Anti-Smoking Campaign Farce (A Response to University of Alaska Anchorage)

It’s one thing for a college to have a couple of professors who abuse their tenure, like some here who have it and their classes consist of them rambling about stories and not really teaching anything.  It’s also one thing to have some teachers who want students to do projects that tell them what they want to hear.  However, it is another thing to have a department and a professor who are almost blatantly signing off on something that they like and using a student to do work that is a waste of the university’s time and money.  I have seen one such example and it has gotten me more than a little livid, because the truth is – this is a REALLY bad joke.

Over the last few weeks, we have seen posters up for a campaign that was supposed to ban smoking across campus here at UAA.  A campaign that is as useless as it was interesting, it was fun to watch.  This campaign started the first and probably only sectarian conflict that I will likely ever see here.  With the lack of student involvement, the two-sided propaganda war that ignited was a sight to see.  We didn’t get a picture but there was a jerry-rigged billboard of signs the day of voting against the ban, surrounded by posters in support of it.  It was kind of telling about how the entire campaign worked.  It was a war of words, with both sides getting heated and saying harsh things.  This was almost as ugly as modern political campaigns.

The propaganda was especially interesting.  The side against used heated rhetoric about how the people for this effectively want to cast a group of people who isn’t hurting them in any way out, just because they don’t like the habit.  The side in support made an interesting (and sometimes amusing) case that they could be putting other stuff into their mouths besides cigarettes (I can think of a few things…) and that smoking is something they should stop doing because it can harm their careers.  Which, to me, is kind of insulting, because it is another instance of trying to shame a group of people you don’t like to do what you want them to do.  To measure up to your standards.  But the other side’s comparison to casting out lepers in days gone by was also over the top.  However, it was a neat battle of ideals that was played out with all the vigor of a culture war.

The election took place and, wouldn’t you know it – it passed.  The ban of smoking on campus, a stupid and pointless waste of university time and money (which will be nigh-impossible to enforce effectively) has become part of the system here.

This is stupid for all kinds of reasons.  First, it shows that we have another instance of people who can’t handle even a fraction of discomfort.  Smoking is not allowed inside buildings.  It is supposed to be kept over 50 feet from any building at any time.  We make the smokers huddle outside in the winter like a bunch of hookers.  We have a lot of cops on the university’s PD force who smoke.  But all that pales in comparison to the fact that this is just going to be a waste of the school’s time and money.  For one – how would they enforce it.  Should all the UPD officers be on the lookout for anyone who is smoking?  Smokers are a clever lot.  Ban smoking in an city and you’ll have them on the roof or hanging out of the 20th floor window lighting up.  Are we going to have them waste their precious time searching for everywhere there are smokers hiding out?  Should we have a tip-line so students can call in and narc on people who aren’t hurting them at all?  The next thing that should have tipped them off is – banning things on campus doesn’t work!  I work on campus, and I have seen countless booze bottles and mini-bottles around, wherever there is a quiet place that they can avoid being seen.  So, we ban alcohol on campus, and that doesn’t work.  What could have possibly compelled them to believe that that would work?

However, that isn’t what gets me mad.  For real, that doesn’t.  Here’s what does make me mad – this was a project.  For real, this wasn’t done for what is interpreted as the greater good.  This was done for the express purpose of getting points.  And it seems that this person will succeed, since they made a poster and ever had their project signed off on by a member of the faculty.  Which ties in to the second thing that makes me mad.

I have little issue with the student who did this project.  For real, I don’t.  She has a lot of guts to get a culture war this strong going.  I admire her spunk.  Though I do take issue with the fact that the poster complained that the reason they didn’t get more votes for their proposal is because they didn’t want to pay the fee that Student Government had for their putting up fliers.  You won anyway, honey.  Be a good winner.  The person I have a problem with in all of this is the professor.

I won’t name names, because I don’t want to make this personal.  I want to make it about the merits of the thing.  The problem here is that there is a professor who signed off on this.  A professor who should have seen that this ban is a bad idea, won’t work and will just end up wasting the university’s time and money.  Not to mention, given how this will just get ugly in the long run, my money is on the ban ending in a few years, after the University, which is already tightening its budget, realizes that this isn’t helping them.  There is a professor here who should have realized that, historically, banning things doesn’t work.  They didn’t learn from history and decided to okay this.  Which, as we see it, means that they are in support of it.  That means that they are in favor of helping a student assist their ideology.

Now, maybe I’m wrong about that.  Maybe there is more to this story.  Maybe the professor just wanted to do what any good chemist does with two chemicals to figure out how they interact – put them in a beaker and apply heat.  However, it doesn’t feel that way.  What this looks like, by all appearances, is that this whole thing boils down to two things.  This whole affair is, at best – a waste of the university’s time and money.  At worse, this is academic nepotism so that this professor could get a student to do her heavy lifting for her.  If I’m wrong, good.  But that’s now what this looks like on the surface.  A student ignites a culture war for a grade, and the professor ignores what should have been evidence pointing that this wouldn’t work.

What a waste of time.

Until next time, a quote,

“I thought Mustang was all about kissing ass to get to the top?”  -Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist

Peace out,


He Has Risen Today!

To all my viewers, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Easter!  We are celebrating the rise of our savior, through whom all of us are saved.  Only through him do you gain entrance into paradise.  Only through him do you get into the favor of the Almighty.  Only through him do you reach the paradise where all is great and you can live in happiness forever.  Easter BunnyYes, it is only through our savior, the Easter Bunny, that you can reach Paradise.

In the Book of Lucien, 4:20, it says,

And ‘lo did the Bunny come into the Temple.  When he doth saw the snakes and vipers, selling their heretical wares of fruits and vegetables, he became enraged.  In his rage, the Bunny threw over the stalls and cast them out of the Temple.  And they knew that he was the Lord, when he laid his vengeance upon them.

The wise and powerful Bunny stood against many of the Deceiver, Skellington’s, followers.  He told of the great knowledge kept in the bar of candy and the creme-filled egg.  His disciples gave up everything to follow him.  He endured all the torments of Skellington, from the temptation of sugarless candy in the desert, to the whiles of Cupid and his harlots.  But our savior stood against them all!

However, he was betrayed by one within his circle.  He was turned over to the Governor.  According to the Book of Lucien 25:25-27 –

When the Bunny had gathered his followers, he came into the midst of them.  “My children, one of you has betrayed me tonight.”
They all could not believe.  Jack Frost, the first among them stood up.  “Father, surely it is not I!  I would never speak falsely against you!”
The Bunny looked to him and said, “Verily I say unto you – you shall deny me three times tonight.”

The wisdom of the great Bunny in his prediction.  When the disciple, Jack Frost, did as he predicted, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  But the Bunny’s hanging on the spit, over the fires of Skellington, were not in vain.  For he died for us, my friends!  The Bunny died so that we could be forgiven.  That is why the Almighty, Santa Claus, sent him to Earth.  He was so loving that he sent his only son to die for our sins.  His son paid that price so that we can be absolved of the sin of our existence because the first man and woman ate of the Forbidden Candy.  We are not worthy of this gift, yet he gave it to us anyway.  That just fills me with so much love for our Lord and Savior.  Doesn’t it do that to you?

Today, we must do as Bunny has commanded and gather family and friends.  After having given thanks to him and to the Almighty Santa, we must partake of the chocolate and the fruity sweets.  Let not the vegetables and fruits touch your lips!  Let not the meats and grains!  It must be as the Almighty has commanded!  For we must honor the wonderful sacrifice of his only son, so that we can have eternal life!

Of course, there are those who think that all of this is silly.  They will say that we have a belief that is scientifically false.  They blaspheme against the Bunny by saying that his fruits are not healthy and will make you unhealthy.  These are lies against Santa!  Do not let yourself be dissuaded by their blasphemy!  We have the Word of Santa guiding us, unlike those immoral atheists, who have no way of telling what’s right from wrong.  I mean, if they don’t listen to the Word, how do they have morals?!  It’s obvious that they are just rebelling against Santa, so they don’t have to deal with their sin.  It’s sad, really.  But don’t let their arguments turn you from your faith.  Pray for them, because it’s clear that they need the prayers.

Happy Zombie Bunny Day, everyone!  Let us all give thanks for all that the Bunny has given us!  In Santa’s name, Amen!

Peace out,


Top 10 God of War (Series) Executions

The God of War franchise was one of the coolest and most epic games ever.  It played like a Greek tragedy, except with more blood and boobs.  Well, okay, maybe more blood.  Greek mythology did love its boobs and sex.  Still, these games were awesome, combining cool characters, cool worlds and AWESOME combat to create an epic trilogy that will always be remembered fondly for how badass it was.  Not to mention that they made the angriest video game badass ever.  For real, there is one rule to follow in gaming – do NOT fuck with Kratos.  It just doesn’t end well.  And one of the things that this game did well was its boss fights.  The boss fights in these games just got better and better.  With those, along with many of the smaller fights, were awesome executions.  It made the experience so much better when you are able to pwn your enemy in a way that makes you feel like a boss.  These are my picks for the best executions in these games.  Enjoy.

Minotaur10. Suck on This!
I’ve decided to name the executions.  Let me know what you think.  Half of the fun of fighting the minotaurs in the first two God of War games was the execution.  You knock the beast over after it takes a certain amount of damage.  You then jump on top and start pushing your blades down its throat.  Assuming you are doing the execution right and tapping the right button, you eventually hear the thing start to choke on your swords.  That just adds so much to this, since it is so dark and angry.  Then, when your swords get all the day down their throat, you rip and tear, effectively killing them, with blood going everywhere.  Yeah, angry stuff.

Cyclops9. I Got Your Eye!
The Cyclops are among the most annoying enemies in the game.  Especially when you have the cyclops that are REALLY tough and have some pretty unpleasant weapons.  This make this execution that much more enjoyable.  After putting the beat-down to one for long enough, you jump up its body and on to its head.  Then, you grab on to the eye and start pulling.  You pull and pull until the thing rips out!  Can you imagine how awful a way that would be to die in real life?  You’ve had your eye ripped out.  You’re blind and can only stumble around in agony.  That’s kind of terrifying.  It doesn’t help that in the second and third games, you keep the eyes and trophies.  Like the final “fuck you!” to them before they collapse and die.  Ouch.

Centaur General8. Spilling Your Guts
Centaur General
It was so nice to see God of War III on the PS3.  The enhanced visuals did SO much for this game.  The background battles, the awesome locations and best-of-all, some of the most enjoyable executions.  The Centaur General is one tough son of a bitch.  Not only that, but he packs a whollop, too.  You can’t take too much beating from the guy, and you have to be fast with your counter when he charges.  But, for those who do get it right, you get an execution that is SO worth the trouble.  You knock away his weapon, stab his legs out and bring him to his knees.  After kicking him over, you take one of your blades and then run it along his belly, literally spilling its guts and watching it flail around and die.  What a way to go…

Hades7. Your Soul is Mine!
This was one of the most atmospheric boss fights I’ve ever gotten to see.  The battle with Hades is all about atmosphere, and it looks fucking awesome!  The dark visuals, the epicness of Hades voice and getting to fight the man himself.  He looks cool, his weapons are cool, it’s an awesome fight.  You first rip out his organs, then bash his skull apart.  Finally, you steal his claws and use them as Hades does – you rip out his fucking soul!  For real, there are few things that can match seeing Hades screaming as you are tearing out his soul and using it to power yourself.  Once it’s done, you can swim the River Styx.  He’s the second God to go in that game, and it is SO worth the effort.

Hydra6. Down the Mast!
The very first boss in the very first game, and it is so awesome!  I’ve always wanted to kill the Hydra.  While it was fun in Kingdom Hearts II, that just doesn’t compare to this game.  After you spend your time wandering the ship and dealing with some of the smaller heads of the creature, you then face the big one.  The grand daddy of heads.  It’s massive, it has razor-sharp teeth, and the only way to kill it is by beating the shit out of it against the mast of the ship.  After you break down the Mast, you then kill it by impaling the fucker’s head on it!  There’s something so satisfying about watching the dead head of the Hydra impaled through the eye by a giant chunk of wood.  Classic.

Chronos5. In Your Face!
One of my favorite games of all time is Shadow of the Colossus.  Something about using your wits and skill to kill the giants of that land is just so satisfying.  This game also has a giant that you kill, and it is SO awesome!  You meet Chronos in the first game.  He has the temple that Pandora’s Box is in sitting on his back.  After what happened in the first game, he is banished to the deepest levels of Hades, to suffer more for what you did.  Zeus is a dick.  Blaming you for his fate, Chronos decides to try and settle the score, once and for all.  Thus begins a fight that REALLY shows just how old and broken this monster is.  You have to burst giant boils to get ahead, you see how the chains on him have ripped of parts of his skin, you rip off the fucker’s fingernails.  It’s a brutal fight.  But it gets worse.  After you get to the central lock that holds the temple on his back in place, you break it with the weapons you got from Hercules.  This sends the spike that holds the lock in place flying up and lodging itself into his face!  For real, not killing him, just lodging in his mouth.  You break part of it off, then pounding the fuck out of his face and sending him to death.  Man, so brutal!

Hercules4. Mind if I Borrow These?
Speaking of Hercules, the son of Zeus also has a beef to settle with Kratos.  His beef is so sad that it’s funny.  See, both of them are sons of Zeus, but whereas Kratos was a great warrior of Sparta, had been the God of War for a time and even wielded the Blade of Olympus, Hercules had to go through a bunch of “labors,” most of which were kind of dumb.  His jealousy of his brother leads him to try and kill him in an arena, in front of his mother, to show his strength and become the new God of War.  After beating his ass sufficiently, you then steal the massive gloved weapons he wields.  Then, the beating begins.  You pound on his face, over and over and over again.  You pound until his face is completely busted in and there is just a giant pit of gore where it was.  Then, you pound him through the floor and he does the dead-man’s float in a pool below.  That’s gotta hurt!

Hermes3. Going Somewhere?
Hermes is one of the biggest assholes ever.  Your official meeting with him becomes an exercise in patience, with him constantly taunting you about his speed and how slow you are.  The guy is such an asshole that you are just begging to put the speedy little fucker in his place.  And after slamming into him in a building, you get to do just that.  Once you beat Hermes down enough, you then grab one of his legs and cut the damn thing off!  Watching him crawl away, limping and bleeding is oh-so satisfying.  At which point, you grab his other leg and rip it off too.  But that’s not the end.  While he is dying, Kratos puts on the fucker’s shoes!  I mean, wow!  It’s not enough that you kill him, you have to rub his nose in it by taking his stuff.  That’s cold, Kratos.  Bless you.

Poseidon2. Now You See Me…
The first God you kill in God of War III, this fight is awesome!  It hits all the right epic notes, since Poseidon is shielded by water.  He is using these trippy war-horse tentacled monsters to attack the Titan you are using as your platform to get to where Zeus stands.  It is a long and brutal battle to get him out from inside his liquid shelter.  Finally, when you bust through the armor protecting him, Kratos charges in and pulls him out, throwing him down far below.  Beaten down and weakened, Poseidon isn’t exactly the toughest opponent.  The camera goes into a neat first-person perspective.  The neat thing is that it isn’t Kratos’ perspective.  It’s Poseidon’s!  You are watching Kratos beat the living shit out of him.  Then, after he is satisfied that he has broken Poseidon enough, he takes his thumbs and uses them to gouge out the fucker’s eyes!  It camera switches back to cutscene as you see him throw the blinded and broken God off a cliff, only to watch him smack into the ocean below and die.  Talk about a belly-flop.

And my favorite Execution in the God of War franchise is…

Helios1. You Won’t Be Needing This Anymore…
You don’t get to see much of Helios, but what you do see is just so much fun.  A fire-Titan is fighting him, and after you beat down a chimera, you then take a giant bow and use it to shoot the chariot that he is riding on out of the sky.  But that’s not the end.  Horrifically wounded, his guards come in to shield him.  You can’t break through that shield, but luckily, a cyclops shows up and you learn how to control its limbs so you can have it do the heavy lifting for you.  After a brief interrogation, Kratos determines that Helios’ value has run out, which prompts him to grab on to the head and start pulling.  He puts his foot on the man’s shoulder, pulling harder and harder and harder.  Eventually, Kratos rips the head off.  For real, you see pieces of his neck hanging from it.  But that isn’t even the worst thing.  After ripping his head off, you keep it on you.  Whenever you come across a dark space that you can’t see in, you can whip Helios’ head out and use it as a flashlight.  Talk about desecrating a corpse.

So, what is your favorite execution in the God of War games?  Let me know in the comments section below.  Also, click that like and check out my About page for my Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr page.

Until next time, a quote,

“Of all the lives you should worry about, Helios, mine is not one of them.”  -Kratos, God of War III

Peace out,


You Do NOT Have PTSD! (A Response to Melody Hensley)

It isn’t often that I am utterly offended by something.  I can be annoyed, I can be perplexed, I can be many things.  Totally and completely offended is a rare one.  But I have come across something that has completely offended me, to the point where I am interrupting what I was doing in order to rail on it, because it deserves to be railed on.  I wrote in a previous post about how PC culture is out of control, referencing the incident with the professional victim Suey Park and her campaign against The Colbert Report.  Now, I have a new target who needs my ridicule – Melody Hensley.

For those of you who don’t know, Melody Hensley is the executive director at the Center For Inquiry, along with a big-time Skepchick and very tight with the increasingly-forgotten Free-Thought Blogs.  She is in solidarity with Rebecca Watson and her ilk as a professional victim of the Tumblr feminist variety.  Another thing Ms. Hensley is is a harasser.  For real, this woman has made a career out of going after people she doesn’t like, docx-ing and making sure that she gets the last word about them.  What’s more, she is notorious for going after other women pretty hard.  Any woman who doesn’t share her viewpoint is an easy target for her brand of “feminism,” wherein you either fall in line or you are one of the awful misogynist folk.  Yeah, it’s one of THOSE types of people.

However, now she has said something so stupid, so pig-headedly wrong and so ignorant that it kind of pisses me off.  See, because she has made a career of going after people she doesn’t like, she is just shocked that she has been the victim of the Internet.  More specifically, trolls.  See, everybody has to deal with trolls.  Trolls are a part of Internet life.  I guess nobody told Hensley that.  Either that or she watched the film “Cyberbully” and decided to believe that that is how the Internet is.  Given what she has said recently, I think that her and the main character from that film have a lot in common.

Hensley has come out in a big way and said that the trolling that she got on Twitter, from reportedly “400 people,” has caused her to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Here’s a link to an article in The Daily Mail talking about it in detail.  Hensley not only says that a “good psychiatrist” (who she doesn’t name) diagnosed her and that she is so damaged from the experience that she is too unwell to respond to calls.  Wow.  Just, just wow.  But it gets worse.

See, Ms. Hensley couldn’t just settle for claiming to have PTSD.  No, she had to go and compare herself to veterans who came home with it.  Un-fucking-real!  Naturally, a lot of soldiers found that more than a little offensive, because it is so patently false.  But she doubled-down on her comments, even going so far as to say the soldiers don’t know what they’re talking about.  For real, one of her posts said that the soldiers who claimed she didn’t know what she was talking about were ignorant of what PTSD is.  Much like the main character of “Cyberbully,” she has shown herself to be a complete pushover and doesn’t learn from her mistakes.  Also like her, she clearly isn’t smart enough for the Internet.  What’s more, when the soldiers get even more offended by this, becoming more vocal in their opposition to her ignorance, she then tells them that she will be contacting their commanding officers and telling the about what a naughty person they are.

Unreal!  What the fuck is wrong with this woman?!  What is her malfunction?!  It clearly isn’t PTSD.  After all, the soldiers who get diagnosed with that are sent home, to try and make something of their lives (often failing, because they have a real condition to deal with, unlike Hensley).  They don’t stay in the employment that got them where they are.  But Hensley, who says that she has a case of it that is equal to those who serve in the military, is still on Twitter, still going after the people she doesn’t like and still harassing people.  Did this whole sorry episode teach you nothing?!

I have a cousin who recently married a man who came home from the Middle East.  He has PTSD, and it affects him in a very serious way.  He was telling me about it, how he would have panic attacks and mood swings that were sometimes very severe.  Loud noises could set it off.  He works at home, being a beta tester for video games (lucky bastard), so he can maintain a normal life and bring home the bacon.  I know an older man who served in Vietnam, who told me about how he would sometimes wake up from night terrors, remembering an instance where he was in a hole, with shells coming down on all sides and no sign of where they were coming from.  His comrades were blown apart and he was one of three who made it out of that hole alive.  My grandad spoke often about his experiences in Korea, and it always seemed that he might have brought the war home with him.  These people have real problems that never really go away.  They have to constantly battle against it and it takes real effort to keep them sane.

Melody Hensley, you are full of shit.  You do NOT have PTSD, and your saying that you do, because of Twitter trolls, is offensive.  You are offending everyone of the men and women who are coming home from the Middle East and are terrified by fireworks and large crowds.  You are offending all of the veterans of Korea and Vietnam who wake up from their dreams in terror, imagining that jungle nightmare.  You are offending all of the shell-shocked soldiers who came back from WWI and II.  You are offending all of the people who have risked their lives in a way that you, on your Internet platform, have and will NEVER do!

Oh, and the people who are attacking you about this don’t care that you are a “feminist and atheist.”  We care that you are a charlatan and a professional victim who is trying to pull a Rebecca Watson and ride a victim gravy-train for as long as you possibly can.  And for once, I am telling people not to talk to you.  For real, everybody, leave this lying bitch alone.  Don’t give her the pulpit from which to spout on.  We all forgot about Rebecca Watson.  Let’s forget about her too.

Until next time, a quote,

“The Internet’s a scary place, and the moral of this story is – we should legislate it.  There are too many stupid people who are easy troll-bait.  We gotta protect them, right?”  -Your Movie Sucks, Cyberbully

Peace out,


Video Game Confessions: Jack

Being a journalism major, and a future journalist, suffice it to say that I get around.  In my travels, I have met some of the most insane characters!  These are the kinds of people that most nerds only dream of seeing, and I have gotten to meet, in the flesh.  And, seeing as how it is late, there is soft jazz music playing, and I am feeling all deep and introspective, I thought that I would tell you one of my stories now.

I’m not a coffee person.  Really, I hate the stuff.  It’s bitter and tastes kind of dull.  And don’t start with me that I need cream and sugar and the like.  It doesn’t help.  Ever.  It’s still terrible-tasting coffee.  I ended up in a coffee shop to meet a friend.  We talked for about an hour and then she had to go and get some stuff from the dry cleaner.  That was nice.  Short, but sweet.  Never take good conversation for granted.  You never know when it’ll up and disappear.

JackIn any case, right as I am about to leave, I catch sight of someone who I never believed that I would mention – Jack!  Her real name is Jacqueline, but I care too much about my family jewels to use that when talking to her.  I have no desire to be turned into a small stain on the floor, and ceiling.  She was sitting and writing something in a notebook she had.  I walk over and introduce myself, telling her that I am a huge fan.  By now, she had heard my reputation as the person who gets the stories of these neat characters out, and so she offered for me to sit and have coffee with her.  I told her that I was fine, and asked her what she was working on.

“Working on some new poetry.”

That caught me off-guard.  “Poetry.  Really?  Never would have pegged you for that type.”  She actually smiles.

“Well, you gotta get all the emotional shit out somehow.  I tried the whole talking-to-a-therapist schtick, but that didn’t last.”

“Why?” I ask.  A dark smile comes to her face.

“Well, the man was bitching about his life and about how unpleasant things are with his wife, so I figured, why not just end his problems?  Seemed like the rational thing to me.”

Part of me wasn’t surprised, given Jack’s reputation.

“And naturally, the police are all annoyed, so I have to kill them too.  And then they try and get the military involved.  It just got really ugly.  So, a therapist clearly isn’t for me.”

She kept writing in the notebook, and I couldn’t help but notice that the smile on her face got bigger.  “So, why poetry?  I thought that you had tattoos as your means of telling your story.”  She looks up at me and nods.

“Oh yeah, but I’m kind of running out of places for new work.  I have tattoos literally everywhere.  For real, there is not one single part of my body that doesn’t have tattoos on it.”

That got my attention.  “Not one part?”  She winks at me.

“Not one.  It got kind of nuts for a while.  So yeah, I needed a new outlet.  Killed the therapist.  Tali suggested that I do something with my hands.  That ended in a lot of blood on the walls.  I tried to paint, but that ended with a lot of blood on the canvas.  I mean, it’s not my fault that the fucking teacher was annoying!  She didn’t shut the fuck up!  I was about to lose all hope when I came across this book.”

She holds up a book with a picture of a man being mutilated.

Apparently, this book has poetry that isn’t for little pussies.  It’s dark, violent and gruesome.  Been reading it for weeks.  But sometimes, it is also kind of good on the feels, you know?  Like, I can read it and feel pretty good about my day.  So I decided to try and write some.  It’s been going pretty well for me.”

This was some cool knowledge.  I looked down at the paper and asked, “What do you write about?”  She hides it from my gaze, looking a little shy.  Kind of a cute look on her.

“I was writing about Ho-oh.”

That got my attention.  “Ho-oh?  You mean the legendary bird and fire-type Pokemon?”  She nods gleefully.

“That’s the one!  I love it!  It’s got beautiful feathers and is so big!  I could fly it up in the sky, looking down on the world in all of its majesty.”

The look in her eyes, it was touching.

“And then I could burn it all to the ground and kill everyone.”

My eyes went wide.  “Wait, seriously?!  You’d kill everyone?!”

“Hell yeah!  I would go from city to town, unleashing streams of death on the people!  It would be beautiful!  Watching all the little people cry and beg and run in terror!  Watching everything cook and die!  And I wouldn’t stop there!”

I feel like I’m about to shit my pants.  “Where else would you go?”

“I’d steal a cruiser from the Alliance, load up Ho-oh and then go to all the big worlds and do the same thing.  For real, Palaven, Thessia, Surkesh, Rannoch, even the Citadel!  I’d burn it all!”

Part of me just needed to ask, “Why?  Why kill everyone?”  She just shrugs.

“Hey, why the fuck not?  It would be the ultimate makeover for the galaxy.”

“But, didn’t you fight the Reapers?!”  She just smiled at that question.

“Yeah.  Didn’t want the competition!  If all of civilization is going to die, I want it to be because of me!  Me and Ho-oh would bask the beauty of all the worlds, while turning their surface into a charred wasteland of death!”

She was writing faster now, looking so excited.

“Yeah, it would be great.  Oh, snap, I gotta go.  Going to meet up with Sheik.  He says that he wants to have a drink.  Nice guy.  A lot like some of my closer girly-mates.  Kind of weird.  Anyway, see ya later!”

As she leaves, I sit there, looking at my drink.  Why is it that so many of the characters I meet are violent whack-jobs?  What is it about them that makes them want to kill people?  Is it us?  Are the players to blame for their violent sides?  I don’t know.  I may have to ponder this for a while.

