Ben X

Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Ben X

  1. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    Well, I didn't find ROTT, but I did realise I need to add Shadow Warrior '97, Spec Ops The Line and Strafe to this list. Goddammit, it's the Golden Gate Bridge of backlog-busters! I've found a fan Win7 port of the original ROTT shareware episode, which I got working with a bit of fiddling, so I'll play that first then move onto the reboot/remake/sequel/whatever it is.
  2. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    I'm glad you Gunslinger this with me! Yeah, the analogue stick thing is a good point, the mouse controls on those were horrible. Okay, so actually I was probably thinking of Shadow Warrior not ROTT that I have both original and remake of. I'm going to go through all my online libraries anyway, just to see if I've missed anything. Let's see, Steam, GOG, Twitch, Amazon, Origin, Ubiplay, Humble... anywhere else?
  3. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    I finished the game. Unfortunately, the last section was a let-down, with an arena shootout with a bunch of ghosts then a two-way showdown. Considering this game works best when using a mix of cover and timing, and the showdown mechanics are frustrating as hell, this was not a good end section. Then it's revealed that Ben is actually Bob and you get a choice whether to kill him or not ("Revenge" or "Redemption"). I chose redemption, and it turns out that the young boy who's been listening to your story is Dwight Eisenhower and I tell him not to give into vengeance and bloodlust. Looking at a video of the Revenge choice: you get a showdown (a good reason in itself to choose peace) with Bob, you kill him, and the Dwight reveal is made - this time he leaves without learning a wholesome lesson. I'll let the historians here discuss which universe we're in. Game+ lets you play through again with all your gained skills and allows you to keep building them up, but does force you to stop for all the story bits. There's an arcade mode that lets you play through some of the levels, but starting off vanilla again, which wasn't that fun (also @Laco has insanely good high scores that I'll never beat!). So no perfect option, but I played almost the entire game again in game+ so I guess that's a good indicator of how enjoyable it is overall. It's telling that it takes two whole playthroughs to get completely levelled up, though, and even then I didn't feel like I'd had enough chances to use all my new stuff. The game could have done with racking XP up a lot sooner and then having a couple more towns to work through without lots of narrative interruptions near the end. I never got to throw someone's dynamite back at them! Still, despite a few that and a few other small issues (unusually for an FPS, the shotgun is pretty much useless and I barely touched it; boss fights are never fun), it's overall very satisfying to play and the storytelling has a lot of flair. Aside from more showy stuff like a spinning time-lapse sky or weather and vegetation changing with the narration as you walk through them, it also has some great atmosphere. Silas sings a song about death at one point as you walk through a valley; rain and lightning starts up and then a giant landslide tumbles past you, held in a freeze-frame as the level ends; the abandoned town falling apart and sunken at angles deep into the mud also acts as a nice reflection of Silas becoming a husk of a man, still seeking revenge while the 20th century rolls on and he gets ever older and more irrelevant, cars buzzing past him in the street and enemies wondering who the hell this old coot is. An accurate RPS review (which mentions this was released at a surprisingly low £12 price point) Forum thread Discussion in Idle Thumbs 135 (from around 18 minutes in) A couple of making-of videos, one from the writer and one more standard. And now I can finally finish watching Noah Caldwell-Gervais' video essay on the CoJ series! So, it's onto Rise Of The Triad. However, I'm pretty sure that I somehow gained the original ROTT on one of my online libraries, so I'm going to try to hunt that down first. I have like ten of them, and I can't remember what they all are, so there's a chance I have, like, five games sitting somewhere that I will never get to play! While I'm looking, I'll keep an eye out for any FPSes I own but missed off this list.
  4. Getting back OT, here's a little article about the tech behind the natural black hair in ITVOTG. (It also links to a blog post by Jane Ng on the same.)
  5. Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Oh yeah, all the actors were good, that's true. I got more of a Philip Seymour Hoffman vibe than a Harrison Ford one off young Han, but whatevs. I thought Clarke did a good job, can't really imagine another actor doing anything more with that role tbh. I agree with most of your spoiler stuff.
  6. Not sure if this film will generate enough discussion for an entire thread, seeing as apparently it's doing badly enough to lose Disney money (at the moment anyway; I guess they'll make it back eventually with blu-ray/VOD sales etc), but let's see... I didn't enjoy it. It felt like an episode of a tv show where they take one episode to give a character's entire backstory up to that point so they cram in every important life event and use a ton of shorthand. I really don't care how the Millennium Falcon got dirty or what personal significance those golden dice have to Han (especially since I never even noticed them in the OT, even if the new films seem to have decided they're an iconic prop) or what the exact details of that Kessel Run/parsec boast are. It also meant there was no real narrative structure and that I didn't care about most of the characters because there was no time to get to know any of them. Apart from all that, it was rather gloomy throughout (mood and visuals) and the action sequences were generally not very well directed. Merus said this:
  7. Movie/TV recommendations

