The Cuphead Runneth Over Dean

GamesBeat writer Dean Takahashi, @deantak, recently had some trouble playing Cuphead: This new video has, in many ways, brought back the game journalist competency debate that last reared its ugly head when Polygon’s Arthur Gies played Doom and didn’t do it very well. The emergent arguments and accusations levied at the person in question have […]

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Full Mojo Rampage Review

Over the Top Games’ new roguelike-lite, Full Mojo Rampage, is quite the voodoo soup, one that has been slowly bubbling away in Steam’s dangerous “Early Access” section since late 2013. The game, having finally reached its boiling point in May 2014, is now out, and we are about to find out just how tasty this […]

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Fallout: New Vegas 2017 Soft Touch Modification Guide

To celebrate Fallout‘s 20th anniversary, I figured it would be fun to completely start from scratch and tool the Bethesda Fallout game series for new, fresh playthroughs. Since I have now spent an evening’s worth of catching up on, and customizing, each of the Fallouts, I figured I might as well put my lists out here. In fact, I have actually written an article on Planescape: Torment (hilariously obsolete today, with the new Enhanced Edition out) before, and it’s a ton of fun to share this type of info!

I’m personally a fan of a “soft touch” style of modding, so the purpose here was to create a list of

  1. recently updated,
  2. light, and
  3. simple

modifications that work to make Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas more playable. Modding Bethesda games is pretty fun, as there are so, so many options. If you get too trigger happy, however, it can also be quite frustrating – much like the games themselves!

If you do want to follow this tutorial, either as your setup, or as a basis for adding on more modifications, for the purpose of playing and/or purchasing Fallout: New Vegas, I recommend the Steam Ultimate Edition version. Unlike Fallout 3, New Vegas works quite fine on Steam.

This tutorial operates under the assumption that you are on Windows, have all the DLC, and are running Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition version 1.4.0.525. (more…)

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Fallout 3 GOTY 2017 Soft Touch Modification Guide

To celebrate Fallout‘s 20th anniversary, I figured it would be fun to completely start from scratch and tool the Bethesda Fallout game series for new, fresh playthroughs. Since I have now spent an evening’s worth of catching up on, and customizing, each of the Fallouts, I figured I might as well put my lists out here. In fact, I have actually written an article on Planescape: Torment (hilariously obsolete today, with the new Enhanced Edition out) before, and it’s a ton of fun to share this type of info!

I’m personally a fan of a “soft touch” style of modding, so the purpose here was to create a list of

  1. recently updated,
  2. light, and
  3. simple

modifications that work to make Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas more playable. Modding Bethesda games is pretty fun, as there are so, so many options. If you get too trigger happy, however, it can also be quite frustrating – much like the games themselves!

If you do want to follow this tutorial, either as your setup, or as a basis for adding on more modifications, for the purpose of playing and/or purchasing Fallout 3, I recommend the Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition on GOG.com – simply because it doesn’t have any of the Steam or GFWL dependencies.

This tutorial operates under the assumption that you are on Windows, have all DLC (i.e., the GOTY edition), and are running Fallout 3 version 1.7.0.1. (more…)

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Quote of the Day: Frictional Games

… considering the sheer number of games that are currently being released, I think the best strategy is to focus on unique experiences. You want to create the type of experience that is not only hard to get elsewhere, but also leaves a mark on those who play it. This is now a core philosophy here at Frictional. I guess we sort of always had it unconsciously, but we have now made it official. Our goal is to create games that are more than forgettable escapism.

–Frictional Games

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The Forthog DLC Is Cancelled: Long Live Forthog

We’re hopefully not going to be in the business of reporting news, but the Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War “Forthog Orc-Slayer” DLC has been effectively cancelled, with everyone getting refunds: “The DLC will be withdrawn from sale and will be a free download for owners of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Anyone who has purchased the DLC will receive a full refund.”

In an announcement, a WB Games community manager explains how the logistics of the project became insurmountable, and notes that

We now recognize that tying our donation to sales of the DLC was not the best way to achieve our goal of offering financial support to the family and creating a lasting memorial to Michael Forgey.

In case you are still interested in the overall topic of the ethics of immortalizing someone, in a DLC or otherwise, I wrote about it from a philosophical point of view in the article, “The Calculated Corporate Cynicism of Shadow of War’s Charity DLC.”

Admittedly, I was quite miffed about the DLC, so I gave the article a feisty title. There are some nice things in the article, too.

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List of Games That No Longer Run on AMD Phenom

Note: I do have just enough self-awareness to file this story under our historical category, Time Machine.

There is a tiny, though increasing, category of PC platform video game ports: Games that no longer run on AMD’s Phenom AM2/3 CPUs. There is a simple reason why, shared by all these games: They have been programmed to require CPU support for Intel’s SSE 4 (“Streaming SIMD Extensions 4”) instruction set, version 4.1 or higher.

The Phenom CPUs, however, only support SSE up to 4.0. This is the simple reason why some games, older and newer, fail to start on Phenom processors. As a surprise to absolutely no-one, I am one of these last Phenom survivors affected by this issue.

Phenomenal Legacy

AMD produced Phenoms from 2007 to 2008, and Phenom II’s from 2008 to 2012. It’s now 2017, but to everyone’s surprise, these processors are still surprisingly feisty. The final Phenom II processors produced do not pale, much if at all, in comparison to AMD’s follow-up 2011 FX series – a fact that obviously has much to do with AMD’s failures at CPU development. After all, AMD is only finally beginning to catch up to Intel with the new Ryzen architecture released this year. Back in 2008, however, the Phenom was a competitively priced, powerful alternative to almost everything Intel was offering.

Admittedly, it’s been seven years since the Sep 21, 2010 introduction date of my AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE, but I’ve managed to hold on to it just fine. You may be surprised to hear it still runs all most new games today. I won’t bore you with the details, given this is an article for the like-minded, but I just tried out three games on the Phenom-hating list: Dishonored 2, and Mafia 3, both which run easily around 60fps in high detail after being patched by developers, and Dead Rising 4, which doesn’t boot at all without SSE emulation (see below). Other new games, like Prey, work equally well.

I know 60fps isn’t great, or even good, but it’s not bad, either. Heck, I played the original Half-Life 2 on an Nvidia GeForce 2 MX GPU. That’s bad.

List of Games Not Supporting AMD Phenom at Launch

Below, I have compiled a list of PC ports that did not outright run on AMD Phenom CPUs. I’ve compiled information of current with patch notes and developer responses. The current list includes the following games:

  • Agents of Mayhem,
  • Dead Rising 4,
  • Dishonored 2,
  • Mafia 3,
  • Earth Defense Force,
  • METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN,
  • No Man’s Sky

(more…)

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