Peace out,


Why No Video Game Heroines? (A Respone to Time Magazine)

Yet-again, I come across another article in Time Magazine that perplexes me in how it seems to totally ignore a viable example of something that they are targeting that actually diminishes their position.  In this case, it’s a growing trend of female heroines in teen films.  Their position was that this growing trend says a lot about the changing attitudes of society and film.  However, as always, I think they missed the mark.  The reason that they missed the mark – video games.  Here is a link to the article (though you have to have a subscription to them to see it all, unless you saw it in print, as I did.  Which is fucking dumb, by the way), now let’s talk about it.

I want to preface this by saying that I didn’t like a lot of their examples of these female heroines, mostly because I didn’t like the films that many of them were in.  Or, in the case of The Hunger Games, saw as wasted potential.  Divergent is even worse.  I decided not to do a review of that, though I did see it last weekend.  It’s not that it’s terrible, it’s just dry and boring.  It’s been done, a thousand times, in much better films.  For a film about free thinking, it is ironically scared to be its own thing.

The article talks about characters like Katniss, Tris, Bella (which is a bad joke) and Buffy.  It makes the case that this recent trend in strong young female characters is a very good thing, because it sets a good example for young girls.  Given that these films appeal directly to that audience, there might be a case to be made.  But, as the title said, why are there no video game heroines?

It’s easy to look at video game women and make fun of my argument.  Believe me, I’ll be the first to say that there are a LOT of women in video games who are sultry bimbos that are there to look good.  But to generalize all video game women into that category is to blatantly ignore some really profound teenage girls who are a hell of a lot more interesting than Katniss or her ilk.  Don’t believe me?  Here is a link to a post I did about the 10 best female protagonists.  You know what they all had in common – believability.

Katniss and her ilk have one major flaw that I find ironic that nobody has pointed out – they don’t feel like real people.  For real, in a world where there is starvation, Katniss sure does look well-fed.  In the books, they got it down better, but that isn’t the medium that was discussed in this post.  They were discussing the films.  Tris in Divergent was…Tris.  Her character was so bland in that movie that I had a hard time figuring out what she is.  Do the Red Letter Media test and describe her character outside of what she looks like, what she does and what her role is in the story.  Get back to me with the results.  Oh, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was WAY too tough from the git-go.  That’s something I never liked about the series, which I do have some affection for.  I always found Willow more interesting.  She actually grew and actually felt like a real girl in the series.  She wasn’t brave, but found bravery in the most unlikely of situations.  She was trying to be normal, but couldn’t be.  It made for a compelling character that I wanted to like.

With video games, they are able to develop much more realistic characters.  This is because they can take the time and really delve into who they are.  Much the same as books.  It’s the reason why I say that books shouldn’t be adapted into films.  Adapt them into video games.  We care about Rikku and Yuna’s struggles in Final Fantasy X because we get to know them.  We can see where their loyalties lie and what their values systems are.  The Hunger Games films try and show Katniss’ loyalties, but she is so packaged as a good role model that we never learn what her failings are.  For real, she’s so stoic and good all the time that we don’t buy that she is a real person.  Real people are not all-good.  Real people have problems.  Real people have dark sides and quirks.  That’s what makes them human.

The best example of this, and I know that I use this character a lot, is Ellie in The Last of Us.  She is a strong character.  Not only as a girl, but a kid too.  She has all the worries that a kid does, but is stuck in a world that is so unpleasant and filled with death and pain that she can’t get away from having to adapt.  Even so, she has little things that set her apart from her gruff companion, Joel.  First, she actually tries to enjoy things.  She has a sense of wonderment and beauty, but is not at all afraid to stick a knife in whoever fucks with her people.  You mess with someone she trusts, she will kill you without a moment’s hesitation.  Her violent side culminates in the scene where she is facing off with the bandit leader.  She is having to sneak around and stab the man several times, each time knowing that if him and his machete catch her, that’s it.  Then, after they knock each other out, he beats her as she tries to crawl and get his machete and finish him off.  It makes the despairing and rage-filled cries of anger and sadness that much more emotionally intense as she is chopping the mans face with the machete.  That’s realistic.  That’s how good story-telling works.

And before you go off and tell me that these kinds of stories (marketed to younger teenage audiences) aren’t able to do that, read the Animorphs series.  Not only do those books show some REALLY graphic violence, but they also talk about really intense stuff, like the cost of innocence and the cost of war.  They have these children being forced to grow up so young and it is often hard to read.  The scene where Ax is looking at the stars and just wanting to go home, with so many hard choices to make and no idea what the right thing to do is is fucking awesome!  Seeing the descent of Rachel from an adrenaline-junkie to a violence-crazed sociopath who is in love with the carnage is believable, because they take the time out to show that she isn’t just some kind of archetype.  She is a human being.  Every single example the the Time magazine article listed was an archetype.  An almost Greek hero archetype.  And while that can fill the seats with the teeny and tweeny girls that they market to, it’s not good story-telling.

I do NOT get why video games don’t have a place in the artistic and academic circles of story-telling and art.  With Hollywood clearly being out of ideas, video games have stepped up in a way that nobody thought possible.  Seeing the talents of Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe in a game about a girl and a spirit entity linked to her (Beyond: Two Souls) and how powerfully some of the emotional moments were is a testament to how great this medium is becoming.  The Last of Us is a very dark game.  But it has enough light-hearted and emotional moments for us to believe these are real people.  We don’t just see Joel and Ellie as survivors.  We don’t just see them as tough wanderers who are bravely facing the unknown.  No, they both have secrets, they both have a past and they both have things they would rather keep quiet about, often being revealed in a harsh or thought-provoking way.

Is it really asking too much to ask teen girls to think about their heroes, instead of just rooting for them?  Food for thought.

Until next time, a quote,

“Everyone I have cared about has either died or left me. Everyone — fucking except for you! So don’t tell me I would be safer with somebody else, because the truth is I would just be more scared.”  -Ellie, The Last of Us

Peace out,


Top 10 Worst Video Game to Film Adaptations

I made a post not too long ago talking about why the movie that Sony recently announced based on the nigh-perfect game The Last of Us is going to suck (linked here), and it got me to thinking about something.  I genuinely believe that none of the great video games that I love could be made into good films.  Video games are a medium that, while it often aims for being cinematic, is so much more.  However, that doesn’t stop Hollywood from trying to make movies based on them.  And every single one of them, without a single exception, has sucked.  Badly.  They are pieces of shit.  And I have made a list of the worst offenders, as I see it.  If you have any more that didn’t make the list and you want to make sport of, please, let me know in the comments section.  That said, let’s get started.

