Month: April 2020

Rohil Reviews 2000s Anime: Hellsing

Hellsing is the 2001 action-horror release from Studio Gonzo. Directed by Umanosuke Iida and written by Chiaki J. Konaka. The 13 episode run follows the Hellsing Organization in The United Kingdom; they’re like a pest-extermination service but for ghouls and other demonic entities. The Hellsing Organization is investigating the manufacturing and distribution of a microchip that converts its human carriers into artificial vampires. 

The all-time-MPV employee of the month record holder at Hellsing is Alucard, a suave, yet sadistic vampire whose sworn to serve Integra Hellsing, head of the organization. Alucard’s design is iconic, with his vermilion trench coat, tangerine glasses, and wide-brim fedora, or as high-ranking connoisseurs of douche-fashion call it, “the fedodo.” During one of his missions, Alucard turns a police officer, Seras Victoria, into a vampire. She serves as Alucard’s sidekick, before becoming a competent slayer of her own, slowly giving in to her newly transferred powers. 

The show has an undeniably compelling, and badass lead in Alucard (excellently voiced by Crispin Freeman), and many other colorful, entertaining characters. Memorable players, including Alexander Anderson, a rival vampire hunter dual-wielding blades and relishing in the competition of decapitating ghouls. Also, Walter C. Dornez, the Hellsing butler who defeats a horde of the undead using a network of razor-sharp wires, “Monofilament Wires” visually akin to a puppeteer’s strings.

Unfortunately, these fun characters are relegated to one or two shining moments at best. Alucard’s rivalry with Alexander Anderson never reaches a peak. Instead, Anderson, after a great introduction, is swiftly cast into the void of forgotten characters non-essential to defeating the big bad. Seras Victoria never fully unleashes her vampire powers in a meaningful way, so her inclusion into the echelons of immortality is questionable. 

Hellsing sets up a bunch of potentially exciting moments that never pay-off. The most engaging moment in the show is The Valentine Brothers’ attack on the Hellsing compound. They roll-up with a school bus packed with ghouls and cause the utmost amount of chaos — Yan Valentine, the decidedly more unhinged brother, is given some humorous, albeit vulgar dialogue. 

Other than the Valentine Bro’s attack, there isn’t much satisfaction to be had. The nuclear threat of artificial vampire microchips is left vague and without closure. We never find out whose behind the microchip attack or their masterplan; rather, the show just sprouts up a villain named Incognito three episodes before it’s ending. 

This Incognito dude looks like he turned up to fight Alucard after getting absolutely blasted at Coachella (or Glastonbury Festival, I guess, since the show takes place in the UK). Point is, sloppy main villain is sloppy. 

Hellsing has a few fun moments, and Crispin Freeman’s Alucard is a captivating performance that undoubtedly carries the show. A lot of the wasted potential of the show has apparently been given justice in the remake, “Hellsing Ultimate.” If the premise and characters intrigue you, I’d recommend hopping into the more recent iteration of the anime. 

Why The Midnight Gospel is Art

I am a firm believer that anything that makes the bar of truly, exceptionally good should be experienced without spoilers. There is something amazing that happens when you have no expectations, enter in completely blind to a new experience, and come away wowed. If you trust me enough, I suggest that you go watch The Midnight Gospel at this very moment. You can find it on Netflix, as it is a Netflix original, so go, go forth, watch it, rewatch it, experience it, smell it, taste it, feel it, touch it, just go do it. Not enough? Not convinced? Alright, what if I told you that it’s made by Pendleton Ward, creator of the smash-hit TV show Adventure Time? Surely the majority of my audience on this site has watched and loved Adventure Time, right? So go, do it!

Mmm, okay, I see that some of you are still here. Well, I did tell you, it’s best to go in completely blind, but if you’re not going to do that, if you need more convincing, then let me tell you a little something about The Midnight Gospel.

The Midnight Gospel is like nothing I have ever seen. Watching it, you get this sense that you’re viewing the creation of an entire new genre of television. Correct me if I’m wrong of course, but The Midnight Gospel seems to be a pioneer of as-of-yet uncharted TV show waters. I watched the entire series in two days with my brother (8 episodes, 30 minutes each, only about a 4 hour commitment), and this is how it happened.

My brother and I had just finished JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Season I (parts one and two). JoJo is a fun show, but after watching it, I turned to my brother and said: “I want to watch something where I don’t have to turn my brain off to enjoy it.” (Turning your brain off is generally how to best experience action movies and shows.) The Midnight Gospel was advertised on the front page of Netflix, and its artstyle looked particularly interesting. That’s all it took. We put it on, sat on the couch, and watched the first episode.

I have never been so surprised by a show.

Once Clancy — our pink-skinned simulator wizard protagonist — finds an earth infected by a zombie virus and shoots himself down to interview a tiny guy with glasses who turns out to be the president of the United States, I begin to think: “Ah, so this will be a Rick & Morty type of show, where we have a protagonist who goes to a bunch of random different worlds and has adventures.” While that conclusion wasn’t entirely wrong, what happened next really caught me off guard. He begins the interview with the president, and they begin talking about the legalization of marijuana.

End of story.

No seriously I could stop describing the show right there. For the entire rest of the episode, Clancy and the president go back and forth, discussing marijuana, psychedelics, all sorts of drugs, their uses, their dangers, “good” and “bad” drugs… all this stuff, and though they go through the world, shooting zombies and narrowly escaping crumbling buildings, the conversation just flows. Like they were two real people, sitting and talking together, about drugs, practically unaffected, and totally uninterested by the world around them.

By the end, we’ve gone through a conversation about substance abuse, how highs can help elucidate problems you may have, and while this conversation concludes, they are getting eaten alive by zombies, guts pouring out of them, and yet, once again, they seem practically unaffected, totally uninterested, and then Clancy blows a horn that teleports him out of the world. He goes home, uploads what he recorded to an internet stand-in simply called Space, and then he calls it a day.

And my brother and I are just sitting here, on the couch, thinking… what did we just watch? It took us until halfway through to fully come to terms with the fact that they were just going to keep talking about drugs and have this conversation, like the highest budget podcast that had ever been recorded. It was late when we started it, so we only watched two more episodes, called it off, and finished the rest of the five episodes the next day. As we watched, we became more and more enthralled by this strange show, with its extremely psychedelic visuals, hilarious soundtrack (I recommend you listen through each and every credits sequence), and philosophical conversations on life, death, spirituality, enlightenment, rebirth, cycles, drug use, forgiveness, listening, cancer, growing, heaven, agency, magic, freedom… do I make my point yet?

It took us a few episodes to really notice that this show was using the visuals as metaphors for the conversations. The best example of this is Episode 5, which I think is so good, that I don’t want to spoil it at all — it might very well be my favorite. This is definitely not a show you can turn your brain off for. This show. Is art.

What do I mean by art?

Well I don’t mean art in the very literal sense. The literal sense is in terms of “the arts”, which includes visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, musical arts, that kind of thing. You look at a drawing, and no matter its quality, it falls under the category of “art”. But Johnny Test does not fall under my definition of art, nor does Transformers, nor Super Mario Bros, nor The Hunger Games. But The Midnight Gospel does.

Why? Because The Midnight Gospel has meaning. Yes, that’s a very subjective stance, and we could have an entire conversation on how people can pull meaning out of anything and how in that case everything is art, but we’re not going to go there right now. Maybe another time. But The Midnight Gospel is an art because it uses metaphor, to deliver messages, to give life lessons, to deliver deep insights, to explore spirituality, to explore morality, to explore the self. The visuals pair with the podcast-y nature of the show to give it a flavor unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and the brief interjections of the ongoing story in Clancy’s life at the beginning and end tie our episodes together into a greater whole about confronting your problems, living in the moment, and learning to be at peace with yourself.

The Midnight Gospel is the best show I’ve seen in the past twelve months, and I’m only giving it a year because I can’t remember what the last best show I watched was, and when I watched it. This show gave me shivers. The last episode… I would have cried had not my brother been in the room with me. (You know how it is.)

Watch The Midnight Gospel!! You owe it to yourself, seriously.

Author of Twilight Stephenie Meyer is a Genius

For years people mocked Twilight, Twilight fans, and the author behind the pop culture phenomena the Twilight Saga. And for years I’ve stood behind the series with many people asking “Why?”.

Well, today I’m here to drop some important knowledge on you, about why I personally think Stephenie Meyer is a genius and has made a huge mark on Pop Culture. Sink your teeth into this one!

Twilight’s Themes

I could go on for hours about the history of Twilight, review the books, quote the movies and talk about how Team Edward and Team Jacob inspired hundreds of thousands of young adult authors to create shipping schemes for their own characters (you know who you are, please give Mrs. Meyer some credit, thank you). As an analyst of fiction, I have read the books and watched the movies multiple times and now understand the beauty of the Twilight Saga.

The series isn’t just about bloodsucking, good-looking boy toy vampires and shape-shifters. It’s about family, love and the brutal ways of how you can protect the ones you love. Themes aside, let’s talk about the impact.

Twilight’s Impact

Stephenie has had many authors, haters and trolls gang up against her to call her a “bad writer”, but out of all those who judged her whose the one who stood atop of the crowd for years, with characters and scenes still being mentioned in cartoons and movies? Whose series is still being memed and still memorable in the Young Adult Fiction discussions you have with your friends?

What people don’t realize is Stephenie changed the way Young Adult Fiction is consumed. While yes, there are moments in the saga that you question why it happened or why it was written the way it was, take a second to really think about the impact Twilight left on the world. While people like to laugh and poke fun there’s one thing Twilight and Stephenie has taught many young readers and writers. Haters are your motivators.

If people are against your writing and when even other authors become bullies it’s due to the fact that they don’t like the impact you are leaving in your field. Stephenie Meyer took heavy hits but still, to this day, is leading a very successful life with her writing and productions at Fickle Fish Films. And she’s giving back to the community. She’s helping others. She’s still making a mark. Just like the Twilight Saga is still a big part of our Pop Culture world.

Twilight and Pop Culture

Team Edward or Team Jacob. We all had a side. Even if you were a hater you had a side. We have to admit that Twilight was one of the first, if not the first Young Adult Fiction books that went above and beyond with the shipping. It’s been done for years in anime and manga and even in video games, but Stephenie took it to the next level with teen fiction.

During that time many Young Adult Fiction series were focused on genre-based writing. School Life, Romance, Adventure, the love triangles, or one-off series that are good for the rainy day read but not a series to really dive into and speculate all the lore. At that time Stephenie was creating a new form of entertainment, shipping wars within YA. She knew her audience, she knew the level of build-up and “edge of your seat” type of cliffhangers, so why not take it one step further.

Team Edward vs Team Jacob was a huge phenomena around those days, being mentioned in parodies, fan art, fics, even TV, podcasts, cartoons, you name it. It was what really inspired many new authors to do their own shipping wars and started the mold of how fiction can inspire Pop Culture in all forms of media.

Bottom line is, despite YouTubers, authors, haters, trolls and the mass media shaming Stephenie Meyer, she still holds a prominent place on the Young Adult Fiction wall of fame because she changed the way YALit is consumed. One other thing to appreciate about Stephenie Meyer is she gives credit to what she’s inspired by and isn’t afraid to say what motivates her.

So enjoy the Twilight Saga for what it is and not what it could be. And most importantly:

About three things I was absolutely positive: First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, you should read the Twilight Saga.

Coronavirus and It’s Impact on the Video Game Industry

Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, it has caused major repercussions on the entertainment world, especially for video games. One might think that this industry would at least remain unaffected, but that is certainly not the case once the pandemic hit. As everyone is in quarantine, for the time being, video games have become a way of passing the time like watching a movie or TV show. Even though gaming hasn’t fully been diminished by these circumstances, the coronavirus has made an effect on the industry that is both good and bad.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Game ...

Players have been obsessing over some new titles that have just come out and this pandemic has become the perfect time for people to dive into these new games. One perfect example would be Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the latest entry in the popular social simulation series that released on the Nintendo Switch this past March. The game has been successful since its release, and it’s partially due to the pandemic that has players seeking to escape onto their island within the game while they’re stuck at home. Selling over 5 million copies in digital copies has already broken a record for the console as it has allowed players to customize their island and with tons to do as far as gameplay is concerned. Similarly, the action-horror game Doom Eternal also exceeded expectations when it was released on the same day, beating the sales of its predecessor, Doom 2016. With people stuck at home during this time, players have found a way to make social distancing fun while still being able to play with others worldwide.

Final Fantasy VII Remake hands-on -- My reservations are gone ...

However, it has become difficult for others to enjoy the latest titles if they want physical copies rather than download it onto their console. Games like Final Fantasy VII Remake had been released early in Europe and Australia due to concerns of distribution during the pandemic. Doom Eternal was also released a day earlier than Animal Crossing: New Horizons in order to separate the crowds who wanted the latter game instead. With shipping facing delays, it’ll be hard for one to obtain their games in the mail, with stores like GameStop changing their store hours and only allowing curbside deliveries for those who would pick up their items in person. Even consoles like the Nintendo Switch have sold out of stock, which made it difficult for anyone to order one.

GameStop lays off 120 corporate staffers as stock continues to ...

With countless stores closed due to the pandemic, some of them have changed their ways of reaching out to customers. Gamestop has been one of the only stores that have remained open due to being essential even though it has raised some controversies for both customers and its employees during this time of crisis. They have changed their store hours while also regulating curbside deliveries for those who want to pick up their items in person. Even Best Buy and Target have used the same method to reach out to their customers if they prefer not to get their stuff delivered to their homes. It hasn’t stopped consoles from delivering some astounding sales on their digital stores for big and small titles. That would surely help bring some revenue for these companies as the coronavirus continues to affect the industry.

How 'The Last of Us Part II' Gameplay Balances Realism with a High ...

Upcoming games aren’t as lucky as some releases had to be pushed back from their original dates. For the sequel The Last of Us Park II, the survival horror game had to be pushed back to June 19th as the pandemic affected its release. Other titles like Iron Man VR was also taken off the schedule, but no release date has been given for the upcoming Marvel game. Other games like Someday You’ll Return or Wasteland 3 were pushed back to new release dates on May 5 and August 28, respectively. These unfortunate events have caused new products from reaching their original release window and making certain moves so everyone can get their hands on the latest titles. 

E3 2020 has been cancelled | TechRadar

The pandemic has also affected big industry events for this year. One of gaming’s biggest event of the year, E3, had been cancelled, which was planned for June 9th for the weekend. Taking place annually at the LA Convention Center, many video game developers had to cancel their appearance. However, several publishers have made plans to present their latest projects during those dates with virtual presentations. Nintendo has been doing that for a few years with their Nintendo Direct videos, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if some of these developers went that route. Developers like Ubisoft, Devolver Digital, and Limited Run Games have planned to hold their own digital events in lieu of the E3 cancellation to showcase their games. Even Microsoft has plans to host an online presentation for their games as well as news on their upcoming console that is planned to launch later this year.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: a complicated battle of SSD and GPU speeds ...

With new consoles on the horizon, both Sony and Microsoft have been slowly teasing their newest creations for the public. Even though it’s highly unlikely that these new consoles will be released by the end of 2020, both companies still plan on delivering some news on the PS5 and the Xbox Series X. Depending on how long the outbreak will last, it is hard to tell when these consoles will come out, but it hasn’t stopped the public from anticipating what is in store from the next generation of consoles.

Despite some setbacks, video games don’t seem like it’ll be slowing anytime soon as this pandemic rages on.

10 Best Video Game Console Startup Screens

The startup screen has become something of a lost art in modern video game consoles. With so much time and effort going into the hardware and performance of the systems, adding in a cool startup intro doesn’t seem to be a necessity anymore. However, veteran gamers surely miss the days of iconic startup screens, as they serve as wonderful tokens of history and nostalgia. To remind everyone how amazing they can be, here are the top 10 video game console startups. 

10) Dreamcast (1998)

The SEGA Dreamcast is a fan favorite because of its rarity (it was discontinued just three years after release) and that it was well ahead of its time. It represented the shift towards the modern design of consoles still used today and was the first to support online play. The startup screen, though simple and a little derivative of Pixar, is also beloved, more-so for the calming ambiance than the visual spectacle. The intro made players feel as if they were about to enter a dream, and for the lucky few who were introduced to the sixth generation of consoles through the very first entry, they were.

9) XBOX 360 (2005)

The seventh generation of consoles marked the beginning of the end for the startup screen. The Wii only had a black screen with a warning message, and while the PS3’s startup was decent, it was lackluster compared to its predecessors. Microsoft hadn’t quite abandoned hope in their graphics department yet and used a short but very cool intro with the original model of the XBOX 360. Sleek and contemporary, the now trademark XBOX whisper sound at the end put a great touch to this startup. 

8) Steam Big Picture (2012)

For the vast majority of PC gamers, Steam is the digital service they use to purchase and play games. While Steam has been around since 2003, Big Picture Mode was introduced in 2012 as  an interface for HD televisions, effectively turning the service into a home console. Contrary to their peers, Steam did not neglect the startup screen and created an effective and memorable intro for the new age. This startup proves that there are new ideas to be had and that effort does not go overlooked by fans, and can hopefully inspire the upcoming ninth generation of consoles to return to their roots.

7) PlayStation (1994)

The PS1 marked Sony’s first outing in the home console arena, and as far as startup screens go they came in with a bang. Well, really they came in with some chimes, accompanied by a brooding set of synths that belonged in a Kubrick movie. The visual intro wasn’t much to behold, but the captivating orchestra is part of what led many to fall in love with the PlayStation brand. If you were bold enough to play past your bedtime, you better make sure the TV was on mute before turning the system on, because those synths would wake the whole house up.

6) Nintendo Entertainment System (1983)

For veteran gamers who have been at it since the 8-bit and arcade days, the NES may have been the first home console they owned. The luxury of being able to play Super Mario Bros. in your pajamas from the comfort of your living room is what made millions of people fall in love with video games. I’m too young to have ever even played an NES myself, but every time I see the intro, I think of how amazing it must have been to see it on your TV for the first time as a kid in the early ‘80’s. The colorful flashing graphics and retro music create the ultimate feeling of nostalgia. 

5) SEGA Megadrive/Genesis (1988)

This might be a controversial entry to the list in general, let alone being top 5, as the SEGA Genesis technically didn’t have a startup screen, but went straight into the game. However, the Genesis has become synonymous with the original Sonic the Hedgehog game (included with every console after the game’s release) and its sequels, to the point where gamers inherently consider the intro to the Sonic games to be the console’s startup screen. Frankly, the Genesis might have been able to claim the top spot on this list if it were the official startup, as the “SAAAAAAAY-GAAA” sound is the best in video game history. Go ahead and try not to say it when you rewatch the video.

4) XBOX (2001)

You’ll begin to notice a theme here with the top four entries, beginning with Microsoft’s debut home console, the XBOX. While the system was a huge success that quickly made Microsoft a leader in the industry, their debut startup screen was perhaps even more impressive. The animation of the electric green matter accented with the black, Matrix-Esque background arguably makes it the most detailed console intro movie to this day. Even though it preceded XBOX’s now-iconic whisper sound, the strange sci-fi synths at the end still hold their own weight.

3) Game Boy Advance (2001)

Sometimes, less truly is more, and the startup screen for the GBA is one of the best examples. Only four things were needed for perfection: A company logo, a colorful dynamic wordmark, and an unidentified sound of wonder followed by the most heavenly “DING” imaginable. Not much more needs to be said about this timeless intro.  

2) PlayStation 2 (2000)

The PS2’s legendary startup screen was like nothing ever seen before and is arguably the most engrossing video intro ever. When you turned on a PS2, it was as if you were being transported to another dimension through the psychedelic cubes. The futuristic sound at the beginning blew people’s minds when they first heard it and can’t be explained with words to this day. It may actually come as a surprise to not see the PS2 in the top spot, but there was one fatal flaw that was surely unintended by designers. While the startup screen was breathtaking at first, it became an anxiety-filled dread once your PS2 had some years under its belt. There was no worse feeling than diving into those cubes and never seeing the “PlayStation 2” wordmark pop up, then having to restart the system knowing that you were chipping away at the system’s lifespan. Also, if there was no disc inserted or one couldn’t be read, you were taken to a scary place:

1) Nintendo GameCube (2001)

There was never any doubt that the number one spot on this list was going to come down between the PS2 and GameCube, as the sixth generation of consoles were top class in terms of startup screens. While they could easily be 1A and 1B, the GameCube ultimately takes the cake in these rankings. Simple but extremely unique, the sounds and the corresponding logo animations are some of the best ever designed, and longtime NGC connoisseurs instinctively hum along to the jingle every time. There were even secret sounds that could be heard by holding the Z button on one controller; or if you had enough siblings or friends, all four controllers. What really makes the GameCube’s intro reign supreme is its accessibility: while it was impactful and worth watching every time, it was still very short and got you into the game as quickly as possible. And if you needed to access the options or saved data, you simply held onto the A button and the logo did a slick spin into a chill little interface. 

The PS2 startup might be more sensually impressive, but the GameCube delivers everything you could ask for in an intro. 

Console Wars: The Ending is Due

Well, it’s about damn time that this article series comes to some kind of conclusion because it feels like I milked it, but at least I gave y’all the in-depth look on a cultural movement that has existed for nearly 50 years, but now it’s the opinion part of this entire massive article series.

Console wars have been an idea since January and now has finally reached its current endpoint now on the cusp of the ninth generation of consoles, and basically, over three months of coverage of this entire journey starting from 1972 to now in 2020, and while this year has been for lack of a better term, a literal nightmare has given the current circumstances, a question that a lot of people have wondered as the Eighth Generation rolled on was this: do console wars even matter anymore?

The short answer would be no, but you guys know I need to dissect why it’s no.

Gaming got it’s true boom in the late 80s, and while the 80s were the same year that nearly crippled gaming to the point of near bankruptcy, gaming has always thrived on what will be the next big thing to drive gaming to keep getting better and better, and this was very evident in the Bit Wars as it was competition central as game companies shot out some of their best and worst games out into the market to keep the market thriving. And let’s not forget that arcades were MASSIVE in the 90s, and gaming was basically a counterculture movement that was mostly swarmed with the now modern day Millennials and a handful of the late Gen X people, the 90s defined gaming at its absolute peak, because the best of the best happened during this time, and while the 2000’s can’t be overshadowed at all, the whole concept of two companies going at each other because of what games they had that were better, is what made people love gaming in the 90s and the 2000’s.

But look at what modern gaming is today: barely any exclusives, the specs are mostly the same, consoles play the same games, and the only differences are graphical improvements, which even then it’s very minimal differences. Something that the modern day console wars have been lacking is that “wow” factor that didn’t exist for almost the entirety of the Eighth Generation, and it wasn’t until Nintendo belted out the Switch to give us that wow factor that was missing for at that point, four whole years, and I’ll be 100%, but when the PS4 and Xbox One were revealed at E3 2013, I was so underwhelmed that it took me until 2017 to actually buy a PS4, because they weren’t interesting anymore. Console Wars has slowly shifted from Xbox vs PlayStation vs Nintendo to Consoles vs PC, and this has been the harsh reality that most people are coming to realize. Not only that, if you look at the specs and performance of the next gen consoles to come out in November: the Xbox Series X and the PS5, their specs were meant to rival PC gaming in a more graphical standpoint, which is something in my opinion, shouldn’t happen.

Consoles and PC’s are two entirely different worlds from one another, because most people can afford a console, while most can’t afford a PC. Consoles original intention was to bring the arcade to your home, and PC’s were generally meant to be the undisputed heavyweights of games, being graphically powerful, able to handle a lot of RAM usage and just generally more reliable when it game to running games or multitasking. Gaming on both platforms work completely differently, and there’s no way that consoles could ever overthrow PC when it comes to gaming, especially during these times where you can make powerful PC’s that are lower than $1,000 and run games far better than a console ever could. It’s basically a very David vs Goliath story with the way gaming is going during the modern day. The only difference being, that we are now at a never ending stalemate with Consoles vs PC, and it doesn’t seem like either is gonna push forward to try and topple one another. It’s been a bit of a conundrum as the generation winds down and the next one begins, because it has seem that the appeal of consoles have been slowly dwindling because of PC’s being more and more cheaper with a lot of power behind it graphically, it’s been seen as the console killer for quite a few years now, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as millions of people continuously play on PC compared to several hundred thousands on Xbox, PS or on the Switch, and gaming already went through a minor crash when the Eighth Generation was underway and while it has recovered, it’s only a matter of time until the next major crash happens. And as time has gone on, the gap has begun to be bridged together to have cross platform play across-the-board with consoles and PC. So it shouldn’t matter who’s side you wanna rep, whether it be Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo or the PC, because at the end of the day, as Dean Ernie Calhoun from VGHS would say, “It’s all about the game.”

Console Wars has honestly been fun to write about in the past four months, as we all went deep diving on the history of the entire video game industry that’s been alive for nearly 50 years, and I’m glad that you reading this, yes you, have taken the time of day to sit down and read this long journey from 1972 all the way to 2020. This isn’t the end for Console Wars, as we have a little bit of time until the Eighth Generation comes to its final conclusion, and only then, will Console Wars become a generational reoccurrence. It’s been a fun four months working on this, and I’m glad that you all have enjoyed this trip back in time, all the way to the modern day.

Thank you for reading.

Illogical things in Pokemon Part 3

The world of Pokemon is full of illogical things which can be really funny and confusing at times. Here is Part 3 of Illogical Things in Pokemon.

1.Magcargo is hotter than the surface of the sun

Magcargo made its debut in the second generation of the Pokemon games. It’s a little cute snail that looks pretty harmless. But did you know that the body temperature of this tiny fire snail is higher than the temperature of the sun’s surface? His body temperature is 18,000°F (9,982.22°C) and that of the sun is just 9,942°F (5,505°C). If Magcargo were to exist in the real world, then it would burn out everything in its path to the point where it is completely gone. Wherever this snail appears the apocalypse breaks out. It would be the slowest apocalypse the world would have ever seen (because snails are very slow and I know this joke was terrible). It is the fire snail from hell.

2.Invisible arms

We all know that pokemon games are not necessarily logical and there are many things that are quite strange. But why give the creators a Pokemon an attack, for which it does not have the necessary limbs to carry out this attack? For example, Gastly can learn fire punch and ice punch, attacks where the Pokemon strikes with its fists. The funny thing is that Gastly has no fists. And Wooper can learn Power Up-Punch. Power Up-Punch: ( striking opponents over and over makes the user’s FISTS harder. Hitting a target raises the Attack stat.) I have one question, are the arms invisible? It would explain a lot.

3.We have to teach a water Pokemon how to swim

On our journey through the Pokemon world we travel most of the time on land or fly to the next city with our Pokemon if the distance is too big. But there is also the point in the game, where we need a water Pokemon to continue our journey. So we look for a suitable pond, lake or river, get our fishing rod out, and try to fish a Pokemon. If we were successful on our fishing trip and cough a small mighty Shellder, we have to teach it with the HM03(Surf) how to swim, so that it can carry us on his back over the sea. Yes, we have to teach a creature that lives in water all its life how to swim. It’s the same thing with flight Pokemon that we have to teach the HM02(Fly) so that they can fly.

4.Rhydon can surf

What is the first attack you would teach a Rhydon? Right, every normal trainer would teach his Rhydon surfer. Believe it or not, but Rhydon can actually learn the HM03(Surf). When I heard it for the first time, I laughed really hard. Because Rhydon is a ground-rock type and has a four times weakness to water. It can also learn rain dance and hydro pump.

5.Are psychic Pokemon afraid of ghosts and bugs?

Every Pokemon has a weakness against other types, fire has a weakness against water, water has a weakness against electric Pokemon etc. But did you know why psycho Pokemon have a weakness against ghost and bug Pokemon? The official statement from Game Freak is that psycho type Pokemon have a phobia against ghost and bug type Pokemon. This is not a joke, it’s the official statement from Game Freak.

6.Indestructible bushes

Nobody can stop us on our journey through the relentless wilderness, of the pokemon world to become the best Pokemon trainer the world has ever seen. We master every challenge on our way, we destroy crime gangs, catch legendary Pokemon, and travel on our Shellder across the seven seas. We’re unstoppable, but there is one thing that stops us, one tiny thing that we can’t overcome, little bushes. These bushes seem indestructible, we cannot burn them down with fire attacks or crush them with other attacks. We have to teach a Pokemon the HM01(Cut) to destroy these bushes from hell. Even a Scyther cannot cut these bushes with his two large scythes. Only the mysterious technique of cut is able to destroy these little bushes from hell.

The best thing you can do is not to think about the logic in these games, otherwise it will drive you crazy.

7.Illogical Pokedex entries

At the beginning of each Pokemon adventure, we receive our Pokedex from the respective Pokemon professor of the game. It contains all important information about the Pokemon in the game The Pokedex is a useful tool that we can use to learn more about the pokemon, we caught on our trip. But some Pokedex entries seem pretty illogical, so we’re asking ourselves sometimes, is that true? For example, we get from our Pokedex the information that Alakazam an IQ of 5,000 has. It sounds very impressive, but I have one question. Why can’t Alakazam speak the human language? Because in the anime we see that Meowth can speak to humans and it doesn’t have an IQ of 5,000. So why can’t Alakazam speak? I mean his IQ is 27 times higher than that of Albert Einstein and the only thing it can say is its own name. 

It contains a mystery.

8.Who is the real champ?

Everyone who played the first generation knows, that before we become the new champ, we have to defeat the old champ in an epic final battle. When we finally did it, Professor Oak congratulates us and we are entered as the new crowned champ in the hall of fame. Proud of our team and ourselves, we leave the Pokemon League and return home as the new champ of the Pokemon world. We are now faced with the question of what we can do now. Because we collected all badges and defeated every trainer in the game. All we can do now is to train our team and catch the Pokemon that are still missing in our collection. In order to train our team better, we can fight the top four as often as we want. If we defeat them again, we have to defeat the old champ to become the new champ. But wait a minute, aren’t we the current champ? How can it be that we have to defeat the champ, to become the new champ? We are the champ! I wonder if we defeat the right champ or is there an even more powerful champ waiting for us “The real champ”? Someone like Prof. Oak? It would explain everything because we didn’t defeat the real champ and therefore we can’t become the new champ.

9.Fishing in buildings

Let’s be honest, we’ve all tried fishing in a building in a Pokemon game. But before we could fish in the building, we receive a call telling us that we can’t fish here. Disappointed, we went to the next pond and went fishing there instead. But that wasn’t always the case, back in the original Pokemon Red and Blue games, it was possible to fish for Pokemon inside the many Rhydon statues that Pokemon Gyms are adorned with. Using an old rod on any Rhydon statue will cause the player to encounter a Magicarb. I don’t know how that is even possible, but I want it back.

10.The missing water type

What are the first types that come to your mind when you see the Pokemon Eelektross? Water-electric? Wrong! It’s just an electric type Pokemon. It’s pretty strange and doesn’t make much sense, because it’s based on an electric eel. It can also do pretty well in the water, so it does feel weird for this Pokemon are not a water type. Not to mention, it lives in the ocean, so that leaves a lot of questions for Eelektross.

Ice Cream Man Review

Image From website:  ReadComicOnline.to

Enter a world of sweets and terror as the Ice Cream Man becomes the source of nightmares. Image Comics creates a new ongoing series that brings out multiple elements of storytelling and world-building. 

W. Maxwell Prince writes a story full of twists as he focuses on an interdimensional being named Riccardus, a shapeshifter who takes on the form of an Ice Cream Man as he terrorizes people of a small town. 

The artwork is by Martin Morazzo. He creates solid images with realism upon the characters being facial features and emotions. Martin doesn’t clutter the panels with immense detail lines or shadows. Together these two talented creators bring about a new form of suspense, horror, and psychological torment. 

The series is built in anthology style as each issue develops a new character and situation without prior correspondence of previous events. Therefore, every chapter remains unpredictable and compelling as the protagonists encounter otherworldly obstacles. 

Riccardus takes his time with his victims as he lures innocent people with music, glowing green eyes, and ice cream. The many forms he takes within the comics range from a werewolf, crows, and a fake Superman. No one is safe as anyone can be consumed with twisted visions of death and decay. 

Elements of comedy come about as the series can be very comedic toward pop culture, including tropes of superheroes and music icons. All while maintaining a sense of horror with the fear of the unknown. 

Chris O’Halloran is the colorist that brings out the rich colors across every page of the comic books. The colors are solid in pigment and do not blend often as they complete the simple line work with brief detail. Cool colors of blue, black, and green manage to be the colors of choice throughout the series.     

I recommend this series for comic book fans who wish to step into a new direction. People who want to explore the endless possibilities of a chaotic theme and style. In the end, evil can wear a bowtie. 

Diaries of a Warcraft Widow Volume 1

Via Instagram @kingstattoo.gr

For a geeky person, dating is always nerve-wracking, wondering when your inner geek will become full-fledged outer geek to your new love interest. When they spot the Harry Potter doll sitting on your bedside table? When they stop by unannounced when you’re six hours into a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon, hair a mess, chin greasy with buttered popcorn? Someday it will come out.

But what if you’re not actually the nerd of the relationship? What if the other person in your relationship is the one that brings the real nerdiness to town? Sure, you can recite every episode of Buffy that James Marsters ever appeared in, but what if the person you love most the world can spend 14 hours straight playing World of Warcraft with breaks only for a new bowl of cereal? Perhaps you were prepared to disclose your geekiness to your new partner, but are you prepared to be the one dating the geek?

In my case, I wasn’t. I was used to being the quirky one with unusual interests. For the first year my now husband and I were in a relationship, I didn’t know he was a major geek. He wasn’t hiding it, but circumstances were such that when I did see him play video games it seemed to align with school vacations and be the exception not the rule. He had mentioned being a top-ranked WoW player years before, but as I come from the books/movies/tv sector of the geekdom, I didn’t really know what that meant. We spent more time at my apartment and he studied abroad for five months. When he returned from his trip we both moved to new apartments. I started spending more time at his place and saw…the set up. 

It’s a modest one, to be sure. A massive Craigslist-find pressboard desk. A home built PC. A 40-inch tv screen. A chair he bought at flea market for $10. But the hours he spends at command central, fully engaged, began to surprise me. A year into our relationship all pretense was done away with. I spent the weekends on his couch doing homework while he played Ark with his roommate in the other room and his best friend who lived a floor above, talking to each other for hours via headset despite being less than 15 feet away from each other.

And I had to admit—maybe I didn’t get to be the geek in this relationship.

Since then, I’ve taken on a role many partners have who are in relationships with serious gamers—Warcraft Widow, i.e. I get a lot of alone time on raid nights! Like anyone with a life partner who is seriously committed to a hobby, I’ve come to realize what exactly it means to love a geek, and how much fun you can have along the way. 

Stardew Valley Keeps Me Happy

I’ve never been great at video games. As a kid, I learned quickly that some people were naturally skilled at fast-paced, first-person shooters, and very much wasn’t one. The whole thing just made me anxious. Recently, though, I’ve been trying to game. Everyone always talked about how relaxing it could be, so I’d decided to give a few different ones a try. Some featured long walks and conversations or careful little puzzles topped with the soft sprinkling of bells or sweetly plucked strings. 

But none of it ever really stuck. Most games like that take, what, a week to finish? Best case, a month? And of course, I knew about the Animal Crossing games, but if I’m not a gamer, why invest in a console? But then I came across Stardew Valley, and it happened to work for me. 

Source: Giphy

Stardew Valley, if you’ve never heard of it, is a retro farming simulator with virtually endless possibilities in the form of side quests. Something about the simplicity of it is mesmerizing. I mean, when you begin a day (a save point in the game) you always start by watering and harvesting your crops. It’s such a quiet, calming task. 

The stress of living in the city, living under the expectation of constant productivity made me stressed—something I think we can all understand. Spending my nights and weekends enveloped in the cheerful, monotonous existence of living off the land. Honestly, it has been the most relieving experience. Even roleplaying as a farmer in a tiny, coastal town made me feel better about my constantly moving, loud, pushy life. 

Source: Giphy

Strangely enough, Stardew Valley has even helped with the quiet. Somehow this game feels as just productive as it does relieve. In the quiet of quarantine, it can feel nice to grow and be social, even if it’s in a virtual town. I can’t explain it, but for some reason, this game has provided comfort that I can’t find anywhere else. A life away from life. Better than any other life simulators out there because it isn’t about appearance or popularity. It’s about taking it slow, day by day. Maybe everyone could use more of that feeling.