Tag Archives: video game

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #28

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Do you know how long it’s been since the last Sonic comic came out?  It was March twenty-fifth; back in the halcyon days where we thought we could “prepare” for the virus and that we were going to take steps that would ACTUALLY make a difference instead of just delaying the inevitable backlash from the MY FREEDOMS crowd.  Needless to say, it has been a rough three months and having Sonic back is certainly something I’m happy for to distract me from the horrors of the world even if we’re still stuck in the Zombot arc which frankly feels a bit TOO relevant considering the way the world has changed but I’m frankly too exhausted to get mad at it anymore.  At least I HOPE it’s not bad enough for me to get mad at it again!  Is this issue a fun and fulfilling distraction that gets us closer to the end of the arc, or will I be begging them to wrap this nonsense up now more than ever?  Let’s find out!!

Where we last left our heroes, they were in the midst of a massive guerrilla attack on the Deadly Six who have taken the Chaos Emeralds for themselves and are underway in taking over the Zombot blighted world.  Amy and Tails got the emerald held by Zomom which went well enough, but despite Cream and Gemerl getting Zeena’s emerald as well, they were essentially lost in the battle.  This issue covers the rest of the teams getting their emeralds so thankfully they aren’t mercilessly dragging these fights out like I had feared, and for the most part, they’re fun little action set pieces with a variety of tactics and character moments.  First up is Silver and Whisper taking on Zor; the resident Goth of the Deadly Six.  Zor is fast and it’s taking all of Silver’s power just to keep him occupied while Whisper and her Wisp buddies set the trap.  Apparently, Whisper’s gun fires a REFRACTABLE beam of energy, and so the wisps surround Zor holding crystals to essentially encase him a flurry of lasers; one of which hitting the Chaos Emerald and detaches it from him.  Without missing a beat, Silver grabs the emerald and takes them all back through the portal to Angel Island; leaving Zor to his fate that he seems a little TOO pleased about.

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“Gosh, why didn’t I just lose in the first place!?  This is WAY better than enslaving the world!”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #27

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Welp!  They’ve finally done it!  After months of repetitive drama and convoluted storylines clogging up this series, we FINALLY have an issue that I didn’t hate!  Sure there’s a bit of bitter irony in the fact that this series finally decided to lighten up a bit at the same time the world decided to turn into a nightmare (I give it six months before Death Stranding’s science fiction becomes more than speculative), but how have they managed to put a smile on my face after spending this much time so firmly hitched to the Walking Dead bandwagon?  Did they finally realize their error and went off in an entirely new direction, or have they found an angle within this miserable story arc that actually had some appeal to me?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Tails and Amy working their butts off to outsmart, or at least outrun, their chosen Zeti opponent Zomom who is proving to be more difficult than they were anticipating.  It’s a fine chase with a few good twists and turns but I’m not too keen on the constant big foolish fat guy jokes, though I guess IDW has to work with what Sonic Team gives them and it’s not like Zomom showed much depth of character when he was swinging that hoagie around in Sonic Lost World.

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This guy has even less dignity than The Greedy from that Raggedy Ann movie.  At least that dude could sing!

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #26

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Are we still in the Zombot story arc?  Yup!  Do we now have to fight the Zeti who are showing up at the last minute?  Yup!  Do I still not particularly care about this story; especially since we’ve been dealing with it for so long now?  YUP!!  Is it better than the Sonic movie?  Well… we’ll have to see about that.  Let’s get started!!

The issue begins with Eggman and Tails using their Smart Brain powers to cobble together a multi-teleportation device using the Warp Topaz that they… “borrowed” from Dr. Starline who is shall we say… temporally displaced at the moment.  The master plan here, which I can only assume (and hope) is the final confrontation of this arc, is to battle with the Zeti to get back the chaos emeralds so that Sonic can go SUPER SONIC which will wipe out the Zombot virus… somehow.  I don’t know, they’re the Chaos Emeralds!  You could tell me they can bake a perfect soufflé and it’d be far from the least believable or most outlandish power we’ve seen them have!  Speaking of which, why doesn’t Knuckles protect them as well as the Master Emerald?  What, keeping an eye on the BIG rock takes up so much time and energy that he can’t look after the little ones too!?

