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Everything posted by Skummy

  1. One of my favourite people on Twitter, Nate Crowley, wrote an article about Planet Zoo with my favourite headline of the year; https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/11/18/planet-zoo-is-temporarily-a-game-about-mass-producing-knackered-warthogs/?fbclid=IwAR0-B0xtRGQWkytA1zDS-amsHpHwRJYJf3_SnA-rozKkDM7tYVqNGURY_f0
  2. It's now on Amazon Prime in the UK.
  3. I have a broader point around remakes here - remaking kids' entertainment properties goes back forever, but I don't think it always means "it's for the adults who grew up watching it". Usually, historically, it's because the adults who grew up watching it want to have a stab at making it. That's why you have The Jetsons, Flintstones and Scooby-Doo making a comeback in the '80s and early '90s, when the kids who watched in the '60s became animators and studio staff. What's changed in recent times is that we're more likely to see those old series remade, not for a new generation of kids, but for the same generation as adults, like the last Power Rangers movie. I honestly believe this Sonic movie is far more aimed at kids, but they'll be banking on easy nostalgia too. My worry is less about whether studios listen, and more about the license it gives the assholes. Assholes will now point to this movie as "they listened to us once, they'll do it again!" and use it to justify being louder and more obnoxious assholes than they already were.
  4. It's twofold - the issue isn't solely that studios will start listening to the cranks, but that the cranks will start feeling more emboldened. All the Gamergate, Comicsgate, Star Wars whatevers and every other person making thinly veiled arguments to complain about women, gays and minorities in their entertainment, barely needs more license to think that they're the be-all and end-all of fandom, or to get louder and more aggressive, but I guarantee they'll claim this (especially the gamer types) as a success for them, and cite it as a reason why their complaining and harassment works.
  5. Precedent. Most of the people who complain and petition for films to get changed aren't doing so because of a disagreement over character design, but for far more insidious reasons. But every single one of them is well aware of this decision, and that it's sending a signal that if you make enough fuss, the studio will listen to you.
  6. and who do we decide "the audience that they're for"? Do Disney start listening to the fanboys crying about women ruining Star Wars? Who was complaining about the character design in the Sonic movie - the children it's aimed at, or adults making fun of a trailer?
  7. I really don't like this. The precedent that if fans complain loudly enough studios will make sweeping changes to appease and pander to them isn't good.
  8. I watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom last night, and it's one of the worst blockbusters I've seen since Batman vs. Superman. Utterly dreadful.
  9. You saying Weapon reminded me - one of the few trophies I didn't get was the one for defeating Omega Weapon. Because my main party were all Level 100, and the first thing it does is cast Level 5 Death. So I either had to meticulously level up my secondary party to something like level 99 in order to have a chance of beating him, or just write the whole thing off. Cheap stuff like that is what put me off FF8 first time around. On a similar note, the Lake/"Mr Monkey" sub-quest is inordinately complicated, and the worst kind of video game secret. There's no indication that you might be able to interact with a specific, otherwise unimportant bit of lake on the world map, and there's absolutely no way to figure out that quest without a strategy guide, surely?
  10. I'm pretty sure they said that if they ever made an FF8 sequel/prequel, it would focus on Laguna. But you're right, there's a ton of lore just mentioned in passing that never really impacts on the main game.
  11. Given half the screenshots I've seen seem to show her face retreating from her body....
  12. Everyone pointing out Bret's hair in that screenshot seems to be overlooking that Hogan is wearing two separate wigs.
  13. Ah shit, yeah, I got Laguna's two love interests confused. Squall is the son of Laguna and Raine, Julia was the singer in the nightclub bar. My mistake. It makes sense that Squall would always "be" Laguna in the flashbacks, given that connection. But what connects Zell and Selphie to Kiros and Ward, then? Because isn't it always those two? I know Elle says that she can only do the "send back in time" thing with people she's met, but I can't remember if it's ever stated that the two consciousnesses in question have to met as well? So Squall can be sent back into Laguna, or into Rinoa, because both Squall and Elle have met them. But Kiros and Ward?
  14. Finished this over the weekend, so here are some thoughts; Squall is a much more interesting character than I initially gave him credit for; as a teenager playing this for the first time, I saw him as a bit of a blank slate, or a surly "man of few words" in the same vein as Cloud. This time around, I see a lot more in his internal dialogue, and that his character is defined by being scared of getting close to people. As a result, the romance with Riona feels far more organic than I remember - I was always confused by it being held up as a great love story, but actually it's the real backbone of the story to this game. I think what I love about it is that it feels awkward and stumbling - because it's two teenagers figuring out their emotions, and not really knowing what happens next, rather than being presented as an epic romance. Similarly, Seifer is a far richer character than I can remember. He's flawed in a far more human way than most Final Fantasy antagonists; he's not as melodramatic as Sephiroth, or as crazy as Kefka, he's just a sad, scared boy. You basically see the same character traits as Squall, but taken in another direction. What was great about playing this remastered is that, in your final battle with Seifer, his coat is in tatters, he looks absolutely knackered. So you really get the impression of him as an increasingly desperate character. Him wanting to be the Sorceress' Knight feels like a very childish dream, but one that gives him purpose in a world he can't understand - he's every spoiled under-achiever thinking there's a fast track to success. What makes that story more interesting is that it's at least implied that the reason he wanted to be a Knight is because he watched the movie Laguna made in which he played that role (and used a Gunblade!), while Squall legitimately becomes Rinoa's Knight, rather than just allowing himself to be manipulated by the Sorceress. Speaking of Sorceresses, I still think this is probably the weakest part of the plot. Edea is introduced as a reasonably compelling villain, with some serious impact on the narrative. She's then fairly abruptly face turned, and we meet Adel as the next Sorceress, only for that to be a load of nothing, and to bring in Ultimecia as the final boss. Ultimecia's plan is so ill-explained and confusing (what, really, is the end goal of Time Compression?), and only made worse by the fact that you have absolutely zero interaction with her as a character. Edea you have a history with, Adel you have the (somewhat out of nowhere) outer space section of the game, in which she's released from her prison via possession of Rinoa, in probably the highest stakes part of the entire story - I just can't see why Adel couldn't have been the Big Bad from that moment, and what it adds to the story having THREE sorceresses when two, or just one, would have served the same purpose better. You obviously can't talk about Edea's face turn without talking about Turns Out I Forgot. Other than possibly the "seen once and then never mentioned again" Garden Master, this is probably the maddest part of the whole plot, and both were points where, even playing this for the first time, I felt "they're just making it up as they go along". If I've looked back negatively on Final Fantasy 8 for twenty years, it's because of this plot point. Now, there was some more foreshadowing of this than I had first realised - Quistis first mentions "GF Critics" prior to the Fire Cavern Quest, and Selphie's diary on the Garden computer explicitly says she's scared of losing her memory from GF use, while the orphanage itself is at least seen in Squall's brief childhood flashbacks (which start late enough in the game to still have a sense of "made up as we went along"). What really makes it unbearable, though, is that at no point does anyone even entertain the idea of not using GFs (I'm now wondering if it would be possible to make it this far in the game never junctioning a GF...), and you continue to collect more. Meanwhile, Irvine hasn't lost his memory, just at no point thought to bring up that he was at the same orphanage as all of you, or that the woman you were all hired to assassinate was your primary caregiver. A lot of stuff like this is why I actively disliked the story for so long, and while I'm not as angry at it now, it's still not good. But looking at it as the backdrop to the more inter-personal stories, it'll do. The Laguna stuff's weird, isn't it? Obviously it leads into the Time Compression story, but looking back, almost the entire story could have taken place without ever needing to do the Laguna missions. I remember them having been a much bigger part of the story than they are. Also, I feel like I missed some dialogue this time around, because I was sure it was made clear that Squall was Laguna's son? Maybe it's intentionally left open, but I thought that was a sure thing. If it is the case, then it's a bit of a mess of relationships, in that the love of Laguna's life ends up marrying Rinoa's dad, so are Squall and Rinoa step-siblings? Am I missing something? Moombas. What was all that about?
  15. I'd love the fantasy stuff as a special mode, or DLC, as part of a more fleshed out game - why not take the opportunity to do in video games what can't be done in real life? But in a game that's so obviously lazy, rushed and broken as this, it can fuck right off. Whether it's the case or not, it looks like they've focused on the silly stuff at the expense of quality elsewhere.
  16. Wasn't it literally part of the XFL's start-up pitch that players would be forced to respect the national anthem, or somesuch?
  17. This is a great summary of Trent Seven.
  18. for Omnibus, I'd just say the best way is to scroll through the episodes and pick out anything at all that might interest you, it's such a wide range of topics. I did that until it got to the point that I understood the in-jokes, and was familiar enough with Ken Jennings & John Roderick that I'd find them entertaining no matter what the topic. I find John's voice incredibly relaxing now. That said, some of my personal favourites were: Bone Wars Reindeer Wizards The Smoot The Bodies of Mount Everest Telling The Bees Scrappy Doo The Blue Men Of The Sahara The Boysenberry Megafauna But, again, it's really about just finding the stuff that works for you and going from there.
  19. Yeah, I've started doing that - I have a real compulsion to have one of everything, so tend to leave myself with one of each of every card, but there's no reason not to refine all that stuff into Items. I probably barely used that ability first time around, but I'm playing so much more tactically than I've probably played any Final Fantasy game before, and refining is a big part of that. Not using a walkthrough means not knowing how to get some of the rarer cards, but I've managed to get Seifer, Zell, Quistis and Selphie just through common sense figuring out who would be most likely to have to win them from, and a few GF cards on top of that, so I tend to get dealt a decent hand anyway. But I have a specific strategy most games around having cards good enough to block off either the corners or the top row pretty consistently, and not being able to rely on that is a nuisance. I also still can't figure out all the Plus/Combo rules and whatnot, which other people routinely use to fuck me over with otherwise low-level cards, yet never seems to work in my favour.
  20. I'm enjoying Final Fantasy VIII a lot more than I thought I would - it's not a game I replayed back at the time, so my initial run was a mixture of being confused by the story, and disappointed where it differed from VII conceptually, and then I watched Let's Plays and read up on it years later and laughed along with all the jokes about how completely bonkers and "made up as they went along" the storyline is. I've just got past "turns out the Garden can fly", so the story hasn't gone completely off the rails yet, but thus far it's felt a lot more tightly plotted than I remember. There's some mad shit, still - "there's a war between the headmaster and the Garden Master! Also, it turns out there's a Garden Master, by the way. And once that's over, let's never speak of it again" - and I know the worst is to come, but it's not been too egregious so far, and there's been little bits of foreshadowing that I would never have picked up on first time around. The cut from Disc One to Disc Two is still '60s Batman levels of walking back a cliffhanger, though, absolute dogshit of a non-resolution. "I thought I was wounded, turns out I'm not, lol". I've definitely got a better understanding of the Junction system now than I did first time around, and am playing with that a lot more tactically and efficiently, so can see the benefit of it, and why some people rave about it, though constant Junction Switching to other party members, and there being a maximum number of different magics each person can have, plus having to be overly picky about what commands to equip people with, is frustrating micro-management, though. The fast-forward button is a godsend, and I'm playing pretty much the whole game at that speed, which certainly helps, and means I'm spending less time grinding, and more time just following the story, which probably helps make it feel a little more tight than I remember. I'm playing without a strategy guide, so I'm surprised I haven't missed a GF yet, though have probably missed all sorts of other goodies. The only thing I've resorted to Googling was where to find the Water Stone in the Shumi Village, because fuck that nonsense. Fuck the random rule.
  21. If you're inside the garden, move the bag of compost and wooden crate for the left-hand side of the garden (by the cabbage patch), and there's a tunnel in and out, so you don't have to worry about whether the gate is locked or not.
  22. I'm behind on episodes, so haven't been able to notice the change yet, but Omnibus Project have left IHeartRadio to go independent, and launched a Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/omnibusproject
  23. I agree that too few levels on Mario Maker 2 feel like they could be real Mario levels. Sometimes that's part of the fun - thinking outside the box, breaking the mold and whatnot - but quite often it feels like they're designed out of spite. The beauty of Mario's level design is that it's so rare that you're ever blaming the game, or the design, for your mistakes. I can only think of one instance of a Mario game getting me into a controller-throwing rage because the camera, the controls, or the timing, or an enemy appearing out of nowhere, was the reason I was dying. That, to me, is the sign of a good game - when, even when you keep losing, you know it's because of your error, not because the mechanics don't work properly, or the design is conspiring against you.
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