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  • Journey Through 15 Years #6

    3 months ago

    spriiing Jericho

    Finally back home from visiting family, and hyped as hell, because a week from tomorrow I leave for RTX! Not looking forward to the 19 hour drive there, and the 40 hour round trip, but it's all gonna be worth it!


    Completed Series

    Alternative Lifestyle: Maybe it's just me, but after Akrasia and the killing of Parker, this series felt a little too into its continuing storylines. I know that I was praising that last week, but this kind of half scripted, half off the cuff just became grating after a while. Don't get me wrong; I've started to love Sugar Pine 7. But I'm glad that I'm not watching this series anymore.

    Amazon Prime Time: However, unlike Sugar Pine 7, I have no love of Cow Chop. And Amazon Prime Time did nothing to help that fact. I've never liked grossout humor, I've never liked mean-spirited teasing for a laugh, and I've never liked random bullshit for the sake of random bullshit. This seems like Cow Chop's ENTIRE deal, which has led to an executive decision I've made, detailed in the updates section.

    Current Series

    Backwardz Compatible: Now THIS is a series I can fall in love with! Achievement Hunter doesn't have a whole lot of Full Plays, so Miles (my fav RT employee) and Kyle fully playing some great games is a series I can get behind. Loving every second of it so far.

    Current Episode: Fatal Frame #4 - Big Sexy

    Generic Updates

    So let's go ahead and start with the update that actually APPLIES to this marathon: I'm removing everything from Cow Chop. Bitch at me all you want (though no one will, because no one reads this journal anyway), but I can't stand Cow Chop. That's not to say they're bad. What I'm saying is that Cow Chop is a very niche demographic. And I hate that niche. While this does remove (to my calculation) 10 series from the marathon, it's become a far better quality marathon now, at least to me.

    But, this hasn't changed the AMOUNT of series in the marathon by that much. Because I'm splitting AH Let's Play even more, into a few other series. Cloudberry Kingdom, Mario Party, Worms, Rainbow Six, Git Gud, and Uno: The Movie. To mix things up a little, I've decided to reorganize the AH Let's Play categories based on the game - otherwise, they'd all be in a row. This adds 6 more series to the marathon, so it balances out with Cow Chop's removal. 

    In other news, we're less than 2 weeks from RTX! I decided to buy floor tickets for the Jeff Williams concert, so I'm looking forward to that. I also managed to get a session for Gray and Kerry's autographs, since Miles was already unavailable by the time they opened for non-Platinum members. HYPE!

    Remaining Series 

    Backwardz Compatible

    Battle Buddies (within Achievement Hunter)

    Burnie Vlogs/Barbara Vlogs/FIRST Vlogs

    AH Behind the Scenes

    Between the Games/Shenanigans

    Board as Hell

    Buff Buddies

    CRWBY/RWBY Rewind

    Camp Camp

    Captain Dynamic

    Cloudberry Kingdom (Let's Play)


    Crunch Time

    DBX/One Minute Melee

    Death Battle

    Day 5

    Death Days

    Demo Disk

    Esports Ejects

    Evil Craig/Evil Craig 2

    Fails of the Weak/Game Fails

    Five Facts/Five Fun Facts

    Four Play

    Free Play

    Game Attack Fun Stuff

    Game Night (within Achievement Hunter)

    Grab Bag (within Achievement Hunter)

    Theater Mode (Funhaus, and AH) 

    Funhaus Shorts

    Funhaus Let’s Play

    Git Gud (Let's Play)


    Guinness World Records

    Funhaus Gameplay

    Great Moments in Video Game History

    Happy Hour

    Heroes and Halfwits

    How To

    Imaginary Achievements


    In Review

    Is It Good?

    Lazer Team/Lazer Team 2

    Let’s Build (within Let’s Play)

    Let’s Pine

    Game Attack Let’s Play

    Garry's Mod (Let's Play)

    Grand Theft Auto (Let's Play)

    Let's Play

    Let’s Play Live: Life On Tour

    Let’s Watch

    Master and Apprentice

    Mario Party (Let's Play)


    Metal Gear Ben

    Million Dollars, But…

    Minecraft (Let's Play)

    Nature Town



    Nomad of Nowhere

    On the Spot

    Open Haus/Your Comments



    Presented With Comment

    Play Pals

    Rainbow Six (Let's Play)

    RT Pilots


    RT Docs

    Rooster Teeth Inter-Office Smite Tournament (within Achievement Hunter)

    RT Shorts

    RT Life

    RT Podcast Play

    Sponsor Cut

    RWBY Chibi


    Rage Quit

    Random Awesomeness

    Reasons We Love/Open Letters

    RvB: PSA

    Relationship Goals

    RouLet’s Play


    Screw Attack Illustrated

    Screw Attack Shorts

    Sex Swing

    Social Disorder


    Sunday Driving

    Tap That App

    Ten Little Roosters/Eleven Little Roosters

    The Number One Show/The Best Ever

    The Armory

    The Gauntlet

    The Industry

    The Lab

    The Slo Mo Guys

    The Strangerhood

    The Woods

    Things to Do In…

    This Is…

    Top 10

    Trials Files

    Tuesday Night Game Fight

    Twits and Crits/The League of Extraordinary Jiremen

    Uno: The Movie

    VR the Champions


    Video Game Vault//Reboot or Retro

    Who Is?

    Worms (Let's Play)

    X-Ray and Vav

    Red Vs. Blue

    132 series remain

  • This Week At ScrewAttack - 7/5/18

    4 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    Top 10 Pixar Movies - Co-Writer & Editor Notes 


    • This was the Top 10 I was born to (co)write. 
    • #10 Seriously, I know these movies so well I could have drawn storyboards for this edit filled with actual shots from these movies. 
    • #9 Scratch what I just said! I just realized that this entry doesn't show a single frame of Kevin! I'm a fraud. 
    • #8 Finding music to fit each of these movies was A JOY. Usually it's a pretty tough aspect of the job but each of these movies has such a distinct sound and score that I knew exactly what to look for each time. 
    • #7 The final line of this entry + Nick's delivery + the music drop out + the clip = me so happy. 
    • #6 Suck it, Star Trek Into Darkness. 
    • #5 We produced this Top 10 before The Incredibles 2 came out and with our one per franchise rule, it was either going to be Incredibles 1 or 2. We were nervous about Incredibles 2 potentially blowing the first out of the water but I think it's safe to say Incredibles 1 deserves the spot on this list. (The sequel was really fun though!) 
    • #4 I love Coco so much. That is all. 
    • #3 The scene in this movie where he turns on the light and there's a ton of rats in the kitchen, FREAKS ME OUT. Still does. Great movie though. 
    • #2 Toy Story is my all time favorite movie. I have Toy Story toys on my desk at work, I have a sizable Toy Story collection, I own all of the movies and once when I was 19 I started crying while explaining to my mom what "You've got a friend in me" means. 
    • #1 I'm so happy with how this entry came out. I had vision for it, Nick knocked it out of the park and I practically scored it myself haha. It's 4 different songs cut and arranged to ebb and flow with the V.O. I was nervous that I was being a little too ambitious when I wrote it and it would end up feeling cheesy if not just contrived but I'm happy with the final product. 



  • Pridecast

    4 months ago


    So, I'm gonna be on the Community Pridecast #4(?) and I'm super excited. It's also at 10 CST, which is 8 PST for me because I'm on the west coast. but like. It's 3:38 am. I'm gonna go to sleep. have a good day, y'all!

