We have your blogger – send views, likes and subscribes for his safe return.

Greetings easily distracted!

It’s been a while. Some might say too long. Personally, I say two years is a good time between blog posts. Everyone needs their chance to recharge, and everyone has their own recharge time. Mine just happens to be longer than most.

And you’re not allowed to criticise me for it, because I’m a delicate little flower that can’t take criticism.

Wow, the gaming landscape has changed since I last posted on here. We’ve seen SJWs run rampant, the whole GamerGate chronicle, THAT Law & Order episode… *shudder*

Pictured: possibly the worst thing to come out of GamerGate. If you don’t count all the horrid abuse.

Honestly, I’m kinda glad I never got the chance to dip my toe into that cesspool. For a while, Tumblr and Twitter were the kind of places that would make Mos Eisley’s worst think about their life choices. People capitalised on the suffering of others to get cheap views to their blogs, videos and articles, but I – I kept myself above that all.

Not for any moral reasons, you understand. Simply because I’m too stupid, too lazy, and too cowardly to get involved.

A lot has changed in the past two years. No longer am I a penniless student. For a while I was a penniless Starbucks barista. Now, I’m a slightly less penniless 9-5er. For five whole days so far.

Lok’tar ogar!

Not only that, but I created a YouTube channel. About gaming. Quelle surprise! And that meant I neglected this poor blog for some time. But not to worry! Because I now neglect my YouTube channel too!

Anyway, here is a link to my Can’t Stop the Madness YouTube channel. And because I’m extra nice, here’s a link to one of my most popular videos. It’s me screaming. A lot.

I am planning on getting some content out on here. I promise. I do still enjoy writing about the games I love, and I will get more videos on the YouTube channelĀ  too. In the pipeline; less Let’s Plays, more funny shit, more informative shit, and more of whatever else you guys might find interesting.

So… this is me now. I hope you guys stick around to see some more. Let’s get this show back on the road.

Madness out.

Been a long time, been a long time

Been a long, lonely lonely lonely lonely tiiiiiime!

It’s been a while, blog-readers! Since I’ve been away, I’ve gotten a job (writing news articles for Latest Choice – look! You can see my articles on the front page, look! I’m famous!) and started a new blog site.

Since I was doing news for pay, I found that I was really enjoying writing short and informative news articles. So I decided to start a new blog to report my own games news – stuff that I’m interested in. Sure, it’s mostly mainstream games stuff, but it’s a lot less formal than the stuff I write in my job, and it allows me to really go to town with my opinions and gives a way to write when I don’t really want to write such long posts as I do on this site. And that was the problem with this blog; I don’t always want to do such long posts.

But I’m not abandoning this blog – oh no, not at all! For one thing, I still have almost a year left on this domain name. But I will be spending a lot of time over at my new(s) blog; which you can find over at Blogspot. I aim to make the updating on that site daily with new articles, about hopefully different games.

Hopefully I’ll be able to update this blog more often, but finding something to write about, and the muse to continue writing the post, has proven quite difficult recently.

Oh, and I have a Technorati profile now. The ED News is doing well, but sadly this site really needs to be updated before it can keep rising.

Coming soon: Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Hacker Evolution – or ‘how I made a mistake’

Alright, I’m more than willing to admit when I’ve been wrong and/or talking out of my arse.

So my last post railed on the evils of the Hacker Evolution series, and how the new game wouldn’t be any good. I was slightly more subtle than that, but I think you got the message. Well with almost clairvoyant skill, Steam decided to put the two preceeding games on sale for a stupidly low price. Despite not really having any cash, how could I decline when Fate obviously wanted me to play the games? Sadly, it seems that rather than giving me ammunition to support my last post, Fate decided to kick me in the bollocks instead.

The games are actually pretty good. Cringe.

Hacker Evolution is not as adrenaline-fueled and paranoid as Uplink; you aren’t constantly wiping logs and watching the trace at the bottom corner of the screen. But it still has its own charm. It takes a more sedate pace that still awards speed, but doesn’t require that you be fast in order to pass the levels. Yes there’s a good amount of clicking on boxes, as I feared from watching the trailer, but the fact that the game uses a command prompt-style interface gives it a more authentic hacking atmosphere. Whilst Uplink required you to use programs from a GUI, Hacker Evolution has you looking through servers for files, finding extra servers from those files, and then using both to complete the objectives. It actually feels like you’re using a computer and your own ingenuity to hack, rather than a sophisticated program that simply followed the right steps.

It’s not as free-form as Uplink either; each level has its objectives and a timer, and to get to the next level you clear the objectives. Pretty simple, but next to Uplink‘s do-anything approach, it’s still a little lacking. Certain servers aren’t available during certain missions, like the massively helpful dot-hackers.net server in mission five, and this wounds the immersion. But despite this, there’s enough challenge that you really won’t mind.

It’s also a complete bitch. Uplink was too, but in a different way. Uplink forced you to save money to get the right upgrades at the right time, so you could keep progressing. Hacker Evolution is very similar, but unlike Uplink, reducing your trace percentage requires money, so it can be a delicate balance between reducing your trace and getting new equipment. Money is a finite resource in Hacker Evolution, and if you intend to play the game keep that in mind. If you get your balancing too wrong, you must either downgrade your equipment, retry the mission, or go back to earlier levels in order to improve it and reduce your opening trace level and/or increase your cash.

Bouncing works differently too. For those without ‘hacking’ experience, bouncing involves sending your connection through different hacked computers to make it harder to trace the original machine. In Uplink bouncing was essential, and killing the logs in at least one part of the chain was even more so to avoid the hack being passively traced back to you. In Hacker Evolution the only reason to bounce is to slow down the active trace, and there are no consequences after that, except a 15% increase to your overall trace level. If you can do something without bouncing, don’t bounce. Bouncing can only happens off a server three times, after which the server is permanently locked for the remainder of that level. Choosing when you need to bounce, and correctly gauging the capabilities of your hardware is the key and finishing a hack with 0.2s is possible and nerve-wracking.

My point is that I may have been a little hasty in condemning Hacker Evolution Duality without at least trying the series. Whilst it lacks the fast-pace and paranioa that make Uplink a real classic, it’s still a clever exercise that’s really good fun. Don’t go into this expecting Uplink. I did and I was shocked. But I’ve exjoyed myself and I’ve changed my mind about the series. I might not go straight out and get Hacker Evolution Duality the moment it releases, but I’ll keep an eye out for sales.

Consider me chastised, Fate.

Hacker Evolution can be found here on Steam, whilst Uplink can be found here. It’s actually on sale at the moment! Why not get the pack that has both that and Darwinia?Both are good games.