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Everything posted by Julius

  1. We've finally got the first official confirmation of the next Grand Theft Auto being in active development. From the Rockstar Newswire: And thus continues the growing trend of announcing games in blogs to drive staff hiring.
  2. Grand Theft Auto VI (2025)

    Digital Foundry's technology breakdown of the trailer is up, and suddenly I know what I'm doing after I clock out today Man, love their stuff so much. Stayed up waaaaaaaaaay too late the other night watching their DF Retro videos on Gran Turismo
  3. Absolutely, though the way in which Ben left still shocks and hurts me the most looking back, and felt way more sudden. Kyle makes some level of sense, I think he burned himself out creatively I think using EZA as a creative outlet for something which would always have performed better as a solo venture, and needed a recharge. I genuinely think there was a chance he could've returned if not for COVID delaying his course plans and his solo stuff then taking off, it seemed like he needed a recharge. Jones makes sense to me too, leaving when he did: kid being born and having health problems; the stress of having his home become his workplace for the company pre-COVID, finally transitioning everyone out and to the studio...only to end up stuck back at home thanks to COVID; a laundry list of creative things he wanted to do (like write some books); and likely still sitting on a pretty penny or two still from the GT acquisition. But Ben leaving so soon and in such a hurried way after being announced to step up as overseeing copy alongside Blood, finally finding his voice and announcing reviews would be getting voiced by the writer, and so on, is such a shame. His relationship and wellbeing obviously has to come before all of this, I think he was thinking of where his future lies and hopes for raising a family and seemed to be the worst hit by COVID mentally and so on, but it hurt to see one of the best writing talents in the industry just...vanish. Not even go remote, or to a new place; he was just gone. I think it stings even more seeing as Kyle at least comes into town for SGF and TGAs, and so will turn up once or twice a year on Frame Trap or the main podcast, we also get his thoughts and everything else through his own content, whereas Jones still voices a fair bit for the Allies, and heck, I wanted to know what his thoughts were on the GTA VI trailer and they just called him up in their reactions yesterday. Meanwhile, there's not even a hint of Ben wanting to have anything to do with the industry. Maybe it hurt him so much to leave, we'll probably never know, but where I think Kyle was essential for the podcast to flourish, it's genuinely disheartening that one of the more nuanced voices (did Ben seriously ever have a hot take which didn't come from a place of understanding of and passion for the medium?) in the industry just isn't heard anywhere anymore. Anyways, Ben rant over. It still stings, I guess. Brad has hard-carried the Allies as of late with his number of reviews and keeping Frame Trap going, so it's yet another case of arguably their most talented leaving the company. It sucks, plain and simple. Yeah, unfortunately I think this was down to Gabby reacting very quickly with the initial apology and Blood jumped on the grenade – but took a while to really think it over and clear things up. Damage was done as soon as it took longer than 24 hours to be honest and communicate how they felt about it and what was going on. This was my first thought too, and while I don't think it's impossible, I do think it'd be a weird look if Brad were to leave EZA for LSM after everything that went down. Nothing I'd personally take issue with when it comes to Colin (I don't give an iota of an f* about silly American politics so that's not it, we have enough problems closer to home, and I find it hard to care enough to listen to the lost cause over here as it is), he just seems too low energy for me personally when I've watched his stuff (going the other way I think KFG can be very, very guilty of feeling like they're faking hype, especially Tim), and I'll likely check Brad out wherever he goes – at least for a little bit. Whatever he does it has to be him and his future first and foremost, and not for someone on either side to be "taking a stand" or what have you. It seems unlikely to me that Brad would look to move location for a number of reasons (not least because it'd mean leaving Huber after all of the stuff he's been through, though the vibe I get from Huber is that he'd 100% support Brad to go wherever) to another outlet, so I could see the role being remote or not too far from where he's currently located in LA if that is the case. I think if it's a spot in journalism then it's realistically down to LSM, IGN, and KFG – Brad at least has a friend in Dustin at LSM, plus I swear he's said before that he listened to Colin and Greg back in the day, so there's half of that duo; he's been friendly with KFG historically (Greg and Tim in particular); and IGN, while it's not what it once was, is still pretty much the biggest of the bunch, and I could see Brad moving there