So yesterday was the anniversary of one of my all time favourite TV shows: Spaced.
Fifteen years ago it aired in the UK on Channel 4 and quickly obtained a cult following despite it’s limited run of two series.
Spaced featured two strangers who have to put on a charade in order to rent a flat, during the show we learn more about them, their assortment of friends and the other occupants of the house . During the series we follow their struggle with day-to-day life with often surreal results.
The show set the trend long before other shows with home made fighting Robots, paintballing and black-ops dog rescues (I got nothing to link here 🙂 ).
The show brought together a number of actors that I had seen previously on comedy shows (Pegg, Frost, Hynes, Heap) and many of whom, along with the director and producers (Wright and Park), would become bigger stars in their own right.
It’s said that without Spaced there may never have been A Cornetto Trilogy and I can believe that.
Each episode was jam packed with stacks of cultural reference touching on tv and films, comics, games and music, in fact when watching it for the first time you may only spot the obvious ones.
I know some of them I didn’t spot until much later when rewatching. Admittedly some of them will only make sense to British folks and then only those of a certain age will laugh at the in-jokes.
The one of my favourite quotes and it’s in the very first scene:
If you can’t see the video here is a substitute:
So this weekend I grabbed Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms (via Steam) which is the latest offering from Ubisoft. It’s a third person shooter title that has been out since April and really does jumps in the Free to Play melting pot with both feet.
After my Planetside 2 experiences I wasn’t expecting much here is my initial thoughts.
Being a new starter I was placed in a starter group for my first matches. The match making interface has a air of Call of Duty 4 multiplayer, the search for matches starts off small but increases as it checks more and more matches the scope of the search is widened until a match is found.
Once the lobby is created, you are prompted to vote on which Map to play. In my time playing the same map kept appearing which was slightly frustrating as there is no way to jump into a lobby serving a different one, since they are picked at creation of the Lobby.
After picking the map you are prompted to select one of three classes. These are your usual Assault, Recon and Support classes offering unique skillsets and weaponary in each. Noticably there is no Ammo and Health givers which means the focus is on combat, plus you can loot ammo and resupply and health returns over time (a long delay between ticks).
As the match starts there is an initial period of 90 seconds (I believe) that allows you to practice get a feel for the map. This was nice for new players as it also flashes various controls onto the screen for you to get familiar with them. The first game mode I played was a miniature version of BattleFields Rush mode and the objectives were clearly marked out and had to be taken in order.
Gameplay was fun and gave a good mix of long distance and close quarters fighting. As the game is 3rd person they employ a quite nice cover system that works well from standing and crouched positions.
Once a match is completed the roles are reversed and the attackers are now defending, the maps felt nicely balanced and there wasn’t any evidence of terrible choke points being used for farming ( but it’s still early days for me).
The game is looking to give more focus on team strategies and I can see how it could work quite nicely as the games pace felt more like a thinking game than a rush the enemy game. This is again reinforced by the group size being 8 which is far better that the recent Battlefield offerings.
However with me being late the party I shall see how the game changes once the training wheels are off and if the cash-shop nature of the game results in being outgunned.
A good friend tagged me to list 15 of the most influential/favourite albums in my life, I it was a very tough task to just pick 15 and there are many more on my list that I’ll no doubt kick myself for forgetting in a weeks time.
So here are the albums in no real order other than how I typed and arranged them 😉
- Fear Factory – Soul of a New Machine (1992)
- Prong – Cleansing (1994)
- Ministry – The mind is a terrible thing to taste (1989)
- Skinny Puppy – Cleanse Fold and Manipulate (1987)
- VNV Nation – Praise the Fallen (1998)
- Entombed – Wolverine blues (1993)
- Faith No More – The Real Thing (1989)
- Corrosion of Conformity – Blind (1991)
- Atari Teenage Riot – Delete Yourself! (1995)
- Strapping Young Lad – City (1997)
- Misfits – Walk Among Us (1982)
- Death – Human (1991)
- Soundgarden – BadMotorFinger (1991)
- Nine Inch Nails – Broken & Fixed EP (1992)
- Killing Joke – Pandemonium (1994)
After posting the original I thought it would be good to figure out the year in which they where released, the oldest being 1982 and the most recent being 1998.
Wow! I’m so with the times 🙂