the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why I Hate People: Steam Top Sellers, Week Up To 25/10/09

Yes, I'm a day late. No, I don't care. Also worth noting: this list contains the duplicates that show up in my RSS feed. Because I feel like it.

#1 ( = ) Left 4 Dead 2
Come on people, if you want to preorder it you should have preordered it by now. And if you're in Australia, you shouldn't want to preorder it any more.

#1 ( /\ ) Borderlands
This one's ironic, considering the head of Gearbox doesn't like how Steam is run.

#2 ( ! ) Dragon Age: Origins
Everybody know's BioWare's best game was SW:KOTOR. And no, I won't listen to extremely futile arguments otherwise.

#3 ( /\ ) Dragon Age: Origins Digital Deluxe Edition
See my previous rants about digital special editions. Or just read the summary... there's nothing special about them since you can sell as many as you want, and exclusive in-game items can often be cheated in.

#3 ( ! ) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
First thing wrong - it's CoD. Second thing wrong - it's $90 US in Australia. We're supposed to pay 33% more than the yanks because of what exactly? A cent or two that it would cost to get the data over here? And no - isn't that - as there are plenty of Steam content servers in Australia. So WHAT THE F%&K IS IT? Third thing wrong - it's $60 US in the US. That's too much for a game, lots too much for a PC game, and and WAAAAAY too much for a digitally distributed PC game, since it costs practically nothing to get it to the consumer.

#4 ( ! ) ARMA 2
What's more fun - a hardcore realistic PC shooter, or a game where I can beat overgrown chickens to death with my bare hands? Doesn't seem much contest to me.

#5 ( = ) Aion Standard Edition
What's more fun - a MMO, or a MMO with dancing cows? Doesn't seem much contest to me.

#6 ( ! ) Tropico 3 - Steam Special Edition
What's more fun - a game whose cover has a Fidel Castro look-alike, or pictures of Fidel Castro? Doesn't seem much contest to me.

#7 ( ! ) Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition
What's more fun - a game that has you skulking in the shadows, sneaking carefully up in your prey, or a game where you ride on top of a carriage driven by an overgrown cyclops knight who has captured a princess, with thieves swinging down onto the carriage, all while fighting a giant troll who shoots laser beams from his eyes? Okay, this is getting silly - but my point is still valid.

#8 ( ! ) Killing Floor
Troy: Come on Jimmy, let's take a peek at the killing floor.
Jimmy: Ohhh!
Troy: Don't let the name throw you Jimmy. It's not really a floor, it's more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported.

#9 ( = ) Left 4 Dead
How to have your own zombie apocalypse, Australian style:
1) Get Michael Atkinson, Stephen Conroy and Malcolm Turnbull in a room together.
2) Kill them.
3) Who cares about the zombie apocalypse? You just solved all the country's problems!

#10 ( = ) Counter-Strike: Source
Why buy a $20 game when there's a game at half the price which is basically the same thing? And the less 10 year olds in the game, the better, obviously.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Further Musings: Stargate Universe: Air (Parts 1-3)

Further musings is the place for stuff that either doesn't fit in the original article, I think of afterwards, or I just feel like doing separately. And generally lack any semblance of structure.

  • There's been no main villain introduced yet - and every TV show (especially sci-fi) needs a good villain (and obviously I don't mean the antonym of evil good).
  • Some of the characters (I'm looking at you Greer) do either nothing or very little to make you care about them.
  • It's too much like Firefly. Only Firefly works well at being Firefly. Now give us more Firefly.
  • It's way too cliché... O'Neill would have a field day.
  • The cool nerd guy (Eli) isn't on screen enough. He's no Rodney McKay, but it's possible to actually like him.
  • I'm not sure if it's right to call SGU a spinoff of SG1... there's nothing familiar from either SG1 or Atlantis - I'm not saying you NEED something you've seen before in a spinoff, but it helps. And I don't mean five minutes of screen time in the first couple of episodes.
  • Some parts of the premise just seem like an excuse to force the show along.
  • Rush just spreads the positive though correct stereotype of the extremely selfish scientist. That's McKay's job.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why I Hate People: Steam Top Sellers, Week Up To 18/10/09

The problem with the frequency of these posts is that they make the infrequency of my other posts that much more obvious.

#1 ( = ) Left 4 Dead 2
It's maintained the top seller spot, and it isn't even out yet. Shouldn't everyone who wants to preorder it have already done so?

#2 ( /\ ) Borderlands
Show me a co-op shooter that isn't some variety of L4D that actually works, then I'll buy it. But I won't preorder it.

#3 ( \/ ) Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
Show me a realistic tactical shooter that actually works, then I'll laugh at you and call you crazy.

#4 ( ! ) Dragon Age: Origins Digital Deluxe Edition
1) It's a preorder. That costs more. For the PC version, I'll bet you anything that within 3 days of release, you'll be able to cheat to get the "exclusive" items. 2) When was the last time Bioware actually made a different game? The past few have just been basically the same game with different settings.

#5 ( /\ ) Aion Standard Edition
Why do people keep buying this? It's not WoW. From what I've read, it isn't better than WoW.

#6 ( ! ) Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
People are only buying this because it was on special. People should already have it.

#7 ( ! ) Saints Row 2
It's a GTA ripoff. It's a good game, but it's a GTA ripoff. Why don't you just buy GTA?

#8 ( /\ ) Cities XL Limited Edition
I've made my thoughts about digitally distributed limited editions before, now, and repeatedly. And as I said last week, while I'm not sure how well the concept works, it sounds awkward.

#9 ( = ) Left 4 Dead
The sequel's coming out in a matter of weeks. Sure, the original is great, but save your dough and only get eaten by the newer zombies.

#10 ( ! ) Counter-Strike: Source
TF2 is the obviously superiour Source multiplayer FPS. No, really. Even without that, I'd still rather play DoD:S than CS:S.

Note: These are based off the RSS feed, which often contain different games at the same positions (don't ask me why, ask Valve). I use whatever's at the top of my RSS reader's list (most recent posts first).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

TV Review: Stargate Universe: Air (Parts 1-3)

I'm a bit worried here. SG1 and Atlantis have always been more traditional TV shows. Opening credits a full minute long, credits actually in the opening credits, episodes that don't follow a continuous arc (which sucks because then it's hard to watch them out of order), not shot from a documentary style viewpoint (which Firefly popularised... why did it get cancelled anyway? It's hard to find a sci-fi show these days which isn't at least a little influenced by it). SGU is, by the looks of it, none of these. It's still early days, so I'm hopeful about what it'll become, but don't expect a traditional Stargate experience here.

That's not to say it's not good. Stargate generally has a good attention to detail, this is no exception. Unfortunately, I'm also not seeing of the trademark Stargate humour here, either. Again, this could change, but it doesn't leave me particularly hoepful.

This is probably the point where some people would tell you the plot - to me, that's not particularly important. If you like the plot of Stargate, you're probably going to like this (I'm not a fan of the emphasis on flashbacks for the first part though). If you like sci-fi these days, there's a good chance you'll like how the story goes. It's slightly predictable and slightly cliché, but that doesn't make it bad.

Sound is good. I'm not too picky on sound in anything. As long as I can hear everything, and explosions sound like they could scare the crap out of the neighbours if you turned them up loud enough, I'm happy. How things look, I tend to be a bit pickier with the visuals. Everything's got a decent amount of detail and the special effects are great (I've never seen the kawoosh look that awesome). The Destiny looks great, too.

In short, since this is the point where I'm not really sure what to say: It's different. I want to like it, and while it's good, it's not quite Stargate. It's just that it's not really anything else, either. I'll keep watching (or just buy it on DVD when it comes out, importing if necessary).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why I Hate People: Steam Top Sellers, Week Up To 11/10/09

The previous installment was a bit late. This one is on time. Don't count on this happening again. Also new to this installment (since they wouldn't have worked last week), I'll provide how they've changed. Work it out, shouldn't be hard.

#1 ( = ) - Left 4 Dead 2
I understand that those of us in Australia have only just been able to preorder L4D2 through Steam. But since we're obviously so few in number (that has to be the reason game publishers don't care about us, right?), we shouldn't be able to push it up to #1. And in theory (for everyone else, anyway) if you're going to preorder you've had plenty of time to do so by now.

#2 ( ! ) - Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
A tactical, realistic shooter. Why would I want that when it's much more fun to walk around as a fat guy with a big minigun, mowing down scouts while I'm being healed by a German guy with a magic beam?

#3 ( /\ ) - Borderlands
Gearbox's CEO doesn't seem to like Steam (or to be more exact, Valve running Steam). If he had such a big problem, I don't think we'd be able to get it from Steam. I'm not sure why he's complaining anyway, since this seems to be doing quite well.

#4 ( = ) - Risen
Still not interested enough to look into it too much (which itself should say something), but it just seems like an Elder Scrolls/Fable clone to me.

#5 ( ! ) - Empire: Total War - The Warpath Campaign
It's DLC. That costs $10. That's either too expensive for what you get, or too much content for traditional DLC yet not enough content for traditional expansion. It's stuck in limbo.

#6 ( ! ) - Empire: Total War
Is it just me, or is the Total War series just the same game with models for the relevant time period hastily slapped over whatever's already there so as to shove it out the door as quickly as possible?

#7 ( \/ ) - Aion Standard Edition
An MMO shouldn't focus on looking pretty (I'm not saying it does, but since it runs on CryEngine it can't be too bad), it should focus on not being mindlessly repetitive. From what I understand, Aion doesn't do too well in that department.

#8 ( \/ ) - Aion Collector's Edition
Come on people, when the limited edition isn't limited you should be willing to shell out the few extra bones it costs to get it.

#9 ( \/ ) - Left 4 Dead
Come on people, the sequel is coming out! You should already have this! The only situation I can think of for actually preferring this to the sequel is if you're in Australia and you don't want the pussy version which the government thinks is the only one we can handle.

#10 ( ! ) - Cities XL Limited Edition
Hmm, MMO SimCity. I prefer playing in the same room as other people, so I can criticise their city in person, and "accidentally" cause disasters while they're otherwise occupied.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why I Hate People: Steam Top Sellers, Week Up To 4/10/09

People do things they shouldn't. People do things which don't make sense. That's why I hate them. That's usually not enough explanation for people, so I thought I'd explain through the most illogical means possible - why people shouldn't have bought whatever the top sellers are on Steam.

#1 - Left 4 Dead 2
I don't get preordering games through Steam - do it in a store, and you're guaranteed to get a copy when it comes out. Come on people, it's digital distribution. They don't run out. So all you're doing is letting them sit on your money. Admittedly I'd be letting them sit on my money if I could, but I never said I don't hate myself.

#2 - Left 4 Dead
The problem with people buying this is that they should already have it. That and the whole the-sequel's-coming-out-in-a-few-weeks-why-buy-the-original deal.

#3 - Aion Collector's Edition
Collector's editions used to be called limited editions. You know why. BECAUSE THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE LIMITED. You're supposed to fight to get one, preferably with firearms. But when you're selling as many copies as people will buy, what's the point?
Oh, and for everything else I find wrong with this game, look at #5.

#4 - Risen
I've never heard of it. The only thing of any value that I've never heard of is my loyal cannon fodder readers. No, seriously, I've heard of every other game in this list. The fact that I haven't heard of this one has to mean something. What exactly I'm not sure.

#5 - Aion Standard Edition
It's an MMO. Which isn't WoW. I'm not saying that WoW is perfect (okay, I am), but considering the number of players it has, Blizzard must be doing something right.

#6 - Batman: Arkham Asylum
If the point of this column wasn't to criticise, I wouldn't say anything here. Since criticism is the name of the game however, what sort of people buy a game like this through Steam instead of going to a store? Comic book fans still living with their parents, going outside so little that mere seconds of sun exposure will cause skin cancer?

#7 - Counter-Strike: Source
I've already had enough 12 year olds swearing at me in voice chat in CS:S. WE DON'T NEED MORE OF YOUR KIND, THANK YOU AND PISS OFF.

#8 - Borderlands
See #1.

#9 - Resident Evil 5
Everybody that matters (me) knows the best RE game in recent memory was Resident Wiivil 4.

#10 - F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
C.R.A.P.P.Y.: Constantly Racketeering Acronyms Puposefully and Potentially Yelling. That and anyone who wants to be really scared need only look at a picture of Susan Boyle's face.