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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.
Homepage http://
Signed On Apr 8, 2009, 18:16
Total Comments 168 (Novice)
User ID 54883
User comment history
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
8. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 7, 2009, 12:17 SBlat
I wish Damon wasn't so commited to Greengrass as the director. I just watched the full trilogy, and the later Bourne movies were ok, but the first one was so much better. Even aside from lacking the horrendous camera work that Greengrass is so enamoured of, the first one just had a much better story, not a twice over rehashing of "one of the CIA's higher-ups is trying to have Bourne killed to hide his corruption" and "da-daaaa Bourne is looking at someone while they talk on the phone!"

And the camera! It seemed to me that Greengrass' Bourne movies must have been the least satisfying movies imaginable for a stunt or fight coordinator to work on. There is not a single stunt or fight in the movie that doesn't look like it hasn't been pieced together from 50 or 100 attempts at the stunt, with no need for any more skill than to get a half second of it right before the camera veers off to look at the ground or an edit flashes to another view entirely. If the stunt people were capable of actually pulling off the many stunts hinted at in the two movies, there is no proof of it preserved on film. Why not just save money and use CGI for everything? It wouldn't really be obvious in half-second flashes.
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News Comments > Syndicate Retrospective
7. Re: Syndicate Retrospective Dec 4, 2009, 16:17 SBlat
No, he's describing how they created the AI

It does say that they tried to ship it with the game, but EA ran into problems when they tried to test it and had it pulled from the game. Apparently it was added back in for American Revolt, though as one of those "abandoned" Amiga users, I never got to try the expansion pack (AR did come out on the Amiga, but only via mail order from a magazine in the UK, and I don't know if the Amiga version even had multiplayer anyway -- it would have been only 2 players via null-modem at most).

I actually did get the PC version of AR at some point, and still have it in a box, actually, but I don't think I ever got around to trying it out, not multiplayer at least. The little system requirements sticker says "SUPPORTED: NETBIOS Network with up to eight players" -- I wonder how hard it would be to get working in DOSBox... does it even support networking? I'd have to find a floppy drive, though google might provide a shortcut to that ;). Ha, the sticker also starts off with "IBM AT or Compatibles; Not Copy Protected." so it looks like the DRM debates were raging even then.

I think Lionhead still does this practice of play testing with multiplayer before implementing AI (well, maybe not in Fable). As I recall, Black & White 2 didn't ship with multiplayer but they suggested it might come along later, since they'd already implemented it and had been using it all throughout development for play testing.

I find it fascinating that Syndicate grew out of Flood. I'd always thought of Flood as being the odd man out amongst Bullfrog's titles, and it's interesting to see it be linked into their overall development.
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News Comments > On Sale
1. Re: On Sale Dec 3, 2009, 20:52 SBlat
Looks like Direct2Drive also has VtMB for 50% off "1 day only" and Alganon for 50% off for a "limited time" on their front page.

And anyone thinking about getting NFS: Shift from them should note that they still don't have Tuesday's 1.02 patch available. Though they've mislabeled September's patch as an even higher 1.1, so that should be ok
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News Comments > Games for Windows LIVE Digital Distribution Nears
2. Re: Games for Windows LIVE Digital Distribution Nears Dec 3, 2009, 17:32 SBlat
Well, one thing about Microsoft is I suppose they're likely to have some huge loss-leaders to draw people in. So maybe there will be some sort of deal worth putting up with the likely headaches of the service (especially if everything is "Live-enabled").

Or I suppose it's possible that the whole GfWL thing still doesn't have buy-in from the XBox guys and won't get the financial commitment to have any sort of loss-leading deals. There's probably still money in just being a "me too" DD site, hoping for people who just google a game looking for where to buy it and trust Microsoft. Maybe it will be running on Digital River in the background, just like all the other clone DD sites.

But since when are World of Goo and Osmos distributed by Microsoft Game Studios?
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News Comments > On Sale
1. Re: On Sale Dec 3, 2009, 00:42 SBlat
The Direct2Drive UK deal changes over at 7:00 PM EST (midnight in GMT). It's now on Day 3, and is Majesty 2 for 75% off.  
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News Comments > Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Server
2. Re: Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Server Dec 2, 2009, 16:27 SBlat
How can a dedicated server executable (which can depend on even engine code existing in pre-installed shared libraries, not to mention depending on pre-installed content) require a 400MB download?  
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - DiRT 2
10. Re: Ships Ahoy - DiRT 2 Dec 2, 2009, 12:41 SBlat
Cheese is spamming a whole bunch of threads about Precursors.

That said I have been sort of looking forward to it and am pleased to hear it's coming out. Not because it will be a good game, mind, but it should be pretty hilarious in a B-movie sort of way (unless you've paid more than $5 for it).

These are the same developers who had to release a patch for Boiling Point that included such fixes as "stop jaguars from flying above tree level in the jungle" and "fix the size of the moon". Though the game from Deep Shadows I'm really looking forward to getting an english release is White Gold. After their "success" at discovering Boiling Point was too ambitious a project, they decided to make not one giant open-world game this time, but two, Precursors and White Gold! At the same time! White Gold is a quasi-sequel to Boiling Point, and in an example of how awesome it must be: Sharks are rideable vehicles!

Anyway, about Dirt 2, what's the story about the release dates? It started on the 1st, and then was there an offical push back to Friday? Or the 8th? Or is it just stores started quietly updating their dates?
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News Comments > On Sale
2. Re: On Sale Nov 30, 2009, 21:32 SBlat
Steam has had some good $2-$5 games this weekend. I picked up most of the ones I didn't already own, and I think Secret of Monkey Island and Evil Genius both shouldn't be missed at $2.50. Folks should probably try out a demo of Quantz to see if it catches their fancy since $2 is also a great price for it. It seems like most of the more expensive games have been seen at similar or lower prices already (albeit in physical form), though.

Anybody looking at Bullet Candy on Impulse should be aware that you can pay the same price (or any other price you prefer) for the improved remake, Bullet Candy Perfect at the author's site.

Is Dark Athena worth $10?

I certainly feel like I'm getting more than my $5 worth from my D2D copy. But I never played the first game, so it's inclusion in new and improved form is a huge part of it for me. But I haven't even gotten to the Dark Athena part yet, so I don't really know how good it would be for someone viewing it as simply a sequel. You get to choose right at the beginning which game to play, so you won't have to play through the first again if you don't want to.

The DRM thing is still the case even with a Steam copy ("3rd-party DRM: TAGES™ 3 machine activation limit"), though I've heard that apparently it's 3 installs per every few weeks, not just 3 installs total. That is, your activation count resets every month or so. Or you could download a nocd-patched .exe and skip the activation altogether.
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News Comments > Direct2Drive Refutes Impulse Claim
5. Re: Direct2Drive Refutes Impulse Claim Nov 30, 2009, 21:07 SBlat
I assume that they count any copy of Sins, Demigod, etc. registered with Impulse for patching as an Impulse "sale"? Even if it was bought in a box at Walmart? I can see how Impulse sales + copies of Stardock products are larger than just Direct2Drive sales, and how Steam sales + copies of Valve products are larger than both combined.  
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News Comments > On Sale
31. Re: On Sale Nov 26, 2009, 14:26 SBlat
Grid plays best with a wheel and pedals or not at all.

Nah, it plays best with a yoke. Matches that "blimp floating 6 inches above the track" feel it has
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News Comments > Free Stubbs the Zombie [Update] Not Free
21. Re: Free Stubbs the Zombie Nov 25, 2009, 20:01 SBlat
How you get from $4.99 to "FREE" on a keyboard by mistake is beyond my comprehension

The price was $9.99 - store-wide $15-off coupon = FREE. It is now $19.99 - $15-off coupon = $4.99.

On Nov. 9th, The SAT Prep Game was discounted to $9.99, the "mistaken" price of Stubb's.

The product ID for The SAT Prep Game, 107989200, is only one off from the product ID of Stubb's, 107989300. All of the product IDs seem to end in 00, there seems to be no other product between the two games. They likely appear next to each other in the pricing interface. There is also a Mac version of The SAT Prep Game, with a far different product ID, which was also discounted. Somebody was going through changing the prices of two copies of The SAT Prep Game to $9.99. It isn't hard to believe that they accidentally changed the price of two adjacent games to $9.99, and one of those was accidentally Stubb's.
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News Comments > On Sale
2. Re: On Sale Nov 13, 2009, 18:31 SBlat
There's not much in that Black Friday Best Buy ad for PC gamers. In fact, it's virtually the same set of PC games they had on sale last year except now they're $5 instead of $10.

Nothing from this year's releases in the sale. Actually, Far Cry 2 is the only game there that's even from last year's releases. Everything else is at least 2 years old.
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News Comments > IO Interactive's Mystery Game
5. Re: IO Interactive's Mystery Game Nov 10, 2009, 12:26 SBlat
They didn't even fix the stuttering for Mini Ninjas? Wow, that's bad.

I got it in Kane & Lynch on XP, so it isn't just Vista. Of course, now that my Saitek Eclipse 2 has broken and I've moved on, it probably wouldn't happen to me anymore (unplugging the Saitek and plugging a different keyboard in would make it go away, even in the middle of a game plugging the Saitek back in would bring back the stuttering).
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News Comments > On Sale
9. Re: On Sale Nov 8, 2009, 14:44 SBlat
I would rather just pay the 5.00 than eat fast food.....

But this is a part of a contest where "no purchase is necessary". So you click "I don't have a code" when it asks for the code off a drink, and you get one emailed to you -- no trip to Wendy's necessary. You get the $5 coupon emailed to you after you type that free code in, whether you win the contest or not.
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News Comments > On Sale
7. Re: On Sale Nov 8, 2009, 12:50 SBlat
Anyone picking up/owning Mass Effect this weekend might like to know that Wendy's has got a promotion where entering a code off a drink will get you a $5 coupon for the (US) EA Store (and enter you in a contest of some sort, but you can use a throwaway email if you don't care about the contest), and will even email you a drink code if you don't have one. The Pinnacle Station DLC is $5, so after this coupon it's free.

I don't have to have the DVD in the drive in order to start the game once it's installed and validated, do I?
What game? I think I heard that Dragon Age is exactly the opposite (you don't have to validate, but you do have to have the DVD in the drive), but I could be wrong. Though it seems to me most of the games I've gotten with online activation have also required the disk in the drive to play, even after activation.

I got taken when I bought Red Nation. Yeah, 7 bucks but it's fun for about 15 minutes. Meh.
Maybe you should have clicked "Install Demo" first...
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News Comments > On Sale
3. Re: On Sale Nov 7, 2009, 00:51 SBlat
waiting for a sale on STALKER Clear Sky

Sorry it's gone back up, but GoGamer actually had it for $6+S/H last weekend. Unless you're waiting for it to be cheap on Steam / another DD. But there are sales on retail boxes on occasion. I think NewEgg had it for $7 about a month ago, also.

Speaking of GoGamer, all the games listed here are from earlier this week. They seem to still be on sale, but GoGamer's now got a different set of games listed. Nothing that strikes me as a super deal, maybe Colonization-less Civ4 "complete" for $12, which I guess is $18 cheaper than buying a copy with Colonization. I might get rFactor for $20, since that seems to be as cheap as it ever gets.
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News Comments > New GameRanger Adds Borderlands Support
1. Re: New GameRanger Adds Borderlands Support Oct 30, 2009, 02:09 SBlat
Borderlands definitely needs the help for its networking. Gearbox doesn't even provide a list of the ports required to be forwarded, and it's more than a couple.  
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News Comments > On Sale
1. Re: On Sale Oct 28, 2009, 21:39 SBlat
VTMB is definitely worth $5. If you're worried about how buggy it was at launch, there's an unofficial patch that seems to fix pretty much everything. It's posted about every couple of months here, when it's updated, but that's mostly new content (which you can choose not to install, to play the game "pure").

Also looks like D2D has more sales than just VTMB, as a halloween promotion.
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News Comments > Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4 Friday
3. Re: Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3 Friday Oct 27, 2009, 21:51 SBlat
One more chapter to go until I can buy it!

One week and one chapter to go, you mean
You could think of it as a weird preorder perk, where you get the game a fifth at a time starting five months before non-preorderers get it.

I think it is, all five parts together, easily going to be worth the price, based on the first 3/5ths. I'm not so sure about if you were to buy only a single episode at the $10 price amazon is asking, though.
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News Comments > Dawn of War II DLC Released
2. Re: Dawn of War II DLC Released Oct 14, 2009, 17:03 SBlat
That update also says to expect the game itself to go on sale via Steam tomorrow

It (and all the Dawn of War games) seems to have started being 50% off at the same time Company of Heroes stopped being on sale. I'd say it's on sale today, just not yet announced on Steam News either.
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168 Comments. 9 pages. Viewing page 6.
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