Legolas_Katarn / Member

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Legolas_Katarn Blog

Staying at hotel just got better and things people from Abilene say

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I just remembered that Shadowrun releases tomorrow (and I got my copy of SMT 4, should have brought my handhelds with me). Also, a marathon of Castle a show I really enjoy that even has two leads I find attractive, good improvement. 

Usual response from a person in Abilene Texas when told we were moving to Idaho.

1: "No, you mean Ohio. There is no Idaho."

2 "That's by New York right?"

Moving, not going well

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In Idaho, after driving 1500 miles. Parents and sister didn't like the house we were going to rent so we are in hotel while they find something else. Then my dad and I have to drive back to Texas to get all the stuff that wouldn't fit on a 26 foot U-Haul and in our cars and come back again.

I think I've heard at least 8 people I know online complaining about moving in the last two months, across town, with just their own stuff. Everything I own but my computer and TV is still in Texas.

Mouse seems to be broken, need to get a new one.

Double Fine's game isn't going well, guess that means Kickstarter is a failure

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Comments like that have been pretty funny to read but here's my thoughts on the recent news about Double Fine's Broken Age game.

I don't know why the gaming community seem to be so quick to complain about Kickstater compared to other communities I'm involved with. We've already had it release good games, with FTL even making it on a lot of top lists for last year (I don't think I'd personally go that far, I looked at it more as a good starting point of a game that could become a favorite with the right improvements), great board games that are also making it on to top lists, movies, the Oculus Rift, books, tabletop RPG products, web shows, etc.

It's usually pretty obvious what projects will do well and have a good chance of being successful. All you have to ask is, does the developer seem to know what they are doing? How far along is their idea? Do they already have something to show us that interests me, something that they made in their spare time, usually showing potential backers that they can handle working within budget and can back up their ideas (Among the Sleep and C-Wars being good examples of this for video games where they already had a playable demo by the time the Kickstarter ended).

Double Fine was more about backing a documentary I don't know why anyone would put down money on a team that basically said, we are going to do some adventure game, we have no idea what it will be about, what it will be called, what kind of setting it will have, what the artstyle will be, we will have an incredibly small budget, but will film it to show our success or failure. What logical person would just throw money at a pitch like that thinking, this will be an awesome game and couldn't possibly run into problems? If someone was asking me for a $400,000 loan and said they wanted the money to business. I would want to know what there plan was and if their only answer was I want to business, I wouldn't throw $3,000,000 at them while thinking that the work will be easy and the end product guaranteed to be excellent .

The same is true for their new project which is pretty much, we are making a turn based game with bloodlines..well figure out the rest as we go, were open to suggestions. All these people using Double Fine as an example of how all Kickstarters are likely to work is a terrible idea that has long been proven wrong by projects that have succeeded, and by the ones that have done much worse. Using every success or failure as an example of why Kickstarter works or doesn't work isn't going to do a very good job proving anything, the only sensible thing to do is look at each project and project creator individually and to support what makes sense, or to not supporting anything if you don't care to. You certainly don't have to support anything, but for those that choose that option I have no idea why you would complain about the potential of good or great games being made through the support of others.

Ive probably spent more money and backed more projects then just about everyone here and Ive been happy with the results of everything Ive supported, probably because I dont support every video game thinking, well this will be the best thing ever and nothing ever goes wrong with game development. Its not a preorder and you aren't entitled to anything, as most projects clearly say. Video games should probably be the most difficult thing to deliver, especially by the guessed about deadline. To the people saying that Double Fine has scammed their backers out of money for not delivering on the release date, that is nonsense. A scam would have been if they got their money and were never heard from again. That clearly isn't the case with them working on the game, planning to release both parts free to backers, working on their documentary, and already having sent out backer rewards such as their shirts and posters.

Kickstarter has become something interesting to watch for the video game industry, particular how backers of Double Fine's project reacted to the recent news. The same people who have never seen any of the behind the scenes of game development, who would always blame publishers for everything, all while happily quoting Miyamoto's nonsense line of, "A delayed game will eventually be good but a bad game is bad forever", are now complaining about how Double Fine isn't going to meet their release date and how they ran into problems. It look like they aren't liking the reality of game development and are very quick to behave like the publishers that they have done nothing but condemn.

(Apparently, posting this on Gamespot removes every ' apostrophe from what I wrote, I'll see if they will stay after I edit it)

Thoughts on The Last of Us and MS Changing Policies (Xbox 180?)

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Thoughts on The Last of Us

Mostly different thoughts pieced together from what I said in other blogs, threads, or in articles.

I finished The Last of Us three days ago, overall I wasn't impressed with it.

I thought one of the earlier levels was done very well and provided me with the only time I had an enjoyable and exciting time trying to sneak past the infected, it was the only part of the game that felt like a survival game to me. Once that part was done with I usually would just get into fights with the infected and punch them all to death while using my AI companions to keep them off my back by exploiting the AI. If anything was difficult after that it was only because I always have a problem using items thinking I will need them later, I think I made it through more than half the game on hard before I used a medkit (not counting the one you have to near the start). So it really failed as a survival game for me and the gameplay really suffered because of that.

Another thing that hurts the game is that unlike in the game I Am Alive, ammo and weapons are not scarce, you lack ammo because your guy doesn't feel like taking ammo from defeated enemies, which really hurts the immersion. I was really hoping that this game would be a longer and more polished version of that game. Some would say that Ellie is your best friend in this game, I disagree, the bricks were my best friends in the game. Bricks and not wanting to use guns are why I used the video I did in my last blog to describe the gameplay.

I enjoyed the two levels before the last (not counting the epilogue) the most and I enjoyed the games ending, the rest I pretty much just thought was ok without any real surprises to the story. I ran into quite a few bugs and glitches when it came to stealth, hit detection, spawns, trophies, sound, autosaving, and cutscenes. Sound from NPCs would cut off, two of the cutscenes kept going black for a few seconds, I had to beat the epilogue six or seven times for my finishing the game trophies to unlock, I still didn't get most of the collectible trophies to unlock, during fights I would punch and swing through enemies doing no damage and then take hits (melee combat is like a bad Uncharted in a setting that really shouldn't feel like Uncharted at all), I had enemies spawn in front of me twice, I had an autosave lose me half an hour of progress when I quit and reloaded later, I had enemies completely ignore me even if I was running right behind them, etc.

The varied environments and the moments without a focus on combat, the level before the last did great in that regard, did a much better job than Bioshock Infinite which had me yelling at the game to end or get back to the story after constant fighting and backtracking.

When it came to the AI I never noticed the enemy acting intelligently, like some people have said they do, quite the opposite most of the time. While writing and sound is one of the most important things to me I really dont remember any music from the game and never got attached to any of the characters. I started playing Soul Sacrifice once I finished the game and I was very quickly drawn into the game more than The Last of Us by how the story is told, writing, and the music, although the gameplay isn't really for me.

It was a rental from Gamefly so I couldn't try the multiplayer.

I never liked people saying video games are the Citizen Kane of games, by that logic we have already had a lot of Citizen Kanes. There have been many games and many movies besides Citizen Kane that have made great changes in the industry.

Xbox Changes

Just saw all this while I was posting about The Last of Us. Thoughts are, that would really mean something if they didn't cost more, if they supported indies, and if they didn't try to screw us in the first place. Most likely a policy change due to Sony's response than anything the customers have said.

Of course we could always have MS and Sony change their policies later and if games and I'm not sure how you could play games that are developed with a focus on using cloud offline.

One thing that will be nice though is that with the removal of DRM and it no longer being region locked (at least it sounds like it is saying it won't be region locked) MS fans will actually have reason to support it. Hopefully that will mean that we will see more sane and respectable members supporting the Xbox One instead of brand new accounts and people known for trolling/always taking the unpopular opinion for a change and that the Primary Games and 360 forums won't all look like System Wars anymore.

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....So is it the Xbox 180 now?

Well, I've been up for 24 hours, playing a lot of Chronicles of Mystara. Good way to end the day.

Thoughts on the games of E3 2013 P2 Let's Talk About Beyond Two Souls

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Part 1

Total War: Rome 2

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The battles are looking good and I am a fan of the series but I would really like to see more of the map screen and diplomacy options, feel like we should know more with the game releasing in three months.

Arma 3

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Games really need to start having animations for getting in and out of vehicles, this one kind of does but it happens without actually opening the door from the look of it and its pretty fast, still, a step in the right direction. The game looks great and I like the sound of the new challenge modes.

