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Driv3r


jeroenr
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What's with the double line spacing?

It's really annoying. This is a forum, not a draft copy of a report.

Anyway, Galleon seemed to get Edge's standard "good ideas excuse some of the wonkey implimentation" score. Edge certainly haven't ditched their scruffy scoring policy (innovative= good, uninnovative= bad, unless uninnovative but really well polished, which = good). I mean, Galleon got the same score as Extermination. :)

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At the end of the day if people keep giving mediocre/flawed games good reviews and people actualy make excuses for these games then fuck it, enjoy your broken games.

I've been pimping the 'zero tolerance' line for years but nobody seems bothered. It's a fucked up industry whereby the 'hardcore' and 'educated' gamer who should know better moans about the lack of 'innovation' but then merely perpetuates the system by buying into shitty, hard, flawed games.

If we can't even sort ourselves out by only buying into quality gaming, why the fuck should the 'casual' who we all seem to resent/blame the current market conditions on?

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I've been pimping the 'zero tolerance' line for years but nobody seems bothered. It's a fucked up industry whereby the 'hardcore' and 'educated' gamer who should know better moans about the lack of 'innovation' but then merely perpetuates the system by buying into shitty, hard, flawed games.

If we can't even sort ourselves out by only buying into quality gaming, why the fuck should the 'casual' who we all seem to resent/blame the current market conditions on?

Problem is that people just like playing crap, I guess, whether they then whinge about it on forums or tell their mates how ace it was.

Frankly we should be trying to replace all gaming's sickeningly ambitious half-burned half-frozen lobster-and-chocolate sauce tartlets with potatoes. Simple, well-made, filling potatoes, possibly prepared with an interesting garnish.

Of course, the delicious expertly prepared dishes would have to stay for that to work, otherwise we'd never get any lobster or chocolate sauce tartlets.

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Yes and yes. I'm all for people playing games which they enjoy, regardless of the faults, but to ignore these faults and help perpetuate the myth that all is fine on some seriously flawed games is very annoying.

If you went to a restaurant and were served stone cold potatoes and pink-in-the-middle chicken then would you just eat it up? At the moment it's what's happening with some games. Some people are so eagre to eat that they'll eat anything served up and reply with "Well you don't like chicken and potatoes, it's just your opinion anyway". This is bollocks and there are certain standards which should be maintained. Sometime gamer remind me of the Fawlty Towers episode when Basil is being rude to everyone yet they all smile and say everything is fine when he asks them if there's a problem (It's the one with the Wardolf salad, and the American).

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I've been pimping the 'zero tolerance' line for years but nobody seems bothered. It's a fucked up industry whereby the 'hardcore' and 'educated' gamer who should know better moans about the lack of 'innovation' but then merely perpetuates the system by buying into shitty, hard, flawed games.

If we can't even sort ourselves out by only buying into quality gaming, why the fuck should the 'casual' who we all seem to resent/blame the current market conditions on?

I think I agree with the 'screw it' line.

I'm fairly certain that whilst more 'polished turd' games will appear, I'm equally certain that the more popular gaming gets, we will see more 'art-sy' games appear. Sure, the demographic of people buying these things will be small, but there will be enough of a market for them, just as people still want to see world pictures.

It is vaguely depressing when games like Prince of Persia don't do well, but those that did buy it, loved it. We can but hope that those who liked it would have a look at the sequel, and pass some sort of glowing review to their fellow men/women. POP obviously did well enough to warrant a sequel, so there's hope yet.

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Galleon and Driv3r are actualy good games spoilt by cack handedness when it came to putting great ideas into actual code.

I don't know why they are being compared. Galleon tried something new, and although spoiled by some irritating flaws it was still a good game. Driv3r tries nothing new, does everything worse than similar games and as a result is a mess.

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I don't know why they are being compared. Galleon tried something new, and although spoiled by some irritating flaws it was still a good game. Driv3r tries nothing new, does everything worse than similar games and as a result is a mess.

They're not compared at all. I mention them both because they are recent examples of games which are flawed not by inherently bad design (Though there is quite a bit of that too) but by the way things are done. Galleon may be trying something new but it failed to do well by not getting right things which are common game features in other titles. Clipping, bad collision detection, these are things which have nothing to do with being innovative or not, they're basics. If Galleon failed to deliver with its "revolutionary" control system than that's another matter, but you have to get the basics right.

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If we can't even sort ourselves out by only buying into quality gaming, why the fuck should the 'casual' who we all seem to resent/blame the current market conditions on?

