Arkham Origins Blackgate: Gamebreaking Glitch (Last Penguin Hostage in Industrial)


     After 12 hours of playing through Armature Studios' Arkham Origins Blackgate and coming across numerous glitches I really wasn't super pissed off until now.  I've encountered a glitch that stops story progression and keeps you stuck near the generator room of the Industrial Zone.  During the last mission before heading to the final boss, one of the potential missions- if you fight the Penguin after Black Mask and the Joker- you have to save 5 hostages.  The last hostage is in the Industrial area right before the generator room. 

I can't save someone that isn't there!

     Well, I saved him then wandered into the generator room looking for potential missed hidden items, and on the way back through- right after Batman says that Catwoman will be probably heading for the docks, the already saved hostage timer starts up.  (See picture)  I can't save a non-existent person, and I can't leave the room because it wants me to save them.  This is absolutely infuriating.  I now literally cannot proceed.  The only way out is to go past the hostage zone, which is now impossible.   I'm now hindered from beating the game because there is NO OTHER WAY OUT OF THIS AREA. 

     At 92% completion this leaves me quite bitter towards the game.

     Other problems I've experienced are enemies becoming unhittable, enemies falling through floors so you can't hurt them, and the damn Industrial Area screen flip to name a few. (see image below)  The screen flip is apparently happening with great frequency to many other players in this area.  As for the combat problems- they occur for me roughly once every two hours.  I even found one enemy that consistently respawns when you make a loop in the Cell Blocks area with the foreground and background catwalks area.

(Image is Dylan Zellmer's)
     Honestly, if it weren't for all the constant glitches, Armature Studios could've successfully bridged the Batman Arkham universe from the console's 3D predecessors into the 2.5D "Metroidvania" portable world.  (I really, REALLY hate that Metroidvania term)

     Seriously, I enjoyed a lot of this game.  The story is fairly predictable yet still entertaining.  With the exception of all the constant backtracking the maps are great with tons of hidden items and areas to explore, and the combat is decent as well.  This could've been an amazing game.


Beyond: Two Souls: Not Quite a Review

I can't emote any more than this.
     Quantic Dream's David Cage somehow got a huge backing to make this game and I am kind of curious how he keeps getting the funding.  Touting elaborate motion capture and real actors!  Let's push the boundaries of interactive experience!  A meaningful journey!

     So what went wrong? 
  • Story? 
  • Dialogue? 
  • Lack of real gameplay?
  • All of the above? 

This is the script?
Beyond Two Choices.

     Playing as Jodie is quite a bore.  She is always limited to wandering around in a small area with only a few things to interact with.  There are plenty of QTE's that kind of get confusing because you are supposed to flick the right thumbstick in a specific direction, but it sometimes gets messed up and requires the opposite direction and it is only guesswork to get through.  She has frustratingly clunky controls for the few times you use them.  I hope they give us a run button in the future.  Those scenes that make you walk down ridiculously long corridors at a snail's pace were horrible. 
     What's even better is that all of her quick time events can't even be failed because the story must go on.  You won't die.  It may add an extra scene or two, but it will all lead to the inevitable end, regardless of what actions or choices you made.  Hell- even the dialogue can be skipped- it'll pick something for you if you aren't fast enough.

     The biggest loss of the game is the wasted potential of Aiden.  A spirit type character linked to Jodie that can posses people and interact with objects.  But...  once again, you are severely limited.  Only certain individuals can be possessed, only certain people can be choked, not enough real choices are given.  Interactive objects are few and mostly arbitrary- and why you can't do more is infuriating.  They give you all this wonderful power as Aiden and nothing to use it on.  What minimal actual gameplay there was with him left me extremely disappointed.  They cut off the most interesting

     The choices actually mean nothing they funnel you to the end choice of Life or Beyond.  You are funneled through a haphazard story to an illusory conclusion.  Of all the endings I saw, none varied enough for me to believe my choices actually mattered. 
     The most difficult decision I made was to finish this game before starting Arkham Origins.

Stan needed more screen time.  What happened to him?

Beyond Two Snores.

     The story itself is told in a non-linear format, haphazardly jumping back and forth in time.  We don't get any chances to see character growth while these people are placed in odd circumstances.  When stories are told like this, it makes me think they just had a bunch of ideas that they couldn't really tie together, so they cut them up, glued them out of order, and filmed it as a jumbled mess.
     There are seemingly irrelevant moments that, with Quantic Dream's history, could've been grouped together by a better writer and linearly enacted by a better director.
     It seems that they had the scope of right ideas and just never worked them all the way through to the end.  There were moments where I was genuinely interested, but they were far and few between.

     As for Ellen Page's acting?  It was ok.  Not even kidding.  Jodie is an amalgam of all her typecast characters rolled into one blank face, staring into the distance and raging at a system that really isn't always bad.  How many times can we see Page give the indifferent look?  She didn't have enough emotion, she was too bland.  She is a cardboard character expressing at most half smiles and some mediocre yelling. 
     I found the characters of Cole and Stan the bum to be far more believable, and much, much more interesting then Jodie herself.  You meet all these other people that are at least somewhat intriguing and then they disappear, never to be heard from again. 

     Poor Willem Defoe.  He is sorely underused as Nathan Dawkins.  He gets a surrogate father role and a clichéd tragedy that leads him on a foreseeable path.  It's extremely predictable and makes me wonder why they even got a named actor at all.  He is more appealing and definitely more convincing than Page, so why didn't they give him more to work with?

     In the end the acting coupled with the poor storytelling is just enough to be barely convincing.  How could I be convinced when all the characters have to tell us how they're feeling instead of showing us?  It got to be too boring.  Approximately 25% of the game is watching characters during awkward silences.

Cole needed more screen time as well.

Between Two Mediums.

     All in all, this is clearly more movie than game.  This would've been much more interesting if it was distinctly either a movie or game, but the combination ended up suffering.  To try and be the best of both worlds you need to incorporate the best elements of both, not mostly one with a dash of the other.  Maybe someone will innovate and pair the mediums better after this.  It feels like Mr. Cage wants to be a great writer/director but can't quite muster the skills, and so it comes off as a bit pretentious.  Although, I must say he is getting better, this is still a vast improvement over Cage's last game Heavy Rain.

     Perhaps Quantic Dream will focus more on the game aspect with whatever they have lined up next.  Maybe they can hire a couple writers to help clean up the script as well.  I understand the idea of life and death being explored here, but what should have been implemented was a way for us to be impacted by those lives we've met and lost.  This was a missed opportunity and I hope they learn to meld the mediums of film and video games better in their next endeavor.

     If they wanted me to believe I had a meaningful journey, maybe there should've been actual choices and consequences, not just pretending by telling me the choices mean something- that the game means something.  I can't feel invested if the game plays itself.

     And maybe miss Page should've backed The Last of Us instead of Beyond.  It was handled far better with plenty of growth and emotion. 

