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81  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/Android] Meltdown (tactical arcade shooter) on: March 31, 2014, 03:48:26 PM
The couple devs (Phenomenon) and their publisher (BulkyPix) are very friendly and active in the Steam forums. As far as impending updates...

Custom armors and helmets, w/ buffs
http://steamcommunity.com/app/268220/discussions/0/540735426714841521/#c540737414926338719
Quote from: BulkyPix
Well, armors and helmets will be added soon! They got a cool look and and will give you various buffs and effects slywink

About female character, yes, you're not the first one to ask. It should come soon too.

Dual wielding weapons is always awesome! But it would imply some modifications that are not neutral (animation changes for melee attack, for example and many more). That's a cool idea that could imply more work that one can imagine and the team is small (indie baby!) and there's a looooooot of work left to improve things with the massive community feedback.

Everybody works as hard as possible to deliver the best game possible. A new patch with many bug fixes is on its way.

Local co-op
http://steamcommunity.com/app/268220/discussions/0/540735426714841521/#c540736587297131231
Quote
Local co-op will be available in the coming weeks.
I think that's split-screen, not sure. Since the game plays very nicely with keyboard/mouse, and gamepad, it should be easy enough on PCs and laptops to play local co-op on.

Versus mode (deathmatch initially)
http://steamcommunity.com/app/268220/discussions/0/540735426714841521/#c540735426584809335
Quote
Versus Mode (Deathmatch, to start with) should be integrated during the Early Access period. Maybe late April/early May.
Since the game's based on annihilating massive numbers of enemies quickly, pvp would probably play quite a bit differently. Well, I guess differently in the way action RPGs play differently in solo/co-op vs. pvp.

He also mentioned 10 new levels were in development.
82  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/Android] Meltdown (tactical arcade shooter) on: March 30, 2014, 06:31:02 PM
Spent this morning in the Church of Twitch, editing some Twitch broadcast videos.  Bring your own!

I think you can see all my Meltdown videos at my Twitch profile:
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/profile
*Anything starting with "Meltdown Video" is a shorter highlight vid I edited down from a longer broadcast (the Highlights are permanently saved, whereas the regular recorded broadcast videos seem to get purged
*Sorry about all the video ads. Twitch has to make moolah, right?  icon_neutral I swear I'm not a shill for Tony the Tiger and Cheeze It.  icon_razz

Here are the individual video highlight links (you'll note bugs here and there in terms of the camera no longer following my guy; or sometimes a force barrier drops and it's a struggle to figure out why it won't lift open - presumably these are on the "to fix" list  icon_smile):

1-player on "Shield Generator" mission arena objective:
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/c/3979602

2-player co-op; leading into an assault wave arena objective
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/c/3979558

3-player co-op
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/c/3979442

4-player co-op on "Destroy the Guardians" mission arena objective
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/c/3979683

Drop-in co-op demonstration (leads into the above Destroy the Guardians video)
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/c/3979724

3-player co-op vs. The Barrager boss on Mission 10 *SPOILER* I guess, if you just started playing  icon_smile
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/c/3977706

NOTE: Every mission has at least one, sometimes two closed off arena objectives. A force barrier will drop behind your group at some point (comical if a member gets stuck on the wrong side and can't help) and ahead of it and you battle. So far, the variants seem to be:
-Defending multiple assault waves
-"Destroy the Guardians," which are some really nasty, high HP robot enemies
-"Shield Generators," which involves temporarily taking shield generators down to damage some mounted turrets while waves attack you
-Boss battles at Missions 10, 20 and 30

Might be others too and the dev duo promises more variety in future updates.
83  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/Android] Meltdown (tactical arcade shooter) on: March 30, 2014, 07:36:47 AM
Working up some Twitch highlight vids to showcase certain things. I might post to YouTube once I have a few edited.

Here's a fun 3-person group working its way to a showdown with The Barrager, the Mission 10 boss (one of three in Meltdown so far - mission 10, 20 and 30 each have a boss to battle in an arena):

Meltdown video: Battling The Barrager (co-op)
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/c/3977706
*I'm the blue guy without a name on him, using Heavy-MG and Grenade Launcher, w/ axe for melee.  icon_smile They're promising custom armor in an update at the end of this month, which should be fun.
*I try to conserve the 1-Up self rezzes for co-op games, at least until we see how the couple devs update co-op to hopefully be a bit more friendly to groups wanting to stick together.

*imho, the game plays mostly equally well with keys/mouse (w,a,s,d for movement; LMB for shooting; TAB for alternating your two equipped firearms; RMB for melee, spacebar for vaulting over obstacles) or with a gamepad. I found vaulting over obstacles a bit easier with the gamepad, but I prefer the free-aiming feel of a mouse even if I'm in danger of breaking yet another Logitech MX-510 from overclicking.  icon_razz

I've gotten my character to L49, leveling happens crazy fast. I don't know if it's relevant as in an ARPG per se. It just means you have most of the skill points allocated and a lot of weapons upgraded by that point. You can still play with single digital level players without messing things up, afik.
84  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/Android] Meltdown (tactical arcade shooter) on: March 28, 2014, 03:11:28 AM
The truly bored may watch me play it via Twitch. Try not to laugh.  icon_smile

Blackjack's Live Meltdown Twitch Broadcast blah blah
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/dashboard#

The Heavy-MG is all kinds of awesome, just need to upgrade it a bit more. The Mission 10 Boss, The Barrager, is a spectacular, rolling robot ball, grenade tossing pain in the arse.  mad icon_razz
85  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PC/iOS/Android] Meltdown (tactical arcade shooter) on: March 27, 2014, 10:48:17 PM
Steam recommended Meltdown to me the other day. I thought, $3.99 (4 pack for $11.99), PC port of an Android game. Must be junk. I thought wrong.  icon_smile It's so much fun in co-op already (they plan password protected server option and a lot of fixes/changes to make it a bit less frustrating when you die in co-op, it sounds like), I might stop fretting about Helldivers' release being so far off, for a while.  icon_smile

It's by a 2-person dev team, and here's the Steam page (in Early Access) fyi:

Meltdown
ttp://store.steampowered.com/app/268220/
Quote
Meltdown is a tactical arcade shooter featuring both singleplayer and intense online multiplayer.

Set against a captivating sci-fi backdrop, the action game invites players to follow its main character, Zed, as he tries to shoot his way out of the remote space station that he has been trapped on as a result of a system malfunction.

During the course of the adventure, players can collect loot and level-up their character as they make their way through randomly generated levels. They can choose to play single player or co-op multiplayer, while experiencing an engaging gameplay, matching their gaming skills and style.

Clear all the missions and run the prestige mode !

