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41  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Arrow on: January 30, 2015, 12:32:48 AM
Just a general comment, I'm still surprised, but I am really enjoying this show.  Actually both this show and The Flash keep surprising me with how engaging they are.  I was concerned about the Flash's tone being inconsistent with Arrow given that they are in the same "universe" but somehow they are both managing to maintain very separate identities while overlapping nicely.  (Although I can't help but think Felicity would have called Barry over to help take out the Juggernaut and his minions, but oh well.)  Kudos all around.
42  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: [iOS, Android] Cards and Castles on: January 27, 2015, 09:36:09 PM
Game was patched again and servers improved.  There are still some issues but things were much smoother last night.

I forgot to mention there is also a draft mode similar to other games of the genre.  You get to select your two factions and then you get a series of cards to choose from to build a deck.

Last night I ended up in an epic battle from Draft.  It kept going back and forth, every single time I thought I had the match under control, my opponent would counter with everything he had.  And then vice versa, it was just crazy.  I ended up winning but I'm not entirely sure what happened.  I think the opponent forfeited but I don't know if it was by choice or if he ran out of cards or what.  While I thought I was up, I'm not entirely sure I had the match won when he quit.  Either way it was one of the best online matches I've had in a long long time.
43  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Helix on: January 27, 2015, 07:11:55 PM
I finally caught up with the first two episodes of S2 and I have no idea what to think.  I know I must have missed a few details here and there since I fell asleep a couple times lol but still the new season is kind of crazy.  Whether it's crazy good or crazy bad remains to be seen.  On the plus side, I do like Matt Long.
44  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [teaser trailer] Fantastic 4 on: January 27, 2015, 07:09:55 PM
I almost fell asleep waiting for something to happen.

I do like most of the cast though, so at least that's a plus.  Of course you're never gonna beat Chris Evans as Johnny Storm but whatever, I guess he's moved on  Tongue
45  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: [iOS, Android] Cards and Castles on: January 26, 2015, 07:02:26 PM

Quote from: Lee on January 25, 2015, 04:56:40 AM

Quote from: rittchard on January 25, 2015, 03:48:16 AM

Granted I've only been playing this a couple of days, but thus far I've found it more engaging than either Hearthstone...

Strangest thing I have read all day. I now have to call in to question everything you have ever said. icon_twisted

lmao!  I do enjoy Hearthstone, but I think I'm a bigger fan of the TBS/tactical genre over the CCG/deck building genre.  This game scratches both itches.  Obviously it doesn't have the strategic depth or "character" of HS, but the tactical portion is something HS just doesn't have.  I guess I feel more connected once the card units become actual playable units on a battlefield.  And certainly there's another dimension added when you have to consider range, motion, position, etc.

Last night one of my matches the computer AI had me almost crushed.  Everything I brought out it would kill using a strategy similar to my own deck (damages units whenever you draw a card), but I knew I had some solid cards in my hand if I could just hold on.  The AI was closing in with a number of units on my base so I knew I had just a few more turns to make a play.  I finally got a Sniper out and loaded him with buffs, both attack and healing - and basically created a super unit to take the AI units out one at a time.  It was a really gratifying win since it really required the full combo of tactics, patience, trust in my deck... and a little bit of luck.  On the flip side, I played an MP match with the same deck and got totally crushed after making a silly mistake or 2, and just not getting any luck on units appearing when I needed them.  The opponent played all basic cards (looked like the default deck) but was able to load up enough buffs to devastate my base.

Unfortunately they do seem to be having some issues with servers/connections, particularly in draft mode.  I hope they get it ironed out because it's really a fantastic game.  Luckily there's enough single player content to last a while.
46  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / [iOS, Android] Cards and Castles on: January 25, 2015, 03:48:16 AM
www.cardsandcastles.com

I'm not sure how this one slipped through the cracks for me.  A search shows Hark ninja mentioned it a while ago, and I vaguely recall planning to check it out but apparently I never did.  Some of you may remember a while back there was a well received mobile TBS game called Hero Academy that a number of us played.  Essentially it was like the tactical battle portion of HOMM, but pretty much multi-player only.  It did provide both async and live MP which was very nice.

This game retains that competitive MP format, but takes it a step further, adding computer AI scenarios/campaign - but more interestingly a CCG element similar to MTG or Hearthstone.  You can create a custom deck from cards that you win through completing scenarios, quests and, of course, spending cash.  Decks are built from 2 "factions" (i.e. colors from MTG, which include Vikings, Ninjas and others) plus neutral cards in a deck of 40.  Battles play out in a very simple grid-based map.  The only variation on maps comes in the form of towers which can be controlled by attacking, after which they can be used to attack in a limited range.  Controlling towers is not essential to win, as the only thing you need to do to win is destroy the other player's castle.  However, towers are in close proximity to the castles, so depending on you strategy, they can be very useful.  The single resource used during the game is gold (replacing mana), which simplifies gameplay somewhat.

Granted I've only been playing this a couple of days, but thus far I've found it more engaging than either Hearthstone, MTG or Hero Academy.  Elements from each of the games are incorporated but simplified to some degree, so the gameplay is easy to learn and moves very quickly (live MP games have a timer).  There is definitely enough variation in cards (units, all sorts of unit buffs, global buffs in the form of buildings which can also serve as tactical pieces, nukes, heals, etc etc) that strategic deck creation is very important.  Battlefield complexity is just interesting enough that tactics definitely come into play.  I found it really easy to pick up initially, but very quickly solid planning, smarter card choices and tactics became important to get further, both against humans and AI.  It's really a fantastic blend of CCG with TBS.  I've tried a number of games similar to this on iOS, but this is the first one I felt did a really successful blend that's both easy to get into but complex to master.

My big concern for MP is that certain cards or card combos will be unbeatable but I suppose that's always a risk with CCGs.  I really don't know enough about the game to know what overall card balance is like.  The good thing is that even if MP is a bust, there are plenty of SP scenarios to play as well, which is something that Hero Academy really could have used.

Would be fun to get an async group going again - as always my account name is "rittchard"  thumbsup
47  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What to look forward to in 2015 on: January 23, 2015, 07:28:16 PM
My gaming interests really seem to be shifting away from PC/console, as none of the big releases are really exciting me as much as I try to psych myself up for them.   crybaby

That new Blizzard franchise looks like it has potential, but other than that I can't think of much.

On the mobile side, I'm really looking forward to Heroes and Castles 2, which I expect to be madly pimping in the next few months.  nod
48  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Jupiter Ascending on: January 23, 2015, 07:23:25 PM
Cool special effects? Check.
Sexy chick in tight leather outfit? Check.
Hot muscley shirtless Chan Chan?  Check.
BOROMIR?  Check.

What could possibly go wrong???
49  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early 2015 Movie Fest! on: January 22, 2015, 01:22:32 AM

Quote from: Lee on January 21, 2015, 10:56:34 PM

You lost me at Bruce Willis.

lmao!  The sad thing is I just realized I had confused Bruce Willis with Harrison Ford in Blade Runner.  I am getting way too old I think my brain is deteriorating faster every day.   saywhat saywhat saywhat
50  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Early 2015 Movie Fest! on: January 21, 2015, 09:17:44 PM
I don't remember another year where there were this many sci-fi/fantasy/horror/action flicks in the early part of the year.  I'm pretty excited!

Jan 16

VICE - Bruce Willis in some sort of Blade Runner-ish flick, I'll probably wait for video
blackhat - Thor as a super hacker, super believable!!  Prob wait for video

Jan 23

The Loft - psychological thriller
The Atticus Institute - institute for peeps with supernatural abilities, sounds cool but I'll prob wait

Jan 30

Project Almanac - looks like Butterfly Effect, I can't resist alternate timeline movies
Alien Outpost - I have no idea what this is, I think it's also listed as Legends from the Sky

Feb 6 (kind of annoying that 2 sci-fi/fantasy flicks are debuting on the same day, will likely cannibalize each other at the box office)

Seventh Son - previews look sweet
Jupiter Ascending - previews also look sweet
Spongebob - superhero Spongebob, nuff said

Feb 13

Kingsman - really looking forward to this one, young Brit super agents led by Colin Firth, yum!

Mar 15

new Paranormal Activity

Mar 20

Divergent: Insurgent


51  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 16, 2015, 12:10:43 AM
I love Rogue's sales pitch, "if you like FUN..."   nod icon_biggrin icon_lol
52  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 15, 2015, 12:44:28 AM

Quote from: rittchard on January 15, 2015, 12:20:58 AM

Quote from: Gratch on January 15, 2015, 12:16:10 AM

Dammit, you people are not helping.

Tell me about it, I started checking prices right after reading this  thread!   ninja

Ugh, I hate myself.  And I hate you guys! 
53  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 15, 2015, 12:20:58 AM

Quote from: Gratch on January 15, 2015, 12:16:10 AM

Dammit, you people are not helping.

Tell me about it, I started checking prices right after reading this  thread!   ninja
54  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 14, 2015, 09:10:31 PM
Just when I thought I never needed a Wii U...

Wow that looks fantastic, but boy those 3 sure do a lot of running.  I felt tired for them just watching.

Isn't there another Wii U exclusive that was supposed to be really good?  Was it Bayonetta 2?
55  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron on: January 14, 2015, 09:06:01 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on January 13, 2015, 04:11:14 PM

Just take my money now, Marvel.

I may have spooged just a little  icon_eek
56  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Trend for mobile sucks monkey nuts on: January 12, 2015, 07:31:25 PM
Yeah, Hero Emblems is pretty sweet!   thumbsup thumbsup

Templar Infinite Crusade is a pretty addictive little game too, $1.99 no IAP.  It's kind of a rogue-like, but distilled to an even simpler format. 

Among the throng of IAP games, I'm still enjoying Crusaders Quest quite a bit, and in spite of being willing to support the game, I still have yet to have found the need to spend any real money.  It's odd the way they have priced things out, it just doesn't seem like you get much bang for your real $.  The game is fun enough that just playing more seems to be rewarding enough as is.

57  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Fire vs DS on: January 12, 2015, 07:26:03 PM

Quote from: Roguetad on January 12, 2015, 02:35:10 AM

It's pretty cool seeing how happy my daughter is trading pokemon with me.  Now she hunts for unusual ones to trade with me.  That's worth the price of admission alone.   

That does sound priceless!  Now I want a 2DS, Pokemon game, AND a daughter lol.   paranoid paranoid paranoid
58  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: January 09, 2015, 12:45:57 AM
Nooooooooo!!!!  Damn Season 3 finale  icon_mad icon_mad icon_mad

Even though I knew it was coming at some point, it was still painful to watch.  I think I'm gonna go watch The Guest a few more times to cheer myself up.
59  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 09, 2015, 12:42:58 AM
Here's some stuff about curved TV viewing:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/01/whats-the-deal-with-curved-tvs/

It still seems like it would only be effective on a really huge (theater-like) scale, or, as mentioned, for a single person's personal space.  As the main TV servicing a general family room, it seems like it would be more detrimental since anyone stuck on the sides gets a more distorted view.

Given that, it really makes me wonder what the use case is for a curved phone?   saywhat

- - -

I love the line about the toaster and fridge conspiring lol.  While I am intrigued by the concept of appliances and other items having a common API/language, I'm still wondering where the benefit lies.  So let's just imagine in the extreme, every single thing in your kitchen is capable of communicating on a common platform with each other and thus with your phone/watch.  That's still not going to allow the dishes to wash themselves or the food to cook itself.  Maybe if you added robots into the mix?  I guess we're really getting into Terminator territory then lol.

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.

60  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: (TV-ABC) Marvel's Agent Carter on: January 07, 2015, 09:40:04 PM
Two-hour premiere!!!

I had already decided to pass on this, but when they announced the Ant-Man trailer would be on it, I decided to give it a chance.  Glad I did, as it was all around a pretty fun show.  Good action, nice humor, amusing plotline.  I found myself not caring how and why it would tie into other Marvel stuff, so that's definitely a good sign.  In many ways I felt like it worked as a stand-alone series much better than Agents of Shield does.

Also loved the inclusion of Jarvis, and glad to see a few actors/actresses from other shows that I like (the guy from Dollhouse, the girl from Nikita, etc).
61  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / "Best" of CES 2015 on: January 07, 2015, 09:35:36 PM
http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/07/introducing-the-best-of-ces-2015-finalists/

Now I have a pretty open mind when it comes to electronics, and I'm as much of a gadget freak/early adopter as the next guy (probably more so), but there are some trends I just don't get:

Curved TVs:  I checked them out recently and while the picture looked fantastic when you are facing it dead on, it was just terrible from the sides, the curve was beyond just a distraction, it made me feel like part of the picture was missing

Curved phones: what need does this serve at all?  Seems like it would just be more difficult to store and protect, and visually I thought the whole idea was to be able to give a more "widescreen" feel, but that would only be in larger screen TVs

Thinner TVs:  OK this is kind of cool from a technology standpoint, and I can certainly see the benefit if you are going wall mount or want to hide the TV.  But in the case of the new Sony, it's a bit perplexing.  They've made it super thin, but the support pieces look the same, so you still need the same footprint if you aren't doing a wall mount.  Ultimately, though, I am not moving it around or looking at the sides of the TV, so what do I care if it's thin or not lol?  And again, if I don't wall mount I don't even save any space.

Web-based kitchenware stuff:  this wasn't in the CES 2015 best of article, but I keep hearing about more and more "connected" kitchen items.  I keep trying to figure how this would be useful but I keep coming up empty

All in all I didn't see anything that jumped out at me, YMMV...
62  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Trend for mobile sucks monkey nuts on: January 07, 2015, 09:12:37 PM
As an additional note, if the "IAP" model as a counter against piracy is one of the big things, there are still better game designs than the traditional pay to continue playing type of model.  You can do the IAP where it doesn't impact gameplay and is only for things like new costumes or whatever, a la LoL.  Or alternatively, you can do it as a "demo" type, where you give access to a significant portion of the game for free, and then have a single unlock fee to open the rest of the game up. 

The kind that stinks the most is where you have to pay to actually continue playing with the alternative being forced to wait.  That said, even that model can be done better or worse.  I'm currently playing Crusader Quest, which is that model type, but somehow I haven't hit the wall yet where you have to pay to continue.  Only once did I play long enough where I needed to refill my "stamina" and I could do that with an IAP gem (of which I had collected a few in game). 

I guess what I'm saying is I do hate the trend, but given that it seems to be a "necessity" financially, the challenge is still on game designers to do it in a non-obnoxious way.
63  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Trend for mobile sucks monkey nuts on: January 07, 2015, 09:03:00 PM

Quote from: Kvothe on January 07, 2015, 07:11:36 PM

Wow  that is eye opening, I had no idea piracy was that rampant...

Holy crap, I had no idea either.  How do they know how many pirated installs there are?  And if they somehow "know" someone has a pirated copy, can't they do something about it?
64  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Relationship Help on: January 07, 2015, 08:59:43 PM

Quote from: Gratch on January 07, 2015, 08:06:45 PM

Quote from: ATB on January 07, 2015, 02:09:35 AM

So now, every day I ask her three things before we go to sleep:

1. Have I made you feel loved today?
2. Have I made you feel cherished today?


I really like this.  I need to be far more proactive with these in my marriage as well, as I tend to really take her for granted.  This sort of daily affirmation will be a really good place to start.

Thanks for this input ATB.   thumbsup

Very nice!  But as I mentioned before, you might even want to start with something even simpler/easier: just try actually listening to your partner with your full attention; they probably crave that more than anything else on a day to day basis.
65  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie]Ant-Man on: January 07, 2015, 08:55:39 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 07, 2015, 04:00:21 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on January 07, 2015, 12:52:01 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 07, 2015, 05:05:00 AM


The visuals are cool, and I like Rudd's lines, but everything Douglas said was hack and hollow to me.  It's also way more serious than I was expecting.

I also thought it seemed way more serious than I was expecting.

Ditto - especially with the choice of Paul Rudd.  On the bright side, looks like he's toned/buffed up - yum!

In general this one's really got me scratching my head.  Personally I always liked Ant Man, but I never thought he'd be worth his own full screen feature, and I never had the impression he had much of a fan base.  But... I also was pretty skeptical about Guardians and Agent Carter, and both of those were nice surprises, so maybe I should just trust Marvel  nod
66  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Trend for mobile sucks monkey nuts on: January 06, 2015, 09:08:58 PM
It's really a shame because there are a lot of games that have fun twists, great artwork, fun storylines, core gameplay, etc but are ultimately hampered by IAP design decisions.  It's interesting just how many IAP games get released, I find it hard to believe they all make money and were worth the development cost/time.  As Rogue said, just give us a freaking full release game experience for a reasonable cost. 
67  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Fire vs DS on: January 06, 2015, 08:55:08 PM
Kindle Fire definitely seems like more of an adult toy to me.  Even an iPad seems a bit much for a 4yo (without some supervision).  I've seen little babies playing on iPads but only with an adult nearby.   Then again I may be behind the times because my sister really limited what electronics she allowed for her kids.  She wouldn't even let me get my 9yo nephew an iPod Touch for Xmas.
68  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: January 06, 2015, 12:54:40 AM
I avoided this show for no particular reason for the longest time, but this holiday break I broke down and started watching and promptly became hooked.  I'm somewhere in the middle of the third season and just loving it.  Maggie Smith just cracks me up to no end, and the couple episodes with Shirley Maclaine interacting with her were priceless.

I think the main thing to draw me in, though, was Dan Stevens, who I saw in The Guest (a campy movie but worth watching just to see his performance, he's just so freaking sexy).  It's a bit annoying for me to know he leaves the show, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers on exactly when and how his character goes out.

I guess the 5th season just started airing in the US last night, curious if anyone here is still following?

69  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Relationship Help on: January 06, 2015, 12:40:04 AM

Quote from: ATB on January 02, 2015, 02:07:49 PM

3. I am madly truly deeply in love with my wife and always have been.  You say you're not and never have been. Frankly, I think you're full of shit.  I think you're going through a patch where it's not what it is supposed to be in your head, or you've changed and are becoming more selfish.  No offense.

Also, 'not having anything in common' is easily fixable. But you have to be willing to work at it.

I thought these were some very interesting points. Both of these ideas ("never in love" and "nothing in common") seem to be similar thoughts I hear from friends (and myself I suppose) any time they ostensibly are looking for a way out.  You can really convince yourself of anything when you are trying to justify a position.  Time and circumstance have a funny way of skewing our perspectives to focus only on the bad memories, so I would echo the sentiment of seeking counseling and really figuring some things out.  Try to put yourself back in time; something drew you to your wife at some point - enough to want to get married - and it's hard to believe it was only out of "pity".  I've had discussions with one of my best friends who seems to constantly be on the brink of divorce, and it's very interesting to me how over the years, as things have not gone well, how he will rewrite history in his head.  I challenged him a couple of times and it helped him realize feelings and details he had conveniently forgotten. 

Now maybe none of that matters because you are truly, utterly unhappy, and the only solution is to get out sooner rather than later.  But personally I would want to be certain it's not that you have just convinced yourself of that because it's an easier route to take.  I think one of the best ways to gain clarity is to seek professional guidance.  I used to be reluctant, but in later years I found it extremely useful to have an unbiased party to talk to and help provide an alternative perspective.  If you don't talk about things, it's very easy to get stuck in your own head.  (Sidebar: one of my favorite "exercises" a therapist mentioned to me was to try this: when your partner is telling you something, just completely focus in on him/her and do nothing but actually listen to what they are saying.  It can be a jarring experience, because it makes you realize how time can make you pretty much indifferent to what they are saying, and then you wonder how much damage that does to a relationship.)

- - -

To answer the original question, from what I've heard, it seems very common to couples who have been together for extended periods of time.  It's easy to take things for granted.  I don't think you're a shithead for considering leaving, but I do think you should take a moment to truly consider everything.  It's possible, as an example, this is just a "fight or flight" reaction and you are simply overwhelmed with the prospect of having a kid and having that define your future.
70  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Going "Full" 4K! on: January 05, 2015, 10:02:47 PM

Quote from: Lee on December 31, 2014, 08:29:03 PM

This whole 4k thing kind of scares me. Are Blu-Ray going to be replaced soon? How well will 4K movies stream?

I started buying Blu-Rays on sale and ripping them and it's already hard enough to steam them unless you can get the file size down. I would think this will be near impossible with such a big leap in screen resolution. I don't want everything I have bought to become obsolete again.

I heard 4K Blu-Rays would be coming out late this year, not sure when.  4K movies stream just fine if you've got decent bandwidth/connection.  It's not the highest quality of 4K possible (I don't know all the details), but it is definitely a very noticeable step up from 1080p on larger size TVs. 

As you said, file sizes are huge to support the added resolution, so that's an issue at the moment.  Things won't be "obsolete" since 1080p is nice and newer devices will upconvert to 4K.  But of course if you always want the absolute best quality then yeah, you'd have to "upgrade."
71  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Going "Full" 4K! on: December 29, 2014, 07:49:02 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on December 29, 2014, 04:33:45 PM

For some reason, every time I come across this thread title it sounds like ritt is declaring he's going to start watching TV in the nude.

Wait you guys watch TV clothed???  Way to ruin my fantasy life.
72  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Going "Full" 4K! on: December 29, 2014, 12:14:45 AM
In no particular order...

Not sure what DRM is being referred to.  Is it that Netflix and Amazon only support certain TV sets?

HDMI cable is not the issue, just the chipset to support HDMI 2.0. Most of the newer sets do support it. But keep in mind even regular HDMI can handle 4K, just at a lower frame rate.

Content-wise I think we will see things jump dramatically next year.  It's pretty clear the big names are all pushing it, so it's just a matter of how quickly they can push.  Broadcast-wise, though, I think we are still talking 2016. 
73  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Going "Full" 4K! on: December 22, 2014, 07:28:35 PM
I've had a cheap smaller 4K TV (Seiki) for quite some time, but really didn't do much with it.  Tried a bit of gaming, experimented with some video and upconversion, but it was mostly a bust.  I just use it as a regular HDTV and it's fine for that.

I had decided a while back to wait for my giant-sized DLP HDTV to crap out before upgrading to something nicer.  I was hoping to do it around middle of next year to let prices come down further.  But my TV got a big bright white dead pixel smack dab in the middle of the screen, and I started noticing more smaller pixels shimmering in the same row.  It just got too distracting given how much TV I watch, so I made the plunge for a nice new Sony, a bit smaller than the DLP but with a boatload of features.  I've only done limited testing and watching thus far, but I'm very happy with the improvements.  

General TV watching: I think everything is automatically up-converted, I'm not actually sure.  Either way it looks crisp as can be, and does not suffer from the "soap opera" effect with out-of-the-box settings.  I can notice a lot more detail than before, but it could just be because it's an LCD and not DLP.

3D: I popped in Guardians and was pleasantly surprised to see it auto-recognized as 3D and everything just worked without me doing anything.  Contrast that to the crazy amount of effort I had to make to get 3D out of my old set and it's just unbelievable.  More remarkable was the quality of the 3D itself.  I had read reviews saying the 3D was better than in theaters but I thought it was just hyperbole.  But sure enough, this is the best 3D I've seen - most importantly you don't lose the color the way it typically looks in the theaters.  The glasses are passive, super light and fit right over my regular glasses.  I'm generally not much of a 3D fan but this really makes me re-think my position.  

4K Streaming: First thing I ran was some nature shows off Netflix.  Holy crap that stuff is amazing.  I'm not generally a nature fan but I could watch this all day.  It's just fantastic and really showcases the higher resolution and better color gamut well, particularly the different shades of blues from the ocean and sky.  My only complaint is out of the box, some of the reds/oranges seemed a bit too saturated.  I didn't want to fiddle too much with settings yet since I'm generally not too picky when it comes to calibration.  I then watched Crouching Tiger and it was fairly impressive in some parts, others not so much.  I was definitely impressed with the fighting sequences that the fast motion was rendered well.  Next I tried the first episode of Orphan Black (off Amazon Prime) and it really looked stunning.  It's not really the kind of show that showcases beautiful vistas or wide angle shots, but I was very impressed that a close-in drama could look so sharp without creating too odd of a look.  As kind of a comparison, I watched Homeland last night (nominally up-converted) and in spite of it looking really good in general, there was still a very noticeable difference in clarity compared to Orphan Black.  I also checked out the new Marco Polo show briefly, which looked pretty good too.  It's very exciting to see that Netflix is really pushing 4K support; apparently all their new shows will have 4K (Daredevil!).  But of course the price per month has been jacked up to $12 if you want access  mad

4K USB Playback: not tested yet.  I like to use "Timescapes" in 4K on a USB stick as my benchmark, but I haven't gotten around to playing it yet.  I also found a site with 4K porn but I haven't decided if it's worth testing lol.

"Mastered in 4K" Blu-Ray: also not tested yet.  Given that true 4K Blu-rays are supposed to be coming next year, I'm not sure this is worth the effort but I might try one out just for kicks.

Gaming: not tested yet.  Couple of things I want to try but those are slightly bigger projects.  Was hoping the Steam box stuff would have been ready by now but oh well.

All in all I'm pretty impressed so far.  Obviously as everyone knows, content is the biggest thing missing at this point, but it's pretty remarkable how much progress has been made in the past few months.  I think next year it's going to ramp up even faster.  The biggest lag will be with live/broadcast, which won't be ready until probably 2016.  Quality-wise, it's certainly not the dramatic jump from SD to HD, but I do think it's more impressive than what many people are anticipating.
74  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Smite on: December 18, 2014, 11:54:31 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on December 16, 2014, 11:27:18 PM

Getting back into this with some friends and we need teammates!  We use Mumble and will be playing at all hours of the day.  Lemme know.

Does this include teammates that suck at the game that you can yell at?   slywink
75  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: [iOS/Multi] Dungeon Quest! on: December 17, 2014, 09:47:05 PM

Quote from: Gratch on December 10, 2014, 04:45:41 PM

Thanks for bumping this.  Not sure how I missed it the first time around, but it seems like it has a ton of potential.   thumbsup

EDIT:  Tying skills to specific weapons is a strange choice for such a loot-driven game.  If I spend a bunch of points upgrading one specific hammer skill, then the Ubersword of Infinite Awesomeness happens to drop an hour later, then all my skill upgrades are now worthless because I didn't happen to upgrade that one particular weapon.  Or am I missing something?

Nope - it's definitely an odd design decision, but on the flip side I guess it gives you the option to completely switch up the gameplay style at your discretion (similar to D3).  I try to keep at least one of the best version of each item type so I can theoretically change builds at any time.  In reality I don't do this much, though, I tend to get locked into 1 or 2 that I like the most and only end up using those.
76  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Terminator: Genesis + a TV series? on: December 17, 2014, 09:43:48 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on December 16, 2014, 11:48:52 PM

I purposely avoid reading/watching spoilers about a movie in order to walk in thinking "I wonder what this is about."  If I see enough of a trailer to know I want to see something, I usually avoid all future trailers, don't rewatch the one I saw, and definitely don't go frame by frame looking for hidden details in the trailer.

Ditto here - except when it's something like Avengers or X-Men and I just can't bear to not know more.  Most recently I took this approach with Interstellar and it worked out really well.  A couple of minor things got leaked/spoiled which diminished the experience but for the most part I got to go in completely without foreknowledge.  In general, I tend to avoid reading reviews of any movie I know I'm going to watch until after I've seen them.
77  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Terminator: Genesis + a TV series? on: December 16, 2014, 11:21:38 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on December 04, 2014, 10:53:58 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on December 04, 2014, 10:26:14 PM

While I enjoyed Courtney's work in Spartacus, can Hollywood please stop trying to jam him Jai down our throats as the New Action Star Du Jour? Just reminds me that the late Andy Whitfield probably would've done much better work in movies here had he lived to get the chance.  tear

And please let's have a moratorium on "person hanging from a person hanging from a person, dangling off a bridge or rooftop or helicopter or etc. etc." There has GOT to be a different signature action scene someone can come up with, right?  icon_razz

imho the beauty of the first film (my brother and I did see it when it opened in 1984) is not something you can recapture today. You just can't do this type of film with "practical" FX on a shoestring budget and actually surprise people. You can't get people to go to a Terminator film and wonder, "What is this about it? It's probably terrible," because you don't know what to expect, and then deliver a wonderful experience instead. Now it's just a long in the tooth franchise dragging around too much expectation and hype.

They can reimagine it and reboot it and recast aside from Arnold along with a dozen digital FX houses painting every frame digitally and trying to make Arnold looking young again, but I suspect that's not going to do any better box office than Jonathan Mostow's Terminator 3, which actually did pretty well overseas but nobody afik fondly remembers it.

Exactly how I feel. Sadly, I think the same thing can be applied to the new Star Wars movie as well. Not to say that it won't be a really good movie, but the sense of wonder and magic is near impossible to capture in today's media saturated world.

Boy you guys sound pretty cynical.  I understand what you are saying but I think perhaps it's more that you yourselves are older and more jaded.  I think if I were a teenager not too familiar with the franchise (or even not), a well made movie can still recapture a sense of wonder.  It all depends on the quality of the movie.  The Star Trek reboot was a great example of this, mixing familiar and iconic storylines with fresh new twists and artistry.  And even though Guardians is kind of a "new" franchise, it also showed that you can still make an excellent (and fun) space opera movie with good source material, a director with a strong vision, and a great cast.  So there's still hope for Star Wars too.

Plus...  Jai Courtney is so freaking HOT he makes my toes curl, and even though I am the biggest Linda Hamilton fan I know, I'm still excited about having Daenerys play Sarah Connor.  On a side note, isn't it interesting the TV show had Cersei as Sarah...
78  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Flash on: December 12, 2014, 07:28:57 PM
Excellent mid-season finale!!!  The main actor is finally growing on me and I especially like how they've handled the various interpersonal relationships.  The Reverse Flash plotline is really excellent, I have no idea where they are going with that, particularly with the notion that he can look into the future, etc.  And that there was another "Flash" present at time of Flash's mother's death - can our Flash go back in time too???? 

The only problem I see with this style is that since it's in the same universe as Arrow, they seem to be much more willing to play with non-realistic comic-booky stuff, so staying overally consistent in both shows could be problematic.

And a side note, love the guest appearance by Amanda Pays - hopefully they find a way to reunite her with John Wesley Shipp for some old school Flash fan goodness nod
79  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Arrow on: December 12, 2014, 07:23:49 PM
WTFTWTFWTWTF  eek eek eek eek eek

Spoiler for Hiden:
I don't suppose Stephen Amell is really gone, but I guess he's been toying with fans on twitter with messages like "It's been a good run."  I guess the working theory is he will be brought back to life in some Razagul resurrection pool.  All I know is if I don't get my regular dose of shirtless Amell I might not survive.
80  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: [iOS/Multi] Dungeon Quest! on: December 09, 2014, 11:49:02 PM
This game has been updated a number of times since my last post.  Core gameplay remains the same but they've added more loot options (sockets and upgrades) as well as a talent tree using an account-wide point system similar to D3's paragon levels.   I still have yet to find a better Diablo clone on iOS.  There have been quite a few with better graphics and more complicated customization, but this one still shines in terms of nailing the pure "loot and level" mentality.
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