geekmarine

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About geekmarine

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  1. Dang, that's pretty sweet. I mean, I got nothing against Doom's multiplayer, but it's more of a fun add-on feature to a primarily single-player game. While it's a fun diversion, I just couldn't believe that they had the audacity to try to sell multiplayer-only DLC for a game whose focus isn't really multiplayer.
  2. Personally, I have no problem with superhuman enemies in shooters, but only if it makes sense. Like, I don't have a problem fighting a giant armored mech that absorbs boatloads of damage, but it does feel cheap if you're just up against another human who suddenly, because he's a boss, can soak up bullets like a sponge even though he looks just like every other human you've slaughtered on the path to get to him. Wolfenstein: The New Order handled it perfectly, in my opinion. It was always clear WHY some enemies were harder to kill than others, and it was always clear what strategy you should use to take them down. That's always been one of my only gripes about the Bioshock series. I don't mind something like a Big Daddy kicking my ass, but I remember that fight with the doctor, and it was total bullshit because there really wasn't any indication that he'd be harder to kill than regular enemies, and it wasn't immediately clear how to defeat him. I mean yeah, I guess part of it is watching what he does, for instance, noting that he keeps using the medical station, but I just think that whole battle could've been better-designed so as to make it more clear you can't simply just gun him down. Again, going back to Wolfenstein: The New Order, the final boss was very well-designed, in my opinion. He telegraphed his weakness because every so often he'd stop to recharge with the lightning rods, so it became clear that you had to disable them. However, the barrage of lasers and such didn't make the task any easier, so it was still a satisfying fight, it was just a way to give the player a chance to figure out what to do. That's good game design, in my opinion - make a conflict challenging, while giving the player a chance to learn the rules of the conflict so they can figure out what to do. I guess some people might call that hand-holding, but it's different from, say, having a character just pop up and tell you what you need to do, you still have to figure it out on your own, but in a way, the game still teaches you.
  3. So I recently picked up Tomb Raider because, of course, Steam sale and all that jazz. Now, I've never been very interested in the series, but the reboot has been friggin' great so far. The story is solid, the gameplay is fun, combat is satisfying, and I love the puzzles. My problem is, I haven't been doing very much raiding of actual tombs. And it's not for lack of tombs to explore. There are all kinds of secret areas in the game with nice rewards for completing them. My problem is, I try to immerse myself in the story, and from that point of view, it's hard to justify to myself exploring some dank, dusty cave for treasure when, say, I'm supposed to be hurrying over to rescue someone before they're brutally murdered. Obviously the game takes this into account, and doesn't do anything like set hard time limits for completing objectives, so if I really wanted to, I could explore tombs to my heart's content and get all sorts of cool bonuses and upgrades. My problem is, it breaks the flow of the narrative if I decide to go looking for treasure and power-ups when people's lives are on the line. I dunno, it just seems like a difficult balancing act, and one that I don't really have an answer to - how do you tell a compelling story in a game while at the same time allowing players the freedom to explore the world you've created without feeling like they're breaking the flow of the story? I mean, the only two options I can see is either you force the player down a linear path without any choice but to follow the story, and then you might as well just be a movie, or you make the story so crappy that the player isn't invested, and so has no real incentive to complete it/
  4. I guess I'd lean more toward "impressionistic" style myself. I don't try to accurately create every detail of an environment, but I don't go full abstract, either. For instance, if I'm building a starbase, I approach each room from the angle of, "Okay, what's the point of this room, and what do I need to add to convey that this is a real place?" I also add little touches, like non-functional doors, to convey the sense that hey, this isn't just a random structure in the middle of nowhere with no entrance and no exit, it's connected to a larger area, just you're in this part of the base at the moment. If there are windows, I might give glimpses to other buildings to help emphasize that point.
