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    Music, noise Making, insects, industrial decay, nature & wild landscapes...

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  1. CS2x


    Is anyone attending the album launch party for this tonight? I’ll be going there on my own.
  2. CS2x

    Robert Logan - Inscape

    Hello rllmuk. My gosh, I really enjoy reading this forum. Again, I really hope this is ok bumping the thread. I wasn’t going to post about this release, but then I figured some might actually enjoy the two new tracks being given away here (and as they’re only on bandcamp they’re easy to miss.) Anyway, to celebrate the New Year this release is being given away. It’s called ‘You, Me’; both tracks were worked on during 2019 and finished towards the eve of 2020: https://robertlogan1.bandcamp.com/album/you-me Slowfoot are also shortly putting out a really, really large collection of unreleased tracks all at once (but these two won’t be on there.) Thanks again!
  3. Interestingly before reading your post I felt to write about the difficulty too. It’s something I’ve come to really appreciate about the game as time has gone on - this journey of feeling pretty overwhelmed, under-equipped, confused and somewhat frustrated at the beginning to feeling much more in control, aware of how deal with dangers and empowered as time has gone on. The difficulty is genuinely spot on for me for the reasons you say. I rarely die now and am more tooled up and experienced (which is satisfying after all that came before), but it doesn’t feel like a breeze either. It somehow still feels very tense at times. It’s neither too easy like The Wind Waker (I suddenly mention that game because it’s another one I love with an atmosphere that makes you forgive any flaws, and I wondered if I was being ‘too easy’ on Death Stranding because I’m a sucker for its setting too - but no, Wind Waker’s flawed difficulty level did affect my enjoyment of the game despite it being completely bewitching otherwise) - DS is not too easy a game like that, but then it hasn’t provided much ‘hardcore’ challenge in a while either. It’s some weird perfect blend of horrible tension and an easy ride.* There are also subtle changes in how the same old threats operate which are keeping things interesting too. (My my only issue is a similar one to the MGS games - I would kind of like it to be less easy to re-load a game. If I got in a real pickle in most Metal Gear Solids I would simply load an earlier save rather then work with my mess, and I find myself doing the same here. However, that’s my own fault for ‘cheating’ and not choosing to go on after drastic mistakes, and I can’t think of design approach to get around this except disallowing custom saves or penalties for loading games all the time...) *There are the difficulty settings of course. I’ve not ever strayed from ‘normal’! (And punishing-mechanics-if-you-don’t-plan-much notwithstanding.)
  4. Enjoyed this little review of the game... ‘Death Stranding was made with love. I want to say it’s “hand crafted” but that’s nonsense and not really descriptive—but holy wow does this game invoke that feeling. Moving on to other games afterwards just feels like a downgrade in almost every way.’ https://thirdcoastreview.com/2019/11/21/game-review-death-stranding/
  5. I think I may need to stop playing this for a bit. Didn’t think the game would be so addictive - and if I see someone wearing a remotely large backpack in the street, I think of Sam and cargo management...
  6. The negative review bombing this has attracted over at Metacritic (user scores) is pretty crazy. I mentioned this in reference to some other earlier online responses, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that since the No Man’s Sky launch. I’ve gone on a few hours in the game and am enjoying it all the more. It’s become quite tense and action packed during certain stretches, which I wasn’t expecting. (The music and sound design for when BTs show up remains intriguing and exciting - as is all the audio stuff that kicks off when you’re discovered by MULES.) So glad I took a risk with this and trusted people’s reactions to the game over here!
  7. It's been great reading people's post-completion reflections here...:) I finally got around the playing this from last Monday, and even though I'm still quite near the beginning am already really enjoying its pacing and world. I can comprehend some of the extreme reactions to the game; had I not been read ahead of time the sort of thing I would be doing, I might've been asking "is this going to be it?" of the gameplay after a few hours. Having said that, its so obviously creative and high quality everything feels so beguiling that it makes you want to keep going regardless. I can't believe how wonderful and addictive it feels to simply walk around and breathe in the bleak virtual air. The social aspect is excellent too. About the reactions I read before playing...I knew the cinematics and imagery would be really stylish, but was expecting the script to be far more ham-fisted than it is. For some reason I always suspected that some of the most critical reviews had somewhat exaggerated issues in the dialog. Granted, I'm not very far in, so perhaps the worst is yet to come - and I know Hideo's writing in previous games hasn't exactly been their strongest aspect - but I've come across moments already that one or two reviews highlighted as awful (the earliest being the description of the word "strand") and actually found them fine in context. In fact, the script hasn't got in the way at all so far, and the acting is predictably ahead of most other games. For whatever reason the oblique oddness of everything and visual approach renders even the more exposition heavy stretches totally acceptable, and to me the writing is subtler and a big improvement over most of the MGS games. The message and characters are really refreshing. But yes, early days...
  8. I mentioned this already, but my days is this thread nice compared to some quarters of the internets. I don’t think I’ve seen such a slew of rage against a new ip since the launch of No Man’s Sky.
  9. I haven’t been able to play it yet, but the posts here - both those really loving it and those somewhere near the opposite - have been a nice reminder why I like this forum more than most other online places for game discussion. Can’t wait to drive in. Having said that, an accusation I keep seeing elsewhere online is “if this wasn’t a Kojima game....” As powerful as branding and names are, I don’t think that’s a particularly thoughtful line of reasoning - at least it especially doesn’t match the kind of milieu of a place like this. Sure, a game like Death Stranding probably wouldn’t get made in the first place without his name, but that says more about the state of big budget media - now that it exists I think those finding they like it here are mostly capable of realising whether they are feeling real emotions about what is going on in front of them. I mean, we might be interested in a new Hideo Kojima game in the same way we’d be interested in something involving Fumito Ueda (Ico) or Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez) or whoever - given track records of a certain kind of freshness. But like anyone here I’d easily admit it if a new product bearing their names was actually really dull (though might be inclined to give some elements the benefit of the doubt if I felt the creators were generally thoughtful.) But apart from that the fan loyalty thing doesn’t make sense at all, does it? And the way it has been expressed here hasn’t been quite like this, but when I did waste time looking at other responses elsewhere the bizarre accusation that anyone enjoying (the obviously boring) experience was only doing so “because” it was a Hideo Kojima game was repeated way too often...for such a patronising and boring idea. That was a long sentence. I also need an editor.
  10. CS2x

