SIONR: The Stupid Reaction to Black Cat in ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ DLC

Some of you may have noticed I don’t go after the SJW community all that much anymore.  There’s a reason for that.  For starters, I don’t have anything new to say.  It’s all kind of the same, at this point.  Doesn’t matter, anyway.  Nobody listens.  Anybody who disagrees with the social justice community is just ruled out as “alt-right” or some other buzzword that hasn’t been used to the point that it means nothing anymore.  But there is another side to it.  It’s because I don’t have a very high opinion of the anti-SJW community anymore.  They are just as bad as the social justice feminists that they deride.

It’s funny, but I remember when all of these groups came together during #GamerGate, and then subsequently went apart after it became clear that there was nothing to be gained from further cooperation.  I said this would happen during a live-stream I used to be a part of, back in the day.  My compatriots didn’t believe me then.  Wonder what they think now.

You all may be wondering – what does this have to do with the title of this post?  I’ll tell you.  See, a fair amount of comic book fans are all up in arms.  Why?  Because the new design for Black Cat in Sony’s exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man doesn’t have her boobs on display!  That’s right, her cleavage isn’t hanging out of the outfit, so naturally they are all conspiracy theorizing that it is a big SJW conspiracy.  Saying that the character was written by the chick who said the tea-bag mod in GTA Online was “virtual rape.”  It is so frustrating to see this shit everywhere.

For starters, where are they getting that this character isn’t the same as she has always been?  I mean, did you play the game?  She is flirty as fuck with Parker.  Every audio-log you get on her quest in the main game has her talking in that sultry way where you know she is trying to goad Spider on.  It also hints of their past and how it was pretty complicated.

Next, have you seen her outfit?  Yeah, the outfit that is skin-tight, black, hugging every curve, that is not meant to be sultry at all.  Nope!  Not a little!  Morons.  Yeah, her boobs aren’t hanging out.  So that means…SJW?  I swear, these people can’t keep their bullshit straight.

Finally, did nobody pay attention to how this game is structured?  It’s definitely friendly for younger people.  Hell, the first outfit you have is pretty beat-for-beat similar to the one from The Animated Series.  Wanna know something interesting about that, for those who didn’t grow up in the 90’s?  In it, Black Cat didn’t have her boobs hanging out!  This game definitely breathes a vibe that it is modeled after the old animated series.  It wants to be played by kids.  Sure, the rating is T for teens, but how much foul language do you see in that game?  Not much.  It’s pretty marketable to the crowd it was intended.  You know what that means?  It means that you won’t have a character in it who has her tits hanging out!  Because that isn’t marketable to kids!  Did nobody pay attention?

In The Animated Series, Black Cat and Spider’s flirtatious relationship is all in subtext.  There’s a reason for that.  Because the series was made for kids, but there are teenagers in the audience who think that she is hot with that skin-tight black outfit.  It’s the same here!  I’m sorry that all the comic book nerds don’t get to cum in their pants over her.  I’m sure it must be so hard for you.

Grow the fuck up.

Until next time, a quote,

“Oh, poor Spider.  I know I disappointed you when I couldn’t go straight, but why mess with perfection?” – Black Cat, Marvel’s Spider-Man

Peace out,

Maverick

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Lucien’s First Take: Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Reveal

Here’s a game that I’ve been keeping a cursory eye on, but haven’t really gone into too much because I didn’t know exactly how I felt about it.  I was not the biggest fan of CD Projekt Red’s last game, The Witcher 3.  Not because I thought it was bad.  Far from it.  I just didn’t have much engagement because it’s connected to a franchise with a TON of lore and story baggage that I had no connection with.  So while it objectively was fantastic, I was bored stiff because of that.  However, here we have a new game with a connection to a franchise that has more to do with pen-and-paper RPG games than anything else.  So it’s basically a blank slate, and CD Projekt Red has promised the lore will be flushed out.

Still, it was something of a distant look until I FINALLY got around to watching their REALLY long game-play reveal.  I’m going to be putting the video here so you can follow along, but it’s 48 minutes long.  If you don’t have the time, I understand.  Instead of going through bit by bit, I’m going to talk about the things that really stick out to me.  Let’s get down to it.

We start off with this really cool narrator telling us that we get to customize our character.  I am all about this!  But looking at the character select screen, can we ditch the pixelization over the fun bits, when it is so obvious they are wearing underwear?  I am nine kinds of in love with the aesthetic of this game.  It lives up to its namesake.  The menus all have that retro-futuristic appearance, and that just tickles me pink.  As an hardcore fan of Blade Runner, this warms the cockles of my heart.