to feel like he's moved up. Then you've got MinnMaxx, which is probably too small and too far afield to be seriously considered (also, besides Ben Hanson, just not quite consistently there). GI is dead. It also depends a lot, I guess, on what his role is going to be. He's churned out reviews like a bit of a mad man while also hosting Frame Trap, so is it going to be a case of him wanting to be a reviewer first and foremost, or a personality? No idea But the way he phrased it definitely makes me wonder if it's perhaps something beyond gaming journalism, and actually getting into the biz in some kind of way. He's fostered excellent relationships with Square Enix and From Software over the last few years, so if he is to leave the Allies for pastures anew, why not hope that it's something even better than staying in the journalism game? Compared to the time when he would look up to journalists growing up and then got into the business, the path to "the top" and long-term job security is so cloudy in gaming journalism. I mean, that's fair, I didn't used to be his biggest fan either! I don't know how much of his content you've watched since Ben left but he did seriously step up as Frame Trap host, it took a little bit of time to warm up to the hot seat but I think he really delivered, and he's basically carried EZA's review game this past 12 months or so. Almost as if after seeing Kyle, Jones, and Ben leave that he knew the writing might be on the wall, so he's done everything he can to get him some security in the future. Personally, it probably helps that after Ben left, Brad was the closest to me in gaming taste and also just having a bit more nuance and a bit less blind allegiance and hype than some of the others at EZA. They got a community manager in far too late, I think, and as much as they like to deny it, Gabby 1000% was brought in because she was already friendly with them. Nothing against her personally, but I think she's the wrong fit for the vibe of that group. It's true, they never really had a backup for losing talent, but I still get the feeling that they could've convinced Kyle to stay way back when and have avoided a lot of this mess. I think the problem with having 9 members share the company is that no single voice is strong enough to persuade another and they don't want to step on the toes of others. It's totally a vibe thing, but who on earth in that room would be going "no, Kyle, stay. If you need a break, by all means, but we want and need you here?" Jones maybe, but his approach to EZA - much as I appreciate Jones - felt very hands-off and like a transition into stepping away and retiring more than anything, he simply wasn't driving the thing forward (and that, again, perhaps is in part due to no longer actually being The Boss™). Isla is a weird one for me to have left as arguably the only ambitious and creative member, simply because so much of her ambition and creativity lies far away from what I think made EZA and GT successful as producers of content – I think she adds plenty to the existing content and the ideas of others, but not necessarily as someone built to design and create long-term stability through excellent and consistent content. Because of this it has always been an odd one for me to see her running the shop alongside Blood, because while I think she's definitely a great shoulder to lean on from the outside looking in (like supporting Huber in a tremendous way when he's gone through several rough patches), I ultimately don't think her - or Blood, for that matter - really got what made EZA a success to begin with. The impression that I've been increasingly under over the last 18 months or so is that the studio was on a long-term contract, and then hanging onto it going into 2024 suggests to me it was a 5 or 6 year deal (with some potentially weird caveat for the year or so of not going into the studio due to COVID?). In a way that hurts to think about and is unfortunately very ironic, their main goal of landing the studio seems to have been doing nothing but biting them in the ass ever since COVID stepped in and forced them out. Firstly: love SomeGameNews, they're who I've been checking out the last few weeks (and years, really!) to get a taste for how things used to be again. If you don't already, would very highly recommend also checking out EZA Weekly Clips for covering a good chunk of their funniest stream moments from 2018 to 2021. Yeah, we've talked about it a fair through the years as people have left, but I totally agree. I do think COVID really messed up a lot of their momentum and plans for the studio, because that first year in the studio, for me, was a pretty solid transition out of the garage and into a new space – it just took a while to get things going, I think. But since they returned to the studio after COVID, it did noticeably become a case of "business as usual", and I definitely could feel at times that they were a bit at a loss with what to actually do with the space. I don't think there's anything wrong with having a studio, and I think without COVID they'd be in a much better space both financially and mentally (and likely still have Ben around, I think, at the very least), so it made sense