New Reviews and Other Changes

Apparently there haven‘t been any major updates here since 2009 (not counting the test post last week). Which is actually exactly what my dentist told me today, too — I was way behind on getting my yearly checkups. But all is fine with my teeth, and all is fine with this site, too. In particular, I can offer two new full reviews!

A futuristic steampunk train.

Dishonored is a stealth assassin game set in a city with a completely nonsensical tram system. That review has been up for a few days now, but I forgot writing an entry here about it.

A sky rail with trains hanging from above.

Meanwhile, Bioshock Infinite is a shooter telling a tale of capitalism, oppression, the american dream, alternate universes and suspended dual-track railways. That is probably my longest review yet.

In other news, I‘ve disabled the comments. Basically, all of them were spam, and I had no interest in dealing with that. Also gone are the ads, which never produced any revenue at all, and on the backend, I no longer use Google Analytics to track you, since I don‘t like the privacy implications.

If you do like being tracked, there are dedicated sharing buttons now, using the Heise two-click approach, which means that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ will only track your visit here if you allow them to.

I have no idea when the next update will be; currently, there are no games that really need discussing, but a few where I started reviews and didn‘t finish them yet. As always, I‘m interested in suggestions (ideally with screenshots) or even guest writers!

Posted April 2nd, 2013, 16:57 | Permalink

Gears in Games

Recently, I’ve taken up 3D printing. In the course of this, I wanted to build some gears, and ended up learning more about the proper construction of these things than you, and for that matter I, would ever want to know. This also made me aware that most games handle them completely incorrectly. In many cases, it’s not easily obvious, but some examples should be obvious:

This was taken from Skyrim, specifically the “Dragonborn” extension pack, and if you look closely, you’ll see that the teeth of the two gears are overlapping. Of course, it could be the result of arcane Dwemer magic, but I think I’ll have to go with “they just didn’t care” as the more likely explanation here.

If you ever wondered how it’s done properly, the industry standard is an involute gear. Very difficult to make proper 3D models of it (which is why I wrote a little tool to do just that). Watch for more examples of incorrect gears in the upcoming Bioshock Infinite review, where all gears are just as useless!

Posted March 29th, 2013, 19:24 | Permalink

Someone saw this?

Interesting stuff: I just saw that a site called Trembling Hand wrote a blog post about this little page. Update: And apparently some twitter users and Boing Boing’s Offworld as well. No idea how they got that idea, but thanks anyway! Of course, I guess by the time I’ve written this, everybody who did find the site through that link will have left again already…

So, this site probably seems a little dead. Or more like really dead. Sorry about that, folks. To be honest, I have been thinking about closing it completely because in the end, I think it did not turn out to be as funny as I thought. I’ll have to think about this some more, see whether I can find things to post here that are more interesting and/or funny. And maybe play a few more games so I’ll actually have something to write about…

Oh, in case you’re interested (I know you’re not, but any link might help my Google Page Rank), you can also look at my much-more-frequently updated personal homepage.

Posted July 3rd, 2009, 21:05 | Permalink

Not dead yet...

Hello again! You may have thought this site was completely dead. Well, not completely. There’s a review of Team Fortress 2 coming up, and of course I reserve the right to post completely random crap here as well. Today, I want to take a look at some upcoming games.

Mirror's Edge takes place, among other things, in subway stations

The problem of course is that I have no damn clue about most games that are coming up, but there are some I’m excited about. The one I’m most excited about is Mirror’s Edge, shown above. The best description for the game is the first trailer, which is just raw gameplay. If you don’t have the time for watching that right now, imagine the jumping and running of Tomb Raider or Prince of Persia, only in first-person. Sounds insane, looks like fun, but the problem is that while godless heathens, i.e. console owners, get it like any day now, PC users will have to wait until January.

As for the train relation, well, you see the subway up there, don’t you? As far as I can tell the type looks vaguely correct for modern south-east asia, the important question is whether it’ll have a correct third rail for electricity, since it clearly has no overhead wire.

A third rail is normally a structure on stands right next to the rails.

I mentioned Tomb Raider above. There’s a new one of that one as well. To be honest, I really didn’t follow the TR Underworld discussion at all. I didn’t even play the demo. It is pre-ordered (via Amazon), so I guess I’ll continue to ignore it right until I start playing it.

Finally, there’s Left 4 Dead, and I’m really not certain what to make of that. It’s a co-op zombie shooting game by Valve. Now, that would only be useful for LAN parties, and I’ve not been to many LAN parties recently. It has one thing going for it, though, and that is that it’s by Valve. As the count of games in the reviews section of this site should tell you, I’m a huge Valve fan, and I recently fell in love deeply with Team Fortress 2 and Day of Defeat Source, both games that I didn’t use to be interested in before I played them. If L4D was 20€, I’d have probably already pre-ordered it and would be playing the pre-release demo, but as it stands, I’m waiting for the demo for the rest of the world before I make a real decision based on that.

Oh, by the way

Something I neeearly forgot: If you’re into Half-Life 2’s trains, then I recommend the site I don’t understand anything the site is saying, but the pictures of russian (or at least former soviet union) trains are great. While the level of detail that Valve implemented in Half-Life 2 can be disputed, it seems that they managed to catch the overall look perfectly modulo the game’s storyline-based desolation.

Posted November 6th, 2008, 13:00 | Permalink

Age of Empires III

Good morning! Björn sent me some screenshots again, this time of Age of Empires III, which appears to have a train.

It is a clearly american train.

Go read the review!

While we’re at it, he also sent me some additional screenshots from Unreal Tournament 3, so don’t hesitate to look at that review again!

Posted May 22nd, 2008, 09:02 | Permalink

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