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  1. So, I’m joining this conversation late. I’ll start off by saying, I was one of the haters. After I watched a streamer talk about how after reading the major leak that came out, he cancelled his preorder, I just had to know what was so bad that would cause a huge fan, to kill his preorder. I mean, I was a huge fan of the first one too. Maybe I should cancel if it’s that bad… So I watched the leak videos, and was so pissed off that I canceled my preorder. Fuck TLOU2. Fast forward to just after the ps5 patch came out. Was jonesing for a new game for my shiny ps5. TLOU2 had always been in the back of my mind. Loved the first game so much, MAYBE I could stomach what they did to the 2nd one. Well, I put just over 30 hours in my first play through, and I’m almost at the midway point on my 2nd play through on new game plus, on hard. I’m no where near as eloquent as others here, so I won’t go into any deep personal thoughts on the story and what it all means. Others have said it much better than I. I will; however, state that, without giving anything away, I dislike Abby. Before playing, I had abject hatred for her. After playing…I agree with her decision. I understand her. Even shocked myself in realizing, I’m on her side. I just don’t like her as a person. If this were all real, I’d hang out with Ellie. I just like her overall demeanor way more than Abby’s. Guess it doesn’t hurt that we both play guitar. Hell, on that note, I lift weights and I’m bigger than Abby. Maybe her and I actually could get along… 😎 As I sat and thought about my whole experience in TLOU2, the biggest thing I was left with was the old adage that, there’s 2 sides to a story. The game really made me think.
    8 points
  2. An old theater in our town that had closed many years ago was aquired by our local arts collaborative and after many years of fund raising, planning and renovation the theater finally just opened. It's a soft opening, as there is some work to be completed before the offical grand opening. Black Widow was the first movie to be shown, and we got to attend opening night. It was a special way to welcome back the theater & the Marvel Movies! I wanted to get a picture with Black Widow on the marquee, but we were the last ones out after the final show, so we just missed the marquee being shut off. 😔
    7 points
  3. That seems to be the target use case here. They even had a bit in that reveal video where a guy gets home and then sits playing a switch game in the front hall instead of going and docking it on a big ass TV like a normal person (or even sitting somewhere more comfortable than a bench in the hall). I guess some people really must use it that way though? My switch is basically monopolized by my son these days, and he's up to 50/50 docked vs handheld ("because the wifi is better"), but that's mostly in odd places around the house. I think he may be part cat:
    7 points
  4. My Father's Day gift (that I asked for...) was cooking classes. Just booked the first one - Korean Barbeque @ Sur La Table. Quite excited to try something completely new.
    5 points
  5. By the way, I'm not usually big on song covers but I actually really dug the cover of "Smells like Teen Spirit" in the beginning of the movie.
    4 points
  6. Not a review but a heads up that "A Quite Place II" is now available for streaming if you're a Paramount + subscriber.
    4 points
  7. 4 points
  8. 4 points
  9. Watched Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) last night. I’m a little at a loss for words even after processing it over the evening. This movie is what America really needs right now, IMO. A nearly forgotten time-capsule of a moment, decades ago, where black people gathered en mass to express pure, unadulterated joy. To celebrate and to be celebrated! It’s also an astonishing cultural artifact. Unearthed in pristine condition. I really couldn’t believe my eyes and ears at times. Questlove does a fantastic job interweaving concert footage (of which there is a lot and much of it is beautifully shot), historical context, present-day interviews with audience members and performers. It ends up like a kind of bittersweet love-letter to an America we all know is possible, and yet one that is far too fleeting. A place where African Americans are as free and open to public self-expression, public expressions of pride and joy without fear of reprisal or, in the words of a particularly stunning moment in the film, “backlash.” I won’t spoil anything by naming specific performers. I can’t say enough good things. Oscar for best doc, easy. Heck, I’d put this in the category for best picture.
    4 points
  10. Broke in my Father’s Day gift this evening — an Ooni Karu 12 pizza oven. I vastly underestimated how hot and fast it can cook; first pizza turned out rather … black. The last three got progressively better. I need more practice, especially in presentation — “round” was not something you would call these pies. Still, overall, a good first run. Looking forward to doing it again (and searing steaks in this thing in a cast-iron platter — this thing gets HOT.)
