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Everything posted by DanJW

  1. Life

    You should follow the dog's example.
  2. Obligatory comical YouTube thread

    I want one of those Toad beanies.
  3. V The Elder Scrolls

    Have a look through the mod directories for anything else that seems appealing to you. The option to mod the game to your tastes is fantastic, it really is. Half the time I forget what the vanilla game was like.
  4. Life

    Sorry to hear that Thompson. I had to have my dog put down a couple of years ago. I still miss him from time to time. It's painful in a way non-dog-owners often don't appreciate. Just remember to enjoy life like he would.
  5. V The Elder Scrolls

    Hmm Skyrim is the Norse-a-like homeland right? I just hope they're not going to follow too much in the wake of Wrath of the Lich King. On the other hand, Vikings are always cool. Well, they're basically pirates so there you go.
  6. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I saw the full Gorilla Girls exhibition at the Tate Modern. It was interesting, but only for about ten minutes. As for the other image... yeah, only someone who had never done any life painting would think that. It's not in the least bit sexual or voyeuristic and quickly becomes very mundane.
  7. Tomb Raider

    Wait, didn't we in fact have a pretty close analogue with Solid Snake becoming Old Snake? Elderly (or at least elderly-looking) playable characters aren't common. Neither are game protagonists who shove a gun in their own mouth. I thought that was a pretty gutsy move. I think I'm with Thunderpeel here. So yeah, they're still discussing how sexy Lara has to be. But seeing as they are going from a starting point of -100 fail feminism, they're making headway.
  8. Movie/TV recommendations

    Pretty much any one except the original theatrical. The Director's Cut is a good choice and easy to get hold of. Each cut does change subplots in subtle ways. It's worth watching each one; not in a row, but when you decide to come back to it.
  9. Tomb Raider

    Same here. As someone who was never really that impressed by the franchise, a change of approach won't hurt in the slightest. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do. I'm hoping for something a tiny bit like STALKER with climbing. As I said before though, I hope they keep the magical crap to a minimum. It's like Chris's comments on Assassin's Creed: history (and in this case archaeology) can be interesting enough without needing to hammer in ten kinds of sci-fantasy motifs. I was a little disappointed just to hear of the 'ship magnet' effect.
  10. Moon

    Is it that true though? Or is that just what you've been trained to expect by Hollywood? I've seen people react to shocking events with denial, or emotional detachment. I've done it myself (it helps with keeping a cool head in crises). The day after the tube bombings in London, commuters went to work as normal. People can carry on with their everyday lives in the face of some crazy stuff (that this might not be healthy is the basis of psychoanalysis). Most films involving shocking revelations don't portray that; it's not considered dramatic. But if you were underwhelmed then fair enough. The heart of the film for me is the character portrait anyway and how Sam changes over his years spent on the Moon. The passing of time can make us into a different person.
  11. Obligatory comical YouTube thread

    Most of Idle Thumbs UK (and Marek Bronstring) are spending a week in a Scottish castle. They sent me this video. ncyhAa1WDBE I have a nasty feeling it won't be the last.
  12. Life

    Further south, the snow has thawed away but we're still getting freezing fog. I preferred the snow.
  13. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    At bestival in the summer, my favourite new discovery was The Correspondents: 1FrbSjCXyec The frontman is an amazing dancer live. Their whole act had so much fun energy. lots of tracks on their myspace page There were lots of electro-swing and swing-hop artists at the festival actually, a new genre which I've found I really like a lot.
  14. Tomb Raider

    If they could include a plot other than "find the powerful mystical artefact" that would be nice. Obviously tombs need to be raided, but there's got to be other reasons to do that right? But yeah, it seems like every single Tomb Raider game for the past ten years has been branded a reboot. PiratePoo, you're not the only one, no. I played and enjoyed anniversary, but didn't finish it. Lara Croft seems like an empty figurehead to me; a franchise that has a vintage but nothing else, like a wine that was never particularly good, is now undrinkable, but is a valuable commodity due to the date on the bottle.
  15. Obligatory comical YouTube thread

    They breed like bleeding nasties when they're olivered, mate
  16. Obligatory comical YouTube thread

    That is one heavily persecuted tortoiseshell cat.
  17. Obligatory comical YouTube thread

    Yay! I'm friends with the director of that video. I've just noticed a few extras in it who I know too. I saw Professor Elemental live last year at a Steampunk club night. Very entertaining. Here's another goodun: eELH0ivexKA
  18. Movie/TV recommendations

    I caught the last five minutes of Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights. Too soon to comment on the whole, but I did notice a familiar face in the sketches. And on the writing credits too. Go go gadget Rab Florence! TEAM!
  19. Recently completed video games

