For "fan" opinions and other stuff email:
To contact me for anything more important:
To contact me if you're super cool:
PM me on NeoGAF. Username is Kritz.
To contact me if you're a weenie:
Yell at me on AusGAF Steam Chat. Steam ID is Kritz7. I am confident in how not popular I am to willingly post something that in the future I may super duper regret!
Note that hitting up my twitter (@atAmpersatKritz) will shoot a message off to my phone, so you can do that to annoy me in real life while I'm in class or something. At the moment a youtube comment to my channel (Kri7z) will do the same thing.
(To people with more influence than common sense, press passes are cool. Just sayin')
2011-12-07 - KRITZ.NET
Kritz.net recently got passed around a circle of dudes what are super good at journalism. So I guess video reviews are a success. Numbers aren't "internet famous" huge, but the duders who are aware of my site now seem to extend slightly further than AusGAF. So, that's cool.
From here, one of two things will happen. The first, and more likely thing, is that I've had my fifteen minutes of fame. Some dudes liked my site, threw it over that social media thing, and that's that. If I can be frank, and to be frank, this is my blog and I do what I want, if this is as far as it gets in terms of audience? That's the best fucking thing in the world. I'm super psyched that people had a good time reading / watching my stuff, and that's really exactly why this website exists.
I will still continue making reviews, just as I have these past two+ years where my only audience was an IRC channel and a forum subcommunity of rad people. Y'know what? Those guys are still my key audience. If you're reading this, you are my key audience, AusGAF. So pretend to like my shit - you've already come this far.
Then there's the weird possibility that this isn't over. I'm talking with the dude what helped me make this website, and I think... I think kritz.net may need some changes. An RSS feed would be swell. TAZ, I WANT AN RSS FEED. WE DID IT BEFORE, WE CAN DO IT AGAIN.
So, my twitter currently has 20 followers. Those guys are cool. A lot of games.on.net staff, some magazine press dudes, and some 775 million dollars worth of cool people. My youtube account has, well, about 30? Youtube accounts take a bit more effort to stalk so those guys could be anyone. You youtube guys are pretty important too.
I was also featured on games.on.net's front page. That was super cool, you guys!
There's a RAGE review in the works. I might do a video Minecraft review with some friends. I have a cool idea that's a bit more ambitious and time-intensive than the current stuff, but can apply it to really any game, and I think people might enjoy what that idea turns out to be (hint: gametrailers style review).
One other thing that I should mention is that I am now possibly getting games from a distro company. I don't know how much I can talk about that. Not that it really matters for this site, but I will try to be as transparent as I can with the games I don't pay for. Kritz.net's review section will (probably) never start doing real reviews, and my "scores" will (probably) never change. Like, when I say "probably"? I mean that I will have fucked up this website if ever I start putting serious, ass-kissing shit into the current reviews section of this site.
So, that last paragraph's a bit wanky. I'm still talking in hypothetical that will never happen. I don't see this site taking off in any serious way. But, y'know, the dream to completely fuck up the metric on Metacritic? Always there.
In terms of site design, not sure where I'm going yet. RSS, as mentioned, will be pretty important. I may or may not get rid of my hitler animations and stuff in the videos section. I probably won't. I will add some way to "contact" me. For now, if you've read this far, you might actually want some form of contact. Email me at feedback#kritz#net or contact#kritz#net depending on what you need (you can probably work out what the #s are supposed to be). The latter address is more for business if you have any. I'll repost this in another blog entry so it appears up the top, I think.
Give or take, that's that. I am real bad at this site's bbcode so some links might not work. It's 2am, give me a break. Nobody actually read all of this shit. What do you mean, you read it all? You're a liar - you just skipped to the bottom. Good on you; this post is less entertaining than RAGE. SNAP
2011-12-07 - KRITZ.NET
Have started doing video reviews. Would like to make a separate page but I'll probably just embed them. Looks ugly. Oh well.
AusGAF's 5th thread references this site. That's cool.
