2017 Year in Review

I don’t honestly know what to say about this year.  It’s been probably the most unremarkable year I’ve ever had.  At least for a long time.  Nothing really major happened.  I was kind of just treading water until this next year came up.  Since I’ve taken on the tradition of doing these posts after college, I figure I have to find something interesting to take on with it.  And I think I may have my angle.  But it is going to bore a lot of you to tears.  Why?  Because I am going to be talking about a very adult problem that all people who work in a professional environment have to deal with, and the lessons that I learned from that experience.  As I think about it now, more is coming to me, so let’s get down to it.  Let’s talk about this year.

Right out of the gate I started this year on a very dour note.  Coming back from Christmas, I had a bitter taste in my mouth.  Why?  Because I was stuck having been the source of a family hero worship session on Christmas Eve following me doing something nice for my aunt.  Things kept getting different, because the aunt friended me on Facebook, and as anyone can tell you, who I am online and who I am in person are two very different people.  Only one person has seen the part of me that virtually no one else sees.  It is someone whose relationship I respect and I nearly lost.

Let me set the scene for you.  A few months later, my dear friend and I are out drinking.  It was a rough day and she said that we should go out drinking.  Of course, for me it was just a single drink and some food, while she was downing Long Island ice teas like it was no one’s business.  She got white girl wasted.  What followed was an experience that was over two hours long and I can’t get into specifics about.  See, I made a promise that I would never talk about it again, and I am a man of my word.  Let no one say otherwise.  I’m bringing it up just to set the stage for you.  Suffice it to say, some things happened, some of which I ended up telling her and some things I am keeping all to myself because what people don’t know can’t hurt them.  Especially now that she is married.

Anyway, something to know about me is that I have a bad habit of just running my mouth in casual situations without thinking too much.  The whole night between my friend and I was something of a sour spot, and I said just the wrong thing at just the wrong time.  What’s more, since I can’t help but exacerbate a problem, I decided to try and confront the issue.  What a terrible, terrible move.  She lost it on me and things between us died pretty hard for a while.  Then one afternoon I get a call when I’m at home and she lays out what she thinks our future is as friends.  I nearly watched my friendship with her die because I couldn’t think before I speak in this instance.  It took me damn-near begging for another shot.  There were stipulations.  Ones that I have tried my best to keep to, though I do still catch myself slipping every now and again on some of them.  However, when it comes to the biggest stipulation – that we would NEVER speak of that night again, I have kept to that one religiously.  I’m never going to speak of it again.

Time passes, our friendship is saved and things are okay.  Then she joins the Navy officially and is heading off to boot camp and then A school, followed by C school.  I kept diligent track of things.  While she was gone, I wrote her letters.  As soon as I had her address at basic, I wrote her every week.  When she got to A school, and we were talking again on video chat or via text, I still wrote letters.  It was somewhat soothing.  But when she left, it was the loneliest I have ever been.  Ever.  There hasn’t been a period of time that I felt more cut off than I did when she was gone.

One thing that happened around the same time as my friend and I’s relationship falling apart was that I decided to reach out to a vast plethora of people and write messages to them apologizing for wrong-doings.  It was kind of part of a grander design I have for things in my life and my final act.  But it felt like the right thing to do.  Virtually no one replied.  That’s totally fine.  I get it completely.  Pretty much everyone I wrote to hates me in one way or another.  Still, was at least hoping I’d get a few more responses.  Not to fix things, but at least to bury the hatchet.  I don’t know.

There was one person I reached out to that I think made things worse.  It was someone who I had told something to after a truth about me got out that I figured would get back to her eventually, and I wanted her to hear it directly from me instead of from other people.  But I lied to her about it.  Said it was one thing and it was something else.  I decided that I had to come completely clean.  Figure I made things worse.  There is so much distance between us.  Even now.  Maybe if I had told her everything when I was much younger.  I don’t know.  Wish I did.

However, there was a plot twist.  See, another friend of mine wanted to come up to my state again and asked if she could stay with me.  As luck would have it, at my new apartment (I moved this year.  The new places is 1000X nicer than my last shit-hole apartment) there is a guest bedroom and it just so happens to have a bed in it.  I bought covers and everything for if anyone ever needs it.  I get the feeling she is the one and only person who will ever use it.  As in ever.  A couple of people I can dream of using it, but that’s all it is – a dream.

The first couple weeks that we spent together were legit awesome.  I had so much fun with her.  It was just like old times, and since I am a pretty easy person to live with, we had no problems there.  Hell, I made dinner for us and it was pretty nice.  We went on adventures and I felt like things were so fun.  Made for a pretty nice summer.  Since my Navy girly-mate was gone, this was a good distraction.  As is want to happen, something went wrong.

See, when the girly-mate who was staying with me left, she had been in a relationship that was very long and it hadn’t ended well.  Coming back up here, she found things with that person picking up.  So she ended up staying over at his place a lot.  More and more as time went on.  What’s more, the two of us would make plans, only for them to get totally crushed because she was over at her ex’s, pining for him.  It made me more than a little pissed.  But after a while, I was done with the roommate situation we had going.  It had gone on for months, and since she was never here anyway, I was ready for her to be out.

