Let's discuss Avengers: Infinity War -- a movie BOUND to make you feel so good!

April 28, 2014

Let’s discuss inFAMOUS: Second Son (Part 1).

That’s the first and last time I’m going to properly type the name of the franchise.

Recent news has revealed that, as of this post, Sony’s new kid on the block the PS4 has surpassed seven million sales.  Seven million consoles are out there, not just on the shelves, but in the hands of customers all around.  That is a lot of consoles -- given that roughly a month ago that number was at six million, it’s likely that those numbers are going to rise at an incredible rate yet again.  After all, the prevalent theory is that the recent surge is because of Infamous: Second Son.

But with that in mind, I have to ask a question: what?  Or if not that, then…why?

I’m not going to tell anyone that they’re wrong for their opinions, or their purchases by extension.  But I hope you’ll forgive me for being more than a little confused.  The PS4 does NOT have the library right now to justify its purchase.  It just doesn’t.  Okay, sure, it’s got some solid indie games out there, but those aren’t enough.  The selling point should be in the big releases -- and those have yet to cut it.  Knack isn’t doing it.  Killzone: Shadow Fall isn’t doing it.  Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed 4, and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition aren’t doing it -- not to mention that they’re multiplatform titles, and far from revolutionary in their own right.  I can understand the “early adopter” mentality, but right now the only reason why people might be running out to buy the latest console is because of a barrage of commercials…some of which don’t even show any gameplay.  Or games

So.  If you want to know what I think of Second Son without suffering through thousands of words, there you go.  Things aren’t exactly ideal.


I would have gone with the lyrics for “Ride the Lightning”, but Palpatine beckoned.

April 24, 2014

Who Wins Out -- Heroes or Villains?

If you’ve been checking around the blog recently, you might have guessed that I’ve got Infamous: Second Son on the brain.  (The posts on which will come this Monday and Thursday, so look forward to my joy/despair.)  And with good reason; I may not be one for comics, but I’ve always loved the idea of superheroes.  And by extension, I’ve always loved the potential that they hold.  Powers beyond the mortal man!  A persona that’s larger than life!  HnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngCOSTUMES!  There’s a lot to love, so there’s an obvious reason why they’re so popular today.

But if The Avengers -- and the internet at large -- is any indication, it’s that people love villains as well.  Maybe more.  Tom Hiddleston’s Loki made a huge splash in the first Thor movie, much to its (and his) credit; his presence helped make that movie what it was, and you could say the same pretty damn easily about The Dark World.  Loki’s popular, but I’d bet that he’s not the only one who’s enjoyed his fair share of popularity.  Nor will he be the last.

And I find that more than a little interesting, if we’re being honest.  Along with Loki’s horns.  That seems like an accident waiting to happen -- if it hasn’t already.  On the other hand, they ARE curved upward, so, you know.  S'all good.

April 21, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Good Old Days (Part 2)

Sometimes I wonder if my head’s screwed on straight -- and then I remember that it isn’t, so I start thinking about other stuff.

I may be opinionated to a fault, but I’d like to think that I can be respectful of the opinions of others; I don’t think there’s been a point where I’ve said “You’re wrong!”  And I hope it never gets to that point, implied or not.  That said, I can still disagree -- and STRONGLY -- with the opinions of others.   Or if not that, then I’ll make my confusion pretty well known.  At least, I hope I have.  If I haven’t, then I’ll go ahead and do that now.

I just don’t understand why people consider Captain America boring or lame.  And not just Cap, either; Superman, and Cyclops, and pretty much anyone who qualifies as being a “cape”.  Okay, those characters aren’t automatically perfect or amazing, and they can go off the rails.  Fair enough.  But rejecting them just because they’re good guys?  That doesn’t sit right with me.  It’s like the detractors are saying “Man, you know what I hate?  Heroism, nobility, and common decency!  Screw all that noise!”  Heroes and anti-heroes have their place, and their uses; they can offer up something that can make a story great, independent of their ability to kick ass.  Batman is not the famous character he is because he punches dudes or “can do anything as long as he has time to prepare first”.  He’s a famous character because of his character.

