Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thanks Internet (For Not Sucking) 2: Cosplay Version

Cosplay: The bane of every cynical geek's existence, the endless entertainment for EVERY fan who "isn't that serious about it", and one of the primary sources of mocking for outsiders. (That, and the whole "complete lack of social skills" thing.)

In my case, cosplay's just a thing that other people enjoy doing. It's amusing to me to watch--I'm only ever annoyed when it sucks.

So yes, if your costume is made of cardboard, or you made it yourself but you've NEVER sewed ANYTHING a day in your life...I probably dislike your costume. Easiest way to tell? If I think you made a good costume, I will tell you. "Great costume." If I don't say that...your outfit probably fails in some way.

I'm getting sidetracked. (As I tend to do.) We've all seen the terrible cosplay outfits. The fat dudes crossplaying, that one idiot in the cardboard box who wrote "Gundam" in capital letters at the top of the box as if some form of moron magic would "henshin" him into a decent outfit.

If you want to see crappy cosplay, all one has to do is type that exact term into Google. Most people would easily lose an afternoon, based on the fact that people enjoy mocking stuff.

But despite my penchant for occasionally ranting about this or that, Jumping in Headfirst is about being positive. In that vein, I'd like to point everyone to the website Cosplay Holic.

Thanks to my friend angelicnoir for pointing me to this place, which is completely devoted to the most awesome cosplay. Credit to the site's creator, who scours the internet and brings everyone some of the coolest costumes ever.

There's male cosplayers:




Female cosplayers:




There's also everyone's least favorite version, crossplaying, which on this site takes it from the strangeness it has in reality to the proof that women are better cosplayers than men. Just with these two pictures:




My reaction to the Wing pilots all perfectly cosplayed (by women, no less), was this article. I'll save everyone my reaction to the Kurama/Hiei cosplay--other than to say it was not very cool.

Just in case there are those that are too lazy to visit the site, a couple more awesome cosplay pictures:



I'm still kinda angry that one of the first black characters that didn't make me want to kick the writer in Japan turned out to be evil, but the maker of this costume did an excellent job.



The new FMA is anime crack at it's best. And this cosplay is...well, it WOULD be the best cosplay I'd ever seen. But this next photo tops it:



Pants. Need new ones. This is a brilliant replication of the beautifully designed Gundam Exia. I have no idea who created this, but I feel like they deserve an award.


When we see cosplay, average ones make people think that what works in animation absolutely cannot work in real life. But excellent ones make us realize just how fantastic the worlds these characters live in are, and why we're attracted to those worlds enough to watch these shows to begin with.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sonic Colors: I feel the need...

The need...for SPEED!



Come on. How awesome is that trailer? Having recently played Sonic 4, which doesn't feel fast at all, I'm glad to see Sega hasn't lost it. They just have to ignore Capcom's whole "give the fans what they want" crap, ignore that one guy on every project saying, "Hey, let's do this! That'd be different, and thus AWESOME", and decent Sonic games can still be made.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jumping in Headfirst Podcast 3: I threw that before I came in the room!

You thought JiH wasn't gonna come see you? Think again.

We're back with another podcast. This time Bobby Drake aka "Da Iceman" gave me the links to the podcast, so I'll be trying to do this somewhat regularly.

Unfortunately, no "new" episodes can be made until December (after Winter break), but we've got a few stored up, and that should be enough to last until we're able to get everyone back together.

Anyway, rather than stretch it out, I'll go ahead and post our "third episode" (ninth in production):



My boy Iceman basically wanted us to get our rants on this episode. Surprisingly (if you listened to the last episode), I just didn't have much of a rant in me. But both Iceman and Irrelevant did, so I let them cut loose. So cut about a thirty minute space of time free, sit back, and enjoy.

...Unless you're a Saints fan. In that case? Sorry 'bout that man. Tell us what you think in the comments.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New York ComicCon Day 2 Points of Interest

Marvel Video Games (Newsarama):

- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is getting DLC. Cosmic Spider-Man for all four universes. That's neat if it comes with more stories, but otherwise I want the other three Identity Crisis costumes.

