Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

For Your Consideration: SplitScreen

October 21, 2010 3 comments

In lieu of a decent written article, since I’m sitting at the college library and I don’t feel like actually writing, here is an un-edited discussion about things to do with games, between my good buddy Mark (of Random Hoo-Haas, see side-bar links), and myself. Enjoy?

[11:35] Ian: Quick, Mark, spit something at me. Postulate something about the games business for me to extrapolate on.
[11:35] Ragey: Um.
[11:35] Ragey: Offline multi-player – do developers still acknowledge it?
[11:36] Ian: You god damn genius. Is the art of split screen lost? Golden Eye 2010 begs to differ!
[11:36] Ian: As does most of the wii, for that matter, which may be why the Wii is a big family/party system.
[11:37] Ragey: There’s a lot of games on the 360 that I’m surprised have online-only multi-player. I mean, how hard can it be for OutRun 2 to include splitscreen?
[11:38] Ian: Indeed. That’s one thing that I think games like Halo and Call of duty still have over a lot of other shooters that helps give them that foothold in the industry
[11:38] Ian: that being they still fully support four player split-screen.
[11:38] Ian: Albeit Halo multiplayer is on a much grander scale when you’re online, it’s still fun to sit down with three buds and shoot eachother in the face hole.
[11:39] Ragey: Of course. Left 4 Dead is fun online, but it’s much more fun when I’m playing it with people in-person (though it only supports 2-player splitscreen, which given the amount of zombies and crap on-screen I guess is a given)
[11:40] Ragey: Also I suppose it’d be neat to maybe talk about the programming behind splitscreen? Like, I get the impression it’d be something that’s relatively simple, but since a lot of games even back in the day struggled with it there must be more to it than I think.
[11:40] Ian: Yeah, that’s an issue. In this age of Hi-Def gaming, split screen means A: A smaller view for each player and B: More objects that have to be rendered at a time.
[11:40] Ian: I mean, think about it
[11:40] Ian: For every screen, the game is literally having to render a whole other scene.
[11:42] Ragey: I think that’s the bit that confuses me – does having a second camera (player) mean that it has to re-render everything that’s visible?
[11:42] Ian: Yes, essentially.
[11:43] Ian: The assets are shared as far as memory goes, so there’s not a huge extra processing or memory load, I don’t think
[11:43] Ragey: But depending on the intensity of the game it will have an impact, I imagine.
[11:43] Ian: But the graphical elements definitely suffer a bit. I haven’t really looked at Reach, for example, splitscreen in depth VS single screen, so I can;’t pull any isolated examples
[11:43] Ian: But it seems like the logical thing
[11:44] Ian: It’s kind of like this 3D games thing on the Playstation 3
[11:44] Ian: Those games that are starting to implement glasses 3D definitely suffer, because they are having to render the game from two slightly different angles.
[11:44] Ian: Which has been developer confirmed.
[11:45] Ragey: Hm, intriguing.
[11:45] Ian: Fascinating indeed.
[11:47] Ragey: Of course, then there’s also the usage of low-poly models for when stuff gets too much. Mario Kart Double Dash is the first example that springs to mind. I can’t help but wonder if, say, there was something like Left 4 Dead made for the PS3/360 with 4-player splitscreen, but the graphics were N64-quality. Would that make it easier to run or would the sheer amount of models (never mind their complexity) still bog it down?
[11:48] Ian: It would make it much easier to run. I could run several N64 games at the same time on my laptop at home via emulation and not have any slowdown
[11:49] Ian: In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a port of the n64 Goldeneye on XBox Live Arcade
[11:50] Ragey: Now that’s very interesting. Because I admit I was almost wondering to myself, why have we never seen anything like Left 4 Dead until the 360 (in the sense of a co-op game against tons and tons and tons of mass mob enemies), but it’s really just down to the processing power, I imagine. I’d love to see a cheap low-poly version of the game made just to see how it would run.
[11:50] Ragey: And I know Perfect Dark’s been ported to the 360, I think Goldeneye’s still in legal limbo.
[11:51] Ian: “Rumors and even footage of an XBLA remake of Goldeneye floated around the Internet in recent years, but due to licensing and other complexities, a brewing re-release of Goldeneye appears to have been aborted. ”
[11:51] Ian: correct you are
[11:51] Ian: Parfect Dark was more or less the same engine, though.
[11:51] Ian: so the example stands.
[11:51] Ragey: Mmm.
[11:53] Ian: That all said, I’d imagine multiplayer split screen shooters usually run at so fast a pace, you wouldn’t really notice any drop in visual quality at the time.
[11:54] Ragey: Of course. And the fact the screen is squashed probably helps, too.
[11:54] Ian: Yeah