as a next best step. Similarly, the reason that I think that they were right to not immediately resort to just continuing working from home and podcasting via Zoom or what have you is because, regardless of the fact they'd be wasting money on a studio that they're not using, the next best way to upgrade your podcast - and any creative content, for that matter - is to do it in-person rather than over video call. The vibes of doing something in-person are so subtly but enormously different to doing it over a video call, and I can speak to this in spades for many, many reasons, both personally and professionally. Kyle, Jones and Ben leaving left a gaping hole, and I think Brad leaving only makes that hole wider. Kyle was always down for a bit, and while that wasn't for everyone, he was also an excellent podcast host (and guest) capable of pulling so much more out of whatever panel he found himself on; I've listened to a lot of podcast hosts over the years, and for me, even if you don't vibe with his bits and sense of humour, Kyle is absolutely one of the best podcast hosts I've ever heard covering any topic, period. He just gets it. I mean, how many podcasts or podcast shows have you watched or listen to that forget that the audio part of the podcast and LISTENERS are at the absolute base level who you are trying to remember and please? Think about just how many times over the years Kyle went "for listeners, ..." and explained what was going on. Podcasts are about audio first and visuals second, and that Kyle remembered this in a time where so many podcasts forget this and are looking for multiple angles with switchers, 4K cameras, and so on, really just shines the light for me on how many don't understand the most basic principles of the medium they find themselves working in. Jones was and is unapologetically a huuuuuuuuuge open world, toys-to-life, and mobile game fan at a time when so many hardcore gamers and journalists don't give these things a second look or serious consideration, is great at filling dead air (in the kindest way, and probably the only ally besides Kyle capable of really doing so on the fly; an essential co-host), and I was genuinely praying that he would somehow be part of their GTA VI reactions – yeah, Huber has been getting more amped for that game over the years, but Jones is a diehard Rockstar fan and it's clear as day to me that very few people would react as genuinely as him to what we got the other day. Ben was the best traditional copy-writing review in games journalism by the time he left, period. Had he been around some 10 or 15 years earlier, there's zero doubt in my mind that he'd be at the top of the pile as an editor-in-chief at a place like IGN or Game Informer. He had the most diverse game taste of the bunch, easily played the most games, and most importantly for me, had the most nuanced opinions. It is so incredibly easy and reductive to hate or love a thing in this day and age where extremes are the norm, so to see Ben struggle with his passion for games and some terrible decisions by developers over the years was a strange delight, and something like Death Stranding comes to mind as a prime example of what I mean: I think he scored that game a 6 (or something like that), despite enjoying so much of what it was and was trying to do? And then Brad, who after Ben probably had the second most diverse taste in games of the bunch (read: excellent taste, no bias here) coupled with being great at playing games, meant he's probably the one of the Allies who saw the most growth from when EZA started to when him leaving at the end of the month, spurred on most perhaps by Ben leaving last year. What you're left with without those Allies is virtually no interesting discussion, period. I will always appreciate the Allies in any form for what they've given me, personally - a safe escape I can freely go back to - but with Huber being the hype man, who out of Blood, Isla, and Don, in all seriousness, can match that energy and challenge Huber to be more than just the hype man, but look at games from new perspectives in the way that those no longer at EZA instilled in him? This entire post got long, but yeah, it's a very sad day, I think, to learn all this. More than anything else I'm genuinely concerned for Huber, as he's found himself battered from all sides by one traumatic life event after another these past few years, and now is losing the chance to work side-by-side with his childhood best friend who he's watched soar, while he - through no fault of his own, and I'll never blame him for this - has found himself slipping. It's funny that in life there are these weird inflection points where you move out or that show you watched for years on end gets cancelled and suddenly everything feels so...foreign. Garage era Easy Allies will forever and always be the pinnacle of gaming channels, so knowing this in my heart of hearts...do I even bother to try to look for a replacement? Or do I find myself stepping away from listening to gaming podcasts in general? Very interesting to have this news land at what is naturally a very reflective time of year, going into the holidays. Anyways, I find that this is always applicable, so:
