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This week, I've returned to posting the Friday recap super early. I explained last week how the flea market season has started up, and I'll out there bright and early, but that was before it decided to be 30 degrees and snowing in Ohio seven days after being 60 and sunny. That pretty much sums up Ohio, folks. We get all four seasons in the same week.
So, my sister-in-law's birthday was this week, and she wants to go to laser tag, which really surprised me because she does not strike me a laser tagging kind of gal. I haven't done laser tag since I was in junior high school with my friend, David. We would go to Q-Zar pretty much every weekend, and the only things I really remember about those trips is that there was a Mortal Kombat 4 machine, and there would always be that guy in his early 20s who thought he was boss for beating a bunch of 13 year olds in laser tag.
Such a terrible cabinet design.
The baseball season starts in about a week, does anyone care other than myself and HLBC? Alright, moving on (GO REDLEGS).
WrestleMania is tomorrow. Even though my love and obsession for the business that I used to call my home was dwindled since my retirement, there are two events that I always get excited for: the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. Well, if you don't remember me writing about the Royal Rumble a couple of months ago, just let me remind you that it was total shart.
WrestleMania looks to be pretty much the same. As far as matches that matter go, Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins has the potential to be great. The Intercontinental Title ladder match will likely be the show-stealer because it has all the wrestlers that still give a crap like Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, and Dean Ambrose. Rusev vs Cena can either go one of two ways: a slow, methodical match where two big guys trade their hardest hitting moves (which I would be all for), or a total stinker.
Bray Wyatt vs the Undertaker...this is really going to hurt me to say this, the Undertaker is my all-time favorite wrestler and the main reason I ever wanted to become one, but he just turned 50, he's had so many injuries and surgeries that he can barely stand, he wrestles one time a year (and trust me, you wrestle your best when you're doing it consistently), and his undefeated streak is over. It's still going to be a big match by pageantry standards, but I have a feeling I'm going to want to cry when its over.
Then two old men are going to wrestle. Thirteen years ago, The Rock squared off with Hulk Hogan and it was dubbed "Icon vs Icon." This would have that exact same feeling to it, except that Triple H is way past his prime, so it's no longer a "passing of the torch" kind of deal. However, Sting was always (and still is) a much better wrestler than Hulk Hogan from a technical standpoint, so even though this match may not be built up to be as big as Rock/Hogan, I think the overall match is going to be better.
Then we have the main event: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns. I think this match is going to suck. WWE has built up Reigns as the next huge star, and the fans aren't buying it. I used to be a big Brock Lesnar fan, but then I got into wrestling and realized that all of his best matches were with veterans that walked him through it. You don't have that here. Neither one of these guys can carry a match, so the only saving grace would be if Seth Rollins cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase and inserted himself into the match.
So, yeah, I'm expecting WrestleMania 31 to be a mediocre show. A lot of spectacle, but very little substance as far as the in-ring action goes. But, at least it'll still be better than WrestleMania 9.
Now let us never speak of it again.
Videogames! I played The Order:1886. Here's the thing--The Order is definitely a game where you have to say "here's the thing"--I really like the parts of the game where I'm actually playing the game. The problem is that I don't feel like I'm doing that a whole lot. The firefights are good, the steampunk weapons are fun to use, and the game is absolutely gorgeous. But, those action moments are never more than a few minutes long. You're constantly forced to either walk and listen to exposition or watch a several minutes long cutscene. I checked it out from work and got about halfway through before stopping.
I enjoyed the game, and I didn't find the QTE parts to be that bad, in fact, (spoilers, I think) I really liked the section where you fight the lycan one-on-one. Perhaps I just needed to push forward to the end, and I intend to eventually, but I would have enjoyed the game more if the lycan stuff played a bigger role.
Lastly, I'm still enamoured with Break Bad. I'm about four episodes into season 2, and from what my friends tell me, the "binge-watching" comes in during season three, so that's soon upcoming.
Now, go out there and do something awesome for somebody else. It'll make you feel good, and when you feel good, you live longer. That's science.
