Noct's forum posts

#1 Edited by Noct (306 posts) -

@Atlas said:

Journey is a perfect experience.

Age of Empires II is the perfect RTS.

Journey is my favorite game of this gen, hands down, but it's not "perfect". I have to unplug my Ps3's Ethernet cable to avoid getting a partner, which should be an option I can set manually.

AoE2 (or the Star Wars flavor of it) would be on my own list, except that the AI path-finding is horrible. Definitely think it's one of the top 3 RTS ever made though.

#2 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -
#3 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

I'm witcha man; I can't remember the last time I felt so pessimistic about life in general. And I can totally relate to being laid off throwing you for a total loop...

I'm in my late 30s, have been married since I was about your age, and we specifically waited to have children until we knew we could do it right (financially). After working as a contracted developer for the same massive corporation for almost a decade, they created a full time position for me at a great salary with full benefits, and we finally agreed we could afford to have a kid. Six months into the pregnancy, they halted all new development and dissolved my position. Now suddenly I'm right back to where I was in my twenties again (broke and looking for work), except now I have another mouth to feed, my skills are much less in demand, I'm a lot older (less desirable) and my confidence is totally shattered.

Fast forward through six months of freelancing and searching for full-time work, and I got through three rounds of interviews (and I believe passed the programming test) for a sweet game developer position I was clamoring for, and then two days later... Hurricane Sandy wiped out that company's offices. They still exist, but understandably, aren't hiring anymore.

Sadly, ours are far from isolated stories too; the unemployment rate hasn't been this crappy since the great depression. I keep telling myself that things will get better, but it's not always true that it's always darkest before the dawn. Sometimes it's the darkest right before it goes pitch black.

Welcome to the suck.

#4 Edited by Noct (306 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

It's a complicated issue with a great many nuances.

I agree 100 percent that all people on earth are dumb, and you can have racist minorities just as quickly as you can have racist people in the majority.

I do think, however, a lot of white people have gotten so tired of hearing how they're racist over the past decades that they've stopped listening anymore to how they're racist. It's understandable, but at the same time, still a problem. There's a lot of white people out there that I encounter on regular basis who are staggeringly racist and have absolutely no idea that they are.

I mean, honestly, even bringing up subjects like Ebonics, which was a media generated controversy TWENTY YEARS AGO is emblematic of the problem. You're not likely to find many black people, especially those under in their twenties, who have any idea what ebonics is. The only people who tend to talk about it are white people having the same discussion we're having now.

As for your not cashing in on your racial heritage, that's absolutely an act of character and I commend you for doing so. It's not easy to deny an opportunity on the basis of convictions. But, I would argue that people who tend not to care about things like racism are people who can afford not to. It's easy for people who can pass as the majority to do so. You even had jewish people during the hollocaust who, if they were fair skinned and fair haired, decided to deny their heritage and blend in rather than share the fate of their brothers and sisters. Just like in Xmen where there are some mutants who can hide their identity and some who cannot, there are a great many mexican, black, jewish or other minorities who can't just blend in and pay the price for it every day. If you think the country is just over that, I can tell you stories that would rattle your bones, and I'm sure people who are darker skinned than me have stories that are far, far worse.

Well, for starters, kudos on one of the most thought-provoking retorts I've ever gotten on this topic online. It typically just instantly turns to calls of racism when you even discuss this stuff. You make a really strong point about white people not wanting to hear it anymore (I would include myself as white btw, as if I don't go outside and get tan, you can barely see my heritage), and I'm not suggesting for one moment that there is less actual prejudice now then there ever was, but the difference is how people act on that prejudice (if at all).

I'm personally of the belief that you can never really remove that; people are what people are, petty and scared of differences. That said, just because you have these fears/feelings doesn't mean you have to act or comment on them, and that is the difference between ingrained prejudices and true racism. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with noticing peoples differences or being curious/afraid of them; as long as you're not stepping on anyone's rights in the process.

