Yeah, so I have really been pretty poor in keeping up with this thing (I've never been able to keep two journals at once :( ) and I never even got around to pasting all my game-oriented Livejournal entries in here. Oh well. Just updating to remind myself to do that. Maybe it's just that I'm not really part of the community here. I like Gamespot as a website - I don't love it, I feel their could be some serious improvements (most notably with the whole "WE ARE THE BORG" editorial policy - I still have that rant saved somewhere), but I like it better then its competitors and all my personal experience with the staff (mostly Greg Kasavin) has been very posistive, and I trust them to do their best. But that's the site. While I think this whole profile system is really nifty, the heart of any online community is the forums, and whenever I look at the forums I see mostly posts that go like: 1. "I like [insert game here] 2. "[aforementioned game] sucks! 3. "You suck!" 4" no your momlol1" etc. That's a bit unfair maybe , I haven't checked in a while, I really should. And one of these days I'll get a photo cropped down small enough that I can stick it on here. But anyway, yeah, guess I'm just too content with Livejournal and the TTLG forums to use this thing a lot. And with Gamespot's membership fee bumped up to $40 (which I am somewhat annoyed about, as their was no actual announcement of this that I can remember, so a lot of people will be auto-billed and only find out AFTER they paid, which is why auto-billing systems suck large amounts of glutius maximus), I'm not sure if I'll be renewing, so don't want to invest too much in this place. Still, we'll see. Oh yeah, and I finished Advance Wars today. The first one. Yeah, I'm slow, tends to take me years to finish Game Boy games. Actually, I think this is only the second GBA game I've ever finished...maybe the first, but I think there's another that I'm not thinking of. Anyway, yay for me.
[copied and pasted from my livejournal. Sorry I forget about this Gamespot one so much!] Thems Shadows Beesy Deadly Just finished Thief: Deadly Shadows. Didn't pick it up earlier in the year due to tech issues I had with the demo (which I quickly figured out once I got the retail version- was using external anti-aliasing when the game had a hard to find internal anti-aliasing option). I'm pretty sure a wrote a series of entries about the highlights of the first two Thief games earlier in the year, when I played through and finished both of em (The disadvantage of having a friends-locked journal is that google can't search it for this stuff). Anyway, suffice it to say that while I may not be as diehard of a fan as some of the folks at TTLG, I am a big fan and think Thief: The Dark Project is one of the biggest contributors to gaming of the past decade, in everything from gameplay (arguably inventing the stealth genre) to audio (too much to list). Anywayyy... Played this. After Invisible War, people feared this game would be a butchery, but many were pleasantly suprised- while some folks really hate it and everything, I think most liked it- found it not as good as the first two (or, to those who disliked Thief II, not as good as the first one) but good in it's own right. I'm too lazy to write a full on review about all the issues I have with it, so I'll just make one of those positives/negatives lists. Well, actually, I'll just make a negative list since I remember those more. But don't get a bad impression from this; I give it 8.3 out of 10. Still fun, great game, consistent enough with the rest of the series. But they did make some 'questionable' design decisions. Such as.... - No rope arrows. WTF. When thinking about what my favorite game weapon of all time was, I'd be tempted to nominate the Rope Arrow from Thief: The Dark Project. Ok, so it's not really technically a weapon. But it was so COOL. Back when 3D gaming was still relatively new and generally functioned in 2 dimensions - that is, the graphics may be polygons but you were still moveing are horizontally, thinking horizontally - Thief dared you to think of multiple routes in 3 dimensions, and the rope arrow made that possible. It was an arrow that simply had a rope attached; you could shoot it into wood - be it a beam, a wood wall, the roof of a well, etc - and a rope would extend, allowing you to climb up and reach otherwise unreachable places. You could swing from the rope too, using actually momentum, not some dumb scripted tarzan swing thing. Very fun. Especially in the final sequence. Hehehe. - Garret can't swim. WTF. When did this happen? When it was annouced that Invisible War would not have water, people were ticked off. Water wasn't instrumental to Deus Ex, but it played a major role- providing alternate routes and new gameplay types. But it could work without it. But Thief- without water, there would be no Thief. In the first part of the first mission of the first game, what do you do? Sneak past a drunk guard and HOP DOWN A WELL, to swim along and infiltrate into Lord Bafford's mansion. If rooftops are the Thieves' Highway, then water was...uh...the Thieves' Interstate. or something. Apparently there was something wrong with the engine that prevented it from doing water. Now, in their defense, I thought this spelled disaster for the game, but in the game I rarely noticed; they were able to make it work (albeit probably not as well) without swimmable water. But the first time I encoutered deep water, at the docks, I dove in. And died instantly. This drove me insane. Garrett was a master swimmer in the previous games. All of a sudden jumping into water is like jumping into magma. What happened? There is no even remotely logical explanation for this. It's just bull****. - The cutscenes. As you will know from my previous entries on the series, for all the great things they had, my favorite of previous games was the cutscenes. These weren't just normal FMV or CG cutscenes. Nothing like them has been done before or since- they exuded style like nothing else. The cinematography was miles ahead of anything else at the time, and has yet to be bet except maybe by portions of MGS3 (which is kind of comparing apples and oranges). Visually, they were excellent- they seamlessly combined hand-drawn stills, very unique animation, a bit of CG and some full-motion video (but not in the live actors running around sense- it was always dark and shaded, you never saw anyone's faces, just outlines of cloaks and stuff). The cutscenes in Thief III, while competent and much better then your average game's, simply aren't as good. Some are in-engine cutscenes, which is just despicable. The ones that aren't often show character's faces in full light, even Garrett's, something which totally clashes with the previously established visual style. The faces look really wrong, too- Garret looks like some 16 year old prettyboy, which is bizarre and we KNOW he doesn't look like that. - The subtitle. Deadly Shadows. Eidos Marketing, you suck. There are various other things but I'm getting tired of writing this and am missing out on a store trip. On the upside, I very much appreciated the last part of the ending. Coming full circle may be one of the oldest tricks in the book for writers to please fans, they probably could have done something more original, but it worked and was cool, and the Thief snob in me smiles at the idea that people who haven't played the first one won't get it at all (my friend Hunter thought Deadly Shadows was inspired by Splinter Cell, which was what Eidos Marketing was trying to get people to thing, hence the lack of a III- trying to trick people into thinking it was not a sequel. WHY DOES NO ONE READ REVIEWS OR INFORMATION OF PRODUCTS BEFORE BUYING?).
Ok, here's an obligatory journal entry. I need to figure out when the games I want are coming out. There's always games I'm waiting for but they always get pushed back...the last eagerly awaited one to come out was...um...Tribe Vengenace, I guess, but before that Invisible War. So, for my own reference, am gonna try and find release dates for games on my wish/interest list. Will use Gamespot for reference. Will also mention how excited I am (low generally means I see potential in it, or it's from developers I respect but I don't know enough to be confident that it will be good.). Will be listed in chronological order. Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption (excitement level: high). 11/08/2004. Oh yeah, November's gonna be sweet. Then again, I think that's what I said last year and November sucked. Halo 2 (excitment level: laconically awaiting). Overcoverage of Halo 2 and the fact that Halo ended up being super-popular has kind of made me avoid all preview coverage. I awaited Halo eagerly, it exceeded my expectations, and became a big hit. Another interest gone mainstream. Grrr. Plus, the first Halo novel was great (it's what got me into Eric Nylund). The second I didn't like and couldn't finish due to the over-military nature (William C. Dietz can do better, but he was never my favorite author). Plus it was just a retelling of the game. The third was built heavilly on the second, so I got totally lost and couldn't finish. Now I'll only half-get the game's story. Plus, Xbox Live is still not set up and probably never will be, because the broadband is upstairs but my parents say consoles have to be downstairs. Release dates: 11/09/2004. Chances of making that release date are 97%, because Microsoft can't afford to welsch on it. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Excitement level: HIGH): 11/17/04. Is definitly gonna happen- the only reason MGS2 got pushed back was post 9/11 editing changes, and Kojima wouldn't do something like that today. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Shadow of Cheronobyl (excitement level - medium): Q1 2005. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (Excitement level: medium-high. Would be high if I was confident that it would live up to the legacy of it's predecessor, but there are a lot of game mechanic changes in the name of accessing a wider audience and the adventure genre being dead. Which isn't necessarilly bad. We'll see how things turn out.) - 1/10/2004. Dunno how accurate that is, though. Psychonauts (excitement level: high): Release date is 2005. The Bard's Tale (Excitement level: low): Gamespot just says "2005" for PC version. Bioshock(excitement level: low) Was just annouced, so no release date yet. The Fall - Last Days of Gaia (excitement level: low....good potential, but from an unproven developer. Plus, they're Russian I believe, so plenty of oppurtunity for awful translation): Not in the EB games databse. Jagged Alliance 3 (excitement level: low) : No date annouced. Current Music: Chivalry - Metal Gear Solid 3 (on Gaming FM)
My first entry in my Gamespot journal. Yay! I'm gonna have to look up the html codes for this thing- I just know the ones for Livejournal, and while presumably some carries over, others (like lj-cut) will not. It's nice to know that this thing has a check spelling button, though- maybe I can finely get in the habit of editing these things. I just spent a log time writing a huge entry, until I realized that the entire basis of the entry was faulty because I was misreading a stat in the Gamespot collections. I thought the "my score" column on other people's collections was their score of it- but no, it was actually my score. So how do you see their personal rating of things? I dunno. Oh well.