Posts Tagged ‘Rants’

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.

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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.

 

 

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.

Modern Warfare 3 – First Impressions

November 10, 2011

So, I preordered MW3 on Steam a while back. There’s an interesting story to that, which I may or may not get into later. To put it simply, I was going to go for the other big shooter, but didn’t want spyware on my PC and didn’t want to give money to a company that is so evil. So I bought MW3, and have been playing it since it came out. I’ve played through the entire campaign, but my online experience is limited to a single match, so keep that in mind. A surprising proportion of players simply buy the game for the multiplayer, which is very disappointing. In my opinion, the singleplayer campaign is the best part of the game.

I won’t spoil the plot, but I must say that it starts off feeling more like MW 2.5 than MW3. The game begins right on the heels of the second one, not several years later like the first one. As the plot progresses, it starts to separate a bit and feel more like a true sequel. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that they screwed up the ending of MW2 and had to tidy up the loose ends before moving on. Anyway, the campaign feels pretty good overall, and although it’s heavily scripted and extremely linear, that’s what makes it great. It feels like an interactive movie, almost, a cinematic ride through the theatres of war. It does that even better than the first two games, but seems a bit lacking and repetitive at times. We’ve done the AC-130 how many times now? I think it’s a good thing they’re ending here, because after the stuff they pulled in the second title, it’s kind of hard to top that.

And here’s the bad news- Modern Warfare 3 doesn’t really do it. There are some pretty epic moments, and the conclusion is amazing, but it just doesn’t do the shock and awe thing as well as the first two games. There’s lots of explosions, sure, but they don’t have any impact. However, in terms of Action Movie Quiet Drama Scene, MW3 has quite a few, and they are well done. I know I’m going to piss off a lot of people by saying this, but if you’re looking for video games as art, start with the Modern Warfare series. The visuals are stunning, not necessarily because of the quality but because of what they are. I’m a PC guy and can’t say for the console guys, but MW3 looks great. Yes, there are probably better looking games, but it’s well presented. The sound design is equally excellent, and really rounds out the game. This was Medal of Honor’s failing, if anyone remembers that.

Remember how I said that this feels like MW2.5? That is reflected most in the menus, which are nearly identical. Control configuration is much the same, and the graphics options seem to lock certain settings for some reason, forcing me to override from the nVidia control panel. The game closes and starts a different executable when you switch to multiplayer, which is very glaring especially for Steam users. The campaign completion meter is totally useless- it doesn’t measure how close you are to the end of the campaign but how many achievements you got, or how many intelligence briefcases, or something. I thought I was less than halfway through, when I was really almost done. Multiplayer-wise, at least the dedicated servers are back but as I said I didn’t really try it much.

At the risk of sounding like a Straw Feminist, I’m going to bitch about one last thing before I’m done. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE WOMEN?! There was a pilot that you don’t see, some civilians that you barely notice, and a hostage. I am not joking. I could understand the first game, which was all about special forces, but still wish it didn’t have the sexist subliminal messaging. The second game was a serious mind screw. Yes, I know they are not allowed in American combat units. Are the lines really going to be that clear cut when your country is being invaded? The Russians are here, all men to the front lines! What the hell are you doing, I said all MEN! Go back and cower in the bunker. The situation is similar (though not exactly the same) in Modern Warfare 3.

Although the story arcs are definitely concluded, there are still loose ends after Modern Warfare 3. What’s going to happen in Russia? How is the Western world going to recover? What’s the story on Israel and the Middle East? What about Asia? There’s room for more here, but I don’t think Infinity Ward should do it. It would only be more of the same, and the horse is pretty tired now. Do Future Warfare. Embrace the near-future sci-fi shooter, and take the same cinematic approach. Walkers, powered armour, space combat, that sort of thing, but big and epic like the other Call of Duty games. We’ve had two Captain Prices, let’s have a third for some continuity. Make her a her this time.

Last but not least, did anyone notice that the Occupy Wall Street?

 

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.