Horizon Zero Dawn

horizon zero dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is a PS4-exclusive action role playing game developed by Guerrilla Games, creators of the Killzone franchise. As Horizon Zero Dawn’s main protagonist Aloy, a skilled hunter, explore a vibrant and lush world inhabited by mysterious mechanized creatures. Embark on an emotional journey to unravel mysteries of tribal societies, ancient artifacts and advanced technologies that will determine the fate of this planet, and of life itself

Metacritic: Horizon Zero Dawn

I’m in love with this blend of Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, and Last of Us, maybe Dishonoured, with a little bit of Far Cry 3 and a Lara Croft like protagonist; it is worthy of the hype, and a GotY contender.

The story telling is compelling, the characters deep and interesting, the voice acting credible, and the visuals stunning… then there’s the awesome game play!

The sub missions are interesting, fitting the feel of the story, game, and location. They don’t feel forced, and I want to complete them to rank up and unlock more skills and equipment. Ranking up feels natural as you’re playing a girl coming off age and exploring the World for the first time.

I’m just past the intro; the theme is set, the journey has begun, I expect the difficulty level to increase but I’m eager to see more of the stunning locations and vistas as I ride across the land, until I find Zoids to disassemble with my spear and bow.

This is where the game feels like The Last of Us. Using ‘focus’, what seems to be a web enabled device that scans and layers an augmented reality layer over the surroundings, you identify any animals, humans, or mechanical beasts, then work on taking them down.

Wildlife is easy; tag it then chase, whack it with your spear when near. For the more dangerous enemies you can snipe with your bow, aiming for vulnerable spots shown when in focus, or my favourite current method is to stalk and take them out silently.

Larger mettle beasts require different tactics with alternative weapons, and there seems to be enough of those to keep things mixed up.

Climbing around the terrain is reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed with defined routes up vertical paths, towers replaced by several story high Tallneck’s which once have been summited defog the surrounding map, highlighting locations of interest.

The signature Altair swan dive is replaced with an impressive rappelling descent.

I’m reminded of Skyrim by the detailed scenery, snowy tundra, the changing weather and day night cycle. But the biggest flash back to the Bethesda classic is the bow, Alloy’s primary ranged weapon. What’s really cool is that various arrows can be created on the fly, and the parts are found everywhere, so ammo conservation hasn’t been an issue… yet

Early days but this is a fun challenging title I’d recommend to anyone
Rating: ★★★★★

Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith-2014

The fastest way to learn guitar is now better than ever. Join over three million people who have learned to play guitar with the award-winning Rocksmith® method. Plug any real guitar or bass with a 1/4 inch jack directly into your PC or Mac and you’ll learn to play in just 60 days.

With Rocksmith you can learn everything from single notes to chords and advanced techniques, all at your own pace. You’ll learn fast because it adapts to your skill level as you play, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player.

Borrowed an electric guitar from a friend, picked up a tone cable, and downloaded Rocksmith 2014 from Steam… 4 days before an half price offer ??Doh!

Loving the tunes and learning curve, and am trying to commit to playing each day, thinking I put so much time into games I might as well learn real skills 🙂

The first song i played was by The Ramone’s, and I put this down to destiny due to the modded switch on the borrowed guitar shows “Ramones and Treble” settings

Out of the next few songs were 2 bands from Sheffield; I was hooked!

  • Video tutorials are effective, with applied tests of what has just been taught afterwards
  • Arcade style games are a great way to become familiar with strings, frets, and chords

My playing is improving daily, and I’ve promised myself a nice guitar if I keep up the practice.
Let’s see how long it will last… with 1,000 songs now available it could be quite a while \m/

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Ghost Recon?: ? Wildlands

Ghost Recon?: ? Wildlands

Summary: Taking place a few years into the future, Ghost Recon Wildlands empowers players to lead a team of Ghosts, a four-player U.S. Elite Special Operations unit, on a covert mission to destroy the Santa Blanca drug cartel, an underworld force and growing global threat within Ubisoft’s imagining of a beautiful, yet dangerous Bolivia. With hundreds of villages and well-known landmarks, local legends and various factions and regions, players venture into a vast world with which to interact and explore. The Ghosts’ upgradable skills, along with a vast arsenal of weapons, vehicles and drones, help them defeat their almighty enemy. Gamers can play the entire game solo or they join up with as many as three friends in co-op to roam freely in this vast playground.

