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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 > On Sale
8. Re: On Sale Sep 3, 2009, 00:43 SBlat
That isn't much of a "sale" on D2D for Aaaaa[...]. It's listed as $15 regular price on Steam, so how is $15 from D2D saving $5? And then it's $15 direct from the developer, Impulse is selling it for $11.25, and Steam is discounted down to $13.50 w/a free $10 game, and I'm not really sure who would go for D2D? I suppose it's DRM-free unlike the other big sources, but so is a copy direct from the developer, probably, and you'd know that more of your money is going to the developer. (But I couldn't pass up the free copy of Wonderful End of The World on Steam)

Micro Center has Sacred 2 for $19.99

So does Amazon, in both collector's and standard editions.
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News Comments > Massive Ad Deal
19. Re: EA's Massive Ad Deal Aug 29, 2009, 23:19 SBlat
I assume this is how Shift will use them, and that doesn't turn me off.

I don't know, look at this video of Shift (skip ahead a bit, to around the 1:00 mark). It honestly looks like expectation of this advertising deal caused the "level" designers to be instructed to be sure the player would see a billboard once a second, every second. I find them pretty distracting even with the muted placeholder ads, especially since it's a track found in real-life and several other games where those billboards are actually just groves of trees.
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News Comments > Massive Ad Deal
6. Re: EA's Massive Ad Deal Aug 29, 2009, 13:51 SBlat
Gamasutra's title is "Massive Strikes In-Game Ad Deals With EA, Blizzard, More" so that's where the is coming from.

This explains why the NFS: Shift videos show tracks lined with continuous walls of billboards. I guess it just stands out since this new NFS has so many tracks based on real-life tracks, so by comparison to the same tracks in other games they look absolutely packed with billboards. NFS: Shift's Nürburgring must have upwards of 200 billboards plastered around it in the videos.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
3. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 26, 2009, 10:54 SBlat
Um, I think he means you need to put it in the root folder of the website ( and then all iPhone/iPod users will see it when they bookmark the site ;). At least that's what googling apple-touch-icon.png suggests, and checking a couple of other sites they do seem to have icons located at /apple-touch-icon.png, like a /favicon.ico.  
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News Comments > On Sale
3. Re: On Sale Aug 24, 2009, 19:38 SBlat
You can also register the D2D version with Steam, so you can get achievements.

Actually you must register the D2D version into Steam, or at least that was the case when I bought it from them (last time it was $10 ). The download from D2D is actually just SteamInstall.msi + a steam backup image. Which is fine by me since I was planning to type the serial into steam anyway.
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News Comments > Interplay Classics on Steam
13. Re: Interplay Classics on Steam Aug 19, 2009, 20:31 SBlat
You can back up the folders (already installed) and drop them into another Steam install

Yeah, I'm actually using the same Steam install from 3 OS wipes ago (it must automatically reinstall the services when you run Steam.exe the first time), but you still need to log in to steam at least once, vs. gog's standard installer which is fully offline. It's not a big deal most times, but with older games I can see it being handy not having to get networking working on whatever you want to install them on. Though most older games on steam don't actually seem to have been modified to do an authentication check when you run the .exe directly, so it's a bit of a moot point. And you and others point out a lot of good things about sticking with Steam, though one other potential advantage of the DRM-freeness of GOG might turn out to be the ability to make 3rd party downloader/installer clients that meet your demands.

Still, at least you can backup your download and look after it, which is more than can be said for Steam if it were to go down.

Meh, it's easier to just grab it from TPB if my hard-drive crashes, which is the same recovery plan for if Steam ever goes down. Only difference is one is already necessary in case of hard disk crash, the other won't be necessary unless there's a steam bankruptcy followed by a hard disk crash. I imagine it's not technically a legal backup system, but I doubt that it's technically legal to transfer backup copies of the TOCA installer from a mozy backup account, otherwise gog would be providing a backup copy in the first place.

Just to set the record straight here, GOG only pulled TOCA 3 and Colin McRae Rally 2005 because of licensing agreements in those games that were expiring
Yeah, but it makes me doubt gog's commitment to their promise that you can redownload the other games forever, if they didn't bother negotiating for it this time.

In every other instance where GOG have removed a game from their catalog
Yeah, but they haven't removed many other games. It's hard to guess how many more are going to be pulled from being able to be redownloaded. I imagine they say there aren't going to be others, but they also said you would be able to redownload TOCA 3 and CM2005 forever during the final sales on each.