    4 points
  11. I couldn’t wait. Just installed it. Pics of the Nidec fan I had in the unit and the new fan installed. A few things: 1. I love how damned easy it is to get into the PS5. Swapping the fans out was a damned cinch. 2. It’s glorious and worth every penny of the $70 I paid for the new fan. The UFO hum is completely gone. My PS5 is now as quiet as my Series X. I only hear it when a disc is spinning now. 3. It sucks to have to pay $70 for a fan to quiet the system down from an annoying sound but better than playing the lottery sending it back to Sony. I still have the Nidec for a back up now. Very damned happy with the results from the 23 bladed NMB fan.
    4 points
  12. Oh, my. That was fast... 17", looooo
    3 points
  13. From KL Studio Classics:
    3 points
  14. I realised I never actually commented on the game's visuals and I'd be a fool not to as it's one of the prettiest depictions of scenery and wildlife I've ever seen in one of these kind of games. I'm glad I didn't rush to immediately play in black and white mode as the vibrancy of the vegetation is genuinely quite breathtaking at times. The sun hitting through the particularly dense areas of forest is incredibly striking too. There was such an engaging sense of warmth and peacefulness to so much of the map that it made the move to the snow covered regions feel doubly cold and uninviting (so much so that I genuinely couldn't wait to get away from them). I also loved how they used natural elements to guide you to your destination (wind, smoke, fire, the foxes...etc). It's a game that feels so deeply in touch with its environment and I though that was wonderful. I absolutely could have kept on playing, finishing up all the additional trophies and minor side tales that I ignored as I enjoyed roaming the environment so much, but again I wanted to leave myself more new things to do if I ever get round to getting the Director's Cut, which I suspect I will in a year or two (it's great to know that saves will carry over). Interestingly, with so much crossover from cinematic depictions of Samurai culture spilling into embellished depictions of America's old west in movies, the game has left me more eager to finally play Red Dead Redemption 2 than I've felt in a while as the original RDR had a similar sense of putting me slap bang in the middle of an environment I just loved roaming around. I'll have to give some thought about when I might pick that up.
    3 points
  15. So Gadget lust won.... See if anyone actually gets one of these in 2021. Seems more likely that it'll be 2022 sometime.
    3 points
  16. Finally started playing this last night and cleared a couple of missions. I've got my second vaccine jab later this morning so I've set aside a lazy weekend to binge on Tsushima while I work through any potential side effects of the injection. There was a part of me that did consider trading the sealed copy I have in favour of getting the PS5 edition when it's cheaper, but since it had already been sitting on my desk for a few weeks I felt it better to stick to my plan and play the enhanced PS4 release. I also want to give the Playstation a bit of attention as with the Ascent and Flight Sim on the way the Xbox is going to have the bulk of my interest over the summer.
    3 points
  17. Kino's getting BUSY with confirmation that they will indeed be doing UHDs of A Fistful of Dollars and For a Dew Dollars More (both SDR like Good the Bad and The Ugly). They've also announced a UHD of Misery, another MGM license, for October 12th (with Dolby Vision) which I'm also very happy about. Specs for Misery: 4KUHD DISC 1: • HDR Dolby Vision • Audio Commentary by Director Rob Reiner • Audio Commentary by Screenwriter William Goldman • 5.1 Surround & 2.0 Lossless Stereo • Optional English Subtitles • UHD 100 Triple Layer Disc BLU-RAY DISC 2: • Audio Commentary by Director Rob Reiner • Audio Commentary by Screenwriter William Goldman • Misery Loves Company: Featurette (29:52) • Marc Shaiman’s Musical Misery Tour: Featurette (14:28) • Diagnosing Annie Wilkes: Featurette (8:47) • Advice for the Stalked: Featurette (4:58) • Profile of a Stalker: Featurette (6:17) • Celebrity Stalkers: Featurette (5:08) • Anti-Stalking Laws: Featurette (2:23) • Season’s Greetings Trailer (2:25) • Theatrical Trailer • 5.1 Surround & 2.0 Lossless Stereo • Optional English Subtitles • Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
    3 points
  18. I picked up Scott Pilgrim earlier this week and gave it a spin a few nights back. Man, its fantastic! The Dolby Vision presentation is a marked improvement over the Blu-Ray release. Primarily in that the film does not look so damned bright and oversaturated anymore. This allows the grain structure in the film to really become much more apparent right from the get-go. Skins tones look natural and contrast has seen a nice boost with nice deep blacks and great color and detail. I'm ecstatic with the disc and I had forgotten how much I love this movie. It's been a long time since I watched it and so much of it still works so well today. I had also forgotten how many "big" names are in the movie, too. The gag with Scott's hair and the hat still makes me laugh.:D Highly recommended.
