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    Games, game development, 3d modelling and animation. Martial arts. Bit of reading - mainly educational, but the odd sci-fi/fantasy novel if its highly recommended. Play guitar in a couple of semi active bar bands.

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  1. They've designed a console just for me! I knew I was right to hold off on the PS4. If you just show a little self discipline and vote with your wallet, these corporate giants soon learn who's boss.
  2. I'm still far from a master at it and have poor reactions, but for bosses I'd suggest: Stay calm. Focus on observing the attack patterns and seeing where the gaps are / when you NEED to dodge-roll. As mentioned, whenever possible, its better to walk between gaps. Don't worry too much about attacking, auto-aim is generous. Don't leave it too late to fire blanks. If you're under pressure and have one, use it. Some bosses will require constant strafing/circling, but some are easier if you limit your movement - e.g. with the twins, stopping as they start to shoot means narrower bullet streams to avoid - provided you're not too close to start with. If a room has tables or pillars, use them - even if you aren't damaging the boss you can study them. Have guns and items prepped and ready before you go in. Main bosses have a damage per second cap, so with a couple of exceptions, burst fire more powerful weapons as constant fire will waste a lot of ammo. Get very lucky and find an insanely overpowered weapon that doesn't respect the cap - or one specifically for bosses. You'll find the sling in brown chests, which seems to suck until you use it on a boss and it wrecks them in a dozen shots.
  3. Just beat my second past (marine, 1st was pilot) at 160 hours. Amazing game. Was trying to unlock the floor 5 shortcut on the same run. Had 10(!) keys and 275 casings when I beat the dragun, but the arsehole mechanic wants 300 casings WITH 6 keys. Was briefly livid, before realising I'm so far from done with the game that it really doesn't matter. Farewell to arms is much smaller than AG&D, but still a substantial update, and seems tuned to create more powerful load-outs more often.
  4. This would be add a little extra sheen to many games, but I think @Fry Crayola's concerns about scale are correct and it would need to be very subtle in most cases. Markerless tracking is getting there, but still not great. I suspect you will see this once it can be implemented at nominal cost in both hardware and software - so built into the TV/console/phone as standard without fanfare, and implemented at engine level by the likes of Unreal. People tend to overestimate the importance of stereoscopy for depth perception - a very quick google suggests as many as 12% of the population are stereo blind, and as @JPickford mentions, stereo only has an effect within a moderate distance. Parallax plays a big role. On the other hand, I think expectations around depth perception gets blown out of proportion by gimmicky movies and bad implementation vs everyday experience. If someone wanted to test the impact of a little parallax I'd suggest the following: Close one eye and have a chat with someone a known distance away, while recording them from a fixed point (e.g. a tripod) a roughly your position. Then - again keeping one eye closed - play the video on a screen at the same distance away such that the other person's head appears the same size in your field of view (may require biggish screen). If you feel the video has the same sense of depth as really talking to them, then you can safely put this tech on the crap pile. So in answer to the original question, imo it's just a cost benefit thing and we will see it when that equation evens out. Edit: How do you tag people? I'm doing it wrong
  5. I think that's a fair criticism and applies to to a lot of games. Even if you were provided a journal of what you'd done and some notes about the locations it could help that without spoiling the atmosphere.
  6. 2 - Dark soles Edit: Dammit, wasted time deciding on spelling.
  7. Hyper Light Drifter can feel clunky to begin with, but it isn't incompetence or lack of resources. It handles exactly as intended and is very satisfying and precise if you get the hang of it. Also, while vague maps can be initially frustrating, the way they force you to pay more attention to the actual environment can add a lot - see also Hollow Knight (which I didn't totally get on with and may be joining the abandoned list for different reasons).