Metacritic

I picked up Ghost Recon?: Wildlands on the PS4, as I was a big fan of the early releases on the original XBOX, certainly the multiplayer battles.

I ws impressed by the awesome graphics and FMV, usual control system, but there’s just something about the game that doesn’t compel me to put in more hours; and in this day and age where there is a plethora of quality titles to gobble up my limited play time like pacman on a pill binge I’ve returned this game to the retailer.

  • open world like MGS5 stealth, without the firepower and finesse to approach each objective in your preferred way
  • aspects of GTA, without the plot or humour
  • similar to Far Cry objectives, with a mix of Mordor; taking out ranked area bosses, without the vindication and dynamic characters
  • Just Cause 3, without the arcade feel
  • Watch Dogs like drones, moved away from the previous satellite top down surveillance, that had a much more military feel
  • same safe Ghost Recon tactic in single player; tag the enemies and use AI teammates to take them out
  • no online multiplayer? 🙁

Great opportunity for this to work well with real life teams, although I couldn’t find a team mates who would cooperate; everyone seemed to run off and do their own thing. This is cool in vs games but not when you have a shared objective.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

So long and thanks for all the fish

Status

Been busy with games (Nioh) and Raspberyy Pi projects, and post deets when I have the opportunity, but currently my mission is moving 🙂

I’ve been with this host for sometime, with no issues, actully awesome customer service, but feel it’s time to play elsewhere.

Currently testing DigitalOcean, although have also contemplated Google Cloud and Amazon.

I’ve created a droplet on a LAMP stack with WordPress installed, I may look to a different CMS platform, but that’s another day.

All of this was motivated by the idea of creating an RSS aggregate to post to a Twitter feed again; I’ll share the details of that journey in the near future.

Off to migrate files, hope I don’t lose anything

The Thargoids have arrived

Thargoids
No posts lately as I heard that the Thargoids have arrived in Elite:Dangerous last Friday 🙂

How has this caused my hiatus?

I rushed out and picked up a new graphics card (Radeon RX 480) and a 256 Gig Samsung SSD so I could play the game with ease.

That’s when the trouble began! I found I couldn’t migrate Win7 easily off a partition on a 2TB HD to the SSD; or rather I could, but Windows wouldn’t open.

I also had issues installing the Radeon drivers on Debian. I tried and failed to rebuild a kernel (first attempt), and I didn’t know there were new Linux kernels available, still not sure if they would work.

So I re-installed Ubuntu, as I knew there were Radeon drivers available. So after installing Ubuntu on my original SSD I found after many attempts that I couldn’t install Win 7 on my new SSD… but I could install Ubuntu on it, and Win7 was happy to install on my original SSD.

Best part of 3 days it took me to remove my old graphics card, slot in the new one, plug the new SSD into a SATA port on the motherboard, install 2 new operating systems, and setup Steam and Elite:Dangerous, including the Horizons DLC!

Thank the Linux gods that I have a weekly backup of my Home directory that’s easy to bring back with Deja Dup.

For the rest of the 2 weeks I’ve been flying around space 🙂

Elite:Dangerous Vulture

I didn’t jump straight back into my Clipper; after accidents when coming back to E:D after a break in the past. So I mapped my keys to a wired xbox controller (I still find the ergonomics suit my large hands better than the PS4 pads) and took my Vulture out for a ride.

I didn’t take many risks, practiced takeoff’s and docking, all was going well, so thought I’d try comabat.

Now I remember this ship could hold its own so I was quite confident approaching a Conflict Zone, even after time away.

I was destroyed within 5 mins, WTF! It felt like the ship had been nerfed, or it could have been my new lack of skills.

So I cashed in the insurance and bought one of my favourite ships in the game, an Asp. I moved over what hardware I could, and sold the rest.

For the next few days I flew my Asp around Imperial space, running data, fetch, and delivery missions, not wasting weight on weapons. I didn’t realise immediately that I had purchased an Asp Scout, and not the model I’d had fun exploring and trading with in the past, the Asp Explorer… or am I just confused and was there only the Asp available on launch? Shit it was over 2 years ago!

