TheJorro's recent activity

  1. Comment on Microsoft to forcibly install Bing search extension in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus users in ~tech

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Yup, this seems like something in the vein all the claims Microsoft made about the number of Teams users as competition to Slack. It's easy to claim Teams has x million users only because that's...

    Yup, this seems like something in the vein all the claims Microsoft made about the number of Teams users as competition to Slack.

    It's easy to claim Teams has x million users only because that's how many licenses have been purchased for enterprises. Technically, my workplace has 60k Micorosft Teams users. I barely know anyone who actually uses it though.

    I bet this is a move to inflate the number of Bing uses.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link
    I've been playing Bloodstained: Ritual of the NIght, and it's basically Castlevania: Symphony of the Night all over again. That will probably mean different things to different people but that is...

    I've been playing Bloodstained: Ritual of the NIght, and it's basically Castlevania: Symphony of the Night all over again.

    That will probably mean different things to different people but that is exactly the situation, and I am all in. I've been looking for another SotN since I played SotN. I'm glad I finally found it.

    Let's get the whole "Metroidvania" thing out of the way—it's a blurry genre these days. People play a Metroidvania for different reasons, and not all of them overlap. There are people who like Metroid or Castlevania, but not the other! Maybe some people enjoy platforming more than combat, maybe it's the opposite. I generally love Metroidvanias unless they're platforming-heavy since I've never been much of a platformer-type. Consequently, of all the much-lauded Metroidvania types of recent years, the one I don't enjoy is Ori and the Blind Forest because it was almost all platforming (despite all it's other excellent qualities). Meanwhile, Guacamelee is one of my favourite ones despite having quite a number of challenging platforming sections but they are only a small part of the game.

    Anyway, one thing I've been looking for since I first played Castlevania Symphony of the Night was another Metroidvania like it: a pseudo-RPG style progression system with a ton of different items and weapons, and all kinds of weird secrets and interactions in the world with those. The vast majority of Metroidvanias don't have the first two at all, keeping progression limited to resource max ups and a handful of upgrades for a handful of weapons. Which is fine, truly, but I've always been looking for that experience that SotN provided because it really felt like the castle was a place of wonders and centuries of lore.

    For those that have not played SotN (nor Aria of Sorrow or Harmony of Despair, which also shared the formula), the difference is that it's a very systems-based game as opposed to mechanics. It's not a game that challenges your platforming or combat skills, but rather your ingenuity and perseverance. There is a rudimentary levelling system where every x amount of XP, you level up and your various attributes (strength, health, mana, luck, etc.) all go up a bit. Monsters give you slightly less XP every few levels to the point that they stop altogether, so you always have to keep moving in further to find stronger and better enemies who give more XP. Weapons all have basic stats in terms of speed and strength, but then they might also have different attack animations. One sword may swing in an arc, another one may slash straight out, creating two different attack patterns. Different weapon types also have unique moves that are activated with a fighting-game style button combo. Then you have armour which also augment or boost various other stats.

    One addition to the formula with Bloodstained is a much more fleshed out magic system, where every enemy drops their own unique magical ability that you can use. Some are passive, some go into one of your two active spell slots, and there are summons.

    What's worth noting with the swords, clothes/armour, magic, and enemies is that there are a lot of each of them. Way more than your average Metroidvania. And then a lot of the gear have other effects that are not stated at all, and can only be found through trying the item! A sword that doesn't have the highest stats may actually leech health on hit! Another sword may swing very slowly but because of its wide arc, it can clear out an entire hallway segment if you combine it with a jump at the right time! Maybe that fast hitting dagger has a surprisingly high chance of poison so your rapid pokes may allow you to poison an enemy and then watch it die from afar! There are so many possibilities with the combinations of these items!

