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Maia

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  1. Except we now know that they didn't actually bungle it, Gunpowder excluded, they were just pursuing a goal that Mallory was unaware of, which was at odds with her own. All the chaos was for distraction and to signal the extraction crew. It is kinda interesting that most of the team was content to fade into obscurity afterwards, with the Twins not even using their powers for many years. I guess that Edgars wasn't worried about Soviets having Soldier Boy, because Vaught already had Homelander? Also, it is not clear that he was speaking for the firm at large back then - he could have been just an ambitious middle manager. I am now very confused about the compound V chronology. In the previous season we have been told that Vaught brought his research to US after WW2, so how is it that Soldier Boy was already a supe during the D-Day? When Nazi Germany itself didn't field any supes at all even in it's most desperate hour? Additionally, I feel that the whole "supes are fundamentally useless despite their massive power/destruction potential" is overdone to the point that it has become boring and a parody of itself. Soldier Boy could have been a real soldier and done his bit at D-Day, while still remaining a massive PoS. We have been reminded that permanent V is hideously dangerous to non-babies, so what's the deal with Neumann casually giving it to her daughter, whom she seemed to love? When even Stormfront didn't risk using it on hers? Generally, while I am loving this season, I am beginning to feel that they are treading water. A-Train is alive, the Deep is back, they aren't getting rid of Homelander, because he is "the heart of the show", ditto Butcher, etc. I guess that they might kill one of the women in the finale yet again? I just don't see there being enough material to keep it fresh for 2 more seasons (Kripke allegedly has a plan for 5 all told) if they are so unwilling to mix up the core male cast and kill off some of them.
  2. Wow, what an episode! I don't think that there is room for them not getting to Mars, though, since it has been made clear that if they flub this attempt, there wouldn't be support for another for a very long time. The US lacks political will and Wilson is poised to stab NASA in the back, not to mention the likely possibility of Margo's secret coming out and resultant scandal. The Soviets are spent and desperate, that's their last-ditch attempt at relevance. I don't see Dev having resources and desire for a repeat either. And there are just 4 episodes left in this season, with no guarantee of another one. I assume that Bill will help Ed to disable the auto-pilot and he'll save the other 2 crews. Whereas NASAs separate cargo missions will provide them with resources to land, do some actual science and return. The other 2 seem like pure "plant the flag" endeavours. And there is going to be some unneccessary Danny drama to spice things up, sigh. I am greatly enjoying this, hand-wavy or not.
  3. Prediction: if Sophie Turner is involved, Sansa is going to be a villain. Not that there weren't more than enough hints in that direction in GoT, of course, but they were never treated as such. If she is not, Sansa would have died off-screen, likely from childbirth. Jon will end up as the King in teh North either way. This would be on-brand for how the show, and GRRM's ASoIAF writings in aggregate to be honest, treated women who wanted agency and political power. I guess that GRRM could have some cool ideas re: what Jon's role in battle against the Others was supposed to be, with a journey to to "the heart of winter", etc. But somehow fitting those in after the events of season 8 is going to be incredibly awkward. Why did this need to exist, again? Sigh.
  4. Wasn't that scientist who got killed in the previous season also in "parental" role and even Madelaine in a completely f'd up way too? Anyway, the bigger problem is that I just don't see a consummate racist like Stormfront allowing an African-American to climb the corporate ladder of Vought - her husband's creation and legacy, instead of just murdering him. Speaking of her, from what we have seen, her powers were second only to Homelander's (maybe) and Ryan's. Didn't we have the team-up of Maeve, Starlight and Kimiko, with support from the Boys, being unable to really hurt her? And you'd think that her helplessness would have made her an ideal experimental subject. Though I wonder about that too - even crippled, shouldn't she still have super-strength in her remaining limbs and the ability to produce lightning? She just seemed much more feeble than she should have been, IMHO. Part of that was psychological, no doubt. But her death when Homelander was conveniently absent and nobody seeing her body makes me very suspicious. As to Neumann, I didn't have the impression that she was entirely happy with her own power, even though she has grown accustomed to it's use. And isn't taking normal V very dangerous for anybody who is not a baby, with majority of such people ending up horrifically dead? Wasn't that the reason why Stormfront didn't try it on her own daughter at some point? Wait, wait, wait - is teleporting Teddy from the supe orphanage supposed to be Madelaine's kid?!! He was found unaccountably unhurt after the explosion of her house, and I can't imagine Homelander saving him.
  5. Finally watched the 4th episode and huh... I really didn't expect Also, I really don't know what to think about the news that they got a 4th season. I honestly don't see how the the narrative could go on without them disposing of Homelander, but also not how the show could go on without him. Though maybe the actor's recent antics would prompt them to try to go it without the character, we'll see. A couple of things I still don't understand:
  6. About Starfield - well, it's Bethesda. They wanted to make procedurally created games since 1996! I too think that 1000 planets are too many, unless they have finally managed to implement some decent reactivity to the world. Like, at least price fluctuations depending on your actions, pirate activity going up or down and changing sectors, regenerating enemy hide-outs changing enemy types after being cleared out, etc. Maybe placement of certain valuable resources could be randomized on each game start to make visiting empty planets worthwhile? I guess that they won't be implementing simple puzzles to enliven exploration with so much procedural content, sadly. Also, non-lethal capture option still doesn't seem to be available, sigh. But a lot of other stuff that I saw/heard are actually things that I always wanted to have in the same game: being able to play both on planets and in space, building outposts and hiring NPCs to work/gather for you, customizible spaceships, jetpacks for some verticality, zero G action, etc. And I really love the return to the great RPG mainstays like the silent protagonist for more and more impactful dialogue options and traits on character creation with both positives and negatives. I really hope that skills are on point and that it is possible to alleviate weak FPS-fu with slow-time perks or something. I have been playing Ever Oasis on 2DS for these past weeks and it is indeed a criminally overlooked gem of a game. Particularly exploration is well done, with many different-looking areas and simple, yet varied and satisfying puzzles, which never stump you, but provide a very enjoyable change of pace from combat. Tracking down potential residents and managing the oasis growth and satisfaction/ resource-gathering of it's population also works very well. There are a few warts, though - making it impossible to look around while in combat makes it too chaotic to be fun if you are fighting several opponents, particularly in tight spaces. Yes, it is difficult to actually fail a fight because of the 2 revivals + all the healing items you can have, but still. Itemisation is also a bit weird. It is really too bad that this game didn't spawn any sequels, because the foundation is great and with a few improvements it could have been stellar, IMHO.
  7. She was fine either way, IMHO. If nobody helped Tala and Obi and they failed to escape on their own, it would have meant that the rescue operation was small and negligible by this point and she would have bagged a traitor and a notorious Jedi, while still being able to spy on Organas after she returned Leia. But if they had help, the organization would merit investigation. If they escaped on their own, they'd still lead her to people willing to help them and/or would have provided an irrefutable proof of Organas connection to Kenobi that would have allowed the Empire to go for Organas that much earlier. As far as I can see, all possible outcomes would have favored her. Lack of any defense for the fortress _was_ silly and that's why if the budget wasn't there for the required action, they shouldn't have even attempted it, IMHO. Or have come with some genuinely clever ideas how it could have been sabotaged, circumvented, etc., but I am genuinely unsure what those could have been given the clear liminations that this production labors under.
  8. So, this was a little silly. If they didn't have the resources to show an escape from the Inquisitor fortress in a compelling way, they shouldn't have done it. Also, there was far too much repetition of the plot points of the OT (and in the case of the underwater swim the tPM), which was just dull. A real glut of "do you remember this?" - which I thoroughly disliked both in PT and in ST. Not to mention - why couldn't Obi have brought an Imperial disguise on this infiltration and why in the name of all that is holy didn't they put Leia into a droid housing or a crate? Hiding her under a trench coat like this was just embarassing. I am disappointed that apparently Vader didn't let Obi-wan go on purpose, which retroactively hurts the ending of the previous episode. Also, I begin to wonder if he didn't kill the more capable Inquisitors once the bulk of the clean-up was done, because it beggars belief that these couple of clowns could have detained, broken and killed so many Jedi. Oh, and it is pure nonsense that Leia could have betrayed the whole rescue operation - all she knew was that Tala was secretly a renegade. Did Tala and Kenobi lie to these people to gain their aid? A couple of critiques here are still somewhat unfair, though: I don't get the criticism that McGregor was too little on screen - it is quality, not quantity that was lacking in this episode. This idea that a main character needs to be in every scene and if not, it is "bait and switch" or whatever because we follow a baddie or a supporting character for a bit is deeply weird to me. @sifth: It seems that Reva wants to bag the whole operation and maybe also spy on Organas whiles she is about it, so she put that bug into Leia's droid. And Tala had a perfectly good ship that they arrived in, that Reva would have allowed them to board if the speeders hadn't come for them. The speeders didn't fly in space either, but were brought into Nur atmosphere by a spaceship. This is like somebody critisized that in the third episode Tala ordered Obi and Leia to lie on the ground without demanding that he disarm himself first - well, of course. The purpose was to get them out of the line of fire, so that she could shoot her subordinates without fear of clipping the 2 them! @DMC: Kenobi knew who Inquisitors were, but he didn't know their names and neither did anybody else who came into contact with them on Tatooine. Why would anybody not highly placed in the Empire know Vader's? Even if they saw him they'd have just thought that he was another Inquisitor, and it is doubtful that he would have chosen to introduce himself to the bystanders. Also, presumably there are/were more Inquisitors and they were doing all the legwork re: checking the rumors about the Jedi/sensitives, so people would have seen and heard more of them.
  9. Enjoyed it, but they seem to consistently and unexplicably skimp on details which, while minor in themselves, would have very much elevated the material. Like, "send the all the probes" and we saw like 3 being sent? The often-mentioned gate - would it have broken bank to CGI some concrete frame around it? Shouldn't there been at least some attempt at disguise when Obi and Leia were crossing that town? How did Kenobi get out of the house to lead Vader away without everybody and their dog jumping him, if he didn't take the tunnel? Why not give the renegade officer a still active military comm-link to explain how she could have found him so quickly? Placing a speeder bike on the street or a scout on the same would have precluded all the confusion re: how Reva got to the spaceport ahead of Leia yet didn't bump into (and bump off) the rebel lady in the tunnels. I am 100% sure that Vader let Kenobi escape to also track down his rescuers to their hide-out and bag their whole operation, but still that escape should have looked more convincing. Maybe have the loader droid rock in on a speeder or be secretly modified to be very speedy itself, or something, anything. Everything else worked for me, emotions were palpable. What is the Empire doing with the Force Sensitives it finds? Kills them in some way, I presume. There are far too few Inquisitors for any wide-scale recruitment to their ranks. To be fair, the usual suspects have little to be upset about in Marvel movies. There was some hulabuloo about Captain Marvel and a (white) woman playing the Old One in Strange, IIRC. Wasn't there something about the Black Panther too? But it would have been more palatable to them because it is largely set in an exotic African country. But otherwise women and PoC are firmly in the supporting/side-kick category with a very occasional villain in the mix in the Marvel films. They also largely adhere to the "one woman" trope. I expect some howling once the newest Thor comes out. Eh, did you miss how everybody else on that mission but Jyn was a dude? Like, the Rebellion seemingly didn't have any female undercover operatives in need of redemption? And she was literally "a mad scientist's beautiflul daughter" who only got involved because of who her father was? Not to mention that there are, like 3 women in the whole movie, 2 of which appear very briefly, and the female pilots voices were clearly added during the re-shoots. I liked RO, but it tried to align itself with the OT too hard and in the respects where the OT was very much of "it's time". Leia and Lando were very much ahead of their time. But the rest of women in OT have less than 2 min of dialogue combined and IIRC there are no other PoC. And as far as women are concerned, the PT was, inexplicably and infuriatingly worse, because Padme was a much weaker character than Leia throughout and in RoTS had nothing to do but to be pregnant and sad. To add insult to injury she dies of a broken heart! And the only other female character of note was Shmi, who was wholly defined by being Anakin's mother and only appeared briefly. All the female Jedi were "blink and you miss it" too and IIRC none even had lines. Eh, it makes sense for the Force users to have particular talents in certain areas. They do use different fighting-styles too, after all. And we never saw anybody use that weird Force Cry that Kenobi does in ANH . Also, canonically some have strong premonitions and some don't. Oh, and weren't Anakin's piloting and mechanical abilities enhanced by the Force to an unusual degree for a Jedi? Vader and Luke were strongly connected through the Force at this point, but the Emperor likely was more talented in this area. Also, some people are more canonically resistent to mind-reading than others and it wasn't one of Vader's areas of expertise. And yet, Obi-wan, who didn't have any special origins nor any foretellings about him, handily beat Anakin at the height of his powers. Funny, that. For that matter, by your logic there was no reason to think that Luke would be particularly strong either, just because he was Anakin's son, yet clearly Yoda and Kenobi gambled everything on him being so. No, it doesn't actually make any sense that they did outside of yet more premonition/foretelling, but that's how OT rolled. Probably because such people are too much of a double-edged sword to be worth keeping around. Also, Vader was the one who grabbed Leia. I am sure a more thorough interrogation by conventional means could have been employed as well, but he had a better idea as to how to find out what he wanted. Nah, Lucas painted himself into a corner when he suddenly revealed that there were 10K Jedis around acting openly and publicly in the PT. There being just the 2 of them made sense when in the OT it seemed like Jedi had been a small secretive organization/cult of a few dozen people. But even given the Order 66 there should have been too many surviving Jedi and growing up Force Sensitives for Vader to chase all of them down on his lonesome and keep the new ones from developing. The Inquisitors make sense and nothing prevents them from still existing and doing their thing elsewhere during the OT. In fact, it is more plausible that way to explain why Luke was the only Force Sensitive involved in the Rebellion at that point. In general, Rule of Two and the corresponding "there can only be One" active Jedi/lightsider + their largely passive doomed mentor doesn't make a lick of sense. It was one of the most disappointing things about the ST, that they strong-armed it back into that.
  10. To be fair, "the rule of two" is really dumb and is a parade example of PT over-explaining something that didn't need to be explained - i.e. why there were just 2 Sith in OT and why the Emperor wanted Luke to replace his father, rather than keeping both of them, like Vader said he would. Anyway, the rule requires that the Sith be both supremely selfish, yet also selflessly devoted to continuing their tradition even at the cost of their own lives. That's just contradictory nonsense and it really constrains Star Wars in detrimental ways. Of course, I still don't see what the Sith have that other Dark-siders don't, and what a respected and powerful Jedi Master like Dooku thought he was getting out of becoming an apptentice again. Oh, well. My understanding is that her mind-reading is spotty and requires strong emotion on the subject's part to work. Which is why Owen's genuine contempt for the Jedi successfully side-tracked her. BTW, is Yoda's premonition that Anakin's children were essential for getting rid of the Sidious in the PT itself or was it added in the Clone Wars cartoon? Because Yoda and Obi-wan hiding themselves for 20 years and waiting for the kids to grow up instead of tag-teaming Palpatine themselves and/or assembling and training more force-sensitives doesn't make a lick of sense otherwise as well.
  11. I liked it a lot. Little Leia is, maybe a little dumb for a 10-year-old with her upbringing and looks a bit too young , but the actress is good for a kid that age, IMHO. Also, was it hinted that she has some Force mind powers? In particular, sensing lies and fears? Obi-Wan has been living in the armpit of nowhere for 10 years, deliberately cut off from any but the most widespread news in the Empire. Unless Vader appeared in official broadcasts to the Outer Rim - which, why would he? Kenobi had no reason to think that he was alive or hear his name. Force connection between them broke when Anakin turned to the dark side, as has been already established with Ahsoka, so Obi wouldn't have sensed him from afar either. It makes perfect sense to me that he was unaware until this moment. Bail had to know, of course, but it seems like this was their first contact since Leia's delivery. So, the question here is why Bail didn't mention it at this juncture - but maybe he'll explain his reasons yet. That admiral on the Death Star in ANH seemed unfamiliar enough with Vader that he chose to sass him. It certainly seemed in the OT that Vader had been more of a behind-the-scenes presence before Tarkin's death. Known to the elite, sure, but not the galaxy at large. I also don't understand the whole "we know what happens to these characters, so there is no tension" position. First of all, even supposedly original shows and movies very seldom surprise on this score, unless an actor choses to leave mid-show run, that is. Particularly family-friendly adventure films and shows. And second, historicals exist.
  12. @polishgenius, thanks for the detailed answer. I guess that I was somewhat misleading in my request - I wanted to head off the platforming and racing recommendations because I am both bad at them and also dislike them! I can take some platforming and racing in great adventure games - I did finish Mafia 1 on PC through sheer determination and fully intend to give my all to Zelda: Ocarina of Time and maybe other 3DS Zeldas, but the pure platformers aren't for me. Though I'll be sure to try my niece on Kirby. I also dislike shmups and side-scrollers, so probably not Metroidivania. Now to see about Ever Oasis and Fantasy Life... and surprisingly my library system has both! Perfect. The last post-game level in Etrian Odyssey Untold 1 is kicking my posterior, so I'd want a change of pace after I am finally finished with it. Did you try Theatrythm and/or Rythm Thief? How difficult are they for somebody with bad ear/bad musical memory (me) or low frustration theshold (my niece)? Can you say anything about Yokai Watch? The Fire Emblems in general and Echoes in Valentia in particular? Awakening is supposed to be the best, right? If you have any more recs, now that we cleared the misunderstanding, please keep them coming! And everybody else, too! I already intend to try the Zeldas, Code Word: Steam, SMT: Strange Journey, Etrian Odyssey 4, Layton vs Phoenix Wright and Pokemon, as well as eventually get some Atlus games and maybe Zero Escape, despite the art, from the eshop. I'd like to snag Dragon Quest 8 - it is supposed to be the best, right? but it costs an arm and a leg. I am also unsure if the Bravely games are good enough to track down. TIA.
  13. If the 3D effect is not important to you, you might consider 2DSs. They tend to be newer and many are practically unused. The basic 2DS turned out to be surprisingly comfortable, IMHO, not to mention that they are cheap. The XL, OTOH, can play everything that a a New 3DS can. Do you have any particular recommendations for somebody who is terrible at platformers (the Lego "platforming" is about my speed) and driving games - ditto and Mario Kart somehow makes me motion sick in addition too? Oh, and I also prefer to avoid sexualised female character designs, though I am prepared to make an exception for a great game.
  14. I am, as always, several years behind the times, which is honestly how I like it. So, I am discovering the wonderful world of 3DS gaming on my trusty 2DS. Almost finished with the Etrian Odyssey Untold 1 post-game, and going for 100% completion, to my own surprise. But it really sucked me in. It is a a first-person turn-based RPG blobber focussed on dungeon exploration and mapping. Looking back to the earlier conversation that we had here about turn-based being too slow/samey, etc., I think that EO works quite well re: mixing things up, so that you don't fall into the rut of doing the same things all the time. The dungeon levels have their own gimmicks, the powerful enemies that are visible on them ditto, as well as having their particular moving patterns and levels of aggression, so that when you first reach a level avoiding them is a an entertaining puzzle. There are also conditional kills, which force you to use stuff which you otherwise wouldn't and the grimoire system keeps throwing enemy skills into the mix or lets you transfer skills between the party members. Though that last one could have been implemented better. There are also a few fun text events per level. Finally, trash encounters can be fought automatically. I am definitely going to pick up more games from EO series. Luckily, my library also has EO4, so that's next. Hopefully, Atlus has a sale for us EU peons before the 3DS eshop closes and I can snag EOU 2 and a couple of other things. There is one for the US/Canada? going right now. I also borrowed Lego City Undercover for 3DS for my niece, decided to try it out on a whim... and ended up blowing through the story part of it. It was stupidly fun and stylish, though very easy and hand-holdy. I have never played any previous Lego games, only watched others for a bit, but it seems to me that Lego Star Wars 3, say, had more challenging puzzles. A nice palate cleanser between the more involved games, though.
  15. Interesting. I really disliked Brothers of the Wind. It was even more disappointing to me than The Heart of What was Lost. What I loved most about the original Osten Ard trilogy was it's depiction of believable, distinct, alien mindset and culture (which is really rare in SF, sadly, with only a handful of examples where it comes across as more than one-sided exaggeration of human traits) and a really sympathetic main villain (one of them). Everything else was just OK. But now both of these things appear to have been demolished in the sequels. Also, social structures seem to be boring pseudo medieval stuff from central casting and roundly ignore the implications of extreme longevity on society. The way it is going, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Sithi and Norns are modified humans from the future or something along these lines. The jury is still out on the Ocean Children, but meh. The one intriguing piece was The small bit that I have spoiled myself on in the new trilogy was also a let down, i.e. that: So, I probably won't read the sequel trilogy. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.
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