Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Roderick

  1. Bloozzard

    (Aww, gosh, I don't know if you mean that ironically, because... that is EXACTLY what people used to disqualify Starcraft before it came out. "It's just orcs in space!")
  2. Episode 450: Two Point Hospital

    So, I'm a little while into this game, sixth level or so. There are small quality of life improvements that make this a nice experience: the ability to copy rooms for instance, or the pause. Was pausing already a thing in Theme Hospital? Then again, it sure is Theme Hospital again. There's something weird happening in the arc of any given level. The opening bids are usually fun, where you get to design the entrance, reception area and what I'll call the diagnosis area. Just building up your hospital the best you can, hiring staff (Rob's tip in the podcast to just hire the most competent doctors and nurses, money be damned, is a good one)... it's fun and at this point I still have the energy to care about the little details of where to place my seats and plants and drink machines for optimal aesthetics. The first hurdle is when you need to up the scale. I tend to balk whenever I need to build my fifth, sixth, eighth, tenth GP's Office. That's when I just dedicate a whole new wing to diagnosis and intake, dammit, but I dislike it because it creates a second entrance to the hospital and feels les flow-y. This is also the moment where I'll need to hire so many new staff that I stop caring about their individual needs, and I tend to lose interest in optimizing where they are. I'll just dump 'em randomly in whatever room needs them, and hope the game figures out where to place them for maximum utility. Then, once I've got this pretty much automated, the game seems to peter out. There's not much more to do than look at your self-sustaining hospital, sometimes nudge and prod and pull a lever here and there, and wait for the challenge bars to fill. Train 20 staff. Cure 300 patients. On to the next site. I'm comparing this to Dungeon Keeper now, which I feel is fair since the ideas powering the two games are roughly the same: build rooms, attract certain patients or creatures, optimize and manage. But Dungeon Keeper has this wonderful point to it: the end game of every level where you'll get a group of adventurers invading and trying to smash your palace. It's exciting every time and creates a natural climax to the arc. Two Point Hospital, like Theme Hospital before it, lacks this build-up towards, well, something, anything! It's not that satisfying to see a bar fill and then get a static level processing you into the next hospital to manage. So, what I'm basically saying is, get a band of heroes to bust into the diagnosis area and start wreaking havoc. That too much to ask?
  3. Bloozzard

    Remember when Warcraft 2 came out and the big selling point was ORCS VERSUS HUMANS... BUT NAVAL (And it ruled so, so much.) (BUT NAVAL is an awesome modifier.)
  4. Bloozzard

    I'd be surprised if they changed it up too much. One thing they've mentioned is that they'll give more screentime to characters like Sylvanas, who became very popular and important in WoW. I'd guess the main gist of the story will remain much the same. Hopefully they'll resist putting in thousands of references to future events and characters. I haven't been following WoW since the advent of Wrath of the Lich King, so I wouldn't know how much of a mess it has become, but I can venture a guess. WoW has always thrived on convolution, since it needs to fill up SO much space (a whole WORLD, so to speak). Coupled with the usual Blizzard Escalation(TM) where you can chart the duration of a game story to the inevitable point where they start fencing with ancient creator gods or evil demons that have been manipulating everything behind the scenes... Though I understand that recent expansions to WoW have made an effort to return to the roots of Horde vs Alliance again, and that seems a wholesome move.
  5. Bloozzard

    I've been (I don't know why, I must be masochistic) reading more on the reveal and backlash, and have read a single (one) good argument how Blizzard screwed up, which I am willing to grant the outraged people. Blizzcon was the wrong venue for this reveal. They should've done it at Gamescom, or the Activison press conference at E3, or some other, mobile event. Not Blizzcon. That one is, insofar as it's also a media spectacle for the outside world, still in large part a celebration for the most hardcore of hardcore fans, who've all paid dearly to be there. Slapping them in the face with a watered-down mobile version of a classic game is tactically unsound, and a media blunder because it was bound to provoke this reaction. Which is to say: I still don't condone that reaction, I think it's foolish. But people can be foolish, and Blizzard have been doing this long enough that they should've been able to see this coming. But, whatever, this thing is forgotten in a few weeks (no matter how much Ben Kuchera wants this to be a big thing with his preposterous analysis on Polygon). Let's focus on War3 Reforged instead. One thing I didn't mention, and which I read somewhere and totally agree with, is that Reforged will likely feel very true to how I remember Warcraft 3 being. If I'd go back and actually play the original game, however, (and the last time I did was probably... a good ten years ago) I'd probably find its graphics aren't as good as I have in my head.
  6. The Good Place

