Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
bobdog's Mini-Reviews Corner / Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Last post by bobdog on August 14, 2017, 07:31:21 AM »
Even though I received The Crew free as part of being a Uplay member, I don’t think it overly colors my perspective on the game’s value. In my mind, the most important thing about a racing game is that it is fun and doesn’t bore you, and The Crew does not disappoint.

The base story about revenge upon a racing gang is handled well, but as an open-world game, you’ll have plenty of things to keep you occupied as you build up your vehicles and skills. What sets The Crew apart from all other racing games that I’ve played is that it really does encapsulate the broader contour of the lower 48 U.S. states. And having driven through 41 of them myself, I can verify that the look and feel of every area you enter are as close to authentic as a game can deliver. Yes, some areas are squished into smaller pods, and it only takes 15 minutes actual time to drive from Miami to Dallas, but for the most part, this is a faithful rendition of America.

What makes The Crew unique is that you are actually playing as a single player in a multiplayer game. The opening map of the states shows you all the other drivers currently online, and at any point, you can interact with them – maybe joining them in heist runs or helping them escape the police. You can obviously befriend other folks and start your own crew (which I didn’t). Or simply race one another unplanned on the streets. At one point, I was trying to set a speed record through a downtown, and you have to jump over a bridge as part of the activity. One player parked himself right in the middle of the bridge and it was hard to miss him, so you’d bat him about 1,000 feet high while you’d go in the drink. Sometimes these can become annoying, but other times they were fun.

I spent hours upon hours trying to gather parts of cars that I could then bring back to my shop. Sometimes, drivers who have the “Calling All Units” police expansion would zip in with Lambo police cruisers and immediately take me down. But even as frustrating as that became, I could simply choose to do something else.

The sheer diversity of activities kept The Crew fresh for me. If I wanted to build up some car levels, I’d go do some long runs. If I got bored or pestered by other players in the game, I’d go do some story missions. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and think it’s probably the best of this type of story-based racing games. 8.2 out of 10
2
bobdog's Mini-Reviews Corner / The Crew – December 2014 [Score: 8.2]
« Last post by bobdog on August 14, 2017, 07:29:40 AM »
Even though I received The Crew free as part of being a Uplay member, I don’t think it overly colors my perspective on the game’s value. In my mind, the most important thing about a racing game is that it is fun and doesn’t bore you, and The Crew does not disappoint.

The base story about revenge upon a racing gang is handled well, but as an open-world game, you’ll have plenty of things to keep you occupied as you build up your vehicles and skills. What sets The Crew apart from all other racing games that I’ve played is that it really does encapsulate the broader contour of the lower 48 U.S. states. And having driven through 41 of them myself, I can verify that the look and feel of every area you enter are as close to authentic as a game can deliver. Yes, some areas are squished into smaller pods, and it only takes 15 minutes actual time to drive from Miami to Dallas, but for the most part, this is a faithful rendition of America.

What makes The Crew unique is that you are actually playing as a single player in a multiplayer game. The opening map of the states shows you all the other drivers currently online, and at any point, you can interact with them – maybe joining them in heist runs or helping them escape the police. You can obviously befriend other folks and start your own crew (which I didn’t). Or simply race one another unplanned on the streets. At one point, I was trying to set a speed record through a downtown, and you have to jump over a bridge as part of the activity. One player parked himself right in the middle of the bridge and it was hard to miss him, so you’d bat him about 1,000 feet high while you’d go in the drink. Sometimes these can become annoying, but other times they were fun.

I spent hours upon hours trying to gather parts of cars that I could then bring back to my shop. Sometimes, drivers who have the “Calling All Units” police expansion would zip in with Lambo police cruisers and immediately take me down. But even as frustrating as that became, I could simply choose to do something else.

The sheer diversity of activities kept The Crew fresh for me. If I wanted to build up some car levels, I’d go do some long runs. If I got bored or pestered by other players in the game, I’d go do some story missions. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and think it’s probably the best of this type of story-based racing games. 8.2 out of 10
3
The Haunt Of Hilarity 2 / Re: New Missions...Taffer!
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on August 13, 2017, 07:50:21 PM »
What in the name of...?

Christine has a new mission pack out! Raven Creek (~296mb).

Quote
3 missions, first Mission is an intro mission. Languages are German, English, French and russian.

...also...

Quote
Please note:
- you Need NewDark 1.25
- if you use FMsel activate "convert ogg to wav"
- read your diary in your inventory

I don't keep up with FMs like I used to, but this seemed important. :lol:
4
Off (and insane) Topic discussions / Re: Random Babbling: 2017
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on August 13, 2017, 03:40:46 PM »
But what REALLY pisses me off is...hold that thought. I saw this woman on TV today who said "I will LITERALLY be pissed off!" I think I'd like to see that.

