Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sidequest Corner: The Kingdom Hearts 1-2 Interquels


Don't worry, Animation Deviation will come back eventually. There's only so much you can type about when you're dealing with heat, oncoming carpal tunnel and at least three different projects. Not to mention there are only so many hours in the day.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 17


Chapter 17: Omega's Three

I absently held my aching stomach while swallowing some painkillers. It's been a week since Morinth had tried to kill me, but there are certain things you just don't forget. The doctors were able to patch up my broken ribs and various contusions. There was a gifted neurologist that was able to assess and diminish the brain damage Morinth did to me with her melding, which explained how erratic my biotics were that night. Even Dr. Dren was on call for some therapy sessions, having my first night of intimacy in years turning into an attempt on my life leaves its mental scars after all. But despite their protests for months of bed rest and mental recuperation I had a job to do. I can rest when Shepard has his team.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

No Sidequest Corner This Week

The topical choice right now would be to rant about a video VGdunkey made regarding traditional games media and the rise of the YouTube video culture but the day I turn this blog into something reactionary and more about trends in the industry is the day I'm not also writing in a professional capacity at another website and start working on this blog full time. Sorry, but those are the brakes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 16


Chapter 16: Demons

Despite how much this galaxy has advanced, every race has their own living nightmares, their own boogeymen. For the krogan, they have the towering monstrosities of their home world: the Thresher Maws. Humanity has the overzealous Earth First nutters of Terra Firma and Cerberus. The quarians; the geth. As for the asari, I was staring into the cold dead eyes of one of them as she began to slowly incinerate my nervous system.

An Ardat-Yakshi.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sidequest Corner: Master Mode and Balancing Difficulty


First thing's first, how was everyone's Fourth of July? Mine was quite enjoyable. Barbecue was had, concerts were attended, Pokemon Go was played, and I indulged in quite a lot of Crunchyroll and the latest downloadable content for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

That last part is the source of the topic of discussion in this week's post: what exactly is the key to making higher difficulty levels more engaging in games?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Retro Prose: My Thoughts on Microtransactions


In light of another E3 passing and the fact that I want something on this blog other than slowly paced Mass Effect fan fiction before the Fourth of July weekend, I decided to bring up a piece I wrote for OmniGamer last year. It was an opinion piece I had about microtransactions and how complacency in their application in modern gaming would lead to major problems.

The sad thing is how ubiquitous the practice has now become, this article feels like a snapshot of a slightly more innocent time when it was possible for enough outrage to cause studios to backpedal.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

No Sidequest Corner This Week

Blame it on the Summer. Something will be here next week. Until then, be careful out there everyone

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

No Animation Deviation This Week

Check out the title.

The reason? Honestly I just need time to watch and digest some more animated shows and movies. Can't have an opinion if I don't watch stuff you know? Tune in next week!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 15



Chapter 15: Getting Pulled Back In
 
Of all the ways Commander Shepard could have returned in my life it just had to be with me behind a desk of a major office in an executive dress, mouth full of spicy veggies and local protein looking like a deer in headlights. I honestly didn't know whether or not to finish my mouthful or let it flop out with indignity.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Retro Prose: My Review of Cibele


This week's retro prose is one of the few pieces I wrote that I legitimately still stay behind to this day. It was not just a review of an artsy narrative focused Steam game, but one by a creative mind that I still keep an eye on to this day for her focus on human interaction and earnest emotional momentum contextualized in game form.

In other words, I love that her games are more about the journey than a high score. My review of Nina Freeman's Cibele.

Also you should check out her other game, Kimmy on Steam if this sounds anything resembling your bag. She's also working on that sci-fi game Tacoma so... hinty hint hint.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sidequest Corner: E3 2017 in Review


Another year, another E3 has passed. Honestly I've done the news round up and rode the hype train so many times it is all become so embarrassingly rote to me. Stick to the big announcements and build them up, wag your finger at the major disappointments and missteps, then hold on and see what games actually come out this year and then write a feature about what happens. Not to mention get in contact with PR and try to get review copies of games out for topical reviews. Rinse, repeat, cash the check.

But this year's E3 was very unusual in that it was across the board fine. Alright. Completely middle of the ground compared to past years....

Monday, June 19, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 14


Chapter 14: Catching Up

I made my way through the threshold to my penthouse apartment, doing everything I could to deflect and shut down the volus banker speaking to me.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Multiverse Desperado and Animation Deviation on Hold Due to E3


Sorry everybody, but E3 is the busy season. Although I will dedicate this week's Sidequest Corner to my thoughts on the show's major presentations and conferences.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Retro Prose: We Need More Cult Classics



The following installment of Retro Prose was a piece I wrote in July of 2016 during the consecutive releases of Gearbox Software's Battleborn and Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch. Granted quite a bit of information in this piece is hilariously dated, and as much as I do stand behind enjoying Battleborn for what it is, sadly it didn't survive being around as long as Overwatch has.

However, I am giving it the spotlight again to also reinforce what I wrote extensively in last year's Sidequest Corner about how I feel the game's industry can learn to take some more risks and be a bit more flexible and pro-consumer with their standard models.

Also completely unrelated: I officially backed Deadly Premonition The Board Game on Kickstarter. Because I practice what I preach, yo.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sidequest Corner: Sony, Shut Up.

This week's Sidequest Corner is going to have a slightly different focus. Instead of talking about game design or trends, I am going to focus on a disturbing trend by the game industry. Nothing sinister, but just mundane enough that can lead to some big problems down the line.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction: Chapter 13


Chapter 13: Battle For The Citadel

It took about five minutes for everyone to get their weapons checked and their gear situated; the Council making due with some basic kinetic shield generators and small pistols they had on hand for personal defense. The plan was for them to stay near the remains of the shuttle, using its debris as makeshift cover and deal with any of Saren's forces that go to investigate the flaming wreckage, all while Shepard lead us to stop the damn turian puppet from causing the end of the world.

Plug for Season 2 Finale of That Random Podcast Show


The latest episode of TRPS: Racist Gems vs. Jason. We talk about the Steven Universe Wanted Event, the Far Cry 5 controversy, and our early impressions of Sudden Strike 4 and Friday The 13th: The Game.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Digital Desperado Plays Highlight: Negotiating With Jason

For those of you who missed my Friday night stream of Friday The 13th: The Game, here's a highlight from it with some good friends. It's called Negotiating With Jason.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sidequest Corner: The Place For Grind


I love grinding. No, not the erotic kind of grinding, although I am partial to that as well. I enjoy myself some level-grinding in my video games. The simple act of basically repeating the same task over and over, fighting the same enemies, playing the same levels, all to watch numbers slowly rise to reward the time investment is surprisingly rewarding.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Multiverse Desperado: A JumpChain Fiction Chapter 12



Chapter 12: Digging and Racing
 
The Councilors stayed with Shepard as he spoke to the VI known as Vigil, asking the big questions about the Conduit and what had become of the Protheans in the thousands of stasis pods surrounding us. As for Tali and me, we were scanning those pods, looking for a needle in the world's largest haystack with a tiny magnet.

Desperado Returns, Cybertavern Opens Once Again!



Welp, that definitely took longer than a week....


Alright, seriously confession time.

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 review...it'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.