The Doc Speaks: Konami, please stop.

Tacky?  Tasteless?  Perhaps!  But, it’s one way of capturing the well deserved backlash, right?

Oh, Konami!  You’re either gluttons for pain or you’re the biggest brunch of trolls within the gaming fandom this side of <insert joke about your disliked side in a gaming fandom conflict of choice here>. A ways back, my complete distaste and disgust was reserved for Electronic Arts (alias, “EA Games.”  Over the years, my ire towards many companies came and went.  This is mostly because they became less relevant and suffered for their mistakes.  That or they realized what they have been doing wrong and have made an effort to correct their past issues.  In EA’s case, one could say it’s the former leading into the latter.  However, the time to grill them is over… for now.  We’re here to dig into Konami!  I have a feeling the disdain for Konami will not vanish any time soon.

NOTE:  I know I didn’t post anything during the previous weekend.  The fair I volunteered at took a fair bit out of me, in addition to my non-stop job hunting… which may as well be a job all its own.  So, my time feels squeezed and attempting to balance it is quite the struggle.  As always, thanks for understanding.  Also, if you’re keeping a distance from the Konami clusterfuck, please understand my reasons for continuing to be flustered with a company that I supported for ages.

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The Doc Speaks: It’s not uncommon to feel “Grinchy”

It’s been that time of the year for a while and it’s safe to say that many of us are sick of it.  We see Mall Santas chugging whiskey outside the local shopping center, spoiled brats screaming about how getting the newest toy is a sign of love, the same holiday pop covered by a flavor of the year music group, sickeningly cheery decorations mass produced by Hallmark-esque megacorporations, you get the general idea.  For many a bitter cynic, the yuletide season simply sucks.  In a sense, rewatching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, there’s a lot to relate to.  Perhaps something about the plot makes us all the more bitter.  But, why is that?

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The Doc Speaks: Fallout 4 – Awesome Video Game, Disappointing Fallout title

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It wouldn’t be Fallout without a masked figure on the front, right?

Fallout is a series of many things; a deconstruction of classic science fiction, a direct homage to said classic science fiction, a now long running franchise that’s practically 2 decades old and so much more.  Above all, it’s a beloved series with an amazing and devoted fanbase.  Sure, there is much division over older and newer generations of games (which I myself will admit to taking part in); but we’ve had more than enough proof that fans have kept the spirit of Fallout alive.  Archive sites like the Nexus contain thousands upon thousands of mods, adding new features to the game or rewriting it in its entirety.  You may wonder what this has to do with Fallout 4?  While others have focused on traversing the world of the wastelands and following a story, this one allows you to customize the weird wastes ahead.  So, why do I praise it as a great game, but comdemn it as a poor Fallout title?  More ahead.  (Warning: Spoilers)

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The Doc Speaks: Fantastic Flops

Originally, I was going to do a review of Fantastic Four.  However, I didn’t want to be like countless carrion eaters picking off the remains of absolute badness.  We know the film is terrible.  There are still tons of folks out there who don’t want to admit it yet.  I don’t blame them, I too wanted this to be a good movie.  However, that wasn’t the only disappointing summer film.  I know there’s many who were sad that Pixels didn’t live up to the immense hype, resulting in some undeserved vitriol and relentless hatred.  And of course, there’s that Paul Blart sequel…  but, I doubt anyone thought that would be good.  All in all, while the summer has brought some smash hits like Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Ant Man, Avengers 2, Spy and some others; there’s always the flop.  Let’s dive deeper at the sad side of blockbuster cinema.

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Ramblings: There’s more to fantasy than knights and castles

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I know I’ve mentioned it in a previous post, but it still really irks me when I mention “fantasy” and people have a set picture in mind.  The image that springs to mind is a faux-Tolkien world that’s vaguely like Medieval Europe (while countless other continents lie in the distance and aren’t focused on.)  That’s all well and good, since the LotR books and films as well as the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game are indeed quite popular.  However, my interests tend to lean towards science-fantasy (a la retrofuturism, Thundarr/He-Man, and Star Wars) as well as modern-fantasy as well.  Something about applying futurism (or modernity) to magick and monsters appeals for some reason, that setting it in a specified era of the past just won’t.  And even then, people tend to think very troperiffic urban fantasy when they think of what I’m talking about.  Ya know, there’s a big masquerade where the supernatural hides behind some veil, locations are almost always some real world city largely unaffected by the magical, there’s probably some romantic sub-plot involving said supernatural or something.  All in all, I’m not a fan.  I want adventure, mystery, and what have you with a modern twist.  Give me bizarre magic-tech that looks much like what we have now (or at least within post-WWII – post-Cold War time frame.)  Give me molemen bankers who live in the same vaults they store stuff in, dwarves who have a monopoly on a pub franchise chain, dark warlocks firing enchanted bullets from an uzi, weird stuff like that!  See, that’s the kind of weird stuff I like.  For reference on what I’m talking about, read “Nightside” and “Perdido Street Station”

Image Source: Kentaro Kanamoto

The Doc Speaks: Was I too harsh on Fallout 3?

Bye, Megaton

For those who remember, a couple of my reviews have had somewhat subtle digs at Fallout 3, Bethesda’s reboot of the Fallout series.  This game helped to bring the series back into public eye with a different setting, an advancement of the timeline, and new mechanics to play with.  Instead of continuing plotlines taking place on the west coast United States, focus was shifted towards developments on the east coast, particularly the “Capital Wasteland.” But, as I’ve mentioned, I have been rather critical about parts of it. And for a while, I even hated the game. Admittedly, it’s on the bottom of my Fallout list (next to those spin-off games shoved into the strictly non-canon section.) However, after returning the the game, I can’t say I really hate it anymore. Of course, there’s much more to it than just that.
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The Doc Speaks: Let’s Play the Let’s Play Game

A couple months ago, that silly South Park finale with popular youtube personality, “Pewdiepie” got me thinking about some things.  And no, this isn’t some elaborate shitposting thread dedicated to “how Youtube users like Pewdiepie are polluting the site” or whatever.  To be honest, I don’t really care about Pewdiepie or others like him.  Now, I’m sure Felix and whatever other popular examples out there are fine people and I hold no grudges against them.    But, today I’m here to ponder about what makes these videos so enjoyable.  More jumbled thoughts and random rambling after the jump!

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The Doc Speaks: Found Footage, bane of the horror fandom!

Old Man ranting
Expect A LOT of this here

There’s one somewhat controversial topic among fans of science fiction and horror cinema and that’s the “Found Footage” genre. If there’s one way to make hardcore horror fans foaming at the mouth, it’s bringing up that film style. Being a spin-off of the Exploitation Film, it’s expected to be hailed as schlock film making. Now, that’s not to say the entire genre is awful, because that’s just not true. While I’m a stubborn arse and abhor the genre through and through, I recognize that there are indeed some good films. Take Chronicle! It was a coming of age superhero film from a different perspective. And ya know what? I’m not sure if the film would have had the same impact if it was done as a traditional style movie. Granted, this isn’t a horror picture. And controversial opinion time, for being a wretched film that spawned a worse trend, I find Cannibal Holocaust to be a fascinating film. In the end, the film makers were the real horrors, not the tribe they were trying to exploit (despite some actions we wouldn’t find acceptable under any means.) Again, it’s not a good movie (and probably illegal), but it’s still an interesting one. And take The Blair Witch Project. I’m not a fan, but I can admit that parts of it were pretty suspenseful and well crafted. It was basically a documentary with weird stuff thrown in, as the actors didn’t know what to expect either. Unfortunately, I’m not talking about the few bits I can admire. I’m here to talk about a relentless fad that makes horror fans shriek in disgust. So, since the fun part of this ends, let’s have at it… after a bit of whiskey!
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The Doc Speaks: Veteran of 1000 Edition Wars

War Never Changes

“War. War never changes.”

While I would like to babble about the joys of roleplaying games in general, this topic is indeed a very special one! They have a saying in every fandom that you never forget what you start with! Generation of Pokemon/Transformers/Ponies/whatever, Incarnation of the Doctor, and of course edition of popular games like Dungeons and Dragons. And as you guessed it, D&D and a little bit on other roleplaying games are the focus today! Well, mostly Dungeons & Dragons to be honest. Hey, it is the world’s oldest and most popular roleplaying game! I mean, I could ramble about other games, such as World of Darkness, GURPS, and beyond, but that’d make this go on forever. Now, I promised that I was going to wrap up Nuke Month, but I’ll have something good in store for next weekend. In the meantime, grab a bag of dice and some heated rhetoric and charge forth into the gaming battlefield!

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Necrotic Editorial – I’ll take my stories dark, no milk or sugar

Realism

Dive into the depths of popular fiction and you notice two different flavors! One offers hope for its denizens with characters who can work to get past conflict and achieve goals. Another creates a bleak hellhole were conflicts are overwhelming and desires often fade into the abyss. While neither is better, one could notice a trend when it comes to popularity. But, why does dark trump light for many? Let’s find out.
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