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  1. I picked this up a few days ago, after reading all the praise here, and elsewhere. I wasn't sure it would be my thing - I've got a few similar type games, and some I loved (Rogue Legacy for example), and some I really didn't get on with (Cave Blazers springs to mind). But this I think is really special. Everything has been honed to feel just right - the movement's a joy, the combat's great, and there are so many nice little touches that make everything feel solid. I was awful at first - rushing in swinging and not paying attention to enemy tells etc. but now that I've calmed down a bit I'm making good progress. I did a few runs where I tried to rely on my shield as much as possible, and that helped enormously. It's the small touches of savagery that make it for me. Bursting enemies with floor drops, stunning them by bursting through doors before dicing them. And the Spartan Boots are so much fun (wouldn't want them after the first couple of levels I think, but until then they're a riot). I want them to turn up every game as my random melee weapon.
  2. MarkN

    Your unearthed gems

    The Hot Rock - a crime caper starring Robert Redford. Redford's gang steal a diamond, lose it again, and then have to try to reclaim it via lots of convoluted shenanigans. Lots of fun. I've never forgotten the phrase "Afghanistan Bananastan" since the first time I saw it over 30 years ago.
  3. MarkN

    Your unearthed gems

    Just a quick heads-up that Top Secret! is on Channel 4 tonight at 12.40 am. I should be nicely drunk by then in time for a re-watch.
  4. MarkN

    Challenge breaking mechanics

    Mine was also Morrowind, but I did it by enchanting. Every single bit of armour I had on me by the endgame was restoring any health I lost, which left me pretty much invulnerable. Nothing could hurt me faster than I could heal. I like that the game allows you to do this if you want. I'm genuinely not that bothered about the story in games, so after I'd gone through the bits that were essential I spent about 60 hours in the game having fun doing my own thing, leaving the main story untouched. After that I probably wouldn't have bothered finishing it, if I hadn't made it an absolute doddle to cruise through.
  5. MarkN

    What Song Are You Listening To Right Now?™

    Listening to McLusky's cracking album McLusky Do Dallas and the track "Gareth Brown Says" comes on. Not a favourite track, but the two opening lines are magnificent (and very NSFW). Wondering if a best opening lines thread would be an idea (if it doesn't exist already)...
  6. MarkN

    Quite possibly...

    I pick away at whichever end seems most likely to give easily with a thumbnail- often the bottom end, rather than the top where the little green hat was. Once I've got a thumb under the skin I start peeling off carefully in all directions, bit by bit. Got to be gentle here. If one direction gives easily I run with it until it gets a bit unwieldy and liable to break, then go back and start a new one The aim is to take it off in one piece, ending up with something that looks a bit like a flattened octopus. Success rate recently is about 75% (most failures happen early on - and it's usually just one bit due to carelessness). As to pith I tend to try to get as much off as I can before breaking it into segments - it's part of the ritual for me; I'll happily spend a good 6 or 7 minutes picking away at it if I'm still making progress. It helps if the pith is nice and stringy rather than the patchy stuff. Takes about 10 minutes to prep, and gets scoffed in 2. It's incredibly messy though, so I only ever eat them when I can wash my hands straight afterwards.
  7. Oh you absolute sod! I've got an old project that I'm looking to resurrect that's a procedurally-generated Paradroid (with Spelunky influences - my favourite old-school game mixed with perhaps my favourite game ever). Happily your game design and mine are worlds apart, and yours looks really cool. All the best with it. I'm definitely up for a bit of that.
  8. MarkN

    Your unearthed gems

    I watched it as a teenager and thought it was hilarious. Watched it many years later and was less impressed. Watched it a few years later whilst quite drunk and thought it was brilliant again. There are some fantastic bits in there. This visual gag is one of my very favourite moments of any spoof film.
  9. MarkN

    Your unearthed gems

    I'll second Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead - really enjoyed that. Some of my favourite films are this sort of things. My memory is dreadful, but off the top of my head: A Simple Plan - when I first saw this I was amazed nobody had raved about it to me beforehand. 3 guys find millions of dollars in a crashed plane and decide to keep it. Such a good film. Open Range - one of my favourite westerns. Long and slow and all the better for it. Up there with Unforgiven for me. Midnight Sting - boxing movie about a bet that a boxer can win ten fights in the same day. Really good fun. Tin Cup - a golf movie that celebrates one of my favourite aspects of sport. Again, great fun. As for TV, how about the World of Pub? Criminally overlooked comedy starring Kevin Eldon, Peter Serafinowicz and Phil Cornwell. You can find most of it online with a quick google I think. Here's a clip of a favourite bit (a little on the gross-out side of things, which isn't representative of the series as a whole).
  10. MarkN

    What are you reading at the moment?

    I'm reading Don Quixote at the moment on my Kindle. It's enjoyable, but very, very long. As light relief I've started to read Penguins Stopped Play by Harry Thompson alongside it. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but it's been brilliant so far. It's about an amateur cricket team's attempt to play cricket in all 7 continents on the planet, and it's wonderfully funny and charming. Knowledge of cricket is beneficial, but it was heartily recommended to me by someone who cares not a jot for the game, so don't let that put you off. I only find time to read when I'm out walking, and I've already had several strange looks after sniggering a bit too hard in public whilst reading this. This bit about a prank played on a team-mate (Bob) who liked a bit of a drink had me chuckling for ages:
  11. Superhoot - an experimental game where time freezes if you stand still, but when you move your avatar keeps doing owl impressions, for no readily apparent reason. It's an FPH (first person hooter).
  12. MarkN

    A Lumines Thread

    I've only dipped into this thread occasionally - and hadn't realised it was on Steam. I *adore* Lumines (I maxed the PSP version score at 999, 999, and played the Vita version to death too), so your post made this an insta-buy. I've only got time for a quick dabble once this has downloaded tonight, but - oh boy! This is getting a righteous seeing-to in the coming days...
  13. MarkN

    Desert Island Discs - game edition.

    I don't do online games, so I've picked 8 that aren't (I guess Minecraft could be, I just wouldn't (I'm a loner, a desert island sounds smashing, quite frankly)). 1. Spelunky (PC) - I still play the daily, have beaten hell dozens of times, but it never gets old. Every day's a new challenge (and I've been rubbish lately (I have a rule that I can't change character until I've beaten Hell, and I've been the chap with the leopard skin hat for the best part of a fortnight now). 2. Dwarf Fortress (PC) - the best game ever made. I haven't played it in 5 years. I've no idea what state it's in. It's still the best game ever made. If I had the cash to retire tomorrow, I'd probably start a game of this. 3. Crusader Kings 2 (PC) - magnificent historical bastard simulator. I'm awful at it, but would like to get better. But just dabbling I can be an absolute monster within half an hour. 4. Robotron - (arcade) - The absolute pinnacle of arcade games. Not my favourite because I'm shit at it. This is quintessential videogame though. The audio is sublime - the soundtrack to my childhood. A good spell on a desert island might see me raise my game. 5. Rez VR (PS4) - I haven't played this yet, but adore Rez to bits. It's magnificent. It's the 3 letter rebuttal to the idea that all boss fights in games are awful. All of Rez's are brilliant. 6. Civilization 4 with all add-ons (PC). I can't not take a Civ game, and this perhaps is the sweet spot (haven't played 6 yet, mind). Me and a couple of mates refer to being in a "Civ-hole" for that one-more-turn scenario that you can't break free of. 7. Minecraft (PC) - I've played so much of this and keep going back. I've come really close to reaching the Ender Dragon maybe half a dozen times, but never bothered to do it. I get distracted by another game, then come back to Minecraft a few months later and start from scratch again. 8. Mr Do. (arcade) Tough call this one - I wanted another cabinet but there are loads that I love to choose from (Pengo, Pooyan, 1942, Mad Planets...) but there's something really lovely about Mr. Do. Really cheerful tunes too - would help keep the spirits up. Hardware is the PSVR to play Rez on. My book would be something nostalgic - 1000 videogames to play before you die, that kind of thing. Something with lots of pretty pictures to paw at futilely whenever my mood takes a turn for the worse.
  14. I played a silly number of hours of Animal Crossing before realising you could stack fruit in the inventory. I'd say the game is to blame for this mind, because it doesn't stack automatically, it makes you do it as busy work, but still the amount of time I wasted clearing up each day before that...
  15. Oh - here we go. I've found it. The reason I love Moby Dick. This is sublime. The perfect set-up, the perfect knock-down, and yet so understated. It's so beautifully written, and yet so very awful. It's as bleak as hell, and that's why I love it.

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