I'm just another fan who regularly keeps abreast of about 5 different mods and has some interest in 40 more. I also hate 90% of the people on this site. There's a 1 in 10 chance that doesn't include you. Trust me, those are good odds. I'd tell you about my ambitions to be a games journalist but frankly most of you are too busy calling me a gay queer fag from Fagstakistan to pay attention, so why bother? That's right, I know why you're here. You're here to post some sort of flaming comment in my profile 'cuz I dared to disagree with you. Well go ahead. Do it. I dare you.

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Back when rap music was good.

dethtoll Blog

Journey with me into the mind of a maniac
doomed to be a killer since I came out the nutsack
I'm in a murderous mindstate with a heart full of terror
I see the devil in the mirror
lights out
'cause when I grab my sawed off
niggas get hauled off
touches your motherfuckin' flesh
shoots your fuckin' heart out your chest
you see I'm quick to let the hammer go click
on my Tec-9 so if you try to wreck mine
fool it's your bad time
feel the blast of the chocolate bomber
infrared aimed at your head
like your name was Sarah Conner
decapitatin' I ain't hesitatin'
to put you in the funeral home
with a bullet in your dome
i'm hot like lava
you got a problem?
i got a problem solver
and his name is revolver
it's like a deadly game of freeze tag
I touch you with a .44 mag
and you're frozen inside a boddy bag
nobody iller
Than this graveyard filler
cap peeler
'cause I'm a Natural Born Killa

terror illustrates my era
now I can't hang around my momma
'cause I scare her
i'm quick to blast motherfucker
it feels like I'm bustin' a nut
when I open you up
'cause your body is exposed to the midnight mist
all weak motherfuckers give my ring a kiss
'cause I'm givin' dirt naps
comin' with them bomb ass raps
to make your lungs collapse
perhaps you never sleep
'cause every time you doze
you catch blows to the motherfuckin' nose
ain't seen the sun, in 66 days
let me count the ways in a fucked up maze
I never ever ever made a ho stay
but I'm down with Dre
like AC is down with OJ
so fuck how you're livin'
I'm the unforgivin'
Psycho driven
it's authentic
don't panic
I can't stand it
God damn it
so fuck Charlie Manson
I'll snatch him out of his truck
hit him with a brick
and I'm dancin'

mass murderer, natural born killa,
and I don't wanna die

I dont understand the logic in my dreams
but I understand I like the sounds of sirens
terrified screams from the streams
of strychnine
dumpin' on any motherfucker tryin' to trick mine
cause punk motherfuckers wanna violate
now they stiff and cold
and they pupils won't dilate
I can hear his bones break
he steps in the single door
got his ass whipped with 20 lashes
like that dude up in Singapore
so I'ma pull a fuckin' Jeffrey Dahmer
now I'm suicidal, just like Nirvana

tic toc
toc tic toc tic
Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on some murderous shit
keepin niggas in order
makin' their life shorter
ready to slaughter
'cause to me a life ain't worth a quarter
or a dime
mushroom's got my mind
ain't no debatin'
I'm creatin' an escape route
to be out without a doubt
scot free, so don't even think about tryin' to stop me
'cause I can't wait
I'm out the gate
on the for realla
a thrilla
or a natural born killa

[Ice Cube]
gi-gi gi-gi ga-ga
they call me Da-Da
6 million ways to murder
choose one
lose one soul
bodies turn cold
natural fright from niggas goin bump in the night

should I peely
Should I kill her am I iller
I'm a natural born killa

I'm not even listening to the song right now.

This rant has been a long time coming.

dethtoll Blog 3 comments

Stop it! Just stop it! I am declaring a moratorium on the following fallacy: "you've probably never done this or that, therefore you are not allowed to say it is done poorly because you don't know what you are talking about." That's like saying you're not allowed to complain that a band sucks at guitar 'cuz let's see YOU do it. I don't need to have a degree in music theory to know that the Rolling Stones suck. So if I tell you that your mod is lacking in areas A, B, C and/or D, you don't get the right to shit all over me for expressing my opinion. This is made worse if the person making the fallacy is himself claiming to have experience in whatever is being critiqued.

All I hear from some of you mod leaders is "wah you don't give constructive criticism!" when half of you fucks don't even know what constructive criticism even is. Constructive criticism is usually synonymous with useful criticism. Useless criticism, in the case of moddb, would be (and I quote, verbatim):

i have played every single mod/add-on for hl and hl2! this mod has ruined hl forever a**hole!!

