Rise up your flag! Let's discuss Kamen Rider Gaim!


January 26, 2015

On Dead or Alive and Shortchanged Heroines


Disclaimer: all things considered, you can’t really call me a fan of the Dead or Alive franchise.  The only one I’ve ever really played is DOA4, and while I had plenty of fun with it, I’ve since moved on to…well, pretty much every other fighting game this generation.  I skipped out on DOA5 in its entirety, and even with the new editions that have popped up, there’s never been much of an impetus to jump in.

Still, I kept an eye on the news surrounding Last Round because of the prospect of a new playable character.  Who would it be?  I mean, Ultra Street Fighter 4 blew it with its hyped “fifth fighter” by just serving up Cammy clone Decapre, so surely competitor Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo wouldn’t make the same mistake, right?  And the potential was limitless; rumors and theories about a fighting female pirate made the rounds, so maybe -- oh, it’s just a schoolgirl.  Well, that’s still something totally fresh and interestizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

January 22, 2015

Kantai Collection: A Miserable Little Pile of Attributes

You know, a lot of times I find myself wishing that I was good at art.  Historically, my skill with arts and crafts is such that it takes me three times longer to do what everyone else already has…only instead of having something of insane quality to show for it, my products look like something made by a curiously-intelligent two-year-old covered in baseball mitts.  It’s a problem for sure, but that hasn’t stopped me from at least trying; what’s in my head will never match what shows up on a page or screen, but I can at least get close.

I pretty much have to, because I’ve been trying to redesign (and have redesigned) a bunch of my characters.  Plenty of them are in a good spot, but there’s one I’ve struggled with for a while -- to the point where she’s both the one who’s been iterated the most and the one who’s in the direst need of it.  So for a while now, I’ve been scouring the internet for images, art, and resources to give me some ideas.  Inspiration -- a sort of loose guideline to help me nail something down before I go insane.  I think I’ve come up with something, actually…buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut there’s an issue I’m more aware of than ever.

Which brings us -- however randomly -- to Kantai Collection.

January 19, 2015

So How Good is Barbie, Really?

What’s this?  A post on a brand of toys?  That’s gotta be a first for me.

Well, I suppose it’s more tangential than anything.  I haven’t actually bought or played with any Barbie dolls (that I know of…), but I need to get a post like this up and running.  The reason for that is because in order to talk about other stuff -- things that I’ve had in mind since before this past December -- a quick look at Barbie and her plastic empire is in order.  Plus, I could use a bit of an outsider’s perspective -- so if there are any lovely ladies out there who’ve stumbled upon this post and/or have a vested interest in Barbie, here’s your chance to weigh in.  Or, you know, if you’ve got sisters or nieces or friends or whatever.

Okay?  Okay.  

Now then.  Time to dive head-first into the madness.

Or, alternatively, hold on to your butts.  (Here's hoping the new Jurassic Park movie isn't a total load.)

January 15, 2015

Guilty Gear Xrd is STILL way too cool.


Hey, did you know I really like this game?  I do.  And you should too, because it’s so freakin’ great.  So let’s talk about why while I fight my hardest to avoid choking to death on my unbridled joy.

I’m gonna need something to keep my throat clear.  Like a longsword.

Also, I need to learn how to swallow swords.

January 12, 2015

Guilty Gear Xrd is way too cool.


Hey, welcome to Cross-Up.  Hope you had some happy holidays, and here’s to another good year for all of us.

Now let’s stop talking about stupid stuff nobody cares about and move in to Guilty Gear Xrd -- because oh my God Guilty Gear Xrd is out, so let’s all shut up and talk about it.

Yes.

January 5, 2015

Let's discuss Kamen Rider Gaim (Part 3).


(Cross-Up is on hiatus, sort of, but not really!  I’m going to try and take it easy over the next few weeks, because it’s the winter holiday season and I half-expect nobody to be around on the internet.  Things will get back in gear sometime in January, but until then?  If you ARE here, then enjoy a handful of high-quality filler posts.  It’ll be fun, presumably!)

Like I’ve said before, Gaim has been on my mind for a good while now -- even before I started working on these posts.  It’s not even close to my favorite Kamen Rider installment (that honor goes to OOO, the first one I watched to completion), but if things had gone differently Gaim would have taken the top spot.  And I’m all right with that; part of the reason I check out other KR installments is because I’m waiting for the series that boots OOO from the throne -- the one show that lets me say “I don’t just like OOO because it was my first.” 

