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A letter from the Cuprohastes-in-Chief

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11:37AM

Deus Ex: Human Revolution–A Player’s Review

Having finally completed Deus Ex: human Revolution, here is my review in short form:

“Wait until it’s out on budget and they fixed the bugs.”

And now the longer version, under a cut…

Good
  • For £10, a satisfying game
  • Large choice of Aug upgrades.
  • Rapid XP aquisition.
  • Variable gameplay styles – Run n’ Gun, sit n’ snipe, stun n’ evade.
  • Upgrade weapons.
  • Health and power regeneration handled sensibly.
  • Difficulty levels are:
    • Tell me a story.
    • DeusEx how it was meant to be.
    • Challenge me.
Bad
  • It cost £35.
  • A lot of the Aug upgrades are pretty damned weak and ineffective.
  • Prepare to either sink a lot of your upgrades into expanding your inventory or get used to throwing away the weapons you spent thousands of credits upgrading because you ran out of ammo, and then a minute later, really wishing you’d been able to bring that Sniper rifle/silenced pistol/rocket launcher/pointy stick along.
  • Plot is pretty much exactly the same as the last two Deus Ex games.
  • The plot twists are pretty much telegraphed in the first five minutes of gameplay and confirmed quite soon. There are no big surprises in this game.
  • Some levels force you to toss away weapons you’ve sunk a lot of time and money into in the form of upgrades – It’s nearly impossible to fully upgrade any single weapon because the upgrade kits just aren’t available. And then you find the level designers are dropping hints that you should toss them by removing ammo from gameplay.
  • Despite quitting me out of the game and telling me I didn’t have enough resources to turn on Anti-Aliasing, this game continues to be both breathtaking in it’s design and scope and also, fugly.
  • No Windowed mode.
  • Item Highlighting is a toggle, but it’s advised to keep it on because some things can be interacted with and others which are very similar cannot be, and frankly there’s so much damned clutter that you’d never find what you’re looking for without it. But you cannot alter the colour (yellow) to make it stand out from the background (Mostly yellow).
  • All in-game characters suffer from Parkinsons. They constantly jitter, quiver, shake and twitch.
  • Adam Jenson apparently is either severely bow legged, massively overweight or spent the last six months on a boat because he walks and runs in an incredible, eye straining rolling gait that suggests he’s swaying side to side dramatically. There’s no option to turn this off.
  • ‘Pocket Secretary’ items often vanish from your log list. This is slightly problematic as they most often  contain the access codes or mission continuation info. I picked up one from a downed enemy, read it and was told I should read it some more before it’d update my waypoint. No matter how many times I read the entry the waypoint would not update. Fortunately like most of the plot points in game it was ham-fistedly obvious.
  • At least one mission cannot be completed by any means other than having a stupidly high hacking skill.
  • Boss fights: Oh dear.
    • Boss fights are often a dramatic way to end a story sub arc and allow the player to test out that special superweapon they’ve been dragging around for the last hour.
      However if your Boss is basically an invisible super soldier who can take a hundred bullets to the face and laugh it off while firing three types of grenade out of his ass and hosing the room down with his chaingun-nipples, it’d be really nice if your main character didn’t die from say… Taking two rounds to the leg. Also if you offer an Armour upgrade, it really aught to protect you. Even slightly.
    • There’s three ways Deus Ex used to deal with bosses:
      1. Go toe to toe and see who’s upgrades were better
      2. Use some clever environmental trap.
      3. Pick up some information and evade the fight alltogether.
    • In DX:HR your option is basically to die a lot then say ‘Fuck it’ and hammer the ‘Fire Typhoon Aug’ four or five times, and walk away. This is shitty design. The fact is you can tazer and tranq and EMP and gas the Boss and they will always still die of massive gunshot injury.
  • Too many no win-scenarios were provided apart from ‘Kill everything that moves’. If your game’s major feature is ‘find alternate routes’ and ‘look for other ways to cccomplish your goals’ (Both of which are handy laoding screen tips). maybe you should allow for htat to happen?
  • The ending is a throwaway – In a game full of fully rendered cut scenes with dramatic Bladerunner Noir visuals, they went with the cheapest, nastiest and least satisfying ending. It’s like sitting through Avatar and then the last five minutes is two interns with blue sock puppets.
8:29AM

Sucking the social out of Social Media.

Recently, I signed up for Klout and Empire Avenue, which are sites that track one's social media accounts and apply a number to you, a score suggesting your overall importance judged by how much interaction the system sees.

Click to read more ...

5:40AM

Confirmation bias and the dangers of being a nerd in the herd.

A short essay on why confirmation bias is bad for your website, and what confirmation bias is.

Click to read more ...

8:46PM

A short but informative guide to Social Media Ettiquette

Welcome to Social media, you've probably been here for a while already, or you're quite new to this!

Either way, here's a short guide; It's not here to let everyone get the most out of their experience without having to stab anybody!


00: Don't post guides telling people how to use social media sites. This is important. Nobody reads those things anyway.

01: Posting

You found a neat-oh Thing on the Internet and you just have to post that puppy (Or Kitten, as the case may be), but hold on there a moment, is there something you're forgetting?

  • Who else posted this? Is it someone wildly popular that has hundreds or thousands of followers?
  • Was it someone who is also a friend of a lot of your friends?
  • Is it likely to be something everyone has seen in their stream fifty times already?
  • Is this a video, picture or meme that's now more than a week old and therefore, by Internet standards, a tired, old cliché that will cause you to be mocked and de-friended by all the cool kids?

So you've determined that that your neat-o find really is worth posting! here's a couple of simple little things that you can do to make it even better!

Write a little something about it!

This is especially important if you're going to use a URL shortener. Here's an example!

Bad:

"Lol" http://goo.gl/zPOD

This link doesn't show you what it points to and there's no explanation. It could be anything! It's probably something everyone's already seen before, and even if it isn't, it's something not everyone is interested in.
Good:

"My favourite moment in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Sonic Rainboom)... 'Uh-oh!'"http://goo.gl/WVTFY

This link also hides what's behind it, but you know what's there because I left an explanation. Now you don't need to click if you have a persistent loathing of MLP.

If you re-post someone else's post, add an explanation of why you're re-posting it, and if possible, add your thoughts - it's more interesting than just stealing someone else's link!

When you're posting links in Google+ it will try to add a thumbnail and a text snippet. Don't forget to use the 'Add Link' button to add your link so you can see what it looks like - if the text or the thumbnail aren't great, turn them off!

Before you post, ask yourself - does anyone really care about your game score, favourite game, or the fact you just got up? The answer is - No actually very few people care. Only the people who know you well will not hate you for saying 'Good morning' or 'Goodnight' or posting that you are going to lunch.

The obvious exception to this is Warren Ellis. You are not Warren Ellis. Don’t do it.

In fact, in Google+ you can arrange your contacts into circles - Why not arrange all your really good friends into one circle so you can post about your life only to that circle instead of publically broadcasting news of your impending sandwich?

Don't be a Bore.

If you have exactly one topic of conversation... try hanging out on a forum instead.

02: You and the Social Scene

Don't forget to fill in your profile, otherwise nobody will know who you are. It's like going to a party and refusing to introduce yourself before you loudly start trying to shout comments at other people who are having conversations!

Be self aware, especially in hangouts  – Just because you are…

  • Goth
  • Emo
  • Into Animé
  • Furry
  • A total Weeaboo
  • An asshole…

… doesn't mean everyone else is!

In hangouts, don't forget to say "Hello!" – But you don't need to give your life story! Try and stay away from the obvious comments like:

"So where are you all from?"

"How do you like Google+?"

"Are you wearing a hat?"

"Cool! A chick! Hey, you're hawt! Did you know Google Plus is like 90% guys? Can I see your tits?"

Remember, if everyone starts to look uncomfortable and leave, it's because you're really really creepy and nobody wants to talk to you!

Happy Google Plussing!

10:15AM

Gmail, Google+ and Google thoughts

Google’s rolling a lot of it’s flagship services into the one Google+ brand.

How will this affect you?

Well… if you use any of them, they’ll all get a unified interface (Probably) and it’ll be easier to put things into the services and then have them display elsewhere, and you’ll have more control over who sees what.

So… actually this is a good thing? Right?

Pretty much, except you now have even greater capacity for accidentally having your boss, mother, grandfather, kids etc. see those embarrassing photos or conversations because you forgot to lock them down, or one day you send an e-mail to someone and Google helpfully connects the two accounts and displays the user icon of a horse’s arse that you were using for them in your contact list.

Oops.

More than ever, people need to have two accounts – One for public display, and one for having fun with.

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