Indelacio.co.uk

Rants, Raves And Reviews

Browsing Posts published in August, 2016

I purchased through amazon some items including some thomson noise cancelling HED 2303 headphones and even though I selected free delivery it seems that my package was taped within amazon prime tape, perhaps this was just to advertise prime but I hope not to charge me for expensive prime services I did not want and would not use. The reason I splashed out on a purchase was a variety of reasons one being that I had been needing noise cancelling headphones for a while with my computer graphics card giving off ridiculously loud noise and they were definitely needed.

The headphones themselves were reduced from £70 to around £30 and amazon does tend to have fluctuating pricing so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on things see if you can find the product you want at a better price, and at these prices you do get free amazon delivery. This along with the fact that I had some credit from old surveys I had completed unspent needing to be used meant that I decided to splash out on a few things.

How Comfortable Are The Headphones?

The headphones do have softened ear pads and an adjustable strap on the top so you can resize to fit your head for the most part however the ear cups do seem to be a little small to contain your ear within the padded area, and so you have the pads pushing onto your ears which can be a little uncomfortable for long periods of use. If you have smaller ears or different shaped ears you might find things more comfortable but the tips of my ears which are a little more pointy do get sore wearing these for long periods as the pressure focuses down on this area.

How Effective Is The Noise Cancelling

The noise cancelling is probably the main reason you would want to buy a pair of headphones like this and with the retail price noted around £70 you expect it to be rather effective, and having tried noise cancelling headphones at shows like the gadget show in the past of a more expensive standard I had a baseline to compare to even though they were out in the open cancelling background ambient conversation noise rather than close by noisy repetitive fan whine.

This being said the fan the fan can still be heard over the noise isolation of the insulated cups, and there is a noticeable reduction of fan noise with the noise cancelling feature turned on as well as some noticeable audio noise which perhaps is a feature of noise cancelling where I may have gained tinnitus from the fan alone and as a result I am hearing the counter noise through the headphones, or perhaps the microphone just might be poorly calibrated at noise cancelling and is making additional noise in a separate frequency. Overall I feel there is some noise reduction but not to the level and standard I really expected for such an expensive set of headphones, as you do have to take things at their retail price and not the reduced price you might have purchased a product for.

How Is The Sound Quality?

With the noise reduction feature on the sound is as expected and clear as I have come to expect from headphones, however with the noise cancelling off as this amplifies the treble and muffles the base while switched on slightly due to the construction it could be how I have become use to headphones, if you prefer bass heavy headphones noise cancelling will reduce this and you’d prefer it switched off, however I prefer the sound with the amplified treble and lower bass so when the batteries run out switching it to noise isolating alone does sound a little unusual.

So What Are My Overall Thoughts?

The headphones do state that they should manually switch from noise cancelling to isolating when the batteries run out however as the batteries run lower and lower the volume becomes minuscule so you cannot hear anything and you are forced to switch manually from noise cancelling and even if you force it by switching up the volume again and again eventually you get very distorted sounds before finally the batteries run dry and you still have to manually switch off noise cancelling to hear anything, however the batteries do last a reasonable amount of time, using 900mAh Ni-MH (nickel metal hydride) rechargeable batteries the noise cancelling under heavy use would last at least 50 hours of constant use before needing a recharge or battery swap, perhaps longer if you force turning your volume up.

Are they worth the retail price, possibly not I would suggest to look for sale’s as at £70 it is a large commitment even with noise cancelling, but at around £20-30 then these are a reasonable purchase and only because of the added value of the noise cancelling, perhaps if the earphones were a little more comfortable for all ear types and the folding feature actually did anything rather than be pointless the cost might be higher but these might as well be generically shaped headphones you could get for £10-15. The fact that the product comes with a separate cable does add a little to the value as it means if you break the cable you don’t have to replace the entire headset which is good, however I have dropped these off my desk once and it did leave the sound a little strange for a few days, and the adjustable ear pieces if swiveled too far in one direction even though they are designed to swivel more to adjust to your head shape can knock off the noise cancelling feature perhaps due to a loose wire or something getting caught which is disappointing.

However if you need a set of noise cancelling headphones these are the cheapest I could find at the moment and that is a good thing as they tend to be a lot more expensive, sure the noise cancelling isn’t as good as I hoped but there’s no guarantee’s that more expensive noise cancelling would do any better as I can’t test them with my computer fan either.

Don’t confuse “noise cancelling” with “noise isolating” which often get’s branded as noise cancelling, this is active noise cancellation technology and you will struggle to find another pair cheap at this time, perhaps this is the herald of cheaper active noise cancellation technology but for now if you’re not willing to wait a few years for prices to come down this is the best you will find at a very affordable price!

What About The Whiteboard?

I did get an “add on” item from amazon, something you have to buy other products of a minimum price to get, with toothpaste and a whiteboard, the whiteboard would normally be £15 but I got it for under £3, and it’s only really worth the price I paid for it, sure it come’s with a pen which magnetises to the board, 2 magnets and hanging strips but the whiteboard is a little flimsy quality seperated in half from the corkboard and looks like it could fall out or break off easily, which could be fixed no problem with something perhaps gluing the whiteboard down so it doesn’t flim flam around or if the corkboard simply was seperated with a little plastic divider so the whiteboard was held down, but this looks like a corkboard with a flimsy bit of whiteboard plastic attached inside it cheaply and it wouldn’tve taken much to make the quality better to justify the retail price, however at under £3 it wasn’t a bad purchase but would require you to buy other things on amazon to meet the £15 criteria and also to qualify for the free shipping.

Life is strange episode 5 Polarized has been out for a while now and did polarize people in many ways with some hating the whole series as a result of how the game ended and some still loving the overall theme despite how it ended, however many seem to have missed the possible explanations for why and how things have gone as crazy as they did in the final episode through the natural plot progression.

This review will contain heavy spoilers so I would advise simply buying the game and checking it out for yourself if you wish to avoid these spoilers, however if you have played and completed the game or don’t mind spoilers feel free to read on, in the meantime you can find the game at http://store.steampowered.com/sub/56692/

Episode 5 begins in a natural position captured by jefferson waking up from being drugged at the end of the last episode and attempting escape, it is worth noting how jefferson establishes that max has this way of staring blankly into space as though daydreaming perhaps as she always has and how under his drugged state allows her to fall into her daydreams feeling them to be real, and how the entire game has been max’s way of escaping what has really happened to her. There are many points in this episode where she “escapes” the dark room by focusing on photo’s to enter their timeline and enact changes allowing her to escape, however in a drug induced state these could easily be explained away as a daydream especially as in every instance within the game no matter what she ends up back in the dark room with jefferson even when reality had no way to establish her ending up there poorly explained as jefferson burning her photo album, however this was in a halted timeline so having escaped and not been his victim this should never have occurred unless she never escaped the room other than in her mind.

Max does initially manage to escape to a perfect possible reality in which she has won the everyday heroes competition, where the other entries in the gallery are more heroic themed photo’s like firefighter’s, people training for running, pets etc, however max’s wall of selfies somehow wins the competition perhaps simply for being award winning jefferson’s prize student, or as it is max’s delusion of true happiness of course she won the competition, however a nosebleed quickly reminds her that arcadia bay is doomed and she cannot stay in this reality. These nosebleeds continue in the darkroom with jefferson noting how it must be a result of using too high a dosage of the drugs to incapacitate her and leave her malleable. Don’t forget that in previous episodes in the rewind you can hear voices stating to “stay with me max” as though she is dying and attempted to be coaxed back to life.

To save chloe once more she rips up her prize winning photo, which she had always ripped up in the original timeline before “altering” thing’s with her powers in order to save chloe’s life in the first place, her childhood best friend who she had not had a chance to reconnect with since returning to town, who’s death in the original place may have lead her to investigate the situation in a similar manner to the main game plot but on her own and to investigate why nathan shot her and the unraveling plot from there leading to her inevitable kidnap by jefferson for snooping.

