Television Lite Week
This week has been one that has seen me absolutely consumed with Destiny on the PlayStation 4, and as such I have simply not spent much time watching television. I have however watched quite an excessive amount of YouTube videos, namely as I try to find information about Destiny. There is this shift that is happening where certain games with certain audiences… simply do not have information blog posts about them. I’ve gotten spoiled in a world with Dulfy.net and WoWHead.com in that I expect pretty much every game I have to have this quality of resources. Instead for many games lately all I am ever able to find is YouTube videos on a given subject. I am sorry to all the YouTubers out there… but I am of a generation where I feel like a video is the least useful way to disseminate information. I will take a written explanation and some good screenshots any day over a lengthy video walk through. At some point in the near future I hope to take some of these things that I found frustrating and attempt to write some blog posts outlining how to do this thing or that thing in Destiny. Granted that is not to say there are not a lot of really good Destiny YouTube channels… but I would still rather have an informational post.
The first time around when the AggroChat crew played Destiny… we joked that it was a game almost entirely devoid of story. That apparently is not the case… they just go to strange lengths to hide it from you. The story of the game is told through a series of grimoire cards, item descriptions, quest text, and hinted at in cinematic scenes. In fact there is actually apparently a TON of information about the characters in the game, their background, how they arrived at the tower… and all sorts of legends from the golden age, the city age, and the now tower age. In my search for information about Destiny I happened to stumble across a really awesome YouTube channel called Myelin Game… which is not to be confused with long time friend Mylin1. The channel is chock full of videos where Myelin digs into the lore of Destiny and connects the dots, weaving all of the known information… and speculated information into a narrative around a certain subject. I linked the Black Garden video since the game does a pretty poor job to explain what the hell it actually is… but I also highly suggest the trilogy of videos talking about thorn, last word, and first curse. I have always guessed there was this rich story somewhere behind Destiny… because the dots connected too neatly at times not to be well planned, but now that I am starting to learn some of the actual story I am loving it. I still feel it is a strange choice to make players dig for this knowledge, rather than letting you experience chunks of it through the story. The Fallen King expansion does a much better job of being more forthcoming with information… and it gives characters that previously did not have much of a personality… plenty of chance to show it off. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to these lore videos while doing other things and I highly recommend them.
Star Wars Minute
Another thing that I stumbled across this week is Star Wars Minute, which is a great YouTube channel that takes segments of the Star Wars universe and condenses them into roughly one minute long narrative explanations. Much like the Destiny Lore, this feels as much podcast as it does YouTube video because the narrative explanation is the important part… and the images going along with it are nice to have but not 100% necessary. I ended up finding this as I started doing some googling related to the Star Wars universe, namely for the upcoming pen and paper game that should have its first session tomorrow. The funny thing about this is how much of the universe I already had a full grasp on but have no clue why. I guess even though I have been a sleeper Star Wars fanboy since the prequels… I was still subconsciously hungry for knowledge about this favorite of universes. Star Wars Minute is great to play in the background as you do something else and they release three new episodes a week, so there is a silly amount of content available already.
Arrow Season 3
Be warned I am going to go into some serious spoilers here, so if you have not watched Arrow Season 3 or if you intend to at a later date… you might want to skip this section. Here is the point at which I get really frustrated with this show. Generally speaking I am all for a television show deviating from the source material to make the universe work better for the TV audience. For example most of the Batman movies have worked really well… and they are essentially a condensed soup version of the batman universe… gathering up all the good bits and trying to weave a story out of them. You have a very limited amount of time on television, and what might work fine to slowly build over the course of several years of a comic run… needs to happen in an under two hour long movie. Television shows have a bit more leverage when it comes to pacing something out, and this is also cool. The thing that apparently pisses me off though… is when you take actions attributed to one character and apply them to a completely different character.
What I mean is that this story line that has played out throughout the season around R’as al Ghul didn’t happen to Green Arrow… ever. Essentially this is a Batman storyline, and all of the events that are playing out happened at one time or another to Batman. This caused me to think about Arrow the television show in a different light and realize that essentially… they have been turning Arrow into Batman this entire time. Maybe it is because Batman has been tagged as a “film” universe and is not available to be done in a Television version that they feel the need to create someone that is Batman-like. Green Arrow was admittedly a comic that I did not really follow. I mean I knew that him calling his sister Speedy when that was the character that would ultimately become Arsenal was wrong… and I knew a few other points seemed less than correct. However I lived in this world of relatively little knowledge about the show so I was able to pretty much ignore any differences… until they started stepping foot into the Batman universe. THAT is a universe I know considerably more about, and after a whole lot of research and the council of Thalen… I pretty much determined that nope… Green Arrow has never really interacted much with R’as al Ghul at all. So I am sitting here two episodes away from the end of the season… questioning if I care to finish watching it.
Walking Dead Season 6 Premiere
Thank god Walking Dead is back. “Fear The” was such a pale imitation of Walking Dead, and I am exceptionally happy that they chose to back up the start of Season Six to the end of the first season of Fear. I do have to say though that it makes me extremely happy that Talking Dead has been pulled in officially for Fear as well, because for me at least that has become so much of that experience. This is one hell of a first episode, and I really liked the way they handled Flashbacks in this episode by making them Black and White. That is always the challenge with a show, how to visually tell the watcher that the events they are seeing are not happening in real time but instead an imagined replay. When you are dealing with older characters and younger characters, it works naturally… but when you are dealing with only a few hours or days passing… it becomes much more challenging. So the choice of black and white gave a nice clear demarcation point between the two time-frames. As to the rest of the episode… Rae sent me a text as the show as going on that simply said “Nosh Pit”.
The premise of the show has to be one of the most Rube Goldberg style plot devices I have seen in awhile. To figure out a way to draw the walkers out of the pit and along a fixed path to get them away from Alexandria. The parallels to herding cattle… was extremely strong in this episode. They even managed to draw them down a chute just like you do cattle for a period of time… and then cleared out the farm supply store just to make sure nothing would spook them and draw their attention away… kinda like you do cattle. The slightest noise can distract cattle and get them to move in a different direction, and that apparently is the case with walkers. The thing is… going into this episode… you knew something was going to go wrong. There were scenes in the Season 6 preview show of Walkers in Alexandria or at least the hint of that happening. This show is really good about misleading us, for example the above poster would seem like we are heading towards some central conflict between Morgan and Rick… and in truth… it seems like Morgan instead manages to back Rick down from the ledge a bit.
As far as the walkers… when they are nearing the clear zone… someone sets off a horn in Alexandria, causing the mega horde to turn that direction. So the question is… who did it. At work the popular theory for awhile has been that Enid is a spy from the Wolves, and that the scenes of her in the car with the walker outside… hint that she set off the horn. My personal theory is it is Father Gabriel once again trying to destroy everything around him. He wanted to go out on the mission to herd the walkers, but Rick shut him down immediately. My theory is he is vindictive, and after being shut down by Andrea as well… he is still on some mission to destroy this community and in the process allow himself to be kill in some sort of twisted act of contrition for letting his parishioners die. In truth it could be the wolves themselves, who have been watching everything happening and see this as their opportunity to let the zombies batter down the defense of Alexandria and allow them to come in after they are done… and loot the resources. If nothing else this episode explained why Alexandria had been left fairly unscathed… because the giant pit of zombies had been drawing in more zombies and keeping them away from the town. It is going to be interesting to see how the next few episodes play out, and who we lose in the process.