Worth Reading: 06/22/12

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patrickklepek

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Edited By patrickklepek
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I promised a nuanced account of my experience with Amnesia: The Dark Descent's endgame last week, but I've been swamped with other, more time sensitive features that have placed that on the back burner. If you want a taste, download this week's podcast, which is basically a rough draft of where I'm going with it, anyway.

The next games in my horror backlog have already been lined up, too: System Shock 2 and Eternal Darkness. These experiences are giving me (and Ryan) some good ideas about what we could do here at Giant Bomb to help "celebrate" Halloween later this year.

System Shock 2 is a weird one, since it's not available on Steam or Good Old Games, and the only reason it's functioning on any modern operating system is because the fans have put in the work. It actually runs beautifully on my MacBook Air, despite System Shock 2 never having being released natively for the Mac--it's using an emulation wrapper called Wine. There's a whole rabbit hole of mods, too, including two-player co-op, widescreen support, improved textures. People love System Shock 2, and I'm anxious to join them by finding out why.

I'm just as curious about diving into some broken games that have gone under my radar, too. I Am Alive has all sorts of problems, but I stuck by my podcast statement that it's a really good game, at least insofar as being a game with truly compelling ideas that fumbles the execution. It was a fascinating experience, one I got much more out of than, say, Lollipop Chainsaw, a game that would run you a hell of lot more if you picked it up at the store.

Hey, You Should Watch This

This will actually be a new feature going forward, but since this week was interrupted by my flight back to Chicago, I didn't have much time to play much of anything. Instead, let's get hyped for some weird games, shall we?

Also, You Should Read These

No Caption Provided

Metal Gear Online turned off the lights this week, and that's a fact unlikely to change anytime soon. Metar Gear Online found its niche, and though it wasn't a very large niche, it had its champions, and it's aways sad when an online game makes the switch to permanently offline. It's a tragic fact about video games, one that writer Patrick Elliott explores in this piece for Kill Screen, in which he laments about how games have not taken much time to consider how they'll be preserved as they continue evolving. Sure, the lucky few who are paying attention have a chance to experience everything along the way, but what about when our memories fade, or we want to show our children? In many cases, we won't have any options, and games like Metal Gear Online will be a footnote in history. Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

When the inevitable server shutdown does come, it will fundamentally alter the experience of Demon's Souls. The core mechanics will remain – combat, weapon systems, boss battles – but the experience surrounding them will become irrevocably isolated. When the last summon sign fades away, when the threat of invasion vanishes and the devious interplay between players comes to the end, the game becomes a shadow of its former self. In the darkness, a message appears: My heart is breaking.

Oh, And This Other Stuff

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patrickklepek

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#1  Edited By patrickklepek
No Caption Provided

I promised a nuanced account of my experience with Amnesia: The Dark Descent's endgame last week, but I've been swamped with other, more time sensitive features that have placed that on the back burner. If you want a taste, download this week's podcast, which is basically a rough draft of where I'm going with it, anyway.

The next games in my horror backlog have already been lined up, too: System Shock 2 and Eternal Darkness. These experiences are giving me (and Ryan) some good ideas about what we could do here at Giant Bomb to help "celebrate" Halloween later this year.

System Shock 2 is a weird one, since it's not available on Steam or Good Old Games, and the only reason it's functioning on any modern operating system is because the fans have put in the work. It actually runs beautifully on my MacBook Air, despite System Shock 2 never having being released natively for the Mac--it's using an emulation wrapper called Wine. There's a whole rabbit hole of mods, too, including two-player co-op, widescreen support, improved textures. People love System Shock 2, and I'm anxious to join them by finding out why.

I'm just as curious about diving into some broken games that have gone under my radar, too. I Am Alive has all sorts of problems, but I stuck by my podcast statement that it's a really good game, at least insofar as being a game with truly compelling ideas that fumbles the execution. It was a fascinating experience, one I got much more out of than, say, Lollipop Chainsaw, a game that would run you a hell of lot more if you picked it up at the store.

