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Mike S

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Posts posted by Mike S

  1. On 21/03/2023 at 08:52, Talvalin said:

    5th August 2022 lol. I should probably read the damn thing eh



    Me too. 


    I have bumped it to the next in line but only just started on Pileggi's 'Casino' so it'll be a little while. I am also a good way into listening to William Peter Blatty's amazing reading of The Exorcist so the kindle isn't getting as much attention as the pile of shame suggests it needs...

  2. White Lotus S1


    Went into this knowing absolutely nothing about it and only watched after reading @Jamie John's 5/5 review further upthread and really liking the accompanying screenshot.


    As Jamie says, everything here just falls together perfectly - cast, story, setting, cinematography, music, everything works. It's a little weird as nothing much seems to really happen for long stretches - we are in a single location slowly learning about  a dozen or so primary characters - but thanks to a clever reveal in the very first scene there is a constant, and increasing, tension as we know something will happen at some point. That and a sense of woozy, unsettling, claustrophobia combined with a decent dose of paranoia make for a unique, and unsettling, atmosphere. There are loads of really great characters here and the slowness of the story allows the writers to explore all their various personalities seemingly without any pressure to rush a story along. It's really quite marvellous.


    The show also quietly says some interesting things about a few important topics so that's nice too.


    Season 2 is being started tonight...





  3. 1 hour ago, Festoon said:

    And Reanimator is genuinely amazing.


    Pos'd for this. 


    Because, as I imagine a QT written character might say,  it is the stone cold mother fucking truth. 


    Back on topic, I would love to see him make a horror film but I guess he has recognised that he'd never better Texas Chainsaw Massacre or The Exorcist so I'll let him off. 


    I highly recommend 'Cinema Speculation' for those interested in his views on 70's cinema as, if being a movie critic/cultural historian is the next phase of his life/career, he'll be well worth following. 

  4. 17 minutes ago, Stanley said:

    Buy a wheel and tell him it’s just like driving a car :hat:




    That would actually be MUCH easier than trying to explain the buttons on a controller. 



  5. 27 minutes ago, Stanley said:

    Sorry to hear you feel that way @Mike Sand I know it won’t change your mind, but I find Village just as much of a transformative experience as GT7, and that’s including the gimmicky controls ;)


    Sure at first it can seem unwieldy as you get to grips with the more realistic gestures and controls, especially if you’re already wrestling with motion sickness, it can lead to some confusing and stressful encounters in the game. 

    Get past that however and as you become more familiar with it, the controls come into their own. Reaching for your shotgun or pistol is more natural and becomes second nature. Likewise loading them, cocking them, firing - from the hip, steadying your aim with two hands etc. it’s just leagues ahead of playing the game flat screen. 

    And it’s the same with grabbing your map, or torch. It’s all seamless as you stop thinking and just doing, it never gets in the way and just adds to the sense of immersion. 

    Have you considered shorter experiences? Sometimes I just need a couple of songs in Synth Riders, or a bit of Tetris, you don’t always have to think about it in terms of how long can I last with the headset on - just treat it a bit differently to how you would flatscreen gaming, at least until you’ve done that enough for the whole thing to bother you less. 

    I try and think about it in healthy ways too, like at least it gets me up and moving, stretching etc. so often these days I challenge myself with just how heathy I’m being stretched out on the couch for hours with a controller in hand. It helps me to structure gaming sessions to be a bit more balanced that way. 

    Anyway, probably won’t change your mind like I say, but might be worth thinking about before you box it all back up :)




    I totally get how others love the experience, and you are an awesome and highly enthusiastic cheerleader who makes me wish I could get as much out of the system, but I just can't get on with it.


    I think GT7 is incredible, genuinely game changing, but nothing else has moved me, or is of interest. Rez is ace, and altogether more involving,  in VR but it is still just Rez and that is pretty basic and played out. Tetris and Thumper are the same - they are spectacularly enhanced by VR but are still not really games I was hugely committed to  when they were flat. 


    I hate Village for more reasons than I love the incredible sense of presence and immersion it gave me. I do get how you and others really like the mimicry of real world movements but, for me, I just cannot be doing with such ridiculous controls and the near total lack of alternate options.


    I can (semi) auto reload but the rest of the nonsense - miming opening drawers and doors, reaching into empty space to take something out of a projected menu box, etc, etc  is baked in and is absolutely, tediously, awful even without the uncertainty of whether my movements are right or if I am maybe doing the wrong thing. That there was little to no concession to accessibility killed the game stone dead for me which was a real shame as the atmosphere was astonishing. It didn't help that I was struggling with gestural controls whilst being unable to overcome a nauseating first person movement implementation - I could maybe have coped with one but not both.  I gave up on the game after not knowing how to select bolt cutters and then, after googling how I should have done so, never wanting to do so.


