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MarkN

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Everything posted by MarkN

  1. MarkN

    Great lines in videogaming.

    One of my favourite cutscenes is this from Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood:
  2. MarkN

    Funny Things In Games

    Here ya go. It doesn't work well here, because the guy has Frank wearing the same shades he does in the cutscene, and the frame rate is choppy, so it's easily missed. I honestly think it was the funniest thing I'd seen in a game when it happened to me. Wish I could find a better video of it. Forward to 1 minute in to cut to the chase:
  3. MarkN

    Funny Things In Games

    Dead Rising was amazing for this. I used to deliberately dress up for the next play through - trying to make it weirder than this one. It helped that most of the cutscenes were played deadpan and full of gravitas, so when you rocked up in boxer shorts and a silly hat it just burst that bubble immediately. One of my very favourites was unexpected though. Happened to have a pair of shades on when I died. Next run through in the intro Frank removes his sunglasses, to reveal another pair of sunglasses. Damn near pissed myself laughing. A proper Airplane moment, that I just stumbled across. I love that game so much.
  4. Stardew Alley - a charming game about inheriting a farm and developing it to it's full potential, set in the small lane between two houses. Paunch Club - Weight Watchers - the game (or alternatively a game based on the Fat Fighters sketch from Little Britain)
  5. MarkN

    Cricket Thread

    Just watched the highlights of the last one-dayer against Pakistan. This back-handed run-out by Adil Rashid is outrageous. Great stuff: https://www.ecb.co.uk/video/1223341/fabulous-rashid-runs-out-babar-azam-?playlistId=489629&title=Top wickets Videos
  6. (Apologies if it's been done.) Paupers, please. Tory politician simulator. Earn fat bonuses as you try to force the poverty gap ever wider.
  7. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    Late to the party, but holy fuck @ Beat Saber! It's just amazing. I mean, I've been wanting to play it since I first saw it, but it is just soooo good when you get to give it a go. Properly gobsmackingly brilliant. Right up there with Astro Bot for impact but for very different reasons. It makes you want to perform, and strike poses. I've only played the first few levels, and I'm sure I'll be hopeless when it gets properly complicated, but I don't care. This is magic. I love it.
  8. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    Sounds good to me. Will definitely grab it. When I said it looks dull I mostly mean I find the lighting in the videos flat and grey (like they're using a white light rather than one tinged with a nice hint of yellow, for example). Will reserve final judgement until I've played it. Cheers.
  9. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    Just collected my move controllers and have them charging (would have been nice to maybe get at least one cable for the pair of them, but never mind - I'll just charge the things separately...) But now my thoughts turn to games. Superhot and Beat Saber are the obvious priorities and will get bought ASAP. I'm tempted by Ultrawings now that it's on sale (I know it doesn't need Move, and have no idea what it adds). It seems to divide opinion, but I think I'd probably like it (despite thinking that visually it's pretty dull). The one I've just seen though is the fishing game Catch and Release - has anyone played this? It's highly rated on the store, and the little bit of a review I could spare time to watch scores it highly too. I'm intrigued. In the meantime I'm downloading the Everybody's Golf demo which I'd completely missed until now. (Charge you bastards! Charge!)
  10. MarkN

    Are cutscenes necessary?

    Good grief - that's a blast from the past. Mary Whitehouse Experience?
  11. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    They're a bit on the thin side, and texturally a bit different, but you'd definitely get a good bit of flavour - it's mainly smoked paprika and garlic - so basically very tasty. I'm guessing you might need to cook them up first to make sure the skin gets where it needs to be, but could be mistaken. If I was trying it myself I'd fry them up, let them cool, and then slice them on the diagonal to get bigger slices than you would going at 90 degrees. (Actually, I'm tempted to give this a go now - I make my own pizzas regularly these days, but don't ever think to use fake meat on them...) As an alternative Quorn do veggie Pepperoni slices that are stocked in some supermarkets. I was never the biggest fan of pepperoni back when I ate meat so I'm no expert, but these seemed pretty good when I tried them (a long while ago now). The right shape and a closer texture to the real thing than the sausages would be definitely, and whilst I think the sausages were probably better, the Quorn stuff might be closer to the taste of actual pepperoni. If it was my call though I'd go for the chorizo style sossies and see how they worked.
  12. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    I've tried the chorizo style ones, and thought they were really good. As you say - the texture is very good - especially the skin (the inside of the chorizo ones is quite firm and has occasional lumpy bits in though). I mean to have a crack at cooking with them - maybe making a veggie paella or sticking them in a spicy stew. I'll have to give the regular ones a go. My favourite standard veggie sausage are the Cauldron ones, which I think are excellent, but if I could replace them with a Vegan one I'd be happier. The Naturli ones have a similarly good texture to the Sainsbury's ones - it does crisp up and blister, and you get a bit of snap when you bite into them. The flavour is more smoky hotdog though, so it's a different beast to the others.
  13. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    You beauties! I won a raffle at work a couple of weeks ago and part of the prize was a £100 Argos gift voucher, so I've been waiting for stock to come in to Argos (I wouldn't be able to justify the price otherwise). I checked a couple of days ago, and there still was none, so I probably wouldn't have tried again for another week, by which time I'm sure it would have been gone. But I've just placed an order to collect it tomorrow, and it seems to have gone through - so it looks like I'm sorted. Super chuffed about that. Many thanks. The other part of my raffle prize was a £100 Sainsbury's voucher - it's going to be really hard for me not to convert what's left on that into PlayStation Store credit now to splash out on games... Good times.
  14. MarkN