  • This Week at ScrewAttack - 04/26/18

    6 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    Top 10 Avengers That Should DIE in Infinity War - Writer & Editor Notes 


    • #10 - Vision - I LOVE the MCU. Let's just get that out of the way. But honestly, I have this strong (and concerning) desire for this movie to be a gruesome blood bath. Like I would love if Thanos just walks up to Vision and effortlessly rips the Mind Stone out of his head ... all within the first 10 minutes. I may have a problem. 
    • #9 - Drax - Sincerely, I think this would be a good death. What more is there for Drax beyond Thanos' death? Perhaps Infinity War will set something up for him or of course something in Guardians V3. 
    • #8 - Star-Lord - I do miss chubby Chris Pratt and Parks and Rec in general - that doesn't justify his death. Please accept my sincerest apologies. It funny doh. 
    • #7 - Pepper Potts - Again! I think this would be a legit death! If Pepper dies, what does Tony have to live for? maybe it'll push Tony to finally "lay down on the wire" 
    • #5 - Hawkeye - Seriously, where is he? DON'T ANWSER ME UNTIL AFTER I SEE THE MOVIE ON FRIDAY NIGHT!* 
    • #4 - Phil Coulson - I legit miss old school Coulson. He is one of my favorite parts about Phase One. I guess in a sense he did really die in The Avengers because the character he is in Agents of SHIELD is so different. Also, just FYI, I have seen the first three seasons of AOS and have a love/hate relationship with it. 
    • #3 - Captain America - Okay, seriously, I meant every word of this entry. When I finally saw the finished project with the music, the footage and Nick's performance, I got emotional, like for REAL! I love Cap! 
    • #2 - Tony Stark - Get to the chase Marvel and just kill Tony and make him an AI assistant to the next Iron Person. Like the new JARVIS. We know it's coming. 
    • #1 - Iron Fist - Lol
    • #11 - Nick Fury - Lolol 

    *Story Time: In 2012 I was insanely excited about The Avengers (like every good American) I bought tickets to the midnight screening and gathered a big group of friends. Unfortunately my best bud couldn't make it (his GF's birthday was the same day) He asked me to wait to see it with him and I DID NOT. Instead, I went into our dorm room when he wasn't around and I grabbed HIS Avengers masks for me and my friends to wear. #NOREGRETS. Flash forward to now. I live in Austin and he lives in Dallas. I told him to drive down to see it with me but he made me promise to wait to see it with him as payback. SO I WONT BE WATCHING IT TONIGHT AS SOON AS I COULD BE! I'll be waiting until Friday night like a chump. #SQUADGOALS  

    Watch the video: RT | YT

  • Top 10 Magic Weapons - Editor Notes

    9 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    One thing I've learned after editing together my first Boomstick Top 10 is that he has a type. 

    #10 - Lt. Col. Kilgore - So what's the deal here?? Did they really name these weapons after a character in Apocalypse Now? Is the character in the movie based on a real guy? Why? Why any of this? 
    #9 - Master Sword - I was watching a lot of videos about the Master Sword in prep for this entry. I came across a fun pronunciation of the weapon. I won't name names but now I can only hear it as "Massa Swwurd" 
    #8 - Hellfire shotguns - I would definitely rack my brain for every non-lethal way to use these guns. You could create pillow-fort-esque fortress in your living room but made with nothing but Hellfire Shotguns. You could have a unlimited source of income if you sold them. You could do professional magic. YOU COULD THROW UP GUNS AND TRY TO SHOOT THEM OUT OF THE SKY BEFORE THEY HIT THE GROUND. Endless joy. 
    #7 - Icebreaker - Gerardo actually helped me edit this one! Thanks, Gerardo! I don't know anything about this weapon. 
    #6 - Blades of Chaos - Gerardo did this one too but I still have a question. How hard would you have to spin magic blades chained to your forearms before you lift off the ground like?
    #5 - Sniger rifle - I could listen to Boomstick say "tigers" for days. 
    #4 - Caster Gun - Gerardo. But also, yes. Wand gun? Yes! ACCIO WAND GUN. 
    #3 - Mjolnir - Again you could use this weapon in so many fun ways. I PUT MJOLNIR ON MY DAIRY,  TRY READING IT NOW WHOSOEVER BE WORTHY! 
    #2 - Sword of Omens - Gerardo actually helped me edit this one! Thanks, Gerardo! I don't know anything about this weapon. 
    #1 - Green Lantern Ring - This entry is the exact reason the movie was so bad. You could have made anything but you made guns and stuff. Yawn. 
    #11 - Voltron < Megazord 

    Watch the video: RT | YT

  • Top 10 Worst Dragon Ball Characters - Editor Notes

    10 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    Here we goooooooo! (again) 

    #10 - Garlic Jr - Not only is his name Garlic but he's a JUNIOR. Someone thought this name was so good they needed to use it TWICE? Okay. Can't wait for the next DB villain, Oregano III. 

    #9 - Cooler - Okay, wait, actually the next villain is The Coolest.

    #8 - Hercule Satan - I hate Hercule! Never thought he was funny. For me he only ever distracted from what I was interested in seeing. 

    #7 - Bio-Broly - I didn't know this existed before this episode. It's an odd feeling to realize you've missed out on something completely inconsequential.

    #6 - Majuub - Nick asked me this when watching back the first cut of this episode and I want to clarify for all of you. I didn't alter Aladdin or Uub's skin color at all. It just worked.

    #5 - Pan - I....really liked...Pan. (but don't ask me why. I couldn't tell you/don't remember) 

    #4 - Yamcha - The woooooorst

    #3 - Para Para Bros - So, they got the gang to dance. Was it a lethal dance or something? What's the problem here? "Oh no! We look ridiculous and now we're melting because of it" 

    #2 - Chi-Chi - These last two entries are the most insightful entries on the whole list. I couldn't agree more. 

    #1 - Adult Gohan - Gohan was the best and they squandered his potential. 

    #11 - Is there a way to tell Maron and Bulma apart by just looking at them?

    Watch the Video: RT | YT 

  • Top 10 Terrifying Mascots - Editor Notes

    10 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    We're back! 

    Intro - I'm not Torrian 
    #10 - Krinkles - What was Post thinking? This isn't their only terrible mascot. Just do a quick google search for "So-Hi Post Cereal" 
    #8 - Senhor - Sorry, Jonah. I saw an opportunity, which was a cheap shot, and I took it. The internet is cruel. 
    #7 - Monokuma - Who is this bear fooling? You're clearly evil. 
    #6 - The King - C'mon it's 2018. Where's the Burger Queen?
    #5 - Freddy Fazbear - This Top 10 Entry brought to you by Achievement Hunter.
    #4 - Stubhub Ticket Oak - So it's absurd. That doesn't equal funny. At least the spongemonkeys are funny sometimes. This is just odd. 
    #3 - King Cake Baby - So..... THIS BABY IS JESUS ISN'T HE?!?! 
    #2 - Spongemonkeys - Yeah, I like them. You wanna fight about it?
    #1 - PuppyMonkeyBaby - That's John Mayer at 6:41 right? It has to be. 
    #11 - Mario has some great games obviously but is he a good character? I don't know and I've wondered about it my entire life. 

    Watch the Video: RT | YT | UT

  • What I Did On The First Day of the year

    10 months ago

    bloodcal-cal7 Im Callam Hi

    #1 Took my time vomiting blue out after 1am

    #2 Went to my joke of a job that a monkey could do

    #3 Listened to loud repeats of Beautiful Trauma By P!nk

    #4 Wrote this

    Man my New Year is awesome!!!!


    10 months ago



    Live. From not Los Angeles on the Discord thread on which these episodes are made, its the 4th Annual Screwvie Awards. Sponsered by Schik Hydrobot (not really) and New Years hopes and dreams. Welcome as always. Guys, how excited are you for these awards?

    STICKMAN: Eh. I hear there's this really cool thing called the Gimpy Awards next door, we should go watch that instead.

    LARRY: Ooh you gotta snag me a ticket.

    MADHERO:Well why do I even bother turning up then? Goddamnit I was really hoping for some excitement. You know what I am excited for? The new year. New chances, oppurtunities, and most importantly MOVIES!


    LARRY: I'm excited to start my 2018 in Poland, there's that. What are movies again?



