Tearaway

I’ve had the Vita since launch, but only recently has it really come into its own.  Between the PS4 coming out and opening the door to crossplay and a lot more games being pushed to it, it really has started to blip on the radars of gamers everywhere.

I have loved the Vita because it did everything I wanted it to do plus a bit more.  I could through music on it, connect with PSN friends even when away or traveling, and having an awesome touch screen really helped.  For that first year, though, the games were a bit lacking.  We had Katamari, Ragnarok, P4: Golden, and Gravity Rush eventually.  These were all awesome and kept me occupied, but were either finished to early or never really had an end point.

Trevor got me Tearaway for Christmas since it was something I had been raving about for a few months now.  I put it in my Vita immediately and started to play and quite simply wondered where this game was at launch.  It was perfect for the little system.  It used all the features for combat or puzzles and really immersed you in the game. Like literally put you in there.  ‘You’ are the sun.  Every time you see the sun, you see your face in the middle of it.

The way that this is used to craft a story is so friendly and welcoming it is brilliant.  It reminds you very much of the narration in Little Big Planet, but with a wider range and more depth.  Being able to customize your character, called Atoi for the female version or Iota for the male, is fun and something you can waste hours doing.  Customizing the environment is equally engrossing.  

I’m about 5 hours into the game and while it is a big improvement over Little Big Planet, it still has issues with occasionally weird directions.  I come to this section where there is a log blocking Atoi’s path.  Under the log are the symbols for poking the rear touch pad in order to break through and move things.  I try getting through to move the log.  I try lifting the log.  The instruction on what to do with these symbols keeps appearing, but no farther assistance to do with the log.  I continue to fiddle with it for 30 minutes before I get my fingers in just the right spot where it lifts the log.  So then I try tossing it aside and it just falls back down.  I spend another 10 minutes trying to get that spot again, finally do and then figure I need to finagle Atoi with the joystick to walk under the log while I’m still holding it up vita the rear touchpad.

I’m in my 20s and my coordination was just not liking this.  I can’t imagine giving it to a kid.  Then again, maybe kid hands would be better on the touch screen.

Overall, the game is great.  It really shows off all the Vita’s capabilities while being creative and colorful.  There are a few glitches and finicky items, but with some patience you can get through it.  It is worth a pick up with your gift cards from family who didn’t know what to get you or picking up for yourself as an after holiday’s gift.

Review: Captain Marvel 3-6

So in reading the rest of this arc I have solidified my enjoyment of the series.  There seem to be a few growing pains, but I think that comes with any new comic trying to get everything on the same page and pace.  At the same time, I feel that Carol Danvers is one of the strongest characters we have seen in comics in a while and it is only further backed by the strong secondary characters.

That is not to say she doesn’t have flaws.  She has lots of them.  She is proud, a bit of a show off, and a bit of a worry wort about others.  That is what makes her strong, I feel.  The fact that they acknowledge these and use them to the best of her abilities without it feeling contrived and forced.

In issue three I grew quite attached to the members of Banshee Squad.  They each had a story that we got to explore a bit of their character.   I enjoyed the idea of this all female band of World War II Misfits that got together and were fighting for survival while still keeping their honor and idea of their country.  It was also a great way for us to get more back story on Carol.

Action scene like this one in Issue 3 really make the story very dynamic for me.

What I did not like was that they pretty much vanished.  Slowly they started to get phased out until they pretty much just vanish.  Carol goes to meet Helen Cobb, her hero, but the Banshee’s just are no longer a part of the story.  It was my biggest complaint. I wanted to know what happened to them further, but all I can hope for now it some mention of their outcome at a later issue.

Issue 5 I found fascinating to see the ideas that were wrapped up into females opposing the male status quo and how they wanted to be pilots.  I also found it great to see the interaction between Carol and Helen develop.  Other than that, the writing was great and the art was fantastic, but the book was that obligatory slow book.

The dialogue is sharp and witty, not exactly something that I would expect from this time frame, but at the same time, it is something very much fits the characters.

