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Member Since 14 Apr 2005
Offline Last Active Sep 25 2018 08:49 PM

#287826 Smells like a dead rat here

Posted by hankwang on 19 September 2018 - 09:30 PM

I miss you GHZ.

I miss the Forza Championships.

I miss Singho and Randy battling like wartorn tigers over random glitches in games.

I miss the exceptionally silly drama that was on reflection bizarre.

I miss the people I met, carved friendships with and eventually in some cases fell out with too.

You were a huge piece of my life for so long and I won't forget you.

I guess you are done now, just waiting for 11th April (2 days before my wedding, ha) for your domain to expire.

God speed to you all. I love you.

#287788 Life Status

Posted by hankwang on 14 November 2017 - 02:10 AM



I got engaged!



#285531 Bodypoppin' w/ Singho

Posted by hankwang on 28 June 2014 - 11:56 AM


#285526 Bodypoppin' w/ Singho

Posted by hankwang on 27 June 2014 - 09:02 AM


Please proliferate before he takes it down.

#285286 Take the Metal C64 Theme Challenge!

Posted by hankwang on 13 May 2014 - 01:40 PM

I remember this (hot stuff starts at 1:22 ish



The in-game music to this was knock-your-dick-off fantastic:



And the title theme to the otherwise abysmal conversion of R-Type:



The effect that kicks off the main tune at 3s/4s is a fucking CLASSIC noise. I flick my fingers to it everytime I hear it. Because I am sad :(

#285182 Life Status

Posted by hankwang on 30 April 2014 - 09:28 PM

Last 2 years have been really, really mad crazy for me, particularly the last 365 days wherein:


- My mum died
- I bought my first ever flat (£30k mortgage, the bittersweet advantages of a relatively large inheritance)

- My work got bought out by another company who honestly looked like they might just be after the assets but thankfully turned out to be fantastic for the business and are gradually turning things around

- I went on another solo snowboarding holiday and this time met some awesome new friends who are bringing me out of my socially inept shell

- Making a ton of money with a solid gambling strategy and thinking about investing it in a real business to occupy my time with

- I'm dating. Sorta.


I feel like I've done the growing up in the past year I should've spent the last decade doing. Better late than never I suppose. Still driving towards a million and one targets.


Glad to see everyone's doing so well, apart from Randy living in The Money Pit with Tom Hanks :/ I miss this place, but I just have nothing to say about video games anymore. Unless it's Tomodachi Life, that shit is GOTY already.


EDIT: Oh yeah, forgot I had a nose operation too. Now I get to sleep more than 5 hours a night without waking up with a carpetmouth!

#284635 The day we turned our industry into an industry

Posted by hankwang on 07 February 2014 - 02:20 PM

Hello. I'm Rob. For over a quarter of a century, I have played the vidja. I'm not 100% sure when the fascination started, although I believe it was when I first played Commando in the arcade in a holiday camp deep in the midst of the 80s. I know when the obsession started, however.
Our house was always full of home computers. We were pioneers of the 80s. Between my brothers, we had a Texas TI-99/4A, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, MSX and a Commodore 64. Some of them were shifted on for better and brighter models, some of them burnt out their transistors and were replaced, and some are still with us today. When I was 6 or 7, as my brother elected to use his part-time money to buy an Amiga, I was given the C64 as a hand-me-down, along with his gigantic pirated tape library, and a few official games to boot.
This was the early age of digital Britain. Buried under the surface in bedrooms and pokey offices up and down the country, the haphazards were bolting together any old concept that worked, trying to eek out whatever was left out of their sprite multiplexers and harvesting a precious byte here and there to try and fit the music in at the end. And all for what? To put a tape in a plastic case with a cardboard inlay and sell it for £2.99 at Boots and WH Smiths. This country was one of the early masters of the video game, a reality honed by the government's computer literacy project.
All I did was play. I understood games. I knew what to do to avoid the game crashing bug that would wipe you out on the third multiload of TMNT. I knew how to get through the ridiculous tricky water-platform section on Creatures. I even knew that the home computer versions of Street Fighter 2 were as garbage as it comes. Sadly, I also came to know that what rolled out in these early days were quickly slap dashed arcade ports that barely resembled their sublime fathers, and budget offerings that were as economy as a Sainsbury's value sausage roll. You had to be sharp and informed to avoid the tosh, lest your pocket money was wasted, and lest your savings for the next full price title were eaten into for a quick fix.
My friend had a Master System. That was the big ticket at the time, the hearts and minds of kids everywhere almost universally owned by Sega. His parents were... relatively well off, so he'd always have a new cart to play with (he did pay them back with bloody good grades, in fairness). We had a pact of sorts - whip through loads of my pirated and budget C64 titles, get a good feel for the kinds of games that were being produced, and then take on the majesty of something really polished, like Master System Double Dragon. I remember one summer, in between bouts of Psycho Fox, we worked on the job of mapping and finishing the entirity of Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap. Easily one of my fondest memories of gaming, even if we did almost kill each other trying to figure out the fucking pigmy dungeon.
These were the kinds of games I wanted to play, not this second rate Professional Ski Simulator and BMX Ninja tosh. After a lot of petitioning, I got my wish. The Megadrive. The new home of gaming. Golden Axe. FIFA. Sonic the motherfucking Hedgehog. And from there, the blue blood of Sega corsing through my veins, I moved onto the Saturn. Guardian Heroes. Sega Rally. NiGHTS into motherfucking Dreams. There was this real, twitch skill, quick blast arcade feel which was always deeper than your credit allowed you to experience, and always had you coming back to find a more methodical, rewarding experience. This was an age where almost every gamer universally understood that you any amount of content that was engineered to provide you with fun would last for hours on end.
Let's fast forward to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is my opinion that 2006 to 2010 was something of a golden age for vidja. MS had position the 360 as the gamer's console, and did its utmost to inspire us with internal and externally funded affair that had a broad stretch. The Japanese RPGs, Mass Effect, Alan Wake, Forza, the list goes on. And Sony, of course, had to fight back. Uncharted, Motorstorm, Resistance, the list goes on. And smack bang in the middle, the third parties made the most of it, the exponential growth in competition and gaming that offered them the ability to experiment and break fresh ground. Whether you had complete enjoyment for all of them is another matter - the fact was there was quite literally a game for everyone.
2010 was the last full year I enjoyed as a gamer. It would be remiss to criticise video gaming as full speed downhill from then on, but in terms of the rise from where *I* stand in what *I* want, that was the summit. Maybe I am a dinosaur for not embracing certain things, but I have my reasons and I don't feel they are out of step. There's a vocal crowd, positive about where things are going, and a silent crowd that sit in dismay about where things are going. I'm not sure which sits larger. Perhaps we will never know.
I feel the anger when I speak about gaming today. I may be an opinionated guy, but I am pretty liberal. You want to do what you want to do, you do it, good for you. In everything I do, I'm mellow. But it's just not the case here anymore. I have to hold back the spitting of venom everywhere. And the problems all largely lie at our own feet.
Let's look at the big corporations first. Microsoft's fuck ups with the Bone are well documented at this point, I don't need to go into that, it was a mess and they deserve to be trailing. What they did manage to do was produce a large and varied lineup of specifically tailored software for launch, whether those games were all good across the range or not. Sony had the platform, but not the games. So you were left with a choice - buy the more powerful platform, or buy the platform that might have something you'd want to play on it.
But it's not the corporations who cause this problem. It's us. We're the ones who wouldn't give Kinect a second chance, not even as a user interface. We're the ones who cried bloody murder about the microtransactions bolted onto certain games, despite not playing them ourselves and confirming whether they were a problem or not. We're the ones who gave Sony carte blanche to leave a big empty hole in the release schedule by buying that system in droves until they eventually catch up later this year. We were served multiple failings from all sides, and we bought into every single one of them.
What about our indie darlings, sweeping in to save us from the dredge? Well, I don't fully believe that's the case either. I think there are some good things happening now, in 2014, but it's taken too long to get there. I must go back to my late 80s comments to define this - the slap-dash of putting a game together in someone's bedroom. You've got a great idea, and you can string a few lines of code together -  it doesn't make you a game designer. So many of these highly-praised titles, like Super Meat Boy, have liberally stolen mechanics, theories, and even level design from the earliest examples of the genres. So many of them have cobbled their style together from pixel art, because they're not artists and it's the only way they can do it. And so many of them don't even attempt to prototype what they put together - it's a good idea, it works, the hell if whether it's fun for more than 5 minutes or if all our ideas combine to make one whole. It's not an acceptable excuse to say "it's a one man band and it's cheap", because it's just plain *LAZY*. I lived through the first form of this - taking us back to an 8-bit world when it was the best that primitive machines and the first real breed of games programmers could do.
But it's not the indie developers who cause this problem. It's us. We're the ones who buy things like Gone Home and hold them up as iconic storytelling and atmospheric examples, despite being no more advanced or deep than the tension and narrative of a Silent Hill, for instance. We're the ones who give Team Meat, Phil Fish and their ilk a free licence to spread vitrol and attack others whilst they count the money of bug ridden games that feel and play like they've come straight out of the 80s. And we're the ones who praise pixel art like it's the second fucking coming, despite it being in what feels like every single major selling indie game for the past 3 years.
And Valve? Valve who devalue gaming with continual constant sales, that encourage gamers to hold onto their pennies until they can essentially buy 2 or 3 for 1? Valve, who are actually driving technology backwards because of the increasingly high costs to produce assets for games are returned by the inability to gain credible and reasonable returns.
But it's not even Valve who caused this problem. Because publishers are always looking for a revenue stream, and if it's not selling in the first two weeks then OH SHIT PUT IT ON SALE RECOUP THE COSTS. And that's when we strike, like vultures around a carcass, picking at the bones saying we do it for love, but we do it because we see value and we want to suck that up as quickly as we can, even if it means never truly realising what we actually HAVE. And let's be honest here, we don't just do this with the games that cost £30 and £40. We do it with the games that cost £5 and £10 as well.
What happened? Did I grow up? Did I see this industry transform from hobbyist, to a gaming led business, to a segregated, them against us, good-for-no-one cash grab before my very eyes? In the judgment of how we got to this place, no one is innocent. Not the publishers, not the developers, and certainly not the gamers themselves. How can we call this an artistic entertainment industry that has every right when the critics and the fans frequently fight among themselves often for the award of who the biggest twat is?
I'm Rob. After a quarter of a century of being inside, I like to go outside now. It makes me less angry. The only problem is, how do you ever truly let go of something you've known for almost your entire life?

#284406 The Pinball Arcade

Posted by hankwang on 03 January 2014 - 11:22 PM



Why the fuck does the camera zoom in on the ball at the top of the table when you hit a rail? On Medieval Madness this is an effect that often has the camera zooming back out again before it even got to full zoom, it is that quick. I can understand when you are up in the bumpers, hitting those flipper buttons to cycle through bonus triggers and the rest, but in open play? Really? FUCKING REALLY? And the ball's whipped around so fast that by the time the camera has reset to the default position you've got scant time to refocus on the features you wanted to hit and actually think about where the ball needs to be on the flipper to hit them. I CAN'T STAND IT.


I have to bite my tounge to avoid saying something that will offend the people who like this which is a perfectly reasonable opinion and I do not wish to besmirch it or them, but I swear to fucking God those enjoying this haven't touched a real pinball table for at least 10 years. It angers me more than any other game released in the last 12 months and yet I'm still fucking playing it so who's the real retard here


ah fuck you all. And apparently me.

#284194 XBOX ONE - Launch...Hype (?) Thread! (!?)

Posted by hankwang on 09 December 2013 - 07:52 PM

Boog, you're a pussy.





I think Dave was playing.

#284009 PS4 Launch Thread

Posted by hankwang on 29 November 2013 - 09:27 AM

Your ShopTo.Net order will be delivered today by Lee, your DPD driver, between 10:28 and 11:28


#283973 PS4 Launch Thread

Posted by hankwang on 28 November 2013 - 02:07 PM

"Elbowing into the tussle is, as always, the PC version with its higher-grade particle and alpha effects, superior object draw distance and more refined shadow detailing at ultra settings. But it must be commended just how much of this maxed-out experience translates to next-gen platforms. The textures on PS4 and Xbox One are equal to the PC's highest, and water shaders carry over as-is, where the current-gen versions really show us the plain, pared-back alternative. It's a very solid effort in this sense, and can only get better as DICE's understanding of the hardware grows."



#283967 PS4 Launch Thread

Posted by hankwang on 28 November 2013 - 12:53 PM


#283965 The PC Bargains Thread

Posted by hankwang on 28 November 2013 - 11:53 AM


RPG Maker VX Ace £12.49 (-75%)


Hmm. Might get round to making Singho's Day Off after all.

#283964 PS4 Launch Thread

Posted by hankwang on 28 November 2013 - 11:51 AM

It's got microtransactions in it too, for items like "Lunch" and "Milk".

#283911 XBOX ONE - Launch...Hype (?) Thread! (!?)

Posted by hankwang on 27 November 2013 - 02:50 PM

I've got a couple of videos planned but they may take me a while to put together. Watch this space.