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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2645 (Senior)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Fallout 3
79. Re: Ships Ahoy - Fallout 3 Oct 28, 2008, 21:01 Scottish Martial Arts
I went against my better judgment and bought the game this afternoon. Although I don't yet regret purchasing the game, I don't exactly feel compelled to blow off my remaining homework and play until the wee hours either.

For those that are wondering, this is Oblivion 2: With Guns. Whether that's good or bad depends on your opinion of Oblivion. To me, Oblivion was fairly entertaining but ultimately flawed and not worth a replay. From two hours or so I've spent playing Fallout 3, it looks like this game will be about the same.

I haven't played enough yet to give a final opinion but here are some of the things I've noticed, in no particular order:

-Animations have not improved since Oblivion.
-Graphics are generally good, but some texturing is muddy, and the gray-brown color palette immediately gets old.
-Writing has varied between bad and mediocre. The dialogue during your birth is particularly awkward and unnatural: I was tempted to just bypass the cutscene rather than endure it. Otherwise, dialogue hasn't made me cringe but isn't particularly interesting either
-In the first treasure chest I discovered in the wasteland, there was a laser rifle. So much for energy weapons and big guns being a reward for reaching the late mid-game.
-VATS feels a little unbalanced since headshots seem way to easy to get. As others have mentioned the slow motion deaths are unskippable. , which will surely get annoying. Non-VATS combat feels a little wonkey; hitting your target manually seems to be matter of chance, but I can't tell if that's because of poor hit detection or character skill limited accuracy.
-There is a lot of combat when just walking around.
-The game hard crashed, forcing me to restart, when I tried to exit the program.
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Fallout 3
38. Re: Ships Ahoy - Fallout 3 Oct 28, 2008, 10:52 Scottish Martial Arts
Or so I heard, don't have the game myself yet.. prolly gonna grab it on steam to avoid all the BS.

Apparently SecuROM is present in the Steam version as well.
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News Comments > Mobilization
5. Re: Mobilization Oct 26, 2008, 02:38 Scottish Martial Arts
Religion is responsible for an obscene amount of conflict, now and throughout human existence

Only with the rise of Christianity and Islam, monotheistic religions wielding political power, has this been true. Polytheism, the dominant strand of religiosity throughout our species' history, is by nature tolerant: if you believe that there are numerous gods, each with power limited to a specific piece of geography, then you aren't going to begrudge some foreign people for worshiping different gods than you. Given that our species has been around for roughly 200,000 years, 2,000 years of monotheism is hardly "throughout our existence".

Additionally, Christianity and Islam have certainly committed sins throughout their existence, but it's wrong to suggest that these religions have only enhanced conflict. Although there are notable exceptions, Christianity, for example, acted as a mitigating force on warfare during the Middle Ages. A city siege in the Classical period, despite the period's religious tolerance, ended with the extermination of the male populous, the wholesale looting and destruction of the city, the rape of city's women, and the enslavement of any survivors. Compare this with the Medieval period in which warfare was largely limited to the society's warrior class, and in which the Catholic Church inforced strict prohibitions against harming non-combatants or allowing warfare to escalate beyond battles between combatants. To violate those prohibitions was to be excommunicated, which was the end of a ruler's political authority, and his virtual exile from the community of Western Christendom. Granted there are notable exceptions, particularly the sack of Jerusalem at the end of the 1st Crusade, but regardless, it was better to be a non-combatant in the medieval period than in the classical period.
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News Comments > Fallout 3 Midnight Launch Events; Steam Pre-Purchase
8. Re: Fallout 3 from Steam Oct 25, 2008, 01:55 Scottish Martial Arts
No box, disc, or manual, and for a game like this, I want genuine hard copies.

Unless you want the collector's edition, you aren't missing much by getting an electronic copy. You can take a look at the manual on the Steam store page if you're so inclined. Other than a half-dozen or so vault-tec advertisements, the manual is just a straight description of the interface, exactly like the manuals for Morrowind and Oblivion. In other words, this is not like the 150+ page Fallout 1 and 2 manuals, and you won't miss much if you don't get a hard copy of it.

