Pop Culture Wednesday: “Tetris”, the Movie(s)

Happy Wednesday internet! This is Pop Culture Wednesday, the place where any and everything pop culture related is analyzed and critiqued with gusto. Today’s topic is a heavy one , so let’s jump right into it.

Would you believe me if I told you that the classic and phenomenal video game Tetris was being made into a movie? I imagine your reacting would be mix between being upset and confused. Video games being turned into movies is not a new concept, while it has never been an entirely successful one. However, most of those video game movies have narratives that would work in the medium of film, such as Rachet and Clank or Assassin’s Creed. Others, at the very least, are vague or broad enough conceptually that the can be easily molded into a movie, such as Mortal Combat or Street FighterTetris, though, has none of those qualities and exists wholly as an entity that can only be expressed through the medium of video games. So, of course Hollywood is not making a Tetris movie, they are making three of them.

Tetris

The first entry in the project is currently three years in development, has an eighty million dollar project, and will begin shooting in China shortly. I am not excited for this movie. I generally try to give every film or creative idea the benefit of the doubt, but I anticipate this film to be extremely, extraordinarily, intensely bad. Which I am upset about, not because I have a deep attachment to Tetris, but because it could stall a lot of other films.

Nintendo has recently been making some noise about bringing a few of its properties to the silver screen. This could actually be incredible, as many of the House of Mario’s properties,  Metroid, like Star Fox, and F-Zero, would be a perfect fit for film. There is even an ongoing bidding war over the rights to make a live action Pokemon movie, which is already a franchise that has transcended the video game medium to become a multi-media juggernaut.

However, if the classic game Tetris does poorly in theaters, I could totally see Nintendo no longer wanting to bring their classic franchise to the new medium. Granted, this is mostly speculation on my part; but it would be a shame if awesome movies were not made because of an ill advised bad movie. In summation, video game movies have the potential to be good, despite their track record, but the Tetris trilogy will most likely be bad.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

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Pop Culture Wednesday: “Tetris”, the Movie(s)

Game Grind: OVERWATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Saturday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Game Grind, the place where any and everything video game related is analyzed, discussed, and critiqued with gusto. Today’s post is going to be for a game that isn’t even out yet, but has already been declared one of the best games of 2016. I am speaking, of course, about Blizzard’s illustrious  Overwatch. 

Overwatch

This game’s beta, which ended two weeks ago and has since created a hole in most people’s being, was more successful than many of the titles that actually released that week. The beta and the game both received a crap load of free advertising due to the changing of a character’s supposedly “sexual” victory pose and searches for Overwatch on PornHub have risen by over 800 percent since the beta’s launch. People love Blizzard’s newest IP, and here’s why.

Overwatch contains gameplay that caters to all kinds of gamers. While everything is definitely molded around an FPS style, each of the playable characters are unique enough that playing with them makes the game feel more like one of FPS’s subgenres. If you like classic FPSs, you can get that by playing as Tracer or Solider 76. If you like FPSs that have MOBA elements, Torbjorn and Bastion (Android 16) have you covered. If you enjoy stealth and close quarters combat, Genji is your man. This game has been so popular because it really does feel like there is a little something for everyone in it.

Overwatch 2

This game is also brimming with originality, creativity, and great characters. There have been a lot of people saying that Overwatch is just Team Fortress, but with waifus; but that really does not do the game justice. Each of the characters have such a unique and compelling design and backstory that it pains me that none of that will be explored in this online only game. The Overwatch videos that Blizzard has been putting out helps to fill that void, but I really wish there was an aspect of the game that really got into the meat of each and every one of the characters. All of them are very fun and interesting and I wish we could get more of that in game.

Alrighty, that’s the bulk of it, but here are some stray observations.

  • Bastion is not OP; Genji, Widowmaker, and Reinheart can totally wreck him.
  • The fact that two of the characters, Bastion and Genji, are so similar to characters from two other franchise I love, DBZ’s Android 16 and MGS’s Cyborg Ninja, is very weird to me.
  • If you only ever play with a single character, you are not playing Overwatch right.
  • Every team needs a healer. If you get into a match and no one is a healer, play as a healer for a while.
  • Capturing Objective > Kills
  • The loot box system is a good way to reward players for leveling up, but I feel like there needs to be something more if Blizzard wants to keep players engaged for the long term.
  • Overwatch is available for purchase on May 24th. Keep strong in the interim.

That just about does it for this week’s post of Game Grind. If you enjoyed it, please leave a like or a comment down below and be sure to stop by here on Monday for the next installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. Have a great weekend!

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Game Grind: OVERWATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pop Culture Wednesday: Truly Titanic

Happy Wednesday! BaddaBing BaddaBlog is back bitches! We died a little bit going into finals week and the month leading up to it, but somebody used a Phoenix Down and now 4B is ready to go for the gravy! Also, I’m about 30 hours into Bravely Second, so expect references like that to become a bit commonplace. In the meantime though, here’s a Pop Culture Wednesday post dedicated to a cartoon that was so kick-ass it had to be cancelled, Teen Titans………..and by extension the infuriating remake/re-imagining thing Teen Titans GO! Before we start, I just want to give a quick shout out to one half of Blair Huggles for inspiring this post. Thanks dude! Alright, let’s do this.

TeenTitansLogo

I have said it before and I will say it again, DC does waaaaaaaaaaay better than Marvel when it comes to television. When it comes to movies…….not so much. I’m still marination on everything I want to say about BvS, but you can expect a post about why that movie didn’t work sometime in the near future. Today, though, this post is dedicated to the tragic awesomeness that was Teen Titans.

Teen_titans

This cartoon nailed it from the ground up. The basic premise of the program revolves around a team of teenage superheros fighting crime and super villains in a quirky half comic book half anime aesthetic, while repeatedly dealing with and confronting their own weaknesses, short comings, and flaws. The show’s ability to be humerus, heartwarming, and action packed all within a single episode is bar-none and truly a representation of the thematically diverse stories comics can tell.

And then it was cancelled, out of nowhere, on a cliffhanger that involved one of the more interesting characters in the show maybe coming back to life. This cancellation was made, to the best of my knowledge and after a fair bit of research, for literally adequate reason! Cartoon Network execs didn’t like the pitch for the sixth season pitch and decided to cancel it. Apparently the execs didn’t like the direction the show was heading. Which is doubly frustrating considering we got THIS a few years later.

GalleryTV_1920x1080_TeenTitansGo_554d48797553c0.94296848

Teen Titans GO!

God damn it all.

This fart joke infused, lowest common denominator of a comedic cartoon is the direction people in power at Cartoon Network wanted the show to head in. This show is not good at all; I suppose it’s passable by modern Cartoon Network standards, but it does not even deserve to be in the shadow of its predecessor. I do not like this show whatsoever; primarily because it gave me hope that the Teen Titans that I knew and loved would be coming back, only to take a colossal dump on it.

To be fair, I am being hyper critical here. The show has actually been pretty upfront about it being a let down to fans of its predecessor and has actually made some clever jokes for fans of DC comics. I’m just upset that when kids think of Teen Titans nowadays, they think of GO! instead of the better version I experienced. Damn, I got old.

Maybe I’m looking at the old show through rose colored glasses, but it really is stellar and a benchmark in DC’s incredible animated catalog. And I suppose that GO! can never really ruin these characters for me (despite it trying unexplained hard to). Sadly life is full of small concessions and I guess the untimely end and reincarnation of Teen Titans is just one of them.

Wow, that’s a bleak way to end, buuuuut here we are. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did please leave a like and/or a comment down below. If you want to stay up to date with 4B, you can subscribe via email in the upper right tab. Alternatively, you can like the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook page or follow me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope all of you have an awesome rest of the week and be sure to come back here of Friday for the next installment of Game Grind. I’ma geek out about Overwatch!!!

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Pop Culture Wednesday: Truly Titanic

Game Grind: Covering “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV”

Happy Saturday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! Was your week epic? If it wasn’t, don’t worry, your reading of this post is already gearing you up for an incredibly epic weekend. This is Game Grind! The place where anything related to the wonderful world of video games is covered with the vigor and diligence. Today’s topic relates to an event hosted by the video game company Square Enix called Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV. This event raveled a wealth of information about the highly anticipated game Final Fantasy XV. In this post I will go over some of the biggest take anyways from the event and outline why this information is important. With that said, let’s talk about the next entry in Final Fantasy’s incredible catalog of games.

Final Fantasy 15

The single biggest piece of news from this event is that we finally have a release date for Final Fantasy XV. The game will be released on September 30th, 2016. Well that may still be a ways off, it is incredibly reassuring to have a definitive release date considering that this game has been in production for over seven years. They cynical part of may brain acknowledges that their is a chance it may be pushed back, as is a trend in the video game industry nowadays, but I think that Square Enix is going to be on that ball for this release. They’ve had more than enough time to prepare, after all.

Final Fantasy XV 1

Other surprising news to come out of this event is that it seems like Square Enix wants to turn the XV property into a multimedia sensation. Both a movie and an anime that expand upon the games world and characters have been announced. The anime, which has already had its first episode released and is available on the official Final Fantasy XV YouTube Channel, and focuses on the main characters “bro-ad trip”. The movie will focus Noctis’ father during the events of the game. The trailer looks pretty good, with the CG animation being the high point. Some big Hollywood names are also tied to the film, with Sean Bean being the most noteworthy as the voice of Noctis’ father. Sadly, none of the actor’s will voice the characters in the game. This is understandable, as they would be crazy expensive, but still disappointing. It is also unclear how long the movie will actually be, but, considering that the first anime tie in episode was only twelve minutes long, the movie will probably be under the two hour mark.

Final Fantasy XV 2

The last big piece of information to come out of the Uncovered event is that a demo of the upcoming game is now available for free on the PlayStation Store.  The demo is titled Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV and is pretty good for a free demo. A single play-through is between thirty minutes to an hour and the demo mostly focuses on depicting the games beautiful graphics and establishing the main character, Noctis, a bit. Players are also introduced to the Rabbit/Unicorn/Cat/Fox creature depicted above, and its just…….adorable incarnate. Square has promised that our adorable companion will be in the main game, which I am greatly excited about.

All and all this event was a good one that gave some much needed information about Square Enix’s next big title. It really seems like they’re banking on this game being a success, and I personally hope that it is. I love the Final Fantasy series of games and I lament the fact that the last few entries have been indisputably sub-par. I love Square Enix’s game Bravely Default game, but it is kind of a shame that Bravely Default is the best Final Fantasy game to come out in close to a decade. I really hope that FFXV is a return to form for the franchise.

That just about does it for this installment of Game Grind. If you enjoyed it, please leave a like and a comment down below. It is greatly appreciated and I promise I’ll get back to you. If you want to stay up to date with this blog, you can subscribe via email in the upper right corner. Alternatively, you can stay informed by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by following me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you all have a great weekend and thank you again for reading.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Game Grind: Covering “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV”

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: Erased Review

Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! My spring break is over and I am ready to make the last sprint to summer vacation. Or I could quite possibly be in denial. Either way, this is Manga (And Also Anime) Monday! The place where we examine all of the anime and manga goodness. Today’s topic is a series originally written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe and adapted into an anime by A-1 Pictures. This anime may also very well be the best anime to debut in the Spring 2016 season. Today’s topic will be a review of the incredible anime Erased.

Erased 1

The plot of Erased fits nicely in the science-fiction, murder mystery genre. The story focuses on Satoru Fujinuma, a twenty-nine year old pizza delivery boy and struggling manga artist. He is incredibly cold and distant to those around him, specifically his co-worker Airi who develops a romantic internist in him, due to a trauma Satoru suffered in his childhood. When he was eleven, three children Satoru’s age were murdered, two of which Satoru feels like he could have easily prevented if only he had had a better relationship with them. Satoru’s childhood friend Yuuki, who was a young adult when Satoru was eleven, was wrongly convicted of these murders and, at the beginning of the story, is on death row. Satoru believes that he has put these events behind him, but he must confront them again when he is framed for his mother’s murder while she is visiting him. The trauma of this experience activates an ability that Satoru has kept hidden from his friends and family, Revival. This ability sends Satoru back in time to when he was eleven so that he can attempt to prevent the murder of his classmates, save his death row friend, and apprehend the real killer.

Erased 2

Yeah, this anime can be a bit complicated. Buuuuuuuut, that’s not really uncommon for time travel stories. Thankfully Erased does keep things pretty simple in terms of time travel mechanics and does a great job of explaining how things work and character motivations to the audience. However, Erased does have its weak points. As with most time travel stories, the actions of the main character seem a bit strange. I somewhat frequently found myself questioning Satoru’s actions and methods. Also, while this series does have some incredible animation at times, the character models felt off and lackluster at times.

Erased 3

These criticisms by no means ruin the series, though. Erased may very well be one of the best anime to come out this season and it completely deserves this praise. This twelve episode anime packed a ton of content into each and every episode, causing me to constantly reevaluate my opinion of many of the characters. I also found the film reel motif used to represent Satoru’s memory to not only be incredibly well animated, but also fantastically representative of how the pop culture obsessed main character would imagine the concept of memory. Also, with out giving away much of the plot, I found the narration switch at the end of the series to be just brilliant! I have never seen anything like that in the time travel genre, and I was both stunned and delighted by the transition.

All in all, Erased is a marvelous anime that deserves your attention if even the slightest bit of this review caught your eye.

Thank you so much for reading this post. If you enjoyed it please give it a like and leave a comment down below if you have anything to add, any questions, or if you hold a different opinion of this anime than my own. I promise I will respond to you. If you want to stay up to date with this blog, you can subscribe via email in the upper right tab. Alternatively, you can stay informed by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page, or you can follow me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you all have a great week, and be sure to visit 4B again on Wednesday for the next installment of Pop Culture Wednesday.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: Erased Review

Game Grind: Pokemon Red and Blue, a Retrospective Review

Happy Saturday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Game Grind! The place where any, and everything, video game related is analyzed, critiqued, and appreciated with boundless enthusiasm. Today’s topic is one that holds a special place in most gamer’s hearts, Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue. I have been taking advantage of the digital re-release of these gems, and have decided to do a proper review of them. Bear in mind that there is no way for me to do an unbiased review of these games as they are a cornerstone of my childhood and have played a huge role in shaping my worldview. However, just like anything else in life, these pieces of history are not without their high points and faults, and this post is going to go over both in spades. With that being said, here’s my review of Pokemon Red and Blue!

Pokemon Artwork 1

There is a reason why Pokemon Red and Blue are two of the most popular JRPGs of all time. These games took a lot of what made the genre great, and improved it immensely. A lot of the best JRPGs have a diverse and interesting cast of characters.However, a lot of games at the time of Pokemon’s released capped the character list off at around 30 or so characters. Pokemon presented players with a staggering 150 (technically 151) choices for exploring its world. The games also reduced the standard JRPG formula down to its most basic elements in order to make it more easily playable to an audience unfamiliar with JRPGs. The games also whittled down the story elements to the most essential parts, which allows players to readily project themselves onto the protagonist. The game also makes the end goal the simple, childlike, objective of becoming the very best. Which is actually pretty awesome and gets right to the heart of a lot any epic storyline.

Pokemon Red and Blue

However, Pokemon Red and Blue do have their faults and, after being around for twenty years, these faults are pretty glaring. The most obvious of these faults is just how slowly the game plays. Battles take forever compared to the most recent generation of Pokemon, and, until you get the bike, players are basically slogging through the overworld. These games play incredibly slowly and have menu navigations that are far less then intuitive. These games also are extremely unbalanced. If you choose Charmander as your starter, you are almost required to grind before the first and second boss battle. Granted, choosing Charmander is supposed to be the “hard” version of the game, but this fact is never made clear to first time players and will undoubtedly catch each and every one of them by surprise. The Psychic type is also VERY overpowered in these games. This is partially due to a glitch that makes Ghost types week to them, when they should otherwise be superior, but is also due to a somewhat poor game design. Another fairly big criticism of these games is that there is very little explanation and direction given to the player. While these games are fairly linear, players generally have to figure our where to go, what to do, and what types are strong to which, through trial and error. Which, while immersive and realistic, is a bit hampering and confusing.

Pokemon Red and Blue 2

In spite of these issues, Pokemon Red and Blue do possess traits that make them worthy of their reverence. One of these traits is the impeccable artwork and sprite-work that is beyond an kind of praise. Ken Sugimori’s watercolor promotional artwork is now iconic and the sprites of each of the Pokemon within the game is overflowing with character and heart. You can tell from the get go that these games were a labor of love and that everyone who was involved in creating these games completely believed in them. These games are also filled with an incredible number of secretes and lore to uncover. The world of Pokemon is filled to the bursting point with teasers and secrets to uncover. The greatest of these secrets is the post game boss, Mewtwo. However, discovering the legendary birds is an incredible experience in its own right. Everyone who played the original games as a child vividly remembers the sense of adventure and jubilee that resulted from finding the Power Plant after curiously exploring an otherwise nondescript section of water. The sensation of being in a world much larger than the player when viewing Articuno through binoculars in a way-point is an experience that is ingrained into my memory as well. These games do everything in their power to surprise and entice the player in a way that has not really been expressed in any of the subsequent games, and because of that they will always hold a special place in my, and many other gamers’, hearts.

Pokemon Red and Blue 3

When all is said and done, these games are far from perfect. However, they don’t really need to be perfect. Pokemon Red and Blue are beyond charming and more enticing than perhaps any other game. While future installments in the series may be technically and narratively superior (I personally believe that Pokemon Gold and Silver far surpasses the originals, but that’s a entirely different post in and of itself), Pokemon Red and Blue go above and beyond setting up what would eventually become a multi-million dollar franchise and media entity. These games set up everything that Pokemon is today, and I definitely felt that replaying the games twenty years later. While replaying these games I laughed, I yelled, and I cried. In short, these games are the essence and spirit of the Pokemon brand and more then deserve the place they have etched out in countless people hearts.

Alright, I think that sappy note is the perfect place to end this post and Pokemon Red and Blue Review. If you enjoyed it please give this post a like and feel free to share your fond memoirs or opinions of the original games in the comments section down below. If you want to stay up to date with this blog, you can subscribe in the upper right tab via your email. Alternatively, you can stay up to date by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by liking me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you all enjoyed this post and that you all have a great weekend. Thank you so much for reading.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Game Grind: Pokemon Red and Blue, a Retrospective Review

Pop Culture Wednesday: The Venture Bros. Season 6 Review

Happy Wednesday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Pop Culture Wednesday, the place where any and everything related to the world of media is examined with enthusiasm. Today’s subject is one of my favorite television shows of all time (and my absolute favorite on Adult Swim until the advent of Rick and MortyThe Venture Brothers. The sixth season ended earlier this week, which makes this the perfect time to review this gem of a show. Let’s do this!

Venture Bros. 1

While The Venture Bros. just wrapped up its sixth season, it has been on television for much longer than six years. The cartoon premiered in 2003 and, thirteen years later, a lot of fans went into this season concerned that they show may have lost its charm since it first captured our hearts; or since season five ended more than a year ago. We were not disappointed. Season six changed some of the most basic elements of The Venture Bros. while also intensifying some of the program’s best elements.

Venture Bros. 3

This season was far more concerned with chronology than any other. Events built, characters changed, and relationships were adjusted all throughout the season. Which is a really big shift for a show that was originally broadcast out of order by its network. This spanning narrative allowed for a much deeper connection with the main characters to be formed more so than any other season. I felt sincerely happy a lot of the characters who have otherwise had their lives riddled with failure. Dean is going to college, Hank has a girlfriend, Brock is exploring his masculinity and becoming a more fleshed out character, The Monarch has found something that he is good at, and Gary (Henchman 21) has found a friend to replace 24. I am overjoyed that these characters are growing and moving on with their lives.

The Venture Bros Season 6

The biggest criticism I can give this season is also the biggest compliment I can award it, I wish there was more of it. Season six had only eight episodes (and a special that wrapped up the previous season, but that really does not count) which left me with a longing for more Venture Bros. hi-jinks. While I loved the growth in some of the characters, I did notice that a lot of characters I enjoy, such as The Order of the Triad, Johnny Quest, and Dr. Henry Killenger, were absent this season. I love what we got this season, but I really do wish this season had an extra three or four episodes.

The Blue Morpho

Closing Thoughts:

  • The Blue Morpho was easily my favorite element of this season. I also love the fact that The Monarch is immensely better at being a sort-of-good vigilante than an actual super-villain.
  • I wish the writers would just flat out say that Doc. Venture and The Monarch are brothers and Dr. Venture Sr. turned The Monarch’s dad into Vendata. I’m sick of getting cock teased for the past thirteen years.
  • Expanding Gary’s backstory was amazing and I am so glad that they included it.
  • My favorite moment with Dean this season was easily when Brock thought he was possessed.
  • My favorite Hank moment was the entirety of his first date and the lengths he went to, so that his date would see him as what he thought was cool.
  • The best fight this season was easily Think Tank vs Brock.
  • Lastly, Red Death really is a treasure!
Pop Culture Wednesday: The Venture Bros. Season 6 Review