Crispy Gamer

Recent comments

  • Bioshock Infinite Debut Trailer   3 years 29 weeks ago

    I disagree that Bioshock mocked Atlas Shrugged. I'm an Objectivist myself, and I thought Bioshock was a great homage to AS. Bioshock is, in part, the story of how an Objectivist (Andrew Ryan) became paranoid, insane, threw away his principles, and created the very thing he was trying to flee. Anyone who truly understand what Objectivism is and what Atlas Shrugged is about will tell you that Bioshock only starts out with Objectivist ideals. But pretty quickly, those ideals are abandoned in favor of the evils of theft (absolutely abhorrent to a real Objectivist) and harming others (even MORE abhorrent). Andrew Ryan, if he was ever even a real Objectivist, certainly disqualified from the title almost immediately upon the founding of Rapture.

    But to answer your question, American Exceptionalism, seems to be the theme of Infinite. And just like Bioshock, I expect Levine and company to start with the actual premise and then pretty quickly warp that idea into something ugly and counter to the ideals. I am definitely an Objectivist, but I'm not sure I would consider America or Americans exceptional, at least not inherently. We aren't born exceptional, we have to earn it, like everything else in life. Most Americans don't earn it and lots of immigrants do. But I will say that it's REALLY hard to be exceptional in every other corner of the world. If you are going to be exceptional, America is the place to...at least for now.

  • Review: Starcraft 2   3 years 29 weeks ago

    Ah Blizzard: masters of the mediocre. Even if they got it right the first time and everything about Starcraft 1 is perfect. Even if the unwashed masses just want the same game again with updated graphics and a few token additions. Even if all of that were true, they get absolutely no adulation from me. Blizzard has never invented, revolutionized or even evolutionized a genre. They are the Hollywood of game designers: giving people the same thing they've seen before a dozen times. The best thing you can say about them is that their balancing/QA is top notch, but even then, if other developers had the infinite time that Blizzard takes to make games, their QA and balancing would be just as good.

    I'm not saying Blizzard is evil or wrong for what they do. They are doing what they SHOULD be doing, namely taking as much money from us as they can and I totally respect and applaud that. No, I'm saying we, as gamers, have our collective bar set WAAAAAY too low. When we don't demand freshness and invention from designers, we get mediocrity. This game is a retread. A pretty one, no doubt, but just a retread.

  • Bioshock Infinite Debut Trailer   3 years 29 weeks ago

    I think the setting is less geared towards realism and more towards steampunk. The time period fits perfectly with that genre. Then again I'm not too interested in the realism of the settings. It does seem that the shift to an airborne city isn't a hugely interesting leap, but then again, is there anything they could have done that would have been? Maybe Rapture in the modern day? The invasion of the land by the splicers in the evil endings? A city underground? A city in space? Considering the material, I get the feeling that any change of venue wouldn't be hugely surprising. It's hard to top a city under the ocean.

     

    I'm less interested in the setting as I am in the inspiration. Bioshock was inspired by Atlas Shrugged and in many ways it was designed to mock everything that book stood for. So the big question for me is "what, if any, is the inspiration for Bioshock Infinate?"

  • Bioshock Infinite Debut Trailer   3 years 29 weeks ago

    This game seems to stretch plausibility to the breaking point. Bioshock knew its premise was ludicrous, but A) it was a secret place that only the brightest minds escaped to (ala Galt's Gulch) and B) the fantastical technology was only possible because all (or at least many) of the world's geniuses were in one place.

    This just seems like "Oh yeah that city in the sky...what's its name? Columbia? Yeah that's fairly interesting *yawn*"

    It's an even MORE technologically advanced city that is built some 30-40 years before Rapture? If Rapture was "the impossible", then Columbia is "the ludicrous".

  • Neverwinter's going both MMORPG and 4th Ed. next year, and I'm realizing just how cuttable my wrists are these days.   3 years 29 weeks ago

    It really depends on which version of the Forgotten Realms you're talking about.

    Some games have hit the setting spot on (Baldur's gate mainly) while others have missed the point entirely (the console games Interplay did b4 it collapsed). The Neverwinter Nights games were hit and miss on this subject though as they often had little to do with what had been done before with the setting. Literally, in the old D&D books, there are at most 2 pages of material on the city of Neverwinter. Compared that to the city of Waterdeep to the south which has it's own boxed set and at least 3 other books based on it. Now none of this is including the novels by Salvatore or Greenwood. If FR comes of as generic fantasy, it's probably because it's the foundation upon which countless others have based fantasy settings. The Forgotten Realms have been ripped off almost as much as Middle Earth (which also comes off as generic fantasy for the exact same reason).

