balooga's recent activity

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

    balooga
    Link
    I was fortunate to snag a PS5, but I don't have any actual PS5 games for it, except for one that came free this month for PlayStation Plus subscribers: It's Bugsnax! I very much wanted to enjoy...

    I was fortunate to snag a PS5, but I don't have any actual PS5 games for it, except for one that came free this month for PlayStation Plus subscribers:

    It's Bugsnax! I very much wanted to enjoy this one but honestly it just isn't doing anything for me. I love Kero Kero Bonito's theme song for it, at the very least. The easy-puzzle gameplay and wacky, brightly colored design will probably appeal to my kids when they get a bit older.

    I also have been enjoying Astro's Playrooom which is bundled free with every PS5. It's a nice showcase of what the DualSense controller is capable of. A reasonably fun and very cute little platformer thing.

    Apart from those, I've brought over my existing PS4 game library and I've been cycling through titles to see how they look on the new hardware. Even if they don't offer any PS5-specific enhancements, a number of them were boosted for PS4 Pro, which I never had. So I'm seeing improvements across the board in varying degrees. I picked up a 4K TV earlier this year and it's nice to finally have a true 4K signal to send it.

    I installed the free PS5 native update for No Man's Sky. I haven't spend a lot of time playing it, but it looks stunning so far, with increased draw distances and 4K@60Hz. It implements the DualSense haptics very well. Many words have been written about the HDR bug that makes everything look insanely bright, and it's true that was pretty awful. I've read that it may have been fixed (or at least toned down) in a recent patch but haven't played since then to confirm. Regardless, I still love this game and will be putting in a lot more time with it soon.

    Apart from that, I'm playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim yet again. Seriously, I picked this one up on launch day 9 years ago and somehow I still continue to discover new things. I previously played through the Dawnguard DLC as a vampire hunter but never pursued the alternate path of becoming a vampire lord. It's wickedly fun. What surprised me though was when I stumbled into the huge "Lost to the Ages" questline that I had no idea even existed. I haven't noticed any real differences playing the game on PS5, except that load times are significantly reduced. I'll take it! Love this game.

    Unfortunately I can't enjoy most of my PS4 catalog at present because there wasn't room on the PS5's internal storage to transfer everything. A year or two ago I installed a 2TB SSD in the PS4. Since the new console replaces the old, I'm gonna salvage that drive and stick it in a USB enclosure so I can keep all my legacy games on there. Can't happen for another couple weeks though, since I put that enclosure on my Christmas wish list, haha. We'll see what happens.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Guybrush Fact vs Fiction in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    This is such a weird niche thing that I have no idea why you posted it here... but it's exactly my weird niche thing and I love it, so thank you. Ron Gilbert's a gaming legend and his Monkey...

    This is such a weird niche thing that I have no idea why you posted it here... but it's exactly my weird niche thing and I love it, so thank you.

    Ron Gilbert's a gaming legend and his Monkey Island games are perfection.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on What's something you don't understand the appeal of? in ~talk

    balooga
    Link Parent
    For me a big part of the appeal of travel is to experience a diversity of cultures and learn to empathize with people who aren't like me. If you spend your whole life in one place, immersed...

    For me a big part of the appeal of travel is to experience a diversity of cultures and learn to empathize with people who aren't like me. If you spend your whole life in one place, immersed exclusively in the culture of that place, you're going to have a dangerously narrow view of humanity and your place in it. That environment fosters an ignorance and bigotry that are very difficult to overcome through other means.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on Being with Trump the day he lost in ~misc

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I'm still waiting for an explanation of what improbable sequence of events led to Giuliani's press conference actually happening in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping. How did no...

    I'm still waiting for an explanation of what improbable sequence of events led to Giuliani's press conference actually happening in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping. How did no one in Trump's image-obsessed inner circle not hit the brakes on that debacle before it fully materialized?

    13 votes
  5. Comment on Portal Reloaded (Portal 2 Mod) - Gameplay trailer in ~games

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Sony less than MS, I'd say. Bethesda brought third-party Skyrim mods to Xbox. They tried to do the same on Playstation but Sony severely neutered the scope of what they could do. I love gaming on...

    Sony less than MS, I'd say. Bethesda brought third-party Skyrim mods to Xbox. They tried to do the same on Playstation but Sony severely neutered the scope of what they could do. I love gaming on Playstation, however that decision really irritated me. Part of me still hopes Skyrim will get ported (yet again) to PS5 and Sony will reverse that decision so I can finally join the fun.

