Monday, April 24, 2017

Cybertavern Closed For This Week

I do apologize everyone but I'm gonna have to suspend this week's pending Animation Deviation, Sidequest Corner, and Multiverse Desperado posts for this entire following week.

It is due to a number of issues. Building stress, problems at home, an increasing workload due to financial strain, and possibly a new business venture that might make the prior problems less of a problem.

Either way, I know this is still a start up blog with a small readership but I can not keep going and release more and more content of dwindling quality even if roughly fifty people at best read it. I have too much respect for myself to do that.

To those fifty or so guys, you're awesome and thank you for understanding.

Hopefully can get things going again with more content at this little digital watering hole once again!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sidequest Corner: Destiny Then and Now

Call this a bit of a cop-out for content but I find it prudent to show how even a critical mind can change and soften over time when observing an intellectual property. How criticism comes from a place of passion.

As such I am going to bring back two of my old reviews from old sites. The first was back during my more optimistic days at All Age Gaming with my review of Destiny in 2014 and the next is my review from OmniGamer of its Rise of Iron expansion from last year.

It goes to show how things can change for better and for worse and how critics and reviews are at their core, players just like the rest of us.

And this is coming from someone who can be called a fan of the franchise now.

That Random Podcast Show: Princess Celestia Helps Tom Servo Fight The Camera

Michael and I talk about Episode 5 of Samurai Jack, Yooka-Laylee, and the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Return.

Also I guess the season premiere of My Little Pony.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 11

Chapter 11: Reignited

On reflection hitting Commander Shepard with a mental bombshell after what he went through on Virmire was not the best decision I could have made.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sidequest Corner: The One Where I Tried VR

VR is an unbelievably experimental and uncharted region of game and technical design. The amount of hardware and processing power needed makes it a decidedly niche corner of gaming. In terms of games available they're mostly tech demos trying to find a way to make interesting experiences without making their players horribly sick to their stomach.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 10

Chapter 10: The Truth
I hated Commander Shepard for how thoroughly he put me away on the Normandy. My hands were tied. My Omni-Tool was taken. Despite my desperate pleas to bring it along for the mission, my Loki mech was de-activated and put into storage. Tali even whipped up a suppression field to de-activate my biotics in case I tried anything. All while in a featureless room in the cargo hold with lots of cameras.

I officially hit rock bottom.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Latest JumpChain Desperado Delayed

Note to self, do not try to power through a hundred hour plus JRPG for review purposes in an hour then try to write an eight page chapter of something after experiencing VR for the first time. That is a cocktail that leads to problems.

The latest chapter will be available tomorrow.

Animation Deviation: Samurai Jack Episode 4 Review

You know it's getting very tiring just saying these episodes are great over and over right?

Welp, here's my's great. See you later!

I've just been informed that I'm contractually obligated by Nondescript Corrupt Evil Megacorporation That Pays The Bills Inc. to continue this column of Animation Deviation by threat of the closing of the Cybertavern and subject to painful torture and death by something called a “Lemon Demon Cuddle Party.” I don't know what that last one is but I don't want to find out.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

That Random Podcast Show: Seal Team Ricks Screws Jack Up

We decided to take a different route with visual aids in this episode in order to sidestep certain Copyright ID nonsense YouTube has been instigating recently.

This episode is discussion about Samurai Jack, Rick and Morty, and my first impressions of Persona 5. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sidequest Corner: How The Platform Affects The Experience

As I casually mentioned in my last post about how April Fools Day Rick-Rolled Me – no I am not apologizing for that pun – I got a review copy of Persona 5 by the lovely people over at ATLUS. While I am still working on my review of the game for The Game Fanatics, I even wrote a hot take on the game's opening, I actually found something unusual about my predicament with this installment.

It didn't...feel right.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Rising Consequences

A month passed with us chasing leads on Saren. Despite us knowing his fascination with the Nu Relay we still couldn't figure out the exact destination once on the other side. There were too many factors working against us, so chasing leads was the best option we had. It would be embarrassing for us to go through the Relay only to be vaporized by Geth warships or Sovereign himself, and I was seriously beginning to doubt how much my own knowledge was still reliable.

