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Alan Stock

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    Games, Photography, Travelling, Films, Clubbing, Dog's bottoms.

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  1. Altered Carbon - Netflix Cyberpunk

    That's surprising, it's a very pulp sci-fi trope having flashbacks like that and talking to the imaginary friend - so the TV writers borked that one up. I don't mind the odd flashback - but it's really overdone in this where they keep revisiting the same scenes from the past, and a lot of the time you don't even learn anything new from it aside from "yay lets get inspired by what my lover told me in the past!". I saw there was a debate about the nudity/sex earlier in the thread. Personally I haven't got a problem with it (and there's some real hotties to ogle so of course that helps). For me it's over the top - a stylistic choice as much as everything else in the show that yes is gratuitous and for views, but also fits into that hedonist world. I know morally you can't really give it a free pass, at least it has a bit of male nudity too (even the odd dong, Game of Thrones has paved the way for shlongs on TV to be cool and now they're all whipping out their todgers for the world to see).
  2. Altered Carbon - Netflix Cyberpunk

    Up to episode 6 and really enjoying it - and I consider myself a bit of a sci-fi snob. Yes it's not 5 star excellence like Game of Thrones/Westword, but it's a damned good watch. The concept of stacks and sleeves is brilliant and explored in so many cool ways. The story - although not mind-blowing and pop-corny at times, is always intriguing and plays around with the stack/sleeve/VR themes in clever ways. Acting and casting is really good for the most part to compliment that, especially for a sci-fi show. The action scenes are stand-out, up to movie-level quality with very satisfying futuristic gun battles with a real punch, and martial arts straight out of the Matrix. It looks great too, though it's a real disappointment they copied Bladerunner so much in the lower streets. But other parts of the world are well realised, especially the futuristic buildings and VR. You can see how much effort and money went into those visuals. It might not be the very highest tier of sci-fi TV - but in many places it does hit that bar and the brilliant concept and unpredictable story means I always look forward to each episode. You never know what you're going to get, story twists, action scenes, visual wonder, I tune in each time just wondering what they're going to do next with it. I really like Poe (and the concept of a sentient AI hotel), the rich guy boss and his wife are fantastic too. Also, the gang sleeve - praise be to that actor (and can you imagine the audition for that part)! You can kind of tell the plot is adapted from a sci-fi novel, as it has lots of brilliant imagination and clever plot twists but interposed with crappy flashbacks, stupid romances/lots of sex and corny bad guys/character cliches. It's a strange combo of brilliance and generic sci-fi pulp smashed together. Hopefully this does well so more big budget sci-fi shows get made. Although good novels make for great plotlines, I'd like to see top writers incorporate the ideas from them and write new stories for TV so we get better characters and less generic stuff. To be fair, the writers on this have done well with the material - the dialogue is generally very good, it's just some of the characters and plot beats are a bit generic. Overall I am impressed - and went into it not expecting too much due to the fairly lukewarm response on here. Glad I gave it a chance.
  3. Overwatch - Overwatch League is GO!

    There's literally millions of PS4 players so surprised it's taking so long especially as the free weekend means there should be loads of low level players for you to match with. My games usually take anything from 15 seconds to a few minutes to find - but I'm very high level and tend to play late at night. Maybe PSN buckling over the weekend? Or maybe there aren't that many low level players these days? It uses an internal skill rating based system for quick play so people tend to rise up that quite fast.
  4. Overwatch - Overwatch League is GO!