    Of course, you might wonder how it's possible to balance a game with so many different item combinations and power permutations. You can't, fully! That's the fun of it! This kind of design is from an era where games would encourage you to break them a little after you've learned the mechanics, to discover item combinations that are way too overpowered or imbalanced and then see how far you can take it. It encourages mechanical experimentation and you really feel like you don't know what secrets the game holds as a result.

    When you're exploring a mysterious, unknowable castle, being able to find weapons with strange abilities and effects adds to the tone and atmosphere of being in an ethereal place a great deal. Dark Souls captured that same sort of spirit in a big way. Many have compared it to a "3D Castlevania" and I believe this is a large reason why. Beyond the obvious Metroidvania-esque structure of "explore this world and poke out more in any direction as you get more items" (which Dark Souls didn't really do), you discover a world beyond what the basic story and superficial interactions tell you.

    That said, it's also not like SotN or Bloodstained have particularly good stories or characters that are worth going out of your way to learn about or discover. It's more garnish than substance. The interest with the magical items and weapons is more trivial but it's nice to feel like a magical or unique item you found is actually magical or unique. It's boring to talk about a "Greatsword +1" which is a greatsword you upgraded to do more damage, but it's fun to talk about "Raphael's Greatsword" that you found in a secret wall and has a chainsaw blade that allows you to hold and charge up the weapon!

    So the basic gameplay is a lot of fun for me. I like having a small grind with my Metroidvanias where the enemies in a certain area may be a bit too tough instead of me not having an item that opens a specific kind of door, and those enemies drop things that are valuable to me throughout the game. Invariably I end up running from one side to another of a Metroidvania world trying to figure out where to go next, having some fun combat with tangible rewards makes it a lot more palatable. This is that one spot with Metroidvanias where I find myself deciding whether I like or love an entry, and I find myself loving it.

    It seems like fans have started describing this style of Metroidvania as an "Igavania", named after famed Castlevania director Koji Igarashi who made SotN, and other prominent entries in the series. So maybe this is yet another subtype of Metroidvania after all, but it's one I really enjoy.

    Now, as far as Bloodstained feeling like SotN: it's almost a sequel to SotN. A lot of the enemy and weapon designs are straight up taken right from Castlevania and given a different look. Even the boss fights are set up a lot like SotN's bosses. For better or worse, this game is exactly of the same vein as SotN. Even some of the blemishes from that type of game have carried over—I accidentally cheesed a boss by standing still since he got stuck in the geometry and I could whale on him. But I remember doing things like that in SotN too, so this kind of flaw feels "warm" to me, like a familiar scratch on a trusted old car.

    That said, the game in general does seem fairly glitchy with the bosses, where some attack timings are a little bit off. The controls also feel slightly too floaty, so that turning attack directions isn't as consistent as I would expect from a 2D title. The characters, story, and art design aren't quite on par with Castlevania's gothic excellent either, but it does an admirable job of feeling enough like Castlevania that I don't mind.

    Overall, I'd say that you might enjoy Bloodstained as much as you enjoyed Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. If that was the kind of Metroidvania for you, then Bloodstained should be top of mind for you.

    10 votes
  3. Comment on Amtrak Asks 2 People Who Use Wheelchairs To Pay $25,000 For A Ride in ~misc

    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    To be honest, I'm more familiar with the AODA (the ADA for Ontario, Canada) but I believe they're largely the same (at least in spirit). I'm not sure that that second train idea could be...

    To be honest, I'm more familiar with the AODA (the ADA for Ontario, Canada) but I believe they're largely the same (at least in spirit).

    I'm not sure that that second train idea could be considered reasonable because that means you are now limiting the schedule of a person due to their accommodation needs, but this one is easily arguable. If they can provide a better experience for some people, but at limited time periods due to the nature of the accommodations, they can make the argument. But also one wheelchair spot per car sounds low to me, my local public transit can support multiple wheelchairs per car/bus.

