Video: The World’s Largest Cave – Hang Son Doong

Hang Son Doong from Ryan Deboodt

Hierarchy [ 2015, cool, nature, video ]
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Battlefield Hardline – Beta Review

So I was able to play the alpha — or the alpha beta they put out before.  The driving was absolutely awful.  The cars were blocks, had nothing underneath, and really added nothing to the game other than transport.  This time around that has definitely changed.  The driving is better, you can’t turn on a dime and really need to plan… but the physics of it all is still way off.

I played the main modes of Bank Heist, Conquest, and Downtown.
If you’ve played Payday, you’re familiar with Bank Heist.  If you’ve played battlefield, you are familiar with conquest, and if you’ve played midnight club (R*) you’ve played Downtown.  Essentially you need to control the most cars, keep them moving (you get a bonus for driving at least a certain speed for a period of time) don’t get killed by the other guys and try and take them out.  The driver can’t do too much except keep the car moving.  The passengers have the job of keeping the other team off your ass.  You can shoot from inside the car with limited movement or lean out the window and shoot from there.  I played as the mechanic so I was able to shoot the guys following us, repair the car, and re-equip the gun waiting for the next batch.

It’s somewhat original.  It’s very cops and robbers, almost too cops and robbers in that you feel like you’re playing grown up cops and robbers.  It’s original in that you are battling from cars, relatively fast cars.  The pace itself is fast, new cars pop up after old cars blow up and like I said they encourage you to keep moving with the bonuses… also you’re on the map so it’s pretty safe to say if you stayed in one place you’d have company momentarily.

It’s a niche genre and I think it will be very popular with some people.  Primarily I think this is a great teenager game.  It’s got enough shooting and driving and flying to keep everyone happy, while still enabling them to use their battlefield engine (with little to no improvements, mind you) in a non-war setting.  I just can’t get past the driving.  If they put the same effort into the driving in this game as they did for the helicopters in Battlefield they could have a definite winner.  The maps are far too small, especially in the city mode because you’re inclined to just drive around in a circle.  If you choose not to do the circuitous route, you’ve got back alleys, weird blown up stuff that conveniently turns into a ramp, and plenty of things to get caught up on.  There’s little reason to stray from the route you know and that gets repetitive pretty quick.

This is a mod for Battlefield 4.  It should be $20 and a DLC for the existing game.  They changed the GUI – they added little improvements to the spawning maps like blocks on vehicles to show how many are spawning and based on the order your block shows up you can determine if you are going to be driving or a passenger but otherwise there’s not much better than Battlefield.

Also, I understand that it is beta, but put some quality into the graphics.  Battlefield 4 was the first where they actually went next gen instead of older current gen, though the chopper cockpit view in BF4 still gives me the willies.  I have an example back in the archives somewhere.


Right, so Battlefield Hardline — meh.
If you want a different change of pace, like Battlefield but don’t like that it’s not cops and robbers than give it a shot, but I can’t see this being a top selling blockbuster regardless of what the EA marketing machine tries to do with it.  I will continue to see it as the red headed stepchild of the franchise.

Hierarchy [ 2015, games, games for windows, review ]
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Western Ma School Budget Meeting (live)

So I am here at the budget meeting for my kid,  his school,  his education.  I didn’t quite know why I was here at first,  as more people testify I understand what it is all about.  They are looking to reestablish the baseline budget and how they evaluate how much a given school system needs to properly educate children. 

Budget for ESL kids,  asked to double services,  budget model has not changed.
State allowed preschool education but based on previous year enrollment. So first year leaves gap.

Springfield: Foundation budget established in 1993.
Extended services based on lvl4 recommendations but no increased budget to support the required services. Cutting regular students to address special needs. Reimbursement needs to match services provided.
Chapter 70 reimbursement. Mental health has been huge impact to cost.
We’ve got a 40 year teacher who is getting loud and preachy. He has a point but coming off as potential loose cannon. The long white beard, fedora and tweed is not helping his idealist argument. Do what is right for the children, just come up with the money.
Parent teacher home visit program. Full day summer school. These are the kind of needs they have and they’ve only been able to do i5 through hat in hand charity.

