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Messages - Walter

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Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: What are you watching? (television thread)
« on: December 19, 2018, 04:21:06 AM »
I just finished One Punch Man (the whole show?) on Netflix last night. Good stuff! I acknowledge this is not a nuclear take, given that the show has been out for years, but I admire how smartly they went about turning a simple concept into something continually interesting and funny throughout. That's quite a balancing act, given the premise. It subverts the traditional shounen hero story (making a mockery of it for the most part), and is instead a superhero example of "market disruption." I'm not sure how long they could stretch the concept, but I enjoyed the 12 eps I saw.

In other anime news, my son has been watching the original Pokemon series recently, and it's been pretty funny seeing some similar background key art from the 1997 Berserk series (same animation studio). In particular, the forests/grass/fields have pretty much the same painterly look.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 19, 2018, 04:14:55 AM »

Not really... :carcus:

The 3h I put into Bloodborne so far felt like homework. I'm going to give it an honest shot because you like it so much, but my initial impression just confirmed what I felt in DS3: Souls fatigue.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 19, 2018, 03:44:54 AM »
I've played about 7h of Below since last week or so. It's what's kept me from Bloodborne for the moment.

Looks cool, doesn't it? Well, I'm actually pretty disappointed after being excited for the game for ~5 years. It's the successor to Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery (remember that one?). And more than any polished indie darling I can remember, this game feels fundamentally crippled by game design decisions. And for a game 5+ years in the making, I expected something more than what we're given.

Much of the game was kept well under wraps throughout its development. It wasn't until the release a few days ago that it was revealed exactly what it is. Turns out, Below is an exploration-roguelike with a survival mechanic (hunger/thirst/cold). But added to that, there's a light/dark mechanic that comes with a huge setback. Your lantern is super useful. It reveals secrets, keeps certain things at bay, opens key doors. Oh, but wait ... you died down on Floor 4? Better go fetch that lantern -- starting from the very beginning  :ganishka: . Your character depends on a ready supply of food and water, but the game doesn't exactly dole that out at an even pace.  It's a rogue-like afterall. So there aren't consistent sources of these vital ingredients each run. So better hope you got a good rng roll for food supply this run!  :puck:

This "everything sucks until I get my goddamned lantern back" feedback loop was palatable until, ohhh Floor 9. Where I've just died again (one-shotted by a new enemy, fantastic!), and my options are to go back in, using shortcuts, maybe 3 floors behind where I need to be (1h or so). Or just never play it again. Probably doing the latter.

It is beautiful though. You can just drink in the atmosphere in each room (just don't admire for too long, you'll starve). Great art direction, every light source creates dynamic lighting, which looks gorgeous in the minimalist design, and the soundtrack is eerie and atmospheric. And it does so many things that I love in other games, in particular how game mechanics are conveyed in-world without text. You experiment and figure stuff out on your own. Love all that! It's just super punishing the more that you invest in it, I'd say even moreso than Souls games, where at least the last bonfire is just a few rooms away, not 2h of pain. And ultimately, it's just not that fun to play for hours on end. Bit of a bummer, given all the hype over the years for its secrecy and pedigree.

Video Games / Re: Fallout games
« on: December 12, 2018, 07:24:34 PM »
I've played through quite a few of them (3, NV, parts of 1-2), but Fallout 3 was the only one I really enjoyed. And most of that was just my interest in seeing how they converted the DC region (where I live) into nuclear rubble. Something about the setting in Fallout games just has never meshed well with me, and on top of that, I don't particularly like Bethesda games.

Speculation Nation / Re: Why use the demon baby's body as a vessel?
« on: December 11, 2018, 03:43:36 PM »
I haven't thought of that

There are many threads on this since the idea was first formulated in 2004. You can start by reading this one:

Speculation Nation / Re: Why use the demon baby's body as a vessel?
« on: December 11, 2018, 02:18:26 PM »
Or was it that the egg of the perfect world just happen to pick up the demon baby's body and Griffith just used it as he is care free at this point.

There is no way to definitively answer this riddle. The way the event is structured, everything is going according to plan, and then the Beherit-Apostle makes a split-second decision to incorporate the child into its body, which eventually becomes the flesh for Griffith's form. What would have happened if the child had not been there? No one can say. This is the eventuality we have. Hypotheticals were never discussed.

In any case, it doesn't seem likely that Griffith "chose" that particular vessel, because of the consequence it created. So, it may have been an intended fault in his design by the author of causality, or a monkey-wrench born from pure chance.

I don't think Griffith and Guts our related nor is Guts Griffiths dad   :troll:

Griffith and Guts' child share a body. That's the joke. 

Speculation Nation / Re: A look at the name of Dragon Slayer
« on: December 10, 2018, 06:04:07 PM »
I think Guts will succeed I mean at this point it is bound to happen its just a matter of when he will face Femto and maybe the Godhand and less likely the idea of evil,but I think that is a little to much for guts to handle at least alone.

That's really not the focus of this thread, it's just the OP's last sentence.

Also we know guts can affect the outcome albeit in a very small way through I believes its called the junctions of time please correct me if I am wrong

The Junction of Time (also translated as temporal junction point) is a critical moment when the God Hand's actions can be slightly subverted.

I think Casca might needed to survive to give birth to the demon baby,but being how careful the Godhand are they probably had multiple ways to acquire Griffith a physical body.

Maybe they did, but only one outcome matters in the end -- the one we ended up with.

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Dark Horse Releases "Deluxe" Berserk Edition
« on: December 09, 2018, 02:37:23 PM »
Amazon has Vol 1 of the deluxe edition up for ~$20 with a preorder code.

Go here:

Use this at checkout: GIFTBOOK18

Thanks go to Reddit for the heads up

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 09, 2018, 01:10:12 AM »
I can relate to zombie nausea at this point in media, but Last of Us is not held back by the faux-zombie setting. They "infected" are mostly used as a vehicle for the plot, and in terms of the dramatic tension and danger element in the game, it's certainly humans, not the infected.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Anyone here fans of Guin Saga?
« on: December 08, 2018, 02:01:10 PM »
I'm under the impression that only 5 volumes of the original novel have been translated and published in English, but I would be really interested in reading the whole thing.
Are there any rumours or something I'm not aware of about the rest of the 125 volumes' state ? Even after the author's death there seem to be interest in the series.

Yep, just five volumes. Way back in 2007 I reached out to the publisher (via phone, lol) and was told there weren't plans to expand.11 years later, there've been no changes.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 07, 2018, 03:15:26 PM »
Really? I never had any issues with it running badly. What parts are running bad? Maybe do a full reinstall on it?

Well I'm only in Central Yharnum, haven't tested other areas. But after doing a search, it seems to be a pretty widespread problem. Game is capped at 30, and there are frame pacing issues that drop it below that. It's noticeably chuggy for me, which is a shame, because I want to admire the world they made.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 07, 2018, 01:58:05 PM »
I personally wonder if it was really the "wrong choice" in the grand scheme of things. While Joel's intentions were selfish in and of themselves, I personally didn't trust the Fireflies for a second. From what we see of them over the course of the game, they come across as woefully incompetent, and by the time we catch up to them, they're dangerously desperate. And somehow, I'm supposed to buy that they've figured out how to harvest the supposed cure from Ellie after examining her for a few hours with what limited equipment and expertise they've got on hand? I dunno, they just seemed too eager to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
I have to agree. It never felt to me like they were actually sure to succeed. They were just willing to take the shot because they didn't care about Ellie's life. It was completely unethical, even though she had given her approval.

That may have been why each of you chose as players to rationalize the decision, but that clearly wasn't why Joel made his decision. His was as a selfish, protective father-figure. The final audio recordings indicated that this was the breakthrough the Fireflies had been searching for, but it came at a high cost (not too high for them!). Where I personally disembark on the Fireflies' plan is how they intended to distribute the vaccine. The whole country is utterly fragmented. It would have been no easy task, with several pitfalls along the way to make such a plan work. But as far as their capability of developing a vaccine? The game made it seem likely they could have, despite the ineptitude of their overall organization.

Beyond that, narratively that's not where the game wants you to be placing your attention. It puts the betrayal squarely in Joel's hands. And the biggest betrayal was Joel lying to Ellie's face about it ... but at that point, there was no going back, I suppose.

In other gaming news: Wow Bloodborne kind of runs like ass on PS4. Particularly after playing the buttery smooth Spider-Man and Last of Us, this is ... whew, like being on an underpowered PC.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 06, 2018, 10:58:12 PM »
Aw, I should have mentioned Griff, Last of Us Remastered was just $5 in one of the recent PS store sales.

Anyway, Bloodborne is next for me. Starting it tonight. Like Last of Us, this one has a lot to live up to. :daiba:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 05, 2018, 09:31:07 PM »
I just finished Last of Us, a game I've always wanted to play, but never had the ability. Finally sitting down at night and playing the remaster on PS4 was a pretty incredible experience. I am of course coming to the game 5 years late, and already pre-programmed to expect the masterpiece that it (mostly!) is. But layered on top of that was an even bigger hurdle for me: The game draws clear inspiration from The Road, which is one of my favorite books. Consequently, there's a lot to love, but also inevitable contrasts and comparisons. Before I go any further, you should go grab The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Do not bother with the movie. Not saying I'm dropping spoilers here, just vouching for it as a solid book.

See, I do finish games from time to time! So long as they can hold my interest... And as far as I'm concerned, Last of Us is a modern classic. Any nitpicking I'm about to do simply can't drown out its overall greatness.

The animations and character acting were the real stars here. Holy shit... I've never played a game like this. There are thousands of small character animations that convey emotions wordlessly. There's a scene in which Joel jokes "Go Bighorns..." in response to learning where the characters will be headed next (a college). The person pointing the way is caught off guard by Joel's joke, half-smiles in surprise, but the nuance of the animation conveys that he was thinking about a distant memory of the old world. It's a single reaction animation, not even framed in a cinematic, lasting about 2 seconds, but it said more than words could.  If I can critique anything about these moments, it's that they are far outnumbered by scenes that simply don't require, or benefit, from the lavish animation capabilities. The story is a pretty straightforward road trip, and the scenario stays consistent for about 90% of the game. The spectrum of possibilities is thus fairly shallow.

The game maturely demonstrates how two very different people deal with trauma. Joel turns inward, just putting one step in front of the other after his life fell apart. Though even at the start of the game, in the old world, Joel wasn't exactly Mr. Chipper. The collapse of civilization however gives him a solid excuse to withdraw and be as forlorn as he wanted. Ellie's take on the world is fresh, as someone who has never known life outside a quarantine zone. Her arc is about grappling with her optimism alongside a man and in a world that won't just mend.

The game ends precisely where it should. Joel made the wrong choice, but it was really the only option that guy was going to take -- obviously. Marlene grossly misjudged him. She knew Joel's brother, and should have known about Sarah as a result. So that's all on her, as far as I'm concerned. I could feel no remorse over his decision, even though a vaccine could have been the thing that humanity rallied around and began to heal. At the same time, it wasn't as if Joel was going to let the world take another loved one away from him. Though I was genuinely surprised that none of the emotional punches in the game left much of an impact on me. I was more fascinated with the world and the craft of how the team constructed these scenes than the content of most of them, but I conclude that's a problem with me, not the game.

Around the time of the sequel's announcement, I remember reading many opinions that the game didn't NEED a sequel. But as someone fresh from the experience, I'm happy there's more to tell about Jellie, and I'm looking forward to it.

I would have been happy with about half the fight sequences being removed. I can rationalize some intermittent stealth sequences, because paired with Joel's "sense" as a gameplay element, you constantly feel anxious, never truly comfortable in any space you walk through. All of that serves to reinforce the atmosphere that's at the heart of the story. But the sheer number of these sequences is overkill. Joel is a force of nature, to the extent that it creates dissonance in the realistic portrayal the game is clearly vying for. If I was part of a ragtag band of 20 ruffians, I'd probably start running away after I saw 15 of them mowed down by one grizzled old man. Fuck that. Most of these sequences feel like they were designed to be merely a more violent way to get from A to B, rather than to present interesting challenges that show a different side of the characters. Though one could argue that some character development happens between the startled reactions from Ellie at Joel's caveman instincts, I just wish the gameplay itself were more involved than pallet puzzles and shivving guys in the neck.

I also think I made a huge mistake by starting and then continuing to play on Normal. This made sense at the outset. I primarily wanted to experience the story, not be forced to replay sequences ad nauseum because of small mistakes. But as things progressed, my inventory was perpetually flush with items. No sequence was particularly challenging, and the feeling of scrounging the environment for materials was lessened by the fact that I never really felt in need of anything.

On to my biggest problem with the Last of Us, which is sociological: The unrealistic way people talk and interact. 20 years removed from the collapse of modern civilization, it seems insane to me that people would have the same sense of humor, same mannerisms, same function in human-to-human relations, as they do in our modern world -- they're all just a lot more grumpy. Consider, this is an era where there is no stability. Everyone has lost someone, and they are constantly running and scrounging for a meager existence. Witty repartee simply would not survive the utter collapse of the human spirit. They're sullen, but still sarcastic; a little on edge, but not far removed at all from modern human relations. As broken as people are in this setting, I feel like the change in their personalities would be proportionally radical.

