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Messages - Griffith

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Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: June 07, 2018, 07:24:43 AM »
Replaying Dark Souls III from scratch and remembering why I enjoyed it so much; fluid controls, fantastic combat, thoughtfully evolved boss battles (even the tutorial boss is memorable) and a gorgeous presentation. So much more depth and vivid detail to everything (save for menus,  thankfully), and a busier, more populated world. If only they'd run more pathways between areas, because you can clearly see them and how they fit together, but they make warping the default mode of transportation. Perhaps they wanted it to feel more like Demon's Souls in how you advanced through areas. Speaking of which, it does, and further feels as much like a direct sequel to Demon's Souls as Dark, which I have right up there with DS1. I only did the High Wall of Lothric, which was fun in itself, and already have invaded, summoned and been summoned multiple times (I was afraid nobody would be on, turns out just nobody good =). I usually never invade, but gave it a try and definitely enjoyed having the hollows on my side for a change. Anyway, gotta sleep and work before the Undead Settlement tomorrow.

Video Games / Re: Bloodborne
« on: June 07, 2018, 07:06:22 AM »
arguably the best boss fight of any game Iíve ever played:

Itís Lady Maria. I wish I could fight her every time I put the game on.

You mean Maria from Nioh!? :troll:


Video Games / Re: Bloodborne
« on: June 06, 2018, 11:31:16 PM »
Get ready for From Soft's Hell Factory Simulator VI!  :ganishka:

Considering how many hours I've happily sunk into I-III and V, I'm definitely ready for IV and VI. My Remaster playthrough, and chatting about it with Aaz, has me doing another DSIII run (it may be tops in my book at this point; it's the real Dark Souls Remastered =). Anyway, I was already shopping for cheap PS4's for Bloodborne but figure I should wait until Christmas. I hope the new game is basically PS4 Pro required or I'll really regret not getting a new 500GB slim when they were $200 last year, but, ya know, college funds and shit. I may literally need to sell my blood to play Bloodborne.

Video Games / Re: Bloodborne
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:58:25 PM »
Bloodborne II alledgedly to be announced at E3... I gotta get a PS4 and play the first one still! :judo:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 356 part II
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:50:45 PM »

I love that clip, "maybe he's not fucking with us intentionally, after all", along with the ones of bitching about arbitrary time constraints at the Great Northern.  :ganishka:

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: May 31, 2018, 07:42:00 PM »
Speaking of Marvel fatigue, I felt like I'd just watched another Star Wars movie only to find myself watching this a few months apart. That awe of rushing to see it wasn't there for me personally and I would've gladly waited for it on DVD/ BR if my friends hadn't got me a ticket.

Yeah, I think this is a much bigger factor for these Star Wars movies because they're already kind of trying to turn a bunch of ensemble characters into Solo :badbone: acts, and these can't very well be "event" movies when they're literally coming out 5 months apart. Even one a year is too many, and only worked because of the novelty of a new sequential trilogy and the first EU movie, but I'm basically good after The Last Jedi. Everyone got a lot of mileage out of that buzz/conversation-wise and a little Star Wars goes a long way. They might have a big problem soon when they realize nobody gives a shit now that all the old timers are gone (Luke might need to come back to life; if so, get that money, Mark) and nobody wants to watch the "Ant-Man" of Star Wars or a bunch of new made up characters that are just cribbing the old ones anyway. As a matter of fact, the fewer Star Wars movies the better they are, which is why so many basically just stick to ANH and TESB.

Video Games / Re: Bloodborne
« on: May 31, 2018, 07:33:59 PM »
I'm doing NG+8 now with Beast Claw. Replayability of this game is really something great.

Go to hell.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: May 30, 2018, 03:57:01 PM »
It's funny that you say that. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I plan on going back and playing Mega Man 2 on Difficult (the normal Japanese mode, as you said) one day soon. I felt very unsatisfied beating it on Normal, although the final gauntlet was challenging. I think after playing Ninja Gaiden, I just wanted an easy game to play, but now I regret that decision. I'll make it right. :void:

Now that's more like it! Good man. :guts: I have unfinished business as well and need to complete what I think is the last level of the Nioh DLC.

Speaking of which, I previously mentioned that I thoughtlessly deleted a new Character in Dark Souls: Remastered that was lucky enough to get the Black Knight Sword drop:

I am rusty. For one thing I forgot the Black Knight drops were random, got the sword, but started a new character and deleted it (ugh, there's always the Drake Sword).

So, after getting the Covetous Gold Serpent ring I loaded up my dude with humanities (I don't even know if the BK drops are affected by item find or are hard set at 20% chance) and went after the Black Knight Halberd, one of my favorite PvE weapons for speed, power and ease because you can basically fully upgrade it as soon as you reach the Anor Londo giant blacksmith (it was my go-to for NG+ when my fully upgraded Claymore just stopped getting the job done). Of course, I totally struck out and was bummed, figuring I'd have to wait until later in the game to truly make a weapon to my liking. As an afterthought, I went back and killed the Black Knight outside Undead Parish... and of course he dropped the Black Knight Greatsword. Now, I never played with it or heavy weapons in DS1, but I knew it was formidable from it's reputation (same base dmg, but way better scaling and stunlock), so decided for the potential fun to make the STEEP stat investment in strength and dex (fortunately my endurance and vitality were already strong) and HOLY SHIT was it worth it! I went from doing like 50-150 damage to 500-1000. It was shocking in the best way when on a "test swing" at +4 it one shotted a Silver Knight. Now it's two-shotting Drakes and I can't imagine most normal enemies taking more than that. I am now an OP PvE god and my boss summons have started going way up, with good reason, since I can easilly knockoff a third of a bosses health bar in one hit. :carcus: I figured this would be more fun but had no idea. Looking forward to the rest of my playthrough.