I've been increasingly trying to adopt a zero-tolerance policy as regards obvious glitches and bugs as of late, which has led to the unpleasant conclusion of denying myself Thief3 despite being a massive fan of the series. Avoiding games like Galleon and Driver3 isn't a test, the bugs and glitches are so evident in these efforts that it's easy to turn them down.

The tough decisions come along when things like Thief3's 'difficulty setting' bug occur, many would argue that in itself this isn't enough to impact the game as a whole or detract from it in any major way, hence you get labelled as some kind of 'bitter, anal cynic' whilst desperatly trying to explain why the difficulty setting makes the game.

I'd be willing to overlook numerous bugs and glitches on a fan-made project, but on a professional release like Driver3 which has been delayed numerous times throughout a three year development period and enjoyed a budget of millions? The £45 price point just about seals the deal, I can't recall a single game released in the last couple of years which has had a £45 RRP ( without peripherals like Singstar, before you go there ), it's disgraceful.

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What if Galleon's ambitious nature made implementing these 'basics' ten times more difficult? It's no secret that the game offers a wee bit more room for exploration of environments than other platformers. In short, the grand scale provides more canvas for scratches and blemishes. Not that this is an excuse, more a reasonable explanation.

As for Driv3r, I can't see how the series has progressed since the first game. The physics are still weighty, it's all a bit sluggish and the AI is antiquatedly adequate at best.

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Well I read all of your comments about Driv3r but being a huge fan of the first game I had to find out for myself so I nipped out today and got it (XBox version)

My, it's bad, I mean really bad.

I went straight for Free Ride mode and sat there for a moment to marvel at how well my XBox generates the wonderful PS2 graphics. I think they've forgotten to put the textures in Miami. Still not driving I observed a woman walk past my car and walk by an identical woman; same hair, same looks, even down to the same dress. Now if that was me I'd have stopped to say something, I mean it’s not everyday you bump into a twin you never knew you had. I pressed a button and I got out of the car. I have no idea why one of the twins screamed when I carried out this simple act but it didn't do much for my self-esteem I can tell you.

I managed to manoeuvre myself to the car, which was a bit difficult as I couldn't seem to turn very fast. I hit the accelerator and headed off down the road. I was amazed to hit some sort of stasis bubble because for a moment time stood still and everything around me froze. A second later the bubble must have burst because I was off again. As I was on a straight bit of road I thought I'd open the throttle on my spanking sports car to find out what it could do. About 60mph I reckon. Burnout 3 this ain't (or 2 or 1). As I approached my first right-hander I discovered that the mechanics had screwed my car up because as I turned my steering wheel hard my handbrake automatically came on. Damn it I hated this when they did this to Driver 2 and they've done the same thing! I'LL DECIDE WHEN TO PULL THE HANDBRAKE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I drove around for a few more minutes (occasionally hitting more stasis bubbles) when I couldn't stand the music any longer so I paused to the options and turned the music off. I then discovered that my sports car doesn't run on petrol because the sound that came from my exhausts sounded like the car was high on helium. I found a car park with a load of motorbikes in so I nicked one (the owner must have left the keys in 'cos I had no trouble starting it). Once again I noticed the lack of high end power. I guess, what with it being a hot day and all, the tarmac must have melted a bit slowing me down. I crashed the bike (weirdly), hijacked a car, hit a lamppost and crashed into a river. I'm dead then, I thought to myself (thinking of GTA) but no, up I pop and bob up and down. I find I can swim! Great news! So there I am swimming about trying to find a way up the vertical bank. I must have swum for a minute or so but was unable to find a way out. Just as well really because the message,'You Died' appeared on my screen just then. I haven't found out why I died yet because, as I write, this Tanner is currently bobbing up and down in a swimming pool and has been for the past 15 minutes . Perhaps piranhas lurk beneath the surface of Miami's waterways.

I decided to start the main Undercover mode. I couldn't see a difficulty setting so I thank my lucky stars that the developers are gifted enough to know that I like games to be hard and (hopefully) programmed it accordingly. The FMV played through but there was something strange about the sound i.e. there wasn't any. I could see guns being fired but the noise must have been far slower than the speed of sound because it wasn't reaching MY ears. Surely, I thought, it can't be because I turned the music off in Free Ride mode can it? Surely not. Well, after investigation, it surely was! I turned the music back on, restarted the game and the FMV played in all it's glory....voices, guns, everything. In fact everything you'd associate with 'music'.

