: Ben's Week In Review: January 26

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Ben's Week In Review: January 26

Still not sure if I want that Tomb Raider Definitive Edition for my collection...

Aw, isn't it cute how Microsoft is suddenly so friendly?

You know, ever since Microsoft got into this business with the original Xbox, they've taken frequent potshots at the competition. In fact, many executives do it every chance they get.

And now, after their Xbox One falls well short against the PlayStation 4 in the worldwide tally, they're suddenly all calm, cool, logical, collected, diplomatic, blah blah blah. Microsoft, you forget that some of us have been listening to you for many years; you forget that you dubbed the original Xbox "the most powerful video game console ever." That kind of thing isn't supposed to matter, remember? You just got finished saying such things like max resolution and frames per second are "trivial" so...isn't that somewhat hypocritical?

Then you say the differences between the PS4 and Xbox One are "pretty minor." This is after Crystal Dynamics confirmed that the PS4 version of the aforementioned Tomb Raider Definitive Edition would outperform the Xbox One version, and after industry insider Ahsan "thuway" Rasheed said his sources claim Watch Dogs on PS4 will also be the better version. Yeah, we know petty fanboy wars are stupid. We know we should be celebrating the industry's upswing. We acknowledge Microsoft's praise of Sony in recent weeks, including their appreciated Naughty Dog comment.

But not for one second am I buying this sudden "Kumbaya attitude." Sorry, I've got too good of a memory.

This Witcher 3 game is starting to freak me out

The bottom line is that I probably won't have time to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but I'm gonna at least have to see it. There's simply too much hype surrounding this title and to be honest, I'm buying it, hook, line and sinker. I admit it. Developer CD Projekt Red has explained that such a project would be "impossible" on PS3 or 360 ('cuz it would quite literally halve their insanely ambitious vision). They're also saying the game comes close to maxing out the next-gen systems. If that's even remotely close to true, this is going to be quite the amazing experience. I don't even like open-world RPGs all that much, but it seems like these guys want to offer a bit of everything.

I especially like the part about 100+ hours of gameplay and 36 different endings. The latter implies that there are plenty of narrative twists and turns, which is lacking in most open-world RPGs. If they can deliver on absolutely every count, I'd say this might be a downright revolutionary adventure. I'm hoping it is, even if I don't get a chance to complete it.

Personal gaming update

Had a tough week because my computer died, which was a colossal pain in the ass. Before I forget, I'm putting out an APB for Microsoft Office 2003. Yes, I know it's old but it's what I've always used. I also don't want to pay for a new Office right now; I've got the product key but I no longer have the disc. If anyone out there has it, I'd really appreciate it if they could lend it to me. I promise I'd send it back. I can't find anywhere to download it online...I mean, anywhere legit.

But anyway, my girlfriend is working on Portal 2 and we keep playing The Cave, which is great fun. I'll keep chipping away at doing everything in Grand Theft Auto V and if I can get back to it, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Thief is coming out soon, so that'll be awesome. As for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, yeah, I've got better things to do with my time. Dumbed down junk.

1/25/2014 Ben Dutka

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Comments (45 posts)

Zerrekk
Saturday, January 25, 2014 @ 10:33:30 PM
Reply

I downloaded the demo for Lightning Returns, and I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised. I can understand why some won't give it a try, and too each their own. Thw demo is only about 30 mins of play, but you get to experience the new gameplay mechanics, which I thought were a nice change. I look forward to playing the full game. I think Tomb Raider looks cool, but I feel like there should be some sort of insentive for those that already own the game to upgrade, or make it like upgrading from Call of Duty Ghosts or Battlefield 4 from ps3 to ps4, if I could upgrade to it for $10-$20 I would consider it.

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Underdog15
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 7:57:21 AM

Glad you liked the LR demo! I personally felt the opposite, but I'm hoping the demo was just a poor representation of the final product. I'm sure there are abilities, etc. that you learn over time that can help you do more than what we saw in the demo.

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xenris
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 9:40:47 AM

I'm glad you liked it too. The gameplay felt very bare to me, and kind of like I was just button mashing. I'm sure there will be challenging moments in the full game though.

My biggest problem with the FF13 saga is the painful dialogue. I wanted to throw various things through my TV listening and watching lightning during the cutscenes.

I also don't know why/when they decided she was jesus.

Last edited by xenris on 1/26/2014 9:41:55 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 25, 2014 @ 10:37:06 PM
Reply

Microsoft's new attitude is what you'd call mighty convenient given their newfound position.

I'm cautiously optimistic about Witcher. There's just no telling if it will be for me. If it's half the game they keep boasting about then I should love it. It's still a long way off though so no sense getting excited.

Won't you be reviewing "Lightning Flops: Final Fantasy Dies" Ben?

I've been plugging away at Grandia II on my Dreamcast. Such classic elegance in those kinds of games I can't figure out why they aren't made any more or why today's game can't match their scope.

Also pecking at Killzone: Shadow Fall. I understand the review scores because there are so many silly old things going on in the game but I think both critics and gamers have missed the soul of it. People sat down and hoped the game would take care of them instead of investing their own imagination into the experience.

It's there, it's tangible, it's different, it's nuanced, it has new levels of variables, and it's very retro in its sensibilities. I think all of that is lost on folks looking for a slam bang Cod Killer.

I NEED something else to play on my PS4 so I'm getting Tomb Raider.



Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/25/2014 10:44:17 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 25, 2014 @ 11:42:35 PM

Yes, I'll have to review Lightning Returns.

SO looking forward to it.

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Norrin Radd
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 12:02:27 AM

@ World

I'm with you on Killzone. I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit playing a bit here and there. And man, is it pretty!

As for MS, I wouldn't even trust them with my worst enemy. That would be inhumane!

Also enjoying AC IV. As for TR, undecided yet - looks gorgeous! Wish it were part of the upgrade program......

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 2:38:28 AM

Need for speed is pretty sweet.

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Underdog15
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 7:59:01 AM

I'll end up playing Shadow Fall, as well. I enjoyed KZ3 despite the negative scores.

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Godslim
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 10:50:13 AM

tbh i found kz very disappointing indeed. yeh the graphics are damn good but the sp was very disappointing. I felt the first few levels like the one when you are a kid were very nice but later levels just seemed to feel stail. The story could have been so much better and alot more could have been done with it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 11:36:30 AM

Killzone definitely trends towards subtley and minimalism, but I don't think that's so bad. Combined with the freedom and additions like zero gravity, freefall, and the OWL I get the sense that it's more of a playground for the player. You're supposed to be having fun doing the combat however you choose.

With the story they want you making connections to the pre-Berlin wall scenario and sympathizing with the innocents among your enemy. Instead of being horned through a machismo world you're encouraged to think and take stock while you watch your step.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/26/2014 11:42:19 AM

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Knightzane
Saturday, January 25, 2014 @ 11:50:18 PM
Reply

Microsoft is about to face some more problems due to some money issues. Layoffs and stuff of that nature. If they're playing nice NOW, than I guess its about time. They are the kind to stab anyone in the back once they see a opportunity.

The only real thing i've been playing this week is XCOM, and Wow. I never thought a great console strategy game existed. So addicted to it.

Nomura tweeted Kitase, whose new twitter ID is like "LIGHTNINGGODES" or something and Nomura said "Yo, i know your happy about your game and all but when do i get to talk about mine?"
Couldn't agree more.

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 5:38:40 AM

Regarding that thing about Twitter, that's not actually Nomura's account. Says right there in the description that it's a parody...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 11:38:13 AM

But we should note that he was pretty thrilled to start talking about Versus XIII and then Lightning Returns was announced. Almost as if even he didn't know it was coming.

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Kryten1029a
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 3:13:57 PM

Microsoft as a company is still making money (according to Reuters they recently posted a larger than expected quarterly profit) and they've got billions in reserves. they might have problems in five years but they're not in trouble now. The charm offensive is an indication of their concern for the softness that they're seeing in the XBox division. They're basically even with the PS4 in the U.S. and lagging behind elsewhere in the world and that's an awkward position to be in. Their attitude seems to be that if they can't get ahead by being belligerent then maybe being nice will work.

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Beamboom
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 5:29:45 AM
Reply

Ben regarding Office: Have you had a look at the alternatives?

There is an open source project called Libre Office who is a fully fledged office suite with word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tools etc.

What's more is that it supports all the Microsoft Office file formats, so you can both send and receive files in those format with no problems.

And, of course, it's free and open source (so no mumbo jumbo surveillance code inside). Unless you are a very, very advance MS Office user, I can almost guarantee satisfaction.

Free download below:
http://www.libreoffice.org/download

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 12:18:16 PM

Really? So, all the MS Word docs I have (in both .doc and .docx formats), and the regular .xls files I've got (Excel) will work with that?

And is Libre Office compatible with Windows XP Pro?

Edit: Oh, does this require that I be online to view and use docs and all that?

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/26/2014 12:21:26 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 1:23:51 PM

All documents created in any version of the MS office suite (Powerpoint, Word, Excel, etc) will be readable (and editable) in Libre Office - especially those written in older versions of MS Office.

Libre Office runs on all platforms. Windows (in all flavours), Mac and Linux, 32 and 64bit versions of the OS. That includes of course XP in all variations.

It's real software running locally on your computer, so there's no online requirements whatsoever. The computer you install it on may never have touched Internet ever.

Remember, this is free software written by a part of the Open Source community, there are no DRM or licence hassle whatsoever. This stuff just works like software should.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/26/2014 2:06:12 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 1:58:01 PM

I use OpenOffice, which works with all MS stuff and isn't evil.

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Beamboom
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 2:34:54 PM

Yeah OpenOffice is what I used for years too, before Libre Office arrived.

The Libre Office core team consist of developers who earlier worked on OpenOffice, but left the OpenOffice project due to (supposedly) a too slow progress, where new formats were implemented too late (in other words, problems with compatibility with new versions of Office).

Still, I'm sure OpenOffice remains a legitimate alternative.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 2:38:01 PM

Okay, cool. But if rogers71 just sends me Office 2003, wouldn't that be preferable?

Or would you say Office Libre is preferable?

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Beamboom
Monday, January 27, 2014 @ 1:49:55 AM

The advantage of sticking to the old MS Office is that you'll get an interface that you already are very familiar with. That's always an advantage, but as far as I see it's the only advantage.

The advantage of going for a newer Office solution is that you'll get a more modern suite with features that you might have use for and support for file formats that you might want to read.
For example, you'll get serious problems with reading newer MS Office documents into your old 2003 version. Those problems are avoided with a new version of Libre Office.

Also, it's a warm fuzzy feeling to support open source projects by using them and spreading the word once you discover how good it is. Makes you feel good. ;)

You find the same functionality found roughly at the same places as in Office. So it should be very quick to get used to the slightly different interface.

But why not just install it and see for yourself? Like I say, it's 100% free and Libre Office is the default office solution in most desktop-oriented Linux distributions, so I can personally guarantee you there's no bullshit-code and junk that gets hidden away on your computer after install/uninstall.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/27/2014 1:57:24 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, January 27, 2014 @ 10:41:35 AM

Okay, thanks. I better not need to know how to use Linux, though. :)

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 5:44:24 AM
Reply

I'd like to get into The Witcher 3, but it brings up the issue of it being the third entry in a series of which I haven't played the first two. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't a story-centric series, but because it is, I'll just wait for Cyberpunk 2077.

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xenris
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 9:46:03 AM

The good thing about all the witcher games is that unlike mass effect you are able to play any one without playing the others.

It does a decent job of explain past events and none of the choices carry over from game to game, at least not from W1 to W2.

But that is a good thing, because each game has had about 20 plus different endings and a lot of them are quite drastic. For example without spoiling anything my two friends and I all got completely different endings in the witcher 2, like drastically different.

So don't worry about jumping into witcher 3 you should be fine.

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rogers71
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 6:45:35 AM
Reply

Ben,
I have Office 2003. I sent you an email. If you would like me to send it to you, let me know. I use Office 2007 at work but all my pc's at home have 2003. I just like it better.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 12:20:33 PM

Okay, thanks.

I may look into these other free alternatives (depending) but I'll let you know either way.

I appreciate it!

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rogers71
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 1:23:52 PM

Alright. Let me know. I can copy my disk and send you that one and you wouldn't have to send it back. Not an issue. If you're used to Office, I would stick with it.

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JackC8
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 7:41:00 AM
Reply

Instead of MS Office I use the Kingston Office Suite. It's very similar to MS Office and it's free.

Microsoft is pretty funny with that diplomatic attitude of theirs. I remember when they were saying that the difference in teraflops was meaningless; now it's turning out that the difference in performance is actually greater than the difference in teraflops would have suggested. And who was that one MS rep who basically told us that if we're not the head engineer, we're too stupid to understand any tech talk anyway?

The Witcher 3 definitely sounds too good to believe. I'm hopeful that it will be very good, but I'm sure there will be some negatives about it that will keep it from living up to the hype. Still, might be a day 1 purchase even if it lives up to half of what the developer's been saying about it.

PGU: almost finished with Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. Still playing some GT6 from time to time as well. Just can't quit buying cars and driving them around Ascari and the Nurburgring. Next I think I'll start on Jak II in the Jak and Daxter Collection, and I MUST find time for Ni No Kuni one of these days.

Last edited by JackC8 on 1/26/2014 7:45:29 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 12:19:35 PM

Is it similar to what Beamboom mentioned above, that Libre Office?

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JackC8
Monday, January 27, 2014 @ 7:56:48 AM

I've never used Libre Office so I don't know. From what I've read though Kingston is the most similar to MS Office out of the free alternatives.