Prince of Persia10. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
This game was a remake of a very old and very dated puzzle-platformer that had faded into obscurity but was brought back to life.  Arguably the best 3D puzzle-platformer ever made, it changed the face of games like it for all time.  It had a cool premise, cool characters and a very intense story that kept your attention.  This movie, on the other hand, was awful!  For one thing, TERRIBLE casting!  I mean, Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince?  Seriously?!  Not only does he REALLY not look the part, but he lacked any of the wit and charm that the Prince had in the game.  Add to that a very boring, by-the-numbers action-adventure film, without a single puzzle or cool set-piece moment that showed off the Dagger of Time’s power, and this movie was an uninspired and unengaging bore that was clearly made to try and capitalize on what Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Studios didn’t realize was a tattered popularity of the franchise.  Thankfully, it didn’t work and the film was a flop at the box office.  Though, ironically, it was the highest-grossing video game film made.  The fact that it was still a failure says something about how hated these kinds of movies are.  And dammit, why is Ben Kingsley in this movie?!

Mortal Kombat9. Mortal Kombat
Where do I get started?  The original Mortal Kombat games (which this film was based on) didn’t have the greatest controls or the neatest characters.  All things considered, they were a pretty average fighter, save for one saving grace – blood and guts.  The Mortal Kombat games were made so that friends could kick the shit out of each other and tear their enemy to pieces.  They were the fighting game of choice among my friends.  This movie, on the other hand, was a PG-13 martial arts film.  It had NONE of the blood and guts of the source material.  The special effects are just shy of gag-inducing.  The “acting” is so bad that it can be funny from time to time.  The sequel is even worse, with fights that are just shy of backyard wrestling.  If these movies had at least had some blood and guts, that would be something of a redemption.  But nope, they are just plain bad.

Hitman8. Hitman
The Hitman games were brutally-hard and unforgiving, focusing on stealth to the extreme.  You played as Agent 47, a master assassin who specializes in killing his foes quickly and efficiently, without being noticed.  Being noticed was often hazardous to your health.  The Agent 47 in the film, on the other hand, is nothing more than a skinny Rambo who goes out of his way to make a big production out of all his kills.  The action scenes are dull and the plot is beyond cliche.  It’s another one of those stories about the cold, unfeeling killer and the woman who gets him to come out of his shell.  This plot has been done to DEATH, sometimes very well and sometimes far worse than this.  Much like Prince of Persia, it is a film that takes no risks and is rather lifeless for it.  And, like Prince of Persia, it failed at the box office.

Doom7. Doom
Doom is an awesome game!  It’s low on plot and high on action.  The plot is that you are a badass Marine who is stationed on Mars.  A portal to Hell opens, demons burst forth, kill everyone but you and you decide to kill them back.  Simple, clean and awesome, with some cool weapons and some pretty imaginative foes.  Especially when you get to Hell.  This movie, on the other hand, does what the film adaptation of The Golden Compass did and eschews the religious aspect and removes the portal to Hell.  In the film, they decide to make some science mumbo-jumbo about a 26th chromosome and how it can either turn people into superheroes or monsters.  The action is boring, the enemy designs are lifeless, the characters are cliche.  The scene where they have a first-person perspective is hilariously awful.  Not to mention, and this may just be the biggest flaw – they have The Rock as the final boss of the film!  Of all the cool demon designs that they could have worked with, they have the fucking Rock as their final enemy?  That’s so dumb!  Oh, and to top it all off, terrible cinematography.  For real, the entire movie is show in a kind of blue filter and WAY too close.  It was like they didn’t want the audience to actually see what was going on.  After all, that would force us to endure some enjoyment.  Wouldn’t want that, would we?

Wing Commander6. Wing Commander
Oh do I hate this movie.  I fucking hate everything to do with this movie.  The Wing Commander series was made during a time when a lot of games were using live-action to integrate into their games.  With VERY few exceptions, this was a disaster.  Wing Commander was one of those exceptions.  With the talents of Malcolm McDowell, the guy who played Biff in Back to the Future and Mark fucking Hamill!  These games were back in the days where fighter simulators used a joystick.  The universe was fun and interesting, with neat enemies and a well-written cast that you came to care about.  This movie, on the other hand, stars Freddie Prince Jr. and Matthew Lillard!  Ugh!  Now, I think it’s worth pointing out that Freddie Prince Jr. found quite a place as the voice of James Vega in Mass Effect 3.  But that was with writing and an ADR director who cared.  That was NOT seen in this movie.  The special effects are beyond dated.  The characters are all boring throw-away cliches, with Matthew Lillard spouting some TERRIBLE lines and doing nothing but making an ass of himself.  The battle segments were a joke and the enemy effects were so bad that it was embarrassing.  I cannot tell you how much I hate this movie.  I feel the anger bubbling up inside as I’m sitting here talking about it.  Fuck this movie!

Street Fighter5. Street Fighter
What, were, they, thinking?!  This is a film that is astoundingly bad.  Part of me feels bad that the only good thing about this movie was the portrayal of M. Bison by the late Raul Julia.  He tried to make this work, bless his deceased heart.  Alas, didn’t.  While the game and the anime adaptations focused heavily on Ryu, this movie decided to make Guile the protagonist.  Xenophobia, anyone?  Every single character in this movie got fucked over from their cool source material.  Super Street Fighter II is arguably the greatest fighting game ever made.  This franchise has a lot of cool characters, each with a unique back-story and portrayal.  This movie is REALLY xenophobic, kind of racist and has fuck-all to do with its source material.  I just don’t get how the people who made it honestly believed that they were going to get a positive return on their investment.  Not to mention, the icing on the fucking cake – it has Jean-Claude Van Damme as the protagonist.  And I might have been willing to forgive all of this if the final product was at least a little entertaining.  But it’s not.  It’s painful the entire way through.  Some people have said that this movie is so bad it’s good, but they are wrong!  This movie is one of the worst I have ever seen.  Period!  Ugh…

Resident Evil4. Resident Evil (franchise)
I am hoping beyond hope that they are done making these movies.  While the franchise that this franchise is based on has had its own failings in the last few years, these movies are among the worst cash-grabs that have ever been made.  With the first film, it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be.  It wasn’t a great movie, or even a very good one, but it was pretty decent.  A lot of that came from the levels of cool that Michelle Rodriguez’s character brought to the screen.  But after this movie came shitty-sequel after shitty-sequel, each one worse than the last.  For real, these movies have been getting so terrible that it is almost funny.  Oh, wait, it’s not!  These movies suck!  Not only do they have jack-diddle to do with the games, but they are often plot-less and don’t seem to care about the stories they are telling.  Not to mention that not one of them has any kind of survival-horror feel the the older games and Resident Evil 4 had.  There is no tension or suspense.  Just action, more action and eventually zombies who can run and stuff.  Oh, and as an insult to the cool factor that Michelle Rodriguez brought, they brought her back in the latest film and totally fucker her character over.  I hate these movies.

Super Mario Bros.3. Super Mario Bros.
I literally don’t get what Hollywood asshole with a 6-figure salary and a 2-digit IQ thought that this movie would work.  Not only does it butt-rape the source material, but it doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that the source material existed.  I mean, the world of Mario is a happy place filled with little mushroom people, turtle shells, egg-throwing dinosaurs, magic stars and bright colors.  There is a tropical island that has cool locations to hang out in and you can even see other galaxies that are pretty cool!  Not one thing about the world of that game shouted a 1984 rip-off to you, did it?  Well, that’s what the movie thought it meant.  It decided to make the film a weird and totally pointless and eerily dark film starring Bob Hoskins as Mario.  I like Bob Hoskins, but when you see the charming and fun expression that Mario has, does that nasty-looking douche come to mind?  For real, Bob, I like ya, but you are a nasty-looking guy.  Just putting that out there.  This movie shits on one of the most beloved characters of all time, which is probably the biggest sin a movie can do.

Silent Hill Revelation 3D2. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Now, I’m going to start my discussion about this movie by saying that I actually don’t hate the original film.  The man who directed that movie was actually a fan of the games.  Well, the good ones, anyway (the first three and a half).  The use of lighting and set designs was actually pretty damn good.  Not to mention, the nigh-flawless use of the trademark music of the games that the fans (like me) fell in love with.  The creature designs were also pretty neat.  Pyramid Head was just as intimidating as I always imagined in the movie as I imagined him to be in the game.  The film lacked the symbolism and depth that the games had, but it was still a hell of a lot better than I expected.  Revelation 3D (I fucking hate when they put 3D in a title.  It’s a cheap gimmick!), on the other hand, was a cash-grab.  Pure and simple.  Not to mention, a lot like Super Mario Bros., it also shits on a beloved game.  Heather Mason is one of my favorite female protagonists.  She’s a kid, but in no way a doormat.  She is dealing with a lot of shit and doesn’t back down.  She faces her darkness in a pretty profound way, with a scene that actually is a very grimacing metaphor for her killing a fetus when the reborn god of the cult of Silent Hill is growing inside of her and she has to get rid of it.  This movie, however, turns her into a cowardly damsel who has a bad habit of being saved a lot.  There is an underdeveloped romance and a lot of REALLY bad 3D effects.  Nothing about this movie works.  Nothing.  What’s worse – it insults one of my favorite characters.  This movie was made to make money.  Thankfully, the return was nowhere near what they hoped.

And the worst video game adaptation to film is…

Bloodrayne1. Every single Uwe Boll film ever made!
Oh, I cannot tell you my hatred for this German dick-mule.  Uwe Boll is called the new Ed Wood, and I genuinely don’t buy that.  I am certain that this guy knows that he is making crap.  I know this because he exploits German tax loopholes when he makes movies so that, even when the film fails, he makes money.  Boll adapts good video games into shit movies, and the Internet’s hatred of him is well-known.  The thing I hate him most for is his adaptation of Bloodrayne.  A film that also stars Ben Kingsley (for real, what the fuck?!  I remember this guy being in Gandhi.  Was he just typecast after that, like Malcolm McDowell?) and shits on what could have been a trippy film with a badass redhead kicking some vampire ass with some sick fight choreography and gratuitous gore.  Boll doesn’t even try and make good movies.  There is something to be said for making a bad movie, but having actually tried to make it good.  The Transformers films are pieces of shit, but they are actually trying to be entertaining.  It’s just that Michael Bay is a racist and sexist dick who can only make movies about blowing shit up (if only he’d abandon plot.  That would make those movies better).  Boll, on the other hand, doesn’t give two shits if his movies are good or not, so when he adapts a video game I like to film like that, it just pisses me off more.  Fuck this man!  Fuck him up hard!

Until next time, a quote,

“I wish I could have played it!” -Ellie
“I never was a big fan of these things.”  -Joel, The Last of Us

Peace out,


The Giver Movie

A post from a friend about another Hollywood ass-raping of a good book. Gotta love the Hollywood machine, don’t ya?


So, a new movie is coming out within the next few months. One of the hot new young adult things that everyone wants to see. Some of them I actually do want to see- Divergent looks good. I read the first two in the trilogy, but that’s besides the point. One of the movies coming out is based on one of my favorite books, the Giver by Lois Lowry. When I first heard about it, I was super excited. I really should have known better.
The Trailer
The Trailer is above. I’m going to go through and explain exactly what is wrong with this trailer.

The book, to start with, is great. It’s a dystopian coming of age novel about a boy named Jonas. Now, details of his society are gone into in the book, but I am going to have to spoil one detail you find out towards…

View original post 347 more words

SIONL: Wolf’s Rain

Wolf's RainOne of my favorite anime of all time is the series Wolf’s Rain.  The brilliantly-told tragic story about a group of the last Wolves, trying in vain to reach Paradise.  It is a poignant and heart-breakingly sad tale of loss, loneliness and the cost of living.  However, unlike most shows, this one is very divisive.  People either love or hate it.  The reason they love or hate it is because this is a show that demands a lot of the viewer’s attention.  See, there is almost no exposition.  You have to really be paying attention if you want to know some of the plot’s more important details, such as the divinity of the Wolves, the alchemy of the Nobles or what Paradise truly is and how one gets there.  It also doesn’t spell out the relationships, such as Hubb and Cher and how their marriage fell apart.  This series doesn’t hold your hand, and that is part of the reason it is so good.  I actually treats the audience like a grown-up, letting you realize things on your own.

The series is an allegory to several religious tales.  I went into it not knowing all the religions that were being represented, which was fine.  The series was good enough to keep my attention, even if I didn’t realize the symbolism of what the divinity of the Wolves and the use of Kiba to open a gate to the Noble’s Paradise meant.  The allegory is so heavy in this series that there are few plot points that don’t have some history with it.  It’s actually rather amazing how they got this to work, given how such a concept could have crashed and burned.  The writers of this series knew that they couldn’t take the approach that so many filmmakers did and try and force the symbolism down our throats.  The narrative came first, and whether or not you cared about the symbolism was up to you.  You could contemplate it on your own.  Again, they treated us like grown-ups.

But the reason that I love this series as much as I do is because of the Wolves.  Their journey and self-discovery is so beautiful, but tragic at the same time.  The Wolves are considered extinct, following a brutal and ruthless slaughter of their kind by the Nobles.  The Nobles were afraid of them because they Book of the Moon told of them opening the way to Paradise when the world was coming to an end.  Doing so would finish the destruction of the world.  After almost all of their kind were destroyed, the Wolves learned to use their magic to hide in plain sight, appearing as the humans are.

The pack that travels with Kiba (the unofficial leader of their pack) all have harsh background, with each of them trying to run away from their pasts.  From Hige’s collar to Tsume’s scar or Toboe’s bracelets, each of them has something that marks them and shows their past.  The way that each of them is forced to confront it is brutal and sometimes heart-breaking.  The ambiguity of Kiba’s past makes him a kind of mystic of the group.  The savior metaphors for this character are not out of place.  He very much is a spiritual entity.  It is him that convinces them to follow him.  The lack of marking on Kiba seems to show that he is uncorrupted by the cruel world that the Wolves live in.  The pack that they run into in the factory town is also marked.  Being marked is something that almost every Wolf they run into is.  That is just one of the subtle little symbols that I just love about the series.

The part that has stuck with me the most, however, is following the destruction of Darcia’s castle.  Kiba ends up in the grip of a plant that puts whatever comes near it into a coma, showing them exactly what they want as it slowly consumes whatever gets too close.  When he awakens, Kiba is in what he believes to be Paradise.  With him is a young woman who is not a Wolf, but something else.  A kind of giant cat.  She says that she is there to be with him, and that they can be there forever.  For a time, Kiba looks like he is willing to accept this beautiful place.  It is peaceful and happy, unlike the painful world he has had to exist in up until now.  That touches me very personally because I am much like the Wolves.  I go through life, trying to find something better.  Their idea of Paradise sounds pretty damn good.  All I really want out of life is a sunny place where I don’t have to constantly worry about the future.  A place where I can just live.  A place where I don’t have to drown myself in the pursuit of a good story so that I don’t have to wake up crying in the middle of the night, desperately wanting things to get better and for me not to be a poor kid who has so little hope for things to come.  When Kiba is ripped from that world and doesn’t want to go, part of me wonders if I could have left.  Part of me would have wanted to stay there forever.

Wolf’s Rain is a tragedy.  It is one of the best tragedies I have ever seen.  In a world where everyone seems to want stories that have sunshine being blown up their ass, seeing a story that isn’t afraid to make you cry and to hurt you inside is kind of refreshing.  However, like I said, it isn’t for everyone.  Some people can’t gravitate toward it, and even though I am a judgmental douche who complains when people don’t like the stuff that I like as much as I do, I can kind of get why.  Still, if you think you would like it, and haven’t seen it, you really should.  You won’t be disappointed.

Until next time, a quote,

“They say there’s no such place as paradise.  Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, There’s nothing there.  No matter how far you walk, it’s always the same road.  It just goes on and on.  But in spite of that, why am I so driven to find it?  I hear someone’s voice, calling to me.”  -Kiba, Wolf’s Rain

Peace out,


SIONR/L: Batman: Arkham Knight Might Suck (but I hope not)

Up-front, I love the Arkham games.  They finally gave me a video game that made me feel like the Bat.  I even love Origins, which has gotten shit on by a ton of people.  Though, I admit, the reason I love it is Troy Baker’s performance as the Joker.  He nailed it so flawlessly that it did Mark Hamill’s Joker proud.  For real, he took all his cues from that, and it was so awesome.  It was a great introduction.  But, the best game in the franchise, to date, is Arkham City.  For real, don’t you say it’s Arkham Asylum.  You’re an idiot!  Arkham City had it all.  It had great villains, cool locations, sick boss fights and a story that was both dark and engaging.  It really stripped away some of the flim-flam of Batman and showed us that he really is a common thug, which is an interesting perspective to take.  Going balls-to-the-wall with that game took guts, and Rocksteady did it almost perfectly.

When I saw the debut trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight, I ain’t gonna lie, I was both confused and a little worried.  For starters, it had this monologue that I’m assuming is Thomas Wayne, giving his last will and testament to Bruce.  It makes it sound all important, and there are neat little jabs that make it sound like he would not approve of his son’s double-life as Batman.  But then it becomes a very inspiration and action-packed trailer that makes this game look like it is just going to be a lot of ass-kicking.  That bothers me for a couple reasons.

The first is that the Arkham games have not been especially uplifting.  For real, Arkham City had an unbelievably bitter-sweet ending (and I don’t count Harley’s Revenge.  That was terrible and as far as I’m concerned, doesn’t exist), with Batman’s girlfriend, Talia Al Ghul getting shot and killed, which, since her father is dead, probably means that the League of Assassins is dead.  You don’t know if Clayface lived or died.  The Joker unleashed a plague with his blood on the city (since I don’t count Harley’s Revenge as a thing, I don’t see it as plot-conveniently cured) and potentially killed dozens.  Dozens upon dozens of criminals dead within Arkham City.  And most importantly – the closest thing that Batman will ever have to a human connection, the Joker, is dead.  I am sure that his death hurts, because as the Joker pointed out – they have been trying to kill each other for so long that, if you take that away, what do they have?  Not much, as far as I can see.  Arkham City ended with Batman carrying the Joker’s corpse out of the theater and laying him on a police car, then leaving, without saying a word.  I have no doubt that the death of his greatest foe left its mark on him.  This kind of bittersweet darkness can’t just be ignored.  Not without the narrative sucking ass.  Oh, and I forgot – Hush was seen having made himself out to be a perfect copy of Bruce Wayne, telling him that he is going to be getting revenge on his former friend in a very ugly way.

The second reason is that these games were all about the darker aspects of the worth of Batman.  It never showed the carnage and gore, but you heard NPCs and read log entries about just how vicious and brutal the world of these games was.  To have a debut trailer for this franchise be so uplifting and almost hopeful, it’s a little off-putting, and leaves me wondering if Rocksteady is just going to spoon-feed what they think the audience wants to end this.  Fuck that!  I want this game to be filled with the dark and creepy goodness that made the other games so damn nice to play.

So, what would I like to see?  I have a rough sketch of what I hope this game is.  First, it’s been a LONG time since the events of Arkham City.  With the Joker dead, things have gotten a lot better in Gotham.  The police are finally able to step up in a way they couldn’t before.  Which is good, because the Bat isn’t quite the badass he used to be.  He’s still doing his job and fighting crime, but his heart just isn’t in it the way it used to be.  The death of the Joker still haunts him, and that’s not all.  There was a pretty awesome screenshot of someone in a Batman-like suit that looks pretty cool (and hopefully leads to a sick bossfight, like Deathstroke).  Some are speculating that it’s Damian Wayne.  I could get onboard with that.  Not to mention – what has Hush been doing.  He wasn’t about to let Wayne go, after all.

However, Batman’s repose is broken when Scarecrow and a number of other villains finally see that if they don’t take this chance to get their revenge on the Bat, they may not get another.  The bulk of the rogue’s gallery of Batman come to make the most of one last night.  One last score that will end it once and for all.  Meanwhile, other forces are at work.  Other villains who are plotting things for Batman, such as whoever this dude in the ninja-Batman suit is.  Forces are gathering as Bruce has to finally face down the end of his time in the mask.  So much of what he loved is lost.  Now, a choice has to be made.  Does he keep doing what he is, or does he hang up the cape and cowl, before her loses it.  Maybe have him losing control, letting inner violence that has been contained for years finally start to seep out.  That would be a nice little way for the Joker to get the last laugh, wouldn’t it?

Like I said, I love these games.  I am going to be playing this one, because I want to see how the franchise ends.  I just hope it does what they have built justice, instead of sucking.  Let me know what you think about it all.

Until next time, a quote,

“Sometimes I wonder if all this will end with one of us looking down at the other’s corpse, trying to work out what to do next!”  -The Joker, Batman: Arkham City

Peace out,