Interestingly, the manual describes 13 skills, 6 of which are combat skills and 3 of which govern minigames. So good to see that the Fallout skill system survived Bethesda's custodianship intact. /sarcasm
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News Comments > DX3 Dev: Deus Ex was "Kinda Slow"
26. Re: DX3 Dev: Deus Ex was Oct 22, 2008, 11:23 Scottish Martial Arts
Well, modern technology allows for better storytelling than earlier games... there's no surprise there.

Ultima 5-7 kinda suggests otherwise.
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News Comments > Dragon Age: Origins Sequel & DLC Plans
5. Re: Dragon Age: Origins Sequel & DLC Pla Oct 21, 2008, 18:41 Scottish Martial Arts
Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO has been announced

And that's supposed to excite anyone? WoW with Lightsabers? I think i'll pass.
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
5. Re: Techie Myths Sep 29, 2008, 00:35 Scottish Martial Arts
Gaming IN GENERAL is at a lowpoint.

And that's why we have DOSBox. Who needs dumbed down console ports when you have Mechwarrior 2?

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News Comments > Crysis Warhead Interview
16. Re: No subject Sep 15, 2008, 00:07 Scottish Martial Arts
All this crap about reselling used games being a "critical situation", I guess they’re okay with retail stores cannibalizing their profit margins though.

You'll get no argument from me about EA being full of shit, but that's not how retail works dude.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
23. Re: No subject Sep 11, 2008, 15:43 Scottish Martial Arts
yes, i am to blame for the failure of your mind to reach beyond its own narcissistic image

Keep up the pop-psychoanalysis: it makes you sound so sophisticated.

Anyone have any good joystick recommendations? Were money no object I'd love to have one of those CH Products HOTAS + Rudder Pedals setups, but, unfortunately, money is very much an object, and $400 is well in excess of my $50 budget. I currently have a wireless Logitech joystick which unfortunately has always been a piece of shit and waste of money: the stick reads movement very erratically, tends to drift to the left even when centered, and often loses its calibration in mid-game. As a result, I'd prefer to avoid Logitech products. I've looked at Saitek's Cyborg line, but since they're designed to be ambidextrous, only half of the buttons on the base are accessible without talking your hands off the stick. In other words, half of the buttons are unusable during play, which rules the Cyborg out unless there is nothing better. Oh, and I use joysticks mostly for older space and mech sims like Freespace 2 or Mechwarrior 3. Any thoughts?

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News Comments > Far Cry 2 Movies
7. Re: Eh? Aug 29, 2008, 02:04 Scottish Martial Arts
Also, how often do real world guns actually fail?

The AK-47 is known for being extraordinarily reliable. The M-16 and M-4, however, jam on a regular basis, especially in burst fire, where double feeds and mischambered rounds are common. Fortunately, jams are easily cleared, usually just requiring you to pull back the charing handle, shake out the jammed round, release the charging handle, and then resume firing. Obviously, the cleaner your weapon the less likely it is to jam.

Cleaning a weapon is tedious and boring, and no game should try to simulate it, unless it too wants to be tedious and boring. But if a game wants to simulate a jam, where you then have to tap a "clear jam" key and then watch a 3 second animation before you can fire again, that shouldn't be a problem I would think.

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News Comments > Op Ed
2. Re: What LucasArts should be making Aug 27, 2008, 01:30 Scottish Martial Arts
That list is badly in need of some graphic adventures. On the other hand, all the talent that made LucasArts adventure games so memorable has long since left the company.

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News Comments > Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic, Interviews
12. Re: Blizzard Cinematics? Aug 21, 2008, 21:44 Scottish Martial Arts
I agree. They need to be making full length movies...

Yeah, but they need a copy editor to go over their script before recording dialog.

"You SHALL be King..."

Ack! Shall is used as a future modal verb only in the first person singular and plural. Since this line is in the second person singular, it should read:

"You WILL be King..."

Granted, this is a mistake that people make all the time that doesn't affect the basic meaning of the sentence. That said, although less common, this is a grammatical mistake on par with: "You IS the Lich King, Arthas!" In other words, the verb's conjugation does not match the number and person of the subject, a grammatical no-no.

Whatever. Schools don't even give a shit about proper grammar anymore, so why should we expect it from a corporation?

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News Comments > Fallout 3 in October
33. Re: Too Human... Aug 20, 2008, 20:17 Scottish Martial Arts
Let's wait until it goes gold before we make our assumptions, k?

