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User information for AeroMechanical

Real Name AeroMechanical   
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Nickname Aero
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Description Just some guy.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2007, 02:48
Total Comments 922 (Graduate)
User ID 40534
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News Comments > Game Reviews
3. Re: Game Reviews Oct 4, 2014, 14:42 Aero
The impression that I'm getting is that it has a really slick production, but some mechanics and plot direction issues that some will dislike more than others. It's the sort of game that once you see through the magic to the workings beneath, depending on your predisposition and experience, might lose a lot of its charm. If, for instance, you lose the willing suspension of disbelief that allows you to play as though the alien is 'stalking' you through the ship, rather than just spawning in somewhere as a result of a algorithm (even if its very clever), that could take a lot away from the experience.

There are times I wish I didn't know how this stuff really worked, like when I was younger or maybe just more imaginative, and I could take what was on the screen at face value without seeing the strings and plywood backdrops creating the illusion.

Of course, I haven't played it, but I can very easily see this game either being terrible or brilliant, entirely depending on who is playing it.
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News Comments > Morning Patches
8. Re: Morning Patches Oct 1, 2014, 17:31 Aero
Wallshadows wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 13:12:
There is also a completely offline single player mode which you can use if you like, as well as a private group server mode.

It's probably worth expanding on this, depending on how you meant it, in the current beta versions the "solo" mode is not *completely* offline. You still maintain a continuous connection to the servers and everything is exactly the same as the full online mode except you will never encounter other human players.

As far as I'm aware, the plan is still for the final version to have an entirely offline mode in the traditional sense.
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News Comments > Morning Patches
4. Re: Morning Patches Oct 1, 2014, 13:33 Aero
Wallshadows wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 13:12:
Weird, I never looked in to Elite Dangerous before and not sure how it was never on my radar. Does it play like Eve without spreadsheets and more action-oriented? Does it function well with a KB/M? Newbie friendly?

I'm going to look in to this today.

The answers to your question: 1) Not really, depending on what you mean. Action, yes. No spreadsheetness. Pure PVP: no (but there is PVP). 2) Mouse+KB: Some say yes, some say no. A joystick is better. 3) Much more so newbie friendly than EVE, but there is a significant, but far from overwhelming learning curve.

Watching some Youtube videos is probably the best way to get a feeling for it. There probably won't be a whole lot about Beta2, but the Beta1 based videos will cover most of what you need to know, only there isn't as much to do in Beta1.
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News Comments > X-Rebirth DLC Free to Preorder
9. Re: X-Rebirth DLC Free to Preorder Sep 28, 2014, 15:52 Aero
I happened to try it again the other day to see how the new video card handled it, and it seems that it's been fixed up quite a bit. I will probably go back to it for a serious try again once 3.0 comes out. It seems they have the technical issues sorted out. If the menu system in 2.5 is good, that will solve my next biggest issue. 3.0 will add some new systems, so that will help a bit with how small Rebirth seemed compared to previous games in the series (even if they were just a whole lot of empty boxes).

So, it's the same old X story. Broken for a while, then eventually largely sorted. It's different enough from ED so I may still be interested even though ED should be approaching gamma by the time Rebirth gets 3.0. We'll just have to see. I have hope for it yet, and if the space sim genre hadn't found a rebirth of its own, I'd probably even be excited for it.

I definitely agree that it should be at half price by now. If it cost $20 or so, I would probably recommend it to the people who stayed away originally because of its well deserved reputation for wonkiness even by Egosoft 1.0 standards. Not full price, though.

I'm actually sort of wondering if the reason the 3.0 DLC is being offered for free to begin with is that they plan for a big price drop when 3.0 hits, betting that the base content upgraded to 3.0 at a lower price is enough to entice everyone who stayed away, and that they will then buy the expansion. That would not be unreasonable provided 3.0 turns it into the game 1.0 should have been.
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News Comments > Star Citizen Passes $53M
25. Re: Star Citizen Passes $53M Sep 18, 2014, 05:37 Aero
Sugarman wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 00:08:
In reply to response #9.