    I'm far more familiar with the Forgotten Realms as a setting for table-top RPG sessions. In that regard, FR is one of the most detailed, expansive and popular D&D settings out there.

    In novels alone, there are about 200+ books based in the FR setting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Forgotten_Realms_novels

    In game books, adventures, and boxed sets that number is around 140+

    http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/TSR_product_list

    Why so much? Because for a while FR was a dumping ground for ideas and D&D settings. The 1001 nights based Arabic setting Al-Qadim was based in FR, as was the Oriental Adventures setting, and the South American based Maztica setting (Mayans and Aztecs). At one point TSR (who owned D&D from inception until 1997) released a map program called the "Forgotten Realms Atlas". It was a collection of every map ever made for FR, compiled into a comprehensive map with lesser maps linked to it (click on a town and it would pull up a map of that town). They had over 600 maps taken from all the FR books to work with. 600!

    What this represents is the immense amount of time fans and developers have put into the setting, and as a result the appeal of the setting has always been just how massive and complex it is. They had to release 2 books in order to just cover how many gods the setting had. For complexity you have the nations of the Sea of Fallen Stars or even just the labyrinthine politics and feuds of the noble families of Waterdeep. For dark, you have the nation of Thay, which is ruled over by an organization of purely evil mages, the Zentarim who are pretty much just total bastards, or even the cruel manipulation of the Drow city of Menzoberranzan.


    And it's often be really difficult for game designers to even begin to carry over all of that into their games. Some have tried really hard, and we got games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. Others got a bit lax and the results were fantasy games that felt (as you said) generic. The result has been a setting in the video games that I will admit did feel like it was a bit sophomoric at times, and did no justice to the complexities of the setting.

    Hitting the big Reset button on FR for 4th Ed. feels less like them trying to bring new life into the setting, and more like Hasbro pushing them to write more books for it. Perhaps they feel that by destroying everything that's been done before, it will allow new players to start on the same level as the old ones. But in that case wouldn't it have made more sense to have focused on an entirely NEW setting or on one of the newer one like Ebberon (proto-steampunk)?

     

    I love the Forgotten Realms, but personally I'm just glad they've been ignoring my favorite D&D setting since 3rd Ed. came out. Greyhawk. Then again, I gave up on getting anything of value out of Wizards of the Coast after the whole 3.5 hoopla. That's why I switched over to HackMaster a few years ago.

  • Neverwinter's going both MMORPG and 4th Ed. next year, and I'm realizing just how cuttable my wrists are these days.   3 years 29 weeks ago

    I've been playing PC games in the Forgotten Realms setting for almost 2 decades now (when did Baldur's Gate 1 come out?) and if it's one thing I can say for certain, it's that Faerun is about as "plain Jane" as you can get with a fantasy setting. Everything is as mild as possible with no real darkness or complexity. That's probably to be expected since D&D is aimed at teens and young adults, but to say that Forgotten Realms is "interesting" may be a stretch, at least as far as its PC game showings.

    It sounds like the 4th Edition people felt the same way and decided "screw it...burn the MFer down!" Plus I'm not sure how they are going to be compete with the free-to-play (and very fun, I might add) Dungeons and Dragons Online. 

  • Corpse Run 028: Keeping Current   3 years 29 weeks ago

    Yep. That's why I'm sticking with my Blackberry.

  • Bioshock Infinite Debut Trailer   3 years 30 weeks ago

    It looks pretty interesting, but I can't help but feel a bit pissed that this is what Ken Levine's working on instead of a damned X-Com game. So we get Bioshock in a floating city, and an X-Com reboot from a Austrailian company I wouldn't trust enough to feed my bloody cat while I'm on vacation!

    Grumbling aside, it looks cool and I can't wait to see some ingame screen shots.

    There are no big daddies or little sisters, but that wierd robot hand in the cutscene definately has potential.

  • Own Your Own R2-D2   3 years 30 weeks ago

    Yeah, not surprised. Lucas'll sell out the moment he sniffs money. The man practically invented merchandising. Though I'd hope that the R2-D2 droid is more than just a white case and a paintjob on the back. It seems like it would be an oppertunity to have some fun. Maybe include some SW based apps designed special for the phone.

     

    Of course silly me, that would require extra effort.

  • Android Trans-Reality Game - Zombie, Run!   3 years 30 weeks ago

    Yet another reason for me to get a Droid. ;p

     

    I do love my Blackberry though. I just wish the dang thing had some interesting (ie: zombie related) apps like this one. This looks kinda fun. Like a mix between Geocaching and running for your life to escape a messy death.  