Okay. What irks my ire is one of the more recent of Sofia Vergara's Head & Shoulders commercials. At the end of the ad, she's washing her hair...but there's no water and she's totally dry. (Oddly, I cannot find it online and so you'll just have to take my word for it for now.) She's *acting* like she's washing her hair, but...it's just sad. This is how it should be, more or less. Less, actually, as I could've done without the image of green stuff in her teeth.

On a somewhat related side note, has anyone ever gotten medicated shampoo in their eye(s)? Jesus.
5
RPG Games / Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Last post by Starfox on August 12, 2017, 07:15:02 PM »
Quote
6. It was the Reapers. Clever bastards.

Oooh love this one... Don't worry we'll keep you on ice for later, just in case we have the munchies. Plus actually we have a deal in the other galaxy with an horrible alien race that is not without reminding everyone of the collectors, that performs inhumane experimentation and send us the leftovers. Yes they send us the leftovers because we have a very efficient inter-galactic mail system (50 years max guarantee)

Quote
What bugged me the most were the forced decisions. For example, having to choose between rescuing the salarian pathfinder and the krogan scouts. Why is this even an issue? DO BOTH. Or the dilemma of blowing up/not blowing up the kett base with all the transmogrification candidates. Blow it up, Jaal gets pissy. Don't blow it up, the Moshae (I keep wanting to type "Moesha") rags at you...

Yeah but that's the thing about not putting renegade/paragon/neutral options in this game. Players don't have anything to build their character upon. So Bioware throw them a few random choices so they can try and make sense of who their character really is... And most of the time they miss the mark.

My typical Shepard for example wasn't an exemplary paragon or renegade. They were generally paragon with friends, renegade with enemies or to assert their authority and neutral in more than a few situations -- with Krogans, renegade all the way because this is the way to dialogue with them. Try to be neutral in Andromeda... you can't. But you can't be really bad or really good either. One can do better than the paragon/renegade/neutral system (a lot of RPGs go into nuances -- for example you can be good but with an agenda or you can be bad with a perfectly motivated reason and just not because doing evil is fun) but it was a good enough system for Mass Effect (the pondering about why being good over bad or vice versa was done by the player instead of being stated by the game as in classical RPGs). Getting rid of it was stupid from a role playing point of view. You loose several layers in the way you perceive and control your character... at least that's what I feel. I played a female Ryder and in an attempt to be thorough I started a male Ryder playthrough. Thing is... they're both the same, they are indeed twins. I can't for the sake of me achieve to separate them. My female and my male Shep were sometime very differentiated in the way they did things. The Ryders? It's really just a matter of gender and the fact that you can't flirt with Suvi as a male... Not that flirting with her as a female makes a lot of sense (as Kallo said "Kill me now" actually I was with him on that one).
6
Off (and insane) Topic discussions / Re: Random Babbling: 2017
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on August 12, 2017, 01:44:45 PM »
I'd like to thank Apple for saving me $200 or thereabouts. Since my iPod Nano crapped out (nostalgia post: right here) a few months ago, I've been in the market for a new mp3 player. My chronic procrastination -- not to mention my dislike for spending $30 or more for anything -- meant that I've been taking my bittersweet time in buying one. Plus, there's the conundrum of three different types of iPod, which leads to my least favorite headache: comparison shopping.

After psyching myself up -- mantra: "Although The Experience Almost Killed You Last Time, What Are The Odds Of It Finishing The Job?" -- I found that there was no comparison page. Odd. I looked around for a while, but no sign of anything other than the iPod Touch. Obviously I'm not a fan of knowing what's going on so I had to do a bit of Googling...turns out that since people are just using their smartphones to play their music, Apple's pretty much dropping the iPod...except for the Touch, which is about the size of a smartphone anyway.  ::)

The Touch has it all: video, a camera, the ability play just about every multmedia format known, and it might even play music...I'm not sure. Problem is, I don't WANT it all. I just want it to play music. I don't want a camera. I don't want to play videos. To step back into the 1990's for perspective: it's like having a TV and a VCR and a Polaroid glued to a Walkman.

(Side note: this is why I dread the idea of getting a phone. There's no one I need to call and I hate texting, so I don't have a cell. But I imagine that someday I'll be forced to get one, and I just know I'll have deal with yet another intrusive device that doesn't need a camera but has one anyway.)

So I did some shopping on Amazon. I found a Tomameri 16gb player (uses a micro SD card, supports up to 32gb) for 22 bucks.

The money I saved will be spent on something stupid and useless (of course), but it won't be wasted on yet another technological doodad that could be repurposed as a gynecological/proctological device in a pinch.
7
RPG Games / Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on August 11, 2017, 07:54:27 PM »
They seeded a couple of those "Let's Play Through The Entire Trilogy To Solve This Mystery!" plots through the game, but since the whole thing just about tanked both critically and artistically, the first game may be the last, and these bizarre little mysteries may never be solved.

