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Steve the Pocket

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  1. Ended up rewatching this because YouTube recommended it and I've lost track of which of these generically-named games are which. And I noticed something this time: the opening cutscene, the map, and the prophecy scroll are all rendering at what looks like twice the vertical resolution as everything else. Which would be 320x400. How the...??? What kind of system even supported that, ever? It's not one of the standard 13 VGA modes, I can tell you that much. And in fact the screenshots ultrayoba posted above appear to be the same way. Did this studio figure out some kind of wizardry that the rest of the industry wasn't privy to? Might explain the awful framerate, at least. Updating all those extra pixels takes time.
  2. Not gonna lie, the past few episodes had me so not-feeling-it that I was kind of dreading this one, but this feels like a return to form in a lot of ways. I like the way he's reacting to Grigori, like yeah of course the crazy guy with a gun who's narrowly avoided shooting him multiple times now is treated as an ally more than the friendly scientists he's met, because game recognize game. And the ways you're getting away with not resorting to using the gravity gun (like making explosions kill everything on screen without leaving stragglers) are subtle, clever, and feel natural. Presumably once we get to the next bit, you'll have disabled the infinitely-respawning zombies too, which should help a lot. For a peek behind the curtain, though, does Gordon actually run out of ammo at the exact moment he says "I'm out"? Or just close enough that you wouldn't be able to get through another encounter without a refill so you need to justify him not firing any more shots? Because if it's the first one, I can't imagine how many takes it took to not be stuck in a situation where there's an enemy still alive and no more bullets.
  3. After reading through the last page, I decided to try downloading it myself and see what's what. I'm... not sure I got the same version? Mine has no voice acting at all, and the English translation is terrible. And there are no options to change this anywhere that I can see (the "Game" submenu in the options menu isn't even clickable). It just came as a file called "FRATER.zip" containing the installer, two BIN files, and the EULA on a PDF.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. None of them sounded familiar to me; what did you recognize?
  12. 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".
  13. 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.
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