Phaedrus' Street Crew
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  1. No Man's Sky

    You can pretty much always get a spaceship up and running with the mats on a planet: you only need working launch thrusters and pulse drive to get into orbit - just like the ship you start with. The last ship I salvaged - the location of which I found through {GAME_MECHANIC} - became a huge project - I could have all this extra space, if I was willing to abandon a charged hyperdrive, and fix so many of its core components. I ended up managing - through a combination of stuff I had on me and foraging - to get the engines and lasers back online. All the modifications were going to require fixing later, once I had space to craft stuff, and more Thamium9 from a trip mining asteroids. I ended up kicking the launch thrusters into life and flying out to the nearest space station with no shields; fixed the shields in orbit once I'd mined a pile of Thamium, and over the next half hour, brought the upgraded systems online whilst I did a few chores. It was great when it all worked out, though. I'm hugely enjoying this - somewhere between the excitement of survival and the chill of just coasting. And the colours. It's fulfilling all my Peter Elson/Chris Foss dreams.
  2. No Man's Sky

    You won't. Plutonium - which is what the launch thrusters require - is super plentiful. I've never had to walk more than a minute for it - and when you find the red crystals that can be mined for it, you get tonnes. It's easy to think "oh, I'm stuck!" and then realise what you really mean is "that plutonium is really far", where you've decided really far is >60s walk. When in fact... those planets are big. It does discourage constant in/out of spaceship hopping - you tend to orbit looking for a good base of operations - but don't be too precious about it. You'll also slowly get a knack for recognising the things that are the same the galaxy over - various mineral deposits, crystals, etc.
  3. Breaking Madden

    The new season of BM is promising to be great - last year's Superbowl episode is pretty special, and this year began with some serious legwork on Madden 2015. It has a habit of making me snort with laughter at work, though, which isn't always appropriate... Oh, there's a new one out. Better read that at somepoint, then. And you're all spot on about how readable they are, even if you don't like sports! Bois' timing is cracking. As, incidentally, is his pitch-perfect use of animated gifs - he's done the legwork on video capture, too). More gifs in games articles, people.
  4. Quake III Arena (ioquake3)

    Whoever set up the Authentic 56k Modem Lag® should be proud of themselves. Sorry I had to shoot, but that was fun! Especially more reliance on the Gauntlet/LagFist than I've ever seen...
  5. Quake III Arena (ioquake3)

    ugh I'm clearly going to have to write my own "switch to better" script.
  6. Quake III Arena (ioquake3)

    I'm in. I like Q3 a lot. (also it is ages since I've been about here, sorry).
  7. Aliens: Colonial Marines

    Now is, as usual, the time to point out that if you'd like a half-decent Aliens game, Wayforward's Aliens: Infestation for the DS is great. Platformy-Metroidvania Aliens game; very good, and lovely animation.
  8. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    What made me love that screengrab even more is that it manages to be a Phaedrus reference for fans of the show and a neat Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance riff. Touché, Fullbright company.
  9. David Mitchell

    Oh, I'm not saying you should write from cover to cover, in linear order. I guess what I was disappointed by is that the break-point in the tales is, essentially, completely arbitrary. The overlaps in theme and narrative between them are all carefully structured, planned in, absolutely - that's the whole point. But the actual point in the story where that page gives up and becomes a new tale (before unravelling later)... was basically just a case of snipping the individual stories in two, wherever. Again, I just felt there were perhaps more interesting structural things to do - even though, of course, a lot of the overlaps are much longer-running within the texts. (But; I would say this, because that's the sort of thing I like; insert banging on about BS Johnson here). It's not a major criticism; it was just disappointing to feel like he seemed a bit uninterested in that structural flourish.
  10. David Mitchell

    Well - it might not be as huge a thing as you're expecting, but I suddenly became swept away pretty much from when the ruler snaps (you'll see) to the final word. The control there is incredible.
  11. David Mitchell

    I really can't recommend Black Swan Green enough. Cloud Atlas is lovely, yes, but I kind of hated number9dream at the time - the cod-Murakami sections drove me nuts. But there's this lovely simplicity to BSG: a hint of autobiography, a hint of fantasy, an interesting overlap into Cloud Atlas / Mitchellverse; and some remarkable structure. Mitchell explains each chapter as a short story, about a month, and they do all join together into a novel, but also hang together alone well. And yet he ramps the pace in such a gentle way that the final couple of chapters build to an unexpected crescendo. It was so simple, so unshowy, and I love it for that. (I was bitterly disappointed when he explained that Cloud Atlas was never written out-of-order; he simply wrote the seven sections, and literally just hit cut/paste to shift them around. The final literal structure of that book was done in a couple of minutes. I know it was always intended, but I was disappointed that the cuts were, essentially, almost arbitrary).
  12. SSX

    Yeah, I do miss the "straight" approach of A2, but A3 isn't bad. The carving is nice. (And I'll admit, I quite enjoyed the Colonotronic Arts subplot).
  13. SSX

    I really enjoyed the demo. Or rather: I really enjoyed the mountains and the carving and the snow. I really don't like the crazy OTTness of it. And then I realised what I just really want is Amped 4. I'm a huge devotee of the franchise - mainly the first two, to be fair - and gosh, that was just lovely to carve down mountains and make beautiful tricks. But SSX might have to fill that niche for the time being.
  14. Prince of Persia 3: The Clunky Ass

    Just another quick shout for Warrior Within. The tone is horrible, the combat overblown, and the whole nu-metal Prince thing is terrible. But: the platforming is really good, when it's good. The Water Tower and Mechanical Tower, for instance, are fantastic - the best kind of POP verticality, building on the platforming that came towards the end of Sands Of Time. Made me super happy, just climbing these huge vertical things... and then I had to fight things, which made me grumpy. So, you know, if you can tolerate all the stuff that really is as bad as everyone says, there's a bunch of stuff in it that really builds upon Sands of Time. (SOT is still the best, and my favourite, by a long way. Don't worry, I'm not crazy.)
  15. Super Thumb Fighter 4

    "You have no dignity!" Hello! I have a copy of this, a Hori EX2, an Xbox and some slightly bad RSI when I play too much. My gamertag is PalefaceX. I like Abel, Sagat, Ryu, Dudley, and Ibuki. I like this game a lot.