Holyoke: recalibration needed, 8nflation he outpaced. Accounting for special needs. Counting them, providing per child instead of base or average, often not enough. Not punish schools by linking financial support to tests. Many new good calculations that have proven to be much for accurate guage.
220,000 to manage a school 2.5 teachers instead of paying for outside management for. Level 4.

NH Vocational teacher. Internet connectivity is a challenge. Less of an emphasis to use it at home if they do not have the resources especially at home so miss opportunity to reinforce techy lessons. Minimal technology standard. Whitehouse Connected, unable to install on school computers, not powerful enough.

My idea, better use of old technology, 1/3 replacement program with older machines used for alternates such as Linux, or dismantled for hardware instruction and building.

Video will be posted at

Foreign language does not get budget due to special needs, children denied, can’t go higher due to staff deficiency
Still using Windows me
$500 annually, books, supplies, everything

What services are necessary, just take top performing schools 14,000 per kid. Have everyone start with that and add ELL needs to that.

Chapter 70 formula has low income, propose rural consideration as well, their increased needs lack as well, ring average, 5 year. Not getting hit, average and soften the drop.
Provide research on actual spending vs foundation budget. Might be more realistic than per pupil.

Everything is paid for by homeowner, look at rural towns, busses, stretches much thinner, tech, requirements can’t be met if there is no MO ey, will never catch up. No additional business or industrial taxes. Farming communities have special needs.

Highschool student. Butter them up, best education in the state. To give student perspective. Layoffs 7 teachers due to transportation budget, it is a human system. What is adequate, acceptable to the promise of education and it is the best investment that can be made. Huntington.
State promised in the past to cover rural cost. Hadn’t done it.

Holyoke superintendent
High ELL special needs and poverty. Costs rise, we cut. Each of those 8 years as principal we cut cut cut, positions every time due to rising costs special services wrap around services. Sam e pool of money, so can only cover by cutting.
18 months as superintendent
2002 started in Holyoke

My idea, set goals first. Ideally how often replace books? Computers? Arts? Music, gym. How much to run, to cover growth in general population, special services. Then see how much it costs cN we do it. Post numbers of what taxes would be if we had to cover it all. Governor then budgets based on weighing school against other costs.

State of PA uses 15% special needs of population, should, Ltd be at least that. “circuit breaker”? 2 disabled students that take 350000 and are unable to be educated, blind, deaf, feeding tubes. Why does medical never provide these services.

Representative Aaron Vega joined the room.

Vivianna from Holyoke
Investment to 28% tax against stocks or bond.
My video
Representative gets insertion, out of order.
Vega Holyoke gets 5% reimbursement but actual spending is %26
2 payments a year, so if kid moves full year of money left hanging

Investigative financial journalist. This is not a cross section (old and white)

Montague again.
Budget, chapter 70 is brilliant for measuring theoretical, has consistency. Example of a policy that has unintended consequences, primarily due to changes in enrollment. Minus contribution should have an enrollment factor.
…another Montague finance committee member

Springfield parent
97% poverty, level 4 past 4 years finally stepping out.

Northampton School committee, Chicopee teacher. Fighting over crumbs. See so many other places have so much more spending and charter schools giv8ng so much more to a kid for the same amount of MO ey or because they are better at paperwork and red tape.

Granville superintendent
Circuit breaker is a major help. Pothole funds. Small but helpful
Special ed assumptions in bill needs review. Inclusion costs more than it is on paper.

My idea, data and tracking requirements are huge, big data, hard to do. How to submit, value added to schools to upload their info, reporting framework.

20 years, xportation for special ed, not addressed. Half a million for 40 students. More than 100000 per kid. Unable to e Pell. They’ve had too hire 3 new employees just for response them due to this requirement that they can not b en suspect did or expelled.

