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Everything posted by Atlantic

  1. Movie/TV recommendations

    I have slowly been working through a big list of films that I "should" have seen, or want to see. Today, I watched Wadjda (2012), a film about an 11- or 12- year old in Saudi Arabia. It was directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, and according to Wikipedia it was "first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first feature-length film made by a female Saudi director." It comments on the restrictions put on women in oppressive situations, like in Saudi Arabia, and how some women try to break out of those situations and others reinforce them. It's a fairly simple story and told in a very straightforward way. It feels very inspired by Bicycle Thieves, the 1948 Italian neorealist film. It's a very quiet film, but I think the points of tension stand for much grander issues. If you are interested in seeing more films by female directors, and films about women, then I'd definitely add it to your watchlist.
  2. Thanks for blasting our collective bags, chaps.
  3. According to Wikipedia, William Adams was born in Kent, England. So definitely not Irish then. Also according to Wikipedia, this game has been in development since 2004, and was initially based on an unfinished Akira Kurosawa script called Oni. Apparently the main character being foreigner to Japan is one of the few things to have carried over from the script. It does feel different to the Souls games... but it's still a Souls-like. The combat is a lot more character action-y than in Dark Souls, and it moves quicker than Bloodborne, but you're still collecting souls (or Amrita in this case) and fighting bosses and dying and doing it all over again. There are changes to the formula, like it being mission based rather than a big interconnected world and a few twists on the mechanics. I'm enjoying it, but I have played hundreds of hours these kinds of games. If you like complicated combat systems and loot-driven games there might be something for you, but that's a BIG IF.
  4. I don't think it is set in America... ? It's just that one spirit creature thingy that used a couple of phrases in Irish, but it was subtitled in English. There are also audio log-type things that you occasionally pick up and I think that they are in Japanese. The main character has only spoken in English, but you meet Hanzo Hattori at the end of the first proper mission and he is clearly a Japanese man speaking English. It's actually really neat. The main character is based on William Adams, who was a real life Englishman who went and became a samurai. In Nioh he starts the game locked in the Tower of London, and definitely seems to be Irish. Maybe Oirish, if you know what I mean. There's also mention of a Saoirse character, who is either the spirit at the beginning or some one else entirely. I haven't seen any confirmation on whether he is or not. Regarding the Souls games, Ruth Negga played the Emerald Herald, and she grew up in Limerick as far as I know. And she was nominated for an Academy Award for something else. And in Bloodborne, Father Gascoigne speaks with some kind of Irish accent that I can't quite place, and the lore around him says that he comes from far away where they use titles like "Father." I thought it was a clever way to differentiate him from the other characters who mostly spoke with various British accents.
  5. I played the first couple of missions of this yesterday. The main character is Irish!? An the strange floating spirit in the beginning says "An treo seo" which means "this way" in Irish/Gaeilge!? I think this is the first time I have ever heard the Irish language in a video game.
  6. I Had A Random Thought...

    They definitely have balls. I remember they talked about it on QI once. I think they're about the size of watermelons? with a penis about 3 metres long? That's vague, but the point is that they have relatively small testicles in comparison to humans.
  7. I Had a Random Thought (About Video Games)

    I have become less clear on whether Mario and Luigi are Italian or Italian-American or something else.
  8. Shaving My Thumbs

  9. It's an aberration definitely. I thought it was a bit weak in comparison to his other novels. It's the only one set outside the intelligence community, and has very few connections to the rest of the George Smiley stories. It gives a bit of background on Ann, but generally you can pick up everything you need to know in passing. I'd recommend not reading them in published order though. Tinker, Tailor is probably the best, and if you like that read the rest of the Karla trilogy (The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People). They are not as good as the first, but still have some interesting little bits to them. The Spy Who Came in From The Cold is also pretty good, if you want the focus on different characters, but you can tell Le Carré still hasn't quite hit his stride yet.
  10. Regarding the end of the podcast where the Thumbs say they are more inclined to talk about whatever rather than just video games: I wanted to chime in and say that I have always liked when the discussion broadens. (For reference, I started listening in 2008.) Like when Chris was really enthusiastic about the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy film from a few years ago, it encouraged me to watch it, and read the books. I have now read seven or eight John Le Carré novels and I adore them. I had hoped a few years ago that the podcast would turn more into a nerd-adjacent culture show, and maybe that's what the episode 300 era will be.
  11. The Happy Thread

    Was April really the last time anyone was happy this year?
  12. That gif has 4.8 million views as of right now.

    I am invested in the world, but I couldn't care less about the characters. I have such a strange reaction to the world and story of the Dishonored games. The whalepunk world is fascinating, and it touches on how Victorian-era people made the world a lot worse through industry in a way that what constitutes a current understanding of "steampunk" often tries to forget. It's not just top hats with gears glued on them, it's about hard and fast class boundaries and the ineptitudes of the wealthy while a disaster rises at their feet and other conflicts. There are a lot of little character details hidden in scraps of paper and slightly obscured interactions between different characters, particularly in the first game (though I intend to dig into the Karnaca a bit more over time). I really like all of this stuff, and there enough mysterious details that fleshes out the wider universe and cosmology. For instance, in all of the in-game written sources and in some of the things characters say, the Outsider is an intriguing entity, somehow connected to the magic whales and the Void, a shadow realm that is slowly eating the cosmos. However, whenever he is onscreen all I can do is roll my eyes. I think him talking directly to you is not only the least engaging part about him, it also actively pushes me away. And that is true for most of the characters: they are nuanced and detailed in the periphery, but not so in their immediate execution.
  14. Part 16 is up! Austin, Patrick, Danika, and Danielle played Dungeon World with its creator, Adam Koebel. I've only gotten to the end of character creation, but Danielle really shines.

    There is another non-lethal option that has a lot of steps before you can even discover it. Opening the lock gives you the option to skip this area (there's a prompt to move on to the next map, in case you're not finished exploring).
  16. Black Mirror

    I finished binging on the new Black Mirror season on Netfilx. It's excellent. Some jumbled up thoughts: There are some definite video and computer game references. One episode is directly about a possible future for augmented reality, and it features a character that I imagined to be an alternate dimension Kojima. Another episode felt like Metal Gear Solid x Brexit. Another episode is one of the darkest, tensest episodes of Black Mirror so far. So much so that I had to take a break from watching. All of the episodes are about a piece of technology or about how we as a society use that technology (or both), but there are occasionally little incidental pieces of equipment that seem futuristic-but-possible in the here and now. Things like self-driving cars and the wide-spread use of electric cars, and the issues that crop up around them. Or not. Sometimes things just work. The final episode is an hour and a half long and I would be happy enough with a spin off that follows the Techno-Bobbies of London. Lastly, there is a lot of phone-based acting that points towards a weird problem in modern cinema, and that is making moving your thumbs around a dramatic manoeuvre. It never stops seeming silly to me, but I don't know how else to do. Anyway, 5/5 would black mirror again
  17. The Next President

    Paddy Power has a long history of controversial advertising that they use to drum up business. To me, this is just another side to that. They get a bunch of retweets and shares and it gets posted here and probably other places. Clinton has such a high chance of winning that it makes no difference to them if they pay out now or later, except that they get free advertising now.
  18. I hope they name the podcast The Waypoint Waypoint.
  19. I Had A Random Thought...

    It's worrying to me that you could be referring to a number of different countries right now.
  20. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I love experimental music too, but I don't think the new Bon Iver is very good. I think it's a lot of showy production on songs that are actually quite simple, sometimes just fragments of songs. No ideas are really developed or given room to breathe, which is fine as a deliberate choice, I just don't particularly like it.
  21. Virginia is a game by Variable State, released for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on the 22nd September 2016. Set over the course of a week in 1992, you play as FBI operative Anne Tarver, who is tasked with investigating the mysterious disappearance of a young boy in a little town called Kingdom, Virginia. The story plays out trough dream sequences and simple gestures, and without a single spoken word. It has a score performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (which sounds really clear and crisp) that drives the action along. It is unabashedly a "walking simulator," with interactive elements barely existing. However, having played through the entire thing, I was moved. Confused, but moved, and in a way that most games don't even attempt. It has shades of Twin Peaks and the X-Files, and the credits specifically call out Brendon Chung's Thirty Flights of Loving. All of these influences are or become apparent over the approximately 2 hour runtime, but it quickly develops an identity of its own. The game has received decent reviews from Polygon, Eurogamer, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. They don't really spoil anything, but even if you're interested just go buy it and play it. It's only about 10 quid anyway.
  22. I've barely seen it mentioned anywhere, but there was DLC released for DXMD last week. Or this week? It's unclear. It's one of "Jensen's Stories," which are little self-contained stories that give you a set of augmentations and are much more direct than the main game. They are accessed from the main menu. The first was released alongside the game (I think with the deluxe edition, or whatever it's called), and dealt with some leads about the train station bomber. There was a whole area built just for it, which saw Jensen infiltrating Tarvos security. It was okay, I suppose, but I only played it a couple of weeks ago and am struggling to recall anything about it. The new DLC, called System Rift, sees Frank Pritchard from DXHR contacting Jensen about a potential new job. You are tasked with infiltrating the Palisade Blade, which is that big wing shaped building that hangs out over the Vltava river. I thought it was odd that you don't go to it in the main game, but this answers that. Anyway, I've played System Rift and it's interesting. There are a couple of interesting twists on the regular mechanics, with a decently sized stealth-recommended area that changes in a fundamental way how you move around a space. There are also some light puzzle areas, and the plot directly intersects with the Breach mode. Character wise, I think Jensen is a bit lighter, and generally a bit more likeable here. The plot isn't a fate-of-the-world scenario, and it gives breathing room to Ol' Chiselarms' regular grumpitude. I wasn't blown away by it™ and I'm not sure if I'd recommend everyone go play it, but hey it's more Deus Ex.
  23. Virginia - Strange and Confounding

    I find it really interesting that two games came out this year that were inspired by Thirty Flights: this and Firewatch. All these games use to some extent use this montage technique, but Firewatch uses it to bridge gaps between conversations but imply the passage of time, and Virginia flits between different spaces to give room for reflection and to build connexions between different images, without a single spoken word. Thirty Flights lands somewhere in the middle, maybe?