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.