The particulars might be different, but that same general concept applies to Captain America.  And by extension, it applies to every main character in this movie…because of Captain America.

So.  Let’s go right down the list, shall we?       

Final…JUSTICE!  Here it comes!  Hyeah!  Hwoah!  Fall in!  HYPER COMBO K.O.!   
Player 2 Wins!

Uh…I mean, SPOILERS.

April 17, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Good Old Days (Part 1)

So can we all collectively agree to stop asking where the other Marvel superheroes are in solo movies?

I know I brought this up in light of Iron Man 3, but I think it bears repeating.  There seems to be this constant complaint that “Captain America isn’t in this movie!” or people asking “Where’s Thor?  He should be here fighting the bad guys, too!”  Okay, that’s kind of a legitimate complaint, but it shouldn’t matter in the long run.  The solo outings are solo for a reason.  If you put every Avenger in every movie, then the inevitable crossover battle is just going to end up being less special.  More to the point, the solo movies put the focus back on the individual superheroes, and develop them so that they don’t get diluted in the crossover.  That was pretty much the entire point of the “Phase One” movies, so why would that change with Phase Two?  And that’s all setting aside the real-world, out-of-universe issues; actors need to be paid, stories need to be written, schedules for shooting need to be set up…the list goes on.

Personally, I think we should just be thankful we even have superhero movies, let alone such high quality ones on a regular basis.  By now I’d assume that the world knows how bad those movies can get, so it’s good to know that in most cases, we can trust the bigwigs and background-toilers to make a product that entertains us.  A movie we can count on.  A hero we’ll gladly follow to hell and back.

I sure hope it doesn’t come to that.  Hell doesn’t strike me as a pleasant place -- but either way, betting on Cap is probably the best move you could ever make.

When Captain America throws his mighty SPOILERS
All those who chose to oppose his SPOILERS must…uh…BOILERS?  Aw, screw it.  There are spoilers incoming, so watch your back.  Also, did anyone get a solid count on the number of Charging Stars in the movie?  It’s at least eight, I bet.

April 11, 2014

Let’s discuss The Walking Dead (Part 2).

Hey, welcome back.  Did you get yourself some tasty snacks?  Good. 

Now, in a move that will surprise absolutely no one who’s read this blog for more than eight minutes, I have to make an assertion: the “gritty story” model might be broken.  I say MIGHT because there’s always the chance that a movie, or a game, or whatever will come my way that makes me eat my words.  If that day is coming, then in light of The Walking Dead, I can tell you right now that said day is pretty far off.

USGamer’s Jeremy Parish -- whose words you should be reading when you’re not reading mine -- took a look at Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and raised a legitimate complaint about one of its issues (independent of it being a $40 $30 demo).  Apparently, GZ takes a dip into some seriously seedy territory, and it takes the franchise -- a goofy-as-hell franchise, more often than not -- to a very dark place, and a place that The Phantom Pain might not be prepared to tackle.  Or illuminate, or explore.  It remains to be seen how events will be handled, but Parish makes his point while pointing to some of the problems gritty fare runs into: sometimes they’re not prepared to go into those depths, but do it anyway because…well, that’s just a thing you do with a gritty story.  Go dark or go home.

And trust me; there are times when I wish some stories would just go home.  As you can guess.

Make your first move, so what’s it gonna be?
You’re trapped in the new world of SPOILER Fighter III!
Fight for the future, so what’s it gonna be?
The 3rd Strike, y’all, it’s SPOILER Fighter III!

Side note: did anyone notice that I called Andrea "Angela" at first?  Did anyone think to themselves that it only slightly matters?

April 9, 2014

WrestleMania XXX is secretly brilliant.

Well, you could argue that professional wrestling in its entirety is brilliant -- which I’ll do before post’s end, probably -- but I thought I could use a snappier title.  Anyway, Ryan and Rory, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoy; this post is for you.  Also?  Digeridoos covered in cranberry sauce.  Think about it.  I sure didn’t.

Now, for anyone else reading this, let me be the first to make a confession: I hold pro wrestling in pretty high esteem.  Though technically, I guess I’m closer to being a poser than an actual fan; my fondest memories of the sport come from memories of playing wrestling games, dishing out power bombs, reversing enemy grapples, and breaking the legs of whoever my brother would try to win with (poor virtual Rey Mysterio…).  Beyond that, I’ve always thought that the grapplers in fighting games were the coolest, even if they weren’t exactly the most practical.  Hearing Haggar shout “PILE DRIVER!” made every beating in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 worth it.  Well, almost.

For lack of a better term, for years I’ve seen wrestling as something romantic.  Something that, by nature, is designed to get the blood pumping and the crowd roaring.  Thinking back, I used to tune in to SmackDown consistently before it fell off the basic cable/easily-accessed channels -- a real loss, but one I eventually got over.

But having seen WrestleMania XXX, I’m starting to think that letting the WWE get away from me was a big mistake.  Maybe one that I need to fix.

Warning: spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen the event yet, so readers beware.  Though on that note, how nuts is it that I have to use spoilers for something like wrestling?

Side note: am I the only one who’s compelled to call it WrestleMania Xrd thanks to the presence of three Xs and the latest Guilty Gear?  Well, probably.  But I’ll use any excuse to work an Ishiwatari song into the mix.

April 7, 2014

Let’s discuss The Walking Dead (Part 1).

I should be satisfied with The Walking Dead.

I’m about ready to declare that (outside of some currently-unseen yet supposedly-amazing first season) the show is the best it’s ever been.  There’s no wallowing in despair and having go-nowhere arguments on a farm; there’s actually a goal now, and the cast -- and the show -- has proven as of Season 4’s finale that they’re moving toward something.  These characters are actually trying to be characters instead of by-proxy survivalists and badass zombie slayers…well, as badass as you can be when your main opponent day after day is less threatening than an incensed sloth.  And as if my thoughts in my Attack on Titan posts changed the fabric of reality, the show is trying -- trying, if nothing else -- to inject some hope into affairs.

So don’t let anyone tell you that I can’t be positive about things out of my comfort zone (even though I hope I’ve proved that by now).  If there’s something I like, then I’ll bring it up.  If there’s something I don’t like, I’ll bring that up, too.  Let it be known that I can give praise to The Walking Dead as needed.

Let it ALSO be known that, were the show a living, breathing person, I would slap it across the face.  Multiple times.

You are now entering The Spoiler Zone…though that should be obvious, I hope.  Then again, this is coming more than a week after the Season 4 finale, so I’d hope that by now you’ve had time to digest.  I sure have.

Side note: I sure hope this doesn’t date the post months down the line when people find this blog looking for anime boobs or The Last of Us porn.  And on that note…seriously, internet?  Seriously?

April 3, 2014

RE: inFamous: Second Son

Am I the only one that thinks that the typing of the title is really awkward?  I am?  Well, forget it, then.  I’ll just keep typing “Infamous” instead.

A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that the original Infamous was released in 2009, and its sequel followed in 2011.  Since then, the franchise has pretty much established itself as one of Sony’s key products -- the “reason” to own a PS3, and more recently a PS4 considering how Second Son was revealed alongside it.  (Though its reveal was pretty much a given by that point, I’d wager.)  Collectively, is Infamous the best in the superhero game business?  No.  And not even individually; that honor belongs to 2005’s The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, seeing as how it nigh-flawlessly captured the essence of playing as the Hulk.  Still, some props have to go to Spider-Man 2 for nailing the web-swinging; why the games that followed had to complicate the formula -- or forget it outright -- is beyond me.

But for what it’s worth, I’m ready to acknowledge Infamous as something praise-worthy.  I like the concept.  I like superheroes, and superpowers.  I like that it at least tries to do something with morality, and gives the player the choice of playing as the hero instead of a growling, amoral twit (or worse, the ever-so-delightful designated hero).  But as always, the execution is what proves or disproves the soundness of the concept.  If it’s not done well, there’s a good chance I could find myself wishing that it wasn’t done well at all.  Thankfully, the latest entry in the franchise gives a chance to iron out the flaws.  This is the game that proves the worth of the PS4, and ushers in the promise of the new generation…at least to those that pretend the Wii U doesn’t count.

That’s what Second Son is primed to do.  At least, I sure hope it is.