Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together

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Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:19 am

...How exactly do you go from making a game like the original BioShock where everything was about planning for a series of brief encounters to a fucking Halo clone where enemies are constantly rushing at you all of the time? Like god damn you straight up have a rechargeable shield. In a game set in like 1913.

BioShock 1 never had the greatest combat to begin with but at least allowed you to prepare in interesting ways. Infinite is somehow worse- you have less weapons at any given time (And they're all just guns- there's no hacking tools or wire traps or anything like that. Some not!plasmids have similar utilities but they all kind of suck), not even the option to turn off the off-brand Vita Chamber system that at least 1 and 2 allowed you to do, and it generally feels like its trying to imitate some kind of twitchy shooter instead of its own god damned previous entries.

The art design is legit good but I can barely ever appreciate that and the whole art nouveau look because I'm constantly being hounded by Klansman.

What the fuck happened during the development of this game?

EDIT: Unmarked spoilers throughout the rest of the thread btw. If you have a problem with that, go ask the store clerk about the doggie in the window instead.
Last edited by Raxivace on Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:59 pm, edited 23 times in total.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #1

Postby maz89 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:57 am

I enjoyed the combat but I can agree with the 'enemies constantly rushing at you' observation. In some ways, Infinite is a more difficult game than its predecessors. Also, the combat worked for me because it felt familiar yet different enough not to be a bore - although, perhaps you're right, it is a superficial difference in some cases (chuckled at 'not!plasmids', heh) - but it does get better IIRC. In any case, it's a good sign when developers shake things up a bit in a series like this one - in this case, ramping up the tempo and difficulty from the get-go.

I liked the "twitchy shooter" observation... it fits in with the (over-ambitious) narrative the series is gunning for. You'll see.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #2

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:49 pm

Coming off of Survivor/No Vita-Chambers in BS1 and Hard/No Vita-Chambers in BS2 I don't feel like Infinite is any more difficult (I played on Hard btw) per se as much as I feel like I just have less options to deal with more enemies. Like healing in this game is way different- you can't carry extra health packs at all and I find that frustrating. You have to rely on your shield that offers less protection than a wet t-shirt, or Elizabeth to heal you which is inconsistent at best.

Anyways I finished the main game today. Still kind of digesting it, will right some thoughts about it later today.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #3

Postby maz89 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:34 pm

I know it's a 14-hour game but that was freakin' fast. I take it you're not the lingering/explore-every-nook-and-cranny sort...
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #4

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:06 pm

maz89 wrote:I know it's a 14-hour game but that was freakin' fast. I take it you're not the lingering/explore-every-nook-and-cranny sort...
I actually did try to explore but it seems I missed about a quarter of the audio diaries and quite a bit more of the Kinetoscopes (Maybe my favorite collectable in a game now). I'll probably replay it at some point to find all of the items I missed.

And I still have Burial at Sea left, which I haven't touched yet and probably won't until tomorrow.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #5

Postby maz89 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:29 pm

I am ashamed to say I haven't played that one myself - although I did wiki it after I finished Infinite and it seemed cool.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #6

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:06 pm

So sitting on the story for about a day now I'm not entirely sure it works. It really seems like all of the elements of the game don't seem to come together quite right.

Like basically there's two narratives going on here:

1. Vox Populi vs. the Founders (Kind of a riff on Atlas vs. Ryan in the original BioShock and stuff like Fritz Lang's Metropolis)
2. Booker and Elizabeth trying escape from Father Comstock

It seems like too much of the game are these two plotlines interrupting each other rather than being naturally synthesized. Well before you find Elizabeth you're dealing with seeing the same injustice that the Vox Populi are revolting against...but then once Elizabeth comes in, she kind of dominates everything. Understandably though since she's the reason Booker has come to Columbia to begin with, this kind of push and pull continues throughout the game to the point the ending sequence is confronting Comstock, then being suddenly attacked by the Vox in a rather tedious battle, and then Booker and Elizabeth having a drawn out conclusion to their personal story.

It might not have been an issue if either of these two halves were done better- the Vox Populi in particular never quite work for me when Fitzroy starts cartoonishly trying to kill a small child, and Elizabeth doesn't seem quite realized enough as a character for all of the focus on her to be justified. I don't really like either how most of what's even potentially interesting about her relationship with Booker comes in the last 30 minutes of the game, and most of it is backstory that neither character is aware of- it kind of makes most of what I'm playing throughout the actual game not feel entirely related.

I can sort of see the thematic parallel- that the Americana and so on is just used as historical revisionism to hide the ugly Manifest Destiny bullshit of the United States' past (I've seen people say this is done as a way to lambast modern Republicans that whitewash the past of the country), in the same way that the "tears" in reality are dangerous, in the same way that Baptism did not actually wash away Comstock's sins* but on a base plot level there may have needed to be more there to connect these.

*(On related note, with all of the focus in Infinite on water, what are they trying to say about Rapture- the city built underwater? It seems like they're trying to recontextualize the original BioShock to the point you straight up visit the opening area at the end of this game, but I'm not quite sure what they're saying here.)

I dunno, I'm finding this surprisingly difficult to talk about. Individually I think each idea the game is going for is cool, and it does do a few cool things like the audio diary from Comstock that talks about Schrodinger's Cat (Is there some law that states that all time travel or alternate dimension video games must reference this?) using the imagery of the waters of Baptism and sinners. Still, as cool as the ideas are and as interesting of an idea I think Columbia is...I kind of think the first two games do most of what Infinite sets out to do better. It's to the game's credit that it gives a lot to unpack, but in some ways it has a "throw everything and see what sticks" feel.

What did you think of the game's story, maz?
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #7

Postby maz89 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:41 pm

I agree with a lot of what you've written. It perhaps might not be on the level of the original but I did love its ambition. I completely agree that the political stuff was much better handled in Bioshock; here, it's all clunkily rendered and cartoonish, just like you said. Infinite's strengths and ambition lie in its other personal story about Booker and Elizabeth, which deals thematically with familiar age-old concepts of free will vs fate. It's not wholly original but I still did thoroughly enjoy the climax, even if I thought there was a pacing problem in the game. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that the two storylines are not "synthesized well". It's just that the parts that work... worked well for me.

Here are my initial, more detailed, rambling, poorly edited thoughts on the game back from July 2014 when I posted about it in my (inactive) online space and wrote about its narrative and themes - although it feels a bit undercooked in the latter area now and I don't compare it to the original at all for some reason.

Edit: I will respond to your other comments later, gotta rush atm.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #8

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:10 pm

I await your further comments!

It does sound like Elizabeth worked better for you than she did for me.

its inability to integrate the Plasmids (or “Vigors”) into the world of Columbia (given that they are lying around with unrestricted access and are ignored by the public and even Comstock’s henchmen) also hurt the depiction of this world.
Heh.

This was actually something I wanted to mention again but I forgot about it. One of the voxophones implies that the Vigors are either Plasmids stolen from Rapture through a tear or based upon the Plasmids. It really is odd though that other than Shock Jockey (Sort of), none of the other Vigors seem to really have a reason to exist in this society other than for the gameplay. Like the game begins with the mind control Vigor being handed out for free. That uh, carries some implications that don't really get talked about in the game!

EDIT: Another part of the game I thought was kind of funny was that for all of the racism of Comstock, he was actually pretty progressive on women's rights...as long as they were white.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #9

Postby maz89 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:36 pm

Okay, gonna try to respond more directly to your comments.

Raxivace wrote:It seems like too much of the game are these two plotlines interrupting each other rather than being naturally synthesized. Well before you find Elizabeth you're dealing with seeing the same injustice that the Vox Populi are revolting against...but then once Elizabeth comes in, she kind of dominates everything. Understandably though since she's the reason Booker has come to Columbia to begin with, this kind of push and pull continues throughout the game to the point the ending sequence is confronting Comstock, then being suddenly attacked by the Vox in a rather tedious battle, and then Booker and Elizabeth having a drawn out conclusion to their personal story... It might not have been an issue if either of these two halves were done better- the Vox Populi in particular never quite work for me when Fitzroy starts cartoonishly trying to kill a small child...

Yeah, the Vox Populi vs Comstock thread largely takes a back seat when Elizabeth enters the picture. They only become relevant when used to create interesting scenarios in those alternate realities. I do think it's interesting to learn that the war is sparked by Comstock's wife blaming Comstock and Fitzroy of having an illicit relationship, which Comstock then 'resolves' by getting rid of his wife and framing Daisy. That's about as much closure as we get in this thread. Daisy killing the child is, I believe, a reflection of the ugly consequences of revolution in how they mirror the very thing they were revolting against in the first place. I wish it could have been more nuanced though as I can't recall much that made Daisy redeemable except for her war against the bigger evil.

Raxivace wrote:...and Elizabeth doesn't seem quite realized enough as a character for all of the focus on her to be justified... It does sound like Elizabeth worked better for you than she did for me.

Yeah, I don't recall having any thoughts about Elizabeth lacking in the character development department. She felt like a fleshed-out person to me; listening to those gazillion voxophones about her childhood and relationship with Comstock - and then of course, actually interacting and forming a relationship with her - helped. Traipsing through parallel universes and seeing Elizabeth meet different fates also helped build that connection - I still can't shake the unforgettably nightmarish image of an untamed Elizabeth destroying NYC.

Raxivace wrote:I don't really like either how most of what's even potentially interesting about her relationship with Booker comes in the last 30 minutes of the game, and most of it is backstory that neither character is aware of- it kind of makes most of what I'm playing throughout the actual game not feel entirely related.

I acknowledge(d) that the pacing could have been much better, but I don't agree about the backstory feeling "unrelated". I feel as though the game was heading towards some Big Twist from the get-go - the "AD" initials on his hand *had* to mean something. I played the game about a long time ago so I don't remember what it was exactly, but there were hints dropped throughout that there was much more lurking beneath the surface of Columbia's sun-lit streets than Booker is aware of. And with voxophones detailing the Lutece twins' invention, that feeling only becomes more prominent...

Raxivace wrote:I can sort of see the thematic parallel- that the Americana and so on is just used as historical revisionism to hide the ugly Manifest Destiny bullshit of the United States' past (I've seen people say this is done as a way to lambast modern Republicans that whitewash the past of the country), in the same way that the "tears" in reality are dangerous, in the same way that Baptism did not actually wash away Comstock's sins* but on a base plot level there may have needed to be more there to connect these.

