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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Volume 2 || Issue 12 - Page 1
    LaGuardia Airport and get me into Dallas at about 3 30 I have one suitcase which has clothes bathroom supplies and a laptop in it I also have a carry on backpack which has three books my digital camera my Discman and several CD Rs full of mp3 files and some gum That s it and I get through check in and security no problem I am in fact fully an hour early for my flight I love these new get to the airport two hours in advance rules that let you sit around in an uncomfortable chair watching small trucks and guys in yellow jackets crawl aimlessly over the tarmac outside My flight to QuakeCon 10 30 am My flight is delayed for fifteen minutes and I get the first inkling that this may be not as quick and easy a trip as I might have hoped This is confirmed when fifteen becomes forty five You ll note that my layover was supposed to be fifty minutes Uh oh Hopefully we ll make up some time in the air 12 32 pm Not only did we not make up the time in the air we lost a bit due to incredible turbulence which is especially fun in a little propeller plane that seats approximately six midgets and one full sized human being But we ve arrived safely on the ground and there is a small possibility that I might be able to reach my connecting flight within the next ten minutes That is until 12 55 pm I finally make it to the correct terminal which required me to take a bus That s good efficient airport design right there Nothing like having to leave the secure area get on a bus then go back through security again in

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/539/539630p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Volume 2 || Issue 11 - Page 1
    one of my favorite things I make a huge sweeping blanket statement Ready Here goes There s absolutely no reason whatsoever why I shouldn t be able to wake up on the morning of a game s release sit down at my computer go to the game s website buy it online and download it right there at 400 KB s None Zero Zip Zilch No reason The technology has been available for years to do this There are dozens of SDKs out there that developers can snap right into their games that allow for safe secure transactions of this type Many software houses have been using online distribution for close to a decade I know some people still care about boxes and manuals and stupid trinkets like cloth maps and glowing lightsaber keychains I don t And I m not talking about super fancy garbage like streaming games where you start playing the first level while the second is still downloading and so forth or any wacky play all the games you want for one monthly price subscription system where the game is never actually stored locally I don t mean downloading in installments and I m not asking for a reduced price It s really very simple let me download the entire installer one big file and then install the game That s all I can download a 2 GB MMO client from FilePlanet any time I want It takes a couple of hours tops on my cable connection Then I install the game just as I would from a CD or DVD disc The client then connects to a master server goes I m legit and lets me start playing This is much more difficult than simply letting me download a typical installer and giving me a

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/535/535505p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Volume 2 || Issue 10 - Page 1
    close to a survival horror game with FPS controls and sweet sweet Carmackian rendering technology This would make me quite happy Should it prove to be the case you will see an embittered Cynic eating his words four years after the fact But for the time being what I d like to complain about instead is hardware The jerks at id Software have made a game that I think may be good enough that I really want to play it Now While this may SOUND like a good thing what it actually means is that I m going to have to build a new system There are two problems with this DOOM 3 Problem one I hate building new computers Hate it I ve been doing it since 1995 and I despise it every time I have to do it It s not so much physically putting together the parts these days that s not a major deal It s the tedious research My god I don t care whether my RAM is two nanoseconds faster than a competing brand or not I am willing to sacrifice fractions of an FPS if it means not having to read technical specifications until my eyes glaze over I matters not the least to me which company I support or what chipsets I m using so long as when I plug the machine in it works But try finding easy information on how to build a system from scratch using parts that are going to work well for you without having to have a degree in electrical engineering to sort through all of your options Go ahead try I ll wait Back Some smartass is going just buy a Dell dude or better yet an Alienware Yeah that s fantastic until you realize

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/531/531715p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Volume 2 || Issue 9 - Page 1
    In the post Half Life era relying almost exclusively on cutscenes rather than scripted sequences and emergent gameplay styles of interaction is usually a mistake There s little replay value to Alice because everything is virtually identical each time through Additionally while the dark and brooding atmosphere is very well executed it probably wasn t the sort of thing most people were looking for in a video game While I believe many would ve enjoyed the setting given the chance it s not the sort of thing that shrieks BUY ME to the average consumer Oh and sorry American but you re not Sid Meier and I don t think having your name in the title sold many extra copies Why You Should Grab It If you appreciate art direction and design in games Alice is a must have Seriously The texture work is wonderful the level designs breathtaking at times and the overall execution is solid and enjoyable The story s fun and the game comes up with plenty of different ways to hold your attention rather than simply being a run n gun or uh run n throw razor sharp playing cards game Nocturne Genre Survival Horror What It s About The Stranger has trained all his life for one purpose he s a monster killer Demons werewolves vampires zombies you name it and The Stranger is ready and willing to kill it Set in the 30s Nocturne uses four vignettes to tell the story of The Stranger and his employers a government funded paranormal activity investigation unit that largely investigates by filling the paranormal full of lead Or silver Or wooden stakes What They Did Right The static camera angles allow for higher polygon environments than the other engines of the day They also allow for anti aliasing which at the time was essentially unheard of in real time 3D And yes those backgrounds are real time not pre rendered which allowed for the ahead of its time lighting and shadowing engine to really do its thing Additional perks included interesting cloth simulation a wide variety of fun weapons four separate storylines that could be played in any order and a huge host of monsters ready and willing to jump out at the shadows and scare you to death What They Screwed Up Okay let s get it over with the controls sucked This has been the biggest complaint about Nocturne since the day it was released Consciously choosing to base the control scheme off of Resident Evil s almost universally loathed system was a bad idea and burying the keys to making it playable involving adjusting the mouse support in a variety of ways deep in the menus didn t help anything The game was also clunky on all but the fastest systems of the day though it played fine on my lightning fast 600 MHz with a TNT 2 No multiplayer and a lack of replayability contributed to the game s problems Why You Should

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/528/528515p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Volume 2 || Issue 8 - Page 1
    of Time is unquestionably the best looking of the Unreal v1 games Gorgeous textures complement amazing level design and nifty models Wheel of Time also features more scripting and interactivity than most of the FPS titles of its day What They Screwed Up Probably the single biggest hit against Wheel of Time was the spell system Managing the various Ter angreal was too complex for most people to bother learning Additionally while the Wheel of Time titles sell lots of copies there seems to be fewer gamers who were enticed by the license than might have been expected Why You Should Grab It If you can locate a copy you ll find that Wheel of Time s weapons system is actually only difficult on the surface The spells are logically placed and it only takes a few minutes to really become acquainted with them The story requires no knowledge whatsoever of the books and is reasonably interesting Beyond all that the game is still very pretty to look at Arcanum Genre RPG What It s About What would Victorian era England be like if magic existed in the world and didn t get along real well with technology Arcanum uses this premise to build one of the most interesting settings in recent RPG history What They Did Right Arcanum features arguably the best and certainly most in depth character creation system ever This combines with an original setting and a ridiculous amount of quests from small Fedex item retrieval quests to a huge and all encompassing story The wide variety of character skills means that you can approach these quests in vastly different ways The game also allows you to pick between nearly a dozen potential party members as you work your way through it What They Screwed Up Arcanum

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/525/525439p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic - Page 1
    not going to live up to the hype It ll be buggy Or the cool features will be stripped Or it will be delayed for so long that by the time it comes out it s already been surpassed by other titles in every important way How many times has this happened I lost count years ago It s a constant problem with this industry both on the side that builds the games and the side that reports about them I ve written more articles full of exclamation points and excited proclamations about upcoming titles than I d like to admit I ve also missed the mark on good games a few times Deus Ex Yeah the first time I saw that at E3 my reaction was Wow this is going to suck That s a pretty far cry from my eventual belief that it is in fact the pinnacle of first person gaming This is why E3 is both a blessing and a curse The blessing is obvious we get to see or at least read about upcoming titles that are still months or years away from release We get a taste of the latest n greatest cinematics from Blizzard and Konami We get a glimpse into the fun we re going to have in the future Unfortunately the curse often follows We get excited about the fun things that are coming up only to be let down when they actually happen This is human nature but it also represents a real problem in the industry broken promises and excessive hype We build things up and all too often they come tumbling down The pinnacle of first person gaming So how do we avoid the hype machine without sucking all of the fun right out of covering upcoming games

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/521/521969p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic -- Volume 2 || Issue 5 - Page 1
    a self contained underpowered machine that made no apologies about appealing expressly to people s eyes rather than being a top of the line piece of hardware Yes that s all true That s the point The iMac redefined what computers could look like and you know what It sold like hotcakes It saved Apple Computer and incidentally paved the way for them to make MUCH better looking systems a few years down the road It also helped usher in the fad of PC case customization a fad which has made it next to impossible for me to buy a case that doesn t look like it s auditioning for a part in Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo First it was different colors Alienware helped to pioneer this with its blues and greens and yellows Next thing to be added was huge unnecessary lumps of plastic extruded and molded and beveled to look sleek and mainstream When this was no longer enough we began carving up the computer case installing acrylic windows neon tubing and specialty fans grills in order to try and showcase the innards of our systems No one seemed to notice that the innards of a computer are inherently boring no matter how you light them It slices it dices it wait wrong product Look at this monstrosity It s bad enough that it s got the huge goofy window in the side but the angled chrome front combined with the style of ventilation they opted for makes it look like some sort of industrial sized cheese grater This is the norm now for cases If they re not completely coated in ugly turquoise translucent plastic then they have to make up for it by being oddly shaped and goofy looking I don t know about the rest

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/509/509509p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic -- Volume 2 || Issue 4 - Page 1
    this work Anyone who s familiar with consumer audio video equipment knows that current multitasking devices are generally held in a less than positive light When was the last time you heard a glowing report on a combination VCR DVD system They re tough to find because typically what happens with combo units is that they re made with inferior components The reason for this is simple and it affects the upcoming console generations as well Price Simply put it s prohibitive to use top of the line components because it raises the price of the end product to levels that consumers are unwilling to pay People don t want to shell out three hundred dollars or more for a combination VCR and DVD player even though getting two top of the line boxes one for each purpose could easily cost that much People aren t going to pay eight hundred bucks for their next console It s just not going to happen This means that corners are going to have to be cut and the easiest way to do that is to use low quality components We ve already seen this with the current generation of hardware The PS2 plays DVDs yes but its output is about the worst you re going to find on the shelves You can expect this trend to continue with future generations ReplayTV Which isn t to say that they ll be a bad choice I currently have a cheesy cable company provided DVR that TiVo and ReplayTV would point and laugh at but it does enough things to serve my needs and I m quite happy with it Similarly I know many people who don t mind playing DVDs on their PS2 The real question is whether high end A V fans will

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/506/506233p1.html (2016-02-16)
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