EA Folds: Now your fake American troops will be killed by “Opposing Forces”, so everything’s A-OK.

October 1, 2010 1 comment

Modern warfare is the World War 2 of the 2000s. The latest in the now seemingly endless line of “Let’s shoot dudes in the middle east” games is EA’s Medal of Honor; COD and BFBC2’s fucked up stepchild who shows signs of learning disabilities in its early aptitude tests, but may still graduate high school someday anyway. surprisingly, the biggest controversy in the game’s development hasn’t been that the beta was…well… bad, and was very coldly received, but that the fact that you play as the Taliban themselves is a thing.

Let’s be honest. We’ve been playing as the Taliban since Counter Strike. I’m sorry, I don’t care if you name your vaguely middle easten terror cell “Terrorists” or “The Powerpuff Jihad”. If it smells like a Tali, looks like a Tali, derps like a tali, and blows itself up like a Tali, it’s a Tali. Difference is EA had the balls out come out and say “Hey, it’s the Taliban. This is, you know, actual war.”.

Well, people didn’t like that. So now This.

In the past few months, we have received feedback from all over the world regarding the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor. We’ve received notes from gamers, active military, and friends and family of servicemen and women currently deployed overseas. The majority of this feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. For this, the Medal of Honor team is deeply appreciative.

However, we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.

While this change should not directly affect gamers, as it does not fundamentally alter the gameplay, we are making this change for the men and women serving in the military and for the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice – this franchise will never willfully disrespect, intentionally or otherwise, your memory and service.

To all who serve – we appreciate you, we thank you, and we do not take you for granted. And to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines currently serving overseas, stay safe and come home soon.

Greg Goodrich
Executive Producer
Medal of Honor

Alright, so let’s be clear. I support out troops. Without doubt or hesitation. I support them and respect a lot of them. However, frankly, I think this is the most needless, undeserved change ever. Regardless of the name, gameplay has not changed. You are still playing as an unnamed (Opposing Force? Seriously?) arab terrorist organization killing American troops. I don’t see what the lack of a name changes. Changing it so as not to disrespect the men and women out there  fighting, or the ones who have died?

Dude, again. A horse is a horse, even if you paint it to look like a Zebra. You’re still killing who you’re killing as the opposing force, I don’t see how this is any more ‘respectful’, and frankly, I didn’t see it as ‘disrespect’ in the first place. The problem with the Taliban thing wasn’t respect, it was the fact that men who have been and who are in active service are uncomfortable with the game due to PTSD effects and whatever else. This is ok, this I can respect. Don’t buy the game, don’t distribute it on Military property, whatever. But ultimately, nothing has changed.

Ugh, I don’t even know where I’m going with this anymore, but this all seems really dumb.

Categories: Games, General Gaming, News, Rants

Sequels, Quake 3: Reach, and Shit Captain James T. Dad Says.

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Hi, everyone. It’s me again. Today I want to talk about Halo some more (albeit, not exclusively). I might mention Halo a lot for a while, because Reach is cool and you would be cool if you played it. This isn’t necessarily about Reach, though, it’s about an issue that I feel has begun to infect and spread across the game industry at an alarming rate in the past few years.

For those who either missed the hyperlink or are the TL;DR type (shame on you!), the story basically comes down to the following point:

“343 Industries is thinking a lot about how to take this franchise and turn it into something that people feel like they have an ongoing relationship with and they can entertain themselves more often,” he told IGN. “But it’s not, hey every November 6 or whatever we have to ship a game and build a production plan around that. We want to do things that make sense as a first party.”
This makes sense for everyone involved: Halo has always been a huge cash cow for Microsoft, so why not release more of what gamers want? The tightrope walk comes from the challenge of increasing the number of releases while keeping quality high. Distressingly, Spencer points to Activision as a good example of aggressive release schedules.

Credit goes to and

If you want it to be even more deliciously summarized, here’s the hoe-down: Annualized Halo.

So here’s the thing about a sequel. In my opinion, at least, a sequel is supposed to be a follow up to a product that succeeds the original product via some form of change or innovation, be it for good or ill. In realistic development terms, one year is not enough to go back and do the kind of heavy altering to a game needed to create a good sequel. Hell, it’s barely enough time to come up with a good concept. What the concept of annual sequels leads to is a slew of games using the same engine (Minor tweaks, granted, but it’s too little too soon.) with very little in the way of variation beyond some content (story, graphical assets, et al). A perfect example is Call of Duty and Guitar Hero (The latter of which seems to have adopted a bi-annual spin-off development cycle). Sure is innovative in here, right? I don’t like to pick on either of those franchises because I don’t like them, either. As a matter of fact, I loved the first three (1, 2, 4) Call of Duty games, and Guitar Hero was amazing and original when the first couple came out.

What makes sequels special? Why do I love CODs 2 and 4, but not 3, 5, or 6? The wait. The feeling of seeing something you love in a new form. The jump from COD to COD2 was great, and the jump to 4’s technology was another giant leap in the franchise. All that was old was new and exciting again, which brings us back to Halo and why I’d hate to see this happen to that franchise. Halo generally has had a three year dev cycle. The main games have all come out thrice apart from eachother: HALO: CE (2001), HALO 2 (2004), HALO 3 (2007), HALO: REACH (2010). These three year gaps have allowed for Bungie to go in and completely retool everything from the ground up. Even the weakest of the main Halos (Not naming names!) was still a good game by general standards. The weakest of the Halo franchise thus far (ODST, in my opinion), was just building off Halo 3’s engine, and while it did some new things, it ultimately was not exciting for this fact; a perfect example of how this sort of thing is gonna go.

It’s not isolated to Halo, either. Street Fighter 4, Doom 3, Sonic Adventure, Morrowind, Oblivion, and (Hypothetically!) TES V. These are sequels that felt special because they had come out long enough after their predecessors to feel like a truly new product, albeit Doom 3 and SF 4 are kind of extreme cases, almost a decade is a looong time to wait for a follow up.

If MSoft really wants to have an annual tent pole, here’s my suggestion. Biennialize your heavy hitters. Halo, Gears (or whatever major Microsoft exclusive game that comes along in the future), Halo, Gears, etc. Two years is at least a bit more time to develop something new. Now, I know what you might think: But Mr. Opinion Man, Activision splits COD up biennialy between two teams!

Yes, it does, but those two teams are ultimately still working on the same franchise, sharing the same core resources. Halo and Gears/Fable/ExclusiveOfChoice are separate franchises with separate dev houses and separate engines and resources. Two years is much more merciful than “Alright guys, let’s crank a Halo out in November every 365 days or so). Plus, I can only imagine the stress and hours laden on the developers with that kind of deadline.

Ah hell, I guess when it comes down to it, the vast majority of consumers will buy an annual Halo regardless because they don’t know shit. See that? There’s the cynicism I promise all of you every day.

  • On to more pleasant matters: More REACH!

Look familiar? It should. It’s a reimagining (Obvious artistic license taken) of the classic Quake 3 Arena map “The Longest Yard”, which I’ve appropriately entitled “A Longer Yard”. Of course, Halo is not Quake 3, nor does it have even close to the same mechanics beyond “shoot a guy”, so some changes in the formula had to be made. You’ll notice the third tier of platforms has become just a raised area with ramps and the jump pad gap has become a horizontal bridge. I’ve also made the shotgun corner an enclosed space, because it needed some sprucing up and the raised aspect of the bunkers makes the map resemble its forefather a bit more. All teleporters are intact, as well as the middle jump pad and megahealth, which have been represented by a normal grav lift and Overarmor that respawns every two minutes. In place of the quad damage is an invisibility pickup. The sniper island is still there, it’s just not pictured, but the mancannon that launches to it is.

It’s a work in progress, even between those two pictures (The one with the railings and glass covers is newer), but I feel like it’s coming along well. When it’s finished, it should be up on my fileshare. I’ll make a post making note of it, the map name, and the author it will be under. In the meantime, I have another map up now called “Shore Line” under the author “DeathToMuffin”, so if you feel like giving that a shot, I’d appreciate feedback. It was my first forray into the Forge.

Moving Along:

  • Shit My Dad Says (I’m not censoring the goddamn fucking thing. Fuck.)

The premiere of the ‘twitcom’ aired last night, and it was pretty much William Shatner being William Shatner, including a wonderfully meta-humour moment where Henry (played by Jonathan Sadowski) does a typical Kirk-Shatner impression, at which point his titular father Ed (Played by Jimmy Kirk himself) laments that no one can do a good impression of him. Aside from that, the show was entertaining, but knowing it was based off a Twitter feed ruined it a bit for me. I kept imagining everything Shatner said as individual tweets that the writers of the show managed to string together via tangential relatedness. Also, the laugh track after anyone delivered a line didn’t help, as usual. Seriously, kill that shit.

I’ll keep an eye on this show. For now, I’m giving it a recommend at least insofar as the pilot goes. Give it a shot, you might like it.

So, this has gone on long enough, and I applaud you if you’re still reading. Go reward yourself for me with a pat on the back! Or, if you can’t reach your back, a Twinkie!


Attack of the Guitar Heroes

September 16, 2008 1 comment

Pet peeve time: Guitar Hero.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun game, but I’m starting to get tired of seeing yearly installments. This is one of those games where the gameplay is static, it’s stayed more or less the same between GH 1, 2, and 3. The biggest change was moving to next gen with GH3, and that, I think, merited a sequel. But now that we’re in the current gen, with digital distribution and DLC, I see sequels as even less neccesary with these games. Why put one out yearly if it’s just going to be the same package with a new song list? It’s just cashing in on a popular gameplay element, and to me, it’s a waste to spend 60 bucks a pop to get the same product as last year with a new sound track. It would be much better to just release massive set lists yearly as DLC and let people pick and choose what they want, and maybe release one or two guitar hero games every generation.

Now, I know, I know, GH4/World Tour is changing up the gameplay quite a bit – how? Be becoming a rock band clone! Hurrah! Now we have two total identicle games coming out with yearly instalments! What luck! So now I can spend another 120 dollars getting Guitar Hero’s answer to a game I spent over a hundred on LAST year!

Brilliant strategy on their part, though, because people buy it!

It’s like madden in a way, except madden actually adds new gameplay elements and ups the graphics every year – but for the most part they could just release one or two madden gamesa generation and update rosters via DLC.

To top this all off:

At a presentation for analysts yesterday, the publisher confirmed that it wasn’t quite through with its epic “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” financial-windfall drum solo. Activision Publishing president Mike Griffith told the assembled analysts that next year, the company would be doubling 2008’s number of Guitar Hero SKUs. (The same game appearing on three different platforms would be counted by retailers as three stock-keeping units, or SKUs.) The publisher wants to keep up that pace of expansion, and Griffith said that in 2010, Activision Blizzard plans to release almost triple this year’s number of Guitar Hero SKUs.

“We’ve learned that the consumer still has an insatiable appetite for more,” Griffith said.

Why, god, why? Just to drive the point home, let me list the GH games that have been put out or are planned.

  • Guitar Hero
  • Guitar Hero 2
  • Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80’s
  • Guitar Hero 3: Legends of rock
  • Guitar Hero 3: Mobile
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
  • Guitar Hero: On Tour
  • Guitar Hero: On Tour: Decades (Another case of unneeded sequel. The first one sucked anyways.)
  • Guitar Hero: World Tour
  • Guitar Hero: Metallica
  • Guitar Hero 3: Backstage Pass
  • Guitar Hero Carabiner

And this is all from November 2005 to September 2008. Three years, and this library is as long as some franchises that have been around for ten or twenty. Aerosmith, rock the 80s, and Metallica are worth noting as specific examples of RELEASE IT AS DLC YOU TWATS.

EDIT: In my hate to bitch about something that annoys me, I neglected to consider some people either have no decent net connection for XBL or PSN, or no hard drive, so DLC would fuck them over hard. I’m sorry, I can see why the yearly sequels would be needed in that case. Someday, though, someday… The internet and HDDs will be standard, and then we’ll get back to this.

Categories: Games, News, Rants Tags:

Classic Doom 3

September 10, 2008 2 comments

Alternatively titled: Why game companies should just sell us the raw engine and let the fans make the games. So in my game retrospective, the first title I brought up was Doom. To be fairly honest, at the time of that article, I hadn’t played Doom or Doom 3 (or anything in between) extensively in at least a year.

It sparked my interest though, especially when a friend of mine read the article and mentioned how he lamented that doom on the 360 doesn’t have co-op, which quickly prompted me to point him to Skulltag. The definitive multiplayer Doom source port in my humble opinion.

Unfortunately, we never got it working because my internet is hella gay, but the fact stands it got me playing Doom again, and explaining basically the inner workings and history of the whole franchise to my aforementioned friend.

One word: Wow.

Seventeen years later, Doom still knows how to make you feel like a badass. Ripping through Knee Deep in the Dead with a shotgun on Ultra Violent mode felt good, but moreso, it was actually a challenge. A seventeen year old game can still kick my ass, it was intense. Being swarmed by imps and shotgun soldiers in a very small room can get very hectic. It’s funny, though, when I get in front of one of them, sidestep at the last second, and get ’em infighting =D.

My verdict is holy shit, how did I ever stop playing Doom.

The next step was clear, it was time to finally put Doom3 to the test on my shit 700$ laptop. To my surprise and, even more surprising – glee, I found it works just fine. At 800×600 medium quality with no antialiasing and high quality special effects turned off, granted, and with an FPS hiccup every now and again… but for the most part, it’s highly playable. Now, keeping in mind that I haven’t touched D3 in a year or so, I’d forgotten EVERYTHING about the levels, it’s like the first time playing again, and let me just say… Despite the very deliberate pacing and such, and even with a duct tap mod (which gives every gun a flashlight. Some might say it detracts from the game, but I say it makes the pacing even smoother because I don’t have to fumble around with the F key when a monster jumps out of a corner at me and makes me pee myself, just an F bomb and a bullet.) the game can still make me scream like a little girl on the more intense difficulties. I have yet to die, though. I’ve died like seven or eight times in Doom on Ultra Violent so far.

Okay, so it’s more fun than I remember it being, I was satisfied, but I had to take it further. Enter Classic Doom 3.

Yeah. It’s kinda like that.

All I can say is ho-lee-shit. Why didn’t Id do this in the first place? They could have made so much money off an expansion pack that recreates the entirety of the first doom in the D3 engine. Nope, it was fans who were genius enough to come up with this, and let me tell you how beautifully they pulled it off. I thought Doom3 was fun till I broke this baby open, and I haven’t gone back yet. The levels are created wonderfully, with a nice mix of old and new styles, not that I need to tell you that – just look at the above comparison. A lot has been added to the design when it comes to meshes placed throughout the level to beautify, and it all fits perfectly. I don’t find myself missing the BOO scares of plain Doom 3 over the adrenaline (and shotgun) pumping action of CDoom3 at all. It’s just a shame that due to copywrite issues, Flaming Sheep Software could only recreate Knee Deep in the Dead. I would pay money to be able to play through the rest of DooM like this. Until the day comes (it won’t) that Id grants the permission recreate the whole of Doom 1, bravo. You’ve trumped what Doom3 was originally tenfold.

Which brings me back to my statement – this goes for a lot of franchises now. Sonic (fangames roxxor), Unreal (UT3 was pretty, but that was about it), Doom… Just give us the engine and let us create the actual game, since fans seem to know what fans want better tan developers themselves.

God Vs. Spore

September 9, 2008 2 comments

Of all my pet peeves, one of the biggest is when Religion and Gaming mix. These two almost always collide in some horrible form that’s bad for everyone, Christian and Gamer alike.

For those who didn't play this game... Don't.

For those who didn't play this game... Don't.

Now, I’m not Christian, per se, but I do believe in god, however, I don’t let that mingle with my judgement as a gamer (My one true religion). Unfortunately, some people who don’t even PLAY games find it somehow their right to pass judgment on perfectly good entertainment. They ought to spend their time and energy trying to shut down the porn industry or something (No they shouldn’t, I like porn too much.), not dampening the gamer’s spirit.

I digress, however. This week, the long awaited Spore came out in retail – the much hyped god game by Will Wright in which you take a creation from Cell to Creature to Tribe, City, and even Space. Basically, you ARE god. Surprisingly, though, this isn’t what has one supposed Christian upset. Playing god? This is okay. But EVOLUTION? THAT’S A NO-NO, MISTER!

Let’s take a look at various selections from the blog that claims Spore is a sin against God.

‘This entire game is propaganda aimed directly at our children to teach them evolution instead of creationism, or “intelligent design” if you go for stupid PC terms.

The object of the game is to evolve from a “spore” into demon-like intelligent space creatures that violently take over the galaxy.  Such as this one below’

Below was pictured a very early screen of Spore featuring a rather beastly looking fish creature.

So, propaganda? Don’t make me laugh, Spore isn’t teaching anything. It’s called a game mechanic, it’s used to make it fun. Every heard of that? Fun? Probably not. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be to thrilled if it popped me down, told me to just make something out of thin air, and then run with it without any further advances. You see this in a hell of a lot of games. Leveling up in RPGs, speaking of which, this is probably the same kind of person who would say Pokemon is of the devil.

Second of all, the object is NOT to create ‘demon-like’ creatures to ‘violently take over’ the galaxy. While you can if you want to, you can NOT pin that on the game, only the user playing the game. for all the game cares, you could make a cuddly teddy bear and spread peaceful diplomacy throughout the galaxy, the game does not care, EA does not care, Will Wright might care a little bit but I doubt it.


And 8,500 employees at Electronic Arts to corrupt a child’s mind.

8,500 people all working together and not a single one with enough Jesus to stand up and say what they are doing is wrong.

It makes me sick.

I don’t see what’s so wrong here, Spore isn’t corrupting ANY child’s mind. A child innocent enough to be that easily influenced would be too young to have the sense to bridge together Spore and evolution. All they’re going to  see is the opportunity to make a really funny looking thing, and let’s be honest, if that’s somehow wrong then you’d better get to banning play-doh, crayons, and paper.

Onward, soldiers.

You would think that as a member of the Episcopal Church, a smart man like Will Wright would not be capable of creating Spore.  However, we must be reminded that the Episcopal Church is the only church in america that ordains homosexuals on a regular basis.

It makes sense that a perverted church would cause a man to make the creations he has in this game.  It just may be that evolution is not the only thing to fear this game teaching your children.

Line has been crossed, this person is now the epitome of Christian arrogance and ignorance (And I know the majority of you aren’t like this, but the ones that are piss me off to no end.). The author had absolutely no place bringing the snide comment on gays in to the post. If you want to dislike a Church, be my guest, I’m not fond of a few myself, but don’t you dare fucking base it on whether or not they condemn someone for their sexuality, you stupid mother fucker. Yes, I am rather sensetive about this subject and no, I’m not gay myself.



Today EA’s stock is down almost a dollar.

I hope that the information about Spore I am making available helped in some small way.

Now you’re trying to obstruct an entire business based on one game. Pretty sure that’s illegal somewhere.

If you create a character that functions badly, and you can not eat, or fight, or move fast. You have difficulty surviving. Thus you must through trial and error select a design that works. Which is the fundamental “survival of the fittest” theory behind evolution.Additionally, if you choose an omnivore creature, and eat only meat. Guess what? You evolve into a Carnivore.

God did not create us through trial and error. He did not make millions of mistakes until deciding on the final concept. Each of his concepts were perfect on the first try.

There is fossil proof of evolution. Are you seriously disputing this shit? Really? Reeeeaaaalllyyyy? I believe in god, but I’m just fine with the idea that he sort of sits back and lets the peices fall in to place based on what we do. If that weren’t the case, species wouldn’t go extinct.

Alright, I’m done, any more of this is just going to irritate me needlessly. Here’s a link to the site if you feel like sounding off yourself. They welcome comments with a condescending ‘I hope someday you’ll find the truth.’.

Do us all a favour, stop pretending you’re the voice of God.

‘I can’t see what the hell is in front of me’ Hill 2

September 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Oi. So in the spirit of old games that should be fun, I picked up a copy of Silent Hill 2, supposedly one of the scariest games ever. Now, maybe I’m just not the right kind of guy for survivor horror (Hey – I loved Resident Evil 4!), or maybe it’s an issue with the fact that I’m just an instant gratification kind of person, or maybe that I grew up on what was equivalent to Mario on crack (Sonic), but I have a rule: If a game doesn’t have me interested by half an hour in (Or I feel like I’ve been playing for longer by that time), I’m probably not gonna like it.

Exceptions to this rule are games that don’t have an expansive long ass storyline I actually have to commit to, IE The Unreal Tournament series.

However, when I’m expected to commit to something, it had better fucking draw me in like a cartoonist on hallucinogenic drugs. SH 2 I’ve been playing for about 45 minutes, and I’m not feeling it.

“Oh, but Mr. Cynical, that’s barely in to it, you have to give it a chance, every story starts off slowly!”

God damn it, I’m playing a game here, not reading a suspense novel. It doesn’t help that the first 20 minutes of the game were spent wandering a road from a beach to a shitty little town and then wandering that town running in to the occasional groaning thing that looked vaguely like what could have passed as a menacing sack of meat covered in blood a few years ago only to find a dead end on every god damn street until I finally ran in to a mobile home that I only entered by CHANCE seeing as no other doors worked that finally pointed me forward, from which I spent a minute going to a bar only to have my map updated, an alleyway just to pick up a key, and then back down the street and across the road to an apartment complex I used the key to get in to where I am now again wandering with absolutely no hint of what I’m supposed to be doing and damn if I’m going to explore every sodding room in the place to find what will probably just be another bloody map marker.

All that in about 40 minutes, I feel like I’ve been playing for hours. Now, granted, I can’t rag on the graphics like I almost started to that much considering it’s a seven year old game, but they haven’t aged gracefully.

Maybe I’m really not giving the game enough breathing room to suck me in, but the fact that it took about twenty minutes just for me to get a 2×4 and have my first time whacking aformentioned low poly piece of meat isn’t helping it’s case. If it’s paced like this the entire way through, I might just rape the game disk – I’d get more use out of it that way.

The atmosphere isn’t doing anything for me either, on the ‘sucking me in’ point. The fog is supposed to be creepy or something, all it really does is frustrate me because between shoddy camera angles that change every 2 seconds and are more inconvenient than the early Resident Evil games and thick fog that covers everything but about 3 in-game feet around my character, the game does a bang up job of making sure I can’t tell where the fuck I’m going, forcing me to resort to looking at where I am on my map every minute or so, which would be fine if there was a mini map, but no, I have to press a button, wait literally a second for the map screen to pop up, register where I am and where I need to be, press the cancel button, and wait another second for it to fade. This process repeated several times only serves to lengthen the agonizing pace and further frustrate me.

I’ll keep playing, only because I really really want to see the Pyramid Head scenes and I’m too much of a lazy bastard to look them up on youtube.