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.

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Neverwinter Online: Four Life Hacks

Here are some easy tips to speed up the grind which you may or may not already know about.

Press 1 for OK, Press 2 for Cancel

This usually applies even when the option isn't denoted, like when you are trading bounty currency for something and there is no quantity slider. Instead of clicking on OK each time, press 1 to speed up the process.

Aim above the person/item you want to interact with

Helpful if there's a stack of players (or just one mounted on a T-rex) in front of that banker, vendor or gate transition.

Check old campaign stores

Especially if you've been doing the weekly legacy quests, you may have enough to trade for boxes of AD. While you are at it, visit the seal vendors in the market as they hand out AD as well, and if you are really desperate - gold bars are more readily available in Protector's Enclave now to trade on auction.

Avoid fighting if you can (now easier with the free faster mount speed)

Fighting eats up most of the time. If you can brush off the damage and don't need to interact with anything, just run past. In those instances even if the trash does catch you, its quicker to annihilate them simultaneously rather than handle each individual group. Remember you can also speed up some vertical drops by simply jumping down - and if your character can evade, you can even negate all of the damage.

Tuesday 24 November 2020

MGSV: D-Walkers

[Part of the MGS Diary]

With Quiet no longer guarding the pass, I had a clear shot to get to one of Skull Face's scientists working out of a major encampment in Afghanistan. Getting past all the patrolling guards, helicopter, and walker gears (mini-robot weapon platforms) was easy thanks to D-Dog.

Getting out with cripple, Dr. Emmerich, was also pretty easy thanks to the spare walker gear he had in the lab as it moves fast and is able to carry him while firing its gatling gun. Obviously the Dr. likes his robots too much though, for his giant metal gear creation - "Sahelanthropus" came to stop us outside the camp.

Complete with crotch cannon!

Fortunately the big guy is pretty slow and easily distracted by helicopters so it doesn't take much effort to escape from him. It does try jump for us as we fly off, but a sustained burst from the door gun severely damages to robot, sending it crashing back down into the ground. Back at base, Emmerich agrees to develop walker gears for the Diamond Dogs and gives them a predictable code name: D-Walkers.

Insight: If he doesn't see you Sahelathropus will go for your chopper. Use this to bait him away before calling in the real extraction point.

Monday 23 November 2020


The journey is more important than the destination.

The desert is full of ancient ruins that hide alien tech which has drawn Nazis and strange zombie making cultists to the area. It is up to your intrepid team and a trusty jeep to beat them to those priceless relics!

Or, you can just show up late and shoot everyone...

After selecting your squad most missions involve traversing a map and dealing with random skill challenges or more often, strategic combat ala X-COM, which is what will take up most of your time.

As always, using cover is often vital and since your characters do level up you want to try make sure they all survive each encounter. Not a bad little game, but it is rather short. Pathway is a decent distraction if you like that type of game play, and one I give 2.5 fuel cans out of 5.

Insight: Always buy fuel. If your jeep runs out of fuel you can still continue on foot but will take severe damage in doing so.

Sunday 22 November 2020

MGSV: D-Dog Duel

[Part of the MGS Diary]

It would be awhile before I encountered Skull Face's troops again, during which time one of the animals I previously fultoned out has grown to become a really useful ally under Ocelot's training - D-Dog!  

This one eyed mutt has a great nose for detecting medicinal herbs, wild life hunt targets, mines, and enemies - making it very difficult for anyone to get the drop on me, with one exception being the female sniper known as Quiet - who is accurate, able to turn near invisible and is as fast as the Skull soldiers from before.

Our duel in the ruins is a long one, and one I only win thanks to D-Dogs nose and a sandstorm. When she's finally KO'ed, Miller pleads with me to kill her but Ocelot asks that I capture her instead. Since she's easy on the eyes I take Ocelot's advice.

We make a good team too!

