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Launch Party

Launch Party published on 2 Comments on Launch Party

Behold your future my childless nerds.

It’s different, a happy different, but certainly different. The time I do get to game seems sweeter now, less frequent certainly, but sweeter.

As to the comic, one of my favorite parts about collaborating with Jim are the background jokes and Easter Eggs he includes.

Panel 4’s “Flying Brick” killed me… and apparently some helpless Nooblette. I do love the ironic/slogan t-shirts he includes as well, something I rarely, if ever, include in the scripts.

I also like to imagine that Jim is making little conceits throughout the comic to anyone patient enough to look.

Take the blocks in the final panel for instance, though I’ve not confirmed it with Jim, I think he’s making a Hamlet reference “2” and “B” on the blocks. Hamlet’s soliloquy is a meditation on how one continues life in the face of trial and strife. The 1 Up Mushroom is clearly a continuation on the theme as it literally represents life in the gaming Universe. Thus, Jim has deftly combined the classic representation of new life (infancy) with the gaming representation of new life (Green Spotty Mushrooms).

Why the combination? I think Pezzetti is arguing, and this is a classic Pezzetti move, that one needs to stop reading and play more games. Whether it be rocketship or Mario–play will chase away all that nasty introspection.

Well done my good man. Perhaps someday I’ll learn that brevity is in fact the soul of wit, and you can stop trying to cram all my dialogue into our panels.

Cheers,

Jack

Running in Place

Running in Place published on 3 Comments on Running in Place

Dear DICE,

The Soup kids because we care.

Battlefield 3 is a brilliant achievement. Frostbite 2 allows gamers to blow the bejeezus out of gigantic levels.  No other shooter series does what the Battlefield series does for me.  I think it’s the visceral sense of destruction that I love so much.

So why the critique?

DICE has begun listening too closely to gamers’ whims. I have no doubt their intention in adding so many unlockables to B3 was to inspire gamers to create diverse and fully customized loadouts.

In practice however, the system inspires stagnation.

I can’t fathom why DICE decided to make gamers unlock mirror image equipment on the Russian and American side, it feels like good game design was trumped by some executive in EA’s Marketing Department.  Forcing gamers to unlock everything twice, may double the number unlocks a game can boast, but it’s painful for your audience.

Actually, that’s not even accurate… gamers have to unlock each upgrade for each gun which becomes absolutely maddening.

There’s little incentive to explore newly unlocked guns because their totally stripped of all upgrades. Particularly, given that the upgrades give players such a marked advantage. The choice becomes either: play only with one’s initial loadout, or suffer through being hamstrung with a gun that may or may not be any better.

Is it any wonder that so many gamers have opted to step off the treadmill via the EOD Bot boost?

Clearly not.

Nor is it any wonder that EA/DICE recently banned and/or wiped the stats of “hundreds” of these gamers. At this point, they’re committed to a badly implemented treadmill system.

If I had the patience to boost I would. I would step off the treadmill–understand DICE the Boosters love your product.

They simply want to play the real game. The real game begins when players have the full and extraordinary collection of tools you built into Battlefield 3 at their disposal. A collection where, for every pair of scissors there’s paper and a rock.

Too often, the current design has me feeling like paper–with no rock at my disposal.

Cheers,

Jack

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It’s So Big

It’s So Big published on 2 Comments on It’s So Big

Ah, back to our roots with a nice dick joke strip.

You’re welcome readers.

Confession time, I haven’t played Skyrim yet.  The reality is, I probably won’t until sometime in 2012.

Between a new baby, career, comic, and another holiday “Game-alanche” (that’s a combination of “Game” and “Avalanche” which I’m now trademarking) I’ve got a lot of unfinished games.

I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent with Battlefield 3, though the treadmill is absurd and meaningless to me.  Dark Souls has me up against a wall, I need to spend time grinding for souls to progress–but I have no time or desire to spend grinding.

Then there’s Uncharted 3, my God I love that series.

If only the writers at Naughty Dog had written Indiana Jones IV, and saved us from the calamity that shall not be named.  Nathan Drake may find himself in some wacky predicaments, but I swear they’d never put him in fridge.

A fridge.

More on Uncharted 3 in the coming weeks.

Oh, and the answer to last week’s poll question was Trandoshan.  Which somehow most of you knew… *cough* Cheaters! *cough*

Damn you Wookieepedia .

Cheers,

Jack