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Everything posted by gdf

  1. Life

    How is it? For me, alright, we're going to Glasgow with some family friends for today and tomorrow, so should be an enjoyable wee diversion if nothing else You?
  2. Plug your shit

    I tried to write a clever introduction, but it just ended up sounding lame. This thread does what it says on the tin. Not literally of course, that would be horrible. Don't pretend otherwise, everyone likes to post links to their own work in anticipation of adoring comments. I write about games in my spare time; here are some of the better examples. This thread isn't entirely self-serving... . Honestly though, I'd like to see what the rest of you guys do, professionally or otherwise. What I've seen so far of random links in posts or sigs has been cool, so it might be nice to have everything collected in one place and with the potential for explanations or constructive criticism without worrying about derailing some other topic. Who knows, maybe we can all learn something!
  3. So I don't often finish games, but when I do I like to say some things about it. Instead of searching for the necessary thread and dragging up some three year old one-pager, let's have a mighty easier time by posting in here! I've just completed Call of Juarez. The ending tried some interesting things, but paradoxically fell back on a lot of stupid tropes and ended up being dishearteningly fragmented. It was also the only time the player gets removed from the first person perspective throughout and it broke the immersion in the dying seconds (the game keeps it up till then despite character changes, which works very well). Overall it was incredibly rough around the edges, but daring and endearing. Involving narrative and some excellent, reserved combat were keys to its success. Excited, I rushed off to download the recently released sequel's demo. It threw hundreds of guys, a second slow-motion/bullet-time mechanic and more explosions than the entire first game at me. Streamlined and consolefied to the max, very disappointing. I would recommend the original though. Strangely compelling when you get into it, and that game's engine is capable of a lot more ambitious stuff. They could (and should) have gone the "Like Oblivion with guns in the Wild West" route instead of the "Call of Duty of Juarez: The Generic Subtitle" for the sequel.
  4. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    This is so god damn good. There are three or four sequels as well and they're all fantastic.
  5. The stoic sweating travelling robot story with the tinkling piano screamed Studio Ghibli to me so I just spent half an hour at work making this stupid poster.
  6. Is It Wrong To Eat Meat?

    You're right about that, but to be fair the decision not to have kids is not an "immediate" or "everyday" thing. There are definitely many selfish reasons not to eat meat, including the health benefits. Personally, especially since transitioning to vegan after a couple of years eating veggie, my cooking has improved a lot and I'm spending waaay less on food. You can make pretty much anything with various combinations of beans/lentils, rice/grains/pasta and veggies. I'm notoriously indecisive so the restricted choice has actually forced me to be more inventive and varied so I don't end up eating pasta every night. Any incentive you can offer people to try it or make the change is good. That's why I've been trying to nudge people concerned about climate change (particularly in light of current news) towards at least reducing their meat consumption. Everyone wants to practice what they preach to the greatest extent possible, right?
  7. Is It Wrong To Eat Meat?

    I know this comes across as is weird evangelism because I'm not a regular poster here. But I'm bumping this topic to remind people that if you're really upset and worried about Trump and the Paris Agreement, the biggest immediate change you can make to your own carbon footprint is to switch to a mostly/entirely plant-based diet and encourage others to do so as well. Drastically reducing your consumption/use of animal products is second only to refusing to take aeroplanes in this regard, and is a much more realistic and everyday thing you can accomplish. Even the smallest individual steps help to create the momentum we need to deal with global warming, and changes in agriculture not only help to mitigate the effects of climate change but will leave us better equipped to deal with its consequences. So leaving aside the (imo very persuasive) moral argument for veganism, please don't let the planet turn into Venus because you like the taste of dead pigs.
  8. You definitely have, but because it is indeed a huge urban legend! I've heard it from a few different people and even told it a couple of times before I got suspicious and googled it.
  9. Clint Hocking

    It's one of the best designed levels I've ever encountered. That's not to say the rest of Chaos Theory is poor, it's actually incredibly consistent and quite possibly one of the greatest games ever made. Shit I wrote an article about it for GameSetWatch in 2010, talking about how its systems generated moral quandaries without any kind of artificial help. Looking back I was a half decent writer until academia beat any creativity out of me.
  10. The Next President

    Republican voters have just signed their own party's death warrant. I almost can't believe they managed to nominate someone as reasonable as John McCain a few years ago. The election is a dead cert for Clinton so at least everyone can have a bit of fun during the campaign. The Donald is undeniably great entertainment.
  11. Relaxing games recommendations

    This might sound strange but I use Pro Evo 2016 for this. I just bang on an exhibition match, use Bayern Munich set up the way I like them and play several games in a row while catching up on podcasts. I'm so good at the game now I win 90% of the time and even when I don't I'm completely zen. Great way to blow off steam.
  12. In the UK the vast majority of games have multiple European language options, typically English, French, German and Italian at minimum. Sometimes you get more regionally localised versions in the Nordics and so on but I suspect even those will include English. You may want to check the back of the box.
  13. Sports!