Hey, You Should Watch This

This will actually be a new feature going forward, but since this week was interrupted by my flight back to Chicago, I didn't have much time to play much of anything. Instead, let's get hyped for some weird games, shall we?

Loading Video...
Loading Video...
Loading Video...

Also, You Should Read These

No Caption Provided

Metal Gear Online turned off the lights this week, and that's a fact unlikely to change anytime soon. Metar Gear Online found its niche, and though it wasn't a very large niche, it had its champions, and it's aways sad when an online game makes the switch to permanently offline. It's a tragic fact about video games, one that writer Patrick Elliott explores in this piece for Kill Screen, in which he laments about how games have not taken much time to consider how they'll be preserved as they continue evolving. Sure, the lucky few who are paying attention have a chance to experience everything along the way, but what about when our memories fade, or we want to show our children? In many cases, we won't have any options, and games like Metal Gear Online will be a footnote in history. Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

When the inevitable server shutdown does come, it will fundamentally alter the experience of Demon's Souls. The core mechanics will remain – combat, weapon systems, boss battles – but the experience surrounding them will become irrevocably isolated. When the last summon sign fades away, when the threat of invasion vanishes and the devious interplay between players comes to the end, the game becomes a shadow of its former self. In the darkness, a message appears: My heart is breaking.

Oh, And This Other Stuff

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wintermute

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#2  Edited By wintermute

Could it be?

Edit: It was! I finally got the achievement! Now all I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom!

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SoldierG654342

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#3  Edited By SoldierG654342

System Shock 2. Pleas do video. Actually, don't, because it'll probably cause me to literally tear my hair out.

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Animasta

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#4  Edited By Animasta

if you're going back this far into old, scary, PC stuff, you really really need to play pathologic.

edit; also that female journalist story is disgusting

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august

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#5  Edited By august

I'm motherfucking excited about you playing SS2.
 
Also glad you got the mods figured out. If you're wondering if you should install the ADaoB patch, the answer is yes.

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Voshterkoff

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#6  Edited By Voshterkoff

Hell yeah SShock 2!

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Video_Game_King

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#7  Edited By Video_Game_King

@patrickklepek said:

Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

What the fuck?

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august

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#8  Edited By august

Also if you're wondering why SS2 hasn't been released on GoG or Steam, apparently the ip rights issues are totally fucked. There might be a local insurance company or something that owns part of the rights.

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liako21

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#9  Edited By liako21

i really how patrick is willing to go back and play some old games and give us his insight. i wish more game journalist did this.

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sub_o

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#10  Edited By sub_o

@Video_Game_King said:

@patrickklepek said:

Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

What the fuck?

Hmmm, the only time when I heard about Satellaview was when I was listening to Retronauts podcast on Chrono Cross and Radical Dreamers. I don't think it's ever released out of Japan.

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Hailinel

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#11  Edited By Hailinel

@Video_Game_King said:

@patrickklepek said:

Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

What the fuck?

Seriously?

Patrick, I encourage you to read this and the comments.

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Video_Game_King

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#12  Edited By Video_Game_King

@sub_o:

True, but still, some pretty big stuff was released for it.

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natetodamax

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#13  Edited By natetodamax

@liako21 said:

i really how patrick is willing to go back and play some old games and give us his insight. i wish more game journalist did this.

I agree. It's actually started to inspire me to do the same. I'm still tossing around some ideas but it would be cool to go back and play some of the games I've missed over the years.

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white

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#14  Edited By white

MGO is gone!? Oh no...

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Video_Game_King

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#15  Edited By Video_Game_King

@Hailinel said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@patrickklepek said:

Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

What the fuck?

Seriously?

Patrick, I encourage you to read this and the comments.

I was ready to call you out for shameless self advertising, but then the URL expanded and I saw Fire Emblem. I can only approve.

@Voxel:

Oh, and I finally get where your avatar is from.

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ICF_19XX

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#16  Edited By ICF_19XX
It was a fascinating experience, one I got much more out of than, say, Lollipop Chainsaw, a game that would run you a hell of lot more if you picked it up at the store.

Run me a hell lot more, as in money? Is Lollipop Chainsaw cheaper if purchased online? I understand that I Am Alive may be a better value proposition. However, these sentences don't make sense to me. Maybe me am retarded?

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august

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#17  Edited By august
@Hailinel said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@patrickklepek said:

Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

What the fuck?

Seriously?

Patrick, I encourage you to read this and the comments.

If you seriously think it's strange that someone, even a game journalist, has never heard of the Stellaview, I think you need to take a step back for a second.
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Video_Game_King

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#18  Edited By Video_Game_King

@august said:

If you seriously think it's strange that someone, even a game journalist, has never heard of the Stellaview, I think you need to take a step back for a second.

Oh, I understand. Running start, right?

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Animasta

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#19  Edited By Animasta

@Nicholas said:

It was a fascinating experience, one I got much more out of than, say, Lollipop Chainsaw, a game that would run you a hell of lot more if you picked it up at the store.

Run me a hell lot more, as in money? Is Lollipop Chainsaw cheaper if purchased online? I understand that I Am Alive may be a better value proposition. However, these sentences don't make sense to me. Maybe me am retarded?

I assume store just means either way, but yeah that is a clunky sentence.

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Hailinel

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#20  Edited By Hailinel

@august said:

@Hailinel said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@patrickklepek said:

Also, I'd never heard of Nintendo's Satellaview before reading this article--holy shit!

What the fuck?

Seriously?

Patrick, I encourage you to read this and the comments.

If you seriously think it's strange that someone, even a game journalist, has never heard of the Stellaview, I think you need to take a step back for a second.

It caught me by surprise, yes. I had assumed that he had heard of it. No offense was meant by my reaction.

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Lego_My_Eggo

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#21  Edited By Lego_My_Eggo

I tried to play System Shock 2 after playing Bioshock, but it would always crash on me 2 mins in. I think i may give it another shot now that i have a "new" pc.

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SoldierG654342

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#22  Edited By SoldierG654342

@august said:

I'm motherfucking excited about you playing SS2. Also glad you got the mods figured out. If you're wondering if you should install the ADaoB patch, the answer is yes.

Eh, ADaoB is starting to get beyond just fixing some of the bugs and exploits and is slowly turning into something more than just rectifying anomalies, discrepancies, and bugs. I mean, it's not SecMod, but completely vanilla SS2 is fine for a first run.

@august said:

Also if you're wondering why SS2 hasn't been released on GoG or Steam, apparently the ip rights issues are totally fucked. There might be a local insurance company or something that owns part of the rights.

EA owned the rights to the name "System Shock" right but abandoned them on 2007, and an insurance company now owns the rights to the name. SHODAN and the rest of the meat of the IP is still up in the air.

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deactivated-58afe98346ace

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"Perspective" is pretty much exactly the kind of craziness i expected when i first heard quantum conundrums plot.

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Silver-Streak

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#24  Edited By Silver-Streak

What the fuck is wrong with PR. Holy christ. That journalist's story is terrifying.

Do the PR folks that continually made comments or doubted her credentials not realize their title stands for "Public Relations"? As in relating to the public. Just...wow.

Regardless of what your concerns or thoughts may be, you don't belittle an attendee due to them, at that point you're pushing away sales from whatever game you're peddling.

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Rirse

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#25  Edited By Rirse

That reminds me, what a shame there was no End of Metal Gear Online feature. I loved the one for Matrix, X-Box, and Star Wars Galaxy

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#26  Edited By Gordo789

I had no idea that kickstarter suspended the Tentacle Bento project on their site. Even though the game is not my thing and I can see how it is totally offensive and in bad taste, it still seems like a pretty shitty thing to do.

