Top 10 Hero Guns

While there are some heroes in film, anime, video games, what have you, that are able to use all manner of weapons, then you have those who have a very signature weapon.  Their own personal death-dealing device that they have spent years perfecting the use of.  I did a post a while back of the top 10 hero vehicles, so now I figured I would do one for signature firearms for heroes in various mediums.  Keep in mind, I am not talking about weapons that are seen being used by other characters.  It has to be unique to this specific hero in their own respective media they appeared in.  So weapons like the assault rifle from Halo, even though it is associated with the Master Chief, are out.  Because that weapon is seen being used by the likes of ODST and jarheads in the same franchise.  Let’s get to it.

10. Ebony and Ivory
Devil May Cry
The signature pistols of Dante, these pistols are used to supplement his other weapons in the endless goal of keeping the combo count rising.  Think of them as your back-up trick, to keep enemies hurting at a distance.  These guns have been with Dante through the entire series.  Even though some of the less popular iterations (like DmC: Devil May Cry, which I actually happened to like).  He has a definite affinity and as we saw in 3, likes to play with these guns maybe a little too much.  But that’s our Dante for ya.

9. Jericho 941
Cowboy Bebop
This Israeli pistol is wielded by Spike Spiegel.  While we do see him using all manner of other weapons, the gun we most often see him using is this.  Spike is a crack-shot, and we get to see this weapon in all kinds of ugly battles.  My favorite bit is when you have the gangster holding Fay hostage.  With the same cold, detached look on his face, he blows the man’s brains out with absolute precision.  Whether it be facing his past, or taking out some low-life punks robbing a convenience store, this gun is never far from Spike’s reach.

8. Dominator
Psycho Pass
This is a bit of a cheat, but here’s the thing – this weapon is only able to be used by the inspectors and enforcers in the police.  It only fires when they are approved to fire and the weapon can be used by them alone.  This weapon is connected with the system that runs the entire city.  When it reads your Crime Coefficient, it determines if you are a danger to society, and after that whether you deserve to be stunned or killed.  This weapon is the absolute authority of the system, and if you are deemed deserving of death, it will kill you without a second thought.  What’s more, it is also in charge of keeping the enforcers in line, as the inspector can use it against them at any time.  A symbol of the dystopian world of the series, and a cool gun to boot.  What’s not to love?

7. Lawgiver
Dredd
Another weapon in the vein of the Dominator, but this one has a much uglier purpose.  The Judges in Dredd are the face of absolute authority, and they are judge, jury, and more often than not, executioner.  In a city where crime is out of control, their role can be understood.  This gun is a marvel of engineering.  It has everything a weapon can ask for.  It can go silent or loud, semi-automatic or automatic, incendiary single rounds or bursting thermal rounds to light up multiple targets, armor piercing or even stun.  This gun can do it all.  In the hands of Judge Dredd, it is a marvel of efficiency to do its job.  But don’t you talk about the one from that shitty Stallone movie.

6. AMT Hardballer
Black Lagoon
I thought about the Hardballers that are the signature weapons for Agent 47, but in the hands of Mr Chang from Black Lagoon, these weapons have a whole new light.  This guy is just awesome.  He has a cool and coy demeanor, but underneath the bravado is a cynical and very detached man.  Which makes his preferred style of fighting that much more interesting.  He uses gun fu, which is modeled after John Wu films, which makes sense, given the name and ethnicity of the character.  When you have the badass Revy Lee saying that he is better than her, you know this dude is not to be fucked with.  I also thought about his customized Desert Eagles with the dragons on them, but decided that these guns are just a little bit cooler.

5. Walther PPK
The Wire
This choice is also stretching my rules a bit, since the character for whom this gun is his signature weapon is initially fighting for the major antagonist of the series.  It’s wielded by Brother Mouzone.  He’s a soft-spoken and well-educated enforcer for Avon Barksdale.  He wields this gun with an iron grip, and after he shoots Cheese, he explains that the bullets are of his own making.  This man is cold, calculating, and a perfect shot.  However, when Omar Little puts a bullet in him, he is able to convince him that the murder of his boyfriend was not his doing.  After healing, he returns looking to find the person who put Omar up to it.  What follows is one of the most badass team-ups in HBO history, when him and Omar go on the prowl.  It ends with a vicious, violent finale where both he and his companion get revenge that was so sweet.  He may wear a suit and bow tie, but any man who steps to the Brother is going to die.  It’s a fact.

4. Cutlasses
Black Lagoon
What do you get when you have a deranged woman with no moral code, a penchant for shooting, and the sensibilities of a pirate?  You get this pair of pistols.  As Revy shoots with a weapon in both hands, hence her nickname Two-Hands, these guns are her go-to death dealers.  A pair of custom Berettas, she puts them to work against anybody who happens to cross her path.  Revy is a damn good shot, and since she has no ability to hold back, she has lightning-fast reflexes to take out many targets as fast as she can.  Whether it be her deranged smile, or a black deathly stare as she massacres Aryan soldiers, this woman will fuck you up with the guns that have the pirate symbol etched on their ivory handle.

3. Caster Gun
Outlaw Star
The signature weapon of Gene Starwind, this weapon has a fascinating backstory, and is used by the aforementioned character to inflict hardcore justice on his enemies.  Made when a bunch of wizards came together to try and put their powers in a more portable form, their final creation was one of an incredibly rare series of guns that require special shells to fire.  You never know where Gene found this gun, but he has tamed the beast and now puts it to work.  But as he finds out, the weapon has a dark side.  A series of shells with magic so powerful that using them requires a sacrifice by the wielder.  One that Gene gets to find out might be more than he can manage.

