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Wiper

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About Wiper

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    100% correct opinions

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    Being objectively right about absolutely everything.

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  1. Wiper

    Resonance of fate

    Will rebuy.
  2. Wiper

    Steam

    I avoided Steam for a good while, the Always Online thing making it utterly unusable to me in my university days, not to mention my laptop was about as far from a games machine as could be imagined at the time. The game that finally got me to give in and get steam was a doozy though: 20 May, 2007 - X-COM: Terror from the Deep In fact, my first couple of years of Steam use were effectively just repurchases of games I already owned plus some indie titles: 27 Mar, 2009 - Ubisoft Classics Pack 21 Mar, 2009 - Oddworld Abes Oddysee and Exoddus 16 Mar, 2009 - Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble* 6 Feb, 2009 - Mount and Blade 11 Oct, 2008 - Peggle Deluxe 5 Sep, 2008 - X-Com: UFO Defense 5 Sep, 2008 - X-Com 3: Apocalypse 10 Jul, 2008 - Trials 2: Second Edition 6 Jul, 2008 - Audiosurf 20 May, 2007 - X-COM: Terror from the Deep *despite the unfortunate name, this is actually a nifty little pseudo-boardgame thing, not a weird porn thing
  3. Wiper

    The Miniatures Appreciation Thread

    I'm glad to have been of assistance I had a couple of spare evenings as Jo's been visiting her mother this weekend, so I got the rest of the Red Veil starter pack painted to a basic degree. I had fun with the Ghulams, who I painted as quick testers, and set myself the task of painting using only shades of brown, discounting the guns (which I later went over in non-metallics, as I didn't like the way they looked): Counter-intuitively, I skimped on the Al Fasid (central, largest figure) - largely due to a lack of depth in my selection of green paints. Which is to say, I have one (1) green paint to my name (P3 Iosan Green). I'll go back to him later to tart up, plus the green bits of the Tuareg (sniper lady): Painting these I was reminded of how much I enjoy painting leather and soft materials generally - something Yu Jing tends to lack in its figures, bar the cloaks on the Guilang and Hsien figures. In celebration, I've ordered a raft of extra models, and started to build my Nomads force. Three models down in that respect - slower going than anticipated, due largely to Cassandra Kusanagi being a bit of a nightmare to build, certainly the most painful Infinity model I've yet made. Still, with her, a Reverend Custodier and the old Zero w/ e/mauler figure built, I'm ready to try my first REMs - I've got a Lunokhod Sputnik and two Salyut Zonds to build, so it'll be interesting to see how these chunkier models come together.
  4. Wiper

    A great gaming track a day

    I was reminded* of the existence of this track - a great, moody intro to what is a deeply flawed game: Moby/Elmobo - Fascination - Intro Theme (track name: Sea of Love) Poor old Moby** made a range of great soundtracks, but most of them never found a big audience audience outside of Europe thanks to his primary role as composer for Coktel Vision - not exactly the biggest name outside of France. I've also just gone through the thread and added descriptions to all the videos I've posted (and updated the one video which had gone down). A nice trip down memory lane, that! *by a new release of a set of remastered tracks **not that one, this one
  5. My avatar significantly disagrees with that assessment of what lives at the top of American horror games! Also, referring to checking if the game comes from "the east" suggests you're writing off European horror, which is a bit harsh on (say) Alien Isolation and Soma. Or, you know, Alone in the Dark, from which Resi descends. Outside of that specific genre focus, you seem to be tarring all American developers with the brush of their biggest studios, which seems a little unfair on the smaller studios which put out titles that certainly class as "interesting and creative": games like Paratopic, Gone Home or Journey all deserve those labels, for example. I'll certainly agree that the US big budget games industry is the least interesting of its peers, but saying that you "don't think Americans can develop interesting creative games" seems a bit too sweeping a statement.
  6. It just falls outside of my top 100, but it certainly has its strengths and I can see why people like it so much. Just as Halo has its perfect 30 second combat loop, so too is Horizon's stealth/combat cycle deeply satisfying. If it weren't for it featuring some of my least-favourite compulsion/length-adding features in games - an overworld overrun with icons, and mindless crafting - I would rate it a lot higher.
  7. I have undying respect for the Kenka Bancho series for the fact that, a decade into the series of 3D high school brawlers, they released an otome* spin-off where you simultaneously aim to fight your way to becoming the biggest badass in your school while picking which of the other badasses is going to be your boyfriend.** An approach more franchise-milking studios should consider, I think. Or, to put it another way: let me date Kiryu-chan, you cowards! *romance visual novel targetted at a female audience **alas, this isn't an unusually progressive visual novel - rather, you're playing a girl disguised as a boy
  8. Wiper

    Forgotten bangers

    Digital Foundry suggested that it's a good conversion.
  9. Good God. This would be a lot easier on a different forum, as a lot of the games I "unusually" consider greats are well loved here - Binary Domain, Little Big Adventure, Deadly Premonition, Noby Noby Boy. Mirror's Edge Catalyst is the only one I can think of which really went down in flames even here, hence that series featuring in my post. Otherwise, though, the forum tends to be refreshingly predisposed to like even panned/ignored gems, so it's relatively rare to be unusual in that direction on here!
  10. Wiper

    Edge #324 | Cyberpunk 2077

    Can't wait to read that.
  11. Oh boy, between this and 'Anyone else keep a "Top 20 Games Of All Time" List?', today's threads seem laser-focussed on being relevant to my interests. Still, deciding what the biggest discrepancy is happens to be quite the challenge. So, I leave that up to you: 1. Half-Life 1 & 2 Critical Consensus says: The best first-person-shooters of all time! Revolutionary AI! Amazing story telling! Fantastic puzzles! I say: Interminable 'interactive' cutscenes: the games! Open maps replaced by invisible corridors! Dynamic combat replaced by scripted tedium! Rubbish gunplay! 'Puzzles' hardly worthy of the name! Set a pattern which would ruin action-adventures for decades to come! A blight on gaming! 2. Mario games, generally Critical Consensus says: A series of timeless classics which continually reinvent the genre and delight with their perfect blend of platforming perfection and charm. I say: A series which deserves praise for establishing the basics of what would become an enjoyable genre, but never quite achieves greatness, not helped by their hideous character designs. Notable exception: the fantastic Wario Land. 3. Zelda games, generally Critical Consensus says: A series of timeless classics which continually reinvent the genre and delight with their perfect blend of world-building and puzzles. I say: A series which has continually been undermined by godawful writing and a complete lack of challenge. Finally achieved brilliance with Breath of the Wild, which plays to the series' strengths by moving the focus to the world and away from its dungeons and characters, but up until that point a series undeservedly taking the crown from actually brilliant open-world action-adventures such as Little Big Adventure and Beyond Good & Evil. 4. Uncharted games, generally Critical Consensus says: So cinematic! So charismatic! So punchy! The perfect blend of action and adventure! I say: Utterly shallow sub-Indiana Jones stories matched to mediocre shooting and non-existent platforming. Literally the only notable feature of the games is the amount of money thrown at them. 5. Resident Evil 4 Critical Consensus says: The moment the Resident Evil series came of age! Established an exciting new template for third-person action games! I say: The moment the Resident Evil series was ruined. Turned the delightful, tropey, tense horror-adventure series into a tedious shooter lacking the dynamism or challenge of overlooked contemporaries/predecessors, such as Oni and P.N.03. 6. The Last of Us Critical Consensus says: So cinematic! So moving! So mature! The perfect blend of stealth and narrative! I say: Utterly shallow sub-Children of Men story matched to mediocre stealth-action. Literally the only notable feature of the game is the amount of money thrown at it. 7. Metal Gear Solid Critical Consensus says: So cinematic! So clever! So mature! The perfect blend of stealth and narrative! I say: Are we really doing this again? Sub-James Bond story matched to even-more mediocre stealth-action, written by a complete hack and in a just universe would have been utterly overshadowed by the far better-written, far far better-designed Thief. 8. Mirror's Edge games, generally Critical Consensus says: Rubbish combat, rubbish writing, utterly flawed first-person shooters. I say: The greatest first-person platformers ever made. Incredible sense of movement, fantastic art, pitch-perfect level design. Rubbish combat, but since the aim of the games is generally to avoid that, this is easy to look past. 9. Fallout: Bethesda Editions Critical Consensus says: The Fallout series done grown up! The perfect vehicles for Bethesda's skills in world-building and open environments! I say: The Fallout series done got ruined! The Fallout games' strengths were always their fantastic writing and meaningful decision making (both narrative and character building). Fallout 3 and 4 have none of this, swapping out all complex decision making for choices that reduce down to "be the biggest arse/most angelic being in the wasteland", draining all personality out of the world and reducing character building to "how best shall I dismember my enemies?". 10. Final Fantasy VII Critical Consensus says: A revelation! The most moving, complex story in gaming history to this point! The perfect JRPG. I say: Not even the most moving, complex story in Final Fantasy history to this point. The story confuses convoluted for complex. The game takes all of the weakest tropes of the JRPG (tedious combat and grinding) and adds nothing meaningful to them, beyond unusually high production values for the time.
  12. Did you even need to ask? I keep a top x list, partially commented. Because of course I do. Last updated at the end of last year: 1. Deus Ex Of course this is still the greatest game in the world. Deus Ex still shows off the potential that games have to meld story and gameplay, to offer freedom of choice in mechanical as well as narrative terms, and to imbue the player's actions (and inaction) with consequence. It is a game which rewards exploration with more than just perks or 'achievements', a game which respects the player enough to allow them to act how they want, and not restrict their choices through scripting in order to offer a 'cinematic experience'. The graphics were shonky, the voice acting off kilter, but by allowing the player to express themselves Deus Ex also allowed them to truly immerse themselves in the world. It may be all 1990s conspiracy theories and sunglasses at midnight, but for all its tropes Deus Ex pulls the player in like no other. There remains no game quite like it, none that has taken its mantle: the sequels sought to control things too much, reduced the game down to something more manageable, less interesting, and nobody else seemed to want to make the effort to make such a complex, cross-genre game. So it goes. 2. Rez Pretty much the opposite of Deus Ex, Rez is a highly constrained, focussed work of videoaural delight. Not, strictly speaking, a rhythm-action game, it nevertheless hits the same buttons as that genre, keying the player in to the sounds of the game as they shoot enemies to the beat and lose themselves in wireframe universes. Maybe an hour long from start to finish, even without the various extra modes and remixes unlocked the game would remain essential - an immersive, interactive album to tune in and zone out to. Whether you're travelling through the calm void of an opening level, desparately evading a giant, running man made of flat-shaded tiles, or experiencing the birth of the Earth in gradually-evolving graphical styles, the game is never less than captivating. It's also unusual in that, alone of the titles in my list, this is a game that doesn't have any feeling of unfulfilled potential, no regret that it never saw a sequel, never spawned a series of games to evolve its ideas. Quite simply, it's perfectly-formed: the visual design is so strong, so tied into the hardware it was made for that there's nothing in it waiting for an upgrade in technology to improve it; the gameplay, visuals and sound are perfectly keyed, with nowhere to go but down in terms of their synchronisation. Rez is perfect as it is, achieving everything it set out to do, and so remains, and will remain, as fresh as it was on the day of release. Just an incredible experience. 3. Halo Still the best pure shooter ever made. Still the most satisfying enemy AI in an action game. Still the most enjoyable local multiplayer FPS. The only disappointing thing about Halo: Combat Evolved is that no fucker registered just what was the most important part of its evolution, least of all its developers who put out a series of disappointing sequels before sodding off and producing a disappointing spiritual follow-up instead. Bah. But enough of that. Halo was a revelation at release - Goldeneye had shown that console FPS's were viable; Halo showed that they could be incredible. Enjoyable on Normal, the game opened up into something altogether more satisfying on Heroic, and Legendary formed the basis for the greatest co-op adventure ever played. The enemy AI, though essentially simple, has yet to be bettered (in combination with the levels, carefully designed around it) in allowing you to enjoy dynamic battles that were not only different every time, but felt like you could honestly be playing against human opponents - opponents who could work together, panic, predict your actions, be tricked, lose track of you, and generally make all of the mistakes, and all of the brilliant leaps of logic, that a human would. No other game, before or since, has managed the same. 4. Little Big Adventure 2 Little Big Adventure 2 represents the absolute apex of what Zelda-like games have yet achieved. A huge game filled with unusual places to explore, interesting people to meet; a world which tasks you with gradually unlocking a small set of abilities, while crafting ever-more-complex situations for you to use them in order to solve actually-challenging puzzles. A story that's more than just a byline to the events unfolding. Gorgeous graphics for the time, that manage still to be pleasing on the eye - not bad for a game from 1997 - accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack. It was balls hard, never afraid to be alien, and made ever inch gained, every new area found, an absolute delight. It was also the Frenchest fucking game you ever played.* I would buy an HD remake - or, hell, a remake with a more modern control scheme - in an instant. God, but I miss Adeline Software. *tied with Captain Blood 5. Day of the Tentacle The absolute best adventure game ever made. Bar none. Day of the Tentacle manages that incredibly rare thing in an adventure: it manages to be both brilliantly written, and filled with mind-bending but fair puzzles. The characters are pitch-perfect; the comedy always hits its mark; the graphics haven't aged a day - a genuinely astonishing feat for a game now a quarter of a century old; the voice-acting puts most modern games to shame (did I mention the game is twenty-five?); the time-bending, character-swapping puzzles have yet to be bested; I only wish that Day of the Tentacle - a sequel itself - had received a follow-up. I would love to explore The Mansion on a new adventure, just one more time! 6. Rock Band 3 The ultimate party game. There's really not much else to say. Just brilliant with large groups, with players passing the mic/guitar/drums/keyboard in a constant flow of merriment and noise, perfect to dip into and out of for as long as you liked, allowing for casual conversation and serious gaming as the audience wants. 7. Persona 4: Golden The little* JRPG that could. A genre I thought I would never get on with - some games had come close (Skies of Arcadia, Phantasy Star, Lost Odyssey) but even the best writing, most enjoyable stories, most enticing worlds to explore were ruined by the random battles, the grinding seemingly essential to the genre. And then Persona 4: Golden appears, and blows those issues out of the water. Instead of grinding mindlessly between dungeons, here you get to drive your character's social life, affecting both their home life and their performance in battle as their social ties influence their world. Here we have a story that isn't about saving the world, or uncovering conspiracies, or other Big Significant Events, but instead about protecting a small town from a murderer, while helping your friends to get over their personal demons. And let's focus on that last part a little more: here's a game whose main moral message isn't that Might Makes Right, or that Tyrants Must Fall, or any variants on the typical Hero Saves The World fare, but rather that nobody is perfect, and that acknowledging the parts of ourselves that we don't like and learning to work with them is crucial to help us move on and improve as people. When was the last time you played a game that tried to touch on a theme like that? Just an incredibly impressive game. The yellow colour scheme and snazzy music are pretty neat too. *not so little 8. Shenmue II Ah, man, another game filled with regret over things that will never be. For most it's the lack of closure, the fact that we never got to find out the full story behind Lan Di, never got to avenge Ryo's father, never managed to get Ryo to realise that he was deep in the closet. But for me, that was a sideshow: the story was pretty generic, if well told, but what made Shenmue II (and its predecessor) so special were the incredible worlds they built to explore; towns and cities that were alive in ways that no open-world games since have even begun to approach. In this respect, despite the massive differences in genre and ambitions, the Shenmues most remind me of the original Deus Ex - both filled with landscapes that feel real, and where your actions feel accordingly real too: no cartoonish crime sprees, no acts of unbelievable violence, rather these are worlds where you find yourself roleplaying an actual character - partly through built in limitations (there's a reason you aren't given the option to start fights as Ryo, a reason that as JC Denton you are never raised too far above the capabilities of a human), and partly through the coercion of the world around you. I doubt I'll ever explore a virtual townscape as well realised as the Shenmues' Yokosuka or Hong Kong, and that's a crying shame. But at least, when the urge takes me, I can go back to my Dreamcast and explore them once again. 9. Fallout 2 A little clunky in execution generally, its interface issues are forgiven thanks to the wonderful SPECIAL system used to build your character, and the way the game and the world react to it. Whether approaching the world as a cool, scientific gunslinger; a blind, charismatic martial artist; or even a well-meaning, thuggish character with so low intelligence that you can't string words together; you'll find that the world acknowledges you for what you are and treats you accordingly. And don't expect a kind, understanding world - nuclear war has been and gone, and what's left isn't all that forgiving. Elevate or destroy various factions; leave cities as thriving hubs of understanding or hollow wastelands; support the law or backup the crimelords: choices come at you thick and fast, and you'll never find yourself simply following along with the story. Fallout 2 remains a masterclass in RPG design; look past its archaic control scheme and you won't be disappointed. 10. Thief 2 The greatest stealth game ever made. I'm not sure what else to say. Incredible, expansive, believable level design. A game where sound matters as sight. A stealth game that believes in letting the player choose their approach. A game whose difficulty settings don't just make guards 'cleverer', but rather changes your objectives - at the highest levels not allowing you to kill while also forcing you to go out of your way to clear every level of virtually all its valuables. Thief II is, quite simply, the stealth game fan's stealth game. 11. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan Oh, man. Gitaroo Man was quite the thing, but this is the pinnacle of single-player rhythm-action games to date. Just a glorious use of the DS's unique features, the combination of frantic hand-eye-and-ear coordination going on in the bottom screen while ridiculous, frenzied antics go on at the top was just perfect. The fact that the music was ace, and that it, along with the storylines, were made more entertainingly exotic by the whole thing being Japanese, just added to the joy. A glorious, hilarious game, with one excellent sequel and a decent western spin-off, it's incredibly sad that the franchise died with the DS, and its developer sunk into shovelware obscurity. Oh, iNiS, what happened to you? 12. Phantasy Star Online I hate online multiplayer. Can't stand it - the strangers, the awkward voice/keyboard chat, the lack of cohesion, the focus on competition over fun… I hate online multiplayer, except for this. Step 1: have all communication constructed of basic verbs, nouns and emotes Step 2: thanks to said communication system, allow players from all around the world to play together Step 3: make large, peaceful hubs the centre of the game, and make all gameplay co-operative Step 4: make the combat timing-based, make your worlds colourful and fun to explore, dust with a sci-fi theme and score with a sumptuous soundtrack Let simmer for a year or two, then serve, and you'll have the one online multiplayer game that I've truly loved. 13. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 14. Valkyria Chronicles A great strategy game with brilliantly designed levels, an innovative set of mechanics by which the game is played (mixing turn-based, command-point based strategy with real-time, third-person action elements), and a story which actually manages to be pretty compelling despite being Peak Anime at the best of times. And that art-style, man! 15. Portal Valve done good! Excellent writing, a decent story, great puzzles, fun core mechanic, great setting, perfect length - after the shitshow of the overwrought, purple-prose filled, shitty-combat-filled series of games that made their name, I can honestly say I never saw Portal coming. A fantastic game, from an unlikely source (pun most definitely not intended). 16. System Shock 2 Or: Ken Levine, the before he turned out to be a bit shit years. The greatest horror game I've had the pleasure to never finish because of sheer terror, System Shock 2 is just a masterpiece of level design and, along with the original System Shock and Deus Ex, is largely responsible for modern games' weird fascination with leaving notebooks and datapads everywhere to tell their stories for them. Only, unlike the majority of the games so inspired (including Irrational Games' own Bioshock series), in the System Shocks they actually make sense, and are carefully placed and used in ways that fit perfectly with the (terrifying, collapsing) world around you. One terrible ending aside (yes, I did look it up once I'd given up on finishing the game without going into cardiac arrest), System Shock 2 remains an incredible piece of world (well, ship) building, carefully feeding the player its story through dialog, notes and the very world itself. Much is made of Half-Life's mastery of the "play, don't tell" approach in games, but it's System Shock 2 that really nailed it. 17. Full Throttle The second-best adventure game of all time, and another one with Tim Schafer's paw prints all over it. The puzzles aren't quite up to Day of the Tentacle's standard, and the action game segments were… misguided at best, but the writing is pin-sharp, the story deeply compelling, and the characters brilliantly written - not least the secondary female character who manages that rare feat of being close friend and ally to the main character without being a romantic interest, and who merrily subverts the damsel in distress plot device. Couple that with voice acting that is second-to-none and a kick-arse soundtrack and you've got one hell of an adventure game. 18. Super Metroid Intelligent Design may be best known as the developers of Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, but you'd do well to remember their involvement in the creation of Nintendo's crowning achievement. Travelling back and forth through the ever-expanding corridors of a scientific research colony as it gradually succumbs to new and more menacing dangers, gradually increasing your power but never losing your sense of isolation, Super Metroid is the perfect adaptation of Alien's ambient horror transposed into a 16-bit-game-friendly design. It helps that the art design and music still hold up to this day, of course 19. Beyond Good & Evil 20. Planescape: Torment If you're very lucky I might post the rest of my top, er, 112 games of all time when I'm home with access to the full list. Your breaths are surely bated
  13. Wiper

    The Miniatures Appreciation Thread

    Ahh, I was tempted by that. If I didn't have the other half of my Red Veil set to paint I'd have bought it - I'm sad that this means I won't get the Wardriver miniature no matter what! Relatedly, I spent Sunday and Monday evenings painting up my remaining guilang, celestial guard, hac tao and ninja figures, sticking to my magenta/purple/teal/blue scheme for the infiltrators, and giving the celestial guard a colour scheme closer to that of my medium infantry to have them stand out from the zhanshi light infantry: Which in turn means I've now painted all of my Yu Jing models!* I do feel bad for my old hac tao, hsien and celestial guard, who all stand out as being at the wrong scale compared to the rest of the set. I may have to replace them at some point (though, honestly, I can't see myself ever fielding more than one hsien, so they at least I can probably skip). First of all, though, I need to paint up (and bolster) my Haqqislam set. And then think about my stack of Nomads miniatures... *bar a zhanshi that I won't be bothering with, as the old sculpt is just so ugly that I can't bring myself to do it
  14. Wiper

    Samurai Spirits/Shodown - 2019

    I've always got time for SamSho, it'll be interesting to see if they turn out a decent new entry in the series!
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