Assassin's Greed
Written by Lutzifer   
Montag, 15 März 2010

Image I know i’m late to the party with commentary on the game’s draconian protection, but nevertheless I need to let of some steam. And I’m not talking about valve’s download platform that introduced the idea of an always-online copy protection. My gripes aren’t even with the protection itself, but rather with the concept of the protection and its PR strategy.

Last Updated ( Montag, 15 März 2010 )
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Th.o.R. #3: the numbers game
Written by Lutzifer   
Montag, 23 Juni 2008

Image Subjectiveness is subjectiveness, no matter how you put it. Especially if you assign an arbitrary number to it, that tends to look suspiciously objective to the untrained eye at first. This article about game-reviews seems to think otherwise though, but doesnt actually explain in any way or form how the judging-process is made more objective by splitting the reviewers subjective (!) evaluation into two of those pesky little opinions about a game. Yet, he hits all the right marks throughout his article, when it comes to corroborating the value of judging both gameplay and storyline to come to a good judgement of a games "subjective" worth. He adds yet another little touch of pseudo-objectiveness by replacing the term gameplay in his article with "ludologists point of view", which adds to my gut-feeling that the reasoning is somewhat obscurantist. In my opinion - as already stated in another one of my Thoughts on Reviewing - reviewers and critics should embrace their subjectiveness to a point, where they can monitor their likes and dislikes and make better professional recommendations based upon how they react to games on an emotional level. It still not objective, but you should be able to assign a number to that emotional response that will most likely resonate more with readers than trying to objectify your experience, which only leads to less fun with the games anyways.

Since human judgement between different dimensions breaks down to a maximum of five value levels per dimension on which items are judged against each other, it makes sense to also use a scoring system that reflects that. For example going with the following should be sufficient to give a reader an understanding of the relative value of a game: really bad, bad, decent, good, great game. Look ma, no numbers! Do that for gameplay and narrative and we are halfway there =)

Still, he is right. Art can be judged objectively. But not in the way he proposes and / or wishes for.

So, what are objective measures one could try to force upon video games as an artform?

Last Updated ( Montag, 23 Juni 2008 )
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I actually dont wanna be that guy...
Written by Lutzifer   
Donnerstag, 19 Juni 2008

I stayed away from that game "I wanna be the guy" after i checked out the demo some time ago and decided that i didnt want to go through a difficult and brutal plattformer again, because of the pretty high levels of frustration that come with those. But watching somebody else actually go through all the torture and feel all the rage and brutality second-hand by watching him fail, was funny and also kind of rewarding as you get to see somebody else actually beat the game. The whole thing is about 25 youtube videos, so be prepared to lose at least a day to it, if you want to watch them all....

Last Updated ( Montag, 23 Juni 2008 )
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You know you have to upgrade, when at the same day a program tells you your CPU is to shitty and a new game plainly refuses to start on your pimped-out, watercooled Athlon XP. My system still runs most recent games with decent speeds and with comparably good graphic settings. But it cant hide the fact, that it is still based on an nforce2 chip with an Athlon XP as a CPU. Said CPU lacks SSE2, which seems to be mandatory for certain video-editing programs nowadays (and i should have known since i ran into the same problem at university with the smaller brothers of my CPU and Adobe Premiere [there i said it! Screw you, hidden advertisement schemes]) and may be adverse to performance in any of the latest software offerings on the planet. It's still a fast and rocksolid system, so i ll keep it for music-production in my secondary system, which incidently is an old phillips tube-radio, modded into a pc, so it will be more than fitting there.

Still, it's strange to see an industry force people to switch to newer hardware because they are optimizing their programs to certain computational contraints (e.g. are too lazy to provide backward compatibility). But considering how cheap new hardware is at the moment and how powerful a system needs to be to run the latest games and / or do video-encoding i'm not going to complain. As long as my tax-returns are big enough to ensure a decent upgrade-path, i m a happy camper =)