Archive for August 7th, 2010

I really enjoyed StarCraft.  My brother in law and I would often fire up LAN parties that were a blast, and I had a lot of fun with the single player game.  I like the Jim Raynor character and the Protoss, and it was just a lot of fun splattering a pack of Zerg with a Siege Tank or Templar lightning storm.  I didn’t like the Kerrigan story and the way that Blizzard seems to think that the Zerg are the most interesting (or at least the best race to sweep into a cliffhanger with), but I can at least understand what might make them think that way.  I enjoyed the map maker, though I never did quite get it to do what I wanted it to.

All in all, I spent probably hundreds of hours playing with StarCraft in one form or another.  It scratched my itch for game development with the editor, and my itch for some good post-WarCraft gaming.  (I really liked WarCraft and WarCraft2.)

So… why not play SC2?  First and foremost, I have other games that I’d rather play more, and I have less time to play overall.  Second, I don’t feel like spending $60 on it.  (I may yet get it on a deep sale, though.)  Third, I don’t like battle.net, have no use for online multiplayer, and detest the lack of LAN play.  (OK, OK, the company can be greedy and get rid of spawning games, but to excise LAN where everyone has their own copy?  Lame.)

In short, I have no particularly strong antipathy toward the game, just little use for it, so it’s not a priority.

Oh, and this has always bugged me:

Terran standard...ish human

Compare that to this, an iconic Terran Marine:

Tychus Findlay, the man with the tiny head

Now, if we’re to believe that the Terran Marines are just guys in suits, normal humans with some super special armor slapped on, I’m not buying it.  I can handle a RoboTech Cyclone being pitched as power armor, but not a Terran Marine.  If we were to take the seminal Vitruvian Man‘s proportions (a pretty decent standard, really) and try to map dear ol’ Tychus using his head as a baseline, we might see this as his “human” shape within the suit:

Vitruvian Findlay

The proportions are all wrong.  (Note, Iron Monger in the Iron Man film had the same problem.  Either Stane stretched his limbs, or, um… he was controlling the arms of the supersized suit from within the torso cavity.  Iron Man himself was pretty good, but the Big Bad guy… not so much.)

So either Tychus had his head shrunk to get into his gear, or his body has been painfully reconfigured to match the articulation of the suit.  Either way, that sounds rather horrific.  No wonder they don’t take the suits off.

I know, I know, some will blame Warhammer 40K for this (since obviously everything Blizzard does is a ripoff of Games Workshop), but look here, their Space Marines are closer to what I’d expect; armor on a well proportioned human that looks vaguely plausible.  Blizzard’s “shoulder envy” is in full force in both WarCraft and StarCraft, but when it means rejiggering the humans inside the suits, well… that just seems painful to me.

Is that enough to make me not want to play the game?  No… but it still bugs me, just like it bugs me when I watch Iron Man.  Sure, the Terran Marines read well as bipedal, vaguely humanoid machines of war… but if I really want that, I want BattleTech.  Even their Elementals maintain better armor/pilot proportions.  (Though in the cross-section, that pilot’s shoulder does look a little disjointed.)


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