WIP | Game Music of 2013

WORK IN PROGRESS

I mostly want to start thinking more about game music as I usually forget the incredibly rare gems I hear each turn of the year, and while as a whole game music becomes intensely forgettable or down right non existent there are most definitely some notable exceptions this year. These few exceptions are thankfully and surprisingly some of the best stand out sounds of recent years, which makes sense as the overall attention to production of games seems to rise.

Gustavo Santaolalla

Great game soundtracks take some inspired directions and chances of their own outside the game and become something more, the luck involved in what ultimately became the soundscape for Last of Us is remarkable.

Noisia

Noisia does some bombastic and technically impressive electronic beats outside of games and their often ambient thrumbings in the latest remake are juicy and dripping with crunch.

jesperkyd

Outside of being incredibly tense there's this pretty great soundtrack underneath the dreary landscape in front of you in this game.

Power Glove

This DLC is a complete tone shift and bold direction that more developers should inspire to create for their own games, sometimes you don't want 'more' of a game, sometimes you want some fuckin' radical late 70s early 80s Synth to get all up in it and coat it all HOT RED!

Ben Babbit

The songs within this minimalist, atmospheric adventure are equally sparse in almost every way except when it comes to the few folk songs covered for it. For Act II there is a slight shift in tone and instead most of the sounds fall backwards into a wall of sound esthetic.

Killer late title card intros in films and games are always radical when pulled off, and it's lovely when they come packing such atmospheric gusto.

Chris Remo

The way each track is crafted to loop and switch into itself and the other tracks is ingenious. The game has both ambient sounds that loop and play while you explore the house along with custom underplayed pieces for each and every one of Sam's journal entries that are read out. I can practically hear Sam's voice when I hear these, and it kills me.

Olivier Deriviere

Fusion of core game story, mechanics and music is what makes these sounds so interesting. Taking direct inspiration from the game itself and remixing it's own sound multiple times over until it's a pumping, dynamically slashed up Neo-Electro Orchestral feast. This is epic, bold and easily the best part of this game. I really love this and I'm having a hard time picking just a few tracks... ah fuck it.

Gustaf Grefberg

I'm not sure if these stand on their own outside of the context of the game, as they are so integral to the game itself. As you venture through so many dynamic Nordic locations the music is really the key to guiding you emotionally through it, and boy does it demand every single one from you.

Splinter Cell Blacklist - Mike Zarin

Nothing remarkable but there's something interesting about this Splinter Cell soundtrack, especially if you look back on the lackluster ones of the past game entries (excluding Chaos Theory's funky jazz beats of course, those rocked).

Payday 2 - Simon Viklund

This is just some cool, mean electro.

No Man's Sky - 65daysofstatic

Does music from a trailer for a game not released yet count? Of course it does!

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Gone and decay'd my Steam Library

Gone Home is a beautiful example of why I love video games.

I've purchased so many games in the last few months that my Steam Library has ballooned from something I had sort of under control to just a massive list of games. I really should find a way to organize/categorize them... just so many though. The HUmble Bundles aren't helping when I can get 5-10 games for as low as 10 cents... (usually I at least pay $1 though if I don't want the above average games).

I really got into State of Decay over the past few weeks, but stopped because of some lame bugs that stopped story missions from appearing. Real shame, though I still look forward to a PC steam version of the game sometime in the future, that game deserves to run at a higher resolution at least. It's using the Crytek engine for christ's sake!

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Gaming Log: Bought Too Many Remnants!

I have been looking around for any JRPG games lately, this desire to play this specific type of game was sparked by playing Evoland which is a recently released indie game that transitions it's mechanics and visual style to reflect the changing nature of RPGs throughout gaming. It's not a good game and the only thing it has going for it is the core novel idea of those transitions, everything about it is 'less than'. Hey, that's fine cause how could a game be as good as the ones it's imitating.

