Nostalgia Time!!! The Rewatch of Captain N #Nostalgia #Nintendo #Zelda #80s

Hi All!!!

So for no good reason other than I felt like doing it at the time, I went back and re-watched my favorite series from my childhood. Recently, I’ve been feeling extremely nostalgic for the icons of my childhood… the original NES, Saturday Morning Cartoons, the old transformers toys that no one could get right, Star Wars, the list goes on.

I started with a show that everyone should watch at least once in their lives. It’s incredibly cheesy, though when compared to some of the crap out there today, it’s Einstein-level quality programming… that’s right, The Super Mario Brothers Super Show!!

Good lord, I still remember the first time I saw Lou Albano wrestle. Words cannot describe how emotionally scarring that was after loving this show!!

Of course, who can forget their favorite part of that show?

YEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHH BABY!!! This was a cartoon that took the place of the Mario cartoon in every other episode (I believe) of the Super Mario Brothers Super show. Was it cheesy? Yes. Were the stories simplistic? Yes. Was Link kind of a douche? Yes. Did we all love it anyway? HELL YES!!! I watched it religiously, I still play the newer games, and I still have my original cartridge of The Adventure of Link: Zelda II, which IMHO was the best of the series.

I know most people like Link’s Awakening,  but this was the superior game for me!

This show was unfortunately very short-lived. We enjoyed it for as long as we got it, but its run was tragically cut short, thus Zelda would never get her hands of the Triforce of power, the Triforce of Courage would never come into existence, Link never gets his kiss, and we never learn how Ganon is defeated.

Then another show makes its way onto the scene. This show ran for three seasons (a decent run for a show during that time period), and had an interesting premise. This show is the topic of today’s post and my favorite show from when I was a kid. Yes, I loved it more than Dungeons and Dragons, more than Transformers, more than Ghostbusters, and… yes… more than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

I am speaking of course, of Captain N: The Game Master!

This show has fallen into obscurity since it’s run, and I consider this a crime! The show has no BluRay release and the DVDs are extremely rare and expensive! Thankfully, YouTube playlists have been able to fill that void and supply us with hours of entertainment.

The animation was the same kind of cheap stuff you saw from shows like Masters of the Universe where you could tell the animators were on a tight budget, but did we care as kids? Do we now? No.

The premise of the show was that a young man got sucked into a video game world, through his NES, to help defeat Mother Brain, the Metroid villain that was trying to take over Videoland… where Samus was is anybody’s guess, but we’ll leave that where it is for now. The kid, Kevin, is joined by characters who’s worlds have fallen victim to Mother Brain’s rampage. He is joined by his dog, his dog, another original character, Princess Lana, Simon Belmonte who is portrayed to be a buffoon, the annoying Kid Icarus, and the scrappy little MegaMan. They would eventually be joined by GameBoy, coinciding with the release of the system. (I still have mine, it’s the only toy I still have from when I was that young!)

The show takes you through various Nintendo worlds, fighting various villains and meeting up with familiar heroes from other games. It was basically a massive advertisement for the Nintendo System… not that there’s anything wrong with that as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did the same exact thing to sell more action figures.

I think everyone’s favorite Episode was out of season two. Known as The Quest for the Potion of Power. This show bring back two fan favorites… Link and Princess Zelda, portrayed by the same voice actors as the original show, which was a welcomed touch.

It appears to take place a few years following the events of the Zelda TV show. Ganon has been defeated, both Zelda and Link are older, and all seems well… except that Ganon is now in danger of returning thanks to Mother Brain. While Zelda is much less of damsel in distress here, Link is still his douchey self.

My only complaint is how easily Ganon is defeated. He’s seriously in the last minute of the episode and goes out within seconds. This could have justifiably been a two-party episode and I don’t think the fans would have complained.

Other than that, this show was amazing. I won’t give too much away, but I seriously recommend it if you haven’t seen it already. It’s full of late 80s cheese and a lot of fun! I’m planning on introducing my kids to it… as soon as I stop drifting off into nostalgia each time I view it!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Ho



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Action Figure Review, Star Wars CUSTOM Black Series Mara Jade

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This figure is a custom design done by Eric LeFeber of Insidious Customs and has been featured on several websites, including StarWarsCustom.net.

