😑 hatedπŸ˜’ dislikedπŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ indifferent⭐️ liked🀩 loved

TV 🀩 The Man in the High Castle

last Tuesday at 6:52 AM

πŸ”— en.wikipedia.org

There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that watching this at 6am five days a week had an impact on my state of mind. The brutality, iconography, futility are all tonally very similar to The Handmaid's Tale, and it's tough to watch at times.

I feel like the last season rushes in places to tie things up (they knew they were getting cancelled) but it never felt inconsistent. It just moves a lot quicker than all the other seasons, but I suppose a slow rebellion wouldn't be very effective.

I don't know. I enjoyed it but maybe filling your head with that much Nazi symbolism at 6am isn't good for you. Watch it in the evening instead!

Game 🀩 SANABI

last Monday at 7:57 PM

πŸ”— store.steampowered.com

Well this was a pleasant surprise. Super fun platformer, loved the art style and music, and a very intriguing story. What a load of over-achievers.

The animation reminded me a lot of Dead Cells, which I think is 3D models converted to 2D. Makes for smooth, realistic movement that has this almost uncanny valley quality that I like a lot.

If I was feeling critical, it's heavy on conversation and exposition in places. Like very heavy. At times I just wanted to play the game but the story was good enough to stick it out, and those scenes are skippable anyway. There's also an annoying feature where you get stuck in the red bits and just die and that's quite frustrating but only happened around 3 times the whole game.

Definitely recommend if you're into grappling hook movement. It made me want to try Katana Zero again even though that has no grappling hook.

Link ⭐️ I Will Fucking Piledrive You If You Mention AI Again

07/08/2024

πŸ”— ludic.mataroa.blog

But if you don't have a use case then having this sort of broad capability is not actually very useful

This whole article is just repeatedly hitting the nail on the head but this quote is especially accurate for me for so many things. If you don't have something specific you think any new technology or feature will solve, just move on. It's really that simple. I have become an extreme AI skeptic, not least because it has only ever done one useful thing for me, and that was completely by accident (and I'm not even sure if it was right anyway) (if you're interested, I needed monthly local median sunrise/sunset times for an entire year, and it gave me a table that didn't look ridiculous). Everything you read is about how terrible/amusingly terrible it is, and every time I use it it's just not good.

I've had this conversation with clients so many times about various things. Most specifically reporting. Clients always want to add "reporting", but when asked what are the sorts of things they want to report, they don't know. I've even trained clients on their data and installed Superset, but it doesn't get used because they don't know how to use SQL, or they realise they don't actually know what they're looking for (or they just use the 3 dashboards I made for them as an example that don't really provide any business intelligence).

In general, I find the immediate flocking to any new technology frustrating. I've always been like it with language adoption, preferring to be fashionably late to the party, and it has served me pretty well. AI seems to have been a particularly insidious one because everyone is rushing to implement it with no real idea of what they're doing or why. I'll just stay here repeatedly saying "why" like an irritating toddler until I either get a good reason, or the asker backs down.

Film ⭐️ Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

07/07/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

Fun. Long - very long - but I enjoyed it.

Film 🀩 Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs

06/19/2024

πŸ”— netflix.com

Oh man it feels wrong admitting to liking this but I was properly cry-laughing for some of it. I think this is a great example of comedy that looks and feels super gross but actually landed so well with me.

I think the stuff that sounds misogynistic is super self-aware and actually a lot funnier because of that. And genuinely if I could do his impression of Trump I would do it all day every day. People would stop talking to me.

I get if you hate this, and I even get if you judge me for liking it. I wish you wouldn't, but I get it.

Book 🀩 Blake Crouch - Dark Matter

06/16/2024

Well that didn't take very long! Another page-turner from Blake Crouch. Some more questionable prose and unconfortable intimacy scenes, but the underlying story is excellent, concise and moves briskly.

I need more books like this to read in between more challenging ones. Purposefully wanted to read this before watching the Apple TV show, as I loved Recursion, and I'm glad I did.

Book 🀩 The Farthest Shore - Ursula K Le Guin

06/13/2024

She's done it again! The pacing of these books is almost identical. First half is world-building and not a lot of story, and the second half is an action-packed journey. This one took me ages as I think I've had enough Earthsea for a little while. Or rather, I've had enough of that story structure. Will definitely finish it at some point, but a break will be nice.

