Problem rectified!

I got a 3DS charger last Saturday. Nope, it wasn’t the one I ordered from ShopTo. Had to settle for a GAMEware one which cost more than an official one because high street and lack of logic. That, and the fact that there were about 700 trillion people walking around Brighton at the same time basically explains why I never go into town. 😛 Funnily enough, the one I ordered from ShopTo arrived on Tuesday, but it’s just sat at the post office because I don’t need it. Just waiting for them to return it to sender and get a refund. And inevitably I’ll have to send ShopTo an e-mail when they don’t refund me. And then counter their inevitable “no refunds after 7 days of receipt” argument with “I never took receipt of the goods because they were late so fuck you”. 😛  That’s how it’s playing out in my head, anyway. 😛

RIGHT, YES, the console. I’ve played… three games on it now, excluding the AR games I had a go at. My thoughts so far? It’s… almost awesome.

First let me confirm that there has been absolutely zero problems with it despite the fact that it’s an Australian-region 3DS. It acts in exactly the same way as a European 3DS. All the games I bought from the UK work perfectly, the Nintendo Store says it’s for Europe and Australia when you open it for the first time, and StreetPass works, too. 🙂

The only real problem I have with the console is the ergonomics, but it’s such a big problem it almost ruins it. I’ve never had anything that I’ve been unable to play for more than a few hours because of how uncomfortable it is to hold. I played a time attack on Space Invaders Extreme 2, and my hand was starting to go numb by the time I reached the final stage. It only took about 13 minutes. 😛 It’s essentially just a large, unfoldable brick, and the corners of the unfolded brick dig into my palms quite firmly as I’m holding it. It’s fine for a short while, but it starts to hurt eventually.

Another issue is the shortish battery life. I’ve barely played it today, maybe about 3 hours, but it’s already gone through half its battery. So about… 6 hours of battery life? It’s reasonable, it’d definitely last me if I went back home on the train/bus and took it with me. Not like my hands would last that long holding it. 😛

Apart from those things, it’s really good. The 3D effect is still fun yet weird; it’s like peering through a window into a room that isn’t there. 😀 I’ve also gotten to understand the firmware a bit more. It comes bundled with a step counter which awards these “Play Coins” every 100 steps you take in a day, but doesn’t give more than 10 a day. Apparently today I’ve taken 2756 steps, which is pretty eye-opening. I had no idea it takes that many steps to get to work and back. 😀 Of course, I can imagine it’s pretty inaccurate, especially since it’s in my bag. 😛 The Play Coins can be used to unlock AR games or to make progress in StreetPass games. I think that’s all they’re for.

StreetPass is really cool. It’s like the PlayStation Vita’s “near”. Well, apart from StreetPass absolutely obliterates the living turd out of Near. Near only works through WiFi or 3G if you bought that version of the Vita for some reason, and it takes people who were within several miles of your location at some point and tells you what they’ve been playing. As if you care. 😛 StreetPass runs all the time while your device is sleeping (when the cover’s closed) and attempts to communicate with any other 3DS that comes into range.

The firmware has a game which uses StreetPass already built-in, called StreetPass Mii Plaza. The devices exchange Miis and information such as your greeting and where you’re from. When you check your 3DS and open up Mii Plaza, all the Miis belonging to people you passed on the street show up in your plaza. You can then use them in a couple of free mini-games. Puzzle Swap lets you take pieces of an image from Miis you met, with the aim of completing all the images. StreetPass Quest is a mini-RPG where the Miis you met fight through dungeons in a simplistic turn-based RPG, with the aim of rescuing your Mii (who happens to be the king). It’s actually a really fun feature. 😀 The only problem is… finding people is surprisingly hard. I’ve only had 9 StreetPass hits so far, despite the fact I live in a fairly big city. The first day I got no hits at all, and wondered if it was region-locked or something. I actually changed my route to work the next day in an attempt to get more hits, and suddenly got 4 on the way to work. I kept on the same route the next day and got zero. Today I got 5 on the way back from work. Same route, but all completely different people. I have no idea where I’m picking these people up. I have a feeling it’s because I go over a bridge that passes over a train station now. Maybe I picked up some commuters with 3DSs. 😛 If that’s the case, holy crap, not a single one of the ~100 houses I pass twice has a 3DS in there? Not a single person I pass on the street has one, either? Eh, maybe everyone around here is so obsessed with running around and desperately trying not to get fat overnight that treadmills are more popular than video games, or something. Everyone seems to vote Green around here, after all. But the 3DS has a STEP COUNTER! That’s healthy living, right?! 😛

I played the built-in AR games, too. I’m pretty sure AR is already dead in gaming, but these games shit all over the Vita’s offerings. 😛 There’s a target game, which presents a bunch of different interesting arrangements of targets to shoot, and you really have to move the DS around to get some of them. For some reason it culminates with a boss fight against a dragon. 😛 There’s a mini-golf style game, too. That also culminates with a boss fight against a dragon. There’s fishing too. Guess what? It culminates in a YES, boss fight against a dragon! It was pretty funny. I didn’t really expect it in the first and second games, but by the time I got to the third game I was like “Yep, time’s up, where’s the dragon?” 😀

The main problem with these games, though, is that the DS keeps losing track of the AR card as you try to reposition yourself, and it’s insanely intolerant. It wants you to be at a distance of about 30cm. It’s impossible to do that all the time, but getting just a bit too close or moving a bit too far away messes up the AR and/or the 3D. I don’t know exactly what kind of surface it expects you to use. A coffee table is too low, the floor is far too low and it’s super-difficult to move around the card, and a desk or dining table is too large so you can’t manoeuvre around the card very easily. For AR, though, it was pretty fun. Good demo for the 3D, too. 😀

As for the full games, well, the only one I’ve played specifically for the 3DS so far is Super Mario 3D Land. It’s pretty fun, but it’s a bit simplistic and far too easy right now. You start with 4 lives, and I ended up with about 40 by the time I entered World 3. 😛 Haven’t played any levels in World 3 yet. I’ve heard it gets harder, though. 😀

The only other games I’ve played are standard DS games. Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call, and Space Invaders Extreme 2. This Professor Layton is pretty much like all the others, including my opinion of it. Great story with a bunch of cool mysteries, and nice FMVs with good voicework, too. The puzzles are a mixed bag, yet again. Some are genuinely good, whereas others aren’t explained well enough, are completely subjective or require you to use stupidly obscure methods to get the answer. Like one puzzle where it asks “which key fits in the door” and the answer is a key that definitely doesn’t look like it would fit, but it so happens to be a special key that you have to insert, turn partway, insert further and turn it the rest of the way. It’s not really a puzzle, because I’ve never seen a key like that ever, so I would never get the answer by myself! It’s still a good game, but I’m hoping the newer games at least have some better puzzles.

I’ve played Space Invaders Extreme 2 on DeSmuME (a DS emulator) before. It was so good I just had to have it if I was going to get a real DS. It’s difficult for me to explain why it’s so good in detail. It’s just a combination of the different scoring methods and features, how it uses both screens so effectively, and the epic music, along with how almost every sound is synchronized to the rhythm, and just the energy and feel of the game. And holy shit, that announcer is a god. 😀 It’s just so much fun. It almost feels like an epic game show! 😀 It’s probably best if you see it for yourself. I did record a video of it a long time ago when I played it on DeSmuME, here it is. Just me trying to amass as many points as I could on Stage 1. “YOU MADE IT OUT THIS TIME, BUT THIS ISN’T THE END! IT’S FEVER TIME!!” 😀

All in all, yep, it’s a really good console. Especially for the price I paid. 😀 And hell, it actually has GAMES on it! 😛 Got plenty more games on my list that I need to get, but I’ll play through the ones I’ve got first! 😉

Order is 71.4% complete! That’s almost enough!

Hewwo. 🙂

Aaaaas I mentioned in my last post, I went about ordering an Australian n3DSXL and a bunch of other stuff to go with it, partially worried about the console’s region. Here’s an update on the everything.

I ordered seven items in total. Five games (the three newest Professor Layton games, Space Invaders Extreme 2 and Super Mario 3D Land), the 3DS (obviously) and a 3DS charger, since one isn’t included. Five of those items have arrived. Thankfully, and amazingly, one of them is the 3DS. Y’know what one of the others isn’t? The charger! And now it’s Friday and almost certainly won’t be delivered tomorrow so now I can’t play it over the weekend!

TYPICAAAAAAL!

