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Everything posted by Gabe

  1. Vialli came during that phase when we were getting real international star joining the PL and seeing an explosion of talent. I always recall his line on the Sky promos ("It's about coming to England") said with his Italian twang. Even as a non-Chelsea fan he just always seemed like one of the good ones and it's a shame his managerial exit from Chelsea was under a cloud.
  2. Both FSG and the Glazers are still going to be walking away with significant profits though and both before having to spend a lot of money (FSG to rebuild the team, the Glazers to rebuild Old Trafford). In that light, it makes sense for them to get out I suppose.
  3. I had forgotten about this and wished I'd watched it before Christmas (mainly to tap into the Christmas spirit), but I agree with you - it was awful. I almost switched it off immediately at the intro song I was cringing so hard, but I persevered. Drax is just a terrible character since GotG2, you can appreciate why Bautista has said he isn't sticking around after GotG3. They didn't even do anything interesting with Kevin Bacon and he was than in his EE ads. Mantis was fine I suppose, though hardly given any material to really work with. Perhaps it was all some big meta-joke, that in saving Christmas for Quill, James Gunn actually wanted to ruin it for the audience!
  4. It's just some idle chat because not much else is going on, no?
  5. That's a good point, @glb - there were a number of records up for grabs that would've stood for a while I reckon but by the same token it just further illustrates how far ahead Man City have been. I like this as a snappy summary though (especially regarding last season where, like in 2013/14, we were in the box seat for the title):
  6. I thought it was quite disappointing, to be honest. I would've liked a bit more studio time to get their personalities across, but the format doesn't really allow that and it is more an issue in these one-off episodes where we don't get a chance to get to know them. That said, Mo had an infectious fun around him (his joy at the scalp massager was a delight) and I would've liked to see more of Amelia and Rebecca - but Carol and Greg were pretty nondescript. I've said before about the usual series that it really needs a good studio presence to pop, because a lot of the challenges lack opportunity for laughs as they are quite straightforward, so having a good back-and-forth can make all the difference (series 5 & 14 are good examples of this.) Is there a confirmed date for series 15?
  7. I think that's a separate thing. Yes, I'm immensely proud of what Klopp and the team has achieved - it's been phenomenal and provided immeasurable amounts of fun along the way. What I'm referring to it the legacy of this team when people look back over history and point at the greatest teams of their time; the best measure of consistent high performance is league titles with the odd cup - and I wonder where future fans and pundits will place this team in 10/20 years time? Like, however they got there, it can't be considered a better team than Man City over the past 6/7 years, or can it? I mean they ran City close but still ultimately fell short (especially painful when it was in our own hands last season and 2013/14). Does it compare to the best Man Utd or Arsenal teams of the PL era, or Busby's babes? Or the Chelsea of 2005-07? All of those won multiple league titles so in the same way many only regard Messi as a true great now he has a World Cup, I do think this team will always be considered very, very good, but not one of the true greats in history.
  8. This would be funny if you weren't talking about comparison to massive oil-producing states. I mean, jeez, by that metric perhaps we should just bin the whole sport unless it is played down the park with jumpers for goalposts! Not that it really matters, but I've been vocal about FSG in the Liverpool thread too in the past, I'm no fan of theirs. But, more importantly, nobody supports a team because of who the owners are so there's no hypocrisy there unless you think I'm cheerleading for FSG in some way? I'd love for fans/communities to own clubs although - shock - a lot of fans are terrible people too. Where does it end? Regardless, I refuse to believe you really are equating a regime that is linked to murdering & the suppressing of actual human rights of people on a daily basis to companies that quite obviously do some dodgy stuff to operate and are run by horrible people (yes, #notallowners) and making out that really we're the bad guys for not bringing them up in the same breath every time.
  9. It's interesting where this team would rank in all-time great teams (both Liverpool teams specifically and versus historic Man City/Utd/Arsenal 'bests' etc). The usual benchmark is league titles (and especially those that retain a title) to be considered really great, and in that respect this team falls short. But by lots of other measures, such as entertainment, high-level play etc (not just trophies) many would probably feel it is right up there (especially when you consider the strength of the competition). Like you, I feel a bit disappointed at the solitary PL crown in spite of all the other trinkets. I'm also not sure how I would rate them against the mighty 87-89 team, which was incredible (I was too young to appreciate the early all-conquering 80s side). Hmm. If nothing else, the Klopp era will be spoken of for years to come.
  10. Are you planning a festival to celebrate that strawman? Nobody thinks most owners are saints, but I think there is a definite difference between cutthroat owners making dodgy deals/being terrible people versus an being run by an actual regime and the power and reach that has.
  11. Yeah, I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing if we can keep Matip fit. As I said the other day, he's not been the same player by some way since he came back from his injury, he's certainly not the imposing presence that he once was. He doesn't even make Garth Crooks' team of the week that much now, when he used to be in it every week! How the mighty have fallen.
