Nearly a year later, featuring Transistor!

010-funny-animal-gifs-dog-slapWell, I think the adjoining image perfectly encapsulates my feelings on my negligence of this blog.  Please don’t send any animals to bitch paw(slap) me.  I realize I’ve taken quite an extensive pause from posting.  The past year has been quite a change and due to a six-month reprieve from internet access beyond a cellphone, I was would have been capable of only blog posts no more than a few sentences in length.  Of course, I could have written posts from my smartphone, which throws tantrums like a two-year-old.  Luckily I have access to a much better phone now, but also my lovely computer.  I’ve been back for a while, but it took some time for me to crawl back into old habits.

So a lot has happened since my last post in August of last year.  New Anime series, new films, games, books, comics, and so much more that I spent nearly three months catching up on six months worth of geekery.  SDCC has recently passed and with it a wealth of goodies that have me itching for trailers.  Legend of Korra wrapped up its story arc last year and not only granted the wish of Korrasami shippers but managed to agitate the fans that didn’t see the pairing coming or are hardcore Makorra fans.  I have my own opinion of the finale, but that’s for a later post and when I’m not running on fumes.

transistorRecently, Steam held their summer sale, which just hearing the words “Steam Summer Sale” sends gamers into a hungry frenzy, hoping to devour the best in PC gaming deals and software.  I admit that I’ve not been an active user of Steam, but I decided this year that I would jump on some of the deals being dangled in front me.  Well, I got quite a few of them.

I’m picky when it comes to choosing the right game.  Some huge names made their way into the sale, like Witcher 3 and GTA V.  While I was excited to see such titles featured, I set myself a goal.  Only buy the games that were less than $8.  I’ll admit that most of my haul was games under $3, but they were some games with pretty positive responses from gamers and reviews matter a lot to me when making a purchase.

One title popped up on the list, a title I’d never heard much about but was by Supergiant Games, makers of the acclaimed action-RPG, Bastion.  I’ve played a little of Bastion and I enjoyed it, so I thought that this game had a lot of promise. Unfortunately, I acted too late to snag Transistor the first time, but luckily Steam gives some of their best sellers a second chance.  One play of the trailer and I knew I’d be buying this game just not for play value, but the phenomenal soundtrack.

In Transistor, you play Red, a famous singer that for reasons not yet known, was to be assassinated by a group known as the Camerata.  The assassination failed, but in the process Red’s voice has been absorbed by a weapon known as the Transistor which is buried deep into the body of a man that we assume was serving to protect Red.  His persona is also absorbed by Transistor, which allows the weapon a voice and consciousness, which leads Red through Cloudbank and narrates our journey.  Red takes the weapon into her possession and uses it to fight off intelligent minions of the Camerata, known only as the Process.

I skimmed through some reviews that complained of the game’s confusing storyline and how so little is explained at the beginning.  It’s a game that slowly stitches the story together, to understand just how Red has found herself in this dangerous position.  I view games much like visual and interactive books, so the plot didn’t so much throw me off as it did for some.  The story is interesting, as well as the game’s choice of music and art design.  It also manages to have a protagonist that is mute, but by cut scenes and interactive items, you are able to hear Red’s voice in its full glory.  Admittedly, what sold me on this game was the song that plays in the background of the game’s trailers and I forked out the extra cash just to snatch up this amazing OST.

The game has been entertaining thus far, a game that allows you two methods of battle.  There is real-time battling, where you hit buttons and sequence attacks, but also try to avoid the oncoming blows of enemies.  Or you can choose Turn() battling, which allows you to essentially pause the game, plan out a strategy whether landing an attack, moving to a particular location or dashing away from enemy view.   Unfortunately the Turn() method comes at a price of emptying Red’s action bar, but it refills and until it does, it’s best to line of sight your enemies until Red is able to attack again.  I love that we’re given a choice, rather than forcing us to a singular method of battle.  If you’re willing to wait those extra seconds, the Turn() base system is definitely a fun way of combat.

And the soundtrack. . .have I mentioned the soundtrack?  Ashley Barrett’s voice adds a perfect ethereal touch to this game and I think it’s a huge part

of what makes this game so phenomenal.  As I played, I realized sometime later that even though Red doesn’t speak, we KNOW her voice.  Just those snippets of music give us enough of Red to understand her need to stop the Camerata and to feel the horror of losing something so precious.  I think I played most of this game with a heavy heart and after learning of Sybil’s intentions and what she cost Red, it made the song “In Circles” a powerfully emotional song.

