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Messages - lolmonade

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General Gaming / Re: Sony's skipping E3. Again.
« on: January 14, 2020, 09:31:23 AM »
I suspect Sony knows they can make a splash whenever they want to have the PS5's coming out party regardless of the venue or medium it's announced.  I agree with Khush that they're very likely to emulate Nintendo's Switch roll-out, although I don't know if that'll result in the same level of success.  There were a lot of factors leading to Nintendo's Switch reveal, including the fact that people were hopeful for a good Nintendo console.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 84: RE: CV Neighbor Day 3- Alexia Strikes!!
« on: January 13, 2020, 12:21:58 PM »
Thank you for the clarification & detail, now I'll proceed to forget 80% of it because my brain is at capacity.

Sure, i'll give this another go.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 84: RE: CV Neighbor Day 3- Alexia Strikes!!
« on: January 13, 2020, 10:14:45 AM »
Sorry I missed activity over the weekend.  Cleaning my house more or less consumed the majority of my waking life this weekend.

I was wondering why the mafia hadn't taken a hit out tonight.  Turns out there are two mafia?  I need to do a better job of reading the rules before the games start.  So basically, there's a more traditional mafia, then this alternate mafia that starts as one that can (and did last night) assimilate anyone else into their faction?  So as of today, out of 12 players, there could be 4-5 mafia depending on whether the alt mafia'consumed a townie or mafia role.

Congratulations to Khush for sneaking under the wire a second day in a row avoiding a majority vote.  I don't know 100% if him laying all his cards on the table exonerates him (being a wounded animal with your head under the guillotine forces you to do so IMO), but it at least throws some interesting speculation into the ether.   I can't decide if the call for a doctor save is meant to build a coalition or a savvy move from mafia to identify the doctor and manipulate/snipe them.  Can't rule either possibility out at this time.

The targeting the newbie day one speaks of a hesitation of the mafia to go noticed.  I also suspect that the Khush bandwagoning votes are driven partially by Mafia wanting to get him out without having to place a hit on him (IF Khush is indeed a townie).  Leads me to believe someone whose laying low/less active this game are more likely the mafia, or Khush himself is mafia and doing a good job of playing it straight.

But I don't want to get too wound around the axle on Khush.  With at least 4 Mafia out there, he shouldn't be the singular focus.  I'll throw a vote out there just to get conversation flowing.

un-Vote Mop it Up.  The paranoid day-one reaction of me voting for stratos by changing their vote to me feels suspicious.  I don't have any proper leads (once again I find myself in a mafia game an island), but that seems off.

General Gaming / Re: 2019 Gaming for NWR
« on: January 09, 2020, 09:10:11 AM »
Outside of review codes, I didn't beat all that much this year.  I dabbled in plenty, and also spend a lot of time trying out games in beta/alphas, but this year marked more the year of "If I'm not enjoying my time with this anymore, don't chase bad time after good" for me.

Games I beat (or are run based):
God of War (PS4)
The Last of Us Remastered
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove
Super Mario Maker 2?
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Outer Wilds
Risk of Rain 2
Dark Pictures: Man of Medan
Nowhere Prophet
Apex Legends
Final Fantasy IX

Games I played and want to finish:
River City Girls
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Luigi's Mansion 3
The Outer Worlds
Link's Awakening Remake
Untitled Goose Game
Neo Cab

Games I played but won't beat:
Crackdown 3
Void Bastards
Devolver Bootleg
My Friend Pedro

Games I want to play from 2019 but didn't get around to:
Life is Strange 2
Disco Elysium
Katana Zero
Astral Chain
Daemon X Machina
Slay the Spire
Persona Q2 (after I finish Persona 4 Golden)
Dragon Quest XI

Beyond the above, I played a ton of Rocket League throughout the year, and a BUNCH of Smash Bros over the holidays.  I've also done some rounds of Apex Legends and while I have fun with friends, It's something I could never bring myself to play solo.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 84: RE: CV Neighbor Day 1- Who are you!
« on: January 09, 2020, 08:14:17 AM »
Why do I feel like somebody's trying to set me up...