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#27  Edited By ArbitraryWater

@Voxel said:

@liako21 said:

i really how patrick is willing to go back and play some old games and give us his insight. i wish more game journalist did this.

I agree. It's actually started to inspire me to do the same. I'm still tossing around some ideas but it would be cool to go back and play some of the games I've missed over the years.

I've been doing this for three years now.

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darkstorn

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#28  Edited By darkstorn

Patrick, have you played through Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth? As a horror game fanatic myself, it made my skin crawl and appeased my Lovecraft bug in one fell swoop. Highly recommended if you haven't checked it out yet.

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#29  Edited By natetodamax

I would love to play System Shock 2 but man, it's a bit more expensive on Amazon than I was expecting.

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#30  Edited By august

@SoldierG654342 said:

@august said:

I'm motherfucking excited about you playing SS2. Also glad you got the mods figured out. If you're wondering if you should install the ADaoB patch, the answer is yes.

Eh, ADaoB is starting to get beyond just fixing some of the bugs and exploits and is slowly turning into something more than just rectifying anomalies, discrepancies, and bugs. I mean, it's not SecMod, but completely vanilla SS2 is fine for a first run.

Personally I've always found the game balance skewed pretty heavily towards projectile weapons, so anything that makes the other paths more useful is a good thing.

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Hailinel

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#31  Edited By Hailinel

@Gordo789 said:

I had no idea that kickstarter suspended the Tentacle Bento project on their site. Even though the game is not my thing and I can see how it is totally offensive and in bad taste, it still seems like a pretty shitty thing to do.

Yeah, but the company behind it is still moving forward with it. They moved the fundraiser to their own website, and it managed to earn back all of the funds that Kickstarter cancelled on them plus extra. There's no doubt in my mind that it ended up getting as much funding as it did because of Kickstarter's unilateral cancellation of the project. From my understanding, it doesn't even sound like they gave the company behind Tentacle Bento the opportunity make their case beforehand. They just blocked funding and then forced a cancellation. Whether or not you agree with the context and content of the game, I don't believe that Kickstarter was in the right in terms of how they handled the situation.

EDIT: I should also note that, for as awful as the game supposedly is, is it really any worse than say, Cards Against Humanity?

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CilliaBlack

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#32  Edited By CilliaBlack

@Darkstorn said:

Patrick, have you played through Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth? As a horror game fanatic myself, it made my skin crawl and appeased my Lovecraft bug in one fell swoop. Highly recommended if you haven't checked it out yet.

Second this recommendation. But perhaps not so soon after Amnesia. The first section especially of Dark Corners is pretty similar to the most horrifying moments of Amensia in how it creates and maintains tension, and a break from that is probably warranted. System Shock 2 and Eternal Darkness are cool though, they're more about everpresent creepiness than oppressive terror.

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Doctorchimp

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#33  Edited By Doctorchimp

Oh Metal Gear Online...

If only you were playable.

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prestonhedges

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#34  Edited By prestonhedges

I bet this guy hasn't heard of the Sega Channel, either. Pffft. Philistine.

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#35  Edited By FCKSNAP

@gladspooky said:

I bet this guy hasn't heard of the Sega Channel, either. Pffft. Philistine.

Or PlayCable. That prick.

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#36  Edited By cthomer5000

Thank you for speaking up (and going against the GB grain) on I Am Alive.

I thought it was a very good game, despite some obvious issues. The sound design and voice acting was a real highlight and did a great deal to add to the atmosphere for me. I actually think it's one of the best games of the year so far (though this has been a very lean year for my personal gaming tastes).

Much like your views on Catherine, i think sometimes it's worth giving a game credit for the interesting things its doing even if other parts of the game leave something to be desired.

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tebbit

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#37  Edited By tebbit

Co-Op for System Shock 2 was actually added in an official patch, released by Irrational shortly after release. It also supported four players.

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PeasantAbuse

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#38  Edited By PeasantAbuse

Sinister does look pretty sweet.

