Letters to the Editor

Best Of


In response to “Everything Good Old is New Again” from The Escapist forums:
GoG really is doing an admirable job in patching up games so they run on modern Windowses, but even so there are often many remaining issues with the games they offer. The games that are run with ScummVM and DosBox usually do work fine, but in other games there are issues.
For example with Shiny’s Messiah, GoG has integrated the patch and some Win2000 workarounds into the game, but it will still crash reliably every time at a certain point. This is due to a bug in the level itself that only manifests on the NT architecture (and thus Win2000, WinXP up to Win7) that the original developer never fixed, and GoG hasn’t been able to either.

For other games like the two Fallouts there exist higher resolution patches which could bring the game up to modern standards, but Gog does not implement those since they are fan-made. In some cases the existing patches cannot be applied to the Gog version because the games are essentially edited versions.

On the bright side, the individual games’ subforums are excellent and filled with hints and tricks precisely because most people on Gog ARE enthousiasts and long-time fans. I myself have rebought many games I own on disk on Gog both because I want to support the Gog people, and because this gives me a version that is already playable right out of the downloader, without needing to track down decades old patches from often defunct developers.

But my absolute favourite feature of Gog besides the games themselves are the extras. The Gog people track down any artwork, soundtracks, and sometimes even making of videos and offer them for download for free with all the games you buy. Some of this content is impossible to find legally (or at least affordably) elsewhere.



In response to “Mega Man X Marks the Spot” from The Escapist forums:
X always felt significantly more mature. The internal conflicts that Megaman original experienced were really brought out during the later X series as more and more storyline was apart of the game.

The inner struggles of all the characters, x Zero and Axle, from being the primary virus carrier to being the “new age” reploid but seeing your brothers get infected like just the rest, tring to set yourself apart… I loved it.

Not mentioning at all the entire point of the games, the awesome platforming, the often horrendous bossfights (X8 was such a pain in the ass the first time through, I swear I nearly snapped my controller in half).

If they decide to continue the X series, nothing but good could come of it AS LONG as they stick to the original game formula and add more story and more side items and maybe some exploration?



In response to “Extra Punctuation: L.A. Noire Is a Bad Adventure Game” from The Escapist forums:
I’ve had similar thoughts about subsystems within games like that. Instead of there being one “golden path” through the conversation/interrogation/debate, you’re working against both your and your opponent’s composure. If they cause you to lose yours first, you blow the whole thing, or just walk away in a huff. If they lose theirs first, they sock you in the jaw, walk away in a huff, or whatever is appropriate to the context.

In this way, the conversation works like verbal chess, rather than verbal Sudoku–your opponent is also trying to win, using the same techniques as you. You might choose to approach this conversation with logic or reason, you might choose aggression or intimidation, or you might try any of the many forms of basic persuasion… and each opponent responds differently to each.

So, if you decide to try to reason with an opponent and fail, he might think you don’t know what you’re talking about. With that loss of credibility, you’ll need to try a different approach next time (rather than “grind a quest to get back your reputation”). If you try aggression and fail, maybe this guy’s afraid of you and won’t talk again… or maybe he calls the cops.

Maybe if you try aggression and succeed, you get the information you need now, but you have a hard time finding this guy later. Maybe if you succeed via persuasion, now you owe him a favor.

Yeah, it’d be a nightmare on the writing… but damn, wouldn’t it be cool?


“My hope is that L.A. Noire’s example will lead to a resurgence of games driven by exploration, inventory and dialogue puzzles with more creative plots and refinement of the mechanics. Making the cases a bit more organic and a bit less linear with more appropriate opportunities for failure might be a good start.”

This really is the crux of the matter for my money.

I really enjoyed LA Noire and its mainly for the reasons of it being a return to a somewhat more thinking style of game and it does indeed provide a little hope for some better examples going forward.

I wont say you have been too hard on it because thats your style and I generally agree with everything you write.

I would however say that almost all games represent evolution not revolution. Sure now and again we get revolution, Deus Ex, Dune 2, GTA and the like. But more often than not games creep forward a little at a time and thats what LA Noire has done and it has crept in a very promising direction.


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