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

September 29, 2016

Shower Thoughts with Frozen and Star Wars

Okay, quick question to start things off: are the Star Wars prequel movies still canon?

Well, a cursory Google search -- and requisite findings -- suggests that they are.  Apparently, it was only the Expanded Universe that got booted into the Sarlacc pit; I can’t say that I was a diehard consumer of that fiction, but I can understand why anyone would get unthinkably salty at the thought of it.  How many good stories in there suddenly lose their impact because executives from on high decreed “lol, nope”?  Granted those stories still exist, so the sting is lessened; on the other hand, the fact that the beloved prequels are still in place can’t have gone over well with some.

I know it’s a little late to ask this, because the deal’s long since been sealed.  But I’ve been thinking about it, because Rogue One had its trailer drop.  I was in no rush to watch it, but I managed to get over my apathy and give it a look -- and honestly, I think it looks fairly interesting.  Plenty of potential, for sure, so I’m hoping it goes well.  Granted there’s a dark part of me that wonders why there needs to be a prequel movie about taking down the Death Star (and to a lesser extent its origins) when we all know it gets summarily REKT in the canon on three separate occasions, but whatever.  That sure is a movie they’ve got on the way.

With that in mind, I’m WAY more interested in Frozen 2.  For…some reason.

September 26, 2016

Introducing: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Blogging

This is a post on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, so that brings with it an immense responsibility.  Expectations.  A duty that must be fulfilled without question.

So I guess I’d better get cracking.  Let’s run through as many JoJo memes as possible right off the bat. 

September 22, 2016

Shower Thoughts with For Honor

Full disclosure: up until recently, I haven’t really cared about For Honor.  I saw its reveal trailer and thought it was fine -- something that’d find a home in the arms of gamers, but not something I was tripping over myself to play.  So all the news, articles, footage, and interviews that have likely gone up by this point?  My tactical dodge-rolling let me miss every last bit of it.  Am I richer or poorer for it?  Time will tell.

Conversely, my brother was decidedly amped up for it.  He’d bring it up in passing every now and then, in the same awed tone he’d used to show excitement for upcoming games he was sure wouldn’t let him down (like Destiny and The Division, both of which he dropped within 1.5 months).  But when it comes to hype, he’s no stranger to it.  So he announced one night that he got into the For Honor alpha -- through what I assume is a Faustian blood ritual vis a vis uPlay and the Ubisoft Club -- and invited me to try out the split-screen multiplayer.  It turned out that said split-screen wasn’t in the alpha (which I can’t say was a surprise), but we both had some hands-on time with it.

What do I think of it?  Who cares, baby?  There’s a bigger question at hand here: what’s Ubisoft’s endgame with this, uh, game?

September 19, 2016

Should Nintendo Keep Reviving its IPs?

I’ve mentioned this in passing, but I’ve got a buddy who asks me about the Nintendo NX pretty much every time we cross paths.  He’s not wrong for it; the house of Mario has been horrifically mum on the subject, and I’m at a point where I just want them to show it off.  There’s playing the cards close to the chest, and then there’s shoving them directly into your lungs -- at some point you’re just going to end up hurting yourself.  If Nintendo’s big reveal doesn’t sync up with the anticipation and speculation it’s been mongering for well over a year, then it might start the NX off on the wrong foot immediately -- which to be fair is something that Nintendo’s already learned in the past few years.

Still, I wish the Big N nothing but the best.  Even if the Wii U isn’t the most popular console, I’m extremely grateful for its existence.  In a world where the PS4 spent 2013 through the first quarter of 2015 floundering its way to millions of sold consoles, the Wii U won the moral victory with gusto.  It didn’t rely on unkept promises from marketing campaigns, and it didn’t coast on goodwill earned from the Xbone’s onstage seppuku.  It did the very best it could -- and still does today -- with what really matters: the games.

But now Nintendo’s opting for a do-over -- and I’m wary of what that means for the future.

September 15, 2016

RE: Ace Attorney

Real talk: I have no idea what jury duty means.  And at this rate, I doubt I ever will.

September 12, 2016

What if AAA Games Were Less Violent?

