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Everything posted by cavalcade

  1. Having played in SIlver bands most of my childhood - they largely sound absolutely shit. Only top tier brass bands with amazing players sound better than a TikTok comedy video backing, so I really appreciated that nod to realism. As a French Horn player, then Cornet player it was nice to see the former finally tied to something more noble than being a twat with a ridiculously sized instrument which largely plays long sustained notes that nobody gives shit about. If I knew I could've placed a space French Horn I'd have probably stuck with it longer.
  2. I don't think any Star Wars media has really showed the micromanagement aspects to the Imperial fascism quite as acutely as this. Blowing up a planet is a bit like the Stalinistic "one person is a tradgedy, a billion Alderaans (Alderannis?) is a statistic". I don't think post-Andor you'd have quite as many of the "maybe the Rebellion are the real monsters cos they blew up the Death Star and everyone in there had a family!!!111!!" hot takes that we had post original trilogy. Someone in this thread said that this series enriches nearly every other mainline Star Wars movie by grounding the space wizards and space fighters with a background of what the actual stakes are. Which is why, even if S2 never arrives, or is a disappointment, this Season was a great bit of programming from beginning to end. I agree that Season 1 didn't quite stick the landing, but in terms of the themes and events it put forward it was deeply satisfying that it didn't shy from every aspect of what fighting oppression actually costs and didn't (apart from the post-credits sequence) give in to a fan servicey ending where, I don't fucking know, CGI Wedge Antilles turns up a yeets R2D2 into a Scarlaac pit or some bollocks. Good stuff.
  3. One of the interesting things is how he challenges the attributes you'd usually ascribe to a "hero" and actually presents a far more believable character for it. He's quiet, observes things, picks his moment to act, selectively decides morals to best suit a situation, isn't instantly likeable or ripped/shredded. He's a survivor, like you say. Along with the themes of fighting fascism and the nature of what good or bad truly is (and how your appreciation of it may have to change to fight for a longer term better outcome) as well as the personal sacrifices that people need to make for the greater good it's complex and inspires actual real discussion on motives, values and outcomes. Nobody is clean in this. Baggage, damage, chaos and horror track everyone around, even when they make the "right" choices. And I fucking love it.
  4. Episodes 9 and 10 are masterpieces. Just wonderful. The bit with Space Rik Mayall, holy fuck. Sinister. The speech. Gollum man. Oh god. So good. I get the impression that in some senses this will follow a bit of a path like Firefly or even the original Star Trek. A small adoring viewership and a series that eventually matures into cult status. It's absolutely the best thing on TV right now and one of the best sci-fi treatments of fascism and the costs of fighting it there has ever been. I do think the ending of this has to be a release of tension similar to the XWings skimming across the lake in Force Awakens. Two seasons of people getting fucked and endless ratcheting tension for probably the best appearance of a Rebel fleet or some other millitary realisation of Rebel power in Star Wars history. I keep hoping someone mentions Incom or something. Followed by fascism getting at least one full proton torp in the chuckies.
  5. Thank fuck some of the people in this thread weren't in the focus groups for this. "It's so boooooring, it needs more blaster battles!" has now been replaced with "where are the hilarious jokes and post-modern 4th wall breaking quips?!?"
  6. There is a workaround to play split screen on Infinite that works OK on PC and I'm fairly sure works on Series X too.
  7. Generally games to tend to suit one input method better than the other. For games that require precision aim, like CS:GO or Valorant a pad is no good. But the Apex competitive scene and high ranks are now largely inhabited by controller players, as auto-aim can make up for fidelity in a lot of faced paced competitive shooters. Especially in close range combat. It's been a slow, inexorable takeover, so much so that previously well known MnK players have started to switch. Now, most top tier Apex teams will run a controller fragger and one or two MnK players. If you watch someone like ChaoticMuch or Gild beaming people on a pad, you can see that ultimately as long as there's some form of autoaim and a player with 100s of hours of practice under their belt then pads can certainly contest MnK. Of course, Cronus' and Strike Packs also exist that muddy the water somewhat in the general population, but it is interesting. I do swap between the two input methods in Apex depending on whether I feel like tap strafing or melting people at 2m.
  8. It's political correctness gone mad is what it is. What's next? Elves marrying dogs? Hobbits coming over here with their pipes and hairy feet trying to fix my boiler? Not on my watch.
  9. I will clarify... It's not as good as early/peak BSG, but better than late BSG. But then a bout of thrush is better than late BSG.
  10. It's absolutely brilliant. And I hope we get more of it and it's not spoiled by people saying it's booooring cos there's no layzors innit all the tiiiime. I'd recommend it as a great gateway product for discussing fascism with tweenage and above kids. I can't think of any other YA or scifi property that has presented the realities of oppression and the oppressors in such a banal and normalised, yet sinister, way. I don't think it touches BSG at its best, but it's certainly marvellous.
  11. I've played a bit of Overwatch here and there. It was always fine, but I think unless you're in a hyper coordinated group it just feels generally rather unfinessed and pointless. I've watched a fair bit of pro play and there are definitely League of Legends level aspects of play and counterplay to the game, so I'm not shitting on it as a comp platform. I just don't think, even with the reduction to 5 players it's really up there with something like Valorant or Siege in terms of a competitive, challenging, rewarding play experience for a casual player. I played a handful of games and it's.... fine, I guess? Felt like solo queue League or hanging out on something like Burnout Paradise. A lot of flashing colours, bluster and stuff happening for the sake of it. It's fine, but still a bit of a multiplayer shooter for people (in low ELO) who don't really want to play anything remorselessly challenging.
  12. Absolutely. What do you need?
  13. You can see a clear split between people here who are moaning about how FINGS AIN'T HAPPENIN every 3 seconds and how ITS BORIN INNIT and another contingent who recognise what Pob neatly summarised with "this is what makes a story engaging, not action or fast pacing". You could argue that there's a bit of a different strokes for different folks aspect to entertainment, but you could also argue that all of you who want stuff to HAPPEN all the time are ruining TV. You already have a million shows on Netflix where there are flashing lights, people shouting and running around and a possible appearance of The Rock every 10 minutes. This is fine as it is. Episode 3 wasn't better than Episodes 1 and 2. EPISODES ONE AND TWO DEVELOPED MORE FLESHED OUT CHARACTERS SO EPISODE THREE WAS MORE IMPACTFUL.
  14. If you can't use an apostrophe, you're probably not best placed to offer searing critiques on why someone might enjoy decent writing. We already know the character from earlier. It gives us a chance to wonder whether she told them or not and what her relationship with the security services is. You don't need to SHOW EVERYTHING all the time. It's mature, elegant direction rather than the turgid shit we normally get in these shows. The fact everyone here who wants absolute total retinal stimulation at all times is hating this is brilliant. Finally they've aimed for something more than mediocrity. It's still not Succession or Breaking Bad for sure, but a clear step above what they've done before.
  15. Are you shitting me? The acting in Boba and Obi Wan is galactically bad. Mandalorian is a faceless automaton for 2 seasons. The acting this is actual proper acting like you might see in an actual TV show, not a shitty Star Wars one. Some of you are fucking mad.
  16. The drugs of wanting some Star Wars TV that isn't a pile of fan service CGI shite. I'll tell you the moment this convinced me. When a character is called upon to identify Cassian the FUCKING SCENE ENDS BEFORE SHE SAYS "YES THATS CASSIAN ANDOR". Actual adult proper editing, unlike the stupefyingly stale way Boba, ObiWin and mostly the Mandalorian play out. Thank fuck for whoever wrote and directed this.
  17. This is so much better than all the other TV dross they've churned out it's almost embarrassing. Rogue One is by far the best non-original trilogy movie and this continues the vibe as a bit of TV you could watch with a non Star Wars fan and not cringe every 30 seconds. I found the Mandalorian mediocre at best, and this is a serious step above that. Actual characters. Good writing. Decent acting. Physical effects. A plot that doesn't just involve nostalgia porn. Thank fuck.
  18. Mad Max is on sale for 3 quid or so on Steam. Runs exceptionally well on deck, locked 60 with the details cranked up. Looks amazing (the high contrast desert landscapes suit the smaller screen). It's very much an open world game that puts together systems from a number of other games but the overall package is a good one (it's very competently put together), and it has to be one of the best looking games on Deck that runs comfortably at 60.
  19. I'm a snob and find even 40fps is hard to deal with. I've ended up curating the type of games I play on the Deck to be ones that run well at 60fps. You can get fairly full fat gaming experiences on there at a decent frame rate: Titanfall 2, Apex, Arkham Origins, Doom 2016 etc. As well as Indies or lighter weight games. But stuff like Elden or Deathloop will never comfortably hit it no matter what you do. At the end of the day it's all about choice and realistic expectations.
  20. I have done the Apex and Valorant battle passes in the past. Valorant tends to reward with gun skins, spray and cards to identify you in lobbies. If you play a huge amount of Valorant (as I do) I don't begrudge putting money into it and now and again the skins in the pass are fairly cool (especially with upgraded VFX/finishing moves). But that said you can share guns around at the start of rounds and often people will do this to donate to people with no investment in the game at all to try out with some of the cooler ones. More generally I find grinding the Valorant pass is pretty fair - you can play whatever mode you like, and so long as you do a couple of basic games every couple of days you'll easily finish it. There are tasks to complete to boost your XP but I never find them that onerous or stupid - and they're normally stuff you'd be doing anyway. Also, there's such a huge variety of gametypes and Riot understands matchmaking so a bad day on Valorant is quite a rare thing. A bad match or two, but never a comprehensive waste of an evening. Apex is a bit more borderline - apart from being a living hell some seasons because of the meta, you are largely playing for character skins which of course you can't see while you're playing, and gun skins that don't seem quite as overtly designed or prominent in a high paced movement shooter. Cosmetics such as sprays are also less important with massive arenas and such fast traversal. Apex is also quite dictatorial in the tasks it gives you to accelerate your way through the pass (forcing character progression), has only two main game modes (BR or Arenas) which means I've found if you're not in the mood for being fucked over by the shit matchmaking and 8th partying on King's Canyon makes the entire thing feel less rewarding than Valorant does. Ultimately though they are pointless, though I find myself playing multiplayer shooters quite a lot because I find them less pointless than a lot of other traditional SP videogames. They feel a bit like a sport, where you're besting other human beings. Not just a skill check but a game sense and game intelligence one (and one that you can normally play with mates as a shared experience). So, the battle passes meet somewhere in the middle for me - they gamify a little more what is more of a daily skill challenge or sporting event. But in most of the games I've come across them they are a bit give or take - I frequently go one or two seasons where I don't do them and don't really miss it.
  21. That video has an unbeatably enormous delta between the thumbnail and the opening shot.
  22. I played the Deck on a train yesterday, and I guess sometimes you forget it's still a fairly niche product and still quite early in the order cycle as I had a nerdy looking dude staring at it in open mouthed astonishment from across the aisle. The case for it then fell out of my rucksack near him and he grabbed it gave it back and a conversation ensued. I certainly didn't buy this device to end up talking to strangers. it's never leaving the house again.
  23. I'm fascinated by how the Deck's FSR can have wildly different results when you drop the rez to 540p to gain framerate (I'm a PC snob and nearly everything I play on the deck needs to be 60fps). Deathloop and Monster Hunter World just look like a dog's dinner with it on, but Kingdom Come Deliverance. Wow. I had to keep checking I did indeed have the rez set correctly, as it looks brilliant, runs at 60fps and you'd hardly know it was running with upscaling. I've also been impressed with Mass Effect Andromeda, though the actual game is horseshit. Technically amazing to see it running though. Ultimately though the Steam Deck is effectively just here to run Monster Train and I'm happy with that.
  24. I might be interested, and could possibly get a team of three together.
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