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: 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

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: All Work and No Cosplay, Makes Jack a Baka Onii-San

Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! 4B is back and (hopefully) better than ever! Once again, I’m terribly sorry for the hiatus and hope these next few posts more than make it up to you. To kick off these redemption posts  (wow, that actually sounds kinda badass) here is an installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. In these segments we explore the wide, wonderful, world of Japanese media and the culture around it. Today’s post is going to focus on the latter of those parts, by exploring the incredibly popular and impressive hobby/career/activity that is cosplay.

Cosplay 1

Cosplay, as it is defined in a brief google search, is “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genre of manga and anime.” This definition is actually pretty accurate. Cosplay is essentially super-mega-ultra-intense dress up. If that sounds like a mockery of the practice, it is by no means meant to be. Cosplay involves individuals handcrafting the extremely complex and often preposterous ensembles of fictional characters. This requires an incredible amount of time, energy, and skill; and it is no wonder that this activity has evolved into a greatly respected hobby or a professional career.

Cosplay 2

(Pictured above is cosplayer and internet personality Meg Turney.)

Cosplay has grown into the massive phenomenon that it is today, mostly due to the mentality behind the practice. Cosplay is, in a lot of ways, a labor of love.  Through cosplay, people connect more deeply with the character and story that they are bringing to life. Nobody would put the massive amount of work that is necessary, into this hobby if they did deeply appreciate the character they are representing. Each and every instance of cosplay can be taken as an expression of love for the character and work that they are embodying.

As cosplay’s popularity has grown exceptionally over the past decade or so, people have risen to fame due to the activity and can be considered the face of modern cosplay. These professional cosplaiers are masters of their craft and all but completely breakdown the barrier between fiction and reality. Some of these noteworthy figures aaaaaaaaaaare:

Cosplay 3

Jessica Nigri. Ms. Nigri is probably one of the most famous modern cosplayers, and for good reason. Not only does she make truly astounding costumes, but she also has a magnificent personality that makes her both lovable and admirable. I personally am a huge admirer of Ms. Nigri and her works and am grateful to her for the astonishing creations that she has crafted during her career.

Cosplay 4

Alodia Gosienfiao. Ms. Gosienfiao is perhaps one of the most famous and recognized cosplaiers in the world. Her works are incredibly impressive and she has been bringing cosplay to a wider audience since 2003. She has contributed more to the world of cosplay than perhaps any other, and will undoubtedly continue to make the practice even more respected in the future.

Cosplay 5

Sev. I had to include this DC area cosplay. With one of the simplest costumes ever constructed, this man  has generated a massive amount of interest in cosplay and will forever be an internet meme. Also, who among us would not want this Magicarp on our team?

That just about does it for this installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. If you liked it, please give it a like and if you leave a comment below I will be sure to reply to you. If you would like to keep up to date with this blog, 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 you all have an awesome week and be sure to come back here on Wednesday for the next installment of Pop Culture Wednesday.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: All Work and No Cosplay, Makes Jack a Baka Onii-San

Game Grind: Ninten-DAAAAAAAAAMN DANIEL

Happy Saturday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Game Grind, the place where anything related to video games or video game news is enthusiastically obsessed over. I know that it has been a while since the last post, and for that I am deeply sorry. However, I hope to more than make up for that today by going over the wealth of information presented in Nintendo’s most recent Nintendo Direct. With that in mind, let’s dive headfirst into the House of N’s latest announcements.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon

Pokemon Sun and Moon

While this information was not included directly in the most recent Nintendo Direct, it was reveled in a Nintendo Direct only a few days before the most recent one, and therefore merits being discussed. PokemonPokmeon Sun and Pokemon Moon have been confirmed as being the seventh generation of Pokemon games and will be released in time for the 2016 holiday season. Very little is known about the games right now, other than they appear to take place in a tropical climate and that there will be a new flying type Pokemon introduced. While I am crazy excited for this news, I am a bit curious what happened to the all but confirmed Pokemon Z? Gen. 6 really felt like it was gearing up for one more installment. Oh well, only time will tell how this is going to play out.

Bravely Second 

bravely second

It’s finally coming!!! I have waited (mostly) patiently for years for Bravely Second: End Layer to be localized, and now the goal is finally in sight! The squeal to one of my all time favorite JRPGs is coming to America on April 15th. I am crazy pumped for this game; it is a wonderful time to be a JPRG fan. That being said, I do have some concerns. What kind of role is Tiz going to play in this game? He was my favorite protagonist in the original and, going off the trailer, it feels like he’s being swept under the rug in favor of the new character named, Yew. Which is weird considering Tiz is on the games boxart. I’m sure SquareEnix won’t let me down, but I’m still concerned about the game’s story and characters.

Tokyo Mirage Session #FE

Fire Emblem Shin Magami Tiensen

Speaking of JRPGs, this stylish Fire Emblem crossover received a new title and will be released on June 24th of this year. Which coincidentally is my birthday! I know I’m weeb trash for playing this game, but I’m going to reveal in it anyway.

Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard

Star Fox Zero

One of the last big pieces of news in the announcement that Star Fox Zero is going to be released on April 22nd world wide and that it will come bundled with the game Star Fox Guard. This side game appears to be a blend of Five Nights at Freddy’s and tower defense games. Star Fox Zero, as it always has before, continues to look like an incredibly fun and well made game.I’m really excited about the fact that the game’s main story has a co-pilot function. I think it would be incredibly fun to play through the main story together with my roommate.

Alright, that just about does it for this Nintendo Direct. There was a bit more information, but these were the big stories that I really cared about. Oh, I almost forgot, Kirby has a mech in his upcoming game. So if you love that adorable pink blog, check that out. If you enjoyed this post, please leave a like and a comment down below. It’s greatly appreciated. If you want to stay up to date with this blog, you can subscribe to it via your email in the upper right tab. Alternatively, you an stay up to date by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by following me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you all have a great weekend and be sure to stop by here on Monday for the next installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Game Grind: Ninten-DAAAAAAAAAMN DANIEL

Game Grind: Thank You Pokemon

Happy Saturday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! I do not have a lot of time to write a post today, but considering that it is Pokemon’s 20th anniversary, I felt the need to write something. Sooooooo, here it is.

Pokemon Artwork 1

I have been a fan of Pokemon, well, ever since I was self aware enough to be a fan of thinks. I’ve played every generation of games, I watched the show for way past the point where it stopped being good, and I collected the cards for a good long while. I just want to take a brief moment and thank everyone who created this franchise and everyone who has ever work on any part of it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing me countless hours of joy and fun.

Pokemon Artwork 2

I can think of no series that has better captured the feeling of childlike exploration and imagination. Pokemon has become the massive empire that it is today because it really is a perfectly executed marvelous  idea. Once again, thank you Pokemon for existing and consistently filling me with unrepresented amounts of childhood glee.

Alright, thanks for letting me gush. Have an awesome rest of the weekend.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Game Grind: Thank You Pokemon

Game Grind: Bested by the Best

Happy Saturday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Game Grind! The place where we either rage or geek out to anything having to do with video games or the video game industry. Today’s post is going to be a little…….different. There is not a ton going on in the video game industry right now, at least nothing regarding stuff I care about, so I’m a bit short on content. I could post something regarding everyone’s favorite legendary Pokemon, Mewtwo, as today is coincidentally his birthday, but that’s been done before and done way better than I could ever hope to. (Check out this video by the incredible YouTuber TheJwittz, for more info. on that.)

So to fill this lull, I decided to dive into the rich history of gaming. Today’s post is going to be a completely arbitrary list of some of “best’ moments or aspects of various video games as determined by me, Lucas DeRuyter. Here we go, bitched!

Best Game Ever! 

LoZ OoT

Screw you Undertale! (Just kidding. I love you but I cannot in good conscious say that your are the best game ever. Suck it Gaming FAQs.) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is, in my humble opinion, the best video game ever made. I say this not because you are my favorite Zelda game, nor because I have an intense nostalgia filter, but because Ocarina of Time changed the face of gaming in a way that has never since been matched. This game raised the bar for video games in a way that has never really been matched in the nearly twenty years since its initial release.

Favorite Game Ever!

Metal Gear Solid

The original Metal Gear Solid is probably my favorite video game. It would be my pick for the best game ever, but I think there is more of a community conscious on LoZ: OoT. Metal Gear Solid is my favorite game though because it is one of the greatest video games every made and because it shaped me as a human being. I watched my Dad play this game as a four year old and it BLEW MY FREAKIN’ MIND! This game introduced me to video games, this game introduced me to science fiction, this game is the game that I have compared all other video games for the past sixteen years. I know I probably should not have experienced this game as a four year old, buy I am incredibly grateful to Papa DeRuyter for letting me watch him play it.

Best Sequel Ever!

Pokemon gold and silver

The second generation of Pokemon is easily the greatest sequel in all of video games. Pokemon Gold and Silver not only improved upon the original games in literally every aspect, but it also allowed you to travel back to the area from the original games after you had essentially beaten the game. Also, at the very end of the games you get to battle the player character, Red, from the first generation of Pokemon. That’s right, at the end of the game you are beating the character that you spent dozens of hours playing as and turning into the biggest badass in all of Pokemon. It was god damn epic!

pokemon vs red

Best Indie Game Ever!

Shovel_knight_cover

If you have followed this blog for essentially any amount of time, you should know that I absolutely adore Shovel Knight. This independent gem is one of the first crowdfunded games to really demonstrate the quality of games that can come out of that funding strategy. This game is incredible not only because of how well done it is, but also because of the sheer amount of heart the developers put into every aspect of this game. I also love how much this game made me feel. Sure, it’s not as much of an emotional gut punch as Undertale, but Shovel Knight gave me the feels first and because of that will always win out in my opinion. Plus DLC!!!

Best Final Fantasy Game Ever!

FF7logo

Sorry FF6 fanboys and fangirls, my favorite game in the series is Final Fantasy VII. I will admit that I have not played the sixth installment in the franchise, but I do not think that it would change my opinion. I love this game. I love the story, I love the characters, and I love the setting. I lost my shit when the remake was announced and I am still giddy as hell for it. FF15 might cause my opinion to sway, but it’s going to have to go well beyond the hype to do so.

Alright faithful readers, that wraps up the first installment of Game Grind: Bested by the Best. This was actually pretty fun to think about and write; I’ll have to do this again the next time a slow news week comes around. If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like. If you have any strong opinions on my choices, please leave a comment down below and I would be more than happy to respond. If you want to stay up to date with 4B, you can do so via your email in the upper right tab. 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 rest of the weekend and be sure to stop back here on Monday for a very special installation of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. 

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

 

Game Grind: Bested by the Best