Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Mario Kart Wii Mod: CTGP Revolution. MOAR TRACKS!!!

What? You actually thought I'd review the same game twice? I'm not cruel, this isn't Endless Eight. What I am reviewing though is a mod for the game. Mechanically, its the same thing, go check out the Mario Kart Wii review if you want to know how the game is mechanically. Before I go on though, one note. I will only review mods I can get working with little adjustments to consoles. I'm fine with installing extra data, I won't do things like disabling region lock. For this one, all you really need is the Homebrew channel, and a physical copy of Mario Kart Wii. I can confirm it works for PAL, NTSC-U and NTSC-J, though PAL is the only one I can 100% confirm, as that is the region I live.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Transformers Combiner Wars Bruticus, Part 4; Brawl: I wonder if he too, is playing soccer with other tanks

Side note, does World of Tanks really need a Rocket League mode? Part 4 of Bruticus, and now we move onto our tiny tank unit... may or may not have Fire Emblem on the mind for this one as I just finished playing Birthright, and as we are doing an army team after all... I'll try to avoid FE jokes... until I get to either Fates' review or if I can get an opening impression out for Tokyo Mirage Session #FE (Don't have it yet, waiting to get paid for IRL work first). Time to send in Brawl, and potentially piss of Melee fans (I never said I'd avoid Smash bros jokes).

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Mario Kart Wii: Blue shells. Blue Shells, everywhere

"Ok, this is random, even for you. What gives?" I am going somewhere with this, just trust me. This requires a bit of prep work, and for that, we need to go back a bit, to one of the first Wii games I got actually, back in 2008. "Welcome to Mario Kart" Wii.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Transformers Combiner Wars Bruticus, Part 3: Swindle: +1

I can tell you I genuinely wasn't procrastinating with this. I've had Swindle for ages. The last two weeks have just been me getting some things off my chest, pieces I've been meaning to write for a while, but haven't found the time to fit them in, there is a reason I started doing Sunday posts after all. However, during that time, it did give me a chance to pick up another figure which will be brought up here too, as they are almost exactly the same. Why? Because Combiner Wars Bruticus is now not the only combiner I have completed, the other is Combiner Wars Sky Reign. Not only is this a review of Swindle, but also of Hound as I don't feel the need to have them separate. There will be some time before I review Sky Reign, we'll need some break from the robot onslaught (no pun intended). After the final review of Bruticus, being Onslaught himself, will be reviews of other things, such as 2016 BIONICLE, a proper review of Amiibos, some music reviews, I have an impression on World of Final Fantasy to do because I forgot to bring it up in an upcoming video, and potentially more. So for now, consider this Part 3 of Bruticus, and Part 1 of Sky Reign.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Opening Impressions: Wolverine and the X-Men

I do feel kinda bad for not being able to do more X-Men content this year, and until I can get the other movies done, I probably won't get to Apocalypse for a little bit. However, there are other things we can do, like this here. A TV show I could have sworn was apart of Marvel's current animated universe, but everything I've seen on the matter suggests otherwise. So, lets take a look at the opening (or rather, first 50%) of Wolverine and the X-Men.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

E3 Day 2 Summary: Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Sony

Microsoft introduced new games as well as old ones. Scalebound is a new title but personally it rubs me the wrong way. Some of the monsters looked like they were copyright safe rip offs from monsters in Monster Hunter. Not only that but the voice over is pretty annoying. It seems like they want to make the character a cool dude that kills things like Dante. Though if the game is multiplayer, wyvern riding while trying to kill big bosses sounds pretty fun.

A new Rare game called Sea of Thieves was announced. It is a multiplayer centered game on having a pirate crew and maintaining your ship while you sail the seas. The game gave me Minecraft vibes in a good way. I just wonder what would happen if you didn’t have enough people to make a crew online.

Sequels like Halo Wars 2, State of Decay 2, and Forza Horizon 3 were also announced. Though I do not know that much about their predecessors.

Microsoft has a new program where if you download a game to your Xbox One, you can get it on Windows 10. So that’s pretty cool if you have both.

To end the conference, they saved the biggest announcement for last. Announcing Project Scorpio, a new console that they claim to be the strongest console in the market. It is said to handle 4k gaming resolution, and it’s VR ready. It’s basically a stronger Xbox One as it’s compatible with all of it’s games. It is said to launch next fall, and they’re taking this opportunity to make more games for it’s launch.

