Lucien’s Review: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IVSo, a lot of you are probably wondering – wait, what?  This game has been out for over a year.  Why are you reviewing it now?  Watch Dogs just came out, and it was on your list of Most Anticipated Games of 2014.  Why aren’t you reviewing that?  Well, the answer is simple – I will get to that in a while.  See, I was kind of bummed by Assassin’s Creed III.  For all the stuff it got right, it also did a lot wrong.  The worst offense was having an incredibly boring main character.  After that game concluded, with a shitty ending, I was kind of done with the Assassin’s Creed franchise.  Much in the same way that I am done with the Mass Effect franchise after that shitty ending.  But then everyone and their brother was like “you gotta play Assassin’s Creed IV!  You gotta play Assassins Creed IV!  It’s SO much better than III!  It’s so awesome!”  Finally, just recently, I got around to playing it.  And…oh my god, it really is!

Before we get too far into this, let me give you some history.  As with any Assassin’s Creed game, there are two stories.  The first is in the present, where you are a nameless employee of Abstergo Entertainment (who seems to have partnered with Ubisoft to make this franchise, take that however you will).  They have recently started a new project – using the Animus to make television!  That’s actually kind of brilliant, if you think about it.  You are going through the memories of someone named Sample 17.  This follows the life of Edward Kenway, a privateer who is trying to make a name for himself and some big bucks so that he can go home to his wife, back in England.  Kenway is in it for himself and quickly gets in over his head with the Templars, in a battle against the Assassins.  However, things are not as they seem and the plot twists in all the right ways.

Now, the first thing to gush about – the visuals.  I got this game on PS3 and OH MY GOD!  The visuals are gorgeous!  The Caribbean comes to light in a really brilliant way that it simply didn’t before.  Ubisoft clearly spared no expense making this universe come to light.  I look forward to seeing what the same graphics engine does for Watch Dogs as well.  The landscapes are incredible, the ocean looks amazing and the character models are all great.  I cannot tell you how great this game looks.  That just made the immersion experience that much better.  Made me realize how cool this concept would actually be in real life, which makes Abstergo so evil in how they thought of that.

The next thing is the characters.  Where Connor was kind of flat and dull in ACIII, Kenway is an awesome character to watch grow.  He starts out a cold and profit-hungry dick, but gradually finds nobility he never knew he had, while maintaining his devil-may-care pirate outlook.  Another character I love is the gender-ambiguous James, a student of the head of the Caribbean Assassins.  Listening to him talk, he has a wisdom inside of him that is trying to find the good man in Kenway.

The best thing in ACIII was the ship battles.  Everyone I know loved them.  It was something we all thought was going to suck, but they made it work.  Those fights are back in this game, and it has been improved.  So much of the elements of the last game’s ship battles that felt superfluous or overpowered have been balanced.  You now have to be very careful with your resources and finding the correct ways to use them in the heat of battle is just so rewarding.  There is not a single element of this that wasn’t welcome.  With the amazing visuals, some of the fights you get into feel so epic!  They knew what the fans of the franchise wanted in this game, and they gave it to us.  Not to mention, getting to sail the seas out of battle was fun too.  You felt like a real pirate captain was you hear your crew singing shanties while they go about their work.  That’s another aspect I really liked.  Your crew had a lot of personality too.  They have random comments and react to your decision in a way that made them feel 3-dimensional.

Not much more to say about this than that.  For all those who were like me and feeling a little bit of franchise fatigue, buy this game!  Now that you can get it for cheap on Amazon, trust me, you won’t regret it!  It makes me excited for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, where we get to go into the French Revolution.  It opens my eyes to other possibilities, like seeing Japan or China as an Assassin.  So much potential, and Ubisoft has shown they can get it done.  I do mean to review Watch Dogs, but because I am poor and living in a new apartment, I wouldn’t hold my breath.  Gotta do what you can, right?

Final Verdict:
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Elliot Rodger, Tumblr Feminism and the Insanity of America

So, recently there was a very tragic shooting of 6 people, 4 men and 2 women, by a young man named Elliot Rodger.  It happened just a while ago, yet the reaction to it has been one of unbelievable anger, ignorance and insanity that you’d think would be viewed as just as repugnant as some of what Rodger said, but because it came from women, it isn’t viewed that way.  Rodger released a manifesto before the shooting, which showed his evolution from a troubled teen going through typical teenage angst and sexual frustration to a mentally-deranged lunatic who viewed himself as a God and believed all women should be imprisoned and that sex should be destroyed.

Elliot Rodger was a misogynist.  I will say that right at the forefront, because it is something that has to be seen.  However, the Tumblr and Twitter feminist community has seen fit to make this tragedy exclusively about this and ignore every other part of it.  A decision that, in my opinion, is insane.  Not only does it discount any other factors but it puts an unrealistic and bigoted spin on this tragic event that should NOT be something we’re doing!

But the biggest thing that this reaction has done is that it has ignited a culture war.  The first part was the trend #YesAllWomen on Twitter.  This trend has been in solidarity of the idea that women are totally oppressed and that we need to recognize this.  News article after article is coming out about how many women are killed and raped and abused, making this a really big deal to the PC community.  Never mind that women have murdered, raped and abused men.  Or how the statistics show that women in power do not behave much differently than men in power.  Nope, that would just be too hard.

On the other side of the debate is the #NotAllMen trend, which is in solidarity of the idea that not all men are the monsters that these women make them out to be.  Of course, the Tumblr and Twitter feminist community won’t heard of it.  To them, all men are scum and do not deserve the time of day.  This battle has become so outspoken that it is getting national attention.

Another trend that has been trending is #KillAllMen.  A hashtag so deliriously insane that it begs the question – why on Earth is it acceptable for women to publicly muse about killing another gender, when if a man did it he would be publicly lambasted to no end?  This two-faced nature of our culture is deranged, and the more depressing thing is that it shows that these women who think that murdering men are no better than Elliot Rodger.  They believe that they are the superior people and that they should be allowed to kill a group of people they don’t like.

It takes me back to a post that was fairly popular among the women of Tumblr about a year ago, by a woman who called herself the “Femitheist.”  She believed that there should be a “National Castration Day.”  A day in which all men are to be marched out into the street and castrated by the women in their lives.  A twisted, depraved belief that legitimately shocks me that women actually buy into it.  For real, it’s nuts.  But if you follow some of what the radical feminists of Tumblr and Twitter believe, then they believe that it is completely acceptable.

The reality of this debate is that it showed both sides of a debate for what they are.  The radical feminist side is irrational, unwilling to listen to any alternatives and has members who believe that they can talk about murdering the people they don’t agree with and that that gives them the moral high-ground.  Meanwhile, the men’s rights advocates (MRAs) believe that they should be arguing that men are the victims and that men are mistreated by women and that that mistreatment got Rodger where he was.  Both sides are passionate and they also have something else in common – they are both wrong.

Elliot Rodger was mentally deranged.  His manifesto talked of him believing that he was a God who should have power over the people and the world should be in his image.  Yes, his misogyny did play a role in this tragedy, but that was not as key as the fact that he was mentally-unwell.  How the women who are screaming about how culturally indicative this is about “rape culture” and “misogyny culture” just boggles the mind.  Very little of what Elliot Rodger said in his manifesto had anything to do with anything he saw in popular culture.  In fact, most of it was about his sexual frustration and his gradual descent into madness because of his internal struggle with bullying and his inability to find his sexuality.

What has happened is a tragedy, but just like with every other tragedy, there is a side who is running out to say that this tragedy was not their fault.  They want to make this about their issue and their bias.  The same as anti and pro-gun activists after a mass shooting.  The ONLY difference here is that the culture at large seems to have no issue with these women and their narrow-minded viewpoint.  Why is that acceptable?!  That and more issue bother me.

Like all responses I have made to tragic events, I am imploring people to not look at the deed, but instead feel sorry for the victims and their families and to think about the people they know who are mentally unwell.  We can help these people, much as the women who made the posts about how awful men are seem to believe it is unwarranted.

In the end, this whole #YesAllWomen trend has made something abundantly clear – that the modern Twitter and Tumblr feminist movement is one of the most misogynist things there is, because it tells women that if you don’t think like them and agree with them, then you are wrong and need correction.  Funny, is that what you accuse us men of doing?

Until next time, a quote,

“It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all ways and be more and more in accord with his own.”  -Ghost Dog, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 15 Characters I’d Like to See in Kingdom Hearts III

If you read my previous post on the Top 15 Worlds I Want to See in Kingdom Hearts III, then you might have seen this coming.  There are a lot of great characters who I absolutely love in both the Disney and Final Fantasy universes.  Some of them I love a hell of a lot more than the world they are associated with.  With so many great characters to choose from, I thought I would mention – any character from the worlds that I mentioned in the last post won’t be here.  If their world is already here, then they will be in it.  As before, I am not including ANY of the characters from the Marvel or Star Wars franchises, since I do NOT want them in the Kingdom Hearts games.  The Pirates of the Caribbean level was bad enough.  Let’s not repeat the past.  With that said, let’s get to it.

Old Crew15. The Old Crew
Destiny Islands
With this being the third game in the franchise, it would be kind of nice if we got to see the old crew.  I didn’t include Destiny Islands in the other list because I kind of figured that, in some capacity, we would go back to it.  But yeah, it would be pretty cool if we got to see the old gang.  An aspect I am hearing that will be addressed is the fact that this series has been going on for a while, and Sora is getting older.  It would be nice if that angle was explored with the others.  Let’s see Tidus older, looking more like his namesake.  Maybe he is pretty good with a sword.  Something about playing with the nostalgia of the old games seems very fitting, as we are reaching the end of the franchise (which isn’t this game, just so you know.  This is the end of the Xehanort saga).

Rikku14. Rikku
Final Fantasy X (Not X-2!)
Something that kind of bummed me out was the portrayal of Rikku in Kingdom Hearts II.  The fact that they had to go with the look from X-2 was bad enough, but they also made her into a fairy.  For real, why?  Rikku could have had a hell of a lot to do with the game as a fighter.  She was, in my opinion, the most useful of the characters in X.  Her steal and Mix talent were awesome!  It was a powerful overdrive that got so much use by me.  She was also my favorite character of the game, but that’s a story for a different blog post.  I would be much happier if she was given the treatment she deserved in this game.  I mean, we have Tidus here, and hopefully Auron too, once-again.  Why not bring her?  And Yuna too, if we must.  Hey, her summoning talents could be pretty sick.  But yeah, Rikku was an awesome character, and she deserves to be here.

Hope Estheim13. Hope Estheim
Final Fantasy XIII
For all the mistakes in XIII, there were two bright spots.  The first was Hope.  The second, well, we’ll see that here soon enough.  Hope was a strong character who kept getting better, even as the games got worse.  I always liked how soft-spoken and driven Hope was.  I can see him as a chum in Radiant Garden, hanging with the rest of the gang.  Now, Hope’s weapon wasn’t the coolest, but the fact that he can use magic is pretty useful. If they can have it that his summon is in the picture, that would be even better.  Still, he would be a fun addition to the roster of Final Fantasy characters in the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

Edge12. Edward “Edge” Geraldine
Final Fantasy IV
Something I’ve noticed in the series is that there isn’t a single character from the games that don’t have 3D characters.  That baffles me, and it misses out on all the potential of other badass character.  Like, for example, Edge.  A badass ninja who just so happens to be the prince of a foreign land.  There is a TON of potential with such a character.  And, of course, we have to see him fight.  Using his shuriken and katana to dispatch Heartless like its nobody’s business.  I also REALLY want to square off with him in the Arena in The Grid (see post on worlds I want to see in KHIII if you are confused).  The potential for character is all there.  There are a LOT of characters from before they used 3D models that are worth talking about, but Edge is one of the ones I would pick.

