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81  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (1/20) on: January 19, 2015, 08:44:38 PM
Nothing. This might be the first time in my gaming career that I'm actually happy about the Q1 gaming drought.
82  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist - 1/16/15 on: January 16, 2015, 04:22:58 PM
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, more Far Cry 4! I'm over 70% now - been knocking out a lot of the collectibles, so most of the remainder are side missions and a handful of story missions. If I can get a good session in tonight and tomorrow night, I should be close to wrapping this one up and moving on.
83  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza Motorsport 6 announced on: January 13, 2015, 11:19:39 PM
I'll pass. While I put enough time in both Forza 5 and Forza Horizon 2 to get my money's worth, I don't have the same level of fun with them as I do with say, an open world game that features some driving. That's not a knock against the games themselves, just that the older I get the more boring I find just plain racing.
84  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 01/09/15 on: January 12, 2015, 01:31:24 PM
Took a significant chunk out of Far Cry 4.

Strategy alert (I'll put in spoilers just in case, since it's kind of cheaty):

Spoiler for Hiden:
I realized you can just fly the gyrocopter and land on top of towers without having to climb them. Knocked out about half the towers in 30 minutes.

All towers are unlocked, and I've only got two outposts left.

I'm sitting at 50% completion right now, but I believe the back half of the game will go much quicker now that I have quick travel to just about anywhere on the map.
85  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [NFL 2014] [Playoffs] Divisional Round on: January 11, 2015, 05:22:44 PM
Yeah that was a predictable loss. I'm happy the Panthers somewhat turned their horrible season around and started playing a little better towards the end, but I don't think any Carolina fans thought we had a chance in hell to win that game. My only consolation is that with the Patriots and now the Seahawks moving on, there's a good chance I'll have a villain to root against in the Super Bowl.  icon_twisted
86  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 01/09/15 on: January 09, 2015, 09:04:18 PM
Still chugging my way through Far Cry 4. Just passed the 20 hour mark, though it feels a lot longer than that. I'm still having fun with it though. It's taking a while just because my game time has been cut quite a bit, so I'm only averaging about an hour a night.
87  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 09, 2015, 02:51:05 PM
Quote from: Ironrod
So if I'm forced to adopt the solution, the problem will follow? Got it.

Well in theory, you're not actually being forced to do anything or use anything in a different way. The only difference would be that the electronics in your refrigerator you never notice would run on a standard platform instead of on Java or whatever. It's not like you're going to stop buying appliances with electronics, since all of them have it anyway. The internals would just be on a standard.

Quote
Other smart home items I can see some benefits in, and as mentioned in the Echo thread, I can imagine a common interface binding them all together - the Nest, door locks, home security, lighting, TV, etc.  A futuristic home where most common things are voice or watch/phone commanded via a seamless wireless interface.  Maybe it's just the kitchen stuff that's bugging me.

I think the use cases are definitely more useful for the stuff you described (lighting, security, etc.) but there are some good appliance uses as well. Health monitoring, for instance. Your dryer could send you a text and tell you the heating element is starting to go out. Or your fridge could alert you when it's time for a new water filter.

I also see the potential to make very smart "green" appliances that could regulate their power consumption based on certain conditions. Maybe your washer can sense the load and use the precise amount of water and power to use to wash it, then communicate that information to the dryer.

If every appliance is aware of its environment and has the ability to communicate, then every appliance could be a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector. We'd move away from the concept of a house full of disparate machines, and into the concept of a house being an integrated, self-aware ecosystem.
88  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 08, 2015, 06:03:39 PM
I, for one, welcome our new Terminator overlords.  icon_smile
89  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 08, 2015, 04:52:01 PM
I think the "Internet of Things" thing is a really necessary infrastructure and could pay huge dividends down the road that we can't even fathom right now. The problem is that as consumers it understandably feels very gimmicky because the actual important use cases can't come about until it's a standard. I believe this is one of the rare instances in which the technology needs to be forced on consumers. Standard API that is just built into everything whether you utilize it or not. Once it's out there, application developers can start making feature sets for it.