The only option for me it seems is The Last Remnant, it's the only recently released decent JRPG that exists, the only other options are decades old or only released in Japan... or a very select few that are released here, and might as well be good but are incredibly dumb looking to me. I'm not into Anime, at all. I don't hate it or actively despise it... but that's mostly cause I have zero interest in anything similar so I tend to just not even think about it. It's not interesting to me and my interests as far as overall tone and style tend towards the more grounded and 'real' types of styles, which also tend to come out of regions that are NOT japan. Anything from Europe for example, is usually more interesting to me than most things that come out of Japan. It's a cultural thing, and I just don'e enjoy the things from Japan usually or at least they aren't as appealing to me up front as almost any other form from any other region in the world. Ok, maybe still from Bollywood is less appealing to me than things from japan :)

So, moving on from the vaguely racist aspects of my gaming habits I wanna talk about this game I've been playing a lot of, The Last Remnant. It seems to be a slightly experimental release by the Final Fantasy team of people and it has what seems to be a none traditional type of turn based combat involve groups of units, up to 5 in a group, and you don't have direct control of each units abilities per turn. Instead you direct them based on context sensitive commands, to attack with mostly physical, magic or an even more context sensitive option that sometimes can mix attack types, or to heal even. This is interesting and makes from some dynamic encounters you'd normally not see in games like this. It's also endlessly frustrating to someone who just wants to have 1 unit be a good healer and heal when most tactically adventitious this is impossible and you have to basically choose from the choices give to you at any given time, and sometimes a heal option doesn't even appear. Other terrible moments involve you actually getting the option to heal but since you have no control of which group attacks in which order, and which units in the group go first often an attack you want to use won't actually work since the enemy is already dead OR a heal fails simply because it's on the bottom of the queue and that unit dies just before then... This is very lame.

...BUT! It's a JRPG which means all you have to do to win is grind. Play enough and all skill vanishes, your stats go up and enemies generally don't, though technically they do based on the game's leveling system called Battle Rank, which goes up based not on unit attacks or exp but on an overall count of the enemies you've slain. Which means some of your units may very well be way under-powered and because of a high battle rank enemies may be scaling way above your capable limits. Thus there are very Oblivion style play-styles people try for where they try and game the system to overpower themselves.

So much of Last Remnant is so blindingly dynamic and out of my control it feels very weird, there are at least 5-6 systems in this game that I have zero idea of because the game hasn't bothered to explain or even tell me they exist. I just happen to notice that every unit has a unique stat that raises along with others, but what helps raise that stat or even what it does is beyond me or the game to tell me it seems. Even just what the basic stats do is not explained, sure I have some idea what Intell does since I've played games before... but usually that stat is tied to mana/magic attacks in some way, but in this game all attacks use Action Points, which I think is a standard of JRPG games or maybe just Square-Enix FF games. You have no mana and magic attacks just use AP just like any other special attack (physical, hex, heals whatever). Units also randomly ask for items from you since you can't tell them what to use yourself, AND they also randomly ask for ingredients that they supposedly use to... upgrade? I think that goes towards upgrading their items, and not their stats but again I have close to zero idea what is really going on there. Units also randomly ask what they should focus on, either magic or combat or balanced with no implication of if this is going to make them level those abilities faster, discover new ones in those styles or up stats in those fields. They also ask sometimes to begin learning new types of abilities like the more advanced Hex, Heals, Potions, herbs and such. No implication of if that weakens their base abilities or how this all breaks down ultimately.

I've been buying too many games recently and I think I've actually bought ALL the games recently.

  1. Tomb Raider |GMG| $36 + $5 Store Credit
  2. SimCity |GMG| $59.99 + $5 Store Credit
  3. BioShock Infinite + Season Pass + Bioshock + XCOM + Spec Ops |GMG| $48.99
  4. Dead Island Riptide |GMG| $32
  5. Dishonored |GMG| $32.99
  6. Metro: Last Light |GMG| $37.50
  7. Battlefield 4 |GMG| $48
  8. GRID 2 |GMG| $33.75
  9. Company of Heroes 2 |GMG| $45.0
  10. Defiance |GMG| $33.60
  11. Risen |GMG| $0
  12. Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall DLC |GMG| $8
  13. Syndicate |GMG| $4
  14. The Last Remnant |GMG| $12
  15. Star Wars: KOTOR 1+2 |Steam| $6.78
  16. FEZ |Steam| $8.99
  17. Far Cry 3 |Steam| $35.99
  18. Surgeon Simulator 2013 |Steam| $6.99

Oh also I spent too much time plugging in my gaming history into Darkadia, an online game collection site that pulls it's data/database from Giantbomb which makes it the better of these type of sites since it includes ALL the video games ;) Though doesn't tap into playtime like some other sites do, but hey whatever. it's not like I can remember the hour counts on past games I've played anyways.

