hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


horseflesh's blog

10:36 AM on 06.26.2012

Save Max Scoville!

As members of Destructoid, you probably know who Max Scoville is. If not, you should know that Max Scoville is one of the Hosts on The Destructoid Show, an intelligent upbeat commentator and face for Destructoid.

He’s a young man with what should be a bright future. However Max Scoville faces an incredible challenge, an enormous hurdle. Max Scoville has a brain slug on his head, and without outside intervention, it will control him forever. It’s become clear to me that the Brain slug hid itself in his hair gel, and now that it’s taken hold, is going to be hard to get rid of.

When you see him on The Destructoid Show you most likely see the excess moisture in his hair, The misplaced hair, often sticking straight up the brain slug having displaced his hair, and it’s wet skin creating that moist look. This makes it clear that something is attached to his head, and the moisture screams brain slug.

The only real way to get rid of the brain slug, is to dry it’s skin, and it seems most probable to me that it’s been using hair gel to keep it’s skin moist. So this is what we need to do: If you know Max, steal his hair gel, take it away from him, and make it inaccessible to him. If you don’t know him personally, you should support through vocalization the need for this to go on and pass it along (six degrees of separation you know), and if you do know someone who knows Max Scoville, prompt them to steal his hair gel.

Max will almost certainly balk at this, the brain slug will be demanding, angry, and given no other option pleading in an effort to get the hair gel back. The Brain Slug will be trying to defend its’ life, and will possibly become desperate. Remember that Max is under the control of the Brain Slug and that he needs it removed quickly and non-violently. Please help, Max is a bright young man with a bright future…If we can just get the brain slug removed from his head.

Remember, the best way to address an issue is to Do something about it, and if you're not in a position to do something, SAY something. Please help save Max Scoville.   read

3:43 PM on 05.08.2012

It's been a while...

I haven't contributed a blog in several months. I'm in school again at the ripe old age of 3x and the semester has come to a conclusion, and after a few days of debauch, I have more time on my hands to write. Not that people respond to my blogs with anything other than vitriol, dissuading me from writing anything, but that's not the point; you should see some content from me over the summer.   read

4:47 PM on 02.21.2012

You cheap motherfuckers

So Valve has allowed the sale of it's games on Gamestop's platform (impulse), but it's only a desktop shortcut effectively. From there it launches Steam, which launches it's games. (They all require steam activation) This is a grand misstep by the people at Valve.

They claim to want to support PC gaming. And to some extent they have, they've revitalized the indie games market for the PC to a good degree. They've made availability of PC games easy and provide frequent updates, all the goodies you're used to getting with a steam game. Friends, and updates and sales oh my. All the cookies you can eat, Holy Shit it's making me fat!

They're the trendsetter when it's come to digital downloads. It was genuinely insightful and done with foresight and clarity. But they're doing PC gamers a disservice now, by not allowing their games to be sold on other digital distribution platforms that use different DRM. I'm not strongly opposed to DRM, as long as it's neither draconian nor largely inconvenient, but not allowing other developers to be responsible for their own digital distribution platforms is going to start a weird little war that is going to be divisive to PC gamers. And if you haven't guessed already I'm not talking about impulse.

If you were unaware, EA's Origin service is a newcomer to the fray of digital distribution. (to log all of these, There is steam, impulse, [now owned by Gamestop, previously owned by Stardock], Gamefly's client, which sells titles for Direct to Drive, Windows Live Marketplace and Of course Origin, [there is also Desura, though that has a focus on mods]) What's happening is interesting. For a long time, Valve made it so that if you bought one of their games, starting back in 2004 with the release of Half Life 2, you needed steam to run it. This guaranteed that their distribution platform was installed when there game was. And while this was new, and in some ways felt duplicitous, we let it go in and in the end it paid us back reasonably well. But now EA can use it as a rationale to prevent the sale of games like Battlefield and more importantly Mass Effect 3 on platforms other than Origin. Right now there is no recourse for the consumer, we end up with numerous clients if we want to get this and that and that. And it's a problem, for you as well as me.

