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Messages - Bkeela

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Podcasts / Re: Next podcast?
« on: August 10, 2006, 05:07:02 am »
I've tried other gaming podcasts, and they make me sick.  They all remind me of the ultra nerds who tend to send in audio questions to Steve - they have absolutely no charisma, are dull, lifeless and boring.

I could listen to Steve waffle on about anything.

Podcasts / Re: "With that being said....."
« on: August 06, 2006, 05:05:13 pm »
I don't mind Steve's idiosyncrasies one bit.  People with the gift of the gab like Steve depend upon many superfluous phrases and cliches.  It lubricates and pads out what they speak.  The show would only be ten minutes long if he used language in a strictly efficient manner.

Brits and their love of the word 'literally' is abused often.  Most cases the word is not needed at all within its context.

Podcasts / Re: I would pay for this podcast if .....
« on: August 06, 2006, 04:58:21 pm »
Come on - this podcast is paid for by Microsoft.  If Steve isn't getting an allowance for his Zune endorsements, which, after all, have nothing to do with gaming, then he is being cheated.

I can tolerate product placement endorsements, but I will not stomach blatant advertising no matter how tastefully it is done - either in games, or podcasts, or whatever.

Podcasts / Re: What do you do while listening?
« on: August 06, 2006, 04:51:16 pm »
I clean around the house while listening.  Sometimes I listen while downloading, er, pictures of women, which doesn't require a great amount of my concentration.  So while my reptilian brain concentrates on mammary glands and such, my Neo Cortex can be stimulated by Gaming Steve's soothing tones.

Who said the male brain can't do two things at once?

Podcasts / Re: What program do you use to download the podcast?
« on: August 06, 2006, 04:45:40 pm »
I just download the show through the site and listen to it through Winamp on my computer.  I don't own a portable Podcast player.

Podcasts / Re: Next podcast?
« on: August 06, 2006, 04:44:04 pm »
Maybe Steve is currently locked in the bowels of Microsoft Headquarters, undergoing further 'readjustment'.  If this is the case, expect all references to Podcasting to be removed and replaced with 'Zunecasting'.

Instead of complaining, we should send someone to Seattle to rescue him!

PC Games / Civilization IV and expansions
« on: May 25, 2006, 08:55:23 pm »
I've been playing Civ IV almost every day since November, thus I feel very safe in believing it is the best turn based strategy game I have played.  Yet I cannot forget Gaming Steve's criticism of the game in his review, and it makes me wonder how long he played it/or how much of a turn based fan he is.

The first Civ blew me away.  I couldn't stop playing, and it would often make me late for work or late to sleep.  After Civ I really got into Colonization (a game richly deserving a sequel).  Hunting down specific workers for your colony was suprirsingly fun and addictive.  Civ 2 on the other hand failed to interest me.  It seemed nothing more than a graphical update, so after a few weeks it seemed like the same old thing.  Thankfully Alpha Centauri came along and reminded me how much I loved turn based games.  SMAC pretty much sustained me for 6 odd years.  Master of Orion II was another superb game that I can still play and enjoy to this day.  I haven't found Stardock's games that interesting, although I haven't really attempted to learn Galactic Civilization II yet.  I started a few games, but I just didn't feel any motivation to continue.  Civilization III didn't interest me for long either, but for some reason Civ IV scratched my gaming itch perfectly.

Gaming Steve's main criticism was that taking out concepts such as corruption and pollution, the game became too easy without any kind of penalty.  I couldn't disagree more.  Civ III was ruined because of the tediousness of mopping up pollution in the end part of the game.  On the other hand, Civ IV limits growth and pollution through economic and health problems.  When you play the game beyond the easiest setting, over-expansion can absolutely cripple your economy and make research impossible.  If you neglect the health of your cities through pollution, then your city fails to grow and can even starve.  Those are pretty hefty penalties - again - when you play beyond the easiest level.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Site News / Name change Request
« on: May 08, 2006, 06:54:03 am »
Is there anyway I can change my nickname?  It is supposed to be Bkeela, with an 'a' on the end, not Bkeel.   :(

Everything Else / Re: Learning Not to Trust Reviews the Hard Way
« on: April 20, 2006, 08:14:52 am »
I suppose I've been playing console games since the early 80s with my Sheen M-1200 Microprocessor Programmable TV Game, which played Pong and other extremely primitive games.  I skipped the N64, Playstation generation though, so only recently am I becoming aquainted with 3D platform style games.  2D platform games are amongst my favourite.  I find such games translated into 3D, like Zelda and Metroid Prime, have an intrinsically different feel though.  In regard to Ninja Gaiden - I've never been a great fan of fighting games.  Double Dragon was fun, but Street Fighter style depth just didn't interest me.  Just a quirk of personality, like your friend not liking Ikaruga.

Halo really impressed me though.  The last FPS I had really played to death was Doom, so to find Halo, which not only had similar game mechanics, but in addition had superb graphics, an unbelievably immersive story in a science fiction setting, and the ability to drive vehicles.  Generic for some, but it was revolutionary to me.

Everything Else / Re: Learning Not to Trust Reviews the Hard Way
« on: April 19, 2006, 08:04:13 pm »
You seem to have a GameCube. If you like shooters, I would highly recommend Ikaruga. That game is fantastic, though it is hard as all hell. So good luck. Glad to hear you liked Advance Wars though; that series is great.

Beyond that ... I don't know. Your taste in games is very difficult to pin down. I mean, you listed off at least one of the greatest games of all time and seem to have suffered every moment playing it. I do, however, feel it's unfair to criticize some games' stories simply because they didn't appeal to your tastes. I'm 27 and have never had any trouble with the fact that the Legend of Zelda series doesn't feature more sophisticated storytelling, because that's really not the point of the series. And I fail to see how KOTOR's storyline lacked maturity; the twist in the middle alone was worth the price of admission and put practically all of the movies to shame.

Still, I wish you luck. You might keep mostly to strategy games as those seem to really appeal to you; in that regard, the console isn't the best environment. But Ikaruga is about as good as I can do in your case. Sorry.

I have Ikaruga, and agree it is superb.  It puzzles me why such games are not more popular, although with the success that Geometry Wars is having, maybe some quality shooters will find mainstream release soon.  Maybe people are daunted by the difficulty of shooters.  Ikaruga is hard, but I've never been frustrated by it.  The challenge is captivating, and the reward satisfying.  I think because the game play mechanics are so simple, it makes the experience more enjoyable.  Ninja Gaiden on the other hand requires you to memorise numerous moves and be able to time them to perfection.  I found the experience of just testing the moves annoying and almost impossible, let alone actually using them in battle.

I can stomach Disney like stories if the game play is compelling (I love Animal Crossing for example), but Ocarina of Time seemed to me to be utterly tedious when talking to NPC and moving about towns, and then incredibly frustrating when facing a boss.  Metroid Prime was basically the same formula set in a science fiction locale, but with the added penalty of having a suit to inhibit your view.  I can't believe how anyone could find it fun to need to be in scan mode to read dull little information tidbits, then have to quickly switch back to battle mode because there was a pirate around the corner.

Halo is a science fiction first person game done right.  Metroid Prime is Zelda in space.

I liked the main story of Knights of the Old Republic - it was the only thing that got me through.  I didn't like the utterly dull side quests which seemed more work than fun.  I also found it hard to keep track of my inventory items and resented talking to my NPCs to see if their tedious tales were able to be pushed forward.

I'm not really looking for advice in games, I just needed to vent at how my tastes can be in such contrast to a seeming majority of other people.

Everything Else / Re: Learning Not to Trust Reviews the Hard Way
« on: April 16, 2006, 04:10:33 am »
I know the problem is mine.  My taste in games is just not broad enough to enjoy all games.  I suppose because the games I listed received such universal acclaim, I thought they would have to be good.  But then again, I don't like the Simpsons much, and it is of course one of the most popular shows ever.

My favourite genre is turn based strategy games like Colonization, Alpha Centauri, Master of Orion II, and of course Civilization IV.  I thought Advance Wars was great.  'Shoot em up' 2D games like Raiden II and Gradius are another favourite genre of mine, especially the ones made by Cave.

Everything Else / Learning Not to Trust Reviews the Hard Way
« on: April 15, 2006, 10:13:06 pm »
I have invested in the current, soon to be obsolete, generation of consoles like no other.  Having discovered some gem games, it was only natural to seek out similar experiences by researching game reviews online.  It is hard to know where to start though, so I used sites like Metacritic and Game Rankings.  In this way I bought a number of games that although universally praised, just didn't appeal to me.  I have since learnt that taste in games can be as selective as taste in music or anything else, so a reviewer's taste in games is of paramount importance.  This might be obvious to some people, but it wasn't to me.

An example is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  It took the first boss for me to realise how much I hated the game.  I couldn't summon the motivation to continue after that, for I found the experience so profoundly painful.  I could have gritted my teeth and pushed on, but I had done that with Knights of the Old Republic and had not received adequate compensation.  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time might be 10/10 if you have a passion for collecting hearts and gems, fighting boss monsters, and you are enthralled by cliched, childish stories, but for other people it might not rate so well.

Similarly, I thought Metroid Prime would be excellent.  I love the Metroid series, being a particular fan of 2D platform games, but Metroid Prime was horrible for me.  The claustrophobic feeling of the suit, the tedious method you had to employ to find out information, the frustrating controls, and the irritating boss battles all nearly led me to destroy the game disc in anger.

I have long loved role playing games.  From the old Sierra, point and click adventures of Hero's Quest and Space Quest, to more sophisticated games like Fallout and Baldur's Gate - they have been games that I have really enjoyed.  How was I to know that Japanese games of this type would be unbearable to me?  How could I have known that the very similar game mechanics could become almost magically tedious?  It is true that some of the reviews warned of cliched story lines, but a more dire warning was needed I feel.  Maybe a warning like this: "WARNING: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES CONSIDER THIS GAME IF YOU ARE ABOVE THE AGE OF TEN!"

Tales of Symphonia is the first and only jap RPG I will play.  I know there are legions of fans who swear by Final Fantasy, but I just know I will hate those games.

I haven't mentioned the HELL I went through with Ninja Gaiden, nor the intense nausea that Beyond Good and Evil filled me with, but if you think they are examples of under appreciated games, I bet you haven't even heard of Do Don Pachi Daioujou or ESPGaluda.

Now I'm not prepared to suggest the above games are bad.  I just lack the needed temperament to enjoy such games.  However, I do wish I had learnt this about myself before wasting money.  I guess there is always Ebay - someone out there must want the Legend of Zelda: Collectors Edition...

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