Time to get chill (and forgive terrible puns)! Let's take a close look at Frozen!


August 31, 2015

August 27, 2015

Honoring the Past (AKA Voltech the Hypocrite)


You know, I’ve never thought of myself as a “crusader”.

I’m pretty easygoing -- if not apathetic -- when it comes to the big subjects.  Politics, religion, stuff like that -- it doesn’t really make me hot under the collar, so it’s not as if I’m going to get into a screaming match with someone with a different opinion from me.  Really, the only thing I try and campaign for is better fiction.  We want more, and we deserve more -- but we need the wits and savvy to understand what makes stories good in the first place.  I’m not asking for much, I hope.

But these days?  It feels like I’m campaigning and crusading against nostalgia-bait products more than anything else.  (Relatively speaking, given my tirades against grim and gritty fare…and before that, nearly everything Squeenix has put out semi-recently.)  People deserve good stories, and no matter the opinion on Joe Plumbers or sheeple or lowest common denominators, I’d like to think that when offered a genuinely good story, they’ll know what they’ve always wanted.  What they -- and we -- don’t need are retreads of the past, again and again and again.  We need something new.  Something different.  Something that at least has the potential to be good.

So why is it that I’ve been having more fun with stuff from the past?

August 24, 2015

DmC: Devil May Cry (feat. Kamen Rider Kiva)


Even though I haven’t played the previous game, there was something about Rise of the Tomb Raider that caught my interest.  The announcement trailer showed off a Lara Croft in therapy -- which makes sense, given what she went through.  I’m pretty sure she got gored by a spike within Tomb Raider’s first hour, and the assault only ramps up from there; I don’t want to meet the person who can shrug that off. 

Granted the 2013 game makes me imagine a Lara that would never ever want to go exploring again, but for what it’s worth?  Having her deal with the issues and consequences of the first game (and tend to some of the common complaints thrown its way) is an interesting idea.  It’s got potential to add depth to a character in an unconventional way.

So of course, the devs immediately decided to backpedal on that.  What a perfect idea.

August 20, 2015

SOS! URGENT! Attention-Grabbing Title!


Don’t worry, it’s not like I’m being held at gunpoint or anything.  But I think it’d be best if I got as much attention as possible via this post.  Because it could very well decide THE FATE OF THE UNIVERSE.  By which I mean “this blog”.  By which I mean “yo, I could use some reader input here”.

And to facilitate that…well, I’ll take the low-brow approach and fill this post with pictures of Christina Hendricks.  It worked once, so I figure it’ll work again.  Plus her classiness should even out the dirtiness of my scumbag tactics.

It’s fine, though.  You’ll know I’m really scraping the barrel when I fill a post with Alyson Hanningan pictures.  She’s the best.

August 17, 2015

Frozen: Let it Go (Headbang)

So if I did that thing I usually do and put up a spoiler warning, would anyone even care?  Like, I’m writing this here in 2015, and Frozen came out in…what, Thanksgiving 2013, or somewhere around that point?  Everyone who wanted to watch it by now has, yes?  So they know all the twists and turns.  And by extension, those looking for either telling reviews or in-depth analyses have long since found them.  In a lot of ways, this post is irrelevant; I’m the last guy on earth who’s seen this movie (who wanted to…but put no effort into trying to watch), so I’m more or less playing catch-up with the rest of the populace.

Why write it, then?  Well, anyone expecting a straight-up review is better off looking elsewhere; that’s not really my thing.  And even if (I assume) others have analyzed it frame-by-frame, those thoughts and opinions belong to them.  What follows are going to be my thoughts and opinions.  Not exactly the gospel, I know, but people seem really invested when I slam Final Fantasy, so maybe I’m doing something right.

Enough chatter, then.  What do I think of Frozen?  Well…

August 13, 2015

Frozen: The Princess Snide

Not too long ago, I was about to take my dogs out when I noticed my brother was watching a movie in another room.  Which movie?  Big Hero 6, as it turns out.  I don’t know if he had started watching it from the beginning or if he happened to spot it on TV mid-run, but I at least got a glimpse of Hiro and Baymax doing good guy stuff.  Or on the way to do good guy stuff.  Well, they did something, and that’s what counts.

Anyway, I went into the room to talk to him about it.  He didn’t say much about the quality, and I didn’t press him; he just wondered why Baymax was so fat.  “More to love,” I said.  And then, after a brief pause, I said with a smile “I saw Frozen the other day.”

His reaction was three times faster than the speed of light.  He groaned loudly and asked, “What are you, a six-year-old girl?”  I tried to make a case for the movie.  His response: “Fine, so it’s for six-to-ten-year-old girls.”  Needless to say, we didn’t exactly have a gripping and in-depth discussion on the film’s merits.  Granted I could have (and probably should have) argued more, but obstinacy is a forte both of us share.  Also, I didn’t want to clean up any dog pee.

So let’s unpack this for a minute -- by which I mean “time to have another talk about female characters and representation in fiction.”  I’m as excited as you are.

August 10, 2015

On Final Fantasy and Lost Empathy


Far be it for me to be typecast as “the guy who can’t stop poking holes in Final Fantasy games”, but there’s no way around it this time.  Bear with me here, though, because there are a LOT of posts to follow built around the ideas here.  Consider this foundation more than anything else.

Okay?  Okay.  So let me ask: does anyone here watch The Middle?

August 6, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and THAT MOVIE


Alternate Post Title: Technical Difficulties Rising: Revengeance

Alternate (Alternate) Post Title: The Last Horse Crosses the Finish Line

August 3, 2015

Do me a solid...


So I got a notification from Disqus that -- for one reason or another -- comments got de-synced between it and this blog.  That's pretty frustrating in its own right, but it goes further than that; since I'm a guy that tries to respond to every comment that comes my way, not knowing when and where comments pop up (which has already happened recently) means that I can't do what I want and need to do, and repay the kindness people have shown by leaving their thoughts here.

I'm going to try and fix it over the next couple of days -- assuming it can be fixed simply -- but until then?  I think I'd better push back some of the thicker posts I've got stocked.  I'd very much like to have this problem resolved, obviously.  So what I need for you, or anyone reading this, or anyone who simply glanced at it from their feed, to do is write a comment.  Any comment.  The way I see it, that's the best way to make sure things are working as intended.  I'll put more stuff up later this week (hopefully), but until then?  Let me preemptively give thanks.

But since I'm in the practice of throwing up thousands of words on-screen, I guess I'd better say something of merit.  So you know what?  If you're reading this, tell me about what TV shows you like.  What you're watching, what you have watched, whatever -- if it strikes your fancy, let me know.  There's still a hole in my heart thanks to How I Met Your Mother's departure, so filling it might heal my soul or whatever.  Failing that, I need to watch more Regular Show.  Or Steven Universe.  

So yeah, leave a comment if you can.  And thanks in advance.  And screw technical difficulties.

July 30, 2015

Street Fighter V: Headcanon Edition


Not to play armchair manager, but there’s a part of me that feels like it’s wrong for Daigo “The Beast” Umehara to play anyone but Ryu.  I’m not about to go doubting his skills or anything -- even if he was in a coma, the guy could play Street Fighter better than I ever could -- but you’d think that a guy who put so much into the franchise as well as embodies the tireless wanderer would have found his soul mate.  But in his recent EVO showings, he’s picked guys like Yun and Evil Ryu.  And I’m pretty much left saying “Is this it?  Has Daigo been corrupted by the power of the Dark Hadou?”

Well, it’s not like he’s turned evil in real life (or has he?!), so he’s free to do as he pleases.  But still, the allure of the character is just too great in Street Fighter IV’s latest -- and probably final -- iteration.  His damage output is incredible, he has nearly all of the tools Ryu has (and then some), and it only takes one hit for him to get started, i.e. melt an enemy’s life bar down to zero.  It’s almost poetic that one EVO had Daigo and his Evil Ryu beaten by John Choi and his normal Ryu, but that didn’t stop The Beast from sticking with the Dark Hadou.

So now I have to wonder: once Street Fighter IV gets phased out and the sequel gains traction, what does that mean for what’s ostensibly the most heinous power in the canon?  Frankly, I’m hoping for a lot.