Well, this is ONE way to make me stop…

Okay, so Microsoft is as lazy as a lazy ass sitting on his ass and decided to, pretty much, FORCEFULLY dump all of their bloggers onto WordPress.

I’ve been here for five minutes and I already don’t like it. The font is shite and much harder to read, the page layout isn’t that good, and I can’t find ANY way of deleting posts, so I just decided to edit the preset post that was stuck here for no apparent reason. Oh, and there aren’t any smilies.

So yeah. Hi y’all. I’m here from Windows Live Spaces, and from first appearances, I don’t like this site much. I’m just here because I was forced to be here. Suppose I’ll have a look around here and see what’s what. 😛

UPDATE!!

Okay, so there ARE smilies, that are added in automatically! That’s good. 😀

UPDATE 2!!

Well, I’ve updated everything and it looks a little better. Still crap. Took me God-knows how long just to change the settings to what I want them to be. Plus, none of the people who sometimes commented on Windows Live are on WordPress, which further increases my blog’s pointlessness, because now absolutely NO-ONE will friggin’ read it.

Meh… whatever… >.>

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I expected the expected, but not the unexpected. (SEMANTIC SATIATION!!)

First, the expected.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/halo-reach (It’s not Reach, it’s RETCH. Get it right. Smile with tongue out)

How did I know that Halo Retch was gonna get above 90? Because all their shit games have abnormal scores. Smile with tongue out Halo 1 was excellent. It got a realistic 83. Halo 2 was lame. Metacritic only has the PC version, which got a slightly high 72. Halo 3 was crap. It got a ridiculous 94. From then on, the critics go into "That game series is famous and therefore it must be good" mode. Halo Wars was the worst RTS known to man. It got 82. Halo ODST was one of the worst shooters known to man. It got 83. And now, Halo Retch. This is the very reason I don’t take critics even SLIGHTLY seriously, because their two rules are "Good graphics == good game" and "Sequel to famous series == good game". Also, "Bad previous game == bad sequel".

Moving nicely onto the other expected thing. This is a game I really want:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/tom-clancys-hawx-2

Now, how did I know this was going to get an average score? Because the original got almost the EXACT SAME SCORE. Even though the original was one of the most intense and awesome game experiences I’ve ever had. There was nothing wrong with the game apart from a couple of the campaign missions and the deprived multiplayer gameplay that felt as if it was bolted on as an afterthought.
And another question… how can the PS3 version be better? It’s THE SAME DAMN GAME! How can it be better on one system than on another?! And don’t give me any of that "better graphics" crap, because A: good graphics don’t make a good game, and B: the graphics difference between the PS3 and Xbox 360 is so miniscule that only fanboys would "notice" it. Smile with tongue out

Here’s a prediction: I bet Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock gets 60 or lower. Give or take a few points. Why? Because it can’t get more than Halo Retch or indeed any other AAA shooter that’s been released in the past 6 months or so (that would make them look bad), and because people will say it’s the exact same thing or that this new story mode has been implemented wrong (even if it hasn’t). Even though Halo Retch is the same thing as all the other Halo games, and Halo’s storyline has already been implemented wrong because it’s SHIT. Smile with tongue out
You might think that I’ve got good odds by saying "60 or lower", but remember, critics believe that 1 = TOTAL BULLSHIT AND SHOULD BE DESTROYED, 5 = Crap, 10 = Perfect. Even though perfection is pretty much impossible, because people are different and may have problems with things that others don’t. Smile with tongue out

Now… here’s what I DIDN’T expect:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/sonic-adventure

This is part "wow, cool!" and part "why…?". You’ve got the original Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, which was awesome. Then you’ve got the ultra-buggy Sonic Adventure DX on the PC, and that’s basically a clone of the original with Sonic Adventure 2’s Chao Garden, plus a bunch of bugs thrown in for good measure. Now it’s on XBLA? I’ve never known a company release THREE of the same game before. Smile with tongue out

I know what it is. It’s to get money for Sonic 4. Smile with tongue out Which the critics will give about a 70, because of Critic Rule #6: "Popular retro games have an impenetrable barrier and cannot be beaten no matter how hard you try".
The re-release will probably get about a 50. Because of Critic Rules #7: "Re-releases automatically get less points than the original" and #8: "Re-releases will only get a good score if the original was ultra-popular". Smile with tongue out

But… Sega. Sonic Adventure 3? No furry werehog or annoying helper? I’ll love you long time! Wink Ah, what the hell, they won’t hear me. Smile with tongue out

UPDATE!!

Heh. Yeah. Dead Rising 2 is going to be released soon. I want that game, because it looks intriguing, and it’s got two-player co-op, but then again, everyone’s playing Halo Retch, and they only ever seem to play one game at a time (World of Warcraft is NOT a game).
If this gets about five points less than the the original, it’s official – reviewers don’t actually play the games they review properly. Of course, their rules invisibly state that they can’t give it 90+, because that would mean it’s almost as good as Halo Retch after just two games, and again, that’d make them look bad. Smile with tongue out But usually, if it’s a sequel and the original got an "average" (by reviewer standards) score, which is about 7 or 8 (I YELLED TO THE CABBY ‘YO HOLMES, SMELL YA LATER!’), they always seem to decrease its score by 5 points or so. It happened with H.A.W.X, and I’m sure it’s happened MANY times before that.

I swear, though, reviewers ONLY play games by Blizzard, Rockstar, Bungie, Bioware, Bethesda and Epic. MAYBE Capcom, if it’s Street Fighter. Anyone else gets the quarter-assed treatment. One person may research and/or play the game to scout out its features so they can write a review that SOUNDS like they played it properly, but after that, they either get bribed for a score, question gamers about the game, or use trailers, gameplay videos and some retarded algorithm to give it a score without seriously playing it. By "seriously", I mean actually giving it a chance, trying to have fun and not BLASTING through the main storyline as fast as possible.

UPDATE 2!!

I DON’T BELIEVE IT. I was totally right. Dead Rising 2, so far, has got FOUR points less than the original. Even though it looks as if it’s the same as the original apart from a bunch of improvements that should technically INCREASE it’s score. But remember, they can’t give it anywhere near 90, because of Halo Retch. Smile with tongue out

And look at Sonic Adventure. IT GOT ALMOST EXACTLY 50 POINTS. I can read these critics like a book. Smile with tongue out

Monster Fight!

All finished with my first Kaiju render. 😀

I planned it to be a fight scene from the start, but I find it kinda difficult to capture something like that in one image. For some reason. 😛 Maybe it’s because, amazingly, even though my renders consist solely of dragons, demons, aliens and things that fall into the “monsters” category, I’ve never actually finished a scene like this before. 😛 I’ve attempted several fight scenes with dragons and demons, some with weapons, but mainly unarmed. They turned out okay, but I wasn’t really proud of them.

But, finally… I’ve made one I am proud of. 😉 Check it out:

If you see this text for an abnormal amount of time, then you're being deprived of an awesome image because one or more links in the Internetz are phailing. Maybe try again later?

(You think I rendered it at this size? Hehe, good one. 😉 Click on it! :))

Somehow, with Kaiju, I managed to render a fight scene that looks pretty neat! It’s like he was made for scenes like this. 😀 I dunno, maybe I’m better at showing the beauty of the dragon rather than their power. I’m okay with that. 🙂

There’s something I don’t get, though. I’m not really a great artist, and although I’m pretty good at rendering images that look cool without any post-production needed, there are people who can render way better than I can, and they can also do ultra-awesome things with Photoshop, unlike me. So… why don’t the people who MAKE the model try to impress with their promotional images instead of making super-average images like this one?! I mean… it’s alright, but I’d’ve thought the model author could’ve… y’know… rendered something way better? 😛

Let’s see, here’s the recipe for those who are intrigued: Add one blue Kaiju into a bowl, add head spikes, back spines and tail spike, then carefully pose. Next, add another Kaiju, recolour his texture to be red, add bull horns, back spikes and tail spikes, then carefully pose.
Add one UberEnvironment at 85% intensity, and one distant light at 70% intensity with Raytracing on and 2% shadow softness. Add two spotlights at 60% intensity and 24 spread angle, and point one at each Kaiju’s visible eye.
Choose a render angle, create a camera, and set up Depth of Field. Finally, add a suitable background.
Tweak all settings until happy, mix together, and render at maximum quality for about an hour. When finished, save as a PNG to get the transparency, load into Photoshop with the same background used during rendering, blur out all rough edges and things that look a little “off”, add scar, dust and impact effects, add a signature, and save as a JPG at quality level 10. All finished. 😀