It has already been confirmed that, like Oblivion, Fallout 3 will have no environmental shadows, just character shadows.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
9. Re: No subject Aug 8, 2008, 16:34 Scottish Martial Arts
Ghost Recon 1 is happening for real: Russia and Georgia have gone to war over the South Ossetian region.

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News Comments > Fallout 3 Q&A
20. Re: Hey asshole! Aug 5, 2008, 02:17 Scottish Martial Arts
Okay, let me argue this seriously for a moment. What made Fallout, Fallout?

In the previous post I mentioned Arcanum. Arcanum is basically Fallout: Steampunk Edition. There is a lot that is different between Fallout and Arcanum, but anyone that has played both can tell you that Arcanum "feels" like a Fallout game. So in order to answer your question, I think the best approach would be to find what was common to both Fallout and Arcanum.

Starting with the most obvious, both games were from an isometric perspective. Perspective isn't just cosmetic: it affects how the game world appears and how you interact with it on a fundamental level. Consider how different the gameplay feels between Hellgate: London and Diablo II. Likewise, consider the differences between Ultima VII and Ultima Underworld. A shift in perspective as dramatic from overhead isometric to first person changes things dramatically.

Both Fallout and Arcanum had open, freely explorable worlds that, unlike Oblivion, didn't sacrifice depth of content. Key to this was the use of an overland map, random encounters, and fully detailed adventure areas (either towns or "dungeons"). The expansive map, that your location icon traveled across so slowly, gave the world an impressive sense of scale. Likewise, the very well designed random encounter system made the world filled lived in, that you weren't just crossing empty space but there were other people, and occasionally creatures, sharing that same space. Finally, the adventure locations, although limited in number, each had their own character and lots of substantive stuff to do in them. This world design system that was in both Fallout and Arcanum was superb, as it gave a huge sense of scale without sacrificing depth of content. Compare your first trip from The Den to Vault City, in Fallout 2, with a trip from the Imperial City to anywhere in Oblivion. In Oblivion, you can still see the tower of the Imperial city from almost every spot of the gameworld, making the world feel miniaturized. Where as in Fallout 2, that trip to Vault City takes about a half hour of real time, about 2 weeks of game time, will have at least a half dozen random encounter, and you discover the town of Modoc along the way. That Fallout 2 trip is often very rough, with bandit encounters perhaps getting a companion killed, with lots of running away from overwhelming groups of enemies, such that when you see that green circle representing a visitable area, you can only hope that it's a town in which you can find safety before continuing on the second half of your journey east to Vault City. The world system of Fallout and Arcanum was uniquely designed and created free form gameplay that was truly memorable.

Both Fallout and Arcanum had a non-linear main quest, although Arcanum, unfortunately, to a lesser extent. In Fallout 1 you had to find the water chip, in Fallout 2 you had to find the GECK, and in Arcanum you had to find the owner of the gnome's ring. You were given some hints and places to start looking, and then you were let loose upon the gameworld. Those hints, while leading you on interesting side adventures, all led to dead ends, forcing you to just explore the world, gather clues where you can, and ultimately find your objective after having gone through the world as you saw fit, rather than following a linear quest chain. Now it's possible that Bethesda has designed their world and their main quest similarly, but I have serious doubts about that. After all, their target audience is the same bunch of mouth breathers that couldn't find Caius Cosades with step by step directions, and the damned quest compass is making a return. Somehow I doubt that you'll be expected to explore the world without guidance in order to find clues, i.e. to expect you to have an adventure.

I could keep going but this post is long enough as is. Other similarities I had in mind: non-class based character system, focus on multiple solutions to problems, fully written dialogue trees where what you say can have major consequences.

You'll notice that ultra violence, wacky humor, and a retro-future post-apocalyptic setting, aren't present in Arcanum, and yet Arcanum still felt and played like it was a Fallout game. My point here is that a Fallout mod for Oblivion would never play very much like Fallout. Now it's possible that Fallout 3 doesn't just play like a mod for Oblivion. It is possible that Bethesda really worked hard to ensure that the only similarity between Fallout 3 and Oblivion is the perspective and the game engine. Many things are possible. But I have seen nothing so far to suggest that Fallout 3 is anything more than an Oblivion mod. The fact that the gaming media is calling Fallout 3 "the true follow up to Oblivion" sure doesn't do much to convince me otherwise.

