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User information for Fion McCumal

Real Name Fion McCumal   
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Nickname Fion
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Signed On Jun 18, 2003, 22:23
Total Comments 3575 (Veteran)
User ID 17499
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News Comments > Divinity: Original Sin 2 in September
4. Re: Divinity: Original Sin 2 in September May 24, 2017, 23:51 Fion
Where did I leave my time machine now... damn it. I need to go back in time to September 15th, 2016!  
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News Comments > Overwatch Anniversary Event; Free Weekend; GotY Edition Coming
2. Re: Overwatch Anniversary Event; Free Weekend; GotY Edition Coming May 17, 2017, 22:50 Fion
Ah, I had an insanely good time with this game, putting a few hundred hours in with a bunch of friends both IRL and Online. Def worth $60 for me. I dropped it a while ago because there's no real reason to play. You can either feel frustrated in competitive or just screw around in casual and feel like your not improving.

There are a lot of people who have left the game for these reasons. They need to institute new modes and fix the problems that make competitive feel frustrating and just not fun.

The competitive scene is fun to watch though, but that's about as much Overwatch as I get into these days.
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News Comments > Mass Effect Series on Hold?
43. Re: Mass Effect Series on Hold? May 11, 2017, 13:13 Fion
I'm disappointed to see the series go on Hold, but if that improves the quality of the games future installments, I'm all for it. I'd love to see - as others have suggested - a return to the Milky Way, but that opens a can of worms best left closed.

Mass Effect Andromeda is a great heroic story set in a boring game. I think they focused to much on the combat - which gets pretty boring itself because you end up facing the same 5 aliens, 5 robots & 5 animals everywhere you go. By mid-game on the 2nd to hardest difficulty I could punch through a pack of 15+ aliens in under 30 seconds easy, and that wasn't even while using one of the various super powerful builds out there. With the challenge gone and yet another planet full of boring fetch/kill/fedex quests - half of which were broken - it doesn't matter how good the story gets, I can't bring myself to keep playing.

This is the same problem DA:I had. Fantastic story, fun combat, but the base game was rather boring and filled with pointless side-quests. At least in MEA you can see which ones are semi-interesting and which ones are just simple useless 'tasks', but you cant like quit a task, and when half of the quests are broken anyway.. what's the point?

I had more than my fair share of complaints of Mass Effect 2 & 3. I felt the focus on great combat reduced focus on just making a great game. With MEA it's obvious they didn't learn this lesson and only compounded the problem.

At some point I'll force myself to finish this game - and DA:I. The main stories in both are fantastic, MEA's just takes a while to get there (according to several friends who finished it). But as I said.. great stories set in boring games make for mediocrity.
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News Comments > Star Trek: Bridge Crew Gets Watson AI
7. Re: Star Trek: Bridge Crew Gets Watson AI May 11, 2017, 12:55 Fion
This game is VR's killer app. Seamless multi-player that puts you and three of your friends in a cooperative strategy game that is every nerds fantasy?

The price point on VR still needs to come down. Unless you already own a PS4, it's a $1000 investment - and that's for the lowest quality VR on the market. The price is significantly higher if your PC isn't up to the (very high) required specs. Not to mention that until now most VR games are app-style '5 minutes of goofy fun'where you flip burgers or search rooms or experience jump scares.
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News Comments > etc.
3. Re: Morning Legal Briefs May 10, 2017, 12:55 Fion
It's sad that Bioware hasn't put out a truly great game since they were bought by EA. The last two ME games were very good, in their own way, but they weren't great. Dragon Age: Inquisition was very good in some respects, but not great. Even ME:A which I ardently refused to dislike, eventually I had to come to the conclusion that it just has to many major issues and I quit playing it. I haven't done that in a Bioware game since Dragon Age 2.

