Category Archives: Gaming

The Last of Us Remastered

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I’m nearly finished The Last of Us Remastered and I feel haunted by it’s story all over again.

I’ve just hit the scene where we’ve jump-cut from Ellie’s Worst Winter Ever (she hysterically hacks a cannibal to bits to save her own life) to The Escaped Giraffes scene and the emotional impact from going to horrific to quiet beauty is still a kick in the head and gut.

I’ve had many people ask “Is this game worth re-purchasing?” I would say yes because I’ve not met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed this game. If you thought the game was anything less than amazing then you might steer clear. If you loved it, what are you waiting for?

Replaying it on the PS4 gives you a more atmospheric experience – dust motes in long abandoned rooms, light shafts coming through decayed ceilings, “dirty lens” effects on dramatic lighting, all these things are noticeable yet not detracting from the game. The graphics do not push the hardware to the limit, but revisiting the story itself and Ellie’s backstory is worth the price.

GTA V Photos

Gaming, Photography 1 Reply

In the game, Grand Theft Auto V, your character is able to whip out their phone and take a pic anywhere.

The idea of photography in a virtual world fascinates me. Like in real life you’re able to capture the mundane, the horrific or the “just plain weird”, including the Selfie, which makes me laugh.

Here’s some of mine:







Massive Effect, Three

Gaming Leave a reply

MASS EFFECT 3 is out and just like Fallout: New Vegas, it has it’s clunky buggy moments but I’m such a fan of the series that I’ll play through the occasional armor breast plate suddenly disappearing off a character while they talk. Or I’ll accept the fact that the characters look like dead-eyed marionettes, really really well rendered marionettes, whose mouths hit their marks 80% of the time.

My only complaint, 2 hours into the game play is my constructed Sheppard character. I spent 45 minutes carefully building him into an attractive, hot avatar. I mean right out of my deep subconscious – jock athlete kind of thing guy. And now that he’s mouthing the words, he looks utterly different from when I pressed the undo-able “ACCEPT” button. His skin turned out 4 shades lighter than from when I was building him and he has these creepy sunken cheeks. Basically he looks like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia.

Yeah. I went there.

Anyhoo here he is…



Uncharted 3

Art, Distractions, Gaming 5 Replies

Not Drake. Not Jason Statham either, but rrrarrr!

Drake is back! Drake is back!! GASP DRAKE IS BACK!!

No not some Toronto rapper, foos, Nathan Drake, from Sony’s potboiler game series Uncharted. We’re at #3 if you’re counting. And if you’re not, this post will be like jibberish to you, postbear.

Lets get right to it, WITHOUT ANY SPOILERS…

Uncharted 3 is tops in the “game as movie” genre. From the beginning we’re treated to establishing scenes of how Drake and his faithful manfriend, Sully playfully interact while kicking ass in a London pub. A cut scene of dialogue and some bar-breaking rough housing, more characters show up and bla bla bla – things happen. Suddenly we’re whipped back 20 years to see the origins of Drake (something U1 and U2 never really touched upon, other than Drake telling us he’s a descendant of Sir Francis Drake) and how he teams up with Sully. This turns out to be some of the most clever writing/game production I’ve seen in a long time. Oh and all that I just described? It’s basically the tutorial for the game, hidden cleverly inside the prologue. Brill!

With Drake’s and Sully’s backstory established we jump back to the present day and continue on with the action. Without ruining anything, the game hits all the points you’d expect in an adventure movie: discovering long lost secrets, hidden cabals, pirates (modern day, vaguely Somalian – very topical) and treasures that may not actually be physically obtained. ooo! And while this is all going on we’re treated to themes of trust, revenge, hubris and even defeat – something hard to do when the purpose of a game isn’t to make the player identify with a character’s will to stop, to end. But yet they manage to create feelings of finality in some scenes – and yet you’re still mashing buttons. And wanting more.

One section of note in the game comes right after a spectacular plane crash in the desert. Juxtaposing action to calm, like we’ve seen in countless desert movies, Drake must make a long, hot journey through miles of desert. You’d think this would be extremely boring for a video game, but the designers manage to interweave dramatic cinematic elements into play. The developers succeed in engaging the player in what could have been a really risky element in an action game, which makes me love the game on so many levels.  Since the movie/game genre is still in it’s infancy, the designers are able to use these well-heeled movie cliches to it’s advantage – almost like they were new.

A whole lot of nothing. But it's freaking amazing nothing.


Here’s where I go apeshit over the beauty of the game. I… Its… beautiful. Many times I stopped what I was doing  just to spin the camera. I suggest you do that too. The developers Naughty Dog create such stunning environments that you forgive them the 3-4 year wait time  between games. Every time I finish an Uncharted game I wonder how they’re going to outdo themselves in the next game, considering the platform hardware stays the same. I keep wondering if Naughty Dog is pushing their games up into the top levels of processing speed. Yes the environments are that impressive.

Everything is punchy, well lit and on fire.


What didn’t I like about U3? The fight mechanics were redundant. Punch punch dodge punch punch – NPC is down! That’s pretty much the extent of close combat dynamics and it gets a bit repetitive at times. The character modeling during the cut scenes felt odd too, in terms of rendering. In some cases the eyes and expressions were spot on but then suddenly you’d get a character who moved their hands like they were wearing mittens, or their mouth looked like Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. Minor points but I am sure Naughty Dog had to make concessions on some things to cram all that atmospheric goodness into one game.

Speaking of cram… I’d be happy if Naughty Dog/Sony left off the Online Gaming/Multiplayer aspects of this game to swap out more story or an extra scene here or there. I’m not an online gaming kind of guy and this part of the game will never be used by me. Considering the game is established as an adventure game, why not make the Multiplayer part be optional, paid DLC?

Okay so to sum it up… Best game I’ve played in a long time.



My Application

Gaming 2 Replies

BigSabu over on Twitter posted a curious job opening a couple days ago:

A Seasoned Explorer
NCsoft is looking for an experienced and daring adventurer to act as consultant for our Carbine Studios team on their top-secret project.
To be considered, the candidate must have:
·         Excellent cartography skills, especially on newly-discovered terrain
·         A healthy appetite for danger (or at least the desire to actively seek it out)
·         The ability to outrun something the size of a bear – or larger. Usually larger.
·         Experience being cryogenically frozen (This is a big plus).
Daily responsibilities include dramatically posing on mountaintops for snapshots, showing coworkers how to read maps, and motion capture sessions of being attacked by something the size of a bear (if you’re lucky).


So I went ahead and applied:


Good day to you Gentle Sirs and Ladies,

I am applying for the position of Seasoned Explorer listed on your internet web site. Look no further for I am the man who will lead you to fun and excitement and brand new worlds!

While I have extensive knowledge of map reading I know more than just to “Go left” when introduced to new terrain. You see, exploring new lands is like charming a fresh lover… a gentle hand, keen eye and a do-or-die attitude is needed to conquer foreign and dangerous mounds of land things. I have that experience and attitude.

Once, while leading an exploratory team into the long forgotten sunken caves of Soktuy-Milozan (you could lazily Google Maps that or I COULD SHOW YOU WHERE IT IS!) I became so turned around I had to rely on my own inner ear juice to survive. However with careful reasoning, a strong hand and fantastic jodhpur pants I was able to lead our party of Samantha Perkins Sewing Bee to safety. 30 Helens agree: I was a hero.

In terms of speed, I can outrun a swarm of killer bees. Just ask Michael Cane. I was his stand-in during the shooting of The Swarm. The director nearly dropped that hack actor to use me as their leading man but due to legal contracting they begrudgingly used Caine. And we all know how well that movie did with him at the helm. Fff!! Speaking of speed, it’s super important to have speed when considering a Seasoned Explorer – you need to be one step ahead of the competition or those bastards at “East Indian Exploration and Commerce” Company will outwit you on every turn. Bloody devils had me in a bit of a run on the Orient Express during the Adventure of the Misspelt Yetti. I had to pay off a baggage handler to dump their kit into a river. I WON!

In terms of being cryogenically frozen, I am your man. I’m from Canada. My skin is pretty much like a fine leather couch found in Starbucks. ‘Nuff said.

In conclusion, I am your man. That’s all I’ll say about that because time is of the essence. We need to move quickly or else the Ice Panthers of Tsuratuy (don’t look it up, let me take you!) will be raiding the base camp and we’ll have to sleep in the cold!


With affection

Sir Edward (Teddington) Healey

Wish me luck!


Couch Be Gone

Gaming, You Magnificent Bastard 2 Replies

Click to see all the horrid stains!

Good bye couch. You were never really mine, I only came into your life purely by marriage.

I’ll never forget the times I spent sitting on you. From the first time I went over to SharkBoy’s house to watch a movie I knew that I’d be spending a lot of time on you. You know I use to sit not ON you but in front of you as a sneaky way to get close to SharkBoy when he had a lot of people over for movie nights.

One time, during a viewing of Lord of the Rings, while sitting on you, dear couch, I turned to SharkBoy and said “You know how they made the waterfall effect in this movie?”

“No,” SharkBoy says.

“Chickens,” I dead pan.

We laughed for ours, couch. Remember?

We also played a ton of video games, couch. You held my ass down while I went through Infamous, Infamous 2, Bioshock, Bioshock 2, all the Gods of War, Mario on Karts, in Galaxies, and the odd Red Ring of Deaths, a couple Fallouts and lots of Vice. Vice City. In fact I spent the last hour on you playing a video game. Pretty fitting.

You were comfortable up until the last year when your stuffing shifted and you would make my hip hurt after an hour of watching TV. Time to go.

So thank you couch for bringing me much fun with the man I love.