Giantbomb Forums - CSS Font Color Tweak

Maybe it's just me, but I find it a bit difficult to see the dark text below a thread title in the forum list (the one telling you the name of the board the thread is posted in), so I decided to do something about it and thought I'd share it here (this applies to the dark theme).
 
Custom stylesheets for websites aren't new, but in case anyone is wondering how to apply an edit like this on a site specific basis, here's a quick rundown of what you need to do. I use the Chrome browser, but there are comparable extensions/add-ons to let you do this in other browsers as well. 
 

  1. Open Chrome and install Personalised Web from the store.
  2. Once installed, click the wrench icon to the right of your navigation bar in Chrome, and go to Tools - Extensions.
  3. Scroll to Personalised Web, and click Options.
  4. Choose Add New Rule and type in a desired rule name
  5. In the Match URLs box, type in ^http://www.giantbomb.com
  6. In the Add CSS box, paste the following code

.forums tbody td.title a.board, .pms tbody td.title a.board, tbody td.user span { color: #FFC61A !important; } 

   7. Click the Save button and reload the forums! The aforementioned text will now be yellow in colour - as defined by the 6 character code #FFC61A. You can change this colour to anything you want (google hexidecimal codes to find the colour you want, or use Photoshop). 
   8. This edit also changes the colour of the time-stamp text below the author name and last poster - if you don't want this changed, simply remove the last section before the curly bracket in the code above, ie. ", tbody td.user span", so the code will look like the following 

.forums tbody td.title a.board, .pms tbody td.title a.board {color: #FFC61A !important;}

Hope this is of use to someone. Apologies if something like this has been posted before! 
 
(attached the the editing and tools forum, because that seems logical) 
11 Comments

All Licences! (and my lengthy game impressions)

After playing nothing but Gran Turismo since Wednesday, I figured I could post a short blog about my thoughts on the game so far. Before I get to that though, I thought I'd do a little self-congratulating because I just completed all the licence tests!  
 
I had set myself the challenge of doing each test, one by one, without continuing until I got at least a silver ranking in each one. This was a bit of a bitch towards the latter stages (the S licence is comprised entirely of 1-lap overtaking races, which can be very frustrating if you have to start over due to a disqualification or being pipped to the post by another driver) but, I persevered, and am very happy with my record of 15 Golds and 45 Silvers across all licences :D Not a single murky bronze among them! I'll probably start from the beginning and try to Gold all my Silvers, though I suspect as I get further up the Licences again, there might be some broken furniture around my house.
 
Now that that's out of the way, my thoughts on the game so far. (Beware - it's looooong) Also, if any of the below seems incomprehensible, or if I'm repeating myself, it's because I'm very, very tired, and I tried to do a bit of post-editing and might have fucked up the flow of the paragraphs and, like I said, repeated myself or went on a bit too long on one sentence, like I'm doing now.
 

The Driving

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this aspect of the game? The driving, as always, is challenging but incredibly rewarding and fun. This is my first game using a steering wheel, and the feedback you get from the road when cornering or travelling at high speeds is truly remarkable - feeling the rear of the car slide out and catching it at the right moment with a quick counter steer is such a great feeling. There's a huge amount of depth to the variety of even just the Premium cars, in the way that they accelerate, steer and generally handle (ie. shifting weight, hard/easy to control while braking, etc.). It really is a motivator to build a diverse garage of cars and muck around with the tuning (which is as detailed as always) to get your perfect set for all kinds of events.  
The AI of the other cars on the track is decent. When similarly matched - performance-wise - the AI will be tough to catch up to and over take. They do make mistakes from time to time (I had a Lamborghini spectacularly spin out right in front of me because he broke way too late for a corner I was approaching alongside him), and they most certainly try to overtake you and other drivers on the track. I'm not sure where the complaints come from about other cars not racing against you... what the hell else are they doing? Do you want them to risk murdering you by ramming you off the road, and then giving you the finger as you spin out into a barrier? I'm not quite sure these moaners have ever seen a real race of any sort. Sometimes people finish in the same position they started in - it's kinda a fact of racing. If your car isn't powerful enough or only on par with the power of the car in front of you, then chances are you're going to be stuck behind them for the entire race unless that person ahead makes a mistake. 

