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Jamie John

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Everything posted by Jamie John

  1. I want to to replay RDR2. Are there any plans whatsoever for a current gen remaster or FPS update?
  2. There's another article on Nintendo Life saying that they have reconfirmed their release dates for their upcoming big games and BotW is still scheduled for Spring 2023.
  3. [Mate, I'm still trying to get my head around the controls and camera in this old-ass fucking game. Screw making it any harder for myself. Plus, there are so many cool weapons at you that it'd be a shame not to use them. I've been following a self-imposed rule of using the tranq gun on regular enemies in the first instance and trying to be stealthy, but when things go to shit I'm reaching for my AK faster than Ice Cube.]
  4. Play session 8 Not wanting to miss my date with Eva in our cosy mountain shack, I soldiered on through the stretch of jungle behind the warehouse, having used the keycard Granin had given me earlier. Apart from raiding an enemy base on my way through, there wasn't much to report. This was until I reached a particularly dense area of undergrowth that lay in the shadows of the summits I was due to ascend. It was here that I was confronted by The End, the ancient sniper dude that I had been warned about: It seemed that he had been waiting for me all this time, and even though I couldn't see him, his voice and the forest's seemed to be one and the same. Freaking out slightly, I ducked down behind a tree and rang Eva for some encouragement. Her suggestion, however, that this guy was able to restore health using the sun, like Superman, didn't do much to quell my rising panic: What followed was a tense sniper battle across three different areas of the jungle. To begin with, this geriatric was always two steps ahead of me, shooting from the shadows before disappearing into the trees, the sunshine glinting off his scope the only indication he was there: He got me good a couple of times, including a tranquiliser dart right between the eyes: Just as I was beginning to get frustrated, however, I figured him out, and using a combination of my directional microphone, thermal goggles and AP Sensor, I eventually was able to find him before he could get a bead on me. Plus, I murdered his parrot, which appeared to upset him a lot: After that, things were pretty simple and I was able to get the drop on him with relative ease. I felt kind of bad about chasing this old guy through the jungle with a shotgun, Benny Hill style, but I'd be buggered if I was going to miss my alone time with Eva, so he had to go. At long last, it was over. With my final shot he collapsed, and after he had said one last goodbye to his spectral parrot, it was the end for The End, popping his clogs and his dentures simultaneously before exploding in a manner I'd now become used to: From there I made my way through a short tunnel leading to a convenient but very, very tall ladder that seemed to ascend directly to the peaks I was aiming for: It was a long and tedious climb, not to mention unsafe - one slip would send me plummeting hundreds of feet to the cold concrete below. I remember thinking it strange that the reds had gone to the trouble of building this huge shaft through the mountain, yet hadn't bothered to install a simple lift to take people to the top, but I suppose that's communism for you. Anyway, I hummed a little tune to myself in order to pass the time, trying not to look down. It felt like I was in a dream. Rung by rung, I gradually arrived at the top of the ladder and, after a quick rest and some instant noodles to refresh myself, I emerged into an entirely different environment from what I'd been used to thus far. I relished the opportunity to get out of my green camouflage and try something with more earthy tones, which were a great fit for these rockier and decidedly more barren surroundings. Further progress up the mountain was fairly unremarkable, until I came to a series of open switchbacks set into the side of a cliff, overlooked by a chopper making periodic sweeps and packing some heavy ordnance: With my Desert Tiger camo donned, however, I had nothing to fear and was able to sneak up the path with ease, jumping out from behind rocks to tranquilise or otherwise incapacitate the patrolling guards. As I was about to move on, I couldn't hope but notice an unarmed AA gun and, deciding that this would be a good way to rid myself of the pesky helicopter, I foolishly chose to hop on and take aim: Initially, this went well, and I was able to rip through the chopper from close range, sending it spiralling to the rocks below. When this helicopter was immediately replaced with another one, however, I didn't fare so well, falling foul of its relentless barrage of rockets: Making a desperate escape to a nearby shack, as luck would have it, I came across a rocket launcher of my own. Casting aside premonitions of my inevitable doom and equipping the bazooka with glee, I carefully chose my moment, aligned the crosshairs, pulled the trigger and it was goodnight chopper número dos: After all that, I was feeling downright knackered, but there was no rest for the wicked, nor parrot killers, so I couldn't stop. And besides, I had a date to keep.