Ubisoft opens with an expected but somewhat interesting opening. Of course it’s another Just Dance, but it’s releasing on eight platforms including the Nintendo NX which is going to release in March. This is the first official mention of the NX at E3 and it’s not even Nintendo.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon caught my eye during the presentation. Not because I’m interested in the game but because of one thing that bothered me. They were showing how the mic was beneficial to use in the game, though they players sounded more like voice actors so it was difficult trying to figure out if it was in use of a mic or it’s coming from the game. The game itself looks pretty fun, you are cops busting a drug distribution. That’s pretty much the jist.

The new South Park game The Fractured But Whole was announced. It follows the style of Stick of Truth but with a superhero aesthetic. The group of friends broke up because of Cartman’s ideas about their game and they are in some sort of “Civil War”. Not just the story was changed, but the combat system is too. It’s more of a technical system in which you move characters to certain areas similar to a tactics game.

A couple of other new titles also got announced. Trials of the Blood Dragon is a sidescrolling platformer that is supposed to be based on a product from the 90’s. A game called For Honor which is a combat game based on leaders of war. A new experimental game called Grow Up which looks to be a platformer with fun little gimmicks. And a couple of VR games like Star Trek Bridge Crew where you command the enterprise with your crew who are other players. Also Eagle Flight which is a game where you battle your friends at capture the flag as you fly around as eagles.

The bigger announcements at Ubisoft’s presentation was Watch Dogs 2 where your a hacker in San Francisco where you can exploit a lot of things. You can use drones to gather intel from hard to reach places. Sneak into a high security company with just a press of a button. The story of the game is based around rigging an election.

The Assasin’s Creed movie was also announced. The movie is going to be it’s own story and not based on the games.

Sony’s presentation opens with a new God of War game where Kratos is helping is son hunt. There was no subtitle, all we know now is that it’s called “God of War”, fans unofficially call it God of War 4.

A few new games were announced. Horizon caught my eye. It’s a new game where you are in a robot infested plains where you hunt and kill corrupted robots for their materials. Days Gone is a zombie game where basically a huge conga line of zombies gang up on you to kill you. The trailer shows the player in a barn that is crawling with hordes of zombies. Detroit: Gone Human is a detective game where you are an android, and you have to make important decisions. Each little decision you make will effect the story immensely. Farpoint is a sci-fi game where you are on an unknown planet. Star Wars: Battle Front was also with this line of games but this isn’t EA’s press conference.

Resident Evil VII was a surprising announcement. It is taken through a first person view and it actually looks like a horror game rather than the action shooting games that the recent Resident Evils looked like.

A Starwars Lego was also announced. It’s basically what you expect it to be. A Spiderman game is announced for the PS4 but not much is known about it. The Last Guardian returns with a few new cutscenes and a release date for October 26th 2016

A small announcement was made that the Crash Bandicoot games are getting a remastered version. These games are built from the ground up. They are going to remaster the first Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. With this announcement is Skylanders: Imaginators where you can design your own Skylander. A playable Crash is going to be a part of this game.

Playstation VR has a release date for October 13th 2016. Batman Arkham VR though they don’t show much outside of the title. Final Fantasy XV VR, don’t know much about gameplay.

Bigger announcements included Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare where you pilot a fleet of spaceships and take over an enemy station. Along with this is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare remastered.

Kojima returns as a part of Sony to announce his new game Death Stranding though not much is known outside of the title.

Monday, 13 June 2016

E3 Day 1 Summary: EA and Bethesda

EA came up first and presented us games we somewhat expected. First was Battlefield 1, a confusing title since the Xbox One. It’s a military based shooter game with singleplayer on online gameplay. Next was Titanfall, a sci-fi shooter with singleplayer and online- hey wait a minute… I’m not familiar with these franchises though they could look promising to a fan. Titanfall promises more mechs if you’re interested.

Their bigger announcement was Mass Effect: Adromeda which takes place after the events of the trilogy. Not so much is known except that you are on an alien planet trying to survive. It looks like a pretty imaginative survival game.

They also talked about sports sports and more sports. Yeah I’m not so much of a follower of Madden, FIFA, and stuff like that. They showed pretty much all continuations so there wasn’t anything new.

Bethesda was next showing some new games as well as continuations. Prey is a reboot of a sci-fi shooter of the same name though not too much is known about the game itself outside of the trailer. Dishonored 2 got a lot of attention at the conference. The time mechanics and the concepts seem interesting. You’re an assassin with powers and have the ability to stop time.

A few Elder Scrolls games were announced. Elder Scrolls: Legends is an online card game that is more or less a ripoff of Heathstone. Elder Scrolls Skyrim got an HD edition to be on the PS4. I would say more about these games but that’s basically all there needs to be said about them. I’m pretty sure when they were talking about how “huge” an Elder Scrolls Online update was, they had paid people to cheer for them, though that’s only a guess. They pretty much lied about their MMO saying that “over 7 million people” played it when the number is only in the thousands.

