Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thoughts on Walker Stalker Con 2014 (Saturday, Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus NJ)

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I had first begun to read about Walker Stalker Con about a month or two ago. The event was founded by two serious fans of The Walking Dead (James and Eric as they're publicly known) who originally started a podcast after meeting the cast and crew of the show over in Senoia, Georgia. They decided they wanted to create a convention centering around the same experience they had with the cast and crew, and even started a Kickstarter campaign to get the ball rolling Now, they have events in multiple cities across the country. A friend of mine happened to point me to a Groupon that would allow me to get general admission tickets for about half of the price of a normal ticket, so I decided that was enough incentive to give the convention a try. After all, I've been to all kinds of conventions (New York Comic Con, AnimeNEXT, etc.), but never one specifically themed around The Walking Dead and other horror before. Made even more exciting was all of the guest announcements, as there was a seriously big roster of cast members attending, including Norman Reedus (who plays fan-favorite Daryl Dixon in the show). Sure, some crowds are to be expected at events like this, but it couldn't be all bad, right?

So my friend and I drive over and arrive at about 11:00 AM. The doors opened at 10:30, so we were expecting there might be somewhat of a line, but nothing too crazy. Our faces got quite pale as we saw the actual line. It was completely coiled around the convention center, to the point where you couldn't even see the end of it. "Are they even letting people in?" we thought to ourselves. We get into the line with our hands in our pockets due to the cold, wishing we had gotten some coffee beforehand. The line did move, albeit very slowly and we started to wonder if we would even get inside by 1 PM at the rate things were going. Just about the only thing to keep us entertained during this grind was an amazing cosplay of Pennywise the clown from the book/movie "It." He was very funny and actually kept a lot of people in high spirits. About halfway up, the line suddenly stopped moving almost completely, and people were naturally beginning to complain. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but I heard a woman shouting at one of the staff members about something, and within about 15 minutes of that, other volunteers suddenly came outside and began handing everyone the bracelets to get in with. The line that went for half a mile suddenly disappeared within mere minutes. I don't know what that woman said to the staff member, but it seemed to have done the trick.

Out of the cold and into the convention hall, we looked around to see who was here and what there was to do. Now, at most conventions, you can expect to see certain things: cosplayers, panels, dealers, artists, activities/games, and then of course autographing and photo ops for guests/celebrities. All of these things were technically there, but... people who frequent other conventions must have immediately noticed how much on the back-burner all of these things were besides the autographing and photo ops. You had a couple of small rows worth of dealers with products to sell, and even less rows of artists to follow it, to the point where you could cover the entire area in a pretty short amount of time (minus the difficulty you would have had moving around, but more on that later). There was a small area in one of the corners of the building where you could play a BB gun game, but that was about it for any games/interaction. The panel area was also very confusing. As someone who's gone to all kinds of large and local conventions, panels have always been presented in closed rooms where you could actually hear what the people on stage would have to say. For some reason, the panel floor was right in the middle of the entire building, with absolutely no type of walls around it to block out the sound from around it. This made our attempt at listening to the Comic Book Men panel a disaster, between the shouting going on all around us, and the fact that we had to sit farther back due to being general admission peasants and the only decent seats being reserved for all of the VIP/Gold/Platinum ticket holders. It also didn't help that there was a total of about seven panels for the entire day (a very low number when compared to most conventions, even local), with one of them being cancelled inexplicably.

Moving around the convention hall was extremely difficult. We were literally shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone in the building and getting from one place to another took alarmingly long amounts of time. My friend and I began wondering if this was a fire hazard, it was getting so bad. Between all of the small and large conventions I've been to, never have I experienced such difficulty with simply moving around the convention floor.

After being shocked that we had already seen the entire show floor within about an hour or so, my friend and I went out to get lunch around 1:30 PM. As we were walking out, we immediately noticed an extremely large line to get back into the building once again, and caution tape around all of the big stairs, with multiple police walking around. After going to one of the nearby restaurants, we were reading updates online and found out that people were being told a fire marshall came and temporarily closed off the building. Why this actually happened is slightly confusing, as I was actually given two different stories on the matter. The first, was that multiple people were told at the door that the building was overbooked and that the show was oversold. The other, which was provided by the facebook page of the convention, stated that there was an issue with the flow of traffic and that the building had to be shut down for 30 minutes to alleviate this. While I can confirm that the latter is true (as multiple chairs from the panel area were removed to create more moving room), I can't help but wonder why so many people were allegedly told that the building was filled to capacity if their official webpage is claiming that was not the case. Thankfully, things were cleared up by the time we came back from lunch, and we were able to head right back inside.

There was definitely more walking room the second time we came back in, but I had also heard that some people complained about the wait to get back in and eventually left, so that may have also played a hand. I had already fronted the price for a photo op with Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) at 7 PM, so I didn't really have any temptation to leave, despite there still not being much to actually do until that time. In the course of the time spent there, I met Emily Kinney (actress who plays Beth Greene) and very briefly shook hands with Chad Coleman (Tyreese) while he started to walk around. Both of them were very nice and polite, great people all around. I also stayed for one more panel near the end of the day, featuring Manu Bennett of Arrow and Sparticus. Thankfully, it was much easier to hear this last panel. I'm not sure if this was due to more people leaving for the day, or the volume of the microphones being raised, but it was a serious improvement to the panels I had heard before, and Manu was an absolute joy to listen to. He even pulled people up on stage with him to act out some funny scenarios.

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So the time finally came for people to start lining up for the photo op with Norman Reedus... or so I thought. I'll start this by saying that I am no newbie when it comes to photo ops. You are given a ticket with a timeframe to come and get your picture, as well as a designated line to stand in about 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time. I've done this a few times at New York Comic Con now, and the photo ops this year were run by the same group that also did the photo ops for New York Comic Con, so I had hopes that this process would at least be somewhat similar. Unfortunately, I was wrong; dead wrong. People weren't even able to start lining up until after 7:30, and that was only for the Platinum/Gold VIP pass holders. Another half-hour later, it was the guest and regular VIP pass holders turn. After that, they finally began lining up us general admission peons by about 8:00. Standing around waiting to hear which line was yours, just to have to jump into it nervously was a terrible setup, and it was making everyone in the room extremely anxious. It didn't help that the girl with the microphone who was giving directions couldn't really be heard properly by anyone. Now, I am not ignorant. I know Norman Reedus is the most popular character on The Walking Dead, and naturally, he would also have the longest lines. The actual line to see him wasn't the problem however, but rather the terrible organization of the entire setup. There should have been a much clearer designation of where you were supposed to stand and line up instead of telling everyone to go away and wait, and it should have been done in a much more timely manner. If your ticket says 7:00, it's supposed to MEAN the line starts at 7:00. That is not some spoiled mentality, that is how these things are run, and have been run for years.

While finally getting into my proper line, I couldn't help but think about what could have actually caused the lines to get so bad, even leading up to this current photo op, and then it started to dawn on me more. It was the tier-system of ticketing that likely caused this entire situation. At most conventions, you are either given the choice of a general admission ticket, or possibly a VIP ticket for more money. At this convention, you literally have Platinum VIP, Gold VIP, Guest VIP, regular VIP, and finally us lower-lifeform General Admissions. In the time it took to set up the individual lines, at least 15-20 minutes had to have passed for each. This was a serious amount of time spent just to make sure each line was started up before they could begin the next one. I finally got my picture taken around 8:30. Thankfully, Mr. Reedus was awesome to meet, and very enthusiastic to greet all of the fans and take pictures with them.

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Whether the pros of this event are going to outweigh the cons is going to depend heavily on what you are expecting at a convention such as a this. If you've never attended other conventions before, and are going solely for the purpose of trying to meet your favorite actors and actresses from The Walking Dead and other horror franchise classics (for a serious amount of money), then you may very well have a good time (crowds be damned). If you are used to other conventions (particularly Comic Con-style events and others like it), then you will likely be quite disappointed at the lack of things to actually do. Not everyone goes to conventions just for the purpose of meeting celebrities, so if you are in that group, then there is very little reason to attend.

I would like to end this blog and review by giving what I believe are some reasonable suggestions to the convention staff for how to make future years more enjoyable for everyone (as this is still a relatively new convention, despite its multiple locations across the country):

- A bigger venue to better fit the large crowds that are to be expected for events such as this. AnimeNEXT used to be at the same convention center, and they spread the event across multiple hotel buildings to help with the crowds and make the panels and other events more personalized.
- More experienced staff. While the volunteers were all very friendly and as helpful as could be (a major plus), they did not seem to be very well-informed, especially during the fire marshall visit.
- Less tiers of tickets. General admission and VIP passes are fine (maybe even Guest VIP as well), but creating more levels above this actually makes things like photo op lines more difficult and time-consuming, and it only makes everyone with a general admission ticket feel even further left out.
- Give fans more things to do. Not everyone goes to conventions with the purpose of meeting celebrities. More panels and events focusing on the horror genre might be a great way to start.
- Don't delete every negative comment you get on your Facebook page, as this makes you come off as shady, rather than efficient.

I want to recommend this convention to friends; I really do. But the bottom line is that as of right now, it really comes off as nothing more than money-grubbing. I hope the best for this event and the people who run it in the future, but unless there is a serious overhaul and changes like the ones I listed above, I doubt I'll be attending this again. Did you go out to this convention or one like it? I'd like to hear your thoughts as well. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Comic Review: All-New Captain America #1 (2014)

It's been a while since I posted a comic book review, and would very much like to get back into that trend. I thought I'd start off by going right into an issue that's got just about everybody talking; All-New Captain America #1! This is a very important issue for Marvel, and for more reason than one.

So by the cover, you can probably tell that you're not looking at Steve Rogers anymore. No, this is Sam Wilson (previously known as The Falcon) we're talking about. To make a long story short, Steve had all of his super soldier serum (what made him super strong in the first place) drained from him in a place called Dimension Z, making him immediately age into an old man. From there, he felt it necessary to give Sam the shield and the mantle.

This decision of the status-quo change immediately screams risky. Putting Steve Rogers out of commission (again!) is one thing, but to also give the title to his former sidekick is something else entirely. It's also a decision that's going to likely confuse many casual fans who are just jumping in from this point. Marvel has already made plenty of other gutsy decisions these last few years (having Spider-Man's mind get swapped with that of Doctor Octopus', a new female Thor, etc.), but this one may stick out to people a little more; and more power to Marvel if it does.

As any fans of Stuart Immonen (pencils) and Wade Von Grawbadger (inker) can tell you to expect great things, and they're right on the money here. This is exactly the kind of high-quality artwork that one would hope to have associated with a title as big as this one. Every page and panel just oozes with style and flows together perfectly.

The majority of this issue focuses on action only, and that's fine for now. We get to immediately see Sam in action, as well as members of Hydra and some other villains thrown in for good measure. But that's not all. Sam also has a new sidekick, in the form of Nomad (Ian Zola). What makes this grouping immediately different is that unlike Steve and Sam, Ian is quite bitter over Sam being chosen over him to take the Captain America title. He makes this known very quickly on, and it will be interesting to see how this dynamic between the two of them plays out as the series continues.

Just about the only negative thing I can even think of when writing this review, is that some of the dialogue felt a little quick and forced, mainly due to the fast-paced story of this issue. It honestly didn't bother me one bit, even if the bits of humor thrown in felt a little stale as well. The last page more than makes up for any flaws you could find in this issue however, and sets things up rather nicely for the rest of this first story arc.

All-New Captain America is off to an excellent start, and it's great to see Sam finally joining the ranks of Marvel's top-tier superheroes. While it's very possible (and likely) that Marvel will eventually find a way to put Steve back into the forefront, I'm very much enjoying this current setup right now. I think any fans of Sam's character will more than agree with me that his rise in the ranks was long overdue.

9 Out Of 10

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Deadpool's Head-Explosion Movie Review Of Interstellar (2014) (SPOILER FREE! GET YOUR SPOILER FREE REVIEW HERE!)

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Christopher Nolan is one hell of a guy. Whether you've sat through movies like Memento, Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, or any one of his other crazy projects, you already know that you're going to be in for one deep and thought-provoking film. Every time you leave the theater after viewing one of his movies, you tend to come out being really quiet and sometimes breathless. Shit's serious, folks.

I'm going to get something out of the way right now. It is physically impossible to talk about this movie and not talk about "2001: A Space Odyssey" in the same discussion. If you don't do this, you're just wrong. It's not even an opinion thing at that point! Nolan obviously wanted to make the next "2001," and while I'm not sure if I'd take it that far, I will say this was certainly one hell of an attempt. I can't even produce a movie about a cat and a seal finding love in all the wrong places, and yet this guy pulls out all the stops every time. I'd love to meet him one day and ask about how to make my cat/seal fic a reality!

The movie's plot is pretty simple... for the first hour at least... kind of. In the future, humankind is dying because the Earth can no longer sustain us. (Huh... More like RIGHT NOW, am I right folks!?) Cooper Toocooltohavealastname is a former test pilot for NASA, now spending his days in the way more exciting lifestyle of farming, with his son, daughter, and father-in-law. His daughter Murphy (no, that's not a typo; that's actually the daughter's name. DEAL WITH IT!) believes their house is being haunted by ghosts when she sees strange messages being planted throughout the house in code. This code actually winds up leading them all to a secret NASA base with a fully-functioning ship intact. The plan? To jump through a wormhole near Saturn and find new means of life for the already-doomed Earth race.

That's about as much as I'm allowed to say without going into ZOMGHOWCOULDHESAYTHAT spoiler territory, so I'll proceed with my thoughts going forward. Wow, did this movie take me for a loop! It starts out a bit slow moving to be sure (and clocking in at almost 3 hours, it can afford to be...), and I admittedly almost fell asleep during a few of those middle-scenes; but when I tell you a movie picks up, you better damn well believe me... because it does!

I imagine people will either love or hate the soundtrack, due to its industrial/20th Century sound that you don't usually hear in movie soundtracks these days. Personally, I thought it all fit in well enough to the point where it didn't take me away from the film, and didn't annoy the hell out of me either, so that's got to be a plus, right?

I also have to give all of the acting talent some serious props. Not one person felt forced or out of place to me, and I believe Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in particular deserve every award they're going to be inevitably nominated for after this. Everyone came off as very genuine and believable, unlike that science tho. But I'm not going into that. That's like another 3 blogs in itself, and frankly, I have too much of a life for that sheet. Maybe that loser Justin who always posts these can help you out there, but I'm sticking to my guns (literally!).

There's pretty much only one way to say this: If you're a science fiction buff, you seriously have to see this. Even if you don't end up liking it, the film and it's WTFOMGBBQ ending are going to be talked about for years, so you might want to get in on what the "cool kids" are watching.

9 References To Relativity Out Of 10

As for me? I'll continue to work on that epic cat/seal crossover film, and we'll see if I can't make that the next Academy Award winner. Catch you on the flipside, nerds!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Am I Trying To Do Too Much At Once?... NAAAAH!

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Looking back on these last few months, I've started to take on what some may consider to be an overwhelming number of personal projects as of late; some on my own, and some with small groups of people. They range from all sorts of different things like music, to programming and developing. I work a 9-to-5 job (well, technically an 8:30-to-5 job) with an commute of about an hour and fifteen minutes there and back. I'm usually more than tired by the time I get home, but I've found some ways to counter this and keep up with some of goals. Funny enough, that's also the result of another goal of mine.

First and foremost, my biggest drive as of late has been learning to exercise more. This is the first time in my life I've ever really taken on consistent exercise (with the exception of when I used to do Tae Kwon Do, but I was much younger then). As a type-1 diabetic, I have to make sure that my blood sugar levels are within good ranges every day to keep healthy and prevent any possible internal damage that could come as a result of poor management. While my diet has been generally fine for the most part, my blood sugar numbers have not. I could list a million reasons for why this is (work stress, private life stress, lack of motivation, lack of exercise, poor self-esteem, etc.), but that's not what this post is about. I could also talk about the fact that depression and depressive symptoms have become more common among type-1 diabetics, but again, that's not what this is about. I suppose that eventually, I got so sick of being down on myself, that I knew I had to change things. I just didn't realize what an impact it could possibly have on me if I did.

I began a small exercise routine. A friend of mine at work encouraged me to start taking walks outside of the building during our break time, so I eventually did. Just talking with someone about work and life while stepping outside was one thing, but the walking also changed something in me. It was as if everything suddenly felt less hazy than before, and I couldn't believe it. After all, it was just a small walk outside during the middle of the day, right? Well, I'm not so sure about that. I immediately started to feel more confidence in just about everything I was doing, whether it be work or other goals. I began reflecting on all of the things I wanted (and still want) to do with my life, and realized that the only one who's ever stopped me from doing all of these things is myself, and my lack of confidence. I could point the finger at all the mental bullying I used to experience, my height, or that I was convinced (or maybe just convinced myself) that there were all sorts of things that other people got lucky on; things that someone like me could never and would never accomplish.

I don't know what ever gave me this train of thought, but that's long dead and I will never let it come back.

I started to increase that exercise routine to outside of work as well. As soon as I get home, instead of just sitting down and making myself tired, I do crunches and situps, along with some lifting. I don't do this in some great amount, but again, it's left an impact. Over time doing this, I can definitely see the difference in my appearance and posture. My arms have started to slowly get bigger, and I'm starting to look like I could even reach that "six-pack abs" territory someday. That alone is something I never believed to be possible. There's a million other things I've always wanted to do in my life that I believed I was never cut out for. Instead of thinking I can't, I just think about HOW those things can be done instead; realistically. Below is a list of just some of the things I've got planned to accomplish, and how I've started to go about them:

Game Development - I've been learning with Game Maker and the GML language first. I am also planning to start learning Unity and more C# to use in conjunction with it. I'm familiar with object-oriented programming through Java, C/++, and Visual Basic, so the fundamentals behind all of these are relatively the same.

Music Writing and Composition - While learning the basics of guitar (and still intending to pursue it further), I always felt like the drums were my true calling. I finally saved up enough in order to buy myself a decent starter set, and am now working on saving up for cymbal stands and actual cymbals. I practice in little bits for now (and am mostly practicing motions and timing, before jumping into more complicate fills and signatures).

Web Series (Infinite Lives) - My friend and I have completed 1 episode (which was partially damaged, but we are in the act of recovering), and have almost completed another episode. Once this is complete, we will try to setup a website and a Youtube account to host it. We're very excited to show it and hope others will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Podcast (8-Bit Knights) - My friends and I started this podcast a long time ago, and slowly drifted away from it for multiple reasons (we were all extremely busy and going through some major life changes). We finally began to bring this back, and now have two podcasts recorded. I am working on the new website to host it as we speak. We will all try to record for this podcast every week or two.

Writing (Project Sword) - I've had a storyline in my head for many years (mainly as a game, but also possible as a novel/movie/comic/etc.). I want to finally bring this story out of my head and into words for others to finally experience. I'm done automatically thinking it's "not good enough" in my head. There's no sense in worrying about what could be instead of making it a reality and seeing the results for yourself. I've written about 13 chapters so far, and intend to get back to this more soon.

Science - Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" and Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" absolutely enthralled me. I used to believe I was never smart enough to truly get into sciences (and difficulty with Calculus only furthered that thought process), but over the years, I began asking myself "Why not?" Who the hell says I can't learn everything there is to learn and break out into the world to become the next Sagan, Hawking, Tyson, Einstein, or even Newton? I was the one who said that. No more.

Conventions - It's no secret that I absolutely love going to different conventions every year (AnimeNEXT and New York Comic Con to name the obvious). There's a million different fandoms that you could say I'm a part of, and this also inspires me to one day possibly host of a convention of my own, whether it be a "Comic Con" or something else. I only just started reading about how to make something like that possible, as well as the costs involved (and trust me when I say you just don't want to know those costs!). It's a little more difficult than some of the things I listed above, but still very reachable.

These are just some of the many things I'd like to pursue and move forward with. And I'm sure anyone reading this has just as many great ideas that they can bring to the table. What I'm really learning is that we're the only ones really holding ourselves back from it however. We could point fingers at all kinds of things and say it's because of all of those, but laying blame isn't going to get us anywhere; it's working around those things that hold us back and making the impossible, possible.

To anyone reading this now, I'd like to know what kind of goals you have in your own lives. What dreams would you like to pursue, and what do you believe may hold you back from living them?

As always, I thank everyone for taking the time to read this, and hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mighty No. 9 Beta Impressions (PC Version)

It seems like only yesterday that Kickstarter exploded when news that Keiji Infafune would be returning to his roots with another game set in the classic Mega Man-style that we all know and love. Upon making so much money, that he literally now has an animated series in the works, gamers who pledged enough in the campaign are now eligible to download the beta of the game, as members of PAX 2014 were able to try out the game themselves. Since the hype around this upcoming game has been so ridiculous, it's hard to believe that it could even live up to it at this point. So just how well is the beta we've all been chomping at the bit to play? Depending on what you already knew about the title, you may be a bit surprised.

One could easily dismiss this as a Mega Man clone, due to its look, the style of the soundtrack, and the level structure. All of these elements do resemble previous entries in the Mega Man series, particularly X, being that Mighty No. 9 can shoot, run, and dash in a similar fashion, and the "boss fight at the end of the level" pattern remains intact. Most would say this isn't really a bad thing (as it's been a winning formula for countless decades now), but all is not exactly as it was either.

The beta only allowed us to play one level for now (though it was confirmed there will be more added in the future, before the full game release), but it was a great level to get us into the swing of things, regardless of whether it actually ends up making the full release or not. While Mighty No. 9 blasts in the same fashion as Mega Man, there is no charge shot mechanic (which classic Mega fans will recall from the earliest couple of NES/Famicom entries). To make up for this, there is a whole new trick to take out your enemies with, and it will take a little getting used to at first. When you shoot any enemy a certain number of times, they will begin to glow. As this happens, you need to dash into it in order to collect its energy (known in the game as a "Xel"). These forms of energy will grant No. 9 different enhancement types, such as increased blaster range and faster speed, if only for a short amount of time. Collecting enough Xels can also allow you to store up energy for healing later on (similar to the way energy tanks were used in the original Mega Man games).

The Xel mechanic adds a bit of depth to each stage, as you can also perform combo attacks, depending on how many enemies are in front of you and begin glowing after being fired at. This will make players want to reconsider how they go about blasting some enemies, if it will lead to more combo chains and points as the level goes on. It's also important to note that you will receive a grade at the end of the mission, and it's fairly obvious that this style of play makes for the bulk of it.

Changing things up even more was the appearance of Mighty No. 2, who appeared in the level as more of a support character. During one scene, multiple enemies were shooting at me in a far away spot that No. 9 could not reach. Before fumbling forward and losing health, Mighty No. 2 suddenly jumped next to these enemies and froze them all so I could continue. I'm very curious to see how else this and other Mighty No.'s will affect the gameplay in future stages.

Some other little nods to the Blue Bomber's past included a helper robot that would drop items for you to take, and the classic doors to the boss fight setup. Speaking of said boss...

Mighty No. 5 was an overall well-made fight. He begins by firing bullets and trying to jump over (and ON) you at every chance he gets. As the fight goes on, you will notice that even bosses can begin to glow and fall victim to the dash attack, sometimes for some major damage. The battle clearly picks up in intensity once No. 5's health hits the halfway mark. Most notable was his explosion attack, taking up more than half of the screen with each blast.

Anyone actually playing the level can tell you that it certainly looks like another Mega Man game, but that the feel is definitely something of its own. The dash and Xel mechanics changed the entire outlook of the stage, and will likely change the entire setup of the entire game if this level was any indication.

My reactions to this beta are definitely positive. I would have been happy even if the game was another Mega Man clone, but since it's not, I find that to be much better as a whole. I really believe this is going to be everything it's been hyped up to be and then some. My hat goes off to Inafune and the team, for coming together to start this new project with all of its fans in mind. Now when can we get those new levels!?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Deadpool's Testosterone-Infused Movie Review Of Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods (2014) (Spoiler Free)

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Dragon Ball Z: Considered by many to be the greatest action series of all time (animated or otherwise). It's built up a hell of a reputation. Honestly, if you were to tell me you hadn't heard of it before, I'd question what alien race you've come from to not know about this show, or what rock you've been hiding under for all of these years (as well as if I could borrow said rock with its magical hiding properties). Yeah, it's just that big! With the original Dragon Ball spanning a total of 153 episodes, Dragon Ball Z spanning 291 episodes, the manga spanning over 519 chapters, AND all of the movies and spinoff shows, that's been a hell of a lot of time to make jokes about dragon's nether regions!

It's hard to believe that after all of these years, Akira Toriyama (the famed creator of this action/explosion goldmine) is still keeping the series going some more, and he's doing it in that trend I've seen a lot of popular anime going in lately; movie form! These days, people can't afford to sit down and watch another 200+ episodes of anime to get into the story more. Oh no. AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! Instead, the creators put all the bulk of the plot and pretty animation into smaller movie chunks. Less time to watch while getting all the payoff, and more time to spend crafting the plots to be the best they can be. While this means you won't be able to binge-watch anymore, you may in fact gain more of a life (something I don't believe many fans of this series are used to, but baby steps my children...).

So Goku and the gang are back in an all new story line, taking place right after the end of the Z series, that pretends Dragon Ball GT never even happened (a decision I think many would agree is for the better!!!). A character called Beerus (known as the GOD OF DESTRUCTION because why not), learns of Goku and how he defeated Freeza on the planet Namek (seriously, it took him THAT long just to get through the Namek saga episodes!? Weak!). Out of curiosity and a desire to fight someone closer to his own level, he sets off with his assistant Whis (I'd make a comment about these names, but Bulma's entire family is named after underwear, so yeah) to find Goku, after hearing of this prophecy of a supposed Super Saiyan god by this thing called an Oracle Fish. That enough plot for you? It's about as detailed as any other season of the show, honestly...

Now, what I'm about to say next may shock people who didn't read up on or see this movie already. If you're going in just to watch a bunch of fight scenes, then you may actually be disappointed. Why? Well, if you count all of the fight scenes in the film and add up the timing, it only comes to about 10 minutes worth of actual fighting in the entire movie.

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Now now, hold your horses!... and yellow hair. Let's continue by talking more about what this movie DOES have instead of what it DOESN'T, KK? KK. This movie may in fact be the biggest load of fanservice I've ever seen in an anime movie, let alone a DBZ feature. Now, I don't mean fanservice like boobies and skimpy outfits and the like (you can watch the first season of Dragon Ball for all of that!), but rather fanservice like seeing a bunch of the characters you grew up with, drinking, partying, singing, and even picking on each other while referencing stories as old as the series' beginnings! It's really surprising to see so much of this thrown in all at once. It's also really surprising how funny a lot of it is! I'm going to be honest with you all; the humor in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z always came off as a bit bland and juvenile to me (which is ironic, because hi, I'm Deadpool), so I was surprised to have laughs coming straight from my gut, and into the ears of the poor unsuspecting folks who let me sit by them. I can't go into too many details about these things, but let me say that one scene (that I will dub as "The Bingo Dance") will forever change your life and the way you look at a particular badass main character of the series. It's also interesting to note that said badass character is actually more heroic than even Goku in this film. The theater crowd cheered quite loudly for two particular scenes involving him, and that crowd was srs business.

So when we do get to those itty bitty fight scenes, are they worth it? As if you had to ask. F@%K yeah, they're worth it! They may be short, but they got the job DONE! I guess if anything, you could say this movie ran like an entire season of the show would. You get some good scenes to create build up, a dot too much filler in the center (to the point where you almost forget there was a plot going on!), and some awesome punchy-punchy-shooty-shooty to rap it all up and call it a day. I'm not knocking this formula, as it's worked to create the most popular shonen manga/anime of all time. Obviously, Mr. Toriyama knows what he's doing here!

Some final interesting tidbits: Despite what I said above, this movie did not exactly end the way a season of the show normally would. We're definitely getting more of these in the near future, and the majority the movie is probably going to seem like it was just one big setup for the future storylines. That may very well be, but it's hard to deny that you're likely going to come out of this very entertained, even if a little underwhelmed in the projectile fireballs department.

If you grew up with the series like I did, and watched all the episodes and movies more times than you can count, then this movie was made for you. I felt like a 14-year-old kid again in that movie theater, and it takes a lot to get me there these days. If you're a newcomer... Well, I don't even know what to say to you then. You came into a show that spanned over 300 episodes, and were expecting to know what was going on!???... Actually, I guess it's not that hard to figure out with the show's pacing and all, but ANYWAY! GOOD MOVIE! LESS FILLER AND MORE FIGHTING NEXT TIME! KK!? KK!!

8 Cups Of Pudding For Beerus Out Of 10

I keep training every day in the hopes that somehow, I too will be able to fly and grow long yellow hair to represent badassery. Some of you had to have done it before. Any tips? Suggestions? Hair growth formula/dye recommendations???

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Deadpool's Glorious Movie Review Of Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) (Mostly Spoiler-Free...ish... on a Tuesday)

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Alright, alright, alRIGHT!!! The most exciting thing besides the leaked test footage of my movie came out this week, and that thing would be the Guardians of the MOTHERF@$KING Galaxy MOTHERF@$KERS! I gave you all PLENTY of time to see it over the weekend and up until now, and even waited to post my review per the request of one of my many friends (you're lucky I like you Mary! Yes, you know which Mary you are...).

Alright, so what the hell did we just get ourselves into here!? Where to even begin... You've got Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), the only guy I've ever seen in a Marvel movie that may be a bigger douche than me, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the sexy green alien woman who was raised by Thanos to be a crazy assassin, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), the biggest (smallest) sailor-mouthed, gun-toting, talking Raccoon this side of Morag, Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a completely serious brute who takes EVERYTHING literally, and last but not least, Groot (Vin Diesel). He's a giant tree that's only capable of saying "I am Groot" a million times. If this description does not make you want to go out and see this movie, then how in the hell were we ever friends to begin with? You must have snuck into my friend's list or something... >_>

Without going into 'teh spoilerz' territory too much, the plot itself is pretty basic. All of the wacky characters I described above get thrown into a space prison for different offenses and band together in order to escape and eventually go on to save the galaxy (because REASONS!). What makes this movie so damn entertaining however, is the personality clashes. This is a group of people/raccoons/trees that couldn't be more different from each other, and it makes every scene spontaneous and unpredictable; just the way your resident psychopath here likes it!

Another wonderful thing I have to talk about before going any farther is... DAT SOUNDTRACK THO! Despite all of the awesome things I've already mentioned (again, a talking TREE, people!), the soundtrack may just be the best part of the whole freaking thing. We've got hits from The Runaways, David Bowie, The Jackson 5, and of course, Blue Swede with "Hooked on a Feeling." HA, just got it stuck in your head again! Now that I've got you uncontrollably dancing, let me continue... while dancing. (OOGACHAKAOOGACHAKA)

Are you by chance a fan of the Walking Dead/Doctor Who? Because there's actors from BOTH of those shows in this mother of a Marvel movie... man. And they don't just play stupid worthless throwaway parts either, but like actually ACTUAL parts! Seriously, stuff's so tight I'm running out of proper grammar to use when talking about it.

So I'm going to be honest with you fine folks about something. I honestly thought this movie was going to tank like the Howard the Duck movie (OMGWAZTHATASPOILERIDONTKNOWGAAAAH). Marvel films up to this point have for the most part been relatively serious (with bits of comedy thrown around here and there for good measure). But again, mostly srs. Srsly. This is the first time I've seen a studio try to go all out comedic with their approach. And that's not to say this movie has no feeling or serious moments, but they obviously don't dominate the film. I certainly can't blame the writers and director for going this route either, as, yes, I'm going to reference it again while I spam these commas, there is a TALKING MOTHER@$KING RACCOON AND TREE IN THIS MOVIE! COMMA, COMMA, COMMA, EXCLAMATION MARK!

So yeah, obviously everybody is loving this movie and I admit, I am too. If this is a sign of comedic Marvel movies to come (like the upcoming Ant Man film and, *gasp*, MY film!), then I think we're going to be doing just fine. I can see why people might not like it (as the silliness goes beyond words at times), but I am not one of those people, and apparently, neither are most of you reading this, so sweet! Let us keep dancing and enjoying this silly piece of "WTF did I just watch!?" for years to come!

9 References To An Eventual Infinity Gauntlet Movie Out Of 10

You could tell the people at Marvel/Disney REALLY wanted you to get to know these characters, and I think they've succeeded. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we start seeing kids reference all of Rocket's trash talk and playing with a tiny dancing Groot plant (... seriously, can we PLEASE get that!? I'd buy like 60 of them with money I don't even have!). I'd like to interact with these people myself, but I have a feeling I'd do something to ruin it and cause them to try to kill me. What can I say? I am Groo--- ah, Deadpool. I am Deadpool... (Groot).

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Deadpool's Pretentious Movie Review Of Lucy (2014)

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Howdy y'all! I feel like it's been over 63 days since my last review, or some other arbitrary number to distract from the fact that I actually counted. How's the summer life been treating 'ya? Did you get that hot beach body you always dreamed of? What? What do you mean you binge-watched Netflix all month!? There's more important things to do than marathon Breaking Bad just because the fourth season left you gasping for air at what would happen next and basically forced you to miss work to catch up... Boy, I really need to shut up...

So Scarlet Johannson has certainly stepped up her game as an actress lately. I'm sure her Black Widow part in all the Marvel movies helped, but I think people are finally starting to see that she's destined for great things, and it's actually (stay with me here) NOT just because of her looks. OMGNOWAIDIDHERLYJUSTSAYTHAT!? Yes. I did. Twice if you read my Cap 2 review. She's proven she can play a deep and emotional character without having to rely on the 'assets' to get by. So what the hell do we have going on with her in this film? Read the next paragraph to find out!!!

Welcome to the next paragraph. Here, I will be describing what the hell we have going on with her in this film. Lucy is a party-hardy 25 year old woman, who gets involved with a boyfriend that tricks her into delivering a drug called CPH4 to his boss. She then gets caught into having to smuggle this drug after having it sewn into her freaking abdomen!!! After that round of exclamation marks, certain events cause some of the drug to enter into her blood stream. From here, everything goes topsy-turvy in a way that would make Beyblade blush (I know you play with them too, DON'T LIE!). As Morgan Freeman (playing a professor who does research on the possible capabilities of the human brain once we reach beyond the 10% capacity limit we are said to have) comes into the picture, he sort of helps to explain everything we end of up seeing throughout the rest of the film. And that's fine, because this man could read anything to me out loud and I'd still be pleased. We really need to clone his voice somehow, maybe even create a voice changer? (Don't steal that idea, I came up with it first?... >_>)

What really makes the movie from this point, is the ways Lucy reacts to the increased brain capacity and the things she does with those abilities after she gains them. If she didn't help carry the plot and action of this movie, I'm not sure how I would have felt about it as is. Let's be honest about a few things: The beginning of this movie was... kinda lousy! It actually started out really goofy and I'm not sure if that was intentional or not (which makes it way worse to think about!). Luc Besson is a... weird writer/director. And that's coming from ME! He seems to enjoy using a lot of symbolism to help bring points across as he's creating a scene to play as some type of metaphor to another scenario. It works well in some places, and raises a lot of questions in others.

Things only get crazier and crazier as the movie starts to shift into climax-gear. The action and overall pace of the story worked quite well, as well as some of the interesting effects and scenery you're given. But there enlies a problem in all of this, which I simply can't keep to this sexy persona any longer! If I were to ever meet Mr. Besson, I'd have quite a few questions for him regarding this story, but one in particular would stand out:


I don't care how much or little you really know about the scientific theories presented in this film. The idea that the director presents here about increased brain capability is absolutely bat-s@$t insane, and makes no sense from a scientific standpoint, especially if you're looking into the theories about time and linearity. I actually kind of wish Besson would have hired a scientist just to consult with him over the real theories behind this concept. Now this isn't to insult him, or the structure and presentation of the movie itself. I actually thought everything after the first two scenes was really well made and acted. The problem is that once all is said and done, you'll likely feel (like I just said I did!) that this film could have been something greater. Something more! As an action film, it pretty much works in the way a lot of the great Hong Kong flicks do. As a science fiction film, it stumbles quite a bit however. I'm not happy about this either, because I really wanted this movie to do great after viewing the first trailer. All of the ingredients are there, and this could have been something much more memorable and lasting.

In the end, I'm afraid not many people are going to see this as anything more than a Redbox rental, and as I said fifty other times, that makes me really sad. I almost want to become a filmmaker just to remake something like this fifteen years later and fix all the things I thought were wrong. Seriously though, this is not a bad movie by any stretch; but there are some things you need to understand going into it, in order to avoid scratching your head. For one, you have to accept the fact that the scientific theory will make no bloody damn sense. For another, you have to know that things pick up after the first and second scene quite a bit, and that it's worth getting through those to find the "good stuff" that follows. Third, you need to DEAL WITH IT! The movie doesn't care about you or what you think. I'm pretty sure I heard it muttering some rude things about your mother the other night too.

7 Scientific Inaccuracies Out Of 10

Now I need to go prepare for Guardians of the Galaxy, but I won't just forget or leave this movie in the dust... Yet... Besson certainly left you thinking about quite a few things, even if it was for the wrong reasons. I should come up with some crazy scientific theories of my own, and see if they actually come through someday. First will be that you automatically increase in coolness level when you put on sunglasses. This is now law. DEAL WITH IT!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Deadpool's Unforgotten Movie Review of X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

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Wowee zowee folks! Have I got a doozie of a review for you! If you thought that Fox was dead in the dumps when it came to their X-Men movies, I think we might finally have something that'll wipe that ugly trash-talking smirk off your Cheetos-encrusted face!... Yeah, I eat them too...

So what do you do when you have a decent first film, an excellent sequel, a GODAWFUL sequel to THAT, and two spinoff movies than can only be described with the following picture?:

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(Though to be fair, X-Men: First Class was pretty boss.)

You RETCON IT OUT OF EXISTENCE, FOOLS! That's right. You take a classic X-Men comic story involving time travel to undo all of the crap that made you start to hate the franchise in the first place! Brilliant! But what's this story actually about anyway? Well, the plot is still pretty simple overall: Sentinals have decided to now look nothing like the ones in the comics and are obliterating everything and everyone. The remaining mutants in the world all band together to devise a way to stop them. This eventually results in Wolvie (Hugh Jacked-Man)'s mind being sent back to his body in the 70's to prevent this cataclysmic future from ever occurring. Certainly engaging enough to keep you interested right off the bat, right? But wait! There's MORE!

Because this is a time travel story, we get to see great acting performances from BOTH sets of casts from the previous series (the original, and the all-new younger super hip teen group), along with some new additions. So you get your Halle Berry as Storm fantasies brought back to life, you get your Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique fantasies brought back to life, and now your Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask fantasies also come to form!... Come on, I know you're out there. Tyrion Lannister fans in the houuuuuuuuuse!!!! >_>

Some interesting differences occur between the original comic (which compromised of a measly TWO issues, despite what Marvel will tell you with those gigantic graphic novels full of side-stories) and the movie. For one, the comic takes place during the year it was written, 1980, with the future year being 2013. (So yeah... apparently we've already been saved from this threat according to Marvel. Go mutants!!!) In the movie, we go back to 1973, which apparently makes for much funnier inside jokes about the era, and Richard Nixon. What was really different this time around however, is the person who actually travels back in time! In the comic, it was none other Kitty Pride herself! Ellen Page still does a great job with her part in this movie, but I wish we could have seen her do more in this.

Without going into spoilers about who, where, what, why, and when (because I already answered that last one!), we are also introduced to the character Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters. For those who already know about his powers and history, you can imagine why he's an interesting addition to the crew. He also happens to have one of the best and funniest scenes in the entire movie. If you've seen it in theaters, then you know what I'm talking about. You couldn't even hear anything else besides the crowd howling..., and that damn baby who wouldn't shut up. You know who you are, baby. You know what you did...

Seeing both the older and newer casts come together was really an interesting sight to behold, and pretty much everyone played their roles perfectly. Jennifer Lawrence almost stole the entire show once again, which is really saying something since Hugh Jackman was practically leading all of these movies otherwise. While Lawrence killed it with the emotional performance, Jackman literally killed everything in the room. I also owe an honorable mention to James McAvoy who's young Charles Xavier really hit the part and the emotion of his situation down pat. Twas' good times all around!

Working with time travel is never an easy thing to do or explain in the long run of a storyline. Doctor Who is the worst victim of this, as the more plot threads get developed, the more things become wibbly wobbly and timey wimey all in the course of a few seasons. I'm happy to say that for the most part, this movie plays out the time travel card well, and without too many hiccups (though they are a few, but it's all nitpicking at this point). I also liked their theory about time being like a pool of water, where you can drop a pebble in it, but eventually the waves will come back to form. That s@#t was deep, son.

My condolences also go out to the baseball stadium that was sacrificed in the crossfire of this movie's character battles. I'll be attending the funeral next week and giving a speech about how he was a jolly-ol stadium and lived his concrete life to the fullest. *sniff*

... The White House suffered too, but I didn't give a s@#t about that...

The movie also leaves you with a lot of questions and an after credits sequence that will make even the most casual comic book readers eyes gleam with anticipation. I know I'm on board!

9 references to 70's humor out of 10

Hey, if all of that stuff was undone... then that means... THERE'S STILL HOPE FOR A DEAPOOL MOVIE!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! I'll hopefully see you all on the flipside now that there IS a literal flipside!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Deadpool's Anatomically Correct Movie Review Of Godzilla (2014)

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I don't know about you people (that's right, YOU people!), but when I think of spring/summer blockbusters, I usually associate them with action and a ton of explosions, and yet I still can't help but loathe everything Michael Bay stands for. Go figure. Well, with this point in the year, we've now been granted access to a reboot of one of the biggest franchises in all of Japan. Say it with me folks, "IT'S GODZILLAAAAAA!!!!"

That's right everyone. After finally realizing how much America completely effed' up the big green guy in 1998, Gareth Edwards decided to take the mantle and start things from scratch. And that's what they literally did. This is a reboot straight from the beginning of it all. You'll immediately notice little winks and nudges to the original story with lines like "In 1954, we awakened something..." amongst many others.

It's also nice to finally see Bryan Cranston in something after the awesomazingness that was Breaking Bad. Even if the trailer kind of lied to us in terms of how much we'd actually be seeing him here; he's in this, and he's awesome in it. As the over-the-top scientist Joe Brody, Cranston does an excellent job of convincing us that "s@#t just got real" and that more importantly, "s@#t's about to get realer if we don't do something about it!"

Joe Brody's son, Ford is one of the other most important human characters that you'll come across. While Joe's character was more to relay the craziness going on around you, Ford's part is more the character that actually goes and tries to stop the madness taking place. While he's got nothing on Cranston (yes, I am completely biased, thank you for asking!), he still gets the job done, even if most of the human acting in this is a bit on the stale side. But let's be honest here; who the hell goes into a Godzilla movie for human drama? I'll tell you who...: Communists. There, I said it.

So you may or may not be surprised when I tell you this film is actually quite slow-paced in its first half. How does that make you feel? Personally, I was a little off-put by it at first, but that was only because I didn't know about the super ultra omega crazy awesome dominance that was the second half. But more about that later. Let's get to the real reptilian meat of this review: MOTHERF@#KING GOJIRA MOTHERF@#KERS!!!

So as many of you already know, the new Godzilla... has put on a few pounds. But that's okay! In today's day and age, Americans have learned to appreciate the voluptuous curves and the love (handles) that they bring. Personally, I like 'em with a little meat on their bones myself... Ah, giant lizards I mean. What did you think I was talking about!?... Perv...

So on top of being as wide as a house, the new Godzilla is also quite tall. In fact, I believe this is the tallest he's ever been on screen. Those MUTO creatures he comes to face don't stand a chance... Or do they? SPOILER FREE REVIEW, BITCH! Go and watch it like the rest of us and see! Muahahaha, I cracketh me up.

So, that second half of the movie, right? While the slow pacing in the first half is going to be at a bit of a downer for some (and understandably so), and others are going to argue that he didn't get nearly enough screentime (also understandable; hell I even agree with that one!), the remains that when he does finally have his time to shine, BOY does he shine like someone stuck a sun up his scaly behind! I can name offhand, two particular moments that actually caused the theater audience to shout and clap almost uncontrollably. It was THAT good!

The camera angles do a good job of making you feel like you're part of the cast, and thrown into this nuclear clusterf@#ck alongside everyone else. You'll never see the camera pointing over the monster's heads; always below, where we belong on their laughably better scale of the food chain. While the science behind the entire thing wasn't really explained with as much detail as the original classic film, it was enough to guide you through the motions and not make you feel like you were being talked down to as an audience at the same time. And that's good, because we've got plenty of news networks that already try that shtick on us (and unfortunately succeed... Seriously, who ARE you people?).

The soundtrack is likely not going to be too memorable to the casual ear, but again, fans of the classic film will notice a lot of similarities in the simplicity and ferocity behind it all. It's got all the pounding drums and ferocious trumpet-work you could possibly want in this, and I'll look back on the whole thing pretty positively.

So overall, this movie was actually quite awesome, even despite the slow beginning and hit-or-miss actors that went along for the ride. Every insult you could possibly come up with (besides Fatty McFattFatt) is more or less overturned by the excellent results of the later half. If you like your movies with destruction, but a decent plot to pull it altogether, it's hard to go wrong with this Dinosaur/Reptile/Lizard/Thingy!

8 Shots of Ice Breath Out of 10

Giant Lizard/Dinosaur/Whatevs are no joke, people! I've fought many of their kind in the past. They're always self-conscious about their weight, they act like eating an extra twig is somehow going to be considered "cheating," they always breath really loudly in your face... Eh, but they are nice to cuddle definitely... Ah, of course I'm still talking about giant lizards! Goodnight folks! >_>

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Deadpool's Lack-Of-Spider-Puns Movie Review Of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

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Happy weekend everybody! Hope you all got your fill of comic-y goodness these last few days. Between the release of the new Amazing Spider-Man #1 (comic), Free Comic Book Day, AND the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (film), this has been one hell of a time (especially for Marvel, who is clearly making BANK on all three of these things)!

Even before coming out, we already knew this series of movies was suffering some pretty bad backlash from fans. The number of people who actually wanted another Spider-Man reboot only five years after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 were a whopping ZERO, so it was only natural we were all going to hate on it before we even knew what it was. Once we did know, that only made it worse for many once again. But if you look back on my super mega shiny coated review of the first film, you'll remember I actually still gave it a decent score. I think Andrew Garfield did a great job with the part (mainly in the Spider-Man aspect), and Emma Stone was an excellent Gwen Stacy (even if she really SHOULD have been Mary Jane instead in my freaking opinion).

So now we come back to things years later. The movie immediately starts with another flashback about Peter's parents. Those hoping Marc Webb would just drop it with them will be disappointed when they get proverbially slapped across the face multiple times by their inclusion in this movie. I personally don't mind going into their background more, as I felt there were things purposely left out of the first film in order to flesh their story out more here. I still wonder if they're trying to go a route similar to J. Michael Straczynski's "Spider Totem" story arc. If you don't know what that is, you might want to brush up just in case they try to make this sheet canon in the long run.

Once we get back to Spidey and the gang, we are treated to some of the corniest and most groan-inducing superhero movie scenes since the 90's. I'm not kidding. The first quarter or so of this movie almost made me want to write the entire thing off, it was that badly done. I'm sure kids will find Spidey pulling a guy's pants down with his webbing to be hilarious, but I think most people in the audience are going to roll their eyes during all of this. And don't even get me started on the image of Captain Stacy haunting Peter because he didn't keep his promise. Just. Don't. Even.

Things don't really get any better with the introduction of Jamie Foxx's character, Max Dillon/Electro. Completely socially awkward in the way that's really just sad/annoying instead of funny/uplifting, he bumbles from place to place, talks to himself, and is completely obsessed with the wall-craller. Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like Justin, the guy who writes these blogs... HAHA. He still can't eat sugar...

Thankfully, the rest of movie picks up significantly. Harry Osborne (played by Dane DeHaan) actually does a ridiculously good job with the character, making you really feel for his predicament, but also want to jump in there and slap him across the face for being an ignorant rich white person. All in all, that's what I call GOOD acting!

The action also brings itself to a whole new level when Electro hits the stage. The city starts lightning up and powering down like crazy when Electro fights Spider-Man... with the power of DUBSTEP! I always said that kind of music was going to kill people, and NOW I HAVE THE PROOF! The effects budget clearly went into all of these scenes, and it shows. They look..., dare I say it, amazing! THIS is the reason to see the movie in theaters above all else. There were even some creative musical touches as the movie went on. I wonder if Jamie Foxx himself actually had anything to do with that, as it doesn't seem like something that the other people behind the film would have thought of.

Of course I have to give a nod off to the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone once again. They are the cutest damn couple, and it's actually kind of unfair how cute they are. How the hell are the rest of us supposed to compete in the P.D.A. department when that kind of s@#t is going around!? (For those who didn't already know, they're actually dating in real life now. SPOILERZ! LAWL!)

But now I have to bring us back to the bad... This movie is bloody ALL OVER THE PLACE! Every time someone is getting somewhere with something, the scene flips over to another thing! By the end of the movie, you're really going to feel like you were just there to watch a long, wibbly wobbly primer for the inevitable sequel. It also doesn't help that any impact of the "big climactic scene" near the end was more or less lost due to the rush job thrown in at the end. Did the creators learn nothing from Spider-Man 3!? You need to LIMIT the number of villains in these films, not tack on as many as you can fit! GAAAAH!!! Unfortunately, my worst fear was confirmed in that just like Spider-Man 3, they tried to do far too much in one film and caused another pacing disaster-fest. I'm not going to knock the entire movie over this (as I still consider it to be better than Spider-Man 3, and slightly better than the first Amazing Spider-Man), but surely these directors and producers have to realize what a pain this is to the fans, and classy young reviewers such as myself. *BURP*

All in all, this movie is still enjoyable, and the fight scenes and effects are sure to dazzle. The story however, could have used some serious work, in order to feel less like someone chopped up a bunch of storyboards and mixed them all together in a cauldron. Personally, I wish they could mix the Peter Parker of Tobey Maguire with the Spider-Man of Andrew Garfield to form the true Ultimate Spider-Man... No pun intended.

7.5 Tangled Webs Weaved Out Of 10 (Yes, I'm aware that's the same score I gave the first one. BITE ME!)

And of course, like a sucker, we're all going to see the next movie regardless of how it turns out. I'm sure Sony realizes this too, even if it didn't make as much opening weekend as any of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films. All I know is I now have a new fight style to train in... The style of DUBSTEP!!!


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Deadpool's Beta Testing Agreement-Approved Review of the Playstation Now Beta!

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Alright!!! The beta for Playstation Now is finally up and I can tell everybody all about it!!! A streaming service that lets you play games right away, without having to download anything? SUWEET!

So there I was, inputting the voucher code to launch the app. What a glorious regular set of numbers and letters that turned out to be! I was so frazzled, I accidently confused a 'B' for an '8' and freaked out about how my code wasn't working right... until I caught it ten minutes later. The feeling of relief that followed was so great, that I would have fallen asleep immediately afterward, had I not remembered that I was doing this in order to try out a beta for some freaking video game streaming service! After finally entering the code properly and realizing I may not actually have to murder anyone tonight, I noticed I was still unable to download the app, bringing back the murderous thoughts I felt earlier in this sentence. This appetite for destruction was once again brought back down once I realized that I was trying to load the beta onto my PS4, when it was in fact for PS3. After this, I began to ponder on how many times I've actually gone on a murderous rampage over things that I myself caused? But I digress...

So there I was, ten minutes later; after finally finding the plug for the PS3 that was hiding behind another set of wires that I should really try to organize someday. Oh what a fat, ugly plug it was. I could almost feel it squealing at me, with all of that damn electricity it must be consuming. I finally booted it up, found it in my downloads list, and sat and pondered on the mysteries of life over the 3 minutes or so that it took to download and install. Minutes that felt like days, or weeks even. But at long last, the wait was over. It was ON the main menu, ready to be selected! All it needed was the press of my finger, caressing the 'X' button to start. This was it folks. Things were about to get REAL!

I was immediately overwhelmed by what I saw. Oh, the very thought of the things and the stuff! I pressed 'X.' Then I pressed 'X' again, just for the hell of it. After that, I had to stop and breathe for a second, because that second press of the 'X' overdid it a little and I kind of had to bring it back. Thankfully, the 'Circle' button was there to show me how it's done. What an underrated button the 'Circle' has become. What was once the main select button for games like "Final Fantasy VII," now reduced to the mere back/cancellation button. Someone needs to stand up for it. Maybe the "Triangle" button? I can dream... I can dream...

So anyway, yeah, the stuff! Oh the ridiculous stuff and all of its stuffy-ness! After pressing yet another carefully-articulated set of combinations, I decided it would be best if I continued these combinations, but in different patterns so as to continue with what I was doing without fail. This worked for the most part, but there were still a few places where I fell flat on my sexy diseased face. This did not stop me however, as I soon remembered the glory that is the 'X' button, and exclaimed to myself "... Everything's going to be okay. It's REALLY all going to be okay!" Sure enough, that button knew exactly what it was doing. It was making me start to feel bad for 'Circle' again, but I got over it when I started using the two in conjunction with each other. It shut that 'Square' button up real good. She didn't even know what to say, that gold-digging hussie! Aww, I didn't mean it baby! Deadpool's got a special place in his burned-up heart for all four of you! There there...

Let me tell you that this event was truly life-changing for me. I literally have no further words to describe it and the impact it may/may not have on the gaming community as a whole. This perfect/might not be perfect setup that may/may not have a big impact for the industry is going to leave us with plenty of things/nothing at all to talk about.

Yeah, for those who don't know, anyone participating in the Playstation Now Beta had to agree to the "Beta Testing Agreement," which prevents participants from talking about any actual details involved. I'm basically not allowed to tell you anything other than that amazing piece of literature that I carved out of my ass up there. What I can say however is this: Playstation Now is a thing. A very real thing, that will become an even more real thing as word spreads in the future. Take a few minutes to yourself, and really let that sink in...

??? out of 10

Representin' 'Circle' button, yo!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Deadpool's Star-Spangled Spoiler-Free Movie Review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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Aww yeah! Spring time is finally starting to come back into the big picture after the longest winter I think the country has experienced since the 70's (Thanks Obama)! With spring time coming, it also means we have a butt-ton of Marvel flicks coming out; some from Marvel directly, one from Sony, one from Fox, and now they're all technically from Disney, which makes for one hell of a pie graph! More on that at 11.

With Winter Soldier, we get to see more from Cap after the craziness of the Avengers movie, learning more about the world around him today. And people, if we've learned anything about the world around us over these last few millennia, it's that it ain't exactly a pretty picture! Things get ugly very very quickly after Cap and Black Widow go on a mission together to go take back a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel from some pirates; not so much as a result of that mission, mind you, but other kinds of ugly things! Long story short, Cap starts to realize that a lot of people have a lot of secrets about a lot of things, and that just doesn't sound very -MURIKAN' to him. All of that just blows up in his face even more as S.H.I.E.L.D. begins to turn upside down from the inside out.

The first Captain America film owed a lot to classic war films, while Winter Soldier actually owes more to classic 70's spy flicks, in the sense that you literally have NO IDEA who to trust up until the final scenes. We see some of the strongest acting performances from Chris Evans (Cap himself), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) yet with this. We are also introduced to Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka. the FALCON baby! For those who are too young (or just didn't care to look this far back), The Falcon was the first African American superhero to appear in mainstream comics, so it was pretty nice to finally see his character come into play, especially with a great actor at the helm. Oh, and I guess I'm still missing one more crucial piece of character that we should get into... THE WINTER F@#KING SOLDIER!!! Though I can't go into who this person actually is without activating the spoiler card, know that the actor who plays him (Sebastian Stan) does a damn good job being scary as all hell while he goes after Cap and the gang.

The story of this film borrows a lot from the comics written by Ed Brubaker, back in about 2006 I believe. Obviously if you've read those issues, you already know who The Winter Soldier is, and his relevance on the story itself, but even knowing this won't dissuade you from enjoying the movie. Once it reaches a certain point, you're literally unable to breathe. Every time I saw this guy appear on-screen, I'd suddenly find myself getting really quiet and antsy (and I shouldn't be doing that yet, since the Ant-Man movie doesn't come out until next year. BA-DUM-TISH!... No? Nothing? Okay...). They really do leave you feeling quite helpless the entire time you're watching the story unfold. This is made worse by the fact that while the jokes may not be that funny, you're almost dying for them after all the serious moments. This is then followed by awkward, loud laughter that you look back on later and ask yourself what the hell you were thinking. You know you've done it; that "HYECHYECHYECH!!" sound that comes out almost forcibly. People will also remember this as that thing they'd do on dates because they were so nervous about impressing the other person, that they just eliminated their chances of getting anywhere. What? No, of course I never did it. I just saw YOU doing it! Yeah... >_>

Of course, a film of this style would be nothing without a stellar cast, and one of the biggest contributors this time around was Black Widow. There's a lot of people out there who just look at her like some hot girl who wears tight clothes and kicks a lot of ass... and don't get me wrong, she TOTALLY does all that. But they're missing the bigger picture, which is that she's actually a very deep, troubled character with an effed up past that would make Edgar Allan Poe blush... Too soon? Seriously though, she actually has some of the best lines in the entire movie, and you're likely to miss them if all you're doing is staring at 'DAT ASS' the whole time. And let's face it..., there are a LOT of people who will do that. Shame on you... SHAME!


I think the last time I watched a superhero movie, feeling this much sense of dread and uneasiness was... Dark Knight? Yeah, yeah, I think it was! Wow, it's been a long time, hasn't it? I really have to commend Marvel Studios and all the people involved in this film for making what was easily the darkest Marvel movie to come out yet, and also one of the most thought-provoking. I think it's safe to say that by the time Avengers 2 rolls around the corner, the group is going to be quite different than they were in the first Avengers film. This movie is still going to leave you with a lot of questions about what's coming up next, especially if you watch the post-credit scenes (the first of which actually makes no sense from an ownership/rights standpoint, but should prove interesting in the long run of things).

There was also a brief mention of a specific character that has not yet entered the Marvel Universe of movies, but that mention pretty much just confirmed it, and I'm super super psyched to hear about more. Damn, these movies are like crack... Not that I know what that is or is like...

So I think you've now started to get the gist of what I'm saying here, other than what the word gist means because I have no idea. The movie is excellent all-around. The actors and actresses play their parts magnificently, the action is ridiculous, frantic, and VIOLENT for a movie of this type, and you feel like you're on the run with Cap and Natasha all the way to the end. This is right up there with The Avengers for one of the best Marvel films of all time.

9 laps around Sam Wilson out of 10

This movie makes me want to eat a hotdog while riding an eagle with explosions behind me as I shoot down terrorists with my AK. That's the AMURIKAN' way!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Life, The Universe, and Everything Else That Comes To Mind

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I've been in a lot of confusion about my life and I've also not come up with many answers. I've even looked to science to try and help me feel like there's more purpose to my life when I don't feel like I have any. I feel no hope for moving forward and questioning if I even do have a greater purpose. It's all really big and I feel like an ant.

Lately, I've found myself asking a lot of questions. Some of these relate to things like my life, my future, and the future of those around me. Other times, these questions come in the form of bigger thoughts, like everything around us; the Earth, the stars, the universe, and so-forth. I'm not sure if all of these thoughts conflicting with each other is my reason for feeling the need to write this, but as I do so, I hope this all goes somewhere, and that maybe I can even enlighten myself a bit while I reach out to everyone else gracious enough to read this blog.

Have you ever felt like nothing but a small ant in a world of bigger things around you? Have you ever felt like you were meant for bigger and better things in the world, but have no idea what those things are, or how to ever attain them? These are all things I've been feeling for the last few years; likely even more now than ever before. When I was younger and just entering college, I felt like I had so much ahead of me (and others will tell me I still do, rightfully so). I could take courses and learn about practically anything I wanted, and I wanted plenty. Some of my favorite classes ranged from Programming, Business Administration, and Marketing; all the way to less business/tech subjects like Music, Film, and even Public Speaking (something I did not expect to get much out of at the time). This seemed even more exciting when I actually started getting better grades around my final two years, giving me National Honors; something I never had in my entire life.

It didn't stop there. For the first time since I can remember, people actually began liking me for who I was, instead of finding flaws in my "not-very-socially-acceptable" way of life. I would tell a girl that I loved watching classic Ultraman episodes and reading J. Michael Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-Man, and she would actually find this intriguing for some ungodly reason. I could make an obscure reference to some music/show that no one knows about, and have someone actually catch it! And even the people who had no idea what I was talking about seemed to like me too, whether for being nice to them, or displaying interest in the things they had to say as well. I think this gave me some hope that the "real world" would be the same; that the people I would meet in future careers would also be as friendly and accepting as I've tried to be for them.

So what changed? I suppose it's odds working against us. In college, I met a lot of people I really liked, to the point where I believed I really liked people in general. Unfortunately, things started to shift a bit after that. I did still continue to meet nice people who I'd gladly interact with again, but I also met more than a fair share of people that I'd never want to be within a 10-mile radius of as well. What I meant by odds working against us, was that with all of the excellent friends and acquaintances I had made, I was bound to come across more people that would have the opposite effect on me. For every group of nice people, there seemed to be an even bigger group of nasty people right around the corner. Individuals who not only couldn't care less about me or anything I'd have to say, but worse; those who would act like anything they did was immediately more important than anyone else. There are certain traits in other people that set me off, and this is easily one of them. More depressing is the notion that our Country and major business are more-or-less run by individuals of this type. I truly hope I am wrong about this, but if I am, I have yet to see it so far.

While getting a bigger job has made it easier to save up money for building a better life, there are other things that I feel like I've been losing in the process. One of the biggest and most painful for me has been time. Time is something I used to have much more of, and that I used to organize in all sorts of ways in order to manage both a social life and a life of hobbies. Now it's hard to make room for either one. I spend over an hour and fifteen minutes to get to work and another hour and fifteen to get back. I'm tired by the time I get home; too tired to do much else other than try and force myself to stay up a little later to watch a show/movie or play a game. This drags me into a vicious cycle where I'm relying on coffee just to get through the first half of the work day. The '9 to 5' lifestyle can really take a toll on those who are unprepared for it, and as a type-1 diabetic, my blood sugars are definitely not appreciating what I'm doing to them on a near daily basis.

I understand that life is never at the point where things are suddenly supposed to get easier, but I don't believe I was ever taught that things are supposed to get so much tougher either. We're stuck in a failing economy that is only getting worse, and we're being told to keep and hold on to any job we can get. This doesn't make the notion of getting away from the current predicament any easier, especially if I plan to move up in this company someday.

And because of that, it's like I just... freeze.

I get nervous at the thought of looking for or applying myself to anything new. Whether it sounds silly or not, the world is a 'scary' place. Being told constantly that we need to hold on to everything we have only makes it harder for me to take that plunge. I'm not married and I'm still living at home. In the 60's, I would have been considered a failure at this point of my life. Even knowing that many others are in the same boat as me doesn't make me feel any less shame over this fact.

When I would get sad about things involving the real world, I would usually just refer to games or movies/shows to take me away from it, even if just for a while. For some reason, these things have not been having the same effect on me that they used to. I now get much better distractions from reading books and continuing to try to learn new things. Recently, science has become a bit of a new obsession for me. I used to believe I was just looking into it in the same way I used to look into all of my other interests back in my college years, but something has been quite different here. Lately (and without me even realizing), I believe that my subconscious has been directing me toward science lately as a means of answer-seeking and enlightenment. This started after the discovery of the (no longer fabled) Higgs boson particle. Nicknamed the "God Particle," it is meant to help us delve into the origins of the universe, and possibly of life itself.

This concept absolutely fascinated me, to the point where I went and picked up Jim Baggot's book, "Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the 'God Particle'" to learn more about the history of the matter. While I didn't immediately understand it all (as I make no claim to be an expert in physics of any kind), I understood more than enough for my eyes to be opened wide. I had to get more, read more, and learn more. This search brought me to Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" and more recently, Carl Sagan's "Cosmos." My eyes were already wide open after my reading on the Higgs boson, but these books just took that knowledge to whole other levels and brought me to places I didn't realize that my mind could initially travel to.

While there was some fulfillment in the sense of learning more about that which is all around us, this also left me feeling quite small and lonely in the process. Of course it is fascinating to hear about other worlds and even multiverse theories, but when trying to figure out your place in the one world you actually live in, this can make you feel pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of it all. Despite all of this new-found knowledge I've gained about "how stuff works," I highly doubt I'd have much of a place in the scientific world today. I've never really thought of myself as smart enough for all of that. The best I've ever been able to do is describe concepts to people in simpler terms so that they understand them. While I'm sure there is a profession for that type of thing out there (technical writing or something similar), I have yet to really find it.

I guess what this all amounts to is that I'm still looking to find my true purpose/calling in life, and while I never dismiss any possibilities for myself, it seems like it is growing increasingly difficult for dreams to become a reality as the world deals with ways to handle the money it already owes, yet never really possessed in the first place. If I could stop everything I was doing to go and master every form of musical instrument in the world, learn to speak every language in the world fluently, or become a published writer, I'd do it all in heartbeat. But it just doesn't work that way, and I guess the realities of life are hitting me a little harder than they normally do. This is not to say I'm giving up on any personal dreams I have; just that I want to look at things realistically and objectively. I'm in a bit of a slump right now, as I'm sure anyone reading this has also been, regardless of the paths that life has had you take. Whether you want to join me in this scenario, or maybe even talk about your own life experiences, I'd be more than eager to hear about it. One thing that usually helps people through these roadblocks is the advice of close friends/family, and I think this is no different, online or otherwise.

I hope reading this has triggered something within you, whether it was thoughts of your own on the situation, or ways you would deal (or already have dealt) with a circumstance similar in your own life. Thank you for taking the time to read this, whoever you may be. Knowing that people are willing to open up more for knowledge and discussion (even if it's just one person) makes a difference to me, as I hope it does to others.

Take care everyone, and good luck.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Deadpool Reviews Call of Duty: Modern Titanfall (PC/Xbox One Game Review)

... Wait, you mean that wasn't a Call of Duty game?... But it... Really?... Uh... Okay dude, whatever you say. Well, this is going to be awkward now...

So the developers at Respawn Entertainment, formed by two former Infinity Ward developers, decided "Hey, the shooter genre is getting boring as s@#t again, let's add robots and wall-runs and ledge-grabbing!" Turns out, that was a brilliant f@#king idea! No one had ever through of combining any of these elements into first-person shooters before! ... What? They have? What the hell is Mirror's Edge? Lost Planet??? Is that some 70's sci-fi flick? Well..., this just got awkward again...

Alright, so it's not the most unique concept on the planet, but it works dammit! Who needs a crappy single-player that nobody was going to play anyway, right!? Well actually, I have mixed feelings about that. While it's true that if you're going to make a half-assed single-player campaign, then there's little to no point in making one in the first place. However, WHY can't they make one that's good then!? People still rave about the great campaigns in Half-Life, Bioshock, Goldeneye, the first Modern Warfare, Perfect Dark, and so many others. I don't see why we can't have a game with a campaign and multi-player that equally rock the socks. If Titanfall had an offline single-player campaign, I'd have jumped on that like Twitch on Pokemon! Yeah, that's right... I reference current events (Praise be to the Helix Fossil!).

The game actually does have a campaign, but it's not what you think. In fact, it's so much not what you think that I'll have to use quotes going forward whenever I describe it. The "campaign" is actually a set of story-themed stages that are not very different from the classic multi-player as it is already. There's a war going on, and instead of talking much about anyone important in it, you're just thrown into the center of it like mindless grunt you are. DANCE YOU SHEEP! DIE FOR PEOPLE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU!!!

So now that I'm pretty much tapped out of bad things to say the moment (though I'm sure I'll come up with more ^_^), the game is actually pretty sweet. It's hard to deny that shooter fans are going to flock to this and for good reason. Not only is it a lot of fun to double-jump and wall-run while searching for your targets, but controlling those Titans can be a pretty bad-ass feeling. Hell, even fighting them with your regular weapons can feel pretty damn cool! You definitely can't play this game the way you'd play other shooters. Otherwise, you'd get your ass handed to you pretty fast.

There's technically three types of situations you really need to master in oder to accel at this game. The first is the pilot vs. pilot scenario. This is your little guy vs. their little guy, crazy acrobatics and all. The second is Titan vs. Titan. Giant robot vs. giant robot basically. This is the scenario everyone wants to be in because it's about as high up there on that food chain that you can go. The third scenario is Titan vs. pilot. This is where s@#t gets real, because you have to double-time it on the pilot side of things to have any impact whatsoever. But it's not impossible like you'd think.

You're provided an anti-Titan weapon on top of your regular one to switch between. This adds another layer of strategy to the mechanical mix. While these weapons don't exactly make you invincible against the Titans, they can give you just what you need to hold your own, and sometimes even take one out if you're lucky. I actually did this sucessfully once and ran like a cheetah out of there before he realized it was me, laughing all the way! Glad I didn't have a mic on, that wouldn't have sounded natural...

One thing that people will either love or hate about this game is the grunt/specter setup. These are AI enemies, put in the game to basically be cannon fodder, and build up points faster so you can call your Titan to the battlefield faster. Players can even try to blend in with these if they really want. I will say it is quite annoying to think you're about to get this epic kill on someone, only to find out it was a grunt or a specter though. I felt so cheated every time I thought I was awesome, only to find out I actually sucked more than I realized. I don't think they really hurt the game though. It just adds more the fray.

Piloting the Titan can actually be quite frantic in itself. You're given a regular weapon for the right arm (like a chaingun!), a left arm item or weapon (like a shield!), and a dashing ability for those "get the f@#k away!" moments (like my blind dates!). If you run out of health, you're given time to either keep shooting for a few more seconds, or eject before you get blown up with it. This adds even MOAR strategy, because this can be the difference between takingout more enemies, or getting screwed over and not getting any experience points. The number of players or grunts you kill can determine how quickly you'll be able to summon up another Titan.

Speaking of experience points, I actually like the experience system in this game. On top of getting the most points for the best and most epic kills, you also get some great incentive to level up and unlock more pilot types, Titan models,and weapons and skills. You are also given Burn Cards for kicking ass. These will allow you to do special things throught the matches like increase your firepower or speed. Again, it all adds to the strategy, and works surprisingly well. I think the best way to describe the layout of this game would be smooth. It's amazingly silky smooth in its setup; you dig?

What really makes the game shine is all of those "Oh shi-" moments that you and your friends will have. Whether it's dropping a Titan on top of someone else's Titan, essentially destroying it and the pilot, or shooting someone outof the air from far away right after they ejected from their own Titan, you know it's going to be fun to talk about later. I could make a whole other blog, just filled with funny experiences I had with this game if I wanted.

So despite my general thought on FPS games (DUDEBROFOOTBALLGAMER138), this is actually something that I'll want to come back to again, especially with friends so we can laugh at all the insanity. Because you all know how much I love my daily dosage of insanity!... Seriously though, I'm just as surprised as you...

9 AI Grunts Wasted Out Of 10

So what's with the trend of using the word Titan in everything these days. It was crazy enough with the Attack on Titan anime, but now it's in our video games too!? What's next, comic book crossovers?... Please? >_>