Any comments on the render? What’cha think of it? Is there anything that I could do to improve it? 🙂 (Without a-sploding my brain, of course. :P)

Kaiju’s an awesome model – he’s so easy to pose, but I still find a couple of things a bit irritating, namely the hands and feet. Well… the feet aren’t too bad. I guess I’m just used to the SubDragon – his toes are separate, and Kaiju’s are all grouped together. Doesn’t really matter for this image. 😉 The hands are bad, though. It’s nice to be using a model with four fingers rather than the SubDragon’s three, but they’re badly modelled. Plus, it’s a huge faff to get him to clench his fists, because there’s no “clenchFist” slider (or similar), and there’re no hand poses supplied – just the same old preset poses which only unoriginal people use. 😛 Unless you’re using them as a base, and modifying them. In that case, it’s all good. 😉 Anyway, I made a little something for those who want Kaiju to clench and unclench his fists without having to modify the 15 finger joints every time. 😀 They’re a couple of (quite useful) partial poses. Put the poses in your content folder, and drag them onto Kaiju when you need them. No problem. 😉

Right, I’m off for now – I’ll see yas later! 🙂

Kaijuuuuu!

So, I’ve finally opened up DAZ Studio, loaded Kaiju, and started messing around with him to see what’s what. There is one thing I need to correct, though – you DON’T need DAZ Studio 3.1 to use Kaiju. Open-mouthed smile I found that out when I tried loading Kaiju into DAZ Studio 3 again, and it went through the same non-responsive screw up, but after a little while, it started responding again, and he appeared in the scene. That’s great, because now there’s NO chance of a joint randomly moving when I select it. Smile with tongue out

At first glance, the model looked great. He’s big and mighty, and he can be scary, badass, or just *duhhhhh*. Smile with tongue out But, as I was going through the joints to get a feel for the model, I ran into one or ten problems. Smile with tongue out

Some of the joints have bad limits, and I think there’s one that has no limits at all… yeah, the neck. It can spin around and around endlessly. Smile with tongue out No huge deal, though, because the bad limits can be changed when you need it, and you can’t exactly make his head spin 180 without meaning to. Smile with tongue out
But… there’s a massive problem with a lot of the parameters. You see… I don’t know what the modeller was drinking while he did this, but he applied almost EVERY morph to EVERY body part. For example, there’s "FootReptile" on the head, and "FBMTorsoSlender" on the foot. Wut?! Confused smile Then there’re some weird morphs that do something completely retarded, for example, "JCMrThighNeg40". Don’t know WTF it means, but it moves the skin on his thigh upwards towards his abdomen. I don’t see any reason why anyone would want to do that. If you make it go past 65%, the mesh starts to OVERLAP. Confused smile

What else, ah yes – his hands. They’re… pretty badly modelled, really. Smile with tongue out They look fine from a distance, but when you go in close… I dunno, there’s something that really bugs me when I’m trying to pose them. They’re pretty blocky, like the modeller just said "Extrude, extrude, extrude, extrude, bevel, slight tweak, done" while they were making them. I also can’t tell how I’ve bent a joint close to the talons, and it basically looks like the fingers are tipped with black paint, rather than the fingers having talons on the end of them. Hey… wait a sec, hold that thought…

Holy fuck… y’know, Parappa the Rapper doesn’t cut corners. So why does this artist? Because he’s (not THE NUMBER ONE!!) a lazy asshole! They literally ARE fingers tipped with black paint – you can’t change the material settings on them! Surprised smile Lame…

Well… at least the fingers aren’t all grouped together like the toes are. It really irritates me when people do that, because it just makes it harder to pose, and looks less natural and more "robotic", somehow. I suppose Kaiju can’t really "grasp" anything with those feet, anyway, so it’s okay for him.

That’s all the problems I noticed, really. Apart from all that, it’s a pretty good model – he’s got a ton of good morphs, a fair amount of expression, and he’s pretty easy to pose, too. And for the first time EVER, the preset material settings are NOT BAD! Open-mouthed smile


(I raised his right arm up, and this pose immediately flashed in my mind. So I did it. Open-mouthed smile)

Usually, a render with default material settings and default lights makes anything in the scene look as flat as a pancake which has been stepped on by a 100-tonne kaiju. Smile with tongue out And while I can make this look better (Wink), it’s not too shabby.

