Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Due to real life, I am going to have to put this blog on hiatus.  I do hope to pick it up soon, as I thoroughly enjoy writing it. In addition, the XboxOne and the PS4 are garnering controversy, plus E3 is coming up.

In the mean time, I simply say

Monday, May 27, 2013

Musical Monday: Beast (Bioshock Infinite)

Now, the song actually never appeared in "Bioshock Infinite".  However, it provided music for one of the final trailers, and subsequently became synonymous with the game.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Game Design: Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy 8

To start off, I REALLY like this book.  3/4 of the book is scientific explanations and analysis of mitochondria, with a few flashbacks and some plot. However, that means that last quarter becomes absolutely terrifying because you know EXACTLY what is going on with the characters because of the science behind it.  And, really, who thought mitochondria could be so fascinating? 

Apparently, someone at Square Enix liked the book too.  Enough to make a semi sequel to it in the form of the game, Parasite Eve.

Now, there is another reason why they made the game.  You see, while Final Fantasy VII had done extraordinarily well, they wanted to change things when creating Final Fantasy VIII, such as a new area, a new magic system, and - most importantly- a new graphical overview.  Add in a desire for a greater understanding of how the PS1 system worked, and Square Soft realized they needed to make an entirely new series. 

Now, this isn't a completely original idea.  Many companies have done this before and since.  Most recently, Atlus decided to create "Catherine" in order to explore the PS3 capabilities and other gameplay options.  If the game fails, they don't damage their main series (Final Fantasy, SMT/Persona, etc).  If it works, well, they have a new series.  Square Enix did it again for the DS.  The World Ends With You exists because they wanted to know how the DS runs before they created Kingdom Hearts 358/2.  TWEWY and 358/2 are games that involve heavy use of both screens, contrasting to something like Final Fantasy 3 has a more static bottom screen and Final Fantasy 4 only uses the bottom screen to display maps or battle stats, depending on the situation.    

So, that's why there is a game called Parasite Eve and this terrifying book is allowed to live on.  Square Soft wanted to make sure they got the tech right for Final Fantasy VIII.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Xbox One reaction

So, let's talk about the new Xbox, shall we?


Cloud gaming = little to no control over your own saves if the servers are down
No backwards compatibility
Kinect has to be used to play
Used games face fees (40 to 60 dollars)
Games can't be shared between accounts (as in, you can't let your brother borrow the game and let him play on his account)
The XBox MUST check in every 24 hours
Indie developers can't publish games


It does look pretty
Entertainment is fluid, but is it necessary?
Cloud gaming also means evolving achievements and using other servers to expand console's power.

Long story short, it's a huge mix of good and bad, but for me - personally- unless they can get a good set of exclusives I'm not picking it up.

But we'll see at E3.  This was just a taste.. but it isn't really my cup of tea.  Cloud is useful, but I don't like the lack of control over your own items.  Backwards compatible is nice, not necessary, and if it is a new system it's understandable... still annoying not to have it though.  Fees for not buying new is a jerk move.   Some people can't buy at launch.  They could be too busy, or they lack the money.  Don't punish them for that.  Kinect... is Kinect.  It's up to you if you like it or not.  Pretty is nice.  Pretty is not necessary.  Pacman is an arcade game, and that' s it's best version.  I can see why they would push entertainment, but it really is not necessary.  Let it play DVDs, have some streaming, but we have cable and TV for the TV.

However, the used games fees, the inability to share, and the not quite always on are dealbreakers for me.  Unless they fix those, we have a problem.  Not everyone has wifi, and some people have crappy wifi.  There shouldn't be any used game fees, let alone the cost of the game, and what happens when the game goes out of print?  And then there's library games, sharing games between family members... this will stifle sales until this gets changed.

We'll see how it plays out at E3.  19 days, several Nintendo Direct conferences, and a PS4 reveal until then...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

200th Post! AKA My Kingdom Hearts 3 Dream List

... In all seriousness, 200 posts? Wow? Me?  I really never expected it to go like this.  This blog has had it's ups and downs, but it is something I'm proud of, even with the excessive KH... which I shall continue since it really is one of my favorite game series and there is so much fascinating information and analysis in it.

Okay, moving on!  (I am WELL aware very little of this may come true, still, fun to speculate!) LOTS of spoilers!

Story wishes:

St. Canard appears:  Darkwing Duck is an utterly fantastic show.  It began as a spin off of Ducktales combined with a parody of James Bond.  Unfortunately, legal issues (namely the "double 0" callsign is copyrighted by Ian Flemming's estate)  forced it to be a parody of super heroes instead... and it turned out so much better.  

