Tuesday 30 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: No Sweat

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

Anna next radioed in for me to find a missing colleague of hers.

While searching I stumbled upon Boreas Outpost, a popular "sweat camp".

Players collect monster sweat then sell it for PED.

Also found hints of a shadier side to the game, if this ad is any indication.

Eventually found Anna's colleague. She wasn't going to like the news.

Monday 29 June 2015

The Darkest Hour

If you can survive the slow start you might enjoy the rest of the film.

Without exaggeration this film has one of the slowest and most mundane first 15-20 minutes I've seen. As nice as Moscow is there is simply nothing important happening. NOTHING. It actually reached the stage where I was loudly proclaiming that "someone better die soon or I'm ending the movie".

Faraday Cat is not impressed.

Fortunately at that stage, aliens invade and LOTS of people die! YAY! Seriously, you can skip to the part where the lights fall from the sky and treat that as the start. Not sure why they felt the need for adding that horrendous non-eventful crap before hand. Anywho, the story then focuses on a small group of people who are trying to survive this invasion - which actually makes for an interesting movie.

The best aspect for me is the aliens themselves. They are unique and CGI saving (you'll understand when you see them). I also like that while dangerous, they do have their share of weaknesses. Perhaps most importantly they don't suffer from a "mother ship" or "one boss" symptom. It almost sets the stage for a FPS game actually, one I'd enjoy playing. I also wish that the Metro segment was a bit longer but I imagine that would just be all action and expense for the special FX department and no substance to the story.

All up I give this film three flickering light bulbs out of five, and surprisingly would like to watch it again! Though, I'd probably busy myself with making popcorn / preparing snacks or something during the incredibly dull opening if I wasn't allowed to skip it.

Sunday 28 June 2015

Today I Smiled: All Play and No Work

Making games is tough. Well, no it's pretty easy - but making a good game is tough as I'm discovering with my forays into board game design. Just to recap for you on my attempts:

Game 1: Messy, too many cards and off balance
Game 2: Bad Mechanics / Dumb
Game 3: Design getting complicated / non challenging
Game 4: Design way too complicated to get mystery function working
Game 5: Too much like Pandemic, didn't make sense theme wise
Game 6: Too much dice rolling
Game 7: Too boring.
Game 8: Too much like Mission: Red Planet
Game 9: Still needs testing, unconvinced of mechanics though
Game 10: Passable but pretty mundane

Not really putting a lot of time in there at the moment though, as currently it's just that extra hobby you do on the side. Gaming wise I've been playing a Tale in the Desert  (Tale 6, which is ending in a few months and is now F2P) recently, which is surprisingly interesting. I'll be doing a photo story of that too, later on. Blog wise "The Bleed" from the NBI has officially begun, and I am now down 19 links culled due to inactivity. I am quite curious to see how many will survive the year.

Anywho, I've also got a truck load of movie reviews in-bound, which I'm probably going to up the appearance of to every two days, but one that you should certainly watch now is Kung Fury. It is a hilarious action/comedy that only goes for 30 minutes which is less time than a single episode of most current series. Also if you happen to like hamsters, Hamsterzilla might be of interest to you. Lastly, if you want a video with me in it - here's a clip of one mission in Alien Swarm that my brother recorded. I'm the guy in yellow with the flamethrower. :P

Saturday 27 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: A Test of Piloting

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

Decided to look around at Fort Argus briefly.

Not sure how many other MMOs have player run banks that do that!

Also learned that you can earn PED, ISK (Eve Online), and Linden (Second Life) just by registering and listening to a radio station? You gain .01 PED and 10 RP (radio points) every 10-17 minutes, with 100 RP being converted into more PED once a month when they pay it out. The only rules are that you click something every hour to prove you are still there and that you do not mute the channel.

From my experience there are lots of advertisements here too, repetitive ones and you get maybe two  after each song. Possibly the same one twice. The music itself is trance/dance techno which can get irritating after awhile. Especially since the station only seemed to play stuff from Bassnectar, The Prodigy and Benni Bennasi. So not a lot of variation there.

Anyway since most of my tasks were at Fort Troy I did decide to teleport back there and buy fuel on the market. 100 cans for 4 PED.

At least my VTOL is useable again!

Anna, camped a bit outside Fort Troy has a few tasks for me to do, in and around the robot infested volcano.

Fortunately they are pretty straight forward tasks for people that can fly.

Just gotta be careful of the lava. And the robots.

And the forest canopy!

Friday 26 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: Sara by Sea

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

While taking in the sights with Sara we hit a slight barrier.

A PvP zone was on the way to the next way point.

Decided to go around by water using her boat!

A fast boat!

With guns!

Finally we arrive at Fort Argus where we part ways. Thanks Sara, it was fun!

Thursday 25 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: An Awesome Rescue

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

With no other recourse of escape from the mecha prison platform I decided to ask for advice from the Rookie Channel. Paying for a taxi was mentioned pretty quick, but after waiting a few minutes I got a private message from Sara Serenity of the Glory Hound Irregulars.

She told me to look up.

And just like that, she airlifted me out of the hostile zone.

See you later, you robot bastards!

Not only did she rescue me, she decided to act as tour guide to unlock more telepads. Below us in this picture was some player housing.

I'm sure she has a nice face behind that mask.

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Jack Reacher

Starts out strong but becomes more and more silly as the running time goes by.

A sniper decides to take down five people in the middle of a city. After being quickly apprehended, the suspect asks for the ghost, ex-military police officer Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) . This is a pretty odd move considering Reacher actually is predisposed to leaving said sniper to his guilt, but is eventually persuaded by the sniper's somewhat dumb defense attorney (Rosamund Pike) to help her investigate the case impartially. Why does he choose to help?

*sarcastic* No idea at all.

This flick starts out super strong for me. I especially like that it is very long before a single word is even uttered, and the way they film their panning shots makes for interesting viewing. It's also very entertaining to watch Reacher use his Sherlock skills and close quarter combat throughout the piece, yet still have a number of humorous pieces throughout a supposedly serious movie. There's also little computer generated stuff here, relying on stunt drivers and people which makes it pretty grounded: thumbs up for me there.

Unfortunately the great start is undone somewhat by the really dumb bad guys. I can forgive the lower level fools for screwing up but when the big bad "boogeyman" (who is actually quite a cripple when you think about it) starts screwing up big time by being too jumpy it lessens the tension somewhat. Off the top of my head I could think of a few alternatives he could have done to prevent his whole ploy falling like a house of cards but nope - he's a moron. I guess they couldn't think of any other way to fit the action pieces in there and to let Reacher actually win. Anywho, it's a good enough film to watch once - but not really any more than that. I give Jack Reacher two and a half bullets out of five.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: The Flame

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

Desperate to see what the light is, what those robot scum are guarding - I take my Sleipnir VTOL which is almost out of fuel right into the core.

Fueling my flight through pure will power.

I make it onto the strange platform and learn this place is Hadeshiem Crater.

It also happens to be the evil mechas base. CRAP.

With no other options I decide to try take on the ridiculously leveled bots.

No surprise, I don't last long and end up back here.

This turns out to be a form of prison, as escaping on foot is near impossible with the mecha swarm. I did get farther with the VTOL but when it burned the last of its fuel it crashed into the desert. I folded it up into my pocket but still got killed by a spider bot which sent me right back to the platform. Damn, it's a trap!

Monday 22 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: The Moth

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

Decided to explore around Half Moon Cove as there were interesting looking spots on the map.

First stop turned out to be a player airbase.
Too bad my VTOL is almost out of juice!

Then I saw it, a heavy beam of light in the distance.

As I get closer it becomes clear that the robots seem to be guarding it.
Too close, as one of the spiderbots blasts me and destroys more of my armor. :(

I respawn at this little platform, surrounded by evil mechas - but closer to the light than before. I just had to get there!

Sunday 21 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: The Feffox Attack

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

Emergency at Port Atlantis! Having unlocked the teleporter from Fort Troy I decided to warp over there and see what was causing all the fuss.

Oh. Level 499. O_O

Lots of people showed up! Green dots on the radar are other players!

This guy was casting magic(?) at the monster's butt!

Time for the big guns!

Unfortunately the rewards for killing the Feffox Queens were abysmal, and while I gained a lot of skill points I certainly lost a lot of ammo (and all my rockets) in the process. My pistol also broke. I still have a worn out rifle and the brand new one Caligula gave me, but I'm not skilled enough to use it effectively (very low rate of fire and poor accuracy).

Saturday 20 June 2015

Robocop (2014)

50% Robocop. 50% Filler.

Much like the original movie, the protagonist police officer gets seriously injured early on and thanks to movie science becomes an android hybrid who continues his previous role as Robocop - who then goes on to finish investigating the run of the mill case he was on when he was so rudely interrupted by almost certain death. The actor who plays him here is a bit of a robot, but that works in his favor as mostly he is one for the majority of his screen time anyway.

I'm also quite happy that they somewhat kept the original theme music, and armor too - though I don't mind his black "tactical" version either. Having the robots out in full circulation right at the start was a welcome change for me as well, since it setup the stage for awesome action scenes. There are many little problems in the movie too like, bad guys not knowing how to shoot and bad guys simply not being threatening enough to the hero but the biggest, biggest flaw is simply that a huge chunk of the movie doesn't have Robocop in it.

Sums it up nicely.

Every single shot with Samuel L. Jackson could have been cut. All the political stuff could have just been setup as background noise. Michael Keaton definitely didn't need that many assistants. I'm not saying any of them were of poor acting quality, it just felt like they were fluff pieces to pad time to the film. Simply put, I felt there wasn't enough Robocop in Robocop and give it one and a half bullets out of five. Not only do I not want to watch it again, but I can strongly recommend to everyone else - even action fans, to give this a miss. There are simply better films out there.

Friday 19 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: Pushing the Limit

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

My next few way points would take me into a volcanic jungle region.

I decided it was flying time again.

One Problem: See the power gauge on the bottom left?
Almost out of fuel!

In an effort to conserve gas, it was back to hiking for a bit.

I did require one final jump though, risking a crash landing.
Look at the radar. All of those are level 60s.

Finally made it to Fort Troy only to find more evil mechas! :O

Thursday 18 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: Strength Keep

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

Strength Keep. Well, that's a macho name if ever I heard one.

It seems the owner likes art.

Really likes art.

Art with women.

And I guess women in general.

Pity there's no teleporter here. After resting a bit it was time to leave and continue my travels.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Sojourn at Entropia: Exploring the Peaks

[Part of my Sojourn at Entropia story.]

For kicks I decide to visit the Twin Peaks mall. At least now I have 10.01 PED to my name!

Seems the player shops also follow the "Sex Sells" theorem.

At least there's a nice throne to sit on.

After some relaxing it's time to move on. I decide to go on foot to conserve some fuel. Don't worry, the VTOL is in my pocket.

Less jog, more marathon.

Eventually I find... a castle!?