There's not a lot of video game stuff to talk about this week. I finished South Park: The Stick of Truth and loved it, I bought The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for 3DS with some leftover Club Nintendo coins (stars, rather), and I'm still on the fence about games like Monster Hunter 4. That's all well and good.
But since I need something to pad out this week's Shadeisms, let me talk about something weird that happened to me IRL. It's basically a freak coincidence. It involves a girl. And it may or may not lead to anything. So let's get to it.
Do you know the type of girl who just cannot possibly be single? I think everybody knows one of them. It's not just because they're the most gorgeous person in the history of the universe or anything, but they just have that kind of x-factor. Someone who is at least above-averagely attractive and who has that special kind of extroverted outgoing personality, in such a way that you can't imagine them not having a boyfriend. The universe simply doesn't work that way, it doesn't compute.
I know a few of those ladies myself. Most are still in DC (with their boyfriends), but I also know one in Holland. For about the past year or so me and her have been doing this project together. We meet up for about two hours once every couple of months to work on it, but beyond that we don't really hang out or even talk. Those few times we do meet we have good chemistry going on though. We talk about our work obviously, but we also discuss everyday things. I showed her pictures of my trip to the US (I knew she still wanted to go to New York someday, so the pictures of the Empire State Building at Christmas blew her away), we talk about hobbies a little bit too, all very natural and fun. In fact despite it being related to a specific project, "fun" in general describes our meetings pretty well.
But like I said, she's one of those girls who cannot possibly not have a boyfriend. I never asked her directly (I never would), but I always just assumed that she wasn't available so I shouldn't bother. With her looks and her personality, her 'x-factor', being single was just inconceivable to me. Plus, considering that I only see her very rarely I figured there wasn't much point. Because of all those things never even considered asking her out, it wasn't even remotely on my mind.
Fast-forward to Friday April 20th, the day of the eclipse. Remember how I talked about my dating site adventures a couple of weeks ago? Well, this day I was browsing my dating site again...and it's her. Like right there. I had to look a few more times to make sure, but there could be no mistake. It was her alright. I don't even know how a thing like that happens. Someone I only know remotely because of a shared project just randomly shows up on the same site I happen to be on. Out of nowhere this great girl who I always assumed taken, because how could she not be, is all up in my list of matches. It took me a full hour to really comprehend it.
The whole story is actually at least twice as insane as I'm making it sound, but some of the deets I'm going to keep to myself. Rest assured that it was the weirdest shit.
So now that I know this lady against all odds isn't just single, she's single and looking, the only question is what to do next. I quite like her, so I can't let a freak coincidence like this slide. The stars aligned, Sozin's comet is in orbit, and the Thousand Year Door opens; I just gotta ask her out now. I'm complete shit at asking people out, but this is like peer pressure from the universe itself. I can't not do it now.
With the help of a fellow Dtoider I decided that I probably shouldn't approach her via the site. It might come off as pretty damn stalkerish if a guy you only vaguely know randomly starts messaging you on a dating site you just signed up for. Instead I'm going to use the meet-up we already had planned for two weeks from now, and ask her out then.
How things are going to go from here, I have no clue. She might want to keep things semi-professional, or she might go "Eh, why not?"
The bad news is that her "preferred date" is someone at least 24 years old and 6'3" (she's a solid 6' herself). I am in fact neither 24 nor 6'3". The good news is that I will be turning 24 the day before our meet-up, as if the coincidence couldn't get freakier. The other good news is that even in the Netherlands men over 6'3" aren't all that common, plus I'm only about an inch shorter than her. So who knows, she might overlook it. The best news of all though; she's looking for a date on a dating site. And we all know that 90% of the men on dating sites are jerks, idiots, or both. In contrast she already knows that I'm not a jerk and/or idiot, so I might have a shot over them.
It's a complete toss-up at this point, and I'm frankly pretty damn nervous. The only thing I do know is that the universe is crazy sometimes. Shit like this shouldn't even be possible. Like, what the fuck?
...I just hope the universe has enough insanity left for her to say yes.
- Sincerely, Shade.
-Also, these caps are now devoted to The Princess Bride. For no particular reason.
* - It's About To Get Gay In Here calls Robert Summa out for being a dick, in signature It's About To Get Gay In Here style. Personally, I would've just gone with "Robert Summa, you're a dick. Sincerely, Shade."
* - Really interesting blog here on gaming narrative and the role it plays in making us want to finish games, or leave them hanging forever.
A - Oh my Glob, Melissa, Cannibal Steven talks blobs in games.
P - DustinThomas says that jokes never die in this latest Error Machine. Clearly he doesn't listen to the Fapcast.
A - bigboss is loving the WiiU gamepad, and so should you. Seriously though, wonderful little piece of tech.
A - Gray Times considers his backlog less a "backlog" and more a "collection". It doesn't help.
C - Tell Goofierbrute about your gaming memories and snag cool games!
That reminds me. I have exactly zero entries for Trine 1 and 2. You can literally stroll in and claim them. If nobody does I'm giving the Trine pack away at random. I don't care if you have them already, give them to a friend and spread the love for Trine.
F - Nintendoid's first Smash Bros tourney is coming up, you can still enter! Fear the mighty Luigi.
T - The multiplayer in Super Mario 3D World really is something else. Also, I'm totally stealing the term "foe-operative play", love it.
T - There's this game called Primal which I've never heard of, but TheKodu has. He wants more of it, and I can't argue with that. It sounds cool enough!
M - Alphadeus has competition! Chill with some music courtesy of Maggit.
May you always find water and shade
Over my birthday weekend celebration, I got two games: Tomodachi Life and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. If you've been wondering where I've been as Cblog Manager, now you know. But what am I going to do? Play more Monster Hunter? DON'T MIND IF I DO!
Tomodachi Life I'd like to describe as The Sims and Animal Crossing within a Nintendo fever dream within a tumblr fanfiction full of shipping. Not quite as brief as I thought that'd be but when I see my co-worker passing the time in his apartment by rolling around I can only describe as a surreal experience. I've got most of my real life friends and co-workers inserted and I've tried my best to get their real birthdays inputted and something resembling their personality questionnaire. But in the interest of getting my apartment complex as full as I can, I've included a few Dtoiders I've connected on social media. And sometimes its scary how much it mirrors real life. Like, my girlfriend's Mii confessed to my Mii on the first day and things didn't go so well. But right now they're friends and are on their way to a relationship with a bit of prodding.
But by far my favorite feature is the singing, which is utterly ridiculous when you combine the campy choreography with insane lyrics. For example, I have Shadeoflight's and Jawshbutterballz's Miis with my own and another friend in a metal band called The Destructoids singing a song called Social Justice Warriors like something out of Through the Fire and the Flames (Shade is on vocals, Jawsh plays some mean drums). Then comes all the slash fiction that comes with having Internet friends like Shade interacting with real life friends and Miis like my sister.
Did I mention the game is hilariously ridiculous? I discovered my friend's Mii's favorite food was mashed potatoes because he immediately started break dancing after chowing down on it.
But Monster Hunter tho.
Monster Hunter is a goddamn beast of a time investment. And the gameplay is pretty much scratching my Shadow of the Colossus itch. They may not be genuine colossus-sized (yet) but SotC is very problem solving and puzzle oriented. Monster Hunter is an unapologetic action game, right down to pseudo-sluggish controls and combos. Only it's just sluggish if you're unfamiliar. When you know the nitty-gritty tricks like roll canceling and other kinds of animation shortcuts, then you can learn to be very efficient when swinging around weapons meant for slaying dragons and do so by being twice your size. Admittedly, MonHun is a slow game in pacing, for the singleplayer caravan quests anyways. You'll start with boring quests and it'll be a few hours until you're first legitimate hunt and even then it'll a pretty mediocre hunt (I'm sure veteran MonHun players are familiar with Great Jaggi's presence as a newbie boss).