This isn't about your toaster oven telling you the weather. This is about making electronics speak a common language so that our environment can work as a cohesive system rather than a bunch of disparate units.
90  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: January 08, 2015, 03:35:37 AM
I've picked up a few more podcasts that are not new, but I have really enjoyed. I'm currently working my way through the archives of these.

The Memory Palace - clocking in at a mere 14 minutes or less (sometimes as short as 2 minutes), these infrequently produced snippets are beautiful little works of art. Each focuses on an interesting person or event that, in many cases, has fallen out of remembrance. With many of the stories, rather melancholy, I've never had a podcast make me a little misty-eyed like this one. If you love interesting figures in history, you'll love this one.

99% Invisible - I avoided this one for quite some time because it was about architect and design, which I don't have a particular interest in. A couple of episodes and I realized what a mistake I made. While there are certainly episodes about buildings and plazas and the like, most focus on the design we don't always appreciate - the art of postage stamps, the clicks of an iPhone, theme park queues. No exaggeration - this podcast really has changed the way I look at things. Another short podcast, with most episodes in the 15 minute range.

Here Be Monsters - Think of this as 99% Invisible for weird subjects. Similarly formatted and clocking in at a similar length, this podcast explores more unusual subjects but from a grounded perspective. Subjects I've listened to so far range from giant octopi in Washington state to the intelligence of horses to the hallucinogenic effects of pure darkness.

TED Radio Hour - I've always enjoyed TED talks but never really knew where to begin when browsing them. The TED Radio Hour basically does the curating for you, presenting highlights and discussion of various talks each podcast. I really like that this covers topics I'd probably not think to click on, but so far have all been really entertaining.
91  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 08, 2015, 01:21:50 AM
I agree on the curved TVs. I went to Best Buy and looked at a 78-inch curved one and dead center I could see the appeal since it made the picture slightly more immersive, but from the sides I didn't find it particularly better than viewing any decent flat-screen TV at an angle. And it would look utterly ridiculous wall-mounted.

I think this is a case of manufacturers doing it because they stumbled upon some tech that looks cool, not something that actually fulfills any consumer need.

I don't mind the thinner TVs - thinner = lighter, and all that eventually trickles down to lower cost. Less materials, costs less to ship, etc.

Honestly most of this CES seemed more about stuff that I think is still a few years away from being ready for prime time. VR, self-driving cars, smart watches? I think those are all a ways off from mainstream adoption.
92  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: January 06, 2015, 02:58:55 PM
I take it for what it is. You can't blame a melodrama for being melodramatic.
93  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (1/5) on: January 05, 2015, 09:22:46 PM
I'll grab Infamous: First Light. I'm on a self-imposed spending freeze until I can work through some of my extensive AAA backlog.
94  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Games Finished 2015 Edition on: January 04, 2015, 10:36:26 PM
Finished:

The Wolf Among Us (PC)
Game of Thrones: Episode One (XB1)

Playing

Walking Dead: Season Two (PC)
Far Cry 4 (PS4)
95  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 01/02/15 on: January 03, 2015, 12:55:52 AM
I've made a vow to not buy any new games until I finish what I bought over the holidays, so we'll see how it goes. I did at least make some progress by finally knocking out The Wolf Among Us yesterday.

On tap this weekend are Far Cry 3, and I'll probably try to quickly run through Tales From the Borderlands Ep.1 and Game of Thrones Ep. 1 since those will be quick wins.
96  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 12/26/14 on: December 27, 2014, 12:43:31 PM
All Far Cry 4 for me. I'm trying to focus on one game at a time right now. My theme for 2015 is going to be "Finish what you start."
97  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Year later - PS4 or Xbox One on: December 24, 2014, 01:07:32 PM
I've stated my thoughts on this before, and I still go with - it just depends.

