My Obligatory Top 10 Best Games of 2013 List

     As a wanna be writer I figure there must be some unwritten, but fully understood, rule that we must make a list of things every end-of-the-year that we then label "the best."
     These are ones that stood out for me.  A note beforehand- there are plenty of games I have not played due to being a more-than-full-time patient care worker in the medical field, and I also had school and other hobbies on top of that.  But I still managed an absurd amount of gaming.
     Most of these I've written about previously, or have drafts mostly finished and on the way, so I'll keep this short.

     That being said, here it goes...

1.  The Last of Us
     Honestly, this's probably going to be on many, many lists.  It is a gaming experience on a personal level.  Hitting us with a small, but powerful story of two people in a story that is undeniably moving in a struggle for morality and meaning in a world gone wrong.

2.  Bioshock Infinite
     This one caught me a bit off.  I have some issues with the story, how some parts don't work when you think about them- but the ideas, that's where they get me.  The Infinite universes opens up endless opportunity for stories with the same characters in an infinite number of ways.  Genius, and one I hope they can follow up on with ingenuity.

3.  Tearaway
     A masterwork of tiny paper proportions.  This was a game the PS Vita needed a while ago, and one I hope gets the Vita sales it rightfully deserves.

4.  Tomb Raider
     A simple reboot done well.  They've taken an old character and gave her a much needed overhaul.   Not amazing, mind you, but memorable nonetheless.

5.  Brother: A Tale of Two Sons
     This is the first game I've played that not just had me play the story but experience it through gameplay mechanics.  A brilliant way of game development I hope other companies look at.

6.  Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
     This game, while just DLC, was a game in itself.  An homage to the absurd neon 1980's, and made all the better because of it.

7.  Guacamelee
     Who would've thought a game about an undead Luchadore could be so wonderful.  A lovely art style and great platforming fun.

8.  Marvel Lego Super Heroes
     Lego Marvel has 2 parts.  The first is the main storyline and levels, this piece of the game is not what I like.  The second part- a massive New York City open world of Lego.  They've, in my opinion, made the most accurate and best marvel game yet with this open world portion.

9.  Batman: Arkham Origins (and Blackgate)
     Sure, it was full of glitches and bugs that hampered any progress across all systems.  After waiting for patches I've finished both Origins and Blackgate- both were well done.  Once again, nothing phenomenal, but something I did in fact enjoy, regardless of most everyone hating it.

10.  Skyrim.
     Ha!  So what if this game is years old, it has unlimited quests and a huge world.  How many other games are immersive enough to keep people going for this long?

     Two others that I really wanted to add were Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.  There's something about unreliable narrator stories and games that appeal to me.  When they are handled well they can open avenues of storytelling that traditional methods lack.
     Borderlands 2 I must've put in roughly a thousand hours of playtime with all the various content being released for it.  The only reason it isn't on the list is because it's pretty much ALL extra content, and not the main game, that I've spent playing.

First Guardians of the Galaxy Official Pic Tweeted by James Gunn

     We finally get a first glimpse of the Guardians.  Not bad, not bad at all.

     From left to right in the pic: Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket Raccoon), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), and Vin Diesel (voice of Groot). 

Batman: Arkham Origins: New Years Eve Teaser 2: Story DLC

     After last week's Batman Arkham Origins teaser, teasing a New Years Eve announcement, we get a follow up teaser image.  Once again teasing something coming soon.  Wb is being quite coy with this, as we know we'll be getting story focused DLC like Arkham City's expansion Harley Quinn's Revenge.  Which acted as a sort of prologue to the main campaign.

     So far all we know is that it appears (the invitation to Wayne Manor) to take place in the mansion.  That would explain the oddly placed and inaccessible elevator to the mansion currently plaguing my thoughts in the Batcave.  Maybe we'll get some more Alfred, more playtime as Bruce Wayne, or something entirely different.
     We won't truly know until WB releases an official statement- it could even be... ugh... more challenge maps.  I'm sick of challenge maps.

     Although... with this teaser invite- this might be a long shot- but could we be getting an early view of my personal favorite Bat-villain Mr. Freeze?  In the old Batman: The Animated Series episode Heart of Ice GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle is set to receive a Humanitarian Award.  But, as he essentially murdered Nora Fries and caused Victor Fries to become Mr. Freeze, after stealing Fries' cryogenic technology, Boyle becomes a target of Freeze's.

     This was the episode that cemented Mr. Freeze as the great tragic figure in Batman's rogues gallery.  (Thank you Paul Dini!)
     If this is what is slated, I will be unbelievably joyed.  But it seems highly doubtful, and mere hopeful speculation.

     Source [ Arkham Origins Facebook ]


Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land Review

     For the most part WayForward has kept me on as a happy customer, but this game somehow managed to have all the right pieces- just none of them seem to fit together quite right.

     What could've been a wonderful homage to the games of yesteryear, winds up falling short.  The show itself has the foundations built on 80's gaming and inventive usage of tons of old school referential humor- but none of them are utilized in the game.  They don't even use any of the series regulars like High Five Ghost or Muscle Man.  Even the simple inclusion of cameos beyond Benson's 20 seconds in the opener would have been an improvement.
     There aren't even any voice acting snippets outside of the duo's "OOOOOOooooooohhh...".  Where's all the quotes?  Where's all the fan service that should be standard with a game based on a television show?  None of the things that make the show great are present in the game.  It missing the humor, the hilarious situations, and

     As it is M&RAi8BL begins with gorgeous 16-bit graphics in a predictable platformer, and adds in some side-scrolling shooting, and top-down shooting like one of my old favorites Zombie's Ate My Neighbors! and swiftly goes downhill from there.
     For the platforming- you can swith between the two major slackers Mordecai and Rigby with a button press.  Rigby will be largely ignored when you don't need to squeeze through small areas because Mordecai gets a very useful double-jump- making him an obvious choice for nearly all situations.
     In the side-scrolling shooter you play as a space ship version of Mordecai.  It sounds great, but handles just a tad too awkwardly.
     During the top-down shooting you get to play as Rigby.  But shooting here is strangely off, it's a lot of strafing, but any changes to the direction of fire seems choppy and can lag that 1 second needed to result in one more cheap death.
     On the whole the controls are both good (platforming) and aggravating (shooting).

     Which brings me to my biggest issue, and possibly the games biggest flaw- a largely artificial difficulty level.  Padding the very short length of the game by making a generically cheap difficulty isn't a good way to make a game.
     There are 4 worlds, with 4 levels and a boss to end the area.  The levels aren't particularly long, and have plenty of dead ends.  Really there isn't a whole lot here- so it seems they ramped up the difficulty to add some game play time.
     Challenge is one thing, cheapness is a another- and this game is rife with cheap challenges.  Dying repeatedly due to off-screen enemies or terrible hit boxes (seriously, there's roughly a 50% chance you'll die jumping on an enemy head- if you aren't exactly centered, you die) doesn't help this game at all.  It is very irritating, and becomes much more so as the game progresses because you only have a single hit point.  Replaying levels after an enemy collision problem right at the end puts this game into a state of frustrating repetitiveness no one can enjoy.  It feels like a constant stream of unfair deaths.