  12. I mean the midfield has been an issue for years (as we've all discussed in this thread many times), I don't see it suddenly being addressed now.
  13. What do you think an appropriate response to that situation is? Boycott matches and not give the club any money (like the Man Utd green and gold stuff)? Accept it but try and ignore it (like Newcastle/City fans)? End your association with a club you may have supported for decades? I don't know what the 'right' answer is. Certainly, my love of football in general has waned significantly over the past year or so to the effect that I haven't watched a full Liverpool game since about February (and I don't watch MotD either). I therefore think such a move would tip me over the edge and I could quite easily not give the club any of my money (either directly or via Sky), but if it had happened when I was much more emotionally invested in the club I'm not sure I would make that same choice.
  14. I haven't watched the team much at all since last season, but isn't the problem that Fabinho used to have a bit more protection in front of him? A midfield containing Elliott and Thiago is never going to be the most solid and by all accounts the midfield is overrun in many matches these days. As I've said many times before, this kind of campaign doesn't surprise me as I expected the burn-out last season. There are lots of things for Klopp to ponder. Salah's poor form is now fast approaching a year, TAA has not had as much impact going forward and is getting caught out defensively all too often, VVD has been very average since his injury, no midfield combo seems to be able to exert any control and offensively we've lost that ability to just out score everybody (Salah and Nunez are both culpable in this respect.) Then the elephant in the room is FSG wanting to sell. The prospect of no CL football on paper is obviously a bad thing, but I wonder if it might actually help push a sale through, because potential buyers would pay less of a premium for a club that will need some serious investment to get back to compete.
  15. 2. 01/01/2023 - Routemania (PC) A puzzle game where you have to connect cities of the world using limited numbers of coloured blocks. I got this after a pretty generous demo in the last Steamfest made me think it would be a fairly relaxing puzzle game, and it was. Of the 26 maps to play (of which 7 were in the demo - as I say, generous), I only properly struggled with 3, whereupon I used the in-game hint system. Considering puzzles aren't my forte by any stretch of the imagination, I thought that was quite good. It's all very minimalist and whilst it hasn't lit a fire under the genre for me, I may keep a keener eye out for similar games in future. Previously completed:
  16. I think he (or certainly somebody) posted in the SI forums on one of those attempts on a previous version but, understandably, they gave up without getting close to completing it. I can imagine the fun stops long before the end of such an endeavor!
  17. 1. 01/01/2023 - Bladed Fury (XSS) And we're off! This was a Games with Gold freebie, a short side-scrolling slash-em-up and I enjoyed it. Based on Chinese mythology I didn't quite follow what was going on, but the action was simple but engaging. It had the usual upgrades, puzzles and bosses, but it was pitched easy enough for me to get through, despite a couple of moments of frustration towards the end (does anybody really like boss-rush sections?) It was only about 3-4 hours, which is always a bonus, as I find my tolerance for side-scrollers is very low these days (often I've tried to play through some arcade/early console brawlers and they bore me very quickly.) A nice start to the year.
  18. Thought this was entertaining as a film - but not much cop as a whodunnit. A question for future films:
  19. What are the main things it removes/automates?
  20. I have nothing to contribute other than saying this has properly made me laugh
  21. You've selectively quoted me there and I think the context I mentioned is important purely because of what I said - that Liverpool in 2012 were trying to find their feet again after the disaster of the previous year or so, whereas now they are operating at a higher level, so the noise around somebody not meeting those higher standards will of course get spoken about a bit more (a better comparison to back then will have been with Andy Carroll, purely in terms of coming in for a big fee - if Nunez had been snapped-up for a similar price to Suarez, there wouldn't be as much noise I'm sure.) Anyway, I happen to think he will be a big success in time and I don't see anybody saying he won't be (well, @disperse and recoagulate doesn't seem to be a fan). He does need to work on his finishing though, I don't think that's a contentious comment.