It’s also pretty great that we get to set up a ton of stuff in respect to our backstory, and the narrator says that all of this stuff plays a role in how our game plays.  For once, I am almost positive this is on the level.  After all, it’s CD Projekt Red we’re talking about here.  Definitely hoping the customization options are deep.  I want to turn my character into someone wholly unique.  I also love me some scars and some ink, so hopefully I get a ton of those to play with as well.  Kinda hoping we can add more ink as the narrative goes along.  Looking at the stats, I am definitely gonna be a tech person, with a focus on infiltrator stuff rather than combat.  The narrator says there are no pre-selected class systems, so you can choose how you play.  I dig it.

We see our first mission, and get to rescue a woman who is butt-naked from a bathtub filled with ice.  Again, CD Projekt Red, and they have a pedigree of not shying away from the swanky stuff.  They are European, after all.  I say that all devs should be European and Asian.  Americans are too pussy to go the distance like this.  After the first mission, I see our girl waking up with our comrade.  The narrator says that relationships are something you get to make on your own, and I’m glad about that.  Don’t get me wrong, Jackie is a badass bro.  I could do missions and shit with him all day.  But not sure he’s fuckable material.  Also don’t know if he is that guy for male and female character.  Makes me wonder what the differences will be between them in terms of options for relationships.  Is sexuality a set in stone thing, or is that open to character choice?  Lots of things to think about.

This apartment makes my inner cyberpunk nerd squeee a little.  So much yes!  Suddenly wanna hit up Deckard and see if we can find some replicants.  I couldn’t help but notice in the armory in her place that there is a slot for a fucking katana!  I want my katana!  Wanna hack some people up.  Or, because I am really favoring the subtle infiltration style, I wanna be able to silently kill people with it.  Customize the blade a la Metal Gear Rising.

Heading out of the place, the city looks unbelievable.  Some definite inspiration from Dredd, but that is just fine by me too.  The inhalers thing clearly came from that as well.  So many people tagged.  Was really hoping we’d to get see inside the weapon’s shop.  Seemed that dude has a quest to offer us too.  Getting off at the elevator, I see there are a ton of vendors.  Here’s my question – how many of these people can I visit?  There is a guy selling music, and that definitely appeals to me.  Vinyl records.  Love it.  Had a person in my life who has vinyl, as well as a player.  It’s pretty good stuff.  Makes some kinds of music sound more real.  Everything is so processed now.  The narrator talks about how believable the city is, making the team sound very “humble” in the process.  Whatevs.  With how beautiful this game looks, they’ve earned some bragging rights.  Street cred, as the game has it.

As we meet with the provider of our next mission – Dexter DeShawn, I’m seeing that the game has a broad array of groups that we get to interact with.  There are the corporate people, the criminal elite, the smuggling types who are involved with this mission, and since there is a crime scene we walk past, potentially the cops?  One of my favorite parts of Fallout: New Vegas was how many different groups there were that you could get involved with.  All of which changed how the ending played out.  Makes me want to play with the politics of this game and see where that takes me.

We get our job from Dex and go to our ripperdoc to get some cybernetics.  Here is where I am so stoked.  The trailers for this game have had things like a woman who removed her entire jaw while doing her makeup.  How far can I go with this?  I saw a post saying that if you over-cyborg yourself, it does affect you over the course of the game.  Still, eager to find that fine line.  Or at least see what kinda crazy shit I can get.  The narrator says we can get illegal cybernetics that let me do all sorts of bananas shit.  Hell yeah!

The driving in this game can go from third to first-person.  I would probably do third-person, if for no other reason than to take in the gorgeous landscape of this game.  Really itching to see the night cycle.  Narrator said the day and night cycle are dynamic.  Oh how a man can dream.  When we’re negotiating with the corpo bitch, I can’t help but notice that the language in this game is so foul.  Kinda love it.  After all, the word “Punk” is in the name.  Foul language goes with that territory.  Just watch any of the great films in that class.  Not the cyberpunk class, but punk.  Lots of foul-mouthed assholes.

Player gets their job, which results in them heading over to the Maelstrom hide-out.  The first thing to notice about this guys is all the tech integration.  It’s freaky.  The narrator tells you that you can choose how you go about missions.  I am all about that.  I want to be an infiltrator, of sorts, but wouldn’t mind taking the approach of being able to talk my way out of a bad situation.  Though, not sure it’s worth it with the creepy borg people who have all the glowing eyes and shit.  The head dude looks like he ripped out the front of his face to replace it all with tech.  That’s creepy with a capitol C.

We get some stuff showing off cool combat abilities, but that’s just window dressing for me.  Especially since this person isn’t into the whole tech angle the way I want to be.  They are into the engineer side.  Neat, I guess.  After blasting your way through, you get out, only to be met by corpo bitch.  She tells you that this is how it is, and you head over to Dexter DeShawn’s club to make the drop-off of the creepy spider-drone.  Why did we not have the drone assisting us in combat?  That’s so weird.  We took the time to get it up and moving, but not explore how it can help me out?  So weird.

All things considered, this looks awesome.  For a long time, I’ve wanted to feel like I live in the world of Blade Runner, and now I get the opportunity.  We’ll see what happens next.

