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wollywoo

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#1  Edited By wollywoo

Apollo 13 4/4

I defy anyone to not like this movie. It's just enjoyable. Many historical films fumble at trying to take an infinitely complex real-world situation and turn it into a film, but the historical events of the Apollo 13 mission make for great cinema. Yes the tech is a bit hard to understand at times if you're not well-versed in that world, but you don't need to know that much detail. In the end it's about three guys on a mission to get home. You could argue it's overly sentimental, but that sentiment feels earned. You can't not smile at the final splashdown. It's a tightly-constructed, simple story that's a real crowd-pleaser.

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I loved this game as a kid and I have a lot of nostalgia for it, but I'd never wish it on anyone now who hasn't already played it, except maybe with a guide. Having to burn every damn bush and bomb every wall in sight to make progress is not great game design. Actually, if someone just made a mod to give the bombable walls and burnable bushes a slightly different sprite, ala later Zeldas, it would be quite playable. Although admittedly it would make it a bit less exciting to find those secrets.

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Any game with an soundtrack I love. Because I'll listen to it over and over again and it will remind me of the game. Bastion, FTL, Outer Wilds, Chrono Cross come to mind. Every time I listen to the supernova song from Outer Wilds I feel like I am going to die.

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#4  Edited By wollywoo

Roger Ebert. Every time I watch a movie I want to read his review of it, and if it came out before 2013, I always do. His blog was also excellent.

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@wollywoo: I assume you've played Wargroove? It's not quite as good, but it's probably the closest/best thing we're gonna get to an Advance Wars sequel.

Yup, played and loved Wargroove!

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I just wanted to complement everyone here for keeping this discussion civil. There are a lot of gaming sites where this topic would have turned real ugly real fast.

And that's why I'm on these forums.

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#8  Edited By wollywoo

@bigsocrates: I didn't say that any controversy at all is automatically bad. If I had to bet, I would say that yes, there would be a vocal minority of idiots who would complain about a female-lead Zelda; roughly the same proportion of people who complain about Finn as a black character in the new Star Wars trilogy. ie, pretty small I think. (in fact I never actually heard anyone complain about Finn - I only ever heard people complaining about the complainers.) That's not the kind of divisiveness I'm talking about.

(They might complain if it was Linkle, because that's a dumb name. I really want Zelda herself to star for once.)

Plenty of people have talked about the politics in Zelda and other games, particularly Anita Sarkeesian, who I really like. But I think it's possible to address her concerns in a way that isn't particularly divisive. A female lead would be a good first step.

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@wollywoo: Zelda has a lot of politics in it. They're just not emphasized.

The plot of Breath of the Wild is very slight but it touches on all kinds of political issues, including the use of autonomous war machines, alliances between various races (long a theme in Zelda stories) and gender politics (there's a whole city that won't let men in.)

The fact that Nintendo refuses to make a game with a female option for Link or Zelda as the lead character despite fan pressure is political, not just artistic, as is the way that Nintendo updates Zelda from sleeping in the first game in the series to battling Gannon while Link regenerates in a shrine in Breath of the Wild, understanding that even if you're telling a male-centered story in 2017 you needed a more active female lead.

Zelda's politics don't have to take over the narrative around the game and they clearly aren't the focus the way politics are in something like Paper's Please, but it's not an apolitical series and the politics are worth discussing when people want to.

I take your point, but I never said that nothing at all in Zelda is political. All of those things are in-world issues and don't have an obvious intended commentary on contemporary hot-button issues. That's an interesting point regarding the war machines - I suppose you could see the guardians as a kind of metaphor for modern drone technology, but if so it's not clear that there's anything much they are saying about them other than maybe they can go wrong.

I think what you're saying is: everything is political. I mean, sure. Pretty much any story is going to involve power structures and so that's going to be political in some sense. What I mean is that it is simply that it's not the kind of story that is going to make anyone angry, at least as to its politics. And I'm saying: that's fine. Maybe they should be angry, but there are plenty of places for that already.

(For the record: I would love a female lead in a Zelda.)

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Games should be appraised the same way as other art. It's not about the politics or lack of politics, it's about artistic integrity. If games present a story that happens to have political framing or even an overtly political message, that's not in and of itself a good or bad thing. It's about how those concepts fit in, or don't fit in, to the story and the gameplay.

I think that's pretty much the consensus view and I agree with it. The other perspective, though, is that politics tends to take over every discussion and generally foments anger in the community. Often that anger is justified. However it is nice to have more neutral spaces where people on opposite sides of the political spectrum can relax and feel at home and treat each other decently. Like, I would be a bit sad if the next Zelda turned about to be some sort of political propaganda even if it was for a cause I believed in. There's just been so much good-will built up among the fanbase that stretches across political boundaries, and it would be a shame to smash that community in two.

So basically what I'm saying is

a) Politics in games is fine and expected, and even important, if done well.

b) I'm glad that not every game is that way.