Horror Games Suck

Ok, maybe they don’t.  That was clickbait.

I just wrapped up my first normal-mode playthrough of the newly released remake of Resident Evil 2, and I’m having a lot of trouble telling myself I enjoyed myself while playing.

Yet, there’s no shortage of people gushing about how great this game is.  Fantastic.  Tremendous.  Outstanding.  It’s these sort of words I’m seeing quite a lot of.

I just want to register my contrary thoughts, for not much reason other than to have them down concretely.

Horror games generally sacrifice interesting game play in exchange for fear inducing environments, situations, and characters.  Typical horror game protagonists are incapable of doing more than a jog at a rather un-labored pace.  The name of the game in horror games is puzzles.  So, we have to learn to not expect too much gameplay wise when playing horror games.  I’ve certainly come to be familiar with that aspect of the genre.

That being said, the other aspects of the game had better not be ass.  Two games that I enjoyed a lot were SOMA and RE6.  SOMA’s core conundrum, what constitutes being human and at what point can we not call things human, manifested itself throughout the game, and had an interesting relationship develop between Simon and Catherine.  It also had an environment that isn’t usually used in horror games, and gave it a sci-fi element.  RE6, while possibly not qualifying as horror, threw me in a wide number of settings and play styles, kept character relationships in focus, and because of its format, maintained a higher level of tension than usual in horror games.  Honestly, it’s closer to a third person shooter.

For these reasons, those two games get a pass from me when it comes to bad-gameplay-expectations.

RE2 doesn’t, though.  In RE2, the focus is the gameplay.  Story is sparing, and your concerns are limited to how to solve a variety of puzzles that lie in the area, while not dying, obviously.  The people that enjoy the game seem to be in love with having no ammunition or health, and barely scraping by.  That… appears to be the only merit to the game, as far as I’ve read when it comes to opinions of the game.

I found the environment droll (which is a criticism of the original and by extension the remake).  The story is very dry for the first half of the game, and the situation very slightly becomes more interesting after that.  The entire police station section, as far as I’m concerned, is just a huge filler episode.  There’s almost no development in the story, apart from wondering why some big guy is chasing you everywhere, aside from some very minor bits of info doled out in notes.  Your goal doesn’t even make sense, either.  You want to get out of the station.  I’m pretty sure you could just jog out the front gate, as easily as you came in.  The characters have certainly gone through worse.  Noting this made my motivation to play evaporate during the police station section.

We spend some fleeting moments with Ada; this part and the parts afterward being the highlight of the game for me (apart from actually playing as Ada; that was not so great).  Apart from that, I don’t think I enjoyed anything about this game.

The fact that zombies took so many bullets to the head was a weird troll.  Headshots were the name of the game for every other game in the series (on normal modes at least), and to have the game punish you for that felt kind of weird.  Instead, we just settle for legshots.

This turned into rambling, it’s 3am and I think I’m done.

I don’t get how people find it fun to dance around zombies with no ammo, hoping they don’t grapple you.  That appears to be core game play and it’s just dogshit.


Today I Learned: You can’t buy a M1-22 in NJ

Shame on me, I guess.

Image result for m1-22

I really wanted one, but I was having trouble finding anyone give a CONCRETE testimony that you can’t buy the CHIAPPA M1-22 in NJ.  I did see things about a Citadel M1, and things in 9mm and obviously .Well, here it is.  You can’t.  And, ostensibly, you should feel bad for wanting one in the state of NJ.

I got a call today from the FFL, and they said NJ State Police have identified it as substantially identical (yeah, whatever) to the M1 Carbine that is found on NJ’s assault weapon ban list.

Ok.

I knew there was a chance that would happen when I ordered this, but I really, REALLY didn’t want to believe it.

The Colt AR-15 is banned in NJ.  ‘Avtomat Kalashnikov type’ rifles are banned in NJ.  Yet, I can buy an AR-15 in NJ.  I can buy a WASR in NJ.  I can buy a VEPR in NJ.  They will fire the EXACT SAME CARTRIDGE as the banned weapons, in the exact same manner.  They will (potentially) look EXACTLY the same.  This is allowed.  (???)

The M1 Carbine (Caliber .30) is banned in NJ.  I ordered a 22LR look-alike, which, (sorry Chiappa I generally find myself liking your stuff) in all likelyhood, is less reliable than my Ruger 10-22.  The cartridge is completely different.  The operating parts are, by extension, all different and entirely non-interchangeable.

It’s not allowed???  Excuse me for wanting a tasteful looking rifle, NJ.  I guess I should stick with AKs, huh?


Today I Learned: Locks are really disappointing

So, I locked myself out of my gun cabinet a while ago. As in, I lost the keys. I need to move the cabinet soon so it’s kind of a big deal, but instead of taking a crowbar or saw to it, or contacting the manufacturer for a replacement key (requires a notarized request form, ugh), I decided on an alternative.

Time to add another ‘hobby’ on my ever growing list of, ‘things I tried for a while and never got good at’. Lockpocking!

I ordered some really cheap made in China lockpick sets and a couple locks, and I gotta say, I thought the barrier of entry would be higher.

I’ve read about how pin and tumbler locks and how to pick them several times, but never actually tried until today. But it’s suprising and pretty disappointing how easily some locks open by just jingling a pick in it randomly. As in, half the times I picked the locks I had, they opened without me making a very conscious effort to imagine the pins or the lock’s internals.

I still have yet to try my cabinet, but I think I should be fine. The things that gave me trouble were small locks.


Polymer Lowers: Not a Fan

Put together my first polymer lower, and I gotta say, I’m pretty sure I’m not getting any more of these.  I bought a pair of them in November and finally decided to get around the assembly for them, and they just feel so cheap.  You might say, well, that’s what you get for being cheap and going polymer.  The thing is… they’re not any cheaper than a basic forged aluminum lower.  In fact, I paid a good sight more for these than aluminum.  The trigger and hammer pins stick out.  The grip screw feels really weird to install… it requires a lot of force to turn the screw, and when it goes in, it feels like the section of the lower it’s going into is being spread apart by the screw.  It’s just really tight, I guess.  It feels like the walls of the magazine well are bending when I grip it tightly.  I’m having problems with the safety… I can’t get it into the FIRE position.  Maybe that’s a problem with the lower part kit I used, I still haven’t determined what’s wrong.

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Of course, I have nothing to say about reliability, as I’ve yet to put an upper on it and shoot anything.  I’m really not seeing the benefits of it over the firm feel of aluminum.  Of course, it does feel light in the hand, and since it’s polymer, it fits the same texture as the butt stock.  It’s cute, but I think I’ll keep the number I own at 2.


Back On The Horse

Felt like writing again, simply because I haven’t in a while.

The title applies to yesterday (and hopefully today too).  I had to stay late for some errors at work, and it ended up raining all over my bike, and it was still raining throughout the ride back.  It’s the first time since the crash that I rode in the rain, and it was just as terrifying as I thought it would be.  There was a lot of hazard light usage, pulling over so people could pass, and 10 mile-per-hour turns.  I made it though, and while the experience was awful, a part of me is happy.  I’ve secretly wanted to get caught in the rain so I could try getting over riding in the rain.  40 minutes of glacially slow, very upright riding and I’m not quite over it, but at least I know I can do it.

At one point I could have sworn I was drifting sideways on a particularly wet turn.  It was really hard to see, too.  I had to keep the visor up because it seems to fog up when it’s wet outside, so my glasses were constantly dripping.  It could have been a really bad day, but all things considered, it was fine.

The other part is my continuing on my latest STG project.  I fixed bullet data to use a Dictionary<string,object> instead of it being a single string.

Today I wanted to do a pattern resembling a spell of Tewi’s.

Need to try out making bullets that rotate, with the rotation based on a sinusoidal function of the bullet’s total time alive.


Today I Learned: How to run Web Service Project in IIS Express

One thing I really hate is getting stuck on something and googling for a solution, and getting pages upon pages of solutions for problems that aren’t mine.  Not saying it should be different, but it does tend to get me upset.

I have a web service that I need to test, and I want to do that without locking up Visual Studio.

I right clicked the solution, hit Publish.  Selected IIS, FTP, etc option, selected File System from the Publish Method drop down, and put it in a shallow folder in C:\.

Ran iisexpress and gave it the path of the folder I indicated in the previous step.

iisexpress /path:C:\iis\ /port:9090

Started up my test application which makes requests to the URL.

localhost:9090/api/<controller>/<action/

Worked just fine.  This probably shouldn’t have taken up 2 hours of my time…


How Not To Die On A Bike Part III

It hasn’t even been a year but I can already say, it hasn’t been great.

Screw fell out of the gear shift and foot peg base during my ride to work. Couldn’t upshift, because the whole assembly just swiveled on the one remaining screw instead of holding so it would apply pressure to the gear change fork.

I was starting from a stop at a 4 way stop intersection, followed by a couple cars.  I revved up to gear 2 quickly, and then tried for gear 3 when I noticed the revs were way higher than I expected, and I was still going nowhere.  I thought I was in neutral at first, but I checked the lamp and that wasn’t the case.  I pulled over, confused, into some rich guy’s driveway.  Looked down, moved the gear shift lever, and saw the whole assembly just swinging around when I tried to move the lever up.

I was at a loss for what to do at that moment, naturally.  My first conclusion was to walk around and look for the screw.  There was no sidewalk on that road so it was a little awkward stomping on everyone’s grass, but I’m sure they could afford replacement lawns.  Distances are a lot longer on foot than they seem when sitting on wheels, but I went back to the intersection, and returned to my bike without seeing anything bolt-like.  I considered getting an Uber back home for replacement parts (which would have been terrible because I didn’t actually have the replacements I thought I had), but then decided the problem wasn’t that big.  “Why not try to figure something out here? I don’t want to leave the bike here, and I definitely don’t want to ring these guys’ doorbell to explain why there’s a shitty bike blocking their driveway.”

Something to fasten this gear shift base in place…

At first I tried just tying a loop around the loose parts, with a blue lanyard I had in my backpack.  It wasn’t tight enough to keep the shifter in place, though.  I then looked for some wire to thread through the screw hole to see if I could tie a knot through there, but I was a little reluctant because I would a. ruin whatever I put through there, and b. any wire or string that would fit through that hole easily may not be sturdy enough to not exhibit structural failure.

The only long metal ‘thing’ I had was an Allen wrench that was used for most of the fairing fasteners.  I stuck it through, and tied that to the frame.  It held long enough to get to work.

 

Biking is pretty shit.  I’ve ordered replacement screws and some blue loctite.  Thinking back, I probably could have just gotten around this problem by putting more downward pressure on my heel when upshifting. I tend to lift my whole foot when working the lever though, because I’m bad and I don’t like stretching my calves.