Initial Verdict
Jack in my brain, ripperdoc!

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONL: Death Stranding is Gonna Explode

The Tokyo Game Show just happened, and we got to see a new trailer for Kojima’s latest project, Death Stranding.  While morons are going to say that they don’t understand (seriously, I saw a trailer where someone outright said they watched the trailer three times and still didn’t understand it.  What was so fucking complicated?!) what this is, I couldn’t be more stoked.  In this age where everyone wants to have all their questions spoon-fed to them with all the creative mystery of a ham sandwich, Kojima is keeping all his cards close.  And praise that man for it!  The mystery has my anticipation so fucking high.

Sony has been on such a massive winning streak lately with their exclusives.  This year has had three, and all three were massively successful.  And good.  God of War was an engaging narrative and a beautiful story of a father and son.  Detroit: Become Human was David Cage doing his thing, and while it isn’t for everyone, for those who can appreciate his craft, it was pretty awesome.  Finally, we got Marvel’s Spider-Man.  Easily the best game in its genre, and with three pieces of DLC that the devs have promised are not just busy work but substantive story expansions, it isn’t done yet.

Last year, we had two major exclusives from Sony, both of which were so good that I had the hardest time ever picking which was my favorite.  My favorite and second-favorite games of last year, they were – Persona 5 and Horizon: Zero Dawn.  It seems that Sony is really banking on great exclusives now, and hot shit!  There is some of the best quality material I have seen in YEARS coming from them.  And more is coming.  This year at E3, we got to see three major gameplay demos from three of their biggest upcoming projects – Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us: Part 2, and Kojima’s latest project, Death Stranding.

I have no reason to believe that the first two listed are not going to be amazing.  This tactic of showing demos specifically to get people to see what the quality they can expect is brilliant, in my book.  Sure, fast-paced trailers with big, bombastic set-pieces are fun and all, but that’s not my jam.  I like a trailer that feels like I am diving in and seeing what I am getting for my money.  Already I can hear people typing, asking why I am taking Kojima’s shtick of giving very little substantive info in his trailers.  Well, that’s a different kind of charm.

Here’s the thing to know – anyone who knows videos games knows that Hideo Kojima is something of an insane perfectionist.  If a game doesn’t come out to the exact quality he wants, he won’t release it.  The only reason MGSV released half-finished was because of the fallout with Konami.  So his continual teasing, making the urge for nerdgasm so strong just titillates me so much. And with the most recent trailer, there is no doubt in my mind – this game is going to be unbelievable!  It will be a hallmark game that will define this latest console generation, along with the new direction Sony is taking.  While Microsoft scrounges in the dirt for exclusives, and Nintendo keeps remaking the same games, over and over again with the fewest tertiary changes, Sony is giving massive budgets to developers who want to do amazing things.  And it’s working!  It’s paying massive dividends.

At the beginning of the year, God of War smashed sales records.  Just recently, Marvel’s Spider-Man did as well.  Perhaps gamers are figuring out that Sony’s new direction of amazing exclusives is churning out some of the best games in generations?  A thought.  Meanwhile, in the case of Death Stranding, I am certain beyond any doubt that this game is going to explode.  Just explode.  The new trailer shows so much.  For starters, Troy Baker is back!  Anything with him in it, at his A-game, I immediately know is going to be amazing.  He is easily my favorite male voice actor right now.  He can pretty-much do no wrong.  But as the YouTuber YongYea figured out, Stefanie Joosten, of Quiet fame from MGSV is back as well!  The cast for this game couldn’t possibly be anymore set.  On name recognition alone, this game is going to sell.  We have Norman Reedus, who will appeal to Boondock Saints fans, and The Walking Dead fans.  We have Guillermo Del Toro who is only donating his likeness to the game, but that will appeal to fans of his films.  We have Lea Seydoux, who will appeal to fans of French films.  She’s a crazy talented actress.  We have Mads Mikkelsen, who will appeal to Casino Royale fans.  Lastly, we have Kojima himself as the creator, who will appeal to Metal Gear Solid fans.  With this much weight behind it, this game is almost certain to set some sales records.  It will premiere to massive numbers.

This couldn’t have me more excited.  Knowing that Troy Baker is back, as a villain who has a kind of asshole charm to him, this game is bringing so much to the table.  And the mysteries keep piling up.  So, what is this weird fluidic substance, and it’s connection to the other world?  How can certain people control it?  What are these monsters that wander the landscape, some of whom can be seen, and other can’t?  What is Mad Mikkelsen’s connection to it all?  The panel said that he is the main villain of the story.  All the questions I could ask for.

