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They did a beautiful job of fan service in this series, and I'm saying that as a good thing as it does not detract from the series but rather enhances it in my opinion. I'm halfway through and man, it just keeps going...

 

 

The Butcher of Blaviken 


The Third Wish

The Elder Blood and Ciri

References to Nilfgaard and the White Flame/Usurper

The Striga (Hell, the whole Betrayer Moon episode)

Council of Sorcerers meddling in politics


... is clear they love the material. I like to see that for once rather than "we need to put our own wildly different spin on this incredibly popular work".

 

 

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Witcher 3 is on my short list of contenders for GOAT (greatest of all time) video games. I also read the first book and half of the second but it wasn't compelling enough for me to continue thru the entire series at the time...though to be fair I was very busy and might have more patience for it during a less hectic stretch of existence. 

 

I watched the show to completion over the last few days, and overall I found it worth the time. However, for me, the series was carried by some really good episodes that made up for slower / duller episodes. When the show decides to give us some action it's generally does a really good job, but it's a bit on the talky side overall.

 

A big plus for me and the thing that kept me engaged was the portrayal of Geralt was really good in my opinion.

 

The show has a lot of small touches here and there that help with the world building and overall presentation. For instance, I thought it was neat that the opening sequence of each episode had a cool icon effect specific to the episode and there is a lot of canonical references and name drops which grants a certain amount of referential integrity to the source material. Also, the monsters shown were usually recognizable to me from having played the games. Someone on the show was paying close attention to the details in this area and it does a lot to buoy the series.

 

A few critiques:

 

First off, there is a lot of nudity. I'm not a prude, and I like verisimilitude, so tasteful and appropriate use of nudity for the sake of "realism" is fine for me, but a lot of the nudity in this show just seems gratuitous to me. Some of it is organic and serves the story / makes sense in the context of the scene, but a lot of it just seems like cringey fan service in my opinion.

 

Second, for me some of the episodes were as soggy as the Sodden after a heavy rain and could have used some action or been a little shorter. I found myself fast forwarding thru some of the slower scenes where status quo was being maintained. 

 

Third, the show is depicting multiple timelines but it is not immediately obvious that this is what is happening. Almost no visual queues (many of the characters are long lived unchanging mages who look the same in scenes that are happening decades apart) or heads up title cards with a year indicator or something are offered. If I was unfamiliar with the lore and lacked some sense of timeline for the setting, I'm pretty sure it would have just been extremely confusing to me. As it was I think I didn't really realize that multiple timelines were being shown until some point in the 3rd episode. On the one hand, I like shows that don't over explain things and assume the watcher has at least a room temperature IQ, on the other hand I think this show goes too far and assumes that the watcher is already a fan and can figure it out from the knowledge they bring with them which is not very accessible to people new to the material. 

 

Fourth, while I think they got Geralt right, and though Yennefer is a little different from how I remember her from the games it's close enough to work, Jaskier / Dandelion did not work for me, and Triss was unrecognizable. There are also some missing characters, such as Shani, Philippa Eilhart or Dorregaray, which was a bit odd to me. 

 

Fifth, the depictions of other races is of uneven quality. The elves shown come off as just people with pointy ears...no actual difference to humans beyond that. They did an ok job with dwarves, but gnomes seem to be erased as a separate concept. The dryads just looked like humans. Similarly, the cultural differences between different groups of humans were only somewhat shown...while the Nilfgaardians are distinct in their look, there didn't seem to be any visual difference between the humans of Skellige and the humans of the Northern Kingdoms, or differences between the various Northern Kingdoms...they were all just garbed in generic "fantasy" clothing. A better job could have been done in costuming, basically.

 

So, overall, while it's watchable and worth a second season IMO, I would hesitate to recommend it to someone who isn't already familiar with the material.

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I was not familiar with the material as my Video game days may be past, as My reflexes are crap these days, but I did watch and enjoy it. A friend from Germany, we discussed it and he has read the books and says that the plot is mostly from the books, and not the game material.   The Non-standard treatment of time, was something I only caught up with later, but I did catch it.  I would recommend this to anyone that likes gritty fantasy, and understood  the movie, "Inception" without help.

 

 

Now on My end I may steal a lot of this for any future FH Campaign because this show was not D&D< but it was FH through and through.

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I almost gave up during the first episode, as it was starting to put me to sleep. Second episode was marginally better, though the makeup effects for one of the characters was extremely poor. Third episode improved greatly. I'll give the rest a watch later.

 

I own Witcher 3, but I stopped playing after the first story break, and never went back to it. I think that I have copies of earlier Witcher games somewhere in the house, but they've never been installed on my computer. I've never read the books.

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Haven't read the books/played the games, so I had no real exposure.

 

I like Cavil in this.  He's appropriately monosyllabic and intimidating.  If you're that creepy and imposing you should not have to say much to get your point across.  Early episodes felt a little too standard swords-and-sorcery but, as I hoped, they were just building a foundation.  

 

Reading to see if this is a spoiler... no, doesn't feel like it... Last episode needed more Witcher in it, but had some fun fantasy combat tactics.  I'd watch another season.

 

 

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I'm coming into this blind, and while I think the production design and fight choreography are impressive, the writing is really sub-par. In the first episode there was nothing to suggest the two storylines were happening at different times (I've only picked that up from discussions with people in the know), and most of the dialog was stilted infodumps people spoke AT the apparent protagonists. The only lines that sounded at all natural were Cavill's character reminiscing to his horse. When the second episode began and a medieval farmhand started spouting modern CW teen soap-esque dialogue about roses being a cliche gift, I had to turn the damn thing off.

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1 hour ago, Matt the Bruins said:

. When the second episode began and a medieval farmhand started spouting modern CW teen soap-esque dialogue about roses being a cliche gift, I had to turn the damn thing off.

I've come to terms that Follywood is incapable of reading source material and consider the 1970 Harlequin Romance the height of literature.  Especially TV shows.

 

So if I turn on the tube I set my expectations suitably low. 

 

The Witcher was actually pretty good for 2019. My having zero knowledge of it before now probably helps.

 

 

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There are hints about the timelines not being the same from the beginning, but they're subtle. In the first episode, two characters in different storylines share a common origin (apparently) but are years apart in age. In the second, a character is in a place they shouldn't logically be based on their appearance in the first episode, and in the third, characters literally appear at different ages in different storylines.  From reading reviews, the time lines not aligning at first was verboten for reviewers to mention. I think it's just a case of the show runners being cute. Overall, I like the show despite this. Watched three episodes so far.

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Watched it. Enjoyed it, for the most part. The gratuitous nudity is par for the Witcher video games course so I just took it as being faithful. The amusing part about all that is the one woman I thought the most sexy/attractive never took her clothes off. Indeed, she was covered in blood and gore for a large portion of her on screen time.

 

I have my gripes about the show, but they are minor. I put it a little ahead of the Mandalorian but only because I think the set pieces are a little better.

 

I have started Witcher 3 about six, maybe seven, times. I can never get past the tutorial area. The pace is glacial, the music drones on and on and there is a constant wind sound effect that just lulls me straight to sleep. I hear that it is an amazing game, but for me it is guilty of one of the worst entertainment sins; it's boring. Add to that the very console-centric UI that does the PC version no justice and I would rather just mod Skyrim for my fiftieth (or so) playthrough. 

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I have never played the Witcher games but heard amazing things about it.

I have read one of the stories, and liked it, though of going back to it.

 

Honestly, my one complaint about it was that it was a bit of a jumble at the start. Switching time periods back and forth is a time honored tradition, but I think they could have done it more smoothly and perhaps more overtly. But that is a minor gripe and nothing actually flexing a bit of brain power couldn't fix ;)

 

I absolutely adored Jaskier but that might be because as a Game master i have often used Bards that choose to sing a warrior PC's praises, whether the warrior wants it or not, as a running gag.

One of those songs will be in my head for hours.

I also just liked how he and Geralt interacted. 

 

Speaking of our hero, this was some seriously good acting by Cavil. The strong silent grunting type is not an easy role to make stand out let alone charismatic, but he sold it really really well. There were some moments of body language and expression that really filled out what might have otherwise been 'big guy finally speaks' . the Script writing is not great in parts, but overall you get the feeling Geralt is a good man who is understandably cautious about revealing that he IS a good guy.

 

Yennifer has a moral compass set on "I will never be helpless again" and it's a bit scary.. and completely understandable

I find myself liking her when I know she is not that good a person, at least not yet. 

 

The young princess on the run is sympathetic but honestly the area where I found myself least interested in. Not that it was bad per se, but I thought the other characters more engaging.

 

Sword fighting was amazing, or maybe that was just me?

 

If Lord of the Rings movies were a 10

This would be an 8, maybe 8.5?  Really enjoyable

 

 

 

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On 12/28/2019 at 10:47 PM, Nolgroth said:

I have started Witcher 3 about six, maybe seven, times. I can never get past the tutorial area. The pace is glacial, the music drones on and on and there is a constant wind sound effect that just lulls me straight to sleep. I hear that it is an amazing game, but for me it is guilty of one of the worst entertainment sins; it's boring. Add to that the very console-centric UI that does the PC version no justice and I would rather just mod Skyrim for my fiftieth (or so) playthrough. 

 

I played through the tutorial area, watched the next cut-scene, and then never went back to the game, for much of the reasons that you mentioned. I've since played Skyrim about three or four times, with a few mods thrown in. I use an Xbox One controller on my computer* for both, so that part didn't bother me. 

 

 

 

*Using one of these: https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/accessories/adapters/wireless-adapter-windows

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To be honest, I very nearly gave up on the game at the very same point (that may be the longest tutorial I've ever played). The game world opens up considerably after the tutorial, and the story only gets good in Velen. And builds from there into one of the coolest narrative RPGs I've played. 

 

But it does take quite a bit to get going, I can see that not being for everyone. And it's a narrative driven game, where choices determine story outcomes. Kind of the opposite of Skyrim's open sandbox in many ways. I like them both though. 

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