Category Archives: Fun

What a Burro’s playing – June 2015 update

It’s been over a year since I last wrote one of these posts and in that year my gaming life has really shrunk, both in terms of time and scope. You see, my work has been horribly busy over the last twelve months (continuing the trend of the last four years, if I’m honest, and I can’t see it getting any better) and most of my free time is taken up with family time, very important when you have little kids. In that time I bought into the premium beta of Elite Dangerous and that became the all encompassing obsession I knew it would, although I did find time to play a few other games and a year after first piloting a Sidewinder my love of Elite is on the decline. So, what am I playing?

Elite Dangerous: After a year of playing and finding myself taking short breaks throughout I think I’m finally at a point where I’m not going to go back for quite some time. It was the recent Powerplay update that broke me because it showed me that the kind of gameplay I’d like to see isn’t likely to be implemented anytime soon. Of course I’ll probably go back but only once Frontier add multiple character slots (so I can experience different types of gameplay without locking myself into one form for extended periods), planetary landings (I want to explore alien worlds, not just take screen shots of them from orbit), and a more immersive mission structure (to give me a sense of purpose in the galaxy without drinking the Koolaid of Powerplay). It’s still a good game but just one still awaiting many key features that will raise it to a great one. Hopefully ED will flesh out enough in 2015 for me to go back, but for now… meh.

Guild Wars 2: I started Elite just as the Festival of The Winds came to an end and Living World season 2 started. I logged in enough to get each of the season 2 episodes but I have yet to play a single one of them. Now there is an expansion, Great of Thorns, and I’ve not read a thing that makes me want to play it, let alone play it.

MCPE: Update 0.11.0 came out at the start of June and it continued the run of strong, feature packed updates released in the last couple of years. Mojang have taken on three more devs devoted to the pocket edition and the pace of updates is likely to increase dramatically, especially if the additional features they added to 0.11.0 in just a few weeks of being hired is anything to go by! This continues to be the most fun when playing alongside my kids on tablets :)

Transmission and Hook: Both of these are mobile logic puzzle games (I use Android but it’s a fair assumption they will be available for iOS too) and both are totally recommended as they are both beautiful and fiendish in equal measure.

These are the games that are available now but there is at least one other upcoming game I’m now pinning my hopes on…

No Man’s Sky: If Elite Dangerous is all hard sci fi and stark, uncaring beauty, the upcoming No Man’s Sky is a throw back to the eye-popping wonder of the 1970s sci fi heyday. Both offer an immense procedurally generated universe. Both offer open gameplay and the freedom to explore and play in whatever way you choose. But NMS seems to offer a more complete offering of fun over ED’s patchwork of genius and boredom. NMS may also prove to be a big but dull game too, but until it does I’ll be keeping a hopeful eye on it…

Unfortunately that’s it for games and me. A combination of little time and even less interest means I’m facing a bleak few months on the gaming front. What about you? What are you playing, enjoying, not enjoying, waiting for? Leave a comment below.


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7 years of Burro-y goodness, you lucky devils…


Seven years… Bloody hell…

Update: Probably best to point out I have been blogging about ten years in total though, 7 here, part of a year with this blog on Blogger and then my own site for about 3 years before that.


Posted by on 26 September, 2014 in Blog Stuff, Fun, Real Life, WordPress


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By the light of alien stars: A tale of a terrible takeoff and a lovely little landing…

By now you’ll know of my near fanboi crush in Isinona, and you may also know I’m not alone as his amazing videos have been picked up by Frontier Developments themselves as shining examples of how to be amazing in their sandbox world – given he was making these amazing videos about Elite: Frontier, a 20 year old game at this point, as recently as a year or so ago I think it’s only fittings he (or she, I don’t know) is given a mention by FD because he/she obviously bloody loves what FD do.

