TheJorro's recent activity

  1. Comment on This Is Trump’s Fault: The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures in ~misc

    TheJorro
    (edited )
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    That all depends on the context. If the "this" is a spill on the floor from factors entirely of my own doing (improper vessel, overfilled, kept too near a counter), then it can be taken in that...

    That all depends on the context. If the "this" is a spill on the floor from factors entirely of my own doing (improper vessel, overfilled, kept too near a counter), then it can be taken in that way that suggests that "this" is entirely my own fault. Who else was there to share in that blame?

    But if "this" is the result of a social policy and I am the leader of the group that put it out, then it can't be taken that exact same way because there are obviously going to be a number of different people and factors at play here. As the figurehead, I would shoulder the brunt of it. But no reasonable line of thought would place the figurehead is the only person involved in something that complex.

    English is an extremely interpretive language, and it can't reasonably said that such a pithy line carries such a concrete and specific meaning unless it is heavily qualified to mean only and exactly that, to the point of approaching legalese.

    This is the inverse of when so many bad faith actors in Ontario, Canada wanted to put forward the idea that a convicted Deputy Minister wrote the entire 2016 educational curriculum so they could justify that it should be repealed. He was the figurehead and they wanted to assign him sole responsibility even though, by no rational line of thought, was that possible.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on This Is Trump’s Fault: The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures in ~misc

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    No, semantically the "all" would be required to make that the explicit and only possible interpretation to that degree. As it stands, this renders him the figurehead but not the sole owner.

    No, semantically the "all" would be required to make that the explicit and only possible interpretation to that degree. As it stands, this renders him the figurehead but not the sole owner.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on Metal Gear Solid 2 retrospective: Be careful what you wish for in ~games

    TheJorro
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    This is the latest entry of an ongoing Metal Gear retrospective series from Heather Alexandria at Kotaku.

    This is the latest entry of an ongoing Metal Gear retrospective series from Heather Alexandria at Kotaku.

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

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Best advice I can give to negate that possibility is to always try to keep Personas that have different elemental abilities so you can swap between them depending on the enemy weaknesses. Each one...

    Best advice I can give to negate that possibility is to always try to keep Personas that have different elemental abilities so you can swap between them depending on the enemy weaknesses. Each one is weak to something, you just have to find it and then exploit the hell out of it, stealing their turn orders with successful hits.

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

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Don't worry too much about the fusing. I think that trips everyone up on their first SMT game, the amount of combinations is insane. But you don't really need to worry about it that much, you can...

    Don't worry too much about the fusing. I think that trips everyone up on their first SMT game, the amount of combinations is insane. But you don't really need to worry about it that much, you can keep a steady, trusty stable of Personas. Following the side story where you make specific Personas from fusions is actually a pretty good intro to fusing if you continue with that, and really don't be afraid to look up info on GameFAQs or the internet. Persona is old school in that way, where you won't find all the info in the game and you'll need some guides handy.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Microsoft Edge is now 2nd most popular desktop browser, beats Firefox; Chrome at 68% market share in ~tech

    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Between this and all those numbers they were putting out about Microsoft Teams adoption rates, I am convinced that these numbers are inflated based on technicalities. Technically my organization...

    Between this and all those numbers they were putting out about Microsoft Teams adoption rates, I am convinced that these numbers are inflated based on technicalities. Technically my organization contributes 65k Microsoft Teams users according to Microsoft, even though it barely has 10% daily use among the enterprise.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on Thoughts on recruiting in ~tech

  8. Comment on Half-Life: Alyx review (spoiler-free): The greatest VR adventure game yet—and then some in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    The Samsung Odyssey+ is the most cost effective option to get into modern VR, it frequently goes on sale for just over US$200 and includes controllers. It's not a top of the line model but it's...

    The Samsung Odyssey+ is the most cost effective option to get into modern VR, it frequently goes on sale for just over US$200 and includes controllers. It's not a top of the line model but it's still better than previous generations of VR HMDs in terms of fidelity.

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

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    I've been attempting to get into this game on and off for a while, it hasn't quite clicked with me yet but it has so much promise.

    I've been attempting to get into this game on and off for a while, it hasn't quite clicked with me yet but it has so much promise.

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

    TheJorro
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    I've been playing Call of Duty Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale mode released for the latest CoD game, Modern Warfare (which seems to be a reboot of CoD4: Modern Warfare?). And, honestly,...

    I've been playing Call of Duty Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale mode released for the latest CoD game, Modern Warfare (which seems to be a reboot of CoD4: Modern Warfare?). And, honestly, I've put a surprising amount of time into it. More than I have put into any multiplayer game (that isn't co-op) in years.