I don’t want to delve much more into the plot and reveal too much to spoil it for those that might purchase the game in the future.  The plot is interesting, very sad in my opinion, and the gameplay is a hell of a lot more fun that I was expecting.  If an excellent soundtrack and quality gameplay doesn’t sell you, maybe the game’s art style will.  I mean, THIS IS A GAME!

t3 t2 t1

So if you’re looking into something a little different, I HIGHLY recommend this game.  I can only hope that Supergiant’s future games are just as fun and beautiful.

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Dear Nickelodeon, you just antagonized a fanbase

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Many of you have probably heard the big news regarding Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra.  If you haven’t, here’s the deal.  This Friday’s episode of Korra will air as scheduled and the remaining episodes pulled off air until further notice.  These episodes will be distributed digitally, meaning air time is suspended until Nickelodeon decides what the hell it’s doing.  What’s the deal?  So far we’re not sure, but there are plenty of rumors swirling around.  From low ratings to Nickelodeon just wanting to out the popular series, we are not yet informed of what caused this somewhat unexpected development.  Head over to the Korra or Nickelodeon’s Facebook page and just check out the angry posts coming from enraged Korra fans.  The web is buzzing, Nick.  You’re in big trouble.  Now go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

Various social media sites are abuzz with the news that Korra will now go digital and question the fate of season 4 of the series.  Nick originally ordered four series, but with Korra now off the air, will we see a season four?  According to co-creator and executive producer Michael Dante DiMartino, we still have season 4!

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https://www.facebook.com/MichaelDanteDiMartino/posts/673287482740240

Even if Korra were to find its way back to television, I want to express my great disappointment in Nickelodeon and their blatant disregard for their fans, the series, and the cast/crew of Korra.  Their handling of book three has been piss poor and rushed.  I’m sure many fans can agree that they expected news about book three at this years SDCC, but instead the series was pushed to a June release.  I’m not normally one to complain in regards to a series I adore being released early, but I knew with such a rushed premier date, we were all in for trouble.

The trouble started when episodes were “accidentally” released on Mundo Nick in June.  With the accidental release,  fan-made trailers were soon all over the internet.  The episodes found their way online thanks to some very eager fans and pictures flooded social media.  The official trailer for Korra was released not long after and a premier date of June 27th.  Not just a one episode premier!  Not two!  We had three all-new episodes!  And that was just the beginning.

Nickelodeon has shifted Korra’s scheduling dates in a fashion that to any that are observant, know the show is drifting towards deadly waters.  Each week I wondered to myself if we would be seeing a new episode of Korra or if Nickelodeon would make us wait another week.  Online episodes were not yet available till much later.  I wondered if this was a tactic to see how the show would do ratings wise, when only available as a telecast, but considering the shuffle Korra has experienced, this would have been a terrible experiment.  Almost as if making up for this constant shift in scheduling, we received two episodes a week, though I suspect there are other reasons for this.  This only shortens the amount of time Korra has on air and push us closer to the conclusion of book three.  Besides the shifting schedule, there also seemed to be a lack of advertisement for Korra in general.

Good job, Nick.

Good job, Nick.

The decline in ratings would seem more worrisome if those earlier points were not highlighted.  A series like Korra cannot be tossed around from date to date without seeing a gradual loss in viewership.  A Friday night time slot just seems rather odd for an animated series that is surrounded by live action comedy programming.  An earlier slot or perhaps a Saturday slot would seem a better choice, but alas, we’ve been stuck with a wonky Friday night time slot.  A move to all digital seems like a rather bad move, in a world where not everyone has unlimited bandwidth and a means to watch streaming media on their television.  Just because some favor streaming, that doesn’t mean all do.  Families without a way of streaming content to their televisions will have to squeeze around the computer screen to get the latest dose of Korra.  Or take to the small screen of mobile devices to get a Korra fix.

Let me just express one thing.  I have always loved Nickelodeon.  I am a child of the 80s/90s.  When my family first got cable in the early 90s, my brother and I were excited over the prospect of getting a network that all of our friends and classmates just gushed over.  Slime?  Are you afraid of the Dark?  Rugrats?  We couldn’t wait to see this amazing and goofy family channel.  I recall going to the store and getting Nickelodeon Magazine, just to see all the fun news and pictures about current and upcoming shows.  Slime recipes and slime-themed food and drinks galore!  Nick was so much fun when I was a kid!

Our television was almost exclusively on Nick during my childhood years.  Besides the few series I mentioned previously, we enjoyed other series such as CatDog, Invader Zim, Angry Beavers, Doug, Hey Arnold!, Aaahh!!!  Real Monsters, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Figure it Out, Clarissa Explains it All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren and Stimpy Show, The Wild Thornberrys, Salute Your Shorts, The Amanda Show, All That, Kenan and Kel, and sooooo much more.  Slowly the variety of decent shows began to shrink and it took Avatar: The Last Airbender to draw us back.