Eventually she did go back home to the states, and here I am feeling very lonely again.  I was lonely before she left, really.  Because we didn’t have time together.  We had time we were in the same house, and time she was with her ex, and that time was virtually all one-sided against me.  I had no desire for us to be a thing, but I was hoping for us to at least be roomies who could hang out.  There were a few things I was looking forward to, but nope.  It all just died.  I didn’t even get to see her off.  It sucked.

More time alone into the fall, until my Navy girly-mate got back in touch when she got into A school.  Listening to her talk about all the amazing things she was learning to do in school made me more than a little jealous.  I felt like my life was nothing but a giant waste.  Here I am doing absolutely nothing of any real value, while she is learning skills that are beyond impressive.  For those who may ask, I wish I could have gone down the career path she had.  But after my head injury, any of that was out.  Believe it or not but before I busted my skull open, I had thought about it.  Oh well.  One can dream.

Here’s where I get to the adult thing I learned about a professional environment.  See, there was a shakeup of management and the best thing to happen to my department happened – Brent.  He is the single greatest manager I ever had.  He gave feedback and was a genuinely good leader.  He encouraged silly behavior, but still had high standards.  He gave us tools to help unwind.  This man became the best thing to happen to me at work.  I was genuinely feeling good for his time there.  It’s where I learned about office politics in a way I hadn’t before.  I wrapped this guy around my finger so hard.  Got an amazing letter of recommendation out of him.

There was one thing I had said to my girly-mate before she left for school – that if I was still in that office by the time she got home, something had gone horribly wrong.  I don’t honestly know how many interviews I had up til now.  So very many.  Something went horribly wrong.  All that work, and I am still there.  Still getting yelled at on the fucking phone all day by deadbeat parents who can’t deal with their burden.  I hate it.  Makes my Navy girly-mate telling me about all the amazing things she is a part of hurt that much more.  My life is such an abject waste.

Navy friend returns, and it was like she never left in a lot of ways.  But she came back a different person.  I’d like to think I did a little growing up myself, but I know that that isn’t the case.  Since interviewing to get out of the dungeon I am trapped in hasn’t worked, I decided to try and be more clever about it and try and escape by transferring to a different department.  That might have worked, except my luck still is so profoundly bad.

Which brings me to now.  All this time later, and I’m really nowhere.  I’m exactly where I started out at this time last year.  Nothing has really changed, and I feel so disappointed in that.  My life sucks, and there’s no escape.  Everyone is doing cooler things than me.  I feel like a waste of skin that no one would miss if I died tomorrow.  Anyway, off to bed I go, to greet the new year fast asleep.  Whatever.  I don’t get invited to New Year’s parties.  Never have, never will.  That would imply people wants to invite me.  That just isn’t true.

Until next time, a quote,

“Being by myself.  I’m afraid I’ll end up alone.” – Ellie, The Last of Us

Peace out,

Maverick

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Lucien’s Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

What garbage.  What absolute, unmitigated trash.  I have never hated a film as much as I hate this one.  I found Rogue One boring.  I thought The Force Awakens was stupid and derivative.  But this?  This movie is the death knell of Star Wars!  I hate this film more than I will ANY of the prequels.  I can enjoy those on some level of being so bad they can occasionally be funny.  And Episode III was at least TRYING to be good.  This?  This was every horrible cliche about modern film-making I have ever seen.  It took all of the things that were bad about The Force Awakens and cranks them up to 11, while adding NOTHING good.  Not one fucking thing.  I am DONE with this franchise.  Just done.  Gonna spoil the fuck out of this movie, because I need to rage.  Let’s get started.

This entire movie was basically side-plots.  There was NO central plot in the entire fucking thing.  None.  Even at the end, it felt like nothing happened.  So, we have Rey the Mary Sue giving Luke back his lightsaber (the film picks up literal seconds from where the previous film left off), and him taking it and literally throwing it over his shoulder.  Apparently Luke became the biggest curmudgeon in the universe between films.  So, all of that effort he took give clues to find him, as if he was meaning to be found?  Yeah, it’s never addressed.  Just like a lot of loose plot threads from the previous film.

Plot threads like – who Rey’s parents are.  It was a big plot point that was teased and everyone wanted an answer to.  Yeah, that’s out.  Oh, and what about the Knights of Ren?  Who were they?  Nope!  That never comes up.  What about Snoke?  What is his deal?  How did he end up meeting Darth Angst?  Oh, this film goes out of its way to not care about this character that they make into the big bad villain.  Not even a little concern.