  5. Aye - I watched the making of docs afterwards and for some shots they had about ten cameras hidden in the van.
  6. Indeed. There's also the suggest that the most recent victim of Gene's new scam,
  7. Under the Skin (2013) - Blu-Ray I happened to pop into CEX yesterday and saw this on the shelf for a few quid. I hadn't watched it in about five years, so decided to give it another spin, and I was pleased to find that it remains just as brilliant as it did the first time I saw it. Scarlett Johansson - Hollywood starlet, Black Widow, 21st century sex symbol - on the grey, rainy streets of Glasgow, driving a Ford Transit, passing a Greggs, asking for directions to the M8, is just so jarringly fucking surreal, even more so than the parts of the film which are more deliberately surreal (like when she's leading pigeon chested men with throbbing erections to a fate worse than death). I think it must be the juxtaposition that does it. She's just so very, very good looking, in a rarefied, exotic sort of way. She doesn't belong anywhere near a Greggs. Greggs is a Scarlett Johansson-free zone. And yet she's there, right there on the screen in front of you, or she's driving through a Scottish council estate under yellow sodium lighting, or watching Tommy Cooper with a plate of fast-congealing beans on her lap, sat on the same faux-leather cream sofa that my nan had in the early 2000s. It's almost like it's a joke, or a sketch of some kind - you keep expecting her to break character and turn to the camera, or for part of the set to collapse behind her - but there is no joke, and, in fact, there's so very little levity in this film whatsoever that the weirdness and the imagery and the music and the unrelenting fucking menace of it all combine to create this completely singular, anxiety-inducing atmosphere that I found utterly compelling. It's an inspired piece of casting, as good as Kingsley in Sexy Beast, the director's second film. And the beach scene with the baby was perhaps even more horrendous than the first time I watched it because I knew it was coming. One of the most horrifying things I've ever seen in a film, and not a drop of blood nor line of dialogue in it. Superb. Why watch new films when you can just watch old ones you already know are fantastic? 5/5
  8. @Popo - yep. My optimism in Jimmy's future was evidently naïve! I really want to know
  9. Do I need an SD card if I want to install just one ROM at a time? I don't want hundreds of games I'll just flit between.
  10. Flowers for Algernon, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Exorcist and The Martian are all books from @Stopharage's list I've read in recent years that I can recommend.
  11. It's 1st August and there's a clear winner, so Streets of Rage 4 has just been purchased for £10.89 on the Switch. I'll definitely play the other two at some point, however. Thanks to everyone who took part in the poll!
  12. Stranger Things - Series 4 (Netflix) The bagginess of the episodes really brought this down for me, despite some great moments. And there are far too many boring characters now. I really don't get why some people are so head over heels about this. 2/5
  13. 10/24 - Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel It's taken me over a month to get through this, and with less than half of 2022 now remaining, I can't see myself reading 24 books this year. I definitely did enjoy it, and I now want to read the sequel, but bugger me if it's not hard work in places. As mentioned earlier in the thread, Mantel has the irritating habit of using the pronoun 'he' not necessarily to indicate the male character most recently referred to, but rather to just refer to Cromwell himself. For example, there might be a conversation between Henry VIII, Cromwell, Thomas Cranmer and Lord Norfolk, and after Henry has finished a lengthy speech, Mantel will just write "He says [blah]" or "He does [such and such]", leading you (the reader) to think that she's still referring to Henry, when she's in fact talking about Cromwell. It was a stylistic choice that I just couldn't get used to, even after nearly 600 pages, and led to me having to frequently re-read passages so I could figured out who the fuck she was talking about. She's also pretty light on exposition in general, just stating place names or manor houses with little description, leaving you to fill in the gaps before she immediately starts bombarding you with a melange of direct speech, indirect speech and internal monologue, often inconsistently punctuated, so you feel like you're reading a play without the stage directions more than you are a novel. It doesn't help, either, that she'll often refer to characters by their title or the area of the country that they own ('Norfolk', 'Winchester', 'Archbishop') rather than their name, especially when characters' titles change several times throughout the book. Nor does it help that she will suddenly reintroduced characters from 100 pages ago without reminding you who they are. And it really doesn't help that every fucker is either called Thomas or Mary. I was reading the Kindle edition, but I think I'd have been able to parse all the different characters more easily if I was reading the print version, with easy access to the lists of characters and the various places they inhabit at the front of the book) Still, all that being said, if you can see past the stylistic quirks then this is definitely a piece of Literature with a capital L that I can appreciate. It truly is meticulously researched, and some of the prose is inspired. Now that I've finished it and have a good grasp of what's going on and who everyone is, I kind of feel like I should read it again, but I'll probably just watch the BBC adaptation with Mark Rylance instead.
  14. Akira (1988) - Netflix It had been a good 10 years since I last saw this, so when it popped up on Netflix I thought I'd give it another go. A few things struck me particularly this time around. First, it absolutely holds up. Some of the animation remains just fucking awesome: Kaneda's bike slide, Tetsuo's transformation at the end, the nightmare sequences with the freaky children's toys - all of that stuff is still really great, and it's hard to believe that this came out in the late 80s. Compare it with what was going on in the west in 1988 - the aforementioned Bloodsport with its comedy testicle punching; Schwarzenegger phoning it in in Red Head; fucking Crocodile Dundee - and this is leagues ahead. Second, I'd forgotten how violent this was. Again, when you consider it came out 34 years ago, some of the stuff where Tetsuo is just straight-up exploding dudes with his mind powers, in pretty graphic detail, took me by surprise, as well as the bits where you see dozens of innocent civilians being shot or caught up in explosions. It's hard to imagine any of that sort of thing in a film from time that wasn't a bloody horror movie. Third, and I've no doubt that I'm not the first to make this comparison, but Squaresoft ripped off this film shamelessly when they made FF7. Entire images have more or less been lifted straight from it. Some that I noticed were: The oddly spherical and knobbly slide in playground in the middle of Midgar being very similar to the one Testuo climbs in the dream sequence pictured above: The entire bike chase section at the start of Akira being an obvious influence on the motorbike escape from Shinra HQ: Tetsuo and Sephiroth walking in and out of fire: I could go on (FF7's Midgar and Akira's Neotokyo being very similar; AVALANCHE and the resistance movement in Akira going around blowing stuff up and being dubbed 'terrorists'; Akira himself and Jenova in FF7 - two extremely powerful, otherworldly beings who are kept in cold storage and then exhumed by the antagonists of both film and game, with catastrophic results). Like I say, I'm sure I'm not the first to draw these comparisons, but one I saw the first one it was difficult to stop. Anyway, Akira remains a must see. 5/5
  15. Checking in for the end of July. This was an eventful month: my Steam Deck arrived, and (after far too much deliberation) I've decided to keep it. In order to pay for it, however, I had to sell my Oculus Quest 2. I was sad to see it go, especially as, if I want to rebuy one in the future, I'll have to pay more money for it now that Zuckerberg is whacking the price up by £100. Really, though, it just wasn't being played - I hadn't touched it since February - nor was I especially interested in buying any more games for it, so selling it was probably the best thing to do. Doing so knocked six games I'd bought for it off of my pile in one fell swoop, which (it's sad to say) I considered one of the positives when I was weighing up whether to sell it. As a result, I've gone from 25 to 18 games in the backlog, and it feels like the end is in sight, which is a nice feeling to have. My current backlog: (Highlighted games are ones I've started but not finished.) Additionally, the Steam Deck means that lots of the PC games I'd previously been putting off are now in with a real chance of getting played. That is, if I can stop using the Deck to replay old favourites, midway as I am at the moment through another run of the fantastic Disco Elysium, which, if anything, is better the second time around. That said, I'm off on holiday at the end of next week and will be taking both my Deck and Switch with me, so I'm hoping to tick a couple off my list in August. As for new purchases, I posted a poll recently as I was unsure of what to buy next, but there was a clear winner, so I'll be getting that tomorrow, ready for the holiday. I might as well post it now: 1. Inscryption (PC) - 7/1/22 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4) - 28/1/22 3. Elden Ring (XSX) - 21/02/22 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) - 25/03/22 5. Dragon Quest XI: Definitive Edition (Switch) - 28/4/22 6. Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5) - 27/5/22 7. Sifu: Vengeance Edition (PS5) - 6/7/22 8. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch) - 1/8/22 9. 10. 11. 12. Once Disco is out of the way, I'm looking forward to trying it on dat OLED screen and seeing if I can get into it a little bit more this time around after failing to when it was on Game Pass. Looking ahead to the final third of 2022, God of War: Ragnarok is the only dead cert there, now scheduled for November. Apart from that, I do still want to play Neon White after all the hype, so I'll try to squeeze that in somewhere. Stray, too, and maybe the Callisto Protocol come December, although it doesn't strike me as an especially Christmassy game, and one that I imagine will come down in price drastically in the new year, so we'll see. Lastly, after all the positive reviews it's received, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has piqued my interest, but I need to actually get round to trying the Switch port of the original game first. And, as ever, there's a shitload of stuff on Game Pass that I've been neglecting, too. A good month, all in all!
  16. Has anyone found an elegant way of charging their Deck on a surface, like a docking cradle or something similar? I'm not bothered about connecting it to my TV or anything; I just want to house it somewhere to charge it when I'm not using it.
  17. Listen, if you'd watched this for the first time when you were 14 with three other mates on a sleepover, like I did, you'd appreciate it.
  18. Play session 7 Following on from last time, I made my way through the trap-laden forest on the outskirts of the lab where Sokolov was reportedly being held, hitting only one or two minor snags on the way. Before long, however, I was within the compound walls and sneaking things up like a good'un. I infiltrated the lab proper and took the opportunity to equip the scientist disguise that Eva had given me, plus a super ugly mask of some dweeb with a bad haircut. My camouflage was a resounding success, however: the guards didn't even deign to look in my direction, and the other scientists were too socially awkward to make eye contact with me and realise I wasn't one of their fellows, so I had the run of the place. Eventually, I made my downstairs to where Sokolov was holed up. It turned out that Sokolov had been packing on the pounds since I last saw him, as well as re-growing his hair. He was also now calling himself 'Grenin': It transpired that this dude wasn't actually Sokolov in disguise after all, but was actually one of his colleagues-cum-rivals. Granin told me that he had been working on something even more revolutionary and potentially devastating than the Shagohod: a bipedal tank armed with nuclear weapons, able to navigate any terrain and fire off a warhead from anywhere on the planet - the Soviet's very own... "METAL GEAR". I took a moment to savour the phrase: But, as it happened, Granin was pissed off that Volgin had chosen Sokolov's tank baby over his, and was getting on the sauce bigtime as a result, taking frequent swigs from his hipflask. He spoke to my about something called The Philosopher's Legacy - essentially a shitload of cash that Volgin's rich daddy had passed onto him in order to bankroll this entire operation. He also informed me that my princess was in another castle: Sokolov had been taken to Groznyj Grad, an all but impenetrable military fortress, to put the final touches on the Shagohod. Luckily, Granin felt put out enough by Volgin and his crew to help me, letting me know of a secret way into this place: In exchange for this hot tip, he only asked that I save Sokolov and destroy the Shagohod, which, seeing as they were two of my mission objectives anyway, I immediately agreed to. He then gave me a key card and told me to retrace my steps; the route to Groznyj lay back through a warehouse I'd already passed, then a deep jungle, then up through the mountains. I left him to his booze and then made my way back via the route I had come. As ever, I stuck to the shadows, blended effortlessly into the environment and became one with my surroundings: My confidence was checked, however, when I found myself back in the curiously booby-trapped forest I'd navigated on the way here, where I immediately took an arrow to the knee: I was about to hand in my adventurer card then and there, but I had to deal with another one of The Boss's freakish scions first. This time it was that weirdo with the long tongue and the somewhat distracting habit of dislocating his limbs and climbing up vertical surfaces backwards. 'The Fear', he said his name was. As well as his spidey skills, The Fear was also able to turn invisible thanks to some fancy camo he had. I Fear-ed () the worst at first, but then remembered that I'd picked up some thermal goggles in my travels. With these equipped, his tricks and wily ways were all for naught, and it was a simple matter of just shotgunning him in the face each time he got near. Before long, he was toast, exploding in indignation, in must the same way as The Pain had: Deciding to keep my adventurer card for now, I continued on my way, back through the warehouse, using my newly-acquired key card to take an alternative exit. It was at this point I received a call from Eva, wanting to catch up. I'd been expecting this: my tactic of not being the one to call her first had paid off. She told me about some place further ahead where she wanted to meet me, apparently to 'Discuss the mission', but I knew her game: She also mentioned that a guy called 'The End' was going to be waiting for me en route - the old geezer in the wheelchair, who I'd previously decided not to shoot in the back, was apparently some superhuman marksman: Far from heeding Eva's warning to be careful about this guy, however, I took the opportunity to absolutely smash her with some tremendous punning. She chose to end the call as soon as I said this, no doubt because she was still playing hard to get and didn't want to betray how much my razor wit had sent her spiralling into fits of incandescent desire. Anyway, I figured that I'd deal with this 'End' guy no problem and get to mine and Eva's cosy mountain shack tout suite, before the effects of my ready repartee and salacious wordplay had worn off.
  19. Actually, just watch this from Ong-Bak (2003): Much better.
  20. Headshot (2016) - Netflix I really fancied watching The Raid again, but unfortunately it's not on any of my streaming services, so this looked like the next best thing, seeing as it was also an Indonesian action move, starring the same bloke. Unlike The Raid, however, this was pretty paptacular. The fights, when they came, were mildly interesting, but focused a lot more on ultraviolence and characters using various weapons to maim each other than they did on creatively-choreographed martial arts. The bits between the fights, meanwhile, were woefully written and entirely uninteresting, dragging the film out for every minute of its two hour runtime. Best watched with something nearby to distract you in the non-fighty bits. 2/5
  21. It's interesting that that particular video is taken from a section where there's only one 2D 'plane' for the character and enemies to stand on. Whenever I do play these sorts of beat-em-ups I always find navigating the Z axis difficult.
  22. Well, I only played it for an hour or so and felt like I didn't really give it enough of a chance. There have been other games like that which I've initially abandoned, only to come back to and really enjoy. Plus, the fact that I played it on Game Pass meant that I was able to just ditch it without feeling like I'd wasted my money, but if I actually paid for it then I'd be more inclined to commit to it properly.
  23. What are people's experiences of using the Heroic Game Launcher to run Epic Store games? I'm currently using it to play Disco Elysium, which I don't think of as an especially demanding game. I burn through the battery in about 80 minutes and it makes the fan whirr up something chronic. Plus, the console gets pretty hot. Is this just the game being unoptimised, or is it because I'm running an app, running a storefront, which is in turn running the game? Do native Steam games tend not to have these issues?
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