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Everything posted by malkav11

  1. I agree that our gangbanging suspect is clearly a setup, not least because it's a tip from Teague Dixon, aka the world's least investigatory investigator and who's clearly way more bent than Velcoro. Also it didn't look like it was the same watch as in the photo to me - and I can believe Woodrugh would make that mistake. After all, he's a highway cop, not an investigator. I think you're overestimating the role that Vinci PD, as an organization, plays in affairs, though. They seem generally corrupt to me, not specifically involved in this particular conspiracy, and Velcoro's involvement with Semyon appears to be strictly on a personal basis. So my thinking is that Dixon, knowingly or otherwise, has been run by whoever's behind Caspere's murder, perhaps at a remove. He was given the target and a few plausible corroborating details, and had a chance to make a career-enhancing bust. He would not have known what they were walking into. Also, while I don't rule out the idea that the gangbangers were tipped off, I suspect that may have just been bad luck. Arresting everyone there and shutting the place down would undoubtedly serve the same interests. I see the goal as having been to simultaneously provide a viable suspect for Caspere's murder and to take out the drug lab, because I see the murders etc as being about someone else moving in on control of Vinci's rackets (remember, the mayor says there's another party that's been talking to him about taking over from Frank) and/or personally destroying Frank. Though at the moment I'm not sure how these "parties" that everyone keeps talking about play in, and it seems like they must be an element of the picture.
  2. Other podcasts

    I've been enjoying Roleplaying Public Radio's Actual Play feed ( which posts two fairly lengthy episodes a week - they have two ongoing campaigns at any given time (though they're not posted in real time) and then intersperse those with one shots over one to three sessions. If you specifically need D&D, they've done one 4E campaign in a custom setting, one partial 4E Dark Sun campaign, one Iron Heroes campaign (which is a D&D derivative) with a mechanic stolen from Reign, and a couple of D&D or D&D-esque one shots, but a lot more of their time is spent with other systems nowadays. Which is just as well, I think they're a lot more entertaining in other games because it's not so ridiculously dominated by combat. Not that D&D's combat isn't fun, but it's not super exciting as an passive listening experience, in my book. Warning: if you do go back to that 4E campaign, they used to have a couple of players who got pretty majorly off color at times. One (Cody), I found pretty entertaining myself. The other (Mike) got weird enough they parted ways. On the other hand, I don't think they ever got as rape jokey as early Nerd Poker, if indeed they went there at all (which I can't recall), so YMMV. Even Cody's been gone quite a while at this point (too busy) and he got a little more restrained as they went on. And there's a player with a verbal tic that's kind of tough to take early on. It gets a lot better as the years roll on, though, and he produces some of the most memorable moments.
  3. I don't know about that. It seems to me that the police investigation has made some real progress and turned up some interesting information and hints - for example, they found the car that was used to dump the body and then it was torched by a mysterious masked figure that they might have been able to catch if they'd been a bit closer and a bit more fit. Ray found the weird soundproofed house with the camera, like they'd been shooting some sort of freaky videos or something. It's not anything conclusive or definitive, but it fills out details and moves the story forward in a way that I haven't felt like anything Semyon is doing does, short, I suppose, of passing on the pimp's info to Ray in episode 2.
  4. I don't find Woodrue's struggles with his sexuality nearly as weird as Bezzerides's freaking out over her sister doing webcam shows, especially living as she does in the heart of the porn industry. Sure, things have come a long way, but homophobia is still very much alive and well and between the hints at his mom abusing him and the still very macho, homophobic culture of military forces (perhaps especially PMCs, as he sounds to have been employed by one of those) Woodrue seems like a prime candidate for closet-related struggles. It's not like the show presents homosexuality as something everyone else also struggles with - his military buddy and the prostitutes he interviews certainly don't seem bothered by it. Of course, it seems like Bezzerides has some definite issues around sex herself. I certainly wasn't expecting the late stage firefight, and I'm not sure I liked it, but the thing that struck me is something no one else has mentioned, so I may be imagining things. Specifically, I could swear that Teague Dixon (W. Earl Brown's character) is shot in the head fairly early in the battle - big ol splot of blood, etc. Not definitively dead, but certainly wounded in a noticeable fashion that would persist, and probably dead. Then at the end of the fight the last guy comes out with a hostage who sure the fuck looks like Teague Dixon to me, albeit minus a bit of costuming, and is definitely not sporting any sort of head wound. And that hostage gets killed too. Did they really kill Dixon twice, or was one of the two a different character that just looks similar?
  5. According to IMDB, there's something called "The Locusts" where he plays an "enigmatic drifter" and "becomes involved in a deadly yet erotic love triangle." Also starring Ashley Judd, Paul Rudd, and Jeremy Davies. I've never heard of it but now I kind of think I might need to see it.
  6. I have two issues with Frank. Issue one is that Vince Vaughn is all wrong for the role of Frank Semyon as he has been written. I am willing to consider that he might someday fit in some gangster role in something, but this sort of quiet, restrained gangster trying to make good, with the flowery dialogue and the menace that's supposed to be lurking underneath the surface? Nope. I'm not 100% sure the dialogue here is worthwhile to begin with, but Vaughn can't deliver it. Maybe someone like Ian McShane or Walton Goggins could (not that I'm sure either is precisely right for the part either or would have been available). I dunno. That's not what we got. Issue two is that although it seems like Frank may well be the ultimate target of whoever or whatever's behind the Caspere case, his storyline to date seems to be pretty much spinning its wheels. I don't know about you guys, but I pretty much got that he had been moving out of the gangster business with this land deal and Caspere's murder has pushed him back into it. I got that in episode 2, in point of fact. But that's been pretty much what every subsequent scene with him has had to contribute: yup, he's going gangster again. Yup, his former associates aren't so sure they respect him anymore or thought they were done with him. And yes, everything else in his life is falling apart too. Got it.
  7. I can totally see why people feel like Gone Girl is problematic, and I would agree in the sense that it presents a character that is villainous in a bunch of unrealistic ways that some people have internalized as actually real problems and it could act to reinforce those ideas. But I do feel like it should be fair game to tell the sorts of stories that it tells, I think the movie's quite well made (I'm a big Fincher fan - I even like Alien 3) and the conclusion is really fucking chilling anyway. On Ex Machina
  8. Comics Extravaganza - Pow Bang Smash!

    Yeah. Grant Morrison literally practices magic, as in ritual spellcasting, and is brilliant. It's just that Moore used to be crazy but brilliant and now maybe he's just crazy.
  9. Comics Extravaganza - Pow Bang Smash!

    Note that the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen stuff does not include the brilliant first two volumes, only volume 3 and the Nemo spinoff titles. Can't speak to Nemo but I really felt like the League series proper went way downhill starting with volume 3. In fact, in general Alan Moore seems to have gone on the decline. Not as badly as Frank Miller, thankfully. But then, he was starting from a much higher level to begin with.
  10. You don't coat your weapon with Spector Oil to defeat him, but Warren Spector is a villain that opposes your character in Worlds of Ultima: Savage Dreams.
  11. Post Apocalyptic Books

    It's pre-apocalyptic (which is a lot rarer, and I find slightly more satisfying), but Ben H. Winters' The Last Policeman and two sequels are primo stuff. The idea is that a comet is going to hit the planet, 100% guaranteed, and they know almost exactly when. And when that happens, everyone's going to die. Or as close to it as makes no real difference. The first book is about a year out from doomsday, so society is wobbly and tending towards collapse as people one by one start to bail on day to day life and go work on that bucket list, but it's still making a pretense at normalcy. And the protagonist, newly promoted to detective as his police department starts to thin out, finds himself compelled to investigate a murder (disguised as a suicide), even though no one really cares anymore and it serves no one. Plus his sister has fallen in with folks who think there's a way to avert the catastrophe and although the protagonist is certain they are either lying or crazy, there's some things that are weird about them. It's quite the thing. I didn't initially feel like it needed to be followed up, but the two sequels fill out the rest of the timeline in ways that are actually quite interesting and heartbreaking and bleak in that way that you get when every chapter tells you how much closer the end of the world is, guaranteed.
  12. Comics Extravaganza - Pow Bang Smash!

    He's doing an absolutely fantastic free online comic called Demon here:
  13. I feel like the Premium Module system Bioware did for Neverwinter Nights was a good example of how to do paid modding. Or at least, it was far, far closer than Valve's abortive attempt with Skyrim. Real, substantive content for a modular game at pretty fair prices (though I have no idea what the revenue split was) with careful curation by the developer working in tandem with a selected group or groups of modders, and with the new assets folded into free patches for the game so free mods could play with them too. It did end kind of unceremoniously and there's a reputedly excellent mod (Darkness over Daggerford) that was going to be a Premium Module before Bioware shut the program down, so I don't know that it was drama free, but I don't know enough details to say what happened.
  14. That was easily one of my favorite things about that game. So good.
  15. When the idea of having a virtual music instructor standing to one side during a Guitar Hero Live run was proposed, I immediately envisioned there being a separate instructor for each difficulty level, and of course the Expert level would be J.K. Simmons reprising his role from Whiplash.
  16. eReaders - What is everyone's thoughts?

    You could probably do manga if you can find it in compatible format, since they're usually in black and white. But for comics generally (and magazines) I definitely prefer my iPad. Every actual book I read on my Paperwhite.
  17. I was aware of the Murder She Wrote boardgame not because I've ever seen or played it myself, but because the very enjoyable boardgaming podcast Flip The Table did an episode on it early in their run: They find old, obscure and generally awful boardgames (frequently licensed), give them a trial play or two, then do a pretty comprehensive review, starting with discussing the game's subject matter, moving on to a components breakdown, describing how the game plays, and of course finally sharing opinions. They had a lot of fun with the concept of multiple Angela Lansburies, let me tell you. And man, they're on their third season or so and I still have only run into maybe two games they've covered that I even knew existed prior to their podcast. I think my favorite discovery was when they did the All My Children boardgame. Based on the longrunning soap opera and...published by TSR. You know, the D&D guys.
  18. I think you may be wildly misinterpreting the subtext of those interactions. Those guys are friends, just like the Thumbs are friends. There's heckling (particularly of Dan), but it's pretty good natured. Hell, one of the things I enjoy about the Bombcast is how quick everyone is to run with one another's jokes. It's a wide enough spectrum of tastes that yeah, they disagree about the merits of X, Y or Z pretty frequently, but I don't feel like anyone's ever being "dumped on" in a mean-spirited way or with genuine ill will. Plus it's not just "I'm right, you're wrong" (at least, not as a seriously defended position), it's "here are the reasons I feel this way about this thing", and it's not uncommon for people on the other side of the argument to acknowledge many of the individual points as fair even if they come to a different conclusion.
  19. I recall that and Welcome to Horrorland being my favorites, although I didn't keep up with the series too much past that (apparently I'm not the only one who dug Horrorland because according to that wiki it had several different adaptations and a whole spinoff series based on it). But yeah, the fact that every single chapter ended in a cliffhanger and that cliffhanger was almost never paid off with anything genuinely scary or important was a bit of a turnoff, and a lot of the premises seemed more goofy than frightening. But hey, it was aimed at grade school kids. Also, huh, apparently Ryan Gosling was in the TV version of Say Cheese and Die!
  20. His behavior may not be different, per se, but I don't think anything he did back in the publisher days was this big of a trainwreck. I mean, I don't know that for sure because his other games' development cycles haven't been nearly as public so maybe all his games are as hollow and pointless at 2-and-a-bit years into development as Godus apparently is, but I kinda doubt it. I don't particularly worry about Molyneux overpromising when the results are things like Fable, because, well, I like Fable. Did he promise far more? Sure, but I don't think it particularly serves anyone to get invested in the game that wasn't made and compare the game that exists to it unfavorably. The biggest problem I see with Godus is that the game that currently exists is apparently rubbish. (Grain of salt: I didn't back Godus, because Molyneux is almost the last developer I'd give money on spec, and so I don't have any personal experience with Godus. My opinion is pure hearsay at this point.) I think the level of outrage is quite possibly overblown, but I don't think it's that hard to see why reactions would be different.
  21. Personally I want Destiny to suck so I don't have to be sad about the PC being left out of the Destiny party. Though I still strongly suspect that somewhere a little further down the line of the franchise PC users will be able to pick up either Destiny 2, if that's how they do things, or perhaps a bundled version of Destiny with all the DLC. I mean, it's 2015. PC may still not have the sales presence that consoles do (at least on available metrics), but it's a much more vital presence than it's been in the past and you leave a lot of money on the table by ignoring it.
  22. Project Godus: Don't believe his lies

    I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I agree that Walker was too aggressive and hostile-feeling, and there are some things I think he got wrong (for example, it's been slightly over 2 years since Godus funded, not 3 as he kept repeating), but there are some places where Molyneux is clearly breaking promises made during the Kickstarter and that's not okay. Generally speaking, they seem to mostly be things he should never have promised in the first place, or not in the fashion he did, like Linux support or not working with a publisher, and he really should have asked for more money, particularly since he knows all his projects run long. All of them. At the same time, there's a lot of stuff that's just...well, that's how development works and/or how Kickstarter works. Projects go over schedule and over budget. Partners and middleware vendors fail to come through on stuff you needed from them or make changes that break things on your end. People Molyneux isn't wrong about that stuff, and while it's frustrating, it's not really something he can personally be held accountable for except in the sense that he's clearly not great at project management and should probably have hired someone else to take that on. Nor do I get the sense that Molyneux was deliberately setting out to defraud anyone. His mouth just invariably writes checks he can't cash. It happens during the interview, even! (There's no way things will be shipshape by Easter, for example.) And while I generally feel like refunds should be an option, I don't think people are necessarily owed one until the project's promises are either explicitly or implicitly abandoned. I.e., radio silence or no actual progress on them for long enough that clearly nobody's actually pursuing them, neither of which seem to be the case with Godus -yet-. Generally I just don't think Molyneux and Kickstarter or the press are good combinations and I tend to think he should avoid both in future. For his own sake as much as ours. Can't overpromise if you're not making public statements, and if you're funding through traditional models, publishers and the like have ways of actually holding you to account on your use of their money. Kickstarter backers, not so much.
  23. The American versions of Japanese game covers are frequently much worse. The classic example being Ico. I don't know that I really like either in this particular case, but I suspect the Japanese one is more representative of the actual game.
  24. The contrast between the Japanese cover and the American cover is a pretty hilarious demonstration of the difference in marketing between those countries.
  25. Nobody expects the Dragon Age Inquisition

    Yeah, totally agreed there.