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About ZethXM

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  1. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with what I'm talking about; a company not being rewarded for materially lying about their product, and responding by pitching gitgud-games-journalism-difficulty-amirite rhetoric to weave an image of unskilled reviewers building a bandwagon to tank their game in order to recoup. It's some hobby horse you care about and thought you could ride because I used the words "anti-consumer" and "games journalist culture war". Who's defending them? I'm talking about companies using that dependent relationship to their advantage both for misleading promotion and as ablative shielding when necessary. Sorry I didn't qualify all my statements with how evil games reviewers are for you, dude. I think I'm gonna ignore you now, you're wasting my time with this tedious bullshit.
  2. Nah, companies shouldn't lie about what's in their products. Again, Callisto's a great example, because they're incompetent and desperate and aren't pulling off the strategy too well. The game was rushed out untested, badly designed, and outright missing features touted in marketing after the game went gold. What's funny is people actually did what you're complaining they should do and didn't buy the game enough to justify its budget. That should be the end of it, but these big AAA bastards don't go down that easily. So the company's PR response is at issue. Krafton's all-in and bleeding investor confidence, and the way to shore up the massive flagship IP's long-term prospects is to shift community sentiment and make a substandard product into a misunderstood masterpiece. So they needed the "misunderstood" part. Critical journalists and players were blamed for causing the product to fail sales expectations because, you see, their negative reactions to the game's core combat were actually merely a "skill issue". Funny thing with games journalists, companies are happy to take advantage of peoples' suspicions regarding their ethics when and how it serves them, in this case when the launch day embargo lifted and the "it's ok, kinda mid" reviews dropped, they immediately became incompetent character assassins instead of paid shills. Whichever jacket is useful. And hey, because everything's the buyer's fault for being scammed, we get to deal with it again and again, because why change your business practices and invest in quality when it's much cheaper to train jackasses to reflexively come out and shit on people for warning others not to buy the garbage?
  3. The belief is that Reddit is routinely used as a means of directing community sentiment by large companies via astroturfing and nondisclosure of allegiances by moderation and popular accounts. For example, r/Doom just went through a scandal concerning its moderation (one of whom was an undisclosed Bethesda employee) being party to veiled community manipulation on behalf of Id Software. "skill issue" and just the general culture war against gaming journalism have great utility in shielding companies from criticism when they do anti-labor or anti-consumer shit like rushing out full-price games with season passes that are poorly tested and/or outright broken at launch, such as Callisto Protocol. I'm distinguishing between the argument's place discussing thoughtful application of a difficulty structure versus its common use as rhetoric defending anti-consumer practices.
  4. if a dev wants to make effective use of difficulty in their work to serve some greater end, cool. a lot of the time gitgud pretends to be about that when it's really just shut up and consume product then get excited for next product reddit bullshit.
  5. Doom as the precision clockwork of game design it is known as today? Quaint, sparse, piss-easy, dull. Doom as the fathomless dungeon depths sprawling before the minds of children, flying by the edge of their keyboards, that it was decades ago? Behold, what new horrors await.
  6. Tough choice between Heartland and Auger Zenith.
  7. ZethXM


  8. ZethXM

    What Video Game Are You Currently Playing?

    Not since it came out! And only at a friend's place. They had all the cool shit from around that time, like C&C Red Alert 2. I remember being into what I did play, but haven't thought about it much since.
  9. ZethXM

    What Video Game Are You Currently Playing?

    Game starts strong with stuff like Mimics and the GLOO gun, but it hits its stride before the third act (especially in the threat department) and by the time Dahl showed up I was past ready for the game to be done. Nothing super bad about it, but by then the core gameplay mostly felt like work, and stuff like the turrets you spend parts on just breaking when enemies respawn really puts me off. Will say that what kept me invested enough to finish the game was figuring out the story.
  10. ZethXM

    What Video Game Are You Currently Playing?

    Finally got around to playing Prey (2017). It was alright. Has some neat ideas, but it definitely runs out well before the finish.
  11. I mean, I've only finished the one map so far, but I'd thought about this a fair bit as I was making it, and I wound up consciously trying to do both, which is why a place made of machines felt the most creatively fruitful. I think my gameplay choices for 2 being communicated somewhat poorly really harmed the 1, though, because the pace is too frantic for the player to register the setting as a world and contemplate it in space. Which is a problem since the intent was to create a navigation puzzle. Anyway, I value both the creation of a place to be in and making people contemplate the intentions of its creator, so I guess if I can finish more stuff I'll continue to try and do both. I can't really shut my brain off from looking at a map and seeing a series of choices made by its maker, even as I think about the story of the map. The author is part of the immersion for me.
  12. ZethXM

    What Video Game Are You Currently Playing?

    Finally got around to playing Bug Fables. Very, very good. I think my decision to play on Hard Mode per my partner's recommendation may have harmed the pacing of the playthrough, as it sagged in the middle and rapidly snowballed towards the end... or that was a result of my decision to level Medal Points a lot. In my defense, the other options (1 Hit Point per party member or 3 Teamwork Points, which are this game's FP) just don't stack up on paper and never feel worth it to pick in the moment. Regardless, game's excellent. If you wanted more Thousand-Year Door, this is it.
  13. ZethXM

    2000s-era Internet Nostalgia

    In the sense that I miss when the Internet was this big open frontier of weird bullshit nobody could fit in the palm of their hand and squeeze until the wealth comes out, sure. But that could just as easily be me missing being in the age bracket where I was too old for the world's generic child reality slurry but still young and dependent enough that it hadn't read my brain and started processing reality slurry meant just for me yet.
  14. ZethXM

    What Video Game Are You Currently Playing?

    SIGNALIS was super good, hard recommend for anyone into PSX-era survival horror. Nice to see all of the gameplay trappings of that genre used in their original context. Find myself wishing its 'evolution' took a different path, as much as I love RE4.
  15. ZethXM

    Essential stuff for fans of Lee Jackson

    Best of luck. Done the dance with prednisone and benadryl before, ain't fun. Made friends with some shadow people, though.