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

June 30, 2016

Shower Thoughts with Persona 5

So Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is finally out.  Say what you will upfront about its choice to dive headfirst into idol culture (or the Japanese entertainment industry at large), but you know what?  Can we just take a minute to appreciate the fact that it even came out at all?  True, it’s not the game anyone expected when a cross between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem was announced -- and we’ll always be left wondering “what could have been” if the collaboration truly mashed the two together.  On the other hand, this is a game that’s not only trying to say something on its own terms, but also something that -- given its style and content -- could’ve stayed chained up within Japan’s borders.  Let’s count our blessings here.

As of this post -- or this paragraph, specifically -- I haven’t played Tokyo Mirage Sessions just yet.  I will soon, though.  It’s kind of ill-advised, given that I still need to beat Xenoblade Chronicles X, and poor Tales of Zestiria is basically howling at the moon every night.  But I suppose at least a quick look won’t hurt.  Besides, we’re still a ways out from Persona 5; if anything’s going to ease the sting of waiting for THE MOST STYLISH GAME IN HISTORY, then it might as well be Persona Lite.

With that said, I’ve been thinking about Persona 5 a bit recently -- and not just getting swept up by the visuals.  Or at least trying not to.  But again, we’re dealing with THE MOST STYLISH GAME IN HISTORY…which also includes a Kamen Rider girl.  Be still, my heart.

June 27, 2016

How Many Reboots is Too Many?

First things first: even though the title has “reboots” in it, I’m extending the scope of this post to include reboots, remasters, and reimaginings.  Also, I’m tacking on sequels to the mix, especially if they pick up on a long-dormant canon or franchise.  So…yeah, you just know this’ll be a fun post.

Anyway, Independence Day: Resurgence has hit theaters -- a little before the actual Independence Day, but close enough to it.  Supposedly, it’s a continuation of the movie that it shares a name with; the aliens that ran amok in ’96 are back with a vengeance, and now it’s up to the good guys to fight them off.  Or something.  I can’t say I’m in any rush to see it -- which is to say I’d rather give a piggyback ride to a rhinoceros -- and the reviews out so far suggest that dodging it is probably a good idea.  So my brother asked me if I wanted to go see it, because of course he did.  I politely refused, because he was the same person who thought seeing RoboCop 2014 was a good idea.

Side note: I was thinking about that movie when I accidentally scraped my middle finger.  I blame RoboCop ’14 for my minor injury, and relish the fact that it was my middle finger.

June 23, 2016

On Overwatch and a Call for Elegance

This would normally be the part where I launch into a paragraphs-long tangent only slightly related to the topic at hand, but I think I’d better get straight to the point.  I’m taking a hardline stance on this and saying what I’ve had in mind for years now: video games need more elegance.  Or, if not that, then video games need more elegant characters.  Or just elegance in general.

I’ve got no problems admitting Overwatch is the catalyst for this post.  Really, it’s my sincere hope that it’s the catalyst for changes throughout the industry as well as the gamer zeitgeist; it’s one thing to beg and plead for change in posts and articles and videos, but it’s another thing entirely to have it subtly suggested by the media we consume.  That is to say, Overwatch isn’t directly asking for diversity in games.  It’s just doing its best to prove how freakin’ cool it is when you have a cast that mixes it up.  Given the choice (and the resources), it’s always best to offer more options and means of expression.  That way, everyone can be happy.

And you know who makes me happy in this game?  Mercy.  Because she’s literally the best.

June 20, 2016

E3 2016: Forgive or Forget?

Is this Overwatch?  No?  Then E3 2016 gets a 0 out of 10.  Would not watch again.

All right, seriously, though?  I have to start by being honest: I didn’t really care about E3 this year.  In the weeks and months leading up to it, I was basically ambivalent; I couldn’t summon up the will to care too much about it, knowing that A) all the information I needed would be plastered online in days’ time, and B) getting invested in E3 meant sitting through more press conferences.  More played-out buzzwords.  More non-indicative trailers.  More promises of glory that would fail to deliver.  More chomping at the bit to get past the stuff I don’t care about.  More cringe by the barge-load.  The only positive point, ostensibly, would be the annual showcase of Cuphead footage -- which to be fair almost justifies the whole expo.

So as much as it strains my credibility, I have to admit that I’m writing this E3 post while skipping out on a majority of the conferences.  Maybe I’ll go back and watch stuff eventually; I’ve seen a supercut already, but there’s more to digest.  And I will, especially if the Super Best Friends put up their reactions (and I’d assume that’s available via some Twitch stream archives).  But for now?  I want to do something different besides run down the major conferences and companies.  I want to take time out to talk about E3 -- and in particular, a topic that’s been occupying my brain space for the past month:

Is E3 basically The Apology Expo?

June 16, 2016

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Colon Trailer Analysis for Blogging

The back half of this post’s title is mine, albeit one that’s a spin on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie.  The front half is actually the name of an upcoming game…and it makes my soul hurt.

Admittedly -- and I know this isn’t fair, but work with me here -- the mere existence of this game makes my soul hurt.  Oh, look, it’s an HD uptick for Dream Drop Distance.  I’ll say upfront that I haven’t played that one or watched a full LP, mostly because of a sore lack of interest.  But maybe once this new edition comes out, I’ll give it a try.  The problem is that if I do, it’d mean getting into the rest of what the package offers.  That is to say, it means more nonsense strapped onto a franchise long since brought to its knees by nonsense, drivel, and Tetsuya Nomura’s machinations.

