I wanna take you for a ride (I think)! Let's discuss Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite!


December 29, 2014

Let’s discuss Kamen Rider Gaim (Part 2).


(Cross-Up is on hiatus, sort of, but not really!  I’m going to try and take it easy over the next few weeks, because it’s the winter holiday season and I half-expect nobody to be around on the internet.  Things will get back in gear sometime in January, but until then?  If you ARE here, then enjoy a handful of high-quality filler posts.  It’ll be fun, presumably!)

Before I get started, let’s play a game. 

I want you to think of a villain -- your favorite villain, from any story, from any medium, from any time.  Take as much time as you need before going on.  Then, once you have that villain in mind, think for a minute about why that villain means so much to you.  (In the event that the villain is more of a concept/conflict than someone the hero can punch in the face, substitute that instead.)  Don’t worry about forcing yourself to articulate it, or even mentioning it here in a comment.  Just keep your answers fresh on your mind, okay?

Good.  Great.  Remember those answers, because I’m going to come back to them later.  But for now?  Open your eyes for the next Faiz.


My SPOILERS will make you cry.
Wipe your tears with this.  *tosses printed copy of the last two Gaim posts*

That is also the wrong Rider.  Man, I’m really bad at this.

December 25, 2014

Kamen Rider Gaim: A Super Holiday Suplex Post


(Cross-Up is on hiatus, sort of, but not really!  I’m going to try and take it easy over the next few weeks, because it’s the winter holiday season and I half-expect nobody to be around on the internet.  Things will get back in gear sometime in January, but until then?  If you ARE here, then enjoy a handful of high-quality filler posts.  It’ll be fun, presumably!)

Oh man, please tell me I’m the first person on the internet to make this joke.  It would make me so very, very happy.

Well, if nothing else, I’m the first person to ever make the joke on this blog.  THAT MEANS I’VE WON!

All right, I’m about to unload a fruit basket’s worth of SPOILERS on you guys, so if you want a no-spoiler version of what I think about this show (and by extension, a trim primer on Gaim), then you’d better go read this post instead…or first.  Or you can read this one if you have no interest in ever watching it.

That would kind of make this post a moot point -- if not for the stuff I’m about to discuss.  Are you ready?  Here we gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

December 22, 2014

RE: Kamen Rider Gaim


(Cross-Up ison hiatus, sort of, but not really!  I’m going to try and take it easy over the next few weeks, because it’s the winter holiday season and I half-expect nobody to be around on the internet.  Things will get back in gear sometime in January, but until then?  If you ARE here, then enjoy a handful of high-quality filler posts.  It’ll be fun, presumably!)

I don’t do this very often -- or at all -- but I’m going to have to put a little strain on the rules.

What I post here tends to NOT be a straight-up review -- of TV shows, games, movies, or anything that pops up.  I’m more concerned with determining why something is good or bad instead of just outright saying “this is good” or “this is bad”.  There’s some overlap, sure, but as I’ve said in the past, this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for a score on the latest game, or any sort of ranking system.

That in mind, I have to make an exception just this once for Kamen Rider Gaim.  Two reasons for that: first, I’d vastly prefer talking about it if I can point someone toward watching it -- but seeing as how that’d demand a fifty-ish episode marathon run, I think it’d be best if I at least put the suggestion in a reader’s head.  More importantly, Gaim is the sort of show that’s hard to talk about without tripping all over spoilers -- SO, I’m going to use THIS post as a sort of all-purpose primer.  It’ll superficially tell you what’s good and what isn’t (even if that means hinting towards spoilers); in the posts to follow, we’ll go into full-on discussion mode so I can talk about the good and the bad.  Watching Gaim in its entirety won’t be required, though, so you can rest easy.  Just read what I’ve got so you can walk away with a fresh perspective.

Okay?  Okay.  Let’s get started then.  First…

December 15, 2014

Season’s Wii-tings II: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Previously on Cross-Up…

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m a hypocrite.  And then I remember that I am, so I go about my business.  But then I remember that I brought up that point for the sake of a blog post, so I guess I’d better go into detail.”

Okay.  So in the last post, I mentioned that I tend to have a bad reaction whenever the Game Grumps go back to the NES/SNES well -- playing 2D platformers and such on an extremely regular basis.  It’s true that they can get a lot out of them comedy-wise that I appreciate, but then I remember how much fun it was for me (and the Grumps, I bet) for Dan to experience Shadow of the Colossus for the first time.  I suppose there’s always Steam Train -- or failing that, the Best Friends Zaibatsu -- to offer up something fresh, but it still leaves me wary.

Except when they play something like Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze.  I wanted to stand up and cheer when they started a playthrough on that…which is ass-backwards, considering that it’s pretty much just a 2D platformer that just happens to look amazing.  So that pretty much means I’m a hypocrite, right?  Like, I just want the Grumps to play the games I like, and what I want to see?  That’s the impression I’m getting, unfair as it may be to some of the funniest guys online.

In my defense?  There’s a reason why I want them, and everyone, to play Tropical Freeze.

December 11, 2014

D.O.X. is Dead #8: Avatars and Magic


Let me tell you a little secret: I don’t always know the difference between a good idea and a bad one.

This blog may make me look like a smart guy who has all the answers [citation needed], but that’s hardly true of me.  Just think about it: would a guy who has all the answers feel the need to completely invalidate years of work on a hunch bred from second-guesses and crippling insecurities?  Common knowledge suggests not.  So let it be known that I’m no ace.  I stumble just like everyone else -- maybe more than average.  And I’m hoping that even if I become some writing tour de force, I won’t become so blinded by power that I’ll reject all criticism.  (Consider that a license to punch me in the stomach for anyone who one day sees me as no better than Michael Bay.)

I want to do my best -- and more -- for the sake of others.  I want my stories to entertain people, and make them happy.  And I want to be good enough to make that happen.

Which begs the question: why do I keep doing dumb things?

December 8, 2014

Season's Wii-tings II: Shovel Knight

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a hypocrite.  And then I remember that I am, so I go about my business.  But then I remember that I brought up that point for the sake of a blog post, so I guess I’d better go into detail.

Like a lot of people, I’m a fan of the Game Grumps.  Whether it’s the original Jon era or the current one with Arin and Dan, it’s still a series I tune into routinely.  Sure, not every second of every video is a laugh riot, and their regular stumbling blocks are problematic (I’m surprised I lived through their Wind Waker playthrough, given how long it took them to leave the first damn island), but on average?  Team Grump is pretty good. 

Still, I have to make a confession.  Whenever the two of them decide to play through an old-school NES/SNES game -- platformers, typically -- my heart ends up sinking.  I mean, Team Grump has access to a monstrous library of games, both from fan contributions and a museum-sized collection.  Out of all the choices available, why opt for something like Super Adventure Island?  And why do that as a months-later follow-up to a game like Shovel Knight, the premiere love letter to old-school games?

Crap, did I just give away my opinion on Shovel Knight?  Great.  Now why would anyone want to read this post?  I might as well just post pictures of cats or something.

December 4, 2014

D.O.X. is Dead #7: Scope and Heart


These three things happened last time on D.O.X. is Dead!  (With the proper music, of course.)

Firstly, two dangerously-deadly rival characters are revealed -- the rough-necked punk, Coil, and the bruising beauty, Kath! 

Secondly, the story’s revamped concepts take the stage, with the idea of power discussed furiously at length!

And thirdly, two MORE characters of the core cast of eight make their debut -- the king of normalcy, Johnny, and the queen-sized wallflower Maddie!

And that’s about it for the recap.  So let’s get into the post proper.  First things first, though:

Count the words!  The number of words appearing in this post is…!

Man, Kamen Rider OOO is just too good.  I seriously need to do a post on it one day.

December 1, 2014

Season's Wii-tings II: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U


I have to be honest: I don’t really care for the title.

I get it, of course.  There’s a Smash game out for the Wii U, and there’s a Smash game out for the 3DS.  How do you set them apart?  Say as much in the title!  But man, isn’t that name such a downgrade?  We had Melee, and then we had Brawl, and now we get…for Wii U?  Why not Showdown?  Or Riot?  Or -- well, I guess those are all the good ones.  But the point stands.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got in terms of complaints.  I could nitpick, I guess -- and I probably will -- but other than that?  Look, I seriously don’t think I need to tell anyone reading this that this is a good game.  If you have it, you know that already.  If you don’t have it, then you’ve probably heard as much by this point -- and I’d argue that you should buy it, especially if you have a Wii U. Generally speaking, just going over some of the ins and outs of the game would make this post completely pointless.

So let’s do something different.  Let’s start with a question: why this game?