I loved it. Intense drama and large-scale action with serious and tragic consequences to match. Cheesy and overdone at times, but for the most part it was an exciting and thrilling spectacle. The big problem (well, one of the big problems) with the other Hobbit movies was that they were going for the same epic tone as in the Lord of the Rings trilogy but didn't really have the material to support it, but that isn't an issue here.
Icemael's forum posts
What they really need to talk about is the game's ableism. There are people out there who can't even walk, and there Bayonetta is double-jumping, flying and doing all sorts of acrobatic moves. And success in the game even depends on how well she performs these unrealistic physical feats. I mean, what the hell? If they do not talk about this they show that they are not only ignorant, but that they do not care about real issues and people unlike themselves.
And don't even get me started on the game's blatant heightism, ageism and classism. It goes without saying that all of these must be dealt with at length.
I finished Scaramouche. Really enjoyed it. My only issue with it is that the protagonist is a bit of a Mary Sue (I almost sighed when, for the fourth time, he tried his hand at something he had no prior experience with and turned out to be almost superhumanly talented at it), but aside from that it's a really excellent, well-written book with great characters, tons of good twists and turns, and some incredibly exciting and suspenseful scenes. Wasn't bored with it once.
When I was done with that one, I started reading Dante's Divine Comedy (Mandelbaum's translation). I've gotten through most of Inferno now. I'm enjoying the vivid descriptions of hell, but it's not much of a story. It's more like a travel guide with interviews. Which isn't to say that it's bad or boring, but it certainly doesn't compare to something like an Iliad or an Aeneid.
Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini, Parerga and Paralipomena by Arthur Schopenhauer, and Grimm's Fairy Tales. All three are very enjoyable (Grimm's Fairy Tales mostly because many of the tales are so absurd, poorly written and/or violent that you can't help but laugh).
@theacidskull: It was extremely disappointing. Resident Evil 4, God Hand and Vanquish are some of my favourite games of all time, and I was expecting something of that caliber.
Still, it's not a bad game. I enjoyed it well enough, and some parts of it are very cool. But it's not something I would go around recommending to people.
The presentation was really excellent aside from the environment transitions. The different environments just didn't feel naturally connected or related... and they weren't supposed to, but a coherent world is always more enjoyable than one that feels disjointed. But the individual environments were gorgeous, the lighting was fantastic, the black bars added a feeling of oppression and claustrophobia, and I really liked the slight swaying of the camera during walking. Great sound design, too. Very atmospheric game. And the locked ward might be the coolest save area in video games.
What I had an issue with was the combat. As far as third-person shooters go, this is about as barebones as it gets. For movement there's just walking and sprinting -- no dodge rolls, no cover system, no jumps, no anything. For melee there's just regular swings, no combos or any of the context-sensitive stuff from recent Resident Evil games. Weapons are your standard video game loadout minus assault rifle/submachine gun (I guess there's the crossbow, but it's not that interesting a weapon). And the enemies are basically just Ganados/Manjinis, except without any Plagas popping out of heads. Aside from certain sequences, like the fights with the spider woman or the parts where you have to cross the water, there is absolutely nothing mechanically interesting going on. This would be disappointing enough on its own, but when you consider who this game is coming from it's even worse.
Good: More colourful than the first game, more enemy variety. Most of what was great about the first game is there.
Bad: Loki is unbearable, combat is visually messy in a way that fairly often makes it hard to tell what's going on (can't recall ever having that issue in the first game), the enemy designs aren't as cool as in the first game, the pacing is inferior, flying battles are lame since from a functional standpoint they do little more than restrict your movement options, Umbran Climax looks cool but you're practically invincible during it which is a bit boring, the selection of weapons is overall slightly worse than in the original (no shotguns, the flamethrowers aren't as cool as Durga, the new whip doesn't look or feel nearly as satisfying as the old one even though it is more useful, no ice skates -- you can skate on the chainsaws but they're not nearly as fast -- etc.), and the game never gets as crazy as the most climactic parts of the first one (boss fights in particular don't feel nearly as spectacular). Also, going from having all of the moves, weapons and accessories in the first Bayonetta to being forced to purchase basic shit like the stinger all over again feels kind of crippling.
It's just not as good as the first one. Still, I enjoyed it a lot, and I'm definitely going to go through it again on Infinite Climax.
@legion_: Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world because it is so common in adults, and especially the elderly. Cancer in children is very rare and isn't something any parent should sit around worrying about, and it's still a far bigger problem than school shootings. 'How is it that in the self proclaimed "greatest country in the world", parents can't send their kids to school without fear of them getting killed?' -- this is absolutely sensationalism and paranoia, and nothing else.
Not to mention that there's another huge difference between shootings and cancer, namely that there's no argument against more effective cancer treatments, whereas there is most definitely an argument against restrictive gun laws. There's an argument for them, too, but "about 25 people a year die in school shootings" is not it and adds nothing whatsoever of value to that discussion.
This is just sensationalism and paranoia. The idea that parents can't send their kids to school without fear of them getting shot to death because about 25 people/year in a country of well over 300 million get killed in school shootings is ridiculous. I did a quick, rough calculation, and the risk of a US child getting cancer is about 160 times higher than the risk of that same child getting shot in a school shooting. The risk of that child dying of cancer is 30 times higher. Perhaps parents should sit at home worrying that their children might get leukemia.