    Yes, I still play Skyrim often... 😁

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Portal Reloaded (Portal 2 Mod) - Gameplay trailer in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    Cool mods like these are my biggest frustration about being a console gamer. I still fire up my PS3 to play games of that generation, including Portal 2. I wish there was a way for me to...

    Cool mods like these are my biggest frustration about being a console gamer. I still fire up my PS3 to play games of that generation, including Portal 2. I wish there was a way for me to experience this without a gaming PC! The trailer looks great.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Colter Wall - Big Iron in ~music

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I could've done with about 4x or 5x as many songs in that soundtrack, but the ones we got were spot on. Really conveyed a tone and sense of place for the game. I wish they had been able to snag an...

    I could've done with about 4x or 5x as many songs in that soundtrack, but the ones we got were spot on. Really conveyed a tone and sense of place for the game. I wish they had been able to snag an Elvis tune or two to complement the Kings' questlines and really bring home the Vegas aspect. Wayne Newton's voice role as the unseen DJ "Mr. New Vegas" is also worth mentioning. That was some inspired casting. Man I love that game...

    3 votes
  8. Comment on US websites no longer work, at all, in EU (?) in ~tech

    balooga
    Link
    Interesting. I also can't get to Radio Nouspace from two VPN endpoints in Europe. I'm doing simple pings to the domain. I tested from every country I have access to, and here are my results: β€’...

    Interesting. I also can't get to Radio Nouspace from two VPN endpoints in Europe. I'm doing simple pings to the domain. I tested from every country I have access to, and here are my results:

    β€’ Albania: 🚫 Request timeout β€” ISP is Keminet SHPK
    β€’ Andorra: βœ…
    β€’ Armenia: βœ…
    β€’ Austria: βœ…
    β€’ Belgium: βœ…
    β€’ Bosnia and Herzegovina: βœ…
    β€’ Bulgaria: βœ…
    β€’ Cypress: βœ…
    β€’ Czechia: βœ…
    β€’ Denmark: βœ…
    β€’ Estonia: βœ…
    β€’ Finland: βœ…
    β€’ France: βœ…
    β€’ Georgia: βœ…
    β€’ Germany: βœ…
    β€’ Hungary: βœ…
    β€’ Iceland: βœ…
    β€’ Italy: βœ…
    β€’ Ireland: βœ…
    β€’ Latvia: 🚫 Request timeout β€” ISP is NetArt Group s.r.o.
    β€’ Liechtenstein: βœ…
    β€’ Lithuania: βœ…
    β€’ Luxembourg: βœ…
    β€’ Macedonia: βœ…
    β€’ Malta: βœ…
    β€’ Moldova: βœ…
    β€’ Monaco: βœ…
    β€’ Montenegro: βœ…
    β€’ Netherlands: βœ…
    β€’ Norway: βœ…
    β€’ Poland: βœ…
    β€’ Portugal: βœ…
    β€’ Romania: βœ…
    β€’ Serbia: βœ…
    β€’ Slovakia: βœ…
    β€’ Spain: βœ…
    β€’ Sweden: βœ…
    β€’ Switzerland: βœ…
    β€’ Turkey: βœ…
    β€’ Ukraine: βœ…
    β€’ United Kingdom: βœ…

    The two that didn't work, Albania and Latvia, failed consistently. I also had trouble initially with Belgium, but then it started to work for me and continued to. More testing could reveal if this is an intermittent issue. I also mentioned the ISPs that were failing in case this issue is specific to them. I was able to connect to other sites when using both of those endpoints, only Radio Nouspace didn't work.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Driving the 2021 Cadillac Escalade was one of the most stressful experiences of my life in ~tech

    balooga
    Link
    I've always looked at vehicle design as a curiosity; the stylistic trends that come and go parallel the fashion industry in some ways. I'm not a truck owner (nor am I in the market for one) so I...

    I've always looked at vehicle design as a curiosity; the stylistic trends that come and go parallel the fashion industry in some ways. I'm not a truck owner (nor am I in the market for one) so I wasn't aware of this new movement toward huge, explicitly aggressive truck hoods that completely blind drivers to what's in their immediate path until I read this other recent article posted on Tildes. Now I'm starting to think this is more than just a style, it's actively immoral design. That embedded photo of a little kid standing in front of it made my stomach churn. I feel like anyone who would willingly purchase one of these monstrosities must be some sort of sadist.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on The original roguelike, Rogue, is releasing on Steam in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    Is it accurate to call Rogue a "roguelike?"