This comment was edited on Aug 5, 02:19.
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News Comments > Ken Levine: BioShock Rescued the Shooter
35. Re: BioShock Aug 4, 2008, 21:56 Scottish Martial Arts
Really? "So many?" Care to list that humongous group of dead genres?

Traditional RPGs in the mold of Baldur's Gate and Fallout. Obsidian seems to be the only developer actively making these anymore, but even they seem to branching out into console action-rpgs.

Space Combat games like Freespace 2 -- I can't even remember the last time a GOOD space combat game was released that wasn't a mod. Was it that online one from Microsoft that came out around 2000? I think it was called Alliance or something?

Turn Based Squad games like XCOM or Jagged Alliance 2. Last one of these I remember playing was Silent Storm in 2003, and that had only come after a several year drought.

Even single player first person shooters designed specifically for the PC are a rare commodity these days. Last one I can remember, other than the Half-Life episodes, is F.E.A.R, which was three years ago. Everything else is just a console port which tends to have a pretty big impact on the gameplay. What ever happened to games like SHOGO, Unreal 1, Soldier of Fortune, Star Trek: Elite Force, Jedi Knight, No One Lives Forever, etc.?

That's what I could think of off the top of my head. Whatever, you never buy my arguments anyway.

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News Comments > Fallout 3 Q&A
12. Re: Hey asshole! Aug 4, 2008, 21:38 Scottish Martial Arts
I guarantee there's around 25 guys on this forum who are the absolute fucking Judge AND Jury on whether a title has enough fallout-ness!

Well it would've been nice if they had made a game that played like Fallout. Arcanum is very, very different from Fallout in a number of respects, but it still played and "felt" like Fallout, which is what I was hoping for from a Fallout 3: a game with similar GAMEPLAY. The basic impression I got from E3, however, is that Fallout 3 is Oblivion 2: Post-Apocalypse. Given that Oblivion and Fallout are on opposite ends of the CRPG-gameplay spectrum, I think it's safe to assume that Fallout 3's relation to its predecessors will be limited to the purely cosmetic.

Also, it's not looking to hopeful that modders will be able to rescue Fallout 3 the way they rescued the abysmal Vanilla Oblivion, as it has been confirmed that the game will NOT ship with an SDK. So far, Beth has been unwilling to provide a straight answer about whether or not one will be released post launch, which suggests to me that it probably isn't happening.

Whatever, I'll keep following the game and probably get it at launch, if for no other reason than to see for myself what has become of one of my favorite game series, but damn, this is not what I was hoping for when it was announced that Fallout 3 was back in production.

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News Comments > Ken Levine: BioShock Rescued the Shooter
25. Re: BioShock Aug 4, 2008, 18:48 Scottish Martial Arts
So did anyone actually read the article? Or did they just see the headline and jump on the forums to complain?

Although I agree that the success of Bioshock does seem to have gone to Ken's head a little bit, he's hardly claiming that the entire shooter genre would've collapsed if Bioshock had been a financial failure, as many of you seem to think. Instead, Levine is making a couple of perfectly reasonable points:

Irrational was just barely able to get a publisher and funding for Bioshock. The decision makers at gaming publishers all felt that there was no market for a System Shock/Deus Ex-style game. Since it was such a high profile game, if Bioshock had failed, then its failure would end up being Exhibit A for publishers when deciding not to fund SS/DX-style games. The result would've been that any future developer of this sort of game would have an even harder time getting funding than Irrational, and given that Irrational was only just barely able to get funding, you could pretty much write off there being another game like this for the foreseeable future.

Someone want to explain to me what is so unreasonable about that? So many other genres are basically dead because the suits don't feel they can make Halo-like profits off of them -- why wouldn't that have happened with System Shock-style games as well, if Bioshock had been a high profile financial failure?

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News Comments > Morning Previews
4. Re: No subject Aug 4, 2008, 13:19 Scottish Martial Arts
As far as I know they said that all NPCs will be killable, that means CHILD KILLING!!!!! WOHOO!!!

They never said that. What they did say was that they were trying to keep unkillable characters to a minimum, which they also said about Oblivion. Child killing is almost certainly not in the game.

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News Comments > Censored Fallout 3 Down Under?
22. Re: No subject Aug 4, 2008, 00:00 Scottish Martial Arts
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 2007 — President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

A bill that Obama voted for btw...

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