- A Super Hero Squad game for the PS3 and 360 AND Wii? I love it. Excited already.

- More RPGs coming from them? MMOs...or real RPGs?

- Frank Tieri wrote the story for MvC3? Hmm...I'm not a fan, but I'm buying it anyway.

- The two new Marvel characters for MvC3 are MODOK and Magneto. Magneto was a given...MODOK confirms DLC for the game.

- I cannot muster excitement for the Captain America and Thor video games. I would like to, but...ugh. Movie tie-ins. Fraction wrote the last IM game and that couldn't even save it.

- X-Men: Destiny is the West's chance to impress me with so-called "superior storytelling". As you create your own character and can choose your own story, aspects of Western RPGs proponents continue to tout, this game will be the litmus test. If they fail? I'm back to J-RPGs.

- Don't tell me I'm not being fair, either. This game LOOKS like it should be very, very good.

- Special announcement time!

- The old X-Men arcade game is coming to XBLA and PSN. Here I was expecting something brand-new. Ah well. Game's still fun.

- No more Ultimate Alliance games?! ...WHY?! Get past Civil War and you have something INTERESTING. Oh well. At least more good games are coming.

MARVEL Television Presents: The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (Newsarama):

- Live-action Marvel shows on ABC? Pfft. Canceled in five episodes.

- Ultimate Spider-Man is the next cartoon? That's great and all, but you need to replace X-Men and the Iron Man cartoon.
DC Universe Panel (CBR and Newsarama):

- There's a huge array of talent on stage here. Even I'm impressed.

- Kryptonite that affects humans? An original idea in a Superman comic. I bet core fans dislike it.

- A Birds of Prey arc called "Death of Oracle"? Don't kill Barbara Gordon. I should catch up on Birds of Prey.

- First Wave gets more stories after the main mini-series? Neat! Hope Rags stays around.

- ANOTHER Legion comic? Two years ago you couldn't force fans to buy Legion. Weird. Still, Legion Academy is one more reason to come back to comics.

- Gates/Igle off Supergirl makes me deeply saddened. It's only been about 30 issues--that's a decent run these days, but people used to do 40-50+.

- I should read JT Krul's Green Arrow. That said..."Black Arrow"? I'll read it before I nerd rage though.

- "Dark Supergirl"? That's the best we've got? Really? Still, at least they'll be fighting the Crime Syndicate. Sounds neat.

- Eventually I'll get back to reading R.E.B.E.L.S. . ...Eventually....

- I seem to recall the guy who made Sinestro's ring mentioned before...they're finally getting to that?

- Legion Academy will feature ties to the 21st century but nothing Superman or Batman related. This does not preclude us seeing some other heroes, though, I'm guessing.

Marvel's Avengers Assemble (CBR and Newsarama):

- Again, quite the collection of talent on stage. They pulled out all the stops. Wish I'd gone for real now.

- I need John Romita to bail on Avengers so this book can be as good as I want it to be.

- Giant-Man's back? Neat. Pym worked best in that identity anyway.

- Arcade: Death Game? Silly name, but an interesting possibility for a crossover. Why not?

- Widowmaker is now a mini-series unto itself. For the best--I like Hawkeye and Mockingbird, but not the Black Widow comic.

- Iron Man 2.0...is about James Rhodes?! Sweet! I could use another War Machine comic. Hopefully this one has Rhodes as less of a renegade.

- A sequel to the Marvels Project? Hm. That would only be good if you could include superheroes this time.

Green Lantern Panel (CBR and Newsarama):

- I wanted to not like the Green Lantern cartoon...but the first villains are the Red Lanterns. So that's out.

- More of the other Earth-based Corps members? Neat. I'd like to see more of Carol as the Star Sapphire now that it doesn't control one's mind.

- Better outfits for the Sapphires? YAY! (Now people may shut up about it.)

