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Everything posted by ariskany_evan

  1. Our favourite moments of play

    -Getting the Super Gameboy. Plugging in Bomberman for gameboy. Plugging in the multi-tap. Having my first 4-player same-couch video game session. -Learning what leveling up is in Illusion of Gaia after trying to beat the first boss for over a year. (this is what taught me to always read the manual) -Listening to Nirvana's Nevermind on repeat in the basement with my brother while trying to get anywhere in TMNT2. (This is why I'm happy games have a better range of easy-hard these days) -Plugging in a random string of numbers someone gave me in an AOL chatroom and playing my first online game. (Warcraft 2) -Listening to Idle Thumbs. (awwwwwww)
  2. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    LA Noire was a moment-to-moment thing for my wife and I. Super frustrating/tedious gameplay, but the time-travel-tourist aspect of it was very satisfying. And the music is wonderful. I'd say if you've fallen off the wagon there's no use going back. If I had been playing alone I would not have finished it. Also, we cheated on every interrogation and found the game so much more fun. The "right" answers could be so nonsensical, so it still felt like we were watching something new unfold even though we were technically cheating.
  3. Destiny

    Two things I've found annoying about the second character: not being able to skip cutscenes and the fact that the story missions all have to be replayed in order to open up the maps. Had been hoping I could just pick and choose which missions to play as I leveled a second. Hunter Bladedancer is awesome! Jumps are very tight compared to the floaty warlock and that super is just plain fun. I can see how that could be devastating in crucible...
  4. Destiny

    Interesting!! I figured Events were all officially marked on the HUD and we got ratings for them, etc. Neat that sometimes stuff just happens.
  5. Destiny

    Started up a second character last night! I must be better at this game, because the first batch of missions felt like cake compared to my memory of them. Some nice surprises: Glimmer carries over between your two characters. I was able to switch to the other sub-class after level 2. Loot cave seems to be patched. I got there, curious to see if my level 4 character would get some loot drops to help speed up the leveling process. After two rounds of the cave, the small group that was there started getting swarmed from all sides. Wizards started appearing. Then yellow knights. With the levels of the enemies slowly rising. It got NUTS. My level 4 character stood no chance! I love that they created a punishment for those camping at the cave.
  6. Destiny

    I really enjoyed the 1-20 ascent. Leveling felt pretty fast: played mostly solo, splitting my time between story, explore and crucible. Hit level 20 by the time I was halfway through Venus. At this point I'm happily squanching through the rest of story on "easy" mode, getting the experience for it (seems like you get the experience bonus for finishing each difficulty mode, so I might as well do all the normals now). I find myself completely transfixed, yet totally relaxed. The prospect of leveling up the other classes to 20 sounds fun to me...
  7. Destiny

    You're probably right! May have just been that the rare weapon kept on unlocking the rest of the upgrades, so it appeared to keep needing to be cleared. My bad.
  8. Destiny

    This is probably more a function of my minor ocd, but choosing not to upgrade an item means that every time I go back to orbit it tells me upgrades are available! Drives me crazy that I can't clear that after viewing the item upgrade once.
  9. Destiny

    Cool! Since you all sound pretty high level, if you haven't gotten a shield yet it must be a crazy difference in display choices. Maybe they were just pressed for time and did a fantastic job of cutting all the stuff that makes things make sense, but kept in everything made it all function? They certainly should be commended for that, I suppose. Seems like most developers just push out a broken product when they hit a deadline in a bad way, but this is expertly broken. Everything works but nothing makes sense. On the other hand, I like to think that Bungie wanted to capitalize on the "Dark Souls internet" by obfuscating the systems/lore/currency, etc.
  10. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    This album is a perfect album. It's energetic, intricate, detailed, balanced, perfectly sequenced. The experimental touches aren't too too, the songs as songs appear just when you need them. I've never found another album that is so compelling moment to moment as an album. (the intro track is quiet, so either turn up your speakers, or give it a moment) To sum it up more succinctly: experimental british pseudo-prog post-punk recorded in the mid-late '70s. This Heat [eponymous] The final track is sooooo forboding. The amount of dread oozing from every beat....
  11. Destiny