Confession time: up until a few days before its release, I didn’t know very much about No Man’s Sky.  From what I can gather, I wasn’t the only one; the narrative being spun around it is that the sheer vagueness of what you could do -- to the point where posts and articles had to be uploaded explaining the game -- made for a game that let you do pretty much everything.  I didn’t need that much from it, because the idea of going on a sick space adventure is something that personally appeals to me.  I did want to be an astronaut when I was seven, after all, and that burning desire to see space hasn’t left just yet.

But my desire to see space from the perspective of No Man’s Sky is -- well, it’s diminished.  I’m sure it’s all right, and that it’ll be updated into greatness somewhere down the line.  Likewise, I’m so glad it exists as a potential first step, and I hope some real good comes from it in the future.  But when I see clips like this one floating around, it’s hard for me to get too excited.  And then I remember that I’ve still got infinity hours left to parse through in Xenoblade Chronicles X, the content of which is still providing me with stuff I never even knew I wanted.  (Whenever “Uncontrollable” has its chorus go full tilt, my whole body basically goes “das it mane”.)

Still, No Man’s Sky has gotten me thinking about what games can be.  Of course, it hasn’t accomplished that alone.  I have Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End to “thank” as well.

September 8, 2016

Let’s discuss Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (FINALE).

[heavy drinking intensifies]

Let me ask you something: why is Sam in this game?

No, seriously.  Why is Sam in this game?

[remorse intensifies]

September 5, 2016

A Super Wonderful Cross-Promotional Post

In the immortal words of the (still-living) Chef Gordon Ramsay, I’m going to do something I’ve never, ever done before.  You see, I’m in the habit of uploading posts here on Cross-Up as well as onto the community blogs of gaming site Destructoid.  It doesn’t happen super-often -- less than 1/7th of the content here has gone there -- but it’s nice to give my posts some extra play on a gaming site of some renown.

In any case, some of the posts there are specifically tailored for Destructoid and its audience.  That’s a pretty rare occurrence, but it has happened before.  This is one of those cases; having hit a major milestone there, I decided to take time out to thank the community.  And since I’m me, that “thanks” ended up becoming a 3,000-word post that made a general statement about The Wonderful 101 (i.e. why it’s so friggin’ good).  There’s some substance to unpack in that post -- so much so that I didn’t want to just leave it there on Dtoid.  So!  Instead of uploading a different post here, I’m linking back to that post and having you read content there instead.  Don’t worry; this probably won’t happen often.  Just think of this as the first official Cross-Up field trip.

Click on this link to head on over and give it a read.  Or, alternatively, click on this link to see Overwatch and JoJo coming together in LITERALLY THE BEST way possible.

September 1, 2016

Let’s discuss Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Part 2).

I know this is a post on Uncharted 4, but I feel like I should start off by mentioning Who Killed Captain Alex.

I saw it basically under the same circumstances that introduced me to Dinosaur Island -- i.e. “celebrating” the holidays with bad movie night.  But even though I went in expecting the worst, I found myself getting into the movie.  The story behind it is bizarre, to say the least, and that’s before you get into the actual movie -- which to put it simply is a Ugandan kung fu murder mystery.  Despite that (and the utterly absurd “dub”), I couldn’t help but grasp characters, motivations, and themes.  It was as much about “mortal combat” as it was about understanding the impact of the late captain, and what it meant to exact revenge for him and those closest to him.  Coupled with the sincere effort and energy infused into the film, it’s hard not to feel a sense of admiration.

Even if Who Killed Captain Alex is held together by pocket change, used floss, and a whole lot of hope, it still manages to impart something on an audience.  No matter how deep of a read you make, there’s still something to enjoy -- something to respect despite (or maybe because of) the pitiful visuals.  So while it is technically a bad movie, it doesn’t quite come across as one.  Why?  Because it’s proof that it doesn’t take much to win people over.  It doesn’t take much to win me over, even if my posts have suggested otherwise over the years.  Good stories come in many forms, regardless of the money or resources poured into it.  Still, that’s the immutable end goal: to tell a good story with the means available to you.

So here we are with A Thief’s End.  And disagree if you will, but I’m convinced that it either has a terrible story, or one so baffling that even now I have yet to grasp it.  And this is coming from someone who could grasp Who Killed Captain Alex.