    Its kinda hard  to pick a film that isn't an MCU film as Most Anticipated, but leave it to Alex Garland to deliver the goods. A long time writer of scripts like 28 Days Later and Dredd, he really burst to the scene with Ex Machina, which was one of my favorite movies in 2015. So needless to say I'm extremely excited what he can bring to Annihilation, a film that seems much bigger in scope and decidedly weird, and based on an acclaimed novel. There's been a odd bit of distribution shenanigans going on thanks to Paramount not doing so hot, with the film not becoming a Netflix film internationally 17 days after its theater release in the US/UK and China. That and a public fight between 2 producers, one of whom who wanted to dumb the movie down, but ultimately Scott Rudin stepped and kept the film as is. Cool, I guess, but I would've loved to have seen this on the big screen. With it coming out on February, we don't have to wait very long to see this, so I'm done pretty quick



    Now...full disclosure, my pick was also gonna be Annihilation, but Mad already nabbed it so...I'm doing The Predator. Now there's a lot of love for the original Predator movie, it's considered one of the best 80s action films of its kind, but the jury is decidedly out on the cocaine fueled fun of Predator 2 and the division inducing most recent entry, Predators (Which I rather liked).  It'll have been 8 years since that films release by the time this new entry comes out, and there's a lot of hopes riding on it. Shane Black is a highly respected action/comedy director, the cast is solid, and Fox have put a lot more money into it than they did the decided lower budgeted 3rd film. There's concerns it won't remain true to the 'core principals' of what made people fall in love with the original, but personally I'm pretty keen to see someone do something new with the franchise, after a couple of attempts to do the same sorta thing within different eras of action movie tonally and visually. Shake it up, make it a great time, and one that resurrects the franchise, please. I'm excited to see what's coming for this one.


    I personally can’t say I’m particularly pumped for that many films coming in 2018. However, when a masterful filmmaker like Wes Anderson has a release planned, it’s hard not to have that be a clear standout. ISLE OF DOGS not only looks to have the offbeat humor and charm that every Anderson project keeps at the forefront, but it is also a return the stop motion animated stylings last seen in FANTASTIC MR. FOX, which is always a breathe of fresh air amidst the wave of 3D CGI contenders. You also have a ridiculously star-studded voice cast, featuring both Anderson mainstays (Bill Murray, Edward Norton, F. Murray Abraham) and newcomers to his rolodex of stars (Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig). I am always a proponent of original, fresh stories over the, while fun and exciting, often tired and tedious blockbusters; with that in mind, ISLE OF DOGS looks like a strong contender for one of the year’s most memorable films.

    STICKMAN: A unique sci-fi movie and a stop motion indie film...meanwhile I got a Predator movie. What fun.

    LARRY: Hey, that movie sounds fucking awesome.

    MADHERO: Well now, that Predator has the director of The Nice Guys involved. No need to beat yourself up over it. I think that could be a really neat film

    STICKMAN: We know very little about it at this stage, but I'm excited to get a first look at it soon,  I hope.

    LARRY: Yes, I can't wait for the teaser trailer.

    MADHERO: We only have a motion poster and not much else. Larry and ours have full trailers, both of which makes them look pretty out there

    LARRY: Annihilation also looks like quite an experience. I loved Ex Machina. Alex Garland has my attention.

    STICKMAN: I've been a huge fan of Alex Garland for a long time, so it's really fun to see him step out of the shadows of other directors and make his own films. Shame about the Netflix situation.

    MADHERO: Its weird how its a Netflix movie now in my neck of the woods. Would've probably seen in in the theater regardless, but oh well.

    STICKMAN: Isle of Dogs is a film I'm only excited for because it's stop motion, I'm not a fan of the director especially, but he suits that medium pretty well.

    LARRY: I'm definitely checking out Annihilation on a big screen if I can.

    MADHERO: I like how Wes Anderson is returning to stop motion, especially since Fantastic Mr. Fox is probably my favorite Anderson film

    STICKMAN: I'd check out all of these on a big screen if I could, and hopefully I will get that chance. We made good choices, GENTLEMEN. I'm excited to see them all.

    LARRY: Isle of Dogs has an amazing voice cast. Great pick with Bryan Cranston in the lead especially. I can just imagine Bill Murray and Edward Norton as like a posse in real life. But now they're dogs so it's IMMEDIATELY better.

    STICKMAN: Everyone's better as cartoon dogs. Except Louis CK.



    It was a good year for trailers. Sure, some of them sold a completely different movie than many were expecting, like It Comes At Night, but we saw the record for Most Watched Trailer broken twice (for IT and Infinity War), but for me personally, I gotta go with my gut feeling and go with the trailer I've probably rewatched the most, which would be the very first trailer of Thor Ragnarok. It already has one huge advantage: Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song, which can make everything seem epic, but its backed up by some amazing imagery, especially Cate Blanchett's Hela  fighting off the Valkyries (which sadly is about all we get in the film). At the end though, it teases the laugh riot it actually is, with the now infamous "he's a friend from work" line. It excited, it made me laugh and got me stoked for a Thor movie, which seemed hard after The Dark World


    As always, there were a ton of great trailers this year, some great trailers for films that ended up sucking, some great trailers for films that succeeded even our wildest hopes and dreams...some great trailers for films we've yet to even see at all. Skull Island was a good film...not great, but certainly highly enjoyable, but oh man did it nail its trailer. Playing as a highlight reel of just some of the most staggeringly scaled, colourful and vibrant shots from a very pretty film, in addition to hosting some exceptionally fun looking action sequences, with an acting cast that the trailer manages to make it seem aren't completely wasted. Everything about this trailer is splendid, the punchy editing, the killer soundtrack, the sense of energy and fun it conveys....hell, I've seen the film already and this trailer still makes me excited to see it again. 


    There is no question for me: the best trailer of 2017 is SPIDER-MAN: ENTER THE SPIDER-VERSE, mainly because it’s the only one that genuinely surprised me in how god damn good it looks. Naturally, not every film has that luxury, but holy fucking shit, this trailer is incredible. It’s visuals take a comic book composition and fuse with a neon, flashy aesthetic that is pure eye-candy. The action looks large in scope and cinematic in design. But, beyond all that, we are FINALLY getting to see a cinematic iteration of Miles Morales. I think we can all agree that, while I did enjoy HOMECOMING, we need new blood in this character’s veins, and based on the “Spider-Verse” title, it looks like that is exactly what we are getting. What all of this amounts to is the first time in countless years that the Spider-Man franchise looks to finally have a true breathe of fresh air in its sights, and I couldn’t be more excited.

    STICKMAN: Ah man, another great lineup. Still can't get over how much fun a Thor movie of all things looked after that teaser trailer.

    LARRY: I will definitely say Kong Skull Island had amazing trailers. Just the reveal of how huge Kong is was enough to sell me a ticket.

    MADHERO: Its a really epic trailer. Not sure how much it really spoils, but its such a hyperkinectic trailer. Even more so than the movie

    STICKMAN: We've got two teaser trailers for comic book movies, and the very final trailer for Skull Island. All of them really sell their films quite fabulously. I went from 0 to 100% interest in Spider-Man after that teaser, so can't argue with those results.

    LARRY: RIGHT???? That's why it's here, man!!

    MADHERO: I feel like my trailer sells a more serious movie than it actually is, but its super effective from the use of Immigrant Song to the intro of Gladiator Hulk

    STICKMAN: I think Thor Ragnarok's teaser was pretty fun rather than serious, personally. But there's not a huge deal of comedy lines, sure.

    MADHERO: Plus Goth Cate Blanchett

    STICKMAN: It had it all, man. IT HAD IT ALL. It was also the only one (that we know of at least) to use the music of the trailer in the film great effect I may add.

    MADHERO: I'm still more on the wait and see side on Spider-Verse. But it certainly made an impact on you guys

    LARRY: Mad stop spoiling our fun.

    STICKMAN: Who knows if Spider-Verse will actually be good, but that teaser. OOH. Tingles.

    MADHERO: I'm not saying its bad. I'm just not as hyped as you guys are. It has a great style. Just too bad we still have to wait a whooooooooole year

    LARRY: Laaaaaaaame.