    In the past couple of months I've bought and played Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed 2. The first one was pretty much what people said - a great engine and gameplay, amazing sense of place. Marred by the cookie-cutter mission design. The long monologues didn't help either, and the sci-fi backdrop, while interesting in itself, doesn't add much to the game I was actually playing, besides excusing some peccadilloes of the medium. I enjoyed it but felt like it was a missed opportunity. At times it felt more like a demo than a full game. That feeling was heightened when I played the second game. This is what they could have done with the first one?! Holy crap! Assassin's Creed 2 is a fantastic game, one of the best I've played in ages. Everything was improved, with the possible exception of the scenery (I don't know why but the game as a whole didn't look quite as nice as the first one - but graphics are far from the most important thing). The renaissance is nice and all but I missed the exoticism of medieval Damascus. A minor quibble though. I even liked the voice acting. I don't know why so many American's hate the accents - I guess they have less interaction with real Italians, instead being exposed to American-Italian and TV accents. The most improved thing? Making each side mission unique, even if it was just a bit of flavour text in a letter or a single line of voice acting. That little extra effort goes a long way. That and building up more of a relationship with all the characters, allies and targets. Even though I wasn't always clear on the meanderings of the trail I was following, I still cared a lot more about getting those mean ol' Templars. The second game even made more use of the framing premise, which wasn't that crazy left field if you pay attention and get all the glyphs. In fact it was kind of predictable, but not badly done by any means. So yes, awesome game. I'm looking forward to eventually getting my hands on Brotherhood, and in the meantime I will play the DLC.
  20. Books, books, books...

    I recently finished reading the Harry Potter series, having given up halfway through several years ago. To me it most resembles Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch and Diane Duane's Young Wizards series. There's also a little bit of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea in there. Along with Pratchett and Tolkien and the other usual suspects. That in itself isn't bad - those are all great books. But Rowling doesn't seem to understand her own source material. I seem to remember her saying something disparaging about fantasy and how she doesn't read it. I lot of her descriptions of mythological creatures seem like they were altered by accident - like she was told about them by a friend of a friend. Most egregious is her lack of anything to say with the literary device of magic itself. In all the above authors' works they use magic as a central theme to examine something integral and meaningful. With LeGuin it is balance and hard work, with Murphy it is the uncertainty of self-change. For Rowling it is simply a deus ex machina to get her plots where she want them to go. Magic doesn't have to be systemized per se but the author should have a feeling for what it is and how it works. The main characters are generally annoying and stupid. I spent a lot of the time angry at Dumbledore, Harry and his gang for being utter morons. I was constantly on the side of Snape. Despite all that the books are an easy light read and really do keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next; I think that is the secret of their success.
  21. Movie/TV recommendations

    What I like is that while there tends to be a "super-antagonist of the week", the misfits make no particular effort to 'defeat' them, in the tired old comic book formula way. Sure a lot of them meet nasty ends, but half the time the cast just sort out the immediate complication that affects themselves and then wave the afflicted person goodbye. No saving the world or righting wrongs here. Heroes always had the tag "ordinary people with extraordinary abilities" but the save the world plots soon made the characters almost as bad as the comic book source material they were meant to be de-constructing. Misfits is refreshingly small scale and while the characters are larger than life they are still believable as well as being hilarious.
  22. Movie/TV recommendations

    So season 2 of Misfits has started. I hadn't watched the first series - it sounded like it was going to be as hokey as Torchwood and all the other current wave of mediocre British sci-fi TV. But Ysbreker's recommendation earlier in this thread made me think twice and then the season 2 teaser trailer piqued my curiosity, so I caught the opener. Then I went back and watched the entire first season in a few days. Yeah, I'm hooked. It's really good! It's been half-dismissed as Heroes meets Skins (a UK teen drama), but I think it takes the best unused ideas of those shows and then really plays to the strengths of British writing. The dialogue is fantastic. The characters go places where almost no US series would dare. It redefines the word antihero. For example: the character Simon can turn invisible. He is persecuted for being weird. In any other series he would be painted as shy but misunderstood and the 'heart' of the gang. For a while misfits does indeed follow that line. Then we learn that he uses his power to film women while they sleep and is very nearly as creepy as he is accused of being. Yet we still stay on his side, like Dexter Morgan without the people skills or body count (yet). Nathan is just a complete arsehole and has some of the best lines I have heard on TV in years and utterly loveable as only a complete arsehole can be. Good stuff.
  23. I tried to watch Bloodrayne, but the dialogue and performances were so terrible that I had to stop before I irreversibly damaged my spine through over-cringing. I've never managed to sit through more than a few minutes of any of the others before getting bored and doing something else.