    I was disappointed. I thought the plot was really tight on the first one, here it's all over the place. And it has that comedy sequel problem of mainly just redoing a ton of jokes from the first one. Also, I was annoyed that
  8. Red Faction: Guerilla

    This is getting a remastered edition, and you may just recognise the track they used for the official trailer: HOLY SHIIIIT!
  9. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    I'm on the final level already, apparently. The levelling system only just recently kicked the game up a notch! A bit of a shame really - it's one of those RPG-lite systems that, rather than create a few different play experiences, only really lets you enjoy the game for the second half and also forces you to level up stuff you don't care about in order to get to useful skills. Still, I'm really enjoying it for the most part - using all the little special powers in the right combination is really satisfying, and they have some cool levels like the steamer wreck half-sunk in a swamp, the tilted town or the turret sequence on a train-heist gone wrong where you rack up kills in slow-motion as burning dollar bills float past you. The narrative gags are still fun, too (though I'm not sure whether it's supposed to be blindingly obvious that Ben in the present-day saloon is the guy I've been looking for all through the flashbacks). There's a game+ mode, and I don't normally go for those but it might be fun to blast through the levels again with superpowers, as long as I don't have to stop every minute or so for the story again.
  10. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    The storytelling and presentation is certainly fun - you're a bounty hunter telling tall tales to a group of saloon patrons, playing through them as you go. New pathways drop out of the sky, enemies change when you're challenged on the historical facts, and sometimes you'll die in an extravagant action-movie moment only for your narration to clarify that's what would have happened if you'd taken the wrong route, and a quick rewind to plonk you further back in the level with a new pathway appearing. The only issue I have with it really is that it can overshadow and break up the gameplay a little - it'd be nice if I could just get a long level to shoot through occasionally. There's a bunch of energetic editing razzmatazz too, with all the character name-slamming, split-screening, illustration-overlaying freeze-frames you could wish for. It has a kind of Borderlandsy feel to it, especially with a slight tinge of cell-shading and bloom to the in-game aesthetics. As per usual for a CoJ game, it looks nice enough without really blowing you away. The gunplay generally feels good, too. The old concentration mode is here and still fun, though perhaps not as generous as I'd like. A judicious use of that, cover and dynamite creates some great Western shootouts, especially with AI that hits a good balance between taking cover and getting reckless. It can sometimes feel a little fiddly, and the boss fights have been uniformly irritating so far, but overall it's really solid.
  11. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    RPS make highly subjective lists, they're not really to be considered proper "Best Ever" lists. Disagree with you on HL2 though. I'm putting Blood Dragon aside at least for the moment. I just got to a bit where I have to wait for a slow elevator while running circles in a small room to dodge a dragon, then a turret sequence, then I have to drive a car through a series of tight corridors. I died getting shot at in the car while trying to do a three-point turn, and now I have to do the whole sequence over again. I might go back to it, but honestly probably not. I'm on the same page as Tycho here: There's some discussion that follows on from there. My one word for it would be 'muddy'. Just a big icon-filled map with some muddy objectives and muddy shooting, and a muddy aesthetic. The humour gets pretty worn after a short while, too - it's essentially Duke Nukem Forever. So, onto Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger. I hear good stuff about this, but I didn't love the first two (19th century-set) installments so I'm keeping my expectations low.
  12. Movie/TV recommendations

    I watched the first two episodes and it kind of feels like it's clearing the deck from the previous season.
  13. South Park

