Daily Ramble 154: Third Degree and 15 Minutes
Today I take a look at the Third Degree site, Levelcapped from my first Six Degrees of 2018 and I rewatch the first 15 minutes of Westworld episode 1. Scopique covers some interesting topics this week from Fortnite to Monster Hunter World and I an finding his blog to be both entertaining and informative. And as far as information goes, the first 15 minutes of Westworld has a ton of information to digest. there’s just so much to figure out about this show, I’m glad I decided to rewatch it before the new season begins.
Third Degree: Levelcapped
Scopique over at Levelcapped is my featured Third Degree in this trip along Six Degrees and he, like the others I’ve gone through before, covers games and topics that I’m interested in. For Scopique’s latest posts, those topics revolve around Monster Hunter World, Fortnite, and one system that really piqued my interest, Fantasy Grounds. Looking it up, I found out that Fantasy Grounds is a tabletop simulator application that lets you load up various gaming systems and Scopique particularly focused on the Starfinder RPG from Paizo. In his post, he goes into quite a few details about utilizing the Fantasy Grounds system to recreate Pen and Paper characters and simulate combat situations. It sounds pretty cool and like there may actually be a place to get back into tabletop RPGs since Fantasy Grounds seems to do a respectable job at representing things. This may actually draw me back into the genre that I’ve missed for so long…Thanks Scopique!!!
The blog also covers, as I mentioned, Monster Hunter World and while he’s playing it on Xbox while I’m on PS4, the game is pretty much the same. In any case, Scopique seems to be enjoying the game at least if not more than I am which leads me to believe that the developers of the game really figured out how to bring the Monster Hunter franchise to the masses. And when he covers Fortnite, I find myself nodding with everything he’s saying. I have been following Fortnite since I saw an extremely early teaser at SDCC in 2012 and I thought the concept for the PvE looked pretty cool – build up a base and defend it against zombie hordes. With the Battle Royal/PubG rip off, I feel that the developers have thrown out all their designs they put together over the years to jump on to a bandwagon. One that I’m not really on board for. It’s really sad that the PvE content has been pushed to the wayside and I am now very sorry I purchased the game. Just because so many people like brainless shooters doesn’t mean everything has to be a brainless shooter. In any case, I appreciate Scopique’s views on the game and am glad to see that not everyone is drooling over another brainless shooter.
Westworld Episode 1: The Original, part 1
In the first 15 minutes of the show we get a pretty intense feel for quite a bit of what’s going to be happening in Westworld. We’re introduced to Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Teddy (James Marsden), the Man in Black, many others of the supporting cast and we’re shown that we’re in some kind of western town. We’re also presented with a distinction between the newcomers or guests and those that live in the area who we learn are called the hosts. Apparently the guests spend a bunch of money to come to experience the wild west amusement park and as such they can pretty much do whatever they want in Westworld. As for the hosts, they can not harm the guests in any way and basically are only there to present narrative for the newcomers.
We get one particularly disturbing story where a group of outlaws kill Dolores’ parents. Teddy rides in to the rescue a bit too late. He shoots two of the bad guys but we see a third villain who shows no fear of Teddy or Dolores. This is the Man in Black – Ed Harris – who we learn is a guest who’s been partaking of the western simulation for the past 30 years. Teddy tries repeatedly to shoot this guest but none of the bullets inflict any harm to the Man in Black. Instead, he shows complete disdain for Teddy and Dolores, actually asking if they’ve been taught any new tricks. As the MIB grabs Dolores and drags her to wards the barn for nefarious reasons, Teddy desperately keeps shooting him until the MIB turns and finally takes a shot of his own, killing Teddy.
There’s a lot going on in these first 15 minutes and I’m sure I won’t be able to comment on it all. A couple of key things though:
- The MIB comments on how he used to wonder about why the developers paired up hosts and he learned that there was no fun in winning unless someone lost so the pairings allowed for someone to lose.
- The show actually starts with an overvoice asking to bring Dolores back online so she was somehow offline.
- Dolores says she’s terrified and in a dream – she’s obviously been roughed up and has been badly bruised and a fly crawls around her face and even onto her eyeball – yuck!
- The overvoice asks Dolores what she thinks of the newcomers and she says everyone loves them – each new person she meets reminds her of how lucky she is to be alive and how beautiful the world can be.
On the whole, the first 15 minutes shows some very beautiful scenery along with some horrific behavior from some very evil people, but I think it gives a pretty good idea of what to expect for the rest of the series.