exiledbear


This blog has moved to http://exiledbear.wordpress.com

This blog has moved to http://exiledbear.wordpress.com


A friendly reminder
exiledbear
This blog has moved.

You can find all posts since 5/14 on http://exiledbear.wordpress.com

I'm not surprised.
exiledbear
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/306667

And then we look at what the other reviewers are saying about it
exiledbear
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/16/business/la-fi-ct-thq-homefront-20110316

Geez, you'd do best coppering whatever the majority of reviewers say. Or at the very least, ignoring them or weighting their opinions close to zero.

They all spend at least 1-2 paragraphs discussing the story behind the game. Good grief. Valve really got it with HL2 - they didn't bother with cutscenes or narratives, they just threw you into the game, and if you wanted the story, you could find it here and there. Or if you didn't, then you just picked up your crowbar and went to town. They understood - it's a game, and players want to get in there and start playing. Anything you put up in between is bad.

The more I compare playing a game, reviewing it myself and then reading the mainstream reviews, the less credibility they have, as far as I'm concerned.

They all just LOVED DS2, and they don't like Homefront very much? Ignore them.

Review of Homefront: Well designed, but too short
exiledbear
Everyone always wants to tell a story these days in a game. Geez, give up already, your stories suck and just get in the way.

This one is more outlandish than most - North Korea is occupying the U.S. and you find yourself first being drafted by the North Koreans and then drafted by the guerilla resistance. But really, it's just an excuse to put together a military themed shooter.

Whether it's zombies or monsters from outer space or some invading army, you aim and shoot.

First off, level design is good. They did a good job mixing it up. It's not all run and shoot, run and shoot. Sometimes you're sneaking, sometimes you're sniping, sometimes you're flying a helicopter, sometimes you're painting targets for your drone, and sometimes you're calling in strikes from the air. The interactivity with the world is acceptable and what I'd expect out of a decent shooter these days.

I like the way they handle damage. There are no health packs and there's no health bar. You have some implied health bar that's constantly healing. Basically you can take about 2 or 3 shots before you die, but if you can find a way to get under cover, you heal up pretty quick. It still provides penalty and challenge without the hokiness of having to salt the level with healthpacks everywhere. I like it, it's different and there's precious little that's different about shooters these days.

There's a veritable shitload of different guns to use, and they pretty much force you to use them all, as almost all your weapons and ammo come from dead enemies. Sorta like how Che wrote in his guerilla warfare book - you're always trying to fire just as little as possible to save ammo. I did notice every so often they'd put little stocks of guns and ammo here and there, especially right before a big fight though. It seemed like they went for the flavor and not the actual experience of being out of ammo. OOA - sorta like OOM, except more frustrating.

Unlike some shooters that I just finished reviewing - they also did a bang-on job of letting you know what you're supposed to be doing next. No surprises when they throw you into a minigame, they very clearly tell you what the goal is and more or less what you need to do to beat it.

The art assets look decent - nothing there that would make me remark over it, but there's nothing that looks shabby.

The only fault I can find with the game is that it feels like they cut it short - I get the sense someone said "Ok, is that level done now? I don't care if we were planning on doing 4 more levels, we need to ship it now. Tack on an ending cutscene and roll the credits."

In summary: Good and varied level design, moderately creative game mechanics, decent art assets, but not enough levels. If I had to choose between buying say, Dead Space 2 or Homefront, pick Homefront, you'll get more out of playing the levels that are there than you will out of DS2.

Well
exiledbear
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illinois/article_ce1a393c-7b4e-11e0-b418-0019bb30f31a.html

I would point out that most of the obesity was caused by government policies that made HFCS cheaper than it would have otherwise been, if it wasn't subsidized.

Tell you what - slap tariffs on HFCS that are similar to what is on cane sugar now and sure, you can tax obese kids. You gubmint types love new taxes right? I'm offering you a Bright Idea(tm) here - why tax once, when you can tax twice? If one tax is good, two taxes are better!

I suppose someone would pipe up about personal responsibility and choices, but play a little game in the grocery store sometime, and try to find things that DON'T have HFCS in them. I'll wait while you do. Take your time. You'll need it.

Edit: Considering this comes from a politician in rural Illinois, that would go over well with her corn growing voter base. I can almost taste the moist delicious cake, I mean, irony.

Further Edit: Something has gone seriously wrong with Livejournal. Public flagged posts (which is pretty much all my posts these days - if I don't want to write it to the world I just don't write it) are not showing up at all, unless I login to my LJ account. Fine, blogging services are more or less commodities these days. You can read posts past this date at http://exiledbear.wordpress.com then.

This blog has moved. All new posts are at http://exiledbear.wordpress.com

The delicious irony about the margin hikes
exiledbear
Is that they did indeed shake out the weak hands, and create a selling avalanche. And I'm sure knowing the timing of it, they made some paper profits, maybe they even took delivery.

However, nothing's free and there's a price for everything. What they paid for (and pay for every time they do this) is to strengthen the remaining hands that are long.

There's only so many times they can play the margin hike card before it stops working. It's subject to diminishing returns every time they do it too. I'm sure they know this, they're not stupid. Which brings us to the coincidence of the "capture". Yeah, that's just dumb probability.

One day, they'll hike margin rates and they'll get an "immune" response back from the market.

I hope they can heal themselves through the damage that follows...

So Bill Gross, Jim Rogers are making bets - anyone betting against them?
exiledbear
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSNs_HaUp4yo

Someone has to take the other side of those bets, right? Who, I wonder?

Alright, I have some disagreements here
exiledbear
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/whitney-tilsons-comprehensive-presentation-life-economy-and-everything

Their opinions of Berkshire Hathaway, I find neither here nor there, but like with Apple, I think that the fortunes of that entity are inextricably linked with Buffett being alive with his mental faculties intact. When Buffett dies, so will Berkshire Hathaway.

But their opinions on MSFT are definitely there, way way out there. They mention three strengths of MSFT going forward:

1. Cloud computing
2. Mobile
3. Search

Bullshit. #1 and #3 are OWNED by Google. #2 is currently OWNED by Apple, although Google is definitely doing their best to try to own #2 as well. MSFT? Nowhere to be seen as far as I can tell.

The only thing that I see that MSFT has as a future is the Xbox. Everything else is legacy stuff that was all built and designed in the 80s and 90s. The problem with MSFT isn't their current prospects, but where they're going to be 10 years from now. And from what I see they're rotting from the inside out - the rot just hasn't become obvious yet.

Maybe 20 years from now, what's left of MSFT will have been spun off as a gaming publisher, gaming studio, and everything else will be owned by some other corporation that survived the economic shitstorm we're currently in.

The other thing to keep in mind about MSFT and what made it such a powerhouse was their ability to motivate people with stock options. A plateau'd stock price means they can't promise the same sort of riches (and ultimately freedom) that they did promise (and deliver) in the past. Not that they can't attract talented people now, but they will never get the sort of brilliant risk takers and whatever-it-takes type to their fold anymore.

Like a lot of things, when a corporation gets that big, whatever happens - it takes FOOOORRRRREEEEVVVVVEEEEERRRRRRR to play out. I don't expect MSFT to do much in the meantime - either up or down.

But the magic has gone, and they ain't getting it back. Look elsewhere for the magic.

What if they're both right?
exiledbear
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgellons

On one side, you have the medical establishment, eager to get back to surfing for porn or thinking about their golf game dismissing it all as just a bunch of loonies, it's all in their head, the bloody nutters. Just leave us alone - we can't write a prescription for it or kick it upstairs to a surgeon, what do they bloody want us to do?

And on the other side you have people who are analysing fibres coming out of their skin that do not match anything in the known fibre databases (thank the police for keeping extensive catalogues of fibres).

One side says "I'm right, leave me alone so I can get back to my golf game", the other side says "I'm right, it's a bug, get off your ass and cure me". I suppose of the two, I'm more sympathetic to the people who aren't thinking about their golf game.

But the truth is nobody knows, right? I wonder (and here's a theory) if both sides are partly right - and partly wrong? What if the golf-gamers are partly right about it being in their head - which is then causing symptoms to show up in the "real world"?

Just a theory. In any case, it's Charles Fort material for sure. The weirdness is out there and soon you won't be able to pretend it isn't there.

How does that old saying go?
exiledbear
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-09/u-s-underwater-homeowners-increase-to-28-percent-zillow-says.html

Assets are contingent, but debt is forever? Sort of like diamonds I guess...

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