BigSocrates's forum posts

#1 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

it is unlikely that they will do a million more episodes, because even if they never missed a week that would be over 19,000 years, and Vinny said on the podcast that he wants to transition to a behind-the-scenes role by year 2,000.

#2 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

@jeff: One would think, but in this video announcing the console and the pack in game the guy mentions that there will be "no battery save" for the pack-in game and it will use a password system instead. Now maybe this is some kind of retro-fetishism of old password systems (Who doesn't have fond memories of writing down your Mega Man password only to lose all your progress because you forgot a digit or wrote a 4 that looked like a 9 because you were 7 years old?) but it sounded like a cost-technical limitation thing. If you have flash memory you don't need a battery to save, unless you're using read only flash for some reason, which maybe they are, but the talk of using a battery to save makes me think it might be something a little more complicated.

If they are just using flash memory I assume we can expect this thing to be cracked and pirated in like 15 seconds, if there's anything worth pirating.

#3 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

Both the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 currently have M-rated pack-in games right now (remember when the death of the pack-in was lamented? Well the pack-in is back in baby!) The XBONE has the Master Chief collection and the PS4 has Last of Us Remastered.

I remember back in my childhood when the idea of an M-rated pack-in game would have caused a huge kerfuffle, especially if it were the only option. Can you imagine if the SNES or Genesis had come with Mortal Kombat 2? Yet there has been absolutely no media attention about these M-rated pack-ins. I think this is especially notable for the Last of Us. Halo is a bunch of alien shooting that is pretty close to a Teen rating, but the Last of Us is hardcore M. You can blow people's heads apart in that game, set them on fire, all kinds of stuff.

Nobody seems to care.

Is this because we're over game violence? because the Xbox One and the PS4 are seen as aimed at older teens and young adults rather than young kids? Because nobody has noticed?

Both systems COULD have all ages games packed in. They could license something from the Lego series, or Xbox could pack in a Forza game and PS4 could pack in its MLB title or (blech) Knack. Instead they both go with M-rated games and nobody cares. I find it interesting, especially considering the culture wars of my youth.

#4 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -


The first interrogation I didn't see as psychotic because Joel was very weakened at that point, had been relying on Ellie, which he felt guilty about, and these guys were bad men with bad intentions who had kidnapped a teenage girl. It's not like the bandits ever try to parlay; if they see you you shoot, and keeping people like that alive can be dangerous. Maybe the game hints at how others see Joel when David says that he's a crazy man who killed a bunch of men as he gives Ellie the medicine, but given that David turns out to be a cartoonish psycho right out of central casting I'm not sure how much stock we're supposed to put in his words.

The second one was part of the whole thing I'm kind of complaining about, although the interrogation itself didn't seem so out of character for Joel, who was never like a nice guy.

The thing about the interrogations is there's several hours of game and several months of narrative time between them. During this time Joel is more tender and kind towards Ellie than he's ever been. My personal read was that the interrogations were meant to show how much Joel cared about Ellie at that point, which I got, but he has to show his love the only way the game knows how. By killing a bunch of dudes who are similar to his brother.

#5 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -


I had a very different read on Joel. He actually seemed rather hopeful right before the whole Firefly thing goes down. He's actively trying to talk to Ellie (she's the one being quiet when they get to SLC) and planning for the future. He finally opens up about his daughter and takes the photo when Ellie gives it to him. He's the opposite of broken at this point in the story. He's healed. He starts out quiet and sour and ends up happyish and paternal. Now this might explain why he's so desperate to save Ellie, sure, no argument there, but I definitely think we're supposed to empathize with him up until at least the hospital. And maybe the switch in control back to Ellie when they go back to see Joel's brother represents a break with that empathy after what Joel does, but I think we're still supposed to root for him. I mean if not, why keep playing?

I don't want to get wrapped up in the chest high cover thing, but the hospital was Firefly home turf so why was the inside barricaded like that anyway (I understand lots of security on the outside, but if you go into an army building there aren't barricades in the middle of the hall.) And if you DO need security, you'd want machine gun nests, sniper nests, explosive booby traps, SOMETHING other than some overturned tables and crates. I get it, it's a game, if they secured the area so well that a single man COULDN'T get in it wouldn't be fun, but that's also kind of my point.

I'm not saying I wanted the game to be Mass Effect or give me a choice. I'm saying that I didn't like the ending they chose and I thought the choice was driven by gameplay. Frankly if they wanted to do it this way I would have rather played as Ellie (conscious of course) while she listened to Joel rampage through the fireflies and was unable to do anything to stop him. That to me would have been more consistent with the characters and the tone. But it would have been boring to play so it's a non-starter. Action movies have this same problem. They have to resolve everything through shooting and explosions (or fisticuffs) which often leads to silly plots and thinly drawn characters (not saying TLOU had those issues...but it had a lot of quiet scrounging and traversal moments in which it told its story.)

#6 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

@mb:Wait it doesn't even have internal flash memory to save stuff on? Battery saves are expensive, I get why they wouldn't do that, but you could stick 512 megs of flash memory (enough for virtually unlimited retro saves; remember that PS2 cards were 8Mb) for very very cheap. Why not do THAT?

@dagas: High-res 2D graphics are easily done by today's consoles. Look at Dust: An Elysian Tail for an example. We don't need a new console to play these kinds of games.

#7 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

This is going to appeal to a very specific crowd. I hope that the costs are balanced for the amount it's going to sell, which I'd imagine will be in the tens of thousands if everything goes perfectly.

This seems even less necessary than the Ouya. Speaking as someone who likes retro-style games, retro-style games already have a huge installbase in PCs and the 7th and 8th gen consoles. Shovel Knight did great. Axiom Verge was well-received. While cartridges are kind of cool in their own way they're also expensive to manufacture, which means that this game is likely to have the most expensive versions of whatever games make their ways over.

It's a nice thought, and appealing on a certain level, but people who want a cartridge system should buy a Sega Genesis and enjoy it. You can't go home again. Great game design is classic, but old hardware is just old.

#8 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

None of your stupid systems can play Matthew Rorie's Alpha Protocol unfortunately.

Have you played the recent Telltale games? Walking Dead etc...? They are pretty much ALL dialog trees so if that's what you're looking for I'd recommend those.

#9 Posted by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

I recommend Game Sack as a good Youtube channel if you're into retro games. Their episodes on old systems are particularly good. It's a different "thing" from Giant Bomb; a lot more production and less focus on personality, with shorter bits about each game, but it's interesting and entertaining.

#10 Edited by BigSocrates (509 posts) -

I don't generally "take breaks" in a conscious way but like a lot of people have said my gaming sessions don't tend to be all that long. If I'm marathoning a game to finish it or whatever then I generally will take breaks. Not for health reasons but mostly because I feel the need to. I play games for fun and sitting in one place doing something pretty repetitive stops being fun after a couple hours.