Author Topic: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one  (Read 6199 times)

Offline Starfox

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Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« on: February 07, 2008, 12:43:43 PM »
I don't even know why I do this since (normally) the number of reviews I release should be lower than Silver and Doc  :purplelaugh:  So don't expect a lot.

Anyway, the Alpha Prime review is online (I could have done it far sooner but real-life + other things to care of on the site +++++ I should also apologize to IDEA Game which are the ones who provided me with the review copy; I'm definitely sorry guys).

Anyway here it is for good so... Enjoy!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 11:33:34 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 05:04:52 PM »
Another review online for the game Culpa Innata  :lol:

2 days, 2 reviews... Yeah. But don't sweat! it's just that I got a sudden hiccup... 

 :blowingpmad:

P.S.: damn, that smiley is cool but hard to place considering the size...
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 11:34:55 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 12:16:19 AM »
Great. Now there's two more games I gotta check out.  Thanks for giving me two more potential things to spend my money on.  :ok:

Now you're ahead of me by one this year. I see now that I will have to redouble my efforts...wait...actually, the one review I posted so far is a revision. That means you're TWO new reviews ahead of me! Ay caramba! To work! To work! I got Crysis and Barrow Hill coming in soon, so here's hoping I get something out them.  :purplelaugh:

Y'know, the storyline to Culpa Innata reminds me of Idiocracy, for some reason.  :lol:
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 07:06:34 PM »
Wait you're going to review Crysis? I thought I was supposed to do that one  :lol:

Anyway: the Culpa Innata review has been updated! Yeah that's true. Someone told me that I was kind of unfair to the main character of the game, Phoenix Wallis.  Best of all the someone in question is right. So I added a special paragraph to explain some things about Phoenix that shed a better light (a more advantageous one at the very least) on her character. That doesn't change anything to my opinion about the game or the score! It's merely an addendum to the review.

Those who already read it can find the new paragraph at the end of the review first page.

There it is. Happy? (the person that should be happy will probably know who she is...)  :purplelaugh:

Idiocracy: completely missed that one. But from what I read on the IMDB page it doesn't really resemble to Culpa Innata although it must be fun to watch.

There are all kind of Sci-Fi stories about future brain-dead societies. When I was an "active" Sci-Fi author (something I stopped because in France you can't do a living out of that) I also wrote one or two stories like that. Why? Because it's always fun for authors to take the most devious traits of our society and to imagine what it could become in the future if we lose all the good points. Plus it's also one of the purpose of a Sci-Fi author after all. Warning the people about the bad things that could happen if we push in the wrong direction.

Unfortunately, no one listens seriously to Sci-Fi authors. With the notable exception of some scientists but just because they sometime find some clean ideas for a new invention or theory.... A pity.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 11:35:27 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 11:58:18 PM »
Well, this is not a review... but a friend of mine handled me his copy of Blacksite: Area 51 because I really wanted to see with my own little eyes if Harvey Smith wasn't joking. And you know what the guy was right... On the paper Blacksite seemed just such a good project but the implementation is SO bad. I'm not far into the game but still I hit major bothering points. here's a few:

- 11 Gb of fun (2 DVDs, yeah you read that right... TWO; GoW, Crysis and whatnot can always go back to the drawing board, Blacksite crushes them all, at least in this area). Let me tell you, when for the first time in your life you hit the first game making use of two DVDs for publication, you have pretty huge expectations. Halfway through the installation I was fuming "This has to be pretty good... What the hell did they put in there to reach 11 GB that Crysis (6.5 Gb) didn't have?". On the other hand, a game of that category that didn't manage to fit on one DVD, you already know what will happen... no optimization whatsoever. And trust me, installing it you'll have all the time needed to go have a coffee, then come back to change the DVD then go have another coffee.

- But this was only the start... I decided to give a shot to the readme file (a thing that I however rarely do I must admit) and there I discovered a pretty bad omen:

Quote
- There is an issue with going to a prior encounter / episode load causing a black screen. If you quit and restart, you will be able to choose and continue any unlocked encounter / episode freely.
- On a rare occasions, a squad member will get stuck and stop your progression through the game.  If this happens, just quit the game and choose continue game from the main menu.
- On rare occasions, you may lose shadows and the screen is black or white. In this instance, go back to the pause screen and return.  The screen should now display correctly.
- If you do not have a internet connection and try to play versus, you will hang at the loading screen.  This also occurs if you have a firewall that prevents you from getting the proper ports. These ports should be open on your firewall prior to accessing a Versus match: 6777, 30660, and range 7777-7797.
- On rare occasions, the game will hang on the creating profile screen, while trying to create a profile with the same name as a profile that was already created.  Please use unique names for each profile.
- On rare occasions, when you enter a versus match you cannot move, shoot or jump. Quit out and go to the option screen and click on restore defaults. This should solve the problem.

Most issues can be solved by restarting the game.

OoooK... When the official readme list the bugs first hand, you know that something's not right.

