Articles Reviews Barnestorming #39- Nexus Ops '11 in Review, 1812, Triple Town, Factory Floor
 

Barnestorming #39- Nexus Ops '11 in Review, 1812, Triple Town, Factory Floor Barnestorming #39- Nexus Ops '11 in Review, 1812, Triple Town, Factory Floor Hot

Barnestorming #39- Nexus Ops '11 in Review, 1812, Triple Town, Factory Floor

Barnestorming #39- Noxious Slops.

On the Table

Fantasy Flight’s Nexus Ops is here, and damn is it ugly. They did well with incorporating optional new material and preserving the game with very minor tweaks and clarifications, but the graphic design is a complete fumble. It’s muddy, murky, and dark. But worse, it completely misses the point of the original’s 1980s arcade cabinet vibe (thanks again, Jeff). The glow figures may seem like a minor thing, but what’s the #1 thing people remember most about the game? Not the great, streamlined rules. Those day-glo and possibly toxic little critters. That’s such a huge differentiator for the game, and it’s so unique and charming that it’s really a damn shame that the new version has these serious-looking figures with so-what better detail.

The terrain tiles are an eyesore that would likely cause most accomplished graphic designers to barf into their Macbook keyboards. On the table, it looks like a slurry of dull colors with pastel (yes, pastel) miniatures dotted across it.

In short- stick with the old one unless you have no taste and actually like the new artwork and atmosphere. Download the new content and use your gloriously day-glo 2005 set. I’m totally behind what FFG did in terms of revisions, but I think they completely dropped the ball on the presentation. Review at Gameshark.

In other FFG news, Wiz-War showed up but I’ve just had time to open it up and see the space boards. I didn’t know that this was a game about wizards floating in space mazes. It must be set in the TI3 universe.

Got to play 1812: Invasion of Canada. Holy crap, this game ROCKS. Seriously y'all, do not pass this one up because of the wargame packaging or cube confusion. It really does need five players to meet its potential, but it’s got some absolutely brilliant stuff in it. It also feels like something completely fresh and innovative. The neat thing is how the co-op/team play element is driven by a mutual lack of resources and mobility…and the ability for players to move entire armies for their side. But everybody gets in on the dice rolling and makes in-battle decisions for their armies. There’s some smart stuff dividing fleeing units from those making strategic withdrawls (which can get more troops into an adjacent battle). Each side has a unique card deck and dice that give them specific flavor but without special powers, exceptions, or text. It’s extremely simple, but there’s TONS of game and it’s totally a bloody knuckles DoaM beat ‘em up despite the historical theme and wooden cubes. It’s also really quick-playing, with virtually no administrative overhead other than a little setup time. I’m loving it, and I think it'll be a big hit in these parts once it makes the rounds.

 

On the Consoles

Not much to report here other than that Soul Calibur V is OK and reviewed but pretty paltry for the single player and that Resident Evil: Revelations is a classic RE title that hopefully signals a return to form for the upcoming RE6. Definitely the best game I’ve played on the 3DS yet.

I'm pretty proud of my tagline for the SCV review...unexpected reference and all that.

Oh yeah, there's also a review of a little 3DS game called Nano Assault. It's OK. The reference there is pretty good too, if I do say so myself.

 

On IOS

Ascension.

Also a couple of new items though- I picked up the Call of Cthulhu thing, but it’s not finished. The touch response is horrible on it. Save your $5. Also played a little Flipship, which is sort of like a cross between Tilt to Live and Ikaruga, it’s not bad for a dollar. Shogun is a free bullet hell-style shooter that’s worth checking out if you’re into that kind of thing- not as good as the Cave stuff, but they tried pretty hard.

But really, what I’ve secretly been playing the most is Triple Town. I caved in and bought the $3.99 unlimited turn thing. This game is the devil. It’s terribly addictive. It’s a match three, but it’s one of the more cerebral and brain-burning ones I’ve ever played despite the cutesy Animal Crossing graphics. You match up three or more like terrain features, and they become a single upgraded one, clearing out real estate and increasing score. It requires some pretty intense planning- and luck- to get the higher scores.

There’s also bears. You’ve got to control the bear population. They hang out and block building sites. If you trap three together, they die and you build a church on top of them. But then these ninja bears show up and jump all over the place, always landing right where you need to build.

Unfortunately, there’s a big problem with the game, I think. After each game, you get some coins that you can use in a later game to buy features rather than wait for the random draw. They’re limited, but you can also buy coins (as in, with a credit card) to artificially boost your score. It’s the wrong model. It should be that you earn coins in the game through combos or bonuses and those are spent in the game to get extra stuff. But it’s the whole freemium model at work, which sucks.

Regardless, one of the best puzzle games on IOS. I just topped 100,000 on a game…somehow, Bryan Bornemuller at FFG has a score of 540,000+. If he didn’t buy any coins with real money, that’s phenomenal.

 

On the Screen

After my disastrous re-watching of the Star Wars prequels, I thought I’d go back and watch Avatar again since I’d just seen it once in the theater.

Now, I was one of the people here defending the movie. I thought it was good, pop sci-fi that would have been regarded as a classic if it had been released before internet cynicism ruined everything. The melodrama is thick and the romantic subplot is sappier than the home tree, but I still liked the film.

Rather unlike the SW prequels, it also feels like a film that was labored over and cared about by the people that made it. It’s really pretty detailed and well-framed. The visual design is freaking awesome, particularly the military stuff. It’s classic Jim Cameron. The animals are great, the plants are great…it’s just the Navi that look silly, but I sort of _like_ that they’re giant, blue people. It’s very pulpy in almost a Burroughsian way. The whole film is really quite old fashioned despite the technology- the characters, writing, and scenarios are straight out of a 1980s blockbuster action movie.

One thing I was thinking about watching them right after Lucas’ three-part shitshow was how all these people rolled their eyes about “unobtanium”…how in the world is that any less corny, on the nose, or ridiculous than “The Force”? Or bad guys named General Grevious, Darth Maul, and Darth Tyranus?

Anyway, I like Avatar. Much more than the prequels.

 

On Spotify

Hey, is there anybody here in the audience that’s a fan of Chris and Cosey? Anyone? Hello? Is this thing on?

OK, well, anyway, I’ve been listening to this new-ish London trio called Factory Floor and they’ve got a very Chris and Cosey-ish kind of sound. They’ve even got a Chris Carter remix (not to mention another from Joy Division/New Order’s Stephen Morris) to back up the claim.

It’s incredibly sparse, relentlessly repetitive electro. Crisply produced and best listened to at the maximum volume your speakers (or ears) can withstand. It’s not that it’s harsh or particularly aggressive, it’s that it’s the kind of music that’s best when you can _feel_ it. It’s got a very 1981, Factory Records kind of sound with a touch of Throbbing Gristle’s more accessible moments. Echoplexed female vocals, live drums on occasion. I’m totally loving it, very minimal and definitely not for people who don’t get the point of listening to a song with essentially two notes for ten minutes.

“R E A L L O V E” is the one to hear if you hear only one.

Finally, one more “peace, love, and soul” for you.

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Comments (104)
  • avatarInfinityMax

    I loved Avatar, or as I like to call it, Dances with Cat People. Such a fun movie. I've seen it three times, and still haven't gotten tired of it. It's nice that this kind of over-the-top sci-fi still gets made. So many times, science fiction is just modern stuff with a weird theme. I want to see robot fighters and floating islands and wild alien animals, not Justin Timberlake with numbers flashing on his arm.

    I took my kid to see it in 3D, and we both thought it was awesome there, too. It was one of the few 3D movies I've seen where it actually was better in 3D. That jungle just comes alive in the theater.

    Sure beats hell out of the latest attempt to milk money out of Star Wars fans by trying to slap 3D on that horrible Phantom Menace.

    And thanks for the tip on the new Nexus Ops. I hadn't entirely decided which version to buy, but if you can get all the extras as downloads, I don't see a reason not to get the glowing jelly monsters again.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    People who whine about unobtanium are the 99.999% who are not in the sciences.

    There is an element called Unununium. Or, it WAS until the name was deemed so retarded it was changed to the cooler Roentgenium.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roentgenium

    Or how about Buckminster Fullerines? Buckyballs? What the fuck is a buckyball?

    How about the Arsenic compound...Arsole?

    Or my favorite, for obvious reason, Ruthenium?

    So, Unobtanium makes a fuckton more sense to me, after much deliberation, than Unununium.

  • avatardragonstout
    Quote:
    There are a few minor rules tweaks, but they’ll be largely irrelevant to new players and legacy owners could just as easily incorporate the 2nd edition rules into their first edition sets.
    ...
    Still, if you like the new look and never caught up with this great game, you can rest assured you’re mostly getting the real deal and not a “re-implemented” version.

    I don't see a single rule change; what are you referring to? There was at least one card change, but you can't be referring to that 'cause that can't be so easily incorporated into first edition sets. I don't see where the "mostly" is coming from.

    I loved Avatar too, but I can't imagine ever wanting to watch it not in a theater or not in 3D. That'd be like watching Wizard of Oz on a black and white TV.

    And about Star Wars 3D: I saw the trailer for that in front of Hugo 3D. They've got a problem when a French train station looks far more vast and expansive than...outer space.

  • avatarBullwinkle  - re:

    The devs of Call of Cthulhu say they've already submitted a version to Apple that fixes the sensitivity problems, as well as other bugs. Should be released soon.

    I tried Triple Town. I dunno...I see why people like it, but to me it's just okay.

    SuperflyTNT wrote:
    People who whine about unobtanium are the 99.999% who are not in the sciences.


    As, judging from your post, you clearly are not.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    I didn't state that well, Dragonstout. I didn't play the original before writing this one up, but there are some changes to card text/values and I believe there's a slight modification to the way mission cards are played. It's really, really small stuff. 99.9% of the game is unchanged as far as rules go.

    But I'd still say that you're "mostly" getting the real deal because the unique atmosphere and product design of the original is a part of the total package.

    Yeah, that was one thing about watching Avatar at home...the 3D was really awesome...the thing I remember most about it though was how intricately layed it was- the windshield on the VTOL had actual dimension.

  • avatarMsample

    I played 1812 a couple times at a con this past weekend and I totally agree with your assessment. Once it gets word of mouth I think its gonna be a big hit. Plays quick - should be under 2 hours if people don't dick around. And each of the 5 factions plays very differently from each other.

    I am already looking forward to the next iteration of this game system.

  • avatarjeb

    IUPAC naming is nothing to mock, Mr. Ruth. Glenn Seaborg (of ununhexium = seaborgium) fame was on my qualification committee. He would've wrappred his creepy arthritic hands around your neck if he'd heard you mock IUPAC nomenclature rules.

    AVATAR is a shitpile. It's a pile, but a pile made of poop from your butt. Awful. If we are going to start ranking the vileness of recent shitty SF movies, so be it. But don't tell me it's good. It's not.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    With the shorter scenarios, you could play 1812 in under an hour.

    It definitely needs some word-of-mouth because I don't think people really understand the kind of game that it is. I like the historical setting and I think it really does a great job of conveying a surprising amount of detail in a _razor-thin_ amount of actual content, but let's face, the Invasion of Canada is likely only interesting to Black Barney, and then only if it's a Call of Duty map.

    I hate to say it, but with a dopey SF or fantasy theme...the game could be HUGE.

    I'm looking forward to the next one too, I've only played 1812 once but I'd consider the next one a must-buy already. It's Colonial, according to Uwe's letter in the box.

  • avatardragonstout

    Who gives a shit about the shitpile of a script in Avatar. The visuals are SO amazing that it totally made up for it. If you enjoy some arthouse movies JUST for their visuals, then you can enjoy Avatar. But this is a boring 3-year-old argument...

    Quote:
    I believe there's a slight modification to the way mission cards are played.

    Correct, though this ended up actually not being a change at all: whereas before you had a secret combat mission that got you 2 VP but then you couldn't get the automatic 1 VP card, now you have a secret combat mission that gets you 1 VP in addition to the automatic 1 VP card you get for winning the combat anyway. So not a functional change.

    I'm surprised no OCD people at BGG haven't detailed all the card changes. Was Scattered Rubium the only card that was changed?

    They're going nuts with long-awaited reprints this month, aren't they? Nexus Ops, Wiz-War, Rex...I think it's really awesome that they put all the old Wiz-War rules in the back as optional rules, and included the old Wiz-War tiles in addition to new, supposedly more balanced tiles. Sad contrast with Rex...

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    I'mma ignore Jeb and go straight to Drake for Avatar talk.

    That's a great point that it really is SCIENCE FICTION and not an action movie with SF elements. It's also very rare to see a movie so completely committed to what is really a pretty balls-out crazy idea. Air islands, giant blue people, a robot stabbing a dinosaur with a knife...bizarro body-switching stuff, Sigourney Weaver creeping everybody out...alien sex, tree hugging, neon lights...

    There's also an undercurrent in the film that's VERY Miyazakian...you can't tell me that Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa weren't on the decks in Cameron's home theater when he was concocting this thing.

  • avatarEgg Shen

    Nice to know that FFG didn't screw the pooch in terms of the gameplay. In the end that is what really counts. Sure those maps tiles are ugly as sin, but if I didn't have a copy of Nexus Ops I'd be glad to own their reprint.

    As for Avatar, I liked it. I fucking hate CG and all its weightless suckiness, but this was a spectacle to see in IMAX. To be honest it has been the only movie actually worth seeing in 3D. That alone makes it good. I'm not sure I would be able to watch this at home sans 3D...

    The nerd rage for Avatar is something that could only happen during the internet era. If this movie had come out back in 1978 it would be held in the same esteem as some other Sci-fi classics. Yea its basically Dances with Wolves on some foreign world, but it works well enough.

    High art it certainly is not. Entertaining, sci-fi fun for the family...indeed. If I was 13 when I saw this I'm pretty sure my brain would have exploded in the theater.

  • avatarInfinityMax  - re:
    jeb wrote:
    AVATAR ... don't tell me it's good. It's not.


    OK, it's awesome. I loved it, and will happily watch it any time it's on. I mean, it's way better in a 3D theater, but the story, action and effects are still thoroughly enjoyable on a big 'ol television. I had absolutely no problem with the acting, and while the morality play may have been a little heavy-handed, the story works just fine.

    Besides, did you ever watch Terminator 2? I still love that movie, but there was more wrong with that one than there is with Avatar. The acting was atrocious, the script was ludicrous ('she's gonna blow him AWAY!!!!'), and I freaking love it. Don't be such an art fag. Not every movie has to be Out of Africa. Some are just there to be awesome. Like Avatar.

    And yeah, Barnes, I agree, there's a definite influence from weird anime. The giant heart tree is yanked straight out of Japanese cartoons, not to mention the weird glowing veggies and ghostly presentient dandelion seeds. Yet unlike those Japanese films that seem to most American audiences to be just plain bizarre, Cameron makes all the stuff work in a way that lets your average red-blooded round-eye relate to them. I mean, floating islands are just silly, but when Avatar comes up with a barely plausible explanation about magnetic disruption or whatever, you're able to go, 'yeah, OK, cool,' because despite the fact that it doesn't really make sense, you want to suspend any disbelief because it's so damned fun.

  • avatarAarontu
    Quote:
    People who whine about unobtanium are the 99.999% who are not in the sciences.

    There is an element called Unununium. Or, it WAS until the name was deemed so retarded it was changed to the cooler Roentgenium.

    It has nothing to do with science. The word "Unobtainium" has been used by both the scientific community and genre-savvy media critics long before Roentgenium and other elements with IUPAC-derived names were discovered.

    For extra reading:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium

    It bugs people because it's just lazy. It would be tantamount to having a new Indiana Jones movie where the artifact everyone is after is simply called the "Sacred MacGuffin". Or a movie's main villain named "Dr. Antagonist". Or giving a man in a murder mystery the name of "Mr. Allred Herring", who is innocent of the murder though the evidence makes the viewer suspect him early in the film. Unobtainium is a joke-name for a plot device, that is all.

  • avatarBullwinkle

    People are slagging Terminator 2 now? What fucking planet is this? And how do I send it spiralling into the sun?

  • avatarAarontu

    I don't like the new art style of Nexus Ops either. I dig the original's crisp cartoony look.

  • avatardragonstout  - re:
    Egg Shen wrote:
    As for Avatar, I liked it. I fucking hate CG and all its weightless suckiness, but this was a spectacle to see in IMAX. To be honest it has been the only movie actually worth seeing in 3D.

    See Hugo ASAP. Best use of 3D yet.

  • avatarJonJacob  - re: re:
    Bullwinkle wrote:
    The devs of Call of Cthulhu say they've already submitted a version to Apple that fixes the sensitivity problems, as well as other bugs. Should be released soon.

    I tried Triple Town. I dunno...I see why people like it, but to me it's just okay.

    SuperflyTNT wrote:
    People who whine about unobtanium are the 99.999% who are not in the sciences.

    As, judging from your post, you clearly are not.

    Berklium, Einsteinium.

  • avatarSevej

    I think Avatar was a good romp, in a Hollywood-y way. I was pretty disturbed when the Hero made the speech in English while his alien language seemed okay.

    Also when people talked about flying islands, blue aliens, robots, giant tree, etc... yeah they're awesome, but as a gamer and ex-anime fan I've seen them.

    Spacy dungeon = arcane sanctuary? Seems an appropriate place for a wiz war...

  • avatarInfinityMax  - re:
    Bullwinkle wrote:
    People are slagging Terminator 2 now? What fucking planet is this? And how do I send it spiralling into the sun?


    No, man, I said I loved it! It's awesome!

    I'm just saying that Avatar is also awesome.

    And you have to admit, that kid was a horrible actor.

  • avatarAncient_of_MuMu

    The problem with Avatar is that on first viewing you know the plot within 5 minutes and then it unfolds over 3 hours. If you look at Terminator 2 say, there is no way you can predict much there apart from the fact that there will be a big confrontation between the 2 terminators at the end (and that John will live).

    But with Avatar you know:
    - he is going to come to respect the Navi and they respect him
    - there will be a Navi chick he falls in love with
    - he will stand with the Navi against the marines in a big fight
    - the Navi will win and the humans will be evicted

    Every single fucking major plot point in the film with the exception of the chick dying and being brought back to life. It is really old well trod territory, and it isn't that compelling a story, because we all learned as kids we should try to put ourselves in someone else's position before we judge them.

    So it all comes down to whether the visuals are worth it. Thus this film is like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. A spectacle for its time but we will pretty much forget it in a decade or so, because it says nothing interesting about humanity.

  • avatarDelobius

    MuMu - exactly - the thing was predictable, boring, and insipid. Miyazaki already made several movies covering the same themes, and they were better by by leaps and bounds.

    I'm going to get Nexus Ops, ugly board or not. The tiles really are hard on the eyes, though...

  • avatarwaddball

    Silly floating islands? If Cameron had Miyazaki on the TV at home, he had Yes album covers lying around near the stereo (and maybe the hookah). Those islands are right out of Roger Dean's brain. I was in awe watching it in 3D. I think I'll always enjoy watching the movie, though it's helpful to just shut off your critical faculties and enjoy the ride.

  • avatarmads b.

    Avatar is shit precisely because, as MuMu says, it's so predictable. And also because the story is so bland so as not to scare away potential customers needed to pay for all the 3D extravaganza. It looked great on the TV (I never got around to seeing it at the theatre and can't see 3D effects anyways), but while my inner child loved the spectacular visuals, the story left both my inner child and my innner dramaturgist cold.

  • avatarscissors

    Here is why I didn't like Avatar (warning: contains spoilers).

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/aliens_avatar

    As for Nexus Ops... I would be pretty damn excited, I know, if I didn't have the original. But since I do, I can chalk this one up as just plain fugly. FFG could take a page from Asmodee lately when it comes to graphic design or Z-Man. Maybe they just produce too much stuff each year and can't devote the same amount of time/same depth of attention to individual projects like they used to?

  • avatarwice

    Avatar was nothing more than a 3 hour demo of Cameron's new 3D technology, and it was pretty good at it. He wanted people to talk about it, so instead of yet another boring 30 minute safari film you can see in IMAX theaters, he made a big budget sci-fi blockbuster. The story is a big cliche, of course, but it's obviously intentional: he couldn't risk an original story that may or may not click with the audience. This storyline is proven to work: it already worked in Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves.

    What I find intriguing is that Barnes voluntarily watched it on a small TV screen, without the 3D. Who the fuck does that? And why?

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    Bullwinkle, my post was VERY tongue in cheek. I guess you didn't catch that. I was kind of hoping we were past the stage that I had to use smilies.

    How very sad for me.

    I saw Avatar once, and I liked it. Not the best movie EVAR or anything, but a neat movie with a deeper-than-usual plot and interesting characters. And you can't help but appreciate all the work that went into the CG.

    And my comment back in the day sums up how I feel about Nexus Ops' reprint:
    http://fortressat.com/index.php/forum/10-ameritrash/104027-ffg-reprinting-nexus-ops?limit=10&start=80#104628

    That thread also showed that MJL called, dead on, the FFG Reprint that I wasn't allowed to talk about...Fortress America. It also proves that Andy is a commie.

  • avatarJeff White  - re:
    Michael Barnes wrote:
    With the shorter scenarios, you could play 1812 in under an hour.

    It definitely needs some word-of-mouth because I don't think people really understand the kind of game that it is. I like the historical setting and I think it really does a great job of conveying a surprising amount of detail in a _razor-thin_ amount of actual content, but let's face, the Invasion of Canada is likely only interesting to Black Barney, and then only if it's a Call of Duty map.

    I hate to say it, but with a dopey SF or fantasy theme...the game could be HUGE.


    Yeah...I hate that sf/fantasy sells more. I find real, historical forces way more interesting than generic fantasy races.

    I would also assume that making a game around real units requires more thought in design whereas going sf/fantasy you can simply use whatever bland, balanced algorithm then just drape nerd trappings over it.

    I mean, the designer of Manoeuvre is making a fantasy version of that game. I'm sure it'll sell. Doing this he has put the kaboosh on designing Mexicans, Zulus, etc for Manoeuvre. For my money, not only would Mexican and Zulu forces be more interesting to play, but I'd like to see how he made the Zulu army somewhat balanced to be able to fight the French, etc. I would assume more challenging than just making up some fantasy crap.

    Oh well...

  • avatarSagrilarus

    Imagine how well Angola would have done with a fantasy theme.

    S.

  • avatarJeff White  - re:
    Sagrilarus wrote:
    Imagine how well Angola would have done with a fantasy theme.

    S.

    Never played Angola, so I can't imagine this. Please explain.

  • avatarwaddball  - re:
    SuperflyTNT wrote:
    That thread also showed that MJL called, dead on, the FFG Reprint that I wasn't allowed to talk about...Fortress America.


    I guess I missed the memo on this, but I was wondering...why no threads on the FA remake? Or are they buried somewhere?

  • avatarBlack Barney

    I'll never understand people that say Avatar is a bad movie, I almost doubt they saw it in theatres (it's obviously meant to be seen on a giant screen).

    I'll never understand people that say Avatar is a great movie. i almost doubt they've seen more than 10 movies in their lifetime.

    Avatar is a textbook good movie. It's obviously not bad and it's obviously not great either.


    I don't know what's happening but I can no longer view text in these articles, I can only see pictures and people's comments so it sucks cuz I can't read Barnes' or Ken's articles. Invasion of Canada? What's that? A board game? And it can't be a Call of Duty map cuz it's too big. Sounds like a battlefield map to me (fun times spending hours trying to find a single adversary).

  • avatarZMan  - re:
    Egg Shen wrote:
    If I was 13 when I saw this I'm pretty sure my brain would have exploded in the theater.

    You have hit the nail on the head about why our feelings for movies are much different than they were in the past and why Star War prequels and other similar films get such flak: we ain't 13 anymore.

    I've been thinking about this for a loooong time but never thought of putting it down in answer to the tirades about certain films, but your comment just made me up and type this.

    I do have to say that many fans of this hobby (and of movies) make us close to age 13 in our minds for we still see some of the wonder of the flickering lights in a darkened room. But we have much more life experience and life responsibilities that dilute our thinking, reducing the wonder we feel.

    I know lots of people, however, who have completely lost this wonder (assuming they had it in the first place) but that is part of life as well. But me, call me 13 anytime and let me bask in the wonder that is cinema and games and such.

    Sorry, I am probably not explaining myself too well and I do not want to appear black and white in this issue. But I know me and I know that I have lost some of the wonder that I had as a child/young teen, though I think I have more wonder than a lot of folks I know (which is why I love going to the movies, going to cons, and when traveling, seeing the natural and man-made sights).

    I'm not trying to sound superior to those who do not have this wonder: I'm trying to be objective about my subjectivity on things :) And to voice my opinion that my tastes today run pretty much the same as I was a kid, but I have seen so much, experienced so much, since I was a kid, that some of the wonder, sadly, has been lost.

    Yet, when I saw The Matrix for the first time, well past the age of 13, I was blown away, the wonder hitting me full force. Other films have done the same for me and I'm loving the comic book films, which, as a kid, I always dreamed of seeing: yet had to deal with really bad versions of them in the cinema and on tv - yet, still glad to have seen something of the imagination and work that had gone into those attempts.

    Ok, I'm rambling. Again, I mean no offense, to anyone, and believing there is gray area in this matter than I have space and time to describe.

  • avatarBlack Barney

    yep, sometimes movies make you feel like you're 13 again and the magic totally swallows you whole. That's a super rare thing and worth making a mental note when it happens. I think the last movie to do that for me was District 9

  • avataredulis

    I realy enjoyed avatar. I went and saw it in theater with my wife.

    However the ride home went like this:
    Me" wow! that was a great movie. Those robots were neat, and those six legged jackels- I want one."
    her: (burst into tears) "You're an insesitive jerk." Cold shoulder the rest of the ride home.

    Apparentlly the 'message' had a much bigger effect on her.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    Zev nailed it. It's that men of a certain age look back kindly upon things that people of a different age do not.

    Super 8 was the last one to do that "thing" to me...where I was sitting going ...ooooh.....aaaah...

  • avatarJeff White

    Heh...thinking about the two items in this thread, it dawns on me that with the design of the sculpts and art, the glowing rubium, and the hyper-colorful palette it's likely the FFG design team wanted an 'Avatar' feel with the Nexus Ops reprint as opposed to the 'Centipede' vibe of the original.

    Thing is on the screen all those colors have lots of space and is easy on the eyes. Jam all those bright colors on a small space on the table and it becomes overload.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    I just don't like the look of the new stuff. I like the old day-glo ((C) 2011 M. Barnes) look of the wee beasties.

    The new ones look like every other shitty bug-creature out there. No personality.

  • avatarubarose  - re: re:
    ZMan wrote:
    I do have to say that many fans of this hobby (and of movies) make us close to age 13 in our minds for we still see some of the wonder of the flickering lights in a darkened room. But we have much more life experience and life responsibilities that dilute our thinking, reducing the wonder we feel...

    I like stuff that makes me feel more like I did when I was 10 years old (12-13 sucks for most girls). Probably why I enjoy less sophisticated movies and games than all you mentally and emotionally 13 year olds :)

  • Uethym

    My complaint with "unobtanium" was that it was already used in another, more entertaining movie (The Core).

    PS: I'm a scientist.

  • avatarZMan  - re: re: re:
    ubarose wrote:
    I like stuff that makes me feel more like I did when I was 10 years old (12-13 sucks for most girls). Probably why I enjoy less sophisticated movies and games than all you mentally and emotionally 13 year olds :)

    *****I'm sure it is different between boys and girls :) But I used 13 only because I was quoting. I think 10-13 is the range I was mostly talking about. Maybe 11-13.

    At 12 I was reading the Rings Trilogy, and many of the sci-fi/fantasy novels. I watched every sci fi/fantasy film/tv show on tv that I could find - using TV Guide as my bible as it told you what genre show a movie or series was in. I went to the theater by myself many times to watch such films (and others - I love comedies and animation).

    Yes, 11-13 were good ages for that sort of stuff. 14 and beyond was still nice though my life changed a bit when I started college and the wonder lessened a bit.

    But you look at my DVD collection, my games, what comics I still have, the novels I still read, you can see the wonder lives on inside of me, though again, it has dulled due to time and experience.

    I guess it is akin to not knowing all the parts of the world - where spaces were unexplored and maps were not full and now, is there a true, unexplored area on Earth left? It seems to me, yes, and doesn't that take wind out of the wonder sail?

  • avatarJackwraith

    I think there's merit to the "loss of wonder" approach. I've tried to imagine myself as seven years old (the age when I saw Star Wars) and seeing Phantom Menace for the first time. The script for the first film was pretty pedestrian (Harlan Ellison had an epic rant about "cowboys in space") and, of course, the script and direction for Menace is bloody awful... but neither of those things really mattered for me as a kid, even though they're enormously important now. It was just cool to see the space battles and hear the blaster noises.

    But, in concert with what Zev said about the Matrix, I think genuinely good SF movies can do both: they can fascinate the kids AND the adults, even if for utterly different reasons. I don't see most SF/Fantasy releases these days because, like most Hollywood productions, they're bloody awful. I'm a huge movie fan, but my standards have become so narrow that I find it hard to justify the $10 or the wasting of two hours of my life. Like Zev, I look at my collection of DVDs and VHS tapes and see LotR, Conan, Heavy Metal, Excalibur, The Abyss, 12 Monkeys, the original Star Wars trilogy (theater and extended versions), the Sinbad movies... but they're interspersed with Kurosawa, the Coen Brothers, Patton, Reds, Clerks, The Man with No Name trilogy, etc.

    The latter category really speaks to me on an intellectual level. I love Kurosawa's thoughtful direction and I love the Coen Brothers' commitment to their characters... but I love Ray Harryhausen's stop motion stuff and I love Event Horizon's commitment to the physics of outer space and I love the stark setting of The Blood of Heroes. All of those still elicit wonder, of a sort, within me, but it's often appreciation for the method of filmmaking or the story in question.

    I think the best example is Blade Runner. When I first saw it in the theater, I was kind of non-plussed. I wasn't old enough to truly appreciate the themes and messages within it, even though the action scenes still gave me that scene of "SF wonder", as it were. Of course, as I've grown older, I've come to appreciate the director's cut (no narration; ends in the elevator) as the greatest SF movie ever made and one of the best films ever. I still get that child/young teen sense of wonder just watching the pace of that movie. I guess you could say that the sense of wonder is still there. It's just shifted into a different sense of appreciation?

    Like Zev, I'm kind of rambling here, but I think that's what happens when you start talking about those sensations that are hard to pin down.

  • avatarubarose

    10-11 was Speed Racer, Star Trek, Ultraman, Godzilla, Captain Blood, a ton of old horror flicks. Also reading the Hobbit, Narnia, Weird Tales Comics...

    12-13 was reading shitty teen romance novels, learning to walk in heels. and getting your bra strap snapped by asshole 13 year old boys.

    I didn't get interested in Sci-Fi and Fantasy again until my later teens.

    Anyway, didn't like Avatar. Loved Speed Racer and Godzilla Final Wars. So your theory holds. We like games, movies, books that bring you back to that point before the wonder started to fade.

  • avatarsfunk37  - re: re: re: re:
    ZMan wrote:
    I guess it is akin to not knowing all the parts of the world - where spaces were unexplored and maps were not full and now, is there a true, unexplored area on Earth left? It seems to me, yes, and doesn't that take wind out of the wonder sail?

    Apparently there are unexplored parts of the world left. They just tend to shoot arrows at you when you find them.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16816816

  • avatarJeff White

    I was working as a counselor at Space Camp when Phantom Menace came out. All the kids that summer loved the movie. Jar Jar was a very popular character for the kids (I'm guessing due to the looney-toones hi-jinx), and I can imagine it was fun to experience Anakin's adventure as this kid was winning podraces and blowing up spaceships.

    Anyway, after working with kids week in and week out playing star wars between activities and such, I realized sitting around and harping on TPM was a waste of time. It's exactly want Lucas wanted the movie to be, a fun, pulpy, sci-fi escapade. It's not his fault legions of adults pinned their lives on his creation.

    I think TPM is alright, not a fan at all of AotC or RotS, but I feel no ill will towards Lucas or anything.

  • avatarJackwraith  - re:
    ubarose wrote:
    10-11 was Speed Racer, Star Trek, Ultraman, Godzilla, Captain Blood, a ton of old horror flicks. Also reading the Hobbit, Narnia, Weird Tales Comics

    Ha. I remember watching Ultraman. In fact, I got the entire series from Amazon last year. I've found that the best way to watch it is with the subtitles and dubbing turned on. The contrast is often hilarious.

    Narration: "Dr. Frederick Kruger, a Swiss expert from the United Nations committee on meteors and extra-terrestrial phenomena has arrived to assist the Science Patrol."

    Subtitles: "A scientist from France arrives, named Jim."

  • avatarKen B.  - re:
    Black Barney wrote:

    I don't know what's happening but I can no longer view text in these articles, I can only see pictures and people's comments so it sucks cuz I can't read Barnes' or Ken's articles. Invasion of Canada? What's that? A board game? And it can't be a Call of Duty map cuz it's too big. Sounds like a battlefield map to me (fun times spending hours trying to find a single adversary).


    Is that in all browsers, Pat?

  • avatarBlack Barney

    Probably not but I only have IE6 at work and it seems to be happening there. I haven't checked at home if this is happening but I never have time at home to read F:AT stuff so it wouldn't matter anyway :(

  • avatarubarose

    Site doesn't support IE6. It supports IE7, IE8 and IE9. Sorry dude but IE6 is 10 years old and has been obsolete for 5 years.

  • avatarBlack Barney

    YOU'RE obsolete!

    This sucks, I like reading the Barnstorming articles. I'm just about to upload my best movies of 2011 article and I won't even be able to read it :(

  • avatarubarose

    Barney, nothing has changed on the site recently. the site hasn't supported IE6 since 2010. If you could read the articles last week and can't today, the best I can offer you is clear your cache, shut down your browser and restart. If you haven't been able to read the articles since 2009, WTF are you complaining about it now for.

  • avatarBearn

    WOW. If you guys hated Avatar that much i can only imagine what you thought of say the LoTR movies. It's not like we didn't know the entire plot and what to expect.

    I personally don't go to the movies to watch something with high drama or some artsy BS. I pay those outrageous ticket prices to see something visually stunning on a MASSIVE screen in surround sound that i cannot get elsewhere. I'll save the high drama for red box.

    It's certainly one of the few movies worth paying extra to see in 3d. I haven't seen Hugo yet but it looks pretty amazing.

  • avatarclockwirk

    I set my 5 yr old son up to watch The Phantom Menace and he turned it off during the podrace because it was "too boring". The only part he ever wants to see is Obi Wan & Qui Gon vs Darth Maul.

  • avatarShellhead

    I haven't seen Avatar. I think the aliens look like stupid furry-fetish crap. I might be able to tolerate it if I could replace the entire audiotrack with a random selection of psychedelic rock.

    Bearn, I wasn't overwhelmed by the LotR movies. The Fellowship of the Ring was the best of the lot. As with the original books, The Two Towers was the weakest part of the trilogy, introducing a gazillion new characters with similar names. The movie was even worse due to making the battle of Helm's Deep into a bigger deal than it was. They should have trimmed at least 10 minutes of the ponderous buildup to that battle, and the extra 10 minutes towards the end of the battle that felt tacked on. The Return of the Kind was great in many ways, but ran too long and had about three extra endings.

  • avatarJonJacob

    I love Avatar. I've seen it multiple times including on my iPhone. You don't need a big screen it's a great action movie in space with sci-fi trappings. A ton of fun. One of the best kids movies I've seen in years. Up there with the Pixar stuff.

    I just don't understand how people can give Star Trek a pass but won't like Avatar. Avatar is clearly the superior movie, it isn't a cash in on the success of a dead franchise with people doing impersonations instead of acting for one.

    And it actually tries to have a message which everyone gives it a hard time for. Sure, it's not deep and it's just a re-working of shit we've heard before (like pretty much every movie I've ever seen) but it does it well.

  • avatarBlack Barney

    Uba, it just happened, I don't know why all of a sudden I can't see text.

    Bearn, are you actually drawing similarities to the quality of story of Avatar as LOTR? Avatar has NO story. LOTR IS a story.

    JJ, you're talking about the Star Trek reboot? Yes, i think that the Star Trek reboot movie is way better than Avatar.

  • avatarvandemonium

    I'm really glad you like 1812! Jeph is a great guy and it is really awesome to see his game getting such great a reaction. I played 1812 in November at Great Lakes Games with Jeph and Uwe (the publisher) - it was a ton of fun. The thing that really struck me was that we played the US side and we were getting destroyed the first half of the game but came storming back to win. That ability makes the game a really fun ride.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Yeah, in just one game I saw some REALLY shocking results in the battles, which is SUPER fun. You can go piling in with Redcoats and then every stinkin' one of them runs away. Or you can have a bunch of Canadian Militia buck up and do their duty, all hitting. The fleeing thing is brilliant, and the ability to have your guys quit the current fight and support an adjacent one gives you some real tactical flexibility.

    In my game, the US totally owned turn one. But then, in turn two, the British rallied and just smashed 'em with good cardplay and smart manuevering.

    I think it's a brilliant, brilliant game- exactly the kind of thing I want to see in 2012.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Avatar...it's so funny how upset this movie makes people. People get absolutely irate about how much they don't like it for some reason.

    The thing is, almost every single reason that's given could be levied against Star Wars '77. Star Wars was totally predictable, trite, and on-the-nose. I mean, come on...the bad guy is a robot-man in a black cape with an EEEEEEVIL voice.

    As mentioned here and as I've said elsewhere, you don't make a movie like Avatar with a quirky, unpredictable arthouse plot. It shouldn't be like that. It should be a story that appeals to everyone, and I think the filmmakers and screenwriters actually did a very good job in making a very universal, very mainstream story that has something for everyone to get interested in.

    And I do like the environmental message. I don't care if it's obvious, it's an important one and if it made some people think about our relationship with nature, animals, and the planet then that's a positive.

    The problem isn't just this loss of wonder that Zev very eloquently enunciated, it's also that the movie arrived in a culture where tearing down things via the pile-on anonymity of the internet is celebrated more than simply finding what you enjoy for yourself. Star Wars '77, released today, would be completely dogpiled and shit on by forumistas the world over. Because everyone wants to put on this show that they're above the hype, above common interests and values, and above the media they consume.

    If Avatar were released in the 1980s or even the 1990s, it'd be regarded as a classic genre film. The problem is that its scope and production wouldn't have been possible. But that movie is VERY much in line with The Abyss, Aliens, and other films like that from past eras of genre filmmaking. It really isn't very much like a post-Matrix science fiction film at all. There's no detatched irony or cynicism whatsoever in it. It's totally commited to its vision, characters, and story. And that's MUCH more than you can say for shit like Pitch Black, Transformers, the Star Wars prequels or any number of genre films over the past decade.

  • avatarDukeofChutney

    my trade copy of the AH edition of Nexus Ops has just arrived.

    And Damn it does looks rave.

    When it comes down to it, this is the problem with Fantasy Flight, not enough RAVE.

  • avatarBlack Barney

    How is Avatar inline with Aliens other than having the same director?

  • avatarJonJacob  - re:
    Black Barney wrote:
    How is Avatar inline with Aliens other than having the same director?

    The stasis capsules, the ships, the marines and their equipment all look eerily similar to the ones in Aliens. I got the impression during the film that they could very well take place in the same universe. They probably don't but the similarities are strong enough a case could be made for it.

  • avatarStan Leer

    Barney-

    For what is worth, I have noticed similar issues with IE6 at my work upon which several programs appear to depend on and therefore no upgrade is to occur until that software gets up graded.

    It is like a switch got flipped somewhere and alot of the internet got more annoying to look at while I work. I don't check out FAT at work but i have seen it at other places.

    I didn't see Avatar. I don't see many movies in the theater anymore. Where the time?

    I think Zev said more eloquently the idea of wonder and harkening back to 13.

    The only things that have changed about my tastes since I was 13 was the addition of sex and booze to list.

  • avatartin0men

    I loved, _LOVED_ just about everything Cameron made. I even bought Piranna II for giggles. Huge fan. His SF films are canon for me. I saw all but Terminator at least 2-3 times each, on the original theatrical runs.

    And I can watch "bad plot/great visuals & FX" films all day every day with a smile on my face.

    -- well, as long as they're NOT in 3D -- I'm done with that noise *shrug*.

    I'm also a huge fan of cheesy old SF flix. Good, Bad, Classic, or Just Plain Silly.

    So my threshold to enjoy a SF film is really pretty low.

    But I immediately saw Avatar as a retelling of Pocahantas.

    These days I absolutely CAN NOT STAND revisionist history. Unsubtle paeons to Noble Savages Fighting the Bad Mans, drive me right up the wall.

    Yea, it's a pet peeve. And it really doesn't have a lot to do with the film itself. :P

    I couldn't get an inch past the above through the whole movie. Even with the Big Wow CG etc. I *intensely* disliked the film. And I did see it in a theater in 3D. But I haven't seen it since.

  • Schweig!

    People still use IE6!? The horror!!!

  • avatarBlack Barney

    Stan, you said it perfectly. It's really like one day someone threw a switch. Why does every not work anymore on the internets at work? Exactly.

    Tin0men, I totally agree. I'm a huge Cameron junkie and even am capable of enjoying True Lies to some extent. But Avatar immediately struck me as Pocohontas as well and I was so bored with the story that I couldn't care about anything else. LIke the dramatic scene where the marines destroy that big old tree from Ocarina of Time? That is supposed to be super dramatic and it had ZERO effect on me. That movie just doesn't work to the level that people want it to. I think it's just good. Probably 4 stars or something but insanely forgettable for what it is supposed to be :(

  • avatarGearhead

    My question about the new Nexus Ops: will it increase the value of a mint 1st Ed. copy or does having more of it available now deflate the value?

    I've been sitting on a NM 1st Ed. for a few years now. (simply because I have other games like it to play) I might have to just bust this out if more copies deflates the value.

  • avatardragonstout

    Definitely deflate. It doesn't even matter if the new version is hugely inferior, new versions always deflate the price of old versions. And this one isn't hugely inferior.

  • avatarubarose  - re:
    Black Barney wrote:
    Stan, you said it perfectly. It's really like one day someone threw a switch. Why does every not work anymore on the internets at work? Exactly.

    Think of it this way:

    Each web browser is like a different game platform. Just like a game publisher has to code different versions of a game for each console it wants the game to be run on, every website has to have code different versions of itself to run on each browser.

    IE6 is the PS1 of web browsers.

  • avatarSGT Dave

    I'm going to go against the grain here and admit I didn't care for Avatar. I could not, and still don't, understand the hype. It just seemed like hundreds of millions of dollars spent to spruce up a been-there-done-that story.

    I'll admit I'm pretty picky about movies. It's my money and my time, and I can't afford to not be picky about what I spend on either. I'm always always amazed how easily people will plop down hard-earned cash on movies that are "meh", and then say things like, "It was good for what it was." You're the customer, man. Hollywood will continue to put out so-so movies as long as people are too lazy to do anything else with their time and money.

    It's great if you truely liked Avatar, but I think a lot of movies nowadays (I'm not necessarily talking about Avatar here) are just better than their competition at the time. Which I find sad.

    I have have only liked 3 James Cameron movies: Terminator, Aliens and Terminator 2. I could still watch any of them again and again, and never grow tired of them. Those are great movies.

    Feel free to rip me apart now. I will log back on in a couple days.

  • avatarcelticgriffon

    Barnes - I totally agree with the boards on Wiz War... WTF - the look of them honestly is giving me second thoughts on buying it????? Damn - guess i will keep plugging away at those Hirst Arts moulds.

    Tried 1812 introductory scenario... i think it is going to be pretty awesome as well. First turn as the Americans I did pretty amazing... second turn the british regulars caught up but it wasn't quite enough. The only problem i have on the game is the dice.. wherever they were pressed with images the press smaked them around something fierce.. they most certainly aren't square - conical here, rounded there, a small chip or crack...???

  • avatarDelobius

    Man, you guys will bitch about anything. The boards for Wiz-War are reversible, so if colors offend you, you can use the original-style ones.

    SGT Dave - I've got your back on this one.

  • avatardragonstout

    Yeah, the other sides of the boards look much more normal, from what I've seen.

  • gschmidl  - re:
    Aarontu wrote:
    Or giving a man in a murder mystery the name of "Mr. Allred Herring"

    You mean like Bishop Arringarossa in The Da Vinci Code? That's Italian for "red herring".

  • avatarHex Sinister  - Chris and Cosey : Factory Floor
    Quote:
    Hey, is there anybody here in the audience that’s a fan of Chris and Cosey? Anyone? Hello?


    I used to like the CTI record with Cosey on the front the most. Holy cow, I'm watching that on youtube right now. Wow, it's so GOOD.

    Anyway, I was more of a PTv guy back then. I still have one C&C cassette though. Not that I didn't like C&C or anything. After listening to them for the last two hours I think I enjoy them more now than I used to.

    Cosey is so interesting and cool, I admire her a lot. Well, all of the TG crew are pretty interesting and it's difficult to express the impact they had on me when I was young. They were more than "just some record".

    Factory Floor definately wears the influences of the time, I checked out several trax. Ya know, I just don't really know what to think. Okay, it's pretty good. But the influence line is so fine and I'm pretty certain they've crossed it. I can't push the stop button though. Ooh, this last one does trail off with some noise.

  • avatarHex Sinister

    Huh, I linked to the video but it's not there. Just search for European Rendezvous - Chris & Cosey CTI LIVE 1983 on youtube.

  • avatarSagrilarus  - re:
    SGT Dave wrote:
    I'm going to go against the grain here and admit I didn't care for Avatar.

    Avatar was style over substance. It was about the grandeur, more like Gone With The Wind than Citizen Kane. That's still fine company, but it's not going to appeal to everyone.

    Barnes already has Nexus Ops in his trade pile. Question -- is it still cool to like Nexus Ops, or do I have to hate it now? I'm 47 so I'm not up to speed on this kind of thing anymore.

    S.

  • avatarjohnnyspys

    I bought 1812 because I like Uwe's company and his games are all pretty fun to play. The best part of this game is how easy, fast, and elegant the game play is but still leaves some thoughtful strategy to consider.


    I bought Cave Evil because of your recommendation Barnes and hope to play it within the week. The components are much better than I expected and definitely worth the price considering this was a short print run and it was printed in the United States. I have a few friends who are really into Black Metal and when they saw this game they were drooling!

    As I know you will...keep the suggestions from deep left field coming!

  • avatarratpfink

    This website also looks really crappy on my typewriter.

  • Schweig!

    I haven't watched Avatar and don't think I will. What is it giving me, Ma?

  • avatarubarose  - re: re:
    Sagrilarus wrote:

    Barnes already has Nexus Ops in his trade pile. Question -- is it still cool to like Nexus Ops, or do I have to hate it now? I'm 47 so I'm not up to speed on this kind of thing anymore.

    S.

    Barnes has the new version on his trade pile because he owns the old version. He likes the artwork and minis in the old version better, and since there is no other significant difference between the two versions, he is keeping the old version, rather than the new one.

    I think the over all message is Nexus Ops is a great game. If you already have the old version, the new on isn't different enough to re-buy it.

  • avatarJonJacob  - re:
    SGT Dave wrote:
    It just seemed like hundreds of millions of dollars spent to spruce up a been-there-done-that story.

    I hear this kind of thing a lot. But I always wonder. What movie came out that wasn't a "been-there-done-that story"? I don't know that I've watched a movie that I couldn't relate to an older film immediately. It seems to me that if you've read through the Greek tragic plays and a pile of old mythology and folk tales you'll never run into any new stories at all.

    We just change the settings so all that matters at that point is execution.

  • avatarSagrilarus  - re: re: re:
    ubarose wrote:
    Sagrilarus wrote:

    Barnes already has Nexus Ops in his trade pile. Question -- is it still cool to like Nexus Ops, or do I have to hate it now? I'm 47 so I'm not up to speed on this kind of thing anymore.

    S.


    Barnes has the new version on his trade pile because he owns the old version. He likes the artwork and minis in the old version better, and since there is no other significant difference between the two versions, he is keeping the old version, rather than the new one.

    I think the over all message is Nexus Ops is a great game. If you already have the old version, the new on isn't different enough to re-buy it.

    Ok, so . . . it's still cool? I don't need to get rid of my NXSOPS vanity plate, right?

    S.

  • avatarSpace Ghost

    I can't believe anyone bitching about Wiz-War's boards. The game is great -- the reimplementation is great.

    I actually like the "space feel" of the new boards. It makes me think of some ephemeral wizard's tower that would pop in and out of existence in the old D&D cartoon. Very wizardy. Fits the setting perfectly.

    The ONLY flaw in the production is that 1 card out of 5 bajillion has incongruent art. The damn werewolf card is just out of place.

  • avatarheruca

    I still like my medieval re-theme of Nexus Ops (I call it Feudal Ops) better. Scroll down to see the pictures.

    As for Avatar, I really liked it, despite it being a derivative/rehashed story. Seeing it in 3D in the movie theater was quite the experience. However, I have surprisingly little interest in seeing it again on TV.

  • avatarscissors

    Yeah, I never saw Avatar in the theatre - I think my kid was one at the time or less so it wasnt a time spent going to the movies - so in fairness I missed the whole point of this film. Avatar doesnt make me angry, its just completely forgettable and bland as a story. If it wasnt for the spectacle there'd be nothing there. It doesnt help that the lead actor Sam whoever has no charisma and it doesnt matter if it was this or Clash of the Titians. Bleh.

    I agree with the sense of wonder thing fading for some but in this I am not jaded- just need better characters and at least some surprises in the story amd not a knife fight in a mech suit. Lame.

  • avatarAncient_of_MuMu

    It just hit me why I don't like Avatar. What I watch sci-fi for, and why I am a huge sci-fi junkie is the "cool concept" factor.
    What is good about Star wars - the Jedi. Who doesn't love warrior monks using swords in an era of ray guns. What do I love about Aliens - the whole life cycle of the aliens, the exoskeletons, the colonial marines and their weapons and ships. Blade Runner - androids who might be human or vice versa.

    This is why John Carpenter gets a pass for me. His films are generally very badly made, but he really has an eye for the cool concept (see "They Live" for the epitome of this, which is a terrible film but the core concept is so good that it is watchable). As for Avatar there is no cool concept. Everything is old worn out territory: going into a new body, gunships, mecha suits, floating islands, and none are that great (apart from mecha which always get a tick from me). The only thing that is new and interesting is the joining minds with the creatures you ride, and that is a weak 7.

    You can tread over existing territory and make it cool, such as the zero g corridor fight in Inception, but Avatar fails to do this. Hell I even prefer to watch Matrix Revolutions over Avatar, just because it has the first decent live action mecha battle of the CG era. I can't think of a similar sequence in Avatar that gets my inner 13 year old excited.

  • avatardragonstout  - re: re:
    Sagrilarus wrote:
    Avatar was style over substance. It was about the grandeur, more like Gone With The Wind than Citizen Kane. That's still fine company, but it's not going to appeal to everyone.

    Perfectly said. It sounds like all y'all had weird expectations for Avatar. What expectations did you have for going to see METROPOLIS, or GONE WITH THE WIND, or INTOLERANCE? Metropolis is frequently considered one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time...but it ain't because of the corny, hackeneyed story. Purely because of the visuals. See AVATAR, in the theater, in 3D, in the same mindset as you would see one of those three aforementioned movies that have stood the test of 70-90 years purely due to visual spectacle.

  • avatarBlack Barney

    mumu sums it up really nice there. It's so true that I'd rather rewatch THEY LIVE than AVATAR. And I don't think THEY LIVE is an especially good movie or anything. So there is something there...


    and someone tell ratfink that this isn't BGG

  • avatarbearklaw

    All this talk about movies on F:AT; time to get back to the important stuff - music!

    Yes, I'm an old time Chris and Cosey fan. I still have the vinyl version of their first few albums and saw them live several times. (Not counting being present at TGs last show at Kezar.) I remember on their first US tour they were showing pretty explicit bondage videos behind the stage, and me and my mates all realized at the same time that they were home made movies featuring Chris and Cosey...

    Ironically the name of my college band was Factory Floor.

  • avatarHex Sinister

    You saw TG?! Wow. I did have the opportunity to see C&C but didn't go. Still regret that...

  • avatarSan Il Defanso

    I liked Avatar a lot. Blew my mind when I saw it, though it's been a couple of years. I don't get the hate for it either.

    And I'm really glad to hear that Nexus Ops is mostly unchanged, aside from the art. I don't hate the cover, but the tiles do look terrible.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Movies/music-

    I really wanted to see the reunited Throbbing Gristle a couple of years ago, but no dice...but dang Bearklaw, you were at the Kezar show? Awesome. I've watched it. Closest I've gotten to seeing _any_ of them was Genesis P. Orridge when he was in Pigface...I was in line to get in, and this weird little man with huge dreadlocks cut in front of me. I thought "who the fuck is this dirty hippie". I saw he had this big PTV cuff bracelet, and sure enough it was GPO. Pre-surgery.

    I agree with Dragonstout here on Avatar...it's like people had these astronomical expectations from an old fashioned Hollywood adventure movie or something. And criteria for what is a "hackneyed/cliched" story is so weird...The Matrix is hackneyed and cliched, but it's just packaged differently. Star Wars, the same.

    If you're not talking about REALLY surprising and unique filmmakers- working well outside of Hollywood for the most part- then coming down on films for having populist plots and simple characters is almost kind of silly.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Games- Yeah, the Wiz-War comments were sort of early...the boards are fine, they look good on the table and it's clear what they are. They are dark, but it's actually pretty cool and atmospheric with the "magical" colors. I think it's a great production, and it's definitely the Wiz-War set you want now. Roll on the expansions...

    Of course it's still cool to like Nexus Ops...it's one of the best games of the past 10 years, nothing has changed.

  • avatarShellhead

    Of course everybody had high expectations for Avatar. It was James Freaking Cameron with a huge budget and several years of effort. This was the guy who made my all-time favorite movie (Aliens) and one of the all-time biggest box office movies (Titanic). On that basis alone, it was perfectly reasonable for everybody to expect the movie of the decade. Avatar fell far short of that mark.

  • avatarMorpheous

    So what can be added that hasn't been said? Just my two cents I guess. Avatar was a visual experience and that just can't be debated. It was one of those movies, you knew you were going to shell out to see at the theater. I probably had the plot figured out also in the first 5 minutes and gave the movie a 7 out of 10. I think the real beef I have with this movie is the same I have with good but not great games... just some more effort, take a few more chances and attain greatness. Cameron played it safe, he knew what would sell as a story line and knew the graphics would carry the day. The counter point would be the firs Star Trek movie... I am sure people here would just go nuts talking about that plot. If you were even a mild Trekkie, you were going to the theater and you were just freaking with excitement.... only to be absolutely non plussed by the movie story... seeing the characters, the Klingons vs the cloud, the ship itself were highlights, but you came out just saying....if only they hadn't tried too much with the story, stick with what works... Avatar stuck with what works... Movies (games) should meet in the middle to be great, innovative story (rules), good effects (graphics) and you got a great SF movie... or a great game.

  • avatardragonstout  - re:
    Shellhead wrote:
    Of course everybody had high expectations for Avatar. It was James Freaking Cameron with a huge budget and several years of effort. This was the guy who made my all-time favorite movie (Aliens) and one of the all-time biggest box office movies (Titanic). On that basis alone, it was perfectly reasonable for everybody to expect the movie of the decade. Avatar fell far short of that mark.

    Okay, wait, are you implying that there are people here who loved Titanic but were disappointed by Avatar? 'Cause Titanic was just like Avatar: same ol' same ol' story, corny dialogue, but wowza visuals. Except in Avatar the visuals were SO DAMN wowza that it genuinely made up for anything else that was underwhelming. Avatar was enveloping. I think I would have been pretty happy if, halfway through the movie, someone just said "fuck it, we don't need characters anymore, let's just let the camera walk through the planet and observe amazing things." That wouldn't have been very commercial, though, so instead they did that very thing while simultaneously presenting a story to satisfy a different sector of the audience than me.

    Film is a visual medium. Sometimes you get stuff like Avatar, gorgeous but vapid writing-wise, and sometimes you get butt-ugly movies with good writing. Early Kevin Smith movies are the only examples of the latter that come to mind, and the writing there is really pretty debatably "good".

    The reason I have a hard time coming up with more examples of the latter? Because between the two, it's the former, yes, movies like Avatar, that tend to stand the test of time and be remembered decades later. The well-written but visually clumsy movies tend to drift away.

    (I'd love for someone to come up with some examples to prove me wrong, though)

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Of course everybody had high expectations for Avatar. It was James Freaking Cameron with a huge budget and several years of effort.

    And what was delivered was exactly that. If there were expectations that James Cameron, who is hardly known as a particularly innovative or inventive writer or storyteller, would do _anything_ other than a big, giant piece of technically immaculate fluff then you're not watching James Cameron films.

    Even Aliens- one of my favorite movies ever- is fluff. The writing and characters are so hokey. It's all old-time, cornball war movie stuff. It just happens to have Aliens in it instead of Indians or Germans.

    And you probably saw it when you were under 20.

    What it comes down to is that Avatar is a very mainstream picture that recieved a lot of hype in the media. It doesn't have anything to do with expecting the Sci Fi Spectacle of Our Time. But since it is science fiction, the nerd brigrade has to beat the wardrum about it because it is so mainstream. It has simple themes and characters so that its messages- and its love story, which upsets male nerds- come through to the largest possible audience. At the end of the day, it's a commercial (but not un-artistic_ entertainment product.

    If you expected to be some kind of ultra-dark, "everything in the future is bad" picture or you thoguht you were going to be intellectually engaged or challenged by a James Cameron story...I don't know what to tell you.

    Everything is old worn out territory: going into a new body, gunships, mecha suits, floating islands, and none are that great (apart from mecha which always get a tick from me).

    Yeah, for jaded "I'm over everything" nerds. Not for the mainstream, and that's who bought tickets.

  • avatarAncient_of_MuMu

    I have to stop entering this discussion, because after the discussion about the Star Wars prequels, and yet again defending them, and yet again having people trying to convince me I was an idiot for liking them. I thought: "You know what. Liking the prequels is a good thing, because it means there are these 3 movies I can happily watch and get a kid-like enjoyment from. And these fuckers are trying to convince me this is a bad thing."

    So even though I can't do it, good on all you Avatar lovers, as there is a 3 hour movie you can get all teenage girly about. I wish I could be like you sometimes, as it is probably the only major sci-fi release of the last 10 years I don't like. Liking something is a good thing, and trashing something over and over, trying to convince people that they are wrong when the end result doesn't matter is a bad thing.

  • avatarbearklaw  - re:
    Michael Barnes wrote:
    Movies/music-

    I really wanted to see the reunited Throbbing Gristle a couple of years ago, but no dice...but dang Bearklaw, you were at the Kezar show? Awesome. I've watched it.

    There is a video of it? Didn't know that - time to do a search and find it. Being in the SF area in the late 70s/early 80s was great for that type of music. The locals included Chrome, the Residents, Tuxedo Moon and Flipper. Dating myself a bit here I guess.

    It's been said before, but as a recent refuge from BGG, I'm digging it here.

  • avatarBlack Barney

    Shellhead, Aliens is your favourite movie too?! I loves you.

    Barnes, I think the Aliens script is PERFECT for that movie, actually. Like seriously, I would give it a 100/100 score and I am VERY critical of screenplays. Every line of dialogue is believable and while I agree that the Newt/mommy stuff got overdone a bit, I think the more important stuff of interactions amongst space marines was all done perfectly to the point that my suspension of disbelief remained unbroken throughout.

  • avatarInfinityMax  - re: re:
    dragonstout wrote:
    (I'd love for someone to come up with some examples to prove me wrong, though)


    Honestly, what movies are visually clumsy? I can't think of any that were visually weak. It's a visual medium, and movies that look like ass don't make it into theaters.

    Pulp Fiction is no feast for the eyes, but it is one of my absolute favorites, solely for the writing and acting. I think that one is going to stand up pretty well. I watch it about once a year.

  • avatarSagrilarus  - re: re: re:
    InfinityMax wrote:

    Honestly, what movies are visually clumsy?

    There are plenty of visually clumsy movies, and if you want to see it more easily look to just about anything made prior to 1960 when the expected level of visual quality was much lower. Abrupt cuts, errors in continuity . . . I recently watched The Sound of Music again (1965 and a positively stellar film) and found several places where the transitions were rough to say the least. Magnificent scenery, magnificent framing, but the film had errors in the transitions.

    At the time when Spielberg was pounding out his early mega-films (Jaws, ET, that crowd) one of my friends in the industry referred to them as "seamless" films. Spielberg had the budget and the intestinal fortitude to spend the countless hours required to make every transition of scene or even camera angle work every time. That wasn't standard operating procedure prior to 1975.

    I also watched Transformers again and, in spite of the kiddie theme and remarkably simple script I found myself looking at the transitions very carefully in search of rough cuts. There weren't any. A big budget film for sure, but not exactly the icon of high art. Yet every camera angle worked. These days it's much less common to see oopsies in production and editing.

    S.

  • avatarBlack Barney

    League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Van Helsing are two that instantly come to mind when someone says, "visually clumsy"

  • avatarBearn  - re:
    Black Barney wrote:
    Uba, it just happened, I don't know why all of a sudden I can't see text.

    Bearn, are you actually drawing similarities to the quality of story of Avatar as LOTR? Avatar has NO story. LOTR IS a story.

    JJ, you're talking about the Star Trek reboot? Yes, i think that the Star Trek reboot movie is way better than Avatar.

    Uh NO. Read closer and you'll find what i was saying is that going into the theatre you knew full well what the story was. I don't know about you but i went in to see the LoTR's movies to SEE what i had always read up on the screen not in cartoon format. I went in pretty much guessing what the script of Avatar was but i could have cared less because i wanted to see some really good visual effects in 3D. I got what i wanted and so i thought the movie was good.

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