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Alexlotl

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  1. Alexlotl

    Photography Equipment & Software Thread

    I shoot RAW + JPG on my Pen-F and do everything I can to get it right in camera. 70% of the time I'll just use the JPG. The RAW is there as a safety net, in case AWB has farted, I've missed exposure, or if I've screwed up the framing slightly (I shoot 3:2 on an m43 camera, which gives you a slight buffer zone on the long edges, only held in the RAW). I do my fixing in the official Olympus app which is pretty shonky performance and U wise, but exactly replicates the camera processing, which I like. I basically hate post-processing, but having a second chance to get it right the first time is nice!
  2. Alexlotl

    Coffee

    I use an American Press at work these days, it's nice. Basically as good as an Aeropress, IMO - a wee bit more faff to plunge and clean, but better for the office, as you can take it back to your desk and plunge there, and defer cleaning it until the end of the day (while the aeropress you have to clean pretty much straight away). I use it with pre-ground filter coffee; a fresh grind is nicer, but this is good enough. I keep Nespresso pods as emergency backup in case I run out of ground coffee. They make a decent enough long black, but seem really decadent resource-wise - either binning aluminium if you buy the real Nestle ones, or plastic if you get knock-offs (I use CafePod).
  3. Alexlotl

    Games Exchange

    Okay, my not-for-me/doesn’t get played pile is… Ticket To Ride Europe Thurn & Taxis (plus a quite rare Spielbox mini expansion) Elder Sign Roll through the Ages: Bronze Age Origin Sun Tzu Hanabi Anything of interest? I used to own Rio Grande Tikal, beautiful game with lovely mechanics, except it gave me the most awful analysis paralysis.
  4. Alexlotl

    Super Nintendo Appreciation Thread

    Two SNES games from '94, one pixel art, one pre-rendered. To my eyes, one has aged like a fine wine, and the other has aged like Mickey Rourke.
  5. Alexlotl

    Super Nintendo Appreciation Thread

    Other possibly controversial opinion - as the cables on my SFC controllers are too short and I don't have any PAL SNES controllers, I've been using US SNES ones out of necessity. The colours are rubbish, but I was surprised to find that I really think the concave Y and X buttons are superior to the convex ones on the PAL SNES/SFC. I wish they'd done hybrid ones with SFC colours, but US SNES concave X/Y buttons.
  6. Alexlotl

    Super Nintendo Appreciation Thread

    Will that help DKC look good again? The aesthetic has aged very badly, IMO, and when you replace the "wow" factor with an "ugh" factor, it puts extra pressure on the game's bones to stand up to scrutiny, and I'm not that convinced they do. On the SMK front, it's not that it's bad per se, just that it feels more like the idea is better realised by modern MK games (e.g. MK8D) than by the primitive pseudo-3D tech of the time, so I don't get much out of revisiting it. This is in contrast to going back to stuff like Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Sonic the Hedgehog or Streets of Rage 2, which were building on years of evolution in 2D gaming, and were arguably never bettered in that regard.
  7. Alexlotl

    Super Nintendo Appreciation Thread

    Fired up the Super NT last night and enjoyed a half-hour of FFIV, then decided to explore the ROMset on my SD2SNES, which I've filtered down from a full Smokemonster set to only games that I either remember, or sound interesting after 20 seconds of Googling. Last night had a quick pop on: The Addams Family - Ocean in unusually-good movie tie-in shocker! Always liked this on the Amiga, and it still seems to hold up, albiet in a *very* European microcomputer kind of way that feels kind of alien on the SNES. I liked the way all the areas are labelled, which reminded me of Jet Set Willy (complete with one area called "Under the Tree"). Interesting combination of ruthless and generous, with a fragile character in an everything-kills-you envirionment, but with heaps of extra lives available. Donkey Kong Country - my word, this hasn't aged well. The pre-rendered sprites look *far* worse than proper pixel art (at least on a digital display with scanlines - maybe the natural bloom of a CRT hides some of its shame), with horrible, stiff low-frame animation on the enemies, and the levels just feel so... unrigorous. It may just be suffering in comparison to the straight-out-the-gate excellence of Super Mario World, which I spent a fair bit of the weekend playing on a SNES Classic at a gathering of old friends. I had thought I'd revisit this properly at some point, but I might not bother. F-Zero - this is much better than I remember! It might just be that I've never properly played it in 60Hz before (I think this one was infamously unoptimised), but it felt smooth and impressively fast, and it was enjoyable just to navigate the tracks at that speed. Whisper it, but I think it's aged better than the original Mario Kart, which I struggle to go back to after the proper 3D titles (excluding MK64, which is dull dishwater).
  8. Alexlotl

    Games Exchange

    Ooh, I’d love 1960. Any idea if it’s the first or second edition Z-Man one? Should say on the rulebook. Anything in particular you’re looking for? I have a pile of games in the spare bedroom to trade but my in-laws are asleep in there right now, and I can’t remember what’s in the heap!
  9. Alexlotl

    Nintendo Switch

    Worms, though? It’s hardly Crysis 2. What really got me was the lack of any indication that it was loading - just a black screen with no sound, no spinner, no “Loading…”. I’d just installed a SwitchOS update, and I was worried the console was fucked. The load times for literally every other game I have aren’t a problem, or at least are handled more gracefully (e.g. hidden under a bunch of logos etc).
  10. Alexlotl

    Nintendo Switch

    Well, that’s reassuringly appalling. You’d think they could at least spin a logo or something. MK8 takes about 5 seconds.
  11. Alexlotl

    Nintendo Switch

    Tried out my physical Worms WMD from Super Rare Games, and literally takes 1m to get to the title screen, including 15-20 second long spells of just black screens, and lags heavily when autosaving too. Is the eShop one the same, or do I have a duff cart?
  12. Alexlotl

    Super Nintendo Appreciation Thread

    Save-state support coming for the SD2SNES: Amazed at how development on this thing has exploded in the last year.
  13. Alexlotl

    Currently playing...

    Final Fantasy IV: Namingway Edition for the SNES, on my Super NT/SD2SNES combo. Put about an hour into this so far. It's a massive romhack of FF2 US to restore all the axed content from FFIV, restore the difficulty, update various names to match modern FF conventions (e.g. Cure, Cura, Curaga), and massively update the script by magpieing the best from the original Woolsey, the GBA translation, the DS translation and a small amount of original work. The goal is it should feel like a vintage 90s localisation, only done well, rather than being wildly revisionist. It seems pretty good so far. I've historically found FFIV and FFV pretty ugly, but the little sprites look OK with the Super NT's hybrid scanlines and proper aspect ratio. The music is fantastic (sounds a lot better here than I've heard previously, but I haven't tried to play this game in about 12 years, so that might have been the quality of emulation at the time), although the random battle *wrrk wrrk wrrk* transition noise is not very welcome. It's pretty primitive though - things like having to stack your own items(!), having consumable arrows, and the lack of character interaction really stick out. Just got Tellah, bringing my party up to three. Bought Rydia a bow with which she was shit (usually missed, sometimes did 4 damage), then remembered that like Phantasy Star 2, you can use a lot of items for infinite free spells. Using the Rod she started with does sort of magic missile attack that does decent damage - might go and buy one for Tellah too!
  14. Alexlotl

    Rllmuk Fantasy Premier League 2018/19

    Because he's insanely attacking - his heatmaps basically show him playing as a winger, and he got 5 assists in his first 4 games. He basically keeps Sane out of the team when he's fit. Laporte will be good for clean sheets and maybe 1-2 goals a season off set-pieces, I'd guess. I think Guardiola thinks Mendy's a dickhead but loves what he can do.
  15. Alexlotl

    Currently playing...

    Those blobby aliens are trivial-but-dull in open spaces (roll, roll, roll, shoot, roll, roll, roll...) and impossibly cheap in enclosed spaces. The two things that pissed me off the most towards the end: 1) One instance where you have to shoot a door to open it, despite no other door in the game opening when you shoot it. I was legitimately stuck here and had to watch a Let's Play. 2) The fact that the final lift you need to get to escape right at the end of the game (in a room you've not previously been able to enter) is obscured by some foreground scenery, so you'll probably miss it first time. I also felt the potential of the teleporter was never truly realised - I would love to have had it on a big L1 style area. For me, the save system demands too much repetition. Another World (to which this is frequently compared, despite not really being related) also relies on trial and error, but it's a more overtly Dragon's Lairy kind of game, and the restart points are frequent - it's less painful, and you get to feel like a ninja when you get all the sequences right. It reminds me of 90% of PC shareware games in terms of the quality drop-off after the free episodes. Lovely animation, though.
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