For me, it all clicked when I hunted Kecha Wacha, a sort of elephant faced primate. It was an exhilarating hunt, taking place in an overgrown canopy area where'd I'd either fight him on the ground where he'd normally hang down or on the canopy as he'd burst through trying to claw me with his talons. There are a lot of rising highs and decompressing lows during a fight of its complexity. During the initial encounter he'll be spry and agile, lunging at me for close-range and spitting stamina draining water shots are range. Eventually you overpower him, cresendo'ing with him falling off the ceiling and leaving him writhing in confusion, fatigue, and completely defenseless to a free combo. Kecha Wacha will start limping and begin considering escape rather than continue fighting him. He'll try gliding away with his flying squirrel wings but new hunters eventually learn to tag monsters at first sight with paintballs in order to track them for just such an occasion. It all ends when you inevitably track the monster to their den where they sleep to recuperate. But if you track him soon enough it only means they're left even more vulnerable then if you stunned them silly during a battle.
When that moment finally comes, when the camera pans out to show Kecha Wacha dramatically keeling over dead, with music playing triumphantly for me as I carve up its legendary animal parts, I knew Monster Hunter had me for the long run. And I mean, easily 100 hours, no problem. I'm already farming hunts for materials and they're fun.
I cannot wait to get deeper and I haven't even gotten to multiplayer, which makes the monsters dramatically tougher. Even Great Jaggi took a lot of punishment when I soloed his multiplayer hunt.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U arrived and surprise, it’s still a super fun game I will put many hours in. But I must say my lack of precision in executing tilts and Smash attacks is getting more on my nerves. It’s something that has always been a problem for me in these games, and I’ve been trying hard to get used to it, but it’s difficult. I have to fight my tendency to move the analog stick fast. To do tilts you have to move the stick very slowly and only halfway there, it doesn’t feel natural. And it’s aggravating to accidentally do Smash attacks with a slow character and end up losing a match because of it. That is just a blemish in an otherwise fine game. I will be joining the Unofficial Dtoid Tournament and I accept with open arms anyone that wants to do some sparring practice, or just wants to play some matches for fun.
Mass Effect 2 improves on the original in many aspects. The combat is much better, you have multiple cities now instead of one central hub (though I miss the Presidium part of the Citadel), graphics are improved, inventory is streamlined, armor has more varied designs and you can customize it. Oh, and the female Shepard has even better voice acting in this game! Some lines are great. Not to mention Shepard displays a wider range of emotions in her face. I am feeling a bit meh about the characters, though. I don’t like Jacob and I feel indifferent towards Miranda, I think Ashley was a more believable character. She was also more lively; Miranda is a bit dull. However, Mordin is interesting and Garrus is still cool, though he seems depressed in this game. By the way, the reunion with Garrus and the resulting fight for survival was amazing! I’m crossing my fingers for more memorable moments like that in the game.
Best collectible in a videogame? Old Playboy magazines in Mafia II. A bit of titillation is a nice reward for hunting down useless items.
Devil May Cry is still a pretty fun action game to play after all these years. It’s simple, dated in some aspects, but challenging and fun. Though it has been surpassed by its successors Devil May Cry 3 and Bayonetta in every way. You can definitely see this game was originally supposed to be a new Resident Evil game. Everything from the creepy castle atmosphere to the fixed camera angles to being able to check many background objects for no reason to even using the same font and sound effects from previous Resident Evil games is there. There’s even a first-person underwater section that feels completely out of place in an action game like this.
Sora is freaking stupid. I love the Kingdom Hearts games, but the characters and the story can be so terrible. I’m currently finishing Re: Chain of Memories to move on to KH II Final Mix and Birth By Sleep Final Mix. Can’t. Wait.
That’s it from me this week. Some of the thoughts I had playing these games. Why not share yours in the comments?
No Topsauce for you
This stage is a lot of fun
You know what? Forget what I said. Miranda has the best plot.