    3 points
  19. I saw Black Widow today and I genuinely think that I'd put it amongst my favourites of the Marvel films. I definitely found it as engaging as Winter Soldier, and of all of them it arguably allows characters in that universe the most screen time to breathe which I really appreciated. If that's a sign of something they're looking to do more of in future films I'd be very happy. The "family" dynamic between Johansson, Pugh, Harbour and Weisz was wonderful. I liked that the film was good enough to openly reference Moonraker to avoid any shadow of doubt as to what the influence was for the final act.
    3 points
  20. I would welcome it. DualSense implementation has made the difference in some of my multiplatform purchases and even when the effects are subtle, they are missed. I’d be quite happy to see adaptive triggers and haptics implemented on the already excellent design of the Series X controller.
    3 points
  21. I’m going to jump into this, though understand I can’t put my words into thoughts nearly as well as everyone else. I totally agree, the developer should be able to make the game to their vision. But I think to say not every game needs to be for everyone is a little short sighted. If I remember the figures correctly, something like 25% of the population has some sort of disability. People that would love to play a Souls game, but simply can’t. Should they be excluded thru no fault of their own? It’s a fine line, and understandably there isn’t an answer that will work for everyone. But I think more developers should take this into consideration when building their games. The vision can still be there even if they have accessibility options so more people can enjoy their game. I mean ultimately, isn’t more people playing their game what they want? And ideally, rather then have difficulty levels, make accessibility options instead, allowing people to play the game the way they want or can. That is something as a consumer, we should be able to do. Anyway, what companies like Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Ubisoft have done is great, and hopefully we reach a point where there is accessibility options in most, if not all, games.
    3 points
  22. Unbreakable is officially releasing September 21st. Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook coming as well: https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/071321-0600
    3 points
  23. Announced at today state of play:
    3 points
  24. Assassin's Creed Rogue (Remastered) At some point while I was in the middle of playing Assassin’s Creed Rogue, I thought maybe I’d just write a one-sentence review that read: “See my review of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.” Obviously, I decided not to do that, but those of you who’ve played both games will understand why I could get away with it. Rogue is pretty much the exact same game — same combat, same progression system, even the same bloody menus. In that way, it reminded me a lot of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. It’s a very iterative entry in the series that takes what worked best in the previous installment and does it again, with minimal changes. The question is, would I get bored with it, or would Rogue captivate me in the same way as its predecessor? The game takes place in the mid-18th century during the Seven Years War in the American colonies. It follows the story of Shay Patrick Cormack, an Irish Assassin (I know, it’s hard to believe with a name like that) sent on a mission to collect a couple Precursor artifacts in the ongoing battle against the Templars. However, his story takes a turn that causes him to reject. the Assassin brotherhood and joins up with the Templars (hence the “rogue” in the title). The remainder of the story has him trying to undo his prior actions and give the Templars a stronger foothold in the New World. Along the way, he encounters each of his former companions, and as you’d expect from a story like this, he has to kill each one of them in order to complete his mission. Set between Assassin’s Creed IV and Assassin’s Creed III, this game acts like a bridge — story-wise — between those two installments. It both reveals the ultimate fates of characters we met in Black Flag, while at the same time explaining how things came to be at the start of Assassin’s Creed III. I was a bit surprised — and even a little disappointed — that the story didn’t make Haythem Kenway the main character. It would have made sense, given the fact that his father Edward was the protagonist in Black Flag and his son Connor was the main character of Assassin’s Creed III. It would have been interesting to see how he ended up with the Templars, since his father was an Assassin. Such a story would have even made sense for a game with the word “rogue” in the title. (You can, however, find a synopsis of Haythem’s early life in the Animus database, so at least there’s that.) As far as main characters go, Shay is all right. I think the script does a good job explaining his turn away from the Assassin’s and the anguish he feels about killing his former friends. He’s still not as iconic as Ezio (seriously, did Ubisoft