But the real beauty of it all is that the wait won’t be much longer!  Kojima has said that there has been no delay in the game.  Some time ago, he said that his game was going to be finished before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.  At first I wondered if that was a reference to something I figured he might, but wrote that off.  But at the end of the panel, he confirmed my suspicion.  He said that the game is going to be finished to correlate with the date that the legendary anime film Akira was set.  Know what that means?  2019 confirmed!  I couldn’t be more excited.  I can feel it, the next trailer is going to have a release date.  This will be the one.  I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Until next time, a quote,

“Well shit, I had a special surprise prepped and everything, but it looks to me like your hands are full.  It’s no biggie.  We can always tweak the rules a bit.” – The Man With the Golden Mask, Death Stranding

Peace out,

Maverick

Our Government Cares More About Votes Than Protecting Children

As hopefully most of you are, I am absolutely disgusted by what has been coming out recently about the Catholic Church and the allegations of sexual abuse that goes even to the highest level.  Pope Jorge hasn’t denied knowing about the abuse from the most recent figure, so that must mean he is in on the scam.  All the people who talked about how THIS Pope was going to be the big change for the Catholic Church – where the fuck are you now?!  Huh?!  All that change?  Bullshit.  Smoke and mirrors.  And that is why he is Jorge, in my eyes.  That’s his given name, and he has NOT earned his fictional Pope name.  Not by a long-shot.

It is long past time that the American government cracked down on this.  It is LONG past time that the Catholic Church started to feel afraid of the long arm of the law.  If not vigilante justice.  I don’t say that idly.  The fact that it has come to that is only due to the government not doing a fucking thing.  Not in a big way.  You have a few states doing a few things, but in reality, it’s all bullshit.  Hell, there was a story I read about how the Church itself allowed a judge in one state to review the matter.  The Church allowed it?!  Since when do these child-fucking pieces of shit get the freedom to deny our government anything?!  Since when do we need their fucking permission?!

Over the years, I’ve been looking at how our government conducts itself, and something truly horrible had come to me.  See, the real question is – why hasn’t the government done anything sooner?  It’s not even a public secret at this point that members of the clergy are abusing children.  It’s outright public knowledge.  Yet nothing still happens.  Why is this?  It’s simple – political calculus.  See, the government does a simple thing. They know that there are a ton of Catholics in this country.  For reasons I will never understand.  How someone can be attached to an organization that protects pedophiles and still feel morally superior is beyond me.  If you are an average citizen and you support the Church, I want you to accept that you support pedophiles.  It’s a fact.  But I digress.

The government does a calculus asking if it’s better to lose the votes of Catholics than to actually step up and protect the children.  And their math has come down to the fact that it’s better to let the pedophiles and their pedophile protection racket continue their dirty business of what amounts to sex trafficking (no joke, that’s part of it.  Look at the report out of Philadelphia.  That reads like what should be every parent’s nightmare), because they don’t want to lose the votes of the retards who fill their pews.  The useful idiots of a corrupt aristocracy who is perfectly content moving sexual predators around so they can abuse more children.

How can I properly explain how much I LOATHE the Catholic Church?  I need more descriptive terms.  They are hucksters.  They are charlatans.  They are enablers.  They are mafia wives.  They are predators.  They are pedophiles.  They are child-fuckers.  They are pretty much psychopathic with their utter lack of empathy in the face of what happens.  They are an aristocracy who is worse than the cops in how they protect their own from ACTUAL justice.  They are salesmen of lies, using the fear of Hell to instill their faith into the very children who are at risk from the pedophiles in their ranks that they couldn’t care less to protect.  They tell people to pray for the victims than demand justice!  They are assholes, intellectual-slaveholders, aristocrats, unsympathetic, uncaring, can’t-be-bothered to do the right thing, arrogant, privileged, scum-sucking, cock-sucking, gay-bashing, woman-hating (pro-life is anti-woman.  Fact), corrupt, narrative-spinning pieces of shit!  Fuck Catholicism and all who support it!

But lest we forget that our government doesn’t just not care about children from pedophiles.  They don’t care about them from murderers, either.  I wonder how many school shootings there will be there year.  More and more bodies that you could lay at the feet of our elected officials and all they would do is say how sorry they are for what happened.  All while the NRA pays them huge sums of money to do fuck-all.  Even the most basic tightening of gun regulations?  Nope!  Because that would violate our freedom!  They’re gonna take our guns!  What’s that?  They aren’t?  They just want some basic legislation like having to register all firearms and have a license before you own one?  Making it so you can’t just sell a gun to a person, but have to go through a process like selling a car?  That hurts our freedom!  For…reasons!

It blows my mind how sociopathic everyone in power in this country is.  They will let pedophiles philander, and arm murderers, all so they don’t have to risk any fucking votes.  I swear, there will be a politician who does nothing but vote on their conscience someday, and every media outlet and government official will malign them until Hell freezes over.  Because we can’t have a government that actually gives one dusty fuck about the people it is supposed to represent.  It doesn’t.  They don’t care about ANY of you!  Don’t believe me?!  Take a look at who actually runs this government.  The corporations who feed astronomical sums of money into their coffers.  See what kinds of people they are, and then you realize who our government is.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don’t vote.  Because humanity fucking sucks, and there isn’t a single person who is actually gonna do a goddamn thing to make it better!  Fuck the morons who say otherwise.