Borderlands 2: 2nd Headhunter Pack (Wattle Gobbler) Revealed by 2K Software News Release

     The Take-Two news release has a bunch of decent information including the name of the 2nd Headhunter Pack DLC for Borderlands 2.  Going under the name "Wattle Gobbler" and releasing in November, it sounds to be another Holiday themed pack coming out in time for Thanksgiving.  Once again, I am looking forward to more action on Pandora.

     If I recall correctly there were supposed to be 3 coming out before the end of the year, and having what looks to be 2 themed releases, could we be expecting a Christmas themed Headhunter Pack in late December?

Source [ Take-Two Software ]


Ben Kingsley and The Mandarin: The "Secret Marvel Project" Revealed

I'm Trevor, the Iron Man...darin.

     After reading an article about Ben Kingsley's "Secret Marvel project" short film, presumably about his Trevor "Mandarin" Slattery, and thought - HAH!  I totally CALLED IT MONTHS AGO!!!  In a blog post about Iron Man 3 back in May.  Well, alas, I am an idiot and didn't "publish" the post- but I still had it saved in a draft format- so here's small proof.

As you can also see I have almost 400 unpublished posts.  This happens a lot.

     Here's a quote I pulled from the unpublished post:
"I actually like how they handled the Mandarin character.  Some fake target to keep people's eyes away from the real danger.  But, a little piece of me wants more, I truly hope that there is a Mandarin out there that is absolutely pissed off by this identity theft and wants vengeance for his sullied name.  Maybe for the next Iron Man film???"
     Seriously, they already have Marvel aliens and Norse gods in the mix- so fitting in an ancient culture with long forgotten alien derived rings of power could be easy.  Honestly, I thought it could've been used as a nice segue into another trilogy.  Even bringing it overseas as Stark Industries expands into potential new territory.  A perfect new direction to go in.

     Any way the rumors of the One Shot short film are that the REAL Mandarin wants to remedy the legacy that has been tarnished by some nobody named Trevor. 
"According to sources, Marvel wants to make it up to fans so in the one shot, the REAL Mandarin is furious with Aldrich Killian and Ben Kingsley’s character Trevor Slattery for the mockery they made of the real Mandarin’s identity and legacy. The real Mandarin wants to set the record straight. 
Yes, the REAL Mandarin."

Source [ Latino Review ]

Topher VBlog Responds to Russel Brand vs Paxman Interview

     Ok, I posted a great Russel Brand BBC Newsnight video a few days back, and I wanted to clarify- I totally agree that government needs to change.  But as I know just about nothing of how things work, here's a video of someone that does know how to change things.

In my opinion Russell has correctly identified some serious problems, but has recommended completely the wrong 'solution'. I go into the reasons why in this video.

      Thanks to author Neal Asher for Tweeting this, otherwise I would've missed it.  Also check out his books, they are Science Fiction gold I tell you!  (I would immediately recommend The Technician and The Skinner series)

X-men:Days of Future Past Full Trailer

     The full trailer has finally arrived, and I'm fairly impressed.  I can't say it has diminished my fears, as we know from previous movies like The Wolverine- trailers can be very deceiving. 

     My biggest question is how the X-men usurper Wolverine can be a time conduit for the 2 Xaviers to speak to each other when the adamantium skeleton prevented it in the first film?  Perhaps Magneto opens his skull up.  And if everything looks dilapidated in the future why are all the characters in nice and clean suits?  Where's all the battle damage and what-have-you? 
     Well, I'll wait and see if Bryan Singer can still hold his own as a director, and if the story will one worth watching.  Please, don't sink this franchise.


Russell Brand Speaks About Politics- and I Like it!?!

     It isn't often that I can say I like what Mr. Brand is saying, but he has great points here.  There is a need for revolutionary change.  Too much greed and not enough responsibility from the super rich.  Where's the accountability?  We've become used to a system that doesn't work, but people scoff at suggested methods of diverting it.  Change needs to be incited, and this is a start- with people that recognize that simple fact and begin doing something about it.

     BBC Newsnight Full interview:  Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand:

     I have voted every time there's been an election, and admittedly, I've regretted some of those votes.  It's true, we tend to see that regardless of who gets voted in it's the same crap being recycled over and over.  Change requires motion- all this political stagnation and complacence needs some people with a bit of power to come in and stir the pot.  Get things moving and hopefully momentum will carry it to more people, who will carry it to others and so on.

     I am looking forward to what he has to say about this in the future.  Change is not only necessary, but on the way.  I only hope that my generation can start shifting things for the better soon.

Batman: Mr. Freeze Art by Nicholas Straight

     My BFF and artist extraordinaire Nick over at Drawmit made me a sweet Mr. Freeze picture as a thank you card of sorts.  Quite excellent work, he loosely based the look on the lead from Stalker, the film by Andrei Tarkovsky that is loosely, I repeat loosely based on the short novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.  (They wrote both the book and the screenplay)
     I would highly recommend both the book and the film.  They're wonderful.

     I think this Mr. Freeze retroactively influenced the design of the Engineers in Prometheus.  Also, the cowl shadow on the neck piece was a great touch.  Well, done and thank you Nick!  Another Mr. Freeze item to add to the collection.

Borderlands 2: TK Baha's Bloody Harvest: Review, Easter Eggs, and Hints at Future Pack (Dr. Zed, Ned, and... Ted?)

     TK Baha's Mighty Quick Review...

     My favorite FPS game dropped another DLC this week.  The first in a series of "Headhunter Packs" and I can't say I'm disappointed.  For a mere 3 dollars I got about an hour worth of gameplay.  Being set in a Halloween themed small mission that our old friend TK Baha is sending us on- it feels a bit familiar, being a bite-sized combination of The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned and Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep.  Our zombie buddy is sending us to kill a pumpkin headed fiend bothering the townspeople, it's as simple a story as one can get.

     There were enough small things to keep me occupied including the new candy that drops and gives small boosts to various stats and the small Easter Eggs.  Granted I would've liked a bit more variety, maybe some wereskags and zombies from the Ned's Island for filler.  Honestly I can say that as a fairly large Borderlands fan, even though being about a fifth the price for much less than a fifth of the content of the other major DLC, this was still worth the money.  It's just enough to keep us coming back and interested while why they work on bigger and better things. 
     (More on that below at the Hints section)

     On to the Easter Egg Secret Boss...

    The hidden raid boss, Clark the Combusted Cryptkeeper actually requires finding some of the little eggs.  In one playtime you have to light the fires on 4 upright crypts.  To do this you need to do what the 4 crypts' tell you to-
  1. Open a door with the skull door (shoot the 6 red-orange glowing pumpkins).
  2. use the cauldron (throw in a gun, a grenade, and a shield).
  3. kill Jacques O'Lantern.
  4. Then find the 3 horror film tv sets. 
     The tv sets are playing little homages to horror- Poltergeist, The Ring, and I think the 3rd might be The Blair Witch Project.  Very nice small touch.

     A Hint for the Future...

