AMD here we come

For the very first time I am considering switching everything on my latest PC back to AMD, CPU and GPU. Why you ask?

Digital surround in games.

AMD has uncompressed 7.1 PCM built-in to their graphics cards, and NVIDIA ones, even the geet dead pricey ones, have a link so you can plug in an SPDIF jobber. Which fully supports the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround that a whole three games support on the PC. Even games which output Dolby Digital 5.1 on the console (like how PC versions won’t have controller support, but way more often). And Dolby Pro Logic? Forget it.

It mostly strikes me as bizarre that NVIDIA cards just plain don’t do it.

Xcom: This is Bullshit

I really wanted to like Xcom, I really, really did. All my friends seem to like it, lots of fans of the original seem to like it. I do not. I can’t even be bothered to dignify it with a full playthrough. I proclaimed the eponymous ejaculation, ‘This is Bullshit’ just after the third time I tried to maneuver my dude into cover only to be beset with twitching betwixt levels of terrain, not actually going in to the cover despite it being clearly flagged as cover, and not being able to reach and reside in what appeared to be a clearly blank space. It wasn’t just that I was annoyed at of course, that was merely the proverbial straw that caused the camel to ragdoll gracelessly about. Some of the changes are actually quite welcome, two turns for each guy makes a kind of sense I guess, and the tactical part of the original could, at times, be slow and unwieldy, so doing something about it is perfectly fine. The original could benefit from a autosave system, which is bizarrely off by default, but I’m assuming that’s to keep the usual people happy. You know the sort, the sort that rants about how challenging the game is before they mention what the gameplay actually is. Gamers seemingly have so little self-control we actually need an option to enforce not loading rather than … well, not loading. And this of course is to be celebrated. Making a wrong move because the game can’t decide which elevation level you mean after you haven’t selected a new level be damned apparently.
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Steam on Linux

Well, I’ve been saying for a while that with Steam on Mac it would only be a matter of time before it would appear on Linux, and so it has. It works almost flawlessly. In fact, they’ve just fixed the one really irritating bug where your desktops cursor was changed to Steam’s. The experience with Steam is very much just like Windows and presumably Mac. All the games I own that have Linux versions work absolutely great right away, the only thing that was a slight bother was getting it installed in the first place since I’m on Gentoo, but the overlay works fine. I think the only slight disappointment is that I was kinda expecting the Mac versions of the Grand Theft Auto games to have been made available on Linux too.

The future, however, is bright.

Although I do find it odd that Steam has managed to bring more games so quickly. I figured it would be Android’s mega popularity that would have finally been the event that brought gaming to Linux in a profound way and it kinda didn’t.

Don’t You Hate It?

When a Let’s Player will talk about how they’ve played the game before, yet they’ll then, one sentence later, pretend they’re seeing a monster or a scenario for the first time?

We don’t do that.

And our footage looks better.

For the discerning Silent Hill fan:

Our Let’s (not) Play of Silent Hill 2 (Blind) is complete. So if you’re one of those people who have been waiting for the playthrough to finish, then now is your time.

7 hours, 58 minutes, and 53 seconds of videos. With a combined size of 25.2GB in ‘Nigh Lossless’ quality, it’s the best looking Silent Hill 2 footage we’ve seen. 1080P widescreen, no stretching, PC version. We’ll add the Maria scenario probably some time next year.

Please, enjoy, and spread the word. It would be nice if a high quality Let’s Play without the usual screaming reactioncam can also do well.

A Time, A Place, A Book of Memories.

Reviews are coming in very slowly for this game, and it isn’t even coming out until early November here, so obviously early days yet.

GameRankings: 78.67%

MetaCritic: Critic: 62% User: 64%

Gamerankings-wise, that’s pretty good, but only based on three critic reviews. That puts it in a similar place as Silent Hill 4: The Room, Shattered Memories, and Silent Hill: Origins. That’s above Homecoming and Downpour, but below 1, 2 & 3.

Metacritic-wise, with only four critic reviews, and 132 user ratings, Book of Memories is now tentatively below the lowest performing Silent Hill: Downpour.

Book of Memories is in the strange position of having been released (at least in some areas) yet without review from many big industry names.

Not actually a handheld gamer myself, so you won’t be seeing a review from us unless it receives a port.

Let’s (not) Play Silent Hill – Now Complete

For the discerning Silent Hill fan:

Our Let’s (not) Play of Silent Hill is complete. So if you’re one of those people who have been waiting for the playthrough to finish, then now is your time.

5 hours, 28 minutes, and 13 seconds of videos. With a combined size of 10.7G in ‘Nigh Lossless’ quality, it’s the best looking Silent Hill footage we’ve seen. The only change to the playlist is that there’ll be a new video advert for our next Let’s Play in it tomorrow.

Please, enjoy.

Horror is all about fun!

Silent Hill Book of Memories is looking to be a very fun game as I expected. Remember folks, games are meant to be fun as well as enthralling. They can encompass a whole range of emotions -not just despair and darkness. Sometimes, fun is just fun.” – Jeremy Blaustein.

Games are meant to be fun!

Except of course, when they aren’t.  Unless you stretch the definition of fun to include Schindler’s List.  Please don’t do that, it’s annoying.

Games are sometimes meant to be fun, and sometimes, games have lots of fun (fun!) sections and setpieces, and you know, that’s all fine.

Horror on the other hand, isn’t all about the fun (fun fun!).  Silent Hill never really used to focus on creating something fun, it used to be about creating an engaging experience.  It used to be a horror series.  Horror defies the usual gaming tropes, horror games both need to not be about fun to create the right atmosphere, and they also need to take themselves seriously.

Please, go ahead and argue that it doesn’t matter because it’s not a main title, or that it’s really a great game because it’ll bring more people to good horror and great games in the end, but please, don’t tell me games are meant to fun.

Films can be fun, but some of them aren’t, some of them engage.

Books can be fun, but some of them aren’t, some of them take us on an emotional rollercoaster.

Games can be fun, but some of them make us morose for two weeks after witnessing the breakdown of a man’s sanity.

Games can be made, that aren’t meant to be fun, and there is nothing wrong with it.  In fact, it should be celebrated.  Most of my favourite games (and films, and books) are ones that aren’t meant to be fun, but are meant to be engaging, or sad, or uplifting, or to say something about the human condition.

Once again, thanks to Silent Haven for once again bringing something to my attention.

Skyrim DLC delayed on the PS3

Blame Microsoft for paying for a longer term of exclusivity with the proviso that they’re not allowed to say so. Expect it to come out a little after six months on from the XBox 360 release.

Now I know what you’re thinking, Peter is off the deep-end again. I mean, it’s not like this has happened before where Bethesda has not released DLC for the PS3 due to a long exclusivity deal and then pretended it was delayed for other reasons so people come to their ‘own conclusions’.

Oh, wait.
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Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage

You know the usual spiel about how Dynasty Warriors is just repetitive button mashing with no depth?

Well, it isn’t true of this game either, but it is a lot closer to being the case. There isn’t enough depth to warrant how much you’d have to play to actually get everything. Mostly the problem is how the depth comes into the game, unlike Dynasty Warriors 7 where the depth is all about character development, weapon choice, what you equip your character with and of course, the character itself, and the permutations there of, in Ken’s Rage, not so much. It has some of those things, but with only a handful of characters and three main character types. There’s a little less to play with, and the main problem is despite all the character growth it does have, the real meat of the initial play before you really open up other modes properly is the Legend Mode with Kenshiro.

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Silent Hill: Downpour – In Depth Review

Well, it’s time for another Silent Hill game. This time we’ve changed developers again (more on that another time).

Downpour. As usual with games I look forward to getting a hold of, I read absolutely nothing about this game before I played it. The reason for this is two-fold; I hate spoilers, and I didn’t want to come into it with any other expectation except the ones created by the name itself. With Silent Hill, that bar isn’t set particularly high after Silent Hill: Homecoming.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Downpour is even as good as Homecoming in the end, but it does have several things going for it.
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