Thursday, May 30, 2013

Night of Main Events Takes Over...

Battle rap getting to be like boxing or pro wrestling.  These cats got promos for the battles and shit.

From Canadian/West Coast league King of the Dot...

And from NYC/Midwest League (hahaha) URL...

I'm starting to see now why people say URL has gotten too big.  They're unquestionably the largest League in the game, with most of their least-watched battles having the numbers of other League's highest watched ones.  But with that size and that popularity comes a certain...arrogance. 

Ya'll got to come on with this "anybody that imitates us is a biter" or "you're going to see a lot of imitators" or whatever.   Cut that out.  Its a lot of good battlers out there, and its plenty of potential battles for every league to keep them coming.  And ya'll are really a NYC League anyway--that's where all your battles are held.  The last NOME was held in like Chi-Town or something, but this one's being held where?  NYC.  Summer Madness 3 is going to be held where?  NYC.   Which means every NYC battler (and there's a LOT of them) are going to automatically have home field advantage, and that shit got to get old.

Now on some other shit....there's a reason why I posted both URL and KOTD's videos in the same article.   If you haven't already watched them, go watch but if you have you know what I'm talking about.   See anything different?  Like how one video is inexplicably five times longer

Don't get me wrong, I'm more excited to see the battles from Night of Main Events than the ones from Takeover, but shiiit.  Twenty minutes??  So I can hear basically every battler on there talk about how "he ain't gone beat me--I'm a better rapper" for two, three minutes?   KOTD covered the same amount of information in a fraction of the time.  (Speaking of, don't fuck up and do the same thing KOTD.  This shit gotta stop.)

Now, as for the battles themselves, let's talk predictions...

Dizaster vs. Cortez - Dizaster 2-1 or 3-0.  Not sure why Diz is taking this.  I keep telling ya'll this dude is corny but ya'll swear he battle rap Jesus.

Thesaurus vs. The Deadman - Thesaurus 2-1. 

Daylyt vs. KG The Poet - Daylyt 2-1, or debate-able.

J-Pro vs. JC - JC 2-1 clean.  That boy JC is a workhorse.

The other three I don't know anything about those rappers so I'll have to see.

As far as NOME3...

Big-T vs. K-Shine.  K-Shine 2-1 or 3-0.  I won't even make the usual Shine jokes--dude just got bars.

Hitman Holla vs. Conceited - Hitman Holla 2-1 or debateable.  Conceited get a lot of love but I wasn't impressed by the battle I saw between him and Tsu Surf, while Hitman is pretty consistent.  Both MCs been sitting on bars so they should be entertaining either way.

DNA vs. Chilla Jones - Can't call it.  DNA's had a bad year and Chilla been sitting on bars since like, the B-Magic battle last year?   This can go one of two ways: Either Chilla's stockpile of bars leads to a 3-zip battle or DNA comes out of nowhere with the same performance he had against Dizaster and either makes it a classic or wins.

B-Magic vs. Charlie Clips - Something tells me Magic is going to win this.  Clips has never had a real loss before, and this might be his first.  That's just a random gut feeling.  But if I had to go off bars and who I think is the better battler, I would say Clips 2-1 easy.  Just chill on that house scheme guy.

Tsu Surf vs. Hollow Da Don.  The D-d-d-don wins 3-0 or 2-1.  Most likely the former.  Remember that AyeVerb vs. Charlie Clips battle, where Clips had just come out of jail and had been sitting on bars on top of bars on top of bars?  This is like that, except Hollow's been out of the game even longer I think.

Dizaster vs. T-Rex.  At least he's taking a rapper that's kinda hard to beat.  Of course O-Red bodied him earlier this year, but still.  Overall I'm calling it Dizaster 2-1.  Maybe 3-zip if T-Rex slips.

We'll see in July.  Later.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Bonnie Godiva vs. Quastar

Both of these ladies need a lot more work on their delivery.  Granted this video is like a year old so maybe they both stepped their games up, I dunno.  I give it to Bonnie though.  Her lines were pretty good, and even though her delivery made me almost cut the video a few times, she just came off better than Quastar.   Don't get me wrong, Quastar had some hot lines ("Are you a carpet muncher?/No bitch, I'm a target puncher" had me rolling), but she wasted two of her rounds calling Bonnie ugly.

...C'mon chick, really?  Yeah I know you're supposed to insult, but c'mon.  She's standing there looking like Gabrielle Union's little sister and you enough metal in your face to give Magneto a hard-on.  Find another angle.   So while Quastar's delivery was a little more natural AND she had some dope lines here and there too, she wasted a lot of her time so I gotta hand it to Bonnie.

The Pointe Crew Episode 19: Super Sentai vs. Power Rangers


And I've been slacking on these things, but I wasn't entirely happy with the product until now.  We're improving by a lot and I like that--we've got a ways to go still but I'm starting to feel like this is an actual show.   Look forward to next week's.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bravoman, Super-Enqualed Hero of Excellence

Bravoman is an obscure Namco property that came out on the TurboGrafx-16 back in 1990.  Recently, it was revived by a duel-effort between Namco-Bandai and UDON on a site called ShiftyLook, where a bunch of older Namco properties are being revived as webcomics.  Bravoman, for whatever reason, was chosen to *also* receive a cartoon webseries, with the main character voiced by Rob Paulsen (AKA, Wakko from Animaniacs) and voice acting legend Dee Bradley Baker voicing his "side kick" Alpha Man.   Check out episodes 1 & 2 below.

We're only two episodes in, but so far I actually like this series.  Aside from the super catchy, hilariously non-sensical intro ("He's whole wheat with plenty of Bran..."), it just reminds me of a much happier time.  Bravoman is irreverent about himself without being stupid, and the humor is decently smart without being mean.  It's the kind of innocent humor that was around in the mid-90's when Kids' WB was at its best (think Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Earthworm Jim, Road Rovers, etc..).   It's not the most brilliant show ever, but it puts a smile on my face.   If you want a bit of nostalgia without being outright strangled by it, give it a try. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Corrida Maluca

When you're young you never think about how many people across the world your favorite series can touch.  Case in point:

This is probably the closest I'll ever get to a Wacky Races movie that doesn't try to modernize it or put a "unique spin" on it.  Sure, its a commercial for some car I'm not only not going to buy, I can't buy because I'm not from that country but so what?  It's fun. 

Bottom of the Pile 1

It occurs to me that while I spend a lot of time talking about comics, I never really..."talk" about comics.  Or at least, the few times I've tried I end up rambling.   So after a brief comment on a blog post that looked more like it belonged in an actual blog, I decided to try this: a new column on Jumping in Headfirst (which means it has a high chance of being forgotten about) revolving around strictly comic books.

You're probably wondering why I'm calling it Bottom of the Pile.  And there's an explanation for that: See, I read waaaaaay too many comics on a weekly basis to discuss them all in a single entry.  By the time I was done talking about them all it'd be next week already and I wouldn't want to do it ever again.  Instead, I'm just going to discuss the A-List comics that come out every week.  The ones that I always read last because I like to go out on a high note, so they find themselves at the bottom of the pile.  Yes, I know its a corny joke--but you're getting what you paid for (which is nothing), so shush.  Anyway, here we go with week 1.  Let's see how long I can keep this thing going!

Justice League #20

Justice League has gotten consistently better with each issue since Throne of Atlantis.  While ToA was okay, not great--this two-parter with Despero has me more interested in the team than I've ever been before.  We're introduced to the new members of the team, we get a glimpse into the dynamic between the Trinity, and we see more of the ongoing plans of ARGUS and Waller/Trevor's attempt to shut down the League if they get out of control.  Now Johns just needs to stop decompressing so much and give me more per issue.  I'll be kind of glad if, in cutting the Shazam bits from the book, the book stays the same length and gives us more pages on the Justice League--we're way too many arcs in to have only a single running plot line.

Avengers #12

I may be the only one left, but I'm still addicted to the slow burn of this book and the questions its starting to raise about a true superior species of human (as opposed to mutants, who are too busy being an allegory to actually be the next stage of evolution), and the surprise villain at the end was a nice twist.  Infinity is still about three months and six issues out, so I'm just going to enjoy the build-up into that until we hit "Marvel Event Mode" again.

Young Avengers #5

OMG I love everything about this book.  From the obscure music references to the adorable awkwardness of the team, its a joy to read from month to month.  Yes I know a lot of it is Tumblr "feels" bait and I'm definitely NOT the target audience with that considered, but when you think about it--isn't it amazing that it can still capture someone who's almost the exact opposite of what he's aiming for?  This week seemed to end the current arc but with such a big loose end left dangling I guess "Mother" will be around for some time to come. (Pity.  I'm not too fond of her as a villain.)  Still, I like what it set up in as much as putting the team together, and I look forward to seeing what Gillen and McKelvie have planned for the next arc. Especially if they keep having some of the coolest panel layouts this side of DC's Batwoman and Flash.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #17

If someone told me five years ago Transformers would be one of the best science-fiction comics I read every month...I probably would've gotten mad I had to wait five years.  I also love that the two writers seem so willing to pick up on one another's plot points, since Shockwave's "origin" was something that came out of More Than Meets the Eye and migrated to this title, and it went in some unexpected directions. While More Than Meets the Eye gets more credit, RiD is no slouch in the story area, and this new plot development has me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what "Dark Cybertron" is going to be about.  While Livio Ramondelli is a huge contrast from normal artist Andrew Griffith, I felt like his more surreal, almost "cold" art fit a story focusing on the most logical Transformer.  I hope the editors keep him free every time a story for him comes up.

Green Team: Teen Trillionaires #1

 I just like that this book is so far removed from what we're used to in The New 52 DC Universe.  It's one of those weird books that you used to see all the time in 90's DC that just kinda gradually disappeared in the Didio-era.  My only complaints are: A.) its not long enough, the story needed more room to breathe, and B.) Amanda Connor should be doing more than just the covers.   Also I hope this lives longer than the "Third Wave" of comics. There's something to be said about all these superheroes with ridiculous amounts of money suddenly gaining popularity at a time when most of America couldn't be MORE desperate for money and proper wages, but this isn't the article for that.  All I know is that, between this and Gail Simone's The Movement, this series definitely resonates with me more.  Here's hoping Baltazar and Franco don't waste the momentum this pretty neat first issue gave them in the future.

Daredevil #26

I'm almost certain they've done the "Man Without Fear...feels fear" angle before, but I'm pretty positive that few, if any, have done it with as much finesse as Mark Waid and Chris Samnee do it here.  Having to face someone with his unique abilities but still possessing the edge of sight, Ikari is an even better villain than Daredevil's former archnemesis Bullseye.  You start to empathize with Matt and feel the same paranoia he does as everywhere he goes Ikari literally is there.  It's neat seeing Matt pushed to his limits without being all grim, and forced to think in different ways than your typical "beat the villain over the head", even if  the cliffhanger ending (which more than did its job) has things headed that way nonetheless.

Flash #20

Although this issue was mostly set-up, and the ending makes you feel as if even THAT was wasted, Flash is still one of the most consistently decent comics published every month.  Unlike nearly every other book on the stands, the combo writer/artist team Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul have bothered to lay the groundwork for this book and made me feel like they EARNED the right to reboot their character.  And while its obvious the re-introduction of Reverse Flash isn't going to lead to anything as earth-shattering as Flashpoint, its still awesome that they're finally incorporating him into the title.   It's also nice to have Flash actually FEEL as kinetic as it should be, a benefit from having two stellar artists on the title. Now if they'd just stop teasing us about "Daniel West"...

And now we have our runner-ups:

Batman Incorporated #11 (It was random to have a tale about Batman of Japan and Shy Lolita Canary, but it wasn't unwelcome)
Superior Spider-Man #10 (At this point I'm mostly just reading to see Spock's world come crashing down on him, but its still a decent book.)
Aquaman #20 (I'm not sure why we got this momentary pause in the story of Death of a King, but seeing the Others again was pretty cool.
The Green Hornet #2 (I still like Mark Waid's angle with the Green Hornet as a bad guy, I just need more plot development before I can promote it to A-List.) 

All-in-all, a great week for comics.  I'm betting next week this will be much easier to write though--fifth weeks are always sparse on comics.  See you next time.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Remember that Young Justice video game?

There are two potentially correct answers: "Not really" and "Just barely".  And with good reason, since this is developer Little Orbit's first real video game.

...And obviously, the very first trailer they've ever made.  The narrator for this is probably the worst I've ever heard--it's obvious he's forcing the "In a world..." deep voice, and both his lines and the few lines we heard from the characters sound like they threw the script together at the very last moment. 

I would say I expect better, but the reality is this is a property that Warner Bros./Cartoon Network shoved to the side sometime last year: it didn't make them enough money, or the rights to the Milestone characters were too expensive, or the execs at CN just didn't like the show--there's actually so many reasons that I'm surprised they even finished the season.   So I'm not expecting much from this game, other than the chance to finally play as Tim Drake in a video game.  And who knows?  It might just be a nice surprise.  I try to be hopeful. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Music Video of the Week - Dream - My Will

Say what you will about Inuyasha (I certainly have), but it had some of my favorite openings and endings in all of anime.  Japanese music has been apart of my life since I was about 10 and I first heard Ayumi Hamasaki's Depend on You in Thousand Arms, and My Will was probably one of the last songs I ever heard in an opening or ending before I realized Napster/Kazaa was a thing and started pestering the shit out of a good friend of mine to download and burn to CD.  

It also serves the unique distinction of being the first song I ever realized was completely, totally pop and that I had to get out of my hipster/music snob feelings to enjoy because its actually quite beautiful.  dream had some pretty good singers who were actually quite good at maintaining harmony and creating infectious songs that I couldn't NOT enjoy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Battle Rap Wednesdays: JC vs. Caustic

Both JC and Caustic put in some work on this, but JC got it.  Apparently Caustic had some problems in the weeks leading up to this battle, leading to him writing most of his shit the night before.  Now you always hear that when a guy you expect to bodybag loses like this, but I'll give the guy the benefit of the doubt.   Plus its not like he did terribly in this anyway--that Boston line was waaaaay too soon but it was REALLY good.

That said, I'm still getting tired of the excuse.  I hate that multiple battle leagues basically mean you can schedule as many battles as you want, which means despite that people usually know about most of their battles months in advance, usually they only write a week or two before the battle.  This is why you get so many battles where you get hyped for it and the battler you're hyped for is on Twitter RTing all these "Yo that's gonna be a classicccccc!!!" tweets from their fans or whatever, and then the battle comes out and people are like, "That was it?"   Battlers: Shit happens.  Don't just wait until two weeks before a battle and then be surprised when shit comes up.  Just because you CAN write your shit the night before, doesn't mean you should.  And all of you ain't got Caustic's skill anyway.

Speaking of two is it that Math Hoffa has been battling every two weeks for the past three months and STILL nobody's killed him aside from Hitman Holla (from what I heard).  Is it because he's battling scrubs or has he stepped his game up?  I usually think dude is basura but since his stock hasn't dropped yet (evidence is that he's still able to do this) it's gotta be one or the other.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Freeverse Fridays: Loaded Lux

Loaded Lux is a wizard with words, so you just enjoy that video for a moment and then we'll get into something else after you've watched.

Done?  Okay.  So having watched this I realized that if Summer Madness 3 does have Loaded Lux vs. Hollow Da Don, I'm pretty sure I know the winner.   It's Hollow.  And not because he's a better rapper.  This just proved to me that a prepared Loaded Lux CAN'T actually lose to anybody out there right now.

But Loaded can't beat Hollow, and its because of this: Hollow Da Don is funny.  Like, don't get me wrong Loaded has some jokes but in the end when it comes down to bars vs. jokes, jokes will win out every time.   Lux will be there with this complicated wordplay with hard-hitting bars that are honestly way too good for the battle game, and Hollow will be there with "leave blood on the wall and the cabinets homey/it'll look like four bad-ass kids was eating ravioli" every bar and he'll take it.  2-1 or 3-0. 

Don't get me wrong--nobody else is capable of doing it.  Hollow's got a good flow and great jokes and very few people in the game are as funny as he is and can break rappers down like he can.  He's literally one of the best in the game.  (Hollow vs. Surf is a bodybag for Hollow.  And if they fuck up and put him up against anybody else for SM3 that's a wrap too.)  Plus he's been out of the game for like two years and has had plenty of time to write--and three rounds like what he did against Big T R3 will KO anybody.

That said, its Hollow's battle to lose.  If he tries to go bar for bar that shit ain't gonna work and it'll be a bodybag in the other direction.  But crowds in general love jokes more than anything else (jokes >> bars >> aggression), and I don't see why not: You come to a battle to get entertained, and what's more entertaining than some good laughs.  They'll be way easier to digest than lines like: "I could be your floor exit/On your front door checking the vortexes You had enclosed in your data code/They had it closed, but daddy's home". 

If it seems like I'm dickriding or I'm a stan or whatever....?  Get over yourself.  Do you know how many shitty sports schemes I watch rappers build?  Or how many bad "E.R." lines I've sat through in the past year?   To be honest, I don't care who wins just so long as they both put on their best show so I can forget all the terrible battles I've seen and don't even bother to link to this site. 

Mr. X-Factor...


So remember when I did a BRW on Goodz vs. X-Factor?   So yeah, apparently somebody else thought pretty similarly regarding that battle.

Dude was hot about that $150!  I just wanna let ya'll know I don't take this as super serious as ya'll think.  This is just something I like to watch because lyrical ability amuses me.

Song of the Week - De La Soul - Me, Myself and I

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.
Tell me mirror, what is wrong
Can it be my De La clothes?
Or is it just my De La Song?
Love these guys, and this song is a classic.  Enjoy the nostalgia trip.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Music Video of the Week - Mariah Carey ft. Miguel - #Beautiful

Miguel on fire right now between his own music and the co-features This video is a little awkward to watch to me, but the song's good enough so that I don't care.  Also, am I the only person who thinks this feels more like a Miguel song than a Mariah one?

Also, as a bonus because it was good and legendary Wu-Tang member ODB was on it, one of Mariah Carey's classic jams:

Injustice: Gods Among Us

So reviews aren't really this site's thing, but I do feel like when I hype shit I should at least come back and talk about it and maybe give a few thoughts on the finished product.  If there's anything you've picked up from this blog's existence, it should be that Sage Is A DC Fan.  A huge DC Fan at that, so obviously I was super-excited about this game from the moment it was announced last May.  So excited I paid off my pre-order in January and showed up for the midnight release my local GameStop had.  Now we're nearly a month into the game's existence, and I've put at least 15-20 hours into the story mode, playing the ladders and with my friends.  And I've been trying to three-star all these fucking S.T.A.R. Labs missions.   So, having experienced a goodly portion of the game, what do I think? 

Well, let's start off with the Story Mode first.  If you're one of the people who actually bothered to poke holes in this, you're weird.  Yes, it's big and dumb.  It's a FIGHTING GAME STORYLINE.  It literally exists to explain why all the characters in the game are beating each other up.  I wasn't expecting Grant Morrison.  Or Alan Moore.  Hell, I wasn't even expecting Geoff Johns (who I find a good writer, but not exactly known for the most thought-provoking comics ever).  I expected something that would reasonably explain why Superman was making people's faces explode, and I got that.  It was an enjoyable cinematic experience that I enjoyed from start to finish.

Are there plot holes? Yes. Could you have done this with the Crime Syndicate of America?  Yes, but not without creating a sub-par game since there's no way they fight all that much like the Justice League.  You'd essentially be looking at a Shazam/Black Adam type of deal, where characters with the same powers fight completely different, and they just didn't have the character slots for that. 

Still could've done with at least another four characters in the main game.