I know a good many white folks who swear up and down that they aren't racist, but hold their purses a little tighter if they are in a mixed group of people and don't even realize they are doing it. Similarly with the gay community, I have first-hand experience with people who claim to be "totally ok with it", but that only means from a distance. If their own children were/are, they will deny it and say it's a phase. If my son turns out to be gay, I'll be sad for him because he will have more adversities to face, but I couldn't care less who he loves as long as he is happy. My wife on the other hand, who has a half-dozen close gay friends, would definitely be upset about it, which confuses me...

You make a good point on Ebonics too, as it was definitely a media created controversy but there is still some underlying truth to it in my book. I've had "representatives" (heh, random people on the net I mean) from the black community try to explain to me what "black culture" was, when I said I didn't understand the concept, and Ebonics (although not called by that name) was definitely a big part of the argument. From what I've seen, that community does think they own that manner of speaking and doesn't seem to see that it (IMHO) actually sets them back tenfold. Why you would want to purposefully embrace a manner of speech that makes you sound ignorant in your own country, I just don't understand... You also get the flip side of that with dudes like Pres Obama, who are extremely well educated, to which white people often reply how eloquent or "well spoken" they are, simply because they don't speak in broken English. That kind of mentality won't go away until that speech is recognized for what it is... broken English. It's not black culture unless being uneducated is part of that culture.

It's really not that far off from the broken English white folks speak in certain parts of the (US) south, although that doesn't seem to be respected, protected "culture", as much as just lack of education and a long tradition of speaking in that manner which has become a norm. Southern folks will rally behind their speech and insist it doesn't make them dumb (which is surely true), but I don't hear anyone trying to protect "ain't" as part of their cultural heritage; it's just broken English.

#5 Edited by Noct (306 posts) -

I think racism is the most egregious one out there personally. I wouldn't be surprised if I get some hate on this one, but it's something that has always bothered me greatly. Put simply, the majority is crucified if they hint at saying something that can be construed as racist or prejudiced, but minorities seem to just get a pass on all of it, and it seems to primarily be based on bleeding heart mentalities or white-guilt about past atrocities. It doesn't actually do anything to unify anyone; quite the opposite in my book.

I get that "white people" have traditionally been in power in the western world, which automatically leads to the subjugation of other races in times of intolerance, but at some point you have to let it go and start on a level playing field if you're ever going to get past it. The more you rally behind, "we are different, respect it!", the more you just point out people's differences. Affirmative action, Ebonics etc... are all just ways to divide people. Ebonics especially just drives me bananas. Here we have what is without argument nothing more then a deconstruction of our language, or a broken version of it so to speak, and they teach it in schools; that to me is just total insanity. If a minority group decided tomorrow that Pig-Latin was going to be their "culture", would we then recognize it as a language and teach it in college?

The intentions behind it may be good, but that doesn't mean the outcome is. I could have gotten a lot of extra monies and considerations if I had applied to colleges using my Native American heritage, and I unequivocally refused to do so. I just don't believe I have the right to expect something because generations ago my ancestors were persecuted. What the hell does that have to do with me?

People like Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright come to mind... I just don't understand why their "reverse racism" (*cough, bullshit term, it's all racism) is acceptable in today's society. The more you practice speech that seprerates people into groups, the longer this shit is going to last. My great grandmother grew up on a reservation, and by the time I was born and she was living with us, she had let go of any and all hate towards "whitey"; I just don't understand why it's so hard for other cultures to do the same thing. You don't see "Native American" Entertainment networks, or NA Awards ceremonies, and thank the lord for that... I'm not suggesting things like BET are "wrong" or should be disbanded, I just hate the divisiveness of it all.

#6 Edited by Noct (306 posts) -

@Mirado said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Apparatus_Unearth said:
I should specify that I love Tarantino, so he movies that influenced Kill Bill would interest me, I just don't know what they are.
Lady Snowblood inspired the final fightand the main antagonist of Kill Bill Vol. 1, Tarantino made the staff watch the movie when they made little breaks, so you should watch that. Also, judging by The Bride's jumpsuit, Tarantino really liked Bruce Lee. Watch Bruce Lee movies!