2. The Good Samaritan
Hellboy
When you are a giant hellspawn with a massive arm, what kind of weapon do you shoot?  Why, a weapon that no human being could ever hope to wield.  Only able to hold four bullets, this gun will fire through anything and everything that it hits.  The name is taken from the Bible, and the bullets can be loaded with weapons that have religious elements integrated, such as the explosive rounds that are filled with, among other things, holy water.  Since his right hand is too big to be useful when wielding this gun, Hellboy has to fire and load it with his left.  Thankfully, if he needs more than four bullets for what he’s going after, it clearly is too big a problem for this pistol anyway.

And the best hero gun of all time is…

1. Hellsing ARMS “Jackal”
Hellsing
Another weapon created because of the fact that the wielder is one who can handle weapons that no human could ever hope to, the Hellsing organization made this weapon specifically for their best warrior, Alucard.  This gun, at 13mm, fires explosive rounds that have one purpose – killing the undead.  The weapon was designed to kill the inhuman Iscariot agent, Alexander, but Alucard has put it to work against any number of his foes.  Watching it make the undead blow up is cathartic, and it’s all paired with the witty coldness of the character it was made for.  Whether he’s blowing the arms off a mutated freak, or the legs off a half-breed vampire pretender, Alucard always gets the job done.  And the inscription on the side is so damn cool.

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s perfection, Walter!” – Alucard, Hellsing

Peace out,

Maverick

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Top 10 Michael Crichton Books

I don’t know how many of you reading this know, but my favorite author is Michael Crichton.  This man had a gift at taking real world concepts and taking them to the next level.  Or finding things that were in the zeitgeist and looking at them from another way.  Then there were his books about medicine, for which he graduated from Harvard.  As well as his books about crime and corporate espionage.  The man even took a stab at historical fiction, and with the exception of the lost manuscript that just got released (I genuinely didn’t like Dragon’s Teeth.  At all.  I thought it was boring as fuck.  Perhaps there’s a reason it was a lost manuscript), he nailed it!  Crichton was a master of the craft, and while I didn’t always agree with everything in his novels (such as in State of Fear, where he makes clear his belief about climate change and what he believes in mankind not being involved in it), I could always read them and be engaged, left with things to ponder.  Here is my list of my 10 favorite.

10. The Terminal Man
It’s so interesting to read this book.  It was written in 1972, and the concepts within it are more terrifying now than they were then.  But Crichton says outright in the beginning that while these concepts are scary, they’re real.  A story about a man who has seizures that cause him to be both violent and stronger, he is brought into a hospital for a new kind of treatment.  It will put wires into his brain to stimulate the parts of his mind during a seizure to stave it off.  However, this man has a twisted psychosis that leads him to escape after the procedure, with a dark plan.  This book is violent, tense, and the concepts within it terrifying.  Mind control is a concept that people talk about today, and mechanisms that could cause it existed then.  Think about that.

9. Rising Sun
A combination book of two things that Crichton does very well – crime novels and corporate espionage.  A story about two detectives who are investigating a murder at a Japanese corporate party.  This book looks at Japanese business, in a way that is not always flattering.  You have two different perspectives on it, so you can see the juxtaposition in approaches to how people treat the Japanese.  It’s also interesting with this stuff and the time period that it was written in, vs how things are now.  The west likes to believe that we get things, but in reality, the countries that aren’t our own are often as alien to us as life on another planet would be.  This is a book of intrigue and culture, and only Crichton could get skate on ice this thin without falling through.

8. A Case of Need
It’s ironic the timing of this.  During a new Supreme Court nomination, where countless people are wondering if Roe v Wade is going to be overturned.  This book also looked at abortion, but during a very different time.  Published in 1968, this book tells the story of a man who is framed for a botched abortion which results in the death of a young woman.  He gets a dear friend to investigate and find out the truth, saving both him and his reputation.  Before abortion was legal, where unsafe abortions killed countless women, this book took a look at the concept with an eye of critical skepticism.  It’s clear that Crichton was on the side of those who wanted legal abortion for women, but he decided to give this book a hard medical approach, along with a decent mystery.  In today’s climate, this book is definitely worth checking out.

7. Airframe
A corporate espionage story through-and-through, this book holds a special place for me because of the subject matter.  Neat fact – I’m afraid of flying.  I hate it.  It ties nicely into my fear of heights.  A fact that many have sniggered at due to how unfathomably tall I am.  Yes, this fact does amuse me to some degree.  Telling the story of an airplane manufacturing company (do they even have these in this country anymore?  I figure all that shit was outsourced years ago) who is tasked with investigating the cause of a horrifying accident, it is a story of corporate greed, corruption, and why people REALLY should be more afraid of being in airplanes.  It’s mired in corporate speak, but Crichton takes you through it.  He loves to have little digressions to talk about whatever subject matter is in his books.  Partly to help you understand, and partly because he clearly wants to show off how much research he did to write them.  This book is among the best in this genre, and if you aren’t afraid of flying, it will help with that.

6. Pirate Latitudes
When I was given this book, 1st Edition, for Christmas one year, I was unsure what to think.  A historical fiction book by Michael Crichton?  I mean, Timeline was great and all, but this just seems a little outlandish.  Then I started to read, and all my doubts evaporated.  Telling the story of a privateer who is given a task to raid an island that has equal parts danger and opportunity, this story is mired in Crichton’s ability to show off his research, and the adventure factor of a great pirate story.  It genuinely shocked me how good this book is.  These characters and their adventure feels so grounded in what could actually happen.  It doesn’t have the rosy view of pirates.  No, these people are gross, immoral people.  But Crichton has a gift at making those you shouldn’t like feel so fun to get to know.  A trip to the high seas you won’t forget.

5. Sphere
This novel is a little bit different.  Instead of Crichton showcasing his research, he wanted to show off his ability to use mood and setting to his advantage.  Telling the story of a man who once made a plan on how to deal with first contact with aliens, he gets a chance to do just that as a craft has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean.  What follows is a supremely suspenseful novel about terror at the bottom of the sea, and a device that has powers that defy all comprehension.  Crichton is able to make the deep ocean seem more threatening than anyone though possible.  Telling a story with tons of The Abyss before that film was a thing, it’s a novel to make your skin crawl.

4. Disclosure
This novel really seemed ahead of its time, looking at where we are now in terms of gender politics.  Combining a VERY touchy subject with his corporate espionage style, this novel tells the story of a man who works for a computer company.  A woman is hired that he used to be involved with.  After she tries to make a move on him and he rejects her, she comes after him with a sexual harassment suit.  From there, he does something that would be ballsy even to this day – files a sexual harassment suit right back, getting a lawyer who is a big-time feminist.  Taking on the concept of gender politics in the time when this was written could EASILY have blown up in his face, but Crichton doesn’t back down from his perspective.  He shows that it is possible for women to abuse their power and sexuality as a man, along with be corrupt and vile.  He doesn’t shy away from the implications.  It’s a daring novel, and I think that it has more relevance now than it did when it came out.

3. The Andromeda Strain
The novel that helped put Crichton on the map.  The first work of his to be adapted to film, and probably the only one done right.  This story was revolutionary for its time, and it has aged exceptionally well.  It takes the perspective that what if alien life that comes to our world isn’t some big monster, but rather something so small that you can’t see it with the naked eye?  A probe crashed back to Earth after having gone to find alien life, and it came back with something in tow.  An alien pathogen that kills the entirety of a small town.  Now, a group of some of the best scientists in the world comes together to try and figure out how to stop it.  This novel is tense.  The process of learning about this infection and what it is will leave you on the edge of your seat.  It’s a mind-bender, to say the least, and I am still shocked by it even to this day, because of how it takes concepts from time gone by and takes the next step in terms of technology.  A first contact story unlike any other.

2. Jurassic Park
Definitely the most famous of Crichton’s books.  A novel that tells the story of an eccentric billionaire who used cloning to create an island full of dinosaurs.  However, there are several things about the novel that separate it from the movie and make it far better.  For starters, this novel builds up the reality of dinosaurs existing in a way that the film doesn’t.  It’s a process of the world getting hints about them, only for a small team of people to be given the full reveal.  Not only that, but it looks at the creatures themselves, and what they would be like.  This isn’t just some monster movie.  It’s a tale about animals from 65 million years ago being brought back to life, thrown in the mix with mankind.  It’s a story where survivors are trying to get everything sorted out, and learn what they are up against.  The parts of the story examining what these animals are are fascinating.  It’s a shame the film didn’t take the time to really dive into that.  But you gotta entertain the dim-witted American audience (I do like the movie, by the way.  However, my point stands).  Not nearly as violent and creature-feature as the film, with some amazing science every step of the way.

And my favorite of Crichton’s books is…

1. Prey
Some of you saw this coming if I have any readers who read my post about my top 10 favorite books.  Not only is this my favorite book by Crichton, it’s my favorite book of all time.  This is him at his best.  Him taking real science and going the next step the way that only Crichton could.  It’s a nightmarish, fascinating, tense story about a corporate that creates nanomachines and how swarms of them get out into the wild.  Now, an out of work father who wrote the code that these machines are governed by has to get back into it, to solve the mystery of what his wife was doing away from home, and to save the family he has worked so hard to cultivate.  This book is a masterpiece, plain and simple.  It has Crichton showing his research like never before.  Though, if you find that stuff self-indulgent, you will hate this book.  There are long sections where he gets into some scientific or philosophical concepts and will carry that on for some time.  It’s pretty great stuff.  These machines, how they are created, and what they become, is a story that will have you spellbound, turning pages like it’s nobody’s business to get to the end.

What are some of your favorites?  Let me know in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“They didn’t know what they were doing.  Sometimes I wonder if that will be humanity’s epitaph.” – Jack Forman, Prey

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Hero Vehicles

You know something you don’t see much of anymore?  Hero vehicles.  There are plenty of cool cars and stuff in movies, but distinctive vehicles that a certain character or series can be known by.  It becomes part of their personality, helping to define who they are and what kind of character they are.  Now, for this list, I had to define some rules.  First, it can be from any genre.  You’re going to see a lot of anime here, but that’s just because they have cooler vehicles than other genres.  Blame the fact that Hollywood is out of creative ideas.  With that in mind, no mobile suits or pieces of technology designed as weapons.  It has to be a method of transportation first, potential for combat second.  Let’s get down to this.

10. Trans Am 20,000 WR
Redline
If you haven’t seen this movie, go see this movie!  Stop reading this post right now and go watch it!  That’s not a request!  That is an order, sailor!  With that in mind, JP’s car is so damn cool.  In a film that has some vehicles that run the gamut from absurdly-fast tanks to weird fembot mechs, JP decided to get a vehicle that has one gimmick and one alone – speed!  He weapons, just speed.  He wanted a car that can blaze past anything and everything.  And that’s what he got.  A vehicle that goes so fast that they he nearly dies when he pushes it past its potential.  He does that a lot.  Such an awesome car for such an awesome movie.

9. XGP 15A-11
Outlaw Star
Naturally, the vehicle for the hero of the series can be one that they don’t drive alone.  This vehicle is the central hub of Starwind Enterprises and their ill-fated mission to seek fame and fortune.  Not only does it do badass mech combat, but has a hilarious AI that is such a smarmy douche, and some of the funniest bits are them having to do simple shit like land the damn thing.  When those grappler arms come out, you know shit just got real.  Plus, the whole series is named for it.  That says something.

8. Light Cycle
TRON
A film that is a cult classic, this vehicle helped define what so much of the 80’s looked like, historically speaking.  Neon colors, and the light wave.  These things are just so cool.  I thought about putting the ones from the horrible sequel, but while those do looks pretty damn cool, they wouldn’t exist if not for the original.  These things are complicated.  The thing about them is that you have to defeat your opponents by using the light wave and strategy.  I really dig that.  Speed, strategy, and 80’s cheese.  What more could I ask for?

