Diecast #66: LEGO Movie, Divinity, Valiant Hearts

By Shamus
on Jul 15, 2014
Filed under:
Diecast

Just before this episode went live, Josh sent me a link to this, which is probably the most unsuitably high-quality image of Reginald Cuftburt ever produced. It’s like seeing a classical marble bust of Spongebob. Anyway, share it on Facebook or GeoCities or Angelfire. Or Tumbl it. Or Twit it. Whatever it is you young people do with data when you’re doing internet show-and-tell.


Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

Hosts:
Josh, Shamus, Mumbles, and Campster.

Show notes:

1:00 Shamus is playing Retro/Grade and Girls Like Robots.

Here are my original thought on Girls Like Robots after PAX 2012.

3:30 Shamus watched THE LEGO MOVIE.

Warning: Lengthy Batman conversation ensues. Here’s the Batman song we discussed. We also talk about Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.

18:00 Mumbles is playing Divinity: Original Sin.

28:00 Chris has been playing Payday 2.

33:00 Chris has also been playing Valiant Hearts.

The rest of us haven’t played it. Here is what SuperBunnyHop has to say about it.

37:00 Chris has also been playing Dead Rising 3.

Wait, Dead Island 2 is being made by Yeager, the team behind Spec Ops: The Line? I have no idea how I feel about that. It’s either brilliant or idiotic.

46:00 Chis also got the Super Ultra Dead Rising 3′ Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α.

That title is the kind of thing I make up to make fun of games with overly elaborate titles. Capcom knows all my moves, so they countered me by making a double ridiculous title. What am I supposed to do now? Make a triple ridiculous name? Or maybe reverse it and call the game “Dave”? Nah. I know when I’m beat.

You win this time, Capcom.

50:00 The challenges of having a large Steam library, buying games for making content, using footage from other people, fair use, YouTube culture, and Net Neutrality.

This is a little bit insider-y, but it’s the kind of stuff we worry about when shopping for games and making content.

Warning: Shamus becomes sad.

1:00:00 Mail time!

Dear Diecast,

What genres of music do guys enjoy and how well do you think they’ve been implemented in games?

-Protazoa34

Enjoyed this post? Please share!



A Hundred!2020202015I bet you won't even read all 195 comments before leaving your own.

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yeah,this diecast will be awesome!Full of dark,brooding,and dead parents.Also rich in content and money.And AWESOME!

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh batista is in the guardians?Thats nice.He has such nice and vibrantly colored shirts,I love the guy.

  3. Erm, Mumbles is in the show but not in the “Hosts:” line.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Dragon commander…it is basically a real time strategy game”

    Ha!You can sure call it that,but its not.Unless you count “Build one unit until you reach the unit cap,then wait till the AI suicides” as a strategy.

    It can be labeled as a light tbs game though,because at least that part of the game is fun.

    • James says:

      In Dragon Commander i noticed that the Siege Tank (its not called that but it is that) is incredibly powerful, it cant fight air, but you are a dragon. and you can add some anti air guys into the mix. Additionally there is a ship that’s basically a naval version of the siege tank, that shoots nukes on a cooldown.

      or is there another strat you found that’s more nonsense then chokepoint + Siege Tank + Dragon?

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yes actually.Build one unit,any unit,and wait in your base while the ai sends his units in small chunks and drains all the resources.Then counter attack with this single deathball and claim victory.The actual composition is irrelevant.

  5. The cool thing about Divinity: OS is that the mission specific items are always accompanied by a bit of dialogue spoken by the PC like, “Huh this looks important” when picked up, or there is a piece of lore that you can read about before hand about that specific item. In other words it’s YOUR fault if you throw away the cult relic that opens the door to the mad god for 5 gold. It’s a game that demands your attention.

    Crafting is pretty obtuse though. There are no clear directions about how to craft, just some journals you can read. For example take a piece of text you can find in game that reads, “Secrets of the Scroll, Volume VI: If you find yourself in need of a sheet of paper while wandering in the wilds (or a village of illiterates), you can easily create your own. Find some scraps of wood, dampen them, then fire them to create a perfectly useful leaf.” What that translates to is Log + Axe: Wood Chips. Water Barrel + Bucket: water bucket. Water bucket Wood chips: Mulch. Then you have to go to one of the areas in the game that’s behind a locked door next to an optional boss and then use the Mulch on a furnace. This is the least complicated example, the direction to make a cake reads like a Paula Deen novel that mentions cooking on occasion.

    Combat is amazing though, I cleared a dungeon that was at twice my level by simply using the game’s mechanics, for example there is a cave guarded by a bunch of Orcs with gigantic crossbows. Cheesing them does nothing but there are an assortment of poison,water,and oil barrels in an area next to them. I equip’d my rouge with a telekensis ring so she could pick up a barrel while invisible and just start dropping them in correct locations. Then at the right time my archer sets off a chain explosion that instant gib’d a 15 foot orc and set everything else on fire/poison/electric stun lock.

    Once inside there was a giant abomination on a pier that was immune to literally every crowd control tactic I could throw at it. But it was right near a shack with a ghost in it that told me I set off a trap once I entered, and if I moved from my spot I would blow up, so I had to find a switch to free myself without moving. What I did was have my rouge go invisible so she could sneak past the abomination, open the door to the shack then chain teleport the giant crab with my mages to get the abomination inside the shack and close the door. Once inside he started spawning crabs and chilling, so I had my rouge open the door again and then teleport her out to a safe range, once that happened the crabs flooded out and the whole pier goes up in a puff of smoke. Nearly every encounter in original sin can be won with weird tactics like this. It’s the Devil May Cry 4 of combat depth for CRPGs. It’s really good with friends though, you can have one guy investigate a murder while the other robs the village blind then meet up to take out a twin headed firegod.

    • Thearpox says:

      Regarding the combat, don’t you feel that it kind of breaks starting level 7? The feat allowing you double action points for 50% life is frankly overpowered.

      And the whole system that allows you to easily flee the combat, then run around freely, then reenter it again at your leisure, is easily abusable. It cool for a co-op experience, but the weird things you can pull off… As an example of other stuff that is abusable, while one of my characters was having a dialogue, I teleported him back several times. The dialogue continued as normal. As a result, when the fight started, the party was NOT where it was supposed to be during the encounter. Of course you don’t HAVE to abuse it, so I’ll give it a free pass.

      Of the things that DO annoy me, is the pixel-perfect perfection that is necessary in clicking. The most frequent way my characters die, is when I misclick an enemy, and they decide to take a long and arduous trip around in a poison/fire cloud. Or when I have to make 15 clicks in circumventing the burning area, because if I simply click ahead, my character will blunder right through. Also, it is sometimes hard to see where the puddles of water end, or where exactly a the borders of a specific spell are. (For example, when teleporting, you can injure the enemies twice, by dropping them on each other. But they also have to be angled a certain way, and the game does not tell you where the sweet spot is.)

      And of course, the switch between real-time and turn time in infuriating sometimes. The reason being that all status effects continue, and in the time it takes you to switch to the character with healing and click the icon, someone might burn down.

      Oh, and finally, the classes of the only two companions in the game (with a character, there are many nameless,) are set in stone to be a water/air mage and a two-handed. Guess which characters I created? An air/earth mage and a two-handed. Go figure.

      But aside from all that, really like the game.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        “As an example of other stuff that is abusable, while one of my characters was having a dialogue, I teleported him back several times. The dialogue continued as normal. As a result, when the fight started, the party was NOT where it was supposed to be during the encounter.”

        Soooo….whats bad about that?Having you out of place at the start of a combat because of a cutscene/dialogue is actually a bad thing,so circumventing it is a good thing.

        • Thearpox says:

          I never said it’s bad, just really silly to have a character not skip a beat during dialogue while being lifted into the air, and smacked down with full force. It was an interesting thing to share? As I said, I’m giving it a free pass on that.

          But if you’re abusing the game mechanics that way because you’re out of position, I would say there is a fault in the game in the first place for putting you out of position. So there’s always that.

      • Humanoid says:

        Apparently a planned patch in August will be adding more companion NPCs.

        • Thearpox says:

          They should’ve allowed for a respec of their classes nevertheless. There is no in-character reason why the Madora can’t handle a bow or a one-handed weapon with a shield.

      • Yeah it does get broken, especially if you are running with more than one mage. CC is WAY too strong in some areas, the fact that I can permastun a whole mob while I have my tank + summons just run into a huge pool of electrified water and kill everything is a pretty dominate strat, but I do feel that some boss encounters do keep you on your toes once you leave early game. It’s also kind of cathartic just plowing through everything after such a rough early game. Try using the top down camera with the b key though, it minimizes the precision clicking you have to do. Also yeah the companions suck personality, and while some minions have names and back stories you can read up on, they aren’t REAL companions. Fortunately the two companions are pretty flexible on how you can build them since you grab them at level 2, jahan is a spellsword in one roll and a glass cannon in another and in fact madora in my first run got up to 50% block chance. Also you can respec around midgame when you unlocked half the portals or so in the end of time.

    • Steve C says:

      You got me interested in Divinity OS. I checked out the promo videos on Steam and they actually showed gameplay. How crazy is that!? Gameplay in a video instead of useless prerendered cut-scenes? Absurd!

      “Modern Baldur’s Gate” seemed to be the catchphrase and it did seem that way from the videos. Would you say that’s accurate?

      • Humanoid says:

        The buzz was more Ultima 7 than Baldur’s Gate I thought. Which is all the more awesome. It resembles neither in core mechanics, but the key selling point here is interactivity, so definitely leaning towards U7.

    • KMJX says:

      There are multipl levels of failsafe in place, in the case you actually do sell something important by mistake.

      1) If an item is the only way to actually solve a quest, you cannot sell it. It does not show up with the items available for sale.

      1b) There are usually multiple ways to get things done, sometimes more obvious, sometimes less.

      2) Everything you vendor, you can buy back. Even when the vendors reroll their inventory (usually every time you level up, some happen when you complete quest steps), all the junk you sold them stays there. Even the gold you paid for stuff stays there, in case you decide to go get it back.

  6. Dirigible says:

    Oh hey, that’s my friend’s picture, he doesn’t follow the blog, only Spoiler Warning, so I’ll toss him a link to this.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    People get angry only when you dont credit the clips you get the footage from.And people who capture the footage from the game always credit what game they got it from(unless they are dicks,that is).

    • ET says:

      OK, I agree that people need to acknowledge who owns what property, in an appropriate manner. At minimum, this means you say who you got it from. For example, the game (and the company which owns it) you got your gameplay footage from. In the case of footage from other YouTubers’ videos, you link to their video and attribute them.

      The thing is, I think Chris was a bit too heavily on the side of the owners of whatever works were in question. Like, sure, Company X absolutely owns the if I (for example) make a machinima video with characters singing All The Butts, and stick it on YouTube I am:
      1. Making a transformative work, which
      2. doesn’t compete with the original work (the game), and
      3. I’m not profiting from it. *
      4. I’m also giving attribution to the oriiginal work/owners or said work.

      That’s pretty much the definition of Fair Use. I don’t really get why new media (i.e. games/internet) are treated so differently by law-makers. This seems pretty obvious to me, a layman, so I really don’t get why people (whose job it is to fully understand issues, and enact fucking laws) always seem to get this so wrong. Ugh. So…basically my sentiments are like Mumbles views on Net Neutrality, but applied equally to copyright — the people in charge of things are not well informed, or just greedy and ignoring the obvious. :C

      * I’m assuming I didn’t enable monetization/ads on the video. I actually don’t even know where the option(s) is/are for doing this, but honestly, even if you go massively viral, your money income is still easily dwarfed by the revenue from a big company’s game’s sales. So, easy to argue that you’re not really profiting from it. At least not enough, that a big company would care anyways, as long as #1 and #2 in the list were true.

