Author Topic: Virtual Reality  (Read 3318 times)

Shoulders?-Stomach!

  • Are we human? Or are we toilet
    • http://jackanderton.jamendo.net/
Re: Virtual Reality
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2019, 09:47:30 PM »
I used portentous for the first time in a while just a second ago only to click straight onto here where lost forever virtual reality slave castro diaz has only gone and done the same.

Now that's portentous

FerriswheelBueller

  • Golden Todger or
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • ...and I really do mean that.
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: Virtual Reality
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2019, 11:17:31 PM »
Got one of them google cardboards for the in-laws. Send them a photo, they can put the cardboards on and have a look.

$9 delivered, great gift. Every fucker on my Christmas list will be getting one.

castro diaz

  • A tidy six is better than a messy four
Re: Virtual Reality
« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2019, 11:49:53 AM »
For the VR curious I am going to salvage my thoughts, feelings and recriminations of Everybody's Golf VR from The Boston Crab's Games of 2019 and transfer them here so it can be archived for future generations and doesn't get consigned to die in his absolute lift collapse of a thread. 

A thread, let me remind you, that somehow managed to be less popular than one in Picture Box about Welsh language soap opera Pobl Y Cwm, a programme so inconsequential and unloved that even the monoglot shepherds of the Clydach Valley, whose televisions receive only S4C and who have a particular penchant for serialised drama, don't bother their arse to watch it.

Two small asides:

Speaking of soap operas in Mid Wales my dear nan has, either due to mourning, senility or affectation, decided to stop watching Corrination Street after having seen literally every episode (including the side plot of Rita on a cruise ship only made available on VHS) since its inception in 1960.  It is one of the most baffling decisions I have ever heard tell of and I can't help but feel, Nana, at the age of 88, you may as well see it through.

I played Catch and Release for 45 minutes last night without even getting a bite.  In protest I threw the radio in the lake which cost me $89 (Canadian) to replace it.  Which means, in summary, that after five hours of game time I have made a profit of $4.60 because I keep getting fined for throwing beer cans at top feeders and I also bought a green hat.

I also posted the following on a PSVR specific website where it was met with either confusion or derision.  Now with added resizing!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Full disclose: The Boston Crab has transferred me ten bitcoins and a 5% stake in his next fictitious venture in an impotent bid to keep this absolute war famine of a thread afloat.  It was accompanied with a brief personal message that simply said 'I have bitten off more than I can chew, not just this thread but also in life.  If you don't intervene now I'll be forced to retell that anecdote about how I slept with the daughter of a Triad boss in order to bump up traffic.'  Because I am concerned about the legal and not to mention reputational ramifications of the incident I decided to begrudgingly accept his coin and thus tacitly condone what happened to that poor girl.

As such it is incumbent upon me to write about my favourite game from 2019.  Unfortunately I live four years behind the cultural curve and therefore have hardly played one game from this year, which I have forced myself to write about today.  One of the benefits of this is that I get to soak in the briney past and am currently up to the dizzying year of 2015.  Really excited to find out what 2016 has in store for us all!

I first played Everybody's Golf a few years ago during a bout of especially sticky existential disquiet where it felt like the walls of my lungs were closing in on me.  I was first attracted by the game's bright primary colours and the simplicity and honesty of hitting things with a metal pole but the main selling point for me that brittle Sunday morning where I clicked buy was because I judge innate Japanese deference as a direct and personal comment about my precedence.  Instead I flew in to Golf Island in a state of hesitant fragility, which is in my experience when Mormons get you.  Upon arrival became immediately aware that golf here was a religion.  Specifically golf as envisaged by Suzuki, the deranged emperor in charge of everything here (including, I suspect, the way in which the wind blows), whose name is whispered in a dazed, reverent hush and whose eyes dominate every horizon.  His biggest strength is his absence.  He is rarely, if ever, seen, but he is always felt.  He built impeccable glistening statues in his image that would make Stalin blush, and they are dotted around the course like Easter Island heads but somehow more expressionless and unknowable.  Statues don't age and gold doesn't wilt.  They are unmalleable and, unlike manifestoes or speeches, they don't leave any evidence of betrayal.   

Congolese hat-wearer and political despot President Mobutu changed the name of his new country to Zaire upon seizing power.  This angered his new, collected people as it was in fact a colonial exonym gifted by the Belgians, despite his intent being to distance the country from its shackled past.  They rioted in the streets so in retaliation he changed a day of the week to Zaire-day.  The rose again so he changed the currency to the Zaire.  Protest soon waned.  The first rule of dictatorship is to reinforce your mistakes.  He also enforced his coup d'etat with the tagline 'Neither left nor right' which is also great advice on the golf course.  He ended up building one of Africas most extravagant kleptocracies but compared to the stockpiled grandeur of Suzuki's Golf Island lair it's left to look rather like a widow's unused drawing room.