    Just finished catching up on the last week of the Overwatch League. It was brilliant. The standings were super close and every match was down to the wire. Often multiple teams chances of making the playoffs hung in the balance of single maps - both for the teams playing and others watching who needed certain results to qualify. The stage finals themselves were epic, full of great plays and very close matches. Highly recommend checking out last Saturday's games, as well as some of the ones earlier in that week if you want to get the exiting leadup where teams were battling it out to make playoffs. There is a 2 week break before Stage 2 begins, and teams have begun signing new players. The Mercy/Junkrat nerf will come into effect so the games should be very different next stage. Many people belive that Moira is going to see a lot of play, maybe triple or even quadruple tank. And the return of Lucio! In other OW news, on the PTR Sombra is getting an overhaul, getting better damage, longer translocator time, faster hacks and biggest of all - no ultimate charge from hacked health packs. Should make her a bit more viable and make her second-to-second gameplay more impactful. Mei is getting a buff to her freeze time. Doomfist gets a faster gun recharge - edging closer to viability. Next they are going to do a Hanzo rework, giving him a different ability than scatter arrow. This is great news. They are currently internally testing some things, with the current iteration being that he has a leap move (kinda like how Mcrees roll works), and a rapid fire arrow for his secondary fire. They also say they are brainstorming ideas to rework Torbjorn and Symmetra to make them more viable in more situations and more "team friendly". All sounds like good stuff! Most of all I wonder if Moira is now going to be the OP character, and what the pros are going to be running in Stage 2 - it should be very different with the fall of Mercy, and much easier to follow.
  5. Monster Hunter: World

    Having said that, interested to hear what you guys think about the endgame content (Hexx, Anth etc) - after you finish the story. Is it quite repetative and grindy? Basically the monsters get harder - I'm guessing the weapons and armour don't really get significant upgrades, right? Or at least, if you do get new tiers, it's just the same looking equipment with higher stats? Is the endgame actually fun or do you have to be a grind-lover for it to click?
  6. Monster Hunter: World

    I'm going to be hopping back into this starting at the weekend - a stay at home holiday means I can put some serious hours into the game! Thing is, I'm rank 13 or 14, up to the last area, and I don't want to exhaust the main story too quickly or run out of new things to see. So I'm thinking about taking it slow. Doing lots of optional quests along the way, crafting up sets of armour and weapons and filling out that tree. Doing a load of co-op. Eventually finishing the story and some endgame stuff (the grind up to massive ranks doesn't really interest me). Then maybe donning some shitty armour and trying out some new weapons, which I think will be really fun - or even just starting a new character once I finish the story and trying other weapons from there. I really like the great sword and enjoy the challenge of sticking with it even for fast and flying enemies. But I am super keen to try out all those agile weapons and weird stuff like the horn. But because of the way the game is designed, it's probably better fun to start from scratch, rather than just craft up a brand new weapon type up to a high level.
  7. Monster Hunter: World

    Same thing happened to me the other day! It's not really obvious enough. I spent quite a few evenings just polishing off ingredients quests for the furry bugger.
  8. The Drum & Bass Thread

    Love this style, amazingly learned about them by the latest stupid comedy vid from anyony0moose who does the half life source funny music vids. Also check out the live band version on their channel, its awesome!
  9. Monster Hunter: World

    I noticed the other day there's actually a squad of hunters to the left of the monster, along with some researchers, so there is some protection. Guess they drug the monsters up good - that is until they are ignomiously carted off to the arena for you to unleash the Dragonator on them. "We've learned all we can, now go and kill it in the most entertaining way possible! In the name of science!"
  10. Oxygen Not Included

    I totally agree about the learning curve - although it's still early access so they still have plenty of time to fix the intro to the game. In some ways I think it's cool to not know everything, but when you can fail "in advance" by making simple mistakes it's very punishing. Not choosing the right kind of colonists at the start, picking useless research trees, not setting up food production fast enough, wasting water - it can take a long time before you realise those were errors in the first place. I don't think you would like the new patch, it seems to have angered a lot of players - seasoned and otherwise, by making food balance very harsh and the new jobs system seems a bit broken with colonists getting their priorities all wrong. It's a great game but definitely needs some balance and useability work - I'm a forgiving gamer willing to invest time into a game's deep systems, but for many they'll get frustrated with how fiddly some of it is and how much you have to pre-plan to stand any chance of success. The only thing that worries me is I've seen numerous games come out of early access in this state without fixing many of their usability problems. Prison Architect, Subnautica, Kingdom Come: Deliverance to name a few. Devs forget that most players haven't been there from day one and to a new player their game is actually painful to get into.
  11. Monster Hunter: World

