"The powerstaff alone cost over 14 million in research and development. I had to skim it off half a dozen subsidiaries and charity foundations just to keep it off the books.
Do you think it's easy to cram so many features into such a compact space? Electric taser, EM pulse, sonic resonator, anything I could possibly need. You think it was cheap to get my hands on enough kryptonite to edge the blade? You can't just go to the nearest Best Buy and pick up a chunk of radioactive meteorite.
Let's not even talk about the orbital laser. Not even Lexcorp is allowed to legally weaponize space, no matter how hard I beat the national defence drum. It took years to smuggle in the array, piece by piece, tucked away with satellite TV units and food stuffs for the ISS. Assembled in secret, not even the astro-mechanics that worked on it really know what I've got up there – all in preparation for the day when I would finally take HIM on.
But seeing him now, beaten and broken, lying on his back wondering how it all went wrong. It was worth it. Every cent. Every year. Every life."
In my head, Injustice Lex Luthor is pretty damn cool. A genius mind ran feverish with obsession and hate. A vast empire of corporations, government lobbies, trusts, and secret societies all turned to his one singular goal of ridding the earth of it's big blue alien boyscout.
Too bad he kinda actually sucks.
Dear lord have I been trying to find a way to make him work. I really like his character design, I love the idea of fighting super humans and Gods in a big stompy robot suit, it speaks to my childish heart. But damn if it isn't an uphill battle. His slow attacks, the weird hitboxes that miss all kinds of characters, the smattering of odd special moves that work great in concert, but as soon as you lose momentum the wheels come off and everything goes to hell. The poor mad scientist is a mess!
Luckily for me, I'm still at the point where Injustice is a ton of fun even when I'm losing. I'm still seeing new things, crazy stage interactions, and ridiculous combos that make me excited for more. It's been a few weeks now and I'm still shocked at how good a game it is. Mortal Kombat 9 was solid and a nice surprise, but I didn't have anything at stake riding on it. I'm not a huge MK fan with a nostalgic lust for the old days.
But I am a comic fan, and I was really nervous that Injustice was going to be a flop. It's a wonderful thing to be wrong sometimes.
So after having a good go at it with the madman for the past few weeks and watching my win/loss dip more and more perilously, I thought I'd give the lunatic a try the other night.
Joker is a weird character in Injustice and a lot of fun to play. I initially shied away from using him since I figured he'd be pretty popular online and I didn't want to play in a bunch of mirror matches. As ever, I should have remembered that the FGC doesn't so much pick their favourite characters they love, but instead gravitate towards the easiest to win with. The quick-race to the bottom of scummy easy wins. So long as you stay away from the trigger happy Deathstroke and the omni-directional thunder god Black Adam, you won't have to worry about too many mirror matches with any other character, that power pair seem to represent a good 60% of fighters I run into.
True to form, the Joker spins and hops around the stage with a variety of odd moves and tools. He's got a big ol' knife that I can't help but love, years of playing with Cody and Vega I suppose – plus he's got a crowbar, continuing on Cody's fine tradition of whopping fighters with construction yard tools. I thought the canisters of smile-ex gas were a nice touch. They show up as part of his throw, an overhead, and as two different projectiles, one he throws in a lazy arc and the other he rolls on the ground with a sharp kick. Because you know, why not kick the can of compressed gas with your knife boot?
The rolling canister is my go-to combo extender, you can blow it up and bounce Batman all over the stage with it, it's wonderful. But I'm still having trouble figuring out what to do with the slow-pitch toss. It's a great way to get smacked in the nuts by a batarang from what I can tell.
Reaching into his coat, he can toss out a trio of chattering teeth. A classic gag. Of course they explode after a moment, I mean, what else would you expect? They hit low, setting up all kinds of fun high/low mix-up games and even some jerkbag unblockable situations (provided you don't get your jaw broken during the sluggish animation whipping them out).
He also has a gun. But that's boring.
What isn't boring is setting the training dummy to Nightwing and seeing just how many ways I can work his crowbar into a combo. There should be an achievement for finishing off a Robin with the frenzied EX version of his crowbar slam. Death in the family indeed.
I don't think I'll stick with him, but it's been fun to just sit down with the killer clown and see what exactly he can do. The more I play the game, the more I appreciate the work that went into each character. They really feel and act like their comic book counterparts and not like DC skins plastered over Mortal Kombat characters.
It's the little touches. The way Superman can effortlessly flip an opponent into the sky with a quick toss, or the way Batman works all kinds of quick little batarang tosses and gadgets into his regular moveset and combo-strings. It would have been really easy to turn Superman into a dime-store Raiden or Batman into a generic karate dude with a bat shaped fireball. But they didn't, they put some real work into representing all of the characters powers, abilities, and style while still managing to make a fairly well-balanced fighting game. It's quite an accomplishment.
