Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About Gormongous

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  1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

    Yeah, same. If it's all of the depth and texture of the first game(s) and none of the jank, it'll be one of those games that I might play for years.
  2. Episode 402: Battle Brothers

    Googling "Germany" and "refugees" gets forty-one million hits (and it tries to autocomplete it to "crisis," too). Either the devs are making a statement, or they are terminally oblivious.
  3. I know that Roddenberry is important for the original series, but his influence on TNG seems so terrible. He apparently floated that the twenty-fourth century would have no spaceships, just people teleporting across the galaxy, and would see the rise of a one-galaxy government. Like, kudos for your optimism but that's bad TV.
  4. Man, I should rewatch Voyager... It's also interesting because fidelity when apart assumes that abstinence is a possibility, but pon farr literally kills Vulcans who do not mate. Sadly, Star Trek prides itself on being to staid (although, now, probably more on being too grim and gritty) to explore that fully.
  5. Yeah, "non-emotive" would be a better way to describe it, but it's still really incredible to watch, say, "Far Beyond the Stars" and see how all of Auberjonois' character work is really subtle and pointed, not just gruff, awkward, antisocial Odo.
  6. Come to think of it, Star Trek has a nasty habit of trapping its most expressive actors behind emotionless characters: Leonard Nimoy, Brent Spiner, Rene Auberjonois, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan...
  7. Jeri Ryan truly is a treasure, and it's interesting to watch Voyager's writing gradually go from giving her lead roles in episodes because she's the sexy eye-candy to giving her lead roles in episodes because she's got chops. I still think that Bob Picardo is the most talented actor on the show (although I wonder if that's partly an accident of the writing, since many interviews with cast members mention Tim Russ as incredibly brave and capable as an actor) but man, they bungle a fair bit of that. All the rigmarole about choosing a name for himself and then they never use it, for instance...
  8. I think the "favorite son" dynamic that badly sidelined some characters (mostly Kim and Chakotay) and gave others (mostly Seven and the Doctor) lavish attention was created, as has been said before, by Berman's hands-off role as lead executive producer and the turnover of showrunners every couple of seasons. Piller ran the first two seasons of TNG, DS9, and VOY, and his focus on monsters or technobabble of the week means that Janeway, Tuvok, Paris, and B'Elanna get all the development. Jeri Taylor takes over and suddenly it's the Maquis crew with all the airtime (except Chakotay, because who knows what to do with him). And we all know about Brannon Braga and his sexy robot girlfriend Seven of Nine...
  9. It became enough of a thing among the producers that they basically decided to keep him an ensign forever, except Timeless where they make him an admiral as a joke. Actually, that's a good way of explaining where Voyager went wrong with its characterization... An ambitious and talented ensign whose career is derailed by the extraordinary circumstances of his ship becomes a running joke rather than a chance for character development.
  10. Yeah, I thought we already had "grittier" Star Trek TV with Enterprise and that was the worst of the lot, but maybe narrative grit is like real-life grit and you can't get rid of it once you've added it in.
  11. I believe that the Borg were introduced because the producers for TNG realized that they had mishandled the Romulans. All the interesting features of the Romulans were predicated on their mysteriousness, their potential for violent action, and their unpredictability, so they'd become just another alien race if they ever came into open conflict with the Federation. The Borg were designed to be the antidote to that dynamic: all of their features were predicated on their belligerence, so they couldn't be "ruined" like the Romulans could. Now, the Borg getting ruined in other ways...
  12. Episode 402: Battle Brothers

    This is really good, but I think the other half of strategy gamers projecting video game "balance" back onto the real world is strategy gamers projecting an often wrongheaded understanding of real-world "realism" or "accuracy" onto a video game. It's honestly stunning to me how many games try to "realistically" reflect the challenges and struggles of women in pre-modern times with sweeping penalties to their stats, something that the developers of Battle Brothers have floated for if and when they add female mercs to their game, and The Witcher 3 is not even remotely the worst offender when it comes to replacing the lands of brown people with impassable mountains or deserts and brown people themselves with pointy-eared or exceptionally short white people, in order to make an "accurately" all-white fantasy Europe. It almost seems as though the average "apolitical" strategy gamer believes in "balance" when it comes to political and economic systems and "realism" when it comes to social and cultural systems.
  13. Masculinity

    We're not trying to dogpile on you, it really is difficult to track how this thing is going when most of it's through Twitter and Twitter's not always interested in letting you find that tweet you saw once. The way I see it, a lot of people both close to and distant from Nick said that he has a pattern of inappropriate and unwelcome sexual behavior towards women, these statements were confirmed by more people close to Nick, and, when colleagues of his like Ben Pack and Matt Kessler found out, they showed no difficulty in believing them, which is fairly damning for me on its own. No one's been like, "Come on, guys. You all know Nick! He's just really forward," and that rings true with me. I have had friends, not now but in the past, about whom I've never heard anything particularly bad, but if someone ever did say that they'd spun a bunch of bullshit to get them in bed or they'd harassed them in private for nudes or whatever, I'd believe it in a second, because "creepy" is so often just the tip of the iceberg. I don't think people get fired instantly for consistent, shitty behavior if there isn't have physical, well-documented proof like that Google anti-diversity memo. It's usually collecting testimony, often from people who don't really want to say anything, and mediating a solution with the accused and with the victims who do want to talk. I also suspect, from my time at universities and corporations, that the investigation has to take a long time and be largely silent to outside perspectives, to avoid liability issues. I don't think there's any situation whatsoever, barring a published manifesto, where Polygon pushes him out the door right away and proclaims fault.
  14. Masculinity

    A lot of the people who tweeted about it, like Gita Jackson, know Nick a whole lot better than any of us do, though. If she says it's harassment or abuse, I really don't see why she would be wrong, especially since her tweets that "everyone knows but no one says anything" got retweeted so much by other people who know and work with Nick. Like... I don't know, I'm having difficulties. Would detailed accounts actually help Nick's situation, if that's your concern here, or would they just turn a likely career-ending scandal into a definite career-ending scandal?
  15. SPECTRE (new James Bond movie)

    Believe me, I was in a room with six other people who'd watched every other Bond movie over the course of a month, three months ago and it was resoundingly the least favorite of everyone there, beating out perennially hated installments like License to Kill and Octopussy. Die Another Day is a grueling two and a quarter hours long, most of the action is an endless succession of chases and escapes that make it feel like Bond just gets caught so that he has an excuse to drive a car around an exploding ice palace, it's got the gross dynamic of a Korean guy getting surgery to look white, the villain's plan is another hyper-destructive satellite, Brosnan is visibly bored the entire time and never makes a connection with Halle Berry or anything else... The only part that anyone enjoyed was the fencing scene near the beginning and even that lasts a full minute longer than it has to because Tamahori's directing is on autopilot. Moore partaking in a skiing or speedboat chase, en route to scenes that aren't more chases and escapes, this is not.