Life Is Strange 2

We actually played this game a few weeks ago, but I kind of slacked with writing the post…

Being already fans of Telltale games and the two first Life is Strange, there was little doubts that we would enjoy this chapter. What I didn’t expect was to enjoy it this much, we both got hooked from the first minute. The journey of the Diaz brothers through a racist America was fantastic and filled with a lot of emotions. I know that these situations are made to provoke extreme reactions like injustice and anger but the result was an amazing journey where we met amazing and also horrible people.

Some episodes were a bit too hard on Sean though, I’m especially thinking about the fourth, which kinda filled me with a lot of frustration. Also, Daniel is a brat! Even at 9, I would have never acted half as selfishly as he did. If you think about it, everything wrong that has happened in the game, from start to end is the direct consequence of his actions. Never once does he think about his brother who’s constantly trying to protect him.

My favorite episodes are the first and the third. The first because I really didn’t expect things to turn out that way, we went in completely blind and got very surprised. The third episode introduced Cassidy which is probably the best thing that happened to Sean in the entire story.

If you play the game, you’ll probably notice the amazing soundtrack, but there’s one song in particular that we both enjoyed. In the first episode, when you visit Sean’s bedroom, you can listen to the music on his MP3 player, the song is titled “On The Flip of a Coin” by The Streets. It’ll forever be the song that will remind me of this beautiful moment.

Valheim: The Elder And A New House

We’ve both killed The Elder. The fight wasn’t really hard and we both killed him with a ton of fire arrows. Sisqi had a bit more difficulties because her keybinds acted strange in the middle of the fight. Anyway, he’s dead and we’re getting ready to move on to the swamp.

Also, I’ve built a new house, mine was getting to small, especially with the fermenters and the upgraded forge. One of the greatest features of Valheim is physics. If you don’t pay attention to the way you build your fundations or your roof, everything could collapse. Since I’m not an architect (yet) or like my wife says: “you’re not Ted Mosby”, I’ve followed a great Youtube video from Zeroster. I am very happy with the result, it is cute inside and outside, very sturdy and it has a lot of storage space.

It is located in the meadows and I’ve surrounded it by a big moat, which resists the attacks of the trolls, the forest and the swamp. My next step is to find the perfect location for my future ship…

Eurovision 2021

A quick post to say that we had a lot of fun watching this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (yes, we’re fans!). Even if last year’s movie was great, it didn’t replace the real thing. This year’s contest was amazing, the setting was great, a lot of participants were actually quiet good (Iceland, Israel, Ukraine and Lithuania) and the presenters were better than usual.

However, I don’t know what made me the most happy, to see Italy win, since it was our favorite band of the evening or to see France lose, which is always very satisfying. French people are the worse winners/losers ever and their song was horrible and boring, I couldn’t have hoped for more. Sometimes, the universe goes your way.

Valheim

We’ve both been playing Valheim for a month and we’re having a blast. I can’t believe how deep and huge the game is, for only 16,00€ and a single Go of disk space. Combining survival, crafting and progression through gearing and boss hunting is brilliant. Also, we love Vikings!

Even if the two games are very different, Valheim sometimes reminds me of my vanilla WoW experience, where I had to make sure that I was packed with consumables and that my gear was repaired before going to explore a huge world filled with enemies. Sometimes, you can face a mob or two and, sometimes, you have to run to avoid a troll because your gear is not strong enough…

I must say that the first few hours were brutal… Going in blind, we had no idea of what to do and we did a lot of stupid things, like throwing weapons away when they only needed to be repaired. But one guide has change everything for us: David Allen’s Complete Valheim Written Guide. First, as the title says, it is a written guide, which is so much better than a Youtube video that you have to watch for an hour, while taking notes. You can use the guide as your companion to learn how to defeat the bosses, but also how to build your first house, how to use your first cart,… In short, all you need to know to survive your journey.

Of course, we don’t follow it literally, we also spent a lot of time increasing the safety of our main base by digging a moat. We take our time, it’s almost 100 days and we haven’t killed the Elder yet. Valheim gives us the freedom to adapt our game time to our moods. Sometimes we wanna fight and we venture in the Black Forest and sometimes we just wanna chill after a hard day of work, so we keep gathering mats, cooking food and crafting stuff.

I have the feeling that we’re going to spend a lot of time in Valheim, at our own pace.

Almost Corsair Free

Another Corsair part has been replaced from our PCs. We both had a Corsair RM850x, Inge’s PSU started to become very noisy at launch and mine regularly vibrated after longer use. We decided to go for a Be Quiet! Dark Power 12 850w. Not only was the setup much easier because the cables are shielded in a single sleeve, but the noise levels are incredibly lower. Now, they’re not really in the same category, the Be Quiet PSU is Titanium certified while the Corsair one is only Gold, with a price difference of 100€.

One myth I’d like to debunk is that, in our times, all manufacturers are equal and that you should only purchase the parts that are within your price range. I’ve always remained loyal to a few brands like Asus, Noctua or Gskill, except for this build. I thought that I could experiment a bit, by using more Corsair and EVGA parts, which I’ve almost entirely replaced during the last year.

So, if I have to give an advice to anyone building a PC these days: stay away form Corsair, their marketing makes it look like a premium product, but it’s nothing more than low grade hardware wrapped in shiny plastic with led lights. As for EVGA, they may have stellar reviews but on 4 GPUs I’ve used in 6 years, 3 have died within the first year, while I still have to see an ASUS fail.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

The first time that I heard about the Elisa Lam case was during this documentary, and it was also the least interesting part to me. After having watched all 4 episodes, I still wonder though: was it really an accident, did she kill herself or did she get murdered anyway? I guess we’ll never know.

The most entertaining was the history about the Cecil Hotel. I never knew about its’ excistence, yet a lot of things have happened there throughout the years. The place even welcomed the famous serial killer, Richard Ramirez. After having watched “The Nightstalker”, he’s now mentioned in the “Cecil Hotel”, he seems to be in a lot of things lately, a new star is born? From what I’ve read and heard about this hotel, you don’t want to set a foot in that place. Also, the surrounding neighbourhood, Skid Row (wait, wasn’t this an 80’s rock band?), seems less than uninviting… where is the L.A. that everybody dreams about? The palm trees, the beaches, the beautiful people,… I guess that Hollywood has sold us a beautiful image.

I’ve also learned a new word while watching this docuseries: websleuth, apparently it’s an internet community that is focused on crime and missing people. Well, what can I say… I don’t know who to be more afraid of, them or the criminals? I previously called them the internet police, and to be honest  they seem way too obsessed with a girl they’ve never met, it’s just creepy. I mean, look at the black metal musician “Morbid”, he was falsly accused of her murder by these websleuths. They’ve shattered and destroyed his life, in my opinion, he is the true victim in this documentary. Yet, nobody ever apologized once for the injustice that was done to him.

Dick Move, Universal

A year ago, Sisqi and I started to rebuild a collection of our absolute favourite shows on Blu-ray. Streaming services regularly remove shows from their catalogues and I simply couldn’t live without DS9, Voyager or The Next Generation. We just don’t buy any show, only the ones that we often rewatch.

Anyway, here we were, cosily installed in our coach, when the first thing that plays out of our Blu-ray player is an ad for another show, then another one and, finally, a third ad before we can finally access the menu.

This makes me want to go nuts, and I mean Homelander nuts on the people at Universal. Are they fucking kidding?! In a world where people almost don’t buy physical editions anymore, where people prefer to go on Pirate Bay instead of paying, we still purchase your stuff and how do you reward us? With 3 ads before the show. That is the definition of a dick move!

Wolf Creek (2005)

Three backpackers decide to have a road trip in the Australia outbacks. At some point, their car refuses to start and they are stranded in Wolf Creek. Later that night, a local approaches them and offers to repair their car. After a few hours towing in the dark Australian desert, they finally arrive at his place and fall asleep, only to wake up to their worst nightmare.

This time, no American hillbillies, it all happens in Australia. Naturally, we were a bit scared, Australian horror is often a hit or miss (and we witnessed more misses than hits). But Wolf Creek is great, it manages to replace the often goofy killer by a very creepy psychopath.

John Jaratt, well known in Australia at the time as the host of a gardening show, is a method actor and spent weeks living in the Australian desert preparing for the role of Mick Taylor. In addition he also avoided bathing before shooting so he would have a much more rugged appearance.

At one point during the shooting of the scene where Mick is torturing Kristy whilst Liz looks through the window, director Greg McLean wanted to get a shot of Cassandra’s POV, so he cleared the crew out of the shed in which the scene was being shot, leaving only the two actors inside. When he called action, they began playing the scene, however, after a minute, Mclean became convinced that Jarratt had gone too far and that Morassi’s cries for help were genuine. He burst into the shed only to find both actors stunned at the disruption. Morassi was fine – it had simply been the intensity of her performance which had fooled Mclean.

Unbeknown to the crew the abandoned mine where they chose to film had actually been the site of the real life murder of a woman. The filming prompted a protest from locals who erroneously thought the film was about those events.

A very eerie coincidence occurred for the second unit crew sent out to get footage of the Wolf Creek Crater. Since the location was many hours from any town the small crew decided to camp out in their car at the site after shooting. During the night a mysterious stranger showed up in a truck to investigate. The stranger indeed looked very much like the character of Mick Taylor, right down to the rustic truck. The stranger left, but the crew was so spooked that they drove an hour down the road before finally stopping to camp for the night. (source: IMDB)

Wolf Creek became Australia’s highest grossing R rated film with a box office achievements of $5,970,770.

I actually have a nephew who moved to Australia a few years ago… So, Thomas, if you read this, avoid the outbacks, don’t trust the locals and don’t drink their water.

Winchester

Ensconced in her sprawling San Jose, California mansion, eccentric firearm heiress Sarah Winchester (Dame Helen Mirren) believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle. (source: IMDB)

I have absolutely nothing to say about this movies, except that it was too slow and the dialogues, especially the ones of Sarah Winchester, were way too long. I fought not to fall asleep and I eventually lost the battle. Two weeks have passed since we’ve watched the movie and I already forgot half of it. I’m writing this post to make sure that we don’t watch it a second time in a few years.

The Curse of La Llorona

A theater in Montreal, Quebec was supposed to play Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019), but this film played instead, causing the children in the audience to run out crying.

I don’t think that an horror movie ever had me cry, unless it was really bad and I cried out of boredom, which isn’t the case of this movie. Ok, it isn’t as frightening as the other movies in The Conjuring universe, but we had a good Saturday evening. It follows a simple pattern: kids are cursed – evil comes for them – the mother finds a priest who can help – big fight – evil is vanquished. Even if it isn’t really original, it worked and we didn’t fall asleep before the end.

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