Valve needs to choose to allow its games to be sold on other platforms, with the DRM of that platform. They need to be the role model here, not the underhanded one. Installing steam with Half Life 2 was underhanded, and deep down we all knew it. Some people balked, and didn't buy it through steam, they got pirated copies. But a lot of people did, and it was forgivable prior to their being real competitors in the marketplace. Valve's got the experience with customer service to do this well, but they run the risk of becoming the dinengenuous motherfuckers. They need to give a little bit if they don't want to scuttle PC gaming, which they claim to support.

This squabble, like several others could put an end to PC gaming. Some of you think that may be grandiose, and some I know do not give a shit. But the PC gaming hobby is already fragile, but this will be an upended thinking process that will further befuddle the PC market. PCs already have trouble for not being unified in terms of hardware. It is one of the strongest arguments “against” PC gaming. Really the argument is that publishers do not want to invest in making a PC game work well for the variety of PCs out there, but while this is a related issue, it's not what I'm talking about at the moment. Also, there is the issue of DRM. I was tempted to go the route of piracy a short while back, I'd thought that PC gaming was going to become too expensive for something that didn't work well (PC ports), but I ran aground the Gamefly client, which would allow you to filter bad ports ahead of time. Which I think is an important, viable alternative.

What this does, in essence is create a climate of hostility and chaos in a fragile market. The PC market is already fissured over fucking video cards and cpus and brands of motherboards and every other little thing out there. And this isn't the simplest point to make, but now that we've got two, or more software applications that do the job of one, we're coming to a kind of major clusterfuck. It's a kind of event horizon for the PC gaming industry. Not only will we need to have all of these platforms, but they'll be competing for advertising space on your computer. All of them try to launch when the computer launches. They are, in a sense, adware, and they're all going to be running, with your consent, on your computer. No less, this will likely cause a spike in piracy, that will further dissuade developers from developing for the PC platform.

And I want them to compete, but the thing is, I don't want to end up having to run three, four clients in the long term. Eventually, what should happen is that people settle on one of them, and discard the others because they prefer whichever. But what's going to happen if we stay on this course is that gaming on the PC is going to be such a huge hassle, that no one will want to do it. I think publishers want this to some extent, they can look at the receipts from the sales of their games, and are willing to bank on people migrating to consoles to a large extent, but for those that don't, it's no great loss to them.

If Valve wants to maintain PC gaming (which they say they want) they're going to have to bite the bullet here and allow other platforms to distribute their games, and use that platforms DRM. This will allow for real competition, rather than a contrived one. And will give them moral high ground compared to EA or Activision/Blizzard. Though I'm sure they find it challenging to give up that grip on their software, they need to acquiesce and let others protect their IP with their own DRM. If something happens, they can go the route the rest of us have to go and sue. If they let EA have this one, or worse Activision/Blizzard, they're going to run the risk of looking greedy, which will further undermine a challenged marketplace.

A similar, though less likely solution, is a class action suit that forces the various competitors to run their competitors games, undertaken by consumers (ECA perhaps?). But getting the PC gaming community to agree to anything is not even herding cats. It's cleaning a dragon's teeth. I like the idea that we as consumers could mount a cohesive attack on the people fucking us. But what I think what is more likely is that rather than take it to the court system, to address a civil matter that would require intervention, they'd sit on their hands and complain about filing a lawsuit. (prove me wrong, please)wsuit. (prove me wrong, please)   read

1:02 PM on 01.06.2012

The Virgin Queen's imbroglio with Microsoft, and Microsoft's current EULA

By now you've likely heard about The Virgin Queen's imbroglio with Microsoft, and their hair-brained lack of empathy. It's made it to the front page of Destructoid, and if you're not heartless and she's not deceptive in her description of the circumstances, then you'll likely feel a sense of injustice because of that and those. And likely some compassion for her in her circumstance.