     If you listen to all the things Mr. Baha talks about he questions you about Dr. Ned, and Dr. Zed, and ... Dr. Ted?  Then he mentions that he shouldn't have said anything about Ted. 
"Speaking of which, have you seen Zed, or Ned lately?  What about Ted?  OH, Ooohh!  Wait, I'm so sorry, we ain't supposed to talk about 'The Forbidden brother'."
     Nice.  Could it be a future DLC?  It's quite possible as Dr. Zed messing up is standard and creating a clone or something that we'll be sent in to kill in an upcoming Headhunter Pack sounds like easy material.  Or Ted could very well be the evil...er of the three and needs to be stopped.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Full Trailer

     I was originally worried about the Winter Soldier looking kind of bad, but he turned out pretty badass.  Same goes for the Falcon- they updated his look very well.  And I see they've managed to wedge in Black Widow, hopefully the story of why will hold up as well.  Probably something to do with super spy stuff and the brainwashing of Mr. Barnes into becoming a ghost from Cap's past.  

     Well, color me impressed, this trailer has fulfilled my hopes and silenced my worries.

     Captain America: The Winter Soldier premieres on April 4, 2014


Nintendo: Another Limited Edition 3DS XL???

     Nintendo is already outdoing itself with new and interesting ways to continually focus on selling us the same systems over and over.  Why produce new games that may actually keep the customers that already own 5 variations of the same system when you can sell them another slightly different "Limited Edition" version of the same other 5 they have.

     That being said- Nintendo Japan announced 2 new color variations of the 3DS XL- Turquoise/Black and Orange/black.  They'll be available in Japan on Nov. 28th for ¥19,900 (That's just over $200).  I do have to admit, I really enjoy the look of the turquoise.

     So once again, Nintendo is providing a tremendous variety of system variations on which we can play a relatively small assortment of games.  I'm quite curious to know if the variety of 3DSs has surpassed the number of actual games available.  It's got to be pretty damn close to passing the amount of games for the Wii U already.

Source [ Nintendo ]

Anchorman 2: New Trailer!

     Paramount finally released a new trailer for Anchorman 2, and it is looking good!  Tons of new footage, lots of laughs, and more Brick.

     Anchorman 2 releases in theaters December 20th.


Alien: Isolation - Ripley's Daughter's Game

     It looks as if Sega has more plans for the Aliens franchise.  After the almost universally terrible reviews of that space turd called Aliens: Colonial Marines (by Gearbox and TimeGate), they are taking some of that critically negative advice to heart.

Is this the face of a badass?  Possibly.

     The new Alien game for current and next gen consoles is called Alien: Isolation (being developed by the Creative Assembly) and is starring Ellen Ripley's daughter(mentioned in an Aliens deleted scene).  An odd choice of character to plunder.  I'm sure they want to retain the ultimate badass Ripley namesake while getting a bit of freedom in the storytelling department.  Presumably, it'll take place after the first movie, but before Ellen Ripley was awoken from her 57 years of hypersleep.  Although due to the inclusion of "hypersleep technology" one can't really tell.
"According to our source, the protagonist of Alien: Isolation is Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, the character that made Sigourney Weaver famous and kicked off the ubiquitous sci-fi franchise over 30 years ago. Amanda, who is mentioned in the special edition of Aliens as having died while Ellen was frozen in space, has not yet been the focus of any books, movies, or games in the Alien extended universe.

You, as Amanda, spend most if not all of the game on a single space station, according to our source. There's only one alien for "most" of the game, our source said; you'll mostly be shooting through "clones and soldiers." Vents, lockers, and melee weapons are a big part of Isolation, our source said, and the game is heavily inspired by the first Alien movie."
     It's said to be a first person shooter combining stealth and horror.  They're aren't many details other than that, but at least they are listening to the fans about the horrible way the Aliens franchise has been handled in the past.

     What I'm wondering is if Burke lied to Ripley (Amanda died at age 66), which is something he would definitely do, what are the odds that her daughter would encounter something this similar?  Why not make a stand alone tale about some nobody in that time period?  Draw reference from games like Dead Space, and create an atmosphere of fear and desperation in space.  This should be survival horror, not a clone shoot-em-up.

Source [ Kotaku ]

Dark Souls 2: Pre-game Humor: Be Wary...

     While we await for Dark Souls 2 to release in about 5 months time, I was struggling with something to post.  I haven't gotten into the Beta either.  So I figured hey, where's all the light hearted stuff from the game?  Maybe I can put up something along those lines.  That led to me going and finding this old pic I took that made me laugh and then fall to my death.

     Later I found that there were like 50 of these messages covering the floor in front of Gwynevere in her chamber in Anor Londo, but I encountered this one first and, my immaturity won with a giggle.

     As for Dark Souls 2, I wonder if she'll make an appearance.  If you manage to "kill" her and bring darkness to Anor Londo, it doesn't matter, because you find out that she is an illusion Dark Sun Gwyndolin made.  The real daughter of Lord Gwyn isn't anywhere in Lordran.  If I recollect- she married the Flame God Flann, and as a Queen of Sunlight she resides in another land.  Could she be somewhere in the lands we soon get to explore?


Pokemon X and Y: Gotta CASH 'Em All! (Nintendo)

     It sounds like Nintendo is ecstatic over the recent sales of Pokémon X and Y.  In the first 2 days they sold 4 million copies.  Not too bad.  Sure, it isn't the Guinness World Record breaking juggernaut Grand Theft Auto 5 was with it's 11.2 million copies in half the time, but $4 million is still a hell of a lot of money.

My Mega Power is Draining Your Wallet!
     Nintendo is on a roll with their time tested sales motto of "what can we re-sell next."  There are even rumors of a possible remake of the Ruby and Sapphire editions getting remakes.  But I can't really be disappointed until they start remaking the remakes.  I mean hey, they are adding new improvements with each new pair. 

     There's just something about this business model that bothers me.  If Nintendo really made X and Y, like all the other previous dual Poké-games, to be trade-encouraging games, one would think that 50% of each version's Pokédex would only be available in one of the games for capturing, not just a select few as is the case.

     We've already seen the tried and true business strategy of metaphorically spamming Pikachu's Thunderbolt on people's wallets, and Nintendo is laughing all the way to the Poké-Bank.  Seriously, think about it- they typically release two versions, and then follow that up a few years later with a combination "Enhanced Version."  There's been too much gimmick and not enough growth in the series since the original almost 20 years ago.  The game, like the Pokémon themselves, needs to evolve to be effective.

     As it is, I lost my will to "Catch 'Em All" years ago, and if I really wanted to catch any more, I could dust off one of my 50 other extremely interchangeable Pokémon games.  Now that I say that I may go dig out my Game Boy Advance and LeafGreen.

     And if you would like a bit more:
     A previous post I wrote about Nintendo continually selling us the same product.


Damon Lindelof Breaks up with Twitter

“After much thought and deliberation, I’ve decided t...”

    Is this the first line of a new project?  Is this a new mystery he's created?  A plot twist?  Or a much needed reprieve from all the hostile fans?  Regardless, it's the best ending he's written yet.

