Uncharted 2/Brutal Legend/Machinarium Smörgåsbord of thoughts.


 Pictured: A smörgåsbord.   
 

 Smörgåsbord ( [ˌsmœrɡɔsˈbuːɖ]) is a type of Scandinavian meal served buffet-style with multiple dishes of various foods on a table. In Norway it is called koldtbord and in Denmark it is called kolde bord. Smörgåsbord became internationally known as Smorgasbord at the 1939 New York World's Fair when it was offered at the Swedish Pavilion's "Three Crowns Restaurant". It is typically a celebratory meal and guests can help themselves from a range of dishes laid out for their choice. In a restaurant, the term refers to a buffet-style table laid out with many small dishes from which, for a fixed amount of money, one is allowed to choose as many as one wishes. 

I know what your thinking, and yes, I am offered buffet style eatery everywhere I go. 
To be fair, I get my service after threatening patrons with a blunt weapon. Perhaps it's different in Sweden. Like a different culture or something. 
 
I tried to type this yesterday. Actually I did type this yesterday, but things didn't work out and the site timed out. 
There were many tears shed, and fictional wars regarding breakfast food was committed.  

 Vidiot's Brain Dump was established in 1823.

Uncharted 2: Or, how to get mortally injured multiple times and survive?!


 I HATE Uncharted 2.
 
Sitting at a ludicrous 97% at MetaCritic, with many of the reviews written weeks in advance before the release of the game, my expectations for Uncharted 2 were high.
 
No, let me rephrase that. I set my expectations at: "I will be disappointing if Jesus does not jump out of the box" level. To my dismay the second coming did not begin when I opened my copy of Uncharted 2, I assumed that the game would break some spectral barrier when I put the game in my console. 
Instead it apparently silently installed, and then booted. 
 
I sat ready to pounce on this game. My critique radar was set a level I haven't set in years, and then in horror, I stared dumbfounded as this game proceeded to laugh at my expectations. As the opening train level continued, it then proceeded to educate me where my expectations should have been set. Then it mocked me more.
Then it took my money and spent it on drugs.
 
Okay, no, that last part wasn't true.
 
Okay, I don't hate Uncharted 2. I want to not like it though. I haven't seen a game like this in a long time, something with unbelievable production values coupled with some of the best pacing and refined gameplay I have ever seen. At first I thought I would complain about the cover system, how Drake sometimes still is a little roll happy and sometimes rolls instead of sticking to a wall. This does not break the game, it's a stupid nitpick. So that doesn't count as a complaint. I was then going to complain how the game used action movie cliches, but it's clearly trying to be an action movie. It's like getting angry at Lost Odyssey for being a Final Fantasy game. The game clearly knows what it's trying to be. It doesn't help me that the game has better writing than a majority of the action films from last summer. 
 
It's the best game I've played in a while. I realized halfway through playing that if I was going to find something to deter my developing opinion that it was a great game, it would be nothing more but a nitpick. I've read other complaints, more specifically how the levels are linear, which sounds more like a description of the game more than a complaint. Linearity in a game?! Say it aint so! Were going to start complaining about level linearity with Uncharted 2? 
Well there goes a few...genres..
 
A lot has been said about the games production values, and yes it's simply the best looking game I've seen in a while. I haven't felt overwhelmed by a games visuals in a long time, this game succeeded in just that.
 
Also, I would like to point out that the game has color. Yes, color. In this day of age, it's great to see a high profile game like this look realistic and have a color palate that ranges more than just gray, black and shit. I also like the anatomically correct looking characters, writing that doesn't have a bunch of cursing mascaraing as a "mature storyline", and a lengthy scenario that has a beginning middle and end.
 
Hand to hand combat is only relegated with two buttons.
 
Ah-HA! Why isn't this game like Street Fighter? No intricate combo's Drake? Wow! This game fails!

 Pictured: Drake not doing a hadouken  .
Actually the downgrade in combat works wonders in practice and makes more sense than the first game. I thought I wasn't going to break the satire, but I couldn't leave it there. I'll try harder next time, leave you with that statement and incite 50 page flamebait responses.

Brutal Legend- I'm so confused.

 
Where do I start with this game? 
Well for one, the developers have great respect for the subject matter of metal. The game almost oozes with a palpable fondness for it's context and source material. 
It's just too bad that the game doesn't know what it's trying to be from a gameplay standpoint.
 
I'm all for splicing genres, but in Brutal Legend's case it cant seem to find which genre is it's great at. The definition of being a "jack of all trades, master of none" really holds water here so far. 
 