  8. Aaand that's 52. Thought I'd sneak a few more in over the holiday, but they'll fall soon enough in January. It's an arbitrary target and there were a few times when I gave it too much importance, but overall it was great actually to play so many amazing games while actually buying fewer of the things. Also enjoyed hearing about and getting recommendations for games that flew under the radar, and even just reading people's thoughts outside the context of new release hype. VR was (obviously) a big deal for me, and hopefully it continues to be, despite the endless proclamations about it's impending demise. While it doesn't supplant existing genres in the way some expected, it really does open up new genres and experiences. Looking through my list, I'm pretty happy, but think in future I'll make more effort to play more experimental stuff outside established categories and push for variety. I started a couple of strategy and God games, but fell off them, and dabbled in fighting and driving games, but never managed to get any to a stage I felt I could call completed. I'll be joining in next year's thread for sure, though I think i'll relax my pace a fair bit. My final list, each with a comprehensive review... 04/01/18 - Life is Strange: amazing but heartbreaking if it clicks. Dawson's Creek meets quantum leap if it doesn't. 14/01/18 - Titanfall 2: Crysis vs Mechwarrior vs Mirror's Edge- mighty good fun. 16/01/18 - Headlander: 70's style futurism action platformer (without any jumping). Good, but somehow less than the sum of its parts. 22/01/18 - Dreamfall Chapters: One for the fans only - you should be a fan. 24/01/18 - Lucky's Tale: (PC-VR)Cancelled N64 game gets late VR release. 01/02/18 - Shadow of Mordor: Lord of the Batmans - be an actual boss, but with more sword-fights and less admin. 10/02/18 - Robo Recall: (PC-VR) Possibly a class A substance. 12/02/18 - Wilson's Heart: (PC-VR) Star in an awesome old horror b-movie. Feel even more annoyed than the cantankerous old man you play as. 13/02/18 - Arkham VR: Uncharacteristically nonviolent Batman sim. Good but very short. 19/02/18 - Transistor: Nice soundtrack, and good battle system, but otherwise irritating. 25/02/12 - Grow Home: Drunk Jack and the bean-stalk. 28/02/12 - The Stick of Truth: South Park / 10 02/03/18 - Doki Doki Literature Club: Messed up visual novel. Play Pony Island first. 03/03/18 - Lego Marvel Superheroes: Preview what younger relatives will turn out like should they develop serious drug addictions. 23/03/18 - The Witcher: Clunky, but interestingly offbeat western rpg gameplay expertly fused to an excellent story. 24/03/18 - I Expect You To Die: (VR) Comedy spy themed trial and error vr escape rooms. Better than Johnny English, not quite Jason Borne. 25/03/18 - Double Dragon Neon: Battle license fee dodging, off-brand skeletor and his army in quality side scrolling brawler. 28/03/18 - The Darkness 2: Use the phrase "visceral combat" appropriately and without fear of chastisement. 06/04/18 - Rise of the Tomb Raider: The high points of actual tomb raiding shine brightly through a haze of enjoyable but unnecessary combat, crafting, upgrading and icon collecting. 15/04/18 - Poi: Mario 64 tribute act. Good for a night out, but wouldn't pay for full price tickets. 29/04/18 - Thunder Wolves: Fun arcade helicopter combat with obnoxious "mercenaries are SO COOL!" presentation. 12/05/18 - Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis: Old point and clicker. Couple of interesting features but no classic. 13/05/18 - Rez Infinite: (played in VR) State of Art 20/05/18 - Ruiner: Grim and grisly twin stick shooter with a strong aesthetic and top combat. "Dark and mature" in the way only a videogame aimed at teenagers can be. 26/05/18 - RIVE: Twin stick shooter / shmup / platformer hybrid. Feels good, but too tough, and maybe not always fair. 27/05/18 - Subnautica: (played in VR) #Just look at the world around you /Right here on the ocean floor /Such wonderful things surround you /What more is you lookin' for? 31/05/18 - Kathy Rain: Excellent point and click adventure. Old-school style, but lots of modern refinements. 14/07/18 - Deus Ex - Mankind Divided: A slightly rote entry in series started by possibly the best game ever is still a pretty good game. 24/07/18 - The Sexy Brutale: Stylish time travel puzzle adventure. Depth of story not matched by gameplay, but short enough to be worth a run through. 11/08/18 - A Hat in Time: Exuberant 3d platforming that borrows the right amount from the masters, while having its own groove. Gets better as it goes along. 15/08/18 - The Climb (PC-VR): climb stuff in VR. Think of all the beautiful vistas behind your back as you peer at the rock-faces in front of you. Satisfyingly demanding with touch controls. 16/08/18 - Rakuen: RPG-lite with heavy subject matter, mixing syrupy fantasy with realistic scenarios of loss, grief and suffering. Lays it on a bit thick. 08/09/18 - Red Faction Geurrila Re-Mars-tered: Serviceable open-world sci-fi action game strapped to amazing explosive demolition sim. 14/09/18 - Chronos (PC-VR):Quality soulslike in 3rd person VR with plenty of its own ideas. 16/09/18 - Another Perspective: Enjoy an hour of clever platform puzzles and existential crisis. 18/09/18 - Firewatch: A pleasant walk and good conversation while you watch your little piece of the world burn. 22/09/18 - Sonic Generations: Brief happiness followed by perennial disappointment at speeds faster than can be controlled. 23/09/18 - Superhot VR: Nee-oh! Nee-oh! Nee-oh! 23/09/18 - Quanero (PC-VR): Remember Me - but don't do anything else. 5/10/18 Tony Hawk's Po Skater HD: Ecce Homo Restoration - The Game 06/10/18 GORN (PC-VR): Knife goes in, guts come out. 07/10/18 Enter The Gungeon: Amazing - Features the cerebral bore from Turok, and that's not even the best part. 11/10/18 Wuppo: Mario RPG from the Netherlands. 22/10/18 Subsurface Circular: Robot Poirot interactive novel with relevant societal and philosophical questions. 28/10/18 Arkham Knight: Probably the best iteration of the formula, but there's too much of it. Still great. 30/10/18 Minit: Simple, punchy, timeloop action RPG in style of a gameboy Zelda. 5/11/18 The Stanley Parable: Funny experimental narrative toy, but becomes a bit of a slog to mine the good stuff. 21/11/18 Piexl Ripped 1989 (VR): Mega Man bleeds into the "real world" as experienced by an 80's school-kid. 22/11/18 Quadrilateral Cowboy: Hacking heist game that teases ingenious mechanics but never really delivers the goods. 10/12/18 Mega Man 2: Historical curio. Has its moments, but not a patch on the best of modern day equivalents. 23/12/18 Doom VFR: Doom 2016 - in V.F.R. If you have reasonable space and are a cable ninja, it rocks. 26/12/18 Creed - Rise to Glory: Eeeeeeeeeye... of the tiger. Superb VR boxing engine, but some balancing issues in single player.
  9. 26/12/18 Creed - Rise to Glory: Slightly thin game stretched over an excellent VR boxing engine. Story mode could be done in under an hour if you rush through training, but I spent a little longer in the gym and split it over a few sessions. The caricatured graphics look great and it pulls some clever tricks with interactive montages to make it feel like the films. Hit detection and accuracy are excellent, but your gloves provide a bit too much cover, allowing you to basically fuzzy-guard most incoming strikes. It's a shame because while it makes normal difficulty a lot of fun, it's so hard for the AI to get through your defence that the hard difficulty effectively just ups the opponents' damage output while reducing your own. The result being that winning a fight requires landing at least a 4:1 ratio of hits vs the opponent. It has a nifty stamina system to account for how much more draining taking and delivering hits is compared to shadow boxing. If you just waggle your arms or continuously spam punches, your fighters hands will slow down, trailing ever farther behind your own. See some complaints about it on steam, but IMO it's a good feature - though again, it doesn't appear to apply to the AI on hard. I was looking forward to this, but still surprised at how well it works. Was into punching-related activities for over 15 years, but haven't done any training since May, and prior to playing this, didn't miss it. Now I feel an urge to hang up a bag. Also, not normally interested in online multiplayer, but once I grind through everything on the tougher difficulty, I'll definitely give PvP a try.
  10. It won't replace traditional games any more than film replaced music or games replaced film. Even though each can be argued to encompass their predecessor, something is always lost as well as gained. As Kerraig alludes, gaming is only one facet, it's a new medium that happens to include gaming. I don't think it will die, but do suspect it will take much longer to become mainstream than I'd like. It's partly the bulk and cables and tech, but basically a lot of people don't like change - or even new things that risk a change, and they're too lazy to put any effort - physical or intellectual into their own entertainment. I realise how preachy and condescending that is, but I'm pretty sure it's true. Also, the "I don't want to look like a dick-head" thing boils my blood. If that's your concern, you are a dick-head. Broker's almost on the money about people investing in the tech being evangelists, but I don't think it's the money that's important - I already had a capable PC for content creation and got the rift on sale, so it cost me less than a new console. It's the investment of creating a play-space you can set up in seconds, learning to deal with the cable (Down your back then between your legs works well), and setting aside specific, suitable times to use it. I forget where it comes from, but that old adage about getting out what you put in applies here. You also have to be open to a different range of experiences than traditional games offer. Sometimes the criticism is levelled that a game would be rubbish on a TV, so is inherently rubbish. Except it's not on a TV. I watched Into the Spiderverse at the cinema a week ago. It was amazing, but wouldn't be much of a radio play, so maybe it really sucked. Lone Echo is a good example. It would be boring and pointless on a TV with a pad, but on it's natural medium, it's the best realisation of the term 'adventure game' there is- that is, it feels like you're having an adventure. Agh, people don't have to like the stuff I like. I'll just be really sad if my favourite thing in years dies on it's arse.