Just goes to show how EA can buy a company that consistently churns out some of the best games in video gaming history and turn it to shit.
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
15. Re: Morning Consolidation May 10, 2017, 12:15 Fion
The console market has been shrinking in the last few years so that trend is obviously going to impact the sale of these mid-cycle step-ups.

And FYI, most PC gamers don't exist on the 'bleeding edge'. Most of us have $800 PCs that they built and then spend about $3-400 every two or three years on a new video card, CPU or Monitor with the latest tech; so that they can play at high or highest specs at a decent FPS.

It's easier and less expensive than it ever has been to get into PC gaming, which is why it's booming atm... why steam itself has gone from ~2m concurrent users on your average weekday to ~12 million in like the last year+. PC gamings dominance in E-sports has helped a great deal as well.

This comment was edited on May 10, 2017, 12:33.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
1. Re: Morning Metaverse May 1, 2017, 10:28 Fion
Why Arenít More Cord-Cutters Flocking To Live-TV Streaming Services?

Because after I cut the cord a few years ago I started to become disinterested in live TV shows I used to watch regularly. i realized I was watching those shows for 'something to do' and to justify my $200 a month bundled cable bill. Today the only regular TV shows I watch are some BBC shows like Doctor Who (which I have to torrent & steam to my TV) and the CW Arrowverse shows, which I used to do the same but now they have a free streaming app.

I also cut the cord because I was sick of commercials. Every year we get 5-10 seconds closer to 50% Show/50% Commercials in an hour. Right now it's something like 19 minutes of them per hour. That's insane! In comparison the UK averages 8 minutes per hour.

Besides, if you love that 'live TV' experience, get a freaking $20 Antenna. You can get 15-25 (or more depending on where you live) live, local channels that stream in HD with higher image & sound quality than cable EVER HAD. Why pay for a streaming tv subscription when all it offers beyond that is a dying ESPN.

This comment was edited on May 1, 2017, 10:43.
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News Comments > The Surge Trailer
3. Re: The Surge Trailer Apr 20, 2017, 14:25 Fion
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News Comments > The Surge Trailer
2. Re: The Surge Trailer Apr 20, 2017, 14:22 Fion
I think it's a soulsian game (I.e. in the style of gameplay started by the Dark Souls series). Looks fairly interesting, if linear looking. The combat looks fast and tight.  
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News Comments > Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Launches
6. Re: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Launches Apr 18, 2017, 14:37 Fion
That's why they're called 'adventure games' mate.

To each their own, I just think the story in some of their best is worth the 'point & click' nature of the gameplay.
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News Comments > Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Launches
4. Re: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Launches Apr 18, 2017, 14:21 Fion
You really should JohnOP. The storytelling alone is worth it and the individual episodes on a game are generally 1-2 hours long so perfect for short play sessions between other stuff.

If you want to find yourself engulfed in amazing storytelling, I recommend checking out Walking Dead Season 1 & 2, The Wolf Among Us. Tales from the Borderlands has a big more twitch to it and a hilarious story - especially if your a fan of Borderlands series. But really the Walking Dead S1/2 are stories that cannot be recommended enough. Telltale blew away anything the show or comic ever attempted to accomplish.

Been very much looking forward to diving into the GotG series!
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News Comments > Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit Next Month
2. Re: Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit Next Month Apr 14, 2017, 14:40 Fion
I've had a lot of fun with Cities: Skylines over the last several years, playing it off and on. The DLC are typically high quality and add a nice extra bit of depth to the gameplay and this seems like it'll do the same.

Hopefully for folks like Cutter steam will do a sale on the base game + current DLC around the time this comes out.
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News Comments > Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Released
15. Re: Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Released Apr 12, 2017, 13:47 Fion
The spells in PsT were one of its coolest features. In the 6 or 7 times over the years I've played through the game I've played mage like 70% of the time because their spell fx are so crazy. Spell duels are the best in PsT.  
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
6. Re: Evening Tech Bits Apr 1, 2017, 13:32 Fion
Ah... Vulkan is OpenGL, it used to be called 'OpenGL Next'.  
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News Comments > Cyberpunk 2077 in Full Development; More Witcher Games Likely
16. Re: Cyberpunk 2077 in Full Development; More Witcher Games Likely Mar 31, 2017, 13:54 Fion
I haven't finished Witcher 3 + it's massive DLCs yet either. I'm at the end of the main title (or every near it) but I haven't started either of the DLCs. Mostly because I thought it the last and just didn't want it to end.

