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About I_smell

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  1. I Had a Random Thought (About Video Games)

    I think I'm at the 3rd act of Final Fantasy XV now. The writing is still very cringeworthy, but the game around it has really impressed me. They twist their open world and twist their characters in some heavy ways. I really feel like no game mechanic, place or character is safe, and I'm proud of the team for acheiving that atmosphere, especially with how games are made these days. By comparison, it makes GTA 5 feel like Lego pieces bobbing up and down in a static toy box. Final Fantasy has always been a series where the protagonists will have their hopes dashed and spiral down into madness before the end, and I'm glad that they haven't lost that touch in all these years. Even though I wish other parts of the storytelling would evolve, this team does really care, and still pushes themselves. Semi-related, I read this article on "designing for coziness" recently and it really inspired me: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/TanyaXShort/20180305/315179/Designing_for_Coziness.php&ved=2ahUKEwibkOeytr7kAhXDUlAKHR5sBlcQFjAAegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw3ZXCFvklqtoaqS9i0NZeUZ I can retroactively see games that were thinking about this now, and FFXV is definitely one of them. I also saw a recent trailer for Pokemon Sword and Shield which showed setting up a tent, camping with ur boys, cooking curry together and discovering recipes... lots of mechanics lifted DIRECTLY from FFXV. For some reason I can't feel 100% happy about that. It'll never be the same as me and my J-pop boy band!!
  2. I Had a Random Thought (About Video Games)

    I picked up Final Fantasy XV over the weekend. I was sold on that sick move where he teleports by throwing a sword. I love the personality and character of the first few minutes! I love my crew of camping j-pop hunks, I like them cooking and taking photos together, but the core plot and all the FF lore is absolutely forgettable as hell! It's such a bummer when the plot gets moving and some lordship is lecturing me about the crystal of galamaore's whim or WHAT-EVER. Please just delete the critical path of this game!! Roaming around on a nice road trip, casting fire spells and equipping a Bronze Bangle would be lovely. I don't want a B-tier anime with a bunch of nothing-people droning out exposition about kingdoms and legacies. I swear Final Fantasy stories used to open with a thief and a wizard sneaking onto a cruise ship to escape the cops. Where did it all go wrong? I feel like Breath of the Wild is the medicine to this game's sickness. I hope the developers of Final Fantasy some day realize what they have. ...or just get better at writing, for the love of god. (I've played Final Fantasy 7, 9 and 12)
  3. Clickbait Games Journalism: Polygon vs Kotaku

    A few posts up I listed a bunch of stuff that I'd like to be reading about. I noticed today that one of those articles actually did get written! An article on the ESA acting in slow-motion, watching E3 crumble as they get distracted by in-fighting and sloppy management: https://variety.com/2019/gaming/features/entertainment-software-association-mike-gallagher-e3-1203211280/
  4. Marvel movies

    Yeah it's a funny point. It's more important if you imagine someone watching these movies in 2030, outside of our zeitgeist. Going from Spider-Man Homecoming to Spider-Man Far From Home is the MOST WEIRD things get with missing plot. Even theoretical Thor-only fans could presume that The Hulk in Thor Ragnarok is an old friend from other muscley adventures. I could imagine someone watching Spider-Man Far From Home in 2030 though and just waiting for all that "blip" exposition to pay off, but it doesn't!!! It's a funny symmetry that Spider-Man famously did this in the comics when he suddenly appeared with the black suit, and a tiny box said "Go and buy 'Secret Wars #1' you jerks!" I think Marvel are assuming that these movies will ALWAYS be considered as part of a package, even years from now, and I think they're basically right. I appreciate the gamble just because it's a unique play. Another example that we can look back on is the VIEW-ASKEWNIVERSE, where Clerks, Chasing Amy, Mall Rats, Dogma and others share a history. I think any maniac who's watching Mall Rats in 2019 (also featuring Stan Lee) probably knows this, so you could say that this proves the idea works in the long run. It does detract from watching Mall Rats, because I don't know what the hell happened in Clerks 2, so you could also say that this proves it's a bad idea in the long run. I dunno, it's weird.
  5. Movie/TV recommendations

    I finally got around to watching Eighth Grade. It's something I've had on my list for a while because it's written and directed by Bo Burnham, a stand-up comedian writing a movie for the first time. I remember seeing this guy making Youtube videos when I was 15 (and he was 15) where he would make funny, rude songs. They were silly Weird Al stuff, but they were often heartfelt and visibly desperate as well. A few years later he had a couple stand-up specials that lauded vulnerability. It looks a little melodramatic now, but I was in that headspace at the same time, so it really worked on me. Anyway the movie is good. I've watched a couple teen-drama movies on Netflix recently (Sarah Burgess Is A Loser, Dumplin') and they're very plastic, corny and predictable. I also don't like Black Mirror because it's so loud and ham-fisted with how it skewers modern technology. Eighth Grade feels more authentic in what it's like to be lonely and unsure today. The big villain in this kid's life is just a spread out cloud of little failures (often just PERCEIVED failures) that she's not equipped to process, and the small victories are very endearing. The kid is nervous about going to this pool party, but it's presented as just a bunch of wet kids and a cheap stereo in somebody's garden. I like coming to this genre with such a down-to-earth, lived-in perspective. It's not truly mind-blowing, but it felt honest and vulnerable. That was compelling to me, and I appreciate that somebody's out there making stories in this style.
  6. Clickbait Games Journalism: Polygon vs Kotaku

    Yeah it's true, even if you have a staff of 4 writers, maybe one of them can spend 10 days making something in-depth... but that never gets as much traffic as 5 posts about what's free on Xbox Game Pass this week. So if a website operates in that way, they will run out of money. It's not like the government is giving them subsidies to keep the lights on. I guess the other option is people who are funded by subscription and Patreon backers, like Noclip and Cloth Map... which are actually doing their best to make interesting things! So I am glad that they're using that avenue to cover topics that nobody would click on. That seems like they're delivering on the promise of a medium that isn't based on ads.
  7. Clickbait Games Journalism: Polygon vs Kotaku

    I don't know about you guys, but I've found myself wanting more talk on big topics than anyone is doing. For example unionization was not invented yesterday. It's happened lots of times, with many ups and downs! Where's the unbiased pros and cons? Maybe there's no E3 next year, but what does that mean? How could the ESA watch this happen in such slow motion? What could a game actually do with a game-streaming service that it can't do on a local machine? What does a subscription-driven market do to small indie games versus big $60 blockbusters? Who stands to lose out? Has recent massive broadband penetration changed the way people approach games in India? If China had banned consoles for 14 years, are people playing couch co-op games for the first time there now? When Sekiro came out, there were a bunch of articles about whether or not games "should have easy modes" and it just felt like every editor rolled out of bed, scratched their butt and said "I dunno, this could be news".
  8. Marvel movies

    I watched Spider-Man Far From Home (the new one). I can agree that it's way fun! It's a fun movie to sit in, it has a similar vibe to the previous one. Some fun jokes! I loved seeing Jake Gyllenhaal onscreen in this movie as well. Similar to casting Michael Keaton as The Vulture, he's an actor that's been around for 20 years. We've seen him get his ass kicked and be a weird killer in so many movies that it brings a well-traveled man-of-experience vibe to the performance when you put him next to Tom Holland as Spider-Man. That really added to it, and this move where all the adults in the Spider-Man universe are super contemporary actors, but the kids are total unknowns, works really well I think.
  9. Clickbait Games Journalism: Polygon vs Kotaku

    I don't often use game websites any more, but I definitely did read long articles on Anthem, Read Dead Redemption 2, Riot Games and others on Kotaku. I also really liked the Kotaku video series that Tim Rogers did on localizing Final Fantasy 7. I'd recommend it, it's very pedantic. I do remember them being the web's #1 place for Mario shaped birthday cakes and cosplay compilations, but how long ago was that? How old are we on this forum? I'm thinking about 2010, right? I remember Polygon really patting themselves on the back for being SERIOUS JOURNALISM when they first appeared, but the next thing I remember is a guy putting amiibos in his mouth. I think some of Brian David Gilbert's videos are funny in how their concept is so stupid, but I don't feel compelled to be a consistent fan of such a website. I've been checking in on Gamasutra recently. A lot of it is developers writing "How I achieved great success by working hard" to boost their personal brand, but it is about as insider as you can get. So I'm trying it out for now. The thing I'm most enjoying right now is Waypoint drilling way into political subtext in game design choices. I just want a deep, deep dive on every game.
  10. Marvel movies

    I haven't seen that movie yet, but here's my guess, which MIGHT be a spoiler?
  11. Game Pass

    Should I play Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) before I play Wolfenstein 2? I loved DOOM 2016, I played Titanfall 2's campaign recently, and I heard Wolfenstein was funny and fun. Is it an FPS campaign worth playing through? Would it be more fun to jump directly to Wolfenstein 2?
  12. Toy Story 4 (and other toy stories)

    Well with Toy Story 3, I felt like the plot was being pushed along by movie-corp Pixar. When I was watching the scene where they're all very sad, I only felt that the Pixar company wants me to feel sad now, and they were using the resources they had to hit that target. With Toy Story 4, it felt like the plot was written by some old parent, possibly a grandparent by now, who's lived a life and had a lot of things to tell me in a broad topic. Not just for one quick conflict in the third act, but for most of the film. I'm glad that Toy Story 4 does that, because it shows what Toy Story's role is among other animated kids' movies: to have themes and ideas. I would expand that to Pixar's role in the industry, but I didn't have much to chew on from The Incredibles 2, Coco or Finding Dory (even though they're all fun and nice movies!) I think the arc of this particular thing maturing over time is really interesting.
  13. Halfway through watching Toy Story 4, when I leaned over to my girlfriend and said "the toys are the kids' parents!", she groaned, rolled her eyes and pleaded with me to shut up as if I were claiming that aliens secretly built the pyramids. I think Toy Story is a perfect example of a movie you can watch again as you grow up, because you'll see different things the 2nd or 3rd time. I can't find it any more, but I read somewhere that some elements of Toy Story 1 were inspired by drafted soldiers finally coming back home to small towns, where they'd be these buff, capable heroes and handymen in the community, but were suffering from a creeping loss of identity behind closed doors. When I first saw Toy Story 2, there was something really scary about Jessie's fear of abandonment. A long time later, I imagined the story was about an adult who was abandoned by someone they were in love with and could never move on. It was only a couple weeks ago that I thought "Maybe Jessie is a parent who's abandoned by their children." and right now I think that clicks with the scenes in Jessie's song the most. I had never thought about that until just now. It's probably because I'm 27, I moved far away from my family about 6 years ago and a less-than-weekly phone-call with my Dad is the only connection I'm really giving to my parents. I think it's fair to say that my own personal situation, and my guilt of abandoning my parents, has inspired this reading. I actually want to watch the film again to see what's in Woody's story if you view him as an old parent afraid to be left alone. I'm personally really interested in sub-text these days. I think it brings these roller-coaster blockbusters down to something very honest, heartfelt, human and written from real-life experience. I love the text, and the sub-text, and I appreciate the way they're stitched together. Toy Story 4 is very loudly packed with sub-text and themes, but it's also really fun and has some good laughs. So I recommend it to basically anyone who's watched the other movies. I saw Toy Story 3 once and it didn't really stick with me. Maybe I should watch it again.
  14. Movie/TV recommendations

    Everyone's talking about Chernobyl, but I just feel like... it must be really, very sad, right? I don't wanna watch a whole show about something so terribly sad! I've had a blu-ray of Get Out on my table for weeks and I finally watched it. I purposely avoided spoilers for this. It was a good concept, it's very contemporary, I respect it and I bet it really clicked with a lot of people. It's big on sub-text, and really invites you to look into it. It's a very cliche thriller though! I didn't expect how straight-forward the film was, it's a new idea applied to the very familiar frame of a movie where a spooky killer is getting everyone. That's fun, but I guess I expected it to be something more surprising. Oh well! I still liked watching it. It's not pretentious, the film speaks its' message loudly, and couches it in a nice popcorn flick deliberately. I can see why people were excited to check out Us next.
  15. If you're talking about Mad World (the song in the Gears of War trailer) then just remember that they used the original song in that trailer. Not a downer cover.