I personally feel like the Xbox has the better exclusives right now, but that could certainly change next year. I don't feel like the performance disparity is that big a deal. If you're giving up the games you want to play because  of the performance disparity, then I think you're basing your purchase on the wrong reasons. And right now the price is certainly great if budget is a concern. I also like how Microsoft has been continuously updating the XB1 to make improvements.

The PS4 is rock solid and is my choice for non-exclusives. While the interface is cleaner and more intuitive than the XB1, Sony doesn't seem as active in pushing improvements. I'm hoping that we get some good exclusive AAA titles on the PS4 next year, because other than The Last of Us I feel like this year has been a bust. The caveat to that is that if you like indie/downloadable titles, the PS4 seems to have the better selection, and in general their PS+ freebies usually shake out better than Microsoft's.

In the end I think it all comes down to what games you like to play. Make that your primary deciding factor, then weigh out the rest.
98  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/23) on: December 22, 2014, 01:22:26 PM
I'll be picking up a few wishlist items that went on sale for Steam. Namely Spintires, Valiant Hearts, and possibly Grim Dawn.
99  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: December 19, 2014, 03:31:32 PM
Yeah the thing I like about that Alec Baldwin podcast is I feel like you more or less get a true sense of what the celebrity is really like. Kris Kardashian came across just as shallow and attention-whorey as I expected.
100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: December 19, 2014, 01:15:14 AM
Yeah, that's why I pointed out it's better suited for some podcasts over others. I only use it for podcasts that are heavily information or interview oriented. I'd never use it for something like Serial, for example, where details are important, or something like Giant Bomb where the chance of comedy is really high. Alec Baldwin interviewing Kris Kardashian? Double speed all the way.  icon_biggrin
101  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: December 18, 2014, 02:45:48 PM
I'm still torn on Welcome to Night Vale. I'm about 7 or 8 episodes in, and it's rather formulaic and somewhat predictable. However, the musical interludes in each episode are really good and the extremely cynical humor occasionally makes me LOL.

I think it just doesn't lend itself well to binge-listening. I think I'll push through and catch up, then enjoy it as a bi-weekly program as it was clearly meant to be.

Also, being able to 1.5x or double speed podcasts is the greatest thing ever. Obviously some lend themselves to it more than others, but I've been doing some major catch-up at work by putting some on 2X and ripping through them.
102  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: December 16, 2014, 01:48:27 PM
I listened to the pilot of "Welcome to Night Vale" based on that Slate recommendation, and I'll definitely be catching up on that one. Really weird but oddly fascinating - will be a good one to listen to in the evenings when the house is quiet.
103  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: December 15, 2014, 07:04:20 PM
I just started catching up on Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin.

I'm not the world's biggest Alec Baldwin fan, but this is a really fascinating show. I also like that most episodes run fairly short (half hour or so).

Each episode he interviews a different celebrity - actors, actresses, musicians, political strategists, etc. He's a great interviewer and is able to ask sensitive/tough questions that a non-celebrity interviewer may not be able to get away with.
104  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/16) on: December 15, 2014, 05:19:12 PM
I plan to keep up my tradition of buying everything that Steam puts on sale, then not play it.
105  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Far Cry 4 on: December 10, 2014, 01:13:41 PM
In Far Cry 3 I was really obsessive about getting every loot item, but I've been a lot more casual this time around since it takes up so much damn room and is so abundant. Also, I don't think it counts towards 100% completion, so there's no real reason for me to grab everything.

Also, don't try to kill Asian Rhinos with a bow.
106  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cards Against Humanity holiday thing on: December 09, 2014, 04:07:18 PM
I never got Day 1 but Day 2 showed up the other day. I made the mistake of opening it in front of my wife and like Lucy Ricardo, I had SOME 'SPLAININ' TO DO!!!  icon_biggrin
107  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The end of a gaming era on: December 09, 2014, 01:40:56 PM
I currently buy most of the cross-platform titles on PS4 for the graphics/performance boost, even if it's negligible, but only because I have that choice. However, I've played many 900p games on the XB1 and never have my eyes started bleeding due to the lack of pixels. In the end if you care more about pixel count than you do games, you need to buy a PC because right now it's killing both consoles in terms of graphic quality.

