Saturday, 17 November 2012

Lies and Pointy Sticks

I said that I would post more but then took a break... the reason? Guild Wars Mother Fucking 2!!

I bought the first one a week after it came out and clocked hours on that thing. Then I got Fractions, the mathematical expansion pack, which introduced some of the best pvp action in an rpg at the time. Then I got Nightfall and my interest petered out a bit (read, I went to Uni and had other things to do).

Now Arenanet back and with a vengeance. GW2 is one of the best games I have played in a while. The picture above is my current avatar. Humale, a lvl 57 human ranger currently playing on Fissure of Woe (the lowest ranked server in Europe at the moment!).

It is set in the same world as the original but many years in the future. I haven't played enough of the PVE yet to get a good grip on the story beyond it being something about dragons - I have just made my way into the order of whispers, a secret intelligence group protecting the world from evil! The gameplay, however, is where it is at. The skills that your character carries are much more scripted in this game than the original, something that I am not too keen on, but I guess it must make the game easier to balance. However, beyond the 5 weapon skills which are set depending on the weapon you are carrying, you get some options to customize the remaining 5 skill slots. An interesting move in this game is that one of the slots has to be a heal... there are no monk/medic classes so if you can't heal yourself, you are screwed. You then get 3 three class dependent skills and an elite to round things off. This allows for a lot of potential builds and no skill set so far seem outrageously broken. No doubt things like iway will crop up now and then and anet will start nerfing, but until then things look good.

The world is huge. Think Skyrim but bigger. Quests are not your usual kind. There is no journal... just a map that tracks your main quest. Other mini/side quests just happen depending on the area you are in. Centaurs can attack a village and if you just happen to be in the area, defending the village becomes a "quest" etc etc. It hasn't so far become repetitive, so this formula seems to be working.

World V World is a new addition to the game. It is a bit like Alliance battles in fractions, only larger. It pits three whole servers against each other on maps as large as pve instances, and includes forts and castles, siege equipment and supply bases. It is basically a pvp war. Character levels are auto adjusted to 80 (the cap) so everyone can join in and play and the size of mob battles means that newbies can join in without thinking themselves a burden on the team.

Finally comes PvP. I haven't got this far yet because I am stuck on WvW, but all it really has to do is match PvP in the original Guild Wars and I am sure it will be fantastic.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Judgment Time

I watched this on the night it was released. Early evening screening. There were just two other people in the theater and one of them was with me. It just goes to show how detrimental the "18" rating is to films. Essentially, you either hit the "12A" rating or you lose all your money. You can't advertise, you can't put your trailer in other films, you are pretty much screwed before the film is even released.

To be honest, it wasn't a bad film. Granted the acting wasn't very good, especially from the lead female, and the character development sucked - the heroine was a psychic but during the half a dozen situations where that skill would have been massively useful, she forgot she had it, but it was still fun to watch. The world was very well put together and you got a really good cyber punk feel out of it. The 3D was done pretty well too, but to be honest that is coming to be pretty standard.

What I particularly liked was how from the start you knew that no one was a "good guy". It is easy to over -Americanise Judge Dredd and make him in to some kind of hero from the get go, but when it comes down to it, he is essentially the ultimate totalitarian tool. No jury, no lawyer, just your word against a guy licensed to shoot you if you piss him off. In any normal work of fiction, Dredd would be the bad guy.

Probably the best thing about this film were the visuals. The film looked great from the start, especially the shots of the city, which are exactly how I like to see a future portrayed (high tech, low life etc etc). Even when the film moved indoors, it still did not feel too cramped or as if the crew had run out of money and were filming in a wardrobe. Pleasantly surprising is how I would describe this film.

Sunday, 15 July 2012


That last picture reminded me of this song.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

First Time!

Well, I know the big San Diego Comic con is on, but I don't live in the US, so I went to the next best thing! This was a major geek out on my part I must admit...