    If I may derail the gear-talk for a moment: Playing the Crucible last night, I was the only non-20+ level person. They all had a shield as part of their life-bar. Does one unlock shields later in the game or is Bungie displaying the health-bar information in two different ways? (my personal health bar is a single white bar, but all my teammates and enemies had a red bar and a white bar) Just for fun I downloaded the Destiny companion app. It's a bit of a mess!! All those grimoire cards are laid out in grids with icons and no text to tell you what you're selecting. There's a yellow bar at the bottom of each icon, some partially filled, some not-at-all filled, some completely filled; I haven't been able to figure out what the yellow bars mean. I was hoping they designated items that you haven't read, but that doesn't seem to be a feature that Bungie has implemented yet. So when the game tells you a new Grimoire card is unlocked, you'll have to root through a few complicated layers of icons to figure out where the heck the new card is. And then it's also just flavor text! I'm an Awoken just starting the Moon missions and I still have no idea what an Awoken is. The issue the game faces with just about every fact and icon and inscrutable detail is that I'm stuck wondering whether I missed something or whether they intended me to not know. Looking up Awoken in a wiki tells that this is a case where I shouldn't have known, but how was I to know that I shouldn't have known!
  12. Destiny

    I'm waiting on Destiny because I caved and picked up Diablo 3 for PS4, so it might be a few weeks before I pick this up. Until then, what press I've been hearing for the game (some Polygon, some Giantbomb Cast) is very interesting. There doesn't seem to be a precedent for the gaming press to all collectively take their time reviewing a big-budget hotly-anticipated game. It feels weird to tune in and hear people in the middle of forming their opinions. The carrot-on-the-stick line from Bungie that the game doesn't start until level 20 makes it even more complicated, because there's this collective feeling of, "well, we're in the middle of this thing, and we've been told it gets better, so bear with us..." I find it fascinating!
  13. Diablo III

    Picked it up this weekend on PS4, expecting it to be every bit as grindy and boring as you described. I'm gonna be super stressed about work for the next couple of months, so what better way than to get a game that allows me to turn off my brain! What difficulty did you play the game on, twmac? I had heard that "expert" was the difficulty to start with, and have been finding combat at that level to feel like a fun dance of movement, placement and timing. (Then again, I haven't hit requisite 5-hour marker where things got boring for you).
  14. PlayStation+

    Glad someone else tried it! I agree about the "everything surrounding", though I think the whole thing feels relatively unpolished. The house where you're supposed to put trinkets? The basement full of "bad things" that you can turn off? I've played for a few hours at this point and not even 1/8 of one of the rooms is full of stuff, which leads me to believe that there's a lot of game there, but then I'm kind of scared to think about trying to find the one thing I need when it's all just laid out in rooms like that. The puzzles are sometimes just impossible. Whoops the wolves ate all of the needed deer, and you can't figure out why you can only pick up the statues every once in a while, so you lost. Something about the pacing of each playthrough feels a bit too laborious, like they were trying to make a puzzle-y Spelunky, but didn't nail the feel. You lose in Spelunky, *whoosh* you're immediately starting over. This has just enough "stuff" outside of playing that it slows down to a point of more often than not just turning off the game rather than that whole just-one-more. But, I'm still pretty intrigued by the whole thing. It feels ambitious, and any game that throws around questions about the role and worth of being a parent is cool by my book.
  15. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    So happy to see the love for Darkside! An old college friend of mine manages them now (as well as a who's who of other hip bands - he puts me to shame with his insane work ethic and ability to succeed in a creative medium). Closest record I can think of is Holden's "The Inheritors". Really awesomely diverse, texturally compelling, and nicely driving. Burial's latest, "Rival Dealer", has some of his most driving tracks yet (though they're still beautifully edited/broke). Zomby's "With Love" has much harsher tone to it due to his limited sonic palette, but it has some really beautiful moments and is still quite energetic. Bok Bok's "Your Charizmatic Self" is a classic Night Slug's release. Really sparse and limited sonic palette, but it's got really fun energy. ------ Also new Aphex Twin coming out on Sept 23! Curious to see if/how his style has changed since Drukqs.
  16. Movie/TV recommendations