And that’s just the start of how stupid this movie is.  We have some new characters!  Like Rose!  She’s overweight, and Asian.  That’s it.  Her entire personality is in those two points.  This woman has no personality.  Neither does Finn.  Neither does Rey.  Darth Angst gets himself a little more of a personality, but it isn’t enough.  This movie has a bad habit of believing that if we give these people character traits outside of their skin color or gender, then we suddenly wouldn’t be able to relate to them.  Can’t have that!  Speaking of, we have a purple-haired Tumblrina in this film!  She’s another character who is boring.  Except this woman is so frustratingly stupid.  She makes horrible decisions all over the film.  And when Po RIGHTFULLY calls her on that, Leia decides to literally shoot him in the back.  Because woman power!  Who cares that this stupid bitch is making horrible decisions that are getting a TON of people killed!  She’s a woman, so naturally she’s right.

Let’s talk about Leia for a minute.  I don’t get how people in the theater weren’t laughing so fucking hard with me when I saw the scene where she is thrown out into space, and yet somehow turns into Mary fucking Poppins and flies back into the ship.  The singles stupidest thing I have ever seen.  Nowhere, in any Star Wars material, has it been shown that you can do that.  That the Force can magically make you immune from the effects of being sucked out into the vacuum of space.  It’s retarded with a capital R.

Oh, but don’t think she’s the only character this film decides to shit on.  Remember Luke?  Remember his character from the original films?  Remember how he came from a rather boring kid on Tattoine, to having his faith in what he was told by people to the test and losing a hand for his trouble, only to grow from the experience and become a true Jedi Knight like his father before him?  Yeah, this film decided to throw all of that out the fucking window and turn him into a curmudgeon who made a really stupid decision to attempt to murder a fucking child all because he saw a vision that told him he might be evil.  Remember how far he went to bring his father back to the light side because he could see there was the potential for good in him?  This film wants me to believe that he would just decide that trying to save the child of his best friend and sister is not worth it because of a vision of what might be.  That’s fucking stupid!

But he isn’t the last of the original cast that this film decided to fuck over.  Yoda’s back!  Hey, remember how Yoda was a wise-cracking hermit who put on airs of being a crazy swamp man, until Luke realized who he is, and then his attitude changed and he became a very serious mentor?  Yeah, well I guess this film decided to forget that, because now he’s a wise-cracking idiot here.  All the stoic wisdom?  Nope!  This film has the same habit that most of Marvel’s latest films do in that every time there is a serious moment happening, they have humor that is cringe-worthy at best and just makes me roll my eyes the rest of the time.

Then we got the cute little animal helpers!  Because if this film can’t have interesting characters, it can be cute.  That’s totally how that works, right?  And we get to see Luke Curmudgeon milk a space cow.  Because why the fuck not?!

Oh, and Superman Leia isn’t the only time this film decided to just spit in the face of all reality.  Like at the very beginning we have these Resistance…fuck it, I’m just calling the Rebel, because that’s what they fucking are…bombers going after Imperial (they aren’t the First Order.  That’s stupid) ships and they open up the bottom of their ships to drop payloads like they are in fucking World War II fighters.  Are you kidding me?!  Did Rian Johnson just forget what movie he was making and wanted to make a scene from a The Sky Crawlers with bombs falling out of the bottom of these fighters?!  Ugh!

Let’s talk about Rey.  She’s back!  And she’s just as bland, boring, and completely uninteresting.  Her complete lack of a character is even more noticeable here, because at no point do I ever believe that she’s being pushed to her limit.  Oh, and she also just happens to be better at the Force in every way than Luke Skywalker.  That’s right, this character who has only known about the force for two weeks (at most!  This film picks up seconds after where the last film left off and it had her knowing about the Force for a day or two) is suddenly so good at the Force that she is better than her teacher.  Was there a scene where she gets to see the true power of the Force, as Luke had when Yoda moved the X-Wing out of the swamp?  Nope.  She’s pretty much moving mountains after a couple scenes because if she isn’t a complete Mary Sue then how can the Tumblrinas like her?

Finn served no purpose in this film.  You could cut his entire story from it and NOTHING would change.  Nothing.  Not one fucking thing.  His arc is being teamed up with Asian woman.  Oh, and killing off the female stormtrooper who was just as pointless and stupid as she was in the last film.

Then we have Luke Skywalker, who is supposed to be this great hero who has become a Jedi Master, being killed off in the stupidest way ever!  It should have been Leia they killed off in this movie.  And not just because Carrie Fisher is dead, although there is that.  But also because she did nothing to move the story along.  Except shoot Po in the back when he makes a very valid point that the Tumblrina can’t command and is doing nothing but getting people killed.

I hate this movie.  I am done with this franchise.  Thankfully, I am not alone.  The person who dragged me to see this with him, who loved The Force Awakens and is a die-hard fan of the franchise, hated this movie more than I did.  Now that I know what kind of director Rian Johnson is, I know that I get to ignore the trilogy he is helming.  The ONLY nice thing I can say about this film is that the cinematography was pretty great.  That’s it.  Fuck this movie.  Fuck this franchise.  Star Wars should have been left to die 30 years ago.  Thanks to Disney we’re never going to see the ACTUAL Star Wars story we wanted to see – 1313.

