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XCOM, the good one!
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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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October 5, 2012 - 3:11 pm
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Last night I realized that XCOM and Dishonored come out on the same day. This is not convenient for me and shows no consideration for my needs. Protest!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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October 9, 2012 - 5:54 pm
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It's out!  I'm eyeing that PS3 version.  The thought of all-nighters on my comfy couch sounds more fun than hunching over my desk.  Not only that, I recently purchased and fired up Grimrock, to which my rig promptly replied, "Howsabout a nice hard reset?"  My PC is old, sure, but for a few seconds I could move around and noticed decent performance.

I suspect it's my graphics card.  Sorry in advance for this highly technical description of its problems: It sucks.  Anyway, given that I will, in the near term, keep my kidneys, I'm going the console route.

On principle I don't pre-order games.  So I'm still going to wait for some official, trusted reviews.  *Hint, hint*

Rule #2: Double-tap

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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October 9, 2012 - 7:43 pm
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YOU DON'T NEED BOTH KIDNEYS YOU PUSSY

Anyway, stay tuned for XCOM coverage. I have a feeling there's a group of us racing toward some imaginary magic limit of play that will be "enough" to qualify for a First Impressions. With that in mind, here are my notes so far, verbatim from my Wesleyan pen onto my Starcraft 2 Jim Raynor "Wanted" poster pad: 

  

In English, that's

  • All chrs american
  • half and full cover why not lvls
  • tact CAMERA
  • Too Many Flowr boxs
  • tutorial is endless/but 3 hours just passed
  • zoom lvls (ms wheel +G &T backward)
  • Information spread too basic need visibility @ other locations
  • Acting
  • simplify more than need
  • better AUTOSAVE

Oh, and also "VP dbate thurs 9pm; cat food; Ziegler PPT; HPC360 keynote; Am VOICe ppt; NDEMC call 4pm," none of which have anything to do with XCOM).

Now bear in mind I almost always only jot bad things when taking notes. It's... got a hell of a lot going for it. So far I really dislike the four-point camera rotation, but beyond that it's dramatic, mesmerizing, fun, deep, and all the things old X-Com was. Some things I don't like and some will take getting used to but in general, two hours in, I feel like Firaxis did right by us.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
planet
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October 9, 2012 - 8:14 pm
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I'm pretty impressed that this new XCOM exists on consoles. I'm also eying the PS3 version since, as at least you know, Steerpike, my computer is turning to mush.

Long-winded post script: I read an article on RPS today which in passing mentioned how ridiculously expensive console gaming is. Sorry, Mr. Meer, but speaking as a longtime PC gamer more recently turned towards consoles, that couldn't really be more untrue. *takes drink* boozer Sure, most PC games are generally $10-20 dollars less, and there is a bazillion times better access to free games, but a console costs $300. Then you buy games for it for 4-7 years, and if you're lucky the people who created the hardware may replace your crappy broken Xbox if it breaks soon enough.

PC gaming = thousands upon thousands of dollars purely on hardware, over time. If I want a graphics card considered anywhere near high end it costs as much as a console. Also, I have to troubleshoot problems with my PC. I'm increasingly lazy and more cynical each day, I have not the time for these trials and tribulations.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Synonamess Botch
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October 9, 2012 - 10:37 pm
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Xtal, I blame you for getting me started.  Here goes.  grin

I've built more PCs than I can remember, gaming and otherwise.  I've spent way too much time with my nose in a computer case or in a config file.  It sort of used to be a hobby.  It's not anymore.

I'd like to play some PC-only games. The problem is that I still can't bring myself to buy a pre-made PC.  I still think I know best unfortunately.  So far though laziness and cheapness have trumped everything else.

Now I just want to plop down on my comfy couch and plop in a disk and not care about tuning my settings.  And frankly, my wife is much more tolerant of my gaming habit when I'm sitting next to her in the living room than when I'm sequestered away at my desk.  Happy wife, happy life.

As for cost, I'm not really interested in the "which is cheaper" argument, at least not in the sense of determining which type of gaming is better, because ultimately I think the answer is, "it depends."  On many factors.  What games you play.  When you want to play the new ones.  And so on.  Cost is a factor for me.  It's why I stay at least one half console generation behind.  It's even harder to justify a new PC these days since a perfectly decent laptop for all those other computer-y things is dirt cheap.  And most of the games I want to play are on console anyway.  The fact that consoles have basically become cheap PCs is important to note as well.

So uhh yeah, XCOM.  PS3 version.

EDIT: And two working kidneys!  Yeah!

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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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October 10, 2012 - 10:16 am
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Van Ord over at Gamespot has a decent review.  He's sort of filling Kasavin's shoes as I see it.  I tend to trust his opinion for the most part.  He does mention some framerate problems on the PS3 version.  I still need to check out what RPS and Giant Bomb have to say.

EDIT: The review at RPS is much more comprehensive and less generic.  More targeted towards answering us old-timers' questions too.  I think I'm sold.

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xtal
planet
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October 12, 2012 - 11:59 am
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I don't think RPS wouldn't mention any issues on consoles though would they? They're exclusively a PC bunch, unless some of the newer staff....

 

(I would love to get this game right now, but I just got back from my very expensive roadtrip/honeymoon and my funds are depleted. I had to trade some records in yesterday because I really wanted the new Flying Lotus LP ... I wish used games yielded the same cash that used records do. I traded in what (to me) was utter crap and got 30 dollars for it. Imagine! So yeah...I might wait a paycheque (Sorry Americanenglish) or two for XCOM:EK. This whole old-school XCOM coming out of nowhere has been very confusing to me, by the way. Is that terrible, first-announced re-imagining still happening? Bleurgh.)