- So I go to update the game to version 1.2 so I can at least eliminate some of the bugs reported previously (at least I hoped)... I downloaded the full patch from a pretty standard gaming site from which I get all my patches and demos and... The patch refused to install. It's not that it didn't work it's just that it told me that one the files of my installation wasn't the good one. So I was forced to go to the official game site to see if there was something about the patch and I downloaded the patch again from their site this time (a ridiculously long download). And there it worked... Curious thing is, there was only one patch 1.2 released for the game (international version). Somehow a wrong/corrupted patch ended up on the other site which may not the developer/publisher fault at all, but well, it only adds to the "unnerving little things" list.

- So there I go, I launch the game... And God, why does this thing is setting itself at the odd resolution of 1280x720? I change quickly the resolution to 1280x1024 then a bit later after having undertaken the intro bit of the game, I rapidly switch down to 1024x768. Yeah, what do you know? The 2 DVDs were an omen... The optimization sucks; big times. Not only the graphics are not particularly attractive (which I can do with since I'm much more about story and gameplay) but they are also a huge drain on computer resources and when I say "huge" the thing in 1280x1024 runs at about the same frame rate on my computer than Crysis when I pushes it to the max settings allowed under XP with the same resolution. Crysis in Medium 1280x1024 even runs in some places about twice faster than Blacksite at 1024x768. But well that is what happens when you're confronted to a plain Xbox port (despite of the co-development thing I guess they just developed the game on Xbox then made a casual translation to Windows).... because...

- Blacksite suffers from an aggravated form of "Consilitis". Some of the symptoms:

  • Omnipresent bloom everywhere which makes the game not only unattractive but also painful to play
  • Want to turn the bloom off? Well you can't because there's just about nothing you can do to fine tune the video options and a thing like an "advanced parameters" screen has yet to be invented. Just the basics there, AA, AF, Gamma, resolution and... Well, that's about it
  • No way to turn the gamepad off. So if ever you happen to have a gamepad plugged in, the game will happily confuse it with the mouse. Why not play the game with a gamepad if you have one? Because the gamepad doesn't even work right in it -- not the one I have anyway which is pretty standard but well.. yeah, it's not the Microsoft one
  • No quicksave feature whatsoever... Checkpoints are the only way to go! Yay!
  • Care about changing the options (for example the controls) while you're in game? Well you can't because options are accessible only from the main screen that you can only reach when leaving the current game... So either you wait for next checkpoint or you lose your progression so far... your choice

Well, that's enough for now. Right now I'm in the middle of the Irak part and I still have to decide if it is worth the pain to go further. Too bad because the story sounds promising, the voice acting is not bad (not the most brilliant either but OK) and the gameplay is OK too once you got used to the over simplification inherited from the Xbox (I mean for a shooter supposedly "tactical" with the squad teamplay and all... there's not even a lean left/right feature).

Some remarks to Harvey Smith about his commentary from December:

- Harvey... (well yeah, that's the thing we have in common -- at least that's what my first name gives once translated -- so I will go familiar), you were absolutely right guy! So kudos for the sincerity of your speech, honesty is so rare in this industry.
- When you told that you would have still given a score of 80/100, you were joking right? Because from what I've seen so far the general 70/100 from the press seems to be justified would it only be for the technical crap the game features (but of course I will put my opinion on hold for after I've finished the game, if that ever happens; after all the story and gameplay might compensate the drawbacks)
- You complain that no reviewer seemed to get the satire about Irak but let me tell you: when one is completely blinded by the bloom, that one fights as much the frame rate as the enemy... it becomes rather difficult to get the subtleties. It's like a movie, if it is shot badly or with and awful acting, you won't catch the story refinement you'll just catch the technical problems.

Ah well; hopefully it will get better as I progress.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 05:49:27 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 03:05:24 PM »
Well, well... The review for Crysis is online, finally. And I'm too tired to say anything else right now so just go check it.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2008, 07:59:04 AM »
Holy crap, dude, you nearly matched the length of my Deadly Shadows retrospective with that one!   :lol:

Good work though.  Whenever I finally get around to playing Crysis, I'll knock up a review of my own.  Just don't expect anything that long.  :funup:
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2008, 10:07:30 AM »
I've seen other Crysis reviews that were about that long, but they were essentially the words "ZOMG ITS SO PRETTY" regurgitated about 42,000 times in a row. And they don't even mention Britney Spears' magical valley ONCE! :ok:

Looks like you pretty well boiled it down to the essentials, SF. A pity... I wanted to like Crysis enough to buy it, but all indications are it's simply a prettied-up version of Far Cry with the last half of its story chopped off for sequel purposes. I'm not plunking down cash for that. :disintegrated:
"Choice one: we flank them using what military men called tactics, and what religious men call divine inspiration. Or, we charge at them head on screaming various obscenities, in what military men call bravery and religious men also call divine inspiration."

Offline bobdog

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2008, 11:31:57 AM »
Good thing I had an extra four hours to navigate that sucker!  ;)  But I agree that I'll have to wait until it hits the cheaper side of the equation for my consideration. Plus, possibly an upgraded machine....  ::)

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2008, 12:18:02 PM »
God! There is an awful lot of typos in that thing! Who is the damn monkey who wrote it? Bring it before me at once so that I may chop is head off!