- The four Earth GLs are the main story of the next big Green Lantern story? ...Weren't they the main characters of the last one?

- A fight between Hal and Kyle? NUTS. Can Kyle get his own book first?!

- The War of Green Lanterns? Hm. Interesting. Is that the next event?



Panels I don't want to spoil:

- Young Justice Video Presentation
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series Panel
- "Doctor Who" ongoing with the Eleventh Doctor
- "Mega Man" ongoing announced

New York Comic Con Day One Points of Interest

Ah, the New York Comic Con. Had I planned a tad better, I could've pulled off a trip, but I didn't realize Fall Break would line up with it so well. Perhaps next time. Anyway, I've got a bit (emphasize "bit") of free time, so I'm trying to get back into talking about points of interest somewhat reliably during conventions.

Here goes. Credit to CBR and Newsarama for all news.

X-Men Panel (CBR and Newsarama):

- A Jubilee and Wolverine mini-series? I want more Jubilee...but I don't want Wolverine. Still, I like Kathryn Immonen, she's a talented writer, and Phil Noto is immensely talented, so I'll give this a shot.

- The new X-Men arc will see them teaming up with Spider-Man. That appeals to me far more than the current arc, so I will be reading the new X-Men ongoing come January.

- Speaking of January, apparently they're back to events with 2011. Personal feelings? Bring back all the mutants. Stop dancing around the issue and do it. It's called Age of X, so it's either that or Marvel remembered the X-Men are heroes again.

DC Nation (CBR and Newsarama):

- The Speed Force title is mentioned again, but no release date yet. I'm guessing after Flashpoint.

- People like the new Wonder Woman costume? Okay, but...at least ditch the jacket.

- Nuts. No Multiversity until they're done bringing Bruce Wayne back. >_<

- Can Blue Beetle have an ongoing? OF COURSE HE CAN. He's had more exposure than Superman lately.

- Teen Titans better be good now. First regular writer in, two years? Yeah.

Marvel T & A (CBR and Newsarama):

- Thing I Never Want To See: The Venom symbiote on the Hulk.

- The Immortal Weapons will be in the Secret Avengers book? Sweet! I LOVE Iron Fist.

- Iron Man #600? Who cares. Just keep making awesome stories. I need to catch up on Fraction's run, though.

Geoff Johns Spotlight (CBR and Newsarama):

- New Green Lantern crossover next year? I'm...not surprised. I read last year they already knew what they were doing after Brightest Day. Featuring John Stewart? Well...comic John is cool.

- "What are they going to do? Fire you?" Even the FANS know what time it is.

- Aquaman as leader of the Justice League? A shake-up like that would be awesome, but it requires the proper writer and artist.

- I love Geoff being involved in everything, but I worry about exhaustion for the guy. I mean, he does EVERYTHING.

- Is the Wonder Woman television show actually happening? I thought it was just "in development".

- Johns isn't writing for Green Lantern: The Animated Series? I...guess he's too busy, but at the same time, it seems a no-brainer to at least let him do the broad strokes.

- Come to that, I would rather have him do that over Smallville's Booster Gold episode, or the DCUO story. But those are written now, so I might as well move on.

- One or two DC movies a year? Like...a REAL movie? Bah. We need more DC cartoons. Hop to it DC.

- THERE IT IS. Speed Force debuts in the first half of 2011. Flashpoint too, but I already know where that's going.

- Speaking of the Speed Force, I love the character Hot Pursuit already. It's a no-brainer concept to invent a guy that keeps speedsters from exceeding a "speed limit".

- Don't get me started on this new Superman movie. Just, give me my Superman cartoon, please.

- Dex-Starr Valentine Special?! Ragecat on Valentine's Day. I would actually give that comic book to my girlfriend.

- Geoff and Grant on a book comes up again. I'm still highly concerned.

- Marvel/DC crossover? Sure. I want Amalgam comics again. Please?

- Geoff Johns on GL, Matt Fraction on Iron Man, and they do a one-shot team-up. I would require new pants, but sure.