There are a billion movies that Tarantino pulled for KB, not all of them martial arts related:

  1. You mention Lady Snowblood, but it didn't just inspire the final fight; it and its sequel are practically the template for the whole movie. Also, the lead actress (Meiko Kaji) has two songs on the soundtrack (The Flower of Carnage and Urami Bushi)
  2. Daryl Hanna, who played Elle Driver, was told by Tarantino to use the film "Thriller – A Cruel Picture" as the basis for her character (whose lead is a cold one-eyed woman out for revenge).
  3. Speaking of character inspiration, Tarantino had Uma watch three movies to prepare for her role: The Killer, Coffy and A Fistful of Dollars (a John Woo martial arts film, a blaxploitation style film, and a spaghetti western).
  4. The tracksuit was indeed from a Bruce Lee movie (Game of Death) but did you know that Tarantino pulled specific fight scenes right from his movies? Compare the scene where the Bride is spinning on the floor, chopping off people's feat to around 3:45 in this clip from Fists of Fury.
  5. Again with character inspiration: the part of Gogo was given to Chiaki Kuriyama because QT liked her in Battle Royal. She plays a fairly similar part and even wears a school uniform, just like in BR.
  6. Sonny Chiba was cast to play Hattori Hanzo because he played Hattori Hanzo before, in a Japanese TV show that came over to America as Shadow Warriors.
  7. QT was such a fan of Shaw Brothers movies that he filmed KB in part at their studio, and put a Shaw Scope logo at the start of it (they helped pioneer the kung-fu genre).
  8. Michael Jai White was cut from Vol. 2 (he has the only deleted scene on the Blu-Ray); White is a multiple black belt and went on to star in another blaxploitation/martial arts film, Black Dynamite.
  9. Pai Mei has a three inch punch, taken once again from Bruce Lee.

I'm sure there's a million more. In fact, I'm positive of it. But this is a good idea of just how homage laden most QT films (KB in particular) are.

Unless someone else said it and I missed it... you're missing the most important one in my book... Gordon Liu played Pei Mei (and Johnny Mo).

Gordon starred in the 36 Chambers of Shaolin series, which as some other people have mentioned in here, are some of the best martial arts flicks ever made. Pai Mei is also based on a "real" legendary figure from history, so kinda like Wong Fei Hung, there's a bunch of Pei/Bak Mei stuff out there.

Also, I have Thriller... I bought it in the like "cult film" section at Borders many years ago... and it has several sequences of full-on X-rated pron in it. That was surprising to say the least.

That's a great flick though... it's like a foreign version of I Spit on Your Grave, but with a bunch of hard-core porn mixed in. Has some awesome cinematography and effects in the action/slasher sections.

#7 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

Firstly, excellent game; having a blast playing it. There's a couple of game-play changes from the previous installment that I'm not loving on, but it's still a fantastic experience. And this time they totally nailed the story and characters man; I am SO much more invested then I was during the last one...

And probably to blame for some of that is the awesome main-menu FMV sequence. It has some mellow dramatic scenes of war with Puscifer's "The Humbling River" setting the mood. It is fan-freaking-tastic. Puscifer's no stranger to being in film, but this has to be the first time I've ever heard Maynard's voice coming from a game soundtrack.

I had walked away from the Ps3 the first time it kicked in, and I assumed something had glitched and it was playing music from my hard drive. I only have 4 albums on there and this is from one of them. Too funny.

Apparently they showed a trailer for this previously with the music, but it was news to me. I think I peed a little I was so excited.

#8 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

First off, you didn't play a Dynasty Warriors game. You played a Warriors Orochi game. There actually IS a difference. Orochi is a mixture of characters from Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors, and a fair bit of original characters that may or may not be a bit demonic and/or supernatural. Dynasty Warriors is based on historical figures doing ridiculous combat shit. Samurai Warriors is kind of the same, but the systems are different in many ways for upgrading weapons and such. Dynasty Warriors Gundam is QUITE different from all of these.

With that said...

Second of all, I'm glad to hear someone gave them an honest chance. Yes, they are a bit mindless, but once you kick up to higher difficulties, the level of twitch gameplay and strategy involved can be incredibly satisfying when you earn a victory on any given scenario. There's also the loot whoring and crazy upgrading systems, which is part of the reason I love it so much. There's a fair bit of customization in all of that stuff.