  5. Battlefield 1942 comes to mind... Again, for the same reason a lot of other FPS games have been mentioned. Wake Island was, in my opinion, one of the best maps in the game, with most of the vehicles available and thus a multitude of options for how you want to play. Again, not that the full game was bad by any means, but the demo showcased the best of what the game had to offer, and so even after getting the full game, I found myself still going back to Wake Island again and again. You had aerial dogfights, tanks, even ship combat, all while offering up a somewhat linear level with different options so you could charge head-on or sneak around from behind, depending on your playstyle. A lot of the retail levels were either incredibly drab compared to Wake, limited vehicles, were linear meatgrinders with limited vehicle access, or a combination of all of those. Not saying it was the only good level in the game, but it was definitely one of the best. There's also the Half-Life demo, which was a completely new episode. While Half-Life was good, there were long sections that just didn't feature the variety of encounters you saw in the demo. There were too many sections in the final game that were just boring corridors with the same types of enemies, while the demo featured a larger variety of enemies in one area with a bunch of unique set-pieces thrown in.
  6. I see one of two possibilities. One is that he can technically die, but as he's literally been to Hell and back, if he ever were to die, he could simply fight his way back to the land of the living again. In that sense, he could only really "die" if he simply chose to stop fighting and accept his fate. Alternatively, he could have actually died at the end of Episode 1, and everything following is simply his own personal hell. He is given the illusion that he can fight back, but no matter what he does, the outcome is the same - there are always more demons to fight, more invasions to stop, etc., so that he may never rest. If that's the case, he never fought his way out, Earth was merely an illusion, and he accomplished nothing. If that is the case, he never won, he never really saved Earth, and his battle will never end unless he simply chooses to stop fighting, which he never will. Sort of like Sisyphus, he is given this small hope that he may one day be successful, but no matter what he does, there will always be a new threat for him to face. Personally, I like to go with option 1, but that's just my take.
  7. I've never really much cared for turn-based RPGs myself, but there are a couple I can think of whose mechanics helped me get more into the game. The first is Earthbound - rather than simply having random encounters, you could actually see the enemies in the game world, which allowed you to potentially avoid them. There was also an element of strategy involved, in that you could also sneak up on enemies and approach them from behind for a bonus when the combat started, or if an enemy snuck up on you, then it would receive a bonus. Another feature I liked was that if you were a high enough level relative to the enemy, the fight would just end in an automatic victory without even going to the battle screen - it never made sense to me to waste time on low-level enemies when there was not even a chance of losing anyway, so it was a nice touch that the game knew there was no point to fighting them. Another feature I found that made turn-based RPGs more enjoyable was in Mario and Luigi - Superstar Saga. The combat was your typical RPG fare, but if you pressed the attack or jump button at just the right time in the battle animations, you could either dodge an attack or do bonus damage. I liked that, because it made the battles about more than simply number-crunching and dealing with stats. Yeah there was still strategy in choosing what action to perform, but it made the battles a little more interactive. In addition, you were rewarded for getting the timing down by giving you a chance to take down tougher enemies without as much grinding, and not having to constantly heal party members if you got good at the dodging mechanic.
  8. *shrug* I'm still not entirely sure what Youtube Red is all about beyond no ads on youtube videos. It's certainly not something I think I'd likely pay for, but I already have a subscription to Google Play Music, which is a damn nice music service in and of itself. Honestly, that's what it seems like to me - it's a Google Play Music subscription with little extra bonuses thrown in. So I mean, at least you're getting something of value out of it even if it doesn't really affect your youtube viewing that much.
  9. It's a tough call, and now it's regarded as a classic, but I'd have to say Mirror's Edge. I mean, it wasn't even that poorly rated, but the general consensus among reviewers when it came out seemed to be, "Meh, whatever, it's kinda neat, but nothing really special." Maybe I'm mistaken, but that's how I recall a lot of the reviews at the time. I found it to be incredibly fun, and a very interesting take on the first-person genre. Maybe not a perfect game, but the excitement from all the crazy stunts you're able to pull of more than makes up for that in my opinion.
  10. Er, no, unless there's another TNG episode with an evil mind-control game, it was Riker who brought the game onto the ship. Wesley and Ashley Judd teamed up to save the day by fixing Data (who had been shut down because he could not be affected by the game).