Idea. Are we looking at education or social services? Education costs the same for all. Overages should be handled by health insurance, or at least another specific plan. Additional staff and costs due to I creased medical needs.

Russel finance commitee
One town doesn’t like the formula, lost school, pays most taxes

NH parent
Passionate about creating schools children can thrive in
Charlie Backer address included his reflection on his school experience and how we can get back to that excellent t, money for special ed, we send to charter schools more than we get per kid, causing deficit.

NH ed director
Chapter 70 reductions has impacted curriculum. No vice principals so principal can’t spend any teaching time with teachers.

NH public schools
Parent, principal here too 1988 (pre 1993 changes)
Pot should be increased, NH needs bigger slice.

orange parent
Head of school committee
Suffer from city problems although small 8k population lvl3 school
Chapter 70 is 80% but town has nothing, what about elderly homeowners, can’t afford tax 8ncdease for the young ins. Sounds like someone in Orange politicals has an agenda.

Very loud past NH mayor.
Efficiencies: Boston says schools are efficient enough, won’t find a single school where they haven’t done their best to be efficient. Has point, can’t cut, can’t use Boston s baseline since there are so many other costs in the rest of the state.

Gateway public school district
Finance committee
Challenging, try to put children first. If withdrawal pulls through will set the stage for others to do the same. Don’t believe up on high should tell us how to educate our kids. Keep it simple stupid. Family’s could Co tool their own schools, less from above, more self management.
Money has to come from somewhere and it comes from us

And it’s over, I was one of the last speakers. Nerve racking to speak, didn’t say any of my ideas but 8 wanted to shine more light on #Holyoke.
It’s a good place, hope exists.

Hierarchy [ 2015, consumerism, parenting, politics ]
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Upcoming Reviews – #pcgames

Thanks to the holiday sales I’ve got a bunch of new goodies to go over with you.
Stay tuned for a write up on these little diddies, with some gamplay viewable at and

Alien Isolation
GRID Autosport
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
Octodad Dadliest Catch
Ryse Son of Rome
Shadow Of Mordor

There is so much to love about the latest set of games.  The nextgen systems have hit and the high quality textures are flowing.  The graphics are amazing, incredibly detailed.  4K is almost native and you can even use some NVidia magic to render at 2 or 3 times 1080p and scale down to native, effectively doing some really nice smoothing and softening in the process.

These are games that are 20 to 50g each.  I have a maximum of about 7 games on my fastest 240SSD sanctioned for the heavy hitters.  I’m forced to play through at least a couple of them in order to rotate some in. I’ve spent a fair amount playing in the past couple weeks (as my twitch will undoubtedly show).  I have even been giving older games another shot, fighting through places I became stuck at long ago.

The best part of the older games?  Never having to worry about the framerate.  There’s nothing that jerks you out of a video game reality faster than tearing or stuttering.  With the latest NVidia cards they even have adaptive vsync to optimize the vsync for what the monitor can do for the smoothest possible experience.


Hierarchy [ 2014, games, SLi, youtube ]
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Cyberlink MediaEspresso v7 is a CROCK!


yes I'm hotlinking you charlatans!

First I was unable to convert to h265 and then it can’t read my FRAPs recorded videos?!! For FSM sake, even Microsoft Movie Maker can read them.  So lame.  They call it “next gen” and “easy to use tool” Media Espresso v7 which is $39.99 “retail price” but it was so conveniently included with my $70 Cyberlink Power DVD v14.

Hierarchy [ 2014, commentary, consumerism, technology, video ]
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Far Cry 4 and the Problem of Too Much to Do

Forbes: Far Cry 4 and the Problem of Too Much to Do

A great article,  though I will never complain there is to much to do,  in any game ever.

