Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Avengers 2 -- My Thoughts

So a little while ago as I'm sure you already know, it was announced that Avengers 2 will be called Age of Ultron, the same name as a comicbook series happening right now. However, that doesn't mean it will follow that story, and I seriously doubt it will for two reasons. Number one is that movies never follow just one comicbook story arc. They usually combine a couple like how Iron Man 2 combined Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle with War Machine's origin story, then added some original story. The other reason is that in the Age of Ultron comicbooks, Ultron basically wins and kills a ton of people, including some superheroes. Marvel wouldn't introduce a new hero into their cinematic universe just to kill off since that would just be a waste. Even more importantly is that the second movie is too soon to do the story where the hero gets broken and has to rise back up. Look at the Iron Man and Dark Knight trilogies. Both of them waited until the third movie. So based on that, I'd say the Avengers will follow the same formula of origin story, hero(es) kicking some butt, then hero(es) almost losing but then making a comeback. We were all expecting Thanos because of his after credits scene, but Ultron is a great villain and I was expecting him to be in some Avengers movie or another. I'm down with Ultron, even though he was created by Ant-Man, and Ant-Man doesn't come out until after Avengers 2, which means they either introduce him early or change Ultron's origin, possibly to being created by Tony Stark, which I would not be down with. Something else I'm not down with is the fact that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be in it. I appreciate that they're trying to incorporate some of the less known characters, but I've never liked Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch. There. I said it. I assume you'll want to know what I have against them, so I'll tell you. And if you don't want to know, then I'd appreciate it if you take your negativity elsewhere. This is a positive environment... except for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Scarlet Witch seems to have mental breakdowns on a weekly basis, plus she eliminated most of the mutants in the world, betrayed the Avengers on several occasions, and also created an alternate universe where the world is ruled by the House of Magnus (aka her family). On top of that, no one really knows what she does. It seems like her power is essentially a deus ex machina that does whatever's convenient at the time. And Quicksilver. Oh, Quicksilver. He was tolerable as a villain, but once he turned good, he just became a less cool version of the Flash and with old guy hair. I know it's supposed to be silver since his name's Quicksilver, but it just looks like white old guy hair. Besides being a watered down Flash with old person hair, he's also extremely overprotective of his sister. Normally, I can understand a guy wanting to protect his sister, but when the sister is the Scarlet Witch, who I just said is a deus ex machina character, it's unnecessary and just gets annoying. The one thing I do like about these two is that they're the son and daughter of Magneto, but oh what's that? Oh, that's right. Since there are two separate studios making Marvel movies, they can't use Magneto! And isn't that just fantastic. Something I can speak positively about without being highly sarcastic is the fact that the Vision will be in it. I like the Vision, and since Ultron is in it, I'm basically sure they'll follow the original story of scientist creates robot, robot evolves and turns evil, robot creates android, android evolves and turns good. It gives the story a nice sense of family, since Ultron is like a son to Dr. Pym, and a father to the Vision, therefore the Vision is Pym's grandson. Kinda. By the way, I know Hank Pym had a pretty bad mental breakdown, but that was only once, and it was because he created a genocidal robot using his own brain patterns, and thus feels responsible for thousands of deaths. What's Scarlet Witch's excuse?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Comicbooks You Need to Read

