Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by dium

  1. When you were answering the greatest Thief question and Nick started with "there was that one guy who stole all that money..." I was genuinely surprised when he didn't continue with "...and wasn't going to give it back".
  2. SGDQ 2017

    I've been working my way through the 8-hour FFVII play-through. I'm enjoying it but I'm having trouble explaining exactly why. I think a big part of it is having never played FFVII, which normally hurts my enjoyment of a speedrun, but in this case the couchpersons make a good effort to explain both regular game mechanics and storyline in addition to speed strats. So I feel like I'm enjoying the game on a lets-play sort of level, but at an accelerated pace (8 hours instead of 30). ...8 hours is still a lot, though. I'm still just 3 hours in.
  3. This turned out to be pretty predictive of this very thread.
  4. There was stuff to enjoy, but all things considered this was my least favorite episode so far. The show has been really dark since the very beginning of the season, but every episode there's usually *something* unambiguously exciting to help you get through. This episode it seems that something was supposed to be Albert meeting Diane for all of 2 seconds; slim pickings.
  5. ⬆️ this is more or less what I was afraid of. But still, walking around decent facsimiles of real-world Tokyo neighborhoods is most of what I want out of any anime game. So it's on my radar now
  6. Is it really now?? Well shit, I guess I should've payed attention. I know basically nothing about that game, but my crude impressions of it were that it was an embarrassing sort of cute-girl-anime game. Probably unfair.
  7. I picked this up this last weekend. It was kind of a gamble for me: I've always wanted to like Persona games more than I actually do. I'm a fan of the high school social sim part of the games, but then the dungeon crawling, historically, turns me all the way off. So, FWIW, Persona 5 is the first in the series that I've managed to get into. And most of that just comes down to the dungeon crawl sections being much more playable, imo. They look good and they feel constructed rather than arbitrary. And then the parts I've always enjoyed – being a precocious teen choosing how to spend his free time after school – are still good. Even the obligatory prolonged JRPG windup period that I often struggle with wasn't so bad. It was what, only ~4 hours before they took off the training wheels and let me make my own choices? That's well below average. Of course, all I *really* want to do is hang out in Shibuya; I am a total sucker for any game with an explorable Shibuya area. I'd say P5 only very barely qualifies in this regard, since it only lets you walk part-way down the central pedestrian street (although I appreciate the surprisingly big chunk of the Station they modeled!). I know exploring is not really what these games are about, but the idea of JRPGing around a simulacrum of Shibuya's Don Quijote (in this game 'Rosinante') is intoxicating. I've only just finished the first palace. I don't disagree that the gender politics of the game aren't amazing.
  8. The Witness by Jonathan Blow

    I'm basically only tangentially interested in whatever the intended point was.
  9. The Witness by Jonathan Blow

    I mostly agree with you. Considering the various ways Blow could've presented this subject matter (Blow specifically, not how anyone could've), the one he chose was probably the best. Overtly "apolitical" is, of course, itself a political stance, and a very privileged one at that. But that doesn't make it bad. It certainly doesn't make it worse than alternatives. Ultimately, I agree with everything I've written in the post above (which I'm now realizing is just as much my own thoughts as it is Austin's... I don't think he ever called The Witness a "mindfulness tool"). But none of it changes my personal opinion of the game, which is very positive. EDIT: FWIW my own reservations about the game are much more shallow and surface level: I didn't enjoy the audio logs (or most of the videos) but for purely aesthetic reasons. They felt haughty and sophomoric, and kind of like I was playing the video game version of a Ken Burns documentary on world philosophies. Fortunately, clicking on the audio logs is optional, so that problem sort of solves itself.
  10. The Witness by Jonathan Blow

    I think you meant to link to something different here, and I'm interested in what it was supposed to be. Anyway, the most Austin has publicly discussed The Witness, that I'm aware of, is on this podcast. There he discusses (what I imagine are) bits of a long written piece he was writing (but ultimately never published). You get the sense that, while he has strong opinions, he's struggling to finalize a statement that's persuasive enough for his own high standards. But still: if you've never heard a "stronger case for the Witness having a troubling worldview", Austin makes one that I'm very fond of. The case (which I'm paraphrasing and interpreting, not quoting) is: The Witness is firstly a mindfulness tool, and secondly a proponent of the ability of humanity to solve problems through the power of – not just "logic" – but a voracious exploration of all available avenues of thinking. It is, in that regard, enviably hopeful. But it can also come off as naive and facile: political and material realities aren't so much ignored as much as they're never presented to exist at all. Austin highlights how, in particular, The Witness is eager to discuss the conceptual differences between Rinzai and Soto schools of Zen Buddhism, but is wholly uninterested in any political reasons behind that split. None of this straight-up invalidates Jon Blow's version of pro-mindfulness, or of exploratory introspection, or etc etc. But it does create a tone to the game that's less palatable if you're unwilling to temporarily put aside the real-world – if you aren't in a position, practically or emotionally, to indulge in purely abstract and internal arguments that are purposefully blind to politics.
  11. Feminism

    I seem to remember reading another anti-DFW-bro piece with a similar "guy's I've dated"-style premise, but I haven't seen anyone else bring it up so maybe I imagined it. Anyway, that one is really good. People* are so bad at this. (WARNING: OBVIOUS RANT ABOUT OBVIOUS THING FOLLOWS) The reason you'd recommend someone a book (or anything) is to help them find something they'll appreciate... right? But I think lots of people just recommend favorites indiscriminately, as a way of imposing their own taste influence as far as possible. To make sure their personal canon of art features prominently in their social circle. Obviously nobody is actually thinking in those terms. But still, it often feels like an entirely self-centered act that barely considers the other person at all. Relatedly, I think a lot of dudes think their friends and/or romantic interests need to like everything they like, and any discrepancy in taste is some sort of problem that needs to be sorted out. This seems very adolescent to me; something that maybe we all feel but should try to grow out of. *well, men are, anyway. I imagine women are forced to think about this sort of stuff in a way men never really are
  12. The Witness by Jonathan Blow

    So divisive, this video game!
  13. Movie/TV recommendations

    People were doing that with Pixar movies at one point. Then, I think, people were expected to watch Cars, so it stopped.
  14. I skipped the first episode mainly due to an aversion to Wil Wheaton, which may be petty, but hey: it's my leisure time. Now that I know I don't hate the show I'll probably go back and catch up. As for Oswalt, while he may similarly represent an uncomfortable celebrity nerd culture, he's (unlike Wheaton) also a genuinely talented entertainer who doesn't bring that persona with him in his performance. TBH, he's the only member of the non-puppet cast who never misses a comedic beat and has already completely inhabited his goofy character. Anyway. I've only seen 1102, and enjoyed it. I liked it more than I like most Mike episodes. Honestly, if this season has better than a 60% success rate then it's about par for the course for MST3K seasons; it's always been a hit-and-miss show for me.
  15. The Fast and the Furious series

    I'm of two minds about the family fixation. It is very cheesy... there are even moments that I'd characterize as wide-eyed and dorky. In theory, I'm actually all about it: it's endearing. It's an effective foil to the muscle-car/muscle-bod machismo. They give all the cheesiest, most face-palmy-saccharine lines to the guy with the deepest voice and frowniest face and I approve. But yeah, in practice, much of it crosses the line from endearing-embarrassing to just embarrassing. The lighthearted and/or celebratory family moments tend to work for me — angsty moments generally do not.
  16. The Fast and the Furious series

    I'm seeing a lot of (very self-indulgent, very click-baity) rankings of these movies in the lead-up to hashtag F8. Also, I just finished re-watching 1 through 7 last week. So I figured I'd post my personal ranking (also here on letterboxd, with rambly qualifications we all crave to read): 1. Fast Five (2011) 2. Fast & Furious 6 (2013) 3. The Fast and the Furious (2001) 4. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) 5. Furious 7 (2015) 6. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) 7. Fast & Furious (2009) I know that these movies are mostly ultra-produced mass-appeal trash, but I can't help but like them. Not hearing great things about the eighth one tho
  17. These are the best aspect of the game, in my opinion. Also: I am stuck. I don't mind being stuck. I *like* being stuck, in an adventure game, actually. But nobody likes being stuck on a single thing for longer than a couple play sessions, and I'm coming up against that limit. But: what I've just described is reason #1 or #2 why adventure games died, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  18. Content-blocked within 15 minutes of posting. So speedy, FOX robots!
  19. Ranking the Harry Potter Series

    I was born in 1990 and was well into Harry Potter. That means I was 11, 12, and 14 for the first three movies, and had them on DVD and probably re-watched them a decent number of times. The rest of the movies I saw as they came out, and remember enjoying on at very least the straightforward level of recognizing something I already knew I liked. But I have not revisited any of them, and don't have much of a desire to. Your reviews certainly re-enforce this attitude. Wizard People, however, I have seen countless times. Truly, it would be very difficult to guess an accurate number.
  20. I think it was in a progresscast. Which by the way, if you missed those while you were doing an exhaustive listen last year, you can find the previously-exclusive progresscasts here! https://www.idlethumbs.net/kickstarter-progresscast
  21. I agree the music is v good. It's petty, but I've tried watching a bunch of different streamers play this game and have been quickly turned off by (apparently common among pro streamers??) vocal sentiments at how 'terrible' the music is. Baffling.
  22. "Every other joke" is only a little hyperbolic, imo. This game is a parody in the truest, most bare-faced sense. It's an adventure game very much about adventure games. There's plenty of obvious/overt references, and then some that are subtle by comparison. But they're everywhere. With that in mind, though, I've managed to reset my expectations and I'm actually enjoying it. This certainly feels like a game built to impress old adventure gamers specifically, beyond simply the inclusion of a lot of references. There have been a lot of surprising moments, but I don't think I'd find them as surprising or fun if I weren't thinking of them in the context of all the early 90s stuff that came before it. To summarize my reaction so far, Thimbleweed Park is very indulgent. But I don't mind so much personally, because I'm part of the in-group being indulged.
  23. Hearing this, and knowing Ron Gilbert's sense of humor, I'm adjusting my expectations a bit – it always seemed to me that Ron likes his meta humor. If it's only the odd meta reference once and a while, though, I can live with it. Edit: it's like, every other joke.
  24. Hearing Rob talk about Persona was frustrating (and great), because I similarly don't get into JRPGs very often, and I similarly feel tempted by the new Persona game. And, also similarly, I don't really have time in my leisure schedule to add a big long story game, but when I hear enthusiasm like this from someone with similar tastes I may pull the trigger anyway. I have played some Persona 3, and had mixed feelings about it, so reminding myself of that experience may save me my time and money once P5 is out. I really enjoyed everything in that game that wasn't dungeon crawling (the same sort of high school life management stuff Rob was talking about in Persona 4), but then you had to go into "The Tartarus" and suddenly I got very bored. Also, things got way uglier. It was like playing two different games, and only one was the game I actually wanted to play.
  25. Justice League film

    That trailer seems bad and nothing in this "CU" interests me and nothing directed by Zack Snyder interests me. And yet... Gal Gadot and especially Jason Momoa are such perfect casting choices for those characters. Feels like a waste. JK Simmons as Gordon, on the other hand, is one of those choices so obvious, such a hallmark of fantasy fan-castings, as to be embarrassing to see happen in real life.