Shoun / Member

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Shoun Blog

Winds of Change

I've been following the hullabaloo off and on for a few days and honestly I don't see what the fuss is about, not yet anyhow.

This situation does make me question the integrity of GameSpot to some degree, but that's not to say there wasn't a few skeletons in the closet beforehand. Who am I to say the company is being run into the ground by a money grubbing group of middle-management lackys? That might be the case, it may have been the case for years, it might never be the case, I don't know.

What I do know is gamers, like many other demographics, have a tendancy to overract when change occurs to their natural order. Yesterday it was normal, today there's change, now I'm flipping out and you can't stop me. That seems like a silly attitude to have. Sure maybe I'll take new reviews with a grain of salt, maybe not. What I can say is there is some kind of mass exidous I will bail, butonly because it gives"the man" the oppertunity to fill those positions with yes-men.

If I had to guess as to what caused this "issue" to occur, it would be that Jeff wasn't seen as a Team Player. Bosses like to use buzz words like Team Player and Bucket (btwi hate bucket, it can go to hell). The corporate world sucksbigdonkey balls, that's not going to change, the best you can do is suck itup, keep your head down and work until you get fired. Atleast he had the balls to stand by his word, reguardless of the cost, and that's what the rest of the editorial staff should be doing.The customers will come and go and the business will still make money, but if the people inside startto make noise someone will be forced to listen. A place that's been around as long as GS hasdoesn't exsist because of the management or the customers, it exsists because of the staff.

I canceled my Total Access (or whatever it's called) membership, not only because of this hooplah (another good word) but because my renewal comes in December and it's difficult to spend an extra $40 during the Christmas season. I'm willing to give CNet their money back, as long as everyone agrees to play nice.

As far as I'm concerned, even if GameSpot is taking a downward turn it's still better than IGN.

I think the worst thing that's occured because of this situation is the reactions of the community. I might not have been a strong memeber of the VU, but I enjoyed the conversations and the people who lived there. I've got too much stuff going on to focus on another message board, having a community like the VU attached to GS was a great perk and a convienience and I'll miss it more than I'll miss one editor.

DFAD: Forsaken Earth

I've decided, since there's still 17 days to go until the winners of DFAD are announced that I would release my document to the public. In the past they had been released prior to the finals, but with Adam gone I decided to take matters into my own hands. The concept behind Forsaken Earth is a simple one: To create a Massivly Multiplayer Online FPS that would give players a lasting experience. I'll leave any further explination up to the Document. I present: Forsaken Earth I'd like to read some of the other DFAD submissions (finalists or otherwise) but I don't want to pressure anyone into posting theirs. I just wanted to give you guys something to read until the finals are posted :D

Warning: Robots think we taste like Bacon!

Taken from a Wired blog.

Robot Identifies Human Flesh As Bacon

Let the robot holocaust commence: robots think we taste like bacon.

Researchers at NEC System technologies and Mie University have designed the cute little guy to the right: a metal man gastronomist, "an electromechanical sommelier", capable of identifying wines, cheeses, meats and hors d'oeuvres. Upon being given a sample, he will speak up in a childlike voice and identify what he has just been fed. The idea is that wineries can tell if a wine is authentic without even opening the bottle, amongst other more obscure uses...like "tell me what this strange grayish lump at the back of my freezer is/was."

But when some smart aleck reporter placed his hand in the robot's omnivorous clanking jaw, he was identified as bacon. A cameraman then tried and was identified as prosciutto.

Absolutely horrifying. Like cows, once robots taste blood, their hunger for human flesh can never be satiated. Japanese unveil robot wine steward [South Coast Today]

Be afraid.....be very afraid. Now I have to worry not only about Zombies, but flesh eating robots too....those are MUCH harder to kill with shotguns.

First Impression: F.E.A.R.

The recent OXM had a 360 demo of F.E.A.R. and I spent some time with it...here's what I think. F.E.A.R. was one of those games I really wished I could play when it was on the PC (curses to macs). My roommate played the hell out of it on his PC, so I was able to check it out but I really didn't spend any time with it. I played the demo on a few different systems, so atleast I have something to compare the 360 demo to...which is exactly the same as the PC demo in terms of content. Gameplay: F.E.A.R. plays very similar between the 360 and the PC. There aren't really any changes or improvements on the gameplay front. I do have some beefs though...I'm not thrilled with the amount of "lean", I feel a little uncomfortably close to the edge of the wall when I lean around it. The demo also lacks a crouch "toggle", which is a huge pain and while there are controller options built in, I hope they're not the final ones, since they really only include sensitivity and invert aim options. Also, there was a strange thing with the water. Now I may have been in too shallow water, but when I jumped in I heard a "thump" instead of a splash, and I was walking on the surface of the water. To go under the water I had to crouch, then I could swim around. It's not really a big thing, but it's weird none the less. The environments were aslo a lot less destructive. For example the wooden boxes at the beginning of the demo weren't distructive, you'd get bullet holes, but that's about it. Also holes that you make in the wall will vanish after you get too many, which is understandable considering most games do this, but it's still a bummer. The "Action" command seemed to take a little too long to register. I know holding a button for 1.5 seconds isn't the end of the world, but it felt like it was slowing down the overall gameplay. I did like the slow motion element, that seemed to have translated to the 360 well. The visuals were a little toned down, but it worked. Other than a few minor things the gamplay is very solid. Graphics: Graphically I found F.E.A.R. to be good, but not stellar. I'd give the graphics a lower score than Condemned or even CoD 2. I hate the reticle, it's the most generic, ugly, useless thing I've seen in a while. It does the job, I'll give it that, but it's lame. I hope this gets an upgrade in the final version. I dislike the sort of "fishbowl" view thats incorporated into the game. IE: Things stretch out as they get closer to the edges of the screen to emulate perspective, however it goes a little beyond the call of duity and is more annoying than cool. I know this is a part of the PC version as well, but it's annoying enough for me to mention. For the most part the lighting is very good. The celiling lights cast very accurate light and shadow, and when they swing the visuals keep up very well. However, the Flashlight got a downgrade from the PC to the 360. It's not nearly as environmentially reactive as the PC version. It's pretty much a big white circle that shines over the environment. It doesn't really bend around the edges or look realistic in any way. I also noticed a lot of tearing in the models. Lucklly there's not really any in the environments, which is good, but things like soda cans and even your own head, break apart sometimes and look really weird. It's not terribly distracting, but it does occur. The one thing in the demo that really stood out to me was the scope for the Particle Weapon. It does a great job of emulating more of a true scoped view than most games do. The center of the view is very clear, however the vision quickly blurs as it goes towards the edge of the screen. It really looks good. I wish they had used this idea instead of the fishbowl concept for emulating peripheral vision. The only framerate issue I experienced was going down the ladder. Things looked really choppy when you're sliding down, which is weird, especially since explosions and dense particle effects look good, even in the slow-motion view. The weapon models and character models all look good, so there's no problem there. There are some graphical issues that get under my skin. However considering that the gameplay is still super quick I can get past some visual downgrades since gameplay is the key element in an FPS. Sound: Not a lot to say here. Everything sounded very good from the weapons, to environments to the voice acting. I wished the bad guys had more variety in their voices, but that's super minor. Overall I'm excited about F.E.A.R. on the 360. Especially when it comes to multiplayer, which is one thing that sounded really awesome about the PC version. Hopefully some of the minor things will be cleaned up in the final version, but overall the demo made me feel confidant that the retail version of F.E.A.R. will be very much the same as the PC version, and is defiantly on my list for a purchase.
I totally give the F.E.A.R. demo a thumbs up.

Gun Broom?!

Todays WTF moment brought to you by Bullet Witch (the name alone should prompt a wtf or two). I'll admit that when Final Fantasy VIII was released I had a similar (albeit much less) reaction to the concept of a Gunblade. However, after playing the game I found it to be a solid concept, if not a little illogical. You take two weapons, combine their strengths and you get an uber weapon...sometimes. While it doesn't appear to be a "broom" in the classic sense (it's actually called a gun-rod in the game) in this context I don't know how you would call it anything else. Witch + Long stick with bristles + gun = Gun Broom. I can only hope that the designers have a good reason for making their main character a witch with a gun other than "wouldn't it be cool if we made a game with a witch and a gun..broom...rod...thing?"

The future of First Impression

I think I got in over my head with the video concept of FI, while it's not exactly "hard" to pull off it does take a lot of time, time that I don't really have right now. So I think I'm going to downgrade it to a text format instead. No it's not as much fun, but I'll be able to get a lot more accomplished. Mini Review: Table Tennis is the most boring game I've ever played...ever.

First Impression Pilot Episode - Time Shift

[video=JXY2lDqv5b8Nsg] Here's my debut "pilot" episode of First Impression. The concept behind First Impression is to review 360 demos and ramble about them for a little while. Plus it's a good way to tie game playing into my other creative outlets. Since it's my first one, this episode is a probably little rough. However with time things should get more smooth. My plan is to do one of these every 2 weeks unless it's a complete flop Feedback is appreciated, hopefully the concept isn't too lame and hopefully I don't make too much of an ass out of myself.....too much.

3 words: Cable Manage Ment

Yes that's a quote from Dude Where's My Car, if you don't like it you can go home :P Here's the dilly-o. I'm stuck with a crappy little TV stand (it's not even worthy of the title entertainment center). With any luck I'm going to be buying an Xbox 360 tomorrow morning (i have to camp out at best buy) and I had growing concerns about the huge wad of cables and the 360 power brick overheating problem. So I decided to try and wrap up and manage some of my cables. Ultimatly it didn't go so well. It's a little better, but considering the small stand and the ungodly amount of cables (some of which are 10 feet long) I just wasn't able to "manage" everything. I'd say it's about a 50% improvement. Here's what it looked like when I started. And here's what it looks like now. Really all I managed to do was wrap the power cables and clean them up. I just didn't have enough room to really get the AV cables under control. Basicly I wasted $30 on the tube things and didn't actually accomplish much. It'll help when i can afford a real entertainment center atleast. Either way it still looks the same from the front.

DFAD was a bust

Well unfortunatly my schedule didn't allow me to take part in the DFAD excitement. After some thinking I decided that my idea would make a better TV show (or movie) than a game, and by the time I figured that out it was too late. With any luck there will be a next time, and if so I'll be ready. For now I'll just have to accept my new Artistic Genius badge and dust off my old Aspiring Designer badge :P

Noon

I find it amusing that I haven't posted a journal entry since the last DFAD. I guess it's only appropriate that I start posting again now that it's about to start up again.

Pay close attention....hints will in fact be dropped.