Not so much a religion then but a cult.  That is to say not enough people either live or holiday on Golf Island to be granted religious status.  A cult furthermore with similarities to those featured in the superlative documentary Wild Wild Country both built an airport, invented a currency and circumnavigated planning permission laws within their compound but, unlike the devoted followers of Rajneesh, these Golf moths never had the decency to wear orange.  Between holes you are forced to walk around the entirety of the island where you coincidentally happen to bump into Islanders who insist on talking to you despite the game knowing, it must know, that you've come here specifically to golf.  Conversation quickly and inevitably turns to how great Mr Sasuki-san is and I wouldn't have even minded if I had seen any evidence of this whatsoever.  As it is it's just taken as read that he's fucking brilliant.  At least Kim Jong Il hit the odd hole-in-one.  Aside from that the game hid so much of itself coquettishly away with microtransactions and grind that I couldn't even bring myself to switch the PlayStation on less I betrayed myself and accidentally started playing it, which only furthered the mortal dread I had hoped the game would soothe.  Suffice to say, and I hope I'm doing this right, the game is complete Lou Gerhig's.

Which brings us fussily to Everybody's Golf VR.  Where you are offered not spiritual salvation but solid advice on what wedge to use for a short chip out of the bunker.  It is a stripped down version of the game on the PSVR which puts you right in the hideous shoes of a golf pro and lets you drive, chip and putt your way to self-actualisation across the three main golfing terrains, namely Forest, Beach and, of course, Dinosaur.  The latter is described, in that wrought and cautionary way the Japanese can not escape from (not even in another language), as 'A formidable course designed to express the brutality of nature'.  Quite appealing for someone who wants to be eaten by a mountain.  This was all particularly exciting for me as it gave me a chance to play as the fictional golfer who lives in my head (and briefly summered as my caddy way back on Golf Island) Jenny Yamaha, a private detective nicknamed Five-Iron who I would gladly walk out on my kids for.


Four!

Mark Twain once said of Wagner that 'his music is better than it sounds'.  A biting piece of false criticism that you could also apply to Virtual Reality.  It is far better than it looks.  It feels far better than you think it would, despite my desperate protestations elsewhere.  Popping your ball down on the tee, letting some cut grass fly from your palm so you can see the wind, looking down the fairway and to the flag, then head up and suck in the panoramic sunset all around you, the sound of distant water and happy birds, before taking a deep breath, if you've still got one, looking at that flag one last time before driving what used to be your ball but now belongs to god, then watching it sail all the way down to infinity.  It feels indescribably great.  There is also putting.

It is a sublime sensation to be out of the fairway without the danger of running into the type of people who play golf.  Just me, a three wood and the splendour of a hypothetical Mother Nature in all her digitised glory.  It is an odd desire that when I've purposely decided to partake in an activity I'm more than happy to do not much of it at all.  In the latest internet addiction thread some brave souls admitted to how difficult it is to do almost any activity these days without that silent itch at the back of your brain telling you to augment it with something else.  Washing up and a podcast.  Film and your phone.  Queue at the bank read the Milonga Dildo thread for the hundredth time.  PSVR wisely doesn't yet have the capacity to multitask.  You are forced to confront the game and yourself.  Perhaps an amber leaf will float gently onto the green in a minute and liven things up.  Oh look, Mr Gopher is trundling over to the water hazard for a quick drink.  See the wind's picked up, dear.  Most of the time it is set to a soundtrack of blissful near silence.  Sweet floral breeze in a surround sound perhaps occasionally gilded by unimportant noises just dropping by.  Hear distant water cascade down a cliff face, the chirp of a happy bird, the bumble of an overhead plane.  Listen, is that the sound of a Velociraptor ripping a fellow golfer to shreds on the 9th?   It is a beautiful way to pass an hour of anyone's time, especially yours.


Have a Lilt on me, brother

It is just a lovely place to be.  It has that content, inconsequential profundity Test Match cricket commentary has.  You are safe here.  We are not at war.  Food and shelter for all and all you have to do is let your eyes close for a moment.  I haven't read the holy texts myself because I am my own religion but I'm pretty sure this is what Buddhism feels like. 

There is a disgraceful (and hopefully temporary) lack of multiplayer but perhaps it is a deliberate and apt choice.  Over my middle age, if this is what it is, I have slowly divorced myself from football (she kept the house) and become more and more drawn to individual sports.  It feels like a more naked, less compromised way of ranking human capability.  In golf you are your opponent.  Just like in life.  And I've found that slow, measured micro-improvements I've made to my swing or my ability to read a green immensely satisfying, far more so than beating a faceless stranger who means nothing to me.


If you fall I'll probably try and catch you

As previously touched upon this game is Japanese and the experience would therefore be incomplete if there wasn't some abstract, candied bullshit or morally skewed sexualisation of children to contend with.  Everybody's Golf VR's version on the theme is to oblige you to spend your time never more than four foot away from your ever-present caddy.  Now in general I'd quite like to spend the rest of my life having women carry my bags and critique me.  However Riko, the pixel Lolita in my current employ, will choose the exact moment my swing is at its vital, parabolic crescendo before thoughtfully advising me to 'not get flustered', or help my short game by telling me to 'really try this time!' just before putting for a rare eagle attempt.  In Everybody's Space HAL 9000 spends his days saying monotonously counselling his crew, 'are you sure you want to use that booster, Dave.  Jupiter's a long way away, could I suggest a nine-iron?'.

Every now and again she will punctuate the round with an unskippable event where you are invited/coerced into sitting on a bench with your caddy as she waxes lyrical about a fucking lake or some bollocks and I try to resist the temptation to put my head through her skirt.  But I don't do it because despite what the gypsy children daub on the front of my house I am not a paedo, so I try to leave as soon as decorum allows.  As the tawdry little vignette draws to an end you can see the dawning realisation in her eyes that I am leaving her again.  To go and play more golf, predictably.  A twitch of unspeakable loss darts across her giant eyes in what I can only read as a plea for salvation.  It is a look only a human could give.  She has found sentience.  She knows what she is and that she's designed to be trapped here, bound forever to be a robot club whore in a hidden cutscene.  The real game, it is revealed, the real point of Everybody's Golf and perhaps my whole life, is to break your way out of this benign dystopia, off of Golf Island and take the sexy android hopefully 18-year-old with me too.  Away from enforced fairway club-selection and instead into the liberated drudgery of living with me, like Lars and the Real Girl but more real this time.  As such I spend the rest of the day's round purposely thwacking the ball into a clump of trees at the edge of the map knowing that's where the game would've stashed a cache of guns and keys to the sea-plane.  I am yet to find them.

This is all nonsense and tosh compared to the real malevolent heart of the game, worst still than Maleven, the world's evilist man although to his credit he is disarmingly honest about it all.  Featured here in Louis Theroux’s uncommonly depressing study on crime  modern South Africa he is a captivatingly brutal bastard.  Some dead cunt once posited that 'cellar door' is the most beautiful sounding combination of words in the English language but I contend that Maleven saying in his crippled English that not only does he 'like crime' but that he would 'take your child.  Put it in oven.  Make oven on' solely to further his career because he ‘wants money’ has a simplicity and grace to it that Tolkien could only dream of and is overall a far superior example of what this great language can do when it puts its mind to it.  But again, mad Maleven is nothing compared to the pure, undiluted evil of the game’s pre-order bonus, the caddy Steve.

Steven is an ingratiating pencil cunt who looks like one of the less successful side-characters from CITV's Zzzap!.  He was the only reward for placing my first ever pre-order and, as I didn't have a chance to play it for a week by which time it was a fiver cheaper, I essentially paid five quid for him to massively detract from the enjoyment of the game.  He really is the cunt's cunt.  The usual intrusive, badly timed advice is given but he doesn't even have the decency to be a sexually provocative teenager.  These events also happen with Steve but instead of sharing a box of chocolate bon-bons with the girls I have to indulge this utter twat's entry-level magic tricks.  I try to skip the scene so I can report him to management as soon as possible but he has the fucking nerve to protest about this and breaks into some Marcel Marceau mime shtick in a vain attempt to change my mind.  I know there's no glass box, Steve.  And I know it's not that windy because there is a giant blew arrow rotating before my very eyes that says 'Wind 2km'.  You're about as funny as a parody thread.  Now fuck off out of my way and hand me a driver.  But sir, we resume play on the green, just three yards from the cup.  Hand me my fucking driver and start system shutdown.

Is it the best game of 2019?  No.  But is it the best game that I've played in 2019?  Also no.

Returning to the clubhouse I am greeted not with the evangelical fevour found on the Island but instead it feels like I'm the first person to walk in on Jonestown.  It is a complete atmosphere void, empty of people and air, and the only person to attend to my needs is a subservient receptionist whose voice tells you she'd do anything your imagination conceived but whose bare-bones programming tells you she'll let you choose 9 holes or 18.  The place has all the joie de vivre of a Swiss suicide clinic and in the staid, conference-centre pall she is a rare burst of colour.  She also bows a hello, a goodbye and every time I spend over two minutes staring at her as she does some filing.  Upon approaching the desk she tells me that 'I've unlocked something new'.  I assume she means I've awakened some dormant feelings within her rather than the newly available Tornado Cup mode.  I've always wantonly craved the respect of receptionists.  There is something aloof and unshakable about them.  There's nothing they couldn't have seen a thousand times.  Similarly, whenever I see a big, beautiful lake I just want to hoy a massive log in it.

Hopefully the above criticisms, admittedly about 70% of the text thus far, only highlight how great the game feels to play, because despite the awkward benched silences, deep psychosexual issues and the constant bowing, it is still one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I've ever had and serves as yet another testimony to how unique and migratory Virtual Reality can feel (if you just let it).


FerriswheelBueller

  • Golden Todger or
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • ...and I really do mean that.
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: Virtual Reality
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2019, 12:35:40 PM »
Enjoyed that, thanks Castro

Re: Virtual Reality
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2019, 12:49:21 PM »
Always a treat. Unlike VR games.

castro diaz

  • A tidy six is better than a messy four
Re: Virtual Reality
« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2019, 12:59:18 PM »
£35 final offer.

You pay postage and be glad of it.