Back in a bit – I’m gonna see what I can do with the material settings. Open-mouthed smile

UPDATE!!

Okay, a tip for all those who keep spitting out useless renders that look somewhat like a city that a kaiju has trampled through and slept on. Smile with tongue out This is the reason why you should NEVER render without using UberEnvironment:

Don't do it.

I posted something similar to this a while back. DAZ Studio 3 believes that light rays VAPORISE when they hit ANY object. If this were true in real life, then you wouldn’t be able to see ANYTHING when walking through a city with a lot of tall buildings. Smile with tongue out
If you use UberEnvironment and tweak it well, then the render time goes up massively, but the retardedness goes DOWN massively:

USE UE2 DAMNIT!

If you still get dark areas, you probably need another light pointing in that direction. I’ve put a shadowless spotlight over the front of his face so the eyes aren’t completely concealed by his frown – a cheap trick, but it works, and this render engine is a bit cheap anyway, so it’s fine with me. Smile with tongue out For tests, I set the shadow type on the UberEnvironment object to Occlusion w/Directional Shadows, but when you go for a final render, you want Indirect Lighting w/Directional Shadows (Soft Shadows don’t seem to be any different), which is what you see above. It ups render time ridiculously, but it’s worth it for the extra awesomeness. Open-mouthed smile Also, make sure you set the shading rate for final renders to something like 0.10 for MAXIMUM WIN FACTOR. Open-mouthed smile Any less than that is just overkill, and too much more starts messing up the image. I’ve set mine for the above image to 1.00, because I don’t want to wait for a demonstration render – I want to mess around with these materials. Smile with tongue out

ANYWAY! Onto material modding. Open-mouthed smile

UPDATE 2!!

O-kayyyyyy! Right, hehe, yeaaah… what the HELL was this guy smoking?

Just been working my way down the materials list. This idiot’s used DISPLACEMENT MAPS, and SHIT TONS OF THEM. Seriously, WHAT?! There is no advantage to a displacement map. All they do is destroy a model, because they actually mess around with the MESH to create a bump effect, where bump maps don’t do that.

I understand displacement maps in some situations, for example, creating a mountain out of a flat plane. But on the skin of a model like this? No, you need a bump map, matey boy. Smile with tongue out

Just gotta convert all displacement maps to bump maps, and we’ll be almost done. Open-mouthed smile

UPDATE 3!!

Okay, who wants to open me a can of FALCON KICKass?! Cuz I sure deserve it:

If you're seeing this text instead of the image, you're being deprived of awesomeness.
(You can CLICK on this one! Open-mouthed smile)

To be honest, most of the values were alright, but they were in the wrong places. All the dude needed to do was switch the displacement maps for bump maps, change the lighting model for the skin to "Skin", give the eyes a bit more shine and polish the talons off a bit. Smile with tongue out That render’s not even at maximum quality. Wink Took a while to render, but that was mostly my fault. I thought it’d be a nice idea to make the plane have a little bit of reflection, but the render engine actually spent about 10 minutes on the bottom 5% of the image because of that. Confused smile And what does it do? Barely anything. Smile with tongue out

I’ll probably add another Kaiju to this, and make a little fight scene. Or maybe add a Subdragon, instead. Or two. Or a combination! Who knows? Open-mouthed smile I’ll see what I can come up with tomorrow, but for now, get a taco ready. Because

GODZILLA WOULD FIRE HIZ LAZ0R if you had a faster net connection or my file server wasn't such a bitch. :P

ARG he beat yeh AGAIN. Smile with tongue out

Bryce 7…

…is a steaming pile of FAIL. Smile with tongue out Seriously, people BUY this? It’s no different from what it was. Let me go through this…

It’s impossible to navigate. To navigate, you’ve got to use these controls at the side of the screen which you click and drag, kinda like what you get in DAZ Studio, but there’re MORE of them. Confused smile Not only does this give you more of a headache than DAZ Studio’s control system, but some shortcuts you EXPECT to have DON’T EXIST. I moved the mouse wheel to zoom in, for example. Nothing happens, so you’re FORCED to use a combination of the navigation controls to zoom. I’d expect that I’d have some easy way of controlling the camera, such as holding Alt + right mouse button lets you rotate the camera, or Control + right mouse button lets you pan… but no. The controls are so bad, you can actually GET LOST IN YOUR SCENE… and if that doesn’t qualify as an auto-fail in a 3D program, then I don’t know what does. Smile with tongue out And to top it off, the "reset camera" button is suspiciously hidden away… y’know, as if they expect you to NOT NEED IT? Wink

Every control in this program is an icon, which would be fine, IF I could tell what the icons did at a glance. Some of them are obvious, but most of them I have to hover over just to check what they do. Oh, and there are NINE OF THE SAME ICON FOR DIFFERENT THINGS. Sarcastic smile There’s a large ball icon which means "render". Then, there are four smaller balls around it (exact same colour and style), which determine different render settings, and unless you have them memorised, you HAVE to hover over them to see what they do. Oh, and if you select one, you’d better remember what it does, because if it’s on, it WON’T TELL YOU WHAT IT DOES AGAIN UNTIL YOU DESELECT IT. What. The. Fuck. Sarcastic smile
As for the other four balls, one of them controls the Field of View, one of them controls Banking, one of them makes a primitive sphere and and the last one selects all primitive spheres. They all look the same.

And you know every other 3D program ever lets you choose what you see in the viewport? Such as wireframes, blocky 3D preview, smooth 3D preview, etc.? Bryce will ONLY show wireframes. Yes, seriously. And if you’re thinking "well, that’s not much of a problem", let me tell you something. This program is used to create TERRAIN. One piece of terrain equals 4,096 wireframe squares. A more complex scene may have five pieces of terrain, OR MORE. Plus the other 3D meshes you add to the scene. You do the math. Smile with tongue out Quite simply, a normal human brain CAN’T decipher something that looks like this:

It’s JUST A BUNCH OF LINES. I can’t tell what’s what! Oh yes, and the maximum amount of viewports you can have is ONE. Yeah, usually in a GOOD 3D program you’re allowed up to four, or maybe even more than that… but this gives you one. So you have to repeatedly switch between different views. How do you do this? By dragging an icon. You don’t click the view you want, and you don’t have a dropdown box or anything. Instead you drag an icon until a poorly-drawn diagram of the view you want appears. Yeah, seriously. Confused smile It’s like this program was made for artistic geniuses with the intelligence of a peanut. Smile with tongue out

What’s more, it is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to select the object you want. I was clicking on a hill which was OVER the ground plane, and Bryce was ADAMANT that I wanted to select the plane. Took me about four attempts to select the hill. Oh, and it’s stupid when it comes to moving an object. You know in pretty much every 3D program they have that "translate tool" that appears over a selected object, so you can move it along an axis easily? Bryce doesn’t have that. Yes, seriously. Smile with tongue out So 99% of the time, when you’re trying to move an object to the right, you’re also moving it up or down, or towards you, or away from you. Or sometimes a combination of these things. Smile with tongue out There IS an icon that you can drag (again) in another menu, but it’s crap. Besides, the translate tool appears over an object in DAZ 3D’s OTHER 3D programs. Why the hell is it different here? Oh yeah, and the preview render that you can ask for applies ANTI-ALIASING. What the hell? It’s a PREVIEW RENDER! I don’t NEED the edges to be smoothed out! Sarcastic smile

I don’t even want to go further into it. I’ve been using it for 20 minutes and I’m already reaching for the uninstall program. If this was done RIGHT, it could be truly awesome, and could allow me to make my own environments instead of waiting for a suitable one to appear. But no, DAZ 3D fails again. Oh, and they also fail at making something that checks for updates. Smile with tongue out DAZ Studio 3 was updated two months ago, and the program checks every week for updates. It repeatedly couldn’t find any updates, even when I forced an update check. I’m a UNI STUDENT, and I can make something that does this. With the key difference being that IT WORKS. Smile with tongue out Oh, yeah, and DAZ 3D still splits some of their installers into two or three parts for no reason at all.

