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Jon AS

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    Jon AS

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  1. Jon AS

    Video Games: Gears of Borderlands

    I never got into the X series, even though I bought the first one when it came out and picked up all of them through various bundles and sales. I really shoudl get on that one of these days. Currently Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is scratching my space sim itch. It's very much Wing Commander: Privateer with a modern coat of paint and some additional mechanics (and rock music). Seriously, it's eery how much the flight and combat mechanics resemble the Wing Commander games. There's even that little bug/feature where your ship never quite reaches the speed you set and instead stays one point short of maximum... It's also made by a tiny studio and I find the fact that there's not too much stuff to do rather encouraging. For example there are apparently only five different ships (and just like in Privateer, there's not one "best" ship; rather you get to pick one that suits your playstyle) and I've managed to work myself up to the most expensive one relatively quickly. Of course I've completely neglected the story missions so far and so I can't actually say anything about that aspect of the game.
  2. Jon AS

    Video Games: Gears of Borderlands

    There's also a new start position for Balthasar Gelt, which should help keep the Vampire Counts factions in check on the Mortal Empires map. The new Legendary Lords are great as well, giving the player the opportunity for more varied play on both the Vortex and Mortal Empires maps. The Vortex was a nice goal to give you focus when the game came out, but at this point having more variety in goals is really nice. Also, there's giant freaking dinosaurs on top of what the Lizardmen already had. And last but not least there's the addition of Gotrek & Felix, though to get them before November (I think?), one has to buy the September edition of White Dwarf. I'm tempted to actually do that, particularly since BRIAN BLESSED provides the voice of Gotrek. You can never have too much BRIAN BLESSED.
  3. Jon AS

    iZombie on the CW

    I thought that was a reasonably good finale. Most of the loose ends were dealt with (all I could think at Blaine's fate was "finally"), we got some dramatic action, all the main cast got to do something big and I think the timejump gave us a better conclusion than having it end in the present. My biggest gripe would be that the sequence on the plane went on for too long, though it's excused for a The Good Place shoutout. @The Anti-Targ
  4. Jon AS

    Bond 25: No Time To Die

    Hasn't Craig's Bond retired like three times by now, anyway? I don't really care about the continuity in Bond movies, I'm happy to just be along for the ride of any given film. Maybe I'm just not that into the franchise.
  5. Jon AS

    Video Games: Devils Die Twice

    Did a mission in the new Attack/Defend mode in Battletech today. It was brutal. Two bases on opposite ends of an urban map, one for me to defend, the other to destroy. The mission kicked off with two enemy lances on the field (both mixed heavy/assault; it was fairly late in the campaign), one as base defense, the other poised to attack my base. And in round two an assault lance hostile to both sides gets dropped in the middle, with the idea being that I let them fight the opfor and pick up the pieces. But of course there's also a bit of a time factor involved, as there are three more waves of enemy reinforcements incoming later in the mission. Ultimately I ended up sending two 'mechs around the map to take out the enemy base with the other two defending mine. I managed to extract with a single Awesome after I'd ejected the rest of the lance. Good fun and probably the longest mission of Battletech I've played so far, definitely the most challenging. Might have been a bit easier if the third party lance hadn't contained two Cyclops 10-Qs, something with a bit more punch would have taken out more of the opfor (in particular the base defenders were practically unscathed).
  6. Jon AS

    Podcasts and Organizing them

    Yeah, I just finished listening to it, and it probably would have been more enjoyable with a beer or three. He seems pretty enthusiastic talking about one of his hobbies, though, and thanks to that energy it was still reasonably entertaining to listen to. Probably didn't hurt that I was listening to it while playing a video game that is based on a board game which was essentially an outgrowth of the kind of historical wargames he was talking about.
  7. Jon AS

    DCEU: Suicidal Insanity

    What I read was that they cancelled it because it turned out there was less money available in a public fund for supporting local film and tv productions than they thought (wherever they're shooting the show), and so the financing of the project fell apart.
  8. Jon AS