That isn't to say we weren't busy.

April Fools Day Rick-Rolled Me

You're probably all wondering where's the review of Samurai Jack or the next chapter of Multiverse Desperado?

To the latter, it's coming, I'm seriously putting the last edits to it now as of writing this.

As for the former, look at the above image.

I usually stay away from April Fools Day, even when I have the capacity to post some hilarious National Enquirer level dreck at The Game Fanatics and pass it off as holiday stuff. As a kid, it's a good bit of fun, as an adult it's like finding out who those in your social circle see you as the butt of a joke so you don't feel bad hitting them with the butt of a gun.

But for one of my favorite creators working today and fellow aspy Dan Harmon it was a glorious opportunity to utterly troll fans of Rick and Morty in some brilliant reverse-psychology.

Since April Fools Day ran last Saturday night, I locked myself away from social media and tucked into a review copy of Persona 5 on my PlayStation 4, a review will be coming to TGF but not at launch day because I'm only human. I was in another world and after a while got a little too into my JRPG to remember that Samurai Jack was supposed to be coming on.

It was only after I was talking with friends on Sunday that I found out that something even more special had happened. Instead of episode 4 of the new season of Samurai Jack, the 11:00 EST slot of Adult Swim was filled up with the hotly anticipated Season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty.

That's right, while I was busy fooling around with virtual high-school student drama, I was missing out on getting to see the return of interdimensional mad scientist Rick Sanchez get into crazy adventures with his grandson Morty and ripping the entire galaxy, and by extension the sci-fi genre, a new satirical orifice.

Have I mentioned before that I hate April Fools Day?

So yeah, no Samurai Jack episode review or substitute Animation Deviation due to job obligations and Dan Harmon being a brilliant brilliant little troll. Love your work bro!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sidequest Corner: The Wrinkles of Kingdom Hearts

If you have no idea why I'm doing this here instead of on Saturdays, you got some reading to do suspiciously new face here at the Cybertavern.

As for everyone else, welcome back to my semi-coherent essays about games and game design. And as the title implies I am here to talk about Kingdom Hearts, the surprisingly lucrative and enduring JRPG franchise brought to us by the biggest name in Japanese RPGs, Square Enix, and the all-consuming force of progressive family friendly values that is the Walt Disney Corporation.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Intentions and Consequences

The following three days went by in a blur. I remember being chastised by Shepard for jeopardizing the galaxy by releasing the rachni queen and getting grilled by him. I was informed later that the rachni somehow got word to the Alliance that the mercy shown to their race would not go unrewarded as they ventured into uncharted regions of space to regain their numbers once again. Apparently they used the body of a salarian as an intermediary. I recall the crew, even Ashley, actually complimenting me for my quick thinking against Benezia and her commandos, saving their lives. Although Jack's idea of gratitude was a punch in the arm and buying me a drink later.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Today in Diversity: Autism in Power Rangers 2017

Don't worry, we'll get to the Samurai Jack review soon but I just want to take this moment to bring up a semi-recurring post that will be recurring here at the Cybertavern.

As I mentioned before, I do lean towards progressive inclusion in all media, mostly from a desire to see interesting, or at the least unconventional creative expression happen in said media. This is a place where anyone can take their mind off of things after all. But sometimes that can lead to tokenism, a piece of crap with one person who identifies as a tree is still a piece of crap after all.

So I like to take this opportunity to bring up some good examples of diversity that has come to my attention recently and whether or not I think it's good representation.

Our singular topic for the day is found in the recently released Saban's Power Rangers directed by Dean Isrealite.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scheduling Change!

Guess what Cybertavern patrons?

I just got hit with a wave of content to take care of, don't worry it's all good and it's also a reason why Saturday Sidequest wasn't up.

However, I am going to slightly change things around now.

First and foremost I shall be moving my game design grumblings to Wednesday posts.

Why? So Saturdays can be dedicated reviews of the revival of Samurai Jack. It's got its hooks in me so much I need to dedicate my thoughts to each episode...basically once they finish airing.

So consider them.... Saturday/Sunday Animation...Sidequest Deviations?

It's fine! We'll survive! We'll get through this!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Team Trust Exercise Part 2

“Spear maneuver now!” Shepard bellowed over the hail of death raining from our would-be executioners, Jack and I snapping into position throwing up biotic barriers to protect the group.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Animation Deviation: Samurai Jack's Revival

So this past weekend saw the return of a beloved nostalgic animated series. It ran back in the 2000s on Cartoon Network, had and continues to have a staunch dedicated fanbase, and was known for bringing sophisticated and complex storytelling to a medium that more often than not written off as children's fare by the broader community.

And considering Cartoon Network's track record with bringing back critically beloved animated shows from the 2000s for a new audience while paying respect to the original run, they are basically tap dancing barefoot on broken glass while ritualistically peeling off their own skin with a superheated potato peeler in that regard, I was beyond worried about what would become of this series.

And this is after a lot of mollification came my way. The original creator was involved and had a plan for what he wanted to do. Most of his creative team returned, including most of the voice-actors. And the suits overseeing production weren't actually Cartoon Network but the notably more lax and gonzo mature animation branch of Adult Swim.

I am of course talking about the return of Genndy Tartokovsky's Samurai Jack.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 6 Part 1

Chapter 6: Team Trust Exercise Part 1

I get the distinct impression that the universe has a sick sense of humor. Within the span of a few hours of a therapy session where I found out that Shepard's crew has some flavor of distrust or disinterest of me, I am now in a fight for my life with that exact same crew being my only lifeline.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Guest Spot on Wrong X Button Podcast

A bunch of old shoulders I used to rub with hit me up for a guest spot on their podcast. I humbly obliged!

Fair warning, the podcast has explicit and vulgar language and at least one major outburst by yours truly.

Animation Deviation: International Women's Day Tribute

Guess whose on hardware review detail for the Nintendo Switch? This guy! Don't worry cybertavern patrons you'll still be getting my thoughts in this week's Animation Deviation. But what better way to address International Women's Day than a showcase of some of the most inspiring and awesome ladies in modern animated shows. This is technically not a Top 10 or Top 5... because I said so.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Disassociation

The first two months or so on the Normandy were rocky as hell. The crew were aggressively skeptical of my presence on the ship. The Normandy wasn't just a top of the line vehicle, the best possible collaboration between humans and turians that helped pioneer some fantastic cloaking technology tailor-made for recon and infiltration, everyone running it were defensive of its secrets from anyone not human; criminals doubly so.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Sidequest: Nintendo Switch Steals My Day

My Cybertavern patrons I have a serious problem right now. No matter where I went during my busy day, no matter how many appointments I had to attend and no matter what time of day it was, I was never far away from escapism and enjoyment as of Friday.

Trailer Talk: Alien Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Michael Mosley and I discuss the latest trailers for Ridley Scott's Alien Covenant and James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Animation Deviation: The Boy and The Beast

Well, my cybertavern patrons, we finally come to the last of Mamoru Hosoda's animated films. It's been a real treat looking back at such an under-appreciated creative talent that doesn't get nearly as much love as he deserves. So let's finish this whole thing off with a bang with the martial arts drama, The Boy and The Beast.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Hunches and Leaps

Jack began standard landing procedure at the Citadel's docking bay roughly a week after our escape from Purgatory Station.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Sidequest: Enough With Microtransactions Already!

This week, I took a bit of time to myself to fight off my sickness. I got hit with a bad combination of pink eye and strep throat last week and I've been doing everything I can to keep things going, both here at the Cybertavern and in my regular life. As you can imagine I was in unbelievable agony.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Animation Deviation: Wolf Children

My dear cybertavern patrons, I am about to make a sweeping statement about a creative mind in this column. Since this is the internet, that means I will soon be descended upon by reactionaries telling me off for having no real critical talent based on the credibility of my statement and overly smug assholes who will agree with me and use my statement as a blank check to beat up on the artist they never truly loved. Alright... here we go....

Monday, February 20, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Steel Hearts

After an admittedly rocky start with my cell mate, things started falling into a routine.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday Sidequest Postponed

Yep. Sick as a dog. Dizzy, tired, hurts to breathe and to swallow anything, and I'm feverish as hell. Hopefully things get better in time to continue my content for the week fresh and new!

Friday, February 17, 2017

My Week In Review February 10-17 2017

Don't worry, Saturday Sidequest is still going to happen ladies, gentlemen and genderless mechanical automatons. But, I thought I might as well divulge a bit more of the stuff I have done at The Game Fanatics and some of my other side projects while upkeeping this little digital establishment. So without further ado here was my week in review.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Animation Deviation: Summer Wars

The second installment into Animation Deviation will be continuing our look into the works of Mamoru Hosoda. This week I'll be looking at his second film as director, the drama Summer Wars.

Obligatory Valentine's Day Post

My Valentine's Day went alright. I saw John Wick 2 with a trusted friend considering most of my social circle is overseas. Do not cry for me, patrons, I am alright for now.

As for John Wick 2, I enjoyed it. If you're looking for an excuse to see Keanu Reeves murder more people in suits in amazingly clean and well choreographed action sequences, this will be fine. The set-up can feel very Sequel-y but overall it makes perfect sense.

We now return to our regularly scheduled nonsense.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Orange is the New Blue

“Who are you?” Garrus asked for the fourth time, his mandibles twitching in noticeable agitation.

“I told you. My name is Variza T'Som,” I replied for the fourth time, quietly holding a styrofoam cup of coffee in my cuffed hands and sipping politely. I was trying not to smile but it was admittedly hilarious to see the otherwise cold and effective Turian soldier lose his mind.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday Sidequest: The Importance of Your Game's First Hour

Finally, here we are at my third feature for The Cybertavern. As mentioned before this is the beginning of a new three post a week initiative on top of my work at The Game Fanatics. Saturday Sidequest is basically a constructive rant series where I have a big old literary scream about recurring elements both good and bad happening in modern gaming.

Alright, you read the title so let's get to this. That is unless you're actually a bot or something trying to inform me about a brand new offer that will expand my net worth within a year as long as I use a certain hair care product that is totally NOT full of carnivorous spiders. If the latter's the case, sign me up... I have some enemies to settle the score with this Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Animation Deviation: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Welcome to the second part of my new three post a week initiative. Animation Deviation will be a series of rambling semi-professional reviews or observations of animated films I'm just now getting around to seeing. This was supposed to go out Wednesday afternoon but I've just accepted the role of Reviews Editor at The Game Fanatics so a bit of my day got eaten up.

For the first installment, I say we give a certain Japanese darling a certain amount of love with Mamoru Hosoda's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Multiverse Desperado - A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 1

Chapter 1: The First Steps

After spending somewhere north of five minutes having a minor panic attack regarding my new physical nature – narrow shoulders, wide hips and all, I sat down at my bed and began to assess my situation.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Multiverse Desperado - A JumpChain Fiction

Right now I have a bit on my plate, and the most recent presidency has been causing nothing but problems to a lot of people I love. But I decided to return to this blog with a new initiative of new posts this time three times a week. This shall be the Monday installment, basically a Jumpchain popularized by the /tg/ board. Yes, despite it being a pit of scum there are good ideas there on occasion. It shall be a palette cleanser and a true instance of unrepentant geeking in the face of my semi-professional obligations. Not familiar with a Jumpchain? That's why I wrote a prologue below.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Terrible Minds Flash Fiction Challenge Jan. 7 2017

...kept you waiting huh?

Alright I've been away for far too long, especially after that heavy last post considering our election. Don't worry, I'm still just as angry and bitter as before and yes he is still #NotMyPresident, but the minute this blog becomes more about the political landscape than about creatively analyzing games and film is the minute I close up shop and throw myself into the Susquehanna River.

But since I need to flex the old writing muscles I decided to dust off a Flash Fiction challenge headed by Terrible Minds, the blog held by maniac author Chuck Wendig. So in 1500 words or so the challenge is to write...a post-apocalyptic story. But it has to be distinctly original. No zombies, no nukes, come up with something else. So after the jump, take a dive into how I see the world ending.