7. Fahrenheit
Final Fantasy X
What’s cooler than being part of a civilization that is full of atheists, and are absolute masters of technology?  Retrieving an ancient airship from the bottom of the ocean and putting it to work.  When Yevon soldiers attack the Al Bhed home, Cid brings this monster up from the depths and blasts it to high heaven, as this airship is equipped with a vast plethora of missiles.  From there, it becomes the center of your operation as you use it to get all around Spira.  It’s a pretty chill place to work, and eventually you use its upgraded cannons to take on the ultimate enemy of all Spira – Sin.  What’s not to like?

6. 1965 Aston Martin DB5
Skyfall
I miss the days where James Bond movies were partly defined by their cars.  Not since the early Pierce Brosnan films have we seen that.  Each film had a very cool car.  But one vehicle has a special place in the history of Bond films, and that is the Aston Martin.  This vehicle has been the center-piece for five different films, and getting to see it in Daniel Craig’s masterpiece Bond film was pretty damn awesome.  This is a car with class, history, and style.  I do love that.

5. Vespa SS 180
FLCL
What do you get when you combine an evil space alien who smashes her guitar on people’s faces with a vehicle that has no right to be this cool?  You get her absurd Vespa that defies the laws of reality.  Much like everything to do with Haruka.  This vehicle is her chief mode of transportation, and she has no problem smashing into whoever she has decided to latch onto with it.  This series hold a special place in my childhood, and so does this vehicle.

4. ex-US Navy PT Boat
Black Lagoon
I thought about going with Benny’s car, but the more I thought about it, the thing that really felt like the hero vehicle in this series was Dutch’s boat.  The former Vietnam vet has this as his primary means of getting around the South Pacific for his dirty business.  It’s where we get to see him at his absolute most awesome.  Some of the best dialogue moments come down to Dutch on this boat talking to people.  Since he added a couple torpedo launchers to it, he has a bonafide ass-kicking machine that he decides to be the ultimate boss in and use a sunken ship as a launch pad to fly it into the air, then launch the two torpedoes at a helicopter.  Groj how I love this show.

3. Ecto-1
Ghostbusters
In the realm of classic cars, you don’t get much more iconic than the Ghostbuster’s chief mode of transportation, the Ecto-1.  Taking a 1959 Cadillac and turning it into an absurd, totally impractical vehicle that probably is illegal because I would think that having lights and a siren on a vehicle that isn’t emergency services is illegal.  But that doesn’t matter, this car is just so cool that you go with it.  In a way, this was my put on this list for all the huge classic cars that you know of from movies, so you’re welcome.

2. Swordfish II
Cowboy Bebop
I thought about putting the Bebop itself on the list, but then I realized – that’s not what everyone thinks of when they think of this series.  They think of Spike’s signature craft, the Swordfish.  A former racer that Spike was able to get his hands on, this beat-up old monster is part of the history of a tragic character, and he views it as something that he just can’t get rid of.  He describes it as something that has traveled with him, yet also then bad-mouths it.  They are like an old relationship.  And then you see that beam weapon go off, and you realize that this thing is badass with a capital B.

And my favorite hero vehicle of all time is…

1. Batmobile
Batman: The Animated Series
Don’t any of you talk about that bullshit Batmobile in Arkham Knight!  That wasn’t a car.  That was a tank.  I hate that game so much because of the inclusion of the Battank.  That’s what I call it.  But when I think about hero vehicles, the first thing that came to my mind is one of the most iconic vehicles in all of modern culture – the Batmobile.  Then it came down to which version I think of when I think of that vehicle.  Well that wasn’t a difficult pick – the one from the flawless Animated Series.  This thing is classic.  It’s classy.  It’s got that perfect Art Deco aesthetic the series has going for it.  It’s got every gadget in the world, all while still being a badass car to boot.  This thing is awesome, from a series that was awesome.

What are some of your favorite hero vehicles?  Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“We’re taking the Batmobile?  We’re taking the Batmobile!” – John Doe, Batman: The Enemy Within

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Classical Pieces I Want to See in a Fantasia-esque Film

I’ve made no secret that my favorite Disney film is Fantasia.  I saw a video saying that it was part of what they called the animation Dark Ages.  I couldn’t possibly disagree more.  Animation will NEVER be as good as it was then.  The risks they could take, and the level of detail and freedom have never been what they once were.  Not to mention Disney became a company that is pure evil and ruined destroyed 2D animation because it didn’t make enough money for them anymore.  So yeah.

But this movie shaped my love of 2D animation and classical music.  I lament with every fiber of my being how 2D animation died in this country.  It breaks my fucking heart.  The original idea behind Fantasia is that it would be an ever-evolving piece, showcasing all kinds of animation and music, with no two showing being the same.  Walt Disney’s ambition is commendable, but the film itself nearly bankrupted the studio, so the idea of making another one right after that was a little beyond them.  There was a sequel made so many years later, but it failed to capture the magic of the original.

I was at work one day when I heard a piece of music come on.  See, I hijacked the radio there and we play classical music all day.  It probably drives my coworker nuts, but since they said nobody has control over the radio and I was told to play whatever I want, and the oldies station plays the same stuff over and over again, I decided to go with music that would keep my attention and wouldn’t annoy me.  This beautiful piece came on and immediately I knew what to write about – what pieces I would include if the concept behind Fantasia would ever be taken up by another studio and run with.  It’s a small dream, but here we got.  These are the top 10 pieces I want to see in another film that uses the same concept as Fantasia – taking classical music, and putting animation to it.  Letting animators hearts run free and seeing what they come up with.

I will be attaching images with each of these choices to show what comes to my mind, but I am all over letting other creators have free reign to have their own ideas.  I will also have all the pieces linked on their name, so listen to them and tell me what you come up with.  Let’s do this!

