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Jamie John

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    Games! Also, books, films, music, headphones and photography
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  1. Prediction time, then: There's also all the stuff with the
  2. Man, that was electrifying. Tony Dalton is God. That smile! Brilliant. What a programme.
  3. I played an hour or so of this tonight and it leaves a very strong first impression. The colour palette, music, secrets, made up alphabet and overall tone (and tuning forks!) are all very Fezzy, which immediately means it's up my street. After hearing some sniffiness about the combat, it seems to be fine so far, too. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in properly.
  4. Got a Switch back in 2017. Built a gaming PC during lockdown 2020, then got a Series X in December that year. Got the PS5 in February 2021, then the OLED Switch in September 2021. I've just bought a used Series S to go downstairs, and I've got a Steam Deck pre-order. I've also got a Quest 2 I've had great experiences on all of these platforms, but, really, I didn't need to get the PS5 - that was an impulse buy during lockdown, at the peak of PS5 mania, and I just so happened to get a stock alert at the right time. I haven't actually turned it on since February, and that was to replay a PS4 game. If I had any courage I'd sell it, but I know I'd just buy another one in a few months' time. The gaming PC was also unnecessary, especially seeing as I bought the GPU before the 3000 series Nvidia cards came out. And, in truth, I just prefer gaming in my comfy chair on the big screen, so even now the relatively modest card that I have is overkill for the older indie games I typically play on it - anything that requires some serious heft I'm far more likely to play on my Series X or PS5. Still, everyone needs a hobby, and if I didn't have 'em all then I'd never have played things like Astro's Playroom, Half-Life Alyx, Metroid Dread or Forza Horizon 5. That's what I tell myself, anyway. I also sold quite a bit to build up enough funds to buy all of the above, including all of my last-gen consoles, and I never buy anything on credit, so I've made my peace with it. I won't be doing it next gen around, though (probably). It does mean now, however, that I feel guilty if I don't use a particular console for a while (my poor PS5!). I was getting pretty good at rotating the consoles I used, but, y'know, Game Pass is just too damn good.
  5. Re. the exploration, I agree that there was more that could have been done here. Nothing major, but maybe little rooms you could find that taught you more of the game's lore, or something similar. From what I recall, Bluepoint did add in some more collectibles and secrets, but some of them are very obscure. Still, this thread has reminded me that this is due a replay of PS5.
  6. The Mandalorian - Series 1 (Disney+) I'm not the biggest Star Wars guy, but, having watched the sequel trilogy for the first time recently, I thought I'd give it a go. It was great! What makes it work is that it's not trying to copy the light vs dark side stuff from the films or tell any grand narrative about the battle between good and evil, but is instead essentially just a sci-fi western with some cool shoot-outs and interesting scenery. The Mandalorian himself is a great character, part Man With No Name, part Batman, but with a heart of gold beneath his (literally) steely exterior. The one bounty per episode structure works well, too, making each episode feel neatly self-contained. It made me smile and chuckle frequently, and the theme tune is excellent. It's not exactly highbrow prestige drama, but then it doesn't try to be; it's just well-paced, tightly-written and compelling fun that knows exactly what it's setting out to achieve and doesn't outstay its welcome. I'm looking forward to going to go straight into season 2. 4/5
  7. There's no dedicated thread for it, so I thought this would be the best place to mention it: Superliminal is great, a mind-bending, perspective-breaking puzzler that starts off a bit too similar to Portal but then starts to really go places, man. And, best of all, it's only three hours long. Definitely check it out. I posted a mini review in the completed games thread:
  8. I'm still chipping away at this, about 12 hours in and up to the Slayer of the Sands boss fight. It's perfectly enjoyable and nice to dip into every now and again, but it's not the sort of game that grabs you by the balls and doesn't let you go. Well, not so far at least - perhaps that will change later. At the moment, it feels like an excellent second game, one that you can always have on the back burner to play before bed, or on the bog, or while you're half paying attention to something else. I've never felt the urge to devote an entire evening to it, but that's ok.
  9. 21. Superliminal (2019) - XSX, via Game Pass I thought this was great. For those who don't know, it's a walking simulator with some light puzzling, all based around perspective and optical illusions. To begin with, however, I was rolling my eyes, thinking it was just going to be another Portal clone. The game starts with you controlling an un-named, unseen, unvoiced protagonist proceeding through a series of sterile, minimally decorated test chambers, a robotic. There's a passive-aggressive female voice in the background telling you what to do, and, here and there, opportunities to sneak a peek behind the curtain and disobey your instructions - all stuff we saw back in 2007 and which has been imitated several times over in other games since then. Pretty quickly, however, Superliminal breaks away from the Portal mould and becomes very much its own thing. To reveal much more would ruin it, but I will say that it goes to some very weird places I was totally not expecting. I spent most of the two and a half hours it took me to get to the credits with a big smile across my face, impressed "Huh" noises escaping every few minutes. The obstacles are never especially testing - in most circumstances you just need to find the way forwards - and compared with something like The Witness or Fez (or, for that matter, Portal), there's little that makes you feel like a genius. But, really, it's not that type of game; if anything, it reminded me more of something like The Unfinished Swan, especially towards the end. You're there for the ride more than the challenge. Yes, very good. Surprisingly profound. Recommended if you're in the mood for something cerebral and (apart from a couple of fiddly bits) friction-free. 8/10 Played in 2022:
  10. I'm quite looking forward to this. McGregor's Obi Wan was one of the few redeemable things from the prequels. Do I need to have caught up with anything going in, or is it largely separate from everything else?
  11. First attempt at a list, bearing in mind that there's a lot I've missed: Breaking Bad The Wire Mad Men The Office (UK version) + the Christmas special Deadwood Better Call Saul The Thick of It Game of Thrones Peep Show Battlestar Galactica Fargo Line of Duty Boardwalk Empire The Office (US version) This Country Treme Chernobyl It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Arrested Development People Just Do Nothing I do love The Wire, but its fifth season does let it down slightly, while Breaking Bad just gets better and better, and led to the creation of Better Call Saul, which has a real shot at knocking The Sopranos from its perch if Gilligan and Gould can stick the landing of the current final season. The Office is the most influential British TV show of the last twenty-odd years and has the best Christmas special of any programme I've ever seen. Deadwood would be higher if it wasn't cut down in its prime. I still need to watch the film! The Thick of It is brilliant and terrifying. That final episode is just chilling and tragic and hilarious. Game of Thrones undoubtedly mucked up its final season, but some episodes just felt like such an event, the thing everyone was talking about. The excitement around the show was better than the show itself.
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