Roderick

Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Posts posted by Roderick


  1. I'm through with Polygon. Anyone else feel that way? It used to be that Kotaku was the kinda trashy place for video game gossips 'n stuff, and Polygon this ambitious place for proper journalism. But these last few years I've seen a stunning reversal happening there.

     

    Polygon started going nuts whenever a big Pop Culture Show Or Movie Event happened. You can set your watch to it: whenever there'd be a new Marvel film or Game of Thrones episode, the front page would suddenly be awash with thinkpieces and clickbaity articles and spoiler discussions. To the point where it felt the entire editorial board must've assembled to flood the site with them. Some of these pieces were fine. Others were shit. Then there's whatever the hell Ben Kuchera would do. It kept bugging me, but I put up with it because there would also occasionally be these beautiful long-form interview-documentaries about the making of Final Fantasy VII or what have you, and that's the stuff I was there for. Also Brian David Gilbert.

     

     

    At the same time, Kotaku got better and better. There's hard-hitting journalism there now, exposing working conditions in the games industry and calling out stupid moves and people. Alongside the K-pop pick of the day. And I've been binging the Tim Rogers E3 videos, and they're just so delicious. Long story short, I am having a better time on Kotaku than on Polygon nowadays. By a mile.

     

    Sure, there's still a big difference in what they do. Whenever Polygon manages to be serious and devoted to doing quality stuff, I like them just fine. But I also just deleted them from my bookmarks, because I simply can't stand the desperate clickbait reporting on Marvel movies &c anymore. The breaking point came yesterday. I'd just seen the Spider-Man film (which was awesome), and then I casually visited Polygon and saw an article that said "SPOILER" in the accompanying graphic, but proceeded to spoil the very thing in the clickbaity headline. If I'd seen that shit before watching the movie, I would've been ticked off. That is some stupid bullshit, and it's a direct consequence of their insistence on milking pop culture events for clicks.

     

    So fuck 'em. I'll catch Brian on YouTube.


  2. Okay, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

     

     

    I was on the fence for this one. I didn't really expect they could capture lightning in a bottle again, but they just effing did it. I loved the movie and it's been a while since I exited the theatre in a state of such utter excitement. In fact, the first Spider-Man film was probably the last time I did!


    I have been waiting for Mysterio to get his moment in the spotlights for a while. He's an interesting villain, and one that is way more dangerous than he's usually given credit for. Read the Old Man Logan comic (brilliant in its own right) and you'll know what I mean. Having said that, the trailers seemed to put a hugely different spin on the character, and I suspected they might do some sleight of hand with this, but it seemed all too plausible this movie would head into multiverse stuff. Given that the recent Spider-Man animated film pulled this off with flair, and how the MCU-audience is pretty much primed for anything right now, it wasn't out of the question.

    But I was secretly hoping Mysterio would turn out a big hoax, the failed magician of yore, trying to fool everyone. And, err, BOY DID THEY GO THERE. The big reveal scene in the second half was just so awesome and provided exactly the same thrill Michael Keaton's Vulture did when he opened the door to Parker's classmate in the first movie. Far from feeling obvious or repetitive, this was such a joyous moment to drink in. And staying true to the story too - a multiverse storyline with interdimensional beings isn't nearly as interesting as a two-bit conman trying to bamboozle the whole world, and the stakes, while bigger than before, are still largely about Peter's friends surviving and his struggle with growing up as a superhero.


    So hotdamn. Surely, SURELY they won't be able to pull this off a third time, a few years from now? Spider-Man is already right up there with the Captain America trilogy as the best thing coming from the MCU and it might just supersede it.

     


  3. Well, the big disappoinment was of course no Metroid Prime HD trilogy, but apart from that... good show! Not everything looked as good (the Contra game and the Dark Crystal tie in both looked decidedly b-quality), but they showed ACTUAL GAMEPLAY of lots of games, had a great mix of sequels and new stuff, and about half of it were games I actually want to play.

     

    Luigi's Mansion 3 looks fantastic. Animal Crossing will surely be fun. The BotW2 teaser promised gloomy stuff, though whether it'll be the insane Majora's Mask-type remix that we all want is unknown of course. Trials of Mana looked fine and I'm very excited for Astral Chain.

     

     


  4. Digital Foundry did a test last week where they tried to finagle a Switch environment and then get Withcer 3 working on it. The results were bad-to-passable, with lots of framerate problems. But I'm guessing this will be a really optimized version.


  5. I am a little late to the party, but I had the Cut Down introductory episodes queued up and I finally got around to them during a drive yesterday!

     

    Good stuff! I love hearing the industry take on trailers. About the spoiler thing (and yes, I have found myself plugging my ears and shutting my eyes in theatres more than once)... I think it's a good thing to remember that ultimately, trailers are a marketing tool and they do not serve the viewer's best interest. They will and must do anything to get them into the theatre. That doesn't mean they're not made with tons of craft and creativity, and I certainly can appreciate that angle as well, but at the end of the day I must approach them with caution.

     

    And especially if I know beforehand that I'll see a film, there's no reason for me to see the trailer. Movies are often predictable enough as it is and I like to go in completely blind. The best experiences I've had are ones where I genuinely did not know what I was going to get. (Which is why I like visiting sneak previews so much.)


  6. Getting a Switch on day one and going along for the ride with its releases (especially the amazing first year) has been one of my gaming highlights of the last ten years. Super fun. Have not been playing and gaming on it as much recently, waiting for that next must-play singleplayer experience.

     

    Elder Scrolls Blades was announced for Switch on E3 yesterday! (Switchblades.) Kind of good, though I would've liked playing the game on my brand new Samsung tablet right now. Unfortunately, it doesn't support it for no clear reason.

     

     


  7. I was kind of interested in this! The devs made pretty neat stuff before, and though I get the feeling Vampyr didn't really take off, it's still a title on my radar.


  8. On a different note, I wouldn't necessarily recommend the new Aladdin movie. Though I will say the Prince Ali song made me laugh out loud, because at the start Will Smith wears a headdress so voluminous all I could think about was that underneath he had the same hair as Rudi van der Saniel.

     

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  9. As long as it doesn't have Gotham's MadLibs approach to writing ("In THIS episode, RIDDLER teams up with POISON IVY, who falls in love with JIM GORDON"), it's probably fine television. But I have to say that I'm also thinking of seriously pruning the amount of shows I follow. Not that GoT is very nearly done, I don't know if I need more stuff to fill that hole.

     

    The shows I currently follow:

    - GoT

    - Gotham

    - She-ra

    - Dix Pour Cent

    - Planet Earth

    - Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    - The Good Place

    - Star Trek Disco

    - TNG

     

    Plus some anime like Sarazanmai, Ace Attorney and Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

     

    I could do with a few less.


  10. I kinda stopped watching Agents of Shield after the 3rd (?) season, which was the big Hydra/Ward blowout. The ending there felt satisfying and had tons of closure, and I never picked it up afterwards. I'm hesitant about it too. I'm not as much IN the MCU anymore, not like, say, four years ago.


  11. If I got one thing from IIT, apart from Wax House, Baby, it's that listening to In Our Time, a Chris Remo Recommendation(TM), is a very good idea. I listen to it whenever I'm in my car for a drive, and it's been an excellent way of brushing up my general knowledge of the world.


  12. About Captain America's time travel adventures: it is implied that he didn't "return" to the original timeline by jumping back. They try to get him back, but he doesn't show up. Rather, he's sitting a ways away on a bench, as if he's been waiting there for them to appear. As in; he never left the same timeline and just waited it out. (Otherwise he should be wearing his spiffy quantum realm suit, and would've appeared near the device Hulk was operating.) This does, in a big way, undercut the whole time travel system.



     

    Again, I understand why they'd do it like this, because it is the most emotionally satisfying end, but it comes at the cost of blowing up the system.


  13. Three episodes into Sarazanmai and I'm still loving it. It's so joyously envisioned, designed and animated, it's hard not to be impressed. For a weekly show, the sets look really detailed. And boy, do the stories move quickly - it's all fast-paced character development and you're not a moment left without something else to gawk at.

     

    Those kappa version of the main characters remain super cute. Right up until they extract orbs from water-spewing monster butts. (But still cute.)


  14. Endgame

     

     

    Everything you're saying, all of it, makes perfect sense. I didn't trip over a lot of it in that way, though I must admit that Ned not being in college and not being FIVE YEARS OLDER to Peter Parker is actually a big weird thing.


    I liked the movie, but mostly in the way that I like most Marvel movies: it was fine, just fine. It was also silly in a way I hadn't expected, after Infinity Wars' perfectly balanced gravitas. The time travel shenanigans felt very "Ant Man" and there were two body morphing comedies going on, one with Thor becoming the Beach Bum Lebowski and the other, less problematic of the two, Hulk's entirely off-screen resolution into Hipster Hulk. I didn't mind either, though it was only amusing at best. Iron Man and Captain America's arcs were satisfying and well done. Hawkeye's started out very strongly, then dissolved into nothingness.

    Some bold choices (FIVE YEARS LATER), some ho-hum feelings (retreads of the earlier movies, which weirdly gave Endgame less of an identity of its own), a tiring finale blow-out (wasn't expecting them to keep it small, but meh), and a poorly developed time travel plot.

    The time travel is weird. First they lampshade that the normal way of time travel in movies is wrong and say that even if you go back to the past, that's still your future, so you'll never be able to actually change anything, you're just, like, changing scenery as if you're rewinding a movie and taking props from the decor. And sometimes those props can travel along with you to the present, like Thanos and his army did. But then Tilda Swinton tries to turn the thinking back to the standard timelines-going-awry stuff, and in the end the movie tries to have it both ways? For some reason the infinity stones need to be brought back (though Thanos didn't have to!), and Steve can stay behind and yet reappear in the timeline he left behind.

    I don't mind stories to choose the emotionally satisfying resolution over plot coherence, but this was some major fumbling.

    Then again, the disappointing inclusion of Captain Marvel said a lot already. It's a boring character that is all-powerful (until she isn't), and there was nor eason she couldn't have appeared ten minutes earlier to save the day. Or stick around. Even Endgame considered her such an inconvenience that they had to find ways to keep her the hell away from this movie - which raises the obvious question of why did they even set her up as the savior to begin with, and why bother with her in the first place?

     


  15. I'm sure I've had tons of these experiences, but nothing readily comes to mind. There are some genres that I just don't care for that much (brawlers, beat 'em ups, sports), where I understand something is quality but I simply don't like that gameplay.

     

    I think the biggest one of those is Smash Bros Ultimate. I enjoy playing it, but I will forever feel it's not really 'my' game, because I'm not good enough at it for any sort of real mastery. Hours in, I'm still just noodling away pressing buttons. I'll never get the hang of it, also because I won't invest enough time in it to git gud. As a result, I feel I'm only scratching the surface. Double feeling, since I do enjoy my time with it.


  16. It'll be fine. I'm incredibly surprised people are genuinely still upset about The Last Jedi. I'm at the same time very happy that they're taking a break for a while, but I bet it won't be long and there'll be another deluge of Star Wars content before long. Are we getting nostalic yet for the time when it took 20 years of waiting for another movie to come out?


  17. As coincidence would have it, I just watched the premier ep of Sarazanmai. It was about what I expected coming hot off Yurikuma (which I loved, by the way, but as a caveat I'll state that it was also my first introduction to the creator - so what felt incredibly fresh to me might have been old hat to others). The same feeling permeated Sarazanmai: one that I was already familiar with all these elements. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it immensely: the great animation, the surprising interludes, the swift scripting...

     

    And I'll also say that it feels like after the yuri-fest that was Yurikuma, the creator seems to have felt he needed to go the opposite route: this series is unabashedly gay, but in just as sweet a way as the previous show. Having said that, I've never quite seen three people link up as anal beads to extract a person's desire from their rectum before, so what the hell am I talking about when I write the word 'familiar'?


  18. Three times in a row?! I'm surprised you had the appetite for it. Surely the third time through a sense of repetition sets in? Rare is the game that I want to play again right away, and even rare when I actually do it. Usually I opt to wait a few years for the experience to digest, so I can start it with a fresh sense of wonder.

     

    Haven't finished it yet, but probably nearing the end of Spider-Man for the PS4. It's a pretty neat game on all fronts, but there's a weird thing going on with it that though I see how insanely detailed and good it is, I simply cannot stop comparing it unfavorably to Arkham City/Knight. It's probably the best clone there has ever been, but the closer it gets to that level of perfection, the more it screams at me that it's the same thing, only slightly less all around.

     

    I'll certainly finish it, of course, it's quite enjoyable.