    Are cutscenes necessary?

    That was my point entirely about getting better at pressing buttons. Maybe I just reduced it too far, to be clear, but it was genuinely my entire point. You don't get to be brilliant at something without doing it over and over again. The one game in recent times I can claim to be pretty good at is Spelunky. I have every achievement, and yet I still play it almost every day. To exercise the skills and apply the knowledge I've built up to tackle something that is a fresh challenge each time. You get people who have played through Dark Souls without healing, or unarmed, or with any number of self-imposed restrictions - they've played the game until they know it inside-out, and still take pleasure in applying those skills. I liken it to another of my favourite pastimes - another type of game - cryptic crosswords. It's taken me over 20 years to get to a place where I can complete the Guardian cryptic crossword most days. I play for the sake of playing, because that's what I think games do best. I'll be doing cryptics for the rest of my life. So having said that, and mentioning previously that I'm generally not a fan of story in games I will say that I do have a list of favourite cutscenes. They can work when done well. My favourite example is Vagrant Story on the PS1. It not only has the most powerful cutscene I've ever watched (it knocks Aeris dying into a cocked hat, IMO), but the ones it uses most often are cleverly done. The story as a whole I'm unclear on (like I said, most game stories are a bit daft and this is no exception), but the gist of it is that you are chasing some folk through a ruined city, and some folk are chasing you. The cutscenes then are mostly of two types. The first shows the people you are chasing. These further the plot a little, but serve a secondary purpose, which is to show you locations that you are about to visit. When you reach them you feel like you're making genuine progress. The second type show the people who are chasing you - these again add a bit of exposition, but also show locations you've recently visited, making you realise that these folk are hot on your tail. It's very cleverly done, and benefits from very few of them involving your character (a big bugbear of mine is cutscenes where your character does things that you wouldn't do, or gets to have more fun in one than you've been having playing the game).
  15. MarkN

    Are cutscenes necessary?

    The reason I press buttons is to get better at pushing buttons. That's the reason footballers kick balls, and pianists press keys. Again, and again, and again. To get better. To play well. Not to finish a piece, but to play it well. And I'm largely shit at games, but I understand this, if very little else. I do get that some people seem to need to have a context for pushing the buttons beyond actually getting better at pushing the buttons, but that doesn't sit well with me. Because if you're not trying to get better at pushing the buttons you're just pushing buttons to get a job done, and that sounds like much less fun. Might as well just have "press X for next chapter" as a caption if you can't be bothered engaging with the game. OK, you advance a story (and with video games it's almost always pretty fucking piss-poor with hateful characters and shockingly-bad dialogue) but if that's all you want you can get that by reading a book (an activity I adore) only done better, and without needing to push any buttons, or jump through any hoops that a game designer would want you to. Basically I don't get why you'd turn to games for story when books do it much, much better, and then argue that games should be narrative-driven (whilst being derisive about game play - which is the only thing they bring to the party as far as I can see.).
  16. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    I noticed that the Sainsbury's I work in has expanded its range of Naturli vegan products in the meat aisle of the store. Alongside the mince and burgers, there are now chicken pieces, sausages and also - oddly - falafel mixture (oddly because it's not even pretending to be meat). I thought I'd take a punt on the sausages, despite finding them a bit pricey - £3 for 5 (it's not extortionate, but I'm skint right now, and a sixth one to make two pairs would have sweetened the deal a little). However I've just tried the first one, and I think I'm a fan. I'm pretty sure that's the best hot dog substitute I've ever had. I mean hot dogs are one of those things that are meant to have been done well in a veggie-style before, but I've never been that impressed by the ones I've tried so far (often found a kick of burning car tyre in the smokiness applied to them). Will reserve final judgement until I've scoffed a couple more, but on first impressions I think these may become a regular treat. I'll try to have a crack at the chicken bits sometime soon if I can think of something to do with them. Was never a big fan of the stuff back when I ate meat, but I'm intrigued to see what they've managed to come up with.
  17. MarkN

    Comedy timing

    Just been reading through the Alan Partridge thread, and something made me go and search for this sketch from Vic and Bob's House Of Fools, which for me is just a masterpiece of timing - the pauses between mug falls, the rate at which they happen, the fact that it goes on for longer than you think it should at first, but then only gets funnier - for me it's note perfect: Would love to see other folks examples of great comedy timing - should be a fun thread to return to.
  18. MarkN

    Your favourite album covers

    The Heads - Everybody knows We Got Nowhere (yes, I am this shallow, but it's one of my absolute favourite albums ever, and most of my other favourites have rubbish covers.):
  19. MarkN

    Impossible burger

    Anything that isn't raw and whole is processed surely? Milling flour from grain is a process. Making cheese involves a whole slew of processes. As does cooking a decent curry. Most of the bacon on sale in the UK is processed in such a way that makes it likely to raise your chances of getting cancer. Just because a process is lab-based doesn't make it necessarily worse than one that's kitchen-based. "Processed" is one of those terms that comes highly-charged and it's bandied around a lot by people trying to attack vegan food right now. I'm not going to deny that many of these new Vegan products are highly-processed - anything made from (for example) pea protein almost certainly is. But is the process that derives that any better or worse than the processes that are used to make the various chemicals involved in almost every food product we buy? I really don't know. How are all the various preservatives and emulsifiers and stabilisers created? I'd imagine it's pretty similar. Heck most of the bread eaten in this country is produced using the notorious Chorleywood process that means it's nowhere near as nutritious as it should be. I enjoy reading your posts in the Food Prep thread Gotters, so I know you're perhaps not the average punter when it comes to processed food. But I personally don't think there's much difference between this and any other factory-line produced food. Almost all of it will contain stuff that would be alien to anyone who likes to cook their own grub from raw ingredients. If you're Ok with some of them, then I don't see why you'd draw the line here.
  20. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    I got Nutritional yeast from Holland & Barret (it was a touch over £3 for a large tub IIRC - I was expecting to get fleeced, but thought that was pretty good), and I'm pretty sure my local Morrison's now stock it (they're in the middle of a makeover, and one of the best changes is a new range of health foods and free-from products, including stuff like this). That cauliflower steak looks smashing. May well have to give that a go.
  21. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    Sounds ace - and looks proper nom. I'd looked at making seitan yeeeears ago, and realised I couldn't be bothered (I love cooking, but this looked to be more on the hard graft end of things). However, inspired by your post I reconsidered and thought about automating it. But all my mixers are kinda sharp and choppy. Not what's not needed here. Then I thought "bread machine" and a quick google suggests that'll work. Well then - I think we're on! Will definitely have a pop at this at some point shortly.
  22. MarkN

    Do you ever remember texture maps?

    Quoted for truth. A PS1 game has absolutely no right looking this good. It's magnificent: The faces have always intrigued me - they seem deliberately very soft and slightly blurred, and it makes them work so much better than almost everything else around at the time. The models underneath the texturing have been built to make it work, so the all the features are stylised and it also seems to do some kind of vertex-shifting so that bodies and faces are always slightly shifting. Basically for the hardware it's on - it's absolutely amazing.
  23. MarkN

    Do you ever remember texture maps?

    Sorry. That's just a bitmap image, not a texture map. A texture map has to be applied to a 3D Object. That's a 2D game. Sounds like you're after pixel art, really.
  24. MarkN

    Do you ever remember texture maps?

    The Animal Crossing grass is definitely a good'un. I must have loads of great examples (it used to be my job...), but for now how about this door? (actually all of the Doom doors...):
  25. MarkN

    My Time At Portia

    Nice write up. I've put another 30 hours into this since my last post. I finally got a stable and a horse. Usually in games like this I find the horse is fairly useless. Here it is fantastic (once trained up) - the fastest and best way to get around most of the map. I also got a factory which changes things a lot. I'd had the option for ages, but since the game doesn't let you know you really want it, I didn't get one for far too long. The factory is great, but comes with issues (it uses a completely different inventory system, which complicates things a tad, but the benefits of having it far outweigh any niggles). My advice here - get both a stable and a factory as early as possible. No spoken dialogue in this case is definitely a plus point. I'd spent ages wooing Sonia from the café, and finally proposed to her just as the update happened which gave her her voice. It's properly awful. I was half-tempted to divorce her right away, it's so bad. I could always mute it I guess, but I've resigned myself to living with the niggles. So, I'm 130 hours in, I think I'm getting near the end of the story. I've just unlocked what I think may be the last abandoned mine. There's still loads of stuff I haven't done, built or seen yet though. I get the impression they should have probably delivered about a third less content, and spent the time saved on polish. Seriously - there are so many unnecessary characters in the game, there are loads of resources I've barely used. So many items I've never bought or crafted. There's so much time wasted on unnecessary content that could have been spent just finishing a smaller game properly. Having said that - it's still a brilliant little game, and for all its faults will be in my top 10 for the year quite easily.
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