Adios, and until next time
So I'm going to keep this recap fairly short. There isn't a whole lot I've been doing since last time but oh ok I've been straight up addicted to the head dunking-ly good Netflix series The Trailer Bark Boys.
Shoot I mean the Trailer Park Boys.
Not much of a "sit and watch hours upon hours of Netflix" kind of person (somewhere a Dick in a pink bathrobe just felt a sudden cold chill) but recent boredom and running out of good shit to watch forced me to explore the plentiful options of Netflix.
Holy crap this series has been around since 2001 but I'm only just getting to it, that should be a crime. Seriously the show took my by surprise how good it was. Reminds me of when I fired up Diablo III for the first time. It's almost as if the good qualities I like about gaming exist in other mediums of entertainment... Something that I thought I would mildly enjoy turned out to be a choo choo train of a good time.
skip to 5:55 if it didn't automatically
Things I like about this show:
-it's raw and vulgar
-kind of that The Office-esque awkward jump cuts and interview stuff I like
-falling down hills
-makes me feel better about myself
-Ricky mispronouncing stuff
-loveable sidekick Bubbles
-Jrock white guy that acts gangsta
-Jim the Trailer Park Supervisor is actually kind of annoying
-Canadian Accents that I notice every once in awhile
-new season coming out this month
-still have about 5 more to go, whereas usually I burn through them pretty quickly I will be taking my time on this one
Things I don't like about this show:
And without further ado, here are your recaps for Monday the 23rd of March, 2015.
* - Showing all you video people how it's done, Dustin does a combo video/blog recap of his gaming haul recently at a flea market. Take special note on there being more than just a video and social media links Hinty, McHint Hint ;)
* - Like playing games online? Hate playing with strangers?? Scholarly has you covered with this update for the Dtoid Gamertag List!
* - Crazy Shade is giving away Trine the complete pack to one lucky contestant as a way of honoring a game he looks forward to releasing, that is Trine 3. Very cool thing you're doing man!
* - There's more free game codes courtesy of this week's Playstation-Toid!
S - Enda the Lion chooses to start a career in Dtoid recaps by starting a cblog series about interactive story telling, clearly Enda wants to get straight to business!
A - Aslothatemypie does a really fun thing we should all try and imagines what games would be like with a specific character in it it was a funny read
S - Chist continues to watch Garbage for the good of us in Volume 5 of Shit box
No fails, now fuck off Randy.
I have been deputized. I am now part of the long arm of "the law" on Destructoid. I won't lie, when Andy asked me to become part of the mod squad, i had to think on it for a good part of the day because it does slightly change my relationship with you guys as a community member. Well, so did becoming a recapper, but that didn't change too much in terms of overall perception.
For the most part, this doesn't really change much. I've come to understand the best elements of our community are generally participating in two or three facets of it at least. If you're seen around the community blogs, the front page comments, the forums, Outer Heaven or are a part of Friday Night Fights you're probably also the least likely to cause trouble. You're the cool people. Even if I don't agree with you on some things, I know people really active participants have the community's best interests at heart.
So its really just people being assholes, trolls surfing Disqus and bots I have to watch out for. The sorts of people that aren't so much participants as obnoxious instigators or just trying to sell you crap. Not much of an issue. I also know this means a small percentage of the time some random person will try to paint me as a censorous monster for doing what a moderator is supposed to do. I moderated in some MMO guild forums and fansites circa 2003-2009, so I know how fun that is.
That's the slight change, the people that make you out to be a monster for doing your voluntary job. It doesn't matter what you do, either, they've decided! It also was my guild officer experience. Bid points on gear you attended events and helped others to get? An outrage, even if the guy complaining couldn't use the gear, didn't attend the event and you did and could use it. Logic!
That was before people sought internet fame on social media or Let's Plays and live streaming and had to settle for forums, podcasts and epic loot. It already sounds like distant history. Oh, well, at least it doesn't just make me feel old now, does it?
I expect the trouble to be like a 1% of the time thing, though.