  • The Top 10 games that made me want to kill someone   3 years 30 weeks ago

    I could not agree more especially on Lair and Fallout... what were they thinking! Does anyone watch WCG ultimate gamer? last season i loved the show but they did not play my fav games SO FRUSTRATING. its back on this thurs on syfy at 11/10c...hoping they stepped up their game. watch and lemme know what you think.

  • Like Video Games? Like Drinking? Live in the NYC Area?   3 years 32 weeks ago

    Agreed!  It was particularly rough because it was the Warrior that was jammed, and without a tank, our dungeon run was just not happening. :/

  • The Top 5 Games That Desperately Need Sequels   3 years 32 weeks ago

    I didn't mention X-Wing or Wing Commander as I kinda forgot about them. I suppose I've kinda passed off the ship piloting sim genre as passed, but then that's exactly why it needs to be revitalized. If someone could bring back the genre that would be amazing as I loved those games. But as it is, I don't think the old flight sim style of gameplay/design would work well these days (it needed a bit of patience as I recall), so a redesign is definately needed.

     

    And Rez, great game. I'm pretty sure I saw something on the E3 coverage from this year about a Rez sequel (or something like it) being in the works. Though I doubt a new one would include a..."rumble pack on a cord" accessory like the original. Much to the dissapointment of some of the female fans out there I'm sure. I'm not going to link to it here or mention it outright, but Game Girl Advance did an article on it years ago. If you google that site and Rez you might find it. The author talks about what she um...enjoyed about Rez. (Warning: It's not a child friendly article and there are pictures. You've been warned.) 

  • Review: Alien Swarm   3 years 32 weeks ago

    Things I would like to see vanish from Sci-fi movies and games:

    1) Kinda dark ships.

    Have you ever actually seen pictures from the Space Station or the Shuttle? Ever notice how brightly lit they are? So why (aside from providing cliched spooky environments) are space stations and ships in sci-fi games so badly lit? Why have massive stretches of poorly lit corridors with badly sealed piping that drips everywhere. At least Star Trek did this one right. Every room, tunnel, and access hatch that could require human contact in order to do repairs, was brightly lit and designed with efficiency in mind. Hell, even the Turbolift shafts were well lit (in the movie where the original crew encounters "god"). It's not like it's a power issue. You have a giant friggin reactor providing enough energy to travel the stars. Its like some asshole in accounting decided to save $2000 on the budget for a 30 Billion dollar ship, by skimping on the lightbulbs.

    In the otherside, shouldn't powerloss be accompanied by PURE darkness. If the light goes out in space then guess what? Unless your in a room with a window facing the damned sun that means there is no light whatsoever. As annoying as it was you had to give Doom 3 props for actually providing pure darkness in a poweroutage in space. You can blame emergency lighting systems, but who the hell designs a system like that to only provide enough illumination to see walls by and not enough to read or FIX THE DAMNED SHIP by? Why not just cover every wall with tubes and tubes of bright chemical lighting for those situations?

     

    2) Sewers

    No one likes them and unless your in a massive city with a million plus population, there's no reason for you to have a massive sewer system that's half full of water and has standing room for 4 grown men standing shoulder to shoulder. A small town can run on a sewer system that uses pipes less than 2 feet across. Now the drainage sewers can be a different issue and you need alot of room in those. Even still, why the hell does a desert planet or space station need a damned drainage sewer system!!!!

     

    3) Oblivious Officers

    Your in space. Your leading a team of marines/search and rescue personal/insurance claim investigators, and you just lost contact with a ship/station/colony full of people. And what do you do? You send everyone in unarmed and undersupplied, expecting everything to be ok.

    They even do this in frikking ALIENS games, where they know about this crap happening!

    How about this. You send in your subordinates armed to the teeth and expecting horrible monsters that want to kill them. Then, the moment you see ANYTHING weird like man eating aliens, bloody corpses everywhere, or strange biological/robotic goo/growths, you pull them all back to the ship and you either Leave and blow it up, or you leave and then call in the guys from F.E.A.R.

  • Masterful Oregon Trail Fake Movie Trailer   3 years 32 weeks ago

    "I want 4 Oxen and as many bullets as 16 hundred dollars will buy!"

    ^_^

  • The Top 5 Games That Desperately Need Sequels   3 years 32 weeks ago

    Wing Commander needs some love. I've kind of given up on X-Wing because Lucasarts has it's head jammed up it's ass the last 10 years or so.

    I used to play the crap out of this ancient game called "The Lost Vikings" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Vikings). You had to solve puzzles and what not to progress through the levels. The sequels sucked if I recall. This would be a perfect little XBLA or Steam game. I dunno. But Limbo is pretty cool so there is still a market for platform games.

