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It’s time for another adventure game!

It has been a long time since I played an adventure game (if we don’t fully count Dreamfall: Chapters, which also saw a release trailer today). The last couple of days actually saw a release from a series that I enjoyed thoroughly as I first played it: The Book of Unwritten Tales 2! It also had an absolutely fantastic launch trailer which you must have seen:

This shows a lot about the humor and the references which are part of the game. There’s been a surprisingly little amount of feedback or media attention to this game and this seems criminal to me considering the sheer quality of it and it’s predecessor. I really can’t wait to be playing through an adventure with our friends Wilbur, Nate and Ivo!

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Another look at Hearthstone

It’s been a little while since I initially checked out Hearthstone, and I have been playing it ever since. Recently the first expansion was launched which added a lot of cards to the game and which really added several new strategies to the game. It also made it more random, which I think makes it rather fun. The main thing the expansion did for me is change which classes I played, though this also depends on my available cards for that class. Here’s my current statistics:

Hearthstone statistics 17feb 2015

Since the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion I’ve been playing a lot more Warlock and Mage as opposed to Hunter and Warrior which I played before the expansion. The mage is a lot of fun now with the Unstable Portal card which summons a random creature, on top of the mechs which also summon random creatures. Overall it doesn’t always work out perfectly; but it’s certainly fun.

Recently I got an iPad through work and although it’s mainly used for work, I do have Hearthstone on it and I can say that sitting on the couch with a tablet playing a cardgame is extremely relaxing. Seeing as how I’m currently feeling ill, the prospects of me wrapping myself in blankets on the couch with some Hearthstone is substantial.

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Terminals on iOS devices

For my job I am required to have access to a terminal and vpn for when I run the 24/7 emergency number for our customers. For this I’ve been using my iphone with a terminal client on it, which has been enough to get by. For now I’ve largely been able to do what needs to be done through an RDP client and pterm. Pterm’s been good enough for simple commands, but not more than that. It seems to be lacking a way of making the terminal really useful which it normally is on a pc.

I talked about how to more efficiently and easily do this and we concluded that an ipad would be a good way of going about it as it provides both a vpn connection and access to a terminal easily. Plus an ipad is a lot lighter than carrying a laptop with you. As such I figured now would be a good moment to look into another terminal to use. I tried several and they all seemed very much like pterm; rough, not user friendly in the options it provides and the user interface is poorly designed.

After several I encountered VSSH though, which immediately seemed much better designed than the other terminal clients. From the get-go it offers a lot of ways to customize the shell to your own preferences and offers buttons such as ctrl and shift on easy access, which is great considering several shortcuts you often use on the shell. Where it really shines though is with seemingly small things which you use a lot: the arrow keys, and scrolling to see output. Many other clients don’t support these properly or you have to press “other” a couple of times to get access to the arrow keys.vssh-ipad

In VSSH you simply use your finger on the left side of the screen to use the arrow key functions, and on the right side of the screen you can scroll up and down through the output. This is honestly amazingly easy to use. I am thus far extremely happy with this terminal client.

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Thoughts on: Elder Scrolls Online – Tamriel Unlimited

Elder Scrolls Online is re-launching with a big update, which features a release on consoles as well as dropping the required subscription fee. I think this makes sense as subscription models tend to not work on consoles, as people are already paying for the ability to play online on their consoles (at least Xbox).

Instead of a required subscription model there will be a store where you can access bonuses, in ESO’s case it’s called the Crown Store. I’ve now seen a video about this on the test environment which makes me really hopeful about this, the video that walks you through the store is below:

All of these items are cosmetic by nature, apart from some regular potions. So these don’t add anything significant or which could be considered “Pay To Win”. No advantages in gameplay coming from the store which was the very thing that I was fearful of when they announced this change. But the way it’s looking now is looking great! This way it saves me the required fee and I get to enjoy the game I’ve been enjoying.

I’m very much looking forward to playing more Elder Scrolls Online in the future, and it’s future is looking bright, the justice & champion systems for patch 1.6 are exciting!

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Thoughts on: Birdman

Last night I went to the cinema to watch Birdman. It was one of those rare movies that really caught attention from a trailer I saw, from that moment on I was curious about it. Especially the fact that it seemed to be different from other movies, no action movie and it’s subject about not being able to deal with a situation in life is rather interesting.

Birdman - Michael Keaton & Edward Norton

First of all I think Michael Keaton did a fantastic job in portraying his role, you could feel his thoughts in his actions. It’s showing a descent into madness and hopelessness, all while things are happening around him, while he’s clinging to hope. The moment Edward Norton steps in is brilliant as well, these actors play together so well it’s incredible. The whole dynamic between these guys throughout the movie is keeping you on your edge, not knowing what to expect to happen next. I imagined various scenarios playing out at different moments and this actually leads me to the things that makes this movie what it is: Unpredictability.

Throughout the movie I had no idea where it was going, there were a couple of scenarios I pictured that could happen, but didn’t. I kept wondering what Riggan was going to do next, which kept me at the proverbial edge of my seat. It’s one of those movies that I’ll definitely want to watch again in a little while, which is a very rare thing for me!

Birdman’s one of those movies you should see if you like darker, unpredictable movies.