Does whatever a spider can! Let's discuss Spider-Man: Homecoming!


September 25, 2017

BlazBlue, 8.213 Years Later (Part 2)

It’s past September 19th.  Yo, when’s mahvel?  I mean…where’s the latest Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite post?

It’s coming, don’t worry.  But if I’m going to talk about it, I want to make sure I’m ready first -- which means I need to put some serious time into it.  I have already with my prototype team of Captain Marvel and Haggar (coupled with the Space Stone so I can trap people in the Shame Cube), but it feels like an insufficient , almost infinitesimal amount.  Do I really have a grasp of the mechanics?  Possibly, given that I saw a fair number of wins in my first online session.  But I have my doubts -- and more importantly, I don’t just want to play the same two characters over and over again.  Somebody has to rep X, after all.

So I’ll save the Infinite stuff for later, because if I had to guess, this is going to be a multi-post endeavor.  Fine by me, I suppose, even though there’s other stuff I want to talk about.  Like…I know this is off-topic, but can we just take a minute to celebrate MasterChef?  I’ve been watching since day one, but this was the first season to have me tears.  And swell up with joy.  And pump a fist for the person I hoped would win actually winning it.  It ain’t Iron Chef, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Okay, enough messing around.  Let’s talk about BlazBlue some more.

September 21, 2017

BlazBlue, 8.213 Years Later (Part 1)


Well, I’ve been on a roll lately with these “X Years Later” posts, so I figure I should go ahead and keep the streak going.  Although since I’m dealing with a wider time gap than the last two posts, it’s probably worth mentioning that leap years aren’t taken into the title’s calculation.  Then again, I can’t imagine those extra days having too big of an impact.  It’s just something to think about, should you decide to take me to court over it.  I hope it doesn’t come to that.

If you’re just joining me here, I’ll admit that part of the reason for this post is a knee-jerk reaction to my brother’s opinion (because as discussed, he’s the inspiration for an insane number of posts).  Even though BlazBlue: Central Fiction just got an update and a new character, he’s about ready to drop it for reasons I can’t begin to fathom -- one of which, in his words, is that BB is “Guilty Gear for babies”.  Is it really, though?  Is BB as a whole worthy of any scorn it’s received over the course of its lifespan?  I’ll go ahead and spoil it right now: no, I don’t think it’s worthy.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t parts that deserve some dirty looks, but I’ll get to that.

So let’s not delay.  Here we go -- starting with my favorite arcade opening.

September 18, 2017

RE: Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite


Hey, welcome back to Cross-Up.  Glad you’re here.  I’ve been putting some more time into the latest version of BlazBlue, and I’m dying to talk about my findings.  Even if that franchise’s future is up in the air, I’ll gladly admit that --

Wait, hold on a second.  Isn’t there another fighting game coming out this week?

*checks release schedule*

*sighs heavily*

All right.  I guess I’d better get ahead of this.

September 14, 2017

Shower Thoughts with BlazBlue: Central Fiction

So, how ‘bout them anime fighters, huh?

You know, it’s funny.  I remember a time when it seemed like we would never get another Guilty Gear game (i.e. a totally new one instead of a revamp like Accent Core), but Arc System Works pulled through by introducing the world to Ragna, Jin, and all the rest -- “the rest”, of course, being high-octane sprite battles and tunes provided by verifiable rock deity Daisuke Ishiwatari.  Now the tables have turned, though.  Guilty Gear is back via the Xrd series, while BlazBlue is most likely on its way out thanks to (what I assume is) a wrapped-up story.

Full disclosure: I know BB has its detractors, but I’m not one of them.  I like the franchise, and I think -- or at least hope -- that there’s room for both it and GG in the fighting game world.  Then again, supporting both might stretch ArcSys’ resources too thin, soooooooooooooooooooooo…yeah, not a pleasant thought.

So let’s sidestep the grim realities of game development and wealth disparities.  Let’s get in deep with BlazBlue.  And, more specifically…

September 11, 2017

What Anime Should I Watch? (Also, I’m a Kamen Rider)


So a funny thing happened the other day.  See, Kamen Rider Build started airing on September 3rd, and -- as a fan of the franchise for a good four years now -- I’ve been following its progress and details whenever I can.  I haven’t seen the first episode yet, mind you, but I’ve seen clips and read up on details.  One point in particular crossed my path: apparently, Build’s special moves (some of them at least) are called “Boltech Finish” and “Boltech Break”.  Seem familiar?  Well, depending on how you hear the sounds and read the katakana used to craft them, it can be interpreted as a B or a V.  In other words?  If you go by what TV Tropes has on the series, it’s actually a “Voltech Finish” and a “Voltech Break”.

To quote the famed nihilist philosopher Homer Simpson: “HE’S NAMED LIKE MY NAME!”

Logic would suggest that it’s just a happy coincidence (because incidentally, Voltech has also showed up in move names in Guilty Gear Xrd and Under Night In-Birth).  Of course, better logic would suggest that, because of my enduring loyalty and constant efforts as the unofficial herald of The Church of Rider Kicks, the creators from on high paid tribute to me, my humble and most undeserved self, in the best way possible.  So yeah, I'm basically a Kamen Rider now.  Just give me a belt, a mask, and a motorcycle, and I’m all set.


…Okay, let’s talk about anime for a bit. 

September 7, 2017

Hijacked by Hurricanes (But Also Politics)


So here’s a fun fact about me: I was born in Houston.

Yep.  It’s gonna be one of those posts.

September 4, 2017

Overwatch, 1.29 Years Later


There was a time when I was able to accurately tell my teacher that The Sims was the best-selling PC game of all time.  Near as I can tell, that’s no longer the case.  I would’ve thought that Overwatch had taken the crown by now, but I forgot we live in a world where Minecraft exists.  That’s not to say that Blizzard’s big shooter hasn’t done well on the charts; there’s a damn good reason why fanart for it has clogged the internet, and it’s not just because Tracer’s spandex-clad caboose.

Because as you know, Mercy is literally the best.

And man, Overwatch has seriously been on a tear recently, hasn’t it?  Junkertown announced with a goofy new short!  Then you get a REAL short starring everyone’s favorite character, Mei!  Deathmatch incoming!  New ult for Mercy, because the best must keep getting better!  And of course, Doomfist came out not too long ago -- sans Terry Crews, but I think we can live with that given the nature of the character.  So, how’s the game doing overall?  What’s the hot take on it well after its release?

Probably pretty good.  But I can only speak for myself, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.  Here’s what I think.

August 31, 2017

Street Fighter V, 1.539 Years Later


I just love the fact that I dumped 100,000 points of Fight Money into unlocking one of the earlier Season 2 characters in Street Fighter V literally three days before the announcement of the next character -- who then proceeded to drop two days later.  Like, I was under the impression that I’d have more time to play, both to get used to my new choice (Kolin) and earn at least a little money towards the next (Menat).  NOPE.  Boy, do I feel like a clown.

Anyway, Street Fighter V.  It’s been out for a good while now, and both it and Capcom have taken heat.  More, and more, and more scorn has been flung their way, to the point where -- if you go strictly by the comments sections online -- one out of every three people hates the game.  Is that a fair assessment?  Well, having put some time into the game, and with so much time passed since its 2/16/16 release date, I think I need to put my own thoughts out there.  At the end of the day, I can only speak for myself.

Still, let me say this to start: the people that like (or love) SFV are entirely justified.  And the people that are disappointed in (or hate) SFV are also entirely justified.

But enough of that.  Here’s what I think.  Ready?  Here we go!

August 28, 2017

So Yu-Gi-Oh is basically JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.


And vice versa, maybe?  It’s possible.  But having put some time into Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V (and Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged) recently -- and all four parts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure months prior to that -- it’s getting harder and harder for me to ignore the similarities between the two.  I guess that’s to be expected when JoJo has been around for more than thirty years and had a massive influence on popular culture (in Japan for sure, but it’s seeping into the west).  Arguably, any given Joe Blow could make a post titled “So Pokémon is basically JoJo”, as an example.   Still…boy, there are some glaring similarities.

So let’s go over a few of them.  Maybe then, it won’t be as utterly mortifying for me anyone to admit that they’re watching a show built around a freaking card game.

August 24, 2017

Valkyria Revolution: It’s So Bad (Part 3)


So I have a question to start off: why do things suck?

By “things” I mean, of course, products in the media and entertainment industries.  Movies, TV shows, books, music, video games -- all of that and more.  One would think, or at least hope, that if a product is allowed to grace store shelves (physical or digital), then it should be good enough to merit that.  The gatekeepers on all walks of entertainment should, in theory, do their jobs and keep the trash from becoming available for purchase.  Right?

But even if we overlook the business aspect of the equation, there’s still the creative input and vision that goes behind the stuff that sucks.  As of this post, it’s 2017.  Media consumption is easier than it’s ever been thanks to various technological advents -- and it’ll only get easier from here.  Creators and audiences alike should have an idea by now of what works and what doesn’t.  What’s good and what’s bad.  What’s appreciable and what’s unacceptable.  Audiences should be able -- if not willing -- to call out fouls in a product.  But they shouldn’t have to reach that point in the first place, because good content creators should have the skill to avoid some of their respective media’s worst vices.

That’s how it should be.  Except it isn’t.  Valkyria Revolution is proof of that.

*sigh* Let’s talk about the main character.

August 21, 2017

Are We Done with Zombies Yet?


Would it enhance or reduce my credibility right out of the gate if I admitted that I haven’t watched an episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead in years?  Probably reduce, but at least you’ll know where I’m coming from here.

