Smash Ultimate might have the worst online system i’ve ever seen, relative to the quality of the game itself. It literally hits every checkmark in “How can we fuck up an online system”
That ain’t a hot take, people have hated Smash’s online since it first appeared in Brawl. Nintendo is famous for having terrible online services.
no i think its the worst ever, thats the hot take
Been there. Done that.
Thankfully at a better place now. The scars remain though. Last week we hit code lock on an update and I went to check if anything new was committed since and people were almost offended. I was shocked to learn code lock wasn’t just a word here. I had spent 10 years in this industry and it was the first time people actually adhered to the concept of hitting code lock.
Good bye hot takes thread. There’s been a whole range of temperatures here but eventually there has to be a time where your takes have to come back down to earth.
Dead Space is better than RE4
I go back and forth on this all the time. I love both games so much.
Thief is way more interesting as an early 3D horror game than as a pure stealth game. Its stealth pacing and objectives can actually get pretty boring, and are only made up for by sheer atmosphere. There’s a bit of dynamic soundtrack toward the top of the first level where there’s just distant distorted 70’s sci-fi-ish klaxons occasionally blaring between what sounds like howls on the wind, both sounds could make sense in-universe and are implied to be diegetic but are left unexplained. Getting caught by guards is scary for many reasons despite their corny VA, the super grungy-textured low-poly models with high-fidelity VA (that, due to compression, has slightly-too-crisp highs that actually makes sounds more uncomfortably present, even intimate) are scary, the prison in the mines is upsetting, the scales of the rooms and NPCs are imposing, even the emulated EAX that comes with popular fan patches creates more imposing sound propagation than most any other game for me. Everyone sleeps on what’s actually cool about Thief beyond its most abstract historical game design elements aaaa.
On a related note, a lot of recent retro 3D games have a really weird issue with not recreating the sound of the period they’re aiming for. Unique (and usually heavy) audio compression per-game is a huge part of the aesthetic of 90’s soundscapes, along with a lot of esoteric trends in common design and samples. It’s hard to describe why I’m so into this, it’s just a really particular kind of atmosphere i feel’s gone unexplored lately.
Like, when games like Dusk, Devil Daggers or Strafe have super clean high-bitrate 44100 khz audio competently hit my ear the same way as everything else in the past decade, it creates a kind of dissonance with the visuals i can never quite shake. I know the focus on modernized audio in these is part of the “recreating it as what you remember, not what they actually were” thing, but weird sometimes-scary compression is part of what I remember, goddammit.
Is this a really weird hill to die on when i’m not even in any kind of sound business? Yes. Will I still die on it really hard? Also extremely yes.
Pretzels are the true gamer fuel because your fingers stay clean.
Tabletop games hot take:
Math is good, actually.
I’m going to follow this up and say I think tabletop games with Lifepath systems are A+. Some complain that it’s constraining but I think that’s what makes it a great system.
In fact I think just randomly generating characters when one is bored is a game in of itself.
I am so glad that someone made the unofficial web-based Burning Wheel character burner for precisely this reason. I’ve never even managed to find anyone to run a BW game, but I’ve burned up lots of characters, idly.
Games shouldn’t be allowed to pass cert unless the fans in the machine calm down when you pause the game.
NetherRealm is the worst AAA studio out there right now. They are the only studio making games with those budgets to be batting 0.000. First and foremost is that the games are ugly as sin, both from an artistic and animation point of view (technical they’re fine whatever they had the money to polish shit to a shine). They also feature the only fighting game soundtracks without any merit since the revival of the genre in 2009 and all of their sound design reminds me of old Clayfighter games. Which is a real shame because there are some EXTREMELY talented people at the studio that have their work shine through the shit now and then (Hellboy’s Super comes to mind immediately). It almost makes me feel bad ragging on them… until I remember how their games actually play: stiff, unwieldy, and featuring jump arcs that make me want to throw up on the spot.
Every time I look at this thread I want to just vent and say mean things about certain popular games.
At least half of any one vanilla New Vegas playthrough is a painfully boring waste of time, and a lot of the other half is thinly-written and a bit crap when you grow past the novelty of it being more thought out on the whole than Bethesda writing.
Unreal Tournament 99 had the best aesthetic of all UTs, informed by subtle-but-rad worldbuilding, Alexander Brandon’s score and genuinely beautiful architecture.
Unique/signature samples specific to game composers are an underappreciated art. For instance, UT99 and Deus Ex have distinct but similar personalities few other electronica-centric game OSTs since then have, because it was at the tail end of MOD music seemingly being allowed to be used in big-ish western video games. Jesper Kyd sure as hell never got to (or, y’know, chose not to) evoke his Amiga days in his big stuff, even modern “oo isn’t synth cool” callback OSTs don’t delve into the full-bore weird samples n such that kind of music had, partly because it’s weird and offputting to all but handful of people but still.
Late 90’s full-3D games are so uniquely appealing because many of them are accidentally brutalist.
That’s what this thread is for! I discovered it like a week ago and i’ve already posted more in it than any other WP thread for a reason, and most my takes are unapologetically embarrassing!
Realizing I can get this off my chest now:
Baldur’s Gate 2 is not that great. All of the worldbuilding is boilerplate and flavorless, even when clearly communicated, it does shit like send you on 3 hour quests involving an extended Blair Witch Project reference and nothing else, the dungeons are all bad except for the 1 memorable room that they have, because otherwise you just cloudkill everything to death, the companions range from painfully boring to actively obnoxious, designing encounters around the player having hard counters sucks, AD&D is not very fun in a videogame, its ugly, and its actively bad as far as roleplaying is concerned. The game is often talked about as being some kind of goldilocks middle ground between Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale but actually it’s closer to a massivley bloated Icewind Dale without the distinct flavor of that game and with too much dialogue, the worst of both worlds rather than the best. Yoshimo is the only good thing in Baldur’s Gate 2.
These are both 100% true. Sophisticated tracker-based music was unfairly beaten out by compressed audio files, but the period of good tracker music (basically, the 1990s) is really distinctive because of it.
I’m happy Bioware is moving away from their wheelhouse because it means maybe some studio whose writing I can stomach will jump on that niche.
a lesson we all should apply to 99% of cRPGs using it as a system.