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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Andrew Donaldson
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    says:

    Love the inclusion of mousetrap. In high school we had a science teacher who spent several weeks each year doing “mousetrap” and letting teams of students come up with the craziest Rube Goldberg machines possible in the lab. Highlight of the school year and a very creative way to teach a lot of different principles at once in a really fun way.Report

  2. Avatar Em Carpenter
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    says:

    Big fan of the Arkham games myself! So is my 7 year old… (I know, I know.)Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine
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    That’s a pretty big difference between the pictures. But then, I’m in the gameplay > graphics camp… so if the game sucks, I don’t care how cool the graphics are … and vice versa. (Within reason, that is… not joining the pixel nostalgia trend)

    This weekend looks like rain will prevent getting the woods ready for hunting season… so will indulge my Path of Exile “Delve” season itch. Playing a Guardian Summoner Build (the bandwagon is full, so don’t try to get on)… but I prefer to think of it as the Oathbreaker Fulfillment Build… “Summoner” has such a tyrannical feel to it; rather, I’m liberating the poor spirits from their torment by allowing them to kill stuff so I get phat loot explosions. Win/Win.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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      says:

      The argument, as I understand it, is this:
      “It may be an awesome game with really good graphics… but if you got promised an awesome game with awesome graphics, the game companies are *LYING* to you and if you buy the game anyway, you’re *REWARDING* them for *LYING* to you. DON’T REWARD PEOPLE FOR LYING TO YOU!”

      Which is a great argument!

      But it looks like an awesome game with really good graphics…Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        This is console only? I’m not really familiar with the expectation management from E3 to release works for PS4 games. Don’t pre-order games based on E3 hype?

        I mean, back in my day when you bought an SSI game, you just hoped it installed without having to adjust motherboard circuit switches. And we liked it that way. And we liked it when our floppy disk #1 got corrupted so we could never play the game again, ever. {though we really did like being able to flip-up the disk-drive door just in time to prevent it writing our death in CastleWolfenstein… the one with stick figures shooting dashes in your choice of 8 directions… so we didn’t have to restart from the top}.

        I’m sorry, what was that about the puddles?Report

    • Avatar Fish in reply to Marchmaine
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      says:

      On the “pixel nostalgia trend”…my boys (both teens) play a handful of “pixel” games and they love them all and the older one is constantly trying to get me to play them. I look at the graphics and I think, “But…but…I lived through this era in real time. Why would I want to go back?”Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Fish
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        says:

        Damn it, I spent enough on this video card to bankrupt a small third world nation, why would I play a pixel game? I want explosions to be awe inspiring and viscera to be disturbing!Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    I don’t understand the Samoyed getting a bath metaphor, but I’d really like to.Report

  5. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I always figure that it’s a case of trade-offs. What you see at E3 is the best they can do, but something got sacrificed[1] to make the E3 demo possible. Or something wasn’t ready yet that caused the E3 demo to no longer be possible[2] at release. Everyone who bitches about these kinds of things is probably someone who has no clue how actual software development happens (or does, and doesn’t care, because ‘Clicks!’).

    [1] An E3 Demo is probably running on a top end card, and likely optimized for that chipset. At release, you can keep that kind of graphics, but only if you restrict the game to running on that class of chipset (e.g. only folks with a high end Nvidia card can play Spider-Man, low end Nvidia and Radeon or Intel owners can suck it).

    [2] For instance, fixing that washout in the background killed the frame rate until the amount of reflective surfaces was reduced to a manageable level.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      An E3 Demo is probably running on a top end card, and likely optimized for that chipset.

      That Spider-Man game is just for PS4 (Sadly. It looked a lot like the Arkham series and I think I’d like it, but I’m not buying a PS4.), so it’s designed for a specific playform, it’s not like PC game where they realize ‘Oh, we need to reduce this, a lot of machines can’t handle it’.

      Which means they either faked the footage, or reduced the reflective area for some other reason. Which…there could be plenty of reasons. The entire area is actually textured differently, heck the demo doesn’t seem to have a skyline at all visible, maybe they increased all that and the reflections made it now lag.

      I love how game companies feel they have to deny doing that sort of thing.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC
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        says:

        That was what I meant by footnote 2. The fact that the background did not look like it was overexposed (and probably had trees and leaves blowing in the breeze, or something else that had to be rendered) in the release is a pretty good reason to cut down on foreground reflections, especially if those reflections also showed the background moving.

        And I agree, I don’t get why game companies don’t just admit that they made a trade-off between E3 and release.Report

  6. Avatar DavidTC
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    says:

    What I’m playing currently is…getting ahead of everything I need to do so I can dedicate next weekend to the new Tomb Raider. 😉Report

  7. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    This very reason is why I generally don’t buy games when they first come out. You get a lot of info from guys critiquing games newly published. Is it worth it? Does it have “loot boxes”, etc.

    And I’m also a guy that doesn’t keep up with the latest and greatest. I originally bought witcher 3 and couldn’t run it on my pc. then I got 2 and could BARELY run it…so it was time to upgrade.

