, , , , , , ,

Powerless: Parks and Wreck

Powerless

For every super fight, there is a city. For every awesome altercation, there is destruction, and largely comic book films have only just begun addressing the fact that heroes like to break stuff. The good guys win and the bad guys get sent away to Arkham or some frightening super-max designed specifically for villain shenanigans. But the aftermath is always, almost the same. Powerless deals with the aftermath and the prevention of each violent event. Luckily, Wayne Securities is tasked with the burden of helping regular people deal with their weird, violent world.

Epi-Pens and plagiarism

This series takes place in the fictionalized Charm City, which is apparently the brighter, more colorful neighbor of Gotham. Day to day, Charm City is bombarded by villains and heroes come to save the day. Of course after a while, any person will get jaded when they have to live in constant fear of city level destruction. So as Emily, played by Vanessa Hudgens, watches in awe as her morning commute is disturbed by a massive fight, other citizens just try their best to ignore it. At work, it’s revealed that Emily is tasked with helping motivate the staff of the strangely start-up like Wayne Securities.

The company’s hugest accomplishment was the creation of the Joker gas epi-pen, but ever since that, Wayne Securities has been coasting and just choose to rip off Lex Corp. It’s a funny premise and the topic of people dealing with super hero destruction is unique. However, that doesn’t mean the series is wholly original.

Powerless

Powerless

Old Familiar Places

It’s not far-fetched to say that Powerless follows sitcom formulas quite closely. The cast is made up of familiar faces like Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk, both of which bring their bubbly charms in spades. Vanessa Hudgens plays the quirky bright eyed, small town girl quite well but this is where the series kind of falls into same-y territory. There are inspirations taken from a number of other comedy shows like Parks and Rec, along with other series that feature quirky characters and goofy office shenanigans. At the same time, Powerless also leans heavily on wink and nod humor in its references to the DC universe at large.

DC's Powerless

DC’s Powerless

The Staying Power

At the end of the day, Powerless is an inoffensive sitcom with a lot of comic book references and a bit of potential. The first episode has just come out and a lot of other shows only find their stride after a few more episodes. It’s a fun watch and only the future will tell whether or not this show will get a bit cleverer. Try it out, because there are a few funny gags in its half hour run time and its closest rival, Marvel’s Damage Control, won’t be out for a bit longer.




Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.

Filipino Folklore Based Kickstarter Game “Devastated Dreams” (Pinoy Review)

Devastated Dreams

So, there I was… in “Alt-Tab” mode, searching for something interesting on the internet.

Just like any gamer/work-at-home dude would do, on a regular day… but as it turned out, it wasn’t so regular after all.

 

As a Filipino, I get a “fanboy” feeling whenever something “Pinoy” gets into a game.

I mean, how often do you find them in games, right?

Yes, we have Manny Pacquiao in boxing games,  Josie Rizal as a new Tekken 7 fighter, Jose Rizal in the 1999 Medal of Honor…

…and the classic “Anito” from the early 2000’s (I actually bought this game… but never made it far, lol).

 

As I was saying…

That day was not like other because I was greeted by something new — a reddit post about “Devastated Dreams”.

It’s a Filipino folklore based game by Matt Gilgenbach, and is currently on Kickstarter, labeled as a “Psychological horror about the fears of being an expectant parent from the team that delivered Neverending Nightmares”.

(This game breathes a different air from the failed Kickstarter campaign of another Pinoy setting based game I saw in the past)

Anyway, here’s a snippet from their campaign page…

 

“The protagonist of the game is Angel, a young Filipino woman who is living in the rural area of Aklan in Western Visayas in the Philippines. Visayas is a region rumored to have the most aswang – Filipino legendary monsters that are like vampires and werewolves only more twisted.

Western Visayas was also devastatingly affected by super typhoon Yolanda (known internationally as Haiyan) in November of 2013. The game will also feature other real locations from the Philippines including the Kabayan caves, which house fire mummies – incredibly well preserved bodies using a unique preservation process. Since the game takes place in nightmares, we can explore different regions of the Philippines that express the fears of the protagonist.”

 

The video attached to this page is me doing an actual first-time playthrough (starts at 1:38 ).

 

I can say that the suspense is there. The plot line sparked enough curiosity in me to want to know what’s next.

I also like that the non-Filipino developers were able to show elements from the game that are “really Pinoy”.

Overall, I think Devastated Dreams is a promising game.

 

I’m just not sure if it’s gonna’ get funded, but I hope it does — here’s the link if you want to cheap in http://kck.st/1UYYZVs (opens in new tab).

 

~Daily420
“Play high, stay high. Keep rolling, ’till next time.”

 

How about you, would this be something you’d like to play? What are your thoughts? Come and share on the comment box below.

 

,

Reviewing the Indies: Thomas was Alone

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas, was alone.
But not for long.

I like complicated games. The top titles I fell in love with last year were the Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and Gone Home, which will get its own review soon. Sometimes though, complicated titles that deal with survival, meta theories about gaming, or dealing with your sexuality can take its toll. Sometimes you don’t need sweeping landscapes or intimately detailed environments. Hell, in rare occasions, a game doesn’t even need voice actors/actresses to tell a great story.

Sometimes, all you need to make a fantastic game with a great story is a bunch of polygons and a quirky narrator. This is exactly what Thomas was Alone is all about.

Simple Platforming Goodness
Platforming hasn’t been such a big thing since 3D environments have gotten bigger. 2D titles are rare, few, and are usually indie too. Thomas was Alone doesn’t buck that trend much. Everything about this game screams minimalism, and the gameplay really builds on that foundation. Sure, the levels are as simple as black platforms with a few animations in the background, but what impressed me is how the developers made use of that limited space.

I got to use every one of the characters’ abilities to their full extent, and then some. Later in the game, you’ll end up with a character that is basically the anti-gravity version of Thomas. Basically, it was one helluva trippy batch of levels, and it only got more complicated when the normal characters get mixed in.

Thomas Was Alone

The Point
What are really nice about this title weren’t the gorgeous but simple visuals. It was the gameplay. In Thomas was Alone, narration mattered. You didn’t need some digital sergeant to tell you where to go, and you never wanted one anyway. The game is several shades of self-referential, but it needs to be. Much of the title’s most hilarious moments are when they talk about Internet memes and even Nathan Fillion.

But another thing that got me about the game is that it tells a story that isn’t trying to be ironic or cynical. On the contrary, it’s trying to conjure up emphatic responses by making a bunch of 2D shapes relatable. I didn’t get that from Watch Dogs, nor any other triple A game to come out this year.

We all start alone, but when we try, our efforts no matter how pointless or hard they may be, might result in something good. Hell, along the way we might even meet some people who are just as crazy as we are.

Thomas was alone is brilliant in my books so I suggest getting it right now. It’s pretty cheap on steam and is often a favored title for when Humble Bundles come out.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
,

Gotham: It ain’t exactly Good

God, I wanted Gotham to be good.

I wanted Gotham to be great and in many cases it is, but unfortunately, it’s not the best thing on TV right now. The thing about Gotham is that it’s supposed to be about a prequel. It’s the place where Arkham, The Joker, Riddler, Hush, Scarecrow, and everyone found their start.

Gotham gets that, way too much and tries to play it straight faced all the way through.

The acting is great; every person plays their role well enough. Donal Logue does a great Harvey, but this is where I learn to doubt this series. The first episode is too filled with Batman related origins, and I get that it’s supposed to be about that, but even then, you get the feel that the creators are shoving too much in one episode.

Gotham

Gotham

Gordon is a great character on his own, but in the span of 45 minutes, almost half of the Batman villain lore is revealed. It doesn’t end up interesting enough to follow. Gotham’s filled with interesting characters and they are building Gordon to be the realist he eventually becomes. In many ways though, their trying to rush it, milking the first episode for as much nerd love as they can and that sucks. This is true for everyone except Fish Mooney, who is supposedly going up against the biggest crime syndicates in the city. She’s charismatic and fun to follow along with.