  11. What they did was absolutely wrong and I don't in any way condone it. That said, so is cheating, and I certainly don't condone that, nor do I feel pity for anyone who was caught cheating. Two wrongs don't make a right, in my opinion. The hackers should absolutely be punished, not praised, for their actions. At the same time, if you got caught cheating because of these hackers, that's your own lookout, and the fact that illegal means were used to expose your cheating isn't a "get out of jail free" card, nor should it be. My problem is mainly just that people seem to want to take sides - either to cheer the hackers and attack the cheaters, or defend the cheaters and attack the hackers. It's not that simple. Just because what the other side did was wrong doesn't make your side right. One final note - my biggest concern out of all of this is for people who may have ended up in the database because of the actions of someone else - you know, a friend sets up an account for someone else as a joke or something. I think those people have it the worst - having to explain that they never set up an account themselves and yet are still in the database. Of course, I'm sure there will a few people that will get caught through this hack who will try to use that as an excuse, but that's a whole new can of worms.
  12. Zombies, Xenomorphs, robots, and Stormtroopers. Granted, two of those are a little specific, but I think there are enough Alien and Star Wars games to count them as their own category. Basically, generally what I want is either a big, dumb horde I can mow down, or something that'll give me a satisfying splatter/explosion when I kill them. I think that's part of why I don't much care for human enemies in games - they're never interesting, and they're never satisfying to kill. Except Stormtroopers, because blaster rifle or lightsaber, ain't nothing like cutting down an army of those imperial bastards. The only time I'm really okay with human enemies is when I'm actually fighting against other humans, in online games. In that case, at least there's the fact that your opponent was an actual person with a potentially similar skill level. That makes it challenging enough to be rewarding to beat them, without being cheap (because generally speaking, AI in games tends to have to cheat to be challenging, whereas when you're playing against another person, unless they're hacking, it's all skill).
  13. I have absolutely nothing left of it (was on an old computer that died, never backed it up), but I started work on a Doom mod that turned the game into a firefighting game. Never got very far with it, but I did actually have the basic concept up and working. Basically, I altered the Lost Soul so that its sprite was replaced with the Archvile flame. I set its movement speed to zero, and the frame pointer for every frame of its walking animation to the Demon attack. This led to the flames being stationary and instantly causing damage to you if you got close to them (originally, I was gonna use the explosion code pointer, but then two flames couldn't be near each other without immediately extinguishing each other). I modified the plasma rifle so that the projectiles had gravity, to mimic a fire hose. Oh, and the best part was, I set the code pointer of the actual attack animation of the flames to that of the Pain Elemental, so that every so often, a flame would spawn new flames - that way I could actually have the fire spread. It certainly wasn't perfect - for one thing, because the flames spawned via Pain Elemental attack, even though they were generally stationary, when a new one spawned it would fly across the room at you. But I thought it was an interesting idea to completely change the way Doom worked, anyway, and I had a little fun with it in a simple house map I made to test the concept out. Eventually, I had planned to have multiple levels with different scenarios, people you had to rescue (in place of keys), etc., but I lost interest before I got that far. Partly I gave up on it because of boredom, and partly because I realized the idea would never stop seeming silly, because everything was just hacked together via DeHacked, so there were painfully obvious problems with it that I knew I could never get rid of. Still, I would certainly chalk it up to being the most radically different mod from the original game that I've ever worked on.
  14. I'm honestly pretty happy with Windows 10 so far. Granted, I have the issues inherent with upgrading to a new OS and having to relearn where they put everything, but eh, that's just a par for the course whenever any major changes are made to an OS. I will say, I've had an easier time relearning where everything is than I did when I first got Windows 8, so there's that, and darn it, the search function actually works in case I can't find some application or setting (seriously, I can't remember the last time the search function was actually useful in Windows, it always seemed to bring up random junk for me).
  15. So what's the deal with the hate against vapers? It's like, people love to gripe about smokers, how horrible they are, how bad they smell, how they affect everyone around them, etc., so now you have vaping which eliminates all that, and people bitch about vaping, too, almost as if they're just pissed off now that they have nothing else to bitch about.