Sunday, December 6, 2015

Why letting go of my hatred of the prequels is not easy

I have been a Star Wars fan for almost 40 years as A New Hope came out when I was 6 years old. So, this goes back a LONG time. My love for these movies is immense, and it helped shape a large part of who I am as a person. Which is why I am so damn excited with the Force Awakens that is coming out, as the feel of them reminds me of the originals. Also, if you have not watched Rebels. Do it. Forget that it is on the Disney Channel as there is a lot of awesome there.

Then there are the prequels. There is not a person alive that can convince me that these movies are anything other than awful. That is just me. If you love them? That is awesome. The more people love Star Wars, the better it is. I just really don’t like them at all.

But it is time to let that go. They are a part of canon, and not every part of them were awful. But first a bit as to why they have been such a sore point all these years. 

I was really excited that there were new movies, but it was tempered by the fact they were telling a story I already knew the ending to. To be fair, I don’t really like prequels in much of anything. I ended up seeing the Phantom Menace five times, and it went from thinking it was good to wondering if I liked it at all.

I am also in the minority in the fact that I think the Phantom Menace the least awful of the three. It has two things the others did not Qui Gon Jinn and Darth Maul. Of course, they both died, which to this day I feel like was a huge mistake to have your two most interesting characters die in the first movie.

I honestly felt like the next two movies were worse. Where they tried to push a love story that in the best of times was just creepy as hell. Not to mention diminishing Padme from a good character in 1, and a love struck mess afterwards. As for Revenge of the Sith.  I walked out of that movie on opening night. Really did not like it at all.

It is why I never watched the Clone Wars as they reminded me of everything I hated about them. I am watching it now, and to be fair there still are a few things I don’t like about them that are directly related to them. The top three are: how dumb Grievous is, how inept the battle droids are, and yes, Jar Jar. But those things aside, I am really enjoying it so far. I love how portrait Anakin in the show and you can see his slide into madness. This is handled pretty well. And I love Ahsoka Tano.

But now the new movies are coming out, and with that comes reflection. I am actually kind of embarrassed with how for so many years I got caught up in heated arguments about the merit of the prequels. Instead of just being glad that other people were fans of this series, we would just argue about it. It is something I still see as people are so quick to dismiss the movies (I know this cuz I have done this in the past). Then arguments ensue.

So, as I said above, I am letting it go. Love what you love.

The bottom line is this. For far TOO long there has been two camps of Star Wars fans. Ones that love the original, and ones that love the prequels. There should only be one camp. Those that love Star Wars and who cares about the rest.

So, there are less than two weeks until the Force Awakens comes out. Let’s come together as fans and just enjoy this amazing thing we all love so much. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My thoughts on the new Star Wars novels

Here is my ranking of the new Star Wars novels, from worst to best.

Heir to the Jedi  (between A New Hope and Empire)
By far the worst book in the series. Set in between A New Hope and Empire, it was a cool premise as it is Luke trying to figure out how to be a Jedi. The problem is that it never felt anything like Star Wars. It also took a chance in being from Luke’s first person perspective, and even though I was excited by that, it did not bring anything to the story. The sad thing is if you did not tell me it was a Star Wars story, you could have just placed this in any other universe. Also, did not like the way it was written at all. 
Rating 2.5 out of 10

A New Dawn (before A New Hope)       
I was really excited by this one as I am a HUGE Rebels fan. What a disappointment as the author of this story did a few things that just makes my brain hurt. 1. Made Kanan sound like Han Solo with jedi abilities. Even to the point where he kept calling people sweetheart. 2. Why do authors feel the need to end so many sentences with a exclamation mark?  I mean it happened. A LOT. Even having both Kanan and Hera did not help this story as I could never get past how it was written. It never worked for me at all. But it did at least have Kanan and Hera.
Rating 3.5 out of 10

I really wanted to like this more than I did. It isn’t even that I did not enjoy it as the back story for Tarkin was really interesting at times. But at other times it was just kind of boring. Now, I read this a while back and it is one of the ones I plan on reading again. But the interplay with Vader was really cool and any time Vader comes into a story and is written well, that is a plus. I just wish it held my interest throughout the entire story, but I was never that interested in Tarkin in the first place. BUt i wonder how much I went into it not wanting to like it? Which is why I need to just ignore that and try reading it again.
Rating 6.0 out of 10.

Aftermath (after Jedi)
Was really excited about this one as it is the story that takes place after Jedi. I do not think it was nearly as bad as people said it was. A LOT of people were not happy with it. I liked it overall, as I have read Wendig before and his writing style doesn’t really bother me. Saying that, the interludes that showed the rest of the universe were interesting at times, but also really stopped the flow of the story and it suffered because of that. Rae Sloan and Norra were awesome. How they used Wedge Antilles and Mister Bones was not.
Rating 6.5 out of 10

Smugglers Run (between a New Hope and Empire)
The image of an older Han Solo in a bar was really cool. Him being sent on a rescues mission by Leia (although relutctantly) was cooler. I also really liked Alecia Beck, the ISB officer that was trying to thwart them. Throw in a few bounty hunters chasing solo because he owed Jabba money? It was a fun read and it is also nice to see Han and Chewie at their best.
Rating 7.0 out of 10

Moving Target (between Empire and Jedi)
Leia being awesome. The addition of old characters like Mon Mothma, Ackbar, and Nien Numb was really cool.  Also, the fact that she is called General Leia? Nice. It was the first time I had heard that. Add to that the mention of Poe Dameron, it was just a nice touch to the movies that are coming out. Her ragtag group that she takes to try to trick the empire? I just really enjoyed this quite a bit and there were a lot of cool hints within.
Rating 7.5 out of 10

Lords of the Sith (After revenge of the Sith)
Vader is bad ass in case you missed it. Since this is taking place not long after Sith, there is  a lot of how Vader is becoming Vader. Struggling with what he has lost and destroyed, his relationship with Palpatine in this book is amazing. Also, Vader jumped out of his Tie Fighter into space, and single handedly killed everyone in a freighter. This is the Vader you always knew was there, but wow what an awesome scene that was. You also get the beginnings of the Rebel Alliance with Hera from Rebels father trying to assassinate the two Sith. Was a fun read.
Rating 8.0 out of 10

Weapon of the Jedi (between A New Hope and Empire)
This is the book that Heir to the Jedi failed to be. Luke trying to figure out how to be a Jedi. Luke flying with Red Squadron with Wedge Antililes. Him training with multiple training remotes and finding the Lost Temple. This books was just pure joy as it reminded me why I love Luke so much. Letting go of everything and using the force in his fight with Sarco? Also, Jessika Pave, female x-wing pilot made my day. I think it was said she was also the female x-wing pilot in the last tv promo. That is awesome.
Rating 8.5 out of 10

Lost Stars (taking place from before A New Hope to way after Jedi with the battle of Jakku)
This book is amazing. Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell are kids that all they want is to join the Empire and get off their backwater planet. Once they finally get there it is a love story that is sort of reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. Ciena loves order and that is what the Empire gives her. Thane? Just wants to fly and that is what the Empire gives him. But actions done by the empire forces Thane to leave the empire and eventually join the rebels. The story takes you through all of the original trilogy and gives you glimpses of the major happenings of those stories from a different perspective. It was amazing as you can feel for both of them as they struggle with how they feel for each other, but being on the opposite side of a galactic war. That is all that I will say about the story, other than it was written SO WELL and just was everything I wanted in a Star Wars novel, even leading up to showing how the Star Destroyer you see in the trailer actually crashed into Jakku. That in itself was such an amazing thing.

Rating 9.5 out of 10

More in depth review/ Lost Stars Review

I have not read Twilight Company or Dark Disciple as of yet. When I do, I will add them to the list. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review of Star Wars Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: The Journey to the Force Awakens
Lost Star by Claudia Gray

This is the second Star Wars novel I have read this week that leads up to the Force Awakens this December. The first was Aftermath, I and really need to read that one a second time to see how I feel about it.

The good. The story of what happened in movies A New Hope through Jedi being told from a different perspective. Seeing how two people can view things completely different, even with how much they love each other. Ciena holding onto her need for order, even after seeing what the Empire was capable of (especially with the destruction off Alderaan. Her struggle with this was so damn good. She wanted so badly to believe that they Empire could bring order to the galaxy. Even at the end where she was wanting to end her life because she saw it as the only way she could have her honor. Holy shit! Her struggle to try to be a part of a the Empire while watching them do the horrible things they did was painful at times. She really wanted them to be something more, but in the end she found herself only losing everything she cared for in a cause she no longer believed in. 

Then there is Thane. He wants to believe in the Empire as well, or at least be able to fly cool ships. But after Alderaan, he cannot stay with them anymore. It isn’t that he even wanted to be a part of the Rebels, he just could not be a part of the Empire. It wasn’t until latter that the realized that he could do more and was recruited by my favorite Star Wars person, Wedge Antilles. Then he really saw the things the Empire did, such as terror through intimidation and even slavery. He eventually came to believe in the cause they fought for, but all the while still loving Ciena and wishing they could be together. 

Seeing the events unfold was really cool. Ciena and Thane both loved each other, but were on the opposite’s side of a horrible war. It did feel a bit forced at times that these two characters were always involved in major moments, but it was still cool to see things from their view. Things like The Death Star being destroyed, and the battles at Hoth and Endor. But overall, it was just sad to watch these two people that loved each other, but would likely never be together. Painful. But well done. 

It is a slow burn as the first third of the book is setting up the eventual defection of Thane and how that would affect the two friends/lovers. But it is worth is as just the behind the scenes look at the Empire was awesome, even when Thane got to dance with Princess Leia.

The last three chapters really were emotional as it looked like Ciena would do the only thing she could think of to be able to hold on to her honor. Crash the star destroyer into Jakku. That is intense as she felt as she had lost everything and this was all that was left. The fact that Thane saved her from that and into custody of the New Republic was crazy. What a bittersweet ending to a great book. Very emotional and very well done.

The bad. I really have to nitpick here as there wasn’t TOO much bad about it.

But does every star wars anything have to used “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”, and “rebel scum”, so much? Aftermath did this as well. I don’t think we need such ham-fisted reminders of the movies. Paying homage to the movies is good, but I feel it is being done too much in the new canon.

It was a bit forced how they were there for ALL of the famous events from the movies. There is an entire galaxy after all. Also, always just happened to be in the same area? As I said earlier, it was cool, but it did feel a bit forced.

Both of those things are very minor as the book was amazing. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Review of the original Final Fantasy

The first game of the Final Fantasy Challenge to rate all of the games and finally answer the question which is best. 

Final Fantasy
Time played: 32 hours
Everything will be rated on a 1-10 scale (1 being the worst and 10 being the best).
Total Rating 3.4 out of 10

Story-I guess there was a story in there somewhere. Your goal is to just rid the world of evil!  Oooook. It is pretty standard stuff, you are going to fight the fiends that got together and tried to take over the world? Or something? With all the grinding that went into the game, I forgot about the story most of the time…which is ok since it was not that interesting anyways.

The big twist where you find out that Garland (the first sort of boss in the game) is behind it was ok. I mean since you never really knew what was going on in the first place, him coming back was kind of surprising. Also, the game did not give you ANY direction sometimes. That is the problem when there weren’t any notable npc’s to interact with. Yes, you could wander around exploring, but the crappy gameplay made that not enjoyable. I had to go online and look up where to go sometimes because otherwise I would have thrown my ps3 out the damn window.

Rating 2 out of 10

Characters-I believe this is the only game in the series that doesn’t have named characters. It showed as you just chose four different classes and named them. I chose Warrior, monk, red mage, and white mage. At first I had thief and black mage, but the thief in the game is the worst of any game I had ever played. He was USELESS. Yes, he could have eventually become a ninja later on, but he could not hit anything and almost died constantly. Eventually you could upgrade to a better version of your class, but it took so long to happen that it really did not help much in ways of gameplay.

Also it was crazy how much loot there were for the warrior, but not really anyone else. Everyone else barely had any armor and just got their asses handed to them. But the fighter would find new armor, and swords, and shields. Meanwhile, my monk and red mage were barely living in most fights. Thank goodness you could buy potions, cuz you used them often.

There was nothing to connect you to them. They were just four heroes that went around trying to save the world. There were no npc’s in the game worth mentioning as you rarely interacted with anyone.

Rating 2 out of 10

Villains-Nothing too interesting as the story is just telling you go to defeat the fiends. The twist was kind of wasted as you find out that Gordon is behind all of it and you thought you had killed him. Marilith at least looked cool.

Rating 2 out of 10

Setting/theme-Other than the end of the world there was not much of a setting. It could be at this point in rpg’s that it was not that important? Hell I don’t know. But the world was not flushed out at all. There were villages with dwarves and elves, but they added nothing at all to the world.

There was also no real theme to the game, other than just “go destroy evil”. I keep using the same words as there was nothing to really get to connect with the game at all.

Rating 1 out of 10

Battle System-I know this was the first game in the series, but was not enamored with the battle system. Well, that isn’t true, the system itself was ok, but what was NOT ok was how much you had to fight. It was ridiculous. I mean you could take five steps and have five different fights. What made that even worse was the fact that the monsters in the game constantly ambush you. I mean A LOT. There was a time when I got to the Terra Cavern to fight the Vampire there, and I was ambushed 8 straight times. Then I one shot the vampire. Really? He was a boss.

The slots for the magic was also annoying. That doesn’t even get into how expensive it was just to buy the magic. I have always preferred a mp method (like they use in like every other one). At most times you would only have one or two really helpful spells, and when you are stuck in a dungeons fighting every step…it wasn’t good.

Rating 2 out of 10


The game itself was not that hard. The bosses were easy to the point of pathetic in most cases. In defense of the game that is likely do to all of the grinding you had to do. So by the time you came to bosses, you were fairly powerful.

Everything poisons you. I mean it was ridiculous how much I had to back and keep buying antidotes at first. Later on you just bought a bunch.  As I mentioned above, the ambushes made the game hard at times. You would get attacked and before you knew it they had killed both the red mage and white mage. Game over since there were not phoenix downs yet. I died a few times this way.

Also, taking a canoe on the water? WTF. The enemies on water are maybe the hardest in the game for where you are level wise. I mean they were brutal, and you had to take a few paths that could only be taken this way and wow they were hard. Ambush meant death in those fights a lot of times.

Score 7 out of 10

Fun factor-There was not really any point where I enjoyed playing this. Maybe the first time, for a few minutes, before all of the fighting got me frustrated. The biggest thing I could say about this game is that I would not tell anyone to play it. It isn’t worth the 30 hours I put into it.

Rating 1 out of 10

Overall 3.4 out of 10. The game just doesn't hold up. Yes, it was the first in the series and there is something to say about that, but overall it was not a real enjoyable experience. This doesn't take away from how much I love Final Fantasy, but this specific game is one I would not play again. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

I love open world rpgs but I am an idiot

So, I am a dumbass.

There are so many great games out there and lord knows I love good open world rpg’s such as Dragon Age Inquisition and Witcher: Wild Hunt. These games are freaking awesome, but I go about playing them in the dumbest way possible.

Both of these games are awesome, and Witcher could eventually be my favorite RPG of all time. It is that good. But the dumb I do is I keep starting over.

I know, right?

So, I start the game I and love it. But you can tinker around with that kind of player you want to play. With DAO you can try different classes, and with Witcher you get to figure out which of the gameplay types you want. Do you want use magic? Or go all in on fast attack?

So, I do that for a while and then I start over AGAIN. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I do love the beginnings of games and both of these games are great at starting a story.  

So, the end result is that I have played DAO multiple times for over 75 hours. I have played Witcher about the same and recently started over. The problem is that I got burned out on both of them. So I am taking a break from them and playing old school final fantasy.

It is so stupid.

But now freking Fallout 4 is coming out and I really have to make myself just play the damn game and stop obsessing over tinkering around with the kind of character I can be.

One can only hope.

Does anyone else do this?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My thoughts on Star Wars Battlefront

First of all, I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. Saying that I did not get into Battlefront much before, mostly cuz at that point I did not do shooters at that point. But the love is there.

Secondly, the new Star Wars Battlefront game looks fucking amazing. I mean the shots on Hoth? Wow. It is what Star Wars fans have been hoping for years. Finally a game that truly feels like the movies. YES.

Well, if you play multi-player that is.

I don’t even know where to start. No single player campaign at all. This makes me really sad as I just don’t like multi-player games. The odd thing to me is that I keep hearing that they don’t think that many people even play single player. But I have seen hundreds of people on my social networking that all are upset about this. I am not mad, cuz what is the point of that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish it would happen.

So is this a mistake? I imagine that game is going to sell very well, but you have to wonder how much money they are missing by excluding people like me. As pretty as the game is, I won’t be playing it. I will probably still be playing Fallout 4 at this point. But how many people are going to miss out on what looks like a phenomenal game. But it really makes me wonder how many people will not buy the game just like me. Will they eventually have a single player campaign in a later game? Maybe, but not now.

Or it could be that I am being stubborn. Well, I already know that is the case, but I really wish I could get over my multiplayer bit, but I like to sit back and relax and play games at my own speed. But I am gonna miss out on kicking ass with a lightsaber or getting behind the “wheel” of an X-wing. Oh man I freaking LOVE X-wings!!!!!!!!!

So, who know what the right answer. I do feel like they are making a mistake in doing what they are doing, but at the same time they are going to sell millions of copies more than likely and may just not care.

I hope that isn’t the case, but I do hope those that play this game love the hell out of it.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Final Fantasy challenge

I love Final Fantasy. I always have, and probably always will. I mean they are even remaking my favorite one of all (FF7) at some point. No soon though.

I have also always loved IGN, and especially their playstastion podcast, podcast beyond. So, when Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty left their job to start their own youtube channel, I eventually started following them there. The reason this is relevant is that I joined their community on their web page ( and we have talked A LOT of Final Fantasy. Especially as to which one is the best. The answer is usually 4, 6,or 7.

So, I had an idea. It may be a dumb idea that I may do alone…but that is ok. I am going to play all of the Final Fantasy games from the beginning. Now this excludes 3 and 4 as I don’t have them on the Playstation 3. Well, probably not as worst case scenario is that I can play them on steam or buy a vita.

The funny thing is I realized I have not finished all of them. I have not finished 1, 2, 5, 6 (don’t kill me), or 8.

While I am doing that, I am gonna then review each one once I am done to and rate each one. From worst to best. It could take a while. 

So, I was gonna see if anyone else wanted to do this with me. It doesn’t even have to be all of them, but maybe whichever I am on at the time. So, if I am playing 2, you could start playing it at the same time, and then we can all talk about it once it is done.

I know this may be a silly thing, but I LOVE this series and would like to eventually finish all the games.

*I left out Tactics, only cuz it is a different type of game and although it is AMAZING.
** None of the sequels either.
***This is insane I know.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

What is wrong with Final Fantasy XV

First of all I am a HUGE Final Fantasy fan. I have been since I played FF 7 and Tactics back when the original Playstation came out in 1997. Ah, there are some damn good memories of me and a few friends just binge playing both of those games.

I have played almost every game in the series. I don’t do online games, so not XI or XIV. I also did not play the last two XII games cuz they looked awful.

But Final Fantasy XV was first announced I believe nine years ago. Really? Are you fucking kidding me? They have been working on this game for so long that a lot of people that are fans of the games no longer give a shit.

That is part of the problem. You honestly wonder if the game is ever going to be finished.

Then a demo came out when you bought Final Fantasy Type-0, and I was really excited for a moment. But the first issue is the fact that there are no women in the party. Oh joy. It just feels odd that you are all guys. Then you finally get to the only woman in the demo, an overly sexualized female mechanic. It was just tacky and it made me sad.

To be fair the demo was fun and I liked some of the game-play elements, so I do have some hope that it could turn out. But you have NO idea when it is going to be done and we are coming up on a decade…and I would be shocked if it came out in the next year or so.

But to me at least, they did an odd thing. They created a patch for the demo that added new things to it. I mean would you just create the damn me instead of patching a freaking demo? I don’t understand the point of this and saw no need in playing it again.

Then the new came out that they are remaking FF7. Which will be a different post at some point.

Then today a new demo came out and people have went nuts talking about it. Talking how emotional it was and how they cried watching it. You can watch it here.

Ok .First of all, I am a pretty emotional guy, so I get that part. But after watching it, I was underwhelmed. It didn’t actually show much of anything. First there is a scene of a small girl being threatened by something and oh a dog! Why are people going so crazy over a dog. Geesh. But the last part where the father is holding the little boy (which I believe is the main character) is sad. But how this is making people cry I don’t get. Emotion requires context and although it was a sweet scene of a father holding his child…that is all got out of it.

Other than that? Nothing. No game play. Nothing telling you what is going on. Just more camoflague by Square is what this feels like.

So, yeah I have serious doubts about this. The lack of diversity in characters as it is just four white dudes running about. The fact that everything year hear makes it sound like it is still not close to done…after ten years! That is just a bit much. 

Makes me wonder if FF7 WILL ever happen at all. If so, it will probably be like at least 5 years. 

EDIT. So, a rumor is circulating that the game will be released before 2017. I will believe that when the game is in my hand. Even then, I may think it is a fever dream or a psychotic break. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

I have superhero movie fatigue

I remember how excited I was last year when I saw Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. I loved both movies, but for very different reasons. But the fact is, they were excellent movies that Marvel made in their never ending pursuit to have you give all of your hard earned money to them.

But those were the last I really got excited about. Yes, Avenger’s 2 came out this year, and I enjoyed it. But that movie has started my superhero fatigue. Hell, part of me wanted to see Ant Man, and I even heard it was good. But I just cannot get excited enough about it to watch it. And the Fantastic 4 movie? Please. This isn't even taking into consideration all of superhero tv shows out there now!

So, what changed?

Is it just that there was too much of it? OR is it something else? For me it is a few different things. 1. I was bored with Age of Ultron before the movie even premiered. Mostly due to the fact that there was a trailer/teaser every fifteen second either on tv or the interwebs. There was TOO DAMN MUCH OF IT. I made a comment to a co-worker today that I finally wanted the movie to show so it I could go see it and not have to deal with all of the damn promotion of it anymore. He laughed, and then agreed.

That is sad, cuz the second movie never had a chance of being as good as the first one anyways. That isn’t a bad thing, but the first had been built up with previous movies and it had a feeling of satisfaction to see it all come together. Ultron did not. But I digress.

Then there is word that there is almost 20 movies coming out between now and 2019 I think. Holy fuck. Reallly? Do I need to see another lackluster Thor movie? Yet ANOTHER Spiderman reboot? Or an Aquaman movie? I mean who is that movie for? Wow.

I will say this, I am at least intrigued by the Batman vs. Superman movie, and it will probably be the next one I see. Love me some Wonder Woman, but am afraid they will try to do too much and it will end up a mess. Suicide Squad? I don’t know many of them and don’t know what to make of that one yet.

My point is that is that too much? I mean it is great that we live in a world where these movies can be great. But with this many movies coming out in the next few years, will people just get tired of them?

I already am a little, but I know I can be brought back into it with the right movie. Here is how I feel about each movie.

Ant Man-meh
Fantastic 4-god no
Batman vs. Superman-they are winning me over
Civil War-excited!
X-men Apocalypse-a little excited
Doctor Strange-nope
Suicide Squad-jury is out
Wolverine 2-meh
Guardians 2-a little excited
Wonder Woman-hell yeah
Spiderman-Jesus, again?
Fantastic Four 2-see previous
Thor-see previous again
Justice league-depends on how movies do
Flash-more into the tv show
Avengers: Infinity war-not really
Black Panther-know nothing about him
Aquaman-is this a joke?
Captain Marvel-mildly interested.
Shazam-Wait. What?
Yet another avengers movie-ugh
Justice League 2-don’t know

That is not really inspiring. Of the 20, I may go see 8. I know there are people out there that may be excited about a lot more than this, and that is cool. Go see what you love and I really hope they are all amazing. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why Proven Guilty may be my favorite novel of all time.

So many spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. There are a lot of reasons as to why this is the case, but mostly I just want to talk about the awesome things in this particular novel.

It started with the opening lines of the book, which are among my favorite, ever. “Blood leaves no stain on a Warden’s grey cloak.” Wow, do I love the symbolism of this. Combine that with the fact that the first scene of the book is the Warden’s of the White Council was executing a young man that had broken the laws of magic. Obviously Harry felt sickened by this as he was in the same position as a child. What an awesome way to start the story.

That is crazy. The parallel of how he went through that, and then at the end when he was willing to die to keep any harm coming to Molly?? That is some powerful stuff right there. Standing up against things knowing that odds are that you will not succeed? Wow.

But not that that, also realizing that he had to forgive Mccoy for what he did. The end of the book ended with him and his mentor going to get some food. But before that it was just kind of emotional realizing that Mccoy did what he had to do with the Ortega in Death Masks. He is the Blackstaff after all.

But more on just themes on how his friendship with Murphy has grown over the year to the point where she is there battling with him every step of the way. Them realizing why they have never been together as Harry cannot casually commit to anything. Realizing how sad that moment was.

The moment when he found out why Charity despised him all those years? Wow. Afraid of her own magic and he was always a reminder of it? Her accepting this and then lowering those walls between them and the actually became closer.

I cry so many times when I read this book.

Other awesome things:
Them attacking heart of Winter, trying to get Molly back.
The phobophages being from horror movies. Awesome.
Harry almost getting sold on Ebay.
Michael just being Michael and awesome.
The master/apprentice thing that starts here
Murphy losing SI, and finding out there are consequences.
Harry's relationship with the fallen angel Lasciel. 
Molly. Fucking love Molly so much. 

I don’t know if this is my FAVORITE books of all time, but is up there. The pleasure I get in reading this each and every time never gets old and it always gets me in an emotional. There is a reason this is my favorite series of all time.

I will leave you with this. It gets me every damn time. 

We looked at each other for a long moment and my old teacher bowed his head to me. It conveyed a lot of things. Apology. Gratitude. Happiness. Forgiveness. Affection. Pride.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Is the Witcher 3 my favorite rpg of all time?

There are some light spoilers of Witcher 3 here. Be warned.

This is hard to answer, as video role playing games have changed quite a lot in the last 10 years. Think about those games you used to love? For me it was Final Fantasy 7, way back on the PlayStation.  It was the first time got truly lost in a world and it is something I still love to play to this day.

But now? These rpg’s can last over 150 hours if you have no life and just want to find everything.

It started (at least for me) with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. That was the first game I played for soooooooo many hours. Over 150 easy. Then came Fallout 3, Skyrim, Fallout New Vegas, Dragon Age Inquisition, and lastly, Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.

So, yeah, things have changed quite a bit, and for the better if you ask me.

But the Witcher may already be my favorite game of all time, and I have just scratched the surface of the game.

Let’s start with the company. CD Projekt Red. They are awesome. The game itself came with: the game, a map, a small compendium, two stickers, the soundtrack from the game, and a thank you note for buying the game. Really? That is so awesome.  In an age where some companies do not seem to give a shit that you buy there game, they stand out Oh, and they have already had like 5 patches to fix things and you also get 16 free DLC from them. What more do you want from a company?

Let’s start with graphics, as it is the most amazing looking I have ever seen on a console (I have a ps4). I love that you can create screen shots of the game and have a few really pretty ones on my computer. Including one that is the background for my pc. There are times I have to stop what I am doing cuz what is on the screen just amazes me. Love it. Yes, some people are annoyed that it doesn’t look as good as the trailer of a few years ago, but the game loos amazing. I have to stop sometimes just to take in the scenery and that is something that doesn’t usually happen.

Gameplay. This was hard at first. I was so used to the sword and shield method in oblivion and skyrim. Attack, block, retreat, attack. But you have two swords and five different types of “magic”. Fire, shield, telekinesis, slowing them down, and confusion. They are handled well, and you can use them in most situations. BUT not all. See, that is one of things I love about the game play.  It did take some getting used to, but once I did I felt like a real badass.

The setting is amazing. The world is in chaos and you can see that everywhere. Villages burnt to the ground, and people that are desperate to find anything they can to survive. You go from place to place only to find people that are starving and bandits trying to take advantage of people. The setting is handled very well in this game and they do an amazing job of making it feel like the world in the books. Love it.

When you get to Novigrad? That size of the city is astounding and i spent like 15 hours there. Crazy how big it was. 

It is really hard sometimes.

I die like ALL the time. Mostly cuz you can come across monsters/bandits that are 15-20 levels higher than you. But even more that, you are always getting hit. Always. Yes, you can dodge, roll, and use your shield, but eventually they hit you. You do NOT have healing magic, but a wide array of potions, and things you can eat/drink to give you health. That was also hard to get used to, but I like it now.

The other thing is they swarm you. One or two drowners (I HATE drowners), sure no problem. Then 4 more show up and things get crazy. Same thing with wolves, bandits, etc. They just keep coming and you can find yourself dead really quickly. You have to plan sometimes and try different tactics depending on what you are fighting. This is even more shown when you fight the monsters in the witcher contracts. 

Some of these creatures are HUGE. Or they cannot be hurt unless they are within small field created by one of our signs. Either way, you have to plan a bit sometimes for them. Luckily there are potions and bombs and such to help you.

The story. I really like it. You are trying to find Ciri, a woman that is like a daughter to you. The story itself is a huge portion of the game, and although I have not finished the game yet, it does a good job of keeping me interested. Which is hard to do considering how much you can just explore the world and do side quests. The characters are interesting, and you don’t really have to read the books or played previous two games. I have read the books and it does help, but nothing that I feel would take away from someone that comes into the game without having done so.

So many side quests. SO many. There are only a few fetch type quests, and the rest are very interesting for the most part. Having you make hard decisions that affect not on the quest, but the world itself. I also like that not all quests are happy ones. You can be searching for a woman’s son, only to have to tell her was hung. This is not a happy world.

 This is also true in the main story line as you have to make very difficult decisions that can have HUGE ramifications in the main story. Wow, I was stunned by some of the things that happened. One decision can cause multiple changes in the world. Hell, the game has like 38 endings or something.

There is also a huge element of crafting both in weapons/armor, but also with herbal and witcher’s potions. Those are potions that help you in some of the harder fights. A lot of awesome here.

The not so good?

A lot of naked women for no real reason sometimes. I don’t care that you can have sex in the game. They aren’t the first to allow that, but occasionally the naked women everywhere was a bit awkward. I don’t go and have sex with a prostitute, cuz I don’t understand why someone would do that in a game. So, I was able to avoid a lot of that nonsense. But the interesting thing is before you think that the world is really sexist, you find out the most powerful people in the world are the sorcerer’s. They wield so much magical power, it is a bit crazy at times. So, it was a mixed bag when it comes to that.

The other thing is a game this big could just be overwhelming for some. I can see that easily. There is so much to do that it can be too much for some people.

Overall, I love this fucking game. It does everything I love right and although there are a few nitpicky things, I think it may be my favorite rpg of all time. Well, until the FF7 remake comes out. J

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The rise of comic book tv shows

I find it interesting that super hero shows are gaining popularity now. I don’t mind this at all as I have enjoyed Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, Arrow, Flash, and more recently Daredevil. You may not agree that all of these shows are great, and that is fine. Hell, my soul still hurts knowing that I watch two shows on the CW. The horror. 

Now comes the trailer of Supergirl, which I really liked btw. I am just reminded of a time not long ago where could even imagine having five at least five of them on at the same time. Yes, the movies that Marvel make have something to do with this, but since DC doesn’t make a good movie (Batman aside), it is interesting that two of the more popular ones are minor DC characters (at least compared to Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.). Now don’t get pissy comic book person, just saying compared to the big three. Breathe, it will be ok. 

My point is that I remember them saying this kind of show would not work on tv. Now, I don’t think they are necessarily dominating when it comes to ratings, but that is just a bullshit thing anyways. Remember when Wonder Woman was supposed to be a show for like 8 seconds? No one would watch it right? Well, here comes Supergirl. I would still love to see a WW show too, but from what I saw of this it has me excited. The most interesting thing is that it will be on CBS, a network actually known sometimes as the network for older people. That seems very unlike what they normally want to put out there. 

It doesn’t hurt that they seem to be done better as well. Daredevil was one of the better shows I have ever seen before and even the ones on network tv are at least trying to find ways to be better. Hell, AoS was much better the second season than the first. 

And you hear of other shows that are coming, especially on Netflix. 

So, here we are watching really nerdy tv shows. I have never been a comic book person that much, but I love the idea of them and have always been fan of the movies.  I hope more are coming, and I truly hope that the people making them are going to put real effort into them and make them quality shows, as opposed to just throwing yet another out there to cash in on the popularity. 

Let’s face it, that is possible. But let's hope for the best. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How my faith in Star Wars has been restored

Yes, that may seem like a bold statement, but it is true.

It isn’t even that my faith in SW had been destroyed, but after years of nothing all that exciting (at least to me), the sudden surge of it has made me very happy.

I find myself more excited by The Force Awakens, than I have been since I was a child. I was only marginally excited by the prequels before they came out, but that is mostly cuz I don’t like prequels in almost any form. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t excitement, but they were telling the story I already knew the ending to and I could only get so excited about that. This may go a long way as to why I really did not enjoy those movies. Hell, Revenge of the Sith bothered me so much, I walked out of it.

I could go on and on about how much I don’t like the prequels, but I don’t want this to be about that. Some people like them, some people did not. That is just how it is and everyone has the right to their own opinion, whether I agree with them or not. This is more about the awesome of Star Wars and not the negative.

I have been a HUGE fan since I saw A New Hope at age 6. It was what started me on my nerd path and it is something that will stay with me forever. But over the years it has diminished quite a bit as mediocre movies and books have been made and Star Wars just seemed enter an age of indifference. Now, that is only how it felt for me and you may not have had that feeling at all.

The biggest part of the SW universe I held on to where the books and the tabletop rpg’s. Now the books in the Star Wars universe are a mixed bag s there are great ones (than you Timothy Zahn and Rogue Squadron), and too many awful ones to even mention. But they did give me another window into a universe that I loved. The rpg’s were another window and getting to play a Jedi, or an x-wing pilot have been some of my favorite rpg’s moments.

But now, Marvel took control and over time I have seen things they do that have slowly won me back over. Things that have made me so damn excited about the setting again. Here is what they have done right.

Star Wars Rebels. This is such a great show. Taking place before a new hope, it is about the beginning of the rebel alliance. New Jedi, likable characters, and the inclusion of existing characters in the sw universe (yoda, darth vader, etc.). Yes, it is on the Disney channel, but the show has been great, and the trailer for the second season seems even more awesome.

Star Wars comics. I have never been a comics guy as I did not have access to them as a child. But lately I have been reading them and there are four different series. Star Wars, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and Kanan (I have only read some of SW, and Princess Leia but will get out to get the rest).

Star Wars novels. Since the old books are not considered canon anymore, they area writing new ones. It is an odd mix to look at so far. There is one about the origins of Star Wars Rebels. One about Tarkin, and one where Vader and the Emperor kick some ass. Sadly, I did not like the one about Kanan from rebels, but you take the good with the bad. A LOT more coming later in the year as well.

Star Wars Battlefront. How good did THIS look. Wow. I wish there was a single player campaign as I don’t do online games, but there is at least as single player mode. Not to mention this game is canon and you get the DLC of the battle of Jakku, which is where a lot of the last trailer took place. Not to mention the crashed star destroyer!

The Force Awakens. Wow, this looks amazing. One, I love how they are going back to practical props instead of everything being CGI. I always felt like the prequels were TOO dependent on cgi. But beyond that, it just looks amazing and it just FEELS like Star Wars. Love the people that are cast in the movie and the trailer blew me away. Could be a female Jedi. OR a black Jedi, either way it is nice to see some diversity in the world. That first scene where you see the Star Destroyer embedded in the sand of Jakku? HOLY HELL. Was not prepared for the Han/Chewie scene at the end. Teared up a bit.

I know it is a gamble to be this excited, but I cannot help it. Love everything I have seen so far and cannot wait to see more.

Rogue One: Anthology I love the idea of this movie being about getting the plans for the death star. I also love the fact there are no Jedi in this story, which is a gamble. It is about what is the heart of the rebel alliance, the soldiers. Not much info on it yet, but I am ridiculously excited about this, almost as much as for Ep 7. Yeah, I know.

In conclusion. I just feel like Marvel has done a masterful job since taking over Star Wars. Does that mean the movie still could be awful? Yes. It could. If that happens, it will crush me. But I feel so much better about it with each day that passes. The love I have always had for this universe is coming back stronger than ever, and I have to say that brings a smile to my face.

Monday, April 20, 2015

How good is Daredevil?

I feel like I say this a lot, but I am not a comic book person. Being a teenager in rural Oklahoma in the mid 80’s, I did not have access to comic books without driving an hour to Oklahoma City. So, I turned to novels and other things to start my road toward nerd.
Hell, the first time I actually bough a comic book was last week when I bought a handful of the new Star Wars comics that they have done recently. I have bought stuff in graphic novel form, but not actual comic books. My nerd is evolving! 
So, I know almost nothing about Daredevil at all, other than what I learned in the previous movie that EVERYONE hates.
So, my expectations were not high going in, even though they started to raise a bit when I saw how much IGN loved the show. This will be as spoiler free as I can make it, but there are minor potential spoilers, so beware. 
First of all the setting. I have a pet peeve about how things that are supposed to take place in NYC, rarely feels like the city. Whether it is spiderman movies, or even just sitcoms. It feels like the people that created said thing has never even been to the city before they started filming. I have spent a bit of time in Hell’s Kitchen and the show felt like NYC to me. But setting was just dark, which really worked for this kind of show, especially with it being on Netflix and not having to worry as much about reigning it in. 
Superhero shows can be really over the top. Cuz of the fact that some of them have such outlandish powers. That isn’t a bad thing, but realism is always a good thing as well. Yes, Murdock has heightened senses, but it isn’t like he can fly, or has super strength. I am not saying that to diminish what he can do, but to explain how grounded it felt.  The show is about his struggle to take down Wilson Fisk (aka the Kingpin). How far across the line is he willing to go before losing himself in the process? Morality is not exactly a new thing in super hero stories, but this one was handled really well. Especially later in the season when shit really starts to go down. 
The other thing I like is that people die. Characters in the show. You never really feel like anyone is safe (other than maybe daredevil, but it is HIS show). Saying that, he gets his ass kicked. I love that. He isn’t just some vigilante that beats people up and never suffers. The show was really smart in showing that no matter how badass he was, there was someone that could hurt him. The fight scenes were also a highlight of the show. Very well done. 
What made the show great were the characters. Karen was a lot of fun to watch her grow. The show could have easily thrown her in and made a very typical tripe and make her the damsel or just a love interest, but it did not do that. She added something to the show and her own sense of right and wrong pushed others as well. Foggy was there for comedic relief as Murdock’s business partner, but he shined too as someone that wanted justice. He got much stronger as the show went along.
The other thing that made it great was Fisk. They spent a lot of time with him and you got to understand that he truly felt like he could make the city better once he had his way. He was not a typical villain in the sense of how kind of shy and awkward he was and it made him look vulnerable. Also, things did not always go smoothly and the sheer rage he would unleash was kind of terrifying. But his arc was done so well and there were times you actually felt for him. I think that is a damn hard thing to do to get you to sympathize with the villain, but they made that work. Also, how often do you get to have a villain that has his own sort of love story? Bizarre, but awesome. 
Overall, this show was amazing. The stories were done very well and it was just written so masterfully. Murdock’s need to take out Fisk was challenged by his faith and trying not to become the darkness he was fighting. I love that shit. Also, you eventually got to the suit which was both ridiculous and awesome at the same time. 
Is this the best show I have ever watched? Maybe not. But it was amazing enough and they had my jaw drop the floor on numerous occasions, and that makes for it at least being in the conversation.