Lit Literature member interviews

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Point Given, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    9. What are your favorite videogames, in and out of Star Wars?

    Gaming is definitely in decline for me, finding it harder to enjoy them now – not least as the coordination demands seem to be going up! Still, there’s been a few:

    Retro gems remain:

    Super Star Wars / ESB / ROTJ: Really inspired use of the licence, did you know Luke had killed so m any womp rats and Jawas? Neither did I! And Wicket versus the Emperor, now there was a one-sided fight. It’d give any true Imperial nightmares to witness it!

    Streets of Rage 2: In a world of Street Fight 2 what is a scrolling beat’em-up to do? Nick the ideas and run riot and so this did, you had fireball move and dragon punch, mixed in with some smart enemies and level design.

    Gunstar Heroes: Weapon combinations are the name of the game, you can have a machine gun, a spread laser, homing laser, super flamethrower and there’s tons of enemies. If ever there was proof of a system’s greatest games coming out in its twilight, this is one of them – brilliant fun.

    Phantasy Star / Phantasy Star IV: 2 was dire, 3 was fun, but the first was inspired – 3D dungeons on a 8-bit system with save anywhere function! The 4th took everything from the previous games and brought it to a resoundingly good conclusion.

    Starwing (Starfox): This would look so dated now, but those polygons way back when were revolutionary – as was the idea of blasting into an Andross cruiser, blowing up its reactor and then blasting an escape route!

    Thunderforce III / IV: Wonderful shoot ‘em ups that pushed the system to its limits each time, IV is particularly brilliant in that respect. Of course, learn the game and you’d slaughter it every time, so long as you used the right weaponry – assuming you had it.
    Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II / III: Rogue Leader sold me the GameCube, it was a system-seller in every respect, with the sequel supplying that which it did not cover – Super Star Destroyers and speeder bikes!

    Final Fantasy X / XII: FF10 was a very clever game with perhaps the best combat system going – you could be very, very devious and inflict some massive damage if you but went about it in the right way and the world looked superb. FF12’s defining moment is running around a desert, get very close to a T-Rex, who’s vegetarian and non-hostile! That was very smart indeed, you’d be running around but not everything would attack you and the world was seamless between running and combat.

    SSX 3: Just free roam is fun enough – but do not try it at home. That you could go from the top of the mountain to the bottom in one glorious 30min run was great.

    Current generation:

    Lego Star Wars / Batman: The newer ones aren’t really doing it for me but these remain the gold standard and where it all began.

    Xenoblade Chronicles: The heir to FF12 and one of the Wii’s best – a free roaming RPG that rewards exploration, will drop on you immensely powerful monsters that kill you, but it doesn’t punish you for it either – it’s a surprisingly fair game. World design is what raises it up above many games, as you run around a gigantic robot.

    Assassin’s Creed 2 / Brotherhood: Yeah, I’m strictly an Ezio fan but Revelations I didn’t like anywhere near as much as this duo – the first game gives you Florence and Venice, the second gives you Rome and they’re stunning creations. The kill-streak system in the second also allowed some spectacular slaughter!

    Bulletstorm: The antidote to serious FPS games, this was a lot of fun with some insane ways to kill enemies called Skillshots. And yes, they include shooting a guy in the balls then head and sending a rocket up the arse. And there’s about 130 of ‘em to find.

    Killzone 2 / 3: More than any other game, the second one really does make you feel like you’re in a war zone. The 3rd does too but not quite to the same degree as 2. But at the same time you could use a fair bit of strategy, if you didn’t think it killed you quick too. If you wonder why they’re one of Sony’s flagship brands, play them and find out.

    Final Fantasy XIII: The thing that stands out about this was the combat system – squadmates that actually remember enemy weaknesses? That’s new. Oh and some quite, quite evil bosses.

    Wipeout HD: Say hello to the Zone levels and self-hypnotize yourself for hours. This re-invention of the classic series was utterly superb.

    Burnout Paradise: Free-roam Burnout and a huge world and custom soundtracks, what’s not to like?

    Bayonetta: In a word – bosses. Really nuts, insane bosses that prove to be very original.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum / City: You. Are. Batman. Well, not really and there’s times where both games really broke the spell very badly indeed – remote batarang for instance. But when at their best, they are utterly superb.

    Oblivion / Skyrim / Fallout 3: I’ve lost count how long I’ve spent on these epics, the world depiction is incredibly good. Fallout 3 also allows some truly bloody ways to kill people – exploding heads at close range with a combat shotgun never gets old. Skyrim has stunning graphics and a mentally large world to explore and Oblivion was similar.