Hoped for Ciri spinoff maybe?

Seriously hyped for Cyberpunk 2077. Even though we haven't even seen it yet lol. If it's half as good as Witcher 3 it'll be a high quality & memorable title.
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News Comments > U.K. Sales Charts
3. Re: U.K. Sales Charts Mar 27, 2017, 13:25 Fion
I'm not that far in, just hit my 2nd major planet (Angaran home world) I'm thoroughly enjoying myself. The story is good, intriguing and you really feel like a space pioneer. The companion characters - animation issues aside - are really strong, like second only to DA:I's incredible companion characters. I'm already starting to feel attached to some of them and as much as I love the squadmates from the original trilogy I'd say I didn't feel this way about most of them until the 2nd game. Well all accept Liara. My Femshep main fell for her the second she saw her.

My biggest complaint IS the UI. It's atrocious and overly complex. Seems a lot of folks skip crafting because of it which is a shame as the crafting is deep & rich and rewarding.

Combat is an absolute blast, exploring the planets is fun as hell. There 'are' a tun of little side-quests that dot the surface, especially Eos (so far) but they just add to the exploration side of things. They give you a reason to want to explore the far reaches of a planet and improve its viability so your colonies will succeed. Some of the side quests are actually seriously good. I HIGHLY recommend the seemingly pointless one on Eos about seismic activity.

All in all I think this game is criminally underrated. For example Gamespot gave it a 6/10. This from the same website that gave No Man's Sky a 7/10 just a few months ago. This - my friends - is nothing remotely as bad as NMS. It is a FAR better game, a flawed game in some parts, but far.. far better. I'm not saying this game deserves a 100% but a strong 8.5/10 for me without a doubt and I understand the story starts to get REALLY good not long after Eos.

I think the problem, why critical reviews so dramatically disagree with fan reviews, is because of rose-tinted nostalgia goggles. I feel like most of them played the 10 hour preview and barely got anywhere on Eos and wrote their review of the game from that, comparing it to the OT while also forgetting the glaring flaws of the first ME game. How else do you explain several sites rating it lower than No Man's fricking Sky?

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News Comments > etc.
7. Re: etc. Mar 24, 2017, 14:19 Fion
There's a great video ( - a let's play - on Extra Credit of witcher 3 by a guy who clearly is part of the industry and how the games animation algorithm is so impressive and the difference between scenes done by the hand and those that the algorithm produced. (Watch the first 10m of the video or so).

Now taking the words of this former-bioware employee, that they let the algorithm do all the non-combat dialog scenes and underestimated how many they would need touched up or hand-animated. Shows just how much less impressive their animation toolset & algorithm is. The guys/gals who did DA:I clearly took more time with it than the ME:A team did.
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News Comments > Mass Effect: Andromeda Launches
28. Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda Launches Mar 21, 2017, 13:59 Fion
Folks, quick tip. When you find new weapons & consumables, before you take them there's a button (look at the bottom of the UI) to equip what you've found. Just FYI.

Bopper, the combat at the higher difficulty levels is deadly to be sure, but once you start unlocking some powers that synergize well, defensive abilities and armor/shield boosting passives it's not nearly so bad.

