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Posts posted by jonny_rat

  1. 16 hours ago, Harsin said:

    Did I mention that he was The Emperor's son.


    As was this guy.

    What happened to him you ask? Why he got ganked by a Terminator style droid that looked like Princess Leia of course.




    This is even better considering it appears to be happening at Terminator Leia and Tricolour's Space Wedding, replete with stormtrooper ushers and a floating Space Vicar with no legs

    • Upvote 7

  2. 3 minutes ago, Nick R said:


    I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness while watching it in the cinema, but it fell apart in about the time it took for me to walk back to the bus stop afterwards.


    Likewise, I really liked The Rise of Skywalker while I was watching it (yes, I caught a number of things that bugged me, but mostly I was able to just let them wash over me). I gave it four stars on Letterboxd! So it wasn't until after I got home (and started reading other opinions online) that I realised how much more bothersome those problems were in retrospect, compared to how minor they'd seemed in the cinema.


    So it held together slightly longer than STID, at least.


    Yep, same on both. Great fun in the cinema, feeling less sure the second I stepped out of there. We should give JJ credit here, because there's definitively an art to making film that can maintain breakneck exposition and action in the way that he can. That's not a small thing, and it's one reason that there's no question that the sequels are better overall than the prequels, which just draaaaag. 


    But I'm feeling less and less satisfied with it as time goes on.

  3. At least we got confirmation on one important thing: 


    Palatine fucks


    Apart from lots of the other issues, something that raised an eyebrow:


    Bringing in a new character of colour for Finn to have chemistry with is a weird, awkward trope that films tend to avoid nowadays. I'd have probably given it a pass, but sidelining Rose and the snog she had with him in the last film just highlights this.


    I had a great time watching it, but I had a great time watching Star Trek Into Darkness as well. 

  4. 6 hours ago, Mr Combo Breaker said:


    I know everyone in TV/Hollywood does it but I'm kinda tired of the generic ITS THE FUTURE SO ELECTRIC CARZ sound effect they add to every vehicle.



    I think they get a bit of a pass for this one given that electric cars were introduced much earlier in the Watchmen world - I think even by the time the original comic is set - due to Dr. M's speeding up of tech. I'm almost certain it's covered in the original run.

  5. Finished Reach on the One S yesterday - some scattered thoughts..


    • First time round on the 360 I thought that the invincible allies broke the Halo formula - this time, no issues with it at all. Most of the time, I hardly noticed.
    • Elites having armour lock negates one of my favourite tools - the needler burst. Bit odd, when..
    • The needle rifle is Brute poison. Wipes the floor with them!
    • I can't handle Legendary any more. That's gone. Even heroic had me stumped a few times.
    • Speaking of which, there were a few too many choke-points where I felt I was funnelled into a very small through-area against a lot of enemies. Found myself banging my head off these for a while.
    • The space bits are visually impressive, but not fun. Ditto for the Falcon level, but the on foot bits of the level are AMAZING.
    • Heroic is a lovely sweet spot in this because of the increased focus on having a marine fire team.
    • Mercifully few tank bits.
    • It's nice to have the shoot-them-in-the-orange-bits up close dance with the Hunters back. Did they work like this in 3 and ODST?
    • The story is still a mixed bag, but the military bombast works better with the general sense of melancholy. A really effective feeling of everything going downhill very fast.
    • I cannot use the grenade launcher to save my life.
    • Lone Wolf is still probably the best story moment in the whole series (I haven't played 4 or 5 but from word of mouth I don't think they'll trouble it).

    I saw a post on Reddit saying it has 'aged like a fine wine.' Yep!

    • Upvote 6

  6. I went a bit mad and did the buy-2-years-of-live-and-convert-into-GP thing yesterday, despite not owning an XB1. Ended up with a subscription that runs out in April 2022 for £65 - so thanks to everyone on here who posted the method! Any good console-only deals likely to pop up for Black Friday? I don't have a 4k TV, so am guessing that the S is the best option given that the all digital seems to be weirdly overpriced..

  7. 8 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:


    Sure. But then you're citing games like Bloodborne (not, I would argue, a story-based game) and Far Cry 5 (definitely not a story-baaed game.)


    Like I said, I do think more people would play, finish (and then buy more) of the Soulsborne games if they could finish one. And some kind of difficulty mode would have made a huge difference to me. Not that I know what it would be. I'd just like a boss skip after a certain number of fails, because I think the core of the game is fine. That's not going to be universal.


    But I do think it would be odd to take the game out of a lot of these big games. Playing a just-the-story parts of Far Cry would be an incredibly empty experience. Watching the Spider-Man game as an interactive movie would expose all the weaknesses in its writing and pacing.


    I just don't think it's imagined you're playing them all. Here's a game you can play for months at a time, do it how you want.


    If you want a story, watch a film. Or play like a Firewatch or something built around story. I'm not sure the stories in AAA land would satisfy on their own at all.


    Maybe you just want AAA values in a game that's just simply smaller?


    To focus on just one thing here, I think something like a dynamic boss-skip in a SB game would be a problematic half-way house solution. They're all about teaching patience and how to approach bosses and situations, etc - enable a boss skip and you just end up ferrying them to the next challenge which they'll find even more difficult because they didn't build up the experience from the last one. So presumably you'd end up in a situation where players were dying continually to bosses until they enabled the skip.


    We're coming back to some of the issues that were covered in the Sekiro thread, but I'd prefer to see a well-thought-through assist mode (preferably modes) in that type of game, with a load of accessibility options that let the player set their own terms and stick to them.

  8. 16 minutes ago, peeveen said:

    If there's no challenge, it's not a game.

    Just watch a playthrough on Twitch or YouTube, or read the story description on Wikipedia if that's all you want from a game.


    Plenty of games without challenge or minimal challenge: Dear Esther, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Journey, etc. Arguably Life is Strange too: anything I've every heard from the developers suggests that they don't ever want players to be stuck or challenged by the game.


    The number of people who do watch a playthrough on Twitch is an argument for including zero-challenge modes, not against. Devs get to sell more copies to the people who just want to appreciate the story or atmosphere.

    • Upvote 2

  9. I wonder how they'll handle the overworld when it gets to the later sequels/episodes/whatever-they'll-probably-never-come-out. The sensible thing to do would be to stick to the original implementation but god, I bet they'll end up trying to make it a 1-1 representation of the world, give you a vehicle from the off, lift it wholesale from FF15.

  10. I like the look of it, including the combat, but man, the sounds are a letdown. Some stilted voice acting, and disappointing that the music we've heard so far is mostly generic orchestras. None of the distinctive synthy-rock weirdness of the original; and whether that quirkiness was the result of working with the limitations of the PS1, it's just a bit depressing to have all those tunes sounding like they've had the melodies edged out in favour of Marvel-movie-ish orchestral bombast.

    • Upvote 1

  11. Thanks all; this is useful stuff. From looking around, the CV1s and older Vives aren't cheap enough to justify the drawbacks; I was wondering if I might even be able to go for one of those and a Quest. For, you know, research purposes (in fairness a lot of the folk I want to work with are going to be targeting the Quest anyway, so I'll have to pick one up at some point).


    And ta @footle, excellent point about having the updated controllers.


    My one outstanding issue with the Rift S - is it really impossible to replace the foam or remove it to clean? If running playtests that thing is going to be a smelly boy. Use some kind of cover perhaps?

  12. I need a bit of advice here, and this seems like the thread to ask it in. I'm doing increasing amounts of work for VR content creators and devs, and because I've gone from working somewhere that had plenty of bits of VR stuff onsite to freelancing, I need to get in some kit at home. The main use of it for now will be keeping up with what's going on in terms of interaction design and good practice, but in the future I might need it to play dev builds or run testing sessions with users/players.


    What do I go for? The quest looks great, but I have a feeling I should get something tethered in terms of being able to run a wider selection on games/experiences/apps on it. I have a workable PC (with a 1070 and meeting the min spec, but the processor could do with a bump). The Rift S doesn't seem like a huge upgrade (though mixed reports here)  - any bargains to be had on CV1s, or is there an active second hand market for them? I don't mind setting up the sensors too much.

  13. What interests me most about it is the opportunity to have some nice little twitchy, arcadey experiences on it. We've discussed whether this thing is going to be competing with mobile phones (I think it will in terms of competing for people's time, but not in the least in terms of market), and those types of games have always failed for me on mobile because they don't work well on a touchscreen. I think I'm surprisingly up for something absolutely tiny with physical buttons that lobs a new game at me every week.


    Probably it will appeal most to the beard-strokier end of games consumers. People who actually follow what each of these indie devs is up to. 


    Edit: also, there's.. almost nothing hipstery in the copy of their site? If anything it was more straight laced than I was expecting.