I saw it on Ebay a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with it. Hasbro and other companies have yet to release a 6in figure of her and the selection of figures available for this character are… well… let’s just say there’s not much to choose from. The 3.75 inch figures either have weird faces, bulk body sculpts (huge shoulders), or the hair is insane. For such a beloved character out of the now-Legends series, you’d think there would have been better options made. There is a large anime statue of her that isn’t terrible, but it’s super expensive and the art is from a form of Japanimation. If you’re not into anime, this isn’t for you. So that one caters to a specific audience.

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So Mara Jade has unfortunately been all but forgotten in the action figure world… or so we thought. Then this little magnificent piece shows up…

So let’s take a look at it!

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She comes with a purple lightsaber, a removable gray cape, and a blaster. Her belt is not removable, but the goggles are.

I absolutely love the design of the figure. The creator got her almost perfect, down to the little details. Her eyes are green and her hair is the correct color. The paint quality is top notch and feels very durable. This has been a problem I’ve had with other customs where the paint can and often does rub off when you’re trying to put the figure into a new pose.

Her belt and lightsaber appear to be taken from the Jaina Solo black series figure and repainted. It’s a nice touch as they both resemble the what we see Mara Jade with in the mediums she actually appears.

One thing I will note is that it seems people can’t decide if the color of her outfit is blue or black. The creator went with black and that’s fine by me as some of the action figures did as well. This figure appears to be from the Emperor’s Hand time period, so that makes sense.

It can do several poses and the body looks like it’s the female Marvel Legends mold (I think), thus it is quite versatile. However, here’s where we run into our first problem. One leg appears to be a few millimeters longer than the other leg. As such, the figure cannot stand straight up on both feet without bending one foot slightly. She looks better in a ‘ready’ stance because of this.

Another issue is that the belt doesn’t quite fit her properly. I think I might try heating it to see if I can get a better mold to the figure from it, but I have not decided yet. It’s a minor quip, but one I thought I should bring up.

My last and final issue with the figure is gun.

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It actually looks like the gun she uses, so credit where credit is due… however, the gun seems a little big for her and not really to scale. (look at it in comparison with the one in the photo. Arguably it’s not super huge, but it is noticeable. It also goes to my only MAJOR complaint with the figure; the gun does NOT fit into the holster. Not even close. There is no way to jam it in there. As a result, there is no way to get it to fit, and because the character can only grip one accessory (the other hand is open), you can’t have both on her at the same time.

My rating… 3.5/5

This is a tough one, because while the figure has some problems, but I really do love it. The creator clearly put a lot of time in choosing the correct parts and sculpts so that it actually looks like Mara down to perfection. The problems with the figure are mostly minor and even the most critical of collector can live with.

If you’re interested in this one, I’d encourage everyone to keep an eye on Eric’s blog and his ebay listing. He posts some really great stuff there!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Action Figure Review, Star Wars Bandai SH Figuarts Padme Amidala

All I can say is thank God for the secondary market. Half of the best figures would be impossible to acquire otherwise!

I haven’t done one of these reviews in a while, so I thought I’d make today’s offiering a good one!

Today I’m reviewing the Bandai S.H. Figuarts Padme Amidala Episode II Japanese (sigh) exclusive!

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Let me just start off by saying that I LOVE these figures. The detail and the painting are great, but the big winner is the face sculpts. These put even some of the more details PVC statues to shame! It is actually kind of freaky how much these look like the characters they’re meant to portray. So let’s delve into this figure.

We’ll start in the obvious place… the box! This figure comes packaged in two boxes and I really do recommend keeping both if you plan on keeping her as a collector’s piece. Most people won’t care about the cover box, but I’d still say keep it.

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(… obviously, you’re not going to keep her in the damn thing!)

So after opening this box, we move onto the second package.

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This is where one of my few complaints comes from with this figure. There is no window! This will be a pretty big problem for the purists that don’t even want to open the damn box! Which I do not agree with, as long as you keep the box in perfect shape and it can be opened or resealed without damage, it should be okay, but that’s an argument for a different day. I know a lot of people, myself included, like to display these figures in the box. I don’t think you can really do that with this one. So that’s a bit of a letdown.

Anyway, let’s move on to the happier aspects of the figure.

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(I apologize, my camera sucks!)

She has almost complete poseability in terms of how humans can move. She is jointed at the hips and under the shirt, her legs are ball jointed at the hips. Her knees have a conventional joint and really can’t rotate her lower leg. her feet and toes also have joints, which is something I’ve only seen on Figma anime figures. It’s a nice touch.

Her shoulders have a very weird double joint. It does allow for more movement, but it’s just an unusual design. Her elbows, unlike her knees, are ball jointed, and her wrists also have a nice ball joint.

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She doesn’t come with a base, but she is fairly easy to stand, even with all the joints.

The paint job is incredible. Where most figures from this particular part of the movie are completely white, not showing any dirt or anything. It’s always been a little irking and a reason why I’ve never purchased one of them. This one is painted, showing the dirt and stains from the Geonosian sands. It appears to get a darker tan as it goes down the figure, and is dirtiest at the feet. This is an attention to detail that really makes this figure stand out.

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My camera really doesn’t do this figure justice, but it’s what I have to work with.

Now, let’s move onto accessories… she comes with the droid blaster that is pictured above. She also has four spare hands. The two full open ones are attached, but then you’ve got two semi-closed, and two gripping hands so that you can put the blaster in.

This is where my second complaint comes in. Semi-closed hands don’t really do it for me. I would have preferred fists, personally. I just don’t get the point of semi-open. However, this is just me.

Since we’re dealing with complaints right now, let’s move onto the last one; the blaster. It is next to impossible to get into the figure’s hand by simply applying pressure and moving the thumb and fingers. You risk breaking either the blaster or the figure’s hand. Not a good move. The blaster’s handle is only held in place with friction. So pull it out, and push the handle into her hand from below before attaching the blaster. I don’t particularly care for this setup as even the slightest amount of pressure will cause the gun to fall apart. This makes for easy losing.

All right, onto the final accessory. she comes with a second head attachment. This one with clenched teeth:

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I know a lot of people say that this one looks more like her, but I do not agree. I think the first one, looking at it closely does bear a slightly closer resemblance. As you can see from the details, they went to great lengths to get her face perfect, down to the damn beauty marks!

I should also note that this is currently the ONLY 6″ Padme Amidala figure. They have another one coming out from Hasbro’s Black Series, but the face sculpts on those are hit or miss… and what I’ve seen from the prototype… well…

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Geesh… and that’s the prototype. The production models tend not to look at good as those… So, yeah, I think… I’m going to pass on that one.

Overall…

I’m giving this figure a 5/5!

She’s joined perfectly, the sculpting is perfect, the paint is perfect, the detail is insane, and it’s actually eerie how much it looks like her… like seriously, I look at the figure’s eyes and expect it to blink. The problems it has are minor and more preferential gripes than anything else. Except for the fact that it was a damn Japanese exclusive, that really sucks!

I was lucky enough to get this figure off a collector for >$100… however I see them on Ebay for around $200-$300. That’s insane! Geeks are known for spending a ton of money on merch, but… I dunno, I guess this figure would be worth the pricetag, but when they retailed for around $65 originally… that’s a tough pill to swallow. If you can find it for under $200, I’d say scoop it up quickly! Otherwise, it’s going to put a dent in your wallet!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Action Figure Review, Modded Serana. Skyrim Figure

This review was a year in the making. As everyone knows, the Funko Skyrim figures have been… limited. No, I’m serious, there are two. The Dragonborn and the Daedric lord. I don’t own one of the Daedra, so I can’t speak to it. (give me a break, they’re like $150 – $300 on eBay)  However, I do feel like the Dragonborn figure is fairly detailed, but somewhat cheaply made… and I don’t care for the choice of outfit. I get that it’s the cover image, but still.

That’s it. Those are the only figures. There’s no Serana, no dragons, no Jarl Ulfrich, no Whiterun Guards, nothing. I know a few statues have made their way onto the market, but those are not the same as action figures, and again… it’s always the Dragonborn.

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I wanted a Serana figure pretty badly because she’s one of my favorite companions in Skyrim. She’s tough, uses various magic and necromancy, her AI is significantly improved, she’s a vampire, and her backstory is pretty awesome. Plus her interactions with the Dragonborn come off as genuine and very well-written… and she’s voiced by my all-time favorite voice actress; Laura Bailey.

Yes, THAT Laura Bailey:
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If you’ve never encountered her work, then you have no business considering yourself a geek/nerd! Her roles include the following:

Lucina – Fire Emblem Awakening/Super Smash Brothers
Jaina Proudmore – WoW
Rayne – Bloodrayne
Bianca – Dragon Age 3
As well as a library of Anime and Comic titles!