It's not complete as there are still games I've forgotten about but I'd say I have the majority in there now. Some systems I know I owned aren't on there yet cause I can't really remember the games I played for them just yet, things like the gameboy I can't tell which one I owned and which games I owned for each. I think I had an origial gameboy along with... the gameboy color? Maybe the pocket? Owned a Gameboy DS for a hot second and I don't think I actually played any games for it, since I was waiting on them, I think there weren't any mario games at release or for months, and wario ware looked rad but never came out before I gave that thing away. There has to be some Saturn games I don't remember as well, lots of sports games too on that thing along with the Sega Genesis that I don't recall.

http://darkadia.com/member/djjoejoe

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Gaming Log: Infinite Tweakability

In between sessions with Bioshock Infinite I've been tweaking the living heck out of Fallout 3, this also marks the first time playing the game since it's release about 4-5 years ago. The game hasn't really aged much thanks to New Vegas releasing since then and having used so much of the same assets along with the engine itself.

Reasons that I haven't fallen completely into Bioshock Infinite and just finished it is the very small, but persistent bumps in the road such as the engine stuttering during the loads (a UE3 issue exacerbated by this specific games characteristics) and the fact that I started the game on and refuse to change off of Hard mode. Granted it's not tough, it's just a lot of running into a screen full of dudes plus 1 or 2 of the larger enemies, and noticing that they can kill me instantly (within half a second of seeing them). Same goes for snipers and other such enemies, it's just unforgiving and doesn't let me think of a way to even start to attack them before I'm forced to run away. Running out of ammo frequently during these battles doesn't help.

The game is beautiful and it's a shame that I can run it so well, the stuttering happens regardless of the settings set (again, it's an engine issue/oddity) and that's the main reason it's so frustrating. Playing a game that is more buttery smooth at 60fps that any other in recent memory, while sustaining visuals that blow away most other games I've been running on my machine... only to have this unavoidable issue that brings all of that crashing down to 15-20fps for a few seconds while it loads in between areas or sometimes even when I turn the camera in an area, and it doesn't go away. Just a real big bummer, and probably one of the larger reasons PC gaming sucks. You can invest thousands only to run games in a mediocre fashion, and to be tempted to spent thousands more every single month because you're never good enough.

I can't wait to be making the single choice of which console I wanna throw roughly $700 at and just have games that work 100% of the time for the next ~5-6 odd years. So much ram in those things :S

Someone ignorant of how games work might think 8gigs of ram in the consoles is not impressive at all, since most PC gamers have had access to very cheap ram for a long time and most already have that amount in their machines. If only they would take a look at what amount of ram the current games on pc actually use they'd see that most are still built around how much current consoles have. All these really amazing looking games, running at most of the time just 800mbs on my PC, all because they were built from the ground up for consoles with 256-512mb of system ram, it's really insane the level of optimization that the limited specs of the consoles have allowed games to get to... the jump from sub 1gb to 8gb is going to be super interesting.

Fallout 3 uses just over 700MBs of system ram. Chrome can often use 100MBs per fuckin tab...