Until next time, a quote,

“This is the best we can do, folks!  Garbage in, garbage out!” – George Carlin

Peace out,

Maverick

Spider-Man Isn’t Political Enough! (A response to Kotaku)

Anyone remember when Far Cry 5 came out and all the SJWs were bitching about how it wasn’t political enough and didn’t make a caricature of conservative America enough for them?  Well, it seems that the new Spider-Man isn’t exempt from this intellectually-vapid “journalism” either.  Because now we have Kotaku writing another insipid piece where a game that was targeted at young people to put them into the role of their favorite superhero to beat up bad guys isn’t political enough for them.  Letting kids have fun?  Fuck that!  We have to put them into the political arena and tell them how to feel about things!  Because that’s what general audiences love – blatant political messages.  That’s not to say that Spider-Man doesn’t have themes and messages.  The problem for them will become apparently soon enough.  Here’s a link to the article, now let’s talk about it.

Spider-Man has taken on his share of street thugs and supervillains, sometimes teaming up with the police to face down foes and rescue the people of New York. While Spider-Man on PS4 undoubtedly shows Spidey’s allegiance to his community, it also casts him as a big fan of police and their tactics that sometimes conflict with that civic mindset.

So yeah, their problem is that Spider-Man isn’t making enough of a statement about the cops.  Ugh.  Of course, Heather Alexandra wrote this.  What a shock.  He’s a fan of New York.  He wants to take down bad guys and protect good guys.  So yeah, he is on the side of law enforcement.  But since the first part of the game has some dirty cops trying to kill him, it isn’t like the game is ignoring that things are complicated.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s keep going.

One of the earliest things you do in Spider-Man is go around activating security towers, made by Oscorp but used by the NYPD, that make it easier for Spider-Man to track crimes as they happen. Narratively, these towers allow the police to better surveil citizens; they also give Spider-Man access to police frequencies.

Um, when does he use the towers to keep track of average citizens?  Nowhere in the game does that happen.  They are only ever used to track police frequencies.  Hell, there’s a bit on Jameson’s radio show where he makes that exact same argument, but you the player get to see it’s more of his conspiracy theorizing!  Man, Heather, it’s almost like you just heard that and assumed it’s true.  I get the feeling you would be a big fan of Jameson.  I love when a game attacks the arguments of it’s detractors directly.  Really saves me a lot of work.

Not to mention, I love how you gloss over the fact that Oscorp made the towers.  Because you have this chip on your shoulder, so fuck the ACTUAL context of the game – that Oscorp is a corporate monolith and is corrupt.  A theme that is central throughout the entire game.  The idea that corporate monopoly is bad.  Seems like you missed that.  Just putting that out there.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s enthusiasm for the police—from his stated love of busting drug deals to his cheesy “Spider-Cop” impersonation—had my coworker Tim Rogers calling Spidey a “narc.” While I found Spider-Man as good-hearted and heroic as ever, he was also way more accepting of state power than I expected from a hero with a history of being wrongly maligned by the press and police.

He’s trying to stop bad guys, moron!  That means that, by virtue of what he does, since he absolutely refuses to kill, he is on the side of the police.  Yeah, they malign him, but part of the thing is that he wants to be accepted by the public at large.  It really looks like you’re cherry-picking data points to back you up here, and it’s kind of annoying.  But I guess assisting the cops to any extent makes you a “narc.”  Wow.  Look, I have my issues with the police state as much as anyone.  But the idea that the police are, by virtue of existence, to not be trusted and a hero who wants to help people and save innocent lives should be against them is asinine.

In real life, the conditions at Rikers Island and the systems surrounding it are complex, but games like The Division and Spider-Man flatten that complexity in favor of giving you criminal enemies to overcome. The Division features “the Rykers” as an opposing force for much of the mid-game, and while its radio makes mention of how many prisoners are in jail for minor crimes like drug possession, your primary interaction is to shoot everyone. In Spider-Man, these prisoners function as generic thugs to fight in waves. Despite being a superhero who is on the side of the people, when faced with this element of his city, Spider-Man forgets his allegiances and just enjoys beating the shit out of them.

Um, no he doesn’t.  He fights back against people who choose to fight him!  The people busting out of Rikers aren’t the gentle lambs of the world.  They are violent.  They are choosing to attack cops.  Every single one of them that is in the riot is attacking the cops, attacking Spider-Man, or often both.  If Spider-Man went from cell to cell kicking the shit out of people, you might have some semblance of an argument.  But he doesn’t.  One of his quips is that he will be perfectly content to leave them alone if they go back into their cells and stop fighting.  More and more, it looks like you are just cherry-picking based on a narrative you like to spin.  I can’t imagine Heather Alexandra doing that.  Nope, not once.

Spider-Man’s simple presentation of crime and policing feels tone-deaf in the modern age, when more and more people are growing aware of the class and race dynamics of policing.

You wanna know what’s funny – so many people who think like this fail to understand that police brutality has a deeper problem.  Not the racism, though there’s that.  There is a lovely need in the SJW community to talk about how black cops in the inner-city can be just as violent as their white counterparts.  There is a deeper problem, one that might actually have a chance to be solved now that more and more states are moving towards legalization of marijuana.  The problem is the drug war.  It’s the thing that has destroyed so many cities.  And yeah, there are DEFINITELY racial components to it.  Like how white people and black people do drugs at a commensurate rate, but black people are penalized far more.

However, the solution to this isn’t to imprison more white people.  It’s to end the drug war.  Once that’s done, so much good can be done for the black community in this country.  More than Black Lives Matter will EVER accomplish.  What do I mean?  I mean that we can get non-violent drug offenders out of prison.  This would free up such a vast amount of prison space, allowing there to be some hope of rehabilitation.  What’s more, the legal market would CRUSH the illegal one in a matter of months.  Once the gangs are out of business, businesses would feel safe going back to the black communities.  This would mean more jobs, more income, and help income disparity.  Plus, it would help tame the racial stigmas.  Though the black community would then have to step up and help the police to crush the last vestiges of the crime that destroyed their communities.  Once that was done, what a wonderful world it would be.

This is contingent on mass decriminalization of all narcotics, but one step at a time.  Once the government sees how much money there is to be made with this stuff, it will happen.  The film Layer Cake made a great point about that.  But I don’t expect Heather Alexandra to get that.  She has hair dyed a color not found in nature.  I see such people, I just assume they have nothing of value to contribute.

Spider-Man’s portrayal of policing feels divorced from reality, to the point that it feels out of line with Spidey’s comic book heritage. Comics often speak to what’s happening in the real world. Captain America assumed the role of Nomad in 1974, the same year that Richard Nixon resigned from office in the wake of the Watergate Scandal. The X-Men have a history of allegorical representation of minoritized and persecuted groups. Spider-Man doesn’t seem interested in reacting to the real world.

I’m not aware if you know this, but comic books and video games are two different mediums.  Insomniac didn’t want to make a comic book.  They wanted to make a video game.  One that’s fun for as many people as possible.  One that would appeal to the fans of Spider-Man, with an emphasis on young people.  Kids who saw Tom Holland rocking the role, and then wanted to play a game as that character.  That’s who this was meant to appeal to.  But you want this to be some political screed.  I’m sorry (not sorry) you don’t like that.  You’re reporting on the wrong medium for that.  Video games are about being fun for the audience.  Sorry that bothers you so much.

Until next time, a quote,

“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

Nobody Sticks to Their Guns Anymore

You know what I’m tired of?  The utter lack of conviction on the part of YouTube personalities these days.  I remember when I was starting to really watch this stuff, there were people commenting on the videos of others, and it was great stuff.  The pwnage videos, then the more intellectual response videos where those responding would still rip someone’s ideas to pieces, but would be more on point and less just trying to get a reaction.  I can still dig both kinds of videos.  But as I watch the platform these days, that’s not what I see, and that REALLY disappoints me.

A while back, Mister Metokur made a video about “Internet bloodsports.”  These videos that people make where they invite people with inflammatory ideas and give them a platform to spout their nonsense.  Often with a ton of other people and them just letting everyone argue and yell.  It’s pretty great stuff.  One such video is where Mundane Matt finally saw his star fall.  His days of YouTube stardom are over.  Not feeling bad about that.  Watching a hypocrite fall on the sword of his own bullshit has some amount of catharsis.  The culture at large is so ugly about this, though.  Why?

Metokur makes a point that it’s the same reason people watched shows like Jerry Springer.  To see people who are abhorrent in one way or another and get to yell at them in a public venue.  Sure, that is the extreme of what I’m talking about with the videos that I used to watch, but it still fits with what I’m talking about.  ReviewTechUSA made this video as a follow-up to a video he did ripping into this moron at The Verge who royally fucked up making a PC build.  It was so funny.  The comments section to that video was a trash fire, but that’s no surprise.

This is something that Rich and seemingly everyone else seems to forget about.  Did NOBODY learn from Jello Apocalypse’s video about YouTube?  YouTube comments sections are ALWAYS a dumpster fire!  Find me a single viral video and I can scroll down in the comments and find people arguing about Hitler or something.  Hell, find me a cute cat video with a shit-ton of views and I can do it.  It used to be understood that YouTube comments sections are cancer.  That’s just how it is after you get so many hits.  No matter the content, people in the Comments are assholes.