Anyhoo, on a lighter note, I GOTS IT! Godzilla. SORRY, Kaiju the Giant Monster. Smile with tongue out Someone finally posted it, and I’ve got the model and the optional extras. Open-mouthed smile Gonna try them out in a bit, but first, I’ll update DAZ Studio. Smile Also, there’s a new render plugin that looks interesting, but it costs money (an extortionate amount of it), so I’ll wait until it appears somewhere else. Smile with tongue out

I’ll be back with some comments and/or renders of Kaiju later on, so see ya then! Smile

UPDATE!!

Hm. Seems I already HAVE the new version of DAZ Studio installed… but I wasn’t using it. Now to try and find out the reason why. Smile with tongue out

UPDATE 2!!

Well, apart from the God-awful in-the-way pointless Camera Cube and the even more pointless Pose Tool, it seems exactly the same. Oh, and they’ve made it so that if you drag a part of a figure, it moves. Which WOULD be great, unfortunately, it’s DAZ 3D we’re talking about. If you drag a part of a model in a way that would break limits, it moves joints OTHER THAN THE ONE YOU JUST MOVED in order to compensate and to stay within limits, sometimes even going so far as to move THE ENTIRE FIGURE.

Not so sure about render differences, but I’m just testing that now. I’ve noticed that it’s set the default render order to "circle", which renders the image from the middle outwards. There’re absolutely no technical benefits from doing that, but I’ve thought of an interesting theory. Most people who use DAZ Studio are unoriginal and only ever render Victoria 4 wearing different clothes, or sometimes none at all, because some artists are like furfags, only without the fur. Smile with tongue out Now, expanding upon that… what’s in the middle of…

You’re thinking of it right now. Wink

By the way, while you are waiting for results of this render test (and even if you aren’t), listen. I pooed win when I heard this. Open-mouthed smile Maximum awesomeness factor is attained when you get within a certain distance of him in the actual game and this music kicks in. Open-mouthed smile

UPDATE 3!!

Yeah, zilch difference. So there’s absolutely no point in using DS 3.1, unless you want to switch your view with a stupid Camera Cube even though you have dedicated cameras to do that. Smile with tongue out Or if you want to modify a pose using the tiny Pose Tool which is less precise and more irritating to use than the sliders in the Parameters window. Smile with tongue out

UPDATE 4!!

Correction – you’re FORCED to use DS 3.1. Why? Because newer objects CRASH DS 3 for an unfathomable reason. Just tried to load Kaiju in DS 3 – it got to 99%… not responding… dialog box whiteout… screen whiteout… *click*, DAZ Studio is not responding because its programmers are incompetent. Smile with tongue out

I’ve found something that goes up to 12 on the Awesomeness Scale.

Y’know the 90’s? Those last ten years when almost everything was GOOD, until we crossed the millennium and everything started failing? TV, music, films, computers, etc, etc, all started to fail in one way or another. Yeah, before that… those were the good days. Open-mouthed smile Well, I somehow tripped over (not literally, dumbass Smile with tongue out) a Western cartoon from 1997 about a week ago. It was called "EXTREME DINOSAURS."

I laughed when I first saw the name, because it reminded me of this:

EXTREEEEEEEEEEME GOLF!!

Hehe, guys from college might remember "EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEME GOLF!" Wink

But instead of just shaking my head at it and moving on, I Wikipedia’d it. It didn’t actually sound that bad, and when I noticed that it was from the 90’s, I assumed that it might NOT be totally awful. Smile with tongue out I had a look around for it, and to my amazement, I found a torrent with a fair amount of seeders pretty effortlessly, and subsequently got the first episode. I hesitated to watch it for a while for some reason, maybe because *headdesk*ing is kinda painful sometimes. Smile with tongue out

But… there was no need to *headdesk*. Not even at what I THOUGHT was going to be a cheesy theme tune. Because it’s TOTALLY AWESOME. Open-mouthed smile The theme started as if it was going to be a rap (and raps in cartoons [from my experience] have ALWAYS made me *facepalm*), but it was actually rock. And it (initially) reminded me of the original Gladiators theme. And it had ELECTRIC GUITARS. AND it was catchy, and had ultra-awesome lyrics.

"Somethin’s really rockin’, on planet number three,
Modern man’s got prehistoric company!
A colossal fossil feud, unlike anything before, between the,
Reckless raptors, and the EXTREME DINOSAURS!"

And there’re more lyrics after that, and quite a few of them are pretty hard to catch ("tails that snap like thunderclaps, talkin’ stalkin’ raptor traps"?), but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s COMPLETELY AWESOME. With a mind-imprinting intro like that, I was enjoying it before it even STARTED. Open-mouthed smile

As for the cartoon itself, well, it’s easy to tell that it’s from the 90’s for three very good reasons. One, the art style kinda looked familiar, as well as the COLOURING MISTAKES which I’ve only ever seen on old cartoons. Take the raptors clinging onto the spaceship in episode one – half of them are coloured in the same shade as the ship. Smile with tongue out Two, the voice actors are actually TRYING, and the characters are actually REALLY awesome, even if the character development seems to be nonexistent at the start. And three, it’s NOT SHIT. Open-mouthed smile

It’s also got this weird target audience, I don’t know whether it’s aimed at kids, teens, young adults, adults, or any combination of the four. I mean, at first, it targets kids, then seems to mention some things that kids probably wouldn’t "get". Then it goes onto say that the oil the humans are using are actually the Extreme Dinosaurs’ old relatives’ bones that have melted down. And that’s kinda hard-hitting stuff for kids. Smile with tongue out Then, after going back to "everyone mode" for a while, the fourth episode has the Extreme Dinosaurs considering DESTROYING all the raptor eggs that the raptors found, then after finding out the eggs aren’t raptor eggs at all, they return to rescue the rest of the eggs, and the raptors ambush them and basically bury the Extreme Dinosaurs alive in an elevator! THEN the raptors go off and capture a NUCLEAR BASE, and end up launching a NUCLEAR WARHEAD! And this is for kids?! Smile with tongue out Oh yeah, it is, because the way they disarm the nuke is so cheesy and cartoony it’s not possible for it to be just for older people. Open-mouthed smile

Seriously… I can’t believe this never came over to the UK. I feel like I was deprived of awesome as a kid by not knowing this existed. Smile with tongue out This shit is HOT. And I mean "GOOD shit", and "hot" in the non-sexy, totally awesome way. Open-mouthed smile

I find it difficult to explain things when they’re this good, so here’s a torrent. Check it out for yourself. Open-mouthed smile And try not to watch it all at once. Wink

I’m disappointed in you, Hideo.

Metal Gear Solid is one of my all-time favourite games. The original was incredible. MGS2 was pretty damn good, too, although not quite as good as the original, but that’s probably because of the crap PC port that I played – the controls just didn’t work properly. Smile with tongue out And now that I’ve got the Slide Card for PS2, I’ve been able to play MGS3, which I’ve been wanting to try ever since finishing MGS2.

And it’s been a HUGE waste of time. Sad smile

It’s a wreck. I never thought a MGS game could be this bad. Wherever I go, wherever I look, there’s SOMETHING wrong with it. I thought MGS was supposed to be a cool, fun game, containing giant robots armed with nukes and villains with retarded powers? Sure, it’s got the robots and the villains, but… it’s not fun, at all. Nor is it cool. What they’ve done is made it TOO REALISTIC to be any fun at all.

Let me go through the problems. Firstly, there’s no Soliton Radar, just a motion sensor. That’s fine – I’ve played MGS Peace Walker for PSP, so I’m used to that kinda gameplay. But… this motion sensor picks up EVERYTHING that moves, including the wildlife. So, when I equip it, it’s completely useless. "Is that dot an enemy? Let’s go see… oh it is. Now he’s seen me and I’m in alert mode." What’s the point?!

That’s another thing – in MGS 1 and 2, the enemies had hilariously short ranges of vision, but that avoided making the game a CHORE to play, because if they had realistic ranges of vision, then I’d have never completed it. In MGS 3, they DO have realistic ranges of vision, but the enemy can’t see you if you have a high enough Camo Index. I liked the Camo Index in Peace Walker, I thought it was alright, although completely pointless after a while, because I got used to the game and was able to tranquilise every single enemy before they could see me. Smile with tongue out In MGS3, it’s just annoying. When you change environments, to stay hidden, you’ve got to go into the menu, choose new camo, choose new face paint, and come out of the menu just to maintain a good index. If you don’t, the enemies WILL see you. Also, crawling between what LOOKS like the same kind of terrain (but the computer actually defines them as two different types) while an enemy is looking in your direction just makes me want to throw my controller at the screen.

Now, moving quite nicely onto what happens in alert mode. Well, enemies spawn out of nowhere and chase you, of course. Smile with tongue out But there’re many more enemies than I remember being in the other MGS games. Furthermore, when you go into alert mode in THOSE games, it’s YOUR fault, because YOU didn’t hide very well. But in MGS3, there’ve been PLENTY of situations where I have had extreme bad luck, or where I just know that the AI is cheating. I had 95% camo index, lying down in the grass, and an enemy decided to patrol right next to me. That’s possibly a case of bad luck, although it WAS a pretty retarded place to patrol. Another time, I fired a tranquiliser shot at an enemy, but my suppressor was broken. I went into caution mode, as I expected, but the reinforcements that arrived searched the EXACT AREA WHERE I WAS STANDING WHEN I FIRED. That’s a case of this.

More cases of cheating AI became evident after I was discovered in that situation I just mentioned. When I shot the enemies that were attacking me, I could shoot them ONCE before they became invincible for a short time, y’know, kinda like what happens in the Sonic games when you’re hit by an enemy? Now, I usually don’t mind this if they have something called "Invincibility Flash", so I can SEE they’re invincible… but they don’t. And even if they did, I’d still be pissed off… because YOU can be shot an infinite amount of times in succession with no invincibility time given. So you don’t get a breather, or a window of opportunity to escape. And you did in MGS1 and MGS2. In fact, I think all the classic MGS games were like that. So why the sudden change? Making a game more realistic just makes it more annoying…

Now, after a battle, in a classic MGS game, after taking some damage, you’d just eat a RATION, the epic wound-healing food of MGS, which I think is brilliant. No stopping the action, no faffing around looking for a medical station or whatever, just eat canned food that you find lying around in spinning boxes to heal. Open-mouthed smile In MGS 3… no. You don’t get rations. Well, you DO, but they recover your STAMINA gauge, another stupid addition to MGS which is just there to add extra misery. To heal, you lie down. Yeah, you lie down. You can use an item, but I’ve only ever found ONE of them, and that was BEFORE the main mission. And it’s not like it takes a few seconds to heal or anything – I left the game running for around five minutes before my health fully recovered. Sure, your health regeneration rate is affected by your stamina, but at the time, it was FULL. Your stamina also affects your aim, and the length of your grip and O2 gauges. All in all, the stamina bar is just there because the developers thought it was a good idea at the time. To recover it, shoot a snake or a rabbit, pick up the item it transforms into, and eat it. Stamina recovered, and an extra thirty seconds of gameplay milked.

The wildlife can be extra-annoying, as well. During the first boss battle, with Ocelot, I was just shooting him like normal, bang bang bang, he was a pushover, until all of a sudden I looked at my health bar. I had about a fifth of my health bar left. What from? Oh, yeah, the poison from the KING COBRA THAT RANDOMLY BIT ME. Shit enough? It’s a BOSS BATTLE. I don’t want a snake BITING ME halfway through it! I don’t WANT any distractions, because I should be focused on the BOSS!

But that’s not all, oh no! When you take damage, you have a CHANCE (yes, a CHANCE) of getting a WOUND. And this is more of a pointless faff than stamina. Open menu, choose cure, select a wound to heal, select each of the things needed to heal it, close menu. If you don’t, your max health will be reduced until it heals naturally. And it’s gay. I don’t WANT to do this pointless healing crap! I just want to PLAY THE FUCKING GAME! Angry smile

Actually, no, that’s not true. I don’t want to play it. That’s why I turned off the PS2 and put the DVD in the bin. That DVD cost me 20p and could’ve had another GOOD game burned to it, not to mention that I could’ve used the 5GB of bandwidth or the time it took to download MGS3 to get a better game.

Irritated and disappointed. I thought it would’ve been better than an annoying, steaming pile of crap. Smile with tongue out

UPDATE!!

I forgot to mention, there was one HUGE laugh I got from this game. As soon as I saw the guy with the hornets, "The Pain", appear after the boss battle with Ocelot… this music started playing in my head. Wink

MegaMan 9 was made AFTER this game, so it was a complete coincidence… but I still lol’d. Open-mouthed smile