Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2023

Playing Ghost of Tsushima on a PC with Playstation Plus Premium

I have been experimenting with the premium tier of PlayStation Plus which allows streaming a limited selection of PlayStation 3 and 4 games to a PC. This allows non PlayStation owners to experience some of the platform's highly regarded exclusives.  The up front cost involved the purchase of a second hand PS4 controller (€20) and a one month subscription to PlayStation Plus Premium (€16.99). The lower tiers of PlayStation Plus do not allow streaming. Although other controllers can be gotten to work the PS4 controller is highly recommended for maximum compatibility. Apparently even owners of newer PS5 controllers need hacks to get them running with the service.  For some reason the PS Plus app requires the controller to have a wired connection even though I can connect it to the PC via Bluetooth and Steam recognises it just fine via wireless. Google and Reddit sent me down several rabbit holes trying to get the wireless connection to work but in the end I gave up and just went with

Elden Ring is better with magic

 When I immersed myself in Elden Ring for several weeks back in January / February I invested in strength and tried to build a melee focussed character. Last week on a whim I reinstalled the game and started over as magic using glintstone sorcerer prioritising intelligence. Now I find I am progressing through the game far more quickly and enjoying the experience more. A lot of this is due to my familiarity with the game born from experience but I am enjoying the playstyle more as well.  Before I go much further I must address the elephant in the room. There is a section of the Elden Ring community who look down on magic as easy mode. They consider it an inferior playstyle to the carefully timed parrys, dodges and counters that are a hallmark of Souls games. I would like to think I am above being influenced by this kind of snobbery but that isn't entirely true. I am pretty sure that my decision to initially play as a melee character was influenced by a niggling feeling that that was

Reasons to start PC Gaming (From Reddit May 2023)

I have been playing PC games for more than thirty years and it is still my favourite hobby. Over that time I have regularly come across questions on forums asking why should someone game on PC rather than console. I have occasionally offered my own opinion on the matter as I did in the reddit comment below. Surprisingly my answer to the question hasn't changed much over they years. If I can find an older answer I gave to a similar question I might post that as well for comparison.  Top reasons to start PC gaming: It is at least two hobbies in one. Tinkering with HW and Software and trying to get the most of out of limited HW is a whole game in itself. If you are nerdy enough you may enjooy it more than actually playing games. PC games are cheaper. AAA gams may start out the same price but prices fall quicker on PC and PC has an enormous back catalogue of free games. You can pick up classics for a few $. PC gamers can quickly amass a library of hundreds of games. Did I mention the e

Thoughts on the coronation of King Charles III of the United Kingdom and Other Commonwealth Realms

 My father was born a subject of the British King George V. He died a citizen of a free republic the equal under law of any king.  As you might have guessed I am not in favour of hereditary Monarchy. I realise that the British Royal family is probably the world's greatest tourist attraction and the ballyhoo and romance surrounding them brings significant tangible and intangible benefits to  the United Kingdom. Nevertheless the very idea of the royal family underpins a deeply ingrained system of hereditary privilege and power which in my opinion is anathema to a modern twenty first century free country.   There is a proposal that during the coronation ceremony today that the King's subjects watching from home can swear an oath of allegiance while sitting in front of their tellys. Needless to say the notion of people swearing oaths to their TV screens has provoked considerable derision even among fervent supporters of the royal family. There has even been several impolite suggest

Ten Years ago on Life is a Mindbending Puzzle

What was I writing about in April 2013? I started the month complaining about the ever growing issue of DLC. Unlike most gamers of the time it wasn't the rip off factor that annoyed me it was the nuisance factor of there being too much of it.  My second post that month was a long and thoughtful analysis of the demise of the PC. The PC proved more resilient than I expected at that time but it interesting that the PC market is again in sharp decline after a pandemic lock down inspired boost. One of my biggest concerns about a possible decline of the PC was whether or not I would still be able to play older games. It is interesting the the big consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have since become much more aware of the value of their back catalogue and have introduced various ways to play older games.  I was playing Fallout 3, Darksiders 2 and the Walking Dead according to my next post. I remember finishing the first two and giv

Memories of a school retreat (originally posted on Reddit)

  I had a life changing experience at a school retreat but not in the way you might think. This was many years ago when Ireland was a very religious country. Our retreat was led by an enthusiastic young priest who played the guitar and wanted to inspire us to change the world. He was actually a nice enough chap and he led us through a couple of days of prayer and soul searching. Then towards the end he put a challenge to us "Do you want to accept things the way they are like a humble mouse or do you want to go out there and make a difference like a a roaring lion". We were young and impressionable and most of us got caught up in the wave and said "Yes we want to change the world. That is what God wants us to do." There was one student though. He wasn't from a privileged background and he wasn't a star in class but he was the lone voice who spoke against the wave of enthusiasm that the rest of us got caught up in. "I don't agree." He said. "

I think I may need to take a break from Elden Ring. Subtitle: Playing Elden Ring the Slow Way.

 Back in 2012 the brooding world of Dark Souls consumed me for several weeks . I bounced off several other FromSoft games but Elden Ring's more accessible approach  has sucked me back into the Souls world once again. I now have now spent over 200 hours in the game and it has become a compulsion. At this stage I am strongly considering taking a break.  Elden ring has taught me something about myself and about the way I approach games. I play very very slowly. How Long to Beat  suggests that the main storyline takes about 55 hours and that 100% completion takes around 130. After 200 hours my level 65 character is less than half way through the game (currently in Redmayne Castle preparing to take down Starscourge Radahn). When I realised how slowly I was progressing compared to others I initially blamed it on my lack of skill however on reflection I think it has more to do with the way I prefer to play. To give an example from yesterday: I spent four hours overcoming a dragon in Caeli

First impressions of Elden Ring after 77 hours

 Steam says I have played Elden Ring for 77 hours since installing the game 23 days ago. Some of that is undoubtedly idle time but I have probably clocked at least 50 hours of actual playtime and I am still very much a beginner.  Elden Ring is the 2022 mega hit game from From Software, creator of the hugely influential Demon souls / Dark Souls series. These games are notoriously hard core and make a virtue out of not hand holding players. Elden Ring remains true to the souls formula but in a bigger bolder and more accessible format. Elden Ring has been rewarded with huge sales and multiple critical accolades including several "Game of the Year" titles.  More accessible is a relative term. Unlike previous souls games Elden Ring does have a tutorial (if you can find it by jumping off a cliff) but it only teaches the very basics of melee combat. Most of the games many many complex systems are left for the player to figure out by themselves including things as fundamental as how