I don't know every detail of what's going on here, but from my perspective, I see Microsoft's Xbox Live/GFWL EULA in the gruesome face it can have. (I'm visualizing a kabuki mask at the moment, those horrifying war faces, anyway...) You may recall the revisions they made to the EULA not long ago, I seem to recall them occurring back in either later November or early December. I remember agreeing to them without reading them (like the vast majority of us do I'm sure) while playing Arkham CIty on PC, which requires GFWL. This situation is particularly irksome for me, because of the infrequency with which I use and the relative uselessness of GFWL. I bought the game on Steam, One of the reasons I shop on steam is because their DRM is considerate and reasonable, the addition of Securom and GFWL makes a mess of an elegant solution. No less, had GFWL been left out, I would not have agreed to this EULA which I think makes a mockery of our legal system.

The eighteenth article of the current version of the Xbox Live/GFWL EULA does the following: It diminishes/removes your opportunity to seek relief in the courts if you've suffered damages because of Microsoft's policies with regards to Xbox Live/GFWL. The Virgin Queen's circumstance is precisely why we need to be able to seek relief in the courts. Her circumstance, to the best of my knowledge, is one that puts her between Scylla and Charybdis. With a child to take care of, and what sounds like modest means, this situation is a potential disaster for her.

Microsoft's agreement, if you go read it (URL at the end of the blog post) does allow for binding arbitration out of court. Which is to say, you can hire a lawyer, or speak on your own behalf to them or their lawyers, and have an agreement come out of it such that you may be recompensed in some fashion, but none that would be potentially damaging because of the bad publicity, because their EULA would have kept it out of court. Also, none that would allow for admonishment by the court. Keeping themselves from looking guilty keeps their facade seemingly clean, so that when you think about brands and what to buy from whom, you always see them in a good light.

This is deceptive. But corporations fundamentally are. You see, corporations aren't individuals, they cannot "see" people as human beings because they are not human being. They do not undertake meeting them one on one and allowing the person in question to be humanized to them such that they understand their circumstances in a compelling way. Why? because if you tell one person something, via twitter, IM, email whatever, you've still not seen their face, heard their tone of voice, digested their humanity with a human set of senses that can do something in a sincere way. Why? Because they're a lot of people. Because a corporation is necessarily bureaucratic, because corporations don't function on humanity, they function on simplistic ideas of capitalism as an ideal, and that they're machinations within that rationalization will always be defended here in the U.S.

I'm drifting from the topic, but I thought parts of that were worth saying. While in this circumstance, she may be able to see relief from the difficulty caused by Microsoft's nascence, despite the EULA, but they may take forever, they may not pay any real attention, since the court cannot compel them to act, they may not at all, or maybe only later. This is the human impact of those sorts of irresponsible and greedy legal amends to agreements we have with those corporations with whom we have to deal. Xbox Live may not be a necessity, but we do need to have reasonable agreements that are assailable.

I want to write a lot more, but I'm not in a position to write out every participle of this argument with real world time constraints and my rusty writing habits. No less I want to keep this from being a TLDR cBlog.


I hope you do not consider this opportunistic, this is not an effort to steal The Virgin Queen's thunder, nor is it an effort to forward an agenda. I have strong feelings about this, if you've read my previous blog posts you may find that comment believable, and I hope you do.


articles 18.1.4 and onward through eighteen are the articles to read.

The Virgin Queen's original blog post

Destructoid article on this   read

10:41 PM on 12.13.2011

Re: Obsidian Developer wants to stab used games in their heart

This is, I think, a very poor and narrow attitude. Used goods, particularly media, protect the consumer. But interestingly, I believe they also do service to the makers of media.

Essentially, people need to have recourse with regards to their ownership of things. Being able to resell, old, unused, and items that have come to be useless provides us with a recourse. The opportunity to flush ourselves of belongings, to not have any assignation of those items to ourselves, virtual or non-, affords us the opportunity to start anew. This may seem purely symbolic, and it is, but the idea that those symbols have no value is ridiculous. We assign value to those actions, and in most cases we share a similar sense of their value. It can be cathartic in an important way to get rid of old things. God forbid someone were to give up on gaming entirely. If someone for some reason needed to abandon gaming for a period, then it serves those who distribute games to make it possible for people to go dispense with those goods.

As well, recreational items serve a value to people other than the value of it's use. Which is the value it has at resale. People are often faced with difficult financial circumstances. This happens to many many people. The ability to turn previously used recreational items into capital is actually partially important. When disaster strikes, and one is on the verge of being impoverished, being able to part with non-essential property is critical. (Think about a “Fire sale”) Imagine bankruptcy, having once had a lucrative job or similarly balmy circumstances. And being left with a steam account full of games that you don't need. There are resources expended on these “use licenses” that given the way Steam works are permanently inaccessible. And I've seen some really full steam accounts.

I can't imagine the kind of sick irony of becoming homeless (I spent a period as a homeless person) and having a steam account worth hundreds of dollars tied up because of the terms of service of Steam. There is always an illicit sale of the thing, but having no recourse says a thing about Valve's reconnoiter of real-world human circumstances. Let's say I had I a steam account worth $300.00 while homeless, the pressing real-world needs of food, shelter, and clothing would have trumped a likely unenforced law about a virtual goods resale. Valve, would have “forced” me to violate an agreement that may allow them to seek damages. Believe me when I say the need to eat will trump those agreements in the real world, and should. It is an understanding of humanistic circumstances that would allow Valve to understand these potential circumstances, and the real importance of letting people out of these kinds of agreements.

No less, I think one should always have a route out of civil agreements. Like a divorce allows you legal freedom from a spouse, the symbolism of which is literally important to people, and is also legally important, being able to free yourself from non-criminal legal agreements seems to me to be critical to an American concept of liberty. (That sentence may strike some of you as laughable, but I do, in all seriousness mean that) I really don't think you should be legally bound to anything non-criminal, that you cannot extricate yourself from. My sense of law is limited, and I can imagine exceptions to this, but without compelling contrary commentary, I think we should always have routes out of civil agreements. (There are a bevy of caveats to this that I can think of, but in general)

And interestingly, I think allowing the resale of games actually serves those who make games. This runs contrary to conventional wisdom at the moment, but let me see if I can make this idea compelling to you. The ability to acquire used goods, virtual or non-, gives us an avenue toward enthusiasm that may not exist otherwise. To young people particularly, used goods have an incredible worth. Without the ability to buy used books and music while young, well, let's just say, my life would have been significantly more empty. Two of my greatest passions in life would go utterly unindulged, and my education would have suffered.

Making this stuff available to people while poorer makes for enthusiasts. People who's passions revolve around gaming may not happen if they have no access. Here, I think steam has a better reconnoiter of these kinds of circumstances than those who oppose the resale of physical media. If physical media were only available at new prices, they'd be prohibitively expensive to some at some times. Right now I can think of games I'd like to buy but cannot afford. Given the people of the U.S.' financial climate, someone who bought a game recently that I want but cannot afford makes for a great opportunity for us to do each other great turns.

Have you ever been to a used book store? Or music store that sold used items? These things, for me at least, growing up, were treasure troves as a child. And I think that the ability to acquire used games is no different for those with limited resources. The opportunity to acquire used games affords the poorer of us the opportunity to develop a relationship with whatever medium, that would otherwise be impossible. As a kid many of us don't have huge sums of money to play with. What we get from our allowance, or whatever sort of odd-job we can come up with can be all we get. In lean times the opportunities for industriousness, particularly for children, can be nil.

The core problem with Chris Avellone's statement, is that it does a disservice to the depth of human circumstances. It may not be something you're faced with right now, but it's not impossible either. I spent four years homeless, and grew up as a fairly comfortable middle class kid, and am genuinely intelligent. Circumstances of mankind are many and various, and terms-of-service that cause one to resort to illegality to dispense with (virtual) goods you effectively own is poor in it's thinking on human circumstances, people should have a way out.

Valve, I don't want to single you out. Your service is now like several to which these comments are equally applicable. I used it as an example of the most abstract of goods for which these arguments are applicable. I think they are identically applicable to physical media. I love steam, believe it or not, and I think it's largely a good service. I think it could be better, in some of the ways mentioned here, and others not pertinent to this topic, but I do think it is largely a good service.   read

12:54 AM on 12.07.2011

I'm beginning to think piracy is okay, well, partially

I hear that old Dido song "White Flag" in my head right now "I will go down with this ship. I won't raise my arms in surrender. There will be no white flag above my door. I'm in love and always will be."

You've heard this kind of thing before but too often it has been insincere. Which promptly calls my comment into doubt. You've done it forever and want to rationalize your own behavior. You're a child who has little or no understanding of impact of piracy. All of the Et al's. It brings up a question I often ask when faced with something I doubt, is it a badly told truth, or a well told lie?

The amount of stuff I've pirated over the years is pretty minimal. An album a couple of years ago that is rarely in print, and exists in the US solely as an import and very hard to get a hold of in the U.S. At all and never for less than about $50.00. Prior to that, nothing for years. I used to use Morpheus, a p2p client, until the napster case went to the supreme court. I had bought my own music for years prior to that, barring a stint as a shoplifter as a teenager born more out of the boredom of suburban existence than a need for music. so it was no big deal for me to go back. Most of the crap I'd downloaded I didn't even like, I just heard it once or twice, it got a handful of listens, and never got played again. I deleted the folders that included the music I'd downloaded, and that was that.

I'm well an adult at this point, and really have had an income of my own for more than half of my life. Generally, I can afford my largely modest wants, and games are not an exception to this. But I've hit a wall. An odd one. The developers have worn down my tolerance. You see, I'm a dedicated PC gamer. This comes across to different people differently. Some people ask why without a hint of sarcasm, others ask why with sarcasm dripping from their lips. It's a spectrum of grey responses for the most part. The only other type I get with any regularity is is more positive, and proffered by other dedicated PC gamers.


I want to move forward with my point, but I also want to talk about my reasons for PC gaming for a moment first. It's not actually wholly pertinent to the topic, but it will clarify some things and provide a little context for my decisions. I wasn't especially enamored of games until early in the previous decade (the aughts). I'd seen the Atari 2600 in it's day and each console since. I was born a year after the Magnavox Odyssey. PCs as well, but like consoles, I'd not been especially interested.

I'd played some games, some of which are now considered classics in some ways or similarly famous for being horrible. Elite and Bards tale I played back on my Commodore 64 as a young teen. I had played E.T. on my friends Atari 2600. I played the first Zelda and Mario 2 on my younger brother's NES. The first Sim City on my Mac Classic I was given for college. I even played pong on a magnavox odyssey when I was a small boy. When the Playstation came out, I was in college, but I wasn't so enamored of games that buying a system solely for that purpose seemed like a good idea, they were an occasional diversion for me then. I had a Macintosh computer, and it seemed to me having them integrated into a system that also did other things made more sense.

Early in the aughts, I bought a computer that I grew to hate. It was one of the first computers I'd owned, the first I'd paid for myself, and it was a hassle. Didn't perform well (An old Prescott Pentium 4, oh the memory of the agony of buying from a large OEM, but anyway...) I wasn't used to windows and found it unintuitive, hated what seemed to be hellish ineffective antivirus software plus the ton of bloatware I couldn't figure out the purpose of...What hell. I decided to do something about it. I decided to learn how to deal with computers properly. Stop paying inordinate sums to talk to tech support to talk about crap that was often simple or at other times could have been answered for free by others elsewhere.

There was a community of people out there that could do this. PC gamers offered me a way to indulge my DIY inclinations, plus provided me with the tools to take the corporate goons off my phone's contact list. They did this for free. Told me, in online forums and chatrooms how to piece together a PC, where to get parts, how to troubleshoot. Many of these people were younger than me, some of them having gone on to CS and IT degrees, being real computer enthusiasts. Some just hobbyists, some DIYers like myself. But they all shared another pastime...killing one another online. :)

In quake III or Unreal tournament or Counter Strike or Starcraft or Command and Conquer, they all went about killing one another. This is how I started gaming. This group of people that offered me so much relief from the jackasses that were really trying to steal from me were indulging their visceral desire to destroy this or that or they or them for their own amusement. And I grew to like it too. My exposure to them put me in a position that made it pretty easy to try it out, and I had fun. For the first time I was having fun gaming, rather than it being something of a diversion I felt disinterested in. I think the online aspect made gaming possible for me. Once there were other people there...I could have fun with it for some reason. I still largely play online games, but I play single player games with some real relish now too.

The point of all this, is not to wax nostalgic, but to tell you why I'm so emotionally invested in PC gaming. It's not the same elsewhere.


I wouldn't say I hate consoles. But what I do hate is their narrowness of function. They're PCs with a narrow functionality, proprietary through and through. Now, later in the lives of the current generation of consoles, they are adding functionality to them to make them into PCs. We've come full circle back to a PC from a console. They're functionality will be identical soon (I'm not sure why we don't just do this on PC, a platform that affords all the functionality already, but) I'm sure you all see it on the horizon. The difference is, they're proprietary in a way that the PC is not. This bugs me, giving corporate assholes the opportunity to corner the market on games is a bad idea in my opinion. But this isn't really the debate I want to have. The point is more, I have some grievances with the various (corporations producing) consoles, not those who use them.

I started crying a moment ago at the thought of this going the way I think it's going. I think the ship's on fire...

This started not long ago when Ubisoft decided to make clear that it didn't care about us. At this point I think the cat's out of the bag, and there's no getting it back in there. No matter the seeming of an effort to patch this up, their various titles directors leads more or less giving away that PC gamers should expect none from them put me in a mood. Not because I cared that much about those titles (Though I used to have a thing for Rainbow 6) but because I felt as though they were trying to fire a shot to stir up other developers to stop developing for PC. They've made their sounds and I think those who they want to have hear them have heard. Whether or not those titles get released on PC, they've made their statement.

Not that I didn't understand before. Their titles for several generations have been ports when they came to PC. Their last effort that seemed even faintly directed at the PC was FarCry2. Which was poor in some regards. The online was an amount amusing, but nothing stellar. Their other PC titles have had pitfalls of various kinds...Horrible draconian DRM, games that are clearly designed for a controller on PC etc. A general neglect of consideration for the particularities of the PC platform.

They've been drifting away for a long time. And I could see it. They didn't have a Counter Strike, nor a Quake nor Unreal nor Starcraft for them to establish a dialog with the community. Rainbow 6 had something of a presence, so too the Splinter Cell games, but they were drowned out by the sound of the console owners. I got the sense that some of their developers wanted a strong dialogue with PC gamers, but didn't get the repartee that they wanted from the PC community.

Unfortunately, those things, that drift away produced some of the piracy they are now railing against. The DRM caused an overt reaction away from legit copies of the games, but the lack of emphasis or what seemed like care had created distance earlier. And as less and less were the games well suited to the platform, more and more did people not want to pay for them.

We'd stopped talking, or maybe never had, like the end of innumerable relationships we'd simply stopped talking. They felt obliged to build versions for us, versions that did not work well, were less profitable, met with criticism more than praise...while their efforts were met with praise elsewhere. Maybe the grass is greener, who knows.


Back in October I bought pre-ordered myself a copy of Batman: Arkham City (here forward referred to as B:AC) . It was a birthday gift to myself. When it was finally available to be played, the twenty-second of November, not that long ago, but more than a month from the release of the console versions of the game.

B:AC is a disaster on PC. You may have heard or be experiencing it yourself. DX11 is broken, physx is broken, the two primary draws for playing it on PC don't work well or at all. It's like a fuck you in a can. You open it and someone's hand pops out, middle finger raised. If you own a console of whatever kind, you're better off buying it on the console as it stands. This is not a foreign thing on PC these days, broken console parts are part of the bargain unfortunately. More and more developers make it clear they don't give a damn for the people who want to play these things on PC. Rockstar shines here, shitty ports for several generations of games. The version I bought, on steam, includes securom. Effing securom, that bastard of a DRM, increasing my vulnerability to malware. Generally making my system sluggish. Not only does it do those things, but as a DRM it is unnecessary because Steam functions as DRM for the game as well. And to boot, I don't love the game.

B:AC was almost universally lauded by reviewers. This had been the prompt for me to buy it. I don't usually look at one person's review, because I don't have a single reviewer I trust implicitly. I look at a few, sometimes I just go to metacritic and glance at the list of aggregated reviews, read the leaders for the various articles, looking for those that may be writ with the kind of direction I want the review to take, and go read that review. This is one of the occasions in which that blew up in my face.

Not agreeing with the lions share of reviews is par for the course as well, it happens some, but for many the virtues of B:AC dwarf it's failings. The fights are fundamentally identical, they simply evolve a little in the course of the game. The pacing of the story conflicts with the gameplay mechanic a lot, I can't even recall the number of times I had a seemingly "time critical" event happen only to have it interfered with by another seemingly time critical event, neither of which were actually time critical. I could have gone across town for coffee, and gone and done each at my leisure. It draws you out of the story. Admittedly this could be a bit tricky to make work with an open world game, and it's often fine, but for me it seemed to happen repeatedly, anyway, the point of all this paragraph is that I'm not enough of a Batman fanboy that a pretty cool combat system that seems to suit batman, and nice art, well suited to the IP, isn't enough to make up for the faults. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate it either, but I think there is a lot of room for improvement. The point of this is, All of the reviews were reviews on console versions of the game, if they'd been playing the PC version, they might have felt differently.

This game is NOT a PC game at it's heart. It isn't meant to be played with a mouse and keyboard. Nor does it seem to be well suited for a gamepad while on PC. You see, on the PC, the gamepad has more software layers than they do on consoles. On consoles dedicated input and firmware reduce lag from gamepads as opposed to on the PC where there is a software layer controlling them. That software layer, the driver, whatever software had to be placed in the game by the developers, those are each layers that decrease a gamepad's responsiveness. (greater latency) This can be dealt with by optimizing by the game maker.

On the PC the gamepad is neither a gift nor a curse, but both at different times. I had to play with both a keyboard and a mouse and sometimes a gamepad. Some of the boss battles need a controller, other parts of the game worked better with mouse and keyboard. This was incoherent. Letting me know it was never really designed for the PC. Other things about the game said the same thing, the lack of optimization (horrible framerates in a game that was for the most part identical to the previous iteration) the somewhat dated graphics (Even with DX11 turned on, it looks a lot like B:AA, the differences are subtle, noticeable some, but not really significant, it seemed clear that it had been tacked on, and really should have been left out, given the problems they're causing.)

This was a punch in the face for me. I looked back at the titles released this year, and With the exception of Portal, every major release was a port. Not necessarily a bad port, but a port. Nearly all of them required significant patching to work well. Skyrim will be patched for years possibly. To Bethesda's credit, they'll likely put at least some time into Skyrim as needs continue to arise. Deus Ex actually worked well on PC, optimization for the PC platform could have been better, but that's really nitpicking at this point, because Deus Ex worked pretty well overall, but still a port. The list could go on for a while.

This is where the straw broke the camels back. I don't want to pay for a game to make it easier to put malware on my computer. And I don't want to pay for a broken port, regardless of content. If I'm going to acquire a broken port, particularly one that goes unfixed, (No you don't know. Epic never fixed The PC version of Gears of War, a long dedicated PC developer prior to that) I don't want to have paid for it. I don't want to dwell on this, but you don't know. The Developers make all their money from a game in the first three months after it's release, the PC version of MW3 made up something in the neighborhood of 3% of it's sales. We are marginalized, by the people who fund the games. They're not worth the development costs to them clearly. And I've fought for the developers for a while now. Calmly arguing for the developers when questions about piracy come up, but I can't do it after this. B:AC was a disaster, they're cheered for everywhere, and provided us with a hellish experience, and lackadaisical about fixing it, they're money's been made, their investment in the platform minimal, and I don't feel like they have any real investment in the PC version such that they'll fix the game.

There's not a friendly ship in any direction, nor land to see...

I feel like turning to piracy will validate those developers claims in some way, and allow them to simply stop development for the PC, and at this second at least, I'm okay with that. It would be more sincere than what is going on otherwise. Though I think those rationales are in a way self fulfilling prophecies, and ultimately that the blame should be shared with them. They're providing us with crap no one should have to pay for. At least If I'm going to have these headaches getting this thing to work, I won't have paid for it. But I think this will help sink the PC gaming ship. Believe me when I say, I have no interest in piracy. I don't feel as though people are entitled to games they didn't pay for, but the devs are ruining the experience by not taking us seriously. The confluence is going to ruin PC gaming, possibly destroy it.

The conundrum I'm left with is that the best solution, is to stop gaming, start pirating, or continue to allow myself to be robbed.   read

11:52 AM on 11.27.2011

Ubisoft is a ghost of a PC developer

Ghost Recon Online, and Ghost Recon Advance Warrior (GRAW): Future Soldier This blog entry was initially very different than what you're reading, what I had heard prior to writing this, was a spin on this topic that painted a very different portrait than what you're reading here. The core issue I'm discussing is this: The director of the Ghost Recon Online game says that GRO (hereforward...) is a response to piracy on the PC platform. And that Ghost Recon Advanced Warrior: Future soldier will not see development for the PC.

This was originally reported by PC gamer, subsequently GameSpy, and I found out via Techpowerup!. This "whisper down the lane" originally gave a very different spin on the content of the original article. The tone of the article I read at techpowerup, gave the impression that the publisher Ubisoft had decided that PC games were not worth developing because of the prevalence of piracy on the PC. Of course the members of the community of techpowerup were incensed (Being a PC tech community), and even techpowerup's usually thoughtful members screamed bloody murder at the possibility of being wholly abandoned, condemning Ubisoft repeatedly.

If you haven't guessed by the site I originally came by this corrupted information, I am a PC gamer. Though I think the reasons for that are immaterial to what I'm writing, I'm going to discuss my rationales for that here briefly so that any readers can contextualize me in this light. I've been gaming since the eighties, though in no committal fashion until the previous decade.


My broach to the world of gaming came about when I owned a PC that I had so much trouble with that I wanted to destroy it. I decided then that I needed to learn how these things worked so that I could take care of them myself, rather than relying upon overpriced tech support that largely seemed unable to help anyway. The easiest way to dip my toes into this arena, was the PC gaming community. This community spans from enthusiasts and DIYers (This is the area I put myself into) to IT professionals and developers of various stripes. And they make themselves readily available to anyone if they want to learn how to build for themselves.

One of the core issues that drive my choice to game on the PC platform is control of my own property, and the ability to exert control over the market in a limited way. With a console, the entirety of the intellectual property is owned by a single corporation. All of the Operating system and hardware are owned proprietarily by the company that designed the console in question. I do not want consoles to eradicate PCs for this reason. Particularly given a climate seeming to indicate that we'll be left with only one brand of console. Windows is proprietary enough, I don't want this situation to get any worse. No less, you can see the companies that own consoles try to add to their consoles some of the most common PC functionality. Browsers, Online video availability, DVRs likely in the near future, the functionality of Cable boxes potentially, etc. Consoles really are in a sense a limited-functionality PC, simply an incredibly proprietary one. If this does happen, we will in a sense have come full circle to the new iteration of the gaming PC. One owned by a single corporation, and able to charge willy-nilly for even the most minuscule products and services.

I know for some the trade-offs seem to be worth it, but for me some of these things fight my ideals a bit too much, and for that reason, I don't own a console. But this isn't really the topic I want to discuss, and I want to move on now.


By the time it had reached techpowerup, the focus of the original article had changed, and had been turned into something more topical to the forum there, but similarly more narrow and with a less broad context. While this is an amount normal, for people to discuss issues in a manner that is meaningful to them more than, or to the exclusion of all, others, It also begat the kind of introverted and cyclical thinking that had made Ubisoft into something of a villan.

The problem is...Ubisoft has clearly been drifting away from the PC gaming community, and likewise the PC gaming community had drifted away from Ubisoft. Ubisoft blames Piracy, the PC gaming community blames DRM. I think Ubisoft would sell games, and similarly PC gamers would tolerate somewhat extreme DRM...if the games were good and suited to the platform.

This may sound harsh, but really, games like assassins creed, while an amount tempting, aren't so tempting when they're ports that aren't so well optimized.   read

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -