Sage's Stray Thoughts Episode 16: Supers, and Milking a Good Thing
What the f*ck, Rocksteady?: Batman: Arkham Knight has been doing things weird since day one. Developer Rocksteady revealed the title back in April of 2014 for an October release, but E3 hadn't even come before there were rumors (later confirmed) of the title being pushed back. I have no idea how you go from thinking you can get a game out inside of six months to pushing it back by eight, but hey. It's Rocksteady. The team that created the first legitimately great superhero title on HD consoles. I couldn't help giving them some slack. And this is where we learn the dangers of doing such a thing.
While fans are eagerly anticipating the third and final installment of Rocksteady's Batman trilogy, in comes Arkham Knight's ridiculous "season pass", where they're promising six months of content for $40. That's literally 2/3rds of the cost of the game at retail--to me that means you should be doubling the side content that's offered in the base, because that's $100 for the game as a whole. Seriously what the heck is this? The game already had a ton of pre-order bonus idiocy--pre-order to play as Harley Quinn, get it from GameStop to play as Red Hood, get it on PS4 for Scarecrow missions. To say nothing of the pair of collector's editions created, offering things like Batman memorials and model versions of the Batmobile--both cool additions, by the way--and we still needed this?
The whole thing just reminds me of how much I enjoyed playing the Game of the Year edition of Arkham City, and how I got the Catwoman missions and all the costumes without going through the extra bullshit. Yeah, the cover for it is hot garbage, but they provided me with a complete game where I felt I'd gotten my money's worth--and for a lot less than what the original game went for.
And so now, having seen the latest trailer for the title, I've decided to exercise my right as an unreasonable consumer. This new "Dual Play" thing has been fairly ill-defined so far. IGN describes it as the ability to switch, GTA 5-style, between different members of Batman's clique of costumed vigilantes. That (and the Batmobile they won't shut up about) is really all I've wanted since the first game came out. So if that's what they're actually giving me? I'll go for this and the DLC, so I can finally use my boy Tim Drake to dispense justice upon the idiots of Gotham.
But if it's what I suspect--a stupid fighting game-style assist where you "call in" Nightwing or Robin to help with combos? I'm out until the inevitable GOTY, bad box art or not.
Return of a Legend: Fuck it, I'm hyped. For the ten or twenty people who aren't aware, Dragon Ball Z has revived one more time for a television series known as "Dragon Ball Super", airing in Japan this coming July. Now, this is my third time restating this, but let's see if I can make it more "elegant" for the sake of JiH's reputation:
As a kid, Dragon Ball Z was one of the most gripping anime of the countless afternoon shows that filled the airwaves. I mean, how could it not be? It's got explosions, dramatic fight scenes, and just enough "high stakes" to help you forget that there's almost zero character development. It's concentrated, twenty-three minutes chunks of little kid bait.
And personally? I obsessed over it. My love of DBZ is what lead me to become a part of the internet, long before the advent of any form of social media. I had to know about the fabled "Cell" and "Buu" Sagas, so I sought out places like the now-defunct DBZ fansite Planet Namek. I heard that there were--*gasp*--video games for this series that had so captured my imagination and attention, and that lead me to the ROM scene. Then there was the sadly C&D'd PC Quake mod "Bid for Power", which led me to internet forums in the first place.
The time I spent on forums around other fans of the series introduced me to fanfiction, which eventually inspired the desire in myself to write and create. Am I getting my point across? DBZ is a large part of the reason I am who I am today.
Of course, I "grew out of it". I moved on to different and (let's face it) better anime like Cowboy Bebop and Trigun. Or even better shonen series like Yu Yu Hakusho. It became a secret shame that I ignored, especially when there was nothing new coming from it. But I always hoped I'd see a sequel to the story. There were the films, but I've never counted films as particularly important to any franchise.
Now, to all the "just let it die" people? Be honest with yourself: This is only a great anime classic because of "impact". The characters are popular, but the character development isn't all that impressive. There aren't any cool plot twists. It doesn't do something spectacularly different with animation as a medium. By all accounts, it's just an average series that happened to become incredibly popular. Even as a shonen series, it's successors have surpassed it by leaps and bounds (well, except for Bleach).
In other words: this is not the sacred cow you're looking for. Do you actually care if they do another four sagas of DBZ? I have to assume Toriyama wanted to do these, and if so they can't be worse than the Buu Saga, or GT. It's possible he's seen some of the complaints and might fix some of the bigger issues (the excessive focus on Goku)--if so, that's a net positive. And if it bothers you? Just don't watch it. You can stick to the 297 episodes of the original. (Or the 150-whatever that Kai will end up having, if you're like me and realize the superior adaptation when you see it.) But I've got a strong feeling that a large number of people complaining about this will end up some of people quickest to watch the first episode.