Categories
*.BAK

Glenfarclas 12 Year Old

15th taster from the Advent Calendar. All I can say, it’s a whiskey. It’s not particularly good or bad, in my opinion, maybe has a bit longer aftertaste and warmth than most, but nothing that would amaze me.

Categories
PC Gaming

Outer Worlds

To distinguish itself from brown and green Fallout, I guess, Outer Worlds is all pink and orange.

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The local version of VATS is slow-mo, not time-freeze, but it works fine as well.
Flaws system is interesting, since instead of being chosen at the start of the game, like Traits in Fallout, you get those as you go. Something like “Robophobia, -1 Dexterity when near robots, but +1 perk”.
Surprised that I did quests in the wrong order in the “toothpaste research” area, and the scientist I was about to rescue got eaten by raptors before I could do so. Forgot that timed quests existed.
There’s a quest chain to aquire unique prototype “science” weapons. The first one I’ve got is a hammer that switches between its elements with every strike. Then there’s also a shrinking pistol, which is a love-letter (or is it a love-pistol?) to the 50s sci-fi:

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Categories
Hardware

Razer Deathstalker Pro

I figured out that I like low profile keyboards by now, so I decided to give Deathstalker Pro a try.
The good: red switches are quiet, comparable to Keychron brown switches, maybe even quieter. It also has a 2.4 dongle built in, just like Deathadder V2 mouse.
But it wobbles. Like the rubber feet are misaligned slightly or something. An also the keys feel more “mushy” than on Keychron. Although this might have to do with red switches.
What’s more, it doesn’t play nice with Macs at all. Keychron has a Mac switch, and comes with Mac keycaps for Command/Option. I had to use Keychron caps on Deathstalker, and a custom script to properly map those keys. And Razer Synapse 3 is not supported anymore on OSX, and Synapse 2 doesn’t support any of the new hardware 🤷‍♂️

Categories
*.DOC

Babylon Berlin

Finished listening to Babylon Berlin, and despite not expecting much from the book initially, I must say it ended up being somewhat of a disappointment. Too much in the story is just left to chance: someone shot, missed, but hit something else – Deus ex Machina at its finest. Or worst.
Maybe I’d give TV series a try, but certainly not the next book in the series.

Categories
PC Gaming

Outer Worlds

I can’t decide if it’s more of a New Vegas, Skyrim or Mass Effect. But it’s rather enjoyable nevertheless. Despite “moral choices” can be confusing at times, just like in New Vegas.
Compared to Borderlands, that has a very similar Wild West aesthetics and shooter mechanics, it has two advantages in my eyes. First, I don’t run out of ammunition nearly as often as in Borderlands. And second, the weapons aren’t a generated mess. Yes, you do have some better drops here and there, but overall, the arsenal is much more predictable, if a bit boring. You get your usual pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, and a LMG, much earlier than expected, I must admit.
I’m also glad that this is less of a “seamless world” and more of a set of well defined and contained areas. Again, more of an Mass Effect than New Vegas.

Categories
3DS Nintendo

Link between Worlds

Nintendo has an entire Mario spinoff series dedicated to 2D characters in a 3D world. Link in this game has a similar concept: he can turn into a chalk image, which technically works as if he clings to a wall. Yeah, like Solid Snake. Solid Link, maybe?

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Believe it or not, they added some Souls elements in this game. You can invade other worlds, which I can’t try because the game is so old now, and I never cared about invading anyway. And you loose some of your items when you die, then you need to buy them back.

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Speaking of items, unlike most other games in the series, where you get an item, complete a dungeon with it, get another item, complete another dungeon, here you get a lot of items right away.

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Just after two dungeons Link gets the Master Sword, faces Yuga, the local villain, and traverses to the world of Lorule (obvious pun on Hyrule), that is ruled by Princess Hilda. The world is a darker version of Hyrule, and irony which is not lost on me, since Hyrule was always so chirpy. The enemies hit twice as hard, and are much, much harder to kill.

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From this point, the game is a bit less linear, the order you complete the next seven dungeons seems to be mostly up to you.

Categories
PC Gaming

Fallout (1997)

Completed Fallout.


To this day, I didn’t know what’s the proper way to find the Military Base where the mutants dwell. I just go to Necropolis to deliberately get captured and delivered to the Leutenant.

 

Turns out, if you go to Cathedral first, there’s a computer with the base location.
By that point I also decided to get rid of my companions, as a supermutant with a rocket launcher or a minigun would wipe them out anyway. I began to feel like a play “Save Dogmeat” game. It’s ironic that even developers were aware of this. Official way Dogmeat dies is one of those forcefields. Forcefields are a pain in general. You just need to stock on Stimpacks and hope for the best.
Also by this point you get so much experience from simply whacking supermutants, you don’t need quests anymore.
There’s a special perk called “Mental Block” that is used only in one encounter against the Master.
I’m glad I now properly played Fallout. Despite game crashing on me occasionally. It speaks a lot that a 25 years old game is still playable. But I feel like there’s just one way to play this game: get Plasma Rifle, burn everything. Any other path just takes more time.

Categories
*.BAK

Misono UX10 knife

Decided to use my visit to the US to purchase Misono UX10 knife, that isn’t sold in the UK. For those that don’t know, this knife is heavily promoted by America’s Test Kitchen:

What’s interesting about this knife is that although it’s made in Japan, the steel is from Sweden. Also, it has an asymetrical edge: 12 degrees on one side, 20 degrees on the other. Most European kitchen knives are 20 degrees, and Japense are 15 degrees. It is also much lighter than any other knife of comparable 18cm length. Hell, Wusthof Icon 16cm weights 179g, and Misono UX10 is only 155g.
But… the knife isn’t very sharp. Which is funny, because out of the box, they should be the sharpest you can get them. But Global is sharper. And Wusthof is more comfortable.

Categories
PC Gaming

Fallout (1997)

Killed Mother Deathclaw by trapping her between three of my companions. The game was noconcept of aggro.


Gave Ian the unique “Blade runner” pistol from freeing the ranch. He’s a beast with it, if only the AI wasn’t so dumb as to switch to knife every time he needs to reload.
Boneyard is a story about town mayor hiring you to avenge his son, supposedly killed by a gang, only to discover it’s his bodyguards who killed him. The battle between bodyguards and the gang is quite epic by ’97 standards, but it has one major issue: Regulators also try to kill some key NPCs, so you’re in a rush against time and luck yo save them.
I always assumed that Necropolis and The Glow where the same place. Turns out The Glow is a dungeon full of robots Brotherhood of Steel sends you to in order to get accepted. I didn’t remember any of it.
You can actually get two suits of power armour. One as a possible reward for rescuing the initiate held hostage in Hub, and another if you manage to get needed parts and repair it. Also, they make a lot of fuss about the laser pistols, despite the fact that by that time you should have much more powerful options.

Categories
*.AVI

Last of Us S01

TV version of Last of Us reminds me of those videos where people cook mashed potatoes out of a box of pringles. Let me explain.
The game took the popular concept of zombie apocalypse, sprinkled it with colour, and let the player feel that they are in a movie. “Cinematic experience”, so to speak. TV version is… Just a zombie movie. Yes, with good actors, but I can’t even say that the writing is that good. It’s one thing when TV tropes are successfully re-enacted in a video game. It’s another when it’s just a TV trope in a TV show. And on top of that, they kept some video game tropes as well. Like the collapsing ceiling in the museum that blocks the path back.
I remember some complaints about the gay couple episode, but it’s actually good. Reverse gender of one of them, and it would still work. Just two lonely people in a post apocalyptic world caring for each other. The manly beards just make it a bit ironic. But also tragic. The good part of that episode is also the bad part. It’s a standalone story, that doesn’t have much to do with the Last of Us as a whole. But it’s a great story.
One bit that series does better than the game is explaining the origins of the virus, and why everything started falling in a day or two. Or maybe the game did that, and I forgot. The spores were in the flour, that was shipped around the world. The day Joel first doesn’t get pancakes, because they ran out of flour, then also forgets to get the cake, that’s why his family doesn’t get infected.
As a side note, I’m amazed how they found actress that plays Ellie’s mother, Anne, to resemble Bella Ramsey. Usually they don’t bother.
Speaking of tropes again, when you’re in a game, it’s only expected that you’d be able to kill 20 people. Otherwise, that wouldn’t be very challenging. But in a movie, Joel being able to mow down groups of raiders and what not kind of shows. But then, it’s honest to the game, at least.

Categories
*.DOC

Babylon Berlin

The book certainly has some interesting ideas. Rath ends up accidentally shooting a man who’s been following him. Then he’s put on the case of investigating that same murder. Moreover, he discovers that his buddy has killed another cop who was secretly working for the Political Police, and now that buddy tries to frame Rath. It’s not brilliant by any means, but it’s better than standard “noir” “an alcoholic cop shaking a mob boss” theme.

Categories
*.DOC

Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan

I finished this book probably a month ago, but forgot to take notes about it.
It’s a strange book, with some interesting ideas: mainly that the minions of the local version of Sauron have plans of their own. And the “epic” scope: Children of the Light, for all their importance, show up in just two chapters, and Seanchan are forgotten completely.
Strange, because the trope “Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne get captured” is repeated twice within the same book. This is after “Egwene gets enslaved” was one of the main themes of the previous book as well.
And the trope “Rand thinks he finally killed the Dark One” is repeated for the third time over three books. It’s like Rand never learns.
We’re constantly told how powerful Forsaken are. But then Moiraine just burns one down in an instant with Balefire.
Other than that, it’s very fatalistic. As, all characters are pulled together to the same places over and over again by fate. Even feelings Egwene, Min and Elayne have for Rand are mostly described as a pull of fate. If I’m not mistaken, by the third book Elayne met the guy once, and Min twice, but they all talk about how much they love him.

Categories
PC Gaming

Fallout (1997)

Barter skill seems to be outright broken. I thought it should bring better prices. It doesn’t.
Lockpicks skill doesn’t seem to be useful at all, as I managed to lockpick all doors until now without leveling it up once, just by trying and trying.

 

Now, I view this game as sort of a puzzle: mostly trying to figure out the correct order to tackle the quests. Dekker fight seemed difficult at first, as it’s a small room, and most enemies attack the main character. But it’s easier, if you get the combat shotgun first from the guys that hold someone from Brotherhood of Steel hostage. And this becomes doable once you beat the raiders. And this becomes doable once you finish Necropolis.

 

I remember that as I kid I always feared the encounter with Deathclaw in the caves.

 

But I either got lucky, or it’s not as bad as I remembered. The poor beast went down on the first try, with the help of Combat Shotgun.

Categories
PC Gaming

Fallout (1997)

Finding the Water Chip is not as hard as I remember, even without a guide. Once you get to the Hub, you’re basically being told that it’s in Necropolis. And also you can send a water caravan to Vault 13 from there, if 150 days are not enough. I made it at meager level 5. But just taking the chip is evil, since then ghouls don’t have any water. A better solution is to repair their water pump, and they even point out where you should look for the parts.
And there are two problems with that, considering how old the game is. First, the repair part is tiny, and you need to pixelhunt for it. And second, it’s not called “water pump part” or anything, but simply “junk”. I decided to bring it back only because I ran out of other ideas.
Also, I was wondering how the game explains the transition between the first half, where you look for the Water Chip, and the second, where you hunt the mutants. Turns out, not very elegantly. You meet the mutants in Necropolis (they can even capture you and bring you to their leader, which at this point not very helpful). And once you tell Overseer about that, you’re tasked to eradicate them.

Something like:
– Hey, I’ve seen some Nazis on the street, mom.
– From this day on your task is to assassinate Hitler!

Categories
*.AVI

Fallout S01

Finished first season of Fallout. It was phenomenal. Amazing how good the writing is, considering how bad it became in some other franchises (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time).

 

The visuals are stunning, and the songs, some of them used in the games as well, undertone the dark humor of this universe.

 

Despite the series doing the usual dance: a naive character leaves his/her sheltered village/vault, and is on the hunt to find/deliver some MacGuffin. Characters have clear motivations, clear flaws, and in general, the acting is very, very good.

 

I was impressed by Stephanie, that manages to turn her character from that victim into something sinister in just one scene.

 

Categories
*.BAK

Wemyss Spice King batch strength whiskey

The 13th taster was a Bruichladdich 12, which I know by now, so I’ll jump to 14th, “Wemyss Spice King batch strength” instead. The key component here is “batch strength”. I’m not a fan of blended whiskeys, because, well, it’s easy to hide imperfections when you blend everything together. But this one is indeed tasty and spicy. Not something I would probably buy for myself, but interesting nevertheless.

Categories
PC Gaming

Fallout (1997)

No Mutants Allowed is still alive. Wow. Long time.
The GOG version doesn’t have children. While not a big deal by itself, returning them takes a bit more than the usual patch, because this version uses DAT files. Had to repack it myself, but it worked in the end.
There’s a patch pack called Fixt, but it’s incompatible with 1.2 saves, and I don’t have the motivation to start over.

Categories
*.AVI *.DOC

Babylon Berlin S01

It’s interesting to unpack how TV series are different from the book.
Charlotte in the book is referred to as “Charlie”, while in the TV series she’s called “Lotte”. In the book, she’s quite successful, and doing a work of an investigator, despite being a stenographer. In the series, she’s struggling to pay her rent with an one-off job at the police station.

 

Rath is immediately introduced as a “shaker”, having to rely on laundaum to stay in the police. In the book, he’s an occasional drinker, but not much else.

 

There’s a comic episode in the series which wasn’t present in the books: Rath and Lotte get the photos of their investigations mixed together. Rath works in Vice, and Lotte works in Homicide, so they have to sort together through pornography and murdered victims photos.

Categories
PC Gaming

Fallout (1997)

I played and even finished Fallout as a kid, but…
It was a ripped version, so I didn’t know there were talking heads and even movies in the game until much later. And I didn’t know English that well at the time, so I played with a walkthrough most of the time.
Playing it now, it’s not a complete blank slate, of course. I still remember that Speech and Stealing skills are surprisingly useful, while most others are complete thrash, for example. And it’s lucky that I remember some of the quests, because there’s very little indication of them at all. For example, if I didn’t remember that Tandy from Shady Sands gets kidnapped at some point by raiders, I wouldn’t know this quests exists at all, because you don’t have a good reason to revisit Shady Sands, and even if you do, you specifically need to talk to her father for that.
I plan the game differently now too. As a kid, I would literally hunt every rat and scorpion to maximize EXP. Now, I just fight only if I really need to. Although I must say, the EXP you get from fighting is quite good, so maybe I wasn’t that stupid as a kid.

Categories
PC Gaming

Call of Duty Vanguard multiplayer

I already wrote about this at least once, but Call of Duty Vanguard take on weapon mods follows Call of Duty Cold War, but in the context of World War 2 it’s even more hilarious.


I did learn a couple of historical facts, though. For example, reflex sights were invented back in 1900. I thought it’s a rather modern invention, because the US army didn’t adopt them until 2000s.
Most people play the Blueprint Gun Game. It’s a deathmatch, but every time you land a kill, you get a new random gun. It’s a fun one, although due to the cosmetics, sometimes it’s hard to understand what you’ve got: is it a machine gun or a sniper rifle?