- A Green Lantern/Flash crossover? Save that for post-Flashpoint and whatever the big Green Lantern story is. But I want one.

- Another Corps will get it's own series?? ...Please be Blue. Please. Please. Please be Blue. I'll buy two copies. I'm not joking.

DC Universe Animated Films/Shorts
:

- I have hope for All-Star Superman now. That is all.

Lastly, for today...the X-Men: Destiny trailer:



Response to the trailer, and the small amount of information given? Neat.

That's all for today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

DC Entertainment Lives Up To It's Name?

After last month's news, DC Entertainment comes one step closer to realizing the potential of the huge library of DC Comics characters. For those who haven't heard, DC Entertainment has moved it's main offices to LA. I'm hoping this expedites the process of getting DC superheroes into other mediums. To be specific: I Want More Cartoons. The actual plans for what they intend to do with these characters won't be revealed until later this year, but for now, I thought I might get into what I want to see. I sort of did that with my I Can Has Captain Marvel Cartoon? series, but I found myself just picking out whatever was a big story for the character, saying: "You should adapt this!", and calling it an article.

That's a bit ridiculous, even for this site. Knowing that, we'll be doing something a little different this time.

By now, everyone is aware of the new Young Justice cartoon DC has debuting about two months from now. What you may not know, is DC's current cartoon, Batman: Brave and the Bold, a genius modern take on DC's Silver Age, has been scheduled for cancellation upon reaching 65 episodes.

...And is being immediately replaced by another Batman cartoon. I was not happy about this (check out the podcast!), but I thought of a way to make another Batman cartoon interesting. (I'll bring it up shortly.) I was slowly beginning to grow excited again--if I can think of one take, surely there must be more--and then I learned the new Batman cartoon would likely be CGI. Fantastic.

In any case, I started thinking about the other DC Comics characters that could use some cartoons. The truth is, Cartoon Network could use some more action cartoons. As a kid, this would be the part where Toonami stepped in with three strong hours of action cartoons, airing daily. Unfortunately, Cartoon Network botched that up. But DC Entertainment could step in, and create their OWN block of action cartoons. Think about it for just a moment, my fellow comic geeks:

It's 5PM EST. You turn on the television, and Cartoon Network is on. You're just about to turn away because That Show* is on again. Then out of nowhere--it happens. A brand-new promo, on the same level of the ones we used to see for Toonami and Adult Swim, but this one contains DC heroes. And I mean stuffed with them--sending people to Youtube to spend hours trying to recognize them all. It features the core team: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Black Canary--but it also shows us Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Supergirl, Nightwing, Robin and Spoiler, the Justice Society, and much more. You're overwhelmed by the awesomeness of it all, and then suddenly, a logo appears on the screen, telling you the name of this brilliant block: Welcome to the DC Universe.

That's right: Three hours of some of the greatest heroes in comics, having some of their biggest adventures ever. ("Only on Cartoon Network.")

This block would be one of the most massive undertakings in animated television since Williams Street did Toonami back in 1996. The block would open with the Big Five, all given their own cartoons:


Superman: It's been far too long since Big Blue graced the small screen in animation. (Over ten years, actually.) It's past time to bring him back--perhaps this time with a bigger focus on his job as a reporter, the various articles he works on tying into his job as Superman. ("What's the mysterious monster draining the life out of Metropolis?" Stuff like that.)



Batman: This guy, however, has had a cartoon since 1992. Sure, there were some years he went without...but he's had four since 1992. We've seen experienced Batman, inexperienced Batman, future Batman, friendly Batman who teams up with people...what's left, you ask? I wondered that too, for a while. And then, someone suggested an idea that fit perfectly: the Bat-Family. Or rather, Batman: Gotham Knights. TNBA had that as an unofficial title, but screw that. Nightwing appeared...what, once? Yeah. See, this time? You go all out. Batman, Robin, Spoiler, Batgirl, Nightwing, and Huntress, with Oracle on tactics. This team can handle bigger threats than Batman can, but it's still street-level.