I feel like the XB1 has by far had the better exclusives to date. Forza 2, Dead Rising 3, Titanfall, and Sunset Overdrive were all great, and I'm looking forward to the Master Chief collection once they get its issues ironed out. PS4 will certainly have some good exclusives, but it seems to be in a constant state of "just you wait, it's going to be good!" I'm hoping 2015 is the year we finally start to see some of those promises come to fruition.

In terms of the systems themselves, the PS4's interface is by far cleaner and easier to navigate, but I have to hand it to the XB1 team for providing constant meaningful updates to the UI. I've been really disappointed in Sony's rare "bug fix and performance improvement" patches that offer almost no discernible features or improvements.

I've been asked the question multiple times this holiday season on which console to buy, and my answer has always been, "It depends." I think the PS4 is a rock solid console if you just want to straight up play all the cross-platform titles with the best potential performance and graphics. I think the XB1 offers the better multiplayer and multimedia experience, and currently has the better exclusives. In the end, I'm really glad I got them both because they both fill a niche. I thought that the abundance of cross-platform games would make owning both consoles stupidly redundant, but I've been pleasantly surprised to find that I really do enjoy them both equally.
108  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/8) on: December 08, 2014, 01:05:52 PM
Nothing this week, but I have my hands full anyway.
109  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Far Cry 4 on: December 08, 2014, 01:39:51 AM
So far so good, I'm really liking it. It's basically just Far Cry 3 - Cry Harder, but I loved FC3 so it's all good.

First thing I did was set myself up for an alternate ending (major spoiler below):

Spoiler for Hiden:
At the beginning of the game, Pagan Min tells you to wait and he'll be right back. If you do wait (approximately 12-15 mins), he comes back, you get on a chopper together. He flies you to a shrine where you place your mother's urn and credits roll. If you just do what you're told, you don't have to deal with all the bullshit of actually playing 30 hours. I laughed out loud.

110  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The end of a gaming era on: December 08, 2014, 01:34:39 AM
I'm pretty much the opposite when it comes to sentimentality. I don't have time for ancient technology. My 360, which I had owned since launch, got kicked to the curb so fast it would have made your head swim when the new consoles were launched.

If consoles were puppies, I'd be the meanest SOB on the planet.

111  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Far Cry 4 on: December 07, 2014, 12:51:29 PM
I'm looking forward to this one. I exchanged my unopened copy of Assassin's Creed: Unity for it last night. I'll pick up Unity again at some point because I have a feeling it will be getting some deep discounts sooner rather than later. I was going to get GTA V, but ultimately needed my Ubisoft climbing towers fix.  icon_biggrin
112  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: TV Viewing and Spending Thresholds Discussion on: December 05, 2014, 04:09:56 AM
Here's my biggest problem with cable. Not using realistic numbers here, just making it simple.

Let's say I'm a new customer, and I get a great deal and pay $50/month for the first year. First year comes and goes, then it goes up to $100/month. I'm now paying twice as much for the same content. The next year cable prices go up, and I'm now paying $125/month for the same content I was paying $50 for a couple of years ago. My neighbor gets fed up with his high bill, so he calls and threatens to cancel his service. They drop him to $75/month and HBO to make him happy. Meanwhile I haven't called and complained, so guess what? I'll be paying $150/month when they raise prices again in six months, and getting LESS content then neighbor Joe.

How, as a consumer, can you not feel like you're not getting f-ed over when the pricing is all over the map? I can ask five different people what they pay for cable, and I get five different answers.

