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FrozenLiquid Blog

Already bored with GTA V...

Um, if you haven't bought it yet, just wait for the Steam sale on an eventual PC release. 

I think part of the problem is the game is ambitious, huge, polished, and therefore no one remembered to inject fun. Some of you are gonna say 'no, I'm having fun with it still', but Imma pin it to the honeymoon phase; basically it's still fun because of the novelty. Part of GTA's hook last-gen was that it was open-world, and there was nothing like it. Now, it's suprising when an action isn't open-world. Furthermore, open-world design really hasn't evolved in any meaningful way, so GTA V is essentially on par with what we were expecting.

Red Dead Redemption was Rockstar's best action game. I hope for the next GTA entry they give the series some real oomph, in the way GTAIII did for the series.

Also, curse my ADHD.

Gone Home Is What Dear Esther Wants To Be.

NEWSFLASH: Finally, New Zealand has someone with sensational musical talent worthy of exporting.

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So in the last GUFUPodcast champ said Dear Esther sucks because all you do is walk foward and listen to some guy narrate. Agreed, it's very boring. In Gone Home, you walk left, right, up, and down, and listen to some young chick narrate.

That is freakin' awesome.

No seriously. Unlike Dear Esther where there is virtually no interactivity, Gone Home has tons of interactivity; not in game mechanics, but in piecing together the story. On my first play through, I apparently missed quite a bit of stuff, so I'm quite keen to go back through it again very soon.

Oh, and it also has really good storytelling for a video game. Immensely good.

Anyway, if not-so-gamey-games is not your cup of tea, you should probably wait for a sale. But if you support this type of thing (and this is probably the best example of the niche), you won't regret the $20 spent on this short game, because it really gives you an experience unlike no other.

Also, watch this movie:

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Played some Tomb Raider and Bioshock, feat. Breaking Bad, but not Iron Man 3

... until the computer's harddrive crashed. FML.

I was actually having more fun playing Tomb Raider, but that's because I was playing Bioshock on the infinitely stupid 1999 mode: "Yo dawg, we know you like old school design, so we gonna put old school in your new school, so you can new school while you old school". I know that's not how the meme goes, but it certainly feels like that. I can still remember System Shock 2's design like it was yesterday, and it was everything about it that made it intense and difficult. You can't just slap on bigger/smaller damage models, expensive deaths, different mobs and call it 'old school design'. Twats. I might even do an editorial about it since it infuriated me so much.

Oh right, Tomb Raider. I was having fun. A lot more fun that I thought I would. It's Uncharted with boobs, and it thinks taking the Uncharted relic collect-a-thon and slapping on 'find hidden info by viewing relic at X angle' is evolution. There is actually quite a bit of non-shooting things to do, but the rhythm of the game revolves around killing bad guys. Obviously Adobe's RPG of the year, then.

 Breaking Bad

Admittedly too good. Not since The Wire have I hung out to see what happens in the very next episode, season, whatever. It screwed up my blog's agenda. I suppose it's karma for totally sh!tting on Game of Thrones previously.

 Iron Man 3

Haven't seen it. Even with Shane Black directing, couldn't be arsed to see it. I think I'm getting superhero fatigue.

Instead, I'll be hype for Fast & Furious 6. Might also be a time to find a girl chill enough to kick it with watching such a movie. Most of the time, at least in NZ, they're so strung up, they like watching their entertainingly neurotic films like Iron Man 3 and sh!t, but it doesn't really translate well for me outside the theatre. It's either that, or they watch those really dumb chick flicks - and only chick flicks - and so I end up having zero in common with them.

So yeah, Fast & Furious 6, don't let me down.

Here's a video of Vin Diesel singing a Rihanna song for good luck.

Oh, and she use to be sooooo bad:

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Now she's just terribad.

P.S Not to let down the pooheads that measure their e-peens against mine, in the last month I've watched Mid-August Lunch, Coriolanus, The Merchant of Venice, and I'm about to go on a Catherine Corsini viewing spree. Yeah, you had to google her name. *Puts on pretentious fedora and walks away*

Alfa Romeo; Movies; Alfa Romeo

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 Oh yes, baby. The Geneva Motor 2013 motor show has unveiled a host of striking cars, including the mindblowing Ferrari LaFerrari, the playboy's Lamborghini Veneno, the very futuristic VW XL1, but for pure lust's sake, it's all about the Alfa Romeo 4C.

If you're from the States and you're 20-something, you probably haven't been exposed to Alfa Romeo much at all, as the company withdrew from the market back in 1995. They are about to relaunch their brand this year, and they're going to kick it off with the gorgeous 4C.

Alfa Romeo is the quintessential Italian car: it has the sportiness of a Ferrari, the luxuriousness of a Maserati, and the build quality of a Fiat.

 

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Don't be put off by exploding engines though, Italian cars are all about the passion. It's got some 240 bhp with some 258 lb-ft of torque, with top speeds of about 250 kmh/155 mph. In comparison, Ferrari's latest supercar has about 950bhp with 660 lb-ft and a top speed of 230 mph. It looks a bit paltry, then, but considering the latter is about a million dollars, and the 4C is about a hundred thousand dollars, it all makes a bit more sense.

The key to the glory of the 4C, however, is that it's super light, so it's relatively modest 1.75 litre I4 powered engine can get you from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. And it's the first time in ages Alfa have gone for a mid-engined rear-wheel drive setup. This thing is meant to be fun as f*ck to drive. 

Did I mention it's Italian?

The only problem I'm finding aside from the humble engine is that it's only available in twin-clutch tranmission. That's how dedicated they are into getting back into the States. Honestly, it's a bit sad the Fiat group are hedging their bet on assisted manual cars, because from my time driving their innovative Selespeed transmission ("It's the technology in a Ferrari!" Fiat and Alfa fans exclaims), it takes about half a day for it to change gears. Gimme a six-speed old school manual any day, per favore.

Anyway, it's a good time for Alfas to come back Stateside, because all you guys had to rely on was Camaros and Corvettes to teach you about styIe. Trust me, those muscle cars have no styIe whatsoever. Camaro fans only turn heads because they're half expecting Bumblebee to transform any minute, and it kinda didn't help that the Transformers movies progressively sucked. Hopefully Alfa can develop some fine petrolhead connoiseurs in America. Justin McBride, you can stop dreaming about just owning a Supra :)

 

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

 

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 Weird image, huh. Yes, that scene is suppose to be funny. And when you watch it, it's also pretty scary. That's "Journey to the West", Stephen Chow's reinterpretation of the cIassic Chinese novel as an action-comedy-horror epic. NZ gets a lot of Chinese/HK movies straight after domestic release, and me being me, I went to see it. Verdict?

You should see it too.

It's not as composed as Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, but boy is it absolutely nuts. It's the antidote to all that grimserious Chris Nolan-esque stuff plaguing Hollywood these days. If you can't wait to see it in your country, watch the 1987 Hong Kong cIassic A Chinese Ghost Story which is very similar in tone. Just don't bother with the 2011 remake.

 

A Bone for Foolz3h

:cry: Sorry Foolz3h, I know you've been waiting for me to talk about Tarkovsky, but I've completely forgotten what I had to say about him. What I do know is that the issues you brought up are correlated to the subject matter he was always toying with, and I don't think he ever rested on his laurels. Like Terrence Malick, he just could not figure out a way to convey his messages properly, and he certainly tried!

 

The Hot Girls Picture Thing

I know it's Lent, but if I don't throw at least one picture of a chick at the end of a blog I'm letting the boys down. So here's Chrissie Chau who stars in the Journey to the West movie. And hey, it's an Asian girl even champ would appreciate, for a couple of reasons as you can see below.

 

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Oh, I know that's not Chrissie, but you don't see many white girls with an a$$ that amazing. Seriously, I'd give up sex before I'd give up driving amazing cars.

Well, unless Jessica Alba suddenly becomes available again.

My New Years resolution: build a custom arcade stick.

That's what I originally had planned, until

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For $65.87 USD. Yao Ming, bro.

It's the 360 version, so I might get VF5: FS for Xbox anyway, coz Gagan of all people seems to be the only guy that is ever game for it. Gonna dual-mod it later this year too, so I can play DOA5 aka Virtua Fighter-lite and Mortal Kombat with more precise controls. Speaking of which, more people need to play Mortal Kombat. Need more people to exercise my police brutality on :).

And finally, I can jump into Street Fighter 4 properly, as I just left it when I sold my TE Fight Stick back in '09. Dunno if I cbf getting real good at it, but I would like to at least win one set when I play someone lol. For some reason I'm better at Third Strike at the arcade in the city than SSF4: AE, but probably due to lack of any good competition there.

@Foolz3h i'll get back at you about Tarkovsky later. I got a bit to say about him lol

Films of 2012

Before I begin, what are your favourite films of the year? Doesn't matter if your opinion is right, wrong, pleb, or godly, variety is the spice of life. Pick two, just for fun.

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I'm at that point in my career where if someone where to ask me "Have you seen "X" film?", I make that busy filmmaker excuse and reply, "I haven't yet because I haven't the time, but I do try go to the theatre as often as possible." As often as possible, it seems, means I just watch all the big popcorn movies (of which only one is mentioned below). I have been given screeners of some smaller films to watch in my spare time, though I've only gone through three of them, and I ended up seeing two of those on the big screen anyway.

If you guys hadn't noticed, 2012 has been the biggest year for movies since 2003, and it's also the biggest year for movies, ever. $10.8 billion dollars of your monies went to the box office, and now the hardest part for Hollywood is to figure out where to put it all in order to evade the inevitable tax increases. Thank you Obama.

And like 2003, it has been very disappointing. Well, for me, at least. Apparently a lot of you liked this year's offerings. It was so disappointing for me however, that I couldn't think of one film I actually liked without some significant reservation.

I won't do a top ten. I find that most people end up trying to fill and order a list rather than give them the acclaim they deserve, and the staggered releases worldwide just make things too controversial for such rigidity. I also haven't seen enough films. So instead, I'll just do the films that immortalize 2012, and the ones that I enjoyed for some reason or another.

THE IMMORTALS

Beasts of the Southern Wild

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My oh my, Louisiana. You just did what no other state in the U.S of A has been able to do for a long time: you've made foreign filmmakers stand up and take notice of what the Americans are making. They do say that it's only during a crisis that the most audacious can craft something truly special. If that's the case, it was inevitable that a New Orleans filmmaker would conjure something beautiful in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It's by no means perfect, but it's the start of something special, guaranteed.

The Intouchables

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When you can smell an English-language remake coming from a mile away, you know a French film is flippin' good. It's just scene after scene of hilarity and brutal honesty, with my favourite joke being the practicality of the Maserati. The only knock on this movie is that it doesn't develop a strong enough plot, so two thirds of the way through it slows down enormously. Nevertheless, if a comedy can be judged by how naturally set-ups and payoff develop throughout, this is the one to beat in the next few years.

Rust and Bone

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I was wondering if the director of "A Prophet" - one of the best mafia movies ever - could follow up with something just as incredible. Alas, the answer is no. Like the other French movie The Intouchables, Rust and Bone has a measly plot to hold onto, and thus the characters don't get to do anything remarkable in the long running time. But what an intense character study this movie is. It also helps that Marion Cotillard turns in the greatest performance of the year, while Matthias Schoepolish (sic) mirrors her frailty with unbridled testosterone.

AND THE NOTABLE FLICKS

Really, it should be titled "Good flicks", but there just wasn't any apart from the above three.

Looper

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Looper is to Terminator/12 Monkeys what Moon was to Solyaris/2001. Where Moon felt like a competent homage, though, Looper felt like it was stuck trying to find its own identity. And two thirds of the way through, it tried a gambit which didn't really pay off. In fact it soured the whole thing. It's one of those films I cannot watch again because I know how poo-poo the finale is.

Cabin in the Woods

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The more interesting experiment of the two Joss Whedon had done this year, it's got enough wit of its own to make people forget Scream did the exact same thing 17 years ago. It's just that after the first half, it doesn't know what to do with its plot twist, and so decides to amp up the farce by the end.

Pirates! Band of Misfits

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Not the best of Aardman, nor the worst of Aardman, but the world of film could always do with a little more Aardman.

The Raid

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Everyone says this is a good action film. I disagree, because Die Hard is a good action film. This is a nicely choreographed action film, however, and that's why it's notable.

Life Without Principle

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You got it this year, North America, and most of you didn't see it. Many of you that should were too busy watching the pretentious w@nkery that is South Korean New Wave. Please fix that. Anyway, Johnnie To is probably Hong Kong's number one auteur (yes, even bigger than Wong Kar-Wai), and this microcosm of the Western world's economic crisis is rather sharp. I do wonder if Johnnie To needs to find his stride in non-styIish gangster flicks, though.

Amour

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If there ever was a personification of the flaws of 20th century German-Austrian intellectual discourse, it'd be Haneke himself; Amour has all the elements to make profound statements about human love, but instead devolves to shock, revulsion, and mild confusion, with the pretension to parade around as intelligent thought.

(Here lies a film by Ben Affleck which GameSpot considers a swear word. Ah well.)

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There are films I haven't mentioned, probably because I haven't seen them yet, and the notable ones I want to mention are The Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln, which only come out next month/year. Personal favourite Kathryn Bigelow is also coming out with the apparently incredible Zero Dark Thirty, which could turn out to be my favourite for all I know.

Anyway, it's two hours 'til the new year here in NZ. I've got to write up my resolution that'll hopefully score me a place in a 'best of' list in a couple of years. That includes 5am weekday starts, intense exercise, networking, and writing, and constant prayer prayer that I don't mess it all up. Oh, oh, oh, and two of my resolutions are really interesting: I'm building my own book case for my amazing personal library of books, and I want to build my own fight stick!!! Two awesome hobbies for the next 365 days.

See you guys on the other side... and don't forget to tell me your fav films.

P.S if champ does a last blog of the year, he has to sign out with either a Jensen or Timmy gif. There can be no other option.

The Hobbit

sucks major dogs' balls.

Look, even if you like it (and I feel sorry for you), I'm going to apologize for Peter Jackson. He is the luckiest hack working in Hollywood today, because for some strange reason we all actually thought he had amazing talent when he helmed that fluke of a film trilogy called the Lord of the Rings.

Ever heard jg4xchamp's hyperbolic rants about fantasy? Well that's just straight accurate about The Hobbit. What's worse is that it's an adaptation of one of the best fantasy novel's ever written - yes, even better than Harry Potter and Twilight - and they made something that's like Game of Thrones* level pathetic.

And not one to let George Lucas keep the crown for too long, he decided it was a good idea to realize his vision with a Red Epic + 3d Polarized glasses + excessive CGI + 48fps HFR. It looked like an expensive BBC production from the 70's. Idiot.

Before the year is over, I'm gonna wash my eyes out with Jacques Audriard's Rust and Bone, a movie in which Marion Cotillard doesn't actually suck in.

My Berenice Marlohe pic failed last time, here she is again.

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* Game of Thrones sucks, both book series and television show. Deal with it.

Have a good Christmas.

Skyfall? More like Skybore feat. my dream wife.

I couldn't believe how boring this film was, despite excellent production values. And if I may make a prediction: it will be seen in 10 years time as a middling entry in the franchise, and a starkly overrated film, just like Sam Mendes' American Beauty.

There isnothing in this film that is iconic, and there's perhaps only one scene in the movie which is balls-out excellent (the silhouette fight scene in the glass tower). But even that is lost on a mediocre plot point.

I don't expect Bond to be fancy pants fantastic, and truly, only Casino Royale is a remarkable action film period. But when I watch Bond, I expect fast cars, beautiful women, cool gadgets and some dastardly evil plot to take over the world. When I think Goldfinger, I think.... gold-painted woman, the DB5 car chase, the golf scene, and Oddjob's death (it was so enjoyable almost everyone didn't realize how incompetent Bond is in the movie). Hell, when I think Goldeneye, I think jumping off a dam, a tank through the streets of Moscow, Xenia Onatopp, and Sean Bean, the agent-turned-villain who did it before Javier Bardem.

I can't remember anything in Skyfall. Sh!t just happened. Then when I think about it, Skyfall is the antithesis to what we know as the James Bond series today: truthfully average - sometimes above-average - movies with memorable over-the-top nonsense.

I suppose the only way I'll see the next James Bond movie in the first week is if it gets a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, with the concensus "Goes back to the silly Bond nonsense that the series suffered in the past."

Coz f*ck that pseudo-realism crap.

P.S Film has my dream wife in it. French-born half-Asian chick. Mon dieu:

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GoG.com, Indie Bundle Sales (i.e the non-Steam Sale Blog)

Honestly, stuff the Steam sales.

We know it comes several times a year. And we know it's mostly the same games. And we mostly buy the games we didn't have money for last time. And we mostly never play any of them.

We're idiots.

Instead, hop on over to GoG.com and pick 5 games for $10. No, they're not necessarily the games you want to play, but they do have the games you need to play. That also includes Alan Wake's American Nightmare, which sorta kinda fits the criteria of 'need to play', because after the dullness that was the original Alan Wake, American Nightmare makes good use of the gameplay.

Anyway, here are the games I chose.

  • Resonance
  • Botanicula
  • To the Moon
  • Blackwell Bundle
  • Uplink: Hacker Elite

Now, I got Resonance coz I missed out on it earlier this year, and it's suppose to be this year's Gemini Rue (which is also in the deal). Ditto for Botanicula, which is apparently another winner from the makers of Machinarium. I haven't played the latest Blackwell game, but the series is a genuinely good adventure series, and I suppose the original retro-graphics adventure megahit. I got Uplink: Hacker Elite instead of other more lucrative purchases (Unmechanical, Alan Wake) because hey... how many games let you feel like a hacker?

And then there's To the Moon. Now, I've played the demo, and I don't like what I've played so far. The dialogue sucks. The characters are grating. The gameplay so far is too simple. But I cannot ignore the rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, so I'm determined to complete it to the end.

So that's GoG.com. You also need to get the new Humble Bundle for one of my favourite games this year, Waking Mars. More importantly, however, you need to get new the Indie Royale bundle because of freakin' The Dream Machine. Why The Dream Machine, you ask? It's not just because it's an adventure game with a good story. It's not just because the puzzles are well thought out. It's not because it's an adventure game that doesn't fall into its own trappings.

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It's because it does everything quite marvellously.

So there you have it, games at a bargain that you're not going to kill yourself over for adding to your backlog. Geddit geddit.

Top FPS Campaigns this gen

  1. S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernoby w/ patches and mods
  2. Crysis Warhead
  3. Crysis
  4. Bioshock
  5. Halo 3: ODST
  6. Half Life 2: Episode 2
  7. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  8. F.E.A.R
  9. The Darkness
  10. S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky w/ Patches and Mods

By the way, this is not my list, this is champ's list. Lol look at number five. boo hoo, Bungie, you suck, I'm telling the teacher on you Bungie, Bungie you said we were forever you poo poo head.

I actually found this listbecause I was searching for champ's posts on Supernatural (I'm watching it right now). If no one knows he's pretty much god tier when it comes to knowing what's good on television.

Oh wait, check this other one out.

"Multiplayer complaints aside, Red Dead Redemption is a fun experience overall and will provide enough satisfaction after the credits have rolled with just the superb single player. Beautiful scenery, an impressive game world, a lovable protagonist and great audio work are more than enough reasons to purchase this game. Red Dead Redemption is a memorable experience that offers a game world that is gripping, engaging, and incredibly infectious from beginning to end."

And before I leave, champ's top ten games of the decade. Guess what's at number three.

Thank you Supernatural.