Halloween Doomstravaganza Stream

Duders, lend me your ears.

I've been thinking about doing this for most of the year and with Halloween so close around the corner, now's as good a time as any. I'm planning to do a marathon 'DOOMstravaganza' stream, probably sometime next weekend, (Halloween itself is out of the question because A: I have work that day, B: I'll probably be doing things that night and, C: so will a lot of you, probably, and no one is going to want to sit down and watch video games when there's candy and women in slut-tastic costumes to be seen.) and I'm trying to get the word around. I'm not exactly a prolific streamer, you see, not necessarily because I'm not entertaining, but because I'm incredibly lazy and usually don't feel like playing games for an audience for hours on end.

Anywho, my plan is to basically spend most of the day playing every game in the series (1, 2, 3/ROE/LM) for a couple of hours each, probably adding up to 8 to twelve hours because I'm not a crazy person who can stream for 24 hours straight. Maybe a bit more for Doom 3, since that game isn't quite as madly paced as its predecessors and it's much harder to squeeze a good chunk out of it in only two hours, unless I start mid-game. Or do Lost Missions, which pretty much jumps straight into the action. If enough people want me to, I might include TNT, Plutonia, and 64. That's a big maybe though, and will depend entirely on demand, of which I don't expect a lot of.

ANYWAY SORRY LITTLE BIT TL;DR THERE; I'm shooting for either Saturday the 27th or Sunday the 28th, so I'd appreciate any opinions on which sounds like a better day to do this. I'd definitely appreciate people tuning in for even an hour or two, because streaming to an empty room is pretty well pointless.

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Fight Night Round 5/2011 - Kinect Ideas

So, a friend and I were kicking around ideas after watching pieces of the Kinect For a Day stream yesterday, and he brought up the implications something like Kinect could have for a game like Fight Night. Initially, I scoffed at this notion, my reasoning being as follows: I have one gripe about Kinect as a valid input device for normal games - There's no good way to simulate walking more than a short distance, or really interacting with the environment at all. I mean, I guess you could lean one way or another, but that seems sort of clunky. So, naturally, while Kinect could be really interesting in a boxing game, I couldn't fathom how they could let you actually move around a ring. I mean, they could do the punchout/wii boxing thing where you're basically just stationary the whole time, but that ain't fight night, son.
However, after considering it for a bit, the answer seems super obvious now. You have 6-8 feet space to move in Kinect's range, right? That's plenty. If the game made it so your fighter was always within a certain proximity to your opponent (Having him move forward or back automatically if your opponent moves a certain distance out of range), you could still move a reasonable distance around the guy to do you punching thang. Now, there's still the issue of circling (would you just side step to do that? your fighter would always be facing the other, so naturally you'd move in a circular motion, right?), but as a concept it sounds like it could be pretty solid. That combined with actual sensory for ducking, weaving, slipping punches, blocking, and striking, could result in either a terribly buggy, barely playable mess... Or a fight night mode where you actually have to be sort of good at boxing to win. I mean, it's kind of a logical step forward in the whole 'total punching control' system. What's more total control than the actual angle and velocity of your fists dictating how your punches go. Plus, it would be even more of a work out than something like Wii Boxing.
Anyway, that's all conjecture and theory, and for all I know there's already something like that in Kinect Sports or Fighters Uncaged (I haven't looked at either), so feel free to say so if there is. Otherwise, would you be interested to see a Fight Night mode with this sort of control scheme? I'm not suggesting the whole game be like this, but maybe an optional Kinect enabled "simulation" mode.

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EA MMA - Demo Evaluation

Over the last ten or so years, there have actually been several Mixed Martial Arts video games, mostly focused on the lucrative UFC promotion. In 2009, this sub-genre was revolutionized and truly brought to the mainstream in a way that parallels the sports recent rise in popularity with UFC 2009: Undisputed. Undisputed presented the sport with a brutal realism that was far removed from button combos and special moves that developers tried to shoehorn into its predecessors. It was impressive, but it lacked some key elements in the cage. UFC Undisputed 2010 fixed many of these issues, and it was hard to imagine how it could be vastly improved upon at that point.