Yeah, the bright, beautiful, heavenly image of Columbia is cripplingly superficial and the actual cost of its beauty is "washed off". Infinite clearly seems to think that the religiously-inclined Comstock who chooses to be 'baptised' for the murders he committed is ironically the one who goes astray (because he deludes himself into believing that he could actually be absolved of his sins and believe in his own superiority), whereas Booker - who lets his sins consume him, giving birth to his own set of demons in alcohol addition and gambling - at least tries to right the heinous wrong he committed.

Raxivace wrote:*(On related note, with all of the focus in Infinite on water, what are they trying to say about Rapture- the city built underwater? It seems like they're trying to recontextualize the original BioShock to the point you straight up visit the opening area at the end of this game, but I'm not quite sure what they're saying here.)

Are you talking about the DLCs here? I need to actually play those. I don't even remember what they were about... what did you think of them (without spoiling anything, in case I do come around to it anytime soon)?

Raxivace wrote:I dunno, I'm finding this surprisingly difficult to talk about. Individually I think each idea the game is going for is cool, and it does do a few cool things like the audio diary from Comstock that talks about Schrodinger's Cat (Is there some law that states that all time travel or alternate dimension video games must reference this?) using the imagery of the waters of Baptism and sinners. Still, as cool as the ideas are and as interesting of an idea I think Columbia is...I kind of think the first two games do most of what Infinite sets out to do better. It's to the game's credit that it gives a lot to unpack, but in some ways it has a "throw everything and see what sticks" feel.

Haha, SC is just an easy way for developers to lend to their paradoxical alternative universes that simultaneously exist with each other. I feel like the original Bioshock does 'certain' things better and is perhaps an overall better realized game. But while Infinite may fall a bit short of its grand ambition, it still manages to conjure highs on par with the original (maybe even surpassing it in some ways - I know, blasphemy!), particularly in its examination of free will vs destiny, aided in large part by a well-rendered mysterious tone and some solid visuals (especially towards the last hour in the game, when the facade is peeled away). I guess I have a thing for art that shoots for the moon, even if it doesn't fully reach it (case in point: my love for The Fountain).
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #10

Postby Raxivace » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:49 pm

maz89 wrote:I wish it could have been more nuanced though as I can't recall much that made Daisy redeemable except for her war against the bigger evil.
Pretty much. I think the idea was probably supposed to be she's some kind of opportunist using legitimate social unrest to further her own goals (Like Atlas in BS1), but it doesn't come off as effectively to me.

Raxivace wrote:...and Elizabeth doesn't seem quite realized enough as a character for all of the focus on her to be justified... It does sound like Elizabeth worked better for you than she did for me.

Yeah, I don't recall having any thoughts about Elizabeth lacking in the character development department. She felt like a fleshed-out person to me; listening to those gazillion voxophones about her childhood and relationship with Comstock - and then of course, actually interacting and forming a relationship with her - helped. Traipsing through parallel universes and seeing Elizabeth meet different fates also helped build that connection - I still can't shake the unforgettably nightmarish image of an untamed Elizabeth destroying NYC.
The actual scene in the 80's NYC was cool, and probably would have hit me more if the character had worked for me to begin with.

I don't actually remember many voxophones from Elizabeth directly- they may have been among the chunk I missed, which is a shame and perhaps on me as a player. As of now, the character seems a little two dimensional to me. It may have also worked better if I thought she was at all a reliable support character in combat, though that perhaps is a separate issue from writing.

Raxivace wrote:I don't really like either how most of what's even potentially interesting about her relationship with Booker comes in the last 30 minutes of the game, and most of it is backstory that neither character is aware of- it kind of makes most of what I'm playing throughout the actual game not feel entirely related.

I acknowledge(d) that the pacing could have been much better, but I don't agree about the backstory feeling "unrelated". I feel as though the game was heading towards some Big Twist from the get-go - the "AD" initials on his hand *had* to mean something. I played the game about a long time ago so I don't remember what it was exactly, but there were hints dropped throughout that there was much more lurking beneath the surface of Columbia's sun-lit streets than Booker is aware of. And with voxophones detailing the Lutece twins' invention, that feeling only becomes more prominent...
What I'm mostly complaining about here is how the game ends after the big twists of Booker being an alternate Comstock and Elizabeth being Booker's daughter.

In BioShock 1, the game continued on after the twist in Ryan's death scene and gave the player (And the few characters you converse with past that point) time to process and react to that twist. It's similar to Minerva's Den too, where once Sigma's identity is revealed, the game doesn't just end- you're given time to react to everything as a player and then Sigma himself begins to voice his thoughts and then the story is properly resolved.

I feel like in Infinite, once the twist is revealed the game just suddenly ends and the characters don't have time to properly react to it or really even process it. Elizabeth in her omniscence seems like a different character spouting off knowledge of the multiverse, and Booker just doesn't understand what's going on until he accepts that he should die. I think a better version of the game would have revealed all of this earlier, and generated character drama as a result, instead of having me instead deal with something like jumping through different universes to find guns for the Vox or fighting ghost mom three entire times when once was enough? That's what I mean when I say a lot of the game feels unrelated to its ending- that it doesn't feel like its necessarily furthering the story of the characters and leaves a lot of it to the last chunk of the game.

As far the AD thing goes I don't remember if they ever directly explain it but I like that it's kind of an understated reference to Elizabeth's real name. For a while I thought it might be a weird Anno Domini reference considering the religious angle lol.

Raxivace wrote:I can sort of see the thematic parallel- that the Americana and so on is just used as historical revisionism to hide the ugly Manifest Destiny bullshit of the United States' past (I've seen people say this is done as a way to lambast modern Republicans that whitewash the past of the country), in the same way that the "tears" in reality are dangerous, in the same way that Baptism did not actually wash away Comstock's sins* but on a base plot level there may have needed to be more there to connect these.

Yeah, the bright, beautiful, heavenly image of Columbia is cripplingly superficial and the actual cost of its beauty is "washed off". Infinite clearly seems to think that the religiously-inclined Comstock who chooses to be 'baptised' for the murders he committed is ironically the one who goes astray (because he deludes himself into believing that he could actually be absolved of his sins and believe in his own superiority), whereas Booker - who lets his sins consume him, giving birth to his own set of demons in alcohol addition and gambling - at least tries to right the heinous wrong he committed.
Have you heard the theory that Booker actually is part Sioux? It gives a weird spin to everything he and Comstock does, though it perhaps puts the alcholism into an unfortunate light in terms of stereotypes.

Either way, I still think this is one of the stronger parts of the story and that generally it works pretty well.

Raxivace wrote:*(On related note, with all of the focus in Infinite on water, what are they trying to say about Rapture- the city built underwater? It seems like they're trying to recontextualize the original BioShock to the point you straight up visit the opening area at the end of this game, but I'm not quite sure what they're saying here.)

Are you talking about the DLCs here? I need to actually play those. I don't even remember what they were about... what did you think of them (without spoiling anything, in case I do come around to it anytime soon)?
Nah I'm not talking about the DLC, I'm referring to when you go to Rapture in the main game after finally defeating the Vox. It's where Songbird is killed.



For all that talk about batism and the efficacy thereof on sinners, we ultimately end up under the ocean in a doomed city where Elizabeth drowns a significant figure from her past. Obviously there's an element here of going back to where the franchise began, but I wonder if there is a meaning beyond that.

As for the DLC itself, I'm still early into it. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done with it. It begins with a kind of film noir vibe which I think is cool.

Raxivace wrote:I dunno, I'm finding this surprisingly difficult to talk about. Individually I think each idea the game is going for is cool, and it does do a few cool things like the audio diary from Comstock that talks about Schrodinger's Cat (Is there some law that states that all time travel or alternate dimension video games must reference this?) using the imagery of the waters of Baptism and sinners. Still, as cool as the ideas are and as interesting of an idea I think Columbia is...I kind of think the first two games do most of what Infinite sets out to do better. It's to the game's credit that it gives a lot to unpack, but in some ways it has a "throw everything and see what sticks" feel.

Haha, SC is just an easy way for developers to lend to their paradoxical alternative universes that simultaneously exist with each other. I feel like the original Bioshock does 'certain' things better and is perhaps an overall better realized game. But while Infinite may fall a bit short of its grand ambition, it still manages to conjure highs on par with the original (maybe even surpassing it in some ways - I know, blasphemy!), particularly in its examination of free will vs destiny, aided in large part by a well-rendered mysterious tone and some solid visuals (especially towards the last hour in the game, when the facade is peeled away). I guess I have a thing for art that shoots for the moon, even if it doesn't fully reach it (case in point: my love for The Fountain).
I think that Infinite shoots that high is a point in its favor- I wouldn't be talking about it this much otherwise.

I think the free will vs. destiny stuff would have worked better for me if it had tied into the few choices the game actually allows you to make a little more. I dunno that any BioShock except for perhaps 2 has ever really had anything resembling meaningful in the choice department, but still.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #11

Postby maz89 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:30 pm

Raxivace wrote:I don't actually remember many voxophones from Elizabeth directly- they may have been among the chunk I missed, which is a shame and perhaps on me as a player. As of now, the character seems a little two dimensional to me. It may have also worked better if I thought she was at all a reliable support character in combat, though that perhaps is a separate issue from writing.

Haha, yeah, I don't recall her being too effective in battle. I don't remember if I played on Hard difficulty but I'm sure she'd be even more useless on that mode.

Raxivace wrote:What I'm mostly complaining about here is how the game ends after the big twists of Booker being an alternate Comstock and Elizabeth being Booker's daughter.

In BioShock 1, the game continued on after the twist in Ryan's death scene and gave the player (And the few characters you converse with past that point) time to process and react to that twist. It's similar to Minerva's Den too, where once Sigma's identity is revealed, the game doesn't just end- you're given time to react to everything as a player and then Sigma himself begins to voice his thoughts and then the story is properly resolved.

I feel like in Infinite, once the twist is revealed the game just suddenly ends and the characters don't have time to properly react to it or really even process it. Elizabeth in her omniscence seems like a different character spouting off knowledge of the multiverse, and Booker just doesn't understand what's going on until he accepts that he should die. I think a better version of the game would have revealed all of this earlier, and generated character drama as a result, instead of having me instead deal with something like jumping through different universes to find guns for the Vox or fighting ghost mom three entire times when once was enough? That's what I mean when I say a lot of the game feels unrelated to its ending- that it doesn't feel like its necessarily furthering the story of the characters and leaves a lot of it to the last chunk of the game.

I completely understand and agree with this. This is primarily what holds the game back and makes it feel a little "cold", because everything seems to be going fine but all of a sudden, Elizabeth feels like a stranger and Booker, like us, is processing all of the new information, and then cut to black. The twists in Bioshock were still followed by boss fights, but here, it just kind of ends after that (excruciantingly difficult) climactic battle and cutscenes. I guess the developers wanted to leave the players in awe and so they saved the best for last, but ultimately, they didn't cook it enough and were not able to incorporate the "interactive" element into it. This was my main problem with the game too: the pacing. I did like the way they "flashed back" and the ominous Lynchian tone surrounding the reveals, though; it really felt like it was inspired by MD. The reality behind "bring the girl and wipe away the debt" was tragic.

Raxivace wrote:As far the AD thing goes I don't remember if they ever directly explain it but I like that it's kind of an understated reference to Elizabeth's real name. For a while I thought it might be a weird Anno Domini reference considering the religious angle lol.

I just re-read what I wrote, and oops, didn't mean to imply that I didn't know what "AD" meant (they do mention Anna DeWitt, I think). What I meant to say was that there were little clues sprinkled throughout the game ("AD" being one of them) that suggested there was more to Booker beneath the surface and the whole Vox Populi-vs-Comstock was just a red herring to distract from what the game was really about, heh. I don't know who Anno Domini is though lol. [sad]

Raxivace wrote:
maz wrote:Yeah, the bright, beautiful, heavenly image of Columbia is cripplingly superficial and the actual cost of its beauty is "washed off". Infinite clearly seems to think that the religiously-inclined Comstock who chooses to be 'baptised' for the murders he committed is ironically the one who goes astray (because he deludes himself into believing that he could actually be absolved of his sins and believe in his own superiority), whereas Booker - who lets his sins consume him, giving birth to his own set of demons in alcohol addition and gambling - at least tries to right the heinous wrong he committed.
Have you heard the theory that Booker actually is part Sioux? It gives a weird spin to everything he and Comstock does, though it perhaps puts the alcholism into an unfortunate light in terms of stereotypes.

Either way, I still think this is one of the stronger parts of the story and that generally it works pretty well.

No, I haven't, but that's an interesting theory. And yeah, despite how brief it was, I thought the reveal was powerful - that Booker and Comstock were once the same person, whose lives took different directions after a seemingly split-second decision on the redemptive power of a Christian baptism.

Raxivace wrote:*(On related note, with all of the focus in Infinite on water, what are they trying to say about Rapture- the city built underwater? It seems like they're trying to recontextualize the original BioShock to the point you straight up visit the opening area at the end of this game, but I'm not quite sure what they're saying here.)... I'm referring to when you go to Rapture in the main game after finally defeating the Vox. It's where Songbird is killed.
For all that talk about batism and the efficacy thereof on sinners, we ultimately end up under the ocean in a doomed city where Elizabeth drowns a significant figure from her past. Obviously there's an element here of going back to where the franchise began, but I wonder if there is a meaning beyond that.

Oh! I think that's an accurate reading, and I'll admit it didn't occur to me even if it seems obvious now, given how strongly water/baptism/drowning feature as the game's motifs. As far as what they're saying about Rapture... maybe it's meant to serve as another example of a city that was built to be a haven (forever "baptised" underwater) but which ultimately devolves into misguided madness, much like Booker/Comstock/Columbia.

Raxivace wrote:I think that Infinite shoots that high is a point in its favor- I wouldn't be talking about it this much otherwise.

I think the free will vs. destiny stuff would have worked better for me if it had tied into the few choices the game actually allows you to make a little more. I dunno that any BioShock except for perhaps 2 has ever really had anything resembling meaningful in the choice department, but still.

I meant it more in terms of Booker's own choices (and how radically they affected the tone of his own life) rather than the gamer's involvement in them. Much like Columbia is an illusion of heavenly Americana, so is Booker's ability to control his fate in this universe. He already made the disastrous decision that brought him here, and so the whole game is really about him coming to terms with his reality, remembering what he did and accepting that the only way to break the cycle (the only choice he really makes, but which, sadly, the gamer has no involvement in) is to kill himself. BTW, I think on a meta level, this works too - gamers generally do not really have any power on the outcome of a game narrative, despite having the illusion of control (I guess this could apply to other Bioshock games too but at least in the first part, you *did* save those little girls and get one of three different endings depending on how many you saved or didn't save).
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #12

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:41 am

Hey sorry I haven't responded lately- I meant to wait until after I had finished the DLC so I could just share my thoughts on that too all at once but Persona 5 has been distracting me heavily.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #13

Postby maz89 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:10 pm

^Hey, no worries, man. It's been a pretty crazy work week for me too so I haven't had time to indulge myself in anything except for a few episodes of Monty Python and Curb Your Enthusiasm here and there. (Also, when will you play The Witcher 3?)
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #14

Postby Raxivace » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:18 am

maz89 wrote:(Also, when will you play The Witcher 3?)
If I ever decide to play it, it probably won't be for a while. The backlog of stuff I'm interested in is so big already that I usually don't get to recommendations for quite a few years. Like somebody 2-3 years ago at IMDb recommended the original NieR to me and I only will now be getting to it after I'm done with Persona 5 (Which despite being over 60 hours into it, I'm still not even at the endgame yet. Game is quite long).

Late 2016/Early 2017 has been an usually crowded season for me too on top of that in terms of games. Most of what I'm interested are weird niche series so normally I don't play that many new games in a year, but there was something like 15 back to back releases from like November up into May that I've wanted to pick up. It's been pretty crazy!
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #15

Postby maz89 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:14 pm

Raxivace wrote:If I ever decide to play it...

Firstly, there can't be no damn "if" when playing Witcher 3 is involved. It should only be a matter of timing.

I'm not familiar with the Persona series, but yeah, I've only heard good things about it. I have my own backlog to deal with. Namely Skyrim, Fallout 4, and ME: Andromeda. But even I know none of that sh-t will ever be as great as the Witcher 3 (in which I've sunk upwards of 200 hours).
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #16

Postby maz89 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:38 am

BTW, have you read up on the restructuring of Irrational Games that occurred a few months ago? Apparently, the lead creative director, Ken Levine, decided he'd done enough Bioshock (because it was too much work, impacted his personal life) and so he founded his own little company (with studio support), Ghost Story Games, which will focus on games that'll take something like the Telltale's TWD 'branching decisions' narrative to a whole new level. Quite looking forward to what they put out, although there's no details beyond "first person sci-fi".

I also learned that another team - and not Levine's - was responsible for Bioshock 2, which explains why I always thought it was a bit of a retread. I can barely recall any plot details, although the refined gameplay was nice.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #17

Postby Raxivace » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:43 pm

I read a bit about that stuff with Irrational but didn't know too many specifics. It'll be interesting to see what happens with that.

I really liked BioShock 2's story. [giveup] I knew it was a done by a different team, but I thought it did a lot of the father/daughter stuff better than Infinite did, and I think it's for the better it didn't try and force a plot twist in the end, which the lack of one is something I know people complained about.

Minerva's Den was done by a third team separate from them IIRC, and I tend to think that is the more disappointing bit of BioShock 2. The Minerva's Den team also went on to make Gone Home, and frankly I still don't understand why anyone had incredibly positive or negative reactions toward that.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #18

Postby maz89 » Mon May 01, 2017 6:31 am

Interesting you mention Gone Home, which I played after hearing all the glowing feedback. I definitely appreciated the effort, but it was a bit... hollow.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #19

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 01, 2017 8:41 am

I like what it was trying to go for, but stuff like the main love story in the game really seem like the most cliche way you could have done that. The way it tries to signify "lol this game is nostalgic for the mid 90's" was a bit eye rolling at times too, like with the note where one of the kids mention how they're going to see some movie called Pulp Fiction the next day and stuff like that.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #20

Postby Raxivace » Thu May 04, 2017 9:15 pm

So, Burial at Sea.

The first hour or so of it is pretty good, since its more of an adventure game like Snatcher or something like that, as Booker and Elizabeth wander around Rapture in its glory days...until you have to have journey into a dilapidated part of the city, and it basically tries to recreate BioShock 1 gameplay with Infinite's mechanics. I found it frustrating, though you have a weapon wheel this time, and Episode 2 gives you health packs.

Without going into spoilers, it addresses some criticisms I had with the story, though in some weird and other times unsatisfying ways. Elizabeth gets a proper conclusion to her character arc, its just weirdly dark and cynical. They try to retroactively make Fitzroy an agent of the Luteces, and apparently she wasn't actually going to murder a little kid and was just trying to goad Elizabeth into murdering her which is strange.

It also makes a lot of things implicit in Infinite super, super explicit. Like Songbird being based on Big Daddies, and a big plot point in the DLC is that Fink and Suchong were directly working together via the Tears. They also try to throw in cute nods to the original game to the point that you watch Suchong die that don't really work for me. There's also a Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors moment with the ending that I don't know worked in that game and I don't think works here.

It's worth checking out if you want to see what is the last word on the BioShock story I guess. Having new areas to see in Rapture to explore was cool I guess.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #21

Postby maz89 » Sun May 07, 2017 10:50 am

Thanks for the review, I will probably check it out at some point, even if it doesn't seem all that promising. I'm never fond of developers over-explaining things to the point that it loses its sense of mystery and intrigue, and I wonder if that is what happens here (for example, the director's cut in Donnie Darko was wholly unnecessary, etc).

Meanwhile... are you any closer to playing The Witcher 3? [razz]

Edit: just noticed your well-placed spoiler warning in the first post. Good stuff. [laugh]
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #22

Postby Raxivace » Sun May 07, 2017 3:51 pm

maz89 wrote:I'm never fond of developers over-explaining things to the point that it loses its sense of mystery and intrigue, and I wonder if that is what happens here
I definitely feel a bit of that here.

Meanwhile... are you any closer to playing The Witcher 3? [razz]
Haha, I'm afraid now I'm too busy with Nier and Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker. DS2 is a pretty solid SRPG, and Nier is some fucking crazy insanity.

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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #23

Postby maz89 » Sun May 07, 2017 5:58 pm

Maybe I should finally invest in a new graphics card because Nier looks cool. Not sure what to make of DS2 though.

BTW, this reminds me. Have you played Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch? I played it years ago, and I loved the Studio Ghibli animations, the childlike innocence of the protagonist in a compelling imaginative tale, as well how it formed and aided the fun gameplay itself.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #24

Postby Raxivace » Sun May 07, 2017 6:11 pm

I have not played Ni no Kuni. I heard bad things about it back when it came out and the Ghibli involvement only lessens my interest tbh, since you may have heard I'm not exactly their biggest fan to begin with.

Btw, only the sequel to Nier, Nier: Automata, has a a PC release. What I'm playing right now is the original game which was only on the PS3 and 360. I do have the sequel though and plan on getting to it after I'm done with the first game.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster   Reply #25

Postby maz89 » Mon May 08, 2017 6:24 am

Raxivace wrote:the Ghibli involvement only lessens my interest tbh,

Burn him at the stake! [flameangry]

Man, you weren't kidding when you said you were a few years behind in gaming lol. Quite a backlog you have there, but then, you seem to be a much more prolific gamer than I am (actually, I'm not 'prolific' at all, being particularly picky about what I play.)
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #26

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 08, 2017 3:52 pm

Haha, the only reason I don't post more about video games here is that this crowd just doesn't really seem to overlap with most of the games I'm into lmao.

I do talk about games more on other sites, but those people don't have the same background in the kinds of movies, art analysis etc. I'm interested in, meaning no matter where I go online I always feel like a bit of an outsider, at least in terms of perspective.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #27

Postby maz89 » Mon May 08, 2017 6:06 pm

I know exactly what you mean. Occasionally, I'll read a review that's insightful or digs deep into the narrative and themes, and talks about how the interactivity of the game and the gameplay itself enhances or adds an enriching layer to the narrative. Occasionally. (Coincidentally - or perhaps not so much - Bioshock has been a favorite topic for such reviewers).

I should mention I was exploring Neogaf forums the other day and was surprised to find a huge Twin Peaks following there, recommending some game called Deadly Premonition for its Twin Peaks vibes, despite shoddy mechanics (which naturally I haven't played). Not saying there was an insightful break-down of the game or show in the thread, but there seemed to be potential, heh. (Fuck that site though, they haven't gotten back after I registered.)
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #28

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 08, 2017 6:22 pm

NeoGAF is kind of terrible in my experience.

I love Deadly Premonition by the way. Technically it's mechanically bad, but I think in a weird way those bad mechanics just make the game a more memorable, weird experience. Like your map in that game is always rotating based on your direction- there's no way to keep it locked in any kind of set position...however that also forces the player to personally understand various neighborhoods and such they're traversing through, and that made me personally more attached to the setting and game.

There are some weird mechanics in their too. Like York is always growing a beard throughout the game, and if you don't want him to have one you have to have him regularly shave. He also gets stinky too, and if you don't flies buzzing around him you'd better get him to shower regularly.

It's super super blatant in its Twin Peaks references (Some Silent Hill in there too, which was influenced by Twin Peaks anyways), but its pretty cool IMO.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #29

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 08, 2017 6:31 pm

Like its so blatant they had to tone it down from when the game was originally called Rainy Woods.



The game did go through several changes between this 2007 trailer and the game's 2010 release, and 2013 saw a rerelease which added a framing device to the narrative of the original game. I think that last version is on PS3 and PC, while the original is a 360 exclusive IIRC.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #30

Postby maz89 » Mon May 08, 2017 8:20 pm

Yeah I've heard Neogaf be called terrible for that sense of elitism amongst its community. Personally, I could do without it myself but then there's some PC gamers there who talk about graphics cards and shiz, which I like to keep myself informed about because geek life.

Well, since you're talking about it, you should know that I instantly downloaded the game when it got mentioned at Neogaf, and it's good to hear that you liked the overall tone, and it wasn't some cheap imitation. I can survive shoddy mechanics. I've played the first Silent Hill btw, but never managed to complete it. I was too terrified to.

WTH - that trailer. Even has some kind of red room with two little men instead of one, the goody two-shoes sheriff, the score!, and the musical performance on a stage in a place akin to the Roadhouse. This is literally Twin Peaks in a game format.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #31

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 08, 2017 8:25 pm

Yeah SWERY65 just really wanted to make a Twin Peaks game I guess. It's a labor of love.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #32

Postby maz89 » Sat May 13, 2017 10:30 pm

I played Inside and Limbo a few days ago. In that order. Both were quite a lot of fun with a great, haunting ambiance. Limbo is simpler in story and setting, although the puzzles are more challenging. Inside has a more exciting, terrifying story with some great puzzle concepts (and a better score too) and beautifully done visuals. I also love how it becomes darkly humorous towards the ending, inviting many interpretations for its unsettling, eerie world.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #33

Postby Raxivace » Sun May 14, 2017 2:19 am

I remember seeing ads for Limbo and thinking it looked visually interesting. Haven't heard much about Inside though.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #34

Postby maz89 » Sun May 14, 2017 6:34 am

They are only 3 hours long each, so you should definitely give them both a shot when you get a chance. Play Limbo first. Inside is like a spiritual successor.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #35

Postby maz89 » Sun May 14, 2017 7:21 am

BTW, I installed Firewatch and played up until the point my character sees the fireworks from his tower, then stopped. Looks like I'll need a half-decent graphics card to play it at some kind of detail. It looks like a Sega game right now because I've turned the settings down low, and it's ruining the game's look and I can't have that.

Seems promising from what little I saw, so I'm really looking forward.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #36

Postby Raxivace » Sun May 14, 2017 9:37 pm

When I first played Firewatch it was on the PC, and I also had extreme problems getting it to run well. Like, I was only getting like five frames per second at times. It was crazy but I played through the entire game that way. I eventually picked it up again on the PS4 and played through it a second time. I really do love it, and often have a background from the game as my wallpaper on my laptop.

Anyways I've been playing through NieR some more and the level I just finished was straight up just the Spencer Mansion from Resident Evil. The main halls being similar between games was one thing, but there were fixed camera angles, giant spiders, a piano, a bigass library with an easy boss fight, portraits all over the place, themed keys... Hell, they even just straight up transpose the dining room from RE1/REmake into this game.

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What a weird extended reference to just throw into the middle of an action JRPG. I might be in love with this game.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #37

Postby maz89 » Sun May 14, 2017 9:43 pm

I recognized the RE main hall even before I read your comments, and this is despite not having played the game since I was a little kid. Hah!
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #38

Postby Raxivace » Sun May 14, 2017 10:13 pm

People complain about the fixed camera angles in PSX games and the like, but it really did give a lot of them some really striking imagery.
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #39

Postby maz89 » Mon May 15, 2017 7:14 am

Hahah at the revised thread title!
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Re: I'm Playing BioShock Infinite For the First Time And It's Kind of a Disaster (And Also Sometimes I Play Other Games)   Reply #40

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 15, 2017 8:07 pm

maz89 wrote:Hahah at the revised thread title!
It's half me being jokey, half struggling to come up with an accurate title for what this thread has become. If a third person were to jump in and post about games they're playing I'll have to revise the title once more.
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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #41

Postby maz89 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:00 pm

I'm all for renaming threads when they deviate from the original intended purpose. If it adapts, it will NEVER DIE!
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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #42

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 15, 2017 9:52 pm

maz89 wrote:If it adapts, it will NEVER DIE!
Reminds me of the ominous tagline for the Robotech/Macross game for the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox.

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Change or die.

I should go back and play that again at some point since I've been watching a bunch of Macross lately.
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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #43

Postby maz89 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:56 pm

I think this is probably the third post I've read in which you've referenced something called Macross. I googled it just now (finally) and it's apparently a sci fi anime. Something in the vein of Evangelion? Not really experienced with the genre, outside of a few films (Ghost in the Shell, Akira, etc).
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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #44

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 15, 2017 10:04 pm

It was something that influenced the more sci-fi elements of Evangelion (Particularly the stuff about aliens seeding life on Earth and so on), and it does put more emphasis on character relations (Particularly love triangles, which you also see multiple of in Eva) than other mecha shows of the time, but follows genre beats a little more closely and is much more optimistic about people being able to communicate and understand each other in general. I really dig it, personally.
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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #45

Postby maz89 » Mon May 15, 2017 10:07 pm

This may sound like blasphemy, but I haven't seen Evangelion in its entirety either (just saw the first couple of episodes maybe four years ago). But perhaps I should dive in and finally see why so many are so enthusiastic about it. And check out Macross while I'm at it... how many episodes?
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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #46

Postby Gendo » Mon May 15, 2017 10:12 pm

maz89 wrote:This may sound like blasphemy, but I haven't seen Evangelion in its entirety either


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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #47

Postby maz89 » Mon May 15, 2017 10:18 pm

Gendo wrote:
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[laugh] I didn't realize there was another Evangelion bodyguard around these parts. Gotta be careful what you say around here. [laugh]
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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #48

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 15, 2017 10:24 pm

The original Macross is 36 episodes (Plus a really well animated movie adaptation called "Do You Remember Love?" that kind of assumes you've seen the original series). There are also several sequel series that I've personally been enjoying- the longest of which is Macross 7 at 49 episodes (The weird show I mentioned in the other thread about a rock band and space vampires) plus a few short sequel OVA's to that made afterwards. The other Macrosses are Plus and Zero which are only a few episodes a piece, and Delta and Frontier that are about 25 episodes a piece IIRC.

Evangelion is 26 episodes plus the movie End of Evangelion. There's also the Rebuild movies but they're kind of a separate project and the last of which has not been made yet. Personally I agree with Jimbo that at the very least NGE+EoE stand up with the very best of film, and while I don't think the Rebuild movies are quite as good they've been doing some interesting metatextual things.

As much as I love Macross I unfortunately can't say it's up to that level, though again I personally really enjoy it and the many sequels it has spawned.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris

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Re: Raxivace Played BioShock Infnite, And Then Both He and maz89 Played Other Video Games But Not Together   Reply #49

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 15, 2017 10:36 pm

Also Gendo would completely justified in banning you tbh.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris


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