WHen I fought the fiend in pre-release (I started with release), he got up on the subsection of the roof I was on. I think the issue is pathing. Companion pathing seems rather all over the place.
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News Comments > Mass Effect: Andromeda Reviews
44. Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda Reviews Mar 20, 2017, 14:27 Fion
I meant rage as in a broad sense, not necessarily here. It doesn't automatically make me a fanboi for disagreeing with it. I mean if I were a fanboy my post wouldn't have been 3/4ths issues I have with the game from my experience so far. I think there's far more that is good about this game than there is bad. My post is to clarify on some of the games issues and boils down to saying 'the game is worth getting, the gameplay is NOT this games problem.'  
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News Comments > Mass Effect: Andromeda Reviews
42. Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda Reviews Mar 20, 2017, 14:14 Fion
I love all you folks who haven't played it but 'watched it somewhere' and came out of it thinking it's worse than No Man's Sky.

The game has it's problems. Animations are pretty bad, but only a small handful of characters are so bad to be immersion breaking. If you google image search 'andromeda facial animations' you'll bring up the same 3 faces over and over again.
  • Cora has it worse, she's like locked into perpetual bug-eyed mode, the first time you meet her she's facing the direction of you and a minor character but not looking at either as she warmly greets you, and the look on her face is something between coked-out and in awe. She actually says 'sorry, my face is tired' as if the devs couldn't fix the issue before launch and had her voice actor read a few more lines a few days before early access.

  • FemRyder has some issues but her's boils down to the fact that she doesn't seem to be able to move her eyebrows and has this perpetual smirk, even when angry. Granted, 0% of the game is spent looking at her back anyway.

  • Last is that one semi-minor NPC on the Nexus. She has it worst, her animations show none of the sorrow her lines suggest and she has the worst dialog in the entire 10 hour early access. It's so bad you'd swear it was written by someone who's english is only passable. But in my 10 hours that was the only instance where the writing was noticeably that bad.

  • Other than these 3, the issue is much less consistent. MaleRyder and PB sometimes have googly-eye issues and I noticed those with the most obvious are all female human characters, with a few glitches on others that are generally fine. The animations on the alien races are actually pretty solid, especially Vetra.

    The writing isn't horrible, though there are definitely some moments that stand out like a sour thumb. Most of the time the writing is fine, not great, but fine.

    The scanning system is entirely, 100%, optional. It's part of the crafting system but that too is 100% optional (though Bioware has said if you avoid it there will be some pieces of gear you'll never find in the game world). There is only 1 instance in the early access where you are forced to use it, and it's a tutorial on how it works. Some of us who are explorers actually like the system. You don't have to keep it up all the time, just when you spot new tech, flora or fauna and it reveals details about the game, the world your on, the foes you'll face that aren't available anywhere else.

    So all the hate, all the rage, all the bashing by people who haven't even played it is pointless. It's the 'in thing to do' and so people do it, including on here.

    If you like the series, and you don't mind a few issues that don't break the game but may break your immersion here or there (until fixed), and you loved the original trilogy, you'll thoroughly enjoy the game.

    As to the dialog, I'm glad they removed paragon/renegade because it limited how they could tell stories. There were no shades of gray in the original series and you weren't rewarded for staying neutral. It was arbitrary and while it DID offer a chance to change things up in dialog, which is why folks like the system, especially when that system had continuity, like particular NPCs acting a certain way because of something you said or did to them.

    ME:A's dialog I do agree has less of these interactions. I only experienced one in the early access and it was just to push someone off of you. Whether it has an effect down the road with that character I can only guess. Nor have I gotten to a point where any decisions made in dialog has had any weight. But by the same token, in the early access there are no big choices to make. Much of it is basically tutorial + prologue. The new system does however let you choose a personality for your shepard, which leads to replayability. Is your Ryder laid back? Maybe she's as harsh and aloof as her father. Is he someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve? Perhaps she always tries to find logic in the chaos.

    Andromeda isn't perfect by any means, but it's a beautiful, immersive, explorable, mechanically deep game with awesome combat, huge potential for character customization and those mistakes that it does make will be improved in the next game of the series, just as ME2 improved on all the failings of ME1.

    This comment was edited on Mar 20, 2017, 14:47.
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