Acaia Pearl coffee scales

Acaia produce the top of the range barista scales. When I bought my first scales some five years ago, I considered them too expensive and bulky. But now, when I have a bigger coffee machine and a bigger kitchen, it’s less of an issue. And since my Brewista scales I bought while still in Amsterdam started misbehaving, I decided it’s time for an upgrade.
The Acaia Pearl sells in the UK for about 190GBP. In the US, it costs just 150$. So at first I thought myself smart to buy from there. Then, I considered the taxes and the shipping. So, I thought myself smart from buying from EU, for just 144GBP, including shipping. Then I was told this again doesn’t include VAT, and there may be additional taxes, because why not.
So, I ended up being humbled and buying those for 180GBP from the UK.
Compared to my Brewista, it’s super precise. Not 1-bean precise, but 3-bean precise. It would detect half a gram, basically.
It’s also big. It still fits on the coffee machine tray, and you can squeeze a cup underneath, but just barely. But, I rarely do coffee-by-output anyway, because my coffee machine does volumes.
The controls are wonky. First, they are touch. And to turn the scales off, you need to doubletap the “Off” button. Not long press, that switches modes. Double-tap.
Also, apparently because the top is all plastic, they are also not very sturdy. So they even put a protective film on top. Not very reassuring, but we’ll see.

PC Gaming

Mega City Police

Completed my first run of Mega City Police, with an Engineer. It’s a nice game, it really is. Except the final boss, I’d say, that can one-shot you if you’re not careful. Unlike many other roguelikes, like Hades or Hammerwatch, where after each run you can upgrade your stats somehow, there isn’t much persistent progress, though.


Cosmic Cop / Gallop (cosmccop)

Shoot’em’up from Irem, which will later produce In the Hunt. And the resemblance is clear, from the design of your craft to the bosses.
The special mechanic there is the particle laser, that targets enemies automatically, but overheats, so you need to let it cool.

The game is brutal. One hit, and you’re done, the enemies can literally teleport on top of you, and the projectiles are fast and give you very little space to maneuver. I am not good in those kind of games, to be clear.

I found that the second boss is much easier than the first one. But then just getting to the 3rd boss was a struggle to me.



Ninja Masters (ninjamas)

I continue to discover new games on Neo Geo all the time. This one is from the authors of World Heroes series, but instead of being “inspired” by Street Fighter 2 / Fatal Fury series, it draws its inspiration from Samurai Shodown. The mechanic where you can knock the weapon out of your opponent hands is here, for example.

One interesting detail is some of the characters start with their weapon drawn, while others have it holstered. And you need a rather obscure combination of buttons to draw it.


PC Gaming


Completed Outlaws.

I planned to play this game for such a long time. After all, I greatly enjoyed Dark Forces, and I just finished Doom and Doom 2 without save/loading much. But this game is such a disappointment.
It has this mechanics of manually reloading your weapons bullet by bullet. But this is badly animated. Forgive Me Father had a similar lacking animation, but there I believe it was more a matter of style. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is the shooting. Enemies can finish you in one or two shots. And since your weapons aren’t very accurate, you don’t have much health, and there are a lot of enemies, you end up dying a lot. And I mean a lot. The “Official Strategy Guide” even proposed to always crouch and corner snipe your enemies. Fun!
The game problems become even more apparent once you get the scope. It allows you to snipe out enemies alright, which for ’98 is quite something. But your bullets won’t fly where you want them through. Sometimes they would pass straight through an enemy, despite you having your crosshair right at him, while other times, you’ll kill an enemy right away, although your bullet should have been nowhere near.
Every level ends up abruptly with a cutscene, as you kill the next outlaw. The problem is, they are very hard to distinguish. And if you didn’t find all the secrets on that level – though luck!
The only two spectacular things about that game are the cutscenes and the music. The music is a clear homage to Spaghetti Westerns, and while the cutscenes mostly show you the death of your current enemy, and the appearance of the next one, at least they add some character to what otherways would be a subpar shooter.
The Sawmill is probably one of the worst levels I’ve seen since Redneck Rampage. They tried to implement a trolley puzzle, where you need to change tracks in order to find all the gears. But instead of tracks it’s a water stream, with a current. So you have to shoot the switches, with a janky shooting controls. Absolute disaster. I mean, the Mine is also bad, a multi-level maze with some not-obvious jumps. But I still think that Sawmill is worse.
Can’t believe this is a game from the same people that worked on Dark Forces. Who thought that having three different shotguns is a good idea? Speaking of Dark Forces, I’m surprised that the authors went back to the key mechanics. “Find a bronze key, open a door, find the silver key…”. I mean, they got it right previously, and now they ruined it. Whoever puts a key in the back of a warehouse?!
Now, let’s talk about the final level. For some reason, the authors decided to make it a “capture level”, that is, a level where you get capture and therefore start barehanded. But that’s not the issue. Nor is the issue that you need to shoot a haystack rope multiple times: there’s a slight visual queue of rope fraying, but not enough. Fair.
There’s a tile in the library. You need to step on it. And it opens a bookcase, which closes after a few seconds. And inside that bookcase there is a unlit fireplace, which you need to interact with to open a hidden passage behind another fireplace in the library. That’s it. That’s the problem. Had to check with the guide this once, because I was pretty damn sure some script bugged on me, or I need to blow something up with a dynamite.
And you get the final weapon, Gatling Gun, just before the boss. There are literally half a dozen enemies you can use this weapon on. Gatling is interesting, because with it, you cannot move at all. And you also can’t reload it. Once you run out of ammo, that’s it.


PC Gaming

Borderlands 3

Gave Borderlands 3 a try.
Gunman class is… interesting. I mean, you start your game with a shabby pistol like everyone else, but then you can also summon a mech with minigun and a railgun to waste everyone, from the get-go. Character design is clearly stolen from Tank Girl, and mechanics are from Overwatch, but that’s besides the point.
After two hours, though, I still felt bored to death.


Это все еще “клещи”, или уже “котёл”? 🤔

PC Gaming


I decided to give Heretic a go as well, since I never played it properly. It’s an interesting experience after Doom.


First of all, there are a lot of enemies. And I mean a lot. I think Civvie11 mentioned that in his retrospective, but a rare Doom map has over 100 enemies. In Heretic, every map has more than that. I don’t know if it’s an attempt to make the game harder/longer, or maybe they had more resources, or put those Tomes of Power to good use. But you get tired of killing all of them. What’s more, unlike Doom maps, that are quite “abstract”, Heretic maps have more of a “hub” design. That means all those monsters come at you at the same time, from different directions.
I didn’t notice previously that although you have inventory, not all items are persisted between levels. Seems like you can carry just one Tome of Power, and no Wings. Probably that was an attempt to balance the game.
Probably one of the biggest disappointments in the first episode is the fact that there are just 4 weapons available. Which is as boring as playing the entire first episode of Doom without a rocket launcher.


Interesting that the first episode of Doom put two Barons of Hell as the end bosses. And Heretic puts two Iron Liches. Speaking of which, the whirlwind attack that raises you is a neat trick. As well as the “explosive barrels” that can be moved on that level.

PC Gaming

Doom Eternal

Completed Doom Eternal.
In the end, I got into it. Even managed to collect all secrets, including assembling Unmaykr, the new version of BFG (taken from Brutal Doom?)
Khan Maykr is a trick boss in a trick game. I’m happy they added a few unique bosses, but still, it just shows how the entire game is build around very particular way of playing. You can damage the shields with any weapon, thanks at least for that. But then you need to pull yourself using the shotgun’s hook, and to punch her with the blood fist. And do that six times. What’s more, the only way to replenish your ammo is to headshoot infinite drones. As I said, a trick game.
Marauder is the one most annoying enemy in the entire game, because it’s the only enemy that has that repeated counter mechanic.
Icon of Sin is a great reimagining of the Doom 2 finale. But it’s also a complete chaos, with the screen flashing and shaking so much I could hardly understand what’s going on.

The game is a still a beautiful single-player shooter, quite rare. But they did try to milk it all the way, didn’t they? The online features are so annoying that I had to block the game in firewall to avoid them. And all the hints Samuel gives you are behind a paywall of two DLCs.

PC Gaming

Doom (1993)

Completed Doom.
I don’t plan to play the extra episode, as I read it was mostly just bunch of levels hastily put together.
Third episode is even more hellishly designed than the 2nd one. But then some secrets are sometimes just doors. Not really a secret, are you?
My problem is that if I don’t play one game after the other, I forget the experience. But if I do, I get tired of it by the end. So, I got tired of hunting all the secrets without a guide in this last episode. First, because on House of Pain the door script got stuck, so I had to use IDCLIP cheat, but it annoyed me.
And then the secret in Mt. Erebus where you need to basically do a rocketjump in order to get in is ridiculous as well:

The secret level is fun, though. It starts same as the first level of this episode, but then there’s again that “fake exit” moment, and you need to fight a cyberdemon and backtrack to the start of the level.

Final boss battle isn’t particularly hard, but for two factors. It has a hitscan attack, so you’re constantly getting some chip damage. And there are no healing items on that level. Only later I discovered it takes just 2 shots from BFG to take it down.


Какие еще тяжелые потери? Тут же рассказывают что Авдеевку уже вот совсем взяли?!


У Наташи что-то пошло не так:


Концерт, который мы заслужили:

PC Gaming

Doom (1993)

Second episode is rather tight on ammo. Barons of Hell are now regular enemies. And there are also Cacodemons. And you get the plasmagun. So, there’s a bit more variety.

But the level design is somewhat hellish, with mazes for the sake of mazes, and endless amount of crates. Crate mazes:


And there are again some one-time-secrets. Containment Area is especially nightmarish in this sense.
“Halls of the Damned” is funny, because they added a false exit, that is actually a trap.
The cyberdemon was first introduced as the boss for the second episode as well. Which is a lot of investment, to have that huge sprite just for a boss. And as a kid playing from a keyboard, I would have been scared shitless by that. Although now it’s such an easy fight on a large arena with a lot of pillars for cover.


Nintendo Switch

Front Mission 2 Remake

Front Mission 2 Remake on Switch is actually quite a big deal. Although it was a no-brainer after Front Mission 1 Remake was released. They got the engine now, all you need to do is port the missions, basically.
Still, it’s the first time Front Mission 2 can be played in English. And I wasn’t sure if a fan translation even existed for this game.

PC Gaming

Mega City Police

Twin stick looter-shooter with permadeath, with strong 80s vibes.

Desktop-2023-10-07-22-54-11-23-DVR-mp4-000310-196The heroes are all vaguely based on the cyberpunk action heroes of that era: you can recognize Judge Dredd, Robocop and probably a few others.


We’ve seen this in Broforce and recent Huntdown. The twin-stick part is pretty self-explanatory by now. Game plays a lot like Hades, in the sense that you have randomly generated arenas, and after a fixed number of arenas you get to fight the boss. And if you die: you start from the beginning.


Everything drops weapons. And there are more than 100 of those, of different varieties and rarities. You can carry multiple weapons and multiple types of ammo, unlike some other games that force you to discard the previously picked arm.


Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson

Finished listening to the second book of Mistborn.
Brandon Sanderson gets the framing right, but everything else wrong in this one. What was the point of building Straff’s poisoning/addiction, if he just ended up being sliced in half? And I do hope that Zane’s voices and him having one of the spikes are explained in the 3rd book…
It is a very interesting decision to introduce a villain that is able to change the writings, thus affecting the prophesies over time in an attempt for people to release him from his prison. And the same goes for introducing The Deepness, and external danger that prompts people to try and fulfil the prophesies. Almost like Russia threatening the world with hunger unless its demands are met.
But characters like Eland and Vin are just annoying. Their virgin love and perfectness 🤢
Vin is the strongest “magic” user, and Eland is the heir to the most powerful house, that oh just so ends up an emperor by the end of the 2nd book, poor boy. And he gets superpowers as well, in order not to feel bad about becoming an emperor.
The politics were good. That, and the framing story were the only parts I enjoyed, though. I’ll probably listen to the 3rd book at some point, but now I need some rest from Vin’s “oh, how I love Eland”, and “Eland is a good man”.

PC Gaming

Doom (1993)

After my success with Doom 2, I decided to give Doom a try, since I never actually finished it. When I was a kid, I started with Doom 2.

It is definitely slower paced. But also it’s secrets structure is crazy. Consider the 3rd level of the 1st episode, Toxin Refinery. You find the yellow key, but you don’t need it to exit the level. Instead, the yellow door is behind a secret.
One element that I like more in Doom is how they show you progress on a map:
The first episode is rather boring. There are just a few weapons: shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher. And only a few enemies. Two barons of hell are the final boss.


PC Gaming

Doom Eternal

It’s a very weird design decision to first pit you against a boss, and then immediately throw you against two weaker versions of the same boss.
Also, those Purple Levels, whatever they’re called, pit you against enemies that you haven’t yet even met before. One pits you against two cyberdemons at the same time. This one was brutal. Then there’s a later one, that is mostly soldiers.
I don’t like the episodes where the researchers worship the Doomguy. But I’m glad that they didn’t try to voice him, and how his actions always show impatience: in cutscenes, he pushes every triggers multiple times until the turret fires. That’s a nice detail.

I’d be honest, the entire BFG episode made me smile, and like the game a bit more. The whole concept of Doomguy without asking anyone blowing a hole in Mars, then catapulting himself through that hole is hilarious, and so over the top it hits the tone perfectly.


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