    But the “bait and switch”, in reality or because of overriding business concerns, is an issue. I’d lean towards one or the other depending upon the prior history of the developer and whether or not they’d made outstanding games, all else being equal, before passing judgement.Report

  8. Avatar James K
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    says:

    Controversies like this speak to how much graphical quality has become the selling point of AAA games, with all other characteristics being considered secondary. I think it also explains why AAA publishers are always experimenting with new ways to monetise their games, on top of the retail prices – find ways to stuff ever-more polygons onto the screen is getting increasingly expensive.

    It’s one of the things that has alienated me from AAA gaming. Graphics aren’t the main thing I want out of a game, and the kinds of gameplay I like (generally slower, more deliberative styles of play) just don’t attract AAA interest any more.

    One thing I do like though are the new features being shown off for Stellaris 2.2. Paradox just did a developer stream walking through some of the changes being made to economic management in the game, and it all looks really good:

    Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to James K
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      says:

      Paradox sale on Steam this weekend!Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        Not just Stellaris!

        Cities Skylines for those of you who miss Sim City!
        Shadowrun for those of you who are *STILL* waiting for Cyberpunk 2077!
        Tyranny for those of you who wish that Tides of Numenera was better!
        Crusader Kings II for those of you who think that you could have handled the fall of the Holy Roman Empire better!
        BattleTech for those of you who remember playing BattleTech on mom’s kitchen table!Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to James K
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      says:

      Controversies like this speak to how much graphical quality has become the selling point of AAA games, with all other characteristics being considered secondary. I think it also explains why AAA publishers are always experimenting with new ways to monetise their games, on top of the retail prices – find ways to stuff ever-more polygons onto the screen is getting increasingly expensive.

      Yeah, I don’t know what the hell is going on there. I was recently at an Atlanta ‘gaming bar’ recently for a party, which was interesting because I saw a lot of console games I hadn’t even seen before. (Including streaming footage of the new Spider-Man, which made me wish it was coming out of PC.)

      For example, there was a football game (Checking Google, I assume it’s the newest Madden.) that honestly was so photorealistic that I had to look several times to make sure someone wasn’t just watching football. Including things like cameras following players walking around between plays, and weird pauses, basically the same exact thing you see during actual televised football games. I almost expected commerical breaks at a few points.

      Why? I mean, seriously…why? I understand making the players as realistic as possible, fine, you’re paying good money for likeness right and team names and stuff. Maybe a zoom-in or two after a touchdown or something. But there was a hell of a lot of camera work and making it look like TV, and…why? Honestly, the changing camera angles and whatnot seems like it would make it much harder to follow what was actually happening and where people on your team were than the old overhead view that I remember from playing a football game (Probably Tecmo?) on my NES. Granted, I wasn’t actually playing, and the guy who was playing seemed to be doing fine, but…I don’t know.

      It’s one of the things that has alienated me from AAA gaming. Graphics aren’t the main thing I want out of a game, and the kinds of gameplay I like (generally slower, more deliberative styles of play) just don’t attract AAA interest any more.

      That’s basically how I think of myself as a player, too. But there are AAA action games you can play slow-ish and deliberatively. The stealth ones.

      I don’t mind big fights, but what I do mind is constantly having to be on edge. I want to wander around, oh, there’s an enemy, I can take him down silently, go back to looking around, oh, there’s a big group of enemies, get a good position, take a few of them out silently, they eventually figure it out and I have to fight three or four at once, that’s fine, keep looking around…and I just walked into a boss battle room, but that’s fine too, they gave me cues and some prep time, and during the battle I can just keep running around and take them out one by one, etc, and it’s basically an endurance test.

      That’s basically Tomb Raider. At least how I play it. I assume some people just run around guns blazing the entire time, but I don’t think that’s really how you’re supposed to do it.

      So if you like that sort of slow gameplay, you might want to consider tracking down the 2013 Tomb Raider game. It’s $20 on Steam.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Okay. I have played enough of the game to say that the people upset about the graphics downgrade are not particularly correct. The graphics are gorge, as the kids say.Report

  10. Avatar Phaedros
    Ignored
    says:

    To what extent ought consumers downright expect products to look nothing like what was promised?

    If I have not mentioned (and I think I have), but the Black Sabbath videos on YT w/ RJ Dio showeth the Elf to be quite drunken, stumbling, forgetting yon lyrics, and meandering with the tune.
    It also shows the man could sing his ass off.
    But this is not the Dio on the cover of Heaven and Hell.
    Or is it?

    A true classic here:
    Last Crack (the best thing to ever come out of Madison)Report

  11. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    As to what I am playing, I just started Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon, which is an 80’s Cyber Action Fever Dream come to life, complete with Michael Biehn voicing the hero, Sgt. Rex ‘Power’ Colt.

    So if you loved cheesy 80’s cyber action movies and have a hankering to hear Kyle Reese deliver a constant stream of one liners that are just so bad they’re awesome… Well, it’s a $15 game, so why the hell not.Report

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