But besides that, yes: the Illusive Man doesn't fit, nor does the Shadow Broker. So I'm guessing...possibilites abound, though.

1. That volus kajillionaire who owned the planet with prothean ruins? They never really said anything further about that guy.

2. A human faction with no *obvious* xenophobic tendencies? As Alec's project was obviously key to the whole thing...

2a. A human faction with no obvious xenophobic tendencies, but with an agenda to either do some serious experimenting on the alien races or exploit them in some other way.

3. A salarian faction who intended to exploit Alec's work for their own agenda? The Delatrass (or whatever) in ME3 was a pretty sketchy chick...

4. Turians aren't as underhanded as the humans or salarians, so I'm putting them aside for now. The asari...? Maybe. Maybe not. And Liara's a prime example of possible asari treachery. Then there's the issue of what they REALLY look like, so...

5. Krogan. It was the krogan. We're just snacks until they can establish processing plants.

6. It was the Reapers. Clever bastards.

The personality choices weren't my favorite part, really. I could be goofy, I could be serious, I could be a real snot...I guess it all fits into the shades-of-gray nature of the game, but...ah, well.

What bugged me the most were the forced decisions. For example, having to choose between rescuing the salarian pathfinder and the krogan scouts. Why is this even an issue? DO BOTH. Or the dilemma of blowing up/not blowing up the kett base with all the transmogrification candidates. Blow it up, Jaal gets pissy. Don't blow it up, the Moshae (I keep wanting to type "Moesha") rags at you...

...it's all artificial drama injection to make you think you're playing an actual Bioware game and not something slapped together by the B-team studio.

At least when you had to choose between Kaidan and Ashley, there was a reason behind it.
8
RPG Games / Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Last post by Starfox on August 09, 2017, 05:11:24 PM »
Another bit of musing, this time regarding a part of a story very intriguing... but not for the good reasons.

ATTENTION!  WARNING! HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD... STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THE GAME BECAUSE I DON'T INTEND TO COVER THE WHOLE POST!!!


There, customary warning given. Soooo... Jien Gierson was killed by someone shortly before or after the arrival of the Nexus in  Andromeda... Reasons unknown but the clues point to an entity called the benefactor who would be the person who gave all the money to build the Initiative -- unlike the official story stating that Jien did. The identity of this benefactor and the reason why Jien was actually executed is not stated in the game (and I guess that was something they envisaged for a DLC). But well, we can always guess... And none of the guesses is an actual fit.

There are three obvious culprit who had the knowledge the motivation and the money to make the initiative happen. The first one is the very obvious culprit the one everybody think about at first... The Illusive Man. Problem is... Why would he do that? I mean, if it had just been about saving the human species, I could have pointed him out as the formal suspect, but why would he pay money to save everyone, Turians, Salarians, Asaris and even as we learn later Quarians, Drells and Hanar (although only Quarians are confirmed)? It's really not his MO. Humanity First was always his pickup line. Why save everyone he hates for an astounding amount of money while he could just save Humanity for a fraction of the cost? He was never that much of a philanthropist. And why would he not have taken the first ticket on the human Ark and let Shepard deal with the rest? Seriously, this guy has a way out and decide to sacrifice himself? Does that even seem like him? Plus according to what we learned from EDI in ME2, I don't think the amount of money The Illusive Man was able to commit was that big (not when just building the Normandy SR2 and rebuilding Shepard severely drained his resources). So I'd rule him out.

That leaves the Citadel Council (that's more in line with something they would do) because not only they could move the actual money for the whole thing only them had the actual power to conceal an effort that huge over several years. Without anyone noticing the construction of several enormous arks or one space station almost as big as the Citadel. That takes real effort to keep that endeavor implicating 100,000 people from different species such a secret in the Mass Effect universe, especially from organizations or people like Cerberus and the Shadow Broker. One can't help but notice however (and that's one of the many story loopholes in Andromeda) that Liara knew about it all, not because she inherited the files of the Shadow Broker after his death or because of her connections but simply because Ryder's father asked her to be on board. Well, she refused but then made no mention at any point of the stunning development during the course of ME2 (about the time the ark Hyperion left the Galaxy) or ME3? My female Shepard would be very sad to know that her sweetheart has been holding out on her  ;D BUT... If it was indeed the Council behind the Initiative... Why all the cloak and dagger? Why not tell it straight on to Gierson at least? And why kill her? What purpose could be achieved there from the Council point of view? Well at least the Council involvement would explain the presence of a "retired" Spectre among the pathfinders.

So there's the last with the network, the knowledge, the money and maybe the motivation... The Shadow Broker himself. That was before he was killed by Liara and Shep, of course. Considering the amount of cutthroats and pirates inside the Initiative his involvement wouldn't be even far-fetched... But then again, what would have been the point? Starting another shadow empire elsewhere? Good for him but why would he planned to stay in our Galaxy then (he was killed around the time the four first arks left the Galaxy). And then why would Liara find no mention of that in his files? Then again we've just been shown that Liara was not the most reliable person in the world. How many secrets did she actually hide?

So most likely candidate for the benefactor... The Council but then that goes against what everyone think about this issue. For some reason, everyone want it to be the Illusive Man... I really don't see the point.

Other than that... I forgot to mention what really killed the characters interactions in Andromeda for me... They got completely rid of the Paragon/Renegade system to replace it by a choice between a "I'm a joker" or a "I'm an asshole". No wonder I'm not particularly invested in building my character...
9
bobdog's Mini-Reviews Corner / Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Last post by bobdog on August 07, 2017, 08:08:39 AM »
Resident Evil Revelations 2 consists of four episodes, the first of which is relatively cheap, but then the follow-up episodes are much more expensive. Typical crack dealer ploy: get ‘em hooked for cheap, and then reel 'em in afterward. ;-)

I mostly liked this series. It’s unique in that each episode allows you take on the role of two different sets of characters, at two different points in time. You are first introduced to Claire Redfield and her new protégé Moira Burton, as they are kidnaped from an office party and then relocated to an island with no contact to the mainland. As Claire and Moira reach a cliffhanger in Episode One, we then see events from the eyes of Moira’s father Barry Burton, six or seven months later. He lands at the island, fitted to take on an army, and encounters a young girl named Natalia, who is … odd.

Playing from both these perspectives is interesting: Claire and Moira barely seem to make it through each setting, with Moira blinding foes with her flashlight and Claire either knifing them into submission or shooting them if she has any ammo. On the other side, Natalia can see the heat sources of enemies through walls, allowing Barry to shoot ‘em up at his convenience. In both scenarios, these teams cross through the same locales, but with a few differences due to the lapse of time, so it’s neat to see how things have changed.

You accrue experience points that you can then use to upgrade your skills, health, etc. Claire and Barry also can upgrade weapons at specific crafting tables.

It wouldn’t be Resident Evil without tons of zombies and hard-to-kill foes, and Revelations 2 doesn’t disappoint on that front. As I said, playing through Claire and Moira’s campaign, you barely skate by, although the final scene with Barry, I did run out of ammo.

The settings on the island are appropriately creepy and thought provoking. You’ll visit villages, mills, offices, towers and more, with a few physical and environmental puzzles tossed in the mix.

By the time the end of Episode 4 rolled around, I was read to get off the island, but the story was solid and the final antagonist was especially eerie. A couple of small DLCs flesh out some parts of the story that may have had you wondering how certain people got to where they ended up. Overall, I was pretty pleased with this action-horror series. 7.7 out of 10
10
Resident Evil Revelations 2 consists of four episodes, the first of which is relatively cheap, but then the follow-up episodes are much more expensive. Typical crack dealer ploy: get ‘em hooked for cheap, and then reel 'em in afterward. ;-)

I mostly liked this series. It’s unique in that each episode allows you take on the role of two different sets of characters, at two different points in time. You are first introduced to Claire Redfield and her new protégé Moira Burton, as they are kidnaped from an office party and then relocated to an island with no contact to the mainland. As Claire and Moira reach a cliffhanger in Episode One, we then see events from the eyes of Moira’s father Barry Burton, six or seven months later. He lands at the island, fitted to take on an army, and encounters a young girl named Natalia, who is … odd.

Playing from both these perspectives is interesting: Claire and Moira barely seem to make it through each setting, with Moira blinding foes with her flashlight and Claire either knifing them into submission or shooting them if she has any ammo. On the other side, Natalia can see the heat sources of enemies through walls, allowing Barry to shoot ‘em up at his convenience. In both scenarios, these teams cross through the same locales, but with a few differences due to the lapse of time, so it’s neat to see how things have changed.

You accrue experience points that you can then use to upgrade your skills, health, etc. Claire and Barry also can upgrade weapons at specific crafting tables.

It wouldn’t be Resident Evil without tons of zombies and hard-to-kill foes, and Revelations 2 doesn’t disappoint on that front. As I said, playing through Claire and Moira’s campaign, you barely skate by, although the final scene with Barry, I did run out of ammo.

The settings on the island are appropriately creepy and thought provoking. You’ll visit villages, mills, offices, towers and more, with a few physical and environmental puzzles tossed in the mix.

By the time the end of Episode 4 rolled around, I was read to get off the island, but the story was solid and the final antagonist was especially eerie. A couple of small DLCs flesh out some parts of the story that may have had you wondering how certain people got to where they ended up. Overall, I was pretty pleased with this action-horror series. 7.7 out of 10
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
everything