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Everything posted by Zell

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

    I played this for a couple of hours yesterday as my copy arrived early. Quick tip - I ran into control problems after I unlocked the first ability, I could not work it out and got into a pickle in the first shrine. Turns out that I had changed to the "pro" HUD which hides the control prompts. So you might want to stick to the normal HUD during the prologue area.
  2. Office Chairs

    I'm using an Ikea Markus office chair, it is a very good chair for £150. It's comfortable, sturdy and has a professional look to it. The only negatives are that it doesn't have loads of features, for example the arm rests aren't adjustable.
  3. House buying is the worst

    I really don't know the answer, it's so hard to say what will happen. People still don't have a good idea of what kind of commuting/office commitments there will be and it's going to be different job to job, company to company. My company made an announcement about flexible working a month ago which got some positive press but so far there's no real details or any changes to our contracts. So I have no idea how often I'll be expected to work from an office. The risk is in moving to somewhere which is nicer and cheaper to live but not easily commutable to London. If it was say over a 1 hour for just the train journey, how often could you put up doing that in a week, and would you want to pay for that? Having said that, there were people before COVID who did these silly commutes 5 days a week. With places like Watford and Rickmansworth, I would guess people from the centre of London would be moving in at the same time as people are moving out to more rural areas but I'm a bit clueless really as to what will happen. Do you know what you're working situation will be like post lockdown, do you know if you'll be expected to be in the office 5 days a week?
  4. House buying is the worst

    I bought a house a year ago (first time buyer) and I admit I did worry that COVID would cause house prices to collapse but the opposite happened. I now better understand some of the reasons for this: Stamp duty holiday, record low lending rates, easily available mortgages (through a lot of government schemes) and of course demand outstripping supply all key forces at play here. If the cost of buying a house is cheaper for everyone, people will be able to afford more expensive houses at the same average salary People are reassessing where they want to live in a post-COVID/ post-commute world - people now realise they no longer need to be tethered to London so there is an exodus out of London to smaller country towns. This is where house prices are rising the most I believe. In London house prices are rising at a much lower rate It's also business that have been moving out of London (a trend that started before COVID) because places like Birmingham offer cheaper rents and workforce People have a lot of pent up cash and a lot of it is going into property. This COVID recession is different from the previous one in that there is still a lot of cash being pumped into the economy only it's being pumped from different sources in different directions. COVID job losses aren't as bad as you might think because of the furlough scheme and there'll be a post-COVID bounce. As for Brexit, the impact on jobs has been negligible so far, I think the true impact of Brexit will be felt in the coming years I can only see house prices continue to rise unless there's a big unforeseen market crash, and no-one wants that. The ideal would be for house prices to stagnate or rise by very low amounts, i.e. below inflation so the wages start to catch up and house prices go down in real terms if not in nominal terms.
  5. Disco Elysium

    For those interested in getting this on PS5, this has now been patched which looks to have resolved most of the previous issues. No need to double select things, framerate is much smoother and the game hasn't crashed on me. They've also added a quick save feature. I'm at the end of day 3 and still very much enjoying this.
  6. House buying is the worst

    I'd strongly recommend going through a broker. They will give you independent advice and you will generally get a better rate than going directly to a bank. Some brokers will even have rates/offers that are not available to customers that go direct.
  7. Football Season 2020-21

    Another key difference with the formation of the Premier League was that it had approval from the FA. English football was in dire straits in the late 80s. Crumbling stadiums, rampant hooliganism, poor public image, declining attendances, English clubs banned from Europe etc. It was felt that England was falling behind the likes of Italy and Spain and the big clubs advocated the new league to help rectify the situation. They also needed more money to improve stadiums following Hillsborough. At the time the Football League (different governing body to the FA) managed TV rights (ITV at the time) and distributed the income to all 92 clubs. The TV deal wasn't that lucrative and so as an independent body (the Premier League) they could negotiate a much better TV deal with Sky. The FA didn't like the Football League at the time so was happy to allow this to happen. They also felt that it would help English clubs compete in Europe and improve the game's image. So the formation of the Premier League at least had some other postulated benefits outside of enriching the bigger clubs. It was also essentially a reform of the football league system rather than a true breakaway like @killthenet has said.
  8. Football Season 2020-21

