TSS#68 – Blaugust Prompt #2 – Unpopular Opinions

“What is some popular piece of content/media that seems to be universally loved that you have never been able to understand?” – That’s today’s prompt, “hosted” by @Dragonray over at AzerothianLife.

In their post, Dragon actually talked about Game of Thrones and I completely agree with her views. I personally only have watched the first 5.5 seasons and ever since I had my own red wedding over here after a little knife accident at home (a year ago), I couldn’t watch the show anymore. Jokingly I’d say that it may be some sort of PTSD since the scar on my hand hurts whenever I start up GoT again… I highly recommend checking out Dragonray’s post! While I personally like some parts of the show (Arya’s, Danaerys’, and John’s (particularly the wildling arc) parts were lovely so far), I hate a lot of other parts with the glorified rape and assault and discrimination against all sorts of people. 

I feel like the show is trying to go for shock moments to reel in more views. It’s trying to get controversial to essentially make more money since bad PR is good PR. In that regard, I hate it. While you may say that it’s an adaptation and that the source material is at fault… I’d disagree since at some point the show got very loose from the books (and honestly, I haven’t read them and I doubt I ever will). Going for shock moments for the sake of being edgy is just stupid. It’s like the racism and discrimination in Beat Cop, a game that I criticized a lot. It’s there to be edgy or to cater to some people’s tastes. People want to get to know and want to love some of the characters – and people love it when those people get killed off. Of course, they hate it… but they get caught off-guard and like it then, I guess? 

And then there is Sex for instance. Everyone likes sex – apart from people that don’t… but quite often, it’s just there without having to be there. Due to the budget being low at one point, the creators didn’t actually show one of the battles since they couldn’t afford all the soldiers and animations and stuff… instead, they used “the messenger’s report”. I may make a post about this (and more drama theory in the future) but it essentially is a technique to show something without actually showing it. Someone just reports on what happened somewhere – or someone’s standing on a wall and is reporting what he’s seeing over there. In the viewers’/audience’s head, the battle is very vivid and brutal when in fact, nothing has been shown. In GoT they do this relatively early (one of the first two seasons?) while this one person is having sex with a prostitute. So they saved money and showed people sex so that they don’t get bored. 

I’m ashamed to admit that this picture took me way too long as I was trying to figure out how to edit the baby yoda so that the lighting works better but I just couldn’t get it done with my paint.net skills, so I ended up just leaving it like this. The Baby Yoda means haven’t stopped. This is only the beginning. (Just kidding, this is the first and the last baby yoda meme that I probably will ever make)

While I’m not against sex, I don’t like the fact that it’s present in the show at nearly all times. Even when the mob is coming for the royals, the creators have to add in rape or attempted rape to make it more extreme… While I applaud the use of the messenger’s report in that earlier example, I condemn the latter as it’s just horny writing at best. People living their fantasies. Incest, Rape, Assault, Violence against women, a crossbow pointed at a prostitute while she’s getting fucked. That kind of thing. 

Thus, I didn’t really get why people love it so much without condemning the moral aspects of it. 

Note: The GoT opening theme is stuck in my head now. Help.

But this post is not at its end here (as you can see for yourself)… I didn’t really want to just post about my views being really similar to Dragonray’s regarding GoT and thus, I thought I’d talk about an unpopular opinion of mine, so watch out, trigger warning ahead…

I don’t like Star Wars…

I don’t really get the universe and while I watched a lot of the movies it all just felt not that good to me… I don’t like a lot of the characters and plotlines… the best part of the show may be the part where that one stormtrooper (or clone warrior? soldier? whatever?) bonks his head against that ceiling pipe. 

I’m referring to the first six movies by the way – I haven’t ever thought of watching the newer movies… I just don’t like the universe I guess? I like Sci-Fi… Star Trek was actually quite cool. Star Gate was also quite alright. The Last Generation is a wonderful story. Robot Dreams – really nice! Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – absolutely awesome! Star Wars – not so much… it’s technically Science-Fantasy but that’s only because of the Jedi-Magic and stuff and the setting in the past… 

And this might tie into the post about fandoms and stuff but people get really defensive about Star Wars. “yOU DoN’t LiKE S T A R W A R S?! HOw coULD YOu?!” followed by some insults. I don’t know. People are weird. Don’t hate me please because of me not liking your favourite movie. We can still watch it together but I’ll probably fall asleep. You can hate on all the Tim Burton movies I enjoy… You can hate on Corpse Bride and 9 and Frankenweenie. You can hate on my absolute favourite movie, (500) Days of Summer and insult me about how the score isn’t that incredible or how the female lead character, Summer Finn (played by Zooey Deschanel), is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I still like the movie. And even if I find Star Wars boring, you can still enjoy it and talk about it as I love it when people are passionate about their interests, just like I love my stuff.

So, there’s my second Blaugust post. I hope you enjoyed it. I linked it above but here’s Dragonray’s post again. Highly recommend! Tomorrow’s prompt will be presented to you by Mailvaltar, so check them out! 🙂 

Cheers!

This post is part of the Blaugust 2020 event. Wanna know more about it? Then check out my post on it or Bel’s post where he also linked everyone who’s participating! Be sure to check out the others as well!

Indietail – Original Journey

In today’s Indietail review, we’re talking about Original Journey: A hand-drawn, sci-fi action-adventure where we join the Ato as they embark on a mission to a distant planet, known as the Shadow Planet, to find a certain crystal that can save our own species and even our dying planet.

Developer: Bonfire Entertainment
Publisher: Another Indie
Genres: Roguelike, Action, Indie, Adventure, 2D, Sci-Fi
Release Date: Aug 16, 2017
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
The copy was purchased.

After a bit of an epilogue, we get thrown into the world of the Ato whose last hope, their battle-ship, has finally landed upon one of the floating islands of the Shadow Planet. The main character of the vegetable-like species of the Ato oversleeps, of course, and therefore ends up being used by the Commander as a meat shield. After beating the tutorial where we learn about movement, aiming, weapons and turret-placement, the Commander is astonished at how well we survived and did, which is why he lets us take part in actual missions that revolve around exploring the planet and beating enemies to receive resources and crystals, which are needed for new weapons and new suits, each with their own unique characteristics.

Essentially, you can fly out and explore the planet, landing on one level after another, each with randomly placed enemies and special events. On some islands, we get ambushed while on other islands we prepare and ambush the ambushers, one some islands we help out other people while on others we get healed and we receive free loot and ammo. There is a lot of variety between special events and normal islands and a variety of enemies as well, each with different strength levels and different attack/move sets. We can use two weapons at a time and place down two turrets per island, although we need to recycle turrets upon leaving an island to receive some Ammo back. Ammo and resources are limited, which is why you’ve got to either take a risk or frequently go back to base again to restock on Ammo and Health, store your loot and possibly upgrade or unlock new suits and weapons.

Levels get increasingly difficult and the farther you go, the more of the story you’ll be able to unlock.

At some point, you really need to take risks. There is a fast-travel option but it requires a lot of Crystals (the currency farmed from enemies) which is also important for weapons and suits. Therefore every hit has to land on every previous island to not waste too much ammo. Sometimes you need to do base-stops and sometimes you just risk going for another island in hope that you get a supply drop on the next one to refill on ammo. At some point, levels get too difficult with way too much going on, which is why you also need to level up your character and upgrade your stuff to proceed.

The game very much relies on „rinse and repeat“, which is standard for a bunch of games, I’d say, but it also needs to be done well.

While the game seems easy at first, it gets harder and harder over time, especially when you still need to grind certain rather rare materials to get your next weapon. And the worst thing: You don’t know what weapon you get. You can test it out after you’ve unlocked it but there’s no name to it before you unlock, resulting in a bit of a frustrating experience where you get something for the sake of unlocking it and don’t know if you like it. While I enjoyed the Saber, for instance, the other weapons so far have been difficult to use and are absolutely not my playstyle. Thus, I’m only using the grenade launcher and the sword, mainly as the sword doesn’t require ammo and alas can’t run out of ammo, despite having the drawback of having to get close to the enemy.

There are also other annoying elements to the game. For example, your health gets completely refilled when you level up, which can make some levels extremely close and very fun to do… but there are no enemies in some of the boss levels to give you the necessary experience to level up again and save yourself or save a run. When you die, you lose your stuff and need to retrieve it… but in boss levels, that mechanic is missing completely… and I haven’t even touched upon the art style…

The art style is hand-drawn and I’d describe it as either hit or miss. You either really like it or you hate it. In my case, I liked it in the beginning and really enjoyed the interesting mix between a sepia-esque colour-scheme and the green colour as the only thing that is different (apart from the red health bar of course). BUT over time I noticed a few major flaws with the design. Sometimes you have other characters/NPCs in your levels that help you out and look fairly similar to you, making it rather hard to distinguish who your character or who the NPC is… there is a bit of a green dot above your character but it isn’t really helping all that much and can be easily overlooked with a ton of enemies on the screen and all of that.

Another problem with the art style is that I couldn’t really distinguish where damage was coming from in some of the (mainly boss fight type) levels. Sometimes there’d be elements to the level that were in the background and sometimes there’d be elements in the foreground, resulting in the levels being rather messy. You don’t know where you can hide behind, you don’t know where you can stand on. You don’t know what’s destroyable and you don’t know what’s hurting you. Especially when one of the bosses can summon stones and roots that hurt you, it’s unnecessarily hard for you to dodge stuff when you don’t know what’s happening.

A nice and easy fix for that would have been a green (toggle-able?) outline for your character and a red (toggle-able?) outline for enemies, projectiles, traps, falling objects, etc. It would have been that easy but there’s nothing like that and therefore I at some point ragequit after having seen most of the things there are to this game.

It’s frustrating to lose your stuff because of dying in the boss fight without the option of retrieving it. It’s frustrating to die because of not seeing your character or the damage source. And it’s frustrating to not be able to distinguish between your character and NPCs or to not be able to see a trap in the foreground and some item in the background.

The game is quite repetitive and after getting used to the fiddly controls or rather after getting used to the two weapons that I wanted to use instead of the other even more fiddle weapons, I ended up being frustrated for the sole reason of the game being badly designed in a way.
I guess this might be the right game for you if you like an unnecessary challenge game that (according to steam users) can be finished in anything between six and twenty hours, depending on your skill-level and play-style… but I personally can’t recommend a game that has so many flaws and isn’t able to outweigh the flaws with the good sides.

I hope that you liked this post. I was excited to play Original Journey as it has been sitting in my library for nearly two years now but sadly it kind of disappointed me, which is quite a bit of a bummer.

Until the next time, cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

TSS#43 – Love, Death, The Witcher and Robots

I’m currently at my parents’ and with my siblings at school and my parents at work, I’ve got my sister’s Netflix-Account all to myself, resulting in me trying to get into the Witcher again… and…

I don’t seem to be particularly fond of it. I can’t seem to get warm with it but… don’t hate me. I don’t completely hate the franchise. I just hate the show! And the first game! And I haven’t played the second one yet but I enjoyed a bit of the third game and never touched the books, so I can’t hate on those yet.

I just feel like the pacing is just not right for me. The story-telling is doing stuff that I don’t like, like starting with a fight against some Monster that didn’t seem close nor overwhelming, it was just a bit… boring, in my opinion. And then they’re drinking and we get to know how everybody hates the Witcher.. and then everybody wants to fight Geralt but it ends well and then there’s a kid and the wizard and Uhm… I fell asleep at that point. Instead of watching the show in the evening, I then decided to watch it in the morning and suddenly… Uhm… I fell asleep again.

I guess the pacing isn’t for me. It may not be the ideal “morning show” or the ideal “wind-down show” but more of a “play the games, read the books, fantasize about Geralt in your wildest dreams and then love the show”-show. It’s not for me. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s for Witcher-fans and people that like the world, the characters and the franchise. It’s not for me, so I guess I don’t have to try to like it either.

Instead, I watched Love, Death + Robots. And I liked it.
It’s a lot shorter and episodic and honestly, I don’t know what to say about it apart from it being awesome.

I guess, I need the humor and I need a certain edge. I need to be fascinated by a world and like it from the beginning, even when I don’t know much about it. I mean, sure, I love reading Sci-Fi-stuff but I doubt that the genre is really the reason why I prefer this show over the Witcher. After all, I liked HBO’s Game of Thrones more than The Witcher (or rather… I liked the six seasons that I watched so far a lot and haven’t watched any of the other seasons, yet, but I’m sure I’ll like them more than The Witcher’s first season).

Essentially, I just found out about Love, Death & Robots a while ago and always wanted to watch it but didn’t get the chance to… and now I sat down with it and am completely in love with it. The show is episodic, being an anthology and all of that. The whole premise of the show is that there are these 18 episodes that all work on their own and that have something to do with the three topics found in the title.

The first episode, “Sonnie’s Edge”, is just… cool. I liked the hardboiled-ness of the characters in the beginning and the overlaying backstory of Sonnie who has been raped and sliced up by a gang of men and is now fighting in the pits to find the thrill of life again, as well as the dystopian setting and the fighting scenes themselves. Afterward, the episode features Love and… robots? I just liked it. There’s a bit of a philosophical theme here and Uhm… I might turn that into a post itself after I thought more about it and after I read other (famous) opinions on the matter of artificial intelligence, what makes a human a human and what it means to be alive. It’s interesting and intriguing. The story shifts around and it honestly surprised me… but it didn’t disappoint me at all. I liked the plot twists and right after the first episode was over, I watched it again for a second and a third time before eventually watching the second episode, “Three Robots”.

The second episode features three robots that try to learn about humans, long after the humans’ fall. They don’t know much about humans, and yet behave very human-like and very touristy. They then discuss several matters like how the humans were created and other matters. In the end, they make a discovery and learn about their own past and… it’s just great. Since the episodes are anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes long, I don’t really want to spoiler too much.

Each episode can stand on its own and feature a different topic, setting, different lighting and music as well as a different tone in general. The same way the first episode was dark and badass, the second one can be light-hearted and humorous while the third episode is rather dark and thrilling. I really liked this as no episode was like the other and as I didn’t really feel bored at all during the show, so far. The pacing is just right and the show is changing up the music, animation, the style, the lighting and everything in every episode. Apparently, there has been a different team involved in every episode.

And at this note… the third episode ended and was just thrilling, exciting and featured a very interesting plot twist at the end of it… But before I’ll ramble more about how much I love the show, I thought I’d wrap up this post here and think about how many cat pictures I’ll put into this.

Anyways, I wish you all a nice day and I really hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll be back home again by tomorrow, so I’ll be able to stream again and play more video games and essentially live by myself again from there on, so reviews and other posts might be different by then. I will also be able to finish up the drafts for the different MonHunLogs and overall, prepare for the new semester to arrive. It’s going to be a bit stressful soon, so I’m not too sure about how much I’ll be posting and streaming, but I’ll surely find a way.

Cheers!