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Everything posted by Caligula_K3

  1. I'd forgotten how great the middle of Mass Effect 3 is. The Tuchanka missions are phenomenal. I'm starting the Quarian vs. Geth stuff now and it's similarly exciting. In these missions, Bioware did a great job making you feel like you really were in the culmination of three games worth of plot, characters, and choices. The attack on the Citadel... Is not so great. I'm still confused why Udina is Council Ambassador in this game, let alone why he suddenly becomes a Cerberus agent. Shockingly, Kai Leng is also not a very compelling villain. But that's just one weird mission. My only real annoyance with Mass Effect 3 right now: I'm not sure why, but The Legendary Edition is cutting out characters and content. All my squad and crew members survived Mass Effect 2, but Thane and Kelly Chambers never showed up on the Citadel for me, Miranda appears to have gone MIA after one chat, etc... Really weird stuff, especially since I can't remember ever having issues like this when I played the trilogy before.
  2. I don't mind if the show ends with Jimmy embracing a part of his personality that's not a monster. But I do agree that he's beyond redemption at this point - he has been, really, since he helped Lalo get out of jail for killing the Travelwire employee - and that the ending should hold him accountable for all he's done since then. Which was basically Walt's ending. I was ok with him going out doing a little bit of good in killing the Nazis and freeing Jesse, because Breaking Bad used Ozymandius to remind you of the consequences of all the terrible things he's done, punished him for them, and the final few episodes blew up all his justifications ("I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it.") This doesn't mean that Chuck was right and that Jimmy was bad from the beginning and doomed to this ending. Jimmy began as a much better person than Walter White, with a much greater and more genuine desire to do good. But we've seen him make terrible choices with increasing consequences throughout the show. Some of those choices were understandable and tragic. Some of them he atoned for and somewhat made right, like when he initially tried to rush the Sandpiper settlement by manipulating the old ladies. But at a certain point, the bad choices accumulated, the attempts at atonement diminished, and Jimmy developed into the worst version of himself. Edit: I've been reading lots of interviews about the recent episode. One amazing detail: the "Danny" from the laser tag money laundering place is meant to be a reference to everyone's favourite purveyor of squat cobblers:
  3. In general, the show did a really nice job taking flat or one dimensional characters from the books and turning them into interesting and well rounded ones. Ashford is definitely the biggest improvement, and I loved Drummer in the show much more than any of the characters she was based on in the books, but even someone like Errinwright had much more depth in the show than books.
  4. Interesting episode. I liked last week's, but I was kind of bored in much of the first half, at least after Francesca left. After an episode of slowly watching Gene pull off the theft last week, another slow con seemed overkill. And then the first big flashback scene with Walt and Jesse just seemed like fan service to me. But then it all came together in the second half, with that great montage of cons, the Mike and Saul scene, and two versions of Jimmy making truly terrible decisions. After last week I thought there was a possibility this could have a happy ending. Now though... No way. My major questions are about what in that phone call tipped Jimmy over the edge, and how exactly Kim's going to come back into this. I'm guessing that we'll at least get that phone call from her point of view next week, this time with audible dialogue.
  5. That makes sense. I think this also might just be a game that gets better as it goes along (minus the ending). Now that I'm past Palaven, have a few more companions, and am starting to get into some of the sidequests (including the incredible "you big stupid jellyfish" sidequest), I'm having a much better time. I also spent a good fifteen minutes listening to the Blasto movie, which is incredible.
  6. You're right that it doesn't help Jimmy if Jeffy gets caught for a major crime and tries to negotiate. It should stop Jeffy from trying to rat out Jimmy for reward money, though, and possibly intimidates him if he's caught for a small crime.
  7. For sure, and I have no problem with them ultimately being villains in ME3. But you really don't learn too much about Cerberus in those ME1 side missions, and it was a pretty easy shift to go from those side-missions to Cerberus' role in Mass Effect 2. It's less easy to go from the complexities of Cerberus in Mass Effect 2 to the pure antagonism you begin with in Mass Effect 3, especially if you give Illusive Man the Collector Base, as my Shepherd did. It's also pretty ridiculous that when you question unshackled EDI about Cerberus in Mass Effect 2, she claims that Cerberus is only composed of a few hundred people - in the first few hours of Mass Effect 3, I've probably already killed a couple hundred Cerberus troopers. They manage to go from a small organization to a full blown army very quickly...
  8. I've been chugging along slowly in the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition playthrough. I recently finished Mass Effect 2 and all its DLC. What a game. Say what you will about some overall plot decisions, like killing and bringing back Shepherd in the first ten minutes of the game, but this is still an incredible game. It has one of the best cast of characters that Bioware ever developed, if not the best. It gives you fantastic opportunities for role-playing: the renegade/paragon system works perfectly in this game, since the choices become less about "do I save the orphanage or commit genocide?" than smaller scale character choices, including the ever important "do I play by the book or be an 80s action hero?" Having Shepherd work for a sketchy organization and person is a great narrative choice. The game also just does a good job of grounding the world. Mass Effect 1 has lots of interesting setup for the different races and the state of the galaxy, but Mass Effect 2 makes the galaxy feel like a lived-in-place and the conflicts feel reel, especially through its character writing. Also, I know that some people criticize the game for removing the RPG systems of ME1, and I'll agree that they went too far, but it is just so much more fun to play. I've gone as Vanguard on this playthrough and I love charging around the battlefield. Of the DLC, most of it hasn't aged well. Lair of the Shadow Broker is great, even if it makes no sense that Liara becomes an information mobster, and Kasumi is a fun character. But Zaaed is a collection of edgy cliches, Firewalker was so boring I didn't finish it, and Overlord relies on some pretty offensive stereotypes about autistic people. Of all of them, though, I was most disappointed by Arrival - I'd remembered that it was pretty good. But you're railroaded down a pretty implausible story, combat without companions is less fun, and you're given no choices at all. Now I'm a little bit into Mass Effect 3. It's been a long time since I played this one. My initial impressions are pretty good: the combat is definitely the most fun of the three, and I'm getting lots of nostalgia for all the time I put into multiplayer back in the day. The game opens powerfully with the destruction of earth. But there's also something a little hokey about the game? The companions you begin with don't make a great impression (I have to say, I'm surprised by how much I've found Liara to be an inconsistent and boring character on this playthrough), and I really dislike that Cerberus become all out villains from the very beginning, jettisoning a lot of the interesting setup from Mass Effect 2. The missions are fun, and I know I have some good ones coming up, but Admiral Hackett is also such a boring mission giver: it's tough going from post-mission arguments with the Illusive Man to "I hope this helps us fight the Reapers, Shepherd. Hackett out!"
  9. I also really liked it, and kind of loved that it came out of left field, just like the Saul transition last week. In general, now that we've seen Jimmy fully become Saul, I'm a lot more interested in where Gene goes from here than in seeing Saul in the Breaking Bad years (though I'm sure that the writers will do a good job with it when we get there). As an episode, it was also just fun, entertaining, funny, and sad, reminding me a lot of a Season 1 episode. I can't get enough of just watching Jimmy work and pull scams, and I'll always take it over the (imo) tedium of Gus cartel scenes. I also thought the episode did a great job of tying together all the Gene vignettes from the past five seasons: the tedium of the Cinnabon job, the S.G. was here, the security guards and heart attack, and the threatening cabbie. The only weaknesses for me were that the new Jeffy actor was not as good as the last, especially since he was missing some of that menace, and that Jimmy was able to turn the tables a little too easily at the beginning of the episode. But I loved how he legally checkmated them at the end. Of course, that legal checkmating won't stop trouble coming from other directions, like Jeffy's Albuquerque connections..
  10. Huh, I didn't know that Walter and Jesse were going to appear. I'm not sure how I feel about it, to be honest. The overreliance on Breaking Bad cameos has always been one of my least favourite parts of this show, and I'm not sure we really need to see the Breaking Bad years. But it's very possible I'll be eating these words in a few weeks.
  11. I have no trouble believing that Jimmy would still be terrified of Lalo years later. He's already come back from the dead once... Really good episode. I'm surprised they took out Lalo this early, but I'm also glad, because if it was just going to be Lalo vs. Gus, we know which way it ends and don't need it dragged out. I hope that this wraps up most of the cartel half of the show and the rest can be about Jimmy and Kim, with some Mike here and there. I thought it was a nice touch that Mike knew about the Howard scheme and was clearly so disgusted by it. You can see how his respect for Jimmy will simply plummet by the time we get to the Breaking Bad era, since he knows this guy is capable of so much more. Then again, Mike, you're working for a Pinochet affiliated drug lord, so...
  12. Glad to hear that! I was worried by the reviews. Ragnarok is my favourite MCU movie - Thor 4 and Guardians 3 are pretty much the only ones I care about at this point. I can handle some mess as long as it's fun and funny.
  13. I think Number of the Beast might have been too upbeat for what they were going for, and so would most early Maiden songs. Master of Puppets also hit the Vecna theme pretty well. Maybe 2 Minutes to Midnight would have worked with all the clocks in this season? It was released in 1984, so Eddie would have had a good two years to figure it out..
  14. @Deadlines? What Deadlines? @Ran That was the greatest internet debate I've witnessed in years and it singlehandedly restored my faith in that the internet can be a force for good. Points to Deadlines because I think you conclusively proved that Eddy shouldn't have been able to play the Master of Puppets solo that well. Points to Ran because it's still the coolest TV scene of the year.
  15. Whaaat? I'm now about a quarter of the way into ME2 on my Legendary Edition replay and there's no comparison, in my mind, for writing. Sure, the basic scenario starting off ME2 is dumb, and ME probably has a more interesting plot. But in terms of character and world writing, ME2 stands head and shoulders above ME1, in my opinion. I noticed an immediate difference. Take Garrus and Tali: in ME1, pretty much all Garrus' dialogue hammers home the same point over and over (I don't want to play by the book!). Tali, meanwhile, is just an exposition machine for Quarian society. In ME2, they become actual well rounded characters, and in general the different species are written with much more nuance. Even side quest characters tend to get some development. Shepherd working for Cerberus and the Illusive Man is also just a lot more interesting than Shepherd working for the Alliance. Anyway, all this to say that a quarter of the way through ME2, I'm reminded why it's one of my favourite games of all time. I enjoyed replaying ME1 more than I thought I would, but I still think it's one of the weakest pre-2014 Bioware games, and not just because of the combat.
  16. Agreed. Overall it was at least entertaining. And I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, but I respected that it was at least trying for something coherent and had a purpose, unlike Mandalorian season 2. That just felt like a mish-mash of cameos and pilots for spinoffs.
  17. All right, you convinced me. For my first time ever, I've let Kaidan live on Virmire. RIP, Ashley and your space racism. I did always find Ashley's lack of dialogue in Mass Effect 3 to be very odd. In my last post, I said that I was actually finding the Mako fun on this playthrough. That's still true for the main quests. By far the best change to the Legendary Edition is that you get full XP for killing things in the Mako, so you're not constantly leaving it to finish off your enemies with a single shot. This really improves the pacing. But then I did a bunch of the side missions on Mako-exploration planets and remembered just how truly terrible it is to try to climb over mountains with the Mako, just to get to a warehouse that looks the exact same as every other warehouse and shoot some random husks/mercs/Thorian creepers/biotics. Oh boy.
  18. Speaking of Mass Effect, I started the Legendary Edition myself a few days ago. I'm surprised by how much I find myself enjoying Mass Effect 1. The last time I re-played it 7 or 8 years ago, I was so annoyed by the gameplay that I switched it to easy and rushed through so I could get to ME2 (which is, imo, the best game in the trilogy by far). ME1 still has a lot of weaknesses and jank, but I'm managing to enjoy the combat and even some of the Mako exploration. I know they altered ME1 more than other games in the trilogy, so maybe some of those changes paid off. Kaiden is still the most boring character in video game history, though, and I can't wait to abandon him in an exploding enemy base. He's an extreme in boringness, but the reason ME1 has always been my least favourite of the trilogy, despite the strong worldbuilding and plot, is because the companions in general are pretty underdeveloped. Wrex is great, and Garrus and Tali will become much better characters in ME2, but otherwise... there's not much there.
  19. Complaints about Luke being unnaturally good at everything always seemed to be missing the point to me, just like complaints about Rey being good at everything in the sequels (well, those complaints tend to miss the point even more, since they're usually motivated by sexism(. Star Wars is wish fulfilment fantasy. That's why I loved it as a six year old. As long as it hangs together reasonably well, who cares about stuff like this?
  20. Nah, it's worse. When the episode opened with Reva on Tatooine, I assumed there had been a big time jump. But instead, judging from the space chase scene, it had been thirty minutes since the end of the last episode. So in thirty minutes, Reva, who had been supposedly fatally stabbed, got a ship, went off planet, jumped to Tatooine, landed, and started walking around threatening people. I usually have a pretty high tolerance for fast travel in TV shows, but this was completely ridiculous. It was ridiculous to begin with that the Grand Inquisitor didn't make sure she was dead after he survived his own seemingly fatal stabbing and monologued about how vengeance does wonders for the healing process. But damn, come on. She got to Tatooine that fast? So that I'm not all negative in this thread, though, I will say that I loved the final lightsaber fight and the helmet half on/off effect, plus the dialogue in that scene. And I can't lie, I laughed at Obi Wan's "hello there!" Again, there was good stuff and a basically good idea underpinning this mini-series.
  21. There's a lot of complaints here (and elsewhere) about how cheap the visual effects looked and the overall lower quality of action and chase scenes. All this didn't bother me too much, aside from the forest chase scene, which was hilarious. I was more let down by some of the writing choices during these action scenes - Darth Vader letting Obi-Wan go in episode 3 because there was a wall of fire between them, right after he'd used the force on Obi-Wan when there was a wall of fire between them. Or the constant use of the "leave them dying instead of checking they're dead" trope. For the cheapness: I don't think the problem was the budget, just like that wasn't the problem for Wheel of Time. Maybe filming was rushed, who knows. But I think the real problem is that it takes real experience and talent to take these massive budgets and create something convincing out of them. It takes skill to run these massive sci-fi/fantasy shows. I read an interesting article recently about the coveted position of "showrunner." Usually, to become a showrunner, you'd have cut your teeth writing and working on a single show, essentially being mentored into learning about how every aspect of a show works. But there are so many shows out there that need showrunners now, and audience expectations for cinema level quality and spectacle are higher than ever. So you throw these people who are probably talented enough into the showrunning chair long before they're ready with very high expectations, and inevitably, they can't get it together.
  22. So, as most people have said, that was pretty mediocre all around. Some good ideas, some bad ideas, some great acting from Ewan, some bad acting from Flea, and a 10 year old Leia plot that should have never existed - or at the least ended in episode 3 at the latest. There was a good idea for a show in here, but it got buried beneath everything else. But what can you do? I've realized since watching this and the Mandalorian that these Star Wars shows aren't really for me. They're for me if I was still a 12 year old. Back then I gobbled up Star Wars books no matter how shitty they were. It didn't matter if the empire was building a Death Star but it blew up SUNS or if the Hutts were building their own Death Star for some reason or if there was a twentieth Palpatine clone or if Han was competing with some douchebag for Leia's hand in marriage or if the Solo twins were off on some stupid adventure - I read it and I loved it. Nothing in the TV shows has been as bad as some of that (though I haven't bothered watching Book of Boba Fett), and I'm sure for some 12 year olds out there, these shows are a fun way to explore more of the Star Wars universe. But I think as an adult who has plenty of good or great TV to catch up on... I'm out.
  23. Yeah, I agree with this analysis. In season 4, after Chuck's death, Jimmy is miserable and guilty... until Howard reveals his own guilt and says he feels responsible for Chuck's death, since he pushed Chuck out of the firm. At that moment, Jimmy offloads all his guilt and sadness about Chuck onto Howard. At the same time, Jimmy shapes himself into a lawyer persona that's the anti-Chuck. Which works for Jimmy so long as Howard plays the part of a guilty and destroyed man. But once Howard actually takes steps to process Chuck's death and heal, which Jimmy won't do, then it becomes an affront to Jimmy and his attempts to absolve himself of guilt or feelings for Chuck. How dare this guy who killed my brother be ok and offer me a job like he's better than me? So Jimmy bowling balls Howard's car and sends prostitutes to his work lunch. A lot of it is laid out in this amazing scene from season 5. After Jimmy's near death experience in the desert, he finally starts to become more introspective again. But at this stage Kim decides she wants to go after Howard for her own reasons.
  24. Haha, good one. On the internet? Where even a mediocre season of TV is always taken as proof that the creators are lazy immoral idiots? I hope so too, but I wouldn't count on it. Some of the ranting against D&D on this board alone is ridiculously over the top, and that's not even getting into fandoms on reddit and other places. It's a bit of a weird idea for a show, but if this got good reviews and I'm not overwhelmed by new Game of Thrones shows, I'd probably watch it. I'd definitely watch this over an animated show about Yi Ti or whatever. It would be better if it were a mini-series, imo. I can't imagine a full show riding on Kit Harrington's shoulders, and north of the wall is not the most interesting corner of the Game of Thrones universe.
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