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from Long Stratton, Norwich, UK

  • Activity

    • Avengers: Age of Ultron - My Thoughts

      4 years ago


      Another year has begun, and with it comes the first Marvel film of the year. Thankfully, these films continue to impress and entertain, even if it has been 7 years since the first part of this "Cinematic Universe" kicked off.

      If you've been doing anything other than living in a cave you know the basic plot already. AI is awoken in an attempt to bring peace to the world. A cliché trope where AI sees peace as only possible if humans are dead. People come and try to defeat him. In this case, the people in question are those heroes we've come to know and love already. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk plus a few others that have bigger roles to play now.

      Read more... Age of Ultron - My Thoughts

    • Story Time

      4 years ago


      The sun set on another busy day in Megacity. The last of the sun fell down behind MC International Bank. And, for a short moment the silhouette of a man could be seen on the rooftops. If you had blinked, you would have missed him.

      A loud thud was followed by a crack as the concrete gave way to the immense power delivered upon it. In the epicentre, a sole man crouched. The same man in fact who was briefly seen, not less than 40 stories up, mere moments ago. The man, smartly dressed in white slowly rose to his full over-bearing height. As he got up, the man adjusted his tie and collar using the murky reflection of a puddle nearby. The few city bankers, shoppers and tourists that littered the streets stood frozen in amazement. A few shopping bags dropped to the floor, spilling their contents, as their owner let go in shock of what they had just seen. The rest just stood there catching flies. The man, however, seemed unconcerned. He had seemingly just performed a miracle, but simply pulled his shades from his jacket pocket, sliding them onto his face, before swaggering off down the street. As he walked away, he flicked a phone from his trouser pocket and made a call. The conversation, if that is what you would call it, was concise. "This is GreyMountain. I need an exit."

      With that, the man ended the call and slid the phone back into his pocket. Without pause or hesitation, the man pulled out his concealed pistol. As quick as lightning he loaded, cocked and pulled the pistol over his right shoulder. And, without looking back, pulled the trigger three times. The man holstered the weapon and seemingly vanished. Behind him, not more than 20 metres back a man slumped against the wall and slid down to the pavement. Blood poured from the new holes that now adorned the man's chest and head. The rifle, which moments ago was pointed at the smartly dressed man, dropped to the floor and was ominously silent.

      IF you want to read more, you can find it at www.weekly-muse.com I shall be posting more and more as I get back into the writing flow.

    • RTX Realisation

      4 years ago


      A strange thought dawned upon me today while driving home from the cinema (watching the film you see posted below). I was listening to the RT podcast when they started discussing RTX, with the daunting task before Gus and Barbara in terms of planning. It probably wasn't a thought that many people had when they heard it. It wasn't me wishing I could go. No, it was me wishing I could help plan it!

      Now, I don't mean it in the sense that I would like to be working alongside Gus and Barbara, or being part of RT. No, I realised I like the thought of bringing some huge event to realisation. I can't truly explain why I like it. I could say it is because I get to be like the Wizard of Oz. Or rather, the "man behind the curtain". I'm the one that created it and knows the truth of how everything came to be. But to all others it is just some magical event. Ok, that metaphor fell apart pretty quickly. In other words, I get to see behind the scenes. I'm not left there pondering "how did they pull this all together?" because I was one of the ones that pulled it together. I know all the hard work that went into planning, constructing and organising. And when everyone else is there having a good time I can sit there and be proud of my accomplishment. I guess to an extent you can get an understanding for went into an event just by participating. But nothing beats the rush of hundreds/thousands or people enjoying something you've helped bring together (whether they thank-you or not). Is it because I like being behind the scenes? Perhaps.

      Now, I've helped put together a few events for work. Obviously nothing even close to an RTX, but I still felt a huge sense of accomplishment each and every time we pulled it together. With or without hiccups. There is a sense of camaraderie that comes with working to a deadline with a small group of people, to see something brought together than could have been months in the planning.