    Unable to kill

    Thank you to everyone who has posted here so far - it's been really interesting to read other responses to the issue. A topic like this can be taken the wrong way, so I appreciate the charitable reading of what was said (which came solely from curiosity about whether I was alone in this strange psychological shift - though I agree as games become more photorealistic larger ethical implications around this may have to be re-explored.) It seems like tone, set up, and context are key. Games that are about carnage in a certain bombastic way won't necessarily produce a gag reflex - but others will. Quite a few posts refined and better explained some of what might be going on here - the issue of ludonarrative dissonance in particular, and the example of Uncharted, which I had forgotten about but was the kind of game that is especially relevant to the topic (as well made as that game is.) I sometimes think the way violence and killing is such a given in gaming is a bit of a shame. For the longest time I didn't notice or question it, as it so naturally appeals. I don't know if anyone else was the same, but as a young child I loved drawing and all or most of the drawings were violent - sometimes animals fighting/killing animals, and more often battle scenes with people having sword fights or shooting each other (often with dismembered limbs and heads squirting blood flying all over the page.) I remember my gran asking "do you HAVE to draw pictures of people killing each other all the time?" The thing is, I loved animals (would cry if another pupil so much as stepped on a bee!) and never got in any fights; I could have done with being a bit more aggressive and assertive. All the most gentle people I know now seem make the most brutal and dark virtual/creative stuff. But as much as I can totally recognise that disconnect, as I've seen more of the stuff @MattyP described as bad news I realise I'd be interested in more AAA story-led games doing a 're-boot' on how they think about this cornerstone of gaming. Still, we're in a better place than we have been, right? Was recently reading in that book Replay: The History of Video Games about the "rape simulators" that were popular in Japan in the 80s - until they were eventually banned.
  11. CS2x

    Unable to kill

    Forgive me if this isn’t worthy of a new topic...I was going to post it in the Death Stranding thread in response to some things Hideo Kojima said, but didn't want to derail that discussion. I wanted to ask the forum about a strange change in feelings which only really affects playing games (though I admit to feeling slightly more sensitive to violence or portrayals of brutality in all media in general.) Has anyone noticed a similar about-face towards virtual bloodshed as they've grown older? I noticed it most clearly during Rise of the Tomb Raider, which I had to stop playing because I couldn't stomach killing people any more. That game does render your murders in particular flamboyance and realism, and the option not to kill people that are a potential threat seemed fairly rare. Returning to another playthrough of MGSV was a relief after that, because at least in that game one is usually given a choice and stealth and non-lethal takedowns are rewarded. This is a new reflex that can’t be helped rather than a conscious moral decision. Is it just me changing, or are more games dealing with violence in a different way, beyond improvements in graphical realism and physics engines? Ironically (given how Laura is portrayed) the Tomb Raider reboots and a number of other mainstream games seem...‘indulgent’ in a way I'm not sure I've seen before (games where ridiculous amounts of gore being the point of it all excepted here.) The ethical dimension in all of this and dragging up that old topic of how virtual violence affects violent behaviour is very far from my mind in asking, not least of all because we know the newest studies find no correlation between the two whatsoever. But, while I used to gleefully mow down a continent’s worth of citizens across multiple GTAs, now I feel happiest with Nintendo violence - or knowing there's the option to not kill in stuff on the R-rated end of the gaming spectrum. I'd never want to anything imposed in this area ever, but probably would personally welcome games giving a bit more thought to how players execute ‘obstacles’ and the choices available in navigating enemies. It's one reason I was happy to find out Death Stranding doesn't have eliminating human opposition as a main focus. Kill Bill was great fun to watch and I get the visceral thrill of adding to the body count where games have brilliantly crafted opportunities for rampage and remorseless destruction. I just wonder if anyone else has got weirder/less comfortable about being at the helm of doing this stuff as the events of life roll on?
  12. I thought this was a pretty inspiring (brief) inside look which increased my respect for Hideo Kojima. More than that, it was nice to put a face to the guy behind the music to the trailers (and the MGSV soundtrack.) I'm not sure what he did before these projects, but clearly Ludvig Forssell is an extremely talented guy; the MGSV score was stunningly produced, and the music in the trailers (especially the first few) the main draw for me...along with Yoji Shinkawa's art direction obviously (nice he also made an appearance!)
  13. Great examples & beautifully put...
  14. Thanks for the post, Stanshall. I understand your concerns - and also adored MGSV. It'll be in the feeling of how DS controls (about which I've heard totally conflicting reports), the details of the pacing, and other specifics that will probably make or break whether this will be some kind of potent bleakly meditative experience (with welcome bouts of crazy thrown in) or something so interrupted and jarring to the point of being hard to enjoy. Like I mentioned, I found the launch version of No Man's Sky somehow really engrossing, even a lot of the stuff I had to do to get anywhere that ought to have been tedious. Only a few days till we find out, anyway...! PS - so sorry for the promotion...never again! But two days ago I uploaded a dense 15-minute drone piece about black holes you might enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G-QxBLqZAQ @HarryBizzle...Ah, ok. I probably should have known that about the channel.
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