A little known fact is that Dana White and the UFC went to EA long before THQ and Yukes to make a UFC game. EA dismissed MMA as ‘not a real sport’ and continued to make another Madden. However, the success of Undisputed caught EA’s eye, and deals with the lesser promotion Strikeforce were made immediately, to the complete spite of Dana White, who went so far as to declare any UFC fighters that appear in EA’s MMA game to be fired from the UFC (Of course, this seems to not count for Randy Couture, though this seems to have been allowed because Randy had not signed his likeness over to THQ for undisputed).

And so comes EA MMA, a competitor that I think is needed if MMA video games are going to continue to improve, as I believe competition is the key to improvement. I’ll be transparent here; I’m a UFC fan. I see Strikeforce as a generally lesser promotion with lesser talent and more WWE-style production values. I expected very little out of EA MMA, and that was foolish of me. UFC Needs to step its game up for 2011, because EA is bringing its usual dominance to the proverbial cage.

The Demo for EA MMA just recently came out on XBLA (Yes, you can go play it. Right now!), and I of course had to give it a spin. I want to first note that I like UFC’s soundtrack better. The opening movie for EA being set to Linkin Park’s new song ‘Wretches and Kings’ was a little eye roll worthy, but that’s a very petty complaint. Let’s move, instead, into the important factors: The game’s performance.

EA MMA takes a lot of cues from undisputed, presentation-wise, but veers off in some very significant ways on its own. The biggest difference is of course EA’s ‘Total Striking Control’, which takes more than a small bit of influence from EA’s other hit fighting franchise, Fight Night. It’s the same sort of set up, with the right analog stick controlling your furious fists. However, since this is in fact not boxing, the left trigger serves as a modifier to turn those punches in to kicks controlled via the same fashion. The face buttons serve as one press short cuts to clinch, sprawl, and go for the takedown, while pressing A works to advance your position on the ground, X goes for a submission (Which we’ll get to), and B counters a move or stands you up if you’re in the dominant position. This greatly decreases the complicated nature of the ground game, which is a frustration for many in Undisputed.

However, there is also a control scheme called ‘Classic’ that mirrors Undisputed in an obvious way, with the same sort of striking face buttons and stick-based clinch and grapple. There are a few button variations (A fake-modifier button, which is much more useful against a human opponent who can actually get psyched out), but overall it might be the best choice if you plan to play both EA and UFC.

Submissions are the only thing that, no matter what, are a whole different beast. Instead of the irritating Mario Party submissions like in Undisputed, EA separates its submissions and their mechanics into joint and choke submissions. Joint submissions (Armbar, Kimura, Americana, etc) are a button pressing game in which you try to maintain your stamina while slowly pushing your opponent’s joints (represented in a very cool way by an X Ray view of the bones) to their limit. This isn’t button mashing, though, it requires much more careful timing. Choke submissions require you to rotate the left stick until you find the ‘sweet spot’, which will change periodically and requires a sort of constant twiddling to nail. Your vision tunnels in the closer you get to the choke, narrowing the sweet spot down and simulating actually passing out. Defending submissions works in the same manner.

Fighting in EA MMA feels good. I’ve always found Undisputed to feel a bit mechanical, movement wise, with sounds that don’t quite drive home the impact of every good punch. EA feels organic, and gives you a gratifying smack for every well landed hit. Knockouts are a flurry of punches that never cease to satisfy, and when you clinch, it really feels like these guys are throwing each other around on your TV. When it comes down to it, I would be happy to sit back and watch people duke it out on EA MMA, while I always found spectating Undisputed matches to be a little boring and methodical. Point: EA.

This isn’t to say EA is absolutely the superior game. UFC seems to present more variable options, and the fights are a bit more spontaneous. EA has a visible torso and head health bar when you begin to really wail on a guy that lets you know when the knockout is coming, and while that’s very helpful for knowing when to back off and play defensive, it also takes a bit of the excitement out of the flash knock out. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a flash KO yet, as every KO becomes your opponent falling to the ground and you engaging in a mad button mashing sequence to finish him off as he tried desperately to defend. That said, you can turn the HUD completely off, but it doesn’t make flash KOs exist in the game.