     Well, this was the last Tweet he posted before departing this social network.  He's now gone from the Twitterverse.  I don't blame him either- while I've not been a fan of many of his works- LOST, Prometheus, and the things he's done with the Star Trek films- I did enjoy his Tweets.  He was very good at matching wit with the internet trolls that painted him with a giant target.  More often than not I got a laugh out of his wonderful Tweetfests.

     There seems to be a problem with many of the trolls aiming their hate towards him and not his writing.  Really, I complain about his stuff all the damn time, but I don't take it out on him personally.  For example- his Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine comic series- it started off AMAZINGLY in 2005...  and then disappeared for years until resurfacing to finish the last 4 issues in 2009.
     Yes- I was pissed about a four year delay, but I didn't blast him with hate mail.  I did not bombard him with degrading mail, no verbal attacks were thrown.  Sure the new Star Treks have a million problems, but it's the writing that is the issue, not the man.  Either get rid of the current Star Trek writers, or bring in better editors.  Listen to the fans of the series' you work on. (not necessarily the rabid/crazy fans)  There are reasons fans stay with the stuff so long, and if you keep ignoring those things you'll only incur more wrath*.

     One might suppose the inundation of hate mail led to this, and vanishing is a great way to distance from all that negativity.  Will Lindelof return better off than before?  If you would ask me, I hope he really hunkers down and focuses on writing, truly hone his craft.  He's got a ton of great ideas (See my post about the Lindelof Idea Generator), he just isn't implementing them properly.  He's lacking cohesion.  Learn to do it right, and we will genuinely look forward to your future work.  Even I'm eager to see what he'll be capable of with some improved skills.

     Perhaps we'll see his return under a pseudonym...  such as David Spindlebroth.



Dark Souls 2: Beta Test Watch and Wish List.

Brok and the Moonlight Sword
     Because I was unable to procure myself entry into the Dark Souls 2 Beta testing, I'll be posting things I would like to see instead.  (I did watch roughly 3 hours of videos from Beta recordings and there is a ton of small things to see)

     Of course I would like the game to have the connective feel of the world map from Dark Souls, only on a much larger scale.  It was quite awesome how all the areas could be reached through different pathways.  It would also be nice to have plenty more hidden items and areas.  Places that aren't necessary to complete the game, but contain either story expansion or gameplay value (a decent weapon) worthy of the dangerous exploration that would it take to obtain them.
     A place like an small castle or a booby trapped tower that once served as a sorcerer's hideout.

     Since this is apparently taking place somewhere on another continent, away from Lordran, maybe we'll hear about familiar lands from the 2 predecessors.  Perhaps this game may even serve as the bridge itself, a game to connect the other two.

     Who wouldn't like a bit more story as well?  Even if it's small inscriptions on weapons found left lying around.  I would definitely appreciate more of this world's mythos.  Something akin to finding a trail of destruction left by an ancient lost hero's soul and piecing together their backstory by items left behind.

     Otherwise I only have a few things that I hope they squeeze into this game.

     1) "Trusty" Patches the Hyena.
Who isn't suspecting a visit from the tricky fellow that enjoys kicking people into trap and treasure filled pits?
     2) A Sword of Moonlight.

          A FromSoftware staple, a blade of moonlight.  I hope for a smaller sword this time.

     3) Solaire of Astora.

          "If only I could be so grossly incandescent!"

     4) Lore of the furtive Pygmy

          ... so easily forgotten.  Maybe they made their way to these lands.

     5) The Pendant.

          Seriously, what the hell does this thing do?

     A note on what I've been reading about the Beta- I keep hearing about people complaining about it "not being difficult" and that they expected it to be tougher.  Well, this is a Beta to test the servers and the odds that the game's released version will have ramped up difficulty is quite high.

     If it isn't however, we must remember that the invasions rate is going to be much higher now, and human players are generally more difficult.  On that note, I wouldn't mind a bit of an easier game because I play these for the intriguing story and world building, not because it's "hard."  As for story- it IS there, one just has to uncover the pieces and put the story together.  I don't have hundreds of hours to waste playing games like I used to.  While I normally wouldn't mind, I just don't have that extra time anymore.  Stupid responsibilities ruining my video gaming time.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Collectionary

     Since the new IDW comic book series began and the new cartoon premiered my interest has been sparked to seeking out some Ninja Turtle related goodness.  It's not often I can come across a website that can really overwhelm me with wonderful Ninja Turtles nostalgia from my childhood, but The TMNT Collectionary really caught my eye.  As an avid fan and toy collector, there's a 100% chance I've spent far too much time reminiscing about toys I have had, and lost, while browsing these pages over the past week.

     For fans, new and old alike, this site has definitely got something you might be looking for- whether it's vintage TMNT action figures, the old Eastman and Laird comic books, or something related to the new Nickelodeon TV show- you'll find it here.  Even if you are just browsing the pages- it's well worth your time.

     If you have even the faintest of interest in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I would highly recommend you check out their site.  It is a positively staggering amount of stuff they have listed here.  Truly- it is unbelievable how much of the old memorabilia I had completely forgotten about and now want to re-obtain.  There's an absurd amount of things I didn't even know existed like TMNT bubble gum statues, curtains, and my favorite find so far- The TMNT Flushomatic Playset: The High-Tech Toilet Torture Trap!

     Personally, I'll be looking to buy one of the 2012 retro "Classic Collection Michelangelo" action figures by Playmates...  and a maybe a Casey Jones original figure...  and a Splinter...  and Slash... 




     ...and it looks like I'll be needing to put in extra work hours to pay for some of this stuff.

     They also have a pretty thorough Facebook page.  Check them out, very good stuff indeed.

     If you care to read anything else TMNT related that I've written click here: TMNT!


The Bureau: XCOM Declassified: Some Thoughts


     When I first saw the original (during early development) teaser trailer for The Bureau, then simply titled XCOM, it was a strange and promising first person shooter. (See video below)  Taking the old XCOM strategy and making something new out of it.  Once that was released, there was a massive backlash from fans, and it was changed, and those rabid diehards were sated with XCOM: Enemy Unknown.  All the negative criticisms caused setbacks, and it ultimately hurt this title in the long haul.  In the end what we got from The Bureau still had the great concepts of a game, just much less realized than it should have been.  

     By holding the XCOM name in a death grip, this game damn near suffocated because of constricted creative freedom.  Think of what could've been done if it took a bit more from 2K's Bioshock games.  It had a wonderful retro 60's feel laced with all the eerie horror you could want.


     ...and a dash of X-Files horror and wrapped in a nice Mass Effect suit of N7 armor.
     What I don't understand is how they lost hold of the investigative aspect of the game.  You are given access to a hidden base with all manner of space and technology, but all you have to do is pick things up.  Where's all the customization?  Why can't you choose which abilities you'd like to hone or which weapons to design?
     It seems odd that the starting point for developing reverse engineered alien technology was set up with the various Bureau research areas (the lab, armory, etc.) but they aren't ever used.
     It also makes me wonder about the useless permadeath.  Being an XCOM staple it should've meant more.  When a character dies off, it doesn't matter because you've got a generic agent dispenser at the Bureau's HQ.  One of 4 types that can be only minutely customized can be spit out fairly swiftly, and leveled up while you are out on your own missions.