Also, very pleased to say I got past the Silver Knight archers on the Anor Londo rooftops on the first try. Still got it. :badbone: To be fair though, I had the usual trials and tribulations at Sen's Fortress, especially some wacky misadventures as a phantom where I fell but survived and then tried making my way back to the others only to get completely turned around. Also lost over 10k souls and 6 humanity when I got cheaply killed from above/behind by a pursuing snake man, THEN got ganked by a gang of snake men in a scenario that would seemingly only ever happen, but always does, when you're out to retrieve your souls. They were all out of place and peculiarly active because on my previous run I had changed the course of the rolling boulders and it didn't revert back, completely changing the scenario in unexpected ways. :puck: This led to me shouting at and shutting off the game and strongly declaring, to my disinterested wife or nobody in particular, "Fuck that! Fuck this stupid game!" DAAAARK SOOOOULS!! :guts:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: May 28, 2018, 07:43:55 AM »
I beat Mega Man 2 yesterday afternoon. It was a lot of fun to play, but on Normal difficulty it was pretty easy after beating Ninja Gaiden. I'll probably go back some day and try to beat it on Difficult (the Japanese default), but for now I'm moving on.

You beat MM1 and Ninja Gaiden and then played MM2 on Normal Easy mode!? This is an injustice, sir! Well, a shame at least; I should have warned you but after doing 1 so easily I figured you'd default to the Japanese difficulty on 2 (it's easier anyway and you can do it in a few hours if you like; I have fond memories of afternoons and late nights of Mega Man 2 and beer =). Anyway, you may move on, but know you haven't actually played the all-time classic, Mega Man 2, yet. :carcus:

Dark Souls: Remastered is what I'm playing when I can get the baby down for a few minutes (or while she lays in my arms and I hold the controller up to cradle her =). Anyway, more like Dark Souls: Re-Ported! It seems almost identical to the DS Fix version of Dark Souls on PC, only worse depending how much your hardware could handle (it runs better for me and looks about the same for the most part). I'm not going to rage about this like some ("they're just doing this to sell it, maaaan! " like most games =), but I don't really see the point to it if you've played the original, except... for all the bitching, some people bought it because this version is full of players! Summon signs abound, the bells ringing constantly; this is very cool for someone like me that came to the original Souls late and basically never got to play in a "populated" world. Plus, it has match codes so you can play with your buds (I can't wait to convince Aaz and Wally to play with me and then immediately embarrass myself rolling off a ledge, "I'll help, HIIIYAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" =). I am rusty. For one thing I forgot the Black Knight drops were random, got the sword, but started a new character and deleted it (ugh, there's always the Drake Sword). But, it doesn't really matter because I'm well-versed and because I've already beat the game to death I'm taking full advantage of multiplayer this time. So, if you haven't played Dark Souls or want to play it again with multiplayer, Remastered may be worth it, but otherwise you might as well see how high you can run the old version with DS Fix, it'll probably look better.

I also played a lot of Fallout 4 while staying up with the baby. Great fun and very immersive atmosphere/world for exploration, but the RPG elements, character building/interaction, make even Fallout 3 look like Fallout 2.

Conversation choices really don't matter, it's basically like the same 4 responses repeated for every convo lazily assigned to the controller buttons(!): Good Yes, Reluctant No, Sarcastic Yes, Dickish No). They did an interesting, though simplfied, play on the factions from Fallout: New Vegas where everyone (BoS, Minutemen, Railroad, Institute) is sort of a mixed bag and only two survive the end game depending on your choices/actions, which also effects your npc companions (people figured out ways to spare 3 factions or all companions via loopholes, but much of that was patched out). By the same token, NV managed to do that more realistically and in more nuanced fashion. Like NCR had it's downsides and detractors by virtue of being a big expanding government that organically infringed on freedoms as it expanded lawfulness. Real civilization shit!  Whereas here for example the BoS are like the BoS, but genocidal fascists to non-humans and you can't talk them out of it... Yikes!

Basically everyone has the equivalent of an evil secret or something that makes them arbitrarily extreme. It's very manufactured good/evil drama (but watered down so you can defensibly make any choice), and it makes little sense if you think about it too much because you can't even broker peace among factions with aligning interests.

As for challenge the real time fps combat is supposedly much improved, but I wouldn't know because my dude was a totally broken VATS build with infinite regenerating action points. I could basically go toe to toe with a deathclaw and kill it via 1000 paper cuts. So... Yes, it's not hard. The fun part is playing everyone off each other as long as possible.

Anyway, I finished the game with the BoS (was very disappointed when they went all murdery after I alienated everyone else) and the Institute, which has Star Trek tech but a very unhealthy contempt for everyone else and their lives to go with it (I run two factions and made my own BoS with their armor, so I rule the wastes =). It's basically the same shitty bland ending either way "blah blah blah war never changes lol" with nothing about the fate of all the  settlements like 1, 2, and NV. I wish we were getting another Black Isle/Obsidion game like New Vegas but I don't think their relationship ended well (still grateful Bethesda did that, and Fallout 3 was a pretty decent big budget tribute to the broad strokes first two games).

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 356
« on: May 10, 2018, 08:35:24 PM »
More from the Troll Giant King! Though perhaps not for long unless that ominous shadow can postpone his execution? :griffnotevil:

I'm interested to see just what and how much Miura is establishing here about Griffith's current geopolitical situation in Fantasia and how it'll play into things down the line. Are all these guys just more Ganishka-like tomato cans that can't actually pose a challenge, or could they collectively become a problem because, even if completely dwarfed by it, at least they aren't literally thrall to Griffith's power (hopefully, unless that's the point of all this =). My unofficial little interpretation of events is that the God Hand have raised the stakes for a much bigger, ultimate prize while opening themselves to at least some risk or challenge, but with the odds still calculated extremely in their favor.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: May 06, 2018, 03:25:59 PM »
Really?  Many of my co workers saw the movie and simply said that they had a fun time; I guess that's the difference in discussion one would expect between an office and a warehouse environment.

Ha, my experience was closer to yours than Wally's, but I work in a large combination collegiate/service/office environment where most people would just enjoy them as event blockbusters and then I have a few specific people I can geek out on them more specifically with. I'm usually the contrarian of the bunch, but I actually liked Infinity War but my default reaction is to overscrutinize and be disappointed with everything and come around later if at all. Marvel is actually one of the few exceptions where I've been impressed initially, particularly with Civil War, because for better or worse their consistency lets me know what to expect, so if they do more or better, like, "Hey, this got real dark and personal!" I'll give them extra credit just for being better than mediocre in that format (in retrospect CW is probably a big silly mess, but I'm giving it credit for the sum of its parts, however they fit). It's the theory of disproportionatly low expectations to product decency that makes something seem even more impressive than it is, my favorite examples: Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hangover, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Edge of Tomorrow for you real nerds. Marvel has thrived off this discrepancy starting with Iron Man, and whatever higher expectations or fatigue factor there is sure hasn't affected the bottom line.

This type of superficiality isn't too surprising, since our larger culture is basically t.v, tits, and hamburgers.

Just look at our leadership. :griffnotevil:

I recently watched John Carpenter's "The Thing", and loved it.  Fantastic effects and strong performances.

A contender for the most on point comment in the thread.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: May 06, 2018, 03:47:05 AM »
Agreed, this is also why I hate sites like TV Tropes that try to distill every story beat down into a litany of derogatory phrases ("They fridged Casca for 20 years!" Fuck off.).

Ugh, yeah.

I get what you're saying here, but I'm not anti-brand, or anti-capitalism (well...). I just recognize that a "story" from a deeply entrenched franchise has some explicit boundaries, and historically, those are deal-breakers that prevent me from engaging with them. BTW, the origin for these firmly rooted feelings likely come from growing up on '90s American comics, and realizing what a circular hellhole it all was after about 5 years. And it's not just Marvel movies that frustrate me like this, it's pretty much any story where the writers seem stricken with fear to evolve the story beyond a comfortable neutral zone.

I know what you mean about parameters in place at the extremes of what they can actually do, or the lack thereof... for example, none of these big characters will have a fixed literary "life", die, and that's all we're left with them as with someone you really know. They're always going to be back in some, by default, watered down form. I guess I give benefit of the doubt, or am just naive, about the "neutral zone" in that I just judge them as lazy or un-creative rather than run by brand interests.

This is a strange tangent to open up after this lengthy discussion, but I genuinely do not see that evidenced in this movie. Take this Tony, put him alongside Iron Man 2 Tony ("I'm a rockstar superhero"), what's the difference?

Well... he wanted to settle down and have children, he's selfless now, cares about his allies, feels a deep, arguably unhealthy responsibility for them such as his surrogate father relationship with Spider-Man. I mean, he still makes dumb cocky jokes, but he's not the same guy as Iron Man 1 & 2. Also, to your point, he's gone to even further extremes in other films than this one, Iron Man 3, Ultron, Civil War, so you could argue they still sort of revert to the mean, but I'd argue that's not really fair. Same with Steve Rodgers, who, while not exactly super deep, has become more like Captain Anti-Government Authority than the 50's pro-America propaganda character. :ganishka:

Listen, if these goddamned things were just a novelty, and came out every 5 years or so, they wouldn't receive such derisive commentary from me. But they have literally swallowed the film industry whole. I'd probably be levying the same criticism against Pirates of the Caribbean 8 if those movies were so successful and so dominated our pop culture.  The difference is of course that Pirates does not resonate with me at all, but with Marvel ... we've got a history  :mozgus:

Well, there's the rub, I've got history with it as well, but to my casual enjoyment at this somehow becoming the biggest thing in entertainment after being a relatively niche interest and historically a big screen failure. For me, it's just fun and I'm happy to see something I enjoyed succeed on scales so grand I hardly consider that it might be... a bad thing!? You, on the other hand, are making it bear the weight of it's now outsized position in our popular culture, of which it is most certainly not worthy as a story. As a production project though, it's very impressive, and I think that goes for creating a shared universe and characters for 20 films and 10 years, etc. There's something laudable in that, even for purists. I just think that it's become THE RULE instead of an exception that's made it a bit much. Like I said though, I'm enjoying these on the the same level I did the 90's X-Men cartoon, and they're probably not even that deep. Where's Morph to give it stakes!? :carcus:

It's all too circular for me ó too eager to return to equilibrium. I don't mean to sound dismissive, I just don't care enough about the subject matter to explain myself beyond this. I've also skipped about 1/3 of the last 5 years worth of movies (what is that, 20?)

Geez, tell us how dismissive you really feel! Also, skipping a bunch of the movies where the characters show different sides of themselves might be affecting how you view their depth, arcs and/or lack thereof. I mean, there's not much for them to do in these big mashups if that's when you're checking in.

Side point, but in typical Walter fashion, I've devised the perfect counterpoint to my own argument: This kind of trumped-up death has to occur at this point in the franchise, because they've danced around the potential of lasting consequences for years in the movies. So it's really up to Part 2 to deliver on that. We'll see!  :void:

Yeah, and I think we'll get some, arguably, significant deaths, at least one, but again, that's by reading the contract tea leaves. The ultimate would be to just have said character(s) survive and ride off into the sunset and take the stance, "Yeah, we just don't kill our heroes, even when the actor leaves."

It is funny when you put it in that context, because it's true (What are the stakes for Snake Eyes' infiltration into Cobra Commander's HQ?!). But outside real-talk like this, that is not how these movies are perceived by the general public. I'm not sure what your office environment is like, but let me be the first to tell you, there are people that take these movies very, very seriously. So I'd bet that "serious" reviews are a response to that sentiment. My own review, it's just my honest take, for the eyes of members of this forum.

Yeah, part of what grosses me out are the fans of it that take these so dreadfully seriously that they're bitching about developments like it's trampling sacred ground ("This isn't worthy of the foundations laid by Iron Man 3 and Thor 3!"). You're obviously not coming from that perspective, and I can understand why you're so put out by the mediocrity of these when they've gone from fun and relatively successful comic movies to like how we choose to represent ourselves as a culture or something...? At least it's not Fate of the Furious. =)

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: May 06, 2018, 12:55:16 AM »
And yet in Berserk when someone dies, they stay dead.

That's why secretly nobody dies. =)

BTW, here's another phrase I hate that gets bandied about in these situations: "Plot Armor" Everyone quit pretending to be so clever or just stop reading stories if you can't help but see through them at every moment. It's like saying, "I cant take this seriously because I know it's just some guy writing it." Yes, that's what fiction is. It was probably also written for money! Speaking of which...

I don't think the same consistency is going to apply to a character like Spider-Man. And why should it? These are characters in name only. In actuality, they're brands, and they are more important now as brands than they ever have been. The actors help this little spell work on-screen, but their 2-3 year release schedule dictates their story arcs, and they aren't allowed to evolve to a point that violates that.

Oh man, I keep forgetting what an unrepentant hippie you are on this front. =) I for one welcome the comforting blanket our corporate overlords pull over our eyes! Seriously, I will point out those things, being characters and being brands,  aren't mutually exclusive, or to effective and entertaining storytelling, even if it's a turn off for you. Tony Stark has changed and evolved in his MCU tenure, and also like Captain America will likely die, but I don't think that's going to change your mind because that's not really the problem.

So don't make the threat. Work around it, go a different direction, make the stakes different, because that threat simply holds no weight within this franchise context. Which is why this movie in particular doesn't work for me, moreso than most Marvel movies, in which the above circumstances are always in place, but aren't a glaringly obvious flaw in the overall suspense of the work. Which was my whole point, and the part of my argument that you seemingly disregarded. I'm fine with the game of stakes being played in most works of fiction, because normally the threat of death isn't being lorded over us the entire movie.

I didn't mean to disregard that argument, I just didn't have the same experience because it didn't feel inappropriately lorded over or I wasn't offended by it because I kind of take that for granted from the outset, but like you said about Quill needing to care in his moment, I don't hold it against the characters and their reality for taking death seriously even though I know most of them won't actually die.

I think Berserk is a particularly terrible comparison for this.

Oh, they can't even compare, but I'm not comparing the quality of the works or even the works themselves but conventions therein. Conventions which you're seemingly hyper aware of in these Marvel stories but give no thought to in Berserk's own monster "Marvel" fights. That's probably because Berserk is so much better that it's less apparent and not annoyingly so, but we acknowledge this is a monster fighting action story where they'll regularly do that and not get eaten, yet I think you're also biased against these Marvel movies and pick them apart on a higher level than they even deserve considering (I haven't even seen them all =). I'm not trying to inoculate them from criticism either, but like I said it's pretty high level criticism for something one doesn't even hold in that high regard. It's almost doing it a service, elevating with deep criticism; just say it's crap and I'd get it.

Miura has the authority to make substantial changes like that, and he's done so on numerous occasions. Marvel's screenwriter de jour doesn't, and they never will, so they shouldn't be playing with those cards if they want us to take any of this seriously and not just groan. I feel like you must know this, because I've explained my distaste for superhero comics before, and why I fell in love with Berserk.

It's a fair point, especially the difference between western comics in general and a work like Berserk, which we all hold in highest regard if it's not our favorite piece of literature, but I'd still point out that, on their own level, the Marvel characters have evolved and changed and had stakes beyond death in all the ways you cited, particularly their well being and their relationships to society and each other, but your innate reaction is to groan and disregard it. I don't know what it's supposed to do differently for what it is.

Also, I didn't know that "stakes" had become a buzzword. I honestly don't read movie review sites when it comes to Marvel movies, so I don't know what the zeitgeist is around these things beyond this forum. So when I use the word stakes, I'm using it genuinely, and for its original definition.

Yeah, I've seen innumerable blog posts, reviews, comments etc selectively complaining about STAKES in regards to these movies the last few years (relative to... IDK, real life? Bull fights maybe =). It's the go-to thing for genuine critics and even fans alike to lazily throw out there and as I said I HATE it at this point and think it's an odd sort of laughably high minded analysis of light entertainment that amounts to live action cartoons (but where are THE STAKES!?). Like, if they're too good for these silly movies, no problem, just say so, but spare us the deeply considered deconstruction then. Glad to know you're coming at it from something of an outside place though. Seriously, if you hadn't used that word I'd have just replied apologetically about your experience and with equal befuddlement about the use of the Hulk... I have a theory about that though.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: May 05, 2018, 10:12:05 PM »
I don't disagree with most specific complaints Walter makes, except I have absolutely come to hate the buzzword "stakes" in regards to these movies and find it to have become a meaningless catch-all for people just not liking them, when, as Walter points out, pretty much all movies and stories have about the same problem with stakes, which has not-so-coincidentally become the talking point du jour in pop storytelling critique, particularly these movies, the last few years. As a matter of fact, I'd argue most stories don't have "real stakes" by these vague definitions, or ANY stories by literal definitions (they'ere not real =), because unless it's a really effective drama where that's specifically the point, and usually no less manipulative than this movie, nobody cares about most characters living or dying in a standalone story or short series because they're mostly there to ultimately die anyway and disposable. In a vacuum it's actually a weird point to make that it's bad these characters aren't just disposable cannon fodder (not that they're of great depth either, but they do have longer histories than most, and have more stories to tell). Let me use an exercise appropriate to this board: Has Berserk any stakes anymore? Has it had stakes since volume 13 (did it then when we knew the outcome)? When Guts and co. were battling the Sea God, were you afraid he or any of the main cast of heroes would die? Were you disappointed, annoyed or even angry when they didn't and yet the characters took this exercise seriously!? How about the numerous other similarly "stakeless" battles they regularly engage in? This isn't a criticism of Berserk to defend these dopey bubblegum Marvel movies, it's not a criticism at all, it's just to point out that this is how most stories, especially action stories, work most of the time. You don't have to like it, or all of them, we can pick and choose, based on other objective or subjective qualities, but that's what it is, preference (maybe you just don't think these are otherwise much better than Transformers). It's not some great objective philosophical defect, even capitalism (since that's the other lazy, or crazy, talking point against these movies), specific or intrinsic to these stories. These are just light, fun, ultimately dumb, though relatively impressively made movies (show me their betters in the genre) which when kept in perspective shouldn't make you burst into tears with heartfelt emotion or roll your eyes in annoyance (though the Russos continue to make things like the Mad Titan as mundane as a mall in Atlanta, for better or worse =). They shouldn't be taken that seriously. To paraphrase an old French phrase for those that have some existential problem with these movies: Let them eat popcorn. :griffnotevil:


Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: April 30, 2018, 06:56:48 PM »
I think by dint of that alone, it's better than the Last Jedi. It actually paid off plot threads, instead of going "oh, oh these plot threads? Oh those don't matter."

Not to relitigate that here but that's kind of a popular misnomer. If anything it went to some pains to meticulously tie off previous plot threads in favor of threads and themes of its own. People just didn't like that, obviously; but it wasn't some great loss ("WHO IS SNOKE/REY!?") or storytelling malpractice, especially by comparison to the pretty simple, and recycled, themes of its predecessor. I'm more salty about the overall treatment of Luke Skywalker, which, while fine for a one off story, shouldn't have been a definitive take on the character in his big screen return.

One thing I dislike about the MCU movies in general, and already touched on by Griffith, is how uncreative and inconsequential their supernatural fights are, for example, there are clear distinctions of power between Berserk characters, Guts is physically stronger than Serpico, Zodd is physically stronger than Guts, Grunbeld is Physically stronger than Zodd, physical weapons cannot hurt the God Hand, Apsotles can't be harmed with superficial wounds. But with characters like Thor, and Hulk, I have no idea what their boundaries are, Thor can be knocked around by Thanos, but also tolerate the raw power of a star, Thanos can tolerate the blows of the Hulk, but can be stabbed by Gamora, Dr Strange, a character who was horribly mangled in a car wreck, survives Thanos with a few cuts and bruises, it's very confusing. That being said I enjoyed Infinity War, it was very effective culmination of what they built up to so far.

Yeah, I don't get what the point of showing the disparity in power with Hulk and Thanos was because it wasn't a factor anymore and just threw off the "scale" for everyone else. Same with Hulk being unwilling to come out because it's not like he'd have made the difference, so why not have him SMASH lesser baddies? Thor is probably the best example though as you point out; sometimes he just seems like a really strong person, like a notch above Captain America (who himself can seem wildly overpowered), other times he's stronger than Hulk or seemingly anybody or anything. *shrugs*

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: April 29, 2018, 12:53:38 PM »
Strange had those 14 million scenarios.  Quill, Iím sure is part of that.  Sometimes the bad guy just gets it done, for the immediate future.

Yeah, but if that Gauntlet grab was futile, why'd they bother? Plus, it pretty much had worked until they let Star-Lord screw it up. Strange should have seen two possible scenarios, or alternatively that WAS the one scenario to prevent the snap and they (Quill, unforgivably) blew it, so Strange moved on to whatever the best alternative was to mitigate the damage, which clearly involves Tony.

I get itís all silly.  Movies tend to have that going for them. Damn it though, this scale?  Rarely have I seen this scale of death pulled off poetically or straight to dvd.

Er, well, I'd say it's closer to DVD, so to speak. I mean, it's not Schindler's List or anything. =) I'm not even sure it's actually a better film than The Last Jedi, but certainly more fun and delivers to expectations. It's a great popcorn flick but, even for this genre, it's about a big purple guy killing the universe by snapping his fingers for, uh, reasons. I'd almost rather he was courting Death (and like Ultron/Pym, they introduced her equivalent in an adjacent movie!) like the original Avengers movie alluded to in Thanos' brilliant introduction.

Mine's a bit different: On Titan, when Thanos was restrained, instead of trying to pull the gauntlet off they could have tried to cut off his arm. At the end of the movie Thor could most certainly have done it as well, if he had gone for it instead of going for the kill (payback for Eitri's hands, maybe?) It's not like these superheroes are strangers to killing or maiming their opponents.

The rules are a bit hazy, as Thanos is seemingly invincible to start with, effortlessly beating the Hulk(!), yet a crew of relatively much weaker characters throughout can confidently trade blows with and even get the best of him as his power grows? So, whatever the possibilities and opportunities were to maim and kill him, I was more bothered that they had him specifically beat and dead to rights there and Star-Lord basically saved him because he was so mad at him or whatever he couldn't wait another 10 seconds to actually kill him. It's also another unconvincingly overdramatic romantic angle too; don't these guys ever just have normal dating relationships? I guess Banner and Widow come the closet because they sucked. Anyway, I know I'm supposed to feel that letdown by design, but it really left bad taste in my mouth because of how stupid it was and made everyone by association. Tony should have kicked his ass... and come to think of it what were they doing when Thanos went to Earth? I guess just waiting around, marooned on Titan, to see if they died or not.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: April 29, 2018, 04:54:32 AM »
I didn't think Infinity War was "amazing" but by that token was mostly impressed with how normal it felt. Even the first Avengers movie was pretty unwieldy, but this was practically brisk. It seemed much more like a straightforward and coherent movie than it had any business being, and though certain parts inevitably felt like they could have had more attention (Titan) or got short shrift (the Black Order) time was obviously at a premium (they could have totally cut the Vision/Scarlet Witch stuff for all I cared) and I mostly liked the motivations, that it was largely self-contained, and had an ending from which to reset from rather than feeling like the first half of a four hour movie. The conclusion was almost poetic for how silly and grandiose it all is, but I'm sure some will disagree.

But dude, how is Quill possibly ever redeemed for this? That was so lame. =(

Assuming Clint wasn't one of the unlucky ones the original 6 Avengers are presumably still alive. =)

But Scarlet Witch is not... though at least she did the right thing, it just didn't matter, like Thor. Again, wondering how Star-Lord comes back from this or if we're all just supposed to pretend it didn't happen. Also I felt like Spidey and Tony could have used more help or someone could have at least restrained Quill. This is the nitpick I choose to die on. 

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 356
« on: April 28, 2018, 07:45:49 AM »
we haven't really talked about what that thing in the bushes might be. There's quite a large variety of beings to choose from, so what could it be?


Probably something smaller and more specific to the giants, but this was my heart's first desire when you mentioned something ominous hiding in the bushes... Other than maybe Skull Knight. :ganishka: :SK: "Next time, Femto! NEEEEXT TIIIIME!!"

It would be interesting if the Dragons in Berserk were as intelligent and powerful as in other sources or if they're more like beasts or too small in numbers to matter. Otherwise, they could serve as serious opposition to Griffith and perhaps some are even aligned, or at least civil, with Elves. Imagine Guts riding a dragon into battle! :guts:

Fun to think about, and another way to interpret this segment: the opposition to Griffith isn't just Guts and some inhabitants of a far away island, and seemingly the only way to counter his overwhelmingly powerful forces would be with equally powerful opposition. At least I hope so because I prefer all out fantastical warfare to exploiting an Achilles' heel, and why not both? :carcus:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: April 24, 2018, 03:39:47 PM »
I guess some works of art are just too good to be appreciated by philistines like you guys. :iva:

I'm not actually, and I don't see what being Filipino has to with it anyway! :puck:

P.S. Oh and as for me, I'm playing Rise of the Tomb Raider these days (after letting it rot in my backlog for god knows how long), and I'm handily beating Griffith's score in every level. :badbone:

That shouldn't be hard, unless score is kept by seeing how much ammo one can waste in each section and still be fine. =)

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 356
« on: April 24, 2018, 01:45:22 PM »
Lol :troll:

I dig the giant king there, I just wish we were meeting under different circumstances. :guts:

Video Games / Re: Favorite Video Games (Series)
« on: April 23, 2018, 08:48:32 PM »
No game has ever been more deserving of a remake.

Zelda 1? Or would you count every Zelda made since? =)

I'm sort of going through a list like Rhombaad's but I dunno if I can justify spending dozens of hours with Charles Martinet at this point in my life.

If I can literally spend dozens of hours watching all of Twin Peaks you can spend a few, it doesn't take that long to collect the requisite stars, on the grandfather of modern gaming. You might like it more than you'd think, it's got this unpolished, simulator quality to it that kind of adds some weird weight and realism you don't get in more streamlined, hand-holdy, Nintendo products (like GTA or BotW the funnest part of the game is fucking around with it). Like how Texas Chainsaw Massacre is shot like some sort of high school science film and that somehow enhances it.

Mario 64 invented modern 3D platforming. Hugely influential game and still one of the best platformers of all time.

Well, it's like the tech demo for it, the simultaneously co-developed Zelda 64 is the finished product we're all still playing today in some form or another! :guts:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: April 23, 2018, 08:09:20 PM »
Pfff, what are you talking about. It's easily one of the best games in the series. A bold, visionary title that, among other things, laid the groundwork for Symphony of the Night.

New sub-topic: What's the worst game you think is amazing/significant? :troll:

Uhhh... MGS2 for me maybe? I'll have to think on this more, because aside from the alienating story elements it's a pretty objectively impressive game.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: April 17, 2018, 05:17:24 PM »
I finished Sonic 3 & Knuckles over the weekend. I'm so glad I decided to play the original Sonic games. I had a great time with every one, but I think Sonic 3 & Knuckles was my favorite. The graphics were amazing for their time, the boss fights were enjoyable and there was a lot of extra stuff to do.

Glad to hear it, great games, and once again... what happened, Sega?

I just beat Mega Man. I didn't use the pause trick on Yellow Devil, either. :badbone: Much like Castlevania, I'm so glad I gave this series another try. I had such a great time playing this game. I can't wait to play the second and third one, which I've heard are the best of the NES games.

Damn, beat it before I could even warn you! Did you use save states though or play it on something other than a regulation NES machine, Billy Mitchell!? In any case, that's impressive because the original Yellow Devil is a pain in the ass, as is the rest of MM1. MM2 and 3 are the class of the series, but they may seem a little easy to you after that one.

I finished Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare the other night and was bit sad it was over. Weird DLC, basically a new game, and while I wasn't in love with the concept or the mechanics of clearing towns and graveyards it did give a second life to an already enjoyable game. Plus, despite technically being a non-canon alternate timeline deal it was strangely relevant, self-aware and cathartic to the main game's story and themes to the point it actually adds to and deepins the overall experience despite itself. One can't help but consider it as a spiritual continuation commenting on the preceding story, a figurative and perhaps literal afterlife. Also, I loved the payoff at the end, it was kind of what I was hoping for to start the game but they way they did it was even better. Anyway, great game(s)!

Oh, and since I'm still on that Rockstar kick I fired up GTAV again and am making some incremental progress... but it's a little bit more of a chore than some transportive experience.

Video Games / Re: Favorite Video Games (Series)
« on: April 17, 2018, 05:06:24 PM »
Voted for Metal Gear because I like all of them except for 4, but I sort of like that 4 exists because it's insane. MGS 1-3 are my favorite games I think. Also voted for Mega Man, played most of them and they range from alright to great, the only one that was total shit was X7. I loved the Zero series when I was in high school.

I enjoy Mario but only played up to the 16 bit ones.

Hey, those are pretty good though! And not even Mario 64? You should get on your own list of missed classics like Rhombaad.

Almost voted for Souls but the truth is, even though Demon's and Dark 1 are two of my favorite games, I felt the others were just okayish.
Votes for Souls, though I did not find 3 enjoyable at all - 1 and 2 were just that good, though.

Interesting takes on Souls, which continues to dominate despite it being like the same game made over and over again. YMMV.

I like that you put Sims in there, I might have voted for that one if not Souls.

Well, you still can, you get 5 votes.

Does that mean it qualifies to be in the poll?   :carcus:

Nope... well, maybe. =)

I'd definitely get any new game in the series, so I for sure hope you're right. I think your idea would be the best for me as well (something in the same vein as Mega Man 9 and 10, right?)

Yep! As I've said, I loved that, and I feel like we reached an interesting plateau with gaming where, while graphics are still improving all the time, the advances were becoming more subtle and refined to the point I could play Red Dead now and it doesn't feel too far removed from GTAV, plus indie titles being more creative than technically impressive with their graphical choices. Basically graphics reached a place where, when not going for as photo-realistic as technically possible, one could make them stylized in semi-timeless fashion without breaking the bank. Plus, even going back to 8-bit and Mega-Man as a prime example, good graphics can simply come down to art design, no matter technical limitations you're working with. We just more readily recognize and acknowledge that now.

Final Fantasy 6 is still probably my favorite game. I can't escape it. I thought it was just nostalgia, but I replayed it around the time my son was born (5 years ago), and reaffirmed my opinion of it. It's got almost everything I want in a game. As for least favorite? I don't have many positive things to say about the games after 6, but 10 was the one I had the LEAST amount of fun with.

I'd probably feel the same if I replayed VI, though I doubt I'd feel the same way about FFVII. Talk about soiled ground.

With Souls it's pretty simple: I think Dark Souls did everything I needed that franchise to do for me, and the experiences I've had with the other games fell short. As for DS3 specifically, I did play about 20h of it, but started getting diminishing returns the further I got, and I just didn't want to ruin it by going further than my gut wanted me to. I played Dark Souls 1 for more than 500 hours. It was a huge, amazing experience. But I've kind of had my fill, and From Soft's apparent lack of desire to innovate on that front has just left me feeling even worse about the franchise.

Ouch, but I can't really blame you because it sounds like your particular experience with the first Dark Souls is impossible to replicate; you already got more than your fill as you said, and combined with the letdown of DS2 I can see how you're pretty much over it and III is even more derivative of the original Dark Souls than DS2. I was fortunate that by the time I got into Dark Souls in earnest there was already so much material available I *only* put 200 hours into the original and was still hungry for the rest (plus I started banging my head against the wall with 2, so it only kept getting better after that =). You and your gut, though, "Well, I've played this game to 90% completion... but I think they've lost me. *Jerry Seinfeld voice* I choose not to play!" :guts:

This is funny because I'm pretty sure we had this same conversation when I was convincing you to play the game the first time, 13 years ago  :badbone: I mean, the game kind of talks for itself. It's an incredible experience that feels like a storybook coming to life. The feeling of seeing the winged guy soar towards you, and then you hop on his wing and the music kicks in? No game captures quite that experience. It's one of those moments that's "bigger than games" for me.

Yeah, that game gave a sense of genuine awe throughout, not just moments, the whole world. Though the flyers are still special even among the rest, jumping and hanging on that bird is probably one of the grandest moments one can experience in any media, and the flying sand worn is similar when you realize you gotta ride up to and jump on it from your horse! Did I take that much convincing though? I can't remember, but it was pretty damn prominent at the time. I think you had to talk me more into MGS3.

Naaaah, even the worst of the Zelda games (cd-i doesn't count!) are better and more ambitious than trash like FFII-III. The only difference is that without BotW, with Skyward Sword being the "freshest" big Zelda experience, I might have to consider whether it fits on my list or not, instead of immediately conclude.  :guts:

Well, that's what I mean, it can be pretty fluid, and before BotW all we did was bitch about the latest Zelda(s) being too derivative, repetitive, and easy while still sort of acknowledging they're among the best games out there, "But I expected more!" :ganishka:

Anyway, Infinite Space is filled with little problems like that (the slow/meandering pacing in the beginning, melee feeling a bit like shitty paper-rock-scissors, the tutorial being buried, most planets involve just 2 locations: a bar and a spaceport). And none of those things matter a damn in consideration of the full package it provides. Truly, it's the story and the characters that utterly floored me in that game. It's been about 8 years since I first played it, and I still think about it all the time. It does things with a game story that I've never seen others pull off (even if done similarly, not as well), including things I've always WANTED games to do. Layer all of that on top of a decent sci-fi story that never really slows down once it gets started, it's a classic.

I'm proud and somewhat amazed I was about to get into and through Infinite Space on your and Aaz's recommendation because it is so incredibly long, involved and intricate when you get into the nitty gritty (being on DS helped since I could play in bed at night). I even convinced my dad to play it through. Great game on many levels.

Video Games / Re: Favorite Video Games (Series)
« on: April 13, 2018, 06:19:19 PM »
Haha, then it's more like genres, which makes it much murkier indeed. :ganishka:

Yes and no, more than series but less than genres, and yes ever murkier. :guts:

BUT, if you properly follow proper protocols everything will be fine! :magni:

Oh, a wise guy, eh? :carcus:

That's me, a wise guy, not a wise man. :griffnotevil:

Though I guess if you were going to put a gun to my head, then I would indeed say Souls is my favorite, if only because From Software is the only company that I still respect and hasn't done anything to sour my opinion of them.

They'd best just quit now while they're ahead then. :ganishka:

I may have skipped Dark Souls 3, but that was more out of principle than anything. At the time, I was fearing the series would become a yearly thing, and didn't care for where the story was going with DkS2, but by all accounts, it still looks like a solid game

It's actually way better than that and arguably the best of the subgenre, and I think you took it wrong with the incomplete information you had (with it looking like a yearly Souls assembly line). So far it's actually lived up to and plays like what it was billed as, a swan song for the series and Miyazaki (who wasn't really part of the admittedly subpar DSII, but there's the distinction that make's DSIII special; the auteur has crafted one last one). When you consider it like his final love letter to the whole thing going back to Demon's Souls it's much more appealing than when it was just the latest hyped up Souls game. It's crazy to me how many I know here, who purportedly love Souls so much, missed this because Dark Souls II sucked or something. It's like all the people that punished, and deprived themselves, MGS3 for MGS2's crimes! Tragic.

Grand Theft Auto would probably be a distant second, if only because there's a tiny chance Rockstar will see the light, throw everything related to GTA Online in the trash (or at least distance it from the main product), and make something awesome out of Grand Theft Auto VI. I doubt it, of course, but that's a hell of a lot more than Bethesda, Sonic Team, Square-Enix, and especially Konami have going for them.

You remind me of a line Chuck Klosterman had about Metallica fans simply enjoying feeling betrayed. =) Anyway, yeah, I think there's zero chance that Rockstar will change their model given all the money it makes off it. I feel like Rockstar has crossed over like Madden or Call of Duty territory where casual and even non-gamers will play their games and spend cash doing it. I mean, if you were trying to make money, would you rather court all those people, or us?

Love me some Zelda, Metroid, and Donkey Kong Country.

What do you think of the DKC Returns games? I could never totally get with them because of how they flow differently, and counter-intuitively, than the originals.

Yeah this is tough for me to do. Because my favorite games of all time either aren't in series (Infinite Space, Shadow of the Colossus), or are parts of series that are so mired in other shit that it's hard for me to vote for the whole group of them (Final Fantasy, Front Mission).

Constrained like that, I guess I'd go with Zelda and Mario mostly due to their overall quality over time.

Well, if my back forth with Aaz reveals anything, it's that you're only as constrained as you feel here (maaaaan =), and you just described some of you're preferred titles and the series they inhabit, even if it's not so cleanly divided. Which Final Fantasy's are your favorite? Which turn you off so much you feel you have to exclude it (I'm in the same boat)? You could also say you like the Team Ico, or Fumito Ueda's, games, even if Colossus towers above the rest, or a disclaimer why you don't actually feel that way about the rest, etc.

Actually, my biggest question is has Souls fallen off so much for you it's not even among your favorite individual titles anymore (play DS3 :iva:), or does it simply go without saying? I actually feel that way with SotC these days. I loved it like everyone else, played it on (your) PS2 and more on my PC in HD, but without compelling reason or opportunity to go back to it my feelings for it haven't endured and yet it's still so popularly revered, "games as art!" that it's almost like I look at it with suspicion now, if that makes sense? Like my response to your listing it was like, "really?," except I shouldn't be surprised as it's been one of my favorite games too (I also expect you to have played way more than me). I guess I just need to replay it in order to know again for myself.

On this note, I think that's what hurts Final Fantasy: Everyone has at least one that meant A LOT to them at one time, but probably not anymore, and if one listed it as one of their favorite games it's probably more because of how much they know it meant to them than it does now. BTW, where would Zelda be in this thread without BotW? Probably closer to that Final Fantasy zone.

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