    So are none of you nerds excited about Leicester and the greatest pizza-fuelled underdog triumph of all time? Dilly-ding, dilly-dong!
  14. Mr. Robutt

    Over the weekend I watched the first couple of episodes of Mr. Robot. I found it quite compelling, particularly the main character. However, I can't really tell if the conspiratorial, le wrong generation, wake-up-sheeple angle is meant to be taken seriously or not. Because I'm not sure I can stomach that for 10+ hours if it is.
  15. Recently completed video games

    That sounds weirdly interesting. What's this game like mechanically? One of my favourite PS2 games was Shadow of Rome, if you like the gladiatorial combat angle it might be worth a punt. Yesterday I finished Firewatch on my second sitting. It was a really sunny afternoon and our living room overlooks a nice neigbourhood garden, so I opened the windows to enhance the nature vibes using real life bird cheeps which was unexpectedly cool. That said we are also close to one of the main roads in the city and the occasional passing truck kind of burst the illusion a bit! I don't actually finish many games these days (for some reason every other game I own seems to have turned into fucking Assassin's Creed). It was nice to have a Portal-length experience that was actually really engaging front to back. The podcast hosts that worked on it must have heard this a thousand times but seriously, you guys did a fantastic job. Some of the best writing and voice acting I've ever seen/heard in a game for sure, and I can't believe how authentic my relationship with Delilah felt. The books and other miscellany really helped to enhance the sense of this as an existing world. The only criticism I really have is mechanical, in that movement, climbing and so on felt a bit janky. But that's a total nitpick. Oddly specific thing that might only apply to me: it was also a massive relief not to have dozens of hidden collectibles scattered around the place. Obviously there are bits and pieces which, when found, actually enhance the experience if you care about it. But holy shit I cannot resist the impulse to scour every nook and cranny for shiny bullshit in every other game and I seriously felt so much more relaxed knowing there was no (completely arbitrary, I know) pressure to find audio logs or dog tags or artifacts or whatever. The forest was a gorgeous world to just exist in and this enhanced it a lot for me, so kudos.
  16. Life

    Fit like loon? Fellow sheep here. Sorry to hear that, it's nae fine. Sometimes friendships just end for no discernible reason. I feel like I've probably been the boy on the other side of that scenario to some of my oldest pals from school, but that's definitely a geography thing since I left Aberdeen a couple of years ago. Have you asked him why he's being weird?
  17. Nintendo 3DS

    Sorry everyone I never noticed that. Rare that we're the region getting the sweet deals though (further apologies to the Aussies). Anybody played the games concerned?
  18. Nintendo 3DS

    The latest Humble Bundle is Nintendo themed and a great way to nab some cheap 3DS games! It's still a good deal even if you don't have a Wii U (does anyone?) I paid about £10 and got Shantae, Retro City Rampage, Rhythm Thief, Citizens of Earth and Street Fighter IV, with more to come. Installed Shantae first and played half an hour or so. It's a fast paced, traditional style 2D platformer and seems right up my alley. Bought my 3DS about a year ago (the cool one with the SNES coloured face buttons) and have mostly played Majora's Mask and ALBW. Even second hand games are prohibitively expensive so it's nice to get a bunch of them I can dip in and out of while travelling or whatever.
  19. Life

    It needs to be hammered home to everyone dude. I've been inappropriately touched, though substantially less egregiously, by both women and men in relatively normal pubs. As far as I know gay women experience the highest rates of spousal abuse, followed by gay men, and it's totally overlooked because of social expectations concerning the gender of victims and perpetrators. To illustrate, more or less every guy is aware of the "no touching" rule in strip clubs. It is actually quite a well obeyed principle, but when men break it they are generally making a conscious choice to be terrible and break a norm designed to protect workers. There are often (though still not often enough i.e. 100%) appropriate sanctions for this behaviour. They're just fucking bad dudes. Ask any male stripper, though, and they'll tell you that being sexually assaulted is a daily part of the job, and something that they can't really do anything about. Their customers just don't understand that what they're doing is a violation of boundaries. A similar dynamic was illustrated in Broad City when Abbi kept fucking Seth Rogen's character after he passed out. She didn't even realise she'd assaulted him until Ilana told her. I think they dealt with it pretty well, in a kind of comedy as consciousness raising way. (See also Girls season five, when Hanna tries to suck Ray off in the coffee truck despite his protestations and nobody batted an eyelid. That wasn't handled nearly as well.) Really complex issues like this are where I feel the intersectional framework fails badly, because it's extremely reductive and can actually help reinforce old gendered expectations. This leads to the misdiagnosis of problems, or well meaning victims questioning themselves. namman what happened to you was sexual assault, it fucking sucks and I'm sorry to hear it happened.
  20. Life