Not to mention, Rich is sympathetic to this dude getting racial slurs thrown at him.  I’m not saying I support it, but again, does Rich not know that this is par for the course on YouTube comments?  Everyone fucking forgets, and I don’t get why!  If Anita Sarkeesian actually had her comments section open, yeah, there’d be a lot of assholes saying mean things there.  But that’s just how it is.  Sure, Sony deleted a lot of legitimate detracting comments from the Ghostbusters (2016) trailer, but yeah, there were plenty of sexist assholes in there too.  This is the nature of the medium, Rich!  It’s always been this way!  When did people forget this?!  It always will be!  Any medium that allows people to comment openly is going to have this.

Maybe the idea is that he is lamenting this in some way, but it doesn’t read like that.  It reads like he is unaware of the nature of YouTube.  So many people are, these days.  They don’t stick to their guns.  The moment somebody goes after somebody hard, they suddenly back off and are super nice.  It’s boring.  If you have opinions about something, fuck the people who are jerks about it!  Go after them with no mercy!  But we can’t do that anymore.  Now this is the happy medium where nobody is unpleasant.

Everyone is also quick to forget that it’s anyone.  Any popular personality gets a shit-ton of crap thrown their way.  That’s also been how it is since forever and a day.  A lot of it is very ugly stuff, and people used to get who posts that kind of thing – mostly trolls.  Anyone remember trolls?  When those who use YouTube understood that trolls will troll and there ain’t shit you can do about it?  So best not to give them attention?  “Don’t feed the trolls.”  Remember that?  Everywhere I look, it doesn’t feel that way.  It just reads like people crying that everyone is being mean.

Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would be nice and there would be polite discourse everywhere.  Actually, fuck that!  In my perfect world, people would do their thing, and it would be up to the content creators to accept that this medium has this shit and there ain’t a fucking thing that anyone can do about it.  Unless you close your comments and ratings, a la Anita Sarkeesian.  Because this is the Internet, and the best days of this medium were when it was the wild west, and people were just posting willy-nilly about whatever.

If you have opinions, stick to them.  If you wanna be a jerk about it and go hard after someone, so long as you have an actual argument to make, fucking do it!  Yeah, YouTube is cracking down on fucking everything now, so enjoy the right to post something other than cute cat videos while you can.  Even if the comments will still be somebody arguing about Twitter and goading the people who wanted nice cat video comments into arguing with them.

Until next time, a quote,

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man

The game I have been super stoked for ever since I started working at an office with a big-time Marvel fan as a coworker.  Granted, I was already excited for this game, but him and I talking about it got me even more stoked.  This license has unfortunately been abused by so many people.  The number of bad games vastly outnumbers the good ones.  But when I saw Insomniac putting out a gameplay demo, I could see that they had learned so much.  Sure, parts of it looked like they were riffing on the Arkham games, but whatever.  It’s still Spider-Man at it’s core.  After all that waiting, does the final title live up to the hype?  Let’s talk about it.

The plot goes that it has been eight years since Peter Parker started to do his thing as Spider-Man.  He’s firmly established, and has put away a decent amount of his rogue’s gallery.  After all these years of doing his thing, he’s not too far from where he started.  He’s poor as fuck (because he’s an idiot and keeps turning down money for ethical reasons.  Dude, you can’t do your best as a super-hero without a decent bankroll?  Ask Tony Stark how that works for him), but doing his best to improve humanity as much as he can.  The game begins with him putting away one of the biggest of his baddies – Wilson Fisk.  Just when you’d think things would calm down with Fisk behind bars, a new baddie is on the scene, ready to make things even worse.

I have so much to talk about with this game.  Let’s start with how it plays.  Everything about making this a fun game hinges on how well it plays.  And this is where I get to tell you – this game is buttery smooth!  While I’m sure the size of the world is not to scale with actual New York, it is a huge playground, and everything about getting around it is great.  This game’s web-swinging is all about getting and maintaining momentum.  The developers knew that if that aspect sucks, the rest is going to be tedious.  Getting around New York is so much fun!  You unlock fast-traveling pretty early on, but I never found myself using it.  Jetting around the city as the Spider is just too much fun not to.

Combat in this game is similarly about maintaining movement.  Spider-Man isn’t the toughest dude, so you have to be able to move.  Using your webs, dodges, and gadgets, you keep the flow of battle going.  As time goes on, there is a diverse amount of villains, though that does eventually tie in to one of my criticisms.  But we’ll get there when we do.  My favorite way to play is stealthy, and it’s kind of a bummer there aren’t more levels that let me do that.  Even the areas where you have to clear out enemy bases, they don’t let you clean the whole thing out stealthily.  I wish they did, because it’s the most fun part.