Vote lolmonade

I wish I were as cunning as you're presuming I am, I just didn't think Khush or a newbie were a good move, Stratos was 3rd on the list of players that had votes at that time.

My vote is a free agent on day 1, given that there's no true logical vote to make with 0 information to go off of. 

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 84: RE: CV Neighbor Day 1- Who are you!
« on: January 08, 2020, 08:36:38 AM »
It appears my laziness has paid off, my profile pic has looped around and became relevant again to Mafia.  I'm going to try to be more active this round since I know i've been scarce the last few times.

I feel like tanking Khush day 1 is a mistake.  I also think voting a new player is not a very welcoming stance to take.

Vote Stratos for now.  I'm open to being swayed otherwise.

Movies & TV / Re: Star Wars IX The Rise of Skywalker
« on: January 07, 2020, 02:54:06 PM »
I Saw the Rise of Skywalker about a week ago.  My main thought is that JJ Abrahms should be developing Star Wars theme park rides, not directing movies, because he loves some of the spectacle and to have winks and nods to fans moreso than good storytelling or decent dialogue. 

It was a fine enough movie if I turned my brain off and just watched the neat laser pew pews and the glo-stick swords to bwooow bwoow clash clash.  But there's also enough evidence that great, compelling storytelling and character development within the star wars universe is possible if the people making it aren't afraid to step outside the structure of the OT, and we didn't get that here.

None of this is the fault of the actors, who I think all did the best with what was handed them in some truly awful dialogue, especially the main 4 (Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac). 

The biggest mistakes IMO of this whole exercise of new movies has been:

- Not sticking with one director.  Even as someone who loves The Last Jedi, it made JJ compress 2 movies-worth of events into the last to its detriment.

- Feeling like it had to be connected as some larger 9-movie arc.  This trilogy should have been much more new cast focused.  All the need to loop-in every and any prior character into these steals from all these new compelling characters they established.  Finn is a really compelling character (Storm Trooper that abandons his post).  Kylo is a fascinating antagonist figure they could have done more with.  They even snuck some interesting backstory into Poe.  Everyone but Rey gets pretty snuffed out from developing a more complete story arc because of how much callback is introduced throughout.

- Related to the above, having any return of Palpatine.  More than anything, this is a colossally stupid inclusion, completely unjustified in the narrative, and justifies a redemption arc for a character that would have been better served as an irredemable downward spiral.

Prequels are still by far the worst movies in the main numbered entries, but The Rise of Skywalker sits somewhere inbetween that big divide between the prequels and all the other ones.


Not All Stories Are Worth Telling.

Stay Cool, Kobayashi-sai!: A River City Ransom Story’s release has the unfortunate timing of coming out the same year as another entry into the River City Ransom universe, River City Girls.  Being another Arc System Works side-scrolling beat-em-up, it has the dubious task of being compared to what I believe is the high watermark of the genre on Switch.  You play as Kobayashi-San, who I believe is a leader of a gang of guys who are fending off some kind of interdimensional threat?  Candidly, the story itself is nonsensical in a way that is tough to follow and really kind of non-consequential.  

But that’s not terribly important if everything else is good, right?  Kobayashi-sai’s move set is simple (jump, attack, and special move button) but manages to add variety in other ways.  The distance between you and an enemy can change what type of attack is produced, as well as if you’re holding a different direction on the d-pad.  One direction produces standard kicks, another allows a charging uppercut that pops enemies in the air where you can juggle them for a bit.  The special move is a charge-up attack that hones-in on the nearest enemy with a flurry of attacks, with a separate bar that recharges over time.  This simple repertoire of attack inputs is complemented by visual flair in each punch or dash.  If you’re connecting a punch or kick with the enemy, it’s flashy and looks cool.

It falls apart when you try to connect those attacks with enemies.  The window of how even on the plane you must be with enemies feels oddly narrow, many of my attacks whiffing in the air as the enemies scooch in to pound me afterward.  Once you get past that, the limited input options make the skirmishes feel shallow.  Furthermore, while there are some additional features like a CPU ally that walks alongside you and engages with the enemies, it’s not clear whether he actually helps or just looks busy and acts as a character you need to heal from time to time.  There was also a few instances where once I beat a boss and they turned into a shadow figure, while my ally stated we had to beat them, they went and flew offscreen in a way that in practice felt more like some kind of error rather than an intentional chase moment.  The genre is often reduced to being described as a button-masher, and while I think some of the better examples of the genre eschew that stereotype, that’s effectively what you’ll be doing here.