    I do wish you all the best of luck with it, and really don't want to be too down on the experience as it is a genuinely impressive piece of hardware, but it's just not for me. I think we are a generation or two from VR being anything like a mass market entertainment proposition but every step seems worthwhile so big up you pioneers...



  6. 29 minutes ago, sid said:

    Did you try moss 2 at all Mike ? Highly recommend a look before you return it - blows my mind every time I play it


    I played the first on the PSVR but it wasn't really my thing. I know for sure the sequel would be a much more impressive experience on PSVR2 and I'd more than likely enjoy it but it's not really enough for me to go through the (minor) hassle of putting a headset on for. 


    I just don't really like being as closed off from the world as the headset makes me. I can do it in GT7 as I can half convince myself the pressure on my head is the helmet but it is still less than ideal.


    I've invited a car loving mate round to try GT7 later this week but am now worried about how weird and awkward that will be, especially as he is a non gamer with no familiarity with the playstation controller so we'll have to go through all sorts of intro to the system stuff before enclosing him in a headset and headphones and hoping he can wing it.

  7. 53 minutes ago, Steven said:

    Not a racing fan at all but GT7 is now ready for later on - assuming I've done all the right loading , etc.



    That is the one.


    It is the only game that I would say is a VR essential. The sense of immersion is absolutely extraordinary and never fails to amaze me every time I fire it up. The other games I've tried have been fine although not one has offered any compelling reason to fire up the headset. GT7, however, is a hardware specific elevation of an already decent game to something really, really special.


    That said, I'll be taking advantage of the Sony 30 day returns policy and returning my headset next week as GT7 is literally the only game I am interested in and, really, I am not enough of a driving game person to justify a £500+ accessory for one game. I'd rather send the headset back for a refund than keep it and see it gathering dust in a month or two just as the original PSVR did...


    I wish I could have embraced the nausea and awful control options of Village to find another reason to stay with the system as that game has an extraordinary sense of place but, realistically, it's probably more than just fighting gimmicky control systems and sickness. I just don't like the faff of putting on, then wearing a headset and headphones, and the subsequent isolation from the real world. I am always extremely conscious of it being there, and it is always a low key distraction. And that is before the eye strain I feel after playing the only game I really like for much more than 45 minutes...


    It's just not for me, but is still an incredible upgrade over the original PSVR  so I shall have to hang on and hope that the third generation will be much closer to where I need it to be in terms of hardware/software comfort, broader control options, and more games that I like. 


    I hope this doesn't come across as my pissing on peoples bonfires/chips as I really enjoy reading the positive responses and  genuinely wish I could get into it but it's not my bag.


    And, yeah, I know I'll be back in six months or whenever a GT7 beater is released on the system.



  8. 1 hour ago, Stanley said:

    Another new game announced. 




    That looks to be an EXCELLENT way to fill a living room with vomit.


    I only play GT7 now and it remains astonishing every time I boot it up to spend an hour or so on the circuit experiences. The combination of being (virtually) in the car, wearing headphones, and the superb haptic feedback makes it so much easier to 'feel' the car moving on the road and to quickly correct when it starts getting out of hand. I still crash occasionally when distracted by the incredible cockpit detailing (most recently after spotting a little dangling cord thing behind the steering wheel on some jazzy open top car) but am getting better at concentrating on the road. Nailing a corner just right and taking tenths off a time just feels so much better than when I used to play it in flat. 


    I've noticed the image quality improvement since the update - the area being looked at is definitely sharper and might be a little larger. No discernable change to the ghosting artefacts or to the very faint screen door effect.


    Also, I actually won a fancy car on the lottery thing! Some experimental looking shiny blue Peugeot affair which looks like a speedboat. Unfortunately it drove like one too so it'll be staying in the garage. 




  9. 1 hour ago, JoeK said:

    I think that’s a whole load of rubbish myself, and does a huge disservice to the devs and patronises the games playing public massively.


    Well done, you’ve upset me in a topic that is of absolutely no consequence at all. 




    It's certainly a bit of a take to me - that Nintendo designed BOTW, and TOTK, in order to keep up with trends whilst also 'dumbing down' to be as 'casual' as possible.


    To me, it just looks like they designed these games as they always do - to be as good as they can at the genre they are working within whilst also pushing forward with the sort of progressive gameplay advances that they make look so easy but other devs struggle to match.


    Had BOTW been a 'regular' non open world Zelda it would surely still have been great but it would also have been considered a bit predictable - just more of the same. I am much happier, even as someone with a limited interest in open world games, that they went the way they did given the result is one of the greatest games of all time.



