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Steve the Pocket

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  1. Oh, and this game was weirdly ahead of its time by offering a way to turn off the licensed music. I've seen some modern games offer that for the benefit of Twitch streamers, who are (implied to be, by the fact that Twitch hasn't been sued out of existence by the game industry) legally cleared to stream games themselves but not necessarily the music in them.
  2. I rewatched this because YouTube recommended it and I didn't remember it very well, and one thing that struck me was the HUD elements in the bottom right, which I'm pretty sure I didn't even see before because they're so tiny. HUD elements not being designed to scale up isn't uncommon for PC games of that time, but what's odd to me is that it didn't seem to affect the on-screen text like those tutorial messages. Usually it's all or nothing with that stuff. Also I'm noticing some missing posts in this thread. While I, too, quickly got tired of Ratchet's immature posts and don't disagree with the decision to ban him, do you really think he deserved the "erase all evidence that he ever existed" treatment? Personally I'd reserve that for spambots. Even if they never posted a single thing worth reading, it's still useful to leave proof that the other people in the conversation were arguing with somebody, not just spouting random nonsense.
  3. I remember watching Vinesauce play through some of this; you don't see many parody games out there, and I don't recall Ross covering any yet, so this could be an interesting venture into uncharted territory. I'm a bit concerned about the "6 playthroughs" thing; if the game isn't to his taste, even completing one of the quests might be a drag by the end, but it sounds like you're not properly covering the game unless you do at least one run through each quest.
  4. As luck would have it, New Car Syndrome hit me when I was wandering through the thrift store's book section, and I learned that the "indigo child" isn't just something Cage pulled out of his ass. Rather, he pulled it out of someone else's. It's based on a new-agey idea that kids with apparent mental disorders like ADD are actually the first of a new species of highly-evolved, more spiritually-attuned humans who have, like, ESP and shit. I have no idea how this shapes the narrative surrounding this game, but it was interesting.
  5. I assumed the temperature readings were in Celsius because Ross was playing the European release of the game (as evidenced by the title screen not saying "Indigo Prophecy"), which obviously would have used Celsius for localization purposes. 'Course, if you're gonna call the bloody game "Fahrenheit", and especially if it's set somewhere that uses that scale, it's still weird that they didn't have the temperature readings in F in all regions, with the C equivalent put in parentheses next to it.
  6. It might not be a Christmas game, but it is oddly fitting for those of us in parts of the US right now, because it's been unseasonably cold here. It dropped below zero Fahrenheit (-15C) the past few nights in a row, and a lot of people are currently snowed in not because there's been a lot of snow (it was only a few inches), but because it's been too cold and windy to safely go outside to dig themselves out. We don't have to imagine what it's like to live in a supernatural ice age scenario this year! I don't have much to add, other than to say misjudging the timeframe it would take to get from New York to Area 51 is probably the most excusable of the obvious mistakes in this game. I don't know why Europeans would have an issue with underestimating the size of a country that a single glance at a globe would tell you is about the size of their entire continent, but apparently it's a common problem. Oh, and the big double-Simon HUD is the worst implementation of QTEs in any game ever for exactly the reason you described, and it's incredible nobody realized it. Or maybe they did and were like "OK but what else can we do? Our whole design doc hinged on this." ...Actually that's something I think needs to be brought up more often in discussions of badly designed games. I bet there are loads of games that reached a point where everyone involved realized there was no way it was going to work, but it was too far along to scrap the whole project and start over. Sometimes studios don't even have the budget to throw together a basic prototype before they have to start begging publishers for investment bucks, and at that point they have no choice but to deliver the game the publisher greenlit.
  7. Yeah, Minecraft has historically had issues with multiple translucent textures (as in, those with full 8-bit alpha channels) rendering in front of each other—stained glass and water, for example. I forget if they've finally fixed it now or not, but it used to be that water would just "disappear" if you looked at it through stained glass.
  8. None of them sounded familiar to me; what did you recognize?
  9. This is another one of those games where I'm hoping someone is able to extract and dump the soundtrack; those "completely inappropriate" tracks sound like they'd make perfect additions to any video game YouTuber's library of "obscure game tracks to use as background music during B-roll because they won't get the video blocked".
  10. A while back, there was a commercial for Chromebooks that was like, to transfer your files from your existing computer, "Just log into your Google account, and all your files are right there." Like... wow, really? So it's just going to instantly and automagically transfer the entire contents of my old PC into their cloud thing without so much as a request to confirm from the other end? Of course, that's not what they meant. They were talking about Google Docs and... whatever their cloud backup service is called, I guess. They were banking on their potential customers having already made the switch to using those exclusively and having nothing left that they would miss. Which is a hell of a bold assumption, obviously. Granted, truth-in-advertising laws being what they are, they could just as casually claim the thing can fly you to the moon if they thought people would believe it and lose out on nothing more than the hassle of processing the returns, so it's not necessarily evidence that any of them actually believe it. But you do have to wonder. I think the exact types of bullshit companies ultimately choose to peddle to the masses says a lot about them.
  11. I get the feeling this game was only ever tested on the computers the developers happened to have in the studio, and that they were all the exact same hardware and software config. Making a game use the CPU clock as a timer was recognized as a bad practice at least as much as a decade earlier, when they started having to equip PCs with turbo buttons. Doing that in a way that makes it unclear what the "correct" clock speed even is, coupled with dodgy optimization that makes the game start to run slow unless you have a faster machine than the recommended one... that's just unforgivable. That should get you sent back to flipping burgers. I did some quick digging on the studio behind it, Data Design Interactive. Turns out they're the same ones behind those awful cookie-cutter Wii and PS2 games from the late 2000s that are basically all reskins of each other—The Ninjabread Man, Trixie in Toyland, and such. That explains a lot.
  12. Had to rewatch this one in light of Cult of the Lamb, which achieves most or all of what this game set out to do in a much better package, but also ping-pongs back and forth between that game and a completely unrelated action-roguelike à la Undermine. One thing that both games have going for them is that their respective cults are based off things that really exist in their universes—the Mothership is really coming, and the One Who Waits is a real enemy of the more established religion's gods. This means they're able to stretch the rules and give your cult genuine supernatural powers that you wouldn't have in the real world. Super Cult Tycoon doesn't really take advantage of this; aside from the monoliths you have as your endgame goal, the Robert Sentry is really the only tool you get that requires any paranormal explanation. Cult of the Lamb goes way harder by handing them out on the regular, starting with your inability to permanently die. Need to get rid of a troublesome member without the morale hit that comes from killing them? Just have them ascend to a higher plane before your followers' very eyes. Did one of the Old Gods just curse your community with famine? Declare a fast and watch as they can magically go without food until it blows over. Did you luck out and end up with a follower who has really good attributes? Make that blessing last by giving them the talisman that doubles their natural lifespan. Even acquiring new members happens by defeating bosses in the roguelike section and rescuing the innocent people they were possessing. No need to go out into the world and spread the good word. It's an interesting study in contrasts. It also put me in mind of the famous old god-sim Black & White, both in your ability to use godlike power on the regular and in the stark moral choices involved when choosing what new powers to add to your roster.
  13. Also, wow, that iPad commercial. Really inspires confidence in Mac customers that the people making their computers envision a future where no one even knows what one is.
  14. Ross, I appreciate you calling out the fuck-you-got-mine attitude that a lot of pirates have when it comes to these things. Anyone who has a fuck-you-got-mine attitude about anything, frankly, can go burn in hell. Maybe the real reason the world is in such a mess is because the only people who care and have the resources to do anything about problems would rather spend those resources on solutions that only help themselves.
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