TV ⭐️ The Lazarus Project

05/21/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

Solid time travel story with some absolutely brutal story arcs. I think the story goes off the rails towards the end of series two, but 1. I might be wrong and 2. it's to be expected of time travel. Solid casting, but Caroline Quentin still manages to overshadow everyone; I think she's brilliant.

Link 🀩 The Playdate Story - Cabel at GDC

05/21/2024

πŸ”— cabel.com

I've used Transmit since I started using a Mac, and I love Panic as a company; they give me a good feeling. This is the first time I've seen Cabel speak and he's not what I imagined at all. I thought he was going to be a cool, smooth guy but he's a total exciteable nerd and now I love them even more.

The Playdate is such a delightful piece of hardware. If you're interester in quirky, fun games and interesting, whimsical and high-quality hardware, it's definitely worth a look. You're going to see criticism of the lack of backlit screen, and I would love to be able to see the screen better in all lighting conditions, but that doesn't detract too much from it as a device for me.

If you're interested in some more whimsy from Cabel, I emphatically recommend this too.

Game 🀩 Animal Well

05/12/2024

πŸ”— store.steampowered.com

I wasn't going to get this. As I have mentioned, I've been pretty unmotivated by games lately, and it felt like throwing money away, which I don't like to do.

Charlotte and I watched a kind-of interview with Billy Basso and Dunkey where he talked about his development process, and that sold me on it.

It's such a cool little metroid/platformer with some elegant puzzling. I say "elegant" because most things I came up against, I felt like the game had already taught me how to do them. There's some stuff that is heavy on the platforming, and some that's heavy in the puzzling. It just works.

There's a couple of bits that annoyed me but nothing deal-breaking. I think I missed a visual cue quite early on that lead me down a path that was more advanced than I was equipped for, and a lot of the design language became quite opaque. Nothing that a bit of backtracking  couldn't solve, but then I had opened up a lot of the map without achieving anything. Upside was a lot of things falling into place quite quickly once I had everything I needed.

This game is pretty short - I saw the credits after about 5.5 hours. I have some stuff I'd quite like to go back and do, and it'd be nice to open up the whole map, but I feel like I got my money's worth.

TV ⭐️ Fallout

05/06/2024

Every time I watch a show like this, it reminds me of Lost. I've never seen Lost but I do know they dragged it out and tacked a disappointing ending onto it. This feels like the sort of show that could go episodic like that. They try to find Vault-Tec, some other faction shows up and then they spend a whole season on that conflict and they've got one more season out of it.

But, not to focus on the negative, I felt like this captured the character of the games very well. The mixture of brutality and humour is done well, without going too far into Borderlands territory. It's a fun story, good characters and acting. It's all very Fallout and it did make me want to pick the game up.

There is a lot of filler though. In 8 episodes they still manage to pull out one whole episode where nothing happens (episode 4 I think?). I do still feel like it's worth watching overall, but a little disappointing that there wasn't enough story to spread out to 8 episodes.

Book ⭐️ Ursula K Le Guin - The Tombs of Atuan

05/05/2024

Fell off this, for whatever reason. I think it took too long to get around to Ged still being part of the whole thing and I was a bit like "oh I thought Ged would be in everything" then he wasn't. But it turns around very well and I'm just going to get straight into The Farthest Shore now.

Film ⭐️ After Yang

05/01/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

Film-ruining spoilers for After Yang, Klara and the Sun, and maybe Click? If you're looking for something poignant and melancholic, you can do a lot worse than this!


This reminded me so much of Klara and the Sun, in terms of its tone. The mute grief is played so well across the board, I could almost see a movie adaptation of Klara being pretty identical to this.

I didn't get the need to carry on with Russ and Cleo's branch of the story once Jake starts exploring Yang's memories. For me, the ethical question about Yang's relevance as a museum exhibit, or his right to privacy after his death, aren't relevant to the story. Maybe those will become questions humans need to ask ourselves in future, but a half-baked attempt to do it speculatively just doesn't work for me. The important part of that branch is that we get access to Yang's memories and explore his past lives.

This forms another parallel with Klara; the exploration of what happens when you leave an old life behind. When we see Yang's first life; full, bitter-sweet, come to its inevitable end, and his memories roll up and get compartmentalised, his grief forbids him from engaging in his short second life. These ends made me feel very similar to how I felt when Klara was disposed of.

The synopsis of this film describes everything from Jake's perspective and re-establishing his connection with his family, and I suppose I get why. But it does make the whole thing feel like an artsy Click, rather than a study of grief, rebirth, and one's capacity to start again and keep going.

Film ⭐️ Asteroid City

04/30/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

This is one of those films that feels like it probably has loads of layers if you want to watch it tens of times. Smarter people than me have probably already written about it. Maybe I'll just read that.

Fortunately, if all you want to do is watch a beautiful film with some nice characters and that stilted, matter-of-fact Wes Anderson dialogue, this is a very pleasant way to spend an hour and a half.

Film 🀩 Ratatouille

04/27/2024

This is the perfect film. I will throw down over this.

Film ⭐️ The Holdovers

04/26/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

I thought this was lovely. Not sure it'll go into rotation as a Christmas film but it's definitely got rewatch potential. You go through the emotional spectrum with this, and it's sentimental without being cloying or clichΓ©d.

Film ⭐️ Half Nelson

04/24/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

Most of the time, not reading a synopsis on a film is fine. I like to go in as blind as possible on films.

With this, however, I was expecting a comedy. You shouldn't judge things by their covers or posters. A comedy, this is not.

I did like it a lot though. Ryan Gosling's brand of radio-friendly, high-functioning drug addict means you get a decent story and some good relationships, which are pierced by Frank's "he's a base-head. Base-heads don't have friends".

The film doesn't do much to glamourise or villify drug addiction; it's just a story about a guy who seems to be trying to be good (a lot of the time), whilst living with a thorn in his side.

In a way it's a shame that they tried to run Dan and Drey's stories together. Neither gets explored fully and they're both interesting characters that I did end up caring about. Solid ending though.

Music 🀩 Knocked Loose feat. Poppy - Suffocate

04/23/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

I am looking forward to this record a lot. This track is so heavy.

Film ⭐️ The Killer

04/22/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

We started watching this when it first came out and this premise is so tired; "I'm an assassin and I live by a very specific set of rules that I'm about to break and watch my life fall apart". I'm over it. I do realise that "I'm an assassin and I live by a very specific set of rules; watch how that works out for me" isn't exactly fertile ground for a gripping story.

The Killer is a pretty decent take on the concept, though. It's paced well, and it lays out the plan in the first quarter then spends the remaining three executing (lol good pun Jasper). "Anticipate. Don't improvise" - words for assassins and filmmakers to live by.

The almost-mute dialogue of the protagonist, interspersed with whiplash-inducing hyperviolence gives the film a bit of a Drive atmosphere. For a film about a highly-skilled assassin, it's more of a train journey than a rollercoaster, but a pleasant one nonetheless. No rowdy youths get on and spoil your calm, unless you hate The Smiths.

Not sure I'd recommend going out of your way to watch this immediately if you haven't already, but if you're looking for something to watch and nothing is taking your fancy, maybe give it a go. I'd rather watch this than John Wick any day of the week.

TV ⭐️ 3 Body Problem

04/13/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

Massive spoilers for both the books and the Netflix show here. If you're planning to ever read or watch either, please don't read this. If you have read the books and watched the show, forgive me any mis-remembering here, I guess!

Enjoyed this way more than I expected to. In places, especially with regard to character development and introduction, the book sometimes suffers from being planned as it was being written, I think. The absolutely crucial, pivotal character Luo Ji being unceremoniously inserted after the first book (I had to go back and check that Wang Miao and Luo Ji weren't the same character) was very jarring, and one of many symptoms of poor foresight and character development in the books.

Having all of the main character concepts visible from the start was a good move by the writers of the show, in my opinion. It allows them to be developed for longer, and to form proper attachments to them. I love that there's evidence of all the characters and their function in the story, spread across the whole cast. I see elements of AA and Cheng Xin in both Jin and Auggie, as well as Auggie obviously adopting most of Wang Miao's formative storyline in terms of nanotechnology. The story flows very well in the new Netflix characters.

I feel like these character adaptations must have taken such a long time to unpick and adapt, but it was worth doing, for me. It means that they left the story alone and focussed on how do we tell this story with these characters? What they've achieved there is quite remarkable. And the casting is excellent as well. Knowing what happens to Wade, Saul (Luo Ji), Auggie and Jin (Cheng Xin and AA), and Will (Yun Tianming), I feel like that's all going to be fun to watch and will make the central friendship group dynamic a lot more powerful by the end of Death's End.

The low-key star of the show is still Benedict Wong as Clarence (Da Shi). My reading of Da Shi was a lot higher energy than the resigned, sarcastic Clarence, but it works well for the tone of the character.

I hope Netflix renews this to cover the rest of the story. The visual implementation of the Panama Canal was absolutely amazing and I am excited to see what they do with the probe's first contact, the shadow colonies, 4D space collapse, Yun's resurrection and meeting with Cheng Xin, and the Neptune capsule.

Link ⭐️ Eddy Burback / Apple's $3500 Nightmare

04/03/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

I love Eddy. He and NakeyJakey are the best thing to ever come out of Gus Johnson getting big (but we don't watch Gus in this house. I loved his videos but abusers gonna abuse and we don't play with that here).

Eddy is one of those YouTubers I have alerts on for (Jakey too actually) just because everything he does is in my wheelhouse. They're so sincere and their videos are so thoroughly considered. I almost don't care what they're about; I'll probably be into it.

Music ⭐️ Better Lovers - The Flowering

04/03/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

Jordan has won the ETID breakup (yes every breakup is a competition; I will not be taking questions at this time). I want to love Many Eyes because Keith has my favourite voice in heavy music but I just don't. I need my riffs.

Music 🀩 Knocked Loose - Don't Reach For Me

04/03/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

This is shaping up to be a monster of a record.

TV 🀩 Gen V

04/02/2024

I loved The Boys, and this somehow stands on its shoulders. Incredible storytelling and I love this universe. I was skeptical about this purely because of how much I enjoyed The Boys but no more. I will watch anything they put out relating to this. Best superhero show/anything ever.

Game ⭐️ Go Mecha Ball

04/02/2024

πŸ”— store.steampowered.com

This is neat. It's a hectic twin-stick shooter with a movement mechanic that may remind you a little of Splatoon with a twist. At any moment, you can turn into a ball (think Metroid Prime) and zoom around the level. You can use this to bash into enemies and knock ammo (and sometimes health) out of them. If you time it just right, you can also stop them from attacking, which I've found to be essential for bosses. The movement feels really fast and satisfying, and overall it's a fun casual game for picking up for short runs.

I did have to disable vsync to get over 50FPS but in doing that it does seem pretty stable above that. Would I love 60FPS? Yes of course, but I'll take 50 on a handheld. Doesn't even really kick the fans on either. I've always struggled with vsync and performance on PC gaming.

Cinema 🀩 Dune: Part Two

04/01/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

I loved this and I'm so glad I got to see it at the cinema (though I wish I'd gone to IMAX). The sci-fi, religion, politics, power, control themes are exactly up my street, and putting Denis Villeneuve in charge is exactly the right call. I love the story, performances were all brilliant, but especially Rebecca Ferguson and Javier Bardem had amazing supporting roles.

Sound design and music were perfect, even though the sound system in the theatre was not really up to the task in places. The character design, costumes, and really the overall art direction are just so strong; photography, locations, vehicles, are wonderful. Particular nod to Baron Harkonnen who is so creepy and scary the way he floats around the place and bathes in oil.

A friend said on Letterboxd that there's a lot of talking about very silly-sounding important things and I know exactly where he's coming from. Usually I'm very sensitive to that sort of thing - it's usually worse in fantasy for me - but I don't get that here. Bene Gesserit just sounds mysterious and intriguing to me, fortunately. I guess I'm a bit of a fanboy.

Music 🀩 Fred again...: Tiny Desk

03/30/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

I love Tiny Desk. It almost doesn't matter if it's an artist you're into. Everyone has their own interpretation of the format and most do something memorable with it. I even enjoyed Sting and Shaggy's collaboration and I don't have any particular interest in either of them.