      • krellen says:

        You can profit from Fair Use. You can ABSOLUTELY profit from Fair Use. That’s how critics make their living.

        • ET says:

          Yeah, I should have thought about that more. I guess I was trying to say something more like, “If you profit from using this work, you have to prove even harder that you’re still doing something considered Fair Use”. Like, it doesn’t affect how fair your use is; I guess money just makes people care more, so they’re more likely to sue you or something. :)

        • If it’s tolerated. The sad fact right now is if a company wants to send out a cease & desist (and not just for YouTube), most people will fold because they don’t have the money to hire their own lawyer to get a judge to confirm that yes, it is fair use.

          What’s worse is that the companies often do this to be seen as protecting their trademark. I forget the exact language of the law, but there are circumstances where not legally challenging use of a mark can lead to such use becoming legal for others. The trouble is there needs to be a boilerplate document to hand back that basically says, “yes, you’ve done your due diligence, but this is a parody/fair use” which should satisfy TM protection. If they actually believe a violation is going on, THEN they could follow up with a “we’re really serious, knock it off” document that would mean you had to start things rolling or back down.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        With regards to net neutrality, I really do think that all we need to do is make sure these companies understand why its in their own interest to leave things open. Especially the ISPs. If they throttle traffic improperly they decrease the value of their own product. Letting the government in to handle everything has its own gigantic issues (as we’ve seen with the NSA.)

        I’m not so eager to get them involved because once they get involved they never stop being involved whether its good for us or not. The internet evolves too rapidly for them.

        • ET says:

          Pure ISPs would be hurting their product, since their internet access service is objectively worse than a competitor’s internet access service. However, lots of ISPs are also the cable/satellite/etc company, so the internet is competing with their other service(s). So, when they throttle the internet, their other services all of a sudden start seeming more attractive, at least to people who don’t know anything about the tech, or don’t know that this is a skeazy, unfair, underhanded business practice.

          • Thomas says:

            From what people say, there’s also a huge lack of competition in the market in the USA to drive that kind of consideration. When you have only got access to two companies and sometimes not even that, then throttling isn’t going to hurt those two companies.

            Throttling is also something that’s really hard to actually pinpoint. That’s why the ISPs are already getting away with throttling some companies (even before it was found to be legal) because it can be hard to tell the difference between active throttling and normal network congestion. Is this site loading badly just because, or because the ISP is threatening it for money?

            Finally, the ISPs have enough money to be made from Netflix and Youtube that there’s strong incentive to be anti-competitive here and for the ISPs to just all make money off the same sites.

            There are problems with the way competition works and the fairness of business practices in structure intensive multi-company network systems that the entire public need to use that created this legislation in the first place. This is why there need to be (and is) common carrier legislation for phone lines and the rest.

      • Cuthalion says:

        Hmm… fair use is actually a little different from that. Here’s what the law puts forth as things judges should look at:

        17 U.S.C. § 107

        Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

        1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
        2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
        3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
        4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

        The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_under_United_States_law

        In my own, layman’s opinion, a Let’s Play fair use case might go like this:
        1. Hard to say, but probably LPer wins. Company might win if LP has revenue, but LPer has a chance on commentary and transformative work.
        2. Company wins. It’s not information or news or anything like that.
        3. Company wins, hands down.
        4. Unclear, but both sides will be arguing furiously about this.

        I don’t think it’s at all clear whether LPs are fair use. I’d like to hope they are, but I think it would be an uphill fight. They’d really have to convince the judges that the work is transformative and provides commentary, not just equivalent to illegally distributing the game to an audience. And they’d probably have to make a very strong case that they aren’t reducing demand for the original or anything the company might want to make based on the original. They may even have to prove that if the company wanted to do its own LP, the LPer’s wouldn’t have stolen that opportunity.

        • Cuthalion says:

          Note that Chris would have a much easier time demonstrating fair use with Errant Signal. He’d win on factor 1 and probably factor 3, and the court would be unlikely to care if “he said bad things about our game!” impacted sales or not for factor 4.

          • ET says:

            However, they’d have to prove that such a negative statement about the game was slanderous, or just a bad review/critique/etc. Slander isn’t protected speech, but if your games’ sales were hurt because a reviewer pointed out all the reasons why your game is a waste of money, then the judgement would (should?) fall with the review. I hope at least, that that’s what the legal precedent is. ^^;

        • Wide and Nerdy says:

          i like how the market is helping to make it less of an issue than it could be. the law might say one thing but even if the use isn’t fair, it is good marketing for a lot of companies. this isn’t knew. How it should have ended uses Superman and Batman all the time. DC could probably issue a cease and desist (even if HISHE would claim parody, they use the characters on a recurring basis so they’d have to actually fight it I’d think.) but DC is pretty laid back by corporate standards about how their property is used.

          Now that I think about it, the fact that so many companies do look at it as free marketing does speak strongly to point four in the fair use stuff posted above.

          Part of the problem is that its different for different games. if you make something in minecraft and post video of you making it, thats clearly your work. the game supports your act of creation but the creation is wholly your act.

          other games, like Telltale Games are a lot closer to posting a tv show on your channel. even moreso in a game like beyond two souls.

          i also think part of the problem is that we keep looking at games as works and looking at the legal precedents for how works are treated. Maybe we should also be looking at games as tools and see how the law treats that. Logitech doesn’t own the writes to my work html after all. Games should be evaluated in this case based on how they’re used. are they merely consumed or used in an act of creation.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          “They’d really have to convince the judges that the work is transformative and provides commentary, not just equivalent to illegally distributing the game to an audience.”

          Not that hard to do,actually.Since a game is an interactive medium,playing it and recording that is the equivalent of singing a song yourself,or reenacting a scene from a movie.You arent giving out the whole game,because the viewers arent playing it,you are giving out only the audiovisual part of it,but the interactive part remains with you.

          But if you really want to make sure,you just have to talk about it while you play,and thats your commentary/critique.Which is what a bunch of lets players are doing anyway.

        • ET says:

          OK, I have to contest #3. Company most certainly does not win hands down. The company definitely owns cutscenes. If your let’s play includes a disproportionately large amount of the game’s cutscenes, then yeah, judgement would go to the company.

          However, game footage itself, is something created by the player. The company did not create that footage, so there’s a whole lot of room to argue, that the game is instead a tool which allowed the creation of a new work.

          (#2 is pretty well related to this. As I said, the company owns the game’s cutscenes. So if you’re just uploading the game’s cutscenes to YouTube, then the company would have a trivial time winning a lawsuit. Even easier for the removal of you videos, since YouTube already does that automatically.)

          • Cuthalion says:

            I had not thought of it that way. I think that’d be a hard argument to win, but the fact that an argument could even be raised is neat. It is still the game’s assets, and the working of its programming, and so on, but the exact sequence of events, unless you’re doing a speedrun, has probably never occurred before.

            Edit: How would this relate to cover songs though? When someone performs another’s song, it comes out differently, but it’s still considered to fall under copyright.

            • Bubble181 says:

              There’s a difference between the copyright of the writer of the song, and the singer/performer. Both are creative acts, and both have to be paid.

              I wrote this little ditty called ‘get lucky’. Some punks decided to make a somewhat popular version of it last year. Every time that song is played, those Daft folk get money, and I get some from them. If, say, Britney Spears made a cover of it, I’d still be getting a little bit, but Daft Punk wouldn’t.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        It doesnt matter who owns the work.You arent crediting ownership,you are crediting effort.

        For example,if you are a movie critic,and you review a movie gifted to you by X,of course X doesnt own the clips from that movie,but its still decent to note that X was the one who made the effort of buying it and giving it to you.

        Same with lets play videos.You dont have to mention who owns the game,or who filmed it,because the law doesnt require you to.But its considered decent to do so because both the creators of the game and creators of the footage made the effort that you now using for your own purpose.

  8. SyrusRayne says:

    Chris: Anyone who gets mad at you for saying the stealth is busted in PAYDAY 2 has not played the game enough. I’ve put way more hours into it than I want to admit, and yeah… Stealth is rough. Some are more doable than others, and some character builds are more viable for stealth (ECM jammers, for example, at higher tiers.)

    I recommend you guys try the Shadow Raid mission if you want to see how the devs have learned from their mistakes. Much more stealthable, a lot more fun to do.

    I like the game, but it has its flaws.

    • Ilseroth says:

      I was going to say something defending the stealth system and Chris specifically used the word “intuit” with regards to stealth and *that* I can totally get behind.

      Most of the missions can be stealthed fairly easily… but you have to *know* how to stealth the missions. And to do that? someone has to tell you. It isn’t like a normal stealth game, it is more about organizing kills (since you can only kill 4 guards) and citizen management. It isn’t “oh I am a ghost” it is more proper planning with regards to the bank missions.

      But the key thing is, you have to *know* the level, *know* where every guard is before you even see them (because they spot you near instantly.) So when Chris says, “Its for only for high end characters” I’d say it is mostly because only people who have played every mission multiple times, know *how* to stealth specifically in Payday 2

      • SyrusRayne says:

        ECM rushing is pretty viable, but I’m not sure I consider dropping down a jammer and running in to shoot the whole place up ‘stealthy’, regardless of whether or not I get a 20% bonus for doing it. You can blitz the bank with grenades with minimal downsides as long as you have enough people to get all four pagers (I’ve done this. Cleaner costs aren’t as serious as they seem at high levels, it turns out, if you spread the murder around the team.) Though it requires a bit more than just running in the front door, I’ll admit, even doing it that way.

        Things are a lot more interesting when nobody has useful ECMs.

        But yeah while a couple of the missions can be ghosted, (Shadow Raid, Framing Frame, Firestarter day 2) most are based around PAYDAYs weird non-stealth stealthiness. Like you say, unintuitive.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Yeah, it’s really flaky, and it wouldn’t so bad if it wasn’t inconsistent sometimes (like guards hover-walking down from the top of a roof, that’s a good one).
      Though early on, it’s better to accept you’re more likely to have to just go loud, but there’s a really unpleasant bump to get past the early levels of not having the gear to really do anything you want.

      The drill thing I think was to avoid having the annoyance of ferrying drills around in limited numbers if there’s very few of you. The game is already a bag-throwing/equipment management simulator a lot of the time, it didn’t need it more for mission critical things like drills.

      • SyrusRayne says:

        There are some random map setups where it’s an order of magnitude more difficult to stealth – if not completely impossible (GO Bank comes to mind).

        • Ringwraith says:

          Man, GO Bank is being dealt a random hand of cards and being told to make do.
          Honestly the biggest problem I have with it is the fact that it endlessly spawns civilians who walk into the bank, so you end up with an ever-increasing line of intimidated civvies.
          I like the idea of forcing you into some civilian management other than ‘tie everyone down and forget about it’ but it’s not executed correctly at all.

  9. MichaelGC says:

    What about keeping a spreadsheet list of the games you get as you buy them? Or pen & paper?

    I guess the full Steam-Sale-Carnage frame of mind doesn’t sit too well with diligent record-keeping, but you could just jot down name and date bought, and maybe genre and/or the reason you bought it* without breaking the buy-ALL-the-things flow too much. (And maybe disrupting that flow juuust a little would be no bad thing in itself!)

    PS I’m not suggesting everyone do this, of course! – but it could be useful for the folks for whom it’s a way of life.

