If I'm ever in an emotional mood this soundtrack and this song in particular gets to me.
Also this song:
@walreese55: To push graphics cards here is a pretty definitive list:
Crysis 1-3 (The first game is CPU bound and only single threaded so regardless of how good your GPU is or how many cores you have on your CPU, you still likely won't be able to max it out. If for some reason you have a current gen Core i7 Extreme then turn multi-threading off and overclock it as far as it will go and you'll experience the magic. If you have an AMD CPU then you are out of luck sadly)
The Witcher 2 (Play the first one first if you actually care about the story and unless your PC cost at least $1750 turn off Uber-sampling. It just isn't worth it)
Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon (Experience how the game was meant to be played)
Metro 2033 and Last Light (There are some remastered editions coming out soon so I would wait for those)
Sleeping Dogs (If you want to push your rig then turn on super sampling and watch your framerate plummet)
Tomb Raider (If you have an Nvidia GPU consider turning off TressFX and be sure you have the absolutely latest drivers)
Arkham City and Origins (Only if you have an Nvidia GPU. Turn on the Nvidia exclusive PhysX effects to again see magic being made)
GRID 2/Autosport (If you have a 360 controller or racing wheel handy only. Great looking racing games that perform well on a wide variety of systems. Actual fun factor may vary depending on your tastes)
Hard Reset and Shadow Warrior (Oldschool shooters by Flying Wild Hog. Great action and beautiful worlds)
Outlast (Best looking horror game on the market)
Gone Home (If you don't think you can make a great looking game in Unity talk to the makers of this game. Note there is very little gameplay. Think of it like the portions of Bioshock Infinite without combat)
I know you specifically said nothing like Battlefield 4, but I would suggest trying Planetside 2. It's free so you don't have to spend anything on it. Try it out. At the very least you'll see some of the most impressive visuals out there and you can uninstall it and move on.
That pretty much covers it. If you enjoy action games I might also suggest playing DMC and Darksiders 2 on PC as they really come into their own at 60 fps.
Forgot the Total War games. Anything from Empire forward is mighty impressive and will push your system to the brink.
I always have multiple games I am playing at once. I try to keep the number of RPG's I am playing at once down, but I always fail. Just to give a sense of how ridiculous my RPG backlog is I currently am 20-60 hours into the following games - Demon's Souls, Ni No Kuni, Kingdoms of Amalur, Baldur's Gate, Divine Divinity, Dragon Age (Expansion content), Final Fantasy 13, and my second playthrough of The Witcher 2. I have the problem that I can't accept not doing every side quest in an RPG. Everyone says to not do all the side content in Amalur but I just couldn't stop myself. So I reached a point where I was virtually invincible going into the second half of the story. For those who have played it, I spent well over 70 hours before even sailing to the second continent. And I spent another 15 to get where I am now which is on the verge of entering the final region. And I'm still doing side quests despite having pretty much the best possible gear in the game and entering into the later zones over-leveled.
Another example of my insanity with RPG's - In games like Baldur's Gate or Divine Divinity where you have your big square regions connected by a map, I will explore each region in the following manner. I will walk to the top left corner of the map. I will then walk down to the bottom left corner. Then over to the bottom right. Then up to the top right. I will then move inward, basically forming the rectangular equivolent of a spiral until I have explored every inch of each zone. I will hand notate the map if allowed to mark any items of importance that I might be interested in coming back to. These types of things basically make it so I never finish RPG's. I try my best to overcome and just fail.
I have taken several courses that involved game history. Some commonly taught games include
- SpaceWar (arguably the first fully digital game ever. Not played of course. Either shown in video form or merely discussed)
- Pong (both in the form of Pong arcade/home machines which aren't played and Pong as a game on the CVS/2600. Generally you play a browser based version)
- Space Invaders (Generally used to show the rise of Japanese games in Arcades)
- Battlezone (Used as an example of vector graphics and early first person gameplay)
- Adventure (Example of games with a story and an end state)
- Various other CVS and arcade games tend to be shown but what games generally depend on the personal preferences of the professor
- Wizardry (Early influential RPG)
- Ultima (Another early influential RPG)
- Ultima IV (Early example of a system of morals and moral choice in games. Early game Warren Spector worked on)
- Donkey Kong (First game by Miyamoto)
- Super Mario Bros
- Legend of Zelda
- A selection of Konami NES games including Contra at the very least
- Final Fantasy
(Note that generally these games won't be played in class due to their length and the technical difficulties of displaying an NES on a modern projector. You'll get videos at the most while some will merely be discussed in lecture and read about in text)
- Early Sierra adventure game will likely be discussed
- Other games are largely based on instructor preference
16-Bit/Late Arcade/DOS/Windows 3
- Sonic The Hedgehog
- Final Fantasy VI
- Street Fighter 2
- Ultima VII
- Ultima Underword, System Shock, or Thief (Basically some sort of mention of Looking Glass, Warren Spector, and/or Ken Levine)
- Likely some sort of mention of early attempts at 3D rendering including the pre-rendered Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox, and Sega's Virtua line
- Discussion of Westwood, Blizzard, and the birth of the RTS
Rise of Polygons (From 1995 to the release of the PS2)
- Mario 64
- Tomb Raider
- Starcraft and/or Command and Conquer may be mentioned
- Half Life
- Discussion of the rise of online multiplayer will be included with various examples
- Mention of FMV games and their failure possibly including a rant from the instructor about their focus on story over compelling gameplay and how to never ever make a game like that.
- Final Fantasy VII
- Other games will be mentioned based on preference.
- Deus Ex
- Ultima Online
- World of Warcraft
- Grand Theft Auto 3 and the rise of the open world and sandbox style of game design
- Halo and Halo 2
- God of War and the character action genre
- Call of Duty which will likely be used to contrast the more freeform mechanics of Deus Ex, Halo, Far Cry, and Half Life
- Call of Duty 4 will likely be used to discuss gamification and how games use drip-feed upgrades to compel players to play games that don't have compelling gameplay
- Doom 3 and Half Life 2 will be used to discuss modern graphics techniques
- Zynga and Angry Birds will represent casual, mobile gaming
- Some sort of discussion will likely occur over the evolution of gender roles in games with a mention of modern movements for gender equality in gaming. I would assume that these discussions might these days also include sexual orientation.
- Red Dead Redemption is a current academic favorite that I have a feeling will be getting more class time going forward.
- Mario Galaxy is sometimes brought up to discuss IP evolution and using popular characters to sell risky gameplay mechanics
- And of course Wii Sports will be used to discuss alternative control mechanics
@shagge: I was thinking about Dead Space 2 when writing this actually. I think the difference there is that by the end of the game you get better armor and weapons and you have enough resources to fully upgrade everything. So it made the first third of the game easier, but definitely by the halfway point I felt like it wasn't giving me a huge advantage. Like the first half of the game I beat on the normal difficulty, but by that point the pre-order bonuses had run their course and I had to drop down to easy. Whereas I felt overpowered in Bioshock from beginning to end because the infusions you got made you more powerful at every point in the game than you could be otherwise, and because that one piece of gear is easily the most powerful piece of gear in the game and getting it right at the beginning means you barely even have to aim due to the ridiculous amount of ammo you have and because you can tank so much damage with all those infusions.
Infinite is not a difficult game to begin with and also isn't so amazingly tight on the controls/gameplay front to suddenly make it matter how you play it/how hard it was. The game is far from Vanquish.
Pretty much. Although I have to say that I support TLoU's option of letting you just switch off the season pass bonuses.
Like I said, I really suck at shooters. Vanquish was ridiculously hard for me. I beat it on the easiest difficulty after hundreds of attempts. So Bioshock Infinite was actually pretty perfect for me on the default difficulty my first time through. I died a couple times in each level, and at least once during all the major battles. It challenged me but wasn't frustrating until the final level, which, like I said, took me over an hour to complete.The combat wasn't great, but I think a lot of issues people had were those who played it on consoles where the framerate could get pretty choppy and response times weren't great. Playing at 60 fps with a mouse and keyboard the combat felt just fine. It wasn't anything masterful, but it was better than average.
I replayed Bioshock Infinite and started the DLC after finally getting it during the Steam sale. I restarted the new X-Com for the third time. Hoping to actually do well enough to get through it this time around. I'm doing pretty well so far. Managed to get a full team or colonels and now trying to get some of them ranked up with Psi power. And then I randomly decided to play some Europa Universalis 3 which is a game that has no goal and hence cannot be beaten. I played a match of that, though. Managed to get destroyed as usual.
Generally I play as a character that resembles sort of my ideal(in a physical sense) version of myself. Being a straight white dude that means I generally choose a straight white dude if given the option. On the occasions I choose a woman I do so because I want to see how the story would play out from a woman's perspective. I very rarely do this. The game I ended up playing longest as a woman in the end didn't even acknowledge my gender at all in the game. I thought I would go for a female character in Kingdoms of Amalur considering I was being reborn and all. So I chose to be this purple elf-like lady. Except no one in the game ever mentioned my race or gender, despite their being heavy doses or race conflict throughout the game. And the armor you wear smartly covers your entire figure regardless of gender, so by 50 hours in I had forgotten what my character looked like to the extent that when I took off my helmet by mistake at one point I was surprised to remember I had chosen an elf lady as my avatar.
I would be really interested to play The Witcher as a female character. Obviously that would mean I couldn't play as Geralt, but seeing that world through the eyes of a woman I think would be really interesting. Generally, though, I always go for a male character.
My least favorite food category is fish/seafood. I don't like most any seafood and fish I don't enjoy but I'll eat super mild fish like sole or flounder. The only food I truly hate with a passion is bell pepper. Green bell peppers especially are literally nauseating to me. When someone is cooking a green bell pepper I actually have to leave the room or else I'll puke just from the smell. I sometimes even have to leave the house entirely. If you put a bell pepper on top of a salad, even if you then take it off and give the salad to me, those few lingering juices will still mean I couldn't eat any of the salad. Same with pizza or Mexican dishes that include bell peppers. Like if you have a fajita mix with bell peppers I can't eat any of the mix. And I can't eat a pizza that has bell peppers on any part of it. Even if the pepper never even touched the slice I was eating I'll still be able to taste it. And as I said, I quite literally will puke if I try to eat something with even a hint of bell pepper flavor. I can force down quite a few foods I don't exactly enjoy, but I just can't do bell peppers. It's so extreme that if someone else at a dinner is eating a dish with bell peppers I sometimes have to eat in another room as just the smell of a pepper, not even cooked, will cause me to loose my appetite.
The Xbox was both a massive success and a massive failure. On the one hand the system lost enough money to bankrupt any company without the massive cash reserves of the likes of Microsoft. There were a handful of great games exclusive to the system but not nearly as many as on PS2 or Gamecube. The controller had the best analogue sticks seen up until that point, but the controller was oddly designed and the black and white buttons were useless. But multiplatform games looked far better on it than on PS2 or Gamecube. I mean people talk about the Xbox One being underpowered compared to the PS4 but it is at least 80% if not 90% as powerful in most ways, especially with Kinect gone now. The Xbox was several times more powerful than a PS2 and it's GPU had several features that the PS2 GPU did not support. Doom 3 could not be made on PS2. It just wasn't possible to do dynamic lighting on that system. They faked it a bit for Splinter Cell, but that game was God awful on PS2. The difference between PS2 and Xbox is honestly not much smaller than the difference between Wii U and Xbox One.
The massive success of course is Xbox Live. That isn't something you can go back and play for nostalgia's sake, but much of modern gaming wouldn't exist without Xbox Live. In that sense the Xbox was probably the most influential system of this century. Gaming as we know it would not exist without Xbox Live. But the original Xbox and Live were in a sense a proof of concept. The Xbox 360 seemed like the system that they wanted to make the first time around.
@humanity: I'm curious if by Ghibli you mean all Ghibli or Miyazaki specifically? Isao Takahata's films are very different both from an art and a story standpoint. Outside of both directors making excellent films they don't really share much outside of general themes involving ecological conservation and peaceful solutions to conflict. I didn't include a single Miyazaki film in the main list. If it is the art you dislike then I maybe wouldn't recommend Arrietty as the director is also a lead artist for most of Miyazaki's films. But the others I mentioned are all visually distinct and don't have any of the fantastical backdrops that most of Miyazaki's films have. I can't think of anything else that all Ghibli films share.
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