    Is it accurate to call Rogue a "roguelike?"

    17 votes
  11. Comment on Graham Linehan says he won’t work with Channel 4 again unless transphobic IT Crowd episode is reinstated in ~tv

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I'm not sure what browser you're using but you might want to take a look at 1Blocker. I've been very impressed by the exhaustiveness of its blocklists, though (I think) there's no way to customize...

    I'm not sure what browser you're using but you might want to take a look at 1Blocker. I've been very impressed by the exhaustiveness of its blocklists, though (I think) there's no way to customize them. It works pretty well out of the box though. It doesn't come near the power of uBlock Origin, but it's still a lot better than nothing on an iPhone. I was pleased to see my mobile data usage drop significantly after I installed it.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Graham Linehan says he won’t work with Channel 4 again unless transphobic IT Crowd episode is reinstated in ~tv

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Oh no, it's that episode? I've seen them all a ton of times but had forgotten which A- and B-plots went together. I don't have anything to add that hasn't been said already in this thread, except...

    Also I find it frustrating that this is just a subplot for the main story of Moss/Roy convincing Jen that a small box with a light on it is "the internet" and she uses it for show-and-tell at a shareholder speech. Like that's seriously some of the funniest comedy I've ever seen, but it's part of the April/Douglas episode, so it inherits that reputation.

    Oh no, it's that episode? I've seen them all a ton of times but had forgotten which A- and B-plots went together. I don't have anything to add that hasn't been said already in this thread, except that it's a travesty such a great moment in comedy has been canceled for reasons unrelated to itself. The Elders of the Internet are grieving its loss!

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Graham Linehan says he won’t work with Channel 4 again unless transphobic IT Crowd episode is reinstated in ~tv

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Yikes. I just turned off uBlock Origin and you weren't kidding. It's obnoxious! I've been to The Independent's site countless times and had no idea they were serving up that nonsense to...

    Yikes. I just turned off uBlock Origin and you weren't kidding. It's obnoxious! I've been to The Independent's site countless times and had no idea they were serving up that nonsense to unsuspecting readers. I highly recommend you install uBlock Origin as well; not only will it restore some sanity to your surfing, it will also help you protect your privacy against trackers and protect you against malvertising threat vectors. The plugin is available free for most browsers and requires zero configuration to get working.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Podcast listening is hard to track, but that doesn’t mean advertisers aren’t trying in ~tech

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I always download through a VPN and giggle a bit when I hear regional ads intended for other markets.

    I always download through a VPN and giggle a bit when I hear regional ads intended for other markets.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on What social norm(s) you would like to see changed? in ~talk

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I don't think you (or @soks_n_sandals) are really talking about stoicism here, just suppression of emotions. Right? As I understand it, stoicism as a philosophy is about personal responsibility,...

    I don't think you (or @soks_n_sandals) are really talking about stoicism here, just suppression of emotions. Right?

    As I understand it, stoicism as a philosophy is about personal responsibility, and detachment from circumstances outside of one's sphere of control. It's about taking ownership of the things you can influence, in order to improve your life; but also holding loosely to the things you can't, in order to find contentment in the unexpected. I'm not an expert on the subject (I haven't read all of Marcus Aurelius' oeuvre or subscribed to the Jocko podcast, I say, tongue in cheek) but I've found a lot of value in those basic ideas over the years. Stoicism's not well-suited for all personality types. I wouldn't try to foist it on the unwilling. But speaking for myself, I like the fit.

    I think that personality type point is the key for what you're talking about, too. Some people legitimately feel deeply and intuitively express that. Others are naturally more reserved. We shouldn't pass moral judgments on either, that's just how different brains are wired. I guess what I'm saying is, emotional expression should be neither "pushed against" nor "forced." We just need to allow people the space to be (and discover) themselves without fearing the disapproval of others.

    Not that I know how to create that space. I'm mainly just posting in this thread to defend stoicism, haha.

    14 votes
  16. Comment on Free / No IAP / Open Source Puzzle Games for iOS in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    I don't have any recommendations, but I really enjoy Ordinary Puzzles! Unfortunately I finished all of the puzzles in the app long ago. Do you know where I can find more puzzles of the same type?...

    I don't have any recommendations, but I really enjoy Ordinary Puzzles! Unfortunately I finished all of the puzzles in the app long ago. Do you know where I can find more puzzles of the same type? I'm not sure if they have a name or how to even search for others.

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

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Emulating it for the first time since my VGA box is failing on me. Poor old Dreamcast has been through a lot over the years! I recently picked up a Raspberry Pi 4b and found overclocking it to...

    Emulating it for the first time since my VGA box is failing on me. Poor old Dreamcast has been through a lot over the years! I recently picked up a Raspberry Pi 4b and found overclocking it to 2GHz is stable. I've had mixed results with other games in my collection, but Hydro Thunder plays perfectly on it. Better than perfectly, actually, since it's running in HD. The thing that really made me squeal with glee was when I traversed a particular part of the "Ship Graveyard" course. The part where you come flying out of a shortcut towards a lighthouse in the middle of a heavy storm. My DC could never get through that bit without dropping frames, but on the Pi? Smooth as butter.

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

    balooga
    Link
    It's nostalgia week at the balooga house! I just beat Donkey Kong Country (for the nth time) on Nintendo Switch Online. That game's a hoot. By using prerendered 3D assets as 2D sprites it manages...

    It's nostalgia week at the balooga house!

    I just beat Donkey Kong Country (for the nth time) on Nintendo Switch Online. That game's a hoot. By using prerendered 3D assets as 2D sprites it manages to look great without succumbing to the clunky gameplay/control/visual issues a lot of other titles in the early 3D era had. It's not particularly hard but it's silly fun and plays like a dream. I enjoy the sequels too, will be giving those another spin soon, probably.

    I've also been playing through Hydro Thunder on the Dreamcast. I had so much more patience for this game when it came out 20 years ago than I do today, but I'm trying. The harder tracks are fiendish and unforgiving. The worst thing about this particular arcade port is that there's no "retry" in the pause menu. You have to exit out to the main title screen, re-choose your game mode, vehicle, and track, and sit through the lengthy load screen. Every. Time. Honestly though, I still love this game despite its rough edges. It's a feast for the senses and over-the-top in quintessential '90s fashion.

    Lastly, I've been yearning to return to the galaxies of Ambrosia Software's Escape Velocity series for the classic Macintosh. How to describe these games? Top-down 2D space trading / combat sims, I guess. Plenty of ship upgrading, cargo carrying, pirate slaying, empire overthrowing, and planet dominating, set against a narratively rich backdrop full of factions to ally with and mysteries to uncover. I still have EV Nova (the last, and best of the trilogy) but haven't found a way to make the text legible on modern HiDPI displays. As I was looking for a way to fix this, I remembered that I downloaded Endless Sky years ago and never gave it a proper play. As it turns out, it continues to be updated (as recently as May) and is every ounce a worthy successor to the Escape Velocity throne. I wish I had dived into it sooner, it's lovingly crafted and beautiful to look at. It's basically the same game, modernized, and with specific small UX improvements that fans of EV will appreciate. And it's free and open-source, so what've you got to lose?

    1 vote
  19. Comment on EPA grants Oklahoma control over tribal lands in ~enviro

    balooga
    Link
    I don't understand how this falls under the EPA's purview. How in the world can they "grant control" which they themselves do not legally have? Matters of disputed state/tribal sovereignty would...

    I don't understand how this falls under the EPA's purview. How in the world can they "grant control" which they themselves do not legally have? Matters of disputed state/tribal sovereignty would fall under the umbrella of foreign policy, would it not?

    6 votes
  20. Comment on What are some good recommendations for ambient background music? in ~music

    balooga
    Link
    Lots of folks here are suggesting music that fits criteria 1 and 3, but not 2. I'll echo what @blitz said, the truly ambient stuff you're looking for is just uninspiring and irritating to me as...

    Lots of folks here are suggesting music that fits criteria 1 and 3, but not 2. I'll echo what @blitz said, the truly ambient stuff you're looking for is just uninspiring and irritating to me as well. But you encouraged sharing general recommendations so I wanted to make sure Ulrich Schnauss' seminal Far Away Trains Passing By got a mention. This has been my go-to mellow background album for 15+ years and I still haven't tired of it. I wake up to the opening track "Knuddelmaus" every morning because it's the gentlest alarm clock sound I've found that is still effective. The music is rhythmic and happy, but unobtrusive.

    3 votes