(contest) FEZ Haiku

Thought I should tell you all about a contest I'm running......

Did you ♥ Polytron's Fez? Did it make you crazy? Tell us about it in a haiku & win all three fez albums by Disasterpeace! http://bit.ly/f3zhaiku

Haiku are simple. Fez is simple. Right? WRONG. Fez is MUCH more than pixels, chip music & platforming... it's a mind-bending, frustratingly cryptic, riddle-laden adventure into the depths of Phil Fish's psychosis. Can you deduce your experience to three lines? Do it & I'll send you stuff!

PRIZES

FIRST PLACE All 3 digital albums: the original soundtrack & the remix albums: Side F, Side Z by the amazing chipmaster Disasterpeace & other various artists.

SECOND PLACE One of the three albums, by choice of the winner.

THIRD PLACE Original print of pixel fan-art by ME of Gomez!

Each winner will receive a swag-bag of Glitchcraft decals, pins & some other stuff that I come up with. Depending on when that all gets designed/printed they will be delivered as soon as possible.

RULES

It's a haiku. Just think back to that part of English class you slept through. If you can't, it's 5, 7, 5. It has to be about some thing(s) from the game like Gomez, the world, the hypercube, the lore, the game mechanics, the puzzles.... BUT NO SPOILERS!!! Any entries that are answers to puzzles or other giveaways will be politely declined for a re-write.

You can submit as many as you want! But you can only win once!

THIS CONTEST WILL BE RUNNING INDEFINITELY until I think it has enough entries. The judges will be a combination of your peers, the Glitchcraft girls & hopefully I can coax Phil himself to cast a vote.

SUBMISSIONS

You can submit your haiku as a comment here, on the blog or on the Glitchcraft Facebook Page! I'll round up entries into a future blog post once there are a few.

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(Review) In the far off future of 2013, there was a game called FC3: Blood Dragon

I still can't figure out how to actually post a review.. I must be retarded.

My review of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, a game by Ubisoft Montreal. Read the review with pretty pictures & music at Glitchcraft.net

Review Score // ★★★★★

By // OliviaSystem // 2013 PC/Steam/Uplay (also available on: XBLA, PSN)

A Game By // Ubisoft Montreal

Related Articles // NOVUS: FC3 Blood Dragon

PROLOGUE

Blood Dragon is in a very precarious place... on the one hand, it's easy to see where a game that bets everything on 80's nostalgia could go horribly wrong; on the other, it could be everything you dreamed it would be. Let me start off by saying that if you love 80's action/sci-fi movies, there's little Blood Dragon could do to screw up your enjoyment of this standalone expansion for the 2012 FPS, even if you didn't like Far Cry 3.

Firstly, the essential movie-watching list. If you have any desire to play Blood Dragon, you've probably already seen a good chunk of these movies, but some of them are worth a re-watch just to get pumped! Predator & T2 are the top picks for heaviest influences. This list was compiled on the Glitchcraft facebook page with followers' input. Like our page to participate in all our future nerdy polls! (you can also make suggestions about the site & tell us what you think ♥)

  • Predator
  • Terminator & T2
  • Commando
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Soldier
  • Robocop
  • Blade Runner
  • Judge Dredd
  • Die Hard
  • Universal Soldier
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai

VISUALS

Blade RunnerArguably one of the best things about Blood Dragon is its aesthetic. Traditionally, dark levels are usually difficult to see during; Blood Dragon fixes that by making nearly everything glow: the enemies, your weapons (read the description of the Bow in-game)... even the alligators' teeth. Borrowing heavily from , the fog-soaked island (which some may recognize from FC3) is replete with neon, bloom & blow-outs, whether from the giant lasers projected into the sky, or for no reason at all, as many areas will just glow without a light-source.

It's sci-fi.

My favorite part are the filters layered over the graphics, especially the scan-lines & rgb channel-splitting. These are what really drive the 80's movie visual nostalgia home, hearkening back to a time when everyone was watching & making VHS tapes, & SD broadcast television was the shit. There's something very "old-tapes of Liquid Television" about it.

AUDIO

This area may well end up being a major number of peoples' favorite part of the whole game. As soon as you turn the game on, the title screen will probably hold your attention for some time as you wonder, "What is this glorious sound?!" The answer is futuretro duo Power Glove, two dudes from Australia that kick a lot of ass. I'm currently hoping to get an interview about this soundtrack out of them. In fall 2012 I was searching for music to share with a friend in pertinence to an upcoming concert for the power-metal cover band, Powerglove. I saw this video in the related links & thought, "How can there be a Powerglove song I haven't heard?" - when I clicked on it, I was surprised, then confused, then really, really happy.

"IT'S MORE LIKE... BACKGROUND MUSIC. BACKGROUND MUSIC TO THE SWEETEST MOVIE EVER."

Later, when Power Glove teased that they were doing an original soundtrack for a game, my mind was blown. When I learned just what game they were talking about, everything made perfect sense. Of course, there isn't anyone else that could do the job proper. I had previously stated, "What I really like about Power Glove's music is that they aren't really songs per se, it's more like... background music. Background music to the sweetest movie ever;" I swear Ubisoft was listening to me. More sick tunage.The soundtrack is available now! (amazon, itunes) Check out Power Glove's SoundCloud for previews! Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter. If you like what you hear, you should check out my youtube playlist Beeps & Boops to discover more amazing futuretro artists!

& I just love being able to hear Predator-vision-noise whenever I want. Wouldn't you?

CHARACTERS

Blood Dragon stars the voice of Michael Beihn (Terminator/Kyle Reese, Aliens/Cpl. Hicks) as cyborg commando Sgt Rex Power Colt. Enough said about that. My only other pick would have been David Hayter, making fun of himself as Solid Snake. Phil Lamarr (MadTV) is Colt's hacker-cyborg sidekick, Spider. I don't want to say anything else.

STORY

I'm not telling. But on my blog there's a sweet montage of what you'll find!

GAMEPLAY

It's super-standard FPS with open-world map-exploration & base-raiding, the same as its' predecessor, Far Cry 3. There are a few extra gadgets, like some sweet new guns, but the Bow is still around. MVP Terror 4000.