On the chopper she inexplicably frees herself from her cuffs and helps shoot down an enemy MiG by sniping the pilot - saving our lives. She then quietly goes to a cell on the rapidly expanding "Mother Base". The little oil rig is now looking more like a giant Hydra with the multiple platforms in place.

It costs money each time you deploy into the field. How much varies based on what you are bringing with you.

Saturday 21 November 2020

Savage Dog

No one likes to play fair.

Somewhere in Indochina during a period where the most wanted and evil men could retain power, a group of them happens to piss off the wrong kick ass guy (Scott Adkins).

To be fair, the movie actually tried to make them seem ok for a while there - almost making me believe they were not going to go down a predictable path but alas, nope.

It's a standard revenge fair with a lot of martial arts which are obviously the highlight, especially with Cung Le and Marko Zaror. I'm a little sad Juju Chan doesn't bust out any moves in a role which makes her almost unrecognizable from Wu Assassins.

Anyway, if you are a fan of martial arts or of the guys above then you might enjoy this. For everyone else, there's very little content that for some reason is fully narrated, very silly gun play and is on the cheaper side of production.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 and would probably only watch the fights with Cung Le or Marko again.

Thursday 19 November 2020

MGSV: Skull Face

[Part of the MGS Diary]

A job involving the theft of a powerful Russian rocket launcher at some ruins goes sideways when the Skulls arrive to block off my escape, with their leader "Skull Face" having a grand introduction in the middle of a sandstorm. As expected from the melodramatic ass hat vanishes, leaving his enhanced soldiers to finish me off.

Doesn't even have the courtesy to talk in my direction.

They also seem to have made the remaining Russian troops into zombie puppets. This is good because they both the puppets and the Skulls don't know to take cover and are easily put down using the rocket launcher I was stealing. Pity we had to sell it afterwards.

As a result of this encounter, I now prioritize the development of grenade launchers and rocket launchers - both of which I carry onto the field as they are useful against all types of infantry and the ever increasing array of armored vehicles I'm finding in the field.

Insight: Other useful upgrades are the pistol, fulton, armor and grenades (especially sleep). The helicopter upgrades are handy too if you like calling for air support.


Only food can save the world.

In this fast paced cooperative game players are chefs in a kitchen who are working together to prep, cook, plate up and serve dishes to the customers.

While those steps are quite simplified for game purposes, the challenge (and much humor) comes in the wide variety of what must be the most poorly designed kitchens ever.

Then again the place is run by the Onion King, so expect the unexpected!

This makes for some chaotic cooking as each level is timed and scored with later levels unlocking only after mastery of the earlier ones. It is very, very fun if played with other people! Single player... not so much.

One I recommend if you have friends and spare controllers (or are willing to share a keyboard). I give it 3 onion kings out of 5.

Update: Overcooked 2 is more of the same, just with a slightly different theme!

Insight: Dash is important - but can also knock your allies out of the way!

Wednesday 18 November 2020

MGSV: Reconstruction

[Part of the MGS Diary]

Afghanistan is the first stop to rebuilding my crew - starting with rescuing Miller, one of my top ranking guys who now is missing an arm and a leg. Lucky D-Horse, the mount Ocelot gave me, is capable of carrying both of us - even while being pursued by strange, teleporting Skull soldiers.

We finally then head to our base, a lonely oil rig platform in the middle of the ocean and home to "the Diamond Dogs". It's what Miller calls this rag tag group of peons he had assembled during my absence. They're not much to look at.

Clearly its up to me to bring in the big bucks by completing more mercenary work in Afghanistan's mostly claustrophobic valleys while at the same time recruiting soldiers (specifically interpreters to start with) by knocking them out and then abducting them by attaching them to a fulton balloon. It is so ridiculous to watch (but also a real thing).

Have a nice flight!

Almost as ridiculous as ballooning wild life out. Apparently Miller has a deal with an NGO that pays money for that as well. What they do with the animals? Who knows.

