I wanna take you for a ride (I think)! Let's discuss Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite!


December 14, 2017

RE: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

“We Madoka now.”

I remember using that line to describe Kamen Rider Gaim a few years back, and with good reason.  For those unaware, Gaim -- a tokusatsu series carrying the Kamen Rider torch -- was spearheaded by Gen “The Butcher” Urobuchi, who by then had long since stolen the spotlight with his now-infamous magical girl anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica.  Confession time: I haven’t seen the latter series, but I have seen the former.  And cultural osmosis has made me suspect that there are more than a few parallels between Gaim and Madoka…which I’ll spare you of here, because spoilers are involved.

Parallels or not, Gaim went on to become a fan favorite with plenty of spinoffs to its name.  I’m mostly okay with that; I like Gaim, and I can see why people would absolutely love it, but to me it’s not the be-all and end-all.  Good, but not outstanding; strong, but not without flaw.  It did give us Micchy, one of KR’s best characters (IMO), but it also gave us Kaito, one of KR’s worst characters (IMO).  My thoughts aside, it’s not hard to imagine the showrunners wanting to reproduce the success and fame that Gaim brought in -- especially as a follow-up to the less-than-stellar KR Ghost.

Enter Kamen Rider Ex-Aid -- which at a base level is “We Madoka Now: Revengeance.”  But if you cut even an inch deeper, it’s Gaim 2.0.  But if you cut two inches deeper, then you might have the same opinion I do: Ex-Aid is the bizarro-Gaim.  It’s good for the reasons that Gaim was bad…and bad for the reasons that Gaim was good.

…In my humble opinion, of course.

November 30, 2017

Super Novel Adventures of DOOM (AKA Hiatus Time)


All right, I’m just going to come out and say it: I like Infinite’s theme from Sonic Forces.

I’m an easy mark for songs with heavy guitars and/or metal vibes, so the instrumental aspect has its charms.  The techno stuff is fine, too, especially given the character we’re dealing with -- a masked menace that uses a perversion of science’s power to cast illusions and inspire fear in others.  In theory, that should mean I’d say “the lyrics are the weak link”, but I’m fine with them.  It comes off as someone with a HUGE ego boasting about how strong and cool and deadly they are.  Expected, but appreciable nonetheless.

I’m not 100% in love with the song, granted, but I’ll give it a listen without cringing.  Maybe that’s because I’m inclined to play the contrarian; I’ve seen comments decrying the song and the character as “LOL SO EDGY” and “THE EDGIEST CHARACTER EVER” -- and I don’t really see it.  Is it just because it sounds like a Linkin Park song?  Is it because of the context of the character?  I guess it begs the question of what it means to be edgy in the first place.  Unless we can all come to a consensus on the qualifications, I get the feeling that --

What?  Huh?  What do you mean this isn’t another post on a Sonic game?

*reads title*

Oh.  Okay, let’s shift gears then.

November 27, 2017

Be a hero. Battle for the net.


I feel like I shouldn’t have to do this.  But I guess I have to do this.

*sigh*

All right.  Let’s do this lickety-split.  Because I guess if the government isn’t going to act in our best interests, we’ll have to pick up the slack.

November 23, 2017

What’s the Deal with Sonic the Hedgehog?


This is, like, the fourth post on Sonic that I’ve done in the past couple of months.  Does that mean that this is a Sonic blog now?  I hope not.  I’ve still got more bellyaching to do about Squeenix, and my hunger for vengeance shall not be sated.

In the meantime, though, I have to ask.  What’s the deal with Sonic the Hedgehog?  What deal?  Come on.  You know exactly what deal.  The memes; the OCs; the stigma; the scorn thrown the fanbase’s way; there’s so much orbiting around the blue blur that it’s actually overshadowed the character and his franchise at large.  Now that it’s infected the mainline games, there’s no point in even daring to ignore it.  But for the sake of this post -- and my presumably-life-threatening curiosity -- I want to unpack things however I can.

So that’s what I’ll do.  I’ll warn you upfront though: this post won’t be complete without mentioning Sonic Dreams Collection.  If you don’t know what that is…be grateful.  But I’ve been sitting on these thoughts for a while, so we might as well get through them together.

