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User information for SMA

Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 3275 (Veteran)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > Into the Black

7. Re: Into the Black Nov 20, 2019, 22:08 Scottish Martial Arts
It's definitely possible to get proficient with aiming with a gamepad, but the cap on your precision is also definitely lower as compared to a mouse and keyboard. The trick is to not spazz out and fully deflect the thumbstick; gentle, subtle movements are a must if you want to be precise. That said, I'd still take a mouse and keyboard over a gamepad any day when playing a FPS and for most (but not all) third person games.  
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News Comments > Death Stranding Simultaneously Coming to Steam and Epic Games Store

31. Re: Death Stranding Simultaneously Coming to Steam and Epic Games Store Nov 9, 2019, 23:25 Scottish Martial Arts
Alamar wrote on Nov 9, 2019, 11:15:
<Insert Simpsons Principal Out of Touch Meme>

I just don't understand all the hype for this game... Since the first announcement, or maybe even before, because of whoever this Kojima guy is... I've tried to sit through the trailer and some other vid, but I just don't get it...

The hype derives from the fact that this is a Kojima game, so there is a built-in fanbase and automatic press coverage, coupled with the fact that the trailers and other marketing material have been deliberately ambiguous about what the game is. In other words, they've given an air of mystery and intrigue to something that many gamers are already going to be interested in.

As for Kojima himself, he's most well known for the Metal Gear Solid series, although he also worked on a pair of adventure games for 16 and 32-bit CDROM-based consoles. More than nearly any other developer, he brings a very distinctive, idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable style to every game he works on. He's also been very prolifically covered by the gaming press, which has generally treated him as an auteur/rockstar. Is his reputation deserved? Well, his games have all been pretty good, with some being truly outstanding. But he's also entirely capable of going off the rails and getting very self-indulgent. With that in mind, its not surprising that early reaction to Death Stranding has been very polarized.

If you want to check out one of his past games, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater would be the best place to start except for the fact that its really only available on the PS2 and PS3. In lieu of that, Metal Gear Solid 5 is available on PC and is outstanding in terms of gameplay, but be warned that the plot is going to be outlandish and incomprehensible if you haven't played the rest of the series.
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News Comments > On Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Plans

18. Re: On Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Plans Oct 15, 2019, 08:26 Scottish Martial Arts
CJ_Parker wrote on Oct 14, 2019, 20:52:
Are you sure you know how VR works? If VR is properly implemented then you'd have an accurately modeled cockpit where you can flick every single switch with your touch controllers.

How will you manipulate a joystick/yoke and throttle with touch controllers in your hands? Will you set them aside when flying, then take your hands off the controls to pick them back up to manipulate instruments, dials, and switches? Or will you eschew a joystick and use the touch controllers to control a virtual stick or yoke? If the latter how will you provide resistance against the push and pulling of the stick/yoke when the touch controllers aren't attached to anything?

Again, it's not at all clear to me that that's an improvement over physical peripherals, which contrary your characterization as cheap are generally quite high quality (with the price tag to match) these days. Don't get me wrong, VR is very very cool, and its potential for simulation is gigantic, but right now its still mostly just potential even if its getting better.
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News Comments > On Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Plans

11. Re: On Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Plans Oct 14, 2019, 20:16 Scottish Martial Arts
Kxmode wrote on Oct 14, 2019, 19:04:
The thing is VR, not AR, is the best enhancement for a flight simulator.

That's not at all clear on the basis of first-gen headsets. Some issues:
* VR headsets are less sharp and have less clarity of image as compared to a 4K monitor. This renders instruments and displays harder to read and, in a combat sim, other planes and ground targets harder to distinguish. This was my number one complaint with trying out an Oculus with DCS: it was felt comparable to downgrading back to a 1080p display.
* Peripherals become harder to use. I do not have an extensive peripheral setup, just the Warthog HOTAS, but the switch panel integrated into the base of the throttle was basically unusable without taking both hands off the controls, using one to raise the headset a bit, and then glancing down with my peripheral vision to manipulate a switch with my other hand. The fact that the switch panel was rendered in game was little help unless the switch I wanted was at the edge of the panel.
* Head tracking has been a solved problem for about 15 years thanks to TrackIR and VR offers little real improvement. TrackIR isn't perfect, but once you have well calibrated input curves, and so long as direct sunlight isn't shining into the tracker's FoV, then it works very well.

What VR has to offer over a standard setup is immersion and depth perception, but right now it is simply less usable than the alternatives, albeit still a really cool experience. As the displays improve, I could see VR eventually becoming preferable to a 4k monitor + TrackIR. Until then though, it's a tough sell for a hobby where you never have enough pixel density.
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News Comments > Evening Mobilization

7. Re: Evening Mobilization Aug 24, 2019, 13:16 Scottish Martial Arts
jdreyer wrote on Aug 24, 2019, 02:58:
My three and a half year old phone is getting really slow, but I think that's more about it needing to be defragmented than anything else.

Uh, what? Do you have some obscure model of phone that has a disk-based hard drive for storage?
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

18. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 30, 2019, 19:05 Scottish Martial Arts
Cinema is an artistic medium and good cinema can and should be appreciated as works of art. A good filmmaker will pay careful attention to each and every shot of the movie, intentionally making every creative decision that goes into the work as a whole. Shot composition, lighting, actor performances, scoring, each word of dialogue: all of these and more are the result of conscious effort and decision making to bring about a particular experience.

When frame interpolation is turned on, 36 additional frames per second are being generated by a computer, without any input from the filmmakers, drastically altering the look and feel of each moment of the movie viewing experience. If you really want to enable such an image processing feature, there is nothing stopping you, but it is functionally equivalent to viewing the works in an art museum through a Instagram or Snapchat live filter because you think it looks cooler: you can do whatever you want, but you're kind of missing the point.

Note, that frame interpolation is distinct from filming in 60fps. There are a handful of films which were shot in 60fps and to view such a film at 60 fps isn't the adulteration that frame interpolation is. In contrast, frame interpolation is watching the output of a computer algorithm, not the carefully crafted work of human hands.
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News Comments > What Happens to Purchases if Google Kills Stadia?

37. Re: What Happens to Purchases if Google Kills Stadia? Jul 21, 2019, 22:20 Scottish Martial Arts
Muscular Beaver wrote on Jul 20, 2019, 19:28:
Thinks CDs are "files", that people dont have files anymore and only stream, then thinks CD players are hard to find.

I don't mean to defend his non-answers, but it has been nearly a decade since I last saw a CD player in the wild. And it's probably been five years since I last manually managed mp3 files to load onto a smart phone. And I don't personally know anyone under 60 who doesn't just use Spotify or Youtube to listen to music. I get that audiophiles may not be satisfied with streaming services, but I think it's kinda disingenuous to suggest that the mass market hasn't adopted music streaming as the standard way to listen to music.

*Disclosure: work for Google, don't work on Stadia, opinion is my own, have no plans to use Stadia, etc.
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News Comments > Sunday Legal Briefs

2. Re: Sunday Legal Briefs Jul 21, 2019, 20:44 Scottish Martial Arts
jdreyer wrote on Jul 21, 2019, 18:04:
A Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against Nintendo For Joy-Con Drift

The Switch has been out for over 2 years now. Couldn't this be just normal wear and tear? My original Xbox controller died after about 4 years of casual use, probably 1000 hours or so of use.

I haven't experienced joy-con drift myself, but from what I've read it's a pretty widespread problem that starts manifesting within a few months of regular usage for those who do experience it. Given that my Pro Controller had a shoddy d-pad from day one -- it registers spurious up and down inputs when pressing right or left -- I'm totally willing to believe that the joy-cons can develop issues also.
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News Comments > Evening Metaverse

8. Re: Evening Metaverse Jul 13, 2019, 10:26 Scottish Martial Arts
El Pit wrote on Jul 13, 2019, 02:43:

Mindhunters (the movie) was shot in 2004 and is not 80s at all. Mindhunter (the series) was shot in 2013 and takes place in the 70s and also features no 80s nostalgia. MANhunter was shot in 1986 and has some of the greatest cinematography ever - but definitely looks and feels like a movie from the 80s in a good way. But the color composition of this movie is wayyyyyyy better than anything ever done in the last 30 years with few exceptions (like e.g. Nightcrawler from 2014).

Oops: I said Mindhunter but meant Manhunter. And I completely agree about Manhunter's visuals. The film oozes cool to the point that it feels more contemporary than the present, and is entirely in keeping with the stylishness of Michael Mann's other films. You've probably seen it, but if you haven't, I highly recommend Thief, another 80s set Michael Mann film. That said, given that prominent members of this forum have argued in favor of enabling frame interpolation on modern televisions and for HD remasters of television programs that were never shot for anything but NTSC resolution, I figured I should give fair warning about the essential 80s-ness of the film.
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News Comments > Evening Metaverse

6. Re: Evening Metaverse Jul 12, 2019, 22:27 Scottish Martial Arts
RedEye9 wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 21:49:
jdreyer wrote on Jul 12, 2019, 20:37:
Manhunter was really good.
Manhunter (1986) the movie or the Mindhunter series.
inquiring man/minds want to know

Both are excellent imo. Be warned that Mindhunter Manhunter is pretty dated at this point, but given how enduringly popular 80s nostalgia is, the film's 80s-ness might be a plus.

This comment was edited on Jul 13, 2019, 10:35.
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News Comments > Ys Net Promises Shenmue 3 Steam Keys in a Year and Refunds

27. Re: Ys Net Promises Shenmue 3 Steam Keys in a Year and Refunds Jul 2, 2019, 22:31 Scottish Martial Arts
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Jul 2, 2019, 12:23:
Don't even know what Shenmue is actually..

It was a wildly ambitious open world adventure/RPG/simulation game by Yu Suzuki (a legendary Sega arcade game designer) for the Dreamcast that largely failed in its ambitions, but nevertheless was an interesting failure. A second game was released for the OG Xbox and a third was planned but was cancelled after the commercial failure of the first two, leaving the story dangling without a conclusion.
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News Comments > Evening Interviews

3. Re: Evening Interviews Jul 2, 2019, 22:04 Scottish Martial Arts
eRe4s3r wrote on Jul 2, 2019, 21:39:
Remember, this is the company that coined the terms
minimum viable product (games as a service) aka, releasing unfinished garbage

Minimum viable product has been standard business jargon for at least the past decade, if not longer. It's very commonly seen alongside startup-centric terms like burn rate and runway.
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News Comments > Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Dawns

5. Re: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Dawns Jun 18, 2019, 22:16 Scottish Martial Arts
Darks wrote on Jun 18, 2019, 19:30:

I know right! I cant understand how shit like this gets funded. its like kids from the 80's have invaded our timeline.

For the same reason any crowd-funded game project by a legendary game director gets funded: people want a spiritual follow up to something they love.

I haven't played this yet -- and admittedly the trailer does make it seem ridiculous -- but it is uncontroversial to say that Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best games ever made, and that SOTN's Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS follow-ups were generally very good, so on the strength of that pedigree this is probably at least worth a look. Likewise, the stand alone prologue to this game, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, was an outstanding homage to Castlevania III and 8-bit NES action platformers in general.

Again, I haven't yet played this, but trailer not withstanding there's every reason to think this will be very good and worth picking up.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

15. Re: Charcoal vs gas May 24, 2019, 18:04 Scottish Martial Arts
Question for gas grillers: why not just use the broiler in your oven?  
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse

6. Re: Morning Metaverse May 21, 2019, 22:23 Scottish Martial Arts
Dacote wrote on May 21, 2019, 20:15:
Exactly, I thought the second season was way better than the first.
Alas metacritic ranks season 1 at 76 and only gives season 2 a 78.

Hmm, I would argue that the execution and storytelling took a significant turn for the worse in the second season.

For example, the entire first episode was a tiresome and pointless series of "Hey, guys remember the EIGHTIES? With ARCADES? And DEVO?" nostalgia service in place of an actual first act: the audience is literally made to sit through 80s callbacks for an hour before anything dramatic, i.e. interesting, happens. Compare this with the first five minutes of the first season, where we're effortlessly situated in a time and place through the use of costume and set dressing -- rather than being hit over the head repeatedly with overt references to whichever 80s licenses the producers were able to secure -- introduced to and shown the endearing qualities of the most important characters, and then thrown headlong into pure terror as Will is pursued, and eventually kidnapped, by a mysterious and menacing threat. By the end of those five minutes we are immersed in a world, interested in the people who inhabit it, and desperately want to know what that shadowy figure was and what will happen to Will.

The second season followed up on such an effective series opener by feeding us 80s nostalgia red meat for an hour in the hopes we'd be so excited to reminisce about the Reagan era that we wouldn't notice that there was no longer any mystery -- and its attendant fear of the unknown -- or that the characters we so love were going to spend much of their screen time away from one another and doing mostly uninteresting things. Season 1 told its story well and with economy; Season 2 got lazy and coasted off the goodwill generated by its predecessor. And don't get me started on episode 7, Eleven Goes Punk in Chicago, which is arguably the single biggest quality drop in a TV episode in recent memory.

As far as review aggregators go, it's helpful to remember that the score tends to reflect the number of reviewers who recommended the film or series and not how strong that endorsement was. That's why, for example, The Last Jedi had such a high aggregate score, even though if you actually read the critic reviews, they tended to have mixed feelings about the film's overall quality but felt it had enough going for it that you'd get your money's worth if you went to see it. I suspect something similar is going on here: using myself as anecdata, I still enjoyed season 2, and wouldn't tell a fan to skip it, but I definitely think it saw a steep drop in storytelling quality relative to season 1.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse

4. Re: Morning Metaverse May 21, 2019, 19:21 Scottish Martial Arts
Dacote wrote on May 21, 2019, 13:28:
Stranger Things can do no wrong.

The second season had something to say about that...
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

27. Re: Out of the Blue May 16, 2019, 21:46 Scottish Martial Arts
WaltC wrote on May 16, 2019, 10:45:
As with any "based on true events" television or movie, I think it pays to remember that a certain amount of dramatic license is taken with the facts, timelines, persons involved, etc...;) Probably wouldn't be so riveting otherwise!

Sure, but they aren't really changing the underlying history, so much as omitting, combining, and/or eliding so as to better tell the story. For example, Legasov and Scherbina are shown meeting at the Kremlin and then boarding a helicopter to go to Chernobyl, when A) they met on site, and B) Chernobyl is well outside helicopter range from Moscow. Similarly, in order for the three engineers to go into the reactor sub basements to open the sluice gates, an Army captain and some of his men had to pump out much of the water so that it would be possible to send in engineers at all, something which the show doesn't depict. The history really is as dramatic as the show makes it out to be; they've just adapted the history to fit the constraints of the television mini-series format.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

24. Re: Interview: Ira Steven Behr Looks Back on Trek Deep Space Nine May 4, 2019, 21:27 Scottish Martial Arts
Mr. Tact wrote on May 4, 2019, 11:05:
I was sorely disappointed ST:DS9 didn't get a remaster, that would have been incredibly awesome.

My understanding is that all of the edited, effects shots, i.e. the ships and space battles and such, in DS9 only ever existed as NTSC (480p) video. In other words, there's no 35mm film to rescan at a higher resolution for a huge chunk of the show's runtime. Any HD remaster would require that all of the effects shots be redone from scratch, otherwise there'd be a jarring drop in resolution and screen format anytime we saw a ship exterior or something similar. Given how effects driven DS9 was, especially as compared to TNG, the economics of redoing all of the effects for a remaster just don't pan out. It's unfortunate since DS9, more than any other Trek, could really benefit from an HD facelift: the special effects have aged quite poorly, yet the latter seasons of DS9 are pure space opera and thus depend very heavily on no-longer-impressive CGI.
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News Comments > STAR WARS Battlefront (Classic, 2004) on and Steam

7. Re: STAR WARS Battlefront (Classic, 2004) on and Steam May 2, 2019, 22:00 Scottish Martial Arts
panbient wrote on May 2, 2019, 18:38:
So in addition to Battlefront all Star Wars games seem to be on sale this weekend. On that note did anyone play Rebellion back in the day? I don't ever remember even hearing about it but it's apparently a 4x / grand strategy. Kinda curious.

It's extremely rough around the edges but is at least playable and sporadically enjoyable. The real-time space battles are god awful, but the strategic mode lets you do fun things with hero characters like sending Han Solo on smuggling runs or assassinating enemy agents with Mara Jade, etc. Some people seem to have genuinely liked it but I would have a hard time recommending it today. I was pretty let down by it when it came out back in '98 and I have a hard time imagining that it has aged well in the intervening 20+ years.
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation

5. Re: Saturday Consolidation Mar 30, 2019, 19:00 Scottish Martial Arts
jacobvandy wrote on Mar 30, 2019, 13:43:
I suppose this is nice if you really want an official collectible for your shelf, but they've had other SEGA plug-and-play consoles with the same games rotting on retail shelves for years because they farmed it out to third parties.

The software component is being developed by M2, which is enough to perk the interest of anyone in to retro console gaming. M2's previous work in the retro space has pretty consistently produced reference quality emulation with thoughtful bonuses, features, and options that are very well attuned to what someone interested in retro gaming would want. While I probably won't get one -- I fell down the retro gaming rabbit hole last year and now have a Genesis, and Sega CD, and 32X, hooked up to a Sony PVM with RGB SCART cables -- this will almost certainly be the best legitimate way to play Genesis games for those who don't want to go to the effort and expense implicit in tracking down original hardware, cartridges and CRTs.
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