Cross-Up's hiatus is officially over! Let's come back strong with Black Panther!

April 19, 2018

Let’s discuss Kamen Rider Ex-Aid (FINALE).

I thought of something else I like about Emu from Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: his ability to bring disparate (and routinely awful) people together for a good cause.  That’s probably not a unique trait among protagonists -- count how many of Goku’s allies once tried to kill him or his friends -- but it’s still something I appreciate here.  As part of his character arc, Emu has to learn how to work with others so that he can be more than just an MLG pro gamer; by learning how to trust others and accept his limits, he evolves as a Rider, a doctor, and a person.  The ultimate proof of his growth comes late in the series, where he makes a choice that comes off as strikingly dark in the context of Ex-Aid.  It’s for a good cause, but still.  Yikesy mikesy.

I wish that Emu had a better supporting cast along the way, because anyone not named Emu on the heroes’ side is tolerable at best (IMO, of course).  Admittedly that would take the punch out of his arc, and to be fair steal whatever good moments the others can muster, but they go a long way to make the journey to the final episode a rough one.  But even so, there is a saving grace.

If you’re just tuning in, then I’ll say it upfront: Ex-Aid is worth watching just to see its villains.

(Just tons of spoilers.)

April 16, 2018

Overwatch: Retribution: Uprising: Revengeance: Revelations: Subtitle: Sequel

I wonder if anyone will ever notice that I called all of the Offense heroes in Overwatch “Attack” heroes instead.  Whoops!  I mean, I could change that with a few minutes of editing, but you know what?  I think I’ll leave it for posterity -- as a way of proving just how little I know about an entire class of the game.  It’ll be great.

In other news, I’m seriously a fan of Mercy’s new ult.  No doubt it’s a dream come true for the “battle Mercy” types, but since it doesn’t correct my utter inability to aim, I’m out of luck.  For the most part.  But in a pinch, I can fight back if the need arises; I remember when I first activated it and went “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH!” as power coursed through me and the bullets brought the pain to three rival players.  It’s a powerful tool, as is the case with all ults -- even though these days, I mostly just use it to take flight and bail the hell out of a situation.  Because that’s my secret: I’m always a huge coward.  Bruce Banner would be proud.

Anyway, let’s talk about Overwatch some more.  And going off of the end of the last post, I’ll ask again: where does Overwatch go from here?

I have some thoughts.  But you may not like them.

April 12, 2018

Overwatch: Retribution: Uprising: Revengeance: Revelations: Subtitle

Well, I didn’t think I’d be doing another post on Overwatch so soon.  And by soon I mean, what, at least six months since the last one?  Eh, it’s fine.  With the new Retribution event in full swing until April 30th, I got back in to try and earn my “just rewards”, I.e. redemption for a certain failure last time.  And since I did a post on another popular shooter not too long ago -- Fortnite, for the uninitiated -- it seems like a good time to poke my head in and see where I stand with Blizzard’s bullet-loaded baby.

So yeah.  Welcome back to Overwatch.  Now watch me use 4,000 words to explain in grave detail why Mercy is the best and a waifu unrivaled by all.  As you know.

April 9, 2018

A Lickety-Split Post on NieR: Automata

You guys, I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.

I don’t know why it took me this long to start playing NieR: Automata in earnest, but now I am, and I like it a lot, and it’s great, and I’m an idiot for not getting to it sooner.  I mean, granted part of the reason was that my brother and I share a PS4, and since he was lukewarm on the game (at best) he deleted it to make space for more fighting games.  But since I got him an external hard drive for Christmas, that’s a moot point.  And now that there’s no excuse…well, I have no excuse.

This is a really cool game.  Very interesting.  And the best part is that I like it for reasons I never would have expected.


April 5, 2018

Let’s discuss Kamen Rider Ex-Aid (Part 3).

Here’s a friendly PSA for any anime fans reading this: Gundam Build Divers is out and about online, and you can watch it for free either on Crunchyroll or via the GundamInfo channel on YouTube.  The same goes for Gundam Build Fighters -- the first season -- Build Fighters Try -- the second season -- and all sorts of bonus, post-season content.  The Battlogue episodes are as non-canon as it gets, but each one is a sight to behold.  Least of all because the budget for each 11-minute segment seems to have gone Trans-Aa.  YIKESY MIKESY, some of those moments are slobberknockers.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything Build Fighters related, but having taken the plunge with the supplementary stuff -- in preparation for Divers’ drop -- I’m reminded of how much I freaking love this installment to the Gundam franchise.  Granted I’ll gladly admit that Try is a step down from the first season, but seeing these guys in isolated instances shows what a deep appreciation I have for the overall cast and affect.  We’re a decade out from Gurren Lagann (feeling old yet?), but GBF is holding the hot-blooded mecha action down.  All hail Tryon-3.

If you’re wondering why I’m talking about Gundam in a Kamen Rider post, it’s because I need a release valve for the scorn and disdain I feel for a not-insignificant chunk of the cast.  So let’s start off this post with a few words on tone.


April 2, 2018

March 29, 2018

Let’s discuss Kamen Rider Ex-Aid (Part 2).

So Kamen Rider Ex-Aid might have the biggest time paradox I’ve ever personally seen.

Main character Emu may start the show as a medical intern, but he’s also the “genius gamer” M -- and through a flashback, the audience gets to see what that entailed.  Apparently he was an ace at fighting games (at a bare minimum), and took home the grand prize in a major tournament.  In what game?  My ears perked up at the sights and sounds of Tekken, as they should.  But that’s when time sort of collapses on itself.

Emu’s playing Tekken 7, the latest installment in the franchise to date.  Fair enough…until you remember that that game came out in March 2015 at the earliest, at least in Japan and in arcades.  The flashback in Ex-Aid specifically states that Emu joined that tournament in 2010.  And it’s pretty hard to pretend he’s playing any other installment, because A) he’s using Lars’ latest costume, and B) his opponent is using Lucky Chloe, who first made her debut in T7.  I mean, jeez.  I know Japan got the game a few years before the west, but this is ridiculous.

But I wouldn’t worry about time paradoxes too much.  Ex-Aid has bigger problems.  Much, much bigger problems.


March 26, 2018

A Writer’s Hubris

It was a coin flip between putting “Writer’s” in quotes or not, given that the same qualifier could be applied to me.  But there are times when I like to pretend I have some shred of legitimacy, and this is one of them.  Now watch closely as I proceed to rip that legitimacy into thousands of tiny pieces.

Such is my way.   Take heed of it -- of the aesthetics of justice.

March 22, 2018

Black Panther: Something Something Politics (Part 2)

I’m a little miffed right off the bat, because there was a Zero Punctuation video with a subject that was perfect for this Black Panther post -- but I can neither find nor recall where it is.  It’s a shame.  So I’ll have to speak from memory, and I apologize in advance if I get this wrong somehow.  Especially to Yahtzee.

Anyway, in the ZP video, there’s talk about character diversity -- and Yahtzee, true to form, takes it to task.  He jokes about how absurd it is for a character to only be relatable to an audience (or one person in particular) if they share a gender or race.  As if that’s all that matters, or failing to accommodate that means the game, or movie, or whatever is a failure.  It got a laugh out of me, but only because, like a lot of jokes, it hits hardest because there’s a kernel of truth to them.  Speaking personally?  I’m okay with main characters not being black (as an example) even though I’m black.  As long as the character is good, I won’t complain.

So given its nature, does Black Panther force me to recontextualize my opinion?  The answer to that is…not really.

SPOILERS for Black Panther incoming.  I know I normally toss in quotes from Marvel vs. Capcom here, but I did that last time, BP’s a new arrival without much material to pull from, and Marvel Infinite is on life support.  So have some Dragon Ball FighterZ memes instead.