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  • Registered 5 years ago
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Recent comments

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 27 days ago

    This is the main criticism I've had with Level 5 RPGs (save for Dragon Quest 8, which I love): absolutely stunning to look at, but usually on the shallow side. It reminds me of the first Level 5 game I played, Dark Cloud 2, way back in the early 2000's on PS2. Beautiful game, charming characters, lovely enemy design, memorable soundtrack, fun weapon crafting. The main problem? It took what should've been a 30-hour RPG, and stretched it to over 70 hours - and the combat wasn't nearly deep enough to compensate for being stretched so thin.

    I feel like every RPG from this studio has followed more or less the same formula, for better or for worse. At least you know what you're getting from them; but it always feels like there's such missed potential, to fill out these astounding-looking games with more complex systems, and less fetch quest padding.

    Posted in Ni No Kuni 2 Review

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 5 months ago

    THANK YOU! This is the obvious question to ask. The onus shouldn't be on players and the community to volunteer to run events for a billion-dollar company, even if the grassroots events are fun. These should absolutely be Blizzard-sponsored events at registered hobby and game stores - which are set up to do exactly this kind of thing, and regularly host upwards of 50 gamers for other, paper-based card games.

    Posted in The Hearthstone Devs Go In-Depth on Dungeon Runs, and Address Safety at Fireside Gatherings

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 5 months ago

    I only played during the Burning Crusade era, for about eight months in 2007 - and while I loved the vanilla content from 1-60, I actually disliked everything about Outlands from level 60 onwards. The aesthetic, the quest design, the storytelling, the factions, all of it left me wanting for the "traditional" fantasy fare of the vanilla game. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to participate - the old raids like Molten Core were obsolete, and it was all about heroic dungeons and then Karazhan. I would've killed for the ability to pick what zones I wanted to play in, and which I wanted to skip altogether, but I guess I was a decade too early!

    Posted in World of Warcraft's Expanded Level Scaling Is the Change the Game Desperately Needed

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 6 months ago

    Yes, Jaz is back! I was really worried when I hadn't seen your tagline in what seemed like months. Glad you're still covering the hardcore racing sims!

    Posted in Gran Turismo Sport Review: More Similar to the Prologue Series Than We'd Like [Now With a Score]

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 6 months ago

    @SatelliteOfLove Completely agree! These games are more like self-contained, all-encompassing hobbies, compared to "traditional" one-and-done video games. I think there's a time and a place for both to co-exist, but anytime you get heavily into an online, competitive game, it demands that you devote most - or all - of your free time to it. While there are some games that are well worth the effort and time required, sometimes all you want to do is kick back, relax, and not have to deal with anyone else.

    Posted in Games as Services Are Changing the Way We Interact With Video Games

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 7 months ago

    @KaiserWarrior The current game we're talking about also supports Xbox One and PS4, which are well-known closed-garden ecosystems. How exactly would players go about setting up their own dedicated servers to interact with Xbox Live and PSN? Or should the developers ignore these simple, primitive console folk, and cater only to their most hardcore PC fanbase in allowing fan-run dedicated servers, because as you say, "these problems were solved decades ago"?

    Blizzard is a gaming company, not just a PC company. Hearthstoneis played likely more often on tablets and phones than it is on laptops these days. They're trying to solve problems that affect gamers everywhere, so that we can all have the best experience, no matter how we choose to play. Perhaps you turn up your nose at any non-PC competitive game, but in the Year of our Lord 2017, esports are starting to reach beyond PCs, and the problem of toxicity in each esport's gaming community won't go away. They certainly won't be solved by having player communities build up further walled gardens, especially when the esports in question are on console, or nowadays, on mobile. No - these problems need to be approached head on, and dealt with, rather than being swept under the rug.

    As far as automated tools go, I reject the premise that they can't be useful in solving behavioural issues. Like you say, they are tools - meant to be wielded by human beings to more easily perform a task. If the tool is bad, throw it away, and construct a better one; further, if the tool is driving the human, rather than the other way around, then put the people back in charge. What I will agree with you on is that taking development time away from the game team to develop tools is the wrong approach. Every single competitive game, bar none, needs a dedicated tools team, from day one, whose sole focus is on developing algorithms and software to deal with community issues, such as toxicity.

