SIONR: Stop Complaining About How Short Season Seven of Game of Thrones Is

One of the biggest complaints I am seeing all over the Internet is as follows – “why is this season of Game of Thrones so short?!  Everything is so rushed!  Why can’t they take more time and get to know the characters more?  I mean, all Sam does is move the plot forward!  It’s boring!”  That may be a bit longer than I had thought, but I wanted to basically encapsulate all the complaints that I’m hearing in the same space.  Generally speaking, anyway.  And it’s frustrating.  Because it’s like people haven’t really been paying attention.

Here’s the thing – Game of Thrones is the most ambitious television series ever produced.  There isn’t a single comparison to be made, anywhere.  This series has done with no others have even attempted to do.  Because of that, they have had to make a lot of sacrifices.  There are a TON of plotlines from the books that are either distorted or outright gone.  Why?  Because they don’t have the time, or another crucial element that everyone who is bitching seems to forget about – money.  This series’ price tag has gotten astronomically-large.  A lot of critics have wondered if the series has gotten to the point that it’s too expensive to keep making.  A valid question.  So, when the lead writers said that they only have 13 episodes worth of plot, any normal person would wonder – why not have some filler stuff.  Little things where we take a break and get to know the characters more.  That’s smart.  The simple reality is that doing that takes more time and budget to shoot longer.

I understand how some people are a little annoyed.  Yeah, it’s weird how characters are able to traverse great distances in ye olde times with great speed.  But you know what I do?  I do that thing called critical thinking.  It’s a lost art in the age of conservative and liberal hand-wringing that eschews nuance completely.  How many episodes would they have needed to realistically have Greyworm get the Unsullied to Casterly Rock?  At least two or three.  They have to speed things up.  There isn’t enough plot left to fill in that kind of time.  So yes, Jon Snow made it from Winterfell to White Harbor and then to Dragonstone in the span of a single episode.  Hell, not even that.  The series has at least attempted to make the audience understand that there are weeks going between episodes, but that part has been admittedly clumsy.

And sure, there is a ton of stuff that I’d like to see.  Like, why didn’t Ghost go with Jon?  What a way to have them get to know each other.  Him being the father of a dire wolf with the mother of dragons?  That seems like a good way for them to bond.  I’ve missed Ghost.  He has barely been in the series since the very beginning of last season.  But then I remember – dire wolves have to be animated.  And that takes money.  Money that HBO unfortunately can’t spare.  We may never see Ghost again.  That will suck.  I hope he survives until the end.  There’s only one other dire wolf left.  Thankfully we did get to see that Nymeria is okay.  I’m really glad about that.  Not glad that Arya went back to Winterfell.  I thought her deal with seeing Nymeria and saying she doesn’t belong there anymore took it to mean that she doesn’t belong in Winterfell, so she was going to go south and finish her mission.  But nope.  Kinda disappointed with that.  Not gonna lie.

The point of all this rambling nonsense is that HBO has to do the best it can with what they’ve got.  They are out of plot and the budget just keeps growing.  They’re too invested in this to stop now, but the studio can’t let this series bankrupt them.  From a financial standpoint I understand their problems.  For all of us, it means that we get less show to watch.  But if what we see was like last night, with Drogon setting an entire army on fire, then yes, please, more of that.  I love the political stuff in the series the most, but I got a raging nerd hard-on for how cool that is.  Let’s enjoy how great this series is for as long as we can’t.  One more season, and that’s it.

Until next time, a quote,

“You can’t always get what you want.  But if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” – Lyrics by The Rolling Stones

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Resident Evil Movies Getting a Six-Movie Reboot?! WHY?!

I don’t know how many of you know this, but the Resident Evil movies have sucked.  I can at least watch the first one because it has a couple genuinely scary moments, but the rest can’t even fall into the category of so bad they’re good.  They just suck.  They are cinematic abortions from first to last.  When I saw the preview for The Final Chapter, I was doing cartwheels because I finally thought that they were bringing an end to a series that NO ONE asked to go on this long.  No one.  People have been begging for this to end years ago.  Hell, the films aren’t even financially solvent, so why did this go on for so long?  Mysteries for the prophets.

But it seems that the films are already being planned for a six-film reboot.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this link and really soak in how stupid this is.  Naturally, it’s because of Germans that this abortion is being forced to keep going.  As they say, it’s brought in over $1.2 billion in profits.  For six films, with their level of production values, that actually seems pretty bad.  The article even says that the idea for six films is them milking it.  They want to suck this cash cow dry until there is absolutely nothing left.  I am in awe.

