Disco infern…….no. I’ve bought Ashampoo Burning Studio 21!! Having mysteriously and annoyingly lost the key for Burning Studio 20 which I had planned to be the final CD burner. I’m such a sucker….but I love Ashampoo stuff. They even STILL offer a FREE CD burning tool if you’re happy with just the basics. It just works!! Fuck Nero, it’s hideous, and it always was!
This will be quite the intense week for me if everything comes together.
Hopefully my new router for my shiny new Plusnet internet will arrive by the end of the week – you would hope so considering my activation date is the 2nd of December. Then there is the Prince book from one of his principal photographers, Randee St Nicolas, titled, somewhat unimaginatively, “My Name Is Prince” (a song, incidentally, that Prince released just a year before announcing to the world that his name wasn’t Prince).
Then the long shot – that my replacement rock arrives from my Precious Rocks, Gems and Minerals collection. That would be nice. But then at the end of the week, when I’m still almost dead from the Friday night shift, I’m going to scoot on over to HMV to pick up the Deluxe Edition of the 1999 remastered album. 5 discs!! No less than 2 of these are CDs stuffed full of unreleased songs from around that era. Which makes the measly single CD of unreleased songs we got with the Purple Rain remaster even more bizarre, because by the time Purple Rain came out Prince’s output was FAR more than it was during the 1999 sessions – it was a time, after all, where he was also writing, producing, and invariably singing guide tracks to, albums for other artists – some also on Warner Bros, some not. Purple Rain also didn’t even include the longer version of The Beautiful Ones, which in my opinion was far better than the shorter version he actually released.
All this is this week, and that’s not including my long long drive across Europe, hopefully, in my truck courtesy of course of Euro Truck Simulator 2. I’m going to use my time wisely as I’ve already finished editing my next YouTube video.
I have articles etc planned, it’s just finding the time to set them all out and do all the research for the quotes I’d use etc etc. It’s work!! But it’s fun work.
I’m bereft of inspiration so I’m closing this blog.
Nah not really!! I’ve just been too busy chilling this weekend to put the effort in. Edited and uploaded the next Terminator build video to my YouTube, recorded the next one. Maybe I should edit that tonight and free up even more time next weekend. THAT would be a great move!! But I’m not really known for my great moves….
I also paid out £9.99 for the Skyrim..ahem…”Special Edition”. This, apparently, features “remastered HD textures”, which is presumably why in some areas I’m still seeing blocks of pixels as if the walls were made using fucking Minecraft. The flame effects are also far weaker than games by other developers made around 5 years before Skyrim came out. Honestly, Bethesda have to be one of the weakest developers when it comes to texturing and effects. “Oh but Stephen it’s all in the AI and the story, forget about the graphics!” Yeah that might work – except for the fact that in one of the early fights I was slashing away at an enemy and because he was also being attacked by the man I’d been following, it was as if I was an attack ghost, and I was completely and utterly ignored while he slashed away at my cohort. The story part I can’t comment sufficiently on yet but it’s not the most immersive experience so far! I wouldn’t normally take issue with all this but for the fact that this game is so often held aloft as some sort of ULTIMATE RPG that your game collection simply would not be worth bothering with if you were without it.
The other game I bought right alongside that one was Euro Truck Simulator 2 Gold Edition for the princely sum of £4.87 off CDkeys.com. I’m looking forward to driving my lorry all over Europe but what I’d REALLY enjoy is a car simulator. Why hasn’t anyone made one??!! People have their endless flight simulators, train simulators, and travel hundreds, thousands of miles, for no actual reason at all, so in that regard, why not one for a car??
I’ve decided to move on from Sky Broadband. At first they were quiet, sending me just 1 e-mail saying “sorry you’re leaving – give our team a call and see if there’s anything we can do”. I even received 2 separate letters this morning detailing my departure. But all in all they left me alone (unlike BT when my mum left them, who COLD CALLED her!! Imagine a company that feels perfectly happy cold calling a 72 year old woman who lives on her own. Gives you a measure of the company, doesn’t it…?).
But tonight I came in here to find this:
Considering my new Plusnet Unlimited Fibre is £26.99 a month, that SEEMS like a stonking deal at £23 a month. Until of course, you factor in their “WiFi guarantee” for “just” £4 extra a month. Errr…..yeah…you’ve probably already spotted that brings it back up to what I’m going to be paying with Plusnet. The 2 further idiocies of this of this ‘offer’:
- You’re PAYING EXTRA for it to be reliable in all rooms “or your money back”. So, let me get this straight, you consider it a “good deal” to pay EXTRA for something that should come as standard, but oooh you’ll give me my extra money back if it doesn’t work right…?