Google Chrome almost uses more memory than Fallout 3 with enhanced mods that add huge textures into the game, this says a lot about how efficient consoles have forced modern games to become with memory and how sloppy apps can become when you have that room to grow. Give a dev an inch, he'll ask for 3 more. Chrome used to be lite :S

That is all before realising the ps4 supposedly will be using DDR5, which is frankly unheard of and kinda crazy. That stuff is not only very very expensive but not really available to even PC consumers besides in GPUs directly, and even then it's usually limited to gpus with only 1-2gbs of the stuff... so to meet parity of 'amount' with the theoretically fastest version available in 'any' form is... well let's hope the dang system doesn't cost a grand, and honestly that it actually happens. The Xbox will most likely not have DDR5, it's supposedly from the ground up been developed with 8GB 'normal' DDR3 I believe though, and I heard some quick comments that they may take the opportunity to up that to something higher to flat out beat the ps4 on a bullet point style game, most people will just see a number higher than 8 and think it's better, without knowing what the heck DDR this and DDR that even mean. Hey, whatever this all ends up being it's definitely interesting.

The only bummer of this console talk is that they are actually coming at the end of the year, and that means almost no awesome games are releasing between now and then. Bioshock Infinite was basically the end of these games for now. Maybe that is a good thing since I have lots of games to spend my time with in the meanwhile.

This is Fallout 3, yes... I know it's a 5 year old game... apparently it doesn't give a fuck.

I've been spending my money on games lately, more of it than usual, buying up things left and right via deals and promos. Bioshock and Tomb Raider through GreenmanGaming both for very very cheap, and the rest mostly through Steam.

Retail usually means I bought the key via GMG and redeemed it via Steam, savings!

I finally got a copy of Dishonored for which I'd played before but never finished (or really even got halfway through). Still haven't got far in that game, less so than my first time playing it, but hey now I own it...

I didn't actually do the images above from bioshock or fallout 3, but I did do these:

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Gaming Log: Vegas gets better with age

Plugging my way through the Downloadable Content for Fallout: New Vegas and that's been taking up 100% of my time with games so far, that and sifting through the relatively healthy modding scene for the game.

in Honest Hearts DLC

Finished the first DLC which was Dead Money and didn't really get much out of it. Kinda interesting but really starts slowly with you trekking through the classic 3 stage collect dudes by killing dudes on the way to dudes game thing. Get those 3 then take them back to a central spot, then do the same thing but taking them out to do something then coming back each time then a scene change into the central attraction (a casino) where you track down the 3 once again one at a time to do things for/with them and end their parts in the story then you meet the dude that was talking to you the whole time and kill him (or not). I guess I got a bunch of new items like these gold bars that are massively heavy and worth a whole bunch... I don't really need money though but I took them anyways cause this is a video game and I MUST COLLECT EVERYTHING!

The only way to get through this stuff is to take ones time and just peruse through instead of trying to 'beat' it... FOR INSTANCE:

Did you know if you kill 1 of 4 killable NPCs in the Honest Hearts DLC you are instantly locked out from it's content? I sure as fuck didn't and not 2 minutes(less even?) I killed a dude that was standing on a dude that was killing me and was a mile away and apparently he was one of those dudes so it failed all the quests with him and gave me an alternate quest which I thought was weird. This alternate quest is called Chaos in the... park? zion? whatever it doesn't matter it's name it has you run from where you are in the area to the very end and retrieve just one item while ALL of the worlds NPCs are marked hostile (cause everyone has cell phones and heart monitors and were watching this guys hearts beat disappear as I killing him? video games you guys... they are really dumb some... all the time). So anyway you get to the item finally and then it tells you to leave, it was a map I got that apparently was supposed to allow me to leave and was the goal from the start? I don't understand this game cause I had a map when I entered, it's my PIP-BOY, and it was the reason I could even get to this other map in the first place. I guess it's a map from this area to home... like for whatever reason I had the map of my start point and my end point, but not the route I took there?

Stop it, don't think about video games they aren't worth it.

