[Novel] Going After Cacciato (Tim O’Brien)

Going After Conciatio

Book

Going After Cacciatio is an unusual magical realism novel set in Vietnam war, where a bunch of soldiers chase a deserter… all the way to Paris, while experiencing a whole bunch of different cultures and discussing the spiritually hollow nature of modern conflicts.

Positive:
Negative:
Interesting, quirky characters
The plot feels disjointed like a fever dream
Thought-provoking on war and human condition
The plot isn’t most immersing or exciting

[TV] Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Seasons

Game of Thrones was one show that I actually wasn’t worried about deviating from the original material because I figured that to achieve the heights it did, everyone involved must have known what they were doing as it wasn’t like George R. R. Martin was writing every scene, but… It appears I couldn’t have been more wrong as the way they dropped the ball with the final season is legendary.

The tense atmosphere is gone, everyone has plot armor, the characters are making dumb decisions that feel nothing like them, the battle strategy is abysmal and all battles are won through magic, and most of the events feel rushed and not set up properly. It simply doesn’t feel like Game of Thrones anymore. It’s still better than what you normally see on TV, but this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about, not goddamn Hercules: The Legendary Journey.

While I thought I didn’t need to pick up the books while I was around season four, I started having doubts through season five and six, until I finally realized I simply had to read them to get a proper conclusion to the story around season seven. At this point, I really can’t help but treat the last two seasons as fan fiction that I give no more credit than alternative fan endings on youtube, which also happen to be infinitely better.

The underwhelming last season doesn’t change all the amazing things that came prior to it, and the first four seasons of Game of Thrones (and arguably five and six too) still remain my favorite TV series. I’ll be looking forward to see how the story actually concludes if George R. R. Martin finishes the damn books.

Seasons based on books:

TV

Original material:

TV

Positive:
Negative:
Awesome cinematography
Action scenes use too many jumpcuts in the earlier seasons
Fascinating, gritty medieval fantasy setting
The integrity of the plot falls apart in the original seasons
Immersing, dark atmosphere
Characters act out of character and are dumbed down in the later seasons
Interesting, likable, profound characters
Abysmal battle tactics in the final season
Enthralling plot full of surprising twists
Poorly written ending
Fantastic pacing with something interesting happening every minute
Solid, well thought-out story fueled by medieval politics

 

[Game] Resident Evil 2 (2019)

Resident Evil 2

Game

A remake of Resident Evil 2 that retains enough of the old game to feel nostalgic, but offers just the right amount of changes and tweaks to feel fresh.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful, modern visuals
Run-of-the-mill, generic story
Interesting, likable characters
Clunky boss fights
Does a great job at recapturing the original survival horror game-play
Genuinely scary

[Novel] Making Money (Terry Pratchett )

Making Money

Book

A beautifully written, sarcastic story about an ex-con-artist introducing paper money to a high-fantasy-like economy and other bureaucratic hijinks in a quirky and fascinating fantasy world.

Positive:
Negative:
Flowing, sarcastic prose
The story, when you take away all the flare, is pretty simple
Fascinating, quirky fantasy setting
Pulp fiction
Interesting, likable, wacky, and even relatively profound characters
Involving plot full of twists and surprises

 

[Game] Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler

Game

Octopath Traveler started strong with eight relatively interesting characters beginning their adventures, which I thought would intertwine and mold into one epic story like a fantasy novel, but they somehow never do. The characters go through their individual quests (that don’t even acknowledge the presence of other party members and grow more and more formulaic by every chapter) and that’s itthey only somewhat come together with the secret final boss and even there, just barely.

I feel like the fantastic localization was kind of wasted on such a weak story, but then I might’ve dropped it, or at least skipped the text, if it wasn’t so beautifully written (or if I played it in Japanese which, as I could tell from the voices, was just as generic as the plot), so I guess it wasn’t completely for nothing.

That said, with its flexibility at party building, and always keeping you on edge with all sorts of nonstandard tricks, I really enjoyed the game-play, especially the secret final bossit reminded me why I like turn-based games.

Positive:
Negative:
Fantastic soundtrack
Outdated visuals
Relatively interesting, likable characters
Dull, formulaic plot
Satisfying, well-balanced turn-based game-play
Weak story that barely connects the eight adventures
Satisfying secret final boss that pushes you to the limit
Character overworld abilities just needlessly convolute town interactions
Fantastic localization

[Novel] The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins)

The Moonstone

Book.jpg

The Moonstone is an interesting work in that it’s both a Victorian and a mystery novel, and pretty much offers the best sides of both worlds with Jane Austin like drama and Agatha Christie like mystery.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful, old-fashioned prose
A couple of parts might feel too slow
Interesting, likable, relatively profound characters
Though the mystery is good, it doesn’t exactly blow your mind
An enthralling plot full of twists and surprises
A solid story that’s based around a pretty crafty mystery