    10 million years ago, back in the 80's, I played the hell out of Archon and Archon 2 on my C-64. They could use some polishing, hell don't even change the gameplay just pretty 'em up and I'd pay $10 for it.

    I wanted to like Evil Genius but got sick of it for the exact reasons you listed.

    An updated version of Rez was released on XBLA a couple years ago, basically the same game as the PS2 version (which I never played) but with some updates to the graphics. I enjoyed the hell out of that, but there is NO replay when you're done. I need some new Rez. My wife liked the music.

  • Review: Alien Swarm   3 years 32 weeks ago

    I downloaded it because, hey, it was free. But Starcraft 2 is consuming most of my free time recently.

  • Like Video Games? Like Drinking? But Don't Live in the NYC Area?   3 years 33 weeks ago

    That's... that's just intense.  Here's the list of games they have as well.

    TAITO Legends:
    Space Invaders,Space Invaders II, Bubble Bobble, Elevator Action, Rastan, New Zealand Story, Plotting(aka Flipull), Jungle Hunt, Operation Wolf, Operation Thunderbolt, Rainbow Islands, Phoenix Colony 7, Electric YoYo, Zoo Keeper, Great Swordsman, Gladiator, Exisus, Plump Pop, Super Qix, Battle Shark, Continental, Circus, Volfied, Ninja Kids, Space Gun, ThunderFox, Tube It, Return of the Invaders, and Tokio.

    Konami Classics:
    Castlevania, Castlevania II, Castlevania III, Contra, Super C

    Midway:
    720 Degrees, Blaster Bubbles, Defender, Defender II, Gauntlet, Joust, Joust 2, Klax, Marble Madness, Paperboy, Rampage, Rampart, Road Blasters, Robotron: 2084, Root Beer Tapper, Satan's Hollow, Sinistar, Smash TV, SPLAT!, Spy Hunter, Super Sprint, Toobin', Vindicators.

    Midway Deluxe:
    Mortak Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat III, Xybots, NARC, APB, Cyberball 2072, Timber, Total Carnage, Pit Fighter, Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe, Primal Rage, Arch Rivals, Rampage World Tour, Kozmik Krooz'r, Championship Sprint, Hard Drivin', Wakco, Badlands, Hydro Thunder, Off Road Thunder: Mud, Sweat, 'N' Gears, Race Drivin', San Francisco Rush the Rock: Alcatraz Edition, San Francisco Rush 2049, S.T.U.N. Runner, Super Off Road.

    Pretty good if you ask me! Now only if I had $3,500 to spare....

  • Like Video Games? Like Drinking? Live in the NYC Area?   3 years 33 weeks ago

    The ONLY problem I had with Barcade when we went was how one of the Gauntlet characters didn't work. That was a total bummer because we HAD four people all willing to play. I think we still would have gotten our asses kicked though.

    My favorite there was the Robotron cart. Though I'm pretty sure it was intended as a wholly single-play experience, with me controlling movement and my friend shooting, there was a lot of raging, which is awesome. It reminded me of when we would play two-player Geometry Wars like that at Games Club. Good times.

    We should go there again Michael. We have to give Gauntlet another shot!

  • Game of the Decade: Division Finals   3 years 33 weeks ago

    I would like to play this games. They are so interesting.

  • Like Video Games? Like Drinking? Live in the NYC Area?   3 years 33 weeks ago

    In Texas they call this Dave & Busters. Complete with very overpriced pool tables and mediocre overpriced food.

    But I like the looks of this one, looks a little more casual, intimate. Dave & Busters are all huge places and are as friendly and intimate as an international airport.

  • Creative Energy   3 years 33 weeks ago

    Mana Energy Potions are actually pretty good, though they taste exactly how you think alot of Vitamin B would taste. It's essentially twice the amount of ingrediants (give or take) you'd get in a 5-Hour Energy drink.

    However, those red Health Energy Potions taste awful. Bleh ;p

  • Alien Swarm PSA: How Not to Cure Infestation   3 years 33 weeks ago

    My newsletter, you say? Well, I decided to write this PSA after someone tried using #5 on me (as I was healing myself, no less). So if I see anyone attempting something even stupider than "healing" through chainsaw therapy, you can expect to hear from me again.

  • Sims 3: Late Night will give our computers a major case of Deja Vu this fall.   3 years 33 weeks ago

    Of course, there is the option of just being lazy and saying yeti, but then what's one called? Is it a Yetum?

  • Alien Swarm PSA: How Not to Cure Infestation   3 years 33 weeks ago

     

    Hmmmm. Your opinions intrigue me and I would like subscribe to your newsletter.