Ruiner II

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  1. His slogan should have been "Make America the Regular Amount of Bad Again"
  2. I just traded in my MacBook Pro of a few years for a new iPad Pro with the magic keyboard. I just got accepted into UW and wanted to celebrate with a toy that will let me get work done with a bit more portability. I've got mixed feelings so far. There are definitely ways in which the expansiveness of OS X (and Windows, for that matter) leave me feeling handicapped with the simplicity of iOS, but it's also clear that this is where Apple is pumping a lot of their innovation; for example, while GarageBand doesn't have the features of the OS X version (and certainly not full DAWs like Pro Tools), it's a dream to use on this thing. I can already tell how easy it would be to do an impromptu jam with a couple of friends literally anywhere. The pen is definitely impressive, but the transcription leaves a *lot* to be desired. It could just be that I need to adjust to the feel of writing on a 12.9 inch screen instead of paper, but I have a hard time seeing myself using this as my main note-taking method. Autocorrect constantly gets what I write wrong, it takes like ten attempts to get it to recognize a colon instead of a semicolon or period, and sometimes entire words will get turned into numbers (i.e. Biology -> 8:01097). Also, it was far too hard to find actual video games in the Appstore. I had to go seek out Reddit threads to learn that games like XCOM, Darkest Dungeon, Civilization, and Total War were available, because looking under "paid strategy games" returns all of the Five Nights at Freddy's games and assorted mobile crap.
  3. Well if you had looked at the top result of a fast Google query into this brilliant observation... "93% of Black Lives Matter Protests Have Been Peaceful, New Report Finds" And for fun:
  4. These dipshits bringing forth objections and getting dismissed by Pence when they don't have the requisite backing of a Senator (followed by applause) is so goddamn satisfying. Especially Georgia, which apparently had the signature, and the Senator withdrew their support in light of today's events.
  5. I don't have any kind of ethical respect for the man, but credit where it's due to Mitt Romney for how he conducted himself today. While they're taking a huge hit right now, we're still probably stuck with the GOP for the foreseeable future, and it's good to see they've got someone with an actual backbone to hopefully right their ship to being shitty in the old ways instead of this wannabe authoritarian bullshit. I really hope there can be some sort of major push in the fallout of this to have a conservative representation that can leave behind the bigotry and dog-whistling. It's the only way forward.
  6. Aaaaaand there goes the Senate. Holy shit, it's surreal to see the GOP's bullshit finally blowing up in their face for good. In time we're going to have to figure out what to do about those assholes in the the Democratic party, but I'm taking a moment to celebrate these assholes in the GOP losing so much of their power so fast. If you actually like those assholes, you're probably in a bad mood, but it's not to late to be one of the good guys. There's no shame in opening your mind to the possibility that you're completely lost and out of touch with reality. I do it several times a day.
  7. It's January 1. You know what that means. Games of the Year 2020 As time passes, I've found myself less inclined to treat art/media like a contest. So instead of rankings, I just wanna talk about my favorite games that came out this year. Hades I've liked Supergiant's style for a long time, but I didn't go into this expecting a near-perfect video game, but here we are. There frankly isn't a single thing about this game that isn't awesome. The narrative (this includes the writing, voice acting, and story itself) manages to be alternately poignant and hilarious. The combat is supremely satisfying, with depth that has me still trying new combinations of Boons and weapon upgrades over sixty hours in. The art style and music are charming as hell. But what really brings all these different strengths together is the creativity that went into this game's design on skeletal level. Supergiant took everything that makes roguelikes great, and found a way to turn it into a cohesive, narrative-driven experience. This bleeds through in every corner of the game. I've "beaten" the game no fewer than 10-15 times, and yet the story still evolves in new and interesting ways with each run. DOOM Eternal One of the most purely fun shooters I've ever played. In classic DOOM fashion, it follows its predecessor by upping the ante in every possible way. The levels are bigger, there are more guns, more enemies, more punishment. It commands your full attention, because that's the difference between another frustrating death or feeling like the baddest motherfucker on the planet as your super shotgun fires a grapple hook that pulls you into a demon's soon-to-be-gone face. It only gets better the further you go, the game only grows in scope until it culminates in some breathtaking final confrontations. Also, soundtrack of the year. The Last of Us: Part II Way too much has already been said about this game, so this will be quick. Thrilling combat that pushes the genre forward, a riveting (if over-indulgent) narrative that also pushes the genre forward. There's been plenty of talk about ludonarrative dissonance when mixing those two elements, but taken separately on their own, you have one of the most mature and ambitious narratives of its kind in video gaming, and likewise, some of the biggest, most thrilling third-person stealth-action. A lot of it isn't even so much due to creative direction, so much as pure force of will, Naughty Dog's unmatched attention to detail teaming with the enormous budgets they're able to get from Sony and a borderline toxic work culture. We've just had a shining example in the past month that a huge, ambitious game with a crunch culture, marred by a litany of delays, can very easily come out a dumpster fire. When it comes out as good as TLOU2, it's an achievement, warts and all. Demon's Souls It's questionable to include a game whose creative decisions were largely all made in 2009, but there's something to be said about execution on a technical level, and Bluepoint did an unprecedented job when it comes to modernizing a game. Even its time, Demon's Souls was a niche game that wanted for polish, and revisiting it in 2020, it would show its age. Then Bluepoint comes around and turns it into the prettiest game ever made, and suddenly all of those things that made this game so great 10 years ago have an all-new vitality. No world From Software has put together before has welcomed this level of immersion, the ability to enjoy their work on such a visceral level. What were once details suddenly become major attractions--the earth-shaking roar of the dragons, the cliffside views that are worth stopping and just looking at for five minutes. If they were to give this treatment to Bloodborne, which is already my favorite game in its current state, I may never play anything else. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Very little needs to be said about this one. Two of the most purely fun video games that ever were, suddenly made new again, twenty years on. I had no idea how much I was really going to get out of these once the nostalgia wore off, and the answer is: a hell of a lot. I've played it more than any other game this year*. *this excludes XCOM 2 and Civ 6, both of which I first played in the past year but came out in 2016. Hades will also be passing it up soon.
  8. Dunno who's still reading this thread, but I just finished crying like I haven't in years watching that Brodie Lee tribute show. Just... such a beautiful display of decency, and love, and healing. It's been such a rough year. A lot of us have had to face some of the most cruel aspects of humanity in a way we never had to before. To end this year, seeing this group of people put a huge smile on the face of a kid who just lost his dad.... I can't find the words to express the kind of emotion in brought out. Happy new year, everyone.
  9. And it can't be overstated how great of a job Bluepoint did at remaking it. It's maybe the best looking of any of the launch titles, and has far and away the most intuitive UI features of any Souls game I've played. It can be maddeningly esoteric even compared to later Souls games, but being a launch title along with how readily you can find tips online probably help with that. Also, when I looked in the PS store a week or two ago, it wasn't even the top five of most downloaded PS5 titles. So it's not like it's doing *that* well.
  10. I'm totally happy with it. The controller is a legit meaningful innovation in an industry that's been short of those for a long time. The loading times are phenomenal, every time I load into Demon's Souls I'm still taken aback by how quickly I'm playing the game. A lot of the best launch titles are also on the PS4 (especially if you have an aversion to Souls games), but they're all going to be better experiences on the PS5. The PS+ Collection gives you pretty much every PS4 game worth playing for free right off the bat. If you end up splurging on it, be sure to pick up Astro's Playroom for free off the PS store. It's a *great* showcase for all of the cool shit the controller does. Also great for the kids and packed with nostalgic goodness for you if you've been playing these systems for a while.
  11. Rest in peace, Brodie Lee. Gobsmacked by this, just terrible.
  12. So, it's been a month. Here's what I've logged: Demon's Souls: 32 hours, have cleared every world's second boss except Tower of Latria. I figure I've got another 10-15 hours before I beat it. Really outstanding remake and IMO the launch title to own. It's immersive in a way that wasn't possible on the PS4, and it's also a classic game for a reason. My only gripe would be that online matchmaking seems kinda broken, but that's an ancillary part of the experience that will hopefully be patched up soon. Also, the best photo mode I've ever used. Rainbow Six: Siege: 3 hours, or basically four or five competitive playlist matches. I came for the Dualsense support, which is really cool but not a blow-away feature like in Astro's. I stayed because I was having a lot of fun, it's still a tremendous multiplayer game. Shame that playing with randos almost always pairs me with either children or douchebags. I'm not the type to go on Discord or Reddit and join a stack full of strangers, so there's only so much I can do with this game. Mortal Kombat 11: 1 hour and change, it's just MK11 but a little smoother. I'm bad at this game. No Man's Sky: 18 hours. Addictive as hell, which is why I stopped playing it. I might go back to it when I've got a load of free time, but free time is too much of a luxury these days to dump into a time-sink video game. Astro's Playroom: 3 hours, collected all the Playstation stuff and decided to move on. There's not much more to be said about this; it's delightful, and highlights the world of potential this controller has. And that's all so far. Supergiant's absolutely fucking exceptional Hades has been keeping me locked to my Switch a lot lately, else I'd have definitely be on a NG+ run of Demon's Souls by now. Here's what I'm looking forward to... Resident Evil 8: I've got a special attachment to this series from the beginning, and Resident Evil 7 and REmake 2 were among the best games of their years (REmake 3, well... I'll let it slide if this is good). The trailers have looked rad. Hitman 3: I still need to make some time to finish Hitman 2, but this is another series I have history with and I'm almost obligated to pick up the third game. Hitman 2 was about as straight-forward a sequel as you can get, so I do hope there's some more variation here. But if not, shit, the formula works, so be it. PS4 game updates: I'm really hoping for more next-gen upgrades for existing games, because I'm kind of holding off on jumping back in certain games until one is released. Examples: Death Stranding - I fell off of this several hours in,but I think would it substantially benefit from the higher fidelity of the PS5, and the Dualsense haptics/triggers. Ghost of Tsushima - I may get to trying when it's on sale, but also a game where the visuals are a big part of the appeal so I want the prettiest version. DOOM: Eternal - I'd love to do a second playthrough of this, especially with the resistive triggers. The Last of Us Part II - I already started a second run of this, but once again, I'm waiting for the upgrade before really getting back into it. Tekken 7 - Not sure how much this would gain since it already runs 60fps on PS4, but it's my main fighter these days (part of why I got so bad at Mortal Kombat) and I'd love an optimized version of it.
  13. As someone who doesn't have a ton of nostalgia for Sting.... this is a pretty fucking dope picture. Also, uh, Impact? I have no idea what to make of a lot of what happened this week but it was definitely eventful.
  14. When I saw the thing about "DiaperDon" and the small table trending I kinda rolled my eyes, because that's the sort of silly, petty shit that Fox News would have gotten in a fit over with Obama. But then I saw that this Twitter trend upset Trump so much that he tried to declare Twitter a national security threat and some other crazy shit. I hope his tantrums during this transition at least wakes a *few* of his supporters/apologists up. He's always had the temperament of an infant but we're really seeing it come out now that he lost.
  15. Uh, I guess?