Jump to content
Register Now


  • Posts

  • Points

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Withywarlock

  1. @Crazycrab's tone aside, their message is sadly correct. Leakers don't have the full context for the content they're leaking, and what may have been true at the time can easily change moments later due to the sheer complexity of development. This is assuming they're telling the truth, and recently we've seen a huge debacle over an 'industry insider' being a regular Johnny Youtuber. I'm not going to doubt this Dusk fellow any more than I would other leakers, but the trust I place in them - however correct their past claims have been - is little to begin with.

    I'm disappointed for you and all the Silent Hill fans eagerly awaiting a new game, but my sympathy can only extend so far when that eagerness is hedged on hearsay and dubious screenshots/video footage. The times have changed so dramatically, where even hands-on gameplay days before release can be totally unrepresentative of what the final product is, so it's hard for me to say "until [x], [y], and [z] happens you should be cautious."

  2. 16 minutes ago, Techno said:

    I personally don't think removal of points and prizes would be helpful. I do think they help build up the forum. I understand that people post just for points. But think that throwing away the entire reward system will just hurt the forum as it's a way to reward good members.

    I completely understand where you're coming from, but I'm the sort of person who wants proof it builds the forum (which I don't think even DC can provide because how does one measure such a thing?) and I also don't think people need to be rewarded for posting. Posting should be its own reward.

    Don't get me wrong, I love internet points. I frequented r/fatlogic as the Reddit karma was intoxicating, but it wasn't a requirement for my continued contribution. But if Reddit were to disappear I'd happily find another forum helping people debunk fat activist rhetoric and myths about obesity. I initially joined this forum not for points, but to lend my experience as a recently former games journalist and an interest in the industry. It has been rather rewarding engaging in discussion and trying to probe beyond the surface of the topics presented.

    24 minutes ago, Techno said:

    Now in saying that, I do think we should start thinking about reworking it (heck, I might create an entire thread for a discussion like that). The system goes too slowly for good posters and speeds up for bad, spammy posters. If I make 5 quality threads, I'd be rewarded the same as a spam poster that posts 5 threads that are basically the same.

    I 100% agree. If the system is to remain it must be reworked. As of right now the only immediate answer I can think of, until we each get more ideas to bounce off one another, is to totally reset points. Have some silly prizes to spend them on, maybe some sort of "Veteran Member" or "Goldmember" badge for underneath your profile picture before they disappear, and we can start again.

  3. On 9/12/2022 at 6:39 PM, Techno said:

    Something like a contest for most posts, most referrals, surveys, etc could help make the playing field a little better.

    I think this only further increases the wealth gap we've both noticed, and also encourages bad forum etiqutte. I've talked at length about the low-effort posts on this forum and the clear reasoning behind why it happens.

    I still stand by the removal of points and prizes entirely, but until that time comes I'd rather we have something that encourages good conduct. Your idea of referrals is a good one (with the caveat that the points are only rewarded after the referred person has made a significant enough contribution to the forum). Perhaps re-limiting the amount of reacts given per day and rewarding those whose content is positively reacted toward?

    On 9/12/2022 at 6:39 PM, Techno said:

    There's just a large gap between users and I fell like contests could help make the forum more fun for newcomers.

    Might be an idea for prizes where only those below a certain figure can spend points, or things that cost less. I like Steam's way of doing its Points shop: you can buy profile picture borders, mini-profile backgrounds which are animated, and so on. Could be a nice idea to be able to buy cheap forum themes: a Halloween theme, a Christmas theme, showing avatars with jack-o'-lantern borders or Santa hats, with the VGR logo at the top caked in snow and fairy lights.

    Seeing as there's rarely any prizes I want I tend to amass a ton of points, so more customisation for the forum would be grand.

  4. 1 hour ago, killamch89 said:

    The mentality of gaming studios has become more focused on profit instead of quality (EA, Ubisoft, 2Kgames) so that really isn't an improvement.

    It's always been that way. The 'bedroom programming' of the late 80s/early 90s remains impressive but is heavily romanticised especially when brought up during a controversy in today's gaming. It's easy to forget how arcade machines traded artistic integrity to gobble up people's quarters. Home console adaptations of arcade games were similar: a very short and punishing game that only has a long lifespan due to the fact that it's so hard to reach the end. Not to mention the video game crash of 1983, a catastrophic event which - thankfully (and bizarrely) - has not yet been met in games history.

    We can rightly point to big publishers, but it's too easy to single out three (who, in my opinion, don't register anywhere near as awful as Tencent and Konami) and call it a day. What makes them worse than they were a decade ago? Who has improved, who has surpassed them as worse? Gaming's rogues' gallery is a lot more visibly complicated now than at least a decade ago.

    1 hour ago, killamch89 said:

    Games being released with lots of bugs and then being subsequently patched after release is also a step backwards from a decade ago.

    Agreed. The implementation of online components is a double-edged sword, allowing convenience for both makers and consumers of video games. We can buy, collect and play games easier than ever before... and we can also get them patched just as quickly if the developer(-to-publisher relationship) is so inclined. Which of the two below is more desirable?

    1. We go back to the days of games unable to be patched through launchers, requiring them to be fixed through dialling up a bulletin-board system (BBS), having them delivered by snail mail, or waiting for mods/expansion packs to introduce bug fixes? That's if the developer can afford $40,000 to update it. This would however mean that some games may never release because delays are not enough as the project is too much for the developers for whatever reason (financial, competence, time constraints, all of the above), and will not be officially fixed.
    2. We stick to what we have?

    I prefer option 2 because consumers are as informed as we choose to be. Previews, reviews, interviews are available from all manner of sources depending on your preference, discounts are more frequent and consistent than have ever before been in the industry, and refund policies are constantly improving as we usher in a potential all-digital age. Most of all patience has and always will be free, and we have enough games in existence to play whilst we wait.

    This isn't to excuse broken releases but there's enough people out there with modding experience, enough money going around for safe bet games (ironically they're the ones that frequently and indefensively have issues...) and again enough information to just wait for someone to fix it. If the game doesn't have someone who is enthusiastic about it being fixed, it probably wasn't worth the ire about it being broken in the first place. Until we collectively get our acts together, patience is the only solution and we ought to use it while we still have mod access and clasps on our wallets.

    2 hours ago, killamch89 said:

    With the rise of social platforms which allow for independent gaming journalism, gaming companies can no longer cover up their mistakes by manipulating mainstream gaming media.

    Agreed. Games journalism, if it could be called that, was horrendous when it first started out. I'd call it laughably corrupt if I had proof of said corruption; the consistently glowing reviews in magazines were suspicious and in my opinion clearly made as marketing material rather than serving their readership well. Since Jeff Gerstmann's firing from Gamespot, publishers walk on eggshells to curry favour with expensive review camp events and other exclusive goodies.

    I won't get into the independent versus mainstream, both have their merits, demerits, romanticising and demonising. I will however say that it's going to be an uphill battle to continue uncovering mistakes: from the beginning the industry did a very good job of not only controlling the message, but creating it. There needs to be a lot less cloak and dagger, and I think the first thing we can do about that is not abusing developers and publishers because they're not giving out release dates. More needs to be done besides parroting press releases, and since the Totalbiscuit passed away few seem to have a clue on how to do that.

  5. I think it's more that the focus has shifted from chasing graphical fidelity to chasing other trends, probably because there's more to marketing a game now than high resolution screenshots like touting hours of content, monetisation means, and other not-unique unique selling points (USP). There's still a lot of homogenous dross in the so-called AAA space, and when they choose to spend as much as they do it's only natural they try to make that money back by playing it safe.

    I don't want to suddenly turn this into an indie reverence circlejerk but the indie scene has blown up considerably. It's done well to shake off the reputation of being just faux-16bit platform games with attempts at tugging at one's heartstrings. Now there's a lot of fun ideas being developed, and there's much more empowerment to put those ideas out there even if they're not particularly well executed. Allowing anyone to use an engine like Unreal or Unity, no longer having to rely on a limited selection such as Quake, Source, or RPGMaker, is a huge plus for aspiring game developers.

    There's resounding celebration for middle-shelf games from the likes of Spiders, one of my favourite studios. I put this down to people missing rough edges and jankiness minus the game being broken. With how middle-shelf games are turning up, the terms 'Indie,' 'AA,' and 'AAA' ought to be revised.

    I won't say the industry has improved, but the communication of its faults has, if only slightly. We're now far more aware of wrongdoing with crunch culture, tax avoidance, sexual misconduct and more. It's a given these things were happening a decade ago but we at least know about it now so people can be better advised and aware of what our money gets us, stress casualties and all.

    I can't say that gaming is better for me or the people producing our games, but at least we know with certainty where it can improve.

  6. 36 minutes ago, StaceyPowers said:

    Do you think the sewage smell affects the taste in a negative way? Or do you just manage to ignore the smell once you are drinking it?

    I managed to ignore it, but still it does nothing for first impressions.

    37 minutes ago, StaceyPowers said:

    Which flavors gave you that chalky after-feeling? Which ones had a smoother after-feeling?

    All of them, I can only guess it's the recipe and the process used to create the powder rather than any particular flavour. I don't get it so much now but they still leave me wanting more water afterwards.

  7. 6 minutes ago, Techno said:

    Had a look around the site, what would be the best pack for a ADHD person?

    I would first of all ask how your ADHD is affected - if at all - by caffiene consumption. As someone who also has ADD, SNEAK does help me with focus more than tea or coffee but it has limited efficiency and the packaging recommends against consuming more than 2 servings per day. My days of bouncing off the walls from caffiene consumption are over but that's because I used to live off Coca-Cola for over a decade.

    If you feel it's safe to consume though, I'd recommend the cheapest options: there's a random one and there's one where you can choose a number of flavours, and get a shaker.

  8. 1 hour ago, Empire Of Sight said:

    It looks tasty , does it have a figgity feeling like a mountain dew or anything?

    Not really, but some flavours do have a chalky after-feeling, which then requires you drink more to wash it away. Surprisingly I've not noticed that feeling much with this batch compared to when SNEAK first came out.

    1 hour ago, Empire Of Sight said:

    Or a heavy crash?

    Nope, no crash but then I am used to energy drinks and brown sodas. I'm completely desensitised to the effects of caffiene and sugar, and because this stuff isn't hugely available in local shops, its marketing will be geared towards people looking for it such as those already consuming energy drinks.

    1 hour ago, Empire Of Sight said:

    Can it be used before a workout or is it just meant for gaming?

    It can be used before a workout but that's not its purpose. It gave me enough of a buzz to push on a little further in terms of mental motivation, but it's not going to promote muscle growth any more than a cup of coffee or a multivitamin will. It's purely meant and marketed towards people who play video games, and it's supposed to last 45 minutes thereabouts.

    2 hours ago, Empire Of Sight said:

    Also do they have any caffeine free versions we can just sip on to hydrate after a run or when we first wake up as a meal replacement?

    Nope. I wish they did a caffiene free version because as I said in my review its greatest strength, bordering on its only strength, is adding some nice flavours to water. But if I'm only allowed two a day and it means I keep rushing to the toilet because of it, I'd rather just stick to plain water and drink them when I'm not busy... like playing a video game.

    2 hours ago, Empire Of Sight said:

    Would love lower caffeinated versions as well since caffeine absolutely makes me wired

    I'd like a decaff version just because the flavour is vastly better than its energetic properties, but I suppose you can always dilute one sachet by pouring it into 700ml of water or more if you've got a bigger bottle.

  9. 8 hours ago, Heatman said:

    The Age of Decadence is one game that I can recall very easily that you can play without having or being forced to kill before making progress it. Although, it's quite tough in a way because not killing makes it a lot harder. 

    The Age of Decadence is a really interesting choice for this category. It's true you can beat the entire game without killing people... but it requires a lot of save-scumming because you can easily reach the point of no return. The game is often criticised for being short, but it has to be in order for you to reload a save where you can spend your skill points optimally in order to beat the game. Unlike the frequent criticisms levelled at Dishonored about one being "punished" for using all the cool tools, this game really does punish you by halting all progress if you make the incorrect skill choice.

    TAoD explicitly states that its combat heavily favours enemies. You can still win but a lot of it depends on luck, and there's few build guides out there that work consistently well.

    1 hour ago, Kane99 said:

    The new Sniper Elite 5 game even have options where you don't have to kill anyone. You could set things in motion to cause problems for them, much like Dishonored did. People actually threw a fit about this being in a Sniper Elite game, because since you kill Nazi's in it, they thought people who played with stealth in mind, were bad people for not wanting to kill Nazi's

    An interesting dilemma. I've not played the game so I don't know its execution of the concept, but I imagine for Sniper Elite 5 to be able to excuse not killing the Nazis it would have to feature significantly greater reward for targeting the greater evil. For example, I like the idea of shooting an officer and seeing the French Resistance hungrily surrounding their surrendering oppressors. But then, can you satisfy both me and the players who want to shoot the officer and the soldiers under their command? It'd be a tough balance to achieve, and I don't think Sniper Elite has a great enough audience to demand such elaborate ideas.

    I forgot to comment to your first post here about Dishonored. Let's just say that a non-lethal route, while it reduces chaos, can still have haunting results. I recommend it.

  10. 59 minutes ago, Kane99 said:

    Is this meant for people who want to work out? Or is it just an energy drink alternative?

    It really is meant for gaming, and only the mental side rather than any physical benefits. It gave me more drive when I had it at the gym, but it's the weakest pre-workout programme you could possibly take besides water. Even so, water is the best energy drink you could have because it gives consistent performance increase, rather than the ups-and-downs of energy drinks loaded with sugar and caffiene, and is the most hydrating substance on the planet.

    SNEAK gives me fewer jitters than other energy drinks, but clean drinking water, moderate exercise and a balanced diet are far more useful (energy drinks are typically recommended as a supplement to those, not a replacement). Failing that, it's an alternative to the amount of energy drinks out there loaded with sugar and glucose.

    1 hour ago, Kane99 said:

    I'm not much for fitness these days, so I probably won't be working out much while using this, but is it safe to use if you're not working out all the time? 

    As safe as drinking up to (but not exceeding) 300g of caffiene each day is from other sources such as tea, coffee or other energy drinks, the usual disclaimers applying to pregnant women and persons sensitive to caffiene.

    If you've any doubts, stick to water. The marketing goes out of its way to sell itself.

    1 hour ago, TheSteelyardDweller said:

    Looks pretty good. but I am wondering r there any artificial sweeteners in this? curious how people feel after drinking this. do u really have more energy, and do u feel better in general. looking 4 a drink 2 help with my fatigue.

    There are artificial sweeteners, yes. Too many in my opinion; the ingredients and colours are natural, and taste fine, but the sweeteners can make or break the flavour. I recommend drinking them with 700ml of water rather than the 300-400ml they recommend.

    I wouldn't recommend energy drinks for fatigue, I only suggest them for a short-term boost. Exercise, a balanced diet, practicing safe sleep hygiene and plenty of fluids are what I recommend where possible. SNEAK, or indeed any other energy drink, is a supplement, not a replacement, to those things. I get it can be hard to achieve all of that for reasons outside of your control but energy drinks are not a viable long-term answer, sugar-reduced or not.

  11. 20 hours ago, Kane99 said:

    Do you guys have any issues gaming with a cheap mouse?

    Nope. My UTech Venus Smart is a cheapo gaming mouse and is considerably more durable than a Razer Naga(?) that I paid about £90 for. Same buttons, no real difference in sensitivity and accuracy, and it lights up nicely.

    I've used tons of office mice in my time and they remain fine, at least until my ordered gaming mouse arrives in the mail. More often than not its the person behind it doing the work, not the mouse itself.

  12. 1 hour ago, Scottypops said:

    How long does it take for Sneak energy to kick in and take effect?

    The site says about 10 minutes, and the effects last 45 minutes. I'd say that's about right.

    1 hour ago, Scottypops said:

    Per the FAQ page, each Sneak pouch contains 150mg of caffeine per serving -is that more than, less than, or in line with similar energy drink products?

    Monster Energy typically has 86mg per serving, G-Fuel has 140-50g per serving, and Red Bull... it depends on the size of the can. So Sneak's fairly high up, but it's within a healthy adult's recommended daily allowance of 300g.

    1 hour ago, Scottypops said:

    Is Sneak truly 100% sugar free?

    I was about to say 'yes' and leave it there but on the Blue Raspberry tub's nutrition table it does say "Carbohydrates, of which sugars: per 300ml serving, 0.5g," so it does contain some sugar. Good question, glad you asked that as it has me do my due dilligence.

    1 hour ago, Scottypops said:

    How is the carbonatation and fizziness? Is Sneak easy to drink quickly (or even chug) or does it need to be sipped and consume over an hour like a Monster drink?

    Regarding carbonatation and fizziness, there isn't any. It's completely flat. As for speed of consumption it depends on the flavour and how much water you add; the more you dilute it, the easier it is to chug, as mentioned in my review.

    44 minutes ago, StaceyPowers said:

    Now I am so curious if the "Stealth" flavor actually has any licorice notes in it (I actually love licorice, so that'd be amazing). 

    Not that I can tell, it only smells like it in the packet. Thankfully it doesn't taste like raw sewage, again it only smells like it when added to water. It's just a very sour flavour.

  13. Full disclosure: I had purchased this bundle with 1,000 points from my VGR points balance, earned with creating threads and posting on existing threads. No money or favours were exchanged for this bundle. I have not received any points for the SNEAK Elite programme for this. I was offered to choose the flavour I would receive in the tub. I have experience with SNEAK (and I am going to capitalise every instance of SNEAK because it's too late to stop now) products, and this will compare to past experiences. Reviewing drinks is not my forte. This disclosure is not part of the minimum required 250 word count.

    The package that was sent to me, in a well-filled with packing paper box of their own branding consists of the following: one Bit Friday shaker; one tub of Blue Raspberry powder (40 servings); and five sachets of Neon Punch, Stealth, Strawberry Millions, and Strawberry Watermelon flavour powders. This would ordinarily cost £70.20 and there's currently an offer where each order contains five Strawberry Watermelon sachets. Each flavour has been taste-tested and consumed fully in 700ml of cool tap water (the recommended amount of 300-400ml is too sweet for me).

    Bit Friday Shaker:
    The Bit Friday Shaker is a tinted, ~80% transparent bottle with an ice catcher should you wish to shake it with ice. It doesn't feel quite as sturdy as the "OG Shaker", but not so fragile that it can't survive anywhere near as many solid drops on hard surfaces. Both are plastic (metal is available at an expected premium), and feature measurements on the side up to 700 millilitres (ml) and 25 ounces (oz).
    While I do like the transparency to see on the outside how much water you've got left in, it doesn't make the contents look particularly appetising, the tint making the water look murky. Even after being washed out it looks like droplets of mud line the inside.
    The stopper on the lid isn't as strong as the OG Shaker, as shown by how easily it leaks from all sides of the lid at any slightly tilted angle. It fails its job as a shaker, as when it is shaken water goes everywhere. I had originally criticised the OG Shaker for being too hard to open but it's become a positive in this context.
    The aesthetic is generally pleasing. The faux 16-bit SNEAK logo and SNEAK bunny evoke images of Hotline Miami and play nicely into its pop-culture marketing. Do you like slurping people?

    Blue Raspberry:
    I'll first of all comment on the tub and say that it's very secure with long neck and threading, as well as a thick foil lid. It contains 400 grams (g) of powder, which amounts to 40 10g servings, which at approximately £39.95 is one serving per £1 spent. It also comes with a little spoon to pour in a single serving... somewhere, I had to do some digging for it. Given the fineness of the powder I didn't expect to find it at the top.
    Blue Raspberry is a generic  raspberry-flavoured drink, and tastes much better in its carbonated can form than a powder as that reminded me of energy drink Red Devil, which I can't find anywhere else. It's not as tart as other Sneak flavours (bearing in mind, again, I drink these at 700ml and not the advised 300-400ml) and that works for me. It also has less of the chalky after-effect that Sneak has been widely noted and criticised for. It passes my 'gulp' test, which is four large gulps rather than my usual sipping, as it doesn't overwhelm the tastebuds and doesn't make me feel nauseous or dehydrated afterwards. It also passes my sampling test, wherein I hold it and swill it around the gums for six seconds; again, no battered taste-buds and no dry throat afterwards.

    Neon Punch:
    A 10g satchet that strangely doesn't last as long as the plastic tub (these will last until September 2022, meanwhile the tub is fine until 2024), but it seems secure enough. I have had expired sachets before and they seemed fine, but you'd best be safe than sorry. Also don't consume more than two of these per day.
    This sachet is filled with pear and guava flavour, far more pear than guava. Not exactly the Tropikilla, but a refreshing fruity drink that doesn't overpower the senses in either the gulp or sample test.

    "The mystery flavour. No, we're not telling you what it is," says the webpage. This is something I don't particularly like about SNEAK: if the flavour's name doesn't give it away, nothing else will. The amount of threads I've seen people asking "what flavour is [x]" tells me others have the same problem, and I'm reminded of how glad I am to have received these for free.
    Moving on, Stealth smells different depending on what it's in. In the sachet it has a strong liquorice smell. I don't like liquorice. When poured into the water and shaken it smelt of raw sewage. I don't like raw sewage either, but I'd probably take that over liquorice. Dreading what it must taste like I put it to my lips and found it tastes of neither. It's quite pleasant, but it's very tart. It's an artificial sour flavour that has enough sweetness to not turn me off it entirely. Easily the strongest flavour I've tried of theirs without feeling the urge to throw up (see below). It's nice but it definitely needed to be in 700ml of water, and does not survive the gulp or sampling test. Like the Strawberry Millions next, it needs to be sipped to be enjoyed fully.
    I don't know why this one was discontinued from the UK, but I'm going to save these for special occasions as a result of that. I'm rather glad I got these instead of my Grape Punch.

    Strawberry Millions:
    I must admit I did buy this one partly for its marketing material. It's an attractive packet in that neon aesthetic, a nice change from the street art SNEAK normally go for. Because I've got five of these I'm going to use them more sparingly than not; the dessert to my dinner. It tastes like Strawberry Millions, go figure, but is still rather tart in 700ml of water. It doesn't pass my gulp or sample test, making it much better to savour with small sips.
    On a side note, I strongly discourage trying the Bubblegum Millions flavour. When I say it's a bad flavour I don't just mean that I dislike it; I'm not a fan of the next flavour but I can at least drink it. Bubblegum Millions tasted exactly as it should, albeit revolting as a drink. I can eat them, I can eat bubblegum lollipops, but I cannot drink bubblegum-flavoured water. It made me sick to my stomach and I had to keep adding water just to finish it. Their mixologists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.

    Strawberry Watermelon:
    Last but not least, the sachet that can't be torn open. For some reason these required scissors as there was nowhere to tear it. This one tastes absolutely as advertised: the strawberry and watermelon flavours alternate with each sip, and even if I'm not fond of eating watermelon it makes for a refreshing drink. With its creamy texture it could be mistaken for juice more than a squash or flavoured water. It passes my gulp test as there's no chalky after-texture, though there is some cloying at the back of my throat which requires another swig to wash it down. The sample test of swilling the gums fails however as it's far too sweet, but at least the bitter feeling it leaves on my teeth washes away quickly. I can easily see this one being my favourite served with ice.

    How is it as an energy drink?
    SNEAK Energy is marketed toward trendy young people who wear hoodies and know what 'no cap' means. I'm none of those things. I'm an obese Englishman who would indeed have 'no cap' in a real game of Capture the Flag. That, I believe, is 'no cap'. But does it give me the energy to capture the flag, real or virtual? Not really, no.

    I will say that I do feel more alert and have a buzz from a single bottle of water laced with SNEAK, but it doesn't make my performance in games measurably better. My awareness has improved but my reflexes see virtually no difference at all, and while I'm more focussed I feel that's because of the water more than the caffeine. Bearing in mind I already drink Diet Coke by default, so having the jolt of energy from changing my drinking habits is more thanks to Yorkshire Water than the ctf_2fort marching powder.

    The marketing has more energy than the drink itself. It was corny at first but I came to like the appeal of the advertisements, and they probably contribute no small amount of placebo effect to whatever energy gain there is to be had.

    This drink may well be better in the hands (or throat) of someone who is considerably fitter and healthier. Energy drinks are meant to supplement a healthily balanced lifestyle, not replace one. I don't expect miracles of this, but I'd rather they advertise the flavour than the benefits it claims to have for its target audience.

    So, is it a Warlock Win?
    As an energy drink it gets neither a thumb up or down. When I drank this at the gym just over a year ago it was very refreshing and encouraged me to drink my recommended daily intake of water. It was a nice treat and something to look forward to during a long day of exercise. But being sat at my desk it's just a sugar-free drink that's a bit better for my teeth unlike the brown sodas I regularly consume.
    There is an improvement to alertness and focus, and I do have some get-up-and-go energy, but it isn't a gamechanger quite like replacing a bot with a decent human player in something like SplitGate.

    As a water flavourer though it's incredible, that aspect easily gets a thumb up. The flavours I've had so far are incredible, and while the ingredients are natural they don't taste it and this is likely due to the intense sweeteners they've added, which is too much even when I'm adding over double the water they recommend. It's done well to encourage me to drink more water, and does a great job of seeing to my sweet tooth thanks to it being sugar free.

    So all in all, the experience is more positive than negative. If this sounds like something you'd like I recommend picking up a Taster Pack containing six sachets of your choosing.

  14. 16 hours ago, Kane99 said:

    Anything that requires a solution to solve maybe?

    I'd say it like that also. But then what's deemed a solution? Is stabbing a rat with a sword constituted as a puzzle because stabbing it solves the problem of there being a rat? There's probably examples of that in point-'n'-click adventure games because combat is de-emphasised.

    Like RPGs, they shouldn't be 'defined' or 'constituted': you know them when you see them. It's not simply a matter of "a game where you play a role" because you can stretch that to encompass everything and get into meta territory of what role the player has.

    16 hours ago, Akun said:

    Just because it's an easy puzzle game doesn't make it any less of a puzzle game IMO.

    I like this quote. Recently I was playing the rather amusing first Frog Detective game and it really made me appreciate a simple inventory puzzle that plays on the goofiness of old point-'n'-click adventure games. Not everything has to be Amnesia: Justine.

  15. 17 hours ago, Akun said:

    They called SMT V "Persona without the heart." That was a game released last year. That tells me everything I need to know, how little research they did about their games.

    But that's one reviewer and one editor who scored it 8/10, so I'm not sure who exactly I should be listening to here. I certainly think it's poor etiquette to have someone who doesn't like JRPGs review them (the only time I think that's OK is when someone's mind is changed by that particular entry, or if they're to provide an alternative viewpoint, but even that's solely with user reviews, not people who are paid to talk about them).

    You're also doing what the folks who got mad about 'too much water' did, which is reading solely the summary. The full summary is, emphasis my own, "Shin Megami Tensei V's excellent JRPG combat and deeply rewarding customization shine bright, even when it sometimes feels like Persona without the heart."

    I'd say despite that mention of 'sometimes' lacking in heart Lenna Hafer gave a glowing recommendation, and if that's all I need to know about IGN then I feel they enjoy JRPGs.

    17 hours ago, Akun said:

    Plus, there's also the aforementioned Digimon Survive and Soul Hackers 2 reviews that I just found insulting and unfair.

    The only major outlets that rated Digimon Survive highly, and I use the term 'major' very subjectively I appreciate, were GameByte (9/10), Nintendo Life (8/10), Game Informer (73/100), Eurogamer Italy (7/10), Push Square (7/10), and The Sixth Axis (7/10).

    Not to mention IGN Italy scored it 7.8/10, which then develops the question of which IGN are we talking about, and are we prepared to brand them all the same?

    17 hours ago, Akun said:

    For Soul Hackers 2, IGN called turn-based combat dated.

    Reviewer Cameron Hawkins did not say that anywhere in the article. Quote the beginning, emphasis my own,

    "It may be held back a bit by its uninspired level design and turn-based battle mechanics, but the story still shines bright enough to help carry it thanks to a diverse cast of characters and engaging themes about what it means to be human."

    And the combat section,

    "Combat in Soul Hackers 2 is very familiar if you’ve played a Persona game or Tokyo Mirage Sessions, but doesn’t meet the depth of what came before it. Atlus loves to try out new battle mechanics that you must master in order to maximize your combat effectiveness in every game, and Soul Hackers 2’s flavor of this is building a demon stack. Initially, a stack is made whenever you hit an enemy with their weakness, and at the end of every turn you perform a sabbath – an all-out attack where all the demons in the stack assault the enemies. It’s a fun mechanic that gets the job done, but doesn’t stay consistently engaging due to lack of growth over the campaign. As my party members gained summoner skills by progressing through their respective Soul Matrix, they learned other ways to build a stack, but even with those new additions I never saw a significant increase to my stack count.

    One of the few things that is unique to Soul Hackers 2 is sabbath skills. These abilities can be used to add another effect to the team assault, like dealing more damage or healing your party. By going to the local circus I could fuse my demons into stronger ones, while going to the local weapon smith would let me gain commander skills, like being able to change demons on the fly or adding more to a stack. However, similarly to the stack mechanic, these features were introduced so early on that it started to get stale by the time I got to later sections."

    In the verdict, the closest they say to this is, quote, emphasis my own:

    "Soul Hackers 2 is, at its heart, a streamlined Atlus JRPG, serving as a great entry point for anyone new to the genre or the developer in general. The combat and dungeon delving are entertaining, if fairly familiar, and the charming cast of characters kept me interested all the way through its roughly 60-hour campaign. But a disappointing lack of creativity in its battle systems and a fairly shallow overarching story mean this newly resurrected series will need to do more if it wants to set itself apart amongst Atlus’ best."

    Again, if we're going to criticise people and companies for doing things, let's criticise them for the things they're actually doing, not ones we think they're doing.

    17 hours ago, Akun said:

    I mean, I get that a lot of gamers (particularly on Reddit) love to call turn-based combat "a dated gameplay," but I just find that to be a rather narrow-minded point of view because it's like calling platformers dated. It's a style of gameplay many gamers still enjoy today. Plus, FYI - Persona games are turn-based combat games and they gave P5 a high score.

    I agree, I actually prefer turn-based combat to real-time in an RPG. But that's not what was said in the review. Regarding Persona, it may be because Soul Hackers 2 doesn't take any risks, but I wouldn't know anything about that because I'm going entirely on the review.

    17 hours ago, Akun said:

    So no, it's not just "one or two reviews" that made me think that way,

    You have listed "one or two reviews" and the information you've asserted isn't entirely correct, so please accept my skepticism.

    17 hours ago, Akun said:

    but a number of bad takes that were made even recently, particularly on JRPGs and visual novels.

    That's fine. But please say that, and if you want to discuss it further by all means do so with the correct information. If we're not going to do that we're just masturbating over things that are blown out of proportion, which I would like to reiterate, happens all too often in video games discourse.

    17 hours ago, Kane99 said:

    I don't mind IGN to some extent, but I don't really follow them for their reviews. I've heard stories about how they have plagiarized some reviews, and to be fair those were the writers and not IGN themselves. But it happens a lot more with IGN it seems, so I'm not really interested in taking their opinions at heart these days. 

    Agreed, once is a mistake. If the editor doesn't have the time to run a review through a plagiarism detector, they need to make time because it could end so much more worse than egg on their face. With the way copyright is today, they should take it a lot more seriously.

  16. 19 hours ago, killamch89 said:

    They'd probably need to come up with a unique service not currently offered in the gaming industry for that to happen. Either that or when they gain a big enough reputation in this industry, they'll be able to hold their own against Sony and the others...somewhat.

    Agreed, it's simply not enough to just have money at this point. The more 'big budget' studios are out there, the less impressive having a big budget is. See what's happening with Microsoft's acquisition of licenses and Sony's acquisition of competent developers.

    But what unique service can Netflix offer? They rode the high of humiliating Blockbuster for years but now they're no longer the top dog even in the space they popularised. There's rightly a lot of comparisons to Amazon, who have their own Lumberyard engine... which isn't as easy to use as Unity or Unreal engine and requires you go through Amazon's technical red tape. Their studios aren't producing much; out of the 23 games listed on Wikipedia, one is a port, one of their best series was adapted poorly as a video game, one tripped up at every hurdle, and three of their most interesting ideas have been cancelled. In other words, out of 23 games only Lost Ark has done Amazon proud, made in UE3, and as an outsider looking in as far as I can tell it's only another free-to-play ARPG.

    If Amazon don't have a clue, what hope to Netflix have? 🤔

  17. 17 hours ago, killamch89 said:

    Thanks man but IGN's reviews aren't exactly the greatest or most accurate. I'd much rather ask fellow gamers than these journalists who can barely play Cuphead.

    IGN's editor gave Cuphead an 8.8 out of 10, and I'd say that closely matches the text of the review. They've also rated Xenoblade Chronicles 8 out of 10, and both games were reviewed by different people.

    If we're going to bash people or projects let's do so with appropriate examples and not use that to tar others with the same brush. The whole "too much water" meme from IGN to give one such example is funny when taken in good humour... which most do not because they didn't read the article.

    This isn't exclusive to you nor is it a telling off, it's just a suggestion for improving the discourse seen here. It does not take long for a circlejerk to happen on this forum, and I'd prefer to prevent that than have to divert it afterwards.

    Having said all that, the gameplay in that video of it looks fairly decent. Makes me want to get back into JRPGs, which I know I love but just cannot bring myself to play that often. 😣

  18. I've always liked Chris Davis' videos. His Isometric RPG retrospectives are incredible, delving deep into the history of the development, the problems occurring and the quirky solutions required to overcome them. Noah Caldwell-Gervaise is another great YouTuber who is rivalled by Davis', who also does RPG retrospectives. Lorerunner is also a good pick for someone who does nice videos that appear rambly but are full of sage wisdom when it comes to literature critique and game design. Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw does Extra Punctuation in both written and video format, where he takes a particular topic of interest and breaks it down from his perspective of a reviewer and games designer. He's also willing to critique his own games.

    However, my absolute favourite video series and the one that got me through Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin was... "In Defence of Dark Souls 2 - A Measured Response," wherein MauLer tears down another YouTube's defense of a hideously broken game. For about 9 hours. There's merit to the idea that if you require that long to discuss something you're not good at discussion or debate, but there wasn't a word wasted in those 9 hours from the host. It's my favourite piece of media to direct someone to when they want to know about good games critique and discourse.

    EDIT: How could I forget Karl Jobst? You know a YouTuber's good when you have no interest in the subject matter unless it's solely this person talking about it. Great analysis and reporting upon speedrunning history and news.

  19. On 9/1/2022 at 3:13 AM, Kane99 said:

    Well that's not that big of an amount.

    I disagree, especially in the grand scale of how many copies of games From Software ship, not to mention sales of merch, tabletop stuff and more. I can only imagine, like @killamch89 rightly points out, it's them playing the long-game.

    On 9/1/2022 at 3:13 AM, Kane99 said:

    I think it makes sense for Sony to buy them up though. I can see them trying to buy up more stake like this though. 

    Agreed on both counts. I've said this a lot so please excuse the repetition, but this further solidifies my belief that Sony acquires talent, and Microsoft acquires licenses. Sony will no doubt want more exclusive titles, but they also want a studio who can work on other projects because the people under the From Software name know their stuff.

    21 hours ago, Kane99 said:

    I could see those two trying to buy it outright at some point. I wonder how something like this would work if they both bought 50% each, or close to that. 

    Quite possibly. The studio/license feeding frenzy is starting to get enjoyable to watch.

  20. I put "Other" because it's not really a video gaming subscription service: I pay for D&D Beyond's content sharing subscription, so I can share my purchased books with the players of my group, all of which are new to the hobby so this makes it a lot easier for them to get into it and the content they want to play. The subscription itself is cheap but the books are a pretty penny, and only pay for themselves after a few months.

    Regarding video game subscription services, I'd only want to pay for Gamepass and I just don't play enough of their selection to justify paying for it. It's the best deal in the gaming landscape hands down, but it's just not for me. The Xbox App is a bit cack too.

  21. I love this question, and goes beyond just asking for good music. I can't provide as good answers as others here but I hope they'll suffice all the same.

    • Medievil & Medievil 2: That's not a spelling error, the games were called Medievil. Composer duo Bob & Barn made some terrific tracks for their games, fully understanding the tone the games and levels required. The first game is rather haunting, preferring horror to comedy, and the music does an excellent job of aiding the atmosphere. Meanwhile Medievil 2 is more comical, but allows itself many triumphant and adrenaline-fuelled hits such as its boss themes.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As a parody of 80s crime films and TV shows, Vice City is as much a character as Tommy Vercetti. The game borrows a lot of inspiration from the 80s and uses its music well for its several radio stations, proceeding to raise awareness of the hits back then even today. Its implementation of music is as cheesy as everything else it does.
    • Left 4 Dead: Not much to say on this one, it's chilling when it wants to be, provides alerts and cues when necessary, and the final victory songs make the player feel like it's not over and they've only bought themselves a brief respite.
    On 9/2/2022 at 12:13 PM, Empire said:

    DOOM is definitely the right answer. Regards epic and great music and whatnot that I love to hear.

    Regarding Doom (2016), I found the music to be sensory overload and just listened to the first two Doom games' soundtracks as they at least try different styles of song. It wasn't just heavy metal, Mick Gordon's contributions being one of the myriad reasons why I consider Doom 2016 to be 'Doom by committee.'

    That said it's a perfectly reasonable answer to the question. I guess my problem with it is its soundtrack is too pronounced and deliberate.

    On 9/3/2022 at 11:27 AM, Heatman said:

    You can't mention video games that had decent link up with impressive soundtracks without mentioning the Halo Series. The way the game's music flows up in the storyline and development of the game is a grand masterpiece. 

    Good choice. I think that's the first game or series of games that firmly grounded the importance of soundtrack in video games, and did a lot to elevate the medium. No longer were they just little ditties or background noise, Martin O'Donnell's music was as much a part of the game as the locales and characters.

  22. It depends on the type of game. I'll look to see if companions will die in RPGs, particularly older ones where the 'essential NPC' wasn't implemented, so that I know if it's going to be worth the hassle of taking all their (my) stuff off their corpse or reload a save. If they can die, I know to save early and save often.

    I can still enjoy a story with elements of it being spoilt. Take for example Valkyria Chronicles: I was not expecting the death of a major character, and it hit me with overwhelming sadness. I can't say for sure if it would've been the same if it had been spoilt, I can't turn back the clock, but I can say it would've still been shocking because it was executed by talented developers who understand their story, characters, setting, and how to blend them all together and pace them with acute precision. If I'm looking up to see if a character dies it's either because I love them so much that I want the best outcome for them without wasting time, or that the game makes it clear they're going to die and I just want to save time and find out when.

    I want to play a game where I'm so engrossed in it that I don't even bother to look up a character's fate, especially those I don't ordinarily care about, like said character from Valkyria Chronicles.

  • Create New...