    Posted in Toxic Players Are Slowing Down Overwatch's Development

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 7 months ago

    @KaiserWarrior I guess you don't play competitive games, do you? You're really oversimplifying things and romanticizing for another era. Having centralized servers and allowing every player to be in the same player pool allows for better matchmaking, to let players more easily find competition at the same level, and for game companies to more easily reward the better players with loot at regular intervals, whether that's at the end of seasons, or at other times. It ensure that everyone's always playing the same game, no matter where you live, which allows serious tournaments to be organized, and for esports and sponsorships to be taken seriously. The game developer can more easily collect metrics and analytics, gather feedback, and issue balance patches and updates to address user feedback and behaviour.

    Really, there's no substitute, when it comes to competitive games. I mean, if it's just Mario Kart, where casual play groups are the norm, then sure, we don't need Nintendo to administer all of the central servers. But for anything that's remotely close to the esports scene - and Overwatch certainly qualifies - you can't just replace their current model with a bunch of homebrew private servers, and expect the competitive scene to continue to thrive.

    I'm happy that Blizzard is taking community toxicity seriously, and enough so that they're developing resources and game features to it. It's not something that's pleasant for anyone, but it does need to be addressed, before they start losing big portions of their player base that aren't willing to put up with immaturity, racism, sexism, and the like any longer.

    Posted in Toxic Players Are Slowing Down Overwatch's Development

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 8 months ago

    I wonder if this is a bit like the WoW phenomenon in the late 2000's - with MMOs being the "hot" genre, and Blizzard racking up billions in yearly revenue, every other publisher wanted - needed - to get in on the action. They all spent hundreds of millions of dollars on subscription-based MMOs, and almost to a letter, they all failed. A decade later, WoW is the last man standing, and these days no one is clamouring for a new MMO.

    It's hard to go up against the incumbents, especially when they're already massively successful, and have a couple years head start. Like MMOs, or MOBAs, a lot of these team-based shooters are as much hobbies as they are games - people typically can only get into one, maybe two, because they all require both a deep time and skill commitment. Overwatch players are probably the most likely to enjoy your new arena shooter, but, they're already busy playing Overwatch.

    Posted in Why Aren't Players Connecting With Lawbreakers?

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 8 months ago

    Holy crap, an article about Fire Pro on USgamer! You guys sure know a way to a man's heart. :)

    Mike, you hit the nail on the head, about why this game has such a diehard following. Learning the highly technical fighting system and then bringing it to bear on your opponents is quite the journey, and becomes very satisfying once you move beyond button mashing (which doesn't get you very far) and start taking into account your opponent's health, stamina, and wrestling style. But then you discover the create-a-wrestler mode, and the incredible CPU logic section. For anyone who enjoyed FF 12's Gambit system - the CPU logic for the wrestlers is like that, but on performance enhancing substances. Creating a wrestler from scratch, and then sculpting not only his looks and his gear but also his behaviour, and then fine-tuning that to every last possible scenario, is one of the deepest, most rewarding experiences in any wrestling game - heck, probably any game.

    One of my favourite things to do on the GBA version of Fire Pro (back in the day, when I had lots of free time!) was to create sixteen characters, put them in a single-bracket tournament, and then set all of the matches to CPU-only. Then I'd watch the greatest wrestling tournament play out in front of my eyes, and marvel at the tactics these characters would use when they were under pressure. It quickly became even more fun than actually playing the game itself.

    So awesome to see that this game is still being actively developed and supported after all of these years!

    Posted in Fire Pro Wrestling World's Best Feature Is The Amazing Steam Workshop Characters

  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon PlatypusPlatoon 9 months ago

    I loved this article! Long-form features like this are why USgamer is still my favourite destination to read about all things video games. I love the research and attention to detail you put into this piece. I know we can't expect articles like this every day, but man are they worth it when they arrive!

    Posted in The Oral History of EVO: The Story of the World's Largest Fighting Game Tournament