Lit Unpopular EU opinions

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Team Padme, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Crystal Star is fantastic, and I don't at all mean that in a "it's so bad it's good" way.
  2. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    The New Rebellion was pretty fun, and deserves more love.
    Rogue1-and-a-half and cthugha like this.
  3. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    "He's got no mama, he's got no papa, he's got no story."

    That comparison is deeply confusing to me. I can understand identifying Stover's prose style as hypermasculine, if only through its aggressive vividness and tendency to deal with violence, but I don't think the obvious philosophical consideration that goes into it - whether one agrees with it or not - is arguable, whereas Frank Miller's ASBAR fires on violence for the sake of violence, on a refusal to examine it on any terms anything other than its own hypermasculinity as if that is an end in itself. There's no aggressive existential humanism in the g**d***** Batman, there's just aggression.

    Similarly, I don't see the Denning-Mark Millar comparison. The comic version of Kick-Ass is a bleak, bleak thing as compared to the film; it's violently deconstructionist again, to the point that it almost begins to feel as though the deconstruction is an excuse for the tear-up-the-page hyperreal KAPOW ZAP punch-ups - it's ironic pastiche that both gives us what we want, and nihilistically tells us that it's pointless. In contrast, I've always found Denning to be fairly staid on the surface; his prose isn't showy, he includes action that's somewhat more violent then other authors, but ultimately I don't feel he's taking Stover's heart-on-sleeve approach to either direct philosophical engagement OR Millarish genre deconstruction. I think Denning actually does quite a lot of subversion in his work, but it occurs in genuine subtext, beneath the surface, to the point we argue over whether it even exists (and therefore whether it's useful, would be a fair criticism), and dismiss his work as uninspired. Like it or loathe it - and I'm not a fan of either Mille/ar - their work has a sense of identity and purpose, and defines itself against what it considers to be mainstream. Stover does this too, though as I've argued, in a different way. Denning, on the other hand, I think, stays deliberately within the mainstream; even when dealing with weirder topics like flow-walking, the ultimate fallout is never as spectacularly strange as it would be in a Stover novel. It's always under the surface.
    instantdeath likes this.
  4. imiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    Ah, okay. I thought he was pretty loved by everyone except me until he did Revan (which I didn't bother reading).
  5. imiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    Fair enough. Perhaps I wasn't expecting anyone with enough comic knowledge to call me on it ;)
  6. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    They are, just going by experience. For all the "most overrated bands" thread I've seen, for example... they're fine when both parties are willing to debate, but it does usually devolve into "XXXX band sucks, no need to explain my opinion, kthxbye". Which, by the laws of the internet, leads to butthurt. I think this forum is better than that, though.

    Can I ask why? I'd argue that it's objectively a very well built game... and of course laid the foundations for KOTOR II.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Sep 15, 2012
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  7. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    star 6
    Darksaber is one of my favorite Bantam books.
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  8. imiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    I definitely like Darksaber a lot more than the JAT - it had Wedge being awesome as fleet commander (even if I'm not convinced about him being a fleet commander), and A-Wing commandos, and Pellaeon!
  9. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    This may be a conflation of Star Wars fannish opinion with Mass Effect fannish opinion? My limited observation is that ME fandom loves him because he wrote a lot of the first game and part of the second, and everything they don't like after that gets attributed to his not being involved anymore.

    Star Wars, on the other hand, got introduced to him writing a book about Bane which stomped all over the continuity of the Jedi vs Sith comic book mini series, to which his response was, "lol, whatever, why should I care, comics are for kids and mine was better anyway." AND THEN HE TWIRLED HIS MUSTACHIOS.

    OH RIGHT, so also, my unpopular opinions:

    - I love INVINCIBLE. Love it. One of my favourite SW novels, regardless of what I thought about the novels that led up to it.

    - the idea of Jacen going dark and Jaina killing him is awesome.

    - I liked Planet of Twilight.

    - I don't get the fuss over Zahn. I like him, he's introduced some wonderful characters, but overall, I always feel he's writing science fiction not science fantasy.

    - I, for absolute real, shipped Morrigan Corde and Jariah Synn.

    - KOTOR II > KOTOR I

    - Y: DR is one of the best novels in the EU (okay not unpopular so much as unusual; I don't think the novel is disliked so much as overlooked).

    - I like Ahsoka.

    - I liked Zekk more than Jag as Jaina's love interest. So much messy potential to the fact that I'm convinced Jaina spent most of her life with someone else in her mind, and her desire to hold onto her killik-bond with Zekk was a desperate attempt to replace her twin/sibling bond with something. Which is probably also why Zekk/Jaina/Jag is one of the few fictional threesomes I really believe could work rather than just being fanservice.

    - If Jaina's going to have to be involved in the Felpire, she ought to be the one founding it.

    - The Phantom Menace is the best prequel film. It still felt like Star Wars instead of a Green Screened theme park with bad shot-reverse-shot conversations.

    - I really don't care very much about Kyle Katarn.

    - These days I...probably prefer mad, self-narrating Radio Drama Vader to James Earl Jones Vader.

    - The Clone Wars does a good job of characterising Anakin Skywalker as a heroic, respected Jedi that Yoda might talk about in hushed tones when recalling him, while also showing him as someone who will one day be Darth Vader.

    ...I'm sure I have more. o_O
    Last edited by beccatoria, Sep 15, 2012
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  10. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I'm glad that Battlefront most likely will not be getting a sequel
  11. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Oh, I have the comic knowledge, what I'm lacking is Denning knowledge first-hand!
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Sep 15, 2012
  12. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Oh, the Mass Effect fandom (which I suppose I would be a part of; despite everything, the Mass Effect trilogy is one of my favorite video game series ever) indeed loves Karpyshyn. Star Wars fandom not as much.

    For my part, I consider Karpyshyn a good "idea man". It's why I think his talents lead more towards game design. He can give the basic idea, and other writers can rough out the edges, write sharper dialogue, and so on. The fact that it's so team based really delivers a better product. When it's Karpyshyn on his own, you really see some of his weaknesses as a writer come out. Maybe he'll improve now that he's a full time writer.

    I can understand not caring, but how could you possibly be glad? That's just cruel for the rest of us :p
    Last edited by instantdeath, Sep 15, 2012
  13. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I'm not happy about that. I just wanted to see what people would say to that. I do want BF3
  14. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Ha, no problem. ;) Besides, you're entitled to your opinion too.

    For what it's worth, I could actually see a comparison between Mark Millar and Stover. Their messages might be very different (I think Millar congratulates the reader on nihilistically refusing to engage with the notion of meaning and instead hedonistically drinking in the violence, whereas Stover encourages the reader towards a more existantialist position and asks that they find their own meaning/journey with the protagonist as he finds his own meaning in the story) - and its in those messages that I find I like one but not the other - but both try to grab you with a show of aesthetics. Both are alpha dog narratives trying to grab you by the throat and reassess your worldview.

    They're like the devil and angel on the shoulders of Chuck Palahniuk. ;)
    cthugha likes this.
  15. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    I don't. Battlefront was a dumb concept.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Sep 15, 2012
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  16. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Battlefield meets Star Wars, if anything, seems like a ridiculously obvious concept to me. Or, at least, a cash cow that I'm amazed hasn't been milked further.
    Zeta1127, Esg and Force Smuggler like this.
  17. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Dude, you want an unpopular opinion? I liked the ending to the last game. The original ending. I even liked it better before they added the extra stuff. No, really, I did.
    Zorrixor and Dr. Steve Brule like this.
  18. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Ha. I didn't like it, but I wasn't ready to burn down any houses. I actually sort of respect that they were willing to do something so unorthodox.

    In fact, while I can't top your opinion, I will say that I consider the paragon control ending a very satisfying conclusion to my personal Shepard. Kind of curious, though, why do you prefer it without the extended cut? I believe nothing was actually changed in EC, only stuff added. Well, except
    Show Spoiler
    the mass relays were changed to damaged rather than destroyed
    .
    I suppose the original allows you to use your imagination...

    Of course, the Bioware social forums are a total cesspit. I wonder if they've cooled down in the past few months?
    Last edited by instantdeath, Sep 15, 2012
  19. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Thrawn and Mara were my least favorite characters in TTT.
    I'd rather reread JAT than TTT.
    Any depth added to Dooku's story is always interesting to me and drunk Jedi is a fun idea, otherwise I felt LoE was a mess and boring too.
  20. GrandMasterKatarn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2008
    star 4
    With the exception of Jolee and HK-47, all of the characters come across as stoic (unless provoked), Darth Malak is a one-dimensional villain, most of the characters refuse to speak with you after certain planets despite having high skill points in persuasion, Bastilla and Carth are weak romantic interests to the point that both are completely shallow and vain, Zalbaar and T3 just refuse to talk no matter what, and all the side quests are pretty much boring with little to any plot other than "go here, do this." And that's pretty much the game, as well. It's all "go here, do this" never any room for in depth characterizations the way KotOR II does.
  21. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Wow...can I condense this into a readable amount? ;)

    I'll try!

    Spoiler cut for both length (sorry) and also so that people uninterested don't have their thread derailed. Oh, and for spoilers, obviously!

    Show Spoiler
    Basically it boils down to the fact that, yes, it allows more use of imagination. But I wouldn't prioritise that as highly if not for the fact that I found the method of choice you had to make and the stylistic decision to force it on you in a vacuum, utterly fascinating.

    They created an interesting exercise in practical existentialism. The philosophy holds that nothing means anything, inherently, except the meaning which you ascribe it. Your life means...what you choose for it to mean. But there is no external, objective marker that can be planted and used as a measuring stick. The game spends ninety hours teaching you about the world, letting you build up an understanding of how it works, of your own opinions on the various factions and conflicts, of what, within that moral framework, constitutes different alignments - "paragon", "renegade", "good", "bad". You can replay, see the consequences, choose the one you like most. Then at the end, they remove it. They take it away. You have to make a choice based purely on what you've learned and decided during the course of your time as Shepard. You have to provide the context to give your choice meaning - there is no epilogue to do it for you.

    I sometimes wonder if people would have accepted the ending more readily if Shepard had been yelling, "OKAY BUT I'M DOING THIS FOR MY OWN REASONS, SMALL CHILD!" as she hurled herself towards her ending of choice. I think that Bioware attempted to create a situation where the player had space to read infinite meaning into her final choice, because no amount of specific, numerical variations would ever really be as satisfying. But instead players chose to read it as limited choice, because personal context is "headcanon" and doesn't count, even though personal reaction plays into every choice you make as Shepard up to that point.

    I think the game gave you ninety hours of context. I think the game gave you everything you needed, as a player, to contextualise your choice, to determine the meaning of your own game.

    I think it asked the question of the player, devoid of external validation, do your actions still have meaning? And, tragically, the majority of the fanbase rose up and said, "No."

    But I did feel that the existentialist, uncertain ending, was completely appropriate to a game that was grounded in cosmicism and the demands that we justify our existence in an indifferent and inherently meaningless universe. A lot of people see the "against all odds," heroism of Shepard as the series' defining trait, and that's fair enough, but my opinions fall more in line with this article (interestingly, written well before the release of the third game, given the accusations that many of these themes came "out of nowhere").

    The reason I didn't particularly need to see the extended endings is that I think an inability to see them is a valuable part of constructing that existentialist ending, where everything you know is turned upside down, and you're forced to make a huge choice on limited information. You can't know, because Shepard can't know. It both legitimises the experience of creating a future you will never see, and leaves me with a sense of fantastic unknown; "Oh my god, it's full of stars..." in a way no end cut scene could ever manage, even if I'm greedy and I did actually kind of like watching them all regardless (because they WERE well-done).

    What I disliked more was the extra dialogue from the Catalyst. As someone who liked the ending's minimalism, I could just hear the whine of fans in every inserted line, the self-righteous insistence that Shepard be allowed to question this creature of immense power, like it's the time or the place for that, with billions dying outside the viewports every moment, like Shepard's so awesomes she deserves to talk smack to god at the moment her civilisation stands on the brink of complete annihilation, because what we want is Hollywood backtalk. And that's an ugly, visceral reaction to dialogue I probably would have had no problem with if it had been in there in the original game, but...that's the emotion it evoked in me, unfortunately.

    Plus I thought the explanation of Synthesis actually was something that constituted a change and made it...kind of weird when previously it was my favourite option. I didn't mind them not explaining it, but all of a sudden it's something that "can't be forced" but "you are ready," when, what, no one else in the entirety of the Catalyst's existence has been "ready"? I made peace with it by paralleling it with Legion's personality dissemination - a part of Shepard's acceptance of her organic and synthetic attributes is necessary - and never before has there been someone (a) synthorganic, (b) willing and (c) in the hub of a giant energy dispersement thingy. But...it was just weird and felt like a really awkward and unnecessary "IT'S NOT RAPE" sign.

    Like, seriously. If you're going to fundamentally change the biology of every being in the universe, that implies consent issues. Just own it. I did. Chose it anyway. ;)
  22. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    That reminds: yeah - Kotor 1 is far better than Kotor 2, especially in terms of characters. Kotor 2 characters were utterly forgettable, not very likable, and not nearly as deep as people, while the original had a fun, memorable cast with surprising depth.

    Buh...I know this isn't the place to quibble over other people's opinions...but....it feels like we are stretching even the bounds of subjectivity to say that force storm in Kotor, the ability to zap multiple guys at once, is more over the top than casually crushing a battle walker like a used soda can.

    TOR especially features plenty of "normals kick jedi and sith arse"

    That is probably why he gets all the fuss, at least in some corners.

    I didn't like it either, or even the very existence of the crucible because I hate winning via superweapon, but a band last 5 minutes can't ruin how amazing the game was up to that point

    Oh yeah, and for really unpopular:
    Dark Rendezvous was a solid book, but didn't live it to its hype in the slightest.
  23. imiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    @beccatoria - but what if I'm an essentialist communitarian Mass Effect fan? ;-)
  24. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Then you're kark outta luck if you wanna get anything out of my reading of it? :p

    But to give you a slightly more serious answer - I'll be upfront about the fact I'm familiar with communitarianism but not specifically essentialist communitarianism, so I'm assuming it's a combination of essentialism and communitarianism, but if I'm horribly wrong, I apologise. ;) I

    Firstly, I think that given the topic is the potential insignificance of individual existence, along with the notion of blurring the boundaries of biological essentialism and the sharp dividing line between the organic and the technological, an essentialist communitarian reading of Mass Effect could be (a) fascinating and (b) in an interesting dialectic conflict with one of existentialist humanism. The messages one takes home might be very different, but I'm not sure the story or the methods used to tell the story, need to be.
  25. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    I was referring to the hyperspace wormholes Palpatine used in DE to devour fleets.
    Last edited by Sable_Hart, Sep 15, 2012