  4. Konami and WayForward teaming up for this Contra reimagining is not what I was expecting!
  5. Easy Allies is going part-time, and Brad is going to be leaving come the end of the year this follows Damiani going back home to Texas and starting to work remotely a few weeks ago to be closer to family. Frame Trap is getting bundled into the main podcast and the Allies don't sound like they'll be sticking to hard review deadlines to focus on working around each other. Very sad to see Brad go, he really stepped up to the plate with Frame Trap and elsewhere after Ben left last year – unfortunately, it felt like he was the only one to really make that step up, so it's not a surprise to see him have an offer on the table and be ready to go. Curious to see where he lands, especially after the very messy Last Stand Media stuff about a month ago. Feels like yet another nudge in the direction of the beginning of the end, though perhaps this one is more of a shove? I've been revisiting old Frame Traps and main podcast episodes the last few weeks and man, I really miss all the members who have left so far (Kyle, Brandon, Ben) and it's just gutting to see things start to wind down; but I guess it's the journey and not the destination, and all that.
  6. Goodbye generic art style of New Super Mario Bros., and hello Wonder! Looks gorgeous and like it has a fair few fresh ideas!
  7. Grand Theft Auto VI (2025)

    Unsurprisingly, the trailer for the game has reached 60 million views in just 12 hours on YouTube, already breaking the 24 hour record for a non-music video (previously held by Mr Beast, which was 46 million views for a video in August of this year), and is currently tracking to break the 24 hour record for any video (the record is 108 million for Dynamite by BTS). Not surprising, but crazy stuff. Also, side note, I knew South Korea had been flexing it's soft power of late (Blackpink got MBEs the other week?), but I didn't realise that 9 (!!!) of the current top 10 most viewed videos in 24 hours are by K-Pop groups (BTS and Blackpink; the odd one out is Taylor Swift at #9). That's wild. Anyways, watched the trailer a few more times, and it's grown on me. It might be an 8. Still nothing absolutely mind-blowing after Red Dead Redemption II, I don't think, but it just raises so many questions. Like, are pets a thing? It looks like pets are a thing? If so – is that our pet 'gator busting into that convenience store?! In all seriousness, though, and there only being one PS5 out there aside: the Pro is rumoured for and expected by the end of next year, so...probably get 30+ fps on that thing? I'd be shocked if this game ran at 60 fps on that thing, but then again, Cerny pulled off some pretty crazy things with the PS4 Pro, so maybe he'll sauce this one up real nice too.
  8. So, uh, yeah, I guess it's Dragon Quest Day, so for the 25th anniversary of the series this video was put out – ending with the reveal that a new entry in the series is in development for the Nintendo Switch! That music is charming as all heck, as is what I've seen and heard about the Monsters games. Definitely going to be keeping an ear to the ground on this one!
  9. Rumoured previously, supported by leaks a few days ago with a PS5 SKU being spotted on the PS Store backend, and now leaked completely: The Last of Us Part II Remastered. The most interesting parts are probably the Lost Levels (getting to play three new early development versions of levels not included on the 2020 release) and the Roguelike Survival Mode: Nothing to indicate a PC release as of yet. Almost certainly a TGAs announcement I'd imagine, but man, Naughty Dog just haven't been able to catch a break on the leaks front of late, have they? For those keeping count, that's now all four of their PS4 offerings updated and made available as native PS5 releases. Wasn't sure how I felt about Part I, but loving the first game as much as I did, I had to bite out of curiosity. I've yet to return to Part II or get its Platinum, so I think that's something I'll be doing first before thinking about picking up the Remastered version.
