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161  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4, PS3, Vita] Helldivers (Starship Troopers with friendly fire) on: March 19, 2014, 04:59:29 PM
Just noticed this one from a few days ago -- Gamespot posted about a 24 minute playthrough w/ a Sony rep (lot of cool stuff, including playing on a tougher planet in a snow/ice environment):

Helldivers: Now Playing
http://www.gamespot.com/videos/helldivers-now-playing/2300-6417671/

Some neat glimpses of the planet and mission selection screens. Almost XCOM geoscape like but on a planetary system level. It warns you if a planet has missions better suited to a full group, at least a couple players, is reasonable for a solo player, etc.

If you pause it at some points, you can read some of the descriptions for the stratagems.

I saw:
-MG-11 Minigun turret (cooldown, 120 seconds)
"Call in an automatic minigun turret to give you a bit of extra firepower or act as a sentry. The turret is capable of..." [text cut off-bj]

-Exo-44 Exosuit [the mech]
"A powerful walker armed with a MG-11 minigun, a powerful piston-punch and a grenade launcher."
*Per Gamespot's video, anyone can get in the mech and use it, not just the player who calls it in.

-Airstrike (45 second cooldown)
"A fighter in orbit diverts to your location and delivers a high speed airstrike on the designated area. Be careful not to deploy it too close. The approach vector may vary."

-EAT 17 Expendable Anti-Tank
"Calls down two one-use rockets capable of taking out heavily armored targets."

-SH-4020 Shield Generator Pack
"The shield generator provides the wearer with a powerful shield to be deployed at will. The pack is cumbersome and stops the Helldiver from..." [text cut off, on screen-bj]

-LAS-98 Laser Cannon
"A continous beam weapon that consumes no ammunition unless overheated. The weapons needs to be loaded with an emergency heat dump canister to fire."

-Airdropped Mines (45 second cooldown)
"Calls in a carpet of self-arming, self-burying mines. Anything walking over them will set them off and the mine explodes after a short while."

Lift-850 Jump Pack (ONE USE only)
"The Helldiver issue jump pack propels the user a short distance into the air and forward, allowing for swift movement over difficult terrain. The pack is somewhat..." [text cut off on screen]

Cool stuff.  icon_cool Lots more, but I guess I should go back to work.  icon_razz

Perks modify your regularly carried weapons. So like there are stun, incendiary and smoke perks for grenades; various modifiers for your personal armor; and modifiers for your firearm etc. (from what I could see).
162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4, PS3, Vita] Helldivers (Starship Troopers with friendly fire) on: March 19, 2014, 02:57:57 PM

Quote from: forgeforsaken on March 17, 2014, 05:38:14 PM

On one of the recent streams I swear they said there were 3 enemy factions, the bugs, the cyborgs, and one as yet to be revealed.
This list indicates you're correct.  icon_smile

http://gamingeverything.com/helldivers-screenshots-details/
Quote
- As a part of an elite fighting force “The Helldivers,” you battle for humanity against 3 formidable alien races, protecting the inhabitants of Super Earth from the ugly realities of intergalactic warfare

This is rather old, but Polygon did a feature story back in Oct. 2013 about the devs; alas, it really doesn't get into Helldivers much at all (I guess that was a bit early to get into it), except to say they found a better, less "crunch insanity" way of working together that they wanted to put into effect for Helldivers' development.

From Magicka to Helldivers: The Sharp Pain of Crunch
How the development of Magicka tested Arrowhead's camaraderie ... and sanity.
http://www.polygon.com/features/2013/10/18/4817664/arrowhead-magicka-helldivers-crunch
Has a pull out quote of some Helldivers interest:
Quote
Like Magicka, Arrowhead's next game Helldivers is designed to be played cooperatively, to give players a chance to enjoy each other. "It's a creation of love to an old-school game type that we haven't seen a lot of lately," says Pilestedt. As discussed in Polygon's Gamescom report on the game, the fun is in failing, and in accidentally fouling up team efforts.

"There have been some twin-stick shooters out there, but they tend to not be as challenging as we prefer our games," Pilestedt says. "One thing that we always use when we discuss game design in-house [is] if a player sees a solution to a problem, that solution has to work. We get frustrated with games where you're like, 'Let's try to go around to do this flanking move,' and then the game puts up some kind of abstract barrier to prevent the player from playing the game in the way they want to."
==========
They had a brief Gamescom write up last November too:
http://www.polygon.com/2013/11/12/5094230/helldivers-staging-global-playstation-war-for-humanity
Quote
Developer Arrowhead Games is planning a global meta-game for the good-humored title, in which all of the world's players attempt to stave off an alien invasion. The game notches up points for every game that is played, and they all contribute to 'The Galactic War.'

"The Galactic War is played out over two months," said Sony San Mateo producer Mark Rogers. "Every game that a player plays counts towards this war which is fought on three fronts against three enemies at the same time."