I would happily pay for cable if I knew I was getting a fair price that was the same as everyone else. Instead, I feel like I'm being ripped off unless I'm willing to call them up and act like an asshole.
113  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1/Ps3/Ps4] Dragon Age: Inquisition on: December 04, 2014, 11:40:16 PM
I'm in the same boat, Travis, though I haven't given up many opportunities to play it. While it actually lends itself well to short play sessions since you can go knock out a quest or two and then set it aside, it's more rewarding and addictive when you can play it for a longer stretch. The most fun I've had with it so far is when I was able to play for a couple of hours uninterrupted.

With so many other games I want to play right now, this may just be the one that I'm content to finish over the course of several months rather than just trying to knock it out. The RPGs I've finished have typically been ones I've played when there was nothing around to distract me.

114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Suicide Squad on: December 03, 2014, 04:11:10 PM
Quote
Jared Leto has a very huge challenge as Heath Ledger owned that role and I have a very hard time seeing someone else play it.

I'm probably the only person on the planet who didn't particularly care for Heath Ledger's take on the character. I'm not saying it wasn't good, but to me it wasn't The Joker. Just like Bane wasn't Bane.

I'm very interested to see what he'll do with the role, though.
115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Far Cry 4 on: December 02, 2014, 08:43:04 PM
I understand they are a business, but it doesn't mean we as consumers need to bend over and accept mediocre products. I hope Unity's disastrous launch is a wake-up call for them.
116  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Far Cry 4 on: December 02, 2014, 08:21:44 PM
I don't think Ubisoft is lazy, but I do think they are greedy. They need to stop trying to push out an Assassin's Creed installment every year. There is example after example of them over-promising and under-delivering, and I don't believe it's because they want to make bad games. I think their publishing arm is just pressuring to ship ship ship and damn the consequences.

Just today it was revealed there is a bug in The Crew that makes it impossible to actually join a crew. They had to release a day one patch for it. When you're shipping product that has core gameplay features that just don't work, you need to slow the fuck down.

117  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Xbox One Discussion on: December 02, 2014, 03:26:48 PM
They don't necessarily need to catch up to PS4 to be successful and profitable. They're making all their money off of software, so as long as they have enough units out there to make money off games and keep developers interested in making games, they should be fine. Now Sony needs to stop resting on their laurels and get some good exclusives out.
118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Far Cry 4 on: December 02, 2014, 01:36:00 PM
I kind of fall in the middle of you two guys (Bullwinkle and TiLT). I do enjoy the collectible stuff in the Ubisoft games, but I also recognize that their formula is starting to get a little old. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just one game, but all their games use the same side mechanics disguised as something else. Assassin's Creed, climb a tower to reveal side stuff. Far Cry, climb a radio tower to reveal side stuff. Watch Dogs, hack this tower to reveal side stuff. The Crew, pull up to this satellite dish to reveal side stuff.

At some point they need to change up the way they're doing things. I think there are creative ways to accomplish this and give some meaning to the side content. As an example: I thought Sunset Overdrive went a bit overboard in number of collectibles, but those collectibles were used as currency so there was some motivation to collect them outside of busy work. And Dragon Age has tied side collectible stuff into the broader story and at least made it appear to be something other than busy work.

To Ubisoft's credit, they pretty much invented this formula, so I cut them some slack for wanting to use it. However, as developers find new and interesting ways to tweak it I think they'll need to follow suit to keep us from getting bored or just ignoring it entirely.
119  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Marvel Unlimited - 75 cents for 1 month (new/returning users) on: December 01, 2014, 09:26:07 PM
I wish DC had a similar service. I'd love to go catch up on some old Batman stuff.

I'll definitely check this out, if nothing else just to read Civil War in preparation for the new Marvel movies.
120  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/2) on: December 01, 2014, 02:37:59 PM
Nothing this week. I want Game of Thrones, but I still need to finish up Walking Dead Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us before tackling any more Telltale Games.
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