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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October 12, 2012 - 1:32 pm
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wait a paycheque (Sorry Americanenglish)

Yeah, thirty Canadian dollars. Thppbbbbbtt. ; )

 

I multitasked the Veep debate and XCOM last night. This is a fine, fine game. High level, I can give you some of my gripes:

  • The four-point camera system. I can't stand it. Why not a free rotate? The entire tactical map is a 3D playfield.
  • Info management and controls in tactical could be improved - a small-font list of all my troops onscreen at all times, clickable to zoom to them. Brighter, clearer "this person is selected" graphics.
  • Tactical line of sight needs some work.
  • Navigation in the base. It's a bit of a pain. Nothing serious, but could've used a polish. Plus, you're on the Unreal engine man, do the Dungeon Keeper and give us a way to go first person and wander the place.
  • Troop management requires too many clicks. Give me everything - loadout, abilities, customize, name, dismiss - on one screen. There's plenty of room for all that and the soldier avatar. O'course, that would suck for thumbsticks. So just make two interfaces, one for M&K, one for Controller. I mean come on people. Why does no one do that?

But when I play games I tend to really focus on and itemize the bad things. I think it's because good things are so much harder to quantify. I'm desperate for money but I find that somehow thrilling. My tactical performance has been underwhelming, I'm losing people, but I'm not frustrated. I know the Council is watching me, but rather than being a bother it makes me sit up straight and eat my vegetables and think before I act.

XCOM is really really good. Get yourself a cheque, xtal - you're mankind's last hope.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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October 13, 2012 - 11:36 pm
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I just finished the demo and it sealed the deal.  From what little I got to try, I think the squad level combat provides just the right balance of depth and simplicity.  Hopefully that holds up.

I'm actually very interested in Dishonored now too, despite it not being on my radar at all before last week.  What I've seen looks very good and, with the thought of allowing myself one new game, I was considering it instead.  Tough call but I think I'm going with XCOM for now.  I really need to finish DXHR before I tackle Dishonored, despite not being the least interested in playing it recently.

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Synonamess Botch
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October 25, 2012 - 2:05 pm
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Received my PS3 copy yesterday and fired it up for a bit.  I think others have mentioned this, but why do the aliens always scatter when discovered?  Is there no way to get the drop on them?

Also, it looks kind of buggy.  At one point all of my subtitles became unreadable garbage, along with the controller button graphics.  I'm going to hold off for a patch.

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Synonamess Botch
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October 25, 2012 - 6:35 pm
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This was a good read.  It seems to encapsulate all of the disappointments and hopes of old-timers in one space.

http://www.quartertothree.com/.....-to-write/

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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October 25, 2012 - 8:46 pm
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Botch, I'm so sorry to hear this. The console versions must have bugs the PC one doesn't, because it's been very solid for me.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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October 26, 2012 - 9:33 am
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Nice one Botch, I was going to link that Tom Chick review as well; it does indeed encapsulate both schools of thought in a very creative way. Over the last couple of years I've come to love Mr Chick though. I find myself frequently nodding and smiling throughout his writings. I don't always agree with him, but I can usually see where he's coming from which is (more than) half the battle when you're criticising something.

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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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October 26, 2012 - 11:25 am
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I enjoy Tom Chick as well.  He seems to have a sort of cloud of controversy around him, which I don't quite get.  I guess the Deus Ex review made him a bit notorious.  That game is on the short list of my all-time favs, but I can't say I disagreed with anything he wrote about it.

You can be interesting or agreeable, but rarely both.  He falls in the interesting category.

<shill>

I think all of the reviewers on Tap fall into the interesting category as well.

</shill>

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Synonamess Botch
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November 14, 2012 - 3:58 pm
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Well shut my mouth and call me kidney-less.  I shouldn't have opened my trap and ranted about abandoning the PC.  The bug has finally taken hold again.  I think it was looking at Gregg's pictures of his sweet PC gaming lounge (where the magic happens) that pushed me over the edge.  My main barrier has been couch vs desk, and since we'll be doing some rearranging here at the Botch household soon, that barrier will be shattered.

I've already taken the plunge on the CPU (i5-3570K).  MB, case, PSU, SSD, RAM & GPU will soon follow.  I don't really see myself taking the plunge on the next round of consoles for quite a while, maybe ever.  We'll see.  Once a PC gamer, always a PC gamer.

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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November 14, 2012 - 6:54 pm
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Congratulations, Botch! Soon you'll be happily Steamed up and ready to go.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
planet
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November 15, 2012 - 1:04 pm
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NooooOooOoOoooOoOOOOooooo! Couch potatoes unite!

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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November 16, 2012 - 11:40 am
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Is an easy chair acceptable as a couch substitute?  I plan to go the keyboard-in-lap route so I can prop my feet up like a proper potato.

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xtal
planet
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November 16, 2012 - 1:49 pm
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I'll allow that. Yes recliners are allowed, I suppose.

 

I hope for your sake that The Last Guardian still makes it to PS3!  (Everyone does want that, right?)

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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November 19, 2012 - 1:49 pm
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Don't speak that way!  Ten year cycle, ten year cycle.  Say it with me!

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