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User information for John Smith

Real Name John Smith   
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Nickname SBlat
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
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Homepage http://
Signed On Apr 8, 2009, 18:16
Total Comments 168 (Novice)
User ID 54883
 
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News Comments > Rebellion Wants to do AvP Sequel
10. Re: Rebellion Wants to do AvP Sequel Feb 23, 2010, 19:10 SBlat
 
"If you discount those poor reviews AvP is averaging high for us."

That "for us" is pretty sad. Even if you drop the 3 lowest scores, it still only averages in the low 70s.

But he's right, that would be the best metacritic score Rebellion's ever gotten.

This comment was edited on Feb 23, 2010, 19:39.
 
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News Comments > ImpulseTV Launched
8. Re: ImpulseTV Launched Feb 18, 2010, 20:52 SBlat
 
I couldn't quite make it through an entire video, but they're clearly ads. Just not very interesting, very long, and awkwardly narrated ones. Though I don't really understand why they'd hire these folks to make ads for the games in their store and then not even stick the ads up on the web. Steam puts/links trailers on their pages, but Impulse expects you to download a client just to watch their ads?

Anyway, here's the URL to the flash control Impulse is embedding if you want to try watching them in your browser without downloading Impulse. It can get kind of messed up in Firefox though, if you try resizing the window:

http://impulsetv.impulsedriven.com/ImpulseTv.swf
 
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News Comments > Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend
2. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 11:16 SBlat
 
It was 75% off for a day during the holiday sale, but I wasn't going to just purchase it blindly. It's just too different and has had too much ambivalence from reviews and comments for me to not want to try a demo before getting it, so good move on their part, at least for folks like me. Though I suppose I'll then have the stumbling block of whether it's worth it at 50% off when it was 75% off just a over a month ago.  
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News Comments > EA Server Shutdowns
26. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Feb 17, 2010, 10:54 SBlat
 
Moog wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 06:01:
Mercs2 never support LAN mode - to play co-op you had to be signed into their online service. So, once they remove this, Mercs2 becomes a single player game only.

Google "Mercs 2 emulator". As usual, it's the pirates who are providing the best customer service.
 
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Aliens vs Predator, Dedicated Server Plans
7. Re: Ships Ahoy - Aliens vs Predator, Dedicated Server Plans Feb 16, 2010, 18:44 SBlat
 
Ventura wrote on Feb 16, 2010, 18:20:
Would it have killed them to have just put the game on the disc, you know, like NORMAL?

They probably did, but there's a bug in Steam that makes it ignore the disc sometimes. I've been bit by it before too, and have sat and waited 6 hours installing a game "off a DVD" while Steam instead chugged along getting everything from the net instead (just to add insult to injury, the download didn't even include the latest patches, which were another separate download when I tried to launch the game!).

Apparently there's a workaround, though I don't know if it works.
 
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News Comments > On Sale
11. Re: THQ Complete Pack on Steam. Save 50% Feb 13, 2010, 12:26 SBlat
 
Prez wrote on Feb 13, 2010, 03:17:
I'm afraid that they may end up lost, however. Steam is pretty stingy usually in this regard from my experience.

The only games you get to gift duplicates of are HL2, HL2: Episode 1, four-packs, and pre-order bonuses. So with the Bioshock 2 promotion, for example, you could gift Bioshock 1 (because it was a pre-order bonus), and if you bought a four-pack you could gift the duplicate Bioshock 2s.

But with normal purchases, there's no gifting of extra copies, especially when it's part of a bundle.
 
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News Comments > On Sale
4. Re: On Sale Feb 12, 2010, 22:32 SBlat
 
I think this list is missing Fallout 3 GOTY Edition on Direct2Drive, which seems to be the main game in their Valentine's Day sale (it has the biggest banner anyway). That said, I think you should probably avoid Fallout 3 on D2D since FOSE doesn't work with the D2D version, apparently. Unless there's something different about FO3 GOTY on D2D from the older non-GOTY edition on D2D.

Zadig wrote on Feb 12, 2010, 21:42:
An expansion is supposedly coming that'll fix things.