USER INTERFACE

I enjoyed the super lo-fi UI; it fit the 80's-feel of the game perfectly. Far Cry 3 players will recognize it. Sometimes simplicity & under-designing really can be a work of art, when complementing a whole vibe. It made sense cohesively & is just easy on the eyes. Can we go back to green on dark green text please?If you're an infoholic like me, you'll read every single shred of text that the developers give as description. & you'll be very happy that you did. I implore you to read. Do it!

EPILOGUE

Blood Dragon is really a big joke on nerds, but it's an epic joke - one that for once, the nerds are laughing hardest at. Ubisoft Montreal wrote this game for you. Did you know that Canadians & French-Canadians are super nerdy? You do now. If you lived through the 80's & cherish anything about its' questionable but charming aesthetics, do yourself a favor & play this game: it's only $14.99! In a recent podcast interview, Michael Beihn confirms work on a sequel; I'm speculating here but the series will probably be called just Blood Dragon. Humanity wins!

~ Olivia

Glitchcraft. A website about video games. By girls. Deal with it.

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(GLITCHCRAFT review) Bioshock Infinite

I tried posting this as a review instead of a blog but there's a glitch or something.. keeps asking me to select a wiki object, already did....

I started a new game blog & this is my first review since Glitchcraft became a thing. Check out the blog page for lots of pretty pictures!..... Bioshock Infinite Review on Glitchcraft

Review Score // ★★★★★

By // Olivia

System // 2013 PC/Steam (also available on: Mac, Xbox 360, PS3)

A Game By // Irrational Games

PROLOGUE

Although Bioshock Infinite's launch night ended plausibly for me with Steam's servers being unable to handle the weight of what is colloquially referred to as 'a shit-load' of rabid pc-believers hoping to play as well, I only wanted to see it more. I had Infinite in media black-out, I knew I was going to play it, so I had only consumed little bits & pieces of released information during its marketing process, usually by accident. I'd been present for both of the previous Bioshock games in the series (BS2 not completed), so I had high hopes for Irrational's next foray into the crazy reality inside Ken Levine's head. Mr. Levine is the creative director & co-founder of Irrational Games, & one of my major inspirations as a writer. He has been called "Storyteller of the Decade" which I'm not sure I agree with since I haven't thought about it for like a week yet, but he's definitely a contender. (Game Informer Staff, "Best Storytellers of the Decade." Game Informer, #212, December 2010)I told myself I'd try not comparing Infinite to the first Bioshock; this turned out to be impossible, as BSi is clearly from the same creator's brain. After the initial shock wore off from the game's incredible, unique beauty & disorienting landscape, I fell into an inevitable downward spiral of piecing the story together too early, while mashing the predication with my own hopes for what I was to see; this is an obsessive-compulsive habit of mine, I assume due to personally being a writer, especially of the fantastical-sci-fi persuasion. Often, this ends poorly for me when games fail to live up to my grand expectations for them. I'm more than pleased to say that not only did Infinite impress me throughout, but it unabashedly dragged me down the rabbit hole I so desperately wished it would. Deepest thanks, Mr. Levine.

VISUALS

Pro-tip// Turn your color up to 11.

Don't worry, eventually you'll get used to everything floating. I have a deep appreciation for blown-out bloom emitting off every single light & all things shiny; Infinite goes there, but after a while, the dazzling brightness of daylight made me pine for the unnerving, subaquatic darkness of Bioshock's original city, Rapture. The environments are built to resemble an alternate-reality Civil War-time America integrated with technology. Bioshock's signature "technology too soon" theme bathes the design of every ship, hallway, weapon, font, right down to the most ridiculously ornate elevator call button I've ever seen, resulting in fully-immersive cohesion. The Irrational artists took every little detail into account, & they will send you into a staring-frenzy as you slowly creep your way into the virginal experience with the flying city of Columbia.

As you stumble through candlelit, shin-high water onto sun-swathed streets ringed in clouds, bumping into robot-horse-drawn carriages & NPCs with rather strange parlance, you'll know that you've been in a place like this before - & yet it has all the signature trappings of a Bioshock game. Columbia is hailed as, & fits the part, a sky-born utopia. So lovely at first, but slowly & surely, the anxious sense of things being not quite right sinks in... As a purveyor of dramatic propaganda, I was happy to see one of Bioshock's major themes returning (brainwashing); it was present on giant posters & banners displayed throughout the levels.

"NEEDS MORE DISTURBED LITTLE GIRLS & ENEMIES WITH CRAZY MASKS."

Somehow in the end, after light became dark, I felt like there was something left to be desired of Infinite's low creepiness-factor, mainly in comparison to its progenitor. That may be my only real peeve with this game. Needs more disturbed little girls & enemies with crazy masks. Lack of rampant creepiness aside, Irrational nailed it with the mood & atmosphere in every different environment.Not enough could be said about the sky. Infinite might have the most amazing sky ever, maybe even better than Crysis 3. As the events in the game come to a head, the weather system reacts appropriately, eventually changing the entire landscape before your eyes. The heralded mechanic of riding sky-lines between islands with Infinite's signature melee weapon, the Sky-hook, did every environment a favor by showing them off dynamically, but I was left feeling like they do little more than aesthetically transition you between areas most of the time. At least it's not FMV!

STORY

It's hard to comment on Infinite's story without fear of spoiling it, but even the obvious stuff is great. Drawing inspiration heavily from the Civil War-era, touchy themes such as racial superiority & racial subjugation are front-&-center throughout the game. These are some of my favorite overtones in games, & where many would fear to tread, Irrational goes full-bore. At one exact point in the first level, the city's facade of paradise is turned on its nose to reveal the ugly truth writhing beneath the mask - in Columbia, racism is a way of life. Racism is, in fact, how everything functions here, as humans with skin color & non-American whites are thrown into slavery, forced to live separately in the slums: Fink's industrial district.My favorite part is the satire on Christianity. The Founding Fathers become elevated to God-status, while a certain other figure is portrayed as Satan. The fanaticism of Columbia's privileged citizens for Father Comstock's prophecy comboed to the white-supremacy theme paints an interesting picture of an alternate reality of what America might have been like if the South had actually seceded. The references & insinuation of the link between white American Christians & racism is not at all subtle, but it is done with taste. Really, you would have to actually be a racist to be offended by this game. I did find myself wishing that there were more crazy zealots in creepy masks shouting at you like a heretic.The third major theme of Infinite is best left mostly unaddressed, but if you are familiar with quantum mechanics, expect to smile. If not, expect to be mind-blown. Yes. Infinite's intimate relationship between its world & the psuedoscience that governs it all is very interesting territory to cross into with a game, & ends up making bold statements about the nature of reality. It's totally my style of social commentary.

