Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Roderick

  1. The Good Place

    It's knowingly winking at the audience: 'You know what's going to happen, so let's just skip to the good part.' And without skimping on character development!
  2. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    Let's Go is aimed at the most casual/newcomery Pokémon audience. It isn't so much stopgap as it is 'let's get those 80 million Pokémon Go players to buy a Switch'. The whole game is geared towards making it as accessible and friendly and non-threatening as possible. Bearing that in mind, it should be just fine.
  3. The Good Place

    Episode 4 is out, and it was another good'un!
  4. Looking for pacifist games

    With Civ (the only series I've primarily played in your list), I always found un uneasy balance between domination/war victories and others, which are theoretically pacifist. I say theoretically, since they may still entail the occasional skirmish. These different victories sometimes seem to be completely different games. The pacifist victories are races against the other civilizations and often capped by a rather unsatisfactory moment where you've beaten the others and are rewarded by a screen appluading your achievement. The rush of building towards something fizzling out. War victories are more dramatic, I find, finding a way to best your opponents, though they too suffer from a weird-feeling endgame. There's often a decisive moment where you gain the upper hand, and then the rest of it is just mopping up what's left. But I digress. I wonder if a true pacifist strategy game won't feel very different. How can you engineer tension and excitiment and a natural darmatic arc without conflict? Would it entail rousing a sense of conflict, the threat of it, which would trigger a lose state as soon as it become reality? So that you have to do everything you can to avoid it?
  5. anime

    Haven't been doing a ton of anime lately, after the total bliss that was YURU CAMP - an anime event that has left everything in later seasons this year feeling pret-ty uninteresting. The GeGeGe no Kitaro remake was fun enough for a while. I got the feeling Golden Kamuy veered way off track rather soon, I wouldn't be surprised if it fizzles out soon. Currently I'm watching the Netflix screening of Dragon Pilot, which takes some time to take off (it's dragon's disguised as jet planes, get it?), but is starting to get interesting 7 eps in. It's not rekindling my enthusiasm for anime just yet, and I'm mainly watching for review purposes, but it's swell enough. The character design and animation is loose and cute, and though it's the 100.000.000th 'girls doing cool things' story, at least it at no point feels skeezy. This ain't about fan service.
  6. Life

    Damn, twmac, that is a hefty decade you've been going through. So, if I understand this, it was through the experience with your friend that you suddenly saw how the relationship with your ex was unfolding? What a way to gain insight. Anyway, good for you. Seems like you've been wrestling with this, probably unhealthy, marriage for a while.
  7. The threat of Big Dog

    Well, now they're just rubbing it in our faces. This is the Fortnite jiggy Spot will select when traipsing over our crushed corpses.
  8. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    UGH, now that we're on the topic of reminiscing about fav podcasting moments... Apart from the obvious first twenty eps or so when it was still Remo putting in way more effort than was expected, making songs about wizards and space assholes, the immediate story that comes to my mind is Jake going for a run in Golden Gate park and finding it darker, emptier and yet more filled with tree-strafing fiends than he expected.
  9. Life

    Good points! Ideally, life isn't an optimization min-maxing challenge, there has to be room for winding down. I do however suspect that there's good winding down and bad winding down, at least for me at this particular point in my life. No harm in trying to figure out which is which! And regardless of the results, it's a fun idea to change things up every now and again.
  10. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Ohh, they were behind Majin? Wasn't too impressed with that one either. Knights Contract looks better though, but I'm afraid their previous games now leave me thinking it's not really for me...
  11. Life

    Ah, surprising that we're broaching the topic. I was talking to my partner over lunch yesterday, and I started musing about the amount of time gaming is gobbling up in my day. Probably around 1 to 2 hours, spread over a few sessions. I added the hours I spend watching tv shows on Netflix, and confirmed what I suspected for a while: I'm wasting way too much time on gaming and watching tv. Now, nothing wrong with it, nothing inherently. But I came to the conclusion that these hours I felt were the reward for a day well-spent. Something I'd look forward to. That system generally works, but I feel it's being perverted in some way. Nowadays, I actually feel a bit of stress when I think of wanting to do my work and have some gaming time. And I don't ever experience boredom anymore, which is kind of a loss, too. I'm always filling up every waking second with entertainment of some kind. But is that truly the point of my existence: experience pleasant entertainment? Being comfortable and entertained? My suspicion is that if I were to cut out all of my daily gaming and most of my tv watching, I'll not only end up with a bunch of extra hours to do other, possibly more rewarding things in (learning new skills, piano and languages, and yes, reading, because I feel that's somehow different from watching tv), but I'll also experience the day in a different way. No longer as jam-packed as before. And therefore, I hope, my perception of time will shift from 'I don't have enough hours in the day to do everything I want' to 'I have an abundance of time and I don't have to rush anything anymore'. I already experienced this shift a few times in my life. Whenever you go on holiday, that generally changes your rhythm for a while. But there was also one summer when I was 23 and I had a bout of RSI. This prevented me from gaming, so I ordered a crap ton of philosophy books and read them over the course of those few months. (Sometimes reading in my housemates' rooms, who were all slaving away at World of Warcraft, which I can tell you was a HUGE temptation, but also a fun one to resist.) I still remember that summer fondly, which makes me feel I should recreate that. What if I were to scrap all daily gaming (save for, say, one moment in the weekend where I am allowed to) and most of my daily tv watching, and see what that results in? If anything, it'll be an interesting experiment to shake things up.
  12. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Wow, I actually quit a game again, for the first time in a while! I was playing Folklore, the early PS3 action-RPG set in Irish folky locales. I was attracted to it because of its unique and charming appearance, and for the first 10 hours or so, I enjoyed the gameplay. You absorb the powers of enemies you defeat, which allows you access to powers needed to defeat tougher enemies and bosses. It's a nice system of upgrades and the combat luckily doesn't rely on combos or difficult button presses. HOWEVER, it controls rather clunkily. At some point I encounter a mid-level sub-boss, some fast and weird fish beast, and it just tired me out. I decided I wasn't getting enough out of it to warrant pressing on. I still like the game for its charm, it's one of a kind in that way where a game isn't trying to fit an existing mold, but pursues its own sensibilities.
  13. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Yikes. That's a downside to roguelikes that take a longer time to finish, I guess. FTL can easily gobble up an hour and a half or more per run, too, though I never felt I was stuck at an unreasonable point in the game. I need to review Xenoblade 2: Torna: The Golden Country for Switch, so I can't quit it. I adored the original game, but after pumping a hundred or so hours into it, many filled with grindy tasks, I've had more than my fill of it. XB2 was game that already offered so much, so so much content, that it really didn't need even more content. I'm sure there are fans out there that can't wait to stuff their face with it, and it's all pretty good, but also just so much. (And it's doing nothing particularly different this time around.)
  14. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    From now on, following Valve's schedule of Steam Sales, Idle Thumbs will release half a year's content worth of podcasts over the course of a single week, sating us for the coming drought.
  15. The Good Place

    True enough. We'll see!
  16. The Good Place

    Oh, yes. In the downtime between Good Place S2 and S3, me and my partner binged the entirety of available Brooklyn Nine-Nine episodes on Netflix and had a whale of a time.
  17. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    I never got into the Slack because, goddammit, I don't want yet another thing to follow or to ping me all day. Chats are exhausting because they never stop updating themselves - I like the non-immediacy and slow pace of a forum, which, every time you visit it, feels like a solidified place. Having said that, OF COURSE I understand why the Slack is brilliant. The lower barrier of entry surely goes doubly for Idle Thumbs, where the level of discourse is often so high that I fret about saying something too vapid to even merit a post. Then again, that's what I love about the place. It challenges me to up my game.
  18. The Good Place

    Frustrating though it may be from the viewer's perspective, who wants to see the characters develop, this might be an incredibly wise thing to do for a sitcom. As a general rule, after three seasons, almost every sitcom starts souring as the emphasis naturally shifts from the situational comedy surrounding characters that have been designed to interact with each other in a certain way to the way these characters develop relationships. Comedy becomes drama. How I Met Your Mother's last season became an insane, never-ending wedding fiasco. By rebooting the characters, the Good Place seems to circumvent this death trap. Of course, the development is still there, in our minds and obviously in the minds of the writers, but the characters can freely continue their streaks of what made them initially so appealing: Eleanor's brash do-whatever-I-want attitude, Chidi's whimpering indecision, Tahani and her foppish worldly naiveté... While I'd hazard the series will eventually do a 'we remember everything now!' kind of collapsing of identities, I'll also say that this is a good thing and keeps things fresh and uncomplicated (in its complication).
  19. 10th Anniversary

    Hip hip! And I'm Nick Breckon
  20. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    I'm a little sad that forum culture in general has been completely gobbled up and replaced by on one side social media - which are inherently more fleeting and less concentrated in terms of discussions - and on the other side private chatrooms like Slack, Discord and Whatsapp. Which, you know, are fine, I use them every day for smaller groups... but they can't replace that feeling of being part of a bigger community, where you're opened up to new ideas and influences. When I started with THE INTERNET, somewhere around 1999, it was all about forums. I met some of my closest friends today back then, on a goddamn Pokémon forum, where the first thing I posted was on the important subject of whether Tracy was a good replacement for Brock. After that, fora were always the main thing on the internet for me, with a big part reserved for Adventuregamers, which lead me straight to Idle Thumbs after a while. Then social media came along in a big way, and, I've had this thought before, it has changed the whole internet in a way that I'm not really comfortable with anymore. It's a different thing now. (And I sometimes feel most of the internet is now lorded over by supremely strange people and/or bots trying to steer us in one way or the other, be it commercially or politically.) Social media aren't nearly as good as fora. It's furthered the bizarre state of things that from second to second, you can be engaged with materials that make you feel wildly different things. So one moment you're raging at some president, the next you're laughing at a cat vid, only to resume raging against climate change. All of it equally sincere. All of it completely schizophrenic. But I digress. I honestly never imagined this place could die off (and I'm still reeling that it would, resisting that it will! This all feels so dreadfully like saying goodbye, but why should we, just because the subject is broached?). I'm also a little weirded out that it happened right under my nose, without even noticing it. Since I don't follow all the topics, it went unnoticed that there wasn't any activity elsewhere too. Fuck the internet.
  21. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    And I am THIS close to 10,000 posts. Could've gotten there easily in another three, four years.
  22. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    Wow, this is weird. I visit Idle Thumbs daily, just like Henke, it's simply part of my internet routine. But, I will admit, I rarely post. Only when I have something interesting to say, I guess. But I'd hate for this community to fall apart. You know what might be the actual thing that killed it, in the end? Not the hiatus of the podcasts, but the end of Ben's FPS-a-thon adventure. DAMMIT BEN
  23. The Good Place

    Yes! It's two episodes into the new season. Again, new situation, yet still familiar within the constraints of the storytelling. I have no idea how they do this wizardry, and I'm afraid to talk about it lest I break some beautiful spell. Enjoy it while it's here!
  24. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Yes, exactly this. Samus Returns (which I finished apart from the final final boss, which I was indifferent to put a lot of time in at that point) is a technically precise Metroid experience hugely lacking soul and extremely repetitive. It exists for people who want the Metroid flavor and nothing else, who want to experience the gameplay exactness of Metroid, specifically Metroid, and don't care if it exists in a void or this strange concoction of repeating gameplay elements. Knowing this, I don't think it deserves a low grade. It's very good at what it wants to do, but maybe the target audience if way more narrow than you might think for such a well-known brand.
  25. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    That was a swell Direct though! And indeed, the emotional rollercoaster that was the Animal Crossing Switch announcement hit me right where Nintendo planned it. Also, Luigi's Mansion 3 and tons of nice third party games. I am damn curious how Civ6 will play on Switch!