Third of all, the clutter of the HUD is annoying now, but it becomes incredibly natural and you realize you couldn't have it any other way once you've played for significant portions of time. I wouldn't mind a bit more opacity to it all, but every piece of information in those games is something that you will 100% use on Chaos difficulty (if that's still the highest they offer in the Orochi series).

I need to check Orochi 3 out, but I'm still hung up on Gundam 3. I hate Gundam (the anime) with a passion (but I hate almost all anime), but that game is so fucking awesome. The scenarios are much shorter than Orochi or DW or SW, but it's that short and concise "in-and-out" gameplay that makes it so satisfying for me.

I hope you enjoy digging further into the game. These types of games only get better with the time you sink into them.

Oh please don't be so anal-retentive; I was making a point. I bought the game, I'm well aware of the title and the characters within it. You either already know that and just wanted to spout off some knowledge about it, or you are really so crazy-serious about Warriors Orochi that it ruffled your feathers. I'm not sure which is worse... =P

Heh, anyways, my point was that I lost interest in the base franchise here a long, long time ago, and despite this game being clunky and dated as all hell, I love it.

Totally agree on the hud information being mad-important the deeper into the game you get, but there has to be a better way to give me that info man, and even after playing it for hours, I stand behind my saying I'd still turn it off and play blind if I had the option.

At any rate, I'm of course not playing this much anymore, but I still feel the same way about it. Wicked fun experience, very underrated, and probably very misunderstood.

#9 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

Driver San Francisco... anybody play this last year? I'm an epic fan of the original, so I don't know how I missed this when it came out... and it is freaking spectacular. I don't get why this game didn't go over bigger.

The graphics aren't anything amazing for a driving game, but for a massive open-world where everything is persistent, they are pretty damn impressive.By everything being persistent I mean, if you see a VW Beetle go around the corner, wait 5 minutes, and then chase after it, it will actually be 2 miles down that road. If you leave a burnout, drive a 100 miles away and come back, it's still there.

It has everything that made the original game such a blast, from the car-chase-heavy missions to the film director mode, and this one's new mechanic of "shifting" makes this ... The single most interesting driving game I've ever played.

Any time you want, for as long as you want, you can "shift" your soul out of your body and either fly around at ground level, or move/hover above a living map of the city. Things slow down to a crawl, and you can jump into the body of any person in any vehicle you want, anywhere on the map. (Like your an agent in the Matrix)

At first I thought it was just a cop-out way of letting you switch between cars without needing any character animation, but it is actually so much more than that. It's a game onto itself, and helps makes this one of the most memorable titles this gen for me. It sounds so simple, but it is such an amazingly fun gameplay mechanic, and changes it from a racer to a kind of hybrid action-driving-puzzle-strategy game.

Losing the race? Jump to a car in an oncoming lane and slam head-first into the guy winning, or shift into a tractor-trailer 30 miles up the road and create a 10 car pile-up that blocks the finish line... Being chased by cops? Watch the entire chase from overhead, shift into a Firetruck when he gets close-by, and T-bone the cop car from a blind corner. You can use your imagination from there, and that's the best part. It was probably an hour in before I truly understood the importance of the mechanic and what the devs are trying to do with it, and I was just floored.

And that's just the point-to-point racing, there's also all kinds of challenges (ala Burnout Paradise), stunt-runs, etc... and the shifting plays a part of all of it. Hell, if you see a cop drive by with his lights on you can shift into him and go on his high-speed chase, or shift again into the guy he's chasing and be the felon. I've only scratched the surface and I am just so damn impressed There are basically no rules, you can do whatever you want, and be whoever you want.

The production quality of everything is just outstanding too. Gorgeous character models/animation for the people in the car with you, fantastic, truly funny writing, great sound design, great VO; everything is top notch. The overall story is kinda boring, but every body you shift into has his own little story going, and those are fantastic. If you jump into a sweet restored Camaro, you'll hear the guy's g/f bitching about how much more he loves his car then her. (That one sent my wife into hysterics) If you shift into a Dodge Neon, you're suddenly a teenage girl complaining on her cell phone. It's all just done so damn well.