CHARACTERS

Booker// Infinite's protagonist, who is mostly a voice. Booker's past & present are largely unknown to the player, pieced together slowly over time through self-reflection & flashbacks. His nonchalant commentary was a little snarky at times, but I think he could have interacted more with the npcs. As non-player-characters are approached, Booker will eavesdrop on their conversations, & the people often won't react at all to his presence or discomforting invasion of their personal space. Not every game is an rpg, but I wish that there had been some more dialog options available to explore with characters other than the protagonists - even simple reactions from Booker or the npcs.In the beginning he is a little dry & emotionless, but once he becomes emotionally vested in the mystery behind Columbia, a passionate, dedicated soldier is revealed. Kidnapper turns liberator as Booker finds himself caring deeply for the safety of his charge, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth// A mysterious woman who has been imprisoned by her father since infancy. Her giant, robotic avian guardian, Songbird, is her only friend but also her captor; she has mixed feelings about him. She is both a scientific experiment & heralded as daughter of The Prophet, future sovereign of Columbia, known to believers as "The Lamb." She has spent her entire life learning through reading books, & peaking into other dimensions with her special ability. Her destiny is prophesied to culminate when she leads Columbia back to the Earth below, reining flames upon all who oppose the city.

I really liked the addition of this character to the gameplay. Elizabeth is a support AI, but her abilities are severely & unfavorably limited. She can heal you, provide Vigor & ammu replenishment, or open a tear in reality to bring forth something from another dimension into the current reality's state. Yeah, I said that. It's useful, but somehow not as cool as it could be. I'm disappointed in Elizabeth's combat behavior, which is usually to run & hide; granted I like that you don't have to protect her physically, I really think she could have done a little more on the offense during a fight. I don't think she should grab a sword or do kung fu or anything like that, but how about some range-casting? Or like, stun some guys for me by opening tears on them?? SOMETHING.

My favorite thing about Elizabeth is her personality, & her sometimes inappropriate facial expressions. Due to her life in isolation, she sees freshness in things most consider to be mundane, finding beauty where others see normalcy. Subsequently, she has no experience with human social interaction & does little to hide her feelings, always acting upon her own intuition. Elizabeth is portrayed as incredibly intelligent, able to understand codes & other numeric information quickly, & is very observant - she'll help you to find items (though you'll probably find them before she does), especially keys, which you can command her to use on locked doors & chests.I get the distinct flavor of 'Civilian Belle' from Beauty & the Beast with her appearance early on in the game. As the story's action progresses, Elizabeth becomes gradually more disheveled, losing bits of her clothing as she accumulates dust. Later, there is a significant costume-change, & I won't lie... I was glad when she finally started showing a little more cleavage. Her second outfit is seriously cute & I've considered her as future cosplay material.Comstock// Infinite's replacement for Andrew Ryan. Comstock is a perfect religious megalomaniac, who has used his self-proclaimed title as "Prophet" to indoctrinate most of the city's inhabitants. I really enjoyed his propaganda & creepy voice being projected out into Columbia's streets.

Fink// To compliment Comstock's theological megalomania, Fink is the industrial egotist. He grips the city through their dependence on his slave-driven work-force & its production of the provisions that upper-society consider to be staples of life. He is fully aware of what he is doing, even taking cruel pleasure in his success at breaking those he comes to enslave. To bend the mind of unfortunates, Fink uses autosuggestion - a form of hypnosis through constant repetition of stimuli. His victims believe that they are living full, privileged lives & are complacent to do as they are told.

Daisy// Columbia's revolution leader, calling all its under-privileged races to arms against the "pure race" of white slavers. Not everyone has fallen for Fink's lies, & the once-slave rallies kindred spirits to fight for their freedom under a blood-red banner. Her character could have been expanded upon a lot & I was disappointed that she stayed in such a secondary position.Lutece// My favorite character, a scientist & theoretical physicist; her research is integral to the story throughout the game, which screams of Bioshock (Sofia Lamb). To say more about her would be criminal.

GAMEPLAY

More proof that Infinite is indeed a Bioshock game are the use of Vigors - the new iteration of the original special abilities granted by Plasmids. Each Vigor allows control over some elements (even machines & people), & are treated as commonplace by Columbia's inhabitants. Apparently, everyone runs around using the stuff. In Bioshock, Plasmids were initially accessed through injections, while in Infinite they are acquired through imbibing different mass-produced tonics - this seems more appropriate to Columbia, making a reference not just to drugs but alcohol as well. There was little to suggest that there were any unpleasant side-effects from the consistent use of Vigors, like addiction or change of personality, etc, & I wish that had been addressed - instead, Vigors make you super & there's nothing negative about them.There are a wide variety of Vigors available that can be upgraded, & each Vigor has a secondary fire mode which often lays "traps" for your enemies to blindly stumble into. To each his own, but I think the most useful Vigors are maxed Possession & Devil's Kiss. Possession causes vending machines to spew random amounts of coins, but more importantly, it turns your enemies into your allies. Possessed humans & machines fight for you, & when they outlive their usefulness, the humans blow their own heads off. Cruising around blowing Possession in groups of enemies may be one of the most effective ways to take out unfriendly humans. Devil's Kiss can be both a grenade & a mine, exploding & catching enemies on fire - upgrading it can increase its area-of-effect. Shock Jocky traps are also great for their ability to stun nearby enemies. Two vigors can be equipped at once & easily switched between - the rest pause the action & bring up a radial option menu.There are guns. You upgrade them, & shoot stuff. What you'll find here is pretty typical of fps; the system is elegant, but I get the feeling that the word "accessible" was key in its development.

"WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ON RAILS WHEN YOU CAN'T USE VIGORS?"