Can we please stop making video game movies?  I’m being serious.  These films suck.  Without a SINGLE exception, they all suck.  Everyone tried to defend the Warcraft film, but even then it was flimsy at best.  I can at least acknowledge that the original Silent Hill film was made by someone who at least loved the games and wanted to do right by them.  It still sucked, but there was at least a little heart.  More than most of this shit.  Video game films are becoming the bottom of the film barrel, and Hollywood is showing that they don’t care if film budgets are wasted making more of this garbage.  I honestly wish that Hollywood would realize that we need some originality in film.

Movies are getting so predictable.  I just got done watching Rogue One, and the whole time I’m like – something interesting is going to happen soon, right?  I liked Civil War, but that’s because it actually had heroes fighting each other.  That was unique.  But I am still tired of comic book movies.  Star War VII was a remake of the original with a check and even less fun.  None of the big movies even get my attention anymore.  And now they are releasing a new Pirate of the Caribbean film and I bet that film will die even more than the previous film did.  That franchise has been played out.  The only film I actually want to see coming out soon is Dunkirk, because it is being made by a direct who I know will make a film that isn’t just me watching a computer.

I know that there are people in Hollywood who have good ideas.  The problem is that studios are basically condemning them to never get anything made because all they care about is something easy to market.  Something that they can put out there and know there will be a return of investment.  It’s why we have Transformers VI, Star Wars: Independent Story Nobody Cared About, Cars 3, and other equally-uninteresting films that will still make a ton of money because the audience in this country is retarded.

And while we’re on the subject, can we PLEASE stop with these reboots?!  I am fucking sick of films that play on nostalgia as the only way to keep you in the seats.  All of these films just make me realize how much I loved the original.  That’s it.  I groan when I see a previews to another franchise or something that I loved being turned into a cash-grab.  Thankfully, these films are becoming less and less financially successful, which hopefully can give the six-figure salaries and two-digit IQs in Hollywood a clue that this crap is played out.

In the meantime, fuck this latest reboot.  I haven’t seen one of these films in years, and I am not going to now.  Who are the idiots who keep watching this shit?  I honestly want to know.

Until next time, a quote,

“Running out of ideas will put in you the dark until death.” – Cambodian Proverb

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: The Failure of Final Fantasy XV and a Road Trip Game Done Right

It’s no mystery that I view Final Fantasy XV as a game with a good idea, but a bad execution.  The problem is that the game devs decided that they were going to go the typical Final Fantasy game route and make it about saving the world.  Failing to realize that what drew people in was the theme song that was horribly misused in the actual game.  This game was marketed as Noctis and his friends going on a road trip in a fantasy world that is very similar to our own.  And I think that was a great concept.  If they had just gone all the way with it, that game could have been one of a kind.  For a while now I have been thinking of how this idea could be done correctly.  Let me share what I came up with.

For starters, there cannot be a plot outside of the road trip.  It would have to be a very small story.  No saving the world.  Maybe thwarting some threats that are posing a danger to the places that the party comes across in their travels, but that’s it.  You can even have the world’s politics play a part in it, but that has to come secondary.  It’s just an element of setting, not a core plot element.  But it should still be a part of things.  After all, you want the world to seem believable.  If the game’s world doesn’t feel like one that you can live in, then it is not doing its job in immersion.  However, none of the choices you make in a road trip game can affect politics on a large scale.  Maybe you can change a village or town or even part of a city’s mind about your group.  Maybe make it some kind of ethnic conflict.  But at the end of the game, the politics are what they are and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Next up, the stuff where the car is basically driving itself and you are just along for the ride actually didn’t bug me.  However, in order to do this concept better, I have some tips.  First – make a larger music selection.  Give the world some personality.  Make radio stations that play various kinds of music and add to the world by injecting some diverse opinions into the mix.  Maybe have one station who is very much a friend to your characters nation and political views, while having another that is very much opposed.  Run the gamut of political ideas, all while having lots of music that makes you feel like this is a real place.  Not just stock music options and soundtracks to other games.  Hell, the didn’t even do that right.  I mean, if you’re going to get soundtracks you can buy, why not have the whole thing?  And why not make it like when you are making an iTunes playlist and pick the songs you want to hear?  So many small details about this game that could have been done better.

Second – ditch the open world.  I am honestly getting tired of huge worlds that feel like there is no one living there.  Instead, why not make it so you have large levels at various places in the journey?  Open levels on your journey, rather than vast spaces that feel like not one person has ever lived there.  Since you are traveling in your car, that would allow you to make the set-pieces of driving and taking in scenery, characters talking, and the ambiance that much better.  However, too many games have vast open spaces that are just so boring.  I may be in a minority here, but a game that did this concept flawlessly was Uncharted 4.  Instead of being one massive open world, they allowed you to explore large contained areas at your own pace.  For a game about a road trip, with the idea being characters exploring what they come across, that seems much more fitting.

Third – immerse your character in the world.  Take a few cues from Persona 5.  Let your characters buy food at the restaurants they come across.  I wanna be able to buy their world’s version of a juicy burger at the gas station diner.  Or have some fancy meal at an upscale restaurant in some tourist trap city.  Maybe even take in a bowl of ramen or whatever the noodles of that world are.  Little touches like that go a long way.  When I am chilling at a hotel room or something, let me watch movies, read books, of something else that gets me involved in the area.  Maybe have doing that stuff help your character level up stats or something.  Give some incentive for taking the time for this.  Persona 5 had hilarious rip-offs of big movies that were terribly acted on purpose, but it was still so fun to do because you had fun laughing at the ridiculousness of a Batman knock-off talking about desserts.  Give the player incentive to learn about the world.

Fourth – side-quests, and don’t just make it busy work.  Have party members want to do stuff in towns, or developing relationships with random npc’s leading to bigger payoffs with fun missions that can either be difficulty challenges or give you special stuff.  Take some cues from The Witcher 3 and make the side-stuff just as interesting as the main stuff.

Finally – make the game feel like it’s a story about the group on the road trip growing as people.  A kind of coming-of-age story.  Maybe make them a touch older and have some ideas about the nature of growing up and having to be adults.

Final Fantasy XV had a solid concept, it just didn’t go all the way with it.  More than anything, that’s what frustrates me as a gamer.  A wasted good idea is the very worst, and too many games are guilty of it.  But what about you?  Agree or disagree with my assessment?  Let me know down in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Collector’s Edition of Final Fantasy XV Doesn’t Include Season Pass

I’m honestly becoming at a loss for words about what a greedy bunch of pukestains Square Enix has become.  It’s growing more and more insulting by the day.  We saw what happened with making Rise of the Tomb Raider a timed exclusive.  I am almost certain that we’ll see how the new Hitman is a failure due to it being episodic and having always-online DRM.  There was also that fun campaign disaster with the pre-orders of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.  We then get to see that the insanely-awesome-looking remake for Final Fantasy VII is also going to be episodic (think that will have always-online DRM too?).  But today, I think that I’ve seen the most greedy thing yet.  This company seems to be on a mission to not have the latest greedy thing be ceiling.  They gotta bust on through to the other side.  This time, it’s with the game I have been so eager for for so long, Final Fantasy XV.

I’ve already talked about their stupid bullshit having to do with a Season Pass.  That’s retarded in its own right.  But now it seems that this company just can’t help itself from fucking over their customers.  Like how they are trying to milk people who have already given them $280 out of even more money.  That’s right, if you pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition of the game, with all that comes with it, Square Enix wants you to fork over even more to get their shitty DLC that should have already been included in the fucking game.

Unbelievable.  I just do not get the thought process behind this.  It’s like, “hey, let’s bilk people of as much cash as possible!  That’s sure to generate brand loyalty!”  These people are paying you almost $300, you fucking assholes!  The least you could do is not fuck them over in return and demand even more.  I can honestly see only two reasons behind this sort of decision-making.  First, they really are this greedy.  If so, then I honestly don’t want to keep supporting them.  Because we vote with our wallets.  When people give in to bullshit stunts like this, it tells these companies that they can keep doing this.  I’m poor.  I don’t have much disposable income.  Why should I pay extra for something that they refuse to put into their game already?  Second, they have no choice but to charge extra.  In which case, they should just stop making games.  If this is what it takes to keep the company financially-solvent, then they really should just leave the industry.  It can only get only get worse from here.

What is going on with this company?  They keep looking to be on the verge of finally coming back, but they seem to be doing everything they possibly can to shoot themselves in the foot.  It’s baffling.  If someone can explain this to me, I’m all ears.  No joke, I’d love a cogent explanation for all this madness.  From where I’m sitting, this company seems eager to self-destruct, and remind me of a character in Loony Tunes.  See if you can figure out which one it is.

Until next time, a quote,

“These blockbuster bombs don’t go off unless you hit them JUST right.” – Gremlin, Loony Tunes

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Rumors of Final Fantasy XV Delay

You have got to be kidding me.  Square Enix, this has to be a joke.  If these rumors are true, then I honestly can’t be more pissed at you than right now.  Because I know what you’re doing.  The level of transparency here is just disgusting.  You greedy, corporate fuckbags are doing this because you want to capitalize, and it pisses me off.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s talk about this.

The rumor mill is abuzz because of some promotional material that was discovered by the sleuths of the Internet.  The material is from GameStop, which shows the release date of this game not at the promised September 30th, but at November 29th.  Almost a full two months later.  Yeah, it’s as bullshit as it sounds.  Yet-another stupid-ass decision by Square Enix, and can you all see why they’re doing this?  I shouldn’t need to explain this. Anyone who has been associated with gaming can see as clear as day what the gambit here is – to capitalize on the Christmas shopping season!  Of course it is.

I hate the Christmas game release season.  I hate that game are being delayed to that so that companies can try and milk more money.  Why?  Because companies need to learn that it doesn’t matter when a good game comes out!  Just release the fucking game!  When will companies learn that us gamers don’t need a special time of year for a game?  It’s infuriating.  I did a little looking into this on my own, and I think the rumors are correct.  See, I looked at the original release date, which just happened to be on a Friday.  I was SO digging that.  I could leave work and then have two whole days to play.  Still, that is unusual.  Why?  Because most games come out on Tuesday.  Groj knows why.  It’s a stupid day to release games.  Why release them when the bulk of the people who play them are stuck at work?  It’s retarded.  Guess when November 29th is?  That’s right, it’s on a Tuesday.  It fits neatly with how things are done.

To be perfectly honest, I’m getting a little sick of Square Enix’s shit.  They keep pulling this stupid crap, and it is stupid.  Did you know that Final Fantasy XV has a Season Pass?  Yeah, because Square Enix figures that you aren’t paying enough money for the complete game, so they are going to give you a pass for what is almost-certain to be bullshit DLC.  These people aren’t CD Projekt Red.  They know how to do DLC right, and I found that to be a worthwhile investment.  With the episodic and online DRM bullshit with the new Hitman, or how the remake of Final Fantasy VII is episodic (hey, Square Enix, will that have always-online DRM too?  Fuckers), this company is seriously starting to make me hate it.  And that shouldn’t be the case!  Everyone should be excited.  How can this company take something that should be happy and then fuck it up this bad?!  I don’t get it.

Given what I’ve seen, I am inclined to believe these rumors that are out and about in the zeitgeist.  It’s stupid.  I am so pissed.  It’s like this company wants me to hate them, and I don’t want that to be the case.  Greed has taken over so much of the gaming industry.  Why are so few companies willing to rise above?  A question for the philosophers.

Until next time, a quote,

“Your premium brand better be delivering something special, of it’s not going to get the business.” – Warren Buffet

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Final Fantasy XV Season Pass

Again?!  Again, Square Enix?!  Groj is this frustrating.  It’s like this company goes out of its way to make me hate them.  You think I want this?  You think I want to hate this company for the stupid practices that it does?  Well you’d be wrong!  I want to like this company.  Hell, I want to love them.  Some of my favorite games have come from them.  There’s the awesomeness that is Final Fantasy X and the fun and nostalgia of the Kingdom Hearts games (even if the plot of those games has become convoluted beyond reason).  I grew up with this company.  It genuinely pains me to see what they’ve become.  Probably the last bastion of old-school Japanese gaming.  But they just keep doing stupid thing after stupid thing.

What’s that, you may ask?  They are releasing another unfinished game that you have to pay $25 in order to get the finished version.  Unbelievable.  I am SO sick of companies doing this!  So many companies are releasing games that you have to pay even more money in order get finished.  There are six slated DLC packs that you can get if you just shell out even more money.  And I get the feeling that it isn’t meaningful DLC.  It’ll probably be another instance of Batman: Arkham Knight.  Just a bunch of add-on nonsense that there is NO reason that it couldn’t be in the main game.

I don’t get why this company is making things so difficult for itself.  They’re releasing the remake of Final Fantasy VII in episodes.  Making it so that I’m not going to buy it until its done and then I can get it on sale.  Because I’m not buying an unfinished game!  It’s bullshit that they expect me to have to do that.  I never did and never will buy Hitman because they released that in episodes, and you have to have an online connection to play.  Not only did they do this episodic nonsense, but also having DRM!  I have to wait until December to play Rise of the Tomb Raider because these ass-clowns had to make some stupid deal with Microsoft for a timed exclusive.  These are not smart decision, Square Enix!  This is corporate bullshit to cash grab!  What happened to your company?  I remember the days when you were among the most respected publishers in gaming.  Now you desperately need Final Fantasy XV to be a success to keep your company afloat.

Well, I’m not buying your season pass.  I refuse.  If you can’t release a finished game, then I’m not going to buy it.  It’s as simple as that.  Don’t release unfinished games.  Is your company so hard up for cash that you have to do this to stay afloat?  I’ve mused about this fact before.  Are game developers so strapped for cash that gimmicks like this are the only way that they can break even?  Is game development that expensive now?  No, I don’t think so.  I think you’re just pulling the same shit that EA and Ubisoft get away with because you want to rake in that kind of cash.  Well, those two companies are now maligned.  I won’t be playing another EA game again.  Screw the new Mass Effect. I want NOTHING to do with it.  Everything I’ve heard about how Bioware is bleeding talent as the people who made that company great are jumping ship tells me that this new game was be an underwhelming mess.  Not to mention, one of the lead directors is an asshole with a “White Tears” mug that he is very proud of.  Fuck that guy.  If Ubisoft can maybe stop milking their franchises and go back to what made ones like Assassin’s Creed great, then I might give them another chance.

I don’t want you to join that pedigree, Square Enix.  I grew up with you.  Games from back when you were truly great are among my favorite of all time.  Don’t follow this path.  Please.  Can you do that?

Until next time, a quote,

“The worst thing about the fall from grace is that the point of impact is usually your ego.” – Susan Gale

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONU: Decrying Nerd Culture Being Mainstream is Dumb

With Suicide Squad just a few days away, I’ve seen a number of memes come up regarding this film and some people’s issues with it or potential issues that will arise.  What do I mean?  Let me show you one that caught my eye.

Harley Quinn MemeThis is very odd, to me.  Why?  Because why on Earth do people not see this as a good thing?  Do you know why the Deadpool movie got made?  It was because they released a video that was supposed to be a tech demo for a digital engine.  The video went viral and comic book nerds and mainstream fans were in love.  So many people were introduced to the character through that video.  I would be remiss without saying that the dedication of the cast and the willingness to hurt their budget also helped make that movie a reality, but its advent can be trace back to that one video.

Like most of you, I’m sure, my introduction to Harley Quinn was from Batman: The Animated Series.  I loved her character, I loved Arleen Sorkin’s voice acting.  I loved everything about how her character grew over the course of the series.  Personally, I am totally stoked that she is getting a mainstream appearance.  And it is in a movie that I am so hopeful will kick ass and take names.  After how bad Batman v Superman was, DC needs a big hit.  This could be a step in the right direction.  Not to mention, I can’t wait to see Leto’s Joker, too.  From what I’ve heard about how crazy it got on set, I’m sure that he’s putting everything into this performance.  Ballsy move after Heath Ledger’s Joker, but I still respect him for it.

But a reality that all these hardcore nerds need to realize is that movies like Suicide Squad would NEVER have existed if it weren’t for nerd culture going mainstream.  These girls that this meme is decrying for how they will be sudden Harley Quinn fans are the people who made this movie possible.  When comic book culture hit the mainstream, all sorts of avenues for film explanation opened up.  That’s great!  So many fantastic movies have been made.  Sure, they change things here and there.  That’s what happened in Captain America: Civil War.  But they got the stuff right that needed to get right, and that’s where it all matters.  Fans of the books may hate Game of Thrones, but you know what, I don’t give a fuck.  That series was made because of the success of Lord of the Rings movies, with HBO willing to take an insane gamble on something that has brought in more money then ever.  They took a risk, and it has paid off so well.  I am hearing that Showtime wants to emulate that success with the Dune franchise.  That could be cool.  I actually like the most recent Sci-Fi channel films that were made, but the potential for a neat universe is there.

Mainstream nerd culture has opened up avenues that we never had before, and with the success of the outliers like Deadpool, I guarantee that films are going to start taking more risks.  Disney may have to play them off to one of their less family-friendly studios, but they are going to be too enamored with the idea of cashing in on more violent comic book characters to just pass the idea off altogether.  Or maybe they at least bring in some elements that might be a little more risque.  The potential is all there.  Taking risks has shown to pay off with nerd culture, because Twentieth Century Fox realized that it isn’t just kids who watch and love this.  It’s adults, and we can bring them big bucks.

So don’t go discounting the girls who are going to get on the bandwagon.  After all, would you honestly rather have them idolizing this character, or the likes of Manika?  I’ll take them wanting to be like the crazy bitch with unmatching colored hair over that any day.

Until next time, a quote,

“You’re really sick.  You know that, boss?” – Harley Quinn, Batman: The Animated Series

Peace out,

Maverick