     When they took on the 1960's era they opened for themselves a perfect starting point.  All the cold war paranoia being subverted by a something much, much worse- an alien invasion.  Idyllic suburban America is a wonderful place to begin sowing the seeds of suspicion and distrust.  A menace that threatens people from beyond the known world.  The enemy should have remained mostly unknown in this game- an obscure enemy in the shadows.  Abstract chaos.
     The Bureau wanted to be world changing, it wanted to be too big.  They should've pulled back from the global and cosmic scale and focused on the smaller scale.  Tighten up the story and let fear work it's magic through atmosphere.  Slow paranoia growth makes more sense for the early XCOM days, as scout ships would be arriving and surveying the land, possibly abducting individuals.
     How different would the game have been if instead of shooting horde waves, you had to track one small gray Sectoid for the first level?  Gather intel and find weak points because in that time period a single one of these can pose a real problem.  And during this hunt you would be encountering all the body-snatcher-esque, zombie-like townsfolk and having to deal with them as the typical game fodder.
     Hell- they could even send agents out to quash conspiracy theorists that have obtained alien tech as sub-missions.

     Isn't this supposed to be about the humble start of a secret agency and the deniable operations of an Area 51 based organization?  The game would evolve from using your simple crap pistols in the beginning to kill one simple Sectoid, to using a hijacked Sectopod to take down a rampaging Muton.
     It would've been amazing if you had to follow leads to small towns and investigate things.  Building tension as the story progressed and only at the end facing a large group of enemies, thus utilizing all the wealth of acquired skills and weapons.

     If they somehow manage to make a sequel to The Bureau, they should take some lessons from The Last of Us (enemy difficulty/strategy), Dead Space (atmosphere), and Mass Effect (a decent story and dialogue trees).  They pilfered the crap out of Mass Effect already, so why not a little bit more?


     I mentioned that they had the beginnings of something great.  I really do think that, it just felt like some things were missing.  Where did all the filler go?  The core was there, and it felt like it was on it's way to somewhere special, but they got kind of lost and confused, and they never quite made it to where it wanted to go- it never reached true completion.  One last delay and large dose of polish could've made this game a true gem.  As is was, I enjoyed a weekend with this game.


All New Ghost Rider on the Way

     Coming this March it looks like a new Spirit of Vengeance is arriving in the Marvel Universe. 

     Eighteen year old high school student and lover of engines Robbie Reyes becomes the new vessel for the spirit when the villain Mr. Hyde shows up in L.A. selling a questionable new drug.  The series will be written by Filipe Smith and the art will be by Tradd Moore.

     Here's a small snippet from the Official Marvel News page:

Marvel.com: There's a new Spirit of Vengeance scorching up the streets. Who is this new Ghost Rider, and what sets them apart?

Felipe Smith: Our protagonist is Robbie Reyes, a quiet 18-year-old East Angelino with a short fuse, a passion for electronic music and a nearly unhealthy infatuation with absolutely anything powered by an engine.

His vehicle of choice, the automobile, very clearly sets him apart visually.

In comparison to his vengeance-seeking predecessors, he's very young and inexperienced in most aspects of life; but as the product of a harsh inner city upbringing, Robbie's street smarts, overall distrust for most people, and clear contempt for his violent surroundings make him the perfect host for a Spirit of Vengeance.

Once we get to know him, we also realize that he's a sweet, well-meaning person, something that may not sit well with the Spirit possessing him.

     I actually like the new take on Ghost Rider- an almost rebellious teen in a burning car.  What I don't appreciate so far is the look of the Rider.  He's too robotic.  Not even in the good Ghost Rider 2099 way either.  Reyes' skull appears a bit too clunky with it's harsh edging in the preliminary picture above.
     Regardless, I'll give it a try and see how it goes.

     I was always hoping they'd let a real horror writer take on the Ghost Rider.  So we still have to wait on that.  Maybe get a new movie with someone like Sam Rockwell to play Danny Ketch in a truly dark film.  Marvel needs to stop pulling punches.  They did the same thing with The Punisher and both Wolverine films. 
     Get down and dirty - we want the grit and noir, not some neon Hollywood crap.

Source [ Marvel ]


Justice League #23.2: Lobo: "Review" on the Redesign for a New Crowd

     Justice League 23.2
     By- Margeurite Bennett (w) and Ben Oliver (a)

     There seems to be a disturbing new trend in comics- mostly over at DC comics at least- redesigning to draw in new crowds, and subsequently alienating all the fanbase they already have.  In another odd effort, our old DC anti-hero, space biker friend Lobo has been reimagined as an impostor with the new, sleek and ruthless "real" Lobo on a new mission to remedy this situation.  By remedy I mean hunt him down and reclaim his name and reputation from the traditional Lobo.
     Now I know that this isn't really a "redesign" because there are 2 distinct versions.  In the comics universe this happens all the time- think of all the various Supermen, Batmen, and so on.

     I generally don't have an issue with attempted redesigns, aside from the heinous new Mr. Freeze and the rampant over objectified ladies costumes(or lack of said costumes in recent history), but Lobo has a certain persona to uphold.  When the characterization changes so drastically it feels like a slap in the face.  Lobo is a free-for-all, space bounty hunting, swearing, beer guzzling, interstellar Randy Macho Man Savage with an odd charm and charisma buried in layers of abundant violence.

     I waited until after reading the issue to toss up this blog post, and I am not impressed.  And I'm definitely not impressed with his stupid catchphrase- "Sorry.  Not sorry."  The only way I can see this playing out well is if "old" Lobo ends up kicking new Lobo's ass and they end up realizing that, yes, more than one person can have the same name as another person in the entire freakin' Universe.

     When I say I'm not impressed, I also must say that I'm not completely unhappy with this either.  Sure, they made this new Lobo an overly serious and gritty assassin, and in effect creating yet another generic badass killer, but as I said with the Mr. Freeze post- at least DC is trying something new.  One might wonder how this character would've gone over if he wasn't labelled as Lobo at all.  Although the idea of having an impostor is a pretty decent, maybe I would've enjoyed it better if "new" Lobo was the impostor.
     As I already said- this is how this story line should/will probably end- traditional Lobo putting his boot through "new" Lobo's Czarnian skull, cracking a one-liner, and flying off into space on Space Hog.

     One last note on the topic of redesign- on the positive side- this is actually a really good move by DC, it shows they are at least attempting to appeal to females with a good looking male lead.  Considering comics have been targeting young males with scantily clad ladies for quite some time it makes sense they finally started listening to their followers.
     The negative side of all the redesigns, however, is that they run a very high risk of alienating long time fans at the slim chance of gaining a handful of new readers.  Fans won't stick to reading comics based solely on name.  If the redesigns are too foreign, stray too far from what makes them interesting and long lasting the old fans will abandon them, and it is quite baffling why they continue to try and take time tested characters away from the diehards and try and sell them to a new crowd.  Why not try something new without taking away from the fans that have invested years of dedication?
     I mean what if this is just a ploy to get old Lobo fans to duke it out with new Lobo fans...
          ...until the New 52 Universe gets it's own reset...

     My apologies if this is very post sounds very self contradictory.  Oh, and Ben Oliver's art is what sold me on buying the issue.

Possible New Pikachu Centric Pokemon Game

     In a mere two days, on Friday Oct. 12th, bazillions of fans will flock to their local retailers to obtain a copy of either Pokemon X or Pokemon Y, or in some cases both games for the Nintendo 3DS.  Thus perpetuating the habit of Nintendo continually selling us the same thing.

     BUT- CEO and the Pokemon Co. president Tsunekazu Ishihara is set to appear on NHK Professional: Shigoto no Ryuungi on Oct 28th, and with that notice NHK makes mention of an all new Pokemon game that is potentially featuring Pikachu.
“This summer, Ishihara started development on a never before seen game,” the description reads. “It’s a new game featuring the very popular character Pikachu in a bold way. There is concern, however, that if it’s bad the long loved character would lose popularity in the blink of an eye.”

Source [ Gematsu ]


Star Wars: Kenobi

     This book is set just before the end of Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  Telling the story of how Clone Wars General and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi descended into the guise of the "crazy old wizard" Ben Kenobi.

     With a very western feel set on a desert planet, this works very well in favor of a small tale instead of a massive galactic conflict as so many other Star Wars stories tend to do.  It starts with the arrival of Kenobi on Tatooine looking to deliver the infant Luke Skywalker to the farm of Owen and Beru Lars.  Then, quite nicely it jumps to a bunch of other people and leaves Kenobi to be almost a supporting character, with Annileen the shopkeeper and Orrin Gault the farmer almost taking the reigns completely. 

     Kenobi conveys a wonderful sense of the devastation caused by Obi-Wan's actions in Revenge of the Sith.  He's a broken Jedi Master that has lost everything- friends, colleagues, and his Jedi way of life- but still feels the call to help others.
     It is made more difficult due to circumstances constantly arising around him as he tries to withdraw from the world.  Much in the way of an old Clint Eastwood film, Obi-Wan is a stranger come to town, and aids them in ways they couldn't have done.  Moisture farmers and shop owners alike receive his assistance and never once does he ask for anything in return.  He has to find balance while maintaining his newly necessary reclusive nature- the struggle to move on from the emotional impact of loss and the drive to help.  Remaining an anonymous hermit is near impossible with gossipy small pioneering town of Oasis.

     One thing I really liked from this book was the character A'Yark, the Tusken Raider.  It is quite interesting to get to see things from the point of view of these people.  A simple warlike tribal society being driven to extinction.  A'Yark is attempting something no other Tusken has done- to help the tribe grow, to bring others together because their current way of life is failing.  The simple act of changing generations of ingrained Tusken tradition for A'Yark is quite daunting, but managed with cleverness over time. 

     While I'm typing this I would like to say that the end feels a bit too big.  Too many neatly wrapped up threads.  There is just something a bit bothersome about it.  Honestly, I was surprised Obi-Wan didn't walk off into a sunset after a small final confrontation. 
     So if you like Star Wars or westerns, the book is simple, but entertaining.  With nothing unpredictable it remains a good read.

     Note:  I listened to the Audiobook version of Kenobi by John Jackson Miller and read by Jonathan Davis.  I will say I prefer the Star Wars audiobooks because it really is like listening to films- there's tons of added sound effects and many of the readers do pretty damn good impressions of the characters- Davis does a great Ewan McGregor version of Obi-Wan.


WB CEO "Needs" A Wonder Woman Film (and Wonder Woman Fan Trailer by Rainfall Films)

This is Cosplayer Meagan Marie's Pic. (By Chris Fink)

     Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara has been quoted saying,
“We need to get Wonder Woman on the big screen or TV.”
     He's also been quoted saying Warner Bros.' problem getting anything other than Superman and Batman to work in film and TV as a "missed opportunity."  Considering how he is highly supportive of Alfonso Cuaron's risky new film Gravity and how he was quite instrumental in getting J.K. Rowling to start a new Harry Potter spin off (according to her)- he knows his stuff- and is willing to take risks to achieve those moments of glory.

     Tsujihara has mentioned that the studio has "huge plans for a number of other DC Comics based properties on TV."  Hopefully his influence will be strong enough to lure in the proper talents to really give Wonder Woman the treatment she deserves.

     With the upcoming Superman / Batman film close on the horizon a possible Justice League film can't be far behind.  If they are truly wanting a JL movie they need to take a chance.  Not one that looked as awful as the young Princess Diana of Themyscira called Amazon that was canned by the CW.
     And with the WB-CW show Arrow and a soon to be Flash series, one could assume they have at least some idea of where to take this opening.  There is even both a Gotham and Constantine series' on the way, although with different networks if I recall.

     In my personal opinion, they need to aim for a slightly older audience.  Take the time to craft a heroine worth watching.  Don't rush it and end up with another Green Lantern.  They sought to make younger audiences the target- and it hurt the movie.  Too much reliance was put on looks and flashy special effects and the depth of character got left aside.  This sort of thing is detrimental because it lacks the staying power- that is why Christopher Nolan's Batman (Dark Knight) series is so well done, why it is so resonant with viewers- it focused on story and character first!  It gave us something that stuck in the mind.

     Now, with this recent fan trailer Wonder Woman by Rainfall films, I think that it is only average.  Gods help me, I'll catch a ton of flack for this, but three minutes of slow-motion jump-punches is not a story.  It surely isn't "proof" that a Wonder Woman film can be made.  It tells us nothing other than she can look cool and hit things dramatically.  It is however a much better start than the CW's Amazon was.  The fan trailer is definitely a step in the right direction.

     With a wealth of Greek Mythology to draw upon and a properly updated origin story, Wonder Woman has an immense potential to become a new female-lead driven film (or TV series).  Create a stable, well-written foundation to begin with and go from there.  Make a good film first, and the audiences will follow. 

     My recommendations would be to find an actual Greek woman that is slightly bulkier (like a dancer or athlete) and have her train with old Grecian specialists on warfare.  Authentic fighting, none of this slow motion Zack Snyder crap.  She should be both beautiful, and look like she could kick your ass, because she could kick your ass.  This is a woman that can easily go toe-to-toe in a battle with Superman, and match wits with Batman.  Keep the armor reminiscent of the one from the Rainfall video or the Meagan Marie cosplay, they work well.  AND NO F*CKING HEELS!  Diana must be grounded with enough plausibility to make the Greek mythology work, while maintaining her entry to and embrace of the modern world seem natural.

     I mean WB and DC certainly "missed an opportunity" all right when they let Joss Whedon go without getting to make a Wonder Woman film.  Now look at what Marvel has...
     ...So DC Comics and Warner Bros., don't screw this up.

     Also- Here are 2 previous WW fan films I dug out of my unposted blog archive.  Nothing extraordinary, but decent and worth a watch.