Gear can be worn three pieces at a time, with one slot available for each Gear type. These items generally upgrade your abilities & can be changed out easily by accessing the Gear screen in the pause menu. It seems strange that so much of the equipment you acquire during your journey are support items for sky-hook combat, yet the mechanic felt so peripheral to the standard gunplay. Major problem: can't use Vigors while on sky-lines. I get it but what the hell guys? Who wants to fight on rails when you can't use Vigors? The result: the sky-hook is underused, although there are some brutal executions with it.Sadly, Infinite majorly lacked in puzzles. Of any kind.

USER INTERFACE

"BUY THIS: YOUR FRIENDS WILL THINK YOU'RE COOL, & PEOPLE WILL LIKE YOU."

HUD// Pleasant & sparse, especially on higher-resolutions. For non-pc users, the HUD looks like it would be a little large. I really like non-persistant HUD & wish that it would have gone away outside of combat more often than just during cut-scenes. I also would have liked seeing Booker's left hand more; the animations indicating the active Vigor are pretty neat.

Infoscreens// The graphics are cohesive & quirky, however, there is a major draw-back to playing at higher-resolutions - just as the HUD is scaled down, so are the infoscreens, which often left me squinting to read descriptions. On a 65 inch tv. That shouldn't happen. I would have appreciated a little consideration here for pc-gamers.

I really liked the advertisements for the Vigors, which were portrayed as short films meant to serve as tutorials for each ability. They were quirky & fit perfectly into the game's established atmosphere, while effectively glorifying the suggestion to act as a mindless consumer. Buy this: your friends will think you're cool, & people will like you.

EPILOGUE

Play this shit, would you kindly? But play Bioshock first. There's no continuity, I just liked it better, even though there are a lot of things Infinite does that the first never dared. Bioshock is cooler looking & more fun... there I said it. Infinite offers a very deep story that resonates with its audience in a lot of ways, even going so far as to make you question your own reality, & it is an experience that should not be missed. The towering, floating buildings & cloud-filled panoramas are unlike anything yet seen in a game. It is sure to leave a unique impression upon anyone who plays it, & will undoubtedly inspire wonderment over the causality of events & final message of the game long after its conclusion.

~ Olivia

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Fable 3 - May Science, Chaos, or God help you.

It’s Wednesday night. I’m sick, I’m alone; it’s the perfect time for me to do something constructive. As soon as I sit at my pc, a torrential rain sweeps through & not 5 minutes after I unplug everything, boom: black-out. Oh Florida weather… at least your behavior can be predictable.

Now I’m stuck with an otherwise delightful piece of machinery, the netbook; I say otherwise because I’m being forced to use it out of fear of electrical surges instead of by choice for convenience, & now it’s the only source of light in the room. With no internet & no access to important server-stored files, I’ve got nothing left to do but write a year late review of Fable III full of ad homonym & personal attacks.

If you’ve played the game, you’ll only have angry flashbacks reading my review so you probably should not… if you haven’t played it, take this as a warning. This game.. hurt my feelings. I have been emotionally abused.

Fable III; I played through it twice, & I previously played Fable II. The last game is something I remember fondly like a distant tryst with a pleasant conclusion… I wasn’t expecting much to be different in the third installment, I was just expecting more; more of the things that I liked. It’s difficult to think of the things that I liked about Fable III, even though my final play-through concluded this morning.

When did I notice something was wrong… I don’t know. It was like a creeping illness, the sense of something not being quite right, followed by a few stages of denial. I better know when the bad things started to drive me insane… which was less than halfway through the game. Enough prefacing, I’ll try to go through this systematically…

[tense disclaimer – I refer to “you” to mean a potential player of Fable 3 & also to mean the developers of the game, Lionhead Studios – good luck figuring it out]

THE MAP// As a fantasy map designer & a UI connoisseur [also an aspiring UI designer] I immediately noticed some fatal flaws with the design.

- Where the hell is the reference point?!?!?! I cannot stress enough how aggravating it is to try to find out where you are on a map with NO reference point. Sure in real life, there’s not always a reference point, but it’s a video game, people…. BLUNDER. I found myself having to run up & down streets in game just to be able to use the map functionally… I eventually gave up on using the map at all.

- Why isn’t the map a realistic representation of the environment? Everything on the map is a “toy” version of the world’s environment, which, I get – it’s cute, I understand that it’s supposed to be a “magical view” – but why can’t the detail be correct? You already modeled the map, why not just shrink it & stick it on the table? If I’m standing next to a house with a staircase outside, but on the map it shows 8 the houses the same – no staircases – HOW THE FUCK am I supposed to figure out where I am with no reference point? It’s a video game! I shouldn’t be GUESSING my location.

- No specific warp points. Although there might be several places that you could enter or exit an environment’s map, warping to that area will always drop you in the same place – sometimes OUTSIDE the area you’re trying to warp to, so you have to run the rest of the way there which may even include ANOTHER loading screen. The only time you can warp to a specific point within a map is when there is a quest to select. No quests available? You’re screwed, please continue walking.

- A home is not considered an acceptable warp point. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. You are stupid. I get it if you didn’t think about that the first time guys…. But seriously, if SOMEONE didn’t make this suggestion, you need new employees. If someone did, but others thought the idea was stupid.. you still need new employees.

- Quest selection. Several times I found that minor side quests, mainly personal character quests, would be absorbed by the quest roster & never appear, even if I had accepted the quest.

THE PAUSE MENU// Or lack thereof. Cute. Annoying. Time consuming.

The good things about it:

- The dressing room. Maybe I’m a girl after all!

- The armory with weapons display. Pretty sweet.

- The ridiculously large pile of money. Scrooge McDuck anyone?

The bad things about it:

- Glitch when interacting with anything in the main room [dog, presents, status] that disables the quick selection of rooms on the d-pad. LAZY.

- The poor lighting in the dressing room; annoying mostly when adding color to the costumes because they weren’t appropriate representations. I found myself dumping back to the world to see what my character actually looked like. Come on.

- Time consuming as hell. I’d rather click through a menu. I walk enough in this damn game.

Moving on to annoying in-game mechanics.

