Open Thread

Open Thread #314

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77 thoughts on “Open Thread #314

  1. I dipped my toes into VNs again the other day. A common recommendation I came across was The House in Fata Morgana. My expectations were high, but this game seems to target a low-T audience. It has the worst possible opening one could imagine, with jarring music underlying some amateurish writing that is supposed to build suspense. It is rare that I do not even give a game five minutes. Then I thought I should indulge in a much more cultured activity and got Secret Pie, with art by the extraordinarily talented Kidmo. The Steam page promised 23k words, but I am not sure this is correct. This VN is entertaining because of the fantastic artwork, but the story is serviceable at best. If you happened to watch some Starfield footage, then Secret Pie will help you cleanse yourself spiritually. I found it pretty good: great 3D graphics, pretty good music, humdrum story. I rate it 4 out of 5 Chads.

    1. I recently finished Synthetic Man’a review of Starfield. That game is probably a little worse than I imagined, frankly. I really do think that the sandbox genre of games needs to be more realistic. It’s simply not feasible to have a vast open area to explore and then it be interesting at the same time. Then there’s the issue with bugs that only a team like Nintendo is really competent enough to iron out. The genre has certainly reached well past the point of diminishing returns, I think. Where the production costs of these games just don’t reflect the quality.

      Right now I’m playing Signalis, which is another game SM reviewed. It’s quite creepy. I think his biggest gripe with the game is the ending, where it has something to do with hot waifus being in love with each other or something. I’m not entirely sure yet, tbh. The game was developed by the German Rose-Engine.

    2. Starfield is yet another example of a Western studio embarking on an extremely ambitious project, yet failing to deliver. Bethesda could probably have made a much better game had they set themselves smart constraints, which can even be done in a way that makes sense in the world. This reminds me of how the overworld of the very first Diablo did not show you clear demarcations. There were no artificial limits like an invisible wall. Instead, the limits were set by the game world, e.g. rocks on one side, and a wall on the other. You could look beyond it and, as an engrossed boy playing it, imagine what other areas might exist in this world. Similarly, Starfield did not need 1,000 planets, which nobody but the most autistic will ever going to visit anyway. Just have an explanation why some parts of the galaxy cannot be traveled to, perhaps due to current technical limitations, which is already a hook for DLC or a sequel. Also, the team was surely also hamstrung by the gender and pronoun nonsense. Those resources could have spent better elsewhere.

    3. Starfield might possibly be the worst Bethesda game to date. The concept is just too ambitious anyway, and we already knew what a turd No Man’s Sky was. I wonder how many normie copers will continue to not be skeptical for the next super big ambitious galaxy sprawler.

      Signalis, btw, is a hardcore survival horror game I’m finding out. It seems to only really be meant for those who loved the PS1 era of survival horror games. The puzzles in this game are quite a step up from Resident Evil games, but not as ridiculous as Silent Hill’s puzzles set to hard mode, where you need to be able to cite Shakespeare to know wtf is going on.

  2. Ok, so this is happening Russel Brand is getting accused of rape.

    These days you can almost predict when they pull one of these hitjobs. It’s literally the moment someone becomes too powerful of a thorn in the side of the globalists.

    He has been awakening to globalist bullshit ever more progressively over the past year, and then they wanna Assange him. Yeah, nobody could see that one coming.

    1. Brand is a threat to the system for sure. He doesn’t need to rape girls. He was a Playboy back in the day.

    2. I do not follow this guy actively, but I have been aware of him getting more and more based. If I recall correctly, he originally made fun of a lot of the positions he nowadays embraces. Given his popularity, he needs to get shut down as guys like him are a genuine threat to the narrative. The same happened to PewDiePie who transitioned from being an entertainer for kids to bringing up the JQ and talking about race. At that time, he was one of the top 3 most-subscribed people on YouTube, perhaps even the number one. Then he got banned. He also lost his Twitch account.

  3. On the topic of ultrasound, ran into this link from some australian clinic:

    It’s $599; so not that much more than in poorer countries. Maybe there’s something about that ultrawhateveritwas that makes it expensive, but hifu pro doesn’t seem to be as outrageous. And again, this is a twice-a-decade cost.

    1. Are you sure it needs to be done only twice a decade? In the linked page it says that effects last up to 12 months. I’ve also checked other providers and there is no clear consensus on dosage, some even suggest doing it every 3-4 months.

    2. @skeptick

      I didn’t actually read that page past the price point. I’ve never seen anyone mention such a low length. The lowest I’ve seen elsewhere is “3 years”, so 3 times a decade.

      Also, consider we’re relatively young for these kinds of things, so we need less if we’re doing it earlier than the typical client. I think most clients are like 50-60 year olds. You need less and it will last longer if you’re in your late 30s/early 40s

    3. Perhaps there is a dose-thing after all. Maybe these guys are 599$ because they only do a strength that only last 12 months. And maybe the ones that are 3-5 years are much more expensive.

      I wouldn’t know, have had no reason to research, because the option that lasts 5 years costs 200 euros in my country.