Ok, so if you're really into comicbooks, you've probably read most of these already, but just for the purpose of sharing, I'll list a few comicbooks I think people should read and why I think so for each one. It would take too long for me to list all the comicbooks I like, so I'll just name the important ones in the order that I think of them. Ready? Let's begin.
Secret Wars:
This is a classic Marvel story where a wide range of heroes and villains are brought to an alien planet to battle. Besides being a classic and the first appearance of the Beyonder, it tells the origin of Spider-Man's black suit, and indirectly causes Venom and Carnage to be created. I think that's important. Another little detail is that this was the first Marvel series on which action figures were based, and I like action figures, so yeah.
You have no excuse not to read Watchmen. It's a self contained story, meaning that when you pick up the book, you don't need any background knowledge of the Watchmen universe. It's pretty famous and got fantastic reviews, and rightly so. This more realistic take on superheroes (with the exception of one blue guy who controls atom:s) is brilliantly written and really makes you think.
If your only experience with Hellboy is the movies, you might not expect the comicbooks to be very deep or philosophical. However, if you pick one up, you'll find that that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm all for occult steampunk Nazis summoning demons, and these stories are written so intelligently that sometimes I even think to myself "Look at me readin' smart stuff!"
the Walking Dead:
This has to be one of the most disturbing comicbooks I've ever read, and if that doesn't hook you, I don't know what will. It really does mess with your emotions, but in a good way. The black and white art style adds interest, along with the emphasis on the character development of the human characters instead of the mindless action you find in some other zombie stories.
Judge Dredd:
You're missing out if you've never read Judge Dredd. Even in its earliest days, this is a dark series with lots of murder and death, but good storytelling with a great protagonist and a dark sense of humor. People who liked the movie will like the comicbooks, and while we're on the topic of the movie, you should sign the petition to make another over here: http://2000adonline.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=a6e40236aa24d482cfff600d2&id=62906ebdcc. Also, I think the idea of the world getting blown up by war and civilization only existing in large dystopian cities surrounded by radiation desert is completely possible, so we might as well read up and get ready.
Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt:
Many argue that this is the best Spider-Man story ever told, and I think I agree. Just like Hellboy, it's written all smart and quotes poetry and stuff, so it has that going for it. It also made me respect Kraven the Hunter more than I thought I ever would, which sounds cheesy but it's true. Anyway, really good story, pick it up, etc.
Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle:
At first glance, this may look a bit like anti-alcohol propaganda, but I pinky promise it's better than that, and you can't break a pinky promise, so believe me on this. It depicts Iron Man at his absolute worst, having lost nearly everything, and makes him a much more interesting character since we see that the one thing armor can't protect him from is himself. Besides his internal struggle, the story also has a nice lineup of villains, a retelling of his origin, and is the first appearance of Justin Hammer.
Batman: Knightfall:
For me, this is the classic Batman story. It has tons of villains, and is the first appearance of Bane, who's one of my absolute favorites. You may know Bane as the man who broke the bat, and this is when he does it. It also tells the story of Batman's comeback and how the cowl was almost usurped and corrupted by Azrael. This is the same kind of deal as Demon in a Bottle where the hero becomes a deeper character by falling and then rising.

And that's it. Those are the ones I think everyone who likes comicbooks should read. Regardless of what publisher or what style you usually read, all of these are worth your while.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Judge Dredd Video Games

There have been a couple Judge Dredd video games in the past, but none of them were that good. I thought the Judge Dredd vs. zombies phone game was decent, but phone games barely even count as real games. What I want is a quality console game where you play as Judge Dredd. For best results, I'd say that they should combine elements from the movie and the comicbooks, like having more aliens and weird sci-fi stuff than the movie, but maybe a little less than the comicbooks. Judges and their guns should have a movie inspired look, but I think the lawmaster bikes should be much more like they were in the comicbooks. Where gameplay is concerned, this game should be an open world third person shooter with a little bit of RPG thrown into the mix. Picture Skyrim combined with Red Dead Redemption, Fallout, and Far Cry 3, set in the world of Judge Dredd. I'd say a large section of Mega City One should be completely open to the player to explore, and filled with both simple crimes to stop and also some more complex side quests like Skyrim. Traversal should be primarily reliant on Dredd's lawmaster bike, which would work like a horse in Red Dead where you can summon it from afar, since he does that a lot in the comicbooks. It's a big city though, and even if you're only in part of it, this game would be best with a map roughly the size of Skyrim's. So with that in mind, a fast travel system should be set up similarly to Far Cry 3's, so in this case, Judge Dredd can fast travel to Justice Department outposts around the city, then take his bike or any other vehicle he finds the rest of the way. Combat should work almost identically to Red Dead Redemption's third person shooter style, except with a melee button for getting up close and personal. Also, there should be more than one melee move so that you can take guys down hand to hand without getting bored. The bounty system from Red Dead could be adapted to serve as Justice Department assignments, except you don't choose whether or not you take the perp in alive or dead. Now picture that, but with an RPG element too. Due to the extreme versatility of the lawgiver pistol, I'm thinking maybe that should be the only weapon the player uses, with an inventory wheel like Far Cry and Red Dead for selecting different types of ammo instead of different weapons. Defeated enemies should drop money and regular bullets, but the special stuff like high ex. or ricochet ammo and health syringes like Far Cry 3 should have to be bought at the Justice Department or one of its outposts like the way you buy things in Far Cry 3. There should  also be items that you can pick up and either sell or use in a quest. These could be stored in an inventory like Skyrim's, along with possibly other ammo types that don't fit in the quick select wheel. If this is the case, the wheel should work like a favorites menu, where the player decides which items are available in it. Found items being equipped and used doesn't really make sense since judges have better stuff than most criminals, plus they have to be in uniform, but it could get boring if there's no way to get better gear. I'd say that XP points earned by taking down criminals should be spent in a perk menu with a few different skill trees like an armor tree, a lawgiver tree, maybe a vehicle tree, and probably a couple others. Maybe a negotiation and speech skill tree. Yeah, I think that'd make a cool gameplay element doing things like negotiating hostage situations and stuff.  In terms of the main quest line, I'm pretty flexible, but Id like it to involve the Angel gang and the Dark Judges, but the story shouldn't be just the generic villain team up against hero story. That's been done so many times now. I want something fresh. The reason I suggest these villains is that fighting the Angel gang could result in a few quests going outside the city into the Cursed Earth, and a fight with the Dark Judges could take place in their alternate universe. Or maybe the Angel gang could be in a separate DLC quest line instead, which could open up a portion of the Cursed Earth for exploration, complete with side quests and random acts of violence to stop. Badically picture the Fallout games except you're Judge Dredd. They could also make an expansion that opens up more of the city, or one that takes place on the moon colony. Or best yet, they could release a disk with all of these areas on it to download onto your system (since I like hard copies of things), and also include new perks to get, new vehicles to drive, and new lawgiver ammo types. Maybe the game could have some multiplayer in the form of Justice Department training simulations where judges shoot each other for practice. Ideally these could be accessed directly from single player by visiting a specific areas. That said, it's not a necessity. The only other thing this game does need is the option to yell "I AM THE LAW!"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Justice League Movie

Considering how successful the Avengers movie was, it's perfectly understandable that DC wants to make a Justice League movie. However, I don't think that's a good idea. The reason Avengers worked was all because of the way they set it up with the other movies. Marvel chose Iron Man to be the movie when the Avengers Initiative was announced, and then some characters like Nick Fury or Agent Coulson were in most of the other movies to tie them all together. So far, all of DC's movies seem to take place in separate universes, so to suddenly say that they don't would just be weird, not to mention raising all kinds of questions like why Superman or Green Lantern didn't help save Gotham from Bane when Batman was gone. Also, the Dark Knight movies are over, and Batman basically retired. You can't have a Justice League without Batman, so they would have to get a new Batman, which would diminish the goodness of the Dark Knight trilogy. If they want to make a Justice League movie, they made their other movies in the wrong order. They should've started with the Flash, since he's probably the most relatable member of the team. Superman is an alien, Wonder Woman is the queen of the Amazons, Green Lantern was recruited by aliens to patrol space, and Batman's dark and brooding nature makes him hard to relate to. That leaves the Flash. He should've been like Iron Man where his story is pretty easy to understand and just serves to begin the process of superhero movies coming out. Maybe at some point it could briefly show someone visiting Metropolis. From that you can probably tell that I think after Flash should've been Superman. That's based mostly on Earth, but it has aliens in it, so they could use it to introduce the planet Oa and/or the Guardians of the Universe. That way you already know a little bit before the Green Lantern movie comes out and they don't have to throw it at you all at once. For people who don't read comicbooks, that was probably a lot of information to digest. The Superman should also just casually mention the fact that Bruce Wayne owns the Daily Planet, thus establishing that Superman and Batman both exist in this universe, but maybe Bruce doesn't don the costume until after the events of Man of Steel. So so far, we start with the Flash, which leads into Superman, which introduces Batman and Green Lantern, but Wonder Woman is still missing. I'm not really sure how to bring her in if I'm going to be honest, which apparently I am since I just said that, but hey, do I have to do everything around here? I suppose DC could have some characters that do what SHIELD does to tie characters together, but that's risky business since the last thing they want to do is look like they're copying Marvel. I've been doing my best to plan it out so they don't need to lean on that crutch, and if someone figures out how to insert Wonder Woman into this mixture, I think it could work, and I'm not just saying that because I wrote it. I am partially saying that because I wrote it, but not completely. But whatever, it's too late for that now unless they want to reboot their whole universe. They could probably keep Man of Steel in the new continuity, but Green Lantern and the Dark Knight movies? Forget about it. Many of you would probably be glad to forget about the Green Lantern movie, but I think it's too soon for a reboot. I can see them getting some negative press if they did that. I really liked the Dark Knight trilogy though, and those only work if they're in their own universe, and it's definitely too soon to reboot Batman. So really, what I'm saying, if I'm saying anything at all, is that I want a Flash movie. That and that DC should really talk to me before making their movie decisions.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

the Deadpool Game

Comicbooks and videogames are both great forms of entertainment, so when one of my favorite comicbook characters finally got his own game, there was no way I wasn't buying that. In my experience, games based on comicbooks are often good, while games based on movies based on comicbooks are almost never good. In fact, the reason the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game was actually good  is that it started development as a game based on the comicbooks, then they just threw the movie into the mixture with it. There are exceptions to this rule, but Deadpool isn't one of them. His game is really well done, which is hard to do with Deadpool and his weird, twisted humor. High Moon Studios may be a familiar name to you if you played War For Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron, which were the two best Transformers games ever (by the way, games based on cartoons based on action figures are good, but games based on movies based on cartoons based on action figures tend to not be as good). High Moon has shown us that they know how to make a good licensed game. In Transformers, they stayed true to the lore and got all the characters' personalities dead on. One would say the same for Deadpool. His personality is exactly how it should be, and the game's humor is actually funny and not overdone. I especially applaud them for that, since especially fourth wall breaking humor is really easy to overdo. This is the first game I've played that's made me actually laugh out loud. Especially in the scenes where Deadpool is talking to Cable, and if you don't know who the f Cable is, the game has seen to that. Here, I'll find their short little description of him. Ah, here it is:
Yeah, that's basically the tone of the whole game. There's even a scene where Cable is giving Deadpool a warning from the future, but Deadpool is bored and thinking about tacos, so he starts imagining Cable as a taco.
Yeah. You have a conversation with a floating cybernetic taco from the future. I don't even know what else I can say about that. Can you think of another game that has that? Besides having a good sense of humor, the gameplay is actually fun, which is the most important factor to me. It's satisfying to shoot, slice, and smash your way through hordes of enemies with a variety of cool weapons. Also, High Moon has brought back their cutscene-gameplay hybrid sequences like the ones in Transformers. In Transformers, there's a cutscene where Metroplex, the city sized Autobot, is about to start punching Megatron, and right before he does, they give you control over him. You just repeatedly press a button to punch Megatron with a gigantic fist. Deadpool is a little smaller scale, but funnier. I mean, look at this!
This game is really good, but I do have one major complaint about it. It's too short. There's just not a lot of game content. The story is pretty short, and this style of game doesn't really lend itself to multiplayer. If this was a bad game, being short wouldn't come into the equation very much, but since it's a good game, it does. It's really fun to play, but in my opinion, there's just not enough game. I bought a used copy for a lower price, so I suggest you do the same, since I don't like paying full price for a game unless that game is going to entertain me for a long time. I do suggest you pick up this game though, even if you're not a huge Marvel fan, but if you are, you'll enjoy it even more, since there are lots of subtle little jokes they make. Either way, I like this game, so give it a try!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How Aliens Would See Us

Have you ever thought about how weird we would seem to aliens if they landed here? We have all these weird things and body parts that we thoughtlessly accept because everyone has them, and in some cases even integrate into our fashion. For example, hair. Hair is quite strange if you take the time to think about it. We have strands of dead tissue that hang off of our skin, and we just style it and consider it normal. If we encountered an extraterrestrial race that didn't have any kind of hair, they would think hair is pretty weird, and maybe kinda gross too, which I can totally understand. That makes sense. The only reason we don't see it that way is because everyone has it (except for a few people with some kind of medical condition or genetic thing or something that causes you not to have hair, whatever that may be). But even if someone doesn't have any hair for some odd reason, you know what that person probably does have unless he or she has had a violent and unfortunate experience, possibly but not necessarily involving a tribe of savages? A tongue. Tongues are weird too. They're like tentacles in our mouths. That's cool, right? I think it's cool. Plus it makes aliens like these guys seem slightly less weird.
  See? Toad from X-Men also makes more sense when you think of a tongue as a small tentacle. You have a tentacle, so rejoice! You're welcome. As I write this, I'm trying to think of more things like that that aliens would find odd, and I just realized something. Fingers are just small arms, and toes are tiny legs.
I know, right? Mind blowing. Aliens with different limbs from ours, or even no limbs, would think that's pretty weird. We have these kinda-but-not-that-flexible limbs that split into smaller, slightly more flexible versions of themselves at the ends. Since I think there have to be some intelligent beings somewhere in the universe other than here, I wonder if any of them have invented science fiction, and if so, I ask: Have any of them unknowingly written about us? Or even just creatures similar to us? I think that'd be cool.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Deathstroke the Terminator

Deathstroke the Terminator, or just Deathstroke if you prefer, has to be one of the coolest and toughest characters in the DC universe. With his sword and his staff and his guns and his eyepatch, he is someone you do not want to mess with. And even though he's getting a little old, he's still capable of fighting the entire Justice League. Because of this, I'm really glad he's been in so many things recently. He's been in Arrow, Injustice, and he's going to be in Arkham Origins once that comes out. And all of them have portrayed him rather well. That wouldn't really be worth remarking on if he hadn't been portrayed so badly in Smallville. This is the part where I usually say something along the lines of "Hey, you should go check out what I'm talking about if you're not familiar with it so you can better see what I'm saying," but not today. Not today. If you haven't seen Smallville, that doesn't really matter to me. Watch it if you want, since it has good moments, but whatever you do, steer well clear of the part with Deathstroke in it. Or at least they say it's Deathstroke. In reality, I think it's just a lame version of Colonel Tigh from Battlestar Galactica wielding a sword. Don't believe me? I'll prove it.
 So yeah that's pretty bad, right? Don't even watch the part of the show with him in it. He even uses the wrong kind of sword. He uses a katana, and katanas are cool, but Slade is supposed to use a straight sword. I'm ok with them giving him an Asian style sword, but couldn't it at least have been a gin or a straight shirasaya or some other kind of straight sword? Promise me you won't watch it if you're a fan of the real Deathstroke. Spare yourself the pain. Save yourself! And if you're not familiar with the character, I suppose you can watch it if you really want to, since that'll make the real Deathstroke all the more impressive. He's supposed to look something like this: 

 Now isn't that way awesomer? And without his mask, he still looks awesome! So thank all that is holy that he's been cool in his recent media appearances! Whoops! I just realized I accidentally introduced probably a couple people to what Deathstroke should be, so if that's you, my warning not to watch his Smallville appearance applies to you now. You're welcome. Anyway, Deathstroke was decent in the Teen Titans show, but they called him by his first name instead of his chosen alias, which is probably because it's a kids' show and the makers didn't want the villain's name to have the word death in it, but still. Those kids should show some respect, even if they have no choice since their actions are controlled by the writers of the show. Also, they gave him a long ponytail sometimes, and I never liked that. More importantly, that show was never really on my radar that much, so I'm glad he's appearing in things that are. His recent comicbooks have been fantastic and I realized I've been saying fantastic more often after marathoning Christopher Eccleston's Doctor Who episodes, which I maintain are severely underrated, even though Rose was annoying sometimes, and her mom was annoying too, and I kinda hated the Slitheen, but none of that is the Doctor's fault, and I strongly disagree when people say you can just skip his run; I personally wish he had had more seasons, but without cutting into David Tennant's time, since he and Matt Smith were terrific too, and why does Matt Smith have to go I wish he didn't and I started this really long run-on sentence talking about Deathstroke, didn't I? I suppose I could go back and edit that out. But I won't. Even though it feels like travelling back in time and changing history but not nearly as cool or important, I'm arbitrarily deciding that this is a fixed point in time, and if I change it, time and the universe will be all messed up, but the truth is that I'm leaving this stream of consciousness the way it is because I like to ramble sometimes. Anyway... Ok there are so many more directions I could take this, but I'll save that for another time. Maybe one day I'll just write a post of everything I'm thinking about at the time, and you can see the weird directions that my mind goes, but right now, I'll finish talking about Deathstroke. He's one of my favorite characters in Injustice, which is a good game by the way, and he was cool in Arrow, even though the show itself doesn't live up to its full potential and they took some liberties with the lore. Arkham Origins isn't out yet, but if it's anything like Asylum and City, it'll be fantastic (see?), and even better since the story is largely about the assassins of the Batman mythos, who are some of my favorite characters. Deathstroke is the best, but I also really like Deadshot, who was also in Arrow, but got killed off too soon in my opinion. Deadshot was actually kinda cool in Smallville, unlike Deathstroke. So that's all I have to say about Deathstroke. It'd be nice to see him in a movie though. So I guess that wasn't all I had to say, but now it is.