Somehow I got chatting to a school mum about music and festivals at the easter ceremony at Tabitha's school and she was into house music. That's not something I'm terribly conversant in, but I can go to Skrillex, Pendulum (a DJ set I saw about twenty years ago 🀫) and Fred again (I've seen his Boiler Room set so I'm something of an expert) and it served me pretty well. Nice to connect with new people about music.

I told her I was usually into pretty heavy music that a lot of people find quite unpleasant, but she asked for a recommendation nonetheless. I recommended Every Time I Die because that's who I recommend to everyone. They're heavy but accessible and they've got a good vibe and an amazing sense of humour. I wonder if she listened to them.

Anyway this Fred again... set is quite special, in my opinion. I'd almost categorise it as post-electronic. Live sampling and basically writing songs on the bounce is an absolutely incredible skill that I feel is only available to people who live, breathe, and think in music. Obviously it's rehearsed, but writing a song whilst you invent instruments in front of a room full of people will never not impress me. It reminds me a lot of this J-E-T-S video where they're cutting samples up live. An enviable skill.

Link ⭐️ What a bunch of A-list celebs taught me about how to use my phone

03/20/2024

πŸ”— theverge.com

I've been thinking a lot about technology in my life and the pull it can exert on my attention and what that's like for my emotional state, and I don't even have a very noisy phone in the grand scheme of things. I have perhaps 4 people in my life whom I regularly communicate with, and they're almost never a negative effect on my mood, but that is largely by design. I've stopped debating on social media, and I'm not one for drama in real life.

I do still find that my phone can annoy me just by existing. It's so useful for so many things, but sometimes those things get noisy and irritating! I like the idea of maining something simple so I can still get a web browser and maps, and then having my iPad to fill in gaps, but I'm pretty fortunate that it isn't something I need just to live something resembling a normal life.

TV ⭐️ The Gentlemen

03/18/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

I was skeptical about this, largely because I haven't seen anything half decent on Netflix for what seems like years. At least I know this was somewhat written by humans. At the very least it was conceived by humans.

But I liked it. I mean it's extremely contrived in that way that Guy Ritchie does best, and it has one or two glaring holes in the form of absolute liabilities you just would've sacked or killed, but it was fun. I don't think I'll watch it again when I could watch the film, though.

Book 🀩 Ursula K. Le Guin - A Wizard of Earthsea

03/08/2024

I know that reading fantasy as a break from science fiction isn't exactly much of a leap but we saw this at The British Library and I wanted to read it. I loved The Dispossessed and I want to read more of her books. Definitely moving onto the next one right away; this was lovely.

Film 🀩 Dune: Part One

03/06/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

Rewatch because I'm hoping to see part two next week and had forgotten the entire plot. Plus we were talking about it earlier and I wanted to watch it anyway.

For a 2.5+ hour film this goes by quickly; it's a strangely-paced film. It's so slow and purposeful, but achieves so much in terms of world and character development. There's so much history communicated through almost every scene; it's remarkable.

Wish I'd read the book first. I know I should have but I have not.

Book ⭐️ Robin Sloan - Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

03/03/2024

I'm torn between a star and a shrug on this one. I don't love the style it's written in; it reads to me like half journal entry, half recalled anecdote and it just doesn't really do it for me.

The story is fun;Β engaging characters and vivid scenes, and moves along at a good pace. Lots of things happen, which is always welcome in a book like this. I'm essentially using it as a palate cleanser as I've done a lot of sci-fi lately and it's worked well as that!

If you can read this without picturing the Unbroken Spine as The Society of the Blind Eye, I'm going to have to assume that's because you've never seen Gravity Falls, and that is pretty inexcusable in this house.

Game ⭐️ Balatro

03/02/2024

πŸ”— store.steampowered.com

For whatever reason, when I played the demo in Next Fest I was being grumpy and  didn't like this game. Pretty much every single gaming site (that I'm still reading every day yes 🀫) has been going on about how great it is (and Nintendo pulling it down for being gambling. So stupid; I really hate Nintendo these days) so I thought I'd give it another chance and I actually love it. If it comes to iOS I would get it again. Perfect for waiting outside charity shops.

Music 🀩 HIPPOTRAKTOR - Trix Studio Session

03/02/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

I did say these guys were amazing live. It's a live session but close enough.

Music 🀩 Bo Burnham - Can't Handle This

02/28/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

I've said it before but Bo Burnham is an absolute loss to the music industry. His ability to write a vocal melody is unparalleled even in music, let alone musical comedy. And his live production on Make Happy is completely insane. I can't imagine what it'd have been like to be there for this recording. It's an absolutely huge end to an already incredible show. I wish I could've been there.

Watch Inside. It's the perfect time capsule for COVID, and the songs are incredible. Even the outtakes are better than the next-best musical comedy.

Book 🀩 Cixin Liu - Death's End

02/27/2024

Perfect science fiction. It's pretty tough in places but never at the expense of the story. The whole thing is surprisingly coherent, and I did find myself right at the edge of understanding it at times, but always managed to find my way back to a narrative that at least made sense to me.

If you have even a slight interest in civilisation, technology, space-faring sci-fi then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this.

I am looking forward to some not-sci-fi though. I loved this but it's a lot and I can do without looking 18bn years into the future for a while.

Film ⭐️ Crazy, Stupid, Love

02/26/2024

When Ryan Gosling punches Kevin Bacon in the face is one of the greatest movie moments.

Film 🀩 The Nice Guys

02/24/2024

One of the best films I've ever seen in my life. It's perfect. I think about this film multiple times every day.

Music 🀩 Tracy Chapman - Fast Car (feat. Luke Combs)

02/24/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

When it cuts to Taylor Swift standing and singing, that's where you've got me on the verge of tears. This song is beautiful and sad, and having the recognition of everyone in the room including the biggest star in the world right now; it just gets me teary y'know.

I love how Luke's constantly got his eyes on Tracy - he's following her, and making sure not to step on her. His voice is a perfect complement to hers (if a little high in the mix, but I'll allow it).

I hope this gets a proper recording that I can buy.

Music 🀩 Hippotraktor - Silver Tongue

02/22/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

I love Hippotraktor and they're absolutely amazing live. Belgium, man; I keep telling you. That's where it's going on. Very happy that there's a new record this year.

Music ⭐️ ten56. - Good Morning

02/22/2024

πŸ”— youtu.be

In the right mood, there's nothing I like more than deathcore and I love ten56.'s take on it. It's so unnecessarily heavy.

Music ⭐️ clipping. - Tipsy

02/21/2024

πŸ”— clppng.bandcamp.com

I love clipping, and Tipsy was huge when I was going to clubs (don't ask how long ago that was; I shan't answer). I'm still used to the way the radio edit sounds but I'm guessing that's about to change.

Link 🀩 rclone

02/20/2024

πŸ”— rclone.org

Wish I'd learned about this a long time ago. Using the AWS CLI across multiple projects in development is super annoying.

Film 😑 Wonka

02/17/2024

πŸ”— imdb.com

There is just no way that the Willy Wonka in this film, in this universe, becomes the cold sociopath of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. No way.

No part of this is a prequel to that film. This film is what so many are now, and that is a dilute strawman that only exists in the mind of the creator and the shareholders responsible.

The only thing I can say for this trash is that I wanted to hate it; I knew I would hate it, and I was not disappointed.

Book 🀩 Cixin Liu - The Dark Forest

02/17/2024

Letting you know I exist, and letting you continue to exist, are both dangerous to me

What a wonderful sequel to The Three Body Problem. A coherent, plausible, and utterly desperate future imagined through the lens of totally assured destruction of our species.

Probably the best ending to a second-in-a-trilogy that I've ever read. The reader is Luo Ji's Wallbreaker and it's perfect (that's not a spoiler - if you're interested in sci-fi, this trilogy is essential, in my opinion).

Link ⭐️ Svalboard

02/17/2024

πŸ”— svalboard.com

I really want to have a go with one of these. I wonder how portable my ability with normal 34-key columnar stagger boards would be for it. Only one way to find out I guess! πŸ˜’

Music ⭐️ Kittie - Eyes Wide Open

02/15/2024

πŸ”— youtube.com

I was a huge fan of Kittie in my teens. So glad they're back making music again, and they signed to Sumerian which I love.

Link ⭐️ Firehouse Five and the Cinderella Surprise

02/15/2024

πŸ”— cabel.com

This is such a cool time capsule.

TV 🀩 Succession

02/14/2024

I think about this show at least once a day. Absolutely beautiful retro paranoid sci-fi thriller.

Game πŸ˜’ Steam Next Fest 2024

02/09/2024

I don't usually like playing demos. Not sure why - I think investing any time in something incomplete sometimes just feels wrong to me. Demos are actually perfect for my attention span so I read some lists and tried a bunch of things from Steam's Next Fest. My experience has been largely underwhelming.

Here's a bunch of demos I didn't really like (or really didn't like) and why I didn't really like them.

Pepper Grinder has tonnes of potential. I like quirky platformers like Dandara and Flinthook, but something about Pepper Grinder just feels a little off to me. Maybe it's something I could get used to, but I'll see how much it is when it releases. Definitely one of the better ones on this list.

#DRIVE Rally is a very well-timed low-poly arcade rally game (the aesthetic is similar to art of rally, in some ways), but it seems to have binary braking (i.e. brakes are either off, or slammed on), the steering is super twitchy, and your co-driver is incredibly annoying. There's also some bits where the track forks that he specifically does not help you with, but then yells at you when you go the wrong way. This could be cool but at the moment it's annoying.

Berserk Boy is Mega Man, and it's a good Mega Man, but the combat is pretty one-dimensional and not very satisfying, and the first two bosses are identical except for the colour of their projectiles.

Balatro is a card game. One day I will get it into my head that I don't like card games.

Mullet Mad Jack is like if Hotline Miami was an FPS Japanese gameshow against robots. It reminds me of the movie Guns Akimbo for some reason. It's too difficult to distinguish the enemies from the walls so it's a pass for me.

Echo Point Nova is a bit Neon White-y, but the gameplay trailer makes it look way more fun than it is. There's a lot of mechanics here, and that makes the tutorial long and boring, and after a very short amount of time I was just done with it still being the tutorial.

Breachway is a card game where you play cards by dragging and dropping them onto spaceship animations. It made me miss FTL.

Rack and Slay is a top-down geometry sort of thing where you have to shoot pool and pot the balls except everything is weird. It could be cool as a casual thing, and I preferred it to subpar pool, but that's not really saying much.

Trash of the Titans looks like a cool pixel Final Fantasy Tactics. I say "looks like" because I couldn't actually figure out how to play it.

Raw Metal is a bit like Metal Gear Solid, except when you're spotted the game turns to a third-person brawler thing. I didn't like the stealth, and I didn't like the brawling, then I got shot by something I couldn't see, and uninstalled the demo.

Normal Fishing is a fishing game made by someone who has potentially only ever had fishing described to them. They may or may not have ever played a video game. Games are supposed to be fun.

Gatekeeper wants to be there for you if you like Risk of Rain 2 and Hades. I like both of those games but something about Gatekeeper felt really wooden and slow. It took me about 15 attempts to clear the first area of Risk of Rain 2, and 1 to clear the first area of Gatekeeper.

Artifact Seeker is another vampire survivors clone where all the women are impractically well-endowed. It makes me feel like a creep playing games like this, so I just don't. I seemed to do really well at this without trying, and then I died quickly and didn't understand why.

Never Grave could be quite cool. It has an interesting hat thing going on, which might work. But I don't get why it's ripped off so much of the Hollow Knight feel. And the first boss had an insane amount of health and appeared after about 3 minutes and I couldn't be bothered to deal with it. With a bit of balancing I'd play this again.

Arco is a quirky-looking tactical RPG that seems to have similar movement mechanics to things like Divinity, but it didn't have Steam Deck controller bindings and I couldn't figure out how to do anything so I bailed. Shame as I like Panic and the art style and tactical RPGs (even though I'm terrible at them).

Helskate is a skateboarding game where you play as some sort of demon doing skating and ugh that just doesn't work for me. Plus the controls are super jerky and twitchy and I need smoooooth for games like this. Hope the devs play Rollerdrome because that's the kind of controls I need from a game like this.

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