Key Features:
-Online Cross-Platform Co-Op Up to 4 Players
-30 Random Generated Levels
-3 Specializations (Specialist/Soldier/Medic)
-3 Big Boss Battles
-Wave-Attack arena challenges
Now to be fair, the randomly generated levels are sort of a generic sci-fi Legos set if you will. You'll recognize a fair amount of repetition, but the enemy variety is quite massive, and their tactics varied and devious. It has an automated cover-fire system (press against an object and you go into a squat). I do wish they'd fix it so you don't often "stay" in a squat when you move. Sometimes looks like everyone has a hernia and/or is imitating a gorilla.  icon_razz

You get a surprisingly deep and flexible weapons upgrade system and skills system. You get an SMG and shotgun to start. Later you can purchase a powerful pistol w/ laser sight, a grenade launcher, a flame thrower (not quite as flamey as I'd like but effective), heavy machine gun etc. Upgrades relate to things like ammo capacity, weapon's heat generation etc. I think you're limited to 9 points to assign down 3 vertical "trees," so you can't just have every upgrade, which makes for some neat variety/experimentation. You can reset the points to try different upgrade options.

While I wouldn't call it an action RPG per se, there is a lot of loot collection going on and for me and other fans it has that sort of addictive gameplay.

Currently if you die and don't have a "1Up" token, then you have to quit that session. And you complete a mission with a group, then the group's auto-disbanded at that point. I can cope with all that in single player but really don't think it's the way to handle co-op if you want to encourage folks to play with pals for more than one mission. The devs promise updates soon on that type of thing, and seem pretty active at the Steam forum on it.

Here's a fairly concise Twitch vid I took that shows off co-op pretty well I think.  icon_cool

3 Player co-op in Meltdown
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/b/514776561
*Starts during an arena "defend against assault waves" segment within a mission. The missions are just long maps and usually there's one "arena event" where you're enclosed by force fields into a limited area and have to tackle some sort of nasty mix of enemies.

The game doesn't use Steam Worx for MP, they say they want to keep it cross platform compatible so they have their own system. While it works well in terms of pick up groups for now, you can't right click a bud's name in your Steam friends list and invite them into a game, alas.

I'll post more stuff, in my typical over-excited fashion, after dinner.  icon_smile Hey it's $3.99 ($5.99 when released in final form). I promise if you have any interest in this type of old school game, or if you like stuff like Alien Breed or Alien Swarm, you'll probably have a good time with it.  icon_smile
86  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Torchlight 2 (Review on pp5) on: March 27, 2014, 01:47:43 PM
Might deserve its own thread, but Runic's founders announced they're leaving Runic  icon_frown "Amicably," they claim. Runic itself is apparently working on a new, not yet announced game (not the Torchlight MMO afik), and they allude to that a bit.

Announcement : Next Things
http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59642
Quote
have a little something I'd like to share. It is with the strangest mixture of elation, fondness, fear, and bitter-sweetness that I'm announcing my departure from Runic Games, a company which I co-founded nearly six years ago, and have led as its President and lead engineer ever since.

I should say from the outset that this is an amicable departure, that I consider the amazing team at Runic my friends and family, and that it is a privilege that they've let me get away with running the place for this long. I love them all, and the biggest downside to all of this is that I won't get to see them every day. They are the reason that Runic has succeeded, and are the best group of people you could hope to meet or work with.

I feel more than confident in their ability to continue to excel, drawing on all of their collective talent. I'm excited for the world to see the project they are working on now, and I know it will be spectacular when you get to play it for yourselves.

I'd also like to thank Perfect World, who have been the best partner Runic Games could have hoped to find, and have been unfailingly supportive of us over the years, no matter how many curveballs I have thrown their way. It's my wish that I can maintain a great relationship with you all going forward.

Erich Schaefer, my friend and fellow Runic co-founder, will be departing Runic as well as my equal partner. I'm so gratified to be able to continue working with him.

I'm personally excited - oh, hell, I'm SUPER-STOKED - to be getting back to smaller-scale development, where I can wear many, many hats performing many, many different kinds of tasks. Working within the boundaries of limited means and resources is the best fun I've ever had, and that sort of work satisfies me in a fundamental way - I can't wait to be working that way again.

To those of you who have played our games, interacted with us on our forums, met us at trade-shows, and Tweeted/Facebooked/social-media'ed with us over the years, I want to thank you all. You have helped to make this a rewarding journey for me, and I hope the same holds true for you.

April 2nd will be my last day at Runic, as I tie up some last technical tasks for the team, and then it's on to the next thing! I hope to see you all again soon, online, or maybe at one of those trade-shows.

Okay, if this goes on too much longer I'm gonna burst into tears-

Don't be a stranger!

Travis
And Max says:
Quote
Hello Runic community,
Yes, it's true. Our beloved President and lead key-masher, Travis Baldree, is leaving us, as is Erich Schaefer, my brother and long-time biz partner. As Travis said in his statement, this is a perfectly amicable parting, and we wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavor. I'm sure we'll all be watching and waiting for what they make next. It's sure to be wonderful.

Meanwhile, the rest of us here at Runic are excited to move on and continue to work on this crazy, cool, completely secret project we've been working on. We're champing at the bit to talk about it, but will wait until we're ready to show it off. Travis' right-hand man for over ten years, Marsh Lefler, has seamlessly moved into the lead chair at Runic, and after we've sent Travis and Erich off in a bourbon-fueled celebration/wake, you'll find that Marsh is more than capable of taking the reins, and the other 20-something Runic members all eager and able to pull the extra weight. Change is scary, but it's often good. And this is healthy for both Runic, and Travis and Erich.

From all of us at Runic Games, we thank Travis and Erich for the incredible body of work they leave behind, for the legacy that they left with us, and for making Runic Games what it is today. Best of luck to both of them in their new crazy downsizing scheme, but they won't need it. They will do just fine, as they always have. And to all of you out there, thank you for supporting us, and continuing to support us as we move into a future full of unknowns, excitement, adventure, and most of all, great games!

Best regards,
Max Schaefer
Their fledgling new company's site is amusing:
http://doubledamagegames.com/  smirk
87  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4, PS3, Vita] Helldivers (Starship Troopers with friendly fire) on: March 26, 2014, 09:41:06 PM
fwiw, Helldivers is listed as a "summer" release in Sony's latest list. OK not helpful, I know, but the list did just release today so it's the closest thing I could find to "news" for Helldivers.  icon_smile
http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2014/03/26/every-ps4-game-announced-2014-far-100-growing/
88  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: March 26, 2014, 06:10:21 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 26, 2014, 06:03:49 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on March 26, 2014, 04:43:07 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 25, 2014, 03:38:54 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on March 25, 2014, 03:34:32 PM

So is a Blizzard flunkee more likely to counterfeit my passport or my driver's license? I'm debating which image to send to see if I can finally fix my authenticator situation. Yes I'm paranoid, it's just a question of which would contribute least to my paranoia.  paranoid icon_razz

Blackjack, seriously, you shouldn't have any issues with this.   I did it and never had a credit issue.  
OK but did you send a driver's license image or a passport image? Maybe it simply doesn't matter, but I figure whatever's less likely to get abused (intentionally or not) is what I'll send in. I just don't have anyone else's specific experience to go on to this point.