Insight: D-Horse makes for an effective if temporary vehicle road block. Baddies won't shoot him or run him down, and instead attempt to "shoo" the obstacle away - much like if they encounter goats or other wild life.

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Masterchef Australia Season 12

Back to win.

I've been a big fan of Masterchef Australia for a long time now, as its usually nice, wholesome and uplifting emotionally despite being a competition.

The end of Season 11 also saw the departure of the beloved judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris leaving some pretty big shoes to fill for the new comers - previous guest-chef Jock Zonfrillo, articulate foodie Melissa Leong, and season 4 winner Andy Allen who went on to become a One Hat chef (only two more to catch up to Jock)!

The new judges: Andy, Mel and Jock.

While initially wary, I find these three to be quite good at the job - but the real masterstroke was from whoever decided to bring back the best non-winning contestants from previous seasons meaning there's plenty of familiarity around for long time fans.

It's quite interesting too how they manage to continue through COVID which necessitates the removal of public outdoor and service challenges; rules that are retained for the 3rd Junior season of the show (which coincidentally had the epic idea of having a live orchestra play music during the final cook). I'll be continuing to watch if Season 13 rolls around. :)

Monday 16 November 2020

MGSV: Self-Discharge

[Part of the MGS Diary]

I am saved from the assassin by a heavily bandaged man who I believe is Jack Bauer. He helps in sneaking me past the murderous soldiers and a supernatural flaming monster to exit the hospital until we are separated by enemy gunship fire.

A boss fight already? Sure!

It is then that Ocelot arrives on horse back to assist with the rest of my exfiltration, especially as the flaming thing pursues us on a flaming horse! Good thing he didn't pick a flaming motorbike, flaming all-wheel drive, or flaming plane. We manage to escape by crossing a river.

Ocelot then gives me a robotic arm, which is better than my old one, and the task of rebuilding my mercenary crew and getting vengeance on those who did this to me. Sounds like a plan!

Insight: Do what Jack Bauer says/does if you want to live.

Sunday 15 November 2020

Samurai Shodown - NeoGeo Collection

Big swords, big hair, big damage.

Containing the first five Samurai Shodown (aka Samurai Spirit) games, this collection lets you experience this mostly sword duel game against other players online, or against NPC opponents.

That's when he used to be OP.

Now I'm not really an expert in fighting games, but this one strongly features weapons that can be clashed and disarmed, and also they really effing hurt - being able to take off almost half your life in a single swing!

To this end you can't really go randomly button mashing, but luckily the move set for each character is spelled out for you in a handy menu (and in most cases, each character has two move set "load outs"). Still its not a genre I really enjoy so I give it two Poppy's out of five.

Insight: I always cheesed with Galford in the earlier games where you can send his dog AND do a jumping attack. The enemy can't block both, much to Juris' dismay! He does get balanced out in later games though.

Saturday 14 November 2020

MGSV: Pieces of Paz

[Part of the MGS Diary]

The exfiltration of the kid Chico from torture Camp Omega was pretty straight forward as I am really, really sneaky. Learning that Paz, another captured ally, was in the base forced a return visit though and one that became loud when my suppressor failed.

Still managed to get her to the chopper, and amidst news that Mother Base was being destroyed by an unknown enemy force we discovered that Paz had been implanted with bombs. She jumped out the door to try save us, but it was too late... We were going down.

So... I rescued a bomb...?

By the time I opened my eyes again it was nine years later, riddled with scars and shrapnel and missing one arm. Just in time to be awake when the same unknown enemy force locates the hospital I'm in, sending a deadly female assassin to finish me off in my weakened state.

Insight: Ground Zeroes is a really short game, though it has a few unlockable side missions. In most of them, being stealthy is often better than going in guns blazing.

