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Ginko

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Ginko last won the day on October 12 2014

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About Ginko

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    Polish Rocketeer
  • Birthday 29/11/1985

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  1. I've played them all except for Sekiro (waiting for it to be under £30 in one of the sales, but no luck so far). I'm ashamed to say I've only completed Dark Souls 2. Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 1 and 3, and Bloodborne all eventually got too intimidating for me. No other games have ever brought me such high highs and low lows. The highs are totally worth it, but I really have to be in a special mood to play these things. Not sure why I feel this way, and I don't know why I persevered with DS2 over the others, but I think part of it now is that I don't really have the time to spend on games like I used to. If I'm going to spend a rare few hours a week playing a game, I feel like I need to have made progress, and I could play a Souls game for that length of time and get absolutely nowhere! I'm just not very good at these games, or I don't have the patience anymore. Probably the more the first one.
  2. I just got onto Chapter 4 last night, so I'm far from finishing the game, but so far it's incredible. First off, I should clarify that I am a huge Naughty Dog fan. I'm also an ex-film student (and therefore particularly love my movies), an ex-journalist (yeah, yeah, I know), a current fiction editor for fantasy and sci-fi novels, and an amateur fiction writer/screenwriter. I also used to work in the games industry for a number of years and have been a gamer all my life. Sorry for the life story, I just think it's all relevant as to my opinion of the game. I can understand why this isn't for everyone. I have a number of gamer friends who don't really like the gameplay in the original TLoU and the Uncharted games, and whilst I personally think they do an excellent job of merging cinematic storytelling with puzzles and incredible action set pieces, I get why some folks might feel differently. When a story is written well, we get lost in it. We describe an amazing book as a real page-turner. Movie theatres are intentionally dark and immersive in order to focus our senses and attention – it's one of the main reasons filmmakers so often suggest we experience their films at the cinema rather than at home. Screenwriters call it 'the flow' – the state of mind we enter when we're enraptured whilst watching a film. It's their job to craft and pace the story in such a way that at no point does the audience drop out of the flow until the end credits. Games sit in a rather unique place in terms of storytelling. Traditionally we're more used to watching films and reading books – if they're good then we're completely immersed, but we're still just along for the ride and have no real interactivity. We can't affect the story in any way, and whilst you could argue we can change the pace by either stopping reading or watching, that's really on us. It's a lot more difficult to do this with story-based video games. For one, they're usually a hell of a lot longer than a film. It's also a completely different form of writing and as a writer, you have a lot less control over the pacing. Each player will play their own way and at their own speed, so how do you account for that? Obviously you try to write characters and story beats that are compelling so the player can't wait to find out what happens next and you hope they continue playing, or at least they take a breather when the character does during a lighter moment, but as a games designer you also want to balance immersion with giving the player an enjoyable interactive experience. Naughty Dog gets criticised for having levels that are too linear, which may be fair, but the more choice you give to a player in a game, the less control the writers have over the story. It's all about balance. It then has to split into branching paths, which players can find jarring if it's not done well. With Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog introduced areas at beats in the story that were more open world in attempt to combine the more linear and controlled areas with parts that give the player more freedom, and they've done the same here in TLoU 2. It's a compromise, but it's done very well – the best any game has managed so far, in my opinion. But as much as I love these games, it's not perfect. As I play I find myself searching every nook and cranny for collectibles in these less linear environments, and it's sometimes at odds with the pacing of the story and it takes me out of it. I want to carry on with the story, and even the NPCs occasionally try to nudge me onto the next story beat. I get that annoying 'Hint' pop up in the bottom-left corner of the screen like I don't know what to do next – I do! I just want to find everything YOU guys put in the level! But that's all I can criticise it for at this point, and they obviously want to add replay value to their game, but I just don't think it works in story-focused games such as this. It's an attempt to appease players at both ends of the spectrum – those who only care about the story, and the completionists – and the varying degrees between, of which I am one, though I'd argue my slightly obsessive need to search everywhere is more about always having crafting supplies rather than the collectibles. These sorts of experiences are never going to please everyone, so I understand why some people don't like it whilst also taking into account that I haven't finished it yet. The only thing I really can't fathom is how people can't be immersed in the story or the characters. It's a dark story, don't get me wrong, and I personally love a bit of grit, but I suppose people will say that they look to games for escapism from the state of the world, especially at the moment. There are plenty of other games to play if you feel that way, but we need games like this. Art is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable and challenge you, and TLoU2 is very much a work of art.
  3. Ginko

    GTA 5

    I think it's bonkers that it originally came out on the previous generation consoles. An incredible technical achievement and such a detailed, engrossing game. It's one that my girlfriend loves playing too, so we've been back on it lately taking it in turns.
  4. Now there's a question... I'll have to have a think about this Obviously Goku vs. Frieza is legendary due to the first time we see Super Saiyan, but crikey does that fight drag... on (pun fully intended). In terms of seeing how far the animation used in anime has come, this one blew up the internet when it aired a couple of years ago. Most of you have probably seen it, but for those who haven't this is grown up Naruto & Sasuke vs. Momoshiki from Boruto. It obviously helps if you know Naruto and are familiar with the characters and just how jutsu (techniques) in the Naruto universe works, but if not I'm sure one can appreciate the animation:
  5. Yup, tons of anime throughout the years have paid homage to (or outright nicked elements of) Journey to the West. Dragonball (the time set before DBZ in particular) is one of the most obvious ones, as this photo of young Goku shows: In fact, the name 'Son Goku' is the Japanese version of 'Sun Wukong', the original (Chinese) name of the protagonist of Journey to the West who is also known as the Monkey King. Little Goku here also has a monkey tail, magic staff and rides on a cloud -- all taken from his Journey to the West namesake. Naruto is another anime that contains a number of references to Journey to the West. Like DB, Naruto also has a character named Son Goku who is a large monkey demon, as well as the Monkey King, Enma who turns into a magical staff that Sarutobi-sensei ('saru' being the Japanese for 'monkey') fights with. A lot of anime borrow from old Japanese folklore, so you'll quite often see different interpretations of the same things. For instance, the initial 'big bad' of Naruto is the Kyubii (literally: nine-tailed fox) a popular demon from Japanese mythology. Pokemon fans out there will be familiar with this as there is literally a Pokemon called Ninetails, who is a fox. FWIW, I'm a sucker for tournament arcs, which as @mikeyp102 mentioned earlier is a staple of Shonen anime. Shonen is arguably the most popular genre of manga and anime as its target audience is young males. In fact shonen/shounen actually means boy in Japanese. Bleach, mentioned earlier, is essentially tournament arc after tournament arc, though they were basically a series of 1v1 fights throughout with a very loose story woven between them, which got a bit stale after a couple of seasons. Naruto's Chuunin Exam arc is probably my favourite tournament arc to date, though it always annoys me that tournaments in anime almost NEVER FINISH. The overarching story gets in the way, bad guys interrupt and so winners are rarely decided. Anyway, I'm babbling now. As you were.
  6. There's a few times in the story where it refers to events in the first two games, but as @Stevo985 says, it doesn't matter if you don't know. The games also has character profiles in the options menu which detail much of what you've missed, or you could just watch a quick YouTube video if you really want to know, but yeah, it doesn't really make much difference to the story or your enjoyment of the game. Awesome game, certainly one of my top five of all time.
  7. I'm going to be that guy, I'm afraid, chaps. My lady and I have both been working from home for the last three weeks, both working in the spare room as a shared office. We've been absolutely fine and she's a far better office buddy than anyone I work with (many of them are noisy, annoying or just plain arseholes), we're both quiet and just get on with it. I can't listen to any music with lyrics as it's too distracting for me (I'm a book editor so I need to concentrate on reading), whereas she's a graphic designer and finds it difficult to work in silence. We've been listening to movie scores or lo-fi hip-hop since that's what I mainly listen to as I work, but if she fancies something a little louder, one of us will just stick headphones on. I've dated women in the past who would have been absolute nightmares to live and work with, but my girlfriend really is the epitome of low maintenance. I realise I'm very lucky. The only thing she won't put up with is laziness, and I've just been furloughed for the next three weeks. To be fair, I get annoyed at myself if I'm unproductive for too long, so I'm finally going to get some projects done now I have no excuse not to. I'll also probably be posting here a lot more though, but don't tell her I said that.
  8. Ginko

