JCPhoenix's recent activity

  1. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    Mainly FFXIV. I think I'm halfway through Heavensward content. I feel I might actually stay in FFXIV for longer than usual (1-3mo) this time since I've found myself looking at RDM guides and even...

    Mainly FFXIV. I think I'm halfway through Heavensward content. I feel I might actually stay in FFXIV for longer than usual (1-3mo) this time since I've found myself looking at RDM guides and even instance guides, which I've never really done before. Been very much enjoying EX instances, even though we wipe like 10 times before completing it (if we even do complete it).

    Picked up a game called Jack Move yesterday on Steam. JRPG-style cyberpunk-influenced game. Doesn't seem to take itself too seriously though. Only played about an hour so far, but liking the look and feel and definitely interested in some of the systems. Like instead of magic spells, my character is using software. And she has slots on her "deck" to allow for more RAM, so she can load more software (ie have more spells). A bit overtop and cringey with the cyberpunk-influenced dialog at times, but nothing too crazy.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Steam Deck production update (it's good news) in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    I've had mine since May. I love this thing. I use it at least a few times/hours per week even when I'm at home.

    I've had mine since May. I love this thing. I use it at least a few times/hours per week even when I'm at home.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    I went back to Final Fantasy XIV a couple weeks ago. Was feeling that MMO itch, especially since I stopped playing Eve Online back in like March or April. I've played FFXIV on and off since before...

    I went back to Final Fantasy XIV a couple weeks ago. Was feeling that MMO itch, especially since I stopped playing Eve Online back in like March or April. I've played FFXIV on and off since before the remake/redo was released.

    More importantly, after so many years, I've finally finished the main story quest of the base game! My main character was originally a Lvl 50 THM/BLM, but I am very bad at skill and spell rotations. So I bought all the game expansions so I could, A) continue on the main story, and B) also start playing as a Red Mage. The skill/spell rotations are super easy as an RDM, so I'm enjoying the game a lot more. Think I'm about halfway through the Heavensward expansion already. Probably gonna look for a Free Company (guild) soon.

    Literally just finished "The Great Ace Attorney Adventures and Chronicles" (Steam) -- the latest "Phoenix Wright" game. Took me a forever, since I put it down for over a year (think I've even talked about it in a past thread). But I definitely enjoyed it, and I think it's one of the best installments in the series, even though this is technically a spin-off. I loved the format, with all the cases being related and intertwined, coming together at the end and wrapping everything up. Definitely has a darker-than-usual storyline, which I appreciated.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on Tactics Ogre: Reborn, a remake of the Super Famicom title, will release on November 11 in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    Played this on PSP some years ago. Probably the best tactical RPG I've ever played. I think it's even better than Final Fantasy Tactics, and I love that game. Easy day one buy for me. I'll try a...

    Played this on PSP some years ago. Probably the best tactical RPG I've ever played. I think it's even better than Final Fantasy Tactics, and I love that game.

    Easy day one buy for me. I'll try a different path this time.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on 'Shocking breach of faith' | Spectrum owes $7 billion in punitive damages for murder of Texas customer in ~news

    JCPhoenix
    Link Parent
    Usually a GDPR thing. Your local ABC affiliate, since it's mostly serving a local audience, doesn't want to put the work and money in to satisfy the EU's GDPR. So instead it just geoblocks.

    Usually a GDPR thing. Your local ABC affiliate, since it's mostly serving a local audience, doesn't want to put the work and money in to satisfy the EU's GDPR. So instead it just geoblocks.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    Back to playing The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. It's a Phoenix Wright game. I believe I'm nearly halfway through it. I've written about it before here, the game sometimes being a bit to...

    Back to playing The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. It's a Phoenix Wright game. I believe I'm nearly halfway through it. I've written about it before here, the game sometimes being a bit to verbose, even for what's essentially a visual novel. But overall, it's fun and lighthearted. Enjoying playing it again.