  10. Grand Theft Auto VI (2025)

    A couple more details about the game courtesy of Take Two's press release, including that the games are first coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S: Not really a surprise that it's dodging PC at launch considering Rockstar's launch history. Back at the end of October an 11-page patents file was discovered relating to the game's development from earlier in the year (Kotaku), and someone on Reddit put it into layman's terms: I hate that this helps us to age the guy who uploaded it more than anything It's definitely crazy to see them so casually being all "uh, guys, over here please?" and have it be a guaranteed top Twitter post in terms of interaction
  11. Trailer for No Return: Looks like great fun! You know what would make it better? CO-OP! (seriously though ND if you aren't on this already get on it pleaseeeeeeee)
  12. Grand Theft Auto VI (2025)

    Death, taxes, and leaks. After all the nonsense over the weekend with Rob Garbut's son('s friend? alleged friend?) and the leaks way back of alpha footage, seems like this game just can't catch a break. 2025 is definitely further out than I think we all expected, especially off the back of the Take Two shareholder stuff earlier this year, but, well, can't exactly say I'm short of games to play, so I'm happy to wait as long as needed, especially seeing as the culture at Rockstar has reportedly been shaken up quite a bit since Red Dead Redemption II's launch and crunch in the build-up to said launch. I'm hoping that this is just a case of them doing right by their people if it's not just simply a case of wanting to make sure the game releases in the best state possible. Definitely a shame it leaked, but absolutely the right move to just drop the trailer: once it was out there, in any form, it was out there for good, and they might as well own it and immediately take the power away from the leaker/s. These two minutes will always be the perfect characterisation of leakers to me, in no way do leakers like these ever deserve the two seconds of highs they're looking for. Neither, though I personally don't know what they could've shown me to bowl me over with GTA VI. It's not like I have any attachment to Vice City or any real attachment to the other GTA games either, so you'd need to wow me with gameplay, which like you said, they just didn't want to show off here which is probably the right call. They've at least got the Miami vibe down and parodied as much as it needs to be in this day and age, and I'm very curious about the decision of having a female protagonist who is a person of colour while then also having a kinda generic looking white guy as the other protag. I do kind of adore the cut at 60s with the drum beat and the guy going through the table, though and I do like their music choice here, as I always seem to with their games and trailers, even if I will 100% be blasting The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again the entire time I play this game (thanks, CSI: Miami)! I will commend them for at least using in-engine footage, though (even if it was most likely captured on PC). CGI trailers can be great for setting the tone in very rare instances for insanely hyped games, but otherwise, I find it laughable just how many publishers try to get away with them in the AAA space. I think it's sad that they've had a mini resurgence of sorts since COVID, it feels like we're sliding back to 2016 in one too many ways for my liking. Red Dead Redemption II's first trailer blows this one out of the water, for me For those who have watched it, what would you rate it /10? I think it's a solid 7 – gets the job done, hints at some gameplay elements and raises some questions (dual protags? potential further interaction with vehicles besides just standing on top of them or sitting in them? potential further ways to interact with NPCs suggested by the stick-up?), solid track choice, but doesn't really do anything to blow me away. It sets the tone for me that this game and it's marketing isn't going to look to overcomplicate and over promise – and that's exactly where we should be with the game over a year out and promising to break records anyways. It's hard to say without having a HUD up (or at least a playable camera angle?) and almost certainly running on PC, but I actually think this not feeling mind-melting in any way is a good sign that it's going to be not too far off from what we end up with. Some aesthetic choices aside and it being set in the modern day, it doesn't look like a huge leap from Red Dead Redemption II – maybe just a single step up the ladder, mainly from increased onscreen population (seeing way more people in one place than I remember ever really seeing in the whole of RDR2) and other things like vehicle speed vs horses calling for faster load-in of assets and textures, etc. This seems to me that it's more like a sidestep to focus on what's under the hood of this engine in terms of interactivity with NPCs and so on. The amount of crocodiles turning up also just had me going "well, now that I think about it, Miami makes PERFECT sense if you're building off the fauna in Red Dead II!" Personally, I'll be shocked if this isn't locked 30 fps (or thereabouts) on current consoles, simply because Rockstar seems like it's the kind of studio full of perfectionists. Anything more than that is going to be saved for the next-gen and next-next-gen remasters, of course
  13. General Retro Discussion

    Thanks @Hero-of-Time @Ike @Dcubed I think what I'll do for now is pick up Kaico's PS2 to HDMI, as it's already in stock, and sign up for the newsletter to see when the Rad2x ends up back on stock, then see if it's something I feel the need for when it gets back in stock Any thoughts on playing PS1 games on PS2 over PS3, or vice versa?