    Watched The One I Love last night. I think I was in a particularly receptive mood, but still, I loved it. I don't recommend reading anything about this movie before watching it, as the more of a surprise it can be the better. I'd post the trailer, but I just think you should watch it.
  17. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Oo. Nice! Thanks for the recs. I'll definitely check them out and give their albums a listen so I'm not going in totally blind (sonic fatigue makes hearing new music at these things so much more of a challenge). I think they and Slint are just doing nostalgia circuits. I looked up recent setlists by both bands and they're just playing the old stuff. BtS's stuff has always veered in the Dad-Rock direction, so I imagine it'll hold up pretty well.
  18. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Speaking of Grimes... FYF Fest is this weekend in LA. Kinda worried how exhausting it's gonna be there's so much going on! There are four stages, so we parsed out our schedule this afternoon: Saturday: Angel Olsen Slint Real Estate Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks Todd Terje Grimes Sunday: Kelela Mac Demarco Thundercat Built to Spill Blood Orange Darkside Blood Brothers Flying Lotus Jamie XX My expectations are set at medium. Festivals tend to have bad sound, sloppy playing, malfunctioning equipment, annoying patrons, bad bathrooms, etc. But those are some solid acts, if a bit on the safe side (not that I'd want to be imbibing some sinister stuff on a marathon summer weekend). Highlights next week!!!
  19. I enjoyed the conceptually disjointed nature of Shoot the Piano Player. I had seen the film a few years ago, and was happy to rewatch it. It's light, well-shot, and non-linear enough that a second viewing was easy. I like that it just happens. The movie drifts from scene to scene, introducing and switching to new characters' points of view, switching genres and tone, and bearing no underlying conceptual burden. Charlie's lack of agency, his determination to let things happen, has a resonance with the floaty-ness of the form. The final shot is great, with Charlie determinedly staring off into space and the piano piece circling around and around. I liked the film, but I don't think I'd recommend it.
  20. PlayStation+

    Booted up one of the new games for PS4 this month: Road Not Taken. The developers of Triple Town on mobile (Spry Fox). That game felt so elegant, but the puzzle aspect of it was quite punishing. It was fun to play a few times, but then I couldn't figure out why I'd want to play more (nothing to unlock, no new boards, no one to high score chase with). Road Not Taken has a similar art style and tile-based boards. The cut scenes are weirdly choppy, and the transition between screens feels sloppy, but otherwise this game is oozing with atmosphere and style. I immediately felt compelled to attend to the task and solve the puzzles. But then some really weird flavor text appeared when I spoke to the "mothers" after saving their children. Something along the lines of "Being a mother is a full time job." Another was along the lines of "Being a mother is a great sacrifice, but ultimately worth it." It gave me pause. Very intrigued to keep playing.
  21. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Some Gesualdo: One of my favorite madrigal composers. (I don't love that he's a documented murderer, though...)
  22. DOTA 2

    Watched both games last night. Congrats Sean and Brad! Those Shadow Wraith disconnects were driving me pretty bonkers. Hope you both have time to record a Dota Today to recount the blow-by-blow.
  23. Movie/TV recommendations

    Watched Frances Ha last night. Opening shots made me remember why people still like NYC. I worked there for 2 years and lived there for one, and really grew to hate it, so it was nice to be like, "ohhhh right, that's why kid's still want to move there after school." Also I'm sure it's fun if you can afford it. Movie had some weird parallels to my life: creative type, working in the entertainment industry in the city, ends of taking a job at Vassar College where both the main women in the film and I went, interacts with students who seem to wonder what you're doing there, having graduated 5 years earlier. Working through feeling like a failure. I assume because of these weirdly direct parallels that the ending of the film left a bitter taste in my mouth. Everyone from her life comes to her show and is like you're the best! It just felt like such an insanely consonant ending for a story that up until then had felt rather real in a narratively ambiguous way. I really liked the friendship, though. The parallel of them talking in bed in the beginning and end was great. I recommend the film. Mileage may vary on the ending.
  24. Titanfall

    Excellent! Downloading them now. I have a very similar play-style! All of my main weapons have a silencer, my mini-map displays minions, and I do my best not to get killed. I'm much more brash when in the titan, though, since it gives me a second life. I really enjoy the dynamism between those two play styles. There's something so satisfying about having directed fodder in a game like this. I know that I can sit down and play two rounds in ~30 minutes and have a generally good time, no matter how my reflexes and focus are.
  25. Feminism

    +1 to misandry-themed t-shirts: Someday I'm gonna wear it to yoga.