THE GOLDEN LINE// I love the idea of the golden line. What I don’t love is the actual golden line, because it sucks. It would tell me to run around in circles, I’m not shitting you. It would tell me to go over geometry that I could not cross. It would sometimes lead me to a map, then after I entered it, tell me to go right back out the way I came forcing me to load TWICE. It would sometimes take FOREVER to appear, which had me cursing the Fable III GPS satellite alignment lag; it wasn’t long before GPS meant Golden Piece of Shit to me. I couldn’t exactly figure out why this was happening, but sometimes the line would COMPLETELY disappear & the only way to get it back was to reselect the quest that the quest roster already said I was on. Pathetic! Not to mention my quest would sometimes switch on me without my noticing, so I’d start following the golden line to something I wasn’t even trying to get to. Yay.

THE DOG// The dog is stupid. Please Lionhead, just let it go, or actually make it better; stop making it worse. Even after I had the dog completely leveled up, it wouldn’t bark about treasure until after I was already standing right in front of a chest or key… if it was a real dog, I would have kicked it.. a lot. Except I only kick digital dogs, but Fable 3 did not give me that option. Frowny face. Playing with the dog or scolding it is COMPLETLEY pointless as the dog has no opinion of you, nor does interacting with it alter his abilities or your morality. In short, the dog is totally useless. Digging I suppose is useful, but once you’ve got 10k in the bank [maybe an hour’s worth of gaming] nothing that you dig up is going be worth SHIT. How many times are you seriously going to spawn Men’s Pajamas Nightcap in the dirt Lionhead?! How many?!!?!!!! The only thing that was even remotely acceptable to find in the ground was a diamond, which became moot after you had money pouring in from realty with 0 effort. Why should I follow a stupid dog that usually ran around in a few circles first, got stuck in geometry, & would often run in the opposite direction by the time I caught up with him, to dig up something practically worthless? Not to mention, half the time the dig spots were “hidden” in OBVIOUS dirt piles. Did I seriously need the dog to tell me to dig in that conspicuous pile of dirt?? Why can I ONLY dig when the dog is standing under me?!? How does that even make sense!!!!! I found dig spots faster on my own, then had to wait for the fucking dog to catch up. Ugh. Then the digging animation, I’ll address this now since I’m talking about digging, was stupid; most of the time I was pouring dirt DIRECTLY onto the dog. Are you kidding me? Not to mention that the animation never changed no matter what you were actually digging up, be it dirt, snow or sand; apparently there’s an immediate dirt layer underneath everything in Albion. This is just lame & lazy. Why even have digging. Why. Digging & the dog need to GO. I won’t even get into the racket of PURCHASING different dog breeds from Live because it’s just too stupid. Just to show a counter point, please consider the “pet” from Torchlight if you want to see this mechanic done RIGHT.

SIDE QUESTS// Probably one of my ultimate let-downs in this game was the variety of quests. There were the main quests, then a handful of monotonous side quests that got extremely boring. My major problem was the priority system that automatically adjusted to the quest hierarchy after warping or “taking too long”; after dealing with its’ bullshit for my entire first play-through, I decided not to do a SINGLE side quest the second time around. You know what I missed out on? Near mental-breakdowns & utter frustration; I was still able to buy everything I needed from Rule Road though! What does this mean… the side quests are pointless unless you’re desperately sigil-farming for the achievement of opening all the boxes on Rule Road. What a waste of programming. I’ll break it down;

  1. Delivering packages. This was astoundingly annoying on top of boring. Talk to guy 1, warp to here, talk to guy 2, warp back to guy 1, get a sigil. 2 loading screens, 1 sigil. FUCK YOU LIONHEAD. Another MAJOR problem with this kind of side quest: that quest hierarchy thing I mentioned earlier especially applied here, because if I warped to anywhere trying to deliver a package but hadn’t completed a looming part of the main quest, as soon as my load screen concluded, I’d have a happy little reminder telling me about the main quest instead of the quest that I was currently on. Add to this the absorption of personal quests by the quest roster meant that I could not reselect many side-quests that I had started. I thought I was going insane! I thought I was doing something wrong… But no, it was just SHITTY PROGRAMMING AGAIN.
  2. Escort. Give me a break. Do I really want to RUN somewhere, towing somebody that slows me down?! You want me to run through 3 maps & 2 loading screens, stopping to hold some douchebags hand after each fight. Why even have warping, Lionhead? Why don’t you just make everyone run everywhere all the time? This was ESPECIALLY bullshit because if you were not on an escort quest but warped somewhere holding someone’s hand… yup you guessed it: they warped with you.
  3. Hidden object. Well I already mentioned how stupid digging is, so that makes digging quests stupid. If you went through enough of them in a city you would notice that the dig spots get recycled. Yeah, that’s realistic. This also often required the loading of two maps all for one measly sigil. No. Not to mention, who buries shit randomly in the ground?! “I hid this outside the city; can you go & get it for me?” & it’s a fucking book. Shut. Up. They didn’t even give you the option to just sell the item for some evil points – for a game that places everything on the choosing of sides, this seems pretty obvious; in fact they want you to know that you CANNOT sell quest items.

RELATIONSHIPS// Here’s another excruciatingly pointless part of the Fableverse. I hang my head in my hand just thinking about it.

- Dating. This is directly related to the previous section on questing.

- Marriage. Why?!?! The only perk was getting gifts from your mate, but you could get gifts from EVERYONE whether they liked or hated you! That means it wasn’t a perk! So I have to go through relationship questing all to get a stupid, worthless item that I would have probably picked up off a villager I brushed past anyway?!! Stop… you’re hurting my brain. Add to that the ugliness of every single character model except you, which made marriage totally undesirable.

- Marriage home. WHY! I CAN’T WARP TO IT ANYWAY!!!!!

- Babies. They have no opinion of you & interacting with them which costs you sigils to even be able to do has no effect whatsoever on how they act when they grow up, or even what it says when you read their description… it’s arbitrarily determined, but only seems to be influenced by whether you’re good or evil yourself, & neglecting the baby doesn’t affect your moral standing either.

- Children. They were kind of cute, but didn’t do anything except demand annoying side quests or give you superfluous items. Why can’t they hand me a legendary weapon? Okay.. I don’t expect that… but I’m sick of selling men’s pajamas because people won’t stop gifting them to me, which didn’t make any sense ANYWAY because I played a girl! A little gem I noticed in the lazy programming formula which seemed to be random was the child’s race. Far be it for me to be offended by having a black child, but when the mother & father of said child are white… clearly someone is at fault: a programmer. It sparked a few hilarious comments on why the child was black, but it was mainly the discontinuity here that was annoying. Also, twice I noticed that my children would completely disappear from my family, forever, for no reason.

- Adoption. More discontinuity with this one! Immediately after adoption, the child would remain in the room right in front of you as if nothing had happened. You’re not even going to pretend that it disappeared to my home somehow even though you won’t let ME warp there?! You’re not going to force me to walk it all the way to its’ new home? & if you viewed the child’s info again directly after adoption, it was actually a DIFFERENT child!! Ohh Lionhead, you switched ‘em on me during the map screen, you chuckleheads… maybe you should have switched the model too. Lazy! I adopted 2 children & put them up with my lesbian wife in the castle… but still at the end of the game, some 12 MONTHS later by the game’s standards, those children were still running around in the same shitty clothes they had on at the orphanage, with the same dirt-covered model. So even though I adopted kids from the slums to give them a better life, not a single person not even my wife in a CASTLE can wash their faces or give them a new hat?????? *facepalm* This whole family system is broken & should be removed from the game, or made to have SOME kind of point. Also, if you chose to turn the old shelter into a whorehouse rather than an orphanage, the locked room which you need a key to access is populated by whores & orphans. Locked in a room together. I noticed that if you chose orphanage over whorehouse, those models would appear in the exact same room but with the matron npc, who appears outside in the street with the orphans if you choose whorehouse. I’m guessing someone forgot to delete the children’s models from the whorehouse. Sigh.

- Family size. One spouse & two kids. Sure, who cares really, since none of it matters AT ALL, but riddle me this Lionhead: why do you model 3 children’s beds in the castle, & tell me there’s no room for a third child??? In a castle?????? Discontinuity!

SPELLS// My main issue with this part was that I liked the way spells worked in Fable 2 better. For one, it actually forced you to pay attention to your timing, which made the fighting feel more engrossing. In Fable 3 however, you can just spam the b button whenever you want & accomplish death. Simplified, maybe; but now… boring. Thanks Lionhead. The transparent images for some of the animations were pixely & didn’t really look cool, especially the ice storm animation which looked like garbage – AND it forced the xbox fps to drop. There’s a spell I never used. The only spells worth buying, I’ll tell you right now, are Shock & Vortex because all the other ones are worthless in comparison.

- Shock . Stunned enemies for a short period of time & did dps.

- Vortex . Caused enemies to float in the air like a rotating shooting gallery, keeping them from attacking.

With those 2 equipped you merely had to spam the b button to kill everything, all the time, except bosses. Doing anything else was stupid because you could & often would take damage. I didn’t die & I used maybe 1 health potion the entire game.

MOBS// I never thought I would miss random encounters; that was until Fable 3. The exact same mobs always respawn in the exact same places. God that’s boring. I found myself running past 99% of these open encounters, & I’ll go on now to why.

+SIGILS// Here’s something completely unbalanced. Gaining ‘sigils’ is Fable 3’s “cute” way of ambiguating the leveling system into something “cohesive” with the game instead of just admitting that it’s a leveling mechanic. The rate at which you gather sigils is determined by the way that you collect them.

- Killing mobs. This is a classic video game convention that gives you experience. Fable 3 turned “experience” into sigils, so clever, but instead of gaining several or even 1 sigil per enemy… you gain portions of a singular sigil. Just to keep you from noticing that you’re only gaining 1 sigil, several small shiny orbs fly out of downed enemies & absorb into your body, insinuating you just picked up many of something. Aren’t you sneaky? & what does this ultimately do for the player? It makes conventional mob-grinding take 300% longer, hence why I ran past most encounters. Besides doing personal quests, killing enemies or entering dungeons was the worst way to collect sigils. GREAT.

- Side quests. Already explained why this is terrible.

- Main quests. These were the only real functional ways to gather sigils besides a teeny tiny handful of side-quests. My second play-through was much more enjoyable because I stuck to the core of the game & only did quests that gave me at least 15 sigils; anything less was a total waste of time.

ROAD TO RULE// This is directly related to the last section, as you level up here. Rule Road as I like to call it is Fable 3’s exceptionally time-wasting skill tree.

- Running. COME ON I’m SICK of running! Is there anything that I can do in this game that isn’t fucking run? How about riding a damn horse? Ahem.. instead of a conventional skill tree where the lines are represented between the skills, there’s a road. You run on it. Stupid.

- Portals. Getting to different parts of the road was ineffective as you could only warp to the beginning or the end, which didn’t matter anyway, because you would still have to run up the entire length of the road to remember which chests you hadn’t opened yet since there’s no mini-map or indication of which parts of the road you have or haven’t finished.

- Stupid chests. I’d say that about 60% of the chests had something completely retarded in them. Lute Hero level 4?! Are you serious?! Do you really think that ANYONE is still grinding jobs for money by this late in the game?! I’m mind-blown why anyone would waste their hard-earned sigils on this crap. Buying "expression packs" was utterly useless too... every expression besides the handshake has a longer animation... tell me why the hell I want to sit through extra-long animations to get ONE sigil?!!

This is all you need in order to complete the game without suffering any annoying sigil gathering:

- Gate 1. Fireball (1).

- Gate 2. Landlord pack (2). Melee lvl 1 (20). Ranged lvl 1 (20). Magic lvl 1 (20).

- Gate 3. Melee lvl 2 (40). Ranged lvl 2 (40). Magic lvl 2 (40).

- Gate 4. NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!

- Gate 5. Entrepreneur Pack (5). Vortex (40). Spell weaving (50).

- Gate 6. Melee lvl 3 (60). Ranged lvl 3 (60). Magic lvl 3 (60).

- Gate 7. Nothing again!!!!

- Gate 8. Melee lvl 4 (80). Ranged lvl 4 (80). Magic lvl 4 (80).

- Gate 9. Ugh. Nothing.

- Gate 10. Melee lvl 5 (100). Ranged lvl 5 (100). Magic lvl 5 (100).

That’s a total of 998 sigils, & you could even do it with less if you didn’t pay to level up any of your abilities but magic [the only one you really need]. However, if you don’t buy anything superfluous, you should have enough sigils to buy out each major portion of Rule Road long before they allow you to move on to the next section, so out of boredom you’ll probably purchase all the main ability upgrades.

WEAPONS// I wanted this to be something that I liked about the game… but again, I’m woefully disappointed.

- Not enough weapons appeared in my game. To experience more weapons you are FORCED to play online, so if you don’t have an XBLA account, Lionhead doesn’t care – they enjoy screwing you if you haven’t noticed already. I ended up running around the game using all of maybe 3 different weapons because I was never given SHIT. The weapon shops NEVER carried anything different for me, & once I made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing a weapon shop, I could no longer buy ANYTHING from them; I imagine this was a glitch, but considering that I played this game a year late, it’s extremely pathetic that this glitch was never fixed, & I’m disgusted.

- Boring weapons. Fable 2 had WAY cooler weapons! They were actually “loot!” The weapons in Fable 3 are anything but loot. Yeah that’s right, you’re hardly EVER rewarded for opening a regular treasure chest. Why does ONE EMERALD need to be in a treasure chest?!?! Just put a picture of an emerald on the ground!!! What’s with the whole pretending that one crappy piece of shit is worth someone lugging a heavy chest to a hidden area?!?! *drags hands down face, groaning* None of the weapons were particularly special, like having any cool effects, but they could be “leveled up” by completing vaguely described requirements, like this one: “Kill 100 hollow men.” Okay. With what? Like, in general just kill them? Or kill them with this sword specifically? Dumb. Also gaining any extra features to a weapon often had laborious requirements that were way too much of a pain in the ass to actively pursue & really had to be gained over time; the problem with this is that you had to stick with 1 weapon for SO long to get it leveled up that it destroyed the desire to carry or even purchase other weapons. There was also almost NO weapon variety whatsoever; a sword or a hammer? A pistol, or a rifle? That’s all you guys could think of????

- Legendary bullshit. Here’s something funny about Fable 3… there are scripted chests that you need keys to open which is the main way that you gain legendary weapons. However, the legendary weapon inside the chest is RANDOM. Yes, random. 1/50. Which means that you might explore your ass off to get enough silver keys to open either a completely useless chest full of gold [reset your game & don’t open that chest], sigils [reset your game & don’t open that chest] or a weapon that you don’t like or MIGHT NOT EVEN USE EVER. If you don’t buy any of the ranged chests in Rule Road, Lionhead don’t give a shit, they’ll put a gun in that legendary-weapon-chest you worked so hard to open. Here’s the even MORE bullshit part if you can believe there is one: random only means random once you create a save file; once you’ve made a save, all the chests are set & no matter when you open them they will always have the same “random” weapon inside them, so even if you save before opening a chest then open it again 1000 times, you’ll never get anything but the same “random” weapon. What the fuck. I hate you. My second play-though I didn’t dick around gathering silver or gold keys; I didn’t get a single legendary weapon & didn’t have a shred of a problem beating the ass off this game in one sitting. What does this mean? Legendary weapons are a complete waste of time. This game is seeming to have wasted a lot of my time, but in my defense, I was sick – if I wasn’t, I probably would have quit playing in favor of doing something fun. I also started my secondary game, under the same profile, on the memory unit instead of the hard drive, & guess what... all the "random" treasures chests had the exact same garbage as the chests from my first play-through. I can't even fathom.

LOADING// This “feature” didn’t even work from inside the game!!!! Even though it had an option in the menu! It didn’t do anything!!!!! You can’t dump out to the main screen from the game, you can’t select games as everything autosaves, all you can do is hit the gem & go back to the dashboard. Then you get to sit through the unavoidable opening logo animations & game loading, yay!! What exactly is the point of only allowing one save file, Lionhead? Cuz no one ever in the world shares an xbox?! No, I know, it’s because you want us to use our own profiles, so we HAVE to buy multiples of your utterly stupid dlc. You are dicks.

DLC// I will touch on this since I just thought of it. I suppose the main problem with most DLC for games is that it’s all completely worthless garbage!!!!!!!! If it isn’t a totally new level, I’m not going to pay you for it. How dare you charge people for shit that should already be in the game… of course, corporate bad-guy companies like EA aren’t the only ones money-grubbing, Lionhead knows how to do it too, & they hid behind Microsoft on this one. Too bad that everyone knows that you’re full of crap. Get ready for this great excuse… Microsoft “made” Lionhead, “forced” them, to make superfluous costume dyes cost Microsoft Points. Give me a fucking break. But here’s the best part of that! The ones that cost real money were the only colors that anybody actually wanted! What a dick move!!!! Not to mention that I felt personally damaged because the colors were cream, teal, hot pink & black; those are 4 of the 5 colors [white] that I would ever want use. Scheming assholes.

There’s probably more that I couldn’t stand about the game, & what little there is to like is short & sweet. But my power just came back on, so I can bring my review of this heart-wrenching, unmitigated disaster to a close.

CONTINUATION// It may reference your Fable 2 game a few times. This is cute, but overall totally pointless & wasted.

BRITISH HUMOR// I’m not a big fan usually, but the sarcastic, satirical nature of the British fantasy jokes that abound in Fable are the only thing worth playing the game for. I’m serious. You get some chuckles. You pay for them with mental anguish.

VOICE ACTING// Well it seems that Lionhead finally decided to spring some extra money somewhere, & they did so on the VAs; there are some famous actors here & there… but I really wish they would have paid more programmers & play-testers to save this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Through & through, I kept expecting, maybe even praying, that it would get better, like a Nick Cage movie. I was in denial for a long time, I even had myself convinced that I was crazy & was playing the game wrong. Eventually I gave in to that foreboding sensation that the game was, indeed, ashamble. My overall feelings are of sadness, neglect & abuse. I invested my time in this game because of its’ predecessor, but Lionhead basically stabbed me in the heart; instead of welcoming me into the familiar open-arms of the Fableverse, I was thrown into a concentration camp of torture as I tried to obey the game’s wishes & still have a good time. When I finally resorted to playing the game MY way, I beat it in about 14 hours & had a decent experience.

I feel bad for anyone in my previous position, having to stumble blindly through the irritatingly ramshackle world of too many people’s ideas; cohesion was almost completely lost for me in this game, as I felt like I was playing totally different games sometimes. I’ve lost sight of the Fable experience, but I blame Lionhead for that.

On word of the poorly programmed launch version of Fable 3, I decided to hang back & wait for it to get patched… but I waited a year & if anything got fixed, I’ll be damned, because the game is just short of totally broken. Lionhead killed the Fable franchise with this game as far as I’m concerned. Too many things need throwing out. Many things need going back to the drawing board. I won’t be excited to see Fable 4 without these glaring necessities addressed.

It’s bad.

1 Comments

Halloween costume suggestions pt. 1

I really want to do something video game oriented this year, since I totally cheaped out last year... oh well I was the sexiest Librarian at that party!!  [I was supposed to be Kyoko from Rival Schools but there was just too much blue hair involved...] I need to get started ASAP because I'm a terrible procrastinator with Halloween costumes... Anyway this is me 

   
Game costumes I've done before: 
Kitty-n // Bust a Groove 
Kasumi // Dead or Alive   
Ayame // Tenchu
 
Non-game costumes: 
Chiana // Farscape 
Daughter // Bakaretsu Hunters  
Queen Frostine // Candyland "Versus Fighters"
 
Yeah it's a short list... I'm really, really picky.... 
So far I've gotten suggestions for: 
Blond version Bayonetta [NOT the blond chick in Bayonetta] 
Female Starkiller 
Ninja [I dress like that every day though so I don't think this counts..] 
Geisha assassin 
Jessie from Team Rocket 
Kerrigan 
Rikku 
Eureka 
Hit Girl
Lightning  
Noel Vermillion
 
I also wanna do girl Gordon Freeman [my own idea] but I think I'll save that for PAX East!!  
 
Right now I'm seriously considering a slightly more suggestive Team Magmette... I frickin' love their costume!!
   
If anyone wants to help, let's have some at least HALF-BRAINED suggestions please.  Keep in mind I'm not dying my hair, so it'd be good if the costume could be recognizable even with my being blond...
53 Comments

I started my own actual blog today...!

Honestly I had started it before, but it was geared towards, well.. more pink things... but I realized how little I really care about that kind of thing compared to video games.  My friends always ask me about games, if I think they are good, stuff like that... so I must give pretty good advice!  I've even convinced complete strangers to buy video games.  I talk about video games all the time & think about them even more n_n;  But now I can do it with bright colors, & a website..... 
 

  
 Go see all my hard work!!  I have been working on this since 1:30 am @__@  It's 11 now.... *dies*
http://lasersuicide.com/news/
3 Comments

I think I just wet my pants... new RE movie

 
I was literally JUST talking about how this movie needs to come out... & now it's coming out... I'm getting way too good at this future sight thing.... 
 
Everyone's dead, except Ninja Milla Jovovich, killin' zombies.  I feel like *I* made this movie.  I freakin' love Paul S Anderson! 
 
But my first coherent thought after watching this trailer was "THANK GOD!  Now there will be more TANG!!"  n_n;
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so close yet so far....

another year i find myself in cali randomly but this time... in LA.  man i wanna go to SF so bad!  i must stalk the GB crew with cupcakes!!
 
that part aside i'm having a great time here hanging out with my buddy thomas hoon, a game character designer for neversoft/activision.  we are headed to the neversoft office today so i can get a tour from him!!! i can't wait!!!
 
dear god please get me to E3 this year! seriously!!!!

4 Comments

mf'in cupcakes!

i just got a recipe for cocktail flavored cupcakes!!  i'll be making the pina colada & probably the chocolate martini cupcakes next week!  will take pics!! 
 


here they are in their lovely colorful glory!!!!


this makes me want to frost cupcakes soooo baaaddddd... i've got to make the various pokeball cupcakes soon X3
8 Comments

dragon age... you'll feel that old when you finish this game

i reserved my excitement when i went to my friend's to play dragon age last night, although driving 15 minutes at 2am was probably pretty telling. i rubbed my hands together & got ready to have the world of fantasy impress me - imagine that, i'm still not jaded even after all these years!  but 3 fights & 3 HOURS later... DA had pretty much beat my hopes into the ground. 
 
sadly i found dragon age UTTERLY slow to the point of unplayable.  final fantasy tactics original is about as slow as i can plod through a game without going insane & quitting.  maybe it's my "generation" & the need for immediate satisfaction from any activity... maybe fast-paced games have brainwashed me... but watching & participating in this game was a painful crawl over razor-sharp seconds & soul-sucking minutes.   
 
if i could stay interested, there's a possibility that even i could play a slow game such as this, but unfortunately DA flounced on that delivery as well.  granted i missed the intro, so i don't have any emotional attachment to the [creepily rendered] character my friend made, but the filler between the nicely cg-ed cinemas tasted like a bunch of rehashed, stale fantasy.  i found myself exclaiming "oh, so now we have to go to ANOTHER castle?.... what a surprise!"  elves, dwarves, vaguely-described minions of darkness ["there's always an archdemon!"- me], it's all here... the same old shit that's in every fantasy story book, film or rpg.  & pretty much everything is BROWN [go figure].  but hey, if you can't get enough of redundancy, then DA is your game.  
 
i didn't play any of the combat personally, i mostly engaged conversation with other characters... sigh.  it's standardized [for this day/age] to have multiple dialog trees available to your character, but there was just something flat-out boring about pretty much every choice DA offered.  i guess i'm just used to extremes, where you have a hilariously puss option or satisfyingly dick option, & of course the casually sarcastic neutral answer.  i felt like DA was running around in CIRCLES with their half-assed responses [even though there is tons of voice acting.. quality not quantity, people!].  i really wish more games would start including the "slap the bitch" option [thank you mass effect!].  i find it off-putting that dialog would be structured to force the player to divine what the game makers want them to do... i just don't see the point of having options if there is only one right answer, or have dialog trees become multiple choice tests to see if i was paying attention?  

i only gave the game 3 hours trial, but those are three hours of my life i can never get back.... if you enjoy dying slowly, dragon age was made for you!  but me, well... DA helped me realize that FANTASY IS A DEAD GENRE.     
 
~gb♥g

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