Stolen Pixels #224: An Incredible Value

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Sep 7, 2010

Filed under: Column 95 comments

Here is a comic about the Xbox Live price hike.

So my “two gamers on a couch” has become my go-to thing when I don’t have a game to fuel my jokes. This happens now and again with a lot of comic-making folk. (I’ll leave it to the comments for people to cite examples. Would be bad form to do so here.) These jokes are easy to do and work well [enough] to fill the void when I’m low on material. Which is always the case when I’m not consuming games that can feed the comic mill. Breen is also good for this, but I don’t want him taking over too much.

If you’re curious, here is what I’m playing these days:

I lost myself in Mass Effect during my convalescence and I’m still working to find my way out of that place again. I am certain the path to freedom will lead me through the endgame. Simply walking away from this playthrough is not an option. I must see it through.

Chime. Or, as I’ve come to call it over the last 12 hours, OMG CHIME!!!!! If you like Tetris / Lumines type stuff, then the gameplay will probably appeal to you. (It’s actually most similar to carpentry from Puzzle Pirates.) A few weeks ago I talked about making a station for Pandora. It’s like someone turned that station into a game. (Artists include Orbital, Moby, Lemon Jelly. The game also includes, somewhat incongruously, JoCo‘s “Still Alive”.) The game sort of remixes the songs as you go. There are only a few songs, which means I might (hopefully) get tired of this game quickly enough that it won’t wreck my life.

I’m obviously playing WoW, but if that time yields comedic material it must be harvested for the coming Let’s Play. (Which begins in eight weeks. Which is a long time if you’re waiting to read something, but so terrifyingly imminent when it’s an approaching deadline.)

I’ve got Assassin’s Creed 2 here. (Review copy. Ubisoft’s ludicrous DRM makes buying this game a way of getting yourself digitally mugged.) But my heart is not in it. I can’t find fault with the game. It’s not that anything is bad. The story is not boring. (If you’ve played the game: Ezio just attended a hanging.) I just find myself not particularly curious what happens next. I put the game on hold a month ago and I still have no desire to return. I don’t know why. I should make a comic about it, but this fire will not light. I have nothing to say about it.

I’ve also got a copy of Din’s Curse, a game of looting and leveling. I sunk a couple of hours into that recently. Its status as an indie game with procedurally generated content means that there is very little specific enough to make fun of and few people who will get the joke. I’ll probably give it a long-form review here, but it can’t feed my comic.

I guess we’re at the tail end of the summer slump. Soon we’ll enter October and we’ll once again have more games than anyone knows what to do with.

EDIT: I just fixed about nine hundred typos in this entry. But during that edit I re-read the previous paragraph and it struck me as absurd. “Yeah, I’m only playing five games right now. Dang summer slump!” I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that.

EDIT II: Also: I’m still playing DDR. Not much to say about that aside from pointing out that the leap from tier 2 to 3 is difficult to the point of discouragement. I didn’t play for a few weeks while I was ill, and now I’m fighting to get in shape again. Amazing how fast you can lose it.


From The Archives:

95 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #224: An Incredible Value

  1. Darthricardo says:

    What, no mention of the absurd Mario reference? Forshame.

  2. Ben Orchard says:

    Are you gonna give Starcraft 2 any love at some point? It seems like you aren’t generally doing RTS games, but this one is so big it seems impossible to ignore.

    I enjoyed the comic.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      And then we really will have no updates for quite a while.

    2. Brad says:

      Perhaps he will discuss it now.

      Note: It was funnier before the update.

  3. Andrew B says:

    Am I the only one who read the text at the bottom (“the character on the right is doing a bad thing”) and immediately looked at the character on the right as they themselves would see it? I could not work out what he was doing wrong, then consulted my inner reference to realise that most normal people would have looked to their right… Too much time in amateur dramatics! (Stage right, and indeed stage left, refer to the right, or left, of the stage from the perspective of the audience.)

    1. Jarenth says:

      Not only did I do this, it actually had to be pointed out to me that I was doing this.

      By you.

      1. Andrew B says:

        Phew! It’s not just me!

        Doh! The other person is Jarenth!


      2. John Callaghan says:

        What is the player on the right doing which is so wrong? S/he appears to be listening to the radio.

