Bookish Wednesday: Future Tense by John Van Stry

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the final entry of a series I’ve covered in the past. It’s Future Tense, Days of Future Past Book 3, by John Van Stry!

Plot: The plot is pretty great and it rounds out the series very well. I honestly wasn’t expecting this series to end the way it did, but I’m not upset that it did since so few stories these days can truly surprise me.

Characters: We finally get introduced to the series antagonist, Aybem, in this entry and I have to say it was a surprise to see who it really was. I won’t say more because that’s super spoilerific, but needless to say it was very well played by Mr. Stry.

Overall: A good ending to a solid series, if you enjoy Sci-Fi mixed with Fantasy at all you’ll most likely enjoy this series and it’s final book in particular.

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Video Game Tuesday: E3 2019 Reactions

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a look at this years Christmas in June for gamers. It’s my E3 2019 Reactions!

Microsoft: I wasn’t expecting to hear a name regarding the next-gen console when they teased Project Scarlett. Other than that the conference was rather lackluster and was mostly teasers with a notable lack of gampleay trailers for those games. One notable title that was announced, at least for me, was one that is set to for release next year, Tales of Arise the next Tales of game. Thankfully Tales of Arise will release on more than just the Xbox One with releases on both PC and the PlayStation 4 as well.

Ubisoft: The only real thing of note was the confirmation of the leak that occurred shortly before the conference that said that the next Watch Dogs game would take place in London and would allow you to play as any NPC in the game. That last was a bold move, but I’ll believe it when I play it as other games have tried it before and those NPCs were mostly bland and uninteresting characters to play as. Other than that it wasn’t that interesting a conference.

Bethesda: I had hoped for something interesting here, but overall it wasn’t that awe inspiring so they get a failing mark here.

EA: Mostly focused on Star Wars Fallen Order, but as I’ve never considered EA anything but despicable I wasn’t expecting anything to really impress me and I wasn’t disappointed with that expectation.

Square Enix: They showed off the Marvels Avengers game, which is probably being released too soon. The fact that people will look at it and expect certain actors to portray their favorite heroes is only a bad thing and is going to cause issues. Other than that it wasn’t that great a conference, but the appearance of Yoshi-P on stage to the reception he got was heartening.

Nintendo: And here is the big winner of this year’s E3, Nintendo blew it out of the park by announcing multiple things including the inclusion of Banjo and Kazooie and Erdrick from Dragon Quest in Smash Bros. But the biggest surprise was the announcement of Breath of the Wild 2 which has sparked off huge amounts of speculations in the community who are hoping for a playable Zelda and/or co-op play. Personally I’d love to play as Zelda in this next installment.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Retro Game Friday: Super Mario Strikers

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m taking a look back at another Mario game. It’s Super Mario Strikers!

Gameplay: Let me get this out of the way and state that there is no story to the game. Now as for the actual gameplay it was pretty good, although pretty narrow in terms of modes available. The lack of adherence to most rules was a good point in the favor of the game though, since those rules are less fun when you play a video game. Though please don’t slide tackle in actual soccer games unless you get the approval of your coach kiddies. That being said I am not a huge fan of the quick time events that occurred when you attempted to use a Super Shot with a team captain, but overall the gameplay is solid if lacking in the single player department compared to the multiplayer department.

Art: The art hasn’t completely aged poorly, but it’s nothing amazing either. But that’s the nature of the beast when it comes to 3D games.

Music: Classic Mario themes applied to soccer, that’s all I really need to say here.

Overall: A fun game for the most part, but with little single player offerings it can grow boring for those without a friend to play local co-op.

For those who like: Mario Games, Soccer, Sports Games.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Movie Monday: Talladega Nights

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with a comedic movie. It’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby!

Plot: The movie is ridiculous, the entire thing is a parody of NASCAR and it’s pretty funny. Now being a person who sees little value in NASCAR personally, I can’t speak to the “accuracy” portrayed in the film, but overall this is just an oddball movie made mostly for laughs.

Casting: Though you could probably already tell that if the fact that Will Ferrell is the lead actor along with John C. Reilly and Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat fame as our main three characters weren’t a big enough clue. They do a good job of it too. The entire cast is pretty funny actually.

Cinematography: The cinematography isn’t amazing by any stretch of the word, but it wasn’t terrible either. Than again when you race on a ovoid track repeatedly it doesn’t seem very conducive to excellent special effects.

Music: I honestly don’t remember much of it, but that it fit the movie pretty well.

Overall: A funny movie, and while not a must watch, it is a good movie to watch for laughs.

For those who like: Will Ferrell, NASCAR, Racing.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

TNT: Bluesteel Blasphemer Volume 01 by Sakaki Ichirou

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a series that was axed. It’s Bluesteel Blasphemer Volume 01 by Sakaki Ichirou!

Plot: The plot is bland and dull. I’ve read so many other similar novels that this was uninteresting and not that good of a read. Considering that the publisher cancelled the series abruptly I’m not surprised that my sentiments aren’t unique to just myself. Honestly if you are desperate to read any Light Novel you’d be better off finding a different one, because Bluesteel is just disappointing all around. The fact that it’s a Tensei series and not that original just is icing on the fail cake that is this series.

Characters: Amano is boring and not that an amazing a main character. The rest of the cast is little better.

Overall: Stay away from this one, it’s really not that great and most people would agree with me since it got axed.

Anime Sunday: Senko-san Episode 01 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with another Spring 2019 Anime series. It’s my Senko-san Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot: This is a heartwarming, or as some call it “fluffy”, slice of life series, and I’m not just saying fluffy because of the main character’s tail and ears. Honestly this is a pretty laid back and much more subdued series than my usual fare so it’s a nice change of pace for me to have watched this first episode. I’ll most likely get around to watching the entire series sometime in the near future.

Characters: Our main characters are Senko, obviously, and Kuroto who is a fairly gloomy and overworked man whom Senko decides to care and pamper for. The interactions are rather cute, and honestly I enjoyed their relationship quite a bit, if only because I can see the same type of gloomy nature that pervades my own life in Kuroto.

Art: The art is okay, but it’s nothing amazing either and certainly not close to reaching my gold standard of ufotable in terms of quality. That being said it’s not terrible either.

Music: The musical score fits the series perfectly, so I was pretty happy with this first episode in the audio department.

Overall: A solid and entertaining first episode, this looks to be an excellent series if you just want something heartwarming to watch.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Heartwarming Stories, Great Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Video Game Tuesday: Stadia

 

Hey all I’m back for this Video Game Tuesday with some thoughts on Googles upcoming Streaming service. It’s all about Stadia!

Stadia?: In case you haven’t heard Google is launching a streaming service platform for gaming called Stadia that will “supposedly” be able to play lots of games with maxed settings without any hardware except a controller and TV/Monitor.

What do we know?: Quite a lot, we know the controller will be $70 and that the base subscription will be $10 a month, which is pretty pricey although there is apparently going to be a free version of the service. In addition to play using Stadia at all in 2019 you’ll need to pay for the very pricey Founder’s Pack that costs $130. That isn’t even counting the fact that you can either wait for newer games to be added to the available library or pay for them seperately to play them immediately.

That sounds pretty great!: Yeah hold your horses right there pal, it’s not all unicorns and sunshine. First this is going to be absolutely killer on your data usage, with 10mbps being the recommended bare minimum to play games at only 720p and 35mbps being needed for stuff at 4K resolutions. Now unless you live in a big city, and that means on one of the coasts at least in the US, you most likely won’t ever be able to play using Stadia with any real reliability. So don’t be celebrating just yet, and Stadia hasn’t even been stress tested on a large scale yet, although last year’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was playable on Chrome. In all honesty it’ll probably be a nightmare, especially with games like Destiny 2 which is one of the headliners of the service. You’ll be subject to a bunch of lag most likely which will render multiplayer games like Destiny 2 completely unplayable and not at all enjoyable.

So this is doomed to failure?: Probably, I mean this is incredibly ambitious and honestly I just don’t think the US or any other country except maybe Japan has the infrastructure necessary for such a service to be successful.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!