     Even the collectibles section is disappointing- you collect golden VHS tapes and fanny packs.  The tapes open a let-down of an art gallery, and a cheat codes section- and the only code I know of is for infinite lives (big surprise it's the Konami code)- fairly useless once I've beaten a game I know I'll never want to play again.
     And as for the fanny packs...   I still don't have a clue what they were for- it was never explained anywhere in game, and I didn't care enough to find out.

     This game is mediocre at best, and that is coming from a huge fan of the Regular Show.  WayForward has squandered this license- they've created what amounts to an uninspired and greatly missed opportunity.  It looks and sounds good (the music is quite good), and it has ideas that might have been better applied, but all the ingenuity the show has is lost on the game.
     Instead of buying this, just go watch the show, at least you'll be entertained.

     Perhaps in time we'll get a game based on the Regular Show that will do it justice- updating all the nostalgic joy of the 8-bit era without the parts no one liked.  Someone needs to properly tap into the show's creativity and give us a game the Regular Show rightfully deserves.


Thundercats Nintendo DS Review

     Thunder-CRAAAAAAAP,  HOOO-rrendous!!!

     I happened to pick this up at a Gamestop, in the new Nintendo DS section- somehow left unpurchased for at least a year.  In retrospect, that fact alone should've tipped me off to how bad this game is.  All my 80's childhood nostalia from the original show, adding to my enjoyment of the more recent rebooted cartoon series from 2011 wasn't enough to make playing this worth it.

     First off- this should rightly be called ThunderCat, not Cats, as you play solely as Lion-O.  As the leader of the ThunderCats, you do gain the ability to call in assists from other team members- Panthro, Tygra, Cheetara, and the tiny team of WilyKat & WilyKit- by collecting summons tokens.  You can only carry three of these which leads to use it or lose it play.

     The controls are ultra simple.  Simple enough that they neglected to use the X and Y buttons.  We are left with really a D-Pad, a jump button, and an attack button.  Which all of them seem to have just enough delay to result in death for the extremely unclear platforming sections.  It would also be worth mentioning that the unresponsive nature also compounds the problem of animations having to finish- consequently leaving you not just open to attack, but usually leaving you to be hit 3 or 4 times back to back without a dodge or block button.  One could also point out that every swing of the sword pushes you forward, causing you to miss swing because you have to adjust your footing, which is very inconvenient during a boss fights short "weak point" openings.
      Every fight is purely an exercise in frustration.  It is an awful irritation when you get enemies surrounding you and have to wait for even your most menial attack finish it's animation only to result in you getting shot from both sides, and then hit by melee attackers on top of that.  You are left defenseless in a game of melee.  Every level comes down to constant mobbing from an endless stream of color-swapped enemies that will inevitably strike you because the controls are so bad.

     Using the ThunderCats' fabled Sword of Omens feels like you are swinging a useless cardboard tube.  It's weak, it's preposterously slow, and it's range isn't even the whole length of the blade.  This makes the boss fights unbelievably tedious- you need to get close enough for your sword to hit, but this puts you in a position to take multiple hits from their attacks, which have far more range and speed than anything in your own arsenal.  Each one of the bosses is a damage sponge and takes at least twice as long as they rightfully should to defeat.

     Saves occur apparently randomly, not necessarily at the end of the levels like the game says, as I was sent back whole levels after death a couple times, and checkpoints are nonexistent.  So you're essentially playing a lottery with when and where you'll pick up after a death or save.  In reality, playing a level once in this game is bad enough, being forced to play it again because a faulty auto-save is certainly a cherry on top of a shit sundae.

     This is one of the most pitiful 2D beat-'em-up, side-scrolling platformers I have ever played.  In light of the classics like the TMNT or X-men arcades, this is a shameful thing to fail in the modern gaming era.  With a plethora of decent games in this style, how did anyone think this could pass muster?
     What a disgusting cash grab- this is one of the laziest productions of a game I have seen ever.  Muddy colored backgrounds, terrible speech compression (after hearing Lion-O's only line of dialogue, "ThunderCats, HOOOO!" for the 1,000 time on the first level, mute became my favorite button.), and the gameplay itself is a plain chore to plow through.

     ThunderCats is an embarrassment- there are tons of games from our 16 bit yesteryear that are infinitely better than this.  Everything that could've been retro homage to the show felt ruined in every way possible.  Really, this game makes Aliens: Colonial Marines look like a work of art.  Why they didn't make a game like WayForward's Thor: God of Thunder for DS is beyond me.  Just watch the Toonami cartoon and avoid this game, even if you could get the game for free, it isn't worth the time to play- and the ghost of Jaga is crying somewhere in the beyond because of it.


Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot, Linda Carter, and Amy Adams Speak

     There has been a hell of a back lash and many internet arguments raging about the Gal Gadot casting choice as the DC Comics icon Wonder Woman for the Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel, Batman vs Superman.  Gadot has finally spoken about the role:

It’s been said that you’re too skinny for the part. Wonder Woman is large-breasted, is that going to change?
Hmm. I represent the Wonder Woman of the new world. Breasts… anyone can buy for 9,000 shekels and everything is fine. By the way, Wonder Woman is amazonian, and historically accurate amazonian women actually had only one breast. So, if I’d really go “by the book”…it’d be problematic.
So you’re not going to gain a little weight and start eating carbs before filming begins?
It’s the physical preparations that I’m starting now. A very serious training regimen – Kung Fu, kickboxing, swords, jujutsu, Brazilian…1,000 and 1 things…I’ll gain body mass.

     First off- as for the accuracy of the portrayal we are looking for is comic book, not historical.  We do mean "by the book," the COMIC BOOK, not Herodotus' Histories.
     But since she mentioned it- it can be argued that it was a short-lived tradition because it could irrevocably damage the things they wanted to benefit in martial prowess- their throwing/shooting arms.  Besides, as an art and history student I don't recall a single Amazonian piece that is missing either breast.  Whether it be sculpture or painting, not a single one.  Here's the wiki link to Amazons, I suggest you peruse it and make your own judgement and further studies.  So could Herodotus have been relating things that were incorrect?  It is possible.  I figure there was truth in it- but only some, as many ancient renown fighters only gained glory by face to face combat.  Even Paris of Illium was considered a coward for long range combat.
     We didn't judge Marvel's Thor harshly because he didn't have red hair and have his magical belt and gauntlets.  We judged Thor based on how well they handled the Marvel version of the character.
     (On a side note, I have to admit her response is quite clever, and possibly meant as a distraction.)