  4. SolkaTruesilver says:

    As you talk about the games you are going through, I feel like talking about mine. (Note: Good idea not to play A.C. 2 if you don’t feel like it. Just get back to it when you will have the urge).

    I recently discovered Overlord II, which whom I was wary, as I have had a passionate love story with it’s predecessor.

    And I have to say.. While they haven’t rehauled the genre, the gameplay is much better. They added littles things here and there, like Minion Mounts (very nice), Minion Reviving (useful way of spending excess life force!).

    I love the “group combat” system they have created with the Empire’s square units. As you HAVE to find a way to break them intelligently, otherwise you will smash your teeth through your Overlordy Helmet. There is a passionate pleasure to charge 30 soldiers with your wolf-mounted minions, while having your greens go around them to backstab. And finally, charging headlong with lightning zapping, Area of Effet explosive magic, and whirlwind attacks to make them break formation so my minions can tear them appart.

    The magic system is also more streamlined, once you get the hang of it. All magic uses the same basic key, but it’s how you use said key that determine the spell to cast. I have to say I prefer it to Overlord I’s magic system.

    The game really got streamlined, and it makes me crave for additional Minion-Master/Heavy Combat game of the like. I want to see a game with Overlord’s gameplay, but with Diablo II’s Necromancer theme instead, with one superminion (Golem) and an army of skeletons, while you go around to destroy everything with massive spellcasting.

    Somebody has suggestion for games like that? Don’t tell me Pikmin, please. I want something glorious and violent :)

    1. Jarenth says:

      If you’re trying to tell me you think Pikmin isn’t glorious and violent, we’ve obviously been playing different versions.

      1. SolkaTruesilver says:

        Is it that awesome?

        Okay, I’ll give it a try.

        Somebody knows another Minion-Master game that qualifies?

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I still prefer the first overlord though.The second seems somehow bland,once you see past the new mechanics.

          Well,theres always dungeon keeper.Nothing beats replaying dungeon keeper(except maybe replaying x com,fallout and planescape).

          1. SolkaTruesilver says:

            Good suggestion, but Dungeon Keeper isn’t a Minion-centric action game, it’s an Evil-themed dungeon-management game.

            Overlord was more about going around kicking arses with group tactic than it was about managing your tower for your [s]rape victi[/s] mistresses’s fashion sense. I do not want Dwarf Fortress, I want Overlord/Diablo :)

            And, tell me what element you think is “bland” compared to the other one? I mean, maybe story-wise? So far, I like the Roman-themed ennemies, I love the “Sanctuary” elves, they are quite funny. I just had a blast charging to kill all the baby seals, and I never tire of slaughtering gnomes…

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              You will get tired of that because you need to kill 1000 of them.Ugh.

              The story didnt appeal to me.And there was less humour than in the original.I loved the sins theme,especially when after beating a boss I could do their hell puzzles in the expansion.The tower was also more appealing to me.The second one is too empty.

              Yes,the mounts are nice,and some new enemies are nice,but it lacks the reason for me to do all the killing.

              Hmmm…Well,spellforce has similar gameplay.Its an rpg/rts mix.A nice mix at that.If you dont mind the shallow story.And I still consider the intro to first spellforce as one of the best game intros.

              1. Jarenth says:

                The first Overlord was a delightful romp through a twisted fairytale land where you, a newly awoken evil Overlord, had to face off against a number of old-time ‘Heroes’. It was funny, it was violent, it had an interesting plot twist and a story and ending that actually made sense.

                Overlord II kept, and in some cases improved on, the original game’s gameplay concepts, but the story (for all the funny moments) is a lot weaker.

              2. SolkaTruesilver says:

                I agree that the Seven Deadly Sins was an awesome theme.. but you can’t pull that one every single game. I mean, everybody would have been “this is just a rehash of the first game!”.

                They decided to go for a different direction, and it was milder. But still not bad.. just.. less good.

                While reading TvTropes’s article on Overlord, I loved the fact that you are exposed to every single sin the ennemy you just beat has fallen to. Think about it:

                1- After beating the Hafling, you have the choice between letting the villagers getting back their food or stealing it for yourself (Gluttony)
                2- While beating the Elves, you have the choice between either burning the Field of Goodness to kill the unicorns, or go in the hard way and try to defeat the unicorns by hand, quite a hard feat (Sloth)
                3- After beating the Dwarves, you have the choice between saving the elve women or get a big bag of gold (Greed)
                4- After beating the Paladin, you have the choice between picking up a sexy mistress over your efficient and ruling one (Lust)
                5- After beating the Warrior, and the rebellion of the villagers, you have the choice either forgiving your subjects or killing them all (Wrath)
                6- After catching the Thief, you have the choice between taking the Temple Idol for yourself, or giving it back to the elves (Envy)

                Only Pride was left out.. but then again, that was the end. I still have to play the expansion, it’s definetly on my list!

                But again, I appreciate Overlord 2 for it’s strenghts, and I will forgive it’s weaknesses. If they ever make Overlord 3, I want them to keep the gameplay elements they added in Overlord 2, putting back things we loved in 1, and having a good story.

                For one, I’d like the ennemy to be REALLY good guys, and not just jerkasses. It’s sad to know that, as an evil guy, you only fight goodish ennemies, and not paragons.

                I don’t want a cheesy overlord. I want a EVILZZZZZZZ Overlord. I want to play Sauron! the Witch-King! The Necromancer!

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  “I don't want a cheesy overlord. I want a EVILZZZZZZZ Overlord. I want to play Sauron! the Witch-King! The Necromancer!”

                  Same here.

                2. Nick says:

                  Pride? Are you forgetting the final boss of the game? (Trying to be non-spoilerly here, but you know who I mean. The previous incumbent)

                  Pretty sure that’s his big sin, and after you defeat him… well, your rule will pretty much decide whether you give in to that!

                3. SolkaTruesilver says:

                  Any reason as to why I can’t reply to Daemian nor Nick directly?

                  Anyway. @Nick: you are right. What I meant, you aren’t directly tempted to delve into that paticular sin in-game. I don’t know how it could have taken form, off course. Actually, maybe the whole final sequence was meant to be you embracing your final sin. Why?

                  Why don’t you kneel down and die, little boy. Why don’t you accept your fate, that you were but a toy in my schemes?

                  “Because I am the fucking Overlord! It is MY RIGHT! MY TITLE! AND MY TOWER!”


                4. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  “Any reason as to why I can't reply to Daemian nor Nick directly?”

                  Shamus made a limit to these nesting quotes.6 is it?

                  Pride is definitely in there,what isnt there is the way to overcome it,and still win the game.

                  And hes not really the final boss.The final is the one in the expansion.And when talking about him,is there any tie in with the second overlord?I didnt play the game to the end,but I am curious now.

                5. Jarenth says:

                  I can just see you guys are trying to tempt me to play the expansion, but it ain’t gonna work.

                  I already got Shamus’ed into getting Chime, Recettear looks too awesome to pass up, and I still have to eat this week.

                  Also, in reply to Solka earlier: I only discovered you could set the Fields of Goodness on fire when (completely casually, and befitting my earlier combat style) chucked a fireball at them. It was completely hilarious and one of the high points of the game for me, and it’s pretty indicative of the stuff Overlord 2 is missing.

                  Chasing around town looking for villagers to blow up (with generic ‘magic’, even, you don’t even get fireballs anymore) does not a fun game make.

                6. SolkaTruesilver says:


                  “Chasing around town looking for villagers to blow up (with generic “˜magic', even, you don't even get fireballs anymore) does not a fun game make”

                  Well, look at it this way: You are effectively mind-raping them into submission. I kind of have a perverse pleasure out of it.

                  I mean, mind-raping your subjects, or killing them? This isn’t about stupid “Less Evil or Evil” choices. It’s just about how you give torment to your subjects. There isn’t any ambiguous morality anymore: you go and rampage civilians!

                7. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Yes,it is fun in the beginning,but it gets boring quickly.Especially since there is 100 of them,they arent shown on the map,and if you screw up just one of them,you dont get a reward(you have to either kill all,or enslave all,ugh).

                8. Jarenth says:

                  Solka: I agree that the enslaving villagers was fun, sort of, at first. It’s not that: I literally miss having a Fireball spell.

                  Enslaving people can be fun, but for me, there’s nothing that quite says ‘Evil Overlord’ like waltzing into a village, selecting a single person, powering up some fire mojo, and incinerating everyone and everything that person has ever loved.

                  Because I can, that’s why.

                9. SolkaTruesilver says:

                  Jarenth, you are awesome.

                  Can I carry your spawns?

                10. Jarenth says:

                  Can you offer some kind of guarantee that these spawns will have at least rudimentary access to fireball magics?

                  Lightning will also do, in a pinch.

          2. krellen says:

            Is it possible to find Dungeon Keeper somewhere for not-ridiculous prices? I keep hoping will get it, but so far no luck.

            1. uselesstwit says:

              You can get the second one from amazon for 10 dollars right now.

  5. Hal says:

    Ooof, the female gamer is really falling into the uncanny valley for me. Something about her face . . . is there anything you can do about that in Gary’s Mod? She just has that same smile in every panel, and it creeped me out.

    1. Halfling says:

      You poor fool. Now that you have seen it you can not turn away. Now she will slowly consume your soul. Not even god can save you now.

    2. Shamus says:

      That is straight-up sloppy work on my part. I fussed over Guy quite a bit and just didn’t pay attention to what I was doing with the other one. I think that’s the desfult smile, which is always horrible. I’ll bet just bringing her eyelids down a bit and having her give him a sideways look in panel 2 would have fixed everything.

    3. Liz says:

      …That’s a girl? Huhn.

      Actually, their faces don’t bother me so much, but the really artificial angles of their lower bodies and the fact that their butts aren’t low enough to even be *touching* the couch, let alone sinking into a cushion, bothers the HECK out of me.

      1. FatPope says:

        I’m guessing that’s more about the lack of shadows giving the impression that they’re not touching than it actually being the case

  6. rofltehcat says:

    When you wrote about making a Let’s Play out of WoW, I first thought of Spoiler warning. Would probably be the longest Spoiler Warning ever and boring as hell :P
    But then I realised they are two different projects, so I’m looking forward to that :D

  7. Fenix says:

    Amnesia: The Dark Descent comes out tomorrow. Any plans to play that?

    1. Sheer_Falacy says:

      He hasn’t really posted anything that indicates he’s ever played Penumbra, which is a bit odd given his opinion of survival horror, so it’s quite possible he doesn’t know about that.

  8. RTBones says:

    I can understand getting drawn into Mass Effect. Over the long weekend, I finally broke down and bought a new machine. After putting the various pieces parts together and getting the machine up and running, I felt compelled to see some game or other go through its paces on it. On the shelf, I have Deadspace and Far Cry II – both of which either wouldnt run or ran slow enough for me to abandon on my old machine. Both will eventually make it to the new box, but I decided that I would install Steam and either install one of my current titles or get another one. A new game (for me) won the day (thanks to pricing) and Mass Effect 2 is now running full bore. A weekend where I had decided to try and get some things done around the house turned into set the computer up and play ME2 to the detriment of my diet, sleep, exercise, and aforementioned “domestic” duties.

    So yes, I understand. :)

    1. FatPope says:

      I’ve always thought farcry 2 would be 10 million times better if you could remove or reduce the respawning enemies. Are there any mods at all for this game?

      1. RTBones says:

        Dunno. Havent played it yet as the old machine wouldnt hack it in any meaningful way. Before I start looking at mods, I want at least one “vanilla” play-through. New box will play it without problem, so that will be on my agenda once I finish ME2.

    2. krellen says:

      You folks all realise Shamus means the original Mass Effect, not the poorly-written sequel, right?

  9. Mephane says:

    Personally, I preferred the narrower comic format a lot. It felt absolutely perfect in term of size, scrolling, placement of the side-text (I always read those, by the way).

    Oh, and I seem to be unable to find the navigation-bar ever since you started trying out the wider comic format.

    1. Worthstream says:

      I wholeheartedly agree!
      Please go back to the old format, it’s way easier on the eyes!

    2. wtrmute says:

      I actually prefer the new format; the frames may have a bit of an odd aspect, but placing the text “down” rather than “right” is much more intuitive…

  10. Lalaland says:

    Recently abandoned an ME1 renegade playthrough as I was just getting bored beyond belief by the combat and just got a save from instead. Now I’m playing ME2 and it’s painfully obvious how little of the tactical play style that ME1 is forced is missing.

    I don’t miss it though, I wish they could have managed to meld KOTOR style play with the Unreal Engine but they missed by a mile in ME1 and ME2 they’ve just given up. Guns are king in ME2 and it shows in how so many biotic powers are just useless unless you’ve shot the enemy to bits anyway (shielded enemies) it just doesn’t pay to rely on them. My first play through was as an Infiltrator, the second time round I’m a Soldier and the combat is just so much easier it’s clear this is the way the game was designed to play.

    Every time I go to post on the differences between combat in ME1 and ME2 I wind up preferring what ME1 was trying to do but when I sit down to play there’s just no denying that the shooting is simply more enjoyable in ME2. Hated how the Citadel became another corridor though, the design of the main concourse is too gorgeous to waste as a backdrop to Anderson’s balcony

    1. Ergonomic Cat says:

      Really? I found guns to be an after thought. It was all about a combo of biotics and tech with heavy weapons tossed in. Sabotage + Incinerate did very nicely….

      1. Lalaland says:

        Dammit now I’ll have to give that a go…

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Same here.Plus with so many robots,mass hacking was hillarious to watch.

      3. Taellosse says:

        Yeah, the real trick (in both games, to be honest, but they stepped it up in 2) is knowing when to use which kinds of abilities. This is why a Sentinel with bonus sniper rifle is my favorite class–you get the trifecta, and don’t really need to rely too much on the rest of the party if you don’t feel like it.

  11. Galenor says:

    I share your agony about trying to get myself to play AC2 to complete it. I got further than the point you’re on, and the story doesn’t really step-up much from there IMO – there is one bit which stands out, but after that, it kinda levels out.

    I think the ultimate killer is that now I’m in Filler Land. “Hey Ezio! Now there’s gonna be a moment where we’re going to ask you to be an assassin, but before you do that, why not go around three points in the city and save thieves in a cage? Then after that, you can go around three points in the city and get equipment for our soldiers! That’s what assassins do, right?”

    The little puzzles they give you on the sides of buildings were fun to do, but if you discovered a building with a puzzle on it and you proceeded to either miss it or run by it with a train of guards, good luck finding it again. The database will tell you the mark is on the “Edificio che assomiglia a qualsiasi altro edificio” – but pull up the map and go “Okay, so where is it?” and you receive the reply of a shrug.

    One day I’ll remember the game and go back and play it, by which time I’ve probably forgotten the main plot. Hell, I probably already have!

    1. FatPope says:

      Yeah I was enjoying the main plot up until the point where you leave Florence, but then it just gets ridiculous. Such a shame when you consider how much atmosphere is created by the period and the cities themselves

    2. Miral says:

      I think I was having the same problem as Shamus. Up until (and a bit after) the hanging, the game was mildly interesting but just totally SLOW and full of slog. It wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t enjoying it overly much either.

      Then access to the villa opened. Ever since that moment I’ve been having an absolute blast. (Incidentally, I’m playing on PS3. I originally wanted to buy it on PC, like I did with AC1, but no way was that happening with that DRM.)

      And regarding the glyphs — yes, it’s definitely much easier to find them the first time you see the notice, but it’s not all that hard to locate them after the fact too. For starters, most of the time (although not always) the database notice appears again when you approach the building again. And they’re always on the buildings marked in gray on the map. And there’s a picture on the database entry.

      1. Galenor says:

        Wait. Grey buildings = ones tagged with a glyph? Wow. I totally did not realise that was the case. Point taken!

        1. Miral says:

          Grey buildings are the important buildings. They don’t always have a glyph, but (at least so far) all of the glyphs I’ve seen appear to be on those.

    3. Taellosse says:

      I dunno. Maybe you just have to be in the right mood for AC2. It remains the only game I have played on my 360 that I got every single achievement, I enjoyed it that much. The glyphs were way more fun than the stupid flags in the first game (most of which I never got and never will). Though the feathers were kind of annoying. I used an online guide for those.

  12. Sagretti says:

    After watching Pirates of the Caribbean on Blu-Ray for the umpteenth time, I got the itch to purchase and download Sid Meier’s Pirates! on Steam. This was sometime around early Saturday morning. It was around Monday morning that I woke from my stupor, realizing I had spent nearly two days straight embarked on my epic sword fighting and ballroom dancing adventure. Now I remember why I stopped playing that game shortly after it was released.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    When first reaching your chime link,I misread it crime,and thought you were talking about that shooter mmo whatsitsname.Im so glad you werent.

    +1 for the wide comics from me.They do feel a bit weird,but in a nice way.

    Why not try mafia 2?It is a nice game,and Im sure you can extract a few chuckles out of it as well.Though,to be fair,there already is humour in the game itself.

    Small SPOILERS ho:
    I finished assassins creed 2 simply becuase of leonardo and the video clip about the apple.It kind of tells an obvious story,but I still want to know more about it.I hope 3 brings conclusion to this one.As for the main story…meh.The ending has a nice batle though,where you can utilize the power used against you in 1.

    1. Volatar says:

      I also really like the wide comics.

    2. Nick says:

      +1 to wide comic support – much better flow to the (previously) side text

    3. krellen says:

      Counter-vote: I prefer the side column format.

      1. Bit says:

        I agree. It looks like nothing but wasted space to me.

        1. Volatar says:

          Its wasted space right now. He just isn’t used to making use of the space.

        2. Soylent Dave says:

          There was a similar amount of wasted space on the page with the narrow comics too – it’s just that it was usually whitespace (next to the comic).

          The wide comics provided up to now aren’t really taking advantage of the extra space & size – I think they give Shamus the potential to do a lot more (which could be more stuff going on in each frame, more detail of expression on the characters or just more space for dialogue) – which does mean a fair bit more work, of course.

          Currently I prefer it (even without any changes) because I don’t have to squint – or lean forward in my chair – to see the comic properly (because it’s bigger overall), and the page as a whole – comment text and comic as one – seem to flow better.

          It’s more pleasing to look at.

      2. Jarenth says:

        I, too, kind of feel this way.

  14. Steve C says:

    Shamus said:

    The sewer of verbal rapists on Xbox Live is another problem entirely. I avoid online console gaming for exactly this reason.

    I was talking to a friend of mine about verbal diarrhea on multiplayer console gaming just a couple of days ago. Apparently the PS3 suffers from this a lot less than Xbox to the point it’s rare. On the PS3, not as many people have mics and chat boxes are used far more often to communicate. Chat is also hard to use because people aren’t exactly typing on a keyboard.

    He thought that the reason why PS3 had less idiots spewing stupidity is because setting up a mic on a PS3 isn’t plug and play. A PS3 has an unnecessarily complex setup relative to most tech setups. He figures it creates a barrier to entry based on intelligence that the feces throwing monkeys have difficulty figuring out.

    1. Irridium says:

      This is true. As someone who plays on the PS3, I can confirm that there are less people yelling obscenities. But there are just as much assholes who grief. Also, if you want to talk on the PS3, any USB mic works fine, in case anyone wanted to know. And you can also use a USB keyboard if your so inclined for the text chat.

    2. Josh R says:

      I remember one of thebigfreaks podcasts actually thought this issue was to do with the amount of people only using a headset because the console was shipped with one vs the people who actually wanted to use it productively ie the people who had gone out and bought one specially.

      they also reckoned this was why MAG didn’t work.

  15. Irridium says:

    Somehow I got myself back into my Pokemon Soulsilver game. I just realized the Elite 4 upgrade when you get all 16 badges. So I went to see how much the upgraded, got stomped by the first guy, and now I’m grinding and capturing any stray legendaries I may have missed.

    Its grindy, and busywork, yet I can’t stop. I’ll get Latias, I won’t let that bastard keep mocking me.

    1. Internet Kraken says:

      This is actually the point I gave up on Heart Gold, because I absolutely detest grinding wild Pokemon. Especially when you have to do it for lengthy periods of time to boost an entire team of 6 over a dozen levels. It just feels so tedious. My little brother was mad about that. But we’re just going to start fresh when the new games come out so it’s not really a big deal.

      OT (sort of): Earlier someone asked Shamus to play Starcraft 2. I’d be interested in seeing that, mostly because I want to hear his thoughts on the story. Almost everyone agrees that the gameplay is fine, but opinions are quite varied when it comes to the quality of the story.

      1. Irridium says:

        I can see why that would cause people to stop. But I found a great way to grind, get all the Gym Leaders numbers and keep challenging them to matches.

        I have 14 of their numbers so far(Still trying to get Clair’s and Blue’s) But going through 14 gym leaders leads to craploads of quick XP. And money.

        Hopefully the new games are less grind-intensive. May be a high hope but its a hope dammit!

        1. Internet Kraken says:

          I wasn’t even aware it was possible to fight the Gym leaders again. Since the series had gone on for so long without you being able to do that, I figured they would never implement it.

          1. Irridium says:

            Yeah you have to do some little task to get them. But you can get all of them and they go to the Dojo in Saffron. I know for Lutenant Surge you need to catch Zapdos then meet him outside the power plant with a Pikachu following you early in the morning.

            If your so inclined Bulbapedia should be able to help you out.

            I found out completely on accident. I got off the SS Anne in Olivine and Sabrina was out on the docks. After a quick discussion she gave me her number.

  16. Josh R says:

    The price increase is pretty much in line with inflation… by that logic you aren’t really paying more.
    (edit) I don’t actually remember when XBL came out but general optimum inflation targets are 3% and that would only require 6 years to make 60$ now = 50$ then

    1. krellen says:

      The funniest part about this? For at least the past three months, XBox Live has been plastered with offers for reduced price XBox Live Gold.

    2. Robyrt says:

      Your back-of-the-napkin calculation is correct. XBL was launched in ’02. $50 then is worth $59.60 now by the CPI measure of inflation.

      I’m not particularly bothered by Microsoft’s a la carte pricing here – multiplayer users are your most loyal and frequent users, so it’s natural to charge them more. I’m surprised Sony hasn’t done the same.

      1. Irridium says:

        Well they have charged with Playstation Plus, but its not required to play online.

    3. Soylent Dave says:

      It also means that (12 month) Gold memberships in the US now cost the same as 12 month memberships in the UK (£40 ~ $60)

      Which is verging on fair pricing (not quite, because US members get more features inclusive…)

  17. HeadHunter says:

    Shamus, the phrase “feral dipshits” makes reading your commentary totally worth it!

    It’s a wonderfully descriptive term for that type of “gamer”, ranking right up there with Mike Sliszowski’s “smacktard”.

  18. Johan says:

    As to the new comic format, what happened to the navigation buttons? You know, first, previous, next, last? I couldn’t find them when I wanted to look at your previous “2 gamers” comic, where did they go?

  19. SatansBestBuddy says:

    You can make jokes out of Mass Effect 2, you just need to know where to look.

    For example:

    Joke about big brother watching you practically writes itself!

  20. Galad says:

    I assume that’s Mass Effect 2 you mention you can’t stop playing Shamus? I completed twice the original Mass Effect, and while it was indeed a triple A game, it wasn’t really the sort of thing that I can easily get back to, the gameplay is a little bit too slow for that. (then again, you can say that of most Bioware game)

    1. krellen says:

      Shamus is not talking about Mass Effect 2. He is talking about the original.

    2. Shamus says:

      Krellen is correct. I’m playing ME1.

  21. Bit says:

    I hate to be that person, but where is Spoiler Warning?

    1. Irridium says:

      I believe PAX has something to do with it.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Probably true,but dont they record these in advance?

        Though pax coupled with Shamus’ recent illness might have drained their buffer.

        1. Bit says:

          They do, and with Josh using all the same editing bits I assume they do that in advance as well. Meh, whatever.

    2. Shamus says:

      Yeah, no SW this week. We’ve got too much content already. Plus We couldn’t record because Josh & Mumbles were at PAX. And Josh wouldn’t have enough time to edit the episodes, anyway. (They take several hours.)

  22. Jeff says:

    I support this wider view. It means I read the comic (Left to right, then top down) and then the commentary, as opposed to having conflicts of attention, and having to scroll back up.

  23. Simplex says:

    Shamus, there’s an old-school survival horror game being released today, called Amnesia: The Dark Descent, thought you might be interested.

    EDIT: steam link (20% off for preorder):

  24. Josh R says:

    Shamus you have got to check out VVVVVV, which was released today, an oldschool platformer that is possibly even better then And Yet It Moves (which if you haven’t checked out is also awesome) <– demo

  25. Aldowyn says:

    I qualify it as a summer slump. How many, if any, of those games came out this year, let alone in the past few months?

  26. John Callaghan says:

    Indulge me… What is the Bad Thing that the individual on the right is doing? What am I missing? Aw, come on, chaps!

  27. Simplex says:

    Indulge me too, I have no idea what Bad Thing refers to.

    1. Shamus says:

      Calling people “Faggot”.

      1. John Callaghan says:

        (Slaps forehead)

        I’d love to claim, in my defence…

        Instead I was just being dense.

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