  4. The polling company Gallup polled Americans on their trust in mass media. Tweet with results:

    TL;DR Trust in mass media has tanked among independents and Republicans since the early 1970s, but decreased only by a few percentage points among Democrats.

    The original report (from October, 2022) can be found here:

    It has some more information, like trust among the U.S. population as a whole and not just by party affiliation, and so on.

    This is a bit old, so my apologies if it was posted before.

    1. A post of interest on that account:

      I’ve actually voiced this concern at a discord channel before. needless to say,I was not met with positive reception.

      Even though it makes total logical sense. Even if a boy grew into a man that really does want to be trans as an adult,I would think the scenario of a little boy doing a sex-change,but changing their mind later but as a result of their choice earlier in life,missing out on that oh-so-important puberty period that separates our level of physicality from women. Imagine being an adult man but essentially stuck with a body as vulnerable (I think you guys already know all the differences so I don’t need to go into specifics) as that of a female. A pretty nightmarish scenario. even in a civilized society.

      Its the same reason you don’t make growing kids go into an absolute serious diet/prolonged deficit unless they are an extreme case and medical pros have decided its the best thing to do. You don’t wanna fuck with that childhood development.

    2. Sadly, those rules no longer apply. It is quite interesting that society now holds the belief that pre-teens can decide whether to get mutilated and castrated, but at the same time, we do not expect them to be able to acquire a legally valid form of identification as adults. This is a total clown show. There are very few ways to make sense of this. I can only think of two: chaos in general, and systematic white genocide in more specific terms, considering that the trans-agenda seems to almost exclusively focus on white children.

  5. I just had this crazy anti-game revelation recently when I was talking to these two young Becky’s from work. I’ve cut up with them in passing before individually, but they recently both approached me in the hallway. They’re both from the same department, but different from mine. I found out they were 21 and 24, and I was more interested in the 24 year old because she seemed more easy and was actually hotter.

    Anyways, the revelation I had is that I think when I had social anxiety and was more introverted for fear of saying something weird I had much better conversion rates. In recent years, it’s as if some kind of switch went off and my inhibitions lowered quite a bit making much more gregarious than usual. You’d think this would be benefit, right?

    So what happened was the cuter chick was basically like, “yeah, I was rear ended and got a concussion blah blah blah so now I’m driving X luxury vehicle these days.” I said, “wow, I’ve never been in one those.” With which she replied, “yeah, well maybe you can soon teehee.” I then said, “hmm, maybe. Let me just snap chat with you.”

    We exchanged contacts and her and her friend were all giggling and shit. At this point I wanted to dip out of the conversation, so I made a remark about going to get some coffee and offered them some. They were like, “nah, we don’t drink that blah blah blah.” That’s when I said, “oh shit, not me. I’m a fucking addict (for caffeine).” And the cute one’s eyes got so big lol. She ended up accepting my friend request but would not have a back and forth with me the next day, basically leaving me on read.

    The above is just an example of one thing I said that was off-putting, but I notice I do it a lot. I’m sure mega Chad could get away with being neurodivergent to some degree, but I don’t think I have that luxury. Here’s something else crazy i realized. The chicks I vibe with the easiest are like super extraverted or medicated for ADHD*. They think I’m hilarious.

    1. TLDR; I basically talk too much and say off the wall and sometimes edgy shit too often. I think if I toned it down and just let them do most of the talking while keeping my replies and follow-ups short and sweet things would be much different.

    2. This is generally true. We talked about his before under the “anti-game umbrella”. Any kind of edgy humor is to be avoided when talking to women as they may just not grasp it. If in doubt, assume that she has an IQ of 90 and tailor your language accordingly. Avoid any kind of ambiguity, and negativity in general. In your case, referring to yourself as an “addict” was not ideal due to negative connotations. This reminds me of something much worse a friend of mine told me about. He went to some party, and a guy there, while talking to a mixed group, supposedly joked about heroin addiction, and this did not go down well at all.

    3. Thanks for the reply! That was helpful. Any way you can elaborate on the anti-game umbrella or point me in the right direction with a link please?

    4. Alright, I read through most of the relevant articles. I took part in those threads, but I guess it just never sank in until recently. I bet that if I just relaxed my face, eyes and body and just chilled out I’d convert much better.

      Btw, I’m just remembering a good example of this half Mexican guy I’ve been working with. I’ll usually notice him having the most neurotypical conversations with chicks and they’ll go on for a while. I’m sitting there thinking, “jeez, this is a really long and boring conversation.” I think I even recall you mentioning before that you were so non-expressive with women that they questioned whether or not you were psychopathic. Given my anecdote about introversion and shyness, I’m starting to think that it’s always better to err on the side minimalism than to feed the urge to fill the silence, so to speak. Just let the chick do most of the talking and keep leading the interaction when she pauses and stares at you, nothing fancy, silly or edgy.

  6. Question, especially for the more experienced like Aaron.

    With my recent transformation (weight, muscle, skin), I’ve started getting chad-like attention from 35-40 year old women.

    I’m talking staring, stalking, following me around and physically bumping me multiple times. It’s pretty aggressive.

    From this I am inferring that if I actually dressed up and went to a place where I have status and social proof and I actually do some work, then 30 year olds should be relatively easy.

    I realize that I might be making a logical leap here by assuming that it is linear. That is that if 35 year olds are throwing themselves at me, then the 30 year old should at least show decent interest once approached (in a venue where I’m high status and surrounded by my hot 21 year old friends)

    Mind you I only leave the house to run errands, usually unwashed and always in sweatpants or oversized dirty baggy pants and a shirt that fits like a garbage bag.

    I’m stuck 24/7 on building my biz, so can’t test this out right away, but will do so once biz is finally somewhat offhands. Just wondering if my logic is completely off.

    1. From their 20s onwards, any woman who is still single will get increasingly desperate and some of them become quite sexually aggressive. This is a reaction to them getting less and less positive responses from men. Those are the women who will bluntly offer their pussy or casually drop remarks about how much they enjoy sucking dick. Some of them grab the crotch of guys they are interested in. They may also just shove a hand down your pants and massage your dick, as a way of saying high. Of course, I am not saying that they all do this, and all the time, but in this age group some women exhibit rather unladylike behavior. Interestingly, it seems that this is more common among attractive women, presumably because they are most aware of how much their looks have declined, even if they still look far better than their peers. However, they absolutely cannot compete anymore with younger women.

    2. Sure, just wondering if one can reaonably infer it goes in stages

      – At 30 they panic a little
      – At 35 they hardcore panic and become physically aggressive

      Hence if 35 year olds are super aggressive, you can assume that at 30 they will at least have some of that to a lesser extent.

    3. There is a different factor, i.e. breakups. At first, they think they can get laid easily and will have their pick among boyfriends but then it hits them like a brick wall that this ship has sailed. At this point, some become very aggressive. I have seen this with women even in their late 20s.

      There is another peak when they are close to losing their looks completely, i.e. in their mid-to-late 30s. I have had bizarre encounters like some woman in her late 30s who seemed to go to the gym a lot and was thus in very good physical shape. She could still not fight gravity. She took my hand and sucked on it and when she had my index and middle fingers in her mouth, she simulated a blowjob, and an expertly one. She pushed my hand down her throat and she was gagging. It was a bit bizarre. She did not care at all that there were other people at this bar. I did not even know her name at that point. It was basically her way of advertising herself. Another extreme case was a woman in the same age range, another gym rat, who first told me that she used to be better looking but her kids took a toll — she was still very slim, though — and then she told me what she could do with her pussy, and promised that she would be “tighter and a better fuck than any of the young girls you could have”. She told me I should put some fingers in and then she squeezed her pussy really hard. In contrast to the first one, she was discreet about it. By the way, it feels incongruent to have such a mature woman sit on your lap, pretending to be a horny teenager.

    4. Its especially unnerving when said women are willing to risk secure marriages (especially if they have kids. my god…) for another shot at Chad cock. they got their security,but are willing to risk losing it.

      Biologically speaking,women are usually very risk averse,right? I wonder if its the Cougar testosterone driving them at that point.

    5. Do you think there was any hidden agenda to pull an oopsie on you Aaron in these circumstances?

      Presumably,they knew nothing of your financial standing,but maybe they were desperate enough to nab any decent enough looking guy for that good ol government child support money!

      It scares me a little that there are chicks like this. Its part of the reason I didn’t bother with some of the cougars who came on to me as a freshman in high school. (the fact they looked nothing special,probably not even in their youth,didn’t make it hard to refuse their offer thankfully)

      People usually think I’m from a relatively off family. they are not wrong. But I have to wonder what part of me gives it away.

    6. I turned down the vast majority of those older women. The rare exceptions were those who had a really fun vibe, but this are extremely rare as by that age they are normally really jaded. Also, a lot of women are out there hunting for Chad sperm. In most European countries, as you rightly point out, the welfare state is generous, but women seem to underestimate the burden of raising a kid by themselves. This does not just apply to older women, i.e. those in their early 30s, as they really start to hear their biological clock tick. You can also find plenty of young sluts who tell you that you can fuck them raw. Some lie about being on the pill but there are also women who want to appeal to your more primal side and tell you that you can cum in them all you want and “if it happens, it happens”. I have been in quite unsettling situations where the chick pulled the condom off in the middle of the act, telling me that she wants me to impregnate her. We are talking about chicks whose name I did not even bother to remember, if I even asked for it. I also once had a very calculating woman who said that she wants me to make her pregnant and that I would not have to be involved at all. This was during my Berlin days, so this was all about getting knocked up a tall, dark, stranger.

      Your comment about people being able to tell that you are from a well-off family is interesting. Clothes can be a give-away, but there are also certain habits. I had women ask me if I was rich, even though I absolutely am not, and did not wear expensive clothes at all. I think this is due to me having a quite irreverent attitude. It is very common among the wealthy, based on my experience interacting with this crowd. In my case, it is due to seeing through bullshit and calling it when I see it.

    7. In other words, is my thinking flawed. Perhaps one can’t infer that as they go from 0 to a 100 overnight and there are no stages.

      I don’t actually need women to throw themselves and pursue me in brutish ways. I’d be happy if they’re just not entitled and making me jump through a 100 hoops.

      I’m happy banging a bunch of 30 year olds if they’re even 20% of the ease of 35 year olds. Or is it a sudden shift, from entitled to brutish and agressive.

    8. I think the aggressive behavior you see is due to them wresting with their frustrations. They have never learned to be subtle, and they also realize that they need to be a lot more outgoing if they want to end up with another dick in them, and then they go overboard. Probably the most entitled women end up being the most aggressive ones later. The non-entitled ones probably get wifed up.

      I have a hunch that the single 30 year-old women are more aggressive as this is when the realization hits them that they are no longer serious contenders in the sexual marketplace, and once they have gotten used to this, they may become a little bit more subtle again. A woman walking up to you and, without any hint, putting her hand down your pants in order to massage your dick is something I would expect from the early-30s crowd, also because they is likely aware that they are still somewhat attractive. A woman in her late 30s probably won’t do this, also because of the potential embarrassment of grabbing some dude’s cock and him not getting hard at all. The latter seem to try to win you over by offering a really easy lay whereas the former may have the mindset that if she only gets you hard, you will follow her home willingly. This is based on relatively few data points as I did not have a lot of interactions with those older women. They simply were not my target audience. If they were, the above would be a working hypothesis to make sense of their behavior as a group.

    9. I’ll for sure be answering this question myself in a little bit, once I wrap up some stuff with the biz. Was just wondering if someone has seen this correlation, like is it that:

      – up to a certain age they’re just as entitled and picky and difficult as they were at 22, and then BOOM they go super hardcore aggressive overnight
      – or does it go in stages

      I wouldn’t know since I’ve only purposely gone for 20 somethings. It’s the first time I’m considering 30 year olds. Yes, I did bang some 30-40 year olds, but I had assumed they’re pursuing me hardcore because they’re cougars hunting for young fit guys.

    10. I think the aggressive behavior you see is due to them wresting with their frustrations. They have never learned to be subtle, and they also realize that they need to be a lot more outgoing if they want to end up with another dick in them, and then they go overboard.

      That does actually make a lot of sense. I can see that.

  7. Sometimes I feel so sorry for the folks I run into in bluepill servers/forums/hangouts. I’m there because they often provide valuable knowledge in niched fields of interest,but as expected,bluepill thinking is reigns supreme in the mainstream.

    I’d love to give them some actual practical advice or even link to your blog,but I know I’ll just get flamed and I’d rather not attract negative traffic to your blog.

    It is what it is I guess. I could PM them Wheat Waffles’ content though if nothing else,although there’s some stuff he says that I think is overly defeatist and unhelpful.

    1. On the topic of gaming, I just now finished Signalis. This is a phenomenal survival horror game, imo. It’s true to the genre in terms of how the old school PS1 genre defined it. Disclaimer: If you aren’t a fan of RE1-3 or Silent Hill, then this game will probably not appeal to you. It is also less forgiving in many way compared to REmake 2, for example.

      The atmosphere is tense and dreadful. It’s very oppressive. The narrative is quite cryptic, but very dense and extremely curious and generally gets told through memos, documents, diaries and scribbled notes. There are, however, other characters that you interact with. Apparently, there are multiple endings, so I need to run through the game a few more times.

      Absolutely loved this game. Perhaps check out a true ending play-through or something.

    2. I just figured out that I was given a fake ending to Signalis, which marks about the 70% mark. This only makes me enjoy the experience that much more. Pretty excited to play the rest.

    3. This sounds great! I am not sure that Signalis is a game for me, but I may give it a try sometime. At the very least I will check out some gameplay footage. The art direction seems spot on, based on its Steam page. They could have made the protagonist hotter, though.

      I am currently working on the shmup Ginga Force. I have cleared it on Easy and I am almost done on Normal. Originally, I played it on the Xbox 360 a decade ago, but back then it was only available as a region-free Japanese import. In 2020 it was ported to PC (and PS4), with an English translation. The story is pretty crappy, but the game also gives you hints regarding weapon usage, which are quite helpful. Thus, I am getting quite a bit more out of it than back in the days, when I also enjoyed it.

    4. Thanks for posting this! Ada Wong looks spectacular. This character has gotten a lot of flak due to the voice actress, but to me the voicing works extremely well. She speaks with the same lack of enthusiasm as women who have had cocks in the triple-digits in them. They may ask you if you want a blowjob with the same monotonic voice. These women just go through the motions, and still get some validation out of it. I imagine that Ada Wong does her job with the same attitude, seeing how highly skilled she is. She even drops sexual innuendos on Leon, which cracked me up for the aforementioned reasons. On a related note, fire up GTA and search for “Headlocked by Ada Wong”. There is a really well-done video of her floating around that perfectly captures the essence of this character.

    5. I completed my first play-through of Signalis about a week ago. I thought the whole the game was exceptional. Compared to another modern indie horror game, Tormented Souls, while not looking as graphically impressive it has a unique and compelling art-style. Where it excels, however, is its quality of life features and bug-free performance. Not to mention the narrative is just way more compelling. One of the more important things that Signalis does right compared to Tormented Souls is puzzles. The latter’s were simply to cryptic and difficult to figure out without a guide, I felt. Whereas the former’s were challenging at times, yet still fair.

      I managed to get the most “resolved” ending on my first attempt. Technically, every ending is valid for reasons I will avoid explaining to avoid spoilers. Idk if a longplay is a good way to experience this game as most of the lore is told through documents, making it rather difficult to decipher. Signalis manages to lift itself up from the inspiration of Silent Hill and even surpass it in many ways, I believe. This is a hardcore survival horror experience, so I’d recommend other games within the genre before picking this one up. It will not hold the player’s hand and is extremely oppressive from an atmospheric standpoint.

    6. I’ve also just completed my third play-through of Separate Ways.

      Firstly, Ada’s voice actor has seemingly been given much better direction this time around. Her lines hit way more naturally. It’s actually kind of jarring at times when a cutscene from the original campaign gets inserted and you can get a pretty good A and B of her voice.

      As far as the continuity of the overarching narrative goes, I believe they did a good job lining up Ada’s and Leon’s perspectives in a way that is believable most of the time. I feel like they did about the best they good. Say what you will about the remake of RE4 compared to the original, but I really don’t think many people are going to argue that Separate Ways hasn’t been massively improved overall.

      Ada’s gameplay loop is pretty satisfying. Often times when you would stun an enemy from a distance with Leon they would recover from their staggered state before you could close the distance and acquire the melee. With Ada, you can be within a certain rather large range and merely tap the action button, and she’ll utilize her grapple gun to close the distance and execute the melee. You can also eventually acquire a case perk that lets you use the grapple hook to rip away shields from enemies. There was another really nice perk I ended up using that grant’s Ada an 8% increase in her running speed, which is quite nice on repeat runs. However, the grapple hook gets put to great use to make The Giant fight, for instance, fresh and new again. The game will have you swinging from rooftops as The Giant attempts to crush the homes underneath your feet, or tries to grab you in mid-swing.

      Most of her weapons are familiar to Leon’s campaign with the addition of a super slow cross bow that features very powerful explosive rounds, which coincidentally requires a ridiculously long animation just to swap to. Other than that, there is a detective mode which actually ended up creating a very tense moment. The game basically initiates a chase sequence where you must figure out a door code by analyzing the finger prints of the keypad before you get mutilated. The developers also managed to feature much of the cut content from Leon’s scenario, such as the tram sniping sequence, the giant drill in the castle, the U3 boss fight, and the laser corridor (there are two). There’s even an extended chase sequence involving Mendez.

      All in all, for $10 it’s a solid DLC that will most certainly be going on sale before you know it. Im some ways it is more engaging than the original campaign, and a blast to replay and fly through.

    7. This sounds pretty great. I have not even watched any review of Separate Ways, but as I fully embrace seeing super-hot strong, empowered women in my games, I might buy this DLC at some point. The value proposition is also really good as you get about five hours of gameplay out of it, and the content is also seemingly highly replayable. There are $60 releases that got you a seven-hour campaign, which was before game studios switched to adding more and more bloat.

    8. If you grab it on sale it’s 100% worth it, however, I’d recommend completing the main campaign at least as it will spoil a lot of the main story beats.

      I just found out via reddit that the developers at Respawn actually fixed their servers after like two years for Titanfall 2, so I think I might jump on that tonight for a while and see what the state of play is. I don’t really have anything else on my list that I’m dying to play, except maybe Sekiro.

    9. I expect Sekiro to be quite frustrating so I am putting it off. Right now, I am looking for games with a smoother difficulty curve as well as a lower skill ceiling, ideally some I can play on the side, without having to give it my full attention.

    10. The frustration potential is certainly high with Sekiro. Before I quit playing it for a while I was conversing with an NPC when one of those giant roosters dropped down from a ledge and pecked me to death. I found out right after you can just press B (or whatever equivalent) and immediately cancel out the sequence so as to defend yourself, but it was definitely bullshit at the moment because I was nearly at the next checkpoint.

    11. The Dark Souls/Bloodborne/Sekiro series is full of such gotcha-moments but fans seem to be quite unwilling to admit that they are issues. In reality, there is a lot of trial and error. It is infeasible to think that a very skilled Souls player could complete any such game on their first try or within their first few tries but in genres with well-defined gameplay mechanics, such as shmups, this is the expectation. This does not mean that they will have a world-record score afterwards, of course.

    12. I was able to play a bit of Titanfall 2 tonight. This game really feels like a labor of love. It’s probably the tightest FPS I’ve ever played, with maybe Doom Eternal coming in second. Even if Respawn wanted to go in on a sequel, much of the talent that made Titanfall 2 what it is has most certainly moved on. I’d be surprised if it is rivaled anytime soon, though the fact that normies dropped the game rather quickly due to being no scoped by a one shot sniper rifle from an enemy moving at 50 kph is certainly not surprising. It’d be foolish to design a game like this in today’s market. Even back when it came out it was a risky proposition that didn’t really pan out.

    13. This sounds great! I am not the biggest FPS fan but I will put this game on my list. I recall you speaking highly of it in the past. I recently came across a game from a much different genre that demands my more immediate attention, though: House Party. I will check it out on GTA first as it could turn out to be total crap.

    14. There’s actually a long convoluted history of either some individual or entity that first sabotaged Titanfall’s servers, then Titanfall 2’s. It took until just three weeks ago, after maybe about a couple years for the developers to actually give a shit enough to fix the game for online multiplayer. You can certainly get this game really cheap when it goes on sale. Even if you’re not interested in multiplayer, the single player campaign is much higher quality than your typical COD game. For $5 or less, I’d definitely recommend playing the campaign.

      The trailer for House Party looked hilarious. It seems that PewDiePie and other streamers had gotten in on the fun. Also, the snippet where the babe is down on her knees for you was quite tantalizing. I have not played these style of games before, but this one seems to have the benefit of being all immersive gameplay versus the slideshow format of games such as Being A Dik. Btw, my shmup buddy seemed to really enjoy the latter.

    15. I was skeptical towards VNs before but these slide shows can be quite entertaining and captivating. Animated scenes or even character animation, e.g. exaggerated breathing movements leading to a slight any hyper-realistic bouncing-breasts effect, are getting more common. Secret Pie is a good example of a game that uses a 3D engine for creating a more appealing 2D look. It is comparable to how Guilty Gear Strive uses a fake 2D anime look even though the game is fully rendered in 3D.

      Acting Lessons has animated sex scenes, by the way. They are probably also in Being a DIK. I do not think they add much as the game is story-heavy. In contrast, in Secret Pie the story only exists as a vehicle for bridging the gap to the next sex scene.

    16. I just finished my first session of playing Being a DIK. So far, it seems to be an excellent VN. I am only in the middle of the second episode but a lot has happened already. It is a step up compared to Acting Lessons, but the narration has some problems. Clearly, the focus is on entertainment, yet it is jarring when some rather dark subjects are treated flippantly. Without wanting to spoil anything, there is a plot line involving a sorority chick who is whoring herself out, with the implication that her entire sorority engages in pay-for-play in order to pay for their tuition. In the US, tuition fees have skyrocketed and young women prostituting themselves in order to not get completely crushed by debt for their education is a societal problem, albeit the elites surely do not share this view.

    17. House Party is really janky and not that much fun. I can’t recommend it. The trailer gives you the impression that it is some kind of zany sandbox, but this is really not the case. Instead, it is basically an adventure game with serious mechanical flaws. One feature I would have liked to see is disabling the voice acting as you could play this game about twice as quickly if you could just read the text on screen.

    18. What do you think are some of the best VNs within the genre to go for, say if you were to try and hook a newbie?

      Btw, I’ve been wavering between pulling the trigger or not with the Ace Attorney bundle. I keep seeing it go on sale but I keep putting it off. With regards to “new” releases, I think I’m getting pretty curious to see if Konami pulls it off. I’m fully aware I might get burnt here getting my hopes up, but other than that I can’t think of much else. I’m not super enthralled by the idea of a new RE numbered title, but maybe. Also, the Separate Ways post-credit ending heavily teases REmake 5, although that could be 2-3 years or more away.

    19. Maou is in a much better position to answer this question. I think that VNs are an extremely niche genre that fundamentally lacks mainstream appeal. Just the fact that they are relatively slow-moving and require reading is enough to make most people never consider them. Probably the most successful visual novel of all time is Ace Attorney, and this is due to Capcom spending significant effort on fleshing out the MC. Normally, VNs have a barely specified MC whose role you take. Maybe just get a Nintendo DS emulator and try out the very fist game in the series. I am tempted to not recommend this series at all as the puzzles get more and more nonsensical and there are also plenty of examples where there is no clear inherent logic to the cases. You will most likely need a guide at some point. This reminds me that there is an Ace Attorney anime. I think I would be more inclined to watch the anime than to replay the games. If I recall correctly, I played the first three Nintendo DS games, but dropped the last one halfway though the game.

      The best VN I know is Acting Lessons, but I am not very familiar with this genre. This VN is by no means flawless but it is very good. I really appreciate that your choices matter. If you mess up enough, you can even avoid most of the sex scenes (there are a few that the MC only imagines). In contrast, in your typical VN sluts get delivered straight to your cock and you are just along for the ride.

      Given the amount of money Capcom is making with Resident Evil, there is a risk that they will remake these games perpetually. By the time RE IX is out, they will probably have remade RE5 if not RE6, too, and at that point, RE VII will be over a decade old, which may justify a remaster.

    20. I know you didn’t ask me,Pickernanny,but what fictional genre are you generally interested in? I may be able to help out here. Do you happen to watch any anime?

      Ace Attorney is not a bad start by any means. I’ve only played a little bit of it myself however (My experience is somewhat ironic in that I didn’t start out with beginner friendly VN’s. I was faced up with monster-sized readings right away like Fate/Stay Night and Grisaia,lol),but the impression on me is very good. Had I not become occupied with other matters,I may have taken it to the finish. But that’s somewhere down on my to-do list for now.

    21. I was under the impression that we were generally leaning towards the smutty kinds of material, but I have indeed enjoyed some anime in my time. I think some of my favorite anime tends to have a historical fictitious backdrop, either something set in Feudal Japan or 1800s London, for example. Also, D&D style animes are sometimes pretty interesting. What are some of your favorite animes, btw?

    22. Unless you count watching clips and out of context random episodes,I haven’t watched an anime proper in quite awhile honestly. But the last one I did is “Kaguya-Sama: Love is War”,which I consider a great watch.

      I have enjoyed a variety of genres. From anime like DBZ and One Piece to ones like Code Geass and Death Note,etc. I have watched so many at this point,it’d be difficult for me to pinpoint what I liked best. DBZ is the most memorable anime to me,but that’s just from the fact that I watched it repeatedly so young,not because I think its the best. (I feel like I remembered things easier as a kid than I do now at 28 years old. I remember very.VERY specific details in DBZ that I can’t replicate with other anime I watch. again though,perhaps that’s just from watching the show repeatedly rather than my memory being oh-so-much better back then,lol)

      If you were a fan of anime like Code Geass and Death Note,my go-to recommendation would be VN’s like G-Senjou no Maou (now you know where I got my name,kek) and Sharin no Kuni.

      In Open Thread #267,I recommended Baldr Force to Aaron. If you’re a fan of giant robots/Gundam and and want some mindless action (I like being able to turn off my brain sometimes just to have fun) to go along with a good story. (You can turn off your brain for the gameplay,but the story is a different…”story”,pardon the pun. lol) This is a gameplay VN however,not a pure VN. But from your description,it would seem that you’re not a fan of futuristic settings,so that easy recommendation might be out for you.

      From your (somewhat vague) description,Fate/Stay Night might well be the best fit for you,but its a very long VN’s. Its like the Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter of VN’s. so I’m a little hesitant to recommend it right away to newbies to the medium. You can look up some footage of it and see if it peaks your interest though. I believe Fate/Stay Night was my 3rd ever visual novel,and it most definitely hooked me in.

    23. Aaron, I will skip House Party. In regards to your observations concerning tuition fees in the US, I was reminded of a college chick I was trying to bang quite a while back. I had met her on Tinder when it was still pretty new and tried to get her to hook up. After a few failed attempts she finally dropped all pretenses and straight up asked how much I’d be willing to pay her. She was a pretty cute little red head, and she was willing to have unprotected oral and vaginal sex for a mere $100. I’m 100% sure she wasn’t a cop or anything, but I ended up backing out anyway. This was an eye opening experience, however, as I first started to realize that chicks in school were fucking for cash to make ends meet.

    24. House Party could be a really fun game. The game misleads you into believing that you can engage in open-world shenanigans. You can even expose yourself whenever you want and masturbate, which I found quite amusing. Yet, this only has an effect in very specific situations. To have sex with the girls, you need to solve puzzles, and it seems there is little room for error. For one chick, you need to scavenge the house for alcohol. You cannot just take booze from the cupboard because if you do that, then “Frank” will just knock you out, leading to a game over. After a few drinks and some complements, you can get this chicks to dance topless and if you build enough rapport, you can get her to go somewhere else with you. But then it seems you need to meet other conditions to continue this plot line. She tells you that she is “so horny” and that she loves to go somewhere else with you, but in House Party, this counts for a lot less than in the real world. The actual game is a chore to play but I can see why it appealed to streamers.

    25. Maou, I would say DBZ was my gateway into anime in general. I remember it used to air on Toonami and I’d catch it after school. I was very fond of the Frieza Saga for a long time. I felt like the show gave a great sense of empowerment and a feeling that seemingly insurmountable odds could be overcome with enough effort. Of course, there was also the fact that our main protagonist was an immensely gifted simpleton, much like many others featured in later Shounens to follow.

    26. Aaron, since you’ve gone in a more critical direction with regards to House Party, I’ve actually thought about something in Separate Ways that really irked me. It happens to be the window for executing a quick time dodge in pretty much every boss encounter. It more or less requires you to learn to telegraph when the boss is going to attempt the specific move that necessitates spamming the B button in order to dodge the attack. If you wait until the “B” prompt is triggered, then you’ve already taken damage and you just don’t know it yet. It feels really bad too because no matter how quick your reaction time is you will take a hit most of the time. You have to study the enemy carefully and preemptively mash the B button to achieve the dodge, but you must also be able to quickly identify which animation precedes that specific attack because you could end up mashing B when you really need to execute a parry (L1) instead. It’s frustrating, especially before you have memorized the patterns. Ada also doesn’t have the body armor that Leon sports, so you take a shit ton of damage.

    27. This is an interesting observation. I have not played a lot of Monster Hunter, but I wonder if the guys Capcom had working on boss fights in Separate Ways have designed battle mechanics in that game, too. What you describe sounds like the opposite of fun. Yet, I can easily imagine some people getting into learning patterns and having their autistic brains release massive amounts of endorphins when demolishing a boss.

    28. I couldn’t truly appreciate the Frieza saga as a kid. I was more into the Cell and late Buu saga fights back in the day. But that’s because a lot of us kids didn’t really have the cognitive ability yet to appreciate more complex plots. All I could think about as a kid were the awesome battles taking place. Nowadays,there’s no way in hell I could put up with the fillers of the OG DBZ anime again,let alone the mess that is most of the Buu saga.

      Thankfully,DBZ Kai exists,and if I ever one day decide to rewatch the whole series again,it would be through that.

      to be honest,Vegeta’s inability to catch up to Goku in DBZ (DBS is a whole different can of worms,I haven’t watched it,and would prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist) could have the unintended message of how “Opportunities trump pure Hard Work”,Goku got much stronger than Vegeta simply because he got access to training opportunities Vegeta never did,such as training in the Other World with all sorts of beings (got him Super Saiyan 3) while Vegeta was stuck training on earth after the Cell Saga.

      That would be such an ironic message to send though,considering Goku is supposed to represent the idea that Hard Work trumps Natural Talent (genes). Vegeta is the elite Saiyan Prince while Kakarot is supposed to be the son of a low class saiyan/grunt.

    29. “Vegeta is the elite Saiyan Prince while Kakarot is supposed to be the son of a low class saiyan/grunt.”

      Yet Goku was much taller, had more muscle mass while Vegeta had a receding hairline and anger issues.

    30. That’s a peculiarity I’ve noticed with most modern anime and Japanese fiction in general. The pretty boy archetype in protagonists seem to be much more prevalent than the masculine archetype. Aaron talked about Grisaia earlier. Even Yuuji,considered one of the more “alpha” protagonists in the VN medium,looks much closer to a pretty boy than a masculine Chad:

      Compare this to old school anime like DBZ,Fist of the North Star,Kinnikuman,Hajime no Ippo,Baki The Grappler,etc.

      Actually,maybe that’s not accurate to say. A quick search on google about old school anime shows that the pretty boy archetype in major characters seems to have always been a staple in anime. Maybe the aforementioned shows I listed are just exceptions.

    31. Aaron, I agree that SW has the potential to really be rewarding in that way. It’s also pretty short, so memorizing sequences and patterns should be quite doable. There’s easily also the ability to stealth run certain areas consistently. Due to Ada’s grappling ability, I found that The Giant boss fight was particularly good. I’d definitely try to finish Leon’s campaign at some point, even if you must complete it in small bursts. There’s a lot of fun to be had, and quite honestly I believe the gameplay loop does start to grow on you (as an old school gamer).

      Just now, after about 15-20 matches of slowly getting my bearing and absolutely getting shit on, I was able to complete a match in Titanfall 2 as the MVP for both teams. Even though we lost the match, I carried the team and outperformed the enemy team. Keep in mind that this is on PC using a controller versus what I assume are more veteran players using mouse and keyboard. I started having more success when I stopped using the aggressive-style loadout that the more elite players utilize. I said fuck it, I’m not having much luck with this so let me play more realistically and use a more tactical approach.

      I’ve found that since this game’s release in 2016, I have consistently come back to it over and over again and found enjoyment from it.

    32. Maou, I’ve found that modern anime especially has been much more “normie-lized”. It’s hard for me to relate to much of the modern stuff. One exception I found was some show called Hell’s Paradise, which has a Feudal Japanese backdrop. A bunch of criminals are tasked with traveling to a foreign land in search of an elixir that grants eternal life. There’s a bunch of really disturbing imagery on the island, such as grotesque Buddhist and Hindu style abominations. Though the show was pretty fun, there are too many brink of death moments for key characters which pretty much throws out all the risk factor. People can just die whenever it’s feasible for the plot or whatever, and it doesn’t feel satisfying.

    33. I posted this particular link to highlight that this is not some schizo theory as The Times is as mainstream as it gets. You should be able to read the first few paragraphs before the paywall kicks in. I recall coming across a longer article on the Unz Review, but the search functionality on that website is quite limited. Originally, that was the one I wanted to link to but I did not manage to find it yet.

    34. This certainly grants the alphabet agencies a much higher level of competence than I care to fathom.

    35. This was the CIA of the 1960s or 1970s. I am not sure if the current crop of agents are able to operate at that level. Seeing that China is successfully running a massive de-pussification campaign I am tempted to say that this is proof of the contrary.

    36. Karl, thanks for the archived link:

      “A Cass report accuses the CIA of beginning its campaign to “brainwash” Asian men in Japan in 1962 with the foundation of the Johnny & Associates talent agency.”

      At least to the Japanese credit they’ve pretty much always featured feminine, busty women in their anime. Things certainly seem much more dire in the West in comparison.

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