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Messages - Professor Bear

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1
Announcements / Re: Dave Evans, R.I.P.
« on: 10 May, 2021, 01:35:10 PM »
A mate's turnaround from major depression came after he rang The Samaritans a few times, yet he still insists they were of no help whatsoever because "all they did was listen while I did all the talking."  Which is, of course, the point.
If you feel you can't talk to friends or family, there are still people you can talk to in confidentiality, and it might be all you need.

2
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 09 May, 2021, 04:21:29 PM »
Labour need to realise that they need to cooperate in elections with other parties and, crucially, agree to electoral reform. Instead they are stuck in a 90s mindset.

The LibDems expressly and repeatedly said they wouldn't work with Labour in 2019.  At this point the SNP would be mad to.

This isn't a dig at you, Calhab, but the loudest proponents of PR I've seen online are always a bit iffy on the specifics, making me view PR as little better than magical thinking.  Britain is a racist country, and PR would see thugs like the BNP go from the lunatic fringe to making policy decisions on councils overnight, and I'm not sure I want to just greenlight that without discussing the finer details a bit first.
For what it's worth, we have PR over here in Northern Ireland, and to put it mildly, it did not solve the problems of a polorised political community and a two-party system.

3
Announcements / Re: Dave Evans, R.I.P.
« on: 07 May, 2021, 01:36:10 PM »
Gut-punched.
Was working on a thing with him at the moment and his contribution has gone far beyond just the lettering, much as it has for all the time I've been dabbling in indie comics and had the good fortune to work with him.  Nurturing and patient to a fault.

Godspeed, Dave.

4
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 07 May, 2021, 11:14:30 AM »
"Electable" is such a weird word.  It can mean anything.

5
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 05 May, 2021, 12:27:31 PM »
Keir Starmer says he's "a man"

You've taken this out of context - the full quote is "I'm a man who can't stand injustice."
Which is... an interesting statement from someone who's personally overseen a CPS drive to prevent the trials of dozens of rapists, quashed investigations into human rights abuses in for-profit detention centers, conducted what seems to some objective observers to be a targeted campaign of suspension and harassment of left-wing Jews in the Labour Party, and settled out of court for a case that lawyers had said could easily be won.  At the very least I'm thinking Sir Keith isn't much of a lawyer.

6
Games / Re: Last game played...
« on: 03 May, 2021, 05:18:49 PM »
I've bailed on The Last of Us 2.

It is dripping with quality and clearly very good but there are a few things that I just can't be bothered with.

I don't much care about Ellie.  I think I related more to playing as Joel in the first game.

I don't much care about the bad guys.  Some random group that Joel pissed off some time in the past?  It reminds me of s5 of Breaking Bad in that he'd fought the local drug kingpins and then the cartel but s5 was about some random group of meth heads. 

There's way too much story/talking.  It's at Metal Gear Solid levels.  It's not like any of it is interesting.

Ellie is going to confront a whole gang by herself?  And then a girl tags along because they had an awkward kiss?  She's going to travel to Seattle in the snow wearing jeans?

I found the controls a bit sluggish and weirdly I couldn't figure out if I wanted to invert Y because everything felt a bit 'off'.

Main one though is that I'm a bit done with games that have me scutting around abandoned supermarkets looking for bandages or some shit.  Fallout 3 turned me off to that sort of thing and I've never enjoyed it since.

Honestly, take the best four or five hours and make an amazing game.  35 hours of this stuff?  Life's too long to fill it with stuff like this.


Haven't played it in a while, but all the shortcomings you raise are actually addressed in the game story (even the "scutting about" - just as it was in Fallout 3 - is part of the thematic narrative), and while some of the answers you find elusive are admittedly obtuse by design, others are starkly obvious, like Ellie and Dina's relationship: you spend the opening chapter of the game with the characters as they travel from one point to another occasionally flirting and/or checking out romantic vistas while the usually tight-lipped and guarded Ellie opens up about her feelings, before the pair finally get high and lez up.  I mean, if you're still wondering if they're close at that stage, I don't know what else to tell you.  Likewise the "random group Joel pissed off" is a continent-wide paramilitary organisation that scapegoats Joel for their decline, and even at their rock bottom is holding Seattle with a massive military force that fetishises strength.  It's all in there, someplace or other.
As for the gameplay, I highly recommend checking out the "accessibility" options, as far from simply making the game playable for people with visual, aural or motor impairment, the various tweaks can be used to sidestep elements of the gameplay you find frustrating or problematic - I know of at least one player in his 70s who found the colour blind and easy sneaking modes invaluable, and because of them, this remains the only videogame he can recall ever finishing.