Company of Heroes 2

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I really enjoyed the first game and own the expansions but I really never played it that much for some reason. I really like the focus on the eastern front and that the weather can play a big role in the battles with blizzards killing soldiers, ice breaking, snow covering vehicle tracks, or terrain slowing movement. I've always enjoyed RTS games that use a cover system and squads of infantry and it's always bonus for me when I don't have to create a base or collect resources. It's nice to hear that they have such a focus on their community, easy access to twitch, and that working with Sega has been going well for them. The theatre of war with co-op missions sounds like a great addition.

Batman Arkham Origins

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I am a huge fan of the last two games, they are both easily two of my favorite games of the generation, and two of my favorite games of all time. I love the portrayal of Batman and his enemies the series has had and the voice acting, which sounds great here. I love the fighting system, I've always been a fan of beat em up games and this series and Yakuza are two of the only current series that have really improved on the genre. The amount and diversity of the gadgets has been great, the last games other characters and giving everyone challenge missions added a lot of great extra content. The city looks good, it being twice as big as the last game should make it much more interesting to be outside and like I've said before, don't waste my time, having a fast travel batwing option sounds like a great addition. The new enemy types look good, the martial artist looks like it will be enjoyable to fight. The additions to exploring a crime scene seem like a nice touch and the story sounds interesting.

Was really disappointed with one of the lines I heard when they introduced the armored enemy while stopping a crime, "he can pound the ground and take enemies out". .....No, NO, NOOOOO that **** has to stop. It always looks stupid and it never makes any sense. No more big or fat people jumping up and down or punching the ground and doing knockback, knockdown, and or massive damage shockwave attacks. If don't waste my time is one of my biggest complaints when it comes to games (and it is something that has for the most part been getting worse over time) the other big complaints is no more stupid shockwave attacks.

Beyond: Two Souls

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I really enjoyed a lot of Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit. It had an excellent start that drew you into the story and made you wonder what would happen next, the game had very strange (maybe a little too much so at the end) events taking place that made you not take everything so seriously (a big problem with Heavy Rain which acts like it is set in a realistic world creating many problems for the story), decent characters, and I really liked how your actions, at the starting crime scene for example, would effect how you interact with the same environment when playing as the police who come to investigate. I was looking forward to what Quantic Dream would do in the future.

Then we got Heavy Rain, and the success of that game made David Cage a much more vocal person in the industry and really showed a lot about what is wrong with the current casual gamers and with a lot of the people in the games industry. The story, acting, and direction were so laughably bad, as an old school PC RPG and Adventure gamer it was such a massive embarrassment for me and others like me to see the industry give such praise to such a mess. It has been made all the worse by David Cage never shutting up about how he is the future of the games industry and that everyone needs to do things more like him in order to mature, to the point where pretty much the entire staff of Blistered Thumbs (people who have been playing games for a long time and are more used to narrative focused games) seems to enjoy making fun of him anytime he is brought up.

Now that said, I still enjoyed Heavy Rain. I enjoyed it in the way that I enjoy Star Trek TNG, which (with the exception of Picard and a lot of the science involved) is such a mess when it comes to writing, plot holes, continuity, character motivation, character development, etc. I enjoy it in the same way I enjoy the movie The Room. When I play Heavy Rain, I want to just sit back with friends and make fun of it because it's trying so hard and failing so miserably. Listening to people praise and defend the story of the game is like listening to people praise the plot of the Phantom Menace, praise the characters of Twilight, or praise the actors of...well...The Room or Star Trek TNG (with the exception of Picard of course).

As I see more about this game, the direction, the powers that separate the game from reality and stop me from having to judge the game against how things would work in the modern world, and the acting I am hopeful that this game will be more like an improvement for Indigo Prophecy, something I have wanted since 2005, and not another Heavy Rain. Having something to laugh at is nice but I'd much rather have something that impresses me, that's a lot harder to find. Maybe Quantic Dream can redeem themselves in my eyes with Beyond Two Souls after the mess that Heavy Rain was, and if not, having something to laugh at isn't a bad thing. Of course, it's also nice that I haven't seen them say anything that can turn out to be a complete lie like some of what they said about Heavy Rain.  

My thoughts on David Cage himself were summed up perfectly in Blistered Thumbs last podcast when they were talking about the Dark Sorcerer video and then got into talking about Beyond Two Souls. 

"I think David Cage would be a lot better if he had a sense of humor about himself because, did you see what was shown for Beyond Two Souls? I was livid, not that it didn't look good, it did look good, it's the exact opposite of every word that has ever come out of his dirty ***** mouth."