    Also, they can always play the joke card to get away with super weird or messed-up implications of any of their plot points. Latest ep was cute! Maybe a little on the sappy side, but they've earned this. Obviously, it was no Donkey Doug, but...
  7. Bloozzard

    I read some of that over here: But at the end of the day, it's still a gross overreaction by extremely rabid fans who should know, after, you know, 25 YEARS OF THIS, that Blizzard takes its time making games, and doesn't announce things until they're done. And even I, a rather casual Blizz follower, had gotten the memo that they wouldn't be discussing or announcing D4 at Blizzcon. The fact that Diablo Immortal is made by another team makes it only more plain that it in no way hampers D4's development. So just ignore it. But then, of course, if you're in the Blizzon bubble, it'll be a lot harder to. You've paid top dollar to have all your Blizzdreams come true, and when they don't, there's only Blizzappointment and Blizztering rage left to turn to.
  8. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    Yeah, that's really not making this any better. [Not that I'm actually upset, I mean, what are we talking about, it's an amiibo for f*ck's sake.]
  9. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    Seeing the four of us, christmas-bearing Thumbers, on a row, makes me feel warm inside. Then there's the Grinch, in the form of Osmosisch, who just won't leave poor SpeedyDesiato alone!
  10. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    OK, I didn't find any Diablo 3 topic to plunk this in, so I'm just doing it here, since it's at least Switch-related. Blizzard have announced this atrocity to go with their Diablo 3 for Switch release: Now, first of all, it's, well, not really ugly, if you're into this chibi-no-textures style, but it looks nothing like its video game counterpart. Amiibo are usually not stupid funko pop wannabe shit, they try to at least resemble what they want to represent. Which is: I'd love this guy as an amiibo! But that's not even what grinds my gears. You want to know what does? Well, here is it. WHAT THE FUCK IS A LOOT GOBLIN? Do they mean the treasure goblin? Is Blizzard unaware how their own creatures are named? Have I ended up in a bizarro alternate universe?
  11. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    At some point it just felt wrong not to have my Christmas Manny up all year long.
  12. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    So, well, but, in reality, this topic has probably scared everyone, including myself, into getting a little more active around these parts. I've been having a ball actually engaging with the topics I used to only read a little more. TAKE THAT, dying forum! Have some QUALITY ACTIVITY. [I am SO reaching that delicious 10,000 posts count.]
  13. anime

    I'll be reading that Nadia write-up. Finished Dragon Pilot, and it finishes strongly! Very satisfying show, in the end. Light and breezy, with some terrific design and animation work by BONES. [edit] Read you article, Gormongous. I've not seen Nadia, but that intro sure is enthusiastic. About Anno: I never had a weird relationship with him, as a fan, like the one you describe others as having. It feels very familiar to me, I've seen it in many fandoms, especially the ones that I feel take it too far. Why would one make assumptions about a creator, or foster anger towards them based on a perceived slight? I was knee-deep in Evangelion in my teens, it meant a lot to me, but I didn't even consider projecting anything on its creator(s), if I even was aware of them in the first place. I directed my full attention to the text at hand - the show itself. [Until I'd had my fill. I rarely linger in fandoms after I'm done watching, even moreso nowadays. I haven't been as fanatical about anything as I was about Pokémon and Evangelion back on the cusp of adulthood. The closest thing I experience now is a brief infatuation I indulge in, like a plaything.]
  14. Life

    That's a perfect example of local variations in language! You live way up in the North, I'm from the South. Staalblauwe lucht is a very common expression there.
  15. Another Red Redemption, Dead

    Somewhat unrelated (because I'm sure RDR2 is a super swell game in its own right), but after experiencing Breath of the Wild, I don't know if old school open world games will still do it for me. BotW has a refined elegance of gameplay systems that I've yet to see elsewhere. Without being able to put into words exactly what it did that was so next level, you kind of just feel it was.
  16. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    Doctor Jackstraw:
  17. Another Red Redemption, Dead

    I feel it's warranted, in this case, to butt in. RDR2 is that rare game that you almost can't avoid in daily life - it's even on TV in mainstream talkshows here in the Netherlands. The big gaming sites have been holding RDR-weeks and other bullshit. Feels like you HAVE to have an opinion on it, somehow. (Note: I'm relatively interested in the game, but certainly not gonna buy it in the near future. I have enough to play and from what I see and hear it's hardly a must-play. Even if it's, like, arbitrarily, 20% better than RDR, it's still 'just another RDR, but better'.)
  18. Life