Actually, that's not quite true. Brutal Legend's world has the common theme of being metal, but has a varied landscape. The hand-to-hand action oriented gameplay works just fine, as well as it's stellar presentation. These are all things that Double Fine has proven before it has experience with.
An open-world game, coupled with RTS elements are mechanics that Double Fine hasn't tried yet. They're pretty big mechanics. It's not just something you just jump into, let alone combine on your first try. It's inexperience. The same problem I saw with the first Assassins Creed, in which both games have similar problems regarding the lack of things you can do in the game's many side quests. 
 
But nothing too terrible has come from it yet. I haven't finished the game yet, (it's length seems to be a big problem.) and I'm curious to see where the gameplay goes. I've had a ton of fun with it so far, but it's problems are noticeable. 
 

Machinarium- The adventure game you haven't played but need too.


Along with Axel and Pixel, I saw this game at Pax and walked away greatly impressed. It's still great, and any fan of adventure games should check out this out. The world has a haunting, yet inviting look to it. Anyone who's interested in something different should check out the demo. 
 
So to reiterate:
  1. Smörgåsbord
  2. Uncharted 2 deserves the praise, even though I don't want to admit it because I have ego issues.
  3. Brutal Legend is a confusing game.
  4. You are a terrible, terrible person until you check out Machinarium.
  5. Smörgåsbord 
 So that's it. I'm still knee deep in games. I hope nothing else distracts me. Like Trine finally coming out for PS3 or something. HAH! Yeah, like that will ever happen!
22 Comments
23 Comments
Edited by vidiot

 Pictured: A smörgåsbord.   
 

 Smörgåsbord ( [ˌsmœrɡɔsˈbuːɖ]) is a type of Scandinavian meal served buffet-style with multiple dishes of various foods on a table. In Norway it is called koldtbord and in Denmark it is called kolde bord. Smörgåsbord became internationally known as Smorgasbord at the 1939 New York World's Fair when it was offered at the Swedish Pavilion's "Three Crowns Restaurant". It is typically a celebratory meal and guests can help themselves from a range of dishes laid out for their choice. In a restaurant, the term refers to a buffet-style table laid out with many small dishes from which, for a fixed amount of money, one is allowed to choose as many as one wishes. 

I know what your thinking, and yes, I am offered buffet style eatery everywhere I go. 
To be fair, I get my service after threatening patrons with a blunt weapon. Perhaps it's different in Sweden. Like a different culture or something. 
 
I tried to type this yesterday. Actually I did type this yesterday, but things didn't work out and the site timed out. 
There were many tears shed, and fictional wars regarding breakfast food was committed.  

 Vidiot's Brain Dump was established in 1823.

Uncharted 2: Or, how to get mortally injured multiple times and survive?!


 I HATE Uncharted 2.
 
Sitting at a ludicrous 97% at MetaCritic, with many of the reviews written weeks in advance before the release of the game, my expectations for Uncharted 2 were high.
 
No, let me rephrase that. I set my expectations at: "I will be disappointing if Jesus does not jump out of the box" level. To my dismay the second coming did not begin when I opened my copy of Uncharted 2, I assumed that the game would break some spectral barrier when I put the game in my console. 
Instead it apparently silently installed, and then booted. 
 
I sat ready to pounce on this game. My critique radar was set a level I haven't set in years, and then in horror, I stared dumbfounded as this game proceeded to laugh at my expectations. As the opening train level continued, it then proceeded to educate me where my expectations should have been set. Then it mocked me more.
Then it took my money and spent it on drugs.
 
Okay, no, that last part wasn't true.
 
Okay, I don't hate Uncharted 2. I want to not like it though. I haven't seen a game like this in a long time, something with unbelievable production values coupled with some of the best pacing and refined gameplay I have ever seen. At first I thought I would complain about the cover system, how Drake sometimes still is a little roll happy and sometimes rolls instead of sticking to a wall. This does not break the game, it's a stupid nitpick. So that doesn't count as a complaint. I was then going to complain how the game used action movie cliches, but it's clearly trying to be an action movie. It's like getting angry at Lost Odyssey for being a Final Fantasy game. The game clearly knows what it's trying to be. It doesn't help me that the game has better writing than a majority of the action films from last summer. 
 
It's the best game I've played in a while. I realized halfway through playing that if I was going to find something to deter my developing opinion that it was a great game, it would be nothing more but a nitpick. I've read other complaints, more specifically how the levels are linear, which sounds more like a description of the game more than a complaint. Linearity in a game?! Say it aint so! Were going to start complaining about level linearity with Uncharted 2? 
Well there goes a few...genres..
 
A lot has been said about the games production values, and yes it's simply the best looking game I've seen in a while. I haven't felt overwhelmed by a games visuals in a long time, this game succeeded in just that.
 
Also, I would like to point out that the game has color. Yes, color. In this day of age, it's great to see a high profile game like this look realistic and have a color palate that ranges more than just gray, black and shit. I also like the anatomically correct looking characters, writing that doesn't have a bunch of cursing mascaraing as a "mature storyline", and a lengthy scenario that has a beginning middle and end.
 
Hand to hand combat is only relegated with two buttons.
 
Ah-HA! Why isn't this game like Street Fighter? No intricate combo's Drake? Wow! This game fails!

 Pictured: Drake not doing a hadouken  .
Actually the downgrade in combat works wonders in practice and makes more sense than the first game. I thought I wasn't going to break the satire, but I couldn't leave it there. I'll try harder next time, leave you with that statement and incite 50 page flamebait responses.

Brutal Legend- I'm so confused.

 
Where do I start with this game? 
Well for one, the developers have great respect for the subject matter of metal. The game almost oozes with a palpable fondness for it's context and source material. 
It's just too bad that the game doesn't know what it's trying to be from a gameplay standpoint.
 
I'm all for splicing genres, but in Brutal Legend's case it cant seem to find which genre is it's great at. The definition of being a "jack of all trades, master of none" really holds water here so far. 
 
Actually, that's not quite true. Brutal Legend's world has the common theme of being metal, but has a varied landscape. The hand-to-hand action oriented gameplay works just fine, as well as it's stellar presentation. These are all things that Double Fine has proven before it has experience with.
An open-world game, coupled with RTS elements are mechanics that Double Fine hasn't tried yet. They're pretty big mechanics. It's not just something you just jump into, let alone combine on your first try. It's inexperience. The same problem I saw with the first Assassins Creed, in which both games have similar problems regarding the lack of things you can do in the game's many side quests. 
 
But nothing too terrible has come from it yet. I haven't finished the game yet, (it's length seems to be a big problem.) and I'm curious to see where the gameplay goes. I've had a ton of fun with it so far, but it's problems are noticeable. 
 

Machinarium- The adventure game you haven't played but need too.


Along with Axel and Pixel, I saw this game at Pax and walked away greatly impressed. It's still great, and any fan of adventure games should check out this out. The world has a haunting, yet inviting look to it. Anyone who's interested in something different should check out the demo. 
 
So to reiterate:
  1. Smörgåsbord
  2. Uncharted 2 deserves the praise, even though I don't want to admit it because I have ego issues.
  3. Brutal Legend is a confusing game.
  4. You are a terrible, terrible person until you check out Machinarium.
  5. Smörgåsbord 
 So that's it. I'm still knee deep in games. I hope nothing else distracts me. Like Trine finally coming out for PS3 or something. HAH! Yeah, like that will ever happen!
Posted by dbz1995

Hasn't Trine still come out in the US? That's upsetting. I platinumed that bitch a few days ago.
 
I want some Smörgåsbord. Send me some!

Posted by vidiot

The PS3 version was finally....finally, released yesterday. It should be noted that it's been on the European marketplace for a while now, I have no idea why there was a US delay.
 
I also haven't heard anything about the PS3 version, whether or not it can stand toe to toe with the PC version.

Edited by mhkjtha

jag älskar smörgåsbord.
 
does uncharted have per-object motion blur? the dudes face in that pic looks blurred, but not drakes arm

Posted by vidiot
@mhkjtha: That's a good question, I'm not exactly sure and I'm not sure how one would go about checking that. Take notice that Drake's right arm (The fist not punching.) is also blurred.
Posted by Tw1stedL0gic

smörgåsbord! :D

Posted by Symphony

Congratulations! You managed to convince me not to buy Uncharted 2 as there are no hadokens. Good work, sir.

Posted by Griddler

Hm, that was an interesting read.