Wonder Woman: Here's someone who's NEVER had a cartoon, who's time has long come. Focus on her initial arrival to man's world, her alienation as she tries to adapt to this world's ways. Give her the job she had in the recent comics, and she has not only a supporting cast (Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, and Tom Tresser), but a way into missions as well.

(This one may not happen though, given writer David E. Kelley's push to get Wonder Woman on screen in live-action again.)


Green Lantern: Personally, I'd make this completely different from the Green Lantern Corps idea. I hate CGI for one, but also because Green Lantern Corps will focus on the alien members--this would focus specifically on the four human Lanterns. Set it out of Guy Gardner's Warriors bar, perhaps with the focus of the first season on the four Lanterns meeting each other and learning to get along. Boom.


Flash: Another character who's time has come to have a cartoon. The only thing is working your way around his super-speed, but if Brave and the Bold did it, it CAN be done. I'd center this one more around legacy, with Wally West learning from Barry Allen who's still taking lessons from Jay Garrick. No need to drag it down in that though--this show should be as fast-paced as possible, and loads of fun.


Young Justice: Round the show out with the one confirmed series we know of, and a team cartoon.


There's a lot you could do with this block. One fanboy-ish thing I'd like to see are two special "movies": Trinity and "Brave and the Bold". Trinity would cover Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, while Brave and the Bold would (obviously) take up Flash and Green Lantern's slots. Air them a couple months apart so it doesn't seem like you're whacking fans over the head with it.

Post-season one, I would slightly disjoint the new seasons for each series, that way when one finishes its 65 episode run, you could replace it with a new series.

...Did I say new series? Yep. That's the OTHER thing about this DC Universe block. As series finish their runs (or after they've been in syndication for a decent period of time), you could replace them with different characters. Swap Green Lantern for Starman, to keep the space feel. Swap Wonder Woman for Zatara. (DC. You need more female superheroes.) Swap Flash for Firestorm. Superman for Booster Gold, and Batman for Birds of Prey. Eventually, swap out Young Justice for Justice League of America.

If you wanted, all of these cartoons can be set at different point in Earth-16's history, but that's not strictly necessary. What DOES matter is using each cartoon to sort of lead into the next one. It shouldn't be a major deal, but at least introduce the concept of the next one in the last episodes of the previous series.

Theoretically, something like this could allow DC to develop dozens of characters on the silver screen--it's probably the best chance some characters have of getting on-screen in their own series. In the safeness of a block like this, you could probably get away with a cartoon like Green Arrow.

Hopefully DCE is thinking along these same lines.


(*You know the one.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thanks, Internet (For Not Sucking)

Yet another new series of columns for JiH. Thanks, Internet (For Not Sucking) is a series of columns devoted to those precious times when the Internet does something awesome. A neat music video, a documentary series, fan made movies--anything I think deserves to get put on.

With that in mind, let's start with a classic trilogy of Internet videos.

I'm The Juggernaut Bitch

Original



J3 Part One



J3 Part Two



J3 Part Three


I confess, these aren't the most high-brow videos I could have started with, but they're some of my favorite internet parodies of all time. Created by the guys over at myWay Productions, they have that special mix of randomness and stupidity that keeps me in stitches.

I didn't include J2 because I couldn't find Part One, but their website has all three up for download. Check it out there. (Also because J2 Part Two is kinda boring.)

Sage's Chosen Games Part Two

More trailers! More blurbs that you'll forget 30 seconds after you read them!

Kid Icarus: Uprising
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release: Unknown




Still another Nintendo game announced during E3. This time for Nintendo's soon-to-be released handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS, Kid Icarus seems to be a kick-butt action game that doesn't involve some annoying sob story that causes the main character to be a dick. Oh, and it's portable, which means I can actually play it instead of sticking it on a shelf to collect dust. *gazes at Final Fantasy XIII, sighs* The world looks fun enough, with a mix of flying and land levels, a wide variety of enemies to battle and a nice visual style. I just hope they take their time with it and get it right, even if Nintendo is missing a AAA launch game.