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IGN Borderlands PreSequel SHIFT code


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Extra Life | Gaming for Charity | Donation Drive

Rage 2011-10-11 00-00-01-05

Hey everyone, felt like doing something good with my time so I figured I’d drum up some possible donations and such.  There will be various tiers, of benefits depending on the amount, but seriously a dollar is support.

Of course after $20… things get interesting.

1.) Live hangout of the event.  You can be part of it, or you can simply watch it.
2.) Sponsorship.  I will wear your shirt, or you may sponsor a section of a shirt.  I’ll mention your cousins name in the live feed, substitute their name for any curses… that sort of thing.
3.) Choice – want to see a game in particular?  Want to see me struggle with an old NES title?  I’m game, and I can do it.  Graphics are the name of the game, but gaming for the sake of gaming is not out of the question.
3.) Suggestion – you can add a game to the list, if I don’t have enough determined selections, I’ll start picking from the list, highest bidder gets the top slot.

Check out my donation page and make a pledge!

or you can click for more of my personal reasons for doing this…

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Hierarchy [ 2014, cool, games, games for windows, graphics, video, youtube ]
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Back to Basics

I have spent 6 months of Elder Scrolls Online-ing.  It ended last night.  Because of the solitary game mentality that subscription games give me I have not played much else.  As it ended yesterday I’ve been looking through my available collection, and because my physical collection is packed at the moment — that leaves Steam and any other digital versions of games I have.

I’ve been trying to revisit some games played, but not completed.  Well, Tomb Raider is completed but still had the save where I was going back to get all the little shiny jimmies. It’s SO pretty I think I’ll try and make up a video to compare to the new XB1/PS4 version of it.

The games played in the last 48 hours include:

  • Carmageddon Reincarnation – currently the Alpha runs at a paltry 23fps.  This is NOT system related.  It is going to be great.
  • Wreckfest – aka “Next Car Game” – It is coming along so well, the new vehicles, tracks and all around feel of driving.  I did a bit with the wheel the other night and used the controller since then.
  • Tomb Raider – I couldn’t remember the controls with the 360 controller.  I fell to my death a couple times while attempting to get a GPS marker, forgetting how to zipline.
  • Assassins Creed III – resumed my game which appears to be about 2/3rds done.  III must be complete before IV can be started.
  • FarCry 3 – resumed my game towards the end.  I never finished but got a little further taking a camp in about an hour and a half.  It takes a little bit to get back into the feel of it.
  • GTA IV: EFLC – Ballad of Gay Tony – I had to see how it was looking, will apply the latest iCEnhancer at some point
  • Grid: Autosport – Resumed a race with the wheel, following night 360 controller
  • Hot Wheels – Worlds Best Driver – Started a game with my son, it’s ridiculously simple and hard
  • Thief – Started it, got through the first mission.  It’s interesting, I like the mechanics and already like it better than Dishonored due to the model style.  I like my video game people to look like people, not caricatures.   I’m sure Dishonored will end up being fun whenever I get back to it…

That’s a lot of real gaming after an extended period of fluff.  ESO can be tough, but normally you’ve set yourself up for the battle you’re getting into with buffs and improved better than your average equipment/weapons.  Playing these games has been much more… difficult.  I need to get back in the groove.

Hierarchy [ 2014, games, games for windows, status, update ]
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Video: Teens React to NES

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Hierarchy [ 2014, video, youtube ]
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It’s Official: Next Car Game is… Wreckfest.

True to its name — and a wonderful combination of physics and artistry.
Tonight I played it with a force feedback wheel and it was amazing.  It plays wonderfully too, which is more than I can say for Carmageddon but they appear to be holding back so I expect improvements to performance when they roll theirs out.

Steam Community: Latest Update (10/02) Announcement

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Upgrade Time

This is a developing article, stay tuned for more details.

Current System AMD @ 4.1ghz 4 core, 8 thread, 8G DDR3 Dual Channel 1600

New System Intel i7 @ 3.2ghz (4hz turbo) 4 core, 8 thread, 32 G DDR3 Dual Channel 2400

The video card will stay the same, so lets see how the base bits impact performance!

