Sunday, March 19, 2017

An Experience of Seeing the Movie 'Logan'

I just saw this last week with The Wife and... wow. This had to have been one of the best movies I've seen in theaters in recent memory. In case you live under a rock and haven't seen the trailer, check it out below -- this one in particular absolutely hyped me up, and Johnny Cash's cover of 'Hurt', originally by Nine Inch Nails, was a flawless choice of a song to attach to it.


If you can't quite tell from the trailer, 'Logan' is a very different kind of superhero movie. As pretentious as this sounds, one might even call it 'post-superhero'. Apart from that, the acting (from everyone), the script, direction, and production were all top-notch. Unlike past 'X-Men' movies, it was gritty and felt about as 'grounded' as a superhero movie could feel (with, I think, the Nolan-Batman movies being the 'most grounded'), and lemme tell you, it was dark -- probably the 'darkest' 'superhero' movie I've seen. At times, you might even call it depressing -- but I was enthralled with the experience from beginning to end.

While it doesn't hurt to have seen the past 'X-Men' and 'Wolverine' movies for the sake of some of their character development and for you to develop more of an attachment towards the characters, 'Logan' carries all of its own (fairly heavy) weight very well. Surprisingly, it doesn't actually lean on those movies at all, and, if anything, completely detaches itself from them, though still in a way that respects the established canon. Believe it or not, the fact that the vast majority of characters from the past 'X-Men' films aren't even mentioned, let alone making any appearances, actually adds to an ambiguous sense of loss. There are a lot of unanswered questions, here, which seems purposeful. We aren't trying to save humanity, this time around. There is nothing 'epic' going on. Everything, and everyone, seems to have fallen apart. This is Logan's story, it's much more personal, and anything about the past has been abjectly left behind.

The way 'Logan' engages your emotions around the characters as well as the sudden, if not jarring, unexpected insertions of extreme violence and gore that, at times, sneak up on you is all quite visceral. I never found myself 'bored', and the movie felt very dense, with little to no fluff or padding, even at a hearty 137 minutes long. The ending was well done. Everything was well-done. The movie 'knew what it was', it focused in on it, and it did it very well.

To put it another way... in how I feel that 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (which I also absolutely loved) distills the 'Mad Max' movies down to its purest essence -- 'Logan' does that with Wolverine's character. A character with a constant sense of loss, of rage, and of expressions of sudden, uncontrollable, and extreme violence.

If you're at all a fan of any of these kinds of movies, can handle some feelings, some gore, and especially if you love Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, then I highly recommend you don't miss out on this one and, ideally, see it on the big screen. As a side note, I also read that they're doing a kind of 'black and white' version, which I'm very much looking forward to.

All in all, I give 'Logan' at least 9 out of 10 Sisyphean Boulders. I expect this one to already be a contender for best film of 2017, easy.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Why Libertarians Should Have Absolutely Zero Sympathy for Weeping Progressive Democrats

It's definitely hard being a true-scotsman 'libertarian' in this world and I wanted to share something I read that really struck a chord with me and motivated me to slam around a bit on my keyboard...

"... I have no sympathy for weeping democrats. We libertarians live every day, every election, seeing horrible people get elected, and good ideas shot down. We are always the minority, we always lose, our rights are always trod upon. The democrats who are weeping crocodile tears because they have to live under Trump's Presidency for 4-8 years -- suck it up -- that's how it feels to be a libertarian all the time." -- N. Stephan Kinsella, author of 'Against Intellectual Property' and contributor to C4SIF

Personally, I've thoroughly enjoyed savoring the waves of salty, smug, Progressive crocodile tears. Let it be known that their melodramatic reaction is going exactly as predicted in a couple of pieces I wrote back in March ('YOUR GOD IS DEAD') and July ('A Tale of Unfathomable Triggering, Endless Tears, and the Self-induced Neutering of the Progressive Vanguard'), in addition to broadcasting their abyssal disconnection from America with constant proclamations of 'What Went Wrong?' and 'How Could This Have Happened?'.

Of course, it's one thing to 'have no sympathy for weeping democrats' and another entirely to engage in a thorough bout of Schadenfreude, but I think it's well-deserved. Progressives have been, hands-down, one of the greatest threats to advancing and protecting liberty for as far back as libertarians can remember. During the past 8 years, SJW culture (the abominable love-child of Progressivism and political correctness), has relentlessly tried to shame and silence any and all dissent into this madness, using every social and economic tool at their disposal at both an individual and collective level. One might try to argue that they're just using social pressures to try to get their way, and 'at least they're not using the state' -- but it would be a trip into self-delusion to think that institutionalizing their ideas into the state and imposing them by the force and consequence of law is not the end-game, here.

The 'Referendum Creep' on Progressivism

Luckily, the election of Donald J. Trump as the President of the United States (no, that still hasn't quite sunk in, yet), along with the continued majorities in the House and Senate and safeguarding the SCOTUS likely for generations (along with the implications this has on past, present, and future law), has been an unbelievably devastating upset of a defeat that they may never recover from. Particularly so, when you consider the 'decimation' noted by The Washington Post regarding not just the presidency and congress, but of state legislatures and governorships throughout the country:

"We tend to focus on the loss of the presidency as the example of Democratic failure. That's blinkered. Since 2008, by our estimates, the party has shed 870 legislators and leaders at the state and federal levels -- and that estimate may be on the low side. As Donald Trump might put it, that's decimation times 50."

Stated differently, there has been an ongoing kind of 'referendum creep' on the Democratic Party for the past 8 years and it just recently culminated in the election of Donald Trump. Progressivism hasn't been in such a weakened position in many, many decades, but we can't let ourselves get too complacent and comfortable about all of this. This was a grave mistake they made and one of many reasons why they lost -- they were so easily duped by bullshit, skewed polling, smug talking heads and other political hacks, that it resulted in a thick fog over a vast rift between political reality and their delusional perspective of it.

A Black Hole of Identity Politics

Identity politics, despite its vacuousness of actual ideas, has been a mainstay of Progressive, SJW, and Democrat strategy for a long while, now, with Hillary and her surrogates doubling-down on this, thinking it would secure the presidency. Identity politics obviously didn't secure her a win, so maybe it can excuse her loss? Van Jones, et al, want to paint an early narrative that this all was some kind of racist 'whitelash'. Ah, of course -- this is the great revenge of the slave-owning white man! Isn't that right?

"Or maybe not. The exit polls are remarkable. Would you believe that Mitt Romney won a greater percentage of the white vote than Donald Trump? Mitt took 59 percent while Trump won 58 percent. Would you believe that Trump improved the GOP’s position with black and Hispanic voters? Obama won 93 percent of the black vote. Hillary won 88 percent. Obama won 71 percent of the Latino vote. Hillary won 65 percent. Critically, millions of minority voters apparently stayed home. Trump’s total vote is likely to land somewhere between John McCain’s and Romney’s (and well short of George W. Bush’s 2004 total), while the Democrats have lost almost 10 million voters since 2008."

Okay, well... men are obviously threatened by a woman leading the country. Even though women did the right thing of voting with their vaginas, men did the wrong thing of voting with their penises, right? In the articulate words of Donald Trump, "Wrong".

"In fact, Trump beat Clinton among white women 53 percent to 43 percent, with white women without college degrees going for [Trump] two to one."

Fine, so it wasn't the 'white male patriarchy', but what about those nefarious third parties? If not for their election spoiling and the irresponsible, short-sighted, liberal non-Hillary-voters voting for them, Hillary would have dominated, correct? Nope -- Wrong again.

"CBS News' exit poll posed the hypothetical question of who third party voters would support if the race were only Clinton and Trump, and both Johnson and Stein supporters appeared to support Clinton over Trump by about 25 percent to 15 percent. But 55 percent of Johnson's supporters would have just sat out the election, as would 61 percent of Jill Stein supporters. According to New York Times exit polling, a whopping 63 percent of voters who declined to cast their ballot for the two major party candidates said they would have not voted at all in a two candidate race."

