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Everything posted by SqueakyG

  1. I forgot to say - in Yakuza 3 the pool minigame seems broken. It seems the physics are all wrong and you can't trust the accuracy of your shots. Some people say it's a bug introduced in the remaster, perhaps a result of the increased resolution or framerate. There's also an utterly infuriating single music track playing at the bar, which literally just repeats the lyrics: "Over and over"... over and over.
  2. I'm finally getting around to the remastered Yakuza 3. It's quite primitive compared to the newer games! While there was some charm to running the orphanage in Okinawa for the first few hours, I'm much happier to be back in Kamurocho where the real Yakuza-style plotline is now kicking in. The combat seems primitive though -- hardly any heat actions. I think I've already encountered the big criticism of the combat: Boss/named characters just block all the time. It's not too difficult, just boring. Since I'm using this quarantine to marathon through Yakuza 3, 4 and 5 for the story and the comedy, I'm not too interested in the challenge of combat, and I'd love to stick the difficulty down to "Easy"... but you can't once you've started. I'll remember to start 4 and 5 on Easy.
  3. The audio lag on the Mega Drive Mini was pretty bad. The trouble is that it feels like input lag, because you're paying attention to audio cues such as the "boing" of jumping. Considering that there is also a little bit of expected input lag as well, it can really throw you off, worse than input lag alone.
  4. I love a bit of Picross but haven't played any properly since the DS game. Tried a few smartphone versions but quality was always variable. I've had the "S" games on my wishlist in the Switch eshop for ages, but they are never in a sale. I know they're only about £7 each but I'm very stubborn about waiting for sales, so they've not been bought. Now it's developed into a strange kind of mental stand-off: every time there's a big eshop sale I look at whether the S Picross games are on sale - the answer is never - and I think, "Ahh, so these people think their game is too good for a sale, eh?" And I sort of mentally refuse to cooperate with publishers who must be so arrrogant (I know this is ridiculous!) It also looks like they don't have touchscreen controls, which was half the fun of DS Picross.
  5. It's had the same preorder page on Amazon for what feels like nearly a year! Amazon's page is still saying a release date of March 19th, even though this news about indefinite delay has been published for a week. I assumed there were warehouses filled with these for the last few months. I guess not. I suppose they haven't manufactured enough to fulfil all preorders... or they don't want to release one exclusive batch before it becomes unavailable.
  6. I'd blocked that one from memory. The one where Dax and Worf go to the tropical hedonist paradise planet of Risa (filmed on an unfortunately cold and windy week), and Worf is so disapproving of the lax sexual attitudes that he joins a group of terrorists to sabotage Risa's weather control system. So Worf can literally rain on Dax's parade.
  7. A pretty random story just sprang to mind for some reason: Years ago I got pretty good at Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and got to the point where I could mostly play Expert guitar. I was at Alton Towers with some people and I spotted a Guitar Hero arcade machine. I wanted to have a go, but felt awkward about playing all by myself, so I begged my friends to watch so that I'd have an audience. They weren't into plastic guitar games and thought it looked lame, but I convinced them it was cool and they should watch my demonstration. I knew I could play Barracuda on Expert, so I put the money in, and chose Barracuda on Expert. I flunked out of the song in about 15 seconds. It swallowed my money. My friends were unimpressed and walked away. I was very ashame. I think what happened is that the arcade version had a much harder note chart, and the guitar was full-sized with more space between the neck buttons. I had forgotten the #1 rule of home console games that get arcade conversions: Arcade games are set to 'bastard' level.
  8. So China has closed most cinemas. China is the #2 profitable country for movie box office. So the movie has been delayed worldwide until the Chinese cinema box office opens again. Why only Bond though? I guess some of the other blockbusters might do it too.