    Heard this thread mentioned on a recent episode so thought I'd stop by, hi guys. Holy hell is it cringeworthy reading over your own old posts. I was still in secondary school back then, now I'm halfway through my PhD and living with my girlfriend as if I'm some kind of adult human being. Me rn.
  21. V The Elder Scrolls

    @Squid Division: I've definitely found myself compromising on a few DPS or armour ratings for aesthetic reasons. No fucking way am I going to switch the Dawnbreaker sword for a lame Glass one, even if the enchantment is more powerful in most situations. I hit a hundred hours today and I'd agree with the general assessment that it's more consistently good (I'd go as far as great, actually) while Oblivion had more "holy shit" moments. Even though the dungeons in Skyrim (are they still randomised?) are more interesting on an individual basis and the world is probably more varied and interesting - though I'm still a sucker for straight up ye olde Oblivion stuff - this may have come at the expense of some truly unique locations. When you've seen one Dwarven ruin, you've seen them all. I do feel like it's more easy to specialise in something cool though, but maybe that's just because being a sneaky archer is what I wanted to do all through Oblivion and never found feasible. Re shouts, essentially the only one I use is Unrelenting Force on its max level, I purposely manoeuvre enemies into exposed high up positions just so I can blast them into a river valley or off the side of a mountain. As for fast travelling, I felt I used it too often in Oblivion and have only done it a handful of times in Skyrim. Usually, conversely, when I'm close to where I'm headed but can't find an obvious route. Enough quests appear that I'm pretty much always able to pick a certain route through objectives/dungeons towards others, I've kind of just been frantically running around the map from place to place which means I've seen a lot more stuff. In Oblivion I was basically done by this point, but thanks to not having just zapped from one location to the next to finish quests I haven't finished the main quest or any of the guild equivalents, though I'm close on a couple. The disadvantage of not completing most quests in a linear fashion is that you can completely lose the thread and end up being baffled by what's going on, which could have been easily remedied by including a log of each quest's narrative in the journal. Oh, and I made occasional use of the horse and cart dudes to travel between cities. I feel it's analogous to how Sean claimed to feel about Arkham's daft Riddler puzzles in a cast; I don't necessarily like the principle of the thing, but I'll accept an almost semi-diegetic solution, or at least something that's accounted for with the rest left to artistic license. Edit: Christ, apologies for the mega brain dump of stuff I've been thinking for a few months but never said on the internet.
  22. The reason I hate most video games is because I love them.
  23. I agree, I'm even one of those numpties that's going to descend on the transport infrastructure this weekend to see some random sport I don't really care about! Really surprised at the overall negativity in this thread actually, the corporate stuff always ends up seeming like bullshit and Locog appear to have been complete fascists but in the end it's only about that crap if you focus on it. I was relieved when the actual sport got underway so everyone could just start enjoying watching extremely talented and dedicated individuals from all over the world attempt to do difficult things faster/better than one another, which is great. Can't bring myself to support the Great Britain* men's football team though. If it was Pearce's decision not to include any Scots (or indeed Northern Irishmen) then he's an arse, but I wouldn't be surprised if the SFA had made it clear to players that if they competed in the Olympics they'd be out of contention for international selection for the rest of their careers. Which is also stupid; FIFA wouldn't dare amalgamate the four UK assosciations. *I don't know why they didn't ever get the IOC to change it to Team UK,
  24. I never knew it was set in that world, that's a great touch! (despite the fact I've never played King's Field either and judging by the gameplay videos would struggle to persevere with them) Minor point about the world though, I wouldn't really describe it as open. It's definitely persistent, but open implies something quite different. Though from what I've played I prefer Dark Souls overall, I felt the levels being discreet units in Demon's Souls was more in line with the overall ethos and balance of the series. If I recall correctly this meant it was slightly harder to accrue and retain souls but the stages seemed better paced and therefore easier to "learn". Maybe this was an unconscious result of the design decision leading to more compartmentalised development on the earlier game, but I suppose in the end it comes down to where you prefer the emphasis within the systems.
  25. Odd quotes that stick

    "Kiss off, twit!" Vintage Shenmue.