"He thinks so incredibly highly of himself because when he uses guns and car chases, he does it differently."

From what I hear from him I think he is just an awful person, I just hope that he is an awful person that can deliver a good game this time.

To end this blog, more laughs at MS expense

Now to play some Mario RPG on the Wii's VC while I wait to get The Last of Us and Soul Sacrifice, probably tomorrow.

Thoughts on the games of E3 2013 P1 and having an emotional response to a game

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Payday 2

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I enjoyed the first game on the PC and like what I have seen of it. Shooting looks good, more options and levels, adding new features. The first game was pretty cheap though so they will have to add quite a bit to make it worth the price of a full $60 game. It's difficult for me to play co-op games though, I'm down to having one other person I frequently play games with on the 360 now that everyone we knew has either stopped playing games altogether or saw just how pointless owning a console is for the most part and moved on to the better and cheaper option of PC gaming. I'll have my PC fixed, eventually, I'm pretty sure. Never really had friends on the PS3 that I played with, and I no longer own a Mic for it even if I did.

Edit: It looks like the PC version is actually only $30 on Steam and $40 on the consoles, from the interview I thought it would be a $50/$60.

Tom Clancy's The Division

HE SHUT THE CAR DOOR WITH HIS HAND! Was apparently the most tweeted response for the demonstration of the game, while that is amazing, the game looks like it might turn out to be good. I like that they made it so you can swap your skills to fill other roles at any time, I'm a big fan of developers not wasting my time and making an effort to make co-op work well (unlike games like Borderlands that go out of their way to make co-op difficult and to waste your time), in fact that might be the most important thing in a game to me.

Cliff says disk based market crumbling

Shut up Cliff. What have you ever even done for the industry, you have even less of a reason to get so many articles dedicated to your opinion than all these whiny old devs who haven't done anything relevant in 10-15+ years.

"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing,"

Then get rid of these god awful generic AAA games that have no staying power. Dark Souls was happy with their 2 million sales while Square cries about Tomb Raider selling twice as much in a month. Change your priorities.

Dead Rising 3

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I'm not sure how I feel about the new darker artstyle. There have been so many zombie games, the recent State of Decay comes to mind, with a more realistic feel then there is The Walking Dead and the new episodes coming for it, there is even a strategy game from Kickstarter that  believe was more realistic and trying to survive. The actual gameplay still looks like Dead Rising and I like how the zombies can crawl on vehicles you drive now and that you can combine weapons without being at a workbench, should make using certain weapons and experimenting more practical. Co-Op with a unique character is nice. It being an Xbox One exclusive pretty much guarantees I will not play it anytime soon though.

Saints Row 4

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I've enjoyed the rest of the series with Saints Row 2 being one of my favorite games. I like the idea of this one going into a Matrix style world made by aliens and trying to rescue your people from their nightmare realms, that could lead to a lot of crazy ideas for a game like Saints Row. Seeing old gang members in the nightmare worlds like King and his gang from Saints Row 1 sounds like a great idea. I really have no idea why anyone would care about GTA 5 with this and Watchdogs coming out (and now that just about everything seems to have been made into an open world game).

The Evil Within

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I like what I am hearing about it and the demo looked alright but there's not much shown yet.

Forza 4/The Crew

Hate driving and cars so I always stay away from racing games.

Walking Dead 400

Yay

Other news

Gamefly sent me The Last of Us and Soul Sacrifice yesterday. I should get them on Saturday and be done with Fable 3 (which is free for Xbox Live members) by then.

A Blistered Thumbs reviewer just gave The Last of Us another 10 in his review with two excellent quotes.

"David Cage is jealous of all these emotions" (good to see an entire site of people who will make fun of Cage)

"I do not lie when I say I found myself reacting on emotion rather than gaming instinct at points in this title, often forgetting I was under-equipped to handle a situation, but jumping in head first regardless and only realizing my mistake upon first contact."

I really hope I find a game that does that to me at some point, maybe this one can do it. Even while playing games that most people feel create a lot of emotion, like The Walking Dead, I still only find myself behaving in a completely logical way and making (pretty much always correct) assumptions on what will happen (even knowing who was guaranteed to die in The Walking Dead because I assumed they wouldn't have had a big enough budget to keep them alive).

I've got more to watch and will post more later. Was great see Danny on the Gamespot stage this year doing interviews.

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