    I can't think of any situation an accessibility law would consider allowing charging people who need the accessibility to pay so much money. The question comes down to why it costs $25k to accommodate people, if it indeed costs that much. It's here that I cannot see how this is anyone but Amtrak's own fault and responsibility because accessibility is something they should have had built into their operating policies to begin with, as a transportation company, even if it is somewhat more expensive.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Amtrak Asks 2 People Who Use Wheelchairs To Pay $25,000 For A Ride in ~misc

    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I don't think Amtrak has a strong side here, the cost they're asking is beyond reasonable. There was a previous arrangement for a few hundred dollars in reconfiguration fees regarding a dining...

    I don't think Amtrak has a strong side here, the cost they're asking is beyond reasonable.

    There was a previous arrangement for a few hundred dollars in reconfiguration fees regarding a dining car. The only change between then and now is simply that Amtrak has new, unspecified policies that somehow take the cost from maybe a few hundred dollars to US$25,000, without explanation. The article states that that's about 1500 tickets compared to the base price, which is multiple times more than car capacity. What gives?

    The agent stated that Amtrak had previously eaten reconfiguration fees. Were they always $25k? They'd better prove it if it was because, again, $25k to reconfigure a car (i.e. remove bolted seating) for wheelchairs seems totally unreasonable.

    So thanks to a change of policy, groups of wheelchair users on the hook for thousands upon thousands of dollars more than able-bodied groups. That seems like the exact kind of thing the ADA was supposed to put a stop to.

    Frankly, it just seems like Amtrak reconfigured a bunch of policies to increase profit (fair) but totally forgot about ADA in the process (unfair). The burden is on them, as the service provider, to figure out how to provide reasonable accommodations to people who require accommodations, and they have not done it here.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Developer says their game started selling 400% better on Steam after releasing torrent in ~games

    TheJorro
    (edited )
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    There's always an uptick in sales when someone releases their games out on torrent. It worked great for Darkwood a year or two ago. It seems, at least for indie numbers, getting in with the...

    There's always an uptick in sales when someone releases their games out on torrent. It worked great for Darkwood a year or two ago. It seems, at least for indie numbers, getting in with the torrent crowd is a great way to generate bursts of sales. There are a good number of people out there who will buy any game that releases a torrent out of principle out there, check out the Steam reviews for this game right now.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Oh yeah, people who think Dark Souls is perfectly designed have some very rosy glasses on. There's a lot about the original Dark Souls' design that was janky and half-baked to say the least,...

    Oh yeah, people who think Dark Souls is perfectly designed have some very rosy glasses on. There's a lot about the original Dark Souls' design that was janky and half-baked to say the least, including a whole area (Lost Izalith). It's a great game to play because the mechanics are so good, and I really came around to enjoy the progression systems, but there's a lot about the world design that was improved with later Soulsborne games.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    It took me 30 hours to get Dark Souls to click, and I've played it constantly ever since then. When you get it, you get it.

    It took me 30 hours to get Dark Souls to click, and I've played it constantly ever since then. When you get it, you get it.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Unfortunately the only way to say for sure is if someone makes a high quality AAA title (with multiplayer) and it flops or soars.

    Unfortunately the only way to say for sure is if someone makes a high quality AAA title (with multiplayer) and it flops or soars.

  9. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    That one is more personal than the rest but I always enjoyed the spaces this level had, they're pretty different from any other CS map, like the side hall facing down the main hallway, or the...

    That one is more personal than the rest but I always enjoyed the spaces this level had, they're pretty different from any other CS map, like the side hall facing down the main hallway, or the garage to back office entryway.

    It's not a big map either, but the paths are winding and meet at a few points that make it great for ambushes and unexpected plays. It also has the side effect of making good audio setups much more important so you can listen for where someone may be.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Nathan Drake collection on PS4? Would you believe the PS4 version fixed the aiming across all three original games? It was worse on the PS3. The good news is that Uncharted 2 and 3 are a lot...

    Nathan Drake collection on PS4? Would you believe the PS4 version fixed the aiming across all three original games? It was worse on the PS3.

    The good news is that Uncharted 2 and 3 are a lot better about it. The thing that made the first Uncharted worse (despite similar enough mechanics) is how they designed the combat arenas—the constant spawning of the enemies behind you was annoying as all hell.

    Uncharted 2 lessened the shooting down to pace it with the platforming nicely. Uncharted 3 is a bit of a step back. I thought 4 was really well done.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    It's definitely beloved. I think calling it the single most "fun" game is probably what is unpopular since it's not usually in "favourite" or "best" lists for many people. What I'm more trying to...

    It's definitely beloved. I think calling it the single most "fun" game is probably what is unpopular since it's not usually in "favourite" or "best" lists for many people. What I'm more trying to get at is that it has the most "fun game" in every aspect than any other game, and I don't think any other game has come close to making sure the entire experience, from start to finish, is as much "fun game" as Katamari Damacy. The Namco title screen, for example, would be a legal thing in any other game. KD uses it as the save profile select, and you have to use Katamari mechanics to do it! Before the game even starts (upon a previously played boot) you're thrown into the world and gameplay immediately.

    (Also, I am lumping We <3 Katamari with Damacy for this purpose.)

    2 votes
  12. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I'd say it's something similar to my Spec Ops thing. Just because a game refers to something new that games don't usually delve into doesn't automatically make it amazing or even poignant....

    Yeah, I'd say it's something similar to my Spec Ops thing. Just because a game refers to something new that games don't usually delve into doesn't automatically make it amazing or even poignant. It's just a reference unless it's exploring those ideas in interesting new ways and inviting exploration and new kinds of thinking on those matters.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Sure! Every time I play this game, I'm so annoyed by how little sense the story makes. Shepard is a Marine commander who lost a ton of his men... but those guys were all Army, not Marines. His...

    Sure!

    COD Modern Warfare 2 has one of the worst stories in gaming.

    Every time I play this game, I'm so annoyed by how little sense the story makes. Shepard is a Marine commander who lost a ton of his men... but those guys were all Army, not Marines.

    His goal then is to galvanize America into a full blown war against Russia in the spirit of overzealous patriotism for all those American lives... and then he does so through probably the single biggest and most treasonous act in US history, by working with those same Russians to have them invade and deal major blows to the US. But also how did the US not detect or see an entire invasion coming until they were already ashore? MW and MW2 both have heavily shown that the US has all kinds of information from all over the world at any given point in the loading screens alone until this point.

    So to hide it he goes very far out if his way to bring together all the best Special Ops people into one unit, including breaking Price out of a gulag, just so he can have them cover up his actions. Then he proceeds to betray them, even though Price was suspicious of him all along. But also he now has this elite mercenary group under him? He's a Marine commander, and he put together all the best SpecOps people in a unit... and he chose to hire some other PMC firm to be his muscle instead of using either of those two groups? The dumbest part of it all is that if he didn't betray his SpecOps group at all, they would have had no idea what he had done! He outed himself for some stupid reason!

    Also, what was the deal with Ghost? He was in all the marketing because of his look, the art book even lists him as a "silent but deadly" type. And then he won't shut up, does nothing, and then gets shot in the face. What was the point of him?

    Not to suggest that CoD4 had some kind of amazing story but at least it was contained, made sense, and didn't try to be overdramatic with badly done plot twists.

    EDIT: Oh man, I forgot about No Russian. How the hell did Russia justify an invasion over a CIA asset all by himself?! How did they even buy that it was all his idea? The way the story handled the consequences of the level just made the level feel disrespectful in retrospect. What a mess.

    Platform party chat killed an important aspect of multiayer gaming

    The days of lobby chat had their fair share of problems, to be sure, but there were also so many great moments of playing with the people in that lobby. Jokes, shit talking, laughs, insults, and more as the game went on, poorly or well. Maybe someone took control and guided the team, everyone fell in line behind them, and the game went smoothly.

