The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

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The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:37 pm

Horray, time for another blog!

This arrived a couple of hours ago.

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It makes me feel a little better after what happened yesterday. I was part-way through writing a portion of TOA (which I did manage to complete, though not pretty up) when an old friend suddenly messaged me on AIM. I was like, "yo sup". He tells me that someone I semi-knew shot himself last month. Not someone I knew in person, but one of the few people who inspired me to work harder. It's hard to imagine this person killing themselves, and it hits pretty close to home seeing as I probably would have done the same thing on numerous ocassions if I had a gun.

Kind of makes me stop and think.

Yeah...

I watched two movies recently.

The first was Dragonball: Evolution.

Now, typically I don't really watch movies until later on when a nice dvdrip shows up on my favorite websites and I am really interested in seeing them. I was a little curious about the Dragonball movie but everyone was super excited about it and kept saying how awesome it was, so I felt inclined to avoid hollywood garbage for a while until finally curiosity got the best of me.

Now, I'm not a huge DBZ fan. I've seen all of DBZ, only a tiny bit of the first one and a little bit of GT. But it did teach me what to avoid with my epic scale duels in my novel. I watched it when I was younger and it's pretty much the show that introduced me to anime in the first place (along with Gundam Wing).

I've been hearing about how this movie was nothing like dragonball, so on so forth but I thought "Hollywood produces pretty shitty movies, but even they can't bastardize dragonball that badly. Can they?"

Boy oh boy. Was I in for a shock. Five minutes into the movie I knew it was going to be one of those times. I mean, even the CGI which is pretty much all hollywood throws at us these days and is the sole thing that makes the new Transformers watchable seemed rushed and poorly thought out. I was expecting amazing fight scenes with screaming and grunting but they did not deliver. Everything else is just a disaster, but that was to be expected. What really caught me off guard was what they did to master roshi. What the FUCK.

The second movie I watched was GI Joe. I was expecting even less out of this movie but it actually wasn't that bad, at least in effects and explosions. Hollywood knows that they're absolutely terrible with storytelling and skips major melodramatic bullocks and just throws action scene after action scene at you, exactly what I would want. The staggering amount of coincidences between the characters is just hilarious, and the absurdly high level of technology the two forces possess "under the nose" of the public is astronomically absurd (Energy weapons? Holographic projections? Fucking nanites that disintegrate entire cities and cause the mass of the buildings to magically vanish!?) but if you approach the movie from the standpoint of "Oh, pretty explosions!" it will deliver exactly the same experience that the two Transformers movies did. I didn't really pay any attention to the plot because it was pretty terrible and all, but that's what I did with transformers and it made it bearable just the same.

There you have it. My first two terrible movie reviews.

On to Left 4 dead 2. I played it with HKS. I know some people here played the original and might want to hear my thoughts on that. I did record a video of our gameplay, but I don't know when I'll get around to encoding and releasing it. So I'll just make a short review of this as well.

I'll be direct; if you are expecting something different, new, and exciting, you're in the wrong place. L4D2 is basically what the original should have been. There isn't any exciting new gameplay elements (except for perhaps the 2 or so new gametypes that aren't available in the demo), but there's more weapons, more zombies, and DAYLIGHT. Sooo many people are bitching about one of the campaigns taking place in daytime and I have no idea why the fuck these people are allowed to breathe. I actually like the change of lighting and it seems more realistic that the sun doesn't magically vanish when the apocalypse comes.

Left 4 dead 2 is dramatically American, but Valve didn't stick very close to their source material because only a few of the zombies are horrendeously overweight. Everything else is pretty spot-on though; the black chick is sassy, the big black man has a thick accent and moans just like a black man should, the scrawny white man holds a desert eagle at his waist with 1 hand and lazily mows down entire legions of zombies with it, and the streets are filled with gigantic automobiles in which only one in a thousand actually possesses a car alarm.

The guns fire slower, reload slower, and everything seems to hint that Valve didn't want the game to drum down to mowing your way through zombies super-fast. This seems a bit strange, because they introduced elements specifically for mowing through zombies super-fast, including sticks of adrenaline that turn you into superman.

