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User information for Ray Marden

Real Name Ray Marden   
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Nickname Ray Marden
Email raymarden@gmail.com
ICQ 44585133
Description Would you kindly?

You do not have to agree with me; I empower you to be wrong. :

Steam: Ray_Marden
Homepage http://www.bluesnews.com/
Signed On Feb 8, 2000, 01:15
Total Comments 6561 (Guru)
User ID 2647
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Valve Reddit Interview
9. Re: Valve Reddit Interview Mar 5, 2014, 13:47 Ray Marden
 
I'm glad to know when new books/albums/movies are on the way.

Meanwhile, the gaming industry is full of liars and borders on being a payola news system.

I admit there is some weight to expectation control, but I wish the industry would stop treating me like a degenerate. I love this industry more than any other and praise the audio-visual products it creates, one that also gives gamers direct control over the fantastic worlds that are created.

But yeah, let's keep on lying...because that totally makes me want your product even more or like your company even more...
In a lot of ways, the industry acts like it dislikes the end user.
Not sure I would give Gabe such high marks for communication,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
85. Re: Steam Top 10 Mar 4, 2014, 13:26 Ray Marden
 
Listen, you son of a...just kidding.

I went back and edited the post. I'm not mad with anybody liking the game, but I worry about those that see no failures, weak points, or significant room for improvement.

Even more troubling are those that seem to be outright lying or that were completely dismissive of people's initial concerns, telling them to wait until the game was out, and then, having confirmation these items are in the state that initial concern was expressed about, immediately turning around and saying those items don't matter.

Anyway, wah wah, these are all problems of the first world. I don't think this game ever planned on being a true sequel to the first two games, but the inconsistent design issues (which I attribute to the developer and/or development hell) and acquiring the weak architecture of current-gen design (small environments, linear levels, confining gameplay, etc.) really frustrate me when playing this game.
R.I.P. Looking Glass Studios - 05/24/00.
Wishing I could play SP: TSoT on the PS4 with my wife,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
73. Re: Steam Top 10 Mar 3, 2014, 18:11 Ray Marden
 
I'll take some flak for the word I used, but it's such an infuriating game at a lot of times and I don't understand those that blindly defend it or dismiss the issues present in the game.

I bought it, I'm playing it, I'll beat it, it's functional...but, damn, if there aren't all sorts of limitations, random quirks, rough edges, or poor design choices in the game. Compared to earlier Thief games or the overall market, the advances in engine and design over the past fifteen years, it's nowhere close to being a great game. Some items are preference, but other comments I just have a hard time taking at face value - talking about how good the engine is, TB's claims of getting over 120 FPS on a single Titan at maximum settings, non-stealth fans talking about how great this game is, etc.

They give you missions early on that you won't have the tools for, preventing you from obtaining 100%, and either forcing you to play the same level over again or forcing you to automatically finish with a lower ranking. It's a "hub" that is completely fractured into pieces of wildly inconsistent design. I spent 5 minutes figure out how to even get to a specific area - figuring out the map and all the load screens and window quicktime events that somehow connected to one another - to have it be one of the moments where the character just decided to drop down rather than jumping across, requiring me to go through the whole direction puzzle again. Why do some areas, specifically talking about non-missions areas, respawn items while other remain in a cleared state? Why did my rope arrow disappear from one area, but not the others? Given that rope arrows are a finite resource and can only be used in the developer-designated areas, why are there some areas with few/no anchor points and other areas with numerous anchor points, requiring backtracking to a supply vendor, meaning more map/hub fighting? For all the backtracking required through the various locked off window sequences, was it really important to have you hold E, wait for the canned patting animation to play (it's a damned window, just like all the others,) to then spam the E button, and then go through another animation? Speaking of animation, why is the game so obsessed with showing off the character model - this game needs to be fun and challenging, not slow and artistic. Did they really remove the ability to jump and then design a challenge around walking past floorplates? This entire corner is in dark shadow; why, when in this one specific area, do I become fully exposed? Why do they keep adding whole new areas to the hub that I already explored; how am I supposed to learn the routes if the game jus throws out connecting points willy nilly? Dear lord, does this one vertical area really have five different windows, all linking to separate areas?

I could go on and one, but it just speaks to how infuriating the game can be, how inconsistent the design is. And these are only touching on some of the things I stumbled into while trying to legitimately play the game. While fiddling around with items and combat yesterday, I easily identified a number of other issues.
It's not crap, but there are so many terrible design choices in play.
Having unhindered fun in so few moments of my playing ,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
14. Re: Thief (Review) Mar 2, 2014, 16:18 Ray Marden
 
I would give the game a 6/10. If you're a big fan of the developer or new to stealth games, I could see giving it a 7/10. If you compare it to the first two games and what LGS did at the time, it's a 5/10.

It just doesn't hold up well against the original games, used the advances in technology rather poorly (we end up with more of the limitations than advancements in current games,) and it isn't particularly fun to play, or at least you no longer have a sense of living in a world with rules rather than being confined with limitation after limitation.

The game basically uses old tech with next-gen post-processing effects, but it's a testament to the closed, confined design of current console games and it's not hard to spot the long, tortured development process for this game. On its own, it's a bit average to mediocre - for any one good thing, there is at least one countering bad thing, if not two. There are moments you can see where is was trying to be something bigger, but the numerous limitations/constraints/loading screens quickly make sure the game never steps out of that mediocrity. It is a generic game that, when looked at as a Thief game, really is a significant letdown that lacks cohesion or any grand scope.
The next Thief game, this aint.
Wondering how many times one game can make me hit the damn "E" button,
Ray

Edit: Updating of second sentence.

This comment was edited on Mar 4, 2014, 13:12.
 
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News Comments > Steam Family Library Sharing Live
10. Re: Steam Family Library Sharing Live Mar 1, 2014, 16:03 Ray Marden
 
Unless they changed it, you are authorizing access to your account on a specific piece of hardware. I go to somebody else's system, they log out of their Steam account on that hardware, I log into steam under my account credentials, I authorize access on that hardware, I log out of Steam, and that person logs back in - they should now see my games on that specific piece of hardware.

For reference, I had to complete this process on both my wife's laptop and my wife's desktop computer. Now, if you trust the other party so much that you are fine giving them the credentials to your account so they can pretend you are there, in person, authorization access, that may work. Well, unless Valve has come up an additional layer or protection requiring local proximity verification.

Otherwise, as others have stated, you cannot access other games under y our account while a separate, approved entity also plays a game under your account. Due to this, this is not the "share with friends and remote family" plan we would all clamor for, but more of a "share with your children/spouse locally" system.

At the end of the day, my wife and I rarely access one another's games, both due to the account restrictions and due to my games list being significantly larger than and overlapping hers. However, there have been two or three games where we've both wanted to play a certain PC game, but not to the point where it was worth picking up two copies of the game. In those cases, one of us plays the game on the specific Steam account while the other works, watches television, plays on the PS4 or Wii U, etc.

Ideally, I wish I could disable certain games on my account while other friends or remote family played them, but I suspect the developers and publishers would never go for this (or at least not in the current market.) I can see both sides - I can see this readily getting abused by others, but I also see many indie or single-player games that my wife and I will play once and then never again or games we might play co-op with one another, if a second full-price purchase wasn't required. This speaks to a bigger issues with developers and publishers, though; most of them have no system for family access. Don't get me started on the console developers/publishers that don't allow more than one save file for a given game or games that so fluff up the gameplay with collectibles that we would have to be insane to even contemplate separate games.
Our AC:BF game is on her profile. No achievements for mine!
Totally suffering from problems of the first world ,
Ray
 
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News Comments > THIEF Reviews
19. Re: THIEF Reviews Feb 24, 2014, 13:03 Ray Marden
 
Sigh. This game is making Deadly Shadows look good. If we're at 71% now, we'll probably end up in the mid to low 60s by the end of everything.

Overly abundant loot, inconsistent missions/levels, bad story, bland characters, interface and functionality issues, small design scope, the city hub being poorly designed, etc... This series was far better prior to Eidos "fixing" it.
R.I.P. Looking Glass.
Getting about what I expected from Eidos,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Editorial on Kickstarter Communication
24. Re: Editorial on Kickstarter Communication Feb 23, 2014, 07:11 Ray Marden
 
Creston,

You're coming off as an obsessed Schafer worshipper.

Non-backers still have some value as potential purchasers of the final game, as general gamers, and advocates of the general industry.

Otherwise, you're taking a completely harsh stance against people for having an opinion while bypassing the developer that received over eight times the requested funding, but that still changed the scope and design of the game after the fact.

Many people are seemingly fine with this, but not everybody was. Also, it speaks to some of the concerns regarding the risks of Kickstarter, the difficulty in making an adventure game for the modern market, Schafer's design/management, and the gaming industry's immature approach to communication - often trying to lock away all information.

I'm not screaming bloody murder about this, but I think Schafer got a bit of a pass; I can think of many other developers that would never have been allowed to do this or that get completely eviscerated by us without there ever being a financial component from our behalf.
Just saying...
Most concerned about a precedent being established,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Steamships Ahoy - Drunken Robot Pornography
1. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Drunken Robot Pornography Feb 19, 2014, 20:06 Ray Marden
 
This probably says something horrible about me, but the main video on their website did far more for me than the Wolfenstein one did.

Still not my cup of tea, but I was smiling all the same.
Me? Bored? What gave it away...
Wishing there was a demo,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Irrational Games Closing
43. Re: Irrational Games Closing Feb 19, 2014, 18:32 Ray Marden
 
Levine always seemed a bit coy about what he was doing after BI. I mean, it's not like he was going to announce his next game or anything, but he seemed a bit non-committal or even apathetic.

At the end of the day, Levine has no ownership of Irrational Games so I doubt he chose to shut down the studio. Obviously, he's been a polarizing figure over the years and BI may not have been the biggest seller, but he's being fairly open about what's going on and taking some steps to help the laid off staff.

I'd love to know the full background of things, but it's almost like he's trying to deal with some stuff and, because of his past records, Take-Two is willing to wage a small bet on his behalf.

As for Bioshock Infinite, I enjoyed the game, but it felt a bit lifeless. I was expecting a significantly more unique experience and the combat felt a bit flat. The ending really helped push up my internal favorability numbers of the game, thought I did find it striking how much more exciting of a world I created in my head, based upon the promotional materials, than what I eventually experienced.
What are "...narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable...?"
Noting that he is working on the Logan's Run screenplay,
Ray
 
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News Comments > PC Leads Developer Next Game Survey
7. Re: PC Leads Developer Next Game Survey Feb 19, 2014, 18:12 Ray Marden
 
I am skeptical of the number, but I would expect it to be higher this generation than last due to how similar the systems are.

Sadly, for the non-indie PC scene, if we get more and better ports, this is still a relative improvement...

Wishing free to pay would die off,
Ray Delusional, I know, but I wish...
 
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News Comments > Wolfenstein in May; Preorders Get Future DOOM Beta Access
27. Re: Wolfenstein in May; Preorders Get Future DOOM Beta Access Feb 19, 2014, 17:53 Ray Marden
 
First off, Rage was average. As id's single-player zenith, it was a fairly poor showing. For the theoretical potential of the people behind it, it was a significant letdown. Last, the gameplay suffered from the game having such a heavy focus on its tech - the same graphics tech that had framerate issues, worked poorly with then-current drivers, came with texture lag, small levels, low-polygon models, an abundance of low resolution texture mapping, etc. Should we discuss the driving component that was rather interesting, but completely out of place in the actual game and completely underutilized?

As for Wolfenstein, this game had good word of mouth out of E3, but it has never grabbed me. Theoretically, what we saw could be really good, but it comes off as really stupid action fluff. This series has been so pedestrian or full of itself for the last few releases, I am concerned this is more of the same - this trailer certainly hasn't helped anything.

As for the D4 beta, did they even show anything about it? Or am I just supposed to be excited for the second attempt at D4, coming after the darkness engine that was D3 and coming from one of the least creative and least exciting developers in the industry?
When is the last time an id game was really good?
Feeling like I am too old for that trailer,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
29. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2014, 05:14 Ray Marden
 
I don't think a subscription is inherently an issue, but the increased cost needs to be worth it. I don't want a market full of free to play/pay to win games.

However, I don't think this game is the one that manages to find the right mix of depth, new content, overall player experience, etc. TESO comes off as a bit confused as to its design and I fully expect it to go free to play after it mines the initial purchasers.
It's a bit boring and plays like Skyrim lite.
It's a shame the publishers are going straight for the pay to win paywalls rather than trying out lower prices for full games or trying sub-$15.00 subscription rates.

Noting how confining the world feels,
Ray
 
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News Comments > MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson
33. Re: MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson Jan 27, 2014, 17:59 Ray Marden
 
A bit sad, really.

I realize the financial data means this can be a "win" for MS, but I wish they would do more with the system than double down on "big dudes behind walls" game.
Here is to hoping they do something original and amazing.
Having given up on the series; not sure where the story is now,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Thief Previews; Videos
27. Re: Thief Previews; Videos Jan 26, 2014, 08:35 Ray Marden
 
You got me there - I meant to say "difficulty" rather than "challenge." It's easy to make a hard game, but hard to make a good game. And making a fun, challenging game has been the bane of many a developer's existence.

But otherwise, I generally agree with challenge being important; it can play a big part in enjoying a game, although I would open up the door (perhaps more than many others) for other items. And balance plays has more weight with me as I get older; I like challenging games within a certain gameplay or mechanic structure, but I have no love for games that blatantly cheat to make things "hard."
A sh*tty camera in a 3D game is just lazy and cheap, for example.
Wanting better versions of the old games I play, not rehashed, simplified ones,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Thief Previews; Videos
24. Re: Thief Previews; Videos Jan 26, 2014, 07:37 Ray Marden
 
Jerykk,

Eurogamer is not the only outlet to talk about noteworthy shortcomings or outright negative things about this game. Rev 3 Games, Weekend Confirmed, Giant Bombcast, IGN podcasts, EpicBattleAxe, etc.

Prior to making my earlier post, I did watch the Eurogamer video and it seemed to confirm the items I was concerned with or letdown by. However, I just watched the Games.on.net video and it brings up some shortcomings of the game as well - Erin being the first contender for the most irritating character of the year (again, the removal of Russell was unwarranted given the poor end quality of the abundant, gameplay-stopping cinematics,) the restriction on jumping and climbable surfaces giving them the impression of a more jigsaw-like game than an open-world game, the game being ugly in quite a few areas, particularly the non-PC platforms, and noting the removal of the XP and quicktime systems (overall improvements, but raising many concerns about the original design intent and the impact that intent will have on the final product.)

As ever, you fall back on challenge. In that regards, you hopefully concede that you are different than many gamers...or let me say that I approach games from a different perspective. Time and time and time again, I have seen you comment on the challenge of a game above all else. Absolutely, I believe it can help shape one's impression of a game (too easy, too hard, can make actions boring, can build a sense of accomplishments, creates a challenge, etc.,) but I often view it as just one piece of the puzzle along with sound design, level design, gameplay mechanics, puzzles, exploration, story, new experience factor, improvement upon prior iterations, etc.

Look, I bough the game yesterday from GMG for $31.50. It's sufficiently Thief-like for my preferences, stealth games are few and far between, this is one of only two games releasing in February I have any interest in, the price was right for all these things, the more recent previews have spoken to a higher level of design quality than earlier previews, etc. But I'll be damned if I cannot already see a number of things that I would love to change or am immediately concerned about.

I think, or at least hope, that's the big difference here. I now effectively own the game, but I want it to be better and think it could have done a lot more given the pedigree of the series and the improvements in both design and technology over the past decade. You and others seem to like this a lot more than others. That's honestly great. However, a seeming belief that the game is amazing or good enough and there shouldn't be any other comments about shortcomings or aspirations for a greater game is something I find particularly saddening. In my book, being blind to shortcomings or halting acknowledgment of them is a race to mediocrity.
Personal preference =/= quality =/= purchase.
Able to like flawed games; able to critique amazing games,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Thief Previews; Videos
16. Re: Thief Previews; Videos Jan 25, 2014, 10:16 Ray Marden
 
It looks like the game is going to be a bit average - not a great action game, not a great stealth game, and neither honoring nor learning from its predecessors.

This is better than I expected, given the garbage they were trying to sell us on (prior to trying to roll a lot of it back at the last moment,) but it's not what I was hoping for. Small, linear, missing atmosphere, limited exploration, minimalizing the punishment for being caught, making the search for loot mundane, scaling back the mystical elements, the jarring swoop for numerous actions, abundant cinematics of lackluster impact(meaning removing Russell was unwarranted,) a design focused around making core gameplay easier, light story, etc.

From where they started, this better than I expected, but it's certainly not what I wanted. I am skeptical this will appeal to the masses they were lusting after and it's certainly not what I would look for in a sequel to the first two Thief games. The one improvement I've consistently heard is that the levels are more detailed, but it's been over a decade and is easily offset by the small levels and mundane mixture of gameplay elements - the "magic" seems to be missing.

Didn't we already go through this phase with Deadly Shadows? A decade later, this is where we are at? And the troubled design process didn't result in these failings or at least shortcomings?

Worried this will be small, short, and boring,
Ray With no other games in February, I guess I can pay $31.50.
 
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
38. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 06:50 Ray Marden
 
As a true fan of the two Thief games, this game seems to make a number of questionable, it not outright insulting, decisions.

At this point, I don't know what to make of this game. The first presentations were really atrocious (stereotypical new developer coming in to rework a classis series it doesn't understand, trying to maximize the general appeal,) but some of the more recent previews/podcasts have talked about this possibly being a good game, if they can tweak a number of mechanics. I've heard or read just as many good things as bad things, though.
The game is a month away and the industry doesn't know what it is.
Currently, for myself, the most appealing item of this game is that it comes out in February and that we are in the gaming drought of the next-gen launch cycle. Beyond that, I have to wait for good reviews before I will consider buying this game (no $31 GMG purchase for me.) Otherwise, my concern is that this will be Deadly Shadows: 2014 and is going to make some really stupid changes to the Thief world.

Worried that some have no comprehension of why people loved Thief,
Ray
 
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News Comments > Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES
3. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 12:38 Ray Marden
 
Er...what?

If it was a layman, I would tell them to go buy a PS4. If somebody was serious about building and maintaining a PC, I would handpick components and discuss overclocking.
Heck, even for all the functionality a normal PC would have.
Maybe there is this really big group of slightly timid, but slightly interested PC gamers in the making that just need to have a prebuilt box, but I'm not otherwise sure who this is aimed at. The OS hasn't managed to double gaming performance, right?

Expecting these to die off,
Ray
 
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News Comments > etc.
8. Re: etc. Jan 4, 2014, 16:19 Ray Marden
 
SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

I mean, that game was only $5...
And Humble Bundles are totally for charity...uh...yeah...
Wondering why Steam is telling me I already own that game ,
Ray
 
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News Comments > On Sale
43. Re: On Sale Dec 30, 2013, 06:13 Ray Marden
 
There is a cloning mechanic, but otherwise it goes in a different direction than P.B. Winterbottom. Everything is controlled in real time, no recording, with an emphasis on timing, location, and environmental factors.

I never played PBW, but it seemed to be based more around set game pieces (platformer screens) whereas The Swapper is built around working through the setting you find yourself in.

Thinking any puzzle game fan should give it a whirl,
Ray's body
 
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