     A Wonder Woman of the new world?  Well, maybe you will be, but you still need to look the part.
     Body types do mean something in these films.  I'm not talking about breast size.  I couldn't care less about that.  This is about a fighter's physique.  There's a reason no one would think of casting DJ Qualls in the role of Batman.  No one would consider hiring a hundred pound actor for Superman.  If Snyder is trying to keep with his own, new versions of these characters- grounded in reality, more gritty and realistic, then she needs to look the part of a hand-to-hand combat warrior.  Think of Lucy Lawless as Xena: Warrior Princess.  Would she have had the same impact if she was a twig?  Not even close.

     Think about it- would anyone hire Mackenzie Crook as Batman?  No.  He would, however, make a wonderful Scarecrow.  Why is that?  It's the image.  It's because appearance is important, they are archetypal for some roles- most notably in globally recognizable iconic ones at that.  Nobody is going to believe a scrawny Batman will get the job done now.  Michael Keaton worked well back in the late 80's, but now?  He wouldn't work.  If we require the males to be buff and ripped to look their respective roles, so should the ladies.

     Sure, many people cite the Heath Ledger case for character casting decisions, but he had acting chops before hand.  Most notably Brokeback Mountain.   But do you remember how quickly the Adrianne Palicki Wonder Woman show got shut down?  It had 100% to do with not nailing the image properly.  How about casting Jennifer Garner as Elektra?  Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern?  Or the Schumacher Batman films.  Poorly handled on top of terrible casting.  (I admit Jim Carrey could've been great if they handled him like they handled the BBC Sherlock's Moriarty.)

     There's been the Christian Bale bulking up argument.  Plenty of males bulk up for films- Chris Evans for Captain America, Tom Hardy in Warrior, even Ben Affleck in The Town- but I have never seen a film with a woman do it properly.  The closest thing I can think of would be Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2.  For that role she actually ends up very ripped, but she looks far slimmer than she did in the first Terminator.  She toned up, not bulked up.  It's tough to judge when a "model/actress" says they'll gain body mass, what their idea is.  How many models think a mere couple of pounds equals mass?

     Recently, Hollywood has an odd notion that all these "strong" women should be played by waspy thin actresses.  That we can believe a stick person can dole out massive damage.  As an alternative to thin heroine in movies- the only one I can think of is Jaime Alexander as Sif in Thor.  She was well cast, but sidelined in the films.  With a bit of bulking up she could've nailed the look of comics' portrayal of Wonder Woman nearly perfectly.  I am glad they didn't though- Wonder Woman is of Greek descent, and it is a chance for Hollywood to give a major superhero role to a non-white individual.
     (I also just recalled- Gina Carano in Haywire.  Mediocre acting at best, but at least I could believe she could beat the living sh!t out of everyone.  She could even play the role of WW.  And sadly, her acting is on par with Gadot's.)

     Which leads me to- why is she training in a bunch of NON-GRECIAN fighting techniques?  Wonder Woman is Greek fighter- trained and raised on a hidden Greek island- which means she would not be using a bunch of flashy looking moves from Eastern cultures.  She would get in and take the enemy down as fast as possible.
     And all those types of training do not add mass!  I work out on a daily basis, and have consulted my professional female body building friends, and none of them believe it is possible to gain weight through sheer martial arts training.  There needs to be a weight training portion specifically.  Hell- as a 5' 11", 150lb male, it took me quite a long while to even make it to 150.  Much longer than the mere month or two that she has before filming begins.

     In an MTV article with Amy Adams (Lois Lane from Man of Steel):
     Though she said she was "not familiar with [Gadot's] body shape," she could sympathize with being the subject of fan critiques. Her strategy: let it go.
"I don't buy into that," she said. "Not that I [don't] believe that it's happening, but I'm certainly not a classically drawn woman as they exist in comic books, so I had to embrace that I just had a baby, I still hadn't gotten my waist back. Lois is not about proportions, Lois is about her intellect and her savvy reporting skills and her empathy for Clark, and so I just didn't think about it."
"She is going to be yoked, man. He is going to make her a beast," Adams said. 
     Lois Lane is one thing, she is a reporter, leaving open a multitude of choices of appearance, Wonder Woman is a whole different problem.  I've said it a bunch- she can't look like she'd shatter if patted on the back.  None of the ladies in Sucker Punch were "beasts."  They didn't really seem like they could destroy everything in their paths.  Only Faora from Man of Steel could really be counted here.  And Antje Traue was bulkier before anyways.  Besides, did she really "bulk" for that role?  You can't tell because she's covered in Kryptonian armor.

     Even if she does get the looks down, and bulked up properly- will she be able to act the part?  Be convincing enough for a rabid fan base?  Her Fast & Furious roles say not even close.  If she manages to gain the mass and look the part- many fans will forgive shoddy acting.
     Our fandom criticisms may be harsh, but we want the best possible performances, the best we can get.  As an entertainer, Gadot (along with director Zack Snyder) should want to listen to what we say- if only to keep us wanting their productions.

     Over at MetroUK, former Wonder Woman Linda Carter herself had something to say about the role:
What is the enduring appeal of Wonder Woman? There’s an identification factor. She’s not your average superhero. It’s not so much about her super powers as it is about her ethic. I always thought of her as a figure who stands for what’s right. We all know what’s wrong with the world today, so maybe we need her right now.
     Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, is a blunt force- full of beauty and power.  A regal presence filled with grace and a little bit of attitude.  I really hope they can pull this off.  If miss Gadot can become the ripped beast of a princess and live up to the acting critisism, she'll have us as fans for life.
     If she can look like that photoshop pic above, I'll be on board.  Until we start seeing pics I unfortunately remain highly skeptical.  Of the "mass gaining" and of her current acting abilities.  Here's another chance to prove us fans wrong.

     Sorry to go on such a rant here.

     Source [ Batman News ]

     Here's a couple more posts I did about this topic 
          [ Gadot Cast as WW ]  
          [ Wb needs WW Film ]

     I would also recommend this great article on Wonder Woman's various costumes over the years [ The Mary Sue ]

     It would be worth mentioning some other Wonder Woman picture references, considering the pic above was probably made from Jeffach's Photoshop work, particularly this one.  You should check out his Deviant Art gallery, plenty of good WW pics.  [ Gallery ]

     Another great DeviantArtist with great WW pics is Nebezial.  [ Gallery ]

     Then there is the incomparable Adam Hughes.  [ Gallery ]

Some of Nebezial's Wonder Woman Sketches


Charlie the Cockatiel Sketch

     The only thing I've made recently that I feel all right with posting here in the way of art is this little sketch of my tiny bird buddie, Charlie the Cockatiel.  I have others as well, of Izzy with more color (she's brightly colored)- but those are for another time.

