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7:28 PM on 02.22.2009

Desert Combat: Salute to one really phat mod...

This is a compilation video of some stunts and glitches me and a friend of mine performed back in the golden days of DC.

Enjoy, and apologies for the music.

[embed]122497:17720[/embed]   read


4:10 AM on 06.09.2008

The start of the affair: Command & Conquer



It was 1996. And I was nine.

With trembling hands I fed the CD-ROM into my computer. The disc tray hungrily retreated back within its plasticised orifice. A light flashed with anticipation as a low mechanical hum began to build. Louder, faster, the noise began to reach a piercing crescendo as the disc threshed inside its prison. The hard drive growled metallically in unison. I gazed deeply at the hourglass, turning end on end on end, listening to the mounting electronic symphony being orchestrated before me.

Then silence.

Green and black filled the screen and EVA’s voice graced my ears for the first time. Minutes later, I was carving a slew through GDI forces, a grin on my face and joy in my eyes. And then it happened. The moment.

It was around the third mission. Seth was calling the shots on behalf of Kane. But Seth decided not to listen to Kane. So Kane walked in and fucking shot him.

The coolness of it all sent me into paroxysms of pleasure. That simple moment was my
moment of zen. That single moment was the start of my love of gaming. The start of the entire affair.

It was Command & Conquer. A game which reinvented, cemented and popularised an entire genre. But for me, this game started it all. Playing it was like an epiphany, a life changing moment. And really, I can hardly think of a better title to do it.



Now, C&C was not the first game I ever played. I was well versed with the likes of Dune 2, Wolfenstein and Mechwarrior, all classics and excellent games of the day. But C&C was the first game I ever bought and the first game I truly loved. There were many reasons I loved this game, many reasons why I spent so many hours with it and many reasons why it is still on my computer today. In the interest of keeping things succinct, I’ll just mention a few.

Firstly, you play as yourself. You are directly addressed as commander. There is no crummy guise to assume. The choices you make are yours.

Secondly, the near future setting was incredibly well handled. It wasn’t too abstracted from modern war, yet fantastic enough to include some of the coolest units in RTS history. The story was excellent too. The appearance of a mysterious new resource leading to an all out war between the affluent West (GDI) and the downtrodden Rest (NOD) was very compelling and well worth completing for the two alternate endings. The two factions differed not only in units and play style, but on moral standpoints as well. GDI relied on superior technology and shock and awe tactics. The possessed a defensive play style synonymous with the slow moving yet outlandishly powerful Mammoth Tank. NOD, followers of something akin both to a cult and a political dogma, tended to be ruthless but secretive and subtle in their means, relying on hit and run tactics and surprise. NOD’s charismatic leader, Kane, has also gone on to become one of the greatest characters in gaming.



And lastly, the atmosphere throughout C&C was undeniable. Everything about the game felt serious, intense and realistic. Sound, graphics and gameplay combined to really bring gravity to everything that occurred in the story. Even the menus feel gritty and dark. The live action cutscenes gave faces to the situations while the CGI segments kept things interesting. Additionally, the game’s soundtrack is absolutely sublime.

But there are other reasons this game makes me feel so nostalgic.

It reminds me of a time when I could truly appreciate games, when I could take what I was given and be happy. When I could enjoy the simple things and re-enjoy them time and time again. Things never seemed to get old. I remember C&C through this golden lens, a lens which could possibly even skew my perceptions. Perhaps if I played the game again with my older, more jaded attitude I wouldn’t quite appreciate C&C as much as I do now. But I am hesitant to take that chance and destroy what is one of my greatest childhood loves.

And from this humble beginning, the rest is history.


Oh yeah. And seeing as you are here I would just like to add that EA can take their damn sequels and aliens and robots and screw right off.

Except Generals.

