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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Arkham Knight Trailer: Jumping, John Nobles, Batman!

The Arkham games have made me an unofficial batman fan through sheer force of awesomeness. I have sunk absolutely ridiculous amounts of time into all three. I bought Arkham City twice. I even think, given a few more months, Origins could have been the best of them all.

To say the least, Arkham Night, you had me before John Noble as Scarecrow. Good god, damn, do I love John Noble. As long as there isn't a bait and switch like in Origins (I.E. Black Mask is the big bad until, SURPRISE! it's really the joker) and he gets equal screen time with the eponymous "Arkham Knight" This could be an all timer. Even more than "City" already is.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tomorrow, Vote Knope.

Parks and Rec is leaving us tomorrow and I'm sad. Not just because P&R writer and bit player Harris Whittles was found dead recently, but because this is also the end of a show I've loved to no end. Seriously, I've re-watched it on Netflix countless times. The whole way through at least 4 times.

While The Office chose to laugh at it's band of weirdos, P&R laughed with them. It was a heightened reality leavened with just enough tragedy and set backs to feel real. Each character was sharply drawn and made sensible seasonal arcs. In the end, each is almost a completely different person, yet it earned those dramatic transformations while simultaneously getting funnier.

Years from now I bet you money we'll still be talking about this show. While I love both 30 Rock and Community neither were a fraction as consistent, and if I'm being brutally honest, as lovable. This has been one of the all time greats, even if this past season hasn't been as good as I hoped. It still told a good story and already closed long time character arcs in spectacular fashion.

I'm going to miss this show like an old friend and I've never really felt that way about a bunch of episodes of TV before.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What's going on at The Escapist?

First Jim Sterling and his wonderful Jimqusition web series jumped ship some months ago. A crushing blow to their site, seeing as there was nearly always an ad for it on the sidebar. It seemed amicable at first. Jim seemed like he didn't like the direction the site was going, ad revenue wise, and drummed up a juicy patreon stipend to keep his site up.

Now "Movie" Bob Chipman is out, another third of the only reason I go to the Escapist. And this time, from the tenor of his words, it sounds like he was straight up fired. You can read all about his thoughts though his blog in my side bar.

According to some decently researched forum posts, it may just be budgetary layoffs. But I've dove through the comments on both Jim and Bob and I'm not entirely sure it isn't based off of market research. Both of these men came out against Gamer Gate. Thunderously so. And many commenters were more than happy to see them go. A lot of "sad you got fired, but your screeds on how we shouldn't make female game developers feel like prisoners in their homes was beyond hitler-ific."

...In so many words.

I may be grasping at straws, I may also see Yahtzee on youtube soon. Very soon indeed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Citizens of Earth: This got a 70 on metacritic because... why now?

I don't just like this game, I may be falling madly in love with it. The combat is deep and counter intuitive. Any rpg that wipes out my party when I'm not giving it my full attention has my respect. You MAKE me pay attention COE! You make me scrounge around town for clues on how to get another party member so I can kick the opposition leader's ass! Because now I respect you. Now I can get into your delightfully childlike views of how political power works. Like recruiting bakers, police women, school teachers, and conspiracy nuts to beat the physical crap out of the opposition leader! I am all about that madness.

Just turn off the voices. The acting quality bats 300.

I don't know why this is brilliant, and yet it is so.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Better Call Saul Review: The Ballad of Slippin' Jimmy.

BCS is... good. Better than I feared, but worse than I'd hoped. When everything clicks, it's not as good as Breaking Bad, because it's finally doing it's own thing. It's black and white opener in the present captures his new personal hell brilliantly. And being a general manager at a random mid-west Cinnabon is exactly that. There is beauty in making mass produced cinnamon rolls and the only reason I know that is because High Bridge's (Gilligan's company) photography is still the best in the biz.

From there we flash back to 2001 and we see a younger Saul in a different, somehow more depressing, suit. He tries his damndest to win an  unwinable case only to wind up with a third of what he expected to take home on his check. But that's just misdirection. This is not going to be about building a vast, profitable, empire. This going to be about a shell of a man finding his mojo.

Saul's life is beyond pitiful. His office is a storage closet in the back of a nail salon (wink and\or nod) He pretends to be his own receptionist, his public defense work is slowly killing him, and his brother's agoraphobic fear of electromagnetic waves means Saul's his unofficial nurse. Also the only prospective clients he's had in weeks went behind his back and signed with a much more successful firm.

The set up is decently entertaining but it feels like that's all it is. The new universe it created was fine but it took forever for the show to start telling a story with it. Thankfully, once Saul comes across a pair of competent, but short sighted, con artists I got what I wanted. A glimpse at the oily professional I came to see. From there we get to the "con gone wrong" story carried into episode 2, but I'll stop there.

What's here is good, with the potential for greatness. The handful of musical montages throughout the first two episodes remain brilliant. Instead of an incessant, irritating, motif. I mean, I'm just... done with American Horror Story.

 Odenkirk found the extra layer of humanity for Saul that the show desperately needed. The anticipation and release on his face every time he checked his empty voice mail were achingly perfect. His reaction to another lawyer walking into the courthouse bathroom while he was in the middle of his psyche-up speech "It... it's from a movie." actually got me to laugh out loud. Something I never do while wearing my serious show serious pants.

But it has to shake off those first season yips. It needs to double down on the lawyering/con artist angle and not re-tread the "in over his head with the cartel" storyline it's already set up. If it can do that, I'll be first in line every week. If it does the other thing... well, it's still a damn good show anyway. I just won't stay up to date every week.

And then I remembered I was out of pastel collared shirts...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thank you You say what I'm thinking.

They call them "chocolate" so you can't smell the bullsh*t.

You ever shopped for jewelry for that special someone and you look at the tags for the cheap stuff and a shooting pain runs through your arm? And after the paramedics leave you contemplate the very idea of  currency you can't literally use or eat?

I have! And made a hell of a video illustrating my point.