So, onto the main game (again). The FMV told me that I need to get to the police station to use their firing range. I manoeuvred myself i.e. did a strange sort of jig, through the door, out of the building, hopped in the car and followed the radar to my destination. I duly arrived after taking about five turns where I was informed that I had finished Mission 1. Christ that was hard. Phew, the adrenaline and action from that mission has left me shaking like a leaf. Can't wait to play that baby again.

Onto the shooting range and shooting pop out cardboard enemies. Not easy as your turning speed gets faster the longer you hold it. At first these 'criminals' were too good for me and ducked back in before I managed to fire a bullet in the direction I wanted it to. Either that or they were scared at the way I walked.

A couple of missions later (i.e. 5 minutes) I'm running around a hotel (with identical furnished levels) without a clue why I was there.....something about 'finding a car in the hotel'?!?. I 'burst' into a room and get immediately shot at. I do this wonderful roll forward but, still under fire, I realise I cannot roll left, right or backwards. I run out of the room (the difficulty level set to max to do this) and shoot though the doorway. The criminals are dumb bastards because they just stand there taking the bullets I fire at them. It could be that they have difficulty in walking as well but I suspect the lack of intelligence is the real reason. Another room later and I'm fatally shot and I simply cannot be arsed to play this anymore.

As a fan of the first I can honestly say it's not as good as that was. The driving is ok but blighted by the 'longer-you-hold-the-steering-wheel-the-faster-you-turn' handling. It all feels sluggish making you want to adjust the sensitivity up but all this does is make it easier to fishtail.

The AI of the 'people' is a joke. The graphics are sub par. It's glitchy, buggy, and outdated. It's like GTA never happened.

Bloody awful.

4/10

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What if Galleon's ambitious nature made implementing these 'basics' ten times more difficult? It's no secret that the game offers a wee bit more room for exploration of environments than other platformers. In short, the grand scale provides more canvas for scratches and blemishes. Not that this is an excuse, more a reasonable explanation.

As for Driv3r, I can't see how the series has progressed since the first game. The physics are still weighty, it's all a bit sluggish and the AI is antiquatedly adequate at best.

Galleon was ambitious maybe 7 years ago. By today's standards it's very average. Also, if you can't get the basics right then you're out of your depth and need to scale down not just plod ahead regardless like your ideas are so groundbreaking and revolutionary that you don't even need a decent control system.

Also, how the hell does Galleon have a "bigger canvass" than the many games we already have out there which don't show these flaws? It's not particularly huge is it? Sure, it has big areas but it's very linear and these areas don't offer the sort of freedom you get in something like GTA.

As for Driv3r, again, it's not the fact they did nothing new, it's the fact they did basic stuff wrong.

If you have trouble boiling an egg then don't try to cook me a salmon souflé and then tell me you were being "ambitious".

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The hotel level? The one right near the start? Thats ridiculously easy...

The difficulty level isn't the issue here, it's the fact that the frustratingly awful controls, coupled with the shite AI made me stop even trying to play this game anymore.

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The difficulty level isn't the issue here, it's the fact that the frustratingly awful controls, coupled with the shite AI made me stop even trying to play this game anymore.

Hmm thats strange. How are the controls "frustratingly awful"? I agree its hardly Halo, but they do the job. I point, press the trigger and my gun shoots and kills baddies. It works.

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The AI of the 'people' is a joke. The graphics are sub par. It's glitchy, buggy, and outdated. It's like GTA never happened.

Bloody awful.

4/10

And people wonder about how magazine scores can appear so disjointed from the accompanying reviews :unsure:

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Galleon was ambitious maybe 7 years ago. By today's standards it's very average.

If you can offer up another recent platformer that offers what Galleon offers, then I might agree with you.

It's not particularly huge is it? Sure, it has big areas but it's very linear and these areas don't offer the sort of freedom you get in something like GTA.

No, it doesn't offer the same sort of freedom as the recent GTA games, but then again that's not Galleon's remit. What it does offer is a level of environment exploration almost comparable to SM64. You clamber, climb and crawl, not with the same degree of precision or grace as NCL's benchmark, but at least it tries. J&D offers vast expanses, but the barriers are clearly (and cleverly) set in place. Sunshine is tiny and tedious by comparison, muddying the waters with cheap novelty. Galleon, despite the huge flaws (and there are huge, massive, gaping holes in the game, not least the utterly broken combat), is good. I agree, it might not offer anything new besides a slightly smarter way of sidestepping camera issues, but it is rarified. Few games take the path that it has chosen and even fewer have been as successful.

As for Driv3r, again, it's not the fact they did nothing new, it's the fact they did basic stuff wrong.

