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@  Liege : (19 November 2019 - 07:42 AM)

That he is.

@  Benbot : (18 November 2019 - 04:01 PM)

And a good boy

@  Liege : (18 November 2019 - 09:19 AM)

Hound is at least a very good toy.

@  ThunderWear : (18 November 2019 - 09:11 AM)

Hound is the only other one that even comes close to Chromia in my area, and he ships in two separate waves.

@  Liege : (18 November 2019 - 08:58 AM)

This might be how they finally get rid of all the Chromias. I've not seen a shelfwarmer like that in ages.

@  RichardT1977 : (17 November 2019 - 08:26 PM)

It's a good deal if you want a full set of Refraktor (and if they have them at your location)

@  TheMightyMol... : (17 November 2019 - 04:43 PM)

Here we can buy two and get one free, but at least two of them are gonna be the same toy, because lol distribution.

@  Bass X0 : (17 November 2019 - 01:01 PM)

In the U.K., it’s more like you but two, you only get one given how expensive they are.

@  RichardT1977 : (17 November 2019 - 11:38 AM)

Transformers are Buy 2 Get 1 free at Target this week.

@  Bass X0 : (17 November 2019 - 04:29 AM)

2019 has been one long South Park episode.

@  Sjogre : (16 November 2019 - 10:46 PM)

Okay, that actually sounds pretty fun.

@  Maximus Ambus : (15 November 2019 - 12:49 PM)

It was set in the forties, featured Nazi's as the villains and had Kiko fight mostly Ice Age animals and a mythical dragon that now ruled the island guarding Kongs treasure.

@  Paladin : (15 November 2019 - 11:37 AM)

and it was ALSO eleven hours long.

@  Maximus Ambus : (15 November 2019 - 10:55 AM)

In a alternate reality Peter Jackson made Son of Kong.

@  wonko the sane? : (15 November 2019 - 09:30 AM)

To be fair to boba: everyone else to go into the sarlacc was a sacrifice. Stripped almost naked and tossed, and didn't have body armor, a jetpack and a weapon.

@  TheMightyMol... : (15 November 2019 - 06:54 AM)

Nah, he just has to keep up his plot insurance payments so he can shoot his way out of the Sarlacc again.

@  PlutoniumBoss : (15 November 2019 - 02:59 AM)

Funny, but everyone knows he bounty hunts for Jabba Hutt to finance his 'Vette.

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (15 November 2019 - 02:54 AM)

Okay.. Not sure why.. but streaming is harder than jsut playing the game.. even though that's pretty much what I was doing.

@  Xellos : (14 November 2019 - 06:47 PM)

What type of vehicle does Boba Fett use for time travel? A Man-DeLorean.

@  TM2-Megatron : (14 November 2019 - 03:55 PM)

Admittedly, it's been a long time since I've been to a walk-in clinic, as I tend not to get sick (and the one time I do every 4-5 years, I prefer just riding it out at home), but the last time I went I'm pretty sure you could just show up, no appointment. It may be different in Quebec,though

@  Nevermore : (14 November 2019 - 02:36 PM)

One thing to note about health insurance in Germany is that we have a two-class system: mandatory health insurance is basically the economy class, while private health insurance is the business class.

@  Nevermore : (14 November 2019 - 02:32 PM)

My local doctor is actually a shared office with several doctors where you will get randomly assigned to one of the doctors available that day.

@  Nevermore : (14 November 2019 - 02:30 PM)

Also, employers are required by law to cover part of their employees' health insurance fees, so I only have to pay my part.

@  Nevermore : (14 November 2019 - 02:28 PM)

Basic examinations and sick notes (known as "work-inability certificates" in Germany) for the employer are covered by our health insurances by default.

@  TheMightyMol... : (14 November 2019 - 12:02 PM)

Around here, we can go to a walk-in clinic whenever, but might have to wait in the queue until there's a doctor available, which can take hours on a busy day. And then hope our insurance will cover anything.

@  wonko the sane? : (14 November 2019 - 07:38 AM)

There actually are a good number of clinics around here: but the walk ins require an appointment (what?) and are only done once a week. IF you can get an appointment, you see a doctor usually within 40 minutes, but good luck getting the appointment.

@  Nevermore : (14 November 2019 - 03:35 AM)

Depending on the day.

@  Nevermore : (14 November 2019 - 03:35 AM)

We have family doctors (called "house doctors") with regular office hours where you may need an hour or two of waiting time.

@  TM2-Megatron : (14 November 2019 - 12:50 AM)

Two weeks? That seems a little long; are there not a lot of walk-in clinics around you?

@  wonko the sane? : (13 November 2019 - 07:01 PM)

Does germany make it quick and easy to see a doctor too? Cause an emergency doctor visit can take two weeks out here, and an emergency ROOM visit can take 18-24 hours.

@  Nevermore : (13 November 2019 - 06:43 PM)

(Good thing is, under German law, if you call in sick during your vacation and see a doctor immediately, you get to keep your vacation days.)

@  Nevermore : (13 November 2019 - 06:42 PM)

Too bad. My plans wee to do two more overtime hours before having my last day of vacation for the year on Friday. Oh well.

@  Nevermore : (13 November 2019 - 06:41 PM)

So I'm currently on medical leave for a particularly stupid reason: Burned my back with a hot-water bag while sleeping last night. Though the doctor said I'm hardly the first person to have this happen to them.

@  Patch : (13 November 2019 - 06:11 PM)

Just a particularly odious example of the 90s era of depicting transgender women as either the subject of crude humor, or "Jerry Springer" material.

@  Ashley : (13 November 2019 - 04:55 PM)

I think Ace Ventura legit contributed to me spending years in self denial. I will never be ok with Jim Carrey.

@  Benbot : (13 November 2019 - 01:22 PM)

I thought he since changed his tune.

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (13 November 2019 - 12:51 PM)

Jim Carry Paladin?

@  Maximus Ambus : (13 November 2019 - 12:22 PM)

Don't doubt what he can do. Sonic the Hedgehog!

@  Paladin : (13 November 2019 - 11:51 AM)

not giving a dime to a transphobic antivaxxer.

@  wonko the sane? : (13 November 2019 - 11:25 AM)

It'll be a terrible movie if jim carrey phones it in. Otherwise it should be decent.

@  Paladin : (13 November 2019 - 10:45 AM)

sonics' still gonna be a terrible movie but at least they whined loud enough to make him look passable for a 2-minute trailer. "yay."

@  ▲ndrusi : (13 November 2019 - 10:37 AM)

But of course to annoying people there's no such thing as different decisions made for different reasons, there is only "I like it so it's right" and "I don't like it so it's wrong."

@  ▲ndrusi : (13 November 2019 - 10:35 AM)

Even if we pretend it's objective truth that they were both bad, then they were bad in very different ways.

@  ▲ndrusi : (13 November 2019 - 10:33 AM)

Sonic's previous movie design looked genuinely bad. The Transformers '07 designs just looked insufficiently like what certain loud and obnoxious parts of the fandom think Transformers are required to always look like.

@  Otaku : (13 November 2019 - 08:50 AM)

Um... Purple Monkey Dishwasher?

@  TheMightyMol... : (13 November 2019 - 08:25 AM)

Do we really need to have Every Movie Transformer Thread Ever in the Squawkbox?

@  Bass X0 : (13 November 2019 - 08:13 AM)

Sure it made money but that doesn’t mean it has appealing character designs. Lot of god awful fugly faces in the Transformers movies.

@  Otaku : (12 November 2019 - 08:25 PM)

@Liege My issue with Transformers (2007) were elements I thought were unnecessary.  I know it was supposed to just be a joke, but I didn't ever need to hear about "Sam's Happy Time". >.> Which, being in awe of the first "live action" TF-film, didn't even register until I'd already purchased and watched it on DVD a few times (after seeing it in theaters 3 times).

@  Liege : (12 November 2019 - 08:22 PM)

For all the Bayisms in the 07 movie, it was tempered by Spielberg as producer. Designs aside it was an enjoyable popcorn blockbuster about a boy and his first car who happens to be an alien from another planet. They sequels are just Bay going unchecked after he proved how much bank he could bring in.

@  TM2-Megatron : (12 November 2019 - 07:12 PM)

I didn't find the designs in the '07 movie to be that bad, personally. What got really offputting was how Cybertronians in general become such huge a-holes in the later films; the designs were very much secondary to their horrible personalities


A Not So Late to the Party Introspective: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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#1 Rust


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Posted 14 April 2019 - 05:09 PM

So Oblivion is not a game I'm just experiencing for the first time. Oblivion was the whole reason I bought an Xbox 360 back in the day, since it was cheaper than buying a whole new computer (Since the one I had at the time honestly had some issues running Morrowind). For a long time it held the distinction of being the only game I'd ever 100% completed in terms of achievements. But it was also a game that I did everything in and then just...put down. I'd bought it on PC ages ago and always intended to settle back down with it, but I never really have. I think it was a combination of doggedly trying to finish Skyrim and afraid to damage the memories of the game I had in my head that convinced me Oblivion was a great overall experience, but I'd done everything once already and there was no reason to open that book again. (Despite the fact several books in my library have had to be replaced due to me wearing out their spines through repeating readings. Why should a video game be any different?)


Well today, in a combination of boredom and the right combination of YouTube videos serving as background noise, I decided to venture back to the Third Era of Tamriel and back into Oblivion. The automatic hardware settings recommended Medium...I laughed and boosted that up to High Ultra. While my new rig might be getting a smidge long in the tooth(Four years old now, I bought it for Fallout 4), I don't think it'll have any difficulty with Oblivion. Worth noting I'm playing this unmodded - I want the actual experience.


So I've wrapped up the tutorial thus far and...it's actually impressing me. The potato people are whatever, but the clothing and armor has some really intricate detailing, the Zombies are legitimately disgusting, there's legitimate fur textures (Not great ones mind, but I was surprised that the rats and the Emperor's mantle were actually textures, not simply decals applied to a model). And this was the first game that had an actual, in-game physics engine and Bethesda made sure to show that off in fun ways. It may not seem like much to shoot an arrow into a bucket dangling over a disused well, but I understood what Bethesda was showing off with it and it is satisfying to have the world react to your actions when the combat very much doesn't. There's no weight behind the strikes and it made me realize how much better at combat Skyrim ultimately got since you don't get much in the way of feedback - either from hits or being hit - with Oblivion. It's by no means a deal breaker and didn't stop me enjoying myself, but I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't point out that it exists.


The story starts out better than I think Skyrim's does and the Mythic Dawn's custom bound armor remains classic. I missed the decisions of picking a birth sign and I'd forgotten Baraus recommends a class based on your combat style during the tutorial (It gave me Rogue, which I've decided to go with because why not?). The Sewer section was a lot shorter than I remember it being but that's hardly a negative. Had to stop about four times to drop stuff in my Inventory because the encumbrance system is a lot less forgiving than Skyrim or even Morrowind and for a tutorial dungeon they give a LOT of good crap.


Now I'm standing outside the Imperial City Prison contemplating poking my head inside a place I was so recently incarcerated in or going into the city proper to unload my spoils and head off to Chorrol for the main quest.



The potato models of the people aside, Oblivion's visuals have aged surprisingly well. When I got out of the sewers the landscape has a watercolor dream look to it (and yes, I remember Oblivion's watercolor world quest) that makes it feel like a painting come to life. It's obviously far less detailed than what Skyrim's world would be and doesn't feel as real-if-alien as Morrowind's environments conveyed with its graphics but it contrasts with the setting in a way I rather enjoy.


The Emperor's just been murdered. Hell is going to come to Earth soon...but standing on the shores of the Imperial Isle, it'd be easy for a character to dismiss it as an odd fever dream, were it not for the Amulet of Kings in their pocket. Next time I'm in the game, I'll grab some screenshots but Oblivion's design choices are one that I now, 10+ years after originally playing the game, really appreciate.


More to come, because my ultimate hope is I get through all of Oblivion as I tried to do with Morrowind last year (I failed on that front, due to mod-conflicts rendering the game broken beyond repair. Hence my no-mods run here).

Edited by Rust, 14 April 2019 - 05:15 PM.

#2 wonko the sane?

wonko the sane?

    Oh dear lord I am bored...

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:24 PM

I desperately WANT to go back to oblivion (it's the game that got me into the elder scrolls after all. My love for morrowind came after.) but I use an xbox controller on my PC and it doesn't fully support it without third party help, which I also found to be a big enough pain in the ass to be a deal breaker.

Per Nick Nemesis's Suggestion: I hate everything.

#3 Rust


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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:45 AM

The Keyboard/Mouse controls aren't difficult to learn. Biggest hurdle for me was Shift Clicking drops items in the inventory,

#4 Rust


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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:43 PM

​Not much in the way of actual forward progress on my front today, just spent the evening roaming the Imperial City and taking in that "local color" that I've long since forgotten. 


One thing that I'd forgotten is that these aren't Villager NPCs - they were still designing these folks to be actual people. They have quirks that, in casual conversation make for some forwardness that is a bit off putting but for one note characters who are literally part of the scenery I'm kind of taken aback at how dynamic the Imperial City's citizens truly are. And Radiant AI means they all have unique to them schedules (Coincidentally, The All Saints Inn isn't exactly a real hot spot at the Noon hour. Only a single patron eating lunch as of 12:45. Only reason I know that is because the radiant conversation said "Good Afternoon" and I had to check the time).


There's interconnectivity too. I started the suspicious merchant quest line and I have fond memories of it. What I don't remember is seeing the grave robber roaming the City, innocent as can be. I like that. I also took time to appreciate the art design of the Imperial City. It likely helps I'm playing it on the PC this time around as opposed to my old 360 on what was then a Standard Definition tube television. But the contrast between the Aleyid walls and the obvious Imperial construction later. The grey stone bricks with the marble white...there's a story being told just in the city itself. It's cracked, out of place statuary always trying to stand out from the elvish bones of the city but never quite succeeding (The Arboretum where the statues of the Nine are almost "drowned out" by the foliage). It also hit me that the graveyard running beside the White Gold Tower is the remains of what was likely a moat system. And taking that into account, it makes you appreciate how difficult the city was to take away from the elves in the first place.


Finally, I ended up in Talos Plaza outside the house of the man locked up in the Imperial Prison for doing the ritual to the Night Mother. I don't recall ever actually being in the house before so I indulged in some lockpicking...something I remember I was an absolute master at back in the day but my skills have abandoned me in my neglect. That said, I do find myself actually preferring Oblivion's system *Fails a lock attempt, resetting all the tumblers, swears*. Is it tedious? Oh my yes. But you feel a lot more accomplishment when you do unlock something as opposed to just finding the sweet spot in Skyrim or waggling the lockpick like a wand in front of the container a la Morrowind.


One burst of CHIM to take out the watchman later (I'm Level 1. My ability to sneak or disguise myself is not up to foiling an Imperial Watch member.) and I'm rummaging around the guy's belongings. And while I do remember all houses in the Imperial City have the exact same layout, I do like the storytelling going on within them. Guy liked cheap wine and was a bit of a painter. Otherwise pretty unremarkable save for the blood stained ritual scene in the basement (And not knowing how rare Human Hearts and Skin are in this game - in Skyrim they are pretty bloody rare - I yoinked both). What interested me was the chest in his bedroom with a journal. I know for a fact I've never read this before. So I got a big dumb grin on my face when it turns out the whole reason he got arrested for doing the ritual was to get revenge on a man named Rufio.


It's a small thing, but I always wondered. Fun that Bethesda actually put a starting point to that particular quest chain.

#5 Rust


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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:46 AM

​And here we hit the part where Oblivion starts to lose me, sadly.


Tried to do the Merchant quest, but despite following the shopkeep and finding his secret meeting spot, nothing would trigger their conversation. At about 5 am I decided to simply head out and "find my feet", so to speak. So I decided to ignore the main quest for now and take up the DLC Orrey quest with the Shadowbanish Wine collection quest being a sort of secondary objective as I poke my head into every Imperial Fort I run across.

I've already covered how the combat is less engaging than Skyrim's due to simple lack of player feedback. It's been long enough that I can't accurately recall but I want to say on the 360 you got a little controller shake whenever your weapon hit...but then it hit me the character I actually cleared Oblivion with was a Mage. And I instantly understand why, since Magic gives immediate feedback where as melee combat feels only slightly better than Morrowind's with enemies able to carry on preforming actions despite the fact I was tearing into them with a pointy, bladed object.

Then we come to the second aspect of combat, and one Oblivion's been grumbled on before...the scaling level system. It's why I chose to do the Orrey quest line first, since everything scales. I'm of two minds about it, being honest. On one hand, part of my issue with getting Skyrim hammered out and done with (Owned since launch, still have yet to finish the Main Quest, any of the DLC, or the Thieves Guild) is I get stuck in the parts of the game I've done to death and back and lose interest because I'm at a stage of the game where I'm simply not powerful enough to do what I want to do. Oblivion doesn't have that problem. First fort I delved into I was a master assassin, stealth killing the entire ruin. It made me feel engaged with what was happening. I really appreciate that. That what I want the character to be IS, despite low skill levels, simply by nature of the game's design. The flip side of that coin however, is that I've now been in half a dozen ruins and outside two pieces of magical gear I've not so much as caught a whiff of gear upgrades. Still in Leathers and Fur with a Fine Iron Long Sword I bought in the Imperial City. Sure, you get to be what you want to be out of Oblivion's gate, but you don't get any sense of forward progression when it comes to loot. 


It also tends to kill what should be suspenseful moments. Found a Vampire infested ruin, but the Vampires were all kitted out exactly like the Marauders I'd already been fighting. They pop their invisibility that they break almost immediately, and the fight progresses as normal. The only real difference I found fighting them was that they spotted me instantly, as opposed to Marauders whom I could sneak up to. Compare that to stumbling upon a den of Vampires in Morrowind or Skyrim early on, when that can be a very tense moment. 


Combat's not the be all, end all of a game and I'm not ready to hang up Oblivion yet, but I will say after delighting in the nostalgia of the opening and taking in the surprisingly vibrant Imperial City, discovering the core gameplay is a bit of a moldy bathtub is disappointing. I think I'll finish up the Orrey quest, get my gear some much needed repair, then get back onto the main quest at least through Kvatch.

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