    Now days, it's all a ghost town. If I go online and into a lobby there's just... names. Nobody's chatting, nobody's having fun. It's gone from feeling like I joined a pick-up game at the local community centre to feeling like I joined a pick-up game inside a library. The erstwhile sense of "community" within that lobby is simply gone.

    These days, I can only really find it in certain games where communication is vital, like Counter-Strike or LoL or DOTA. But then those games are also way too intense to be all I can play so it's not exactly a solution.

    Additionally, party chat ruined some interesting online chat features, like local voice broadcast where your voice comes out of your character in the game space, and enemies could hear you if they were close enough since you were, for all intents and purposes, speaking out loud.

    StarCraft has always been more of an exception to RTS games than an example of the genre.

    StarCraft is just simply an outlier because of how fast it is. It was always meant to be the fastest RTS game, especially StarCraft 2. People dismiss RTS games as a genre where you needed crazy high APM to even compete but that's only true of StarCraft (and even then, not really). After all, WarCraft is right there next to it and that's not at all nearly as demanding about APM. It's more of a traditional RTS game because of how slow-paced it all is. Games like Age of Empires, Dark Reign, Impossible Creatures, Company of Heroes, Command & Conquer all had more in common with WarCraft than they did StarCraft.

    EA isn't the worst company in gaming.

    Activision gets it for me. To me, they're the least daring, least adventurous, most predatory company. The still have Bobby Kotick as their CEO. Remember all the wild shit he said in the 2000's? It's not like that went away, the board probably told him to shut the fuck up after a while, but all his notions are still there with him.

    I'd also give the nod to Microsoft during the Xbox 360 days. A lot of the predatory gaming practices we have now can be traced back to their actions during the Xbox 360.

    7 votes
  14. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    TheJorro
    (edited )
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    Well then. Spec Ops: the Line isn't as good as its reputation it suggests and a lot of what it did aim for was done better by Metal Gear Solid 2. COD Modern Warfare 2 has one of the worst stories...

    Well then.

    • Spec Ops: the Line isn't as good as its reputation it suggests and a lot of what it did aim for was done better by Metal Gear Solid 2.

    • COD Modern Warfare 2 has one of the worst stories in gaming.

    • Platform party chat killed an important aspect of multiayer gaming and it has never been the same since.

    • EA isn't the worst company in gaming.

    • The weird original boomerang PS3 controller looked interesting and it's a shame it never saw the light of day because the SixAxis and the DualShock 3 kinda sucked.

    • Super Smash Bros. is not as intuitive as it should be.

    • Katamari Damacy is, pound for pound, the most "fun" video game. Not a single wasted moment, including the Namco title screen.

    • Half-Life 2 is still the best masterclass in linear level design.

    • Arena shooters and RTS games aren't dead, it's just that nobody has invested money into making good AAA ones in far too long. (Hopefully Doom Eternal has a proper multiplayer this time.)

    • StarCraft has always been more of an exception to RTS games than an example of the genre.

    • All the best Star Wars media are video games (maybe with the exception of the Thrawn trilogy).

    That's it for now. Maybe I'll add more later as I remember them.

    EDITED New ones:

    • Fulbright Studios (Gone Home, Tacoma) games suffer from the same problem: good ideas, and execution that runs out of steam 2/3 of the way through.

    • Nintendo isn't very good at controller designs.

    • Prince of Persia 2008 is the best game in the entire franchise.

    • The original Uncharted wasn't a good game because of its reliance on shooting gameplay, all of which was bad.

    • Killzone is an underrated franchise, though still not a very good one. But the first game's multiple-character level design was excellent and it's a shame it wasn't expanded on.

    • Gears of War 2's online was ruined by people who demanded they rebalance the gameplay to be as broken by the shotgun as the first game's online, and the series was never able to recover from that.