- Are you saying if I don’t pay the extra money “it probably won’t work that well in every room”….?!
There’s also that glaring small print, “Prices may change during this period”. Yeah when you say “change” why don’t you JUST be fucking honest : “RISE” is that word you’re looking for there, after the “may” in that sentence. Also I’m going for Plusnet specifically because they now guarantee prices won’t rise during my contract. What they don’t tell you in those ads is that some of the phone calls charges aren’t included in that claim, but this won’t effect me anyway as I’ve now stopped bothering to use my landline (much to the distress of my brain of course – which does heat up and give me a headache if I’m on a mobile call too long).
Finally you’re offering..ahem…’all that’ and you STILL also announce you’d charge me a further £9.95 for router delivery…?!! Hmmm I’ve definitely made the right decision switching here! But as ever, come 18 months time I will be shopping around once more, and who knows, I may kiss and make-up with Sky.
OOOH that word came up underlined – who’d have thought it wasn’t a word! But anyway, I announced my return to Twitter today. And the underwhelming response, when you got 90 odd ‘Followers’, said it all. Reminds me of when I left Facebook, and not 1 single 1 of my “Friends” on there even noticed.
You’re gone for a week and you’re dead! Okay I didn’t and never will have hundreds of Followers, let alone thousands, but I was getting a couple of Likes on almost every post before my account was locked due to my having an opinion. So much about leaving all the simplistic side choosing and binaries thinkers behind on Twitter makes sense – not least for a calm state of mind. Now I would probably be advised “just stay on Twitter and watch but don’t post anything”. Well what’s the point in that?? You may as well just go look at someone’s opinion blog on any given blogging site. Twitter is all about participation. It’s just the kind of participation that’s permitted now is so safe, banal and mediocre it might as well be run by Disney.
As I write I’ve already been commenting, aaaaaarrgghh. It’s like that sore tooth you can’t stop waggling. But stop waggling I must. It’s like a revolving door at Predictability Towers. You call out SJW’s and the hate-filled Alphabet Community and you’re “a right wing Trump supporter”, you call out Donald’s woeful lack of knowledge about anything other than shonky property deals and you’re “a libtard, left wing lunatic”. Most people, probably 90% of Twitter users who are opinionated work in these tragically simplistic binaries. If you ever take a step back from everything, you will see that sometimes those on the right are fucking idiots, and sometimes those on the left are fucking idiots. Likewise, sometimes those on the right are decent people, and those on the left are decent people. There is no ONE SIZE FITS ALL. But people on there insist that there is. Based on 1 sentence you might have upset them with. 1….sentence. 1 sentence in your whole life on this earth, is something you’re basing your bizarre and cretinous stance on. I can’t tolerate people like that and I think it’s starting to be genuinely unhealthy to waste my time on them.
Very excited that this game is already back in stock on cdkeys.com! So much for all the dismissive whiners – it was out of stock on there AND at instant-gaming.com on day of release. I can’t comment on Steam but then who with a brain thinks Steam is the most competitive source for PC games?!
I bought it tonight and I’ve just finished trying it out. And I’m quietly confident about it so far! I don’t know just how big the game is, and I don’t want to look that up to spoil it for myself. But it seems to have the potential to be a grand adventure.
From the trailer it gave out the impression it was a straight shooter. However, this is not the case. Now and again you actually have some dialogue choices:
Now suddenly you’re into RPG territory – and this is fine by me! After all, a straight “let’s shoot all the Terminators and stuff!!” would be extremely short lived wouldn’t it – and you might as well have made a phone game.
The cut-scenes are actually very cinematic – I was really impressed with those. The ‘quests’ are varying in length so far so you don’t get that on rails feeling – equally, although a lot of the play area is conveniently blocked off by rubble you do get a sense of freedom – unlike the totally on-rails experience that the so-called “deep” and “immersive” God Of War gives you, for example, where you are completely unable to deviate from the exact paths the game wants you to take when you’re on foot. Also pleased to report that, much like I think you’d find in reality : fire will burn and kill you. You think this is an insignificant thing to mention…? Not when Ghost Recon: Wildlands considers fire to be simply part of the foliage. I will never forget blowing up a car in that game, climbing on top of the still very much alight car, and…nothing happening to me. Yeah fine realism there, UbiSoft (a studio probably at least 20x the size of Teyon).
But I digress. Back to this game. The game uses the Unreal 4 engine and I have to say makes pretty damn good use of it too. The world is bleak and apocalyptic – which is handy really considering it really needs to be in a game like this! Considering you can wander inside and out of buildings they’ve done a pretty full on job of the game world. The starting scenes certainly were very exciting to play through – definitely reminding me of the opening scenes of Terminator 2. Lighting effects are also used really well.
The music is fairly simple and sounds like it was pretty much all done on a synthesiser – but you know what? So was most of the music for the first Terminator film! And I have to say with total honesty, the simplicity of the music works really well! It gives the game a great atmosphere whilst you’re exploring and so far has been nice and varied.
Being a ‘sort of’ RPG, you also have some skills you can improve, and this is done via a rather simple skills screen:
Also as you can see this same screen gets you your current quests and your Inventory too:
There’s been a HELL of a lot of “trade items” in the short time I’ve played it but so far, I’ve yet to really see what I’m exactly going to be able to trade to of any worth with my dozen milk cartons. But hopefully all this becomes clear as I play further. I’ve also only come across a place to even trade any of them in the form of a crate by the bus (see final screenshot). I don’t know if there will be other places I can trade what is becoming a massive sack full of random stuff.
The voice acting is sadly bringing the game down somewhat. It varies between half decent and mediocre.
But what you REALLY want to know is, “how do those fucking Terminators look, Stephen?!!?!?“. Well, I’m here to report they look FUCKING COOL!!!! I couldn’t a really good look at one of course or I’d have been terminated, but they move really fluidly and the detail is brilliant – for my money this is so far THE BEST representation so far in the gaming world of a Terminator – and Teyon definitely should be proud of that achievement.
So all in all, taking all things into account, this game I would say is: SUCCESS! No it might not be THE slickest game out there in terms of gameplay mechanics and graphics and voice acting. Who cares?! What you get a sense of playing just the first half hour or so of this game is the effort and love they’ve put into this game. And also do take into account the comparisons I’ve made with game developers with far deeper pockets than this one has. I recommend it. 4/5 stars.
I’ve done it!! I’ve fucking gone and done it!! I’ve signed myself up to PlusNet Fibre for £26.99 a month. They also had a Black Friday offer of eliminating their usual £9.99 activation fee (something I know they aren’t bullshitting customers about because I’ve seen they do normally charge that).
Gone are the days where you had to call up your current ISP, completely unhappy, yet would half the time be cajoled to staying with them after all, with some feeble token gesture of entrapment. I can well imagine many thousands of people too timid to stand up to them just backing down and staying tied down for another year. Well NOT ANYMORE!!
It’s a wonderful thing feeling so in control of something that’s so essential in this day and age.
Okay disclaimer: I LIKE TheTimTracker on YouTube, they’re a really lovely couple, extremely competent YouTubers and aren’t deserving of all the hate they get. BUT…
A WHEELCHAIR, because you’re pregnant….???!? Sorry but is pregnancy some form of severe illness…?? I’ve lost count of the number of really heavily pregnant women I’ve seen waddling around, somehow managing to not die. Is this some bizarre new snowflakey thing someone’s told them in their comments section: “DON’T walk when nearly due – the pounding of your feet on the pavement can send vibrations through your body that can really harm your baby!!!”..? These people are getting really, REALLY weird (the rabid baby fraternity, not Jen and Tim).
*UPDATE*: I since found out that Jen had actually sprained something, and she was back up on her feet as per normal a couple of still pregnant videos later. So I take it all back this time.
Yep that’s right I tried out Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration today. I didn’t ramp up ALL the details to max, but most of them – and I’m pleased to report it runs smooth as silk on my fucking beast of a PC. I may continue to push the remaining handful of detail level settings to max and see what happens.
The opening sees you, as Lara of course, walking up a snowy mountain peak, then trying to reach the summit. The graphics were beautiful, the music score was soaring. Clearly this game has very high production values – it was all great. BUT..the whole time I was trying to traverse about with the grappling hook, I was just itching to use the PS4 controller. This is what I suspected might be the case. Every fibre of the game-play mechanics just oozes console controller method. On the one hand it’s a shame because from the evidence I’ve seen the PC version looks way superior to the version that’s on even the PS4 Pro. But on the other hand, come on, it’s Tomb Raider – shouldn’t it always play better on a console…?
Seeing what I have and experienced what I have so far even in the short time I tried it out completely sold me on getting the PS4 version. And who knows – maybe they’ve pushed out some graphics upgrades since that comparison video was made. Maybe too they might even push out another one for the PS5 – and you’ll see levels of detail more akin to the PC version. We already know the PS5 will mercifully run PS4 games so you won’t need to hope for a re-release of this title.