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Skummy

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Everything posted by Skummy

  1. I only started using Spotify in 2016, so it's not very useful in terms of decade-long stuff, but here's what I've got; Top Artists for 2019: Johnny Clegg David Bowie Nick Drake Tom Waits Savuka Top songs for 2019: "Happy Hour" - The Housemartins "Just Like Honey" - The Jesus & Mary Chain "Maggot Brain" - Funkadelic "Androgynous" - The Replacements "Satsuko & Seita (Main Theme, Grave Of The Fireflies)" - daigoro789 "Im Garten der Gemeinschaft" - Popol Vuh "Ghost Of A Horse Under The Chandelier" - World's End Girlfriend "Song To The Siren" - This Mortal Coil "Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence" - Ryuichi Sakimoto "Rothko Chapel 5" - Morton Feldman That's really skewed though, as a number of those songs are on a playlist I use to fall asleep to during bouts of insomnia. In 2016, my top song was "Human Fly" by The Cramps and top artist was Kate Bush. In 2017, top song was "The Guns Of Brixton" by The Clash, and top artist was Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - I can tell I wasn't using Spotify much yet, as I had to Google who they were. In 2018, top song was "The Campaign For Real Rock" by Edwyn Collins, top artist was Prince. Artist of the decade is Johnny Clegg, almost solely because of how much I've listened to him this year, as I don't think he would have got more than a few token plays before that. I've listened to artists from 40 countries. The examples they gave were Neil Young from Canada, Queen from the UK, Billie Eilish from the US, Sinead O'Connor from Ireland, and Crowded House from New Zealand. None of those are really the interesting ones I wanted to find out, country-wise! I was "genre-fluid", with my top genres being Dance Rock (?!), Singer-Songwriter, Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Rock and Britpop.
  2. I briefly thought I'd fallen at the first hurdle, but got my dates wrong, as it was actually only 30th November when I heard it. That said, it's an absolute banger, so not even upset if/when I lose. We don't have the radio on at work, my local pub tends to lean more towards '70s and earlier Christmas tracks on their playlist, and I've got most if not all of my Christmas shopping done already, so it basically comes down to if I happen to be in a supermarket without having my headphones in, or if it gets played while I'm stuck at an airport - which, given I have three flights booked between now and Christmas Eve, is not unlikely. Sidenote: "Last Christmas" is the answer to one of my favourite pub quiz questions, as the highest selling number two single of all time.
  3. I saw Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs in Guernsey on Saturday, and they were superb, though honestly two out of the three local support acts were at least as good as they were. The main support act was an old Guernsey band I love, reforming for this gig as a one-off, and they had the crowd in the palm of their hand, to the point that almost half the audience seemed to leave after they finished, rather than stick around for the headliner.
  4. I love Rifftrax, but there's a charm to MST3k that isn't there with Rifftrax - I think it's basically the Joel/Mike dichotomy made more obvious. Some of the jokes in Rifftrax are a bit too overwrought, whereas MST3k is snappier. And without the sketches we'd never have got Clayton Forester, and I adore that character, or the "Every Country Has A Monster" song from the first Netflix season, which I still routinely get stuck in my head. I think I just like the broader context provided by MST3K. In terms of it being affordable, the biggest problem has always been rights issues, especially internationally.
  5. Just came here to post the same thing. Joel is retiring from riffing following this tour, too. I hope somewhere else picks it up - no idea how the rights would work, but there's a ton of stuff on Amazon Prime that they've either already riffed or would be long overdue, so would be happy to see it end up there. I wonder if it just continues as a live show, though.
  6. watched the first episode of the BBC War of The Worlds. Not sure what to make of it. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be, and spends much of the first episode being a slow-burning period drama, but with some of the most heavy-handed social and political allegory imaginable, including the actual line, "that's not very progressive". It wasn't bad, but wasn't particularly compelling either. Hopefully it will improve once the actual Martian War starts, so I'll give it another shot.
  7. 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
  8. It's now on Amazon Prime in the UK.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. Given half the screenshots I've seen seem to show her face retreating from her body....
  18. Everyone pointing out Bret's hair in that screenshot seems to be overlooking that Hogan is wearing two separate wigs.
  19. 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?
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. Skummy

    XFL

    Wasn't it literally part of the XFL's start-up pitch that players would be forced to respect the national anthem, or somesuch?
  23. This is a great summary of Trent Seven.
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