samusarmada's forum posts

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#1 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -

Oh yeah, and the ability to put pictures with captions in a review. Often I will have certain points to make but they wont fit well in the body of the review, caption's allow this and break up the potential wall of text.

#2 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -
It's been a while since I've reviewed anything on this site but the main thing that bugged me was the thumbs up/down system. People were just voting if they agreed with a review, not on the quality of it. It is still necessary to have some sort of rating system by which readers can know what reviews are good or bad though. I like that idea of a comment system, maybe only allowing those who comment vote on whether the review was good or not? That way, it'd at least be easier to see reviews rated based on their quality. Man, I have a good chunk of reviews I should really post back up on GS, it's been way too long. It's the little header bit that always stops me; I always spend far too long trying to fill that in :P
#3 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -
Thanks a lot guys, this has really made my day :)
#4 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -

Let's rock on then 8)

de Blob

If Okami is gaming's answer to a Japanese watercolour then de Blob is its answer to a Crayola canvas. It's primary bolds and "outside the lines" attitude to vandalism enlivens its revolutionary message to the point at which it becomes the poster boy for monotone rebellion in gaming itself. It's success lies in the fact that it had no such intentions to start with, resulting in a game that is more righteous than pretentious and its simplistic and cutesy façade hides something that is more than just competent, but a game that can at times be fantastic.

Almost immediately the games different approach hits you. While de Blob employs the traditional set up of sequential levels, the levels themselves are large, complex expanses filled with mini challenges and major landmarks. More importantly the focus is on simply painting as you will, with the challenges being tackled optionally. More of ten than not these challenges merely represent what you would have done anyway. But its limited collection of races (which-as is a running theme throughout de Blob-is against the clock rather than actual opposition) and specific painting tasks give a necessary structure to a game that is relatively freeform by comparison. At times these tasks can be impeding; transforming major buildings into their pre-invaded states-which is the other part of the triumvirate of mini challenges the game offers-requires entering a challenge in order to do so; merely attempting to paint these buildings is impossible and although the clasping time limit and explicitness of the colours required gives these "set pieces" focus, it slightly lacks the seamlessness of the other challenges and as some of these tasks can only appear after certain criteria have passed it can leave blights on the cityscape that for a while cannot be undone.

Time is you reward here. Each level operates on a fairly basic timer, that although initially seems tight, with the wealth of challenges and buildings available it soon becomes non-existent. Indeed what is most likely to kill you is your own time limit. For a game of downloadable origins de Blob requires a shocking amount of dedication. To be fair actually finishing a level can take about 20 minutes but this is basic completion at it's very finest. If any kind of thoroughness is to be exhibited then these sessions can stretch well beyond an hour. The importance being that these must be single sessions. You cannot save mid level here and although getting a game over is an actual challenge in itself the pressure of commitment may reduce your amount of playtime more than any frustrations over constant death would have.

Separate distractions come in the form of side missions. There are two of these challenges available with each of the main levels and their stronger focus on platforming and harsher emphasis on a time limit give them the air of Super Mario Sunshine's FLUDD-less zones. It is in these side missions however, that de Blob shows its greatest fault: it simply isn't a very confident platformer. Though the motion controlled jumps are usually accurate, they falter enough to make you doubt each leap of faith. Blobs sticky wall runs-although necessary for Prince of Persia style hazard avoidance-frustrate due to Blob sticking to any vertical surface he hits, causing many of the games poorly judged rooftop climbs to result in a slow wait for Blob to slide down the buildings surface. The ability to pounce off a wall is also rarely advised; erratic in both the distance travelled and the speed of propulsion, trying it on one of the games tight walkways can lead to an unavoidable plummet. The cameras refusal to rotate around your body to show you your possible landing zones means it is even advisable to avoid doing so in one of de Blob's more serene moments.

Thankfully however the greater focus on such serenity means that these problems never become more than mere inconveniences. The side missions are totally optional and even the occasional mid level challenge that takes you to such dangers can be tackled at your discretion, if at all. It results in a game whose difficulty curve is entirely dependant on how much you want to challenge it, on how much of the game you want to see and how much of it you want to paint. Impressively however the games greatest strength is how it makes you want to cover everything.

de Blob is not Half Life 2. Liberating the cities here is not out of moral duty or fear of capture but unrestrained necessity. Entering each level with is horrible murky shade of brown and you almost feel required to inject some life into it. It's an unnatural feeling of oppression entering each area of de Blob; not just because you feel isolated as the lone speck of colour but because you have an almost instantaneous urge to see these places return to life. And as you plough through the districts and assault inkie enemy hives it does so, the soundtrack coming alive as your magic touch blossoms entire buildings with colour. You constantly run through different paint pots, almost always giving you the excuse to paint each block with every mixture of colours the game offers. It is when you paint each block of buildings however that de Blob unveils its greatest visual reward. Confused and bewildered, the once incarcerated inhabitants emerge from buildings blinking as they look around almost lost for words. Your last act of liberation is to pile drive into them, destroying their gray straight jackets and leaving them in the hue of your implementation. Their jubilatory cries and jumps for joy far outweigh the time reward deposited nearby. Gain enough momentum with your revolutionary work and they will dance behind you in your wake, creating a parade of satisfaction that can appear on almost every street corner. It's not just buildings that require work, but trees and lampposts, walls and handrails, even then stone surrounding such areas needs revitalising. Billboards get emblazoned with their own dynamic imagery and even rarely seen blimps can be hit on, providing even an aerodynamic form of protest. Special buttons can appear on significant plazas or spaces where activation results in an Okami style act of rejuvenation, producing fountains or football pitches that your own body could not naturally conjure up. It's a nice touch as the liberated citizens often gather there but it's not quite as satisfying as the more personal touch that your own actions grant you.

