30 June 2009

Get. Over. It.

Three little words and yet i find them so offensively callous and childish in their nature and use. Someone typing or spitting these little mouth bullets thinks they're being cool and tough..... like disdaining someone's choice or reason for upset and confusion is a reason to be proud.

"You hurt your knee when you fell over? Well, get over it."

"Gamers may suffer some kind of identity crisis as the familiar markers of their beloved niche evolve – or disappear entirely. The solution to that one's easy: Get over it."

"You are finding it hard to deal with an ex dating one of your long-term friends? Get over it..."

These three little words speak to me on one level and tell me everything that is wrong with society on an empathic level. 'Getting over something' isn't a solution nor is it something you can choose to do. It's not a switch or a mechanism or a mindset or an ideology. You have a problem? You work it out, you try and understand why you have a problem or you analyse what you're feeling or thinking. The solution might be that you come to terms with that thing in your own way - you assign values to items, people and possessions and you can equally easily redefine those values thus changing their significance and thus impact on your life. However, the solution might not be to do that - it might be to keep being the way you are, to keep thinking the way you do or to keep feeling the things you feel.... even if that means that you do not like the 'new thing'.

It's okay to dislike things, you know? You don't have to agree with everyone or everything. You don't have to adhere to every rule, spoken or unspoken..... to sit back and watch the night draw in. Some people get up and turn the light on - not because they are afraid of the dark but because they do not want to sit in darkness.

'Get over it' is the phrase uttered by those who don't care, who don't want to know and frankly couldn't care less about it as long as they never had to hear about it again. They don't want to deal with it and thus, in an ironic turn, they will never 'get over it'.

2 June 2009

E3: The Startening...

So E3 has kicked off and it's already more exciting, more disappointing and overall just more than last year's smaller conference - at least in the online reporting department.

Things that i think are of note:

  • Splinter Cell Conviction - more action but looks like good fun, less frustrating stealth.
  • Crackdown 2 - AWESOME!! Though i wish they'd have stuck with the original style of cell shaded graphics than go for 'full, gritty realism'.
  • Alan Wake - release - 2010. Looks more actiony than previous coverage would have hinted at. Resi-frame (because the light seems to be a mechanic of weakening the enemies) or maybe more accurately "Silent Frame" because i think you can still move when you're firing. I think it'll be a solid rental but i'm not sure about its moodiness quality.
  • Shadow Complex - Looks awesome... a 'free roaming' metroid style 2D platformer.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - seriously?! WTF?!! Released on Nov 17th for 360 and PC.
It's this last item that i'll spend the rest of the post ranting about. First off, it seems like a ridiculously short time period for a sequel from the meticulous Valve for one of their games. Secondly, it's only been a year since the first game was released - without a large portion of the promised content which has been rectified but the few maps available and the survival mode don't necessarily add up to the full price i paid for entry.
The most annoying information to come out of the event (actually over at the rock, paper, shotgun site) is that the Left 4 Dead campaigns will work in L4D2. Why not vice versa? Why isn't this new content (which really isn't much more of an upgrade to the game any more than the Half Life Episodes are to Half Life) compatible with Left 4 Dead?

The engine doesn't have a huge upgrade, in fact the only upgrades are to the AI director and the randomisation of mesh entities (map elements) since melee coding is already in the Source engine and could easily be applied to Left 4 Dead in a content update or via a paid download. In fact that's what i believe this content should be.... The options on release should be cut price for the content for people who already own Left 4 Dead and a download to include it within Left 4 Dead. The second option would be to buy L4D2 on its own at full retail price which already includes the content of Left 4 Dead (and this is the one that's been announced) - one executable, one menu. It should be a content platform like Rock Band, not a sequel.

Update: I've added more thoughts here about the Left 4 Dead situation