Making my way back the DLC ends and throws up some cards for what these people I'd been killing did after I apparently saved them... why the heck is this in the game? It should have failed me at the start when I killed that guy. Sure it showed some quest failures and maybe that's what it thought I'd queue in on but there's no indication that these failed quests lead to 9(% of the content of the DLC, especially when the first 1 or 2 quests you get are auto failed because you right away run into a scripted ambush that gets your npc companions killed without an option to save them, so seeing a few other quests fail right after that didn't set any alarms off... the gamebryo/bethesda games always have quests you prolly can't complete in one playthrough like that because they often have counterpart quests. Obviously I went on the websites inside my computer box and found out all the facts about this mess and re-loaded a save before I started the DLC so I could actually play it properly this time. Looks like the guy I killed was supposed to come up on this sniper guy after the first bridge and kill him? Even though the player is very likely shooting at the sniper guy and, oh I don't know... could possibly hit the important guy and create this really poor experience for themselves... that could happen, I figure. <emoticon face of relevant mood>

That vision quest where I shot that flaming mutant bear thing or whatever? I need a break you guys... ooo fire!

I guess there are plenty of decent mods out there already but often times I wish even half of the weirdos that create those other mods for these Bethesda games would put that effort into making the actual video game more enjoyable or neat, instead of finding ways to work animated sex or worse into the game for some weird reason... come on guys there are actual games made by companies that cater to that sort of funky desire to look at a 3d dude shove his balls in a loli, WHY do these Bethesda games attract the people that want to put a shitty version fo already clunky and shitty sex games into this also already buggy game?

I only get frustrated with this dumb issue cause there are in fact really unique and wonderful creations from very talented folk and I know some of those weirdos are also talented too and if they would just put that work into something not creepy the modding community would be great instead of half cool and half super fucked up.

I mean...

really?

Someone put work into that... and it's one of the more popular mods recently. To me putting these kinda mods in a game like this (or frankly sex games in general) is like taking the paper in-line from a porn dvd and making sexy origami out of it and then sharing that with the world, and possibly having your sexy origami fuck your neighbors sexy origami. What I am SAYING is your computer gives you access to proper sexy time material, why does sexy time have to enter into everything and then into everything's everything else.

I think that's all I have to say about games right now.

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Gaming Log: What rolls down stairs

This is not written well. And is structured as a rant. Just check out this very statement to see how well I form sentences and say writtten well instead of well written! BLAMO.

Wouldn't say I've changed my mind about Mass Effect 3, but I've definitely had my mind clarified and sorted thanks to hearing the folks talk about it in a reasonable manner during the Game Of The Year Podcasts this past week. I know it wasn't as hard hitting when I was playing through it and I know I didn't 'enjoy' it as much but it was/is still Mass Effect and it still is pretty good, and definitely has moments there. Having time between playing it and being able to look back on Mass Effect 3 and 2 (and 1 I guess) it's way more clear how much of an impact Mass Effect 2 had on me during and after playing it, where as with Mass Effect 3 I just kinda had a good Mass Effect experience but ultimately don't feel anything for it. I definitely never re-played ME2 a billion times but you know what, I actually did playthrough it more than once and definitely jumped in a handful of times to start playthroughs that maybe didn't finish but were definitely great fun. The initial playthrough of ME2 was very fulfilling and I feel like the entire game was very tight and had a really specific tone throughout, the music especially was unique and interesting where as with ME3 it's very much closer to the grand generic film score some modern games are getting closer to now. Sounds good but just ends up not being notable in the long run when you go super orchestral instead of taking a more bold statement with your game music, same can be said I guess for films themselves and a reason why film scores get copied within themselves... and why films like inception kinda make every film after sound the same. it sucks and everyone should always make unique things all the time, forever and it should all be the bestest.

Most of my recoil from disliking ME3 was due to everyone spouting their opinion at me and taking the internet hyperbole stance of 'This is the Worst', which ME3 is far from. Games are way more than their mechanics though and it shows so much in the Mass Effect franchise because ME3 is easily the most refined and enjoyable with it's technical game mechanics where the other were sloppy and un-fleshed out, but I don't really play games for good game mechanics they are really just more of the appreciated foundation to something more. I'd prefer all games have solid foundations, especially controls, but I've played more games because of other reasons and had just as much or more fun than ones where the only thing going for it was how tight it's controls were.

I played and fell in gaming love with Risen for a few weeks I think (late 2009), simply because it nailed a tone in gaming that apparently I love and it had a look to it that was that sort of bland look that is closer to real life than most games now which opt for the ultra-real look from some films where things are hyper real, more real than real 100 gallons of blood from a paper cut type jazz. Some sort of really basic survival sim kinda experience where things feel raw and meaty, preferably allow me to chop a fucking log or collect flowers and give me a semi-fleshed out thing to do with that stuff like craft some shitty items that are worthy of how scruffy the materials I've collected are. I wanna make some simple home grown items to slowly do things like make some harty stew from my hard earned ingredients. Something more than a gamebryo engine crafting system that just amounts to pressing Take All on all things in every room then randomly accepting the craft item button on a menu dialog to make items appear in your inventory. Give me a crafting animation and some form of hard earned respect for what I've made and it won't matter if the actual end result is some kinda lame weapon. Risen ends up introducing magic into it, which I hate (I hate magic in games, it always feels lazy?).

Vanity of High Scores.

I download mods for games like Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas that add armors and weapons, all of which are usually tagged with 'immersive' or 'lore-friendly', or are just exceedingly well done (rare for mods)even though I rarely or never actually care about the actual lore in those games, I just don't want to run around with a bullet proof vest in Skyrim, or have a clean skinned bouncing bussom'd anime character that uses weapons from some fucking dumb anime... fuckin'. Through the lens of the Bethesda game modding community everyone is asian(the author names on all these mods don't lie!!!) and everyone is into panties. Clean skin... also.

CLEAN SKIN DOESN'T MAKE SENSE IN SKYRIM!!! OR FALLOUT!!! Also it's really creepy how popular those mods are. along with the nude body mods and how many there are along with how many sub-mods there are that change the textures of the nude body mod textures slightly... WAT.

Though recently saw a mod that cleans up that main Radio HQ building in Fallout 3, the one with the main dude from the radio 2 dog or whatever the fuck. Made me think that I never noticed that in the vanilla game of fallout (both 3 and new vegas) it always looks like everyone discovered and inhabited the buildings within 3 days from when you find them, cause there's garbage everywhere. You'd think one of the first things people would focus on was cleaning up the insanely fucked up building they seem to wanna live in but almost every room looks like a crack den or worse, or at least the lived in areas look just as bad as the abandoned areas in that world. Like everyone just said fuck it and doesn't wanna do shit for hygeine since the bombs destroyed everything, like that's some excuse to not use soap anymore. Build that into the lore then and add some real nasty sicknesses associated with unclean living spaces (pretty sure that's a thing, scurvy type oldy diseases linked to pissing on yourself or living in feces).

Speaking of Fallout games I got this email:

Honestly a big chunk of this time is sitting idle while configuring mods or looking up what the fuck just happened in game as I was mugged by elderly women in sundresses with rolling pins. http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Maud's_Muggers

I don't know if I'll ever play through the main quest completely for New Vegas, for whatever reason the House stuff in the story is really not interesting to me. I think it was slightly interesting the first time I got to it when initially playing through the game but I stopped at some point and now I only really have patience for the first chunk of the games stuff. I'd like to eventually finish it because I think I heard decent things about the ending of the game and how it wraps up? I might be crazy and maybe I didn't hear that.

I got dat ENB junk working for New Vegas, I'd had issues before and gave up. Most ENB presets from users are way insane with their over saturation and contrast and sharpness. There is almost zero presets that are subtle. I am using the only one that doesn't make the night time in the game look like daytime, let's say.

This Nail Gun isn't really that effective :( Like, it's actually really dumb (shoots insanely fast, you get no ammo, does no dmg etc)

I don't even have anything to say about not finishing Assassins Creed III. The extra level of less optimized engine code on the PC makes it a bit less appealing to playthrough I guess, considering I really enjoyed how they improved that stuff every time with the last games because they were just optimizing and optimizing the same game engine over and over, made those last games run SO WELL and this one is very poor in comparison.