Heroes on the Move
System: Playstation 3
Release: Spring 2011



See, these are the sort of games we should be making. Does it make sense to have Sly Cooper, Jak, and Ratchet, in the same game? Nope. Does it look like it will be crazy, stupid fun to play? Yep. A platformer like this is a great way to show support for the Move, considering it's a PSN title and thus quite a bit cheaper than a complete game. Should they sucessfully merge what made all three of these games fun together, this could end up being the biggest downloadable title to date.

Sonic Colors
System: Wii, Nintendo DS
Release: November 16, 2010



No offense to people excited for Sonic 4 (are there any?), but this game looks SO much better. I just hate that it's Wii and DS only. It just feels SO much faster than the gameplay in Sonic 4, and the wisps that offer different superpowers look like they add tons of variety to the game. The Wii is a far weaker system, but it's kicking butt with some of these titles they got coming out lately.

Sorcery
System: PS3
Release: Q2 2011



So far, the best reason to get the Playstation Move, Sorcery is a no-brainer way of using Sony's motion control controller, which looks like a wand anyway. What REALLY sold me on this game? The ability to combine spells, essentially creating brand-new ones from their union. Time to go Dark Magician on some bad guys.

Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO's
System: PSP, Wii
Release: December 2, 2010



The Kamen Rider fighting game franchise gets it's third installment. Complete with an expanded roster (that's all Ryuki characters... >_<) and a port to the Playstation Portable, this looks to be the best of the series. Admittedly, this isn't saying much. Simulation games like this are all about playable character rosters, and they increase those with each new game. Still, I'm thinking up dream versus matches already.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3
System: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Release: Q1 2011



If you're not excited about this game? You're not a gamer. Period. No excuses. No, "But I suck at fighting games!" I don't want to hear, "But Cyclops isn't in the game anymore so my team is ruined!" Mine too, get over it! This is one of the greatest franchises in gaming, and the gameplay looks as great as it always dead. With PS3/360-level graphics, new moves, and the extra characters that will eventually come with DLC, this game will probably be the new King of Fighters. Pun intended. (Also. Found my new team. Nope, not telling anyone until the game is actually out.)

Street Fighter vs. Tekken
System: Playstation 3
Release: 2011



I love mash-up games? The most popular fighting game of the SNES/Genesis era meets the most popular fighting game of the PS/N64 era. While I really wanted a Namco vs. Capcom fighter, I'm looking forward to this. There's also a Tekken vs. Street Fighter coming out later, utilizing Tekken's engine rather than SFIV's, but there will have to be considerable differences to get me to buy that one when I'll already have this one.

Mega Man Legends 3
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release: 2011

There isn't much known about this game, given it's just been announced this past week. Still, as one of my favorite Mega Man games ever, it's about time. More news as it develops.


...Jeez, there are a lot more fighters on this list than I would've expected, but as my free time lessens, they're more appealing. I still love RPGs, but man I just can't put 50-60 hours into a video game like I used to. (Schoolwork. And lack of an attention span. Gah.) Anyway, this is my list of chosen games for the next eight months or so. What are everyone else's?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sage's Chosen Games Part One

Lately, I've felt like not many games coming out have been worth even a first look, but coming out of E3 (and TGS, now), I see that people have taken notice of this problem, and no small effort has gone toward fixing it. In fact, there's so many great games that have either recently come out or are coming out over the next year or so, that I kind of need a list to keep track of them.

With that in mind, I present to you Sage's Chosen Games.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
System: PS3, Xbox 360
Release: August 10, 2010



Screw Warcraft, THIS is addicting. I already mentioned my love for the Scott Pilgrim movie, but the game is fantastic as well. There's something captivating about it's SNES-style graphics, the old-school RPG elements, and it's wacky plot that had me playing this game non-stop the week before I had to go to school. Even though I beat it, if I turned it on right now, I'd basically have to kiss goodbye about three hours because I love running through the levels, finding new ways to smack Ramona's boyfriends around. Considering I've spent all of ten bucks on this game, I'm starting to believe disc games are going to have to be a LOT better if they want us to hand over $60 for a brand-new video game.

