Thursday 31 December 2020

MGSV: Outer Harem

[Part of the MGS Diary]

It has taken a long while but our group, "The Guns of Heaven" have finally reached the top tier in espionage ranking! As expected, there was more and more resistance on the way up but it was a nice feeling to surpass some of our other peers. Targeting a few for a ranking race really helped keep the squad motivated to keep pushing on.

As a reward for the men, we've begin to hit a pink FOB called "Outer Harem" who seem staffed entirely by highly skilled females in bikinis. They are surprisingly efficient at defending their base, but that doesn't matter as our true objective is to abduct those soldiers to add to our own number. We even developed new tech for better non-lethal take downs, just for this base! So far, we've kidnapped around a hundred of them, and since it's a fun past time I think we will continue doing so.

Yep, you can literally kidnap bikini clad girls in this game,
and force them to do your bidding.

Little do some of the troops know that once we hit capacity, these females are going to replace them simply because they are far more skilled.

-Razor Hedge

Insight: Withdrawing from a wormhole still netts you the stuff you captured, but you don't get the "win" bonuses.

Wednesday 30 December 2020

God's Trigger

Angels and demons... with guns.

In this top down shooter, a fallen angel teams up with a wayward devil to hunt down the four horsemen and save the world! While it certainly starts slow, the cool tunes, art and actually ok storyline got me hooked right away.

Playing solo you can switch between both characters to make the best use of their abilities (angel strikes in a short arc, devil in a long line etc) and you can also pick up temporary weapons dropped by your enemies!

The bullet hell theme is appropriate at least.

What use do they have of a gun though? The same use everyone else does! This is because most things (including you) will die as soon as you take one hit, so there's also an element of stealth required at times.

A slew of checkpoints will help you along too which makes this bearable, and for collector/adventurer types there are a bunch of dirty magazines lying around waiting to be found.

Turned out to be a fun afternoon getting through this game, so I do recommend it if you like top down shooters and give it three sultry models out of five.

Insight: Some rooms are hidden from the map and you'll need to dash/blink through walls to find them.

Tuesday 29 December 2020

MGSV: The Hammer and the Smoke

[Part of the MGS Diary]

As our Espionage Rank continues to improve, a few more Kill Count bases have been located - all of which are in the business of kidnapping. Our troops have had difficulty raiding these as some use "The Bound Dragons" defense meaning all the guards present are in heavy riot gear armor that is hard to penetrate and sport equally heavy machine guns. The other set of bases are full non-lethal, with guards armed with stun or tranq weapons. Both versions have support drones on patrol.

Being prone is the stealthiest option.

It's a little surprising that we have more fails on the non-lethal variant - but those mortars loaded with sleep grenades are dangerous. Caught stunned or unconscious, some of our own soldiers have been fultoned into captivity. Still, thanks to our efforts we have been given enough funds to build and complete our second FOB - meaning we can house more units, send more teams on combat deployments and research more advanced equipment. Raging B is working overtime offsite, mostly at OKB Zero and the central Afghan camp where she is procuring soldiers to fill out the numbers for this new facility.

It is unlikely we will ever afford a third FOB however, as the contracts for each location have doubled in price. I've also heard tell that the boss is setting up some sort of major operation in South Africa which is eating up most of our resources. It's his company after all, he can do what he likes.

-Razor Hedge

Insight: If you don't mind the enemy going on alert, motion detectors are great trap lures. Bring some C4 or decoys and intentionally trip the alarm to draw the enemy into position. Power Generators can be used similarly, and if you go the decoy route, can be used over and over again - just make sure the FOB isn't on alert when doing so.

Monday 28 December 2020

Zombicide: Black Plague

Undead spawned by necromancers!

A step up from it's more modern predecessor, this figurine heavy game plays much like the other Zombicides where players cooperatively complete missions while more and more baddies spawn. The casing for these is great, and the player boards are really handy and useful.

Added here are necromancers who try to dash across the board and if they make it leave another spawn point for things to pop out. Usually they are just flavor though, and only really pose a threat of escaping if the game is already going sideways.

The dead will always outnumber the living...

Best of all, the stupid rule of "if you shoot into a crowd of zombies and you have an ally there, all your shots will hit your ally until s/he is dead and then it will hit zombies" in previous Zombicides has been changed to be "there's a chance to hit your ally".

Expect to be searching a lot though, as only one starting equipment piece can harm the fat zombies. Worse, you need to find two items to destroy an abomination because there is no strength three weapon in the game. It's really annoying, especially as on more than one map it IS the main target.

That's also the main reason this game was left on my unfinished list for such a long time. So all up, yep - a decent cooperative outing that's better than previous Zombicides... but not much better. I give it 3.5 fireballs out of 5.

Insight: Always play with the recommended character count regardless of the number of players as that's how the maps are balanced.

Sunday 27 December 2020

MGSV: Espionage Rank

[Part of the MGS Diary]

There have been some changes since the Skulls left a week ago, he biggest being that I'm now in charge of this FOB as Commander Ocelot's gone off to lead a campaign against the Mosquito PF. They are the same group who he fought off Mother Base long ago. From what I've heard, there's nothing too heroic happening there as they are simply slaughtering every enemy in their path while raiding their supplies.

The other candidate for FOB leadership was Flaming B but she was sent to Afghanistan to deal with the challenges there pertaining to recruitment and vehicle capture. It's good to see that she finally managed to nab us a missile guidance specialist to help the R&D team with the next phase of their shoulder mounted weapon research.

She even managed to locate a familiar face...

As acting commander I've continued to push forward with our deployments to improve our worldwide "espionage rank" and as of now we are rank 7801 which has surpassed our frenemy MEME.DADDY at 9755. Not bad given when he invaded he was around rank 10000 and we were just over 20000. Despite an active resistance at around the 15k mark, it's been smooth sailing. The current goal is to get us under rank 4500 to reach the highest tier. That's still a long way off as basically we'd need to double our current efforts just to reach it but with enough perseverance, we'll get there.

-Razor Hedge

Insight: Completing FOBs in fatigues gives a higher bonus (700) than completing them "naked" (50). You get 100 more points if you don't bring a back weapon/shield.

Friday 25 December 2020

AC Odyssey: Christmas Special!

[Included in the AC Odyssey journal]

This is not a continuation of the story but I thought I'd gift you, my dear readers, with some of the funniest lines I've come across while running the player made missions. Enjoy!

To be fair, there it also gives opportunities for other nice screenshots. :)

Happy holidays once again!

Dark (TV Series)

Probably should have been called "The Knot" instead.

The small town of Winden holds some dark secrets and a child going missing is just the beginning to the mystery. With a dark tone, solid production and a decent script - you're going to need to pay attention if you want to get the most out of this three season show.

Lesson number one: Don't talk to strangers.

As the title suggests it is quite dark and depressing for the most part too right from the get go, though there are some nice, if rare light hearted moments. Also the pace is pretty slow which might be off putting to some, especially in season three but at least it has a solid ending. Definitely a series I recommend and one I'm actually tempted to watch again. I give it three and a half caves out of five.

Wednesday 23 December 2020

MGSV: Fog of Skulls

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Our FOB finally finished construction, just in time as the ghost platforms we were happily mining suddenly came under attack by the Skulls! Our men were getting slaughtered until the R&D team found a particularly effective gear combination to at least give us a fighting chance.

Since they like to "form up" upon finding an enemy, a field of C-4 is effective as an opening move if placed correctly - as is the Sevral anti-materiel rifle. While headshots are ideal, using the sniper rifle like a shotgun is equally effective. Then, should it run low or out of ammo, a Hail grenade launcher fires fast enough to finish off the severely weakened foes.

It feels good to counter those bastards.

Improving our hand to hand skills is also important, as learning the delay to counter a Skull machete can stun them long enough to get an extra shot or two in. While this load out isn't fool proof, as evidenced by continuing losses, it's at least balanced the scales against these supernatural foes - often forcing the Skulls to fall back to god knows where. I can only hope each victory to us hurts them bad enough that they withdraw from this campaign entirely.


Insight: Soldiers with the "Gunman" trait are good for infiltration, but for an all out fight you are better going with "Tough Guy".

3 out of 10

Apparently it's an acceptable score.

Self proclaimed as a sitcom game, this focuses on a quirky game design company and their newest hire. It is quite funny, has decent art and is peppered with mini-games that are interesting, fun and skippable (if you just want to get on with the story).

Racially diverse cast of characters: check.

Most importantly the voice acting is pretty spot on too and my run of Episode 1 which included playing all the mini-games, took around 30 minutes. Unfortunately Episode 2 always crashes when I start it up and I'm not sold enough to be going out of my way to fix it. Just this time I'm not going to score out of five, and instead give it the score it put in it's own title. It seems fitting.

Throw the intern quickly. Taking time to aim will usually end in defeat!

Tuesday 22 December 2020

GTFO: R4A3 - Onwards (Normal)

Update: A more precise run down can be found on my Extreme write up for this mission.

We decided to head back to the top floor to try out this new map released with the "EXTENDED" Christmas patch. As we won on our first attempt, it's either super easy (even easier than R4A2) or we've improved heaps. I'm thinking its both. Bad news for the early win means this write up might be a little light on the details! :P Loadouts this time were DL with his usual DMR/Sniper/Mines, Jim with a Hel Revolver/Combat Shotty/Cfoam and myself with SMG/Machine Gun/Sniper Sentry. The goal: just reach the forward extraction point.

The rooms here are huge and quite vertical, and while there are some giants around the other sleepers were very lightly spawned for the most part. As usual, if a room looked like it had lots of sleepers, we'd ping first to see if we actually needed to go there. Skipping rooms you don't need (especially if there are scouts in them) is part of winning!

Find a bulkhead key beyond a regular security door then use it to unlock the normal bulkhead class III alarm bulkhead. There are only two doors into this room, and for us the baddies came from the small upper one which Jim was on foam duty for. Both were also mined. This is just to get a regular key to unlock the "bridge room" which we named for obvious reasons.

Clear it out, find another bulkhead key and unlock the normal bulkhead class IV scan. The bridge is an excellent spot to setup the sniper sentry and c-foaming the narrow bulkhead passage you just entered from also buys time. Ideally return to your end of the bridge to fire at the incoming hoard any time you are waiting for circles to appear. Once you open the last bulkhead an endless assault will commence so rush to the circle while deploying whatever tools you have left. Simply hold and GTFO!

Monday 21 December 2020

December 2020 Review: GTFO giveth, NWO taketh away

Decided to put this up earlier than usual because of Christmas! In the news this time, Neverwinter is doing some major changes/global nerfs for the next module including this winner of a line: "Weapons no longer provide damage". Amusing for a D&D based game, anyway - we'll have to see if thats an improvement or if we're going to get cyberpunked. Either way Guild Hall level 16 is already under construction as of this post. Whee!

In comparison, GTFO has extended the current Rundown with new weapons and four new maps which is great, and is now appropriately named Rundown 004 / Contact://EXTENDED. I cannot recommend this early access game enough, with the caveat that it is very brutal. More so if you don't have a team to play with (though there's usually mercs on the GTFO discord to help with that).

That's it for now, I'll leave you with this epic battle of Chicken vs Sea Chicken! Hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas!

Someone's been watching too much NOS4A2.

   Lose 1kg this month (last month result: success!)
   Web comic (more story planning done!)


One Year Ago

I was really into Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.

Five Years Ago

I was starting up the Arkania story and got into posting MMO Agenda surveys based on a Tale in the Desert's Test of the Coalition.

Most Viewed Posts in the last 30 days

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Death Note (2017)
MGSV: D-Dog Duel

I'm quite pleased Eurovision related content made it to the top of this list, though I suspect people are just wondering what to watch next on Netflix.

Sunday 20 December 2020

MGSV: The Nuclear League

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Attacking a high level PF turned out to be disastrous as we lost our operative to soldiers of superior training and high grade equipment. With the two that were KIA against Kill Count, that's our third loss and since that number is only going to go up I've authorized FOB assault teams to deploy ahead of our solo infiltrators. Backed by numbers and vehicles these squads severely reduce the defenses of any targeted FOB making infiltration as much as five times easier. On the flip side, around one fourth of the assault team is killed in each sortie.

Despite the losses our base is still filled to the brim with new recruits while our funds and resources skyrocket, especially from the higher tier PFs we raid - so much so that Mother Base is now complete and our FOB not far behind. While we run the risk of retaliation I've tasked the intel team with finding suitable "unmotivated" targets (who have stopped playing the game) to mitigate that. During their scans we found a PF of weaker strength, the "cyhlww", that held a pair of nukes. With no better time to live up to our mandate of disarmament, I sent an operative who successfully extracted the warheads and defeated the active invader.

However, before we could disarm both weapons at our FOB, our first active (player) intruder - MEME.DADDY - appeared. A skilled operative himself, he got past our defenses and managed to fulton one of the nukes out before being incapacitated by our own active defender. As it turns out, MEME.DADDY is also of the Anti-Nuclear task force and so I decided to ransom him back to his people who were more than happy to pay. As long as the nukes get disarmed, I don't think we'll have an issue with him.

FOB defended!


Insight: Decoys are quite useful in FOB missions. When first inflated they can stun any enemy nearby and subsequently draw attention away from you if placed properly. A more violent option is C4 - which provides a big enough boom to draw attention in one direction.

Friday 18 December 2020

The Alto Collection

Look out for those chasms!

In this procedurally generated endless runner, you play as Alto who is either snowboarding down the slopes to catch some llamas or sand boarding across a vast desert. While hopping over rocks is easy, making massive leaps over huge gaps requires more speed, and speed is only gained through doing tricks: mainly back flipping. Don't land on your head!

The slope goes forever!

It's a very pretty game and super easy control wise. While you can buy upgrades if you collect enough coins, I'm more impressed with the achievement based leveling system which I think more games should do. For example, to reach level two requires traveling x distance, jumping over 3 rocks and catching 5 llamas or something and each subsequent level has more demanding requirements.

It's quite a fun game and is somewhat soothing but like all endless runners gets repetitive very quickly. I give it two llamas out of five.

Insight: Don't look at Alto. Look at the right edge of the screen to be able to react in time.

Thursday 17 December 2020

MGSV: Kill Count

[Part of the MGS Diary]

The boss has really pushed for a lot of changes on the base, from silver paint we use on the platforms and new "Guns of Heaven" insignias to the new directive as our world status of "heroes" to find and disarm nukes from other private forces, or PFs as I like to call them. I'm a little concerned that he spends so much time in the incomplete medical wing, but otherwise it's business as usual.

Speaking of other private forces... the "Kill Count" PF seems to be a major threat at the moment with multiple high-value contracts out against them so I've been reassigned to muster our own FOB to organize assaults against them.

Our two best soldiers volunteered to go first, with "Razor Hedge"-hog (Rank S++) barely surviving his foray on their main platforms while "Flaming B"-uffalo (S+), currently our best female combat soldier, finding far more success on their proxy sites and gaining intel about ghost platforms (zero level security challenges). Impressed by her skill, the boss has reassigned her with a special mission in Afghanistan while the rest of our troops scouted these unguarded silos. It seems they are excellent places to train our soldiers as well as harvesting much needed fuel for our expansion. Razor has argued that attacking other PFs would be a faster resource gathering method however and one I'm becoming more inclined to try to speed up base expansion.

Girls have the "distraction" attire option too...

As it is with the limited space, I've already had to start dismissing the least capable of our troops - though I suppose that could be a good thing.


Insight: Heavy machine guns are ideal for FOB missions - especially the ones with high level guards - as they have a lot of ammo and decent stopping power. You can also customize them to have a silencer, but don't count on that lasting too long. Note - if you don't want to kill people, shoot their legs to incapacitate them. You will then need to fulton them before they bleed out though.

Wilmot's Warehouse

A test of organization and memory.

In this simple game, you play as Wilmot the cube. Your timed task each round is simply to bring to the service window whatever items are requested which are delivered to your pretty massive warehouse. To save time, you can bring bunches of items at once, but too much cargo slows you down and also - how you've setup your warehouse might slow you down, especially later on with larger requests.

You can't "see" too far away.

The warehouse is a bit dark so you'll need to remember where you stored that particular item (out of 200 different items). Doing well earns points that can be spent on abilities, like moving faster or being able to carry more items before slowing down.

A simple and clever game, but one that gets repetitive quickly. I give it two crates out of five.

Insight: Make the most of your stock take days which let you organize your warehouse however you see fit. Making a small map on a post it note for your own reference might help too - especially if you group like items together.

Wednesday 16 December 2020

MGSV: Big Boss

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Confident with my truth it is time to get things at the base back in order, starting with the traitor who mutated the virus and who helped Eli steal Sahelanthropus - Dr. Emmerich. While Miller calls for his blood I opt to exile him instead, knowing that fools like him are prone to suicide anyway.

Funnily enough it is revealed Dr. Emmerich was also behind Skull Face's attack on our base nine years ago after tricking Miller at that time too. With his failures mounting I opt to exile him as well and take his place as base commander.

As the intel team has located Eli and Sahelanthropus, I dispatch a whole squad of Diamond Dogs to deal with him once and for all - with helicopters, D-Walkers and  ZHUK missile trucks. He kills a number of them, but is eventually brought down by random S rank tough guy soldier, Bitter Gecko.

Metal Gear vs Walker Gear

The scrap is returned to base but Eli is nowhere to be found. I can only hope he died and burned in the wreckage because kids like that only grow up one way. They become snakes.

Insight: While the ZHUK missile salvo is cool, it is the fast firing auto cannon that really can tear Sahelanthropus apart - especially if aimed at his weak spots: the pod type things on his back, the shoulder ball, his core when he lifts his sword and his face. Destroying these all do bonus damage and stun the robot for a little while.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

GTFO: R4C1 - Cognition (Normal)

We're on the next floor down and it's time to run into a boss! Eeek! Loadouts for today are DL: DMR/Sniper/Mines, Jim: DMR/Combat Shotty/Cfoam, Me: SMG/Pump Shotgun/Mines. This level has some nice big areas, so sweep and clear as normal without opening any security doors. You'll end up between a choice of a Keycard + class III or a Cell Powered + class IV. We did the class IV first, as you setup the most important part of the level here.

It's so important, I made it an image!

Once done, enter the "red" class IV area to find a new, spikey type of sleeper. These guys run fast but they're just armored strikers. Bop them behind the head and loot the room, but LEAVE the three use tool kit there. We'll need it later. Now head over to the keycard + class III door which takes place in a short hallway. DL puts one mine on each roller door here (facing the door for the smaller one) and then we listen for where the roar happens. This dictates which door Jim cfoams while DL and I complete the scan. Then, kill the wave and continue.

Just beyond this door is one of the best hold spots in this level, a pair of tight narrow passages in a hallway. If you all stand on the side further from the door you just entered, most of the time enemies won't even flank you. You can narrow it even further by putting the disco ball objective item that dropped with you in the way. For the next section, we would always fall back here to gun down any pursuers, so keep it in mind!

After appreciating the well lit "hold spot", continue clearing as normal. You'll probably hit a scout at some point if you haven't already, and it won't be the last. Now you will have a choice of three blood doors to open (with spikey dudes that are awake). Use a console to QUERY BULK, then LIST the top bulkhead key. Whatever zone that's in is where you should go. Mine the security door by sliding a mines "into" it. I put one on the left, one on the right, and one facing the door. Trigger the open sequence and flee back to the hold spot to kill whatever remains.

Whatever blood door you opened, now you have pitch black rooms (glow sticks ftw) that probably has a scout. Clear as you see fit until you find that bulkhead key. Once you've got it, exfiltrate yourselves and the disco ball objective back to the "red" zone where you bopped the first spikey dudes and plug the key in. If you want to do the EXTREME version, you get to choose that now but for us it was hard enough getting to this point so just the main mission only for us thanks! :P

Inside the main bulkhead is a single room empty of enemies with kits to harvest, so do so. Important numbers are: Jim gets 100% cfoam (plus he had a cfoam grenade), I slid eight mines "under" the locked security door to the north (all grouped in the middle), and DL mined the path between that door and the entryway to this room with whatever was left. Plugging in the disco ball into the circular recepticle starts the crazy finale to this mission. That's my job. My brothers simply wait at the class IV door that has all the doors (except the forward one facing the pit) closed.

They have the hard part. Killing a pair of hybrids plus strikers while I bring the orb to the north door. I call out once I'm getting close which is the signal for them to shut and ice the forward roller door and return to my position to initiate the next class IV alarm. As soon as this is done, they both return to their guard spot - with Jim icing the door while I do scan circles alone. The reason is infinite waves of strikers can now just flank any of us so DL needs to cover Jim while he keeps the door foamed.

When he runs out of foam they retreat to the north door, which so happens to be the same time I finished all the circles! Open her up and there is the towering boss monster ... who we don't have time for with the infinite waves, so shoot him once and he sprints into the eight mines waiting for him, killing himself. Cool! With disco ball in hand it's up to Jim and DL to cover me as we go down the stairs and then head north to a normal class I door scan. Not too bad to hold since I can fight again here while waiting, then just beyond is the forward extraction point which I drag the ball to. This is an even easier hold since it's a straight line and lots of ground for enemies to cover. Wait for 100% and GTFO! Woo!

Monday 14 December 2020

GTFO: How to handle Scouts

Don't touch the feelers!

Scouts are the most common enemy that can ruin a mission. Unlike other sleepers, these creatures patrol the rooms they spawn in and occasionally stop and send out a lot of tentacles in every direction to "feel" if anything is around. If for any reason they are alerted, they will scream and summon/spawn an extra wave of monsters.

Also known as the spaghetti monster!

Knowing the enemy is half the battle so here you go:

  • Scouts make a particular sound you can hear through doors. Once you get used to it, you'll be hearing them before seeing them.
  • If a scout hears you moving, feels your flash light, or hears a door open, it will send out feelers.
  • If you bump or injure the scout, touch a feeler*, or it hears a gunshot or something else in the room screams - the scout will be alerted.
  • *If you touch a feeler, you still have a second or two to kill the scout before it screams.
  • Once alerted, the scout will turn blue and be temporarily invulnerable as it summons a wave of up to 12 enemies.
  • A scout will "visit" sleepers in the room. If there are none, it will wander around randomly.
  • A sniper shot to the head will kill the scout at distance, but this means alerting the room (and some rooms have more than one scout).
  • A fully charged hammer swing to the head of a scout will kill it silently. This is the ideal take down.

Even knowing all of that, what you need most is practice at getting in range so here are some tips:

  • Position yourself in front of where the scout is walking - you want to be in front of this one.
  • Flash light off, unless you are intentionally trying to make send out tentacles.
  • Terrain is important, its much easier to get into range if you are higher or lower than the tentacle sprawl. A simple ramp or stairs can greatly improve your odds.
  • If on level ground, hide behind furniture or pillars until it is within striking range.
  • Ideally, wait for the tentacles to be out and follow them back in as the scout retracts them for a head bop.
  • At full range, you will not be able to walk the full distance before retraction is complete - so be patient and setup correctly.
  • There will be times when the room is just a mess. In these cases it might be better to setup and shoot the scout, then fight the room.
  • Advanced players will sprint-aggro these and duck under tentacles for the kill or do a jump smash from a higher floor. Get the basics down first before trying these.
  • Multiple people going for the same scout is risky.

Now theory is all well and good but what you really need is practice. In Rundown 4, R4C1 - Cognition has a chance of spawning scouts before any alarm doors so that's what I was using, restarting if none were available to solo practice on. And I stuffed up A LOT. Now I stuff up less, and that means saving everyone a lot of ammo. It's worth the pain.

Sunday 13 December 2020

Mice and Mystics: The Heart of Glorm

Once more into the ruined castle...

An expansion to the original game, this 6 chapter adventure continues the story of the heroic mice of Barksburg and adds a new playable mouse to the crew to battle a new threat and his stronger minions. While only half the length of the original game the story quality is still top notch, but the figure for the main bad guy seems to be giving everyone two middle fingers up.

The cover nicely sums up the story.

Also, the new minions are quite tough - especially the new roaches who can spit. They do out perform the villain though who is rather easy to defeat in the final mission. Some maps did feel tedious though, but that might just be the design where you can't move on (apart from a few instances) until everything in an area is defeated. Still recommended, especially if you enjoyed the base game - I give it three slugs out of five.

Insight: The new character, Nere, is quite versatile and tough. You'll definitely want to bring her along in every mission that allows it.

Saturday 12 December 2020

MGSV: A Real Snake

[Part of the MGS Diary]

I awaken to a squad of Diamond Dogs administering the snake anti-venom to save my life. Quiet is nowhere to be found. According to the crew, she broke her silence on the radio to direct the rescue chopper through the storm - activating the English strain of the virus. A tape recorded message she left behind indicates her plan to eliminate the threat she now carries, and she is never seen again.

The snake anti-venom has another side effect though - one that restores my memories. I am not the original Big Boss... that was Jack Bauer back at the hospital! Ocelot, who knew this whole time, explains that I am his secret "phantom" whom the world knows about while he works from the shadows.

Was I just a doppelganger?

Shaken by this, I decide to challenge myself on a few more missions to prove to myself that I am Big Boss - sometimes deploying with just my knife and fultons, and other times requiring total stealth to complete a task. In one of these sorties D-Dog is killed by an enemy gunship, and with Quiet gone I am forced to use D-Walker in a battle against a left over Skulls unit.

Turns out its speed and mounted gatling gun make for the perfect weapon against those freaks. It is only when I standing over their corpses than I confirm to myself that I am no phantom. I am... Big Boss!

Insight: In the subsistence mission where you need to take out a tank convoy, you can fulton them out. In "total stealth" ops, you only fail if the enemy sees -you-. Feel free to nuke everything from orbit and call for air support from a far.

Friday 11 December 2020

The Last Airbender (Live Action Movie)

A rushed telling of book one.

In a world where some people can manipulate the elements doing kata and tai chi, the fire nation has conquered almost all the known world as the Avatar, a force that usually brings balance, has been missing for 100 years. Unfortunately for the fire nation, the Avatar is just about to re-emerge.


This M. Night Shyamalan flick has the problem of trying to squeeze the content of a very popular animated series which features children as the heroes. Child actors might already be off putting to some, but the pacing of the condensed story is much worse as it is up to narration to fill in the gaps as the team seems to zip across the world, with an evil general in pursuit half the time and reporting to his superior back in the fire nation the other half of the time.

Effects wise everything is quite good, but I did feel the uniforms of the various nations could have used more variation. I don't know, say red for fire and blue for water instead of black for both sides? Anyway, not one I recommend, I give it two fish spirits out of five. If you want to experience the story correctly, just watch the animated series.

Thursday 10 December 2020

MGSV: Russian Rematch

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Going after Eli is delayed as there is another outbreak of Code Talker's virus in the base, this time a mutated strain that has no cure. I am forced to personally go in and execute all of my own infected staff before torching the quarantine platform for good measure.

Quiet also opts to go AWOL at this time, and Code Talker reveals it is because she too has the virus - the English strain - but doesn't spread it out of choice simply by staying silent. I go after her where we relive our initial duel, but this time she has no chance since I bring a tank which her sniper rifle cannot damage.

Can't shoot through tank armor.

She is defeated but falls into the hands of the very rapey Russians, and so I give chase to rescue her again from some ruins. While she doesn't really need help from her squad of captors, we are in for a hell of a fight when the Russians attack in full force. Both badly injured, we manage to exfiltrate during a sandstorm... and then I get bitten by a venomous snake. Shit.

Insight: Quiet can one hit kill you in the rematch, so you'll need to rocket her location to force her to move which will give you an opening to get into the tank. If you have D-Dog with you, you can then whistle from inside the tank which normally makes Quiet fire and reveal her location.

Wednesday 9 December 2020


Killers killing killers.

A contract killing organization decides to kill their retiring members to avoid paying their pension, but  don't count on how skilled their next mark, the Black Kaiser (Mads Mikkelsen), still is. This is a very bloody and violent movie, but while there are cool bits it mostly is a standard fare action flick.

It's got a bit of everything.

My problems with it stem from two parts mainly - people being slow on the trigger, which really stems from it being based on a comic I think, and the other is just the very, very strange places this film goes to. Places that could be skipped entirely which wouldn't really affect the finished product.

Decently entertaining, this is an ok movie but not fantastic which is a pity. Still a recommended watch for action fans or Mads Mikkelsen fans. I give it two auto guns out of five, but wouldn't watch it again.

Tuesday 8 December 2020

MGSV: Fortune and Glory

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Our previous victory has really brought the money pouring in, with jobs paying almost double from before and clients as high-profile as the CIA. Diamond Dog strike teams are now deploying and dying all across the globe for glory!

I continue to focus on Africa and Afghanistan though, mainly to clean up the numerous puppet soldiers the Skulls left behind. At the same time the Russians and the other private forces are upping their game in trying to kill me, setting traps and sending their heaviest armored men and machines after me.

With Quiet by my side and our newly developed wormhole fulton abduction device that can steal tanks, they still have no chance. Miller, who I am beginning to suspect is the worst base commander ever, then reports the child soldiers I previously brought onto the base have escaped - mainly thanks to Eli who also managed to steal Sahelanthropus!

You seriously left the keys for the giant robot just lying around?

Insight: For zombies, puppet soldiers are close to harmless. You can tranq or melee them down (a few times) or toss a sleep grenade to capture them.

Monday 7 December 2020


Makes Christmas evil.

A young woman in a broken home becomes the unlikely foil for a child kidnapping and soul eating supernatural foe (nicely played by Zachary Quinto) who really loves Christmas.

Based on the book written by Joe Hill (aka Joe King, son of Stephen King) this two season horror drama is quite cool for the most part. Characters are intentionally flawed and grow as the story goes on, and the acting gets a thumbs up.

He's like a vampire/lich.

Unfortunately they did drop the ball in the logic department in season two when they discover supernatural powers are actually hard to define, but it's an ok show none the less. Not terrible, not great, just ok. I give it two Rolls-Royces out of five.

Sunday 6 December 2020

MGSV: Sahelanthropus

[Part of the MGS Diary]

With his Skulls defeated, Quiet and I systematically fight our way against his more mundane troops into the ruined castle that is Skull Face's base. Unfortunately he apprehends me at the helipad and forces me to listen to his evil villain monologue about releasing an English strain of the virus while riding a jeep to his virus deployment platform: the metal gear Sahelanthropus.

For a nice change of pace, the main villain gives us a life to the next boss fight. :P

Unfortunately for him, the giant robot goes crazy - killing his men and his fire monster. It is up to me and D-Horse, and a few Diamond Dog helicopters to bring it down using as many rockets as is needed. I also make use of the many abandoned tanks and APCs but Sahelanthropus simply uses his rust gas attack to nullify those. D-Horse is also killed in the battle.

Once we bring down the metal giant, Miller and I find Skull Face pinned by debris. After destroying his vials of disease, we take turns to dismember him slowly as revenge for what he did nine years ago. We then return to base victorious, with Sahelanthropus in tow - much to Dr. Emmerich's delight.

Insight: Call for air support if/when your chopper gets carved out of the sky. Also I chose D-Horse for this fight for mobility purposes. Unlike last time, Sahelanthropus is super agile now - running and jumping after you.

Friday 4 December 2020

Death Note (2017)

Do you have a pen?

When a high school kid (Nat Wolff) gets given a notebook that has the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it, he decides to try make the world a better place by killing the "bad" guys but quickly finds out the world isn't really black and white.

 Chair squatting doesn't really work in real life huh?

Based on a pretty good anime/manga, this American iteration shifts the setting to the USA but keeps most of the lore. Unfortunately the the acting is... not great, and not helped by the weak script. Also you'd also think that something that features a bit of writing would have people with better handwriting but... nope! At least the deaths are gruesomely entertaining but this doesn't have much else going for it.

If you've never heard, seen or know about Death Note, then you might enjoy this Final Destination-esque take on it. Otherwise, either don't watch this or go in expecting it to be a far inferior cry from the original source material. I give it 1.5 apples out of 5. I wouldn't watch it again.

MGSV: Code Talker

[Part of the MGS Diary]

I see the skull snipers shop at the same place Quiet gets her outfits...

Getting past the Skull sniper team is a bit scary, but keeping low in the river and climbing up the side of the waterfall gets us to the lonesome mansion guarded by the regular variety of easily dispachable goons.

Inside is the old Indian "Code Talker" who reveals the virus Skull Face forced him to make is triggered by language. He also knows how to make a cure so we extract him by chopper on the double. The Skulls are onto us though, and destroy the chopper using a rusting fog that causes us to crash at an airport.

It is here that Quiet and I crush them and their zombie puppets from the rooftops, then call in a new chopper to get ourselves and Code Talker back to base. Within two days, he has cured everyone of this strain - and better yet, can tell us exactly where to find Skull Face himself.

Insight: Rooftops are your best bet when fighting the Skulls as they seem to have problems with ladders.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The music isn't a contest.

Lars (Will Ferell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are determined to enter and win Eurovision for Iceland which is made near impossible due to Lars' self-sabotaging nature. As the actual contest was cancelled this year due to COVID, this movie is a decent replacement with some decent songs performed throughout.

Very much Eurovision-ish!

There are also some nice comedic parts but if you don't like Will Ferrell, you might have a problem with this. In the same vein, if you haven't watched any real Eurovision you might not get some of the gags or the cameos. As a Eurovision fan I quite enjoyed it though, and give this film three jaja ding dongs out of five. Would I watch it again? Yes! In fact I already have! :)

Tuesday 1 December 2020

MGSV: Child Soldiers

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Apart from the deadly mysterious disease, the other thing I absolutely hate about Africa are the child soldiers, mainly because I'm not allowed to kill them thanks to Miller's stupid code so taking down their leader was going to be tough.

An enemy is an enemy, regardless of age!

Thankfully Quiet armed with a tranq rifle made this more achievable, and surprisingly their leader - a white kid named Eli - is a decent fighter, much like the random wandering Mother Base soldiers I occasionally have to bring back. As per Miller's request abduct him and his crew. Eli is not happy at all and requires consecutive beat downs to keep him in line.

While Eli kept us busy the intel team finally got a lead to someone who knows more about the virus, and so our next job was to find this "Code Talker" - hiding deep in the African jungle. It's strange that there are so few guards on the way in... and I soon realize it's because he's guarded by Skulls!

Insight: If you want to fulton the kids to get them off the map / prevent them from waking up, load them in a vehicle and fulton it out. Use a Diamond Dogs vehicle if you want to make it easier, as they self fulton when you request a new vehicle.

GTFO: R4B2 - Variscite (Normal)

Been awhile since my last GTFO post, and that's mainly because R4B1 is a real pain in the butt... so we won't be talking about that today! Instead we're on the next mission R4B2 - Variscite where we need to find four power cells and plug them into a generator.

I'm not going to be as detailed this time since regular readers probably know how to double/triple bop in stealth by now (so three of us means we can kill a close cluster of nine and keep the room quiet) and that you are equipped to deal with giants. What we do is bop all the "safe" little ones then go loud on them, letting DL open with an occupit sniper shot to down one right away.

Some more generic info to start with - security doors come in multiple varieties, and the CLASS of the door dictates how many sets of scans there are. So a class II has one sets of either four circles or one big circle. A class III has two sets, a class IV has three sets and so on. I suspect a class I is just the regular, non alarmed door with a single team scan.

Also, shooters with no melee striker support are actually hopeless. This goes for giant shooters too. Save ammo by using your hammer. As long as you are moving forward and strafing either left or right at the same time, they can't hit you. Once you get up to them just strafe in a circle. I prefer clockwise, so I call it the clockwise technique. :P

Anyway, back to the mission. Our loadouts for this mission were - DL: DMR/sniper/mines, Jim: DMR/Combat Shotty/foam, Me: Autopistol/machine gun/mines. Clear as normal and go through the regular bulk head door. This is where you'll find the generator. The most important part of the mission is now: Do the upper Class III security door first, the one next to the generator.

Enemies will swarm from the direction you came, so its easy to mine and even easier to foam / keep foaming the large door before the bulkhead. Once the scans are complete and you win, don't bother opening the door you just unlocked. Instead go downstairs and open the simple scan door instead.

There you will find an option of three doorways to proceed. Don't be fooled, you need to clear them ALL (unless you like dealing with extra adds) because beyond them is a class IV scan and you'll want to have all the doors closer to the stairs you came down open, but the three doors next to the class IV alarm closed, and foamed. Also, put mines with the trip line facing into the doors, close to the center as possible for the best effect. This small room has plenty of opportunity for that.

It's tight, but with three we could get the circles done (with Jim refoaming doors) and then you just have to win the wave. This is the hardest hold of the mission. Beyond the door you might encounter giant hybrids who are a combination of striker/shooter (they look like spiky shooters). They aren't that scary, just fight from range and from cover. Locate and retrieve the cell hidden in that sector, and do the same for the one that lives in the three room passage you passed earlier but don't plug them into the generator yet.

Collect what gear you can, prioritizing fog repellers and once you are done shut the remaining doors and now you can plug the cells in. This pushes the vision obscuring fog down to you, but that's fine. You can go up through the first door you unlocked which is now not so foggy and clear it slowly, there are giants asleep in here.  You will need to find the third cell in here somewhere, and also to make your way to a security door all the way at the back of the zone.

If you're not the exploring type, the way to get to that door is this: from the terminal where you can pick to either go forward or go down into the fog, take the stairs down into the fog. Go through the small room and open the only other door on the right hand side then go straight through the short passage to the next door and straight up the stairs. Open the big door there (which you want to save for the security scan) and clear the room.

It's a class IV security door back here, so mine as best as you can but the foam is really what will keep them at bay then win the wave. Through the security door is a big cavern - so clear as normal. You'll also find stairs down into the fog but don't go there yet. Open the door nearest the fog and clear the room. There's a terminal here where you can ping stuff, and you'll want to ping the final cell, which is always in the fog hell that you must enter.

One of us normally stays at the console pinging the cell while the other two use fog repellers to sneak and steal basically, shutting all the doors again on the way out. Then its back to the generator but only plug ONE cell in. Now for the finale!

Shut and foam (if possible) the immediate doors leading to the generator room. If you followed this, there are the three down stairs and one upstairs. Mine the path from the bulkhead as well, since you won't have a door there anymore. Once you put in the last cell all the lights will go out as the system reboots. Chillax near the back of the generator and wait for it to turn on so that you can do the single team security scan. After this, win the incoming wave. You'll be able to hear which way they come from.

Still alive? Good work, you've basically won already! Just wander back to your drop point for the extraction circle at your leisure to finish the mission and GTFO!

Monday 30 November 2020

November 2020 Review: At the Helm

Following up from last time, our guild is now at the helm position of the alliance (for a few months)! Yay! Ideally we'd like to push our level to 16 or beyond in this time, but really any progress would be cool.

Almost as cool as this.

Now for some future tech... I previously posted about the Tesla Model 3 which is already quite advanced for my standards but if you want to take it a step further you can literally fly with the KleinVision car! Just need to put weapons on that now and... oh wait, South Africa already did that for real. :P

   Lose 1kg this month (last month result: fail)
   Web comic (nothing, nada, zip)


One Year Ago

I started the Wild Hunt while Neverwinter Online was just about to head into Avernus... and it's still there right now! Unsurprisingly this is simply too tedious for some, myself included.

Five Years Ago

I was much more into Neverwinter Online, exploring foundry quests and using it as photo story inspiration. The Rage of Demons questline written by R.R. Salvatore was released at this time too.

Most Viewed Posts last Month

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War
GTFO: R4A2 - Foster (Extreme)
Metal Gear: A Soldier's Diary

Again another walk through makes top three, though for some reason the massive interest in Apokolips War eclipsed it. Curious that the new story diary is up there too! I guess Metal Gear has a way of catching attention? "!"

Sunday 29 November 2020


Copy / Paste.

Dr. Will (Keanu Reeves) is having great difficulty in copying a human mind into a fabricated one, but a tragedy forces him to come up with a solution that he must keep hidden from his employer. This movie asks the difficult questions like, is a copy of you really you? Who designed tech that would display text backwards to its user? Would your clone be a virgin if you weren't?

He's not even pretending to read the data that comes up.

Ok it doesn't really cover those last two but those are pretty minor issues compared with the rest of the film. For a change, I thought the story is actually decent - despite potential plot holes caused by Will's oversight/lack of preparation. Also the CG is not great, but it is passable.

What lets it down is the acting! Gasp! Yes. Apart from one or two people the rest are quite weak here, including Keanu himself especially when he's using the holo goggles. Too much busy work without actually reading or thinking. Not one of his better works, I give this two mapping sequences out of five.

Friday 27 November 2020

MGSV: The Intruders

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Not long after the escape, Miller reports that an enemy force has taken over one of the platforms at Mother Base. Ocelot has an easy time getting rid of them, but to prevent more attacks like this construction of a Forward Operating Base commences (more platforms in another ocean) to take the heat.

I like that you can play as other characters too!

I am told that from there, not only can we be raided - we can also raid other merc FOBs (quasi-PVP). I opt to ignore that option for now seeing as there's so much work available in Africa and Afghanistan.

Unfortunately a worse intruder makes its way to Mother Base - an epidemic much like what I saw at the Devil's House. Staff members begin to die left an right, in numbers so high that I almost regret dismissing all those low ranked soldiers prior. And by dismiss I actually mean "turned into shark bait".

As we don't have any clues to what's causing it, I leave Miller and Ocelot to sort it out while Quiet and I return to doing missions. Someone needs to keep the resources coming in right?

Insight: Weed out troublemakers and low level staff as they occupy slots better people can use. You can just put them in the waiting room, which will spill out into the FOB/other platforms as you make them, if you don't want to dismiss them.

Thursday 26 November 2020

The Dark Tower

Guns vs magic = Pretty cool!

When Jake (Tom Taylor) starts getting vivid nightmares of another world everyone suspects he is just batshit crazy. In a good news, bad news situation, he finds out he isn't which means those visions of a powerfully evil man in black (gloriously portrayed by Matthew McConaughey) trying to destroy the multiverse an ominous looking tower is true! One of the last gunslingers (played by Idris Elba) is the only one who can stop him and his evil scheme.

Don't mess with this gunslinger!

Right off the bat I'm going to say my wife and I really liked this movie. Decent acting, good effects, great fight sequences and not a bad story all make for a really entertaining flick! That said, we haven't read any of the books where as people who have, seem to absolutely hate it.

I guess that just means, if you haven't read the books and have zero expectations - you'll probably like this movie, otherwise stay away! I give it three incredibly rare bullets out of five and would definitely watch it again.

MGSV: A Quiet Devil

[Part of the MGS Diary]

While developing D-Walkers, Dr. Emmerich gives us a lead that Skull Face is up to something in the wide open plains of Africa (as he was shipping walker gears there) so we naturally start accepting missions from there too. While the good doctor is quite the blabber mouth, Quiet doesn't break her silence and soon freaks out the men so much that they want her off base.

I take Ocelot's suggestion to take her on missions with me and she quickly proves to be a valuable asset, easily taking down heavy Skulls infantry and capturing guard posts single handedly making her my favorite companion.

We soon find a lead to Skull Face's operation at "the devil's house", a remote facility filled with people dying from an unknown disease. Skull Face himself makes an appearance here, but once again retreats upon spotting me - instructing his pet fire monster to deal with me instead.

Hello again you flaming bastard.

His fire balls easily destroy my first extraction chopper so I follow Jack Bauer's example from the hospital and stun the enemy by exploding the nearby water towers. I also put him on a fulton balloon just to further delay his recovery while Quiet and I escape on chopper number two.

Insight: If you aren't bringing D-Horse, bring a jeep to cut down travel time.