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  1. Thank you to both @Durckad and @Werthead for those detailed watch lists! Really appreciate the help. And this time I'll save them on my hard drive in case the board decides to erase this thread.
  2. It's finally going to happen. I'm going to watch TNG. But I'm not a masochist, and I need a good watch-list so I can avoid the crap and the horrible. Encounter at Farpoint already almost put me into a coma, and I know that's considered to be one of the best season 1 episodes. Does anyone have any recommendations for a watch-list? I remember a few years ago, after I finished DS9, I floated the idea of watching TNG and a user posted what seemed like a good one. Unfortunately, it seems that thread has been deleted from the board.
  3. I don't expect this season to be better than or anywhere near as good as Andor, but I do hope that (unlike season 2), it's not mainly just a bunch of pointless side quests meant to create future spinoffs. Let this be its own show! The focus on Mandalore is promising from that perspective, but the fact that I have to now watch The Book of Boba Fett to understand what's happening this season is not great. I also hope that this is the season they also finally let Pascal take off the damn helmet for the majority of the time. They're wasting their talented lead actor.
  4. I remember that I had fun as a rogue in Dragon Age Inquisition, since combat became a lot more reactive as you zipped around the battlefield trying to backstab people/dragons. But it's been a while since I played. I'll probably try to replay the whole trilogy when DA4 finally comes out. I can't believe it's been almost nine years...
  5. For Metroid Prime controls: if you're willing and haven't yet, I'd give the motion controls a try. At least on the Wii version they were so good and intuitive, and also made the game a lot easier compared to the Gamecube version. I'm sure dual stick is also a good control scheme for the Switch remaster, but I personally have always sucked at dual stick. Thanks for the RPG recommendations - I'm definitely willing to try Golden Sun, and am even more excited to play Mario and Luigi now. As for FF Tactics: I'd love to play this, but based on the other subscription services, Square-Enix isn't letting Nintendo put their games on. @A Horse Named Stranger You're right of course that it's easy to emulate GBA games, and I downloaded an emulator once before. But for whatever reason, I find it very hard to motivate myself to play old 2D games (or modern indie games, for that matter) on PC. Whereas somehow for me on the Switch, especially handheld, those kinds of games feel great to play.
  6. I just had to buy a new laptop, and decided (maybe against better judgment) to go for one that can play modern games. I've never gone AMD before, but it was what was available for the best price, and the reviews were good. I'm very excited to finally get to try Elden Ring and Cyberpunk, and it's great that I'll have a machine that should be able to handle Starfield and Dragon Age 4 when they come out. Though god only knows where I'll find the time for all these monstrously long games, especially with Tears of the Kingdom coming around the corner. But for now... GBA games! I never had a GBA (or any Nintendo handheld since the Gameboy Color). While the game selection is pretty small, it's enough for now to be able to play Zelda: Minish Cap for the first time, and I'm going to try the Mario/Luigi RPG too. And then in the long term, I'm dying to play Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission, not to mention GBA Pokemon games and all the other games I'm sure I missed out on.
  7. GIVE ME NEW ZELDA. HOOK IT STRAIGHT INTO MY VEINS. Other than that... Metroid Prime is one of my favourite games of all time, and the remaster looks really incredible. I'd buy it right away, but I think I last re-played Metroid Prime only two years ago. For those of you who haven't played it before: get it. It's so good and has aged really well, gameplaywise, especially with this version offering both motion controls and dual stick. Pikmin 4 looks fun, but I tried the Pikmin 3 demo and just couldn't get into it. I know many love Pikmin though, so I'm happy they finally get a sequel. I would like to play Hogwarts Legacy. I understand why people are boycotting it; Rowling has turned into a shitty human being and her transphobic views are abhorrent. If this were a new book by her, I wouldn't buy it. But it's a game made by hundreds if not thousands of people that seems to be repudiating her views by allowing you to play a trans character and by having other trans characters. For me it's not the hill to die on when I already support lots of evil companies/people like Amazon/Jeff Bezos by watching stuff Rings of Power, and when there are video game companies like Activision/Blizzard with horrible practices towards employees that people buy games from. But I acknowledge that this may be a copout, and again, more power to people who want to boycott it.
  8. I read Babel by R.F. Kuang, and found it to be pretty disappointing, all in all. The central idea is cool and her writing has improved since the Poppy War trilogy. Kuang is clearly intelligent, a great researcher, and has a ton of talent and potential. But I was frustrated with the book for a few reasons, mainly because of its lack of imagination and its heavy handed didactism. I'm going to write about it a lot, because this book is also getting a ton of praise. I recognize it's good qualities, but overall I just don't see it. I think I would have been able to forgive a few of these things, but altogether, they really soured my experience with this book. Which is too bad, because I do see the ingredients for something great here, and I think Kuang could pull it off. But I'm not sure I'll be reading another novel by her for a while, especially if she can't dial down the didactism and treat her readers as people with brains. On another note, I'm looking into trying out some Adrian Tchaikovsky novels, but he has something like two-hundred, and there's a lot of debate online about which are good or best. I already have my eye on Guns of the Dawn, which looks up my alley, but I'm currently in the mood for sci-fi. Any recommendations about where to start there?
  9. Oh, I see. I didn't realize Steam Decks could be used in that way, though it makes sense now that I think about it. Pretty cool.
  10. Why would you need a second steam deck? But my laptop is dying and I have been thinking about, rather than spending ridiculous amounts of money getting a laptop that can play games, just getting a cheap sturdy work laptop and a steam deck. Been playing Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Perfect game to play after Persona 5. It's just fun and to the point.
  11. It took me three months and about 100 hours, but I finally am done with Persona 5 Royal. It's a great game and I'm glad I played it, but holy shit can it be a badly paced slog. I would have been happy to see them cut 2-3 of the palaces, including the entire ending of the original game, and I also wish they'd removed at least 75% of the repetitive text conversations and scenes whose only purpose is to repeat exposition that's already been delivered. It's also too bad, because the final DLC section of the game is quite good- certainly a lot better than the original ending. But at this point I was just burnt out and rushed through it. I do really appreciate that they give you an ability to auto-kill enemies at least 10 levels lower than you - with this, I got through the last palace quickly. The game at its peak was really something special and unique, though. I especially loved the Museum, Pyramid and Casino palaces. Not every confidant arc hits. Some of them were laughably bad, like the 10 year old arcade boy, and some were just gross, like your teacher. But enough of them worked for me to get attached to many of the characters, especially Futaba and Sojiro. I don't really play JRPGs anymore, and parts of this game reminded me why. But if I'm going to play one ridiculously long JRPG this decade, I'm glad it was one as stylish and (often) fun as this one.
  12. I know my opinion on House of the Dragon season 1 is in the minority, and I'm glad that many like it better than me. I also know de gustibus non disputandum est. But I really can't fathom how House of the Dragon can win this award, beating seasons like Better Call Saul Season 6 and Severance Season 1. Maybe I just have to acknowledge that I have bad taste or something.
  13. I feel like I've watched a lot of TV this year, much of it very good. I hadn't heard of the Peripheral, so I'm excited to check it out. For All Mankind is definitely on my list of shows to watch too, alongside Station Eleven and Succession. Too much good TV, too little time... Excellent 1. Severance: This is one of the best first seasons of anything I've seen in a long time. Funny, scary, tense, and thought-provoking all at once, with a lot of fun characters and mysteries. 2. Better Call Saul Season 6: a few pacing issues, mainly related to Gus, but otherwise a phenomenal and emotional end to the series. Like Severance, damn to these writers know how to get every bit of a tension out of a scene. 3. Andor: its first couple of episodes aside, this was fantastic sci-fi, propelled by well-developed and acted characters and an interesting exploration of fascism and rebellion against it. Very good: 4. Stranger Things Season 4: A really nice return to form for this series. The horror element was welcome, as was the exploration of some of the series' main mysteries. The only downside: the California road trip plotline was a real drag, and most of its characters are uninteresting. 5. Expanse Season 6: What we got was generally excellent, especially given the short episode order, with special kudos to Drummer and Amos. Inaros, though, fizzled out as a villain, and I'm frustrated with some of the choices the writers made in Seasons 5-6, once they knew the show was being cancelled but decided to not wrap anything up, and instead to continue to introduce new plotlines (Laconia) that will never have payoff. 6. Derry Girls season 3: the weakest of the seasons, partially due to COVID and filming constraints. Still a very funny and charming show with a great final episode. 7. We Own This City: Great central performances, beginning, and powerful ending. Gets a little repetitive in the middle. 8. Russian Doll Season 2: Way too convoluted and sometimes boring, but eventually emotionally satisfying. 9. Rings of Power: There were missteps, especially in the Southlands, and there was some bad pacing, especially with Harfoots, but it was a fun and enjoyable first season that, to me, felt like Tolkien. I see a lot of potential for season 2, especially with the dwarves and Adar. Decent/mediocre: 10. The Last Kingdom: some excellent parts of this final season, and... some very silly parts to this final season. But it was still fun to watch. 11. Wednesday: it's teenage show schlock, it's silly, but it's stylish schlock and it knows it. It also has a few great performances that bring it to the next level, especially Jenna Ortega as Wednesday. 12. House of the Dragon: it seemed to finally reach some of its potential in the last episode, and there were a few excellent moments (not to mention actors, set design, etc...). Before then, I mainly found it to be a tedious show, stuffed with repetitive exposition, flat characters, and skipping ahead whenever I started to get invested in anything. 13. Discovery Season 4: There were parts of the season that I enjoyed. But I just find the whole show to be too cloying and over-the-top emotionally. Saru is still MVP. 14. Obi-Wan: Meh. Didn't like/couldn't finish: 15. Mystic Quest season 3: I'll probably return to this, but a few episodes into Season 3 I was ready to give up on it. Like in season 2, it now seems to want to be more of a drama than a comedy show: the characters really aren't equipped for that, and the comedy is more and more diluted. 16. Our Flag Means Death: My #1 disappointment of the year. I love Taiko Watiti, I love pirates, I'm down for a show centred around queer romance. But I can't remember laughing once, and I found the characters and humour to be generally annoying.
  14. I know I'm late to the party. I was skeptical of Andor as of its announcement and felt burnt out on Star Wars after Rise of Skywalker, Mandalorian, and Obi-wan. Even when Andor started getting a lot of hype, I decided to wait until the season was over to see what the overall reception was. But damn, now that I've watched it: that was a phenomenal season of TV. Not everything worked perfectly - the early episodes were paced badly, and the flashbacks to his childhood feel like a waste of time. Sometimes the transitions between stages of the show could be awkward, like Cass getting two minutes of screentime on his vacation planet before being arrested, or the sudden shift between episodes to Cass working with the other prisoners as a team. But other than that, this was fantastic at nearly every level. I could praise many things: the cast and acting, the tense action setpieces, the detailed sets, the interesting politicking, the nuanced and horrific exploration of fascism and the price of rebellion against evil. But what really sticks with me is how good this show is at character writing. It has a ridiculous number of side characters, and even though not all of them are developed, they still somehow feel like well rounded, compelling human beings with understandable goals and motivations. And then when they do develop characters, like Luthen, Mon Mothma, Bix, Kino, etc... the show got truly special results. I'm really impressed - enough that I want to back and watch Rogue One, a movie I admired but didn't particularly love. This is probably the best season of space sci-fi I've seen since the Expanse Season 3. It also for me blew every other recent big franchise TV show out of the water - Star Wars shows, The Witcher, House of the Dragon, Rings of Power, etc...
  15. These posts make me want to get back into AC Odyssey, which I loved for 30 hours and then completely burnt out on. It's a really fun game. But I think the problem with it, aside from it being absurdly long, is that you really did have to do a lot of sidequests to level up enough to do main quests. If Valhalla does away with that, it's a huge step in the right direction. Best AC is still, for me, Black Flag by far. Perfect size, amazing pirate simulator, and for once you have a protagonist who (for most of the game) seems to realize that the Assassin/Templar crap is pretty dumb.
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