Archive for May, 2013

Rant: YouTube, Redux

May 30, 2013

YouTube is seriously turning to shit.

It started in what seems like ancient history now, with the elimination of the stars-based rating system in favour of a like/dislike one. And then they fucked up the related videos column. And then they fucked it up some more.

Recently, they introduced a new layout. A new layout that does not work worth a damn on my computer. It’s snapped to the left side of my screen, leaving almost half of it unused and forcing me to crane my neck to the left to watch videos. Popping out a video used to center it nicely- now it’s off to the left, again for no apparent fucking reason except that nobody watches videos on their computer anymore, or something.

Now there’s the new channel layout. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the new layout, as far as I can tell… yet. But I tried to change my channel art and it basically went full retard on me.

Adding new channel art required me to log in again to access some kind of Google storage, for no apparent reason. When I uploaded my logo, it raped it and cut off half the text. I suppose I should have read the guidelines. Guidelines which basically state that YouTube will not scale your image in a reasonable fashion if your logo is anything like mine. Which is every goddamn amateur logo made by the legions of YouTubers with no graphic design skill or money to hire a designer. You allow us to crop our image, now can you do it in such a way that automatically adds whitespace instead of me wasting my time manually ghettoing that shit up in Paint?

Additionally, it required my picture to be ridiculously fucking large. Like, higher res than my monitor large. Maybe this is to accomodate high-res (not fucking Retina, why the fuck is Android Incorporated acting like fucking iFags?) displays, but haven’t you ever heard of scaling? Yes, it will look like crap, but so will the result of an exasperated me going into paint and stretching the image by 400%. At least Google probably uses fancy anti-aliased edge-sharpened algorithms that don’t predate Y2K. But thank you for wasting my time.

I want to change my channel icon. Inexplicably, this is linked to my Google+ account, which I was not aware I had. It’s my profile icon. Thank you for opening an account I don’t fucking want without my fucking consent, Google.

Thankfully, it didn’t go full retard. Except for asking me if I was sure I wanted it, because it didn’t have my face on it. Maybe I don’t want my face on it. Maybe I identify by something else, or maybe I just don’t want my face plastered all over the fucking internet. At least they didn’t demand I use a face, because if they did then this would not be posted here but to the email accounts of every Google executive I could find.

ADDENDUM: Remember that copywrong bullshit I brought up earlier? Well, because of that, I can no longer do any of these things completely unrelated to copyright infringement, most of which make no sense whatsoever. And I have to wait six months for the claim to expire.

I really need to find an alternative to YouTube.

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Gaming: Call of Duty Ghosts (insane rant inside)

May 22, 2013

First off, am I the only one who immediately thinks of that other franchise when I hear the name?

So, a new Call of Duty is coming. Let’s get one thing straight- I like Call of Duty. I agree that it is excessively linear, and not at all realistic. My favorite game in terms of balancing linearity versus control remains Rainbow Six: Vegas Two- I love being able to actually do some customization, and especially be in charge of a squad rather than simply part of it. But with Call of Duty, I’m content to sit back and enjoy the ride. Basically, it’s an interactive action movie. I’m okay with that. I did like the direction Black Ops 2 went in, but I feel they didn’t go far enough. More less linearity, please.

The setting appears to be in the near future, with a seriously messed up version of the United States. I have mixed feelings about that. First, it seems rather implausible. Despite recent economic problems, I can’t see the United States falling that fast. Second, it sounds more than a little familiar. With that being said, I’ll reserve judgement until I know more. Story-wise, all I can do is shrug my shoulders. No idea who or what the enemy is.

Graphics look good, but not amazing. These ‘next-gen’ graphics you console guys are salivating over have been the status quo in the PC world for years now.

IGN mentioned that Ghosts has just as much handholding as Modern Warfare. To me, that’s a disappointment. Call of Duty is all about glorious set pieces and an action movie feel, but it’s a formula that relies on upping the ante with every release. MW3 didn’t really do that, and to be honest, after MW2, you’re going to have a lot of trouble getting more intense. Like I said, I feel that what Black Ops 2 did was a step in the right direction, and I commend Treyarch for that. Infinity Ward, please build on what Treyarch did. I know I’m going to sound like I have questionable mental faculties here, but it might be time to dial back the cinematics a tad and focus on plot and character development, as well as gameplay. Perhaps do what Warfighter tried (and failed) to do- a deep, personal story.

Gameplay wise, same issue. I’m tired of sitting back and letting everyone else make the decisions. It’s part of the same tired formula. Let me take charge for once. Blops 2 did this to some degree, but I would like to see more. Being able to actually choose in that game was shocking- maybe this is the shock factor you’re looking for.

Insane rant incoming. Those who are mentally unprepared may wish to seek cover.

There’s been some discussion on female characters in Ghosts, and some of it actually makes me sick to read. One guy offered the lame excuse that it might offend some minorities if you can shoot women in the face. That is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve heard all day, and I spent an hour with literal retards and psychos (okay, not really). First and foremost, you’re going to offend someone anyway. Deal with it. Second, Call of Duty is no stranger to controversy. Third, you have an opportunity to shoot women- defenceless, civilian women- in the past three games. I can’t see how female characters in singleplayer or female avatars in multiplayer could be any worse than that.

What bothers me is that the industry has actually moved backwards. Ten (okay, coming up on fifteen) years ago, women in FPS games wasn’t just acceptable, it was standard goddamn practice. Let me name some off the top of my head. Playable female leads? Perfect Dark and No One Lives Forever. Supporting characters? Goldeneye, RTCW, Medal of Honor, um, fuck, I forget now. Multiplayer avatars? I’m really goddamn bad at this, but Quake III Arena had tons. Shit, I suck at this, but I know there were lots I just can’t bring to mind.

Now? Playable leads I can count on one hand. Supporting characters- rarely, and usually victims or very minor characters. Multiplayer avatars? Lolno. Call of Duty I pick on a lot, because it’s a very prominent franchise. But if you look at Battlefield, same thing. Medal of Honor? Warfighter was the most sexist game I’ve played in a while, going so far as to thank all military men for their service- I forget the exact wording but it WAS gender-specific. Of course, that was overshadowed by its massive jingoism and generally being fucking terrible. And now I’ve run out of rage, but I’m sure there are others.

If there is a female Ghost, I will pay extra to buy the special edition of this game, and fucking frame it on my goddamn wall. Rant over.

 

 

Gaming: Xbox ONE First Impressions

May 21, 2013

So… Xbox One reveal.

First, I was wrong about the name. Besides the obvious Xbox 720 guess, a lot of people guessed Xbox Loop or Xbox Infinity based on the registration of xbox8.com. I, of course, guessed Xbox 8, to match Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. All in all, though, Xbox One isn’t a bad name. It’s not mindblowingly retarded like Wii U.

Hardware… pretty much what we were expecting. Initial reports pointed to a POWER architecture processor, but what we’re going to see looks very similar to the PS4 (or AMD’s next-gen Fusion chip). Coupled with 8GB of DDR3, which means they learned from the last generation that you NEED MORE RAM. Still, by the time it’s retired, 64GB or 128GB will probably be commonplace. A lot of people are going to say, oh, it’s not powerful enough, it’s not pushing the limits, but the fact is that you can’t push the limits with a game console anymore without driving the price through the roof. Best you can do is play catch-up with the PC world.

Media functionality, yes, I like, but it’ll be saddled with Microsoft’s proprietary bullshit for sure. They’ll probably make you pay for LIVE Gold to use Netflix and stuff too, but we’ll see. I can already tell they won’t let you mount a network drive and stream your… um… downloaded movies. Overlaying over your HDTV steam, honestly, I don’t really see the utility in. A lot of people are moving to online services entirely. I’m not going to get into the death of TV, though, that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

Speaking of which, paying for online service is pure bullshit in this day and age. It’s gouging and there’s no excuse for it.

More in-depth and factually correct examination, as well my take on Call of Duty: Ghosts, tomorrow. Spoilers: Graphics don’t look that special, and for fuck’s sake, can we finally have some women in this game? I will pay extra for female Ghosts.