    Video Games: Devils Die Twice

    They've also announced that the third expansion will feature a number of the Unseen. Here's hoping we're getting the full roster of classic 'mechs, from the lowly Stinger to the (arguably) mighty Marauder. The game is still one of my principal time killers. I can always fire it up, play a few missions, redesign a 'mech to try out some new dumb way to blow stuff up or try to keep Dekker alive throughout the campaign.
  9. Marvel does have a Major Victory, too.
  10. Jon AS

    Video Games: Devils Die Twice

    Yes, the feel is extremely different. But if you think about it, the change in feeling is down to art style, combat mechanics, camera placement, animation speed and a fully voiced protagonist. The game didn't suddenly turn into a shooter. The fundamental workings of the engine weren't completely different at all. I have no doubt that the success of ME2 influenced the development of DA2, though. It came out right as DA2 development was starting and was widely praised for improving on ME1 in most areas. It provided a much more focused and streamlined experience after its plodding predecessor, quite similar to what DA2 does compared to DAO.
  11. Jon AS

    Video Games: Devils Die Twice

    No, all ME games up to Andromeda used Unreal Engine 3. DA2 on the other hand used a modified version of the DAO engine called Lycium (okay, I had to look up the name ). They simply changed a lot about the game mechanics, some for the better, a lot for the worse, when they made the sequel. If they hadn't done that it might have turned out better. Plus it's pretty likely that consolifying the combat was mandated from above. DA2 still did turn out pretty good, and it still has the best cast of characters in the series and a story that with some tweaking (and thus some more development time) could have made it the standout DA game. As it is, it's one of three flawed but compelling games, and I personally would much rather revisit DA2 than DAO. At least DA2's repetitive sequences are fairly short, unlike, say, the Fade or Deep Roads in Origins.
  12. Jon AS

    Video Games: Devils Die Twice

    It's neither, as others have pointed out. However, many vocal gamers are entitled, whiny, little shitheads. See also their reactions to, well, basically anything. (This post may have been influenced by my having spent too much time reading video game forums of late)
  13. Jon AS

    Video Games: Devils Die Twice

    That is indeed great. I think with Ikit Claw and Clan Skryre I'll finally get over myself and properly try playing Skaven instead of getting bored and going back to one of my usual factions after twenty turns.
  14. Jon AS

    Make Mine Captain Marvel! (SPOILERS)

    Christian Kane would make for a good Wolverine in my mind, he can pull off the attitude and the action (and he's not exceptionally tall).
  15. Flashpoint really adds a lot to the general gameplay of Battletech. The Flashpoints themselves are much more fun than run-of-the-mill procedurally generated missions, plus you can now get lostech rewards (including at least a Star League Griffin) outside of story missions. I even got a unique frankenmech variant of the Crab as a Flashpoint reward, that's pretty cool. I wonder if there's more of these sprinkled throughout the various missions. The new 'mechs they added are interesting. The 10-Z variant of the Cyclops sports a unique equipment item, a specialised battlecomputer, that bumps all the 'mechs in your lance to a higher initiative tier. Really powerful, though of course the Cyclops is otherwise a rather underwhelming machine, as in the table top game. It's simply a fast assault 'mech, meaning it doesn't have much space for arms and armour. Still, I'm bringing mine along for every mission because the battlecomputer is just too damn useful. The Hatchetman is tons of fun. I've switched the AC/10 in mine for an AC/5 and used the weight saved to add armour and an arm mod for additional melee damage. Not much else you can do with the 'mech to be honest: it only has three hardpoints, it's very focused on its defining characteristic. But it certainly does excel at that one thing: its melee damage is that of a 'mech twice its size. The Crab gives us a reliable 50 tonner that's faster than the Hunchback/Enforcer/Centurion. This would probably be more useful in a new game rather than one where heavies and assaults dominate as they do in the post-campaign game. The Crab and King Crab are actually two completely different machines. Different look, different weight class, different loadout, different role. It's not a Dragon/Grand Dragon type situation.