Er... wait it's me... Well... er... mm... I guess the typos are ok then... You know, more casual... Gives a more human look... All in good fun!  :lol:

Well, as for Crysis, it's still a fun game to play, it's just not the killer game everyone seems to talk about. At least not for me. After finishing writing the review, I gave a look to some other ones (I didn't do it before because I don't like to have my opinion messed up by other reviewers  :purplelaugh: ) and I was there thinking: "Wait! Have we been playing the same game?". Like this bit from PC Gamer: "Crysis has pushed PC gaming to a new plateau, marrying the most advanced graphics engine ever created with phenomenal gameplay. From the cinematic opening to credits to its cliffhanger ending, Crysis is mesmerizing." Or Gamespot: "It was this open-ended, emergent gameplay--the ability to let us tackle our challenges in whatever way we wished."

Wow, wow, wow! Mesmerizing? A new plateau? Emergent and phenomenal gameplay? How comes that I didn't notice any of that? And seriously, want a cliffhanger? Half-Life 2 Episode 2: that is a cliffhanger. The thing in Crysis? Just a lame excuse to make us buy one more game.

But well I guess that a lot of people got definitely wild up about this title because of the famous Hollywood Syndrome. If reviewers had been forced to play the whole game in LOW details their opinion might have been vastly different. When you don't have the eye-candy to blind you, you can more easily focus on more important aspects.

And yeah, Crysis was offered to me by a friend but if had one advice to give now that I know what's inside that would be: wait for the bargain bin. And put some more money on the side for the good rig.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 12:24:18 PM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2008, 01:33:08 AM »
Well, for those who care about looking at the news (The Foxhole ones, not CNN... You'd never learn from CNN what you learn here  :lol: ) I posted a review for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas yesterday, then I was so completely tired that I forgot to post anything in this thread.

It's much Shorter than my whole Crysis thing this time. So have a good quick read...


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline bobdog

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2008, 08:29:22 PM »
Actually, I always found Rainbow Six TOO confusing -- too many controls, etc. I tried the original, and couldn't even get everyone to a room. I'm also no good at RTS's and tactical games like that smack of too much strategy for me to handle. I like to take things at my own speed, thank you.

So actually, I'd probably like R6:Vegas!  ;D  It sounds just perfect for the grognard that I am.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2008, 02:47:19 AM »
As I said, action fans, rejoice... tactical fans, move on  :lol:

The only thing that really pissed me in Vegas is the FAMAS. For some obscure reason they removed the weapon ability to shoot in 3 rounds bursts (and I'm particularly well placed to know that it features this mode). Now there's only full auto and single shot. However they got it right on the magazine size, only 25 rounds. Well there is a particularly good reason for that that our instructors in the Army explained to us but it escapes me right now. Oh yeah wait, with only 25 rounds the spring of the magazine elevator is shorter and stronger which gives a weapon much less prone to jamming (which apparently had been tested independently by the British SAS who compared the FAMAS with a lot of 30 rounds guns (SAS love to get their hands on new toys as soon as they have the occasion  :purplelaugh: ). Well anyway, I should have taken out a full point for the FAMAS inaccurate characteristics  ;D

Hey I even remember the second good reason for the mag size... WIth only 25 rounds, when you fire in bursts, the last burst comes with only 1 shot which is a good clue that it's time to change the mag.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 07:00:53 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2008, 07:26:18 AM »
They've actually redesigned the FA-MAS to accept NATO-standard 30-round STANAG magazines (think the typical M16 one), which really makes sense, because it's the way we Americans do things and we Americans always do things the right way. :biglaugh: But yeah, if we were really looking for accuracy regarding firearms in video games, we'd see things like chambered rounds, bullet drop, barrel overheating, etc. And then people would whine. :mad1:

Gun nut? Me? What makes you say that?
"Choice one: we flank them using what military men called tactics, and what religious men call divine inspiration. Or, we charge at them head on screaming various obscenities, in what military men call bravery and religious men also call divine inspiration."

Offline Starfox

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Re: Starfox's Review Thread -- Hey I had to start one
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2008, 08:57:56 AM »
Good catch. The STANAG mag design applies to the G2 variant of the FAMAS that is mainly used overseas and entered service only after I left the Army :lol: A lot of FAMAS used at home are still the original F1 design with the 25 rounds mag (because we hate to just dump our guns :hammerhead: ). But yeah the G2 variant was designed after the Gulf War when it was realized that not standardized mags were not always a good thing (logistically speaking). So when we go in operation with other NATO forces soldiers embark the G2 variant.

Well of course that negates the only two advantages of having a 25 rounds magazine  :purplelaugh:

But well, I guess we managed to sell some FAMAS F1 to the Rainbow unit for a cheap price :biglaugh:

Now that FAMAS version would have definitely been useful in Vegas.


And no, I don't have any fetish for guns  :realconfused:  ;D ... The last time I hold one was a little more than 15 years ago.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 09:20:54 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

 

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