This is accompanied by a sound design that defies criticism. Both progressive and dynamic each level in de Blob starts out silent-with only the environmental hum and the short instrumental stabs as you paint your first buildings providing interruption. It soon adds up however; as you gain momentum an ever increasing bass line is added, and not long after that perfectly judged harmonies and solo sections join the fray eventually creating a cacophony of music that is constantly varied due to each colour producing its own unique riff. Brilliantly each musical soundtrack is not contained within the confides of a single level. The music is portrayed as "moods" which can be applied to any level in the game, providing a personal level of visualisation that because it is stated as Blobs mood, gives you an added connection and involvement in the game. It is a sound design you have to work for, as it instantly dissipates with every ink hit or death that you suffer but it becomes one of the main driving forces in the game and combined with the visuals creates a riot of sound and colour that pushes the initial one blob revolution into a parade of exaltation. Overthrowing the inkies may be what the game tells you to do, but partying in the cities is what it really wants you to do.

The entire atmosphere is focused thanks to a story that mercifully doesn't want to take precedence. Restricted to loading screen banter and mini challenge narration, your support characters may interrupt you on more occasions than you would wish (and like all essentially amateur produced games, its tutorial is infuriatingly stagnated as a result) but they provide enough jollity and personality to give the game a bit of characterisation. Rather enjoyable inclusions are the CG cut scenes that precede each level. These no doubt insomnia thought out creations showcase the inkie enemies more like Rayman's rabbids rather than Orwellian oppressors. It may not give you much of an incentive to squash the blighters but it keeps the entire thing (even when it's at its darkest) wholly humorous.

That really is de Blob's principles laid out in one line. Its plot is that which has been done to death but its style is one that provides a far greater sense of liberation as a result. It may class itself as a platformer but its focus and lust for a reward greater than that of precise jumping put it in a rare group of games that simply defy categorisation. Whether this is a case of style over substance is irrelevant because its style is its substance-painting is its gameplay, music is its reward. It may not cause a revolution in either game or artistic design but it sticks out like a sore thumb in an industry that would rather paint its own streets brown. It's the guy on the street corner busking for loose change, it's the kid on the rooftops who claims that graffiti is art and it's the thing inside every one of us that wishes "painting the town red" were a literal rather than a metaphorical phrase. It may not be time to celebrate the revolution but we can at least give our thanks to the multi coloured revolutionary who did all of the above, with wit and charm to spare.

[8]

#5 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -
[QUOTE="samusarmada"][QUOTE="nitekids2004"][QUOTE="DeathHeart95"]

Top ten as of 1:05 PM EDT based on a points system where gold equals three points, silver equals two, and bronze equals one. First tiebreaker is most golds, second is most silvers, third is most bronzes. If they have exactly the same on those, it just counts as a tie, and it will say a "T-" in front of the number.

*ranks*

The only real change in these standings from yesterday is that the U.S. tied China in points (China has more golds, so they're still in first), and South Korea moved down a spot, being taken by Germany.

Hungry_bunny

I dont think its fair to equate 1 silver and 1 bronze to 1 gold. Gold has such an impact that even a few silvers won't match up to having it. If Phelps had 6 golds, 2 silver and 2 bronze, he wouldnt even have tied the 7 gold peat man.

Well the accepted method is still based on golds, so China will win no matter what happens.

5 alternative ways to do the Olympic Medals Table: link
The medals table has been a highly discussed subject in this thread, should it really just be all about golds? Well BBC has made a short but interesting article about it. And then they've made 5 alternative ways of making the list, 4 of which pushes China down from the top.

Congrats to Uzbekistan, North Korea and the Bahamas then. They clearly did better than everyone else.

#6 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -
No, definately not.
#7 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -
[QUOTE="DeathHeart95"]

Top ten as of 1:05 PM EDT based on a points system where gold equals three points, silver equals two, and bronze equals one. First tiebreaker is most golds, second is most silvers, third is most bronzes. If they have exactly the same on those, it just counts as a tie, and it will say a "T-" in front of the number.

1. China-200

2. USA-200

3. Russia-109

4. Great Britain-93

5. Australia-80

6. Germany-73

7. South Korea-60

8. France-57

9. Japan-49

10. Italy-47

The only real change in these standings from yesterday is that the U.S. tied China in points (China has more golds, so they're still in first), and South Korea moved down a spot, being taken by Germany.

nitekids2004

I dont think its fair to equate 1 silver and 1 bronze to 1 gold. Gold has such an impact that even a few silvers won't match up to having it. If Phelps had 6 golds, 2 silver and 2 bronze, he wouldnt even have tied the 7 gold peat man.

Well the accepted method is still based on golds, so China will win no matter what happens.

#8 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -

fascinating...

#9 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -
alien3 and the usual suspects.
#10 Posted by samusarmada (5741 posts) -
lol, you bought sprung
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