That blandness carries over to its visual presentation writ large.  There’s a severe lack of diversity in different enemy types, the bulk of them being nondescript uniformed henchmen types with helmets and an awful screeching sound that’s made no matter what they’re doing.  The world is technically open-ended in that you aren’t on a treadmill constantly going from left-to-right, but the backdrops (outside of a few) are muted in color.  Music is one track on infinite loop, a musical number that is inoffensive until you’ve hit the 20th time it’s looped.  Whether or not it was an intentional aesthetic choice,  

And that carries through the entire experience.  There are threads of interesting ideas weaved within, but largely don’t compliment each other or get sewn into a more cohesive larger picture.  Stuff like the swapping of allies in battle could have been more compelling or the diverse move set could have been more effective in a better game, but this is not that better game.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 84: RE: Code Veronica Neighbor signup thread
« on: January 04, 2020, 12:44:07 PM »
Hey y'all. 

Count me in if there's still time.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 83: The Junkyard [Dead Thread]
« on: December 20, 2019, 09:20:43 AM »
I had no idea you were the doctor lolmonade.  I was expecting someone else to be the doc. Good overall play staying alive for so long.

Thanks.  I'll defer from commenting further til the game is ended, but some things definitely broke my way early on.

Movies & TV / Re: Star Wars IX The Rise of Skywalker
« on: December 19, 2019, 03:44:17 PM »
This still misses the point that it doesn't matter how far either approach was taken, but how well (or poorly) it was executed. If TLJ was well executed, then people complaining wouldn't have any leg to stand on; it wasn't. The only viable way out now is to go for fan service and hope people will just write off any missteps from the past two movies.

Given that it's clear I have very different opinions about The Last Jedi than you (and many others here) have, as I stated before, I'm not broaching the granular details of that movie.  I was talking more broadly - trying to take it from a 10,000 ft view.

My only take-away from this whole debacle is that anyone planning to create a trilogy based on an already-popular franchise should plan the whole thing from the outset, and then be sure that the people executing on that plan actually share your vision. It sounds to me like they failed both points pretty hard here.

This I absolutely agree with.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 83: The Junkyard [Dead Thread]
« on: December 19, 2019, 09:04:26 AM »
womp womp.

Movies & TV / Re: Star Wars IX The Rise of Skywalker
« on: December 18, 2019, 02:36:58 PM »
I don't want to rehash TLJ arguments, so i'll side-step that lol.

I think creating a new trilogy in this series is an unwinnable situation unless they were willing to chart their own path in the universe.  If you try to repeat the same movie but just add tweaks, you get an Anchorman 2 sitaution.  ep 7 & 8 from a 10,000 ft view looks like a debate between two filmmakers whether star wars should hold themselves suffocatingly close to the OT or stake their own claim. 

Whether you think TLJ went too far or not, I suspect based on the critical reception that ep 9 will only work if you're willing to turn your brain off and enjoy a spectacle, which isn't generally what i'm looking for in movies star wars or otherwise.

Movies & TV / Re: Star Wars IX The Rise of Skywalker
« on: December 18, 2019, 08:31:20 AM »
The original Star Wars trilogy had a flow that was understandable.  The Rebellion is introduced and has a new hero.  The Rebellion is crumbling even though the new hero is rising, just to have a great fall.  The Hero and the Rebellion overcome all odds and have a great victory.

I don't feel like this new trilogy is following any story arc at all. 
The Force Awakens introduces the Resistance and Rey is the new hero.  The Last Jedi shows all the failure that amounts to going nowhere even through Rey brings Luke to face Kylo Ren. In the final part of The Last Jedi it is being shown that there is still hope even though the Resistance is dwindling.   In The Rise of Skywalker possible hope and defeat of the First Order along with KyloRen?  I hope people can see the stand ins to the characters and where things are similar to the OT.   Wait and see in 2 days.   

