I’m Playing: Grand Theft Auto V

I recently started replaying the GTAV story missions from the start, having already finished the campaign twice. Before I did this, I took advantage of another perk that comes with using the pirated version of the game rather than the one you paid for: Practically unlimited modding.

Apart from the story being cut short for the benefit of GTAO, the only criticism I have of the game itself is that the tires are slightly too sticky. The game boasts a fantastic handling physics engine, and to have it nerfed is a shame. The same goes for the game’s analogue of the Veyron being merely a supercar. So I applied a mod to improve that.

This mod is better than the others I’ve tried, almost perfect, but modders seem to share a love of exaggerated deformation. Knowing I’m not going to be causing much mayhem on the streets of Los Santos if my wheel locks up after the second hit, I set about doing a little XML hacking. Soon I had all the benefits of the adjusted handling, while preserving the deformation of the original. And it was good.


Posted under Games, Grand Theft Auto, I'm playing, Pictures, Reviews

Still no

I did it. Despite my previous protestations, and saying that I would not. Somehow I got to be in a mood to watch a Star Trek film. One I hadn’t seen a million times already, so it had to be a new one. Yes. I rationalised this by realising that I was in the mood to see any new star trek film, even if it was another terribly bad one, such as “into darkness”.

When I decided to do this, I knew I would like it, and I did. It was fun. Nimoy had a cameo which is sure to make any fan one hundred times as nostalgic than any of his other entries into the reboot, and you know there is another actor you would never see in their role again. At one point it went past fun, and became utterly goofy. You will know which point this is. The film had undeniable strengths. And I don’t feel that it did the series justice.

I had previously been sucked up in the popular belief that the director is the film, when really, it’s the writing on these new sci-fi reboots which is lacking. Obviously this can be influenced by many things, from director input to director execution, not to forget the basic competency of the writer and their suitability to the subject matter. The number of films wrecked by studio interference alone deserves its own sentence.

The new star trek films and the new star wars one are not bad films, but the other thing they all share is a total lack of soul from their subject matter. I wanted to shit on Abrams because he was involved in all of these, but he nailed the star wars look a lot better than Lucas could in the prequels. The fact that Lucas managed to recapture the soul of Star Wars in the prequels however, even expanding on it, is all that kept them afloat over all the heavy-handed CGI. The first film in the Star Trek reboot was fun, a totally acceptable addition to the series, but only because there was just one of them. From here on the writers demonstrated that they had no feel for the series at all. The star wars reboot writers performed similarly, showing all the understanding of the content as someone whose knowledge of the subject ended at having completely read the first wikipedia article on it. Star Trek Beyond gave the distinct impression of flailing in the dark at the core of the series, and many other things. No, Star Trek was not about unity. The Borg were about unity.

If these same films were instead presented as their own thing, not based on other series, they would not be covered in the shame of such wasted potential. If this whacky star trek universe was truly the alternate universe, and we still had premium star trek material available, that would have been great. But what they’re trying to do now is sell two of the most cerebral and spiritual series to people who won’t care tomorrow to recall which film they saw, and that’s never going to work.

Posted under Reviews

I’m playing: No Man’s Sky – quick thoughts and shots

Apparently some people have been having trouble running NMS, but I’m not one of them. It’s very close to what I expected it would be, and for now at least it has me completely riveted. A space exploration game with combat pushes all my buttons but, though I love the idea of it, I’ve never been able to get into something like EVE Online, because of the huge commitment of time that it requires.

I don’t expect to be riveted to NMS for the next two years, although there are changes they could make that would certainly cause that. What I want from it, after the initial shine has worn off, is a game I can pick up and play any time I have a spare half hour for some warping space exploration. So far it seems that it will deliver in this regard.

Right now I still put every spare moment into it, but in the meantime here are some screenshots. (more…)

Posted under Games, I'm playing, No Man's Sky, Pictures, Reviews

That went well

Over the last few months I’ve been putting every spare night I could manage into developing the client for the AGS Awards ceremony 2015. Being that all these chunks of dev time didn’t add up to that many, it took me a fair few missed deadlines to complete the client, but this week I finally went from alpha to RC, and about five minutes after that we held the ceremony. There were quite a few features I had in mind but no time for, and even some that the older client had that I didn’t get around to, but the ceremony itself went very well, especially considering the political strife surrounding the awards this year. There is a recording of the event here, incidentally made by one of the award winners.

So now that I’ve been so diligently working in my spare time, I’m hoping some of that motivational momentum can continue at least until I release my next game. I apologise for being a bad blogger. Truth is that I don’t like to talk about my games very much while I’m making them, but since I brought it up I’ll say one word: Space. I think I might call it ████████ ███, but that might be only a working title.

In terms of blog content, I have also been working on a post about Star Wars (the late Star Wars?), but I don’t want to post it until I have the correct imagery to describe how much of a hack Abrams is. Maybe a black hole that sucks in the best franchises and spews out nothing but half-digested action films? No. Maybe a drunk who is mistaken for an editor because he fell asleep on wet newspaper.

Posted under AGS, Future plans, Games

Postcards from the Commonwealth

Well, not long after the mission in my previous post, I finished the main story. I’ll formulate my thoughts and provide a review at some point, but until then I’ll put some more work in scrounging for X-01 armour and adhesive in the Commonwealth.

To get back to our topic: Proctor Pangaea of Indie-games had an interesting idea with Postcards from the Wasteland [now offline], and I felt it was good enough to rip off:


Posted under Fallout 4, Games, Pictures

I’m playing: Fallout 4 – Glorious Battle

I’m milling about Sanctuary, counting companions, because I’ve misplaced Piper. Somewhere from the white noise of the settlers’ babbling, the information that The Castle is being attacked percolates onto my screen as a note. I’m lucky to notice this because, like too many notes of the same kind, it’s only there for three seconds and then lost forever.

The bell has gathered the residents of Sanctuary into such an impressive gathering that I feel a little guilty for having nothing important to say. I’ve simply mislaid my lover again. I’m in no mood to hear Paladin Danse having a boner every time I do an impact landing, so Strong and I sprint over to the Red Rocket, where I store my power armour. All I’m missing now to have a complete set of X-01 armour is a right leg, and I’d never used it before. So while it was risking overkill, this seemed like a good opportunity to test it. I get into the X-01. “Human look like robot,” Strong ruminates. It’s satisfying turning on the eye lights.


Posted under Fallout 4, Games, I'm playing
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