    Dean Smith

    The thing is, are we likely to get someone good at this point in the season who understands they’ll probably be relegated and therefore manage us in the Championship next year? With the right incentives you could either get a young coach with talent and something to prove (though Smith is obviously in that mould and it hasn’t worked out), or an old boy looking for another pay day. It’s not a great position to be in to be looking for a new manager, but we might as well start now and build for next season. What’s the point in keeping Smith on, really?
  9. Ginko

    Dean Smith

    Feel the same, but surely we have to change something in the hope that it improves? Or perhaps give a new manager the rest of this season to begin implementing ideas so we kick on from the start of next season, whatever league it is that we're playing in. Must be heartbreaking for Jack, probably his final season in a Villa shirt, as captain and to go down playing the way we are.
  10. Ginko

    Dean Smith

    Probably because he got us promoted and oversaw that run of games. I hope he does go, though. As others have said, he doesn't learn from his mistakes and we've been crap for a while now. I was never completely sold on him in the Championship, to be honest. He got us up, fair enough, but we should have been in and around the automatic places with the resources we had. I don't think he'll go, but if/when we do go down, I hope we don't stick with him in the Championship. A new approach is needed. We need to be destroying that league and get promoted that way for sustainable success in the Premier League, though obviously Norwich would be the exception that proves the rule for that. I hate talking like this, like it's already a foregone conclusion that we're down, but I haven't seen any kind of change or improvement on the way we play. We don't look like we're capable of beating anybody at the moment.
  11. Ginko

    General Chat

    They have a couple of obstacles with hanging wires that give you a nasty jolt if you brush against them; the aim being to avoid them of course, which is easier said than done. The first was a low net where you crawled on your belly through mud. I think they had wires running across the top of the net that zapped you too. The other one was the last obstacle before the finish line and was just an area where wires hung down and they encouraged you to just run on through rather than take your time. I just pegged it, but got shocked twice. My girlfriend took about five minutes to get through as other people blundered past her, but to her credit she didn’t get shocked once.
  12. Ginko

    General Chat

    I did my first ever Tough Mudder yesterday My girlfriend had done a couple before with some old work friends but this time it was just me and her (another friend was meant to come but he injured his knee). It was really good fun, I highly recommend it. I’m not super fit or buff or anything like that. We signed up for it back in April and gave ourselves a few months to work up our fitness. We started off well but tailed off in the last month. Still, we were fine. You can go at your own pace so we lightly jogged most of it and walked parts too (the course is 8.8 miles) and I think of the 25 or so obstacles, we only skipped a couple due to them being physically impossible for us (lack of upper body strength, mainly). I did all the ones I was capable of doing though, including stuff like ice baths, getting electric shocks (got shocked four times in total, not fun but not too bad either) and very cramped spaces. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m claustrophobic, but I certainly don’t enjoy not being able to move much. Really glad I did it though. It was held at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire. Beautiful grounds and the weather and temperature were perfect. Highly recommend it to anyone. You get a completion T-shirt and headband, as well as an ice cold beer at the end.
  13. Yup, I actually played football at the local rec ground yesterday and since I get there quite early before our time slot, I end up talking to a couple of guys who work there. I live in Nottingham and it’s a Forest-owned facility, so naturally most of the guys running it are local lads and Forest fans. We were chatting about the ‘incident’ and whereas both of them agreed it was the wrong call, one of them goes, ‘Yeah, but I bloody hate Grealish. In fact I’d say he’s about my most-hated player.’ Naturally I scoffed, and he’s clearly just a jealous Forest fan, but I humoured him and asked him why. ’Honestly? Mainly it’s the shin pads thing. Totally unprofessional. And his hair too. That and he’s always going out getting pissed on holiday and posting it on social media.’ I told him how dumb that all was and pointed out some facts to him, but that’s the image he probably has with a lot of fans of other clubs and the wider media. Complete bollocks of course, but what can you do?
  14. We’re the same person, remember? I can’t be my own best man now, can I?
  15. Her name is Holly (two years last month) and our internet is decent nowadays, thank you very much.
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