Yeah, I think if there's anything damnable (or redeemable if you disagree with me) about this trilogy writ large, it's that they've clearly followed some of the same skeletal structure of the original trilogy. 

Same song, different verse/lyrics. 

Movies & TV / Re: Star Wars IX The Rise of Skywalker
« on: December 17, 2019, 10:06:31 AM »
Early hype is trickling out and people are saying that it's not a dumpster fire!
Of course, early hype artists said the same thing about the last movie...

All kidding aside, the actual comments I heard from people after the advance screening were as non-committal as you could get. Sort of like "I'm still trying to sound excited but am making absolutely no comment on the quality of this film and have some doubts myself". My expectations are low going in; fingers crossed it's better than they last one.

From what I've read, the most common impression I've seen from people not giving effusive praise is that there's a lot going on in the movie, and that there's lots of "fan service". 

I fall on the side of The Last Jedi being a great pivot point that could have been the foundation for a fantastic final movie, but between the reintroduction of Palpatine and much of the cast coming out with less than glowing comments about TLJ, I've already accepted Star Wars isn't a franchise for me any longer. 

Hope y'all get what you want out of it.

I think the internet's tendency of wanting to dunk on something for the likes was dramatized how "Bad" the name is.  I think it makes sense in context of what Phil Spencer has been saying in the past few years. 

Do I also think it's got big Wii U energy in terms of names?  Sure.  But a distinction is that non gamers think of Nintendo's consoles as "the nintendo".  Xbox is a brand ubiquitous in and of itself, I don't think all that many people outside of the gamer population associate it specifically with Microsoft.

I also think the question of how people will understand which xbox to get at the stores will be wholly dependent on what's done at retail.  If it's the only xbox on the shelf, then it's going to be pretty clear at your Best Buys/Targets/Walmarts what Xbox options they've got.  If Microsoft does the silly thing of Keeping Xbox One on store shelves alongside it, then it'll be a bungle.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 83: F-Zero Strapped for Crash! [DAY 3]
« on: December 14, 2019, 11:05:32 AM »
Vote Lucario.  He's being more aggressive than usual this round.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 83: F-Zero Strapped for Crash! [DAY 2]
« on: December 11, 2019, 11:22:45 AM »
- Pokepal148 was killed by Mafia hit. Pokepal was the Townie Detective.
- Pokepal148 was revived by the Risky Driver. They enjoy a one-day protection, so they cannot be voted out or killed tonight.

Also, I really hope the townie Doctor has contacted pokepal148 by now. It's a shame his role had to be revealed but there should be no reason for doubt in trusting him and knowing who the roled townies are should help give him better odds in his future investigation choices so as to not waste one on a person who should already be in contact with him.

True, and also they're protected tonight.  The doctor, Pokepal, and the perm could at least build a trifecta alliance while they try to work out the details of whose Mafia/killer.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 83: F-Zero Strapped for Crash! [DAY 2]
« on: December 11, 2019, 09:05:25 AM »
Sorry ShyGuy, hopefully you're mafia or the killer.

Vote Shyguy

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 83: F-Zero Strapped for Crash! [DAY 2]
« on: December 11, 2019, 08:53:29 AM »
So Phoenix is in the race twice? How can there be two versions of the same person? Time travel sure is confusing.

Vote lolmonade - I was close to eliminating him last game but I held back because there were other townies trying to make their case of who to vote for and I didn't want to, once again, be the only one getting their way with the vote even though I did want him eliminated. That generosity let lolmonade hit me that night and take me out of the game instead. Should have kept my killer instinct. Not this time. Revenge!!!

Foolish voting decision, it's like choosing heads because you're mad you chose tails the first time and it came up heads.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 83: F-Zero Strapped for Crash! [DAY 2]
« on: December 10, 2019, 09:42:37 AM »
Hey y'all,

I'm sorry, I have no excuse for non-activity.  I've been busy, but honestly had time last night if I didn't play heavy burger & rivals of aether with a buddy instead. 

