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kainenable Blog

GameSpot Subscription Cancelled

The whole situation regarding the Kane and Lynch review and of Jeffs undignified send-off has pierced me to the core. Not only have I cancelled my subscription but will be checking this site a whole lot less. I guess kotaku gets the hits now. Doesn't the management of gamespot understand the reason that I am here in the first place it to hear HONEST reviews? To get an idea of what the game is like from an actual person's perspective. Not some editorial/marketing symbiotic multiheaded hydra.

The reason that gamespot has done so well that it has fostered a trust with the reader. A trust that has been breeched now.I do not expect sites like playstation insider to give unbiased reviews but I certainly do here. Well I used to anyway. I personally did not see the tone of the video review as being offensive and am extremely shocked to see the response of cnet to one of its most respected editors.

If you happen to read this Jeff... were all with you brotha.

Your GameSpot Plus subscription has been successfully cancelled, and your membership will not be renewed.

'nuff said

Help! I can't stop playing geometry wars!

Well apparently geometry wars just got dropped on steam. And for less than five dollars I couldn't resist. I needed to see what all the fuss was about.

Ok... buying game... downloading game... alright lets give this a go. (2 min's later) "Is that it?"

I was under whelmed for a game that got so much press. Then I gave it a few more tries and now I can't stop playing it. I like the fact you can just play for 10 min's and then take off. It is pretty much the polar opposite of the Myst series for me. All of which incidentally I own. Which all looks very impressive sitting magisterially on my bookshelf. But here's the thing I have to admit to anyone who see's these proud specimens.

Usually the conversation goes something like this.

Someone else: "Wow, you own every myst game"

Me: "Yep, even got the collectors edition of riveren."

Someone else: "How do you like them?"

Me: "They are beautiful games, the music is enthralling and really gives you a sense of being somewhere otherworldly."

Someone else: "Have you beaten all of them?"

Me: "Not a single one."

I think I just like the idea of liking Myst. I get really into them at the outset, but eventually just get so fed up I just quit. I don't like the idea that game guides should be required reading. Myst is like one of those things you buy as window dressing. Sort of like how my parents own loads of leather bound books from important authors, war and peace, othello, Ulysses. When really.... the last book i read was "The Deathly Hallows". Has there ever been a game you really wanted to like but just couldn't for whatever reason?

Do tell...

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go blow up some squares.


Is there any point to buying PC games in stores anymore?

Let me just say this is not a post endorsing piracy :P. I am talking of course about digital distribution. I have used steam, Gametap and ealink which are all varying shades of awesome. Steam and Gametap being the best of the bunch. My thoughts on this have gone through 3 distinct stages. Skepticism, acceptance, and lastly embracing it. It all started out with steam who offered it free to any game you have already purchased from them. Letting the service grow on you like a friendly moss. Finally i dipped my toe into the murky depths of digital download's with psyconauts. A game almost impossible to find anywhere else.

It all just worked. I love it that i can let anyone play my games by just installing the client on there computer and have the game stream on. No more lost keys or scratched cd's(a big deal for me). I almost find it archaic now when I use a cd to install something.

Then I gave Gametap a go. It still has its flaws but does a brilliant job of streaming multiple games onto your computer. Many stream as you are playing them minimizing the download time. If you haven't tried zork grand inquisitor you must give it a go, its brilliant. Since i had such great experiences with both i used EA link for C&C 3 which is less awesome. Download game, uncompress, uncompress (again?), install and THEN play. Once you go through that it is smooth sailing, in fact many problems people have with the physical version don't exist with the CDless version.

So why bother with buying them in stores anyway? The only argument I can think of is the bargain bin, and people without broadband. In the age of nearly infinitely large hard drives we can avoid allot of problems. I have to be honest i do miss the manual and the shiny box a little but in the grand scheme the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

PS. The weather was really nice a couple days ago  so i decided to take my motorbike out. All of a sudden a giant wall of clouds came rushing towards me. Decided to take a couple pics on my phone. Both ominious and beautifull.

A game with a respectful online community, how did that happen?

When I play games online I expect a certain level of discourse. Let's take counterstrike or Tiberium Wars as an example. Of the people you deal with they probably break down into these categories.

30% The rational human being who can hold a civil, interesting conversation.

50% A tolerable mix whose grasp of the English language tends to be a little suspect. Fairly benign.

20% The raving psychopath. These people yell and bark and scream at the slightest provocation. Letting loose a string of expletives like they were in a Quinten Terantino movie.

I have become rather numbed to it so dealing with this lot just seems like standard online fair. Probably sounds familiar to allot of you. That is until i tried the game URU live. In case you don't know this is a Massively Multiplayer game offered through Gametap which is based on the myst series of games. Anyway, the moment I entered the game i noticed a quite shocking difference. Everyone was civil. Not only were they friendly but would go out of there way to help you. Conversations I have had range from the philosophical underpinnings of our society to farting underwater. Everywhere you would explore there was always someone there to lend a hand or have an interesting conversation with. During the time that i have played it I have run into maybe 2-3 tools. Considering I have probably talked to about 60-80 different people these are quite astonishing statistics.

I didn't' notice these differences so much until i played this game. It was like stepping into a pool of warm water if all you have ever taken was cold baths.  

Now there is the question of why. Well, firstly the game is (in typical myst fashion) one of the least confrontational games ever. You work cooperatively on puzzles rather than against each other. There is no us vs. them mentality.  In my case i tend to get stuck easily so asking people for help just comes naturally. 

It is also one of the most calming games ever. Almost on the verge of comatose. The music is ambient and relaxing and the environments are breathtaking.

This leads to an interesting revelation. It is that games can affect your demeanor. Weather it permeates into real life is a question up for debate but it certainly does online. Of course you have the bias that maybe naturally calm and helpful people are drawn to the game but i think something different is happening. It is unfortunate now that I have played it because every time I load up counterstrike now i want to cry.

I don't know if I should be ashamed or proud.

That was fun, if you listen to this weeks hotspot you can hear me singing about my wii woes. I am getting so frustrated in not being able to pick one up. I suppose I could try camping before the store opens but

1)Its Cold outside.

2)I like sleep.

Just felt like venting... and singing-off key. Maybe I will try out for canadian idol.

But seriously, what the hell? I guess we are in a better position in Canada than Europians so I shouldnt complain that much. I just want to play some tennis and botch some surgeries... is that to much to ask?

Why digital distribution is so friggin awesome!

Well the title was either that or "steam kills pirates", but thought that would be a big vauge.

Ok, i will admit, when steam first came out i was skeptical. I wondered why anyone in there gourd would buy a game without the shiney box and cd's. It takes forever to load... broadband limitations and... such. I can barely wait for toast to pop let alone a 3 gig game to download. There was also the worry that steam would implode and every game you purchased would be lost in a puff of un-smoke.

Now I have not only accepted steam but prefer it so much to traditional gaming that actually buying something seems sort of quaint now. I my most recent purchase being Psychonauts. I have a great fondess and trust with Valve now with they way they do things. There seems to be very few strings attached assuming you arn't a jackass.

No more worrying about scratched cd's, or lost cd's for that matter. If I am at someone's house and want to show them counterstrike, no problem, download steam and im good to go. Plus patching is instant and painless. It almost works too well. I find myself looking through some of the 'half baked' games thinking, well 15 dollars really isnt that much. I have to catch myself. I love the freebies they throw in as well, if you can call the original version of the game in its entirety a freebie. It makes the loss of a manual and shiney box seem laughable in comparison. 

It is also great for the industry i think. It cuts down on piracy as well. There was a time where i would download the pirated copy of a game just because it was easier to install and play than the original game. (thank you starforce)

I still dont have an xbox 360 but can imagine the allure of liveArcade is something just as tangable. I get giddy whenever i see the steam list of games that gets updated. It is becoming a mecca for game distribution for third partys.

I could also imagine something similar for the ps3 and wii. If they dont then i think they will be at a huuuuge disadvantage. Digitial distribution is the new DVD player.

Stop the presses, "Games are different than movies!"

Well i guess the federal government is now trying to meddle with games. I think the guys at penny arcade summed this up pretty well

Just think about it though, the whole thing started out as the stupid hot coffie mod. Which was just about as explicit as mashing a nude ken and barbie doll together. Where were you goverment when when i downloaded the nude mod for Lara croft in tomb raider? Now my delicate moral framework has been obliterated. Ahh, those were the innocent days.

The only way i can see this going is either stupid or badly.


Games like Counterstrike will be rated AO since there is always one guy who insists on spraying naked women everywhere. Any game that utilizes an xbox live headset must be rated M. Anyone up for a game of UNO? Ahh to bad billy you are only 16.


Games are crippled so users cannot create and add content, making the game less good. Xbox live support for the headset is dropped.

Well, i guess there is another option and it is to make a big flap, then cry when people laugh at you.

PS: One last thing about this, there is honestly so much you can do. If a kid really wants to see something they are going to figure out a way to see it.

Reason: kids have infinate free time. I remember when i was 13 or 14 and my friends parents blocked out the nudie channels for the satellite. We read though the entire sattelite reciever manual looking for a way around it. Eventually we found the master reset code. There is really no point to this story i guess other than naked people are awesome. So i guess i wll just end it at that.

Dear Sony, you are breaking my heart.

Dearest Sony,

I know we have been together for quite a while and we have had some great times together. That makes what I am about to say so much more difficult. You are no longer the platform I once thought I knew.

You are coming off as a bit desperate and needy, and that is just not what I am looking for in a console. I think i need a Wii break from our relationship. I can't afford to stay together since it looks like you are just in it for the money. Sure you are pretty but looks are not everything. I need more freedom and excitement in my games, something with a bit more flexability. I wont forget the good times.


Why sony will lose this round of format wars... again.

I see that advent children is about it be released in north america and I am totally pumped.

I already watched though it on a bootleg with subtitles and it is what the feature film should have been. Crazy action which felt very final fantasyish. Here is where my beef comes in. They have clips which I really want to check out to see what the english dubbing is like. Here's the thing, its only in mp4.. thats fine i guess, i copy it to my psp and it still doesnt work... argh. I suppose they require you to have the latest firmware. You would think since UMD is dying they would make it a bit more compatable to help boost sales. It is almost like they want UMD to fail. 

Dont get me wrong, I love sony stuff. I probably have more Sony hardware than anything else. PSP, PS2, Sony Erricson w600 cell phone... they make great stuff. But it is pulling this kind of crap which is why sony has lost almost every single format war they have fought in.

I was reading this on kotaku

" Recent reports have Sony execs going door to door trying to convince studios to return to the format. The ace up Sony’s sleeve? They say they’re working on a way of allowing UMD movies to be played on a regular TV."

I am officially bamfozzeled. Yes, that is why people we're not buying UMD's, we just couldnt play them on TV's. (facepalms) Who are they trying to fool here? They trying to totally mis-classify UMD. We are not going to switch over to a lower resolution, no-special-feature having format as there primary source for a movie! Want to know how to make it successfull? Easy... divide the price by 2. There... you win! I should be in marketing.

The price point of the UMD is just laughable. Wise up sony,  people will generally buy the cheapest solution. I just hope that they offer blueray movies for the same/less price than hd-dvd. If not, sony will loose out again.

Oooh, as a completely random aside, the banners I made for gamespot were used so now I have that funkey afro artist emblem.Yippie!!! It is really the only one I wanted :P.

What is so wrong with nudity?

I am not one to buy a game baised on its sexual content but i really think that people are putting to much emphasis on nudity. I mean what is the big deal? Does it  it really hurt anyone to see the human form in its entirety. I have visted europe a couple times back in elementary and early highschool (germany/france/spain) and i have to say that they are much more laid back.

When you go to a public swimming area you often see women walking around completely topless. I am not just talking about the buxom girls but all different age groups. Sure it was a bit of a shock when I first saw it but then you get used to it and think gee... what is the big deal? What are people so afraid of here? It permiates everywhere, newspaper ads, film canisters, posters... everywhere. Its just not taboo.

I mean really, why do we care so much? It hurts absolutly no one. It seems like such an arbitrary thing to get all bent out of shape about. If we were a bit less uptight about this kind of stuff people would probably be more comfterable in there own bodys. Also quite frankly I find seductive clothing more alluring then outright nudity. I suppose we are better off than we were 50-60 years ago when it was tastelessly explicit for women to show wear anything above the knee.

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