Vincent Valentine11. Vincent Valentine
Final Fantasy VII
I picked this character for two reasons.  The first is that he is a vampire with some REALLY cool overdrive powers and a cool gun that would be AWESOME to see in battle.  The second is that, in Advent Children, Steve Blum does the voice.  They had Rachel Leigh Cook do the voice of Tifa in KHII, so it stands to reason that they could get Steve Blum to the voice of Vincent.  But yeah, having Vincent in Kingdom Hearts seems like a given.  Considering the fact that he’s a vampire, I would LOVE to see him in Halloween Town.  For real, it’s perfect!  You open a crypt and find him there, then he helps you get the smack-down on some enemies.

Max10. Max
A Goofy Movie
One of the best things that Disney did was something that nobody expected – make Goofy a single dad.  And, as a welcome surprise, it worked!  I loved seeing Goofy try his best to bond with his son in A Goofy Movie.  It made for some very human development of Goofy.  That’s something I’d like to see in Kingdom Hearts.  Something I always noticed was how Goofy and Donald were the least-developed characters.  So many others had a ton of development, but those two were pretty static.  With the angle of the third game being that it has been a long time since the events of the first one, having a moment where Goofy and Max bond over their experiences.  That would be a nice change of pace.

Jose Carioca and Panchito9. Jose Carioca and Panchito Pistol
Three Cabaneros
As with Goofy, Donald never saw a large amount of character development.  One character who I always got a kick out of was Jose Carioca.  He was first introduced in Saludos Amigos.  He had a classy little dance number and it was fun to watch.  Then, in Three Cabaneros, they introduce the crazed gun-wielding bird, Panchito Pistol.  Since him, Donald and Jose got along so well, I always liked the idea of them meeting up at Disney Castle and being chill, like old friends reuniting.  It would be even better if Donald was able to speak Spanish with the two of them.  Nice little touches like that go a long way.  Plus, I hope they would be able to get someone who could have that smooth Spanish accent.  For real, the guy they got to play Jose in the two movies sounded great.

Shere Khan8. Shere Khan
The Jungle Book
Now, because I want to go back and do more tree-surfing in Tarzan’s world, I didn’t put The Jungle Book on the list of worlds I want in KHIII.  That said, I REALLY want Shere Khan, so long as we can find someone who does George Sanders justice.  I wonder if Troy Baker’s available?  In any case, maybe he found his way to Tarzan’s world after his own world was destroyed.  That would actually be kind of a nice twist, all things considered.  Shere Khan is such a boss and what’s more – he knows it.  Tarzan’s world actually sounds perfect.  Like he has a new stomping ground and he is wanting to make the most of it.  Since the entire premise of Kingdom Hearts is that the barriers between worlds is broken, it would be kind of poignant if some villains drifted between worlds.  Speaking of…

Dr Facilier7. Dr. Facilier
The Princess and the Frog
Oh my god, this guy was awesome!  For as convoluted as the plot was of the film, this guy was consistently awesome.  I don’t much care for the world of the film, but I REALLY want this villain!  With Keith David doing the voice, this guy just oozed cool.  But the real value of his character comes in how awesome the boss fight with him would be.  Just think about it!  He has all sorts of crazy voodoo powers.  That has to count for some SERIOUSLY sick battle sequences with him.  Not to mention, since he doesn’t much care for rules, I get the feeling that he would be doing his own things while the other Disney villains are trying to defeat Sora.  I can see him being with pretty tight with another guy is also a loner and a little crazy.  But yeah, Keith David absolutely HAS to do the voice-work.  It would not work with anyone else.  I want to see his friends on the other side.

Elsa6. Elsa
Frozen
If you want to call foul because I don’t want the world of Frozen in this game, don’t.  The world is boring.  Elsa is awesome!  For real, she can control winter!  I don’t want to have her world, but I want her in this game.  I could take her sister too.  Maybe make it so that their world is destroyed, and now Elsa is looking for payback.  Hell, have it so that the villain of the film did it, or maybe somebody else who is further down on this list.  For the laughs.  But yeah, I want to be able to whip out some pwnage on the Heartless with her ice powers.  That would be awesome!  Don’t tell me that you wouldn’t want to as well.  Oh my god, a Keyblade of ice!  That would be awesome!  No for her, of course.  But for Sora.

The Horned King5. The Horned King
The Black Cauldron
So, I’m just putting this out there – I didn’t like The Black Cauldron.  Almost everything about it bugs me, with one MAJOR exception – the Horned King.  This guy was awesome!  Not only did he look and sound like a boss, but he had an army of undead that he was going to bring to life!  That is awesome!  I would actually not mind the world of The Black Cauldron if I could have him, but if I can take it without him, that would make me happier.  For real, imagine the 1000 Heartless battle in Hollow Bastion, but instead with an army of the undead!  That would be sick.  It would be cool, if he got the cauldron, and the battle with him consisted of battling the creatures that he conjures from the depths.  The chance for creepy terror is all over that!

TJ and his friends4. TJ Detweiler and friends
Recess
Something I think should have been considered more for a game with Disney characters are some of the shows that they made.  I said how I wanted to bring the world of Tarzan back, following the TV series about the show.  I always kind of wanted to chill with TJ and his friends in the world of Kingdom Hearts.  Granted, it wouldn’t be the same without the people who did the voice-work from the series, but something about hanging in Twilight Town with the old gang and TJ’s crew sounds nice.  I’m thinking that Twilight Town should become like Traverse Town was to the first Kingdom Hearts game.  Maybe it’s just me, but this always seemed like a nice thing to do.

Noctis Lucius Caelum3. Noctis Lucis Caelum
Final Fantasy XV
Since we Tetsuya Nomura said that he is putting his resources fully into Kingdom Hearts III once Final Fantasy XV was done, it would be SO fucking cool if we got to see Noctis in play!  For real, I want to see him and his invisible swords in action!  Watch him maybe pair up with the person at the top of this list.  Noctis is about 12 different kinds of cool, and I haven’t even gotten to see him in action.  Can’t wait to hear who is going to do his voice in English.  The stakes for that at this year’s E3 are sky-high.  With all the cool Final Fantasy characters who have graced this series, how on Earth could we justify not having Noctis?!  Just doesn’t seem right.  So much potential for sick fights with him by my side.  What’s more – the Arena!  That would be an awesome boss fight!

Kefka2. Kefka Palazzo
Final Fantasy VI
Kefka is one of the most intimidating and awesome bosses ever.  He’s just like the Joker.  He doesn’t do things for reasons that make sense.  He’s just trying to have a laugh.  This is the guy I see being pretty cool with Dr. Facilier.  It’s also the guy who I would just love to have destroyed Elsa’s world.  Not for a good reason.  He just felt like fucking with them.  He would go through the plot of this game fucking with the Organization and the rest of the villains.  That would be so much fun!  If there is one thing that this franchise needs, it’s a third element in play.  That was something that was great about KHII, when Axel was doing his own thing.  Only with Kefka, it would be 8 different kinds of scary.  This guy is weird, intimidating and kind of out there.  It would be awesome if he totally went Joker in how he fucked with Sora and company.  Maybe even have Elsa scared to death.  Yeah, that would be awesome.

And the character I want to see most in Kingdom Hearts III is…

LightningClaire “Lightning” Farron
Final Fantasy XIII
Let me put this out there – she had better be in this game!  If there is any character who deserves to throw down with the characters in this game, it’s her!  Part of me would love to see her back-to-back with Cloud and Leon against some Heartless, showing that she can throw down with the guys just as well as they can.  Let me team up with her and do some fighting too.  After that, let’s see what she’s got in the Arena in The Grid.  Another thing that would be sick – going against her in a lightcycle duel!  For real, she could steal Snow’s bike and then it could be a duel with her!  That would be awesome!  Lightning is awesome, and if she is in this game, I hope they get the woman who did her voice in the games.  She was the other thing about XIII that wasn’t so bad.

So, what characters would you like to see in Kingdom Hearts III?  Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s not a question of can or can’t. There are some things in life you just do.”  -Lightning, Final Fantasy XIII

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 15 Worlds I Want to See in Kingdom Hearts III

With E3 just around the corner, it’s safe to say that Square Enix has a lot of fans with some pretty high expectations.  With the trailer for Final Fantasy XV, it got people talking about the company, and not in a way where we made fun of their consistent blunders in this last console generation.  Another thing that was debuted was a teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts III.  That got ALL of my friends talking, and hoping.  XV might be Tetsuya Nomura’s magnum opus, but he has promised that he is going to be putting all of his attention in to KHIII now that it is done.  So, we are all waiting eagerly to see the woefully late next chapter of the franchise.  With that in mind, I thought that I would do a list of the worlds that I want to see.  I couldn’t limit this to 10, because with the next console generation, the potential for exploring worlds just got so much better!  Now, Disney may own the Marvel and Star Wars licenses, but I tell you now – those universes will NOT be in this list.  Universes that are based around real people are terrible.  Just look at the Pirates of the Caribbean one from KHII.  Let’s get started.

Deep Jungle15. Deep Jungle
Tarzan
A world that I have been dying to go back to with a new console generation.  Know why – the tree surfing!  In the first Kingdom Hearts, it was cool, but the idea was limited due to the hardware.  Now, we can actually make the dream of surfing the trees come true!  And it could be done within the universe of Tarzan.  Anyone remember the old TV series that was based on the film?  That is a very nice segway to jump in to the Kingdom Hearts universe.  But for real, all I want is to become a sick tree-surfer and be able to explore the jungle again, in a way that I couldn’t before.

Disney Castle14. Disney Castle
A level that I was actually very fond in KHII.  It was kind of nice to see Donald, Goofy and Mickey’s crib.  Getting to meet some of their people was a bonus.  That’s something I’d like to expand on in a sequel.  For real, there is a lot of potential to get some of their chums from the more-obscure Disney films and make them all a lot more rounded as characters.  If there was one thing that was kind of a bummer, it’s that you never see very deep into Donald and Goofy’s lives and personalities.  With how they run the emotional gamut on some characters, it’s kind of a shame that we don’t get to see more into them.  I also wouldn’t be against heading back to Timeless River for a few. One of the most under-appreciated gems in the second game.

Wonderland13. Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland
Let me head off the worry by saying I’m not talking about the god-awful Tim Burton version.  I’m talking about the animated version that was the original game.  However, I want to be a little more ambitious.  With all the forced Disney sequels, something that was always got my attention was – why no Alice in Wonderland sequel?  There was a sequel book just waiting to be talked about.  It just seemed strange to me.  However, that’s where the magic behind Kingdom Hearts comes in.  As we saw in these games, they are able to go out of the bounds of the stories that the films they are representing.  But the chance to go back and see some of the characters that we missed out on from the film sounds like just what the doctor ordered, doesn’t it?

Robin Hood12. English Countryside
Robin Hood
Ever since I have been playing Kingdom Hearts and seeing the Disney worlds come to life, I have been DYING to see one of my favorite Disney characters and the world he lives in come to life.  The Robin Hood from the film was classy, charming and cute.  The look of a fox fit him so well, and he always had this fun attitude that was just fun to watch.  Not to mention – Prince John.  For real, the Prince is one of the most hilarious comedic villains, alongside his sidekick, Hiss.  There is a lot of potential for some Heartless or Organization XIII shenanigans.  But yeah, that aside, I want to get Robin Hood on my team and see what kind of overdrives I can get with that sword of his.

Pride Lands11. The Pride Lands
The Lion King
I have been hearing that one of the angles that they are going to be focusing on in the third game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise is the fact that the main characters have been at this for a long time, to acknowledge the aging of the voice actors who are doing the main roles.  That’s a clever way to not have to cover their aged voices.  With that in mind, there is potential to go back to the Pride Lands.  With all the terrible Disney sequels, there were some diamonds in the rough.  One of them was The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride.  While the first film pretty much told the story of Hamlet, this one decided to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet.  And, it nearly was a pretty good film.  For real, the animation wasn’t as good and the plot wasn’t as fully developed as it could have been, but there is still potential to continue that story well.

Nightmare Before Christmas10. More Holiday Worlds
Nightmare Before Christmas
My favorite side-character in the Kingdom Hearts franchise is, without a doubt, Jack Skellington.  They got the guy from the films to do the voice-work (not Danny Elfman, who did the singing.  The other guy), and it was always fun to listen to.  Something I’d like to see is to let the creators of Kingdom Hearts have a crack at representing some of other holiday worlds.  There was a game made that had Jack exploring the other holiday worlds, and that was surprisingly creative and fun.  You could take a page or two out of that book, or totally strike out on your own and see what you can come up with.  Still, the potential is there.  Just putting that out there.

The Great Mouse Detective9. London
The Great Mouse Detective
One of the things that I have wanted all my life is to get to work with Sherlock Holmes.  With this universe, I could get to work with someone who fits that bill perfectly.  Basil of Baker Street is an awesome character.  Cocky, charming, kind of a dick but his heart is in the right place, he is so fun to watch.  Now, we could team up with him and become mouse-sized.  Something that sounds fun is if we could actually examine crime scenes and solve a mystery with the man himself.  That would be so cool!  Think detective mode in the Arkham games, but here.  Yeah, that would be fun.  Now, there is one major issue – the fact that the person who did the voice of Rattigan, the flawless Vincent Pryce, is dead.  Where’s Troy Baker.  He’s the premiere voice-actor, who REALLY came into his own last year with three amazing performances.  I think he could make this role work.

Rescuers Down Under8. Down Under
The Rescuers Down Under
Speaking of Disney sequels that get little attention, this is one of the few where the sequel beats the shit out of the original.  The Rescuers was a very basic and kind of dull movie.  The sequel, however, was better in EVERY conceivable way.  The visuals were amazing, the characters were more fun.  Everything worked better.  Something that nobody has talked about is how the world of tiny mice could be kind of awesome to play through.  Getting to deal with all the problems that they have to, the potential is just dripping for how good it could be.  But all that is aside.  The thing that I absolutely MUST have is a scene where I am on the back of that giant eagle, fighting the Heartless.  With PS4 visuals, good-god!  The potential for that is incredible!  If you haven’t seen this movie, I recommend you do.  When you do, I have the feeling that you’ll be with me on this.

100 Acre Wood7. 100 Acre Wood
Winnie the Pooh
Now, before you say that we’ve been there and done that, there is still more potential.  It all comes down to how unbridled the potential with the next console generation has on a game like Kingdom Hearts.  What’s more, and this will sound kind of dumb, but I kind of want to see the gang in the book again.  Talking about the idea of focusing on the amount of time that the heroes have been at this, I think it would be kind of cool if this time the focus was on growing up, like the end of the original Winnie the Pooh film, where Pooh and Christopher Robin were talking about what it means to grow up.  That could actually work, maybe as a referendum to how Sora is having to accept that he isn’t the young boy he started as.  It would is kind of sad to grow up.  That could be a poignant thing to talk about.

Emperor's New Groove6. Inca Empire
Emperor’s New Groove
I got a confession to make – this world being in this game is conditional.  I have but one condition – we absolutely MUST have Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton reprising their roles as Yzma and Kronk.  For real, they MADE that movie, and they would be hilarious here, with the right writers.  Granted, the world is neat to look at and the Emperor is fun, but for me, it all comes down to those two characters and getting to see them again.  What could be even more fun is if Yzma fucks with Sora by turning him in to various animals.  There is a lot of comedic potential with that various potions.  But yeah, all of this is contingent on those two voice actors coming back to reprise their roles.

The Grid5. The Grid
Tron: Legacy
The movie that this universe is based on is a boring waste of cinematic time.  That said, this universe has SO much potential.  I’m kind of tired of the Olympus Coliseum as the place where all the duels happen.  This world has SO much cool potential.  Especially if we could get Daft Punk to do the score for it in Kingdom Hearts III.  The arena in this game could be so fun to fight people in.  With the digital effects of the PS4, I can just imagine the awe of how cool it would be.  That said, there is one thing that I am waiting for above all others in this world – the light-cycle duels!  For real, I wants!  It would be kind of cool if we could have them outside of the arena, too.  Like in the trailer for the film, where the duel is happening outside of the city.  That would be awesome.

The Forest4. The Forest
Bambi
One of the characters who we get to meet as a summon but never got to see their world was Bambi.  Something that always kind of bummed me, given how gorgeous the universe of Bambi is.  For real, watch that film, it’s amazing!  They capture what nature would look like so well that it’s kind of stunning.  Part of me really wants to go there and fight the Heartless in an amazing forestscape.  I can just imagine the scene where it is night and the wind is blowing the trees.  There is so much potential for beautiful imagery, especially on the PS4. Whereas with other worlds, I want to see a certain character or play a certain aspect, with this one, I just want to visuals.  I’m imagining a kind of Journey-esque visual experience.

Toy Story3. Toyland
Toy Story
Another aspect of Disney that I REALLY want to see incorporated into the Kingdom Hearts is the Pixar films.  If they could get Nightmare Before Christmas into these games, then they could get these ones.  There are a lot of fun choices to go with, but of them all, the one I really want to see is Toy Story.  For real, seeing the toy versions of Sora, Goofy and Donald would just be so much fun.  Not to mention, I can see some very good puns made about the marketing of the games when he sees Kingdom Hearts merchandise around Andy’s room.  Still, the aspect that appeals to me the most is the world of Sid’s bedroom.  For real, some of those toys are creepy as fuck, and getting to see them up close, is terrifying.  Not to mention, a battle with Sid himself, yeah, I’m down with that.

Fantasia2. One of the Fantasia or Fantasia 2000 worlds
One of the crowning jewels of Kingdom Hearts II was the level Timeless River.  The way they made the animation look in the old fashion was flawless.  Something people didn’t really see that I did was how they also made Sora look old-fashioned.  Not just with his clothes.  His eyes were in the old style of Japanese animation.  Think the original Astro Boy.  The point of me saying this is that these games have shown that they can be incredibly creative.  I would LOVE to see some of that creativity applied to something like a Fantasia segment.  But, and I cannot stress this enough, it would have to be done without ANY dialogue!  For real, it would have to be an experience of music and facial animation.  I am debating if we would even have combat.  Or, if we did, make it part of the musical number.  That would be pretty smart.  Maybe make it an interlude into a character’s mind.  I don’t know how you’d make it work, but I’m sure that one could.

And the world that I want to see most is…

Atlantis1. Atlantis
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
I do NOT get how this game has avoided the Kingdom Hearts universe for so long!  Kida is a Disney princess!  For real, this just baffles me.  Sure, the plot of the film might have been dumb, but the world is awesome!  Not to mention, we can work with the plot.  Square Enix has shown that they are good at finding another angle to look at a universe in.  More in the first game than the second, but still!  I want to explore Atlantis.  Go down and see the depths.  See the crystal chamber.  There are a thousand and one ways to see this world and get to fight the Heartless in it.  Another thing that this next generation can do is to make the Heartless look more intimidating.  But the best perk – I want to fly one of the flying fish!  Those things are awesome, and I want to peruse Atlantis in one!  Gimme!

So, what worlds do you want to see in Kingdom Hearts III?  Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’ll always be with you.  Right here.  You don’t have to go anywhere.  Just stay here, and you can see me anytime you want.”  -Sora, Kingdom Hearts II

Peace out,

Maverick

Being Against Gay Marriage 101

To this day, I still hear a lot of arguments against gay marriage in this country.  With over 10 states having now made it legal, the fact that there is still such vehement opposition in places boggles the mind.  However, I have heard all the major arguments against it, which I am going to give you in a post here.  Here are the majority of arguments that I have heard against gay marriage (to date).  I shall refute them all individually.

The Bible says that man should not lay with another man, and that gay marriage is wrong.

Have you actually read through Leviticus?  If you wear polyester or eat shell-fish or have long hair and are a guy, then the shut the fuck up.  For real, if you’re going to quote the Buy-bull at me and think that that is a slam-dunk argument against gay marriage, then you are stupider than I thought.

Also, when did the Bible ever say anything about gay marriage?  I remember Jesus saying that divorce is wrong.  You got a lot of issues about that?  No, of course you don’t!  But you think that the Buy-bull(shit) saying that a man laying with another man is proof of it.  By-the-by, it says fuck-all about two women getting together.  This ties in to something I mean to bring up later about how two-faced society is.  But, according to your logic, that means that lesbians should be able to get married.  Right?

Why do people want to change something that is tradition and make it their own?

Those damn gay people and wanting equal rights under the law for marriage.  Assholes.  By the way, what tradition are you talking about?  The tradition of marriage between one man and one woman?  In case there are people out there who didn’t know – marriage has not always been like that.  Hell, even in the Buy-bull(shit), there is a lot of polygamy.  Here are a few examples –

Genesis 4:19 – And Lamech took unto him two wives.
Judges 8:30 -And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
1 Kings 11:2-3 – Solomon … had seven hundred wives … and three hundred concubines.
Deuteronomy 21:15 – If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated….

And these are just a few examples, straight from you Good Book itself!  But the reality is that marriage exists not for some religious reason.  It was started for ceremonial and practical purposes, and it still has that today.  This appeal to tradition is totally dumb.  After all, traditionally, only white, property-owning males could vote.  Should we go back. Traditionally, there was slavery in this country.  Quite a few Founding Fathers had slaves.  Should we go back to that?  Why should we kowtow to this “tradition” and not to the other ones, if the appeal to tradition is going to be what you think makes gay marriage wrong?

If we allow gay marriage, then that will open the floodgates for pedophilia and beastiality too!

I am so fucking tired of this argument.  For real, it’s the stupidest argument ever!  I could tackle this by saying that gay marriage is about two consenting adults wanting to make a binding contract and have all the rights that come with that, whereas children and animals can’t consent, therefore can’t become involved in relationships, therefore we can’t make that legal.  But in the end, that is pointless.  The reason reason why this is stupid is because – we have over 10 states that have legalized gay marriage.  I don’t see NAMBLA rolling out the red carpet or PETA getting all hyped (anyone who watches South Park will get that reference).  For as long as gay relationships have existed and been a part of public discourse, this has been a talking point.  But now, instead of it being “if we allow gays to have sex, then why not allow pedophiles?”, it’s now “if we let gay people marry, why not let pedophiles?”  Grow the fuck up, you fucking morons!

Allowing gays to marry isn’t a right.  It’s a privilege!

This is a rather new argument.  Among the Internet, where religion is not doing particularly well, there is this interesting trend to start quibbling about the meaning of words.  A rather amusing religious troll on YouTube named G-Man does this all the time.  He feels the need to redefine words in order to make his position seem smarter.  It doesn’t work.

The common argument of this position is that if it is a right, then why can it be taken away?  A dumb YouTube comment addressed this position by talking about the Internment of the Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor.  As egregious and constitutionally-terrible as that act was, it has absolutely NO bearing on the argument against gay marriage.  These people are entitled to equal treatment under the law for their unions.  That is not an unreasonable request.  If you want to call it a privilege, then so is your straight marriages.  You want to quibble about definitions all you like, go right ahead.  Meanwhile, me and the grown-ups will be talking.  You keep throwing your temper tantrum.

Why should we be expected to treat gay people fairly?

Straight-up ignorant prejudice, and with a big smile too.  Gotta love some people, right?  Another thing that is being tossed around the zeitgeist these days is that people should have the right to ridicule gay people, if that is what they believe is their religious values.  Let me make this clear – if I see two guys getting attacked by someone, because they say that it is their religious values, I’ll beat whoever is attacking’s head into a wall and when they get mad, I’ll say that it was my religious right to stop them.  I worship Cthulhu, after all.  And he’s WAY cooler than Jesus.

The other part of this is that the people who say this are almost-universally in the camp of – well, I’m a Christian and I get ridiculed for my belief.  So why should I have to be kind to these people I don’t like?  You poor fucking thing.  Another one of these oppressed Christians who those in power in this country go out of their way to please in order to keep the campaign contributions flowing.  I feel SO bad for you.  Can’t you tell?  You only are an overwhelming majority in this country.  It must be so hard.  Fucking crybabies.  That’s what you are.  You get told no one time and now you are screaming oppression.  I would LOVE for some of the Christians to go to Saudi Arabia and see how Christians or women are treated there.  That’s REAL oppression for you, unlike your First World problem bullshit.

Why do gay people need marriage anyway?  Why can’t they just be happy being gay?

You know, I have the same EXACT criticism of straight people.  I have absolutely no interest in getting married.  I see it as a line on a piece of paper.  So why does everyone want it so much?  For some, it’s religious tradition.  I get that.  But still, it seems so dumb.  But, in the end, none of these arguments are the one you are making.

Here’s the real truth.  All of the arguments against gay marriage boil down to one of two things –

1. I don’t want gay people to have the same marriage rights as me because I don’t like them.

or

2. I find gay people icky.  Why can’t they just keep their gayness to themselves?  But not lesbians.  I think they’re hot.

For real, have you ever noticed that they have no qualms about two women fucking, yet it’s two guys that’s an abomination.  There’s a saying – if you jerk off to two women, don’t try to stop their rights.  I hold to that.  Don’t be a hypocrite.

So, if you are against gay marriage, pick your poison.  But remember – we didn’t use to allow interracial marriage, and look at what we think of the people against that now.  Food for thought.

Until next time, a quote,

“I don’t ask that my opinion be made into the law!”  -Bill Maher

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: God’s Not Dead

God's Not DeadI remember when I saw the preview for this movie.  I was enamored.  For one, it has Kevin Sorbo in it.  In case any of you don’t remember his roll in Hercules: The Legendary Journey, here’s a link to some of the “acting” in it.  So yeah, the preview for this movie looked so unbelievably dumb, and let me tell you – the movie did not disappoint.  This was one of the dumbest and most enjoyably terrible Christian propaganda films I have ever seen.  This has been a year with a surprisingly large amount of those movies.  Noah, The Son of God, Heaven’s For Real (one of the most hilarious movies I have ever seen, in how bad it is) and this one.  They’ve all be universally bad, but this one takes the cake.  Let’s get started.

The story of this film is that the good Christian boy, Josh Wheaton (gee, that sounds like that other name…) is getting into college.  He’s all filled with God’s love and on a mission to spread it to the world.  However, he enters a philosophy course, and the man who is the information guide person sees the cross on his neck and warns him of the professor of that class.  First day, the EVIL atheist professor, Rattison (Another name that sure does sound familiar) walks into class and proceeds to start spouting what Christians see as atheist propaganda, a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche – God is dead.  Like most things in this movie, they have NO idea what they are talking about.  Rattison has the students write the quote, for their day’s assignment.  Our good boy Josh can’t do it, thus beginning the confrontational relationship between the two.  It culminates in a debate between them where they debate the validity of God.

So, first things first – on a technical level, everything in this movie is wrong.  The director clearly knew what goes into a film, but not how to make the elements himself.  The shots of this movie are terrible, with awkward cuts and boring scenery.  Not one chance is taken with the cinematography, which would be fine if it were actually good.  This movie has no idea how to light and set up a good shot, and it shows.

Then there is the story.  Oh my god, it’s the worst.  I’ve watched Christian propaganda films before, but they pale in comparison to this.  This movie had not just the main plot with Josh and the Professor.  There were also subplots, much in the same vein as Magnolia.  These subplots come right the hell out of nowhere and try to meet up at the end in a kind of pseudo-Magnolia or Next (if you know your Michael Crichton) esque style.  It doesn’t work.  They all meet up at this AWFUL christian rock thing that is the song from the trailer “God’s Not Dead, He’s Surely Alive.”  Oh, and another thing about the subplots is that they are all REALLY forcing a message about various things that the director believed needed to be shoe-horned in to the film.  And if you cut any of the subplots out of the movie, absolutely nothing would change.  They are that pointless.

The music was 110% forgettable.  For real, this movie didn’t try anything in that department.  Not surprising, given the rather modest $2 million budget.  The song at the end of the film is one of the most hilarious pieces of bad Christian rock that brings to mind a great quote by Hank Hill, “You guys aren’t making Christianity better, you’re just making rock worse!”

But the icing on the cake of this film is the acting.  Josh Wheaton is as boring as plain vanilla ice cream.  For real, this guy is such a stereotypical good-Christian boy that I half-expected there to be wings coming off of him by the end of the film.  Some of the sub-plot characters, including this evil atheist business man who is hassling this old woman are just awesome.  But the best part, the singularly awesome part of this movie is Kevin Sorbo.  Oh my god, it was too much.  I swear, this guy laid the evil on so thick that I kept expecting him to be twirling his goatee by the end of the film.  And that’s another thing – he had an evil Spock goatee!  I love it!  This guy was so over-the-top that I never stopped enjoying his performance.  Seeing Sorbo try and pimp the movie out on Fox News made it that much better.

Something I want to mention is how unbelievably insulting it is that they misuse Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote “God is Dead.”  He wasn’t talking about a literal God and saying that he was literally dead.  Nietzsche was saying that religion’s role in the world was coming to an end.  But I forget how stupid the audience for this movie is.  Expecting them to get a philosophical concept, or portray it right in this movie, is asking too much.

This movie is amazing.  Not only does this film go out of the way to beat you over the head with its message, in a way that’s worse than Avatar, but it even closes out with a bunch of recent stories in the news about how various Christian groups have argued that their First Amendment rights have been infringed upon.  Just in case you missed how evil us atheists are.  There was absolutely NOTHING subtle in this movie.  Avatar may have beat us over the head with a 2X4 with it’s message.  This movie is a jack-hammer with a wrecking ball, in case you don’t get it.  Oh, and the movie ends with a the rom-com cliche of someone going to profess their love to someone.  Only, instead of it being a person, it’s Jesus.  I’ll give you five guesses who it is.

I have to give this movie two different final verdicts.  On the one hand, it’s so awful that it should be looked down upon, but on the other, I had so much fun watching it!  It was a movie that was made to tell the stereotypical audience exactly what they want to hear, so if you are in that crowd, I guess you’ll find what you want.  For the rest of it, enjoy how stupid it is.

Final Verdict –

Film Quality
2 out of 10

Enjoyment
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

You Are Nothing But a Click-Bait Machine (A Response to Salon Magazine)

I’ve talked at length about the new professional victim feminists who are inhabiting Tumblr and Twitter.  Since none of them seem to go out into the real world especially much (because that would involve being around men, who we all know are rape-supporting misogynists, right?), the Internet is all they have going for them.  As we have seen with the Nightline story about the “Block Bot” (you out there, Oolon?) and the fact that the EA is consulting the fake-gamer Anita Sarkeesian about the Mirror’s Edge sequel, there are all-too-many groups who are willing to kowtow to these people.  One such is the magazine, Salon.

In response to the ridiculous BS that followed with the episode of Suey Park and The Colbert Report and the #CancelColbert trend, the brilliant comedian Patton Oswalt decided to do a little test on Twitter.  He released a bunch of Tweets apologizing for things that he never said.  He was deliberately trolling the “social justice” feminist types who get so easily offended and choose to make their opinions very vocal.  When they don’t have something real to get outraged by, they are more than happy to paint a picture of the very worst about someone in their minds.  Which is precisely what happened with Patton Oswalt.  Since there were no real Tweets that he was apologizing for, and they were outraged over nothing, they decided to weave their outrage out of whole cloth.

Since Oswalt made good sport of the easily-butthurt and reactionary social justice, it was only a matter of time until Salon magazine got on the butthurt gravy-train.  A writer named Miles Klees decided that he was going to go on in a REALLY long post about how he was unfollowing Oswalt and why the rest of us are too.  Apparently, making fun of the reactionary social-justice idiots by trolling their insecurities is a step too far for Klees.  And Salon magazine supports him!

We live in an interesting age of media.  Good journalism that focuses not on bringing us “both sides” of a story, but lots of sides with various players is forfeit, replaced with talking heads who know that nobody who they have to care about is going to rebuff them of their bullshit.  They have insanely-exaggerated headlines that they know will get people’s attention.  These headlines have one purpose – click-bait.  See, journalism is eschewed so that the publication can get more revenue.  Because good journalism has no place in today’s society.  After all, why talk about something important when we can talk about how Patton Oswalt isn’t in favor of ending the “rape culture” of comedy that they believe exists.  Talking about real stuff would just be too hard.  That would require real research!

Salon is no better.  For real, this entire sad episode just shows how pathetic this publication is.  What is journalism in this country coming to?  Is this all that we can talk about?  Do these people have fuck-all ethical integrity?  What is the cost of one’s dignity nowadays?  If one can measure click and ad revenue, then we could probably figure it out.  What’s more, it is don’t nothing but harm for the future of news in this country.  This is unacceptable!  This type of pandering just makes the stereotype bigger that the people of this country are stupid and only capable of caring about the most meaningless things in life.  Oswalt trolled them for the intended purpose of getting them to get angry at nothing, to prove a point about how these people don’t care about the truth.  You validated this belief by making yourself out to be the moral high-ground of a joke.

The state of journalism in this country is kind of insane.  It’s all just boiled down to who can get the most clicks.  Click-bait is everything.  Every single news outlet does it.  The reason is simple – because there is money to be made.  All of these groups are nothing but corporate scum who only care about the money.  They will sell their dignity to whoever is willing to buy it, at dollars per click.  After all, what’s the point if there is no money in it?

The news used to be a public service.  They used to report on what they believed was important for the public to know.  Now, it’s a rogue’s gallery of who can whore themselves out faster.  Salon magazine is no exception.  This whole pathetic episode with Patton Oswalt has proven this.  I hope that someone there feels at least a little bit ashamed.

Until next time, a quote,

“Stupid is as stupid does.”  -Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump

Peace out,

Maverick