    Yeah its a bit misleading because you actually get as much stuff in the capture rewards screen as you do from carving up a monster you've slain. You can get sacs and stuff from capture missions just as easily as kill missions, in fact some more experienced players believe capturing usually gets you better parts.
  12. Monster Hunter: World

    You need to head to the Research Centre (the three people next to the giant cog on the trade level). There, you can toggle which investigations you want to show up on your quest board, from a list of hundreds - it's a terrible menu but it gets the job done.
  13. Oxygen Not Included

    I started this last night for the first time - it's on sale on Steam at the moment. I love sim/base building games, and have had my eye on this for a while. The game got a big patch earlier this month. So far I'm really enjoying it, although it does a piss-poor job of teaching you anything. Somehow I have scraped through to nearly 60 days, learning and experimenting as I go. My base is quite big now but things have got worse and worse for my colonists. I think I'm trapped in a very long Game Over - my food situation is dire, my colonists stressed, I don't have enough power and oxygen is on the brink of running out. Further outwards into the earth, the only stuff I can extract oxygen and power from are horrible gases or slimes. For that, I need to research and build special things - and right now my colonists can barely stay alive and maintain what's already here, let alone take time for research and new constructions. My base is a mess - debris all over the floors, sick and piss (some bottled, some not). What really killed me was food. I hadn't realised how important it is to get a lot of farming going early on, so my colonists have been living on the only thing I can produce - mush bars. As soon as any other crops are grown, my colonists are so hungry they immediately eat them - there's no time for ingredients even to make it to a machine to make better food. Mush bars take a while to make, cost vital water and make your colonists sick. From there it is a slow downward spiral. Your colonists don't have time to do useful things because they are spending most of their time producing food. They get sick and stressed from the food which makes it even worse. Just staying afloat whilst very slowly expanding the base has been a struggle. By the time I made a real farm, it was already too late. Still, it was fun. I like learning these complex systems. It's like Prison Architect but with even more stuff going on. A lot of the basics of base building and stuff like electrics, rooms, piping, gases and such aren't explained at all. So unless you want to spoil it for yourself by watching Youtube or using Wikis, you have to figure it out for yourself. Unfortunately that means you will completely mess up how to lay out your base the first time. They need to give you some more guidelines so you don't waste hours missing some of the most basic essentials. The gameplay loop is compelling though. Although you start around plenty of useful air pockets, underwater lakes and metals - once that starts running out you have to look further afield. And out there it's all horrible gases, weird ores and liquids. So there is this constant pressure of managing your colonists day to day survival and trying to expand your base, whilst planning ahead for when your water runs out, or how you are going to extract oxygen out of that cave nearby. You can't just sit comfortably in one place for too long, because all the resources will run out eventually. There are plenty of annoyances - the priority system is awful (which tells your colonists which tasks are most important), and your colonists get stuck in destructive task loops with no way to pull them out. Hunger seems very hard to manage without a massive amount of pre-planning and game knowledge (there is a bit of an uproar about the new food system in the community, apparently). The job system is deep, but confusing. The interface is full of inconsistencies. Despite this, it looks good, it's compelling, and it has loads of depth (literally and figuratively). It runs well on my shitty old PC as well, which is always a bonus! Looking forward to failing and trying again with my newfound knowledge.
  14. General Gaming Kickstarter Thread

    Good reviews too - here's the Steam Page quotes: “Crossing Souls is a inventive thrill ride that embraces clever, varied gameplay and heartfelt storytelling to coalesce into a gem of a game.” 9/10 – Game Informer “Crossing Souls is a helluva fun ride, and a game I’d strongly recommend...” 9.5/10 – GameSpace “Crossing Souls launches itself into unexpected changes in setting and activity. And that makes it nearly impossible not to enjoy.” Recommended – Eurogamer
  15. Monster Hunter: World

    I've not had to bother with customising meals yet, but I have been doing a lot of ingredients side quests and it is worth it. Even without customising the meals, the new ingredients you unlock in the quests get added to the preset recipes. That means they give you better stat boosts. Does it show the numbers anywhere? Like, if I get a Large Defence boost from a meal, how much is that actually adding to my armour?

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