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

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.

…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.


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.


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.




April 3, 2017

Tales of Berseria is…

So I had a moment with Tales of Berseria the other day.

I was pretty much in the last stretch of the game -- more than capable of waltzing right into the final dungeon, at least after I tied up some loose ends vis a vis the sidequests that opened up.  I did as many of those quests as I could, since I worked under the assumption that -- by virtue of the game taking up much-needed memory space on the PS4 -- I might never get the chance to play it again.  As of this post, I’ve finished the game.  I didn’t do everything (like the post-game dungeon) because I need to move on to other stuff.  But I’d say 95% of the stones were turned.

In any case, one of those sidequests got a real reaction out of me.  I didn’t cry or anything, though.  It’s just that…well, I won’t go into detail about it, because it’s a spoiler for both Berseria and (to a lesser extent) its predecessor Zestiria.  But it does involve/clarify a core character’s fate, which is just as dire as you’d expect.  Said character -- Eizen, the one who had become my favorite character -- happened to be the one I was using as an avatar on the field at the time.  So when the cutscene finished and I regained control, I could’ve gone on to do other stuff.  Fight more daemons, search for treasure, et cetera.

But I didn’t.

March 30, 2017

Are Japanese Games Getting Too Lewd?

I like to imagine that there’s a person out there who reads the title of this post, screams “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and then dives from the sky like a peregrine falcon to try and hit me with a flying cross chop at 200 miles per hour.  The keyword here is try, for obvious reasons.  I like my bones in working order, you see.

Now then.  Early on in my blogging career (sure, let’s call it that), I tended to use the phrase “improbably buxom” to describe -- well, you can probably guess.  I still use it, because I think it’s worth a chuckle.  But back then I used it a bit more because I went on about stuff like Dead or Alive.  It reached a point where I joked about spearheading a campaign to create Improbably Buxom: The Game, in which you play as a character out to make the women of the world -- you guessed it -- improbably buxom.  Then I found out that that game had already been made, more or less; the details aren’t intimate to me, but I’m willing to bet that it’s hentai.  Does that count in the grand scheme of things?  That’s a question worthy of debate. 

But imagine my surprise when a slew of recent Japanese games do their best to ape my glorious concept.  All with a straight face.  And it just leaves me wondering: are the games from the land of the rising sun becoming too lewd for their own good?

March 27, 2017

Shower Thoughts with RWBY (Part 1)

Oh, I’m sorry.  Did you think it was over?  Did you think we were done?  Nah, son.  It ain’t over till it’s over.  Wind that clock back.

In any case, RWBYI put up a post a while back that went into Volume 4, and my less-than-ideal reaction to it.  I don’t think it’s a “season” that breaks the show beyond repair, but I do feel as if it’s the weakest offering yet.  It’s a shame I have to be so negative towards a show I genuinely like, but here we are.  And here I am, specifically.  See, when I was thinking about the post, I had more things planned than just taking a steaming dump all over Rooster Teeth’s 3D anime.  But in typical Voltech fashion, that post ended up reaching the 4000-word mark, and there wasn’t much room for anything else.  Like the positive stuff.

Here’s the thing: I’ve said on multiple occasions, and in multiple posts, that I want to be a writing hero -- a storyteller whose works can put smiles on the faces of others.  It’s a lofty goal, for sure, and one that can only be reached with sufficient amounts of training and skill.  Pumping iron or running laps aren’t what’ll make me a better writer, though; mental effort will.  And to that end, confronting RWBY presents me with a unique opportunity.  If I want to be a great writer, then I need to be able to provide possible alternatives instead of saying “THIS THING SUCKS” and moving on.  How would you fix it?  How would you do better?  And so on, and so forth.

So that’s what I’m going to do…eventually.  But first, there’s a question that’s been on my mind: are the characters in RWBY going to turn into Grimm?

March 23, 2017

Should I go see Power Rangers?

I haven’t had an internal crisis this severe since that time I found out that “fans” of The Magic School Bus were willing to make Rule 34 art of Ms. Frizzle.  I mean, yeah, I get it.  Rule 34 is Rule 34, but…is there nothing sacred?  I guess not.  And knowing that there are people who see Ms. Frizzle as an object of lust is -- well, it’s just the sort of thing destined to shake your faith in humanity, you know?

All right, enough about that.  Let’s talk about the Power Rangers movie.  No, not that oneNot that oneNot that one.  That one.

March 20, 2017

RE: Tales of Berseria




I like how that makes it sounds like I’m super-down on Tales of Berseria, but it’s actually an actual line of dialogue in the game -- and arguably even a character’s catch phrase.  Still, it feels kind of appropriate, because there is an aspect about Berseria that makes me sad.  It doesn’t have to do with the quality of the game, though.  Well, not right now.  But my issue is pretty simple.

This game is friggin’ long, and it’s pissing me off.

March 16, 2017

On Power Rangers and Mega-Consequences

All right, we’re a little over a week away from the release of a brand new Power Rangers movie (and in the midst of a Twitch streaming marathon), so I figure this is as good a time as any to launch into a tangentially-related discussion about it.  But before I do anything else: Lost Galaxy has the best theme song of the entire franchise.  Yeah, I said it.  Come at me.  Fight me 1v1.

At this stage, it’s impossible to know for sure whether Lionsgate’s soon-to-drop film is good or not.  We can all make guesses based on the evidence presented -- trailers, interviews, and so on -- but there are only two ways to confirm its quality (or lack thereof): take in as many reviews as possible, or see it in the flesh.  I’d imagine that there’s a decent number of people who are already crying tears of blood over what’s been shown off so far -- I’ve almost hacked up a lung on a couple of occasions -- but you know what they say.  Innocent until proven guilty.  It’s a shame that proving innocence or guilt requires a time/money investment that might prove physically or spiritually painful; still, that’s the way it goes.

In any case, Power Rangers has gotten me thinking.  It pretty much had to; as your friendly neighborhood tokusatsu fan, 48% of my brainpower is devoted to visualizing OTT transformation poses.  So let’s get to it.

March 13, 2017

RWBY: What Happened?



I really, really, really don’t want to write this post.  But it’s gonna eat away at me until I commit my thoughts to (virtual) paper, so let’s get through this as fast as possible.  And let me start by asking an important question:

Why didn’t I enjoy Volume 4 of RWBY as much as I could have?

March 9, 2017

How it Feels to Play Breath of the Wild.

You know, lately it seems like I’ve been having a hard time coming up with titles for blog posts.  Not because I’m drawing the proverbial blank; no, it’s more because I’ve got so many ideas for titles that I end up getting paralyzed in my seat.  I feel like I’m getting close to the end of Tales of Berseria, but even if I’m not, I’ve still put in enough hours to say something substantial about it -- but the problem is that I’ve gone through about six separate titles without typing out a single word.

That’s one example, yet it’s not the only one.  Here we are, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild firmly in the midst of gamers -- in its final, retail form, armed and ready for mass consumption.  Where do you even begin with the Wii U’s final game (worthy of major headlines, at least) and the Switch’s first game (of the same quality)?  There are plenty of options -- like a blanket statement of whether it’s good or not -- but I think I’ve come up with one possible answer.

That answer is a question: as of right now, if I had to sum up Breath of the Wild in one word, what would it be?

And the answer to that question (which in itself is an answer) is this: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is raw.

March 6, 2017

So How Good is Cosplay, Really?

You know, I can’t even begin to guess the number of posts that have been inspired by conversations with my brother.  I swear, he’s like a goldmine of writing material -- which is partly to be expected when he’s the perpetual Ken to my Ryu, the Sol to my Ky, the Jin to my Ragna.  So yeah, throw this one onto the pile next and hope it doesn’t topple onto you.

I was playing The Last Guardian one day, and getting pretty into it.  Meanwhile, he was online and looking at stuff -- Injustice 2 footage chief among them, so he could be the Batman to my Superman -- but I didn’t pay much attention to him.  At one point, though, he made a bold declaration; it was the sort of thing that made me take pause and divert my attention (but not my eyes) from my adventure with Trico.  What did he say, you ask?  Three simple words.

“I hate cosplay.”

March 1, 2017

A Big Dumb List of Shows I Want to Watch

So last week, I put out a list of games I want to play over…oh, I don’t know.  The next year or so, basically.  That’s not a complete and ironclad list by any means; I’d love to be able to get to all of them (or remember that I wanted to get to all of them), but as I’ve found out over the years, clearing video games within a decent time frame and writing about them while they’re still relevant is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard.  It’s even harder when you willingly sacrifice gaming time to try and fulfill your dream of becoming a novelist, and you know you’ve still got 30+ hours of game time looming above you…from a single title.  But I digress.

And I’ll digress even further by saying that I don’t want to just play a bunch of games.  There are a crapload of TV shows (and movies) out there that are worth watching, to say nothing of what Netflix has been offering for ages.  Unfortunately, I’ve missed out on a lot of the greats; one of the biggest quirks of fate in my life is that I’ve rarely, if ever, been able to get NBC on my TV(s).  Too much interference or whatever.  So, 30 Rock?  Barely seen it.  Parks and Recreation?  Gone.  The Office?  Is that a thing?  I feel like that’s a thing.

So it’s time to at least pretend I’m going to remedy that.  Come fire walk with me as I run through a big dumb list of shows I want to watch.  Oh, and movies too.  I’m also bad at watching movies.