Dean's News

Videa Games

2016-05-01 08:17:14 by Dean
Updated

Since I moved house, all my video games have been stored away in a cupboard. For something that was once my pride and joy, it seems like a bit of a sorry situation for them to be in. So, I've decided to fix that by picking out some of the best games in my collection and making a display piece out of them. Here are some pics:

 

Top shelf [Mega Drive + Master System] - Castlevania: The New Generation (Bloodlines), Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun, Ghouls 'N Ghosts, Starflight, The Story of Thor (Beyond Oasis), Master of Darkness

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Second shelf [GameCube + SNES + PSP] - Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Skies of Arcadia Legends, Tales of Symphonia, Super Castlevania IV, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, MegaMan X, Super Probotector (Contra III), Shadowrun, Super Metroid, Star Ocean, First Departure, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Star Ocean: The Second Evolution

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Third shelf [PS1] - Breath of Fire III, Breath of Fire IV, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Clock Tower, Grandia, Tombi!, Wild Arms, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX

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Fourth Shelf [PS2 + DS] - Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, Grandia II, Persona 3 FES, Persona 4, Rogue Galaxy, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2, Star Ocean: Til the End of Time, Dragon Quest IV: The Chapters of the Chosen, Dragon Quest V: The Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

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I've Flown The Nest

2016-02-21 04:56:50 by Dean
Updated

It finally happened. At the age of 24 I've officially moved out of my parents house.

Back in October/November I started house hunting and found a house that was almost perfect for someone like me, so I made an offer and ended up buying a house. It's in a quiet area, has a spare room, a garden and if I look out my back window, I see trees. When I woke up this morning (my first night spent in this house) I went into the spare room, switched on the PC, had a look out the window and saw a bullfinch perched on a tree looking in this direction. This is a pretty cool situation to be in.

One of the biggest changes for me is going from having a bedroom to myself to having an entire house to myself. When I lived with my parents, I generally spent all my time at home sat in my bedroom, on a desk chair, staring at my PC screen. It's great to no longer be confined to having just one room that feels like mine. I haven't watched TV in years, but because I have a living room, a sofa and a TV, I felt inclined to give it a shot. It's quite nice to switch myself off and just sit there for a while.

Cooking seems to be the thing that people make most jokes about. "You're going to have to learn to cook for yourself now Dean!" but really, it's not so bad. I made pizza last night. And by made, I mean I took it out of the wrapper and stuck it in the oven. People act like I've never cooked before and that the oven is some kind of mystical object that takes years to master. It's nice to be able to decide my own meals, although I imagine getting home from work and not having diner on the table is going to take a while to get used to.

The rooms are just about fully furnished now, with the exception of a few end tables and a bookcase, I'm pretty much done. My plan for the spare room is to turn it into an office/study type place. I work in IT and I like to play about with that sort of stuff as a hobby too, so I'm going to build up my VMWare environment again and start playing around with some linux servers. Ideally, I'd also like to get back into doing some web development in my spare time too, but I need to pace myself. Usually I take on too much at once and end up buring myself out.

Anyway, I just thought I'd give an update on where I'm at for the few people who find this interesting. Things are pretty good right now.


Happy New Year!

2016-01-01 06:54:23 by Dean

I was having a scroll through my Facebook feed and, as usual, there's a lot of people posting about all the good and bad things that happened to them in 2015. As someone who doesn't really post on Facebook all that often, I thought this might be an opportunity to make a new news post instead!

Some of you have probably noticed that I'm not as active on here anymore. Some of you newer folks might even be wondering who I am if you happen to stumble across this. I still browse the BBS every single day, I just don't participate as much, unfortunately. 2015 was a pretty busy year for me and on the whole, it's been a really good year for me. It started out with a promotion at work, then I had more fun over the summer months than I've had in years and, to end it, I'm in the process of buying a house.

I'm not one of the "new year, new me" people, but I think there is going to be a lot of change for me in 2016. The obvious change being that I'm going to be completely independent for the first time in my life. At first, I wasn't too sure what to make of that but the idea has started to grow on me. It's starting to sound quite exciting (minus all the hoovering, washing, ironing, shopping and cooking I'm going to have to start doing for myself)!

So, Happy New Year to anyone who happens to be reading this. Hope you have a good 2016


Lost in the woods

2015-10-25 09:44:38 by Dean
Updated

Sometimes in life you get a chance to take a path you've never been down before. I got that chance and I took it, but before long I was lost in the woods. I had no idea where I was or where I was going, but I stuck with the path.

After about an hour of walking with no end in sight, I had a decision to make. Do I keep going and hope for the best? Do I call it quits and turn back? Or do I take a gamble and follow a steeper path the branches off from the one I'm currently on, just to see where I end up?

I chose the steep path. This was the result [high res]:

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A week off work!

2015-06-13 10:32:49 by Dean

So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.

Higher resolution

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It's almost Friday...

2015-03-19 18:01:10 by Dean

...and that means only one more day before I'm off work for a week. So much to do, so little time. Hoping to watch a few films:

 

  • Ashes & Diamonds
  • Downfall
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Rififi
  • The Warriors

Also hoping to beat Chrono Trigger on the DS and finally get around to watching Cowboy Bebop. And I have a few hills I want to climb. It's making my head spin how many activies we can do.

 

 


All work and no play...

2015-02-05 14:48:42 by Dean

...makes Dean a dull boy.

 


Happy New Year!

2015-01-02 10:39:16 by Dean

Happy new year and all that jazz. My new year was spent with no internet access, so I felt like caveman for the day. I resorted to primitive forms of entertainment, like books and the Nintendo 3DS. It actually wasn't so bad. One of my "new years resolutions" is to try and read more. I'm still not sure what my target number of books will be but I made a start on The Hobbit anyway. Read it a while ago but I want to get through this and the three Lord of the Rings books. That'll probably take some time. Quite fancy reading through the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books as well. I've already read the first three (I think) before but will start over. Recently saw the old BBC TV series based on the books and that made me want to re-read.

After being told by the ISP tech support that because we weren't using the router they gave us we would have to wait several days until they sent us a new one I thought "fuck it" and tried to fix the connection problems myself. Aside from the usual "switch it off and on again" speel which I'd obviously already tried myself, they uttered something about the broadband account password needing refreshed. But since we weren't using the router they issued, they decided the best thing to do was send out a new router, which would probably take a week to arrive. So I decided to look through the router's config for where it takes the broadband account username and password. Finally found it, re-entered it and... it sort of worked. Mobile devices seemed to be able to access the internet fine. PCs would happily access Google sites but that was about it. Assumed it was a DNS issue, DNS flush did nothing. Thought I'd have a look to see what DNS servers the router was looking at and it was set to ISP default. Thought "fair enough, probably should leave it at that". After 30 minutes of fucking about and still getting nowhere, I tried pinging the ISP default DNS servers and low and behold, no response. Maybe they don't respond to pings, but I had a look online (via phone) to see what the suggested DNS servers were for my ISP. I found different IP addresses. Tried these new ones and just like that, I have proper internet access again.

No internet access wasn't all bad though. Like I said before, I resorted to reading and I started playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS. Was always a bit unsure on how much I'd like that game because it had a couple of significant mechanics that I didn't like the sound of. Renting equipments and the whole merging into walls thing. Renting items sounded like it would take away from the Zelda experience and the wall thing just sounded a bit shit and gimmicky, but so far I'd probably consider this as the Zelda game I've had most fun with. The dungeons (so far at least) have never felt frustratingly lengthy or too maze-like which is my main gripe with most of the Zelda games I've played. I'm just not huge on the art style of this one. It's not bad, it just feels a bit generic to 3DS style.

Also been playing quite a lot of bass since Christmas. I've been learning songs via Rocksmith 2014 and so far I've managed to get 90-100% for most of them. Find it so much more enjoyable than playing guitar for some reason.

So anyway, I'm just happy to have proper internet access again!


December - A Music Month

2014-12-01 17:10:17 by Dean

A few days ago, during my lunch break, I was reading an article about how vinyl is growing in popularity again. It's still a niche interest but apparently sales haven't been this high in the UK since the early 90's. So I decided to look up the price of some vinly re-releases and fuck me, who's paying these prices? £25-35 to pre-order some re-releases? Mental.

So scrap the vinyl idea. I did realise that it's been a few months since I last got any albums on CD. I'm one of those people who still buys CDs. What was originally only meant to be a couple of albums (Ride the Lightening and Rust In Peace) turned into 12.

  1. Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind
  2. Iron Maiden - Powerslave
  3. Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
  4. Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
  5. Iron Maiden - No Prayer for the Dying
  6. Municipal Waste - The Art of Partying
  7. Municipal Waste - Massive Aggressive
  8. Municipal Waste - The Fatal Feast Waste In Space
  9. Megadeth - Rust in Peace
  10. Megadeth - United Abominations
  11. Metallica - Ride the Lightening
  12. Hamerex - Rites of Passage (No idea what this is aside from it's metal. Was going cheap)

I've been playing some computer games recently too. Mostly the PC port of State of Decay. Surprised at how good this game is for the price. Really enjoying this one and it feels like something that I'll end up playing multiple times. If you like open world zombie survival games (single player) then check this one out. It has base building type stuff along with resource gathering. Oh, and if any of your characters die, they stay dead.

Also decided I wanted to try playing something a bit different to my usual stuff, so gave the Diablo 3 trial a go and really like that one too. Conveniently it was on a 50% off deal this past weekend so got the full game. So far I've only finished Act I on normal difficulty, but I can see this being something I'll gradually chip away at and come back to play on the harder difficulties.

Oh, and apparently it's almost Christmas. They year has flown by for me. Been at my job for almost a year now. Work Christmas night out / party in a few weeks, so hopefully that'll be fun.


November - A Media Month

2014-11-02 08:46:57 by Dean

Fun fact: I've apparently watched 80 films this year so far.

Ever since I got the PS3 back in January I've gradually been getting more and more films on blu-ray. Currently I think I have 84 films on blu-ray which seems pretty mental considering I originally only intended on getting a select few. I've tried films that I'd never normally have chosen to watch, like Alfred Hitchcock's stuff. I've finally gotten around to watching classics that I'd never seen, like Alien/Aliens, the original Indiana Jones trilogy, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (love this film), Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver and so on. I've re-watched films I previously disliked and found out that now I love them, like Lord of the Rings. Reason I disliked Lord of the Rings being that when I was younger and DVD was becoming a more affordable option, my Dad's girlfriend at the time bought a DVD player with the LotR films and I had to sit through the entire thing in one sitting. At least, I think I did. I just remember being stuck there watching these boring films that seemed to go on forever. I never wanted to see them again, until recently when I decided I was going to watch all the extended editions of the films and then realised how much I like LotR.

That brings me on to something else I've been doing more regularly recently. Reading. I've read 4 books this year, 2 of those I actually read last month. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Shining, Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World. Still, 4 books in a year is 4 more books than I'd normally read in a year. I'm currently about half way through a 5th book (The Humans by Matt Haig) and plan on re-reading The Hobbit before trying to get through the LotR books. I got a really nice set of LotR book for a decent price on Amazon (might include a picture of it below if I remember). If I do get through the LotR books, it'll easily be the biggest thing I've read. At present, I think The Godfather is probably the biggest book I've read. But if I do make it through LotR and still feel motivated to read, I think I'd like to try the Song of Ice and Fire series. It's pretty massive but everyone seems to be into it and it encouraged a lot of people to start reading, so it seems like it might be worth a shot if I think I'll be able to stick with it.

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This year I've also picked up quite a few comics/graphic novels that I've still not got around to reading. In particular there's quite a lot of Batman stuff that I'd like to get through at some point. I've read Year One and still have The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Knightfall, Hush, The Dark Knight Returns and The Court of Owls to read. Really want to read this stuff but just haven't gotten around to it. Earlier this year I did make it about halfway through Watchmen and halfway through Superman Birthright.

Usually it's video games I tend to talk about but I actually haven't  been playing all that many. For a while I was playing a lot of Battlefield 4 but since I got back from Germany I've not played it much at all. I don't have a TV set up in my room anymore either, so my older consoles aren't getting used either which is a shame because I'd like to get back to playing some SNES again but a TV takes up too much desk space. Been debating putting the 3DS to use and playing through some of the games on that. I bought it a while ago along with a few games and I've barely played it. I made decent progress with Ocarina of Time on it, but other than that, it hasn't had much use. I still have A Link Between Worlds sitting there unplayed.

So yea, not really much to talk about hence all this pish you've just read (assuming you actually read it). Just thought it was sort of odd that I've gone from being someone who played video games in a lot of my spare time to someone who barely playes video games anymore and spends a lot more time watching films or reading.

And I just remembered something really cool. The 1966 Adam West Batman TV series is due to be released in a couple weeks time. I've had the blu-ray set on pre-order for some time now, so it'll be awesome when that finally arrives. Obviously it's a show that was way before my time, but I still have childhood memories of it being something that I used to watch on Sunday afternoons. Comes with a Hotwheels Batmobile too, so what's not to love?