Two thousand and seventeen, part two

Another quick catch up

7th August 2017

Four blog-free months later it turns out that my idea to switch to markdown did not in fact increase my productivity as I had hoped. I do, however, have some excuses.

Firstly, I've ploughed through some of the backlog so there's a bunch of blogs now, plus all of the Delicious and Excellent Concept Awards! I've mostly had an opportunity to update these during the 20-minute initialisation sessions for Hybris, so that's one positive of working with a bloated monolith.

Secondly and vastly more importantly - I am now a married man! The wedding was the most incredible day of my life and I am incredibly lucky to have been able to share it with such a wonderful person who I can now call my wife.

Over the first half of this year there have been several blog topics that I have missed, so I'm going to run through them now in a couple hundred words each.

Logan

Logan is a savagely brutal take on the superhero genre, something which hasn't really been properly attempted since The Punisher in 2004. The difference is that Logan's over-the-top violence feels more emotional and raw where The Punisher was violence for violence's sake. The film explores Logan's suffering, his relationship with others and his capacity for empathy, and the scene where Laura reveals her true self will go down as one of the iconic moments in cinematic history. All in all, Logan is a cracking, unique and memorable film.

Nintendo Switch

Shortly after my wedding my wife spoilt me rotten yet again by getting me a Nintendo Switch for my birthday. Although the software library is only just really starting to gain ground, the actual hardware itself is pretty fucking cool. The Joy-Cons are surprisingly very comfortable both in the grip and out and the console is plenty big enough to show all the details on screen. The OS is lightweight and minimalist, focusing on the basics and nothing more which adds up to the exact kind of OS I've been looking for in a console for many years.

The sleep mode makes a return from the 3DS which is kind of vital for the whole idea of the console and I'm even impressed at the speed of that. The whole transition between docked console and handheld is incredibly smooth and satisfying - especially the click sound when you slide the Joy-Cons down into the Switch.

Online is another matter entirely, which I'll cover more in the next section, but right now I don't see how Nintendo can possibly justify charging £20/year for it in its current state. Nintendo just don't learn from their mistakes and yet again they really risk shooting themselves in the foot by doing 90% of the work right and then the last 10% utterly, spectacularly wrong. I don't even give a shit about voice chat but the whole system they've implemented doesn't make any sense - why not just include voice chat in the software instead of forcing the user to download a smartphone app? The mind boggles.

Splatoon 2

Although the first Switch game I got (like the rest of the world) was the incredible Breath of the Wild, I also very quickly went and purchased the sequel to the the great Wii U game Splatoon. What I got was more of the same - in all honesty it feels closer to Splatoon 1.5 than a true sequel but there's a few additions that make it worthwhile. The whole experience is definitely sleeker and smoother, with a lot of the content that was added on later on in Splatoon's life (such as ranked battles) come out of the box, and the addition of the fantastic co-op mode Salmon Run is actually probably one of my favourite modes to play. But yet again they've fucked it on stupid things. Like Salmon Run only being available at certain times. And you STILL have to quit out of the lobby to change your weapons. And the edgy 15-year-olds are STILL up in arms about no voice chat. And there's STILL ONLY TWO FUCKING STAGES IN ROTATION.

I dream of the day Nintendo doesn't actively sabotage itself.

Imagine Dragons - Evolve

Imagine Dragons are a bit of a weird one. The first song I heard, like many others, from them was Radioactive which really piqued my interest but the album it came off seemed to lean towards a more cutesy sort of pop-rock ballads than the electronic sound that I had hoped for. Not bad, by any means, just not what I was hoping. It was a similar story for their second album, of which the only song I really loved was Shots.

With Evolve, though, their whole sound seems to have shifted towards the more electronic sound that I wanted them to be, and to be honest the only songs I'm not a huge fan of are Yesterday and Dancing In The Dark. It's an early contender for my album of the year, with lead single Believer being the standout track on the album.

Life

My wedding day was the most perfect day of life, bar none. Emotional, but perfect. If you attended and you're reading this - thank you, you are part of the reason it was so special. We then spent two nights in the most incredible hotel where we cycled, ate and chilled our way into pure bliss. Later this year, we'll be journeying on another adventure to South Africa, which I have no doubt will be utterly incredible.

And that's pretty much it! With the Premier League starting again this weekend, we're in the middle of another great season of Game of Thrones, and there's many more things approaching for me to ramble on about - if I ever get around to it. Ciao, for now.