    Not really playing yet, but keeping an eye on: Last Oasis. Early access apocalyptic Survival-ish and MMO-ish game. I love and hate this game, which means I love it. But the development has been less than stellar over the last year 2yrs or so. 4 "seasons" of playtests and I feel like it's gotten progressively worse. However, the devblogs started coming out again in preparation for Season 5 and the direction they're taking the game this time around seems promising. They're leaning more into the MMO elements, which I think is the right call. Very much reminds me of Eve Online, which is probably one of my favorite non-consensual PVP games. We shall see though. Survival + MMO is a difficult combination, because some part of their main differentiators are kinda antithetical. Survival games tend to have short runs (ie play for a week, then all progress is completely wiped and everyone starts over), while MMOs obviously never wipe, due to the time investments. MMOs tend to value community, even if competitive, while survival games can be toxic PVP slaughterfests. So yeah, we shall see.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Two weeks with the Steam Deck in ~games

    JCPhoenix
    Link Parent
    Unfortunately, I have no clue what you're talking about. I just looked up what Yuzu is, but I really haven't been in the emulation scene with these newer consoles. Usually when I'm looking for...

    Unfortunately, I have no clue what you're talking about. I just looked up what Yuzu is, but I really haven't been in the emulation scene with these newer consoles. Usually when I'm looking for emulators and ROMs, I'm old school, looking for SNES, GB-family, and rarely DS-family stuff (I still have a 3DS). Typically, when I still own a working console, I don't really care so much about emulation of that console.

    But I'll certainly be watching this Yuzu. Because maybe I'll sell my Switch. Or it breaks or something. Thanks for the heads up!

    3 votes
  8. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
    Link Parent
    Oof, that's too bad. Appreciate the heads up for others. But you know what it does look great on? Steam Deck!

    Oof, that's too bad. Appreciate the heads up for others.

    But you know what it does look great on? Steam Deck!

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Two weeks with the Steam Deck in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    I got mine last month. I love it. At first I was a bit ambivalent, but once I really started using it, I found that it's the best handheld console without a doubt. I love being able to play in bed...

    I got mine last month. I love it. At first I was a bit ambivalent, but once I really started using it, I found that it's the best handheld console without a doubt. I love being able to play in bed or while lounging on the couch.

    I went out of town for work last week, and instead of bringing my gaming laptop, I brought my Deck. I also brought a slim wireless keyboard, a wired mouse, and a headset, all connected via a USB-C hub. It all worked perfectly. It may seem silly to bring all that instead of the laptop, but I'm pretty sure it was still less weight than the laptop. Really, the only addition is the wireless keyboard, but I can go for a slimmer and lighter one if I wanted. With my gaming laptop, I still bring a mouse and headset. Plus the Deck, again, allows for versatility.

    Switching into Linux desktop mode, it also functioned as my regular computer for browsing reddit, email, etc. I used Discord and Teamspeak on it to talk with friends. The screen (and therefore, text) is a little tiny for general Internet browsing, but it worked for me nonetheless. I should've hooked it up to the TV in my hotel room. I tested connecting the Deck to an external monitor via USB-C hub and it worked well enough. At least in SteamOS mode; haven't tried Desktop mode yet.

    As a JRPG player, I'm hoping that more of the big-name games and series get released on Steam and become Deck-playable. I still use my PSP, Vita, and of course Switch. But if I can consolidate all to one system, how nice would that be? Obviously Nintendo's first-party series like Fire Emblem will never make an appearance. But that's about the only series that's still exclusive to anything.

    I'm the first of my friends to have a Deck. I couldn't recommend it enough to all of them.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    I've been playing Cloudpunk (Steam). Fairly relaxed story game about being an illegal delivery driver and occasional taxi driver in a futuristic city -- maybe even only remaining city in the world...

    I've been playing Cloudpunk (Steam). Fairly relaxed story game about being an illegal delivery driver and occasional taxi driver in a futuristic city -- maybe even only remaining city in the world -- that's so tall that it extends into the clouds. Kinda reminds me of the "Fifth Element," with the hovering or flying cars. As the name suggests, it has a cyberpunk theme, with your typical mass corporate rule and the commentary of the city's large social and economic inequalities.

    The story and sidequests aren't the most riveting, and I'm not even sure where the main story is going yet, but it's enough to keep me interested. Especially after playing for about 15hrs so far. The dialog and voice acting are well done and can be quite funny.

    It's a beautiful game. The world is 3D, but is done up in a subtle pixel/voxel style. I normally play in third-person (though 1st person is an option), but there's also a cool "side-scroller" mode that really shows off the art that is the city. Coupled with some decent weather effects, it does a great job with immersion.

    Hoping to finish it up this week.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on What did you do this week? in ~talk

    JCPhoenix
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    It's been a crazy week at work. We have big convention in about two weeks, and need to ship everything by end of next week, so this is crunch time. One of my responsibilities -- even though I'm...

    It's been a crazy week at work. We have big convention in about two weeks, and need to ship everything by end of next week, so this is crunch time. One of my responsibilities -- even though I'm the IT guy -- is to arrange shipping. We send 4-5 pallets of electronic and office equipment, marketing materials and signs, giveaway swag, and even our pressed, dry cleaned clothes, plus whatever else.

    Normally not a huge deal, but last year, we had all sorts of issues, with stuff almost not arriving on time. It was a nightmare. After asking friends who work with the logistics industry regularly and talking to people online who work in it, it seems like it's even worse this year. It's not unusual for pick-ups to be days late and for deliveries to be days or even weeks late these days. That's not going to work for something like an event where we require everything on time to host it successfully.

    So I've been looking to avoid that. People recommended dedicated and expedited service via sprinter vans or box trucks. After going back and forth with different brokers, we finally figured out the price. And it was 3x as much as we paid last year. We knew we'd pay more because of high fuel prices, and because this is dedicated service, but didn't think it'd be this high. Even the broker was surprised.

    As a last ditch effort, I was mentally prepping my boss, the 2IC, to get ready to rent a U-Haul truck and drive across the country! We would've saved over a thousand dollars if he drove, though he'd lose at least 16hrs of his life on the road. We're trying to be budget-conscious because we stand to lose a lot of money on this event; expected attendance is lower than anticipated. Some of our customers are still wary of large gatherings, some companies have no travel budget, and for those that do, flight and hotel prices are insane. For an event of this size, doesn't matter if you get 100 people or 1000 people; the fixed costs are roughly the same. And you can't tell what the attendance numbers will be when signing contracts (which was done years ago for this event) and arranging everything.

    Luckily, after presenting the options to my CEO this morning, he said, forget about the money, just do what we need to do to ensure everything gets there on time. So I informed our broker to start arranging everything. That's one less huge worry.

    But I won't be completely relieved until a) they actually pick up our pallets and b) it arrives at the convention center on time!

    1 vote
  12. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    Shadow Tactics is definitely next on my list. I've seen a lot of recommendations for it! And yeah, I hadn't heard of the Commandos series. I'll check those out, too. Thanks!

    Shadow Tactics is definitely next on my list. I've seen a lot of recommendations for it!

    And yeah, I hadn't heard of the Commandos series. I'll check those out, too. Thanks!

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    Finally finished Desparados 3 last week. I started it during the pandemic, but then put it down for over a year when I got stuck on a mission. Picked it up again the week before when I got bored...

    Finally finished Desparados 3 last week. I started it during the pandemic, but then put it down for over a year when I got stuck on a mission. Picked it up again the week before when I got bored and breezed through that mission and the rest of it! Just needed a "little bit" of time to think about my plan of action ;)

    Anyway, it's a great game. It's basically Hitman as an RTS of sorts. The characters and their stories are well put together, as is the overall story. As the name suggests, it's a Western that takes place in the US southwest but it goes east to Louisiana like Baton Rouge and New Orleans. I didn't play the first and second installations, so I'm not sure if the games' stories are related, but I didn't feel like I missed anything, either.

    Just like most stealth games, it's up to the player to determine how to complete the missions. I could go in guns blazing and knives flying, but I don't think I'd have enough ammo for that. Some of these missions have 100+ baddies on them. So stealth is definitely key. I could try to go in totally undetected...or I could stealth kill everyone. I chose the latter. Some missions took me 4-5hrs to sneakily kill everyone in a mission. Thank god for the game's built-in savescumming quicksave and quickload system.

    As someone who loves stealth action like the Hitman, Splinter Cell, and Deus Ex series, Desperados 3 was a perfect match. Would love to play a fourth installment some day.

    Other stuff I'm playing:

    • Got my Steam Deck two weeks ago! Got the 512GB version. I haven't been able to put in a lot of time with it, but so far it's good. It's not perfect by any means, but I haven't run into any major issues yet.
    • Was itching to play Stellaris again, so I did. Picked up the new Overlords DLC, too. I haven't seriously had a go in at least 2yrs, so it was a bit rough for me. So many changes. But from what I can tell, the DLCs, including past ones, are creating a more dynamic and challenging galaxy. Which I think is the point. It was pretty easy to subjugate the galaxy and win back in the day.
    • Since I got my Deck, started Coromon, a Pokemon-clone, yesterday. I'm only like an hour in, so can't say much yet. I do like the visual style and music. It reminds me of Earthbound for some reason. I haven't played a whole lot of Pokemon since Blue when I was a kid (last attempt was Pokemon Shield/Sword on the Switch), so I'm just playing casually.
    4 votes
  14. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    I started up Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4), for like the umpteenth time. I actually own an original PS2 collector's edition of this game. As well as the Switch version. Because I think...

    I started up Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4), for like the umpteenth time. I actually own an original PS2 collector's edition of this game. As well as the Switch version. Because I think this game is great. I love the look of the game, the setting, and the political machinations and literal palace intrigue. However...

    The story is soooo slow to me. Every playthrough, I get a bit further, but I feel like I'm always waiting for that turn or twist, or something to really happen but it never comes. Or at least I haven't seen it yet. And it's not like I haven't put the hours in. I think my furthest attempt was like 40hrs in. It's just slow. Which I accept, but it does make it hard to hold my attention.

    There are some things I'm not a fan of, the battle system being one. It does use an Active Battle System. Fights happen in the open world, not in some separate battle scene. I do control the location of my party lead. But it's still turn-based, though it's largely automated. The characters are "programmed" using the Gambit system. These are a series of prioritized if-then statements. So like if a party members drops below 70% HP, then have this character case Cure. Or if the target has the highest HP of the group of monsters, then attack it first.

    I'm actually fine with this part; it's a neat system that still offers the player some control over the characters (unlike in FF13 with its Paradigm system where characters are completely automated; the player just shifts the characters classes during battle; the player is abstracted away from the battle). It's just that there's still the traditional waiting time bar between actions. Even though it appears to be like a Western, active action RPG game, it's really not. Having just finished the FF7: Remake, which almost fully leans into a live, active battle system, it really makes FF12's battles feel slow, and the game overall even slower. I'm normally a fan of traditional turn-based JRPGs. But having a sorta compromise system subverts my expectations.

    The "new" Zodiac class system (I believe it was part of the original release in Japan, but wasn't part of the Western releases) is also causing some headache. At least right now in the early game. But I think that eventually sorta opens up and leads to better character stats/skills development, so I won't harp on that much. Plus this is getting long.

    Idk. I hope I can finish attempt this time. In fact, I'm going to go play some right now!

    2 votes
  15. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

    JCPhoenix
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    Still haven't stopped listening to Stromae's latest album, Multitude. It slaps. I don't even understand French (He's Belgian). L'enfer and Fils de Joie are great, along with pretty much all the...

    Still haven't stopped listening to Stromae's latest album, Multitude. It slaps. I don't even understand French (He's Belgian).

    L'enfer and Fils de Joie are great, along with pretty much all the other songs on the album, which are free to listen to on his YouTube channel.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
    Link Parent
    Ha, that's a great theory! I have a friend who's one of those fanboys. I think he enjoyed the game, is planning to play the next parts, but he definitely wasn't as open to the changes as I was. I...

    Ha, that's a great theory!

    I have a friend who's one of those fanboys. I think he enjoyed the game, is planning to play the next parts, but he definitely wasn't as open to the changes as I was. I say he's planning to complete it all, but it comes with the caveat, "if they don't keep changing it."

    I'm going to share this with him! ;D

    4 votes
  17. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
    Link Parent
    Multiplayer is definitely frustrating. There were initially 4 or 5 of us playing together, but we ran into all sorts of desync issues. Someone would build a base, definitely saved it, but then...

    Multiplayer is definitely frustrating. There were initially 4 or 5 of us playing together, but we ran into all sorts of desync issues. Someone would build a base, definitely saved it, but then we'd come back a little later, and the base or parts of the base were gone. At least one friend quit because of that. And I get it; he spent an hour or two sourcing materials and building, only for it to disappear? Who wants to waste time like that?

    While I'm glad they introduced multiplayer, it's so obvious that it was just shoehorned in.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
    Link Parent
    Your criticisms of NMS are spot on. I've only played after that big update that "fixed" everything. It's fun for a bit, but you're right that it's tedious and repetitive. I almost wish NMS had...

    Your criticisms of NMS are spot on. I've only played after that big update that "fixed" everything. It's fun for a bit, but you're right that it's tedious and repetitive. I almost wish NMS had some Satisfactory/Factorio-like automated manufacturing and storage systems in it. There's so much resource gathering and manufacturing in NMS, but none of it is managed well, IMO.

    I played with a friend during my last go at NMS. He saw that there's some new expansion coming out and seemed excited to play again, but I am personally not ready to deal with all that yet.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    JCPhoenix
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    I finished the Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS4) during the middle of the week. Second attempt at it after not getting very far two years ago. I restarted the game two weeks ago and just went at it. I...

    I finished the Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS4) during the middle of the week. Second attempt at it after not getting very far two years ago. I restarted the game two weeks ago and just went at it. I enjoyed it very much. I'm not usually a fan of action games, but I think the devs did a good job of mixing action and the traditional JRPG system. It's majority action, attacking and blocking, but I can basically pause to bring up a menu to select an action I want a character to make. At the very least, it gives me time to think about my next actions in battle.

    As for the story, I guess I should lead with the fact that I played the original FF7 many times. So from that perspective, it was interesting to see how they've decided to retell some parts. The overall story so far is still there, just that some of the how's and why's and even order of things are different from the original. Like Sephiroth is introduced way earlier. He was straight up the final boss of this remake. It kinda got weird at the end, since they introduced these ghost of fate things and I ended up in a singularity (wtf?). But I can overlook that. It was a fun game, with an interesting retelling of the story, beautiful environment and characters, and good gameplay systems. I can't wait for the second and third parts!

    I've restarted the Final Fantasy 12 remaster on PS4. Hoping to finally complete this game. Between the original PS2 version and the remake, I think I've restarted and attempted this game like...8 times? It's crazy, but I'll save my thoughts for next week's post.

    9 votes
  20. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    JCPhoenix
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    House work and spring cleaning. I've been living in this apartment for 6mo, yet I still had some boxes out in open and paintings not hung up. I hung up the last painting. It's a big one: 55"x39"...

    House work and spring cleaning. I've been living in this apartment for 6mo, yet I still had some boxes out in open and paintings not hung up.

    I hung up the last painting. It's a big one: 55"x39" (139x99cm). I did it by myself, without a drill (even though I have one). 3M has these inexpensive claw hooks that work pretty well for paintings. Leaves much small holes than nails or screws.

    Finally went through some boxes of junk I've been taking with me from apartment to apartment to apartment. Old college textbooks, notebooks, papers and essays, and even things from high school. Keep in mind that I graduated from high school in 2005, and did the bulk of college in like 2005-2012. Guess I kept all it for sentimental and nostalgic reasons. But no longer. So tossed out practically everything from high school, other than a handful of small pictures and photos of me and friends. From college, tossed out all the notebooks and school work, and then brought a whole box of textbooks to Half Price Books. Where they gave me...$4.86 for the lot! I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on those books, I'm sure. Oh well, at least they're not in my place anymore and don't have to carry them up and down the stairs.

    Lastly, as a "reward," bought myself a capture card. Been playing some PS4 JRPGs lately and thought, you know, I want to stream these to Twitch and/or put the recordings on YouTube as a Let's Play. I've wanted to stream for awhile, so I've been giving it a try. It's a little hard having to talk to an empty room for 45-60min, but whatever. Even if I get one silent viewer, that's OK. Gotta start somewhere.

    6 votes