So chances are you’ve encountered her work at some point. Needless to say, I’m a pretty big fan.

However, that’s a different topic for a different time. So two problems I had… there are some sites out there that do actually make custom statues of her and sell them on Etsy… but I look at them and… they just look low quality to me. I was also not a huge fan of Serana’s generic appearance. It was fine for what it was, but like all the other characters, it came off as very generic. So wanted to make some changes. Fortunately, Nexusmods has several to choose from… several…

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Just to showcase a few. So I went through a bunch but didn’t really find one I loved… I did some tweeting to her on my own and came across a mod known as Serana BVFE.

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I downloaded it and tested it against Laura’s voice… it matched up pretty well! So after all that tweaking, I finally had my modded Serana to match the rest of my… rather absurdly modded Skyrim…

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So now the chances of me getting any sort of collectible that matched what was in my game were Zero from the market. I had to find other means. This time around, it wasn’t difficult. Remember my previous review of my Aranya figure?

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John Harmon from Mint Condition Customs is an artist when it comes to these types of things. I commissioned him to create a figure for me of Serana BVFE.  The results were… stunning to say the least…

I don’t use the term ‘artist’ loosely, but needless to say, I was super pleased with the figure I received. No detail had been spared in making her.

I was sent pictures of the parts he used in creating her, molding the custom parts, and fitting everything together. As always, I’m skeptical at first, but as time went on, I began to see it more and more.

In terms of her articulation, she is somewhat limited because the cloth skirt attached to her legs is somewhat delicate, but she can still take on some rather threatening stances…

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Now it just falls to me to make a case for her. I’m already working on that, using the box from my Funko Dragonborn figure… I gave him to my kids so God knows what’s become of him.

Her paint is terrific, her articulation is pretty good and all in all, I’m very happy. If anyone does see this and get inspired to commission one, be wary of a few things;

  1. They are not cheap. Who said being a geek wasn’t costly, right? It’s not unreasonable, given what geeks typically spend on collectibles, but it may not be for the average figure efficianato.
  2. These are technically not toys. While they can withstand some abuse, the paint job can and does rub a little, so it’s something to be aware of.
  3. Creation takes time. John gets many requests and while he’s prompt to respond and begin work, expect a turnaround of 6mo – 1year + for completion.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little… gush fest from me! Thanks!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

My Initial Thoughts on Detroit Become Human

Anyone who’s followed me for the last few months knows that I was anxiously awaiting this game. My wife and I demoed it at PAX East, and we were excited to finally get our hands on a copy.

So where did this all start for me? Well… actually when I was following what was going on with hilariously comical #FreedomForTay movement, someone posted this video and likened it to what was happening to Microsoft’s Tay AI. (Read more here.)

 

This trailer was incredibly well done, despite only being PS3 level graphics. You legitimately felt for Kara here to the point of almost having tears in your eyes. I was immediately hooked and started looking more into what this was about. I found out that it was a very early trailer for Detroit Become Human and I wanted to know more.

Well… the more I found out, the more interested I became and I really started getting into it when this extremely controversial trailer came out:

You really got to hand it to the PR people on this one. They really know how to get you hooked.

So for months and months I waited. Until finally last week… that glorious day happened! Detroit Become Human came out and my reserved copy was ready to be picked up!

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I immediately ran out and grabbed my copy. I popped it into our PS4 and my wife and I began the game.

The opening scene deals with Connor, a special ‘prototype’ android that has been issued to the police department. His job is to talk down another android that has apparently gone insane, killed its master, and taken the daughter hostage. This was the demo we played at PAX. Well… we knew how our decisions went last time (not so well) and we wanted to try for a better outcome, so we made a few different decisions, sure enough… something totally different happened.

That’s how this whole game works. Detroit Become Human is more of an interactive movie than an actual game… and when I say interactive… I mean you really can’t be much more immersive than the game is. Even the title screen interacts with you by giving you your own virtual android to assist you with getting started… for a while anyway.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself…

The game takes place in Detroit (obviously) of the Future, 2038 to be exact. There, people are out of work, neighborhoods are crumbling, drugs are rampant, and automation is replacing skilled and unskilled labor.

… in other words, Detroit hasn’t really changed at all in twenty years.

 

Sorry… back on topic. The story revolves around three androids:

Markus: A caretaker for artist facing the end of his days.