Final Verdict
4 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

We’re Arguing About Santa Now… (A response to Aisha Harris)

Just today, I posted something on my Facebook page about how it is two days until Christmas and the right of this country didn’t have some stupid-ass “War on Christmas” going.  I found this rather amusing.  Why?  Because the war on Christmas is stupid and every year some conservative retard talked about it, the funnier it became to me.  But now I have an idiot on the left who decided to have a retarded opinion about Christmas.  Because why not?  The left is taking up all the battleground points of the right now that a Republican tool (Obama was a corporate-left tool, make no mistake) is in the White House.  Today we have Aisha Harris who apparently has a book coming out about this and in Slate had an excerpt be read to make her opinion be known – that a fictional character needs to not be white anymore.  Here’s a link to an article that features the excerpt in it.  Let’s talk about it.

The excerpt begins by saying that this fictional character is all over society, and society has been exposed to him for as long as Aisha has been alive.  Then she is just baffled when the fictional character has skin color the same as hers in some representation in her own household, and how this just shocked her tiny little brain.  So she asks her father what the fictional character actually looks like.  The father has some stupid answer about how the fictional character magically changes color in each house.  That’s dumb.

Ms. Harris chooses to see things differently.  And apparently this idiot wrote a book about it.  An entire book about this one thing.  Unbelievable.  Her view is that the fictional character needs to be her skin color, because in her mind, the only way people can see themselves in a positive light with their own skin color is to have fictional characters that go with it.  Because who cares about shared humanity or a belief in the shared human condition going deeper than skin color?  Fuck that noise!  We have to have social justice approved fictional character!

Going on, she seems very perturbed that the fictional character is accepted by the society at large to be this way.  In her mind, the only way children can relate to the fictional character is if he has their same skin color.  Because that’s not racist at all.  Nope, fuck that shared humanity bullshit!  The white man doesn’t understand thing one about the black one.  And vice-versa.  We need this fictional character to be better-adapted for the other ethnicities.

Then it takes a hard turn to the absurd.  Let’s have the fictional character be a penguin!  I laughed so fucking hard when I heard that.  Yes, because a penguin is going to be much more relatable.  We can totally sell a fictional character as a bird instead of as a person who is overweight and pleasant who gives off an air of kindness and cheer.  Let’s make it a bird!

Which brings her back into the racism.  Because like she said before, because the fictional character isn’t her skin color, she couldn’t relate to it growing up.  A tacit admission that it’s only when characters from the culture at large are the same color as hers that she can relate to or empathize with them.  Yeah, that’s not racist at all.  Not even a little.  You know, in that horribly insulting and virulently racist sort of way.  I can’t listen to anymore of this stupid shit.  It’s ridiculous.

You know why I have continually been calling Santa a fictional character?  Because he fucking is!  He isn’t real!  You know what one of my favorite versions of the character is?  One from Recess, voiced by the amazing James Earle Jones and was a black dude.  But at the end of the day, just like Jesus, Santa isn’t fucking real!  How about, instead of people getting their fucking panties in a bunch because of a fictional character, we actually focus on a real issue.  This woman has written a book about this.  An actual book!  That it is assumed will be read by people for the purposes of enjoyment or to learn something.

As for me, if I had to pick a version of Santa, here’s one I would go with –

Let me share a bed with these versions of Santa for a while.  We’re all talking about a character that isn’t real anyway, so why the fuck not?  By the way, let’s also assume that they are over the age of consent because I don’t want this to become weird.  Or at least the ones from the center moving left.

Until next time, a quote,

“You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend.” – Richard Jeni

Peace out,

Maverick

Really Good Bad Advice: Holiday Edition

Christmas is upon us, and as is the case every holiday season, there is some idiot parent who has a stupid question about something which really isn’t their business.  It amazes me how people who have no business in the lives of someone else have to dictate to them how they need to live.  Got a friend with this issue.  She doesn’t celebrate the holidays for personal reasons, but her new husband’s family pushed her to the point that she agreed to host the occasion at her house.  I know that isn’t easy for her, but I respect her for doing her best to keep the peace with the in-laws.  But the truth is that they have no reason to push someone who doesn’t want to participate so much.  If they don’t like it, then they can deal with it.  Maybe it’s because I am an abrasive asshole, but I don’t like being told what to do or being pressured into things by people who have no fucking right to do so.

Speaking of, here’s a column where someone had the brilliant idea of sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.  Let’s get to it.

Dear columnist that I hope cares more about this issue than the guy writing this post,

Our son and his girlfriend are approaching engagement. They live in the same city we live in.

The subject came up as to allocating holidays between their respective families. My husband and I are still together after 35 years. Her parents are divorced. Her mother lives within driving distance of us, and her father lives on the opposite coast.

We have always felt that the holidays should be allocated 50-50; every other year to his parents and half to her parents … and that she and they would need to decide how to allocate her half.

Unfortunately, she sees it differently.

We don’t want this to cause any sort of a rift between us and her, or our future in-laws, but we don’t exactly know how to handle it without just giving in. Giving in would leave us feeling as though we’re being punished for staying married (which at times we had to do the HARD WORK to accomplish).

We LOVE our son’s girlfriend and are very much in favor of their relationship.

Is there any kind of normal expectation in today’s divorce-rich society? We’d really like to know what is considered reasonable in this situation.

– Devoted in Delaware

Here’s an idea – why don’t you mind your own fucking business?  It’s their lives, the son and his girlfriend.  If they get married, they will have to decide how they want to do things.  If that bothers you so much, then I guess you get to do the adult thing and suck it the fuck up.

I just love how this person is able to constantly make jabs at the fact that this girl’s parents are divorced and how they are still together, under the auspices of trying to get advice.  The truth is most of this was them jerking off their own marriage, because that’s so fucking important, right?  Judgmental assholes who are hiding that beneath them already knowing the answer to their question before they asked it.  It’s none of their business.  I get that this might put them out a bit, and that might suck a little, but part of having kids and them getting married is that you have to adapt.  I guess no one informed this moral busy-body that.

There are also the little jabs at this girl for saying you are putting in all the hard work and making a point that you aren’t.  Which you then have to come in and say that you are not at all doing that by putting that you LOVE her in all-caps.  Because that totally negates you making jabs at her as a person, right?  Fucking bitch.  This entire question was them just wanting to be mad that life may have to change for them, and a chance to show off their 35 year marriage, under the banner of a question being asked.  They already know the answer.

To anyone who thinks I’m being a little harsh here and who has kids of their own, I got news for you – you may one day be in the same situation.  This woman doesn’t care AT ALL about the other family and this girl’s connection to her family.  It’s all about their problems.  Yeah, but they LOVE her.  It’s in all-caps, so it must be true.  How about you suck it up and deal with it?  You know, like a grown-up.  After 35 years of marriage, I would have thought you’d get that part.

Until next time, a quote,

“There are people who make a hobby out of telling others what they can do and can’t do.  I’ve learnt not to listen to those people.” – Omar Samra

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 3

Ugh.  I don’t know what it is with game creators and stories with player choice.  For whatever reason, it seems that the vast majority of devs who make them find it difficult to end them in a way that reflects player choice.  But I don’t think that was the problem here.  I think the problem with ending this particular game is the fact that it has a continuity that it has to fit into, because it’s a prequel to another game.  And this game gave you the ability to completely break that continuity if you so chose.  Which I did.  I’m going insanely into spoilers, just a head’s-up.  If you don’t like that, get out now.  This episode had other problems too, which I am going to get into.  Let’s talk about it.

Here is a big issue – the first two acts of this game are done with such a mastery that it really blows my mind.  No joke, I was on the edge of my seat and feeling the feels in a big way.  It goes along with the narrative that it was so perfectly crafting.  Which makes the third act of this game and how far it dies that much more frustrating.  But my frustration with the third act comes from other places as well.

This is where I get into spoilers.  So anyone who doesn’t like that is advised to leave now.  For starters, what is the deal with the confrontation with Eliot?  That was bad!  Some of the worst writing I’ve ever seen.  It comes right the fuck out of nowhere!  So I’m just supposed to believe that he is secretly a crazy stalker who has a domestic violence complex when all the events up to now have told me he’s the sad friendzoned guy, based on the choices I made?  That makes no damn sense.  It was conflict needlessly thrown in there to add tension.  Or maybe to justify him not being in the game that follows this one.  I don’t know.  But that entire scene annoyed me to no end.

Next, why was the relationship I was cultivating with Rachel never acknowledged in the end?  That bugged me.  The previous game had Rachel and Chloe making out by my choices.  Why does it not have any amount of emotional intimacy between them.  It really doesn’t.  You could easily make the argument that they are just good friends based on how their interactions go.  Why?  This episodes goes out of its way to not say anything definitive about how their relationship is.  I know why – because of continuity.

And now we finally get into my biggest gripe with this episode – keeping the continuity.  See, here’s the thing: I broke that.  I broke the continuity of the game that follows it pretty damn hard.  With the choices I made, after a genuinely touching scene of David trying to reach out to Chloe, I had her finally choosing to make peace with him and set up a legitimate relationship for the family.  So they were on the path to becoming a real family, minus all the animosity.  Thus helping to set up a psychological balance with Chloe to help her heal.  Next, I put Nathan on the path to becoming a better person.  He had a real friend who was kind to him and treating him like he wasn’t a piece of shit.  That would set him on the path of becoming a better person and not needing Mr. Jefferson for his twisted fantasies.  Lastly, at the very end, I lied to Rachel about what transpired and the truth about her father being a real piece of shit.  That led her to having a very good relationship with her family that wouldn’t have had her and Chloe desperately looking to escape still.  Not to mention, I had set up in the previous episode that they would be heading to New York and not LA.  Since she wouldn’t have been self-destructive, there would be no reason for Rachel to be in Mr. Jefferson’s Dark Room.  Not to mention, since I had built up the relationship with her and Chloe so strongly (at least I thought I had), she’d have no reason for fooling around with Frank.  Unless she decided to cheat on her.

Do you see the problem?  The developers decided that it was better to keep the continuity intact than to allow player choice to dictate how the game goes.  Because, as I said, they had to keep to the continuity.  That’s bullshit!  If you are going to market a game as having player choice, respect their agency.  Yeah, I retconned the lore of the game that chronologically follows this one.  So what?  The original game, ironically enough, is an iron ball around the ankle of this one.  And that is unfortunate.

What’s even more ironic is that there is such an easy way around this!  Just have the continuity errors be Max in the future changing the past.  One of the bullshit endings to the game has it where Max goes back in time and lets Chloe die, ostensibly stopping all of the rest of the plot from happening.  The idea is that if Chloe had died, Max would never have gotten her powers, and none of the events that followed would have happened.  Even though, Max already fucking did that when she went back in time further than the events of the story and told David about Mr. Jefferson’s fucking Dark Room, which should have caused the same result!  Ugh!  I still hate the ending to the original game.  So yeah, if the idea was to stop the events of what followed after Max saw Chloe die, then anything she would do back in time before then to stop the events should work.  In other words, just have a bit where you see Max in Seattle having gone really far back and changing the timeline.  Then you can fuck around wherever you like.  A game with time travel allows for that.  Or have it be an alternate timeline Max created in time travel.  There are plenty of easy ways for this to work, and it doesn’t.

So, do I hate this episode?  I hate the final act, but just like the one that came before, everything leading up to that was pretty great stuff.  I guess you can make your own judgements on it from there.

Final Verdict
First two acts: 8 out of 10

Last act: 3 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2018

2017 was a pretty so-so year in terms of gaming.  It had a very strong opening, with two games that captured my heart pretty strong – Persona 5 and Horizon: Zero Dawn.  Both games were masterful works.  While the second has some flaws that hold it back from true greatness, the former is a milestone in its genre for other games in the JRPG vein to measure themselves up to.  It is amazing.  We also had a prequel to my favorite game of 2015, and while I have been very skeptical, Life is Strange: Before the Storm has been a fascinating take on a video game soap opera.  This genre may have some potential, so long as the writing is good and the characters are interesting.

But now we come to the upcoming year.  Next year promises some amazing things.  And the really nice thing is that almost everything I am stoked for next year isn’t a sequel.  There is a remake and a reboot, but the rest is brand new IPs.  That’s really nice.  Let’s get into this.

10. BioMutant
This game has me both intrigued and apprehensive.  See, the premise looks engaging.  A game set in a fantasy world where it mixes furry creatures, RPG elements, mech combat, gunplay, sword combat, and potential other abilities.  This concept intrigues.  I saw this gameplay demo that admittedly has me a little apprehensive.  The combat in this game looks like there is the risk that it could get really repetitive, but maybe that was just because it sticks you in what is meant to be the intro level.  From the devs behind Just Cause, I see the potential for greatness and that has me paying attention.  We’ll see what it becomes.

9. Left Alive
Speaking of mech combat, let’s talk about this game.  Set in a near future Eastern Europe, the concept behind this game has me interested, to say the least.  A game that combines stealth-action gameplay reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid 5 and mech combat, this idea has a lot of potential.  I say potential because there isn’t a whole lot known about this game thus far.  It was just announced and is coming out next year.  No gameplay breakdowns, nothing.  Just an idea, some brief gameplay bits, and a cool opening hinting at a war in Eastern Europe that has gone out of control.  We shall see what this inevitably becomes.

8. Sky
It kills me that a game made by my favorite Indie gaming company is so low on this list.  It really does.  But so much of what I’m hearing about it is conflicting me so much.  For starters, the release said that this game was only coming out for iPad and Apple TV, two things I don’t have an never will own.  Then I saw some stories in the news about how it is coming to other platforms but is a timed-exclusive to that one.  Okay.  So when will it come to others.  Then I’m hearing that this game may have some kind of DRM thing going on.  Everything the creator says is about the social interaction.  Okay.  Lastly, they are marketing this game as “free-to-start.”  Um, what?  Didn’t Nintendo try this and have it blow up in their face?  There are a lot of reasons to feel apprehensive, and I most definitely am, but it still looks so cool!  The visuals, the sound design, it’s all on point in such a fantastic way.  I want to like it, and I will see what it is and give it a chance, but damn am I apprehensive here.

7. Kingdom Hearts III
Another game that it just depresses me how low it is on this list.  But Square Enix definitely had that coming.  This game is so late to the fucking party.  It’s not even funny how late this game is.  This game is over 10 years late.  That’s how long it has been since we’ve had an entry in this franchise.  Maybe, if it had come in sooner, Leonard Nimoy would have been able to reprise his role as Xehanort.  But no!  They had to fuck around on a bunch of add-on games and things like II.8 (a game that kind of pissed me off, since it wasn’t even a complete game), we are just now getting to see trailers for it.  Still in Japanese.  That being said, I am excited.  We see that there are Pixar worlds, which has had me giddy for a while.  I am still worried they will put Marvel and Star Wars worlds in there (please don’t!  For the love of Groj, please don’t!), but seeing our characters in a world based on Toy Story puts a warm feeling in my heart.  Plus, the combat looks so much better.  And we get mechs!  Lots of reasons to be excited.  Now we just need an English trailer and an official release date.

6. God of War
This is a game that I want to get really insanely hyped about, but there are some things holding me back.  For starters, as cool as it is to have Kratos killing Norse mythology, how did he get there?  Last we saw of him was a blood smear trailing off Mt Olympus after he had effectively destroyed the world.  How does this work?  Next up is the kid.  It’s clearly not his by blood.  So what’s the deal?  Kratos seems really eager to fuck up Norse mythology as well.  Why?  This game has a lot of unanswered questions, and I just hope that it doesn’t cop out with them in some bullshit way that has me sitting there going, “really?”  That being said, the visuals look amazing, and the gameplay looks fun as well.  They are marketing the game as all being done in one continuous shot, which is a bold claim.  I am also admittedly a little bummed about the change in voice actor for Kratos.  But we’ll see what it is and judge it then.

5. Ghost of Tsushima
The first game I bought for my PS4 was inFAMOUS: Second Son.  The game was fun.  The subplots were a little boring, save for the tagging.  That was legit fun.  But the game was a fun open world experience with gorgeous visuals and fun characters.  Now Sucker Punch studios is back at it, with a game set in feudal Japan about a nameless samurai who is after revenge from a Mongol who destroyed his village.  Set in an actual historical setting, this game looks really interesting.  I am still looking to see what the gameplay is like, but it’s clear there is a lot of passion here.  We’ll see what it becomes.

4. Vampyr
Ever since Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, something I have noticed is that there hasn’t been a good vampire game in a long time.  But then I heard tell of an open world game where you play as a vampire and have to make moral decisions.  The concept intrigued me, but once I saw the actual gameplay, I was hooked.  Victorian London, playing as a creature of the night who has to use his talents as a vampire to help stop an epidemic of monsters in the city.  This has so much going for it.  The combat of the game looks to be the biggest short-coming of what I have seen so far, but I am reserving judgement until I get my hands on it.  Let’s hope this is an actually engaging game about London.  Last time we got a really boring game in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, or as I told my ex the other day Grand Theft Carriage with Batman’s grapple gun.  This game has creepy powers, moral decisions, and a beautiful aesthetic.  What more could a guy ask for?

3. Shadow of the Colossus
From Software has decided to take a crack at remaking one of the greatest games of all time.  Another one of these games where I am very excited, but there are these doubts nipping away at me.  What doubts, you ask?  I see over and over about how this game looks 1000X better than the original, and that surely does seem to be true.  But there is something I am desperately hoping this remake does – fixes some of the gameplay issues of the original.  The original game has not aged well in respect to gameplay.  The HD remake had some serious flaws that showed the game’s age in a big way.  I am genuinely hoping that we can have some of those remedied.  That being said, this looks amazing, and the kid inside me who played and loved the original all those years ago is super excited right now.

2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
The first thing I notice about this game is how the gameplay looks so fun.  Having clearly taken a lot of cues from the Arkham games, this game is still going out of its way to be all its own.  For starters, we have a new villain!  I’ve never seen Mr Negative in a video game before.  There are bits showing other villains making the cut.  I am hoping we get to see some of the villains that we don’t see in other media.  Ones like Jack O’ Lantern, or Beetle, or Kraven the Hunter.  So much potential, and it’s clear that the creators of this game have so much passion for it.  Not tying in to any films or other properties associated with Marvel films, this game is all its own, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

And the most anticipated game of 2018 is…

1. Detroit: Become Human
This is it.  We finally are getting to see David Cage’s latest project.  This game has recently come under fire for a trailer where you see a girl potentially getting beaten by her father.  Apparently the moral busy-bodies are mad that a game is showing something that happens in real life.  More idiots who want to ignore all the very good evidence that video games do not cause real-life violence.  But hey, what do I know?  Oh, that’s right – that this game looks amazing!  Tank controls, sure, but so much solving of puzzles, making decisions, living with the consequences, and shaping a narrative of a world where robots exist and are treated as slaves, with multiple characters to experience the story through.  I am so stoked for this, and I don’t have to wait much longer.

