Pretty happy with Shorten’s budget response. A more progressive approach to increasing the Medicare Levy, and maintaining the budget deficit levy are both good moves. There’s also zero justification for the company tax cuts proposed by the Liberals, so happy to see opposition to those.

The idea of a cap on the deduction for managing tax affairs is a good one, but they could (and should) take this further and extend a cap on a wide range of deductions, which would go some way to reducing the unfairness in the system.

Shorten’s budget reply: Labor will back Medicare levy hike for top income brackets

Labor says it will back the Turnbull government’s plan to increase the Medicare levy by 0.5%, but only if the hike applies to workers earning above $87,000. Bill Shorten has used his budget reply speech to say Labor can accept an increase in the Medicare levy for workers in the top two tax brackets to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme, but not for workers on incomes as low as $21,000.

Sad to see Rohan Denis out so early. I really wanted to see what he would make of a genuine GC bid. I’ve been enjoying the Giro so far, the first three stages were good fun, with some unexpected results. The course gets epic from here on out, so should be great.

Seasons!

It’s taken a really long time but the excellent Diablo 3 seasons for PC have finally made it to console. Couch co-op on PS4 is hands-down the best way to play Diablo 3, so super happy  that I can stop compromising and play seasons on the couch now.

Armouries are also a nice addition, and will cut down on busy work re-specing.

Diablo III Seasons Finally Come To Consoles

Years after ‘s seasons first started, they’re finally coming to consoles. Just as PC players begin clicking their way through the game’s 10th season, those who decided to go with the superior version of Diablo III will get to start seasonal characters on Friday, March 31.

New Top Gear 

I really loved Top Gear. It was one of my favorite shows for a very long time. It was about the unashamed celebration of cars, and had three great hosts who interacted in a genuine and fun way. Unfortunately, the last few seasons before it ended stretched the formula and it started to feel  quite fake. They also somewhat forgot the cars and got caught up with other shit. 

I had high hopes for a rebirth with The Grand Tour, but it was just fine. There was too much variety show silliness and not enough of the mates doing silly things with amazing cars that was the heart of the original series. It has some high points, but they were scattered amongst a lot of mediocrity and distraction. 

The BBC’s reboot of Top Gear was even worse, featuring a terrible host and a cast that had too many people who didn’t gel well. It also slavishly stuck to the old formula, which didn’t work with a new team. 

Thankfully, the BBC threw out the formula and started again this year, and it’s awesome. Yes, it’s still finding its legs, but it already vastly better than last season, and even better than The Grand Tour. 

The new hosts are great. Rory Read and Chris Harris were highlights of last season, and Matt LeBlanc is vastly better now he has two funny enthusiastic you guys to bounce off. 

More importantly, this is a show all about cars. There are a few small diversions each episode, but the cars are at the centre and make takenup most of the time. They’ve even managed to make the previously painful ‘star’ sections somewhat watchable. 

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. 

Starfighter Inc.

Starfrighter Inc. is back on kickstarter and this time it looks like a proper game. I love the premise, a space sim like Elite or Star Citizen, but with heavy emphasis on the ‘sim’ part. The game uses realistic physics for the ships, and no shields or other sci-fi tropes. The ships are fragile, and difficult to control, which looks awesome. I really hope it reaches the goal this time, because I want to plat this.

STARFIGHTER INC

Impeller Studios is raising funds for STARFIGHTER INC on Kickstarter! Online multiplayer space combat simulator based on hard science fiction. “Counter-Strike meets World of Warships in Space!”

MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA

Super excited for this. With the exception of Mass Effect 3’s ending (which they fixed), the series has always been incredibly great.

I’ve only seen a few trailers, but loving the look of it so far.

Hidden Folks is Delightful

Hidden Folks is a fairly new arrival on iOS and it’s wonderful. There’s nothing really complicated here, it’s a simple ‘find stuff’ game, but the whole thing is so delightfully whimsical. From the beautiful and intricate hand drawn graphics, which are full of cute twists and surprises, to the fun little clues, and the awesome and unique sound design.

It’s not a game that does anything particularly new or complex, but it is just a delight to play that will put a smile on your face.

You should go buy it.

Zelda’s Hard Compare

Breath of the Wild, the latest Zelda game launches with the Nintendo Switch in early March. It takes the franchise in a new direction, grafting it into the open worlds that have been prevelant through series like Far Cry or Assassins Creed.

There have been a mass of previews for this game, including huge block of unedited gameplay, and I have been rather unimpressed. The world looks flat and uninspiring, and worse, the game is empty. There are vast open environments, with nothing in them.

Usually open worlds are jam packed with stuff to keep the game interesting and give you stuff to do. I know it’s only previews, but at this stage Zelda looks boring.

Especially when it comes out only two2 days after Horizon:Zero Dawn. I mean look at this thing! It’s incredible.

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We haven’t seen as much of Horizon as we have of Zelda, but what we have seen is a world packed with stuff to do, and with visuals that are vastly better than Zelda.

Now I am sure Zelda will sell well on nostalgia alone, but any rational person, looking at these two games, would be insane to pick Zelda based on what we know so far.

Pillars of Eternity 2

Pillars of Eternity was an awesome game. A call back to the old days of deep, intricate RPGS that would eat up your time. The game, and its expansion was awesome fun with a great story and an interesting world.

Obsidian have announced a funding campaign for a sequel and I am super excited.

It’s already sailed past its funding goal, so there is no real need to get on board if you aren’t excited, but keep an eye on it, and definitley give the original a go if you haven’t played it yet.

https://www.fig.co/campaigns/deadfire

 

Week Two

I feel like this was a bit of a transition week, as I worked my way out of the prep of week one and through to a point where I am just starting to have time to sit down and get serious work done. Unfortunately, that has let my task list get just a little out of hand.

The main activity this week was the construction of a new office with more space for the dogs to snooze, more light and air, and a giant aviary. The aviary is still under construction, but I have the rest sorted, and it’s awesome. A huge improvement over my previous office which was crammed into the corner of the bedroom.

Not a lot else to talk about, but we finished the week in the best possible way, with a puppy play date stocked with lappies. Enjoy the pics.