  22. Good job as always, @Unofficial Who, look forward to starting my list soon!
  23. I won't be completing anything more today, so I have a final tally of 41. Considering the year I've had, I'm mightily impressed by that. Some high/lowlights: My game of the year There was no contest for this - it was without question The Forgotten City. I loved the setting, I loved how it treated the time loop mechanic, I loved that puzzles were logical, that it was completely without padding and it looked beautiful too. I also found the ending very poignant and it was just such a wonderful slice of life gaming; for those few hours I really did feel like I had been transported away and, a bit like how I feel about Edith Finch (a game I still think about from time to time) I think this hit me at a point in my life which means it resonates all the more. The good stuff: I got quite into emulation this year and so my range of platforms increased. I really enjoyed bookending the year with a couple of Fire Emblem games, the Gamecube and Wii entries, which happened to be linked in terms of lore and characters. Whilst the dialogue can be a bit twee at times, the political intrigue and machinations of bad guys gave interesting stories, plus the actual meat of the game was compelling. For both games, I started them and they gripped me enough such that I dedicated a lot of time to them, rather than dipping in and out as I do with many other titles. Assassin's Creed is a good example of the above point - I started this at least 18 months ago and then ignored it for a year. But I did pick it back up and had a blast going through it. I wish the combat was a bit more in-depth (i.e. even having a limited combo skill tree) but it was serviceable enough. It was a good game though and Ubisoft may be many bad things, but they can build a coherent and beautiful world. Ditto for The Division, another I took a long time to finish (about 4 years?) New York in the snow looked stunning, and I loved just wandering around in the snow. Playing solo was tough at times, but it was a good experience. Another Ubi game that I really enjoyed was Watchdogs. I read a lot about people hating the player character, but I thought he was fine and wrapped up in a really enjoyable game. As with the others above, I never try to finish everything so I didn't feel burnt out by the mass of icons I was ignoring. I played it as a shooter (because I hate stealth) and had a great time. I even didn't massively hate the driving sections, so that's a bonus. Bright Memory Infinite was a pretty short but fun action game. Fusing first-person shooter with a slash-em-up in a completely non-sensical story, this had punchy combat, quite lovely visuals (it was promoted as one of the ray tracing games for Xbox) and was accessible enough that I was able to complete it (because I suck at games.) The disappointments: Loads of people said the combat was fine, but the story and script was the highlight. I disagreed massively and hated them both, so Guardians of the Galaxy was the biggest disappointment of the year by a distance. The combat was atrocious and I said at the time in the thread, a dev that puts in that many assists to make things easier knows it's a weak point. Even with everything as easy as can be, enemies were still huge damage-sponges and a chore to fight. Levels were far too long, too, with boring traversal and forced 'use this character's ability to progress' sections. The big thing - the script - was also bad. Everybody was shouty and/or whiney for 90% of the game and something I again mentioned in the thread was that it was fine for that approach in a 2-hour film, but not a 15+ hour game. It was so tiresome. The actual plot was incredibly generic, there was very little characterisation* and the script was largely forgettable. Was so, so disappointed in this. *Drax was the exception to this - his character actually had some nuance and emotional depth, to the point that I would much prefer this version in the MCU to what we have. Mass Effect Andromeda was not as bad as a lot of the internet noise would have you believe, but it was also not a patch on the original trilogy. I actually thought the premise was great, but I don't think the open-world nature of the game suited it at all. It robbed any situation of any urgency, traversal wasn't particularly fun and there was just lots of empty space. It's a shame, because a tighter approach to the structure could've seen this offshoot from the main series carry on, and I would've liked to see that. I still enjoyed it, but I started going for the mainline quests long before the end. Much was made of the branching nature of As Dusk Falls, and it is easily the best implementation of such a structure as I've ever seen, with the ability to easily revisit each major decision point and go in a different direction. I had no interest in doing that after my solitary playthrough though as I felt the story went a bit awry in the final act. I also had no love for any of the characters, so the emotional beats of the story passed me by. It was decent - and I'd play something else if they make it - but it wasn't quite what I hoped it to be. The downright abysmal: I've gotten better at not sticking with playing absolute trash, but there were some titles this year I should've binned and probably smashed my PC up afterwards, just to be sure, because they were that bad. King of this undesirable hill was Rune II. A game with a very troubled history (it had to have a 2.0 relaunch under different devs because the first incarnation was so bad), it actually changed completely from something more MMO-lite to a more standard action-adventure - but a lot of the stuff from the MMO experience remained (like you could plant a banner to mark your territory - something that had absolutely no function in the revised title.) It was full of bugs, horrible half-arsed gamepad implementation (you still needed a mouse/keyboard for some stuff), it looked awful and the combat was floaty, lack any feedback and had no depth. The plot was stupid, the quests filler, the world empty and boring and it was just a complete mess. It's delisted now I think so thankfully nobody else can witness the horrors, because it was bad, bad, bad. Considering the love for the first game in particular, I expected a lot more from Ninja Gaiden 3. This was horrible. Again, issues with controls, a very twitchy camera, terrible level structure, lots of off-screen attacks, truly rubbish story...yeah, this was trash. It was mercifully fairly short (the only reason I stuck with it), but a painful experience. Conclusion When I compare to previous years, I think this year I played less objectively bad games, continued to dip into a good range of genres, enjoyed a lot of different platforms and overall had some great gaming. I have more Fire Emblem titles to look forward to, will finally start the Witcher 3 at some point, have a few FMV in my library to enjoy and hope to get through some more co-op stuff with a friend. Gaming has never looked so good!
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