Tag Archives: argh

Injustice: Gods among us

Let’s make a couple of things clear:

  1. Fighting games are really boring. Outside of the Mario exception1, I’ve never enjoyed a fighting game. I did put a serious number of hours into Mortal Kombat for the SNES way back when, but then my entire game collection would consist of two games at any given time, so I would play what I had and like it.
  2. Super heroes are stupid. They’re a kind of enjoyable stupid when they get to stay in their own unique worlds, but when they start sharing a world, the stupid becomes brain-achingly bad.

In other words, there’s nothing to indicate that I will find even the tiniest sliver of enjoyment in Injustice: Gods among us.

But it was on sale and it has Lobo in the banner2, so I bought it anyway. I’m a total sucker and why did I ever give Steam my credit card.

I hate this game.

That was to be expected, but after playing it a bit, I also hate it for a number of other reasons.

Controls

I’ve played this with a wired Xbox 360 controller, and I’ve found the controls to be flaky as hell. I frequently jump when trying to move backwards or forwards, and a number of combos are all but impossible to do intentionally. When going through the tutorials, I had to skip a number of moves because even after several dozen tries, I simply could not get the keys listed on the screen to do what they were supposed to.

Thankfully the fights are easily winnable with just basic moves and the occasional incidental special move.

The animation

For a game that is all about throwing bodies around, these guys are surprisingly and inconsistently badly animated.

In the actual fights, the animations are mostly good. I rarely see anything obvious enough to bother me. It’ll do.

But the cut scenes. Oh dear god the cut scenes. People are bending at the waist, not at the hips. The corners of the mouth are going straight out to the sides, not bending back along the teeth. The insides of mouths are lit by an unknown light source, rather than being dark. Wrists bend all wrong. Eyelids head into non-Euclidean space whenever somebody blinks. These are all common problems, and they are all terrible.

Wonder Woman

I know the characters in this game have stylised bodies. They have fantasy bodies, and as long as they’re consistent, that’s fine. But there’s stylised, and there’s … Wonder Woman.

Wonder-Woman

I don’t even understand what’s going on with her physique. Waist down, she’s fine, if perhaps a bit on the slim side for the amount of muscle she should have.

But from the waist up? Nope. Not unless she’s had breast and shoulder enhancement surgery. That upper body does simply not belong with that lower body.

The other women in this game do not have this problem. They are stylised and idealised, but at least their halves look like they belong together.

As for Wonder Woman’s metal bra… It’s so low-hanging fruit I won’t even bother with further comment.

Lobo

The character that made me purchase this damned thing isn’t actually in the story. He’s a DLC, and is only included because I got the Ultimate Edition.

… but I kinda like that bit

The story

As much as I hate super heroes in a shared world, the story going on here is pretty clever. I like it as much as I can like a story where I hate the setting. We all know this game exists purely because super hero fans want to have a great big melee with random heroes and villains beating the crap out of each other, and with that in mind I’m even more impressed with the story.

The graphics

The stages are gorgeous, both to look at and to play. There is a perfect amount of interaction with the environment. The transition between stages is excellent.

The characters are beautifully distinct. Each character’s moves are excellent and feel appropriate, and even such small things as a character’s walk is on target. Their super moves range from badass (Hello, Batman!) to slapstick (Hello, Green Lantern!).

Little things like the power meters are just right.

Depeche Mode

Unexpected, but appreciated.

Lobo

Lobo is just as loud, crude and rude as he should be. Taking a shotgun to Batman’s brooding face and stomping on Green Arrow’s is satisfying. Oh Lobo, you alone are worth my €4.99.

So…

I hate this game. But Lobo. Oh, Lobo. I’ll let you beat up random super heroes any day.


  1. The Mario exception is as follows: Even if a given genre of games is all stupid and boring, the Mario game in that genre will still be entertaining. So racing games are dull, but Mario Kart is great fun. Fighting games are boring, but Smash Bros is amazing. 
  2. Also Wee Hughie undercover as Zod

Becoming fabulous!

It's very nice of my hairdresser to offer me tea while I wait for my appointment, but there's something vital missing here.
It’s very nice of my hairdresser to offer me tea while I wait for my appointment, but there’s something vital missing here.

After two weeks of being annoyed and wearing my hair in a pony tail, I gave in and got a haircut.

I don’t like getting my hair cut. I don’t like dealing with hair at all, so I let it grow until it becomes unwieldy and unflattering and annoys the crap out of me. Only then do I book an appointment with the expensive hairdresser — I’ve been to several cheap ones, and at best they give me a haircut that does not actively annoy me. The expensive ones can give me a cut that almost makes this whole hair business seem worth it.

I don’t like being at the salon. Keeping my attitude towards hair in mind, it’s hard for me to find a common topic of conversation with someone who loves hair so much they became a ladies’ hairdresser. Sometimes it even gets me in trouble: One hairdresser threatened to shave my head because I mentioned I didn’t use conditioner. The same person also told me I needed to smile more through the whole ninety minutes it took them to give me a terrible cut. I probably don’t need to mention this was one of the cheap hairdressers I’ve since stopped going to.

Today was thankfully quite pleasant, and even a little amusing.

I told my hairdresser I don’t blowdry my hair, and that my only real styling implement is a hair brush. They responded by wincing and giving me a blowdry that would make a Wella model envious. Incidentally, the style of choice involved having a curtain of hair over my good eye, so for the last half of the styling process all I could see was fuzzy blobs.

Who needs sight when you can be fabulous!

Last days of Fitbit Ultra

I got my Fitbit Ultra a little less than two years ago, and I’ve been wearing it daily since. If assorted forums are anything to go by, people lose and replace these things every six months, so mine is practically ancient.

And it really looks it. This is what my Fitbit Ultra looks like as of today:

Broken Fitbit Ultra

The scuffs and scrapes have been there for ever, bits of the outer casing started falling off months back, and today the outer casing has come loose from the back, exposing the electronics within.

The unit still works, and I hope it will continue to do so for a while longer. I was hoping to upgrade to the Force, but the european release date has been pushed back to “spring 2014”.

As much as I’d hate to leave two years of data behind, the Withings Pulse and associated ecosystem is looking sexier by the minute.

Happy bloody new year

Happy bloody new year. It can only go uphill from here, if this quite unpleasant new year’s eve is anything to go by. This day — and half the week leading up to it — has been marred by people thinking new year’s is a license to be inconsiderate jerks and discard common sense.

Let’s take the whole mess in order.

I’m used to the occasional firework going off in the days leading up to new year’s eve, but this time has been ridiculous. There’s been fireworks going off non-stop from sunset to two or three in the morning for the last three days. I don’t understand why you would want to dilute the special occasion like that, and I really don’t understand why you choose to be so inconsiderate towards neighbours who have pets, small children, or who simply need to get up early and don’t want to be kept up half the night by constant explosions.

Oslo has an official fireworks show off the pier on new year’s eve. While I’ve seen better fireworks elsewhere, it’s the best I’m going to get if I’m home for new year’s, and so I like to head downtown to watch and photograph it. So does the rest of the city, so lots of people in various states of drunkenness on public transport is to be expected. That’s fine. But a dozen people getting on the tube while smoking and continuing to smoke while in transit is not fine.

A young man in a suit didn’t think this kind of behaviour was quite antisocial enough, so he decided to graffiti the tube stop while the crowd was walking past. I’m not ashamed to say I punched him with my tripod as I passed.

There was a higher than usual number of police cars between the tube stop and the pier. Good to see the police keeping a good ratio of officers to assholes on the streets! I heard rumours about them confiscating illegal fireworks, unfortunately I didn’t see this myself.

As usual, people had been shooting up fireworks around the pier for hours before midnight, so the air was filled with smoke, obscuring the official fireworks. I really, really don’t understand why you want to ruin the good stuff with the very much un-spectacular store-bought fireworks.

Those floating fire lanterns are really pretty, but sending them up on the pier when the wind is blowing inland makes me think you are actually braindead. Why are you sending flying fire into downtown Oslo?!

The night bus home is going to be crowded and full of drunk people. Again, this is expected and fine. However, you being drunk and in a party mood simply does not change that the bus doors need a certain space to open and close. Shouting Money talks, muddafocka at the bus driver when he tells you to move out of this space for the third time is not helping anyone. What does that even mean? How does that statement make even a lick of sense in this context?

Ah well. It’s late, I’m grumpy, I probably didn’t get any decent photos (although that is my own fault), but I’m going to not care and go to bed. Tomorrow will definitely be better.

Great work, Ruter

Great work, Ruter. It’s great how the platforms on line 1 are still too short for full-length trains, in stoic defiance of the amount of traffic on this line. It’s great how line 1’s shorter train is so full in the morning that I physically can not get in the first door, nor the second. It’s great that I then have the third door — where there was just barely room for another body or two — closed before my face.

It’s just great to sit on the open tube stop for fifteen minutes on a cold october morning, knowing that I left my breakfast behind in the rush to catch my train.

It’s great how the next train, which should get me to work just on time manages to accumulate ten minutes of delay on a fifteen minute journey.

Great work. Really.

Ugh, Superdrug

It has already been established that I did a mighty amount of shopping during our pre-christmas trip to England. I did a good chunk of it at Superdrug, a beauty chain with some pharmacy services, that offers a lot of cheap makeup brands that I can’t get back home. Now, I like the products Superdrug carries. I don’t like the actual shops at all.

There are two reasons I don’t like the shops, and they are closely connected. One is that there is a lack of upkeep in the shop. Missing or used-up samplers are rarely replaced, and the shelves are equally rarely cleaned and tidied. Second is the costumer base — cheap makeup means lots and lots of teenagers. These teenagers do not give rat’s ass about how they leave the place. When they use samplers, they spread product over half the shelf. If they can’t find samplers, they’ll just open the product they want and try it, putting it right back if they don’t want it. Y’know, behaviour that most other shops would consider theft.

The two factors combined means the average Superdrug is a filthy mess. The only reason I go back is because it’s months between each visit, and in that time I manage to convince myself it’s not that bad. This is wrong. It is that bad.

During our trip, I shopped at two different Superdrugs. Both gave me problems.

At the first Superdrug, I picked up a Bourjois mascara and a powder. The mascara is a gimmicky type that comes with a small battery-powered motor that rotates the brush. Sitting down in a coffee shop post-shopping I noticed the battery cover and the battery was missing, and they were not lying loose in the bag. Back to the shop with it. The cashier offered me a replacement, but the only possible replacement had been left turned on, letting the battery run down. I got a refund instead, with the shop keeping my receipt.

With no receipt, I’m sure you can imagine how trilled I was when I later found out that the mirror in the powder compact was cracked. The powder itself was covered in plastic, so there shouldn’t be any glass bits in it…

At the second Superdrug, Sleek was my main target. I grabbed two three-shades compacts of blushers. The compacts were boxed, and I didn’t want to be that rude person opening boxes. Bad mistake to make at Superdrug.

I didn’t open the blushers until I got home, and found this:

Three pans of makeup with finger marks in each pan.
Marks not made by my fingers.

Finger marks in every colour. Someone opened both of these, sampled the colours with their fingers, then put the compacts back in the box and back on the shelf. Ugh.

I’ve definitely done all the beauty shopping I need for a long time.

Security theater: Liquids edition

I travel several times each year. As I travel with hand luggage only, I’m getting used to running into the limitations on liquids:

Liquids in hand luggage

There are restrictions on the amount of liquids, creams and gels that can be carried in hand luggage onboard all flights. A maximum of 1 liter of liquid, creams and gels are permitted in hand luggage. Each item must not exceed 100ml. Liquids, creams and gels must be packed in a separate transparent re-sealable bag must be presented at the security checkpoint.

The helpful signs at the airport’s security checkpoint usually show a nearly empty bag, where a tube of toothpaste, a stick of deodorant, and maybe a small bottle of perfume have plenty of room. When I’m flying out, my bag does in fact look a lot like that.

But when I’m coming home from a week of shopping? We’re playing for keeps, darlings.

Security theater: Liquids edition

Said signs also say “do not overfill”. It’s not overfilled if I can close it without bursting a seam. Serious Tetris skills certainly doesn’t hurt.

Here is the lot, unpacked:

Security theater: Liquids edition

With some determination, I could fit:

  • Moisturiser (75ml and the biggest item in the lot)
  • Two bottles of liquid foundation
  • Deodorant
  • Two mascaras
  • Four lipsticks
  • Traveldose of Lemony Flutter
  • Concealer
  • Two gel eyeliners
  • Eyecream
  • Perfume
  • Dry shampoo (not even sure when or why I picked this up, but uh, it could come in useful, I guess)
  • Eye shadow base
  • Samples of lip plumper, lip primer, and eye primer
  • Handwash
  • Eye pencil (which probably didn’t need to go in this bag, but it’s big and I didn’t feel like potentially getting my bag searched for the sake of one bloody pencil)

Let’s not get into the non-liquids I purchased, although packing all of those was certainly an art in itself…