By day, Drake Mallard takes care of his adopted 9 year old daughter (the comic series confirmed he didn't have a job.)  By night, he is "Darkwing Duck"! (A glory hound and protector of the city.)   

Kingdom Hearts and Darkwing Duck already have a few small connections.  Scrooge and Donald's Nephews were the focus of Ducktales, and are reoccuring characters in Kingdom Hearts.  (Although Launchpad, the actual connection between the two shows, has not appeared in Kingdom Hearts)  In addition, when Jim Cummings portrayed the version of Pete called "Captain Dark", he is channeling parts of Darkwing Duck, such as Darkwing's tendency to alliterate.

 Can you imagine fighting with Negaduck (Darkwing's self from an alternate, inverted, universe) or the Fearsome Five (Negaduck, Megavolt (who canonically survived going to the electric chair... twice and who thinks electric bulbs are alive), Bushroot (a plant-duck who is only there because they sort of accept him), Quackerjack (A mix of Jocker and Toyman), and Liquidator (an dog turned into sentient and moldable water... who used to be an ad executive).  What about flying in Darkwing's airplane? Facing off against Darkwing's other enemies, FOWL?  Meeting Gosalyn? 

(Also, the comic series was amazing and should have gone on. Buy it if you can, it was a victim of the Disney/Marvel deal.)

More Kairi:  Look, she's a critical part of the Destiny Islands trio and she has had very little development since she keeps on getting shunted off to the side.  She's a PRINCESS OF HEART and a keyblade wielder. (She most likely fits into the Final Fantsay "Paladin" archetype.  Low attack, high defense, and specialization in light based offensive and healing magic.  I love Paladins)  We don't know much about her past, and as a Princess of Heart she may have access to Light Magic which can  balance Riku's dark magic, in addition she's training as Keyblade Master under Riku and Yen Sid, and she has a link to Aqua. She needs training, but she's probably going to be the one to save the day.  Let's watch her grow.

Sora going completely insane:  Sora may have four or five entities in himself right now.  Sora, Roxas, Ven, and Xion.  Where Vanitas stands is completely unclear.  (though I hope he's in there too.)  End result, Sora should probably have  a massive breakdown soon as each part of him struggles for dominance. Roxas is closer to the Organization, was besties with Axel (and Xion),   Sora is aware of Ven, somehow, and had to watch as Ven's existence unraveled but he lived on.  Xion mostly just vanished.  She's a replica, she's not even real by Nobody standards, but there she still stands. In KH3D Riku (who can't remember her) finds her sitting on the iconic friendship tree in Sora's heart.  Ven is stuck in Sora, and his heart is incomplete without Vanitas.  He's pure light, and may be what is keeping Sora alive.  Vanitas is evil. He's partially insane too.  According to the novels, he could feel Ven's good emotions and he grew jealous and angry which then made more unversed because... as Ven's dark half he got Ven's dark emotions.  (though Ven can get angry sometimes, but Vanitas can never be happy)  Sora has at least three people in his heart besides himself, all with different desires and motivations.  If they wake up, fully, what happens to Sora?

Ven, Roxas, and Xion get their own bodies and identities.  Okay, technically Ven still has his body. But Roxas and Xion deserve the shot.  

I also want to see what happens to Sora when that happens.  His heart is built around Ven's.  If Ven leaves, will Sora's heart collapse? Will "Sora" as we know him cease to exist?  Would Roxas or Xion fill in the void until Sora reconstructs himself?  Would he be different from before? 

Is "Kingdom Hearts"Cosmos from Dissidia?  Their functions seem to be similar, and I could see her taking the form of Kingdom Hearts.  It would also explain the FF people there.  KH could be an afterlife or a between world for them. Plus, Kingdom Hearts and Cosmos have a similar kind of color scheme.  Sort of.

The Return of Repliku.  He may be a Vessel, but he feels like he will come back. Especially when Riku runs into him during KH3D. The poor kid had a tragic life.  He was a replica, like Xion, but was somehow faulty.  Everyone manipulates the poor kid's emotions, he doesn't know what will happen to him, and he's constantly striving against Riku who is trying to reach out to him  Oh, and Namine rewrites his memories several times then breaks his heart. Literally.

Is Vanitas evil, or does he hate MX more than Sora/Ven?  What role will Vanitas play in the future?  He's a BRILLIANT villain, and gets infinitely more complicated the more you think and analyze him. He shows up for one scene in KH3D, but as Ven's heart was destroyed in BBS, WE DON'T KNOW FROM WHERE HE APPEARED.  Is he lurking in Sora? (always possible, especially with the physical similarity) Is he part of MX? (Young Xehanort was the only other person in the scene and Vanitas projected next to him)  Will he take over Sora and then act as Vanitas in Sora's body?  What will he do?

Explore the Princess of Heart.  Have there been previous ones?  Do they have any special powers aside from guarding KH?  If there haven't been previous ones, why have they all sprung into existence now?  How is one picked as a PoH? Why is Alice picked over Ariel or Wendy?  Will Tiana, Rapunzel, or Merida be back up PoH?  Why Kairi???

Divide KH3 into A/B/C stories.  Sora, Donald, and Goofy take side A.  Riku and Mickey are working Side B (probably more of the Darkness stuff like normal).  Kairi and her team (The other PoH? Namine?)  Take a Side C.  We either switch like in KH3D or follow one story through like BBS and then pick another one.  They've been experimenting with multiple narratives for the last few games, and with the PS4's processing power they should be able to successfully pull it off.  We know Kairi will have her own story (either as a PoH or a Defender of KH), there's stuff going on with VAT, Riku... is Riku and may have some angsting and subterfuge to do... there's several possibilities.

Where are the other Org members? Seriously, were are Marluxia, Demyx, Lurxord, and Larxene?  What worlds are they from?  What did Marluxia find out to make him, and Larxene, rebel?  Could they use this information in the end? 

What happened in the Keyblade War?  Why is MX so fascinated with it? We know the outcome, but what started it?  How is the info still around?  What does the Keyblade Graveyard have to do with Kingdom Hearts itself? If the children saved the universe, where were the adults?  Did everyone just have a keyblade back then? If the keyblades disappear when the wielder goes unconscious, why are all those blades around?

Monster's Inc should be a world, and the villains (or the heroes) Can use the doors to travel between worlds.  Plus, in a place that thrives on fear and screams, who knows what could happen to our tortured heroes? If travel between the worlds is cut off, how long before someone figures out you can use bedroom doors to go to different worlds?  What would happen if Maleficent or MX found it first? Would they use the world's capabilities to analyze Sora's nightmares in order to scare him from completing his mission?  Does Riku get nightmares? Kairi?

FIND OUT THE OTHER VESSELS.  Seriously, we know the identity of four or five.  There are thirteen. Who are the rest?  Is/Are Terranort and Xehanort Beta two different people? Is Repliku one? Is Sora still one?  Can they be saved?  Saix has an X carved into his face, if Lea brings him back, could he still relapse?  Why did Braig go along with it in Birth By Sleep? When exactly was Terra marked as a vessel?

Terra should be saved, and keep his white hair. Seriously, look at it! 

Explain Terra's vision.  You don't put in one of your main characters having a vision of the end game while it's in the beginning of the game, at the location of the final battle, while he talks to the main villain, and then don't follow up on it.  Is Terra a Seer?  Is he living through the events again? Has this happened before?  Do other vessels carry this capability? Or is it just Terra?  Does Riku have it too? 

How is Lexaeus important? (See here.)

Who are Ienzo's parents?  He is repeatedly mentioned to be abandoned then AtW adopted him.  Why? Who left him in the first place?

Can Master Eraqus come back? How could he help? They did establish he lived in Terra's heart and helped keep part of Terra in some control, why did Terra lose that control?  Considering all the forms Terranort went through, where exactly is that piece?  Will he hold MX back somehow in the final battle? Plus he's based on Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi.  It seems disrespectful to kill him off like that. To add to the mystery, we don't know how death works in Kingdom Hearts.

How is Maleficent back... again

Make Doctor Facilier a villain.  He would work excellently as a member of the "Hellfire Club".  Plus with his Friends on the Other Side, and his debt, he could offer the heart of the world/all worlds to his "Friends". He could also use his Voodoo to separate Sora into his other selves then try to manipulate those parts of Sora's heart.  Or maybe offer Sora's heart to the "Friends."   Honestly, great villain right here. Besides, what would happen if he does manage to get Sora's heart/soul?  Who would come out to animate Sora's body?  And what would it be like if Haley Joel Osment continues to voice Sora even while, say, Xion is in control?

Fanservice wishes:

Disney now owns Marvel.  MCU should give a summon or Deadpool appears to fill in information to Sora/the player on items Sora would know nothing about... like why he should care about someone named "Master Eraqus" I more want an "Avengers, ASSEMBLE!" summon, though.  Similar to Final Fantasy VII's Knight of the Round.  More extreme would be Sora dying and he visits the world/universe of the dead Disney characters.  Ray the Cajun Firefly, Mufasa, Coulson...   

In all seriousness, a summon would work best.  I think pulling off a full world would get difficult and we don't know how many rights they could work with (Kingdom Hearts usually uses the movie properties for their games, but while Marvel studios lacks the movie properties to the X-men and Fantastic Four, they do have the game rights for them) but it would be interesting.  If there was a world, Mr. Fantastic would be a good scientist... and I really hate Tony Stark.

The Radiant Gardens Protection committee!  Okay,  I made them up.  But it's  Cyan Garamonde of Final Fantasy VI (Samurai), Shantotto of Final Fantasy XI (VERY POWERFUL Black Mage), Fang (Dragoon) and Laguna (Guns)  Basically, they were the set up for the KH2 Restoration committee.  They defended Radiant Gardens until the Heartless overwhelmed them.  A sidequest during KH3 would be to find the members and bring them back.  The pay off would be story expansion, or a new keyblade (or four), and new characters to wander around and ally with during fights! (or new summons, more Final Fantasy based than before) Fang would be in the crystal Caverns/Great Maw.  Cyan would be in a mountain cave.  Shantotto would be in a library and Laguna would be found when you return to town.  Why? (Aside from my desire to hear David Boat voice Cyan and see him in High Quality CG.  He's my favorite character)

For the Laguna/Xigbar battle of course!   He was almost in Birth By Sleep, the two of them are gun specialists, and Laguna's happy and protective personality contrasts well with Xigbar's angry and possessive one. 

Rosa and Cecil are Kairi's adopted parents.  Come on, they'd be perfect! Besides, they are the only confirmed married playable couple in Final Fantasy history.

Final Fantasy VI's Terra appears.  She's a caring character, a great mage, oh, and she can be called "Mama" because of pre existing KH Terra and canon memory loss.  Can you imagine Leon calling for "Mama" when she gets lost? And considering what a Mama Bear she is, can you imagine her Esper form coming out in a rage that someone DARES to hurt "her kids" (AKA everyone in Radiant Garden despite how most are older than her.) She could also be adapted as a experiment gone wrong from someone trying to synthesize a human heartless.  We get Sweet and Pure Terra with the Esper/heartless half.

Zack/Aqua is canon.  In fact, the reason why Zack disappears from the (Chronologically)  later games is because he chases after Aqua when she goes missing.  He's in the Realm of Darkness right now, just waiting to escape with Aqua.   In the mean time, they are exploring and practicing... look, I have made lots of headcanons about all the fluffy stuff that is going on as they practice and fall in love.  It's my only possibly canon KH ship. 
And the game spends a large amount of time dwelling on what is in the Realm of Darkness. What is actually there?   

More King Mickey. He's amazing. He's kind, powerful, and wise.  He's also what ties a lot of the plot together.  And, he just wants to help.  ((Oh, and Queen Minnie too.  Best Battle Couple ever. (Possibly.  Maybe tied with Zack/Aqua)))

Kain is an ally of Riku.  They can really relate, especially everything about Darkness and mind control. I'm really curious why Kain hasn't shown up yet.  Riku needs a third man, Kain could guard him for a while until he saves him, and the two could bond easily.  Riku does fulfill Kain's position in Kingdom Hearts (if Sora is Cecil and Kairi is Rosa) so he could complete it with Cecil actually appearing. If they don't want Kain and Riku to ally due to similarities, Kain could still be both a model and a warning who travels between worlds... and give Riku some new moves.  Dragoon Riku would be great.

Kaine, Weiss, or NieR (possibly with Yonah or Emil) appear.  Kaine would be a blast, but as she's a foul mouth, scantily dressed, hermaphrodite (and that's why we love her)  she would need to be toned down.  (in all seriousness, her swearing IS the first thing you hear when you boot up the English game)  Weiss could either be a forgotten tome of either Yen Sid or Maleficent and, like the original, he can either save or destroy the world.  NieR and Yonah would be NPC's who you help in game.  Or you find NieR doing a lot of different things in the world(s) in order to take care of Yonah. 

Was Shibuya saved?  KH3D makes a big deal over what happened to Shibuya, and combined with TWEWY mythology, it's more worrisome for Neku and the gang than it is for the other worlds. 

Great Mouse Detective. More than just "Sherlock Holmes with Mice", Basil (Named after Basil Rathbone, the iconic Sherlock actor)  the mouse matches wits with Rattigan (voiced by VINCENT PRICE, in his favorite role)  who is so over the top it's a delight to watch.  Unfortunately, Vincent Price is dead.  Corey Burton is good, but he lacks the vivacity of Vincent Price.  As Rattigan (and the final scene in Big Ben) are what steal the movie, it might be hard to pull off... but it would be glorious.  The back alleys of London, playing with size, the dive bar, the Big Ben fight, a rendition of "Worlds Greatest Criminal Mind"...

Other not quite Final Fantasy characters show up, besides NieR and TWEWY.  Lara Croft might be a bit too much, but what about Chrono Trigger? (especially with the new Time Travel element) The Mana series? Dragon Quest? Chrono Trigger might be the best bet.  The first one is a (Nintendo) classic, the story is interesting, and with the time travel element, Chrono and company could help fill in some gaps for Sora and co.

Gravity Falls as a world.  It's a very well done show about a possibly supernatural Oregon town.  Okay, supernatural stuff bursts at the seems.  The town is bonkers.  The eight and a half president is wandering around.  (He survived by encasing himself in peanut brittle) and no one knows about the Manotaurs (No, not a misspelling) Add in a scam artist great uncle, an episode about emotional and domestic abuse aimed at the target audience without being overly obvious, and a gorgeous background (and a pet pig) and you have a really good world where information about keyblades and darkness could be found.  It's not out of the question for a keychain to be hanging around in the back rooms of the mystery shack, or Dippers book to have information on The Heartless/Nobodies/Unversed/Dreameaters/KH3 enemies. Mabel would also make one heck of a heartless.   She's a perpetual smiler, and can fight. 

Sephiroth is revealed to be Cloud's darkness similar to Vanitas being Ven. Someone tried to repeat the Ven/Vanitas experiment and it didn't work.  Not exactly.  Cloud kept some of his darkness, lost some of his light, and Sephiroth is more independent than Vanitas.  Sephiroth wouldn't really work as a keyblade creation battle, but if someone wanted an evil assassin... (Which, BTW, is partly how FF7 works.  Sephiroth ends up in control of Jenova, but for a good chunk of the game and backstory the two either work together or Jenova is giving orders.  Sephiroth does end up in control in the end.  I am NOT saying Sephiroth should be the final battle, but it would explain why he keeps on popping up.)

The Haunted Mansion as a world.   It's my favorite ride, it's steeped with ghosts, Constance would be a great villain (as she's a conwoman)  And they could play with the viewer and Sora by having things constantly and subtly change in the background.  The graveyard can be a fantastic setpiece. And, then... everyone is dead!  Okay, not really.  But Leota can be used as a way to tell the future, Constance could try to lure them away, then we have the duelists, Great Ceaser's Ghost (quite literally!) The dancers, the hitch hiking ghosts, and let's just throw in Ramsley for the fun of it because he was the best part of that movie.  Look, I can talk about this forever. I've written an AU where they DID go there, and we know that Pirates of Caribbean exists.  Disney? Square? GET ON THIS!  (Oh, and the ghost hostess could be the last thing you hear in the game)

PS:  If they can work in Le Phantom and Phantom Manor, it would be even better.

Technical wishes:

There should be more NPCs.  People, I LOVE Kingdom Hearts but it's really embarrassing how many times crowds should appear (or are even referred to!)  And not one person shows up.  Look, they can have 10 generic models, give them a basic loop, and have them do their thing. The PS4 should have the tech to do at LEAST that. Look at games like Skyrim or even Animal Crossing.  Actually, look at Shenmue.  There were a lot of NPCs and they all had individual appearances and AI.  If you saw someone trying on clothes than later buying food, it was the same NPC.  I'm not saying to fully copy Shenmue.  I'm just saying the worlds should have more than just the characters you interact with in the game.  Where are the shop keepers?  Where are the people making food?  Where are the little exchanges that make me love Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite so much?  Let's make this world lived in.  Heck, the early Final Fantasies managed to do a better job with it then right now.  Up to at least 9 we had expansive worlds and lots of NPCs.

 Semi Dynamic time and weather changes. It would be nice if some things only happened at night or we got rain every once in a while.  That's all.  It helps make things feel more alive.  And the perpetual day/night cycles are unnerving.  They fit in Winnie the Pooh, a canon story book, Agrabah has the weather excuse of "It's a desert" but what about Olympus?  The movie has different days, nights, and weather.  A rainstorm post story wouldn't have gone amiss in Dwarf Woodlands.  What about secret bonus boss battles that only happen at night (which is every few hours in game)  Or combined with the NPC bit above, some things that only happen when you are at points in the game.  Like, say, running into Maleficent and Pete arguing in Dwarf Woodlands when you only enter the world 5 hours into your game?  Something like Animal Crossing would be nice too, where things only happen on certain Tuesdays in the real world.  Now, this is a bit overboard, but it would be nice.

More detail, or at least varied designs.  the worlds can be big, the cast can get intricate, stylization is part of the design, you did put a lot of heartless onto the screen at the same time... but we're two generations away now.  Keep the stylization, but let's get some varied models for the trees or something.  Maybe the models can have some more intricate detail?  (like naturally moving chains on the clothes, etc.) Don't forget the better sound quality available too. 

Well, that's my wishlist.  I probably have some more things, but I forget right now.  And this thing is LONG right now, and I know not everything will be in there.  (Seriously, Darkwing Duck and Gravity Falls is a HECK of a longshot)  and there are probably more worlds to put in, keep the tournament worlds (Hey, a great place to level up!) and let's not forget the other Bonus Bosses...  

But, what do you think we should see?  Do you agree? Disagree? What's your wish list? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kevin Conroy and Batman: Arkham Origins

Kevin Conroy is considered THE voice of Batman.  He was also one of the first people to give Bruce and Batman different voices.  He debuted in 1992 in "Batman: The Animated Series" and generally always appears as Batman in any media.

In fact, it's a bit of a big deal when he isn't Batman (barring live action like the Dark Knight movies.)

So, when Batman: Arkham Origins came out, people were kind of sad that Kevin Conroy wasn't Batman.

And then, he revealed he was going to be in it, but not as Batman... or he'd be in the next one.
More info here

So, if he isn't Batman, who is he?  And why is Batman a different VA?  Mark Hamill said he wanted to retire his Joker, that's understandable (even if he's grown steadily more amazing)  and Kevin Conroy may want to do the same, but why not just say so?  And why still be in Batman? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Musical Monday: The Ocean on His Shoulders (Bioshock)

Have I SERIOUSLY never posted this before?  Have I not posted ANY Bioshock Music?


Anyway, this is the main theme of Bioshock (Cohen's music is actually a really funny abberation.  Basically, the composer didn't understand the directions behind composing the theme, ( it was supposed to be discordant rather than insane) He played it, and the 2K looked at eachother and went "Well, that wasn't what we were expecting, and we liked it!)   The song "The Ocean on his Shoulders" mainly plays when you see Rapture for the first time.

Also, it's gorgeous.  I use it as a ringtone because it's VGM (which I love) but it sounds professional (which is also great).  It's the right amount of beauty and disturbing content which is perfect for Bioshock since the world is such a mix of beauty and horror.

Friday, May 17, 2013

So, who exactly might or might not be in Scribblenauts unmasked?

Scribblenauts boasts the ability to summon practically anything (Non copywrited or offensive) to the screen. Scribblenauts Unmasked puts that in the DC universe.

Specifically, the New 52 Universe.

20 to 21 months ago( Thank you, comics numbering), DC rebooted their entire universe so Superheroes have only appeared in the last five years.  As a result, all other continuity is pretty much void and not everyone has been happy with some of the changes.  (Something similar happened to the 80's in "Crisis on Infinite Earths"  That was intended to clean up both the DC multiverse and it's backstory.  In return, it killed off several characters such as Supergirl and Barry Allen's Flash.)

Some changes to the "New  52 Universe"  Were not received well by fans.  Examples include:
  • Lois Lane has a completely different personality, motivated more by money than by truth
  • As a result, Lois and Clark are NOT together
  • Clark's dating Wonder Woman
  • Who now needs to rely on men more often
  • and the Amazons were stripped of being noble and peaceful warriors.  Instead they are now murderers and rapists.  
  • Tim Drake is no longer a robin, he skipped to Red Robin
  • Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain are banished from Continuity
  • As is Donna Troy and Wally West
  • Mister Freeze is a stalker story, instead of a tragic story of star crossed lovers
  • Barry Allen is again the Flash
  • Most of the heroes are more selfish, arrogant, and glory hounds.  (Including Superman and CAPTAIN MARVEL/SHAZAM who's literally a ten year old kid in a super powered man's body)
  • Amanda Waller is no longer a "Wall" And is not full of piss and vinegar
  • Starfire losing being her cheerful self and seems to exist mostly to pose for the reader
  •  Barbara Gordon, who in the Pre 52 universe abandoned being Batgirl and instead became Oracle when Joker shot her which paralyzed her from the waist done, got her leg movement back and went back to being Batgirl. 
  • Static was a mess
  • Helena Bertinelli was killed off screen before she appeared.   Her ID is used by the alternate universe Helena Wayne (Batman/Catwoman's daughter.  She's well liked and pre reboot, but so was Bertinelli)
  • La Dama, a Blue Beetle villain, lost her subltely and conflicted nature to become a straight up villain
  • In addition, Blue Beetle/Jaime's best friend, Paco, turned to a villain and Brenda (part 3 of the Pre New 52 Trio) turned into an object they both lusted after, rather than a dynamic person
  • Instead of Jaime's family being his secret keeper (with Peacemaker as his mentor.)  Jaime only has his grandma, a minor character pre reboot.  
I could go on and on, but over all, the universe is darker, the characters are selfish, and every form of family is pretty much banished.

That being said, there are some good things.  Starling was introduced.  (Actually, that may be it.  I don't know.)

So, what does this have to do with Scribblenauts?

They claim to have either 2000 characters, or all of the DC universe.  (The trailer DOES have Metal Woman and that's... well it's obscure.)  but which DC universe?  Or is it all of them?  Despite DC considering Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain "Toxic" and forbidding all of their writers (including Grant Morrison and Gail Simone whom DC adores) from using them, will they show up?  There's a few different Wonder Girls, will Donna appear?  Which version of Amanda Waller?  What about Starling?

The trailer shows Barbara Batgirl, and the robins are lacking Tim Drake. Superman is lacking his iconic red underwear.  Wonder Woman uses silver accents instead of gold.  

There's 200 characters, it WILL be continuity porn.

But which continuity? 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Updates to the Pokemon Universe!

So, we can ride on Pokemon
Walk diagonlly
Alter our appearance (Slightly)
The camera is dynamic
the battles are on a 3D plane...

And yet, it's still the amazingness that is pokemon.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why being a Princess isn't a bad thing.

So, as Merida is formerly introduced to the Princess Line at Disney, she received a hand drawn make over.  In case you didn't see Brave, Merida was Pixar's first female heroine.  She loved her family, was unafraid to speak her mind, and preferred the outdoors to "Womanly" pursuits.  (This article will have heavy spoilers for Brave and other games.) 

I'm not here to talk about the actual design change.  I'm sure some of it was simply because hand drawn and CG vectors are two different things.

I'm going to talk about what went on around it.  This IGN article discusses Brave, and then goes on to mention how the original Disney Princesses were terrible role models for young girls.

I actually take offense at that.  These girls are great role models, and so are other gaming princesses.

Yes, I'm bringing Kingdom Hearts into this, but I'll look at others too.  

Looking JUST at Kingdom Hearts (and the sequels/spin offs)  Let's look at the Disney princesses.

In Kingdom Hearts, there are seven Princesses of Heart.  Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty/Aurora, Alice, Belle, Jasmine, and Kairi.  Ariel also appears, but is not a Princess of Heart.  Wendy, Mulan, Meg, Queen Minnie, Jane, Tinkerbell, Elizabeth, Daisy, Esmeralda, and Quorra also appear.  Then we also have Aqua, Xion, and Namine who fit into their own category and are not Disney.

Almost all of them have had their movie story told, but in stripped down format.

With Snow White, she generally does react to situations, and she does fall asleep, but she also takes what she can into her own hands.  No, she doesn't know that the Evil Queen is out to kill her.  She, however, is aware she is in danger and the dwarves offer her a safe space.  In addition, she offers hospitality by taking care of them.  The story's true love aspect in KH is an afterthought.... mostly because the Prince appears in the last bit of Aqua's story.  Snow White understands she is in over her head, but she reacts with aplomb by controlling what she can and never becoming vengeful. 

Cinderella is a hard and cheerful worker.  She puts hope in her dreams, but her dream was to have a good time at the ball.  Falling in love was second. She's kind, she rescues Ven.  But she also allows herself to have emotions.  When Terra finds her, she's broken down because her wicked step sisters tore her dead mother's dress to shreds. 

Sleeping Beauty: Okay, fine, she's asleep for all of Birth By Sleep and most of Kingdom Hearts.  But look who picks up the slack.  The three Good Fairies and Maleficent.  We can't blame her for being cursed.

Alice: for the little we see of her, Alice is trying to make sense of what is going on.  Unfortunately, she is in a land that flat out doesn't.  So, she orders Sora around (well, Sora partly offers)  and instead of just going with the flow, she fights that what is going on because it IS unfair.

Belle:  She got her chance to shine in KH2.  She knows something is wrong with Beast, and she fights what she can.  While she does get kidnapped, she uses her cleverness and wits to save the day.  Namely, she elbows Xaldin to save the Rose.  To get the full context, she's just been kidnapped by Xaldin who's threatening both her and Beast.  Xaldin tells Beast that he can save either Belle or the Rose... so Belle elbows Xaldin, steals the Rose, and runs away to safety.  She can't fight, but she WILL make it easier for the rest. And that's not counting how much she loves to read, and how she cares for each member of the staff. She's a discerning, caring, and clever girl who may be a princess, but wouldn't care if she was.  Her Jiminy's Journal entry also mentions she did this to save her father. 

Jasmine:  While present in KH1, she takes more of a role in KH2.  She knows something is wrong with Aladdin and while she often is taken captive, she also shows she can be a leader.  (And it's bugging me I swore to KH only because Jasmine is my favorite princess.  And I can't really talk about why!)

