Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

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Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

I am what I assume is about halfway through Uncharted 3, and right off the bat I can say with absolute confidence that it's the best-looking game that's ever been made. Naughty Dog must have had the 10-year old graphic artists in their south Asian sweatshops working overtime. I've literally spent minutes standing still absorbing the scenery, wondering how you'd even begin to employ this much detail both in modelling and texture and somehow make it all come together in the final product. It must be a mind-boggling undertaking. There's so much inconsequential beauty tucked into literally every corner it seems like a waste to dash through it all. I've never been to Colombia or Yemen, but now I'm afraid if I ever visit them, I'll only be disappointed.

Production values aside, the story is slow to get going. The early scenarios are kind of patchwork, like, "This is cool, but what does it have to do with anything?" It looks like the narrative is finally starting to come together into a more coherent trajectory, so hopefully it'll stick to it.

So far it's good and fun - shit, the scenery alone has already made it worth the price, I think - but it doesn't feel like I've done much I didn't already do in the first two. But even Uncharted 2's best stuff was mostly in the second half, so we'll see how it goes. Also, spiders are not scary.

Has anyone tried it in 3D? My TV supports it - barely - but it's such a crosstalky mess I haven't used it since I first powered it on. Does it look good on a TV with 3D that works? (If such a thing has been accomplished yet?)


Also, while we're on the topic of second sequels, how's Mass Effect 3? It's in the mail, but I hope it arrives while I've still got time to play it. (I don't know for how many years I had to import most of my games from Japan, and now that I finally get here...)

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Delphine »

ME3 is pretty good if you don't play the last twenty minutes.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Popcorn »

I liked Uncharted 3, but U2 is better. U3 seems rushed (or maybe it suffered from having that zombie apocalypse game being developed simultaneously). No, the story is not going to come together. It is a sloppy mess and characters just disappear, unused. The final act is just a repeat of U2's. A lot of the problems don't become apparent until the final chunk of the game, though. I wish devs would stop putting horse bits in their games unless they're absolutely confident they can make it better than Shadow of the Colossus's.

I'm also still wrestling philosophically with how scripted it is. I maintain Valve are still the masters of this kind of thing, but... well, in U2 you can see the strings, but in U3 they actually trip you up. I had to attempt a few sequences several times because I didn't manage to exactly guess the next stage direction in the script. "Cut! You weren't supposed to touch that! Do it again." The other games have this too, but never to this frustrating extent. At one point, in the escape from the museum guards as Young Nate, one of the guards managed to 'tag' me, but I glitched out of it, or they didn't properly grab me, or something, and I was able to keep playing momentarily and escape - but the game was already fading to black, game over, try again. And in that horse sequence, I had to replay a long stretch five or six times just because I was attempting to jump onto the final vehicle from the wrong side, even though there was nothing to communicate it was the wrong side and looked no different from the correct side.

It is not the absolute best-looking game that's ever been made. Not unless you think texture detail is the only measure of beauty. I mean, don't get me wrong, the whole French chateau bit of U3 had me stunned me, and I'm not gonna say it's ugly, but as I said in the Journey thread, these days I find this sort of thing has a ceiling to it. It bothers me how no matter how good the graphics in Uncharted 3, it still has tiny things you have to forgive, tiny hiccups of animation and... the fact that none of it's real? The thing is that with a nice, abstracted style, you can set your own limitations, you're never having to 'one-up' anything to make the sand look even more like sand. Journey's sand looks a lot better, anyway.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

ME3 is pretty good if you don't play the last twenty minutes.
Why is that? Is the ending anti-climactic? Ridiculous? Both?


Also: http://dol.dengeki.com/pr/masseffect3/comic/01/ キタ━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━ !!!!!

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Cuckooguy »

I hate Syria and kinda dislike Graveyard but I really like the Chateau and the Cruise Ship. I am also in awe of the detail, as these areas I just mentioned feel like they have a history to them that they never have to explain and you only go through these rooms for like 10 seconds if you're rushing through them, such as the weaving room, the library, the ballroom, an alchemy lab, etc. etc. with objects that normally no one would care to look at unless they're the kind of person who bothers to examine these things. It's like these rooms have their own story to tell that you base on its objects and aesthetics.

But, the story is pretty substandard, and I've played the game 100+ times and could afford the time to point out its nitpicky shortcomings, such as Sully why the fuck during the Horse Chase did you jump onto that other vehicle with the Brute on it when you already had full control of that vehicle that you just knocked out all those thugs are you retarded or Nate why the hell are you traversing that duct in the cargo plane when you're trying to stowaway what were you hoping to accomplish it would've been better to stay put dumbass, and the thugs are stupidly relentless, there were no times in the previous Uncharteds where even though you're in a burning building or a crumbling ancient city an airplane that just exploded or a sinking ship where the thugs would still try to kill you even though it was likely they would die themselves from the environment, Marlowe must pay them well, I especially laughed at the guy who is hanging on for dear life after falling out of the plane and still tries to shoot Drake. The bonus materials also admit that the levels and scenarios were made before they were strung to a story.

I do like Charlie Cutter, he's my favorite character, I just love the chemistry between him and Drake and how they are kinda similar but are also foils to eachother. They kinda act like bickering child brothers. I am disappointed they wrote him out of the game about halfway through.

I have played the game in 3d. (And in 20+ different languages, not necessarily all in 3d, just in general). I've tried both Active and Passive 3d, and multiple Active TVs of varying quality. I used to think Passive TVs were better because there was no eyestrain and the Active TV made my eyes want to fall out after prolonged exposure even if the quality/resolution on the Passive TV was lower, but the 3d TV that comes in a PlayStation 3 bundle is actually really really good (I don't know if said bundle is still for sale), it feels like that particular TV was tailored for 3d gaming! You can even tilt your head on this Active 3d TV! Game looks very nice in 3d if I do say so myself, but in the end it's just the game, but in 3d.

Overall, it's still a good game, there are some sequences that are amazing, but it's not as good as 2 mostly because the story never comes together.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Cuckooguy »

Fun fact: In the Japanese version of Uncharted 3, there is a bug at the very end where during the part where Talbot gains the advantage on Nate and is slowly about to pierce Nate's throat with his knife, Sully continually shoots Talbot in this QTE, Talbot's blood spewing out from every shot but not flinching as if nothing is bothering him as he tries to kill Drake, making Talbot seem superhuman. Though it's hard to notice unless you're paying attention, this bug is a result of Sully holding 2 handguns in the same hand, a bug not present in any other version of the game. This bug has never been fixed, not even by patches.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

but the 3d TV that comes in a PlayStation 3 bundle is actually really really good
Really? What TV is that? I assume it would be a Bravia if it comes bundled with a PS3 (though didn't Sony also release a small, PlayStation-branded 3D TV?). I'm using a 40" 2011 Bravia, which are actually reputed to have bad 3D and I knew that before I bought it, but I wasn't really looking at that when considering and then when they went on sale for 50,000 yen I snapped one up. I figured as long as the feature was there I might as well give it a try, but now I think I just wasted 6000 yen on those glasses.
I have played the game in 3d. (And in 20+ different languages, not necessarily all in 3d, just in general). I've tried both Active and Passive 3d, and multiple Active TVs of varying quality.
How did you achieve all this?

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Cuckooguy »

I found the bundle, at least on a Best Buy site: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+Comput ... Id=2891051, the 3d quality is great but the size of the tv, 24", you can make of what you will of it.
How did you achieve all this?
I'd like to think I've dropped hints at my occupation in various parts of the forum, but my workplace has a ton of TVs of varying brands types and sizes and all regions that the game has been released in needs to be tested (Uncharted 3 was released in 5 regions). It's also where I learned that there are different kinds of 3d tvs! Was nice when I brang in Child of Eden and played it in 3d.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Cuckooguy »

That PlayStation branded TV I think lacks a computer monitor port or a composite video port so you can't really hook up a computer or Wii to it, I don't think, unless you use component video. It's extremely limited compared to other HDTVs in how many things can be hooked up to it (well I guess it can hook up a 360, a PS3, and a Wii to it, but if you don't need more versatility you're good to go) so its only strength (which it does extremely well) is the 3d quality is the best I've seen yet, probably not worth it for that alone, I would probably bide my time for 3d to improve further and becomes more standardized, but I'm a cheapskate and don't know your money spending habits other than you probably spend on stuff you probably shouldn't be spending it on for your collection in your closet, which I guess means go ahead!

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Cuckooguy »

Okay after researching a bit it turns out this TV was never released with a PS3 bundle, just that there was a PlayStation branded 3d TV, I think the word bundle threw me off and made me assume it would be bundled with the PS3, which it isn't, it's bundled with 3d glasses and MotorStorm. Whoops!

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

Yeah, that's the PS-branded TV. Supposedly it has a dual-screen feature where two people can play sitting at different angles and see completely different pictures. Apparently it's aimed at gamers without much space or money, but the price is still pretty high for such a small screen... I eventually need to get one anyway for collection's sake, but even if I buy one, I may never use it.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

Just finished it. It kind of felt easier than the first two - this is actually the first one I cleared on Normal mode...
The bonus materials also admit that the levels and scenarios were made before they were strung to a story.
This actually explains a lot. It kind of feels like the whole game was built around that one bad decision and no amount of polish could quite bring it together.

As I feared when the game was first announced, it feels less like they wanted to make it and more like they had to, straining against constipation to pop out whatever scattered nuggets of brilliance they could within a 2-year time limit. It's still good - despite the shortcomings, I can honestly say I enjoyed myself amost every step of the way, and I can't emphasize enough how amazingly beautiful it is - but it really isn't as good as the second one. I doubt I'll play the next one, though I suppose when they make that they'll need a new hero or a "reboot" from a different studio or whatever it is they do to grease the franchise wheels.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Popcorn »

I did actually play it on my 3DTV, but no matter how many options I fiddled with, the damn thing refused to display in 3D. So, uh.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Esrever »

I thought it was really revealing that the flimsier, incoherent story was enough to tank Uncharted 3 for me. I enjoyed the environments and gameplay well enough on my first playthrough, but I've never had the slightest desire to go back and see any of it again. Conversely, the second title is one of my favourite games.

Uncharted really is one of those all-or-nothing titles. Maybe it's just because the whole thing has always been a little style over substance, but what definitely makes it great is how everything -- story, gameplay, environment -- comes together into such a short but quintessential experience. 3 didn't come together at all, and for me, that completely sucked the power out of a lot of the more impresive setpieces.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Delphine »

Green Gibbon! wrote:
ME3 is pretty good if you don't play the last twenty minutes.
Why is that? Is the ending anti-climactic? Ridiculous? Both?
Both. Without spoiling too much, there are three "options" to end the game with, which have absolutely nothing to do with any of the choices you've made over the three games and are entirely arbitrary, and the ending sequence after each of the choices is basically the same. It's also non-sensical and basically one giant plot-hole.

Everything else leading up to it is pretty great, though. The atmosphere is appropriately grim, the stakes are higher, the facial animation is better, the combat is... an improvement, I suppose? That's not saying much, but I play Vanguard so I don't really need guns anyway. Most of the romance plot-lines come to a satisfying conclusion, and there are legitimate queer options now instead of just the "mono-gendered" blue alien with breasts. A lot of minor characters pop back up that you wouldn't think you'd see again. The world feels more real.

If it weren't for the cop-out ending I'd have nothing bad to say about it.
Also: http://dol.dengeki.com/pr/masseffect3/comic/01/ キタ━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━ !!!!!
I... have no idea what's going on, but I think I like it!

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

There's a class in Mass Effect that doesn't involve shooting? Isn't that like a class in Mario that doesn't involve jumping? I guess you wouldn't know then, but I'm wondering if the combat is more like the first or the second. I thought the first one was too complicated but the second was too shallow.

Also, how's the multiplayer? I never (ever) do multiplayer, even in games I really like, but I understand it actually has some bearing on the single-player campaign?

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Post by Senbei »

Not in an interesting way. The idea is that when you beat a multiplayer map, it ups the galaxy's readiness to take on the Reapers in the single-player finale. This is represented by a percentage: you start at 50% and gain something like 5% percent for beating a map. There's something about "promoting" a multiplayer character and sending it into the single-player game, but I don't understand it yet -- I assume it just ups the military score that you accumulate in single-player.

What's fun about multiplayer is getting to play as other races and classes. Currently, I am quite enjoying my Carnifex-equipped krogan soldier. Otherwise, I suppose it's a pretty standard horde-mode scenario. Hard as fuck, too, unless you have a good team, which playing with strangers will net you about 20% of the time.

Combat is the same as ME2 (haven't played 1, so I dunno), except for the heavy melee attack, which is useful for close-quarters and dangerously addictive to me. Far too often have I died trying to melee my way through a group of baddies.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Delphine »

I was being mostly sarcastic. A properly levelled/equipped Vanguard rarely needs to resort to her shotgun. Charge + Nova + heavy melee + roll the fuck away before than Banshee one-shots you, repeat.

The available endings are based on your Effective Military Strength, which is in turn effected by multiplayer.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

This may be a stupid question, but is there a way to switch between combat and explore modes in the field? It seems like I remember being able to manually put my guns away in ME 1 and 2, but now Shepard's always in over-the-shoulder "aim" mode, which is a clunky and unnatural way to traverse an environment. Is there some combination of buttons I'm supposed to press to have my crew chill the fuck out?

I'm trying it with the Kinect voice commands. I have a habit of talking to myself when playing games, which I knew already, but I had no idea how bad it was until the third or fourth time Shepard threw a grenade based on some random observation such as "Why is this box flashing?" or "Why is not letting me pick up this ammo?" I actually think the voice commands could be a really useful and natural way to control teammates in combat, but so far that's been completely unnecessary and that's one of the issues I had with Mass Effect 2 - unlike the original, where the entire team was part of the battle strategy, in ME2 you could basically ignore your comrades except for having to waste some Medi-Gel on them now and again. It seems like nothing's changed.

Also, unlike the second which slowly weans you back into the narrative and game mechanics, this one starts in full throttle. Major events like (not much spoiler here since they happen right away, but) Reapers invading Earth and Ashley (or I assume Kaidan) returning happen before you've had a chance to re-establish that connection with the game world, so it just seems like too much too fast. Shit, I hadn't even remembered what "Eden Prime" was and already I'm making mushy love talk with Liara in the middle of the goddamn battlefield. This is all good and well, but jeez, it's been two years since I played ME2, give me a chance to get my bearings.



I also started Rayman Origins. (It's been years since I've played this many games in such rapid succession.) It's fun (and actually a good deal more forgiving than the demo had led me to believe), but this off-the-wall sense of humor is A) ill-suited to the lush (and otherwise gorgeous) art style, and B) not funny in the first place. The game is solid and graphically very impressive, but there's such a disconnect between all of that and the direction it's hard to care much about any of it. It doesn't feel like Rayman.

Also, I was under the impression this was meant to be a prequel?

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Post by Senbei »

What really bugs me about being in the field is that there is loot to find if you explore, but everything else discourages you from doing so. The constant over-the-shoulder view, the forward-driving level design, the exciting music, the supposedly time-sensitive goal of every mission, your teammates telling you to haul ass -- these all insist that you get to the goal as fast as possible. Oh but wait guys there might be a shotgun upgrade in this closet. There's also at least one mission where they drop extra enemies on you as a penalty for taking too long.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

So there's no way to switch out of battle posture in missions? Gay. Why in the world would they have taken that out?

Also, despite the tweaks, the graphics engine is definitely showing its age. Did anyone else here play L.A. Noire? That game had ups and downs, but the facial motion capture was incredible and completely believable, and I haven't seen it used anywhere since.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by CM August »

That game probably spoiled you somewhat. I was under the impression that Noire's facial system is where like half the budget went, being an incredibly expensive and time-consuming feature which required all sorts of tricks to work right. Probably the only reason we got something like that at all is because reading people's expressions was a huge point of the game.

No doubt the rest of the industry will catch up to it, but it's still at least a few years off.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Crisis »

I just played the Rayman Origins demo. It doesn't feel much like Rayman, but then none of the sequels really felt much like the original game. What happened to the original Rayman team? They made one really great game, a level editor, a bunch of edutainment remakes, and then the next game was a 3D platformer pretty much entirely divorced from the first game. I really liked the first Rayman so I've always been kind of disappointed that they never returned to the original's aesthetic.

As for Origins, it was ok. Looks like the kind of game that benefits from having friends to play it with. Not very funny, but colourful and cute. The demo seemed easier than the first game, which admittedly isn't saying much.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

No doubt the rest of the industry will catch up to it, but it's still at least a few years off.
Did they create the technology from the ground up themselves? Certainly that must've been extremely expensive, but now that the technology exists, can't they license it out more cheaply to other companies? It would never have been worth the investment if they didn't plan to do that. Photorealistic styles are never going to escape the uncanny valley without it or some analogue of it.

Also, holy shit, but that reporter chick camping out in my hull is UGLY.

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Re: Who left all these propane tanks lying around anyway?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

What happened to the original Rayman team?
I don't know about the "team", but weren't both the original and sequel directed by Michel Ancel? But then he wasn't involved in the third one (which wasn't as good) because he was making Beyond Good and Evil which was great but nobody played it and then he was going to make another Rayman game with rabbits but the project was taken out of his hands and it became a party game and then he made a tech demo of Beyond Good and Evil 2 and everyone got really excited but it never happened and then he made Rayman Origins which is what we're playing right now and even though I don't like the art direction, it is a good game. I think that's all correct, isn't it? Oh yeah, and he made a King Kong game somewhere in there, too, but I never played it.

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