Keeping in line with the comic theme, I finally got around to reading the main storyline series of Blackest Night, the big DC event from a couple of years ago. The basic setup is a mysterious new force known as the Black Lantern is terrorizing earth, slapping a black ring on just about every corpse in the DC universe and raising them up as horrible zombie jerk/Deadite type things. Looking back, I have no idea what the big deal was.
Personally, Blackest Night was a dud. A comic filled to the brim with the kind of shit that makes me not want to read comics anymore. Messy two-page battle scenes that make no kind of spacial or sequential sense. Giant text balloons budging with dramatic text, laughably self-serious dialogue, and necessary but horrendously awkward exposition. It has characters that hop around between schizophrenic alliances from page to page, inconsistent motivations and goals, and a nonsense Deus Ex Machina solution at the end to top it all off. Not to mention the entirely macabre murders and violence sprinkled throughout. I'm not a shrinking violet when it comes to getting messy, but it's still weird to me when a character gets his heart ripped out, or a girl gets folded up and stuff in a fridge in a mainline monthly comic book. Aren't these things supposed to appeal to a wide audience, kids and adults? I have to suspect the target demographic for Blackest Night wears a fedora and talks a lot about men's rights.
So yeah, don't bother reading Blackest Night. Maybe it would have been better if I read all the ancillary bullshit, the dozen or so other titles that had monthly issues devoted to the plot. But I'd be hard pressed to think of a bigger waste of time.
We are at the point where a videogame about super heroes punching each other has an infinitely more enjoyable story than actual comic books. The industry might be in trouble.
- People are upset that Batgirl is one of the DLC characters, but I can't wait. One of my favourite comics is the DC 1st that features Both Batgirl's (classic Barbara and new comer Casandra) first meeting with the Joker. It tells the story with two different art styles and moods that really highlight the fall from the classic silverage into the grimdark of modern comics.
Well, he we are. Shadow of the Eternals has been revealed, along with its plans for crowd-sourcing. It is, in almost every way, Eternal Darkness 2. The story takes place across 2500 years, and you play as as several (seemingly 20) characters. It's split up into 12 downloadable "episodes," with the first seeing you play as Erzébet Bathory's lover and handmaiden, Clara. All the details, along with videos & stretch goals are here for eye-gazing. They're asking for a mere $1,500,000.
The question is: will you donate? There's nothing more I would like to see than a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness, but there are some serious red flags. For one, Precursor Games is based in Canada, so they are using their own crowd-funding, rather than Kickstarter or Indiegogo. They aren't obligated to follow any rules that people are used to seeing from these types of crowd-funding campaigns. As a matter of fact, when it went live yesterday, this was under their TOS: “Precursor Games is under no obligation to complete the Game, or in the event completion is impossible, return any of the donations it has received.” They apparently changed it, because it now reads: " Precursor Games is committed to completing Shadow of the Eternals. However, in the event that Precursor Games cannot raise enough money to develop this project, all donations will refunded to their respective contributors." Quite a change.
Another big red flag is Denis Dyack himself. He seems like a talented guy, with great ideas, but he also ran Silicon Knights straight into the foetid ground. Most people who follow gaming news are probably somewhat aware of their big legal battle with Epic. SK lost their suit, was successfully counter-sued, and they were ordered to "...destroy any code built using Epic's technology; the court order includes Too Human, X-Men: Destiny, Siren in the Maelstrom, The Sandman, and The Box/Ritualyst." As of October last year, SK was reported to have less than employees left. Accusations about how he ran his crew aside, it's hard to trust someone who was president at SK during all of this. Not only was there ethically questionable (at best) behavior being propagated, but seemingly games were being pushed through whether or not they should have been.
The other red flag, perhaps not as big, is the lack of Nintendo. Say what you will, but nobody has quality standards like they do. Silicon Knights' best games (IMO) were Eternal Darkness & Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. Both came out under watch of Nintendo. How much that played a role in those games, I'm not entirely sure, but SK's two games since then are decidedly not up to par, at the least, not on a technical level. I'm not saying it reminds me of what happened to Factor 5, but I'm not saying it doesn't. Let's not also forget that Nintendo owns a couple of important patents in regard to Eternal Darkness' unique systems.
Is the plan to fund this and then hope that Nintendo picks them up? Hmm...
Are an untethered crowfunding method and seemingly terrible management enough to keep you away from Shadow of the Eternals? Or do you have enough faith in this new team of "veteran game developers" to give them a shot (and your money?)
