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About Count_Zero_Interrupt

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  1. Episode 343: XCOM 2

    The strategic layer is a bit muddled and unsatisfying this time around. I agree with most of the comments in the cast on it. But I'm loving the tactical side. Concealment is amazing - it speeds the early turns of maps way up, letting you skip the torturous creep forward/overwatch routine in favor of dashing into a good ambush position and wrecking the first aliens you encounter. Rangers with concealment skills are a huge help in moving faster without activating multiple pods. I also like the timers, though lots of people hate them. Again, they speed the game up. I loved EU, but by the end of my time with it the slowness you had to play at in order to survive became painful. I think XCom 2 compensates for the timers by giving you multiple ways to deal with less-than-ideal map positions - concealment, of course, but also early access to stuff like flashbangs, smoke grenades, and specialists with defensive buffs and ranged heals. Snipers feel much less overpowered, so far, and I think that's another good change. Squadsight is as crazy as ever, but so many maps demand mobility that you can rarely just plant your sniper in a perfect spot at the start of the map and call it a day. And Sectoid mind control is actually a sort of blessing. Early sectoids in the previous game were deadly and obnoxious. They would just pelt your troops with plasma from distant heavy cover, and had the annoying habit of constantly retreating and setting up overwatch. Here, mind control is almost a wasted turn for the aliens, because if you expect it you can set up to kill or stun the Sectoid and immediately get your controlled trooper back. Of course, what's inarguable is the terrible, terrible performance issues. My game, like lots of other people's, is running like garbage. Mission intros and outros are a stuttering mess, and there are often huge pauses during combat where everything will just kind of stop, and then a minute later some piece of burning scenery will crumble and combat will start up again. It's almost enough to get me to put off playing any more until it gets some patches...but I think I'm too addicted already.
  2. Idle Thumbs 199: Bogost in the Shell

    Totally psyched to hear Chris likes Darkest Dungeon. I backed it on Kickstarter, so I have a copy coming to me when it fully releases, which means I'm trying really hard to resist just buying in to early access to start playing now. I wanted to wait to play the totally finished version, but the more I hear about the game the weaker my resolve gets...
  3. Twin Peaks Rewatch 8: The Last Evening

    I never paid that close attention to Lucy and Andy's interactions the first time around, and I didn't this time either. They're great characters but I never found their side plot very interesting. So I could be totally wrong. But my take on it is that she tells him not because he shot a guy, but more because he finally gets up the guts to take some initiative with her - first with the kiss and then finally confronting her directly about what's been bothering her - instead of bumbling and tip-toeing around her like he usually does. I think the prospect of parenthood freaks her out, and she passive-aggressively takes it out on Andy because she needs him to show some assertiveness, to reassure her about having a kid with him.
  4. Idle Thumbs 187: Half a Brain

    Welp, I guess pork chops are totally ruined, now that I know they smell like the inside of a guy's cut-in-half head. Thanks Jake!
  5. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    It's funny, my girlfriend's gaming experience was pretty much limited to Super Mario World and Tetris. She watched me play some BoI back when it first came out, and for whatever reason it piqued her interest. I eventually bought her her own copy, and in the end she wound up sinking WAY more hours into it than me. And I put in a lot of hours. She played it almost obsessively. BoI seems like such a strange game to totally hook a total non-gamer like that. I would never have guessed that it would even appeal to her.
  6. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    Really! That explains why I ended up with some coins and a room full of hearts. I chalked it up to bad luck, thought maybe keys and bombs were just rarer. Well, at least it let me max out the blood donation machine.
  7. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    I'm sure this little trick is well known, but I just grabbed Rebirth a couple days ago and found this little synergy, and thought I'd share: The petrified poop trinket dramatically increases the chances of items dropping from destroyed poop. If you nab it, and are lucky enough to run across a Larry Jr. boss or room, you can basically farm the poop he drops as long as you want. Great way to stock up on keys, bombs, coins and hearts. Obviously it's not useful if you're going for a speed run.
  8. Twin Peaks Rewatch 4: Rest in Pain

    Haha! That's awesome, how have I not seen this!?
  9. Idle Thumbs Steam group and ID exchange Particularly looking for fellow low-level crooks to play PayDay 2. Just started out, have no idea what I'm doing. Also may grab DayZ in the near future. And I play a variety of other things, on and off.
  10. Twin Peaks Rewatch 4: Rest in Pain

    I actually really like Bobby as a character. He's an ass for sure, but his freakout with his dad in this episode is amazing, like the barking in the police station holding cells. He's doing the stereotypical teenage douchebag thing, but a little crazier, a little more unpredictable. It's tough to get a read on how much of his emotion is genuine and how much is an act. And I like how the cheating on Laura/running drugs side of his plot gets balanced out by his being genuinely protective of Shelly and put in opposition to Leo, a way bigger scumbag.
  11. Twin Peaks Rewatch 1: Pilot

    I don't think I'd characterize Cooper as naive. It's been some time since I watched the series, but from what I remember he is pretty much immediately open to supernatural possibilities, and perceptive of the darkness lurking just below the surface of the town. As the series unfolds he seems to take the stranger revelations in stride. Even more so, at some points, than the sheriff and some of the other townsfolk, who presumably have lived with the strangeness and darkness all their lives.
  12. Walking Dead Season the Second

  13. Recommend me a cool book!

    I second Vosslerlarry's recommendation of Jeff Vandermeer's "Annhihilation". Some extremely excellent psychological horror. Although I don't know if "horror" is the right word. The term "Lovecraftian" gets applied to a lot of things, usually questionably, but that's a book that I think actually captures the essence of Lovecraft. It's dealing with utterly alien, unknowable forces encroaching on our world, and what happens to the people who come in contact with this thing that seems impossible to understand via the laws of our science and reality. It's the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy. Unfortunately, the second book - "Authority" - is nowhere near as good (in my opinion). The third just came out. But I think Annihilation stands well on it's own, anyway.
  14. Idle Thumbs 124: Blockbuster Black Case

    I can relate to Sean's comments about not wanting to spend money on a F2P, because it seems like you're only getting a fraction of the content for what feels like a big investment. I've been playing a little Blacklight: Retribution lately, which is a F2P shooter. And it's not a bad game, the mechanics are fun enough that I would have been willing to drop $40 on it, if it were a regular game. But I'm not willing to drop $40 in micro-transactions, because that would get me such a tiny slice of the available content in that game that it hardly seems worth it. It's got this whole weapon customization system, where you can swap out like six or seven distinct parts on most of the guns to get different stat adjustments and special effects. To really enjoy that system, you need to have several options for each part, so you can play with different combinations. But to unlock enough stuff to get to that point, you either need to invest dozens and dozens of hours, or spend way more than any shooter is worth. The value proposition is terrible, because they've designed it to catch whales, so it needs to be possible to spend hundreds of dollars without running out of things to buy.
  15. Idle Thumbs 122: Mario's Picnic

    Witcher 2 needs a little bit of perseverance, out of the gate. I never played the first one, heard a lot about how great both 1 and 2 are, and finally picked up the second in a Steam sale awhile ago. Initially, the combat was SUPER off-putting. It was awkward and difficult and didn't feel very good. But I stuck with it, and eventually I started to click with the way the game does things, and then it started to get enjoyable. I played on PC with an Xbox controller, and the gamepad definitely felt like the better option, over keyboard and mouse.