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Posts posted by Malaphax

  1. This needs a little bit of context - they're releasing a new champion in league and a new character in valorant that are very similar.  They have the same voice actor and similar kits/abilities based around electricity.  They were designed by the same game designer as well.  This is a clearly intentional move to see if they can do a bit more to connect valorant and league (which they've done a bit in the past). 


  2. I think the film felt very design by committee and "get this done, or we'll give it to someone else."

    I also want to briefly shit on the wachowski's because it's well deserved. 
    They wrote/directed the matrix films and before that bound (which is worth a watch) - what have they done since then?  Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, Sense8 and now matrix 4 (at least one of them).  So basically they've managed to create big budget garbage films ever since the matrix trillogy and let's be real, matrix 2 and 3 had some issues too.  Why do studios give these people money?  They've produced nothing of value.  Fuck hollywood for enabling these grifting shitbags (and many others) to continue making garbage media. 

    • The spoiler 4th wall commentary in the beginning was super weird, especially considering WB obviously paid for this shit and saw it before it went to wide release.  Was it ok'd by some dude thinking it was what all the millennials and zoomers would like?
    • The tech made zero sense - even less sense than the first films. 
      • The machines harvest human heat/energy because the sky has been completely blackened by the humans in the great war - but random fuckheads in Io were able to create a false sky and create organic life?  Why didn't the machines just do the same thing to run off of biomass? Or better yet have the machines just fucking sat there the entire time after the war with no higher level programming of repairing the environment or creating alternate sources of energy?
      • Also they briefly mentioned a war between machines, this is barely touched on again and seemingly had little to no impact on anything else in the film.  Cool worldbuilding!
    • Io was the new Zion and a great and mighty city... of 12 people - I can't tell if that was a covid issue when they were filming or if someone forgot to put in some sense of scale
    • Keanu is doing his best force push impression for the last half of the film - it looked cheesy the entire time and seemed to be a way for them to limit actual fight scenes.
    • Everyone including the good guys went to the stormtrooper academy of can't shoot for shit.  There is literally a point when they're all crammed into a fucking coffee shop at point blank and everyone still can't hit shit. 
    • This movie manages a character assassination of trinity while seeming to appeal to the tumbler/twitter crowd of gormless imbeciles with weird pandering "girl power" and absolutely nonsensical chauvinism. 
      • Trinity was a strong character in the first films and not simply a love interest - her death/sacrifice impacts neo and leads him to his own sacrifice/bargain to help the people of zion and reset the matrix
      • Suddenly Trinity is now even less of a character and more of a plot device because without her, Neo is powerless and the output of the matrix is hurt (fucking why?)
        • Trinity and Neo are literally housed in some weird throne room, leading to the crew having to rescue her from a "castle"
      • The architect was a bloodless program simply looking to create a more perfect version of the matrix
        • The analyst is supposedly better than the architect because humans simply feed on emotion and don't need logic (can't tell if that's meta commentary on the real world or on this garbage ass film)
      • Also the analyst is a misogynistic pig for no reason - oh so we can watch trinity beat him up and it makes her look powerful.  You go girl boss!
      • Also the "power of friendship/love" overcomes everything - wow such amazing writing.
    • I don't want to dedicate any more brainspace to this poorly written, poorly directed, nostalgia baiting trash.
      Just don't watch this film, don't think about this film and for the love of god if they make any more, don't watch that shit either. 


  3. Having played the games, and read some of the books, they decided to go in some new directions with the new season.  Most of my thoughts are spoiler filled so I'll just drop them below. 


    The acting was mostly fine this go around.  In fact, I like the actor they have playing Vesemir and the guy who they have playing Dijkstra is perfect.  That being said they decided to completely make some shit up, some of which is utter shite.  I think the show was pretty clearly impacted by Covid with some sets and CGI looking pretty rough, but the writing is honestly what's bringing down the show more than anything. 
    I think the show is still interesting but this season felt like a step down from the first in nearly every way. 

    The entire plot line of Yennifer missing her powers was not only pointless but also really crap from a character standpoint - she basically ends up as Ciri's adopted mother.  It's hard to go from "I'm willing to sacrifice a random child for my powers" to "jk, I'll do anything to protect her" without getting whiplash.  Also, Yennifer was hyped up as a very powerful mage to basically ends up useless this entire season, which was supposedly because she's mostly absent from this part of the story in the books - I think I would have preferred her being mostly absent instead...

    Glad to see they're showing more infighting and politics with the sorcerers.  They're all pretty nasty people and I think that part was well done. 

    The entire plot line with Fringilla was really hard to take seriously.  The stuff with the Elves felt weird as well, I know they needed to set them up as rebels/fighters against humans but it seemed a bit hamfisted. 

    I really dislike what they did with all the witchers, especially Vesemir's motivations.  They killed off Eskel mostly as a way to screw with people familiar to the source material.  Vesemir's drive to start producing witchers again makes sense, but the idea of turning Ciri into one makes zero sense.  Even logically, if her blood is the key ingredient why would you attempt to modify her with the trial of the grasses, wouldn't that potentially fuck up her elder blood's ability to be used for creating witchers?  Also, Vesemir seems totally willing to kill Ciri which makes zero sense from his character's motivation - if she's dead he can't create more witchers, let alone the potential political and magical consequences that would happen.  Seems exceptionally braindead, plus it shits on the original character and his love for his wards. 
    Then there's the TV problem of using fodder to make various monsters/battles seem like higher stakes, but that ended up making all the unnamed witchers seem like absolute chumps, when they're supposed to be nearly superhuman combatants. 

    The "villain" of the deathless mother is some weird amalgam of the crones/baba yaga knockoff and a maguffin plot device.  They call her a "demon" which I don't think they make reference to in the books or games, and she's supposed to be from the conjunction, and after being "sealed away" she's still capable of immense acts of power and corrupting multiple mages? Also I'm still not sure about where her magical hut is, at one point it's implied to be in an almost different plane or potentially under the ruins of an elven temple, but then Geralt and Yen teleport there and suddenly make it out without any sort of magic? Wut?  The first season had the druid's area which was a sort of demi-plane or magically hidden area, but they made a point of showing that.  There was also Stregebor's tower, but again that was shown as it's own demi-plane inside the real tower. 

    The Emir reveal is supposed to be a big deal, but anyone who has played witcher 3 knows about it.  I think it's a bigger deal in the books, since they also hide his appearance while he's cursed for a time.  It also ends up making Ciri basically double royalty, she's next in line to the throne of Nilfgaard and also rightfully owns Cintra, which is oddly sort of accurate to some of the various real world royal families.  I'm hoping any additional Nilfgaard storyline gets better because this season's B plot was incredibly uninteresting. 

    They're clearly starting to move towards the wild hunt storyline, and I'm curious how they'll do that.  I really want to see how they portray the Aen Elle - in the games they were huge, and I kinda liked that different depiction of elves and an easy way to show that they're different from the normal Aen Seidhe elves that are on this sphere. 


  4. I think that's a really neat design.  Ian also tested it out and while it did technically fail when he fully submerged it in mud, it was only because he couldn't rack the slide.  Once he racked the slide it still functioned after a pretty nasty mud bath. 

    The downside is that it's a little bit expensive right now... The limited edition pre-orders were $5,000 and the standard models are still really expensive.  I'm curious if designs like this might be more widely made at some point. 

  5. https://www.npr.org/2021/12/12/1063489922/california-governor-gavin-newsom-assault-weapons-ban-texas-abortion-law


    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday pledged to empower private citizens to enforce a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons in the state, citing the same authority claimed by conservative lawmakers in Texas to outlaw most abortions once a heartbeat is detected.

    State Sen. Brian Dahle, a Republican from Bieber, would oppose the plan but predicted it could probably pass California's Democratic-dominated state Legislature. He said the proposal was most likely a stunt for Newsom to win favor with his progressive base of voters ahead of a possible run for president in the future.

    "The right to bear arms is different than the right to have an abortion. The right to have an abortion is not a constitutional amendment. So I think he's way off base," Dahle said. "I think he's just using it as an opportunity to grandstand."

  6. Space Marine 2 I'm hyped for.  I enjoyed the first one, it's absolutely a power fantasy game and its still one of the best renditions of the 40k universe.  Curious about some specifics of this game because reddit is doing some serious reading into the trailer and depending on how that breaks we could see this game set much further in the timeline than much of 40k media.  Not sure what Titus is up to, but I suspect it will be cool. 

    Horizon Dawn will eventually come to PC, that seems to be Sony's new trend.  With God of War coming to PC, I think they're just figuring out how long they want to keep it playstation exclusive before porting it.  I suspect they'll settle on the 1 year mark. 

    Hellblade was kinda neat, curious what the sequel will do. 

    Cuphead was cool, if frustrating at times.  The game is rather difficult.  This is technically DLC for the original, but it's coming so long after the release it's weird. 

    Elden Ring is another soulsbourne game, they're cool but I have some personal issues with stamina based systems in games.  I might give this one a try, but I might not. 

    Star Wars Eclipse had a weird/cool trailer, but it's a David Cage game, so I'm expecting it's going to end up being a meme-worthy piece of garbage with terrible writing. 

    Homeworld 3 I'm hyped for.  I never finished Deserts of Karak, but I did enjoy my playthrough of the remastered homeworld games.  Honestly, I've read they're in even better shape than when they initially launched and they're absolutely worth playing through if you're interested in sci-fi settings or RTS games.  Bonus points: the music and cinematics are genuinely incredible, there's a reason why people still to this day reference at least one of them. 
    It went on sale for $3.49 last steam sale - which is practically free - pick it up next sale if you're even remotely interested. 

  7. Quote

    King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.


    The film is good.  The action sequences are solid, and the duel in question is nearly worth the price of admission, it's just as good as some of the best action sequences of Gladiator.  The film's subject matter is made to be uncomfortable, but it isn't overwhelming.  There are some blunt scenes that spell out how women are property, or that rape was fairly common and normally born with silence - I do think some of that dialogue while accurate, comes across as a bit on the nose.  The 3 character viewpoints mean there's a fair bit of the film where the same scenes are played out but with some minor and some major differences.  Even with the repeated scenes the movie doesn't drag, the character drama and dialogue segments are well acted and still manage to carry the slower parts of the film - Adam Driver is fantastic in this.  The film clearly centers around charges of rape and that scene is played twice, with both being disturbing but not unwatchable - there's nothing graphic but I can see why some people would prefer to avoid this film because of it. 

    Definitely worth a watch.  Sad to see it performed so poorly at the box office because it means big budget original films will have an even harder time being greenlit in the future.

  8. https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-bonta-secures-victory-lawsuit-challenging-california’s-ban

    Duncan V Bonta was ruled on by an 11 judge panel of the 9th circuit court of appeals.  They have upheld the law stating that purchase AND POSSESSION of magazines over 10 rounds are illegal.

    There's some additional judicial fiddly business still pending, namely this goes back to Judge Benitez's desk so he can make a final ruling (as directed by the 9th circuit).  There's also the additional chance for an appeal to the Supreme Court.  It is unlikely (but possible) that Benitez could stay the ruling pending appeal (which is the current status). 

    I can't say I'm surprised by this ruling at all.  However, there is a very real chance of this being taken to the Supreme Court and potentially being ruled on by the conservative majority.  There is another 2nd amendment case currently on their docket (expected ruling in April 2022) so that should give some indication as to how it might be ruled on.  There are another handful of cases including a magazine capacity case from New Jersey in line waiting for a Scotus appeal, which could be combined with Duncan V Bonta or completely ignored. 
    Also there were several other California cases that were put on pending status until Duncan V Bonta was resolved - this means we may see additional restrictions come down quickly (in the judicial sense of the word) as those cases are freed up to proceed.  This includes additional bans on "assault weapons" and various attempt to limit the 2nd amendment rights. 

    Also this is directly from Judge Van Dyke's dissent:


    If ever there was a case study illustrating Madison’s concern about “evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings,” it is our circuit’s Second Amendment jurisprudence. In the thirteen years since the Supreme Court ruled in Heller that the Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” 554 U.S. at 592, our court has trimmed back that right at every opportunity—to the point that now, in the nine Western states covered by our court, the right to “keep and bear arms” means, at most, you might get to possess one janky handgun and 2.2 rounds of ammunition, and only in your home under lock and key. That’s it.
    That’s ridiculous, and so I must respectfully dissent.

  9. Quote

    Set in utopian Piltover and the oppressed underground of Zaun, the story follows the origins of two iconic League champions-and the power that will tear them apart.


    I've been waiting for all the episodes to release before I watched this, but I saw nothing but praise.  It's hard to convey just how good this show is.  The animation quality is genuinely unmatched; it goes beyond the unique style of 3d/2d they've used, it really is next level stuff - the stuff that happens when you mix arcsystemworks tech (guilty gear strive / dragon ball fighterz) with hand crafted animation.  The writing is solid enough to carry the story even if they rely heavily on emotional beats to push things forward.  The few issues I have are an odd style choices like the shoehorned music segments, riot's music department is really good and they kinda pushed parts of some episodes into music video territory, which works but aren't the strongest points of the show.  I think there's certainly more for fans of league of legends, or at least people with knowledge of their world/lore, but the story definitely stands on it's own without simply spotting references and characters from the game. 
    The story is presented in 3 acts with timeskips in between, if you're concerned that the characters are children in part 1, just power through, this isn't a children's focused show by any stretch. 

    Even if you know absolutely nothing about league of legends, it's totally worth a watch - strongest recommendation I can make.

  10. Never read the books so I don't have any preconceptions going in. 

    • The casting suffers from the same issues as every YA show does - pretty looking actors with mediocre performances that will invariably be involved in romance and drama that I find either half baked or simply uninteresting
      • I agree with kuhla that this show looks and acts very YA, but then suddenly you have some rather substantial violence and gore.  I can't tell if that's for shock factor or to try and convince me it's not actually a YA show.
    • The show feels best when the main characters aren't the focus.  Episode 4 in particular felt really solid because a large portion of it was focused on the aes sedai and the wardens; conveniently all actual adults with a better level of acting.

    I normally give a show 3 episodes to make an impression but I'm sort of glad I went and watched the 4th.  I feel like even if this show follows through with the normal  chosen one tropes and romance subplot bullshit, I might be able to stomach that for 8 total episodes.  At least the pacing feels like everything is moving relatively fast.  So far this is a fair bit better than shadow and bone, but we'll see if I feel the same way once this season is over. 

    Sidenote: the original author died, and Brandon Sanderson wrote the last few books (at the original authors request) he's sort of active on reddit and even though he's a producer on the show and did some consulting on scripts - he has been posting relatively unvarnished reviews of the various episodes.  He's basically said that this adaptation is a "different turn of the wheel" than the books but he still likes it.  I'm sure there's some book spoilers in there (that I don't give a shit about) but feel free to cruise through some of his posts on reddit

  11. This show clearly has a huge budget behind it, but could use some better writing. 

    The empire plotline is the part that kept me entertained.  Lee Pace does a good job with what he has.  Gaal and Salvor are boring characters and neither actress is doing a particularly good job.  The god awful narration makes me feel like someone on the writing team likes noir films and threw that in there as a last ditch effort to flesh out characters but it feels cartoonishly bad.  There's also some genuinely weird plot holes and space wizardry that I'm not particularly enjoying - it's extremely hard to take seriously and has been done much better *cough* Dune *cough*

    I guess we're getting a second season at some point, and I'll probably tune in just to see if they can salvage a big budget scifi show. 

  12. I think the covid work from home excuse isn't some catch all for poor design decisions, bad UX and a history of broken releases. 

    These games aren't made in 1 year or 2, they take 3+ years.  Battlefield 5 released November 2018 (3 years ago) and even if you think they kept their entire dev team on for another year to help with content (take a look at bf5's content and tell me that with a straight face) That's still 2 years of development.  I'm fairly certain most devs made the shift to work from home right at the start of the pandemic and have been dealing with that for nearly 2 years now.  If they really thought it wasn't ready, they could have delayed - if the choice was to release in this state with no delay, that's a management decision, not a pandemic decision.  EA isn't so broke they can't afford an extra year of dev time. 
    Also, lets be clear, there are other games being released right now that had to deal with the same shitty conditions and they're not in such a poor state.  I may not like back4blood but that thing at least released feature complete and with major issues. 

    Battlefield 4 released like hot garbage, battlefield 1 was a messy release and battlefield 5 was released ugly, even battlefront 2 released ugly and had to make major fixes.  Fact is Dice release some janky ass games that often are saved 1+ year later with a bunch of additional content and balance updates (mostly). 

    What concerns me is that the bones of 2042 feel wrong enough that I'm not sure it can be saved.  Specialists feel meh, and the universal class system leaves a ton to be desired.  Scoreboard and UX stuff isn't going to be an easy fix, might not even be possible at this rate.  The lack of content and balance stuff can be fixed but I'm not sure what that would take and if it would even be worth it.  We might get an anthem situation where they just abandon it and move forwards to try and cut their losses. 
    I'll still play because I'm desperate for a multiplayer game to sink my teeth into, and I enjoy battlefield, but I'm not going to sit there and act like there aren't severe structural problems with the game - or defend releasing games in this state.

  13. Quote

    The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America's struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Purdue Pharma, to a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA.


    This is a docudrama about the opioid epidemic.  It's a tough watch at points because of what it glosses over.  It's well acted but not overly polished, it reminds me of other based on reality docudramas like Spotlight (also starring Michael Keaton), where there's an intentional attempt to keep the show grounded and almost boring looking.  It's worth a watch if you're at all interested in the subject matter, they do a fairly good job showing the complete moral bankruptcy of the executives at purdue and their super aggressive sales tactics, they also provide some nice historical context about how purdue was caught in the 1970's doing similarly shady shit.  Unfortunately, anyone who follows the news also knows that the sacklers are still filthy rich and managed to escape mostly unscathed from the various lawsuits and bankruptcy proceedings they agreed to.  There is a tone of "nothing is going to change" that is clearly felt throughout the show and while they try to present some victories in the final episode it's hard not to take to heart that very little actually changed and we're still experiencing a massive opioid epidemic. 

    I've also watched a documentary on hbo max Crime of the Century - the first part about the sacklers and Oxycontin and the second part about other highly abused opioids.  Probably a more succinct version of this mini-series but still gets the point across. 

  14. Giving this another bump. 

    • I did speak with my neighbor, that's not an option for lodging.  So we have AirBnB or the hotels. 
    • I can provide the Subaru Crosstrek again for driving up, but I'm going to split driving duty with you guys. 
    • If you have gear you need to get I would try and find it now - supply chains are turbo-fucked. 

    If we could get this nailed down by the end of the month, I would appreciate it.  If we want to schedule a little bit of time on voip to hammer out details, let me know. 

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