I used to watch the show every Sunday, but in all honesty, I came in late.  I didn’t see a single episode of the show until somewhere in the midst of Season 2 -- and from what I can gather I chose a hell of a starting point.  Farm life without amenities!  People arguing!  Sometimes there’s a zombie!  People arguing!  Friendly fire!  People arguing!  Incredibly poor choices!  People arguing!  Now there’s a bunch of zombies!  People arguing!  So yeah, I can’t say that I had the best impression of the show, but I stuck with it.  I’ll get into why I dropped it in a little bit, but for now I’ll switch gears.

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably well aware of how much zombie fiction has dominated the landscape -- up to and including that long since established holy bastion of artistry, video games.  But the times, they are a changin’.  So that makes me wonder: have we reached peak saturation with zombies?  Are they on their way out, having done their duty across all forms of media?

Uh, probably not.  But work with me here -- even if Sony and SIE Bend Studio won’t.

August 17, 2017

Valkyria Revolution: It’s So Bad (Part 2)


Oh God, I can feel a migraine coming on already.

*sigh* Let’s just grit our teeth and power through this.  Okay?

Okay.  So the last post dealt primarily with the gameplay of Valkyria Revolution -- and true to this series’ title, it’s bad.  Stunningly bad.  As I said, not a single choice made was the right one.  Combat is slow, strategy is nonexistent, AI is worthless; the list goes on and on.  (Boy that upgrade system is borked.)  It’s unpleasant from start to finish.  At least, I assume that’s the case -- because I tapped out after seven hours with the game, and didn’t even make it to the halfway point according to the built-in table of contents.  I’m not too broken up about it, because that means I get to put more time into learning some new fighting game characters.  (Why didn’t anyone tell me Dizzy was so cool?)

I can still think of a few questions that need asking and answering, though.  Since this is a video game we’re talking about, gameplay is king.  Well, I assume as much among the general gaming populace.  Can good gameplay compensate for a bad story?  Essentially.  Tekken 7’s story is not great, but I don’t begrudge it when it lets me land a juggle combo into a Rage Art.  Can a good story save a bad game?  Possibly.  That answer will vary between people and games, especially depending on the length.  But as far as I’m concerned, there’s one ironclad rule at play here: you can’t have a game with both bad gameplay AND a bad story.

And guess which game does?

August 14, 2017

So How Good is Fire Emblem, Really?


You know, sometimes it seems like whenever I do these “So How Good is [X], Really?” posts, the title implies that I’m questioning the quality of X.  And technically, I guess I am.  But don’t worry about it.  I don’t mean any ill will, or to make it sound like X is worse than you think it is.

That’s definitely the case with Fire Emblem, at least for me.  I think that it’s pretty good.  Sooooooooooooooooooo…I guess I just summed up this post in a couple of paragraphs?  That’s a new record.  Okay, time to pack it up and go home.  See you guys later.  Go watch some EVO footage or whatever.  It’s got Tekken 7.  And I know how much you love being on the receiving end of Paul’s death fist.

…Okay, let’s talk about Fire Emblem.

August 10, 2017

Valkyria Revolution: It’s So Bad (Part 1)


Even though I’m making a casual reference to the ill-fated Power Glove, don’t get the wrong idea.  I have no love for Valkyria Revolution.  It’s a bad game, and you should do what you can to avoid it.  In fact, my biggest take away from it is that I should go back and play Valkyria Chronicles 1.  I just might when all’s said and done.

With that said?  Valkyria Revolution isn’t just bad.  It’s fascinatingly bad.  And I guess it’s up to me to explain why.

August 7, 2017

Persona 5: Waifus all Night (FINALE)


I just love how this series’ title has taken on a whole new meaning with the reveal of two new dancing spinoffs for the Persona franchise.  On that note?  Hard to believe that there are two instead of just one, but I’m down for it.  Seeing the Phantom Thieves bust a move put a smile on my face, especially when Ryuji and Ann dropped in to pop and lock.

Oh, by the way, Ann’s my Persona 5 waifu.  That was obvious weeks ago, but you know.  Might as well make it official, eh?  Let’s discuss why -- WITH ULTIMATE SPOILERS.  But first…

August 3, 2017

Let’s (Not) Go to the Charts: Thoughts on Review Scores

Are there enough moments from How I Met Your Mother over the years to have clips for any given situation?  Maybe.  It’s probably not as versatile as, say, The Simpsons, but I’d like to think that it’ll do in a pinch.  Like this pinch.  Via this clip.

…I will do whatever I can to keep the memory of How I Met Your Mother alive.  I know it ended and all with a full-on finale -- which is a luxury not every TV show out there can afford -- but still.  I miss it so much.  Thank all the gods for reruns.

Anyway, let’s talk about charts.  And reviews.  And review scores.  And hastily made JPEGs.

But only after Slapbet.

