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Topics - Flamemonkey

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1
General Discussion / Consumer Media that has made you cry
« on: 10:32 AM - 03/12/13 »
I'm talking anything, from movies to games, books to comics. What's made you cry?

I've got a very, very short list of things that have made this list, although I feel like I've forgotten one. There are more where I've gotten close, but the only media that's ever made me genuinely ball my eyes out were Code Geass (This show. Is so @#$% good. At destroying your hopes and dreams), 7 Pounds (it's like one of those "When you see it, you'll @#$% bricks", except it's "When you figure it out, you'll go drown yourself"), and the DS game 999 (Which is a roller coaster of "Yes! No? NOOOOO, NOOOOOOO!!! Y-yes? Yes! NOOOOOOO!").
Past these, though, I I've never cried in any of it. Not even Harry Potter. As a college student I feel that's supposed to be some big accomplishment. How about you guys?

2
General Discussion / What are your opinions on Windows 8?
« on: 10:28 PM - 03/11/13 »
Before you all go off and start firing missiles at me, I was one of the people who was scared of Win8. Then I used it, realized that 90% of the changes they made didn't affect desktop users, 10% of the changes were either a massive improvement or simply something different. I use 8 on my desktop every day, and actually loved it enough to get a Surface Pro, which I also love. I'm no MS fanboy -- I hate the Xbox (or rather, Live), and would honestly have switched to Ubuntu if it had BF3.

When you really get down to it, outside of the fact that it's a change (in many ways less of a change than most people will admit), Windows 8 is not a bad Operating System. It's faster, boots insanely fast, and makes what I consider the first form factor agnostic design.
Yes, there's Metro, but in my experience (since the first public Beta), you see that all of twice: when you start the computer, and when you shut it down. I've seen so many people take hyperbole to the extreme and say that, because of one extra click per boot, it's the single worst OS in the history of all man kind, and that MS should basically burn because of it. I'd say that surely the File Explorer and Task Manager improvements alone more than make up for that, but I suppose if you're also willing to ignore improved frame rates, general speediness of the OS, and the occassional Metro app that everyone is bound to use, that one click is the world's greatest disaster. It's not like the Desktop is just plain gone, it still does everything else that 7 did, and personally the new Start Screen is actually kind of nice to look at for the 2 seconds it takes me to click an icon to open up my IDE.

So while I can see where people might have a concern going in (they don't stress the full legacy compatibility enough to get the point across), what are your opinions?

3
My friend is needing one of these, and I know just the thing, but I can't remember what it was called, and can't find it. SO TIME FOR HELP FROM THE COMMUNITY!

It was a little puck, just like what the old headsets were plugged in with, that split into the green/pink cables for a mic and headset. And THEN it had a seperate cable going from the puck/controller, back to the TV, which intercepted audio from the Xbox to play it on the headphones as well, giving a nice clean look.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Or am I crazy?

4
General Discussion / Nintendo of America is a dick.
« on: 03:40 PM - 01/10/13 »
I'm a huge Fire Emblem fan. Like, stupid huge. Last year in April, in Japan, basically the holy Grail of Fire Emblem games was released. DLC characters, higher difficulty, and integrating all the different mechanics between all the games and adding some new ones to shake things up (and by a lot). Oh, and a bunch of art books, a limited edition OG 3ds, yadda yadda great stuff.
February 4th, almost a whole year later, NoA will release it. And were getting all the DLC. And everything... including the limited edition 3ds that I drooped over. But now I'm poor, and have an XL. Fuggin Nintendo waiting a @#$% year till I'm broke and can't afford having 2 3DSs.

IoW: NoA did everything for this game I have ever wished for, just a year later when I can't enjoy it all. Phooey.

5
Mainly as a test of what I can, can't, and have the patience to do with Java. So far mainly working on the calculations for health and such, as doing the graphics of everything (ESPECIALLY collision detection... ugh...) is going to be a pain in the @#$%, so I'm doing the nice easy stuff.

Any suggestions? Enemy AI in NES Metroid is extremely basic, as in, there really isn't any, so I don't think I'll have much of a problem with THAT, so much as getting everything to just work in the first place.

6
I do these from time to time, much to the annoyance of people in my Facebook friends list. But, I figure that I can go ahead and post my thoughts/ramblings in other, slightly more relevant communities, so here goes.


Okay, let's talk about something in games that I haven't yet *I believe*. Story. At some points in this, I'm going to come across as one of those "Games can't be art" sorts of guys, but if you read through it you'll see I'm quite the opposite.
Different mediums have different strengths and weaknesses. A movie or anime is great at showing high pace, action scenes with a lot of complexity. A manga or comic is good at depicting intricate details on minute objects (given the effort), and facial expressions. A painting is good at having one particularly strong scene. A book is good at going into depth with character feelings, both emotional and physical. A movie is particularly badly suited towards individual emotions, and having minute details that are important being just scattered about the scenes. Manga and comics can become hard to follow with too much action with complexity, and books sometimes are hard to keep track of with a lack of visible imagery. A painting, for obvious reasons, is never going to give you that Tom Clancy level of political intrigue. Each of these mediums can, of course, play at and even succeed at what can be considered their weaknesses, but it's less effective and requires more work than playing the strengths; think using a shotgun at long range in MW3. You're better off cornering people.
So what is a video game good at? What is it best at in terms of conveying towards the viewer/player, or perhaps more accurately, the experiencer? It's not that complex, overarching political intrigue, games are usually too long to remember the finer details of what's going on, and players are too busy having fun to really care. It's not character emotions; players are too busy looking elsewhere to pay much attention to character faces, and forcing their view on someone is just an annoying tactic. What about high octane explosion fests? Well, despite what sales might dictate, that's little more than just satisfying the urge for bombs; there's no meat there, and it adds little to any lasting appeal. No, what the medium of games succeeds at is player emotion. A game doesn't have to explain, show, or paint anything for you in the "deep" sense; instead, you experience it. YOU are the story, the main character. Video games as a story telling medium is most powerful when they let the player be a part of the story, and I don't mean what first comes to mind. \
Take Shadow of the Collosus. The story, as it is presented to you, is "Your girlfriend died. If you kill these big @#$% animals you can bring her back. Have fun." That's it. The whole story. It doesn't sound powerful until you're out there, see a Collosus, a giant, hulking... animal. Not a beast. Not a monster. Just a big oafin animal going about its business. Doesn't even care that you are there. Until you start mercilessly stabbing its heart, metaphorically. For the nature of being a game, some of the Collosi are hostile upon sight, but most of them are just defending themselves. Yet the game never tells you this. It never tells you that you are a big fat dick murdering innocent wildlife. You just... notice. You figure it out, and then, at that point, caste yourself onto your avatar. The game never tries to shove how you, or your character is supposed to feel, outside of the determination to bring a loved one back. The result is that the character is an extension of yourself, and not just a puppet to drag through the motions to see what they'll do next.
To me, and perhaps many others, moments like the baby Metroid's sacrifice in Super Metroid are more memorable than... well I can't think of any comparable (that wouldn't be good examples
for rather than against) examples, if that tells you anything. The game implies that the Metroid that nearly killed you minutes ago was the one you spared at the end of Metroid 2, and
upon watching it sacrifice its life to save you, well, you get fuggin pissed at Mother Brain for killing it. You feel like you're taking vengeance out on them, not just fighting the
final boss, because the game lets you project your own thoughts, realizations, and emotions on Samus. Yes, there's a character behind Samus, but the game's story never gets in the way of
letting Samus be a female space pirate @#$% kicking version of yourself. Similarly, I felt more compelled to save Curly in Cave Story than I did many other characters, simply because the
game let -me- develop an attachment to her, rather than let me watch someone else develop it.

This doesn't mean that games can't have complex stories. Far from it. Baten Kaitos, for example, had literally the player, being the person sitting in the chair with the controller, as a main character, and played off of that very well, allowing the main character (being the one typically controlled) to surprise even the player in their intents and desires; they seperated the player as their own person to have a stake in the story, and as such in its own way gave the player the room to project their wants into the game. Mass Effect lets the player choose everything they are going to say, giving them full capability (within programming limits) to respond as they feel they want to, instead of being told how to feel.
There are countless examples of video games being used to push their mediums, in ways that play to their own strengths. Metroid Prime has you reading the diaries and accounts of a now dead population, as well as of the opposing force, and this is used to put an interesting spin on the term "Dues ex Machina", in that you are the saving grace, the god from nowhere that fixes everything on its own, and leaves you looking at the aftermath of the terrors throughout the story, during which you are absent. 999's story is set up much like that of a book, or a choose your own adventure, but geniusly plays to its strength as a video game to pull things that would never work or make sense in a traditional book.
Video games don't have the specific cinematography, the exacting camera angles, or perfectly scripted scenes that movies do; and if they do, you are playing Metal Gear Solid 4, which many people find to be annoying in execution. Mainly because it's primarily a cutscene collection. The point is that chasing the blockbuster success of action movies, while trying to employ the same strategies as those same movies, falls flat in comparison. Subtlety is completely lost, the strategies aren't as effective, as giving the player control means allowing them to completely break the narrative effect, and taking control away simply annoys the player. I could go on and on about how Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty are setting up their stories inneffectively, about how the simpler, or more player involved story telling is far more effective, but at just under 7000 characters, I believe this is a long enough delve into this.
tl;dr: Games are good at experiencing, not observing.

7
General Discussion / Chinese are getting crafty with this
« on: 08:55 PM - 01/03/13 »
Remember when Chinese knock offs were hilariously bad? Well, apparently now they are not.
Deciding one day that I wanted a red Wii remote for myself, I started searching for how to acquire one. As it turns out, unless you live in Japan (where they are just as available as the other colors) you can only get one with one of those limited edition 25th Mario Anniversary Wiis.
Lame.
So I go on eBay, scout out for whatever I can find. I see a $25 listing for a red Wii remote, thinking maybe it's used or whatever. Knowing it could be a Chinese knock off, I inspected the pictures as best I could, and all the branding was there, in all the right places, so I order it.

It's a Chinese knock off. Of course.
But an extremely good one. I honestly could not tell looking at it other than the slight change in feel, and that the nunchuck was UTTER @#$%. That, and the IR pointer performance was not up to par with the OEM deal. Dreading what I might find with the Motion+ performance, I sulk.

But then it hit me; The battery compartment was also identical to the OEM deal. Same holes, same battery doo das, same everything visible. So what about inside of it?
So I go about acquiring a tri wing screwdriver, and pop both it and one of my OEM black Wii remotes open, and lo and behold, the casing for both is identical. Button slots are the same, and everything as far as the case is concerned is replicated perfectly, at least so far as I can tell. Opening it up it was clear that the guts were different; most notably the speaker, which is hilariously cheap looking, and the buttons, which are one solid plastic painted on instead of the 2 plastic molds used for the OEM buttons. So I did what any person who wants a respectably performing red wii remote would do.
I swapped the guts.

Putting the OEM guts inside of the cheap(?) Chinese casing, which went flawlessly. The only difference is that with the OEM guts the power, +, -, and home buttons are SLIGHTLY further recessed, which I actually like in a way. Oddly, the cheap chinese guts did not fit inside the OEM shell, which is a tad odd.

tl;dr - I put OEM Wii remote inside of a Chinese Wii remote, have an awesome red Wii remote spawn.

8
Okay we've already got Steam becoming more and more accessible to controller goers, far more multi plat games than in previous gens, and @#$% like that. But you know what I want? What would make my life perfect?
Regular Oculus/Razer Hydra support. Oculus is a head mounted display that does 3D, head tracking, and all sorts of good stuff, and the Razer Hydra is an improved (and minus a few quirks, the best) Wiimote style controller implementation. Now, what happens if you put the two together? Hrm?
I'll tell you what: absolute amazingness. Pure immersive bliss, and because the two would complement each other so well.
Wiimote style controls have only one major disadvantage, camera control. But, if you throw that can of worms onto the Oculus instead, immediately you've gotten rid of the biggest barrier to what has now become perhaps the ultimate blend of accessibility, control, and comfort.
Seriously, if BF4 supported this, I'd probably never play another game again.
Too bad thisll never happen, given the rash of games that don't even know that mice have more than 800dpi.

9
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=459131

This is an incomplete list of game studios that have been utterly, completely shut down since '06... 20 studios this year alone, and you can bet a big part of it is dev costs going through the roof, and games not selling like CoD to make up the dev costs to just make the @#$% game.

To note is that this list is not including studios that were merged, bought, absorbed, etc, any of that. These are studios that went completely out, and had to fire all of the devs under them.

And you guys are hoping that the next gen consoles are power beasts? Pushing more graphics? For the sake of the people working, I sure as hell hope not.
I mean unless you want $100 games...

10
General Discussion / Planning on modding a Wii Remote
« on: 07:12 PM - 12/14/12 »
Okay, so I know that the topic title doesn't sound too enticing to most people here, but playing Blops2 makes me realize that, as good as it is, the Wii remote really does need at least one more accessible button. The problem is that the Dpad is mapped to actions, which, with the exception of the "up" button, is totally fine. But, at least for me, the up button basically feels like a button positioned too high, like a second Y/triangle button.

But Blops has complete and full button remap support.
Which means that I can do nifty things.
Namely, I plan on taking a wii remote apart, and soldering in wires to secondary buttons on the side of it. Depending on how frisky I get, I might do the whole shebang and merge it into a Wii zapper for extra lols (although that might end up forcing me to use a twist command for something, not to mention be a whole lot more work), but primarily the idea is to stick a remote "2", and possibly "up" button on the side of the system.

More or less it'd work by having just a button wired into a hole in the side, and then soldered onto the circuit board.

11
General Discussion / I can finally put this POS down
« on: 11:54 PM - 12/07/12 »
https://www.dropbox.com/s/a89wbakxusev4od/IMG_20121208_244707_900.jpg

@#$%. Finally. Level 40 and completed all the challenges for this @#$% thing. Getting five bloodthirstys with just the knife was a killer, too!

And god is the knife absolutely terrible in this game. Zero range, zero width, zero anything. Is enemies face on the tip of your knife? No? Okay, you're dead. Jeez, I'd think that when you are using only the knife, exclusively, they'd give you a LITTLE lee-way.

For comparison, my highest weapon so far is MP7, at 400-some kills, and it takes 200 kills with just the knife (Meaning no gun in hand, quick knives DO NOT count at all) before you can even start working on the actual "challenges".

If only I could prestige the knife and get an MMS scope haha.

EDIT: Oh hey 9 more kills and I get the ballistic knife. Does anyone know if my knife's camo will show up in the offhand knife with that?

12
General Discussion / Wii U has dream-crippling flaw
« on: 06:04 PM - 12/03/12 »
Sadly, many dreams are denied on this day with the fact that the Wii U has some... design decisions... that cripple the functionality of the system.

Namely, the lack of Gamecube mode.
With the Wii, the system simply downclocked itself into a Gamecube, and ran the games straight out. No software emulation, none of that. It literally was a Gamecube in a new shell, until you restarted it.
The Wii U's Wii mode does something similar. Basically, take what I said and replace "Wii" with "Wii U" and "Gamecube" with "Wii". However, the Wii U cannot go down deeper into Gamecube downclocking.

Enter Animal Crossing.
Animal Crossing, in the US, is a remake of the Japanese only N64 title; it has only a few additions to actually set it apart (this is why that game looked terrible graphically). In Animal Crossing, there was a whole bunch of things you could acquire.
Some of these items were NES games, that could be played, emulated, on the N64.

The Wii U's lack of Gamecube mode then officially @#$%-blocks the greatest potential emulation train ever:
involving two hardware emulations, one port, and a software emulation, you could be playing a Wii U, pretending to be a Wii, pretending to be a Gamecube, playing an N64, playing an NES.

I'm sad now.

13
General Discussion / Camos on Prestige?
« on: 11:11 PM - 11/29/12 »
In the event that I should decide to prestige for whatever reason, I've heard it works differently in BO2; do I lose all the attachments and @#$%? My camos? Most importantly, my knife camos?

Because with only 3 camos left to unlock with the knife right now, I'd be pissed if I had to do it again, and so would avoid prestige like the plague.

14
General Discussion / Alright I'm done with BO2 for now
« on: 10:44 AM - 11/29/12 »
Seriously, it's @#$% terrible solely because of the immense strength of the aim assist. Everyone using sticks has like laser beam accuracy, flinching does nothing cuz the aim just gets remagneted right back on, and they hardly even have to try to have near perfect aim.

Whereas I'm over here with a spazzy reticle with zero assist, a single flinch means I'm not getting another hit in, and actually have to try to aim.

Seriously, unless they randomly lower the @#$% out of aim assist I'm never, ever going to be able to win in a straight on gun fight, which is how my brain works in these games. My KD in a match will literally go from either .2 to 2.5 depending on how well the enemy team knows how to abuse aim assist. And at this point it's frustrating.

15
General Discussion / HardCore was made for Wiimote players
« on: 10:13 PM - 11/26/12 »
The biggest disadvantage right now for Wiimote players lies in the fact that pad users have stupidly high amounts of aim assist going for them, allowing them to basically zap on and lock on with very little effort, whereas it actually takes a figment of effort to stay on target with a Wiimote.

And then you have Hardcore! Where all the guns take only one or two bullets to kill, and suddenly the Wiimote is awesome again. Or at least stops being at a disadvantage, since long distance aim is still iffy with the utter lack of any assistance...
This is proven by the fact that the core gametypes are almost exclusively played by pad, but it's about 50/50 in HC.

tldr; turn the @#$% aim assist down dammit!

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