Metal Gear: A Soldier's Diary

Since this didn't really fit into my other playthrough categories, it gets one of its own! Now, I know there are a bunch of Metal Gear games out there but it's going to be MGSV: The Phantom Pain that I'll be chronicling here because... well I didn't think to do it with the earlier ones. Hindsight is 20/20 right? :P

Chapter 1 - Pieces of Paz
Chapter 2 - Self-Discharge
Chapter 3 - Reconstruction
Chapter 4 - Skull Face
Chapter 5 - D-Dog Duel
Chapter 6 - D-Walkers
Chapter 7 - A Quiet Devil
Chapter 8 - The Intruders
Chapter 9 - Child Soldiers
Chapter 10 - Code Talker
Chapter 11 - Sahelanthropus
Chapter 12 - Fortune and Glory
Chapter 13 - Russian Rematch
Chapter 14 - A Real Snake
Chapter 15 - Big Boss
Chapter 16 - Kill Count
Chapter 17 - The Nuclear League
Chapter 18 - Fog of Skulls
Chapter 19 - Espionage Rank
Chapter 20 - The Hammer and the Smoke
Chapter 21 - Outer Harem
Chapter 22 - The Shadow of Mother Base (Metal Gear Survive)
Chapter 23 - Hunter Scavenger
Chapter 24 - The First Defense
Chapter 25 - Miranda is the Bomb
Chapter 26 - Digging the Sky
Chapter 27 - Hot Potato
Chapter 28 - Dark Mire
Chapter 29 - Sahelanthropus Mansion
Chapter 30 - The Lord of Dust
Chapter 31 - Aftermath
Chapter 32 - Solo Scout

This story has ended! Thank you for reading!

Thursday 12 November 2020

Hitman Absolution

The return of disguise mastery.

After questioning a recent contract, you (the titular Hitman) go AWOL against the agency to try figure out what they are really up to.

While you have a fantastic arsenal of items and enhanced skills that can really wipe the floor with most enemies, the game is focused more around stealth and rewarding actions towards that goal with more points.

Also on harder modes, you'll probably want to be stealthy most of the time anyway. While the story here goes quite off the rails at times with "defeats by cut scene" and a few stripper-nun-assassins this is quite a fun experience.

Every game needs stripper nun assassins!

The controls handle well and the stealth mechanic of hiding in plain sight is a joy. Definitely recommended, just don't expect too much logic. I give it 3.5 fibrewires out of 5.

Insight: If you must take a non-target out, try to at least hide the body to balance out the negative points.

AC Odyssey: The Paradise Experiment

[Part of the AC Odyssey journal]

Best to just dive right in!

Atlantis: a massive, technologically advanced paradise shared by humans and those they call gods. No, not a paradise. An experiment. "It's over Poseidon," announced Juno as she appeared in his throne room. "Not even a single one of your children remains by your side thanks to your... pet." She found the time to sneer at the Eagle Bearer who now held a rank almost equal to the city's ruler.

"You've been abducting and experimenting on people, turning them into monsters!" Alexios shot back. "I've seen it with my own eyes!"

"You humans are too violent," Juno smirked. "War between us was always inevitable, so I made a pet of my own." A hideous giant made of corpses emerged behind her, with as many limbs as a spider.

"How dare you defy my commandments!" yelled Poseidon in a rage as he charged Juno with his trident. Alexios followed suit against the monster of many hands. Despite its terrifying look, it had no chance against someone who could fight Hades to a draw.  

With Poseidon and Juno still engaged in battle, Alexios knew what he had to do: something Poseidon himself had shown him when he first arrived. Plugging the Staff of Hermes into the control point, Alexios channeled the new found energy he now had access to after studying the great works scattered around Atlantis... and with a great flash of light, destroyed the city - sending it sinking beneath the waves.

When he awoke, Alexios found himself back in the chamber where he defeated Pythagoras. "Congratulations Keeper," spoke Aletheia. "The power and responsibility of the staff is now yours. What will you do with it?"

"I'm sure I'll think of something," Alexios muttered.

Insight: The 10 second invulnerability skill can be prolonged if you use the slow time skill right after it - a very handy combination which should make you more unbeatable than you already are at this point.

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Lego Masters Australia

AKA What happens when people don't outgrow Lego...

In teams of two, contestants are tasked with meeting the challenges set before them by judge Jim Brickman and hilarious host Hamish Blake who is keenly aware that the show borrows a lot from Masterchef Australia type ideas.

They make some awesome stuff!

The best thing they copied is the mood. There's no backstabbing and very little bitching leaving the show ample time to focus on the main thing about it: the Lego!

It's amazing what these creative folk can come up with - be it works of art or almost functional scaled down structures like bridges. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm certainly hoping for a season three! :)

Tuesday 10 November 2020

AC Odyssey: Hell Duel

[Part of the AC Odyssey journal]

They can fire lasers!

"Eagle Bearer, have you completed your task?" Hades asked, as he patiently sharpened his wicked looking scythe while giving Alexios a side-long glance with red eyes that seethed with barely controlled rage.

"Four guardians for four gates," nodded Alexios. "And I re-captured a number of Tartaros escapees as a bonus. Now, will you please teach me how to use this staff?"

"No," Hades grinned. "You see, the minute you killed my dog your soul belonged to me! There are actually five gates to the Underworld and you - Eagle Bearer - will be the fifth guardian for all of eternity! Now bow to your master!"

"Never!" declared Alexios as he brought his minotaur axe to bear on the levitating god, but blow for blow Hades matched him with his scythe and magical powers until both finally fell from exhaustion.

"Enough of this!" declared a booming voice as Hades' brother Poseidon appeared from a nearby portal. "The mortal has proven himself. Come Alexios, I can help you with your quest to master the staff."

"Anywhere is better than here," grunted the Eagle Bearer, sharing one last look of disdain at Hades as he stepped through the gateway and into... Atlantis!

Insight: The fallen armor set will help you get through the misty veil areas but don't wear it when fighting Hades. Go back to whatever your prior set is as it will be more useful - mine was the Achilles set.

Monday 9 November 2020


Fun for explorers.

Set in a sludge dump ghetto, this first person exploration game doesn't really give you any story to work with - instead throwing you right into the shoes of Ghost, a newbie graffiti "tagger". Majority of the game play is finding spots to tag, which earns you cred with the other taggers and unlocking more stuff to tag - some of which needs special gear to reach.

Even the doggo is a tagger!

There are plenty of mini activities on the side too, but all must be found to begin with and are not always immediately obvious. For the explorer types out there, this is a fun diversion for a few hours - and there are actually a number of endings! Didn't expect much from it based on the title graphic but it definitely turned out to be a fun ride. I give it 3 ciggys out of 5.

Insight: The eyes in a bottle will always look towards the nearest tag spot.

Sunday 8 November 2020

AC Odyssey: Anger of Elysium

[Part of the AC Odyssey journal]

Elysium is beautiful!

Furious both at the rebellion amassed at her beautiful palace and the failure of her guards in preventing it, Persephone scowled down at the rebel leader, Adonis, as she casually tossed one of her own supporters off a sky scrapping bridge.  

"Why do you do this to me Adonis!? I made Elysium for you!" she yelled, gesturing at the magnificent splendor her palace overlooked.

"As a prisoner yourself, you should know why." Adonis replied. "Just let me go, please! Let me go to Aphrodite!"

Persephone's best friend and advisor Hekate then appeared beside her. "That's the one," she said pointing at the interloper beside Adonis... pointing directly at Alexios. "He's the one that made this rebellion possible."  

With a glare and a sigh, Persephone waved her had and suddenly she, Adonis and Alexios were inside her throne room which sported an ominous and large dark hole in its center. After a moment of thinking the goddess finally spoke. "Very well Adonis, I set you free - but as for your friend... I'll let my husband deal with him."

Persephone flicked a finger and send the Eagle Bearer tumbling down the pit... down to the Underworld.