     Well, Charlie here likes to peep questions at me like, "Brooooot?"  He also likes to sing If You're Happy and You Know It with Izzy.

     On repeat.

     Ad nauseam.

     It's the only song they know.

     He occasionally enjoys playing Playstation Vita as well.

A Merry-ish Christmas for 2013

Yep, that's my ugly mug on the job.
     Once again we've arrived at Christmas Day 2013.  Another decent year despite numerous life setbacks.  It's a time I like to equate with visiting family at gatherings I haven't been able to attend for years due to working in the medical field.  A time of reflection on the wonderful things we have, and that's not including material gifts.  It's about goodwill and common decency.
     And maybe watching movies like Scrooged, Gremlins, and A Christmas Story.  It's about enjoying the old Rankin-Bass claymation specials- Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  It's about being good for goodness' sake.  It's to be a child in heart, and an adult in deed.

     This year however, something was off.  No loss of family or anything  Nothing I could place a finger on.  Just an aura of stress.  Recently I've been having a ton of anxiety over the return to school- I finished a degree earlier this year and will be returning to further my education, but because of my specific circumstances, I'm needing appealing a bunch of things to make the transfer to another school feasible.  Unfortunately, it's a bad time for that, as everyone was preparing for the holidays.  Such being the case, all the classes I wanted to sign up for a month ago are now full, and the remaining class choices are slim indeed.
     All the stories I wanted to write, I never finished.  The comics and art I wished to make, also never completed.  There was always "work" to do, and excuses to be made.  This year I think I'm going to say screw it and follow my dreams of actually finishing my projects regardless of the endless obstacles.  Hell, I might even begin a Kickstarter Project so I can finish a book I started to write in high school about Mars.  At least it's a way to foster the creative drive I want to fulfill in a tough economic time.

     Then to add just a bit more to my plate, every year I try to make Christmas/Holiday cards entirely by hand.  (Here's a link to a some)  I personally prefer receiving things people make, don't get me wrong here, I'm highly appreciative of ANY gifts I receive, it's just that in these days I fully understand many others struggle to provide even small presents.  Even if it's a childish crayon picture I still enjoy them.

     This year however, I was way off my game, and despite having 50+ ideas, I just couldn't seem to get any of them to look right.  None of the watercolors looked OK.  None of the drawings or sketches worked how I wanted them to.  I even had a problem with a tube of oil paint somehow mixed in with all my gouaches- so when I went to use it, I ruined the picture.  Man, this year I feel like an absolute failure in the creativity area.  It's like all the talent and ability I had abandoned me for the holidays.  (The pic to the right is one of my work spaces and a load of supplies.)

     The only card I "finished" was a joke card.  I colored Gustave Dore's Nativity scene and made a joke comment about Jesus being clearly not Joseph's.

     So all I have thus far is a sketchbook of a hundred ideas, and a folder on my computer with 30 partially finished cards.  Last year I had a slew of Scratch-&-Sniff cards worked out with candy cane, gingerbread, and Christmas Tree scents, but the print shop screwed me on cost- so that was set aside, and this year I couldn't find a new printer.  This year I also had a couple lenticular cards based on ideas from 2007, but only recently found a print shop I can afford, so these will have to wait until next year as well.  Same goes with my "Elegant Snowflake" card, which is a watermarked snowflake design on a small card with only (Hold up to light.) showing in black ink, so when you hold it up, the card appears.

     Anyway, sorry to be a downer, I just wanted to share the fact I burned myself up completely this year- both artistically, and at the job, until I was dead tired.  I feel like I haven't done well enough for family and friends.  Today in particular I helped a lonely person feel welcome, made a patient with a nasty hip fracture laugh, promised another I wouldn't send them to nursing home for their present, and helped some visitors smuggle in a bunch of Christmas contraband.  Not much mind you, but it's the least I could do to spread at least a little bit of Christmas joy.  What I'm trying to get across here is that it just doesn't feel like I've done anything, like I haven't contributed properly, and want people to know I tried.

     Merry Christmas good readers.


Batman Arkham Teaser: Save the Date: DLC or Sequel Announcement New Years Eve

     The Official Facebook Page for Batman Arkham has posted a cryptic image recently, and I am very curious as to what they are hinting at.

     While I would like to hope for the official announcment of the Arkham City sequel everyone already knows Rocksteady is working on, and more than likely for the next gen systems, but it'll probably be the story expanding narrative focused DLC we were promised with the Arkham Origins Season Pass ("All New Story").  If it were to somehow be for the next Rocksteady Arkham game, I believe it would coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Batman in 2014.
     Although, from the post credits scene from Origins, I would guess a Suicide Squad type DLC.

     Either way, I'm looking forward to what it will be.

Sherlock Season 3 Mini-episode: Many Happy Returns

     With only a couple weeks until the new episode airs, we get a nice short episode titled Many Happy Returns to bridge the gap between Sherlock seasons 2 and 3.

     I really like how they gave Anderson a bit of what appears to be guilt and loss in his obsessive search to locate Sherlock.  He was such an unlikable character, it's refreshing to see him so distraught and, well, human.

     Sherlock airs Jan 1, 2014 on BBC, and Jan 19th on PBS for us in the US.

TMNT Original Classic Collection Toys Re-released

     About a month ago, I was out at a Toys "R" Us and stumbled across this- a retro Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo re-release.  With the current generation being reintroduced to the TMNT because of the great new Nickelodeon TV show and toys, it's wonderful to see the toy companies putting effort into appealing to the older audiences that grew up with the original Turtle toys.

     Playmates (and Nickelodeon) have re-issued these nostalgia-infused vintage figures early enough for Christmas, and this particular one was a gift I bought for myself.  It comes complete with loaded childhood memories of losing half of the weapons from the cut-apart plastic rack that doubles as a stand, which I didn't know as a kid.  Unfortunately, Mike's nunchucks still break fairly swiftly once removed from it.

     So this re-issue contains the original 6 action figures from way back in 1988 (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Splinter, and Shredder), the Turtle Party Wagon, and a massive Raphael M.E.C.H. suit.  Dude- I also recall not ever being able to get the Shredder to balance properly due to his strange stance.

     A small piece of my inner 8 year old is REALLY hoping they release more of these.  I want a Casey Jones, Slash, Mutagen Man, Bebop, Rocksteady, Usagi Yojimbo, Ray Fillet...

You can purchase them here [ Toy "R" Us ]

For more of my Turtle related posts [ TMNT ]

     I would also recommend checking out:

          [ The TMNT Collectionary ]

          [ TMNT Yardsellr on Facebook ]

          [ Official TMNT Facebook ]


Expendables 3: Teaser Trailer and Where Are All the Women?

     As a child of the 80's I have a grand appreciation for ludicrous action flicks.  The Expendables movies are pretty much a giant treat, made just for us 80's kids, loaded with all the one-liners and absurd action sequences you can smash into a film without pulling a Michael Bay explosion fest.

