From episode 4 of this season's RWBY, which seems to have really hit its stride. This episode's fight was still not up to the spectacular choreography that Oum was known for, but the pacing was superb and the tension was as intense as anything we've seen.
The last 9 of the 14 and a half minutes was spent with people sitting and talking while either drinking tea or playing video games. Those 9 minutes however, were very well paced and developed characters, moved the plot along, clarified plot points and answered questions.
The mechs from episodes 4 and 10 of season two were indeed stolen and both Ironwood and Winter Schnee are aware of team RWBY's involvement in destroying one. Additionally the lot stolen was prototypes being sent for range testing that were not fully equipped.
The Schnee family are unusual in having a set of powers consistently passed down by heredity as opposed to most other gifted people who get completely random abilities. This raises some questions about how Punnett squares work in relation to superpowers. Perhaps superpowers involve Punnett dodecahedrons. How that would result in there being no such variability in the Schnee family tree is unclear unless said tree is a straight line....Eww. In other news we learn that in addition to all their other charming characteristics, the Schnees have a second ability...a form of necromancy. They can call forth the spirits of defeated enemies to act as slaves. Weiss is the first of her family in some generations to not be able to do this at all. Until, perhaps, today.
Winter, Weiss's sister, is imperious, authoritarian and intensely regimental. She also seems to be about as decent a person as can realistically be expected from someone who grew up in (and never got away from) her family.
Yang, for all her bravado, is quite broken in some ways. She sort of shuts down when shown a picture of her Mom...
The capture of Torchwick by the girls last season has not, as Ruby believed, caused a mere reduction in crime. Crime in the city has stopped...totally...in the weeks since the breach. Their elation is short lived due to the implication that that the underworld is tightly controlled, by a much bigger figure.
Mercury and Emerald are absolute monsters.
While no explicit reference was made, we now probably have a very good idea of just what was going on in the "White" trailer and yes, it looks like that incongruously expressionist installment of the original 4 teasers is indeed canon. Even more surprisingly, it likely happened pretty much as presented (though some of it is a flashback).
Also: From this point forward, the heiress is on a budget.
One observation. One of the things the success of this series has made possible besides increasing the crew by 50% is that they have been able to hire additional professional voice actors (some with impressive resumes) to supplement the shows writers and animators, cosplayers and internet personalities that has made up most of the main cast. Interestingly this has resulted in the relative novices in the main cast being backed up by serious pros playing bit parts. The original cast has actually held their own pretty well and even those who started out a bit awkward have grown into their roles nicely. The additional money, however, is still well spent. Elizabeth Maxwell has hit it out of the park as Winter Schnee who, it turns out, is absolutely vital to understanding Weiss.
This is incredible. Bethesda has invented time travel!
This game really is 'all that and a bowl of grits'.
Most surprisingly, despite the grim premise and post-apocalyptic setting, Fallout 4 gives off a remarkably optimistic vibe.
I find it really interesting how they integrated a first-person shooter quest game with a 'rebuild civilization' game. What's interesting is the freedom one has. The player can pursue the main quest like a regular adventure game, wander around and interact with the incredibly detailed world (usually via high powered weaponry) or focus on the second life aspect of building a settlement. The player can also build a series of settlements and thus rebuild civilization. I'm nowhere NEAR close to finishing the main quest...there's just so much interesting stuff to do.
Re-playability looks to be really high.
On the down side:
Mirelurks. Those things are tough.
Also: It's like clicking on a TV Tropes link that delivers crack intravenously...I predict the collapse of society by the end of the year.
This morning I was checking out an insane asylum guarded by a team of mercenaries (real pros; they told me I was trespassing and ordered me to leave, without shooting), when I happened to look up and notice a windmill on top of a nearby overpass, made from an airplane prop. Well, I had no reason to bother those mercs (didn't have the quest item to get into the asylum...), so I decided to explore.
With both ends of the overpass collapsed, I had to hunt around for a bit to find a way up there and see what was going on. Scrambling over the junk, I spotted a Gunner logo spray-painted on the side of a bus, and knew I was going to have a fight on my hands. Sure enough, but I wasn't expecting the combat droid; that made it a lot tougher.
It wasn't a quest or a marked location on the map, just a little something thrown in to fill out the world. If you noticed it, cool; if not, maybe next time you play through.
Favorite characters so far: Nick Valentine and Dr. Brian Virgil.
Posted by: J Greely at Sat Nov 21 23:51:15 2015 (ZlYZd)
The old Fallout games had skills, which were a big factor in determining your weapon damage - if you had low skills with guns, they did low damage, but as you got more skilled with guns they increased more and more in damage.
F4 gets rid of skills, and your progression is in your basic stats and in perks you add at every level. And it's a big improvement! Under the old system, if something was good at low skill levels, it was ludicrous at high skill levels; by contrast, if it was pretty balanced at high skill levels, it was terrible at low skill levels. Guns got balanced at high skill levels, which meant that for most of the game, guns were -crap-.
In F4, you don't have to worry about having sunk several levels of skill advancement into a particular class of weapons in order to make them non-crap - they're mostly all right to start with, and certain modified examples are quite a bit better than "all right". Add in the perks on top of them, and the ones you choose to specialize in (and by this I mean broad categories, like "rifles", "all heavy weapons", "all automatic guns", etc.) can feel quite powerful.
I also really like the new power armor system. It's not the endgame armor anymore; instead it's something you leave at home for normal adventuring and then trot out when you expect heavy combat, in which case it makes you far more resilient than normal. (Or you can get the right perks, in which case it becomes your "normal" gear; I basically don't get out of mine except to craft and sleep.)
VERY happy with it overall.
The settlement building is nice but not nearly feature-complete yet; I expect they'll do like Skyrim and drop in a little DLC expansion that adds a lot more options.
Rutskarn made a good point in his Elder Scrolls retrospective: it's incredibly frustrating to make an attack that clearly connects in the 3D UI, but then be told you missed the hidden die roll. If the game shows you shooting someone in the back of the head with a .44 magnum, then by golly it had better hurt. I'm still carrying the first 10mm pistol I found, upgraded with mods and perks, and I just cleaned out a building full of super mutants with it, including a suicider. Very satisfying.
I've been making heavy use of the power armor, but thanks to Tinker Tom, I have some very resilient clothing now. As a bonus, my character no longer looks like an extra from Mad Max.
Between patches, DLC, and third-party mods, I expect to see the settlement feature improving a lot. Actually, the mod I'm most looking forward to is an adaptation of the Skyrim "reduced NPC speech distance" fix; I had to move the weapon-crafting station in Sanctuary so that settlers wouldn't stand in the doorway and spam me.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Nov 22 02:28:32 2015 (ZlYZd)
Let's get to the important part: what do the girls look like? And how many of them are there?
Post-apocalypse Boston has a surprising number of attractive, friendly, competent women, some of whom can be romanced. They put a lot of effort into the face-design system that's used for both the PC and the NPCs. And there are a lot of NPCs, with a wide range of skin and hair colors, as well as a variety of ethnic features.
You can also replace the clothing of friendly NPCs. I recommend the "summer shorts" outfit for women, which not only shows off their figures, but can be retrofitted with ballistic weave for some of the best armor in the game. It's the only moddable clothing I've found so far that leaves the arms and legs bare for additional armor pieces, and it looks pretty good with the trilby hat that also accepts ballistic weave.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Nov 22 13:30:15 2015 (ZlYZd)
From this season's third episode of RWBY which thickens the plot a bit by whisking some ambiguity into the vagueness and spicing it with a pointless fight made with apparently unseasoned ingredients that only serve to remind us how good things were when it was possible to get them made with genuine Monty Oum.
The fight choreography is not actually bad, and pretty decent in comparison to many other shows. However, despite increasing the size of the staff from around 15 to nearly 30 that particular aspect is not up to the standard set by the show's much mourned creator. Oum appears to have been a singular talent.
The story is proceeding apace though the shadowy council opposed to something bad talks in sufficient circuitousness that we still don't know exactly is going on. There is a big reveal, but I suspect that it is probably not at all what it seems to be.
On the other hand the character animation is really well done and the voice work is excellent. Lindsay Jones (Ruby) in particular does a really good job in this episode.
Also there is a drunken martial artist, so they've got that going for them, and in any event, I'm still enjoying the show.
The foreshadowing for next week seems strangely ominous.
...have tremendous amounts of action that doesn't advance the plot or mean anything.
Contrasting with that sort of thing, in the latest episode of Owarimonigataritwo highschool students stand and listen as a third reflects upon her middle school years for twenty two minutes. They never leave the room and nothing else happens.
This episode had me on the edge of my seat.
Owarimonogatari is supposedly the last in this supernatural dramedy franchise, and has, aside from its first episode (and the unremarked upon mystery of what happened to a certain characters irises) not had a lot of supernatural anything in it. Despite this it has been genuinely surprising and at times rather disturbing.
People can be the worst monsters, and perfidy is a wretched thing.
This is a very well written show. I'm not sure where they are going with it, but I am anxious to find out.
I'm fond of stating that we've invented the flying car in 1903.
What is a Cessna 172, if not a flying car?
What we haven't "invented" yet is a legal environment and air-traffic control rules that will permit you to own and fly one.
People like to pile requirements onto the 'flying car' paradigm, like requiring it to flawlessly navigate the world independent of pilots. If you want that, you're never getting it. Pile enough requirements onto the dream, and of course it becomes impossible. But we've done flying machines, of myriad types for over a century.
As Mauser pointed out, Molt Taylor created multiple flying cars over the years. Unfortunately, a good car and a good aircraft have too many different requirements for a single vehicle to be good at both.
I think the best we can hope for is a vehicle that is a poor car and an average aircraft. It'd have just enough road capability to drive from your garage to the nearest airport, or from your destination airport to a hotel.
Posted by: Siergen at Thu Nov 5 17:15:55 2015 (De/yN)