Anyway, should you ever need to call my attention to someone being an ass or African princes/Russian mail-order brides spamming offers on how to make $64 an hour using one weird trick in comment sections, just send me a PM and I'll see what I can do. If I don't respond in 15 or 20 minutes, it means I already saw it and did something, I'm at work or sleeping and you should probably ask someone else.
In other personal news, I have some blogs incoming! I also decided to open a WordPress blog which I am calling The Fae Agenda. Don't worry, I'm not abandoning my blog here at Destructoid, this new blog just serves additional purposes. I've thought about continuing my "agenda" posts here and then having The Fae Agenda kind of be a place where I unpack the reasoning behind the jokes and perhaps talk about the issues a bit more seriously. Like a B-Side, if you will.
The reference is probably lost on anyone that grew up with iPod.
I haven't really decided the ultimate goal there, but you won't be seeing me doing a cut/paste of things from there to my blog here that much, if at all, though I might archive some of my stuff from here to there.
That aside, I watched three movies this week - Millenium Actress, Birdman and Justice League: War. All were a great time, in fact, I might like Millemium Actress just a bit more than Paprika because it has so much heart in it. Its about the life of a woman named Chiyoko and is sort of a romantic drama where the lines of memory and reality blur to show you her career as an actress.
If you've seen Forrest Gump, imagine his memories springing to life around that bench he sat on and the people listening to him becoming participants in the memory. That's kind of how Millenium Actress operates and this may be one of my favorite films now because its done so beautifully. You feel you got to watch Chiyoko's entire life play out, her highs and lows amidst her journey to find someone dear to her.
I could talk about Birdman, but it's just a fantastic and rather surreal movie. It's almost hard for me to believe most of the scenes were done in a single shot. The way it flows makes it hard to not stay engaged. Just watch it.
Justice League: War won me over mostly with its portrayal of Wonder Woman. I'm actually not a big fan of the character as she's usually the stiff, rigid feminist stereotype of DC's leading superhero trinity, but here she has this extremely off-the-boat/Coming to America culture shock thing going for her and it is adorable. This is balanced against her being easily the most capable and controlled fighter aside from Batman and The Flash. Her fights are efficient and visceral.
Superman, Green Lantern, Shazam and Cyborg each have problems keeping their powers in check, often doing far more damage than necessary to control a situation. Wonder Woman is so efficient with her powers I’d hide behind her and not those guys.
It was also good that Cyborg's origin was central to the story more than any other character. DC always tries to position Cyborg as important within the DC Universe, but I honestly didn't know any version the guy's backstory until this film. I'd always seen him around in the Titans comics but you got to get into the guy's head a little more here.
You learn that while Victor's a star football player and respected by his peers, his father is so into his own work he doesn't give a shit. That struck a cord with me because my family very much treated my interests in writing and participation in theater that way. Victor would look into the stands after making a big play and his dad's just not there. It stung a bit. Suddenly, I felt like I knew more about him than most of the heroes I had read for years.
It's one thing to be validated and respected by your peers, but with family it may be even more important - honestly to the point some people would be willing to go without your peers' respect if they could have it from family. While this isn't really that deeply explored in the movie, it was nice to see Cyborg get his origin in the spotlight and those important details about him out there. He also becomes rather important to resolving the plot.
It is kind of funny this movie was made to portray the more grimdark "New 52" universe, particularly now that DC’s rebooting the universe again to push the comics in a more character-driven direction than a universe-driven one. If the comics were to focus on the character traits of Wonder Woman and Cyborg as I know them in this movie, it would definitely sell me their comics. They don't all have to be gritty and dark like Batman, which has kind of been DC's faulty strategy for a while now - they bank on Batman at the expense of everything, even Superman.
I'd really like a Wonder Woman that is an extremely disciplined warrior but is a socially naive and tasked wth being a political ambassador. Its a very interesting and fun take on her. Cyborg having all this amazing technology at his disposal and the ability to assimilate it, but still not feeling like he adds up in the eyes of his own family? I couldn't think of something that would make him more human than that.
Time for the recaps!