Sunday, 6 October 2013

Hello on Sunday!


How are you?

Yeah, I'm alright mate.

So this week I'm going to experiment with the 'magazine' format, which means a few paragraphs on a few different topics. Because it seems like less work.

Before we begin, I'd like to put a FUNNY PAINTING OF A MONKEY here:

The's smoking a cigarette...I need this on my wall. Make it happen, internet.


Item #1: Oh dear, console people!

It appears that HD gaming is once again about to elude our primitive console brethren, as this clickable bit of text confirms. Some impressive, important EA suit has confirmed that AAA-rated, massively-marketed hype-fest shooting/murdering game Battlefield 4 will run at a distinctly last-gen 720p! Not too great considering this title will be a 'system seller'!

And this isn't just afflicting the laughably inferior Xbox One, DICE (the Swedish girls responsible for BF4) have claimed the title will have the same resolution and framerate on both systems! So if you're feeling smug about pre-ordering a PlayStation 4...don't. This is undoubtedly going to be a common occurrence. You're going to be buying deliberately weakened titles, as the publishers can't possibly allow massive (and developers are already muttering about the gulf in performance between the two systems) variances between the two console versions! Still, there's always those system exclusives to cling to...hurray for £400 + of backwards! But NEW!

My quotable view: The men twiddling with two little rubber sticks don't care about quality anyway, they just want NEW NEW NEW, IS IT NEW? I LOVE NEW! So nevermind, gentlemen.


Item #2: Auto-aim versus CS:GO.

Only two days ago a bloke tried to tell me that being good at Call Of Duty was the same as being good at CounterStrike: Global Offensive. Can you imagine how my brain convulsed? I tried to explain that all console titles feature a degree of auto-aim. They have to. They have to. The control interface requires tons of smoothing, to control the inherent problems of aiming using analogue sticks. In other words, the inherent rubbishness and clumsy insanity of using two sticks to control what is essentially a cursor has to be controlled via software. No question. It is known.

It's a bit like trying to butter a delicious piece of fresh toast, but with the knife attached to the end of a twelve-feet long pole. Probably using Sellotape. Not Blu-Tack. No, I'd say Sellotape for sure. Yes. And the aim assist would be a hand steadying the pole, perhaps even holding the knife a bit. See?

So I explained that CS:GO does not have health regeneration, it does not have AI controlled prizes for linking kills together, it does not have a bottomless amount of ammo per weapon, it DOES HAVE a truly challenging level of recoil to contend with, it does not have an enormous radius of splash damage for grenades...but most importantly for this chatter, it does not have any form of aim assist. None.

You're on your own, man. Like Bear Grylls minus his camera crew, sound team and make-up artists.

Maybe this is why it's recognised as the benchmark for competitive shooters. Not just by me, but by the competition organisers, the hardware manufacturers, the professional players, the serious gaming journalists...probably even the old lady that lives next door knows it. And her budgie, Clive.

Hmm. I've lost the point here. Ah, that's right! So this chap said it's all about awareness, movement and timing, which to a point is true. But when you have an arsenal of hidden helpers with you, it makes it all that much easier.

My quotable view: Being decent at CS:GO gives you the moral high-ground to widdle from a great height onto players of ANY other shooter. Especially thumb-swingers.


Item #3: Grand Theft Auto 5 or 'V' if you love Roman numerals and the mock importance they somehow signify.

I can't play GTA5 yet, because I'm a PC gamer. So instead I reinstalled GTA4, in order to satisfy the urge I had to revisit one of the best franchises in gaming history. And it worked, actually.

So much so that I probably won't bother with GTA5 when/if it eventually gets a terrible, buggy port over to the one true platform. Unless I fall victim to the tsunami of hype generated by this game.

Which I probably will. It's that font they use. It's hypnotic and alluring, like YouTube videos of cats in shoe-boxes.

It's just a bunch of fetch quests anyway, man. Like Skyrim, but with more angular, jagged strippers.

Drive here, drive there, shoot this, pick up that. All of it easy. No real enemy AI to speak of.

Don't get me wrong, the sandbox element is amusing enough, but the actual progression through the story is kinda repetitive.

And that intrusive 'like-o-meter' thing? No, I don't want to play pool with you,  just-out-of-prison man I've only known for two minutes. Let's just see how the night goes first, slow down Romeo.

My quotable view: When games are as generally good as the Grand Theft Auto series, one can usually cure the hype-lust for the new version. At least for a while.


Item #4: The Battlefield 4 open beta. Or demo. Or whichever it is.

I have played the beta for about 15 minutes. It looks and sounds identical to BF3, to me anyway.

I was pleased to see my ageing system will run it at a decent level (decent for PC, it will smash the console version. Are you kidding me?).

Will I use the beta as intended? Will I provide feedback? Will I look out for bugs and report them? Will I study the UI and offer any suggestions for improvement? Will I assess weapon balance and outline any unintentional flaws in the programming?

No. I'll let people who know better worry about all that. I'll just run about, glancing at the mini-map with despair, wondering where the hell I'm supposed to be going, trying to make sense of all the glowing icons littering my screen until I finally succumb and stash myself away in the back of an empty shop, peering over the counter at nothing.

My quotable view: BF4 looks like BF3. Which is fine I suppose. For mainstream, combined arms style games (that's infantry and vehicular squabbling) what choices are there, really? I honestly found Planetside 2 impenetrably dull, and ARMA 3 is intended for nutters that want to own REAL guns in REAL life. No I don't want to join your survivalist Steam group, cheers anyway...*gulp*

To conclude this weekends offering, I'd like to direct your attention to this:


Many thanks for holding your bloated, swaying heads steady for long enough to shovel these words into your brains! No, I really mean that. I am as sincere as a policeman.

GL & HF!


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