July 31, 2017

Persona 5: Waifus All Night (Part 3)


Okay, I know this post and the last two are about Persona 5’s waifus (those in the main party, at least), but can we take some time out to talk about the potential husbandos?  Or the bros, alternatively?

I’m not debating or downplaying the quality of the ladies in this game.  But given the choice, I’d go with Ryuji above all others without flinching.  If there was a very specific, character-driven alternate ending or string of extra scTales of Symphonia -- and the only way to get them was to get closer to one of your comrades, then I’d shove all of the other waifus out of the way for the chance to pal around with Loud Kiddington.  Ryuji’s my bro, no contest…except it’s still kind of a contest given guys like Yusuke “Lobsters” Kitamura, Sojiro, Mishima, Yoshida, and the rest.
enes -- a la

So on that note?  I’ll go ahead and parrot a sentiment that’s been floating around for a while: give me romance options for the boys/men, whether that involves making a female protagonist or not.  (I’d assume it wouldn’t because of the drain on resources a FeMC would be.)  I don’t want to keep my bros at arm’s length, or treated as the loser option because I didn’t pine after a waifu.  I want to hang out with the characters I think are coolest, regardless of gender.  Chances are high that others feel the same way, or they just flat-out want that romance option because it suits them best.  In which case?  Atlus, don’t let us down next time.  You’re pretty much our only hope in a world where Final Fantasy can barely scrape to the level of mediocrity.

But enough about that.  Let’s get back in the waifu game…with ALL THE SPOILERS.

July 27, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming: What an Upset!


Okay, I know what I’m going to say next will sound like a massive insult, but it’s not.  I mean it with the highest amount of praise one man can offer.  I sincerely hope that no one reading this takes it the wrong way.  So, you know, don’t.

Now then.  What did I think of Spider-Man: Homecoming (assuming that anyone cares)?  It’s simple.  This movie is silly, goofy, cheesy, and barely a cut above a Saturday morning cartoon.

And to reiterate?  That’s a good thing.

WEB SWING!  WEB SWING!  WEB BALL!  SPIDER STING!
GET READY!  MAXIMUM SPOILERS!
…No, wait, I mean -- oh, forget it.  It’s a reference to Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  It always is.

July 24, 2017

Persona 5: Waifus All Night (Part 2)


This post has been brought to you by the power of cheating.

Yes, cheating!  Want immediate profits without doing the work?  Caught in a tight spot because you didn’t prepare in advance like your mother told you to?  Looking forward to embracing a live of vice and criminality?  Then cheat!  Cheat your way to victory -- and you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it!  Order now while supplies last.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming -- featuring Persona 5 waifus.  AND SPOILERS.

July 17, 2017

Persona 5: Waifus All Night (Part 1)


I know this is a controversial opinion, but I think Persona 5 is a great game.  Shocker, I know.  Feel free to skewer me with your pitchforks at any time.

There are many, many, many reasons as to why Atlus’ latest show-stopper has found the fanbase it has now.  The visual flair; the incredible soundtrack; the satisfying story; the snappy gameplay; there’s so much here that works, I feel bad for any other developer who’s even dreamt of jumping into the JRPG ring.  But it’s not like anyone cares about that stuff.  As we all know, the true measure of a game’s worth is the quality of its waifus.  And thus, I stand here today -- well, sit here today to give my thoughts.  Who is, without question, objectively, undeniably the best girl that Persona 5 has to offer?  Who among the cast shines bright as a Cadillac of womanhood?

*shrugs* I dunno.  But I’ve got to play up this bit somehow.  So let’s talk waifus…WITH SPOILERS, of course.  But mostly waifus.

July 13, 2017

Something [REDACTED] This Way Comes


So now that I’ve officially sworn off Final Fantasy (in a sense), I can’t spend months of my life ranting and raving about Squeenix’s latest and greatest “triumph”.  What’s a guy to do in the meantime?  Well, I can think of one thing.

Well, multiple things, really.  But I have to start somewhere, and it might as well be with…a hint.

July 6, 2017

RE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V



I don’t understand how this anime can even exist.

And yes, I know I’ve used that opening line before.  That was intentional.  I’ll explain why in a bit.  But first…

July 3, 2017

The Final Final Fantasy (15) -- Part 3


You know, sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder: “Did I ever like Final Fantasy?”

Actually, no I don’t.  That’s a bold lie, but I have to start this post somehow.

June 29, 2017

Are Video Game Characters Just Functions?


Real talk: I saw this header (sans my edits) on Destructoid a few days ago, and I thought to myself, “AHAHAHAHA!  Oh God, I HAVE to use this in a post somehow!”  I’m so glad I was able to -- although I lament not being able to work in some birds for scale.  In any case?  Peter “Combofiend” Rosas?  If you and/or the rest of the Capcom crew are reading this, then bless your hearts.

So I might as well start this post off right.  It looks like it’s that time again, everyone: now I get to talk about improbably buxom fictional women.