    • Upvote 3

  14. 4 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:


    Its what I'm taking a punt on with my new business venture. I'd like to make small, cheap experiences that help with meditation or focus. I think this could be the start of use outside of mainly gaming or healthcare. There could be like a wii fit or brain training style breakout app there. 


    There's got to be a market for slick experiences along those lines: lots of the ones available either have a slight whiff of being knocked up in five mins or come in at a slightly higher price. It'd be good to get in before someone like Headspace do it.

    • Upvote 1

  15. 6 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

    Do you think there's a market on there for smaller, cheaper games and experience. I'm thinking like mindfulness & meditation apps or mini games that help with focus. Also multiplayer games that require teamwork and communication.

    Things that go on the market for like £2.99.


    Aye, I reckon those will come if devices like the Quest take off. I'm guessing - and happy to be corrected - that the market has been a bit too small to support the development costs and expertise needed to do good VR, but with more of them out there there should be more people willing to take a punt on smaller stuff.

  16. 35 minutes ago, dumpster said:

    I read a while about how some games cheat with their health bar. The bar on screen represents 0% to 100% and when you take damage the bar decreases. But when your energy bar is in the last 10% it becomes a bit more forgiving to add tension and the illusion of narrow escapes. 

    I'd extend this further. If you face a boss battle and fail, say 5 times, the game should secretly knock the boss' health down on each subsequent attempt. The player would feel their skills were improving and would eventually defeat the boss, but you wouldn't hit that brick wall that makes you rage quit and never play the game again.



    This thread had some fantastic ones:



    • Upvote 1

  17. 3 minutes ago, Qazimod said:


    I was in the middle of writing this! An alternative would be to link the drop rate to the player’s stock (both on his character and in storage) - when you’re running low, bullets/vials/spirit emblems would drop from all sources. :) 


    I like this one. I work (a bit) in games user research and the goal is to identify issues and fixes that improve the player's experience while making minor or no changes to what the developer is aiming for, and this is a nice minimal fix. 


    We primarily try to assume that devs had their own reasons for doing something a certain way.  (Actually, that's not always the goal: later in the development lifecycle we're more interested in whether players appreciate features/mechanics, while earlier on we look mostly at usability and understanding issues.) In BB we might say, hey, are you sure you want players to be running around picking up health vials and ammo?


    If they did have their reasons, the limited stocks in BB were an example of a not-very-well-appreciated mechanic that probably could have been left in and fixed with usability tests and relevant tweaks. Maybe when they leave the hunters dream, players could be clearly shown their remaining stocks of vials and ammo, and given the chance to convert their remaining echoes into stocks on the loading screen. Maybe the doll could do that converting instead of buying them at the fountain dudes: and say, are you sure you want to level up, given that you've got no health vials? Just clarify the mechanic a bit and maybe it wouldn't have been so grating.


    Great thread @Timmo

    • Upvote 4

  18. 16 hours ago, Stanshall said:



    Nier:Automata is the best ever boring game I've played. The combat gets harder but then you get various chips to constantly refill your health and the like, and then you'll still find some absurd difficulty spike that you brute force by hammering consumables every five seconds. Dull, repetitive gameplay, drab, illogical, unreadable open world and abysmal map.


    Also some of the greatest story and character and dialogue elements ever in the medium. Some of the things it does later on really blew me away, made me laugh, made me think and genuinely made me cry. Fucking hell, that sounds like something from I, Partridge but I mean it. 


    Haha, this is great. I used to call it the best game I'd never recommend to anyone else. (Well, since the first Nier anyway)

  19. 24 minutes ago, Jarik said:


    While I agree with your point, I'm a little put out by this sentiment which I see being echoed across pretty much all the Quest reviews I've watched & read.


    The Oculus Go is self-contained VR platform that I don't think the Quest should get to erase just because it has better visuals & motion tracking.  I have some games I love to return to on there such as Smash Hit & Proton Pulse as well as quite an extensive Wishlist that I dip into whenever I want something new.  Add to that the quite extensive list of 360 & 180 VR videos provided both by Oculus on the Home menu & on the Youtube VR app, & IMO you have a solid little VR platform which can stand on its own as well as an appetizer for something meatier like the Quest.


    Yes, that's true! I should have said that it's the first all in solution that mimics the full VR tracking setup, with room positioning, etc. There's probably going to be room for the Go-style setup for some time, though I'd imagine that devs will start drifting away from it when more inside-out all in devices are available.

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