That's not exactly useful, is it? I think anyone who has progressed beyond the mental capacity of a five year old would agree that there is nothing to be learned from this statement.

This is an example of useful criticism, and again this is an actual quote:

For some reason, I felt the most solid weapons in the game were my knife, shotgun, and AK74. I'm not sure why, but it seemed my guns worked a whole lot better on the monsters (probably due to the close range) than on people, who I usually missed at even short to medium range. The VAL and Groza's accuracy felts really strange, and I had trouble hitting things at medium range with both guns.

Why is this useful? Because instead of saying "well this mod sucks, i can't hit anything, fuck you, your mod sucks", it says "For some reason the accuracy of such and such weapon seems to be off" in a polite and respectful manner. The problem, which was reported by many others, was noted and fixed in a patch.

However, an equally useless cricitism is, and once more this is an actual quote:

The best mod ever. 10/10

Why is this useless criticism? It doesn't go into any detail as to WHY the mod is good. What exactly did the poster like about it? The gameplay? The graphics? The audio? We learn nothing from this statement. It is nothing more than mindless adulation.

Unfortunately, some of you (by which I mean certain modders) seem to have adopted the idea that the only constructive criticism is GOOD criticism, by which I mean sheer mindless adulation with no complaints whatsoever. Any time someone so much as dares to say they have an issue with some aspect of the mod, the modder will leap to defend his work, saying "it's meant to be like that" or "you haven't played it enough" or my personal favourite, the one phrase that makes me so fist-clenchingly fucking angry that it drove me to write this, "what the fuck do you know, you've never made a mod yourself."

This is a fallacy. More specifically, it's a distinct brand of ad hominem, attacking the person making the argument rather than attacking the argument itself. This particular variety is so widespread, that I'm not sure it even has a name, except perhaps ad hominem lack of authority, or as I like to call it, the "you just don't understand" fallacy.

I beg of you. Stop making this mistake. It does nothing but make you look like assholes. Video games, and mods for them, are a form of art just like painting or film. And that means you have to learn to take criticism. What's more, you have got to stop acting like having modding experience somehow makes you an authority over the rest of us "mortals" who supposedly have never modded in their lives. Again, I don't need to have a degree in music theory to tell you that the Rolling Stones suck, and I don't need to be Gooseman to tell you that your mod is broken and needs fixing.

So quit being a bunch of fuckups and get over yourselves. Jesus Christ.

Call of Duty 4 review

dethtoll Blog

I'm a big fan of the Call of Duty series. A friend of mine had told me about the first game, and at the time I had ignored him because I had some sort of moral hangup about WW2 games. (I eventually knocked that shit off- a tale for another day.) When I finally got around to trying the game out I was blown away. Here was a game that gave us an idea of what WW2 really looked and sounded like- an orgy of explosions, shouting, and gunfire.

Call of Duty 4 is all that and more.

Because the 4th game is set in the present day, Infinity Ward, without access to World War 2, needed a new conflict. The Iraq war is far too touchy a subject, so they went the non-political route and made up their own war. The story goes that a Russian Ultranationalist convinces an ally of his to start an uprising in the Middle East; the resulting war would distract the Russian government from his true intentions: to bring back the Soviet Union. The United States and Britain are aware that the war in the (unnamed) Middle Eastern country is a feint, so the US sends forces to shut down the uprising in the Middle East while England sends the Special Air Service (England's military counter-terrorist group) to enact surgical strikes on Ultranationalist camps in Russia. The result is two very different styles of gameplay. Yes, I know the plot sounds like something Tom Clancy pulled out of his ass, but it's well done, and besides, Tom Clancy just seems to have a monopoly on the whole modern-day warfare thing. Doesn't make it his.

In previous games the Call of Duty series were divided up into three parts: the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, all fighting against the Nazis. The settings were different, the characters were different, but gameplay was largely the same. In Call of Duty 4, the SAS and Marine stages differ significantly. The Marine stages, set in the Middle East, are much more like previous CoD games, even reusing the same voice actors who make up the NPC shouting and audio cues you hear throughout the VERY LOUD roar of firefights. The SAS stages, on the other hand, play more like Rainbow Six or other counter-terrorism games- the closest analogy to another Call of Duty game would be the Britain campaign in Call of Duty: United Offensive. (By the way, yes there are still "trigger lines"- where the enemies and the action are non-stop until you cross some invisible line at which point the enemies stop spawning and your teammates will rush to catch up to you and a scripted sequence can begin.) The game will also alternate between SAS and USMC throughout the first act (of three) until act one's rather stunning conclusion, at which point you will be playing the SAS almost exclusively. The sole exceptions are in act one where you play the TV controller of an AC-130 gunship (a sequence I will touch on in a moment) and in act two where you play as the ubiquitous Captain Price of the SAS (who has appeared in earlier incarnations as the Captain Price of the 7th Armoured and then the SAS of England in previous games) 15 years prior to the events of the main game, as a young lieutenant following a Captain Macmillan throughout Prypiat, Ukraine (a sequence I will also touch on in a moment.) A third exception, though I'm not entirely sure it counts, is as the president of the overthrown Middle Eastern country. The opening credits (after an initial prologue stage with the SAS) is essentially a 5 minute long cutscene through the eyes of President Yasir al-Fulani as he is shoved into a car and driven through the streets of his country, which are currently in riot- looting, firefights, executions, and the revolutionary commander screaming a speech in Arabic over the radio. At the end of the drive, the president is dragged out of the car, tied to a pole, and shot in the face- and you see it all through his eyes. Now that's hardcore.

re: The gunship sequence:

This sequence is a bit controversial because of the attitudes of the gunship crew. They say stuff like "get that guy" and "nice, I see little bits of him" and whatnot. That said, it's my understanding that this is actually pretty spot-on for a gunship crew. I'm pretty sure Infinity Ward were just trying to portray as accurately as possible the attitudes and mentality of gunship crew. (I should note this is the first CoD game to recieve an M rating, and it's a far sight bloodier than its predecessors! No gibs or any serious spillage though.) Unlike the average hollywood movie it didn't try to dress things up to appeal to the average mouthbreathing nancy who likes movies adapted from Tom Clancy novels. I also don't think they were trying to push an opposing point of view, either. This is Call of Duty, after all, and all the CoD PC games at least have avoided the typical "let's hear it for the grunts" bullshit that Medal of Honour is famous for. The whole point of CoD is to try to present war as it really looks. And that includes gunship crew with their detached, desensitized, cynical attitudes. I mean, think about it- the people they're shooting don't really seem to be people. They're little white blobs on a screen. the crew have been up in that plane for so long, it's easy to forget that these are real people getting shot and blown up and it turns into, of all things, a video game.

re: The Prypiat sequence:

This is hands down one of my favourite sequences in the game. Aside from a few odd points such as modern cash registers and 1990s+ graffiti, the Prypiat sequences are amazing, and have rekindled my interest in Chernobyl, Stalker and, funnily enough, Metal Gear. I got a very MGS feel from these two stages, the first of which is very stealthy (the second is comprised of a very long range sniper sequence followed by a mad dash for an evacuation point.) There's a sequence early on where you and your commanding officer, dressed in ghillie suits are hiding in tall grass as a whole platoon of Ultranationalists and their tanks and armoured vehicles practically roll right over you. I'm pretty much convinced the next Metal Gear needs to take place in Chernobyl. The only problem with these stages is the nearly impossible "defend the point" sequence at the very end, where you're trying to defend yourself and your commander (who has been crippled, but can still provide cover sitting down) against endless swarms of enemies for 5 whole minutes. Very difficult.

Which leads me into one of the few problems I had with the game- the difficulty is inconsistent. For the most part, even on Veteran you're not likely to run into any serious problems, but even on regular there are a few huge trouble spots such as the end of Prypiat which was a gigantic pain in the ass. In fact the only thing I can think of that was harder is the grand finale of United Offensive, which was shit hard from beginning to end anyway.

Another problem was framerate. My rig is reasonably beefy even without a GeForce 8xxx (it's a 7600GT), and it can handle CoD4 alright with everything crank'd except AA (which I never really bother with unless the game's more than 5 years old), but there is some frame-skipping in the first minute or so when a level first loads. It's not constant, it crops up every few seconds randomly, then eventually goes away and doesn't bother me even when I reload. Not sure what's up with that.

By the way, yes, the game is as short as you've been told. I blew through it in 2 evenings.

Despite these really rather minour problems, the game is fantastic and has made it into my top 5 list of 2007 games. If you're looking for a modern combat game that doesn't suck and/or have Tom Clancy's name on it (though "Tom Clancy game" and "suck" tend to go hand in hand), this is the one for you.

Verdict: Get this game now. Or wait until it's cheaper- $60 is a bit much for what amounts to 6 to 10 hours.

Anachronox review

dethtoll Blog

Let me get one thing clear, before we begin: I hate 99% of Japanese RPGs.

Let me say that again, once more with feeling.

I fucking hate 99% of Japanese RPGs.

The stories are tired, the fantasy setting is stereotypical to the point where it's not even funny anymore, the combat is tedious, the grinding is enough to make me want to set fire to the disc or cartridge (or just delete the ROM where applicable... by formatting my HD), the lead character tends to be some effeminate male, so on and so forth. It's the same god damn drudgery over and over and over again. There's maybe 6 jRPGs out of what's probably thousands that I like, 4 of which I've ever actually finished. Fuck this shit.

That said, Anachronox is a fine God Damn game. But wait, you ask, wasn't Anachronox developed by Ion Storm Dallas, the long-delayed brainchild of former id Software visionary Tom Hall? Why yes. Yes it is.

This game is fairly obscure, so let me bring you console heathens up to speed. Anachronox was released for the PC in 2001 and was an immediate commercial failure, which directly led to Ion Storm Dallas being shut down after the failure of Daikatana, which was the gaming equivalent of a 3-hour erection resulting in a depressing ejaculation over donkey porn, after which the industry cried itself to sleep.

In spite of the problems Daikatana (and Ion Storm at large) had, in no small part due to the overly big, unweildy dreams of Ion Storm founders Tom Hall and John "I still think I'm 17" Romero, Anachronox turned out to be quite a good game. Or rather half of a game, but we'll get to that in a moment. The game was particularly notable in that it was the first example of the Quake 2 engine not looking ugly as shit. It was also notable in that it drew a lot of concepts from jRPGs, some good and some bad.

There's a heavy emphasis on character development and plot. The writing is top-notch and had me laughing my ass off frequently just through the dialogue, and not just in the cutscenes. There's one part early on where you come upon a seeming madman dressed in ratty clothings and a cape carrying a walking stick, and he's shouting to the crowd of people around him that we are all doomed to repeat the same moment over and over again, to say the same words, so on and so forth. After you click on him enough times he starts to repeat himself. But self-aware irony is but a small part of the comedy found in the game. At one point there's an entire sequence where cutscenes are done in comic book style with white borders and visual sound effects, and dialogue windows resemble classic comic book balloons. The overarching plot is a bit of a roller-coaster ride, with plenty of unexpected turns. It starts off simple enough but explodes into another "save the universe" type deal, which seems to be about par for the course but whatever. The settings are quite varied. The game begins on the city-planet of the same name that provides a somewhat alien cyberpunk backdrop to the opening hours of the game. Eventually you move on to a space station, complete with its own red light district hidden away in the maintenance tunnels, and from there are a number of other planets, not in the least among them Democratus, a large, Earthlike planet with a huge ring-shaped superstructure around it housing the most annoying society ever, one centered entirely around a form of pure democracy which in turn centers around pure bureaucracy. This planet is important because at some point the inhabitants of the ring actually SHRINK THE PLANET DOWN TO FOUR FEET IN DIAMETER TO JOIN YOU ON YOUR QUEST.


Do you see how oddly hilarious this game is? It's to sci-fi RPGs what Snow Crash is to cyberpunk. Some of the sheer silliness of it makes me think of good old Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker trilogy.

Speaking of characters, there's quite a few of them, as well, and you get to control 7 of them. First and foremost is Sylvester Bucceli, aka Sly Boots, a down and out private detective looking for work who lands the case of his life. He is joined by Grumpos Matavastros, a cranky old man who has dedicated his life to the study of Mystech, mysterious stone slags scattered around the galaxy that seem to serve no purpouse whatsoever. Also in the party are a foul-mouthed robot, a scientist with hilariously bad taste in clothing, the aforementioned planet, an assassin, and a down-and-out alcoholic superhero.

Now for the bad part.

The combat sucks. I repeat: the combat SUCKS. Once more: THE COMBAT SUCKS. I'll be honest: much like Marmite, you're either a fan of jRPG combat or you're not. However, nobody is going to be a fan of the combat in Anachronox because it is incredibly fucking tedious. The simplest of actions- attacking the enemy- will often result in a 10-second long animation where they fire their weapon, it travels for a few feet, then maybe (or maybe not) it will hit. Thankfully, the (recommended) 2nd patch, done by a former dev in his spare time, gives you a "fast forward" button that you can and will abuse throughout the game. Don't want to spend 5 minutes walking from one area to another? Just use the fast forward button to zoom down those long stretches! Sick of combat taking forever? Zoom. Seen this cutscene before? Zoom. There are some other smaller problems such as combat very rarely getting frozen if you abuse fast-forward too much and Boots' animation being screwed to hell in the final cutscene, or the game crashing on occasion when you try to attack an enemy that's already dead and the game lets you.

Here's the other bad part: this is only half of a game! The game was delayed for 3 and a half years, in part due to a switch from Quake 1 to Quake 2 as the in-game engine. By the time Ion Storm Dallas' wheels were coming off there was no way the team could finish the entire script, so the other half was going to be written for a sequel, but the game flopped and ISD imploded and no sequel is forthcoming, unless someone wants to give Tom Hall a couple million dollars. This wouldn't be so bad, if the game didn't end on a giant fucking cliffhanger. That said, it doesn't quite FEEL like only half of a game- the final sequences of the game feel quite conclusive and decisive in themselves. Let me explain it to you like this: imagine if you were playing FF7 and as soon as Sephiroth comes down and gives Aeris the ol' what-for, the credits roll. Anachronox isn't like that. There's definitely room for a sequel, but the story in itself is self-contained.

One thing this game has going for it, which i really appreciate, is the complete lack of need for grinding. Some people complained about this, but if any of your characters get too far behind they eventually automatically gain a few levels after they've been back in combat once or twice. This is fairly obvious proof that the game puts much more emphasis on story and not combat. Which is a pity, because if combat had been less unbelievably shit the game would be that much more enjoyable.

Conclusion: Daikatana changed the industry. Duke Nukem Forever went into a media blackout for years thanks to Daikatana not living up to the huge amount of hype Romero had fostered. Devs learned (for the most part) not to put more emphasis on hype and arguing with assholes on the internet and installing showers and snack machines in the offices of your employees who think you don't hear them making lewd jokes about your gamer girlfriend and to put more emphasis on MAKING THE DAMN GAME. Ion Storm Dallas, which in its own way was simply trying to be something the unimaginative John Carmack would never let id Software be, would have been one big joke if not for Anachronox. But even in spite of the dozens of bugs (what Western RPG in the last 10 years or so isn't bug-riddled, though?) and crappy, underdeveloped combat, this is still an unpolished gem of a game that might just keep you going all the way to the end, even when you start the game knowing it doesn't really end.

Why I hate 90% of moddb's users

dethtoll Blog 9 comments

YOU'RE ALL IDIOTS. You can't spell. You can't use basic English grammar. You're rude, ignorant, immature, combative, argumentative, arrogant, whiny little douchebags.


IDIOTS. You're ALL IDIOTS. You know why I seem like a troll sometimes? Because I am NOT afraid to tell you dumbasses what I think of you. And I do NOT resort to childish "you're a fag lolololol!!!111one" remarks like some of you. You say something stupid, I correct you. You act like a fool, I inform you. I don't beat around the bush, I don't mince words, and I sure as hell don't NOT say something for fear of offending someone.

But a real problem I have are with mod developers who get a big head. I could rattle off a whole list, but I'd rather not name-drop around here. Because then I'd have to listen to their WHINING. FACT: no one in the 'mod scene' is important in any meaningful fashion except for like the 0.1% of people/teams who get worldwide recognition for supreme innovation or mega mass popularity. I'm sure your mod is great... for people who still play the game you're making it for. But don't act like you're so goddamn special. Gooseman got lucky. You're NOT going to be making the next Counter-Strike, because CS is an anomaly. Its popularity is UNPRECEDENTED- and utterly inexplicable. It LOOKS like a tactical squad-based game, but the gameplay, when you boil it down, is straight-up team deathmatch with no respawning and some optional objectives, and you have to buy your weapons. Rainbow Six or SWAT it is most certainly NOT. Perhaps its that deceptive simplicity that gives it its popularity. I don't know. The point is, your mod is not the next CS, it's not the next Day of Defeat, it's not even the next Black Mesa- which isn't even out yet. So stop acting like you're so important. It doesn't matter what you've done with the mod. It doesn't matter what you've done in mods past. It doesn't matter if you're some kind of modding advocate. None of that matters. What matters is how you BEHAVE. And the other thing is, LEARN TO TAKE CRITICISM. If you think you know who I'm referring to, you're probably right. While the guy who says mod fans shouldn't argue about the mod they like because they're biased is full of shit, he does have a point in that usually, anyone who DOES criticize the mod, even if it's just one little thing, gets completely pissed on by the mod's fans who say NO YOU SUCK SHUT UP YOU TROOLLLLL

Screw you guys.

Oh, and by the way: Influence? Karma? The other worthless little site stats determined by what other people think of you? THEY DON'T MATTER. Stop acting like they do.

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