So last year I wrote up the 2017 T-Man Movie Awards and talked about some of my favorite movies of the year in a wide variety of categories. This year I ended up naming my gaming superlatives the Manatees (see here and here, with special thanks to my good friend HarveyZ) and it seemed a shame to not also do awards for 2018 movies as well. Since I was struggling with a name for them last year, I might as well adopt my gaming name for movies as well. I will mostly be using the same categories as last year, with a few changes here and there. Some categories will have runners-up if I felt like there were multiple movies that were worth mentioning – others will only have one if they were particular standouts or if nothing else really impressed me enough to be mentioned.
Without further ado, I present to you TMan’s Movie Manatees for 2018!
Continue reading “Movie Theory: The 2018 Movie Manatees!”
Well it’s November now, and that means it’s time for a recap of what I played in October. Much like September was spent primarily playing Spider-Man, I spent the majority of October playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. I posted my review of it last week and you can find it here. Since I already talked in-depth about it, I won’t be including it on my “games I played in October” list since I’d just be retracing my footsteps over topics I already discussed.
However, despite me putting 80 hours into Assassin’s Creed, I still managed to find time to play a few other games. I played a few levels of Mega Man 11 on the Switch, and that wasn’t the only side-scroller I got into. I also played Castlevania Requiem, which is the rerelease of Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night. I also spent a little bit of time in Dark Souls Remastered. Finally, I played a really interesting game called Return of the Obra Dinn and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Toby Fox’s fantastic (and free!) follow-up to Undertale – Deltarune.
So let’s dive in and talk about some games!
Continue reading “What I’ve Been Playing – October 2018”
It’s already October, holy cow. Well in case you hadn’t noticed I’ve been a little busy in September as I launched my first podcast Make Me A Gamer with my pal Harvey Z. As such I haven’t had as much time to write articles – I’ve also been kind of saving some of the more interesting topics that I would normally write about for discussions on the podcast. So please check it out – all four episodes so far are available here on this site as well as on Apple, Google, and Stitcher Podcast apps.
But since it’s October, it’s time for another update on what I’ve been playing! There’s not as much this month – a majority of my gaming time was taken up by Spider-Man which I already wrote a full review for here. But what else did I play? Well I dabbled a little into Destiny 2 since it was free for PS+ users this month in hopes people would then get addicted enough to buy the new expansion. I also jumped back into Fortnite for a bit thanks to the new season 6 launching. On PC I played a lot more of Into the Breach and Audiosurfed for a little bit. And on Switch I finally tried out Breath of the Wild – a year and a half after the hype died down.
So what did I think about all these games? Let’s find out!
Continue reading “What I’ve Been Playing – September 2018”
This past NFL post-season when the playoffs reached the final 4 there were three teams who had never won a Super Bowl Championship – the Jacksonville Jaguars (go Jags!), Minnesota Vikings, and Philadelphia Eagles. The fourth team was the New England Patriots who have been to the Super Bowl 8 times in the last two decades and won 5 of them. Needless to say, the majority of people were rooting for a new team to win the Super Bowl while mostly only New England fans were hoping for the Patriots to win. Similarly in the first season of the Overwatch League, the New York Excelsior were the dominant team for the entire season and people quickly divided into two camps: the NYXL fans who wanted to see the team completely destroy the competition in the playoffs and win it all, and the people who weren’t fans who wanted to see an underdog topple the champions.
It’s an interesting phenomenon that exists – when people are on top of their game in a competitive sphere, they’re everywhere. And if you’re a fan of that person (or team, or group, or whatever) you can’t get enough of them. But if you’re not a diehard fan, you tend to gravitate towards anybody but them – and in some cases start developing outright animosity towards those so good that they’re constantly on top. When you practice and practice and practice, and get to be so good at something you’re probably on top of the world and your fans are right there with you – but you’ll likely have also accumulated a group of haters.
Which brings me to my point of this article: I hate being that good at anything, especially in regards to video games.