Insight: Elysium is so beautiful! It also introduces Kolossi, statues who only activate if they detect combat. Assassination kills do not activate them, but don't be too worried about them if they wake up. Just treat them as regular enemies because that's all they are. Just be sure to dodge their very obvious laser beam attack.

Saturday 7 November 2020

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

Definitely earns the "Dark" part in the title.

The basic story of this animated movie is that Apokolips is attacking Earth (again) but this time he means business! Though still centered on John Constantine (voiced by Matt Ryan) this one features the a lot more of the Justice League and then some, unlike the last outing. The animation is above average quality and the story is pretty damn good as well.

"Get to work, demon!"

There is also loads of gore and violence, so if you don't want to see your favorite superhero characters get mutilated, dismembered, degraded and killed then you might want to skip this. For me, it makes it ALL THE MORE AWESOME! I give it 4 paradooms out of 5 and would definitely watch it again! Highly recommended.

Thursday 5 November 2020

AC Odyssey: Relic Hunter

[Part of the AC Odyssey journal]

Aletheia had been watching Alexios for sometime now, having gained her attention ever since he defeated the minotaur long ago. Since then he had faced triumphed over other monsters - the sphinx, medusa, and a number of cyclopses while in his new profession of "relic hunter". A profession that was leading him directly here, to the Gateway to the Lost City.

Only one person now stood in his way, the ancient known as Pythagoras who was also Alexios' true father. Wielding the Staff of Hermes, Pythagoras was gifted with knowledge and magic but at the same time corrupted  by the power flowing through him. Unwilling to share this gift with the world he attacked his son, and after a brief battle was disintegrated as Alexios took the Staff for himself.

Showdown at the Lost City!

"Hello Alexios," said Aletheia through the staff, which startled the so called Eagle Bearer. "I am Aletheia."

Alexios felt a little silly talking to a shiny stick, but was told plainly about the burdens of its gift and that if he learned to master the staff, it wouldn't corrupt him like it did Pythagoras. Instead it would make him near immortal.

"How do I master the staff?" Alexios questioned.

"For that, you must journey to the Underworld," Aletheia answered. "Are you ready?"

Insight: If you liked facing the legendary creatures then the Fate of Atlantis DLC is definitely for you as it features three entirely new maps!

Superman: Reign of the Supermen

Enter the Copycats.

Immediately following on from The Death of Superman, the world feeling his loss doesn't replace him with just one new Superman - but four! Each of these try to take the mantle for themselves while the true evil that sent Doomsday to begin with moves to the next stage of his plan to conquer the Earth. It's quite fun guessing the back story for each of these guys, though one or two could have really used a bit explanation.

That's taking "the man of fteel" pretty literally.

Art wise this starts slightly higher than the usual animated movie fare, but doesn't go to the end part quality of the previous movie. Story wise there are a number of blunders, like the Justice League acting stupid for plot advancement and some weird physical transformations that no one should be able to survive. Also, at least one of those four new supermen was around previously so why didn't he show up sooner?

It's entertaining enough but not as cool as the last movie, however if you want the "whole story" you should watch this one too. I give it three Henshaws out of five.

Wednesday 4 November 2020

AC Odyssey: Someday

[Part of the AC Odyssey journal]

A small house, a stall at the market... the quiet life. Darius was surprised that he was content to now be living in a small but beautiful village with his family: His daughter Neera, the now retired Eagle Bearer Alexios and their little baby boy - Elpidios (Hope).

The quiet years almost made them forget about the Order of the Ancients, but the night the Persians attacked again quickly reminded them of their old ways. Even working together, Alexios and Darius were hard pressed to defeat the Immortals sent against them to buy Neera the time to escape with Elpidios. While the old assassin and Eagle Bearer are victorious, Neera does not succeed and is found dead on the shore.

Enraged, the pair begin extracting their vengeance upon the newly arrived Order members and their mercenaries - with Alexios using his ties to the Sisters of Artemis to track down a few while Deimos (who bonded with Alexios during that tree-falling incident), hunted the new Persian navy aboard the Adrestia.

Not a line I thought I'd hear from the bad guys!

Eventually learning that the leader of the Order was here in person, the pair faced him down and executed him together, rescuing the Elpidios whom he had kidnapped. Knowing the Persians could be back at any time, Darius convinces Alexios to let him take Elpidios to parts unknown (aka Egypt) - forever separating the father from his son. The Eagle Bearer tearfully agrees and says goodbye. Forever.

Insight: The Immortals boss fight happens early and is one that tests your dodge skills! Alas it is also the best fight in this chapter.

Tuesday 3 November 2020

Superman: The Death of Superman

Don't spoil the plot in the title or anything...

Again following the comic of the same name, this is one tale that most people might know as it made international headlines when it happened: An alien being crashes to Earth with the sole purpose of destroying the man of steel. Surprisingly, the story here is quite good despite the title spoiling the result. I quite like that the monster Doomsday also goes through most of the Justice League first too, though I have to laugh that Bats is somehow one of the last ones standing in their number (and the only one never Ko-ed). Shows who the true bread winner is!

"Don't do it Smallville, you might die!"

While the art also starts at the standard animated movie quality I love that it ramps up for the fights, especially towards the end. While there are no big surprises, this is a much better movie than Red Son and one I'd watch again. Highly recommended, I give it 3.5 secrets out of 5.

Monday 2 November 2020

GTFO: R4A2 - Foster (Extreme)

To recap you've already done the Normal version of R4A2, have the second CRYO objective just meters from extraction and have unlocked the Extreme bulkhead. Head back to the drop room for navigational purposes then just go one room North. The bulkhead you unlocked is against the West wall. Feel free to open it as there is no scan or alarm but before going in make sure to use a terminal to query your new HSU objective to find out where it is (it moves around per game). Clear the sleepers as usual (oooh lots of them), keeping an eye out for ANOTHER bulkhead key. Once you have it, plug it in to the next key slot which you would have walked past while searching and then you can decide to unlock the next Extreme bulkhead or the optional Overload bulkhead. Yeah, not touching Overload right now thanks. :P

This is what the HSU looks like.

This second bulkhead has a class II cluster alarm which is one set of many little yellow circles that are easy to clear. Prep before starting, and of the two big doors leading into the chamber the horde will rush through the further one - not the one next to the Extreme bulkhead. Foam, mine and autosentry as usual. Once open you will find a massive intersection chamber with another scout. We just opted to snipe and fight the room again, this time holding the "dipped" lower ground in the room before, with a mine in front and behind and the autosentry covering the space beside the mining vehicle.

Inside the intersection chamber you will find doors leading to zones 110, 111, and 112. You only need to open the one where your HSU objective is! Now, all the doors require power first and there's one power cell already available so just read which generator your door requires and plug it in. Note: its not always the one nearest to your door and you cannot unplug a power cell once it has been placed so don't screw it up. Now for a challenge. Whichever door you power up will have a class III cluster alarm - two sets of what you just did before, with some possibly going upstairs in the central chamber. This time, you have no door to hold them back - just a door way. Luckily they will all be coming from one direction so we put the autosentry facing it and five mines to back it up. Also, after a few circles DL went to support the autosentry which bought Jim and I enough time to finish the security scan.

Past the security door is another scout but if you are lucky he'll be in a room you don't need to go to. Clear as usual until you find the HSU and STOP, DON'T TOUCH IT! Now is a good time to practice the run back to the extraction point, especially that tricky U turn near the very fist bulkhead that took Jim awhile to get used to. Setup defenses at the extraction point: autoturret facing out from the circle and mine and foam the doors on the wings. Remember the path? Good. Head back to the HSU with the entire team because you all need to do a single security circle while extracting the DNA. At least one wave of scum will show up before it finishes so kill them and together as a unit, head to the extraction spot. The waves will continue coming from this point on so don't delay.

Once you get to the extraction room, shut the door behind you (make sure no one is caught outside) and if anyone has a cfoam grenade like DL did, ice the door too. Pick up the CRYO thing you left here and drag it and everyone else to the extraction circle for a -really slow- scan. Literal armies will be coming for you now including giants so fight well and hold your ground. Doesn't matter if it looks like you are about to be overwhelmed because at 100% you GTFO and win! As a bonus, by doing this you will now have unlocked floor C. :D

Sunday 1 November 2020

GTFO: R4A2 - Foster (Normal)

Good news: this map is even easier than R4A1, though it will force you to deal with at least one scout! For this drop our three man team had the same load out as previously, with the exception that I switched out my mine layer for the new autosentry that is super handy in stunning slowing down the horde. Huge hallways and huge warehouse like rooms decorate this map but most of it is optional. As soon as you find a terminal you should query where your CRYO objectives (randomized per session) are and make note of the zone numbers. If you are doing the optional Extreme bit, also keep an eye out/ping the bulkhead key in Zone 43 which again you can ping or query or list. List is a good command since it accepts guesses. "LIST BULK" for example will list all bulkhead keys in the mission and then you can query the exact item to find what zone it hides in.

Let's get to business! Start out by heading North, ignoring the small door on the right. Eventually you'll find a big corridor that has a non-alarm security scan door, and mini walkway leading to Zone 44 with a class II (4 circle) alarm door. Do the alarm door first because we like trying to control where the spawn comes from. If you followed my instructions the horde will only arrive through the big door you came in through so shut that, put a mine or two and ready the autosentry. Once done, enter the door you just unlocked into the "red flashy zone" and clear as normal heading down the pit etc until you reach another large curved hallway. There is a tall ladder on one end that leads to another chamber so just note that if you start shooting in this hallway any spawn from up there might drop down to flank you. Other than that, clear as normal until you find the CRYO unit in the area and return it to the drop point.

Once done, head to the non-alarm security door you bypassed earlier which leads into a huge warehouse/bodega. If you are going for "Extreme" the bulkhead key is probably around here somewhere. This warehouse has two class II (4 circle) alarm doors but your CRYO objective is only behind ONE of them, so make sure you pick the correct door unless you like extra clearing. Mine, foam and turret prior to starting. For the West security door the horde will arrive through the small door to the North and the big door downstairs. For the East security door they will only come through the small door to the South. Mine placement note: ideally have a mine with the laser pointing directly into the center of the door interior so that all baddies get hit by the explosion cone when they break it down.

Beyond that door is most likely a wandering scout who you will need to deal with, and if it detects you it will spawn an extra wave of enemies to deal with. You options are a) stealth past without killing anything to steal CRYO objective (hard due to room size), b) stealth murder the scout with your hammer (requires practice), or c) get DL to snipe the scout in its ugly tentacle face and just fight the remainder of the room. We usually go with option C and with the autosentry cover it was easy enough to win the room. Continue clearing until you find the last CRYO objective then head back to the drop point but DO NOT enter the extraction circle with it. Instead just drop it on the floor right there.

If you are finishing the mission on Normal:
Close and cfoam all the doors, mine the doors and set up the autosentry to face away from the extraction circle. Once prepped get everyone and the second CRYO item into the objective (drop it there) and hold until the slow scan reaches 100% to win. Enemies will be coming for you during this, and anyone leaving the circle makes the scan go slower so hold your ground and GTFO! Really though, with more caution and stealth I managed to solo this with an autopistol/machinegun/mines load out for my first solo win - yay! :D

If you are doing the optional "harder" modes:
Leave the second CRYO where it is and enter the very first room I told you to skip. This is where you put the bulkhead key to unlock the nearby bulkhead in the adjacent room (which you would have cleared already). I'll continue the walk through for this one tomorrow!