Drivers License ..  I guess it comes down to comfort level..   I just didn't want to lose access to my WoW toons
Thanks. Well, my driver's license is hideous (the DMV camera lady made me look like a bloated carp with a huge mole under my left eye; when I don't have a mole at all! How do they DO that!  icon_razz) but I figure the worst a Blizz flunkee can do is copy it to go buy beer.
icon_smile

Hopefully my next post will be that I regained access to, well, anything Blizzard.
89  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 26, 2014, 04:56:06 PM
Following the community guide and wiki tips and info, I got a lot... less bad... in co-op last night.  icon_smile I think really the key is to get away from treating it like Cannon Fodder and towards trying to get killed as least often as possible. Sometimes easier said than done. icon_smile

I found a key way to rack up the XP is to get in a tank on the MG or main gun and blast away while someone else drives. Or with the gunboats, players have found if they beach them close to enemy territory, the gunboat missile launchers will continuously fire on their own. At one point I hopped into a beached gunboat and manned one of its MGs, and just kept blasting away and racking up XP. While the AI soldiers are fairly smart -- they'll sort of hunker down under heavy suppressing fire -- they still kept trying to send solders w/ RPGs towards the gunboat, which made for easy pickings.

After being stuck around 100XP all Sunday, I made it to 500 XP, which is supposed to promote you to corporal, though I didn't see a notifier about that in game.

I really find this game does combined tactics (infantry working alongside/behind tanks or APCs) as good as anything I've played. Had some awesome moments last night working alongside tanks to help us infantry grunts break through tough areas.

You have to try not to get squashed, but they provide good cover and need some infantry help in fending off RPG soldiers. It seems more fun if the guy driving the tank realizes that he needs infantry support -- and thus doesn't outrun player soldiers or run over them -- than when someone "lone wolfs" it and charges into enemy strongholds just to get blown up promptly.
90  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: March 26, 2014, 04:43:07 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on March 25, 2014, 03:38:54 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on March 25, 2014, 03:34:32 PM

So is a Blizzard flunkee more likely to counterfeit my passport or my driver's license? I'm debating which image to send to see if I can finally fix my authenticator situation. Yes I'm paranoid, it's just a question of which would contribute least to my paranoia.  paranoid icon_razz

Blackjack, seriously, you shouldn't have any issues with this.   I did it and never had a credit issue.  
OK but did you send a driver's license image or a passport image? Maybe it simply doesn't matter, but I figure whatever's less likely to get abused (intentionally or not) is what I'll send in. I just don't have anyone else's specific experience to go on to this point.

I like what I'm reading/hearing about the expansion and revamp so certainly I'd like to get back into it soon.  icon_smile So hopefully this my last post about my paranoia.  icon_smile

Really what turned me off of D3 wasn't the auction house stuff or the loot; I just kept running into massive, seemingly random spikes in difficulty levels within a playthrough. Like I'd mow through most of a level and then a random spawn would mash me into the ground repeatedly. And I never much liked the console-like boss battles where you'd have to restart the entire boss encounter to get to the point where I got face palmed. In, say, Grim Dawn, the boss's damage at least stays in place (he doesn't magically self heal if you die before you can finish him).

Actually I get mad just thinking about D3 in this way. Maybe I should stay away.  icon_lol I certainly had lots of love for D3 in late beta, and I get wistful looking at all the gameplay videos I posted about it.
91  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 26, 2014, 02:42:42 PM

Quote from: Caine on March 26, 2014, 03:21:28 AM

from the web page linked in that image

Quote
For mightier chats: just add heroes
We're celebrating the world premiere of Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier with our first-ever Marvel emoticons! To add some action to your chats, try typing in (captain) (bucky) (nickfury) or (blackwidow) to reveal these limited edition characters. You'll need the very latest version of Skype, where they should be ready to deploy from 13 March*. But make the most of them - they won't be on duty for long.

Plus we're laying down the gauntlet for true Cap fans: take on our challenge to unlock one final, hidden emoticon...
I don't use Skype for chat so I guess no fun for me.  tear

The early Winter Soldier reviews continue to trend tremendously positive. I might try to catch an IMAX show on the main opening day (April 4) if I can snag a ticket. I have plans that Saturday though so perhaps I can't continue the "see a movie 3 times opening weekend" tradition. Well, there's always Sunday.  Bring your own!
92  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 25, 2014, 11:03:37 PM
Skype's early screening rewarded attendees with a half dozen animated, Captain America-themed emoticons. How do we get in on this?  icon_smile

http://vanguardcomic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Cap-Badges.jpg
93  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Verizon Contract Is Up, Don't Want to Renew Due to Grandfathered Data- Halp! on: March 25, 2014, 03:40:36 PM
This made me laugh in sympathy for a different grandfathered reason -- I'm grandfathered into a 1998 (!) era limited voice plan, something like $25 a month for 30 (maybe 45 now) minutes/month anytime calling. It was $19.99 originally. They don't offer that anymore afik. It's ideal for me because I rarely use my iPhone for calling but constantly for data. So I got an excessive 4GB hotspot (I think a 2G would be adequate for me if it was offered on hotspot plans) data plan so I could use my iPad with it on occasion and go nuts data-wise without worry.

I got my first iPhone (first smartphone) in Oct. 2012 via Apple's site per some recommendations to do that rather than visit a Verizon store, and it was all handled very smoothly, fwiw.

fwiw, at least with my cheapy voice plan Verizon did let me carry it over from a brick Nokia to an iPhone. Certainly though that's a whole different ball of wax than an unlimited data plan.  icon_neutral
94  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: March 25, 2014, 03:34:32 PM
So is a Blizzard flunkee more likely to counterfeit my passport or my driver's license? I'm debating which image to send to see if I can finally fix my authenticator situation. Yes I'm paranoid, it's just a question of which would contribute least to my paranoia.  paranoid icon_razz
95  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 25, 2014, 12:49:58 PM
A veteran player posted a helpful, illustrated
Running With Rifles Community Guide
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=240613726

Hopefully they'll do a more detailed tutorial at some point. I had no clue the yellow points on the map were selectable spawn points.  icon_redface

I guess Lazy-Bone is right -- if you actually want to progress in the game, you want to sort of "nibble" at the edges and tackle solo AI soldiers or small groups. To me it's more fun to charge or try to flank a big group but  unless you have a lot of support you just end up losing a lot of XP and not progressing in ranks.
96  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 25, 2014, 02:41:47 AM
Some MP pics...


Appropriate, no? Captain America!  icon_smile


BJ vs. The Brown Army. Brown wins...  Roll Eyes


Expanded armory in a multiplayer game. Unfortunately, I can't use squat. XP means points towards your ranking promotions; RP refers to "resource points," which seems to refer to how much equipment and what equipment you can use (each weapon/equipment has an "RP" number assigned).


MP map. Every player has his own color soldier but they really need to not use blue so much imho.  icon_razz Another player said they're working on that.


Stats screen. Alas, only 24 can fit so when there are more players and you're blah like me you can't even see your MP stats.


Manning the cupola MG while another player drove the tank was as fun as i thought it'd be.  icon_smile


BJ blathers with other players.  icon_smile Lazy-Bone had a bit of an attitude. icon_razz

And just now realized from reading the chat that junk items on ground like cigs, beer bottles, magazine (the kind you read), etc. can be turned in at armories for RP. It's just, as a private I don't think I even have any backpack space whatsoever.  icon_frown
97  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 25, 2014, 02:04:23 AM
Couple more videos from massive co-op multiplayer sessions tonight (24-30+ players). It's fun, but I just can't stay alive enough (you lose XP for dying and friendly fire), and you need like 500 XP or RP or whatever to get promoted in rank. Not sure I'll ever get there in MP games.  icon_razz

Co-op video 1
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/b/514029865

Co-op video 2 (more players)
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/b/514035697

Did learn a lot chatting with other players. Like you can eventually pick loot up and turn it in at the armory for the XP/RP whatever and gives you essentially more coinage to spend on equipment/weapons. Not sure I understand if what you can use is based on rank, or if it's based on that XP/RP stuff. Will have to study the wiki more.  icon_smile

Certain transport trucks provide a mobile spawning point.

For sure you see lots of comments from new players impressed by the AI. One even kept asking if it was a pvp game but you could tell from the F1 stats score we were the only human players.  icon_cool The brown forces (Russian, basically, in terms of weaponry) seem noticeably more brutal than the grey ones.
98  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: March 24, 2014, 09:26:23 PM
I figured she plants the walkers in the sides of the train tunnel like fresh veggies, and occasionally goes in there to pluck off some cooking ingredients, so to speak.  drool

I agree, I just wouldn't expect ALL the gathered characters to willingly walk through those unlocked fence gates without so much as a pause, or a "Hey, maybe a couple of us should remain outside the fence until we know what this place is all about" remark.

I liked the touch with the candy bar wrapper on the railroad track.
99  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 24, 2014, 05:34:05 PM
A little different - a review of the movie's music, composed by Henry Jackman (not related to Hugh  icon_smile):
http://www.movie-wave.net/captain-america-the-winter-soldier/

I don't know why Alan Silvestri wasn't invited back after Cap and The Avengers. Some sites claim Feige and co. thought the Avengers' soundtrack was too old-fashioned sounding but given the $1B+ box office I don't see how anyone can fault the music.

Presumably they wanted something "newer, darker and edgier," (in keeping with the director change), and Silvestri tends to do more classical, orchestral, upbeat themes in the vein of John Williams and maybe James Horner. I loved Cap's music so much I bought a few of the themes on iTunes.

While a couple segments in The Winter Soldier call back to Silvestri's distinctive themes a bit, they apparently aren't on the official soundtrack album.
100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: March 24, 2014, 04:54:51 PM
Last night I texted my nephew:
Spoiler for Hiden:
What? Terminus is Tasha Yar????  saywhat

Maybe the whole show is just a holodeck simulation on the Enterprise?  icon_razz
101  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 23, 2014, 06:06:06 PM
Forgot about my Twitch account. I'm recording some longer vids there that should be amusing while I replay at the Hard difficulty level  icon_smile

Here's about a half hour of me dying repeatedly in a co-op game this afternoon. It's fun but I can see co-op would be more fun with a few people actually fighting alongside each other and working together. Otherwise, it's not much different than the single player slaughter if nobody's working together.  icon_smile

RWR co-op, half hour
http://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/b/513679256
*Sorry about their obnoxious ads. They gotta make mnoney, right?  icon_razz

Some multiplayer things:
*They do have some official, persistent (keeps your ranking from game to game) co-op servers
*Where it says to put in a password, that's to offer some simple protection for your username for rank tracking (NOT a server password, they said at forums)
*"T" is Faction chat; chat bubbles
*Players have different color toy soldier icons on the map, and each has a different color/shape highlight under his soldier in game.
*Use F1 key to both see stats and see a traditional chat screen. Not sure others in my game realized that.

*Aaand watching another player taught me you can melee (V key) boxes to get some equipment drops out of them.
102  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 23, 2014, 03:23:21 PM
Here's your basic armory lineup (I think on the campaign maps, the armory offerings can differ just a bit; on one we seemed to get a 3-round burst bullpup rifle) -- this is from the splash screen where you're just a private (rather than your savegame, progressing character), so that's why the red marks denote what you aren't capable of using yet.

*For all weaponry you get access to, I generally find the default M16 most effective. The one-use TOW is of course good for vehicles but is also good for blowing pesky enemies out of cover.  icon_twisted While the game is not Company of Heroes destructible (if it ever is, that would be so awesome  icon_cool) but vehicles do blow up quite good.
*I think the medkit would be more useful in co-op. I haven't figured out much use for the C4 now - I suspect if they add more sabotage-type objectives later on, it'd be good for that. As mentioned, adept use of the shield eludes me - I'm afraid I'm not Steve Rogers.  icon_razz
*When you use the M60 machine gun (or is that a SAW?), you automatically dive and go prone when you start firing. It has 200 round capacity and is not terribly accurate.


The weapon swapping is pretty quick. You hit the F key (configurable) to pull up this screen. If you want to change to a weapon in your backpack, you left click the weapon in the pack and it swaps. While you can carry lots of stuff, it slows you down (the % number indicates how overloaded you are), and since you're gonna die frequently, I don't tend to pack rat too much.  icon_smile I do always equip the body armor from armory if available.


RWR has a cool auto-cover system though often I find it just as effective to "run and shoot" or to shoot while crouched/prone. If you press against any type of object (doesn't work so good with some tree types), you'll go into "cover mode" like above.


In theory, you should be able to fire around the corner and then when you stop, you're back in cover. I sometimes seem to be shooting into the cover itself though.  icon_razz



Finally drove a tank. If you've got an AI Squaddie manning the gun (there seem to be 3 positions - driver, main gunner, top turret cupola machine gunner), you can give some general instructions -- seems like you right click on the tank itself for "Fire at Will"; and then right click on enemies or general areas to direct them to fire at specific things. I don't think they'll fire unless enemies are there.


You can fill a jeep with 4 guys (driver and 3 soldiers who can fire while riding). While this sounds awesome, the AI is just too smart and will promptly blow up your jeep with an RPG or hand grenades. Which can be too funny in this game.  icon_lol

103  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 23, 2014, 02:53:19 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on March 22, 2014, 09:07:19 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on March 22, 2014, 08:21:45 PM

Learned a lot today while playing....

I've gotten several Early Access games lately so I'm trying to cut back and just wait till release, but what you've been posting may change my mind.  Thanks for posting all this info, I know it takes some time and effort to enter all the text and collect and process the screenshots, so I just want you to know that it's appreciated.
Thanks, much appreciated. It's no fun without an audience, which is what GT forums kindly provide. icon_smile Yeah this game has been in development more than two years and while they still promise all sorts of neat additional features, along with three additional maps, it's almost a misnomer to call it "Early Access." I mean, it is in terms of the small dev wanting lots of feedback on additional features to add, but I don't see it as one of these really crude early access titles that kind of give "Early Access" a bad name.

I also flap my gums about Grim Dawn, Door Kickers and Assault Android Cactus, not because they're perfect or complete but I really think in terms of fun factor and being relatively stable to play, they give Early Access a better name (imho). Rather than "hey here's our buggy, broken, messed up Early Access title - give us money and maybe it won't be screwed up at some point." I've bought those kinds of games myself.  icon_redface I don't think Early Access needs to mean that, but that's the rep due to several bad apples.

End of sermon. Will post a few screenshots from today.  icon_smile
104  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 22, 2014, 08:21:45 PM
Learned a lot today while playing....

*Zoom in on the battle map and "world" map with mouse wheel or +/- keys:

-They promise more maps but what's there is already very large and diverse, fwiw.
-White arrow boxes denote transfer points to connected maps. You just want to pay a bit of attention on this world map to what your greenies have already taken full control over so you don't "warp" to "old" maps you already completed.

*The "role playing" comes into play partially on using RP points for these radio "call in support" commands (default is H key). Very cool, often very handy. Reinforcements drop in by parachute.


*Mortar support is cool to watch and what's great is even if you're wounded -- if wounded you can drag your butt around, using your hands, and the LMB calls for medical help but you can't fire weapons -- you can still crawl around, tap the radio key and call in for anything you have the RP for. I am not really certain if the artillery target point is where your guy is, or if it's related to your crosshairs.

I called in both of these mortar blasts while crawling around wounded.  icon_cool I think by "one round," it means several mortars firing one round in unison.  icon_twisted




And the parachute reinforcements, very fun to watch.  icon_smile I'm still at the rank where I can only lead two other soldiers of lesser rank, squad-wise.


I refer to the below map point/objective as "the meat grinder," as we just couldn't quite break through to take the camp. I tried leading a couple guys up from an entry south but we couldn't really do much. It has a "gore slider," I turned it up fairly high. You can effectively turn it off, and adjust how long bodies stay on the battlefield, etc.
105  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: on: March 22, 2014, 03:17:04 PM

Quote from: Caine on March 22, 2014, 03:14:25 PM

I see mp is part of this as well.  Maybe we should start up a gt dedicated server to play on.
I haven't tried yet. It sounds fun (seems to be both co-op and adversarial type modes, supporting up to 30 players i think), and they claim to have dedicated public servers but everything I can see on the list seems password protected, so I'm a little confused on that atm.
106  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 22, 2014, 03:10:52 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on March 22, 2014, 10:41:04 AM

I think I bought this way back as well, where do we go to find that out?  
The official site points to a helpful wiki (think it's fan run). I don't guarantee it'll answer your question; it does have all sorts of other info links too though so hopefully it'll help.  icon_smile

Running With Rifles Gamepedia
http://runningwithrifles.gamepedia.com/Running_with_Rifles_Wiki

The health system is explained here (I guess in the end, this system is actually surprisingly realistic for a game with fingernail size men running around  icon_smile):
http://runningwithrifles.gamepedia.com/Health_system
Quote
The health system in RWR is not the usual one most might be used to from many other shooters as you don't "take damage" in the traditional sense.

In fact every bullet can kill at any moment. You don't have the usual health bar or any other indication for that matter.
Every weapon has a different kill probability which is around 50% average but can be up to 100% for some precise weapons like sniper rifles, e.g. if those hit you, you are dead.

However, there is a vestment type item in-game that comes a bit closer to a health-point system, the vest.

It gives you 3 "extra-lifes". Those vests can be bought at the armory and can also be worn by some AI soldiers. A vest icon is shown on the right side of the grenade slot. You can recognize a vest-carrier by a darker vest model around his torso like on the picture below:

In the table below those 3 stages of the vest status are listed below:
Hud vest.png    The vest is not damaged. The next LETHAL bullet to hit you will be fully absorbed as if nothing had happened.
Hud vest hole1.png    You have been hit once by a lethal bullet. The next LETHAL bullet to hit you will cause you to be stunned for a few seconds.
Hud vest hole2.png    You have been hit twice. The next LETHAL bullet will consume your vest entirely and you will fall into a wounded state where you can only recover if a soldier (or player) with a medikit heals you. While you are wounded you can still crawl into cover and call for a medic (pressing the left mouse button). If you have the feeling that there is noone around, you can commit suicide by holding the knife key down for 3 seconds, otherwise you will die automatically from your wounds after 30 seconds. Notice that you can still use radio calls while wounded which might be useful for calling paratroopers and hopefully a medic to patch you up
My only beef is once I die, I don't have the best anymore and it isn't always fun to run the length of the map to an armory to re-equip. I would've liked to have maybe had a lighter vest always on as default, something like that?

As far as "radio calls," hmmm, I guess I need to read up on that.  icon_redface
107  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 22, 2014, 02:57:58 PM

Quote from: Caine on March 21, 2014, 05:48:18 PM

looks interesting.  how realistic is the health and armor modeled?  OpFlash is one of the more punishing tactical shooters, so I'd expect to die more than kill in this game.  and how is that handled?  respawn somewhere new? reload from checkpoint/save or start fresh?
Sorry - I'm not saying that a game with tiny soldiers the size of a fingernail has Operation Flashpoint style statistics per se.  icon_smile I'm certainly dying a helluva lot, but I'm also getting better after just a couple hours or so of play.

Here's a peek at my comical stats so far...


I just meant reminded me of Operation Flashpoint in terms of being on a massive battlefield with stuff going on all over the map. You're notified of key, well, "flashpoints" on the map, but you're free to go running off anywhere that interests you. You can run along with the hordes as they tackle the signified objectives, or you can lone wolf it or take a squad (as you rank, you can gradually get 1, 2, 3 etc. soldiers to join you as your squad and give basic orders).

Here's a map example. This battle has multiple factions (you're green, the greys are one faction and the browns seem to be a more skilled [higher ranking troops] faction).

Battles are really fluid, so just because your forces take one objective doesn't mean it'll stay in your hands. I had a helluva time keeping the airfield on the southern side of the map. The brown forces kept flowing in from the west and sometimes air dropping airborne troops.

A meter on the bottom of the screen (and a notification beeper when you're about to take over an objective area) lets you know when your forces are reaching the critical mass necessary to take an objective area. And then this is indicated on the map via the colors.

Armories are here and there, and there you can 'F' key it to change your loadout and backpack items (there's a simple XP system to determine what you have access to). I guess the thing to keep in mind is you lose those goodies when you die (your new troop will have your main, secondary and a medkit, and that's it). But you can pick up anything, friend or foe, off the battlefield, IF you have the XP level necessary to equip it. Your guys get stuff like M16, M60 etc.; grey gets HK36s (I think mostly European weapons), I think browns get AK47s and other Russian weapons.

If you equip the body armor from armory (it won't take up a grenade spot; uses its own body armor slot I think), you seem to have a better chance of just getting wounded if shot (grenades still one shot you). It's very fun to watch AI troops yell "HOLD ON!" and then crawl or dash over to you to try to heal you.  icon_cool But often the would-be medic and I just get shot at the same time.

afik ammo for your firearms are infinite in terms of clips (you do have to reload, and different weapons have different reload times). Special weapons like RPGs I think you only can use once and then it's removed from inventory. Grenades seem to include frag, impact and stun. Equipment includes deployable cover (basically you take a couple seconds to drop a large box in the field), a SWAT-like shield I haven't really figured out how to use well, and an expensive fixed machine gun.

Also like OFP, you can drive a tank, a jeep, a truck, a boat, a rubber boat (no aircraft yet). You can hop onto an AI-driven tank and man the turret cupola machine gun which is fun as hell.  icon_smile Catch a ride on a jeep and you can fire while riding. Or you can try to runover enemies, not as easy as it sounds.

Or the vehicles are just helpful in terms of reaching far off objectives and transfer points faster. I'm not sure the game engine could really portray airborne units (the parachuting airborne troops are fun but I mean like a helicopter or something would be tough to do in this) but that would be cool.  icon_cool

Here's me manning a tank's MG, lot of fun. More fun if the AI driver didn't seem to know where he wanted to go.   icon_razz
108  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CeeKay AWOL? on: March 22, 2014, 02:04:22 PM
Just glimpsed a CeeKay achievement on Steam, so clearly he's playing games today, not studying.  icon_smile
109  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 21, 2014, 07:30:55 PM

Quote from: Caine on March 21, 2014, 05:30:09 PM

I do appreciate you posting these. I'll read a few after I've seen the movie and posted my son's review. 
Ha, thanks. I know it's silly, I just am pleased so far that even the most jaundiced critics seem pretty pleased with it. I've also learned there are a few hundred movie news/reviews blogs I've never heard of at all.

Here's a bit more...

Modern Myth Media
Link:
Quote
Transcendence is the point at which a superhero film moves beyond the confines of its home genre and firmly plants its feet in another. The most frequently cited example is 2008′s THE DARK KNIGHT, a modern crime drama that just so happens to star a vigilante dressed as a bat and a homicidal clown. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER makes a successful leap onto the field of the political and espionage thriller while still delivering all the expected flavors of the Marvel Studios brand.
...
Its ambition is exceeded only by its execution, making this CAPTAIN AMERICA sequel a credit to the genre from which it transcends and a triumph for Marvel.
=====================
Movie and Film Reviews blog
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"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is an excellent movie all around with only one area where it does disappoint.  Immediately after watching the film you will be asking when the next Marvel film is out.  Good acting performances from all of those involved and a great storyline, "Captain America: The Winter Solider" is certainly going to be one of the bigger blockbuster movies of the year.

It questions peoples morals and is very relatable to the world we live in today.  It is more than just a comic book movie.  It is enjoyable, exciting and has something that every viewer will be able to enjoy.
============

Hitfix
Link:
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"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a tremendous piece of pop entertainment, smart and engaging and featuring a home run movie star lead performance by Chris Evans and the best overall supporting cast in one of the Marvel movies in terms of everybody having something significant to do and everyone being written for to a degree where they're playing people and not just types.
I'm a bit surprised Collider, which sent folks to the early critics' screening, hasn't posted a review or maybe a longer impressions piece than "Frosty" Weintrab could share on Twitter.

A lot of these sites posting early views are in the UK where it debuts next Friday. I'm actually off next Friday from work and really wish it was playing in the U.S. then.
110  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Running With Rifles (top-down tactical shooter w/ open-world RPG elements) on: March 21, 2014, 05:09:24 PM
While I describe this as "Cannon Fodder meets Operation Flashpoint," others have their own descriptions. If you dig controlling a teeny tiny soldier on massive battlefields alongside many dozens of AI Cannon Fodder-looking troops, this is your game.  icon_smile If not, then not.  icon_smile

Official Running With Rifles site (you can d/l a recently updated, free demo version there):
http://www.modulaatio.com/runningwithrifles/
Quote
RWR is an open world, top-down, tactical shooter for single player and multiplayer online, that puts you right in the middle of chaos in towns, trenches and forests turned into ruthless battlefields, controlling just one soldier in an army of several hundreds.

In a war where men die like flies and endless streams of reinforcements run to fill the void, it takes tactics and marksmanship to capture territories effectively. The open world nature of the game enables you to use a multitude of approaches to help the front line move – it’s up to you to shape your role. Experience the complete arc starting as a private hardening into a high ranking officer with a squad under command, arming yourself with a variety of weapons and vehicles on your way to glory!

Key features, so far
8x 1 km^2 maps with total of 62 bases
-hundreds of simultaneous AI soldiers
-open world: it’s up to you how you play, the war goes on without you
-not your usual “I’m the hero”-shooter: one bullet kills more often than not
-use cover, crouch and prone, move with others to increase your odds to stay alive
-emergent AI that tries hard: they too use cover and rooftops, attempt outflanking
-gain XP to get promotions to lead your own squad, unlock items & calls
-a broad variety of faction specific weapons
-grenades, bazookas, remote detonable sticky C4, riot shields, medikits, vests, rare weapons
-mortar strikes, paratrooper reinforcements, vehicle drops
-jeeps, transport trucks, APC’s, boats, tanks, patrol ships with AI driving
-deploy cover elements to strengthen your fellows’ positions or use vehicles for mobile cover
-campaign and quick matches, with Map Capture or King of the Hill game modes
-locate & destroy the radio truck/tower behind enemy lines, or steal their cargo truck and deliver it home
-Windows and Linux supported
-24/7 servers in Europe and USA supporting 30+ players
I had tried the crude earlier version of the demo over on Desura. The full version on Steam is way more fun than I remembered, though it took me a couple days to get something resembling proficient at it.  icon_smile I don't seem to be anywhere near running a squad yet.

Running With Rifles (early access)
http://store.steampowered.com/app/270150/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_1

While it supports online play, I've not tried it just yet. Still just working at getting more kills than getting killed.  icon_smile

I compared it to Flashpoint because the battlefields become massive, and you can drive it seems just about any vehicle where the driver's seat is free, or else catch a ride on an AI-driven vehicle.

You really are just a nobody grunt -- every time you die, you respawn at the nearest respawn point with another generic name. It seemed like I was respawning with my latest weapon equipped eventually, not sure if that's tied into rank or something. A backpack lets you keep extra weapons/equipment to a point (depending on rank) though you seem to lose all that when offed.
111  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 21, 2014, 03:21:33 PM

Quote from: Caine on March 21, 2014, 02:57:45 PM

I woke up wondering "hmm, I wonder if Blackjack found any more reviews for CA:TWS"


then I came in here and all doubt was removed.  biggrin
What? Caine wants more?  icon_smile

Forbes
Link:
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...it’s not just destined to be another solid and financially successful entry in their collection of comic book films, it’s one of the best the genre has ever seen and takes Marvel’s cinematic endeavors in a more complex, serious, and dramatic direction.
=======
16:9 reviews (fwiw, claims to be a "spoiler-free" review)
Link:
Quote
This film feels a million miles away from its predecessor (I'll kick her ass too! icon_razz-bj); it has a sharp script, the acting is brilliant, especially from Evans and Johansson who just KILLS as Widow, and the concept of the plot feels refreshingly different.

Whilst the film isn’t ground-breaking with regards to completely smashing through the conventions of the genre and the narrative is more than slightly predictable, the storyline feels current as it concerns itself more with clever planning and execution rather than the simple SMASH and BANG antics we are more than used to (*cough*Thor*cough*).
=======
The Fortean Times (5/5 stars)
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What’s perhaps most surprising is that the Russo brothers – with a background in TV comedies like Arrested Development and Community – have turned in the best action movie I’ve ever seen.