Continue reading “It’s Boring At The Top”
A few weekends ago I was playing Fortnite while a friend of mine was visiting (the wonderful Harvey Z who frequently guest stars in my YouTube videos). He’d never played Fortnite before and after playing it myself for a bit I let him take the reins on my PS4 because Fortnite is very casual play friendly – there’s no ranking and no stats to skew, so turning my controller over to a completely new player was not going to be detrimental to me in the slightest (another point for the accessibility of the game).
His strategy was very specific – he tried to stay out of combat as much as possible. When he discovered that there was a bush item you could use to become even more stealthy, he was all about the Bush Victory. In one run, Harvey made it all the way to 3rd place in a solo royale without killing anybody. He stuck to his pacifist gameplay pretty regularly (partly because he didn’t trust himself to be good at the combat with a PS4 controller, but also because he was determined to get a pacifist victory) and usually was able to get fairly far into the tournament by simply avoiding the high encounter areas.
I myself got my first Victory Royale in Fortnite last week with the introduction of the Thanos solo mode. I succeeded in finishing Harvey’s strategy – when it was just me (as a bush) and Thanos left, I was able to hide and outwit Thanos and he ended up killing himself. I was awarded a victory without having killed a single person the entire match. It was pretty awesome – but it is also not what people want to see in Fortnite. They want to watch big plays and showmanship – like rocket rides into 360 sniper no scope headshots. Pacifists are the “boring” players – despite the fact that my Victory Royale counts the same as one who racks up 10 kills in a match.
Continue reading “Pacifism in Video Games”
In 1995, Paul W.S. Anderson directed Mortal Kombat, a movie based on the popular video game. In the 23 years since the CGI has become dated and none of the fight scenes have aged particularly well – the choreography isn’t bad but isn’t anything to write home about either. Its most high profile actors – Christopher Lambert and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa – both have very hammy performances and none of the other principal actors really had breakout careers. Since then, technology for both video games and movies have improved and video games have more and more interesting stories to tell. And yet, despite all that, Mortal Kombat is still generally regarded as one of the best video game movies ever made and possibly the best of them all – by video game players at least.
These past two days I saw both Rampage and the new Tomb Raider, and I can tell you that neither of them will come close to the best video game movie ever made. Neither of them were the worst video game movie ever made either – I’ll get to what holds that title later on – but they were sufficiently bland enough to knock themselves out of the running to be a favorite.
So why is it that video game movies have such a bad rap? Movies that are based on books, or comics, or TV shows, or pretty much any other form of entertainment – they can turn out well. But when you add “based on a video game” to a movie there’s going to be a loud groan and a fierce rolling of the eyes. It’s almost expected for video game movies to be bad, and people are “pleasantly surprised” when they’re “not awful.” But why? Well, I’m going to dissect Rampage and Tomb Raider and hopefully provide a little insight as to how Hollywood keeps making clunkers out of possible interesting storylines.
Continue reading “Rampage Against the Video Game Movie”
We’re now officially past the halfway point of the first season of Overwatch League. Clear leaders have emerged (the New York Excelsior who have the best record in the league by far), there’s underdogs (the Shanghai Dragons who have yet to win a match) there’s general favorites (the Houston Outlaws, much to my chagrin) and there’s the teams with drama that make the non-game days exciting (both the Dallas Fuel and Los Angeles Valiant). Blizzard has really been pushing their premier eSports league and while the OWL is definitely suffering growing pains, it’s slowly but surely been on a decent course to a more mainstream popularity.
Unfortunately, this weekend a huge accusation and bombshell dropped. Namely DreamKazper, one of the star players of the Boston Uprising, has been accused of knowingly sending message of a sexual nature to at least one underage fan – but possibly multiple girls.
Action has already been taken by his team – the Uprising has terminated his contract already (in under 24 hours). It seems like other members of the Overwatch League and OW pro scene have been instructed to keep quiet about anything else as the matter is investigated by actual police and what-not – this is thanks to a now-deleted tweet by one of the OWL broadcasters who said as much, but now that it’s deleted even just acknowledging that may have been deemed too much sharing.
But DreamKazper’s contract termination and (assumed) expulsion from the Overwatch League brings up a bigger question about the maturity of the Overwatch League and whether it’s really ready for the big time – both in its players and how the general league functions.
Continue reading “Overwatch League Has a Maturity Problem”