Issue 6 is where everything happens.  We see how Carol first become Ms. Marvel and then later Captain Marvel.  The action is intense and has you very much on the end of your seat.  The other nice thing is that there were no awkward poses during these high action scenes.  Nothing that is deliberately trying to break spines or shift how people are looking.  The challenge of Carol versus Helen is great, and I feel it gives a great amount of satisfaction to the reader after you hear about the rivalry and mentorship the   I love the crisp colors and the slight change from the art style in the past to the present.

This panel is part of a race type sequence, that I found really well done and very tense.

The ending is perhaps my favorite part of this, despite it leaving out the Banshees.  I don’t want to ruin it, but it is a very heartfelt way to tie it up.

This is certainly a comic that I want to read more of and I am enjoying the team that is working on it.  The art and story all come together very nicely and fit together.  I think it is great to have a comic book that I enjoy reading on so many levels, and seeing these times shifts through a women’s eyes and as a women’s writer.  I certainly give this a 5/5.

 

Captain Marvel #1-2 Review

Review: Transmetropolitan Trades #1&2

So I finally picked up a comic that I have been meaning to read by the name of ‘Transmetropolitan’ after having some friends on Google+ suggest it.  Got the first two trade paperback and have been reading on the train, and I must say that have been awesome.

First off, I love cyberpunk.  Worlds that have crazy technology things affecting everyday choices really bring me in and get me to think.  I’m also, surprisingly, one of those people who likes things that makes them think.

The world that has been created for Transmetropolitan is incredibly vivid and detailed, with Warren Ellis’s brutal language and Darick Robertson’s and the rest of the art team’s no detail unnoticed approach sucking you in, chewing you up the whole time, and then spitting you out by the end.   It is only made more so by the fact of the eerie parallels you can draw to today’s political and business atmosphere.  When this was originally run from 1997 to 2002.  Yeah, I occasionally get shivers.

The cover of Trade #1…and yes on my desk with the rest of my nerd stuff. I wanted to be a bit more…organic? yeah sure, with the pictures I use for these things.

You start out learning about Spider Jerusalem  the main character, and his hatred of the city.  Yet, at the same time, he has a very symbiotic relationship with it where he needs it to be able to write.  He has been in the mountains for years, trying to get away from it, but when his editors start threatening lawsuits since they have not gotten a book from him, well he is forced to return to the so called mother’s teat and write again.

His re-entry to writing is absolutely amazing and the way secondary characters are introduced is even more so.  An unnamed character put there for background compassion suddenly comes forward as something much more and starts to give Spider a run for his money, but even so, he takes her, Channon, under his wing and begins to train her as a sort of protege.

And the pair make a very interesting duo.  Channon is willing to actually put Spider in his place and does not revere him, much like rest of the journalist world, as the next coming of a word messiah.  Sure, he is great and there are things she can learn from him, but that doesn’t really matter.  While it makes the self important female character a little obnoxious at times, it also is a great way to frame Spider and tone down his all important feelings also.

The first two trades have done a lot of back story and world building.  While I don’t feel we have gotten to the meat of the story, I do feel as though we have gotten a very close view of the characters.  You see Channon’s love get ‘downloaded’ and learn how they cryogenically freeze people and bring them back every once in a while, throwing them into a world where they don’t know a thing and are unsure of what is going on.  You learn of Spider’s past and how some how his ex-wife has set up some big hit on him from 5+ years in the past.  There are talking dogs that act as police, half aliens that want to ascend, and religions that try to convert you at every corner.

For me, it is a great romp in a world that while exaggerated, is not to far from our own.  While occasionally grotesque, more than most likely has a reason for it.  And while more often then not a bit corrupted and ashamed, I look out my window and don’t see it much better around me.

Spider Jeruselum…Full time Badass writer.

Transmetropolitan so far for me has a 5/5.  The art is fantastic and the story is very apt and good.  The characters are strong yet individual which is always nice to have.  It is so far a must read and something that I suggest going and hunting down or downloading from DC digital comic section.  I’ll keep you guys updated as I pick them up, please tell me if you have something you want to see reviewed or another comic along these lines!  Always looking for good stuff to read!

First Look: Borderlands 2

Since the day Borderlands 2 came out I had a case of the Con Crud, I took off from work and played it with Trev in between naps and doses of dayquil.  Yay con crud!

Image

In any case, I feel that Gearbox really out did themselves with this game.  Where they were restricted in the first due to money and an industry who isn’t to accommodating to new things anyway, for this one they sem to have really been given full reign.  Also, little to no tutorial!  YUSH!  Although I am guilty of switching back to Borderlands 1 controls.  I LIKE FAMILIAR!

I decided to start the game at Axton since everyone else seemed to be going as Zer0 and Trev was determined to do Maya.  I happily do not regret my choice.  Where I could not get into Roland’s character, I am loving the little tidbits of Axton that we have gotten, I love how he talks to his turret, and so far I’m enjoying the tank type roll.

Not to mention that turret is so much more bad ass then the previous one.

The environments are much more varied and crisp and the people are vastly more interactive.  I have been in some cities, deserted towns, bandit camps, ice areas, and desert like areas.  It is certainly a change from the all brown out look of the Pandora from Borderlands 1. It is a very nice change.  So far I have encountered Nomads, Rakks, Skaggs, Bullymogs, and bandits.  One top of three boses.  Fast paced game is also fast.

Even farther than all this, I’m loving the background you are getting on all the characters.  That was something with 1 I felt we were missing was a real connection to the characters.  SPOILER ALERT BELOW

SERIOUSLY DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILS!

LAST CHANCE!

(c)Gearbox

Look! I even put in a big picture to really drive home the point of spoiler!

Too late now, I’m going for it.

Axton has this rather intense backstory where we found out he was going to be killed by firing squad for being a bit of a rouge solider.  His commanding officer warns him so that he can go AWOL the night before and warns him to escape to the border planets.  She also leaves him her wedding ring, telling him that she never really like diamonds anyway.  I felt for him at this moment!  This woman that he loved was telling him to leave, presumably because at some level she still loved him as well.

We can end that spoiler now.

But no really…I have a few little qualms with this game, but I’m going to give it time until full review to see if they still sit.  Definitely worth the pick up and play, particularly if you have friends to play with either online or sitting next to you.

Now go, have fun, and get you some loot!

(c)Gearbox

I cannot wait for the swath of destruction!

First Impressions: Persona 4 Areana

I think I have to start out by saying Whoa.  This game’s art looks amazing.  I expect no less from Atlus, but for being the first Persona game at all on the PS3/360 I love it.

 

I picked up the PS3 version while out picking up groceries last night and despite my sore shoulder and arm, got through the lesson mode.  I found that the lessons I was having problems with were the lessons that had ambiguous instructions.  Lesson 40, for instance, is to continuously back-step.  So I do so.  For a good five minutes.  I expected Death or something to show up eventually.  I reset the field and tried again. Did it forever again.  Reset the field.  Did the back side step mechanic a bunch of times.  Finally completed the task.  This happened a couple of times with a couple of different lessons, but it wasn’t awful.  I almost wonder if it was a bad localization job.

 

All the other issues I had were related to me not being able to quater circle well enough.  Which is why I normally play with the D-pad.  Damn these damaged hands of mine!

 

So I got done with that and moved on to the story mode.  I picked Yukiko since why not?  She was neat in P4 and I love fire users.  However I found my self making the most awful faces at her lamenting…over boxed lunches.  I get that it is important in Japanese culture, but every other word out of her mouth was about the damn lunches.  And the first 20 minutes was all dialouge!  So much talky talky!  And half of it just her inner thoughts that appear over her head in scenery that is lightly colored as white text so it is hard to see.  This is where Atlus failed.  I want my crisp black boxes back!

 

So I got up to Teddie and died.  Partially because he was PWN and partially because my meds were kicking in at this point.  He looks like a lot of fun to play, though.  And getting up to him started to make me question my own sanity and this game honestly.  Yet, I continued on to Arcade Mode, just to go get a feel for someone else.

 

AND MITSURU WAS AVAILABLE!  I had to play Mitsuru since Fuuka isn’t around.  I had a lot of fun with her, although I really need to take her just into the practice room I think.  Played some more until I died at the hands of Main Character.  What I really enjoyed about arcade mode was how they worked in bits of story there as well.  Yet, it wasn’t the full blabber that I was encountering during story mode.

 

I will be going to some group play tonight so I will report back on how multi player goes.  And hopefully improve my quater turn.

Ubisoft Press Conference

Really, more dancing?

So we went from a game targeted mostly at girls to animated sex.  Great segway there, guys.

The weapons look really good, so does the flame thrower.

Wait, your about to shoot yourself?  Isn’t that what all the crazy snipers are for?

Oh wow…FarCry, you have always been pretty but this is amaz…wait, boobs again?  And now sex upside down?  I think we are a bit preoccupied here.

Aisha Taylor, you are fantastic.  Thank you for saying we are all a little gay.  But what about the gay people? Are they just a little straight too?

More Wii U!  I want my gamegear back…

And avengers.

-I went to take a shower at this point-

Benjamin Franklin, presdients!  This game sounds awesome!  Oh, it is Assassins Creed…well maybe I’ll give it a shot again.

Wait, that means the press conference is all down hill from here.

It doesn’t seem like the same repetitive action over and over again, so there is an improvement.

Girl world champion!  Yay!

This should be interesting…Perhaps not so down hill

Awww…the girls lost…well I guess we will hear some more of how girls can’t game.

Storm!  I want to see that one! But noooo…

Wait…why so many services this year?  Between the glass thing and this Ubisoft stuff…I feel like i’m being buried by things that should look much better.

I always love the various accents you get at the Ubisoft conference

Now this is my kinda game…if I could actually figure out what it is…

Either way I’m all for a chill, walk around sandbox…be nice not to run everywhere.  Until I realize while I’m playing that it isn’t…good in theory at least

WITH A FUCKING BATON! THAT GUY WAS JUST BEAT WITH A BATON!

I would love some local co-op for this game

He just got pulled through a car window…time to grovel.

Can I call it or what?!

Alright, I’m sold on Watch_Dogs

Afterthoughts

So I was pretty impressed with Ubisoft.  Even if it seemed like there was a mixed message of: we want to appeal to the Nintendo players, oh wait, naked women for the guys, hey over here there is stuff for history buffs, did we mention sandbox?  Even with all the erratic moving, the segways were good and none of the transitions were to jolting.  Yet, at the same time, I’m not sure if they know who they were really targeting.  I guess that is what happens in an industry that is currently going through change.

I will say that I am incredibly impressed with Watch_Dogs.  It was nice to see such a dark world that still seemed to have life and color, even though the scenery was very black and shades there of.  The pop ups were really neat and the fact that you are rewarded not only for going all out, but blending in seems like a really cool thing to do.  Yes, I know GTA does something similar, but once you hear sirens, you start to run.  This game seems to reward the more strategic mind set of find information then strike.

However, I am really tired of dancing at E3.  There has been way to much so far.  Are we really trying that hard to bring back the music genre?  I love busting out the Rock Band for group events, but I’m not sure that I want to be dancing around like a fool in my second floor apartment.  Doesn’t seem like it would be appealing to me or my neighbors.  Then again, it would be good revenge for when they have the music too loud at midnight.

Anyway, on to the next one, can’t wait for Sony!

Practice Matches and Rolling Around

Hello all!

Recently I have joined a clan called League of Girls (http://leagueofgirls.enjin.com/home) and have moved on to being a event coordinator.  I am working on getting together a weekly session together where people can come to practice in a safe environment, get useful feedback and hear tips from both the opposite team and high elo players.

Now I am trying to figure out what else might be wanted in this type of event.  As well as find some people who would like to help out commentating wise.  I up for any and all input.  And feel free to spread this around to any female LoL players too!  We are always looking for new members 😀

In other news, I finished Touch My Katamari for the Vita today.  I do wish there were more levels, but the ones that were involved were varied and new.  What was nice is that you did not just revert to rolling up the Universe for a change, but instead a nice epilogue to the story.  Also, always a plus for mini-games during credits.

While it may not have many levels, the replay-ability is definitely there.  There are always more things to find and higher ratings to get.  Not to mention, who can resist catchy Japanese music?  I’m still going through and trying to beat old scores, despite being frustrated with them originally.