10. Cuban Overture
George Gershwin
Gershwin had this interesting thing where he would write music about the places I figure he must have been.  An American in Paris was a close contender to this spot, but Cuban Overture won out because it.  This piece is so energized!  And for my own idea, I wanted to make a bit being about Latin America.  More of one from antiquity, since modern Latin America has problems.  Is it romanticizing the area?  Perhaps.  But I won’t apologize for that.  The truth about the world is ugly.  We all want to make the world a prettier place in our minds.  Instead of this being a flowing narrative, having it be a spectacle of all the things a character we follow coming across sounds even better.  Then it all ends with them taking part in some festivities and closing out the first of what will hopefully be a lot of fun days.  Or maybe be a story of their journey across a period of time and them flying home at the end, thinking about coming back.

9. Moldau
Smetana
Listening to the soft, gentle rhythms of this piece, what comes to mind is a very fantastical place.  This is a world of magic, mystery.  I thought of the piece in Fantasia with the fairies.  In the process of getting a piece of art to go with what I saw my vision, I stumbled across a brilliant moment – a human entering this world!  I know, about as original as a ham sandwich, but the way I see it, nothing is original.  It’s all in the execution.  Just like the last piece, the narrative here is what the person sees.  And I don’t just want it explained at all.  The idea behind this format is no words.  The audience has to come to their own conclusions.  Maybe have some absolutely absurd things, with the character and yourself wondering what to make of it all.  Then, like any good Nutcracker story, it has them going back to the real world, not knowing what to think of it all.

8. Spirit Garden
Toru Takemitsu
Something that doesn’t get enough credit in the very academic music community is some of the stuff that comes out of other countries.  Japan has a history of very interesting music, along with some haunting classical pieces.  This is one of them.  I also figure, since we’re representing Japanese classical music, why not represent their art style?  This piece is dark.  I like that.  The cold tones make me think of an alien realm.  For this, I would want there to be NO central character.  This is all about imagery for the audience.  A strange, bizarre world.  Too much like the last piece?  Perhaps.  One may have to be sacrificed for the other.  Or maybe another idea for this.  But it’s weird, off-putting darkness is too good for me not to want it on this list.

7. Afro-American Symphony
William Grant Still
Something people seem to think about me, because I have railed against forced diversity so much is that I hate diversity on its merits.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  In reality, there are some incredibly diverse things that I absolutely love.  And a piece of music about the black community that has a great beat, clearly gets some inspiration from jazz, and seems to perfectly tell the story about a person’s day fits so well.  That’s what I imagine this to be.  Some black kid and the story about their day.  The ups, downs, and messy bits.  So long as it could avoid becoming preachy or having the same forced diversity I rail again, then I am all in.  It’s a little dream.

6. In the Hall of the Mountain King
Grieg
Time to break up the fantastical and get into some of the darker stuff.  This is one of my favorite pieces that goes SO well with creepy visuals.  This piece would be short, but my vision for it is crystal clear.  It begins at the entrance to an old castle.  The camera guides you through the dilapidated halls.  Moonlight shines in, painting shadows everywhere and having you feeling on edge.  I want to creep all the people out!  The dark shadows move with the camera, heading ever inward, toward the central chamber.  The closer you get, the more off-putting it becomes.  Eventually, you can see the shadows moving in.  Lights start turning on.  Strange lights with blue flame.  It has you feeling nervous.  Very, very nervous.  Then, the huge door!  This is it.  The central hall.  Right as the music swells up, it bursts in.  Then, all manner of creatures and persons are in there, with madness and eclectic dancing all about.  At the head of the table, you see a king who looks boistrous, with a mad look in his eye!  He laugh and gets in on the merriment.  Lights and shadows everywhere.  Finally, the camera is backing out fast, and the door slams shut!  Oh yeah…

5. Triumphmarsch und Chor
Guiseppe Verdi
This piece has come to mind specifically because of a girly-mate of mine who is in the Navy, who I don’t get to see nearly enough.  Trying to find artwork to go with this was horrible.  SO much artwork surrounding the military is all about sucking the military’s dick or showing off how badass America is.  And that’s not the military I am picturing.  I want these people to be regal!  I want it to be a march of a military who is in dress uniform that looks like the kind you can hang sword from.  Marching through the streets of a very well-to do city.  Wanna fuck with the sensibilities of America?  I do.  Let’s have there be newspapers where the headlines are all in German, so only those who speak German will know what they’re getting on about.  Have it be that there was a war won.  Don’t worry, this isn’t Nazis.  I’m not an edgelord.  Regal troops running triumphant from a campaign, marching in tune.  If you really wanted to get into the dark stuff, have them thinking about battle.

For this piece, I was thinking about animation which actually goes with the style in the pic I have attached with this.  Bright, colorful, and personable.  Since the piece becomes more cordial later, have there be a couple characters we follow, and their part in all the festivities.  But I want to keep this all about them coming home, with everyone cheering their name.

4. Piano Concerto #2
Rachmaninoff
In addition to wanting to run the gamut of various cultures that have given us classical music, I wanted to run the gamut on emotions as well.  This piece is very, very sad.  It tells a story of loss, pain, and trying to find one’s self.  I like that.  Maybe it’s just my depression that I have had to and will always have to live with that’s taking, but I like it.  But don’t go thinking that I want to have you, the audience, feeling miserable with me.  I want this piece to be about the person and the legacy of feeling loss, mourning, or just the grim reality of life.  With that in mind, here’s what I came up with for the visual element – an old man.  Someone who has had a long life, and seen many things.  Maybe have it be about the love of his life and the life they shared.  Remember how Up had us seeing a couple growing up and then growing old?  Well, I like that concept, and instead of there being a silly Pixar movie attached, I want to run with it all the way.  Have the film showcase this man’s life, his loves, his passion, and then how it all comes to an end.  Maybe have it be a metaphorical and literal journey of him walking a path to where his journey ends.  Oh, and because he is old, let’s give him a cat to take that last journey with.  An old timer that has shared the last 20 years with him on his journey.  It would end with them reaching that destination, and the music and visuals coming to show it all coming to an end.

