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Everything posted by Fez

  1. It's a solid movie, I re-watched recently after a long break. But it's surprisingly different from the rest of the franchise. There is very little action outside of the beginning and end of the movie. It's much more of an old-school thriller where most of the movie is dialog and atmosphere. And it is an extremely complicated plot that can be hard to follow due to some key lines only ever being said once and whispered at that; and it doesn't help that there are a couple pretty large leaps of logic to keep the plot moving (although I think overall it all holds up).
  2. Kittridge! He wasn't the bad guy. He was an antagonist, because he thought Ethan Hunt was a traitor, but he was an on-the-level CIA manager/director/something. And he showed up to help at the end of the movie. The trailer makes it look like he's a bad guy in this new one, but I'm hoping that's a misdirect and he continues to be an antagonistic bureaucrat.
  3. Best thing, worst thing, what's the difference?
  4. As another note on this, the game is hard; really hard, even on normal. The first couple missions are easy but then it's just a cliff (with a handful of randomly easy missions here and there after that). I'm regularly struggling to field a full team of non-wounded marines. The biggest issue is that the AI is very diligent about setting up overwatch every turn and that can be hard to overcome. Also healing is very limited, at least at first, and wounded marines take a long time to recover after missions. But it is fun.
  5. I'd prefer a movie to a tv show. But, either way, I'm up for a John Wick/History of Violence mash-up with these actors.
  6. I picked up the latest 40K game, Chaos Gate: Deamonhunters. It's an XCOM-like, but so far a really solid one, just like a lot of the reviews hinted at. And it has some unique spins on the formula, like having 3AP per unit, a 100% hit chance on enemies in range, and your units will recover from being downed after a couple turns; all of which helps make your units feel more space marines. Although the lengthy recovery times they sometimes have after missions counters that. The game rewards aggressive play, so in that sense in feels like Gears Tactics. However, it, smartly, has a tactical layer too (which GT didn't) to help break things up. So far it doesn't seem as complicated as XCOM's, but there are at least some choices to make.
  7. I guess we'll find out at the Microsoft conference in June, but I'd be pretty shocked if it had a 2022 release date.
  8. I'm not surprised by Redfall, there'd been basically no news since the initial announcement. But I'm very surprised by Starfield. I thought that date was locked in and it seemed like Bethesda was rolling out its marketing right on schedule; lots of little clips and mentions and the expectation of a big showcase this June. Just like they did with Fallout 4. As far as big new RPGs this year though, there may be a couple other opportunities: Steelrising comes out this September and is Spiders' latest game. If Spiders continues its upward trajectory they've had with every release, this may be the one that is finally a true successor to the Bioware games. Forspoken releases in October from a new Square Enix studio that was tasked with "make a AAA game that has worldwide appeal". I'm not sure where exactly it'll fall on the RPG vs. Action RPG scale though. Not AAA, but several smaller RPGs I have my eye on that are supposed to release this year are: Broken Roads, Cyber Knights: Flashpoint, Dark Envoy, Death Trash, and Zoria: Age of Shattering. Also, I haven't played it yet, but I've heard good things about King Arthur: Knight's Tale, which released last month. Though I'm not sure where it falls on the RPG vs. squad tactics scale.
  9. Huh, yeah. I feel like the FIFA license (and all those microtransations) has kept EA afloat through a bunch of otherwise fallow times. I'm surprise they weren't able to come to an agreement.
  10. Apparently the big thing this time (and one of the reasons the movie took so long to make) is that all the underwater scenes are based on real underwater motion capture. Which has never happened before, Cameron's people invented the tech that made it possible. Now whether this will translate into underwater scenes that look nothing like anything we've seen before I can't say. But the hope would be that it does; because otherwise, what was the point?
  11. True, but even if thousands of Russian nukes aren't actually operable right now all it takes is a few hundred. I certainly wouldn't gamble on none of them being available.
  12. Sounds like we've got a new addition to the rare list of "good 40K video games": Chaos Gate- Deamonhunters https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/warhammer-40k-chaos-gate-daemonhunters-review#comments I'll be glad to check it out eventually; an XCOM-clone that actually nails it for once sounds right up my alley. Especially with a 40K coat of paint.
  13. I just saw this too; it was simply incredible. It's an absurdist comedy, family drama, sci-fi adventure that has no business working but it does. It really does. And the underlying message hit like a ton of bricks, in a good way. One of the most memorable movies in a long time with so many incredible scenes. The one that will stick with me the most was when there was maybe a minute where the movie was completely silent except for some wind; and the entire theater was completely silent too. You could've heard a pin drop. Not only was the scene great, but I can't remember the last time I've seen an audience that invested in what was happening.
  14. Presumably they also wait to see if there's any significant backlash. Minority rule doesn't work when the minority is too small and a total ban on abortion without exceptions is deeply unpopular. But it's a very open question whether that translates to huge shifts in voting patterns. I suspect it won't, but wouldn't rule it out entirely.
  15. That would be tricky. There's been a ban on federal funding related to abortions for a long time, so it'd be very difficult to find a plausible connection. Maybe they could try to come up with some fake thing like "less abortions means more taxpayers eventually", and keep firing the senate parliamentarian until they find one willing to go along with it. However, if they were willing to go that far they'd probably be willing to just remove the filibuster. So if there aren't the votes for the later, there probably isn't for the former. It's the same situation Democrats face with Manchin/Sinema now. They don't just like the filibuster for its own sake, they like the impact it has on the senate. Liberal groups coming up with creative rule changes that keep the filibuster but remove it impact are just wasting their time. And if there aren't 50 Republicans who want to remove the filibuster then they'll face the same.
  16. Mostly. Not entirely. Seven Republican senators did vote to impeach Trump after 1/6, and five of them are likely to still be in office in January 2025. If they are needed for the majority (and assuming there's a Republican unified government), I think the senate remain in its current gridlock.
  17. Depends on how big the theoretical Republican senate majority is. If it's 57 or 58 or more yeah there's a decent chance they remove the filibuster and do it. But if it's a smaller majority the votes probably won't be there to change rules and Democrats will filibuster just like they do every abortion ban bill when they're the minority.
  18. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft doesn't buy anyone else until the Activision deal is approved. They really don't want that deal getting nixed on anti-monopoly grounds. And any other purchases might really concern regulators who don't understand the gaming space, or how big Sony and Nintendo are in it.
  19. It's amazing how easily I can get sucked back into Pathfinder: WotR, to the extent of mostly ignoring all my other games I want to play (except 13 Sentinels, which, because of it's structure, is very easy to slot in an hour or so here and there). Guess it's a sign of how starved I've been for truly deep RPG mechanics. I'm now up to 335 hours across playthroughs, and the game only released last September. Which already makes it my most played Steam game by some margin (Stellaris is #2 at 234 hours). And which probably makes it my third most played game of all time, behind FFXIV and WoW. There's a chance some game from my childhood is also ahead of it, like Civilization II; but even though I played it for years, it was usually only in short bursts.
  20. A bunch of games on my wishlist just went 50% off, which is the lowest I've seen these particular ones. But I'm juggling so many games currently (including get sucked into starting another playthrough of Pathfinder: WoTR) that I'm trying to resist the urge to buy anymore for now. Also, Triangle Strategy and 13 Sentinels were both full price $60 games, so my gaming budget is kinda feeling pinched right now. Plus I'm really curious about The Stanley Parable deluxe edition/sequel that just came out. The original was great, and apparently the new content is longer than the original game.
  21. I'm nearing the end of Triangle Strategy. It's been a fun time, and the closest any JRPG I've played has gotten to replicating the grittiness and intrigue of Final Fantasy Tactics. But it hasn't quite hit the mark, and the story hasn't ended up being quite as epic/complex as the endless setup at the start made it seem. Also, combat eventually started feeling a bit stale. The lack of skill or equipment customization made it all a bit too straightforward; even though the battles themselves were all nicely designed and varied. But I am 35 hours in, and its hard for any game systems to maintain my interest that far in. Except Stellaris. I've gotten sucked back in after not playing for a couple years. The AI seems majorly improved. I had to drop the difficulty after getting wiped several times early on. I also started playing 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim now that it's on Switch. What a mind trip that's been so far. I did get spoiled on one later game reveal, but even knowing the thing I do, the sheer density of insane sci-fi plot points has been overwhelming in a really good way. I don't know if it would be nearly as good if the story was told chronologically, but I don't think that matters. The movie Memento isn't as good when shown chronologically either, but that isn't the way it's intended to be seen. My only complaint is that I don't think the writing holds up equally across all 13 character stories. Maybe things change, but I'm up to 42% on 'Remembrance' so I've seen a fair amount of cutscenes. I don't know how the game was written, but I assume there were different writers in charge of different character stories. Because some of them fall deep into the trap of having the character just passively observe stuff happening around them, which isn't that interesting. Whereas others are extremely active and have agency, which is much better. Also, a couple characters have arcs that feel repetitive already and it feels like the authors couldn't think of enough for them to do. But the character stories that slap really slap. Overall I'd say 6 have been excellent, top-tier sci-fi; 3 have been decent; 1 has been 'meh'; 2 have been outright bad; and 1 I can't judge because after doing the first chapter I won't unlock another until everyone is at 80% completion.
  22. So the way the game is structured is: Act 1- Relatively linear 8-hour story in Norway Act 2- Wide open 25-ish hour story in England Act 3- Extremely linear series of final battles In Act 1, there is a set story to follow and when you reach the end of it the prompt for Act 2 happens. You can wrap up any optional content you missed first, but there isn't too much and you'll probably have done all of it already because you needed the XP. In Act 2, there is no set story and there is no true "end". Instead, the goal is to hit 100 on either of two point trackers before the time limit expires. There are several ways to gain points, including hitting milestone decisions in questlines. And there are a few major and some minor questlines to follow. However, you could hit 100 by completing only some questlines and ignoring others entirely, or by getting to the mid-range of all the questlines and not completing any of them, or potentially ignore all the quests and grind for points (e.g., IIRC you get 2 economic points per 10,000 gold you donate). Because of this open-ended nature, the game writing can't really account for all the Act 2 variations, so they generally have little impact until the end-of-game slides (since the major ones can influence which flavor of good ending you get; so long as you get your 100 points and win the final battles). Also, and this may just be a budget rather than structure issue, your companions are usually (though not always) silent in Act 2. Whereas they are chatty as anything, and even plot-important, in Act 1.
  23. Fez

    Elden Ring

    I'd be fine with Melania being buffed. She is entirely optional after all, and requires completing multiple previous optional areas to even reach. She's already one of the toughest bosses FromSoft has ever made; why not go all-out and make her a truly ridiculous challenge? The various incantation buffs intrigue me quite a bit. But I can't imagine playing the game again unless I have a major lull in new releases I'm interested in.
  24. Vikings is shorter, I think I beat it in around 35 hours; compared to 55 for Rome. The first act of Vikings is as good as anything in Rome. After that though it becomes more clear that it had a much lower budget. The party members mostly fade into the background, instead of remaining central to the story; and the narrative becomes looser. There's a variety of different plot threads, which don't fully connect and many of which are not satisfying enough on their own. You also don't need to finish all of them, and I'm not sure any are required. Instead, your goal is to make decisions that max out either your military might or economic prosperity indicator before a time limit is reached. If you do, you get a good ending (and there are variations depending on choices); if you don't, you get the bad ending. It's still worth playing if you like tactics games, but the limitations are more apparent. One big positive though is that the game doesn't shy away from what Vikings were, like AC: Valhalla did. If you want to slaughter defenseless monks when raiding churches, you can. Also, the first act really is a ton of fun.
  25. Everquest is the answer. Also released 23 years ago, also has a sequel that has mostly faded away, and had its most recent expansion release in December 2021.
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