    Mass Effect Trilogy: This was unique – games where your decisions did carry over even to the end. While I can see why people were critical of it, I’m nowhere near as inclined to be so harsh to the finale, which took those decisions to a new height of subtlety.

    Yakuza 3 / 4: Wonderfully fun, as you beat people up in various ways and they then apologise to you afterwards.

    Uncharted 2: Despite a rubbish end boss, this has the train level to end all train levels! Plus a few other good ones.

    I’m undecided about PS4 but suspect Witcher 3 might sell me the system in a year’s time.
  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    10. How would you rank the 6 Star Wars films?

    This will be a much shorter answer.

    No 1 has to be ANH – there wouldn’t be anything without it.

    No 2 has to be Jedi, saw when I was 7 and loved it. Now? Without it, Empire cannot be as good – one of the biggest enduring mistakes of recent years has been to assume that because fans see ESB as the best cinematic film of the OT, then that’s the story they want more of. ESB can’t really work on its own, it needs Jedi.

    No 3 is Empire – Vader’s easily at his best here and it also has the best lightsaber duel of the entire series in the exchanges at Cloud City. It also gave us the Imperial March – THE villain theme.

    No 4 is TPM for the final duel between the Jedi and Maul – it’s a perfect illustration of the sides of the Force, of what the conflict is about.

    Tied in last place are AOTC / ROTS: This is where the EU really shines as it takes these films, with their leaden plots, wooden performances, criminal waste of Sir Christopher Lee’s talents, numerous really dodgy moments and raises it up to heights underserved! I love the Clone Wars material that was done between the films, but the post-ROTS stuff is every bit as good too. That Ewan McGregor walked away with his career intact is quite impressive too!
    CooperTFN likes this.
  3. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    Give me a moment to think.





    YES.




    And I agree with everything you said. Just today I finished reading Feet of Clay (I really needed it after Children of the Jedi) and the whole world, the variety of great characters and the fast-paced and interesting plot really shined. And a lot of stuff that can still surprise me after so many reads (Ars enixa est candelam).
  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Aha, that's the one with Dragon King of Arms isn't it?
  5. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    Yes it is. And this: "If Commander Vimes did not exist you would have had to invent him." "You know, Drumknott, I rather think I did."
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  6. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    @Jedi Ben 11. Who are your top 10 or so favorite SW characters?

    12. What are your favorite SW books and comics?
  7. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    @Jedi Ben, it goes without saying that the first three positions of your top 10 favorite SW characters are reserved for His Imperial Majesty the Galactic Emperor Palpatine. But it would behoove you to draft a detailed essay as to what makes the Emperor so great.

    [IMG]
  8. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Not so!
  9. CaptainPeabody Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2008
    star 2
    For me, there's really two versions of Empire; there's the "open" version where nothing exists afterwards and there are endless possibilities, and the "closed" version where Return of the Jedi happens and explains and contextualizes and resolves everything. I like both versions, honestly.
  10. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Either way, the story works as its own self-contained cautionary fairytale wherein "No, just because you're a good guy doesn't mean you can continually defy logic and the odds and expect to get away with it. Here is a wide selection of consequences, of which you will now be hit with... all."

    It's a complete counterargument to the film preceding it in many ways. Kinda like Skyfall, except the preceding film in this case is great as well.
  11. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Ben, don't be ridiculous. The remote Batarang is by far the best way to completely troll henchmen. There can be nothing but appreciation for it.
    Zeta1127 and Mia Mesharad like this.
  12. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    After all the stunts Batman's pulled across multiple media it's the remote batarang that does it for you? :p

    In terms of AC i've always liked Revelations the best, though I see AC2 as the best game.
  13. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    IF you have the coordination ability to pull it off, Hav! In contrast to yourself, I found the sections maddeningly difficult and highly frustrating and it shattered the illusion of being Batman completely.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Oct 28, 2013
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Shoot the kitties! I don't care. [face_skull]
  15. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    To be honest, Revelations opening level didn't really sell itself well either.
  16. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4

    Really? I thought it was just as good was Brotherhood's or any of the other's. Nothing special, though i'll admit the fact it started in the middle of a journey was somewhat annoying, then again there was a fairly large timeskip between it and the last 2 games. With the AC series though its to each his own. I know people who hated the 3rd game, and I thought it was pretty awesome.
  17. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    To be honest, topping Rome was always going to be a hard one!
  18. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    You need to add Planescape: Torment to your games list. Something tells me you'd really enjoy it.
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
  20. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    PC. It's not available on Steam, but GOG has it.
  21. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Ah, alas, that's one strata of gaming I've never been able to get into!
  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    11. Who are your top 10 or so favorite SW characters?

    Hmm, tough one....So many categories to consider - as heroes, villains, as personalities?

    Here's a set of 10 favourite characters, though without a particular order:
    • Luke Skywalker - Trench run, Cloud City duel and then Death Star 2, followed by a ton of other stuff and gets to wield a lightsaber and fly an X-Wing.
    • Han Solo - Cocky, know-it-all, but he really comes into his own in the EU as General Solo.
    • Wedge Antilles - Everyone's favourite everyman survivor.
    • Zayne Carrick - Zayne has that undefinable x-factor that means you want to see him succeed.
    • Gryph - Zayne's more worldly, more cynical companion and sometimes mentor.
    • Gar Stasi - The SW version of General Patton, can be an absolute bastard to everyone but when he's on your side, it'll be worth it.
    • Soontir Fel - Utter bad-ass and the only pilot who Wedge fears, Fel remains a brilliant creation, not least in holding to his own code over that of the Empire.
    • Nat Skywalker - The only other individual who can smack the hell out of Cade Skywalker, the other one? Stasi.
    • Kerra Holt - Easily one of the best female characters created in ages, heroic but flawed, but not so much that they eclipse her positive traits or turn the reader against her.
    • Quinlan Vos - Flawed and came so close to destruction so often, but you always understood why he did and how, which only makes his final victory so satisfying.
    Top villains:
    • The Emperor: You think you'll never do anything bad, or, if you do, it won't be evil, that's what you tell yourself, and then you meet the Emperor and all those old certainties just slip away... Ian McDiarmuid really did a masterful portrayal of the Emperor, in all his guises.
    • Darth Vader: Where the Emperor is deceptive, Vader is considerably less so - mess with him and you die. Simples.
    • Count Dooku: Dooku has far more of his master than his successor, being lethally charismatic and seductive, his duels with Vos, mental, physical, spiritual were evidence of this.
    • Grand Admiral Thrawn: Charismatic but utterly amoral, that so many get suckered by Thrawn's outward nature is testimony to its success.
    • Jedi Master C'Boath: Utter nutcase, but he becomes a deceptively dangerous one when he starts reconstructing minds while their owner is alive.
    • Emperor Fel / Darth Krayt - They don't seem anything alike, but look deeper and both have the same desire for control to an absolute degree. To his credit, Fel clearly wasn't always this way, it took the war and Krayt to really create it in him, but once present it slowly took over him, with him letting it on the pretext of it being necessary. Under the cover of necessity Roan Fel would have turned Coruscant into the galaxy's greatest charnal heap, while Krayt's ambition was to kill the galaxy to see if the dark side would resurrect any piece of it.
    12. What are your favorite SW books and comics?

    Top of the pile, no matter what anyone says - and yes, I doubt there's an argument against it I haven't seen here - is Dark Empire.

    After that is the equally great and definitive ANH-ESB bridge Classic Star Wars by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson.

    Its very inconsistent but X-Wing: Rogue Squadron really had its high points, especially the arcs with Fel: In The Empire's Service, Making Of and Mandatory Retirement.

    Boba Fett: Death, Lies and Treachery is brilliantly black comedy.

    Clone Wars 2002-2005: Amongst others, built on the prior Republic series arcs, this gave us the Quinlan Vos epic that really examined exactly how far a Jedi could walk the razor of the dark side without being cut by it. It also built a relationship between Anakin Skywalker and ObiWan Kenobi that was better than the films.

    Empire / Rebellion: The epic 16 issues that saw the Tank arc be spun were brilliant and were based, at the start, on a consequence of a Clone Wars story, the War for Jabiim, and only got better from there. Around this bigger tale were a number of great smaller tales - Darklighter, To The Last Man, General Skywalker, Small Victories.

    Legacy: Easily one of the most ambitious SW stories ever, whose ambition exceeded its reach, but still excellent despite that.

    Knights of the Old Republic: Easily the best ensemble of characters going, with some great scripting and humour - while it was a dark series, the characters and comedy ensured it didn't get too dark!

    Honourable mentions: Knight Errant, Blood Ties, Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, Purge, Agent of the Empire.
  23. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    If it's a question of your computer being able to run it, don't fret. Game came out in 1998. Frequently considered to have some of the best writing in a video game ever. Frankly, it's closer to a fantasy novel than it is to a game. I'd highly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you ever played Baldur's Gate back in the day.
  24. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Yeah, that's it, never got the hang of tech specs.
  25. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4

    I actually never cared for Rome much. Just going from being able to visit numerous diff. cities to just one really bummed me out. Funnily enough though, when it happened in Revelations, I wasn't bummed because i'd already experienced it in Brotherhood and was therefore prepared lol. Just looking at the settings though, AC2 or AC3 had the best in my opinion.