Every two months, the game is reset. "If the entire community manages to defeat the aliens, the war begins again but this time at a higher difficulty," said Rogers. "There is a dynamic difficulty system for the entire game that is unique to this title. We're planning for it to be global so that people from all regions fight together. It's all of humanity against the aliens, so there are no regions."
I wonder if the scaling difficulty means there's just more of the AI baddies, the AI gets tweaked, objectives get harder, etc.?
163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4, PS3, Vita] Helldivers (Starship Troopers with friendly fire) on: March 17, 2014, 05:26:59 PM
Official PlayStation blog had a fairly informative "5 things you need to know" post last month:
http://blog.us.playstation.com/2014/02/19/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-helldivers/
Couple stood out to my poor eyesight  icon_razz
Quote
Cold as Ice
At Gamescom, we showed you the desert environment, and today, we’re unveiling the second environment – ice. Not only do you need to band together to fight the alien races, you need to stay on your toes to tackle the dynamic environments that dictate your fighting techniques. Beware, if you wander from the solid rock to the deep powder, your squad will need to trudge through the snow, slowing you down and rendering retreat impossible.
...
Yes, There Are Mechs!
To tackle some of the unforgiving environments and challenging foes, Helldivers have a fleet of advanced vehicles – the most frequently deployed is a mechanical armored biped that wreaks absolute havoc. The standard mech is equipped with a Gatling gun and a grenade launcher pod.
[Screenshot seems to show some sort of large, treaded tank; not sure if that's player-controlled or one of the Cyborg Nation class enemies-bj]
In addition to the buggy aliens, there's a Cyborg Nation class with heavy armor and projectile weaponry. So it doesn't sound like strictly a one note "bug hunt" game.  icon_smile
164  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: March 17, 2014, 05:07:49 PM
EW has a nice interview with Carol McBride about last night's tough episode:
http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/03/17/walking-dead-melissa-mcbride-carol-lizzie-grove/

Due to an impromptu nap, I didn't get to see the whole episode all the way through. I think I caught the last 20 minutes when first aired, so I was seriously, "WTF just happened????"  icon_eek While I can totally see why some of the Internet's not comfortable with tykes doing some of what's portrayed in the episode, imho within this particular fictional environment, it was brilliant stuff. I probably held my breath during Carol's confession for quite some time...  paranoid

It seemed like the episode cast a certain pall over the Talking Dead segment after. It seemed like a wake of sorts, whereas last week's show was like a pep rally.

My sister-in-law, a third grade teacher, just got into show this season, and I may have to check how she responded to last night's episode's events.
165  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4, PS3, Vita] Helldivers (Starship Troopers with friendly fire) on: March 16, 2014, 01:13:28 PM
Belatedly looked up some interviews on Helldivers. I'll add more to this post but the Feb. interview is especially enlightening on technical things and the global "galactic campaign" stuff.

Sept. 2013 game designer video interview at Arrowhead (Sweden):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3xe7AuR24
*While it's mostly just talky, some "too brief" cool gameplay footage starts at 4 min 15 sec mark, ends at 4:23
*While it's obviously no Titanfall, you can see a mech in use at the 7:30 mark. So it's one of the stratagems  icon_cool Has a rotary cannon and a missile launcher with 8 missiles. I assume it has some sort of Achille's Heel (doesn't appear to use a turret, so maybe it has crude aiming?) so that it's not the only thing you'd ever use.

Helldivers Interview: Gameplay Mechanics, Stratagems, PS4 Development And More
http://gamingbolt.com/helldivers-interview-gameplay-mechanics-stratagems-ps4-development-and-more
Galactic campaign explained
Quote
Pramath Parijat: In the announcement release, you guys said that Helldrivers is a community oriented and not only limited to 4 player co-op. Can you please clarify what does that exactly mean?

[Arrowhead Studio CEO and director] Johan Pilestedt: In Helldivers, everyone that has an internet connection can play the galactic campaign – a global coop where the efforts of all players are counted towards the victory (or defeat) of the human race.

The way this works is that players complete missions on a planet; once an entire planet has been cleared this progress is counted towards the global effort, pushing the frontline one step closer to the ultimate goal – eliminating the enemy species. The same goes for the enemies – they will from time to time attack the cities of mankind spread throughout the galaxy.

In that sense, the player is on a low-level scale a four player coop game, but on the larger scale – it’s a coop game with everyone.
Interesting. Reminds me a bit of Planetside (albeit there it was pvp).

Cross-platform play, controls on Vita vs. consoles:
Quote
Pramath Parijat: Helldiver will be cross play on all three platforms that it is coming to. Can you give us some insider info on how that works? [PS4, PC, PS Vita]

Johan Pilestedt: The game is cross-play between PS4, PS3 and PS-Vita. Basically we try to make the integration as seamless as possible, so joining someone won’t necessarily tell  you which platform they’re on – this shouldn’t matter as the players will just match up with other players that are about the same rank as they are.

Pramath Parijat: Do you have any plans to integrate the touchpad functionalities of the DualShock 4 controller for the gameplay?

Johan Pilestedt: On the Vita we will use touch-interface for certain commands, with the PS4 the touch pad will as of now only use the click-down functionality.

At Arrowhead we’re pretty stubborn about using tech just for the sake of using tech – we believe that each feature that goes into the game needs to use the most sensible option for that control. This doesn’t mean that we think the touch-pad is bad or a gimmick in any way; it just isn’t necessary for this title – but we do have some ideas of how to use it for future projects. =)
Pilstedt says the game has about 20 stratagems, including a jump pack that serves as a limited range jetpack, but apparently it tends to cause confusion and friendly fire chaos. No doubt if all 4 players chose that, that could get amusing. icon_smile

How it will run on the various systems:
Quote
Pramath Parijat: Will Helldivers support 1080P/60FPS on the PS4? This is something the gaming community is expecting from next generation games.

Johan Pilestedt: The game will run at 1080p/60fps on the PS4, 720p/30fps on PS3 and native resolution on vita in 30fps.
If you're into teraflops and mipmap bits blah blah, the Q&A gets into that too.
166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4, PS3, Vita] Helldivers (Starship Troopers with friendly fire) on: March 15, 2014, 10:51:42 PM
I departed the console wars ages ago but might be convinced to get a Vita to play this and a couple other upcoming titles. smile

I'm always nuts about anything co-op and anything twin stick/gamepad.  icon_smile I can't help thinking this game would've been a perfect Starship Troopers tie in some years ago.  icon_cool

A couple other vids:

dev Arrowhead Game Studios' Aug. 13 blog post
(includes an announcement video)
http://arrowheadgamestudios.com/our-new-game-helldivers/

IGN played some multiplayer with an Arrowhead Rep back in February, at a trade show:
How Intense is Helldivers for the PS4, PS3 & PS Vita ?  
http://www.ign.com/videos/2014/02/19/how-intense-is-ps4s-helldivers

Both vids are available in higher rez than the default, so click the gear icon to change it.

Having to tap out a 4-direction gamepad tap to trigger a "stratagem" (special weapons item/drop etc.) seems a bit klutzy in combat. Otherwise, it all looks pretty awesome, including the capes and the drop ship capsules for everything.  icon_smile

The global "meta co-op game" sounds intriguing though I can't help worrying someone would find some way to exploit that system. The rep seems to indicate the idea is over a two-three month period, the better the global co-op community does, eventually it unlocks higher difficulty modes, something like that.

Reading about this got me to dig up Alien Swarm today and have some fun co-op with that. One thing I noticed there is I could stand right in front of my dropped turret and it would never harm me; in Helldivers, your own turret can blow you away, and if someone is rezzed, the dropship capsule can squash you.  icon_razz Very fun.
167  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hive Mind's Opinion: Lunch Meeting With Boss on: March 15, 2014, 07:12:29 PM

Quote from: Crux on March 15, 2014, 01:38:32 PM

Update: I'm alive biggrin

She actually ended up calling out sick so it never happened. I met again with my boss's boss and he assured me that I have job security, and that he will be watching closely to make sure there are no other instances of attempted 'payback' on her part. I'm going to present her a list of things she can help me with, some of which I cleared with her boss during our meeting and he agreed those things shouldn't be my responsibility. Overall I think I'm in good shape.
Yay!  icon_biggrin

I worked for a lot of monsters in my newspaper days. Most of the time, if I kept my head down and kept doing good work, I either outlasted the monster or "my boss's boss" realized what a horrible person the monster was, and either talked to them or forced them out of the company. A similar thing happened with my best friend, who works as an independent engineer contractor in Boston. In his case, like yours, the "boss's boss" eventually got wind of how poorly and unfairly my friend was being treated and apparently had some sort of sit-down with the "monster" in my friend's case, and that has apparently made his remaining weeks in this particular contracted job much more reasonable.

Glad it seems to be working out for you, as with my pal in Boston.  icon_smile thumbsup
168  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 15, 2014, 02:40:41 PM
Marvel released 15 minutes of behind-the-scenes stuff. I'm not clear if the audio drop outs are on purpose (to prevent plot points from leaking), or if there's a synching issue with the sound:

http://collider.com/captain-america-2-behind-the-scenes-video/
*Note that many scenes minus sound effects and music either look silly or don't carry much weight.  icon_razz

This seems to be the "new thing," a similar lengthy clip released for the upcoming Arnold S. actioner Sabotage the same day.
169  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CeeKay AWOL? on: March 15, 2014, 02:37:57 PM
I just poked CeeKay's carapace with a stick today to see if it moves. Will report if I get a response.  smirk
170  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 14, 2014, 05:06:30 PM
Fwiw, Winter Soldier comic creator/scribe Ed Brubaker (already a fan of the new movie since viewing an early cut last year) Tweeted he was really pleased with the final version at the screening other day:
https://twitter.com/brubaker/status/444388473928036352
Quote from: ed brubaker
Cap: Winter Soldier is even better than the early cut I saw. I couldn't be happier, and we got to meet Hayley Atwell, who was awesome.
You can add that to that list: "So excited about a movie, BJ starts breathlessly posting Tweets."  icon_razz Well, I'm kinda stuck until the review embargo lifts March 20.  icon_smile

The Red Carpet (you may still be able to view a recording of last night's premiere via Hero Complex link above) was fun, and pretty much everyone in the cast and even people only in the first Cap movie (Neal McDonough attended) chatted with the interviewers. Hayley Atwell, Scarlett Johansson and Cobie Smulders were all very much va-va-voom.  Fabulous The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.
171  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CeeKay AWOL? on: March 14, 2014, 02:45:05 PM
Has anyone PM'd him via the board here? Most folks have the email notifications on for PM messages by default (I think).

I've had a couple lengthy sabbaticals from forums in general (couple times from here), and a couple times folks PM'd me just to ask if I was OK and why I didn't post anymore. I think once I was sad over my cat Molly passing away in Sept. 2010 and just lost interest in gaming for quite some time. Other times I've just stopped gaming for long periods and didn't post for a long time.

I appreciated folks checking in on me. I don't think they were even folks who knew me well, just people who seemed to enjoy my posts when I wasn't in obnoxiously overenthusiastic Blackjack moviegoer/gamer mode.  icon_wink Now, nobody started a thread about it (I'm not CeeKay afterall  icon_smile), but maybe a few of us should pelt CeeKay with PMs to see what's up. If somebody already has, then I'm doing what I often do, which is say something without parsing the previous 37 posts.  icon_redface

172  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 14, 2014, 01:19:40 AM
Lots more Falcon footage in latest featurette:
http://geektyrant.com/news/captain-america-the-winter-soldier-falcon-featurette

Hero Complex (Marvel actually) is streaming the Red Carpet premiere live:
http://herocomplex.latimes.com/movies/captain-america-the-winter-soldier-premiere-watch-it-live-at-6/#/0

Peggy Atwell still looks and sounds dreamy  Fabulous

The Cap writers told Collider their Agent Carter TV pilot is in ABC's hands but not Greenlit yet. The writers favor a shorter 13 or less episode season if it does get ok'd
173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Banner Saga on: March 13, 2014, 09:47:55 PM
fwiw, while I give it two thumbs up, I get my ass kicked in it regularly. You smart folks might fare better.  icon_smile I wish it had some form of co-op (don't think it does).
174  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 13, 2014, 05:19:56 PM
I guess I should pre-buy an IMAX show ticket for April 4 evening too right?  Bring your own! The double feature showings April 3 are limited to AMC's ETX screens.

I'm not sure about April 5. I may be meeting some pals for lunch that day which could jeopardize the "see it once each day opening weekend" tradition.  paranoid  My brother would like to catch it with me at some point but probably we'll have to do that later in April.

Here's the poster and lanyard (battered Cap shield), can't so far find a larger image.

At some point I need to go by an arts and crafts store and get some simple wall frames so I can get posters like this up on my walls. Never did get the Dark Knight Rising and Raiders of the Lost Ark re-release posters from 2012 mounted/posted.

*As mentioned, the shield lanyard is not to scale, nor is it actually made of Vibranium.  icon_frown icon_razz

P.S. According to Collider's Weintraub, Winter Soldier reviews are embargoed until 1 p.m. Pacific [4 p.m. Eastern U.S.] on Thursday, March 20:
https://twitter.com/colliderfrosty/status/443179823247003648
175  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CeeKay AWOL? on: March 13, 2014, 01:04:36 AM
Maybe  CeeKay and Purge went on a backwoods road trip, something like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil?  Bring your own!
176  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 12, 2014, 06:01:58 PM

Quote from: Caine on March 12, 2014, 04:39:59 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on March 12, 2014, 03:52:19 PM

I'm impatiently waiting for the "Top 10 signs you're as excited about a movie as Blackjack is" list.  Bring your own!


I'm not sure where these go on that list, but here's a starter:

Start thread about movie
Have triple posts uninterrupted without any delay longer than a few minutes
Have triple posts uninterrupted with large gaps in anyone posting in thread
Post repeatedly about going to see previous movies in series
pre-buy tickets to said screenings
Post 'impressions from mom'

It's all good though.  I like having someone here who gets hyped by movies.  It also helps me remember when to go see them.  
Good start. Mom would be proud.  icon_smile I'm a momma's boy for sure. She's 78 now, and I really don't know how much longer I can tote her along to movies, so I am trying to enjoy the opportunity while I can. Not to get all mushy.  icon_smile

Perhaps I can expand it to my older brother's impressions. We don't always agree. We both liked Cap. I found Elysium and Prometheus very disappointing (Prometheus more so), and he loved both.

You forgot to mention something about:
-Go to see movie every day during opening weekend and then a fourth time a few days later.  icon_smile Though to be fair, I haven't done that since Star Trek into Darkness. I liked Thor: The Dark World but only saw it once. Gravity is the last movie I saw more than once in a theater, fwiw.

I haven't attended a movie marathon since AMC's Indiana Jones marathon and The Dark Knight Trilogy in 2012. I'm not sure this double feature counts. I'm still slightly chagrined they aren't showing the Avengers film or the Agent Carter one-shot (off the Iron Man 3 BluRay) between the two Cap films - would seem like a good opportunity.
177  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CeeKay AWOL? on: March 12, 2014, 05:53:22 PM
CeeKey has 427 games purchased on Steam which he has never installed much less played. So I think he's on a gaming megathon attempting to catch up. 
178  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 12, 2014, 03:52:19 PM
I'm impatiently waiting for the "Top 10 signs you're as excited about a movie as Blackjack is" list.  Bring your own!

They held an early screening for press the other day. Marvel apparently embargoed full reviews until Thursday, March 20, but encouraged attendees to share impressions on Twitter. Apparently quite rave, aside from some observations it was a bit long and "over plotted" (not exactly bad for a comic book movie right?).

Take with a grain of salt since Collider Guy Weintraub thinks everything kicks ass and is f**ing awesome and "blows him away"... And I dunno, lot of the folks quoted on Twitter do not really sound like press types to me, fwiw. Perhaps they're local film critics visiting in LA.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Receives Ecstatic Reactions on Twitter
http://collider.com/captain-america-winter-solder-reviews/
Quote
Last night, Captain America: The Winter Soldier played for press in Los Angeles, and while full reviews are embargoed until March 20th, reporters were free to tweet out their reactions.  We’ve collected some of those tweets, and the praise was effusive.  

Steve [Weintraub of Collider] was among those who saw the film, and tweeted afterwards, “The CAPTAIN AMERICA sequel blew me away. Movie has a fantastic script, amazing action, and great character moments. Just about perfect.”  

Earlier this morning, he added “if you missed tweets from last night: CAPTAIN AMERICA sequel is fantastic on every level. Fanboys and casual moviegoers are going to love it” and “until I see it again I won’t say exactly how it compares to other Marvel films, but it’s easily one of the best they’ve ever done.”  
Expect (for better or worse -- good reviews will likely overinflate expectations) reviews left and right starting next week.

I'm trying hard to keep my head in the sand about the post-credits sequences so I can at least enjoy a bit of surprise April 3.  icon_smile

This all sounds good to me because so often you can just tell a studio has zero confidence in a film when they choose not to pre-screen it at all or they don't screen it until the day before opening. Screening it 3 weeks in advance and allowing reviews 2 weeks before release seems to suggest confidence by Marvel/Disney, hopefully not the misplaced kind.  icon_smile
179  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: March 11, 2014, 04:41:25 PM

Quote from: hepcat on March 11, 2014, 02:23:14 AM

Same opinion here.

Also, does every damn show on AMC, AE, or whatever have to have its own after show now?  Bates Motel has one now, for cripe's sake.
Breaking Bad had one, and Falling Skies on TNT has one. With most such shows you can visit their web site to watch even MOAR after show footage.  Bring your own!

I do think one hour for such shows is a bit of overkill. With that much time to stretch out, the after shows can start to feel padded.
180  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 11, 2014, 02:50:46 PM
I went ahead and got my AMC double feature ticket last night.  Bring your own! Tickets aren't exactly flying at this particular Va. screen, I think maybe I'm the 12th or so person to reserve a seat. It's early though.  icon_smile
181  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: March 11, 2014, 01:55:04 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on March 10, 2014, 08:27:58 PM

I feel the same way about pacing and short seasons (especially when they break them into half seasons). Ordinarily I appreciate leisurely storytelling, but I don't think TWD has that luxury. I want every episode to advance the story.

Since I'm not in charge of that, though, I enjoy them as they come, and last night's was pretty good...although my patience with the Glenn-and-Maggie story is wearing out.
"GLENN!!!!"
"MAGGIE!!!!!"
"GLENNN!!!!!!!"
"MMMAAAAGGGIIIEEE!"

"SOPHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"   'tarded!

In other words, I agree.  icon_smile

Even when I'm not crazy about the episode (did find this one gripping), it's still one of the few shows I always watch and I tend to watch the after show as well. Which effectively wipes out every Sunday evening for me. I'm not complaining.  icon_smile

I know I've been watching it a long time because now when a sequence doesn't work for me, doesn't advance the story and seems pointless, I start grumbling "This is liked sending Glenn down into the well!" And when a storyline bogs down in one character hollering another character's name, I start yelling "SOPHIIIAAAA!" at the screen.  icon_razz
182  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Exclusive Preview] Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II on: March 11, 2014, 01:19:15 AM
I love Grim Dawn so far but at Crate's glacial progress pace (they don't expect to finish up Act 3 until the end of 2014 and no ETA on co-op though they did hire a key Titan Quest multiplayer programmer a while back), Van Helsing III will probably release before Grim Dawn does.  icon_razz

Although I obviously loved Van Helsing for a while and posted a lot about it here back last June, after playing Grim Dawn and Marvel Heroes, Van Helsing no longer measured up for me. Same ARPG genre and all, I just couldn't get back into VH's play style when I revisited it, even after buying some of the DLC. Also found its co-op very clumsily implemented - I hope the sequel cleans that up a bit.

My other axe to grind is they messed up the idea of difficulty levels. Instead of finishing at a difficulty level, and then starting at the next with the equipment you had to that point (as an example); you'd instead then start at normal with NOTHING, ZIP, NADA. Which didn't make sense, esp. given that you didn't start getting good stuff at the next difficulty level at the beginning. So I lost interest after completing the campaign once.

Runic (Torchlight 1/2) is supposed to be doing an MMO iteration (http://forums.runicgames.com/viewforum.php?f=7&sid=6380be78ca750ee35e1366791119bdc9) and I'm curious if that's still in play. Haven't heard anything about it in forever. Other than the forum, Runic's site doesn't even mention an MMO.