Twitter account has been created. @atAmperatKritz or something.
Don't read this part of the website it's not very good.
2011-11-17 - KRITZ.NET
I just noticed this blog is fucking terrible.
You should stop reading it and go back to the reviews page.
2011-04-14 - KRITZ.NET
Gamecrux Review: The Lost and Damned
I've always been of the opinion that Grand Theft Auto games are formulaic and mundane compilations of mini-games, side activities and tutorials. It's to my surprise that Grand Theft Auto 4's expansion, The Lost and Damned, is not only a competent refinement of the series, but a damn good game of its own.
The Grand Theft Auto series usually falls apart due to the pacing of its narrative, where it hampers both the enjoyment of the game and the story as a whole. However, the Lost and Damned keeps it short and sweet, rarely requiring you to do anything in the open world that doesn't directly tie in to the overarching story. While most of the optional content is as uninteresting as Grand Theft Auto's past side tasks, the gang warfare missions do provide you the opportunity to increase the efficiency of your comrade's combat abilities, allowing them to be slightly more than useless in the main story.
You take the role of the Vice President to The Lost motorcycle gang, and after your rejoin with your outspoken President, Billy, the gang spirals into a mess of violence, drugs and gang warfare. It's an interesting tale that doesn't overstay its welcome and the arc remains satisfying all through its journey, including a great wrap-up at the end. The characters are a little bit rough around the edges, and it's hard to really appreciate the rivalry between you and Billy as it isn't quite as fleshed out as it should be, but the game doesn't suffer for it.
The Lost and Damned deviates in a few small ways from traditional Grand Theft Auto, with the addition of checkpoints, which are a welcome addition to the series and allow little accidents to occur without the need to replay entire missions over and over again. You can also call up two of your gang buddies for bikes and guns, which streamline the experience by removing previously tedious practices found in the earlier games.
But what makes The Lost and Damned such an enjoyable experience is the reliance on bikes for the entire game. It's a known law of video games that bikes are more fun to drive than cars, and Rockstar have built their entire game around this fact. They lack the moon physics found in GTA4's cars, and are far more mobile and reliable when needing to get somewhere fast. The game introduces an interesting, although completely broken grouping mechanic when driving with your biker buddies, where the AI will try to drive in formation with you and your leader. It seems the AI simply isn't good enough to navigate streets properly, and more than once I found myself stuck waiting for Billy to work out how to navigate past a few cars. The AI is shown to be even worse on missions where the gang follows you, having gang members ram you up the backside when you take corners or otherwise topple over any environmental hazard in their way. If you drive far enough away from the broken AI, eventually they will teleport to your position, thankfully preventing anything game-breaking.
Many have complained about the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 4 being a performance hog on the higher graphical settings, and those complaints still remain valid in this expansion. While my experience was mostly smooth after a hardware upgrade, many on older systems will have to put up with ridiculously ugly textures and details on the lower settings or face running the game below 30 frames per second if you stick to your guns. Unfortunately, bike controls on a keyboard are nowhere near as fluid as on a gamepad, but they are never so bad as to hinder your driving.
Overall, The Lost and Damned is the best step up in the Grand Theft Auto that one could hope for, and is hopefully a sign for future games to be more self controlled in its open world-ness. If you're interested by a tight, less demanding adventure into Liberty City, The Lost and Damned is your best bet.
2010-09-25 - KRITZ.NET
So I made a review for http://www.gamecrux.com/ . It's pretty rad, you should check that site out. It's where I go for srs bsns n stuff.
2010-08-28 - KRITZ.NET
Things What I Read
I like playing video games, talking about video games and reading about video games. Unsurprisingly, I do those last two things way more than the first thing. I regret nothing. The Internet's a pretty big place with lots of shit to shove up your dickhole, and I like to think that I've found some pretty interesting stuff to fit in that little hole of mine. So here are some fucking urls.
That's my reading list each day. I have to consume that shit, because it's written fantastically and it's mad interesting if you like video games. And I fucking love video games.
2010-07-06 - KRITZ.NET
PC Games: Awesome
Occasionally, I will update this blog section with a few cool youtube videos of why I think PC gaming is pretty rad. Below is a video of me playing Grand Theft Auto IV with a first person mod. It's a little bit janky, but regardless, totally sweet.
2010-06-29 - KRITZ.NET
Anyone who listens to Giant Bomb's weekly podcast would have likely heard on the two most recent podcasts Jeff Gerstmann giving a brief mention of a though he's had for a while; headshots are ruining games. The case in point for Gerstmann was that he completed Splinter Cell: Conviction using only the starting silenced pistol and his ability to shoot dudes what in their noggin'.
It's an interesting claim he's making. My initial response was nothing shy of crude - I second guessed what he said without a doubt, thinking old man Gerstmann had lost his nut. But the more I think about it... well. I still think his statement isn't correct. But I do think it holds some amount of water.
If someone were to ask me, "Hey, Kritz, what is your favourite video game that has released in the past five years?", I would likely respond in a humorous tautology of redundant words and mentioning of the word 'internets' over and over. And over. Kinda in the style of this train wreck of a paragraph. But it's very likely at some point I would mention Team Fortress 2. Because I really like Team Fortress 2.
If you don't already know, there are no headshots in Team Fortress 2. Or, more accurately, all but three weapons in the game reward you shooting someone in the head. The sniper's two primary weapons and one of the spy's primary weapons. But for most players of Team Fortress 2, headshots are not a primary goal. But it isn't for the sake of not having headshots, really. It lies more in the fact that none of the weapons, sans the three mentioned, are designed for shooting people in the head.
Team Fortress 2's arsenal consists of Rocket launchers, grenade launchers, miniguns, flamethrowers and shotguns to name a few. A lot of them are area of effect, or spraying weapons. You're focusing less on your ability to hit the other players, and more on positioning, team mates and strategy. Speaking as someone who usually rolls a Heavy, I am more focused on covering fire and making sure a medic isn't far away. The Heavy's minigun doesn't do a heap of damage per hit. And it's barely able to hit people over a distance. So I'd be crazy to try and aim for a head even if the game rewarded me for doing so. The same goes for the Soldier, with his rocket Launcher. The Solider isn't ever going to be aiming for a head, and in a lot of cases, you won't see them aiming directly for any part of their target; the area around them is a far more static target.
But I shouldn't be ignoring the Sniper. This class has been designed knowing that no other class can get headshots. It's the sniper's ability rather than the sniper's proficiency. Because different classes move at different speeds, they have different levels of health and they have different methods of countering him, it enhances the tactical elements of that class. Most targets will die with a full powered headshot, but if his target is being nursed by a Medic, there's a chance they will live long enough after being tagged to get out of the Sniper's line of fire.
Returning to Jeff Gerstmann's statement, headshots do not ruin Team Fortress 2. Headshots actually add to the game, but only because they are restricted. But this doesn't completely validate Gerstmann, nor does it invalidate. Perhaps it's the happy middle? Like it or not, the chances of more games using this style of gameplay is very slim. At that, it only holds ground within the class based nature of Team Fortress 2, and only in the context of multiplayer.
Some games, such as Killzone, Halo and Borderlands, have headshot hitboxes, but you will not instantly kill an enemy from the hit. In Killzone, the enemies have helmets, and it takes two hits for them to die. In Halo, the Spartans, Brutes and Elites all have protective shields and only once those shields are down will a headshot be a one-hit kill. Borderlands treats headshots as critical hits, so the amount of shots it will take to kill an enemy with headshots is proportional to the amount of damage your weapon does compared to the amount of health the enemy you're shooting already has. In all of these cases, headshots are not one hit kills. They certainly reward you for being accurate, which is a very important thing for a game revolving around aiming to do. But even when you get the drop on an enemy, it does not guarantee success.
I want to emphasise what I said in that last paragraph. In a game, specifically a multiplayer game, where the core mechanic of the game is to aim at someone and shoot, rewarding the player for aiming better than the other person is extremely important. Unless the game is asking you apply different skills to it other than shooting, such as Team Fortress 2, being able to do the thing what you need to do to win BETTER than the other person should almost always result in that better person winning. If there is no way to take advantage of the skill gap between players, the result is a game where the first person to start shooting wins. Also known as "Hide and Seek Shooters", with the leader in this sub-genre being Modern Warfare.
The thing is, though. I don't think I disagree with Jeff Gerstmann. I don't agree with him, to be sure. But I don't think he's wrong. Because I am a multiplayer focused person, and I play on the PC. Headshots are easier to achieve on a mouse than on a controller, there is no debating that. I think that Jeff is referring strictly to a single player context, one that I don't really care much for. I'll just say that if you have designed your single player campaign in such a way that the purpose of playing it is defeated by the player's own skill, you have designed a bad game.
PS. Splinter Cell: Conviction is a bad game.
5/5 STARS - KRITZ.NET
2010-05-14 - KRITZ.NET
Back in May 2006, Computer Gaming World started publishing reviews without scores at the end. No numbers, grades or tallies. Instead of thoughts being summarised by a variable, they were summarised by, well, a summary. It was interesting, with an expected result: the readers hated it. Not all of them, mind you, but most of them. Or at the least, most who cared to vocalise their opinions. The problem with the change, said the fans, was that they didn't have time to read a review. They trusted the reviewer's opinion to generate a numerical value that approximated the quality of the product they reviewed, and felt that taking the score away did not necessarily add emphasis to the writing itself, or to the magazine as a whole. Instead, it may actually be taking away from those things.
While I don't hold that belief, I can see where the comments were coming from. A review score has been a way to absorb the review in the fastest means possible. A 8/10 review would be a great game, a 4/10 would be a less than average game. Some of the readers said they would only ever read a review if the game had a really high score or a really low score, as it was expected that the review would give detailed insight into the game and why they people should play it, or tell a tale of the reviewer's struggle against a game they would sooner prefer forgetting than writing a 2000 word write up.
And, hey, I guess they were right. A few issues passed by (Or maybe it was when they rebranded as GFW Magazine? I don't recall), and once again CGW Magazine were throwing scores at the end of their reviews. Even though they were perhaps slightly less meaningful now, as the staff had already shown their distaste for the system, but regardless the readers who complained previously were happy. And as expected they received another barrage of angry E-mails this time complaining instead because the scores were back (proving once again you can't please the Internet). So what does all of this mean? Means people like review scores, y'all. Is it because they can compare the reviews easier, because people can understand metric values far easier than comprehensive written opinions, or because people are lazy and stupid? Of course, the answer is all three. But don't tell the Internet that.
Does that mean I think review scores are meaningless? Well, certainly the ones on my reviews page are. But generally most publications don't have the same... optimism as me on video games. I would have to think that scores exist for a reason, even if perhaps we haven't perfected the use of them yet. This isn't limited to video game reviews, of course. Two thumbs up or 4/4 stars or an A+? I don't know. But other, better reviewers on the Internet have their reasons for using them, and put in enough emotion to selecting their score to justify having them. What is my opinion on the matter? Perhaps I'll go into it next time. Overall, I'm just thankful I don't have to worry about people reading this blog post; I didn't put a score on the end of it.
2010-05-11 - KRITZ.NET
Hey, it's a website.
I've finally created a blog section for my website. And I made it (not entirely) by myself! I'm so proud. Or something. Anyways. I'm kind of hoping that I'll do some semi-serious writing here. Still about video games, but I felt like I needed a place to write things that were slightly more substantial than what can be found on the reviews page.
I'm sleepy after setting all this up, so I won't do any writing now. Maybe later!
2010-05-10 - KRITZ.NET