Weekend Whammy

Weekend Whammy: Thoughts On The Long Night & Days Gone

My weekend has been filled with violence courtesy of my little niece who firmly believes that beating up her uncle is the greatest thing in the world. Man, five-year-old little girls can seriously do some damage. Jeez.

This week I chucked out my review for Close to the Sun, an intriguing game set in an alternate timeline where Nikola Tesla has become the richest man in the world. With all that wealth he constructed a huge ship called the Helios and then packed it with the greatest minds in the world. Of course, things go wrong, people die and we get to explore the ship in order to find out what went wrong.

All said and done I really enjoyed Close to the Sun, but the ending left me feeling entirely unsatisfied and the tension that was so well concocted early on fizzled out. Go check out my review for the rest of my thoughts.

I also put out another Patch Notes, this time talking about Randy Pitchford having a small meltdown and Valve’s brand new VR headset.

So I’ve been putting some time into Days Gone and so far I’d have to say it’s pretty damn good, though the opening couple of hours don’t do it any favours. But what I wanted to talk about here is what’s up with the bikes? Or my exactly, why is everybody on bikes and why are they all choppers? I mean, I’m totally on-board with having a bike in a zombie apocalypse, but a chopper is the worst choice possible. They’re clumsy, hard to move around and suck for off-roading. Yet everyone is riding them, with not a dirt-bike in sight. Weirder is how the roads are littered with cars and especially chunky 4x4s that would be superb for mowing down Freakers. Why does nobody drive those as well? I don’t think the game ever tries to explain it, either. Huh.

My Mortal Kombat 11 review should be up in the next few days, so I won’t say too much about it. I’ve actually had to re-write a chunk of the review due to some of the recent updates, which is a good thing because the game has been improved.

I’d also recommend checking out Kasual to Kompetitive, a handy guide to the game that you can find below. There’s a series of these videos, and once you’ve watched this one you should go and look at their combo guide.

Obviously last week Game of Thrones aired the third episode in the final season. Its fair to say that opinions were somewhat divided. I’m going to offer up some quick thoughts on it, so be warned we’re going into spoiler territory.

First, let’s tackle the Night King himself. I agree with the general feeling that after 8 seasons of build it was a shame to see him go out so…quickly. I’m not upset about Jon Snow not fighting him head-on, though. While it would have been cool to see, it wasn’t something I assumed would happen. Plus, we don’t even know if the Night King was any good with a blade. We never saw him fight, and he seemed disinterested in doing so. He shrugged off Jon’s challenge earlier in the episode, after all. He may never have had to properly fight one-on-one. He has no reason to.

With that said, Arya was a bit of a surprise, but a welcome one in my eyes. I like how they used the episode to remind of us of her various skills. I really enjoyed the library sequence and how she was shown to be so quiet that it was a drop of blood that eventually gave her away. The callback to her to move against Brienne from last season was also superb, and I liked that she snuck up on Jon in the exact same place the episode prior.

But man, the Night King needs to get himself some better bodyguards. The white walker generals kind of suck. At everything. Not only do we never see them do anything, they failed to protect their master from the small blur of a girl.

Speaking of useless, what the fuck Bran. Just…man, you’re useless.

A lot of people are unhappy with the idea of Cersei and the battle for the throne being the final boss fight in Game of Thrones, assuming that the Night King story is actually over. I think I’m okay with it because I had always figured that the battle for the throne would probably be the finale. Game of Thrones, at least the TV show, has always been about two storylines: winter coming, and political backstabbing. Realistically, the threat of the walkers had to be dealt with first. Although I have to admit that having the North tackle Cersei first then trying to hold off the Night King with a shattered army would have been cool.

As for the rest of the episode, I did notice that a lot of people found it too dark. It’s a valid complaint, I reckon, but personally the darkness worked for me. I loved that you couldn’t see the undead until they were right on top of people. It gave the battle a horror tinge.

I also thought they did a fantastic job of taking a 90-minute battle and keeping it interesting. They constantly changed the pace up, from chaotic war to character moments to creepy sections and sombre sequences. The entire piano and slow motion sequence toward the end sent chills down my spine.

In the midst of all that chaos, though, it was a bit strange that none of the major characters died. I think Game of Thrones has fundamentally changed since the show caught up with the books. One of the defining aspects of the books and show, to me, was that characters would die in believable ways. If they made poor decisions in the game (of thrones) or found themselves in tough situations it usually resulted in death. But since diverging from the books it feels like characters are able to get away with a lot more. Jon Snow and co. being surrounded in the middle of the lake from last season is a prime example. In earlier Game of Thrones at least a few of the big characters in that episode would have died. But thanks to Gendry being a champion runner they pulled through with only one minor death. Going back to The Long Night we had multiple characters being completely surrounded or inept yet surviving. Sam is a character I love, but he should have gotten killed several times over. Likewise, we saw Brienne, Jaime and Podrick all being squashed by dozens of walkers but by time we come back to them they’re fine again.

And then, of course, we have the strange Dothraki charge. I’m still not sure why they were at the front, or why the catapults were also right on the front line and did practically nothing. It seems like the Dothraki were sacrifices or something, though, because none of them appeared to be wielding dragonglass weapons that I could see. Maybe we’ll get some sort of crazy explanation this week as to why they all went charging off to their deaths. But man, at least the scene with all the fiery swords going out was awesome.

Here’s some of my favorite moments from Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 3:

  • Davos looking at Arya like he’s not sure whether she’s amazing or completely insane. Bit of both, Davos. Bit of both.
  • The undead dragon spewing blue flame from holes in its neck and face.
  • Jon Snow yelling at aforementioned dead dragon. You tell it, Jon!
  • Sneaky assassin Arya yelling loudly while jumping at the Night King. That is not how you sneaky sneaky, Arya.
  • GreyWorm making the choice to trap the Unsullied why they bravely held off the undead tide.
  • The Walkers flowing over everything like a wave. Awesome stuff.
  • That piano sequence. *shivers*
  • “What do we say to the God of Death?” “Not today.”
  • The Night King’s smirk. That’s confidence.
  • The Night King calmly raising more Walkers instead of fighting Jon.
  • Bran, for having a level of chill we should all hope to achieve in our lives.
  • Sansa and Tyrion. Could we see Tyrion changing allegiance? Or Danny being pissed off because Missandei told her what happened in the crypt?
  • Dead Starks being raised and breaking out of their crypts. We knew it was going to happen, but it was still awesome.
  • Arya sneaking around in the library. Some nice, tense action.
  • Walkers not being able to find the books they were looking for.
  • The fantastic single shot of Jon making his way through Winterfell and knowing that he couldn’t stop to help his friends and allies.
  • The Walkers coming out of the darkness.

Anyway, that’s it for this week folks. As always thanks for reading and please do let me know what you’ve been playing, watching and reading this week!

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