    Honestly, I could've picked basically any scene from Blade Runner 2049 and it would probably be eligible for my Scene of the Year. The syncronization, the memory creation and even the very end. Eventually though, I settled for the Vegas meetup between the blade runners, K and Deckard.  The scene beforehand, showing a destroyed and very Las Vegas is already gorgeous, thanks to Roger Deakins' stellar cinematography, but it really reaches its apex when the actual meeting/fight happens.  We see flickering neon lights, holograms of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe with audio cut in, and it just represents Blade Runner 2049 in a nutshell. Its tense in its encounter, haunting in its use of deserted scenery and an visual stunner throughout


    Now....full disclosure again...Mad stole my pick for this one too. That said, it gives us a chance to talk about one of the most brilliant fight scenes of the year, in a 12 months that also featured the likes of John Wick 2 and The Villainess. Atomic Blonde was a great film that turned into a bad film towards the end, but this sequence, kicking off the events that lead into the bad turn, are far from it. Designed to come across as one continuous shot, which is always really fun for a fight sequence, we follow Charlize Theron as she works her way down the stairs of an apartment building, out the door, into a car and then crash. Simple enough...but oh no. There's guys with guns, and guys with big ol fists in her way, and she's pretty haggard by this stage of the film. You feel every blow, and unlike a lot of similar action sequences, you can really tell how much pain is behind and directed by every punch, kick and gunshot. It's like a scene from MCU Daredevil but turned up to 11, the scene scored only by the sounds of violence, and featuring some spectacularly brutal choreography to boot. It's a fantastic scene in general, but it's definitely the most brutal fight of all cinema in 2017, and for that has my respect.


    Few movies were more emotional gut-wrenching than STRONGER, David Gordon Green’s biopic on Jeff Bauman, a victim of the horrific Boston Marathon bombing that left him with both legs lost. Sadly this film didn’t get a lot of attention due to a smaller release and not much word-of-mouth, but hopefully this scene can convince you to at least add it to your watchlist. The scene I chose involves Bauman, played masterfully by Jake Gyllenhaal (bound for snubbery again), having the bandages taken off of his freshly amputated legs. While I absolutely love both Mad’s choice and Sticky’s choice, neither of those scenes literally made me almost turn away from the screen. At this point in the film, we have come to deeply sympathize with Bauman, so I don’t think it’s surprising that seeing him experience what is likely to be extreme pain is devastating for the audience. This scene reflects the compelling, powerful story that STRONGER tells, and it will not be leaving my head any time soon.

    MADHERO: Leave it to Larry to not pick a fightscene like us commonfolk

    LARRY: Again, just waaaaaaait until that Top 5.

    STICKMAN: To be fair Larry, a great scene shouldn't make you want to turn away, it should make 

    you want to stick your face into the screen and go FUCCKK YEAAAAHH.

    LARRY: I disagree. If that turning away is a result of investment and emotional conviction, I don't see it being a bad thing.

    MADHERO: Ehhh. Doesn't have to. I don't think my scene is a big "Fuck yeah" moment. More of a "oh wow"

    STICKMAN: I mean, fuck yeah in the sense that it's awesome, not a Team America way.

    LARRY: To be fair, I like both of these scenes as well. In fact I would've chosen Atomic Blonde if Sticky didn't.

    STICKMAN: I think a hard to watch scene can be very compelling but I'm not sure I'd ever put it as a best scene of the year, but I haven't seen Stronger so heeyooo.

    MADHERO: Its a great fucking fight. Think you hit the nail on the head with calling it a Marvel/Hallway fight x11. I haven't seen Stronger either, so I can't commenct on the scene itself, but I'm familiar with the story and of course the famous photo

    LARRY: I swear there are like 17 individual epic moments that just get me. You guys really need to see it. One of the year's most engaging dramas.

    STICKMAN: Me and Mad went for two completely different fight scenes. Atomic Blonde is a no punches held, full on, visceral fight for survival, whereas 2049's fight is so drenched in artistry and visual flair. Also Harrison Ford punched Ryan Gosling by accident in the scene and there's a picture of it.

    LARRY: God that orange. I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT.

    MADHERO: Its amazing. Both the scene and the picture. I'll put Stronger on the list. We've had time to praise things. Now lets  talk about some...... not very good things.



    Good news for movies in 2017: I didn't see something I outright hated like Terminator Genisys and Suicide Squad. That does mean bad news for Ghost in the Shell, a film that just edges the new Pirates for me, but only cause there's so much baggage than just another meh Pirates film.  I went up to bat for this adaptation more times than I care to admit,  with the internet ready to hate this from the start due to the whitewashing of the Major. I wanted to like this movie, but the sad part is that its a dumbed down version of the original anime, which can be overly convoluted, but at least felt smart and  philosophical as opposed to this surface level adaptation. That and a plot twist so misguided that just made things even worse. A film that tackled all of its themes better was the final nail in the coffin. Its aint Dragonball Evolution bad, but good it sadly aint.


    I mean...who saw thiiiis coming? The 6th installment in a franchise that never managed to surpass anything more than stupidly entertaining. From the 4th movie on things went more and more downhill, despite having more and more money until everything just went to shit in the FINAL CHAPTER, which follows the franchise tradition of quietly killing off every character established from the previous film, be they random nobodies or beloved characters from the games. This time around it also promptly ignores the ludicrous cliffhanger from the fifth in favour of opening on a completely different, never explained scenario, and from that point onwards it's poorly lit action scenes, annoying jumpscares, bad dialogue, bland characters and a few groan inducing attempts at adding emotional stakes to a franchise devoid of any emotion since day 1. The CGI RE movie that  came out this year managed to be leagues better, which is really saying something when that involves a laser cannon that destroys 5 skyscrapers, which is never brought up again. It better bloody be the finally chapter of Alice's shitty story nobody cares about, that's all I gotta say.


    Thankfully, 2017 hasn’t had too many duds for me. Sure, some films were a tad underwhelming, like JUSTICE LEAGUE and POWER RANGERS, but even those had good ideas that they ran with. BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN has semblances of good ideas that are not just completely ignored, but simultaneously overwhelmed by a ridiculous cacophony of bad ones. This is a Batman story that strips away everything that makes the universe so compelling or entertaining, opting to go in a more comedic and outlandish direction that makes for some of the strangest, most embarrassing scenes I’ve ever seen in a superhero film. All of these bizarre choices stem from Harley Quinn being a central character in the story, which is actually a great idea in theory; However, here she happens to be poorly written, gratingly unfunny, and overtly over-sexualized, so her as an emotional crux is all but a dead end, and her attempts at breaking down Batman’s stoic presence are even worse. Add that to basically no thematic subtext, minimal character progression in any form, standard animation at best, and an insultingly abrupt ending that wastes one of the best twists you could’ve implemented, and you have what is easily one of the worst Batman films of all time, and one of the worst DC animated films of all time. Fuck this movie.

    MADHERO: Guys I think we all picked a movie with a female lead. Are we......SEXIST?!

    LARRY: See mine has multiple ass shots, so possibly.

    STICKMAN: Mine doesn't, but is also terrible. So oops.

    MADHERO: Mine has Scarlett Johansson in a bodysuit that's skin colored, but that's part of the anime as well. ANYWAY! I'm surprised by your entry, Larry. I haven't seen the film, but really? One of the worst Batman films ever?

    LARRY: It's just so stupid dude. One scene literally involves Harley Quinn singing a rock number in a villains nightclub. Another scene involves Harley Quinn farting in the Batmobile to pressure Batman and Nightwing into taking a pit stop.

    STICKMAN: Okay well. I'm out.

    MADHERO: A shame, because it looks like its part/a revival of the DCAU and that's usually quality

    STICKMAN: I never had much hope for either Harley Quinn or Resident Evil, but I'd hoped for more from Ghost in the Shell, especially after I defended it for the many stupid reasons people shat on it prior to its release. Sucks when you fight for somethings right to exist and then it's a load of shit.

    LARRY: I never had any interest in the film honestly. I just had a feeling it wasn't gonna be good.