  11. 23/12/18 Doom VFR: It must be pretty tedious by this point hearing all the VR knob-heads constantly wax lyrical about our helmets, but I've had the rift for a year now, and I still get a little rush of excitement every time I put it on. When it's to play doom - DOOM!! - in virtual reality, it's a big rush. I had immense fun with this, but it has obvious, significant problems that ruin it for many . What I think happened is this: A passionate group of devs begged their masters to make doom vr. After much pestering and persuasion, the request was granted, but on condition the work be carried out after hours and on weekends. The game was about half done and coming along nicely when a dick in a suit decided that if the underlings could work in their spare time, they should work on something profitable. Waste not, want not though, so they demanded the game be ejected onto the digital shelves immediately. Not a moment more was to be spent on it, as there were spreadsheets of pre-order matrices to design. So its too short. When you aren't fighting, you do mundane fetch quests and janitorial work while hearing your character slabber in the voice of an ubernerd. I'm wearing a VR headset. I am an ubernerd. I want to be Doomguy putting my boot through fancy equipment, not looking for tools to repair it. More seriously, the pc version's controls are designed around the vive wands, and limited to accommodate them. Oculus support is slap-dash. The controllers don't even vibrate when you shoot or take damage. An accidental semi-win here is that you have to physically turn to turn in game. The cable means you're never 100% immersed, but in the heat of combat it gets close. The combat is amazing - fast, frantic and demanding, but fair. I can barely believe how well it works, more games should steal from it. Thee only failing is the lack of feedback when you're being damaged. Sometimes I thought I was hanging on by a thread when I had full health, while on other occasions thought I was safe to eat a fireball, only to fade to black. All the assets are recycled from doom 2016 with a slight loss in detail that you only notice when inspecting holograms and such. The rest of the time it looks jaw dropping. I felt a bit sick the first time I wandered up to a freshly flayed corpse. The music is still brilliant too. Would love a full campaign of this, maybe in another 25 years we'll get one. Previous:
  12. 10/12/18 Mega Man 2: My only real contact with Mega Man at the time was seeing it on Games Master and thinking how much cooler it looked than anything I had on the c64. By the time I could play it on emulators as a teenager it was old hat and I didn't give it more than 5 minutes. Got this in a bundle, and having enjoyed Pixel Ripped, figured I'd check out the inspiration. At its best it's very satisfying. The movement and shooting are mostly super precise, so sequences of tightly timed platforming or boss duels where you're weaving through attacks give that sense of being an awesome robot even with nothing but a jump and a blaster. In the second half though, the difficulty ramps up considerably, and the punishment for failures was more often than not, too frustrating for me. In the end I resorted to extensive use of the save-state. There were 5 more iterations in the bundle. Don't see myself bothering with any more, but feel like I filled in a sort of cultural blind-spot. Previous:
  13. 22/11/18 Pixel Ripped 1989 (VR): Play a Mega-man style game on a fancy gameboy while you're at school. The 'gameboy' is an object in your virtual hands. Sometimes you have to do stuff in the real world as you're playing so the teacher doesn't catch you, and sometimes the game leaks out into the real world, but even the real world is more like how a 9 year old from the 1980's imagines it. The game is straightforward, but engaging enough. The VR activities are fun, but get repetitive if you die a lot in the game. What sets it apart are the presentation, tone and blending of realities - it just feels amazing and doesn't overstay its welcome at about 3 hours. My one real complaint is that the final form of the final boss is an excruciatingly frustrating difficulty spike. Luckily there's some nice post boss content to sooth the anger. If you ever had to sit through an unbearably dull educational video on a fuzzy CRT with crap sound, while the teacher went for a smoke, this is a wonderful nostalgia trip. 23/11/18 Quadrilateral Cowboy: Heist game with bits of simple programming, various gadgets, and some special abilities, The systems are all very well done, but it doesn't really build to anything substantial. Often, as soon as you get the hang of a new feature it's not needed again. Only the final two missions start to take the stabilisers off and let you apply the tools as you see fit, but by that time it's basically over. I don't care for Blendo's visual style, but it started to grow on me. I don't think the music suits the game at all, and found the audio a major weak link. The mechanics are so good though, and the few moments where you're executing your elegant clockwork plan like a big square Ethan Hunt - are thrilling. Overall I'd describe it as super interesting, but disappointing with how little of its fully fleshed out form is ever delivered. Previous:
  14. 30/10/18 Minit: Action RPG in the style of an old gameboy Zelda game, but with the time gimmick from Majora's Mask pushed to the extreme. Very good - forces you to that point of knowing a game inside out so you can move through it without wasting a second - though as New Game+ shows, there's always room for improvement. The super retro graphics work well, but I'd have liked a couple of colours for the sake of clarity, and found myself just blundering into a few too many puzzle solutions. It's a bit slight, but good. Oddly, the 3rd game I've played this year featuring that same time-loop mechanic. 5/11/18 The Stanley Parable: Tried this years ago and bounced off, but saw a gdc video about it yesterday and gave it another shot. Thought it was clever and often pretty funny. It's more like a narrative toy than a traditionally structured game and does some really interesting things, but after a while it becomes a bit of a chore to mine the good stuff. Didn't find every ending and am content with where I left it, but its definitely enjoyable and almost depressingly unique. I'd love to see some of its ideas explored in other games and genres, whether comedy or anything else.
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