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Ashnod last won the day on September 17 2011

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About Ashnod

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  1. Pretty much my feelings as well. ,, This is Smaug. The conqueror of Erebor. The nightmare of Dale. ,, The flying, fiery death that ended hundreds of lives and brought a nation to ruin. ,, And it spends an hour playing "neener-neener fah-fah" with 9 dwarves and a hobbit, unsuccessfully killing or wounding a single one. ,, The whole "ride a wheelbarrow down a channel of molten gold" was appallingly bad, as was the dwarves and hobbit somehow managing not to get toasted by standing behind the narrow columns of the archways leading to the smelting area. ,, Not to mention that the great hall where Smaug is covered in molten gold near the end of the film is the exact same floor Bilbo is standing on, and it never shows us how he got out of the way or avoided the cascade of liquid death that was deep enough that it SUBMERGED THE DRAGON. One second he's on the floor, the next he's crawling on some rocks outside the hall after Smaug has already left himself and flown off to wreck Laketown. ,, I'm all for additional content. I don't even mind the canon-breaking love triangle. Bard is suddenly a political revolutionary...um okay. I'll deal with it. ,, But its the third act inside Erebor that ruined it for me.
  2. Wow....the entire third act is a train wreck....I can't think of any more a polite way to say it.
  3. I felt like Peter Jackson couldn't decide whether or not to make the movie a light-hearted adventure or a something more in line with the RINGS films. For example, the escape from the goblin section felt particularly Jackie Chan-esque in the manner of the dwarves escape, but then other scenes, such as the White Council in Rivendell, seem to try and import the same somber seriousness of the prior films. I felt some of the action scenes suffered a bit as a result. Movie had a whole-bunch of speechifying as well. For the most part, though, I really enjoyed it. I felt the riddle scene was well done, as was the moment Bilbo stayed his hand when the opportunity to kill Gollum was present.
  4. Yeah, I was very disappointed. So many things were wrong, done poorly, or just felt out of place to me. Which bothers me a lot, since I enjoyed the first two films in the series.
  5. Thoughts on the Ending including Extended Cut: My full thoughts on this matter are available here. If you want to know only what I think post-Extended Cut, continue to the massive wall of text below. Enough people have written about the majority of the problems that the Extended Cut doesn’t solve, such as the completely laughable scene where Harbinger and the Normandy face down each other without either of them firing or the fact that in the original ending the Normandy’s engines are blown apart in the Crucible blast regardless of your EMS but in the Extended Cut higher EMS shows the ship surviving intact. Of course, if it survived intact, why did it land on the jungle planet at all? These are not the issues I’m going to address. I’m going to focus on how the Extended Cut and the Crucible work, and essentially, why they do not work. Here be Spoilers We’re going to use the words of the Catalyst here and assume for the moment that all of this is true, and that the Catalyst is not deceiving us. “The device you refer to as the Crucible is little more than a power source. However, in combination with the Citadel and the relays, it is capable of releasing tremendous amounts of energy throughout the galaxy. It is crude, but effective and adaptive in its design…We first noted the concept for this design several cycles ago. With each passing cycle, the design has no doubt evolved…We believed the concept had been eradicated. Clearly organics are more resourceful than we realized.” Problem #1 We already know that the mechanism to initiate Control, Synthesis, and Destroy are located on the Citadel itself and not part of the Crucible. Which means if the Crucible is nothing more than the power source, the Citadel was designed specifically with these possibilities in mind. The likelihood that docking interface where Shepard and the Catalyst have their conversation was added later is almost non-existent, since the Catalyst indicates the design originated several cycles ago but not during the first cycle. The Catalyst also does not take credit for the Crucible’s design, which indicates it was not developed by it in preparation for a day like this coming. In all prior cycles, we are led to believe that the Reapers entered the galaxy through the Citadel relay itself and then immediately took control of the Citadel. We are also led to believe that only the creation of the Conduit on Ilos and the subsequent tampering on the part of the Prothean survivors after the Reapers left (see conversation with Vigil: Mass Effect 1) prevented this from happening in the current cycle. It is therefore highly unlikely that any of the previous cycles would have been able to construct the docking interface after the Reapers arrived, and they would probably have had little reason to do so prior to their arrival. So, again, I have to ask why do the mechanisms for Control and Destroy currently exist on the Citadel? An argument can now be made for the Synthesis mechanism, despite the fact that apparently all one needs to do is jump into the Crucible’s beam, as the Catalyst explains later that Synthesis has always been their goal and it has always failed. But why would the Catalyst or its predecessor race (who seemingly became the first Reaper against their will) have built a mechanism specifically to allow an organic to replace it or destroy its creations, one that is essentially useless without an independently designed organic device to give it sufficient power? What purpose did they serve, or were they intended to serve prior to the inception of the Crucible? Furthermore, how did the previous cycles know how and where to dock the Crucible for these mechanisms to interface with it? If the mechanisms were, like the Crucible, built independent of the Catalyst and the Reapers, why do they all appear in one place? It’s doubtful any one cycle would have constructed all three of them, much less more than one of them. It’s also unlikely that Catalyst, who now admits to being aware of the Crucible’s existence prior to this cycle, would have allowed them to remain on the Citadel at all if it felt the mechanisms could one day threaten it. Problem #2 We are now given the option to refuse the three main choices. Refusing to select a choice, or shooting at the Catalyst, will now end the game in the Reaper’s favor. At that point, the Catalyst either shuts the Crucible down entirely or it calls upon its forces to destroy it. We’re not shown exactly what happens, save that we do see the energy beam connecting the Citadel to the Crucible dissipating. Which now returns us back to the heart of the problem: why does the Catalyst speak to us at all? There’s a throwaway line that the Crucible “changed” the Catalyst, and during the original ending, many people interpreted that as though the Catalyst was forced by the Crucible to offer these option to Shepard. Clearly, this isn’t the case. When Shepard refuses to cooperate, the Catalyst become angry and storms off, resulting in the eventual destruction of the allied forces. Since the Catalyst isn’t being forced to speak to Shepard, why does it speak to Shepard at all? It was the one that activated the elevator that called Shepard to it. It could have easily left Shepard there to bleed out and die next to Anderson, thus allowing the current cycle to end as it had originally ended it to. Why does it even offer the Control or Destroy options to us? It doesn’t have to. It doesn’t serve its purpose. If Synthesis is its ultimate goal, why doesn’t it just state that this is all the Crucible can do and hide the other possibilities? None of this makes any sense at all from the perspective of the Catalyst. There’s no need to find a new solution, as it tells us earlier, as the old solution would have worked fine had it not brought Shepard up to the docking area. Which means, essentially, that nothing we did in preparation for the final battle means anything at all. The entire survival of the galaxy rests in our ability to please a malevolent god who for reasons we will never be allowed to know, deigns to speak with us and gift us three means of removing him from the galaxy. Should we refuse its generosity, we will instead feel its terrible wrath. Yes, we had to build the Crucible. Yes, we had to get it to the Citadel intact or mostly intact, if you have low EMS. Yes, we had to get the Citadel’s arms open. But why do any of these things matter to the Catalyst, who can refuse to deal with us? Why, after all this time, does it feel the need to negotiate with organics after untold millennia of harvesting them? We must ask these questions, because after the time invested in allowing the cycle of destruction to continue, the logical and easier path for the Catalyst is to let Shepard die, destroy the Crucible, and then comb the galaxy for any trace of evidence of the Crucible and eliminate it prior to leaving for dark space again. Or, the easier path, just remove the mechanisms from the Citadel that would enable the Destroy or Control options, especially if Synthesis is the ultimate goal.
  6. I can't even think about Prometheus without thinking about this... [media=]
  7. I think I'd rather see this movie.
  8. The problem I have with the Green Science ending is that this choice is being forced upon the entire galaxy regardless of their wishes. If you choose the Green Science, Elcore refugees on a spacecraft far away from the Sol system are suddenly and irrevocably altered. Species that are not advanced enough to be a concern to the Reapers are instantly transformed in some unexplanable "event" that their science will never be able to explain. It's a TERRIBLE choice to make, and the only reason it is remotely appealing is because it would spare EDI and your possible Geth allies the fate that apparently awaits them in the Red Science ending, or the lack of free will that could potentially await them in the Blue Science ending. Is it worth saving the Geth and EDI at the cost of enforcing this transformation on the remaining life in the galaxy? We haven't even asked the question of whether or not the Geth, or EDI, desires to be partly organic? It could be that they would prefer death over an unwanted metamorphosis as that. We simply don't know. In matters such as this, the best choice may have been to simply not choose and let the battle play out as it would, likely ending with a devastating Reaper victory. C'est la vie. We weren't given the option to bleed out at the feet of the god child just to spite him. It would be so easy to hate ME3. I want to hate ME3. I hate the endings, all of them that I have seen and played through, with a terrible fury. But the game itself is wonderful and at times even sublime. It's amazing how those 5 minutes can completely diminish the experience of 39 hours, 55 minutes of play prior to it.
  9. Eh....sometimes HISHE is really good, and other times they miss the mark. The BioShock one missed.
  10. *cough* House of M *cough*
  11. Just finished Dragon Age: Origins. Currently playing HALO: CE Anniversary
  12. So...Dave....we ever getting our review in all its glory? Especially since the sequel is here?
  13. It warmed my heart to see the Little Sister.
  14. I wasn't as big a fan of BioShock 2 as I was of BioShock 1. I didn't feel the story was as strong, and I honestly felt it weakened the story of the first one by trying to retcon in characters and elements that did not exist in the first. Saying that, though, there were areas of BioShock 2 that were absolutely gorgeous, particularly Minerva's Den, and I loved having the ability to use plasmids and weapons without having to toggle on or the other off. And its multiplayer is surprisingly well-done.
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