Subnautica - worth what I paid for it (it's freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee), as I went platinum a couple weeks ago and yet I'm still pissing about.  The large sandbox hoodwinks you into thinking you aren't playing a linear narrative, but this is cunning game design that happily sidesteps the usual boredom-inducing pitfalls I associate with backtracking to previously-visited areas.
Fun while it lasted, and I suspect they may have successfully suckered me into shelling out for the (not free) sequel.
Pointless observation: the amount of times the "seek fluid intake" warning went off, it's clear to me that that the main character is pissing in that wetsuit.  The dirty freak.

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap - fun and largely-overlooked addition to the franchise that plays great on a PSP loaded with homebrew emulators.  I do actually have it on GBA cart, but my old man eyes are sadly no longer up to using that console anymore, meaning I had to upgrade to the larger handheld and unashamed piracy to get my fix of androgynous elf puzzle-solving and wanton genocide of all shrubbery in the hope of finding loose change.  The weapon/tool-switching feels a bit clunky these days, but this is still solid game design, and a contemporary release wouldn't see it out of place alongside the output of retro-gaming publishers like Ratalaika.

7
Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 28 April, 2021, 02:07:55 PM »
Stowaway effectively answers the oft-answered question, "what if Cold Equations, but tone deaf and stupid?"
On Youtube alone you can view an audiobook reading of the original story, a stage adaptation, an episode of the Twilight Zone adapting the story, an episode of X Minus One adapting the story, and - my personal favorite in this instance - a movie adaptation made just three years ago that was named Stowaway, so it's fair to say that these themes have been well-explored and the makers of the Netflix outing had a broad range of interpretations of the material to draw upon so that they could either produce the best possible version of the story to date, or at least could avoid the misogynistic subtext of chucking a woman under the bus so a man could feel sad for surviving.  It is therefore commendable, in a way, that the makers found a way to do none of that and instead replicate the flaws of the story, troubling subtext included, and yet also compound them, with a male character being deemed worthy of salvation through the sacrifice of a female character because he once saved another unrelated female from a fire.
The original story is notoriously derided by actual space boffins because while the physics are sound, the central conundrum only occurs because of incredibly poor redundancy planning for such a critical mission, and that criticism still applies here, but the film isn't really worthy of that kind of critical appraisal because it's mostly just emo flab and tedious space walks.

Mortal Kombat - well, this wasn't very good.  There seems little point dismantling it, but my main takeaway was that it was quite well-made, and that if someone had a good script to work with, they might have made an entertaining film.  As it is, it just takes itself too seriously, yet is too silly to be taken seriously.  The 1995 movie somehow managed this balancing act and has gone on to become a beer and pizza movie staple, and I don't know about the director of the new MK, but I for one would be terribly embarrassed if the director of the Resident Evil movies displayed a greater understanding of tonal consistency and self-awareness.

8
Off Topic / Re: Y'know what really grinds my gears?
« on: 25 April, 2021, 10:25:10 PM »
As I recall, Ebay and Paypal used to be the same company, but Ebay split it off into a financially distinct entity so that they could charge an extra fee for the (automated) payment process.

9
As we often moan about every good Epic (why do I keep putting that with a capital?!?) needs to have epilogues to give it real importance

Except, ironically, Necropolis, which instead reads like the epilogue to all the Judge Dredd stories that went before it.

10
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 19 April, 2021, 09:07:45 PM »
Yeah, Sir Keith pretty much had a PR win until he fucked it.

11
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 19 April, 2021, 08:42:37 PM »
I admit I am playing armchair politician here, but I think the general consensus is more that your minder getting a pub landlord in a headlock when he tells you to leave his premises is bad optics even if the landlord in question is some sort of Holocaust denier.  Not that Labour's polling could be much worse, anyway.

12
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 19 April, 2021, 05:00:12 PM »
Sir Keith's whole winning over the pub landlord vote thing is shaking out just great, I see.  Thank God he didn't do something that would really lose votes, like working in a food bank, attending a Seder on Passover, or sitting down on a train.

13
(Watches season 2 of Star Trek Discovery)  There will never be a worse Star Trek than this.
(Watches Star Trek Picard) ...
(Watches season 3 of Star Trek Discovery) This show doesn't seem as terrible as I remember.

14
Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 05 April, 2021, 02:33:30 PM »
The problem with the American remake of Train To Busan is going to be convincing the audience to believe in the utterly ludicrous central concept of a reliable public transport system.

15
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 04 April, 2021, 07:23:26 PM »
The one thing we've learned in the last few years is the the media resists change and accountability with a baffling ferocity for a profession whose cornerstone is supposedly the pursuit of objective truth, so it's more likely that rather than bias being worse than ever, it's simply become more apparent to the observer.  One can only assume that Russell Brand spending the last 8 years explaining to tweens how everything within capitalism serves the interests of the ruling class is finally paying dividends.

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