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Hello, my friends and fellow Dtoiders! It's not often that I use the c-blogs for personal gain, but I've been planning on writing this for quite some time. Anyway, this won't take too long.
For those of you who are new to this blog, I'm Tonich, thirty, coming from the Land of Vodka, Bears and PC gaming. :) I've been playing videogames since the NES era (which started rather late here in Russia), but for the most time I've kept to single-player. Rased as an only child, I didn't have a regular partner to play with, and getting gaming parties with my friends was a rare occasion.
When I grew up and had a gaming PC and a couple of consoles with online capabilities, multiplaying was still out of the question. Partly due to my really poor internet connection at that time, partly because of the ever-prevailing piracy (which was the only way to keep playing without going broke), and partly because of my personality. You see, I'm really shy around new people, so whenever I try playing with complete strangers I get really tense, thus both bringing my gaming performance down and losing any enjoyment from playing.
But ever since I've joined this community and found out it's full of awesome people, I feel the growing desire to play with you guys - as some of you have already become friends to me, and hopefully there will be many more yet. I've already made my first steps by playing with Luck Required - thanks a lot, dude. you're awesome! - and I invite everyone and anyone who's interested in playing with me to add me on Steam.
My Steam username is Tonich, I'm the guy with a red panda on the userpic. My time zone is Moscow time (GMT+4, PDT+11, EDT+8), so it might be a bit tough getting together with those of you who live in the Americas - but we'll figure something out, right? :)
Now, a few words about the games I'd like to play with you.
First and foremost, Borderlands 2
I've completed the game twice (solo) and I'm still loving it - but I've always wanted to try out co-op and clear out those pesky raid bosses with a trusty partner or three. :) My snipy lvl53 Zer0 is always at your service.
Russian player, huh?
Let's see if he's any good.
I will be watching.
Sorry, that haiku was done on a whim. :)
Anyway, if you're new to the game I'll gladly start a new character and replay the campaign again with you!
I've got the GOTY Edition, plus the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade 2, but no Headhunter episodes yet.
I'm also a (rather casual) fighting game player, so I'm always ready for a bout in Mortal Kombat, Injustiice: Gods Among Us and Skullgirls (waaah, no online support for my favourite BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger!). Just don't expect much of a challenge from me if you're a seasoned fighter, okay?
Max Payne 3 and Quake Live are also among the games I'd like to see some friendly faces in. And just this weekend I grabbed Payday: The Heist but haven't tried it out yet, so if anyone still plays it (as far as I know quite a number of Dtoiders are into the 2nd game but I'm still on the fence about getting it), and you've got enough patience to play with a complete newbie, take this kid along for the heist, will you? :)
And of course I plan on expanding my library, so if you you've got suggestions on what we could play together, just say the word! :)
So, please add me - and either send me a Steam message or leave a comment in this blog, saying what you'd like to play.
Fangs for the Memories? Seriously? Ah, what am I saying – it’s Halloween, how can there be anything serious about it? :)
I love Halloween – I’ve loved it ever since I started listening to a certain German power metal band when I was fifteen. Even though in my homeland it’s deemed a strange and unworthy holiday and is officially banned from celebrating in Russian schools, I don’t mind embarrassing myself by dressing up and going outside looking like this.
This cute little witch is doing my bidding. So will YOU mortals!
And funny thing, just a couple days back I’ve been discussing the scariest moments in video games with a friend – so I won’t be going into this community assignment unprepared. :)
I’m a sucker for a good mystical/horror story, but it’s a rarity that I find a moment in a movie or a videogame that can really scare me. I think I could count all of the experiences like that using fingers on one hand. Well, okay, maybe I’ll throw in an extra thumb. But the moment that definitely took the cake, then smashed it in my face, was the “Room with a Mirror” moment in Silent Hill 3. It was the only time when I was so confused and scared that I ran out of the room (in-game, of course) and had to take quite some time trying to figure out what I had seen – before going back in there just to find… nothing at all. And just because it was a one-time experience for me, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for everyone else, so suck it. You’ll have to play the game yourself. And I’m going to talk about Fatal Frame III: The Tormented, known in Europe as Project Zero 3.
One of the key elements to scaring the player is surprise. That’s how all the jump-scares work: you’re walking down a dimly lit corridor, everything looks peaceful and the music is soothing – then suddenly you’re face to face with something unnatural or plain disfigured. All of this is usually accompanied by the sound of several violinists having a simultanious heart attack. However if you are aware of the monster and the time of its appearance it will hardly make you jump out of your seat. Same goes for making sudden scares happen too often. But can we make a frightening experience when the player is aware of the monster in the room? Fatal Frame is quite sure we can.
The Tormented, the third installment in the series puts us in the shoes of Rei Kurosawa – a freelance photographer who is experiencing nightly dreams of being lost in a haunted manor. There she finds a magical camera that can banish ghosts by photographing them. Sounds a bit stupid, doesn’t it? I, however, believe it is one of the most brilliant ideas found in a horror game. What would be your reaction if you were attacked by an angry wraith? I bet it would be turning around and running for your life – and I think no one would blame you. Video games gave us the chance to fight back – but doing so with conventional weapons (even if they are some state-of-the-art experimental gear, they usually still look like weapons) makes the ghost encounter lose its thrill very soon. But it’s a different feeling when you have to stare down the attacking ghost through the viewfinder, focus on it and then take a close-up shot. And here’s what you are going to look at.
Unfortunately, after a while the impression starts to wear out, and by the end game you'd be routinely snapping pic after pic, concerned more for having a better exp reward than anything. But the first few battles – that would be something else, you can take my word for it.
Another great thing about Fatal Frame III is how it utilizes controller vibration for building up the suspense. Instead of just rumbling violently – you know, the usual way – the gamepad would gently pulsate in your hands when ghosts are nearby, then give you a single powerful shake as they finally appear. This system is not unlike the famous radio static from the Silent Hill series; both games know just the way to make you feel uneasy without you instantly realizing the reason for it. And that, in my book, is the definition of a good scare.
Also, honorary mentions go to the following gaming moments:
- A statue coming to life and tearing apart its chest in Clive Barker's Unduying
- Encountering a Bloodsucker for the first time in S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl
- The brief, yet poignant Year Walk for making me feel uneasy about staying in a silent and darkened apartment after I've finished the game.
Thanks for reading - and happy upcoming Halloween! :)
Lately, I’ve been noticing that quite a lot of stories in AAA blockbuster games of the past few years play out in almost exactly the same way. Sure, there’s no way of avoiding at least a couple of clichés in stories – and I’m sure as heck not saying it’s a bad thing. We need clichés, we love them (oh, you want to argue? Don’t lie to yourselves) – but in these cases it feels like there’s just a bunch of them being shuffled like a deck of cards, and nothing else.
So I turned on my inner vision and tried to peer into the distance of space and time – and here’s the transcript of a note I’ve found stapled to the wall of a certain undisclosed developer’s writers department (on a side note, my vision was rather blurry, probably because I’ve got myopic astigmia and I can’t wear glasses in my spirit form – so I might have missed or misread some points).
According to international surveys, focus tests and publisher commentary, your game script is going to suck if it does not have at least 80 per cent of the following points.
2. Plot Devices
3. While Collaborating with Game Planners
NOTE: ALL of the following points are mandatory, your game is not a game but an outdated piece of shit if it has not got them.
We also regret to inform you that due to our Writing Robot Development department needing additional funds, starting next month your salaries will be cut by fourty per cent. Please understand.