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YummyTreeSap

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#39  Edited By YummyTreeSap

Perspective has a really neat concept; unfortunately it looks much too clunky to be much fun to actually play. The individual aspects of first-person walking around and 2D platforming don't seem particularly compelling and it's hard to say whether or not the larger idea of it being a puzzle game of sorts will be interesting enough to make the game worth it.

Bleed looks pretty fun though.

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Mento

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#40  Edited By Mento  Moderator

Man, I thought for a moment someone had made a Sinistar movie.

Some good reads, thanks Patrick. Looking forward to whatever Halloween feature you and Ryan are cooking up.

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#41  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

System Shock 2 doesn't need any mods for co-op, Irrational Games enabled that in the first official patch - for 4 players, not just 2. Then of course, the 4 player co-op was incredibly buggy, so it's possible there's a mod that limits it to 2 players if it was more players that caused the frequent inventory and skill tree losses.

I do think SS2's co-op - apart from the bugs - worked extremely well with the game though, nowadays when multiplayer is added to games many say it must be done in a way that is detrimental to the single player experience, but in my opinion the co-op was actually scarier than playing alone - the lack of resources became more noticeable as we tried to divide the few working weapons we could find among the team, divide the ammo and food, often with the result that no one player had all the gear to take on all kinds enemies - most had a pistol and maybe a shotgun, but assault rifles, grenade launchers and other heavy weaponry were scarce, and straying away from the players who had them got very scary, especially if we had gotten scattered by running from a bee hive or stuff like that.

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august

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#42  Edited By august

By the way, someone needs to tell Patrick to invest in Maintenance and not Repair. For the love of god.
 
The thing about SS2 that I worry about is that it's entirely possible to make a useless build and get stuck.

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AURON570

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#43  Edited By AURON570

Just read the last article on Metal Gear Online, yeah it's sad to think about the fate of online games. =(

Loved MGS4, but when I finally decided to check out the online, I wasn't able to get into any games because there was no one playing around my skill level. Which really sucks, because it looks great.

Also I just got Demon's Souls about a month ago and was sad to hear that online was getting cut. I'm sort of unsure how to feel about this now that the online is still going. I have gotten so used to playing offline (because in my house I usually keep wireless off). I don't think I'm cut out for pvp, and I like being able to control my own world tendency. Eh, who knows.

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AbeBroHamLincon

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#44  Edited By AbeBroHamLincon

fred seems cool.

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ch3burashka

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#45  Edited By ch3burashka

@Doctorchimp said:

Oh Metal Gear Online...

If only you were playable.

You would then... not play it?

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Doctorchimp

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#46  Edited By Doctorchimp

@CH3BURASHKA said:

@Doctorchimp said:

Oh Metal Gear Online...

If only you were playable.

You would then... not play it?

Even when Metal Gear Online was online it still wasn't playable.

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jasonefmonk

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#47  Edited By jasonefmonk

The server shut downs are disappointing. I was a huge fan of The Matrix, but never got around to the MMO. Now I'll never be able to play that part of the story, even if I have the cash.

The bigger sadness to me is games like Journey losing their online functionality, or just not having enough players online to experience it. Some of these games are truly special, and deserve to be preserved.

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mewarmo990

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#48  Edited By mewarmo990

The absence of an online player base for the old Aliens vs Predator 2 makes me very sad. It was so good!

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Y2Ken

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#49  Edited By Y2Ken

Well damnit, that picture made me want to play MGS Online, and now I can't.

I honestly loved that game, one of the first I really played online and I spent a lot of time with it. Great fun.

Also you should absolutely promote that comic strip harder.

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sciencecomic

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#50  Edited By sciencecomic

Hey there, I'm the guy who drew the comic about the recent incidents against women in gaming. Thanks so much for the plug. You seem to have found the comic at the same time as 4chan did. But so far Giant Bomb is winning. Cheers ;)