The Cars and Tracks

The Premium cars look amazing. The Standard cars do not. The Standard cars look considerably less than amazing to be specific. Some of them are fine, but some of them are just plain bad. The first time I rolled up beside a Standard car during a race, and had a look at the details on the car, I cried a little. But then I stopped crying and punched myself in the face for crying about graphics in a video game.  
 
Truth be told, although I'm less than eager to start driving Standard cars, I can't say they've detracted from my overall experience with the game in the slightest. There are 200+ Premiums still to chew my way through, and I never use external car views anyway, so it's not a problem for me. Speaking of car views, the Premium interiors are pretty damn lush. Very detailed and exact. Sprinting through a rainy track in your TOM's Supra with rain hitting the windshield certainly looks fantastic, but also leaves a little to be desired in terms of what you can actually see, so the bonnet or roof view is what I usually went with (also gives a slightly better viewing angle on the road ahead. 
 
There's a good few new tracks, classic oldies and real life tracks, and a decent variety of weather and time-elapsing effects on some, but not all, of the tracks. Some of the environments surrounding the tracks are pretty plain - Trial Mountain specifically stood out as one of the worst, with some low-res texturing and crappy looking trees dotted around the periphery. Then some tracks like the classic Tokyo R246 (I think I'm getting that right), and the night-time Special Stages look brilliant. The lighting effects and surrounding buildings/bridges/walls etc. are well textured, and no blemishes stand out at all. It's like PD intentionally did little work polishing some of the old tracks, and then spent lots of time on others. The new tracks all look fine to me. Apart from these few minor issues, I'm not sure where the graphical hate is coming from. The game has mostly looked superb on my screen at least. Either way, no matter how good or bad a track looks, the real focus is the driving and the intensity of the race - two areas I feel GT5 really excels (the S-10 licence race was one of the more intense moments in the game for me so far).  
 
The dirt and snow rally sections of the game are fairly challenging at the higher difficulties. The tracks require a good understanding of both the car and the surface, as you'll struggle to maintain control of the car (more so than you would on a standard tarmac track) at high speeds and while cornering. Again, another great looking track is the day/night Toscana dirt track. Really great effects as the sun sets and night falls, and your headlights come into use.  
 
There are also Karts in the game. The driving style is very different to what you're used to with your normal cars. The steering is more direct to control, and you can feel every bump and tire slide underneath you as you twitch your way around a tight track closely followed by (or behind) a crazy bunch of racers just waiting for you to make one mistake. This is a fantastic addition to the series in my opinion, and something everyone should try out, even if they're somewhat skeptical about it.
 
Also: Nascar. You drive big rectangular cars around an oval at high speeds while zombie Jeff Gordon tells you you're doing great or you fucked up that turn. In my opinion this mode is crappola and should be avoided where possible. PD would have been better off omitting it, or at least putting a helmet on zombie Godon's weird muppety head.  
 
Finally to mention the damage - it does exist at all levels. I can't attest to how it changes later on (only at level 15 now, I think the first major change happens at 20). You can severely damage the car at the stage I'm at now, but it takes a bit of brute force to make any serious-looking damage on the car. Give it enough abuse and the bumper will hang at an angle from the car, with large dents and discolouration where it's been hit.
 

The UI

There's a number of things I don't like about the UI. The main one at the moment is the load times between some menu items. Apparently linked with online congestion, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for this problem, but I doubt it will every truly be 'fixed' (like, I'm sure there's some actual loading going on during those screens too). I can sort of see why some people aren't too fond of the UI design, but I can't say I've found it to be much of an issue, Having said that, there's a ton of stuff they could improve. For instance - when you win a car, it arrives as a ticket type of thing in your "car delivery" section. You go into this menu, click the ticket, then click ok to use the ticket, then watch the little movie of the car driving towards you (showing you the car you just acquired), then it asks you if you want to get into that car right now, then it loads the menu again, then it saves too. That's a shovel full of bullshit right there.   

Navigating the garage stuff is fine, and most menus have shortcuts and context menus to explore to hurry things along. At times I wish it was a little snappier, but what can you do. It is what it is, and it's not a game breaker by any means. The community stuff seems pretty neat, though not all of it is as self explanatory as I think it could be. 
 
The dealerships and arcade mode offer insane amounts of info on any given car, and it's really nicely presented. The same can be said about the tuning shop as well. Lots of detailed info on what does what, and how certain things affect how you car performs and handles. If you want to delve in and learn this stuff, the game makes it very accessible for you to do so. The effects of such things as negative camber and car height will all become clear with a little learning and testing.  
 

Other Stuff

This is just a brief list of  random other stuff I haven't mentioned. 
 
Photomode is a lot of fun. 
Replays along with the variety of view options are still great, though the lack of a rewind/fast-forward function is PERPLEXING. Apparently the touted 'upload replay to Youtube' option is to come in a later patch - hopefully in December.
B-Spec mode (where you manage an AI driver) is apparently ok. I haven't touched it and probably never will. 
Telemetry data is insane and probably incredibly useful to someone who understands what the numbers mean. 
The car assists are helpful to newcomers, but the game is a lot more fun with them all switched off (except for ABS for even moderately skilled players).  
I haven't touched the online modes so I can't comment on them. 
GTTV is pretty cool. I downloaded a couple of things on there, though I'm not so sure I'd be interested in buying stuff from it (especially since your purchase is more like a year long rental). 
I haven't tried the track editor, because I don't give a fuck. As far as I know, it's fairly simple - you tell it how many corners you want and the type of environment and it kinda randomizes one for you. Still nice that it's in there, but I'm happy enough with the selection of tracks in the game so far.
 
 
Alright, I think that does it. I probably left out something else, if you want my opinion on it, just ask. 

If anyone wants to add me on PSN, my ID is Binman-88.
  

TL;DR = This game is pretty fucking sweet. Haters gonna hate. 
 
 
19 Comments

I bought a bunch of DS games off eBay...

...and decided to share them with you in image-form! (with prices I paid rounded to the nearest £1 attached for the hell of it)

So yeah, having barely touched my DS in months since playing Devil Survivor, I decided to add to my collection and buy a whole bunch of games for it over the past month or so. A few of them would be considered "rare" in the sense that you'd find a retailer selling new copies, a few were just too cheap to pass up. I haven't played all the games yet, but my brief opinions on most of them are below.
 
I had been dying to play the DS Castlevania games for a long time, but couldn't find them in any retail store due to their somewhat limited run, and age. Any smaller dealers on places like the amazon marketplace were selling new copies in excess of 30 or 40 quid, so I was really happy to find them for the price I did (actually have another copy of Dawn of Sorrow arriving next week too, along with a new copy of Order of Ecclesia to round out the DS collection). I finished Dawn of Sorrow and I'm about half way through Portrait of Ruin so far. It's been ages since I played a Metroid style game like these - my last experience was in fact with Metroid II on the original Gameboy. I love that there's loads of replayability with the unlockable modes, though I'll likely take a break from them before diving back in for another play through. 
 
Ace Attorney is fun, though lacking challenge for the most part. As far as I can see, the game is split into three episodes, the third being the longest. I played through the first and second in succession, and got a little worn out from reading all the damn text and tapping the screen to hurry it along to the courtroom. Luckily the drama, although a bit dumb, is entertaining enough to hold my interest through to the end of an episode. I don't know if it's a recurring theme in the later games in the franchise, but I'd love to see less dialogue and outside-of-court puzzle solving, because I find the most fun to be had is in the actual court room, screaming "hold it!" or "objection!" and identifying the flaws in testimonies.
 
Under the Knife also suffers from dialogue-heavy, screen-tapping breaks from gameplay. It's probably the main reason I haven't yet finished the game. The actual gameplay itself is quite challenging, consisting of performing operations with the stylus as fast and as accurate as you can. Some of the actions you need to perform seem to require more precision than the DS touchscreen will allow, causing some frustrating failed attempts, but for the most part it's fine. Kind of disheartening to keep getting C ranks on all my attempts, even when I think I've done it perfectly. I think I only managed to get one A rank so far :( Like I said, it is challenging, and I actually like it for that very reason, it's just a pity there's no "restart" option when you fail a surgery, instead of having to choose to retry and wade through any dialogue preceding the operation before they let you at it again.
 
Rhythm Paradise (Heaven in the US) is awesome. Though I'm stuck at the table-tennis game (because I'm shit at the game), I love the craziness the game offers and the uniqueness of each new game/song. Again, this is another game where the challenge is a major plus. 
 
Ninjatown seems cool, though I've literally only played a couple of minutes of it. The real zoomed in map was kinda fucking with me while I played, but I guess it's something you get used to. 
 
Professor Layton is another awesome game so far. Again I'd personally enjoy it more if it had less dialogue, though admittedly there's not as much as the other games I mentioned. I guess without the dialogue between characters, and Layton and his apprentice, it would just be straightforward puzzle after puzzle gameplay, without much character, which wouldn't be as appealing.
 
I still haven't touched Lunar Knights or Izuna 2. I might actually buy the first Izuna before playing the second, for completeness' sake, so it'll probably be a while before I get around to it.
 
So, that's about it for now! If you have any of these games and agree or disagree with my points please let me know in the comments. Also, if you think there's one game there that I should be devoting most of my time to, let me know as well (for example, should I put all those games on the back burner and jump into Lunar Knights?)
 
Thanks!
25 Comments

Games, games and... more games!

As the title suggests, this is a blog about video games. A bunch of them. I bought a PS3 near the end of October and since then I've bought a whole ton of games for it - probably too many. Just to demonstrate how many "too many" actually is, here's a photo of them plonked on my desk (a few new PC and DS games as well).
 

If you can't make them all out from that picture, here's a list of them: Dragon Age: Origins, Borderlands and Modern Warfare 2 for the PC, The World Ends With You and Devil Survivor for the DS, and Demon's Souls (Deluxe Edition), Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (bundle with PS3 controller) & A Crack in Time, Army of Two, inFAMOUS, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Eternal Sonata, Battlefield Bad Company, Killzone 2, God of War Collection, MX vs ATV Reflex and Valkyria Chronicles.
 
I really like to finish a game, so I can put it on my shelf and forget about it, but that's rarely the case. See, I don't feel the need to complete a game before moving on to another but now and again I like to go back and tie up all the loose ends on games I've half-played. For example, I just finished Uncharted 2 two days ago (having got it with the PS3 in October), and I've gone back to playing Phantom Hourglass on the DS so I can finish it up before starting Spirit Tracks. I reckon I'll crack on to Devil Survivor first, of the two new DS games, though I have no idea how long each of those games are. I'll take a guess, being a Shin Megami Tensei game, it's probably going to require quite a bit of time. 
 
I still have to go back and finish up Chrono Trigger, Chinatown Wars and Henry Hatsworth on the DS. Well, maybe not HH, because, fuck that game. Maybe I'm getting old, but that game gets mad hard for me in the latter half. Also need to play FFXII: Revenant Wings - bought that months ago on sale and only played it for about five minutes.

Same kinda goes for Killzone 2. I'm a little over halfway through and getting really pissed off with the controls and AI. I'm not that great with a controller in FPS games, and the slow movement in KZ2 is really bugging the bejesus out of me when I'm trying to aim at dudes who, at a distance, seem smart enough to evade my reticule. I have to say though that I did really enjoy the earlier, more enclosed missions, getting up in the enemy's faces and mowing them down the SMG. So yeah, I like the game enough to want to finish it and get it out of the way, I just hate feeling like I'm trudging through it for the sake of it.
 
I also played a fair amount of Demon's Souls and really like it. It's lived up to the hype a lot of people have given that game, but man, the tone of that game is so damn depressing that I just had to take a break from it! Stopped playing it a few weeks ago, but can't wait to get back into it in the new year.
 
I actually only got the majority of those games this morning in the mail, so most of them I've yet to play. I tried a little bit of MX vs ATV Reflex and it seems pretty cool so far, but has one of the weirdest narrator/announcer voice over guys I've ever heard in a game - just the way he emphasizes random words and sounds like he's reading the script for the first time and isn't quite sure where the full stops and commas are going to appear.  I also downloaded the GoW 3 Demo using a voucher that came with the collection and absolutely loved it. For that reason I'll probably try burn through GoW 1 & 2 first, before any of the other games. Loved the Valkyria Chronicles demo, so I'm looking forward to playing that. As for Eternal Sonata, to be honest it was a bit of an impulse buy, but it looks interesting - if anyone can offer up any insight into the game, I'd appreciate hearing it!
 
As for the PC games above, I sank about 30 hours into Borderlands and then suddently got incredibly bored of it. I'll probably never finish my first playthrough, though I think I was actually on the final stretch when I stopped playing. Played over 100 hours of Dragon Age, completing nearly every side quest I could and I'm now about half way through the "Final Onslaught" before fighting the archdemon which I'll get round to doing before Christmas I hope! As for MW2, there are a lot of things I despise about that game, yet I keep playing it (I'm at level 58 or 59 I think). It's not really my kind of multiplayer FPS, CoD4 did a better job meeting my needs. The problems I have with it are the more camper-friendly and poorly designed maps (Underpass, Estate and Wasteland spring to mind), and the often-dreadful PC matchmaking system.
 
So there you have it, please accept my apologies for the somewhat dull wall of text :P If you have any opinions or experiences you'd like to share on the game's I've bought, please post them!
20 Comments

Finally bought a PS3 - game suggestions?

I've been wanting to buy a PS3 for a while now and finally got the Slim & Uncharted 2 bundle this week. I paid €199.99 after using some vouchers I'd been holding on to, and they threw in Fifa 10 with the bundle as well.  

I am primarily a PC gamer, so in almost all cases I will still be buying the PC version of any game I want that comes out. I've ordered Killzone 2 and Valkyria Chronicles, but I was hoping you guys could offer any suggestions for worthwhile PS3 games I should consider buying, either released or in the future - preferably being console/PS3 exclusives. To narrow it down, at the moment I'm not really interested in MGS4 or Infamous, despite their obvious popularity.

On a more specific note, despite the apparently frustrating gameplay that comes with Demon's Souls, something about that game has drawn me to it, and perhaps anyone who has played the game could advise whether I should or should not bother importing it. Thanks!
52 Comments

Completed FEAR 2 - Thoughts

I just finished up FEAR 2 after roughly 6 or 7 hours of gameplay, and for the most part it was enjoyable - though unfortunately not nearly as much as the original FEAR was for me.

The underlying gameplay of FEAR is still intact and as robust as ever and the game does look and sound great but there was a serious lack of challenge to it. I played through it on the hardest difficulty and had no trouble whatsoever until some of the last few sections of the game, and even then it was only a matter of retrying the section two or three times before passing it. I also found it to be much less scary than the original, mostly due to the longer lasting/ faster replenishing slow-mo effect, and the less frequent "Alma moments".

That being said, it was fun and has totally left it open for another game in the series after the somewhat bizarre climactic ending.

Now to play FEAR 1 again!

10 Comments

FEAR 2 Project Origin has arrived

Comes in a shiny box!
Eleven gigabytes.
Received in the post while I was at work today and just getting to install it now; though I probably won't get a chance to play it tonight :( I'm really looking forward to rekindling my relationship with the dark corridors and splattering blood of the FEAR franchise and I'll be sure to post my thoughts on the game in due course.

For now though, has anyone played/completed it on PC/360, and if so, what did you think of it?


PS: I'm used to games taking up a lot of hard drive space nowadays but this has to be one of the largest I've seen. Lovely.

2 Comments