    "These clubs will still be part of the league's" - that remains to be seen. Very real possibility that if these clubs go ahead with it without approval from their leagues / governing bodies then they will be kicked out. It's greed because what they are essentially doing is having all of the pie to themselves and not sharing. A European Super League would usurp the Champions League as the richest and most prestigious European club competition, the big teams will prioritise it over the rest. The way it is set up is so that the founding clubs have full control and split the money between themselves. The four Champions League spots in the EPL are fiercely contested and missing out means missing out of hundreds of millions of pounds. In the ESL, there'll be no relegation or threat of not qualifying so even if they do badly there's no loss of income. The premier league was created in somewhat similar circumstances. Previously the TV income would be distributed to all 92 clubs in the football league. The breakaway to form the premier league meant the top 20 clubs were independent of the football league and could make their own TV deals and split the money between just themselves. This has lead to a growing gap between the richest clubs and the rest in the last 30 years. The ESL will do a similar thing: make the richest clubs richer and let everyone else rot. Doesn't matter how they spin it, it just smacks of greed. It's also a slap in the face to fair competition. How can my club Oxford United enter the European Super League? Do we need to be bought by the state of Qatar or something to qualify? I am a football fan, but over the last ten years my interest in premier league football has diminished substantially. I just struggle to care anymore. I still follow my local team though, football may not be as good but at least it feels like I'm supporting a real club rather than some IPL franchise.
  9. Disco Elysium

    Got this on PS5 and have played it for a few hours. Word of warning of potential console buyers: make sure you are playing on decently sized TV and/or aren't far away from the screen as the text size is very small and there is a lot of reading. The game gives you the option to increase the text size, but this only affects the dialogue text and not the menu text. Should come as no surprise but this was designed as a PC game primarily and was designed to be played on a monitor - but you will be fine playing on a large TV. Controls are also fiddly. You use the right stick to cycle through interactable objects (a cursor would have worked better here) and often have to press the X button twice to actually interact with something: once to move your character into position and once again to actually interact. You do get used to this though and it's not as big of a deal as it seems as you spend the vast majority of game time locked in dialogue. One final warning: don't forget to manually save. I once played for about an hour and then died because I had just 1 point of morale and no healing items. Have to say though, I am loving this game so far. The quality of the writing is excellent and I am becoming quickly absorbed in the world. I went with the default intellect build and have been trying to role play as a good detective so far. It will be interesting to start again as a different build and see how the experience changes.
  10. On the subject of 3D Metroidvanias, the only game I've played recently that feels close is Bloodborne, although it doesn't fully commit to that concept. I don't really see games like Tomb Raider and God of War as being very Metroid-y at all really, they're much closer spiritually to RE4. There are a number of great 2D Metroidvanias on the market these days, although at the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I don't think any of them quite eclipse Super Metroid.
  11. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    One of the reasons I got a PS5 was to upgrade of playing experience. I didn't get a PS4 Pro so going from a base PS4 to PS5 was a significant jump. I also bought a new TV to take advantage of 4K and HDR. I haven't actually played any "PS5" games yet apart from Astro's Playroom and Marquette. I've spent most of my time playing The Last of Us 2, RDR2 and Bloodborne. None of those of games currently have PS5 upgrades, but it was nice to play such pretty titles like The Last of Us 2 and RDR2 in (nearly) 4K, HDR (even if the HDR is broken in RDR2) and with a smooth performance. I was originally against getting a PS5 at launch if there weren't going to be any games out for it I cared about. But playing God of War last year on an original PS4 making the sound of a jet engine with those horrendous load times helped persuade me to make the jump. I figured that I will get a PS5 at some point anyway.
  12. Persona 5

    That is fundamental to the Persona experience though: not having enough time to do all you could/want to do. It's not like a typical JPRG or open world game where you have all the time in the world to do side stuff before you decide to progress the story. It's forcing you to prioritise and make sacrifices. While I understand that this certainly isn't to everyone's taste, I think going into Persona 5 with the wrong expectation of what the game is like can be detrimental to the experience. As a pure JRPG it can feel quite simple or limited compared to others, but the game is all part social sim and arguably visual novel. It's how all these elements interact with each other that really make the game greater than the sum of its parts. Having said that, if you are not feeling the plot or not invested in any of the characters, you're going to struggle to get much value out of the game. My advice on the first playthrough is to not worry about min-maxing everything or playing "optimally", because you just end up stressing yourself out. The game will cycle between dungeon/free time periods and plot-heavy periods and it's not always that predictable.
  13. PlayStation 4 Console Discussion

    Always wanted to give Subnautica a go, so will definitely be grabbing that.
  14. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    @Hero-of-Time I'd argue that you haven't actually beaten the game. Just getting your first ending without going for the other endings (including the true ending which has more content) means that you've missed out on a quite a bit. I admit when I was on my first playthrough of the story I didn't get what the fuss was about, but it finally clicked with me and by the time I had got the true ending I was enthralled. Can understand it's not everyone's cup of tea, but for me Undertale is one of the best indie games I've ever played and worthy of all the praise it gets.
  15. Hades (PC, Switch)

    One of things I like about Hades is that the story ties into the gameplay. It gives the rogue-like mechanics a narrative meaning.
  16. Playstation Plus Free Games

    I can currently get the PS4 version on Amazon for £36 (might be cheaper elsewhere, haven't checked). So if I buy that, I get the digital PS5 version for free when it comes out? Is there any point to buying the PS5 version?
  17. All this chat about Skyward Sword, but not one mention of Outer Wilds coming to Switch. One of the best games of the last generation, can't recommend it highly enough.
  18. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

    I think I'll be passing on this. I think enough has been said about the motion control issues, but looking past that I still feel this game has some glaring issues that bring down the overall experience. The game is incessantly padded with fetch quests and often has you revisiting the same areas multiple times rather than re-introducing new ones. I think there's a good game buried under some questionable design decisions. I know it would never happen, but I would like to see a remake/remaster where they fix some of pacing issues, streamline some of the travel, cut some of the needless repetition and delete Fi. It's a 40 hour game that really only needed to be about 20 hours long. Looking back, I also feel that the game suffers from the limitations of the Wii hardware. For example the sky in Skyward Sword is basically just a glorified level select and it feels completed disconnected from the rest of the game because of the loading screens. It's definitely a step back from the Great Sea in Wind Waker and even the likes of Hyrule/Termina Field. I imagine with more powerful hardware they could have created a seamless transition from sky to ground. Will be interesting to see peoples' opinions when this comes out, I'm unsure of how well this game will have aged in the last 10 years. Contemporary reviews were quite glowing if I remember correctly, but I never could myself agree with the perfect scores it received.
  19. The GameStop....swizzle?

    This whole situation is so fascinating, when I first read about it I had a huge smile on my face. Won't somebody please think of the hedge fund managers! Whenever this sort of thing happens you can't help get that FOMO about it, but I've never really delved into share trading and I usually just invest in funds / unit trusts which have always given me a nice return.
  20. Last of Us Part II

    Yeah, I'm only really criticising it in a way I wouldn't with other games because of what it attempts to achieve and because it is a heavily narrative driven experience. I completed the Resident Evil 2 remake before this and although it is a very good game it has a very silly story and makes The Last of Us 2's story look like There Will Be Blood, but it's a completely unfair comparison. I'm also being critical because I believe with a stronger narrative this game could have been truly great, but in the end it falls short. But I understand my experience will differ from someone else's. I've seen quite a few reviews/analysis etc now and its remarkable the range of opinions from a lot of reviewers I have respect for, and even for ones I personally disagree with it's very hard for me to say "you're wrong" when ultimately we are discussing the story like we would a novel or TV show. My opinion is that there's some good ideas that were just not executed particularly well.
  21. Last of Us Part II

    I've just completed the game, there's certainly a lot to unpack. Overall I enjoyed it, even if it did make me feel cold and miserable. My spoiler-free disorganised thoughts. What I liked: The game is absolutely gorgeous, such a treat for the eyes. I played on PS5 and it looks stunning in HDR. Even at 30fps it is still one of the most visually impressive games I've played The production values and attention to detail really are on another level. During my playthrough I noticed so many neat little touches that other games wouldn't even think about. Cut scenes, voice acting, character animations, direction, visual effects, gore, sound design, fluid controls... it all just adds up to a very immersive experience Beyond the actual plot, they do a great job at world building, such as all the letters scattered about the city I like the improvements to the core stealth-action gameplay. It feels way smoother than the original (I just remember it being kind stiff in places but it was a long time ago) but I love how they made all the "combat arenas" very open. In the first game you felt much more boxed in and the level design was pretty generic. Now you have multiple routes to take and a lot more freedom in how you approach each encounter. You can quietly shank everyone, or set mines everywhere, or bash people's stupid skulls in, or just ruin people with molotovs and a shotty. I would keep things refreshing by trying to change my loadout with each new encounter. Moment to moment gameplay felt satisfying and I never felt like I was fighting the controls Like the first game it does a decent enough job of ramping the action up and down without being too predictable What they could have done better: The parts between the missions can be a bit of a slog, borderline padding at times. Finding the next bit of the environment to climb starts getting old. If they make a 3rd game they need to think of more creative things to do between the combat bits There's this open world-ish section at the beginning which I thought was interesting but never occurs again in the rest of the game. Just seemed a bit pointless really since it was so half-hearted. I was expecting the game to embrace this idea a bit more, as in between story points you have a navigate through the same open city and explore more places, but it just ended up being the same linear progression after that While the moment to moment stealth-action is done very well, the game just seems to recycle the same few scenarios: fight a bunch of humans, or fight a bunch of zombies. There's not a lot of variety on offer. Some of the levels are well done (like the bit in the skyscraper) but overall the game stops surprising you and starts to run out of steam towards the end The RPG upgrade system seems a bit unnecessary. The problem is related to the previous point: the enemies don't improve that much, nor do the encounters change. It feels as if you as a player get stronger (more weapons and deadly tools) but the enemies don't to a significant degree. While I like the freedom of choice with which weapons I use, you could very easily go through the game without using half of the gear I played on Moderate difficulty, which was probably a tad too easy once I got into the groove of the gameplay. Even so, it did feel that the game was getting easier rather than harder the further I progressed, think they could have done a better job with ramping up the difficulty within the difficulty setting itself. My worry about playing on a higher difficulty was that I'd end up spending way to long foraging to equipment etc and it would drag the pace of the game down (my experience with the first game was that there was too much stuff between the plot events) Quick time events needs to bugger off. I am so sick of hammering the square button to open a door to prevent a zombie from biting my face. Just a massive pet peeve of mine I've gotten this far without talking about the story, so here goes... So yeah, I'm quite conflicted really. I would still highly recommend it as the things it does well it does better than any other game out there.
  22. Perfect Dark (The Initiative)

    The original Perfect Dark was ahead of its time. I'll be honest it's hard to imagine a new game capturing the same feel as the original since FPSs have moved on so much since. All I really want from a new FPS is something that gives it a unique identity, thinking about games like Titanfall 2 (and Apex), Doom, Halo etc, as opposed to another COD knock-off.
  23. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    Well in the end the guy showed up with my PS5 at half 9 last night. Bloke looked a bit disgruntled and after he left I noticed the box had been dropped in what looked like cat poo. Not exactly 5 star service but at least I have my PS5. Managed to set up my PS5, move everything across and play about 15 minutes of Astro. Initial impressions: The console is mega chonks The Dual Sense is a great step up from the DS4. You could tell just from picking it up for the first time that it felt premium and a good built quality, something I've never felt about any of the incarnations of Dual Shock The haptic feedback is excellent, feels even better than the Switch's HD rumble and that's no knock on the HD rumble at all. Perhaps it's just that Astro makes such good use of it that is really highlights its capability I'm not so fond of how the controller's speaker is used in Astro. I get what they were trying to do (combine the rumble with the speaker sound) but the problem with a controller speaker is the audio quality is always going to be worse than what comes out of the TV Really impressed with the technology in the triggers. Ironically since I'm not used to it yet its a bit immersion breaking since every time it's used in Astro I remember that I'm holding a controller. But I can see how amazing it could be in shooters and racing games where it's used a bit more subtly. The cynic in me is saying that it will lazily be used in QTEs (I'm imagining the next God of War game a QTE scenario where instead of hammering X to lift a boulder you will be using the triggers) Moving over the my stuff from PS4 was surprisingly quick UI is nice and simple, feels way smoother/quicker than PS4 Looking forward to the end of today so I get to play it more over the weekend.
  24. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    Got an email from Hermes saying they had received my PS5, it's with the courier and will be delivered today. Six minutes later I get another email from Hermes saying they won't be able to deliver today.
  25. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    I made the mistake of only pre-ordering the console and not the accessories, it seems as if the headset and the charging station are out of stock everywhere. I can certainly live without the charging station but would like the headset at some point. I'm hoping they improve the microphone over the newer version of the PS4 Gold headset, was disappointed to find out it was a step down from the original.