Thankless Answers: Statement 19
Dragon Age: Awakenings is a strange one. Containing too many new quests to be offered as downloadable content but lacking the scope to be released as a full sequel, Bioware's latest instalment of role playing action is probably best described as an expansion pack. Providing owners of Dragon Age: Origins with a host of new specialisations, spells and talents, players will again venture into the world of Tedas in order to aid with the revival of the Grey Wardens and their investigation into why the Darkspawn weren't on the first bus home.
Regardless of whether you are a PC devotee, a Xbox 360 aficionado or a PlayStation 3 fanatic, any true Dragon Age stalwarts will be interested in the subject matter of today's Thankless Answer as it's a topic close to everyone's heart. Money money money.
Question: How Should I Purchase Dragon Age: Awakenings?
To find out why mo' money means mo' problems, hit Read On!
Thankless Answers: Transmission 18
Between Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3: ODST and Shadow Complex, I've seen the end credits to quite a few of last year's big releases recently. Far from ploughing all of my time at home into Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games, I've increasingly found myself turning to the iPhone for extended gaming sessions; an activity which I would normally reserve for train journeys or prolonged waits at the bus stop. I think that this is mostly due to the leap in quality that the App Store's ever growing catalogue of bite-sized offerings has seen over the last few months, and I'm continually surprised just how absorbing something which initially appears to be a 59p timewaster can be.
I'm fairly selective in what I download. Whilst the App Store's top rated categories often feature some real gems, a great deal of them aren't representative of the experiences that I want out of Apple's platform. The remakes of Final Fantasy 1 and 2 have been highly praised, but a sprawling RPG isn't necessarily something that I want to play on my phone. Similarly, I have a low tolerance for anything that provides control through a virtual d-pad or attempts to shoehorn a console experience onto the 3.5 inch screen, so recommendations of Call of Duty: Zombies are lost on me. With that in mind, today's instalment of Thankless Answers is in service to anyone who finds themselves in the same predicament I was in when I got my iPhone last November.
Question: What is the best iPhone game?
To find out whether there's an app for that, Read On!
Thankless Answers: Exposition 17
As I continue to reacquaint myself with World Of Warcraft after a six month sabbatical, I find myself taking an inevitable trip down memory lane and reliving my experiences with the game in the weeks and months following its initial release. The 'Classic' edition of WoW had a very different feel to it due to third party add-ons severely hamstrung by a rudimentary API, a more determined attempt by Blizzard to stop patches from being data-mined and the absence of in-game aids such as the quest tracker. These were they days when Thottbot was king and Wowhead was just a glint in the milkman's eye.
I'm sure it will shock and appal a lot of players who have only recently joined the WoW community that due to these factors, general chat was often the best place to obtain quest information. What was the same back good old days though is the amount of people who can't be bothered to read their quest log properly and nowhere was this more evidence than the now infamous Barrens chat. One quest in particular, 'Lost In Battle' was the source of more than its fair share of queries and the specific question that kept cropping up time and time again was the same as the one tackled in today's Thankless Answer.
Question: Where can I find Mankrik's wife?
To find out how to avoid being called a n00b on general chat, hit Read On!
Thankless Answers: Revelation 16
I'm going to try and get through this entire preamble without droning on about Yakuza because too many more articles on the subject and I run the risk of turning this site into the internet's first Yakuza fan site. No, instead lets talk about motion controls. Call me a rickety old man if you will, but given the choice between using them and not using them, I would always pick to not use motion controls. Anyone play Heavenly Sword? Early on there is a bit where you were firing arrows at guys, and you can correct the course of the arrows mid flight using the six axis controls. Doing it this way was almost impossible and is highly frustrating, so it’s fortunate that they give you the option to switch them off and use an analogue stick instead.
To not just rag on the poor six-axis, which I should note is barely supported by anyone any more, the Wii has a positively stuffed catalogue of games that I think would be easier with more traditional controls. I believe it has got a lot to do with fidelity of the motions detected by the wiimote and sensor bar. For example in MadWorld I felt that it couldn’t work out what actions I was doing, so often when I was doing a vertical motion the wiimote was picked up a horizontal motion and I was failing to be beat a boss as a result (Which resulted in a 30 minute loss of progress. Didn't really get on with MadWorld). This wasn't really the MadWorld’s fault as much as it was the wiimote that just didn't have enough science in it to accurately determine how it was being moved.
The Wii MotionPlus came along and solved the problem briefly, but that thing isn't really getting supported. Also you had to set it down upside-down quite regularly to stop it from exploding or something. Now the Move comes along to take another stab at motion controls. It's a shame that the majority of what they showed off looked like Wii Sports Resort HD to me, but if it genuinely works like an HD version of motion detecting then it might at least mean a PS3 port of MadWorld that works somewhat satisfactorily.
Why am I talking about motion controls again? Could it possibly be to tie in with today's question? Surely not.
Question: whats with that ball thing on the playstation move?
to obtain unimaginable knowledge.
Thankless Answers: Reboot 15
I am pleased to announce the long awaited return of our Thankless Answers feature! It's happening right here, the text you are reading is it happening! We thought it best to lay out a bit more structure to this section, so here’s what we came up with.
- We will do five answers a week, one on each week day.
- You can now submit your own dumb questions to be answered via electronic mail.
- We will try and cycle the answers between the editors.
This leaves one natural question that while hasn’t shown up via email or in any search term that I can psychically predict you are about to ask.
Question: What is the email address I can send my questions to?
Please Read on
to find out the unsuprising guessable answer.
Thankless Answers - 4th March 2010
I often feel like something of an apologist for Just Cause, a game which I often describe as “the best worst thing I ever played”. Whilst it’s impossible to deny that the skydiving spy romp was full of repetitive missions, stiff animation and gameplay oddities, the seamless and flexible nature of the action was incredibly satisfying and often breathtaking. Like Crackdown, a great deal of the game’s appeal laid not in the linear campaign missions, but in seeing what kind of absurd pyrotechnic escapes you could carry out and generally creating your own fun. The Just Cause 2 demo has just finished downloading to my Xbox 360’s hard drive, and I’m extremely eager to see whether Avalanche has fully realised the potential of the ideas found in the first game, as well as figuring out some creative ways to use the new gadgets. At any rate, I’ll be spending my evening grappling, shooting and exploding my way through what is ostensibly the videogame equivalent of a Michael Bay movie.
On the other hand, some of the entrants into this year's Independent Games Festival awards feel more like the videogame equivalent of an experimental Danish art flick, only with less gratuitous nudity. If you’re at all interested in games which favour esoteric aesthetics and simplified gameplay over glossy explosions and complex mechanics, you’d do well to pay attention to today’s edition of Thankless Answers.
Question: When is the Independent Game Festival 2010?
To find out whether it's too late to book a flight to the USA, Read on!
Thankless Answers - 3rd March 2010
Haven't had a lot of time for articles recently, I've spent all of my available time working on the back end. Hopefully you might of noticed that the front page loads a bunch quicker. I realised I was calling lots of stuff from the database and then throwing it away, which I'm told isn’t the way you should do things. I also split these answers out into their own section just because they were clogging up Features which was meant for other stuff. I'll throw up an email address for questions you want to ask directly at some point soon.
We have a whole host of features waiting to be developed, user logins and profiles being the most obvious one. Once that’s done I can clean up the comments system and tie them together. After that comes all the fun stuff, and you the user can embark on your thankless grind along with the rest of us.
Anyway, I think I’ve got enough time to delve into the search terms and find something dumb.
Question: I don’t like street fighter 4
to find out the dumb answer to this dumb question.
Thankless Answers - 2nd March 2010
Just for full disclosure, I did end up buying Battlefield: Bad Company through Games on Demand. Took friggin forever to download, I had to leave my 360 on overnight getting it. As someone who has had two 360s red ring, I am always bit nervous about leaving them turned on for extended periods of time. But then, I know people who use them as media centres and have running for hours every day. I've never heard of a 360 red-ringing while doing non-game stuff, not sure if that means they run cooler than while playing games but I guess there is probably no real rhyme or reason to when they die. My first 360 was taken out by the original Assassin’s Creed, and my second was taken out by Eternal Sonata, embarrassingly.
I have absolutely no qualms about leaving any of my other consoles on forever. I’ve left my PS2 on for days while playing games without adequate save features. I’ve always expected Microsoft to eventually release a slim Xbox that’s had a real proper test cycle, as I feel like public perception is probably quite negative towards the current model. The image of a red ringed xbox is almost iconic of this generation. I would of thought the release of Natal would be a perfect time for a redesign, but it’s seeming less and less likely. There would probably be rumours and factory photographs leaking out of places by now, so unless they’ve managed to attain a level of secrecy that only Apple can maintain I’ll probably be disappointed come E3.
What’s not disappointing though is today’s question. Unless by some outside chance you don’t actually care about Borderlands DLC, of course.
Question: general knoxx too hard
Why is general knoxx too hard? Read on
to find out! Wait, I should of phrased that differently.
Thankless Answers - 1st March 2010
While the world and its niece has been afraid to turn on their PS3 in case it breaks in a weird random and awful manner, I have been more than happy to turn my PS2 to catch up on the Yakuza series as mentioned earlier. At least with this problem it does seem quite likely that they'll be able to fix it via an update. They also might brake it in a different manner with the same update if they try and rush it out without proper testing. Such is the age we live in with these regular software updates, as always I advise caution. By which I mean check to see if #apocalyps3 or #xboxmageddon is trending on twitter.
It has lead to some funny stories in mainstream media who should really know better. If you are to believe the BBC, Playstation 3 owners should 'stop gaming'
, which whether they are talking about an indefinite suspension of their gaming activities, or some sort of campaign to eradicate the entire concept of gaming from the planet, it sounds like hard work. I own one of those middle era pre-slim PS3s which I am electing not to turn on till it all blows over.
That aside, let's see what woes and troubling poor googlers out there today.
Question: bioshock 2 what button opens inventory?
Thankless Answers - 28th Feb 2010
Despite its name, I've always assumed that the events of Modern Warfare 2 took place in the near future, primarily because when you see and hear about what the military have been up to in Afghanistan, the equipment looks similar to that you would see down the local paintball range. I don't really see how a few terrorists hiding in caves could stand a chance if AC-130s were bombarding the ground while tanks that can shoot rockets and missiles out of the sky rolled in.
However, perhaps the most awesome piece of technology you get your hands on in the game is the Predator Missile. There is something almost holy about being able to rain death onto your enemies with such precision at just a moments notice and therefore it seems rather implausible that such a device would exist while victory against terrorists in the Middle East remains so elusive. So, with global peace in mind, today's Thankless Answer arrives.
Question: Do the Predator Missiles from MW2 really exist?
To find out if you should spend the rest of the day watching the skies, click Read On!