Archive for November, 2010

Game frustration. How did that ever happen?

Thursday, November 25th, 2010 | Games, Reviews | 2 Comments

Are you a gamer, too? Did you ever freak out because some part of a game was too hard to conquer? That’s pretty much normal in my opinion and it’s a good thing, a game should be challenging to some degree after all.

But then there are the games that are unfittingly hard. Or do not go along with the rest of the gameplay and plainly annoy you. Scenes that make you think WTF? Have the developers ever played this part themselves? Games that make you stop playing, maybe after hitting a hole in the wall throwing away your controller in frustration or barking at your partner. This is what I would call game frustration that should never happen. But it does. Here are a few of my game frustrations:

God of War – Rotating blade pillars

Let me recite Sean Gandert’s Review of GoW:

Ultimately, only one section of God of War seems sloppily executed and tends to slow down for players, even upon multiple replays. During Kratos’ short sojourn in the underworld, he eventually finds himself face to face with spinning pillars lined with rotating blades. Your goal is simply to climb to the top of these pillars, which wouldn’t be frustrating if not for the fact that not only does a single touch from a blade knock you back to the beginning (leaving you quite battered to boot), the pillars are also really tall. It’s a tedious affair that not only feels irrelevant to the rest of the game—even by the most lenient use of the term, it doesn’t begin to qualify as a puzzle—but which also truly adds nothing to the game experience.

Most noteworthy of all is that in a game which emphasizes the importance of speed and spectacle, this particular section requires a great deal of patience and repetition. The 15-20 minutes most people spend here in this section aren’t actually that much, but when the average time for most rooms in the game is two minutes or fewer, it brings the game’s otherwise exceptional pacing to a halt. Unsurprisingly, it was also the only section of the entire game that wasn’t playtested. With the recent re-release of the game on PS3, it was even commemorated with the only gold trophy awarded for a specific challenge, since going past these spiked columns without being hit really is on par with beating the game in under five hours.

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Red Dead Redemption: the flying case

Saturday, November 20th, 2010 | Games, Tech-savvy | 4 Comments

I’ve seen a lot of glitches in games, the usual clipping stuff or being stuck somewhere in the ground/wall. Just yesterday I was out for a little horse riding when I heard a stage coach driver screaming for help. As I was busy hunting a rattlesnake I left the stage coach for the pursuers … or so I thought. Finishing my snake business I jogged back to the road finding a lone case flying in mid air.

After enjoying this phenomenon for a few minutes I realized the stage coach still waited for me to be rescued. So I did what I had to do and shot the attackers. Oddly enough, despite being grateful for that none of the passengers was looking for a missing case … :mrgreen:

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quick mercurial setup guide for SVN veterans

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 | Tech-savvy | 2 Comments

So you remember the times you thought using CVS was sooo 1337. Then SVN came around and proclaimed to be “CVS done right”. Today distributed version control systems like Git or Mercurial are becoming more and more “standard”. So it may be time to go next level …

Learn Mercurial, trust Mercurial, and figure out how to do things the Mercurial way, and you will move an entire generation ahead in source code control. Joel Spolsky

This post is intended to somewhat guide an SVN experienced user to set up a Mercurial working environment (the way I like it) rather than explaining the concepts of the system.

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mercurial ssh clone foobar

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 | Tech-savvy | 4 Comments

// WTF? is this a RTFM problem? use -v on the first try to get a hint how I managed to solve this… AFAIK http clones use the “standard” single slash notation 😕

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(Long) Weekend of the Dead

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 | Games, Reviews, Series | 4 Comments

This weekend was affected by an all time Zombie high. First, Rockstar released their brand new Red Dead Redemption add-on “Undead Nightmare” and FOX aired a new Zombie series called “The Walking Dead“. This alone made my weekend, but both the game and the series really kicked off big time. It is too early for a full featured review, but so far I enjoyed myself a lot riding one of the horses of the apocalypse making sure I don’t waste ammo by just giving headshots and after that relax by eating a greasy pizza and watching “The Walking Dead” pilot with Zombies that scared even a veteran like me.

“Undead Nightmare” is great value for money as you can get it for 10 bucks. It’s a very well done Zombie apocalypse set in the Wild West, which is pretty much awesome by itself, buit is supported by Rockstar quality storytelling and gameplay! It just feels great to jog into the sunset after clearing another town of the flesh eating infestation!

Talking about “The Walking Dead” I gave the pilot a shot because I saw some pretty breathtaking Zombie make up that looked very promising.

The last time I tried to watch a Zombie series it failed after a few episodes (Dead Set). The pilot of “The Walking Dead” did not disappoint at all, it was very well done, thrilling and quite repelling in a positive way – f*ck, these Zombies are really scary folks! Let’s hope the rest of the series can keep up with the high standard the pilot sets. Tonight I’m going to continue with the first real episode and some gyros – yummy!

“Undead Nightmare” and “The Walking Dead” – both highly recommendable for the Zombie affectionate :mrgreen:

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