21st August 2014: Let's Pretend
Why does time go by so very fast? I recently realised that we have passed the ten year anniversary of the end of the Toybitus web-comic, and therefore LLAP-Goch Productions. That is so crazy.
This got me thinking about the web-comic, all those old toys I used, and some of the things that I may have done differently. One character that definitely would have been in it a lot would have been the Decepticon combiner called Monstructor. That dude was made from six little Pretender robots and was totally badass. Me and my bro owned that toy when we were kids, but one day he took it to his mate's house and it never came back. Nowadays, that toy is one of the rarest and is worth a bomb, and I've always been annoyed with myself that I didn't try to get it back when I was a kid. But back then, I didn't really care.
To make a short, boring story even shorter, I fancied paying homage to Monstructor in some way. I also wanted to try line work in PaintTool Sai, and decided to try and re-create an image of one of the Pretender shells. This is the shell of a robot called Icepick, and according to his bio he's actually very cheerful. Hmmm, looks like it.
I have very much cheated creating this image, as I just traced over the original, but I just wanted the practise. I pasted the original into PaintTool Sai, and used the curve tool to create the lines. Then I threw that into Photoshop, and used shape layers to add the colour. I'm happy with how it's turned out, but it would be nothing like this if I'd done it freehand.
Hope he doesn't pick his nose with those things
11th September 2012: The War Is Over
Just finished up Transformers: War For Cybertron, and I have to confess I'm rather unimpressed. Yes, I was playing it on the PS3 with its inferior graphics and controls (GIVE ME MOUSE AND KEYBOARD DAMN YOU!), and have no doubt I would have enjoyed it far greater on the PC, but the game itself just wasn't fantastic anyway. This is a shame, as I've always loved the Transformers, and this game got great reviews when it came out. This is one of those times where I just don't agree with all the hype. It really was bog standard average at best.
Here are my main annoyances:
- Absolutely no sense of weight to the Transformers. They are massive machines FFS, and you can jump in the air and drift around like you are made of paper. If you fall from a height on top of another Transformer, rather than crunch into them like you would expect, you are just gently pushed aside and drift down like some kind of helicopter coming in to land. Pissed me off no end.
- Ammo and reloading. Yes, this is partly my fault because I can't aim for shit with those annoying joypads in a shooter game, but the frequency with which you had to reload or pick up more ammo was beyond a joke. I don't remember them ever running out of ammo in the old cartoon!
- Aircraft hover mode. You steer these badboys with the right stick. But then you have to use X and O to control your altitude. I only have one thumb damn it!
- Graphics issues. Of course you are not going to get as good graphics on PS3 as you are on PC, but there were a couple of other problems too. Now the textures were fine once they were loaded, but several times, especially in cut scenes, the textures would take ages to load or not load at all. This would leave me looking at big, ugly looking block things instead of proper Transformers. It was wierd. Maybe it was my PS3, but I don't remember this problem on any other game. Also, I know it was set on Cybertron, but the level design was just so... grey. This problem was also probably increased by the low PS3 resolution, but took me a while to get used to telling what was in the foreground and what was in the background. It just all seemed to blur into one big messy picture at times.
- Story. Not impressed with this at all. Why'd they have to go the Dark Energon route? I hate that stuff, and how Megatron always seems to be able to control it, when it's supposed to be uncontrollable. It also just took away from the bad-assery of Megatron, as he would just throw Dark Energon at any problem, rather than blowing the problem's face off with his fusion cannon like he should be doing.
- AI. It really would be cool to play this game 3 player co-op (though there'd be fights over the ammo drops I'm sure), as the computer controlled team mates are so shit it's unreal. They often just stand around in the middle of a fight, or don't even enter the fight, or fall off a ledge and get stuck, or don't jump down off the ledge to join you when that's what they're supposed to do. And during the times when the AI team mates were in the fight and helping out, you can guarantee the enemies would be hunting you and completely ignoring them. This was especially evident in the end fight against Trypticon. I'd often take cover, and he'd stil shoot all his guns at me when they couldn't hit me, even though my team mates were just standing there in the open, waving at him. Shit programming, honestly.
Here are the good things:
- Voice acting, of course. Surprised to see Frank Welker was not in this. I'm sure I remember him doing promotion for the game. Musta been one of the movie tie-ins. Nothing really needs to be said about Cullen. That dude just is Optimus. Also surprised to see Keith Szarabajka voiced Ironhide. I played as that character and did not recognize the voice at all. That dude's ace.
This little review sounds harsh. But it's not. It's the truth. Kinda softens the blow of not being able to get the sequel now.