Hmmm. Yes. Interesting. Except the 'basic stuff' that they 'did wrong' appears to be exactly the same as the 'basic stuff' that they 'did right' five years ago. Simply put, time has moved on, but Reflections haven't. That's what's wrong with Driv3r. It's a relic of the 32bit age.

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And what exactly does Galleon offer? For platforming then the character control in POP totaly oblitorates it. For exploration, well, there is not real need to explore in Galleon. There aren't any rewards for doing so other than more bland scenery. Oh no wait, you may find a pistol, wohooo.

Let's face it, if both Driv3r and Galleon had been done in a year announced 6 months ago and came from nobody developers then we wouldn't even be having this conversation, we'd all be saying they were shit games and moving on. But these two titles are riding on the back of some other forces, namely Driver's first appearance and Toby's name in Galleon's case, and as such people feel compelled to give these games a chance. And yeah, some people are having fun in the same way we have threads about "Shit games you actualy like".

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I've been pimping the 'zero tolerance' line for years but nobody seems bothered. It's a fucked up industry whereby the 'hardcore' and 'educated' gamer who should know better moans about the lack of 'innovation' but then merely perpetuates the system by buying into shitty, hard, flawed games.

If we can't even sort ourselves out by only buying into quality gaming, why the fuck should the 'casual' who we all seem to resent/blame the current market conditions on?

I'm in complete agreement with you on the quality thing. A few weeks into a job in a games shop by far the most depressing thing is the complete lack of critical faculty demonstrated by the average customer. They really will buy any old shit. A great many people buy games blindly without even knowing what kind of game it is - they just make decisions based on how much the game costs and how much they are spending that day.

This is not a rant against 'casual gamers' or anything like that, I'm talking about people being aware that there are games out there that will captivate and entertain them thoroughly for their cash, but that get buried under a blitz of false acclaim and misleading hype for far lesser titles.

In the end though it always comes down to the argument that people might like what they buy quite well, so who is to judge? Maybe a large proportion of those that have taken Driv3r home this weekend will enjoy it. It's just that it could have been so much better - that's what bugs me.

Personally I've got a pretty hardline policy on the games I buy. If I'm struggling against flaws in the design or I'm being punished unfairly I will not buy the game, and will not give any more of my time to it. There's too many other things to do in life to be apologists for half-arsed games.

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Why do you constantly compare it to POP? The games are massively different, IMO. Galleon is vast, with huge open areas to prat around in. POP is a very linear, enclosed platform and puzzle game. And with just as shit combat (enhanced by some snazzy slo-mo and soft focus effects). Stop comparing them. Please.

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If you can offer up another recent platformer that offers what Galleon offers, then I might agree with you.

No, it doesn't offer the same sort of freedom as the recent GTA games, but then again that's not Galleon's remit. What it does offer is a level of environment exploration almost comparable to SM64. You clamber, climb and crawl, not with the same degree of precision or grace as NCL's benchmark, but at least it tries. J&D offers vast expanses, but the barriers are clearly (and cleverly) set in place. Sunshine is tiny and tedious by comparison, muddying the waters with cheap novelty. Galleon, despite the huge flaws (and there are huge, massive, gaping holes in the game, not least the utterly broken combat), is good. I agree, it might not offer anything new besides a slightly smarter way of sidestepping camera issues, but it is rarified. Few games take the path that it has chosen and even fewer have been as successful.

I haven't seen anything broken yet (combat is comparable to POP's) but everything else I agree with. Like Ico, simply it's nice to be able to climb to the top of a peak just for the view. The view is the reward as is the getting there, IMO.

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And what exactly does Galleon offer? For platforming then the character control in POP totaly oblitorates it. For exploration, well, there is not real need to explore in Galleon. There aren't any rewards for doing so other than more bland scenery. Oh no wait, you may find a pistol, wohooo.

A) Sands of Time is unlike any other platformer out there. What other platformer prevents your avatar from jumping at any given moment?

B) No real need to explore the scenery, apart from the pleasure of doing so, an element found in many acclaimed games.

As an aside, Toby's past history means nothing to me. In fact, I think it's fair to say that I hated Tomb Raider. It was clunky and cumbersome where Mario64 was not. Some saw the 'flaws' as being an integral part of TR's style. I thought them to be obstacles. And many years on, we have the same situation with Galleon and I'm on the opposite side of the fence. With one monumental difference.

Tomb Raider was, is and forever will be a load of fucking shit.

Galleon isn't.

That was fairly conclusive, wasn't it children?

There's too many other things to do in life to be apologists for half-arsed games.

Precisely. Anyone for Double Dash?

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