Elite:Dangerous Clipper

Anyway I was then confident enough to have my Clipper delivered to me and things have been going well, except for one failed planetary landing that cost me another insurance claim.

The game seems to have improved in many little ways, and now it’s easier on the eyes with my new graphics card, and stutter free.

I’ve even done something that I once though pedestrian, and have installed a docking computer on the Clipper, loving the sylish landings and how Frontier have kept the classical music that kicks in with the computer as on the original.

So I’m cruising around Harm with some nice one jump return 3.2k/tonne loops, working on saving credits to afford maybe a Python next so I’m not limited to large landing pads.

Loving picking Elite up again, and I haven’t set out yet to find the Engineers, Alien Ruins, or the Thargoids 🙂

from Ubuntu to Debian

Yesterday I did something that I’ve been considering for a while; I burned my installation of Ubuntu and installed Debian.

I’ve been a long time fan of Ubuntu, since before the Unity days, I stuck with the Canonical distro through the Amazon debacle, and the community as been awesome and supportive over the years, and I have loyalty to them.

Although yesterday the KDE plasma installation started having issues, as ever with Ubuntu I find it easier to create a fresh install of the OS rather than try and fix the issues when I’ve installed a broad selection of drivers and programs and I’m not sure which ones have gone tits up.

I was tempted to try the latest Fedora 25, that I’ve been playing with in VirtualBox, but I’m a little too attached to apt-get 🙂

The Debian experience

  • installation has been a straightforward
  • biggest pain was having to install the Debian non-free firmware… or more identifying that I needed to install the Debian non-free firmware 🙂
  • I installed synaptic and deja-dup to access my backed up home directory, which also gave me my .bashrc file back with aliases
    • now have all my usual programs installed, and everything is running as quickly as ever
  • I love the option when installing to add different desktop environments, I’ve been playing with Gnome 2, Gnome 3, KDE, Xfce, Mate, but settled for now on Cinnamon
  • and as a great bonus Steam and Kerbal Space Program installed without issue 🙂

Everything seems to be stable and running well… think I need to change the headers on this blog from Ubuntu to Linux 🙂

first techy projects of 2017

Status

Things I’m playing with over the Xmas NY break 🙂

  • installed KDE desktop, not sure why I haven’t tried it before, although I did try Mate a few weeks ago that I can’t get to work correctly
  • excited about season 2 of Street Fighter V I’ve reinstalled it on the PS4, and I’m more frustrated and annoyed by Capcom’s servers than ever
    • repetatively the server connection keeps dropping, the only solution I can find is to close the game and re-load
    • the novelty of getting to practice with Akuma wore off quite quickly, I couldn’t even find a single game 🙁
  • I’m excited about Elite: Dangerous coming the the PS4 this year, although not sure I can be motivated to put the hours in again, and I don’t think Commanders will be able to migrate over saved profiles
  • currently downloading the one game I’ve purchased on Steam Kerbal Space Program yet again.
    • I’ve just searched and found that it’s already available for the PS4… not sure how I missed this!

I needed to use this guide to get Steam to load on Ubuntu 16.04

rm ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6
rm ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/amd64/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6

challenging challenges – The Last Guardian

Status

I find the challenges The Last Guardian a refreshing challenge; they’re not awarded for just playing, you have to play the game to its full to be awarded.

This is  a great break from just being in a game, or putting in hours, getting awarded with a trophy.

I won’t be awarded many trophies on this play through , although I am enjoying the giant beast and child interaction, so reminiscent of both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, & early Prince of Persia

Geek Xmas 2016

Status

Merry Xmas!

Our boy is still a little young to geek out at xmas, although last night visiting friends he picked up a controller and gave Minecraft a bash… not bad for one 20 months old 🙂

  • I’m still finishing off FFxv
  • have picked up Overwatch again looking to actually rank for the first time in season 3
  • re-installed Witcher 3 to finish off after FF
  • currently downloading the update 1.03 for one of my Xmas presents, The Last Guardian, which is one title (together with Street Fighter V) that I chose the PS4 over the XBONE

My darling wife has also bought me the coolest geek 4 letter registration plate, I’ll post a pic when it’s delivered in the New Year 🙂

Chur!

 

final fantasy xv first hours

  • There’s a lot of running around
  • The style if FF all the way, the interactions seamless
  • It feels like a MMORPG in that you can easily walk into side quests
  • It’s all about the team
  • Switching of weapons and items is quick and easy
  • Need I say the FMW is cinema quality
  • The characters are likeable
  • The time of the environment is more Fallout than Fallout
  • I’m binge watching Entourage for the first time; and Regalia is just like the crews Cadillac

Have to crash, but I can see FFxv taking up much of my game time this summer… not since 11/11/11 and Skyrim have I felt the same way about a game.

TBC


I’m now cautious that I may have flown through the last couple of chapters, all for picking up the assistance of the gods; although think it worthwhile and am currently finishing off side quests… or rather making sure Cid has upgraded my weapons, before moving on

Loved the Rock of Ravotagh mission… although not sure what I’ll do yet with all of these weapons 🙂


FFxv crashed on me this evening in the middle of a ruckus with 3 beasty crabs… I was kicking arse, think this was Square Enix’s counter 🙂

Currently working on acquiring the Ultimate weapon, and in turn buffing levels ans stats, still having fun!

Have to learn how to post pictures taken in game to Twitter and here


Ultimate weapon gained, and it kicks arse!
Currently watching and loving Kingsglaive; it is a thing of beauty, hard to believe it’s all cgi.

The plot seems to be a mash of genres; traditional Final Fantasy, Cthulhu, and Tolkien / Game of Thrones, need I say how awesome it is?

haha just realised why I thought GoT & LoTR’s, Sean Bean is the voice of the King 🙂

The scale of the battles are epic, so Japanese; a little bit of mech, a sprinkle of Godzilla and a big dollop of Monkey

selfie
Here’s a selfie photo from the game, think this may become a banner for the blog 🙂

Now I can’t figure out why I’ve booked in a test drive for an Audi tomorrow 😉

I’ll embed the Brotherhood cartoons as I watch them, enough time for videos this evening, it’s time to play


Iris sounds very much like the same voice actress for SFiv’s Sakura?

As much as I’m enjoying the game it has made me appreciate The Witcher 3 even more, The Witcher World feels more full, the plot more alive, although I like both combat systems Witcher is more involving, and maybe a little more twitch compared to the analytic FF style.

Brotherhood FFXV


This game now feels the opposite if FFIII, where one starts linear and the final levels are open World, the other is the opposite.

Is this a good thing?

I think it encourages player to buy into the game with both time and emotions early on, although then leave them disillusioned to the latter end of the story.

I’m now in a chapter that reminds me of the the first Final Fantasy game I played nearly 30 years ago on the original Game Boy: Final Fantasy Legend

Final Fantasy Legend

Although this time I’ve invested less hours, yer still seem adequately powered up to tackle all that the game throws at me.

I’ve enjoyed the game, I’ll play the DLC, but I now appreciate Witcher 3 that little bit more and will certainly revisit it to confirm that my memories are not all through rose coloured glasses.

Rating to be updated while playing
Rating: ★★★½☆


I find FFxv the opposite of FFxiii; it begins open world, then goes scripted.

I now have the option to complete the game, but I’m happy enough levelling up, collecting what I can, and earning Gil.

So before I take Nocti and the posse to the conclusion I’m looking to acquire all of the Royal Arms: locations and stats here

PSA: No matter what level you’re at, use the gun emplacements when they’re available

Watch Dogs 2


I’ve ditched Dishonoured 2, it was too close to the original, without the novelty, and still as linear.

I’ve picked up Watch Dogs 2 in the hope it was better than its predecessor; and I’m sadly disappointed for a simple reason…

The driving

FFS this is from the guys who made the original, and following, Driver series.

Back when Grand Theft Auto was trying to break into 3D, Driver was doing it better and with more panache. Excuse the capitalisation but WTF happened, how is Watch Dogs 2 the latest incarnation?

Even the Sci Fi like Driver: San Francisco was involved and entertaining.

Usually in games I play as stealthily as possible, squeezing all from each scene; for Watch Dogs 2 I may try and run through without remorse… although I’m more likely to return it and play Blood Bowl 2 until Final Fantasy XV is released

Man vs Snake

Best documentary I think I’ve watched, in a sad gamer way, from a game I’ve never known, although I understand the players drive and ambition… not saying I’m skilled or committed enough to achieve what these guys did, but I appreciate their casus belli

Machine learning with R

I’ve been working my way through Trevor Stephens well written and informative Kaggle Titanic tutorial for R.

Competition Description

The sinking of the RMS Titanic is one of the most infamous shipwrecks in history. On April 15, 1912, during her maiden voyage, the Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg, killing 1502 out of 2224 passengers and crew. This sensational tragedy shocked the international community and led to better safety regulations for ships.

One of the reasons that the shipwreck led to such loss of life was that there were not enough lifeboats for the passengers and crew. Although there was some element of luck involved in surviving the sinking, some groups of people were more likely to survive than others, such as women, children, and the upper-class.

In this challenge, we ask you to complete the analysis of what sorts of people were likely to survive. In particular, we ask you to apply the tools of machine learning to predict which passengers survived the tragedy.

Excel would have been my first weapon of choice, but I wanted to try a new approach and a new analytical tool.

I’ve a use for R in my salaried role, and can see how I can utilise what I’ve learned in the guide in real World projects.

So thanks to Trev I now have a top 400 ranked score, and I am driven to do better. Think I’ll manipulate the data in Excel, rather than mastering regex in R, let’s see how high up the rankings I can get 🙂

Dishonored again

I’m 2 hours into Dishonored 2 [It pains me to spell the title without a u :)] on the PS4, I decided to play with Emily on my first play through, and I’m enjoying the experience.

I went through the original xbox360 Dishonored with minimal kills and achieved the none chaotic ending; not sure of how I’ll play this campaign; but I usually go for peaceful when possible.

I stayed away from the trailer to avoid spoilers, and I won’t post any here; all I have to say for now is if you enjoyed the original Bethesda have produced a great sequel.

Electronic Frontier Foundation chic

I received my EFF member tshirt, together with membership card and bumper sticker 🙂

I’ve got back into GTAV, just before the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2!

Been playing a little of one of the free games for October on PSN network Transformers: Devastation, although was very tempted to pick up the original Resident Evil HD remake.

I’ve been working on Machine Learning models in R and Python, playing with the new Google Studio 2.2, and Kali on the Rasp Pi 3

Street Fighter V still unplayable

Status

There was a new update today for PS4 Street Fighter V, Version 1.06; thought I’d boot up the game and blow the dust off of my fightstick… really wish I hadn’t 🙁

I couldn’t finish a simple 10 rounds with Ibuki without being disconnected from the server.

I really want to like this game, but it seems such an unstable server build from Capcom. Looking forward to when my boy can challenge me offline, but why would I choose Street Fighter V, over Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken, or even Marvel vs Capcom?

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Today I picked up Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, for the PS4, as a belated Father’s Day gift; awesome choice son 🙂

I’m only through the intro mission, but I like the authentic feel, and the open city aspect… although I can see how challenges, as in the original, could be frustrating; as the times allowed for completion leave little, to no room, for error.

Looking forward to getting familiar with Faith and Glass City once again

Raspberry Pi Twitter Bot

Status

In a moment of weakness I ordered a Raspberry Pi 3 last week, on the basis that my current original Raspberry Pi is a little too slow.

I pretty much stopped playing with it after the USB stick / drive I was using bricked, so this weekend I’ve powered it up again and I’m quite impressed.

I’ve overclocked the Raspberry Pi to Pi2 settings, although not sure what this means except it’s running quite well:

1000 MHz ARM
500 MHz core
500 MHz SDRAM
2 overvolt

I’ve set the Raspberry Pi to connect to Tor on boot,and run a couple of Python scripts 🙂
One posts how long the box has been live, and the temperature it’s running at, the other retweets any mention of SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, and EGGS!

If you’re interested here’s the account: @PiCookingTime
I’ll post the code if anyone is interested, although it was all plagiarised from great thinkers online 🙂