Let's talk about why Mercy's literally the best ever! Oh, and Overwatch too I guess!

July 21, 2016

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE: Do You Remember Love? (Part 1)

Considering that Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE puts a lot of focus on Japan’s infamous idol culture, I was going to try and lead into it by talking about the recent anime series Macross Delta -- since it also leans deep into idol territory. The problem is that, even if I like the core concept of Macross/Robotech, I haven’t seen enough of it to be an authority.  And more importantly, I haven’t seen anything from Macross Delta besides complaints that it skews WAY too far in favor of idols/CD shilling, to the point where it cripples the show.  I don’t know if that’s a fair assessment, but for now I’ll switch to Plan B.

See, when I was in elementary school there was this special program that incentivized turning in stuff to the lost and found.  Even if it was just a few coins nicked from the playground, you could still be recognized for it on a bulletin board in one of the halls -- and better yet, potentially win prizes.  So by turning in some lost lunch money, I won a coupon for a free rental at the local video shop.  I thought that it meant I could get my hands on a new game, but the selection at said store was so limited I opted for a video instead.  And so it was that I discovered Macron 1.

Don’t worry.  I’m going somewhere with this.

July 18, 2016

RE: Final Fantasy XV

So it’s the middle of July right now, and Final Fantasy 15 is due out on September 30th.  In other words?  Oh God.  It’s almost time for another Final Fantasy game.

Right, then.  Let’s do the sensible thing and talk about Star Ocean.

July 14, 2016

Do Me a Solid: Hype Song Arrange

I find it vaguely hilarious that a short post from me is probably the equivalent of an extra-large blog post on the sites run by normal, reasonable, well-adjusted people.  But let’s not dwell on it.  Every once in a while, I need to do some quick posts -- and this is one of those times.

Why?  Uhhhhhhhhhh…there may be a slight chance that there are some technical difficulties going around.  Very slight.  Hopefully.

July 7, 2016

“Just Turn Your Brain Off!”

Welp.  The last horse has finally crossed the finish line.

Even though I’ve known about it for years, and even though people have urged me for just as long, I’ve finally taken the plunge and started watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in earnest.  It’s not as if I hate the franchise, because even my formerly-shallow understanding of the Joestar bloodline’s exploits have told me “This is a thing I need to get into.”  I would’ve gotten into it sooner, but every time I tried, I did so with my tablet -- which I’ve found is not at all conducive to Crunchyroll usage.  Eventually it flat-out decided to say that it was incompatible with the site, so I did what I should’ve done ages ago and watched it on my PC.  Not all at once, mind, but over time.  Progressively, if and when I get the chance.  (Who’ll write stupidly-long posts, if not I?)

For the record, I’m all done with Part 1 (Phantom Blood) and Part 2 (Battle Tendency).  I’ve got an uphill battle ahead, considering that Part 3 (Stardust Crusaders) is longer than both of the first two parts combined.  Still, it’ll be worth it so I can get to Part 4 (Diamond is Unbreakable), AKA the part I’ve been hyped about for ages now.  I don’t know what’s wrong with the guys in-universe; I think Josuke’s hair is pretty cool…though I could be biased.  I’ve always had a soft spot for delinquent-type characters.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say more about JoJo in the future.  In fact, let’s go ahead and start now -- because there’s a topic tied to it that’s pretty important.  And it relates to video games, too!  And media in general, really.  Yeah, I’m seriously playing the magician here.

July 4, 2016

So How Good Are Microtransactions, Really?

I feel like I should start by apologizing for the title, because that would imply that microtransactions -- the scourge of gamers everywhere -- can actually be good.  And I should apologize even more, because there’s a part of me deep down that thinks they actually can be good.

Deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, DEEP down -- but it’s there.  So let’s talk about microtransactions for a bit, and ignore the fact that Word refuses to recognize the term as legitimate.  I, uh, can’t say I blame it.

June 30, 2016

Shower Thoughts with Persona 5

So Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is finally out.  Say what you will upfront about its choice to dive headfirst into idol culture (or the Japanese entertainment industry at large), but you know what?  Can we just take a minute to appreciate the fact that it even came out at all?  True, it’s not the game anyone expected when a cross between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem was announced -- and we’ll always be left wondering “what could have been” if the collaboration truly mashed the two together.  On the other hand, this is a game that’s not only trying to say something on its own terms, but also something that -- given its style and content -- could’ve stayed chained up within Japan’s borders.  Let’s count our blessings here.

As of this post -- or this paragraph, specifically -- I haven’t played Tokyo Mirage Sessions just yet.  I will soon, though.  It’s kind of ill-advised, given that I still need to beat Xenoblade Chronicles X, and poor Tales of Zestiria is basically howling at the moon every night.  But I suppose at least a quick look won’t hurt.  Besides, we’re still a ways out from Persona 5; if anything’s going to ease the sting of waiting for THE MOST STYLISH GAME IN HISTORY, then it might as well be Persona Lite.

With that said, I’ve been thinking about Persona 5 a bit recently -- and not just getting swept up by the visuals.  Or at least trying not to.  But again, we’re dealing with THE MOST STYLISH GAME IN HISTORY…which also includes a Kamen Rider girl.  Be still, my heart.

June 27, 2016

How Many Reboots is Too Many?

First things first: even though the title has “reboots” in it, I’m extending the scope of this post to include reboots, remasters, and reimaginings.  Also, I’m tacking on sequels to the mix, especially if they pick up on a long-dormant canon or franchise.  So…yeah, you just know this’ll be a fun post.

Anyway, Independence Day: Resurgence has hit theaters -- a little before the actual Independence Day, but close enough to it.  Supposedly, it’s a continuation of the movie that it shares a name with; the aliens that ran amok in ’96 are back with a vengeance, and now it’s up to the good guys to fight them off.  Or something.  I can’t say I’m in any rush to see it -- which is to say I’d rather give a piggyback ride to a rhinoceros -- and the reviews out so far suggest that dodging it is probably a good idea.  So my brother asked me if I wanted to go see it, because of course he did.  I politely refused, because he was the same person who thought seeing RoboCop 2014 was a good idea.

Side note: I was thinking about that movie when I accidentally scraped my middle finger.  I blame RoboCop ’14 for my minor injury, and relish the fact that it was my middle finger.

June 23, 2016

On Overwatch and a Call for Elegance

This would normally be the part where I launch into a paragraphs-long tangent only slightly related to the topic at hand, but I think I’d better get straight to the point.  I’m taking a hardline stance on this and saying what I’ve had in mind for years now: video games need more elegance.  Or, if not that, then video games need more elegant characters.  Or just elegance in general.

I’ve got no problems admitting Overwatch is the catalyst for this post.  Really, it’s my sincere hope that it’s the catalyst for changes throughout the industry as well as the gamer zeitgeist; it’s one thing to beg and plead for change in posts and articles and videos, but it’s another thing entirely to have it subtly suggested by the media we consume.  That is to say, Overwatch isn’t directly asking for diversity in games.  It’s just doing its best to prove how freakin’ cool it is when you have a cast that mixes it up.  Given the choice (and the resources), it’s always best to offer more options and means of expression.  That way, everyone can be happy.

And you know who makes me happy in this game?  Mercy.  Because she’s literally the best.

June 20, 2016

E3 2016: Forgive or Forget?

Is this Overwatch?  No?  Then E3 2016 gets a 0 out of 10.  Would not watch again.

All right, seriously, though?  I have to start by being honest: I didn’t really care about E3 this year.  In the weeks and months leading up to it, I was basically ambivalent; I couldn’t summon up the will to care too much about it, knowing that A) all the information I needed would be plastered online in days’ time, and B) getting invested in E3 meant sitting through more press conferences.  More played-out buzzwords.  More non-indicative trailers.  More promises of glory that would fail to deliver.  More chomping at the bit to get past the stuff I don’t care about.  More cringe by the barge-load.  The only positive point, ostensibly, would be the annual showcase of Cuphead footage -- which to be fair almost justifies the whole expo.

So as much as it strains my credibility, I have to admit that I’m writing this E3 post while skipping out on a majority of the conferences.  Maybe I’ll go back and watch stuff eventually; I’ve seen a supercut already, but there’s more to digest.  And I will, especially if the Super Best Friends put up their reactions (and I’d assume that’s available via some Twitch stream archives).  But for now?  I want to do something different besides run down the major conferences and companies.  I want to take time out to talk about E3 -- and in particular, a topic that’s been occupying my brain space for the past month:

Is E3 basically The Apology Expo?