If someone has a link for a biologist streamer addressing if foxes are nature's waypoints and a meteorologist streamer clarifying if it's true or not that you can change weather by playing flute please link. Still have time to cancel my pre-order.
Best posts made by Phbz
RE: This streamer, who knows more about japanese history than the developers of Ghost of Tsushima, is worth a watch.
Ludoarcheology - My favourite oldies
So hear me out,
I'm getting old(er), weeks away from making 41 years old. Been playing since the early 80s but the first half of the 90s are my most beloved gaming years. Not saying that the old times were better, because I honestly don't think they were but they weren't worse either. Things just are and our experiences shape us.
Alone in the Dark (1992)
For years Shinji Mikami denied the influence of Alone in the Dark in Resident Evil.
AitD, a fixed camera 3D game, with tank controls where you play as a detective that gets trapped in a mansion had absolutely no influence on the creator of Resident Evil, in fact he never even saw the game until after releasing RE.
Fortunately in recent years Shinji Mikami came to reason and admitted such obvious fact (There's a rumour that it was Capcom that forced him to deny it but I have no source):
"That's when I played Alone in the Dark, which consisted of still sets. It was very interesting because there was a greater expressiveness. The next step was to adapt Resident Evil to this model. Capcom's horror game then turns into a zombie reinterpretation of Frédéric Raynal's Lovecraftian investigative game. "Without him," Mikami admits, "Resident Evil would probably have become a subjective shooter." https://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2014/10/14/shinji-mikami-aux-sources-du-jeu-d-horreur_4502400_4408996.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#xtor=RSS-3208
But Alone in the Dark isn't just the grandpa of survival horror and a lo-fi Resident Evil. It's a great game on its own and one of my favourite games ever. in 93, the first time I've played it, there was really nothing like this.
After that intro where you see yourself walking through a great part of the scenery where the game will take part - which from a game design perspective is quite smart - you are on your own on this hostile mansion. As you gain control for the first time two monsters will brake through a window and a trapdoor, you can fight them (which will probably get you killed) or you can push some furniture to cover both entry points. Although this type of in-game solution is heavily influenced by Point n' Click games of the time, the tactile experience of directly pushing objects on a 3D level in a way that made logical sense was eye opening and one of those "Oh, games can do this?" moments that will stick with me forever.
Subsequent games became more action focused and lost the Lovecraftian influences and frankly are really not worth anyone's time. STAY AWAY!!
If you own a PC and are into gaming history you can get in on GOG https://gog-games.com/game/alone_in_the_dark_1
It will take a bit to get used to the controls but once you do it's fine, still weird but fine. Not an easy game but if you know what you're doing it will take you around one hour to be done with it. I would recommend to get a guide and if you feel like you are stuck use it.
-Didn't wat to expand too much because frankly I don't have patience to read huge walls of text and I imagine few have. Just want to shine a light on some "obscure" old games
-I'll add more titles occasionally
-And obviously everyone is free and welcomed to make their own entries)
RE: The PS5 News and Info Thread
OK, as I understand this; It works just like the video capture works, the system is constantly recording the last 5 minutes of audio conversations and you can use it to report any improper behaviour. So, I think, that just like no one has access to your video recording until you decide to publish them, here no one has access to your conversation recording since it's equally stored locally.
Privacy risks are not increased by this, or so it seems, we are as vulnerable as with Xbox One/PS4 which is quite vulnerable but no more or less.
Xbox Series X first impressions
First of all, it works! It didn't burst into flames, the optical drive didn't shred my game collection. It just works. And it's super silent. I don't know how it will sound in months or years, but right now it is surreal how silent it is. The only sound it produces is when installing a game from a disk, and it's still low.
The installation is super simple and shortened by using the phone app to configure the system while simultaneously the console takes care of some stuff on its side. I just had to connect my Xbox One external to it, asked me if I wanted to keep the setting and that was it. Although for some reason not every setting was transferred, had to go switch off achievements again. But it was smooth sailing. Kudos for how easy it is to copy/paste installed games from the external drive to the internal and how it prompts you to update to the XSX version. Simple, easy, great to deal with the SSD space constraints.
It's a different “new console experience” for sure. In a space of minutes you have the same console but not the same console. Like putting an old spirit on a powerful new athletic body. You know it already but every action is fast, braking some subconscious functional rhythms I had to navigate it. At moments I was thinking, this might work a bit too well, as I flew over some option because I wasn't expecting to be there so fast. Of course your brain quickly adjusts to it.
I really like Xbox controllers, ergonomically speaking, This stays the same, nothing new really. There's a big improvement on the d-pad and the shoulder buttons are more accessible. Those were improvements needed and I feel they nailed it. Then there's a change in texture too, this I feel more conflicted about. On one side it greatly improves grip but it's a bit too raspy for my soft gentle hands. Also, would like it to be just slightly bigger.
Here once again it feels different from what a new console feels like. Of course I would love to have a brand new game to check my new toy but this is closer to getting a new GPU and checking how games you know run. Gears 5 looks truly impressive, but I've played it already and I'm not into replaying stuff, so after 1h I had enough of it. On the other hand Forza Horizon 4 is a near limitless game and I expect to play a lot of it, specially with the Quick Resume feature. All the times I felt like playing FH4 but didn't because the amount of time I had to play vs the amount of time spent in loading times are now a thing of the past... OR IS IT??? Effectively the Quick Resume feature at this time DOSEN'T WORK with FH4. This is a major stumble, a first party title updated for the XSX MS should make sure it had it working! Might be complicated being FH4 an always online game but hopefully it's going to be fixed soon. Wake up Microsoft!
But going back to the lack of games, there really isn't one. I've completed 35 games this year, played some more. Still there's a ton of games I wanted to play before getting this console and I still want to play them now. Got a physical copy of Dead Space 3 installing right now and through GamePass I have Grim Fandango, Jedi Falling Order and Doom Eternal ready to go as must play titles. So if from a marketing standpoint it makes sense to say “Xbox has no games”, as a gamer I feel like it makes none. Still I wish I had Demon Souls to play right now, but I will eventually.
So after my first hours with the system I'm happy with it as a continuation and improvement of a system I already greatly enjoyed. Looks elegant, feels fast and plays games.
RE: Cyberpunk 2077 (XBO/PS4/PC)
(Shit, way longer than I was expecting!)
Still far from finishing the game but as I'm getting near the 100th hour I decided to share my thoughts about it.
I was expecting Cyberpunk to be an expanded Deus Ex and that's basically what it is. Then throw some GTA and Fallout, Skyrim in the mix, with all the pros and cons, along with Witcher 2 and 3, and there you have it. I'll throw some comparisons around because looking at the general discourse around social media it seems like there's some exaggeration regarding its flaws. But this is also how discourse works nowadays, Red Dead Redemption 2 was highly criticised only to now be called as the open world standard.
Honestly the world caught me by surprise. The density of the city is on a level that I would only expect from Rockstar and even then I'll say this surpasses what they've done with GTA so far. Crazy amount of geometry going on, attention with detail from the grand scale of the colossal skyscrapers to the tight streets and slums. Night City feels alive, with districts blending into each other organically, local business, people walking the streets and great background sound design.
There's issues, mostly coming from very shallow AI, glitches and lacking animations from pedestrians. It's mostly functional. They'll run when crossing the street if the light turns red, say something if you talk or bump against with them and get scared if you do something crazy. I can easily make a video exemplifying some abhorrent behaviour, but that's not the norm. For 99% of my time with the game they just go on their (clumsy) lives and most issues arise from the insane amount of population density in certain areas like City Center or Corpo Plaza.
In all honestly Night City's citizens don't vary that much from most open world NPCs. Needs work no doubt but more on the glitch and animation side of things than the AI it self. But again, it functions, as you walk through a colossal metropolis the pedestrians do their job just fine by just doing their own thing. This until you come across one floating 2 meter from the ground or leaving its phone floating in the air. But lets not pretend this is something unique to Cyberpunk. Open World games are known to glitch a lot. Even a super basic open world game like Spider-Man has plenty of weirdness going on, and so do Ubisoft games despite releasing several a year. (Bethesda!!) And setting Rockstar as the standard everyone should meet, is like saying that every football player must be at least as good as Cristiano Ronaldo or just quit.
Coming from GTA, Fallout and Deus Ex roots, Cyberpunk largely surpasses expectations set by its influences. Hell it's even better than – say -Metro Exodus (on console), which is at its core a shooter. Low standards? Maybe. But these are in fact the standards set by the industry leaders. It would be great if the shooting was as good as Destiny but it is closer to Destiny in quality than anything done in the genre before. Guns have great feedback and are precise to control. The fairest comparison would be Outer Worlds which in my opinion already compared favourably with most in the genre.
Stealth is basically Deus Ex.
Enemy AI is lacking, but again, nor Fallout or Deus Ex offer something better. This is pretty on par. Except combat AI does frequently break.
Was hoping for Cyberpunk to be the first open world game with great driving (wait, except Mad Max) but unfortunately it is not. 1st person driving is quite ok, except that most sport cars are so low that you can't see the road, forcing you to go 3rd person which controls way worse, being too twitchy. Regardless of the perspective you choose you still have terrible breaks and almost non existent traffic AI. I think with some minor tweaks this could improve a lot. I'll say that staying within the city speed limits helps a lot the driving experience.
A GPS voice notifying you when to turn would be great because it gets annoying spend more time looking at the map than at the road.
Level design and mission structure
So here's a controversial opinion. Cyberpunk has some of the best level design I've ever experienced. It's impressive in both quality, quantity and depth.
It's very reminiscent – again- of Deus Ex. You have a building, with multiple entry points and ways to complete the mission. At this point I completed every single side mission available in the map just because of how satisfying is the setting up of each mission, how open is the approach and natural the level design feels. There's very little of the typical email with the new pass code to open “that door”, no incredibly large air vent that takes you from the toilet straight to your target. It's really astonishing the amount of buildings present in the world and how fantastic is the level design in each one.
Locations feel real and often have nice small design subtleties. Like, maybe you can get close to a target staying at a motel just by talking to the receptionist and renting a room. Maybe that mission where you are supposed to deliver a car, before delivering the car you should open the trunk and that will drasticly change what was expected from you initially. This subtlety where stuff is not telegraphed to the player and “unnecessary” care is given to mundane quests is one of my favourite things about this game.
Then of the opposite side you have the situations you come across on the streets, where level design is near inexistent and missions have zero structure. This is the equivalent of Ghost of Tsushima's road encounters. In my opinion is not handled well from a design perspective. I would be OK with it if these were random encounters (like GoT) but the decision of marking them on the map takes away its only redeeming quality. Passable filler content that works well enough if you just come across it and decide to engage. Mediocre stuff, useful for grinding only, mildly satisfying if you stumble by accident while exploring. But again, the kind of filler you'll find in every single open world game.
Story and Characters
While I was playing TLoU2 it annoyed me how much of a spectator you were. Not just from a decision making perceptive but mostly for the lack of participation. Cyberpunk nails this in my opinion. Departs from the stiffness of Witcher 3, and most RPGs, and fully embraces the more cinematic approach of a big AAA title but makes sure to keep you engaged by participating in intimate actions like sitting down, drinking, giving a hug, fu... and dialogue choices. This makes small moments incredible significant emotionally. When shit doesn't just breaks!! When the character you're talking too dosen't start to multiply the cigarette she's smoking in mid air, or objects don't just disappear or you're spawned inside the character you're talking with, seeing her eyes and teeth from inside her head.
Don't know how impactful are your decisions, probably not Wasteland 3 level, but its not like anyone cared about that game. Without a second playtrough, or going online and spoil stuff, is difficult to know how much is an illusion. But it appear to me that several relations change based on your decisions, as well as whole blocks of story being not available much like in Witcher 2. Again, kind of hard to say but perception wise it's great how not gamy this bifurcations feel.
But as a whole story content is pretty great. World building very well handled by environments, literature and media. Characters come in and out of your game in a very natural way with story and missions spawning from interactions with you but more importantly between each other regardless of you. A great mix of small stories to more complex mysteries coming from side content. And the main story so far (I'm far from finishing it) lives of great characters and interpersonal relationships, and a fantastic deep and complex world, omnipresent.
Music and sound design
Sound design I think it's pretty on point. The city, guns and cars (in 3rd person) all sound great. But there's mixing problems, and bugs that at times fail to trigger some sounds. I noticed a few dialogue lines that seem to have ended up in the game without being treated. Or maybe some post processing that should be done in game and the sound engine failed. As with most things with this game, quite good until the games breaks it.
It always was going to be difficult to fit music stations in a future world. It's not reasonable to ask for whole music genres to be invented for a game. But their selection works surprisingly well. For me, a lover of black metal and electronic music, this hits incredible close to home. But it's nowhere near the quality of GTA 5, which I'm not neutral about being a Flying Lotus fanboy.
Customisation and RPGing
This is a mixed bag. First I do support 100% their decision of going 1st person, but I do feel a 3rd person mode, even if Skyrim levels of clunky, would be great just to occasionally check on your character. I like to dress according to the mission, or moment, and sucks that there isn't a bigger visual feedback apart from menus and mirrors (and lots of photo mode). But there's an impressive amount of variety in clothing with a surprising render quality.
Stats wise I appreciate what the game does. You are never locked out of a type of gameplay style, and it rewards you just by acting. And then specialisation offers a good depth. Nothing new really, but works. I went for a maxed “mage” build mixed with stealth as secondary and the way as it progressed made me change my approach style constantly, more so than I was expecting. Yet I still do some missions just shotguning people when I feel like. Reminds me a lot of Skyrim and that's great.
If you just follow the path of least resistance you probably won't have much fun with it but if you allow yourself to be creative and seek the fun and the challenge there's plenty to enjoy here. Stupid analogy, but it's kinda like Mario Odyssey, if you content yourself with just getting the minimum moons you probably wont enjoy it but there's much more depth beyond that.
I''m having a great time with this game, so far. But I can't recommend it to anyone. Still think CDPR should be ashamed of releasing it like this. It shows a lack of respect for their customers but honestly what disgusts me even more it's how it shows a greater lack of respect for their own developers. It's heartbreaking seeing the level of attention that almost everything in this game got to be completely ruined by poor management. Marketing pulling a Molyneux didn't help neither.
This is an unfinished, unpolished game that requires a lot of good will as it stands. Every single thing I praised about it is blemished by bugs, glitches or just being unfinished. Or all at the same time. Everting AI related (traffic, pedestrians, enemies, police) needs work and it's in my opinion the biggest issue with this game. Hopefully it's their priority right now, though I imagine getting the game to be back on PS store is really where they are focusing right now.
I also think it will be interesting to follow how it will evolve in the upcoming months. I imagine they'll include lots of "free" DLC that will basically be just missing features being integrated back in the game.
RE: The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2009!
Forza 3 was a personal obsession. Many many hours spent just improving lap times and getting to top 3%-1%. We were just talking on another thread about how goty contenders tend to ignore genres like racing, and here we have a game with 92 on Metacritic that got ignored once the gotys came. Trully phenomenal game, and my 2009 personal goty pick. Even better that thanks to me it will feature in our top 20. :D
RE: Last game you finished
Dead Space 2
I did play and loved the first game but never followed up on the series because - honestly - when I saw reviews for 2 with the swarms of humanoid baby monsters I decided I was not in the mood for that anxiety.
Then played it for a bit when it became BC with the X1, mostly to check to see if it was 4k. It clearly isn't, it's still under 1080p.
Now I was in the mood for some horror and finally decided to beat it.
First of all, the use of colour and lighting in this game is amazing. So is the sound design. Be it the crunchy and textured synths or the organic gore and distorted vocalisations. Superb stuff!
Good variety of locations, plenty of well thought combat situations. Some entertaining environmental puzzles to break the pace. Really enjoyed the tension throughout the whole game.
The story is kind of whatever, but pretty effective in contextualising setting and fuelling characters arch.
Then in the last 60 minutes things kind of collapse. Locations get boring, combat cenarios feel more random, even the art direction takes a hit. Final boss is a super short fight, feels clumsy.
Overall I enjoyed it a lot. Weird that not that long ago EA was putting out some really high quality single player games.
RE: Xbox big first party reveal is upon us! What are your expectations?
@mbun No, I want fewer games but showing gameplay for more than a few seconds at best. Then you can have all the commercials you want.
RE: "lifeless" Open Worlds
That's a cool topic of conversation.
The ideal open world for me has to have "emptiness" in it. Open spaces and visual landscapes that help me map the land intuitively. Trekking is one of my passions in real life, it's immensely satisfying to set a visual target and on your way accidentally coming across something, like an animal, a hidden crystalline lake or just a fellow trekker taking a shit. Which takes me to what I consider the most important aspect and what current and future open worlds should aim for. Emergent situations. Even if illusory, make me be surprised by the unexpected, make me come across stuff that doesn't serve in any way my mission in that world but it's nevertheless impactful. Take things a step further, have main quests come to me instead of telling me to check that icon on the map. And emergent gameplay too, multilayered systems that evolve towards entropy.
RE: Who makes your favorite threads on this forum?
@jackmarison93 What an auspicious start.
RE: The EZA Forums Top 50 Games of the 2010s!
Easiest pick for me. Galaxy 2 stands head and shoulders above all other games released this past decade and is one of the best games ever made. True that the overworld could be better but Mario could be flipping burgers on a Macdonald's between levels and SMG2 would still be my number 1 spot. It controls perfectly, has stellar level design, unparalleled creativity, one of the best OSTs in gaming and a gorgeous art direction.
Plus, on a personal level, it's the game that brought me back to gaming. And I swear I had a smile on my face from beginning to end.