June 26, 2017

The Final Final Fantasy (15) -- Part 2


I’m sure I made this pretty obvious via the last post, but it’s worth saying plainly here right off the bat: no, I haven’t finished Final Fantasy 15.  All things considered, you could argue that I’ve basically dropped it.  I only made it through the first 15 hours, and haven’t looked back since.  And the sad thing is that for the most part, I don’t feel bad about not having it in my life.  It says a lot about the situation when I’d rather put a sum of 177 hours into other JRPGs -- Tales of Berseria and Persona 5 -- than see Squeenix’s latest through to the end.

So with the advent of modern gaming, that puts me in a weird spot.  News has broken that the devs are planning to add in extra content -- DLC, patches, updates, and the like over the months to come.  Presumably, it’s all in service of making the game into a service to continuously suck up money come as close to the creative vision as possible; it’s a way to iron out past mistakes, tackle fan complaints, and add in features that were missing on release day.  Let’s go ahead and sidestep the debate on whether or not that content should’ve been there in the first place for a game in development for a decade.  The question then becomes one of archiving, future-proofing, and integrity.  What happens to someone who wants to see the game as it was originally released?  What if I want to see the game in a state where the devs thought an off-roading Regalia was a pipe dream?

I don’t know.  But I guess it doesn’t matter, because right now I can’t bring myself to care.

June 21, 2017

So How Good is Yu-Gi-Oh!, Really?


Hey, wait a second.  Wasn’t E3 last week?  Shouldn’t I be doing a post on that?  Yes, probably.  But I need to talk about how I’ve strayed further from God’s light, sooooooooooooooo…here you go.  Don’t worry, I’m sure I can come up with something for this post.

But to start things off?  Damn you, Hiroaki Tominaga.  May you be forsaken till the end of days, as you have forsaken me.

June 15, 2017

Tekken 7 X Injustice 2 -- Wait, What?

Breaking news: 2017 still refuses to calm the hell down with this onslaught of game releases.  Setting aside the fact that there’s a new Zelda out an about -- as a herald to a new freaking console -- there have been multiple JRPGs, multiple action-adventure games, and multiple open-world sandboxes.  That’s putting it mildly.  That’s not even close to a complete list.  So, like, if ever there was going to be a way to wipe humanity off the map, it wouldn’t be with something like The Black Plague 2: Black Plague Harder.  It’d be with a bunch of video games.

And now, as of the start of June, the game industry is doubling down with some brand new fighters.  Well, you could argue that it’s quadrupling down with a new version of Guilty Gear and updates to Street Fighter V, but for argument’s sake let’s keep it simple.  NetherRealm Studios dropped Injustice 2 a couple of weeks back, and now -- after a long wait -- Bandai Namco has brought Tekken 7 to the west.

So I guess I’ve got to talk about both of them.  Or die trying.

…I might just die in general, though, because THERE’S SO MANY GAMES OUT THERE RIGHT NOW, HOLY SHIT.

June 12, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Under Your Nose (Part 2)


So how well does the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie hold up after all this time?  Or, alternatively, after just a couple of weeks?  After a fourth, third, or even second viewing?

If I had to be a little presumptuous (at least more than usual), I’d bet that most of the big heads of companies in the entertainment industry thrive on getting as many customers to buy in as early as possible.  You see it all the time with video games, and considering that movies only have so long for their theatrical releases -- not counting trips to DVDs, Blu-Rays, and all sorts of streaming services -- I’d assume they work on the same principle.  Get ‘em on the hook early so that they can enjoy “the thing” now, and pay for “the thing” now.  Time is money.

It’s safe to say that the first Guardians got people on the hook and brought in the cash sooner rather than later.  I’ll go ahead and assume that’s the case for Vol. 2even though I don’t really have to, but whatever.  Plus, the beauty of movies is that instead of replay value after an initial playthrough, people that want to experience it again have no choice but to buy another ticket and fill up theater seats.  But the bigger question is whether or not this movie, or its predecessor, or its brothers in Marvel arms have legs.  Are the MCU offerings good just because of the immediate thrills they provide?  What happens when the thrills wear off?  Will they still be good in the future?

Probably, yeah.  And my reasoning for that can be explained with…rakes.

OIL BOMB!  BEAR TRAP!  BEAR TRAP!  THIS WEIGHS MORE THAN ME!
INCOMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!  (spoilers)
I’LL KILL YOU, YOU SON OF AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA--!

June 8, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Under Your Nose (Part 1)

So by the sound of things, the Wonder Woman movie is actually pretty goodReally good, even.

When I first checked Rotten Tomatoes, the movie was hovering at around 97% on the Tomatometer -- a number so high that it would’ve made me do a spit take if I had anything in my mouth.  Granted that was an early glimpse; I’d imagine that it’ll take time for all of the reviews to reach some semblance of a consensus (and let’s not forget the droves of reviews from critics and bloggers all around who aren’t part of the club).  But for now?  Yeah.  I’m reassured.  I’m happy that it seems like the DC Extended Universe has something worthwhile to its name now, after three back-to-back misfires.  And I’m glad that they seemingly succeeded with the one character they absolutely, positively had to get right.

Does that mean that the DCEU is finally in the race against Marvel now?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  It’s not hard to imagine that Wonder Woman is a fluke, given Justice League looming large like a black obelisk arisen from the accursed depths.  Even though Zack Snyder has stepped away from the movie and the DCEU for personal (but totally understandable and regrettable) reasons, it’s worth noting that he didn’t control and craft it alone.  Suicide Squad says hi, after all.  There’s still time for the executives from on high to screw everything up -- namely, their chances of taking on the MCU.  We’ll see what happens, though.

Wait, isn’t this supposed to be a post on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?  Yeah, but what else is there to say besides it’s funny, it’s good, and go watch it?  There might not be anything more to scrape up -- but I’m sure as hell gonna try.

LOG TRAP!  BOULDER TRAP!  SHRAPNEL TRAP!  SPOILER TRAP!
NOW LET’S…ROCK AND ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!  (With spoilers.)

June 5, 2017

That Thing You Like Sucks (And That’s Okay)


I’ve been at this for a while without any major arguments or controversies.  So, time to jeopardize that in one shot with this post.  Because if there’s one thing I wouldn’t mind doing, it’s rustling tail feathers so much that the flesh will peel right off of the bone.

Ready?  Incendiary opinions, HO!

June 1, 2017

A Lickety-Split Post on Persona 5


Well, I say that it’s going to be lickety-split, but this is Persona 5 we’re talking about -- a game so long that you could clear anywhere from 2 to 10 other games in the time it takes to finish this one.  Also, it’s me we’re talking about, so temper your expectations.  And cancel all your prior appointments.  Just to be safe.

Also?  It should go without saying, but this post WILL have spoilers in it.  Not through the end of the game, because I’m not that far along.  But I’m at the start of the sixth as of writing, so if you’re scared?  There’s your warning.

Also, also?  This post WON’T have anything about waifus in it.  I’m keeping that bullet in the chamber for later.  (Husbandos are fair game, though.)  So without further ado, let’s do this lickety-split.  Relatively speaking.

May 29, 2017

RE: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


*puts on Snake mask*

Kept you waiting, huh?

*peels off mask*

Well, assuming that there’s anyone out there who’s actually been waiting for this.  In any case?  No spoilers in this post, and it’ll be a quick(ish) one.  In a nutshell, though?  For me, the worst part of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was coming home to find a dog with an exorbitant amount of poop stuck to his hair, which necessitated an immediate bath and led to me getting splashed so much that I took on an additional 20 pounds in water weight.

Just thought I’d throw that out there.  It seems slightly relevant to the topic at hand.

May 25, 2017

The New Age of Villains?! (Part 2)


Having only put a paltry 70 hours into Persona 5, I’m not the absolute authority on the game.  From where I’m standing, though?  I’m not afraid to say that it’s got no right to be as good as it is.

Or maybe “addictive” is the word I’m looking for.  Granted that’s a byproduct of its quality -- the overflowing style, the lovable cast of characters, the simple yet satisfying combat, the godlike soundtrack, and more -- but overall, Persona 5 is a hard game to put down.  It’s almost enough to make me go on a months-long hiatus until I see those end credits roll…or, alternatively, until I max out everyone’s Confidant ranks.  I, uh, empathize with Mishima (and to a lesser extent Yusuke) way more than I should.

But even if I were to disappear and huddle in front of my TV for weeks on end?  I’ve got to get through this post first, at the very least.  It’s thematically relevant, after all; some of the stuff I said last time about the cast being potential (if not definitive) villains has already been addressed in satisfying ways.  I still have to see where things will go from there, but A) I’m eager to see how the devs will follow through on what they set up.  More importantly, there’s still point B.

Persona 5 stars a cast that you could interpret as the villains.  Meanwhile, Tales of Berseria stars a cast that you pretty much can’t interpret as anything else but the villains.  And that’s what makes it great.

May 22, 2017

RE: Injustice 2


So I want to do a quick post on Injustice 2 and/or early impressions bit, but there’s something that I need to ask before I get started.  Comic book fans or otherwise, help me out here.  I have a question.

Does DC just plain hate Superman right now?  Does everyone?

May 18, 2017

Going Forward by Going Backward


Well, I had another post planned for today, but…you know what?  Change of plans.  I’ve had novels on the brain recently, and my MO for posting stuff here is that I go with whatever has the biggest mindshare at the moment.  So let’s talk novels.  Specifically, my novel.  That’s what you guys want to read, right?

*crickets chirping*

Would it ease the sting if I also talked about video games?

