Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Rant: The Decline of the Shooter (or lack thereof)

September 1, 2013

If you wander into the right circles, you’ll find a group of people that insist Doom (or sometimes Quake) was the epitome of gaming, that modern gamers are stupid, and today’s shooters are excessively linear and loaded down with extraneous elements like cutscenes and set pieces. Now, I’m not going to attempt to defend Call of Duty as the best thing since sliced bread (since it isn’t), but I am going to say this: Anyone who thinks that shooters went downhill after id’s classics is insanely arrogant and completely ignorant. (more…)

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Rant: GM13 – Worst Update Ever

July 24, 2013

One Steam Community member referred to the new Garry’s Mod update as “the worst update in the history of updates”. I know this is old news, but I haven’t touched GMOD in months and just came back to a rude surprise. I’m inclined to agree. Really, this update is so dramatically different that it should have been a whole new version.

Most of my friends are fine with the update, because they play the game with no addons at all. That’s not an option for me. Out of the box, GM13 has less capabilities even then stock GMOD before. Where is the turret STOOL? Keep Upright? Why are there only two maps and significantly fewer game options?

It also seems to do an even worse job of loading content from other Source games.

I understand that an update of this magnitude will break addons. I understand that a lot will be changed. It is perfectly reasonable to expect things like Spacebuild and Wiremod to be broken and require updates. But some things appear to have been changed for no real reason at all.

The spawnlist format is changed and requires conversion- would it really have been that hard to add backwards compatibility, or just leave it? This means that simple prop packs and such won’t work- they need to be updated or converted. You need to change the info.txt to addon.txt to get addons to load. Oh, and the game is now in Steam/Steamapps/Common instead of Steam/Steamapps/Username. To be fair, that one might be Steam’s fault.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that your favourite mods will never get updates.

I appreciate what Steam is trying to do with Workshop, but in all honesty, it doesn’t work. When I tried it, it didn’t even load in-game, and I ended up having to do it from Firefox. Categorization is a joke and the search function is useless. Try searching “easy engine” or “enginemod” and good luck finding the actual addon. I thought it worked fairly well at a technical level, but according to some devs, it has issues, like not allowing certain (critical) file types, small size limits, and forcing users to redownload entire mods for every update.

On the bright side, it’s a hell of a lot less glitchy, and loads much faster. And multiplayer works now.

Necessary? Probably. A good update? Hell no.

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.

Lynne Publishing: Because you suck. And we hate you.

April 14, 2013

Recently, one of my videos was taken down from YouTube due to copyright violations. I understand the reasoning- I don’t agree with it, and I think the current system is a) horribly broken and b) basically trolling, but that’s a rant for another day. I (correctly) assumed that the issue was with the background music- I doubt HBO would make a claim over the fifteen seconds of Generation Kill I used. Lynne Publishing… hmm, let’s Google that. It’s the parent company of Shockwave Sound and a few others. Hey, they have a copyright warning on their website. You can read it here.

Firearms enthusiasts will immediately understand where I’m going with this. Needless to say, I won’t be using any Shockwave Sound tracks in the future, and it’s not because of copyright. (more…)

Mass Effect 3 Feature Coming Soon

April 14, 2012

I know it’s been over a month, but I’ve been busy with some other things. Well, one of them was playing the game. Over the course of this month, I plan to do a series of posts on Mass Effect 3 – a detailed breakdown and review. I’ve been a fan of the series for, well, years now, and have been waiting eagerly for the conclusion since I finished ME2. My overall impressions are mixed, with some things impressing me and some… not so much. I’ll go into that in detail, but for now I’ll leave it at this: I don’t like the new FemShep and the ending is absolutely terrible.

Save Default Female Shepard

August 8, 2011

Seriously, BioWare, what the fuck? First Ash’s new “armor”, and now this.

BioWare wants you to vote for your favourite new FemShep, out of six candidates. This will be the new default female for ME3 and appear on the alternate cover of the collector’s edition. While I love that Sheploo’s Distaff Counterpart is getting some attention, and that they are asking fans for input, I don’t agree with that at all.

First of all, all six concepts suck. Open them up in another tab and follow along. The first three have either really short hair or a bun, I can’t tell from the angle. They’re kind of ugly, but don’t look badass. Number three isn’t as extreme as the other two, and isn’t too bad. Still, they look kind of pale and look like they are wearing makeup. Number four looks like a pop star or maybe a prostitute, not a galaxy saving heroine. The first three at least look the part… mostly. I like the face of number five, but the hair is way too messy and long. I actually wouldn’t mind her face as a reimagining of the original FemShep, as long as the long blonde hair goes. Seriously, will that even fit in a helmet? As for the last one, just no. I don’t know if it’s the black hair, the hairstyle or the dark skin, but I don’t like her look at all.

