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Sprite Machine

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  1. "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!"
  2. Sprite Machine

    Metal Gear from the beginning (Currently @ MGSV:TPP)

    I'm back, after a leave of absence, to continue with MGSV! Phew, where was I? Oh right, the mission to extract Huey from the ridiculously well-protected lab. I'm not surprised this mission was so damned difficult; it turns out to be the final mission in the Afghan region and culminates in a game of cat and mouse with a huge bipedal upright Metal Gear called Sahelanthropus. Huey is indeed inside the pyramid-type building, and I find an unlocked entrance on one side. After making contact, I use one of his special biped walker machines to make my escape (somewhat unstealthily!), carrying Huey, but the ensuing Metal Gear escape is much more difficult. I can't get into the helicopter unless I'm unseen by the thing's massive head and search light, and then I have to fire the chopper's miniguns at it while we fly away. The game has rarely provided much justification for its vast landscapes, but escaping from this gigantic upright colossus as it strides across acres of land couldn't be done on a smaller scale. Tense stuff! Back at Mother Base, Ocelot interrogates Huey. Huey insists he's not a spy and that Miller was the one working for Cipher, not him. He was just trying to stay alive and didn't think Cipher would be able to finish the Sahelanthropus on their own. Their funding has recently shifted to somewhere in Africa, so it looks like I've got a new destination at last. We keep Huey on the staff, but locked away... for his own safety. I suspect there's more to his story. I've overlooked an important chapter in Afghanistan, so I tackle this first. The elite sniper, Quiet, is still located in the valley ruins where I first encountered her. Before the battle, I divert some manpower to medical development and just about scrape enough together to build the tranquiliser sniper rifle. With this, I'm able to take out Quiet in just a few shots. It takes me a little while to reacquaint myself with the controls, but I soon get a handle on it and take out Quiet without really moving from my initial cover. Her stamina bar drops and she runs off to the middle of the arena and passes out. Boss goes over to her. She's wearing little more than a bikini top and ripped tights (something something, words and deeds), but the strangest thing about her is the patterns that appear on her face and then disappear, almost as if they're reacting to threat. Otherwise, she seems to be perfectly human. Miller says to kill her, Ocelot says to spare her. It's not clear whether I have the option (I don't press anything during the cutscene anyway) but given that the game seemed to outright refuse to let me kill her in battle during our first encounter (see above), I'm going to guess I can't. Boss picks her up and the helicopter takes us both out of there. En route back to base, Quiet slips out of her handcuffs and literally disappears. Then, while nearing Mother Base, we're followed by a fighter jet that launches missiles at us. Boss tries to shoot it down with the minigun but doesn't have much luck. Suddenly, Quiet appears again, still inside the helicopter, and shoots down the jet with her sniper rifle. Back at base, Miller doesn't want her around and won't let the chopper land (suspicious!), but she drops down onto the platform and starts running around camouflaging herself, eventually letting the guards take her to a cell. Well, with that out of the way, I head to the next location, Central Africa. We've been hired by an environmental agency to help deal with an oil spill and to shut down a water facility. Apparently there's some tenuous link with shell companies and it might have something to do with Cipher. Africa is a brand new environment, much more green and tropical, and a welcome change. After working through a small forest, sneaking past an armed settlement (child soldiers, best stay away from them) and continuing along a long road (why couldn't the chopper land me closer?), I find the water plant. This is a nighttime infiltration mission and I take it slowly, scanning for guards from the perimeter first and then crawling inside. I have two objectives: destroy a gas tank and shut down a water pump thing. I set some C4 explosives on the tank first, but don't detonate them right away, and then find and shut down the water. There is a little bit of bother with guards as I scuttle around the top levels, but I miraculously manage to tranquilise a dozen or so of them, and even fulton them out, without being spotted. Maybe 'cos it's nighttime? When the pump is shut down, the water level drops and I see a load of dead bodies stuck in the mud. What the hell is going on here? I detonate the tank when I'm clear enough and avoid the reinforcements. Another unit (with walker mechs) is sent to stop me in the hills, but I evade them too. In fact, this mission goes remarkably well given I haven't played the game for months! I get back to the helicopter and return to base. Miller gives me some more intel, something about Cipher being more involved with this than first thought. Meanwhile, Quiet is keeping herself quiet. She doesn't speak, but she doesn't seem hostile either. She may be willing to help us. Elsewhere in the log tapes, Huey talks about a scientist named Dr. Clark, who is working for Cipher and has developed a cloning program. It’s "new" technology, and not Huey's field, but he thinks it might be good to preserve Boss's legacy through cloning. In fact, he says he heard a rumour that the first successful human clone may have already been created, ten years earlier...
  3. Sprite Machine

    Ant-Man and The Wasp - July 2018

    Very contrived plot, filled with weird coincidences and unclear motives. Overstuffed with characters, and occasional baffling editing too (at least two jump cuts left me thinking "wait, what just happened?"). Still, I enjoyed the wit and humour of it, and the inventive use of growing/shrinking in the action scenes. The cast are just as good to watch as ever. I put this in the "enjoyed it but could have been better" category. I'll happily watch it again when it hits the movie-discs. Also, yet again, trailers full of shots not used in the film. Gets on my fuckin' nerves!
  4. Sprite Machine

    Sonic Mania Plus - Summer 2018

    I wasn't sure about Ray at first, but he's growing on me. Coming out of a glide goes back into a roll, so you can use him to do flying attacks and hit higher than other characters - useful for instance against the GHZ boss, hitting above its spiky arms. It's certainly less useful when you're in a cramped zone or funnelled down a single path, but it's damned fun to control when you've got a bit of space, and it's not a bad way to explore for rings and things either. Mighty, meanwhile, is basically an "easy mode". Deflects projectiles, one-hit of spike protection, powerful ground slam, can smash otherwise unbreakable objects, etc. Going back to Mania Mode's vanilla special stages and they're crazy easy - how did I ever struggle?! So the ending FMV in Mania Mode is the same with the new characters except Mighty and Ray are standing either side of Sonic (replacing Knuckles and Tails). No additional ending. I notice my new save files show the number of 'continues' earned. Are continues new, because my old saves don't have any? What's the point of continues when the game saves where you are?
  5. Sprite Machine

    Thor: Ragnarok

    Yeah, I thought so too. You talking about the bits with Heimdall in his elven cloak leading the Hobbits Asgardians over the mountains and through the forest? And then later there's that big secret hideout that looks like the Mines of Moria, complete with those rows of pillars from floor to ceiling, and the massive door outside of it that looks like the entrance to Moria. The director makes no mention of this during the audio commentary, but it's gotta be intentional. It's so blatant.
  6. Sprite Machine

    Star Trek - Jean-Luc Picard returns

  7. Sprite Machine

    Sonic Mania Plus - Summer 2018

    For anyone struggling with the Encore mode's new special stages (and they are really hard!): if you've finished the game, you can replay any level. Go to Flying Battery Zone 1, take the first optional route up onto some monkey bars, and you'll find a big ring within seconds. You can quit and restart over and over, either for practice or to farm Emeralds. It's the quickest way I've found anyway. I recorded my entire playthrough. Nothing amazing, but I went back for special stages at the end:
  8. Sprite Machine

    Game piracy in 2018

    With regards to pre-owned, I think @dumpster is talking primarily about the practise where customers in Game go up to the cashier with a new copy on their hand ready to buy it, but get offered a pre-owned copy instead that's a quid cheaper or something, and the fact that staff are made to do it by management as standard practise. Yeah, not everything is black and white when it comes to so-called "lost sales" but I think that's a bit of a problem for the industry.
  9. Sprite Machine

    Game piracy in 2018

    Outside of retro, I haven't pirated a game in absolutely years. I think the reasons are: 1) I'm not a poor student with no money anymore 2) Games are cheaper if you wait (I have numerous waitlists set up for sales) 3) I already have a massive backlog of shit to play, why would I want to add to it? 4) Too much faffing about to pirate these days, get banned from online, etc. I wonder if piracy is still relatively popular with the 'yoof'? Or maybe they're all just playing free shit on their phones and console games are pandering to an ever-decreasing pool of lapsed dad gamers with a thing for figurines and cat helmets?
  10. Sprite Machine

    James Gunn fired for old paedo jokes

    Dodgy views and edgy jokes are not the same thing, though.
  11. Sprite Machine

    No Man's Sky

    Blimey, really? I suppose there's no chance my aging 660Ti will run this at an acceptable level, is there?
  12. Sprite Machine

    Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

    It's not just distance, either. Even local streaming like the PS3/4's remote play, or Steam's local streaming client, has noticable lag, just because the data is being routed through a few too many junctions before it gets onto your screen. More still if it's wireless. So even if you live next to your ISP's data centre, and you're plugged directly into your router, you're gonna get lag. Whether it's bad enough to be off-putting depends on the game, on the player and a lot of other things, but it will always be there. I specifically selected my current TV on the basis of its low input lag, disregarding all other concerns (PQ, features) because I notice latency, especially in older games. Best of luck with it, though. I hope it's successful!
  13. Sprite Machine

    Sonic Mania Plus - Summer 2018

    Ray's glide is a little tricky to control, but it's something different and fun to master, like Mario's cape. I'm so used to pressing forward on the D-pad that I keep going into an instant dive bomb when trying to glide. That will take some mental reprogramming. He's not Knuckles, he's not Tails, but he can do a bit of both. I assume you can use both new characters in Mania Mode as well, right? I'm trying Encore mode first. There are only three save files, but as this mode is not 'character-specific' (you switch between all characters in-game), you shouldn't need more than three slots. I haven't found any giant rings yet (honestly can't remember where they were originally!), so I can't comment on the new special stage layouts, if they are indeed different. The pinball minigame seems fine but I think they're taking the 'retro' aesthetic to an extreme here - it's very blocky-looking; not everything has to look like it's being rendered by a Saturn!
  14. Sprite Machine

    Gender Diversity / Politics in games (was Tropes Vs. Women)

    I think you've missed my point. I wasn't saying that I agree with that train of thought, I was specifically criticising it. In the example given, the female members of the team were ranting because they were receiving more patronising comments than the men were. What solution or intervention would you propose in this case?

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