Sparta Report

Weekly Gaming/Tech Thread #61 – December To Remember Edition

What Are You Playing This Week?

I had quite the flurry of gaming activity happen this past week. We’ve been needing something with multiplayer on the Switch in our household although we still need to shell out $70-$80 for a second pair of Joy-Cons (and people always whine that arcades are expensive). For now, I grabbed Spelunker Party, which my daughter has been really enjoying. Played a little bit of Super Mario Odyssey but most of my Nintendo gaming has been on the NES. I never had an NES growing up, my parents couldn’t afford it and probably thought that I got enough from playing at the neighbors since everyone else on the block seemed to have one. Well, this week I stumbled across the Retron 2 and after having received a cache of NES games (but no system) recently, I figured, what the heck.

It plays both NES and SNES games but I don’t really have any SNES carts. The NES stash had about 20 games, some of which like Top Gun I can go without playing again. But for what I did check to make sure “worked”: Super Mario Bros. 2, Orb 3D, Legendary Wings, Ghoul School, Mission Impossible, Bubble Bobble, Battle Tank, Tetris 2, Pac-Man, and City Connection.

H/T To Human_Being for sharing a few stories this week. They will be marked with HB.

Gaming Headlines

EA Caught Lying About Battlefront II Customization Features & Reasoning (NSFW ads in link)

EA Shifts Microstransaction Fun To Their New UFC Game  – HB

Sony Offering Free Home Trials For The PSVR

Japanese Player Share Their Favorite Bugs/Glithces From Fighting Games

Monster Energy Supercross (PC/PS4/SW/XB1) Gets A Trailer

Resident Evil Revelations 1&2 Available For The Switch

Rockstar Giving Away L.A. Noire Customized PS4/Switch/XB1s

GOG.com Now Has Epic’s Jazz Jackrabbit Games

When Breakout Gets A Little Crazy

Not Content At Already Raising More Money Than Most Game Devs Could Only Dream Of, Star Citizen Wants $50/$100 For “Land Grants”

Street Fighter II X Transformers Figurines – Um, I have no idea why

Retro Studios Is Looking For An Environment Artist

The Game Awards Picks Easily Triggered-By-Gaming SJW To Present A Game Award

If You Are Into VR, Then What Was At IAAPA 2017 Might Interest You

Today’s Post Brought To You By – Yes There Was An Alien Board Game

GAMING

Somehow, The Monster Hunter World Beta & The Last Of Us 2 Details Are Supposed To Boost PS4 Against Switch In A “Big Way”Click for the lulz at poor game “journalism”. It starts with the subheader: “SONY PLAYSTATION news this week will surely only boost the PS4 against its rivals the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in December.” and “Two big Sony PlayStation news stories have dropped in the past few days which will almost certainly help build hype for the PS4 games console in 2018.” (my emphasis added).

Granted, these two games aren’t bad titles for Sony to have in their ‘arsenal’ but the notion that this will “almost certainly” turn the tide against the Switch is laughable. Apart from the fact that Nintendo’s console has/will get it’s own MH games, someone just doesn’t understand that the appeal of the Switch is not all in the “power” of the console. The PS4 is no longer the top dog on the market and the XB1 has had a “miserable” year. The PS4 dominated this generation from launch until March 2017; it’s been the Switch’s playground ever since.  The Switch is outselling the Wii at the same point in it’s lifespan and that’s not just because of Zelda. The Last Of Us may have plenty of pre-purchased articles claiming that it’s the BEST GAME EVAR MADE but good luck at having a violent zombie interactive movie make families pounce on a PS4.  Extra Credit: The article’s claim that the Xbox One has “exclusives” and that it matters anymore. The Xbox One X and it’s MOST POWERFUL SYSTEM EVER MADE campaign is selling units to the audience that still only cares about graphics but post-Holidays, you are not going to see a sudden rebound of Microsoft’s fortunes.

Abandon Ship Delays Early Access (PC) – It you have wanted a game about sailing that isn’t Sea Of Thieves then you’ll have to wait a little longer for this title to hit Steam Early Access. The developers put out this 30 min video to show where they are at, which seems to be more of an RTS take on sailing ya olde ships of the high seas.

Two Video Pinball Games Launching On The Same Day For Switch – If you enjoy modern video pinball and have a Nintendo Switch then either save up or decide which of these two you’ll want. One is the popular PinballFX3, which comes up with unique designs, sometimes licnesed; the other is Stern Pinball Arcade, Stern being the biggest pinball maker out there and having the designs based upon real tables. Both games launch on Dec. 12th.

Black The Fall Trailer (PC/PS4/SW/XB1) – Here’s a game Spartans might be able to get behind – a puzzle platformer where you are attempting to escape & overthrow a Communist regime.

Homebrew of the Week – Super Cobra Arcade (Atari 2600) – I’m still not big on arcade ports to ancient game hardware but it still is impressive to see the improvements that can be made on hardware developed in 1976. Konami’s Super Cobra had been ported to the 2600 BITD but someone decided that they could do a more faithful port in 2017:

Technology Headlines

Today’s Major Personal Data Breach: Paypal

Samsung Develops Graphene Balls That Allows Batteries To Charge 5x Faster

HDMI 2.1 Spec Released For Ultra Glorious 10k Resolutions & More

Internet/Smartphone Addiction Is Real & It Causes An Imbalance In Ur Brain – HB

Elon Musk To Put One Of His Personal Teslas Into Orbit Around Mars

Qualcomm Still Beats Intel In iPhone X LTE Tests

Voyager 1 Successfully Fires Up It’s Thrusters After 37 Years

Mines Using Drones In Their Operations

Txting Turns 25

As HB Mentioned In Sharing This, Getting Those Novel Proteins Is A Bit More Complicated Than This Article Makes It Out To Be

Weird How Being Communist For Several Decades And You Still Have Millions In Poverty /sarc

TECHNOLOGY

Freeze-Dried Plasma Now Shipping To Battlefields – The military has been researching this for a few years and finally the needed breakthrough has arrived to begin freeze drying plasma for use in transfusions on the battlefield. This is better than “quick clot” materials but does have a limited shelf life unlike some other freeze dried materials. More details on this article here. HB

Breakthrough Discovered With Uranium – I’m no expert but the articles about this are saying a new discovery in regards to uranium might be a game changer. To quote this article: “… could transform the way industry makes bulk chemicals, polymers, and the precursors to new drugs and plastics,” and as this video discusses, may hold the key to curing cancer:

MIT Develops A Faster 3D Printer – For printing parts in a matter of minutes instead of an hour. Read more details here.

Vid.Me Shutting Down On Dec. 15th – You might have noticed that I have been trying to share videos from the video service known as Vid.me for a long while here. They were providing an alternate way to online videos compared to YouTube, the Google-owned service that everyone knows about and has been shutting down dissent for WrongThink when they can. Unfortunately, competing with the likes of Google is an extremely difficult task and for Vid.me, they are calling it quits on the 14th. I still have a couple of YT channels but not sure what I’ll do with the content I had uploaded exclusively to VM – they had a paid subscription model that was pretty cool and allowed direct tips via Paypal on videos. With YT, apart from them de-monetizing videos, you make virtually nothing unless you’ve got a massive audience (even then, I’ve had trouble confirming that I’m getting what is promised). RIP Vid.me. Here’s a video I’ve transferred from Vid.Me to YT:

Hey Ladies, Have You Seen My Vintage Hard Disk Lying Around? 

Space Pr0n Of The Week: Storms Brewing On Jupiter – Ok, it’s a gas giant so storms are always brewing but we don’t usually capture them in such detail. We are able to at the moment thanks to the close flying Juno probe:

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