0verhyped

Less than amusing ramblings from a jaded former gamer.

Monthly Archives: April 2012

N0t Hyped: VVVVVV (PC, Mac, 3DS)

Pretty cheery looking fellow considering all the killer spikes jutting out around him.

A.K.A ENJOYING THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE AS THEY’RE TURNED INSIDE OUT

In celebration of the new found laziness only updating three days a week provides me (and the fact that I’m really busy at work and don’t have nearly as much time to write) let’s talk about a short indie game today. Or if you find me boring just click the picture up there and demo VVVVVV for yourself, what the fuck do you need me for?

Anyways, for everyone who didn’t immediately click that link, remember the Commodore 64? I don’t. Probably because I never owned one, but I’m sure some people do, people like Terry Cavanagh, who styled his game VVVVVV after games from the Commodore 64 and the bizarre things he wrote down in his dream journal.

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Time For Me To Pump The Brakes

Okay, I’ve been having fun posting entire essays on subjects no one cares about onto a blog that only one guy reads, but I can’t really keep doing that every day anymore. I started 0verhyped both to off-load a lot of pent up aggression carried over from my gaming days and to help get some closure on a period of my life I feel was largely a mistake.

Writing a big post about something I want to move on from every single day is kinda hurting the healing process. It’s also just really time consuming, probably because I don’t know when enough is enough and just keep writing and writing until I get to ridiculously long posts.

But it’s getting where I’m really struggling to finish a post every day and I think my writing is also suffering for it as well. The first couple of weeks I had so much I wanted to say that I had held back for so long that it just kinda poured out of me. Like a ruptured damn that had been building up pressure for years. Now the pressure is easing up, so I’m not bursting with things to rant on about.

I still have plenty left to say, but I don’t have nearly as many entire novellas pre-written in my head to draw from, so I’m going to slow down and aim to update only three times a week, specifically Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is what xkcd does, so I guess it’d work for me as well. This will also give me the opportunity to make better posts because I’ll have more time. I likely will not use that opportunity and just slack off on days I don’t update, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Also I’ve taken some time to organize the stuff I’ve already written into some new subsections you’ll find at the top of the page. The way WordPress organizes my posts is awful, so I just made my own pages where you can more easily find previous articles and posts. There’s also a new F.A.Q. where you can learn more about the hack who writes all this crazy and grammatically incorrect nonsense.

Short version, I’m going to kick back today. To my regular readers (a.k.a. John Weeran), I’ll see you Monday.

How Talent Can Make All The Difference

No fate but what we make.

A.K.A. WHY NEW VEGAS IS MILES AHEAD OF FALLOUT 3

In my last couple of posts I said Fallout 3 was boring. I also thought GTA IV was boring, and Oblivion, and Red Dead Redemption, and Skyrim. I found all these games so incredibly mind numbingly boring I didn’t even pay any attention when Fallout: New Vegas came out. I didn’t even bother to look at it.

And luckily, unlike that godawful oversold half-assed fucking piece of worthless shit Skyrim, New Vegas was courteous enough not to pound itself into my fucking skull at every turn by using millions in advertising to brain wash idiots into shouting its greatness at every turn. So it came and went quietly and I didn’t have to listen to a gaggle of morons drool over the exact same game that’s already been made at least twice before.

New Vegas just looked like another one of Bethesda’s cheap rehashes and I was sick of their games. I only tried Skyrim because a friend brought it over, and I turned it off after an hour because I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t incredibly boring. Then I popped in Saints Row: Third and let him experiment with satchel charges. You be surprised how much air a cement mixer can get if you strap enough bombs to it.

Later I found out the same friend had New Vegas as well, and apparently had barely played it. Since this was the winter, which is the slow season at where I work, and I was already bored, I figured, what the hell? I can try it and give it back once the boredom sets it. I did find Fallout 3 less boring than GTA IV, Red Dead, Skyrim, and Oblivion. I could probably scrounge up a little fun. Little did I know I’d be getting a lot more than my money’s worth.

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Pointless Achievements: The Nuka-Cola Challenge


Go forth into the unforgiving hellscape that was once our world my child.
And don’t forget to pick up my favorite brand of soda while you’re at it.

Well, yesterday, I spent a lot of time whining about modern sandbox games just filling their mostly empty worlds with pointless crap to keep people busy. So I figured for today I’d pick an achievement to demonstrate this cliche of lazy game design. And it was kind of hard to choose, because so many sandbox games have so very many pointless tedious achievements.

But I decided on The Nuka-Cola Challenge achievement from Fallout 3. Not because you have to find all of a certain set of items hidden everywhere in a massive game world, that would be the Valut-Tec C.E.O. and Weaponsmith achievements. Nor is it for collectibles in a small area, that would be Mill Worker and Alien Archivist from the expansions.

The Nuka-Cola Challenge achievement, and the quest of the same name, is the task of collecting thirty Nuka-Cola Quantums and giving them to some crazy lady who collects Nuka-Cola merchandise. That’s pretty much it. A whole massive post apocalyptic wasteland to explore, but the developers were so short on interesting quests to fill it with that this of all things got marked with an achievement.

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Wide Open Worlds: Miles Long, Inches Deep

Places to go, nothing to see.

A.K.A. BIGGER ISN’T NECESSARILY BETTER

Games with big world maps seem to be all the rage these days. More commonly the games known as wide open sandboxes, so named because the player is usually free to go wherever and do whatever they want with little or no restrictions. If you want to take the analogy one step further you could say the various gameplay elements and fun things to do are toys sitting in the sand box, just waiting for someone to play with them.

Unlike a lot of things I find baffling about modern gamers, the appeal of wide open sandboxes is pretty obvious. It’s exciting to think there’s a whole big virtual playground just waiting for you to discover all the fun goodies that are hidden out there. It’s a good concept and it’s inviting for potential customers because they see it as getting more for their money when they buy a game with a huge world that takes a lot of time to finish.

But from my perspective, a lot of modern wide open sandbox games just seem to be exploiting the basic formula without much of an understanding of what made it fun in the first place. Even worse, I think game companies know that and are banking on gamers’ compulsive tendencies to fill in for the lack of quality in a lot of modern sand box games. That or I’m really old and hard to please, so nothing anyone does can satisfy me anymore. It’s probably one of those two.

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N0t Hyped: Earth Defense Force 2017 (XBOX 360)

Pictured: The Earth Defense Force…all of it.

A.K.A. BLOW SHIT UP: THE GAME!

Now in previous posts I’ve complained about too much mindless murder in games. But I want to make something clear, I don’t dislike killing stuff in video games. I just dislike it when killing is clumsily shoehorned into parts of a game that didn’t need it, or the game as a whole. Like how Mirror’s Edge had the option to grab guns and shoot people, even though it was a game all about free running and parkour. Or how Mass Effect and BioShock are suppose to be these great story driven games, but every other waking second is killing a bunch of mindless enemies that all look the same.

It’s like trying to make a dramatic movie where every scene not devoted to the story is a fast paced shoot out. It tends to undercut the dramatic impact of the story when you constantly insert pointless action into it for the sake of keeping certain people from getting bored. By the same virtue I get annoyed when an action orientated game has constant annoying interruptions for the sake of pretending it’s not an action game (bite me Bayonetta).

But I do like killing stuff in video games, and I feel it’s done best when the game is entirely devoted to just that one concept. So that’s probably why I love Earth Defense Force 2017. A game whose pitifully meager budget was entirely spent in two areas. Cramming as many alien monsters onto a single map as possible and creating more insane off the walls weapons than you could ever possibly need.

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Rock Band 3 Giveaway Update

Picture on loan from Zentastic.com until such time they realize I took it.

Over a week ago I started a contest for anyone living in North America to try and win a new copy of Rock Band 3 off me. Since then literally no one has entered. Normally I’d just chalk that up to the fact that almost no one reads my crappy blog and the one person who does lives in the Netherlands and the game I’m giving away isn’t PAL compatible. (Hi John Weeren. Thanks for commenting. Sorry I don’t have any PAL region games to give away at the moment.)

But I noticed yesterday that even if someone wanted to enter the contest they probably can’t. In my original post I told people to get my e-mail address from my profile, which I assumed anyone could see by clicking my name that appears at the top of every post I write. Only yesterday I realized that clicking a person’s name on WordPress apparently just shows you everything they wrote, instead of the author’s profile.

Which seems pretty dumb to me, but whatever. Point is, if you want to enter the contest you can E-mail me at JadedXGamer@gmail.com. Sorry to the one or two people who actually did want to enter but couldn’t. If you haven’t heard about my giveaway, you can find out all about it by reading this post where I’m offering an XBOX 360 copy of Rock Band 3 to the first person who manages to talk me into it. Remember, literally no one has entered yet, so your odds might actually be pretty good to win. But you still have to impress me first.

Pointless Achievements: Party Animal


Yeah, you get seven buddies together for some Burnout and say:
“Everyone please line up single file for challenge number 347.

I’d argue Burnout Paradise feels kinda like a pointless game in general. Instead of crafting courses around specific challenges like in the previous Burnouts, they decided to just plop you down in a single open city and recycle the same six or so activities in about a thousand different locations. Basically a driving game in a wide-open but shallow sandbox, or “truly next generation gameplay” according to Alex Ward.

Judging from how popular Skyrim is, true next generation gameplay is the exact same sub-par tedious gameplay found in so many dull games of the past, but now they sprinkle it over a giant pretty world that takes forever to get around in. In Burnout Paradise every event and race tends to blend together very quickly because it all takes place in one giant location instead of a bunch of smaller ones.

Party Animal feels like the zenith of lazy game design in Burnout Paradise. To earn the Party Animal achievement you must complete at least 250 different online challenges. Like all online achievements, you’ll be dependent on other people, but that’s not the problem this time. Online challenges come in chunks assigned to how many people you play with, and this stupid decision created a hell of a mess for anyone wanting to get this crappy achievement.

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In Memoriam: MyGamerCard.net

If you don’t remember this logo, allow me to refresh your memory.

A.K.A. WHERE’S THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY IN THE GAMING COMMUNITY?

I complain, a lot. Bitching makes up around 80% of what I do around here. I’ve complained a lot about achievements and other arbitrary goals game makers casually insert into their titles to artificially extended the playtime. I’ve whined on about how my own lack of self control compels me to do crazy things for imaginary points. So why is it today I’m making a post in remembrance of MyGamerCard.net, a website mostly devoted to tracking achievements?

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N0t Hyped: Fishing Resort (Wii)

Rating Pending? Did the ESRB really think this game was going to contain brutal shark attacks and drug smuggling?

A.K.A. DON’T JUDGE BOOKS BY THEIR COVER

So when I got a Wii, one of the first games I played was Twilight Princess. It didn’t really leave much of an impression on me, but I do remember really enjoying the fishing section. You get to row out in the middle of this picturesque lake and just cast a line out for some bass. You flicked the Wii remote to cast and spun the nunchuck around to reel in your catch. I liked it.

I’ve seen a lot of gamers complain about motion controls on a system that heavily advertised motion controls as its main feature for some reason. Apparently the concept of mimicking actual movements to do things is a little too foreign a concept for people who’ve trained themselves to equate running around and shooting people with twiddling your thumbs on a couple plastic sticks while mashing some small buttons marked with letters or colorful shapes. I’m guessing if we ever did get holodeck technology these people would just use it to make a bigger T.V. so they can sit on their ass and play some games with their thumbs.

Anyways, I enjoyed the fishing in Twilight Princess enough to consider buying a fishing game. But since I’m really picky, I never really found one I was willing to invest in. Lots of fishing games were made, but they all usually seemed a little too cheaply made for me to jump in. I guess it’s more my fault than anything. I’m just not a big enough fishing fan to ever even try a fishing game that didn’t seem like the perfect fit for me, or for expecting game companies to pour big budgets into such a niche market. Yet, I finally seemed to have found my perfect fishing game in Fishing Resort, and only five years after Twilight Princess.

It looked pretty simple from the box art, but I did notice a few things about it that made it stand out. It was created by Yuji Naka, the guy who invented Sonic the Hedgehog. It was also published by XSEED, a company who goes out of its way to translate and release obscure Japanese games for just me apparently because almost no one else ever buys them. And lastly I needed another game to take advantage of a sale on Amazon and I figured what the hell, this is only twenty dollars. Wouldn’t you know it, this is one of the rare occasions where my impulsive spending habits actually worked out for the better.

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