    I suspect the majority of people here don't like this show. However, from the first season to the eighteenth I have mostly loved it for its ability to reinvent itself, the unique production schedule and impressively high ratio of success in its humour and satire. I only agree with them about 70% of the time, though, and there have been some bumpy patches, as well as some truly heinous moments (it shocked me when, after what seemed to me a pretty sensitive and right-headed treatment of trans issues in S18, I re-watched the early seasons and saw that awful 'well maybe I identify as a dolphin, then' shit). It's finally started to lose its lustre for me, though. I've just caught up on season 20 and started 21. After the powerhouse of 18, I was hugely let down by 19 (mostly a rant against SJWs, and a confused and unfunny season plot which was heavily serialised) and 20 (mostly telling people to stop being so sensitive when Nazis are doxxing them, total serialisation which goes nowhere, and they somehow managed to fuck up Cartman as a character). The S21 premiere was muddled and not particularly funny, plus it seemed to have the message 'you ultra-racists make us far-right-wingers look bad, don't be so overt'. Episode 2 wasn't much stronger, but Tweak's despair at the president's reckless tweeting was great and kept me going until the amazing final song. If they can rescue Cartman and deliver a truly strong episode or two, I'll probably be back on board for a while. But it feels like the show may have finally fully flipped to two old men getting progressively right-wing, despairing at 'having an opinion gone mad', and spewing out post-break-up bitterness.
  14. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    In other news, Unreal Gold is free on Steam and GOG for the next half day ish.
  15. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    That's actually a re-post with around three new entries (I may even have posted the original in here somewhere! Also, I'm not looking for new stuff because this is a backlog-buster first and foremost. Thank you though
  16. Movie/TV recommendations

    In more negative news, I've now finished Ash Vs Evil Dead season 3 (which is now the final season, as the show got cancelled). Overall, I wasn't a fan of the series. It occasionally had some stand-out great sequences (like JKO said, the fluid-based one in S3 was great), but I didn't like the sub-Supernatural lore-ification, I didn't like what they did with Ash (for some reason he's a racist lech now), I didn't really like any of the supporting characters and it overall just felt quite repetitive and unimaginative. I would have much preferred them to cobble together a few million and make a low-budget Evil Dead 4 that followed up on the original ending to AoD (or that treated both that ending and the theatrical ending as canon alternate universes and brought them together, as was the plan at one stage).
  17. Movie/TV recommendations

    I was told the first three episodes are a bit of a slog, but I'm halfway through the first ep and enjoying it so far. I'm also enjoying the Netflix series The End Of The Fucking World, as recommended by @Spaff on the Double Fine Discord. 8x20min episodes, really easy to get into and a score by Graham Coxon.
  18. Filmmaking

    The thing about the actor not being able to stop joking around sounds like nervousness/self-consciousness. Hopefully he got that out of the way in that first morning and will be better on subsequent days. I definitely wouldn't abandon close-ups. Remember this is a learning experience for you - push yourself to get better performances out of the actors. It sounds like maybe a good thing to try would be to encourage them to go as big as possible - again, perhaps they are self-conscious still and don't feel secure putting themselves out there and risking feeling silly. Once they've done a few big takes, get them to gradually take it down until you get around the right level. This may be completely the wrong technique for these two particular actors, though - you'll have to experiment and find out what works best for you all as a creative team!
  19. Id's Rage

    Sequel announced. Bethesda publishing, Avalanche developing. I'm not as excited for the prospect of a Mad Max/Just Cause type game set in the Rage universe (which is pretty much Mad Max anyway) as I would be for an FPS that jettisoned all the RPG-lite crap but kept all the fun shooting and nice design. Here's what I posted as I played through the first one a few years ago: (Sorry, @toblix, I went for this thread because it has more gameplay discussion, even though yours was there first.)
  20. And for an Othello blackface triple, here's Anthony Hopkins, with an afro wig that bounces around through the whole play (plus Bob Hoskins as Iago!)
  21. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    Thought so, thanks. Honestly, I was so confused and overwhelmed I wasn't in a position to be offended by anything in this game! Is this the Dan Golding article? EDIT: I found myself vigorously nodding along with that article, as well as this one and this one.
  22. It is a very nice piece of artwork, definitely.
  23. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    Blood Dragon is pretty fun so far. I like the Robocop/Terminator/Predator 80s VHS pastiche mixed with Sega Megadrive cutscene visuals, though they go on too long. And the gloopy laser fire looks nice and Cameron-y. It also mocks tutorialising which was pretty funny, though again it went on too long and then the game actually spent half an hour tutorialising. Speaking of which, I'm already feeling a bit weighed down by all the systems - buying upgrades, freeing compounds, side-missions etc. I know this is the standard Ubisoft game now, but I was hoping for a little more Far Cry 1 and a little less Assassin's Creed. Never mind, I'll just blast around for for as long as it remains fun. I'm having a couple of Bioshock Infinite-type problems with the combat, actually - the weird health system and some poor enemy visibility (mostly due to the gloomy visual scheme), plus slightly floaty shooting. Some of this may be solved by being a bit more stealthy, though.