(Incidentally, I heard recently that Knives has been granted playable status, finally. And there are two more modes. Knives is my second favorite Scott Pilgrim character--so this warrants an entirely new playthrough.)

Another Century's Episode R
System: PS3
Release: August 19, 2010



Basically Super Robot Wars minus the super-deformed artstyle, Another Century's Episode was a franchise I thought died on the PS2, given the third one was called the "last" one. But they've brought it back with gorgeous PS3 visuals and some of mecha's most recent series (Gainer, Macross Frontier, Aquarion). A mecha fan's dream video game, the only problem is it's an anime mash-up game, and all of those are pretty much import-only. (I'm looking at you, Jump Ultimate Stars.) Still, how much Japanese does one need to know to take one mecha and kick the crap out of another?

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
System: PS3, Xbox 360
Release: September 7, 2010



Apparently, reviews for this game haven't been stellar, but I don't care. Getting to be four different Spider-Men across four different universes is awesome. And if they really make each world seem like a different game, it's still worth the $50. From what I know, the game is loaded down with fanservice, too. The alternate costumes are ones from the comic, each Spider-Man is voiced by someone who voiced Spider-Man in one of the cartoons, and the script was written by current Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott. I'm not the hugest fan of Spider-Man, but I couldn't even bring myself to read his comic if I didn't at least check this game out.

Blade Kitten
System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release: September 24, 2010



I've wanted Blade Kitten since I first learned about it's existence earlier this year. A bad-ass catgirl bounty hunter? What's not to like? Released last week, I haven't played much of it, but thus far it's a fun game. Much like most gamers 20 and older, I have a soft spot in my heart for platformers. Especially when they're beautifully rendered and fun to play, like this one. Yet another PSN game that's not even half the cost of a disc game, but still just as good. Hmmm....

Sonic the Hedgehog 4
System: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone, iPod Touch
Release: Q4 2010



In the interest of being totally honest, I wasn't all that excited when I first heard the new Sonic game would be...exactly like the old Sonic games. But, it looks fun to play, and that's what matters. Plus, given the existence of Sonic Colors, this game is clearly just to get old-school Sonic fans to be quiet for once. Still, as a kid who sunk dozens of hours into Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic: Triple Trouble on the Game Gear, I've got to give it a shot.

Disney: Epic Mickey
System: Wii
Release: November 30, 2010



A Wii game?! On my Chosen Games list?! Yep. Disney: Epic Mickey is one of several titles announced by Nintendo at E3, and one of the most creative. The ability to destroy or build up the Wasteland as the player sees fit is genius, essentially making most playthroughs entirely unique from one another. It's a different way of looking at the morality system, and one I think will be a lot more fun to use than dialogue A or B. (Sadly though, I don't have a Wii just yet, but when I do this will be one of the first games I get for it.)

Kirby's Epic Yarn
System: Wii
Release: October 17, 2010



I don't know anything about Kirby, but man this game looks awesome. Another Nintendo game announced at E3, Epic Yarn's coolest feature is just the insane level of interactiveness you have with the game world itself. With everything made of yarn, you can "unravel" parts of the world, tying it into new shapes to help you get through levels and avoid or battle enemies. The game appears to be all kinds of fun, and is another reason why I want a Wii.

Donkey Kong Country Returns
System: Wii
Release: November 21, 2010



Did anyone else have flashbacks to Saturday mornings, right after all the good cartoons had gone off and you were flipping on your SNES to play some video games, after watching that clip? Suppose it could just be me. Hopefully this will prove Nintendo can make a decent Donkey Kong video game without the help of Rare. For me though, it looks like another supremely entertaining platformer game, and for someone as sick of FPS and W-RPGs as I am, that can only be a good thing.


That's enough for now. Come back later for the rest, folks.

