Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wow. It looks like it's been a while, so here's an unpopular opinion I wrote up after the Sandy Hook shooting.

You know, I really don't get why everyone in a country gets so worked up over this shit.  All I hear is how they're going through so much grief and they are in a state of perpetual sadness.  Why?  Is it because you're so fucking brainwashed that you must treat each an every injustice and wrongdoing on this planet as though it happened in your own back yard, or are you just some sort of hyper-evolved creature that has the highest level of empathy out of all the organisms on this world?  It defies logic.

Sure I can fully understand being upset if this actually effected you, but most people band together, call it a tragedy, then proceed to attack anyone who doesn't feel exactly the same. 
I only feel a couple of things about this, and only in the ways it does actually affect me.

1)Anger.  Once again video games and guns are being attacked by sensationalist organizations in an attempt to pass the buck and say it can't possibly be caused by anything besides violent media.  News flash, if violent video games can be said to be the cause of this, which they can't, then so can all violent media, not just the one you dislike.  Guns also aren't the problem.  If someone wants to eliminate a large group of people in one location I can think of at least two ways that only require a trip to the local home and garden center and gas station.  No firearms or traditional weaponry necessary.

2)Disgust.  Not just at the event in question, where someone killed a large group of innocents for seemingly no reason, but the worlds reaction as a whole to the event, and their intolerance towards anyone who didn't immediately fall to their knees in crippling depression, only to raise their fist to the sky in despair and scream "WHYYYYYYYY". 

See, I'm lucid enough to recognize that this situation only effects me in aforementioned ways: the slandering of two of my favorite pastimes, guns and games.  Everyone else seems to be locked into some absurd group hallucination in which everyone in the world is effected by this to a precisely equal degree. This event is no different than the multiple tragedies that happen on a daily basis the world over, except this one happened in the "good 'ol US of A".

My condolences do go out to the families and people who actually ARE effected by this.  To them I have no doubt that this is a tragedy, and they're probably desperately looking for answers.  The scariest and most infuriating thing to these people is there probably isn't an answer.  Some people just snap.  It could be attributed to mental illness or just an inability to cope with today's world.  If what I've heard is true, this little psychopath was denied an FFL and it was his own mother who violated the law by applying for her own FFL and then purchasing the guns for her kid.  The irony gets knees deep at this point, as she was the first one he killed.  Does this sound like a stable individual to you? All that aside,  everyone needs to take a deep breath, agree that this was in no way a good thing, and then stop harping on about it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Skyrim Retrospective

So I started a fresh character in Skyrim today, thinking I'd name him Mr. Wonderful after Yahtzee Crowshaw's psychotic knife wielding elf from Mogworld, and I noticed a few things. First off I noticed that the framerate doesn't shit itself during the opening sequence anymore, so hooray for optimization patches. The second thing I noticed is that the writing, voice acting and overall audio engineering is all shit.

I think the cloak of suspension of disbelief and utter joy of playing this newest iteration of The Elder Scrolls has finally been removed and has revealed the hideous pockmarked flesh that always lay beneath.

When I first played the game characters would float into their scripted positions, or enact a sloppy animation 3 seconds late, but it didn't matter. I was having fun. Now though, all those niggling little details seem to have taken the spotlight, and every poorly delivered line, every abrupt animation, every crappy set piece looks so sloppy it kills the experience for me.

There's only so much 3rd party modding can do too. Sure, there are some truly astounding visual mods out there, but that's not what my eyes and ears crave. I want dialog that doesn't sound like it came out a first year junior high theatre club. I want animations that properly interact with items and other characters. I want NPCs that don't miss their audio cues by as much as 4 seconds on a regular basis. I want voice actors that don't sound like Bethesda pulled a handful of gas huffing homeless people off the street to fill the lesser NPC roles.

Call of Duty and other "realistic shooters" out there may be viewed as every thing wrong current gen gaming and may be more shallow than my thin weave carpeting, but at least they can put together decent set pieces and character interactions. And they can get made in less than 6 years too.

Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls will always excel at open ended game worlds and lengthly journeys through the beautiful worlds, but every time I get to a town and see what passes for a scripted event in this game it makes me want to grab Todd Howard by his scrawny little neck and scream "This was acceptable to you!?".

Monday, January 28, 2013


This is a review for the PC version of the game, so I have no idea if the textures were shit or the 30fps cap made your eyes fall out in the console versions.

Okay. I figured Ninja Theory was going to fuck this all up to shit, but surprisingly it's their best work yet. Of course that isn't too hard considering the two previous games in their portfolio. But we're not here to talk about their abysmal previous attempts at games, we're here to talk about their Capcom sanctioned Devil May Cry reboot. I'm going to just get the important things out of the way, and get into details after.

-The good-

-The bad-

The combat in this game is quite the departure from previous entries in the series, as it doesn't rely at all on locking onto enemies. Launchers are now dedicated to a single button, so you aren't forced to lock onto an enemy in order to launch them and initiate air combat. The stinger and trillion stabs also don't rely on locking on anymore. Instead you double tap forward to do a stinger, and continue attacking to preform trillion stabs. Holding the Left and right trigger grant access to angelic and demonic weapons respectively. These weapons can be switched at will to pull off some pretty incredible combos, though it takes so getting used to compared to more traditional combo building in other games.

The environments are impressive, colourful and often span large areas which you can grapple and platform through in between enemy encounters. Unfortunately all the combat takes place in limbo, which exists along side the real world in this game, and the wacky landscapes do tend to get tiresome after a while. This could have been alleviated by allowing at least some combat in the real world, but alas we are stuck battling it out in a place that looks like a mix between hell and Peewee Herman's fun house.

The graphics are also fairly good. The characters are well detailed and the bosses are grotesque. Limbo is colourful and has lots of cool hellish effects.

I realize music being good or bad is totally subjective, but this is just shit in my opinion. It consists primarily of people with gruff voices screaming to death metal beats. I could stand the music in previous DMC games, though I wouldn't listen to it by choice, but this is several increments too far on the nonsensical screaming scale.

The characters, oh the characters. Gone is our whimsical and stylish hero Dante. Instead we must spend twelve hours with some arrogant 18 year old twat who looks like an emo twilight reject but acts like a punk who just found out he can beat up people younger than him. Instead of stylishly and nonchalantly taunting his enemies before pummelling them, he usually gets into swearing matches and then clumsily kicks their asses. Even in the cutscenes he seems like he's always staying alive by pure luck, and not skill or sheet awesomeness.

The story? It's fucking boring. You never develop any kind of fondness for the people you're fighting for, nor animosity for your enemies. The dialog is an embarrassment, and sounds more like something you'd hear in a daytime soap opera then an adrenaline fuelled rollercoster ride. There is no awesomeness in the cutscenes, it just endlessly plods along towards an all too anticlimactic ending.

All in all its combat is the only thing that kept me playing. The story is utterly forgettable unless you like reminiscing about the shittier video game stories you've been exposed to over the years. The characters made me wish Capcom had stuck with Nero's story, and if that doesn't tell you that the new Dante is shit then I don't know what will.

If you're looking for a good action game filled with insanely bombastic cutscenes, competent and challenging combat mechanics, and a story that leaves you wanting more, then preorder Metal Gear Rising, 'cause you'll only find a temporary distraction in this latest Ninja Theory digital abortion.