what a glorious beard

Howards End | EP.1 Thoughts

It was genuinely wonderful.

Well-paced, gentle, and so cinematic. I really didn’t want the episode to end, and those scenes towards the end with Margaret and Ruth were so poignant.

The casting, cinematography, acting, all that — very fitting and very good. Hayley Atwell is just so damn brilliant and leads so well. Also, some very funny bits, especially with Tibby!

I’ll concede that Macfadyen does look a fair bit younger than Henry is meant to be, but only in some scenes where he is next to his eldest son and they look like they could almost be the same generation, but he plays the “old silly posh Englishman” so well that it’s easy to forget he looks a bit younger (but, by absolutely no means am I complaining, and what a glorious beard!). I also couldn’t help laugh every time he yelled “bosh!”. Henry is such a jerk, but charmingly so.

I also liked that the chemistry between Henry and Margaret was apparent almost from the start, but certainly not in a cheesy way. Felt very subtle. More of a curiosity about each other, as opposed to something scandalous.

Anyhow — thought it was top notch. Wanted to put something positive out there because there seems to be really unnecessary vitriol going around about it right now, and I am genuinely baffled by it. Was very impressed by the first episode, and really looking forward to the next one (the preview for that also looks brilliant).

It’s not fair

I’ve been playing the Witcher 3 for the last million hours and I’m loving it… I think I must be almost 8% of the way through the game by now.  

Like, it’s pretty great, but it also makes me so angry.  Look at this screenshot I took of Ciri, one of the main characters:

Sure, the graphics are great and I actually really love her character design and I’m excited to learn more about her and stuff.  But…. look at her hair!  It’s freaking great.  This wonderful messy style with all the strands flying about, reacting to things like wind and her movements.  It’s wonderful.  And I gotta ask myself - why?  Why this game?  Why is this the game to fucking master hair physics.  There’s tons of great games where you get to design your own character but the hair all looks fucking horrible.  But the developers for the Witcher cracked the code!

And this isn’t one of those cases where the main characters look great and are rendered in loving detail but everyone else looks like crap.  Even the random NPCs have great hair!

Look at that!  That’s fucking cute!  She’s just an innkeeper and she looks better than the main characters of most other triple AAA games.

They even figured out how to render long hair without it looking really weird or clipping into the clothing and stuff.  Most other games won’t let you have hair that goes past your chin, lest the plastic-y solid piece of polygons that forms your coif glitches into your pauldrons and ruins fucking everything.

And lest you think my concerns are merely shallow, they are not.  Like, yes I want my characters to be able to look pretty, but it’s also about immersion and characterization.  I mean, look how fucking dumb that peasant with his bowl cut looks!  Thanks to that level of detail, I’m now able to imagine an entire history for Bowl Cut Peasant.  

So okay, Witcher 3 has the best hair of any game I’ve ever played - which makes me fucking furious.  I mean, one playthrough of Dragon Age Inquisition takes 150 hours and I gotta look at my character the whole fucking time.  But I only have like 12 options for hairstyles and 8 of them are some variation of a fucking buzzcut.  Like, what the hell?  Even if you couldn’t make them blow majestically in the wind, I would’ve liked a few more choices.

But not only does Witcher 3 outdo every game in the hair styles and physics department - it goes a step further.  Into a level of detail that no one asked for or thought they needed.  Because Geralt’s fucking facial hair grows.

There he is after I bought a shave for him, like, yesterday.  You can already see some stubble.

And there he is with a glorious fucking beard a few days later.  Like, what the fuck.  I kinda like it, but it’s not a feature I ever would have thought to ask for.  It’s not like I was sitting there playing my games thinking “You know, this is great, but the fact that I don’t witness the hair growing is really killing the immersion for me”.  Like, way to go above and beyond for no fucking reason.

TLDR the Witcher 3 is great and I am bitter.