My excitement for Watch Dogs is inversely proportional to
hype surrounding its release -- and directly proportional to the amount of time
left until said release.
I can remember a time
when I thought that the game would be something new, exciting, and interesting,
and actually looked forward to seeing more of it. But from what I’ve seen and what I could
gather, and with the knowledge gained from what are now semi-historical
precedents (and recent concerns), I’m not feeling very confident about its
quality. Is Aiden Pearce going to be
more than just a bland, designated hero living out a revenge fantasy? Probably not.
Is the gameplay and game at large going to offer up something better
than what we’ve seen in the open-world genre?
Probably not. Is the story going
to have something meaningful to say and do more than just name-check real-world
concerns? Probably not. And I feel bad about thinking the way I do
right now; once upon a time, I would have been eager to try Watch Dogs, or anything coming down the
pipeline. Now it feels like I have to wait for people to announce that the newest release is anything above "not terrible". Look at what you’ve done to me, video games.
Well, maybe this is
just a sign that I need to stay away from triple-A games forever for a
while. Tokyo Jungle has been plenty good to me recently, after all, so
it’s not like I’m ready to wash my hands of this woeful medium.
And then there’s Transistor.
Oh dear, is there ever.
Power Rangers isn’t in need of a reboot or a movie. (Well, another movie.) Okay, sure, it wouldn’t be a game-breaker if
it got another movie, especially if it got the care and skill -- and to a
lesser extent budget -- needed to put something good on the silver screen. But remember, this franchise has gotten more
than just a couple of movies born and raised in the States, and even more than
big screen releases by virtue of (and reflecting) its Super Sentai counterparts...if you can believe that.
This is a franchise that’s been constantly and consistently rebooting
itself for decades. Mighty Morphin’ may be the one that started it all, but it’s not
the be-all and end-all. It’s not one
isolated story, but one connected (however vaguely) to dozens.
My guess is that with
the recently-announced Lionsgate movie (the guys behind Twilight, Divergent, and The
Hunger Games -- oh joy), they plan to take out some of the sillier,
anachronistic elements and repurpose the Rangers for a modern age. Except
Power Rangers already did that. It was called Dino Thunder; it had “teenagers with attitude” who were more than
just goody-goodies tackling problems in and out of battle (making it on a
sports team vs. fighting monsters as per duty, for example), kept a leash on
the silliness, and even brought back fan favorite Tommy as a treat to older
fans. And that was it. That was all they needed to do, and they did
That should be the end
of it. But alas, here we are -- and with
me about to go into Indignant Nerd-Paladin mode.
I’ve been thinking
about doing a post on BlazBlue: Chrono
Phantasma over the past couple of weeks, but given that I’ve had material
gathering dust for ages, I figured I should get that stuff out there
first. So until then, I want to bring it
into the discussion of sexy characters -- however briefly. Again.
CP is the first BB installment
I’ve played since the original Continuum
Shift from years ago -- and the new installment offers up a chance for me
to start fresh and learn to play more characters with some competence besides
“easy mode” Ragna. I’ve long since
started maining Hakumen --the sickest
character -- but I can’t help but think back to one night when I was on the
character select screen for the trials.
I spotted Litchi’s picture nestled in the corner, and I thought to
myself, “Hey, why not?”
Well, I can think of
one reason: because she’s a sexy character, and if you play a sexy character,
you’re clearly a terrible person who deserves to get kicked in the junk,
right? And by default she’s awful and
sexist, and her creators are awful and sexist and deserve a million kicks to
the junk. At least if a subsection of
the internet is to be believed.
Strawman? Never heard of it. Is that some kind of scarecrow superhero?
I hope you read that
title with your best Jerry Seinfeld impression.
This was originally supposed to be one of those short, open-ended question
posts I’ve started doing, but this is a topic that I want to dig into to make my case. So
it’s a good idea to strap in early.
Of course, like any given post, there’s nothing stopping you from
weighing in with a comment once all’s typed and done. It’ll just take a bit
longer to get down to the bottom of the page.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it seems like
nothing has really been gained when it comes to the discussion on the depiction
of women in games…and media in general, but I see the most conflict pop up in
games. The whole Zero Suit Samus/high
heel debacle brought the debate up again.
Just as it did with the Sorceress/Amazon designs of Dragon’s Crown. To say
nothing of intermittent arguments, like when there’s an article on Senran Kagura, or Dead or Alive, or whatever.
It almost feels like there’s moral outrage just because some designs pop
up…and then there IS moral outrage when you get articles like this.
I’m not going to say
that article wasn’t purposefully rabble-rousing to generate traffic…but I
am going to think it.
So have you ever played
that game Tokyo Jungle? I have recently, and the best way I can
describe it is by saying…yikesy mikesy. It’s been a while since I’ve played a game so
amazing. I’m even considering putting it
in my personal Top 10. It goes without
saying, then, that it’s going to get a post somewhere down the line -- because it
does everything The Last of Us did,
but better. Much better.
Speaking of coming
attractions, I tried my first imported game -- and thus, I’ve gained one more
level in nerdiness. Can you guess what
it is? I’ll give you a hint: you can
press buttons to do stuff. Seriously
though, I haven’t gotten into it as much as I want to, but it looks like there
are plenty of systems to dive into.
Thing is, playing it kind of requires me to change my mindset; you kind
of have to think like a pilot (hint hint) to survive, let alone win.
And in non-gaming news,
I’ve been pecking away at certain files.
And I’ve made some real progress!
I’m hoping that I can reach a point where I can talk about it in
earnest, because there are some pretty cool things I can say. Exciting stuff, without a doubt…for me, at
least. It’s not that often where I hype myself up with something I do, after
If you’re wondering
what those points have to do with Destiny,
then consider them little more than delay tactics. From this point on, the post is set to take a
nasty turn -- because I can’t think
of time when a
single piece of news made me this
announcement of a nostalgia-bait Power
Rangers movie. Man. That was not a good week for entertainment.
Hey guys! Want to see me whack a beehive with a hockey
stick? Then let me ask you a question:
how do you feel about Zero Suit Samus’ new design?
I’m going to come right
out and say it: I think it’s all right.
The high heels are an interesting addition, and one that I wouldn’t have
made, but hey. It’s there, and it’s just
a tweak to a character that’s already pretty cool. But I think the best part of the redesign is
ZSS’s face, and head in general; HD graphics have served her well, and believe
it or not that’s the part of her I keep zeroing in on. Now, if only the rest of the internet could
do the same, we’d be set.
Then again, it seems
like these days there’s always something to rally behind -- some trivial,
others…not so much. Given that I buried
my face in my hands and shook my head when I heard that
there’s going to be a movie reboot of Power
Rangers by the dark forces behind movies like Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent,
I’m probably no better than anyone else out there.
I would ask if people
still use that term, and play it as being a synonym for “cool” or “awesome”,
but not that long ago it popped up in a commercial or something, and my brother
scoffed at the idea. “I hate it when
people use ‘epic’,” he said, more or less.
I don’t blame him. Setting aside
what an epic is supposed to be and what it actually means, it feels like it’s a
bit of a reach in terms of the modern-day lexicon. It’s verbal escalation; being cool isn’t
enough, and being awesome isn’t enough, so obviously
the only way to top that is by being EPIC, right? But the tradeoff is that you get diminishing
returns; it makes what was once incredible seem commonplace if you overuse
it. That, and it just makes you sound
like a doof. Or a bro. Doofbro.
That strive to be epic
-- to act in excess -- is a real problem, if you ask me. It feels like there’s this constant pressure
to be “bigger, better, and more badass”, as CliffyB once put it. But that’s unsustainable, and unrewarding
when you get down to it. It’s not always
about adding in more, and more, and more; an audience is more than capable of
building tolerance, and too much epic can lead to them getting burned out. Or to put it another way, it’d take ten
summer blockbusters just to get them to normal.
So what’s the solution,
then? Hard to say for sure -- but if
nothing else, Donkey Kong Country:
Tropical Freeze gives us one possible answer.
So I guess I lied about
the last post being the first and only time I used the proper capitalization.
You know, I think I
might have thought of a way to solve Infamous’
recurring problem. Or “problem”, if you
prefer; it’s pretty much built on certain mechanics and conventions, after all,
and some people actually like the way it plays out. Others don’t.
Either way, the key problem is that -- as Second Son shows -- by trying to make Delsin and his game pull
triple-duty to accommodate a good path and evil path along with neutral,
mission-to-mission characterization, overall he’s weakened as a character. I’m glad I got to play as a Good Delsin, but
the moments where I got to see his heroic persona come to light aren’t nearly
frequent enough. What IS frequent are
scenes and dialogue that could have been spoken by Good Delsin, Evil Delsin,
Neutral Delsin, or DmC’s Donte if he
was actually worth a damn.
Yeah. I’m still sore that game exists. Given that Second Son’s story has reopened old wounds, can you blame me? Even good guys have their limits, you know.
It’s probably worth noting that as I type this,
I’m listening to a remix of the Tekken Tag opening. And since that has the infamous Electric Wind
God Fist, that’s a good enough segue for me to declare that there are SPOILERS
Is it good enough for you? Okay.
Then let’s go with this one: BRING IT ON, YA ALIENS!