Retro game Friday: R-Type

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with another classic. It’s R-Type!

Gameplay: This is one of those games that is infamous for it’s incredible difficulty, but it’s also one of the first side scrolling Shoot Em Up bullet-hells that was wildly successful. The gameplay was simple at first look, but had some depth with the ability to change the “Force” item from being attached to your ship for added firepower to being detached and floating to fire secondary weapons and act as a shield. In addition you could charge shots, something that was pretty innovative for the day, and the fact that you had to learn by failing repeatedly is something that is pretty foreign by today’s game design standards.

Art: The art is okay, not super amazing, but given that it’s over 30 years old that shouldn’t be a surprise. Thankfully being pretty much fully 2D it has aged really well.

Overall: A fun game, if highly difficult. If you enjoy hard games and have never played R-Type, you ought to give a try.

For those who like: Shoot Em Ups, Bullet Hells, Sci-Fi, Difficult Gameplay.

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

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Video Game Tuesday: Is Cayde-6 Really Dead for Good?

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with my answer to a question I’ve been asked by a few friends. It’s all about Is Cayde-6 Really Dead for Good?

Huh?: So in the upcoming Forsaken “Expansion” for Destiny 2 beloved character Cayde-6 is going to be killed, supposedly permanently. Many people, including his own voice actor Nathan Fillion, don’t buy that.

So what about you?: I don’t buy it for a second. There are multiple reasons, from gameplay to lore.

Gameplay: If they really kill Cayde for good, that will cause problems with people playing in the Tower. For those who haven’t done the expansion, Cayde will be showing up to do his usual giving out of activities and the like. But what happens when you have people who have done the expansion and haven’t done it in the same fireteam load into the Tower? If they really mean to kill him off they’ll remove him from the tower, which would require a completely separate instance of the Tower which would cause issues with players in fireteams. Otherwise the impact of Cayde’s loss will be meaningless if we can just waltz up to him and grab a treasure map from him like usual every week after he supposedly dies.

Storytelling: Cayde is a wiseass, and that’s a good thing because honestly Destiny needs someone to lighten stuff up. Cayde has always been the one to do that, and if you kill off that character you lose a huge part to the story. Things will get incredibly dark, and even some darker series like Game of Thrones need some lighter moments and characters interspersed to balance the story out.

Lore: First off, it’s supposed to be really freaking hard to kill a Guardian, which Cayde is. Even more is the fact that he’s an Exo, which means every time he dies he loses a few memories and gains a new number. Cayde’s died 5 times before, but Banshee the gunsmith has died 43 times. Finally, Time Travel has always been a thing in Destiny lore. It’s central to the plot, as both the Exo Stranger AND the Vex travel through time. We even get Cayde out of Vex time warp shenanigans in Destiny 2, and that isn’t even touching upon the whole Osiris expansion, which heavily touches upon the time travel aspect of the Vex in great detail. If Cayde were to die for good, we could just hijack a vex machine to prevent it. Boom done deal, Cayde doesn’t die. It wouldn’t be the first time we messed with the timeline in Destiny to our advantage, that’s the whole point of us going into the Vault of Glass back in Vanilla Destiny in the first place. So I’m not buying into the whole Cayde is really dead for good thing Bungie is spouting. Because from gameplay, storytelling, and lore standpoints, it’s total bullshit. Now Bungie could really kill off Cayde, but it’d be a huge mistake on their part. We’ll see how they decide to play their cards, but I would expect Cayde to be sticking around.

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

Movie Monday: Bicentennial Man

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering a movie I was taken to by my dad when I was much younger. It’s Bicentennial Man!

Plot Synopsis: The NDR series robot “Andrew” is introduced in 2005 into the Martin family home to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties…..

Plot: The plot was way over my head as a kid. I think I mostly enjoyed Robin Williams portraying Andrew. That being said it was an interesting movie and it’s story has always stuck with me throughout the years, and definitely impacted more than a few choices when I was playing games like Mass Effect or reading books like Otherlife Dreams. That said the script was pretty bad, and handled incredibly poorly.

Casting: Robin Williams plays Andrew and he does a good job, but unfortunately the script of the movie itself makes his performance one of the only bright points in the film. The rest of the cast is okay, but again the script overshadows their performances.

Special Effects: Okay, especially when you consider that Robin Williams actually wore a robot suit to portray Andrew. It was nominated for multiple awards for the special effects, but none of were winning nominations.

Music: I don’t remember the musical background of the movie at all, I was pretty young when I watched the movie.

Overall: Not a must watch by any stretch, this is probably one of Robin Williams poorer performances.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Romance, Drama, Comedy, Robin Williams.

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

Anime Sunday: Big O Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another old series. It’s my Big 0 Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Roger Smith, top negotiator of Paradigm City, is hired to oversee the retrieval of R. Dorothy Wayneright, the kidnapped daughter of the wealthy scientist Miguel Soldano….

Plot: The plot is okay, but also a big stereotypical. Honestly it reminds me a bit of Metropolis. That being said I remember not really understanding the plot of this series when I was younger.

Characters: Roger is an okay main character, but he’s not all that interesting either. At least not in this first episode. Dorothy on the other hand was fairly interesting. The rest of the cast is okay, but nothing special either.

Art: The art is okay, but nothing noteworthy.

Music: Like the art, it’s okay but not noteworthy.

Overall: A skippable series, at least from what I remember of the rest of the episodes and my impressions after this first episode.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Mecha, Drama, Action.

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

Anime Sunday: Outlaw Star Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with an older series from my youth. It’s my Outlaw Star Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Gene Starwind and James “Jim” Hawking are hired by a woman named Rachel to protect and escort her as she services farm equipment. When they are attacked by Kei Pirates, they learn Rachel is really “Hot Ice” Hilda, an outlaw in search of treasure…

Plot: The plot is okay, but nothing absolutely spectacular by today’s standards. Honestly it’s a little cringe worthy at times watching it now after all these years.

Characters: I didn’t like the characters, honestly I felt they were all a bit too stereotypical. However considering that this was one of the first Anime I watched I will give it a bit of slack. Still watching it now after all these years is not exactly a great time.

Art: The art is okay, but nothing to write home about.

Music: I hadn’t remembered enough of the music from the past, but it was catchy enough after I watched the first episode recently But nothing particularly noteworthy either.

Overall: An okay series, but honestly if I remember how the series plays out you are better off finding the Manga and reading it instead.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Drama, Action, Adventure, Comedy.

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

Movie Monday: V for Vendetta

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with a movie that is now a classic film. It’s V for Vendetta!

Plot Synopsis: In 2027, the world is in turmoil and warfare, with the United States fractured as a result of prolonged second civil war and a pandemic of the “St. Mary’s Virus” ravaging Europe. The United Kingdom is ruled as a Nordic supremacist and neo-fascist police state by the Norsefire Party, helmed by all-powerful High Chancellor Adam Sutler. Political opponents, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, atheists, homosexuals, and other “undesirables” are imprisoned and executed in concentration camps. The Irish are not exterminated, but are considered inferior compared to people of Nordic and British descent…

Plot: This is not a happy movie. If you have trouble with difficult subject matter you should definitely not watch this movie. That being said it’s pretty much the only Dystopian film, and story, that I actually respect and enjoy. I really don’t enjoy the genre as a whole, and the fact that I was able to get over that and enjoy this movie is quite noteworthy for me. In addition it made quite a few waves upon release with many conservative pundits railing against the movie. It’s highly controversial, but the fact that China of all nations aired it completely uncensored, and at all, is of particular noteworthiness.

Casting: Hugo Weaving is the star of the movie, and I only know that because I looked up who played the character as he is never shown without V’s signature Guy Fawke’s mask. That being said his co-star is portrayed by Natalie Portman who plays the character Evey Hammond. The rest of the cast is okay, but really the star of the film is V.

Cinematography: It’s not super amazing, and considering all the work that the Wachowski Brothers made in their previous films, The Matrix trilogy, that is a bit of a let down. That being said the incredible special effects those movies had wouldn’t have fit well in this film so maybe I can’t completely blame them.

Music: I don’t remember much, except for the orchestral pieces that went along with V’s various plots.

Overall: An excellent movie, and a definite cult classic now, it was controversial at the time.

For those who like: Dystopians, Sci-Fi, Political Commentary, Action, Drama, Good Cast.

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

Anime Sunday: Dragon Crisis Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with another old series. It’s my Dragon Crisis Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: High school student Ryuji’s older cousin Eriko returns from abroad to drag him to the scene of an underground transaction where he gets caught up in a shootout and car chase. While they thought they had stolen a miraculous Lost Precious from the criminal brokers, they ended up with a mysterious young girl….

Plot: The plot is so generic and stereotypical that it’s honestly not that interesting at all. If this was made in the 90’s I might have been more accepting, but honestly it’s so bad that I really can’t stick up for any good points.

Characters: Ryuji is a really bland main character, in fact you could stick him into a dozen different series and he’d probably fit right in.  The rest of the cast is no better to be honest.

Art: Sadly for this series it was animated by Studio Deen, my least favorite and respected Japanese animation studio. The artwork is subpar and honestly only makes the entire experience even worse.

Music: The music is no better sadly.

Overall: Stay far, far away from this sad excuse of a series.

For those who like: Bad Anime.