Spoiler warning:

For those that know a thing or two about Batman, here are some extra gripes I have about Gotham’s storyline. Okay, you have to admit that there are too many references into the series that don’t matter right now. Donal, one of my favorite underused actors, plays Clayface. Freaking Clayface! Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, and countless other major players show up in the first episode, making this series seem like its setting up stories that won’t play out that well. Like rolling several die many times and trying to keep track of each result while they’re rerolled again and again.

Conclusion

In the end, this series would have played better if the writers made it unravel like a slow boiling crime drama. A slow introduction and development of characters would have made each of them fuller and able to pull off bigger arcs. If you want to try something a little more fun, The Flash is now on its second episode. Sure, it’s a little dumber than Gotham, but at the same time, The Flash is also a lot more fun to watch.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
, ,

I think I’m thinking too much reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy (A Review)

Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s very hard not to fall in love with The Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s got a great lineup of very talented actors, a plot which doesn’t take itself too seriously, and enough balls to make fun of what superhero films stand for.

Not to mention a mix tape that hit the number 1 slot on iTunes. Boy oh boy I haven’t overplayed something that much since Protest the Hero’s Volition.

Everyone’s already done a review for the film, no doubt, so instead, I wanted to talk about what lies right beneath the skin of the film. GotG is trying to teach us a funny lesson about hope. Like how Sesame Street and the Muppets used to do.

Okay, before you close this page and start scoffing, think on this for a few seconds. The Guardians are composed of very broken people. We have Gomorra, whose planet was destroyed and is now serving the man who did it. Drax, always filled with anger and only aims to exact his revenge upon the monster who murdered his family. Then there’s Rocket Raccoon, who is basically a Frankensteined creation with some very deep existential issues. Finally, there’s that tree guy, I don’t remember his name.

This band of misfits is led by a boy from earth, and yeah, this dude acts like a little boy all throughout the film. His youth was robbed from him when he got abducted by an alien mercenary group called the Ravagers.

You can probably see why cynicism is the default function through which all these characters relate to one another. However, their prickly and often antisocial behavior is the thing that centralizes them. It gives the Guardians a very human core. So when they start hoping, you actually start believing in the reality of their change.

Because they don’t start out hoping like Captain America does. They aren’t solidly dark throughout the film like in Man of Steel. In the span of a 2 hours film, we see the group change and learn about the importance of placing faith in people, though cautiously, as if they’ve been through this before with very negative results. Does that sound familiar to you?

But the thing that gets me about GotG is that they don’t go the way of the care bears by becoming obsessed with spreading love and friendship everywhere. No, instead they pepper their hope with zany antics and often almost anti-climactic punch lines. James Gunn decides to pull the most left field ending battle ever, and yet somehow, I liked it better than the action packed final act of The Winter Soldier.

GotG is about cynics coming together and discovering that they can trust people again. And that’s one helluva message if you ask me.

Related Products:

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
, , ,

Snowpiercer: Killing Your Soul One Train Car At A Time (A Review)

Snow Piercer

There’s not a lot to be said about this film that hasn’t already been blasted by other more established sources. It’s the pet project of Joon Ho Bong, and numerous prominent western actors but that’s not what made this film so good. Themes are important when it comes to films, and Snowpiercer’s absolutely filled with philosophical ideas and they’re pretty well executed. It’s just a shame that this film is so relentlessly dark.

What starts as a revolution, quickly turns into revelations about the nature of the train and its inhabitants. Each car that Chris Evans and his motley crew conquers reveals an ever darker secret about their so-called utopia. The film touches on the delicate balance of nature, the importance of children, and how the big guy may actually have some very twisted plans regarding the control of the population. In fact, if you take a look at the Ferguson crisis erupting now, you may actually draw a few parallels for yourself. I highly suggest this film for those that want to kill off their optimism just for a little while.

Related Products:

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.