*crickets chirping*

Let’s just get through this.  And also, let’s pretend I’m not just writing this because of technical difficulties that chose to kick me in the teeth at the worst possible moments.  Because if we can, then that’d be swell.

May 11, 2017

TDMC: Technical Difficulties May Cry


So I’m starting to get the distinct feeling that technology hates me.  Like, all of it.

May 8, 2017

Let’s discuss One Punch Man.

It’s worth noting right off the bat that I watched the entirety of One Punch Man -- well, the first season of its anime, anyway -- in its official subtitled form on Viz’s website.  I’m at peace with that.  I don’t regret it.  With that said, I have seen clips of the dubbed version.  As someone who’s always had an appreciation of dubs, I’m glad that One Punch Man got the treatment it did.  I know that it’s easy and common to hate dubs, and there are legitimate reasons for it.  But they aren’t bad by default.  And when they’re done well, they bring something special to the table.

Doing that post the other day on Mumen Rider (the best hero) got me thinking about subs versus dubs.  Obviously you want to stay true to the source material/creator’s vision, so taking the anime in as “pure” a form as possible is 100% understandable.  But seeing the cyclist for justice take on the Deep Sea King in both the original Japanese and the alternative English highlighted the potential both have -- namely, that they’re two different yet valid interpretations of the same moments.  In the Japanese version, Mumen Rider sounds like a professional hero -- someone who knows what he’s getting into, but ultimately starts letting the cracks show and his emotions spill out when things get desperate.  In the English version?  He starts by sounding impassioned, desperate, and even scared -- but the end result is that the emotions that come out hit with the force of a tsunami.  One scene, two interpretations, both valid and enjoyable in their own way.  That’s rad.

…This is a weird way to start a post on One Punch Man.  Maybe that’s because I’m tempted to write about Mumen Rider again.  So let’s start again -- and start off right.

May 4, 2017

Shower Thoughts with Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite


I should probably start this post by saying that I wasn’t very good at Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  Presumably I’m still not good at it -- unless I snorted up some magic dust from the Fighting Game Fairy -- but it’s been literal years since the last time I touched the game, and I’m at peace with that.  I’m at peace with my skill level, more or less; that is, I’ve accepted that I’m nowhere near tournament-ready, and I’m shivering at the thought of even testing my abilities (citation needed) online.

But hope springs eternal, I guess.  Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is on the way, which means I’ll have the chance to redeem myself.  Now I can finally do the “gitting gud” so breathlessly spoken of in the prophecies of old.  New characters, new systems, new strategies -- the groundwork is all there.  Truly, the next chapter in the franchise -- the glorious union of one of the biggest names in comics and the legendary video game developer -- is something that we should all be celebrating, right?

Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffft.  No, of course not.  Because that’s not how we do things.

May 1, 2017

The New Age of Villains?! (Part 1)


Not to be confused with the New Age of Heroes, of course.

Okay, all joking aside, I’ll say it plainly here.  This post is going to feature Persona 5, and I get the feeling that that’s a touchy subject.  Not because of the game’s quality or content, but because it’s a treasure trove of spoilers right now (and will be for a while; I’ve taken heat for offhandedly “spoiling” Persona 4 via screenshot four years after its release).  I’m not going to spoil much of anything here, because 1) that’s a dirtbag move, 2) it’s a game that deserves to be played raw, and 3) I’m actually not that far into the game compared to others, so I’m a target for spoilers as well.  So, this is only going to go up to the halfway point of the second dungeon.  If you don’t want to know anything that happens before that point, then leave now.

Also?  Notice that the header up there has more than just the Phantom Thieves.  Meaning that, yes, this is also a post on Tales of Berseria -- however tangentially for now -- which means that’ll involve spoilers as well in the near future.  Why?  Because it’s a good-ass game, and the likelihood (if not reality) that there are people out there that haven’t played it -- or worse yet, are going “what’s a Berseria?” -- fills me with enough rage and sorrow to replace every drop of blood in my body with malice that erodes me from the inside out. 

Plus it’s thematically relevant for the topic, so there’s that.

April 27, 2017

RE: Pokémon Sun and Moon


This would be the part where I’d say “Boy, I am late to this”, but I learned something very important.  You see, neither you nor anyone else can point out how late you are as long as you refuse to acknowledge that you were ever late to begin with.  It’s the perfect system.

Anyway, Pokémon Sun and Moon.  Let’s get to it.

April 24, 2017

Let’s discuss Mumen Rider.


Okay, so I know that I’ve said some controversial stuff on this blog before -- COUGHunchartedCOUGH -- but I don’t think anyone’s going to take too much issue with what I have to say next: Mumen Rider is the best character in One Punch Man.  And that’s saying something, if you ask me.

Though while we’re on the subject?  Let me back up and say that One Punch Man is, on the whole, a pretty freakin’ good anime.  Its popularity may have surged relatively recently -- and thus people have likely started throwing stones at it -- but much like JoJo or Attack on Titan, I’d say that that popularity is deserved.  And now that I’ve said that, I’m just going to spend the rest of this post gushing over how freakin’ sick Mumen Rider is as a character.  Like, I would absolutely be down for a full-on Mumen Rider series -- not spinoff, but series -- starring the cyclist for justice.  Granted it’s not a guaranteed success, but…hey, it’d at least be something that caters to me.  And that’s what matters most.

Now everybody sit down and shut up, because Mumen Rider said so.  Or someone of relative import.

April 20, 2017

Shower Thoughts with RWBY (Part 4)


All aboard the RWBY Volume 4 Headcanon Express!

…I would make a longer and more meandering intro, but given that this thing has reached Part 4, I think it’d be best if I speed things up and not drag my feet.  Alternatively, maybe I should hire a full-time editor to shadow my every move (and word) so I can make stuff that’s actually a manageable length.

Then again, if I did that, then I’d have less money for muffins.  Can’t have that.  So let’s get crackin’.

April 17, 2017

Shower Thoughts with RWBY (Part 3)

It was pretty much a given, but RWBY Volume 5 is officially in the works.

The voice actors are (as far as I know) in the middle of recording their lines, and assuming that everything goes well?  We’ll be seeing the next chapter of the story sometime in the fall of 2017.  That’s not too far from now, as of this post -- less than half a year, if we assume that Rooster Teeth is shooting for an episode drop on the Autumnal Equinox.  They probably aren’t, but that’s still a pretty short amount of time.  So before you know it, we’ll know where the crew plans to take the story -- not just the plot, but the development, the setup, the payoff, and the authorial intent. 

It’ll be interesting to see what they do in response to the fans.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have two fingers pressed deep into the pulse of the fandom, but I’d imagine that there are those who like Volume 4’s treatment, and those who resent it.  Whose voice will ring out louder?  Who will Rooster Teeth listen to?  Or will they ignore both camps so they can blaze their own trail?  Course correction is always a possibility, but even if they don’t go to that extreme, Volume 5 will 100% cement whatever style and direction the crew is going to head down.  So for that reason alone, I’m interested in seeing more.

Until then?  Let’s get back to the headcanon action.  I started with Yang and Blake last time, so let’s finish their story off and move on.

April 13, 2017

The Greatest Hits! Oh, and NieR: Automata.

So there’s a comic of NieR: Automata floating around online, which has 2B and 9S having a hypothetical meeting with Lightning and Hope from Final Fantasy 13.  While the two older ladies stay on the sidelines and alternate between stoicism and confusion, the younger boys have something else in mind.  Namely, they wish each other good luck -- for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious to the heroines, but blatantly so for the comic readers.

It’s not that far of a reach to draw parallels between the two.  Superficially -- at least based on the opening hours of NieR -- 9S is more than willing to shadow “onee-san” 2B because he’s got feelings for her.  It’s not so overstated with Hope and Lightning, but I’m sure the hints of romance (however unlikely) are there.  Of course, the key difference is that one of those games is pretty sick, and the other one just makes me sick.  It goes without saying, but NieR: Automata is better than Final Fantasy…even though I’ve only put a few hours into it, and would’ve played more if my body hadn’t nearly given out from an earnest desire for sleep.

So, like…is there any chance that I can become a robot?  Imagine how much work I’d be able to get done.

April 10, 2017

Shower Thoughts with RWBY (Part 2)

So what’s your take on headcanon?

I know that there’s a certain level of futility to it.  After all, I gave Street Fighter V the headcanon treatment before its story mode made the rounds.  There were enough clues to make guesses on where the upcoming A Shadow Falls would go narratively, and so I made those guesses -- about Necalli, about the nature of the Dark Hadou, and more.  Then the actual story came out, and…uh…I don’t want to talk about how wrong I was.

Fans and fandoms are powerful, but they’re nothing in the face of the actual content creators.  That’s probably a good thing in some cases, because A) you have to respect the creative vision of the guys and ladies in charge, and B) giving power to fans who don’t always know better can lead to….well, let’s call it “misfortune” and leave it at that.  The reverse is true, of course; fans can and do create stuff that makes the pros look like amateurs.  But as long as they’re on the bottom rung, they’re doomed to have their best work and razor-sharp skills languish in obscurity.  Why bother with it, then?

Easy.  Because it’s fun.  It’s fun to come up with different takes on a story, especially when it’s something you really care about.  So let’s get ready to have a ball with an alternate, hypothetical take on RWBY and its 4th volume.  More specifically: let’s start with Yang and work backwards.

April 6, 2017

How it Feels to Play Persona 5.


Need someone to sum up Persona 5 in three words in case you don’t have 100+ hours to blow?  I’m your man.  So, here you go.

That.

Escalated.

Quickly.