That’s not the biggest problem, though. The biggest problem is that we already have an official, default, female Shepard. Why not just pretty her up a little and use her? To some of us (well, me, anyway), the green-eyed, redheaded woman is just as iconic as the default male model. Changing that is akin to putting a different guy on the cover of Mass Effect 3, or giving Chief blue armour for Halo 4, or making a version of Minecraft with realistic terrain. Maybe not the latter, but it’s still ridiculous. We have a default Shepard already, why change her?

Late Post- SGU Cancelled

January 2, 2011

I’ve been too busy to post about it sooner, but I am so happy that SGU has been cancelled.

For those that don’t know it already, I hate Stargate Universe (SGU). I’m a huge fan of the prior two Stargate shows, but SGU just left me disgusted. I forced myself to watch it hoping it would get better and eventually gave up. Later I tried again, then gave up again. I made my opinion absolutely clear- SGU sucks. (more…)

PunkBuster Sucks

December 3, 2010

Everyone who plays PC games online knows what PunkBuster is. Evenbalance’s anti-cheat software is used in virtually every online game. Why? I have no fucking idea.To put it simply, PunkBuster sucks.

Supposedly it updates automatically, but I’ve had to update both CoD4 and BFBC2 manually. If you don’t have it up to date, you get kicked with a cryptic message. Why doesn’t it update automatically? Is this deliberate or just bad coding?

Apparently the method PunkBuster uses to identify cheaters is dubious at best. One group injected a stream of characters made to look like a common hack into an IRC stream while playing. The result? A ban. PunkBuster also has the (in my opinion scary) ability to PERMANENTLY ban cheaters from ALL PunkBuster enabled servers.

All this would be forgivable if PunkBuster did a good job of stopping cheaters. But it doesn’t. PunkBuster is woefully ineffective. I’ve played against so many aimbots and wallhackers it’s not even funny. And I’m not the only one experiencing this. There is no replacement for a good server admin.

PunkBuster is terrible software. And the guys at Evenbalance seem to be flaunting it like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Why are game companies incorporating this shit? Are they simply too lazy or cheap to implement their own, proper anti-cheat software?

SGU – Merely Bad

October 11, 2010

I watched SGU 1×19 and 1×20 Divided. I’m neutral to say that SGU is no longer unwatchably awful and now merely bad.

Of course, they’re still a bunch of idiots doing stupid shit, it’s still full of “drama” and plot holes. But at least there’s some bad guys and some action, and something resembling a plot. Since I was watching it on a computer, I skipped past most of the scenes with Eli and Chloe, because I don’t like them. I took a moment to remark how bad the characters are. O’Neill and Carter appeared briefly, and O’Neill actually acted somewhat like O’Neill this time. I still don’t understand why they sent 302s instead of beaming a team in just outside or bombarding the Lucian Alliance base from orbit. The whole gamma ray burst thing adds an additional element, but I don’t understand why a ship that can fly through a sun has any problem with it.

There’s one scene where Wray (I think it was Wray) gets handed a ballistic vest that as far as I can tell, has no plates in it. I briefly wondered why they’re still using that crap after two sets of Kull armor and all the knowledge of the Asgard. Not really a complaint about SGU, more of a random thought. Anyway, I actually found myself cheering for the Lucian Alliance. They’re actually competent and can function as a unit. That said, I was still happy when it seemed like everyone was going to die at the end of the episode.

Summarized? Still too much drama, too many unlikeable characters, and a lot of continuity fail and plot holes. But it’s not unwatchable anymore. It’s gone up from a horrible TV show to a bad TV show.

Avatar

August 26, 2010

I recently found this among my drafts. I must have been distracted or tired when I wrote it and hit the draft button instead of the publish one. Original date is April 25, 2010.

Well, I watched Avatar yesterday, and it was a mixed bag.

Let’s start off on a positive note. The special effects were as good as they are hyped up to be. Pandora looks really well done and cool-looking. The battle scenes were impressive both visually and aurally.

And that’s where the good part ends. The story is overlong, overdone, and preachy as fuck. I found myself rooting for the humans. The North American Indians metaphor was incredibly obvious and slammed you in the face.

A lot of stuff, including the design of Pandora itself, seems unrealistic and unlikely. Who the hell was the military advisor for this thing? The tactics used by the humans were completely retarded, even (or maybe especially) for mercs. Whoever designed their vechicles should be shot too. There was nowhere near enough sci-fi stuff- cool technology, technobabble explainations, etc. In fact, the movie felt more fantasy than sci-fi. The whole movie felt 40 years into the future, not 140 years. In fact, the only really futuristic technology was the Avatars themselves.

Overall, Avatar is a great movie for showing off your home theatre or seeing once because everyone else is. But really, it’s not as great as it’s hyped up to be.