     With this teaser, we get one hell of a line-up of actors, but my only real question is: where are all the LADIES of the 80's action movies?
     We need some Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, and Brigitte Nielsen?  We need some hard hitting leading ladies- a women based team, or at least give them their own damn movie!  I posted about this with Expendables 2, and the film makers still haven't capitalized on this?
     Unless...   This entire team gets stuck and an all women team get to come in and save their Expendable asses.  Doubtful, true- but I can hope.


Old Sketchbook Pages: Project Homage: "The Shape-shifter"

     I went looking through a bunch of old stuff earlier today in search of a specific item had sketched a looooooooooooong time ago and ended up finding a bunch of notebooks and sketchbooks from 1998-2001.  In fact, it contained a mass of notes for one of my dream projects- which would be to remake a cartoon series from my childhood that I am rather fond of for the modern comic times.

     Since that would probably never happen, I had decided to start a project to make my own homage to it, and quite a few other series' into one shared universe set of stories all of my own.  Thus "Project Homage" was born.  Granted, a ton of life got in the way and these were set aside.  Now that I found them I am quite interested in revamping my notes into finished sci-fi and fantasy tales, possibly illustrated ones or comic books if I can find a bit of extra time.

     This one has a super short description.  It is an experiment to create the ultimate in espionage.  A shape-shifting creature.  What it would be is a caterpillar-like being that ingests massive amounts of material and converts it to a nutrient auger to then "grow" more mass.  (The creature itself would be about a foot long- the image is a fairly poor one sorry, it makes it hard to judge)  It would take a lot of time to do, and there would be a network of tendon-like cords throughout the constructed body after making a skeletal frame to work with.  Obviously the bigger the thing being made, the longer it would take.

     When in danger it could alter it's form on the spot with whatever it had on hand.  Need to shrink?  Slough off unnecessary material.  In danger and surrounded by bodies?  Burrow it's way into one and start pilfering their proteins and bones while simultaneously growing a new neural network to control the host's lifeless body.  The perfect, programmed adapter.  It can either use what's on hand, or grow what it needs through a conversion process.

     This creature would be used to infiltrate highly secure locations or replace people/aliens.  Originally I had thought it should be used in tandem with a telepath nearby.  But I'm still debating whether or not to do that.

Old Sketchbook Pages: Project Homage: "The Twins"

     I went looking through a bunch of old stuff earlier today in search of a specific item had sketched a looooooooooooong time ago and ended up finding a bunch of notebooks and sketchbooks from 1998-2001.  In fact, it contained a mass of notes for one of my dream projects- which would be to remake a cartoon series from my childhood that I am rather fond of for the modern comic times.

     Since that would probably never happen, I had decided to start a project to make my own homage to it, and quite a few other series' into one shared universe set of stories all of my own.  Thus "Project Homage" was born.  Granted, a ton of life got in the way and these were set aside.  Now that I found them I am quite interested in revamping my notes into finished sci-fi and fantasy tales, possibly illustrated ones or comic books if I can find a bit of extra time.

     This is actually a two-fer.  This would be a pair of twins, one male and one female.  The sketch above is of the female.  A pair of telepathic prodigies- but instead of being mirrored in their lives, they would be almost opposites.  She would have four eyes, to see with, while the male's suit would have none.  His would be like a birthing caul.  He would be relying on a combination of tech in the suit/mask and building his "view" of the world around him using the minds of those he's around.  She would be the talker and he would be silent.

     I would also note that these two would be part of the "Intergalactic Special Forces" team I had mentioned in the previous posts- so they would have heavy combat experience.  They fight battles with body and mind together- enemies don't often expect to be barraged with both combat in person and mental/astral projections in that other realm that lies in our heads.

     There was a huge "twist" to their story, but when this gets going I would like to keep it a mystery for the time being.  Only my best friend knows what it was, but then again, I told him what it was over a decade ago, so he may have forgotten...

Old Sketchbook Pages: Project Homage: "The Kidd"

     I went looking through a bunch of old stuff earlier today in search of a specific item had sketched a looooooooooooong time ago and ended up finding a bunch of notebooks and sketchbooks from 1998-2001.  In fact, it contained a mass of notes for one of my dream projects- which would be to remake a cartoon series from my childhood that I am rather fond of for the modern comic times.

     Since that would probably never happen, I had decided to start a project to make my own homage to it, and quite a few other series' into one shared universe set of stories all of my own.  Thus "Project Homage" was born.  Granted, a ton of life got in the way and these were set aside.  Now that I found them I am quite interested in revamping my notes into finished sci-fi and fantasy tales, possibly illustrated ones or comic books if I can find a bit of extra time.

     This is one of my favorite personally designed characters to this day.  Outside of two others I made for this project, being called- 1) The Dammu-Yoggua and 2) The Sword of the Nine Tribes.  There is a chance I'll post those pics in a few weeks.  But for now I'm just doing small pieces on the few sketches I found tonight- and I'll dig out the rest another time.

     Anyhow, this character is of an alien race that I can only describe as "living flutes."  Their entire communication is through complex musical systems of notes.

     The skulls would, I figure it, work like a combination of a flute and a lambeosaurine (a hollow-crested hadrosaur).  Air would be forced through complex tubing, and the muscles around the holes on the elongated head to make all the various notes by contracting and closing off pathways- like fingers on a flute.  I figure there would also be other airways for breathing so they could both "sing" and breath at the same time.

     Due to the character being from part of Project Homage, people might be able to guess what show I wanted to update and make it into a hard sci-fi series.  Which is why it looks to be in a containment suit of sorts- to mask it's natural appearance from most humans, which would not know of these odd creatures.  Since they would be much smaller than humans, an exoskeleton and a lot of internal equipment would allow it to be on the team with only a couple people actually knowing what it was.

  I'm actually really glad I saved these old sketches and notes, because I've got tons of better ideas to use these for in my own stories now.


Old Sketchbook Pages: Project Homage: "Siren"

     I went looking through a bunch of old stuff earlier today in search of a specific item had sketched a looooooooooooong time ago and ended up finding a bunch of notebooks and sketchbooks from 1998-2001.  In fact, it contained a mass of notes for one of my dream projects- which would be to remake a cartoon series from my childhood that I am rather fond of for the modern comic times.

     Since that would probably never happen, I had decided to start a project to make my own homage to it, and quite a few other series' into one shared universe set of stories all of my own.  Thus "Project Homage" was born.  Granted, a ton of life got in the way and these were set aside.  Now that I found them I am quite interested in revamping my notes into finished sci-fi and fantasy tales, possibly illustrated ones or comic books if I can find a bit of extra time.

     Here is the first character sketches I found.