What about you?  What games are you stoked for?  Let me know in the Comments

Until next time, a quote,

“We were friends once, before I was reset.  Maybe we can be friends again.” – Kara, Detroit: Become Human

Peace out,

Maverick

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Risk Taking

The consensus among the YouTubers that I follow and like has been pretty consistent on the new Star Wars film.  A good friend of mine called it a dumpster fire.  Here’s a video from a YouTuber who I don’t always agree with, but whose perspective I really like and wish that he got more attention –

With the opinion on this so divided, I have seen a lot of the left-leaning media that loves to suck the cock of the new Star Wars films decide to make sport of the people who hate it.  The biggest of these remarks is that people didn’t like The Force Awakens because it didn’t take risks, now people hate this new film because it took risks.  I find this perspective asinine and stupid.  And I’m going to tell you why.

Something people don’t seem to get is that taking risks is this little thing called risky.  Why?  Because it means that whatever you’re making might not go over well with people.  It means that you are taking a chance that whatever you’re going to make might suck. I guess the “socially aware” types online weren’t aware of that fact.  You can take all the risks in the world, and it might fail.

See, there are some truly amazing films that have taken risks.  This year saw a sequel to Blade Runner that so many people were afraid would be a victim of the Hollywood sequel machine, but thanks to a truly amazing filmmaker who took some narrative risks with elements of the original film that were so pivotal to people’s analysis of it, turned out something truly spectacular.  The best remakes of movies have been done when filmmakers want to take old ideas and then give their own spin on them.

Naughty Dog decided to do a sequel to the Uncharted franchise after the third game had wrapped things up very nicely.  It could have been a mediocre cookie-cutter cash-grab like some sequels that had no reason to exist *cough*Mass Effect: Andromeda*cough*.  Instead, it was a near-flawless narrative wrapping up the story of characters we had grown to love over the course of four games, while introducing a new one.  That was a big risk.

But like I said, risks don’t always mean people are going to like it.  I jokingly mentioned Mass Effect: Andromeda earlier, but yeah, that’s a good example.  Bioware decided to risk putting out a cash-grab game to a franchise that were clearly done (albeit in the shittiest ending of all time) and it came back to bite them in the ass.  EA has done a lot of risky behavior that has gotten them in hot water this year.  Not feeling sorry about that.

When you are taking risks you have to do it well.  It means that you have an added burden of doing something that might anger people and balancing it with a deft hand to be able to level it off with respecting whatever people like about the license you are taking risks with.  As an example – why couldn’t they have made Rey actually go to the Dark Side?  You know, actually have her become evil with Kylo Ren becoming the good guy.  That is a risk that could pay off in spades.  But they know they can’t do that.  Because then the Tumblrinas would lose their shit and say it’s misogyny or some dumb thing because a woman is not a complete Mary Sue.  Which is what Rey fucking is.  So was that chick in Rogue One.  Boring, bland, mediocre characters who can’t have any flaws because then they’d have to have character development.  Can’t have that.

I am so glad I’m done with Star Wars.  After watching Rogue One, I realized that this is what this franchise is going to be.  Disney’s latest tool for making an assload of money while getting to show off how “progressive” they are with all their “diverse” characters.  Yeah, diverse in skin color.  And nothing else.  None of these characters have a personality.  The Force Awakens as so bland and riffing on a better film that I couldn’t tell you anything about any of the characters.  Hell, Harrison Ford looked fucking medicated throughout the whole film so even he had no personality.

What the media needs to learn is that risks don’t automatically equate to quality filmmaking.  Risk can ruin a project just as fast.  For something like this, you take risks but respect the source material.  Rian Johnson didn’t give two fucks about the source material and just wanted to give Disney a platform to be progressive and show how woke they are.  Because we have a purple-haired Tumblrina whose always right!  And when a character decides to rightfully point out how stupid she’s being, Leia shoots him because fuck men!  Even though the Tumblrina is being a fucking idiot, woman power!  We also got a fat Asian woman!  Woman power!  Because a fat Asian woman automatically means that she’s an interesting character, right?  Oh, and Leia turning into Superman in space isn’t really stupid, right?  Oh, and Luke turning into an old asshole who hates the Force and hates everyone isn’t insulting, right?  Because we can’t have a single competent male character who isn’t a douchebag in the whole fucking movie.  Listening to the plot of this film just annoys me.

Risks don’t mean success if you don’t treat it like you care about the source material.  The consensus among those I read says that the film looked great, sounded great, but had a plot that did the entire series in the butt.  That’s not taking risks for art or to try something new.  It’s taking risks where it doesn’t count and playing it safe where it does.  It’s not respecting these characters by turning Leia into Superman and turning Luke Skywalker into a curmudgeon asshole who has no redeeming characteristics and gets killed off unceremoniously.  Because woman power!

Speaking of, let’s take another look at a film that took risks and still sucked – Ghostbusters (2016).  That film decided to have all women, and make all the men in the film assholes or idiots.  It sucked.  Why?  Because there was ZERO respect for the source material and the whole film was there to pander to a social movement.  It sucked.  The terrible writing, terrible acting, and characters who had all the personality of a ham sandwich, it fucking sucked.

Be smart with risks, is what I’m getting at.  It’s not that complicated.

Until next time, a quote,

“This movie gave me AIDS!” – Mr Plinkett

Peace out,

Maverick