This problem is solidified in Ellie, someone who wasn't even around when the world was whole, yet does a perfect mimicry of a modern teenage girl. I think Cormac McCarthy nailed it with his brittle dialogue, and how untrusting those who survived the collapse were of each other (for those who have read it, the scene with the old man is the most noteworthy example of this). This is a bit like picking on seeing a dated hair style in a movie that's supposed to be set in the future. I'm sure from the writer's room, they could argue that a teenage character should translate to dialogue that is recognizably teenage to modern audiences. If that's the argument, I simply don't agree. If civilization collapsed, the old norms would go with it, and along with that, the way we treat and value each other, and thus the way we speak and interact.

I remember reading The Road, thinking how cool a game it could be. Exploring emptied houses, putting stories together from the remains of the environment, communicating the ways of the old world to one who never experienced it (the Boy in The Road may as well be Ellie) is rife with potential. For the most part, the game does check those boxes. But it also gives you more opportunities to lean into the characters. I just wish they did more of it, and gave Joel and Ellie a longer arc. But I suppose that's what sequels are for!

Feels weird to try looking for flaws in Berserk, but one that's bothered me (and like everyone else's it's a minor quibble, and one that will surely dissipate by the end) is the lack of Griffith/Godhand POV. After Falconia gets founded, it kinda feels like things just cool down. The Godhand are now physically present, but we haven't really seen what they're up to.

As you already alluded to, I think shedding light on those characters is a very delicate part of the story. Because once Miura plays those cards, there's not much more he can do to up the anté. They are the big bad guys, for all intents and purposes. So obviously he's been very deliberately obscuring our insight into their plans and their motivations. And it is a little frustrating that we're still pretty much where we've been since Volume 21 on our understanding of the God Hand and Griffith/Femto. For me, the biggest development that happened on that front since then was Griffith's reaction to Rickert's slap. And even that isn't concrete.

Anyway, I get the reasoning behind it, but yeah... In retrospect I probably did count on a few more twists and turns along the way, a few more appearances from those guys, but I'm not the master storyteller here, hehe. As we progress, it seems like if we'll be getting those, it'll be along the arc of a conclusion.

Happy to be proven wrong, I miss those guys!  :ubik: :void: :slan: :femto:

I saw the video a few months ago, but I don't personally value this kind of faux-psychology being thrust upon Berserk. It's really just not my thing... Archetypes are fundamentally boring to me, and these videos usually seem more concerned with reinforcing the general components of Jung's system of archetypes in modern works than actually extracting meaningful information from Berserk.

I've not 100% agreed with any of them (as it's not my own unique opinion), but I've gained something of value from each. Berserk is art, and like any other kind of art, it's open to interpretation and I don't feel forcibly correcting others or telling them how they should see it really adds anything to the community. :daiba:

Well, you should know that we do care about accuracy here, and we will call out bullshit when see it. The reason is simple: Ignoring mistakes and inaccuracies leads to more misled people. I speak from a position of authority on that, having seen exactly that happen over the ~20 years this forum has been around. So if you're cool with people speaking authoritatively about things they aren't authoritative on, that's cool, but please don't try equating a groundless take with a well-reasoned take because of "artistic interpretation."

Berserk Miscellaneous / Re: Dark Horse Releasing Berserk Guidebook
« on: November 30, 2018, 02:40:23 PM »
While I certainly agree little details can add up (it's a big reason I'm not a fan of anime dubbing), I guess I personally don't get that riled for name mistakes. The King's name/title you mentioned, even "hawk" over "falcon" and the like. Those aren't story breaking details for me.

Hawk/Falcon, Hanafubuku, and "Knight of Skeleton" are just the most popular problems with Dark Horse's translations. There are also of course typos and text misplaced in the wrong word boxes, bad or just wrong episode titles, and in volume 39, they included line notes in a speech bubble. They even change the way characters talk (most recently with the boss pirate).

But more important than all of that, there are also subtle mistranslations that can create a bad understanding of important things. Check out this one from Volume 24:

Dark Horse -- Flora: A Beherit is a highly spiritual object that governs even human fate. Perhaps an even greater existence sent it to the physical world.
SKnet (Puella) -- Flora: A beherit is an object which a highly spiritual being -- or a being that is even something more, who controls the fate of humans -- has sent to this world

The difference here is pretty critical, because it's a key passage that alludes to the power of the Idea of Evil, not the power of a Beherit. If you stack all of these against each other, your left with the impression that you can't always trust the words you're reading, and that's a pretty bad feeling for something you paid money for.

I started Berserk (up to volume 25) on free translations, where names would change in between chapters, and sometimes even during the same chapter, but I still never really got confused or annoyed. I could keep track.

Well Dark Horse is supposed to be a professional translator, creating authoritative English translations, which people pay money for in order to get consistent, reliable work. So when they goof, it's of slightly more consequence than when xXSCANlordzXx gets something wrong.

It basically boils down to Miura didn't know they would turn back at this point, which is understandable.

No, I don't think that's it. It happens to the Count just 2 volumes later, so it's probably not a matter of the concept not floating around in Miura's head yet. I think it was a matter of flow. (ex: "How many new elements do I really want to toss at the reader at once here?") Having a pile of homogeneous creatures erupt from the ground to pull down the apostle's form would have screwed with the flow of the scene (and changed its climax, yuk yuk).

Hardly make or break, but the only real 'hole' I've ever noticed is right at the beginning. The female apostle, when roasted later in pieces by Guts doesn't appear to change back to a human form at all. Despite it being at least several minutes (at the very least) since her demise.

That would only happen after the Vortex of Souls came to claim the soul, which doesn't happen the exact moment an apostle dies. Remember Wyald? Zodd ripped him in half, and still had enough time for a brief chat with Guts before the Vortex came.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 29, 2018, 07:04:13 PM »
But that's only a Dreamcast exclusive too, right? Hmm, if I can emulate it, I'll try.

I know that one was officially released and is in English, but I hope you can transfer to Japanese for the dialogue. I seem to recall a twinge in my memory from Puck's English voice.

Here you go:.

Netflix's decisions are all data driven. I can see the live-action option as a purely business decision, not necessarily one where they think they're granting a wish that people have been dying for.

They know the relative size of the audience for the anime, but that's a number with no growth potential. Older show + medium with a stigma for general audiences = bad bet. They can't reach their wider viewership numbers as long as it's "stuck" in a cartoon medium. Wheel in the live action option, suddenly they can capture a large fraction of those anime soldiers + a piece of that tasty general viewership.

I've both pursued and dipped my toe in dozens of Netflix shows that seem to have been conceived purely so the company can check a few boxes off on its genre spreadsheet for the overall Netflix programming package. I think one of the worst that I've seen is probably Altered Carbon. The execution in these shows rarely matters, as evidenced by how they're structured (beefy on the bookends, emaciated inside). What matters to the programming overlords seems to be: Do most people get a sense of value with the genre bets they're making? Is a piece of your favorite genre, interest and/or what makes you so special as a person reflected in a brand form in the programming? And how likely are you to keep subscribing so long as that horizon continues to stretch on to the hereafter?

You're clearly thinking of this, which I recall first seeing on a somethingawful Photoshop Phriday or the like:
Aha! Yeah I must have gotten it confused with the tons of live-action movie parody posters you made back in the day.

Griff where is your live-action Cowboy Bebop parody poster? I couldn't find it anywhere  :judo:

Anyway, what is going on? I know we can and seemingly need to produce everything in our vortex of endless content demand, but do we really need to try every bad idea even Hollywood was smart enough not to go through with? Live action Akira is all but inevitable now, and seemingly nothing is safe.

In the wake of this news, Aaz and I have already been joking this morning about Akira the live-action Netflix series  :ganishka:

I've got a really simple solution that would please everybody: Release the original versions of these shows on Netflix and walk away. They just did that with Evangelion, and that's fine with me. I really don't need to see Stephen Dorff as Spike Spiegel.

I think it's time to blow this thing. Get everybody and their stuff together. Alright, 3, 2, 1 let's jam.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 27, 2018, 07:58:25 PM »
Oh geez, it's pulling you in because it's a good game; you guys are talking about it like an affliction, as if every one of these Super Metroid clones, including their granddaddy, don't suffer from this mid-game confusion/drag unless they hold your hand (sometimes it can last decades I hear; talk about a slow pace =).

Avg play through of Super Metroid is about 5h. For Hollow Knight it's about 20h. There's a lot to like, but it's also a bloated mess of a game by comparison.

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