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“Oh will you relax?  Worst case scenario, we’d just us the Chaos Emeralds to wish for a new island!”     “THAT’S NOT HOW CHAOS EMERALDS WORK!”     “Jeez, Knuckles!  When did you become so cynical?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Sonic the Hedgehog

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Sonic the Hedgehog and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Jeff Fowler

Remember when that first Sonic the Hedgehog trailer came out with the horrifying monster design?  Good times!  I do wish that design stuck around a bit longer though because I REALLY wanted a plushie of that ghastly version of Sonic so he can sleep with me in my bed and devour my nightmares, but then again the redesign looks pretty good and will surely add a lot to this movie!  Yeah, it could almost be an inspirational tale of a studio realizing its mistake and actually taking proactive steps to correct it if it wasn’t for the fact that the studio that made the new design a possibility crunched to do it and closed down as soon as the work is done!  Sounds like Paramount should have gotten a visit from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, but in any case the story of this film has finally come to its conclusion and we’re all on pins and needles to find out how it all ends!  Was Sonic’s face lift enough hto save this movie from being a total train wreck, or is there only so much that you can polish a turd before you’re just wasting perfectly good polish?  Let’s find out!!

Sonic the Hedgehog (Ben Schwartz) is a happy go lucky blue alien that calls himself a hedgehog for some reason who was teleported to Earth to escape from bad guys when he was but a wee lad.  Now that he’s grown up to the ripe old age of… sort of teenager, he’s starting to realize that spending all his time hiding in the woods just outside the town of Green Hills is leaving him with a lot of emotional scars and abandonment issues, and one day he has a super powered moment of angst that knocks out all the power on the West Coast.  The super power blast is enough for the US government to call in Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carrey) who wants to track down whatever caused the anomaly and uses its powers for his insidious and tax payer funded ends, so now Sonic has to escape from this planet to go to ANOTHER planet where I guess he’ll be even safer.  To transport himself there he has a bag of magic rings that open ports to wherever it is he needs to go, but through wacky happenstance and poor timing his rings get lost in San Francisco which he has no idea how to get to.  Fortunately the local sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), after being somewhat responsible for Sonic losing the rings decides to take this strange creature across state lines to the city of San Francisco so he can get the rings and get the heck out of Dodge.  It shall not be a straightforward road trip however as Robotnik is hot on their heels and is ready to not only dissect Sonic in the name of Sonic but ruin Tom’s life as well in pursuit of his prey.  Can Sonic and Tom make it to San Francisco before Robotnik and the US government find a way to stop them?  Will Sonic learn valuable lessons about friendship along the way and perhaps find a true home instead of just jumping from place to place on his own?

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“AM I PRETTY ENOUGH FOR YOU NOW!?  WILL YOU FINALLY PUT A RING ON IT!?”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #25

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Honestly, I’d much rather be talking about that Sonic movie right now than force myself through another issue of Sonic of the Living Dead.  Heck, I’d rather watch that movie with the ORIGINAL DESIGN than have to read any more pages of these characters being miserable rather than doing anything fun, but this is the storyline we’re stuck with and we’re getting ever so close to the end of the arc; so screw it!  Let’s put on our game face and make get through this together!!

The issue begins with what PROBABLY should have happened eight issues ago which is the remnants of The Restoration (and the survivors) going to Angel Island to crash at Knuckles’s place until the main characters sort this all out.  Sure it’s more dramatic for them to go through all those tragedies instead of going to the safest place possible, but there needs to be a REASON why they didn’t try that right off the bat and one is never given.  It wouldn’t even be that hard as Knuckles could have said that they couldn’t risk exposing the Master Emerald to the virus, but that’s simply not the case since Sonic is right making himself at home!

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“Some would say overly long and pedantic, but let’s worry about one thing at a time.”

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Jumping the Soapbox: Games of 2019 (Part 3) – VR-A-PALOOZA!!

Back in November I finally took the VR plunge and got myself a (VERY EXPENSIVE) Oculus Quest.  Now sure, it may not be the BE ALL END ALL of interactive experiences, but it’s definitely the most interesting new gimmick for the medium in a while.  The best way I’ve been able to describe it is the difference between beer and hard liquor.  Both are unique in their own way with pros and cons to each, but there’s no doubt that one is a more POWERFUL experience and that you can’t have as much of it without getting sick.  It’s amazing to be immersed in the virtual world in a way that no other gaming console can adequately replicate, but the weight of the hardware itself as well as the strain on your senses trying to understand the disconnect between what you’re seeing and what’s in the real world means that it’s best for short bursts rather than longer sessions.  In any case, we’ll take a look at many of the games I’ve played for it as well as any other impressions I had of the hardware.  Some games are from the built in Oculus store, some were side-loaded to the console through other means, all are worth talking about today!  Let’s get started!!

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Beat Saber

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Develop by Beat Games

Alright, I’ll admit it!  I mostly bought this ridiculous headset just to play this one game!  ARE YOU HAPPY!?  I’ve always been a huge fan of rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution, and after playing this at a convention a year or so back I knew I had to get it as well.  The gameplay is ridiculously intuitive with the many slash patters becoming second nature after a surprising short amount of time; though some of that might be due to my experience with other rhythm games.  I don’t want to BRAG and say that I’m an AMAZING arm waver, but over time the connection between the visual cues and the body movement become more and more abstracted and the thought process between seeing a block on screen and knowing what to do with my arms became instantaneous and I was racking up high scores in no time; even if I STILL can’t do a good chunk of those absurdly difficult EXPERT+ songs, and that brings me to something worth discussing about this game.  The big elephant in the room is the custom songs you can add to the game through mods with very little effort; even on the Quest which is designed to be much more self-contained and therefore harder to mod.  Look, I love the game play on its own, but if I couldn’t play Shut Up And Dance, You Get What You Give, and Eating Food In The shower, my interest would have faded away almost instantaneously.  People uploading tracks that they do not have the right to upload is frankly the lifeblood of this game and the paltry tracks that come with your thirty dollar purchase as well as the small handful of downloadable tracks are simply not enough to sustain interest.  I don’t know if Beat Games has said much on the use of unlicensed music in their game, but they sure haven’t fixed the “problem” yet and I’m curious if this is a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.  Until it does though, this is easily the most fun experience there is to find in VR, and the first thing you should buy if you get a headset!

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Jumping the Soapbox: Games of 2019 (Part 2) – Switch Lightening Round!

One of the more notable stories in games this year was the rise in ridiculously slashed game prices on the Nintendo eShop for games that otherwise were starting to get overlooked in the marketplace.  It definitely feels like that has slowed down quite a bit even if there are a few good deals here and there, but let’s take a look at some of the games that I bought on a whim!!

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Crypt of the NecroDancer

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Developed by Brace Yourself Games

I played this game a while back when it was on Steam and wasn’t too impressed.  I was TOLD that there was a DDR mode and the idea of doing steps to do super moves or whatever sounded intriguing, but using a mat makes the game almost unplayable and when I used a keyboard it just felt rather dull.  When it was on sale for the Switch however, I decided to give it another shot, and you know what?  It’s pretty good.  Not one of my favorite games for the system, not one of my favorite rogue likes for that matter, but the gameplay works well enough and that soundtrack is pretty rocking. My biggest problem was getting overwhelmed pretty easily as the controls and combat intersect in an interesting but still odd way, and the fact that you’re encouraged to keep things to the beat means there’s not a lot of time to really think things out which is when you get blasted in the face with a dragon beam or get crushed by the boss for the ten millionth time.  Then again, complaining about dying a lot is like complaining about the lack of sweet dunking skills in a first person shooter, as amazing as it would be to see Master Chief tear it up on the court, and by now the game is old enough that you can ask everyone and their grandmother how good it is instead of asking this Grumpy Gus.  If nothing else, I’m pretty interested in playing The Cadence of Hyrule which not only incorporates Zelda iconography and music, but appears to downplay the rouge-like elements for a more traditional adventure.  Let’s hope there’s a decent sale soon so it’ll be on next year’s retrospective!

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Jumping the Soapbox: Games of 2019 (Part 1)

I might be a little late here, but I always like to take a bit of time to showcase some of the games I managed to play in the preceding year; particularly those that didn’t actually come out at that time and just so happened to catch my interest for whatever reason.  Some were good, some were bad, all were hopefully worth talking about (otherwise I spent a lot of time writing for absolutely no reason), so let’s get started and I hope you enjoy it!!