    MADHERO: I as really hopeful for Ghost in the Shell. I desperately wanted it to be good, and while its not bad and visually beautiful, the film feels like a very ehh blockbuster and I can't get over that plot twist/reveal

    STICKMAN: GitS was just really boring I found. And that twist was...oof.

    MADHERO: It just made that conversation so much more awkward. As for Resi.....well what did you expect?

    LARRY: Yeah I never even TOUCHED those movies.

    STICKMAN: I expected nothing and I was still disappointed. I enjoy stupid movies, and it's Resident Evil so I have a soft spot for it...but yeah. That was not a good. PM Didn't help the screening I saw had the volume up to like 5000% so every annoying jump scare was like being kicked in the nuts.

    MADHERO: 2017 in a nutshell. Anyway, we also caught up on a bunch of movies, so lets talk about those and give them their time in the sun

    BEST 2016 FILM SEEN IN 2017


    Being from Europe, I don't see the Oscar contenders until January/February, and while Moonlight and La La Land definitely struck a cord with me, The Handmaiden was the one that absolutely blew me away. The film that would probably be nr. 1 on this list if it was eligible. Set in the 1930s in a Japan-occupied Korea, it follows pickpocket Sook-hee as she's helping a conman to  seduce a Japanese heiress to marry him and take her inheritance. Things get far more twisted after that. Really, really twisted. To say anything more would be a spoiler, but Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) delivers similar goods (including an octopus) that had me mouth agape and on the edge of my seat. Somehow it wasn't nominated for Best Foreign Language film, but that doesn't matter anymore . GO SEE THIS MOVIE!


    When it comes to indie animation, and just...animated films that aren't blockbuster family hits from Disney or Dreamworks, you either have to wait a good long year for a UK release, or you never get them at all. The Red Turtle was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2017 Oscars  and got unanimous acclaim from a wide variety of filmgoers and critics, and when it finally turned up in my was clear why. A wordless, quiet tale of a man washed away at sea who's attempts to escape are frequently scuppered by the titular turtle, the film can be watched by any age, and enjoyed in any part of the world. It's truly one of the most accessible animated films made for a long long time. Co-produced by Studio Ghibli, it has their trademark attention to detail, heart and warmth, but Dutch director Michaël Dudok de Wit brings a quiet, action-light quality to proceedings, with a focus less on some grand adventure as it is the passing of time, and life itself, including the highs, the lows, the moments of pain and doubt, but also moments of great love. It's a beautiful, unique film, not so much sentimental in its emotion  as it is at times almost literally, silently tragic. 


    It isn’t often you find a new favorite film of the year about a month after the year is already over, but here we are. Last year, I ranked THE NICE GUYS are my favorite film of 2016, but that stance began to sincerely waver after sitting through HACKSAW RIDGE, a masterful reminder of just how talented Mel Gibson is despite his more-than-tarnished ethical presence. Andrew Garfield gives what is easily his best performance as Desmond Doss, a pacifistic Christian who enlists in the army during WWII, but is immediately ridiculed for refusing to hold a weapon. Nonetheless, he persists as a combat medic, and becomes a war hero in the process. It’s a powerful story, and it is all heightened by some of the best and literally most explosive war sequences I’ve ever seen in a movie. The stakes are high, and the tension is thick. But Doss’ determination and strength make for a likable and well-written lead character, alongside other strong performances from Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn of all people. Add that to some genuine family and romantic drama, a beautiful score from Rupert Gregson-Williams, and incredible sound work (which it won Oscars for, and rightfully so), and you have one of the most intense and inspiring films of the year that I just happened to miss in 2016. Aw well. It happens.

    MADHERO: Its weird how Hacksaw Ridge is probably the most mainstream thing on this list

    STICKMAN: Handmaiden's been on my list for a while, should get around to watching it.

    LARRY: Same, I've been hearing great things.

    MADHERO: Its almost 3 hours but its absolutely worth those. The cinematographer of the film went on to do IT, so that's neat

    STICKMAN: Can't say Hacksaw Ridge takes my fancy, seems like a  needlesly over the top war film in terms of gore.

    LARRY: I'd give it a chance, seeing as the whole point is that the character doesn't fire a weapon.

    MADHERO: Hacksaw Ridge has been on my watchlist but hasn't been a film I've gotten around to. Have seen Red Turtle though and that's an amazing piece of animation

    STICKMAN: Red Turtle is pretty dang great, well worth the long wait. Plus a Dutch director and that's an automatic win in my book

    LARRY: I have Red Turtle on my watchlist, mainly because of Sticky.

    STICKMAN: Dutch and Ghibli combining to make ART. This is a very diverse selection of films, two of which are 'world cinema' so that's fun.

    MADHERO: Alright. Time for the moment we've all been waiting for. 2017 has been a great year for movies of all different genres and cultures. Where does the Boss Baby rank? What type of Oscar bullshit is Larry going to throw at us? All those questions and more you'll find out....about now I guess

    STICKMAN: Don't spoil my number 1, Mad. That's just not fair.

    LARRY: HEY...myoscarpicksarentbullshit.



    I've said it so many times that it became kinda boring to repeat myself, but 2017 was a surprisingly weak year for animation. Sure Lego Batman was fun, and Larry can vouch for Captain Underpants, but otherwise it was pretty dire. So leave it to Pixar (granted, after Cars 3) to make it all look easy with Coco, a film I wasn't particuarely excited for, but that grew and grew as time went on, and I came out really impressed. There's just something extremely life affirming about the film, even if you don't believe in a afterlife.  Its theme of family goes so far and beyond the usual kids movie formula. That and the Pixar heart and soul that they've crafted to a tee. And while I didn't cry, its ending did leave me quite emotional, but in a good way. Coco is a emotional rollercoaster of a movie and one of my favorites this year


    So my pick for No 5 is maybe an oddball, I guess we'll find out. A little film called John Wick Chapter 2. The sequel to the very enjoyable but tonally uneven original installment, this follow-up pretty much fixes everything wrong with the last one, and throws in even more stylish visuals and tons more creative fight sequences, unlike the first, pretty much every fight in this film has some sort of unique flair to it, be it Keanu using his suit as a bullet shield, or two assassins popping silenced shots at each other across a busy, unaware train station. It's really entertaining, the journey of the main character is genuinely interesting at times, and the ending packs a memorable punch that sets things up really nicely for the 3rd chapter in a couple years, hopefully. I'm a big action fan and this was my favourite action film of the year, great stuff.


    My #5 is, wouldn't you know it, STRONGER! I already talked about a lot of why I love this film, but I'll just once again reiterate it. This is one of the year's most heartbreaking yet inspiratonal dramas, made something truly remarkable thanks to performances from Gyllenhaal and Maslany. Like the bandages scene, certain moments make you truly feel the pain the characters feel, and few movies this year captured that same kind of visceral reaction from me. Thankfully however, this film does sprinkle some humor in between the drama, and that also soars. One scene in particular involving a swingset perhaps made me laugh harder than any other film this year. However, what I love most is that it isn’t your typical martyrdom story. Our main character isn’t inherently likable, but his journey in the story shows him learning to accept who he has become and what he means to other people. That is so refreshing for a film of this kind, and I hope that this film is seen by more people in the years to come because it is sincerely underappreciated.


    LARRY: I'm probably gonna miss Coco this year and I hate myself for it.


    STICKMAN: So, Larry...I hear Stronger got a mixed reception, but I guess you really dug it huuuuh?

    LARRY: Did it? I didn't know that. I loved it.

    STICKMAN: It's been called a bit cliche by some, and there's some controversy about having Jake play a disabled person.

    LARRY: Well, I loved Gyllenhaal's performance in this film, so I honestly don't agree with that criticism. I am praying each and every day that it gets just the tiniest bit of Oscar love. More people deserve to see this film.

    MADHERO: I feel like that might be a very small subset on Tumblr. First time I've heard the complaint at least. I saw a poster for it after coming out of Blade Runner and thought it had a mixed reception as well, and then it had like a 90 on RT, As for John Wick Chapter 2.....yeah I can see that. I want more of this bullshit crazy world

    STICKMAN: It's my kinda bullshit. John Wick inspires me to be stronger with my pencil usage.

    LARRY: Still haven't seen either John Wicks.

    MADHERO: You'll never look at pencils the same way again



    Unless your name was Justice League, 2017 was a good year for superhero movies. Logan matured the more comic book era of the genre, Wonder Woman captured the cultural zeitgeist in a way not even DC couldve expected and Thor Ragnarok made the Thor movies not a slog to go through. With all that said, the one that ended up really sticking with me was Spider-Man Homecoming. If I were to use 2 words for this film, it would be 'relief' and 'nice.' A relief to finally have a genuinely great Spider-Man movie in over a decade, and nice in just how....pleasant it was. Jenna Nicholson described it as a superhero movie version of Hey Arnold, and that's more accurate than expected. For a 180 million dollar superhero film starring one of the most popular characters in the world, it just feels small scale and nice. Plus its really funny and Tom Holland is the best Spidey to date


    At number foooour for me is the closing chapter of one of the most underrated cinematic trilogies of recent times. War for the Planet of the Apes, whilst not quite to the same level of consistent quality as the stupendously good Dawn, is still an engrossing, visually arresting and emotionally engaging trilogy-capper, with yet another outstanding, no doubt soon to be consistently ignored  performance by Andy Serkis, who's taken us through Ceaser's life from childhood to the grizzled leader of an army. It's been a hell of a ride, and War delivers pretty much all that you'd want from it. Maybe it could've done with a better ending, maybe certain characters weren't needed, and maybe the villain isn't as compelling as Koba from Dawn, but it's still a fucking excellent slice of blockbuster cinema, and proof that you can remake films and make them not only great, but also completely distinct from the originals in the best possible ways.


    To be frank, I haven’t watched this film in about 11 months, so its placement as #4 is incredibly susceptible to change. But I think it says a lot that a movie from February had such an impact on me that it stayed in my head all year. GET OUT is a breakout masterwork from Jordan Peele, who lends his fresh voice to a political state that couldn’t be more in need of it. Its dissection of racism in the post-Obama era of American culture is one that is so intelligently thought-provoking, but to dress in a horror film’s clothing makes for a visceral, truly chilling experience, propelled by excellent performances, smart cinematography, and writing that feels all too real. There’s a reason people are still talking about this film; it’s breaking into the collective consciousness is undeniable, and GET OUT deserves every bit of that praise.

    MADHERO: I don't think any movie captured the zeitgeist quite like Get Out did. That movie IS 2017

    STICKMAN: Heeyyy, I've seen all of these and liked them. Nice.

    LARRY: And so have I! I would like to point out that Get Out is a great film even without the zeitgeist factor.

    MADHERO : Get Out was suuuuuuuuper close, but Coco just edged it. Same goes for War, which I liked more than I loved

    STICKMAN: I feel Get Out was a tad overrated, I get why people were so on board with it, but I think maybe in the future the response won't be as electric. It came out at the right time and captured people's imaginations in a big way, so I gotta give it credit for that.

    LARRY: I see Get Out as a genrebender, more of a psychological thriller with comedic moments. That sunken place scene, man. Incredible. That could've easily been in our best scene of the year discussion.

    STICKMAN: As was Spider-Man Homecoming, easily the best Spidey we've had on the big screen, even if it's possibly not the best Spider-Man film.

    MADHERO: God it was so good to like a Spidey film again

    LARRY: I liked Homecoming, though probably not as much as everyone else did.

    STICKMAN: I think how much you love Homecoming depends on how attached you are to the character and how  relieving it was to have a good portrayal of him. And how about my movie, ahh...AHH? Mine had apes in it.

    MADHERO:  I liked how that was a much more intimate affair than that title would assume. And a great showcase for Andy Serkis once again

    STICKMAN: He is amazing, and the special effects were beyond incredible. And used to tell a compelling story, which is the most important part.

    LARRY: WftPotA was an excellent film as well. Takes Caesar to some incredible places dramatically. I feel like it maybe tries to incorporate one idea too many, but I'd be lying if I said they all weren't fascinating and great for world-building.

    MADHERO: I think when we look back, that trilogy will be seen as one of the best blockbuster trilogies out there.



    Edgar Wright has consistently proven himself as one of the best comedy directors working in the industry, but Baby Driver might just prove him to be one of the best working directors PERIOD. A stunningly original piece of direction, playing almost more like an album than a film, capturing so many different moods and able to carry you throughout. No film has used music quite like this. Oh, and the action is pretty spectacular too tied to that music, from the opening getaway set to Bellbotoms, immediately telling you what you're in for,  to the footchase set to Hocus Pocus (by Focus).  Its so fun that not even the recent revelations around Kevin Spacey can sink it.


    Nummberr threeeeeee is going to please all the Nolanites out there, because it's a little film called Dunkirk. I'm not sure how big a deal this was outside of the UK but it's definitely one of the most talked about films of the summer round these parts. And for good reason. After a couple of big, ambitious but very messy epics in the form of TDKR and Interstellar, it was fair to say Christopher Nolan and his various movie tropes were wearing a little thin. Along comes Dunkirk and reminds us why he's so well loved, because fucking CHRIST, what a movie this is. A non-stop thrillride from the get-go, with a soundtrack engineered to make you increasingly tense. It's visually stunning, the cold, silent atmosphere even during the heat of  the more intense scenes is unique and refreshing for a war movie, and It all gets pretty powerful towards the end. Featuring the Nolan polish and cinematic flair you'd expect, but applied to his most stripped back, simple, yet deeply engrossing film in years. It's really great stuff, and there's a reason why it's one of the few summer blockbusters genuinely in contention for big awards in the coming months..maybe.


    Alright this is where we get to my true, cemented favorites of the year. At #3, we have DUNKIRK, the only film I saw this year that I can truly call a wholly unique experience, and that’s not just because of the stellar 70mm IMAX screening I went to. Dunkirk has Christopher Nolan playing at his strengths, that being tone, atmosphere, and emotion. Right from the very first gunshot, the film grabs you by the throat and doesn’t even slightly loosen its grip, what with its ear-piercing sound design, impressive score from genius Hans Zimmer, and gorgeous cinematic beach landscapes. With grounded performances from everyone in the cast, genuine but thankfully minimal dialogue, and an ending that will make you want to stand up and cheer, Nolan has created a movie completely its own. Will I ever watch Dunkirk again? I’m not sure to be honest, but I’m sure as HELL glad I watched it once, and in the proper way.

    STICKMAN: Me and Larry are Dunkirk bros, what are you, Mad? Baby Driver? HAH. FUCK THAT MOVIE, Y'KNOOOW?

    LARRY: Baby Driver would've easily been in my Top 10. Loved watching that film.

    MADHERO: So while I think Dunkirk is a stunning achievement in filmmaking and a return to from from Nolan, I didn't put it in my Top 5. I didn't quite love it enough. Its in the Top 10 for sure though

    STICKMAN: It was a fucking experience in IMAX I gotta tell you, I wish 70mm had been an option here.

    LARRY: But that sheppard tone thooooo. THAT SHEPPARD TOOOOONE. Every now and again Hans Zimmer proves why he's one of the best in the business. He's not all just BWAAAAAAAAAHS

    MADHERO: I couldn't really connect with it the way you guys did it. The Zimmer soundtrack was great though. Will agree completely

    STICKMAN: I heard a lot of people say it lacked an emotional  connection but towards the end I was getting pretty fucking into it. The 'Home' moment was up there for me with the best scenes of the year.

    LARRY: It wasn't meant to be personally emotional, but it was meant to just put you in the war. Obviously I didn't connect with the characters as much as other movies, but that wasn't the point.

    MADHERO: The ending does do a good job delivering the emotion, and before that it was a real thrillride. That scene in the stranded boat? Oof

    STICKMAN: Oh god, what a great film Dunkirk is. And I mean Baby Driver's okay I guesssss.

    LARRY: That ending had me FUCKED. With Churchill's speech? Amazing. I did really love Baby Driver. The music was its own character, and I'm a sucker for that shit.



    Sometimes there are those movies that just......stick with you in a way that you don't really expect. You watch it, you think "yeah, that was pretty good" and then you think about it some more and go "o wait, I actually loved that." I experienced that with Last Jedi, but even more so, I experienced that with Okja: The South Korean Netflix Original from Bong Joon Ho. Okja is a weird movie right from the off, with a jarring tone that never really lets go. Sometimes its a fun boy and his dog type story (or in this case girl and her superpig), then its a Amblin style adventure, and then it can delve in straight up horror territory that will make you never want to eat meat again. The more I thought about it, the more I admired its boldness and direction, even if that didn't work out (I did not care for Jake Gyllenhaal in this). Its a good time to remember that for every Bright, Netflix also provides oppurtunities like Beast of No Nation and Okja, my 2nd favorite film of the year


    So my number 2...after a lot of soul searching, because this has been one of the hardest selection of films to rank in Baby Driver. Baby Driver is a fucking delight, showcasing the amazing talents of Edgar Wright as both a director and a visionary. On a basic note it's just your standard crime drama, partially innocent guy gets caught up in crime, falls in love, wants to get out, but they keep pulling him back in. It's been done, and done really well. But what sets Baby Driver apart is just how warm the whole film is, oh...and yeah, the music...the editing, the action scenes. It's like a glorious cinematic ballet of  burnt rubber, featuring a coffee collection scene that the film students of the future will be forced to rewatch time and time again for just the sheer number of brilliant little touches.  Beyond the obvious, it's a sweet, funny and charming experience from start to finish, and one of the most memorable crime capers for a long time. Edgar Wright has always been an amazing director, but this is him at the height of his cinematic powers.


    Sometimes, you just sit down in a movie theatre, and you know a movie is gonna be your #1 favorite of the year. Well, this movie didn’t exactly score that luxury in the end, though it got damn close. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is Martin McDonagh at his best, with sharp and witty retorts in spades but strong, emotionally riveting characters at the forefront. Frances McDormand hasn’t been this good since FARGO, and Sam Rockwell hasn’t been this good since ever, and the two of them together makes for one of the most fascinating on-screen pairs of the year. Its discussion about the relationship between the police and the public is striking, and some of the most multi-dimensional work to come from McDonagh. However, what I love most is how it takes an immediate tension and consistently pushes the envelope with every new twist and turn, with some moments leaving my mouth wide open. I was almost about to miss this one, and thank fuck I didn’t because it was some of the most fun I’ve had in a movie theatre.



    STICKMAN: I was not big on Ojka, it was sweet and looked nice, but I didn't get into it really.

    MADHERO: As a big fan of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, I know I'll probably love Three Billboards, but I have to wait till next year for that.

    LARRY:You guys gotta get back to me THE SECOND you finish.

    MADHERO: It's fine if you don't care for Okja, Sticky. Its a very acquired taste, and you have to be on board on some pretty major tonal shifts

    STICKMAN: It is the very definition of an acquired taste, I can at least appreciate the appeal, even if I didn't dig it especially. The tonal shifts were very jarring, but I guess that was the point.

    LARRY: I agree tonally it was a tad off but I liked how it sorta tackled so many different angles of the topic in question.

    MADHERO: You will belief that a hippopigthing with floppy ears is destroying a mall

    LARRY: Also, Jake. Fucking. Gyllenhaal. He gave his most polarizing performance and I couldn't help but love it.

    STICKMAN: What was he doing in that film. And heeeyy, Baby Driver. Cars and such.

    MADHERO: Yeah its neat I suppose. Only the 3rd best of the year if we're being honest

    STICKMAN: Oh shit. Discourse.



    I'm not even going to beat around the bush here: Blade Runner 2049 was the best film of the year and I can't believe I'm even saying that. Even now, revisiting Blade Runner is such a profoudly bad idea that you have to wonder what spurred then to do it other than to make a cashgrab now thet the film is seen as this important touchstone. But leave it to Denis Villerneuve (making my favorite film for the 2nd time in a row after Arrival) to not only match the quality, but in some ways exceed the original. 2049 is an absolute treat from beginnning to end. Unapologetically high-concept and artistic, a slow burn that you keep watching just to take in more of the world. Great acting from everyone involved, and sequences that will take your breath away with its beauty. Its a shame a lot of the conversation has been how it disappointed at the boxoffice, but give it a decade and it will rightly regarded as a science fiction masterpiece, and one that we'll talk about for a very long time.


    Okay so...this has been a tricky one to decide. Baby Driver is great, I've rewatched it...but my number 1 pick I've only seen once...but man, what an amazing time I had. We were all hoping and praying this film wouldn't let us down, it had so much promise in its director, cast....legacy. But at the same time could a sequel to Blade Runner, a somewhat rough, flawed movie that's developed one of the biggest legacies of any sci-fi film in history...could that really work? Well, it did, it did more than work, it surpassed the original quite easily, I feel personally. It took what was great about the original, the world, the feel...the music, the tone....the premise, and it just....made it all so much better, far more engrossing, interesting and fucking beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful films ever made, and I do mean that just beyond the basic's a beautiful film in its characters, and the sequences and concepts it explores. It's not afraid to go to dark, dark places, but it's also not afraid to revel in the beauty of the world and the good that can be found within it. I had to wait 30 minutes for this film to screen properly after an IMAX malfunction and I still sat wide eyed and open-mouthed for almost 3 hours as I sat through this masterpiece of a cyberpunk neo-noir delight.  Easily the best I've had in 2017 at the cinema.


    Just mere days ago, this film was #2. But the more I kept thinking about it, the more I, TONYA represents what I love about storytelling and the art of filmmaking. Let’s forget the fact that it’s superbly acted (Margot Robbie deserves to win best actress, as does Allison Janney for best supporting actress), kinetically shot, perfectly soundtracked, tightly written, excellently edited, and hilarious from start to finish. What really makes I, TONYA my favorite film of the year is that how it tells its story and what it has to say about public outrage and scandals. The film is told through multiple, contradictory perspectives. This initially just sounds like a way to be funny, but it is actually a larger comment about how everyone has a side to the story, and no one in particular is right or wrong. We think we know everything about the stories that circulate around the media, but unless we were actually there, none of us really now what went down, And even then, with those involved, different perspectives muddy the waters. This is an idea I strongly resonate with, and to see a film tackle it was such strong direction and direct consequence is staggering in the best way possible. This film is about to make a big splash as it releases more widely thanks to its inevitable awards buzz, so you better go see it when it does. It is, without a doubt, my favorite film of the year.

    LARRY: Well now I just feel left out...

    STICKMAN: God damnit Larry, we coulda had something special, a SHARED BOND.

    LARRY: I loved Blade Runner 2049. That is also in my Top 10. The length was a bit of an issue for me though. Just a taaaaaaaaad too long. But damn does it make every second of those three hours visually STUNNING

    MADHERO: I probably could've sat there for 4 hours and still not feel like it was too long. I wanted more of that shitshow of a world

    STICKMAN: I could've climbed through the screen and spent a week in that world, honestly. I was absorbed for the entire running time in a way a nearly 3 hour movie very rarely accomplishes.

    LARRY: Roger Deakins better win a FUCKING OSCAR.

    MADHERO: Yeah. It a slow burn, but I honestly never felt like it was too long. And yeah, GIVE THE DEAKS HIS DUES!

    LARRY: Shame we can’t really talk about my film.

    MADHERO: I wish I could say something about your nr. 1, Larry, but I haven't seen it. Going to be a 2018 watch for me

    STICKMAN: You'll never believe it Larry but it's not out here yet.



    MADHERO: Its a fascinating piece of history, and its interesting to hear about the conflicting narratives in the film. I imagine you're all in on Robbie and Janney being Oscar contenders

    LARRY: Fuck yes I am, though I’d be happy to see McDormand get it too. I am ALL IN FOR JANNEY THO. Believe me when I say it; every line out of her mouth is comedy gold.