    Is Vietnam teetering on a political knife edge, Dosed? Feels that way from your words. What a nasty turn the world has taken. What the hell is up with all the rampant nationalism and the sudden desire to have nigh-autocrats take reign to purge and cleanse and close borders? Good lord... Dutch winters are quite varied. I'd imagine they don't differ all that much from British winters. We have lots of crisp days (we call it a 'steel blue sky'), off-set by weeks shrouded in grey clouds. Some winters are wet and sloppy, other frosty. It rarely dips below 5-10 degrees centigrade, though depending on the wind it might feel a lot colder. Winters are fine. I just need to get used to them nowadays! Currently I started a Jan van Haasteren-puzzle (of a wintry scene, coincidentally) to ease my mind a little in the evenings, and it works like a charm. I might set up the Christmas tree a few weeks early, just to get some light and luster into the room.
  19. Episode 450: Two Point Hospital

    Purchased it yesterday and played the first two levels. It hasn't grabbed me as I had hoped [after listening to the podcast], but perhaps that's due to these being tutorial levels, effectively. One thing that strikes me so far is that I don't want for space. I make nearly every room as small as I possibly can, so the whopping three additional plots of land I purchased in level 2 were quite nearly useless. What's the benefit of making a really nicely large and well-decorated GP's office, or any other room? Is it just to add prestige and probably increase the happiness of staff and patients? I don't know if that'll outweigh the (presumably) more dramatic scarcity of space surely to come in later levels. Wards, sure, those can house more beds. But I'd say it's better to have four small GP's offices rather than a singly huge one.
  20. Life

    Same here: allergic to cats, but love seeing them frolic around. It's quite an ordeal when I'm with friends who have an adorable persian. So, ever since a few years I've noticed, much to my surprise, that the shift to wintry times is weighing on me quite a bit. We're currently enduring the first real cold and sun-deprived week in the Netherlands, and it's affecting my mood. I'm staying chipper, but I feel it gnawing at the fringes of my mental state. A pervasive sense of mild dread and tension. I hope it'll pass next week, when I'm used to grey skies and fell winds again.
  21. Recently completed video games

    Finished Xenoblade 2: Torna - The Golden Country! Though it didn't have the stupendous scope of the original, I must say the END GAME of Torna was much improved. The final boss was actually fun instead of a tedious grind, and the (obviously long) closing cinematic was neatly emotional. Overal, ended the game on a high note and glad I finished it.
  22. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    Oh, I played the river mode with five other adults in the room, and it was quite a ruckus. We were all shouting directions to some comic effect.
  23. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    OK, I have now played enough Mario Party to say something definitively on it. The board game mode is really good, but also really classic Mario Party. Play it once or twice and you'll have your fill for the next year or so. The co-operative river mode, though, is superb. If you've got four players ready to go, that's the one to do.
  24. Episode 443: The Best RTS Comp Stomps

    I will not let this opportunity go to mention that Sins of a Solar Empire is the best name for any piece of media, ever, bar none, case closed.
  25. Episode 450: Two Point Hospital

    Yesterday's commute to a game evening on the other side of the Netherlands proved a great opportunity to listen to some 3MA (always a good companion on the road, by the way, especially late at night). So, the immediate thing that struck me was the remark at the beginning that at least the American contingent of strategy connoisseurs on the cast didn't seem to know Theme Hospital all that well. So, yeah, it might've been a European / British thing rather than a worldwide phenomenon? I don't know how true this is across the board, but I had always assumed Bullfrog games were top of their class globally. This is the first time I heard about Hospital being a relative unknown. The thing I loved about the game, back then, was the construction of the hospital and seeing all the weird and humorous ailments and diseases flocking in. Good to see that aspect wholly preserved. One thing that would always happen, though, is me rather quickly growing tired with the game, usually after building a hospital or two, three. I'd invariably lose my appetite having to start from scratch. I wonder if that's still the case with Two Point Hospital, or if I'm now old enough to perceive and appreciate the more strategic layer apparent in the game, such as the hallway flow you mentioned in the show. Might keep it fresh. Looking into the future: the Two Point developer is apparently poised to make more 'Two Point' games, obviously looking back at the old Molyneux catalogue of sims. I doubt they'll be going for Dungeon Keeper though, since it already has a rather good successor in the Dungeon series. Theme Park, too, barely needs an update with all the rollercoaster tycoons and sims available. So, what's next? Two Point Populous? Two Point Magic Carpet? Two Point, GULP, Black & White?