Though it looks every bit like a brand new entry in the series, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a remake of a much older game, and once you get to playing, it shows. The gameplay is simpler, and the lack of a waifu/husbando mechanic is likely welcome to those who thought the series jumped the shark with Awakening, but the story lacks the maturity JRPG fans have come to expect since, like, Final Fantasy IV.
This is a tech support horror story. And it doesn’t have an ending yet; I’m losing hope that there will be an ending better than my own slow surrender, a forfeiture due to my own inability to keep spending hours on hold with people in India who can only communicate with the repair center in footnotes. But it’s a story that highlights so much of what we idealistically call Late Capitalism that there’s plenty to gain from it even without knowing how it all turns out.
“Well, see, I came across this post on Twitter about how much of your stuff Windows 10 logs, so I just… stayed up most of the night trying to install a bunch of Linux distros.”
Sometimes my therapist and I have these conversations in which I pick apart the complex distinctions between being a huge nerd and being dangerously paranoid, and consider where in the midst of all that I fall.
Over the last few years, Twitter has become a cesspit. The once-small community of people who enjoy the challenge of squeezing their thoughts into 140-character blurbs has exploded into a mess of algorithm-based ads, corporate accounts, and Literal Nazis. (Not to mention the sadly newsworthy outbursts of our Tweeter-in-Chief.)
But where else can you go to chatter with dozens if not hundreds of people you sort of vaguely know about whatever everyone is chattering about that day? Tumblr is too obtuse, and Facebook has your mother. Every so often some open-source alternative comes along and goes viral, but none have caught on. (Remember Ello? Remember Peach? Remember Disapora?)
Marvel’s Iron Fist, the fourth Marvel Cinematic Universe series made for Netflix and the last one leading into the Avengers-style The Defenders, is kind of an easy target. Pretty much everything about the character is hella problematic – he’s a stock White Savior character, a rich white boy raised by kung fu monks after his family’s private jet crashed in the Himalayas who turns out to be their actual prophesied hero, and there’s not much done to mitigate any of that.
Iron Fist brings us deep into that cringe-inducing corner of the Marvel Universe that we first saw in the second season of Daredevil. See, we got into Cosmic Marvel with Guardians of the Galaxy. We got into Magic Marvel with Doctor Strange. And now we’re getting into Awkwardly Orientalist Martial Arts Marvel, full of katana beheadings, diatribes about honor, and actual goddamn ninjas.