I have no interest in reinstalling 200 games after a format
You'd be surprised at how few games actually need registry entries. I still have games I last installed under Win98
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News Comments > Interplay Classics on Steam
5. Re: Interplay Classics on Steam Aug 19, 2009, 18:31 SBlat
@Dagok: I sort of want to recommend GOG over Steam, and not just because it's cheaper. You can do repeated downloads of purchased games from They also have a downloader program that can download and install your game for you if you want a slightly more steamlined experience than downloading a setup.exe and then having to double-click it to start the install.

And unlike steam games, you can also copy the installer to a flash drive and transfer it that way, without having to worry about having an internet connection. Also you can play your copy of Kingpin while your girlfriend plays your copy of Fallout without having to fight over the one steam login (though in this case, I doubt the .exes actually implement steam checks, so you can probably route around the steam client).

But on the other hand, you can't really be sure that you'll always be able to download any given game from gog. When they stop selling a game, they seem to also remove it from your downloadables list too. At least that's what's going to happen with my copy of TOCA 3. Steam at least allows you to redownload your game as long as Steam exists, even if they've stopped selling it.
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News Comments > On Modern Warfare 2 Pricing
6. Re: On Modern Warfare 2 Pricing Aug 18, 2009, 22:04 SBlat
Wait, you ask them if it's got a suggested retail price of $60, and they say they won't comment on that? They want to keep its price a secret?

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2009, 22:09.
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News Comments > Need for Speed: SHIFT a Week Early in NA
1. Re: Need for Speed: SHIFT a Week Early in NA Aug 18, 2009, 15:11 SBlat
Wouldn't an intro video technically be an attract video if it is A) skippable, and B) drops back to the video if you just sit on the main menu without doing anything?

EDIT: Just watched it, and I sure hope the staring at the sides of cars you pass isn't an automatic part of the "revolutionary head physics". I'd rather be paying attention to the next corner than what sponsorship my competitors have managed to get.

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2009, 15:15.
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News Comments > On Sale
1. Re: On Sale Aug 14, 2009, 21:52 SBlat
Don't get the linked package! You can save a whole cent! Half-Life Complete: $16.99. Half-Life 1 Anthology + Half-Life 2 Complete (totals the same 8 games): $16.98. But I suppose they don't want to sell either package for a number ending in a 0, so it's destined to end up either 1c cheaper, or 9 more expensive.  
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News Comments > On Sale
3. Re: On Sale Aug 13, 2009, 21:45 SBlat
They all are. Post-patch 1.5 they're all the same, uncensored edition, a.k.a. "The Director's Cut" (as it's now called in the US). Also it's ESRB-rated M now, if it wasn't before.  
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News Comments > Dragon Age: Origins Movie, Screenshots
6. Re: Dragon Age: Origins Movie, Screenshots Aug 12, 2009, 13:07 SBlat
Am I missing something? The PR announces a "pre-order incentive program" but describes the DLC coupons as included in every non-used copy of the game, not just with pre-orders.

And then the description of the Collector's Edition says it has 3 exclusive DLCs, but then it goes on to describe 2 DLCs and say they're included in both the collector's and regular editions.

EDIT: Ah, the full PR describes the pre-order bonus (another item) and shacknews has found the 3 items included in the collector's edition.

This comment was edited on Aug 12, 2009, 13:28.
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News Comments > 2K Boston's Shooter
7. Re: 2K Boston's Shooter Aug 11, 2009, 01:16 SBlat
I think an X-Com tactical shooter from the makers of SWAT 4 (2K Boston) could be awesome.  
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News Comments > Need for Speed: SHIFT Preorders
11. Re: Need for Speed Preorders Aug 9, 2009, 12:20 SBlat
Exotic supercars racing on point-to-point tracks in exotic and beautiful locales

Get Test Drive Unlimited. Seriously, it was probably pitched with that exact sentence, if you replace tracks with "road courses, with traffic." It's from the same developers (Eden) as NFS:PU. The races where you have to deliver a car in pristine condition from point a to point b are great, since you don't have a time limit but you're still tempted to push the car as hard as you can. And the online (massive-ish, but with probably only a hundred or so people playing at any given time) multiplayer bit adds a cool surreality, as random supercars blast down the highway as you play the single player game. I also think the physics and handling have a good balance (at least on "sim" mode) between acting like you could imagine a car acting, yet still being easy and fun, not requiring too much attention. Sort of a relaxing physics model.

That said, I'm looking forward to this next NFS since I love GTR, and I'm always curious to at least try games that promise to reach the holy grail of justifying an immense budget by appealing to the mainstream, but still being genuine sims at heart, accessible with a few option changes. Both GRID and DIRT sort of promised that but turned out to be pure arcade, but Shift is making much louder noises about being suitable for sim players, and it has the development team to actually maybe pull that off.
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News Comments > Defense Grid Patches
2. Re: Defense Grid Patches Aug 9, 2009, 12:00 SBlat
How is Steam going to handle this?

By releasing a version a week and a half ago (just before the weekend) which was supposed to fix these sound problems some had been having, but instead broke sound for everybody. And then rushing to get that fixed over this last week (which they did; it was some sort of mistake in the list of files steam was supposed to install). So presumably everybody on steam has been at 1.1 since last weekend, and everybody has been on a properly installed 1.1 since last Wednesday or so.

Except the Steam patch also fixed a few balancing issues (like command towers now actually increase resource payout from killed enemies, instead of only saying they do), so I'm not sure how that meshes in with this 1.1 patch being optional and only for sound issues.
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News Comments > Still More Sales
6. Re: Still More Sales Aug 8, 2009, 10:45 SBlat
Speaking of $5.00 per game

Interesting... I hope you submit that as a story to Blue if they ever do post it for $5. I'll try and remember to keep an eye on the pompom site, but I'll probably forget and seeing a story here would remind me

Well, those indie packs are attractive deals, but I already own a couple of the games, and I don't want to pay Steam twice for a single copy of each of them

The D2D one includes Defense Grid, though only it and Zeno Clash can be added to your Steam account, of the 5 in their pack. 2 others will have activation-free installers, though.
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News Comments > More Sales
3. Re: More Sales Aug 5, 2009, 21:12 SBlat
Don't forget that when you get Zeno Clash and Defense Grid (which are both totally worth $18 each) from D2D, they're steam games but they come as serial numbers for typing into Steam... so there's nothing to stop you from sending the keys to a friend if you already own one or both of them, and letting the friend register these second copies on Steam.

Which is great considering that if you bought a second copy in a bundle like this directly from Steam, they'd take your money and keep the second copy for themselves. There's no gifting of second copies on Steam, except for the Orange Box.

And Cogs and Democracy 2 are DRM-free, so you don't have to worry about limited D2D activations or weird installers on them. Don't know about The Path though...
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News Comments > Gatherings & Competitions
1. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Aug 2, 2009, 15:21 SBlat
Grand Prize: Bragging rights RE: having picked the name...  
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News Comments > More Sales
18. Re: More Sales Aug 1, 2009, 11:46 SBlat
Yeah it is's fault. It was part of their agreement with Codemasters and as such should have had that information on the page with the rest of the info or during the checkout process.

Instead, GOG employees were posting on the forums, even a week ago (during the Colin McRae sale), that buyers would be able to download the game forever, it was just being removed from the sales catalog.
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News Comments > Demigod Demo
24. Re: Demigod Demo Jul 30, 2009, 18:24 SBlat
Errr ... why simple, if can make it complicated?
it installs automatically

I meant that happens as part of the automatic installation. It downloads the archive, making one copy. It extracts the archive making a second copy. It copies the extracted files to the final destination, making a third copy. Then it deletes the first and second copies leaving the third copy. But in the meantime it required 3x the HD-space to perform the installation.

If your C:-drive is pretty full, like mine, you'll run out of space trying to install a game even though you're trying to stick it on D:-drive with lots of space. And it doesn't even check to see if it will have enough space for all the temporary copies before it starts downloading, it just pops up an error message partway through the extraction and then deletes the downloaded archive. Meaning you have to then start the download all over again after changing the temporary folder location. Even better, you probably have to search google to find out that the menu to open the preferences is opened by clicking the Impulse logo.

write down the activation codes
I know that works for the DRM-free indie games (for the ones that even have a serial). But does that also work for the D2D-DRMed games? I was under the impression that the serial key has to be checked with their activation servers via the internet when installing, every time when installing. And that there is an internet-free manual activation procedure, but the resulting activation code is only valid for the current hardware and OS install, which would mean a backup would last for only about 6 months.

Anyway, it turns out that Impulse is even better at that mode of backing up, since you don't even have to write down the activation code, as it will be 'kxmode' every time! And WinRAR is a much nicer installer than even an NSIS-created setup.exe, IMHO. It's just too bad you have to fight the client's foibles to get that archive in the first place.
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168 Comments. 9 pages. Viewing page 8.
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