Current system AMD FX62 @ 4.1ghz 780 ti Classified 8 gig 1600mhz DDR3 Dual Channel

Current system AMD FX62 @ 4.1ghz
780 ti Classified
8 gig 1600mhz DDR3 Dual Channel

Hierarchy [ 2014, consumerism, graphics, hardware, materialism ]
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He Said “to blooog, and to blog is to bluff!”

I was asked by my friend Dan if I blogged anymore.  I guess the answer is no; not personally. The reason? I’m partially paranoid, covering my tracks,  but I also don’t take the time.  I would use it as my outlet,  but I’m less figuring out life now as trying to practice it,  so there’s not as much to write other than “Yep,  still hard.  Going to keep trying because I can’t give up”

There are plenty of parenting blogs,  mothering blogs, fathering blogs,  single patenting blogs… All so much more interesting than anything I could come up with. All I’d be doing is complaining how I have made everything so difficult for myself.

I game,  I know gaming and I can ramble on about it, what I like, what I don’t. That’s are so many other people doing it but maybe my opinions may differ just enough to speak to someone.

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You know those things that promise rewards for basic things like surveys or offers? I found a legit one, for reals. You’ve got all that plus a wheel like thing you can try 10 times a day. So far I have gotten a ton of points, $10 amazon gift card and $25 target card, and that’s just off the wheel alone. Give it a shot, sign up, spin the wheel. Keep going if you like but otherwise there’s no commitment and always a chance to download an app or something else for some extra points redeemable for all sorts of things.

Give it a shot (link goes to sign up)

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The other side of Elder Scrolls Online

Horses and catapults and castles. It’s always been my dream since I was little. I had Legos to build the castles and countless battles on their walls. Entire stories would unfold on that coffee table. It is only now why I realize it couldn’t just stay set up there all the time.

I have enjoyed the knights and castles games of previous yore, experienced the endless grind of WoW and played anything that smelled of questing. Oblivion won me over with it’s expanse, it’s lore. The story is told nowhere else other than though the game, many games, which all fit into the history of this fictional land with the depth that only an interactive medium could provide.

I enjoy the character aspect as well, primarily the development. I create the Armour I want to help me survive the environment and get through quests, learn the right enchantments to keep me alive or concentrate on my best abilities. Your character is so very personal,  your character grows with time, adapts skills based on experience and chooses to turn all their loot to gold or invest in their crafting. There are so many combinations it is not often I see two of the same.

The promise of Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) was almost too good to be true, the expansive Tamriel Universe with new content, with other players (adventurers). Not only that but you would have fierce PVP battles between factions in a designated area with keeps, resources, and bonuses to those in control of the areas. The vision was hundreds of characters riding in on horses, and exploding into a giant battle of swords, staffs and as psychedelic display of magic. The actuality does not disappoint.

The greatest feeling is Breaking out the siege equipment to hold back the surge or break the defenses. Pummeling the walls until they give, providing a point of entry. Trying to rush in and take out any remaining on the walls above. All while they’re dropping hot oil, shooting down on you from the walls. It’s exhilarating.

I just finished a major PVP campaign for the second night in a row in ESO. It has to be the most fun I have had in a multiplayer game, I would compare it to the best possible experience in Battlefield where everyone communicated, filled their role, worked as a team.

I can say after the past couple nights that promise of ESO has been realized and it’s so much more. It is true that the real game starts once you reach the end. The bosses are bigger,  enemies faster and trickier in their abilities. You haven’t seen hard until you need a full group of Vets to take down a single beast.












Hierarchy [ 2014, games, graphics, MMO, review, screenshot, Uncategorized ]
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XBOX 360 PC Wireless Gaming Receiver – Drivers for knockoff

This is a picture of the knockoff

Hey, they don’t sell the official one anymore.

I bought the thing on ebay, exactly like this guy did.