May the Great Old Ones wake from their slumber and help us. (lol)
I really just don't know anymore. So tired. I took a new weekend shift awhile back and I no longer sleep on Sundays or Mondays other than a few hours Monday afternoon. It is taking quite the toll on me, but I need the money. What ya gonna do? Thank God my caps haven't been the greatest anyway. Problem is, you all deserve great caps. From someone not half asleep and burnt out beyond recognition. So, I'm thinking of stepping down as a recapper. I'll try to switch days with someone first and I will finish my first year (almost there!), but yeah. This sucks. If I didn't children, it'd be a different story, but I simply cannot go on working, raising kids alone, recapping, programming, podcasting, commenting and contesting it up. As much of a workhorse as I am, even I have my limits. To anyone that actually cares, I'm sorry. Like I said, I'll try and make it work, but I don't have high hopes. I love this job and I love you guys though. So let's enjoy this while it lasts.
I've been trying to unwind in some games lately, but I can't seem to play anything more than a half hour at a time anymore. My brain just can't do it, along with my hands. It's kind of sad. But still totally a first world problem. OH NOES! I have played some cool stuff though. Still big into Orion: Dino Horde. Just a fun game to kick back with and blast some dinos. Played a bit of Poker Night 2. Pleasantly surprised by Cambell's replacement. He does a surprisingly good job. The card game has been stepped up and is more fun, but the AI has a hard on for going all-in at just the oddest damn times. Hopefully they patch that up. If not, it was only $5 and I've had more than $5 worth of fun already. Eh, that's all I've got. Let's cap.
Hello friends! It's Friday again, so you know what that means. It's time for some more BOOB-- *cough* erm... ahem. Sorry about that. That one just kinda slipped out... Anyway, enough about those things, let's talk about something else for once, eh? Like, say, orcs maybe?
I finally got around to picking up one of last year's releases that I'd been very excited about: Of Orcs and Men! For some reason, I was under the impression that the game was a digital-only release, and I was wary about dropping $50 on a digital title. But then I found out the game did, in fact, have physical copies released! It's just that they were only released in PAL territories. So I ended up purchasing my very first imported game, which was cheaper than buying it digitally!
I've only finished the first chapter of the game so far, but it's already fantastic! The combat was a little weird to me at first, and took a bit of getting used to, but now I'm really enjoying it. I like that the action slows down while you're selecting which moves to use next; it allows you to consider your options carefully, much like with turn-based combat, except it's not turn-based combat. I had hoped it would be more action-oriented combat (a la Dragon's Dogma), rather than selecting moves and watching them pan out, but it works well enough.
You can tell that the game is rather low budget, with some dodgy animations and voice acting (the main characters are good, but some of the NPCs have very weird voices), but that's OK. Overall, the game is still pretty impressive. I haven't played enough of the game yet to really comment on the writing, but there have been some funny jokes and interesting plot twists already, so I have high hopes for the rest of the game.
Of Orcs and Men: a Romance?
Of course, the main reason I like the game so much is because you get to play as an orc and goblin. I'm interested in almost any game with protagonists that are out of the ordinary, so getting to play as a race that's usually considered the enemy was intriguing to me. Even in World of Warcraft, I always liked to play as orcs for some reason. Not sure why, they just look really cool to me. Also, they're huge and badass, and I like playing as huge badasses (Heavy Weapons Guy, Bowser, Kind Dedede, etc).
So yeah. Of Orcs and Men. It's a good one.
No topsauce today, because apparently us recappers hate everything. It's true.
We hate because we care. We are the Asian parents who hold you guys to high standards. If we don't hate you, who will? We refuse to let anyone love you. At all. Like orphans. You guys are orphans. People don't love orphans. So start writing like a bunch of orphans or get better like non-orphan people. Also Glowbear is on this episode and is decidedly not an orphan. CBLOGS.
Glowbear guest stars on this episode as we acknowledge the Recappers' tendency to hate stuff. We like plenty of stuff, like Wrench's swag box or Orwell's tribute to fap but mostly we hate stuff. Also, today's segments are brought to you by GTAV's character intro movies!
But first: long live the king-isms part 2. Yep, so we have a king now! Last Tuesday, the 30th, it was Queen’s Day, and also the day on which our new king was sworn in. I watched the ceremony on live-stream, and it was a pretty cool thing to see. I’m a sucker for traditions like these, so this in particular was really something. And it seems I wasn’t the only one either! The whole plaza in front of the church where it all took place was absolutely stuffed with people just as supportive as I am. Don’t worry though, in a few weeks time we’ll continue the usual bullshit of how the royal family is paid too much and we should become a republic and yada-yada-yada.
Yeah, we kind of have this thing with the color orange. Blame this guy.