Posted by vidiot
@Symphony said:
" Congratulations! You managed to convince me not to buy Uncharted 2 as there are no hadokens. Good work, sir. "
Thank you. I really don't want you specifically to play this. It's quite possibly the best single player campaign I've played in half a decade. You should not be allowed to enjoy it.
Posted by Symphony
@vidiot said:
" @Symphony said:
" Congratulations! You managed to convince me not to buy Uncharted 2 as there are no hadokens. Good work, sir. "
Thank you. I really don't want you specifically to play this. It's quite possibly the best single player campaign I've played in half a decade. You should not be allowed to enjoy it. "
I'm going to get a PS3 and buy Uncharted and play through it just to spite you, haha!
Posted by vidiot
@Symphony said:
" @vidiot said:
" @Symphony said:
" Congratulations! You managed to convince me not to buy Uncharted 2 as there are no hadokens. Good work, sir. "
Thank you. I really don't want you specifically to play this. It's quite possibly the best single player campaign I've played in half a decade. You should not be allowed to enjoy it. "
I'm going to get a PS3 and buy Uncharted and play through it just to spite you, haha! "

Edited by FrEeZe

Wow, how did you manage to write that much and yet not say anything at all. This smörgåsbord of yours if just a bunch of empty calories.

Edited by vidiot
@FrEeZe said:

" Wow, how did you manage to write that much and yet not say anything at all. This smörgåsbord of yours if just a bunch of empty calories. "

What? Are you serious? It's a simple what I've been playing blog. These are my thoughts of what I've been playing. If you don't like it, take your rudeness and go somewhere else.
No smörgåsbord for you.
Edited by FrEeZe
@vidiot said:

" @FrEeZe said:

" Wow, how did you manage to write that much and yet not say anything at all. This smörgåsbord of yours if just a bunch of empty calories. "

What? Are you serious? It's a simple what I've been playing blog. These are my thoughts of what I've been playing. If you don't like it, take your rudeness and go somewhere else.No smörgåsbord for you. "
Your blog post is just a gathering of popular thoughts. Your "I HATE Uncharted 2." statement at the beginning comes off as controversial and original (appetizing like whipped cream on a dessert), but apparently it wasn't genuine since it was followed up with some mumbled praise (there is no dessert, just whipped cream). Your post seemed to be worthwhile at the end when I saw Machinarium, but that too was just a very brief tease because the segment consisted of two sentences. You can keep your  smörgåsbord; I prefer something with a bit of taste.
Edited by vidiot
@FrEeZe said:

" @vidiot said:

" @FrEeZe said:

" Wow, how did you manage to write that much and yet not say anything at all. This smörgåsbord of yours if just a bunch of empty calories. "

What? Are you serious? It's a simple what I've been playing blog. These are my thoughts of what I've been playing. If you don't like it, take your rudeness and go somewhere else.No smörgåsbord for you. "
Your blog post is just a gathering of popular thoughts. Your "I HATE Uncharted 2." statement at the beginning comes off as controversial and original (appetizing like whipped cream on a dessert), but apparently it wasn't genuine since it was followed up with some mumbled praise (there is no dessert, just whipped cream). Your post seemed to be worthwhile at the end when I saw Machinarium, but that too was just a very brief tease because the segment consisted of two sentences. You can keep your  smörgåsbord; I prefer something with a bit of taste. "
Wow. Dude, your taking this blog way too seriously.
Sometimes I write introspective thoughts and histories regarding gameplay mechanics over a decade. Other times, I write about the extensive work an overlooked fan community is up too. This time I wanted to write what my thoughts are of stuff I'm playing. I had some fun with some satire and my genuine annoyance of trying to find stuff wrong with Uncharted 2, and me getting angry at the game because of that.
 
I do not think your expectations should be quite high when the topic begins with a description of what smörgåsbord is. I'm having fun.

If you have more nuanced thoughts on certain subjects, go type your own blog. 
"I'm sorry I have similar thoughts and opinions regarding certain games?" Huh. Yeah, that sounds worthwhile to type. :/
 
I'll give you one thing though: I didn't write enough about Machinarium. I had to take out quite a bit on that subject due to the fact that my first attempt posting this failed. My original post was far more intricate. 
 
Be cool and go get some smörgåsbord. 
Edited by FrEeZe
@vidiot said:

" @FrEeZe said:

" @vidiot said:

" @FrEeZe said:

" Wow, how did you manage to write that much and yet not say anything at all. This smörgåsbord of yours if just a bunch of empty calories. "

What? Are you serious? It's a simple what I've been playing blog. These are my thoughts of what I've been playing. If you don't like it, take your rudeness and go somewhere else.No smörgåsbord for you. "
Your blog post is just a gathering of popular thoughts. Your "I HATE Uncharted 2." statement at the beginning comes off as controversial and original (appetizing like whipped cream on a dessert), but apparently it wasn't genuine since it was followed up with some mumbled praise (there is no dessert, just whipped cream). Your post seemed to be worthwhile at the end when I saw Machinarium, but that too was just a very brief tease because the segment consisted of two sentences. You can keep your  smörgåsbord; I prefer something with a bit of taste. "
Wow. Dude, your taking this blog way too seriously.
Sometimes I write introspective thoughts and histories regarding gameplay mechanics over a decade. Other times, I write about the extensive work an overlooked fan community is up too. This time I wanted to write what my thoughts are of stuff I'm playing. I had some fun with some satire and my genuine annoyance of trying to find stuff wrong with Uncharted 2, and me getting angry at the game because of that.
 