Essentially here are the steps:
– (optional) I already had it installed because I’m replacing the legit receiver but you can:
Install the official software:
– Start -> Search for “Device Manager” -> Open it
– Find the “Unknown Device” -> right click -> properties
– Driver -> Update driver -> Browse my computer -> Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
– Double click “All devices” -> Search for “Microsoft” in the left pane and select it -> Search for “XBox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows Version: 2.1xxx”
– Choose “Next” and complete the install

At that point the light turned on on the receiver, I pressed both the button on the receiver and the synch button on the controller, quick dip dip and it was up and running. The difference is I guess they didn’t include the driver with the version from 2011. I had a CD but my drive is dead in this computer and my secondary machine which I normally use the CD Drive over the network doesn’t like the hot weather.

Hierarchy [ 2014, games, games for windows, hardware ]
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I used to have time… Oh so much time. It may yet return but just totally found a phenomenal review on GOG… It was written by me, I was nodding and yes yes yesing to 2012 me, which I saw once I got to the end.

I noticed I hadn’t really posted lately and there is a ton to elaborate on. New coding both for work and home with projects like using visual studio for web design with aspx. I got a little into Leap programming (got it to connect) and need to try some more coding for glass. I’m not even sure I have anything much on here related to Glass.

In any case I shall post some more stuff, been collecting ESO screenshots as they have steadily improved it since launch.

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How Much Fun is Goat Simulator? A Troughful.

So I bought into Goat Simulator in the early days where it only loved in our hearts and minds (and a gameplay video). The Internet demanded it, and it was brought forth, the only bugs fixed were those that made it crash. It was briefly touched, packaged and sent out into the world.

You will love it, and even if you only play it once you could still be spending your $10 on worse things, like a live goat for example.

It is so simple, it’s a world set to go, to explore, as a goat. There are buildings and props, people, cars, things that explode, places you should(n’t) break into… You can do anything and everything, as a goat,

Go rag doll! Lick things and watch your tongue stretch to great lengths as you.pull objects many time your size and weight. There is even a secret surprise or two. Explore and you too may know the comfort and pleasure of a goat.

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Review – South Park: The Stick of Truth

So the stick of truth will be out on Tuesday. I’m stupidly excited for it. I have always appreciated South Park, as they are. Potty humor, downright gross humor, it enables them to bring an otherwise unobtainable method down to a very simplistic, but not dissimilar metaphor. As the years have progressed and they’ve gotten better with the digital it’s just been a matter of time that it would translate into a video game. It would have been especially cool if the episode timed for the game’s release actually occurred as intended and the game elaborated on a touched on plot.
I am excited more for the interaction and experience of the town then the game itself, but that should not disappoint either. True Final Fantasy type gameplay that I want to play. The concept is there, basic RPG they say, but it’s so loosely coupled with the actual abilities and story surrounding, it’s going to be a dream come true to wander around South Park.

3/20/2014 So it’s been a couple weeks now and I played it pretty steadily for the first week or so. I haven’t been back to it since, but not because it is bad. I know what to expect and certainly will be back to it, but it is a definite type that I have to be in the mood for.

It did not disappoint from a humor standpoint, I find myself laughing out loud when playing. There are many tie ins cameos and running gags from the show, so where you may enjoy it, you my not get as much of a kick from it if you haven’t seen a lot of South Park. I have probably seen them all, and some of the jokes go WAY back.

The character development is cool, I like how they did it and it is unique from other games. It is not just the equipment and spells as those are quite novel in themselves but it is how they are implemented. The quest, buffs, items, equipment… All of it is unique and awesome. I just wish there was a way to share it better since it is only a single player game and you can make some pretty ha kairos options. I guess I will just have to take more screenshots.

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Battlefield 4: Second Strike

So I don’t think I really got into the China Rising pack but here I have some observations on Second Strike

Second Strike was released on Tuesday for Premium members on PC – this was the “XBOX Exclusive” level that was released first instead of China Rising. It contains 4 levels from previous versions and they’re ridiculously detailed.

