Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Penguinator, Feb 8, 2013.
3DS because of LoZ: A Link to the Past sequel. All the other great games I just consider a bonus.
I'm still managing to hold out, but if they announce the Dragon Quest VII port making it over to this side of the pond I suspect my resolve will falter spectacularly.
Oh, I forgot how much fun it is to read Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men books....
Also because it resulted in this pairing:
Which led to two of my favorite panels (the very last two shown) in comics:
Man, I miss Cat!Beast. I'm generally enjoying Bendis' run on the X-books, but I'm not very fond of Beast's... whatever this is:
And yes, that is his pre-mutated self on the left, currently in the present from the past but enough is changing that it may no longer be the past (Comic books!).
He looks like......a furry, blue, wingless Man-Bat......maybe that's just me though.....
I wish I had the monetary ability to follow Bendis' X-Men work. I get a chance to read some issues at the local B&N, but its never enough to fully keep up with whats going on.
Well, Man-Bat looks like a bat. Beast currently looks like a Yeti from Tintin.
Oh, so yesterday marked my eighth full year on the boards here...crazy! Do I do a retrospective or something?
@Penguinator clearly you should publish a shocking tell-all; maybe finally address all of the rumors that circulated about you and Princess Victoria of Sweden back in '08.
In unrelated news I just spent the entire day traveling and ugh.
@Penguinator, you should title the story as "Penguinator: Greatest Hits Collection"
Also, I feel that I must tell you all the gaming quote that has inspired me since the first time I heard it years ago.....
Eight years on the boards...seen a lot of stuff...made a lot of friends...posted a lot of GIFs...
Until the next anniversary...
Got about sixty pages into Pride and Prejudice, couldn't take any more. Could not even be bothered skipping ahead to see what happened. The book sets my teeth on edge, it really does. Not going to comment further on that.
But I got started on James Michener's Poland. About three quarters of the way through. The subject matter does have some resonance for me because my background is Polish on my mother's side, albeit my grandmother never liked to talk about it much at all - she lived through World War 2 - and regularly proclaimed Australia the best country in the world. I won't talk about the subject matter as such -- though there are many, many beautiful, terrible, and moving things I've learned about my heritage in reading that book. I'm more interested in the writing style, or at least reporting on it.
I don't know exactly what it is about Michener. He's reputed to have extensively researched every book he wrote, and he comes with a massive readership. Poland comes across as a sort of slower-paced Rome, if you will: history weaved around a central cast of three families. Michener is no Great Voice In English Literature, and his characters are not memorable in the way, say, Hemingway's might be. I think that's got a lot to do with the material. Poland covers a good thousand years of history, so it'd be a bit odd if you got an in-depth look at any one character. Characters seem drawn to depict how life was for a given class of individuals, or to act as standpoints for certain views.
And yet: it's drawn me in. Completely. This one's a bit like how academics can't understand why Stephen King and Charles Dickens get read: this time round, a popular book is as good as a literary one. Part of it is my background, part of it is because it's dealing with the medieval period and after, but part of it is Michener's style. He might not be the greatest of scenemakers or provide the most intimate of descriptions, but he sure as hell knows what to do with a sketch, with simple images. This is more a collection of short, interlinked stories stretching across a thousand years, with all that implies. Part of it is the poignancy of the material: basically, Michener picks out every crisis the nation has gone through over the past millennium, and it's enough to fill a good ten or twelve solid chapters. He covers attempts (sometimes successful) to wipe Poland off the map from the east, from the north, from the south, from the west, right through to Kosciusko's rebellion and beyond.
Part of it is because truth is stranger than fiction: perhaps the most memorable part thus far has been a peasant, who's owned nothing in his life and has just been called up for war, going out into a forest of beech trees -- where he cuts down a particular tree, one that he's looked after for ten years, one that, at certain junctures, he's shoved bits of iron or flint into so the trunk of the tree grows around it, setting the pieces in place forever. The peasant cuts this tree down and makes a war club from it. It's literally the only weapon he can ever make. I thought it was a strangely moving and evocative piece, probably because it's real. Poland, without telling you the whole history, was economically poor and horribly governed for several hundred years, and this sort of weaponry was pretty common for the poor bastards who had to go and die in a war the Poles fought.
So, yes. The book obviously ends in 1981, ten years before Solidarity started the chain of dominoes that would make the Berlin Wall fall, so it'll be a moving experience to finish at that point. It has been wrenching at some points. I think there are good reasons Michener sold as much as he did - because he tells good true stories, or 75% true stories.
I also finished reading, to my surprise, Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlein. I've not had the pleasure of the Old Right Wing Master before, and I'm really sorry I didn't. Let's leave aside the -- "CONTROVERSIAL!", screamed the cover in boldface type -- subject matter. Heinlein's pretty damn good with dialogue, surprisingly. He's no Hemingway, but he can write a pretty good sequence with minimal description. I made a note as I was reading: "If you want to raise the claustrophobia of a sequence, go on for a lot of pages with nothing but dialogue between characters." The characters involved are in a blast shelter, and it's surprising how well it works. His characters are, shall we say, disdainfully written with vague strokes, as if to say to the reader, "You goddamn well take the responsibility of imagining an appearance for these characters. I'm busy with other stuff." He likes his authoritarian characters, but he also knows a good story. The science fiction is as you'd expect for the 1960s or so -- all "this dude is sitting half visible on a floating disc" and so on -- but it still crackles. I can see why people still read him.
I also picked up Heinlein's Space Cadet which I'm about a third into. This one is even more surprising: first date of publication was 1946, but the dialogue crackles like it's forty years later. There's still "goldarn it" everywhere, I assume because of some sort of Blue Laws at the time it was written, and some of the science is understandably chuckleworthy, but he saw some things a long time ahead: there's a mobile phone in the first ten pages, and what we'd call a travelator. And like I said, the characters at least have the ring of truth to them - whether the science is right or wrong, you get the feeling the characters inhabit this world entirely.
I dunno if "Old Right Wing Master" would correctly summarize Heinlein's politics. To paraphrase the Shaft theme: he was a complicated man, and no one understood him but his multiple consenting sexual partners.
Edit: That said, I disagree with him on nearly everything and if you ever wanted a good metric for calling someone right wing, well...
Just got started on the new Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void, good stuff so far. Super weird never reading the word lightsaber tho...
So I have recently corrected the most egregious error of my gaming career by purchasing a replacement copy of Dragon Quest VIII. Ergo, it's time to quote myself
You're already on a dragon quest in Tide of Flames, Ramza
What can I say? Slaying giant fictional lizards is what I live for.
Well, that and math.
For a second I misread math as meth
Nah, I have internalized the central message of America's most beloved cat and mouse duo.
Dark Souls has dragons
...Though some may be a little weirder-looking then others I admit....
This game has two dragons in it.
You know what also has dragons? Japanese toy commercials.
Yeah, Burai was awesome. RIP you glorious green guy.
Dragon Ranger 1992-1993 Nevar 4get etc.
So some nostalgic news regard aforementioned Dragon Ranger.....just cause