What We’ve Been Up To – 6th February 2018

Watching

Travelers

Travelers

The premise of Showcase and Netflix’s sci-fi series is deceptively simple. In the future Earth is doomed, so humans develop the technology to jump into the bodies of people moments before their death, allowing them to save the person’s body then assume their identity and life in order to change history. For us, the show starts to fall apart at the end of the first episode where the good guys completely avert a man’s death and then overwrite his personality and identity anyway. From that point onwards, whenever the cast crowed about saving people or averting the deaths of thousands, all we could wonder is how many of those people would die anyway from having someone else’s mind forcibly written over their brain. It rather killed the mood to be honest.

A Korean Odyssey

A Korean OdysseyIf there’s anything that we can thank the American Adaptation of Death Note for, it’s for tweaking Mark’s Netflix suggestions towards recommending him actual live action East Asian fantasy television. In this case, A Korean Odyssey is a sort of fantastical romantic comedy with horror elements which recasts Journey to the West characters in modern day Korea. It stars Oh Yeon-seo as Jin Seon Mi, a young real estate agent cursed with the spirit of a reincarnated monk, who fights evil spirits in order to capitalise on cheap haunted properties. She soon finds herself embroiled in the rivalry between Cha Seung-won’s wonderfully ham-filled interpretation of the Bull Demon King, and Lee Seung-gi’s Monkey King. Far from the cheeky Monkey of, well, classic 70s Japanese show Monkey, Son O-Gong is portrayed as being a likeable but dangerous figure, torn between his affection for Jin Seon Mi and his desire to eat her to gain her power. Regardless of which side of the Monkey we see, Lee Seung-gi is guaranteed to smoulder in front of the camera: he is the prettiest monster boy by far.

Ross’s Game Dungeon

Ross's Game DungeonKeeping the informational video theme running from the last edition of this article as well as the “videos what that Freeman’s Mind bloke has done” theme, Game Dungeon is a series that sets out to talk about strange and obscure(-ish) video games as detailed as possible. Ross Scott has a wonderful style of writing once again, and some of the games he covers are absolutely fascinating, such as a malevolent Tetris clone, an ominously evil Arkanoid clone or one of the longest, most bizarre and random point n click adventure games in existence – so long that it stretches of 5 CDs. Of course, he sometimes takes a moment to talk about more regular games, as he’s covered the Deus Ex series as well as the light gun shooter CarnEvil. It’s all very good watching and excellent if you’re into your strange obscure DOS games.

Listening

Alexei Sayle’s Imaginary Sandwich Bar

Alexei Sayle's Imaginary Sandwich BarAlexei Sayle is a surrealist comedian, perhaps best known for his appearances on the BBC sitcom The Young Ones, his novelty classic “Ullo John, Gotta New Motor?” or even his own TV shows in the 80s and 90s. Well, Imaginary Sandwich Bar is basically more of the weird standup bits he did in The Young Ones and Stuff that goes on for about half an hour per episode. These broadcast during 2016 and 2017 on BBC Radio 4 and have thankfully been archived online for your listening pleasure and good grief I could not recommend it enough. Alexei’s comedy is certainly an acquired taste and for me it’s easily some of the funniest standup I’ve heard in my life.

Playing

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2... without the borders.Thanks to a series of slighty dodgy business decisions, Gearbox software may have fallen out of favour in the last few years (although to be completely fair, from what I gather Battleborn was a solid game that could not have been released at a worse moment in time). Borderlands 2 is still great though. Despite how awfully optimised it is on PC, and despite the fact that we previously played through the entire thing last year on PS4, we’ve returned to Pandora once again for another round of shooting Mad Max inspired bandits with increasingly powerful guns (including, but not limited to, sniper rifles with automatic firing or shotguns with huge scopes)

 

Doing

Computer Maintenance

Did you know that if you don’t do anything to prevent it, Windows will automatically overclock your CPU? We didn’t. That’s why Mark’s computer has been boiling itself to death whenever it plays anything that’s poorly optimised, eg. Borderlands 2. It’s now slightly underclocked for the sake of peace of mind, and has been given a new layer of thermal paste to keep it going, but we suspect that it could do with something other than a stock heatsink, and a new case that was actually made for a modern gaming PC rather than an office computer from a decade ago.

(Avery) Making Unwise Purchasing Decisions

OK I haven’t really spent too much here but uh. OK, there’s two things here I’d define as “Unwise” – one is good, the other isn’t. The bad purchasing decision is the doujin game PEKPOK Memorial Collection. This is a collection of 9 separate games as created and published by the circle PEKPOK (a name I only know through the site I bought it from – DLSite.) The games are alright, I suppose, the real star of the show being the strange puzzler Karapuchi wherein you find the right place to put little dots (referred to as Puchi) on an image made out of squares. Unfortunately time has not been kind to these games, and none of them really run very well on modern computers it seems. The worst part is, I checked the demo before I bought it and I knew they didn’t run well. My brain kept going “yeah but it’s 9 games so its good value”, despite the possibility of me getting the far superior and more enjoyable bullet hell shmup STELLAVANITY. As for the good yet unwise decision, that would be 4 DVDs containing nothing but British UK adverts from the 80s. 7 hours of nothing but adverts. Yeah. My hobbies are weird.

Bonus Twine game writing update: I think I edited the passages I have? But I haven’t really added to it much past that whoops. Don’t expect much to change on this very often.