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Posts posted by Freezerr

  1. Just been to see Clash of the Titans... PANTS :tdown::tmeh::tdown::tmeh::tdown::tmeh::tdown::fart:

    Save your money and watch it on Skymovies in a few ain't worth it imho. I saw it in 3D, the characters are strictly 2, maybe even 0.5 dimensional.

    I've heard the vision of the original screenwriter was pretty much raped in post-production, and in an effort to make it more mainstream and accessible, character motivations were radically changed. Of course, that's pretty much impossible to do in post-production, so a real shame if true.

  2. Seppuku (1962)

    dir. Masaki Kobayashi

    Tatsuya Nakadai

    Rentarô Mikuni


    This was a dark, angry, bitter film about Samurai honor culture and the people that are left behind when society undergoes an economic shift. It's not a film I'd want to see every day, but I really did appreciate it as a masterpiece of storytelling. The premise: in the early 17th century Japan, samurai are becoming outmoded. Many are now unemployed in this time of peace and wander the streets trying to survive. There have been a series of incidents of these ronin appearing at the gates of the remaining houses and threatening seppuku (ritual suicide), in hope that they will be given some money to go away.

    It is in this climate that a mysterious older samurai appears in front of the Iyi House, requesting use of the courtyard for seppuku. Eventually, we realize that Hanshiro Tsugumo, the ronin, and Kageyu Saito, the proud lord of the Iyi House, have very different conceptions of the good life, a man's duty, and the nature of honor. I hesitate to say too much about the film, as the plot is revealed slowly to change our perspective on events.

    I found it extremely powerful and accessible, with story as tragic and beautiful as nearly anything in Classical Greek literature. Both thumbs up on my end!

    PSA: I actually wrote this on the Filmspotting forum first, but I liked this movie so much that I wanted to share with the Idle Thumbs guys, too.

  3. I think I explained this better a bunch of pages back in the thread when my "life" update was "HOT DAMN I GOT APPROVED FOR AN HONOURS THESIS!" but to recap:

    My supervisor is a professor of Ethics. He specialized further in that he is fairly well known in relevant circles because of his efforts to make various ethical theories fit in in some way with incompatible determinism (that is, a determinist who does not believe that free will exists, or is even compatible with reality). I happen to be an incompatible determinist, and my specfic project is in finding a rationale for principles of desert (as in: X deserves to be punished/rewarded for performing act Y) without having to allow that X ever freely chose Y. It's proven to be a very difficult thing that has taken up most of my free time for the past 8 months, but I'm actually making a lot of progress recently and am quite proud of myself.

    Cool - I'd be interested to hear whatever you think. My degree is in Philosophy, and I am very interested in free will topics. One of my professors was a noncausal libertarian (a very interesting viewpoint).

  4. Oh, man, finally got around to seeing Moon yesterday. Amazing. I would say it is a very important movie, right up there with Solaris, Space Odyssey and Blade Runner.

    I particularly liked the caring robot, concerned for Sam's emotional health and being completely helpful. It is a new kind of creepy, on par and as interesting as HAL's übermenschlich detachment and Marvin's misery.

    I also got to see Moon yesterday on DVD. Not as ambitious as I had expected, but still a quality movie.

    GERTY was creepy for me in large part because of Kevin Spacey. I'll always associate his voice with Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects. This probably was very deliberate casting, but I don't know. Also, they did a good job creating the illusion of two Sam Rockwells. I wasn't even thinking about how they did it; I was completely in the moment.

  5. Just wanted to stop in and mention 8 1/2. It's in Italian and in B & W, but wow. A refreshing, light-hearted story with heavy symbolism and dreamlike sequences that are handled very deftly. I started watching it out of a sense of obligation but got hooked very quickly.

    "8 1/2" refers to this being film number 8 1/2 that Fellini had directed (counting his shorts as "half a film"). It's a semi-autobiographical story about a movie director who is stuck with writer's block and is looking for inspiration.

    It's on Netflix watch instantly FWIW.

  6. Got this for Christmas. It's really quite enjoyable and a significant improvement over the first game. Still a 'lite' stealth game. The game is still essentially the same, but a bunch of the mechanics have been significantly improved - especially swordplay, social stealth, and the stuff outside the Animus. The very light RPG elements are fun.

    I got a real Count of Monte Cristo feel in the beginning of Ezio's story. Young, innocent man is betrayed by someone he trusts and loses everything. (There's even the destruction of the letter proving innocence). He then goes away, becomes very wealthy, and returns for revenge. I was pleasantly surprised by all this.

    Of course, so much of the beauty of Count of Monte Cristo is in the tragic love story - and none of that is present in Assassin's Creed II to this point. I don't have high expectations for a literary quality to the end of Ezio's story, but I'm enjoying the story much more than I thought I would.

    Also, I found it amusing that my sister just sits at a desk all day long counting my money for me now.

  7. I picked up STALKER for $2 to have it on Steam after my great disappointment with the way D2D handled it earlier this year. I'm sorely tempted to double-dip on Mirror's Edge for $5, but my computer can't handle it.

    I'm waiting on other stuff till after Christmas since it seems most of the sale continues until Jan. 3.

    Also I think you can get Machinarium + the developer's other games for $10 total from their own website, if you like.

  8. Finally picked this game up when I saw it on Impulse for $10.

    Wow, this is really fun! :tup: It's got a bit of that Portal magic - I'm actually trying to solve puzzles with a set of tools. It really feels like anything is possible within the rules of the game and I'm not being strung along by the developer ("and here the player will make two boxes followed by swapping to the rogue to use the grappling hook"). It's quite a bit easier than Portal, puzzle-wise, and the writing is nowhere near as charming.

    Also, I don't really get all the hate for the final level. If anyone could explain why they didn't like it, I'd love to hear it. I personally found

    the timer mechanic with the lava forced me to think quickly and I didn't feel like the game was cheating at any time. The king summoning objects like my mage made me think "cool" the first time I saw it.

  9. In Freezer's signature. I'm assuming it's tongue in cheek...

    I saw it first on the igndotcom twitter feed, I think. And I certainly hope it's tongue in cheek but I have no idea when it comes to IGN.

    Anyways, this game... I hope it's rad. All the talk of an "organic world" and the use of Leone motifs makes me quite excited. My only concern is that the missions may end up being more GTA IV than Far Cry 2.

  10. I'm really curious about Halo: Reach. There wasn't too much information in the trailer. The only thing I gleaned was a possible reference to 6-player campaign co-op.

    There wasn't much information in any of the trailers I saw, come to think of it.

    Also Green Day: Rock Band. WTF?

  11. So how would you decide game of the decade? Is it simply the best of the 10 GOTYs for that timeframe? Is it the game that influenced subsequent game developers the most? Or is it a game that you feel captures "the spirit" of gaming for the decade?

  12. I spent most of the year playing '07 and '08 releases, but Halo 3 ODST was a pretty sweet game. It's more Halo, which is always great, but what makes this my goty is the way the story is told. The atmosphere and gameplay are so evocative and different from past Halo games.

    Most played 2008 game in 2009: tie - Far Cry 2 and CoD Waw.

    Biggest disappointment: UFC 09. As an MMA fan masturbatory vehicle, it's fantastic. As an actual fighting game, mediocre. As something resembling an actual MMA match, terrible. Actually integrating balance and leverage into the clinch and ground game may be impossible, but the glorified quick-time nature of this game disappointed me terribly.

  13. Picked up Odious Tea on amazon for $30 (plus a $10 credit to bring it down to $20). Man, this game is suprisingly cool so far! I'm about 2 hours in, and it's already my favorite Halo campaign. Love the narrative, music, open-world-esque nature of the levels, and of course, the return of the magnum. :tup:

    Also grabbed Far Cry 2 off Steam for $10, only to see it in Best Buy on Sunday for $5. :hmph:

  14. I enjoyed Assassin's Creed, but it's not on the level of the best releases out there. The main problems I had with gameplay were repetition and a lack of open-world "feel" to the main missions. The side missions are boringly identical, and when you go to perform a major assassination, it feels very scripted for a stealth game. I was hoping for open-world Hitman: Blood Money, with multiple choices on approach and kill method. What's the point of an open-world stealth game if you can't actually choose different points of attack?

    AC is still a very pretty game where you get to be a badass, and at $10 or $20, it's worth it if you're already intrigued by the concept.

    As far as Saboteur, I want to like it, but I'm afraid it'll be too much like Mercs 2 - there were so many frustrating design decisions in that game I never even bothered to finish it.

  15. It hasn't changed that significantly, it feels a lot more chaotic than cod 4 because there are constantly helicopters and harriers flying around. But other than that it's basically more of the same with new maps, better balanced weapons, and the same old matchmaking system that won't put me in games with other Australians. :frusty:

    Thanks. Sounds like something worth picking up if I get around to hooking my xbox back up to Live any time soon.

    As far as Activision-Blizzard, yes, there was a merger, and Activision is now the parent company of Vivendi. However, it seems as if Blizzard has complete, free reign over their end of the business. Of course, I'm still curious to see what WoW: Catacylsm gets priced at, not to mention the expansions for Starcraft 2.

  16. The Orange Box, Fallout 3, Halo 3 (or ODST), and Call of Duty are fantastic games well worth picking up and playing for many, many hours. Resident Evil 5 is well-polished and I found split-screen co-op to be fun. I might throw in Mirror's Edge, Far Cry 2, and Forza, as well.

  17. Well I think the Monkey Island Special Edition is unforgivably awful, if that's what you mean?

    Well, that too. The new graphics were definitely surprisingly inferior in some ways. I had to switch back to the old graphics several times to see that parts of the room were functional. And the artstyle was garishly cartoony compared to the old version.

    But that just exacerbated the feeling that computer graphics never became quite as awesome as the old, abstract graphics of early PC games implied. Maybe there's just something special about filling in the gaps with your imagination. Something that's lost in a modern game.

    Anyways - finished the game last night: totally awesome overall.

  18. I finally got around to playing this yesterday - about 65% through at the moment.

    I'm on Monkey Island.

    It's a really fun, quirky game! I thought Chris, Nick, and Jake were just nostalgic, but the game holds up even today.

    Switching between the old and new graphics made me sad, though. The old graphics are clearly very limited, but they're still super awesome. They have that abstract quality that allows your imagination to fill in the missing gaps.

    To me, graphics in old PC games held a promise that someday, they'd actually look really awesome, like they do in my imagination. To switch back to the new graphics in Monkey Island and be like "Oh, this is all computer games turned into" makes me really sad.

    Anyone else feel this way, or am I just odd?

  19. Favorite Game: Rome: Total War. This was the first ever game that I was anticipating and bought day of release. Before that, I had just wandered into a Target and looked at the PC game shelves. Medieval, the game before it, had captured my imagination and Rome did even more so. The music, the artwork, the strategy, and further development of the campaign map were all amazing. It probably helped that I was taking Classical Greek at the time in college.

    The other serious contender here would be Civ III multiplayer, if I could go back in time to 2001-2003 in perpetuity. The mp ladder community was classy and every match was challenging and rewarding.

    Best Game: Portal. Fantastic puzzles mixed with an understated, simple story that is told brilliantly. The most important part is that the story is integrated into the game levels seamlessly. When the 2nd half of the game began,

    after you escape the fire

    my mind was blown. The only negative about the game is that Portal doesn't replay well, since it's so puzzle-based.

    Desert Island Game: Chess without a doubt. Simplicity combined with depth, variability of strategy, and replayability. Unmatched. Civ 4 is also great and replayable, but it's not as consistently fun and variable. I often feel shoehorned into certain moves and micro-strategies throughout the game.

  20. Congratulations to Nick on the new job!

    I'll miss the podcast a ton, though - Idle Thumbs has set a high standard for podcasts for me, and I almost invariably come away disappointed trying new 'casts. (It's kind of like The Wire of podcasts).

    The authenticity, production quality, and insightfulness are unmatched in my experience.