAL OFFICIAL DTOID COMMUNITY GAME OF THE YEAR

It's been far too long since my last endeavour into the D-Toid community, after falling off the FNF hosting party (mostly in part to me feeling bad for hosting things and not being able to actually do it on more then one un-forseen ocassion), seldom going into the forums, less and less commenting,
I feel I need to contribue anything at this point.

Enter this idea.

A collaborative effort amongst the dtoid community as a whole to choose their game of the year via the classic upvote/downvote system.

Via this google docs spread sheet simply follow the presented format I've allready put in place.

The Rules of this are simple

1. A value of 1 is an up vote, a value of -1 is a down vote, 0 does nothing, so do not place a 0

2. Enter your vote on the next available line, regardless of whether or not your game is in the list allready

3. You can have multiple unique votes, but you cannot vote for the same thing twice (Don't spam your favorite game essentially)

4. You cannot down vote a game that isnt on the list allready.

5. Don't be a dick and delete submissions, This is 100% communit driven, don't be the guy that ruins it.

Other guidelines (not really rules, more then tips)

Put what ever platform you played the game on, even if it's multiplatform. So if you playing Arkham City on the ps3, put that there. I'm going to use that data later for fun stats in the end. The same goes for genre, put what it is. If you don't know, see if any one else has voted for your game and use what they put. If that hasn't happened, make it up.

Remember not to change other peoples votes, just add a new line with your game. If the list ends up being 100 votes for Arkham city, so be it, that game is awesome anyway so it's probably fine.

If you have something to say about the game, use other notes, otherwise, please keep the spreadsheet clean

I really do hope this takes off, as I love stat tracking, I kinda like you guys too, so its like... a double win.

Also this video

That's about it. I'll be tallying the votes and updating every week on friday (or saturday if I forget).   read


3:44 AM on 09.17.2011  

Saying goodbye to Socom 4. A tale of woe.

To any one who knows Lenigod at all, it should come to no surprise that I enjoy Socom quite a bit.

Which is why it slightly pains me to say that I've given up support on the title.



Previous to this date, I would ignore faults and short commings and somewhat blindly champion the game objectively, as best as I could, without sounding like a complete dolt. No longer shall I do such a thing. Single player, and standard multiplayer aside, I'm going to focus on one thing at this time, and that is classic multiplayer. The bread and butter of the Socom fanchise. The heart and soul of the game. The single reason people who enjoyed Socom in the past, have picked it up.

I guess to begin, we have to go back to the beggining for myself and sonys titular tacticle title.



It all begin with a rather wearily purchase of 'just another game', when I was younger, picking up (what some might call the holy grail of the series) Socom 2. Little did I know after my first adventure online, I would be hooked. The game was, save for the graphics, incredible in every sense of the word. The pacing was perfect, with tight controls to match. The guns sounded realistic, felt viceral and real, and required a large amount of skill to weild properly. The game had depth, style, and flare. I spent countless love filled hours glued to my t.v. screen, my ps2's fan blaring trying to keep up with the heat in my tiny bedroom, door closed so i could yell any obscenity I could think of to my opponents, without my parents hearing.

Above all in the game, two of the things that made it stand out compared to the other online games, where one life per round, and the undeniable weight of teamwork in every match. Every map was intentionally set up in a way that your team, if actions was pre-determined and executed together, could gain map control and keep choke points locked down. And each move and action you took, you took carefully and with consideration of your teams calls (ie: 2 guys north of the mountain, or what have you), for if you were spotted, and killed, that was it. That round was over for you.



It's this teamwork, this tension, and zippers attention to detail in the maps and the overall game play, that made me fall in love with Socom 2, Socom 3 and then combined assault.

And it's these things that are lost on the fourth installment of the game.

Now, before I get into the thick of it let me just clarify, I love Socom. It's one of my favorite franchises to date. I want Socom 4 to be the game it deserves to be. I know it's not nostalgia clouding my vision, Socom 2 was a fantastic title, and if the right changes where made Socom 4 could be a great game.

It's been 6 months since the launch of the game, and Zipper has heard the pleas of the community, but they have ignored the people with legitimate complaints. Credit where it's due, they have fixed the camera problems that plagued the game previously, and they have fixed some speed issues, so you can now finally keep up with those running around you. However major issues remain and still hinder the game to the point that it is near luaghable that they have not patched it yet.



First, the community of Socom . This doesn't pretain to online forums or discussion boards, this pertains exclusively to the game. First and foremost, Socom , on any platform, on any type of device, needs lobbies. In this game, people live and die by the relationships they build through the community. With a lobby, you can be sure, that all your friends are going to be is U.S West 4, every night, without fail. With a pure matchmaking build there is no way to be 100% sure you are going to play with a friend. Even with the very recent inclusion of a party system, the matchmaking needs to have a counterpart, and that counterpart is lobbies. Developers, listen to me when I say this. Keep matchmaking, I love matchmaking, it is the single best way to have a fair balanced ranked match. HOWEVER you need need need to have lobbies in your game.Ranked, unranked, what ever the case. Games like counter strike wouldn't be active today without lobbies. They let people get together so much quicker, easier, and overall it's 100% more convinient then getting 4 parties together in one matchmaking game. And another thing, for your matchamking, always update the queues. Socom 4's queues haven't even fucking changed once since the release of the game. The map abandoned? Yeah, it's its own queue. No one plays it. It's sitting there, stagnant. Zipper has been increasinly proficient in finding ways to devide their player base. Why even have a standard, custom and classic game type? On papper it may sound great, but in practice, it automatically splits the populace in your game into 3, and splits it further so in which queue you decide to join.

Secondly, the gun play. In any shooter, how the guns feel, react, sound, and control are vital to a fun experience. Gun-play is one of the major reasons Killzone 2 and 3 are fantastic games. Go fire a revolver in Killzone, and come back and tell me how awesome and fun that weapon is to use. None of that exists in Socom 4. No gun sounds quite right. The smgs feel like paintball guns, but are more effective then any other weapon. The shotguns feel like shooting spit balls at the enemy, and are about as effective as that at the closest of proximity. The snipers sound like they put an intern in a recording both and told him to make gun noises with his mouth. And the Assault rifles, while having probably the only real visceral feel to them, are so inaccurate with the bullet spray, they are next to pointless to carry with you. These problems have been spoken about since the beta of the game. Yelled into megaphones and yet Zipper ignores all problems with the weapons, instead opting to add a center dot to the reticule, and slightly tweaking 'tap and fire' making your first shots more accurate. It's frustrating to see the assault rifle, the main weapons of the game, ignored. Literally, right now if you go play a classic game, you will find half the people in the game running around with a smg, and the other have camping to offset the problems with the weapons they are using.



Thirdly, the maps. There are no great maps in Socom 4. None. Some of the maps are passable, and work to an extent, but none of them are well done. Even abandoned, the map from Socom 1, still, doesn't quite work for the mechanics of Socom 4. You know how I applauded previous Socom maps for inherently encouraging team work, with choke points and what not. None of that exists in any Socom 4 map. If you were to take a map, strip it of all the clutter and remove the chest high walls scattered throught the map, you would end up with a square. That's it. The maps are far to open and wide for any tactical advantage or map control to be gained. You'll end up being open to an almost 360 feild of view, no matter where you stand. You can get grenaded, or sniped from almost every position. It's almost heartbreaking to think of the little amount of care and consideration some of these maps get.

I want Socom 4 to be great, so badly. There is a good game underneath all the shit and muk that is there right now. Dozens of changes, tweaks, and revamping of the code need to be done to accomplish this, and at this point in time I don't think Zipper has the intention to ever fix some of these issues. If they did, how long will I have to wait? A year, Two years? more? Whats going to happen next year, maybe Socom 5? mag 2? Zipper seems to have taken an awkward step sideways with the development of Socom 4, opting for adding needless 'next gen features' to the game instead of polishing and refining gameplay. Again, all this breaks my heart, I would love for Socom to be the game I think it could be, but it just simply, objectively, isn't a good game at all.

TL;DR disregard women, play video games.   read


1:35 PM on 08.25.2011  

My Demons souls collection guide



For those of us still playing Demons souls, be it to prepare for Dark Souls or what have you, I've noticed that there is so much to do in order to get the platinum trophy. Having wasted countless peices of paper and made far too many .txt files in order to keep trak of what I had left to do in the game, I've organized the
majority of things to do within this excel spread sheet.

Once you've gathered a weapon, learned a spell, or completed a encounter with an npc, just place a 1 where the 0 is on that row. The line well be highlighted and crossed out, and your progress on the home sheet well be updated. By no means is this a complete guide, and frankly it is a little rough around the edges, but It has helped me a great deal in understanding just what I need to do next to get
one step closer to that platinum trophy.

Anywho...

Download is available here.

Enjoy or don't.   read


6:33 PM on 07.25.2011  

The most expensive gaming peripheral I've bought.

Rather recently, one of my close friends, purchased a Logitech g27 racing wheel, one of the top-o-the-line gadgets, that is designed for racing games on P.C, or ps3. It was rather neat, but the problem was how he had it set up to play. It was on a light table, and nothing stopped the pedals from getting pushed as you brake and hammer on the gas and what not. Suffice to say it was not easy to play with this Ďhandy mansí set up. It was clear, you needed something designed to hold everything together nicely.

Enter the playseat. A seat and frame combo, specifically designed to house the Logitech wheel. And boy does it work well. The two paired together create an entirely new experience as opposed to the controller. It brings a whole new level of difficulty to games, having to systematically hit the clutch, put the gear shifter into the next gear, let go of the clutch, and back on the gas, is that extra something that just was missing completely before. The paddle shifters are a fun fast way to do things to. Itís that whole physical element of racing, that you just donít get with a controller. The set is very sturdy and stable. Itís not come cheap piece of plastic that is going to break in a month, itís a solid metal frame.You can crank the wheel left and right, and the set well stay in one place. Itís brilliant. The seat is leather, the wheel is leather, the frame is metal(probably aluminium), everything looks nice, and feels stable.

But the question is should you be interested in one of these things? Well that depends on what you playÖ



Playing the wheel with a sim game.
(Games like: Gran Turismo 5, I racing, gran prix legends,nascar the game 2011, ect ect)
(Tested with: IRacing, Gran Turismo 5)
This is where the wheel shines. Cars with bad transmission take forever to change gear, cars without abs slide into every corner like a out of control rocket. Cars with bad handling slide around like a cat on an ice rink. Itís all fantastic fun, and itís all amplified by having a seat, and a wheel to do it. This is where the controller feels like a compromise, and the wheel feels like what the developer intended people to use. If your jam, is these types of games, I would seriously recommend looking into the investment of a good seat, and racing wheel.



Playing the wheel with a semi-sim game.
(Games like: Dirt 3, Need for speed Shift,F1 games forza 3, V8 Superstars)
(Tested with: Dirt 3, v8 Superstars)
I wasnít expecting much jumping into dirt 3 with the wheel. I honestly wasnít even sure at first if it was 100% compatable. Boy was I surprised. The wheel works so well with Dirt 3, and it is an incredible amount of fun. Speeding through the narrow corriders of a rally race, barely keeping up with the leader, and cutting corners just to gain that extra .002 seconds is such a thrilling experience in dirt 3. And having it work so well with a wheel is great. Dirt recognizes you have it connected, gives you a plethora of options and adjustables for your wheel and even lets you adjust small things like force feed back percentage. While the whole set up of a racing wheel and seat may be a tall order for a game like Dirt, Iíd recommend at least getting a wheel and trying it out. Honestly, I donít think I could play this anymore with a controller, it has to be a wheel, itís that much better.

V8 Superstars was rather boring with the wheel. While the game recognized it was connected, and what it could do, It didn't recognize the proper wheel, and instead gave me limited, but working functionality. I didn't find it that much fun with the wheel, but it wasn't broken in any way either. An Average experience for an average game.



Playing the wheel with an arcade racer.
(Games like: Split second, Blur, MotorStorm)
(Tested with: MotorStorm)
Now here I wasnít expecting much, and I was right. Before even trying any of these games, Iíd suggest going to their perspective websites and looking if your wheel is even compatible. In Motorstom, the pedals didnít work, because they are not mapped properly. It doesnít recognize that you have a wheel plugged in, it just thinks itís a controller, so the game does nothing to help you. What ends up happing is you press the red buttons in the middle of the wheel for gas and break, and the gas pedal is nos. Itís kinda cool, but any novelty wore off quickly, and I found myself back to a controller quickly. While you may find a cheap wheel fun to play with these types of games, I suggest not even bothering, as many might not even be compatible with your wheel, and it just doesnít work for fast arcade games like Motorstorm.

In the end, personally it's a worthy investment for me. I've spent countless hours playing racing games, and undoubtedly this type of gadget improves the gameplay ten fold. As much as a fight stick is 'required' to be 'pro' at fighting games, as some might claim, a wheel is the very same for racing games. The only palpable downside I can think of, is unfortunately the g27 is incompatable with the xbox. So Unless forza 4 is released on the p.c. as well, I won't be playing it with my wheel.

Rather then ramble on any longer, here is a image dump of the set up in my condo!



I can't recall what I was watching on t.v. at the time of this image... but I think that worked out for the better...




Yes, that is my super nintendo in the upper left hand corner, and no, that isn't my entire game collection   read







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