November 20, 2017

What Should We Do About EA?


Well, I was going to do another post on Sonic the Hedgehog, but it feels like that’s slightly inappropriate right now.  I appreciate the irony of the situation, though; who would have guessed that the company with exclusive rights to the Star Wars franchise (for now) would willingly and eagerly become the villainous empire the canon’s heroes have clashed with for decades? 

I mean, besides everyone.  Because this is EA we’re talking about.  But at least now, it seems like every gamer on the planet is giving Electronic Arts -- an increasingly ill-fitting name -- dirty looks and glares fierce enough to pierce through a steel wall.

So.  Let’s talk about EA.  And not Sonic, unfortunately.

November 16, 2017

Let’s “discuss” Sonic Forces.

When I was nine years old, my mom got me an electronic thesaurus/dictionary to help me with my homework.  See, my third grade class tossed out tons of vocabulary assignments week after week; since we didn’t have a good computer or internet connection at the time -- and I wonder if dictionary.com was even a thing -- my mom got it for me one Christmas to slash homework time down to a fraction.  It worked, and it continued to work for years afterward.  I’ve actually still got it within a foot of me as I type this; it needs batteries, and I suspect the display is busted, but it makes for a good memento.

I’ve always had this theory that whatever you had or did as a child would decide what you’d do in the future.  I’m pretty sure that theory’s been debunked, but I think back to that from time to time.  If I hadn’t gotten that thesaurus as a snot-nosed baby afro, would I have ever wanted to become a writer?  Probably, given that stories helped inspire me, not just tech.  Either way, I’d think that having that gadget around pushed me toward developing stronger diction.  Toward choosing the right word for the task.  Toward saying what needs to be said.

What does any of that have to do with Sonic Forces?  It’s simple.  I don’t need any gadgets or reference materials to give my thoughts.  I can sum up the game in one word.  And unfortunately, that word is flaccid.

November 12, 2017

RE: Re: Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony


Okay, so I think I came up with a workaround for uploading Danganronpa images without spoiling myself to high heaven.  I’ve got the PC version of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, so all I have to do is take direct screenshots as events transpire, and I’m at no risk of tapping the forbidden knowledge.  Ergo, now I’m free to use this picture of Tenko’s shit-eating grin without consequence.  Also, I remembered that Soundcloud is a site that exists, and thus I can head there to listen to the game’s OST.  And thanks to that, I don’t have to worry about video thumbnails/titles that try to spoil me on upcoming content.  On that note: YouTube, what the hell?

This is a lot of effort to put into not learning about a game.  Just as well, though.  Because 1) Danganronpa V3 is kind of blowing my mind right now.  And 2) get this game.

Or, you know, watch an LP.  That works, too.  But also, get this game.

November 9, 2017

Sonic Forces is…Uhhhhhhhhhh?


Wait, didn’t I just do a post on a Sonic game a few weeks back?  Haven’t I met my quota for the year?

Yes, probably.  On the other hand, I’m pretty sure everybody’s already standing by the proverbial barrel.  So I guess I’ll grab my magnum, join in, and play a winning game of Russian roulette with some swimming little fish sticks in the making.

November 6, 2017

Do Me a Solid -- Creepy Song Arrange


Boy, this is gonna be an unreasonable request.  But if past Christmases have taught me anything, it’s that I’m pretty good at making demands and expecting a big payoff from, you know, normal people.  No wonder I only got clothes that one time.

Also, alternative post title: I Should Have Thought of This While it Was Still Halloween, But I Guess This is Okay Too Since I Did a Super Mario Odyssey Post

Wait, would that fit into the Blogger dashboard’s title page?  I don’t know.  I’ve never exactly pushed the limits on the character count.  For titles, at least…

November 2, 2017

Re: Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony


Hey, you.  Yes, you.  You, reading this sentence right now.  Stop.  Shut up.  Listen.

This post is going to contain spoilers for Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.  Everything up to the first class trial -- and a little beyond that -- is up for discussion.  On top of that?  This post is going to contain spoilers for Danganronpa in general, so that anything and everything from the first game, second game, and Ultra Despair Girls can and will be mentioned casually.  (Not the anime, though, because I haven’t seen it…yet.)  Also, do me a solid: don’t go into anything after, during, or before the second trial, i.e. who becomes the next victim and/or who’s the killer.  We’re all struggling against spoilers together.

Okay?  Okay.  So let’s --

NO, I’M SERIOUS.  STOP IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED ON ANYTHING.

Okay.  So let’s talk about this game for real now.  It'll be a hoot.

October 30, 2017

How it Feels to Play Super Mario Odyssey.

Oh, come on.  Of course it’s good. 

It’s Mario.  It’s a first-party Nintendo game.  It’s a continuation of the momentum the company has built up over the past year or so, given the release of Breath of the Wild back in March.  I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say it at this point (for fear of it becoming utterly pointless lip service), but here we go again.  Even if this is another Mario game, it’s one that manages to break the mold while staying familiar -- adding twists to the established formula so that it takes on its own character.  As it should.  So for that reason alone, I’m confident in saying that Super Mario Odyssey is a good game.

But you know me by now, I hope.  It’s not enough to say it’s good.  We need to cut through the surface and figure out why it’s good.  That’s where the real meat lies.  Well, either that, or a few pints of blood that are bound to spray all over our collective faces.  

But let’s keep this E-rated for now, eh?

October 26, 2017

October 23, 2017

Re: ARMS


This may come as a surprise, but I think that ARMS might be a weird game.  I don’t know, I haven’t quite decided yet.

October 16, 2017

When You Switch Upon a Star


*clears throat*

When you Switch upon a star
Makes no difference who you…uh…wait, hold on…

Crap, coming up with Nintendo-themed lyrics for this song is harder than I thought.  So forget it.  I got a Switch.  There.  Enjoy your song.

October 12, 2017

Let’s discuss Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (Part 3).


Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.

All right, we can get through this.  It’ll be fine.

Let’s talk about Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and its story mode -- because there’s a lot to UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH I DON’T WANNA DO THIS.

Okay, let’s do this.  (For the third time, I guess.)

October 9, 2017

RE: Sonic Mania


Gotta go fast?  Nah, son.  Gotta go at a measured and moderate pace, accelerating when necessary.

All right.  Now let’s talk about Sonic Mania.

October 5, 2017

Let’s discuss Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (Part 2).

I feel like I can start and end this post with a picture of Chun-Li’s face.

Okay, sure, I know that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite released a patch on day one that saved her and others from looking the way they did during their E3 debut.  But the damage has been done.  For starters, it’s not hard to find images that show how they used to look -- what Capcom was willing to think of as acceptable to put on store shelves, if not for a maelstrom of complaints.  More importantly?  Not everybody is entrenched in fighting game news, which means that plenty of people probably never heard or saw that Chun got some emergency repairs.  So the assumption, then, is likely that Infinite was and still is an ugly game.

I said a long time ago that I’m mostly all right with the aesthetic of the game.  I’d like a more stylish and colorful look, but I assumed that it was a creative choice to have Infinite look the way it does.  I supported it, on the condition that Capcom tweaked and polished it.  The condition has not been met.  Chun and Dante look better than they did, sure, but neither of them are what I’d call good-looking.  And as a friendly reminder: I’m a guy that doesn’t care about sheer graphical power.  One of my favorite gaming peripherals ever is the original DS, and at best it was only a step or two above the N64.  But the DS compensated not only with strong gameplay, but also fine-tuned art direction and style.  There are ways to get around a lack of power, which helps explain how and why it trounced the PSP.

To be clear: Infinite has other problems besides visuals.  But we have to start somewhere (again), so we might as well focus on that.

October 2, 2017

I’ve Made a Huge Mistake -- Steam Arrange


Would it be too untoward of me to admit that, despite making that blatant reference to Arrested Development in the title, I haven’t actually seen that much of the actual show?

It would?  Oh, jeez.  Then I guess that makes the title more appropriate than ever.

September 28, 2017

Let’s discuss Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (Part 1).

*stares at box art*

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…


…Short answer: yeah, it’s good.

Less short answer: yeah, it’s good, but.

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)


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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.