Kara: Another caretaker, this time for a child, Alice, and her drug addict, out of work, father.

Connor: A by-the-book police android who’s thrown in with a broken down cop who’s more often found at the bottom of a bottle of booze than actually in his office.

The story revolves around the evolution of the three characters and the choices they make. What happens to each character lands solely in your lap. If one or more character dies, the game does not end. The story simply continues without that character.

I really don’t want to give too much away, but I really preferred Kara’s story above all the others. Her struggle with keeping young Alice alive and happy while coming to terms with her own identity and finding her place was profound.

Markus’ story I found somewhat predictable. He’s an android who worked for an ‘enlightened’ artist who encouraged the android to cut his own path. Markus then, through a series of events that are not of his own making, becomes the leader of a revolution. After a few bad decisions, I didn’t like where this character was going and sought to kill him off… that might have been a mistake… It turns out, he’s a fairly integral part of the struggle for civil rights and losing him… has repercussions that are felt pretty strongly by the end of the game.

Connor… I’m not going to lie, I do love this one. If you like Lethal Weapon, his interactions with the other cop are pretty enjoyable. It’s a pretty standard buddy cop story, but it’s fun in its own way.

As I said, the story revolves around these three characters and the decisions you make will affect the lives of everyone around. One thing I will say about this game is that it get’s unexpectedly dark… I mean really dark. Murder, sexual assault, drug use, child abuse, domestic violence, and even genocide, are all potential themes in your story. Not all of them are avoidable. That is not a criticism, by the way, if you’re going to go dark, you should go all the way and this game very vividly shows the ramification of such themes.

So is this game everything I was hoping it would be?

Yes. The replay value is through the roof, it’s not an action game where you go around shooting and killing people. You’re essentially watching a movie when options come up on the screen, and allow you to choose what decision a character makes.

Negatives…

Well… when I say the game is immersive, I MEAN IT’S IMMERSIVE! You’re going to spend early parts of the game cleaning house, making dinner, doing laundry, and pushing an old man’s wheelchair. It’s definitely slow-moving at first and will lose some audience members with a shorter attention span.

Other than that, I was a little disappointed in how little the stories appear to interact… at least on my first playthrough. The most interaction I saw between Connor and Kara was when Connor looked oddly at Alice from across a room and when he Connor chased them across a street.

I expected their stories to be a little more intertwined, and maybe they are, but my first story was a fairly dark one that ended with android genocide and only Kara getting away unscathed.

So what’s my final judgment?

Detroit Become Human is awesome. The graphics are great, it’s got a great cast! The music is wonderful, the character development is excellent, and though initially slow-moving, the game’s storyline sucks you in and really makes you want to see what comes next.

So my overall score is going to be a 8.5 out of 10. Buy this game and try it out if you love a good story! You’ll love it!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Fall of Channel Awesome…

I wasn’t sure I wanted to say anything about this… Honestly I don’t like getting involved in online controversies and drama. #ChangeTheChannel tends to fall in that category. So I may or may not leave this piece up, I haven’t decided yet. Enjoy it while it’s there.

So full disclosure, my post about this is strictly my own opinions based on what I’ve heard from creators who left the platform, as well as the official releases from the company themselves… and my own take on events. Much of this is hearsay and unconfirmed. I’ll do my best to point it out where I can, so remember that this is an OPINION piece based on what information is out there. If you discover something that’s incorrect, feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to change it.

One thing I want to get out of the way really quickly is the controversy surrounding the late Justin Carmical aka JewWario. There’s been a lot of back and forth regarding him and who knew what. Apparently there is a lot of talk surrounding him potentially being a sexual predator. Though none of this has ever been confirmed due to no charges being filed during his life. I’m not going to speak ill of the dead, especially given the fact that most of this is… well not necessarily confirmed, but I’m also not going to link to any of his stuff either. I will say that a few people I know did meet him at various social events and commented that, while nice, he could be a little sketchy towards women… so take that as you will.

Now, that having been said, there’s recently been some heat thrown at creators who worked with him over whether they should keep their videos with him in them up… former long-time content producer for Channel Awesome Kaylyn Saucedo, aka MarzGurl addressed this:

Okay… so should she take down her videos? IMO… No. We shouldn’t. Just like period pieces with things that are no longer politically correct should remain available in their original presentation, just like we don’t edit… most other movies when an actor goes awry. If we had to do that for every movie/book where a bad seed or something with a dark chapter in their life, we’d have nothing left, quite literally. To me, that would be a disservice to everyone else who worked hard and gave up their time to bring something to life. That is, however, my take on it. I’m honestly on the side of the creators who have left their collaborations with him intact. They shouldn’t be punished if they didn’t know.

All right… with that out of the way, let’s talk about Channel Awesome. There’s been a lot of reporting online that the Channel itself is dead. While the website is still up… I was able to confirm that most of the producers, are gone. Literally all that’s left is Guru Larry and Brad Jones…

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Rumor has it, even Brad Jones removed the Channel Awesome logo from his site. Though I can’t confirm this at the moment. This is a pretty serious hit. Literally all the people I used to watch save the Nostalgia Critic, are gone; Linkara, Nash, Todd In The Shadows, Phelous, Bennet the Sage, Film Brain… heck even Angry Joe, a guy I literally saw last week at Pax and was saying nothing but nice things about the people at Channel Awesome, appears to have jumped ship.

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So where do they go from here? Well if that wasn’t enough…  Rob Walker appears to have deleted his Facebook page and Doug’s primary FB account now lists him as having been previously employed by Channel Awesome…

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So what does all of this mean for people who loved the personalities that are or were on the site? Well… for the most part, nothing. A lot of the personalities that have jumped ship still have their own YouTube accounts or their own websites you can visit.

Please see this spreadsheet to find the ones you want to watch.

The problem rests with the fans of the Nostalgia Critic. Again, this is an unsubstantiated rumor, but apparently the Walkers are considering legal action against Channel Awesome, specifically their CEO Michael Michaud. If the rumors are true and the evidence I posted above means what many people believe it does… the Nostalgia Critic may be done for good. The current CEO owns more than 50% of the company, and that includes the Nostalgia Critic personality. Which means that Doug likely wouldn’t be able to continue as the character on his own.

We will have to see how that plays it.

So, how did all of this happen? Well for that… I’m going to refer you to the video put out by Allison Pregler, AKA Obscurus Lupa:

She details a lot of the problems that have been going on there.

I’m also going to provide a link to the ‘Not so Awesome’ document, here.

So, what’s my take on all of this? Well… I’m someone who usually defended Channel Awesome. Every company has it’s bad side, but as long as the good outweighs the bad, I’m not going to start boycotting. That being said, my patronage of the site has been close to nil since the producers have made their way back to YouTube. If the site goes down, it really doesn’t affect me as much as it may have in the past.

A lot of what’s being posted in the document, as well as some other claims online, is extremely troubling and something that I think the leaders at Channel Awesome need to start answering questions on. However, some of it is complaining from many years ago that, even back then, came off as vindictive.

They’ve certainly done themselves no favors in the response they’ve given. Ironically, it comes off as extremely vindictive and mean spirited. This is definitely a lack of professionalism that no company wants in their senior leadership. Now granted, I haven’t looked through the entire document, but the central problems seem to have around their CEO, as well as other officials including Ellis.

Doug Walker, based on the general consensus of the reports… (and this is from what I read of the summary, I haven’t had time to go through the entire document), is kind of the figurehead who’s been kind of oblivious to what’s been going on… until now. I hope this is true, given my fandom. If not… that’s going to hurt. Though, given what a lot of Allison said, at the very least, he may have just ignored the problems as they’ve been coming up.

So it seems like this will be the end for Channel Awesome. For whatever they are, and whatever they’ve become… they had a lot of influence, not only on YouTube, but also on the internet in general. It is sad to see them go, but this appears to be a long time coming, if it does happen.

So… readers, what do you think? Do you have any experiences with cast members or officials from Channel Awesome? Do you follow any of their videos? Let me know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Sea of Thieves… A Shining Example of Why I Avoid MMOs.

You ever want something to be good so badly that you pretty much know you’re setting yourself up for failure? That was me with Sea of Thieves. So full disclosure, part of my disappointment may be my own fault, but I think most people will agree that the majority of it is warranted.

When I heard that there was a game coming out that was one of the most immersive pirate adventures ever, I was super excited. I got my friends together, we all bought the game and agreed that we’d be on a crew together. We decided on a name for our ship, and were good to go. I even bought a new headset just to be optimally ready for the occasion.

So we all downloaded the game. Let me start off on what we liked… This game is on the Unreal engine. The graphics are beautiful. The design of the game is excellent, everything from the mechanics of sailing, to the way storms work, to having to maintain your ship. On the surface, it really looks and feels awesome. I like how you can pick up jobs and the ship to ship combat is pretty good… at first. When you open fire on another ship, the music changes to something more fast paced, and really get’s you in the mood to fight. They even have a brig for players who misbehave!

So my initial impression was that this game was a winner… sadly a week of running around doing the same missions over and over for no apparent reason, and quickly seeing the problems with the combat system… as well as the brig system… soured my experience. So let’s go through the problems…

  1. Ship Battles: 
    I could probably forgive most of the other issues if the battles were fun. See initially, you prep your cannons and are ready to get in and put up a fight. Then as you’re training your guns on an enemy ship… you die. You never even got a chance to fire. So what happened? Well apparently, someone either jumped off their ship, swam over and boarded your ship because you can’t retract the ladder… or they loaded themselves into a cannon and shot themselves over to your deck, where they then take out half your crew with a blunderbuss. This completely kills ship to ship battles because once someone boards and kills a few people… battle over.
    I get that real pirates used to board ships in order to steal them, but they didn’t do it like this, and it certainly wasn’t this easy. This completely ruined the ship to ship combat system for me.
  2. The Brig: 
    Okay, I get it. We all hate trolls, and we don’t want to deal with them. Unfortunately, the problem has become so bad that most teams just lock up random people who join right away, not even giving them a chance. Out of spite, I’ll often just stay in the brig and earn the rewards of the mission for no reason. It also keeps these people from inviting anyone else. This is a broken system and really just invites even more problems than it fixes. I hear there’s even talk of removing it.
  3. Single Players Disadvantaged:
    Let’s say you just want to sail your ship and not deal with a crew. It’s extremely difficult to do because the two ship options are fairly big and need more than one person to function properly. I get that this game is supposed to be for groups, but sometimes you just don’t want to deal with that, for obvious reasons.
  4. The Game is Horribly buggy:
    Need to minimize the screen for a second to check your sound settings? Heh, good luck staying connected. A lot of people have been suffering through having their connections dropped for the screen being minimized. The ingame sound system doesn’t always work, forcing players onto team chats and other services to interact vocally.
  5.  Lack of Ships: 
    Like ship battles? Enjoy them where you can. There are only 6 ships (MAX) on each map. So at most, you’ll encounter an enemy ship once an hour. For some people that may be enough, but for those of us there who like raiding and pillaging… it’s severely lacking.
  6. Minimal Content Upon Release:
    This… is why I avoid MMOs like the plague. The game comes out to get players hooked… and they blow through what little there is in no time. You do your missions, fight your battles, and… that’s it. You sit there shrugging going, “Okay, I’ve done the skull missions, gold missions, and the merchant missions. I’ve killed the Kracken, defeated Skull Island, and even sunken enemy ships… so now what?”

The truth is… that’s literally all there is to this game. It’s literally a set of repetitive misisons and ship battles. There is no story, no narrative, no nothing that I’ve seen. There is no sense of accomplishment for completing anything. All the upgrades are superficial and it’s like you’re grinding… for the sake of grinding.
The developers have promised more content in the near future, but that’s the problem with these games. They release and sell an incomplete product for $60 and, in some of the less scrupulous cases, force you to purchase the addition features to just make the game worth the original money you spent on it.
Yes, single player games have this problem too, but it’s nowhere near as bad. Often the DLC packages are either just cosmetic or additional side stories that you can play without and still have a good experience. That is not the case with many MMOs and… sadly this game seems to be one of them.
The other problem with doing this is that by the time the problems are fixed and more content is released, the audience will be greatly reduced as many will have gone on to better things.

So in the end, my apologies to everyone who spent the money on this game. You purchased something that had (and still has) a lot of potential, but the fact remains that you purchased an incomplete product. I haven’t attempted to get a refund as so many others have… personally… I am holding out a (admittedly dwindling) hope that this will eventually turn out to be a good game.

So take it for what it’s worth. Hopefully this review will help quell some expectations and maybe help some people avoid making a bad purchase.
Please keep in mind though, this is my own personal experience with the game. Others may view it differently, and that’s fine. What about all of you out there? Have you played it? Did you enjoy it? Am I right on or way off on my opinion of it? Let me know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim