Saturday, July 24, 2010

Free Form Comments

Say whatever you want to in the comments to this post -- random, off topic thoughts, ideas, suggestions, questions, recommendations, criticisms (which can be anonymous), surveys, introductions if you have never commented before, personal news, self-promotion, requests to be added to the blog roll and so on. If I forget, remind me. Remember these comments can be directed at all the readers, not just me.

ALSO. You can use this space to re-ask me questions you asked me before that I failed to answer because I was too busy.

AND you can use this space to comment on posts that are old enough that no one is reading the comments threads anymore.

You do not have to have a blogger account or gmail account to post a comment -- you can write a comment, write your name at the bottom of your comment like an e mail, and then post using the "anonymous" option.

WRITING FOR THIS BLOG. If I see a big free form comment that deserves more attention, I will pull it and make it its own post, with a label on the post and on the sidebar that will always link to all the posts you write for this blog. I am always looking for reviews of games, tv, movies, music, books and iPhone apps.

6 comments:

hcduvall said...

Geoff, 'cause I know you finished it, and because I'm still wondering, why do you think it is that The Shield isn't more popular, considering how strong it stayed.

Geoff Klock said...

That is an excellent question. I am just saying the first thing that pops into my head, but is it that it superficially looks like a much worse show than it is? I started watching it because it looked like another 24 -- Alpha Males with guns kicking ass in a guilty pleasure. But Goggins, and Close, and Whitaker and CCH Pounder and everybody were so good I was really surprised by the end, which was so well done and so upsetting I could barely function for the next 12 hours, I was surprised to find it had much more in common with the Sopranos than with 24. Also the first season is very weak -- it is not until the larger plots like the money train in season 2 that I really started getting into it: many people wont stick with a weak show that long. Maybe everyone gave up on it, and then held this grudge, thinking they knew what it was about when they didn't?

hcduvall said...

I think it won an Emmy for Formerly-the-Commish in the first season, actually, so it had praise and then lost it, or just stopped being noticed, which is why I've been confused, as it seemed to only get stronger as it went. But maybe it did look like something else to most viewers--it is unremittingly male in a way unlike even the shows you've mentioned. It was also unremittingly bleak, so despite being built for episode by episode consumption maybe it was unsatisfying? I don't know, some of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen are there, with some of the most incredible acting.

James said...

Hmmm, games with "moral choices" are almost all disappointingly binary (with a third "neutral" option, if you're lucky), but if you're just looking for names: Fable, Fable II, Knights of the Old Republic (and II), Mass Effect (and 2!), Bioshock (and 2 jeez I guess you can just take it as written), InFamous... I'm sure there's more.

There was a big hoo-ha about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and a level where you're undercover in a terrorist cell, and can participate in a massacre at an airport (or at best, stand by and watch it happen to preserve your cover). I don't know about hostage-killing specifically... The Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell and Gears of War games all feature moves where you can grab a guy and use him as a human shield, then kill him.

hcduvall said...

Blargh, I think I lost my comment. But I'll probably be shorter now. As James says, moral choices tend to be stark (Fable: be a pimp or open a battered women's shelter) or cheat a bit (Bioshock harvest from bodies in a tasteful, blurred cinematic), though I think Bioware handles the balance fairly well.

I haven't played all the games listed, but I find the ones that weave morality into a narrative, as opposed to give you choice, to be the stronger ones. Far Cry 2 did that really well.

Also, this:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/3/27/

Geoff Klock said...

HC -- i totally agree about the acting. When Whitacre freaks out after Vic makes him look like an idiot -- i must have watched that 4 times before I could move on.

HC and James -- Thanks for the videogame help guys!