The levels are still fairly short (at least the two in the demo), but the most noticeable thing is that just like the new, pointlessly tiny L4D campaign, there are guns EVERYWHERE. Every five feet you come across either pistols, rifles, desert eagles or auto shotties. There are new weapons in addition to the old ones, and the placements are somewhat randomized. Contrary to what you might be thinking, when that lone rifle is spotted on a balcony your entire team can still pick it up. That doesn't hold true for melee weapons, though. The machete in particular is ridiculously powerful, cleaving entire hordes effortlessly. Traditional melee has been nerfed, though; there's now a cooldown between times you can melee, just like the one they introduced in a patch for Versus in the original. It's still pretty powerful, though.

One thing I love is the Desert Eagle. It actually gives you a reason to use your pistols other than trying to aim for the Akimbo Assassin achievement and fucking over your entire team. The Desert Eagle is really inaccurate, but it hits really hard and has penetration. I'm not sure if you can dual wield it or not, but just one is pretty ridiculous. I was incapacitated by a horde of zombies and killed all of them in 5-6 shots from the penetration.

Speaking of killing zombies, the single biggest new feature of left 4 dead 2 is entirely cosmetic - Gore. Not only do zombies get dismembered more readily, you can eviscerate them and spool miles of intestines everywhere, use a pipe bomb to blow off half of their body down the middle, slice open their brains with a machete or blow holes the size of dinner plates through them with the glock. The gore is excessive, just like classic zombie movies. At the slightest provocation entire halves of zombies can be removed. With a single shotgun blast I removed 4 of a zombie's limbs, head included. Also, these little limbs have varying weight; with a pipe bomb, I effectively rained limbs across the street a few moments after the mangled skeletons and other bits landed.

I'm not sure what to think about the new Infected. The Jockey seems to be much like the Hunter in that he often dies within a half-second of him attaching himself to someone. The level design is bland enough that most often the Jockey is pretty powerless, anyway, but one time he did manage to pull me off a ledge and into a horde on the bottom of it, so he can be pretty dangerous depending on the terrain. The Spitter is the most dangerous of the new zombies by far, especially on Expert. One shot of her jizz in a good spot and she can take out several people in only a few seconds. Just like molotovs, the bot AI just loves swimming in the green goo and burning to death. The charger can do a lot of damage if his major attack connects, but most of the time his charge misses and he stands there like a retard or he just runs in and dies in a few seconds.

I heard about the director actually changing map geometry and changing paths you have to take, but I don't think that's present in the demo as between our multiple deaths on expert and my single player playthrough the maps did not change at all. The levels themselves are still very narrow and force you to go in a very specific way.

So, basically, l4d2 is just more of the same but with some added content. I will probably buy it to play with the crew, but I still feel this should have been an expansion and not an entirely new game.
Last edited by IskatuMesk on Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby Falchion » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:19 am

Well, Mesk.  For L4D 2, I could say there are indeed worse things.  My biggest example is StormRise, from Sega, which took an entirely new, creative universe, and fucked it up to shreds 'n pieces.  And not because it had something wrong, no...  IT FUCKING LACKED EVERYTHING!!!

Where I can start, oh, yes, why not ripping off some things from Ground Control, like a squad selection list, formation capabilities, or even be able to divide in much smaller squads so you can move them everywhere you want?  No, instead, Creative Assembly and Sega got too much focused on that crappy Whip Select thing that they forgot everything.  I know a game like this shouldn't bother with gameplay concerns, but let's face it, even a decent developer doesn't want to go to the other extremity:  A fucked up gameplay.

There was compensation for this, but too little:  Creativity in design and voice acting made up the points in this game.  When you see the Echelon Enforcer wearing that Robocop-ish helmet, you get impressed.  But, unfortunately, even graphics, looking up close, got wiped out.

Translating StormRise:  Creative and Sega, with the intent of making a butterfly, bred a cockroach.

As for movies, my baddest was Angels and Demons.  It didn't had almost any action, just like Brown's books.  It had points of climax, like the books.  What I'm complaining of is that Howard made some unforgivable changes, just because the Church told so!  I was dissapointed, I prefer five hundred times the book than the movie, it's more satisfying.  But my parents like it, so I have to sit down and fucking shut up.

The parts I find unforgivable in this movie are the following:

- At the start, Vittoria is at the lab testing the anti-matter, we see a different scientist getting murdered, not her father.  That's quite the start of the downfall, because of two things:  Vittoria shouldn't be there, she'd arrive only after her father was murdered and Langdon was there, she, according to text, was studying biology in the seas.  What kept some originality was the ripped eye, but to no avail:  Langdon and Director Kohler should find the eye and report it to Victoria.

- There was some unforgivable changes as well:  Carlo Ventresca's name was changed to a retarded american one, making it sound american priests aren't saint, instead of admitting that it's an Italian origin.  Kohler was replaced with a moronic commander, Richter, that isn't paraplegic, isn't cold with religion and isn't bald!  Howard took two characters far crucial to the story basis and modified them to a fragile cornerstone.  Cardinal Mortati was replaced with a different person that didn't become the actual Pope in the ending, therefore removing the character's necessity to take leadership because he's got no choice.

- A huge number of plotholes are missing:  Ventresca's speech to the population against the Illuminati, the real discussion between Kohler and Carlo, the showing of CERN, the phone dialogue of the Hassassin and Olivetti, and, most importantly, Ventresca's revelation as son of the late Pope, that made him realize the horrors of what he done and that he condemned the Church instead of saving it.

- There was also a great number of plotholes that were altered:  In the movie's ending, Langdon receives the Diagramma, that was destroyed in the Piazza fount accident, and not the mentioned Illuminati Diamond, the final mythical symbol of the science-obsessed cult.  In the beginning, it was the Vatican itself that contacted him and ordered him there, not the CERN who wanted to investigate a murder, thus removing a good nexus:  That, due to the stolen anti-matter, Vittoria and Langdon would have to run to prevent a disaster and staining their names.  Finally, on the anti-matter detonation scene, Langdon just stays on the ground instead of boarding the chopper, where Ventresca would leave him behind and, thus, denouncing the true duplicity of the priest.  Finally, he burned himself to death in isolation and as a coward, not in the public, where they'd revere him as a would-be martyr.

- The characters themselves got heavily injured on this movie too.  Langdon here is mostly sympathetic, instead of the book's one, that is less sympathizing to religion.  But even that is forgivable.  The point here is Vetra herself.  With the removal of her father's murder, a huge reason was also removed: that Vittoria would join Langdon because she believes he can find her father's murderer, and her arrival to Rome in the movie seems like she's there to protect CERN's interests, not her own.  Also, it must be noted that she's devoid of emotion, as most people expect from a scientist, when she's not.  Her emotions are shown on the scene where she confronts Ventresca after the revelations, another scene taken out for the "greater good" of the movie.

Finally, this is it.  My conclusion:  God Bless America... for the fuck-ups.
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:05 am

um

okay


I thought this was The Mesk Blog
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby Falchion » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:22 am

IskatuMesk wrote:um

okay


I thought this was The Mesk Blog


Well, let's just say this was a lenghty reply.
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby Mucky » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:25 pm

Two things I have beef with for L4D2:

1) Can't play any of the original characters or campaigns (Louis and his "GRABBIN PEELS", Francis hating everything, Bill... fuck, I love all of them)

2) Hardware demand was magically ramped up despite being the same game on the same engine. What the flying fuck could Valve have done?

I like the new secondary weapons. The dual pistols went great with the shotguns, but they were useless when paired with the AR or sniper rifle. Now those weapons actually have appropriate sidearms.

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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 pm

I haven't noticed the game running any different than before, but my system is kind of ridiculous so I probably wouldn't. I haven't seen anything that would cause the game to ramp up resources though; it's Source, after all. What are they going to do with it?
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby Mucky » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:41 pm

Arcan says he could run the original game on max settings with no issues. On L4D2, he has to turn the settings down. I didn't notice a huge slowdown, but I'm not running on max settings.

Steam gave me a hardware requirements warning when I tried to install L4D2. That didn't happen with the original.

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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:45 pm

That is pretty odd. I don't know if they were using Phong or not in the original, but that could possibly be why the requirements jumped in the second installation (Gun reflections and stuff use phong now). Otherwise I have no clue.
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby Mucky » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:47 pm

Phong more like thong amirite

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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:04 pm

totalee
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby Lavarinth » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:22 am

Hah, you watched Dragonball Z.
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:42 am

FUUSSIOONNN HAAAAAAAA
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby thebrowncloud » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:34 am

IskatuMesk wrote:FUUSSIOONNN HAAAAAAAA
ZOMG! Lav and Mesk have fused to form LavaMesk!  :o
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:49 am

Half the brain and twice the laziness!
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Re: The Mesk Blog - November 05 2009

Postby Falchion » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:21 pm

IskatuMesk wrote:Half the brain and twice the laziness!


Not to mention a might Psiexual Shockwave.
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