Quake: Champions was a pretty big announcement, though they won’t be saying a whole lot about it until Quakecon. It still builds a lot of hype though.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Opinion Piece: White Washing (or an other type of media washing for that matter)

Ho boy, the political views just keep on coming don't they? This one's gotten attention lately, so lets address it. For this particular one (well, actually every post I write on this site, it is an unspoken rule after all), this is my opinion on the matter. You can agree or disagree, and if you think I'm wrong, I'm happy to hear why, provided its longer then "You're wrong idiot".

So, the idea of White washing. In basic terms, its casting a white person in a role that is normally intended for another race. Now in a moral black and white world, I would agree with the masses. But, we don't live in that kind of world, we live in this one, where the colour grey exists. So allow me dear reader to go into my views on the matter not just for film, but for every visual medium I review.

For Live action films, my general rule is that whenever you can, cast an actor of as close to a background as you can for the role. So for a (in general terms) asian character, cast an asian actor. The only exceptions I can think of for this are if you need to change it for political reasons (like with Doctor Strange, which yes, is a racist reason, but not the one most people latched onto) or if an actor just fits the role so well, that no one else could do it better. To use a recent one, Director Fury. Unless you were really into comics before the MCU, most people would think that Nick Fury was always a black character. In reality, he was originally a white character. Marvel changed it to black in the comics while they were still working on the plan that would become the MCU, or to be more accurate, they changed it to look like who would eventually play him, Samuel Jackson. Now with the MCU in full effect. Can you sincerely tell me that you could see a white person playing Nick Fury? I personally can't because he fits the role perfectly. Its the same with a lot of the characters (this coming from someone who still hasn't seen Ant man or Civil War, don't kill me please). I don't see anyone playing Iron Man better then Robert Downy Jr. Chris Pratt as Starlord, Scarlet Johansson as Black Widdow (though she was also a controversial casting pick to the masses as she's the lead in Ghost in the Shell), Chris Evens as Captain America and more. It was intentional that I used the superhero names as a FYI.

The only other reason I would let it slide is if it is a re-imagining of the story, in a new situation. To use Ghost in the shell as an example. It would make no sense for the role to be for an asian actor, if the interpretation is set in Germany. You would logically get a german actor for that role. Now some would say that "That never happens idiot" Well, it does happen, quite a bit actually. For Live action, it mostly happens when a story is told in an asian situation, it rarely happens in reverse, but again, that's live action.

Animated on the other hand, that's called "dubbing", and that happens all the time. This is when I cop out and do all animated forms together along with Comics. In a space when you can create anything you want, then I honestly don't care so long as the performance is solid. Now that being said, I'd rather a push for fresh talent over tried and true voice actors when possible, as a mix of brand new voice actors and voice acting veterans never hurts. And while again, it would be better to have voices that match the race and age of the character, sometimes its not a good option especially for child characters, there's this whole thing called puberty, kinda hurts child actors while its happening and if you were a director, would you go with a pre puberty child actor who may have their voice drastically change, causing several potential re-castings, or an adult who can do a child's voice?

At the end of the day, it really depends on the situation, and if the actor can make me believe they are the character, because at the end of the day, that's what I look for above all else. Again, I love diversity if its an added bonus, not the central focus. Call me crazy if you want. I'll see you all for the opening impressions of Wolverine and the X-Men

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Part 2, the actual review

Time to talk about the 2015 movie that you could not escape no matter how hard you tried, though unlike Ghostbusters, for all the right reasons. The reboot to Star Wars. I've kept you all waiting long enough for this, lets take a look at the movie together. Did the critics get it right, did they get it wrong? Only one way to find out.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Opinion Piece: The Mary Sue

The next Sunday Review from me is going to be Swindle, don't worry about that. But Sunday is primerily for things that don't need to take up Wednesday when possible. And with Wednesday's next review being Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I think this needs to be brought up. This topic needs its own post, so to not bog down the review. Now I should say that this is only covering the Mary Sue character analysis way (and no, I won't also be using The Marty Stu, sake of consistency, and most people just use the one name anyway), not the website. I know of it, don't care about it, never needed to go to it. Oh, and as a word of warning, the toy break will continue next week with the concept of White Washing. But hey, at least there will also be E3 stuff!

To quote Wikipedia: "A Mary Sue is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities. Often this character is recognized as an author insert or wish-fulfillment." This is going to be the definition I use for this post.

Lets start off with Rey who had many people who saw The Force Awakens see her as a Mary Sue. Using that definition, every single Jedi would fall into that category, what do you think The Force is? Now in the context of the world and the star wars universe, no. She is not a Mary Sue character, but she does have Mary Sue moments. Those being the battle of Jakku, and her escape from the interrogation cell. Both of these lean a bit on the side of bad writing. However, both of them I'm willing to let slide depending on how Episode VIII plays out, because as of right now, those moments could genuinely be Mary Sue moments, or foreshadows for episode 8 when it arrives, depending on how it plays out.

Another thing Internet, don't hate on Mary sues, and then demand for writers to write them. Let's step back to last year with Avengers Age of Ultron, and Black Widow. Not to drive it in further, as this will be quick. A flawed character, is a superior character. People were complaining about Black Widow being kidnapped, and on rewatching, I think everyone was wrong about the situation. Remember back to the first Avengers movie? Yeah, she was "kidnapped" in that one too, only difference was that she beat up several armed guards while tied to a chair. I think the intention was for her to only give the illusion of being captured while she was in the cage. Her getting there, that was just her being captured, but once she woke up, the plan was for her to look like she was waiting for the right moment to escape. Did that come off well in the movie? Well, no, it didn't. But because people jumped the gun, the traditional knee jerk reaction, people demanded her to be better, stronger, and perfect. To that I say: Why? Again, a flawed character is a better character, a more compelling and interesting character. To have her as perfect, which in itself is impossible because again, flawed character is a better character meaning that a perfect character in universe would be an awful character out of universe, to the viewer.

Honestly, I'm not surprised that the Internet has a fascination with Mary Sues, because many who are the most vocal about it are exposed to Mary Sues all the time. Where? In video games. Not that they are exposed to them, they control them, they are them. Again, using that definition, name 5 that have something that gives a narrative conclusion for the failed state, "game over". This is something being looked into more with more modern games like Ace Attorney 5 Not guilty, but disgraced attorney ending, Monkey Island 2 having a more comical "You couldn't have died. You're standing right here." situation. But using that definition, the act of retrying a situation is in the universes of the games, an unrealistic ability. You are the biggest Mary Sue in most video games, maybe all depending on how you look at it. Kind of ironic, isn't it? But at least now that we have this out of the way, lets check out Force Awakens on Wednesday, shall we?

Friday, 3 June 2016

First Impressions: Doctor Strange

I did try to get this out at 7am, I did try.

The MCU's getting a bit of a shake up, isn't it? While Phase 2 was pretty much all sequels (Ant man depending on if you put it in phase 2 or phase 3) and only one of them getting the general view of it being better then the first in the eyes of the masses. Now, its mostly introductions for new characters, one of them being Doctor Strange. As a forewarn, we don't get much from this trailer, so this is going to be quick.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

IDW Transformers; Last Stand of the Wreckers: How to make Hell on Earth look like a Paradise

"War, is hell"

On one corner you have the honor bound, live to protect Autobots. But what happens when you need something stronger, when you need a looser, glass cannon? That's when you call in The Wreckers. The bots who you send in when the mission is suicidal, who go in guns blazing, and just because you walked off their ship doesn't mean you're walking back on. "Sometimes in teh Wreckers, your first day is your last". Or to put it more bluntly, they are the Autobot equivalent of the Expendibles. So let's take a look at one of their missions. In terms of continuity, this is post Autocracy, but long before Combiner Wars.

Autobot outposts all over the galaxy have been falling to Decepticon forces, with one in particular located on Garrus-9, a prison complex designed to house war criminals run by Fortress Maximus (not the titan), is taken over by a loose cannon, one that even Megatron fears (or so we're told), Overlord. One of the three "Phase six" (for another arc review) decepticons, normally sent in to destroy what's left of a planet and its resistance. Autobot and Decepticon alike fear him because while many kill in the names of their leaders. Overlord can be best described as a sadist, the pain, fear and suffering of others pleasures him. He now runs the prison. With everyone there killing each other either for sport, or survival, in a more primal sort of way. The mission: Break into "G-9", save any autobot survivors and Aequitas, a super computer that serves as a judge and jury for the prison, and get out. Simple enough, right? Well, I won't say how the story ends.
Oh don't worry, I'll come back to this girl later

The simple plot though leads to some terrifying visuals. The bright colour pallete makes all the darker moments stronger, its actually so good that I'd love to see this animated. It's practically begging for an animated form. I also love the contrast of the veteran Wreckers like Kup, Springer, and Impactor to the new recruits like Ironfist, Guzzle and Rotorstorm. It further highlights the strains of war, especially when you're on a team constantly getting fresh parts because recruits keep dying on these suicidal missions.

Kinda heavy, but while I do recomend this arc, it is pretty dark. And considering the other arcs reviewed recently, I think we need to get something lighter covered for next month. In the meantime, I feel like talking about Doctor Strange on Friday, anyone care to listen?