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Old 03-11-2013, 11:42 PM   #876
Vance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Uh, could you point me to a technical document that says these same things, using these words or close?

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com...ion-three1.htm

Like I said, it's a very weird set-up. Each core has a memory cache on it which is used to boost performance of that core. Unfortunately that memory can only be accessed when you're invoking the core for processing... so you ship it from the main 256MB layout to the 256K (big difference, yes) for a seperate process to handle.

Pain in the ass, really. This was one big issue Bethesda Softworks constantly ran into in their engine, which was designed around linear memory addressing rather than making a 'virtual block' for their database (which can easily can fit into 256Ks block for shifting around). Thinking of memory in 'modules' like that is so early 1990s that most developers have difficulty getting their heads around it now.

Sony apparently went to Bethesda Softworks in person to get their database engine handled in this kind of block, allowing for Skyrim's addons to finally be available.

Console-primary developers, though, have had that limitation all along. This is why the 'we can't handle the archetecture' arguments come most notably from formerly PC-only developers (like Bioware and Bethesda Softworks) who have enjoyed linear memory addressing since the advent of Windows 95 or DOS 6.

(All of this dates me pretty well, using 64K modules was ingained in me for a long time...)
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:16 AM   #877
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Pardon us, 'Hachi. We will resume our regular programming in a more comprehensible language within moments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com...ion-three1.htm

Like I said, it's a very weird set-up. Each core has a memory cache on it which is used to boost performance of that core. Unfortunately that memory can only be accessed when you're invoking the core for processing... so you ship it from the main 256MB layout to the 256K (big difference, yes) for a seperate process to handle.
Uh... this describes the architecture of the PS3 CPU. I've been talking all time about its general RAM, which is a wholly different component. You know, this compared to this? (Yes, I know those are PC components. But PS3 has equivalents.)

Yes, the CPU on a PS3 is a bit unorthodox when compared to more common CPUs (which, incidentally, also have memory caches so nothing revolutionary there), but its design with its 256KB- cache per core still has no bearing to the capacity of the separate Random-Access Memory - which is said 256MB, adequate in 2007, laughably small in the current decade.

Seriously, I thought that a tech-savvy person could easily make out the difference by looking at the abbreviations used. KB stands for a kilobyte, MB for a megabyte, which would seriously be one monster of a cache built within a CPU, even more so if there were multiple for each core. Computers 101 stuff, really.

Last edited by Finn : 03-12-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:35 AM   #878
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I don't know anything about those gadget's I'm just a dumb guitar player my good sir
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:50 AM   #879
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
The PS3 is actually still insanely powerful for a console..

See: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, God of War III & Ascension, and other latter day exclusives. Between the consoles, it was obviously the more powerful of the three. It even holds its own when up against modern PC rigs as is evidenced by this Tomb Raider comparison video. It requires the developer to pay attention to the PS3's architecture.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurhachi1991
I don't know anything about those gadgets. I'm just a dumb guitar player my good sir

Prepare for a life of employment @ the House of Mouse (that was inspired by a rabbit). I have found Digital Foundry to be a very good place to start over the years. They do an excellent job at breaking things down if you're willing to invest the time and attention.

*-If you can find the video of Drake's Deception running @ sixty frames per second, do so. It's spectacular.

And if anybody is interested, DF's breakdown of the PS4's specifications is worth a read. Especially this bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Foundry
From an engineering perspective, it's a remarkable achievement. Sony itself doesn't fabricate memory, it buys from major suppliers who advertise the parts available months (sometimes years) ahead of delivery, so we have a decent idea of what options the platform holders have on the table in creating their next-gen systems. The GDDR5 memory modules - the same used in PC graphics cards - are only available in certain configurations, with the densest option available offering 512MB per module. The startling reality is that unless Sony has somehow got access to a larger chip that isn't yet in mass production and that nobody knows about, it has crammed 16 memory modules onto its PS4 motherboard. To illustrate the extent of the achievement, Nvidia's $1000 graphics card - the GeForce Titan - offers "just" 6GB of onboard GDDR5.



IN other news, I opted to forgo the latest Sim City given the insistence on the "always on-line" aspect, and the incredibly dismal launch. Instead, I opted for the perennially popular Tropico series. Haemimont & Kalypso have done a great job in moving the series forward, and being able to pick up the entire fourth outing including all the DLC for ten bucks is a fantastic deal.

I've acquired an interest in civic & urban planning over the years, and I like to see how well my own plans in urban development come about. The minutia of Sim City (no power & sewer lines to monitor) is noticeably absent, but everything else is on equal footing. Plus, El Presidente Por Viva is so much better than Mayor.

In addition to Tropico 4: Modern Times I've added Tomb Raider and God of War: Ascension to the ever growing backlog. Fortunately, there are only two more titles of note until October.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Uh... this describes the architecture of the PS3 CPU. I've been talking all time about its general RAM, which is a wholly different component.

Yes, but the PS3 was designed to blast 'chunks' of RAM into each core, which is how Intel's CELL structure works. THAT is the stumbling block most developers run into. To do it effectively you have to take a 256K block out of your main memory and blast it to a core. If you're doing your coding expecting full linearity ... well, you get issues like Skyrim.

It's possible to open up a core just to use the 256K for other purposes, of course. As I said, when used for graphics that amount is laughably small, but most games' DATABASE code will come to far less than that (or at least SHOULD with good design).

Quote:
Computers 101 stuff, really.

I already admitted to mistyping that one...
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #881
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Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
It even holds its own when up against modern PC rigs as is evidenced by this Tomb Raider comparison video.
Not really. It's hard to make it out thanks to the YouTube compression, but texture work is still noticeably crisper on PC. From the same Digital Foundry article, take a look at this and this to see the difference. Pay mind especially to the bones in the foreground. On HD resolutions, the difference doesn't really need to be pointed out.

There's a notable upside for PC in physics rendering too, something you can see from the video. Just watch Lara's hair on any closeup.


Regardless, it IS impressive that PS3 can do this stuff even as well as it does. The way its design has stood the test of time is still worth a hefty round of applause.

---

I've never been one for city-builders, but I did play Tropico 3 a couple of years back and remember enjoying it. I liked especially how it allows the player to decide how far into micromanagement one wishes to go. You can try and figure out how to keep a single citizen happy, or just control the big picture (which means mainly the flow of income).

---

And Hitman Absolution continues to be a true self-regulating challenge, giving me a great, compelling treatment.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:50 PM   #882
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I can see the difference between the pc and the PS3 but not enough of a difference to drop serious cash on building a gaming pc. It's cool you can see Laura's hair move but that isn't worth the price tag if you ask me.



I am currently playing God of War: Ascension and it looks wonderful
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:16 AM   #883
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Originally Posted by Nurhachi1991
I am currently playing God of War: Ascension and it looks wonderful

In the nearly ten-years since the God of War series has graced the world with its presence, I have yet to read an article that mentioned the semi-obscure fact that Kratos is Greek for 'power', and of the two root words of "democracy". The other being Demos or 'People' amongst other definitions. It would have been quite amusing if his brother was Demos, instead of Deimos.

In other news, five new screenshots from Assassin's Creed IV have found their way on-line.



Judging by the architecture, I'm going to say that this is Havana. Looks great overall, but the dual-wielding really gets on my nerves. Even more than the damn hood. Forget about balancing issues for a moment, but the second sword serves no purpose that, say, a dagger or boarding axe/hatchet/tomahawk would excel at. It's that brutal utility of CQB that I really enjoyed about Assassin's Creed III, and hoped that they would carry it over into a new outing. Time will tell, of course, but I hope you aren't limited to a pair of cutlasses.

Note: A fully crewed galleon would number ~200 souls. The time it would take Capt. Kenway to complete a maneuver would open him up to any number of pike thrusts, pistol shots, stab wounds, etc.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:41 PM   #884
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Played through Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Now playing Tomb Raider, with the new God of War next.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:51 PM   #885
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Now playing Tomb Raider...
Being friends with Lara Croft isn't a pleasant prospect...

I'm curious how it compares with Uncharted.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:13 PM   #886
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:01 AM   #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
I think I saw an article in some game magazine where Tim Schafer used to talk about this stuff. He said that game budgets bloat easily if one concentrates too much on the so-called external production values, ie. stuff that don't directly concern the people directly involved in the technical aspects of creating a game.

I thought we'd step back into costs for a moment, because of this comment regarding CD Projekt Red's forthcoming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It seems that Skyrim is the new gold standard, and the Poles are looking to topple it in terms of size and depth. But...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurogamer
The Witcher 3 will have a 20 per cent bigger world than Skyrim's. But if Bethesda can't hand-craft all of its quests with a budget of $85 million, a team of 90, years of open world experience and a development time of three-and-a-half years, how will CD Projekt Red be able to?

Full article here.

Where does it go? $85-million is still a very healthy budget for a Hollywood flick. And a movie production has significantly more moving parts than a video game where -- at the end of the day -- it's still a bunch of guys n' gals manipulating pixels on a screen. Even if you're paying everybody a hundred grand a that's still only $9-million a year. Voice acting couldn't have cost anywhere near that much. While renting out a full orchestra is expensive, I doubt it ran into the several millions.

Now with God of War: Ascension hitting the street, the word is getting 'round that Sony spent $44-million just developing the damn engine. Money is lavished on R&D in every industry, but that seems insanely high for a single game engine.

Grand Theft Auto V is rumored to have a budget north of $137-million! To put it into comparison, The Avengers was lavished with a ~$200-million budget. Rockstar's music licensing fees and voice acting/production costs can't be that high.

If these are the kinds of numbers publishers are throwing at developers, no wonder they want the tried and true annual installment. Assuming those costs don't include marketing, then holy crap. The entire industry of AAA-games is going to implode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Maybe I'm just too much of a gamer, but I don't really see why somebody who likes to play them would acquire a title simply because they happened to catch an ad or two or three somewhere. Or even become aware of its existence.

Advertising works. Using myself as an example, I would have never picked up Sleeping Dogs if it wasn't for that live-action trailer. It really set the tone that United Front was going for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Another thing Mr. Schafer mentioned was garnering attention by using big-name actors to provide voices. I can see why that would be a waste. They demand more salary while not essentially even delivering a good performance because they aren't experienced in acting by using their vocal cords alone. And their marketing value is dubious as well.

Agreed. This is rather commonplace in the animation industry when the sharp pencil boys insist a known quantity be cast in a significant role. See: Madagascar, Hop, Cars, and nearly everything from the late nineties. The marketing quickly becomes about who's in what role, and how they're so-o happy to be part of something their kids can see. It all gets quite irritating.

On another note, I don't usually talk about my so-called Gamerscore, but I was quite pleased to see this finally pop. It's only taken some three-odd years of playing to earn one.

Yes, legend.  Je suis un legende.

Though, all of these costs certainly explain why nobody can afford to live in San Francisco unless you're in the tech/financial industry.

In a final bit of exciting news, the launch date for the final two story-based DLCs for Dishonored were announced today.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Computer and Video Games
The Knife of Dunwall: After assassinating the Empress, and of mercenary assassins, your search will take you through never-before-seen districts of Dunwall as you face off against new and terrible foes. Employ a unique arsenal that enhances Dishonored's dynamic combat, mobility and stealth systems. In the struggle to hang onto the last shred of your humanity, the choices you make will ultimately determine your fate.

New Powers, Weapons and Gadgets: The mark of the Outsider empowers you with unique supernatural abilities. Call upon the Whalers to assist in combat with 'Summon Assassin', track down hidden Runes and Bone Charms with 'Void Gaze' and learn to use new variations to powers, including 'Blink'.To aid in your dangerous exploits your customized arsenal of weapons and gadgets will include Chokedust to daze your enemies, whale oil powered Stun Mines to shock your targets, and a concealed Wristbow to launch sleep darts and explosive bolts.

Explore More of Dunwall: Make your way through the Legal District and infiltrate the Rothwild Slaughterhouse, a steaming factory filled with colossal whale carcasses and their hulking butchers.Revisit the decaying Flooded District, the location of Daud's hidden base, first seen in the original game. Return to the scenes of key events in Dishonored with a new perspective, including the fateful moment that sets off Corvo's journey.

Choose Your Path: On your search for answers, approach each mission with your own style. Your redemption - or your turn towards darkness- depends on your skills and the decisions you make.Discover the mystery behind Delilah in this stand-alone chapter, and then conclude Daud's story in the upcoming final add-on, The Brigmore Witches.

No further information on The Brigmore Witches was offered, but the full article can be read here.

Last edited by Le Saboteur : 03-14-2013 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:25 PM   #888
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Stardock is currently offering Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition (which includes the base game and both expansions) through Steam for $9.99 rather than the usual $19.99 (at least that's what the email I recently received from Stardock stated).

Despite being a few years old, the game still looks great (incorporating the graphical and gameplay upgrades initially included in the expansions) and plays really well even with Windows 8. It even has the option to scale properly for current 1920x1080 resolution monitors.

Anyone else here still playing it?


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Old 03-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #889
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Question



Here is the list of available games to choose from:
  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition



Which one should I choose?


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Old 03-18-2013, 06:40 PM   #890
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  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition) - An excellent multiplayer shooter, SP campaign not worth it.
  • Bejeweled 3 - Rather cute little puzzler, but might not wish to waste your ticket for a $5 game.
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition) - Decent scifi/horror shooter. Might feel lost on the plot if you haven't played the previous two.
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition) - Probably most bang for the buck, but plot considerations apply even more than with Dead Space 3.
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition) - Avoid. Period.
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition) - A solid racing game, I hear. Good choice if you like the genre.
  • Plants vs. Zombies - Another puzzler. Need to consider the same thing as with Bejeweled 3.
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition - Since you got the ticket as SimCity 5 compensation, I'm guessing you already have this one. But if you don't, I'd say it's the one to go for.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:08 PM   #891
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:04 AM   #892
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It certainly didn't take long for a gameplay trailer for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag to make its public debut.



They also didn't waste any time in announcing the European Special Editions. Not surprisingly, the really good ones come in a chest-like container. Which will, unfortunately, end up being cardboard painted to resemble wood.

The Black Chest Edition



The Buccaneer Edition



The Skull Edition



The Not So Special Edition



Full descriptions and larger images can be found here.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:15 PM   #893
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Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
It certainly didn't take long for a gameplay trailer for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag to make its public debut.
The release schedule they're having with this one still creeps me out. Ubi has of course done enough entries to the franchise by now that they don't really have to build every nut and bolt from scratch - far from it - but I still think that what we're going to have on our hands come the holidays is merely a good game, rather than a truly great one.

---

Now, since we're in the topic of seemingly great games...



Meet Elizabeth. Apparently she is one of the most lifelike digital personalities to ever grace our screens.

I feel a little ashamed that I forgot BioShock Infinite from my list of games to look forward to, given how it was, according to the previews at least, laden with the magic substance called "innovation" that certainly has the knack for grabbing my attention.

Haven't played it yet, but it's on the platter all right. And the hivemind going absolutely crazy over it isn't exactly a thwarting attribute either. I don't think I've seen this many 10s since Half-Life 2. So if any of you guys get to Columbia before me... make sure to come and tell us whether you think it's worth them.

---

I finished Hitman: Absolution last night. I have to say, it was one of the more unique experiences I've had in a while. It's strange. I could pinpoint quite a handful of obvious flaws or lesser things that may have used improvement, but the game had very unusual charm that stopped me from paying too much mind to them.

The story elements and setting went to the range of unorthodox as well, even if we take the earlier installments of the franchise into account. In one sentence, I might say that this is the closest I've ever come to seeing a Tarantino movie turned to video game.

I guess what held me onto it in the end was all the potential it showed, despite missing a few notes. In that sense it was actually bit like the first entry to the series, Codename 47. That one also had so much unique and refreshing ideas despite frustrating the heck out of the player more than once. Yet, IO turned almost every miss to a bullseye with the superb Silent Assassin. So if this rejuvenation of the franchise represented their baby steps into a new direction, the prospects of the next Hitman game being something truly special have just gone through the roof.

---

I'll now go and close the lid on Sleeping Dogs since the final DLC packs are out (have to applaud the publisher here for keeping them reasonably priced, btw). Though I'm not yet sure where from there. I was initially thinking Far Cry 3 once I'm done with Wei's adventures in Hong Kong, but I recently got hold of the new Tomb Raider and Dead Space 3 so it's all open again. It'd kinda feel nice to actually play a fresh acquisition instead of just adding it to the backlog. So... to parts unknown, regardless.

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:30 PM   #894
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I've recently beaten Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Now on to AC3 (finally). I've played and beaten AC2, Brotherhood, and Revelations since repurchasing my PS3 the beginning of November. That has to be a new personal record for me. Really liking AC3 so far. I'm about 5 hrs in to the game. Conner is just becoming aware of the Creed and the part he will play in it. Wow the Frontier is really overwhelming once you start running around in it. Maybe I'll beat 3 in time for me to play 4 with the rest of the world instead of months later...

---

For Metal Gear Solid fans, here's the new trailer for the recently announced Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.



We can now confirm that Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain are the same game. And supposedly David Hayter will not be doing the voice of Snake this time.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:20 PM   #895
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:04 AM   #896
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You know, G, that game looks utterly fascinating. Wouldn't mind trying it out one day.

However, the point of this very thread is that we could every once in a while hear some of your own thoughts about it, instead of just having you relay others'. With what you're currently doing, you don't leave much room for dialogue.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:46 PM   #897
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
It certainly didn't take long for a gameplay trailer for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag to make its public debut.



They also didn't waste any time in announcing the European Special Editions. Not surprisingly, the really good ones come in a chest-like container. Which will, unfortunately, end up being cardboard painted to resemble wood.

The Black Chest Edition



The Buccaneer Edition



The Skull Edition



The Not So Special Edition



Full descriptions and larger images can be found here.


I'm getting so sick of the collectors edition having a plastic statue in it....

Not to mention I don't like how the main character doesn't look like a pirate at all....
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:34 AM   #898
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
The release schedule they're having with this one still creeps me out. Ubi has of course done enough entries to the franchise by now that they don't really have to build every nut and bolt from scratch - far from it - but I still think that what we're going to have on our hands come the holidays is merely a good game, rather than a truly great one.

There's a picture on the franchise's Facebook page of the main studio in Montreal; a quick scan indicates that there's at least two-hundred(!) folks involved in Black Flag's core team. With a reported 8 studios on the muster list, it isn't hard to imagine that a thousand people are working to dutifully churn this thing out in a timely manner! Nuts!

The point: They certainly are throwing enough bodies at this project to have it succeed. I do share your overall concern, though; except, my main issue is they cock up a really appealing pirate adventure with the nonsensical meta narrative the series has come to be known for. As a scholar and historian of absolutely no regard, I appreciate the series' appreciation of history; but everything else is entirely superfluous.

---
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Meet Elizabeth. Apparently she is one of the most lifelike digital personalities to ever grace our screens.

The hive mind certainly is climbing over each other to heap praise upon The Thrilling Adventures of Booker Dewitt & the Handyman. Oh, and there's a girl too!

Kidding.

The System Shock series was never on my radar. Beyond the vague knowledge of a giant robot and a little girl, I couldn't tell you anything about it. Was I playing games when it came out? I don't remember. Anyway, I've been paying casual attention to Bioshock Infinite's promotional campaign, but the nagging sensation of being burned by the Millennial wish-fulfillment that was Far Cry 3, I'm leery about picking up another FPS.

This, however, is a cool commercial. The art direction is generally spectacular.



Fin de siècle America and its Progressive Era bookend is a fascinating time in American history. So I'm glad to see the time period being explored in whatever medium, but I'd rather see a movie of the game's events.

I was flipping through a copy of The Art of Bioshock Infinite @ WonderCon over the weekend, and I continue to be impressed in the visual aspect of the game.

To anybody else interested in the game, be very careful when trolling the 'net for videos and reviews and commentary. A collection of 'tards have already blown through the game and feel the need to talk about it in the various comment sections.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
And to not simply throw true and tried IPs out there, I guess there's this:

Capcom had a demo (and flew in the producers for a signing) on the floor @ WonderCon. I didn't see much open world exploration on display; rather, it was a lot of corridor & arena-like gameplay you see in Uncharted. Visually speaking, it looks great. The animation is very fluid. I'll be curious to see more, but it looks like a miss for me @ this point in time.

Now, this on the other hand was some of the best news from last week.



DuckTales! I really don't remember the original (now Maui Mallard & QuackShots on the other hand...), but this highly anticipated. Played a demo this past weekend, and the hand drawn animation is gorgeous, and the voice acting never misses a beat. This'll be first full game I've ever downloaded onto my PS3.

I pumped a tonne of quarters into Capcom's beat 'em ups over the years. Probably none more so than the two Dungeons & Dragons games they put out. Now Capcom is re-releasing them in one bundle with updated graphics and other assorted bells n' whistles.



I haven't played anything recently. Sly 2: Band of Thieves remains about halfway completed.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #899
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at the moment I'm playing FIFA Street 4.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:05 AM   #900
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at the moment I'm playing FIFA Street 4.
And what do you think about it?
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