  14. Well, we've got threads for the NES and SNES Online apps, so here's one for the upcoming Expansion Pack, which will include N64 and SEGA Mega Drive games, as announced in the September 2021 Nintendo Direct. The Expansion Pack will be launching in late October 2021. Software Nintendo 64 Launch line-up: Select titles, such as Mario Kart 64, will also include support for local and online multiplayer for up to four players. Future titles: SEGA Mega Drive Launch line-up: Hardware Wireless N64 and SEGA Mega Drive controllers will be made available to Nintendo Switch Online members. These will each be priced at £39.99 / €49.99. Other details We have also had confirmation that all N64 games included in the service can be played in their 60Hz versions in Europe too. The original European PAL versions will be available on select titles too, but this seemed to be one of the concerns I'd seen floated around about the service, so it's nice to get an update!
  15. General Retro Discussion

    Got a couple of questions now that I'm thinking of breaking out the PS2 and picking up some PS1 games; aware that I could Google some of this stuff, but so many threads end up devolving into pumping out lists of technical terms and acronyms, so figured I'd ask here to hopefully cut through some of that stuff: • for a PS2 to HDMI adapter, is something like Kaico's PS2 to HDMI best? Or is there another adapter that would be recommended over that one? • for playing PS1 games, I imagine the general consensus is going to be that it plays best on the original hardware – but, while I do still have my old PS1 kicking around at my parents' house, I'd like to keep the number of consoles in my TV console (heh) down. So, would it be recommended that I play PS1 games on PS2 or on PS3? I have one of those old fat PS2s, for reference, and I can't remember having any issues playing any of my PS1 games on it back in the day. Appreciate any thoughts and direction with this! really looking forward to seeing my PS2 again, it's been a while
  16. Finished this off earlier tonight. Alright, firstly, seems like now Nagoshi's left it's clear that someone else at RGG is responsible for the craziness that is the hostess clubs, because it was seriously dialled up to eleven here with some of those dates definitely felt a bit more awkward having IRL footage with ring lights reflecting on the hostesses eyes, especially the glances at the really awkwardly placed script (the bottom centre of the screen...really?!) and them all seemingly wanting to rest their hand in the same spot (just out of frame, again at the bottom centre of the screen...really?!?!). It's been an interesting year for horny AAA games (Zelda fan art, XVI, Armored Core VI fan art, Baldur's Gate III) , and this might just be the horniest and most depraved of the bunch very cultured lot over there at RGG, that's for sure Anyways, as for the actual story events of the final chapter... Spent a good chunk of my final session at the arcade, by the way, and damn - as ever in these virtual arcades - was that some good fun loved Virtua Fighter (again, as I always do), using Charlie and kick juggling in Viper Fighters 2 kicking people through the side of the arena was coooooooool, Sonic the Fighters was neat and so was SEGA RACING CLASSIC 2, but Motor Raid might be the highlight for me this time around! An entire racing game which basically has the motorcycle FF VII chase mechanics is perfect Something I noticed throughout the game but thought I'd wait to comment on until I'd finished up is the narrative QTEs in this game: there are surprisingly few, it feels like, compared to other games in the series...but it also seems like there were a whole bunch of them cut? Throughout the game there are certainly moments of slowdown, for example someone jumping you from behind a door, which in other games is 100% a QTE, but wasn't here. I know this was developed in six months, so maybe they had some outlined and just forgot to cut the slowdown when they got to it? Seemed very strange, whatever the reason For those who have finished the game, let's get to speculating about something... Overall, while a bit rough around the edges at times, Gaiden is yet another fantastic entry into the Yakuza/Like A Dragon tapestry. It's shorter, much shorter (I think it's the first time I've spent less than 40 hours with an RGG game since...4?), and so much of the content here is propped up in side content, but it maintained all the same stupid, fun, hilarious and tearjerking melodrama that this series has come to be known and loved for. It's amazing what they achieved in such a short period with this game, and they've added a great roster of new characters we could potentially see return in the future. I would love to see more Gaiden games if it props the series up between entries at a time when game dev seems to be getting longer and more taxing across the board, but the question is, who do we get a side story of next? Majima? Saejima? Akiyama? Heck, do we fill out the stories of some major players from earlier games, like Dojima, Ryuji Goda...or heck, throw it way back and experience a completely different era of Kamurocho through the lens of a rising Kazama? That would be really interesting! Last but not least, I have to get this off my chest: I think it's a shame that this game released when it did in the year, and in a series as long as this one where so many people won't get to Gaiden while they procrastinate on playing the rest of the games, because I feel Takaya Kurada should have been recognised here for his work as Kiryu's VA. He knocks it out of the park in every game - has done for a long time - but he crushed this opportunity to show off greater range and subtle differences here, which really meant no punches were pulled when it came to some of the heavier moments in the game. Kudos to him and to RGG, and roll on Infinite Wealth!
  17. Football Season 2023/24

    The fact that even Anthony freaking Taylor of all people was on the sidelines with a face screaming "oh Simon, you utter twonk!" says all that needs to be said about that decision. I don't understand how these refs just keep getting worse. There was definitely a point not too long ago where you could look at refs and their decisions and think there's some level of corruption or club allegiance or insider betting, but maybe Occam's Razor really is always what we need all along, because these guys seriously seem way too inept to consciously mess up a football match. Anyways, some cracking goals in that Liverpool game today, and nice to see us pick up some points in the consistently inconsistent way we have done for a while now, bringing us to a grand total of...19 points in 14 games. Fantastic stuff lads.
  18. Let's pretend we had no idea that this was happening because NetherRealm seem to want to challenge Ubisoft for the title of Leakiest (totally a word) Ship™ Turning into a great year for the big-hitting fighting games, between this, Street Fighter 6, and Tekken 8 being scheduled for later this year/early next!
  19. Oh man that music exclusively available to NSO members
  20. Hype trailer for the TGAs: Roll on stupid o'clock on Friday morning
  21. Mortal Kombat 1 (19th September 2023)

    Sees Armored Core VI (also, great write-up on MK1 )
  22. General Retro Discussion

    Went to Birmingham Comic Con with some mates yesterday; brought a bit of cash with me, but didn't really expect that I'd come across anything I'd be genuinely interested in (as I'm still living in an apartment and like not feeling overwhelmed by hoards of stuff ). Naturally, the very first stall we hit up ended up being a big retro games stall, with probably a few hundred retro games, and it was very busy (turned out to be the only big gaming stall there). It was set out with two rows consisting of big chunky boxes filled with games on tables, but because of the layout, you could barely make out/reach the back boxes, and with it being so busy too, shuffling around was a bit awkward. Working from the right of the store to the left (where the checkout was), I started scanning over the PS2 games, and nothing with an English title was really catching my eye; there were some okay games, but nothing that had me really getting excited. Then, I started to flick through the Japanese PS2 titles they had, which was probably ¾ of the size of their English PS2 offerings. Flicked through the first box of Japanese games, and well: I picked out Shadow of the Colossus, and well, even if I can't play it, it just seemed right to have it in Japanese and a great way to commemorate a game I love (also I've been thinking about buying the Japanese art book for the game, so this happening felt like fate ). The box looks awesome, it's one of my favourite games, it wasn't too pricey: absolutely getting that. And the game next to it in the box? Not one but two copies of ICO, in really nice condition! It was a bit pricier compared to some of the other games they were selling (which makes sense) but by no means an unfair amount to ask for, so I copped one of those, too don't have the same level of attachment to it as I do Shadow, but it's still a damn fine game. A quick flick through had me find Japanese copies of Dragon Quest VIII and the PS2 version of Dragon Quest V, so there were definitely some pretty nice Japanese copies here! Following this we flicked through and shuffled past the English PS1 titles, which weren't anything crazy or noteworthy, and then it was past the Xbox 360 titles and onto the PS3 ones, which were overwhelmingly Japanese copies. Started to flick through these but nothing was really catching my eye, and then one of my mates pointed out Dark Souls II – while it has really nice cover art, I've not played the game and the attachment isn't there to own a Japanese copy of it, so I'll pass. What came to mind instantly, though, was if they would have a Japanese version of Dark Souls, which I think has one of the finest examples of modern box art, and I've seen thrown around in favourite box art lists online for years. But how would I find it? All of these games were in boxes filled chock-a-block and with only their spines with Japanese text showing...so I grabbed the Dark Souls II and studied it's spine: black, what I imagine is 'Dark Souls' or something to that effect in Japanese, and then a '2'. Okay, well, I don't speak Japanese, but I can match two patterns well enough, so I just need to find this text on a spine, and I imagine there's a good chance the spine is black (which would help it stand out as so many of these other spines were white). I must've looked a bit off, like a video game collecting version of Indiana Jones, as I started holding up the copy of Dark Souls II at eye level and flashing glances at the games lined up. Nothing in this box, nothing in that box...how about that black spined game at the back, well out of reach? The text...it matches up! And sure enough, that was a Japanese copy of Dark Souls, and the only one they had after retrieving it some guy walking past over my shoulder went and commented on the Japanese copy of Dark Souls II, before I showed him what I'd just grabbed, and he smiled and laughed as if to say "you lucky SOB" After that pretty epic find, I continued to flick through the PS3 games, but I don't think anything was going to be more interesting to me than finding that copy of Dark Souls. While doing this, though - shoulder-to-shoulder with other game collectors - out of the corner of my eye to my left and in the boxes of Japanese PS1 games, a guy is flicking through when suddenly a very familiar cover - for the teeniest fraction of a second - flashes through my periphery. Out loud: wait...was that Suikoden? We slowly shuffle away over as more people leave the scene, and I'm trying to keep quiet about spotting Suikoden so no-one else picks it up, and sure enough, it was! Yeah, sure, I'd prefer an English copy, but they're stupidly expensive and I already own the game digitally, so this is a nice way to just appreciate the game and have it take up some space on my shelf, which is fully deserved. Suikoden got picked up. Continued to flick through their Japanese PS1 games, unfortunately they didn't have a copy of Suikoden II I could pair it with, but still, they had a really nice selection of Japanese PS1 games, which were overwhelmingly JRPGs! I got so close to picking up JP copies of Final Fantasy IX and Tactics, but talked myself down, but damn did they look so clean. These were all in thin plastic sleeves, so when I got back I started opening them up, and found that I absolutely adored the disc art for ICO and Shadow of the Colossus: While I had a great time at the Con in general, this being the first stall just meant everything else was a comedown from that point on. Outside of things like CeX, this is the first time I've flicked through retro games in this way, I think, ever? I've ordered all of my other purchases in this thread online. Everything was in decent condition, I forgot how much I missed the weightiness of these boxes being packed with manuals and the like, it was nice to just exchange small talk with other JRPG and/or PS1 fans (a guy came over and specifically was like "yo, where your PS1 JRPGs at?" ). The haul of Japanese copies of these awesome games came to the grand total of..! £60! The entire experience has got me considering picking up more retro games - it was really fun and exciting, I had an absolute blast just looking through - and if I do so, I think I'll be making a concerted effort to do so in-person when and where I can; as it turns out, a very highly rated retro games store is only around 20 minutes from where I live and it's one I actually passed hundreds of times on my way to college, so I think I'll need to make a point drop by in the next few weeks. I'm still going to figure out the intricacies of what I would and wouldn't want to pick up for the sake of my wallet, especially with so many games being remastered and on modern consoles these days, but yeah, I think it'll be time to pick up an HDMI adapter soon and break out the PS2, too, because the whole thing certainly put me in the mood