So why do I believe she is still in the dark room and always has been? There have been far too frequent opportunities throughout the entire game to “sit” at every opportunity as though it is a common theme that you’re always sat down in thought, and while jefferson was photographing you he kept the dose rather low, but at this scene just prior to “escaping” he notes how it will be the final time she will have to listen to one of his lectures knowing it will be the last time she is conscious and alive. It is at this point when she has the needle to her neck that miraculously she is saved by chloe’s stepdad cop, and being heavily induced by the sudden drug overdose she enters the storm itself attempting to save the residents of arcadia bay on the way to the diner to see warren in order to be able to save chloe, however altering the timeline on this occasion doesn’t result in escape or reality forming to her will instead she awakes back in the classroom again, with jefferson wanting her to say how chloe deserved to die, how her selfies are shit etc and max’s subconscious states how she doesn’t want to say any of the options provided however her drug induced compliant state means she has to make one of those options before she can leave the classroom which itself has reminders that max is in fact “dead” already, and after getting out of the classroom she enters the corridors of her dorm (and perhaps symbolic of her mind and memories) with kate talking like jefferson’s puppet stating how max was responsible for her death and everything that happened to her as though he is roleplaying her or saying these things to her on the floor as she slips away as jefferson had liked kate as his new muse and felt max’s interfering prevented him taking it further.

After a few crazy corridors with the facts of rachel, haunted memories of victoria and her own life and time’s flashing through as selfies on the wall the drugs overdose really starts to kick in with time flowing backwards while max moves forwards and everything being woozy before everything goes dark and she’s hiding from a plethora of jefferson’s coming to hunt her down and take her back to the dark room, now unfortunately she follows the symbolism that escaping the light is staying alive, perhaps as he flashes a flashlight across her eyes checking if she’s alive or even the possibility that someone has discovered her body perhaps on the side of the road where she begin’s the game attempting to revive her, but rather than go into the light and awake she hides from everyone and everything following the road to the lighthouse at the end of the tunnel, which if she was actually going into the light could be considered holding onto life but she does avoid it at every turn sticking to the dark. There is an optional bottle hunting mission here which can even be accidentally skipped without realizing, perhaps symbolic of your own torture trying to find that fifth bottle in the first place! However you once again return to the familiar seated position, where if you escaped and examined your chair you will note max “still feels the bind’s” as though she never escaped and was still tied up in that chair in that dark room.

Reality begins to unravel further as the drugs take further hold, as you find yourself escaping reality within the snowglobe sat on chloe’s mantelpiece seeing yourself perform the actions you had made in the past, although knocking off the snowglobe and shattering it would have been a fitting snap from this scene transition to the next it’s not essential as max passes onto a room trying to find the combination from a million possibilities carved into the walls. If you find the combination it leads to a diner filled with all of the people significant to max with an etheric reality outside of the diner filled with all of the other meaningless souls which may have passed.

The diner is a mirror of symbolism for judgement in death, filled with all the people you’ve helped in life and those you’ve wronged to sit in judgement over your eternal soul, and you can hear the voices echo out to you some questioning why you didn’t help them and others thanking you for saving them or helping them resolve issues in their life which leads me to wonder whether there might have been a perfect possible ending to the game hidden away in which you help absolutely everyone there and turn all of the voices positive and perhaps allowing you to leave the diner and escape back into the room and take down jefferson once and for all with him being in shock at you surviving the overdose. However instead you talk to yourself the only true judge over your soul as to whether you are deemed worthy of heaven or deserve eternal damnation in hell, this perhaps is mirrored in your actual decision at the end of the game as you move on from the diner to watch the last moments with chloe you shared flash by as though your life was flashing by in the last moments before death, heading into the lighthouse at the end of the road, of course you return to a reality within the storm with chloe to face the final decision as to who to save.

The end choice here is rather a silly one and does render the entire game pointless as regardless of who you saved and what you did in the game everything is the same if you choose to save arcadia bay, you get the happy ending with everyone alive and happy, even kate regardless of whether you saved her or not. This does fly by in a flash though, with flashes of photographs quickly explaining how jefferson was taken down somehow by simply not saving chloe this resulted in him being arrested and kate never jumping! Ending on chloe’s funeral without a word being uttered as life fades away, and focusing on max’s face looking into the light perhaps happy fading away to heaven, whereas if you choose to save chloe you have doomed arcadia bay and everyone in it to utter destruction and you know that no matter what you will always be fighting to save chloe over and over never learning from your mistake as the world and universe continues to rain down destruction wherever you go hurting the lives of everyone around you and destroying the entire world for the sake of one life who never should’ve lived, truly creating hell on earth and always being in danger and with something to lose which you would always have to protect.

I do feel the ending could have gone better but if it is explained as either passing away peacefully or continuing to defy the reality of the situation as the drugs rage through your system to an inevitable painful death the crazyness at the end can be explained away, and this is the only way it leaves room for a sequel season, as if you are max again following on with the time travel abilities she knows she can’t change anything for fear of causing catastrophe’s or she fights on in a universe falling apart keeping chloe alive and neither would make a good game, however a narrative where jefferson (or someone else) has kidnapped a new victim knowing or not knowing they were kidnapped and drugged trying to come to terms with it (perhaps realizing later and actually having a chance to escape depending upon the choices made and the information gathered) could make for a good second season, and jefferson noted himself he wanted to kidnap kate again, so perhaps season 2 could focus on kate having been retaken by jefferson trying to figure out what is going on and using time travel abilities to gather the facts and attempt to wake up and escape from her inevitable fate. This would make a compelling second season and allow for different narratives and timelines and different effects and influences, as max was influenced by the stormy weather for her dreams perhaps kate or whoever is the new victim would have other thing’s going on around their delusional state.

Those who have played season 1 would also for the most part be unaware of what was going on as they took the time travel ability for granted and didn’t question the possible natures of realities within the game, so a reveal that she is kidnapped later would be a good twist to the plot and this allows for a narrative world to be established without having to be fully influenced by the factors of the first game as for the most part it was all in the delusional state of max’s mind as she slipped away inside jefferson’s dark room. If the victim was kate obviously thing’s could take on a more biblical front as she is very religious and takes influence from her experiences and thought processes, and the game could even begin with her in the hospital recovering and perhaps believing she has been granted these powers by god to change things for the better and that her life was spared for this very purpose.

Of course I am expanding and theorizing heavily on what could be coming for season two as nothing is known but simply following max would not make a compelling game it does need to be a new protagonist and with a reasonable explanation for what is happening, and in my opinion max dying in that dark room from that final overdose is the only thing that explains why the walls of reality collapse as much as they do, and the symbology used within the game at the end fits the theme’s of dying and the end of life far too well for there to be any other explanation. Go play life is strange for yourself and explore the game and experience the plot and the emotions as that is the point of a narrative game such as this, and make up your own mind as to what is going on.

The full season of life is strange is available on steam at http://store.steampowered.com/sub/56692/

A long awaited update explaining why I haven’t posted here in so long, firstly I have been moving house and sorting everything out from getting services connected and getting the essentials and furniture together have taken some time with having to be productive and look for work along with cooking, eating etc so things here took a bit of a back seat especially after getting combo’d by the brexit depression and massive rise in interviews I suddenly received after brexit (brexit at work and employers needing british workers?) but this did lead to a massive drain feeling terrible from both waking up very early for the interviews and the creeping mould in the flat effecting my health, and no way to clean clothes effectively still waiting on a washing machine promised to be delivered, but now I can at least clean clothes properly and managing my time better I can get back into thing here.

So there are a number of projects I need to catch up on, some being less urgent like updating channel trailers and more creative projects, but some like catching up on reviews and well edited review highlight video’s I really should have done by now rather than waylaying with let’s play series of the games with a reasonably written but rushed article for the site being pushed out. Having more time now and having recorded a reasonable backlog of gameplay video’s I can get back onto getting these reviews put together decently and to a standard I feel happy with, as well as producing the lost footage of EGX where everything was so dark at the show I wasn’t happy with the quality to publish, so have spent many cycles editing and adapting the footage to make something worthy of publish and we’re getting close to being able to do that.

Of course there are shows upcoming like I58 and this seasons EGX which I really should have applied to but feeling down I stupidly didn’t apply to stuff which could have raised my mood and been things to look forward to because I didn’t want the burden of heavy editing, especially having fallen behind with the one EGX video, but I can get that together and maybe at least an article for this year’s EGX even though I’m not going as a way to make up for that, and there are many other articles I really should have been doing too with press releases I have been receiving, however not being one to simply copy and paste these I would have to write them in my own manner and do associated video’s to feel happy in myself making them (unlike some places who simply copy and paste releases without even reading them) and perhaps even get some teasers for shows and events coming up in the hopes of getting press admission as I really should try to get back into doing that effectively and not let complications in life get to me.

So this is a beginning of content returning and being done properly once more not rushed out, yes I took some time out to be able to get things together after moving but from here forward I should be able to get things out in a manner and quality I feel happy with, decently edited when it comes to reviews and with suitably considered and written articles with my twist on any improvements and highlights I feel noteworthy.

I always welcome any contact through the correct channels, so feel free to get in touch if you have any suggestions for video’s or want me to review something for you.

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