  9. Overall very disappointed with this season. I thought the last season mostly wasn't very good -- dull plotting, clunky characters, a "detective drama" tone that didn't work -- but I hoped they wouldn't just sack Whittaker and change direction, because then the alt-right Youtubers would all make videos saying: "Female Doctor: Massive Failure Proven!" And that would have been a terrible shame because Whittaker wasn't the problem. Sure she wasn't great, but she was let down by bad writing. She needed another year to become more Doctor-y, and Chibnall needed another year to get into the swing of things and start delivering better Doctor Who. This hasn't happened at all. Instead, this season has been a bizarre set of missteps. The tone, pace and lore are all over the shop. A couple of classic "adventure runarounds" were just awful. A decent enough historical with Tesla. A fun maniacal Master, but everything else is morbid and miserable. The companions... sorry, the "Fam"... have been totally under-written and under-used, to the point that they may as well not exist -- the Doctor spends all her time shutting them out and not telling them anything, not connecting with them at all. They get barely more screen time than other characters-of-the-week, and rarely work together. They aren't a "fam" at all. Then the lore... my god, the lore. Whittaker has been forced by the writing into becoming a mostly passive, irritable, mood-swinging character. She spent the last episode standing still and learning she's The Most Special Time Lord Ever. Was this last episode entirely designed to explain an issue with The Brain of Morbius? Of course I have to keep watching this show until they put it out of its misery (like The Walking Dead). I don't know what the viewing figures and audience appreciation are like, but I wonder if we're getting close to cancellation.
  10. Last gen, DF really helped me appreciate my choice of Xbox 360, because nearly every comparison showed that the 360 games performed better than the PS3 versions. I could feel smug that I'd made the right choice. Sadly this meant that I saw no reason to ever get a PS3, so I didn't even know I was missing stuff like Yakuza. Also it feels like that very long generation ended with 360 games running like garbage as the 360 had reached its limits several years earlier; whereas PS3 finally hit its stride and devs found new depths to its capabilities. Anyway, to drift from the topic slightly... I'm mainly a console gamer and I don't like playing PC games. The reason why is because I always had weird technical difficulties, crashes to desktop, always needing to update drivers, find patches, etc. But my real problems with PC gaming happened when I discovered FRAPS. Damn Fraps. Fraps ruined everything. In the mid-2000s I made an effort to play games on an upper-midrange PC. But once I had that yellow fps counter in the corner of the screen, I spent so long tweaking each game to get 60fps that it ruined all my enjoyment. The first hour of a new game is supposed to draw you in... but I spent the first hour constantly hitting Esc, going to the graphics settings, and changing every setting one by one to see if I could get better performance. "Hmm, if I change the AA to 4x, I get another 5fps... ah, that's it! 60fps achieved!" But then I'd walk into a new room that had smoke effects, and the frame rate would go down into the 40s... so back to the settings menu, see if reducing the volumetric gubbins to "low" changes anything... and so on. I learned a lot about PC graphics, but it was ruining my enjoyment. Console games may have had worse graphics than PC, but at least you just play them. The devs have done all the hard work of setting the graphics to achieve a custom "low-medium" so that you don't have to think about it.
  11. Dear games industry: please port Outrun 2006 Coast2Coast to all current-gen systems, and please do this every generation. Thank you.
  12. I think everyone likes to slide around the kitchen in their socks from time to time, but I don't know what the hell it was doing in a Star Trek episode.
  13. I spent this week watching the motion pictures from 1 to 6... wondering if I can bear to do the TNG films as well. I hadn't seen many of the 1-6 films since childhood -- Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country were the 'good' ones I've owned on DVD, but the rest haven't been watched since 'taped-off-the telly' VHS. I already told the "80s films" thread that I liked Star Trek V: The Final Frontier a little better than Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. I got negged! Don't get me wrong, Shatner's Final Frontier is an absolute mess, but at least it's an interesting mess. The Voyage Home was unexpectedly boring and less funny than I remembered, aside from some great back-and-forth moments with Kirk and Spock. Also, watch the vintage press conference on the special features for Star Trek V. All the cast appear in their costumes in front of journalists, and Shatner introduces each of them by actor name and character name. He gets to Walter Koenig and says, "And here's... uhh... the gentleman who plays Chekov." Koenig goes, "Yes, hi, Walter Koenig," like "You fucking asshole."
