tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse


Any claim anyone could have possibly made that the aiming system in MGS was not broken is immediately invalidated by the GODDAMN escape sequence at the end of the game.

Seriously. You’re operating a gun turret on the back of a jeep, and it doesn’t even give you any indication of what you’re aiming at, nor is there any sort of lock-on functionality. To add insult to injury they expect you to aim at moving targets with this thing.


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Have you learned NOTHING?!

This stupid thing makes the werehog look awesome in comparison, seriously.

It’s times like this that I wish I drank alcohol, so I could drown my sorrows in it.


E3 Day Two in a nutshell

Nintendo: Hey gamers! We’re just going to talk about how awesome we are and about how we don’t really need you any more since we make more money selling shallow waggle-fests to people who really don’t know any better :D

Sony: So uh we have all this shit that’s coming out at some point and it’ll be really awesome! In the meantime have all these repackaged versions of our existing hardware!

Oh, and Sega?

So apparently Sonic Unleashed is part Sonic Rush/Secret Rings, part…stretchy hands combat game.

Worst E3 ever.


I fucking hate AVG Antivirus

So I read this story on Slashdot this morning and reacted the same way any sane techie would: “My god, AVG is a pile of crap. I need to get it off my computer now!” So I did.

Only to have it, with its dying breath, somehow fuck up my Windows registry, preventing Windows from starting at all, except in Safe Mode.

I booted into Safe Mode and used System Restore to bring my computer back to the last point where I could guarantee that it was working. Unfortunately, System Restore also apparently rolls back installed programs. Meaning the copy of Diablo II and its expansion set that I had downloaded and installed from Blizzard’s online store are now gone.

Guess I won’t be playing any TF2 tonight while I download both games all over again :|

For some reason my game directory (with my save data apparently intact, otherwise I really would have lost it) still exists, backed up under another name, but the .exe files and Start Menu entries are nowhere to be found.

I guess AVG wanted to leave me something to remember it by. -_-



For all the noise nVidia makes about being a champion of PC Gaming, they sure are great at undermining their own cause.

For one, implying that console gamers get incomplete versions of games is bound to piss off more than one Xbox 360 or PS3 owner. Can you really describe the 360 or PS3 versions of a game like Devil May Cry 4 or GRID as inferior to the PC version in terms of quality? On top of that, games ported from consoles to PCs often fail the scalability requirement as I mentioned in an earlier post, simply because developers aren’t willing to put in the effort to make their previously non-scalable engine scale to a sensible variety of hardware.

Not to mention that the claim that PC versions of console games are always better is complete nonsense, mostly due to the second reason I just mentioned.


In case anyone was wondering where I was yesterday

Monday was a repeat performance of Friday’s “awesomeness” at work (only worse), and I got home just in time for a wind storm to knock out all power for 5 hours.

So yeah, I was a little tied up.

That new 3G iPhone looks awesome, though.


No more excuses

OK, Sonic fanboys. You know how everyone claims that Sonic the Hedgehog for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 is a bad game? And how so many of you claim that it isn’t really as bad as everyone says it is?

Watch and learn.

I really wish this series of videos had been around last year when I decided to play through the game for myself. I can say with 100% certainty that I experienced just about all the issues they run into (and unleash a torrent of curses at) throughout the entire game.

I recommend the Radical Train videos in particular for their unwashed display of jaw-droppingly bad game design and mechanics.


How was your day?

Mine was pretty terrible.

I think I’ll go blow up some random douchebags in Team Fortress 2 to vent.


In need of some Band-aid

Or, should I say, broadband-aid. :P

*gets things thrown at him*

Ars Technica has been doing a lot of articles about the state of US broadband lately (here’s their latest one). I’ve ranted before about how lame the so-called ‘broadband’ in the US is (the fastest connection I can get in my area is 1.5 Megabits per second, and I live in an urban area), but another thing that this problem has reminded me about is the importance of regulation in free markets.

After the stagflation of the 1970s, most of the Western nations spent the ’80s and ’90s in a fit of deregulation, ostensibly to improve market efficiency. Deregulation is good in certain cases (most people seem to point to the airline industry as one badly in need of it, and post-deregulation one could certainly make the case that – post-9/11 shenanigans notwithstanding – the budget airline space has really taken off).

However, claiming that deregulation is universally good is misguided. People who make such claims (I’m pretty sure we all know who they are) ignore one of the important lessons of basic economics: that markets are not infallible. Market failure is inevitable most of the time, and government regulation is needed to mitigate the effects of market failure. Some of these problems have market based solutions – the success of cap-and-trade initiatives in dealing with emissions certainly demonstrates this – but even these need to be regulated so that the supply of permits is kept in check.

Regular telecom companies are subject to this kind of regulation (which is why infrastructure owners are required to act as common carriers), but broadband companies aren’t, resulting in a de facto monopoly or duopoly for broadband services in most areas. Less competition almost always results in higher prices – and that is more or less the situation the US is in now compared with most other advanced industrial nations.

If you ever need to shoot down market fundamentalists, the situation of broadband is as good an argument as any.

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Just when I thought Sonic Unleashed was looking pretty nice


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