Kairi: The last PoH, Kairi is unique to the Kingdom Hearts series.  Fulfilling the role of childhood friend, Kairi is, most of all, kind and discerning.  She wants to help people, save her friends, and make sure everyone is safe.  She can get into action, but lacks the other's training.  She is brave (she jumped into a Portal of Darkness) and wise (After realizing in five seconds Axel was up to no good.) she makes friends easily, and finds Riku's heart.  She's closest to the "Classic Princess" trope, barring the first three Disney princesses, but she can and will fight..  And she is awesome.  Pink isn't a problem with her.  All her feminine attributes just make her better.

Ariel:  A Princess, though not a PoH, Ariel is a singer with an un mermaid dream. She wants to go to the surface.  She very much makes her own decisions, and she mostly accepts the consequences.    She decides to chase her dream.  The Prince is an afterthought, but a very welcome one. And if something is unfair, like Ursula sabatoging her, she'll fight it, but not at the expense of other's lives.  If you watch the KH2 Boss battle, you can see her repeatedly trying to save the prince's life.  She knows he's human and therefore can't handle himself in the mermaid fight with a sea witch.

Princess Peach: And outside of Kingdom Hearts, meet Princess Peach. A wise ruler, calm decision maker, and she practically bleeds pink.  Her people love her, her economy is stable, and while she may be kidnapped, she can also find a way out of it, especially in the Paper Mario series. She's got a discerning eye about who is, and is not an ally.  In Super Smash Bros Brawl, she makes friends with Zelda/Shiek very quickly and realizes Star Fox is an ally, something Sheik did not.  In fact, she offers them a cup of tea and a place to talk about what is going on.  Diplomacy in a fighting game, who would have thought?

Elika:  A princess of a dead land, she sacrifices everything to save the world.  Then when the Prince may have negated her sacrifice, she abandons him.  Oh, and her land is a desert which she heals and she has magic. She uses the power offered her, but only as far as the heal and save the land.  She rejects her father who has fallen to evil.  She is fascinated with knowledge of all kinds and dreams to see the sea.  She could let the evil have her land, and she retreats to find more allies.  But she doesn't.  She fights for every single bit she has, and she only lets it go when it is truly lost.  But she doesn't give up, she goes off to learn more and to learn who can help stop this, permanently.

Princess Zelda:  Starting off as a plot device, Zelda has grown throughout the years into a capable leader, a trickster, a pirate, and a goddess.  Some of the evolution is simply due to space and programming improving. Other evolutions turn it from "A game about Link" to "The Legend of Zelda."  She, and no one else, knows Ganon is evil in OoT, she gathers other barrier maidens in "A Link to the Past", surrenders and is imprisoned rather than allowing her kingdom to be destroyed in "Twilight Princess" (Then sacrificing herself for Midna), and as the holder of the "Triforce of Wisdom" She's the wisest person in the game.

Calista: Polite, serious, and detesting corruption, Calista escapes the palace due to her uncle's controlling her, and understands politics, especially the ones around herself, very well.  She understands she has flaws, but also understands you don't have to do anything alone. (I need to play The Last Story)

Garnet: From Final Fantasy 9 (Another one I have to play.)  Garnet is discerning, noticing changes in her mother before anyone else does, forgiving, naive, and can both rule with honor and wisdom and can blend in with the common folk.  (Admittedly this does happen over the entire game, but it's there!)  She also realizes she can't do everything by herself and relies on others, though for her it's partly a coping mechanism. 

Merida: Yep, back to Merida.  A key part of the movie was Merida becoming like her mother, and how she (and her mother) by nature of being female had different, and just as valued, talents.  Like getting a bunch of Scottish warriors to stop brawling and listen. Merida had to learn to listen to other people, to understand where they are coming from, and there is a great dignity in activities other then fighting (such as sewing... look, it is actually more dramatic in the movie).  Plus, family is the most important thing a  person can have.  But even with that, the movie NEVER dismisses her love of archery, her horseback riding, and she still does not like corsets.  And that is fine.  She can still ride  ,walk with her elbows out, and she can hold a political conversation.  She's well rounded, and she is still a princess.

All of these girls are, in one way or another, feminine.  The PoH are, in fact, described as pure light.  But this doesn't make them weak or undeserving in any format.  Some are competent rulers (especially Jasmine in the source material and expanded in the TV show.  She ran Agrabah incredibly well). Others are hard workers who love everyone.  Others can cook. Others prefer to fight.  Even more can hold a court.   All are capable of sacrifice.  Their traits are feminine, not weak. And in fact, they are the stronger for it.