That’ll happen eventually, I hope.  But it hasn’t yet.  That’s not to devalue Gaim, because even if I can point to problems I had with it -- and let’s be real, there ARE problems -- I can still enjoy it as a whole.  There are just things that any given viewer needs to consider.

And the one thing I kept considering from the show’s start to its finish is this: We Madoka now.

Let me say this to start:
I am fairly filling this post with SPOILERS!  So…you know, be wary of those.  It’ll help you in the long run, I imagine.


DENEB!

December 29, 2014

Let’s discuss Kamen Rider Gaim (Part 2).


(Cross-Up is on hiatus, sort of, but not really!  I’m going to try and take it easy over the next few weeks, because it’s the winter holiday season and I half-expect nobody to be around on the internet.  Things will get back in gear sometime in January, but until then?  If you ARE here, then enjoy a handful of high-quality filler posts.  It’ll be fun, presumably!)

Before I get started, let’s play a game. 

I want you to think of a villain -- your favorite villain, from any story, from any medium, from any time.  Take as much time as you need before going on.  Then, once you have that villain in mind, think for a minute about why that villain means so much to you.  (In the event that the villain is more of a concept/conflict than someone the hero can punch in the face, substitute that instead.)  Don’t worry about forcing yourself to articulate it, or even mentioning it here in a comment.  Just keep your answers fresh on your mind, okay?

Good.  Great.  Remember those answers, because I’m going to come back to them later.  But for now?  Open your eyes for the next Faiz.


My SPOILERS will make you cry.
Wipe your tears with this.  *tosses printed copy of the last two Gaim posts*

That is also the wrong Rider.  Man, I’m really bad at this.

December 25, 2014

Kamen Rider Gaim: A Super Holiday Suplex Post


(Cross-Up is on hiatus, sort of, but not really!  I’m going to try and take it easy over the next few weeks, because it’s the winter holiday season and I half-expect nobody to be around on the internet.  Things will get back in gear sometime in January, but until then?  If you ARE here, then enjoy a handful of high-quality filler posts.  It’ll be fun, presumably!)

Oh man, please tell me I’m the first person on the internet to make this joke.  It would make me so very, very happy.

Well, if nothing else, I’m the first person to ever make the joke on this blog.  THAT MEANS I’VE WON!

All right, I’m about to unload a fruit basket’s worth of SPOILERS on you guys, so if you want a no-spoiler version of what I think about this show (and by extension, a trim primer on Gaim), then you’d better go read this post instead…or first.  Or you can read this one if you have no interest in ever watching it.

That would kind of make this post a moot point -- if not for the stuff I’m about to discuss.  Are you ready?  Here we gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

December 22, 2014

RE: Kamen Rider Gaim


(Cross-Up ison hiatus, sort of, but not really!  I’m going to try and take it easy over the next few weeks, because it’s the winter holiday season and I half-expect nobody to be around on the internet.  Things will get back in gear sometime in January, but until then?  If you ARE here, then enjoy a handful of high-quality filler posts.  It’ll be fun, presumably!)

I don’t do this very often -- or at all -- but I’m going to have to put a little strain on the rules.

What I post here tends to NOT be a straight-up review -- of TV shows, games, movies, or anything that pops up.  I’m more concerned with determining why something is good or bad instead of just outright saying “this is good” or “this is bad”.  There’s some overlap, sure, but as I’ve said in the past, this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for a score on the latest game, or any sort of ranking system.

That in mind, I have to make an exception just this once for Kamen Rider Gaim.  Two reasons for that: first, I’d vastly prefer talking about it if I can point someone toward watching it -- but seeing as how that’d demand a fifty-ish episode marathon run, I think it’d be best if I at least put the suggestion in a reader’s head.  More importantly, Gaim is the sort of show that’s hard to talk about without tripping all over spoilers -- SO, I’m going to use THIS post as a sort of all-purpose primer.  It’ll superficially tell you what’s good and what isn’t (even if that means hinting towards spoilers); in the posts to follow, we’ll go into full-on discussion mode so I can talk about the good and the bad.  Watching Gaim in its entirety won’t be required, though, so you can rest easy.  Just read what I’ve got so you can walk away with a fresh perspective.

Okay?  Okay.  Let’s get started then.  First…