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xenris
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 9:55:02 AM
Reply

The lightning returns demo made me want to puke. I know some people will like it thats cool power to them, but man that dialogue was stomach turning, and this is coming from someone who likes a lot of different styles of anime.

The gameplay felt like you could button mash your way through it, the textures and graphics outside of cutscenes were....really bad except for lightnings cloth physics. Which is probably just there to distract you from the low res textures everywhere.

Playing the demo I was just thinking what the heck happened to square.

I don't know anyone who wanted this game, except for maybe the CEO or Square member who has a huge hard on for lightning. Seriously they made her Jesus this time around...wtf is that about.

The Witcher 3 is my most anticipated game right now, I just hope my hype for the game doesn't ruin the game for me when I finally get my hands on it. Hype can break a game even if it is amazing but falls short of the hype.

I'm thinking worst case scenario it launches a little buggy but gets fixed really quickly because these devs are known for that.

PGU:

Not a whole lot going on right now, playing a bit of dota 2 here and there, some Knack and some Dragons Crown still. Things have been busy for coaching gymnastics, competition season has started and things get really crazy for about 4 months. So not too much gaming for a while sadly.

I can't wait for March though because thats when I get to prepare to die >:)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 11:40:54 AM

Yeah the only Anime that has dialogue that bad are the parodies that are making fun of stuff.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 12:18:58 PM

Agree with the Lightning Returns analysis. I wish it didn't have to be that harsh...but it's accurate. :(

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xenris
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 6:29:56 PM

Hey we agree on something :D

But yeah you kind of have to be harsh when talking about this game. It's a game no one wanted, and took the series in a very stupid direction.

I couldn't help but laugh when you beat the demo it keeps saying THE END OF A SAGA, THE END OF THE WORLD, I was thinking to myself THE END OF SQUARE ENIX. Not entirely accurate but still made me chuckle.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 10:15:04 PM

I may have turned it off before I saw those words. LOL

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xenris
Monday, January 27, 2014 @ 9:59:05 AM

I don't blame you hahaha, it took some willpower to go through it a second time and show my friend just how bad it was lol.

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Godslim
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 10:55:10 AM
Reply

Tbh i dont care about the whole microsoft vs sony rubbush, they are companies that both makes consoles to me and that is it. I brought ps4 not because its a sony product but because i enjoyed playing ps3 with my friends.
As for my gaming stuff im playing through the new AC for the first time since the 2nd one. I stopped buying them as i felt ubisoft were pulling a cod and they werent changing enough for me. The new AC shows me the same thing and isnt nearly as pretty as kz or bf.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 11:39:13 AM

Where did you bring it?

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Teddie9
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 10:56:53 AM
Reply

The Witcher has a track record of being stellar, except I would still like to see a proper gameplay trailer soon or demo showing off some exploration and combat.

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slow and smart
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 10:59:03 AM
Reply

When The witcher 3 will have some downsides but will stil deliver basic good gameplay ,then i will buy it with a ps4.

PGU:i'm playing Fallout NV,and it will take some time[oh yeah!]i gues about 300+ hours.

After this i will buy me thief and Lords of shadow 2...But when will the new wolfenstein game come?It's quiet about that game!
Wolfenstein the new order is[for now] my most
wanted[the rest of my most wanted games will take a while before release]

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karneli lll
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 11:08:25 AM
Reply

I gave up on final fantasy, not even psyched for 15. I feel it'll be another thirteen with even worse sequels. Imagine if games were split and ended in cliffhangers like current movies are doing?!!

This ps4 game drought is serious. I'm getting ready to buy Tomb Raider because there is nothing else. What i wouldn't give for a ps4 port of the Last of Us!

Last edited by karneli lll on 1/26/2014 11:09:23 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 11:38:33 AM

ahem Cod.

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Palmetto
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 2:32:17 PM
Reply

I've been playing "Don't Starve," on the PS4. Can't beat the price point and the game is quite entertaining and addicting.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 5:09:09 PM

Good to hear, I've got that on my PS4 but haven't tried it yet.

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Brighat
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 9:24:03 PM

Some people on Twitch are hardcore Don't Starve players. I see guys into their second or third year. I don't know if I can get into these Minecraft style games; I don't have the patience. I'll play a round here or there but nothing more.

As long as Aaron Greenberg is still being allowed to shoot his mouth off, I can't trust Microsoft's sincerity. They thought their audience didn't know any better. I could see throughout the years that people were getting sick and tired of Microsoft's archaic and rigid policies and knew Sony was going to deliver in the PS4. Xbox One will still get close to 40% of the U.S. market but any dreams of winning every month vs. the PS4 aren't going to happen once a steady supply of PS4s are on shelves.

Last edited by Brighat on 1/26/2014 9:24:43 PM

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