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Great Video Game Trailers of 2012

There are 690 game trailers within the year 2012 on Giantbomb alone, and they far from host all trailers for all games. I feel like they tend to host the best ones though, or that the ones I find really rad tend to find their way on Giantbomb so I'm comfortable in just using Giantbomb as my resource for looking through all the trailers they've got for the year and choosing the best ones from there. There are way more trailers than I would have thought but my rough math of seeing that there's 30 trailers per page on the videos section and there are 23 pages full of trailers from just this year does come out to just under 700... damn. Luckily a lot of them aren't amazing, and all of those are pretty easy to see and remember etc. So it's just a matter of going through and creating way too many tabs, probably crashing Chrome a few times, to get the ones that are the most rad!

This is going to take me some time and because of that I'll post this before I even 'start' and it will grow as I add and subtract trailers.

http://www.giantbomb.com/this-launch-trailer-gives-a-pretty-good-idea-of-what-you-can-expect-from-hitman-absolution/17-6809/

http://www.giantbomb.com/meet-the-new-protagonists-of-grand-theft-auto-v/17-6800/

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Some tiled screenshots of Borderlands 2

I never really go out of my way to afford myself better ways to capture in-game images, like manually editing games to remove HUDs and fiddle with color correction, but I still find that I take as many screens as I can when I can. If a game supports screenshots, or any way to remove it's HUD I have a folder in my dropbox full of screens from that game. Since Borderlands is built on Unreal it uses a lot of 'kind to screenshots' console commands like 'togglehud off/on' and 'tiledshot'.

The following images just use 'tiledshot 6 516'.

If I feel lucky tonight I'll take more images, try for some 'action' shots with all the crazy physx crap going on or something. :)

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Might start a 'log' of my gaming activity

I like keeping track of my stuff and I'm signed up on every conceivable site that tracking gaming activity already, but I don't do let's play crap and I don't talk about my gaming habits to my friends often (don't have many gaming friends). I do play a lot of games though, maybe not as much as I used to but hey... still rounding out to over 40 hours a week on weeks where games release. A lot of games.

Everyone wants to talk about what the do with their time right?

Recent games

The XCOM: Enemy Unknown Demo needs to be longer, it's so effin' short eventhough it is a hefty 5+GB. I guess it's not a finely crafted demo and comes with a lot of the game around it in one bit chunk, I've played through it a few times now and I sort of wanna just keep going. Damn it for doing it's job and making the game a valid purchase decision. I don't have the money to buy it right now (low hours, inbetween jobs, I'm not rich) so I'll prolly grab it the most sleezy way and purchase it later off GMG or Steam or wherever fancies my pants later. It plays really well and I enjoyed using the 360pad for the PC version demo, I can't see a reason I'd wanna use anything else so far for it (it's kinda a dead simple game... control wise).

I guess I can talk quickly about my gaming set up, yea that's something I can do. I play games at my computer desk and I do not own a TV at all, early on I 'rightfully' prefered the extreme crispness of a monitor over early HDTVs for gaming and since then I've just not thought about getting a tv just for games. At most I could do with a bigger monitor, something closer to a 30' possibly but I do like sitting decently close to it so I have never needed anything huge. Right now I play on 2 19' monitors, one is widescreen and one is not (both lCD though) and I'm comfortable with the 1440x900 resolution of the widescreen while my PC can swap to the other while I use the 360 or even while I game on my pc, Windowed Fullscreen mode is my friend. Only very recently have I been feeling the urge to get something bigger, and that my current screens are a tad on the small side (it's sub 1080p just by a tad). I really really enjoy the 19:10 aspect ratio though so hopefully when/if I do get around to a new display it will be similar, the extra vertical space is really nice for computer use since Windows uses up space for the taskbar and top navigation of fullscreen windows.