     I had her code-named "Siren."  Simply a placeholder name at the time, because she used a form of hypnotic singing to lure in victims.  Her tale was set to be quite sad- she was genetically engineered to be a sort of human/mosquito hybrid- a vampire of sorts.  When she feeds it expands the thorax/belly section for digestion and protein conversion to reproduction- laying eggs.

     Unfortunately, she was also created sterile.  At some point a group finds her singing dirges over her nest of eggs and they try to assist in a kind of rehabilitation.  Bringing her in to get help and be admitted to an Intergalactic Swat Team- made up of other members and oddities that she would feel at least somewhat at home with.

     It would, in essence be universal misfits grouped together because of their outcast natures- picked up and trained by a strange section of military that would, of course, pose it's own threats at a later time.

Christmas Cards 2013: Black Jesus! It's Definitely Not Joseph's child!

     I already know I'll catch a lot of flack for this one- so here goes.  After seeing all this race hubbub going on about Santa and Jesus I figured might as well make a joke about it and add a touch of modern humor to the mix.  So I snagged an old Gustave Dore Nativity pic, colored it, then made it into a meme.
     I wasn't there and have no idea what went down, but I would totally laugh if one of the wise men cracked a joke like this after travelling so far.  Quite a surprise for the family of the newborn black baby Jesus!

     Besides, who gives a crap what color anyone was a couple thousand years ago- shouldn't we focus on the teachings they left behind?  To do good because it's the right thing to do?  Being a decent, generous, and caring person is more important than bickering over stupid shit any day.  Black or white, Jesus taught people to do good, and that is what should be remembered.


Borderlands 2 How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day Review

     Gearbox's newest Borderlands 2 DLC add-on Headhunter Pack: How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day has been released just in time for us to squeeze in it's appropriately Holiday themed enjoyment right before Christmas.
     For the cost of a mere $2.99 we get to visit a magical town called Gingerton through Marcus' Shop's wardrobe a la Narnia.  The town is being plagued by a giant Frosty-like Mister Tinder Snowflake.  The town has been frozen and his weapons shipment has been stolen, only to be GIVEN AWAY in the spirit of Mercenary Day?!?  How un-Marcus is that?

     Well, our favorite grumpy-grinch and generally Scrooge-like Marcus sends us Vault Hunters in to remedy the situation.  Along the short jaunt we get hordes of snowmen, Yeti-bullymongs, a carol-singing bandit, presents full of "toy" robots courtesy of Hyperion, a magical top hat...  and a Tiny Tim analog complete with Cockney accent!

     Once again we get a very, very small amount of seasonal content with the singular incentive of retrieving new heads-and-skins loot for characters.  Although the other loot at the end of the train is quite good, especially when you consider how short the DLC is- it took me about 30 minutes with my anti-snowmen fire-weapon loaded Krieg.

     And yet, despite the extreme brevity of this DLC, I still enjoyed the trip back to Pandora, I just wish it was longer.  Also- whoever is doing the music in these Headhunter Packs needs a raise- it is very catchy.

     Really, I do hope they make more of these, as was hinted on the Official 2K blog:
     "And finally, be sure to stay tuned early next year as we’ll have more Headhunter goodness to talk about!"
     It definitely sounds like there will be more Headhunter packs on the way?  Perhaps a Moxxi's Valentine's Day, a St. Patrick's Day party at Mick Zaford's The Holy Spirit's Bar, or maybe a Claptrap's April Fool's Day?  I guess we'll have to wait and see...


Game Boy Advance: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 & 2 (Battle Nexus) Double Pack Review

     Since the most recent wave of TMNT mania, I've been constantly digging out plenty of my old nostalgia fueled memorabilia, and in this post it's about the GBA TMNT 1 and 2 (Battle Nexus) 2 pack video game.  I figured while I'm on what appears to be a never-ending wait for TMNT: Out of the Shadows to be released on PS3, I might as well re-play some of the older Turtles games.
     This Game Boy Advance 2 Pack follows the story of the 2nd Ninja Turtles television series in 2003.

     Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 

     After doing a bit of searching, it had been 10 years since the last real TMNT game released, which was TMNT: Tournament Fighters on the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis.  Note, I am not counting TMNT: Dimension X Assault or Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation LCD handheld games in this, as they are barely games at all, even if my inner 8 year old says otherwise.

     In this game they took an ingenious route- each turtle gets their own set of 5 levels.  Based on various episodes from the show, one tale for each Turtle.  Granted, I'm taking into consideration that this is a simple, single player side-scrolling platformer, with a touch of beat-'em-up, lacking the best part of all previous TMNT games- CO-OP teaming up!  In fact, of the 5 unique levels for each, one level per turtle is a "vehicle" level, such as Michelangelo getting to skateboard through the sewers and Donatello hang gliding.  In addition there is one extra bonus level if you manage to collect all the hidden crystals in all the other levels.

     There are 4 distinct sets of moves, allowing each turtle to be a bit different instead of being just a palette-swap.  They all have a special ability as well, Donatello can leap gaps, Raphael can climb walls, etc.  So while all four Turtles feel different, they sadly, somehow still feel the same.  And despite having charge attacks and a health-eating special attack, it's much faster, easier, and more effective to mash the attack button for small combos.
      Unfortunately this is due to the fact that enemies, including bosses, are mostly push overs.  Normally I don't complain about this as a problem, but I really think it would've been beneficial to either make more enemies to fight or make them slightly smarter.  It isn't very fun when you just walk up to a goon and they just look at you menacingly while you wail on them.
     I don't even think I used any of the Turtles' charge attacks at all, just the button mash combos to get through the entire game.

     The backgrounds are adequate, with very few little touches to make anything noteworthy.  As for the sounds?  They are ok at best, nothing special at all.  Decent music and a couple phrases and grunts here and there.

     Really, the game's biggest loss is in play time.  The game took me maybe an hour to beat.  And to be fair, a decent amount of that hour was skimming through the lengthy cut scenes.  A small amount of fun that ends much too soon.
     Seriously, the best part of the game was in Raph's stages- you get to fight fan-favorite Casey Jones as a boss, and then in a later level, fight side by side with him.


     It always amazes me when a company somehow manages to take a fair start, the TMNT 1 for GBA, and make a far inferior game for a sequel.  Of course, if you read the above review, you know that it wasn't the best game, but it wasn't awful either.  I'm not joking here, Battle Nexus is a significant step backwards from the first game.  While the game looks and sounds much better, the introduction of stealth is awful.  Why the creators chose to implement stealth in Battle Nexus is quite the baffling thought.  One would guess there would be a lot more, you know, battling.

