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Posts posted by Arkestry

  1. It's definitely one of the things I think streaming is going to lead to more of. I suppose it's good to have a template for length, but if you have more or less than that and it feels like an episode, why pad or cut it unnecessarily?

  2. Spoiler


    Regarding Wallace spelling things out to Deckard in that scene; remember that he doesn't really know any more than Deckard does what is going on. The whole reason he can't make fertile replicants is because of the blackout/assorted files being lost etc. How is he going to know anything about Deckard any more than anyone else? I figure he's bluffing the whole time, just trying to soften Deckard up so he can get the info he wants out of him. 


    Another idle though I had; what if the boy in the orphanage is a total red herring? The reason he stands out to K is that he has identical DNA to the girl, but what if it's the girl that has identical DNA to him? Leaving the only natural born replicant's DNA in some database seems like a really bad idea, so it makes sense to me that they would just copy paste someone else's so that she's kept hidden. Which also gives K the hope that he's the boy, when it's just some random kid used to cover the tracks when they plucked the girl out?



  3. Mindhunter is the new Netflix series from David Fincher and Charlize Theron, focusing on the period in the 1970s where the idea of trying to understand the psychology of serial killers was floated within the FBI. Adapted from the book of the same name,, it follows a pair of agents that criss-cross America interviewing killers like The Co-Ed Killer Ed Kemper, Dennis Rader, Jerry Brudos and Richard Speck. From these interviews, they start to put together the very beginnings of profiling. The first and last two episodes (4 total) are directed by Fincher himself, and the whole thing is saturated with his directorial style. 


    With that out of the way, I deeply enjoyed the vast majority of the show. To me it felt very much like a continuation of the themes and styles of Zodiac, focusing on the obsession with the killers rather than the killers themselves, necessarily. That said, the actual interviews with the killers (which I think are closely adapted from the actual interviews John Edward Douglas conducted), are incredibly compelling, and all of the actors cast as the killers knock it out of the park. 


    Few general spoilers:



    The only weak points to me are, at first, the way that Holden's character comes across, which is more to do with his delivery than anything else. It comes across almost a little too practised, every statement seeming prepared rather than natural. It's a recurring problem between him and his girlfriend, but with the rest of the cast it eases off after the fast few episodes. 


    I also thought that the whole Principal line was an interesting one that does a lot to emphasise the flaws in his character. It's way more about being right and testing his theories than actually doing his job, and regardless of whether the Principal needed to be fired or not (he did), that was so far out of Holden's jurisdiction it was bordering on absurd. He was so desperate to get out there and be right about his theories that he nearly fucked the whole thing up. I think that's what really hits him in the hospital room with Kemper, when he realises he wasn't close to losing his job, but his life. God damn, Kemper is terrifying.


    Anyway, I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys anything Fincher has done, but especially Zodiac. It's probably my favourite straight drama Netflix has produced.

  4. It's been pretty interesting how the game has slowly begun to show it's working as you enter Act 4. I suppose some mechanical spoilers follow.



    Despite the promise of the Nemesis System, so far most of the memorable orcs and encounters I've come across feel like they're bespoke strings of events that have a chance to happen, rather than a confluence of systems that brings something cool to the fore. For example, there have been a few times when an orc has continued coming back in one form or another, the most memorable of which was So-and-so The Machine, an orc who had different parts of them replaced with mechanical bits each time you killed them. It's a fun story, and one that I enjoyed enough to turn him and turn him into a warlord, but it's not really 'created' by the Nemesis System so much as a short story contained within it. 


    Of course, these things do erupt occasionally, when certain aspects of orcs come together to make something pretty memorable. Shaming a particular orc who has been dogging you for a while, only for them to become manic or deranged is a nice touch. As is rescuing a bodyguard who's saved you countless times himself. But by and large it feels more serialised than systemic, really. Interesting encounters and happenstance that occurs during the methodical disassembly of the orc army in the area. Which puts it a lot closer to something like Sunless Sea than Dwarf Fortress, in my mind. 


    The other fun comparison I've been doing in my head is comparing the combat in this with that of Batman, which it cribs from in most conceivable ways. I've been trying to think about why Batman feels so damn clean, where often in War-dor I've been much more overwhelmed, and I think it's a mixture of things, chief among them being that Batman does two things that really help with clarity. The first is that the camera scales back based on how many enemies you're engaging, and the enemies themselves spread out quite a bit. You have goons charging in to attack you, but they're rarely right next to you before they begin their attacks. The other is that any fight over a certain amount of enemies has the arena chosen and designed by Rocksteady, whereas Monolith just throws orcs at you wherever you are. It can lead to a lot of messy scraps where it's really hard to see what's going on, or anticipate attacks before they come in. War-dor could never do the thing Batman does where it removes counter notifiers at harder difficulties. 


    Which is one area where you can actually tangibly see the design concessions in War-dor. Whereas Batman just has little alerts above the heads of enemies (blue for counter, yellow for counter dodge, red for dodge), War-dor has to throw the actual button up beneath the notifier because you can't read the animations due to the camera being so damn close. 


    It sounds like I'm being down on the game but I actually do really enjoy it, just find it interesting where the concessions Monolith had to make are, and how I feel they're much closer to the surface with this game, maybe because they increased the scope without having a chance to increase the depth with it.