Torchlight 2 - Last 30 Days
Borderlands 2 - Last 30 Days

I have also played a grip of Borderlands 2 and Torchlight 2, though I dropped them after a few days playing and haven't had the urge to play them again just yet. I will though. Not much of a completionist for games and I find more often then not I burn a game into the ground right away then either forget about it or finish it later. I can't do the burn it fully till it's dead and finished style of play like I used to in highschool, or like some of my unemployed friends can. It's not a time thing, I have the time to play all these games if I wanted, I'm just not motivated to complete them a lot of the time... most games suck as far as compelling story. Like.. what the fuck are you doing in Borderlands 2? Running around and shooting enemies, sometimes there's a character you talk to and god help you when the game wants to talk to you.. it talks forever, I feel like the game is yelling at my constantly with it's visual style and the fact that often I'm in the middle of combat with a bunch of enemies in a camp trying to move forward while 1-3 NPCs are yelling at me about various story things that may or may not relate directly to what I'm actually doing.. all the while trying to manage the loot and items the enemies I'm killing are dropping. Playing co-op doesn't help because you add the feeling of having to move forward at their pace, a constant push forward, and their voice commenting on EVERYTHING... "did I hear that joke?"... yea buddy... I'm playing the same game as you, I saw that the game referenced a reference, that's super nifty. It's sort of doing that, that's it's thing, stop acting like it's special. I don't get, or don't care, about references in games. Way too often they just seem lazy, to rely on the player to have experienced the thing before hand and then to just point to it for supposedly a laugh or chuckle. Maybe I'm a dick, but it all just seems like decent stuff that's constantly popping off and melds together into a stream of "what the fuck ever, let's shoot more guys and get more guns and shoot more guys again" instead of something smartly crafted to allow you to take in some proper writing, jokes or even funny situations. Feels like it's throwing everything it has got at you constantly, making the mostly decent stuff just seem meaningless etc. I feel worn out when playing borderlands more so than any other game that I can remember.

Mark of the Ninja is pretty great, not much to it other than the basics of gaming. Good mechanics that grow over the course of the game and great visual backdrops to those mechanics, repeat and repeat until you fight yourself. I stopped at that point, the point where OH SNAP you fight enemies that are yourself... video games. Will check back in later but I can't help feeling like I'd rather play a thousand more levels like the first half of the game instead of carry on into the land where I fight ninja's who have my abilities. So many games do this though I can only pick out Splinter Cell for doing this, in more than one instance/game (conviction and one more I think). Conviction was cool. Oh noes, what are you going to do now that the hunted can now hunt! Iunno bro, turn off the game? I don't want to be hunted by ninjas or guards with night vision... that's MY job as the ninja/sleekdunkenpanther and it was damn fun.

Minecraft - Last 30 Days

I play Minecraft in between all this, less so during the releases of the latest games mentioned but I pop in often cause some friends play on the server (friends only server, type deal). I throw images I take from there up on tumblr, cause that's something people do right?

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E3 2012 Personal Highlights [WIP]

[WIP] E3 Highlights

Using this as a dumping ground for things that have twinkled my eyes from this years E3. This won't really be in any sort of order, too much for that.

WIP Links to content to blow out for post.

The Last Of Us

Interview video is good.

Beyond: Two Souls

Watch Dogs

Fuck man, there's some moments when you see something that really makes you glad that you enjoy video games so much. Watching this game makes me feel really happy, like games are super rad again. Could use less shooting though, why did like half those pedestrians suddenly start opening fire on the player exactly? Seemed like they could think of a way to have slightly more creative ways to do things instead of kinda giving up at the end there and requiring some shooting dudes in the head.

Assassin's Creed III

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Hitman Absolution

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Borderlands 2

Halo 4

Need For Speed Most Wanted

Hawken

I think the original footage below shows the game in a better light, or at least highlights the reasons I'm into the game better (hint, it's the tone and weird attention to detail with the mech world).

Tomb Raider

Lost Planet 3

Devil May Cry

Sacrilegium

Announced from the Two Worlds devs.

Star Wars 1313

Brad wrote a bit about what's going on with the ILM partnership in this game, and what that's doing for the game's visuals.

Pikmin 3

This just looks visually pleasant, stunning even.

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/06/forza-horizon-trailer.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/06/fable-journey-trailer.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/06/amazing-spider-man-game-trailer.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/06/zeno-clash-ii-trailer-psn-xbla-pc.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/06/papo-yo-trailer.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/06/human-element-is-robotokis-first-game.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/05/tokyo-jungle-tv-commercial.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/05/guacamelee-announced-for-ps3-vita.html

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/05/cd-projekts-new-rpg-is-cyberpunk.html

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