GETCHER BLOODLINES ON WHINY GOTH FAGGOTZ!!!

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Debaser
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GETCHER BLOODLINES ON WHINY GOTH FAGGOTZ!!!

Post by Debaser » Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:35 pm

Bonus Alternate Title: Troika finally gets it right.

Bought it Thursday, beat it Sunday and then immediately went to sleep because I hadn't, y'know, really done that in a few days. It's like Deus Ex meets Fallout with black eyeliner.

HILARIOUS MARKETING FAX: I'm sure you've all seen the pigtailed schoolgirl vampire who figures prominently into the advertising of this game. You might think she plays a significant role in the story or gameplay or something, but in actuality she gives you like two missions in the first area and then you're done with her forever.

HILARIOUS SOURCE ENGINE FAX: The implementation is typical Troika i.e., buggy and half-complete. The framerate wobbles around like your sixteen year old cousin at the open bar wedding, characters in the distance zip across the screen at 500 MPH without any movement animation whatsoever. The clipping is, in a word, atrocious. Load times are a constant burden. But then again when I bought Half-Life 2 over STEAM it kept locking up on me during the opening video. So I guess that means Troika has better Source programmers than Valve; empirically.

Advice: Should you purchase or illegally download this game, the absolute first thing you need to do after firing it up the first time is turn the Gamma to maximum. Don't worry about ruining the Darke Gothick Atmosphere or anything, because you'll still be squinting half the time to figure out what the fuck is in front of your face. Not a joke: First time I viewed the opening movie, I thought there was a bug because there was like a thirty second stretch where I was getting no video. Turns out that there was video there but, without the amplified Gamma, it was just too dark for me to see at all.

Otherwise, the beginning of the game is great. The middle of the game, aside from one interminable sewer level that plays like a testament to everything Erik bitched about in this five year old review of Rune, is really quite good. The endgame sucks. Hard. First there's a mandatory combat level in a tenement building that takes the "too dark to figure out where the fuck you're going" meme to mind-numbing extremes. On the next mission you have to run around avoiding an invincible character for three minutes (utterly impossible unless you happen to hit upon one of the numerous AI bugs where he just loses track of where you are). This is followed by a brief and generally pointless stealth combat level. Then you "choose your end path", all of which lead to two levels of nonstop repetitve combat with disposable badguys who are generally very easy but take a bunch of hits to put down and keep respawning whenever you turn your back. Each of these levels is bookended by a nigh-impossible boss battle. The ending I got was anticlimactic, to say the least. I've read online that the other endings are, if anything, worse. While I only have to replay the final two missions to see them firsthand, there's no way I'm going to go suffer through them right now.

Some people apparently experience a game stopping bug at the end of a late-game mission where you have to rescue this Swedish guy from vampire hunters. I almost think Troika put that there intentionally, because the game up to that point was a four or five star affair but after that point literally nothing fun happens.

But, yeah, when it's good, it's great. They managed to capture the best parts of the WoD atmosphere while minimilizing the angsty crap. They managed to give you loads of optional shit to seek out and loads of different ways to solve problems. One of the various vampire clans you can play as has a completely different set of "crazy" dialogue options. "Nice cans" aside, it's maybe the best written RPG since Torment (though it's still a distant second). You even get a submissive ghoullette to abuse and kick around. So yeah, if Vitriola's stalker is reading this now, let me just say "Nice job, buddy.".

Vitriola

Post by Vitriola » Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:30 pm

He's not really stalking me. No way he could out-stalk a pro. I know EVERYTHING about everyone.

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Post by bruce » Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:29 pm

Vitriola wrote:He's not really stalking me. No way he could out-stalk a pro. I know EVERYTHING about everyone.
Oh yeah?

How many freckles have I got on my balls?

Bruce

Vitriola

Post by Vitriola » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:32 pm


bruce
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Post by bruce » Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:56 pm

Vitriola wrote:None?
You clearly do not know everything about everyone. Care to guess again?

Bruce

Vitriola

Post by Vitriola » Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:22 am

No.

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: GETCHER BLOODLINES ON WHINY GOTH FAGGOTZ!!!

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:29 am

Debaser wrote:HILARIOUS MARKETING FAX: I'm sure you've all seen the pigtailed schoolgirl vampire who figures prominently into the advertising of this game. You might think she plays a significant role in the story or gameplay or something, but in actuality she gives you like two missions in the first area and then you're done with her forever.
Oh.

Can you fight anyone at any time? When she is done giving you missions, can you then fight and/or kill her? Someone's gotta die for this insult.

You even get a submissive ghoullette to abuse and kick around.
In what way? Creexul seemed to imply that you could tell her to change clothes or something. I... I don't know if that's as horrible as maybe they thought it was.
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Debaser
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Re: GETCHER BLOODLINES ON WHINY GOTH FAGGOTZ!!!

Post by Debaser » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:06 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:Can you fight anyone at any time?
No. Certain areas are designated "Elysium", which is basically White Wolf's gay way of saying you aren't allowed to fight there. All the important, mission-giving characters inhabit Elysium areas. I'm actually fine with this, as I don't really see the need for designers to waste their time providing second and third backup solutions for people who just set out to break their games.
When she is done giving you missions, can you then fight and/or kill her? Someone's gotta die for this insult.
Kinda? Her missions involve a feud with her sister who actually, well I'm sure you read the thread on Caltrops about the SUPER SECRET TWIST, but basically at the end they try to kill each other and you can let one or the other (or both, I think) succeed.
In what way? Creexul seemed to imply that you could tell her to change clothes or something. I... I don't know if that's as horrible as maybe they thought it was.
Yeah, she has three outfits, one of which is just underwear and high heels. You can verbally degrade her and make her beg you for blood and give you all her money and such, all of which she happily does. You could probably cuff her around a bit, too, since your starting layer isn't on Elysium; but I didn't think to try it.

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:48 am

The Source Engine hates me.

It's two for two in terms of games running like shit on my computer. Hey, time to get a new computer, I guess. I can't remember what megahertz I'm running at, but it's apparently best described, these days, as the AMD PANTS Processor.

Half-Life 2 demanding I yank a stick of RAM ain't helping matters, of course. true.dat.

But I got Bloodlines because I wanted to re-list GTA:SA ("Day-UM!" -- Carl Johnson) after my original bidder fell off the face of the planet. I am spending the same $100 on video games and it feels GREAT.

I felt like a jerk picking up Vampire as well -- aside from the girl on the box who was strategically drawn to show off her ass, tits and face all at the same time (I guess part of the masquerade involves a neck like Ralph Dibny's) EB now "guts" their PC games as well. So I am standing in line like a schmuck at an EB for the millionth time in my life. If they weren't so goddamn convienent I'd really be through with them. Really.

Anyway, I only stopped playing because I have to be to work tomorrow. 6 more days of work and then I'm off for the rest of December and this game is going to get the shit played out of it.
You could probably cuff her around a bit, too, since your starting layer isn't on Elysium; but I didn't think to try it.
I gotcher back, buddy. I'll get right to the bottom of this. (Just as soon as I find her, natch.)
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

Debaser
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Post by Debaser » Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:10 am

I bought my copy of Bloodlines at my local Gamestop. I hate going to my local Gamestop because it's right next to a Toys R US and the entire rest of the clientelle consists of little children and their parents. But they had both Disagea and Katamari Damacy on the shelves right off, so you take what you can get. Also, up until the moment the box was in my hands, I was utterly convinced my local Gamestop didn't sell PC games.

I saw on their website that that store had a copy of Vampire, but nowhere in all the times I'd been in had I ever seen an advertisement for a PC game, much less one on a shelf there. Waiting in line while the 15 year-old cashier talked to some kid's mom about which Mega Man game the kid should buy with the trade in money for the other Mega Man game he didn't like, I spotted three copies of Half Life II tucked away on a shelf behind the counter. Their copies of Bloodlines were apparently stored away with the Ark of the Covenant somewhere, as the kid disappeared into the back for like ten minutes after I asked for a copy.

The same day, I discovered we have an EB Games in my area, as well. I had no idea nor, apparently, does anyone else; as every time I've been in there I've been the only customer. Which, I honestly think is the way they prefer it as they absolutely do not want you just taking a box of the shelf and bringing it up to the counter like they were a retail outlet or something. Instead it's like a bakery where you're just supposed to point to the display model of what you want and then they go fetch a copy out of the back. Also, all the clerks there suffer from male pattern baldness. Where the fuck did they find a full staff of thirty-somethings to hock video games for minimum wage? Still, I'm glad I found the place, as it's infinitely preferable to Gamestop's Old Country Buffet atmosphere, and no other retailer even pretends to give a shit about keeping PC games in stock anymore.

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Post by bruce » Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:18 am

Debaser wrote:Also, all the clerks there suffer from male pattern baldness. Where the fuck did they find a full staff of thirty-somethings to hock video games for minimum wage?
Those guys are all senior IT analysts who were making $200,000 a year in dotcom startups in 1999.

Bruce

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:38 am

Debaser wrote:Waiting in line while the 15 year-old cashier talked to some kid's mom about which Mega Man game the kid should buy with the trade in money for the other Mega Man game he didn't like, I spotted three copies of Half Life II tucked away on a shelf behind the counter.
Yeah, I love that about GameStops and EBs. All year long management has convinced their poor employees that they have to upsell, upsell, upsell. Get in those trades! Which take forever to process.

All of a sudden it becomes "The Holidays" (well, not all of a sudden -- it's right after Thanksgiving, but truth to tell the actual date of Thanksgiving does jump around a little year to year) and these kids are still trying to squeeze every last drop of blood out of the oil of somebody's mom. Meanwhile the lines go out through the door and into the food court.

Are Nintendo DSs available for purchase, or did the ads start early? Some kid was trading in his GameBoy and I thought that the clerk was explaining to him how great a DS is / will be. They need a "no bullshit" line there.

(I did swear off EB because of their inane pre-order policies, which you may have seen debated at length at Quarter to Three. But it's a two hour round trip to go to a Best Buy and I just really wanted the goth schoolgirl chick to shake her tits in front of me when I got home, so... Jesus, it's time to abort this paragraph.)

Which, I honestly think is the way they prefer it as they absolutely do not want you just taking a box of the shelf and bringing it up to the counter like they were a retail outlet or something. Instead it's like a bakery where you're just supposed to point to the display model of what you want and then they go fetch a copy out of the back.
Bwa-hahahaha!


Also, all the clerks there suffer from male pattern baldness. Where the fuck did they find a full staff of thirty-somethings to hock video games for minimum wage?
Yeah, I noticed that as well. You really have to be comfortable with yourself and your position in life to stay there long term. You've absolutely no long-term job security, you have to gladhand and kiss the ass of your corporate superiors, you can be fired at the drop of a hat and you'll never really crack the $33,000 barrier (or around that) managing a store. Plus, the work is somehow hard without giving you a good workout and with the rest of the mall right there the pounds add on pretty easily.

I still have all my hair and left EB when I was 23. Coincidence!?
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Post by Lex » Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:39 pm

The DS is available in America.

A lot of bold guys worked at my EB, too (GAME over here). GAME was a great company that really looked after its' employees untile EB bought them and rebranded themselves "GAME" in the UK. GAME (Oldschool) used to rent out Disney World once a year for the employees.

*Sniff*.
WHOOA!

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Post by Jack Straw » Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:28 am

EB in the States at least pays their employees, however.

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