Anyway, I just thought I’d bring you up to speed; you know how much I like sharing these things. Moving on then.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but when it comes to popular culture, I have these “phases” as I like to call them. They consist of a couple of weeks in which I want to do nothing but drown myself in everything I can find from one series or another. Not too long ago I had a Lord of the Rings phase, I’ve had Legend of Zelda phases, Lovecraft phases, you name it.
This week saw the return of my superhero phase. Strider, Phil? I blame you.
So I got myself a whole bunch of new superhero series to watch, on top of the many (many) animated movies I already had. For one, it turns out that Marvel made four short anime series out of some of their characters: Iron Man, the X-men, Wolverine (yes, another one >.>;) and Blade. I’ve started watching that Iron Man anime already, and it’s pretty okay. Because it’s an anime it’s set in Japan, which makes for an interesting setting. It turns out the Japanese aren’t very keen on Tony Stark’s playboy attitude and they’re understandably suspicious of this former weapons manufacturer bringing nuclear material into the country to build his power plant. It’s cool to see how he deals with that. (he doesn’t, really) The dubbed voices and lipsynching aren’t all that, but I can forgive it.
The other series I haven’t started yet, but they all look pretty decent. I’m actually more interested in Wolverine than I should be, mostly because it’s the first series I’ve seen in years in which he doesn’t look like Hugh Jackman. We’ll see how all of this holds up.
And that’s it for the Marvel side of things.
As for DC, I’ve started rewatching the old Teen Titans series. Series like these were always a massive pain to follow when I was a kid. No channel could ever be arsed to simply run the episodes in order, so I never really had much of an idea of what was going on in the grand scheme of things. Watching it online or on DVD works wonders for that though. Teen Titans, looking back on it, is actually much more kid-oriented than I remember it being, but it’s still pretty cool. Slade (= Deathstroke, but I guess they couldn’t get away with that) is a delightful villain, but most of all I like watching Raven and Beast Boy use their powers. “Azarath Metrion Zinthos!” and all that. I’m not too far in yet, but it holds up pretty well so far.
Finally, the last series I started watching, and without a doubt the best one, is Young Justice. For those not in the know, Young Justice features a team of all the DC sidekicks performing “covert” missions which always seem to end up with something exploding. Every episode so far has dealt with a different villain (although they all seem to be working for the same mastermind, some group or entity known as “the Light”), and they have all been envisioned really well.
The same goes, if not more so, for the heroes. Young Justice manages to make all of these sidekicks forces to be reckoned with despite their age and inexperience, and they all come together beautifully when they get to work together as a team. Their characters as such are mostly good (with the possible exception of Superboy, who is kind of a dick sometimes), but the series does do nice things with their powers and skills. And isn’t that ultimately what we watch this shit for?
Left to right: Aqualad, Miss Martian, Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash, Artemis
Robin, for example, is more Batman-style hyper-competent in Young Justice than I’ve ever seen him. He’s incredibly clever, especially for a 13-year-old, and has all of the gadgets you’d expect from him, not to mention the skill to use them. He’s also apparently a master hacker, which is used to great effect on multiple occasions. The series sometimes seems to forget that the Young Justice team is supposed to be “covert”, but when it does remember you can bet your ass that Robin is vital for the mission. Finally, he has this…“thing” with words. It’s difficult to explain.
Miss Martian, Superboy and Kid Flash are all more or less what you’d expect from them. Superboy is strong and refuses to die (yawn), Kid Flash is fast and Miss Martian does the whole telekinesis and telepathy thing. I do really like how the team has basically ditched the standard com-links in favor of Miss Martian’s telepathy. Less susceptible to tapping, you know. Again, the real treat is in seeing how this all comes together.
Aqualad, as I understand it, was an original creation for the Young Justice show, and he’s awesome-and-a-half. He’s currently the leader of the group (mostly because Robin has this tendency to just assume everyone knows what the plan is without him saying a word), which is sure to please some African-american viewers. He talks in this kind of old-timey royal way of speaking which I always really enjoy. But what I appreciate most of all about this guy is that they gave him the power to control water with his mind. Yep, he’s a waterbender. His coolest asset are his weapons: he wields two empty hilts designed to help him focus his waterbending skills. What he does is he takes these hilts and channels water through them to create water swords, shields, maces, whips, you name it. A really clever way of using that power which I haven’t seen since Avatar (interestingly, in Avatar it was mostly the firebenders who created elemental weapons). On top of that, he can generate electric shocks like eels and is mostly immune to poison like jellyfish. Perhaps there are some other powers related to sea creatures that haven’t yet been shown; I’m eager to find out. Either way, a really cool interpretation of a character that could have been completely crap.
Finally, before we get to the caps there’s one more sidekick to go over. Fortunately, I can keep this short.
Last but not least, there’s Artemis. Which is to say: