Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #100

Postby maz89 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:44 am

You're probably right about that, lol. Still, it can be fun to have those debates anyway...

Hey, you can't fool me. I read your review of it on the other thread. I'll check it out when I'm in the mood for some subversive, talky stuff. [laugh]
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #101

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:54 pm

Wheee! WoT War Time!

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:FWIW I had several complaints about the gameplay myself, though it was more frustrating in various ways than tedious. To me it was the fact that the game would really punish you for actually trying to do open combat, but doing things stealthily was often ridiculously difficult, and it was often easier just to restart a section if you were spotted rather than try to fight your way through it.
Playing on Hard, I'm at a point now that I start out stealthing and if I get spotted I just say screw it and Terminator through whoever is left and usually survive now. This works pretty well but has the side effect of making encounters in this game feel fairly samey.

Trying to go back to perfect stealth either takes too long for my patience too now (Especially if at the beginning of a section there's dialogue to sit through several times on retries), or I'm just ready to move on with the game. There also times where for the life of me I'll be unable to figure out how somebody even saw me, and other parts of the game I feel like I can dance around dudes forever. The system feels a bit inconsistent.

Also sometimes hitting that "Restart Section" button will only send me back in time a minute, but I've had instances where it sends me back 10-20 minutes which is just [angry].

The worst though is where you're forced to fight waves of enemies and can't use stealth at all. There's not too many of these so far but they seem to stick out.
I never liked terminatoring for two reasons: one is that I always felt like it was partially a failure for not figuring out the best stealth strategy, and two was that I just generally hated wasting/being low on supplies. Basically, I would stealth as much as I felt was possible and then if I could get down to a few enemies then I'd be willing to go terminator.

I do agree about the wonky, inconsistent mechanics of being spotted. I complained about that myself.

Weird that you had these "Restart Section" issues, as for me it always just took me back to the beginning of the gameplay on whatever section I was in. I think perhaps once it took me back further, but that was just a minor annoyance. Again, I got used to manually saving a lot anyway.

Raxivace wrote:
I'm not sure why the Sam/Henry section was so obvious or clumsy. I mean, other than the fact that in any survival horror game or film you pretty much have to have characters that are going to die, I didn't think it obvious this was going to happen to Henry/Sam, and certainly not the way it happened. I mean, it would've been just as easy to kill Bill (lol) and he survived. Thematically I'd argue it's also perhaps the moment of the game that most strongly drives home the rhetorical argument for not getting attached to people in this world. There was obviously much of that in the Bill storyline too, but Bill's was mostly talk, and he wasn't as relatable (even rather intentionally off-putting at first).
I mean, I don't know what else to tell you dude. Upon immediately seeing them I immediately found them to be obvious parallels to Joel/Ellie (The scene where you meet them for the first time where the younger kid points a gun at Joel is even a blatant parallel of a previous scene where Ellie first saves Joel with a pistol.) and killing one or both them off is just immediately what I thought was going to happen. Right before they die you even go through the entire faux-orphanage section that not-so-subtly brings up the idea of dying children and such (Even if the younger brother isn't as young as the kids are meant to be there (Though wanting and then having the robot toy links him to the younger kids), though naturally they have Joel run around with the brother through there in a further attempt to generate sympathy for the character).

Like with the intro, while I get the beats they were going for it just felt so artificial to me, like the characters only exist to be those parallels and to die the way they do.

As far as Bill goes, he hated Ellie and didn't seem to like Joel much more so I'd actually call him the most relatable character in the entire game so far. I'd definitely would have preferred a game based around him sneaking around and setting traps and such up.
I guess the point I was driving at was that in games like these, just like with horror movies, it's always "predictable" that some characters are going to die. The only issue is which ones and how. I don't know how you could make a case that it was more obvious they were going to kill Sam/Henry than Bill, and I'd still say THE WAY it happened was rather shocking. Are suicides in games very common? Kids turning into zombies?

Stuff like the faux-orphanage was more, to me, about world-building than any intentional foreshadowing about dying kids. I also don't think having Joel with Sam was an attempt to generate sympathy. At least, I don't think that's how building sympathy for characters in games works. Stuff like the scene with Ellie and Sam just before he turns builds sympathy, not having Sam run around with Joel while fighting Stalkers.

I don't necessarily disagree that the beats feel artificial or the that the characters were just designed to be parallels; I think where we disagree is just in the fact that I felt it was done extremely well. One of the things I told maz when I finished the game was that I thought it was masterful at being emotionally manipulative, and even when I noticed what it was doing/going for I still constantly felt that it was doing it really well. Part of that is because the writing and acting was so good, and part because the world felt extremely real and well-realized.

Raxivace wrote:
I'm also not sure why your EDIT would make that section better. For one, it's already been established that bites turn people within two days. IIRC, that section's story takes more time than that. For another, I'm not sure what any supposed suspense would add to it. This isn't a Hitchcock film. The quick transition from Sam and Ellie discussing their fears, to the realization that his fear is going to happen, to the sudden experiencing of it happening, to the shocking consequence afterwards was a pretty strong 1-2-3-4 combo punch, made stronger IMO by the speed at which it happens.
IIRC the whole section only takes place over around two days itself. In fact now that I think about it I'm kind of confused when you're supposed to think the younger kid was bitten since the part where you use the sniper rifle was only like the afternoon before he turns.

EDIT: Now that I think about it I guess it still falls within two days.

Anyways, I thought the whole "combo punch" you mention just didn't work at all in its suddenness. I think introducing the bite earlier would have at introduced at least some ambiguity about joining them more than than the contrived stuff with the armored car or tank or whatever chasing you (Why the hell did those guys continue chasing you anyways? It got a little ridiculous that they kept coming for you as long as they did after you've killed like 50 of them).
Sam got bit (or perhaps scratched; I don't think the game is clear whether it requires actual "bites" to turn) during the sniper section where he gets tackled by an Infected. At least, if that wasn't it, I can't imagine when else it was supposed to be. Seems to me like the whole section took more than two days, but I could be wrong.

I assume the armored car/tank kept chasing you because not many people come through there and they're pretty desperate for supplies.

Raxivace wrote:
I assume the Alex Garland reference is about 28 Days Later. I don't remember much about that film but I don't remember it being all that emotional and I also don't think any of his films have been badly written.
I bring it up because Garland's stuff tends to feel like obvious regurgitations of his influences to me. Like its there in 28 Days Later and Annihilation and I think you yourself said something similar about Ex Machina (Though that one I have not seen myself). And to me that feels similar to TLoU, where it just feels like beats I've seen from other zombie media being repeated again and not in a particularly exceptional way.
The problem I had with Ex Machina was more in its direction than writing. I actually thought the writing was pretty original, but the direction went for this whole chilly, eerie, Kubrickean approach that didn't really work. I've also seen Never Let Me Go, which I also thought was well-written, but it felt very "literary" in a way certain adaptations of novels do, but again the problem wasn't really with it regurgitating influences. Dredd also did a pretty bang-on job at nailing the weird tone of the comics.

There's certainly beats in TLOU that are taken from other zombie media, which I assume is partly inevitable as there's only so much you can do within that genre; but I'd still say it feels like a uniquely emotional, humanistic take on it. It doesn't have the social commentary of Romero, or the camp of Resident Evil or so many lower-budget horror films. I simply can't name any zombie media that has two more compelling characters or a more compelling relationship.

Raxivace wrote:Yeah this is going to have to be something we agree to disagree on because unless something drastically changes in the last parts of the game Joel and Ellie falling completely flat for me is absolutely my biggest complaint in the game, even more than the combat itself (Which I think at least occasionally works). They feel just like a thousand other disposable characters I've seen in zombie stories before. Hopefully it gets better.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh on the game overall but for something I saw tons of people calling it some medium defining work, the "Citizen Kane of video games" (Lmfao) I naturally have higher expectations. Perhaps too high.

Right or wrong, it's how I feel about the game.
I just can't imagine what's "falling flat" to you about Joel and Ellie, or what other "disposable characters" you're comparing them to...

I think it might be a medium-defining work in terms of its dramatic execution (mostly writing/acting) and the emotional involvement that elicits from gamers (and even non-gamers: see Girlfriend's Review of it)... but it's no Citizen Kane of video games. If anything maybe it's the On the Waterfront of video games. For it to be the Citizen Kane it would've had to be a compendium of all the great gameplay ideas combined with some original plot/narrative structure, and it isn't that.

Raxivace wrote:It's wrong because it promotes math, and I just find that to be supremely unethical. Math and its evil stepbrother Science are responsible for the worst atrocities in human history and must be undermined at all times.

The 9/11 attacks were planned out using math. It's fucked up but true. Are you trying to cause another 0.81818181818, Eva Yojimbo? Is this the legacy you seek to continue?
Of course my evil masterplan is to rule the post-apocalyptic Earth with my grasp of Bayesian probabilities. Didn't you know this? [evil8]

Raxivace wrote:I even watched Nausicaa earlier this year! I disliked it so much it even killed most of my motivation to watch films for the time being. And I had even been prepping to watch all of Miyazaki's filmography too..
LOL, You remind me of when Xard freaked out after watching Last Year at Marienbad and it killed his motivation for watching "serious art-films." I never got this attitude, personally. My media moods are never dictated by encountering bad (even terrible) works.

Raxivace wrote:
maz89 wrote:Personally, I'm okay with not having to read up on any further TLoU write-ups especially when they're just so, so, so wrong. [razz]
Well unfortunately for both of us I realized I was further along in the game than I thought, buckled up, and powered through to the end.

I think the ending bit where Joel goes "lol no" and kidnaps Ellie and lies to her about what went down is honestly the only kind of interesting beat in this entire story, though even that I feel I've seen done better and in more daring ways before in other games.

Even ignoring that though I think this game has the same issue has BioShock Infinite did (Well one of the issues it had anyways) where the only interesting potential challenge to the central relationship comes at the very very very very end of the narrative and seems kind of underutilized. That being said, there is still Last of Us II: Death Too Soon coming out, so perhaps something will be done with it there.

Sorry I didn't like the game much at all you guys.
Even more so than the kidnapping/lying, I thought the game forcing you to kill the doctor just to get Ellie was the most interesting beat. Has there ever been a game that forced you to kill a good, innocent person when you're supposed to be playing a sympathetic protagonist? That moment when you're standing there in front of the doctor holding the scalpel and you have to make a decision, the only one possible, seems the only moment in the game that I feel touches on the meta-themes of a game like MGS2. It's as if it's saying that our instincts ultimately control our decisions far more than any rationality ever could (of course this works as a parallel to game designers controlling our actions/choices as well). A lot of people actually complained about not being able to have a choice there, but I think the game is all the more powerful for it.

To me, the challenge to the relationship was just the world and characters itself. You have Joel who's scared to death about getting close to anyone and "replacing" his daughter (notice how often he touches his watch in the game; it's a psychological tick); and you have Ellie who's scared to death about being left alone because everyone keeps leaving her. It's very much the ultimate case of NGE's Hedgehog's dilemma.

Anyway, it's OK you didn't like it, but some of your reasons are puzzling to me. At the very least I don't know how you don't appreciate the writing/acting. I did share some of your gameplay complaints, and I also discussed with maz how I felt the game's main strength was being "emotionally manipulative" and that it doesn't contain a lot of intentional thematic substance beyond that (and by that I mean anything that's not just a natural part of the story and character relationships). It's why the game will ultimately rank behind stuff like MGS and Deus Ex for me, but I still can't think of any other game I felt so emotionally invested in and ultimately moved by. That scene when Joel confronts Ellie after running away from his brother's compound was just so good, as was the end of Winter when Joel finally calls her "baby girl."

Raxivace wrote:Wow, I totally forgot the Left Behind DLC existed and so I just played through that.

Actually I thought this was decent, though I wonder if it was meant to be a part of the main game originally (The flashbacks at least). Some of the riffs on the gameplay were pretty good too- I liked being able to get zombies to attack the regular humans.
Left Behind really only worked for me as a story because there just wasn't much gameplay there. I did like the new gameplay touches you mentioned, but they were pretty brief. Only section with anything extended was the end. Was I alone in finding that section a real bitch on hard? Still, I loved the flashback structure and how they kept connecting the two sections together.

Plus, there's this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZKPSUwgfZk&t=25m57s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Which I may have liked more than anything in the actual DLC. [laugh]

Raxivace wrote:Okay, so TLoU's gameplay. After thinking about it some more, the gameplay is at its best when you can make actual decisions about what you're doing. Normal gameplay sections where you can decide whether to stealth through a section OR fight everything that moves OR do a combination of both approaches are decently well fun, despite the mechanics being limited compared to TLoU's contemporaries like Resident Evil 6 (In melee systems. Also I'd say RE4 and RE5 are better here too) or stealth (Metal Gear Solid V, even if you don't use all of the various cool toys you can unlock in that game through Mother Base development).

However when you have to absolutely fight, that's where things get shakier. The part where Ellie teams up with the pedophile NPC to fight off zombies is just horrid for example, because you just don't have the verb set to make it interesting (And of course of you've lost your ability to stealth here). I had pretty limited ammo here, and being on hard I can take like two hits. The best strategy for parts of this section that I could come up with involved awkwardly kiting enemies into grabbing the pedophile so I could one-hit kill them with Ellie's knife. Emphasis on "awkward" here, in all senses of the word.

Of course the NPC would occasionally give you ammo (And it would very very infrequently drop from enemies) but it was hardly enough to make the big action setpiece particularly fun or good.
Yeah, we surprisingly completely disagree on this. My problem with the stealth/terminator option sections was that it wasn't always clear if you had a choice, and I just felt that stealthing was so difficult, counter-intuitive, and shaky as to when/how you'd be spotted that I just didn't enjoy it that much. However, I felt like when you were forced into combat the game made it tough-but-fair in terms of having just enough supplies to get through it if you played well and carefully. EG, I loved the Ellie/pedo "defend the cabin" bit because if you figured out when to use arrows, when to use the rifle, and when to use your knife you would have enough ammo to make it through. Similar when that section moves to the big room, you just had to memorize which directions enemies were coming from and plan accordingly with nailbombs, molotovs, and whatever ammo you had. So I actually liked the "resource management/memorization" strategy of these sections. It felt like old-school gaming in a sense, and done quite well. I like the fact that you don't/never actually feel like a "terminator" playing Ellie, because you very much shouldn't. Though I still find it weird that a brick/bottle-to-knife combo works better than a handgun. On the other hand, I just frequently felt lost in the "choose to stealth or terminator" sections. I mean, I'm sure there's some way to stealth through the bookstore and spotlight sections, but damn if I ever figured it out.

Raxivace wrote:There are other parts of the game where you just can't make decisions that I think other games would let you make. Like the really dumb sniping level. My first instinct was to approach the house from the side and snipe them back. After all, the game even has give you a RIFLE by this point, and had you been upgrading it properly I think you could even have the scope attachment by this point (I did not however, not that this was going to stop me). This game is so attached to its dumb setpieces though (They want you to sneak into the house so Joel can get jumped, and protect his companions with the sniper himself) that it restricts my natural impulse in the situation. I'm not sure the gunman even has a character model here, and he's able to shoot you at these bizarre 90 degree angles. It's just a very dumb, thoughtless bit of game design IMO.
Hmmm, I figured out within the first try that you couldn't shoot the sniper, so once I realized the point was to find a path to the house I actually really enjoyed this section. The combination of sneaking around houses to kill the guys coming to get you while avoiding sniper fire from windows or being out in the open was pretty cool, I thought.

Raxivace wrote:Going to some broader points, I think that the companions either needed to not be a part of the gameplay at all, or far more vulnerable a la Resident Evil 4's Ashley (Though not literally helpless like she was). So many times I would be trying to sneak around and Ellie would just stop in front of me for no reason and I would get slowed down. When Ellie or the other NPC's were sneaking around though, they were literally invisible to all enemies. It would be nice if I could at least tell them to stay in a general area or something, which I could do with Ashley.
We can agree for the most part here, though I can imagine the game becoming too easy if they were much more helpful or you had more control over them. It does feel weird that in the section where Ellie gets the rifle that, one, she doesn't do much (I think she shot one guy when I played) and, two, when she DOES shoot someone that nobody, you know, goes after her.

Raxivace wrote:Also the puzzles in this game are fucking garbage. Ico (The game Fumito Ueda made a few years before Shadow of the Colossus) was cited as an inspiration as The Last of Us, but in that game the puzzles are far more clever, involve working with your NPC partner (Who doesn't even speak the same language as the character you play as), and actually tie into the themes of the game. Instead the puzzles here amount to moving ladders, moving pallets in the water, moving crates to climb on. Who actually liked these parts? Did anyone actually find them fun as is? They're such a half measure that again, I think they should be either taken out or worked into something at least a little more involving. Like what if to make a makeshift bridge I had to combine multiple ladders AND garbage cans? That's hardly the greatest idea for a puzzle ever but its more involved than what we got and the game already has the tools for this.
Oh, this is a hard agree. The "puzzles" in TLAO are garbage time-wasters. No idea who thought this was a good idea. I mean, I can understand stuff like maybe moving a dumpster to reach a window as part of being "in that world," but when they go for more elaborate stuff like diving under water to loosen wooden rafts it was just ridiculously stupid. Game would've been better without that stuff at all. Really made me miss the inventive puzzles in a game like Fear Effect (never played Ico).

Raxivace wrote:I know I promised one last post on TLoU, but I've been playing Devil May Cry 2 on the side for a while now and finally beat it tonight and oof that is not a good game. Combos are way more simplistic than the first game, the lockon is terrible (It often auto-locks you onto far away enemies, and Dante's attacks will redirect him toward whoever he is locked onto. Combine this with how enemies in some rooms will spawn seemingly infinitely and it can take 30+ seconds sometimes to hit a simple switch or something right in front of Dante), the platforming is terrible and imprecise, and its kind of mindlessly easy due to guns being overpowered and poor boss design. I don't even know how you're meant to find the hidden levels on your own without a guide since there's literally nothing to indicate which random objects in main levels will teleport you to them- they're totally inconspicuous in a bad, terrible way. On top of it all, it has a classic Resident Evil-style fixed camera style that is totally at odds with fast paced comboing and dodging and such (Though this was a problem I think with DMC1 as well, though it still wasn't as bad as it is here).

I don't think the original DMC1 is anywhere near a perfect game but Jesus DMC2 is worse in literally every area.

There's a second story mode where you play as a new character named Lucia, but damn after Dante's mode I just don't have it in me to spend any more time in DMC2.
I started DMC2 back in the day but didn't get very far. I think I played it too soon after DMC1 and was just burnt out on it. I don't remember thinking it was bad at the time, but you've certainly lessened my expectations now. :/
Last edited by Eva Yojimbo on Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #102

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:01 pm

maz89 wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:
maz89 wrote:[sad] Ignore Rax, Jimbo. He is always a contrarian when it comes to games I like. He ripped apart W3 in similar fashion.
If I ignore rax I wouldn't have many other people here left to talk to! But, yes, I've noticed his contrarian nature with these acclaimed games. I guess I'm only a moderate contrarian by comparison!

Lol, yeah! If you had come back and told me you didn't care for TLoU's characters or story, I'd have thrown a similar tantrum. Glad you didn't. As for the gameplay criticisms, I'm going to play it again (RDR2 and my obsessive nature to 100% every game has taken control of me) and get back to you.
Maybe there's a pattern happening where you love games, I like them, and raxi dislikes them. I get the be rational middle-ground between your fawning fanboyism and raxi's cantankerous cynic.

maz89 wrote:
Jimbo wrote:I actually picked it up during the last PSN sale for like $15, so it's on my list. Right now I'm going through my pop playlist one more time (about 2/3 through) and will start up AC:Odyssey after that, then probably do another FF game, then maybe something completely different, and then maybe HZD. At least that's the plan right now.

Where do San Andreas and RDR1 fit in? I like the plan! I just hope you don't experience gaming fatigue by the time you get to HZD. [wink] On that note, are you experiencing that right now by any chance? You have been gaming for quite a while now!
Good grief there's so much to get through... I imagine I'll just play most of it by ear and what I feel like at the time. I've actually been on an extended gaming break since finishing GOW. Besides my epic spring cleaning stuff I've been back to working and listening to music, especially recently since I got some new headphones to try out (ZMF Verites). Hoping to start AC:O whenever I get through my latest playlist.

TBH, I'd really like to get my PS4 hooked up to my surround system as I've only been playing through headphones, but my (ancient, by now) AVR doesn't process 4k, so I'm in a bit of a bind until I get a new 4K AVR, and good ones aren't cheap.
Last edited by Eva Yojimbo on Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #103

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:06 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:]Maybe there's a pattern happening where you love games, I like them, and Xard dislikes them. I get the be rational middle-ground between your fawning fanboyism and raxi's cantankerous cynic.
I'm not letting this goof go lol.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #104

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:07 pm

Like me and Xard really aren't that similar. For one, he's devolved into alt-right nonsense. Secondly, he likes Ranka better than Sheryl and frankly I can't forgive that.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #105

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:40 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:]Maybe there's a pattern happening where you love games, I like them, and Xard dislikes them. I get the be rational middle-ground between your fawning fanboyism and raxi's cantankerous cynic.
I'm not letting this goof go lol.
[laugh] That's what happens when I compare you two in my previous post! I fixed it anyway so I don't confuse maz.

Raxivace wrote:Like me and Xard really aren't that similar. For one, he's devolved into alt-right nonsense. Secondly, he likes Ranka better than Sheryl and frankly I can't forgive that.
Nah, I know, it was just your "I hated this movie so much that it put me off watching movies" reminded me so strongly of my text-war with Xard over Marienbad where he basically said the same thing. It's disappointing that he ended up going alt-right, but I could kinda see some of the signs even back when I was on the board with his passing comments about feminism. Any links to his more recent alt-right stuff?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #106

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:22 pm

I'll get back to wall 'o' text wars whenever I find a good publishing agent for the novel I'd have to write to respond to all of that. I might as well try and make a buck off of this...

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Nah, I know, it was just your "I hated this movie so much that it put me off watching movies" reminded me so strongly of my text-war with Xard over Marienbad where he basically said the same thing.
Well for that it was not only because I disliked the movie but that it took me a whole week to get through. Just threw off the entire pace I had going.

It's disappointing that he ended up going alt-right, but I could kinda see some of the signs even back when I was on the board with his passing comments about feminism. Any links to his more recent alt-right stuff?
Some of this is from a few years back but yeah.

http://forum.evageeks.org/thread/16747/squick-and-you-legal-ethical-moral-edition-split/120/

http://forum.evageeks.org/thread/18415/Xard-crashes-The-Brexit-thread/

http://forum.evageeks.org/thread/17491/Trans-Discussion-and-Information/20/

https://twitter.com/shinranka (I'm sure you'll find some random tweets from him complaining about immigrants or something)

http://forum.evageeks.org/thread/18069/Xard-really-really-likes-Trump/

http://forum.evageeks.org/post/793562/political-tangent-about-islam/ (Weirdly defending Fox News)

http://forum.evageeks.org/post/768295/Gender-as-Text-Field-vs-Radio-Button/#768295

For a while I thought some of this was just another one of those impenetrable layers of irony he liked to wrap himself in but the more I dug the more I realized it seems like he might just be an awful human being at his core. I'm not even sure what this feminism thing you're referring to is but I wouldn't be surprised.

It's a huge shame because after you, the EGF member that influenced me most was Xard, if only because he was the only one that I found having anything intelligent to say about Rebuild in the wake of 3.0's release. He's also the only cinephile I knew of with some of the same niche interests I have, like Tomino anime. How many other people do you know that watched every episode of obscure stuff like Daitarn 3?

But I see this kind of shit from him and I'm just disgusted. Disgusted at what he said, and disgusted at myself for still having respect and interest in his more thoughtful art criticism. I know enough how to separate troubling aspects from writers to mine out ideas I think are useful/interesting without buying into everything someone represents, but its far more emotionally troubling/confusing when I have even slightest personal connection to a person. We're even pretty close in age (I think he's only a year older than me), and because there are some genuine parallels between us despite my jokes to the contrary and it makes me wonder had my life gone even a little differently if I would have been spouting the same crap today, especially because in a lot of ways I fit into the mold of people that fall into that garbage (Few friends/isolated/white/privileged/male/etc). If my brother didn't get brain damaged, which caused me to be very different from others, do I end up like Xard? Less empathetic toward others? I don't know the answer to that question or what it implies and it genuinely disturbs me a lot.

EDIT: This got more personal than I intended at first but its something I've been thinking about a lot lately and I guess I just unloaded at the end.

Anyways, video games.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #107

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:57 pm

Raxivace wrote:I'll get back to wall 'o' text wars whenever I find a good publishing agent for the novel I'd have to write to respond to all of that. I might as well try and make a buck off of this...
Eh, I wouldn't fret over the apparent length too much. I don't think most of it's worth responding to. Like, our differences in what we liked/disliked about the gameplay is probably just down to tastes. The other stuff is more worth discussing.

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:Nah, I know, it was just your "I hated this movie so much that it put me off watching movies" reminded me so strongly of my text-war with Xard over Marienbad where he basically said the same thing.
Well for that it was not only because I disliked the movie but that it took me a whole week to get through. Just threw off the entire pace I had going.
I can't imagine ever watching any feature-length film in parts over the course of days. I can't even stand watching them on TV because of commercials. To me, if I'm gonna watch a film I'm gonna sit down for 90-180 minutes and watch the whole damn thing. It would be hard to even imagine a film so bad that I couldn't get through it in one go.

Raxivace wrote:
It's disappointing that he ended up going alt-right, but I could kinda see some of the signs even back when I was on the board with his passing comments about feminism. Any links to his more recent alt-right stuff?
Some of this is from a few years back but yeah.
Good grief. Did he really write a 50k word attack on homosexuality? And he apparently did this after a year of reading about it? This is hilarious on so many levels. One is that his biggest criticism of my, errr, criticism was that it was "wordy and sprawling," and two is that he used to accuse me of trying to write so much about subjects I hadn't studied enough, but apparently thinks a year of studying something is more than enough for him to have an opinion on it worthy of 50k words... and he's in another thread arguing biology with a biologist. The hypocrisy is just delicious. But, yeah, most of that just seems a pretty logical extension of our fundamental disagreements back in the day. I don't know if I would've predicted he'd go THAT far-right, but it's not shocking.

Raxivace wrote:For a while I thought some of this was just another one of those impenetrable layers of irony he liked to wrap himself in but the more I dug the more I realized it seems like he might just be an awful human being at his core. I'm not even sure what this feminism thing you're referring to is but I wouldn't be surprised.

It's a huge shame because after you, the EGF member that influenced me most was Xard, if only because he was the only one that I found having anything intelligent to say about Rebuild in the wake of 3.0's release. He's also the only cinephile I knew of with some of the same niche interests I have, like Tomino anime. How many other people do you know that watched every episode of obscure stuff like Daitarn 3?

But I see this kind of shit from him and I'm just disgusted. Disgusted at what he said, and disgusted at myself for still having respect and interest in his more thoughtful art criticism. I know enough how to separate troubling aspects from writers to mine out ideas I think are useful/interesting without buying into everything someone represents, but its far more emotionally troubling/confusing when I have even slightest personal connection to a person. We're even pretty close in age (I think he's only a year older than me), and because there are some genuine parallels between us despite my jokes to the contrary and it makes me wonder had my life gone even a little differently if I would have been spouting the same crap today, especially because in a lot of ways I fit into the mold of people that fall into that garbage (Few friends/isolated/white/privileged/male/etc). If my brother didn't get brain damaged, which caused me to be very different from others, do I end up like Xard? Less empathetic toward others? I don't know the answer to that question or what it implies and it genuinely disturbs me a lot.

EDIT: This got more personal than I intended at first but its something I've been thinking about a lot lately and I guess I just unloaded at the end.
First, I'm glad you got personal as you have no idea how similar our experiences with Xard are.

Anyway, it's not irony, though much of it is trolling, which he's admitted to. The problem is that most trolls actually do believe the shit they write, but just enjoy that the anonymity of the internet allows them to express their true opinions, often in an exaggerated manner, and stir up trouble without facing any real-life consequences. Towards the end of my stay on EGF, I'd call him out on this and he'd be like "ha! You fell into my troll trap!," as if I didn't know what he was doing and as if I wasn't calling him out on doing it.

Yes, it IS a huge shame. Xard is immensely intelligent, and it's hard to watch people with that kind of potential go down roads like that; but I'm reminded of the fact that many of the head Nazis had either genius or near-genius level IQs. Similar to you, Xard had a huge impact on my thoughts on NGE and art in general. Back when we first met we had an enormous exchange of PMs on IMDb that really helped me clarify so many ideas I had about the series, and so much of what I say about the series now has origins in those PMs. I remember I even edited them and posted them on EGF a few times and they even really impressed a lot of the posters there, so Xard and I really had something good going as far as NGE went.

I get what you're saying about it being hard to separate the good from the bad when you have that kind of personal connection; Xard was legitimately my best friend on the internet for several years. Our "break" is still painful for me to think about, and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever been really hurt by anyone as much as him when he basically took to insulting me on every level. What you say about the two of you actually being alike was also very true of him and I, and I've also pondered how/why we went down different roads. In fact, after I left EGF I stayed in touch with a few members for a while, none more so than Mugwump, and he once asked me about what happened between Xard and I and I proceeded to pour the whole story out from my perspective. I don't know if you care to read it... it's long and quite personal too (not that I would mind sharing it).
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #108

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:07 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I can't imagine ever watching any feature-length film in parts over the course of days. I can't even stand watching them on TV because of commercials. To me, if I'm gonna watch a film I'm gonna sit down for 90-180 minutes and watch the whole damn thing. It would be hard to even imagine a film so bad that I couldn't get through it in one go.
Ideally I'd like to watch everything in a single sitting, in a quiet place etc., but things are either just too disruptive here or people are just too damn loud for that to always be plausible.

That plus just finding Nausicaa a slog to begin with amplified the time it took me to watch it tenfold.

Good grief. Did he really write a 50k word attack on homosexuality? And he apparently did this after a year of reading about it? This is hilarious on so many levels. One is that his biggest criticism of my, errr, criticism was that it was "wordy and sprawling," and two is that he used to accuse me of trying to write so much about subjects I hadn't studied enough, but apparently thinks a year of studying something is more than enough for him to have an opinion on it worthy of 50k words... and he's in another thread arguing biology with a biologist. The hypocrisy is just delicious. But, yeah, most of that just seems a pretty logical extension of our fundamental disagreements back in the day. I don't know if I would've predicted he'd go THAT far-right, but it's not shocking.
Yeah even though I can look at that treatise with my owns eyes I still almost can't believe it exists. Its as baffling that he would take the time to write that out as it is morally repugnant.

I especially can't square this with somebody who is an Evangelion fan, especially of stuff as gay as episode 24 or Rebuild 3.0. Kuribo told me that some other anime he really liked was pretty socially progressive too (I think it was Utena? Haven't seen it myself) which is again befuddling to me.

First, I'm glad you got personal as you have no idea how similar our experiences with Xard are.
I don't think its just us either. In that first link, Rosenakahara's posts stick out to me because she explicitly says that she likes Xard but doesn't want to read that garbage he wrote because it would make her not want to talk to him anymore since she's a lesbian and Xard's views are homophobic in nature. She eventually turns on him altogether and I can't blame her.

Anyway, it's not irony, though much of it is trolling, which he's admitted to. The problem is that most trolls actually do believe the shit they write, but just enjoy that the anonymity of the internet allows them to express their true opinions, often in an exaggerated manner, and stir up trouble without facing any real-life consequences. Towards the end of my stay on EGF, I'd call him out on this and he'd be like "ha! You fell into my troll trap!," as if I didn't know what he was doing and as if I wasn't calling him out on doing it.
Yeah I guess this is more accurate. It used to be easier to believe the trolling was more for the sake of the humor and being edgy or whatever, but it seems like the mask wasn't even a mask at all this whole time.

Yes, it IS a huge shame. Xard is immensely intelligent, and it's hard to watch people with that kind of potential go down roads like that; but I'm reminded of the fact that many of the head Nazis had either genius or near-genius level IQs.
You would think somebody big into the arts from all around the world would be less likely to down that road too, but even Hitler was a painter at first I suppose.

Similar to you, Xard had a huge impact on my thoughts on NGE and art in general. Back when we first met we had an enormous exchange of PMs on IMDb that really helped me clarify so many ideas I had about the series, and so much of what I say about the series now has origins in those PMs. I remember I even edited them and posted them on EGF a few times and they even really impressed a lot of the posters there, so Xard and I really had something good going as far as NGE went.
Yeah he definitely had good things to say, not just about NGE but other Anno things as well. After I finished Kare Kano I found an old post from him about that show where he suggests the unfinished play is meant to reflect the unfinished nature of the Kare Kano itself (Or perhaps as a jab of sort at the drama between Anno and the original mangaka) and it's like, that's an interesting POV I hadn't considered before.

Though even his NGE opinions I have trouble following at times. There's a period he seems to almost resent NGE, saying something about how all of its narrative is exhausted by like, episode 6 or so and I could never figure out where he was coming from at all there, though he seemed to drop whatever that attitude was by time I had joined.

I get what you're saying about it being hard to separate the good from the bad when you have that kind of personal connection; Xard was legitimately my best friend on the internet for several years. Our "break" is still painful for me to think about, and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever been really hurt by anyone as much as him when he basically took to insulting me on every level. What you say about the two of you actually being alike was also very true of him and I, and I've also pondered how/why we went down different roads.
From the perspective of someone reading through those threads after the fact, it really does seem like his attacks come out of nowhere.

It seems unlikely but I hope he gets over himself one day.

In fact, after I left EGF I stayed in touch with a few members for a while, none more so than Mugwump, and he once asked me about what happened between Xard and I and I proceeded to pour the whole story out from my perspective. I don't know if you care to read it... it's long and quite personal too (not that I would mind sharing it).
Yeah I wouldn't mind taking a look at it. Might help me fill in some blanks that have confused me about your final days there, reading about them well after the fact.

I still ultimately enjoy reading older EGF threads for a lot of reasons- partly because of the NGE discussion itself, the movie threads you used to be heavily involved with, discussion on older anime that interest me, my own nostalgia for the pre-social media boom era of the internet where forums were more dominant than they are today etc. But it just isn't quite the same anymore.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #109

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:25 pm

Raxivace wrote:Yeah even though I can look at that treatise with my owns eyes I still almost can't believe it exists. Its as baffling that he would take the time to write that out as it is morally repugnant.

I especially can't square this with somebody who is an Evangelion fan, especially of stuff as gay as episode 24 or Rebuild 3.0. Kuribo told me that some other anime he really liked was pretty socially progressive too (I think it was Utena? Haven't seen it myself) which is again befuddling to me.
I've got to admit I'm almost morbidly curious enough to actually read it. I'd love to take some notes while reading to point out the flaws I see in it. Knowing Xard, I can guarantee two things: one, that he actually did come to his conclusions after a lot of study, consideration, and thought; and two, that that consideration and thought will be riddled with irrationality.

Xard has something of a love-hate relationship with NGE as well. I go into this a bit later.

Raxivace wrote:Yeah I guess this is more accurate. It used to be easier to believe the trolling was more for the sake of the humor and being edgy or whatever, but it seems like the mask wasn't even a mask at all this whole time.
I'm sure much of it WAS for the sake of humor and being edgy, but both of those things are often a kind of "mask" for true feelings. A kind of "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" kind of thing.

Raxivace wrote:
Yes, it IS a huge shame. Xard is immensely intelligent, and it's hard to watch people with that kind of potential go down roads like that; but I'm reminded of the fact that many of the head Nazis had either genius or near-genius level IQs.
You would think somebody big into the arts from all around the world would be less likely to down that road too, but even Hitler was a painter at first I suppose.
Yeah, sadly appreciating the arts doesn't seem to have much correlation with morality. The Nazis loved the arts, and Wagner's music is still tainted by the associated with being Hitler's favorite composer. Of course, Wagner was a nasty anti-semite himself, but none of that sentiment made it into his actual music.

BTW, this talk reminded me of this great documentary by Stephen Fry on Wagner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlmaEpw7oz0 Of course, I'm a bit biased as Stephen Fry is one of my favorite living human beings and Wagner's one of my favorite composers, and it's adorable to watch an intellectual like him fangasm over Wagner, but it's also a fascinating take on the subject of a Jew being really guilty for loving an anti-semtic composer who was beloved by the Nazis.

Raxivace wrote:
In fact, after I left EGF I stayed in touch with a few members for a while, none more so than Mugwump, and he once asked me about what happened between Xard and I and I proceeded to pour the whole story out from my perspective. I don't know if you care to read it... it's long and quite personal too (not that I would mind sharing it).
Yeah I wouldn't mind taking a look at it. Might help me fill in some blanks that have confused me about your final days there, reading about them well after the fact.
OK, there's two caveats I want to add to this: one is that this is ONLY from my perspective and I really can't say how much of it is accurate VS how much of it is biased by my being hurt and angered by Xard. Two is that I think part of my anger stemmed from the fact that I do think some of Xard's criticisms were right. As I said in the film thread, I'm sure my rather-ignorant philosophical ramblings struck his ears the same way that the ramblings of Creationists strike the ears of evolutionary biologists. As for his criticism of my criticism... I don't know how much of my feeling he was kinda right is my own insecurity over the fact that I never formally studied film, or the kind of writing/journalism that most critics like Ebert; VS how much of it is just "his opinion," VS how much of it was just him trying hurt me, VS how much of it is him actually being right... In any case, here's what I wrote (and sorry for the length... again, this was me pouring months of frustration out):
We first met on IMDb, probably a few months after I first got into NGE early in ’07. Being the voluble, naïve critic that I am I was already blabbing on about my various theories regarding certain aspects in NGE, especially its cinematic elements, which I was familiar with having already been a cinephile for years. Xard loved my analysis and we started chatting through PM. We had a ton in common. Both of us grew up as outsiders, the smartest kids in our respective classes through school. We’d both been recently heartbroken (romantically). We both went through periods of depression, but for really different reasons, and NGE helped to snap us out of it. Maybe it sounds terribly sad to say this, but Xard was the first person online or off I felt I’d really connected with in years. I mean, I have friends IRL, but none of whom I feel comfortable really being myself (at least, the aesthete (pseudo-)intellectual uber-geek side of myself) around. I think Xard felt much the same.

I think back then Xard looked up to me as some kind of aesthete guru. I think I largely turned him onto film, at least being serious about it. He loved parroting a lot of my theories and arguments regarding NGE, especially the stuff I’d gleaned from Jung and my knowledge of cinema. At first we saw eye-to-eye on pretty much everything we talked about when it came to NGE and art…

Then I think two significant things happened. The first was Marienbad. The second was Philosophy… I’m not sure which order they came in.

I think you’re aware of the Wall-of-Text war between Xard and I over Marienbad. I loved it, he didn’t. I think that was the first huge indication of how different we were, from how different the places we were coming from was. Xard hated it largely because he swore there was no deep meaning in it, and this was confirmed when he found out that Robbe-Grillet had intentionally engineered the script to have no meaning; he wanted everything to be pure surface. Xard despised this. Our debate centered around two concepts: the first was that I disagreed that it was possible to engineer meaningless art to begin with because art is such a two-way street, as much about an audience making meaning as an artist intending meaning. Plus, even intentionally meaningless art provoked feeling, and that meaning comes from that feeling anyway… if I was to argue today I might point out that Lewis Caroll and ee cummings were masters at this in literature (Jabberwocky being a famous example). It kinda goes back to the whole “Negative Capability” idea and artists unconsciously expressing more through their craft than they are (or could be) aware of. It’s the reason why Lynch, or even yourself, doesn’t want to spell out intended meanings in his/your work. Xard sees all of this as nothing but pseudo-intellectual pomo posturing.

The second issue was that, in art, aesthetics—what I’d define as the feeling produced by the craft—is arguably more important, when taken all together, as any theme or meaning anyway. I saw art as a means to make themes, ideas, thought, philosophy, etc. relevant to an audience, to make them FEEL the meaning, not to express themes/philosophy on a deep level in-and-of-itself. Xard saw it differently, and I think some of his disillusionment with NGE was his realization that NGE’s philosophy, when taken in isolation from the craft, is rather simplistic and juvenile, and I don’t think he knows how to reconcile the fact that he was affected so profoundly by something that he now perceives as rather shallow. I think I realized this when Xard started his rhetoric about how pointless it was to analyze “loldeep films” and art in general (which, if you could find some of his posts ca. mid-late ’07, is what he spent most of the time doing). I think a lot of that was also sour grapes on his part because he realized that his analytic posts on films and NGE didn’t get nearly as much attention as mine did. So he just decided he didn’t care about analyzing art at all and preferred giving up and deriding the whole practice rather than working to get better at it.

As for philosophy, I think that cut to the core of where we disagreed. For Xard, what really mattered was intent, meaning, some deep thought that he felt got to the core of existence. That’s what he initially saw in NGE, and that’s why afterwards he gravitated more towards philosophy than other arts, and why he gravitated away from me and towards Alleman… which I find disgusting because Alleman is one of the few posters on EGF whom I have absolutely zero respect for. He’s the epitome of everything that’s wrong with philosophy, and his completely backwards thinking with regard to morality (like his rants against Miss O’s sexuality, or his homophobic rants on IMDb) and limp-dicked Christian apologetics are as ridiculous as the idiots (William Lane Craig—whom I swear has the quintessential pedophile smile… seriously, look him up on Google—and Alvin Plantinga) that he loves to cite and parrot while displaying his gross inability for logically coherent or original thought.

Xard once told me that the reason he forsook literature was because it was impossible for language to have inherent meaning, so he rejected it as an art-form. Even though he did feel it was the most economical way to communicate ideas/meaning. But the real reason he hates literature stems from something else he told me about (and don’t you dare tell him I told you). He gave up poetry because he’d poured his heart and soul into this one work to win back this girl he loved that had left him for a musician, and she basically disregarded it, and he lashed out at literature’s inability to embody feelings deeply enough to affect someone else.

For me, I have a distaste for most philosophy I’ve read except for aesthetic purposes. What I mean by that is that I think philosophy makes great fodder for art, for expressing how life sometimes feels to us, but a terrible means to actually figuring out how life works. Even Jung, whom Xard and I chatted a lot about early on, I only cared for insofar as his ideas seemed to resonate with NGE. There’s a reason Stephen Hawking said philosophy is dead, and there’s a reason why we live in a world ruled by scientific advancement and not philosophic advancement. Yes, (and this was the topic of a huge thread on the subject between myself, Merri, Xard, et al) I realize that philosophy helped to bring science as we know it into existence, but (and this is what I argued in that thread) it strikes me as putting the cart before the horse. As I explained to Merri in PM, something like the logic of modus ponens exists as a fact in reality whether we have words to describe it or not. All philosophy did was gave a name and a categorization to something that already existed, and logic and science was discovered as much through trial and error than by rigorously applying philosophical theories. Saying philosophy invented science is a bit like saying Columbus invented America… actually, it’s EXACTLY like saying that.

(tangent edited)

So, if Marienbad was the crack, then the disagreement between Xard and I over the importance of philosophy (and, indeed, our greatly differing philosophies; I’m a materialist and atheist, Xard is some kind of mystic—thinks there’s a difference between brain and mind, thinks God exists in some form, thinks morals are absolute and objective) is likely what caused the huge split that exists today. Xard flat-out told me that the reason he became so hostile to me is because he went through a hugely depressing disillusionment when he learned of my own philosophies with regards to things like God and moral relativity. I think his disillusionment was so strong that all he could do was simply disown everything about me. That pretty much culminated in him telling me my posts weren’t worth responding to with any serious thought… Which is ironic when you think about how much serious thought he USED to put into responding to them, and you know I know a lot more about NGE, film, and other various aesthetic philosophies now than I did 4 years ago when Xard fawned over everything I said.

My own diagnosis of Xard is that he’s a severe all-or-nothing type. In terms of psychology that’s a cognitive distortion known as splitting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_%28psychology%29" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; In fact, Xard displays more than his fair share of the major cognitive distortions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_distortion" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Yeah, that’s a bit of armchair psychology, but doesn’t he strike you as the type that can’t tolerate gray areas and anything in between absolutes? Like, if he couldn’t see me as some all-knowing guru then I must be a worthless know-nothing dilettante pseudo-intellectual. If literature couldn’t embody his feelings to the extent it won his love back, then it was worthless as an art medium. If a film (like Marienbad) didn’t have some deep meaning but wasn’t a nonchalant piece of superficial entertainment, then it was the very definition of abysmal filmmaking—nay, a symbol of everything that was wrong about postmodernism, loldeep pretentious art, etc. If he couldn’t be praised for his analytical insight into NGE and various films, then the entire practice with nothing but an exercise in pseudo-intellectual masturbation and should be condemned and all those who practice it should be shamed. Even symbv (one of Xard’s best friends now, it seems) noted how Xard has this habit of going gung-ho for something and then going through a horrific crash-and-burn disillusionment where he can’t simply accept the flaws of that thing he loved, but must kill it with fire and sacrifice its ashes to the Volcano gods.

Why do you think he loves moe so much? Because it’s so empty of depth and meaning he doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of being profoundly affected by something (like NGE… like, hell, ME) that he THINKS is deep and meaningful, that turns out to be rather shallow and superficial or something completely different than what he thought it was. Xard just can’t handle the psychological distortion such a thing causes. The last PM conversation we had he said something to the effect that he felt like he was sliding back into depression because he couldn’t stand the thought that he was using art to escape from reality, which is probably the biggest theme he took away from NGE, yet I think he realizes that’s precisely what his love for moe is (and ALL it is).

Yet in that last conversation between us he also accused me of doing the same thing; using art to escape from reality. That’s another of our key disagreements. I feel that there’s an enormous difference in using art to escape from reality to the extent that it becomes your entire reality (like many Otakus do, which was what Anno railed against), and using art as a brief repose from reality when you live the majority of your life drowning in reality. I basically let him have it with a rare (for me) profanity-filled rant about how much suffering I’d dealt with in my life (my migraines, my depression, my mom’s back disease, three aunts having cancer, my cousin’s depression) and how art was the only thing that kept me sane, the only thing that gave me a passion for life, the only thing that kept me from giving up and sliding back into that abyss I spent years wallowing in before I found NGE.

I hate saying this about people, but I think Xard is a spoiled, selfish brat whose biggest problems are brought on by his own self-aggrandized ennui and cognitive distortions. Say what you want about me, but I’ve dealt with a ton of suffering, pulled myself up, faced my problems, and found a way out. I willed myself to become financially independent and allow myself to lead the life I wanted. I put myself in a position to help those around me. And, yes, I’ve found the discipline to pursue my own dreams, even if I’m still not sure what they are and suffer through extreme bouts of self-doubt and whatnot.

I do wish I could go back to the beginning and stress to Xard that I’m not some aesthetic/philosophical messiah come to save him and show him the way, one that knows everything there is to know about life and art or some mirror clone of him and his life and his thinking. I’d equally like to convince him now that I’m not some worthless dilettante who knows little-to-nothing about anything. For fuck’s sakes, there’s a middle ground to everything. I’m not perfect; I never claimed to be. I just think Xard initially saw me as that, and his disillusionment left him feeling like Emily Dickinson when she said:

It dropped so low in my regard
I heard it hit the ground,
And go to pieces on the stones
At the bottom of my mind;

Yet blamed the fate that fractured, less
Than I reviled myself
For entertaining plated wares
Upon my silver shelf.

Hell, the greatest minds of all time frequently had serious flaws. “Even Homer nods,” as Horace said (Ok, so that quote was regarding a different matter entirely, but the general sentiment fits). I may worship Shakespeare, but it’s not because he was flawless. The man wrote plenty of stinker lines (and even a handful of craptastic plays as a whole). I don’t know of any poet that never wrote a bad poem, and even Yeats, perhaps the most revered poet of the last 200 years, a veritable Beethoven straddling the worlds of Romanticism and Modernism, has some positively risible works that even his staunchest fans admit are grotesquely bad.

Ok, I could write more, but I think I’ll end this epic rant thingy with this:

Those oft are Stratagems which Errors seem,
Nor is it Homer Nods, but We that Dream –Alexander Pope, Essays On Criticism

Here’s to hoping whoever amongst us is dreaming (Xard? Me? You? “Nathan”? Merri? Jung? The US Government?) wakes up before the world blows up.


Raxivace wrote:I still ultimately enjoy reading older EGF threads for a lot of reasons- partly because of the NGE discussion itself, the movie threads you used to be heavily involved with, discussion on older anime that interest me, my own nostalgia for the pre-social media boom era of the internet where forums were more dominant than they are today etc. But it just isn't quite the same anymore.
Oh, I absolutely agree. Even with the threads you linked I got sucked into reading them, and I occasionally read the old film-talk and art-war threads just for the nostalgia. Part of me regrets leaving there as I feel I kinda threw the baby out with the bathwater. There were a lot of good, intelligent, interesting people, and it was really fundamental in shaping my views about NGE, aesthetics, and other philosophical matters. It was even because of one user there, Kutta, that I was introduced to Lesswrong and the whole Bayesian rationality thing.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #110

Postby Raxivace » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:03 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I've got to admit I'm almost morbidly curious enough to actually read it. I'd love to take some notes while reading to point out the flaws I see in it. Knowing Xard, I can guarantee two things: one, that he actually did come to his conclusions after a lot of study, consideration, and thought; and two, that that consideration and thought will be riddled with irrationality.
I tried and couldn't do it once I realized it gets to a point where he starts going on about pedophilia in the gay community to justify his views. Dude lost it.

it's also a fascinating take on the subject of a Jew being really guilty for loving an anti-semtic composer who was beloved by the Nazis.
Sometimes I wonder if this kind of uncomfortable-ness is the source of those really tiring "All art is political, even seemingly apolitical art is actually the most political of all" kinds of takes that I'm seeing a lot online these days.

Like I absolutely know there are people who would say this music is inherently pro-Nazi because of who/when/where it was produced. I can see the think pieces now. It can't just be music created by a Nazi, it must be Nazi music.

I got into this with someone over Tetris once. I don't think there's anything meaningfully political to draw out of it, but people tell me otherwise because of Korobeiniki/the one Russian building on the title screen. I don't see it.

OK, there's two caveats I want to add to this: one is that this is ONLY from my perspective and I really can't say how much of it is accurate VS how much of it is biased by my being hurt and angered by Xard. Two is that I think part of my anger stemmed from the fact that I do think some of Xard's criticisms were right. As I said in the film thread, I'm sure my rather-ignorant philosophical ramblings struck his ears the same way that the ramblings of Creationists strike the ears of evolutionary biologists. As for his criticism of my criticism... I don't know how much of my feeling he was kinda right is my own insecurity over the fact that I never formally studied film, or the kind of writing/journalism that most critics like Ebert; VS how much of it is just "his opinion," VS how much of it was just him trying hurt me, VS how much of it is him actually being right... In any case, here's what I wrote (and sorry for the length... again, this was me pouring months of frustration out):
Eh I think most people, particularly when it comes to subjective things like writing, get insecure and question how much worth it has even when what they're making is good. I wouldn't take anything Xard said about it too harshly.

Like you would probably benefit from a good formal education in a good program (Whether its writing, or film or whatever else), but that isn't to say you lack ability or insight now by any means as much it would probably just help refine you further. Even as you are now though, you certainly can go toe to toe with anyone who is traditionally educated- I have the war wounds to prove it at least [laugh].

Like the worst thing I could say about you as a critic is that some of your NGE writing would benefit from being more structured, and that's hardly damning criticism especially for something that started as informal internet threads like on EGF or IMDb. And NGE is such a sprawling topic anyways with tons on interlinked aspects that it would be genuinely difficult, I think, to do that well.

Honestly, the fact you can write in complete sentences automatically puts you above 98% of people writing about things online. Especially since IMO online film criticism is in a horrible state for the most part- whatever flaws you might have are minuscule compared to these idiots getting popular on YouTube and the like.

Long PM
Thanks for sharing this. I am kind of surprised by some if it- I always figured Marienbad wars were an extension of conflict between you two and not so much a source of it. I'll never get these people that take disagreements like that to such weird personal extremes- its what really got to me about Evangelion217, and not so much that he disagreed with me on Star Wars or whatever itself.

I feel like the "art has to itself be equivalent to complex philosophical doctrine or else its worthless" thing is an easy trap to fall into, and I can see it being easy for someone with Xard's background in philosophy get trapped in that rabbit hole. I very much agree that how art dramatizes or expresses that being what makes it worthwhile, though it took me a while to really get that myself.

What's this deal with Allemann btw? I never paid that much attention to him.

The escapism thing definitely gets to me, and something I wonder about myself often since I've left undergrad and my life hasn't gone anywhere for variety of reasons (Unfortunately I do not even have the kind of financial independence you speak of, still living with my parents. I had some savings for a while but most of that is gone now because I decided to my student loan debt off. I hope it was the right decision in the long run). I still want to get into grad school one day and really do something with myself. In the meantime I'm trying to what I can informally to increase my knowledge base that could benefit me there (Like these Godard marathons and the like), though again that gets me to wondering if that itself isn't just escapism and a cognitive loop of sorts to justify my current life style or not. In this instance self-doubt is FTL.

Oh, I absolutely agree. Even with the threads you linked I got sucked into reading them, and I occasionally read the old film-talk and art-war threads just for the nostalgia. Part of me regrets leaving there as I feel I kinda threw the baby out with the bathwater. There were a lot of good, intelligent, interesting people, and it was really fundamental in shaping my views about NGE, aesthetics, and other philosophical matters. It was even because of one user there, Kutta, that I was introduced to Lesswrong and the whole Bayesian rationality thing.
Eh even if you had stayed EGF would have still probably turned out the kind of stunted way it is now. I don't think any forum with the kind of restrictive moderation that EGF has could stay productive for long.

Even I got in trouble with the mods there a few times and I'm like, hardly any kind of rabble-rouser.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #111

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:32 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:I've got to admit I'm almost morbidly curious enough to actually read it. I'd love to take some notes while reading to point out the flaws I see in it. Knowing Xard, I can guarantee two things: one, that he actually did come to his conclusions after a lot of study, consideration, and thought; and two, that that consideration and thought will be riddled with irrationality.
I tried and couldn't do it once I realized it gets to a point where he starts going on about pedophilia in the gay community to justify his views. Dude lost it.
Well, speaking of irrationality, Xard had this bad habit of arguing by correlation. I remember we went at it regarding the (im)morality of polygamy and his argument boiled down to the fact that several old societies did it, and they went to shit, and nowadays only evil cults do it. I should've just come back with the old correlation =/= causation.

Raxivace wrote:
it's also a fascinating take on the subject of a Jew being really guilty for loving an anti-semtic composer who was beloved by the Nazis.
Sometimes I wonder if this kind of uncomfortable-ness is the source of those really tiring "All art is political, even seemingly apolitical art is actually the most political of all" kinds of takes that I'm seeing a lot online these days.

Like I absolutely know there are people who would say this music is inherently pro-Nazi because of who/when/where it was produced. I can see the think pieces now. It can't just be music created by a Nazi, it must be Nazi music.

I got into this with someone over Tetris once. I don't think there's anything meaningfully political to draw out of it, but people tell me otherwise because of Korobeiniki/the one Russian building on the title screen. I don't see it.
You can really go down the rabbit hole with "everything is X." Everything is political, but politics is really just philosophy, so everything is philosophy, but philosophy is just thought, so everything is cognitive science, but cognitive science is influenced by genes and cultures, so everything is really genetics and sociology, but genetics and sociology are reducible to physics, so everything is physics. It gets a bit silly and is mostly just the result of people being myopic about whatever their field of interest is. I personally think every "ism" has its place in terms of analyzing art, but the question is really about what your goal is. If the goal is to situate and contextualize the art in some larger socio-political/cultural context, then you're probably not concerned with understanding the art itself; but if the goal is to understand the art, then the larger socio-political/cultural context can have varying degrees of influence on that art.

FWIW, Wagner died nearly 40 years before the Nazis were a thing. Nationalism and anti-semitism were rife in German culture at the time, and Wagner was aligned with the left-wing nationalists/socialists (it feels strange to see that combination given today's politics), so much so that he took part in the failed Dresden uprising and had warrants issued for his arrest, causing him to flee to Switzerland for 12 years and nearly dying in a violent storm on the ship ride there (his life really reads like a melodramatic novel).

As for anti-semitism in his works, it's very debatable. Wagner wrote operas exclusively, and most dealt with mythical subjects used as allegories. There's no explicit mention of Jews in his operas, but some interpret various characters as Jewish caricatures: Mime/Alberich from The Ring, Beckmesser from Meistersinger, and Klingsor from Parsifal. My basic opinion is this: if you didn't go into these operas LOOKING for Jewish caricatures, you never would've found them. Evidence for this is the fact that Wagner's anti-semitic writings basically disappeared from the time of his death until about the 1960s when scholars became more aware of and interested in the holocaust, and in that entire time, roughly 80 years, nobody interpreted any of these works as anti-semitic (there's not even any mention of it by the Nazis, who nonetheless admired Wagner's nationalism). Suddenly, after that when Wagner's anti-semitism became more well-known, suddenly everyone is interpreting these characters as Jewish caricatures.

In a way, the Wagner issue cuts to the heart of many deep issues about art criticism. What's the role of biography in interpreting art? How much of what we interpret is biased by such knowledge, and how much of it is actually in the work? Does the question of whether it's in the work ONLY depend on what we know/don't know? If so, then which perspective is privileged: the ignorant or informed one? The former might miss things that are there, but the latter might see things that aren't. Is it possible to come to any kind of "objective truth" on the matter?

Raxivace wrote:Eh I think most people, particularly when it comes to subjective things like writing, get insecure and question how much worth it has even when what they're making is good. I wouldn't take anything Xard said about it too harshly.

Like you would probably benefit from a good formal education in a good program (Whether its writing, or film or whatever else), but that isn't to say you lack ability or insight now by any means as much it would probably just help refine you further. Even as you are now though, you certainly can go toe to toe with anyone who is traditionally educated- I have the war wounds to prove it at least [laugh].

Like the worst thing I could say about you as a critic is that some of your NGE writing would benefit from being more structured, and that's hardly damning criticism especially for something that started as informal internet threads like on EGF or IMDb. And NGE is such a sprawling topic anyways with tons on interlinked aspects that it would be genuinely difficult, I think, to do that well.

Honestly, the fact you can write in complete sentences automatically puts you above 98% of people writing about things online. Especially since IMO online film criticism is in a horrible state for the most part- whatever flaws you might have are minuscule compared to these idiots getting popular on YouTube and the like.
Well, thanks for the encouragement, but I do feel more comfortable about this stuff now than I did back then. There is something to the cliche about how getting older helps one refine the fine art of not giving a fuck.

Yeah, I know I could've benefited from formal education, but it was always difficult for me to justify the expense knowing that I probably wouldn't make a living out of it--though there might have been a time when I would've been willing to pursue professional criticism. In a way, I almost feel like poker has allowed me more time to study and learn on my own than most are even granted in a formal setting. I just think the formal setting would've helped refine a lot of my efforts, especially in terms of organization and editing, which I've always sucked at.

LOL, I'd disown a good chunk of what I wrote about NGE back then. So much of it was inspired by whatever criticism or theories I was reading at the time and was often just my attempts to appropriate whatever I was learning and see how it could illuminate certain aspects of NGE. A good chunk of that I'd chalk up to failed experiments and me just trying to work stuff out in a kind of stream-of-conscious fashion rather than any rigorously worked out interpretations, if that makes sense. I guess it was my way of putting these ideas in a kind of "trial by fire" to see which ones were viable.

Raxivace wrote:
Long PM
Thanks for sharing this. I am kind of surprised by some if it- I always figured Marienbad wars were an extension of conflict between you two and not so much a source of it. I'll never get these people that take disagreements like that to such weird personal extremes- its what really got to me about Evangelion217, and not so much that he disagreed with me on Star Wars or whatever itself.

I feel like the "art has to itself be equivalent to complex philosophical doctrine or else its worthless" thing is an easy trap to fall into, and I can see it being easy for someone with Xard's background in philosophy get trapped in that rabbit hole. I very much agree that how art dramatizes or expresses that being what makes it worthwhile, though it took me a while to really get that myself.

What's this deal with Allemann btw? I never paid that much attention to him.

The escapism thing definitely gets to me, and something I wonder about myself often since I've left undergrad and my life hasn't gone anywhere for variety of reasons (Unfortunately I do not even have the kind of financial independence you speak of, still living with my parents. I had some savings for a while but most of that is gone now because I decided to my student loan debt off. I hope it was the right decision in the long run). I still want to get into grad school one day and really do something with myself. In the meantime I'm trying to what I can informally to increase my knowledge base that could benefit me there (Like these Godard marathons and the like), though again that gets me to wondering if that itself isn't just escapism and a cognitive loop of sorts to justify my current life style or not. In this instance self-doubt is FTL.
To be fair, the Marienbad disagreements turned meta quickly. It wasn't really about the disagreement over the film itself, but basically over how much that disagreement revealed about our very different philosophies/personalities. I guess you could say that Marienbad was the catalyst that burst the dam that was already cracking.

One way to think about the art/philosophy divide is that philosophy is trying to understand reality, life, and experience through language, while art is something of a mix between reality, life, and experience itself and a kind of language we use to understand it. I've always struggled to find a good way to express that concept without going off into the weeds, but I think this mixture in art is one thing that makes it uniquely valuable and interesting to discuss, because part of what we love about it is that it can replicate aspects of life and experience, but it does so with a language that allows us to reflect on it and draw meaning and significance from the way it does this. Philosophy eliminates the experiential aspect altogether. In doing so, I actually think it's possible to argue that art is actually philosophically deeper than most philosophy because it's closer to replicating the very things that philosophy is trying to understand to begin with, so most anything that can be written about philosophically can also be written about art.

Allemann was basically the far-right version of Xard before Xard was far-right, and I can only imagine that Allemann had a huge influence on the direction that Xard went. he was usually quite laconic on the boards and would usually only let his more disgusting opinions come out when pressed. I had two pretty good "wars" with him on the IMDb Hideaki Anno board. One was on Anno and Auteur theory and the other was on Anno being a one-trick pony. In both threads he basically revealed a gross ignorance of film theory. The former was quite humorous as his basic argument was that if Anno was an auteur he should've had more "hits" than NGE. It took a while, but I eventually showed him that autuer theory had nothing to do with success but having an identifiable style and voice across his works. Towards the end he realized he'd been beat and basically left with "auteur theory is just a stupid idea from stupid French pseudo-intellectuals." Perhaps what I remember him most for on EGF was this thread and exchange between him and Miss O.

I can almost guarantee you did the right thing in paying off your student loans so you don't end up buried under them. I've known so many people who've put off paying debts and end up never being able to dig themselves out. Anyway, the major point about NGE's anti-escapism is mostly about not letting anime--or anything, really--take over your entire life. It's mostly about finding balance, and there's no reason that art can't be even a big part of one's life while also staying engaged with family and friends and work and whatever else. I mean, if you plan on doing post-graduate study that involves film then watching more films and discussing/analyzing them would certainly help with that; and even if you don't it would only be a problem if you think it's legitimately preventing you from pursuing other things.

Raxivace wrote:Even I got in trouble with the mods there a few times and I'm like, hardly any kind of rabble-rouser.
Only problem I ever had with the mods was the whole Omnislash/JF feud thing. I mean, understand why the mods did what they did, but their reasons were such bullshit and I kinda got a kick out of proving how bullshit they were in the thread I started on it. What problem did you have with them?

Gosh, I think there's something about even mentioning EGF that brings out the WOT Jimbomonster in me. :/
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #112

Postby Raxivace » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:14 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I should've just come back with the old correlation =/= causation.
Yes but something something logic proves God so therefore God and The Bible defines marriage something something you're not right.

You can really go down the rabbit hole with "everything is X." Everything is political, but politics is really just philosophy, so everything is philosophy, but philosophy is just thought, so everything is cognitive science, but cognitive science is influenced by genes and cultures, so everything is really genetics and sociology, but genetics and sociology are reducible to physics, so everything is physics. It gets a bit silly and is mostly just the result of people being myopic about whatever their field of interest is. I personally think every "ism" has its place in terms of analyzing art, but the question is really about what your goal is. If the goal is to situate and contextualize the art in some larger socio-political/cultural context, then you're probably not concerned with understanding the art itself; but if the goal is to understand the art, then the larger socio-political/cultural context can have varying degrees of influence on that art.
Yeah exactly. I have no issue bringing up an "ism" when it seems relevant but I find these people that apply one school of thought to everything, forever, and deviating from that to be evil to just be to be so annoying.

FWIW, Wagner died nearly 40 years before the Nazis were a thing.
Another thing I probably should have at least Googled first, defeating what I thought was at least a decent rhetorical line ("Nazi art vs. art made by Nazis"). It's a bad day for old Raxivace it seems. [sad]

As for anti-semitism in his works, it's very debatable. Wagner wrote operas exclusively, and most dealt with mythical subjects used as allegories. There's no explicit mention of Jews in his operas, but some interpret various characters as Jewish caricatures: Mime/Alberich from The Ring, Beckmesser from Meistersinger, and Klingsor from Parsifal. My basic opinion is this: if you didn't go into these operas LOOKING for Jewish caricatures, you never would've found them. Evidence for this is the fact that Wagner's anti-semitic writings basically disappeared from the time of his death until about the 1960s when scholars became more aware of and interested in the holocaust, and in that entire time, roughly 80 years, nobody interpreted any of these works as anti-semitic (there's not even any mention of it by the Nazis, who nonetheless admired Wagner's nationalism). Suddenly, after that when Wagner's anti-semitism became more well-known, suddenly everyone is interpreting these characters as Jewish caricatures.
Yeah not having any familiarity with this work at all I'm in no position to say. It does remind me about the recent thread we had about LotR and race though.

I'm not sure if being able to read the Orcs as racist caricatures causes racism, though at the very least I consider it a dramatic flaw, where making them more more nuance would make the story more interesting. At least IMO.

In a way, the Wagner issue cuts to the heart of many deep issues about art criticism. What's the role of biography in interpreting art? How much of what we interpret is biased by such knowledge, and how much of it is actually in the work? Does the question of whether it's in the work ONLY depend on what we know/don't know? If so, then which perspective is privileged: the ignorant or informed one? The former might miss things that are there, but the latter might see things that aren't. Is it possible to come to any kind of "objective truth" on the matter?
Obviously, the correct answer is whichever one gets me the most page views and therefore money.

Well, thanks for the encouragement, but I do feel more comfortable about this stuff now than I did back then. There is something to the cliche about how getting older helps one refine the fine art of not giving a fuck.
That's good, it's just too against my nature to let people be if it seems like they're feeling down at all.

I just think the formal setting would've helped refine a lot of my efforts, especially in terms of organization and editing, which I've always sucked at.
Yeah that kind of setting really beats that sort of thing into you, though I'm afraid my own abilities at that have probably declined since I've left school.

LOL, I'd disown a good chunk of what I wrote about NGE back then. So much of it was inspired by whatever criticism or theories I was reading at the time and was often just my attempts to appropriate whatever I was learning and see how it could illuminate certain aspects of NGE. A good chunk of that I'd chalk up to failed experiments and me just trying to work stuff out in a kind of stream-of-conscious fashion rather than any rigorously worked out interpretations, if that makes sense. I guess it was my way of putting these ideas in a kind of "trial by fire" to see which ones were viable.
I see. I think that's a perfectly valid exercise though- I remember a teach I had in college said its probably part of the reason Hitchcock continues to remain popular, since new film theories that come along always seem to be tested against him.

One way to think about the art/philosophy divide is that philosophy is trying to understand reality, life, and experience through language, while art is something of a mix between reality, life, and experience itself and a kind of language we use to understand it. I've always struggled to find a good way to express that concept without going off into the weeds, but I think this mixture in art is one thing that makes it uniquely valuable and interesting to discuss, because part of what we love about it is that it can replicate aspects of life and experience, but it does so with a language that allows us to reflect on it and draw meaning and significance from the way it does this. Philosophy eliminates the experiential aspect altogether. In doing so, I actually think it's possible to argue that art is actually philosophically deeper than most philosophy because it's closer to replicating the very things that philosophy is trying to understand to begin with, so most anything that can be written about philosophically can also be written about art.
I think I see what you're saying- that philosophy can be too abstract, whereas art can often give us something (That is at least seemingly) more tangible to directly to discuss.

This is perhaps what frustrates people about something like the Trolley Problem- not that the core ideas that are meant to be illustrated are invalid, but that the example itself seems kind of disconnected from a form we might actually experience a similar dilemma in life.

I always find philosophy frustrating though I've always blamed that on my own idiocy more than anything.

One was on Anno and Auteur theory and the other was on Anno being a one-trick pony. In both threads he basically revealed a gross ignorance of film theory. The former was quite humorous as his basic argument was that if Anno was an auteur he should've had more "hits" than NGE. It took a while, but I eventually showed him that autuer theory had nothing to do with success but having an identifiable style and voice across his works. Towards the end he realized he'd been beat and basically left with "auteur theory is just a stupid idea from stupid French pseudo-intellectuals."
OOOOOHHHHH, that guy! I remember those threads on IMDb- the whole idea that Anno didn't have hits before NGE anyways was so dumb. I guess GunBuster and Nadia never happened. Even afterward the live action films seem to get regarded well.

I know this was well after the thread but Shin Godzilla had a lot of film people talking that wouldn't give anime a chance normally, which just makes that argument about Anno seem even sillier in retrospect (Though granted Shin Godzilla has a lot of similarity with early NGE episodes).

Go watch Shin Godzilla, Jimbo.

Perhaps what I remember him most for on EGF was this thread and exchange between him and Miss O.
Yikes.

I can almost guarantee you did the right thing in paying off your student loans so you don't end up buried under them. I've known so many people who've put off paying debts and end up never being able to dig themselves out.
Hopefully. It was just nice to have something of a safety net, though it will take a while to build back up.

Anyway, the major point about NGE's anti-escapism is mostly about not letting anime--or anything, really--take over your entire life. It's mostly about finding balance, and there's no reason that art can't be even a big part of one's life while also staying engaged with family and friends and work and whatever else. I mean, if you plan on doing post-graduate study that involves film then watching more films and discussing/analyzing them would certainly help with that; and even if you don't it would only be a problem if you think it's legitimately preventing you from pursuing other things.
I'm not sure how much you know about this, but my job as a "caregiver" causes me to stay home most days of the year, which is how I'm able to watch/play as much as I do. I probably actually leave my house (Other than getting the mail or whatever) less than 10 times a year now. I guess the isolation is just starting to get to me, but there needs to be somebody to take care of my brother and with our parents working so much now I can't exactly just up and leave when I'm unsure they can properly take care of him on their own. When I do get some actual time off and they take him on vacation or something somewhere it seems like gets seizures more often than when I'm looking after him, which you know, is immensely worrying to me.

Like the irony that I now resemble the kind of "otaku lifestyle" that NGE rallied against isn't lost on me but I'm not quite sure what the best solution here is either that is best for me and leaves me assured about my brother's wellbeing.

What problem did you have with them?
I think I quoted too much of a post once, and there was a second thing I can't quite remember. It was probably openly disagreeing with a mod policy or something. Kuribo probably remembers better than I do.

Gosh, I think there's something about even mentioning EGF that brings out the WOT Jimbomonster in me. :/
It's just a long, complicated topic I guess.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #113

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:01 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:I should've just come back with the old correlation =/= causation.
Yes but something something logic proves God so therefore God and The Bible defines marriage something something you're not right.
You've elegantly summed up Christian apologetics! [biggrin]

Raxivace wrote:Another thing I probably should have at least Googled first, defeating what I thought was at least a decent rhetorical line ("Nazi art vs. art made by Nazis"). It's a bad day for old Raxivace it seems. [sad]
LOL, Don't worry about it. I'm talking old dead composers I wouldn't expect you to know about. In all seriousness though, if I had a Mount Rushmore of art, one work that would definitely be there is Wagner's Tristan & Isolde. The effect it had on me is only second to NGE and really close with Hamlet (not sure what the fourth work would be). As Fry says at the end of that doc, life is too short not to at least give Wagner a try. He was a monumental genius, perhaps a legit contender for the biggest of the 19th century (and not just in art). He's one of those few artists that can inspire cult-like devotion in people, and I totally get why.

Raxivace wrote:I'm not sure if being able to read the Orcs as racist caricatures causes racism, though at the very least I consider it a dramatic flaw, where making them more more nuance would make the story more interesting. At least IMO.
It wouldn't cause racism, but it could reinforce the kind of tribalism that's at the root of racism, where you can just present the "other" as inhuman monsters. Still, part of me thinks there should be room for inhuman monsters as villains in fantasy, so I'm a bit torn on the issue.

Raxivace wrote:Yeah that kind of setting really beats that sort of thing into you, though I'm afraid my own abilities at that have probably declined since I've left school.
I even think of that Taylor Swift review I wrote where it took far longer and far more effort to edit the damn thing than it did to write it. Writing it took me less than an hour, but I was probably 5-10 hours across two days trying to put it together.

Raxivace wrote:I see. I think that's a perfectly valid exercise though- I remember a teach I had in college said its probably part of the reason Hitchcock continues to remain popular, since new film theories that come along always seem to be tested against him.
Yeah, and I especially like(d) doing it on message boards because you tend to get instant feedback, an informal peer review of sorts. Hitch and Shakespeare are both very much like that, and it's typically telling of artists that have really tapped into and expressed some universal themes.

Raxivace wrote:I think I see what you're saying- that philosophy can be too abstract, whereas art can often give us something (That is at least seemingly) more tangible to directly to discuss.

This is perhaps what frustrates people about something like the Trolley Problem- not that the core ideas that are meant to be illustrated are invalid, but that the example itself seems kind of disconnected from a form we might actually experience a similar dilemma in life.

I always find philosophy frustrating though I've always blamed that on my own idiocy more than anything.
Yeah, abstraction VS concrete is one way to express the difference, but it's also the difference between ontology and semiotics, or "what is" VS "how we describe/talk about what is." Art has elements of both, because certain features do boil down to language-like abstractions--by that I mean concepts like "protagonist," "conflict," "resolution," etc.--that we use to understand it, but it's done in such a way that mimics how we just experience stuff.

Stuff like the trolley problem is just attempts to find ways to illustrate potential problems in certain theories/ideas. It's like Shrodinger's Cat. It's ridiculous and would never happen, but it perhaps helps people visualize how the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics works. I often wonder what made Shrodinger think of that particular example, though.

Philosophy can be frustrating and for many different reasons. Sometimes it's just not being familiar with the terminology and the subject being discussed, but just as often it's because it's filled with a bunch of obscurantist bullshit from irrational thinkers who were abominable writers. However, it can be really fun and enlightening when you encounter clear-headed rationalists that find ways to make complicated subjects comprehensible. I mean, THIS, IMO, has as many useful and right things to say about what "truth" is than THIS does, and the former's just an allegory about shepherds and sheep.

Raxivace wrote:I know this was well after the thread but Shin Godzilla had a lot of film people talking that wouldn't give anime a chance normally, which just makes that argument about Anno seem even sillier in retrospect (Though granted Shin Godzilla has a lot of similarity with early NGE episodes).

Go watch Shin Godzilla, Jimbo.
It's high on my list. In all honesty, I'm really trying to wait until I can revamp my entire system with a 4K setup before I get back to film/TV. I have the TV, but I need the player and the AVR, but I'm waiting for an AVR that has Dirac and can support multiple subs. The ones out now aren't cheap and apparently buggy, but I know several more are being released later this year.

Raxivace wrote:I'm not sure how much you know about this, but my job as a "caregiver" causes me to stay home most days of the year, which is how I'm able to watch/play as much as I do. I probably actually leave my house (Other than getting the mail or whatever) less than 10 times a year now. I guess the isolation is just starting to get to me, but there needs to be somebody to take care of my brother and with our parents working so much now I can't exactly just up and leave when I'm unsure they can properly take care of him on their own. When I do get some actual time off and they take him on vacation or something somewhere it seems like gets seizures more often than when I'm looking after him, which you know, is immensely worrying to me.

Like the irony that I now resemble the kind of "otaku lifestyle" that NGE rallied against isn't lost on me but I'm not quite sure what the best solution here is either that is best for me and leaves me assured about my brother's wellbeing.
Our situations aren't terribly dissimilar actually. I rent a room from my parents, so I have my own space and everything, but the main reason I do is because I help take care of my mother, especially after her stroke as now she can't walk or get around very well at all, and all the housework. In exchange they give me cheap rent, which is one thing that's allowed me to save like I have. My dad helps as much as he can but he's getting quite old (they had me late in life: mom was 35, dad was 40). I do have friends and go out some--few times a month at least--but most days I'm happier just staying at home and listening to music or reading or playing guitar or watching TV/movies or playing games or whatever I'm into at the moment.

Thing is, we both essentially have jobs that keep us at home, and we're both taking care of family members. We have responsibilities and we aren't ignoring them to permanently escape inside a world of fantasy. Yes, perhaps our lives semi-resemble those of Otaku shut-ins, but the situations are quite different. Most otakus don't have jobs/responsibilities that keep them at home. They aren't spending a lot of their lives helping others. They're just selfishly indulging in fantasy because they don't want to face the real world of work and responsibility. We aren't doing that. If I wanted to be selfish I could easily move away and have complete freedom, and I wouldn't be spending hours every week cleaning a place I don't own/rent or helping my mom get around and remember to take her medicine and stuff. Likewise, I'm sure you could pursue your education, a job, and leave your parents to deal with your brother.

Raxivace wrote:I think I quoted too much of a post once, and there was a second thing I can't quite remember. It was probably openly disagreeing with a mod policy or something. Kuribo probably remembers better than I do.
They could be maddeningly inconsistent at times.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #114

Postby Raxivace » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:29 pm

Oh my god... I had a TLoU response mostly written up and my computer crashed. Firefox didn't even save the tab this time, EVEN THOUGH IT HAD SAVED THE TAB BEFORE WHEN I'VE HAD FIREFOX CRASH, and this time it instead sent me back to the tabs I last had open OVER TWO FUCKING WEEKS AGO.

I really sincerely hate absolutely everything about computers. Like god damn its 2019, how is this a problem that wasn't solved like a decade ago?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #115

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:34 pm

Oh, man, I sympathize. I've had that happen so many times. I try to type long replies on Word because it auto-saves every minutes, but I'm usually just lazy and end up typing them on Chrome. I don't know if Chrome's any better than Firefox, but it's been a while since that's happened to me and I switched from Firefox to Chrome years ago. I wonder if there's an Add-On that could help with the problem?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #116

Postby Raxivace » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:05 pm

I dunno. Even if there are addons that would help, the feature built into Firefox should freakin' work as advertised.

It's' just such a shame because the post was so beautiful. It was long, it went point by point, it had supporting links, it referenced many other games, it had bold declarations, it had quips, I even made a jab at maz at one point for having numbers in his user name.

And now its gone...

:(

This is all maz's fault, somehow.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #117

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:04 pm

Raxivace wrote:This is all maz's fault, somehow.
No doubt. The bastard's over in the music thread tempting me back to sugary pop and away from my healthy diet of classical and jazz. I suspect he's a Russian Agent.

Anyway, you can either try to replicate it as best you can or we can just drop the whole thing. It's not like we don't have anything else to talk about.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #118

Postby maz89 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:30 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Raxivace wrote:This is all maz's fault, somehow.
No doubt. The bastard's over in the music thread tempting me back to sugary pop and away from my healthy diet of classical and jazz. I suspect he's a Russian Agent.

[eek] Guess it's time to reveal the truth. The cat is out of the bag. I have indeed been spying on you both. If you recall, I had expressly warned Rax to stay away from the topic of TLoU. I could see what he was typing about it and I disagreed with every single word. Naturally. But more than anything, I especially disagreed with the bolded parts, the quips and the part where he mocked my very original, creative username containing the initials of my name and my birth year. That post just had to go. And it did. Don't blame Firefox. And Jimbo? Well, half the time I have no idea what he's talking about. He's too clever for his own good. I can't count the number of times he's made me refresh my knowledge on Bayenesian theory. By sharing random videos of semi-popular quirky female singers, I've been able to derail his "healthy" diet and make him sound less... clever. Soon all he will be capable of talking about are the singers that thirteen year old girls adore. My next diabolical plan is to use my spy skills to fuck up his computer so it eliminates certain letters as he types, rendering him incapable of communicating in any language other than Newspeak. This will make him sound less smart for sure. Any other ideas or tips?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #119

Postby Raxivace » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:49 pm

I mean, he's already praising a Naughty Dog game, how much more damage can you really do to poor Jimbo?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #120

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:52 pm

maz89 wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Raxivace wrote:This is all maz's fault, somehow.
No doubt. The bastard's over in the music thread tempting me back to sugary pop and away from my healthy diet of classical and jazz. I suspect he's a Russian Agent.

[eek] Guess it's time to reveal the truth. The cat is out of the bag. I have indeed been spying on you both. If you recall, I had expressly warned Rax to stay away from the topic of TLoU. I could see what he was typing about it and I disagreed with every single word. Naturally. But more than anything, I especially disagreed with the bolded parts, the quips and the part where he mocked my very original, creative username containing the initials of my name and my birth year. That post just had to go. And it did. Don't blame Firefox. And Jimbo? Well, half the time I have no idea what he's talking about. He's too clever for his own good. I can't count the number of times he's made me refresh my knowledge on Bayenesian theory. By sharing random videos of semi-popular quirky female singers, I've been able to derail his "healthy" diet and make him sound less... clever. Soon all he will be capable of talking about are the singers that thirteen year old girls adore. My next diabolical plan is to use my spy skills to fuck up his computer so it eliminates certain letters as he types, rendering him incapable of communicating in any language other than Newspeak. This will make him sound less smart for sure. Any other ideas or tips?
Yes, but keep it up and I will soon be the David Bordwell of pop music. You just wait! As for messing with my computers and eliminating letters, my keyboard likes to stick and do that anyway, so ha! [blah]
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #121

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:52 pm

Raxivace wrote:I mean, he's already praising a Naughty Dog game, how much more damage can you really do to poor Jimbo?
I can't tell if that's supposed to be more of an insult to me or maz!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #122

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:39 am

I played Super Street Fighter II Turbo on a whim and man that game's AI is inconsistent. Most fights are ludricously hard- I must have spent a good 45 minutes clearing Stage 3 Chun-Li. I eventually had to resort to save state spamming- it was just unreasonable with how the AI could seem to read your inputs in addition to doing much more damage than you.

Other rounds in the game were weirdly simple though.



Apparently Balrog falls to the advanced strat of "pressing the kick button a bunch".
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #123

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:44 pm

Also there's a Castlevania Anniversary Collection coming on Switch/PS4/Xbox 1/Steam.

Contains the following:

-Castlevania
-Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
-Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
-Super Castlevania IV
-Castlevania: The Adventure
-Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
-Kid Dracula (Famicom)
-Castlevania Bloodlines

Hell of a deal for $20.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #124

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:40 am

^ That sounds awesome. I'll definitely be picking it up.

RE SFII Turbo: Welcome to my childhood! I guess I didn't really notice the difficulty of these games because so many of them were like that. I just got used to games obliterating me until I was so frustrated I wanted to throw my controller through the TV screen. My mom used to dread me getting into games like that because she knew they could put me in a really pissy mood for several days until I either beat it or just gave up in frustration.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #125

Postby Raxivace » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:06 am

I should make it clear that I'm mostly recommending the Castlevania thing on the strength of the original game, Dracula's Curse, Super IV, and Bloodlines (Of those four I think Super IV is the worst but its still fun to play). I haven't played Kid Dracula, The Adventure, or Belmont's Revenge.

Simon's Quest is honestly kind of really bad in execution (It was pretty famously the first game that James "The Angry Video Game Nerd" Rolfe ever made a video about), but I think its a fascinating game to take a look at since its the first time they tried to make an RPG in the franchise and the central conceit of the game is honestly pretty interesting (Namely that basically every NPC is actually meant to be lying to you, something James Rolfe never seemed to pick up on). The music is pretty good too at least.

It also gets plenty of callbacks throughout the franchise- my favorite being that the first level of Rondo of Blood is one of the Simon's Quest towns being burned to the ground lmao.

And yeah SSFIITurbo is rough but like, I had it set on the easiest difficulty. It shouldn't be as hard as it is when I'm playing on baby mode.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #126

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:45 am

I tend to be a sucker for good compilations like that even if they have some bad entries. I've also considered picking up all those Mega Man/Mega Man X compilations as I loved these games growing up. I think the only ones I ever managed to beat was MM2 (because I owned it), MMX and MMX2 (also because I owned them). It's amazing watching people speed run through these things given how I used to could spend days on a single level, and they get through the whole thing in a few hours.

That's the thing about old games: easy was hard, normal was brutal, hard was "you're a masochist who enjoys punishment, so bend over son." And that's just assuming they even gave you the options. For most it was just "you'll take it and you'll like it."
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #127

Postby Raxivace » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:20 am

LOL if a speedrunner is taking several hours to get through one of these games they're way behind. Even Castlevania 1 can be cleared in under 30 minutes. Hell Ocarina of Time can be done in under 20.

But yeah Mega Man games were rough. I had one of those compilations on the GameCube and almost cleared Mega Man 1 but just could not clear the final level. Never went through the other classic games as a result, beyond a level of...Mega Man 8, I think. That compilation also had some Mega Man fighting games (Power Fighter and Power Battles IIRC) that were fun but different.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #128

Postby Gendo » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:59 pm

I love X and X2; never really played any others though.

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #129

Postby Raxivace » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:06 pm

I think I rented X once as a kid, I can't remember too much about it though.

Honestly I probably know Mega Man best from Marvel vs. Capcom and not his own games. Well that and Smash Bros. at this point.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #130

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:51 am

KH3's new Critical Mode dropped tonight. I just got oneshot by the first boss.

Well there's all that difficulty that was missing before!! Time for playthrough number 3.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #131

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:41 am

Lol I'm even dying to enemy mobs in the tutorial world. This is amazing.

They've basically done similar to what KH2FM did and buff your damage but reduced your HP, your MP, increased the damage you take, and given you a few cool technical abilities. You even have the option to turn off Attraction Flow now which is nice but at Level 1 its not too overbearing anyways.

Unless something drastically changes later in the run they've basically fixed the largest issue with KH3 in my eyes.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #132

Postby maz89 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:47 pm

Can someone play RDR2 online with me? No? OK then.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #133

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:18 pm

I thought a lot of people bought that game? Surely somebody else is playing RDR2 online.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #134

Postby maz89 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:44 pm

A lot of people are. But they're all lvl 200 and I'm lvl 5. And I suck at those insta-kill headshots, and therefore need my own posse. Online can be wildly fun if you play with friends.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #135

Postby Raxivace » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:00 pm

"Wah I'm only Level 5, these other people are stronger awaaaahhhhh"

Maz, in KH3 I'm locked in at Level 1 in the game's hardest difficulty mode, but I figure out how to prevail anyways through determination, planning, hard work and guts. I wish I had the strength of a Level 5 character but I do not. You must persevere into the wild west of RDR2's online despite the level differences and win anyways. Learn these insta-kill headshots. Learn the common strategies of these higher level players, and counter them. Get good guns and horses. Feel the wind blowing in from the east. You can do this.

A posse will come in time, after you prove you have the iron will to lead one. Forge yourself in battle.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #136

Postby maz89 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:50 pm

[laugh] [laugh] [laugh]

Ehhh, that sounds like a lot of work. I think I'll just kill animals and pick up herbs, and then collect my paycheck.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #137

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:33 pm

Raxivace wrote:LOL if a speedrunner is taking several hours to get through one of these games they're way behind. Even Castlevania 1 can be cleared in under 30 minutes. Hell Ocarina of Time can be done in under 20.

But yeah Mega Man games were rough. I had one of those compilations on the GameCube and almost cleared Mega Man 1 but just could not clear the final level. Never went through the other classic games as a result, beyond a level of...Mega Man 8, I think. That compilation also had some Mega Man fighting games (Power Fighter and Power Battles IIRC) that were fun but different.
I'm probably thinking of some other speed runs rather than MM. The Ocarina of Time one I saw was all glitchy, though. I mean, it was still really cool, but it almost felt like watching someone falling through the holes in The Matrix.

The only knock against Mega Man games is that if you've played one, you've basically played them all. It's just minor variations on the same theme. I think I at least played all of them up through X3 or X4, but the only ones I beat were the ones I owned. Those last levels were always a bitch because it took so much time to get there and usually by then you just didn't have many (if any) lives to work your way through the levels, which is completely different from all the early ones. I don't remember playing any MM fighting games, but I DO remember briefly playing a Mega Man soccer game!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #138

Postby Raxivace » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:18 pm

I think I actually rented that Mega Man soccer game once, but don't remember it too well.

Yeah most speedruns make heavy use of glitches- OoT may be a pretty extreme example with "wrong warp" glitches and such, but I think its pretty interesting.

That reminds me, over the last couple of years there's been a new trend of YouTube videos going over the history of speedrunning in certain games, some of which are neat.



^While I was never a huge fan of Goldeneye the game, the history of the speedrun of it is and the controversy a very important strategy in it lead to is fairly neat

Some other videos even focus in on specific levels or segments of speedruns, and really break them down in a detailed way.





I don't actively follow speedrunning that much anymore but every now and then I enjoy videos like this. Good stuff IMO.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #139

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:04 am

^ From what I gather, there's different categories of speed running for different games, like some are glitchless, some are anything goes, some require getting 100%, some don't, etc. I've seen that Goldeneye video, which was fascinating. Basically, random weird guy shows up to a forum writing what sounds like nonsense talking about great times, and nobody knows what to make of it until someone tries his "look down" phrase and it nearly breaks the entire community because nobody wants to play the entire game looking down and it's nearly impossible to regulate. The Mario and Banjo Kazooie ones are great too. One thing I definitely appreciate about speedrunning is how much obsessive perfectionism it takes and just how much skill and often creativity it takes to achieve it. People obsessing over saving a fraction of a second here and there to the point where they're counting pixels/frames/sub-pixels and whatnot is so extreme it's fascinating.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #140

Postby Raxivace » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:11 am

Yeah there are a lot of categories but from what I've seen "any%" runs (I.e. just get to the end ASAP) and 100% completion runs of games seem to be the most common. I don't often see a lot of glitchless runs, but I do know that sometimes people will play weird semantics games with what counts as a "glitch" or not. I think I heard someone try to defend a glitch once with some logic like "It's not a glitch, it's the game doing what its supposed to do, just wrongly!"...might have even been in the comment section on that Mario video, come to think of it.

Glad you enjoyed the videos. The Banjo one in particular I liked since that game was a favorite of mine as a kid- I remember getting frustrated in that same section even in my casual playthroughs back then.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #141

Postby maz89 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:25 am

Lol, this was hilarious, even if I disagree with some of her criticisms.

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #142

Postby Raxivace » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:24 am

So I've been playing an action JRPG called The World Ends With You on the side for a few weeks now and finally finished it. It was first released for the Nintendo DS back in 2007, co-developed by Square-Enix and Jupiter (Who together notably created the original Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the GBA).

Image

TWEWY is a pretty cool little game. The basic story follows a guy named Neku Sakuraba, some asshole kid who wakes up in Shibuya, Tokyo one day only to realize that nobody can see him. This is because he has died and become some kind of a spooky ghost. Having no memory of who he is or how he died, Neku finds himself caught up in something called the "Reaper's Game", where he and a partner must compete against several other pairs of "Players" over a period of seven days for the chance to come back to life (And for Neku, to figure out who exactly he is, how he died in the first place, and perhaps even figure out who is running things). The challenges of the Reaper's Game involve pretty video game-y tasks, like killing monsters to just getting to individual locations...though as time goes on, they get a bit more abstract and complicated (A surprising amount of them revolve around setting fashion trends and such in Tokyo through spooky means). Of course, players who lose die for good. It's like a shounen version of The Seventh Seal.

Through the course of the game you have three different partners.

1. Shiki- A fashionable girl who seems to enjoy being popular and wants Neku to open up to others and be less of an asshole. Attacks enemies with a stuffed animal toy.
2. Joshua- A snobby know-it-all who seems to know more about the Reaper's Game than he lets on. Looks suspiciously like Kaworu from Evangelion.
3. Beat- A wannabe-gangsta skateboarder with a heart of gold. Beats dudes to death with said skateboard.

This gets into the actual gameplay. TWEWY is pretty unique in that the DS version takes pretty full control of that system's capabilities.

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^Since we have two screens, you have to control both Neku and his partner at the same time. You control Neku by using the DS's stylus pen on the bottom screen. Your attacks are determined by what "Pins" you have equipped, but you active said Pins through multiple actions such as tapping enemies onscreen, swiping them, slashing the screen, drawing shapes, and hell for some Pins you have to blow in the DS's microphone.

Meanwhile you have to control the character on the top-screen using the actual system's buttons. Shiki, Joshua, and Beat all play a little differently, and while you're basically building up a sort of collection of "fusion" points through landing combos, how you acquire these points works for each character works pretty different. Shiki has to play a sort of guessing game (You sort of see this in the top screen of the above image, where she has to perform a combo to "guess" which symbol is hidden under the card at the top of her screen), Joshua has to land a number greater, lesser, or equal to a highlighted card, and Beat has to match suites of cards in pairs.

Luckily you can set your partners to move automatically and take over during specific moments using the D-Pad or buttons, and I didn't have too much problems with this during Shiki and Joshua's respective sections. Beat gave me a hell of a time though because while he has a high attack stat, the dude can't take damage like at all. And in TWEWY, Neku and his partner share a life gauge so if Beat is taking a bunch of damage, that means you are taking a bunch of damage. Some people online swear Beat is actually the best of the partners, and maybe they're just much better at using him than I was but that wasn't my experience at all. I by far had the hardest time with him.

I think this control scheme also means the DS version probably doesn't emulate very well. I know there's also a version on Switch and iOS, but that doesn't use the dual screen setup that this version has so I have no idea how those work.

The last thing to mention about TWEWY is the music. It uses a surprising amount of vocal music for a DS game.









^These are some of the battle themes in the game. I'm not precisely sure what genre you would call this, but I think it fits well with the grafitti-filled urban aesthetic of the game.

Overall TWEWY is a pretty fun game with a story with some neat twists (There are some misdirects about how Neku died that actually got me.) and unique combat. I can't speak for the iOS or Switch versions but at the very least I recommend the original DS game.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #143

Postby Raxivace » Thu May 02, 2019 8:41 am

On kind of a whim (And since the Switch is so convenient with its portability) I went back and played through the NES version of Super Mario Bros. 2. The one that started out as Doki Doki Panic, not The Lost Levels.

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It had been a long time since I last really touched this game (Previously I had tried the prettier version on the SNES. Curiously, that's the version that became the basis for the recurring Smash Bros. stage based on this game and not the original NES version.), and its still a weird game in a lot of ways even if its been accepted as a part of the canon of Mario games at this point. Its so unlike SMB1 in that verticality is a major part of the game, there's no timer, Toad and Peach being playable etc., and the whole plucking items on the ground to kill things feels very un-Mario to me. Even the later RPG's make jumping on enemies a huge part of those games, but this really foregoes that.

SMB2 sure is curious as a game considering its weird history of being initially released as an unrelated game, but I still don't really know what to ultimately think of it. I think my gut instinct is that is that its not quite as solid to pick up and play as SMB1, perhaps feeling a little too adventure game-y for what I like in 2D Mario (I'm not sure I like having to find the keys for the locked doors, but I can't deny that its an iconic part of this game either). I actually got lost a few times here, but then again SMB1 has the dumb mazes toward the end of the game I suppose.

It's not a bad game by any means, still fun to play but its missing something I can't quite put my finger on.

If anyone here has played this again in the last couple of years I'd be interested in knowing what you think of it.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #144

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 06, 2019 11:19 am

Finished up a bunch of games again.

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I went back and finished the story mode for this. The story is super Soul Calibur (Bunch of running around, yelling about SOUL EDGE AGGHHHHHHH, fighting random bandits etc.) but its still pretty fun.

Geralt's little subplot in this is kind of funny too. He falls in a portal while fulfilling a contract on some random witch, wakes up in 16th century Europe wondering where the hell he is, why there aren't any real monsters around and why magic doesn't seem to exist even though people are afraid of it. Also, a crazed samurai chases Geralt around a bunch. Good stuff.

Also there's something about a shadowy copy of Kaer Mohren coming with Geralt into Europe but I didn't get that part really. One of the quests in the story mode I think could have told me more about this but this dialogue choice locked me out of it, I think, and ended the quest right there. Kind of weird.

Anyways despite all of that its still just a fun fighting game at its core. The character customization is pretty fun too. The only real complaint I have is that 2B doesn't seem to get any story mode of her own, though I guess that comes with her being DLC.

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The Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, also known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.

The Lost Levels is interesting to compare to the "American" SMB2 since its made entirely using assets from the original SMB1 (While adding in wind during some levels, and poison mushrooms). In some ways it feels more like a modern DLC expansion rather than a fullblown sequel because of this.

Despite American SMB2 having an "It's all a dream" ending, The Lost Levels honestly feels like the more surreal game to me. There's plenty of weird stuff in SMB1 and SMB2, but those games maintain consistent logic. Bloopers swim in water, keys open doors etc. The Lost Levels may look like SMB1 but throws any consistency out the window. The dumb maze bullshit comes into the game super early, Bloopers fly in the fucking sky, fish can swim in lava, one level has two fucking Bowsers, invisible blocks will halt your path, some jumps are VERY tight etc. Then in World 9 they play it up even more with its "Fantasy World" theme (If we're only now getting into fantasy territory then what the hell was the rest of the game?) and features several underwater levels with a bunch of enemies that are not normally seen underwater. Also there's a Bowser battle in World 9 but apparently its supposed to be his brother?????

This game is weird which is fine, but I think what kind of kills it is that its hard as fuck, feeling kind of Kaizo-ish at times. Its beatable but I don't think I would have had the patience to do it "legit" without the save states of the Switch version. If SMB2 was incredibly different than SMB1 but still pretty decent, The Lost Levels is the exact opposite. Despite looking like SMB1 a lot it shows how that game could have been screwed up and made to be just not all that well polished.

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I've tried Zelda 1 over the years but the Switch version is where I've finally beaten this influential game.

Tbh as an actual game I don't think I liked Zelda 1 very much, since its intended to be such an open ended experience where you talked to friends to find out secrets and such and I don't really have the patience for these more arcane aspects (Seriously some more signposting about random walls to bomb and trees to burn down would have been nice). I ended up using a guide to actually find the dungeons.

The dungeons themselves aren't too complicated actually until the end. Few real puzzles, mostly combat encounters etc. Those combat encounters start actually getting really damn hard around the seventh dungeon or so though and I had to abuse save states again just to clear some of them. The wizrobes and knight guys really fucked my shit up. Even having used a guide to get all the hearts, get the sword upgrades, the tunic that reduces damage etc. I still had a lot of trouble with gangs of regular enemies.

I may not have really enjoyed my time with this game but I at least respect what it was going for and I was surprised how much of the Zelda iconography was already in place here.

I know people try and claim that Breath of the Wild is a modern take on Zelda 1, but I don't think that's quite right. Beyond the obvious point of BotW not really having classic Zelda-style dungeons, its world feels far more consistent and actually fun to explore to me, in addition to actually pointing you in some general directions of where to go. Both games may not gate you in the way that something like Twilight Princess does, but I feel like BotW is just a much friendlier middle ground than the extreme of something like Zelda 1 or TP on the other end (Though I would have liked a few more towns in BotW tbh).

Anyways I'm glad I took the time to actually finish Zelda 1 though it felt a bit homework-ish tbh.

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A weird shoot-em-up that Square of all companies made back in the 90's. Again it was pretty damn hard but I had fun with it. One of the bosses from this game was in KH3, interestingly enough.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #145

Postby Gendo » Tue May 07, 2019 9:00 pm

Raxivace wrote:
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I've tried Zelda 1 over the years but the Switch version is where I've finally beaten this influential game.

Tbh as an actual game I don't think I liked Zelda 1 very much, since its intended to be such an open ended experience where you talked to friends to find out secrets and such and I don't really have the patience for these more arcane aspects (Seriously some more signposting about random walls to bomb and trees to burn down would have been nice). I ended up using a guide to actually find the dungeons.

The dungeons themselves aren't too complicated actually until the end. Few real puzzles, mostly combat encounters etc. Those combat encounters start actually getting really damn hard around the seventh dungeon or so though and I had to abuse save states again just to clear some of them. The wizrobes and knight guys really fucked my shit up. Even having used a guide to get all the hearts, get the sword upgrades, the tunic that reduces damage etc. I still had a lot of trouble with gangs of regular enemies.

I may not have really enjoyed my time with this game but I at least respect what it was going for and I was surprised how much of the Zelda iconography was already in place here.

I know people try and claim that Breath of the Wild is a modern take on Zelda 1, but I don't think that's quite right. Beyond the obvious point of BotW not really having classic Zelda-style dungeons, its world feels far more consistent and actually fun to explore to me, in addition to actually pointing you in some general directions of where to go. Both games may not gate you in the way that something like Twilight Princess does, but I feel like BotW is just a much friendlier middle ground than the extreme of something like Zelda 1 or TP on the other end (Though I would have liked a few more towns in BotW tbh).

Anyways I'm glad I took the time to actually finish Zelda 1 though it felt a bit homework-ish tbh.


All correct. I enjoy going back to Zelda 1 every once in a while, but I'm glad I never really tried to get through the whole thing without any guide. One really fun thing I did once was the swordless run. It's super difficult and requires a LOT of patience. But it's possible to just skip going into the cave and getting the sword at the very start, and you can get all the way to the final boss without a sword. Ironically, you can't do anything once you get there; you can't hurt Ganon without a sword.

Yeah there might be some secrets in BOTW that you'd be unlikely to find without a guide or talking to other people; but it doesn't matter because there's hundreds of other things you will find. And if you just want to beat the game (along with all the major story points), you can find out everything you need to know pretty easily in-game.

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #146

Postby Gendo » Tue May 07, 2019 9:02 pm

Have you played Baba is You? I've heard a lot of great stuff; will be one of the games we get when we finally get a Switch, probably next month.

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #147

Postby Raxivace » Tue May 07, 2019 11:31 pm

I knew swordless runs of Zelda 1 were a thing, but I can't even imagine doing it now having finally finished the game. Those last couple of dungeons must be brutal if you're only relying on bombs, arrows, and the magic rod thing. Sucks you can't actually kill Ganon though.

I think I'm going to start going through the older Zelda games over the next year or so- the ones I tried at some point as a kid and know I actually liked to some degree at least. That leaves me to playing...

-Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Really curious about rervisiting this one since it seems so hated.)
-Link to the Past (I have the GBA version but I might just opt for the SNES rom.)
-Link's Awakening DX (This will probably be the one I play next, so I can do it before the remake drops. Probably my favorite as a kid of this bunch).
-Oracle of Seasons/Ages (I nearly beat Seasons when I was young and got decently far in Ages. I'd like to do the linked quest but I'm not sure which game I'll play first. I have pretty fond memories of both of these though. Still pretty bizarre to me that Capcom made these)
-Ocarina of Time: Master Quest (Again I got super far into this but got stuck around the Spirit Temple. This version of OoT is pretty bizarre from what I remember, especially with what they did to Lord Jabu Jabu).
-Four Swords Adventures (...Again, got far, but IIRC my disc got scratched and I couldn't get past a certain cutscene before a boss. I'll try my GCN disc again but I might have to download an ISO and put it on my modded Wii).
-Minish Cap (I know I nearly beat this one but I'm not sure why I dropped it).

Once we get to stuff like Phantom Hourglass my interest in the series really wanes until BotW. I tried Skyward Sword once too but couldn't get into it. It is the only 3D Zelda I haven't beaten in some form though, maybe I'll try it again after everything else.
Last edited by Raxivace on Wed May 08, 2019 12:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #148

Postby Raxivace » Tue May 07, 2019 11:36 pm

Gendo wrote:Have you played Baba is You? I've heard a lot of great stuff; will be one of the games we get when we finally get a Switch, probably next month.
Tbh I haven't even heard of this. I only own six Switch games atm:

-Breath of the Wild
-Mario Odyssey
-Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (As well as its fairly lengthy DLC)
-Smash Bros. Ultimate
-Cuphead (Haven't put too much time into this but its good and very hard)
-Tetris 99 (This is a free download so once you get a Switch you can just download it. Hard as fuck to actually win a round though, I haven't done so yet despite clocking like 9-10 hours of playtime so far.)

All of these I think are good btw. Tetris 99 has had me steaming a couple of times though.

There's also the NES games you get if you subscribe to the online service I guess. I also have the new Fire Emblem game pre-ordered, which I'm very much looking forward to.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #149

Postby Gendo » Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 am

Baba is You is one of those independent virtual-only games. A puzzle game.

I didn’t know you could get Cuphead on Switch! I thought it was PC or XBox only. Nice.

I’ll have the online service thanks to the recent deal where you can get it for a year for free with Amazon Prime.


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