  10. 20 hours ago, KriessG said:

    Mike, can I ask, why the disdain for all motion controls? Kayak VR just involves you gently padding and the feedback makes it feel so natural, it’s very relaxed and completely adds to the immersion. Sitting still and pressing X and O to paddle would massively take away from it.


    I think that it was just the labelling of all motion controls as gimmicky irritations which I found odd. This is meant to be virtual reality, the controls are generally meant to mimic reality when possible. 


    I totally agree that some games which require big motion control movements should also have options for people who either can’t or don’t want to exert themselves, but in this example it’s about the most gentle motion control you can get. 


    My disdain for them is entirely down to Village where they are used for endless actions that add zero to the gameplay experience and, for me, actively detract. Need to heal? OK, I need to reach to some weird spot over my shoulder to get the medicine into my hand, then unscrew the top, etc. Just let me press a button instead of all the pissing about. It doesn't help that it can feel a bit vague - I don't know if I am doing the right thing gesture wise, or if the action is not being recognised, or whatever. Same with guns, try to imitate grabbing it from whoever it is stashed, imitate taking ammo out of your pouch, pretend to load - it is just endless busywork and no fun. Opening drawers is another exercise in mimicking the real world but made slower and more awkward.


    I finished with Village after being unable to open a gate that required a bolt cutter from my inventory. I could see it in a box floating on the screen but had no clue how to access it (may have been explained in a tutorial but, if so, I'd missed it) which, normally, I'd have worked out with a few random key presses a few random key presses. The technique here, found after quitting and googling it -  to reach out into space and grab it from the floating box was so irritatingly stupid I haven't been back. To be fair it is also the most nausea inducing game of the four I have played so that doesn't help my enthusiasm. 


    It may be virtual reality but it is primarily a game and the novelty of using gestures even if they are not necessarily the most fun method just because they can, doesn't necessarily mean they should. Devs should at least, wherever possible, give those of us who cannot be doing with them an option to bypass so that we can focus on enjoying the game (and, in the case, of Village, an incredibly realised environment).


    Another gripe is the lack of any physical feedback from the controllers. I realise, at the relatively mass market level, we are some way from having fancy haptic gloves with individual fingers that could simulate contact more realistically but just a little rumble might have helped.


    As for Kayak, to be fair, a simple paddle action seems like it may be more effective so I should probably give it a try as I do like the concept of just paddling around and looking at things, 

  11. 8 minutes ago, geldra said:

    @Mike S yeah you have to row row row your boat (kayak) gently down the stream (if you see a crocodile don’t forget to scream). 

    It does have a “tour” mode where it drags you along. I doubt you’d want to drop £19 just for that though. 


    Damn, I'll not bother then.


    I realise many of these games are trying to show the possibilities of new control methods but don't think it's asking too much to expect alternate controls. As well as catering to those of us who find gesture controls to be gimmicky irritations more traditional controls may make it easier for new VR users to ease into headset use. 

  12. 1 hour ago, Stanley said:

    So after a week or so what would everyone rate as their top 5 games on PSVR2 so far? 

    Mine are something like this.


    1. Village

    2. Rez

    3. No Man’s Sky

    4. GT7

    5. Kayak


    I am really enjoying this platform and have barely played anything none VR since it came out. 



    1. GT7

    2. Tetris

    3. Rez

    4. Village


    GT7 is the killer for me and the one I will be returning to most out of the launch line up.


    Tetris is beautiful as is Rez but I prefer the more chilled atmosphere of Tetris. Both have an amazing sense of just being stood in front of an endless void. I absolutely love the environment and immersion of Village but it plays like a dog. If they ever add more traditional controls then I'll try again but until then I'm out.


    I also have the Horizon game but am in two minds about trying that as I'm not a huge fan of the flat games and it seems like it is mostly gesture replication type gameplay and I'm not interested in that sort of thing. Related, does Kayak have to be played as if the player is actually rowing the kayak? If it does so then I'll not bother but, otherwise, it does look interesting and relaxing...





  13. 3 hours ago, footle said:

    id take the same resolution and rendering and double the frame rate, tbh. It makes a huge difference in vr.


    The increased frame rate was assumed, along with a smaller headset.  It’s the future, we can have it all!

    That said, I can’t say it really bothers me in GT as I am still so blown away by the extraordinary sense of being there actually in the car. I see ghosting if I look for it but when concentrating on cars in front of me, or upcoming corners, I’m way too ‘in the zone’ to see it. 

    It’s definitely the killer app for me.

  14. Went back for more GT7 and somehow managed to rack up 96 miles over my two sessions today. Feel very slightly uneasy but nowhere near as bad as I thought the game would make me before getting the headset. 


    Ended up slightly obsessed with repeating sectors in the circuit experiences. Best tonight was the course on Sicily as that uses an absolute monster of a car in which I'm seated so low I need to look up to see the wing mirror. Can't remember the car but I think it was an Audi, it has a tiny windscreen and enormous front side bits (I don't know what they are called as I am not a car person - the bits over the wheel either side of the bonnet). The internal modelling of all the cars is really something and I find it very hard to not be distracted by looking at all the fixtures and fittings. 


    I know it's a bit low res and there is ghosting if you look for it but they really have done an incredible job with this. Roll on five or six years from now when we have a PS6 + VR3 with resolution and rendering that equals the current TV image but, for now, this will do very nicely. 

  15. 3 hours ago, Monkeyspill said:

    I’d like it if you had to scramble around on the floor for your dropped ammo while baddies are coming for you.



    I would not like that at all.


    I am now starting to actively hate gesture replication type control systems. So much so that, after reading how I should have selected the box cutter, I didn't even bother trying again with Village tonight. Instead of ten minutes of hand waving frustration and encroaching nausea I had a very chilled and quite wonderful hour of Tetris followed by ten or so frantic laps of GT7. Both are much more my sort of VR experience. 


    That moment GT switches from flat to drop you into the seat in all its VR glory remains absolutely amazing.

  16. 1 minute ago, cassidy said:

    @Mike S and @Monkeyspill


    Just invented the hardcore mode there for RE8 Village. 


    If you dont put the gun/ammo/items in your inventory they are gone forever. 



    I would have nothing left of anything within minutes!

  17. Found this whilst googling how to use the bolt cutters (the answer to that question is as ridiculous as I have come to expect) and it raised a smile:



  18. 1 minute ago, Monkeyspill said:

    Can you fuck up by dropping ammunition in RE8? By that, I mean can you lose it? That would be irritating but funny.


    I assume that, like when you drop a weapon, it just gets placed back in your inventory.

  19. 1 minute ago, Steven said:


    I think you can have the reloading etc mapped to buttons - don't quote me but have a look at the options. The controllers have been said to drift when they lose a bit of juice - which is shit but it has been mentioned on some videos I've watched. As for motion sickness - it's just different for everyone, I guess. It really sounds like you'd get on a lot better with the regular version. Did you ever try VII on PSVR1, because that basically used the joypad with your head as the reticule.



    I did find a simplified controls or some such option but couldn't find anything that would allow me to hit a button to heal,  or choose X or Y weapon, etc. I suspect the forced motion controls will see me giving up before long which is a shame as I really do like exploring the world through VR. 


    I played the VIII 'flat' and found it to be OK as a game, if nothing too special, but the ramp up in atmosphere and fear by actually placing the player in the village makes this something much more interesting, if only I could play the damn thing. I don't think the gameplay would be harmed by including a wider range of control options aimed at offering more accessibility.


    I never played VII on the original as I'd given up on the hardware but that sort of control option might work better for me - it'd certainly be something I'd like to try. 

  20. 16 minutes ago, Stanley said:

    @Mike Shave you tried setting the vignette (tunnelling) option to high? Probably won’t eliminate it entirely but it might help a bit. 

    It doesn’t help that some of the early encounters are a bit scrappy anyway and don’t allow you to get to grips with the guns. It is great when it clicks though. 


    Yep, I implemented that before last night's session and it seemed to make a small difference but, to be fair, I didn't do a lot of walking.


    I'd just much rather have button controls than gesture, even if only for the time it takes to familiarize with the game/VR.

  21. On 27/02/2023 at 23:51, Steven said:


    I had exactly these problems when I started playing RE4 on the Quest and nearly changed it to the shortcut setting. With a bit more time it all became second nature but because it's new it needed that repetition for it to click. In general, I think playing that helped me find my feet quicker in this but there are a couple of things I still need to get used to in this. I'd give it a while.



    I used last night's ten minute Village session to really give the motion controls a chance, combined that with standing up and using the walking on the spot trick to try and manage motion sickness. 


    I still don't like it at all and would much prefer the option to override all the physical actions with boring old traditional button inputs. I was at the first encounter with a hostile, aggressive, enemy and just got sick of waving the knife around but not registering contact as my arm passed through the assailant. I then struggled to reload the pistol and gave up at trying to retrieve medicine as the on screen cues suggested reaching over the shoulder for it but that was futile. I actually ended up abandoning the session after being unable to remember how to equip the bolt cutter. I do think one of the controllers was drained (although still on one bar) as my left (virtual) arm became erratic so that might not have helped. Also, finding my head at floor level when knocked down was really jarring given that I was still standing IRL.


    I really like being in the world as it is extraordinarily convincing but am finding almost all interactions to be frustrating or sickness inducing. I will put my daily ten minutes in later and try to get over it and have found that increasing the tunneling seems to help a little with motion sickness but at the cost of immersion.

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