Operation Firestorm
Operation Metro
Gulf of Oman
Caspian Border

There is something to be said for adding a few bushes and rocks to otherwise familiar levels. In Operation Firestorm it turns the sandy expanse of open killing ground into a much more playable section. There is more ground cover, higher walls – vehicle placement changes, extra alcoves (G has a stairway underneath the building) and the addition of the new gunships. Operation Metro has some tweaks to the subway cars, and most importantly an elevator at C throwing a third method of attack into the otherwise stalemate-heavy level. I don’t believe I got to see Gulf of Oman the other night, but I’ll update once I do. Caspian Border has to be my favorite version. I was a big fan of the original because it was often played as part of the “air maps” selection. There was a big air dependency, especially with the attack choppers, with the planes keeping the choppers in check. It is much easier to destroy as a jet because the area is much smaller, noticeably smaller but at the cost of maneuverability – so on one side you have more direct dog fighting, you also have less room to properly approach. The walls are no longer chain link – they’re stone and tough. There is a massive checkpoint gate – no foolin around, this time it’s a major bottleneck and it prevents unlimited shelling from the hill. There’s stairs up the tower now, though it falls like a stick in a toilet – the animation is rather simple and doesn’t even do the previous version justice. However all the areas inbetween are thick with bush and cover. This is a much more lush environment, much more difficult to see through, preventing inevitable sniping from the highest points – the towers. There’s also a bunker under the tower on the hill, similar to the one in Operation Firestorm.

All in all I enjoy playing on the maps I know, with their obvious weaknesses addressed.

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Emulation Nation

After the thread change, runs full speed

PS2: Sled Storm – Emulator with DX11 HW Accelleration    2X quality plus smoothing (no FXAA, no AA yet)

I spent much of today scouring the internet (it wasn’t that hard) for ROMs.  I have NES and SNES on lockdown, I believe I have 99% of the NES and maybe 85% of the SNES.  Choice Genesys, 32X and during my last ROM run a few months prior I even found Dreamcast and PSX.  I have all these systems, but they’re in storage, all nicely tucked away not taking up any actual room.  I’ve been wanting to play some older stuff but they’re so low bit being blown up to modern TV size doesn’t really make it any more visible.  We had to use our imaginations a lot back then, and low / fuzzy res kept that in check.  Having it all clear as day is pretty glaring.

So I love old games, I do — and there is no question they all play wonderful but a lot of them I have played, the newer ones I usually had one system out of the generation. For instance, I recently picked up an N64 last year at a tag sale.  It had all the best games — plus the expansion pack that was needed for a better looking Rebel Assault.  It plays not too shabby and I had never played many of the games.  It was impressive for what they could do.  I figured I’d explore a little more so grabbed some of those this time too to see if the emulator would do any better than the analog RCA video plug. Those don’t translate too bad to the screen, they’re at least visible polygons but you can really see what a difference the textures make when you get a look at a sub 100mb N64 game.

What really blew me away were the options available for the PSX emulator.  It completely transformed the graphics, rendering them with actual hardware 3D.  You can take rather low textures and play them out at modern resolutions, all smoothed and playing fast as can be, with smart aspect ratio scaling to 16:9 stretch or no.    Not only that but you don’t have to use a ROM/ISO it will play it direct from the original disc!

PSX got me curious so I had to try PS2 — even more impressive.  I’ll just start right from there with one of my forgotten favorites: Sled Storm.  I love racing, and EA Big was a golden time for them — SSX Tricky started it off and they followed up with Sled Storm.

So here is the emulator, the video settings I was using (I took everything off for performance, I couldn’t figure what was wrong but it was using a single thread for rendering.  I set the rendering to only 4 additional threads and it ran like buttah — no problem, graphical glitches were gone and everything looked superb.


Hierarchy [ 2014, games, graphics, image, nostalgia, screenshot, snow, technology ]
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Titanfall not so much of a Titan.

Found this old unpublished post and wanted to get it out there.
I did end up getting the full game for,y birthday after it came out because my son wanted to watch me play.


Pre:release thoughts on the beta:
I don’t feel like I was as impressed with Titanfall as I should have been. I think people are still going gaga for it, I haven’t checked in again to even see if the beta is still up and running. I played it a bit, I wanted to give it a fair shake but it really felt far too COD to me. Arcady physics, particularly balstics oriented. The small space and rampant running around was reminiscent of Quake or UT deathmatch. The addition of the Titan did make it different, it added another flavor to it, but it wasn’t enough to flesh out an otherwise cookie cutter run around and shooter.
The bullets went straight, seemingly through objects and the collision detection was off as well – from a person perspective, mech perspective, and ballistics. From the second I touched down (and I didn’t do too badly) I knew this was not my thing.
Technically it wasn’t all that impressive either. I’m sure beta and all but the detail wasn’t there. Rubble abounded, but there wasn’t anything alive about it. It was a rock with a different texture. No pieces hanging, jutting out – a la Battlefield Metro where there is rubble but it’s in chunks, as if it was actually made above and then broken and what resulted is what they kept as the level.
I think I would have had more fun if the levels were bigger, if there were more soldiers. They had 8 v 8 and they filled in the lack of enemies that would otherwise plague it with “bots” – team members that are actually robots who attack. They’re not dumb, but they’re no supporting cast. The best you can hope for is they’ll distract the titan long enough so you can pull out your big gung and blast it before it knows where you are.
I would say the levels are even smaller than Hawken, and that felt cramped to me. I like the idea of being dropped into a city, but let that happen – let there be a city and the mechs destroy it through movement and battle, it makes sense to me. I don’t really feel the connection to an already destroyed rubble pile. At least in Battlefield the building can be broken in such a way that you can use it strategically. In Titanfall you have your buildings with the same windows, same levels, same broken walls all the time. It’s pretty easy to know where they may pop up, or if someone is on the ground where they are headed to hide.
Mech Warrior has probably the most expansive levels, but they have always been more of an open field war than a city. They had probably about the same number of mechs in battle but the levels just feel bigger. There wasn’t much detail last time I played (it was a while ago) but trees and such littered the waterfront. It was certainly designed with Mechs in mind and Titanfall has open spaces with tight hiding spots in-between keeping the non-titan people in mind.
All in all I would still probably rate Mech Warrior at the top of the “mech game” genre. Titanfall doesn’t quite fit though because it’s not all about the giant robots. Just the fact that you can get out and back in makes for some basic differences so they can’t really be compared, but Hawken is similar from a level design perspective. I’d put Hawken at number two. It was the same fast paced blasting you see in Titanfall, but again – no running around sans-mech.

Hierarchy [ 2014, games, Giant Robots, review ]
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When Next Gen Is Missing the Next

which witch is which

XBox One VS PS4

Detail, polygons, shaders… all very important.  What I find most important are textures.  Artistic and accurate textures can bring life to anything, even simplistic character models and environments.  Water looking good — that’s a decent feat, trees with individual leaves, fire, rain, all these things are important little details — like the flipflops flipping in GTA V.  They add to the immersion and life of a game.

I can not fathom how these next gen consoles are coming out and not supporting 1080p across the board.  It seems ludicrous that it wouldn’t be the driving force.  My 4 year old motherboard, chip, and memory and year old lower-midrange video card have been running my games at 1920×1080 60hz since early this year.

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Hierarchy [ 2013, commentary, consumerism, games, graphics, lament ]
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Battle Report – Battlelog / Battlefield 4

Battle Report – Battlelog / Battlefield 4.


Bomb mode — demolition?  destruction?  annaliation? I think that’s right, has some serious balance issues.  2.5 hours for that round because no one could get the bomb to the target without getting dead.  Plus the bomb would jump like 2000 feet in the air and no one could get it so it would reset to the next position.

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