    * e.g. “Because Josh needs also to be part of the problem…”

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah,but the thing is:Thats what the computers were invented for.We should not have to manually write down all this stuff,when we have a machine that was specifically designed to do that for us.(except for the reason of purchase,that is)

      • Humanoid says:

        There is a chronological list of titles added under your account details in Steam. Far from a good solution, it doesn’t show actual date of acquisition, but it at least incorporates games added from all sources, not just direct Steam store purchases (as trawling through your emails would do).

        P.S. Someone just pointed me to mysteamgauge.com – “Over the last 4 years, you’ve spent 1364.6 hours playing this selection, which includes 179 items, is valued at $2684.83, and requires 726.5 GB “

        • Thomas says:

          “Over the last 3 years, you’ve spent 494.9 hours playing this selection, which includes 147 items, is valued at $2040.12, and requires 473.1 GB ”

          You’ve definitely got the better money per hour over me =D However, of that $2040, I only spent £136.88 plus whatever it cost for my 83 Humble Bundle games.

          Also there are only 8 games I’ve ever spent more than 15 hours playing on Steam. I do play in offline mode sometimes though so I guess it’s throwing some of it off

  10. The Rocketeer says:

    I always pictured Mumbles wearing boxing gloves and a domino mask, and then she pushes a guy down and he cries.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ah,valiant hearts.Im….ambivalent on the game.I like parts of it,but its just so over the place.But I loved the dog.Much better than that other war dog that was so trumpeted,for sure.And I guess more useful.

    • Humanoid says:

      I conflated the game with Kingdom Hearts, so the discussion made no sense whatsoever to me. Oops, will have to relisten.

      • Retsam says:

        My least favorite thing about Valiant Hearts (not that I’ve played the game) is that everytime I see the name my brain jumps to Kingdom Hearts, gets immediately excited and then immediately shut down as the rational part kicks in.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      A while ago I saw a link to the Valiant Hearts trailer. It really struck me as something different, and I immediately liked it.

      Then I saw that the top comment, and I wish this was a joke: “I was really happy to hear there was a WWI game, so I could finally get my shoot on in that war, then I was so sad when I watched the trailer. This doesn’t look immersive at all! I mean side scroll-er? Come on how am I supposed to get a feel for what it was really like in that war without being able to get right into the blood an guts in some first person action? I will not being playing this game.”

      I went strait to steam and bought it full price and bought it for a friend in the hopes that I could perform some cosmic balancing act to make up for people like him.

  12. Thomas says:

    Nolan Batman isn’t really dark and gritty, the whole climax of the second film is about how humans are so nice to each other that civilians wouldn’t blow up a boat of convicts if their own lives are at risk and convicts likewise. He doesn’t kill anyone he doesn’t hurt anyone, he talks about how nice it is that awesome lawyers are cleaning up the city without vigilantism.

    I just mean compared to anything Frank Miller ever wrote where Batman was going around breaking people’s necks or the Arkham games where he’s tearing people to pieces with his fists.*

    Anyway that’s not related to anything, Lego Batman is awesome and Batman is literally the best character in the world to make jokes about because of the oh-so-seriousness in so much of his stuff. I just don’t know where the Nolan films got a reputation for being dark and gritty from.

    They’re kinda humourless and going for themes and stuff and they’ve got the whole ‘grounded’ nonsense which drove people nuts but they’re super PG-13 and they’re always pretty optimistic about human nature.

    It’s not Sin City is what I mean.

    EDIT: That’s only the last 2 as well. Batman Begins is closer to Raimi’s Spiderman than modern superhero films

    *Or compared to the new Superman :P Which should never ever have been true. People so much believe TDK was Dark and Gritty to the point where the hollywood execs also believe it and try to cram it into a superman film. Apart from Superman though, I don’t know if we’ve even had a dark and gritty superhero film in the last 10 years

    • Steve C says:

      “Apart from Superman though, I don’t know if we’ve even had a dark and gritty superhero film in the last 10 years”

      A tone which is completely inappropriate for a Superman film. Why not take other wholesome characters and make dark and gritty movies. Batman v. Superman better not be like the crapfest that was Man of Steel.

      Whoever decided that Superman should engage in a little petty theft and stand around idle while watching his loved ones die should be dragged into a train station and have their neck snapped.

      • Thomas says:

        Yeah isn’t it completely ridiculous? That we had a Batman film and we had a Superman film and the _Batman_ film was the lighter and more optimistic of the two? I literally don’t understand how someone came to that conclusion. Well it’s because there’s a myth of dark gritty superhero films existing and selling well…but still, wtf?

        We see Batman surrounded by kind parental figures telling him that they believe he can do right, that you can rescue Gotham no matter how bad things get, that people are fundamentally kind.

        And then the _Kent’s_ are wondering if Superman should even ever save people and worried that everyone will turn on him…

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well,you see,it comes from this:Flashy comics and comics movies are for kids,while grimdark ones are for adult 40 year olds.And so while marvel deals with lame kiddy stuff,dc focuses on adults.Both in paper and celluloid form.They deal with real issues,like having to kill someone in order to save a few random people that could totally get away if they only moved,while marvel tackles the easy kid friendly stuff like ptsd and friends betraying you at the drop of a hat.

        • Joe Informatico says:

          Apparently during pre-production, Christopher Nolan was the one arguing against the ending we saw in theatres, until Snyder and Goyer managed to talk him into it.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            I really think people are being obtuse about this. Its day one. Zod was proving to be impossible to control. Novice Superman made a snap judgment then immediately regretted it. What is so hard about that for people to grasp?

            This guy with what he’d been through so far is not going to step onto the field in this situation know exactly how to be the Superman of the comics and know what he should and shouldn’t be doing.

            Last I checked, these Kryptonians were going to wipe out all human life. In the end, maybe a few thousand people died and the threat was ended. When you consider that he’s been spending his entire life avoiding fights and hiding his powers, he did far better than could be expected.

            • Thomas says:

              Superman’s thing with Zod is an important part of his character arcs (although in the Justice League Animated him lobotomising Doomsday in a similar situation was the start of creating an alternate totalitarian regime), but it’s an awful way to introduce the character. It’s something you should do in your second or third film when you’ve already established how straight and true Superman is, then it becomes amazingly impactful to see the scenario that breaks him and it makes Zod something special.

              Even without that, it could have worked. It’s just about the tone of the film before and after and everything surrounding it. Everything in Man of Steel was too grey and gloomy for the Zod think to work without pushing it towards dark and gritty.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              “I really think people are being obtuse about this.”

              No,theyre not.Ok,the gut reaction of “superman doesnt kill” is over the top,but anyone who actually thought about it makes the point that while its not inconceivable for him to do so,the way its presented in the movie is incredibly stupid.Not just the lame way he did it,but how the following scene shows no impact of it at all.

              That,plus all the things that led to that.

              • krellen says:

                Superman killed Zod in the comics (eventually, and not upon first meeting).

                This was a big fucking deal.

                It was, literally, the first time Superman had ever killed. In sixty years of stories and history, Superman had never killed before. And the major storyline immediately after that, and a substoryline for at least a decade since, was him dealing with the fact that he had killed.

                Having him kill in the first film of a reboot violates everything that made the event the major event it was. It was a stupid, bullshit thing to do. (He should have banished Zod to the Phantom Zone, then, in film 12 or so, Zod could come back for the third or fourth time and then put Supes in a position where he was forced to kill him.)

                Superman does not kill. Even more than Batman doesn’t use guns.

                • Wide And Nerdy says:

                  His Phantom Zone thing was a one-shot. They tried it, they got almost everybody. They didn’t get Zod. I’m sure Superman would have preferred that Zod get caught in the vortex but it didn’t work out like that. So he had to do something else.

                  There’s no Kryptonite yet.

                  And what do you mean violates everything that made the other scene work? In both cases Zod was set on the extinction of humanity.

                  In the comic book he’d already succeeded. In fact there was no one left in the comic for Superman to protect, and when he did decide to kill the Kryptonians, they’d already been stripped of their powers (by a plot device he doesn’t have in the movie, one that is supposed to be permanent and irreversible in fact). They were completely at Superman’s mercy in that story. But he decided he didn’t even want to take the chance that they would somehow regain their powers and come to his dimension to his earth, so he carried out an execution on his own authority (and to be fair, nobody else was around to do it, that Earth was barren of all life save for them)

                  In this movie, Superman doesn’t have control of the situation. Zod is a skilled warrior of equal power and nothing can contain either of them. Zod has already tried once at this point to exterminate the human race and he has declared he will do it again. He lashes out attempting to kill anybody available. You call it stupid, but how was this supposed to play out? Superman did everything a rookie superhero could do.

                  Someone made an argument earlier that this should have happened after Superman was established as the true blue superhero we know, and that would have been a good way to do it, but it can also be a formative experience for him.

                  Think about it, on the one hand he was justified in killing Zod. There didn’t seem to be another option in that moment, no way to restrain him or control him. On the other hand, it was the very last living member of his own species other than himself. In the days and months that follow, he’s going to wonder if there was a better way. Its going to be the basis for his no kill rule.

                  • krellen says:

                    The solution is to NOT USE ZOD AS YOUR INTRODUCTORY VILLAIN.

                    The movie was flawed in its premise. There was no execution that would have been successful.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      Could any of you be more specific? Thomas is the only one in this thread offering anything concrete. The rest of you are just saying “its stupid” or “it ruins everything” and not explaining why. Obviously I’m stupid and I don’t get it so explain to me as though I were a child. Clue me in here.

                      To me the movie plays out logically (way more logically than, say, Amazing Spiderman 2 which hardly anybody seemed to have a problem with).

                      What did you want out of this movie? Norman Rockwell? Adam West? Batman Brave and the Bold? Donner (they tried that last time remember it didn’t work)?

                      Honestly the only other way I think Superman could have worked would be Captain America the First Avenger style but with an anachronistic Metropolis (sort of like what they did with Batman the Animated series in the early seasons). I would have enjoyed that too. A timeless Superman. But first you need to give me something a little more concrete as to why this didn’t work.

                      But if they aren’t going to do something like that, it takes some work to make Superman fit in our times. The comics struggle with it. They failed spectacularly with the New 52 reboot.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      @Wide And Nerdy
                      I did explain why.Its disjointed.The zod thing for example:
                      1)The movie never established why preserving a life is so important to superman(like in the comics),because pa kent was a psycho
                      2)The scene immediately after killing zod is “Hey there general,stop spying on me.Im a true bread american.Mkay bye”.

                      These two facts make the zod scene completely meaningless.And it should not be.It should be a climax and a character defining moment.

                      Now,unlike krellen,I do think that you can achieve that in just a single 2+ hour movie,but they failed at that miserably.

                      And thats only the zod scene.Theres also the death toll,which is completely contrary to supermans character in the comics,theres the brooding around the world which is just silly,theres the shadow zone actually saving the criminals while the rest of the world dies,the over the top jesus metaphors(yes he is jesus,but dont beat us over the head with it),etc,etc.

                      Plus,like youve mentioned,if they did something akin to captain america(who basically is the superman of marvel,at least when morality is discussed),it wouldve worked.But no,they opted to go for a dark reboot,because it worked for batman so well.

                    • The reason nobody had a “problem” with Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that nobody expected it to be good. It’s a contractual agreement movie, meant to keep the rights at Sony, nothing more. If it makes money, hooray for Sony, I guess, but until it’s back at Marvel/Disney, few are going to care that much.

                      Superman, however, should have been a universe-establishing movie that was intended to lead up to a Brave & Bold film of some kind, if not setting the groundwork for a Justice League movie. It wasn’t planned to do so, ergo, it didn’t. For the best portrayal of Superman in modern media, go watch the Superman Animated Series and the Justice League/JLU cartoon that followed it. They did Superman well, and it contrasted to the Batman animated series nicely. All of the backgrounds for the Batman cartoon started on black paper. It was dark and brooding, showing where the Batman character was coming from. Superman was set in the forward-looking tech-hub of Metropolis. When the two finally met in what I believe was just called “The Batman/Superman Movie,” the contrast was played up without needing to throw a “vs” in the title.

                      Zod was a better pick than having nothing for Superman to do apart from lift things (Superman Returns), but it felt like JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness: There was a second Superman film, Superman II had Zod, therefore Man of Steel will have Zod, but with less time to make him important and interesting.

                      It’s why the rumors that Darkseid is going to be the villain in BvS or in a Justice League film have fans worried. Darkseid was a cool villain in Superman: The Animated Series, but he had several episodes to establish himself, along with his backstory which includes the planets Apokolips and New Genesis. That needs MUCH more than 1 film to present to new audiences to make Darkseid the threat he should be.

                      I think they just don’t know what Superman’s character is like. He has a moral code that’s supposed to be the gold standard in the DCU. Yeah, his race is basically gone, his parents dead, etc., but he’s still a beacon of hope, not someone who slogs through the grimdark. Given his comic book incarnation having a rule of not killing, to have a foe appear in one film and die by Superman’s hand at the end just seems awfully quick for something so monumental to happen. It’s as if that were how all supervillains were dealt with. If they’d really wanted to sell this, it should’ve played up Supes’ moral code in 1 or even 2 films prior, making the neck-snap a big deal (if one were to include it at all).

                      The movie also wanted to cover far too much ground (origin, emergence, major villain) and eschewed finally doing Lex Luthor correctly as a first villain (again, see the cartoon series, where he’s a Machiavellian genius, not a real estate fraudster). It doesn’t help that it follows several less-than-stellar films and was made as a single-hero franchise movie. I think DC would’ve been better served going the Marvel route, but the logical choice for that would’ve been Batman, and he was already stuck in Nolan-ville. Even if one likes those movies, they weren’t designed to build a DCU franchise, when they could’ve been. Batman should’ve been the DCU’s Iron Man, but he was tied up doing other things and not doing any major world-building.

                      Edit: Again, from the JLU cartoon, Superman can have moral dilemmas over killing without actually killing, since that’s integral to what makes him the superhero he’s been for decades.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      This is now my first post after having just seen Man of Steel again last night. I bought it partly out of spite. In all my prior posts it had been at least a year since I’d seen Man of Steel and I’d heard round after round of complaining about how grimdark and Nolanified it was. It was because of all that complaining that I was actually surprised with just how hopeful the movie is.

                      Hope is a choice made amid uncertainty to believe things can work out and to act on that belief. At least, thats hope at its best. And thats what this movie was. The Donner movie chose to focus entirely on how Superman embodied hope and inspired it in others. This movie focus more on Superman making that choice to embrace hope.

                      Perhaps my favorite moment I’d forgotten, the moment when he really started thinking like Superman was in he was about to go after the gravity machine. Lois pointed out that since it was trying to create a Kryptonian atmosphere Superman’s powers might fail on him as they had on the ship. His response? “It might, but I’m not going to let that stop me from trying.” That’s hope in action. And they had a cute little moment when Superman tells her to step back, and then tells her to step further back which amuses her.

                      Its also present during his wandering of the earth. He still doesn’t know what exactly he’s going to do with his life, if he can ever be accepted but he’s going to help people.

                      Lois is another great part of this. When she’s around other people, shes acerbic. Around Superman, she warms up.

                      1) Damien, as to your part one. I already addressed it but again, Pa is not a psycho advocating murder. He’s a scared father who’s realized he doesn’t know how to guide his son in this moment. You are being obtuse on this point.

                      2) Immediately after killing Zod, Superman collapses and wails for the passing of the last of his kin and his direct role in it (which is what this scene was about, it wasn’t about the breaking of a not yet established “thou shall not kill” rule). THEN we get the scene of a great american hero giving a much needed middle finger to the NSA.

                      ps238principal. Your points are constructive. I think though that you might be remembering the destination more than the journey when it comes to the Animated series. Superman in that show started out very very bland even compared to his comic book counterpart. It was years before anything even a little interesting started to develop and when it did, it ended up giving us a Superman a fair bit darker than the Man of Steel movie. This was a Superman who had been violated and was struggling with his anger over that. A Superman who’s anger nearly got the better of him on multiple occasions, and actually did get the better of him on several more (Justice League episodes dealing with Darkseid, his battle with Captain Marvel). He was not a hopeful figure. He was actually a bit scary.

                      But it was necessary to give the writers of the cartoon something interesting to do with the bland incarnation of Superman they had created. The Man of Steel Superman won’t need a hook like that. I think the Kryptonian invasion and the damage it did is fertile ground for establishing Luthor’s motivations and giving him something to work with when working the public against Superman. “Even if Superman is well meaning” he’ll argue “Do you not see what happens when one of his kind does batlle? Do you want that again?” And the people will have to decide if they’ll believe in Superman as he believes in them.

                      See, I like that Superman is a beacon of hope but as I’ve gotten older, I have a bit of a problem with the fact that there’s never really shown a period of him earning it. Its very much glossed over. People just sort of immediately say “oh, neat, there’s this insanely powerful alien out there and he’s doing good stuff. We’ll never for a moment doubt that he’s here to use his pants-crappingly immense powers for good. Ha Ha, we’d sure be screwed if he did go evil wouldn’t we?”

                      “I mean, how could he be evil? He lives in a giant alien base in the antarctic that he refers to as his fortress of solitude. Sure is a lot of lebensraum for one Ubermensch isn’t it? Well, breaks over. See you later Bill.”

                    • Steve C says:

                      @Wide And Nerdy. I can see why you aren’t seeing what others are saying. You are arguing the merits of the movie. Man of Steel is ok as a superhero movie goes. As a movie it’s got some major plot holes, terrible chemistry between all characters and it’s nowhere near as tight as it should be. (Everything on Krypton should have been condensed into <5min.) None of those points are being made by others in this thread because that's all forgivable.

                      While that can be overlooked there's still no salvaging Man of Steel as a Superman movie. The characterization is completely wrong for Superman. Because it’s not a superhero movie. It’s a Superman movie. The tone set in that movie is wrong for Superman. Replace Superman with a different character and the movie would work. The movie cannot ignore the established character and make it’s own version. It just can’t. Which is exactly what it did and why it’s awful. Superman is the character and tone.

                      What did you want out of this movie? Norman Rockwell? Adam West? Batman Brave and the Bold? Donner (they tried that last time remember it didn’t work)?

                      We wanted Superman. We didn’t get Superman. We got Man of Steel who is not Superman. He’s some horribly wrong version of Superman in a non-Superman movie. That picture of Bert and Ernie I linked above could be the basis of a great movie. It would still be a horrible bastardization no matter what was done with it. You cannot do that to the source material.

                      If you want more info, I wrote about Man of Steel a month ago in the forums. Also what Shamus said in today’s article about Dungeon Keeper can apply to Man of Steel too- It was a mistake to make that content using that IP.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      I appreciate the attempt Steve C, but I already get that this is part of your argument. There are two levels of this debate. One is, does this movie work on its own and two is does this work as a Superman movie.

                      I think if anything a lot of the people arguing here are bound by the more popular media Superman has appeared in and don’t realize that, like Batman, Superman has been interpreted in a number of different ways over the years, each of which is valid. There have been plenty of stories in the comics that were this dark or darker, challenging Superman with cynicism. In my experience, putting Superman in darker situations can make his brightness stand out.

                      The classic for this is Kingdom Come, a story where the public has moved on and embraced heroes who are willing to kill because dead villains don’t escape from jail. Cut a few decades forward and this new breed of heroes has become little better than the villains they fight. Time for Superman to return from his self imposed exile. But it soon becomes apparent that Superman hasn’t changed for the times, his brand of justice borders on tyranny, rounding up all the anti-heroes and throwing them in reeducation camps. Ultimately things come to a head with war and the lesson learned is that he needs to reembrace his humanity rather than putting himself above everybody.

                      Then there’s “Whats the problem with Truth, Justice, and the American Way?” which you might know better as Superman:Elite. Granted at the beginning Superman is the classic straight character but he goes awfully dark and scary at the end.

                      In the Golden Age, Superman did occasionally kill. In the Silver Age he was not above playing kind of cruel pranks on his friends. He was almost impish in his behavior. In the Bronze Age, he angsted a lot over his status as an alien and a powerful superhero and how that isolated him. The character does change with the times and this movie is not out of bounds for that.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      @Wide And Nerdy
                      *sigh*You are missing the point,by a mile.First,whether pa kent was an actual psycho or not is irrelevant.What is relevant that his role in supermans life is to clearly impress unto him the value of human life,and the importance of sacrifice to save even a single cancer patient,let alone a buss full of children or a huge city full of people.Without that being established,superman killing zod is no different from mcclane shooting bad guys.In this universe superman isnt taught to value human life any more than anyone else,which is completely out of character for him.

                      Second,a single yelp is not a character defining moment,its an immediate reaction,nothing more.Compare with the dark knight and what happens when batman kills dent.He is branded as a villain,the bat signal is destroyed,and all the monologuing afterwards,and then the end.No scenes unconnected to that.Not to mention that the whole move dealt with how dent is pure,and the one we need,yadda yadda,which is what makes batman killing him such an important scene.

                      Establishment -> action -> consequence.Thats what makes a certain action in a movie meaningful and character defining.Superman killing zod had no lead up and no follow up,making it just a (one more) meaningless thing that superman did.

                  • Wide And Nerdy says:

                    Yes it did. The lead up was “who are you going to choose? Humans or Kryptonians?” and “Whats your role?” Not “Are you going to break your rule against killing that we forgot to establish?” And those questions are set up throughout the movie.

                    He was clearly conflicted about that right up to the end. That’s where his wailing comes from. The final scene picks up the other thread about the uneasy relationship between Superman and humanity and establishes that progress was made but a resolution was not reached. Nothing wrong with that.

                    But then we get some further resolution on the “which side did you pick?” thing in the final scene where Superman becomes Clark Kent intrepid reporter. His emergence as Superman and then as Clark Kent and his choice about which side to take all play together into the big looming question of what his role is.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      Another point I meant to make earlier.

                      In Batman its long been established (in the comics) that he doesn’t kill and that in more recent decades he hates guns because a gun killed his parents.

                      In the Nolan-verse its established that Bruce tried to shoot Joe Chill in vengeance. In fact in the Nolan verse, his grief didn’t inspire him immediately to start training to be Batman (or at least some kind of crimefighter) as it ALWAYS has in the comics. Instead he deals with years of anger, depression, and resentment. He’s lost. Its only in his adulthood that he even starts trying to figure out what he wants to do about it. Note that he used a gun (or tried to) BEFORE any no guns rule was established. Its in part because of that incident that the Nolan Batman now has a no guns rule. In fact at the end of Batman Begins, he wasn’t done learning to be the Batman we know.

                      The Man of Steel Zod incident is in some ways like that. He doesn’t come out fully hatched like his comic book counterpart. He’s still learning.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      “Yes it did. The lead up was “who are you going to choose? Humans or Kryptonians?” and “Whats your role?” Not “Are you going to break your rule against killing that we forgot to establish?” And those questions are set up throughout the movie.”

                      No,that was resolved long before,when he fought the other kryptonians.Just sending them all to the shadow zone wouldve resolved that.Killing zod had absolutely nothing to do with that thread.Or any other.It was there simply for the sake of edginess,nothing more.

                      “He was clearly conflicted about that right up to the end. That’s where his wailing comes from.”

                      Nope,addressed.A single wail is not conflict,its immediate reaction,nothing more.If someone gets slapped in a movie,and their face goes red,thats an immediate reaction,not a character defining moment.

                      “Nothing wrong with that.”

                      Except for the fact that it tosses the previous scene further down the garbage chute.But again,thats the problem with that scene.It simply had no place in this movie,so wherever it was to be put,the effect would be the same:It would be out of place.

                      “His emergence as Superman and then as Clark Kent and his choice about which side to take all play together into the big looming question of what his role is.”

                      I agree.And if thats all the movie focused on,it wouldve been completely fine.No need to throw in murder atop of it.Sure,you can have multiple huge character defining moments in a single movie,but you cant just cram them all in,you have to carefully place them so that they fit with one another.Otherwise,youll have at least one of them being out of place,thus dragging the whole thing down.

                      “In the Nolan-verse
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      In fact at the end of Batman Begins, he wasn’t done learning to be the Batman we know.”

                      Thats debatable,but I wont go into it because its irrelevant.However,what is relevant is that you have described precisely what I was talking about.Establishment (dead parents,years of being lost,angst and brooding,murderer released,etc) -> action (he confronts the guy,ready to shot him,but in the end finds out that it is wrong) -> consequence (no guns rule,and the rule that he wont actively kill someone,but will let the villain doom themselves).A perfect way to condense some fundamentals from the comics into a single movie,which is what a good adaptation should do.Meanwhile,all of that is missing from the man of steel,thus translating nothing from the comics onto the screen.If the movie was about mupersan from the planet of kryntop who came to earth,nothing would have changed.In fact,it wouldve been better,because it would be dealing with a new character that doesnt have decades of characterization in him.

                      “The Man of Steel Zod incident is in some ways like that. He doesn’t come out fully hatched like his comic book counterpart. He’s still learning.”

                      Then why did they try to cram in so much of superman lore into the movie?There was absolutely no reason for that.If they focused on fewer plot threads,those couldve been more fleshed out,and the movie wouldve been less disjointed.This is exactly the same problem that plagues amazing spiderman 2,but slightly worse,because in asman 2 at least the major character defining moment was done well.Ok,almost well,because the rhyno crap in the end is just the same crap that man of steel did in its ending.

      • ET says:

        Are there any other images in this series? The only one I can find via the Googles, is this one.

        Incidentally, does anyone else think that a 3D game, with visuals looking like Wind Waker meets A Scanner Darkly meets The Ring would be absolutely amazing? :D

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Nolan Batman isn’t really dark and gritty, the whole climax of the second film is about how humans are so nice to each other that civilians wouldn’t blow up a boat of convicts if their own lives are at risk and convicts likewise. He doesn’t kill anyone he doesn’t hurt anyone, he talks about how nice it is that awesome lawyers are cleaning up the city without vigilantism.”

      Actually,he does.It is followed by him killing dent,who was supposed to be a bastion of goodness,but tried to kill gordon in the end.And thats only one of the three nolan batmans.

      “I just mean compared to anything Frank Miller ever wrote where Batman was going around breaking people’s necks or the Arkham games where he’s tearing people to pieces with his fists.”

      Thats not dark and gritty,thats insane.

      But see,heres the thing,despite what 90s are trying to hammer in,dark and gritty doesnt mean bad.The dark knight was dark and gritty done right.Man of still was dark and gritty done wrong.The former shows that even in the glum and dangerous world of gotham,hope can exist,even if some people need to be dragged through mud for that hope to exist.It shows the contrast between light and dark without angst and emo whining.The later,on the other hand,has darkness for no reason.It says nothing with its tone.It contrast nothing,it just exist because OMG,SO REALZ!It wallows in emo bullshit and false dilemmas(let the children die,so that in the future you can massacre some random dudes truck with impunity).

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        No its there to reflect on how Clark doesn’t have a guide or a role model to turn to. His parents do their best but they don’t know how to be a superpowered alien, nobody does. So he’s left figuring things out for himself. And it reflects on his apprehension about whether people can be trusted and whether they’re worth fighting for.

        And this makes it all the more affirming when he does decide to step forward and reveal himself, turn himself over to humanity and then to Zod to save Earth. By the end of the movie, his relationship with humanity is on its way but its not quite there yet.

        Whats disappointing is that the next movie could have been about building that trust with humanity, but now its going to be about Batman. Because everything is about frickin Batman. I’m so very tired of him. I loved the Lego Movie for daring to go after him because he needs a righteous dose of humility and so do his fans. He’s a rich guy in a Bat costume. He’s no more real or connected or relevant than any other superhero.

        Grant Morrison commented on this. Batman is a juvenile fantasy about fast cars and money and women. Superman is a more adult fantasy because with all his power he still chooses to have the kind of life and responsibilities that most of us have. He punches a clock and answers to a boss. He could just live in his Fortress of Solitude but he’s more of a grown up than that. And I think thats what this movie is.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Their best?What kind of a psychopath you have to be if your best is like that?It would be much batter to have him parentless than stuck with these two,if what you wanted was to show him with “no role model”.

          I get the fear of discovery,thats ok,but to let it be so huge that you say “let a bus full of kids die rather than be discovered”,you are off the deep end.

          Which is doubly jarring when he later has no problem in showing off his powers for the lamest things,but saving a life of his father,no thats going too far.

          And that jumping from one end to the other is the main problem of the movie.It tells you one thing in one scene,but then does a full 180 in the next,completely forgetting what was said before.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Pa didn’t say “do it.” He said “I don’t know.” In that moment he was a concerned father trying to protect his child and realizing he had no idea how to tell his son to handle situations like this.

            As for the tornado scene, Clark hesitated in a moment when his father was signalling to him not to act in front of lots of people he knew. He obviously decided after having some time to think about it that he should help people but continue to hide. Yes he reveals his face at times in dangerous situation but he’s wandering all over the earth and these are people who won’t recognize him.

            • Steve C says:

              You are arguing the merits of decisions made in a scene and the rest of us are arguing that scene (and many others) shouldn’t have been in a Superman movie. It’s not the decisions characters make that are wrong. It’s that the director had the characters make those decisions at all.

              Bert and Ernie have aids and Elmo can only save one of them. Will Elmo help with his drug money? Will Elmo realize it was them sharing needles or just blame the gay sex? Who will he choose to save?
              The answer: Irrelevant because that scenario should not exist with those characters.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                So Superman should never have to make hard decisions then? Okay. Got it.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Thats a straw man.No one is saying that.We are saying that when faced with hard decisions,he should not act like any joe average would,but as a paragon of good.Like captain america does in his movies.Heck,like batman did in the dark knight.

                  Compare what avengers do in their movie when the city is attacked:First,they try to move all the civilians out and prevent as many deaths as they can,and only then do they fight the enemy.What do they do with the villain that initiated all of this,and mind raped a bunch of people and heroes?They imprison him.

                  What does superman do when his city is attacked?Fling the bad guy left and right,throw cars at him,smash buildings,and fuck anyone who didnt get away on their own.What does he do with the villain that initiated all of this?Snaps his neck because he was veeeeeeeery sloooooooooowly trying to burn a couple more people that were too dumb to run away.

                  Do avengers kill villains?Yes,when there is no other way(ironmen movies,captain america movies,etc).Do they feel consequences of those actions?Yes,both stark and cap have been shown with various forms of ptsd.Heck,thor “only” imprisoned his half brother,and he was clearly tormented over that for majority of the scenes sharing with him.He didnt just scream once,and gotten over it completely.

                  Avengers,and especially cap,are way better superman than superman.Thats the problem,and not that he had to face some tough decision(which even werent presented as tough,which is another failure of the movie).

                  • Wide And Nerdy says:

                    No you’re making one argument. The others are making another argument. With you I’m having an argument about whether Superman’s actions in the movie make sense. With the others I’m having an argument about whether or not Superman should ever even be put in situations like this. More or less thats the division here. I know you both make an argument about the context here. But I’m addressing two different sets of arguments.

                    • Steve C says:

                      Daemian is arguing the same thing as others. Daemian is *adding* that there was no payoff by any of the scenes violating the character.

                      Man of Steel engages in petty theft. He steals laundry. Superman does not engage in petty theft! Superman will steal nuclear missiles and throw them into the Sun but he does not engage in petty theft. If he wanted a change of clothes he could fly across the world, grab a spare set out of his dresser and fly back to the exact spot in less time it took for him to walk up and steal laundry.

                      So let’s look at why that scene was in the movie. That scene was in the movie to show off the actor’s muscles. That’s it. There was no other reason for that scene to exist even though it’s very existence diminished the character. That’s the problem with most of the other scenes- Director fiat.

                      David S. Goyer: “So yes, originally Zod got sucked into The Phantom Zone with the others but I just felt it was unsatisfying and so did Zack. So we started talking to some of the people at DC Comics and asked, ‘Do you think there is ever a way that Superman would kill someone?’ And at first they said, ‘No way.’

                      Why did Superman snap Zod’s neck? Because it felt unsatisfying to the guy making it if he didn’t. What was the response of the people at DC who knew and cared about the most upon hearing this idea? ‘No way.’ So Goyer shopped around for a scenario he could plausibly do what he wanted.

                      The director wanted Superman to have an angsty troubled childhood. Superman didn’t. He had a good childhood with great parents. It’s a major reason why he’s the bastion of virtue that defines his character- his father instilled Superman the idea of helping others. That’s the defining characteristic of Pa Kent’s character. But that’s in the way of angsty troubled childhood Superman so that has to be reversed.

                      The whole movie is like that and Daemian is just pointing out specific instances. The only difference is forest vs trees- macro vs micro. It’s the same thing.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      Oh that hilarious. DC is the authority on the subject? You want to know what DC has Superman do in the comics these days?

                      He chokeslams defenseless targets. He throws mortal people out of windows. He leads the police on merry chases, sneers at the law and anything else he doesn’t like. He’s a thug and a bully in the comics these days. He’s dating Wonder Woman in the comics because “You am strong. Me like strong women.”

                      He runs around doing whatever he wants and he’s more right than you because your bullets can’t hurt him. You really want to go to DC? (Sorry, really bitter about the turn New 52 Superman has taken).

                      He has killed more than once. Doomsday, Zod, Imperiex, the Anti-Monitor. I don’t trust the leadership these days at DC to have a clue about their own character.

                      “The director wanted Superman to have an angsty troubled childhood. Superman didn’t. He had a good childhood with great parents.”

                      Wouldn’t be the first time his childhood has gotten angstier in an adaptation. I refer you to Smallville where among many many other things, Clark started using Red Kryptonite on purpose, knowing what it does to his inhibitions (basically makes him drunk and amoral) all to escape his guilt, and ran away from home for months. Man of Steel is like Mr Rogers compared to Smallville. And the comics have started to follow suit in their more recent retcons of Superman’s childhood. I have a hard time getting upset over Pa saying “I dunno, maybe” after Smallville where Ma ran off to be a Senator when Clark needed her most.

                      “It’s a major reason why he’s the bastion of virtue that defines his character- his father instilled Superman the idea of helping others. That’s the defining characteristic of Pa Kent’s character.”

                      That role has expanded into what it is over decades. Its not sacred. Originally all he learned from his elderly parents was a lesson in human mortality.

                      The only scene we get in the original Donner movie like that is Pa telling Clark he was meant for more than football when Clark expresses his frustration with not being able to show off. They have a similar conversation in this movie. In fact they have at least a couple.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      “Oh that hilarious. DC is the authority on the subject? You want to know what DC has Superman do in the comics these days?
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      I don’t trust the leadership these days at DC to have a clue about their own character.”

                      Wait,hold on.You did the exact same thing a few comments ago,mentioning all the various interpretations of superman over the years(all done by dc,I might add,because they own the character),but now you complain about those various interpretations?Ummmmm……..Oooukeeey…I guess…

                      So you agree with us that some interpretations of superman (the bearded idiot of earths end,for example)are stupid and contrary to the character.Then why are you defending a movie that basically does the same things that you have just listed as bad in the recent superman comics?

                      “Wouldn’t be the first time his childhood has gotten angstier in an adaptation.
                      .
                      .

                      I hate that I have to repeat this so often but:
                      Just because something as bad/worse than X exists,does not make X good.
                      So,just because angsty brooding superman was done before does not mean angsty brooding superman is a good thing that should be repeated.

                      “That role has expanded into what it is over decades. Its not sacred. Originally all he learned from his elderly parents was a lesson in human mortality.”

                      But it exists now.Its part of the character now.If you are going to make a new character from scratch,then dont try to incorporate already existing ones.The reason we use already existing characters is so that we can incorporate the whole of them (the major stuff that is,some trivia can be overlooked or changed) and build up from there,not screw around with it.If you do decide to change something major,you have to do it carefully and gradually,focusing on that one thing,not tossing it in as an afterthought.

      • Retsam says:

        > Actually,he does.It is followed by him killing dent,who was supposed to be a bastion of goodness,but tried to kill gordon in the end.And thats only one of the three nolan batmans.

        Though it’s important how the movie presents this. When I think of Dark and Gritty, I think of something like Song of Ice and Fire, which essentially says “this is how the world works; and you’d be a fool to think otherwise”.

        And the Dark Knight definitely could have gone this way; the movie could have used Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face could have been used to show how Batman’s earlier idealism was wrong, but it doesn’t; Batman’s idealism isn’t destroyed, only deferred, hence the oft-mocked line: “not the hero Gotham deserves, but the one it needs right now”.

        Granted, there’s some room for debate here; especially on how you define “dark and gritty”.

        • I have a problem with them killing off major villains anyway, as half the fun is seeing them return to plague the hero. Two-Face has never gotten a decent shot at being a villain in any Batman movie, he’s just a grotesque that annoys Batman until he dies, and then we get a little pathos about Harvey Dent.

          It’s why I’d love to see a Batman film franchise that (among other things) had at least two Joker appearances in its run.

    • Humanoid says:

      All this is overshadowed by the fact that 60s Batman is coming to home media for the first time ever in November this year – it’d previously been trapped in legal limbo for decades preventing any release in any format. And indeed now we’re going to be seeing it in glorious 1080p.

      That’s all the Batman I’ll ever need. Indeed I haven’t watched any Batman movies since Val Kilmer’s attempt at it. For me, Batman is camp and camp is Batman.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        You should give Batman Brave and the Bold a shot. Its perhaps a little more earnest in its celebration of the Silver Age but it still fully embraces the sillier and cornier aspects of that era. I like the West Batman too and I love Batman Brave and Bold (its on Netflix).

        Yeah I know, surprising coming from the guy who’s been defending Man of Steel. See, I embrace a wide variety of takes on these characters.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        You must be referring to only the TV series. The 1966 movie’s been released several times, on VHS, DVD, and BluRay. The trouble with the TV series is that there are SO MANY different Screen Actors’ Guild members of actual note, in haphazardly-credited small roles, right down to walk-on one-line cameos, that securing the rights to the whole series is a huge task. It’s worse than having to re-dub the music for all of WKRP because relicensing the actual music used was prohibitive.

    • silver Harloe says:

      I could have sworn it was Frank Miller that in the 80s wrote ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ and the climax of the story was when the Joker *broke his own neck*, by force of will-over-muscle alone, as a final laugh at Batman by way of ruining Batman’s rep as the guy who never kills with some line like, “no one will ever believe you didn’t kill me”.

      • Cybron says:

        This is true. Miller’s Batman is violent, but he never kills. Unless he did in his All-Star Batman, but I’ve never read that, as it sounds decidedly unappealing.

  13. Henson says:

    Hey Shamus, when you say you can’t listen to electronic music with words, does that only include words you can understand? That is, would it bother you if the words were in another language?

    I ask because I have a fondness for the work of Susumu Hirasawa, and I’m wondering if that might work for you. His stuff is not typical of “electronic music”, though, so you might just find it distracting. I dunno.

    Edit: Now that I think of it, his work uses a lot a sampling that doesn’t sound at all electronic. So, never mind.

    • Shamus says:

      Gibberish words (either languages unknown to me or just random jabbering) are usually ok. Same goes for loops of phrases. Using “The system is down” over and over is fine.

      I’ll check him out.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well then,you would love death metal.

      • silver Harloe says:

        I thought I was the only one who hears some nice music, then a minute in when someone starts singing, thinks “why did they have to ruin that lovely song?”

        And for the same reason. I listen to music when programming, and when programming I’m hijacking all my verbal processing centers already and repurposing them for code, and argh why are they trying to distract me?

        How crunchy do you like your electronic music? Does autechre grate your nerves, or provide the music itch without the words?

        Just gonna toss some names in no particular order to see if we’re on the same page: early Orbital, Future Sound of London, Windsor for the Derby, Loop Guru, Rapoon, Sun Electric, Juno Reactor

        Have you tried classical at all? It’s portrayed as boring in popular media, but Bach could really tear it up on a harpsichord.

        • ET says:

          My thought process is usually, “Oh, this sounds like a cool song. Yeah, this guitar thing, and the drum beat are pretty new and original! This could be really catchy, I can’t wait for the melody! Oh…they’re just looping the same 30 seconds of guitar/drum, and a whiny jackass with no talent is screeching/nasal-ing/hoarse-whispering into the mic. Great…” ^^;

        • DrMcCoy says:

          I dunno, but I never had a problem programming while listening to music with lyrics. I can even read news / blog posts / what have you on the internet while listening to music with lyrics.

          Sure, I occasionally stop and listen more closely to the singing, but that happens in natural pauses. Like when stuff is compiling. Or I need to think about how to organize some piece of code. Or when I finished a news article.

          Really, it’s a perfect symbiosis for me.

          EDIT: Being a bit facetious here, but maybe it’s the style of music? I.e. electronica with lyrics sucks regardless, and my metally taste in music is just inherently superior? :P

      • Piflik says:

        I really like electronic music, but currently I listen to ‘electro-swing’, mainly Parov Stelar, whenever I have time to listen to music…came across his music some days before getting the fantastic Beatbuddy OST, which also has a piece by him.

        Regarding Game Soundtracks I recently downloade my Humblebundle OST Backlog, and some of it is really good, Dustforce for example.

      • Wolf says:

        On the music front have you checked out the homestuck albums?
        Maybe it is just the connection to the homestuck storyline that makes some of these tracks so vibrant for me, but for my money there is some really good gamey music in there.

        Sburban Jungle, Black Rose/Green Sun, Saviour of the Dreaming Dead and Unite Synchronization are all great tracks. Just make sure not to let Rutskarn talk you into reading the damn story. Rarely have I had such a conflicted love hate relationship with something and still sunk ungodly amounts of time into it.

        Thanks Butskarn!

  14. Thomas says:

    Having a group of people who don’t know how to use email make complicated decisions on the future of technology probably doesn’t help.
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/supreme-court-struggles-with-e-mail-but-will-shape-technologys-future/

    Honestly it’s actually a testament to the quality of their abilities as judges that the Supreme Court gets so many tech decisions right, given that level of lack of understanding. We’ve got people riding horses trying to sort out traffic violations and _they often get it right_.

    • Steve C says:

      They aren’t supposed to get it wrong at all. It’s too important to screw up. That’s why so the system is designed the way it is- a monumental effort to prevent it from becoming screwed up. Don’t be amazed at Lassie for how often a dog finds a kid trapped in a well. Marvel at criminally negligent parents that have a lot of dangerous open pits for some reason. A dog isn’t supposed to be acting as a child’s guardian. “It’s amazing Timmy is not dead yet.” Does not reflect well on anyone.

      The supreme court being a bunch of Luddites is not a good thing.

      • ET says:

        The thing is, technological illiteracy is sort of an endemic, systemic problem. No single person or company is to blame, but nobody is trying to really fix it either. Like, companies aren’t really incentivised in any way to make good user interfaces; They just need to be about as good as everything else on the market. Similarly, nobody really directly benefits from having the human population in the world be tech-savvy. Hell, if we were all as good with “those computers” as the people who frequent Shamus’ site here, whole swathes of self-help book publishers would be out of a job. Hell, the costs of tech support are pretty much making the de facto strategy in the industry “lock off all options, and make everything automatic”; So much, that it’s actually exacerbating the illiteracy problem. In fact…

        “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” – Rick Cook

        • Thomas says:

          But the Supreme Court don’t have to understand the inner-workings as much as they absolutely and totally require a firm knowledge of that these things are and how they get used in people’s everyday lives. When a Judge thinks you have to _print off_ a text to be able to show it to your friends, they have no idea about the disposable and sharable nature of those words which effects how everyone interacts with them.

          @Steve C, oh don’t get me wrong. I brought it up because it’s an awful ridiculous situation that’s hurting everyone involved. I just didn’t want to get harsh with the judges, it’s not their fault that they’re all 80+ years old and didn’t grow up with Facebook and they’ve done a fantastic job considering the situation.

          But the situation is life has changed in a way that makes them totally inadequate to perform a significant section of their work and they should have been made to step down and be replaced by someone who can do it.

          • ET says:

            The printing off thing seems to me like a totally natural effect of our current tech culture. Like, things are so idiot-proof, that most things don’t require you to know how to use it. You only need to know what you want right now, and a little screen or something will guide you along. If the judge never tried to share a text, then they would understandably not know how easy it is. I mean, yeah, I agree that that’s total laziness – understanding how this stuff is used in peoples’ lives is their job, but our “I don’t need to know anything” culture is so pervasive, and so strong (like the ‘anything’ is almost literally true), that the judges aren’t really bothering to do their due dilligence, with regards to researching these topics.

            • Thomas says:

              In some ways I don’t think there is much they can do about it. The use of tech now is so pervasive, I don’t know if it is possible to really get your head around it if you’re examining it first at retirement age.

              If the judges were even only 50 or 60 in age then there’s a much greater chance that they’ve lived a life that actually involves them using a phone to text, or sending emails to people or browsing websites and I think it’s that sort of day to day knowledge that the people making these decisions need to have.

              And unlike many other cases, having ‘specialist’ knowledge isn’t any kind of big deal here, because it’s knowledge that almost every other human on the planet has. It’s like knowing how to walk.

          • Steve C says:

            It is the judges fault for not retiring. It is their fault for being completely out of touch with modern society. It is their fault for being so egocentric to think that they should be the ones deciding on matters that they do not understand. It’s their fault for insisting to shape a world they will never see or experience because they will die of old age before they see the fruits their uninformed decisions bare. It’s their fault for being insulated from the information age by existing solely in a world of paper while a large number of aids do everything for them. It’s their fault they are making laws about a world that left them behind.

            Just like Timmy’s parents that should move away from the dangerous well infested area for the sake of their child- The supreme court judges should put country first and retire. Most elderly do realize this and step aside. Hell even I realize that I’m too old to make informed decisions on certain things and I’m less than half their age.

  15. DrMcCoy says:

    I frequently move between the Steam install on my desktop machine and my laptop, and the category changes never transfer right. I started just rsync‘ing the folder 7 in userdata/ that contains the categories over.

    Really, some way to categorize the games with tags instead of single categories would be nice.

  16. Mathias says:

    I’m guessing the tune Campster is referring to here is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1QUZzeZoPQ this one here, from the Borderlands 2 soundtrack.

    • Chris says:

      … Of course I’d herp and derp and screw up what game it’s actually from. What I heard while I was out and about in town was this. And it took me a second to register it; I knew that melody from somewhere but it was completely rearranged in a way I didn’t recognize it, like some Bioshock Infinite cover of a pop song.

      And then I realized it was the original Blues song that had been remade into this. Which was, of course, used as the Left 4 Dead 2 commercial theme. And for some reason I conflate that with the songs used in Borderlands all the time (I suspect because they released around the same time and I was listening to both songs a lot).

      Like I said, I’m musically illiterate and I get most of my music from games. :(

      • Jakale says:

        To be fair to you, the original does use a bit of the type of guitar that Borderlands and other desert wasteland-themed music makers like to use. So if you heard the original, associated the guitar sound with Borderlands, and merely remembered hearing the song from somewhere game related, I could imagine where the wires might get tangled.

        • Mathias says:

          It’s called slide guitar.

          You play it by putting a slide on your ring finger and using that to make that “twangy” sound. It’s way way harder than it sounds.

      • ET says:

        Don’t feel so bad, Chris! The human mind can only store a limited amount of things! :)

  17. Joe Informatico says:

    23:35 – You can have friendly fire damage from AOE spells in Dragon Age 2, but only at Nightmare difficulty.

    • Also, just adding to the whole “Friendly Fire” thing, in the new D&D basic starter kit, wizards can choose an Evocation-based path (kind of like Prestige classes) and one of its bonuses is you can designate “safe zones” when lobbing an AOE spell into melee where allies are fighting.

    • Ronixis says:

      I think the scaling of numbers of enemies and their stats might also affect the viability of friendly fire on most DA2 difficulties.

      On the normal setting of Origins, on the other hand, it seems like friendly fire doesn’t do damage, but does apply other effects. For example, if you hit a party member with Cone of Cold, they won’t get hurt, but will be frozen in place.

  18. Lilith Novale says:

    Something that is really cool is that UbiArt isn’t actually a label, it’s a content creation framework.

    I’d love to try it out, but it’s never been released to the public.

    EDIT: On seeing steam games in purchase order: you can actually see that within steam, if you click on the name of your account in the top left and then click “Account Details”, it basically comes up with a recent purchases list. You have to go back to your library if you want to actually play any of them, but it’s better than sorting through gmail :D

  19. Wide And Nerdy says:

    What Mumbles had with the ship with the rain scroll, I had a very similar experience with Fallout New Vegas which I just recently started playing for the first time.

    In Freeside, one of the more rundown areas, a kid is chasing a rat. It comes off like background activity, there was no objective or any calling attention to it or anything but on a whim, I chose to shoot the rat so the kid could catch it. He thanked me. That was a pretty cool moment and there’s been a few other cases of that sort of thing in the game.

    It would have been cool enough but at a later time, I did it again and the kid got on my case. Turns out this time I shot his pet rat, not his meal rat (they look the same). So now I check to see if the kid is carrying a knife before I shoot the rat.

    Again, the game didn’t tell me to do anything. It wasn’t necessary for anything. It was just a natural interaction with the environment. RPGs need more stuff like that.

    EDIT: OMG! Someone from the Diecast actually tried Child of Light. I’ve been harping on that for weeks. Such a beautiful game but sadly kind of forgettable too and I think its because of what Chris said about the writing. Why oh why did they decide all the dialog needed to be rhymed iambic pentameter? The writer clearly wasn’t up to the challenge of making that work. Standard rpg or fairy tale dialog would have worked just fine.

    The visuals and music convey the basics of the conflict well enough but I couldn’t get a handle on Aurora as a character beyond being a slightly petulant little girl. I was also confused about how her apparent death worked and how it got her to this other place. Thats never really explained. I thought she was in the afterlife at first but nope.

    • ET says:

      Re: the rat thing.

      That’s actually pretty damn cool. I myself never found that kid when I played the game, but it sounds really cool. Really, games in general need more small-time, semi-background stuff like that. It’s reasonably cheap to make, but it adds sooo much to making the world feel alive. Just use pre-existing assets, and recolour them if you need to – dirt cheap! The blue-face man-froze-to-death corpse in Metro 2033 is another good example. Hell, that one’s even cheaper to make, since it is a static object, with no scripting. :)

      I think that’s why I always loved the little animals in some RTSs. The random civilians in Red Alert (technically humans, but I think they had some dogs too), the mutant blob monsters in Tiberian Sun, the animals in Generals and Warcraft 3… I love this stuff!

      • The Rocketeer says:

        See, I can’t imagine someone playing New Vegas without very often running past that intersection by the Mormon Fort and the bus door to the Kings School, where the rat kid plays.

        Just goes to show you how diverse New Vegas playthroughs- and players!- tend to be.

        • ET says:

          The thing for me was probably that I ignore kids in Fallout 3/New Vegas. Like, you’re not allowed to interact with them as normal, because of the chilling effect of censorship on other (and previous) games. Since I can’t kill/steal/whatever these kids, I just ignore them. Doesn’t help, that they all have aggravating voices, and the child-oriented quests (Little Lamplight’s stuff) in Fallout 3 were so awful. So yeah – I probably just ignored the guy completely. :S

  20. James says:

    Speaking on Music i like alot, but i tend to favor Rock, Punk, Prog Rock that sort of thing, but i’ve also recently been listening to the absolute madness that is Baby Metal, and i love it, there is something about the mix of Jpop, Metal, Electro, House, Rap with teenagers with genuine talent somehow works.

    I really want to know that Mumbles thinks about Baby Metal though.

    (my current music library for the curious consists of the above mentioned Baby Metal, Area 11, Muse, Green Day, Paramoure, Yui (Japanese artist who did the FMA:B first theme) the Killers, Miracle of Sound (Gavin Dunne is wonderful :)) Tenacious D and The White Stripes and MCR, among a smattering of other 1 tracks from some bands and the Bastion Transistor and DmC (new one) OSTs.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      If you like prog and metal, give Deep Purple’s first three albums a try. They’re all over the place, quality-wise, but there’s this insane hodgepodge of influences and sounds that make their early prog sound utterly unique. I think their third album was the band’s strongest overall (and has one of the coolest album covers of all time), and that’s taking into account that their very next album would outsell every other album worldwide in ’73 and largely give birth to heavy metal. But maybe most people don’t have as much patience for chamber orchestra, and I can’t really find fault with that.

      The Mark II lineup has a lot of legendary material, but I always wonder what might have become of their eclectic prog sound if they, you know, didn’t need to make any money or be successful.

      And while it looks like your tastes skew heavier, I always recommend Camel to anyone who brings up prog. Their sound developed and changed so frequently I never know what to recommend, but basically anything from their first five albums is near and dear to my heart.

    • ET says:

      Do you mean Babymetal the band? ’cause they sound pretty darn awesome! :D

      • James says:

        yes the band Babymetal is awesome, i don’t know why, but something inside me tells me its pure pure fucking awesome, but what does the casts resident “riot girl” and actual music person think of them?

  21. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Sorry to keep posting but Mumbles mentioned New Vegas mods that add music to the game. Does anybody have a good recommendation for one that stays faithful to the types of music that are already in the game (and thats legal preferably stuff thats fallen out of license which should be easy enough to find for these eras/genres I’d think)? I want more of the same.

    I’m always afraid with those that I’m going to suddenly stumble into music from some kid’s Dragonball Z music video. Or some other weird bad stuff. I dunno. The whole Fallout musical feel is really growing on me though.

  22. TMC_Sherpa says:

    Shamus, you picture Mumbles *fighting* crime? Huh.

  23. Bloodsquirrel says:

    I’m very optimistic about the upcoming Superman movie.

    I think it’ll barely cause any theaters to spontaneously burst into flames at all. Maybe 10-20 at most.

  24. evileeyore says:

    To Mumbles:

    I’m pretty sure the Government and Corporations do understand the Internets. It’s this understanding that leads them to want to destroy it as it helps undermines their control of the middle and lower class.

  25. Deadpool says:

    I too am excited about Guardians, but I am worried about Gamora. Every time I see her in the trailers I think Dragon with the Dragon Tattoo…

    Btw, it’s hard to guess. This movie is the most loosely based on the comic. The roster is of the most recent incarnation, but that one is so bogged down in continuity that they had to make enough chances that actors are being prevented from reading the comics at all.

    I have my fingers crossed. Mostly because Ronan is BADASS…

  26. Deadpool says:

    Hank Pym isn’t really a bad guy. He had a nervous breakdown once or twice, but he’s been pretty nice guy for most of his history. People just really can’t get over that backhand to Wasp thing though…

    • Mumbles says:

      I disagree. I think he has a huggee inferiority complex that makes him do stupid shit.

      • I think it’s also to do with the writers not knowing what to do with the guy. He’s been Ant Man, Giant Man, Yellow Jacket and just Hank Pym. He’s like the Marvel character Sentinel: He’s just kind of there for weird science since Tony Stark has to take time off for drinking and actually fighting stuff.

        In retrospect, that sounds like a guy with some personality defects, but I wonder if that was decided upon after they got tired of him changing costumes every five seconds.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          On the bright side, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which has to be more economical by design, it makes a lot of sense for Tony to be the cause of Ultron. The scene with all the suits piloted by Jarvis at the end of Iron Man 3 is basically a test run for something that could become Ultron. They set that up perfectly whether they meant to or not.

  27. Nyctef says:

    Listening to the bit about the Antman movie, it sounds like it’d just end up being a shittier version of Megamind. Megamind did it *really* well

  28. Shamus says:

    Further illustration. If you reply to my previous comment*, it will be an orphan.

    * Just to make this EXTRA confusing, the previous comment is BELOW this one.

    But I’m entering this comment as a new comment, not as a reply. So if you reply to this, your reply should be properly nested.

    And to clarify what I said below: I COULD fix this, but doing so would mean tracking down the missing comment ID and manually inserting it into the DB. I… rather wouldn’t. I know just enough mySQL to make a complete mess of things, and if I botched it I’d end up spending the evening restoring the comments DB from backup. So yeah.

    :(

  29. Muspel says:

    Mumbles, FYI, the Ant-Man movie has Scott Lang as Ant-Man, not Hank Pym. Pym is in the movie, but he’s apparently an older scientist who invents the science stuff that makes Ant-Man’s powers possible (which may or may end up being Pym particles).

  30. Retsam says:

    My knowledge of comic books being virtually non-existent; hearing ant-man described makes me retroactively more disappointed that the Scott Pilgrim director isn’t still directing the film. Scott Pilgrim is an excellent example of a film where the main character is something of a terrible person.

  31. Blake says:

    On game soundtracks: Secret of Mana from the SNES.
    Best MIDIs ever.

  32. BTW, “There is no profit in freedom or no regulation.”

    That depends on whose freedom you’re talking about. For hedge fund managers and a lot of the banking system, there’s loads of profit in having little to no regulation (and I’m including laws that aren’t enforced because “too big to fail” among other things).

    And the really dumb thing is that there’s tons of profit in an open and neutral internet. Businesses can start up at low costs and boost the economy. Access to customers becomes global, if desired. It’s just that the ISPs would rather their pockets (which are already lined quite nicely, as the cost to maintain the service they provide is quite low) be lined even more than they already are at the expense of everyone else.

    • Shamus says:

      Yeah, about halfway through that statement I realized I was diving into something that was WAY too complex for that level of conversation. When I said there’s “no profit” I meant “there aren’t any [significant] campaign donations for politicians who value net freedom”.

      In any case, “control” would have been a far better word to use than “regulation”. By saying “regulation” it makes it sound like I’m only worried about the government. Ideally, we don’t want ANYONE to control the flow of traffic.

      It’s almost a Nash equilibrium. In fact, it would be if the participants weren’t so stupid and short-sighted. We’re all better off with a free and open internet. BUT! MEGACORP A better off if the internet is free and open except for the pipe they exploit. Of course, if they exploit their pipe, then MEGACORP B will exploit theirs, and the republic of Elbonia will exploit the ones that pass through their territory. Everyone seems to think they will be the only ones rigging the game. There are a lot of things that can happen once this snowballs, and all of them are bad.

      Arg.

      EDIT: Edited for clarity.

  33. Adam says:

    “If I ever wrote Mumbles fanfiction -which I haven’t, ever-”

    Careful, Shamus. That way lies madness. And she has a boyfriend, who will totally fight you.

  34. Dragmire says:

    I have to say, I’m with Shamus with the ‘no words music while working’ though that ties into my favorite… genre? Well it’s classical orchestra as well as violin and piano concertos but that covers a crap tonne of styles so I’m not sure calling it a genre is the right term.

    That said, I am not very knowledgeable of music, I just like classical orchestra because it tickles my brain.

  35. Matthew Melange says:

    So this isn’t exactly sorting, but if you’re wondering what you bought and in which order on steam, just click on your user name (EX:Matthewmelange’s Account) in the top right corner and then the second option is “account details”. Click on that and then you will have the order of which you bought games.

    Or maybe I’m just special and steam made it just for me.

  36. River Birch says:

    My only regret with Child of Light is that it didn’t get finished, and was rushed. : /
    I did watch a LP of it and…2nd halfish of that game is when everything starts to…pick up and go like “WE NEED TO GET THIS DONE.” kinda feel.

    Everything else though I love….
    And MEH to those who dun like the rhyming. Sure It’s gonna be kinda corny or cheesy or forced…
    I’m still gonna like it, cause its a more interesting way of weaving a story and conveying character personality more than what I have seen in other games.
    Sure we got people narrating whatever you do. People telling you what to do. and No vocal story at all and its more imagery…Rhyming, yes its weird, yes you can f- it up, I find is refreshing.

  37. I did get a chance to play Divinity: Original Sin some, from what I recall the voice acting is good, the writing is good, the plot is kind of odd, then again it’s fantasy and no fantasy story has ever had a normal plot that I can recall, definition of what is normal is also ambiguous in fantasy.

    It seems very open in the way you can handle things, just as an example. In the beginning there is a bridge with two guards, you can choose to fight them or talk your way past them, and once you have talked your way past them you can take’em down, and you do not break the game, later once you meet some more NPCs in a battle, once the battle is over one of the NPCs runs to the bridge, if you follow him and talk to him you’ll hear him exasperatedly say something about “what the hell happen here” at which point you can reply “must have been the Orcs”.

    There is also a investigation in the tow near the start that you can do in several ways.

    Killing a NPC is sometimes a “faster” solution, no idea of that has consequences always or not.

    Digging up graves in the graveyeard is fun (or rather reading the tombstones and then digging up, you never know if what it read is actually true).

  38. Kazir says:

    With regard to sorting you library, Depressurizer (link: https://code.google.com/p/depressurizer/) I found works decently

  39. Want rules? I’ll give you a few rules.
    1. If a video or photo has a license attached then follow that license, if no license then check the following points.
    2. If a video clip is 30 seconds or less it is Fair Use, if a photo is used as a reference it is Fair Use.
    3. Any video or photo must be credited.
    4. When possible notify the origin of the video or photo of the use.
    5. If a video clip is longer than 30 seconds, or if a photo is not used as a reference then ask for permission from the origin of the video or photo.

    See? Doesn’t have to be more difficult than that.
    Those rules should retain the way things currently works and clarifies a few other things.

    Point 1 is important as there is a lot of material out there under a Creative Commons license, Wikimedia has a lot (a lot of images used on Wikipedia is from there) that are free for re-use.

  40. For those who like “old school” game style music, http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/434460/rescator
    As 192kbit MP3 for free, 3 albums, enjoy.

    The albums are also available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, but they are not free there sadly, (I recently changed the pricing on the three to “Lowest” no idea when that change takes, there is no “Free” option on those services).
    But anyway, it’s free on Jamendo.

    And if you want lossless 24bit 48KHz FLAC for private use then you can get them (not free) at indieTorrent.org

    Please note that I just changed (today) the license at Jamendo from free for for non-commercial use to free for any use (including commercial).
    Also note that Jamendo PRO is meant for big corporations and will provide a signed (by me) certificate proof that the music is royalty-free, it’s basically a legal document.

    Just to re-iterate non-PRO free download was under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA, now it is under BY-SA. So you can use the music for anything as long as I’m credited.

    Download is super simple on Jamendo, if you go to http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/434460/rescator
    you should see 3 albums listed, with a play icon and a download icon, the download icon let you download the entire album.

    The music was made mostly during the 90s using a Tracker on an Amiga (but later these CD “masters” was re-recorded on the PC to allow 16bit instead plus cleaned up a few clicks and pops that sneaked through.

    Anyway let’s take Chris for example, if he uses any of my music (and he got my music from the normal Jamendo (the free download) then he can use the music freely as (per my definition) his videos are not commercial as they are publicly available to anyone (at cost only or for free) and any youtube ads I consider as part of the delivery service and hosting (the fact that a percentage of the ad profits goes to the channel owner is irrelevant in my view).
    This is also the reason I changed the license from CC-BY-NC-SA to CC-BY-SA, as it is sometimes a grey area if the Youtube ads count as commercial use or not. (in my eyes it does not as the viewer can see the video without paying anything nor having to subscribe to (pay) a service to see it)
    But with the change in my license someone like Chris can now use my music without having to contemplate that issue.

    Now if my music is worth/suitable for any use at all is a different matter :P
    I’m not really making any money on any of this, since 2010 I’ve earned around 34 dollars in total (indieTorrent + Spotify + iTunes + Amazon + others).
    This is why I’m happy to provide a alterative to “Jamendo PRO” by doing direct deals for commercial use, and why I have no issue pointing people to Jamendo so they can get my music for free (undercutting any potential sales on the other services).

    It’s like Mumbles said, it’s as much about the credit/recognition as it is anything else.

    I am working on a new upcoming album (basically the first new album since well way back, the 3 current albums was released in 2010 but their materials are form the 90s and early 00s).
    The new album will most likely follow the same release formula:

    Free via Jamedo via a CC-BY-SA.
    Exposure through Spotify/iTunes/Amazon/GooglePlay/+more (lowest price or free if possible).
    Audiophile/High Res/Lossless/and those who wish to show support via indieTorrent
    Commecial use with certificate via Jemendo PRO, and the audio in lossless quality as WAV.
    Special deals via a combo of IndieTorrent + a quick email to me, for those that think Jamendo PRO would be too expensive.

    Oh and I know, some of you may have noticed me trying to pimp my old music here before, but hey you can’t beat free right? So if my music at http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/434460/rescator is something to like or dislike at least it did not cost you anything, and if you want to use it then go for it as long as you credit me as er that license.

    Oh I almost forgot, the albums are also on Youtube (for the oddballs that use Youtube as a music playlist) http://www.youtube.com/user/EmSaiNet/playlists?shelf_id=2&view=50

    And for those that are observant, the license at Jamendo (plus the Jamendo PRO service) basically does the same as Kevin MacLeod’s site incompetech.com does for his music. It’s actually due to him that I decided to go for Jamendo and Jamedo PRO back when I did.

  41. Starker says:

    Regarding Divinity: Original Sin and the whatshisname selling off a critical plot item… actually the game is designed to be completable even if you kill off every single NPC in the world. There’s enough stuff in there to figure out what you’re supposed to do without having to talk to anyone.

    D:OS is less Baldur’s Gate and more Ultima even, in that it aims for world simulation with stuff like NPC schedules and consistent mechanics — for example the elements reacting with each other (fire evaporates water, etc).

  42. postinternetsyndrome says:

    Oh dear, this comment page is a mess. Anyway, let’s talk about music.

    First off: For those that has access to it, Spotify has a lot of game soundtracks, including Bastion and Transistor (love them). I don’t know if you have Spotify in the US though? Also, a lot of indie developers put their soundtracks up on bandcamp as PWYW, which is neat. (Examples: Super Meat Boy, Scoregasm.)

    Some of my favourite game soundtracks include Riven, Freelancer and Borderlands 2 (and the Hitman games, and the early Assassin’s Creed games, and everything else Jesper Kyd has ever done). I love how those soundtracks blend electronic and acoustic stuff. Oni has some great pieces too. (Make a sequel please!)

    What I really don’t have much patience for is the faux-John Williams stuff in games like Skyrim. It’s like classical music, except not very good. I prefer going to the concert hall and listen to Shostakovitch thank you very much. Overall, orchestral game music is way overrated, and I hate how it’s some sort of obligatory thing in AAA games to have orchestral music, whether it’s a good idea or not. Many games would be much better served by something more personal and unique. Like Bastion. (Which is not AAA, of course.) Case in point: The AC games, which had this quite interesting electro-acousting thing going, by Jesper Kyd, but from Brotherhood and onwards they moved away from that and into standard AAA orchestra bleh-ness. At least Kyd moved on to Borderlands 2, which has quite spectacularly good music at points.

    Outside of games, I have a somewhat silly relationship to music. I love music, but I don’t listen to it a lot. For that, I blame almost a decade of classical music education. When I listen to music, I have to concentrate on it, zoom in on the details, anticipate what comes next, analyze the rhythms, etc. This is not voluntary. I can’t have music in the background when I’m working. It works out alright if I’m just doing idle surfing around stuff, but even then it can be distracting. Listening to music is a separate activity that needs its own time. Which in practice means I often end up not listening to music at all.

    Yeah, I’m a pretentious snob, guilty as charged.

    Footnote: Spotify is actually awesome for classical music. Ignoring the dumb tag system, it’s great having access to so many different interpretations of the same piece in the same place. If you want to study on a certain piece, it’s dead easy to compare different orchestras/conductors/soloists and take what you like from them into your own interpretation. Assuming it’s not by a very modern or obscure composer, Spotify tends to have a lot of different recordings of the same piece.

    EDIT: Wow, I thought I’d dodge the comment chaos by not replying but instead making a new one, but this appeared smack bang in the middle of all the confusion anyway, instead of at the bottom.

  43. Mike S. says:

    Anyone else having trouble downloading the podcast via RSS? I’m using Pocket Casts on Android, and the download keeps failing.

    (I know the RSS feed is unofficial, but maybe ydant or someone else
    who knows RSS better than I do can take a look and see if there’s something wrong, or if it’s just me.)

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>