    • Halo CE had some of the worst level design ever. Halo 2's SMG is one of the worst weapons ever and it's ridiculous that they made it the default weapon. Halo 3 is the first Halo game to not have major design issues. The Halo series generally has bad spawns, and the lack of any spawn protection makes it so much worse.

    • Office is the best Counter-Strike level.

    • Fallout 1 and 2 have aged just fine.

    • MW2's No Russian level would have been better served if we instead played as a civilian trying to outrun the massacre.

    19 votes
  15. Comment on Ray tracing, VRS, and DLSS in id Tech 6 and Wolfenstein: Youngblood in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    That's more of an artistic issue than a technical one.

    That's more of an artistic issue than a technical one.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on The story of how Microsoft's Kinect grew from a skunkworks motion-controller project into a company-wide effort with massive resources, and was eventually abandoned in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link
    I wonder if it's possible to add up the amount of money companies have lost because they misread the factors behind the Wii's success, Nintendo included. It's probably in the hundreds of millions,...

    I wonder if it's possible to add up the amount of money companies have lost because they misread the factors behind the Wii's success, Nintendo included. It's probably in the hundreds of millions, if not billions.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Windows 7 support has ended in ~tech

    TheJorro
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    I've been enjoying Windows 10 quite a lot as it has grown and evolved since release. It's the first version of Windows that feels as fun as OSX, especially now that Windows Subsystem for Linux is...

    I've been enjoying Windows 10 quite a lot as it has grown and evolved since release. It's the first version of Windows that feels as fun as OSX, especially now that Windows Subsystem for Linux is in a good place and Windows Terminal is available. It's like I get the best of both worlds now. I've set up an environment with Visual Studio Code that exists almost entirely on the Ubuntu subsystem that runs almost natively through Windows. WSL2 coming this year should be even closer to native too, with more Unix features working too.

    There's a few things that still aren't fun, like bouncing between different kinds of setup menus to find the option you want (why are both Sounds and Sound Options available choices when you right click the speaker icon, and then why do they take you to entirely different menus with entirely different options to adjust?) and the Start menu is nowhere near as good as it was in Windows 7 without heavy, heavy customization. And even then, there's not much room to customize. But, hey, Windows 8 ruined the Start function so much, it basically trained me to rarely ever use the Start menu for anything but typing in a search for what I want—which is honestly a lot faster and less intrusive than the Start menu anyway.

    Sidenote, had to deal with Windows 8 again recently. It's worse than you remember. I used W8 as my primary OS for about 2 years and it still took me nearly 5 minutes to figure out how to Power Off the computer before I remembered that stupid swipe right menu nonsense.

    In terms of telemetry and privacy issues: collossal meh. It's overblown. You can turn so much of it off, and W10 is pretty upfront about it. In such a day and age, that alone inspires confidence since so many other platforms don't mention it much at all. And in terms of trust, Microsoft was the only one of the big four companies who wasn't sending out voice recordings to third parties from what I understand. I'd say that makes them more trustworthy than Google, Amazon, and Apple. Maybe they did too, but then that just puts them on the same level as the others for me.

    9 votes
  18. Comment on Houston Astros GM and manager suspended — then fired — for stealing signs in ~sports

    TheJorro
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    I'm disappointed the Astros weren't stripped of their World Series Championship for this.

    I'm disappointed the Astros weren't stripped of their World Series Championship for this.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Not Poutine, FYI in ~food

    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I think it's more that the form people used to submit it is applied automatically without any checks. The description for the Unicorn and the Farm-to-Table both specify gravy, but the checkmarks...

    I think it's more that the form people used to submit it is applied automatically without any checks.

    The description for the Unicorn and the Farm-to-Table both specify gravy, but the checkmarks say otherwise.

  20. Comment on What are your unpopular movie opinions? in ~movies

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Don't forget about the character of Switch, who was male in one world and female in the other.

    Don't forget about the character of Switch, who was male in one world and female in the other.

    5 votes