On top of what a freaking blast it is to "Shift", somebody behind this game is my flipping soul mate, because this is the driving game I'm always bitching that I want. Detailed car models, in-car views with unique Dash, great arcade style handling... and everything is set-up to encourage you to do crazy things and then watch the amazingly robust replay of your entire gameplay session in Director mode. So, every race essentially plays out like a Hollywood car chase, and then you watch the movie (if you like). You bust through crates and saw-horses, jump through windows, flip through the air, kill hundreds of other drivers though your reckless behavior, etc...

I'm all about 70-80s muscle (I've had a lot of Camaros over the years), and my favorite driving game setting (when it's done well) is on congested city streets. This is that *1000, and it is done well man. Damn well. It is also 95% ALL 70s and 80s Muscle Cars!! Wooo! I already have 4 different Camaros in my garage. Four! I love this game.

It's open world like Midtown Madness or Midnight Club racing, but there's no frustration of missing a turn and losing the race like in those, because you can pause everything at any time and look around or change things to your need. If you screw up, you can just shift to another car and wait for the AI to correct your mistake. If you wanted to, you could shift out of your car, hover over a tree for ten minutes watching the clouds roll by, then flip back into your car as it crosses the finish line and still win the race. The game doesn't care. It's like you're God, in a driving game, in an episode of Starsky & Hutch. Just fantastic. So it becomes more of a fast-action puzzle game then a driving/racing title, and it's a blast.

There is a super-heavy pop-culture influence to it, and almost every car on the road is something you saw in a show or movie. The game makes no illusions about it either, as it is constantly making little references either visually or through trophies/dialogue to some 70s/80s movie or show that had a famous car. Earlier I shifted into a Delorean, and when it got up to 88 it started glowing and I got some trophy named after BttF. Hell, you can drive Eric Foreman's Vista Cruiser if you like...

The only complaints I have are that there's a very strange filter on the game to make it look like an old movie, and it really hurts the PQ. Your stuck with it too, as there is no way to turn it off or adjust any visual settings of any kind. The whole time I keep wanting to adjust the contrast, and you just can't. That and this game suports nothing. No 3D, no custom soundtracks, no steering wheels, nada. And that sucks, becuase I would LOVE to play this with my DFGT listening to some good 70s music. The era is the other major issue too, as they sorta half-assed the time-period. I assume they did it so they could put more modern cars in here, but it would have been better to just go all out with the theme.

You'll be plowing down the road in your 1972 Lemans with 70s songs blasting out the window, a dude who looks like SuperFly in the passenger seat, an intense scratch-filter on the screen... and then a 2011 Camaro drives by. It's just weird. It doesn't ruin the experience, but I would have preferred if they just said it was 1975 and went with it. Might have been more immersive that way. Oh well.

Know what the best part is though? I got the game for $12 in a clearance bin. I'd have paid full price for this in a minute if I'd known it existed. Great game. I think I have a new GOTY for 2011.

It's a real shame this isn't more well known, becuase it totally redeems the Driver franchise. Best one since 1, which really isn't saying much, but it's definitely true.

#10 Edited by Noct (306 posts) -

I was gung-ho for this port until I watched the quicklook, and then I bought the PC version later that day, for one specific reason. The 360 version has all the recipes built in, and has pop-up text explaining what the items are for... That just seems like removing 90% of the fun/challenge of the game to me.

I suppose if you've already played the PC game and know this stuff, it doesn't matter, or if you were going to alt-tab to the wiki every ten minutes anyways, it's irrelevant, but I was never going to do that...

I can honestly say that apart from a couple of items I know exist because I saw them in the quick look, I went into the PC version totally fresh, and I have not looked at a single wiki yet. The discovery of new elements and items has been the big draw for me. Yeah, it's fun to build structures, but I don't get the same charge out of building a wall as I do when I craft an item I've never seen before.

It just seems like a really, really dumb move to me. It would be like playing original Legend of Zelda with an onscreen map highlighting where everything is. Don't other people see how that would totally ruin what made Zelda cool in the first place? Same principles here in my book. This is a quest, a game of discovery. Without the discovery, it's a lego set.

The really strange thing to me is that I've seen some people here say that they are buying the 360 version BECAUSE of this. That seems nuts to me. I don't want to be the "you're playing it wrong" guy here, but... you're playing it wrong!

=)