This is on reddit right now. It's in open beta for any owner of M&B to try, just copy your key into the form at http://beta.taleworlds.com/download.aspx

On steam right-click the game, select "View game CD key" to get your key.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands Patch
1. Re: Borderlands Patch Feb 2, 2010, 17:40 SBlat
 
I like the game, but it would have been nice to have gotten a real PC port from Gearbox.

It's sad that this patch has taken over 3 months yet is still only focused on just a bare minimum of trying to make the game functional for most folks (fixing graphics and networking problems). Sad that it's taking this long this late after release to get these fixes, and sad that the bare minimum of getting it running is all they're interested in providing.

On the plus side, I think this is the first Borderlands update that hasn't wiped out my settings. Still includes Securom on the steam version though.
 
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News Comments > On Sale
5. Re: On Sale Jan 29, 2010, 21:58 SBlat
 
Prez wrote on Jan 29, 2010, 21:26:
Red Faction Guerrilla is a must-buy at that price. You can get 5 bucks' worth of fun just running around with the sledgehammer destroying shit.

Hear, hear! I want more games to let me destroy buildings.

I have no idea what DRM the D2D copy is using, but I think retail copies use Impulse?! Maybe D2D is the same.

XCom and FF packs for $2 each are also steals.
 
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News Comments > GTA4: Episodes from Liberty City to PCs in March
14. Re: GTA4: Episodes from Liberty City to PCs in March Jan 29, 2010, 12:13 SBlat
 
Rosco wrote on Jan 29, 2010, 12:03:
Nameless wrote on Jan 29, 2010, 10:54:
^^Aero: If you check the Sales comments between 12/23-1/3, when the Steam sale was going on, you'll find a link on how to disable the Rockstar Social club and GFWL BS that comes with GTA IV.

Link please?

Xliveless -- it's a DLL you just extract into the GTA4 folder which overrides the GFWL and Social Club support.

If you already have saved games in an gfwl online profile, you'll need to move the files to the new savefile location too.

EDIT: Oh, but it disables online play (I think LAN still works). You need to use GFWL and Social Club if you want that.

This comment was edited on Jan 29, 2010, 12:14.
 
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News Comments > Apple iPad Announced
13. Re: Apple iPad Announced Jan 27, 2010, 15:16 SBlat
 
The 3G versions aren't actually locked to any provider, Apple have arranged availability of a special prepaid plan from AT&T, but you can pop any SIM card in there.

I imagine it will still be just as locked down as an iPhone, but I wonder if not having to maintain network locking for a subsidizing partner means Apple won't be nearly as hostile to jailbreaking this time around. On the other hand, it has a built-in microphone and I suppose availability of a VOIP/Google Voice app would destroy AT&T's willingness to offer unlimited data for $30/month.

Even if I don't especially want one if it's going to be kept under the thumb of Apple Inc., I am curious to hear more about Apple's custom-designed CPU. That's an interesting twist, even if it was inevitable after they bought that CPU company.

I also hope having someone with the design sense of Apple competing against them in the ebook market spurs Amazon to work on the really horrid font quality on the Kindle. Jagged edges just aren't excusable on a ~170 DPI display.
 
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News Comments > On Sale
1. Re: On Sale Jan 26, 2010, 23:05 SBlat
 
Psychonauts is a great game. Maybe a little heavier on great humour and a great story and setting than on pitch perfect gameplay, but the whole package is still one of the top games out there and for $2 you really shouldn't pass it up.  
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News Comments > Ubisoft Plans Mandatory Online Authentication
16. Re: Ubisoft Plans Mandatory Online Authentication Jan 26, 2010, 11:34 SBlat
 
I was just wondering about this yesterday. The beta for Settlers 7 requires installing "Startup Utilities" and to play you run an Ubisoft Game Launcher, which requires logging into an ubi.com account.

It was much too slick to be meant only for beta control, and it includes generic text when you enter your beta cd key about the game being permanently tied to your ubi.com account.

This year is looking like it's going to be full of really annoying DRM experiments on all the big budget PC games.
 
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News Comments > Zombie Driver Demo and Patch
8. Re: Zombie Driver Demo and Patch Jan 23, 2010, 14:59 SBlat
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 23, 2010, 10:29:
THe game is fun, but the top down camera spin crap gets annoying...haevn't looked yet, but is there a way to keep the screen still ala GTA? The turn and spin gets a little much....
There's a "static" camera in the options, which moves less. It still has the same problem I have with the default camera, though; it takes too long to catch up when you turn 180. Considering a large part of the game is going back and forth through the crowd of zombies in front of houses, it's a bit annoying not being able to see where you are going if you spin around too quickly after each pass.

Veinman wrote on Jan 22, 2010, 08:01:
I got it during the steam holiday sale as well. I've been enjoying it. I do think it would play better with a gamepad but I don't have a good one for my PC.
This game is great with a controller. I love it when games allow you to use the analog triggers on an xbox360 controller for throttle and brakes, and when there's actually a reason to use analog inputs for them. The driving feels good, and that's important for a game like this.

Wired xbox360 controllers are often pretty cheap (I think I got mine for $20 with free shipping) and make a good default controller choice since they have a USB plug and windows already ships with the drivers (you don't have to pay extra for a "for Windows" version, that just includes a CD with the drivers which are included in XP SP2+, and free to download anyway). Everything's started supporting them these days, usually with good default button mappings too. And having those analog triggers is great for driving games.
 
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News Comments > On OnLive Testing
12. Re: On OnLive Testing Jan 23, 2010, 14:32 SBlat
 
OnLive trying to shut the article down via DMCA demands is just horrid, and makes me suspect the worst about them and the feasibility of their service.

But when a... "journalist" can only offer up a defense of "just wanting to start a discussion" after holes start being punched in his story, it's hard to really have much respect.

He used a beta service under conditions it's not yet designed for, used only that experience to prejudge its final form, and then published the whole thing without so much as an "unavailable for comment" from OnLive. It's like taking an early build of a multiplayer game, still in such an early state that the developers are only testing it on their LAN, going and trying to play it on the internet, and then announcing it will be unplayable when released. And kicking it for looking crappy and unfinished too.

The rebuttal from OnLive is valid and devastates this reportage. It's fully believable that a company would want to concentrate on getting the fundamentals of the service working properly in ideal conditions before switching on added complexity like location detection/switching or bandwidth sensing, especially when they think they've selected a closed group of testers with known locations and ISPs.

Even the complaints about graphics quality are meaningless, since it's entirely possible it doesn't affect whatever they're currently focused on testing and so are saving some money on servers during the current phase of the closed beta.

But OnLive's attempt to stifle bad press, even when it's this poorly researched, is inexcusable. It creates suspicion that they're overpromising and want to hide it, even in those who weren't suspecting it before. And it marks them as a company nobody should want to do business with. They should have published a rebuttal and left it at that, instead of showing themselves this villainous.

This article is worthless, and leaves us knowing nothing we wouldn't if it had never been written. Nothing it contains can be used to guess how the service currently works, or how it will work once it's setup to be used in general. It shows the author as misinformed and unprofessional. But OnLive have responded in an even worse manner.
 
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News Comments > No More Burnout Paradise DLC
19. Re: No More Burnout Paradise DLC Jan 22, 2010, 16:12 SBlat
 
nin wrote on Jan 22, 2010, 13:42:
Dunno. On the 360 you hit the right D pad and it's in the options to restart.

Yup, this works on an xbox360 controller on the PC too. The options say the keyboard equivalent is numpad 6 (and then 2, 4, 6, and 8 to navigate the menu). I think that menu is the only way to trigger the restart option. It was added in one of the many patches that came out before the PC version, and they were all integrated in the PC version from release day.

Burnout does have a confusing interface sometimes. There's that embedded IE browser when you first start up (which I don't think you can return to once you "enter paradise city", short of quitting and starting back up, not that there is much there anyway), there's that "main menu" where you cycle between several screens worth of menus with F1 and F2 (and which removes the reminder of using the function keys when you hit the store page), and then there's the "easy drive menu" which has a whole different set of options from anything on the other menus, some as part of a very deep hierarchy.

Aside from actually unifying all the options and commands into one place, it could also do with some more in-game help. I guess I'm going to have to actually read the manual to find out how I'm supposed to know where it thinks I'm racing to when those time trials start while I'm just driving around. Or what the freeburns, or photo finishes, or any of the countless other things various (disconnected) menus allow me to see I have 0/XXX of actually are. Or if there's yet another system of menus somewhere that I've missed.

But it sure is fun driving around looking for billboards and gates to destroy, and I'm sure the races and other events will start to get challenging as I get a higher license. And I just tried one of the two bikes you start with and discovered they're even faster than any of the cars I have, which is fun. I also seem to have the "best time" on a number of time trials even though I usually don't notice when they've started, and have no idea what I'm supposed to do when I do notice. And I have no idea if it means best time for myself, or on an online scoreboard, or amongst a small number of similarly ranked people, or why it sometimes starts telling me which online players have the best "offline" times.
 
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News Comments > Company of Heroes Soundtracks Free
6. Re: Company of Heroes Soundtracks Free Jan 22, 2010, 14:49 SBlat
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jan 22, 2010, 02:19:
Wish I could find more game soundtracks around.

There's a thread on the GOG.com forums about free soundtracks, with a big list of them. Looks like he's even updated it with these COH soundtracks already.

And I don't know about steam, but I can confirm my disc-installed copy of X3 Reunion has a soundtrack subdirectory full of 99 unnamed, untagged mp3s, just like Narf2029 said.
 
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News Comments > On Sale
10. Re: On Sale Jan 22, 2010, 11:03 SBlat
 
So what does everybody think of the Tales of Valor standalone/expansion for COH? The gold pack is $5 cheaper than the pack with ToV... is ToV worth the $5?  
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News Comments > No More Burnout Paradise DLC
9. Re: No More Burnout Paradise DLC Jan 20, 2010, 19:49 SBlat
 
Jim wrote on Jan 20, 2010, 19:12:
On the 360 isn't that because MS requires content to be paid for? I'm certain that I read something in article about the recent expansion having to have a cost to satisfy MS.

I've read that too, but it doesn't change the fact that Burnout still has more DLC available for it on consoles than any Valve game. Sure it's because Valve's preference for tons of small, free updates doesn't mesh well with a DLC marketplace, but Burnout apparently had 4-5 free content-including console patches too. Even if it's not Valve's fault that console distribution methods aren't working for them, from a console-owner point of view you have the end result that L4D1 is Valve's most well supported title, yet only has a total of 1 free content patch and 1 DLC available for it, compared to Burnout's 4-5 free content patches and 7 DLCs.

But from a PC owner's point of view, Criterion's claim of being good at DLC seems laughable, when they're counting an unlock cheat as one of only 4 DLCs. They only have one more real DLC than Mass Effect or Borderlands, and Borderlands seems likely to tie them soon. I haven't kept track of Dragon's Age, but they've probably already surpassed Burnout's count too, though I guess they're having problems actually getting stuff released.

Plus with Steam's news filling up everyday with announcements of new DLC for that train sim on there (how many hundreds of dollars is it totaling now?), I'm not sure they have more no matter what version of Burnout's DLC you're comparing.

And then Valve's free content releases are not just so plentiful, but also such big events it's hard to consider anything being more "well supported" than TF2.

But that's on a PC, and I'm sure it looks very different when playing on a console.
 
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News Comments > No More Burnout Paradise DLC
7. Re: No More Burnout Paradise DLC Jan 20, 2010, 19:03 SBlat
 
DarkCntry wrote on Jan 20, 2010, 18:27:
Wait, what DLC (or just added content) has Valve done for a single game that outnumbers that of the DLC in Burnout Paradise?

Probably depends on which platform you're being blind to. On the PC Criterion only did one wave of DLC. Three car packs (and I think toys, legendary, and boost are all modified base cars, not anything entirely new, either), and a purchasable unlock code. And nothing for free, aside from a patch adding the above DLC to the in-game store.

Whereas Valve in turn have released virtually nothing on consoles. TF2 is still in near-release form, isn't it? And L4D1 has had one free content patch and one DLC.
 
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168 Comments. 9 pages. Viewing page 3.
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