You really do have to keep up on the forums to even have half a clue of whats going on or else this all comes as a terribly unorganized crapshoot patchfest of epic proportions. It is being made as they go along, yet they do have specific direction in which to aim towards, adding anything they see fit to add be it by majority user request or just something CR wanted to create just a bit more immersion. Except the entire process from start to finish is under a magnifying glass by everyone, and a lot of people think they know best when it comes to SC methods and development. If I worked there, I'd be so burned out on all the whining and harsh critizizm that it might make me feed a litter of puppies to a starving baboon just to replace the terrible memories in my head with only a single terrible, very noisy memory.

This is only speculation, I would of course use cats.

True enough, and I'm sure it's a fact that if I were to follow the forums daily, I would have a better idea of what's going on (though I'd also go mad, precisely for the reasons you state). I must also admit that Blue is partly culpable for my increasingly negative reactions (not to say that he should do anything different, it's a gaming news site after all, and even if it is just the same-old-same-old at this point, it's still newsworthy), but nevertheless, every week I'm reminded that people are still throwing money at it without any (in my view) justifiable reason anymore, like they're paying for and expecting the hyped up imaginary product that no game, no matter how good it turns out, ever actually lives up to.

Nevertheless, when I do visit their forums and put in the effort to filter through the horrendous signal-to-noise ratio (not really their fault, the Elite Dangerous forums are the same way, as are most crowd sourced game projects), I'm still left with a feeling that even after two years, what they have strikes me more as a proposal for a game that's still in the brainstorming/concept stage rather than a real development plan. Of course, that could well be by design, and they have no intention of getting down to work on the fundamental design work yet, but it is getting a little late in the game for that.

I guess if I had to level one major criticism at it, it's that they're taking the crowd sourcing, design by democracy thing too far. Understanding that the two projects are quite difference (and again I apologize for brining up Elite), I think the following quote by Mike Evans (game designer for Elite Dangerous) in response to complaints about the flight mechanics is a good example of what Star Citizen needs a bit more of:

Indeed, a request is just that. We don't have to do anything if we don't want to but that doesn't mean we didn't read and consider the request. Suffice to say a low yaw rate is a fundamental part of our games aesthetics and a corner stone to our flight model that we at frontier like the way it is. We're not changing it, for to do so would be to compromise our own vision for what Elite: Dangerous is and what it's going to be. I don't give a damn what all the other space games have done in the past.

I do generally try to avoid the Star Citizen threads here at Blue's because I usually have nothing particularly positive to say, which certainly isn't to say I don't want it to be great and that I'm not excited for it to be finished. Also, and as usually have to preface every criticism I make about it, I don't think they're swindlers, crooks or even remotely close to incompetent, but I do think they're letting it get away from them and I think Roberts' tends to get carried away with his own dreams without also having to shoulder the dreams of hundreds of thousands of investors.

What it comes down to is that I grow ever more worried that what should have been a straightforward but still extremely ambitious space sim (my favorite genre) is becoming a diffuse mass of semi-related, sometimes hard to reconcile (but awesome if they could be), features and that if it continues along this track much further, it will just be Freelancer all over again--that is, seven(?) years spent creating and selling a dream only to have it fall apart and become a good, though not particularly special, game that could have been done in two years for a fraction of the budget.

At this point, I think what it actually needs is a a regular newsletter written and distributed by an at least somewhat disinterested third party that covers only the fundamentals of what's going on with development, with an aim to eventually assemble the pieces that will describe Star Citizen's actual game mechanics, without all the flowery marketing hype. And no, Reddit isn't doing it well... the whole thing has just become too divided between the 'haters' and the 'fanboys' with all the reasonable people not wanting to get involved.

What they've done with the crowd funding is remarkable, but all of us have a vested interest in it not falling apart, because we might never see such potential again.
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News Comments > Star Citizen Passes $53M
9. Re: Star Citizen Passes $53M Sep 17, 2014, 23:07 Aero
What I want to know, sooner rather than later, is how *exactly* the gameplay is going to work: not "it will have X feature, and Y feature, and Z feature...," but how it will work together technically. How will the 'zones' and different gameplay theaters be connected, if that is indeed how it is constructed, how will traveling work? How will this all be integrated to give the impression of seamlessness and what and where will those seams be? I've seen all sorts of amateur speculation, but nothing concrete. Even accepting the fact that designs and intentions change, I've heard nothing official indicating how they intend to even begin approaching the really difficult problem at hand other than vague hand-waving.

You see, so far, what we have is a bunch of run-of-the-mill (kind of even sub-standard given how long they've been in development), normal sized FPS levels in space ships rather like the "rooms" in the X series but without the connections. This is so even in the unreleased stuff they've been showing off in videos. The leap from that to a a sandbox universe is massive.

I don't doubt that they have a plan of sorts, and I don't expect them to share *all* of the details, but I have this ever growing suspicion that what's in Arena Commander really constitutes all the legitimate engine work they've done with their millions of dollars and years to work.

Don't get me wrong, I want it to succeed and paid them a standard game price up front because I'm willing to bet that much on it, but so far the whole production seems to be based on the premise of figuring things out as they go along, guided by an extremely hazy notion of what the final product will look like and how the myriad of planned features will somehow mesh. This is how freshman software engineers approach their lab work.

I admit, I don't go reading the message board every day, and maybe there are pearls of wisdom buried in there, but everything official that comes my way is blatant marketing drivel (other than maybe the Arena Commander status info, which hardly counts and is frequently worrying in its own right). Even if they just said the basic mechanics will be similar to Freelancer but larger in scope, or some other fundamental overall mechanic, that would be something I could understand and get behind.

And, to reiterate once more because (and it's sad this is necessary in even a cynical forum like Blues but where nevertheless I'm sure everyone hope it will turn out brilliant), I don't think he's a crook. I just think maybe we're seeing the Freelancer fiasco all over again, but this time without oversight. I also hate to bring up the Elite Dangerous dead hourse, because they really are significantly different projects in scope, but the way Frontier Development went about planning and communicating their decisions--that is how professionals experienced in realizing a concept and brining it to market do it. The most, and nearly only truly professional aspect of Star Citzen's development I'm seeing is coming from the marketing side. Given that Roberts' has said in the past that his true motivation and ambition since the WC days was to be a filmmaker, I worry (and the WC film, though bad in the grand scheme of things, was surprisingly good all things considered).

As I said, I want absolutely nothing more than to be surprised in the coming years, and to play the game the diehard backers have conjured up in their collective imaginations. Nevertheless, every time I see another funding goal reached or another disappointing baby step in development, and think of the hours of vacuous videos, presentations and announcements, the cynic in me gives the optimist a smug look.
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News Comments > Uncanny Valley Demo
1. Re: Uncanny Valley Demo Sep 8, 2014, 10:28 Aero
They certainly are right about death to an extent. It's when I'm repeating sections of horror-suspense games that all the seams in the mechanics become evident. It's the point at which you start seeing the game for what it is underneath, a collection of simple rules and algorithms, that I tend to lose interest.  
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News Comments > Gatherings & Competitions
2. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Sep 7, 2014, 14:26 Aero
Agreed. It's defeinitely a thing--its own thing. Maybe a thing without a name (I suppose "eSports" is good enough), but it's not a sport as in something you'd watch on ESPN.

I'd equate it to chess if we need a comparison to something else.
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News Comments > Dead Rising 3 Tomorrow; Launch Trailer Today
3. Re: Dead Rising 3 Tomorrow; Launch Trailer Today Sep 4, 2014, 21:02 Aero
I only played the second one, and I thought it was great fun, but it didn't last nearly as long as the game did. I particularly didn't like the time limit element, which felt like an artificial way to keep you from grinding up too much power too early in the game.

I probably only made it about a quarter of the way through the plot before I gave up. They have a good concept (well they did, anyways... zombied out), but screwed it up in little infuriating ways.
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News Comments > Op Ed
21. Re: Op Ed Sep 1, 2014, 19:43 Aero
yuastnav wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 19:12:
I'm still curious, what was the reason to use the CryEngine for this game? I thought that a space sim would require its own engine more than any other genre.

It's a bit of a puzzler, but the Cryengine does do some very impressive and efficient rendering. If they planned on making the first person stuff important, it would make sense as it would be easier to adapt an fps engine to a space engine rather than the other way around (see X-Rebirth) or building them both up from scratch. Were it just a space game, it would likely be easier to start from scratch. An FPS engine is a pretty specialized affair, whereas a space engine is more or less just moving static objects around.

Squad has done an impressive job of making a space sim out of the Unity engine. After seeing the results of that (particularly with some of the mods that add higher definition textures and volumetric clouds), I'd be inclined to chose that if I were making a space sim.

Anyways, there probably wasn't any obvious off-the-shelf engine to use and they'd be doing a lot of their own development either way, so Cryengine is likely as good a choice as any.
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News Comments > Star Citizen Arena Commander Trial for DragonCon Attendees
9. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Trial for DragonCon Attendees Sep 1, 2014, 18:21 Aero
Flatline wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 16:52:
Aero wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 15:53:
I figured it was worth the $45 to see what the deal was, and I believe however messed up the Star Citizen part turns out, that Squadron 42 will be worth it.

Have we seen *anything* substantial in Squadron 42?

No, true enough. Apparently that is part of their plan: all the arena whatsits and hanger doodads are the building blocks, but there will be no alpha or beta of S42, it will just be released when its done. The thing is, I think the scope of what they described S42 as being (ie. a linear, story-driven, Wing Commander successor), is within their capabilities and those of the Crytek engine without requiring the massive modifications and new technology development of SC. It's still a bet, to be sure, but that's one I'm willing to make. A good, old-fashioned space shooter is a pretty straightforward affair.

Granted, it could all fall apart, and the wise man would just wait until it was done and buy it then, but I figured what the hell. Ultimately, it was the racing demonstration that sold me on the risk. What I saw of the existing Arena Commander module looked like garbage, and after trying it, that is true beyond doubt. However, if you stuck those racing flight mechanics on the Arena Module, it would actually be pretty fun, if limited.... sort of like Wing Commander Arena (I think it was called, in preparation for WC3). That was worth the money then.
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News Comments > Op Ed
12. Re: Op Ed Sep 1, 2014, 16:29 Aero
There is something not quite right about them having well exceeded their funding goal, but are still accepting large sums of money from people. I won't fault someone who, way back when, said to themselves "I want this game to be made, and so I'm willing to give them $300 to do my part to help make sure that happens." We're way, way past that now.

Whether or not Roberts is a huckster or this article is trolling, the basic premise is undeniable fact: As long as people continue to throw money at it while it's still in development, the longer it is in development the more money it will make. It may not be a conflict of interest in practice, but it is certainly one in theory.

I gave Chris $45 and Dave $75. Dave has put on a much better show so far, but I'm happy to wager my $45 that Chris will deliver something worth $45 some day.
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News Comments > Star Citizen Arena Commander Trial for DragonCon Attendees
7. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Trial for DragonCon Attendees Sep 1, 2014, 15:53 Aero
I figured it was worth the $45 to see what the deal was, and I believe however messed up the Star Citizen part turns out, that Squadron 42 will be worth it.  
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News Comments > Star Citizen Arena Commander Trial for DragonCon Attendees
5. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Trial for DragonCon Attendees Sep 1, 2014, 15:11 Aero
I'm interested to give it a go with the new flight mechanics. What they have right now sucks something awful. The video they showed of the racing seems to indicate they're going the right way, though.  
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Oculus Rift Video
29. Re: Half-Life 2 Oculus Rift Video Aug 25, 2014, 06:23 Aero
I'm a bit concerned that the advancements in display panels they will need for the next version may be too specialized (like an AMOLED curved in two dimensions, or at least curved along the vertical dimension) and may not allow for taking advantage of the massive production numbers for the phone and tablet industry. One of the great things about the Rift is that it isn't stupid expensive, so I hope things work out. It probably will work out, but the price point right now is just on the high side of perfect. Adding another couple hundred bucks to the sticker could well sink it.  
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News Comments > On Sale
1. Re: On Sale Aug 21, 2014, 19:12 Aero
$20 for Assetto Corsa is an exceptional bargain. It's a brilliant simulator and the user-made addon content is really starting to flood in.

You do really want a force feedback wheel to fully enjoy how well implemented the tire model and physics are, but I know many people who play with a gamepad and enjoy it (being a racing sim, it's probably not recommended if you plan to just use a mouse and keyboard--though people do that as well).

As of the last major update, the netcode is very good (the HUGE question mark hanging over it until that point)--generally on par with any of the other big racing sims--and it's generally just a product with a whole hell of a lot of promise.
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News Comments > Steamships Ahoy - The Golf Club
7. Re: Steamships Ahoy - The Golf Club Aug 19, 2014, 20:59 Aero
I can't say as I've played any of the most recent ones, but I thought some of the Tiger Woods PC ports were fairly good. Once they got the analog mouse controls working, it wasn't bad at all. It had some of the usual EA Sports goofiness, but the actual play mechanics were solid.

On the other hand, the most fun I've ever had playing a golf game was 4-player Mario Golf on the N64, so I'm not exactly an afficianado.

This... I dunno. Nice idea, but from what I've heard, it seems like they haven't put enough effort into the small but vital details.
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News Comments > Star Citizen at $50 Million; New Commercial
14. Re: Star Citizen at $50 Million; New Commercial Aug 16, 2014, 14:31 Aero
I don't know if such a thing exists or not, but with so many people having given so much money, publishing a fairly detailed write up of their business plan, development strategies and progress wouldn't be asking a whole lot. It could put to rest a lot of the (as I see it) increasingly valid concerns people have about the project. Though more money can't hurt per se, I'd be interested in seeing how they're working with an unpredictably expanding budget. If I have a plan to develop a $30 million game and then my budget turns out to be $50 or $100 million, that old plan isn't good anymore and needs to be re-worked.

Presumably, and as I believe they claimed, this was all built into the original plan. So what I'd like to see is how that has worked out over the last year or whatever, and what it will look like going forward into the next year.

I don't believe for a second that it's a scam or anything other than what it's claimed to be, but from where I'm sitting it just seems kind of wobbly. I'd guess this is mostly because the news and press releases are overwhelmingly concerned with funding, features that are planned way out in the fuzzy future and superficial design decisions rather than useful information about concrete progress on the core development to date.
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News Comments > Far Cry 4 Trailers
9. Re: Far Cry 4 Trailers Aug 12, 2014, 22:46 Aero
FC3 was great fun but the plot, pacing and progression were a bit of a mess. If FC4 is the same formula, but carried out with a clearer sense of direction and better pacing of the character's progression, it ought to be very good. If they pushed it a little further with multiple factions and allies that mattered it could be brilliant, but I guess that's asking too much.

FC3 fell apart once it became more Rambo 3 and less First Blood. It was terrific while I was vulnerable and every noise in the jungle made me jump and the sound of a jeep approaching would make me scamper into a ditch and hide. I became a super soldier way too fast, though, circle strafing tigers and leveling mercenary compounds because it was easier than going around them--and the plot wasn't even halfway over. In the cutscenes I was still a pansy frat boy, yet I'd single handedly wiped out half of a small army. I would guess that people's experience of FC3 could vary significantly with how they paced their progression through the plot (you really do want to rush through it). Anyways, I hope they sort that out.
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News Comments > Capcom Working on Ultra Street Fighter IV Connectivity
4. Re: Capcom Working on Ultra Street Fighter IV Connectivity Aug 10, 2014, 12:48 Aero
I'm kind or surprised you can play a fighting game like this where low 10's of milliseconds can matter over the internet regardless of the netcode.  
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