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Apex Legends (PC)

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Developed by Respawn Entertainment

Pretty much the only online multiplayer games I’ve ever stuck with significantly were Team Fortress 2 and Rocket League, so while I haven’t played at match in this game for many MANY months, it’s not their fault; it’s just me.  Apex Legend was by far the best of these Battle Royale games and its astounding just how much better it is than Fortnite in every way that matters to me.  The cooperative gameplay make each match much easier to invest in as you have someone other than yourself depending on your performance, and the innovative team chat options made it effortless to coordinate tactics and efficiently convey new and prescient information.  So why did I stop playing it?  Well it’s not JUST that I’m terrible at it as I’m pretty bad at both Team Fortress and Rocket League which haven’t stopped me from playing them.  I think the matches might go on a bit too long to get into a really nice groove of match after match after match, and the closer we get to the end of one the less interesting the mechanics become.  I’m personally more of a sneaky player and I like to keep my distance from other teams, but it’ll inevitably come down to trading bullets with someone else (inevitably ten times more skilled then you are) and at that point I can only hope that my teammates can pick up the slack.  The game has the mechanics to do more than just shoot at each other, so I’d probably jump back in if they took advantage of that for some sort of racing or package delivery game modes, but as it stands it’s a really good example of the genre that managed to suck a good forty hours of my life away in its first few months, so I can only imagine what it’d be like for someone who’s actually GOOD at one of these!

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #24

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

I had NO idea that this issue was coming out which I feel is rather understandable since IDW decided to release it on Christmas Day, and I only found out after Ian Flynn sent a tweet about it.  The tweet ALSO promised that this is the last issue of utterly agonizing misery (my words, not his) before our heroes start to rally and bring this zombot saga to a close.  You know what?  Fine.  I’ll muster through one more of these and hopefully I can start enjoying this series again in 2020.  Can the end of the bad times be of any more interest than the last half a year’s worth of interminable issues, or does this arc plan to end as it started; by annoying me in a very repetitive way?  Let’s find out!!

Once again we find Sonic in yet another town being overrun by Zombots while The Resistance (or Restoration?  I don’t even know anymore) tries to evacuate survivors; saving comrades in need with his super speed, thinning out the Zombot hoards with his OP powers, and putting out fires wherever they crop up.  He’s more or less the player character in the most depressing version of Dynasty Warriors… so basically Dynasty Warriors 9.  HA!  Take THAT, game from two years ago!!

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“It appears that our fellow officer has been defeated.”     “Yikes!  I can feel my morale dropping already.”     “Too soon, Sonic.”

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Super Comics: Tangle & Whisper – #4

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Tangle & Whisper as well as Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

And so we come to the final issue of the Tangle & Whisper series; also known as THE ONLY THING KEEPING THE SONIC COMIC RELEVANT WHILE THEY LABORIOUSLY WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH A DULL AND DERIVATIVE ZOMBIE STORY.  It’s a much more descriptive title to be sure, but I don’t think they had enough room to put it on the cover so they went with the shorter one.  It’s definitely been a fantastic ride as each issue showed us more and more of Whisper’s backstory as well as the growing relationship between her and Tangle which I hope to see more of in the future, but for now we’re here to see how it all comes to an end with their final confrontation against that jerk Mimic!  Will it be a satisfying end to a fantastic mini-series, or will the culmination of Whisper’s story arc end in a disappointing fizzle rather than a satisfying bang? Let’s find out!!

The issue begins on a quiet yet intense moment with our heroes preparing for the coming confrontation on the remains of Whisper’s home from long ago.  Tangle is keeping a watchful eye out for Mimic’s arrival while Whisper steels her nerves for the battle ahead; adjusting her weapons and ensuring their effectiveness as a way to pass the time which seems to stand still in the middle of this quiet ocean base.  By the way, if the MGS references weren’t obvious enough with the one female sniper in this series being named after both female snipers from that series, the base in question looks suspiciously like a stripped down Mother Base.  Someone’s certainly a Kojima fan, and I’m bracing myself now for the scene where Whisper has one of those wisps inside a giant test tube strapped to her chest.

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“GAH!  IT’S METAL SPHERE!”     “Metal Sphere?”     “The deadliest and roundest weapon in Eggman’s Army!”     “Eggman’s Army?”     “Okay, are going to repeat EVERYTHING I say?”     “Everything you say?”

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