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Some article  made me try once again an Arma 3-based mod. The launcher is too big for my 1080p screen and forces usage of TeamSpeak that by default (loudly) messages you whenever a guy enter or exit the channel your are in.  Then Arma 3 randomly saves or do not save changes on the keyboard config. And when it works, you are still dealing with the clunkiest 3d engine on the market: I, once again, un-installed Arma 3 after getting severely injured by walking near a wall (clipping bugs in 2015!) in less than 3 minutes. This note must serve as reminder: do not waste time trying another mod for this game.

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Où est-il mon moulin de la Place Blanche ? Mon tabac et mon bistrot du coin ? (Fifth Gear, 2002-2015; Ulysse, les chants du retour, 2014; La Revue Dessinée #07, 2015)

I was getting used to it in TV show. For instance, in Fifth Gear, many times you just see the presenters talking, listening to themselves and any a laugh, instead of showing something actually on topic. When they are actually testing a car, you’ll see most of the time their faces instead of the car or the road. Why not, since it’s about how they feel with these cars, it could make sense.

But now it looks it goes also in comics. In Jean Harambat‘s Ulysse, les chants du retour, you’re often faced drawing not of Ulysses but of (somewhat) famous french people that studied him, as historian, scenarist or whatever. As if you were meeting them, or were watching a TV interview. Drawings are good. Thought about the whole Odyssey are smart. Nonetheless, I find these graphic interview somewhat disturbing. It add an extra layer. It’s not longer just about Homer’s epic poem, then I get in front of me someone posing.

It adds extra characters. I gave a lot of consideration to it and my conclusion stands: it’s distracting. Would Plato be fun on prime TV? Not so sure.

In some cases, like in Benoit Collombat et Etienne Davodeau Les barbouzes de la République, as published in La Revue Dessinée #07, since the story is really made as some sort of investigation, it’s actually ok. You see the characters interacting will people they meet and that have a direct influence on their understanding of what they investigate.

I guess in this case, it really add something. Instead of pretending to reconstruct the past, it just show a process to get familiar with it.

But then, in the same La Revue Dessinée, you get a whole investigation about illegal immigrants. Most of it (every drawing almost), you see a supposedly pretty white girl face expressing her view on the topic. There is really no reason to see her face at all. She’s on the side, not illegally immigrating and not affected in any way by illegal immigrants. But still, we see her face and listen to mushy mushy about how cool would be western europe if the whole planet was there.

So, really, I think something is wrong in general in this trend. And it’s obvious when the point being made is crap. Then you are just supposed to identify yourself to the faces you are submerged with, instead of actually thinking about what is being said.

Où ferez-vous alors vos culbutes, Vous, les pauvres gosses à Poulbot?

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Silence warps through the halls (Alan Wake, 2012; Murdered: Soul Suspect, 2014)

Did I ever tell that I’m not fan of horror-based-whatever? Why would I enjoy putting myself into a serious disconfort? I did not like Doom 3 because it was all that: crap appearing behind your back to suscitate sudden fear, nothing more.

There are games somehow horror-related that I enjoyed nontheless – fear was a part of them but not the only content. Alan Wake is a good example. The gameplay is both and innovating, thriller story is captivating, fear is the beat of the game and not its essence.

Murdered: Soul Suspect is made in a similar fashion. You can be frigthened/surprised a bit but since your character is already dead (I dont think I spoiled much here, it happens as soon as the game starts) you don’t feel you risk too much. The story is quite conventional but quite solid. Graphics are clean. Ambiance (sounds, visuals) well set. While non-essential, I’d almost recommend playing it. Unless you have to pay it’s full price. Because the gameplay is a clunky as a console-designed game usually is. Because it’s buggish: I had my share of issues (unexpected framerate drop, sound out of sync with image during cutscenes, etc) that could not be fixed, enough for me to look on the support pages to find many similar reports. Because of very backward design in some regards (cutscene prerendered and in low quality, forced advertisement videos on game startup not even letting the game load on background, etc). 30€ is too much for a play-once buggy but otherwise fine adventure.

Silver moon silhouette, In due time you will forget

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Będziem Polakami. Dał nam przykład Bonaparte, Jak zwyciężać mamy (Ida, 2013)

With Ida, it just seems that Nouvelle Vague hit Poland: a scenario that can fit in one or two paragraphs, never ending sequences where nothing happen just for the sake of a nice image. Boring. It should have a been a short film, if anything.

I was about to ask: why the heck these Poles are they frenching their movies now? But then I just found on wikipedia that the author Paweł Pawlikowski is “Paris-based”. In an interview, he says stuff like the ending would not go for the French (“Certains me disaient que j’étais foutu en France à cause de la fin du film”) which sounds to me a very French way to even think.

That can’t be good. Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła?

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So don’t take me home baby, your mama won’t like me (Razer BlackWidow)

I read in PC Gamer the following description of the Razer BlackWidow gaming keyboard:

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate: Razer premium keyboard is a nice full-sized board with extremely clacky keys, but doesn’t offer much for ergonomic support. It’s also premium priced, at $130, and includes no dedicated media keys. It’s a well-loved board, however, and could make a great option if you don’t like the K70.

Fact is I bought a BlackWidow (not ultimate) in august 2012 and this one got the spacebar broken last august, two years later. They talk here about the Ultimate version but this one apparently only really bring cosmetics in the mix (backlight, extra USB, i/o for headset).  For a keyboard of this price range, it’s quite unexpected. And looking at how it actually broke, I’m surprised in did not happen earlier: however essential as the spacebar key can be, it is only held by very tiny bits of plastic. I won’t buy any other hardware from this brand. I like your stimulation, but that aint enough.

(Note: the placement of macro keys to the left of the keyboard is also quite a nuisance, forcing you to look at the keyboard to get familiar with it’s otherwise standard layout)

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Inconsistency #6: Gotham S01E01

Solid cast they have for Gotham, a new TV series being sort of prequel to Batman. The first episode is promising.

The following is disturbing though:

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Not to spoil it for you, but Gordon’s partner gunned this Pepper down:

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That was in defense of Gordon: Pepper was utterly destroying him to resist arrest. So Gordon feels that he’s as much involved in the killing:

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But then they’re led to reconsider the motive for the arrest in first place. He was suspected of having committed brutal murder but they learned that he actually may just have been framed. They are suddenly thinking they’ll “loose their jobs” is the arrest was on erroneous grounds, since he was “innocent”:

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How come? Did they sentenced Pepper to death and executed him because they thought he committed murder or did they only kill him because he was a direct and immediate threat to Gordon’s life? It’s obviously the later and whether Pepper was guilty of the murder leading to his arrest, however sad it is, is actually completely irrelevant. Any detective, as Gordon, would get that.

A good actors cast is good but scenario matter nonetheless.

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Inconsistency #5: Z Nation S01E01

Tired of Zombies? I recently finished season 2 of Telltale The Walking Dead, I’m still reading the comics every month, you could say I’m not bored.

Or maybe it’s because this stuff interest was not solely based on the trend.

A contrario, I completely forgot about the TV show though – I’ve seen a few episodes since the middle of season 2, or more the first few minutes of some episodes, that’s all. I also lost hope on the idea to get a DayZ game playable. Arma 2 (DayZ) and Arma 3 (Breaking Point) mods are not much playable that they were when they started and it looks to me, from my (small) experience playing Arma 2 and Arma 3 themselves that it relates to shortcoming of the Real Virtuality engine made in-house by Bohemia Interactive. This engine is apparently great to give a very military/topographic map kind of ambiance but anything related to interaction with the environment or object sucks beyond reasonable expectations (entering a building is a mess! in 2014! not to mention taking an object on the ground or just organizing the character inventory). It’s acceptable just for some kind of virtual countryside trek (not even much, because the IA is fucked-up too in many regards, pathfinding to name one). It’s not for solo game in an environment filled by IA. It’s definitely not ok for a survival multiplayer game, with guys out there to take you out: the risk of random death squished by a door you’re closing yourself or pushed down a ladder by your friend following you is a definite game-breaker. The existence of DoomZ -self described as a remake of DayZ but made in a superior engine in which zombies can’t just walk through walls– is as much fun as tragic: Real Virtuality engine cannot do what id Tech 1 can, id Tech 1 initial release dating from 1993. About DayZ as standalone, it’s good to hear that it wont be using Real Virtuality per se but something called Enfusion but that’s only a “revamped” version of Real Virtuality and it’s very doubtful to me that you can build a good engine as an extra layer to a crappy one. If the code is shitty then it’s very likely due to a serious lack of planning and to general bad design. That’s cannot really be helped, even over time. I already published a long rant about it but I felt necessary to mention all that crap once more, since I was trying the other day to play a cool mod for Arma 3 and gave up due to more issue with Arma 3 (not able to load savegame to start with etc – isn’t it funny that “arma 3 not able to load save” give more than 500 000 results on google?).

There is still newsurvival/zombie based stuff released recently. Some of them seemed fishy from the start, some others I just failed to pay attention to. And so I’m getting on topic: there’s a new TV show called Z Nation and I decided to give it a try, mostly because I’ve seen the face of Harold Perinneau and I liked him as Augustus Hill in Oz. So far I’ve seen only one episode (out of two released). The zombies seems to have evolved, some are very fast, some other use tactics to defeat survivors: that’s an interesting take. You see survivors equiping some weaponry, discussing it smartly, for instance: should I use this bat? would be this pointy thing get stuck in a zombie? even though .22 is enough to kill a zombie, will it kill it/him fast enough? The apocalypse is happening since a few years. So we’re led to believe we’re are dealing with experienced smart guys. But, overall, not much of their decisions make any sense. They talk about saving ammunitions -good- but then use rifles full auto on zombies already dead with the first bullet fired. One though military character (played by Perinneau), commando-trained style, have both a handgun and an assault rifle: he uses his handgun in open countryside and the assault rifle inside buildings with no space at all to move around, how likely is that? The others, as a bunch of 6, they see one other character getting chomped by two zombies, they stay passive for 10 seconds -giving time for these zombies to actually be a danger for them too- and then suddently they all empty their weapons magazines on them. Are these guys serious about trying to survive here? How could these guy have survived several years already?