SIONL/R: Life is Strange: Episode 4

Alright, I did my review, now I want to get into some of the things that really got to me about this episode.  I am going to be giving a TON of spoilers here, so be warned.  There were things about this episode that I loved.  And things that I didn’t.  Then there was one thing that absolutely drove me up the wall.  What’s more – all of this is nit-picky stuff.

First, why didn’t Max tell Chloe about what happened?  For real, talk about a potential bonding moment.  They gloss over that like it never happened.  Max says that she just can’t tell Chloe.  For real, so much wasted potential.  Now, maybe the just cut that out because the development of this was already insane.  But how emotional would that have been?!  I could see it now.  Max tearing up when she tells Chloe about how the her in the other world asked her to kill her.  I chose to do it.  I believe in assisted suicide, and Chloe’s reasoning was sound.  She wasn’t getting better, and she didn’t want to slowly wither away, taking down her family with her.  She wanted her night with Max to be her last memory.  Not gonna lie, I teared up when I sat there, staring at the conversation option to let her die or to not.  If I were in Max’s place, I wouldn’t have been able to keep it together.  If the person I loved asked me to help them die, it would be the most gut-wrenching thing ever.  You can see the pain on Max’s face when she does it.  Why wouldn’t she tell Chloe in the real world?

Given that I have been gradually building up their relationship, I kept thinking that that would be a powerful emotional moment.  Not to mention the fact that she has to kill William, again.  I had a perfect image in my head of that conversation.  Where Max is sobbing and confesses what she did.  The pain on her face and in her voice.  The need for Chloe to not hate her.  Can’t you just see how intense that would be?!  I do like this episode, but I will call wasted potential when I see it.  That conversation could have been episode all its own.  Just those two coming to terms with how they feel.  It’s a pity that there aren’t six episodes, because that would have been great.  No joke, I would have been happy as a fucking clam with the episode just being what Max did in the alternate world and then her dealing with how she feels about it with Chloe.  The stuff that the greatest emotional scenes are made of.

But the thing that really gets me is the ending to this episode.  Chloe’s dead?!  This bugs me for one reason – I have spent so much time and effort building up this relationship.  But this episode really pushes that to the side.  They better bring this up in the last one.  Not even kidding, if the relationships of characters are not somehow addressed in the next episode, I am going to lose it.  I really saw a spark that was growing into a flame in Episode 3.  Though, I also saw the problem having to explain to Warren that I don’t see him the same way.  Which, by the way – does that plot go anywhere?  I guess not, given that the next episode is the apocalypse.

Really, though, what happened with Chloe has got me all worked up.  It makes me think of what’s happened with Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.  It’s like – Jefferson shot her in the forehead!  She’s dead.  For sure.  So, that vision she had, where she is at the lighthouse with Max?  How does that work?

And while we’re at it – what is up with this power of Max’s?  I was so convinced that Rachel had some connection to it. Especially since she was missing in the alternate timeline that Max created.  I thought that she must have some sort of connection with this power.  The reason why Max has it.  All of that is totally up in the air.  Really, that’s the last mystery to clear up.  We know who killed Rachel.  We don’t know why, but I’m sure that that will be addressed.  The apocalypse is nigh, so what’s the story with this power?  There had better be a good explanation as to what the story with this is, or I am going to lose it.

I love this game.  I like this episode.  But these questions aren’t going away.  They need answers.  Post haste.

Until next time, a quote,

“After doing everything I could to save my friend’s life, I don’t know if I can do this.”  -Max Caulfield, Life is Strange

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Life is Strange: Episode 4

Life is Strange Episode 4Having been delayed for the purpose of getting everything about this episode right, it is telling that in the first five minutes of this game there was a major glitch that made this episode unplayable.  That was utterly infuriating.  Delaying a game’s release is typically done to get everything right.  To have a glitch that turned the journal and conversation options into gibberish, not even five minutes in, was infuriating.  That is going to hurt my Final Verdict.  All that being said, once an update was released, I was finally able to get into the episode, and MAN does it feel good to play.  Everything got ramped up here, and I felt the feels quite a bit.  But let’s talk about it.

The plot of this episode picks up where the last one left off.  Max had gone back in time and changed history, creating a totally alternate timeline.  Here, she has become a different person and the lives of the people she cares about have changed in drastic ways, with the exception of one.  The center of the game’s plot and her story has turned out just the same.  That is an interesting conundrum.  Following an intense emotional episode, we go back to the original timeline, where the race is on to find Rachel Amber, and bring the person who kidnapped her to justice.

Unlike the last episode, this one is VERY plot-driven.  That’s not a bad thing.  Granted, I would have liked a couple more character moments, but overall the direction this episode went worked.  It was fun to finally dive into the mystery.  There is a big twist at the end of this that I kind of saw coming, but I won’t spoil it for all of you.  And it fits in nicely.  Though the cliffhanger it leaves the episode on is going to be driving me nuts for the rest of the wait until the next episode.

Okay, on to the technicals.  The mouths don’t even come close to matching up with what they say, but whatever.  At this point, it doesn’t phase me.  Let’s set that aside for the other elements that work much better.  Like the lighting.  There were a couple of gorgeous stand-out moments where the episode really shows off what it was capable of with those scenes.  Of course, there were a few moments where the textures were REALLY dated.  Like at the Vortex party, when you see some people in the background at the pool.  Made me think of spectators in early PS3 sports games.  Yeah, that was funny.  Also, minor gripe – but how come the beached whales are not drowning in seagulls?  For real, carrion eaters would be all over that dead meat just lying on the beach.  I know, I know.  Over-analyzing me.

There isn’t much more to talk about, honestly.  This episode was very good.  It gets the plot moving forward, and now it’s ready for the final act.  With that in mind, though, I have something that I have to tell you, Dontnod Entertainment.  You have skated a very excellent series here.  You have made a bunch of games where we are able to make choices, and those choices matter.  It’s with that in mind that I have a warning.  You had better not make the ending to this series some “it could only have ended this way” bullshit.  I want my choices to actually matter.  I want the things I have done to mean something.  Yes, that means multiple endings.  If that’s hard, too bad.  We all have dedicated ourselves to this game because we believe that the actions we take will affect how this story plays out.  You have the power to make that happen.  Don’t waste that power.  Let’s bring the story of Max home, in whatever way the player has shaped their story.  The next move is yours.

All joking aside, if you make this game have an ending where our choices don’t matter, go the Mass Effect 3 route, then I will give you the most scathing review that has ever been!  Keep that in mind.

Final Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Talking about Memory

Part of me always wanted to be a filmmaker.  I’ve studied ways to make movies, and I always wanted the ability to give it a shot.  I’m sure that whatever I would make would be a pretentious pile of shit, but I still would like a shot at it.  I even have the idea for what my movie would be.  It isn’t some big idea.  In fact, it’s a small one.  An idea that probably wouldn’t make for a good movie.  Not one that anyone who is a fan of blockbusters wants to see.  That’s not that I’m one of these people who says that blockbusters are all shit.  Far from it.  Two of my favorite movies from last year were superhero films (Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier).  But that’s not the movie that I want to make.  Want to know what my idea is?  Yay or nay I’ll tell you.

I wanted to make a film about memory.  About remembering things.  But have it be in the mind of someone who is getting older.  Not some Alzheimer’s patient.  Just someone who is facing the end of his life and is remembering things.  He is remembering moments that mattered to him.  I wanted to have it play out of any chronological order.  The audience would see the memories, with only some vague context, and they would judge for themselves what it meant.  The context for each memory transition would be something brief.  Like, for example, he/she sees a fish tank, then a person walks in front of the camera and you see a younger person at a fish market, at a city on the ocean.  There would be a memory, and it would then go back to a later point.  In fact, I would have the audience be totally unaware whether or not there was chronology in the story that connects all these memories.  Would that be a little disjointed?  Perhaps.

There was a short story that I wrote called “The Broken Pot.”  I put it on the site, if you go into Google, you can look for it.  I kind of like the idea of that story factoring in.  Like maybe having the woman in that story seeing various points of her life.  But that’s too small.  This would have to go a little deeper.  Like maybe have the protagonist fighting against some kind of awful thing that happened to them.  Have the last memory be a what truly connects it.  So even the timeframe of the older person isn’t the center.  It’s all worked around this one memory, of something terrible that happened in the protagonist’s life.  I had a figure skater friend who had a crime happen to her by one of her skating coaches.  Maybe have an incident like that follow a character around, coloring their whole life, and then have them realize that, as their life is in the very autumn years, they missed out on so much because of how afraid they were of how they felt.  Think that would be any good?

The other thing I wanted to do with this film was to put Akira Kurosama’s style of filmmaking to work and let the weather do a lot of the story-telling.  Or have the weather play with the scene transitions sometimes.  Like a windy day, and have hair blowing in the breeze and a camera sweep bring us into a new memory.  There are so many abstract ways that one could work with playing memory and the present against itself, to keep the audience wondering.  Make the whole film like a dream.  Is this too ambitious?  Probably.  It would probably look terrible.  I’m not a professional.  Never claimed to be.  Just some dumb kid who has ideas that aren’t going anywhere.

Another thing about my film is that it would have talking be very much something in the background, and minimal use of a score.  The idea is that this is all in the character’s point of view, so I would much rather the environment tell as much of the story as possible.  We live in an age where filmmakers just assume that we’re dumb fucks and force-feed you the perspective they want you to have.  Because if the audience came to their own conclusion, then that’s just not good.  Right?  I’ll assume that you agreed with me, because that’s how my ego works (am I kidding?).  I want this film to let expressions and environments tell as much of the story as possible.  Or, if possible, have the story from the old person’s perspective have no dialogue from the main character at all.  Have it all be just about their expressions.  I think that could be done.  Not sure what actor or actress could pull it off.  Have the dialogue and whatnot be in the past, with the present just quiet contemplation, and the audience having to guess what the main character is thinking.

There would also be this thing about the memories.  Little parts about them that would be off, somehow.  Like when you see a newspaper and the print is garbled, except for the headlines.  Or a news story in the background that has words, but the sentences are just a little off.  Because we don’t remember things exactly how they happened.  Eidetic memory isn’t a real thing.  There are people with absolutely-stunning memory, but the truth is that photographic memory doesn’t actually exist.  It’s a con that people still buy into, like that 10% of the brain bullshit

In any case, that’s my movie idea.  Think it would be any good?  I couldn’t write this out.  In written form, I know that anything I would make would fall flat.  But I think that this could work in a visual medium.  Not sure.  However, there is a part of me that always wanted to be a filmmaker.  One of many dreams that are going nowhere, because I am not given a chance by any of the places that I want to be in this world that I apply to.  Life sucks that way.

Until next time, a quote,

“Advice is a form of nostalgia.  Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”  -Baz Luhrmann

Peace out,

Maverick

Poor Journalists Love Click-Bait (A response to The Young Turks)

Was that title inflammatory?  Oh, I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have made a title that was so deliberately made to increase clicks.  But I was just so inspired by a recent video that I saw on The Young Turks YouTube channel.  Indeed, this video saw fit to do nothing but exploit a current online trend to get clicks.  The same way as The Drudge Report or The Mary Sue does.  Oh yeah, I am putting this publication with them.  Why?  Because, to be honest with, I am seeing that The Young Turks were always like this.  I used to watch and enjoy their coverage.  I think that Ana Kasparian is the last vestige of anything approaching objectivity on their network.  The rest are a bunch of self-righteous, bourgeois liberals who, as Carlin once said, “think the only thing wrong with the world is there aren’t enough bicycle paths.”  Oh, and that insulting anything having to do with Islam is wrong.  And that all women and black people need them and their ilk to stand up for them.  In other words – sexist, racist, unbelievably condescending-left wing of this country.  And these people report the news.

In the past, I have gone after Fox News and conservative media for how bad it is.  I still do, from time to time.  But let’s go after someone more on my side of the fence.  Granted, I am not on the same extreme-left side of the spectrum.  But I am on the left.  I know, shocking.  One of the first defenses that these people have when confronted by an opposing view is to say that someone is conservative.  Hey Cenk, if you ever see this – Find proof that I’m conservative.  I dare ya.  Or rather, have your unpaid interns find it.  When’s the last time that you did real research?  You gotta rehearse your schtick for the camera.

A recent video on their network, entitled, “Gaming Losers Hate Women,” (yes, that’s the caliber of “journalism” that we’re dealing with here) decided to find a study that is absolute garbage and then use it to justify click-bait.  I’ll share the video, then we’ll talk about it.

First off – Halo 3?  Not even the Master Chief Collection version, either.  The Xbox 360 one.  That’s their “source?”  Wow.  Right out of the gate with bad science.  Now, don’t get me wrong – just because the game is old doesn’t mean it doesn’t have people playing.  Look at how big Team Fortress 2 is.  The old version of Tribes still has dedicated players.  But do you honestly believe that a game that outdated is a good source to use for a study that isn’t old?

Next, to head off people making this point – yes, there are PLENTY of guys online who troll women who get online.  I am up front about that.  Shitty people exist in every medium.  Why, just look what the social justice crowd is up to these days.  Shitty people are in every community.  But if you think that the shitty people represent the majority, and your only evidence is this ONE study that looks at an outdated game that can’t have a lot of players on it, then you are out of your mind.

And I just love that little way that you say that not only are the guys who are rude to women, but that they also are nice to the guys who win.  Are you shitting me?  This is why it’s not good to make click-bait videos about one study.  Because then you miss out on things.  See, if they had done their study on the most recent Call of Duty game, they might have seen a different picture.  Like the ENDLESS shit-talking that goes on in online gaming.  It never stops!  That’s the nature of the beast.  You know where the term tea-bagging came from?  The first Halo and what people would do in multiplayer.  Online gaming, especially competitive FPS games, are the most smack-talk-ridden places one can go.  That’s just how it works.  Ana, you can argue about how our culture pushes things all you want, but it helps to have your facts straight.  Online gaming is about shit-talking and being a dick.  Skill is rewarded, but the term “camper” exists for a reason.  “Noob” exists for a reason.  Online shit-talking is the backbone of many a games’ chat.  It has ALWAYS been like this.  Another thing that the people who wrote this study that you did your story on failed to notice.

I was glad to see the lady they brought in to comment on this was able to see this more objectively.  That was a step in the right direction.  But, did anyone notice how nothing of any merit was really talked about here?  Cenk clearly didn’t know thing-one about this medium.  His little “doing this” and making it look like he was playing with a controller was juvenile, but it showed that he had no investment in this.  Kasparian and her instant need to get on the culture that she believes creates this was a sign that she had no connection to it.

Not one person associated with this, aside from the lady they had from Nerd Alert, seemed to give two shits about this.  So why talk about it?  Why go out of their way to make a story that they KNEW was going to invite gamer traffic?  I’ll tell you – for the same reason that Nightline decided to make a hit-piece about GamerGate, that they later admitted was nothing but click-bait.  For the same reason that The Mary Sue makes any article at all.  They wanted to get clicks.  This is what journalism has become.  The Fifth Estate is nothing but click-bait and a growing sense of ennui as our media has resigned itself to – let’s just capitalize on controversy!  Because that’s where the REAL quality of news is, right?  Whether it be Cenk and his half-assed attempt to make 2nd Amendment debates into a race issue, or NPR doing an unboxing video (I shit you not, it really happened.  And they even said in the story that they were doing this because it was popular.  Unreal), this is what journalism has stooped to.

Turks, this is just pathetic..  This is a new low, and that’s coming from me.  You have stooped to the bottom of the barrel, just so you can keep the income flowing in.  Honestly, how you all can look at yourselves in the mirror and think, “yeah, this is totally the person I want to be” is beyond me.

Until next time, a quote,

“If there is one mental vice, indeed, which sets off the American people from all other folks who walk the earth, it is that of assuming that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that ninety-nine percent of them are wrong.”  -H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

Critical Examination: The Last of Us (Part 3)

The Last of UsSorry it took me so long to get back to this.  I’ve had a job and other things going on.  Not to mention stories that caught my eye and I had to respond to. But let’s get down to it.  Next up, we have the villains of the story, who also have interesting points to talk about.

Part 3. David

The first time that we see David, he’s out with a younger man named James.  He is cordial to Ellie when they meet.  A little scrawny, but it’s the post-apocalypse.  Who is a beefcake in that time and place?  The first conversation with him is almost nice.  He is trying to be amicable.  He takes an immediate liking to Ellie, who he sees as a tough girl who looks after her own.  The two end up getting caught in a battle against a horde of infected, and it looks like there might be something to this guy.  After fighting off the horde, you have some time to sit and get to know the guy.  Again, it seems like he might not seem so bad.  However, one line of dialogue is all it takes for you to realize that this guy is a threat.  Just one line, and he goes from being a potential ally to an enemy.  The way that was done was brilliant.  And, just like with Joel and Ellie, the reason that it worked is because of the voice actor – Nolan North.  While he isn’t the insane perfectionist that Troy Baker is, he is still damn good at what he does.  Even when he is in utterly-mediocre games like Deadpool, he goes the extra mile, to deliver a quality product.

When we see David again, he is capturing Ellie when the bandits are after her.  She tries to stab him, but he puts her in a choke-hold, telling her that he’s saving her life.  When the two are reunited in his camp, they have a discussion.  It’s here that we learn more about the group that David is a part of.  These people are cannibals.  He makes no effort to deny it.  But when Ellie judges him for that, he throws it right back at her, pointing out that she has a very hefty body-count.  There is no pride in his voice when he talks about what they do.  Just a cold sense of detachment, because they rationalize it as them doing whatever it is they have to do.  In a lot of ways, this is a cruel fact of life.

If you are put in a situation where there is no food, and the winter is killing your people, what are you willing to do?  What would you be willing to sacrifice to keep you and the people you care about alive?  If the person you love is starving to death, would you be willing to eat another person?  If you are so hungry that you would eat the most grisly piece of fat, just to have food in your stomach, what would you be willing to do for that?  That question is central to what makes The Last of Us so profound.  Joel made peace with the terrible things he did.  So has David.  Tess only rebelled against it when she knew that she had nothing left to lose.  The cost of living is high, even in our post-modern world of cultural ennui.  The Last of Us shows the literal cost, which in turn reflects the emotional cost that we live in today.  David does horrible things.  I’m not defending him.  But can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me that you know that you would be better?  If it’s freezing cold, and the only way you can keep the people you love alive is by killing someone else and then eating their flesh, how can you say that you are certain you wouldn’t.  There are some terrific books on survival situations, and how they went hellishly wrong.  Check those out.  It’s fascinating stuff.

After David realizes that he can’t get what he wants, the darkness takes over.  He drags Ellie out of the cell and lays her out on a table, preparing to chop her up.  She bites him, and then tells him that she’s infected.  She hints that he is infected as well.  Thus, the few strands of David’s sanity slips.  I’ve already talked about the rest of the story.  But his madness becomes another interesting point.  I’ve always found characters who lose everything fascinating.  My favorite villain in anything is Lord Darcia, from Wolf’s Rain. He only snaps after everything is taken from him.  Up to that point, his goal made sense.  But once it’s all lost, he chooses to sacrifice his humanity, to destroy a pack of wolves and their allies, just so they won’t get their happy ending either.  That’s an interesting character.  Who you are when you have nothing left, and you can only keep moving forward, is probably the most defining element of your humanity.

It makes for a nice side-by-side that, when you see the depths of David’s inhumanity, you see just how high the cost is becoming for Ellie, who is trying to retain her humanity.  She hasn’t had to make the tough calls that Joel has.  Had to go as far as he has. The correlation between these two characters is interesting.  And ominous.

Part Four: Marlene

When you first meet Marlene, she’s just a rogue element in Boston.  She’s the leader of the underground movement, The Fireflies.  Are they heroes?  Are they terrorists?  Much like everything else in this game, it’s not that simple.  They are a little of both.  And that’s Marlene.  She’s a driven woman.  Driven by a goal that has consumed her life, and gives her purpose.  Without it, as you find out by reading her journal, she loses the will to keep going, and is eager to escape.  Your introduction to her isn’t that big.  She’s wounded, and makes a deal with Joel and Tess to smuggle Ellie out, in exchange for some guns and more that were given to them by a traitorous ally of the two smugglers.  You don’t see her in the game until right in the last act.

Joel wakes up in a hospital, and there she is, sitting in a chair and waiting.  You find out from a tape recorder that she wanted to talk  to him . Part of her believes that he might understand the conflict inside of her.  You see, there’s a twist.  It seems that to extract that cure from Ellie, they have to cut the fungus right off of her brain.  Effectively killing her.  But the goal would be done.  They could make a cure, and help humanity regain its place at in the world.  She believes that Joel would get this decision.  However, he regained the part of his humanity that she was certain would give her resolve a boost.  It makes the confrontation between the two in the room that much more intense.  Marlene tries to justify killing this person, by telling him how hard it is.  Doing terrible things, while telling yourself and others that it’s for the greater good.  Where have we seen that throughout history?  Some of the darkest chapters in human history were started by people who thought they were doing the right thing, when the truth was that they were doing anything but.

You find out in the journal that Marlene felt ashamed that she had given Ellie over to Joel and Tess.  If she had kept her with their group, they might have been just fine.  But she hadn’t, and now she was reunited with old friends and filled with regret.  When she sees them looking at her, she feels the disappointment.  Eventually, she makes plans to ditch the group, before one of the group’s lookouts spots Joel and Ellie entering the city.

What does Marlene represent?  She represents the conflict that is when you are having to betray yourself in order to do what you think is right.  That’s exactly what Marlene is doing.  She is betraying her promise to Ellie’s mom, in order to give the world hope.  But is it really hope?  After all, how would they be able to mass-produce the vaccine?  How would they be able to give it to the rest of the world?  What happens when we do regain our place in the world?  There are a lot of uncomfortable questions, and that makes up the entire conflict with her character and her and Joel.

After he makes his way through the hospital and now has Ellie in tow, Marlene confronts Joel again.  She tells him that there is no hope for her.  Even if she survives today, how do they know that she’ll survive tomorrow?  What hope exists in this world?  Not much.  What’s more, she points out that it’s something Ellie would want.  That is true, but how would she know that?  There’s no way that she could.  There’s no way that he could know the extent of the demons that have been building within that girl.  So, when Marlene said that, it was still her trying to justify doing this to herself.  It’s telling that she begs for her life after Joel has shot her.  There is still a part of her that is trying to justify everything.  He was probably right when he said that she would come after the two of them.  Scary stuff.

But does that make her evil? Just like David, it’s not very clear.  She does questionable things, but her motivation does make some sense.  Let’s all admit that we have come to points in our lives where we’ve had to tell ourselves that something is for the best, even though there is a part of us that knows that it isn’t true.  People stay in bad relationships all the time for that sort of reasoning.  In the end, while David was clearly the darker of the two, Marlene has both good and bad elements.  That’s what makes Joel’s pronouncement of her that much harder.  He saw her path, and cut it short.  Heavy shit.

The Last of Us is a game about desperation.  It’s a game about what it truly means to live, because the cost of living is so damn high.  We may not be in the same situation as the people in that game, but we all still make our choices and live life as we see fit.  I didn’t even go into Tess and how she dealt with the cost, or Bill and his hiding himself away from the world, which is another topic in and of itself.  There is so much to talk about with this game, and that’s what makes it so damn good.  I love this game.  It’s my second-favorite game of all time.

Let me know what you think in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“I wrestled for a long time with surviving.  You just…you keep finding something to fight for.  Now I know that that’s not what you want to hear!”  -Joel, The Last of Us

Peace out,

Maverick

Being a Man is WRONG! Get it?! (A response to A Man’s Apology)

Are you a man?  Are you straight?  I’m bi, but I have a side of me that likes girls, so I am part of this demographic, to an extent.  If so, you are EVIL!  You are everything wrong with the world!  You are a liar!  You are a manipulator!  You are a duplicitous bastard that is every single thing wrong with the world.  For real, none of the world’s problems would exist without you.  Don’t believe me?!  Well, let’s take a look at this video, that spells out rather plainly just how awful you are.

Okay, all kidding aside, this video pisses me off. It’s the latest in a string of videos that has one purpose – to make men understand just how awful they are, and how we have been and are so awful to women.  Because women are perfect flowers who have no imperfections and NEVER lie or do anything wrong, right?  No woman has EVER cheated on a man, right?  No woman has EVER lied or used a man to an excessive degree, right?  Well, according to these pathetic beta-males, yeah.  Pretty much.

Then, of course, they have to flagellate themselves and praise the glory of women, because they are so evil.  That’s right.  All men are liars and pigs.  Us men are just animals who are looking to find ways to use and throw women away.  There are no words for how utterly enraged this makes me.  And they have to make sure to tell the women who watch this that being a man is just so wrong.  That testosterone that you have in your system?  That’s just society’s programming!  Fuck biology!  Hormones?  That’s just patriarchy talking!  No man actually feels those things.  They are just what society teaches us.  And, as they make sure to beat you over the head with, over and over again, it makes you bad.

What’s more, this video idolizes this weird trend in SJW, third-wave feminism that it’s wrong to like things.  Like sports?  That’s wrong!  Like lifting weights and being buff?  That’s wrong too!  Like thinking that pretty ladies are sexy?  Oh, that’s definitely wrong!  Why, when you see a woman and find her attractive, you see her as an object!  What’s that?  You see an attractive woman and think that this is someone you’d like to get to know better?  That’s bullshit!  So obviously a lie.  That’s what all us men are is liars.  As this video goes out of its way to make sure that we understand.

Ladies, I’m gonna let you in on something – this idea that all guys want the supermodels is false.  Some guys do.  But not all guys.  Everyone guy has different tastes.  Just like every woman.  It’s part of the human experience.  I can’t believe that I’m the one who has to explain this.  Oh, maybe I’m “mansplaining.”  Well, you know what – fuck it!  If this has to be spelled out to you, then so be it.  This mission to demonize men for liking what they like makes me sick!  Not to mention, once-again, I just love how lesbian and bisexual women are cut out of the conversation about sexual attraction to women.  Do people believe that if a girl is gay, she’s instantly enlightened and loves all body types equally.  That is bullshit!  My friend Erin likes girls who are smoking hot.  She keeps fun pictures that an ex of hers sent and looks at them whenever she wants a jolly in her pussy.  I’m sorry, but being gay or straight doesn’t instantly make a person a demon or a saint.  If you don’t know that, then that’s on you, not everyone else.

Then they get into cheating, and here they might have had a point.  But nope, they also have to make sure that they show that guys who watch porn are pieces of shit too.  That’s just like cheating!  More proof that third-wave feminism is Puritanical as fuck.  I find it so funny that so many of these beta-males and third-wave feminists are atheists.  Why?  They believe in the mindset of the church.  These women are prudish to the point that they might as well wear a hijab and follow Islam.  They do go so far out of their way to talk about how it is a “race” and that castigating it is wrong.  Just go all the way, ladies.  What do you have to lose?

And don’t even get me started when they talk about what it is to be the “perfect man.”  What the fuck do they know about being a man at all?!  When have these people ever done anything manly in their lives?!  Oh, but I can already hear the feminists –

Just because what they do is different than you, that doesn’t make it less ‘manly’, you misogynist pig!

What women buy into this mentality?  I’ll tell you who – women who have either never had a real relationship and really connected with someone, or women who have no interest in men altogether, so they figure that this is right for other women.  That’s it.  The guy Anita Sarkeesian has been dating, he’s not some pathetic beta male.  Though, that’s a bad example.  She’s a con artist, and he’s one of the people who taught her how to be.  The guy that Rebecca Watson has been bumping uglies with (last I heard) wasn’t a beta male either.  The kind of women who like men who are so utterly subservient and pathetic are the kinds of women who exploit that.  I used to be one of these kinds of guys.  I’ve gotten exploited.  But I learned my lesson.

Seeing stuff like this drives me nuts, because it’s another one of these pathetic videos that women who buy into the canards of third-wave, Puritan Feminism puts out.  They buy into the 1 in 5 rape statistic.  They buy into the 77 cents on the dollar statistic.  None of them are critical of anything they hear in their echo chamber.  So, this video will go into that echo chamber, where men in their early 20’s tells women EXACTLY what they think they want to hear.  Which leads, finally, to the moral of this pussy-whipping in action – Jesus loves you!  Love Jesus!

Though, when you really think about it, modern religion and modern feminism as so interchangeable that if you replaced Jesus with feminism, would you really see the difference?

Until next time, a quote,

“This video should be packaged and sold as an ipecac alternative.  And a vagina de-moisturizer.”  -Peter Broady

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONU: The Framerate Debate is Meaningless (to me)

A couple of things to know – I’m not one of the PC “master race.”  I am a console gamer.  Always have been, and so long as consoles exist and make games worth playing, I will continue to be.  My laptop (that I bought because it was cheap, and I am poor) can’t handle the kind of gaming that I do.  Not to mention, I like having my LCD tv that is all big and pretty and makes things nice to look at.  So yeah, the console is where I am, and for the foreseeable future, it is where I will remain.  Which makes all the drama right now on Steam a total disconnect from me.  I follow gaming news, because I am a graduate of journalism, and I believe in keeping on top of things.  However, I see this as an outsider.  Everything about this debate seems to center on PCs anyway, given that the current consoles have shown that they are just now powerful enough to handle it.

The other thing to know – I am currently all over Bloodborne.  This game is addictive.  I have gotten good enough at this game so that I’m able to play and be assured that I am not going to die every ten minutes.  Once you level up to a certain point, your godliness is more-or-less assured.  So yeah, there’s that.

I recently watched a video by Total Biscuit where he talked about the framerate debate, and I thought that I would give you all the chance to see his two-cents, and then counter a point that he made that I think is fundamentally wrong.  More proof that I can have disagreements with someone without doing what is apparently going all over the place on Steam and resulting in threats and name-calling.

I respect your opinion, TB, but I think there is a crucial flaw that you miss in your analysis of the framerate issue.  From what I gather, the whole 60 fps deal is about the smoothness of gameplay.  I have The Last of Us Remastered, TB.  It looks fine, but this smoothness that you talk about doesn’t mean a whole lot, to me.  It just means that the cinematic cutscenes from the original game are now looking just like everything else.  Which I suppose is fine.  The story is still just as good.  But that’s where your statement that 60 frames per second falls flat, in my eyes.  You say that it is objectively better, but you forget one group of people who play games – story-seekers.  I realize that I am in an EXTREME minority.  But for a person whose first major concern is the story and characters, what does 60 fps do for me?  That’s not a rhetorical question.  What does this framerate mean for me?  I’ll tell you – nothing.  It means absolutely nothing.  I couldn’t care less.

Don’t get me wrong, a game has to have gameplay that works.  But I can play games like Life is Strange and A Wolf Among Us and enjoy the experience just fine.  I don’t need to have a super-resolution 60 fps experience to improve upon those games.  From what I can see, the 60 fps truly comes into focus during online games.  That part I get.  For real, a game that one is playing online, where the gameplay is fast, I get why you want to have the best specs possible.  You want to get the most out of the experience.  But for a story-seeker like me, all of this uproar seems so pointless and juvenile.

That’s where you, my audience, come into play.  Since I don’t see the big issue, I will allow anyone to comment and pitch whatever position they have on this issue to me.  No holds barred, if you think I’m dumb, you can say that.  Or, if you maybe see where I’m coming from, then you can say that too.  Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle.  That’s good too.  I can already hear the PC master race people going, “if you wanted a game to be cinematic, just watch a movie!”  Yeah, go play with your toys, kids.  The grown-ups are talking.  But, if that’s your point of view, then I will let you have it, and comment it.  To anyone in my audience, feel free to hit me back and let me know.

Until next time, a quote,

“The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.”  – David Levithan

Peace out,

Maverick

Technology Destroying the Soul, One App at a Time…

I just found out yesterday about a new app.  One that is making waves in the SJW community.  See, this app is used so that couples who want to engage in intimacy can confirm that they consent.  A nice way for one member of a couple to tell the other person that they don’t trust them enough to not have rape called on them.  Or, that they aren’t trusted enough not to rape.  Depends on who poses the idea, and why.  Talk about a way to kill the mood.  “Hey baby, I love you and all, but can we use this app to confirm consent, so in case you rape me, I can have clear and definitive evidence for the police?”  Yeah, if someone were to give me that line, not only would I not want to get with them, sexually, I would probably discontinue speaking to that person forever.  Because nothing says love like being told that you might be a rapist.

But there is a darker side to this.  A side that has me genuinely feeling like I am looking into a dark abyss and that there is no way out.  There’s no other side to this darkness, and to stare into it for too long is terrifying.  And all of that fear is centered around something that each and every one of us has, right now.  Some of you are reading this on it.  Others have it nearby.  But it is a part of each and every person who is reading this’ life, and it’s something that you can’t really escape.  I’m talking about your phone.

When cell phones truly took off, there was a market that was being opened up.  The tech got smaller and smaller, along with more and more advanced.  It was new, exciting, and made each of us feel like we were in Star Trek, with our very own tricorder/communicator.  It’s cool, when you think about it.  More and more, we found new and better ways to use our phones.  They became our entire world.  Whole businesses can be run on one.  A company can be made or broken based on what happens on your phone.  Reputations can be destroyed based on what’s on your phone.  The phone in your pocket or your hand controls your entire life.  We have given this little piece of technology unimaginable power.  It tells you where to go.  It tells you when to go places.  Don’t know how to do something?  Don’t worry, your phone knows.  Just go into the Google app and find out whatever you want to learn.  Isn’t this product versatile?!

This app, however, to confirm that people consent to sex, shows me a darker side.  A side that is genuinely frightening.  Because it tells me that we may have hit a point where there is no return.  A point where our ability to express our humanity is fading away.  Because really think about it – you are giving your phone the ability to let you know that you wanted sex with someone.  Really think about that.  Your phone will be able to tell you – I wanted to have sex with that person.  So, if you have sex with a person and it isn’t recorded, is that rape?  Is that the direction we’re going?  There’s a Pandora’s Box that is just waiting to be opened with this.  Because we have given the little device in our hands or our pockets access to our personal lives.  I’m not sure that any form of technology should have this kind of power.

The beauty of intimacy has been under attack for a long time now.  Third-wave feminism has been breaking down all the triumph that the sexual liberation and second-wave feminism won, making sex beautiful and something for everyone.  The poets and romantics who wrote great sonnets about love and how beautiful the expression of it is.  All of these great minds who saw what I have always known, are now being rendered obsolete.  They are being put out of our culture.  Because who cares about body language and any of that stuff.  Now your phone can tell you!  Thank god.  Because all that closeness and trust is just outdated, right?  We live in the age of reactionary feminism.  We live in the age where subtext and nuance are part of a dead language that means absolutely nothing.

I have had an argument with a friend tonight who disagreed.  She was the victim or rape, and she thinks that this app is a good thing.  It would give her safety.  We had a rather heated argument.  We’re unable to see eye to eye.  She sees a way to keep herself safe.  I see another way that we’re taking away all the emotional expression of humanity.  Because what does that say about humanity, when we are turning intimacy and sexuality into a legal contract.  That’s basically what this app does.  It turns sex and love into a contract.  A binding contract that says that this person either isn’t a rapist or didn’t accuse them of rape.  What a world to live in.

So much of the beauty of the human experience is being given over to our technology.  Everywhere I go, I see people glued to their phones.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when I am out to dinner with someone and they get on their phone.  Now, when our phones own so much of our lives, we want to give them this kind of power.  All I see when I see a future with this technology is a future where love and closeness is nothing but a contract, that we make with our phones.  Where trust means nothing and body language is outdated.  That’s the world that these people want.  A world where all of the things that make the human experience beautiful are just put on our phones.  Because we can make love convenient.  A quick verbal contract.  My aforementioned friend said that sex already is like a contract.  Am I in some minority who believes that that isn’t the case?  Who sees intimacy as the greatest expression of our humanity there is?  I guess I must be.

But don’t you all worry.  When our ability to feel and express intimacy and emotion is dried up and gone, and we are left wondering where our humanity went, we will be able to deal.  There’ll be an app for that.

Until next time, a quote,

“The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness.”  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Bloodborne

BloodborneHere’s something to know about me – I’m poor as shit and I’m almost always late to a party.  I had heard a ton about this game’s predecessors, and their reputation for unfathomable difficulty.  They were marketed on the fact that you are going to die.  A lot.  The challenge was the thing that kept you coming back, because it made you want to overcome the challenge.  And that was cathartic.  This game is difficult in the fourth degree, but it plays a load differently than its forerunners.  But, the thing to know about this game is – if you can’t stand a game that is difficult and doesn’t hold back, this isn’t for you.  But, if you love a challenge and find beautiful locations and epic boss fights engaging, this game is going to give you a lot to sink your teeth into.

Another thing to know – this game is low on plot.  But that isn’t a bad thing.  The world of this game is shrouded in mystery.  The story starts with you waking up in the room of a man in a wheelchair.  You are a foreigner in a place that is teeming with monsters and people who have lost their fucking minds.  The city is Yharnam, and it is the night of the “hunt.”  The city, the madness that has infested it, and the Hunt are all shrouded in mystery.  You are working to unravel it, and in the process find out just how messed up this world is.  The story of this game is lacking, but that isn’t a bad thing.

This game trades on the elements of its world and how they look and feel.  This game is more like Alice in Wonderland or Dante’s Inferno (the story, not the game).  It’s a study in what you see as opposed to some cohesive plot.  But this world is a place of darkness and evil.  Which makes how utterly beautiful the game looks that much better.  No joke, this is the best-looking game on the PS4, in my opinion.  It doesn’t run at the super-high framerate that everyone seems to get really jonesed about.  I don’t get that, but that’s just me.  The framerate butthurt is strong with modern gamers.  But this game does look absolutely immaculate.  The gothic style is oozing from every part of this game.  And there is an awesome attention to small details.  It’s part of what makes the world look so interesting, and the fact that you have such limited understanding of it that much more frustrating.  For example – there’s a place where you can see some kind of battle going on in the distance.  Who is fighting?  Why?  Unknown.  It’s just a huge, epic battle.  But it’s stuff like that that keeps you wanting to learn more.  I love that.

So, on to the element that is most important – the combat.  From what I understand, the Dark Souls games were games that you had to play defensively.  Charging in and swinging was punished rather brutally and quickly.  This game is a little different.  Here, charging in is absolutely rewarded.  You can die fast, but this game has a very interesting mechanic that, when you get hit, you can hit the enemy back and regain some health.  That incentivizes you to play offensively and take risks where it might seem counter-intuitive.  It also doesn’t help that you have a very limited number of potions, so you learn to use them as you can.  The learning curve to playing this game well is SO steep, but once you get the little tricks, you feel like a boss.

There is a currency in this game, one that affects EVERYTHING.  It allows you to level up.  It allows you to repair and upgrade your weapons.  It is the key to everything, and that makes how often you die that much more frustrating.  It’s called Blood Echoes.  This currency is your best friend.  Without it, you are going to fail, in every way.  But here’s another neat thing – when an enemy kills you, you can get your blood echoes returned by killing them back.  I like that.  It also incentivizes you to play rough.  Given how graphic and brutal the combat in this game is, that makes sense.

The last thing to talk about is the characters.  Given that this game is about what you see, the characters are not particularly strong.  None of them last very long.  They are there and then gone.  But there are pieces of puzzles that unravel that deeper into the game that you get.  That’s part of what makes the overall experience fun.  Each little part you uncover adds to a picture that, while never complete, is cool to see.  But the real show-stopper is the boss fights.  These things are epic!  The only true pity with this game is that I am unable to play these over again.  I would die a happy man if I was able to go back and do some of these again.  Though, maybe it’s for the best.  After all, it would never be the same way again.

All-in-all, this is an awesome game.  For real, it’s fucking amazing.  If you haven’t given this game a shot, I highly recommend it.  But buyer beware.  If games that will make you want to pull your hair out on frustrating areas, that each death will have you retreading, isn’t your thing, this game will drive you nuts.  It does annoy just how much back-tracking there is.  But that’s the key to playing this game well, I guess.  Take that for what you will.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONL: Life is Strange: Episode 4 Delay

Well, I found out today that the latest episode of Life is Strange has been delayed. Reason? Because the developers want to get everything right. May I just say, from the bottom of my heart – thank you! How I wish that more gaming companies did this! It is so irksome how many games that aren’t finished are rushed to market. That was the scourge of last year, and hopefully its a problem we won’t see a lot more of.

I think that this is happening because of how bad the glitches were in the last episode. For real, it was REALLY fucking bad. Borderline unplayable, in places. This time, they want to get everything just so. I love that. If only more companies had that kind of dedication.  I don’t have enough fingers and toes to list all the games that were rushed out the door too soon.  It’s an unfortunate trend that we are still seeing, to this day.  I keep hoping that gaming companies will learn a very basic truth – gamers will wait for games that they want.  Granted, sometimes a developer can make them wait too long, not naming any names. *cough* Final Fantasy XV! *cough*

I am very pleased that Dontnod has taken this step, and when their next episode comes out, I look forward to playing and then reviewing it. In the meantime, I have another review coming, of a game I am late to the party on.  Employment and an influx of capital is a good thing.  Granted, the wait isn’t fun, but I would rather that Dontnod take the time and make me wait, than for another product that is glitchy as hell at launch to come out.  I’d like to think that reviews like mine helped them make this decision, but I doubt that they ever read it.

Until next time, a quote,

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”  -Carl Sagan

Peace out,

Maverick