3. Clair de Lune
Claude Debussy
This is my favorite piece of classical music of all time.  Now, Disney had done a version of this for their original Fantasia film, but it had to be cut.  Why?  I’ll never know.  The original version of it did get released, but I wanted to do my own take.  In the original Fantasia, they opened with a piece that had you thinking about the music first and then going into the visual style.  It opened with the audience being conscious of the orchestra, and then subsequently getting into abstract animation.  I like that idea.  But instead of it being an orchestra, I want it to be someone at a piano.  This would initially involve rotoscoping animation, but over time it would get more fantastical as the piece goes on.  Where would the animation go?  Who can say.  I just know where I want it to start.  Where it finishes is entirely up to the animators who bring it to life.  That’s just my thought.  I love this piece.  Makes me think of my grandmother on my old man’s side.  She loved it too.  I think she would like that too.

2. The Planets Suite
Gustav Holst
Now, here is a piece that could be it’s own film.  In fact, I kind of want it to be.  Have each planet’s section be a different showcase of a different kind of animation and a different vision.  Lots of ideas here.  Tons.  Too many.  But the reason I put this on the list is because there’s one more that I want to showcase on here.  Several years ago, someone decided to write another piece to be added to Holst’s vision.  See, he never wrote one for Earth.  So they called it “Earth, the bringer of life.”  I like it!  Not only does it go with his style of composition, but it rounds it all out nicely.  I want to have it featured as well.  I guess this was more about telling you about this addition than what I want done with it, but I think its worth bringing up.  This Suite has so much potential, and as I said, I genuinely do think it could and should be its own film in this vein, with each part serving to accompany its own ideas.

And the piece that I want most, that started all of this is…

1. Daphnis et Chloe
Maurice Ravel
As I said this is the piece I heard on the radio.  The one that I couldn’t stop thinking about.  It was magic!  I think it still is.  It runs the gamut of tones, emotions, and even has choral elements inside it as well.  I love it.  This piece is one I have grown to love almost overnight.  Should I ever get to hear it in person, my life may be complete right then.  Uncertain.  So, with that in mind, what animation elements do I want here?  I’ll tell you.  I want to go big!  Something sweeping, large, and epic!  In my mind, that means one thing – dragon riders!  With that, we can have a sweeping landscape.  Have it be the story of a person who is looking to join the ranks of the riders.  Or the story of a day in the life of one.  Whatever the case, that’s what I want to see.  The visuals need to be a cut above the rest.  It has to be detailed and sublime.  I want to see a ton of riders.  I want to see their world.  This has to be a place I can damn-near touch!  Yes, that’s what I want.

What about you?  What do you all hear in any of this?  What pieces would you like to see if you could do this?  If I had tens of millions of dollars, I’d bring it to you.  Hand to Groj, I would.

Until next time, a quote,

“Walt Disney once described animation as a voyage of discovery, into the realms of color, sound, and motion.” – Angela Lansbury, Fantasia 2000

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Things I Hate in Movies

My gay girly-mate and I got to talking and there are a ton of things in movies that bug us.  See, I’m the kind of guy who analyzes things.  To death.  Like way past the point where it’s healthy.  It’s why I know that the only reason Mufasa hates the hyenas in The Lion King is because they’re black.  They’re a minority living in the savannah’s projects.  If that isn’t a more obvious metaphor, I don’t know what it.  So my friend and I thought about the things we hate most, and I came up with this handy Top 10 list of them.  Let’s get into it.  Here are the things in movies that grind my gears the most.

10. Everyone in the post-apocalypse easily finding gas for cars
Am I the only person that this bugs?  I need a straight answer about that.  How are people not aware of how absolutely insane this is?  From The Walking Dead to Mad Max, it seems like everyone in the post-apocalyptic world is very easily finding gas for their cars.  Do people just not know that gas has a shelf life?  Depending on how it’s stored, it can be from one to three months for ethanol fuels.  It blows my mind that you have all these movies where it has been years, sometimes tens of years from when gas was pumped, and it’s still good.  What?!

9. Whispering is never whispering
Do the people who make movies just not realize that they are professionals with sound equipment and can easily make whispering show up in a movie without characters talking very loudly and them just bringing down the audio levels to make it sound like whispering?  We can tell the difference!  Or maybe I can, but that’s just me.

8. Ordinary people surviving things that would obviously kill them
When I watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier and see the titular character survive falling over ten stories, crashing through a window and then surviving all by landing on his shield, I am able to look past that.  Why?  Because that shield is made of vibranium, a fictional metal that takes impact forces and blasts it outward.  It’s nearly indestructible.  That and he’s a superhero.  It’s a superhero film about superhuman characters.  I am okay with that.  What bugs me is when I see character who are shown to be average people surviving things that would OBVIOUSLY kill them.  Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are a great example of what I’m talking about.  There you have tons of people falling huge distances or smashing through things and having little to no damage on them whatsoever.

7. Guns shooting, but no casings hitting the ground
I finally got around to seeing the first season of Stranger Things because Netflix released it on DVD.  Good stuff.  The kid characters are my favorites, but every arc is interesting.  The last episode where the government troops are with the head of the facility and the demagorgon appears is pretty intense, but as everyone is shooting, I’m noticing something – why are there no casings hitting the ground?  These people have fired a ton of rounds, yet you don’t hear a single casing hitting the floor.  The visual for the guns looks fake too.  This tells me that the entire effect was done in post.  It bugs me when there are supposed to be guns going off, but you don’t see or hear a single casing flying out of it.  Totally takes me out of the scene.

6. Bland superhero villains
I’m looking at you, Marvel.  The MCU films run the gamut in quality, but one thing that FAR too many of them have in common is the lackluster villains.  Some of them are just written badly, but it grinds my gears when you have characters who have the potential to be interesting villains, but aren’t.  There are a few examples of those who aren’t that bad.  I liked every villain in The Winter Soldier, and Baron Zemo in Civil War wasn’t half-bad.  They have been building up Thanos for some time now.  PLEASE don’t let him be some boring, forgettable villain.  This film is supposed to be him fucking up the MCU’s shit to get the Infinity Gems, so let’s have him do some damage!

5. Good guys being dumb
There’s that great line in Spaceballs – Evil will always win, because good is dumb.  Um, yeah.  Good is kinda dumb.  The good guys have this really bad habit of being some of the dumbest people ever.  For whatever reason, we like to have good guys being the stupidest fuckers.  I guess because the idea is to have protagonists of big blockbusters relate to the dumb-shit American public?  Meanwhile, you have these villains who are the intellectuals and are so egotistical.  Why is it that intelligence is not a virtue that we can appreciate?  Oh right, because America will vote for a political candidate because they feel like they can have a beer with them.  This country is so fucking dumb.

4. “Comedy” films that only have people in a room talking
You know what I miss?  Visual comedy.  I miss when directors would try and get laughs from visual elements in films being used to help amuse the audience.  Like when things appear in frame in funny ways.  When things leave the frame in funny ways.  When you can do like Wes Anderson does and use lateral tracking shots to sell ridiculous scenes.  Why is it that every comedy film in this country feels like it’s just people in a room doing improv?  I hate that shit.  I’m looking at you, Paul Feig!  Your movies suck!  You’re the antithesis to comedy!

3. The films being made out of books is almost always a death sentence
Maybe I should have it that films are being made out of books.  Because it seems like every time I see a book that I love being turned into a movie, I instinctively cringe.  I recently was forced to watch the entire catalog of Harry Potter movies, and without a single exception, I hate them.  They fuck up the ending of every single book!  What made the books so good was how you’d have the mystery at the beginning of the story that is gradually solved by the end.  At least the first four.  After that they got kind of dumb.  Well, aside from the sixth.  That one was pretty good.  There is all this build-up, leading to so much tension.  And when it all blows up then it explodes in this huge climax that feels so good and has you glued to the pages.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Meanwhile, the films always fuck that up.  Always.  Without a single exception.  And don’t even get me started on how much books made from Michael Crichton’s books almost always suck.  My favorite author, and his books have been turned into Hollywood shit.

2. How dumbed-down PG and PG-13 ratings have become
Am I the only person who thinks that we might as well get rid of PG at this point?  That rating means Pretty much G now.  None of the films I have seen with that rating for the last 20 years have merited it.  It’s so stupid.  Maybe it’s just me, but I happen to believe that kids these days can handle the harder stuff.  Can you imagine if Don Bluth’s masterpiece The Secret of NIMH had come out today?  That probably would have gotten a PG-13 rating.  And speaking of, here’s a video by a YouTuber I like that lays out the problem with PG-13 much more completely than I can.

And the thing I hate most in movies is…

1. Ordinary people outrunning things that would EASILY catch them
You know what I love?  The velociraptors in Jurassic Park.  Those things are badass with a capital B.  Intense, dangerous, and not evil.  Just animals doing what they do.  And they are so cool.  The kitchen scene where Tim and Lex are hiding from them as they hunt them down has so much tension.  It’s great stuff.  The two get split up and you have Lex being really clever and using a reflection to trick a raptor.  That’s pretty smart.  I like that.  But then Tim decides that he is going to run, on foot, to the freezer and trap a raptor in there.  He is on foot.  Not only that, but he has a limp from when he had 10,000 volts of electricity cook him.  That raptor would have been on him in two seconds ripping him to teeny tiny Timmy pieces!  That scene is so laughably stupid that it blows my mind how ANYONE can take it seriously.  It takes all the tension in that scene and blows it out the airlock.  I hate it.  While I do love that movie, that one particular scene pisses me off so much.  Same with anything where you have normal people outrunning things that would OBVIOUSLY catch up to them in a matter of seconds, if not in a second.

What about you?  What things in movies piss you off?

Until next time, a quote,

“Clever girl.” – Robert Muldoon, Jurassic Park

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Movie Villains

I’ve already done a post about my favorite video game villains, so now I thought that I’d do another top 10 for my favorite movie villains.  I may end up doing my favorite book and TV villains, but that’s a list for another day.  Film has some amazing villains, and it is hard to have a list for just 10.  Feel free to tell me what some of your favorites are in the comments.  Me and my friend Quinn talked about this for hours and I have come up with my list of the villains who stuck out to me the most.  I want to be clear that when I say villains, I mean characters or monsters who meant harm to the protagonist.  So it isn’t just creatures with bad intentions.  Sometimes it’s just a creature doing what it does without any malice at all.  Let’s get started.

10. Sauron
Lord of the Rings
I just love that this villain has so much presence all without having a body at all.  The reason he is so low on this list given the pure evil power he has is because in the film they categorized him as having a giant flaming eye.  In the books he had no form at all.  His evil was absolute.  When I do the book list, he will be much higher.  But this guy is evil with a capital E, and can corrupt the purest souls he finds with the promise of power.  He nearly brought Middle Earth to its knees, hence why he is on the list.

9. Capt. James Hook
Hook
This guy is so iconic!  I’ve loved pretty much every iteration with him.  Even the live action Peter Pan film from the early 2000’s, he was the best part.  Granted, there he was played by Jason Isaacs, who can make evil just roll off the tongue.  But my favorite version by far is the one by Dustin Hoffman.  Hook was a great movie.  The cutesy shit aside, this film had everything right.  The casting was almost pitch-perfect, with Pan’s kids being the only problem.  They were insufferable.  But never has this character had more character than when Hoffman brought him to life.  He was manic, he was diabolical, and he was so damn classy!  Hoffman could make this guy into quite the charmer.  He can smash clocks to pieces, then rally his crew to battle.  This guy was so much fun.  Not all villains have to be super serious.  This guy had it all while being funny as fuck from time to time.

8. Sid
Toy Story
Maybe this is my nostalgia goggles on a little to tight, but when I was a kid, this dude freaked me the fuck out!  Sid is so delightfully evil, but the thing that really makes him stand out among the villains on this list is that he isn’t really that evil.  Something you don’t think about as a kid but do when you get older is that he is honestly just a kid.  He’s a weird-ass kid, but he’s still a kid.  I’m talking to boys for the most part now, but how many of you have horribly mangled or mutilated your toys when you were really little?  It doesn’t mean you’re evil.  It means you’re young.  This character isn’t really malevolent.  He is just an ADHD little shit who has weird hobbies.  But man did that kid freak me out.  At the time I saw the film, I was around Sid’s age, and yeah, I admit to being weird little shit myself.  Scary, funny, but never truly evil

7. Shere Khan
Jungle Book
Disney has such an amazing library of villains to choose from.  I could make an entire list just of my favorite villains from their library.  But one of the ones that truly stood out to me was Shere Khan.  Not just because of the AMAZING voicework.  I mean pitch-perfect.  This dude is such a badass and he knows it.  This dude has absolutely zero fucks to give because he knows that anyone who fucks with him is dead.  And the entire jungle knows that if he is mad, you are fucked.  But the way he can be so damn classy just takes the cake.  He never raises his voice, but you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he means business!  This pussy isn’t fucking around, and that’s what earns him this spot.  Scar wishes he could be this cool.  The scene where he interrogate Kaa is just the best.  He knows that the snake is fucking with him, but he just lets it go on.  So badass.

6. Predator
Predator (franchise)
It was such a hard pick between this and the xenomorph.  I knew I could only pick one.  But to me the Predator is much more fascinating of a villain.  It doesn’t kill people from some sense of malice.  It sees all other life as merely prey.  Does it care that we are sentient?  Nope.  That’s part of the fun.  We’re a lifeform worthy to hunt, and it goes after the biggest badasses it can fine.  A bummer that so many of the films with this creature are either really mediocre or suck.  I admit that Predator 2 is a guilty pleasure.  It hunts with violent precision, and will attack you no matter where you are.  It’s an apex hunter, that hunts the most dangerous game in the galaxy.

5. Mark Hamill’s Joker
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
A lot of people will be mad at me for not picking Heath Ledger’s Joker.  Or even Jack Nicholson’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I think both performances are amazing.  But here’s the thing, as great as both of them are, Mark Hamill always seemed to capture the madness so much better.  With Nicholson, you believed that he is evil.  Hell, he’s been playing that roll for forever.  And Ledger seemed to be trying to make a point.  But Hamill’s voice-acting was able to bring this character to life by having you never really being able to know just how insane he was, or how much he thought things out.  Violent, twisted, funny, and always having you guessing.  This character is iconic, and this film had him doing a great role too.  The scene in the councilman’s office was my favorite.  How he can go from being happy and taunting, to fearful for his safety, to twisted and evil in the span of a few seconds is just great.  There are a lot of great portrayals of the character, but Mark Hamill has always been and will always be my favorite.

4. Hans Landa
Inglorious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino has a real gift when it comes to making villains who aren’t just evil for the sheer joy of it.  He has this real talent for making three-dimensional villains who have a ton of depth.  I like it.  Nowhere is this more exemplified than in Hans Landa.  This guy is so damn charismatic.  He has all the class and charm of a gentleman, but has the twisted sense of darkness and evil of the biggest scenery-chewing Bond villains.  The thing I really love about this guy is that all of how he does is bravado.  Landa is in it for himself.  He’s a twisted, violent monster who can play it off so smoothly to Aldo that even when he is going to fuck him up, he still buys the narrative.  This guy is a twisted monster who can put on a sheep’s clothing seamlessly.  It’s pretty great stuff.

3. Hans Gruber
Die Hard
Another villain who is equal parts evil and classy.  Only Alan Rickman could have done this villain justice.  There is no other.  This guy is just the best.  He’s a cocky, greedy intellectual who is so in love with the sound of his own voice.  Hearing him play off Bruce Willis’ character is just the best.  Especially when they are in the same room together.  But this guy is sure of himself, and even when it all starts falling apart, he is cool and collected.  There’s not too much to say about this guy.  He’s just got the most charm that any villain will likely ever have.  It’s Alan Rickman at his most Rickman.  May he rest in peace.

2. Maleficent
Sleeping Beauty
Classy women who are evil can never, EVER be matched up with Maleficent.  This woman is badass with a capital B.  All it took is someone snubbing her by not inviting her to a party and she spins an elaborate plan to kill the daughter whose birthday she was not invited to.  The poise and elegance that this woman carries herself with is so profound.  Not talking about the live action version!  Fuck that movie.  The 1959 version of this character is what I’m really talking about.  I wouldn’t cross her if my life depended on it, because those who do learn very fast that the price of fucking with her.  When you do get under her skin, and make her mad, this woman will fuck you up!  Or your children.  No evil queen has as much presence as she does.

And my favorite movie villain is…

1. Velociraptor
Jurassic Park
When you talk about the apex predator, in my mind, there is not that can hold a candle to the velociraptor.  Not evil at all, it’s just a hunter.  But what it lacks in malice it makes up for in sheer cunning.  This creature will hunt you down and rip you to pieces.  The scene where the warden is hunted is just perfect.  He never stood a chance.  Before he even got started, he was dead.  These things are what nightmares are made of.  You don’t see them coming.  Their claws and teeth rip you to pieces.  You are still alive when they start eating you.  They feel no fear and you are no match for them.  When you’re out in the woods, alone, that’s what you should really fear coming after you.  Because once the hunt is on, it’s already over.  At least if you are the prey.  I love these things so much.  It kills me how the sequels fucked over the cool factor, but it is what it is.

What are some of your favorite villains?  Let me know below.

Until next time, a quote,

“Clever girl.” – Robert Muldoon, Jurassic Park

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