This was the first time that I have ever been to one of these things, and I must admit it was pretty fun. It was a three day event in all, and on the day I went, the queue to get in was MASSIVE. As in, out the door, down the street, round the corner and down another street massive. I am sure some people must have waited hours to get in. Luckily, I bought my ticket in advance (at no extra cost) and skipped the whole lot!

Generally speaking, the event was great, but there were a few things a bit off. There was supposed to be a gaming section that turned out to be a bit shit. I am not a massive comic fan, so there was a massive section of the event that I pretty much walked through blind (there was a whole host of people who I assume were comic book artists, which, if you are a fan, must have been heaven). There was an anime/manga section too but when push came to shove, I realized that most of it didn't interest me either (some people seem to like anime just because it is anime). But to be honest, I am really being quite bitchy to pick on these bits. I found some nice comics that I actually liked, and save for the conspicuous lack of anything by Urasawa Naoki, the greatest manga writer ever, it was actually alright having a look at everything else (quite a bit of death note running around too which was great). All in all, it was like going to massive forbidden planet store, which is by no means a bad thing in my book.

Moving on, there seemed to be quite a lot of famous individuals at this event, Gillian Anderson, Kevin Sorbo, Anthony Head, to name a few, but there were really only two that I wanted to meet. Christopher Judge (Teal'c) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee). These two were conveniently right next to each other! But not so conveniently, it cost 20 bucks to get an autograph and I am not made of cash, so I settled for Teal'c, and man was it awesome (childhood hero etc etc). 

Anyway, some pictures:

(Huge no?)

 I think the bear was supposed to denote the porno section

 More balcony shots

 Hello Kitty... 

Teal'c! Fuck Yeh!

 Best photo I could get :(


Star Wars is popular 

As is Pokemon 

Fucking Scary 

Didn't even know storm troopers came in these colours 

That's MR KANEDA to you PUNK! 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Fire Stealer

I think I will do this bit of necromancy nice and slowly to ease myself back into this. Wouldn't want to give all you spectator bots writing that has been strained out of the blood of a rock.

PROMETHEUS! First things first. I watched this in 3D and I quite liked this aspect of the film (the whole 3D thing is growing on me slowly). I know most people see 3D as sort of gimmicky, but sometimes it can really add to a film if done correctly. A bit like clever use of surround sound. My only issue with it is, when a complex 3D scene comes on, everything is in focus and it is hard to decide what to look at. It is almost as if there is too much on the screen to process. It is a bit like playing crysis 2 on ultra with everything maxed in the middle of a big scene with a lot happening. There is too much on the screen to take in and you are not quite sure what to look at.

Anyway, on to the film itself. Meh... Stuff happened, things looked shiny, the end. The real problem with the film was that nothing was explained. At the start of the film, an Engineer commits suicide. Why? dunno, and will never find out. Then we find that a lot of civilizations painted Engineers on walls pointing to a set of stars that turned out at the end of the film to be some kind of military base (btw spoilers galore). Why were the Engineers pointing to something that wasn't there home world or even some planet that they might want their children to go to. Why did the Engineers go so far into pointing out this planet to humans if all it was was a death trap? You never find out why they wanted humans to go there either. In fact, you learn nothing about the Engineers. When they first go to the planet, they see a hologram of some aliens running (away?) and one then gets its head chopped off. You never learn why they were running, or where they were running to. You do learn that the place was a storage unit of bio weapons, but the whole thing was secure when the humans came, so it is hardly as if everything went wrong and the aliens bolted. Furthermore, there was more than one ship. Did all of the ships simultaneously fuck up and force the aliens to stick themselves into cold storage? Who knows.

By the end we find out that the aliens are baddies. A few times the characters bring up the topic of why they first made humans, then changed their minds decide to kill them (only they didn't and put themselves in to storage instead to protect them from an enemy that doesn't exist). But this is never answered. It is extremely frustrating the number of times it feels like we may get an answer, but everything just fizzles out and we get nothing.

And then we have the robot. God knows why he did anything he did.

So all in all, not worth watching. Bye.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Well I'll be...

Would you look at that, this blog still exists. I think I will indulge in some necromancy and bring it back to life.