Of the other items, I recieved every 3DS game and Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call, a standard DS game. Space Invaders Extreme 2 was only just shipped this afternoon. Bit of a slow marketplace seller on Amazon, but it’s no biggie. So pissed about the charger though. That 3DS has come all the way from China, gone through Germany and somehow got through London on its way down to me in Hove, and it only took three days on economy shipping. FedEx gon’ give it to ya indeed. 😛 On the other hand, this charger hasn’t even made it through the friggin’ Royal Mail 2nd Class postal service yet. The game sent by 2nd Class however, did make it here. Both ordered from ShopTo. The only difference is that the charger was manually packed and the game was packed by a robot. So I have a feeling that it wasn’t sent at all, or Royal Mail have lost it. I’ll probably head into town to buy it if it’s still not arrived by tomorrow afternoon. If there’re any left, that is. I mean, the new 3DS was only just released today. Tons of people will be needing chargers. 😛

The 3DS did have some residual charge left, however, so I’ve been able to play around with the system for a li’l bit. First impressions? Well, it’s way bigger than I expected. It’s almost as wide as the Vita, and folded up, it’s about half a centimetre taller! It’s slightly thicker, as well. This isn’t a bad thing for me; I’m completely happy with how big it is. Surprisingly, it’s actually heavier than the Vita, too. Not by much, but… this device doesn’t have quite as much power. As is kinda demonstrated by the fact I can see the pixels on the screens from quite a significant distance away. The screens are large, but the resolution isn’t, so the pixel density is… not great. The LCD monitor on my keyboard isn’t far off beating it. 😛

The controls are pretty cool. The circle pad is nice and feels pretty grippy. The D-Pad is almost great. It’s slightly loose and rattles around a little bit, which is weird. The buttons are good, and the ZL and ZR buttons are better than I thought they’d be. The C-Stick is just… huh. I don’t really get it yet. It’s tiny and doesn’t feel like it moves. I haven’t been able to play any game yet, let alone ones that support it, but it feels like it might be pressure-sensitive or something. I dunno. We’ll find out eventually, I suppose. 🙂

The system software is, in true Nintendo fashion, really friendly, fun, smooth and responsive. Unlike my last experience with Nintendo system software, however (the Wii), this one is nice to use. It’s got some cool, little things embedded in the software, too, like a step counter which rewards you in some way I’ve yet to see. 😛 Of course, being Nintendo, there’re also some stupid things. First thing I noticed is that you can only have three saved wireless connections, which is… retarded. 😛 It doesn’t make any sense at all. I’ve connected it to my home wireless and my work’s wireless, meaning I only have one slot left. If I went to visit my parents but went over to my sister’s house for one night while I was there, I’d have to keep deleting and re-creating the third connection every time I switched locations. Durrrrr. Another stupid thing is that the “Health and Safety Information” software is permanently embedded on your home screen. Lel? I don’t need or want that. The PS Vita does the same damn thing with stuff like e-mail. Why can’t I choose what is and is not on my system?!

The 3D effect is… well, I’m not really a fan of 3D. But even I have to say that it’s pretty awesome. I don’t really understand how it can do it without requiring glasses, but damn, it really works! I don’t know what it was like on the standard 3DS, but the new 3DS appears to track the position of your head and adjust the 3D effect accordingly, something they call “Super-Stable 3D”. It seems to work pretty well; I never noticed any problems when my attention was focused on the device, but the effect starts to break if you stray too far from the screen or don’t look at it directly. The effect is far too much for me on maximum power, though; I have to put it at about 50% otherwise objects start doubling-up and I end up having to try focusing on stuff actively. 😛 I can imagine the novelty wearing off eventually, but it’s awesome for now. 😀

That’s about all I’ve been able to go through. I’m not yet sure if there’re any compatibility problems due to it being an Australian 3DS, but it recognised the game card I inserted just fine. Couldn’t play it though; the power ran out before I could start the game. 😛 I’ve set up a Mii and activated the Mii Plaza, so we’ll see what StreetPass is all about soon. Probably on Monday, but maybe even tomorrow if the charger finally arrives. Wonder if anyone along my route to work has a 3DS? We’ll see. 😛

I guess I made the wrong choice.

Luigi’s Mansion. Super Mario. Professor Layton. Rhythm Paradise. They are but a small selection of games that AREN’T available on the handheld I chose.

I’ve come to the realisation that I made a pretty big mistake.

Way back in… 2012, I think? Maybe even 2011. Anyway, I bought a Vita at least three years ago. I started out really liking the console, but… my “relationship” with it has been on a steady decline ever since. I’ve only just realised how bad it really is. Would you like to know how many PS Vita game cards I own? Four. That’s barely one game a year. Of course, in reality, I also own Pinball Arcade with quite a few tables. Plants vs Zombies is in my collection, too, along with the rather good Super Stardust Delta. I also recently bought Resogun, which is… meh, okay. Hasn’t really blown me away. Oh, and I also own digital copies of Patapon 1 and 2, but they aren’t PS Vita games, so they don’t really count.

But I can’t even remember the last game I bought before Resogun. I think it was LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, but it might’ve been DJ Max Technika Tune. Either way, that was two years ago. Since then, only two games have been released that I kinda-want-but-not-really, Dragon’s Crown and Disgaea 4. Dragon’s Crown looks cool but I don’t think it’ll be that much fun single player. As for Disgaea 4, I’m tempted, but I know it’ll demand far more time that I’m willing to spend. I played the original and really loved the storyline and dialogue, but it was so repetitive that I never played through the entire story, let alone reached the point of insanity where your stats go out of the box and you can do billions of damage and get counter counter counter counter counter counters. 😛

Everything else coming out on the Vita is a joke. It’s got great graphical capabilities and the most features and control options I’ve ever seen on anything, so what’s out for it? Generic JRPGs no-one has ever heard of outside of Japan, and CONSTANT VISUAL NOVELS. I thought that Monster Hunter 4 would be released for it eventually and that would generate some serious attention, but hysterically, they released MH4U on the 3DS, a much weaker and graphically unimpressive console, while we get some really shite knockoff called Freedom Wars, the synopsis of which is impossibly stupid! It doesn’t even make any sense! Capcom has always stuck with Sony when it comes to Monster Hunter, but now they’ve suddenly gone and turned to Nintendo instead! It’s so retarded that I can’t decide whether to laugh or get pissed off!

A couple of days ago, I heard that a new Rhythm Paradise game was in development for the 3DS, and it made me sick as a parrot. I fucking love Rhythm Paradise. I played it on DeSmuME (a DS emulator) a while back after someone mentioned it to me, and it caused me to buy the awfully-named Beat The Beat: Rhythm Paradise on the Wii. Dunno why they didn’t call it Rhythm Heaven Fever like the US version. But who cares about that. It was so good. So goddamn good. It’s probably my favourite game released for the Wii. (No, I didn’t really like Super Mario Galaxy. 😛 )

Because of this news, I went through ShopTo’s stock of 3DS games, and tried compiling a list of games that I want. The total? ELEVEN:

Super Mario 3D Land
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Kid Icarus Uprising
Luigi’s Mansion 2
New Super Mario Bros 2
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Rhythm Paradise for 3DS
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Paper Mario: Sticker Star

But that’s not the whole story, oh no. You see, there are an additional six games that I’m not 100% sure on. And if that’s not enough, there’re two standard DS games that were so good that I’d want them on the 3DS to play on the go.

Mario Kart 7 (Maybe)
Super Smash Bros. (Maybe)
Kingdom Hearts 3DS (Maybe)
Kirby Triple Deluxe (Maybe)
Yoshi’s New Island 3DS (Maybe)
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Maybe)
+
Space Invaders Extreme 2 (DS)
Rhythm Paradise (DS)

This list may even be missing some games, because ShopTo don’t stock some games, and some extra games I want may be available on the DS’s marketplace store thing, whatever it’s called. I dunno, I’ve only ever owned a 1st generation DS, and I’ve never accessed it. 😛
Naturally, this list completely exploded my brain. I can’t believe I made such a stupid mistake. It almost feels as if I was tricked. Sure, at launch, the 3DS looked pointless, and its game lineup didn’t really thrill me. I didn’t even realise it was a completely different console for a while. The Vita, on the other hand, broke my “Release Titles I Want” record by tempting me with five games, but I actually only own two of those five, because the other three turned out to be shit. In fact, I didn’t particularly like Wipeout 2048, which was one of the two I bought. But now, with the 3DS rocking SEVENTEEN titles I’m interested in, it makes the Vita look like a complete joke. Hell, it even makes the PS4 and Xbox One look stupid!

After looking at the games, I seriously began to consider getting a 3DS. I looked up the price of the console. Of course, since this is Nintendo, there’re about 74,000 different 3DSs to choose from (okay, four 😛 ), so with Wikipedia’s assistance, I decided the New 3DS XL was probably the best thing to go for. The price? £205, with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate or Zelda Cheap Re-release Part 7. This was… a bit steeper than I expected, considering its low power and the fact an Xbox One with two games was only £80 more. Of course, those two games were just junky AssAssins Peed games, so… 😛 Anyway, I ended up making a mental note of the price and went to bed.

On Friday evening after work, almost as if someone had been spying on me, a promotion landed in my inbox from ShopTo. £10 OFF 10! it exclaimed. It turned out to be a thing where if you bought any of the ten selected items, you’d get a £10 store credit for each item. Guess what one of the items was? A New 3DS XL. Guess what three of the other items were? 3DS games on the wishlist!

ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!!

I’m this close to giving in and buying it, but I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t. Why? Well… I don’t know. There’s no real reason apart from the price, but that isn’t even a valid reason. It’s not that expensive when you consider the offer, it’s £240 for the console, a charger (because apparently one isn’t included, *shrug*) and three games, and it’s not like I can’t afford it. (Big shout out to my dislike of alcohol and because the concept of “going out to a pub for fun” makes my brain throw a “does not compute” error. 😛 ) This is probably the reason why I’m writing this entry; I’m attempting to convince myself to get it. 😛

Well, the mulling continues, I suppose. 😛 If anyone out there wants to push me one way or the other, or shoot down any of those games in the list, that’d be swell, so feel free. 😉 For now, though, g’niiiiight! 🙂

UPDATE!!

So, I made a choice. I decided to get one… FROM AUSTRALIA. Bonza!

“Eh, wot?! Why?”

Well, it came with a free kangaroo. Heh. 😛 Naw, I kinda lucked out after… un… lucking out.

See, that promotion at ShopTo was retarded and wasn’t explained clearly enough. It was supposed to expire on the 31st of March. At least, that’s what the terms and conditions in the e-mail appeared to state. However, the reality? The promotion was only on for the weekend. Yyyyyep. I found out when I ordered something and didn’t recieve the credit after quite some time, then re-read the e-mail verrrrrry carefully. The “weekend only” part was only ever mentioned in the friggin’ subject line. I believe the “expiry date March 31st 2015” was relating to the £10 store credit you recieve, not the promotion. Dumbasses. I would’ve cancelled it, but they pack your order far too quickly, so it’s basically impossible to cancel. That, and they take payment immediately without any confirmation. If GAME didn’t suck so much nowadays, I wouldn’t ever use ShopTo again after this.

Y’see, my plan was to order on Sunday, but they have a policy where your first two orders must be delivered to your billing address. Unfortunately, I hadn’t gotten around to changing my billing address, so if I did order, it’d get sent to a place about 150 miles away. 😛 I went about changing my address that afternoon, but there was another problem. Since I live alone and I’m at work from 10 till 6 every weekday, I wanted to get the stuff delivered to my work address. It’s no biggie if the postie attempts to deliver my games to my home address when I’m not there, because there’s a letterbox and my neighbours aren’t douchey. Even if he doesn’t post them through there, picking them up from the post office is easy. However, the console is shipped via courier and requires a signature, and because their depots aren’t easily accessible from where I live, it gets a liiiiittle tricky if they keep turning up when I’m out, which will pretty much always happen. My plan was to order two games in two separate orders, wait for delivery, then change my address and order the console while using the promo credit from the other two games. Simple, but… my bank takes 24 hours to update the address on my account. Hell, it’s been more than that and it still hasn’t updated. The only way I’ve managed to do this is by removing my card from PayPal, leaving only my bank account linked, and setting my new address to my primary address. Then I was able to use PayPal to order and get it delivered to the correct address. Despite the delays and fudging the rules a bit, everything would’ve been perfect if the promotion had just lasted as long as I thought it did.

So yeah. I ended up screwing around changing my bank address, mutilating my PayPal account and waiting 24 hours just to order a game and not receive credit I thought I was gonna receive. Then I couldn’t cancel and would have to return the game at my cost. Fantastic. Just my fucking luck. I felt like I got scammed.

Some time afterwards, though, my luck kinda evened out. After a random search to see if I could get the console for at least a little less and soften the loss a bit, I came across the same console on PlayAsia. The base cost was already low, but it actually had an additional discount, knocking the price down to below £130.

Below £130. *ring ring ring ding whooop whoooop alarm bells*, that’s too good to be true, what’s the catch? Come on, show me the hacker group.” Well, actually, the only catch is that it’s an Australian n3DSXL, and the shipping cost is high-ish. About £14 for basic 3-5 day shipping. But in total, that’s still about £40 below the cost of a European model. And since the Australian model is region-locked to PAL, the same as Europe, it’s pretty much the same thing. What gives?

After a lot of research on the differences between the European and Australian model, I came to the following conclusion: one has a different set of letters to identify it. That’s it. You can set the region to UK, you can sign into the eShop with a UK account, you can play PAL games, it communicates with other 3DSs normally. Even the screens are the right way up. There is no difference at all other than the device ID.

I decided to go for it. Even though pretty much everyone says it’s absolutely fine and it’s identical in functionality, it still feels like a huge risk. If it is fine, though, it’s actually going to be cheaper than the ShopTo promotion I just missed out on. Well… if I buy the same items I was going to from ShopTo, only just. I’m about £3 and a free case better off. 😛 I can’t complain if all goes well, though. It’s been a really lucky save. If I hadn’t found PlayAsia’s offer, I would’ve abandoned the 3DS and waited until there was another offer. 😛

Anyway, I’ll letcha know how it goes, and I’ll talk about the games I got and if they sucked and if this was a big mistake or not. Hopefully everything’ll be alright! 🙂

Windoze 10.

I remember when Windows 10 was announced. The first thing I posted on Facebook after the announcement was this:

Windows 10.
Hahahahahahahhahahahahahaha

I actually didn’t understand what the hell they were thinking when they came up with the name. It’s almost like they went “Ahhhhh, we should call it Windows 9, but that’s what they’re EXPECTING us to do, so let’s do one more and call it Windows 10 YEAAAAAH!” 😛

A somewhat believable explanation is that a lot of software developers actually do something like this:

if( windowsVersion.startsWith("Windows 9") )
{
    // Do stuff for Windows 95/98
}
else
{
    // Do stuff for Windows 2000 or above
}

But if this is true, it’s stupid, completely the fault of software devs and Microsoft shouldn’t be working around it. If you wanna know what version of Windows the user’s running, you should be using the kernel version number. Windows 95 was called “95” because it was released in 1995, durrr. Its version number was 4.0, not 95. Windows 7’s version number is actually 6.1 and Windows 8 is 6.2. Although that explanation makes sense, it’s still not believable.

Anyway, whatever the reason, it’s Windows 10, not 9. But, it also made me make a joke about how they actually stopped developing Windows 9 and went straight to Windows 10. Y’see, every other version of Windows is shite, so if they did that, they’d be bypassing a good version of Windows and skipping to the next crap version. Look:

Windows 95 = Good
Windows 98 = Shite
Windows 2000 = Good
Windows ME = Shite
Windows XP = Good
Windows Vista = Shite
Windows 7 = Good
Windows 8 = Shite
Windows 9 = Would’ve been good
Windows 10 = Shite?

Makes sense, right? 😛

Not sure if that’s actually the case, though.

A “Technical Preview” of Windows 10 has been available for some time now. I installed it as a secondary OS very soon after release, but I didn’t really want to commit to using it and only played with it for about half an hour. Now, though, I’ve been using it since my major upgrade (Pwnage-O-Matic V6; new motherboard, CPU and SSD!! 😉 ).

It’s basically an alpha. Stuff can break, and there’s a high chance stuff can change drastically between builds. You also get asked questions very occasionally while using it, like “how hard was it to find the setting you were looking for?” Oh, and I’m pretty sure nearly everything I do is being monitored. 😛 There’s also a dedicated app for getting news about Windows 10, and another app for leaving feedback or bug reports. Most of the feedback people give is completely useless, and I don’t think the rest is really looked at. Maybe glanced at from time to time. 😛

So what’s it like? Pretty decent, actually! Despite being an alpha, it runs pretty smooth and doesn’t crash as much as I was expecting. In fact, I’ve had the most BSoDs from trying to render in DAZ Studio, and I’m not sure if Windows was at fault.

Since my new motherboard is UEFI-compatible, after a lot of poking around and an unlikely hero (my point-and-shoot video camera formatted to FAT and connected via USB was the ONLY method I had short of wiping my external hard drive :P), I figured out how to boot and install Windows 10 in UEFI mode. Let me just say HOLY MOTHER OF GOD it boots like friggin’ LIGHTNING. Seriously, I started the computer and pressed the power button on my monitor. By the time my monitor turned on, Windows had ALREADY booted and was ready to go. In no more than 15 seconds. I had to reboot and test it again to make sure I hadn’t accidentally booted out of sleep mode!

Of course, it isn’t that much of a big deal. Mac OS has been UEFI-compatible for God-knows how long, and Windows already had it in Windows 8. It’s just mind-blowing when you experience it for the first time. 😛

Right, yes, Windows 10, the user-facing stuff. 😛 The most dramatic difference is the Start menu. Yes, START MENU. IT HAS ONE

START IS HEEAH!

What they’ve done is taken the Metro interface that doesn’t work on PCs and the Windows 7 Start menu that doesn’t work on tablets and made them have a baby. The left side is pretty much automatic and can’t really be customized, all you can do is remove items you don’t want there. The right side is totally customizable and you can have anything you want. The most recent build lets you split your stuff into sections, so as you can see in that screenie, I have a “General” section for stuff I wanna see or get to quickly, and a “Drives” section for quick, direct access to my drives. Further down (you can scroll) I also have “Tools” and “Windows Store Games”, the latter being almost completely empty save for Asphalt 9. Which I don’t really play because the car handling is laughable and The Crew and Carmageddon Reincarnation are better. 😛

I think it’s really awesome. Unlike the huge, horrendous Start Screen, the new Start menu doesn’t completely break my focus when I open it. With the Start Screen it was like “WHAAAAA HUGE FULLSCREEN MENU WHAT’S GOING ON I JUST WANTED NOTEPAD”

It’s currently quite fragile though… 😛

Lol Start Menu

You CAN make it go fullscreen, but lol no thanks:

Ew no be smaller plz

There’s not enough to add to it to make me want it any bigger. 😛

Let’s ‘ave a look at File Explorer next…

File Explorer

It’s the same as Win7. 😛 Well, actually… no, that’s untrue. It’s the same as Win8. Because ribbon. Hrrrrrhh. :S THANKFULLY, it’s not commonly used unless you’re unfamiliar with keyboard shortcuts, and can be hidden with that small arrow next to the help button in the top right. The only useful commands in there are under the View tab; hiding/showing filename extensions and hidden files, and hiding/showing files. That’s… pretty much it, because you can get everything else through the context menu. 😛 Files are still sent straight to the recycle bin with a press of Del, but I actually like that now. Getting a confirmation dialog in Windows 7 for a non-volatile delete operation was really starting to grate. Shift-Del still brings up a confirmation, which is good.

The ONE thing that’s REALLY annoying me is that annoying friggin’ “Quick access” link in the sidebar. I just want it to go die in a fire.

GO DIE QUICK ACCESS

It gives you a random jumble of files and folders you recently accessed, all mashed in with any files or folders you explicitly add to quick access. I don’t understand how this is useful to anyone at all. If you constantly access a specific Word or Excel or whatever file, surely the most natural way to open it is to open Word/Excel/whatever and select it from your recent files list in that program? That would be just as fast as going into Explorer and looking for it in quick access. It’s like a dumb fusion of two completely unrelated menus, Favourites and Recent Files. It actually replaced Favourites in build 9926. Favourites was the same thing, but it only contained what you wanted in there, and could be arranged in whatever order you wanted. So why the hell did they remove it?! 😦 << I wanted an angry smiley but WordPress doesn’t have one because it SUCKS. 😛

Oh, and OneDrive as well. I want that to piss off but you can’t get rid of it either. >.<

What else… ah yes, they have improved snapping tools now. You know that in Windows 7 and 8 you can grab a window and push it against the side of the screen to make it “snap” to that side of the screen? Windows 10 expands on that and lets you snap to a corner now, and if you have two monitors, you can snap to the inside of a screen without needing to use WinKey-Right or WinKey-Left, WOOT! 😀 Also, when you snap, you get a display on the other half of the screen, which easily lets you choose another window to snap to the other side, which is pretty neat:

Snappy Snappy!

It feels like an OS designed for PCs, but with the new Microsoft style. It doesn’t feel confused any more. Like, “Desktop” is no longer an app, for example. There’s no annoying bar that appears at the side of the screen when you hover there for a sec. You close apps and windows by clicking their X buttons, not by dragging them to the bottom right of the screen. You shutdown, restart or sleep by pressing the power button on the start menu, not by going into Settings. It’s… nice. 😀

Although speaking of Settings, that’s one part of Windows 10 that still feels confused. Control Panel still exists and can do pretty much everything you want it to do, but there’s a Settings app which does… almost as much, and is Windows’ “preferred” way of doing things. As in, when you click the Network icon in the taskbar, it launches the Network section of Settings instead of going to Network and Sharing Centre in Control Panel. It’s been improved in the most recent build, but I still want to use Control Panel for everything.

Other niggles… well, unfortunately, the All Programs list… sorry, all APPS list in the Start menu is pretty horrible now, Windows comes with pre-installed bloatware apps, and apps still exist. 😛 But since apps act almost the same as normal programs, I’ve gotten used to them (not like I use them much at all), and I have all the programs I commonly use on the desktop. If a program I want isn’t on the desktop, I just use the search bar, so I never need to use the all apps list. 🙂

If you’re wondering about Cortana, I haven’t been able to try it out because:

Like I Care!

Not sure why it’s not available in the UK but I don’t care. 😛

So yeah, I quite like Windows 10 in the state it’s in right now, well, apart from the looming possibility of a nasty crash. 😛 As for the pricing, well, it’s actually going to be a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. Yep. 🙂 Kinda concerns me about why it’s free, though. Maybe people’ve been pressuring them about how Mac OS X users get free major upgrades, but y’know, you have to get something when you pay about twice as much than the computer’s worth. 😛 I guess we’ll find out in due time if Microsoft have some sort of smartass proviso up their sleeve. 😛

Unlike the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I will link the Windows 10 Technical Preview here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/preview-iso

If you know what you’re doing, have your important data backed up, don’t mind large, somewhat frequent updates and you’re interested in trying Windows 10 yourself and watching it evolve, I’d definitely recommend giving it a spin. 🙂  Probably not a good idea installing it on a family computer or something, though. 😛

I think that’s all. Lemme know if there’s something I haven’t covered that you’re interested in. 😀 See yaz! 🙂

This statement is false. And null.

Or nil if you like Lua.

Or Nothing if you like Visual Basic.

Or Empty if YES they get the idea MongMaster shut up now. 😛

Well, since I’ve been working on the 4th render in my Chinese Zodiac series, Year Of The Goat, I was planning to write a li’l bit about the DAZ Studio 4.7 update after I was done for the night.

However, a thing happened. A stupid thing. In fact, many stupid things happened. I wanted to re-open the Monster Fight scene I rendered quite some time ago so I could re-render it in 1080p, but it failed to load the Kaiju models because it couldn’t find a huge mass of data files that aren’t even included in the product’s installer. Yet I can import a fresh Kaiju model into a scene just fine. >.> Then, I almost lost my work on Year Of The Goat because DAZ Studio did some absolutely insane thing that I can’t even begin to explain.

Then, the aforementioned thing happened.

It was so idiotic and senseless that I decided the only way I could convey it is via the medium of video. So… here you go:

DAZ Studio – I Don’t Even

So… yeah. If you don’t want to listen to my stupid voice, then basically, DAZ Studio 4.7 is.. just… heh. Like, insane. And not like “Hahaha, you’re insane but that’s cool”, more like “AAAAARGH YOU’RE INSANE GET AWAY FROM ME”

One last thing before I pop off, I’ve revised my DAZ Studio workspace layout. I added a couple of new panels and managed to re-learn how to change viewport background colours. They decided to change it for… some… reason. I dunno. Maybe they’re struggling to find things to do cuz there aren’t any bugs. Heh. Anyway, I dunno if anyone would find it useful, but you can get it HEEEAH if you wannit. 🙂

Eekay, I’m off. Need night nightz. If I get around to writing it before the Chinese New Year, I’ll probably tell y’all about Windows 10 next time. Seeeee yaaaaaa. 🙂

mongmaster.wordpress.com has been (un)suspended!

Whoa. WHOA. WHOOOHOHOHOHAAAAHHAOOA! My number of subscribers has doubled! TO TWO!!

Welcome, Mr./Mrs./Miss./Dr. New Subscriber! 😀

Yes, it was almost immediately after my blog came back online. Y’see, I was just passing by, doing a couple of tweaks to some articles, not going to write another one because I didn’t really have much to write about, when all of a sudden, I get some weird-ass errors when trying to update a post. Something about an API call that failed. About a minute later, just when I was about to say “stuff this, I’ll come back to it later”, I get a banner at the top of my dashboard, saying the blog has been suspended because of a violation of the Terms of Service.

Lel?

I thought maybe I had done something wrong at some point yeeeeears ago, back when this blog was actually on Windows Live. I thought something’d crept up from then and bit me in teh ash whole. But even so, an instant suspension and imminent deletion with no warning or reason whatsoever? I didn’t even get an e-mail, and nothing explained why this had happened. Come on.

Naturally, I contacted support. Turned out that I’d been hit by an anti-spam bot which flagged the site. Understandable! 😛 Can’t fault the support I got, really. Well, apart from that they didn’t actually fix the issue the first time I contacted them, but whatever, no biggie, they still got me back up and running within 24 hours. 🙂  I’m still gonna tag all my posts with that tag, though. 😛 IT’S TRADITION!

Anyway, yes, I’m back, with DOUBLE the subscriber POWAAAHH! Awwww yisss, I’m SMASHING my way onto the Internetz celebrity scene BIG time. Haaaah. 😛  As a celebratory thingiemabobbyjig, I’ll go ahead and post something I was gonna post anyway! WHOOOO! CELEBRATIONZ! 😀

I finally got my ass in gear and got around to rendering a final version of The Third Breed; the render I made in my last (real) post. 🙂 Man, it was a pain to render out again. I updated to DAZ Studio 4.7, which was a slight mistake, and I’m currently rocking the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which is a mistake and a good thing in almost equal measures. Let’s just say it took at least 6 attempts to render it out. 😛

Why? Well, during a render, the CPU completely maxes out, and the Pwnage-O-Matic V6 doesn’t seem to be happy about this. 😛 I got about 3 BSoDs, the computer completely locked up once, and the graphics driver kept crashing, too. I really doubt it’s a hardware issue since the processor is practically brand new, never exceeds 60C at full load, and is currently running at stock speed. It’s probably some kinda Windows problem. Although… I did close a bunch of background programs before I began the render attempt that finished successfully. Or maybe it was just a fluke. We’ll see when we render Year of the Goat. 😀

As an extra-special treat, I rendered it in both 1080p and 4K. 😀 To render the scene in 4K, it took… 2 hours 10 minutes and 21.44 seconds. Says the log file. 🙂 Anyway, yez, I’ll stop yammering and show you le beautiful dragon! BOOYAH:

The Third Breed - DracoAurarius
Available in: (1080p) (4K)

It’s not hyper-different from the draft, but it’s better. His head’s angled down a little more, and his claw is a bit closer to his body. I also tweaked the position of his left wing, adjusted the lighting slightly, and rendered at max quality. DJ MAX quality. 😀 Also saved the final JPEGs at a higher than normal quality because I noticed some really ugly artefacts on the draft version.

I hope you liek! 🙂 If you want him on your desktop but I haven’t rendered at your native resolution, I’d be happy to churn another render out for your res and add it to the list. Just lemme know! 😀  Within reason, of course. I ain’t rendering it out at some crazy-ass overkill res like 16K or something. I like my PC to be usable! 😛

Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I’ll make a separate post about my new PC build later on. And Windows 10, and DAZ Studio 4.7, although there’s not a great deal to say about it. And of course, the 4th Chinese New Year render is almost here! I gotta render a GOAT and make it look EPIC!

Maaaaaan this year’s image is gonna suck! 😛

ALL MY DEVICES’ YEARS SUCCESSFULLY INCREMENTED!

Isn’t it great?! I was kinda getting worried halfway through the year, saying “oh no, what if the year on my phone is busted? I won’t know what year it is and I’ll get confused” but it’s okay cuz it turns out it works! WHEW! THAT’S A REASON TO CELEBRATE WOOO LET’S GO OUT AND GET PISSED!

Yeah, I’m not really one who celebrates the New Year. I don’t see the point. The year is incremented by one. Whoopdedoo. It’s not any more special than any other day. The year has incremented every 365/366 days without fail since forever. 😛 Chinese New Year is more interesting – it’s the Year of the Horse in 2014, right? I’m a horse, so that’s pretty cool. Kinda matches up to it being “my” year, too, since I’m due to start my first job later this month. 😀 Speaking of Chinese New Year, I’ll need to do the new render soon. I might need a horse. 😛

I tend to celebrate events rather than just normal days. I celebrated my birthday, graduating and getting my first job, as well as everyone else’s birthday. I don’t see the point of celebrating something that happens every single year that doesn’t really affect or celebrate anyone.

Anyway, yep. I don’t really have much to say other than that. Not much goes on around here. I only posted twice last year, and one of those was an entry I wrote before 2013 but didn’t post for a while, so it shows that I’m kinda lost for topics. 😛 I got a job as I said. It’s in Brighton with Mad Atom Games. So that’s cool, but I can’t really say more about it because I’ve not started yet. And because of the NDA. 😛

Oh, the Xbox One and PS4 were released but I couldn’t care less. Still haven’t got any new PS Vita games but I should try Tearaway and Dragon’s Crown (if it’s even out over here yet). I bought Patapon and I’m planning to buy Patapon 2 and 3 because I never actually owned the originals and can’t believe I never bought them. Still praying for Patapon 4 but it just won’t happen.

I started playing the the non-pussy much better version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown again. The DOS version, playing it using OpenXcom. Still really hard even on difficulty 2/5, but I’m doing pretty well, thanks to some cool-ass tactics and reloading the game when something goes retardedly wrong. Should be able to clear it. 😀

AssAssins Peed 4 is just as terrible to play as always but the sea combat is amazing. That’s the only reason I’m still playing it, and probably will do until all the sea activities dry up. Like I said when talking about AssAssins Peed 3, they should just scrap everything apart from the sea combat because I’m bored of the shite combat system and the movement system that becomes even more broken with each game and the AI which is so stupid it hurts. Online is friggin’ terrible as usual.

Dinner’s ready now. Might pick this up later. 😉

Yum yum all eaten. Now where was I? Er… oh yeah.

We got Age of Empires II HD Edition (the best AoE and one of very few RTSs I’m happy to play) and everyone else played it once or twice and decided that AoE III is better and now want to play that. Probably because it’s got better graphics and is more watered down. AoE II is probably too complicated for them. Y’know, four resources instead of three, only way of getting resources is by looking for them and guarding them instead of being able to make infinite supplies, villagers have to carry stuff back instead of it magically appearing in your stores, it’s hard to spam siege weapons and it doesn’t really work anyway…

Got Half Minute Hero cuz it’s an awesome game and I was going to buy it years ago but forgot. 😛

Errr… I think that’s it. So yeah. That’s the past year or so in a nutshell. 😛

This console business…

It’s getting pretty boring hearing about it already, y’know. Everyone on Bookface won’t shut the fuck up about these new consoles. My entire feed is plastered with the same thing over and over again. OMG PS4 IS FUCKING COOL SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY THAT XBOX ONE LOL PIECE OF SHIT. Might as well just not look at Facebook for the next 20 weeks, cuz I know exactly what everyone’s going to say. :/

Let’s talk about what I can figure out from the consoles. To start, the Xbox One. It’s like an entertainment system that only just remembered that it should be a games console. First, it’s got Kinect built in, which has shit motion sensing and hugely pointless voice recognition. I don’t know anyone who has Kinect that still uses it. It also has a TV tuner. And I don’t get it. If you have a games console, you have a TV. Most TVs… er… have the ability to receive a TV signal. So why would I plug the aerial into the Xbox? I can’t, anyway, since I don’t have a digibox! My TV has Freeview built-in! 😛

One big issue, though, is this DRM and check-in system that I don’t really understand. You buy the game, but you have to install it to play it, and that game gets registered on your account. Here it gets hazy. If you want to sell your game because you’re done playing through its traditionally modern 3 hour story mode, you might be able to if Microsoft feel like it, but you have to pay a fee… or maybe the person you sell the game to has to pay a fee. Something like that. You also can’t lend the game to your friends, because it’s bound to your account. Don’t have a clue how they’re gonna manage that – maybe the games have product keys or each DVD has an ID number or whatever. So basically, it’s like Steam for consoles.

Sounds pretty gay, but I don’t get what the fuss is about. I don’t know anyone who lends games to their friends any more. And if your friend really does want to play a game they don’t have, there’s normally this thing called a “demo”. Failing that, do what someone I know does on Steam – give them your account password so they can log into your account and play it. What’re Microsoft going to do about that? 😛

The answer is probably this “check-in” system that I really don’t know much about. From what I can gather, you have to keep your console connected to the Internet to play games on it. If you don’t connect to the Internet, you can still play games, but after 24 hours of being disconnected, you can’t play any more until you reconnect. If you’re signed in on a different console, you have to connect every hour. Or something. That sucks.

But then again, does it? Who doesn’t have their console connected to the Internet? Apart from those who don’t have an Internet connection, of course. I haven’t played a game on Xbox Live in years, yet I still keep it connected so I can get updates and shit. What’s the big deal about keeping the new console connected to the Internet? And if we just go back to my idea about letting friends log into your account and play your games… this system won’t entirely stop that. If you unplug your console from the ‘net, and they connect using your account on their console, your friend can play your game uninterrupted. You’ll even be able to play the same game for 24 hours until your console locks you out. But then what do you do? Reconnect, and kick your friend off, then immediately disconnect. The check-in timer is refreshed, and you can keep playing for 24 hours. Duh. 😛

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the idea. It’s like a crappier, stricter version of Steam, and it basically allows the console to lock you out. It would especially suck if Xbox Live went down. But I don’t see how it ruins the console. Keep it connected and everything’s okay. Who lends games to friends, anyway? That’s so 90’s. If they wanna play your game so much, invite them over. 😛

The biggest issue for me is the price. The 360 was very, very reasonably priced. You can pick up a pre-owned 250GB Xbox 360 for about £120 now, or a brand new one for £200. And that’s great – it blew the PS3 out of the water. People who didn’t have great deal of money could still play the newest games. But the Xbox One? It’s gonna be £429 at launch.

Ouch.

You see, there’s this games console that’s been around for a hell of a long time, called the “PC”. You can do anything on it. You can change it to look how you want it to look, upgrade any part of it, install anything. You can watch TV on it if you get and install an inexpensive tuner card, and it comes with voice recognition if you really want it. And games are generally £10 cheaper. Problem is, it’s very expensive. And that’s why “dedicated” games consoles exist. Because they’re really only designed to do one thing, play games. Sure, it can play DVDs and stuff, but that’s just a side-effect of the DVD drive in the console harnessed by the software. It can stream pictures and videos from your PC, but again, that’s just in the software. This focus is what makes them cheap.

The Xbox One totally misses the point. It’s designed to do more than play games. You can also watch TV on it, and it’s also a crap exercise machine. Adding these things increases the price. Now, the One is almost as expensive as a basic gaming PC. Yet you still can’t do whatever you want on it, you can’t modify it or upgrade it, and games are still £10 more expensive than PC games.

So, what about the PS4? Well, it appears to be much better. It’s a games console, plain and simple. You put a disc in, and you play the game on it. You don’t have to connect to the Internet and “check in”, and if you still live in the 90’s, you can lend your games to your friends just by handing them the disc. That also means you can trade them in to get back some of the money you wasted on it when you’re done playing their likely shitty single player content. There’s no motion sensor, no voice recognition, and no TV tuner. You can also stream Netflix or LoveFilm to it without paying anything extra, if you’re into that sort of thing. However, Sony’s decided to drop one of its advantages over Xbox. On the PS4, to play games online, you’ll need a PlayStation Plus subscription. But, that does come with additional benefits, such as free games and discounts. With Xbox Live Gold, you get discounts on Arcade games, but very rarely.

And the price? It’s actually a lot less than the cost of a launch PS3 – only* £349 (* not really that cheap). This makes it £80 less than the One, probably because it has no pointless extra features. So you can somewhat understand why people are jizzing these fanboyish posts all over my Bookface wall:

“Sony just kill that Microsoft!!! NO DRM, NO AUTH!!”
“I am clapping so much!!”
“Best news!! :D”
“BEST FUCKING NEWS!! Sony JUST GOT ALL THE CHEER!!!!”
“PS4 £349!!! Oh Sony, why you so nice!!”
“Sony has done nothing wrong. Nothing wrong. :)”
“sony, just take my money, take it all”
“pretty much had multiple orgasms”
“£349 for the PS4? Gutted Microsoft, proper been shat upon well and truly.”
“SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.”
“By the sounds of my facebook everyone is getting ps4 and xbox got shafted with a massive dildo and no one has said they’ll buy it!”
“TAKE THAT XBOX!!! you screwed up big time.”

It’s pretty pathetic.

I’m not a fanboy, and I have no allegiance to any console or any company, unlike some… very strange people. So, which would I have? Well, last time new home consoles were released, I got an Xbox 360 because it was basically half the price of the PS3, and there was no way I’d be able to afford a PS3. This time, if I were to take literally nothing that mattered into consideration, I’d say the PS4. Of course, really, I wouldn’t have either of them.

It’s a bit different when you actually think, though. What’s really getting on my nerves is that people are completely forgetting something… major. These are consoles. They’re completely useless. You don’t buy a console for the console. You buy a console for the games. Despite what people have decided already, what will really decide the console they buy will be the console exclusives. And they’ve barely even been announced.

So, let’s talk about the ones that have been announced. The games, the exclusives, the things that actually matter, unless you’re considering using your One just to get TV on it, or using your PS4 to… act as a doorstop. 😛 If you get an Xbox One, you will have access to several “acclaimed” games: Forza 5, The Witcher 3, Dead Rising 3, Halo 5, the new Killer Instinct, and Metal Gear Solid 5 and Crimson Dragon. Not bad. Apart from The Witcher and Halo, there’re some possibly good games there. Can’t help but wonder why MGS5 is an Xbox exclusive this time, though. It’s like they want to keep it away from poorer people. 😛 UPDATE: Found out  MGS 5 is not an exclusive. The worst thing about game journalists is when they try to do their job. They always fail. 😛 Oh, and almost everyone failed to mention the amazing-looking Crimson Dragon as an exclusive, so I added that, too.

Also available exclusively for the Xbox One are brand new games which, after reading the blurb, I still know almost nothing about them, such as Project Spark (likely some crap game making tool for 8-year-olds), Quantum Break (somehow integrates TV and gaming together, sounds frustratingly stupid), Ryse (sounds catastrophically boring), D4 (cliché story) and Sunset Overdrive (literally clueless about what this is, says it’s made by Insomniac as if it matters). And then you also have total shit like Minecraft: Money Milking Edition 2 and Rabbids Invasion, neither of which should be bought, ever, but they will sell because some people are utterly stupid.

So a pretty good wad of games that you can only play if you buy an Xbox One. Ah, but what exclusives does PS4 have to offer? Well, let’s start with their “acclaimed” games… Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts III, (UPDATE: KH3 isn’t excl2usive. Go journalists.) Infamous: Second Son, and Killzone. Er… yeah, that’s it. Hm. Oh, and there’re some new titles, Driveclub (I don’t get it), Knack (don’t have a clue what this is supposed to be) and The Order: 1886 (cliché description, sounds lame). But… er… yeah. Pretty empty shelf.

Of course, there are other games, but they’re available for both consoles, and even for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, so it’s pointless taking them into consideration when you’re choosing the console you should buy. Most people won’t want both consoles, or may only be able to afford one of the two, so you’ve gotta consider you can’t play the exclusives of the console you don’t buy.

And me? I’ve changed my mind – I’d get the Xbox One. No question.

Funny, isn’t it? Yeah, the console is locked down with DRM, you need to connect to the Internet to use it, you can’t trade in games, it’s more expensive and Microsoft is cramming it with useless shit. But who cares? Who really, actually cares? It has infinity% more games that I wouldn’t be able to play if I bought its rival! I mean, there’re three exclusive games on it that I want – Forza 5, Dead Rising 3 and Crimson Dragon. I’m even tempted by Killer Instinct, but that’s just nostalgia talking – I was never good at it, and I don’t really like fighting games any more. As for the PS4, well, despite it being the better, cheaper console and being a companion to my Vita, I don’t want any of the games it’s offering. I’m willing to pay more and put up with DRM for a console I’d actually use more. How does this DRM crap affect me, anyway? Not at all! Unless their servers or my ‘net connection dies, both of which are unlikely, because neither is hosted by Blizzard or EA! 😛

You see, when making a major purchase like a console, I always try to think about how much I’d use it. It’s crazy buying a £400 console if I’m only gonna play on it for about 20 hours. Let’s take games as an example. I like to divide a game’s price by the number of hours I’ve used it, which gives me a “Worthiness Score”. The lower the score, the more it was worth the price. For example, Borderlands 2, including all the DLC and everything, cost me £44.98. I’ve played it for 301 hours so far, so it gets a score of 0.149, which is mighty impressive. Basically, the game cost me about 15p per hour to play. I’ve definitely got my money’s worth. 🙂

So, let’s do this with the consoles. Of course, I can’t know how many hours I’ll play on the consoles, especially since two games rarely have the same worthiness score, and it’s not likely the consoles will count the hours. So instead, I’m going to divide the price of the console by the number of games I want for it. Ideally, I’d like the score to be the same or less than the average price of games for the console, since it’s kinda depressing when the console is worth more than the games I got for it. 😛 So, I’m looking for 40 or less.

Let’s do the Vita, since I’m interested. 😛 Really, I’m looking for 35 or less points for the Vita, since most Vita games are a little bit cheaper than the standard £40. I’ve got 7 games for it, and it cost me about £240 for the console, memory card and starter kit. BUT you’ve gotta consider that 3 of my games are actually arcade games. Combined, I’d say they cost me about the same as a standard boxed Vita game. So, let’s say £240/4 = 60, which isn’t great, but it’s getting there. 😛

(UPDATE: The following are my older calculations based on information from stupid game journalists. Now that I know which games are actually exclusive, see the bottom of the post for my updated scores.)

The Xbox One, then. £429/4 (The exclusives I mentioned earlier, as well as Mirror’s Edge… but then again, do I really want it? I dunno. I’ll just keep it there to be safe.) makes a score of 107.25. Pretty bad. Four more games and it’d be almost worth it. 😛

Now, the PS4. Cheaper, £349, but only divided by 1 (Mirror’s Edge), and oh no! That gives it a score of 349, which, despite being a cheaper console, makes it three times less worth my money than the Xbox One! You see? Consoles are nothing. Games are everything.

Of course, other people’s scores will be different. People might not want Forza. Some people might be Halo fanboys. Some might like Killzone or the massive oxymoron that is Final Fantasy XV. More games will be announced over time, so my score might change as well. But as far as I can tell, most people haven’t even considered the games and just said they’re getting the PS4. What can I say. They’re stupid.

But as I said, I’m not getting either console. Maybe in the far future, when the price, say, halves (or when I get a well-paid job :P), but not any time soon. Why? Well, partly because the Xbox isn’t focused and Microsoft’s pulled a dick move, and partly because the PS4 will most likely have the same crap controller it’s been using for the past 15 years or so. But the main reason? I’ve already got a Perfect Console. The PC. 😛

It holds all my games (which cost less than console games) that I can play whenever I want, whether I’m on the Internet or not (unless it’s a shitty EA game which I don’t play). I can record gameplay videos and waste other people’s time with them without needing to spend loads of cash on equipment. I can watch TV, browse the Internet, do work and write blog posts on it. 😉 I can talk to friends and family on it using a program that costs nothing. I’ve got add-ons like a wireless receiver for Xbox 360 controllers, a webcam and the PC-exclusive mouse. It has 3D capability and can output to up to three monitors so far. It loads things faster and has better graphics. Instead of being capped at 30FPS in games, I can reach 120FPS. And if it starts to fall behind in some way, I can buy an upgrade and install it myself. It also has a Worthiness Score of about 0.0001. You get the idea. 😛 It might be expensive, but it’s literally perfect. Why would I spend money on a console? Apart from playing games I can’t play on the PC because of exclusivity bullshit, I don’t have a friggin’ clue. Anyone wanna convince me? 😛

Y’know, I haven’t mentioned the Wii U yet. So… Wee Poo. Done. 😛

So, let me try encouraging comments and feedback, even though no-one is gonna read this. Even though it’s about very popular, current issues, and people should technically be swarming over it. What console’re you getting, if any, and why? 🙂


UPDATE!!
Just found out, MGS5 is coming to PS4 and Kingdom Hearts III is coming to Xbox One. It’s literally impossible to figure this out because every friggin’ game reporter sucks. 😛

So that means that one of the exclusives I want is no longer an exclusive. Now it’s only 2-0 to Xbox One. 😛

OH, SHIT, WAIT, just found that Crimson Dragon is an Xbox One exclusive. It’s back to
3-0. 😛 I’d better update my personal Worthiness Scores that I gave the consoles:

Xbox One: £429 / 5 = 85.8pts
(Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, Crimson Dragon, Metal Gear Solid 5, Mirror’s Edge)

PS4: £349 / 2 = 174.5pts
(Metal Gear Solid 5, Mirror’s Edge)

X1’s still winning for me.


UPDATE 2!!

Oh look at that. Dead Rising 3 is on the Steam Coming Soon list. But now Sunset Overdrive has some content to show and it looks good. Also, Forza Horizon 2, since I enjoyed the original Horizon mucho.

In addition to that. I actually have no interest in Mirror’s Edge Poo any more. And hell, Kingdom Hearts 2 was good, so let’s add KH3 to both platforms, why not. Oh, Crackdown. Maybe that won’t be shit. Oh! Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. That looks fun. And Peggle 2 since it’s not on PC because PopCap are sell-outs. And, the XB1 will be available without Kinect… although I’m not sure if Crimson Dragon will work without it. Eh, can always buy it later if needed…

Erm… actually… since when the hell did the XB1 have a price drop WITH Kinect? I got it right here for £370 WITH Kinect and FIFA 14. Er, okay… soooooo:

Xbox One: £369.99 / 9 = 41.11pts
(Forza 5, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown, Crimson Dragon, Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, Peggle 2)

PS4: £349.99 / 2 = 174.99pts
(Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3)

Can’t QUITE fathom why everyone was humping the PS4. SERIOUSLY don’t understand. Why. The PS4 has, like, no exclusives. SingStar Ultimate Party yaaaaaaay. It’s a doorstop. And it’s not even that cheap any more… not like it WAS cheap in the first place.

I’m getting tempted by the XB1. SERIOUSLY tempted. The Worthiness Score is almost down to 40. One more game. If one more game that I love is announced for it, I’ll be getting it.

…when I can afford it. Really can’t spare £370 right now. 😛


UPDATE 3!!

ACTUALLY wait wait wait. I’m being totally unfair. Peggle 2 doesn’t cost the same as Metal Gear Solid 5. Nor does Crimson Dragon… er, I think. Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is less than £40, as well. Together they probably cost £40.

Oh, and No Man’s Sky looks pretty good. Although I don’t believe ANYTHING I see at E3. Because, you know. 90% of what devs show are probably pre-rendered fake gameplay demos. Games in development that look AND play AND perform worse on release are QUITE common nowadays. But anyway it doesn’t affect anything No Man’s Sky is multiplatform.

OH and Little Big Planet 3, PS4 exclusive. Which… might be good. I dunno. Can’t really see it being any different, but I liked LBP PS Vita, so…

Xbox One: £369.99 / 8 = 52.85pts
(Forza 5, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown, Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Crimson Dragon & Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare & Peggle 2)

PS4: £349.99 / 4 = 87.49pts
(Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Little Big Planet 3)

Wellll now. PS4’s kinda catching up. That’s good. Sort of. Y’see, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive and Crimson Dragon are games I REALLY want. Whereas… all the titles on the PS4 (bar MGS5) are games I “kinda” want.

Won’t be getting either any time soon, so there’s still plenty of time for a killer game to come along and save Sony. Y’know what WOULD make me sit up and listen to the PS4? Patapon 4. Lol never mind. The chance of that being released is about equal to a snowball’s chance in hell. And if it WAS, I’d expect it to be on Vita.


UPDATE 4!!

Alrighty! More stuff. Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is an exclusive. Exclusive to everything I don’t own, ie: not PC or X360. Fussake. Well, I’d get that, since I never actually played all the way through Warriors Orochi 3 (it was a rental).

Star Wars Battlefront is a maybe. Because Battlefront II was… er… broken. It was unpolished to hell and the single player campaign was impossible. I’m not even kidding, it was ACTUALLY impossible. Oh, and the people who made Battlefield 3 & 4 are doing it so it’ll likely be broken for about 2 years after release and will suck. I hate Battlefield.

The Crew is also a maybe. It depends on whether it’s got fun arcade driving physics or annoying-as-fuck simulation physics. “Annoying-as-fuck” because simulation racer physics pretend to be accurate but are just a load of garbage (see Gran Turismo) and make the game incredibly dull. Oh, and if the game actually works. Unlike Test Drive Unlimited 2.

Drive Club looks good. It’s a PS4 exclusive. However, if I got Drive Club, I would NOT get The Crew, because from what I can tell, they’re the same kind of game, so it’s completely inconsequential in making a decision.

One thing that caught my eye was Scalebound. There’s pretty much no information on it at all yet, but it’s got me interested. Chances are that’s because I’m a complete sucker for dragons. 😛 The description reminds me of Drakan – you come across a dragon and form some sort of bond with them. That plot element is common among games where a dragon is your ally. No idea why. One downside, though – the people making it make Metal Gear Rising: Stupidword. But they were also responsible for Bayonetta and, back when they were Clover Studio, probably the most amazing 3D beat-em-up ever – God Hand. I’m gonna put it on the list. Y’know what’s funniest? It’s an Xbox One exclusive!

Man, I feel bad for the PS4. Sony can never get the decent games. 😛 Anyway, here’s the lineup:

Xbox One: £369.99 / 10 = 36.99pts
(Forza 5, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown, Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, Scalebound, Crimson Dragon & Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare & Peggle 2)

PS4: £349.99 / 5 = 69.99pts
(Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Little Big Planet 3, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate)

Ah, PS4 was catching up a little, as well. But then Xbox One just had to pass the threshold. I guess that’s it. There are 12 games available for it which aren’t available on anything I currently have. It doesn’t have to convince me any more. As soon as I can afford it, I’ll be grabbing an Xbox One. 🙂

I don’t see how people can criticise it any more. Sure, Kinect is friggin’ lousy and I hate it. The TV features are a bit dumb, too. But they got rid of that DRM crap, it’s dropped in price, and they’re offering it without Kinect for the same price as a PS4. And you’d have to be mental to buy it without Kinect, because there are no game bundles for a Kinect-less Xbox. I’d pay £40 more for Titanfall and MGS V: Ultrashort Prequel AND a Kinect, no doubt.

I can’t really see any reason to criticize it any more. Can’t speak for the console’s performance or software, although I doubt it’ll struggle to run games developed for it specifically. 😛

But yeah. No more updates for this post now. Unless Sony gets a killer game. I can’t imagine what it could be to make me give up all those X1 exclusives I want, though.


UPDATE 5!!

HA-HA-HA HAAAA DIS-RE-GARD MOST OF THIS!

What scores were we on again? Well, lemme update them:

Xbox One: £369.99 / 8.5 = 43.53pts
(Forza 5, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown, Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, Scalebound, Crimson Dragon & Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare & Peggle 2)

PS4: £349.99 / 5 = 87.25pts
(Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Little Big Planet 3, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate)

PvZ Garden Warfare is available on PC already so I really don’t know why I put that there. Maybe the answer is higher up but I dunno. But anyway, Metal Gear Solid 5 has been announced for PC. Loooooool. 😛

Why am I even considering getting a console? For all I know, all these “exclusives”… might not be. 😛 I mean, Dead Rising 3 came to PC. And now MGS5. I don’t expect Forza to come to PC but I bet Sunset Overdrive has a good chance. I mean, it’s a friggin’ fast-paced arcade shooter so do want mouse and keyboard controls plz. And Warriors Orochi? I can see that coming to PC too. I mean, DW8XL:CE did alright on Steam so I’d expect that to do about the same. I think Peggle 2 (or a variation of it) is coming to mobiles, actually, but I’m not sure. But what about Scalebound? That has such little info available that it’s almost painful, but they could be all like “oh, yeah, we’re doing it for PC too, and it’ll run at 120FPS and the graphics will blow your eyes out but only on PC”.

I love how people were like “HAAAA PC IS DEAD CONSOLES ARE GOING TO RULE THE WORLD AND EAT YOUR BABIES” then people went “OHHHH NETBOOKS ARE MAKING PCS COMPLETELY POINTLESS THEY’RE GONNA DIE” and then people started going “WHOOOOAH TABLETS ARE FUCKING AWESOME AND THEY’RE KILLING OFF PCS FASTER THAN YOU DID MY MUM LAST NIGHT” and now everyone’s going “WHOOOLLYYY SHIIIT MOBILE GAMING IS THE BEST KIND OF GAMING AND IT’S KILLING THE FUCK OUT OF CONSOLES AND PCS BUT ESPECIALLY PCS BECAUSE NO-ONE USES A PC NOW BECAUSE TABLETS AND PHONES EXIST AND THEY GET MORE USAGE THAN PCS DO AMONG PEOPLE OUTSIDE WITH NO ACCESS TO A PC AND VARIOUS OTHER BULLSHIT STATISTICS” but PC gamers are like “lol wat” and just keep playing through their library of PC games and emulators with their superior graphics cards and CPUs while talking to friends, minimising to check a wiki and using a controller that suits them. 😛


UPDATE 6!!

Lmfao…

Xbox One: £369.99 / 6.5 = 56.92pts
(Forza 5, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown, Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, Scalebound, Crimson Dragon & Peggle 2)

PS4: £349.99 / 3 = 116.66pts
(Kingdom Hearts 3, No Man’s Sky, Little Big Planet 3, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate)

No Man’s Sky was never gonna be available for Xbox One. But it’s gonna be available for PC, so PS4 loses it as well. Not like I’m interested anymore anyway because they’ve actively been dodging the question “what do you do in the game?”. Seriously, I’m stunned that barely anyone has noticed. The core Forza series is a simulation racer so I don’t have a friggin’ clue why I put it there. The elusiveness of information on Scalebound combined with an interview that says they’re aiming to “target a wider audience” suggests development is slow, water is being added and no-one knows what it’s supposed to be, so it’s setting off my bomb alert.

I played Driveclub. It missed the list. It’s so. Fucking. Boring. It’s the most generic racer since… since like… Gran Turismore Fun Needed. It has no personality at all. YAY PRETTY GRAPHICS SUPER PAINT FLAKES WHEN YOU ZOOM IN WOWOWOW yeah look a bit further out at the idiotically low-res backdrop which ruins every camera shot and maybe play the game too instead of fapping in camera mode.

It’s been more than a YEAR since release and there’s still barely anything on either console! Even funnier is the fact that the lists haven’t INCREASED in size for months because I keep finding out some games are coming to PC! It’s absolutely friggin’ hilarious!

 


UPDATE 7!!

So my dad bought an Xbox One, probably because he’s having a mid-life crisis. I mean, there’s no other reason. He doesn’t play games, doesn’t have time to play games, can’t really play games very well, and the consoles have no games on them anyway.

Xbox One: £239.99 / 1 = 239.99pts
(Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown, Kingdom Hearts 3, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, Scalebound, Crimson Dragon & Peggle 2)

PS4: £299.99 / 1 = 299.99pts
(Kingdom Hearts 3, Little Big Planet 3, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate)

Forza Horizon 2 is hella old now so it’s off the list, but Forza Horizon 3 came out, so that’s another point back to Xbox One NO HAHA WAIT, IT’S ON PC although the port is absolutely fucking dire but HEY! It’s on PC! That’s all that matters! And you know what’s funnier? I said “I don’t expect Forza to come to PC” AND IT FUCKING DID, LMFAO!

At this rate, Crackdown is just NEVER going to come out and I don’t really care about it any more because it won’t be as good as Crackdown 1 anyway! Kingdom Hearts 3… pretty much the same thing! At this rate it’s never gonna happen and it’s not going to be as good as KH2, because modern gaming.

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate isn’t something I’m interested in any more either, because I could EASILY get the non-Ultimate version for Xbox 360 if I REALLY wanted it. Don’t give a damn about Peggle 2 any more and I’ve heard Crimson Dragon isn’t anywhere NEAR as good as Panzer Dragoon, so knock those off too!

And now I’ve saved the best for last! You remember Scalebound, that… uh… game thing? I think it’s an action-RPG? Yeah who cares, IT’S COMING TO PC LMFAO! The ONLY Xbox-exclusive game I was actually interested in any more, boom! Lost! Not an exclusive! Shitty port? Probably! But you can play it on PC and that’s the end of that! Will I buy it? No way in hell unless it has a demo and proves that it isn’t shit! But again who cares! Non-exclusive! No points!

So there you go, if you bought a Xbox One or a PS4, I have no idea why unless it was an Xbox One and you like Halo and Forza Non-Horizon. If it was a PS4, I have no idea why… and full stop. It’s now, hilariously, more expensive and… seriously, what’s ON it? I mean, games you can’t get on something else, that is. Ratchet & Clank’s one, right? And… Little Big Planet 3’s another although that’s pretty old now. Er… Bloodborne, that Dark Souls-like game probably with fake difficulty everywhere? Oh, The Last Guardian, that game everyone’s screaming about even though it’s never looked that good and has been in development hell for ages and therefore will definitely not be good. That’s, er… that’s it, right? Four games. Spend £300 on a console that costs £70 more than the competition for the ability to play… four exclusive games, none of which are like, killer, or anything? Cool, I… guess? I mean we live in an era where people will buy a £700 VR headset to play things that don’t really qualify as games so hey, I shouldn’t be surprised or dumbfounded.

If you haven’t bought either, buy a PC; they cost a little bit more but have 200,000% more games on them. Unless you want to play Halo. In which case… buy a PC and learn to like another shooter, like Battlefield or Overwatch or Call of Duty or Unreal Tournament or Doom or Quake. 😛

Okay, I’m done now. 😛

Death Rally: a game that didn’t need a Remedy.

I wrote this some time ago, but forgot to post it. So here you go. 😛

I am a retardedly massive fan of Death Rally, that old top-down racing game with guns, mines, turbo boosts, sexy music and one of my most iconic fantasy cars, the Deliverator. I remember scrolling through the vehicle list early on in the game, anticipating the moment when I’d be able to drive it. Hell, I did that with every car. 😀

But I found that there’s a NEW Death Rally out now, made by Remedy Entertainment – the same company who developed the original Death Rally. Not sure if it’s the same guys, though. It’s been out for quite a while, actually, first exclusive to iCrap, then released on Andwoid. I was able to have a very brief play on the Android version when it came out, and I didn’t really like it. Didn’t feel like Death Rally, and any game that requires the use of virtual analog sticks is almost always crap.

But soon after that, it became available on PC, via Steam, but with no demo. So I immediately went to grab a torrent, because there was no way in hell I was trusting this game. It cost £8 on PC, yet you could get it on mobile devices for 69 FUCKING P. It was also originally for mobile devices, so my Bad Port detector was going haywire. And as I said earlier, during my brief play, I didn’t like it. Of course, if it did turn out to be a good game, I’d delete the torrent and go buy it, like I always do.

Sadly, no! After giving it a good chance, I’m almost certain that the developers are different, and that Remedy didn’t really give a shit about this game and just wanted to get back to their forest simulation game, Alan Wake.

You start the game by being told to escape the cops. The controls appear 15 seconds after this, so that’s kind of irritating. You find out that you can’t escape the cops, because you’re too slow, and the road ends with a fence you can’t smash through. Some sort of cutscene happens where you get arrested and get told to compete in Death Rally, a quite illegal competition, by a POLICEMAN, so he can get his hands on the Adversary. Making literally no sense already.

So instead of the original Death Rally, where you want to beat the Adversary to be a winner, this time you need to beat the Adversary because some chump cop wants to arrest him. Or something. How pathetic. Anyway, you get thrown into the garage screen, where you get shown 6 races and you’ve gotta pick one. You race the quite dull race, return to the garage, are forced to spend all your money, and then you race another. Progress is eventually and accidentally made, even if you repeatedly lose. Every so often, a special story race appears. Finish in a position, and you might get another cutscene. You don’t even have to win some of them. I imagine it goes like that until you reach the Adversary, where I assume you can come second and win. I don’t know, because I got bored about halfway through. Which only took a few hours.

The changes from the original Death Rally are massive. You don’t get any initial funds, and you don’t actually know roughly how much you’ll win upon entering a race. At the end of the race, you do see how much money you win, but you don’t know how much repairs or upgrades cost. You MUST spend all your money before entering the next race, so you can’t save it up for the next car instead of wasting it on upgrades you don’t want. You can’t save it for the next car anyway, because you unlock cars by accidentally picking up bits of upgrades as you drive. In fact, everything in the game is unlocked accidentally; new cars, new tracks, new weapons and new accessories, all collected on the track without really trying. You can blow up enemies to unlock stuff faster, but that’s super irritating because enemies seem to get 98% damage resistance when they go critical (more on that later). Basically, you almost never have to finish in a good position or blow anyone up to advance in the new game. You could probably beat the game and only win about 10 times in total.

There are some retarded flaws with the upgrade system, too. You don’t actually know how fast cars go – you don’t get a top speed reading. For all I know, a maxed Vagabond goes just as fast as the stock Deliverator. But that’s not the stupidest thing. Say if you have a maxed out car, and you’ve just unlocked the next car. Maybe you don’t want to drive the new car, because as far as you can tell, it’s slower and handles like ass, because it has less gold upgrade bars on Speed and Handling. So, you decide to race with your current vehicle, and use the money to upgrade the other car before you try racing with that. WRONG! You can’t do that. All money you earn in a race must be spent on the car and weapon you raced with. WHAT THE CRAP?! Did anyone at Remedy think this through?! Also, if you do happen to have any money left over that you can’t spend, you can’t go and spend it on another weapon or car, oh no! It disappears and you get fame points instead! Maybe it gets donated to charity, or something dumb like that.

In the original, I liked the feeling of starting with a junk-ass car, the Vagabond, and slowly but surely upgrading to better cars. In the new Death Rally, the Vagabond is a good car. What?! It’s just… why? I’m supposed to earn good stuff, not get it spoon-fed to me at the start of the game.

Also… where’s the atmosphere? In the original game, there’re strange, somewhat cryptic passages of text in the menus you can read. Like this one: “This is how it goes. You are driving. You are saying ‘Hang on baby, this is what I do’. It’s doable, all right? Winnable. And the bullets take the sky, like clouds of locusts. The end is nigh. Race over, get it? Budda budda budda. You have been warned.” They were like descriptions in a text-based adventure – no images, it’s just left to your imagination. And they worked so well – they were superbly written, and helped set the gritty yet cool mood of the game. And some were really funny, mainly the remarks when your damage level was high. In the new game, there’s nothing. Just some sporadic bad comic book style cutscenes starring Mr. Mute Racing Driver and a generic American policeman. There’s no mood, no atmosphere… nothing. The drugs powerdown was removed, so there’s no insane screen effect or the cool guy who says “WHOOOAH maaaaan…”. There’s not even an announcer that says GET READY TO GO or RACE OVER! The race starts when you press the accelerator. Jesus… it’s so dull.

In addition, there’s no Black Market in the new game, so the black market items work differently. Rocket Fuel is absent, not like you’d want it in the new game, because the car handling is so pathetic you can’t control yourself if you go too fast. And that’s even funnier when you realise that every car is way too slow. 😛 You get Sabotage offered to you randomly, but it costs “a cut of your winnings”. How much of a “cut”? 20%? 50%? 105%? Fuck knows. And I don’t know how much damage it does, either. And I don’t see the point since bots cheat when they go critical. So I decline every single time. As for Mines and Spikes, you unlock them, and you can then equip them to your car for every race without charge. In the original game, it was a risk to buy them for the race, because you could lose even more money if you lost, but your chances of winning could increase. Those choices made it interesting, but now there ARE no choices, cuz the items are free. Jesus Christ, I didn’t know it was possible to dilute a game this much!

One good thing is the new weapons, such as the sniper rifle or shotgun. But then that’s immediately ruined when you realise they don’t replace your default machine gun when equipped. So basically, when you equip a weapon, you get autofire on the machine gun. That would be okay, but the machine gun has unlimited ammo and autoaim. And that’s gay. Because you can easily just sit at the back and punch holes in #5’s ass, eventually blow him up, move on to #4, rinse and repeat until YOU’RE WINNER. You could easily fix the problem if the machine gun acted like a normal weapon. Like… if it had ammo, and was replaced when equipping a different weapon. But no.

Although… you know when I said that thing about blowing people up? Don’t count on it. Basically, when you shoot someone, you see their health bar. When the health bar reaches zero, it starts flashing orange in a weird way. That means they’ve gone critical, their vehicle’s slowed down, and they have very low health left. When a player goes critical and they’re still being shot at, they’re screwed. I know, because I’ve been blown up myself, and because I’ve played multiplayer and blown someone up several times. 😛

“What’s the problem?” you ask. Well, bots seem to have this special cheat code which gives their vehicle an amazing power, making them not blow up when they’re critical, even when you shoot them about 20 times. Their health bar flashes, their vehicle looks like it’s having an epileptic fit, but they don’t blow up for ages. And that is FRIGGIN’ IRRITATING. Seriously, if you wanted to make the game more difficult… try making the Vagabond crap, or try reverting to the old Death Rally upgrade system! Don’t just give the AI cheat codes! It’s not difficulty! It’s GAY AS FUCK!

I played again during Steam’s free weekend for Death Rally, so I also got the opportunity to play multiplayer. It’s not actually co-op, as it’s advertised to be. You just race normally with normal rules. No battles, story races or special events. Playing with a friend improves the experience a bit, but you can tell it’s not really made for multiplayer. The channel system is weird and quite unreliable sometimes. When you finish or get blown up, your game doesn’t wait for other players to finish. It just gives you the results as they would be if no-one changed positions. Doesn’t update the standings, or say “still running” for players who haven’t finished yet. Definitely a mobile port.

Basically, if you got bored and scrolled to the end, don’t bother with the new Death Rally. It’s watered down so much, it’s not recognisable. The only things it has in common with the old game is the name, and the fact that it’s a top-down racer. 😛

I definitely encourage you to go look for the old version, which has been ported from DOS, and is freeware now. No multiplayer support, though, which is a shame. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to play the original Death Rally multiplayer, but no-one I know has the patience or the brain power required to get netplay working in DOSBox, even though it’s not that hard. 😛