What you may not know is that Isinona’s style has inspired me to start making videos myself. I had wanted to for a while now but I’ve struggled with the style as I’m not much of a talker and getting a decent patch of time to myself is hard. Well Isinona’s style is perfect because there is no voice over, only minimal text on screen to tell the story, which means I can stitch a tale together from various short recordings. So I’ve been trying it out this weekend. I still need to work on the overall look, but I like where I’m heading and have a much longer one planned documenting a very successful salvage trip from start to (profitable) finish. In the meantime here are the two short offerings I have come up with, one showing a terrible take off and the other a much cooler landing. Enjoy :)


Posted by on 14 September, 2014 in Elite Dangerous, Fun, Games, Video, YouTube


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By the light of alien stars: An Elite Dangerous combat guide.

I’m not a fighter, I’m a flier. Not for me the swoop and shoot of deadly combat, instead I like the Zen blur of star systems supercruising by.

But the universe is a cruel beast at times and a peaceful soul such as me is occasionally drawn into a brawl. At moments such as these it’s touch and go whether or not I survive which is why I appreciate the time and effort fellow players put into guides such as this:

If you, like me, are also struggling with fending off suicidal AI pilots or ganking jerks then you could do a whole heap worse than read Iain’s guide. At the very least you won’t make a tit of yourself by squeaking out a strangled “gnm!”  sound like me…


Posted by on 29 August, 2014 in Elite Dangerous, Fun, Games, Video, YouTube


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Exploring the Big Black: The True Cost of Elite Dangerous…

Blimey! It’s costing me a fair bit and that’s for sure and I don’t mean because I bought into the premium beta.

Also because ED is a truly beautiful game it pays to have a decent system to run it with the highest settings you can manage but I’m lucky I bought a beast of a system a couple of years back sporting an i7 quad core processor with a crapton of RAM and a two-year-old-but-still good nVidia graphics card.

What I hadn’t taken into account  was that is need to upgrade my bloody external equipment quite so much!

  • A new monitor was needed as the old, small one just wasn’t cutting it. The first time I switched the new one on I found I could actually see the engine flares of the ships in the far distance!
  • New headset was required as the old stereo one fell apart and was, in all honesty, bloody uncomfortable. I had to remove it every 10-15 mins to get blood back into my ears! The new ones are super comfy and 7.1 virtual surround – I can now hear ships moving behind me, turn and pinpoint them every time.
  • Two new joysticks! I started with a Thrustmaster X but have replaced that with a Saitek X52 Pro. I don’t know how people play ED with a mouse and keyboard, all I know is I can’t…
  • EDTracker. So far this is my only “waste” of money. I bought the pre-built option but can not get it working at all despite many, many attempts and conversations with the lovely chaps who developed it. I’ve given up for now and am looking at going for…
  • HeadTrackNOIR instead. It’s free and seems to work, all I need to do is source a free/cheap (but good!) web cam and I can try it out. Hopefully that will work but if not then I’m looking at…
  • TrackIR – the beast of all head tracking solutions! The cost alone is off-putting but if I’m honest I don’t want to spend too much money on this when I could be waiting for the prefect…
  • VR Headset! Be it the Oculus Rift or the Sony Morpheus or something else, what almost every ED pilot wants is a high-def VR headset and that’s what I’m really holding our for :)

So far the damn game is costing me a small fortune and it hasn’t even launched yet!



Life in Tyria: The Tyranny of Gold…

I’m by no means rich in RL. I have a job but also a mortgage and kids so I have to make choices every days about what I spend my money on and, if I’m honest, that sucks, yet it’s also life and there is no point in worrying about it. But that’s not to say I want that experience in my games and if there’s one thing I’ve discovered I hate hate hate about MMOs such as LOTRO and GW2 it’s that I’m always poor in there too!

In LOTRO I spent ages trying to get enough gold to buy enough equipment to make me more or less effective and it got me nothing. In GW2 I’m always on the edge of poverty and having to sell everything I can just to fund the purchase of armour and weapons for one character. I’ve had 100 gold pieces recently but that didn’t last long and I’m usually hovering between 20 to 50 as I buy new exotic sets for my Engineer builds. I don’t craft and I’m not saving up for a legendary, I salvage and gather and therefore you think I’d be rolling in moolah but I’m not and that ticks me off. And there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to get gold in GW2 outside of mindlessly running dungeons.

Frankly I don’t want to be poor in two worlds. Sigh.


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Life in Tyria: All the fun of the Festival!

Some people are calling it filler and bemoaning both the reuse of “old” content and the lack of Living Story but I’m actually rather enjoying the Festival of the Four Winds in Guild Wars 2 and I don’t care who knows it.

Partly it’s because I missed the Bazaar of the Four Winds last year (along with all of Season 1 of the Living Story until the attack on Lion’s Arch this year) but largely it’s because it’s damn good fun! The Boss Blitz is a blast and the Labyrinthine Cliffs are seriously beautiful. The rewards are pretty nice, I’m enjoying the expanding stories of the main characters and there seems to be some rather nice teasers dotted around that I hope will lead to something down the line. All in all, apart from the grind of getting the reward tokens (and that wasn’t really all that bad, trust me), I’ve had a fun time. Let me break down my thoughts a little…

Boss Blitz: Wowsers this was fun! True it’s a circle-zerg but I quite like zerg content. And this was clever zerg-content in that that whilst a zerg could do it, it could be done faster (and for greater reward) by a small number of co-ordinated groups. To be honest, were I a more structured player I may have found this very aspect annoying as the public nature of the event meant that even with a coordinated group zergs could drop in and blow all the good work by scaling up the bosses, but I’m not so I liked it. I got bronze most times (i.e. zerging it) and a couple of silvers when I ran with people desperately trying to organise a coordinated effort (all of which were fekked up by zergs). The worst part was map chat which became a furious rant-fest so I turned it off.

Gauntlet Matches: I only had a brief goo at these and they were fun. In the end, duels are just not my bag so I had little interest in them. Still they looked and played beautifully (love the opening floor idea!)

Charged Crystals and Baby Doylak Racing: Both were great fun. I love the cliffs and the idea of the aspect crystals and I made as many tokens here as I did in the blitz, just with a lot less map-chat rage and carpal tunnel than with the blitz.

Crystal hunting and other cliff events: Jumping puzzles tend to annoy me and PvP stuff just isn’t for me so I never tried those. Sorry Anet, I’m sure they were great though :)

Divinity’s Reach and the Labyrinthine Cliffs: I really miss the Great Collapse in DR. Sure the Queen’s Pavillion is amazing (and it really is!) but I can’t help thinking that the Collapse was such a wonderful well of story ideas that was erased in favour of an arena, albeit a very beautiful one. The Zepherytes’ cliff-side home is just beautiful! What an amazing build! I would love Anet to make it even bigger so I can spend more time exploring – and using aspects to get around is a joy, what a shame I can’t smuggle those powers out into the rest of Tyria ;)

Living Story: I know there’s not much as it’s not a LS release, but the summary of Season 1 for the Chinese & returning players is really nice. I know there have been criticism of the charactisation and writing of the heroes known as “Edge of Destiny 2.0”, but I’m really enjoying their exchanges. Tiami is funny as hell, it’s nice to see a couple in love with Kasmeer & Majorie and I think the Braham & Rox team is a really interesting friendship to watch develop. Hopefully they’ll avoid making the Norn too dumb as I’d find it harder to identify with a dunce then I do with a simple man of action. Ultimately though this don’t give any more clues as to what will come in Season 2 and I don’t mind that. Time and place, I say, time and place..

Other story type stuff: Now, beyond the summary of LS season 1 I think Anet have been clever about sprinkling a few tidbits around that could (hopefully will) lead to more storylines that could be (hopefully will be) unrelated to LS Season 2. Taimi is talking about the Zephryites getting ready for a long journey – but where to, when & why? What about the Jade Fish Statue? Does that link to the Jade Sea and therefore Cantha? And then what about the paranoid guy Carden? He’s forever trying to desperately sell something shady but when the Zephyrites see whatever it is they won’t deal with him anymore because of what it is and who he got it from – what is it and who did Carden take it from? I’m sure there are more hooks I’ve missed but these stand out as potentially really interesting adventure leads that, were this an open world or paper-based RPG, I’d be following instead of the road leading to the jungle dragon.

So there you have it. I’m really enjoying the Festival of the Four Winds and I don’t care who knows it :)

p.s. Kookoochoo is amazing! See him now!


Posted by on 28 May, 2014 in Fun, Games, Guild Wars 2


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