It’s like…I remember Kingdom Hearts 1, and I enjoyed it when I first played it (long after its release, but whatever).  It made me a fan of the franchise.  And when I replayed the game a few years ago, I realized that not only does it hold up, but it’s also probably one of the strongest entries in the whole thing -- or at least my favorite of the bunch.  Just like the infamous theme song says, it was simple and clean.  Well, relatively speaking, but it still told a mostly-concise, mostly-direct story worthy of both the Disney and Final Fantasy names.

But that was a long time ago.  And what do we have now?  Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.  So let’s talk about the trailer before I just go “fuck everything”, wither into a husk, and drift away on the wind.

June 13, 2016

RE: Overwatch

So you know what I realized?  Overwatch is the first game I’ve ever bought for the PC.

No, really.

No, really.

No, really.

June 9, 2016

Super Terrible Ideas Time: YouTube Arrange

I’ve resigned myself to a fate of being “behind the curve”.  I’m used to it.  People were using Facebook for years (and turning their backs on it) by the time I even had the thought of making an account.  When everybody was jumping on the iPod and mp3 player train, I still crammed a whole CD player in my pocket -- though I’m thankful I had some pretty big pockets on my pants.  The only thing I’m really up to date on in the technology world is video games, and even then I’ve got some pretty big gaps.  How many PC games have I missed by being strictly console-based?  Probably just under infinity.

I’m no trendsetter.  Honestly, I’m not even sure I want to be.  I’m fine with following the examples (and leads) of others, as long as I can put my own spin on things.  In the same sense that a painter won’t throw away a canvas and palette just because da Vinci already made the Mona Lisa, I won’t throw away the tools available to me just because the road’s been well-traveled.  Not that I’m comparing myself to a true Renaissance man, of course; I’m just saying that if there are tools that’ll let me create, I’ll go ahead and create.

And maybe I’ve been overlooking the biggest tool of all: YouTube videos.

June 6, 2016

Let’s discuss RWBY (Part 2).

Is it even possible to talk about RWBY without talking about shipping?  I don’t know.  Can you talk about any story without talking about shipping?

I don’t know.  I jumped on the RWBY train so late that I had to solve a Dan Brown-style mystery just to find the station.  There’s a lot of ground I need to cover in terms of the fanbase, but I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to take the plunge.  There was apparently a “Lettergate” controversy recently where a scorned employee tried to slander Rooster Teeth/the production crew, and…well, not a lot of people came out of it clean.  But even without that, there’s still too much to catch up on.  Opinions, theories, reactions, and who knows how many in-jokes; the most I can hope for is to enjoy the fan art that pops up on the subreddit.  Most of it, I’ve found, focuses on the relationships between the characters -- well, give or take.

I’m not complaining about it or saying that it’s wrong.  It’s hard to pretend like RWBY doesn’t lend itself to a shipping bonanza, given that there’s literally a mini-arc that has all the cute boys and cute girls getting together for a school dance.  But still, you’d think that with the sheer preponderance of fan art featuring two characters snuggling up or flirting with each other, the show was actually a romance instead of an action series.  Or…is it a comedy series?  Or…is it a drama?

I might be thinking too hard about this.  Let’s move on to something else.

There’s a point where it SPOILS
There’s a point where it SPOILS
There’s a point where there are lots and lots and lots of SPOILERS in this post

Yeah.  Nailed those lyrics.

June 2, 2016

Let’s discuss RWBY (Part 1).

If you’ve spent more than ten minutes reading my stuff, you might have noticed that I’m a fan of the ongoing Tales series of JRPGs.  I haven’t played every installment in the franchise -- it’s a good twenty years old, after all -- but what I have played has been intensely rewarding.  While I wouldn’t call it the perfect franchise (we don’t talk about Dawn of the New World), it’s got such a high level of consistency that you can almost always depend on them for a good time.  Well, I can, at least.  Don’t take everything I say as a ringing endorsement, or you’ll end up burning my name in effigy.

Part of what makes the Tales games special is, in my opinion, something that ties back to something I said offhandedly a while back.  To paraphrase, Tales is a JRPG series made by people who hate JRPGs.  The genre’s fine as-is, but it’s long since buckled from the strain of archetypes, clichés, and absurdities thrown out without a care.  At times, it feels like the effort starts and stops with the character designs -- and everything gives way to ludicrous plotting and/or an impassable wall of angst.  By and large, the Tales games sidestep that; they tend to do away with the emo ennui that the genre’s (rightfully) stereotyped with having, and skewers some of the classic tropes by the halfway point or earlier.  To wit: Tales of Symphonia does in about 10 hours what Final Fantasy X did in 30.  And I think X is one of the good ones.

Why do I bring all this up, given the post’s title?  It’s simple.  It’s because if you ask me, RWBY is an anime made by people who hate anime.  Well, in a sense.  But I’ll get to that.

This will be the SPOILERS you’re waiting for
This will be the SPOILERS that…uh…door…roses…crap, I’m bad at remembering song lyrics.