    I've played a few different ones and wasn't feeling particularly engaged going in but I ended up playing this all weekend. I think the biggest thing is that this game has some of the lowest barriers to entry out of any BR game I've tried, and that's probably because it's a Call of Duty.

    Even if you don't play CoD games regularly, or haven't since the late 2000's, you generally already know how to play it. Two guns, aim-down-sights, how grenades work, etc. Even behind that, the feel of the game is far more familiar to most than a standalone title. One of my biggest difficulties with getting into Apex Legends was that I couldn't figure out how I should balance movement with aiming—I hear it's closer to Fortnite than it is PUBG, and I don't play Fortnite at all. With this game, no such trouble. CoD is pretty easy, intuitive, and simple from a mechanical perspective.

    It's also generally a lot simpler than every other BR I've tried. More familiar items and weapons around, less factors to worry about (like inventory, loot, attachments), and more time spent in the action. I really like the addition of the gulag, it helps to lighten the stress load when playing a BR game quite a lot, and I wouldn't be surprised if more BRs start adding something like this. It's a small change with a major payoff.

    There's also a Plunder mode to the game that isn't BR, but another game mode using its general rulesets and mechanics. The goal here is to collect $1mm first, not to survive. So there are respawns, much better quality weapons laying around, and a different focus. If you like the idea of BRs but not the tension and feeling of not knowing how the round will turn out, Plunder seems to be a great compromise. I enjoy the mode quite a lot because I don't care about winning it, but I do enjoy playing within it.

    Also, I won! I've never won a BR game before! It actually feels like the average person has a chance in this game thanks to its simplicity, there's no crazy advanced mechanics or powers you need to know (like in Fortnite and Apex Legends), nor learning what all the weapons and attachments and tertiary items are (PUBG). It feels closest to BF1's, which was the last one I liked, but CoD's mechanics are frankly more polished and satisfying when it comes to smaller scale firefights anyway.

    If there's one part of it I could do without, it's the match audio/visual HUD cues and designs. They are specifically designed to be as in-your-face and alarming as possible, which gets annoying when you're holed up and listening for footsteps.

    So if you're at all curious, give it a try. For what it's worth, considering its size, it runs amazingly fast on an HDD.

    10 votes
  11. Comment on Doom Eternal Review (Lazy Game Reviews) in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    In exchange for being like the original two Doom games, basically. I don't think anyone was really into Doom 2016 for the grittiness, not really. The cartoonish over-the-top attitude about...

    In exchange for being like the original two Doom games, basically.

    I don't think anyone was really into Doom 2016 for the grittiness, not really. The cartoonish over-the-top attitude about everything is what won people over since it flew in the face of grittiness and realism. Also the gameplay, it was just a ton of fun to play. The graphics were really good but graphics really weren't what made the last game so special.

    As long as the gameplay is just as fun or more, people are going to enjoy the hell out of it.

    As far as lore goes... I mean, it's Doom. If anything, it's anti-lore.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on When I press the right trigger on my game controller, my system's audio crashes. Probably the weirdest bug I've seen yet -- anyone feel like helping? in ~tech

    TheJorro
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    Does your controller have a headphone jack? Plug some headphones in and see if the computer's audio is switching to that. Whether it does or doesn't, see if the controller has popped up as a new...

    Does your controller have a headphone jack? Plug some headphones in and see if the computer's audio is switching to that.

    Whether it does or doesn't, see if the controller has popped up as a new Sound device in that menu.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on Folding at Home: Team Tildes information in ~comp

    TheJorro
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    Are team stats broken? I haven't been able to get Folding@home's page working, and the alternate page is reading 0's across the board no matter what time period I select.

    Are team stats broken? I haven't been able to get Folding@home's page working, and the alternate page is reading 0's across the board no matter what time period I select.

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

    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link
    I've been playing Black Mesa. I've always loved Half-Life, the whole series. I played an earlier pre-Xen version of Black Mesa a couple of years ago and had a nice time but held off until the 1.0...

    I've been playing Black Mesa.

    I've always loved Half-Life, the whole series. I played an earlier pre-Xen version of Black Mesa a couple of years ago and had a nice time but held off until the 1.0 release. And now it is upon us.

    And let's get straight to the point: Black Mesa is the definitive version of Half-Life now.

    I replayed the original game right before Black Mesa to refresh myself on the game, all its levels, its gameplay, its design, everything. It holds up, it's still a great game. I enjoyed my time through it, and I was reminded about things that I'd forgotten because they don't hold up with the rest of the game: some odd design decisions, some levels feeling like filler, the general 90's era arena movement lending to accidental skips and shortcuts. If there was one way to summarize my playthrough of Half-Life 22 years later, it's that it's not quite what I remember it being but it holds up very well.

    Black Mesa, on the other hand, is how I remembered Half-Life. Every room, every scripted moment, dialogue, and fight is back as I remember but modernized. It doesn't have any of the issues I didn't remember either. I remember it was a big deal that Half-Life had more realistic item placement around its world but when replaying it, there were still plenty of things that were in odd places—I found a health recharge station in the middle of a room in a fridge with no other clear purpose. The station is still there in Black Mesa, but they fixed up the design of the room to have it make more sense. It's not a fridge anymore, it's a staging area for entering into the cooling facility now.

    Black Mesa is filled with improvements. Not just changes, there's no change for change's sake here. Everything they've changed from the original game is for the purpose of improving something for the purpose of making it into the Half-Life you remember. The biggest, and possibly most controversial, change is the simplifying of the On A Rail level which was a fairly basic, if annoying, maze of trams and areas to shoot enemies. Even on replay it felt like filler but there were a lot of firefights that perhaps people enjoyed. Who knows. But if you want it back, then it's available as an add-on.

    The other major change is a rebalance to the MP5/assault rifle to bring it down to 30 rounds in the magazine. Even when replaying Half-Life, 50 bullets felt like far too much per magazine and made a lot of fights a bit trivial. Bringing it down to a more standard and realistic amount really improves its fit into the game. This goes hand-in-hand with changes of certain enemies, notably theAlien Grunts. I had honestly forgotten about these guys, they're just not very interesting in the original but they're everywhere. They stand out a loot because they simply don't look interesting, and don't fight particularly interestingly either. Effectively, they're bullet sponges that are littered around the original game for some rather blase challenge. Black Mesa puts these guys to much better use by giving them less health, but more damage, and actually creating a ramp of tension until they show up. It's very well done.

    Otherwise, the most significant change is the movement. The original Half-Life was built on top of a modified Quake engine so its movement was rather fast and loose. It's not like it was overly glidey or out of control but having arcadey arena movement in what's supposed to be a realistic environement sometimes felt at odds. During one of the big diagonal elevator sequences, for example, it's entirely possible to slide down yourself as long as you brake before you hit the floor thus avoiding the scripted fight entirely. Or you can manipulate the jumping to get over barriers instead of completing the puzzle required (which I did by accident on a few occasions). With Black Mesa, the Source engine is at the base so it uses the more realistic movement of HL2 instead of the Quake-style movement of the Goldsrc engine. It doesn't really make that much of a difference but it does minimize the risk of tonal incongruity.

    One thing that did surprise me is the gunplay. Black Mesa has the best gunplay in the entire Half-Life series. The guns all feel and sound amazing, and they seem to have incorporate Counter-Strike's recoil mechanics into it. The result is that I actually missed the cut content from On A Rail because I would have liked to have shoot more things, heh. But really, it's excellent. I look forward to fights in Black Mesa, which isn't something I normally feel in most campaign FPS games. Black Mesa even added in fun new animations when you first get a weapon, all of which are tonally appropriate for Half-Life.

    Speaking of tones, because I've mentioned it twice now, Black Mesa is a remake. One of the biggest issues it seems a lot of AAA remakes have had recently is maintaining the tone and feel of the original game, most recently the Halo CE Anniversary edition changes have been in the spotlight again for its tonal changes to Bugie's original designs. Black Mesa, infamously, is a 15 year long fan remake made as a labour of love. And what a pure love it is, the game has felt like Half-Life all the way through. Again, all my memories of Half-Life are present in Black Mesa, with a lot of the issues smoothed over into something more refined. Certain paths of the first game which were a bit harder to discern have had the HL2 signposting design treatment to guide you better. The ridiculous sensitive fall damage theshold has been scaled down to more reasonable levels. Some puzzles and pathways that were on the more grating side have either been fixed or glossed over entirely. Areas have been redesigned to be more believeable and realistic, while still somehow maintaining the sound and feel of what Half-Life was going for.

    The scripted sequences throughout the game benefit a lot from this as well, especially later in the game where shit is hitting the fan even more between the military and the invading aliens. Some of the action set pieces later in the game are jaw-droppingly good, a much more visceral and fulfilling experience than the facsimiles from the original game have held up. And, honestly, a lot of it has to do with the graphics.

    Part of it has to do with the sense of scale. As good as Half-Life's graphics and art style are, there's no getting over how blocky everything in that engine was. It's almost Minecraft-esque in comparison. With Black Mesa's high resolution models and assets, the scale feels more real. When a Combine manta ray drop ship thing lightning bombs a convoy of soliders and tanks, it pulls your stomach in ways the original game simply cannot—or at least couldn't since 1998 when that was the best looking graphics at the time. And it's not like Half-Life's graphics were bad, especially not with some of the high-def content packs applied, but when you've been looking at more and more realistic graphics over time, some things of course begin to deteriorate.

    One thing that especially stands out is the lightning effects. You may not realize this but Half-Life specifically uses the lightning type effect a lot throughout the game and it doesn't hold up pretty well. Post-processing wasn't really existent in 1998, not like we have it now, so the effects of putting the initial lab accident or the Vortigaunt attacks don't hold up well. But in Black Mesa, they look phenomenal. I love fighting the Vortigaunts in Black Mesa just because their attack looks genuinely terrifying now, as terrifying as they did back in 1998. A lot about Black Mesa in 2020 makes me feel the way Half-Life made me feel in 1998.

    And then there's Xen. Widely reviled as the worst part of the original game, I found it held up better on a replay. Perhaps it was worse than everyone remembered but it still was a step down from the rest of the game. It felt somewhat unfinished and disjointed, not so much a fully realized alien world or biome so much as it was a suggestion of one. But Black Mesa's Xen is incredible. A full realized alien world that fits into the story a lot better. Those random bodies you'd find around Xen in the original make a lot more sense when there are also outposts and structures in place showing that they had been exploring this for a while, long before the accident you were involved in. Xen also feels so much more vibrant and alive, resting somewhere between Annihilation and Avatar in terms of style. The Xen update really is everything one could have possibly hoped for, and then some.

    If you've never played the original Half-Life before, that's fine. You can start with Black Mesa because it is pretty much the Half-Life that everyone loved and remembered, modernized and remade in what may just be the new gold standard of video game remakes.

    I will say, though, that I'm not the biggest fan of the music in Black Mesa. There's a distinct style to the Half-Life series music that wasn't captured here, but there are a couple of standout tracks regardless.

    EDIT: I should really add that Black Mesa is a very good game by today's standards. It proves the timelessness of Half-Life's design when given a modern facelift and revision of mechanics and level design. With Xen fully realized as it is here, this is a complete package that should be considered part of the overall Half-Life canon. This is a better game than some of the official Half-Life entries. I fully anticipate articles in the future arguing that of the two March Half-Life games released, this one may be the better one.

    21 votes
  15. Comment on Doom Eternal - Launch trailer in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    And yeah, it's pretty much ideal for when I just want to play something right now. There's a value to something you can drop in and out of quickly, to get that quick fix in. I love story-based...

    And yeah, it's pretty much ideal for when I just want to play something right now. There's a value to something you can drop in and out of quickly, to get that quick fix in. I love story-based games and other games that require some initial investment to get into the groove and the flow. But the downside is that, sometimes, I just need something I can jump into quickly and have full access and undestanding with immediately.

    I wrote something up about Doom 2016 the last time I played it. There's a visceral thrill to playing this game due to its simplicity, it's worth checking out for sure.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on Horizon Zero Dawn officially announced to be coming to the PC in ~games

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Jumping in but yeah, I'd agree with that. I enjoyed Horizon in a very, very similar way that I enjoyed Witcher 3 and the difficulty forcing you to use and become familiar with all the mechanics...

    Jumping in but yeah, I'd agree with that. I enjoyed Horizon in a very, very similar way that I enjoyed Witcher 3 and the difficulty forcing you to use and become familiar with all the mechanics until you reach that high-level flow state of juggling multiple advanced skills at once is amazing.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Gameplay is the story in ~games.game_design

    TheJorro
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    This video nods towards it but the gameplay designers behind at least the first two Arkham games really deserve to be acknowledged. Those games are filled with some amazing gameplay moments that...

    This video nods towards it but the gameplay designers behind at least the first two Arkham games really deserve to be acknowledged. Those games are filled with some amazing gameplay moments that reinforce the story. I think everyone knows about the big ones like the glitchy reboot scene, but there are some other subtle moments too.

    My favourite is after the last hallucination sequence, during which Batman fights these skeleton enemies that go down rather easy, Batman recovers to find himself surrounded by a bunch of knocked out enemies. Previously, you never woke up where you had the trip, so you couldn't see the aftermath, but this moment reveals that you weren't fighting super easy skeleton hallucinations, you were fighting regular enemies the whole time. And by virtue of them going down so easily, it means Batman has been holding back his strength all game long.

    It's a nice quick lampshade hanging on how he can knock out some major characters in a single punch in cutscenes whereas he can't do that to regular mooks during gameplay.

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

    TheJorro
    Link Parent
    Ah, I have a mechanic friend who is really into My Summer Car. He's not a big racing game fan, but he enjoys this because it's more about the sim experience of building/maintaining/fixing a car...

    Ah, I have a mechanic friend who is really into My Summer Car. He's not a big racing game fan, but he enjoys this because it's more about the sim experience of building/maintaining/fixing a car than it is driving.

    2 votes