On VH2, I was definitely always lauding the tower-defense mini-game, so 7 levels of that sounds pretty awesome to me.  icon_smile
183  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: March 10, 2014, 04:47:31 PM
Lauren Cohan (Maggie) and Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) were a lot of fun on the Talking Dead after-show. And, um, leggy.  Fabulous
184  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: March 09, 2014, 03:40:42 PM
While it wasn't particularly well-reviewed in 2012, I was quite gripped by the French-made Special Forces (saw on Netflix yesterday). You could maybe call it a remake of Saving Private Ryan (small French special forces group sent to rescue a kidnapped reporter in this case) set in Afghanistan. Critics found it too jingoistic, but I think it works at the least as an exciting military thriller with amazing photography and location shooting. Think more Black Hawk Down, rather than Zero Dark Thirty.

‘Special Forces’ Reveals French Side of War
http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/movies/2012/10/12/special-forces-reveals-french-side-of-war/
While it's not a documentary, the director's background is in that so it feels very much "you are there" and has lots of spectacular vistas.

While there is a fair amount of subtitles in the movie, much of it is in English (you'll recognize Diane Kruger from FX's The Bridge show, and Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds")  due to the kidnapped reporter speaking English.
================

Also caught Ironclad, after realizing James Purefoy (whom I enjoyed in Solomon Kane so much) starred in it. Bloody exciting, but I don't know if I recommend trying to watch it on a full stomach. It goes pretty faaaaaaaaaaar in the violence quotient, in keeping with its 13th century topic.  If watching character's hands and limbs and feet get lopped off, or watching a corpse get catapulted against a wall don't scare you off, then sign up for it. icon_smile

Purefoy's "slam the longsword through the hostage-taker's mouth" move made me giggle.  ninja
185  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: March 09, 2014, 03:27:55 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 06, 2014, 05:24:03 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on March 06, 2014, 03:48:07 PM

Detailed look:

Diablo III is fun again [allegedly]
http://gamerhorizon.com/diablo-iii-fun-first-time/

Me? I still have to decide if I want to share an image of my passport or driver's license with a Blizzard tech support flunky so they'll remove my messed up (or hacked) authenticator from my account. In spite of my explanations, answering my secret question, resetting my password repeatedly and receiving Blizzard emails to my account, they still don't believe I'm me. I was going to offer to swab some of my saliva and other DNA to prove it.  saywhat icon_razz

Btw, I had to have my authenticator removed and emailed a picture of my ID to the tech support.   Felt weird, but she promptly removed it once she got the picture
Thanks for sharing your experience on that.  icon_smile I dunno, I'll probably do that at some point.
186  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 08, 2014, 03:48:12 AM
[giving it a separate post]
And, Fandango has a pretty cool, exclusive clip (it connects with some footage in the trailer on a ship) that gives an idea of the more brutal, snappy Cap combat the Russo brothers are shooting for. However, if you don't dig handheld camera stuff, you may be dismayed. I think it works in limited doses. They say they're inspired by stuff like The Raid: Redemption and the Bourne films so that's fine but I hope the whole movie doesn't become Blair Witch project. biggrin

Exclusive: Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Secure the Ship
http://www.fandango.com/movie-trailer/exclusive:captainamerica:thewintersoldiersecuretheship-trailer/155540/2440466900
*The clip seems to lead into a new-ish trailer, not familiar with some of the footage in it.

I got some screen captures though the fight scenes are so fast, it's tough to get shots that aren't blurry. I think the new "shield punch" technique will go over well with fans.  icon_smile It's him grabbing the shield handle with one hand and punching with the shield itself.


While there was supposedly some fan outrage over the Russos revising the old helmet to show Evans' ears, it looks fine to me.  icon_smile Thought it makes you wonder why his enemies don't just yank his ears.  icon_razz My understanding is this is the uniform look early in Winter Soldier where he's gone to a more subtle color scheme in keeping with his stealth missions for S.H.I.E.L.D.


While I don't know if fuddy duddies like me will dig all the handi-cam and faster action, me thinks it'll go over better with younger audiences perhaps. I like what I've seen in this clip anyway.
187  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 08, 2014, 02:35:53 AM
While I was hoping for a mega-Marvel marathon on April 3 (Cap 1, the Agent Carter One-Shot off the IM3 Blu-Ray, The Avengers and then the Winter Soldier), AMC is just going to show Captain America: The First Avenger at 5:30 p.m. and then the new Winter Soldier film at 8 p.m.

Good enough for me! Bring your own! Maybe an excuse to take a couple days off though at least I don't have to stay up for a midnight debut.   icon_smile

Enlistment details:

One day. Twice the patriotic duty in RealD® 3D. [NOTE: In AMC's non-infinite wisdom, they seem to have made their web site Firefox-unfriendly, I could only reach the ticket purchase screen using IE]
https://www.amctheatres.com/events/captain-america-double-feature
Quote
Thursday, April 3 at 5:30pm

Relive the story of Steve Rogers’ transformation to super soldier and super hero in Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. Then, enemy lines are blurred when Captain America faces off against a rival agent at the 8pm premiere of Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.

Freedom isn’t free, but these giveaways are (with ticket purchase):

    Your very own official CAPTAIN AMERICA:
    THE WINTER SOLDIER full-sized poster
    Limited edition super hero lanyard [a beaten up version of Cap's shield... not to scale  tear]
...
My local AMC has switched to all reserved seating (not just for IMAX screen), so I guess I should sign up early.

Tickets are $27, which will probably make most people gag on their popcorn. Unless you're really dying for a poster and shield lanyard, you might want to wait.  icon_smile

While it's not in IMAX, it seems like they're at least showing it on their nice ETX screens where available (which tend to be massive, and sometimes I prefer it over IMAX at AMC).
=================

And, Fandango has a pretty cool, exclusive clip (it connects with some footage in the trailer on a ship) that gives an idea of the more brutal, snappy Cap combat the Russo brothers are shooting for. However, if you don't dig handheld camera stuff, you may be dismayed. I think it works in limited doses. They say they're inspired by stuff like The Raid: Redemption and the Bourne films so that's fine but I hope the whole movie doesn't become Blair Witch project. biggrin

Exclusive: Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Secure the Ship
http://www.fandango.com/movie-trailer/exclusive:captainamerica:thewintersoldiersecuretheship-trailer/155540/2440466900
*The clip seems to lead into a new-ish trailer, not familiar with some of the footage in it.
188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: March 06, 2014, 04:30:16 PM

Quote from: Lee on March 06, 2014, 03:54:30 PM

No offense Blackjack, but that makes me very happy to hear that it's difficult to rest the password/authenticator. When I read the articles on the Twitter @N thing (basically, companies easily reset passwords for a hacker), it kind of scared me that it might be too easy. Good to hear Blizzard is good about it. Assuming that hacking the authenticator isn't an easy/common thing.
None taken.  icon_smile I'm just not comfortable, in today's world, with sharing my passport/driver's license with Blizzard. Heck I don't even have a way to confirm the support link I communicated with them on is legitimate.

I mean it's one thing to flash it to a TSA guy or the cashier who's carding me at age 48 (!), but giving someone an image of private info so far is just not something I've been able to get comfortable with. So I guess I either get over my discomfort (a lot of folks claim they do this often and aren't worried about it), or I don't play any more Blizzard games.
189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: March 06, 2014, 03:48:07 PM
Detailed look:

Diablo III is fun again [allegedly]
http://gamerhorizon.com/diablo-iii-fun-first-time/

Me? I still have to decide if I want to share an image of my passport or driver's license with a Blizzard tech support flunky so they'll remove my messed up (or hacked) authenticator from my account. In spite of my explanations, answering my secret question, resetting my password repeatedly and receiving Blizzard emails to my account, they still don't believe I'm me. I was going to offer to swab some of my saliva and other DNA to prove it.  saywhat icon_razz
190  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron on: March 05, 2014, 07:50:24 PM
So, Scarlett's preggers, which will likely force Joss and company to film as much of her scenes early on in production as possible, otherwise they go Austin Powers and place random objects in front of Black Widow's belly when she's onscreen.  icon_razz And of course they're less likely to ask her to do certain kinds of dangerous stunt work.

How will 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' handle Scarlett Johansson's pregnancy?
http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/03/04/avengers-2-scarlett-johansson-pregnant/
191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ex-Titan Quest Developers working on a new game: Grim Dawn on: March 02, 2014, 04:22:34 PM
Crate's always adding more items in updates, here's some interesting ones:


*Yeesh, 29% speed boost, I'm afraid my brain won't be able to process it. I'm unclear on if the -75% speed affects me or the enemy that hits me.  confused


Interesting pistol. I think firearms will be more meaningful if/when they add the Gunslinger class Crate's talked about.


First really powerful Badge (tiny slow below/right of character's belt) I've run into. This is one of those temp skills that has a small chance to trigger when hit.
192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ex-Titan Quest Developers working on a new game: Grim Dawn on: March 02, 2014, 04:15:22 PM
Some peeks at Act 2 munsters. Graphics and FX look better all the time though I've turned off antialiasing at this point for frame rate issues.

Shield of Knives or something. I knew it was time to back off  icon_razz


Thunder wolf. There really aren't that many lightning-focused enemies to this point.


Shamblers, which seem to come in a few different varieties in Act II (Moss, Earthen etc.):

*These like to swarm, and so far I have found them very difficult to whittle down. Their "rock armor" seems to deflect physical attacks to some extent, and have a lot of immunities.
193  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Solomon Kane on: March 01, 2014, 04:23:07 PM
Man, how did I miss this? Don't tell me. I was busy with games.  icon_razz

Had it in my Netflix queue for a while and quite enjoyed it last night. It was like Lord of the Rings crossed with Shane crossed with Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness crossed with The Exorcist. I giggled at times watching it, only out of glee. I might have to track it down on DVD.  icon_cool

Would've loved to have seen it in a theater. Oddly Box Office Mojo doesn't have domestic figures for it, just a $19M foreign box office number. I don't remember how it did over here.
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=solomonkane.htm

Catching up on video featurettes:
http://www.solomonkanethemovie.com/video-archive.html

Purefoy (I mean this as a compliment) reminds me a bit of Hugh Jackman, and has that same animal intensity when portraying anger yet seems really appealing as a nice guy s well.  icon_smile
194  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've been in the hostpital - A warning on: February 28, 2014, 10:01:12 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 26, 2014, 11:23:31 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 26, 2014, 07:37:48 PM

I do feel like my increasingly expensive individual health plan shafted me because the bloodwork was not considered "necessary" by my doctor

My insurance sucks in the same way. "Preventive care" is fully covered and "diagnostic care" is fully not covered until a high deductible is met. The $600 a month we have to pay for the insurance leaves us unable to afford any kind of tests or treatments.

I feel a rant coming on so I'll leave it at that.
Yeah my monthly has gone over that too. And cripes, about 5-6 years ago (I'm 48), my monthly bill was in the $300s. Holy health care inflation, Batman!

My employer covers it but my publisher has told me if it gets much higher I might consider looking at other providers. I'm just scared of opening that particular wormhole. Like I'd rather deal with "the devil I know" than "the devil I don't know."  paranoid
195  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ex-Titan Quest Developers working on a new game: Grim Dawn on: February 28, 2014, 06:58:11 PM
Crate added Act II earlier this week, revamped the UI and improved graphics, added tons more weapons, equipment, enemies etc. If you finished Act I, you need some coinage and a few of that lasso string item (name escapes me) to rebuild the broken bridge and access the Act II environments to the west on the world map. You don't need to start a new character unless you want to - I don't think there's a min. level to access Act II. I think you want to complete the main Act I stuff, and then there seems to be a new final quest (from the commander in his office, I think it is) that awards you a big lump of coins to help cover said bridge repair costs.

Act II
http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12560
Quote from: Medierra
We're very excited to be releasing Act II today, which will roughly double the playable content and raises the level cap to 35. There are also tons of general improvements, including the redesigned HUD, lore codex, graphical enhancements, loads of new items and insidious quests.

We still expect to revisit Act 2 to layer in a bit more content, as we've done with Act 1, so it isn't totally final yet. We have plans to expand the challenge UG "Steps of Torment" and add in another quest. However, we wanted to get it out to everyone in Feb as we'd said we would and we also need to be able to move on to adding in other coming features, such as the blacksmith / recipe crafting, a new quest reward display, dual wielding of pistols and the integration of Act 3 content.

Changelog:
http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12565

I only dabbled in a bit Wednesday. While the initial Act II environs didn't impress me too much beyond maybe the running streams, did run into some pretty tough new enemy types here and there. Roughest seem to be a bunch of these "rock monsters" that appeared to have a mix of immunity and resistances to my various attacks. Lot more ranged attackers in general (human and otherwise).

The co-op isn't in yet fwiw.
196  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Film] Liam Neeson in Non-Stop on: February 28, 2014, 06:25:27 PM
While I give the screenwriters zero credit for originality (if you mixed a 1970s Airport film with Taken and maybe portions of the Wesley Snipes actioner Passenger 57 and Harrison Ford as president actioner Air Force One, you might get something like Non-Stop - you can figure all that out from the trailer  icon_smile), imho they do deserve credit for playing with the audience's mind in terms of character stereotypes and prolonging the whodunit aspect as long as possible.

While most reviews aren't crazy about the whodunit resolution, I give them credit. I guessed wrong. To say anymore would spoil the fun. icon_smile

While a part of me thinks the movie deserves a prime summer spot, I assume the studio doesn't necessarily feel 61 year old Liam Neeson's a good bet against spring and summer FX-heavy blockbusters. Though honestly Liam himself is Non-Stop's best special effect, so to speak.  Bring your own!
197  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Film] Liam Neeson in Non-Stop on: February 28, 2014, 01:42:55 PM
I goofed on the runtime - actually 106 minutes, not 82. I read that somewhere which left me looking at my watch at 9:35 pm, wondering, "Why isn't this over yet?"  saywhat
198  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Film] Liam Neeson in Non-Stop on: February 28, 2014, 04:08:56 AM
Very much enjoyed it. Liam is in virtually every minute of the movie, and within the confines of a popcorn film I found it a much more wide ranging performance.

Rest assured, he still gets to kick ass and take names.  icon_smile

Is it often preposterous? Are most of the characters (except Liam's) about as deep as the bus passengers in Speed? Yes, yes, but if you love Liam you'll enjoy this. If you don't understand his appeal in his last few action films this may not win you over.  icon_smile

There's zero fat in the movie. Even if it gets ridiculous you won't be bored. icon_cool

I found the portrayal of texting quite clever and a way to incorporate it into the story without feeling like you're staring at smartphones the whole movie. I think it could even help my mom finally understand what texting IS. Speaking of which, dying RIM/Blackberry probably loves this movie....

Bad thing? Unbelievably, the theater sound crapped out banned for maybe 15 seconds during a key character's big speech. Might have to see it again just to hear that!
199  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Film] Liam Neeson in Non-Stop on: February 27, 2014, 10:33:18 PM
I'm catching an overpriced, early screening of Non-Stop tonight. About $14 for an 82-minute movie. I think I'll be paying about 17 cents a  minute. You better be worth it, Liam Neeson!  Bring your own!

Official Non-Stop site:
http://www.nonstopthefilm.com/

Reviews have been meh to OK to enthusiastic. Wanted to catch an early enough show to make up my own mind.  icon_smile
200  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New Robocop! on: February 27, 2014, 02:21:21 AM
If you haven't caught this documentary on the DVDs, worth a watch:

Flesh and Steel: The Making of Robocop
http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs&v=8IyljDETIHE

The screenwriter does a wonderful Paul Verhoeven impression. icon_smile Apparently the whole production process was a nightmare. Maybe on the reboot, things went too well?

I still hope to catch the new one if only to have an informed opinion on it.
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