The first thing, which I’m sure you’re already noticed, is that the theme is again changed. After gathering feedback for a few weeks and trying different things, it’s clear that having the menu at the top is the most popular option by far.
I apologize if it seems like we came all this way for nothing, but for me this process of theme-switching has been pretty useful. I cleaned up a lot of longstanding annoyances and gathered a lot of interesting use-case data. Thanks for being patient. From here the only things I want are a fix for footnotes on Safari, and maybe some automated system for changing a few colors around for major holidays. (For example, maybe making the main menu orange for Halloween and replacing the D20 with something else.)
Thing the second: No Diecast this week. Sorry. I needed a week off.
Third, I’m done with my first play-though of the new Spider-Man game, and about halfway through my second run. This is easily the best Spider-Man game ever made. It’s certainly one of the best superhero games ever made.
It’s tragic that this is a PlayStation exclusive. Curse this dumb industry.
Having said that: I see a lot of people praising the story, and I’m just not getting that. I guess it does okay when graded against cartoons and the comics, but it’s nothing special. You fight two major (and totally independent from each other) villains in this game, and they both have the same motivations, the same ridiculous nonsense scheme, and the same friend / foe dynamic going with Peter Parker / Spider-Man. This really stands out because you fight both of them near the end and Spidey has almost the same conversation with both of them.
Imagine a version of The Avengers where Loki attacks New York with an army of aliens pouring through a dimensional hole because he’s jealous of Thor, and then twenty minutes later Ultron shows up and attacks New York with an army of aliens pouring through a dimensional hole because he’s jealous of Tony. It’s not wrong or anything, but I did find it strange and distracting. Aside from having two finales so close together, the second was robbed of a lot of its emotional impact by retreading so many ideas.
I have a lot of other little gripes about how they’re constructing their ongoing story, but it’ll have to wait for a longer analysis.
I realize the story isn’t really the point and it’s drawing from source material that suffers from a lot of similar problems with repetitionAlthough in the case of the comics, the repetition exists because the story has been running for almost 60 years.. I only bring this up because the story has been getting some praise and I want to push back on that a little. I would characterize the plot as “mildly interesting and inoffensive”.
Overall, it’s a lot like Batman Arkham City. It’s an instant classic that gets away with a few very questionable storytelling decisions because the rest of it is so damn good.
I’d really like to do a long-form analysis of Spider-Man, but I’m a bit conflicted. This site leans pretty heavily towards the PC, so I’m not sure how many of you will care about a PS4 exclusive. To be clear, this series wouldn’t appear anytime soon. We’ve got about two months left on Grand Theft Auto V, and then almost six months of Mass Effect Andromeda. (Sorry not sorry.) Even if I did do a write-up on Spider-Man, it wouldn’t get posted until May 2019.
 Although in the case of the comics, the repetition exists because the story has been running for almost 60 years.
The Best of 2012
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2012.
The Game That Ruined Me
Be careful what you learn with your muscle-memory, because it will be very hard to un-learn it.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Joker's Last Laugh
Did you anticipate the big plot twist of Batman: Arkham City? Here's all the ways the game hid that secret from you while also rubbing your nose in it.
Game at the Bottom
Why spend millions on visuals that are just a distraction from the REAL game of hotbar-watching?