I’m not one of those fans that touts “Airbender was better!” or “Korra is the best of the Avatar series!” because I don’t feel that way towards either series.  They are of the same world, in different time settings, with a few familiar faces and new characters.  You are seeing the history of Avatar play out and whether you enjoy what you’re seeing or not, that is how their world is.  I view other fiction in that way–sometimes there are events that you dislike, but it’s a part of their history.  This is their creator’s world and they decide the outcomes, whether we like it or not.  I am sure there has been a loss in viewership due to fans drifting from the show, whether it’s because of the pace of the story-lines, the direction the series is going, or they have just lost interest in general. However, I do not believe this has been the major determining factor in such a loss of viewers.  I’m sure Nick might play it off as such.

Nickelodeon, if you would advertise your series with the same care you give your other lackluster shows and gave it a steady time slot, you might see an increase in ratings.  Korra is a powerhouse of a series if you give it the chance you did during season one.  You’ve taken something truly enjoyable and mistreated it in such a fashion that it has infuriated its fans.  Despite the years of dedication I’ve had to your network, I feel I’ll soon be parting ways with you.  When I see the sort of lineup your network has and how you’ve so carelessly treated Korra, I feel it may be best for me to just cut you off completely.  If Korra is left alone and given a better chance, I’d come back, but only for Korra.  Why watch a network when one of its best shows is treated as if it doesn’t deserve to be there?  In fact, it doesn’t deserve to be there.  It deserves a lot better than you, Nickelodeon.

I’ll be listening to the coming news at SDCC and hoping for a good outcome for Korra.  Even if the outcome is favorable and Nickelodeon finds a way to redeem itself, I’ll only support one series and one series only.  Perhaps you should bend your ears towards your fans, Nickelodeon.  I can only imagine what the coming conversations will be like at your booth at SDCC.  You know, where you fans approach you in person and will be able to air their grievances.  Terrible timing on your part?  I don’t see many pleasant conversations coming.  Don’t worry Korra fans.  We still have Korra, even if our means of viewing is limited.  We still have Korra and season four is in the works.  Let us hope for excellent news and an update on the upcoming Korra game, which looks to be really amazing!

 

Be sure to watch Korra this Friday night at 8pm ET!  Tell your family, friends, goldfish, imaginary friends, and the monster hiding in your closet!  

#savekorra

SDCC- What news excited this fan girl the most?

As many folks out there on the interwebs, I didn’t have the money to go to a con like SDCC.  It’s a dream that I hope to someday fulfill, but for now I must rely on the wonders of the internet to provide me with coverage. There was plenty of it.  My Youtube subscriptions were spammed with hundreds of videos, with most of them relaying the same information.  That was fun to sort through.  So what were my highlights for SDCC?  The things that got me pumped up?  OMGHEREIWILLTELLYOU!

The Legend of Korra

Promotional Poster

Promotional poster for Book 2 of The Legend of Korra.

I loved Airbender and when I heard they were planning a sequel, I started my internet detective work.  Learning that the avatar to succeed Aang was a girl, I was a little nervous at first.  I didn’t want a bitchy Avatar. . .or sappy one.  She’s strong and has a little of an ego, but I’m starting to suspect that is a trait in most of the avatars (even Aang would get a little of an ego from time to time).  She’s lovable and thankfully, nothing like I was imagining.

We spend book one with Korra as she struggles to learn air bending, experiences her first love, and put a stop to Amon and the Equalists.  The last episode of book one “Endgame” is by far my favorite.  The final scene between Amon and Tarrlok was sad and even I found myself pitying Amon.  It was a very satisfying episode and leaves me with high expectations for book 2.  From what I’ve seen of the trailer and miscellaneous photos across the interwebs, I don’t think book 2 will let us down.

Fans that attended the panel were treated to the first episode of Korra (I’m not jealous or bitter. . .much. . .really) and from the crowd’s reaction, it did not disappoint.  I am eager for book 2 to start, which they announced as coming sometime in September.  As usual, no set date.  That’s becoming a trend in every media.  The style used for the spirit world is very different from the show’s usual style, but looks amazing none the less.  It’s simple yet beautiful, but from what we were told by the panel it wasn’t necessarily easy to create.  How do you go about creating a world from 2-D artwork that has never been made into a vast world?  Props to them for doing such an acceptional job.

Warcraft

Warcraft-logo

Warcraft logo from the game series

Oh Warcraft movie.  Just how long will you tease us with your rumors?  Will you ever grace our curious eyes with your presence?  Or are we to assume that you will never be created and leave a void in our hearts where your hopefully-awesome movie would have been?  Well, it seems the question of whether the film is DoA or in the works is over!  We have a teaser trailer for the movie!  Bad news?  Unless you were at the Legendary Pictures/Warner Brother’s panel at SDCC, you won’t be able to see the trailer.  If you’re curious what took place, there are a few blogs around with descriptions.  Thank you bloggers!  The curiosity would have killed me.

Duncan Jones, the man helming the project, says the trailer served as more of a mood piece, as production won’t begin until early 2014 and a release sometime in 2015.  Still, it came as a shock to everyone that any mention of the film was coming to SDCC.  We’re all use to rumors and disappointing news, which made the trailer a treat.  Whether the trailer will ever make it online I am not sure (as of yet it has no official outlet to be released), but it would be nice to see it someday.  Perhaps when Blizz-Con rolls around we’ll get a peek at it.  Rejoice Warcraft fans, your film was not abandoned!  Now to hope it won’t suck!

Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Doctor Who Logo

Ok, a little honesty here.  I wasn’t looking forward to this panel at first.  Why you ask?  Well, to be perfectly honest I’ve been bummed since hearing of Matt Smith’s departure from his role as The Doctor.  He has played the part magnificently and I’m not ready to see him go.  Watching the panel was another painful reminder that he will soon leave us.  I know we will have an exceptional actor take his place, but it doesn’t help ease the hurt.

If you’re not up to date on your 50th Anniversary news, there are some old faces popping up.  Have you wished David Tennant would return as the Doctor?  Bring back that spiky hair of his and all his Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey business?  Well, you’re partially getting your wish.  Reprising his role as the tenth Doctor, Tennant along with Billie Piper will be appearing in the 50th alongside Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.  How the two Doctors can meet and interact without causing a time paradox is beyond me.  A lot of the news was pretty much the same as I’ve seen on various sites and Facebook pages, but we did learn that the Daleks will be making an appearance in the special (Big surprise?).

As far as other old Doctors reprising their roles, there has been no word and most have denied any involvement in the project.  Disappointing, but I suppose the BBC thinks we’ve had our fill of past Doctors from the episode “The Name of the Doctor.”  It seems silly considering the inclusion of all the past Doctors would have been more fitting for the anniversary.  There is much speculation about John Hurt’s character.  I won’t go into my own theories, but from the their interaction in the final moments of the episode, the Doctor knew of him and his past, so it’s safe to assume he is not the next incarnation of the Doctor.

Despite the absence of our lovable past Doctors, I’m sure the 50th will be spectacular.  Our final journey with Matt as our adventurous and brilliant Doctor will be the Christmas episode.  I suppose Santa is leaving us a new Doctor under the tree. . .or in the Tardis.  Just as I accepted Matt in the role after Tennant’s departure, I will surely accept whoever comes next and hope they fill the shoes to the best of their ability.  Even though this past season wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had hoped, I still watched faithfully and enjoyed each episode.

If there’s one thing I miss about past series of Doctor Who, it is much of the mystery that was intertwined into the storylines.  It was fun to try and take a guess as to who certain characters were and what part they played in the overall main storyline.  I felt much of that was missed in series seven.  Clara’s identity was about the only mystery we were given and the reveal wasn’t nearly as shocking as I expected, but still cool.  “Nightmare in Silver” had a more David Tennant Doctor’s vibe to me, so I considered it one of my favorites of series 7.  It felt fun and goofy with that sudden change in mood that always comes in a Who episode.  The Doctor’s struggle with the cybernetic implant was marvelous and a highlight of Matt’s acting ability.  I will miss you as the Doctor, Matt.  I hope your career will remain strong!

The Kingkiller Chronicles

I think every fan of books, comics, and games wish that someday their favorite fandom is adapted into a series or movie.  Rarely they are translated well and disappoint their eager fans.  These potentially-great movies/series are often marred by the overzealous creative spin of Hollywood.  Cheap special effects doesn’t help either.  That said, it seems another great book series is set to take it’s turn on screen (in this case, the small screen).  While technically not revealed at SDCC (I could be incorrect, feel free to correct me and I will correct accordingly), Deadline revealed this news at the time of SDCC.  So I felt it was worth a mention, especially if you’re a Kingkiller fan like myself.   While excited, I can’t help but feel a little hesitant towards this project.

If they can pull this off as well as something like Game of Thrones, I will very pleased.  As long as they stick by the books, this could make fans very happy.  I hope any promise that is made to stick as close to the books as possible will not be broken.  Don’t pull a Sam Raimi on us, please(if you don’t get it, you obviously never saw Legend of the Seeker)!  I know there are some out there already making their cast wish list.  I have no one in particular actors that I can picture as our beloved characters.  Only hope that they pick actors that can be transformed into our characters with the help of their talent and good makeup artists.  Special effects are easy enough nowadays.  Anybody can hop into a 3-D program and make something decent.  Don’t go crazy with the budget on FX, guys.  We know you can make good stuff without blowing a huge portion of your budget.  Not that there is much FX to be had for quite a while in the first book.  Make it good, guys.  Make it good.

And now I present my WTF moment of SDCC

Firefly MMO

I’m sure you’re saying to yourself “oh no she didn’t!  Firefly is amazing you crazy woman!    WE SHALL BURN YOU!”  I know I know!  Firefly is amazing, I’ve watched the series and love it.  Here is the reason this made my WTF announcement of SDCC- why did we need an MMO?  You’re yelling at your monitor “but the Firefly universe is vast, crazy, and fun!  We want to explore it!  Don’t you?!” Honestly?  I have very little interest in a Firefly MMO.  While the idea of an MMO based off of the long-missed sci-fi show seems like a great and fun idea, I cannot see myself playing it.  There are so many games out there on the market of the MMO variety, that I can’t see myself getting into it.  Maybe I’ll try it out someday?  There’s a chance, but for now I have little interest in trying out this game.  Bring another movie or even the series back (a girl can wish, can’t she?) and then you’ll have me fan-girling out.

Honorable Mentions

There are some honorable mentions I’ll throw out there, but won’t go into great detail.  OUAT’s spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland made an appearance at SDCC.  I am a fan of OUAT, so I’m looking forward to this new series.  It puts a nice spin on the classic Lewis Caroll stories.  That is one thing I’ve enjoyed about OUAT.  We aren’t given the same stories we read as a kid.  It’s nice to have some surprise and not know whats coming.  The most noteworthy news to come is that Naveen Andrews, whom fans of Lost will know as the actor that played Sayid, will be playing Jafar in the spin-off series.

Batman and Superman in a movie together?  Oh hell yes!  I have yet to see Man of Steel, but I’ve always been a fan of Superman and Batman, so I’m hoping this movie will knock my socks off.  Superhero films tend to be a favorite among movie goers (and in general most do well. . .I didn’t say all).  I can’t wait to see all that caped-fighting action.

Warehouse 13/Defiance are the only things that keep me glued to Syfy.  So naturally I had to watch the panels.  Syfy has become sort of a running joke among science fiction fans.  Some of their original movies are so terrible that you ask yourself if they were meant to be satire and not taken seriously.  I sincerely hope not.  Fan favorites like Stargate and Eureka went the way of the dinosaurs, even though they had a wide fan base and unfortunately Warehouse 13 is following in their footsteps.  I’m very disheartened that Syfy is once again cancelling a show that I adore.  At least they’ll be able to give us more quality programming like Ghost Hunters and Sharknado.  Seriously Syfy, a channel that use to pride itself on showing science fiction programming shows Ghost Hunters?  It seems like you’re adding more paranormal shit every few months.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: The Dark World are coming.  DO YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE?!  More kick ass fighting and dazzling special effects.  I know there was some mixed feelings about both movie franchises.  Go on any movie review site and you’ll have reviews ranging from “it was the most awesome movie of the summer!” to “it was all action and sucked buckets.”  Guys, it’s a superhero movie.  A movie that mashes up some of our favorite superheros (and the next movie promises a lot more of our favorites!).  It’s like Transformers.  You don’t watch it for the in-depth story.  You watch it to see them kick ass and blow shit up.  Also, awesome moments like this.

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My last mention will be Gravity.  Yeah, Gravity.  I was not initially interested in this movie.  One afternoon my brother and I were checking out some trailers on Xbox Video and watched the trailer for this film.  I didn’t really have an interest in it, but after seeing some footage from Comic Con and an interview with Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuarón, I suddenly want to see this.  The prospect of being lost out in space with no way to communicate with Earth?  Floating freely with the Earth beneath you and only gravity keeping you from falling through the atmosphere?  I already have goosebumps.  Plus, George Clooney is in it.  That means I HAVE to watch it!

So in all, there was a lot of fun news from SDCC.  Some of it was great news that fans were expecting and some of it caught many off guard, but in a mostly positive way.  Some news was just kind of meh.  In all, I don’t think SDCC disappointed at all and I’m looking forward to what’s coming up in the next couple of years.