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

March 31, 2016

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice: Clods Among Us (Part 1)

You don’t know how tempted I was to make a reference to God Hand for this subtitle.  But since this title’s more fitting, I might as well do it now.

You know what, though?  I remember once on this blog, someone was under the impression that I don’t like God Hand.  That’s seriously not the case.  It’s not my favorite game ever -- and it’s not what I’d call a technical marvel -- but I like the combat, I like the customization, and I like the difficulty level (which changes depending on how well/poorly you do throughout the stages).  But what really sets the game apart from others is its sense of humor and spirit.  It’s wacky and wild, and very few games have captured that magic since.  Very few games have tried.

I’ve gone about this at length, but it bears repeating: by and large, the AAA game space has done its best to do away with (intentional) humor and charm.  So many titles are trying to be BIG and EPIC and SERIOUS and DEEP, yet so many of them have collapsed under their own hubris.  How did Capcom, the company that made the unapologetically-goofy Resident Evil 4 (and God Hand, of course) go on to make the embarrassingly-po-faced Resident Evil 6?

So in a lot of ways, I’ve built up a tolerance for products that adopt a “no jokes policy”.  It’s no surprise, then, that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t leave much of an impression -- but trust me, the lack of humor is the LEAST of this movie’s problems.

To the SPOILER-MOBILE, Robin!  Oh, wait.  Oooof.  Ohhhhh.  Ahhhh, that’s awkward.

March 28, 2016

RE: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Before we get started, there’s something that’s been on my mind.

(But don’t worry.  There won’t be any spoilers in this post…beyond what’s technically already been spoiled by the trailers, but whatever.)

March 24, 2016

On Hating Popular Things

So how do you feel about Batman?

He’s been one of the big players in the DC Comics universe for a while now.  And not to generalize, but I’d assume that Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Bat-movies secured his place in the public consciousness.  From what I've heard, it’s reached a point where the Dark Knight has become the superhero of the DC Universe, movies or otherwise -- even taking the top honors from Superman.  When it was still running, the Penny Arcade Report mentioned that a catalogue of what should’ve been Superman’s greatest moments instead focused on listing his myriad failures throughout the years -- as if to break down and even shame a national (if fictional) embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way.

With Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice on the way, it’ll be interesting to see how the crew behind it handles the DC heroes.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m very nervous, and even worried; even at a base level, it’ll take a deft hand to balance so many elements -- two superheroes well among them.  And there’s so much more spiraling around the movie: a rebooted, post-Nolan Batman, dealing with the ramifications of and backlash toward Man of Steel, establishing a cinematic universe in a fraction of the time Marvel did, et cetera, et cetera.  Done poorly, it’d be the perfect way to make people hate Batman, Superman, and DC in general -- if they didn’t already.  (Let’s just pretend Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t exist for now.)

But that’s the real issue here.  What do you do when there’s evidence -- more than enough reason -- to hate someone like Batman?  Or Superman?  Or DC?  Or anything, really?  I sure hope the answer isn’t “lose your damn mind”.

March 21, 2016

On Final Fantasy and Lost Empathy -- ACT II

I don’t want to risk slotting into the hole of “the Final Fantasy guy”, because that’s a hard hole to escape from.  Also, I’m seriously not equipped for it; I haven’t even played half of the main games in the franchise, after all.  Even then, you could still argue that I haven’t played that many -- depending on how you feel about some of the modern installments, i.e. entries in the so-called Lightning Saga and Final Fantasy Type-0.  Still, a franchise as famous as Final Fantasy can bore a squishy nook into any gamer’s brain.  As parasitic worms would.  Probably.

In any case, my backlog reaches into the heavens, and one of those games happens to be Final Fantasy 10.  Granted I’d already finished it at least once before, but I thought I’d have a look at it to see how it held up.  That’s becoming an increasingly-lower priority, since the Best Friends Zaibatsu started an LP of the game; naturally, I’ve been following it as closely as I can.  They’re playing through it so I don’t have to.  And as a result, I’ve come to a shocking conclusion.

I think I like Tidus.  I think I like Tidus now more than I ever did -- and he’s at risk of becoming my favorite Final Fantasy lead.

March 17, 2016

So How Good is Ubisoft, Really?

I hope that title doesn’t imply that Ubisoft is a developer/publisher solely capable of evil -- as if we can only count on it for acts of avarice, trickery, and the closest thing to evil a company could ever know.  It can do a lot more than that, right?



Well, let’s go ahead and move on, and not think about that implication any longer than we have to.

March 14, 2016

Street Fighter V: A Lickety-Split Character Guide

I hope you can appreciate the sheer audacity of someone who can lose to a basic throw applied ad nauseam has deciding that he’s got the credibility to put together a character guide.  My chutzpah strokes the heavens themselves.

So yeah, I’m by no means an authority on the subject of Street Fighter V, or fighting games in general.  But I’ve played (and lost in) just enough of them to have a grasp of certain concepts.  By extension, I’ve been able to glean a thing or two in my time with SFV.  And seeing as how I had more than enough content for a full post, I figured I should share.  You know, just in case anyone wanted to compare notes.

Okay?  Okay.  Then let’s do this lickety-split.  Here we gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  (Off Dead Man’s Curve.)

March 10, 2016

UnchartedPalooza!! Drake’s Deception

I want to start this post off with a list of games. 

*pulls envelope out of pocket and unfolds a sheet of paper*

Ahem.  So.  This list of games includes, in no particular order:

--Tales of Zestiria
--Xenoblade Chronicles X
--The Witcher 3
--Metal Gear Solid V
--Street Fighter V
--Yakuza 4
--Valkyria Chronicles
--Ni no Kuni

By no means is this a complete list, but I’m sure you can already guess the meaning behind them.  Indeed, this is a backlog of games that I want to play -- and hopefully write about at some point.  Moreover, it’s a list of games that are readily available to me; they were within a few steps of me every time I sat down to play Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.  But I refused to play them until I cleared every last game in The Nathan Drake Collection.

And every time I sat down to play Drake’s Deception, I was reminded just how dearly, how desperately I wanted to bail and play something else.

March 7, 2016

Let’s discuss Street Fighter V (Part 2).

So in the last post, it sounded like I was pretty hard on Street Fighter V -- and I hate that it had to come out that way.  I wanted to sing about the game’s praises from dawn till dusk for the next eight months.  But with so many complaints and controversies spiraling around the game -- with more than enough justification -- it’s not like I can bury my head in the sand.  People that are angry have a right to be angry.  Those who are shaking their heads at Capcom have the grounds to do so.  The SFV launch is appreciable for releasing sooner rather than later, but it did so in a less-than-ideal state.

At least, that’s what it says on paper.  But the devs dumped a lot of time and effort into the actual game, and it shows.  I’m not going to say this is the best SF ever, because I’m way out of my depth on that one.  But this is still an amazing SF game, if you ask me.  It’s certainly my favorite Capcom fighter in recent years, since it’s got a lot going for it.  Chief among them, the music.  Survival Mode’s taken some heat, but everything was forgiven when I first heard the Congratulations jingle.

IT’S SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.  But anyway, let’s talk about the actual game.