     At the beginning of EVERY level, you have to sneak past all the guards and cameras to find your lost weapon(s).  Which wouldn't be too bad of an idea, but for some reason the NINJA Turtles can't use any ninjitsu- they get throwing stars that do a laughable amount of damage to enemies.  Tickling them would be much more effective.
     The "stealth" here is terrible.  If you are spotted, you can just hop into an alcove, even with enemies watching you, and shortly they'll forget about you and go back to their sentry circuits like nothing happened.  It is a frustratingly useless mechanic in a game that has Battle in the title.
     Once you finally obtain the weapon for your chosen Turtle, you generally have to backtrack to collect crystals to unlock later worlds.  And speaking of backtracking, most levels must be played through with multiple Turtles to collect all the crystals, as each of their individual skills leaves some to be unobtainable by the other 3.  Forced repetition is not appreciated in this instance.  Every time you replay a level to collect a few more crystals you have to begin anew, sans weapon and forced to sneak by enemies again.
     Every.  Single.  Time.

     Battle Nexus should've probably been called Boring Tedium.  Yes, I used those synonyms together here for a very good reason.  It needs to be stressed how annoying the repetition is.  Because it becomes a slog during the first world's missions, leaving one with a difficult choice- to finish or move on to better games?

     Outside of the general disappointment of not having beat-'em-up action, this game does offer a bit more.  There are also Race and Battle Modes.  The Race Mode is simply a bunch of hover-boarding levels from the main story quests in their own section, while the inappropriately named Battle Mode isn't actually about battling at all.  Instead you have to collect a bunch of crystals in a set amount of time.

     Lastly- apparently, there was a tie in to the console version that gave codes to open a slew of hidden levels in the GBA.  Not much, but a nice addition if you are willing to tough it out and put in the extra game time for any version of Battle Nexus.

     The Double Pack as a Whole

     Honestly, as a lifelong TMNT die-hard, this was a maximum of 3 hours of total play, and not really great play at that.  The short gameplay and long cutscenes really hampered the potential of this these 2 games.
     The hour or so it took to beat the first game was an enjoyable sitting, but Battle Nexus was a large step back and not worth the time to play.  That being said, it really feels like they skipped over all the great arcade beat-'em-ups previously made and went all the way back the the original NES Turtles game for inspiration- a grave mistake in this case.  I would only recommend this to fans or younger children, as there are many other TMNT games that are worth the time to play.

     For more of my Turtles posts click here-> [ TMNT ]

Also check out:

     [ The TMNT Collectionary ]

     [ TMNT Block Yardsellr on Facebook ]

     They always have a plethora of TMNT goodness to peruse.


Smoothiefreak's "Christmas Cookies for Singles"

     Someone sent me this video and it is well worth watching.  Holiday cheer and maybe some regrets and tears make for delicious treats for you and your future cats.


My Facebook Group "A group of people that don't actually care about being in a group..."

     As someone that swings by Facebook much less frequently than many others, I found a group I started years back...     ...and forgot about.  Seriously, my last post there was on July 22, 2010.

     With this new post (above) I tried to express all the indifference I could possibly muster for a group I don't really even care about.




Alien: Isolation: Leaked Screenshots and More Thoughts

     As a fan of the Alien series I was not only shocked upon hearing that another Aliens game was on the way, but just a little bit excited.  My interest waned a bit when I then read it was to focus on Amanda Ripley, daughter of legendary Alien icon Ellen Ripley.  Can't we just let that family be?  Haven't the Ripleys suffered through enough xenomorphic horror?
     My worries are more to due with the coincidental occurrence of Ripley's daughter coming across something so similar.  Sure, the Weyland-Yutani Co. is not the most truthful of organizations to get one's information from, but why would they lie to Ripley?  If they lied to her daughter, which resulted in her death, it would actually make quite a cycle.  Ripley "dies" in the Nostromo explosion while attempting to obtain xenomorph specimen, W-Y agrees to let her daughter investigate with hopes of finding new specimen, she dies, then original Ripley is found and sent in with no friends or family to, once again, attempt to inadvertently retrieve a specimen.
     So we could hypothesize that Amanda joined a crew that went in search of the lost USS Nostromo, and wound up in a situation like her mother.  I mean Prometheus showed us that there were definitely more ships than the singular encounter on LV-426, so it isn't impossible.  She would be following some very dangerous footsteps.

     Anyway- my hopes have once again been restored by seeing the 4 "leaked" screenshots.  This looks to be heavily inspired by the first Ridley Scott film and that holds a fair amount of weight.  Development studio Creative Assembly has me so far with Isolation.  But then again, Aliens: Colonial Marines looked really great until you had the actual game...
     If they can make this FPS stealth-horror (and survival?) work, they'll have me as a fan for a long while.  It seems to be a tough genre to make work, even without using an IP that is so beloved.

     Source [ Kotaku ]

Christmas Cards 2013: Megyn Kelly is An Idiot: Dreaming of a White Christmas

     With all the wonderfully absurd and highly controversial statements by Fox News' Megyn Kelly, I really couldn't help myself in making this "Christmas Card."  It's mostly a stupid meme, but I hope someone laughs at it...  and Miss Kelly gets a good lesson from it.  (The lesson being don't be a idiot.)

     Santa Claus can be what ever people want.  Hell, make him a lady, as long as Santa is teaching kids to be good I don't give a crap.  Make Santa a pile of dirty socks that deliver gifts and joy!  I'd still like it/him/her/other.  I mean isn't Christmas about being "good for goodness' sake?"  It's about generosity and caring about well being of everyone, not about petty squabbles- like Gretchen Carlson's comments about a Festivus pole ruining her Nativity scene view.  I may go put one up now myself...


Christmas Holiday Cards: 2013...

     This is a small Christmassy card/thing I made last year for someone while I worked on the really large Blue Jay picture project for someone else.  Originally it was going to be a large 3 part picture across multiple frames, but I ran out of time due to work and miscellaneous life setbacks (injury and medical issues).
     So I ended up making this smaller version and due to forgetfulness I didn't put it up on this blog.

Borderlands 2: Bride of Frankentrap Short Film Preview Thoughts

     With the ever expanding amount of Borderlands related items we can expect plenty of ridiculous merchandise and other oddities.  Instead, here we get a preview of a student created short film.  A very good looking animated short film called Bride of Frankentrap.
     The Academy of Art University's Leslie Harwood's short was chosen out of a pool of submissions, and the preview can be found on this link to the [ Official Borderlands Cooperative Facebook page ].  It is a clear homage to the old Frankenstein films, and the Salvador as Igor just add s the right touch of derpy horror.
     The whole short film should be available soon, as the post is marked as "near final."

     Source [ Borderlands Cooperative ]


Stephen King: Joyland: Review

     An amusement park, a serial killer, and a ghost.

     Joyland contains all the typical elements of a Stephen King book, but they are much more toned down.  This is for a more low key mystery reader, not a horror enthusiast.  This is a novel that isn't genre heavy, making it more palatable for the common reader.

