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Everything posted by Beitel

  1. I really like it and it has this incredibly weird relationship to the original. The appeal of the original Blade Runner for me is 50% music, 30% cinematography and 20% story (the dialogue in the first half of the film is awful, the second half surprisingly touching). Here it's totally different: it's the script, Villeneuve's directing and Gosling's acting that for me form the heart of this film. The visual side of the film, beautiful as it is, doesn't elevate the material as much but is still a welcome and well-done atmosphere to bathe in. It could use a trim at points though: the script doesn't contain three hours worth of ideas and the sparse visual style make the less interesting parts feel pretty empty. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is just disappointing though. Zimmer is no Vangelis so the focus on the amazing sounding buzzes, clashes and zaps is the right one for this composer, but I wish another one would've tried a more melodic, melancholic and original approach. It's cool. I really like Villeneuve as a director and I'm curious what he'll make after Dune.
  2. Man, I'm not too sure about this at all. In some ways the increased detail is lovely, especially when it comes to animation. But this is also a game that is all about the artistic vision of the world, tied very strongly to the available technology of the time. Playing the original PS2 version is still incredibly impressive, constantly feeling how the machine is struggling with the ambitious beast. I have to think of the incredibly strict hiring process, where only two out of 500 artists got hired to join the team after ICO, and I imagine Ueda being very strict in ever part of the design. Bluepoint is great, but it really feels like a cover band that has superior technology to their disposal but I think in no way can expect to match the very precise vision that made the original game so enduring in the first place. They might be incredibly respectful, and I think this is great for new players, but I would really rather revisit the original than a second interpretation by a different group of people. But maybe I'm projecting and they invited Ueda over to control every aspect of this production again. And while the soundtrack was beautiful in the original, the way the tracks transitioned was always incredibly jarring. So a chance to improve on that is welcome.
  3. New or revelatory? Nah. And maybe the film acts a bit too much like some of it is. But that doesn't mean that its ideas and approach aren't interesting to think about.
  4. It's not necessarily a plot that we haven't seen before However, it is part of a broader idea that I find very interesting, even if the individual plot points weren't necessarily. I found the central idea quite a 'twist', but the rest followed quite predictably from that. But to me it's a film less about plot surprises and more about exploring the central idea in a thought provoking way. The plot gives examples of political and personal consequences that are tied with it. In a sense a large part of the experience is to me clearly meant to happen after the film, for the viewer to think further on the basis of those examples. I dunno, I found the ending a bit too much and it's very simple in so many ways. But the central idea remains very strong and I found the storytelling by Villeneuve very focused and self-assured.
  5. Yeah. Killing the targets for the first time isn't that hard, but it serves more as an introduction to the level than anything else. It's the most fun to turn off the opportunities but take a glance at the challenges and figure out how to succeed in them. This format changes the design of the Hitman levels completely: they're now more than ever toyboxes instead of challenges you clear maybe once or twice. Getting them one at a time makes it more natural for a player to approach them that way. I do hope they release some shorter levels in the next season, because I do think it constrains the level design a bit. Smaller stages are also quicker to replay, I still love the tutorial boat level.
  6. The Snoke, The Force, It's Jedi and Her Droid.
  7. I saw quite a few cynical comments about it on Eurogamer and such, but I must say that it looks like a typical Nintendo product with very well-made controls and level design. Certainly quality over quantity. Pretty smart also of Nintendo to recognize that mobile phones don't really interfere with Nintendo's own hardware (it basically says "see how cool this is? Imagine how much cooler games on the Switch must be!"). I dunno, I like this reinvention of Nintendo more than Wii's Blue Ocean strategy. It seems more confident and actually in line with the times.
  8. Kojima always had an interesting and forward thinking vision (the way MGS2 handled the internet for instance) and that trailer is cool as fuck. Guns of the Patriots and Phantom Pain also had that edginess, but were too rambling in the end. I hope that the involvement of someone like Del Toro will help make the vision more cohesive and consistently interesting. But yeah, great to see Kojima's vision for a new IP.
  9. I feel the same about it as when Eurogamer came with the (quite accurate) leaks. It's perfectly logical and the best way for Nintendo to go really. The hardware lagging after PS4/Xbone isn't a big deal since it looks like a great multipurpose gaming device. The trend of stylish indie games is bigger than ever and make pushing graphics less important for gaming than ever before. The most important thing for Nintendo now is to make it as easy as possible for indies to publish on and it'll make Nintendo more relevant than it has been in ages. Also the best hardware design by Nintendo in bloody aaaaaages.
  10. I feel it has actually far more options than Human Revolution and Invisible War. Especially HR could be fairly linear but here you have some pretty interesting ways of moving through environments. It does feel a bit more cramped than the original Deus Ex, but for me it's the first sequel in the series that actually comes close to that classic.
  11. Well, one theory from above is already Well, one of those was debunked early on. But this one's more like it. I'm not sure about this so far since it just seems to pile up mysteries for the most part. A slow show wouldn't be that bad, were it not that most characters aren't at all that interesting. For some reason I have to think back to True Blood (another sort of campy HBO show) that failed at plot pretty early on, but succeeded so well when it came to characters. With the exception of the Ed Harris character this is all plot and mystery so far. That's probably enough for me to give it a shot for a couple more episodes, but I'm not sure whether I will make it 'till the end of the season.
  12. I just passed that bit and it's indeed quite hard. What helped me was double jumping as quickly as possible. Instead of double jumping at the end of a jump (which maximizes distances but is comparatively slow) you just need an extra 'hop' make it to a ledge.
  13. What they say here is that they don't feel comfortable with many aspects of modern game development (stuff like free-to-play and marketing through social media). Too bad, since I think a game like Rive is perfect for this day and age. It's so lean: ideas are introduced and discarded all the time and without unnecessary repetition. It's not that flashy in its presentation and the monologue/dialogue takes a while to warm up to, which will probably keep it from getting the exposure it deserves, unfortunately. I also don't think it's that challenging. There are some sections I had to repeat a dozen times or so, but respawning is so quick that these still don't last more than ten minutes in total. It's also pretty smart in providing health just when you need it, so that it feels more challenging than that it actually is. We're not talking Super Meat Boy levels of difficulty here.
  14. I can understand how you overexposure ruined your interest in films. I have trouble being that invested in most films myself, and it's even worse when it comes to television (even the best writing just can't seem to escape cliché or just plain dumb writing from time to time). Still, I only saw two new films this year and they were both good ones. First is The Lobster, which has great and pretty original surrealist dark humor. I would avoid trailers for this one though. The second is Elle, the new Verhoeven film. Quite a bit of a surprise, since I thought his previous film Black Book was a disaster. But his new one disguises itself as a pretty standard thriller but does something different throughout the whole film. The lead performance by Isabelle Huppert is also something to behold.
  15. I must say this move makes sense: Nintendo is never going to compete with Sony and Microsoft on the console front but is still very strong when it comes to handheld. They're basically merging all their strengths on the home and handheld front into one (probably/hopefully inexpensive) machine. It already sounds to me far more appealing than the Wii and Wii U ever were.
  16. Beitel


    Reading up a bit on the advanced techniques and God Hard difficulty and stuff doesn't paint that picture to me. Videos of truly masterful players sees them rolling around the battlefield rarely touching cover, which makes it look like a rocket-powered Dark Souls (using those glorious Invincibility Frames). They also use AR mode sparingly. It's just that this game doesn't seem to reward you clearly for a certain style of play, but places restrictions on you that you can work around by mastering the mechanics and guns to avoid overheating. It doesn't have a combo system, unlike games like Bayonetta, DMC and P.N. 03, or fill a meter of some sort (killer7) and it doesn't focus on time-bending powers the way Viewtiful Joe does (where you can only do meaningful damage in slow-mo). This makes it admittedly a bit counter-intuitive even if you've played similar games by the same developers, but not necessarily in a wrong way (I haven't touched God Hard, so I can't really judge it myself yet). And it certainly doesn't make it a game about hiding behind cover.
  17. Beitel


    This is a good opportunity to see if it really holds up, so I like reading some criticism. But I must say that returning to this feels quite glorious: my muscle memory from about four years ago returned almost instantly. Lessons learned from the challenges, like only firing careful shots at enemy weak spots, also popped up again. There were also some things I almost never used, like the cigarette throwing and melee attacks, so I'll probably also focus a bit on putting those moves in my repertoire. I do miss a Devil May Cry-style ranking system, it's far more satisfying to nail a SSS score instead of a score that doesn't really add up to much. The cutscenes are for the most part skippable though, so that's no problem for me. The graphics also hold up well enough, since it's too chaotic to be admiring the visuals anyway.
  18. Beitel


    I lost my disc a couple of years ago, so when I came across it today for a tenner I couldn't resist. I can now finally do that Hard run I never got around to. I wished it was ported to PC though... 60 fps with a nicer resolution would be amazing. I don't think there's a game that is easier to love: a Platinum-style futuristic shooter with a rocket-powered suit! It's that Resident Evil 4 is the best piece of software ever put to disc, otherwise this game would be Mikami's best game.* * Disclaimer: haven't played God Hand yet. Maybe time to finally track down a copy.
  19. This was the feeling I got from the severely disappointing first season. It was great when it ripped off Kubrick when it came to some shots, but there is no reason to rehash Fight Club. It doesn't make the story any deeper and so many of the choices were done to make it 'edgy' without communicating really anything of worth (like the American Psycho rehashing). The ambition made it watchable, but my interest in the second season is close to zero.
  20. I'm looking forward to finishing 2, which I abandoned for no reason at all, even though I remember quite liking it at the time. The first Bioshock I'm not incredibly looking forward to replay, it's the least of them gameplay-wise from what I remember. Funnily enough it made me think of replaying Infinite which I finished on PC just a couple of weeks ago. That game has incredible forward momentum. The focus on spectacle also contributes to its failings, compared to the more thoughtful Bioshock games, but I also see myself revisiting it most of all three games because of it.
  21. Great stuff! I regretted not voting, but the results don't disappoint. It made me start with The Sopranos yesterday but it also confirms my suspicions that The Wire is indeed that good. It always had it's spotty moments (Brother Mouzone is a far worse offender in my eyes than anything in season five), but at its heights (seasons 1 and 4 in particular) there's nothing that can compare. I always have trouble with watching TV series, since I can't see myself spending hours and hours on something with flawed storytelling, and The Wire made it even worse for me. It's no escapism, it's the result of years of experience and research, meant to tell these stories in a way even a documentary couldn't do. It sits in an uncomfortable place between fiction and investigative journalism: it's sometimes so easy to get lost in that the realization that this refers to a real-life place and clusterfuck of social and institutional problems hits extra hard. Breaking Bad is really fun and really well made, but disposable TV compared to this. Let's see how The Sopranos fares.
  22. It was a bit mixed, and that's all because of the predictable way it was fought out. However: It has been too long since the show brought us a good twist, I hope next week will deliver something truly interesting again!
  23. Nintendo To me it also seems as if Nintendo kept a lot hidden, who knows what the other areas could look like and function. It already looks so intriguing and innovative, especially when it comes to Zelda, when it comes to basic gameplay (since that is pretty much only what has been shown). It's not hard to imagine that Nintendo has much more in store this time. To me it finally gets my interest back in the Zelda series that I lost around Twilight Princess. Until that game I was pretty much a Zelda nut, but that one was the first without any sense of adventure.* It just felt like an increasingly old fashioned video game series. I discovered Elder Scrolls and never looked back really. This one finally feels like Nintendo is exploring again while making games and makes it for me the most exciting looking game of theirs in a decade. *The dungeons in that game were amazing though, to give it credit.
  24. I held off for a while but of course I had to start this game sometime and damn, it's getting pretty great again. I found Undead Settlement quite disappointing, but everything afterwards just pulls you in more and more. The Metroidvania-structure is missing, but I just realized that Combined with the developing complexity of the areas it doesn't make me miss that structure in practice that much. So far this installment is incredibly confident and refined, even though it was the over-ambition that made Dark Souls 1 the one classic of the series. And I love the Weapon Arts! That is something I really will miss going back to the previous games.
  25. Beitel


    I never really rewatched earlier seasons, but from memory I also think that's the best one. Maybe it's time to revisit the first three seasons, since it's been so long. I remember loving the first two and then gradually losing interest each season until 6 changed that trend.
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