     1) First Impressions

     2) Wonder Woman Fan Film

Source [ Bleeding Cool ]


TMNT: Out of the Shadows PS3 News Update (PSN)

     The Official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Facebook page by Red Fly Studios has released a small update about the Playstation 3's release:

Progress update on the PSN release:

1) The devs are still working ‘round the clock on this. We know the delay is frustrating, but we firmly believe that in the end, it will be worth it because the game will of a higher quality. Thanks for bearing with us.

2) Right now, our priority is on giving the developers the space they need to polish the game. That kind of work is very hard to estimate, so to give them flexibility, we're not going to announce a release date until we're 100% certain we can make it.

3) Several fans have written in to ask us about dates they received from clerks at their local retail outlets. We want to be clear on this point: we do not yet have an official release date for the PSN version, and no retailer has been given an official date, either.

Retailers often put placeholder dates into their systems with the intent of changing them once the game’s final release is confirmed. Unfortunately, this isn't always made clear to the clerks in the stores, and that's where the confusion starts. We’ve reached out to the retailers in question and asked them to clarify things with their clerks and customers where applicable. If you see anyone arguing over different dates they got from different people, please direct them to this post.

4) Once again, TMNT: Out of the Shadows is still coming to the Playstation Network.
While we don't yet have a date, we can say that we're pleased with the progress so far, and hope to have a date very soon. Thanks again for your patience, and we’ll bring you more news as soon as possible.

     While I am still a bit disappointed, especially because this news update only tells us that it is still on the way (with no release date in sight), it is better to wait for a completed, bug-free game for release.  What I really don't understand is how the game has been finished for two other systems and is getting updates and this isn't completed yet.  Could they be adding features, new playable character, or levels?  Perhaps challenge maps?  I really don't know.

     In the mean time I've been playing the PSN Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Re-Shelled, which is only available if you bought it when it was originally offered. 

     I might add that those of you with Nintendo 3DS's will be able to play Activision's TMNT game based on the Nickelodeon cartoon in a couple weeks on Oct. 22nd.

DC Comics Villains: New 52: Batman: The Dark Knight 23.2 Mr. Freeze

     Batman: The Dark Knight 23.2

     By: Jimmy Palmiotti + Justin Gray(writers), Jason Masters(Art), and Dave Mcaig(Colors)

     The Batman Annual #1 from a while back already gave us chunks of this semi-origin story.  That fact alone is a bit off putting, and this current Freeze focused issue has 2 writers.  So in this issue we get 2 writer's writing two-thirds of a story.  Two-thirds of a very predictable story I might add.

     While I applaud DC Comic's for taking a chance and revamping long time characters with the New 52, this is one I really think they've gone wrong with.  All the beauty Paul Dini bestowed has been taken away and he's been relegated to another Arkham mental patient.  Instead of having a sympathetic origin story with a perpetually frozen wife he can do nothing to save, he's an obsessive man and seeks to "preserve" his family.  Just another lunatic with powers.
     They've lost the depth of this character in a poor attempt at gaining a new audience.

     "Family is Everything"

     The strange abandonment issues they've given to Freeze here are preposterous- Pappa Fries left and started a new family, and Momma Fries fell in a frozen lake and got brain damage- which Freeze views as abandoning him for some inexplicable reason. 
     After a power out at Arkham Mr. Freeze escapes and tracks down his father who has already died by the time he gets there and he kind of steps into the family, which feels a bit too young for Freeze's age.  One would think the new mother and children should be quite a bit older as his father probably didn't marry a child when he ran away years earlier.


     Really, DC has taken a very large step backwards with Victor Fries.  There are already 2 other characters like this with Captain Cold and Killer Frost.  And WHY ARE HIS ARMS SHOWING!!!  A containment suit is useless if he has bare arms.  And get rid of that stupid faux-hawk tuft of hair.
     Maybe they should've focused on preserving what made Mr. Freeze such a beloved villain in the first place.

     All-in-all it really feels like this was just kind of thrown together, that the writers didn't care- just another extra issue of something to fill an already over-loaded villains month. 

     On a good note- I actually enjoy the interior art and colors.  It lends a nice cool tone to the story.  Although the cover by Guillem March is horrendous.

     Dear DC Comics, bring back the compelling Mr. Freeze.


The Daily Show: John Stewart and FOX News' "Bullsh*t Mountain" (Also Al Franken vs Renee Ellmer and Paychecks)

     I'm not going to lie, this is absolutely amazing.  FOX News tends to be quite blind in their idiocy, but this really takes the cake.  Sure, less government would be great, but shouldn't all those individuals saying it just quit?  Oh, wait... they have...  sort of, as they are still getting paid for all that not working they are doing.

     And on the subject of getting paid, I love the difference in views- in my own state, MN, Senator Al Franken (D) is donating all his salary to Second Harvest Heartland for the duration of the shutdown.  While the Republican NC Rep. Renee Ellmers will not let her pay go- "I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line."

     Really?  She makes a base salary of $174K and her general surgeon husband makes (on average) $260K.  If the average federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour- that's, sorry my math skills are not up to par, almost $15,100 a year.  So adding her and her husband's yearly pay together and taking 25% off because they've got less than a quarter of the year left that's about $325.5K, which is only almost 22 times more than minimum wage.  How can they even live on that much!?!?  ONLY into the triple figures!  Must be some awfully rough living standards for the Ellmers.

     Funny that she is shutting many poorer, more in need families out of their jobs, but still wants to draw an income for her well off self.

The Daily Show's Jason Jones on Obamacare: featuring Harvey Keitel and Johnny Knoxville

     These wonderful examples of interviews from both sides of the Obamacare fence are continually entertaining.  Jason Jones can't even keep in character when discussing it with "Conservative Analyst" Gina Loudon. 

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea - News and Fact From Myth Trailer

     Ever since Bioshock first released I've been infatuated with Andrew Ryan's submerged utopian city Rapture.  Bioshock Infinite's Colombia was a great place but something about the sunken and claustrophobic Rapture really caught my mind.

     Here's an interesting promo video: Fact From Myth

     With the upcoming Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea: Episode 1, we not only get to return, but we get to see it as a living, thriving place before the fall.  In addition many items will have the names reverted to their original Bioshock counterparts- Salts are Eve, Voxophone are Audiologs, and for the newer things like Kinetoscopes and Skyhook- they'll get new names Need-to-Know machines and the Air Grabber respectively.  This will apparently all be explained in the game, and I look forward to seeking these out.

     Answers to why many of the Bioshock's denizens had specific abilities will be given as well.  Such as why the Big Daddy's had giant drills and the reason why the Houdini Splicers had teleportation powers. 
     Although, despite injecting the Plasmids like in the original, we'll be drinking them like the Vigors of Infinite.  And of course, we'll get some new ones like Old Man Winter, a fan designed freezing power.

     It has also been noted that supplies won't be as easy to obtain.  There'll be a bit of a struggle to maintain enough, and Elizabeth won't toss too many extras.  This would signal a return in difficulty to that of Rapture.

     It is set for release, as Irrational Games has said, "before the Holiday Season," at $14.99 or as part of the Season Pass.  This will be the 2nd DLC after Clash in the Clouds, the non-story based pack of combat challenges.


MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Makes Fool of RNC Reince Priebus

     I can't help but post this video.  Priebus cannot defend against Roberts' questioning and I actually cringed because it felt like watching a puppy get kicked.  This is painful and hilarious.  Well done Mr. Roberts.

Michele Bachmann on the Government Shutdown

     I really love reading these things.  Michele Bachmann, the Political Queen of Ineptitude herself has a great thing to say about the shutdown:
“We’re very excited.  It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.”
     Of course the shutdown is what the GOP Tea Party wants.  Who doesn't want more paid time off?  It's far more beneficial to get paid to not do your job from home instead of getting paid to not do your job at work.  Maybe they should restort to the tried and true method of holding their breath like an angry little kid until they get their way.
     If I recall correctly- what happened was, during the last 18 months of this bill, Republicans did nothing.  Now that the bill passed legislature, they are somehow doing even more nothing and "getting what they wanted."  What they seem to want is more free money for themselves and all the not working they've been doing.  Then again, wasn't conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman quoted saying, “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”?

     Unfortunately I get to not only live in the same state as her, Minnesota,  I also have the curse of living in her district.  Who keeps voting for this woman?!?  And, more importantly, how does she maintain any credibility?!?  She is constantly outdoing herself with even more dimwitted statements than the last, and this is another wonderful example.  Once again she is embarrassing not only our state, but I'm pretty sure our country as well in the larger picture.

Source [ Mediaite ]

Perfect GOP Shutdown Quote From Rep. Marlin Stutzman

     With all the stupid Government shutdown crap being flung around, this one quote seems to be a wonderful example of the childish nature of the current Republican mindset:
“We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
     I think I know what they'll get- fired.  They should be cut off from their steady streams of cash and be forced to rely on the help from the communities they've been denying it to.

     A mere 4 days in and there's already been admissions that they don't know what they want.  So essentially the House Conservatives, with great resolve and even greater confusion, aren't backing down from this, and they want something in return for it.  But what that "something" is anybody's guess.  It certainly won't be respect at this point- because if they want respect, don't they first have to earn it?
     If they want to act like children, we should treat them as such.

Source [ Washington Examiner ]


Allie Brosh Has Created a Monster: Menace.

     Miss Brosh has posted another wonderful thing over on her website Hyperbole & a Half about Menace.  She stumbles upon a great insight from childhood and where power can come from.  Sugar and costumes may imbue people with almost supernatural power.  At least for children.

This pic is Miss Brosh's.  And her Copyright Monster's.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Gets DLC: Hangar 6 R&D

     In a bit of a surprise, 2k Marin has announced the release of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified's first DLC.  Not only do I not recall any previous announcements about DLC, I certainly do NOT recall any announcements about it being an X Box 360 exclusive.

     Set for release on Oct. 8th, next week, Hangar 6 R&D will take place before Agent Carter's entry into The Bureau's organization as a sort of prequel.  In this installment players get to play as the mustachioed Agent DaSilva voluntarily undergoing psychic experimentation at the mysterious Hangar 6.
     DaSilva's machismo will be enhanced with a couple new abilities to play with in Battle Focus, such as "a new series of powers and perks based on his 'plant and trigger' bomb abilities in the level 'Signal from Beyond.'"  We'll also get new weapons including an AK-47 and a "prototype Microwave Gun that cooks enemies from the inside out."

     Here's a snippet from the 2K Blog from Harley White-Wiedow:
     We took this opportunity to create an entirely different kind of player character from Carter, but we focused on keeping that same cool 60s vibe – albeit, the slightly altered vibe of 60s psycho-dynamic experimentation. We did a lot of research on psychic and psychotropic military experiments of the 60s.  We watched lots of videos of soldiers giggling in trees.  We read up on Remote Viewing (a series of government experiments wherein trained soldiers were supposedly able to know things about a subject using only Extra-Sensory Perception – that is, psychically). We stared really, really hard at goats. In short, we generally had a wonderful time gassing DaSilva, and his squad mate Ennis Cole, and putting them through their paces in great big hangars full of military-type "combat sets."
     This sounds quite interesting to me- more immersion in the 1960's psychic experimentation.  If I had an XBox I would give this a go because I really enjoyed The Bureau. (I'll have a larger post on it later)

     Source [ 2K Games ]


Republicans Shut Down Federal Government... and Make Jokes About It!

     This was something many people saw coming.  Especially since this current batch of House Republicans are more dead-set on doing absolutely nothing than all others that came before.  They only have a 10% approval rating!  Way to go Tea Party.

     Well here is a nice little joke from Marsha Blackburn, Rep. (R) of Tennesse:

"You know, I think you may see a partial shutdown for several days. But Steve [Doocy], people are probably going to realize they can live with a lot less government than what they thought they needed," -Marsha Blackburn (R- TN)

     Must be rough getting more paid vacation time and be in no rush to fix the problems created by not doing your jobs up on those Republican high horses.  Seriously, it's disgusting to know they are getting paid to not work.  The joke is even funnier because she is commenting on us not needing her.
     The GOP shouldn't be allowed back in if this is how they want to play.

The Reason for the shutdown:

     A fellow named Kevin Drum has summed up the reason behind this childish congressional tactic of holding their breath and throwing an extraordinary tantrum:
The Republican Party is bending its entire will, staking its very soul, fighting to its last breath, in service of a crusade to.... 
Make sure that the working poor don't have access to affordable health care. I just thought I'd mention that in plain language, since it seems to get lost in the fog fairly often. But that's it. That's what's happening. They have been driven mad by the thought that rich people will see their taxes go up slightly in order to help non-rich people get decent access to medical care. 
That's a pretty stirring animating principle, no?

     Ezra Klein over at the Washington Post had a similar thing to say:
This is all about stopping a law that increases taxes on rich people and reduces subsidies to private insurers in Medicare in order to help low-income Americans buy health insurance. That's it. That's why the Republican Party might shut down the government and default on the debt.

     As a professional Health Care worker this is frankly disturbing.  The USA is in the upper 30's according to the World Health Org.  Despite John Boehner saying the "U.S. health care system is the best in the world," this is simply not true. 
     Anyone wonder what the one thing all 30-something other countries with better systems have in common is?  It would be universal coverage.  There isn't the overlord insurance companies with a massive incentive to deny any and all coverage possible just to save a buck hovering over people.
     We can spend almost $730 BILLION a year to end lives with military and defense, but we can't ensure the safety and health of citizens?  Staggeringly absurd.

     I generally hate talking about politics, but this is just dumb.  If I don't show up for my job, I get fired.  If I refuse to do my job, I get fired.  In all honesty, these "Government Workers" are huge leeches that need to be cut off.
     They aren't doing their jobs, so they need to be cut off.  We should band together and put in to effect the Warren Buffett method:
"I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there's a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah, yeah, now you've got the incentives in the right place, right? (Laughs)
     Which could be done without congress through means explained on a link here if you care to read it- [ CNBC ]

     And as a nice last touch here is a list of 9 ways congress needs to be punished for their shutdown from The Washington Post.