And it’s not down to the CGI spectacle – impressive though that is – but to the fight sequences: these are astonishing well choreographed and possessed of a thumping, visceral heft that simply drags you into the fray and leaves you reeling.
=======
SFX Magazine (UK; note that I think the movie opens there next week)
Link:
Spoiler for Hiden:
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Directors Joe and Anthony Russo earned their stripes with comedy but they prove impressively muscular filmmakers. This is the most exhilarating action yet seen in a Marvel movie.

The fight scenes are tightly, slickly choreographed, brought to the screen with a sense of brutal ballet. Car chases are executed with a clear grasp of the visceral, the Russos favouring hand-held camera, slaloming through fastlane traffic. Elsewhere there are great storms of shattered glass and gunfire. It’s a rare window that nobody smashes through.
======
Chillidog Movies (UK movie blog)
Link:
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The obligatory super-heroics and brilliant special effects combined with intrigue, tension and spectacular (and I mean spectacular) action make for arguably Marvel's most complete film yet, a popcorn epic that manages to mix big scale thrills with a real feel for character. Add a touch of 70s conspiracy thriller and Bourne style techno-paranoia and you've got a supremely entertaining movie.
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Hey U Guys co.UK
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Where Captain America: The First Avenger was an efficient if slightly underwhelming piece of superhero entertainment [I give up; I can't kick ALL the asses of reviewers bashing the first film icon_razz-bj], the star-spangled hero’s second solo outing helmed by Community’s Anthony and Joe Russo is an altogether different beast; multi-layered and action-packed, it’s Marvel’s best standalone film yet and easily the best representation of the character on screen thus far.

Furious Fan Boys (well, with a name like that, expect enthusiasm, right?-bj)
Link:
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As someone who loved Ed Brubaker’s entire run on Captain America, so much so that I still enjoy re-reading those story lines, I was really looking forward to seeing The Winter Soldier. It’s arguably one of the best stories that Marvel has told in the last couple of decades in the comic, and it’s been realized fantastically on the big screen. It gives Cap an emotional journey, and .... The film raises the bar for action in superhero movies, and it still remains to be as fun as you want a Marvel movie to be.

It’s not hyperbole to say that Captain America: The Winters Soldier is better than The Avengers. It’s the new jewel in Marvel Studios’ crown. See it immediately.
=====
The Movie Bit
Link:
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Captain America The Winter Solider marks the half way point in Marvel’s Phase Two (Guardians Of The Galaxy and Avengers Age Of Ultron completes the second phase) and holy crap, does it make a mark! So much so that on your way out, you’ll buy another ticket to see it again.

And..... *dragged away from keyboard by The Red Skull*  Bring your own!
=============

btw, have read some kvetching about the movie's length -- it's 136 minutes (2 hours, 16 minutes). Still short compared to say, The Dark Knight (152 minutes; 2 hours 32 minutes), and it's shorter a bit than Marvel's The Avengers (143 minutes; 2 hours 23 minutes). It sounds like they have a lot of story to tell so I'm glad Disney/Marvel didn't shortchange it on whatever time they felt they needed. I reserve the right to feel differently April 3.  icon_smile
112  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 20, 2014, 08:33:07 PM
Here be earliest reviews, fwiw. I won't put anything spoiler-y in pull quotes, promise.  icon_smile I like to make up my own mind too -- I do find if the general trend is positive, my experience tends to be too. But that's just generalizing for sure; sometimes I fall for films really lambasted critically.

NOTE: Hmmm, I find a couple things in the reviews a bit spoiler-y. I'm not upset about it, but I've put ALL the links in spoiler codes to emphasize others might be wary of it. icon_smile

Den of Geek
Link:
Quote
Let’s just cut to the chase: Captain America: The Winter Soldier is awesome.
==================
Super Hero Hype (8/10)
Link:
Quote
Captain America: The Winter Soldier" may not be the perfect representation of the comic books but that's actually a good thing. Instead, it gains huge points by working as a standalone movie set in the world of espionage and world politics that's different enough from previous Marvel movies to be more accessible for non-comic fans than anything Marvel's done thus far.
=============
Variety
Link:
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The Rip Van Winkle of superheroes goes rogue in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” an impressively equal sequel to 2011’s superb origin story “Captain America: The First Avenger” that trades the earlier film’s apple-pie Americana for the uneasy mood of a 1970s paranoia thriller — a resonance underscored by the casting of “Three Days of the Condor” and “All the President’s Men” star Robert Redford in a prominent supporting role.

Chockfull of the breathless cliffhangers dictated by the genre, but equally rich in the quiet, tender character moments that made the first film unique among recent Marvel fare, “The Winter Soldier” marks a generally assured return to features for sibling helmers Anthony and Joe Russo (who’ve been in a moviemaking deep-freeze since 2002’s “Welcome to Collinwood”) and should easily keep the franchise gravy train powering through to “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” due next May.
=========

IndieWire was a bit less impressed (B-), though some of their concerns (too much action) don't necessarily sound bad, right?  icon_smile
Link:
Quote
But with "The Avengers" boosting the character's profile further, and Marvel increasingly bullish, they've gone all in for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," a far bigger and more expensive adventure for our frozen-in-time hero, played for the third time by Chris Evans. Savvily, they've played down the more patriotic aspects of the character to chase an enemy within, in a film that directors Joe & Anthony Russo have compared to 70s paranoid thrillers like "The Parallax View" and "Three Days Of The Condor."

And it's sort of worked: "The Winter Soldier" is probably in the upper tier of Marvel pictures in terms of quality, but ultimately proves too muddled and frantic to match the heights of "The Avengers."

=========
IGN (9/10):
Link:
Quote
Perhaps more to the point, the film is one of, if not the strongest individual installment to date. One part spy thriller, one part character journey, one part visceral action movie, and one part straight-up superhero adventure film, The Winter Solider hits all of the right notes and serves as an example of the very best of what comic book movies have to offer.

The scale of the film alone is unprecedented for Marvel. If feels as though the studio has taken every lesson they’ve learned in terms of how to construct and effectively execute an action sequence and integrated it into one elaborate and gorgeous piece of spectacle. It’s all right there on the screen.

===========
Vanity Fair
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The Russos have crafted good, eye-popping scenes of explosive flurry, but it would be more interesting if it had all been leading somewhere with the same intensity as the intriguing bits of exposition. I like The Winter Soldier, as I’ve liked all the Marvel movies. But I'm eager to get to the real main event, whatever that might be.

==========
The Hollywood Reporter
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Quote
Captain America may not flex as much box-office muscle as his Marvel stablemates Iron Man and Thor, but there's a steadfast band of fans who pledge allegiance to Captain America: The First Avenger as possibly the best of all the Marvel superhero films — other than The Avengers.