Fall Anime 2010 Picks



So it's that time of year again: Fall. Finally. For one, I'm REALLY tired of being hot all the freaking time. Being covered in sweat does not generally inspire one to do their best, academically. (On the other hand, I work rather well when I'm just slightly cold. I may be part penguin.)

Anyways, we're only a few weeks away from a new anime season. So here's that famous chart that tells us what shows we'll be worshipping, mocking, and being indifferent to for the next three months:




For my picks....


Iron Man:



What Is It: Marvel and Madhouse have teamed up to bring four of Marvel's biggest heroes to a Japanese audience.

Why I'm Interested: There's an overly long post on this blog somewhere detailing my dislike of the other two Iron Man cartoons, and I wrote it because Iron Man's my favorite Marvel superhero ever--my second favorite superhero period. An Iron Man anime is my fanboy dream. I'd prefer a more direct adaptation--my favorite superheroes adapted into ongoing anime using their best storylines as material for episodes. This isn't that. Hopefully though, it will be one of my favorite superheroes, stripped down to the base concept and made into a cartoon, only using the more mature/adult storytelling allowed in Japan. (I normally defend western cartoons, but Iron Man: Armored Adventures literally exists because execs thought kids would relate better to "teen Tony", so sometimes western sensibilities DO get in the way.)

Bakuman:


What Is It: Bakuman follows talented artist Moritaka Mashiro and aspiring writer Akito Takagi, 9th grade students who combine their skills to reach their dream - to become successful manga artists, and get an anime adaptation. Mashiro also promises the girl he loves that if their dreams come true, he will marry her.

Why I'm Interested: Meta stuff like this always gets me. Watching an anime about two characters trying to make a manga...just typing that made me happy. I'm betting on this becoming a hit out of the gate, but even if it doesn't I'm hoping it'll be one of my new favorites.


Otome Youkai Zakuro



What Is It: It's the Meiji Era in a slightly alternate Japan, and the Gregorian calendar has just come into effect. The fox-eared girls living in the youkai part of town are about to be put to work together with a delegation of young human soldiers, to promote interracial understanding. So what will happen when Zakuro's strong personality collides with human sensibilities? (MAL)
Why I'm Interested: You would think I would let go of these anime with kemonomimi (girls with animal ears); they're never (rarely) any good. That said, I like anime set in the Meiji Era, and if none of the main characters are tsundere, I should be able to enjoy myself.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes


What Is It: The story takes place in an imaginary world in "the Age of Detectives", where private detectives and phantom thieves overwhelm the cities. It's about four girls who aim to be great detectives. (MAL)
Why I'm Interested: Truthfully, I grow tired of constant anime that are about cute girls being ineffective at stuff, but sometimes trying new series can be fun. Last time I watched a series like this, it was Koihime Musou, and that was loaded down with awesome. It IS my job to be optimistic, so I'll give this one a go.

Super Robot Taisen OG: The Inspector



What Is It: A new Super Robot Wars series. The Super Robot Wars franchise, for those unaware, is yet another "can only happen in Japan" video game, in which robots from classic mecha anime are thrown into one giant tactical RPG. This means Eva meets MSG meets SEED meets Dancouga meets Macross. Yeah. And OG games are ones in which all those series' mecha have been taken out and all that's left are the mecha created by the SRW series itself. This, would be an anime based on that concept.

Why I'm Interested: Personally, I have not had much use for the SRW franchise since the creation of the PS2. Super-deformed mecha were cool on the SNES and PSX, but systems with PS2+ level graphics deserve better. I realize many people disagree with me, but there's a reason why I want the ACE series to succeed this time. Given this is a series in which the characters and mechs will be fully-formed, I figure this is the best chance of SRW getting me involved in its universe.

That's it. Slim pickings, but I'm in college so no big deal. Iron Man and Bakuman I'm excited for, Milky Holmes has potential to be a sleeper hit if they play up the wackiness or even play the idea serious, and SRW just might be the first decent mecha since Macross Frontier.