use up all of their charm points on him?), but he’s a more sympathetic character overall than either Connor or Edward. In the modern day sections, you once again play as an anonymous character in the first person, working for Abstergo Entertainment. For the most part, these sections revolve around walking through an office building (the exact same ones featured in Black Flag), listening to NPCs talk, and hacking computer terminals via a mini-game. There’s a lot less to do here this time around, which is okay by me. It’s the least interesting part of the game, so the less time you have to spend here, the better. In all, the main story is probably one of the shortest of the series — even shorter than Liberation. It can be finished in 8-10 hours if you focus exclusively on it (although, I don’t know how you’d sink one of the larger vessels you encounter towards the end if you didn’t spend some time grinding). And yet, there’s a lot a to do here. You could easily spend well over 40 hours playing if you decide to do all there is to do. When I said this game was very similar to Black Flag, I was not exaggerating. Pretty much all the same gameplay systems are here from plundering enemy vessels in order to upgrade your ship, hunting animals to upgrade Shay’s stats, using treasure maps to locate hidden chests… you name it. About the only thing that didn’t return were the underwater diving sections. That’s not to say that there aren’t any changes. For one, instead of one massive world map, this one features three smaller distinct areas. The first is the North Atlantic, which is the most similar to the map from Assassin’s Creed IV. It features wide open waters, dotted with small islands and a few larger land masses. You’ll also encounter iceburgs, which can sink your ship if you get too close, but can also be shattered with your battering ram or canon fire. The resulting ice fragments can be used to sink smaller ships like gun boats and schooners. The water is also freezing cold, making it potentially deadly to Shay if he swims in it for too long. The second area is the River Valley, which consists of a network interconnected rivers, creating a more claustrophobic battleground (or is it battle water?) during naval combat. Most of the game’s on-foot areas are located here as well. You’ll spend a lot of time exploring this area, especially if you want to collect everything. The third major area is Lower Manhattan. This is main urban center in Rogue. It’s where you’ll find the most traditional Assassin’s Creed gameplay scenarios. It features crowded city streets, tall buildings, and dozens of items to collect. It’s also where you’ll find a new mission type called Assassin Interception. In these missions, you capture one of the carrier pigeons used by the brotherhood to mark a target . Once the bird is caught, you need to locate the target on your nearby. Upon finding them, a timer starts counting down. When it reaches zero, the Assassin’s will strike, and the person you’re trying to save will likely be killed. I greatly enjoyed these missions and found them to be some of the most intense of the series so far. I had more than one occasion where I found and killed the final Assassin mere seconds before the timer was up. Rogue also features a new enemy type called stalkers. These are members of the Assassin brotherhood sent to find and kill Shay. You’ll find them mostly in Lower Manhattan, but they do appear occasionally in other locations. These enemies will blend into a crowd, hide in bushes and hay bales, or stalk you from the rooftops. When you gets close enough, they’ll charge at you and attack with their hidden blade. If they succeed, you lose most of your health. This really sucks if you’ve already been engaged in combat and your health is less than full. These stalkers can easily one-hit kill you in those scenarios. Thankfully, it is possible to spot them before they strike and easy to thwart their attacks. When one is near, you’ll hear whispers and the screen will display a haze at the edges. If you activate Eagle Vision, you get a sort of compass in the HUD that gives you the general direction of where they might be. When you get close enough, they’ll turn red so you can see them, no matter where they’re hiding. When they attack, you just need to counter and hit back. This will usually kill them instantly. At first the stalkers are a bit scary to deal with. However, once you figure out how to avoid them or thwart their attacks, their menace diminishes. I think this might have been a game play idea that would have worked best if it were used more sparingly. As it stands, you encounter them too often. Eventually, they just become more of a nuisance than a real threat. Stalkers also appear in the game’s many enemy camps or “gang headquarters” as a “gang leader.” In order to take over the headquarters, they need to be killed, but this is easier said than done. These particular enemies are among the hardest to kill in the series. They can spot Shay very easily, even if he is in a hiding spot. You can’t kill them in face-to-face combat, and you can’t snipe them with a pistol. You have to assassinate them with your hidden blades. It’s one of the only times in the series that you must rely on stealth alone to make the kill. This makes taking them out that much harder, but far more satisfying when you finally do. Another change is that the economy from the Ezio games makes a return. Rather than making money through piracy or finding treasure chests alone, Shay can use the cargo taken from plundered ships to restore locations across the map. Income from each location is deposited into a bank account every 20 minutes or so. The more locations Shay renovates, the more income he earns. If you’re like me and renovate every location, you’ll wind up with more money than you could ever hope to spend. This is not only helpful for upgrading your ship, but for maxing out all of Shay’s stats as well. Normally, you’d have to hunt to acquire the materials you need to improve Shay’s health bar, ammo pouches, etc. However, you can also buy all the materials you need at any general store. Doing so is way easier, but it’s also way more expensive. But, if you restore enough locations, you’ll quickly recoup whatever investments made in Shay’s stats. On the technical side, Rogue is an interesting game. Originally, it was released exclusively on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (as well as PC) in November 2014. In fact, it was released the very same day as Assassin’s Creed Unity, which was exclusive to the then one year-old PS4 and Xbox One. I guess you could say Rogue was the sympathy game Ubisoft made for series fans who hadn’t upgraded to the newer consoles yet. I played the remastered Xbox One version, which, according to Digital Foundry, takes the PC max settings and brings them to console. As a result, Rogue looks all at once better than Black Flag and yet not as good. On the plus side, Rogue runs at a higher resolution (at least on Xbox One) — 1080p on base consoles as opposed to Black Flag’s 900p. On the enhanced consoles, it can even do native 4K at 30 fps. However, Black Flag still looks better in terms of atmosphere and ambiance. For instance, vegetation in Rogue is static, so when a storm kicks up, the foliage doesn’t rustle in the wind. That, along with less impressive lighting and particle effects, gives the game a very PS3/360-era flatness in overall visual quality. One area, though, where the remastered version of Rogue wins hands down is in performance. I played this on my Series X, and thanks to Microsoft’s FPS boost program, it ran at a nearly flawless 60 fps. It was the first time I had played an Assassin’s Creed game at higher frame rate, and let me tell you, it was glorious. I never had a problem with 30 fps in these games. I think it works well enough since it’s not a twitchy, reflex-driven series. But seeing the everything in the world move with such fluidity really made this feel like a next-gen title in a way that all the other graphical flourishes of Black Flag could not. So, what did I think of Assassin’s Creed Rogue? Simply put, I loved it! Yes, it’s very derivative. Yes, this makes it a slightly lesser entry than Black Flag was. However, it still works for me. I found myself once again addicted to the grind, collecting everything I could, fully upgrading Shay and his ship, and completing all the side missions. I didn’t get 100 percent synchronization because I (1) refuse to go back and complete all the optional objectives in the main story missions and (2) probably won’t be able to beat the last of the legendary ship battles. Aside from that, I did everything there was to do — even hacking all the computers and collected all the tablets in the modern day section. I will say though, that I’m glad I gave myself a bit of time between this one and Black Flag. If I had played them both back-to-back, I could easily see myself burning out on it. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. If you enjoyed Black Flag at all, you absolutely must play Rogue as well. Synchronization: 92% Play Time: 42:00:00 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (out of five)
    3 points
  25. Well, that was a ton of fun + I learned a lot. I am not an advanced cook, note. Class of 8 split across 3 stations, with each station making the full course to share among their group. I had a couple of very nice women around my age, one of whom was Korean.... Dishes were bulgogi beef BBQ in lettuce wraps (with a ton of veggies...), shallot pancakes, veggie stirfry with glass noodles, and a side of quick pickled cucumbers. Ingredients were prearranged on trays to pull out at the right time, tools were all arranged for exactly what we needed, and any oils etc were in little dishes. Beef was already sliced + marinating, but he gave us tips on what to buy + how to slice it (freeze it for a bit...). Lots + lots of veggie chopping. I learned how to do onions really really easily. About 2/3s through, we get a 10 minute break to "browse the shop" while they clean up + set us up to do the stir frying - you get 10% off anything in Sur La Table during the session. Food was delicious, I lucked out with some nice conversation, and I learned stuff. Detailed step by step instructions + ingredient list come home with me. I'll do this again.
    3 points
  26. High level Doom Eternal play is damned art.
    3 points
  27. BTW - Costco has a nice Anova sous vide set right now.
    3 points
  28. Shout/Scream Factory will seemingly be releasing UHDs of Halloween II, Season of the Witch and Halloween 4 on September 28th in the US. More surprising is that they also seem to be doing their own UHD of the original 1978 film, which I think would mark the first time Lionsgate has allowed an indie to release (or in this instance re-release) one of their titles on UHD. It'll be interesting to see if it includes the original mono audio mix. That's now left me wondering if 'HUHD' in October on Arrow's teaser of forthcoming releases could in fact be their own disc of Halloween 78 for the UK since Shout/Scream don't distribute on this side of the Atlantic.
    3 points
  29. It looks like this is a Dead Space Remake ala Resident Evil 2 being handled by EA Motive:
    3 points
  30. Yeah, no. $649 is well past the cost of buying the original arcade board PCB and a proper super gun. These are nice units up to a price point but my limit is in the $400-500 range.
    3 points
  31. Ghost of Ikishima apparently trademarked and Ghost of Tsushima directors cut for PS5 rated by the ESRB. Certainly sounds like a Miles/ Spider-Man remastered package coming.
    3 points
  32. Great news, everyone! I'm leaving the house next week (don't rob me while I'm away). Going to Palm Springs for a few days and I can't wait to take photos. I've got enough Portra 400 to keep me busy and the Q2M for low-light shots. It's our first trip away from home in way over a year so my excitement is through the roof.
    3 points
  33. I’ve… returned to this after finishing Ratchet and Clank. It did not go well. It requires a completely different mindset than that game. I also had difficulty because the double jump just wasn’t working.
    3 points
  34. There is a good chance this could be my first movie back in a theatre. Although it’s equally a chance it may have to be the Paw Patrol movie.
    2 points
  35. This game surprised me - for some reason it was never on my radar. As Romier notes, this has some serious production quality, the story is compelling, and while the puzzles are pretty easy, the level design is great. My wife is into it was well. Cracked me up today, though when she goes,
    2 points
  36. Graeme

    Disney+

    This was posted in the theme parks thread, but thought I’d post it here too A new series on Disney+ that goes behind Disney attractions. It’s produced by the same team that makes The Toys That Made Us and The Movies That Made Us on Netflix. From everything I’ve seen and read, it seems to very much have that tone. Episodes start on July 21. To say I’m excited about this is an understatement.
    2 points
  37. I mean, I'm kinda digging the hell out of this.
    2 points
  38. I struggle with the sense that the world needs more unfiltered Kojima. What Kojima has needed for a very long time is a damned editor. Not the other way around.
    2 points
  39. 2 points
  40. D'oh! At least you didn't forget to take the cap off an M lens when shooting on a rangefinder which I definitely haven't done.
    2 points
  41. Last I looked, nearly all the people who made Criterion the people who made Burnout Paradise had left years ago. “Criterion” were doing the vehicle stuff for Battlefield. EA hadn’t put out a good arcade racer since what, the second game called Most Wanted?
    2 points
  42. These guys turned me onto Sous vide, you should do it. You won’t want a steak any other way.
    2 points
  43. 2 points
  44. I'd absolutely love the Indy movies, Dan. I'll even take the Crystal Skull as punishment.
    2 points
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