Still haven't picked up Half-Life: Alyx, partly because I've seen it played elsewhere and partly because it takes a lot to get me interested in VR experiences where ballistic/explosive weaponry are your primary mechanisms for world interaction

@Felthry I had to look this up (my viewing was with friends), but there apparently is! I think it's digital/subs-only, though.

@Felthry It's a creative retelling of the two cases most critical to the main story of the first game; I'd personally say it's well-enough made and reverent enough of the source material that it's worth a watch

The same film also features at least one dolly zoom with the camera tilted up at an actor's face, which was a real lean-in "how did they actually pull that off" moment

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There's a brief scene in the Ace Attorney live-action film where the actor who plays Phoenix picks up and acts against a real live cockatoo, and during those few seconds I became completely convinced that CG action scenes in live-action cinema are boring as hell

Code: Realize -major- spoilers (Saint-Germain route) 

I couldn't guess the major players for this story because they're part of a secret society that guides the world for the greater good (coincidentally to benefit the status quo, hmm) through targeted murder; operating on global/generational stakes instead of the other routes' local/individual, these characters are exclusive to this route. Anyway, it turns out they're Guinevere Knightsoftheroundtable and Eve "Omnibus" Bible

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Code: Realize vague spoilers (Saint-Germain route) 

Saint-G finally opens up his eyes, after eight chapters and many appearances in other routes, to reveal an ocean underneath. I could give or take this cravat-wearing joker as a romantic option, but god damn, what a swerve for a story like this to take, and his VA really pours it out in his performance

Saint-G's route has had me saving before every decision, I only have a tenuous idea what to do with each one. I'm still enjoying it a lot, saying anything more would be a spoiler

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The other guys teach combat skills, chemistry, technology, and stealth; this mysterious MFer shows you around the city, all the while teasing the idea of getting to know him just SLIGHTLY more intimately

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Code: Realize spoilers (Frankenstein route) 

He's also second-place to Impey for me, the dude seems to be the most emotionally intelligent of the group and clearly/responsively understands Cardia's need for reassurance and validation due to her unique circumstances. And he came up with an excuse to give her his food at the carnival, the story would've had to really work to make him seem like a bad guy after that

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Three routes down, I'm glad that even though I've gone this far into exploring the story I don't have the slightest clue what the hell the remaining pre-endgame route (in which the MC pursues anime Saint-Germain) could even be about, or who its major players might be

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Code: Realize spoilers (Frankenstein route) 

With the lore from other routes surrounding the vampire war I was expecting for this to be Van Helsing Round 2, but I was glad to find that even though Victor's also a war criminal at least the poison he invented was an unintentional side-effect of other research, and that the instant he found out what it was being used for he did the reasonable thing, quit his job, and put all his time into stopping it from ever being used again

if I was a monster hunter I would simply set up a giant box with a pole attached to a rope holding up one end, and place the monster's favorite food underneath.

Code: Realize spoilers (Van Helsing route) 

To the story's credit, it effectively takes this stance by giving one of the last remaining vampires custody over Van's life to do with as he pleases, and it also one-ups both mainline BioWare franchises by resisting the urge to entertain the idea that said genocide was justifiable

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Code: Realize spoilers (Van Helsing route) 

I can't fathom being attracted to this asshole, who knowingly participated in a genocide through a military action he also knew had a false rationale. The story asks "is this man capable of deserving forgiveness?" and while I appreciate fiction's power to create little philosophical thought exercises my answer is no, sorry, he should spend the remainder of this life repairing the damage caused by those sins and enjoy his home in Hell afterward, kthxbye

(I say "comparatively" because for as serious as the story wants to treat itself, the Japanese dub still has the antagonist referring to him affectionately as "Van". That's it, that's the only reason)

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Finishing up the Van Helsing path in Code: Realize, I appreciate how no matter how thoroughly each character has been used as one-note comic relief, the game treats the choice of "this is who I'd like the MC to pursue" as warranting a comparatively serious ending arc

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That tenuous few seconds after pressing the game icon on the console dashboard when you wonder if its splash screen will display, followed by another tenuous few seconds when you hope it doesn't quit out with an error message that reads "Something went wrong."

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I say this as someone who generally doesn't care about graphics and can live with inconsistent framerates, as long as the creator's intent shines through; I just want access to the work as intended without having to buy the best new console every three years

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