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About I_smell

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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".
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Marvel movies

    I haven't seen that movie yet, but here's my guess, which MIGHT be a spoiler?
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Something that really interested me about trailers recently was the Avengers Endgame trailer (the main one???) They've edited things out of the trailer footage for these Marvel movies before, but in Endgame they edited out like 3 main characters and promoted a completely different tone for the movie. The movie is a silly romp and a big fight scene! It's only 20% dire remorse! I would almost consider it a fake-out. Of course you can only get away with that when you've already got a guaranteed audience. Game trailers are interesting because you need to code in-game tools to make your camera fly around. You need to record and play back player input for a good performance, and code a UI-free version of the game specifically for trailers. I can't show an Xbox A button in a trailer I'm going to upload to the PlayStation store, that's against the rules! Just take a look at this Astroneer trailer and consider all the unique shit they coded as trailer performance tools: You have to communicate what the gameplay experience is step-by-step a lot of the time, and that can be a tricky task too.
  13. Wow that's a surprise. I think Super Mario Galaxy might be my favourite one. I can see that it's a different format than 64 in some ways, so I can understand maybe. It's definitely going for a different vibe. I recently bought Stardew Valley and I just don't get it. The tone feels like it skews toward an even younger audience than I expected. I don't like the artwork, I walked around talking to characters and I don't like any of them, I don't like walking around the map so much, I don't mind farming but it's not that exciting... I saw myself reaching 4pm and saying "welp, I might as well go to bed now!" a couple times and it felt heavily depressing. I can imagine a different execution of this concept that I do like, I loved hearing it described to me, but playing this is sapping the life outta me.
  14. Marvel movies

    It's fun reading about all of these huge logic holes after the movie! You guys are all totally right, I didn't think about any of that when I was sitting in the cinema. I had a great time, and even though I don't consider myself to be a typical internet nerd geek, I don't own funko pops, I don't have a Loot Crate subscription, but I did cheer and laugh at those fan-service moments and all the call-backs! It worked on me, I had fun. Like you guys said though, I can't recommend it as a "great film", because it's not very emotionally impactful.
  15. I definitely had the same feeling with Horizon Zero Dawn. At it's best moments, it almost feels like I'm playing Vanquish, but the robots are a bit more like dinosaurs! I'd love more of that, but what were the characters names again?? ...what was I doing on this quest? I find all of the plot and personality just dull as a rock, sorry Guerrilla Games. It actually reminds me of when I played Assassin's Creed 1. I know they'll make a sequel, and I hope they just get wild with the movement, sliding, climbing, swinging, fluid dinosaur combat, ripping guns off stuff and slam-dunking mind-control grenades in their heads. The combat was nice, and had room to get better, but I don't need another save-the-world Video game plot and a village full of robotic NPC dialogue to skip through.