And coincidentally, that brings me to one of the problems I have with the game: The character roster is small as hell.  And it's filled with basically only the most well-known characters in DC.  Like, NRS can pretend like they balanced this all they want, but they totally didn't.  I heard Ed Boon try to call Raven obscure--yes, the same Raven who was on primetime television from 2003 to 2006, and is currently on the comedy series Teen Titans Go.  When THAT'S "obscure", you have a good idea of what's in store.  The only two characters who you wouldn't necessarily recognize just from name alone if you made a habit of watching DC cartoons (which accounts for probably 85% of the people who bought this game), are Ares and Killer Frost.  And Ares is from Greek mythology.  Which leaves you with Killer Frost, a character who has literally no purpose in the story, has an arch-nemesis who is twice as famous but inexplicably absent from the game, and is pretty much only there because there were too many dudes in the game.  I'm all for gender balance actually, but they could've picked any number of characters to fill this role.  

Yep, noooobody knows who this is.

Still, what you have is a roster that would make any casual DC fan happy, even if the (comparatively) tiny hardcore base is left wanting, so I'd say their choices were largely a success.  Plus there's at least another four characters coming over the summer, so there's that.  Unfortunately one of their choices is Lobo (and another is Batgirl), but still the extra characters are appreciated.  And there's also the extra costumes that will be coming out alongside said characters, which brings me to the other problem I have with this game: the frankly stupid amount of exclusive bullshit, and overall lack of unlockables. 

Because this game was sorely lacking in Batman characters...

Now, at this point I know a shit ton of people who would read this would start ignoring me as an unsatisfiable fan.  But think about it.  What can you really unlock?  Music, the costumes from the other Earth, and more ladders.  To me, the music is fairly generic, the ladders are something that really just should have been available to you, and the alternate costumes aren't the skins most people really want.  Aside from the sweet GL and GA costumes, most of them are kinda terrible to begin with, but they also don't really have any sense of nostalgia you would normally get from a costume unlock.

Did you REALLY want this?

This wouldn't upset me as much if the game didn't have a TON of other costumes...that you have to spend MORE money to get.  Want the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman New 52 costumes?  Should've been willing to shell out an additional $40 for the Collector's Edition, chump.  Want the Red Son stuff?  Better pre-order at GameStop, sucker.  All the cool recognizable costumes like New 52 GL, classic Bane and Batman Beyond?  Gotta play the iOS game to get them, AND unless you want to spend three weeks doing it, better be ready to drop another $25.  

Want this skin? Too bad, iPhone users only!

Honestly, none of that would piss me off in the slightest if there was legitimate hidden content like a non-game related alt. costumes for every character, an extra character or two and maybe an unlockable stage.  But none of that stuff's there, and what we're left with is a game attempting to milk you for every fucking dime you have.  I was one of the people who really wanted everyone to buy it on release and not wait for any kind of "Komplete Edition"...but knowing that version of MK9 came out less than a year later for about $20 less but with all the extra costumes and DLC, I can't in good conscience tell anyone to buy this game anymore.  You'd be better off waiting for some sort of GOTY version without all this fuckery.    

If the aforementioned Collector's Edition allowed you to sidestep all this crap and let you spend $100 (maybe even $120) to get all the costumes and the Flashpoint Four all at once, that would be another way for NRS to be let off the hook.  But this isn't an option.  It's all spread across pre-orders, season passes and crap involving electronic devices you may not even have.  (The Injustice mobile game isn't even available on Android, so if you don't have an Apple good luck.) 

I don't even HAVE an iPhone...

If you ignore all the extra shit, Injustice is a solid game.  I don't care what anyone says, the fighting isn't stiff--characters do what you want, when you want and at a pretty rapid pace (at least for me, the non-fighting game fan), and the game is fun to play, which is the highest praise you can give any game.  You could spend tons of hours beating the story mode and the Classic Mode (which has different endings depending on the character) alone, to say nothing of all the other ladders and S.T.A.R. Labs.  And to top it off, the story mode is a solid single-player experience, well worth the four or five hours it would take you to beat it.  I just hate that the game is dragged down in all this modern day, "the cover price isn't the REAL price" bullshit.  Unless you're a DC purist, buy the GOTY edition next year when none of that is a problem.