Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ride It - Yasiin Bey & Pharrell Ft. Jay Sean

Yes, I know "Ride It" is a song by Jay Sean but I use him so minimally in this remix that it did not really matter. Oh, and yes, I know I said I was done with remixes for a while, and I am, this is the start of something new. Consider my first six remixes to be just that: my first season. This new season is going to start of similar, but it will soon diverge in a big way. Anyways, I did not make an accompanying video for this remix, which is why I did not upload it to YouTube. Rather it is up on Vimeo.

Check it out and enjoy it if you will. Listen to it here.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

New Mesozoica Website Up

So, the last Mesozoica wesbite was a forum. After everything that happened, Max put it under maintenance and later it shut down. However, we have accomplished enough work on the project that we feel confident relaunching the website. There is no forum, anymore, however. That kind of discussion will have to wait. While I loved interacting with fans on the forum, Facebook will have to do. You can check it out here.

Yes, yes, the home page is just selling it and the features page I've told you all about before. Look at the Dino-Pedia, it is a comprehensive display of all dinosaurs that we've unveiled to the public thus far. There will also be other additional dinosaurs that we've not revealed yet. Check it out, it'll be cool to see I suppose.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Have We Become Too Negative?

Now, I hated X-Men: The Last Stand because Cyclops died and many casual movie fans were disappointed with it. It was not a bad film, not at all, but it was disappointing. Spider-Man 3 is not a bad movie at all. Hell, the negativity that surrounds the movie seems to have convinced Sam Raimi that he made a bad film. No, it was disappointing because Venom, who is popular to fans and casual viewers, was not done right. Why do I open with that? There was no negativity surrounding the release of both of those films, there really wasn't any negativity afterwards if you look it up, just disappointment. No, the negativity is more recent.

Man of Steel came out and there was no disappointment, there were either people who loved it, or hated it. I have covered that extensively on this blog. In not one of those posts is the word 'disappointment' mentioned. Sure I may have alluded to feelings of disappointment or dismay, but whenever I did that I used it as a device to show you something? What you may ask? To show you not that people were disappointed how Man of Steel turned out, but how it did not resemble a Christopher Reeve film. How it was not humorous like a Marvel Entertainment film. They were not disappointed with the quality of the film like you could say for Spider-Man 3, no, they were disappointed with a quality that they hated did not work in the film. They hated it for not being what they wanted. If not done perfectly, tailor made to the minds of every fanboy, your product will receive a huge amount of negativity.

Look at the new Fantastic Four, people are angry that Johnny Storm is black. They hate it. They have not seen the film and are finding reasons to bash it and destroy it. You may say they have seen tv spots and trailers and that their reasons are justified. No, they made these reasons when Josh Trank was announced as director. Just like Yafisz postulates Alex Leadbeater does with the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, these fanboys just used promotional material to find further reason to hate the film. What am I trying to say here? Well, let me give you another example. Recently the Undertaker returned to the WWE, interrupting a championship match and attacking Brock Lesnar. Now WWE is a television show much like Arrow or Hannibal and it is scripted. People loved his return, but as Yafisz pointed out on a forum somewhere, a vocal minority destroyed the return, claiming it was out of character, done badly, he is too old, should retire. You can look for Yafisz's post somewhere, but the point is, as Matt Fowler of IGN said in response to that reaction: "We've become way too comfortable crapping all over everything". That speaks volumes about our attitude and as Yafisz has been trying to promote a more positive environment, honestly, I'm going to tell you that yes. This blog has shat on movies before they've come out, but our criticism had been well deserved and towards movies that YOU KNEW were going to be bad (like Annie), not towards something like X-Men: Apocalypse or Penny Dreadful that has potential.

So there you have it, try and be positive guys. Don't be that guy who tries to ruin the Transformers movies for you because there's only explosions. If you like that, enjoy it and ignore that guy. Be hopeful about everything, be positive.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Remebering X-Men: The Last Stand

I wasn't very old when X-Men: The Last Stand came out. I loved Cyclops, he was my favorite X-Man. I loved his movie costume, I loved the fact that it was some black military strike team outfit with the visor. While I didn't hate the comic book costume, I liked it in fact, I hated the one that covered his hair. It seemed so impractical to me. It made him look like a standing blue Xavier to me. I didn't really care much for Wolverine, but I always thought that he was cool.

What I liked about each movie was the structure. We had the threat, first Magneto, then Stryker. We had the X-Men under Cyclops. Wolverine as the lead. Then there was the mutant of the movie. In the first one it was Rogue and then it was Nightcrawler. In the third one it was supposed to be Angel. There is one episode from the old X-Men: Evolution show I watched as a child that I'll single out as great, that is the episode where Angel debuts. That was a great episode. Then when this movie's tv spots started to come out, I was confused. There was barely any Cyclops. I was scared that he wouldn't be in the movie. I saw a poster and he was in it, but way in the back and grew even more scared that he might die. Then it came out to theatres, and then finally to DVD when I watched it. Around that time, TV Spots had come out again reminding me of my fears.

I didn't like the movie because it killed Cyclops. Not that it killed him early, but that he died at all. I loved it when Wolverine killed Jean Grey, if I had my younger feelings now, rewatching that scene I would say: "FUCK THAT BITCH!". Magneto was always cool. I liked the Iceman/Pyro dynamic. Everything felt fine, if not too much, but they killed Cyclops. That is perhaps another reason why X-Men: Days of Future Past is so great, it wipes this movie's stupidity away from our minds.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Death of Two Player

Now this post is going to be slightly more intimate, and I'm back, I'm not Yafisz. So, it was recently announced that Halo 5: Guardians would not have couch co-op. Now, I have a few problems with that statement and I am taking issue with them right here and right now. I never had an Xbox or an Xbox 360, but my friends did and one time, when they rented (yes, renting games used to be a thing) Halo 3: ODST we played it all night. Whether we couch co-op'd the story mode or couch co-op'd the multiplayer maps of Halo 3, we were couch co-op-ing. Now, all of a sudden, the next Halo game doesn't even have couch co-op. I once built up my entire gaming part on this blog simply to show off the couch co-op capabilities of Halo: Reach, I called it Halo Hunter back then.

Here is the thing, though, back then, there was no such thing as "couch co-op". You know what there was? Two player. Back then, simply playing in the same room as your friends was two player or three player or four player. Now there is online and there is couch co-op. There is no more two player, but you know what, I'm going to refer to it as two player anyways. As soon as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released and the sales of that game rocketed, there was a sudden shift of focus from the story to the multiplayer. Honestly, nobody plays Call of Duty for the story, the just want zombies or online. That is the entire truth. As soon as that happened, a focus came on how to get people to play online rather than together with two player. Yes, it had already happened on the Xbox 360 with the Halo series, but that was more niche and people still obsess about the story of that game as much as they do online.

When I got my PlayStation 4 I got the Destiny bundle. Silly me thinking I'd be able to play Destiny with my friends who are in the same room. The only PS4 game of mine that does let me do that? WWE 2K15. Yes, Diablo 3 exists out there and has an epic two player mode and I might get it. Other two player games for the PS4? LittleBigPlanet and Rayman. There are definitely more, but none that really have a valuable mode for two player. Sword Coast Legends looks like it might, but I would only get that if it is like Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and not too confusing with the D&D stuff they always thrust into those games. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will probably have two player modes to supplement online like they did for the last game. One thing to note, though, it will be supplementing online and not really have emphasis as a feature of its own. Honestly, I guess this is just a small message saying that I miss the days of two player and wish that they come back, properly and without the requirement of a Wii U.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ant-Man Review

So the MCU's Phase 2 has finished off now, with Ant-Man being the final film there. Out of all of Phase 2, though, I will say that Ant-Man is the best. It seems the most dissociated from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and unlike Thor: The Dark World or Guardians of the Galaxy, it is a film that could stand on its own without being connected to the MCU. Let us face it, had Guardians of the Galaxy not been a Marvel film it would not have gotten the critical or commercial reception it had. Ant-Man, however, is reminiscent of Iron Man and has the ability to be its own thing. This is ironic because Sam "The Falcon" Wilson is a part of this film and connects to the Avengers, yet still, it serves to further the film and not to remind the audience that this is in the same universe as The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Even the references to that film are to further this film. That is one of the greatest parts of this.
When you on FaceTime with bae
This is a stupid meme.

Then there is the humor. If any Marvel film could be called a comedy, it would be this one. Yet where the comedy in Terminator Genisys failed, it succeeds in Ant-Man. Now, let me clarify, this film jokes that are between characters, you know, the jokes that made the last Terminator flick fail? It also has jokes that are meant for the audience and that is the plethora of them, and it succeeds, because that kind of humor always succeeds. Yet why does the first kind succeed when it usually fails? The movie does not forget to be serious when it needs to be. Had Ant-Man been smiling stupidly or pulled of a dumb one liner after saving the day, it would not have worked. Rather, when TI and Michael Pena make their funny jokes, it works because the tone of that scene is funny. What I am trying to say is, that the movie has perfect tonal shifts and that is what makes the comedy succeed.
When your mom tells a terrible joke but you need $20
Another terrible meme.

As for the story, it is very typical. It does not try to be a game changer or anything, but rather just a nice upbeat plot that makes the audience feel happy. For once I am happy that a film is not trying to be something revolutionary, but rather something nice. Where Ant-Man truly succeeds is in the effects department. No, it is not anything revolutionary like we saw in Avatar or too excessive like one may (rightfully) claim about Green Lantern, or the main appeal to the film like in Guardians of the Galaxy. No, in Ant-Man, we have nice polished effects that truly look fantastic. The ants that we see are all CGI, but their movement and quite simply, just everything about them feels real. Then there are the shrinking effects, not everything there is CGI, but a lot of it is. Now had this movie been made 20 years ago, we would have seen an extreme version of what Peter Jackson did for the hobbits and dwarves in The Lord of the Rings. We see a little bit of that in this film, but in truth, the way the shrinking is handled is just amazing.
I think my Facebook feed hit a new low
Even worse.

Honestly, yes, I do recommend you go out and watch this movie. If you look at it from a critic's eye, you will be entertained and will see that while it is nothing special, it is not a terrible movie. If you go from the standpoint of somebody who just wants to be entertained one evening, I assure you that you will be entertained.
He has more money than you
Hey Tia, it is real great to know that there are some real golddiggers out there! Or this is a Kevin James situation.... wait.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Terminator Genisys Review

So I haven't talked to Knight in a while, but he saw Terminator Genisys yesterday. So why am I making the review? Because I also saw it and I'm going to be online instead of him for this week. First thing is, I am finally getting things settled with Leadbeater. I do want to apologize for those who I've offended and to Leadbeater for the language that I have used. I do respect Leadbeater as a writer because he is good, as I've said, but when it comes to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice he is biased and not even a little bit objective. That said, if continues to post his articles on the topic at WhatCulture in this biased fashion, I will respond, but with none of the name calling and all of the memes.
I don't always have a meme, but when I do, I caption it.

As for Terminator Genisys, you've probably all heard the buzz that the new Terminator movie is horrible, terrible and you should not watch it. It is not horrible or terrible but I cannot recommend that you watch it. So let me start off with the positives, the effects are very good and well handled. From a director like Alan Taylor, you can expect nothing less. They look expensive, though, which is a shock given that the film actually cost under $200 million. The best effects, however, are those of the T-3000 and the digital way in which it moves and interacts is practically horrifying. Not too shabby is that of the T-800, in which Brett Azar is CGI'd into looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unlike in Terminator Salvation which had better effects, but was inconsistent in CGI-ing Roland Kickinger and thus had to cut the Arnold short, this film maintains it. The T-800 moves dangerously and incapacitates Guardian in what could easily be one of the best fight scenes in the film. When it comes back and fights Kyle Reese, you're actually rooting for the T-800. Then the acting, there are two actors whose acting I will single out: Jason Clarke and J.K. Simmons. Let us start with the latter, who is barely in the film. Yet right when he comes in, you can tell that he is playing a slightly childish, yet worn out and exasperated old detective who fumbles to even comprehend an iPad. Nonetheless, he continues to tread on. There is not much substance to his character and barely much for Simmons to work with, but he still pulls it off and proves to be the best comedic part of the film. As for Jason Clarke? He pulls it off convincingly and had this movie been any better, gives an Oscar-nomination worthy performance. "I'm not man, I'm not machine. I'm more." - there is no emotion given in Clarke's T-3000 when he says that, yet you cannot help but feel he is being cocky. He wants his mother and father with him, but really does not care if he wipes himself out of the timeline if the engender the possibility of Skynet's death. Yes, if you want to watch good acting, watch a supercut of this film featuring only Jason Clarke's performance. Oh yeah, and Arnold is pretty badass.
The rest of this movie now.

Now the negative and there is a lot. First let me start off with the comedy. There is simply too much. Go back and watch The Terminator and T2: Judgment Day and you will find comedy, where it is needed. Like "I'll be back" in the first film ended up being funny to the audience, but wasn't funny in the context of the film. Kyle Reese's interrogation in that film was funny to the audience, but not in the context of the film. In this movie, however, when Kyle Reese says stuff like "I'll find the switch" and all, it isn't funny because, is he trying to make the characters in the movie laugh or the audience? Same problem I had with Jurassic World, people do not say that stuff outside of comedy movies starring Chris Rock (which are good) while in a serious situation. You aren't going to pop a funny line while a cyborg is hunting you down, it doesn't work like that. This is why the serious moments, even though far and few, are to be cherished in this film. This is why J.K. Simmons works, he is funny to the audience and while he doesn't come off as funny to the characters, he does to us. Then comes the romance, which is about as forced and hamfisted with unnecessary humor as possible. It doesn't work, there is no real chemistry between Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke. As for acting. I discussed the positives but now the negatives. Emilia Clarke gives about the most cliched performance I have ever seen in a big budget film. She rejects destiny, but has to go along with it, doesn't want to fall in love but does it anyways, oh and everyone she loves dies. That skeleton can have great things made from it, but is mangled and mishandled into Sarah Conner's character arc. Also, she cannot maintain the accent. Jai Courtney on the other hand is good, he is fine, but his voice sounds off and he just cannot hold a candle to Michael Biehn. As for Matt Smith, sorry if you watched this film for him because he's just a cameo. As for the plot, it should work because it is a good concept, but with everything listed above, it doesn't.
Two series that started off great but descended into madness? Oh my god.

Honestly, this is a movie that should work, but is bogged down by a horrible screenplay and unnecessary comedy. What should have been great like Jurassic World instead suffers from that film's flaws by an exponential level.
Basically this movie.


Monday, July 13, 2015

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 (also, more Leadbeater bashing)

So Comic-Con has come and gone and I, MYK, am back once more. Expectedly, dumbass Leadbeater has made another article on WhatCulture bashing Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, Josh Wilding made an article beforehand which praised the film on the same site, a first for every website I suppose. Does that mean I wills pare Leadbeater? Nope, on with it! Here's his stupid article if you will.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
 Now, let me start off with his introductory page. He claims it reignited the hot debate. There was no hot debate, ever. Just people who didn't like Man of Steel bitching about a sequel to film that they had decided they would not like before watching the movie and people who were genuinely excited. Then he cites several criticisms, that he does not talk about. Remember that concept that each work should stand on its own and not be dependent on what came before it? That applies for journalism as well Alex. Then he links back to his own previous articles to show these criticisms. Nobody wants to see your articles! I didn't even want to write these articles bashing your articles, you forced my hand because your complaints were so stupid! Why would you link back to your shit? That isn't standing by your shit, standing by your shit would be defending it if necessary, not picking it up and throwing it across the internet!
I just like this meme.
 His first point: Retconning Bruce Wayne Into Man of Steel's Ending. I know of a magical tool on the Internet called or even Google Define that can tell us what a retcon is. However, as an actual journalist, I will tell you. It is a new concept inserted into a previously known work that changes a fundamental concept of said work. No, Alex, it is not a retcon that having Bruce Wayne save a little girl from a collapsing tower during the events of Man of Steel occured because it did not change our understanding of what happened in that film. Now maybe if Wayne secretly shoved a kryptonite batarang up Zod's ass, that would be a retcon. That would be the typical approach that I'd expect him to take, but no Leadbeater does not criticize that. Rather, he criticizes the fact that the Batman Easter eggs were Tim Burton-esque and that Man of Steel dissociated itself from a larger universe? How does this retcon that? By making Gotham City a sister city to Metrpolis? Okay, you can criticize that, but I always thought they were opposite the Delaware Bay as DC Comics themselves said... no wait, you cannot criticize that! You are criticizing the trailer, so why are you instead pointing your anger at something that was said during a Comic-Con panel?

Next point: Heck, Retconning Man of Steel's Ending in General. Yes, he used heck during a title. Not going to lie, the first two paragraphs in this page are good journalism. I applaud you for that Leadbeater, but just like Michael Bay you cannot hold up. Third paragraph he acts like this was Snyder's plan all along! Anybody can tell that it wasn't! Snyder even admit that the destruction is something that Superman would have to deal with in an interview shortly after Comic-Con 2013 when this was announced! Then, why is General Zod's body still around? Wait, what? How is that related to the title? Are you going to explain yourself? How does dealing with the repercussions of Man of Steel retcon the ending to that film? At least explain your point before going all bipolar on us and shifting your argument.
Pointing at WhatCulture offices.

Point 3: The Death of the Waynes: Once More With Feeling. Before talking about his writing, I will agree with the sentiment I believe he will use. I do not feel we need to see why Batman is Batman again, but please note, the why is not how, the how is the first half of Batman Begins. I will admit, most of this page is good writing by Leadbeater. Then he compares it to Captain America: Civil War and claims Marvel is sidestepping the origin of Spider-Man? No, Sony is sidestepping the origin of Spider-Man because of how well it worked out for them the second time. Marvel is just writing them in. Last paragraph... Leadbeater, learn how to analyze... Perry is talking about Clark Kent going after Batman in a journalistic fashion, as in doing something that most reporters tend not to do. He is not claiming the Batman is new, in fact, the way he casually says 'Batman' suggests otherwise.
No caption necessary.

Point 4: Alfred Undermines The Whole Film. Well damn, I didn't know Leadbeater had already seen the whole film already. I mean, why else would he make such crazy accusations after having had only seen a trailer? He has to have already seen the film, in its entirety. I'm saying this off of the title of the point. So apparently, nearly 67 year old Jeremy Irons is too old for Alfred because Bruce Wayne is older even though Ben Affleck is 42 and there is still a 25 year age gap between the two? That is a quarter century Leadbeater! So apparently Alfred's line "He's not our enemy" just destroys the entire purpose of the movie? Goddamn. Goddamn. Goddamn. Groddamn. Then he says that Alfred may be talking about Lex? No, dumbass, he's talking about Superman. It is a line to try and get Batman not to fight Superman but Batman does anyways because he's a jackass. Are you that stupid, really? I don't even want to waste time on this point, so stupid.
My response to him hating on Alfred.

Point 5: The Red Capes Are Coming. I am not going to lie, the line by Lex Luthor that Leadbeater is referring to. I have seen some people love it, but others? No feelings at all, really? Some, like Leadbeater, have found it stupid. But I just don't care. The "Do You Bleed" line was awesome, though. Fuck you Leadbeater. Let us just get it over with dude. You don't like the film because you don't want to like it. Your acting like fucking Devin Faraci before X-Men: Days of Future Past and even he admit that the movie was good. Then he quotes a stupid ass line from The Social Network that wasn't even that good and here is the best part, he has a spelling error! Plus, I don't even like Eisenberg as Luthor yet I cannot help but defend him from Leadbeater!
Just do it Leadbeater, we can help you!

Enough of Leadbeater, let me actually post what I wanted to post now, about SDCC 2015. We cannot have SDCC without DC. Yet we did without Marvel Entertainment's Film Division. Guess what, though, the X-Men movies are Marvel movies, just not Disney marvel and they did hold up the fort for Marvel. The Marvel TV Division, given that it doesn't have a lot to talk about, could not do much. So let us talk about Marvel first, through 20th Century Fox, people remembered them! The X-Men panel, which highlighted Deadpool, Wolverine and X-Men: Apocalypse was enjoyable. This was due to surprise appearances by Channing Tatum and Hugh Jackman. We do not know if Jackman is in the next two flicks, but it is confirmed that it is over for him (unless he pulls a Sean Connery). I'm sure you've all seen the leaked footage, but that movie looks amazing and yet that is only after five weeks of shooting? Groddamn. Then there was Fantastic Four, which was just selling the movie. Nothing new there, it just seems fine. So there was the entire Marvel side to it.
(I'd put more memes in between paragraphs but fuck it)
Now, as for other television. I only cared for Hannibal and Supernatural. Unlike the previous year, this time, Supernatural had no new footage but instead gave us plenty of details. I liked the panel, but it wasn't too exciting. The idea of the brothers going up against the Darkness united is good, but expected. Crowley being confirmed as dead is obviously going to be true until it isn't. Again, this year, the panel did not accomplish anything. Since NBC is like a girl with commitment issues, Hannibal is ending, so they gave us the amazing trailer for the "Red Dragon-half" of the final season.

What about DC? Who stole the show? Even though they've only got two movies coming out? Now, as likely indicated by the entire Leadbeater bashing, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice looks amazing and will probably be amazing. As for Suicide Squad, okay... well, Ayer let the official trailer loose this morning so... yeah, it looks good. I don't know. I really am burned out writing this, but I will say that the Suicide Squad itself looks very well handled and good. Harley Quinn is nothing too special, so don't get worked up over her accent. The star of the movie, as expected, Deadshot looks like he is getting a fairly well deserved treatment by Will Smith. There is not a tonal issue. The film is serious but will give us laughs when it deems appropriate, like the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. As for the Joker. Look, it is no surprise that the two of us on this blog do not like the Damaged tattoo on his forehead, which is why I think Ayer made the good choice of not making it too visible during the trailer, as it is very off putting.


(UPDATE: Just went ham destroying Leadbeater on Twitter, check me out on @YafiszKhan)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Dark Souls 2 Look Back

Yes, I got this game a year and a half ago, but I only passed it this morning. So, had I passed it in the two weeks I originally intended to pass it, I would have posted a review. Instead, this is a look back at the game.

When I originally got Dark Souls 2, I had two weeks off and needed a video game to bide my time. I did not know what Dark Souls was, what Demon Souls was or what the King's Field was. I did, however, know of From Software. One of the first games I ever got for the PlayStation 2, Evergrace was by them. It was a fun game when I was little, it is kind of shit now. Yet, I figured that this game would not be like Evergrace because it was a legitimate sequel. I had no idea where the original was, so I just picked this up. When I started, I was glad I got to control a character whom I created. I was expecting maybe something like Mass Effect. In The Things Betwixt, I skipped all of the fog gates because I was unsure of what they meant and got straight into Majula. What a pretty and beautiful but sad town. The first thing I tried to do was kill Sweet Shalquoir, you know, the talking cat? Then I died by falling into that pit. I did not notice that my total life had taken a hit or that my guy was slightly ugly. So I decided to head for that tunnel by Shalquoir's house, after I totally pillaged the entire village. I did not kill any of the villagers throughout the entire game, though. Pretty soon I was in Heide's Tower of Flame and was getting massacred by the giant soldiers there. That was when I noticed that my guy had all of a sudden turned ugly. Dredging forth, I made it to the area's boss, the Dragonrider. He beat me very quickly the first time, the second time, however, I rolled out of his way and he fell into the abyss below. I had no idea what to do with the many souls I just got, all I knew was that I could rest at bonfires and such. So, when I lost all the boss souls gained, not the ones gained after using the Dragonrider's soul (which I did when I learned how to level up), I had no clue I had even lost them. Continuing in to No Man's Wharf, I could kill the enemies here and was finding it easy. I still had no clue about the game's mechanics, however. So I decided to check on YouTube and began to watch the playthrough of GhostRobo. That helped me a lot.

I learned from him how to level up, some weaknesses against opponents and the path I should have been taking. Going to the Forest of Fallen Giants, I began to notice that this game was almost exactly like Evergrace when I faced the Last Giant. I just looked it up on IGN, but the second boss of Evergrace was the Order Knight. The strategy against that boss was simple. Wait for him to attack and hit him in the ass. Looking at some videos of that game, against minor enemies, the tactic was just hit them first or wait for them to attack and hit them in the ass. In Dark Souls 2, I found myself using the same tactics I had used almost thirteen years prior. So I beat the Lost Giant and later, the Pursuer, in this fashion. This pathway took me to the Lost Bastille, and believe it or not, despite my relative inexperience, I had only died around 70 times thus far, but the Ruin Sentinels, oh my god. The Ruin Sentinels had to have killed me at least 400-500 times before I still did not beat them. I decided to go around a different way and returned to No Man's Wharf, I cleared the area and defeated the Flexile Sentry. So I began clearing the Lost Bastille from the other side. Now, the Ruin Sentinels had frustrated me so much that at this point I was willing to give up the game. With the Emerald Herald, I was putting all of my points into strength or dexterity just to get my attack up. I was using the Drangleic Sword, but the Varangian armour set from No Man's Wharf. This game me power and speed, necessary for met to avoid their attacks. I still could not win! It was my nerfed health, I knew it! I was not that good of a player, so I did not use Human Effigies to restore my health and I was scared of invasions, so I always played in offline mode. I did not learn until the very end the values of humanity in this game. There had to be a way to get my health up! I looked online and returned to the Heide's Tower of Flame. It took me a long ass time, but I beat those giant soldiers and opened of the Cathedral of Blue. The Old Dragonslayer was not that difficult of a boss, but he still beat me around thirty times. Yet then I got the Ring of Binding and my health was considerably up to the point that I completely stopped caring about being undead. So I decided to follow what GhostRobo was doing and headed to the Huntsman's Copse. I did not go to the Undead Purgatory because it was an optional area. Instead I marched on to the Skeleton Lords and had to have died less than ten times before I defeated them all. In Harvest Valley, I got the fragrant branch of yore and this area was easy. So I figured the Earthen Peak would be easy too. I was right, I did not even die against the Covetous Demon and did not die many times against Mytha. Now my two weeks break was almost over and I was at the Iron Keep, I decided to press forward until the last bonfire. My character was much stronger now, and I headed back to the Lost Bastille. Those Ruin Sentinels would tremble before me! They did not, I died at least a hundred times more until I finally beat them! My hands were shaking when I trumped them, my victory was at hand! Then, at the end of the two weeks break, I beat the Old Iron King within five deaths. My break was over, and so was my time with this game, or so I thought.

When E3 was about two weeks away, I think? GhostRobo posted a video about Project Beast or Beast Souls. Turned out, this was Bloodborne a PS4 exclusive. Now I was planning on getting a PlayStation 4 at the end of the Summer, so I decided to continue my quest to beat Dark Souls 2 to prove myself worthy. Using the fragrant branch of yore, I was able to get into the Shaded Woods, whose boss, the Scorpioness, was an easy boss yet again. I figured I had the hang of this game. Continuing on, I eventually made it to the Doors of Pharros, but did not continue down that route. Remembering the words of Creighton, I instead went down the Brightstone Cove Tseldora. This was a more difficult area, but more due to length than actual difficulty. The Duke's Dear Freja was not a difficult boss, but it was the spiders that she summoned that always killed me. In the end, though, I got her and the Body of Vengarl to kneel before the Drangleic Sword. Returning to the Lost Bastille, I went down to Sinner's Rise and faced the Lost Sinner. I just could not. She was too hard. Way too hard for me to beat and I could not handle it at all. I quit the game. I did not play at all until the spring that just passed, a year after I got the game. I kept on trying, kept on trying and I beat the Lost Sinner. I headed down to the Gutter and the Black Gulch, beat the Rotten easily and returned to head off to Drangleic Castle. The castle was even easier, as I beat the Twin Dragonriders and the Looking Glass Knight so easily. The Shrine of Amana was no different, although I got stuck on the Demon of Song because the witches would kill me on the way there. Once I beat it, though, I was good. I was practically unstoppable! Then I got to the Undead Crypt and Velstdadt destroyed me, over, and over, and over, and over, and over again! I mean, I would be kicking his ass, then he would use dark magic and with that power boost, just destroy me. I beat him too, though. I aggravated Vendrick, but found I could barely hurt him. Making my way through Aldia's Keep, I found the dragons to be the easiest bosses in the game and ranked up so many levels right there. The Memories were no different and once I got what I needed from them, I headed off to the Throne of Want. The Throne Watcher and Throne Defender were too good! I was at another freaking Lost Sinner. I stopped playing, until three days ago.

So once I started playing again, I kept trying against the Throne Watcher and Defender, but I knew that if I killed one, it would just come back at full health! There was no way I could do it! I needed to get ultra strong again! I started leveling myself up, I infused the Drangleic Sword with a raw stone, ugpraded my pyromancy and found a shit ton of Twinkling Titanite for the Drangleic Sword. I still could not do it! So I headed back to the Doors of Pharros and beat the Royal Rat Authority. Then I went and I killed Vendrick too, took so long to kill that one. With that in mind, I cashed in all of my boss souls and leveled up my health instead of my power. I figured, maybe it was durability, not power that I needed. Nope, it may have taken them longer to kill me, but they still killed me. Turning human for the first time in the game, I went to find Vendrick's Soul at the Shrine of Amana. I found it and used it and leveled up once more. I did not go to the Belfry Luna or the Undead Purgatory, but did clear the Belfry Sol to get the few souls needed for a clean level up. With this newfound power, I returned to the Throne Watcher and Defender, but noticed summon signs! I noticed YouTubers using those sometimes, but  thought I needed to be online for those to work and I had not even updated the game! So I summoned them, realizing after that all I needed to be was human. I had thirty human effigies. First three tries, I used Benhart of Jugo and got close, but still died. Next two tries, I used the Head of Vengarl and did not even come close. Next two tries I used both of them and at the end of the second trie, I killed the Throne Watcher and Defender. Then came the final boss: Nashandra.

I realized that I could beat Nashandra on my own. Yet literally two hours ago, I decided screw it, turned human and summoned those two to fight her. When she was nearly dead, she killed those two, but I was still standing. Six estus flask gulps still available, I slayed her. Took another effigy because her curses turned me undead and took the Throne of Want. I beat the game right there.

I love this game, but I also hate it and will not play it again. I will be getting Bloodborne, now though because this game has, as I said in a previous post, jumpstarted me into that series. With this victory I achieved today, I am glad, and happy. I would have been angry, though, if I had Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin because apparently the updates version of the game adds more bosses and locations, locations that allow no more hollowing. Yet I am not even going to touch that version of the game, it is onward to Bloodborne for me!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Originals Are Here

So, we all know that while my presence at Mesozoica is more related to level design and story, I am still very involved. I had an idea, one day, that we include the three original dinosaurs ever discovered. For those of you who do not know, these are the Iguanodon, the Megalosaurus and the Hylaeosaurus. The first is the most popular, the second has middling popularity and the third has never really caught on. DeJon Horton, our great modeler on the project, already made Iguanodon. Why? It is a very popular herbivore whose popularity meant it had to be a part of the game.

I did not recommend it at first, my main priority was making the dinosaur personality documents, quest designs and forging a story. However, after our incident, which you can read up on at this blog, I pushed for Megalosaurus right away. When DeJon made it, I pitched in the skin. I wanted a loon skin, based off of Canada's most famous bird. It came out beautifully, DeJon Horton is a wonderful and skilled modeler. Our team is humbled to have him. Eventually I asked for Hylaeosaurus as well, he was busy with other dinosaurs, but yesterday he completed it. After working out the kinks, he posted my final request, a shot of The Originals all together.

DeJon's work is amazing guys, wait for more models from him on the Mesozoica Facebook page, which is where you can see the Originals all in a striking pose. Click here.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Jurassic World Review

So I finally ended up watching Jurassic World. A prediction was made on this blog a while ago, that if Chris Pratt's Owen Grady died, the movie would be given props. Full spoilers ahead, but no, Owen Grady did not die. So the film does not get props for that.

However, from an actual reviewer standpoint, Chris Pratt's Owen Grady, in contrast to his Peter Quill, is a much quieter and more serious character. An ex-Navy officer, even though he is not averse to cracking jokes, as soon as the situation becomes a serious one, his demeanor changes and adapts accordingly. Bryce Dallas Howard's character was good, I mean, I never really cared much for her, but she was a means to connect with the children. We were supposed to channel through her and grow to appreciate the kids just as she learned to. I do not really know if Howard is a good actress or a bad one, but she did a reasonable job. Not as well as Chris Pratt, but good enough to support the movie. Vincent D'Onofrio is again, very good. I mean, I find it great that unlike in Marvel's Daredevil he can talk using his actual voice. As the head of inGen, we can expect from the beginning that his character, Vic Hoskins, is going to be evil. No hiding that. Except I mean how stupid can your character be written: "You know what I think the military needs? Velociraptors." What? What led you to that conclusion? Thankfully, D'Onofrio's acting salvages the character. Then Irrfan Khan comes and plays the Indian guy, because he's rich and they needed a foreign presence past Omar Sy. BD Wong, however, who is only in the film for about as much as he was in Jurassic Park, steals the show as Henry Wu. We finally add more dimensions to his character and we see inGen's head of science take a more serious and conniving role, yet everything that he says, we cannot help but agree with.

That is what makes Henry Wu so important to this film. He represents the thematic focal point of the film. While unlike the original, this one does not have a "Life Finds a Way" moment and does not even mention Ian Malcolm past an Easter egg. When Masrani confronts Wu, the good doctor simply tells him that while Masrani Global may have envisioned a creature that looked like the Indominus Rex, they should have predicted what that meant. inGen simply says, that if it looks scary because it seems dangerous, it probably is dangerous. Masrani asked for something cool and terrifying looking without knowing what that really meant. inGen gave it to them, fully knowing what it meant. There is the theme, Wu simply states that the word monster is a biased point of view and that from an objective perspective, the Indominus Rex is only doing what it can. It may seem cool, it may seem terrifying, it may act like a monster, but inGen created it, man created it. The film is not going against cloning or creating hybrids, but similar to Jurassic Park, it is reminding us that without proper care, repercussions will occur.

Also, this time, they actually showed Wu leave the island. As for the actual story, I predicted this the moment I heard about it. Either the Indominus Rex frees the Tyrannosaurus Rex and they wreak havoc together, or the Indominus Rex is killed by the T-Rex at the end. Guess what happens? Indominus Rex doesn't free the T-Rex, no, it frees the Pteranodons who go berserk. There is one scene that I am sure that feminists are all over. The nanny of the two kids gets picked up by a Pterodactyl and repeatedly dropped into the water, when it finally picks her back up, they are both eaten by a Mosasaur. Relax Feminazis, the dinosaurs are all female. Back on point, while the Indominus Rex alliance comes with Pteranodons, a notable point is actually within the velociraptors. Right at the beginning, they do try to kill Owen Grady when he saves his assistant. They lunge for him as the gates close. These animals are not tame, they are still the vicious conniving bastards they were three movies ago. It reminds me of The Lord of the Rings, they need to get rid of the One Ring because they cannot use it. You cannot use evil to fight evil. The movie maintains the velociraptors are not evil, but they kill a lot of people and when they decide to go against the Indominus Rex, it appears to be more of a factor of mutual survival rather than because it is the right thing to do. In the end, like I predicted, the Tyrannosaurus Rex fights the Indominus Rex. I was surprised, though, when Indominus was about to kill it, but it made sense. This creature could not kill the Spinosaurus in this series and this is the original T-Rex, an old veteran of war. So when it needed help, it was easy to understand. What I did not expect, though, was how the T-Rex killed the Indominus Rex. It led it to the Mosasaur, that was unexpected. The T-Rex may have kicked the Indominus' ass, but the Mosasaur claims the kill, a pleasant surprise.

Like I said, the story on paper is very simple. Wu creates Indominus Rex, Indominus Rex frees Pterodactyls who wreak havoc, Velociraptors change alliance more times than the Big Show, T-Rex kicks Indominus Rex's ass, Indominus Rex dies, Owen gets the girl and the T-Rex stands tall. What makes it work are the fact thatt the Velociraptors are terrifying, that Wu's words to Masrani (which is not pronounced Mazzzz-raini like every actor in the movie claims) echo through every action of the film and that the T-Rex kicks ass. In the end, though, this film is is a very good film. Not as good as the original two, but still very good in its own right. There are those small comedic moments like when inGen's tech guy gets friendzoned and "your boyfriend is badass" that make the film seem less serious than it should. Those moments have no place in a film where Velociraptors could be right behind you. However, the film is very good and works on its own. It proves the point that it needed to prove, that a dinosaur film can still work. It seemed one-off, like they were not trying to start a franchise and that made it better.

Not as thematic as the original, and not as action packed as the original sequel, but still an amazing film that is recommended. Go watch Jurassic World, it is 7/10.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bloodborne and Dark Souls 2

So yeah, I vowed that I would finish Dark Souls 2 before going on to play Bloodborne. Have I done it? I'm finally at the Throne Watcher and Defender. I'm sure that I will not have as much trouble on Bloodborne as my friends and many others have had because I played Dark Souls 2 first. Why did I not finish the game? I've got more things to do in a day than play a game and I was preoccupied with Batman: Arkham Knight, whose review is the post before this one, so check that out.

To many people, Demon Souls was the hardest game that they had played. A sequel has not been made to it, but the spiritual successor, Dark Souls came out. I have not played either of those two games, but Dark Souls is the series that people identified with after it came out, despite having gotten hooked by Demon Souls. I am sure that Bloodborne will be the same thing to me, fans of Demon Souls find Dark Souls easy. Dark Souls 2 got me hooked and I will likely identify with Bloodborne and that is a series that I am sure will similarly continue.

I probably will not get Dark Souls 3, but probably will get Bloodborne 2 when that comes out. Now the question is, do I wait for a definitive version of Bloodborne that includes all the DLC and get that? Or do I do what I always do and just get the game in its base condition, because I want the game for what it is, right? Kind of the reason why I never got any DLC for Destiny, or any other game, ever.