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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #3326
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I second Westworld. There are a couple of weak episodes in there where the story meanders in around itself, but once it gets going, it really gets going.

    I'm loving how they've very slowly and subtly introduced you to the fact that you can't take anything at face value, pushing the knife in so slowly, you barely even notice it, until tonight, when they decided to twist it hard.

    All the vagaries of the show are all but centered on the ever changing relationship the viewer has with Anthony Hopkins' character. Whether he's a good guy or bad, sincere or duplicitous. It's...well, a very Anthony Hopkins type of role. All you can really say for a fact is that he's nursing a pretty well earned God complex.

  2. #3327
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'd recommend having a read of this article in that case.

    It's the show examined by people in the games industry, which goes with the overall theme of the show.

  3. #3328
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    That's a cool article.

    I think the most interesting part of the show is the idea of layered depths to the game so as you keep coming back over the years you can get into the deeper layers, until you're at the level of the Man in Black trying to crack/mod the game as a kind of meta-game to reach its deepest level, which isn't really a crack because it's an intentional connection between the game and the real world at the game's glitch limits.

    It wasn't really covered in this interview, and the one question that could have gotten into it (What game would you recommend for the Man in Black), they didn't really go there. The spaceship or jetpack in GTAV is like a hidden bonus objective or there's the Hot Coffee thing of modding open part of the game, but those are not like what Westworld is doing, where there's like an entirely deeper level to the whole game that's arguably the core of the whole thing and has to do with its deepest secrets, its mythology, the secret of Arnold and his AI, etc.

    This is a concept I'd really like to see a game play with, but it doesn't happen because people don't replay games with that same kind of ritual... I mean there's games like WoW or Skyrim where they're in the world a lot and find secrets, but there's not really a secret deepest level you don't even figure out until years later. There's the Stanley Parable which toys with the boundaries of the game world and meta-gaming as part of the game itself, but that's kind of its entire punchline, and it's more of a tech demo for the concept than a full on game which has the surface and deeper layer going on in parallel.

    Well, anyway, that's the concept I like about the show so far, and I'm getting the idea it's the connecting piece to the show as well it connects the secret of Arnold & the NPCs he talks to, the intentional/buggy self-awareness code and the NPCs that are on that track and where they're going with it, the deepest game/maze that the Man in Black is after, Anthony Hopkins still has some secrets too I'm sure, the old system and the new design, etc, etc....

  4. #3329
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Westworld

    One thing I haven't seen anyone comment on is that now that we know Bernard is just a host, designed by Ford as an extra pair of eyes and ears inside the company, it makes you question why he of all people, who's openly stated that he considers the hosts nothing more than machines, would be using one to coach another one towards self awareness.

  5. #3330
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    That could be interestingly self-referential.

    By that I mean it could be that Bernard himself is gaining self-awareness outside Ford's control and one outlet of that is helping Delores down that route.

    I think a lot of it is going to come back to Arnold having planted code in all of them that the hosts can tap into that skirts around Ford's restrictions, even for new hosts like Bernard, one of Arnold's parting shots when he was being ousted by Ford probably by a dispute on just this issue.

  6. #3331
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    That's possible. We have seen Bernard lie (or at least skirt the truth) in front of Ford before. Though the last scene does show that Ford still has full control over everything he does, and could probably compel him to reveal everything he's been doing when forced into analysis. Now we've seen Delores lie under analysis before, but she was built by and interacted directly with Arnold, while Bernard was (I assume) built and tailored specifically by Ford.

    There's enough evidence floating around to both suggest that Ford's either trying to subvert whatever Arnold did before he died, or is trying to assist it/take advantage of it for his own ends, while appearing to do the opposite.

  7. #3332
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    That's a cool article.
    It wasn't really covered in this interview, and the one question that could have gotten into it (What game would you recommend for the Man in Black), they didn't really go there. The spaceship or jetpack in GTAV is like a hidden bonus objective or there's the Hot Coffee thing of modding open part of the game, but those are not like what Westworld is doing, where there's like an entirely deeper level to the whole game that's arguably the core of the whole thing and has to do with its deepest secrets, its mythology, the secret of Arnold and his AI, etc.

    This is a concept I'd really like to see a game play with, but it doesn't happen because people don't replay games with that same kind of ritual... I mean there's games like WoW or Skyrim where they're in the world a lot and find secrets, but there's not really a secret deepest level you don't even figure out until years later. There's the Stanley Parable which toys with the boundaries of the game world and meta-gaming as part of the game itself, but that's kind of its entire punchline, and it's more of a tech demo for the concept than a full on game which has the surface and deeper layer going on in parallel. .
    There is actually one game series that fits what your describing. The ".hack" series of JRPGs is a game within a game, where you (on starting the game up) start at your desktop, can read/watch news stories, go on online forums etc etc, then can login to the MMO "The World". Basically think fictional MMO that's similar to WoW, but with a virus being in the system that starts putting people in the "real world" into comma's.

    Of the .hack games, there is 2 separate series's of games. The original series of 5 games, and a 3 game series called .hack GU. Each of those 2 series's comes with an accompanying anime that provides for the complete experience. Really damn good games.

    Each game comes in layers within the basic gameworld being setup when you login to the MMO, with the more hardcore stuff being available if you explore the forums for info on optional areas to explore, tasks to do etc etc.
    Last edited by icemann; 15th Nov 2016 at 02:48.

  8. #3333
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: swimming in pickled herring
    I'm still watching the same crappy show that I've watched for the last sixteen days. This is the worst show
    ever made, it's horrorshow bad, it's like Ereaserhead on acid, but in a bad way. The monster is an aging,
    vaguely primate sort of creature and it lives only in the moment. Every five or so seconds, its memory resets
    and everything is lost. It remembers many things from its past, and is aware that it forgets everything that is
    happening to it now, sort of an eternal Hell. What a beautiful example of intelligent design. This show sucks.
    Recently, while on morphine to relieve pain from a broken hip, the creature questioned its own existence, and
    asks probing questions about "Gods’ Great Plan". The monster has never before questioned its' senseless but
    nonetheless comforting faith. This show makes no sense, why does the monster articulate complex religious
    questions while under the influence of morphine, when usually it can't even comment on the weather? What a
    bizarre creation.
    The creature was built with a weak pelvic floor, so it has now been stricken by this tragic flaw, and suffers
    from a prolapsed uterus, which the viewer is lead to believe means all of its reproductive organs have made a
    mass exodus for the freedom of the OUTSIDE. This mass of tissue must be kept clean, and the viewer has not been
    trained for this task. This show is shit, it is the worst show ever.
    The creature is stirring again, and the viewer must go tend to it. This is a crap show extraordinaire.
    The monster suffers from senile dementia, and has to be coaxed into going to the bathroom. After what seems
    like days, the creature finally voids both solid and liquid wastes. Forty-five minutes expire before the
    creature is cleaned-up and dressed for bed again. The viewer resumes his vigil, and the monster obliges by
    turning on a bedside light, which transforms the black and white show into color. Another trip to its' lair,
    and forty minutes pass before the monster relents, and agrees to try to lay still and attempt to sleep again.
    The viewer would like to sleep himself, but the show is too engrossing to ignore. Neither the viewer nor the
    creature has slept through a night for over two weeks, but the monster seems to not need sleep. It is winning
    the contest, and the show still sucks.

    In season two of the show, which will begin on the day before Thanksgiving, the protruding body parts are
    going to be scraped, trimmed, hacked off and disposed of, (the viewer can't help but to picture a pack of wild
    dogs tearing into a helpless bunny) then the leftover bits tucked-back-in, and stitched up. The bladder of the monster will be reinforced in places, but it will probably leak when the creature sneezes or even stands up too quickly. Left
    to itself, the monster can't put on its Depends by itself. Worst. Monster. Ever. It will return to its' lair the day following the procedure.
    It will return to its lair with a catheter and a liquid waste bag, it will not understand this, and may
    become enraged. When the creature is enraged, it deploys a weapon known as Life-suck. It can not help this,
    cannot stop the activation of this built-in defense mechanism. This will not affect the devastating power of
    Life-suck, in fact it actually increases the effectiveness of Life-suck. How can the viewer defend against such
    an attack? Why would anyone sit through season one, much less subject oneself to a second season? This show is crap.

    I'm not sure what message the show is trying to relate to me, and I am pretty sure I don't want to see season two.

    1 out of 10 : The reviewer would not recommend.

  9. #3334
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    While I wouldn't really want to watch that show either, I'm not sure it's a choice anyone gets to make without giving up their own humanity. It seems life-affirming to me that that hasn't happened yet.

  10. #3335
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Man that show sounds horrible. No thanks.

  11. #3336
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    Been looking forward to The Grand Tour for a while. First episode is up but you need Amazon Prime. Only available in the US, UK and I think Japan for now but it's coming to about 200 more countries in a month or so.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J94A5GQ...20grand%20tour

  12. #3337
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    ...and instead chooses to mime them without calling back any real meaning to the proceedings. ...
    Is it produced, directed and co-written by jj abrams?
    Although he's not the only one pimping that member-berry shtick these days,
    he sure is the one getting undue praise and wealth for it.

    Might as well give him the blame too.

  13. #3338
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    "Haters back off" is pretty awesome IMO.

    The mainstream critics dont seem to care for it,
    but they wouldn't know funny if it shoved a knitting needle up their pee hole.

  14. #3339
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I just watched the first episode of MST3k I've seen in 20 odd years. Laughed. My. Ass. Off.


  15. #3340
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    I just watched the first episode of MST3k I've seen in 20 odd years. Laughed. My. Ass. Off.
    There are worse episodes. For example

  16. #3341
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I've got The Sidehackers episode running in the background as we speak. That one you just posted? It'll be the next one I queue up.

    Man, I tell ya. Watching MST3k is like being back in the 90's again. If only Video Park were still open...

  17. #3342
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Alright, Westworld prediction! We'll see if I'm right two weeks from now.

    We now know Ford's view of the hosts, and the fact he's something of...well, I don't know if misanthrope if the right word, but it's close enough. It's not that he consider the hosts subhuman, it's that he has considers humanity in general to be machines no more complex than they. He doesn't differentiate, considers their pain and suffering equal to ours, and ultimately isn't moved by either. He's something of a control freak, and own wants and needs supersede any empathy he might have.

    I have a feeling that this narrative he's building is an attempt to wrest control of the park from Delos, removing them entirely from the equation so he can set himself up as a benevolent god of his own little world. He wants a existence that's entirely set to his design, populated by people who act at his whims, and won't harm or disappoint him in any way.

    As to why? We already know he had a strained relationship with his father, so he's probably using the park to compensate for some horrible thing that happened in his childhood that made him so callous to others. Why else would he continually surround himself with a simulacrum of his family, complete with a host version of his father with, by his own admission, some of his rougher edges sanded off, and a version him as a child running around, doing his own thing?

    Though there's still whatever it is Arnold did before dying running around behind the scenes, which'll be the monkey in everyone's wrench.

  18. #3343
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I started to think Westworld is starting to wobble with so many strands flying around this episode, and whether it can hold the whole thing together. I think it will because it has an end in mind, not like Lost, but until the pieces start coming together it's already having a bit of mid-season Lost wobble. Still very entertaining.

    Anyway, my idea of where things are going, Arnold is evidently still alive and living in the park at the center of the maze, and one of Ford's goals with the new narrative is to smoke him out and have an all out war possibly with Arnold's host rebellion he's starting. Arnold and the Board have something going on together too.

    The man in black is a key piece, he and William/Delores and Maeve are all going to meet at the center with Arnold and the man in black will have his showdown with the hosts he's wronged with real life and death consequences. There's more to the man in black too, something to do with his business. And I'm also thinking there's some big secret at the bottom like Ford is himself a host built by Arnold or the like.

  19. #3344
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I don't think it's getting wobbly, so much as they've put too many characters in play.

    For instance, it seemed liked they were building up Delores as being the one host to achieve true sentience from the start, only to undercut that entire storyline with Maeve, who quickly became sentient, entirely aware of her artificial nature, and has been able to coerce her tenders into making her more capable, with the stated goal of getting the hell out of the park. It makes Delores stumbling about on the edge of true awareness episode after episode kinda boring in comparison. We know what the hosts are capable of. Why drag her storyline out like they are?

    Though I guess they could be playing the characters are two paths the hosts could take towards sentience. I get the impression that Maeve is a later model, made after Arnold's death. The ones designed to be physically identical to us, save for their brains. She came into her own sentience entirely by accident. A part in a play she ended up taking entirely too seriously, bouncing around untended in whatever it is that serves as her subconscious, and building itself up slowly until it became the scaffolding her self awareness. Delores is one of the older, sturdier models, personally tended to by Arnold, who's being slowly lead to self awareness through Arnold's intended design.

    The differences in personality between the two characters will probably play a part later in the story. Maeve is much more cutthroat and pragmatic, entirely concerned with her own self preservation, while Delores is benevolent and introspective.

  20. #3345
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I don't think it's getting wobbly either. It's going to be interesting in seeing how it all comes together over time. Easily the best show on television at present imo.

    Been staying up to date with Ash vs Evil Dead and Gotham, and those are still going strong also. Been a real drought of new Doctor Who content this year. That's been quite annoying.

  21. #3346
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    RE Westworld:

    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    Maeve, who quickly became sentient, entirely aware of her artificial nature, and has been able to coerce her tenders into making her more capable, with the stated goal of getting the hell out of the park.
    I still don't quite get why the staff is helping her? Seems to just be kindness of the heart...? I laughed at all her threats - she's a robot they can turn off/lobotomize at any point, they had plenty of chances to do so. Why would they be scared of her?

    [quote]
    It makes Delores stumbling about on the edge of true awareness episode after episode kinda boring in comparison. We know what the hosts are capable of. Why drag her storyline out like they are?


    That's my beef with the show too. As good as it is, it's also dragging shit out unnecessarily. I had the same reaction to Breaking Bad - excellent series that would've been even excellenter one (or two) seasons shorter.

  22. #3347
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Just regarding Maeve, if you didn't catch it she caught the bearded staff running a host sex ring off the books and used that to blackmail him. And he did (finally) have the idea to just wipe her memory/lobotamize her this last episode.

    But they're probably limited in what they can do because she's a working host. They have to keep her maintained and in working condition and circulation, and would probably get audited if they did something too extreme. And, also if you didn't notice, they couldn't just turn her off when she was in service, she's never supposed to turn on in the first place, because evidently Arnold added code to keep her on. As for the Asian staff, he's the true believer who wants to actually help her.

  23. #3348
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Westworld

    How is it that I missed something that was broadcast so clearly throughout the entire show?

  24. #3349
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Finished off the US version of "The Office". The final season (Season 9) of the show was a return to form in many ways when compared to the 8th season (which was horrible). Kinda sad to be at the end of the series as I've been watching it for so long (9 years).

    The finale was quite good. A great end to an excellent series. I have to say, at the start of the series it felt like paper was a dying thing with the advent of computers. But then fast forward to present day and it's still around and doing just fine. Interesting times.

  25. #3350
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    Westworld

    How is it that I missed something that was broadcast so clearly throughout the entire show?
    Funny enough you could be talking about multiple revelations from this last episode, at least 2 big ones. I'll just say that I didn't really see them coming, but I also realize that I'll have to rewatch the whole season over knowing what we know (eg, it's now clear that some scenes we thought were of Bernard were actually Arnold, like all the interviews. Now we have to think about which timeline a scene is in, which took me completely by surprize, and the possibility of a BSG style loop to the whole thing. And now I should look out for links between Billy & Logan and the MIB.), and it'll fit in ways I didn't suspect then.

    I should try to piece some of it together myself. The alternative is going on AVClub, which always has the best comments sections with people way more advanced in playing this game than I, who have already cracked a lot of the puzzles.

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