Conclusively, simply not enough people were willing to turn out to vote for Hillary and her Democratic Party, and that fact cuts across sex, race, and class. The 'referendum creep' struck in her loss and it struck again in all of the contrived excuses for her loss. Identity politics is an abject failure in every meaningful way and the people have come to recognize that -- so much so that they have handed the Republican party almost complete free reign to do as they please (remember, they still don't have a super-majority).

In light of recognizing the political reality of this 'new normal', some Progressives in the fourth and fifth estates have taken this all better than others. Some have engaged in a well-deserved deep reflection of their journalistic failures (see herehere, here, here, and here) whereas others think they should retreat further into their anti-intellectual swamp of delusion and dishonesty (herehere, here, here, and here). Even the November 11th episode of 'Real Time With Bill Maher' shows Bill actually starting to understand and articulate a part of 'what happened' and their inability or unwillingness to see it. Unfortunately, his entire panel regularly drowns him out, retreating back into their swamp, dragging him along with them. Sad!

Yet, while I'm sure there may be some genuine feeling from these kinds of folks regardless of how they're rationalizing the news, I do believe that both approaches of self-reflection and self-delusion serve different tactics of self-preservation (likely depending on the political environments they work in) and, thus, should be taken with a giant heaping of salt.

That salt, of course, should be harvested from their tears.

So Where Do We go From Here?

It's important to note that while Progressivism as an ideology may be much more 'hardy' and take a couple more knock-out hits before going down for the count, SJW culture has still been in its infancy. As such, we need to turn the tables and do what we can to strangle it in its crib while it's in such a weakened state and while we still can. It's not a serious threat (and even less so after the election), now, but if and when such a movement were to mature and place its hands on the levers of state power? The consequences and slippery slopes for protecting, let alone advancing liberty, will be dire.

As Sun Tzu said, 'opportunities arise as you seize them'. So how do we do this? How do we 'turn the tables' on SJWs and Progressives to maximize this opportunity? Apart from actually going out and voting (and getting as many others to vote as possible), one thing I've found that they always used much more consistently and effectively than anyone else has been shaming, ostracism, and boycotting. This has been their primary social tactic and it, all too often, has shut down debate and silenced the opposition of good ideas and counter-arguments. It's high time we put an end to it. No more having to go on the defensive from dishonest charges of 'racism', 'sexism', 'hate', and other such nonsense. It's all an intellectual retreat, and they know it. We're smarter, more knowledgeable, wittier, and we have reality on our side. We've allowed them to be shameless with their dishonest tactics for too long, having overplayed their hand and rendered toothless and virtually meaningless some very important concepts to signal legitimately bad people in society. So while we must continue to intellectually destroy their arguments, we should especially focus on helping them rediscover their shame and turn their charges around on them at any and every opportunity we find. We should take a page from their own playbook and they should be mocked, shamed, and boycotted back into that brain-dead and dishonest swamp they crawled out of.

And now, for your moment of zen...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Newspaper Brains, Television Souls, and High-school Ideas

“I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas. Kennedy himself was 9/10ths the way around the clock or he wouldn't have accepted such an enervating and enfeebling job -- meaning President of the United States of America. How can I be concerned with the murder of one man when almost all men, plus females, are taken from cribs as babies and almost immediately thrown into the masher?”


― Charles Bukowski, Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters, 1963-1993

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ted Cruz, Cuck-in-Chief of the Twilight Zone Election of 2016

George H. W. Bush 'the Elder One' refuses to vote for Trump, and may even vote for Clinton purely out of spite. The old man is obviously butthurt over Trump personally embarrassing his son in front of the nation, but at least he has some honor and sticks by his family.


As we're all well familiar, Donald Trump insulted Ted Cruz' family, called his wife ugly and threatened to 'expose her secrets', whatever that means. He generated attention towards conspiracy theories that his father was involved in the murder of JFK. He effectively labeled him as 'Lyin' Ted', and as a final, penetrating thrust, insinuated that he (GASP!) wasn't a true scotsman American and may not have even been eligible for the presidency in the first place, bringing attention to his Canadian-ness.

Ouch. That last one? That's a doozy.

So how does ole Teddy respond to these constant attacks on his person and family? He tells The Donald that he's immoral, a liar, unfit to be President, creates a whole bunch of drama and feet-stomping over it, and just yesterday, endorsed him in a lengthy Fecebook post which has garnered over 100,000 'Likes'.

... yes, you heard that last part right.

If there ever was a 'cuck', Ted Cruz would be it.

Trump may as well have had sex with his wife, him watching, weeping, while huddled in a fetal position in the corner, and for ole Lyin' Ted to ask him, "Please, sir, may I have another?"

There is no honor in this man. None. It seems particularly low, even for a politician, to trade in his family's honor for some vestige of power, scraps of power, or promises of scraps of power that no one will have any real obligation in fulfilling -- and it doesn't seem Cruz has any good bargaining chips left to hold them accountable to it. If Donald Trump were a career politician who relies on maintaining a reputation of back-door deals, the situation would be different, but that's just not the case. Naturally, Trump is going to get a significant boost out of this, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that many #NeverTrump folks follow in predictable Fibonacci fashion, whether they publicly admit it, or not. If Clinton was finally coming to the realization that things were going to be a lot more difficult than she and her outrage machine expected, before, then she's going to be having a lot more trouble, now.

But I digress from the purpose of my post, and I'd like to culminate this all into a little story...

You and others are herded into a large room. You look around and see individuals from all walks of life; young and old, rich and poor, black and white, and any other arbitrarily drawn lines between them you can think of. Trump's presence is amongst you, and you were all brought here to legitimize this event. Whether you actually wanted to be here for this or not, it still wasn't your choice today, just as it wasn't yesterday, or the day before, or the day before that. It's part of the whole point, I guess. Any public, ritualistic expression of power isn't merely for the sake of the domination of one individual over another, after all.

"Enter, the Dishonorable Senator Cruz from Texas!"

Heavy doors open, slowly, with a thick haze emanating from its void. It looks empty, like there's nothing there. Was this a ruse? Did ole Lyin' Ted pull a fast one on The Donald as one final slight? Could there be, perhaps, a sliver of honor left in this man?

The haze diffuses throughout the audience. It has a putrid stink to it, and you cover your mouth to lessen the heaviness of it all. Still, nothing... until you look down. From the void you catch the glimpse of a heavy mass coming into focus. Its movements are unnatural and lethargic. What is this wretched, cursed thing? Could this be some lowly, devolved beast? A creature that natural selection had still yet to eliminate from whatever unholy environment it had borne from?

With baited breath, everyone waits.

Suspense turns to impatience until, finally, you and others recoil towards the sight of the foul thing that emerges. Alas! It is Cruz, as initially expected, slowly writhing on its belly towards Trump, leaving a foul-smelling kind of trail in its wake. It tosses itself forward, much of its mass concentrated in its head, an agonizing look on its twisted face.

Thump. Slap. Thump-thump. Slap. 

Finally, it worms its way up to Trump, groveling at his feet, its tiny meat-hooks at some point in its miserable existence having probably been arms, reaching, as it slinks up to and 'grabs' ahold of Trump's leg -- begging, mewling, not even for crumbs, but the mere promises of crumbs from its overlord, Trump. The Donald flicks his foot away, similar to how one might try to remove the feces he had just barely started to, but not yet fully, stepped on.

It opens a hole in its face you can only assume is a mouth. Noises come out. No one understands, but no one really cares, neither.

It grimaces and lets out a pathetic sigh. It slumps to the ground, no longer managing the energy it takes to hold itself up, resigning itself to whatever fate awaits it. How could this foul, feeble thing have survived for as long as it did?

A quiet, awkward moment passes, dragging out the spectacle. Trump stands there, like a statue. The others are looking at eachother, unsure of what to do. The event is painfully uncomfortable to witness.

The creature lays there, isolated, rejected. Its inadequate protrusions stretched out in front of it, the putrid trail connecting it to the feet of its overlord.

"Please!", you cry out. "Let us finish this chapter in the Theatre of the Absurd! End this poor, miserable creature's suffering, for its own sake -- and ours!"

The Donald's face moves slightly, and he glances down at the thing. His face melts into a kind of mix of disdain, disgust, and annoyance as he places his shoe closer to the creature's face.

Its head hangs low while it looks up at its master, who stares back down at it, unflinching, unfeeling. The creature capitulates under the weight of his eyes, and curls into itself as it pushes out a shaky tongue towards the sole of The Donald's foot, which is pulled back a few inches. The Donald grabs his belly and laughs, and the room stays quiet. It laments and musters the last of its energy to inch forward, but buckles.

For a moment, silence.

Suddenly, the thing starts wheezing. Its breathing becomes erratic and its body and sad protrusions start to convulse. The Donald is unmoved by this, and stares. You and the others look down and away as you hear the final death rattle, and then, nothing.

...

The crowd disperses. On your way out, you hear a frightened child ask, "Mommy, what was that ugly monster?"

She responds softly, trying to comfort him,"Shhhhh. It's okay, my child. That thing was once a man, a long, long time ago."

It backfires and the child becomes agitated. "But... mommy, does that mean I could turn into a monster like him, one day?"

The mother is caught off guard, realizing she must choose her words wisely. "No, honey, but living your life as a politician sure won't help."

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Carnival Continues

As democratic governments continue to try to stretch the bounds of human depravity, we take this moment to point out some of the absurdities of today's social order.

According to the OECD  the United States' government spending was 38.1% of GDP. What this means, of course, is that the United States government was responsible for 38.1% of the consumption in the economy. Whether the money was being either shuffled around at gun point or simply created from nothing, it doesn't matter. The money was being spent by people who did not have to do anything to obtain it. Think about that for a minute: at least 38.1% of spending was performed by people who didn't earn the power to dispose of that purchasing power by creating something of value.

Of course, GDP equations are nonsense. Just assuming government spending adds to economic output at a 1:1 ratio along with all other spending is an assumption we just can not accept. We would not accept the idea that spending necessarily adds to social welfare. If that spending does not come along with its naturally associated cause, production and savings, then it is pure consumption with no productive value. Not all decisions are created equal, and not all resource expenditures are desirable from a long run perspective. Only decisions which are sound and not wasteful in the long run are those which actually qualify as wealth producing decisions.

We don't really understand how governments and central banks think these kinds of conditions are sustainable. We are pretty sure they don't believe this: they simply must continue the charade as long as possible.

One thing we are certain of, is that until humans are willing to allow the social order to evolve as it naturally must, the discovery process of trial and error inherent to economic calculation can not function. We are optimistic that some day this will happen, but right now the belief in authority is consolidating its position.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

None of Us is as Dumb as All of Us

People love to talk about the 'combined knowledge' of group of random or similarly skilled people, and supposedly how setting that group to focus on and tackle a singular goal can achieve greater knowledge. The publicly-traded corporate world (which I thankfully escaped) really did me in on this whole thing. It's used often in 'team building exercises' (ugh), corporate outings (puke), and democratic-styled decision-making (double-puke). The idea is that if in a group of 5 people, each person has 20% of 'knowledge', that 5 people x 20% knowledge equals 100% combined knowledge, right?
But they don't qualify the knowledge. The logic assumes they've all got unique, specialized knowledge, when that's very, very rarely the case. So let's have some fun with this bizarro-world 'combined knowledge' logic, huh? It's very likely that out of 5 random or similarly skilled people, they each have 20% similar or the same knowledge. If we must talk about their 'combined knowledge', then what about their 'combined ignorance'? If you've got 5 people, each person with 20% 'knowledge', then by extension they also have 80% ignorance. By the logic, here, 5 people x 80% equals 400% combined ignorance.

No wonder this stuff turns out to be such a mess, and I'm actually fine with this old pseudo-maxim as long as the other side of the coin is presented.


So if we're to have more rigorous logic with this, then maybe it'll look better with averages instead, right? Actually, it still comes out to look like a bad idea. If you've got 5 people with about 20% knowledge each, then that leaves you with, naturally, about 20% knowledge in a group. However, now you've got a lot more hands in the pot and people wanting to feel 'important' or 'useful'. You've now made that ineffective 20% knowledge even less effective than it was in the first place. Now, take this logic, and expand it to a democracy of over 230 million eligible voters, or hundreds of representatives, and what do you get? Fucking chaos, that's what.



Great movie this scene taken from, by the way.

Indeed, none of us is as dumb as all of us.

I can hear it all, already. "Hey, Steve, you're such a negative nancy! All I hear are criticisms, Steve, with no solutions! At least we're trying! What do you suggest, then?!"


Oh, you're a good little corporate or state drone, aren't you? Ah, and I bet your 'intentions are good', too, right? Yeah, I know it feels good -- but you're still wrong. I do have a suggestion, actually, and it's not particularly controversial or special. Stop trying to impose your decisions and subjective value judgements on other people with your measly 20% 'knowledge'. If you have 20% 'knowledge' and want to properly get something done, hire a professional, or at least find someone with more knowledge than you to do it or figure it out, or get your ass to 60%, 70%, or 90% knowledge before you DIY. Don't let other people with the same or less knowledge than you be able to dictate or mix their hands in the pot of the work to be done. Acknowledge and embrace the all-important comparative advantages and division of labor and have specialized tasks done by specialized people in a marketplace.


See? Easy peasy -- and it didn't even take any tax-funded 'studies' to figure it out.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Review for No Man's Sky on the Playstation 4


Every once in a while you just gotta take a break from all of the political bullshit and stop to smell the roses. And by roses, sometimes that means digital roses. And by smelling, sometimes that means with your eyes and your ears. Or something.

No Man's Sky (also referred to as NMS) is a Playstation 4 game (also just released on Windows PC) that has been in development for over 5 years by an indie developer named Hello Games, which consists of a small team of 15 highly talented and creative people and headed up by boss and frontman Sean Murray (who's quite the humble and disarming dude). With multiple delays, the weight of ever-increasing expectations from the mainstream press and gaming community and a massive hype train barreling forward such as which the world has rarely seen in the videogame industry -- it was a project almost beginning to look like another depressing example of vaporware doomed to crumble under its own weight, bearing down on the small team. It was a herculean effort, but by golly, they did it.

Mostly.

First, a few things. I haven't come close to 'beating the game' (whatever that means, anyways), but I've played a lot since it was released and have a pretty good handle on how everything is and where it's going. There doesn't seem to be much of a 'story', so much as tons of 'lore'. Personally, I like this and think it fits more with this style of game, but some people may not. The lore is solid enough, too -- it's not overly cheesy, unoriginal and flat like you'd find in your typical sci-fi videogame, and seems to be more along the lines of the kind of philosophical, abstract foundation you'd find in a decent sci-fi book. The heaviest inspirations fall clear from 2001: A Space Odyssey and the general '50s to '80s space sci-fi era. On the lighter side, you'll find inspirations from franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars. As a genre, it's harder to nail down (like an increasing number of games these days) -- NMS is a lore-filled open world 'sandbox' focusing on survival, exploration, discovery, and trade, with a sprinkling of light combat -- lighter on the FPS side, slightly heavier on the space-sim dog-fighting side.



If you're interested in seeing more screens from No Man's Sky, you can see my full gallery here. Now, onto the review in an easily digestible, nutritious format. It's just Like soylent green!

The Good
  • The game really does an amazing job of conveying an absolutely massive, unheard of scale to everything. There are 18 quintillion procedurally generated planets. That's an 18, with 18 zeros after it. Let that sink in for a moment.
  • Many have described the game as having an immense feeling of 'loneliness'. I know where they're coming from, and to an extent, I agree -- but I don't find the word to be entirely accurate. A more appropriate word is 'virginness'. In most cases you'll be both the first and last person to visit and explore an entire planet with its own climate conditions, flora, and fauna. It's a feeling you have to experience to really appreciate.
  • And of course, you can name any of the flora, fauna, planets, moons, and star systems you discover. They get uploaded to the game's server and any player who comes across it will see anything you've named and discovered, with your account name next to it.
  • The 3D graphics and visual effects are, in a word, sublime. This is by far my favorite game to screenshot.
  • The ambient music, which is also procedurally generated (to an extent) according to the scenery and situation, sounds really great. It fits very well, and has a solid space sci-fi, Mass Effect-ey kind of sound to it. 
  • The procedurally generated worlds and creatures are varied enough, although it can be quite clear they are all 'coming from the same place' -- that being a computer algorithm that deforms, recolors, and retextures (within certain parameters) a bunch of hand-made presets. This all still looks great and there's no way I can hold this against them considering current technological limitations and the size of the design team at Hello Games.
  • The procedurally generated animations for the procedurally generated creatures interacting with the procedurally generated landscape looks mostly natural, with only some minor clipping issues every once in a while.
  • The variability of challenge is solid enough. Some planets will be very relaxing, with bountiful resources and a pleasant environment. They'll feel 'safe'. Others can be an legitimate challenge, with extreme, harsh climates and effects, hostile life, aggressive sentient machines, and far less resources needed to survive. These planets will severely punish you for mistakes and overconfidence, making you stress out on if you'll make it back to your ship before you succumb to it all. One minute could have you and your inventory filled to the brim with needed resources and protection -- the next will have you genuinely worried if the planet is going to eat you alive.
  • The transitions from planet to space, moon, other planets, and back again is seamless and looks, sounds, and feels great.
  • The open nature of the game allows for solid, personal, emergent storytelling of exploration and survival.
  • The potential for patched-in, free, and paid DLC for this game is absolutely immense. Soon we're going to have volumetric clouds, and already Sean Murray is talking about base-building and your own personal freighters.  I also foresee a future with a much-needed 'snapshot mode' a la The Last of Us and Doom.
  • The No Man's Sky subreddit is really something. It's a giant magical factory of hilarious memes, great stories from players' experiences in the game, beautiful screenshots, and a helpful community for players with hints and tips.
As a side note, you can tell that even with all of 'The Good' parts to its whole, that it is even still somehow more than the sum of its parts. Sean Murray and his team at Hello Games clearly really put their heart and soul into this, and at the very least, for that alone, my hat is off to them.



The Bad
  • Some bugs on the PS4. I've had the game crash about 30% of the time while trying to warp to another system. This is far too high, and kind of an annoying problem. A couple times I've also had serious clipping issues such as 'falling through the world' and getting stuck, having to reload a save, as well as pulse-jumping into an Atlas Station, requiring another reload. 
  • 'Finding nearby discovered systems' in the galaxy map doesn't seem to work with finding my old systems, nor can I remove waypoints that I've set to other systems.
  • Some silly, unintuitive design decisions on the GUI and controls that really should have been fixed or implemented. You can't change control schemes or bindings. While the galaxy view looks great -- it's very clunky and doesn't work quite as it should at times. I can't find some old discovered systems or planetary locations to go back to and can't set any of them as a waypoint from the discoveries menu. You can't change temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit. All seemingly very simple stuff that should not be an issue.
  • The developers apparently thought you were too stupid to learn how to actually fly your ship on a planet, so they took away any option for advanced flight controls altogether, limiting you to extremely basic flying and an inability to hover in place. Maybe it's a kind of game design limitation, but it's still a let-down.
  • These guys really need an editor. Far too many typos and grammatical mistakes which can be immersion breaking even at the worst possible times such as when 'the lore' advances.
  • You can't fly near the sun, no matter how long you try. Trust me, I've tried, as have others. It's a fucking skybox.
  • The No Man's Sky subreddit is really something, along with Sean Murray's non-answer answers.


The Ugly
  • The PC version, by user reviews and community comments, seems to be absolutely unplayable for far too many people at release. Technically irrelevant with regards to the PS4 version, but it should still be noted. Your mileage may vary.
  • Boss and frontman Sean Murray explicitly stated numerous times that you would be able to meet other players, however extremely unlikely that would be. On the first day, two players did what was necessary to meet eachother, but it was not possible. It does not seem to be the case that you can actually meet, and he has utterly avoided answering questions on this head-on. Make of this what thou wilt. There are also a few other controversial issues, one example being with him claiming that technically you'd be able to fly directly from system to system, though you'd never want to, and it would take forever, when in fact the Hyperdrive warp is a loading screen, and you can't even fly near your own sun (again, it's a fucking skybox).
  • The No Man's Sky subreddit is really something. The vitriol and hate slung personally at the NMS fan community, Hello Games and, in particular, Sean Murray, can be really, really disheartening. There are some very, very bitter and nasty trolls out there.

"DID YOU JUST ASSUME MY GENDER?!!?!"

So considering all of this, should you buy No Man's Sky? Well, that depends. 

If you are primarily a CoD fan (even the so-called 'sci-fi' Advanced and Infinite Warfare versions) and those are the only kinds of games you like, where you want to kill shit and blow it up with non-stop action and excitement, then no -- do us all a favor, stay the fuck away from NMS. You will most certainly find the game 'boring', and to top it off we're going to have to hear about much you think the game 'sucks', even though it wasn't designed for that kind of experience. If you go through No Man's Sky, rushing to the end, not caring about and ignoring the lore, not caring about 'stopping to smell the roses' often, and trying to 'beat the game' as quickly as you can -- you're probably going to have a bad experience. And while I have yet to beat the game, myself, it looks to be building towards a deeper message relating to this.

However, if you're a huge sci-fi fan and are okay with or prefer a more 'deliberate' and generally 'chill' experience and have retained a sense of imagination and wonder, then buy this shit, right the fuck now. Yes, in spite of its (glaring) flaws, 'The Good' most certainly, hands-down overweighs 'The Bad' and 'The Ugly'. Plus, we know that most, if not all, of the issues brought up will be fixed, and the game will be greatly expanded over the years. Hell, this is too much of a cash cow for Sean Murray and Hello Games to pass up patching, hooking people in with free DLC, and releasing paid DLC, to not do this.

If you're in between those two, then your mileage may vary. Even then, I would still say it's worth at least a sale price of at least 20% off for its originality alone, as long as you've still got a sense of wonder and imagination going on.

In short, the experience of playing No Man's Sky is a slow burn, akin to a controlled, delayed orgasm through tantric sex, while playing a game like Call of Duty is more along the lines of having a quickie. Some people experience premature ejaculation and can only have quickies, and hey, that's fine and all -- while others, well... they have room in their repertoire for and know that there's a time and place both.

The Final Verdict

Initially, my gushing for this game was getting the best of me and made me want to give it a whopping 9.0 out of 10. After discussing it all a bit more on reddit, a rereading of my own review, and some reflection, I've recalibrated myself and adjusted my score accordingly. A score of 9.0 out of 10 is what it could have and should have been according to what was promised -- but primarily due to some missed expectations, a lack of a couple promised features (that IMO don't really detract from the intended experience), bugs, and some other silly elements I noted, I have adjusted the score down one point.

8.0/10, would still tantric sex the galaxy again.