I BUILD FOR CHINA!!!   read


6:31 AM on 05.27.2008

F*ck Australia



Australia may well be on the arse end of the world, but it shouldnt mean that Aussie gamers should have to put up with so much shit. 'What shit?' you may ask. Well, shit indeed, good sir.
Censored Games
What better place to start than the fact that Australians arent responsible enough to play uncensored videogames. Whereas almost every other nation in the world (including the recent addition of New Zealand) has an R18+ rating for games, the bureaucrats over here insist that a similar move would lead to widespread mayhem and destruction. Just such a dangerous and malicious piece of software could fall into the hands of someones little Snowflake and cause them to transform into a drug-dealer, murderer or pre-teen prostitute.
The most recent game that reignited this old debate was Grand Theft Auto IV.



Today on Kotaku, a reader known only as 'Mick' compared the two editions of GTA. This is what he wrote: "Firstly, when picking up a hooker in the Australian version you'll notice that you're unable to select your services (i.e. hand job, blowjob or standard intercourse) and the sex animations for these services have been completely removed. Secondly, in the Australian version no blood pools appear beneath a dead person after shooting or stabbing them to death. Although there are blood splatters, there are no blood pools. Finally, when Niko or other NPCs are injured in the uncut version light blood patches appear on their bodies which basically represent bruises/bullet wounds. Although the changes to the sex scenes come as no surprise one must wonder why Rockstar censored blood pools and body injuries. These elements are present in numerous other games which have been released totally uncut in Australia."

GTA was one of the lucky games, where the developer was willing and rich enough to distribute a "special" edition. Otherwise it simply would not be released. And with region locking on many consoles, that fundamentally means no game for you. They may only be minor changes, but they detract from the greater experience of the game. So censors can fuck right off.

Delayed Release Dates



Nintendo released Super Smash Bros. Brawl on 10 February 2008. Over four months later, residents of Europe and Australasia are still waiting. The senior marketing director of Ninendo Europe, Laurent Fischer, recently blamed the Smash Brothers delay on the sheer amount of titles Nintendo is currently producing for Europe, and the problem with localising up to six different languages, according to the Official Nintendo Magazine.
Pikachu still says 'Pikachu' in fucking German and surely it has nothing to do with titles currently in production, seeing as Brawl is largely done and dusted. Delays in manufacturing and shipping enough titles, perhaps. But not those reasons, please. The Europeans get this pathetic excuse for a five month wait. Australians get none whatsoever. Language and a backlog of titles can hardly be a just reason in our case. And what do we get for our troubles? An on time release date of Mario Kart. Proving that worldwide simultaneous release can be done.

Dodgy Internet



Australian internet is seriously sucky compared to the world standard. OECD data shows a marked disparity in pricing, performance and data allowances between Australia and the rest of the developed world. An article published last year in The Age shows just how big a difference this is.

In Paris, $50 buys a 24 Mb/s connection with unlimited downloads and unlimited VoIP. Japanese customers pay $45 a month for more than 50 Mb/s with unlimited downloads. Telstra Bigpond's $49.95 ADSL plan is a 1.5 Mb/s connection with a mere 400 MB of downloads.... There's a complicated formula behind the price of data transfer in Australia, but it boils down to three things: structural problems in the industry; demand outstripping supply; and technical limitations such as the Pacific bottleneck.

Not only do we get shitty slow internets, we also pay through the ass to get what little we do.

Wallet Rape

The Australian dollar currently equals about 96 US Cents. We pay AUD $99.95 on average for a new game. Americans pay USD $59.95 on average for a new game. We are shortchanged almost $40 for a piece of software. This is utter fucking bullshit. Shipping costs be damned. Or to put it succintly:



=



Hard Hitting Journalism

[embed]87755:11629[/embed]

This Guy



Conclusion:

Australia is just about the crummiest developed nation to game in. It appears that the Government really has no plans to change this either, apart from some token broadband promises here and there that are unlikely to come to fruition. You might want to have pity on your Aussie cousins. But perhaps there are some benefits to being on the arse end of the world after all.



Woo.   read


1:30 AM on 05.16.2008

Tag Etymology; Or, Howd You Get Your Name?



Tags are more than a mere alias. They embody the emancipating ability of cyberspace, a casting away of the shackles of reality, a you simplified, self-engineered and passed through the scope of the internet. Or I could be reading into it a bit too much.

Im reasonably sure there would have been a thread on the forums pertaining to this question but seeing as a quick search yielded nothing, Im going to take the liberty of asking it myself.
How did you come to use your current internet alias and why is it you would use this particular combination of letters and/or digits to describe yourself?

Im sure there are some interesting stories behind these names, but nevertheless, Ill give you mine as a primer. But as a warning, my personal story is rife with suck. Basically, I stole my name from a maths book about four years ago. One might say that it is ironic or even self-deprecatory seeing as I am kind of mathematically retarded. In all seriousness, I just thought it sounded cool at the time and now I guess Im kind of stuck with it. The capitalized g at the end of the name is something I stole from a friend in order to pay him out, but that too became part of my name over time (although it did serve the secondary purpose of separating myself from the squillions of other trigs out there).



That particular explanation is one of the better ones. I looked up 'trig' in the dictionary and was confonted by a wall of lame.

TRIG
1. neat, trim, smart, or spruce.
2. in good physical condition; sound; well.
3. to support or prop, as with a wedge.
4. trigonometry

At least I didnt name myself out of a fondness for wedges. Mmm. Wedges.



Bah, whatever. I find the longer I keep it, the more attached I get to it, even though I think it may be time for a change.

Enough about me. Anyone else have a better story?   read


7:31 AM on 05.14.2008

The Worst Best Worst Game Title in History; Potentially Madness Inducing

I happened across a particular game cover on 1UP's Hey Covers, You Suck.

Since I saw it, I havent been able to get it out of my head.

Ive lain awake at night, unable to sleep, the image plaguing my mind.

Restless I would toss, trying to decipher some meaning, some semblance of sanity in the madness that was this paticular cover.

Those two words etched upon formed an unholy union, breeding some kind of nightmare, some kind of Lovecraftian horror whose tentacles now were latched firmly around my brain.

It was pure, indescribable, evil.

An evil which never should have seen the light of day.

An evil which is now being propagated through a series of tubes.




FEAR THE...













Is it the stick that is irritating? Is the stick irritating or does it innately irritate those around? Is it irritating you right now? Is it the cover that is irritating, or the stick? How exactly does the stick irritate? Does it only irritae you because you dont know what exactly this stick does? But what if there is some underlying irritating caused by the stick? Have you ever been so irritated by a stick before? Is it just a stick? What kind of stick is it? Why should a stick deserve to be shrouded in so much mystery?Is it the stick that is irritating? Is the stick irritating or does it innately irritate those around? Is it irritating you right now? Is it the cover that is irritating, or the stick? How exactly does the stick irritate? Does it only irritae you because you dont know what exactly this stick does? But what if there is some underlying irritating caused by the stick? Have you ever been so irritated by a stick before? Is it just a stick? What kind of stick is it? Why should a stick deserve to be shrouded in so much mystery?Is it the stick that is irritating? Is the stick irritating or does it innately irritate those around? Is it irritating you right now? Is it the cover that is irritating, or the stick? How exactly does the stick irritate? Does it only irritae you because you dont know what exactly this stick does? But what if there is some underlying irritating caused by the stick? Have you ever been so irritated by a stick before? Is it just a stick? What kind of stick is it? Why should a stick deserve to be shrouded in so much mystery?Is it the stick that is irritating? Is the stick irritating or does it innately irritate those around? Is it irritating you right now? Is it the cover that is irritating, or the stick? How exactly does the stick irritate? Does it only irritae you because you dont know what exactly this stick does? But what if there is some underlying irritating caused by the stick? Have you ever been so irritated by a stick before? Is it just a stick? What kind of stick is it? Why should a stick deserve to be shrouded in so much mystery?   read


12:40 AM on 05.13.2008

Separated at birth

I see similarities where ever i go. Take for example the Poopsmith and the Pyro, which I posted some months back.



Just today, I noticed how similar Josef Ratzinger, AKA Popesmith, looks to evil Star Wars alien thingy Nute Gunray. Its scary.



And continuing with the fecal theme...

  read


8:28 AM on 05.12.2008

A GTAIV Retrospective/Wishlist

In a drunken haze I purchased a PS3 and from that fateful Sunday have invested a sinful amount of time in GTAIV. Im quite sure many other people are maxing out that awesome little addiction stat right now, so I wont spoil anything. I just watched the credits roll and I from this experience I can say that Rockstar have created something truly sublime. GTAIV is easily the best in the series, mixing up the formula that I felt was stagnating somewhat in San Andreas. A new engine, new innovations and what may just be a new focus all contribute to what is undeniably an excellent game. By far my favorite thing about the game is the scripting. Whilst the story is good, the conversations really blew me away. Questions of morality, criminality, ethics and a cross section of the American Dream feature prominently in a game that has been labeled as evil by certain members of society. I could go on all day. But GTAIV is very, very good, and people have hoes that need killing.

It is, however, not perfect. Seeing as I know better than an entire studio of experienced developers with a multimillion dollar budget, I have found it necessary to write a personal wishlist of crap to appear in the next GTA. And yes, I have seen other lists. But they suck.

Anyways.

MOAR POLISH, MOAR DETAIL
GTA is an audacious game. Or perhaps I should say GTA is many audacious games. It is a driving sim, an RPG, a shooter; all rolled into a sandbox crim sim. GTAIV has come much closer than any other game to nailing all of the above. But trying to simulate reality is no easy task. A bit more detail, like in-car view and more building interiors would be welcome additions. Furthermore, just a little more animation smoothing and model polishing, however difficult, would be nice to see.

MOAR REALISTIC CAR DAMAGE
Being thrown from the car and fatal NPC car crashes have been bought in. Damage looks better than ever before. But vehicles are a bit too tough, and the collisions a bit unrealistic. I want to see engine blocks ripped out and wheels flying off. Passengers decapitated. I demand blood on the bitumen, baby.

MOAR MISSION VARIETY
Missions are kind of repetitive. Its all drugs, driving and killing, again and again. Normally, I wouldnt complain, but mixing up the story mode a bit with other less linear aspects of the game may help remedy the grind-feeling you get in the final stages of GTAIVs story mode.

MOAR LESS DUPLICATING CARS
I know that this particular subtitle makes little or no sense, but I picked a theme so Im going to run with it. The bug where every car that appears is the same as the one you are driving seems to have jumped across to the new engine. If a bug it is at all. Regardless, seeing about a dozen Infernos parked in Broker after picking up the first and only one you have ever seen kind of suspends the reality effect.

MOAR THINGS TO SQUISH
I know its not really necessary, but I want to run over children and pets. Am I sick? In a word, very. Fox News would have a field day, but I guess its a line Rockstar will have to cross one day.

MOAR PETTY CRIME
Crime is not always glamorous. I like the idea of starting from the bottom. Id happily do small time muggings, drug peddling, and hold-ups, working my way up to the big time. I wouldnt even mind prostituting myself.

MOAR RPG ELEMENTS
The decision missions in GTAIV are an extremely welcome addition in my book. The level of character customization in San Andreas was also very cool. Id like the next GTA to take these really to the next level.

MOAR DIFFICULTY/REALISM
What I mean by this is not necessarily related to the combat system, which I think is actually pretty good. Id like to see more realism and difficulty for things like committing crimes fundamental to the game. A hotwiring mini-game, similar to what Rockstar did throughout the Warriors, would be ideal. Expensive cars with immobilizers which require electronic disabling, so that the early stages of the game force a player to use older vehicles. Cops, I feel, also need a rejig. I want police who remember you if you dont change clothes or car. I want to become wanted, a fugitive and an escapee if need be. I want them to be smarter all around.

MOAR FPS
In GTAIV, the FPS gets a little stutter on occasion. That is all.

MOAR PHYSICS
Lets be honest. The strippers really need more realistic breasts.

MOAR MULTIPLAYER
Multiplayer is an excellent addition and is largely quite fun. It is perhaps a little bit clunky, though. A smoother experience including less annoying wait times would make the future GTA so much better.

MOAR AMMUNATION
What happened to Ammunation? I want my Ammunation.

MOAR GOOD SONGS
The soundtrack to GTAIV isnt nearly as compelling as any of the previous entries. The talkback is great, dont get me wrong, but where are the real gems like Bark at the Moon and er Shes on Fire.

MOAR AREA
More area doesnt necessarily mean more fun, as many instances in San Andreas proved. Personally, I dont really mind a denser, more interesting area like the one found in GTAIV. But driving down highways and exploring the countryside represents a pleasant change of pace and promotes a good feeling of freedom. I guess that more area implemented correctly should be involved in the next GTA.

MOAR MELEE FIGHTS
Fist fighting in GTAIV, what little of it I have done, seems pretty good. Different kind of attacks mapped to different buttons means it is deeper than ever before. However, I fought with my fists once during the entire game. Furthermore, the melee weapons suck pretty bad. It is far too difficult to hit a running target or even a target on the ground for that matter. Use it or lose it, make me happy.

MOAR GANGS
What happened to the gangs in GTAIV? Where are the lackeys driving around, protecting their turf? The crime families in the game dont really seem to have any of the control they did in the previous titles. And I really do miss Yakuza Stingers.

MOAR PERSISTENCE
I want to have more effect on the world. If I want to park a car somewhere, I expect it to stay there. And so on.

MOAR OF THE EXCELLENT DIALOGUE AND SCRIPTING
Its pretty fucking good. The characters you like and hate, feel sympathy and empathy. Characters are even pretty god damn funny. The satires on the media outlets are hillarious. Please dont go back to the older titles. I will never cease despising Tommy Dicks, youre all dicks! Vercetti.

MOAR CLAUDE SPEED
What the fuck is with this guy anyway? Whatever, hes awesome.

MOAR LESS PENISES
I get it. You guys at Rockstar like toilet humour. I mostly laughed, because genitals are pretty amusing. But for Christs sake, tone it down a bit.   read


7:18 AM on 04.28.2008

I think I just drove down a waterslide; A Mario Kart Wii Review


YOUR DOING IT WRONG!

The new Mario Kart smacks of mediocrity. Quite simply, it plays like Mario Kart DS, looks like Double Dash with bloom and tastes stale to say the least. A sprinkle of new items, a dash of new courses, a liberal dosage of gimmicky crap Nintendo and have made themselves another money-making pie.

No more food metaphors, I promise. On with the hate!

The plastic hulk that is the Wii Wheel (Wiil?) again highlights the technological shortcomings of the Wii. While it is amusing and actually works some of the time, serious racers will quickly replace it for the good old joystick.

The course design is insulting. Boosts, jumps and even waterslides are far too prevalent. Nintendo seems to think that if you are not boosting enough, you are not having enough fun. This is all well and good, that is, if you are a sugared-up twelve-year-old. The complication with this particular formula comes when you take into account the new 12 player races. That means there are now four more players down the bottom of the rung who get access to serious weaponry. Items like the new POW Block, which causes all racers in front of the target to spin and lose their items, seem far too potent for the prevalence of which they occur. The gameplay is frenetic as a result, but also extremely frustrating at times. Often it seems like skill takes a back seat position to blind luck. The catch-up effect that annoyed players a decade ago is not what plagues us today. It is winning the entire race until being brutalized by five or six different items on the final corner and having to settle for a podium-finish. It feels great when you are dishing out such a humiliation, but being on the receiving end causes one to get angry. And violent. And then people die.

The battle system has been shaken up too, both for better and for worse. The beloved Balloon mode is gone, replaced by a new Red vs. Blue team melee. There is also a new Coin mode which is mildly amusing. But the absence of split-screen free for all battles is extremely frustrating. One can only scratch their head as to why it didnt make the cut. When the good Nintendo giveth, it also taketh away.

But enough hate. Now for the love

Truly the strongest motivation for anyone to pick up Mario Kart Wii is the online multiplayer. It is refreshing to participate against other players from around the world, especially with a friend in two-player split screen mode. A ranking system keep things nice and competitive. Its simple, its fun and it works.

Seeing little digitized versions of your friends and the usual mix of dictators, actors and genitalia-faced freaks that inhabit your Mii Channel cheering from the sidelines or inhabiting billboards is a nice touch. The ability to play as yourself is also pretty cool.

There are bikes. And tricks. And the Wii Wheel. But only minor refinements to game play and graphics when you look at the grander scheme of things. Nintendo is once again playing the safe card. As much as I hated Double Dash, I really long for a more audacious Mario Kart in just that vein. But the game I long for would deliver a less retarded racing experience than said title. I feel that Mario Kart Wii is patching up the various ills bought into the series by Double Dash, rather than playing on the older titles strengths.

Nintendos changes are a double edged sword. Mario Kart Wii offers cheap racing thrills but lacks the sophistication and finesse of other titles in the series. Its mediocre, yes. But it provides reasonably solid entertainment. At times, a little frustration as well. And if your Wii is collecting dust, or if you live in the dark corner of the earth known as Australia and Smash Brothers isnt out yet, Mario Kart might just provide enough nourishment to keep you going through the famine.

Pie.   read


10:53 PM on 04.16.2008

The Technology of MGS3 and their Real Life Counterparts

MGS3 is full of some really sweet technology. I instantly assumed most of the stuff in game was either made up or totally taken out of context. I decided Id assess several pieces of in game weaponry to try and figure out where Kojima had hit and where he had missed.

Davy Crockett



What is the Davy Crockett? Four words: Tactical Nuclear Recoilless Rifle. Developed in the late 1950s, its sub kiloton payload was enough to destroy structures, level entire formations of enemy troops and irradiate the ground for at least 48 hours. With a range of several kilometres, it could be carried and fired by something as small as a jeep or a platoon. Maybe not one psychopathic Russian but still...

MC-130E Combat Talon



The Combat Talon first took to the skies in the early 1960s, proving Snake Eater to be righton the money. Jam packed with state of the art radar and countermeasure systems, the Combat Talon was so awesome right off the bat that the pilots gave it such an awesome nickname. Its primary role included Infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces, which sounds quite similar to its portrayal in the game. The aircraft has had a long and illustrious service career since, making propaganda drops in Vietnam and dropping Daisy Cutters in Iraq. My research neither confirms nor denies whether this aircraft did in fact carry the weapons it possessed in Snake Eater. The 20mm Gatling Guns and the 105mm Howitzers which do feature in MGS are characteristic of the AC-130 Spectre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC-130_Spectre). The Spectre, on the other hand, first entered service in 1967, which fails to coincide with the games events. Perhaps one of us is getting confused...

Fulton Surface to Air Recovery System



This is mentioned only briefly in the early stages of the game but it is nevertheless an awesome piece of technology that deserves to be on this list. As the name implies, the Fulton System allows aircraft to pickup personnel and light cargo without the need for a landing. A small package containing a balloon, helium gas and a nylon lift line could be dropped to, say, a Foxhound agent waiting in the jungles below. The aircraft would orbit overhead and extend a scissor-like attachment from its nose. The recoveree would then inflate the balloon, attach a harness and wait until the overhead plane snagged the balloon, wrenching the hapless individual skyward and eventually aboard. Although it was an admittedly dangerous procedure, it was used on several key occasions to great effect and only one death was ever incurred by the device. The Fulton System was in fact standard on the Combat Talon aircraft and was developed in the early 1950s meaning that Kojima once again got his facts correct. Unfortunately, the system was deemed too unsafe (translation: too damn cool) and has been removed from all aircraft.

A-12/D-21/M-21



The A-12 was a direct precursor of the SR-71 Blackbird, the Worlds fastest and highest flying aircraft, so one could be forgiven for confusing the two. Much like the plane it would later evolve into, the A-12 was designed as a reconnaissance platform that wouldnt have to deal with enemy SAM installations, simply fly by at Mach 3.3 or 29 kilometers up and concentrate on taking happy snaps. It first saw operational use in 1964. The D-21 on the other hand, was an unmanned drone that rode astride the A-12 and used in ultra-long range or especially dangerous flights. When the mother aircraft neared the target, it would launch the D-21 which would take its photographs, drop its important cargo for retrieval and then detonate. I assume here that MGS3 appropriated the use of the D-21 as a manned infiltration device, due to the fact Im struggling to find any similar attachment to the aircraft. Even if it may not be 100% accurate, the game can be forgiven for taking this slight creative license.

Mi-24 Hind A



This early version of the ubiquitous Hind first took to the skies in 1972. Considering it was still on the drawing board in 1968 there is pretty much no way this lethal gunship could have appeared in Snake Eater. It does show how quickly the Russians implemented a good idea, but unfortunately MGS seems to have stretched history a bit here. However, they did get the helicopter pretty much right, including its glasshouse cockpit and standard armament.

Colt XM16E1



This assault rifle began serving in the jungles of Vietnam in 1964 carrying its XM prototype designation, and despite initial design flaws has evolved to become quite a competent weapon. Some 8 million of the rifles and their predecessors have been manufactured and the great majority are still in use today.

The Patriot (M231)



Now, I could be a little off the mark here but I believe that the Boss Patriot is in fact a much simpler weapon with a big-ass drum clip strapped on. The M231 Firing Port Weapon is a heavily modified M16 at heart but with several key differences. It is short, stubby and fully automatic (capable of upwards of 1000 rounds per minute) and designed chiefly for firing out of vehicles. It carried a 30 round box magazine, just like the Boss, but unfortunately bar the unlimited ammo. This weapon entered its testing phase in 1972, which makes it highly unlikely to be in the hands of the boss in 1964. It is, nevertheless, pretty cool if a little impractical.

WIG (Ekranoplan)



I was absolutely stunned to find out that WIGs do in fact exist. Despite carrying such a poor sounding acronym, Wing-in-ground effect vehicles are a mixture between aircraft and hovercraft. They are designed to take off and cruise only meters above the ground (but exponentially higher as wing size increases). Here, the vortices created by the wings of the WIG as it speeds across the water (or even ice or land, so long as it is flat) support and cushion its own mass, meaning that it can fly far more efficiently and generally more safely than standard aircraft designs. Generally the larger the wingspan, the more pronounced the WIG effect is, meaning that bigger aircraft are far more affected than their smaller cousins. The Russians pioneered and exploited the technology from the late stages of WWII and since then it has been regarded as an interesting but flawed form of flight. Key issues include a lack of longitudinal stability and the fact that they are considerably slower than high-flying aircraft. However, the WIGs portrayal in game is considerably off the mark. Firstly, I cant find any record of a WIG that looks like that. Secondly, WIGs cant fly like traditional aircraft; they must remain close to the surface at all times to achieve lift. Still an awesome and practically unknown technology that should be in more goddamn movies.

The Shagohod

No, I dont think so.

Them Little Flying Jetpack Thingys

Nup.

Volgins Eletricity Fists

No way.

The Sorrow

He is fucking ghost. Kojima goes to all this effort to get things nice and correct and he puts in a fucking ghost.

The Pain

Shoots killer bees. Need I say more?   read


10:00 AM on 04.15.2008

Sorry Sir, You've got The Hype

I never thought I would be the one to fall prey to the insidious claws of The Hype. Well, I might have picked up a few games on launch day (or even before) but I'm not the kind of person who attends midnight launches. Even if they serve free pizza.
But, this time, its different. The enormous, rolling, spiky hypemachine of GTAIV turned my brain to shit. I spent most of today plotting who exactly I'd have to kill or maim in order to be able to play the damn game when launch day finally arrives.

You cant really fault Rockstar for its campaign. Most of the development was shrouded in the typical GTA mystery. Only within a few months of release date do scant details begin leaking out. As the weeks begin to unravel, more and more information trickles through the intertubes. It was no means the kind of brutal, spray and pray approach that big budget movies and games normally take. There was none of that that offensive viral marketing. But Rockstars subtle fact dropping method seems to have worked. Now, just a mere two weeks, it feels like the hype for me has reached critical mass. I cant take it any longer. I MUST HAVE THIS GAME!

The only problem is that I dont really have anything on which to play it. I mean, at all. If I want to play this game, I'll most importantly need a copy of the game. But then, I will also need a ps3 on which to play it. But then, Ill also need a 1080p TV, because there is no way I'm playing it on my 1/2" black and white piece of shit portable. But then, I'll need to buy cables and controllers and more games and before I know it, I've got a mortgage. And two less kidneys. And a bleeding anus.

Is it worth it? I just dont know. All I can think about is how badly I want this game. My usual cool logic and thrift (or stinginess) usually prevents me from such rash decisions. Sometimes. But The Hype has got me and I can't escape.

As I slowly descend into slavering madness, I at least have the comfort of my friends. "You can come and play it at my house," they state, disingenuously. Or "What about MarioKart?". Its not the same. Its just not the same.

Should I hold out for MGS4 and sweet DualShockness, like the original plan? Or should I give in and call the bank, put my organs on Ebay and call my pimp, Arnaldo, in the pursuit of gaming bliss? I just dont know.   read


5:05 AM on 03.19.2008

A review of a review of a review: Reviews are flawed

I read Jim Sterlings rebuttal concerning the anger about several of Destructoids reviews. I then perused the Condemned and the Patapon reviews and despite the fact that I may disagree with Mr. Sterlings handling of the issue, he is quite right. These are good, honest reviews.

But rather than highlight the failings of certain individuals, I believe that this discussion reflects more so the subjective nature of reviews. I personally believe that reviewers should attempt to strike a balance between objectivity and their own experience, but if the game fails to measure up one should have the right to say so. However, this is not always the case.

Last year I managed to secure an internship with an unnamed computer magazine. I went into the offices filled with ideas of journalistic integrity and left feeling bitter and molested (for lack of a better word). Quite simply, I was unaware of how important it is for print media to toe the line when it comes to reviews. Libel laws and certain loyalties restrict the truth from being said and reduces reviews of bad products to anaemic, whimsical factoids that serve only to give the manufacturer a hard-on, pay the magazines bills and bore the living shit out of a reader. What exactly do I mean by this? As a first-hand example, I reviewed a few bits of crap during my internship. Despite being an uber-rookie, I immediately assumed I was hot-shit and began going to town on things like joystick-mice and learning-to-drive funducational games, to mention a few. Unsurprisingly my supervisor told me to tone it back. A lot. So I did, and ended up with something that was relatively even-handed, mildly sarcastic and utterly boring. And then it came to the scoring. I wanted to give the mouse a three and the game a five. And then the bombshell. My supervisors eyes practically bulged out of his head when he saw those two numbers and
gave the mouse a six and the game a seven. He told me that a six was extremely rare and should only be reserved for the worst of the worst; in this case, justified. He told me that giving a product anything less would only serve to outrage the manufacturer who would refuse to send any more products to the magazine for review. No products equals no reviews equals no content equals no magazine. Shockingly, the company that did manufacture the product was actually a sporadic advertiser, so the corruption went further. The journalists dare not step down the slippery path to destruction. I was appalled.

We live in an environment where bullshit always gets in the road of pure opinion. There are certainly benefits to this such as protection from unwarranted defamation. But in my honest opinion there are flaws in the age old review structure and furthermore I believe that putting an out-of score on anything is bound to breed controversy. There are too many ways it can be misconstrued and quite frankly, its fucked. Yet awfully fun to do.

I am fully aware that Destructoid is not your cookie-cutter gaming media site, and that is the reason I hold it so dear. I expect the reviews to be edgy and opinionated, because thats what the site itself is like. It holds no allegiances to advertisers and manufacturers and strives to be different. But on the topic of people disagreeing with these reviews; remember friends, this is the internet. Comments breed inflammatory statements. The dregs are drawn out of the woodwork at the scent of tasty flame material. Diagram below.



(courtesy of the genius of Penny Arcade)


You will notice that above I put the word truth in inverted commas. You will also notice that I said the aforementioned reviews were honest. Truth and honesty are subject to each individual. Each individual differs. People disagree. Truly free speech? There is no such thing. But if you can dish it out, you have to deal when the opinion is against you. Or at the very least ignore it.

In closing,




And no, I have no idea who Jim Sterling is.   read


4:18 AM on 03.18.2008

Vista Giving You the Sh*ts?







I'm not sure if this is a joke or even a Microsoft product, seeing as I dont speak Japanese. Regardless, it still amuses me somewhat.   read





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