I do not think your expectations should be quite high when the topic begins with a description of what smörgåsbord is. I'm having fun.

If you have more nuanced thoughts on certain subjects, go type your own blog. 
"I'm sorry I have similar thoughts and opinions regarding certain games?" Huh. Yeah, that sounds worthwhile to type. :/ I'll give you one thing though: I didn't write enough about Machinarium. I had to take out quite a bit on that subject due to the fact that my first attempt posting this failed. My original post was far more intricate.   Be cool and go get some smörgåsbord.  "
Guess I should of put more food references into my post to show that it was a playful response. But on the other hand, go to sleep Bellevue; the ratio of Ridiculous posts to Serious posts at 3 in the morning is 10:0 (with the exception of yours).
Posted by pornstorestiffi
@mhkjtha said:
" jag älskar smörgåsbord.  does uncharted have per-object motion blur? the dudes face in that pic looks blurred, but not drakes arm "
Smørrebrød er ikke tosset.
Posted by vidiot
@FrEeZe: Yeah, don't do that to me when I can barely type. Just a heads up though, next time: stick some elaboration in your first post so I don't view it as some ludicrous strange annoying attack. Thanks.
Edited by nanikore

Ja, smörgåsbord är lagom gott.
 
 
 
I need to get Uncharted 2.

Posted by Galiant

Thanks for the read.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

You're totally right about haunting-yet-inviting feeling in Machinarium.  Which was weird.  It sorta looks bleak, but at the same time it's so welcoming with the disarming style of the characters and the humor, that it doesn't feel relentlessly bleak.  At the same time, because things are often cheery, you're actually reminded of how desolate the place seems.
 
I think what keeps the game from FEELING bleak, though, is their use of the color palette.  All the grays and browns have undertones which makes one place look different than the next.  I get the feeling of a canyon in one, steel in another, a coaldust stained mine in another.  It never feels relentlessly bland like other places that attempt the same thing, yet it's never gaudy.  There's always chips in the paint, so to speak, so the place feels old and lived-in.  Pretty frigging cool.

Edited by vidiot
@ahoodedfigure said:

" You're totally right about haunting-yet-inviting feeling in Machinarium.  Which was weird.  It sorta looks bleak, but at the same time it's so welcoming with the disarming style of the characters and the humor, that it doesn't feel relentlessly bleak.  At the same time, because things are often cheery, you're actually reminded of how desolate the place seems.  I think what keeps the game from FEELING bleak, though, is their use of the color palette.  All the grays and browns have undertones which makes one place look different than the next.  I get the feeling of a canyon in one, steel in another, a coaldust stained mine in another.  It never feels relentlessly bland like other places that attempt the same thing, yet it's never gaudy.  There's always chips in the paint, so to speak, so the place feels old and lived-in.  Pretty frigging cool. "

In my longer failed attempt (The first time I typed this blog it timed out.) to write about Machinarium a week ago, I most certainly mentioned the color which you did a phenomenal job describing. I also think the pencil style artwork does a great job in making it look inviting. It's not just the environment either, the characters all have a quirkiness to them: They're robots, but they do a good job showcasing that they have personality which is something harder to say then to actually try and do from a design standpoint. 
 
Personally, this might sound weird, the game is giving me the impression of something akin to a Tim Burton film. I kinda got this same impression when I played both Samorost games a few years back. A sense of the weird, unknown and haunting juxtaposed with something very inviting, lighthearted and interesting. 
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@vidiot: Thanks.  And you're right, the hand-drawn style really contributes to this warmth, too.  If it was all hard lines I imagine it would seem just as mindlessly relentless as most of the rest of the two-tone wastelands we've seen in other games lately.  
 
When you mention Tim Burton I totally get that.  A lot of his character design has to do with shape, movement, and facial expression.  I'm thinking Corpse Bride off-hand, where the form the character has helps us guess about their behavior.  Like the three musicians in the city in Machinarium, each one seems to be saying a different thing just through they way they explain their specific instrument problems, and how they hold themselves.  That and the weird feeling underlying stuff, although this is obviously less kinetic and gothic than Tim Burton's usual focus.