I'll throw a un-Vote Mop It Up as a response more than anything, I don't know enough about the game rules yet or what happened day 1 to make a sound judgement otherwise. 

TalkBack / Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game (Switch) Review
« on: December 04, 2019, 06:26:00 AM »

Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game

I’ve been enamored with J.R.R. Tolkien’s work ever since being a young teenager (yes, even the old Rankin/Bass animated version of The Hobbit), so I’m already an easy mark for the Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game, which uses the now widely-known landscape of Middle-Earth as its canvas.  The premise is simple – you, the deck wielder, act akin to a general directing your forces on the field against the armies of Sauron from spiders to wolves and beyond.  Given that most of my trading card game experience has been in Magic: The Gathering, I may use that as my point of reference throughout.  Apologies in advance.

You’d be forgiven in mistaking this for a straight rip-off of its contemporaries like Hearthstone.  Matches work in a similar rhythm.  There is no mana in-game, rather you use your turn to summon a creature, affix accessories like weapons or shields to those creatures, sorcery like cards that have a one-time effect, or direct a creature to attack or take an action.  Each action takes a turn, allowing Sauron to then take a similar action.  So where in Magic you’re afforded as many actions as your mana pool allows in a turn, each action here counts as your turn.  The round ends once you and Sauron have run out of actions to take, and a new one starts with resetting ground forces and a fresh set of cards in hand.  

Lord of the Rings emphasizes the “Adventure Card Game” in its title, as the meat of the experience is in its single player mode.  Through it, each mission begins with a vignette describing your fellowship’s predicament with a narration that is somewhere between the hokier animated Lord of the Ring film and the fantastic film trilogy, varying between laughably bad and decent anagram of the latter.  Also inconsistent and sometimes lacking is the UI.  Text on cards can be difficult to read on screen without squinting.  The main menu’s format looks something akin to the Smash Bros menu, large buttons that don’t always feel like the direction you’re choosing moves your cursor to the right menu option.  And in-match, selection of cards to read or play, or choosing to end a turn never feel quite as smooth as a Hearthstone match.  That said, the artwork is faithful to the style inherent throughout Tolkien’s works, which I found pleasing.

Missions are structured as multi-step battles, with each section having an objective (one early mission includes three separate rounds of fending off attacks from wolves, the goal being to defeat several of them).  Each phase of a mission doesn’t refresh your health or status, meaning if you have a round with particularly bad losses, you carry over that bad situation into a more dire skirmish.  It’s an interesting approach that sometimes fells too punitive and made me inclined to just start a mission over mid-stream if it became clear I wouldn’t have the resources to complete the objective.  Beyond that, the matches themselves are quite fun, and the objective-based mission structure adds a bit of variety to this card game in ways that your typical Magic match wouldn’t.  

Lord of the Rings: The Adventure Card Game is charming, if stunted by some inconsistent voice acting and less polished user interface.  While some might have wished for player-versus-player options included, the single-player focus allows the card game to hone-in on its core strength – engaging narrated storytelling tied into a solid card game foundation.  If you are a lone ring bearer rather than part of a fellowship, this could be a precious experience to you.

General Gaming / Re: What is your most recent gaming purchase?
« on: December 04, 2019, 01:49:46 PM »
I got a Hori Split Pad Pro over the weekend, and so far I'm very happy with it. I almost exclusively play my Switch in handheld mode, and these are a lot more comfortable than Joy-Cons, with better sticks and a real D-Pad. If you spend a lot of time in handheld mode I highly recommend getting these.

Do you have to take it off in order to slide it into the dock?  Lately i've been playing mostly handheld, there's definitely a cramp factor to holding the switch for longer than an hour.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 650: Use Steroids, Kids
« on: December 03, 2019, 09:55:34 AM »
Thanks for answering my question, Guillaume.  I've definitely seen doctors and gone to physical therapy about my compressed disc - it's more or less something I have to live with and manage.  Sounds like Wii Fit Adventure might be modifiable enough to where I could possibly avoid aggravating it while having an in-home routine during the winter when I get a little more lazy about driving to the gym (who wants to go outside when it's below 10 degrees?).

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