      I consider one of those people who shies away from the limelight. I've never been one to big up my accomplishments. Heck, whenever there are questions about accomplishments, I seriously struggle. I can't think of one now. For the most part I just consider myself as doing what I do. I don't do it for praise, gain or because it'll look good when I write it on my CV. I just do it as it feels right and I want others to be happy.
      Ok, that makes me sound like I'm one of those whiter than white good guys you get in films. But, the point still stands.
      I enjoy doing stuff that allows others to be happy or enjoy themselves. I don't finding myself needing praise or thanks. Though, don't get me wrong, it is always appreciated when I get some thanks. Praise has never been something I relish. I often look at myself and think it undeserved, especially when I only did it because I felt it needed to be done or would help others. But, I do enjoy seeing others reap the benefits of my work and/or have a good time.

    • CHAPPiE - My Thoughts

      4 years ago


      Chappie, or should I say CHAPPiE because that is so much more indicative of a robot name because it is all capitals except for the little i. Like iOS and all the others that have copied it since. Anyway, this is your quintessential thought provoking AI film for the new generation. If you've seen A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Short Circuit and to a lesser extent Bicentennial Man, you have seen the majority of the film unravel before you already. The questions it raises and the moral quandaries encountered have been tackled numerous times before. That isn't to say this detracts from a film. I mean, you can boil almost ever romantic comedy to the same story, but people still enjoy the latest release.

      I have enjoyed Neil Blomkamp's previous outings with District 9 and Elysium. While this film doesn't quite hit the same level, it has what you would expect from his films. The film mixes the outlandish with the real world almost without question. There is always a level of grit in his films that gives some weight to the proceedings. I believe this comes in part from being set in South Africa. There is something about the film and the setting that if set in some big city in America there wouldn't be the same gravitas. Perhaps in part due to the success Hollywood has in portraying America as all sunshine and lollipops. A South African setting allows you to see characters fighting for survival, where the battle of good vs evil isn't so clean cut.

      The film itself takes some time to get going. Then, before you know it the end is upon you. I felt they took too long showing Chappie coming of age and learning. While useful to show him developing his moral compass and coming to understand the world he has been thrown into, it just seemed to drag. There are some heavy shortcomings within the film, most notably in terms of story and characterisation. Chappie himself is pretty well realised. The interaction with him during the film is spot on. That being said, I never felt anything for the character. He had a level of humanity, but I don't think he had enough. You never really saw him wrestle with his morality, with what he was asked to do against what he was told not to do. It could be argued this was down to him essentially being a child, naive to an extent. He blindly believed whatever someone told him. On his first proper realisation that he was lied to, there was little questioning of everything else he had been told. He just shouted before moving on.

      Other characters are either lacking motive or depth. Hugh Jackman's character is portrayed as the bad man. Beyond being stiffed for funding of his ED-209 robot (that's a Robocop reference) there is little else to explain why he dislikes Chappie and the robot line he came from. On a side note, he works for the weapons company. The police love the little humanoid robots, but dislike his over the top monstrosities. Why did they not just try and sell it to the military? Why are they working exclusively with the Police?

      The other characters that get screen time, Yolandie, Ninja and Amerika are slightly better. A small group of 2-bit criminals who are stuck owing the local nut job 20 million rand. A brief set of events brings Chappie into their charge. Initially wanting him to pull off a heist, they at some point develop feelings for him, some faster than others. There isn't much to explain why they start to care for him. The only thing I can say is maternal instinct would factor in for one. But for Ninja, there is little to explain his change of heart.

      The film asks a few questions, none that haven't been asked before. Questions such as what is humanity? What is good and evil? There is not really anything ground-breaking or thought-provoking that would set this film apart. Despite the shortcomings of the film I did find it enjoyable. There is just enough of a story to carry it through, and just enough of a character in Chappie to make you want to see the outcome. The few action scenes were well done and helped a lot with the relatively slow pace. Not to mention the niggles odd moments in the film that I found funny rather than off-putting. For instance, the weapons company is shown to have gun-totting security at the beginning of the film. But, when a van comes crashing through the entrance, driven by a robot, they're nowhere to be seen.

      The best thing for me. The synopsis of the film is that this is near future. We see they have made huge leaps forward in robotics and AI. Yet this future apparently still relies on Windows XP, as noted in one scene by the screensaver.

    • My Own Website

      4 years ago


      I finally took the plunge. I created my own website and with it have a place to put my thoughts and reviews together.

      Currently it is solely video game and movie based. I suspect for the most part this will stay true. But, it's a very recent development, so still in flux.

      I've put off doing this for a long time, wanting to put something out there for the masses. I'm glad I finally took the plunge. Over the past 6 months I've gone from wanting to do YouTube videos varying from First Looks to Lets Plays, to streaming, writing blogs, then video footage of me reviewing videos and games. Now I have the possibility to do what I want. I've already created my first couple of videos too! The joys of your own website is you can do it yourself. And with Square Space it is so easy. No, this isn't going to turn into an advertisement.

      For the most part my lack of push has been a self-confidence thing. I can't stand listening to myself talk, nor see myself in footage. Then, to a lesser degree I was worried my work would get dismissed or ignored by my friends. But, you know what, I realised I shouldn't worry. I'm doing it for myself, to give me a voice. It turns out those friends who have taken a look are impressed, pleased I've done it. I know there could still be criticism or the general public not caring, but that's fine. Those few initial impressions were what I cared about.
      Then, when doing my first two videos (just some reviews of GTA races made by players) I had to sit and record my audio probably about 50 times a piece (ShareFactory isn't that great a tool for editing it turns out). Now I'm not so self-concious about my voice and how it sounds.
      My next step is to do a vlog or review where it is just me talking into my webcam. I imagine that might take some more doing, but it'll probably help conquer those issues with seeing myself.

      If you would like to take a look, and I would appreciate any feedback (though constructive is best) please click www.weekly-muse.com

      Yeah, it was supposed to be a play on words with muse. My musings on the latest news. Well, I didn't want to just name it after myself! It was the best I could do! Sorry...

    • Dragon Age: Inquisition - Thoughts

      4 years ago


      Ok, so I'll set it out from the start, I played the game on Easy. Essentially I didn't much care for the combat, and knew that from the beginning. So, if you came here looking for insight into the combat mechanics, I wouldn't stay long. I essentially just held down R2 and fired Special Moves. It wasn't ever tricky. Fighting the (optional) Dragons was only hard in the sense I had to revive my party a lot. But, that could also be down to a flaw in the game and how you progressed.

      After the introduction you are dumped into a wide open space with one objective. Very quickly that becomes 2, before descending into anarchy. The issue is not just in this one location. All the large open maps have this issue. You have one point, that is quickly swallowed up into dozens. The biggest issue it doesn't really address whether you need to do them or not. Not to mention whether it is fitting that the only people trying to stop this huge hole in the sky are in waylaid trying to help a woman who struggles to breath when it is cold. That is a real quest by the way. It also involves you running (or fast travel) from one half of the map to the other, and back again. It becomes apparent later on that these quests generate Power which is used to unlock the Main Storyline Parts. If it wasn't for those you could have this game licked in under 10 hours. The truth is I spent a lot of time doing these Side Quests. They start to sound a bit more important and fulfilling, but it turns out mostly unrewarding. I kept persevering with the quests in the expectation that they would effect the outcome of the main story, or would be a nice footnote in the closing montage. However, they didn't. The most you can expect is some extra characters to add to your war table. Their addition is some additional missions and a 5% reduction for one of your Advisors. Nothing really amazing, especially when you can just change your console/PC clock and speed things up. I completed the game with over 300 Power left and a sense almost all quests had no impact to my character, the main story or the side stories. Just little nuggets of quest to drag out the game and your exploration of the world. The other issue with the direction is the main quest can quickly get lost in a myriad of small, ultimately pointless side stuff. The impact of which is you can soon become over levelled and too powerful. That is if you're looking for a challenge. I wasn't so I was fine. But, I can see how that would take some of the enjoyment away for others.

      I've witnessed some interesting bugs and glitches in the game. But, bar one side quest I wasn't able to complete, I never really had an issue. The biggest gripe I have is loot. Why do there need to be so many loot boxes, crates, chests and bodies? This isn't an issue just related to Dragon Age. I can think back to something similar in Bioshock Infinite which had Booker rummage through every bin and hole imaginable. Most of the stuff you pick up will inevitably end up getting sold. That is, after you've compared that blue or purple staff with every mage companion you have, because you can't remember what they already have. Why can we not go back to having a big loot chest after beating the big bad guy at the end of a questline? Do I really need to have to ping my little radar wherever I run to find all the pieces of gold and crap left behind? Maybe we can compromise. Can all the bad guys just drop gold that I can run around and pick up (without having to press X to loot) then have a big loot crate with potentially good weapons/armour (yes, armour with a u) at the end?

      Ok, so I've done enough moaning. Overall I really enjoyed the game. If it wasn't for me being rather OCD about looting and clearing up the side stuff, I probably wouldn't be bothered. I mean, the stuff is there to do or not. As I said, it doesn't affect the story. It just may have been nice if they mentioned that from the offset. Ahh, I'm going off track again. I'm writing this having finished the game yesterday. I find myself missing the world and the characters in it. I wish I could carry on and find out what happens next. Just like in 2, there is a cliffhanger ready for 4. I loved the story and the development of both the world and the characters I got to interact with. It was great to see how the world I had helped mould in the previous two games, had turned out. Meeting characters from my past, hearing of my exploits from 10 years previous were parts that really gave me a buzz.
      I was all ready to disagree with a lot of people and say you need to play the other two games to appreciate this one. Now, I'm kind of split. My previous point still holds, that some of the best parts of the game came from my effect on the past, and without some knowledge of the past games you will either miss or get confused with references and mentions of Thedas' history and events. But, it was while reading a Wiki late last night regarding a couple of characters that I realised some of the characters you meet are from previous novels and games. People I've never met (because I've not read any books/comics) or cannot remember. Yet, in all my times interacting with them I never once got confused or wondered what they were talking about.

      So, my final thoughts. Dragon Age is a mighty fine story. The characters are fleshed out and your interactions can have an impact. There are a few surprises and great moments. I just wish the side stuff (after I spent 90% of my gametime doing it) had more of an impact either while in the game, or in the closing scenes. Just a little bit more effort on that stuff and this would have been a game I would remember for years to come. Instead, I'm considering re-installing the first one while I wait for the next one. At least then I can stay in that world.

    • Still waiting for my Swag

      in Forums > Still waiting for my Swag | Follow this topic


      I'm hoping someone here can help, or put me on the path to getting an answer.

      I gifted my spot to someone as I couldn't make it. All I asked was they ship my swag bag. We even agreed on an upper limit in case shipping to the UK turned out to be expensive (this was before we knew what we would get).

      The person I gifted my spot to was Jamesr376neo

      After a brief message to say he had been, that it was awesome, and that he needed my address for shipping, I have heard nothing. Sadly the only way I can get in contact with him is via this site as he did not give email or anything else. I have sent him a couple more messages since then, the latest being yesterday. But, I have still not had any message back. I know there wasn't much in the swag bag but I did have intentions of using some of it as Christmas gifts, which I informed him as such.

      If there is anyone out there that has an email address for this guy, or even knows the guy. Please can they get in touch with him or give me some details.

      Obviously, the fault lies with me, and this wasn't really meant to happen so I'm not involving Chelsea or anybody at Rooster Teeth. If I can't track anything down I'll just chalk it up to me being too trusting and to not be so kind in the future.

      Any and all help would be great.


      5 replies

    • Infamous 535 Decisions

      4 years ago



      This weekend has been an interesting one. Some good news and some bad news I guess, at least for me.

      For those that have followed the Lazer Team stuff, you will know at the end of funding a one-shot was released that would give just one person the opportunity to be part of the film, meet some of RT and tour the studio. Oh, and get a hug from Gus. I was one of the 535 people that got the perk and briefly broke Indiegogo. I have always said I would be going to Austin and making sure I'd be one of those people that went. But, life conspired against me and I had to make a hard decision this week not to go.

      Pretty much ever since that perk was won, the enjoyment of my job has slowly disappeared. To the point that I wake up several hours early every morning before work, dreading the day ahead. I won't go into details of what has been the reason for the decline, as there are far too many factors, all culminating into the big issue.

      Therefore, 2 months ago I decided to start looking elsewhere. Pursuing my career in a different business was a daunting though (I've been in the same company for 11 years, since I was 16) but it was a move I knew I had to make. Finally Friday that paid off and I begin my new job on November 17th. However, there is price to pay.

      In return for bringing back happiness and excitement toward work I have had to take a pay cut. Money is not everything, and it is within my means to continue to pay the bills and mortgage. But, my plans for Austin had to be shelved.

      I have spent a couple of weeks working out what to do if this situation arose. I could either keep my current job with a view to paying for my whistle-stop visit to Austin, hoping that the job got better. Or move on in my career and pass up a once in a lifetime opportunity. In the end, my long-term happiness out weighed the short-term. I guess for once I thought with my head instead of my heart.

      I appreciate all the work the guys here have put in to Lazer Team. Especially in liaising with over 500 people who got a perk only 1 person should have got. I don't want people to think I don't appreciate what they have gone and organised. I really wish I could be there and be part of it. But, one thing I've learnt from here and through friends and family is you have to do what feels right for you.

    • Screen Play Review

      4 years ago


      A couple of days ago I listened to the Pilot (I guess you could say) episode of Screen Play. The following Journal is a collection of thoughts and opinions on that episode. I guess you could call it a review.

      My podcast roster is not exactly huge. They are stuff I listen to almost solely in the car. Before Screen Play came along I had 7 podcasts that update weekly, with one sporadically and another that hasn't done anything since Christmas.
      They fit several areas of interest and I gleam enjoyment from all. I have my purely knowledge based one (StarTalk) for all things science and space. Then my gaming stuff, The Patch and Giant Bombcast. Comedy in the shape of the RT Podcast, Josh Widdicombe (British comedian) and The Bugle. I then had my TV and Film fix in the form of the IGN UK. Yes they did some gaming stuff but not very much.

      The last podcast had become an increasing struggle to enjoy over the past few weeks. They no longer seemed to care what they did, often often their train of though and generally didn't seem to have anything planned out. I'm not expecting a fully scripted show. After all, the funniest parts in most my shows have come from improv and randomness. I guess in the last few weeks they came across as being there solely to stroke their egos and show the listeners they could do what they wanted, no matter what feedback we sent in.

      So, when I heard this new Podcast was coming I thought it would replace that spot perfectly. And, it certainly has potential, but the first episode was not a good example.

      Now just to make it clear, in case the fact I listen to it in the car doesn't clarify, I only have the audio podcast. Therefore some of my feelings about it may be wrong because the video could prove me wrong to some level.
      I raise the above point because despite having a roster of 4 people (or 5 if you include Joey in the booth) I would say around 80%-90% of meaningful dialogue came from just 2 people. The joy of these types of shows is you can have a collective discussion that brings interesting points from many different people. But if two people dominant it you lose that selling point. Yes, they knew what they were talking about, but I'm sure the other 3 had some points to make too, if given the opportunity.
      I would clarify and say it wasn't done maliciously or with the object being to steal the show. From my viewing I would say you had a degree of uncertainty (perhaps shyness) combined with two people with experience and confidence to put their point across.

      A small niggle was that some of the video aspects of the show did not translate to the audio part. It is obviously bound to happen to some degree when these things carry over. But often, someone will describe to the audio podcasters what has just transpired. The "transition" to everyone putting on their Guardians "costume" was a good example of this done badly. It certainly didn't help that the trailer used to cover the split was certainly a trailer of solely visual interest. All I heard was a small snippet of 80s song followed by some climatic music and laser fire/explosions.

      Finally, from a personal point of view this first episode could not have come out at a worse time. Almost all I have heard for the last few weeks is the build up to Guardians followed by people raving about how brilliant it is. I have seen it, and yes it is great. But I've gone beyond saturation point for anything Guardians. It was inevitable, given how prevalent this film currently is, that it would take centre stage for the episode. Had this episode launched a couple of weeks later or previously perhaps I would have enjoyed it more. Yes, plenty of other stuff still got discussed, but Guardians always tended to creep in at some point. At it's best it was a launchpad for other discussion, but at others the point always looped back to how it related to Guardians.

      So, I think the future could hold good things for this podcast. I certainly won't be removing it straight away. At the very least it will leave a gap in my podcast list. But, I believe (and hope) that with some confidence and practice all 4/5 people will become active participants and make a great, informative podcast. I still have high hopes that Meg Turney will show herself to be the show host I had hoped she would be.

      I hope this review is at least in some part constructive as I have personally felt the backlash of feedback that was purely there to put me down. Whether anyone else reads this is another matter, but it is here nonetheless.

    • Almost 9 years!

      5 years ago



      Where to begin?

      As it will become quickly apparent, while I have an account that has existed for 9 years, I have done very little with it. But, that is not to say I haven't followed RT all that time. Quite the contrary.

      So, what brought me back?
      The sheer fact I knew I had an account but I could not for the life of me remember the username or password. Until today! I lucked out. JazzyC has always followed me (where possible) on the Internet. But I always try and create the username as I spelt it (with the uppercase). Back when I created this account I used all lowercase. Rookie mistake.

      But you haven't answered your own question!
      Quite right, and damn you for noticing. But we'll get to that. I discovered RT during my first semester and University. Stumbling across RvB with my dorm mate. What followed was 3 years of us pissing off friends with quotes they didn't understand and had little time for. I think the last time I seriously watched it was Reconstruction, and would have been around the time I graduated.
      I followed RT from a distance for the next few years, though usually only for the Live-Action stuff.
      About 8 months ago my "career" presented me with a move. My commute to work was now almost an hour instead of 10 minutes. This is where RT has come back into my life hard.

      What do you mean hard?
      I cannot stand listening to the radio on the drive to work. The personalities and/or adverts annoy the hell out of me. And, there is only so many times I can listen to the same songs in my limited collection. So, I took the first proper dive into podcasts (having only really dabbled with them though Ricky Gervais' show). I came across the Rooster Teeth podcast. Listening to those guys every week (broken up into 3 or 4 journeys) has really shed a light onto what this company has become.
      Since then I've added The Patch to my roster of podcasts. Watched the entire GTA V collection of AH, helped fund the Lazer Team, and started getting interested in Minecraft. My next step is to rewatch the RvB up to and beyond what I already saw several years previous.

      So, why are you posting this?
      No idea, to vent? To just put it out there? Move on!

      So, what now?
      I have no idea. I tend to be a bit of a lurker. Not really posting much, but taking a lot of it in. Maybe I'll turn out like that? But, on the flip side, the last couple of years I have lost the communities that I was a big part of on the internet. I still have those friends, but not the group that made it. Perhaps that is what I'm looking for here.
      In terms of my life. Listening to the podcasts, watching the videos and getting back into gaming culture has given me a dream that that is something I want to be part of. And not just in the consuming the content. While my life is good, I have a house (albeit it with mortgage) I have a job that has lost the spark it had, and I come home beaten (not literally mind). While searching for something else I do dream that I could do something like this (or even exactly this) but am stuck in the realisation I have no experience, and no idea where to begin. How can I do the something I want to do when I don't know how to get there?

  • Comments (1)

    • Glaxton

      13 years ago

      Congratulations on being here at RvB for six months!

      I created a banner for you Here, you can download it and post it if you like.,
      OR, just delete this message and go on with your life! smiley0.gif

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