Get hyped -- and jolly -- for the Big N's holiday library! It's Season's Wii-tings time! Basically!

November 21, 2014

Of Smash Bros. and Short Anti-Breaks

The time has come, and so have I
I laugh last ‘cause you came to die
The damage done, the pain subsides
And I can…et cetera, et cetera.

Smash Bros. 4 is here, people.  We can all play it now -- every last one of us.  MAXIMUM REJOICE.

So.  Let’s have a very quick chat.

November 20, 2014

Interstellar: For the Love of TARS

Is Smash Bros. 4 out yet?  No?


All right, let’s do this.

Do not go gentle into that good SPOILERS
Old age should SPOIL and SPOIL at close of SPOILERS
SPOIL, SPOIL against the -- wait, didn’t the Bum Review do the same thing?

*sigh* I just wanna play Smash…

November 17, 2014

Season’s Wii-tings II: Pikmin 3

So I saw part of Gravity the other day, and I have to say, I wasn’t really feeling it.  Granted I was trying to put something together, and my dogs were being so wild that I eventually gave up on watching the movie in peace, but I went in expecting it to grab me from the get-go and it didn’t.  That’s not to say that it’s bad or anything.  It just wasn’t for me.  I couldn’t get into the characters, and it felt as if the movie could have (and should have) ended as soon as they spiraled into space.  Weirdly, that’s a sentiment mirrored elsewhere -- and I have to wonder how far off the mark I am when most of the praise thrown its way comes from the visuals.  Because clearly, the only thing that matters is how good something looks.  Thanks, video games!

Maybe I’ll give the movie another shot when I can give it my full attention, but there is one thing I took away from it: SPACE IS AWESOME.  There may still be plenty of mysteries left here on Earth, but the stars are the premiere source of adventure in both fiction and real life.  Anything could be out there, but the one surefire thing is the potential for exploration.  Space can scratch that itch, and take us to whole new places.  Admittedly, that adventure is only possible with some hyper-rigorous training and skill in real life (a sobering truth for six-year-old Voltech), but games can compensate easily.

Which brings us to Pikmin 3 -- the game you should have played already if you love games.  And/or space.

November 13, 2014

D.O.X. is Dead #6: Humans and Monsters

Hey, does anybody remember that anime D. Gray Man

To be honest, I’m kind of surprised I do.  I mean, I used to watch it, but it ended up slipping off my radar for one reason or another.  It probably had something to do with its creator taking ill, which led to the manga going on hiatus, which of course led to the anime getting stalled into oblivion well before the story’s conclusion.  It’s kind of a shame, because thinking back, I enjoyed the show.  I suspect that I have a secret appreciation for stories with a twinge of the macabre – at least if my enjoyment of that show, Bleach, and Soul Eater are anything to go by.  (Though it’s my understanding that Bleach fell apart a while ago, so who knows if I’m still a “true” fan.)

The reason I bring up D. Gray Man is because I recently realized that I started getting into it right around the time I started my story.  I wouldn’t exactly call it an influence by any means, but having looked at some old files, I realized that one of my characters was – or used to be – heavily based on one of that series’ characters.  Not in terms of skill sets, of course.  In terms of appearance?  No doubt.  You know me – striking visual design is something I value.  It can be (emphasis on “can”) the first step toward making a good character.

And “striking” is probably the exact word I’d use for one of these characters.  Or, alternatively, “absurd”.

November 10, 2014

Season's Wii-tings II: Bayonetta 2

In the first fifteen seconds of the game, you’re treated to a slow-motion shot of Bayonetta that -- of course -- pans straight down to her crotch.  Barely a minute later, you’re commandeering and piloting an angelic mech to wreak havoc on your foes.  And in one of the early cutscenes, she kicks an incoming jet well above a spread of skyscrapers.  Seems like a reasonable start, yes?

Chances are you don’t need me to tell you how good Bayo2 is (my answer being “absurdly good”).  It’s gotten high marks all over, and proven that the wait was worthwhile.  If not for Nintendo, there would be no Bayo2 -- and now more than ever, I’m glad that the Big N extended a helping hand.  Granted I’m not sure if I like it more than Metal Gear Rising or The Wonderful 101, but that’s a moot point; those three can stand shoulder-to-shoulder as a trinity of awesome games.  I don’t have any problems leaving it at that.

But there’s more to say about Bayo2.  MUCH more.  Dare I say it, TOO MUCH more.

THE SPOILERS REMAIN CAST!  *gets wrecked by angels again*

November 6, 2014

What’s the Key to a Good Horror Story?

Question: How good is Bayonetta 2?

Answer: Too damn good.

I’m not the type to tag scores and numbers to my opinions, but I can see why people would give Platinum’s latest such high marks (including a hyper-rare ten out of ten from Gamespot!).  There’s plenty of good stuff in the game.  And even if the ride’s destined to end -- albeit after a healthy play time -- it strikes me as the sort of game I can and WILL play through again.  I did the same with Devil May Cry 3, after all.  Dat Vergil battle…

Still, I’ve had The Evil Within on my mind for a while now.  I…didn’t care for it, so you can chalk it up as yet another disappointment in the eighth-gen library.  But while I don’t have any problems heaping hate on stuff like Watch Dogs or Destiny, a part of me feels bad for being unable to like Shinji Mikami’s latest.  It could have been the one, man.  But it wasn’t.  And the more I think about it, the more I realize that there’s a reason for it.  TEW may have been botched, but it made me realize how much potential and how many possibilities there are when you make good use of horror elements.

Too bad I have no idea how to do that.

November 3, 2014

Season's Wii-tings II: Hyrule Warriors

You know what?  I think Hyrule Warriors is a great concept.

If I had to guess, I’d say that those who play and love Zelda don’t exactly look to it for the combat.  It’s more about the adventure; exploration, and clearing dungeons, and whatnot.  It may seem strange to say that, seeing as how you can’t divorce the canon from collected weapons and magic swords, but fights are just blips on the radar.  They’re events you encounter along the way, even with the massive bosses you’re typically pitted against.  It really says a lot about the design philosophy when there was no built-in, intentional focus on combat until roughly 2011.

So Hyrule Warriors shows what happens when you let someone else interpret your work (meaningfully and skillfully, at least).  Now the focus is almost entirely on the combat, and shows just what happens when Link and Zelda and all the rest get to go all out against the forces of evil.  As others have suggested, Hyrule Warriors is when and how we finally get to see some of the big battles and wars of lore unfold before our eyes.  I can’t think of a lot of ways to exponentially increase the scale of Zelda’s conflicts, so maybe giving the canon that Musou/Dynasty Warriors twist is the best way to go about it.

That all said, Hyrule Warriors is probably the worst Wii U game I’ve played yet.

That said, even the “worst” Wii U game is still unreasonably good.

It’s LU BU!  LU BU has come to destroy us!
Oh, wait.  I mean SPOILERS.  Not Lu Bu.  Jeez, I’m not playing Dynasty Warriors here!
…Or am I? *nightmarish chorus of fallen angels plays*

October 30, 2014

The Evil Within: The Super Halloween Suplex Post

Sadly, this post has nothing to do with wrestling.  But it is Halloween-appropriate, so there you go.  That’s one match won.

Now then.  Let me start by saying this: I don’t have a lot of experience in “survival horror”.  Or horror in general, if you don’t feel like subdividing into smaller categories.  I’ve played my share of games, but there are still huge gaps I haven’t put much effort into filling.  How big are these gaps?  Well, let me put it this way: the first Resident Evil game I played from start to finish was Resident Evil 5.  I’m not much in the way of the horror genre, and with the Month of Pumpkinpalooza almost over I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out.  I should try to broaden my horizons.

So that’s why I tried out The Evil Within.  Not finished, mind, because I never would have done that in time for this post.  But I’ve taken strides with it.  And conceptually speaking, there’s no beter game to start out with.  It’s by the guy who practically made survival horror a thing (plus helped with Killer7)!  It sounded like a nightmare come to life thanks to a couple of previews!  It’s a bold counterclaim against the mindless power fantasies that are trying to strangle the medium into submission!  What’s not to love?

It turns out there’s a lot.  I’ve spent a LOT of time waiting for the game to get scary -- and, you know, good.  And right now, I doubt it ever will.

October 23, 2014

Revenge is Boring

Yep.  Taking a hard stance on this one -- because I’m convinced that contrary to popular belief, it’s not a dish best served cold.  Or at all.  But let me back up a little.

My friend and I both gave my brother trouble over Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor because it just looked like a knockoff Assassin’s Creed.  Licensed game garbage, and little else.  But considering the majority of the reviews and reactions, it looks like the two of us were wrong -- and if nothing else, my bro’s been having a hell of a time with it.  So yeah, I guess I can’t help but offer up my blessing to those that enjoy it, and the game itself.  To an extent.

I’ll concede that the gameplay and the Nemesis system are (apparently) amazing, but there’s more to it than that.  The question that was on my mind for a while was “All right, so how’s the story?”  And the answer I’ve gotten, more or less, is “awful”.  You play as some guy whose wife and child get killed, and he strikes out with newfound ghost powers to exact his revenge on those that wronged him, leaving a trail of bodies in hizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…