However, another thing that all of the fun in this game hinges on is the boss fights, and holy shit did they get that right!  The only complaint I have about how fun these boss fights are is how few of them there are.  Each of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery that you get to right has a unique way to fight them, and there isn’t a single one that I wasn’t at least a little wowed by.  There is a new villain brought into the game who hasn’t been seen outside the comics – Mister Negative.  And this dude is no slouch!  Not only is he a cool character with a neat narrative to tell, but he is not fucking around.

In addition to getting to play as the web-head, you also get to play as MJ and Miles Morales.  Oh no!  Getting to play as a woman and a black young man!  How will I identify with them if I don’t share a gender or skin color with them?!  That’s what idiots in the social justice sphere think when I see things like that.  But you know what, I think of my favorite part of the game was getting to play as MJ.  There is a bit where you have to use her to give directions to Spidey in order to stealthily save a ton of hostages.  That mission was tight!  You are almost entirely through MJ’s perspective, seeing the Spider do his thing from her point of view.  Kind of gives me some sympathy for being one of his villains.  Chasing this guy must suck.  But Miles’ bits were fun too.  A part where he is sneaking past two of the Sinister Six made my nerves go haywire.  Since neither him nor MJ has Spider-Man’s abilities, you have to play their bits as stealth missions, and every one of them is fun.

Oh, and I can’t talk about this game unless I sing the praises of the visuals.  This game looks unbelievably good!  I mean holy shit!  The environments are phenomenal, and it looks so good as you’re blazing through it.  Each time of day brings a nice perspective, though night and rain aren’t the prettiest.  Still, it’s a great-looking game.  Every environment is brought to life with incredible attention to detail.  Especially with the titular character.  Whether it be the Iron Spider suit from Avengers: Infinity War, or my favorite suit, the Dark Spider, each of them looks fantastic.  And you get them almost all the way through.  None of that cutting to the suit that appears to be the mainstay of the Spider in this game.

But with all the good things, there are some negatives.  First, the side-missions are not especially interesting.  There is the intro of Black Cat, but I’m only stoked for that because of the DLC with her that I cannot wait for.  I wish I could get to actually go after her in one of those games.  People think that everyone ships her and Spider-Man together just as a fanfiction thing, but there is an actual bit on the comics where he outright does the deed with her.  There is a panel where you see both of their clothes, and him saying it was a good decision.  Spider-Man has a habit of getting with almost all of his fangirls.  His sexual resume is actually really impressive, when you think about the fact that he is such a dork in his alter-ego. There was a digression.

The side-missions in the game are almost all either tedious or not especially interesting.  For example – you go around taking pictures of all the various landmarks in New York, in addition to the Avengers Tower, the Sanctum Sanctorum, and the Wakandan Embassy.  You know what would have been nice – something to go with that.  A kind of journal entry or something.  A little blurb on Parker’s experience or knowledge of these places.  He talks about knowing King T’challa when you take a pic of the Wakandan Embassy so why not give us something about that?  It’s a weird thing to not include.  Would have made me more excited to get this pictures if I could have had me a little NYC Wikipedia in the game.  Have some comic book perspective, which is especially prescient since there are plenty of things you take pictures of that are only in the comics.  Should give the people who aren’t super initiated some context.  Just seemed like a missed opportunity.

Also, the enemy bases that you take out got REALLY repetitious after a while.  Especially as it becomes just new varieties of enemies that have bases you have to take out.  It would have been nice if there were bases where you could only use stealth, or at least could take out every enemy with stealth and have that be the end.  Instead, no matter how quiet you are, the game eventually forces you to right waves of enemies, and especially with the Sable bases, it gets tedious really fast.

Another thing that I thought about – if you are going to riff on the Arkham games, which I have no problem with because they made it their own, why are their no character models?  The character trophies in the aforementioned game series let you take a look at the characters after you take them out.  I kinda would have liked that.  Especially since so many of them have a very unique look.  The game has a cool photo mode, so why not that as well?  Just putting it out there, it’s a missed opportunity.  While I’m at it, you let me choose so many different suits for Spidey, why not some outfits for Peter Parker?  Always seeing him in flannel gave me hipster flashbacks.

Lastly, why is there no New Game Plus mode?  Another easy piece of missed opportunity.  The Dark Suit is my favorite, and I kinda wanted to go through the game with it the whole time.  Maybe this is just me nit-picking, but it seems like an obvious bit to have.

Overall, this game is very, very fun.  I am liking it a lot.  But it’s not perfect.  The side-stuff can get a little old, and the enemy variety does grow stale after a while if you work diligently to get through all the character stuff.  But this is definitely a Spider-Man game in a class of its own.  It’s a perfect template to build off of if there are any sequels.  Hopefully we get at least one.  Norman Osborn being in there means that Green Goblin has to make an appearance at some point.  Guess I spoiled there that he doesn’t in this game, but it isn’t that bad.  He is still a central character, and you can see that when it gets there, it is going to be insane.  With three pieces of DLC that the devs have promised are going to be big story enhancements, we’ll see what it becomes.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick