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Everything posted by Malaphax

  1. Also E3 has been officially cancelled, it's not going to be in person or digital this year. However, I'm seeing posts about how Geoff Keighley's various shows: The gaming awards and more importantly his summer games fest, may end up being the new E3 type of event. Plus we're seeing more and more of the major publishers and console makers carve out their own events, Nintendo bailed on E3 a while back in favor of their own Nintendo Direct streams - Sony and Microsoft have done some similar events and I suspect those will continue.
  2. https://tftcentral.co.uk/news/dell-alienware-aw3423dw-with-34-qd-oled-panel-and-175hz-refresh-rate 34" Ultrawide QD Oled 1000nits, full HDR and Gsync Ultimate This is supposed to be the new shit. Idk, go read about it yourself.
  3. This was a nice straightforward read. I would point out that the book is heavily reliant on flashbacks (they're like 40% of the book) which might bother some people, but the plot moves well. This is very near future sci-fi with plenty of crunch to it, but it never seemed overwhelming when they explain details about technology or science. The downside is that the main character and some of the plot elements are very similar to the martian - super smart science dude manages to macgyver his way through various problems. I'd like to see if Andy Weir can step a bit further out of his comfort zone, but I'm sure his publisher is happy if he sticks to a proven formula. I fully expect they'll try to turn this into a movie or mini-series at some point. Moving on to Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Miur. The main thrust seems to be a mix of sci-fi and necromancy - I'm getting weird Chronicles of Riddick vibes out of that so I'll see if this is decent.
  4. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877830/ The movie is good. Definitely worth a watch. Visually the movie is very dark, with red being a primary color, I think that's partly why the logo was red on black for this film. While the film is 3 hours, it doesn't drag or feel overly long, I felt engaged the entire time and only a couple of small scenes felt unnecessary. Most of the action sequences are also fairly dark, with one driving sequence being so dark and rainy it was difficult to follow. Acting was solid, Pattinson does a good job as Batman, but doesn't spend hardly any time as Bruce Wayne; Zoe Kravitz does a solid job as Catwoman but her mask makes her look goofy as hell. The musical score is solid, if a bit bombastic, however they do overuse the main theme quite a bit (maybe I only noticed because of the length of the film). There's also plenty of batman being a detective (including someone joking about a world's greatest detective), although it does come across as out of place that batman is walking through crime scenes next to a bunch of police officers, they try to explain that away but it still feels a bit off. The plot with the Riddler felt solid, they convey his scheming and planning very well - those elements of the movie reminded me of Zodiac or Seven (both of which I hold in high regard). This is also one of the few batman movies where Gotham felt truly messed up, between crime, corruption, urban blight and just a general sense of ugliness in the city, which works well with why Bruce chooses to be the Batman; including when he questions why he keeps going if crime keeps getting worse. I also appreciate that the film points out that criminals like the Riddler are inspired to their acts of crime by Batman.
  5. This is only slightly offtopic. This youtube channel does a great (if slightly biased) job of talking about city planning and the huge issues with single use zoning. This video in particular clearly shows that simply having cities push for more mixed use zoning with walkable neighborhoods allows for dramatically better return on investment for the cities in question. tl;dr - suburbs are a net negative for cities, downtowns and mixed use neighborhoods are net positive. Eliminate single family zoning or make those people pay more to fix the issue.
  6. I'm a bit disappointed with this novel. Partly because I thought it was the finale of a trilogy, there's another book coming, supposedly the final novel. Also because this really felt like a middle book, there's a big build up of events and the ending of this just doesn't get the payoff it deserves. I'm still interested in the series but I think this was by far the weakest of the three novels. Moving on to Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. The author wrote The Martian, which I never read but the movie is supposed to be a solid adaptation. I'm expecting some hard sci-fi, the first few chapters literally has the main character doing science experiments (simple ones).
  7. Malaphax

    Elden Ring

    I bought this and have put ~10 hours in so far, I've also watched a few people streaming it. This is most likely going to be game of the year - people are correctly calling this a masterpiece, and I generally agree. The only Fromsoft games I previously played was Sekiro. While I still think Sekiro's combat is a cooler system, this game is gigantic and much more varied. Sekiro is practically linear, with very little character customization and almost no RPG elements. Elden Ring is a full blown RPG, with the ability to use a huge variety of cool weapons, armors, items, magic, etc. It's actually overwhelming. I've also been using some wikis and guides to make sure I've been seeing everything instead of rushing towards the main quest objectives. Honestly I was getting a bit lost and overwhelmed without a wiki to give me a few hints and general locations. The game is too big and too open and will most likely frustrate people who are used to a more guided experience that other open world games provide. This game doesn't have the same map market filled collect-athon feel that the ubisoft games have - some people are comparing this to zelda's breath of the wild, which is probably more accurate. There are technical issues on PC. Digital Foundry has a video about how they wouldn't recommend this game on PC due to the shoddy optimization and lack of options (it ships without widescreen support or support for 60+fps). Thankfully the community have already put out some good tools to push past that, but it does require you to play offline (doesn't bother me). There are still some instances of micro-stuttering, especially in the open world - I've run into very few issues since I've run the community fixes, but the performance is still mediocre, with my RTX2080 only giving me ~60fps even with the fps caps removed. I don't know if fromsoft is going to be able to fix all the performance issues on PC and if you're especially sensitive to that, I would say wait 3-6 months and see if these still exist. Oh and the difficulty is absolutely there if you want it. Some bosses do allow for summoning spirits (ai companions) or using co-op invites, but if you want to enjoy the lovely "You Died" screen, you can totally do it solo. There's also more options to explore the open world and out-level some of the bosses, making them much easier. That being said you can absolutely die to a random pack of rats if you're not careful. It has less "brick wall" style issues where you run into a boss that completely blocks progress, because you can just go out and farm weapons/upgrades and then come back. There are always multiple paths and areas to go into, and if you're good enough (or just run past enemies) you can sometimes get cool gear or upgrades from areas far above your level. This video is a really good walkthrough of some of the first area (not even a main boss) and he shows off many of the game's combat mechanics. I'd strongly recommend this game if you're interested in getting your ass kicked repeatedly.
  8. Kimetsu no Yaiba - The second season was good, solid fights and very strong animation work. The storyline is still trash, our valiant hero is on a quest to kill vampire michael jackson and his 12 top ranked minions. It's super popular and I've heard it speeds up with another 2 major arcs available, so I'm hopeful it won't drag past another 2 or so seasons (with another movie maybe?). Megalo Box season 2 was bad, the first season was solid with a bit more action focus, the second wasn't as good. The depressing/dark tone was sort of there but didn't materialize enough and they really pushed some elements of the story that I didn't appreciate. Ozark Season 4 (part 1) this was solid. I still enjoy this show and it's very well written. One of the better shows on netflix and absolutely worth a watch. Not a fan of netflix's new tactic to split up seasons. We're starting to get into anime territory of seasons having cours or parts, which I think defeats the purpose of netflix dropping entire season of episodes at once. The Great - Finished season 2. It's still well done and well acted, the second season felt like it was just starting to drag a bit. Overall still a strong show I would watch if you're in the mood of comedy leaning shows. Currently Watching: Reacher - Tom Clancey's estate and the quest for more money. It's actually a decent little show if you turn you brain off. It's basically the modern version of an 80's action movie/show, with some braindead plot elements. The dude they have playing reacher is big (but not 6'5", he's 6'2" and there are some giveaways) and they do a decent job of hiring short people to try and keep that illusion. Certainly a more book accurate version than Tom Cruise lol. Keep low expectations and just enjoy some very mid-tier television. Raised by Wolves Season 2 - This is back and still just as weird and confusing as the first season. I can't pin down this show, it's oddly captivating (for now) but also incredibly odd. I can't tell what the overall goal/plot is but maybe Ridley Scott has a trick up his sleeve, he's certainly done good work in the past. It definitely is very unique. If you're in the mood for sci-fi this is one of your few good options out there. Severance - Looks decidedly weird, I'll give it a shot. The Power of the Dog - It's on my list, got plenty of awards nominations. Killing Eve - I've seen the first 2 seasons, I should watch the third. The fourth (and final?) is coming out shortly. Peaky Blinders Season 6 - This is dropping shortly (on bbc first) and I'm ready for some birmingham accents. Euphoria - I've seen so many recommendations for this, I'll eventually give it a shot.
  9. https://www.npr.org/2022/02/23/1082564685/guns-leading-cause-of-premature-deaths The article goes on to describe how there are basically two major causes of gun related deaths. Older/white/rural men engaging in gun suicides, the data suggests that on average this is a 50 year old taking their own life with a firearm. Younger black men being killed in gun violence with an average age of 30 (not specifically stated but I would be remiss to not mention this most likely is caused by gang related shootings) The article/study also talks about how the number of young black homocides is substantially lower than older white gun suicides (63,000 compared to 170,000) but when comparing the "years of life lost" it becomes much closer. This is one more piece of evidence that I'd point too as a clear indication that we actually have two separate sets of gun related problems we're dealing with as a country. I think there should be clear differences in how we approach both of them, rather than simply trying to pass broad sweeping legislation in the hopes of combating suicidal ideation of older/rural individuals and gang shootings at the same time.
  10. To follow this up. I'll change my mixed feelings to a cautious recommendation. The first 2 episodes are still incredibly weak, and are nearly standalone, if you can power past those two episodes the show gets much better - there's unfortunately just enough important content and context you need, otherwise I'd recommend skipping them. The adaptation was solid, the climax in particular was well done, and it definitely hits a high fantasy setting better than most shows. The pacing really speeds up in the second half of the show, the last 3 episodes in particular almost go too fast. Studio Titmouse does good animation work, and absolutely brought their best for a few action sequences. Sidenote: I still think this won't land for everyone, but it might fit in with some of the adult animation that amazon studios has been putting out (invincible and the boys spinoff series). I'm not sure where this is sitting in terms of popularity/cost compared to other series put out by Amazon (the rotten tomatoes and imdb scores seem exceedingly high), I know they've at least greenlit a second season. I hope there's enough of a push to get them to keep going. They have a strong backlog of content they can adapt, and they also have direct access to the creatives to help flesh it out (and voice it), I could easily see ~4-5 seasons of campaign 1 and another ~4+ seasons for campaign 2 (and by that time even some stuff from campaign 3). I'm also fairly certain that since the first kickstarter raised $11.3M from nearly 90k people, that if they needed to do another round of crowdfunding, they could certainly do that and shop the show to another platform/studio.
  11. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13146488/ If you liked James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, you'll like this show. The comedy is certainly on a silly side and they really lean into some musical choices, the opening of the show being a prime example. I do have to give credit to James Gunn for not only writing the entire series, but being willing to lean into the misfit toys and weird villain backlog that DC has. He's probably going to get some more work from the DC side considering how well received this show was. Also John Cena definitely has enough acting chops to hold his own, I'd say he's a better actor than Dwayne Johnson.
  12. Malaphax

    Cyberpunk 2077

    Huge patch released today. This finally includes the upgrades to the ps5 and xbox series consoles. Overhaul of skill trees and some abilities (throwing knives aren't turbo shit anymore) 4 new apartments that V can buy A few new weapons and upgrades Ability to change hairstyles at your apartment New handling for all cars & reductions in car prices Updated combat AI Added a PC benchmark They updated the boxing quest so you can't drop non-lethal weapons into the arena anymore lol. That's how I beat that shit... I'll eventually come back and play this game either fresh or when they release new content. I've heard it's in much better shape now, and I suspect this patch is another step in the right direction. I'm annoyed that it's taken them almost 2 years to just fix broken shit, but hopefully this means they're still going to work on DLC content down the road.
  13. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13668894/ Let me start off by saying, this series is fucking trash. Also, fuck robert rodriguez. Honestly just watch episode 5 & 6, the pre-episode recap is enough, sit through episode 7 if you can. Avoid the rest. The non-spoilers version is that this is poorly written, terribly directed pile of garbage that will only galvanize people into wanting more seasons of the Mandalorian and less of whatever the hell this series was. The first 4 episodes are hot garbage, episode 5-6 are really good, and arguably an entirely different show, episode 7 goes back to dumpster fire. Coincidentally, robert rodriguez was the director for episode 1, 3 and 7 all of which were complete shite. To make matters worse, due to material covered in this show, you almost have to recommend viewing it (or at least some of it) to be caught up with the Mandalorian. That type of required crossover is certainly expected in some of the MCU, but I dislike that they chose to do it here. As much as I appreciate that they brought back Temuera Morrison to play Boba Fett, he's too goddamn old (61) for this role, worse yet, they keep having him take his helmet off and seemed averse to using a body double for the stunts. His helmetless action scenes looked awful. This is especially weird considering they heavily utilize body doubles on the Mandalorian - Pedro Pascal is basically doing voiceover.
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