     It's the story of Devlin Jones.  A man reminiscing upon his coming of age tale about the time he was a struggling college student getting over his first love dumping him by working at a carnival during the summer of 1973.  Recalling his curiosity with a haunted ride and getting over his bittersweet loss by becoming adopted into his new carnie family- he becomes one of them and learns to get past the idea that the world is broken by offering an escape...  through amusement.

     All culminating in a predictable but fitting ending.  He finds the murderer, gets past the broken heart, and moves on.  This is a short and subtle Stephen King read, as he has written, "Given such sad but undeniable facts of the human condition, you have been given a priceless gift this summer: you are here to sell fun.”

     While it was published as a Hard Case Crime, I feel that it is incorrect.  It has more to do with mystery and a pulp/noir feel than a man solving a crime.  Devlin even has a friend to most the leg work on looking up information on the case(s).  A part of me was hoping we'd get a true pulp-crime-noir by King but what we got sufficed.  What we got was a small dose of nostalgic fun to keep the broken world at bay.

     Mr. King has indeed sold me "fun."

     One last note: Joyland's cover art (by Robert McGinnis and Glen Orbik) is absolutely perfect.  It encapsulates a character from the book in an old time pulp cover completely worthy of the Hard Case Crime books.


Borderlands 2: How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day

     The 3rd Borderlands 2 Holiday-themed Headhunter Pack- following TK Baha's Bloody Harvest and The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler- has been officially announced today with description and pictures:
     "In How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day, snowmen, holiday jingles and an ugly holiday sweater await in the snowy village of Gingerton all while a train full of Marcus’s guns goes missing. This forces Marcus to enlist the Vault Hunters to search the town for the lost shipment – leading to a showdown against the terrifying Abominable Mister Tinder Snowflake." 
     In this DLC we get a combination of two of my favorite things- Snowmen (Here are a few images I've made showing my love of the snowy people 1, 2, and 3) and Borderlands.  We'll also get to hear a Bandit version of "Carol of the Bells."

     How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day will be available on December 17th for $2.99.

     Lastly, at the end of the official 2K announcement they have this nice little tidbit...
     "And finally, be sure to stay tuned early next year as we’ll have more Headhunter goodness to talk about!"
     More Headhunter packs on the way?  It definitely sounds like it!  Perhaps a Moxxi's Valentine's Day, a St. Patrick's Day party at Mick Zaford's The Holy Spirit's Bar, or maybe a Claptrap's April Fool's Day?  I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Source [ 2K Blog ]


Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending Trailer

     Eye candy is plentiful in the first trailer for the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending.  We'll have to wait until July 25th, 2014 to see if the story can complement the visual feast.

     Seeing this makes me wonder when is someone going to adapt some of Neal Asher's work?  We getting this space opera, but it is a shame we haven't seen an adaptation of anything from Asher's amazing Polity or Skinner series'.

New Godzilla Trailer Demolishes My Fears

     Of course when I heard there was a new Godzilla movie on the horizon my skepticism was great.  Considering the last reboot was that 1998 Matthew Broderick abomination.  Cloverfield was a decent alternative, but none of the gigantic lizard destruction we craved.  After seeing this trailer, I am far more excited than I should be.

     Now I wonder if we'll get a nod to Gamera as an Easter Egg?

     Godzilla hits theaters on May 16th, 2014.

Superman vs. Batman: Jason Momoa as Lobo? Doomsday? Martian Manhunter?

     Following close on the heels of the Wonder Woman casting announcement we get another dose of film intrigue---

     It appears that Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa is in talks for a role in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel Superman vs Batman.  I've seen it speculated that he could be Doomsday, but that is doubtful.  In my opinion it would be a highly foolish move to do the Death of Superman before we care about the JLA, it would lose the impact of the loss of the team's leader and global symbol of hope.  It's just plain too early to introduce him as a villain.

     There's also rumors of him possibly playing Martian Manhunter or Lobo, which are much more likely than Doomsday.  Manhunter would fit with the Justice League set-up all the other news is hinting at.  Although, I have to admit, Lobo would be amazing for comic relief if Momoa played him right.  Space biker/Bounty hunter extraordinaire armed with a bunch of beer and expletives.

     What about Vandal Savage, Bizarro, Shazam, Black Adam, or the most recent incarnation of Brainiac?  Has anyone guessed cosmic bad guy Darkseid?  Perhaps DC movies is trying to copy the Avengers route with a hinted at future villain like Thanos in the Marvel films.

     All these rumors are really compounding quickly, and it is starting to feel a little like Snyder may be pulling a Brett Ratner with his installment in the X-men franchise, and we all know how poorly that turned out.  It is really beginning to sound like a character overload, with no time for development.  Shouldn't some of these DC heavy hitters be given room to grow?  Shouldn't they be a bit more established in the films on their own before throwing them all into one big mess?  (Although Wonder Woman could very well be just a cameo before getting her own film...)

     It's going to be hard to care for these super heroes if we don't really know them.  DC's film future seems a little too reliant on taking shortcuts to get all these well known comic characters crammed into one movie the big screen.  The problem I see is with this is Avengers worked because all the main characters had individual films that built up to it- they didn't skip the steps- it was an earned alliance of titanic proportions.

     I believe DC's plans need more breathing room.  Take the time to make something worth watching, not just smashing a bunch of names into a punch fest and hoping for it to work.  It's only a matter of time before we hear if a new Green Lantern is named, or the Flash leaves a big screen blur across Snyder's sequel.


Borderlands 2: Telltale Games: Tales From the Borderlands

     It appears that Telltale Games, the creators of The Walking Dead and Back to the Future episodic point-and-click adventure games have been making a move to Gearbox's world of Pandora, with the upcoming Tales From the Borderlands.  As a Borderlands fanatic, I am always looking forward to spending more time in that universe.  While I still wonder why we never got a really good full version of the 8 Bit demake The Border Lands that was a promo for Borderlands 2, this new way of experiencing the beloved series will have to do.
     The first episode is set to arrive in 2014, here is the trailer...


Arkham Origins Blackgate: Gamebreaking Bug Has Been Patched! (PS Vita)

     When Arkham Origins Blackgate came out for the Playstation Vita I happened to find a very frustrating gamebreaking bug that thwarted movement in the game and locked me in a room in the Industrial section.  I sent inquiries and emailed WB games support and contacted Armature Studios on Twitter.

You can't save a non-existent hostage.

     After a little over a month of patience I received this Tweet a short while ago, and am currently loading the game to find out if it is working and those of us that were stuck can finish the game.
     I have loaded the game, updated with the patch and tested it- it is indeed fixed and we may finish the game!  Thank you Armature Studios and WB games, and all those that helped get the game made and patched.  It is VERY much appreciated.

     The patch remedies the other big problems as well- including the Penguin elevator issue, an unsaveable Warden, and being stuck in Black Mask's room.