  14. Yesterday I watched Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and liked it better than Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  15. Re: Avery Brooks: I can't say he was a great actor, but I appreciate that he gave odd and unique line readings. He seemed to be a bit of a nutty guy based on some intervews. Re: Enterprise. I haven't seen any Enterprise since it first aired in the UK. I dutifully watched about one and a half seasons, but was immediately disappointed by how grey and boring it was. I had been led to believe it would be more adventurous and colourful than Voyager, which I thought too grey and nice and technobabbly. Enterprise was meant to be a time before phasers and transporters... but in the pilot episode they broke out their new phasers, and then transported Archer, so my heart sank knowing it was just more Voyager with the date changed. Apparently it became more fun and interesting in seasons 3 and 4, but I'd stopped watching (and it was hard to even know where it could be found in UK TV schedules), and apparently it had adopted a continuous plotline so it felt like there was no point jumping in late. You guys are sort of tempting me to buy the blu-ray boxset, but I really don't think I have time to watch such things. It seems that nearly all Star Trek suffers from a "first couple of seasons are rubbish and then it gets good" syndrome.
  16. DS9 puts perfect "Roddenberian" Starfleet officers into a melting-pot environment where they have to live among other cultures -- other cultures that still have money and commerce, vice and corruption, religion, spycraft, warfare. It makes my brain hurt to think about how the Federation personnel live amongst these things, or what the non-Federation citizens make of them. I think Starfleet must give the officers a stipend of latinum to spend in the shops and casinos of DS9. But how do you even comprehend that when you grew up in a culture that didn't need money? "Haha, let me gamble with these shiny objects that Starfleet gave me! Isn't gambling fun! Oooh, I wonder if I'll lose the shiny trinkets or win some more? Tee hee." Meanwhile other aliens are selling their organs and getting murdered because of their gambling debts. You realise that Federation people do have to live in a galaxy with money and commerce, vice and corruption, religion, spycraft and warfare. There's a cheeky bottle of Romulan Ale in every Starfleet officer's desk, and it had to get there somehow.
  17. I know for a fact that this thread has talked about this before, but the search function suggests it's been a while. So: If you want an awesome amount of detail about the writing of Star Trek Insurrection, its writer Michael Piller wrote a very good book about it -- "Fade In: The Writing of Star Trek Insurrection". It wasn't published in his lifetime because it was a little too revealing and truthful. Not that he was trying to be scandalous or burn bridges, it's just that it was meant to be a textbook for budding screenwriters and it needed to be honest about the pressures of the studio and the demands of the leading actors. It was "leaked" for free online as a PDF, but I believe in recent years the PDF has been withdrawn because it's sold properly now. So I won't link anything... but it's not hard to find. It's been a few years since I read it, but I recall that it goes through all the early concepts and pitches and drafts. There's an emphasis on having to pitch things that Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner will approve of, so that they'll sign their contracts. The book also has lots of general Star Trek detail, including a very good description of Piller's experience working within "Roddenberry's Box" -- the concept that humanity has solved all of its problems and people no longer have interpersonal conflicts -- so what the hell do you make episodes about?
  18. I'm not much of a fan of the Showa era of Godzilla, so I passed on this Criterion box set unfortunately. The original 1954 film is a classic, but I'm not much into the 60s/70s films. Some are good fun, like Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla. My favourite ones are the Heisei era - 80s/90s. Most of them have my favourite "look" for Godzilla himself, and there's direct continuity between the films, and this series fits perfectly in the zone between "retro" and "impressive". It's a shame that these films are spread all over the place on DVDs and blu-rays from different distributors in different regions (and none of them in the UK!) That's why the Criterion set looked so attractive... if only they made one for the Heisei films. Then the Millennium series - early 2000s - is pretty good too, but not quite as consistent as Heisei. Shin Godzilla is excellent, but I'd describe it as a satire about government-level disaster management that just happens to use (a weird) Godzilla as the disaster.
  19. That's an interesting list. I had thought most games went 'gold' in a very robust state of completion, but I'm sure I was only thinking about Nintendo and Sega cartridges. The Nintendo Seal of Quality -- mostly an assurance that there would be no fatal bugs. Even so, they would release revisions. If you know what romsets look like, you know there are "REV A" and "REV B" versions of some games, though not usually to fix bugs -- usually it was to change copyright texts or add missing trademark logos. There was the well-known case of Ocarina of Time needing to remove an Islamic prayer chant from the soundtrack. Revenge of Shinobi on Mega Drive went through a few versions to replace the ripped-off Batman and Godzilla (and to officially license Spider-Man... until the license ran out, causing another revision for virtual console). Computer games were always shocking. Any bedroom coder could make something, a tiny publisher publishes it, and the game is riddled with bugs or too hard to beat. Regarding the current generation: I have become more and more worried about the way games aren't finished before release -- the way game development continues with the "day-1 patch". If I were the king of the games industry I'd make a law that games can only get published in their "1.0" version once they have reached the previous definition of "gold" -- which includes the work of the day-1 patch. I suppose gaming has changed too much for that to ever happen now. Games are a "live service", and even single-player games are expected to evolve over the course of a year with quality-of-life updates. That's good for some things -- for example if an RPG has really crappy inventory menus, and everyone complains enough that the inventory menus get overhauled for the GOTY edition. But it sucks to have a 50GB update to download just because you bought the game a year after release (or turn off wifi and be stuck with the unfinished version 1.0).
  20. Suspend/resume is absolutely essential, and once I got used to it on PS4 I couldn't imagine going back to a time where you must start up the game every time you've switched on your console. All those title screens that can't be skipped... yahyahyah I don't care about the physics middleware and the audio driver middleware thanks... then reach the title screen... then select the last save... then load it... Screen tearing. I can't believe I played most games up until this generation with horrendous screen tearing. Now v-sync is default. Inifinite coverage and material. Not only are there hundreds of gaming websites that will preview and review games, with video reviews and "quick looks", but there are also thousands of youtubers and Twitch streamers who will play the entire game from start to finish. I pretty much get to watch any game I wasn't going to play for myself anyway. This might not be a good thing.
  21. I like the single wordless beat between Sam Rockwell and Alfie Allen's characters
  22. The critics who hated this seemed to think that the "sillyfication" of the material is insulting -- that you should only present Nazism and the Holocaust with solemn and serious documentary facts -- that it's reckless to present an unreal version of what the nazis believed about jews. But the satire works for me. Art doesn't necessarily need to use facts to tell truth. I think the basic satire here is that antisemitism is so illogical that the nazis may as well have believed that jews have horns and tails and that the "jew queen" lays eggs. The holocaust was an atrocity based on such groundless beliefs that it helps to show what groundless beliefs are.
  23. I must thank Robbie Collin for making me go out and watch this, when I would have probably waited for home release -- just to see how wrong he was. I'm so glad I did.
  24. Yep, truly awful. Felt like one of the runaround-a-base episodes of the RTD era, or even Classic Who, which can be decent enough if done competently, but will never be the best. Then it just kept getting worse and worse. The old woman and "Benni!" The monsters that looked expensive yet still silly. The exotic paradise resort that looked like half a building on a cold day. Really cheap-looking alien people with green wigs and shit who would have honestly fit into the Baker/McCoy era. Pulling a Planet of the Apes twist half way through. I don't often notice bad direction, but I noticed very obvious bad direction and editing in this episode. Reaction shots cut against b-roll of the aliens. Incomprehensible fast cuts to show "action" happening. The episode doesn't even end... the Tardis crew get transported back to the Tardis and everyone else is... left to die? No thoughts of taking the Tardis back to rescue them. At the end when the Doctor gave a speech about global warming almost straight to camera, I said, "Okay thanks Greta."
  25. I only saw 5 minutes of this, and it looked like a demented version of Through the Keyhole. And I fucking hate Through the Keyhole.
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