These true-blue enthusiasts will not be disappointed in this second entry in the series, which takes the bold (for Marvel) step of reducing CGI spectacle to a relative minimum in favor of reviving the pleasures of hard-driving old-school action, surprising character development and intriguing suspense.
========
Screen Crush (8/10)
http://screencrush.com/captain-america-the-winter-soldier-review/
Quote
Despite all the explosions and ridiculous technology, you still care about Steve Rogers, whose anachronistic seriousness trying dutifully to fit in to our jaded times is as apt a metaphor for remix culture as anything else. This entry won’t win any new converts, but anyone already invested in this series is going to have a blast.
===========
The Wrap
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Quote
The first “Captain America” had a lot of great ideas, but its vacillation in tone and occasional failures to deliver the emotions for which it was clearly aiming made it one of the lesser recent Marvel movies [WHO IS THIS GUY? GONNA KICK HIS ASS!-bj  mad icon_razz]. This time around, however, it's a movie that's raising the bar on what we can expect from the ongoing adventures of these men and women in tights.
==========
Digital Spy (UK) (4/5 stars)
Link:
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... Captain America: The Winter Soldier feels tonally distinct from its Marvel forerunners, more spy thriller than superhero sequel. Trading in the lush period specificity of The First Avenger for a stripped-down, glossy aesthetic, it's a grounded and character-rich midpoint for Phase Two.
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The Upcoming (UK)
Link:
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What could arguably be the best Marvel film to date, The Winter Soldier truly has it all: a juicy plot, healthy sprinkle of humour, delightful characterisation, and not to mention, the most stunning fight sequences to ever be performed on screen. Characters that have already been in cinemas before – [deleted for your protection-bj] – have, indeed, turned the dial up to 11.
============
Telegraph (UK) (3/5 stars)
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...you can’t help but feel disappointed that a film with a relatively spicy premise becomes, in the end, so risk-averse. Is it possible for a franchise so swollen with its own success to still accommodate real creative bravery? Money, time and the four more Avengers films currently in production will tell.
============
Bleeding Cool
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Review – Captain America: The Winter Soldier Is Ambitious, Surprising, Exciting And Hardly Ever Too Silly
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MTV
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Chris Evans' third full-time turn as the star-spangled man is Marvel's darkest, most complex movie to date and largely succeeds by fitting the superhero movie into the trappings of a political thriller.
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Slash Film
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an ideal middle chapter in a larger story. The performances are charismatic, the story is surprising, and the action exciting. Plot wise, there’s some complex stuff going on ,which you’ll definitely need a conversation or two to get straight. ... There are some problems, but even acknowledging those, it’s hard not to fall in love with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
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OK, I know, you've got Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, you don't need BJ curating reviews. Did I break this thread yet? Indulge me just for today.  icon_smile Kudos to Twitter's search function for helping me track these down. I purposely haven't read most in depth. I think it's a good sign that out of 15 reviews or so, I couldn't find anything remotely negative. We're not talking TDK or Avengers type reviews, but certainly stronger critical kudos than the first Cap film, fwiw.
113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 20, 2014, 05:24:39 PM
fwiw -- we all at some point dislike games and movies critically lauded, and vice-versa -- the review embargo lifts at 1 p.m. Pacific/4 p.m. Eastern time today.
114  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/Linux/Mac/Ps3/Vita] Luftrausers on: March 20, 2014, 04:44:20 PM
I went ahead and picked this up on Steam last night. While it works fine with an XBox360 controller, I confess I find the steering doesn't always quite go in the direction I'm trying to go in. Just take some time to get used to it, I guess. Very fun though.
115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4, PS3, Vita] Helldivers (Starship Troopers with friendly fire) on: March 20, 2014, 04:43:18 PM
I'll post the other stratagems I saw, later on. I know one is an armored personnel carrier that all four players can fit into (have seen it in screenshots I think). I'm not sure it's heavily armed, though.  icon_smile

There's also one that appears to be a "tactical nuclear weapon," which gives me a funny MDK flashback.  icon_cool

Reading about Helldivers inspired me to play Alien Swarm with a couple folks Sunday for the first time in eons. Still such a blast. On the very last map, and the last run through to the escape ship, my buddies fell, and I struggled to get a freeze gun turret placed in the last area before just running for my life. I was down to like 5 health as the escape ship finally docked. Hopefully Helldivers has some cool mission finale moments like that, too.
116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirmed on: March 19, 2014, 09:35:27 PM
Marvel released the first 10 minutes of the movie online the other day. I'd say maybe 7 of the minutes already were seen in earlier trailers, teasers and clips. I'm not inclined to link it (feel like even I've over glutted on footage at this point); if you really want to see it, just Google it.  icon_smile

Regal and Cinemark are also joining the Capital America 3-D double feature bandwagon on April 3, fwiw. Not clear if they're offering the poster and lanyard stuff like AMC, I'd assume so.

I checked on the AMC show I'm seeing, and still a lot of seats left. Someone I don't know picked a seat directly next to me. I feel a personal space violation coming on...   *Fist Shaking*  icon_razz Unless it's, say, a gorgeous, lonely librarian comic book fan lady.   Fabulous  icon_smile
117  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/Linux/Mac/Ps3/Vita] Luftrausers on: March 19, 2014, 09:10:09 PM
fwiw, here's a Vita version review at Pocketgamer (UK):
http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/PS+Vita/Luftrausers/review.asp?c=58206
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Alongside the impeccable Spelunky, Luftrausers is - when at its best - among the most enjoyable experiences you can have on Vita.

When you're on a good run, threading through a tight weave of bullets, pirouetting in mid-air to swat a nuisance fighter jet on your tail, swooping into the ocean to dive-bomb a boat, juking to outsmart a battleship's guns, and nursing a fragile MAX combo, Luftrausers momentarily becomes the best game you've ever played.

It's a dizzying, mesmerising, frenetic dance to a death. A wicked smart balancing act of attack and defence. A white-knuckle thrill ride through the sky. And there's that catchy electronic riff.
While I don't have a Vita yet (I bought two PSPs over the years, but Vita's lineup to this point hasn't appealed much to my niche tastes), I'm edging towards one in preparation for Helldivers this summer.  icon_smile

While I know this is on Steam and all, I'm marking it down as a little something I might enjoy on Vita as well.
118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Gauntlet on: March 19, 2014, 07:18:15 PM
They had a food truck distributing free turkey legs and apples at this week's GDC show.  icon_smile

https://twitter.com/playgauntlet/status/446023433109790720/photo/1
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The @playgauntlet food truck handing out free turkey legs and apples at #GDC2014 will be back today!
119  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Gauntlet on: March 19, 2014, 06:19:36 PM
It's true there's a cool glut but I haven't at all found Diablo III, Torchlight II, Van Helsing and Grim Dawn (early access), for example, to play precisely the same. No more than the 193 first person shooters on the market are "all the same thing." You can have similar gameplay mechanics but entirely different designs on loot, skill trees or lack thereof, enemy spawning, crafting questing, etc.  icon_smile I dunno if a Gauntlet type game would have much of any of that, actually.

I can't quite tell from the vid if it's a click to move/kill type of game now (per Diablo), or something more like Shadowgrounds, Alien Swarm etc. (keys to move, mousing to aim etc.). Magicka had an unconventional control scheme I never quite got comfortable with, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Couple of my Steam co-op buds who refuse to have anything to do with consoles/handhelds, might at least be keen on this.  icon_smile

Arrowhead would seem to be a natural to do something with the Robotron property later on. They're not a big dev though and I assume Helldivers and Gauntlet are plenty to keep them busy for now.  icon_smile
120  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).
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