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User information for Tom Francis

Real Name Tom Francis   
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Nickname Pentadact
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Aug 30, 2002, 19:44
Total Comments 11 (Suspect)
User ID 14136
User comment history
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News Comments > Darwinia Demo Plans
28. Re: crying babies suck Jan 30, 2005, 04:55 Pentadact
"we've obviously misjudged the amount of help that games players need"

To me, sounds like a excuse for bad game design. Potential reasons to not explain the goals of your game.

Bad demo choice - the beta leads you in gently and explains each thing as it comes up. This is the third level, to be tackled once you have a good grasp of the basics and know why you're here and what you're doing.

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News Comments > Robocop Demo
20. Re: No subject May 22, 2003, 13:21 Pentadact
> I use mouse1 forward, mouse2 back, z right, x left...

How do you fire?

There's an article in a recent UK PC Gamer in defense of using the cursor keys instead of WASD. There's a certain logic to it, but for most games there just aren't enough keys near to your movement directions to easily perform all the functions the game allows.

These days I'm using Q and E to cycle through my inventory. It works really well. (I've never been much of a leaner).

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News Comments > Elite Force II Demo
90. Re: No subject May 8, 2003, 18:10 Pentadact
Damn. I'm in my third year of a maths degree at the moment, it makes the little mistakes more embarrassing.

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News Comments > Chaser Demo
34. Re: No subject May 7, 2003, 14:54 Pentadact
Didn't have any problems with the AI. I don't like how high they can jump and how far they can fall, but the AI uses the trick impressively at times.

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News Comments > Chaser Demo
33. Re: No subject May 7, 2003, 14:53 Pentadact
It is amazing how fast it runs given that it looks pretty great. The metallic effect is overdone on the doors in the tutorial, but looks great on the weapons. There is definitely something odd about the reflections in the water.

The cyborgs are no fun - no ragdoll physics or dismemberment or even gibbing, so their deaths feel about as real as Doom. But! The pistol is fantastic. The noise is loud without being annoying, and the rate of fire is great. Plus it's accurate and does reasonable damage (compared to pistols in most games).

To the guy who didn't hear sounds for a lot of stuff: I think you just have a sound problem - everything you mentioned has a sound effect. That said, the more rapid fire weapons (machinegun and Mac) are curiously quiet for me.

If the enemies and environments were a little more inventive, it could have been really great. As it is, it's interesting and technologically impressive - I'd like to see more engines as efficiently written as this.

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News Comments > Elite Force II Demo
86. Re: No subject May 7, 2003, 09:12 Pentadact
Ah, thanks for clearing that up.

I am expecting there to be the odd investigative mission in Elite Force 2, but I'm willing to bet the gameplay is going to be very predominantly action-shooter, waves-of-aliens type stuff. Anyway, let's hope the story helps justify the mission types and ties it into a more Star Trek universe.

I'm expecting Deus Ex 2 to be God too, and I agree with the equation.

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News Comments > Elite Force II Demo
82. Re: No subject May 5, 2003, 09:30 Pentadact
Oh, also: I'm going to miss the choice to play a female character. I can only imagine they took this out because they wanted to take a romance plot line further than they did in the first one, but that just makes it worse - the flirting in the first one was great if you were playing as the female Alex.

It looks like we have to turn to Deus Ex 2 for some Alex/Alex fun now.

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News Comments > Elite Force II Demo
81. Re: No subject May 5, 2003, 09:27 Pentadact
To me it seems like games are just one level down from an acceptable compromise between safe bets and innovation - Elite Force 2 -is- much better than Unreal 2, from the demos, but it's just the arcadey, endless-waves-of-aliens, energy-weapons-blazing type of thing you'd expect from Unreal 2. A Star Trek game should be something different, not just for the sake of originality, but for the sake of the license - I don't remember seeing many shotguns and machineguns in Star Trek, but because it's an FPS they had to put them in, or their thinly disguised energy equivalents.

I would have loved to have seen a game where you play an actual Starfleet officer like in everything else Star Trek, not some armoured, tooled-up action game version of one. You could choose science, medical, security, engineering or command, and only security would get a weapon other than a phaser, and that would just be the phase-rifles. Your tricorders would be different - you could heal people and yourself with a medical tricorder, analyse your surroundings better with a science one, etc. You'd have to investigate places and decide what to do, rather than just hold down fire when the aliens appear from nowhere. The view modes were a nice idea, but don't make much sense (what does the tricorder do, replace your eyes?), and in the demo are only used to highlight the painfully obvious, the trick that's was old by the end of Duke Nukem 3D - there's a crack in that, blow it up!

Unreal 2 should have been like this - the absurd energy shotgun - however un-Star Trek - is satisfying to use, and the enemies react well to being blown up, flying back or exploding. Sadly Unreal 2 was a whole level less original, and Elite Force 2 has little to do with Star Trek - none of the aliens, completely different weapons, showers-of-gore gameplay, they didn't even let you have a normal Starfleet uniform. It's not a bad game, just like the first one wasn't, but it's sad to see a license with so much potential - potential specifically suited to a first person game - thrown away and replaced with generic arcade mediocrity that completely ignores it.

PS. I think the plot of Elite Force 2 is going to explain the apparent presence of Picard, and the fact that the shuttle is Enterprise, but in general, the first and the second game are primarily set on Voyager - the full title is Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force 2.

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News Comments > DOOM: The Movie Update
64. Re: Doom Movie Sep 28, 2002, 13:33 Pentadact
There's a bit of potential for a movie in which there's a sole protagonist, whose face you never see, wandering alone, anonymous and silent through a surrealist techno-nightmare.

But let's face it, it's going to be lame. Unless The Onion tell me its absolutely brilliant, I'll go with my strong suspicions and never, ever see it.

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News Comments > Morrowind Add-on?
16. Re: Is it over-rated? Sep 3, 2002, 14:12 Pentadact
Basically, it's incredibly exciting at first, but the play can be slow once you're fully used to the game. How long that takes varies wildly - the main quest is -long-, and I've spent about six times the time it takes to complete the game on it, and for a long time it was my favourite game ever. It's deeply beautiful and the plot and politics and culture is the richest I've ever seen in anything, but I have to admit that these days I can't be bothered with it because there's so much walking and searching involved.

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News Comments > NOLF 2 Playable Teaser
52. Re: Intelligence Items Aug 30, 2002, 17:53 Pentadact
Yeah, I didn't find it too hard to get that flyer, although I hated -hated- how hard it was to pick things up in general.

Even on easy mode I needed to pick up every shuriken the ninja women dropped, and I needed to do it whilst being attacked on several fronts. No other game has ever made it so moronically difficult to pick up important items.


Also, I found there's a sofa chair which, when you jump onto it and then jump up, lets you get caught in a whirlwind that flings you across the level. Near where you land (exactly where you land if you don't air-move) is an oven from which you can jump and get the same effect again. Only found those two places so far, but I wonder if there isn't a series of them where each blows you to the next and you end up back at the first?

They're pointless, incidentally - no benefit at all.

This comment was edited on Aug 30, 17:55.
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