Take all of this with a pillar of salt, seeing as this is only a demo. The full version of EA MMA will include EA Game Face in the create-a-fighter, which may or may not have terrible results, live broadcasts of fights in a real worldwide ranking, and many more features that I couldn’t explore in the demo. It’s shaping up to be a great game, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dana White making some calls if it does well.
( Taken from my Blog, Another Cynical Gamer)

Holy shit console wars. (A rant on ground already well tread.)

                I know it's been said a few thousand times in several languages and variations of grammar, but allow me to rant here for a moment.

                Y’see, something is really beginning to piss me off. Actually, scratch my last, it’s been pissing me off since it first became a prominent thing in my life and social interactions: Console fanboyism.

                I’ve just been browsing the G4 Feed, and there was a story about Fable 2 possibly coming to the PC. Now, look at this, this is an article about a potential PC game. How, you may ask, could that spark a console flame war?! It’s illogical!

                Well, you’re damned right, it is illogical, but it fucking happens anyways because people are just so desperate to have a go at each other’s necks that they will take ANYTHING remotely related to consoles as a chance to pull their electronic switchblades out. I’ll take a second here to show you some particularly choice comments in this article. I’ll leave out account names for the sake of me being a halfway decent person:

                Wait, I lied. I’ll call out the major offender here and now. If you ever go on The Feed, you know them well:

                Posted by RedRingOfDeath - Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:59 PM

Next up, Gears of War 2. They said Gayble 2 wouldn't go to PC and look at this so Gears 2 will be next. So much for exclusives.

                Had Mr. RRoD not said anything, or used the derogative ‘Gayble’ slang, I doubt anyone would have descended into this flame war Hell, but no, trolls will be trolls, and so the madness commences.

Answer this question xbots:
Name one 360 exclusive game you have coming out next year that is not a DLC.
"...Ummm...mmm hmmm...." Oh yeah none!

                …Really? Reeeeaaaally? Holy shit, are you that desperate to piss people off? Alas, though, it gets better, or worse. That depends on how you look at it. I’m gonna point out a blatantly obvious interaction that reeks of fanboyism. Why fanboyism? Observe the names of our combatants.       

Posted by Bizarro_PS3 - Wednesday, November 26, 2008 2:31 PM

i remember when the first fable came out they said it was gonna be the best rpg ever made! lol. and look how that turned out!(it sucked) haha

aint got nothing on the king of RPG'S FINAL FANTASY!

Posted by hellrazer360 - Wednesday, November 26, 2008 2:40 PM

remember how we (xbox 360) stole final fantasy 13 and tekken 6....lol name one game ps3 stole from us (bioshock dosent count because that was on pc also)

Posted by Bizarro_PS3 - Wednesday, November 26, 2008 2:43 PM

stole? u mean paid more than ya had to lol.

what about saints row? wasnt it just a 360 game at 1st? its on ps3

theres your one game u said to tell u.

With this, I point out that I’m also calling out a 360 fan here, just to avoid looking as if I’m 360 biased. What strikes me as most ridiculous is the entire topic they argue. Stealing games? Really? Jesus Christ, last time I checked we were a global community, and the more people who could enjoy a game the better! What happened to this community? It’s not like it’s the 90’s anymore, where you had Sonic and Mario and they ONLY appeared on their respective consoles. No, this is the age of multiplatform, this is where we ought to stop fighting. However, ironically, I think the multiplatform aspect might be contributing to the fighting.

My reasoning? Because the two consoles (Notice how the Wii is generally left out of the bitching, we’ll get to that.) have so many games in common, and so few (good) exclusives, that people feel some insecure need to justify their purchase of a few hundred dollar electronic behemoth!

Are 360 owners jealous of the PS3’s Blu Ray capabilities? Perhaps.

Are PS3 fans envious of the 360’s lower price point? Probably.

That’s great, both consoles have their ups and downs, and those facts CAN be debated intelligently, at least, they could be in a perfect internet world. Too bad people seem to see the internet as a License to be a jackass.

On a side note: Going back to the Wii, why do we so rarely see the little tyke being dragged into the war? Because it’s so different. Good or not, it’s set itself apart from the Ps360 so far that no one even bothers comparing.

You know, I’m rambling now, so let me sum this up in some nice, fancy bullet points.

·         We, as ‘gamers’, are and have been a community since the dawn of the internet, and even before (albeit not globally), in the age of arcades.

·         Games are what matter, the damned hardware is fucking pointless and useless without them.

·         The more people enjoy a good game, the better, why in the hell are we fighting about multiplatform games and who stole what goddamnit?

·         Console Wars this generation clearly stem from an insecurity in your purchase. If you’re that tweaked about it; save up, shove your pride up your ass, and buy the other console as well. There you go.

·         The Wii is like the little five year old who people only make fun of in private company because you don’t want to make it cry.

·         Shut the fuck up already.

‘K. Done.

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Oi. So in the spirit of old games that should be fun, I picked up a copy of Silent Hill 2, supposedly one of the scariest games ever. Now, maybe I’m just not the right kind of guy for survivor horror (Hey - I loved Resident Evil 4!), or maybe it’s an issue with the fact that I’m just an instant gratification kind of person, or maybe that I grew up on what was equivalent to Mario on crack (Sonic), but I have a rule: If a game doesn’t have me interested by half an hour in (Or I feel like I’ve been playing for longer by that time), I’m probably not gonna like it.

Exceptions to this rule are games that don’t have an expansive long ass storyline I actually have to commit to, IE The Unreal Tournament series.

However, when I’m expected to commit to something, it had better fucking draw me in like a cartoonist on hallucinogenic drugs. SH 2 I’ve been playing for about 45 minutes, and I’m not feeling it.

“Oh, but Mr. Cynical, that’s barely in to it, you have to give it a chance, every story starts off slowly!”

God damn it, I’m playing a game here, not reading a suspense novel. It doesn’t help that the first 20 minutes of the game were spent wandering a road from a beach to a shitty little town and then wandering that town running in to the occasional groaning thing that looked vaguely like what could have passed as a menacing sack of meat covered in blood a few years ago only to find a dead end on every god damn street until I finally ran in to a mobile home that I only entered by CHANCE seeing as no other doors worked that finally pointed me forward, from which I spent a minute going to a bar only to have my map updated, an alleyway just to pick up a key, and then back down the street and across the road to an apartment complex I used the key to get in to where I am now again wandering with absolutely no hint of what I’m supposed to be doing and damn if I’m going to explore every sodding room in the place to find what will probably just be another bloody map marker.

All that in about 40 minutes, I feel like I’ve been playing for hours. Now, granted, I can’t rag on the graphics like I almost started to that much considering it’s a seven year old game, but they haven’t aged gracefully.

Maybe I’m really not giving the game enough breathing room to suck me in, but the fact that it took about twenty minutes just for me to get a 2×4 and have my first time whacking aformentioned low poly piece of meat isn’t helping it’s case. If it’s paced like this the entire way through, I might just rape the game disk - I’d get more use out of it that way.

The atmosphere isn’t doing anything for me either, on the ’sucking me in’ point. The fog is supposed to be creepy or something, all it really does is frustrate me because between shoddy camera angles that change every 2 seconds and are more inconvenient than the early Resident Evil games and thick fog that covers everything but about 3 in-game feet around my character, the game does a bang up job of making sure I can’t tell where the fuck I’m going, forcing me to resort to looking at where I am on my map every minute or so, which would be fine if there was a mini map, but no, I have to press a button, wait literally a second for the map screen to pop up, register where I am and where I need to be, press the cancel button, and wait another second for it to fade. This process repeated several times only serves to lengthen the agonizing pace and further frustrate me.

I’ll keep playing, only because I really really want to see the Pyramid Head scenes and I’m too much of a lazy bastard to look them up on youtube.


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