    STICKMAN: I have my hesitations about 2049's legs as an intensely watchable film in re-views, but for now...hooweee. The best.


    MADHERO: I think that about wraps up our awardsshow. Don't want the afterparty shrimp to go bad.

    LARRY: Ooooh shrimp.

    STICKMAN: Are we eating the shrimp or fucking it...because it's still 2017 as we're writing...and...well...

    MADHERO: Happy New Year everyone. May your 2018 be good


    LARRY: HAPPY 2018 EVERYONE. Please start it right and keep spirits high!

  • HARD WORK PAYS OFF #HAPPY //December 8th 2017

    11 months ago

    FiskJr KevinEverett

    Hey everyone, 

    I got some amazing news. 

    Over this past year I had been waitlisted for my #1 school of choice (Emerson College) in April. Over the summer I had gotten declined acceptance. Directly afterward I scrambled to decide if I was going to stay here in Massachusetts at Community College or go to LA to go to Columbia College Hollywood.

    I ended up choosing Community College in Boston. I commuted 50 miles a day by car to attend school. For the past 4 months community college has been harder than I thought it would be, but I have good grades at the moment and my finals are next week. 

    Over the past two weeks I put my deposit down for Bridgewater State University. I was planning to go to this school and major in Secondary Education, but something just happened as of yesterday. 

    Yesterday I was filming with some of my really good friends when I received  an email from Emerson College with an update on my status. (I had reapplied for Spring 2018). I opened it while I was with my friends and I GOT ACCEPTED!!! I got accepted into my #1 school that I had been persistent with... It is acclaimed to be the #1 school for Journalism, #9 Film School, and #4 for Career Services in the United States. The school is really important to film makers in East coast because the other big one is NYU. -- Im so excited to have the opportunity to attend this incredible school. 

    I worked so hard and I am beyond proud of myself... I put so much effort into this school. 

    Emerson College ’21 || Media Arts Production, Film Production 


    - Kevin Everett

  • RWBY Reviews

    11 months ago


    Do you want to hear someone review RWBY with an open mind, not just bashing it for no reason and not just dumping unending praise? Do you want a fan to look at RWBY critically and break down what's working and what's not? Then do I have something for you!

    My sister and I have reviewed 11 episodes of RWBY (volume 4) and still going!

  • Google Play-ese

    11 months ago

    Sir_Anthrax FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    When is Rwby s3 and s4 coming to google play? Also I know Lazer Team 2 just came to youtube red but when is that coming to google play?

  • Fixed it in post

    1 year ago

    PasvSmkng Worst ever, of all time


    Yeah, played around with #4, finally found some colours that seemed to work for her.  

    I might do a version minus the shirt next, I don't think that tee is completely plain.  

  • RWBY: Combat Ready - The Road So Far

    1 year ago

    Chelsea RT Community Manager

    Hey everyone!

    It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since the RWBY: Combat Ready Kickstarter Campaign launched on September 27th. Thanks to all the Backers and vocal supporters, the game and campaign have taken off faster than we could imagine.

    It’s only been 30 days, but the game has changed drastically since launch due to the unlocking of Stretch Goals. Those unlocked goals offered game component upgrades, additional content in the game, or additional content to be purchased!

    For those of you who haven’t been following along (or those who have but really want to know what you’re getting... ) here is a brief “The Road So Far” of RWBY: Combat Ready.

    September 27: RWBY: Combat Ready was launched!

    September 29: We clarified that shipping is INCLUDED for people who live in the USA, EU, AU, or NZ!

    September 30: We’re funded!  fireworks

    After being funded, it becomes a whirlwind of updates nearly every day as we started unlocking items. Here’s the quick low down with some links to their specific updates (as necessary).

    Items that are added to RWBY: Combat Ready - for all versions!

    • 6 Additional Objective Cards
    • The Rulebook was upgraded in Quality
    • +4 Additional Pages with a “Making of RWBY: Combat Ready” Chapter
    • The playing cards were upgraded to a high quality Black Core
    • MINIATURES! Miniatures replaced the cardboard player pieces of Ruby, Weiss, Blake,  and Yang!
    • Player Tracker Scrolls were upgraded to be double-backed with recessed squares to hold player cubes securely
    • Vacuum Trays were included in all game boxes to hold all the game components
    • Semblance Tokens were upgraded to be 3D printed pieces
    • Adam Taurus was added as a Villain into RWBY: Combat Ready (36 Card Deck, plus the White Fang Minion Deck with 18 cards and 1 Objective Card)
    • Game Box was upgraded to have UV Printing on the outside
    • Player Cubes upgraded from wood to colored transparent plastic
    • Cinder was added as a Villain into RWBY: Combat Ready
    • PENNY Is Included! (She comes with a 30 card deck, 1 player tracker scroll, 1 miniature, and 1 semblance token.)

    Backer Included Items - Free of charge to Kickstarter Backers at all Pledge Levels!

    • The 30 Card Heroine Booster Deck - a pack of 6 cards for each of the 5 heroines (Ruby, Weiss, Blake, Yang, and Penny)

    • Neopolitan’s Sub-Boss Deck - a deck of 18 cards and 1 Objective Card

    • The 30 Card Villain Booster Deck - a pack of 10 cards for each of the 3 Villains (Roman Torchwick, Cinder Fall, and Adam Taurus)

    Add-On Items Available to Add To Your Pledge (Here’s How you do it!)

    • Villain Miniatures for USD$20.00 (Includes a 30mm tall mini of Cinder, Adam, and Torchwick - Collectible Items Only, Not Integral to Gameplay)

    • Additional Copies of the Game for USD$45.00 (Each additional copy purchased through the Kickstarter will have all the Backer Included Items)

    • Emerald and Mercury’s Sub Boss Deck for USD$10.00 (Includes an 18 card deck and 1 objective card)

    • RWBY Starter Pack #1 for USD$60.00 (Includes the first four volumes of RWBY on either Blu-Ray or DVD.)

    • RWBY Starter Pack #2 for USD$40.00 (Includes the first four soundtrack CDs of RWBY)

    • New RWBY Character for USD$10.00 (An unknown new RWBY Character that will be premiering in RWBY: Combat Ready before they appear in the show, RWBY!)

    Developer Updates Explaining the Game:

    #1 - Objectives and How They Work

    #2 - Card Play

    #3 - Combos and Assists

    #4 - Experience

    I know, a lot of information to take in at once. Take a deep breath. Take a look. RWBY: Combat Ready has grown drastically since we launched it only 30 days ago. We’ve got just about four days left in the campaign so now is the time if you have interest.

    We’re expected to ship this game to Backers in July 2018 and then ideally it will go into the RT Store after the Backers have it in their hands. But remember - there are certain items here that Backers have included for their pledges that will be separate items when it's in the Store!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to get our hands on it and play it with our friends!



  • Why Do You Play That?: World Of Warcraft

    1 year ago

    bloodcal-cal7 Im Callam Hi

    So I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on why I play certain games cause someone asked me the other day: "Callam why do you always play world of warcraft?" This being my 7 year old sister asking me this. And it actually got me thinking as to why I actually play it. So through some thought I decided to make some fo these journals sharing my feelings about these kind of games. First off: World Of Warcraft.

    Subject #1: The Story

    Yes I know, the story is the least of anyone's thoughts when playing this game, but honestly I love it! The story progression throughout WoW's world is flawless (to a certain degree) as there are some genuinely fascinating things involved in some of the quests, such as questing with Rexar on Draenor, or Sylvanas and Jaina in Icecrown, hell even Pandaria as a whole hade very interesting characters such as The Klaxxi. But as a whole, I love the world that Blizzard has made cause it really shows in the story development in each zone, like when you do The Siege of Ogrimmar raid there is some sense of grief for killing General Nazgrim. Why? Well cause he was a hero, you quested with him throughout Cataclysm and Pandaria, the same can be said with the Klaxxi. I honestly felt bad killing them cause they were so interesting, mainly because we got to see the perspective of the "bad side", the bad side being the old gods. And with the way that Legion has been going lately, there is no end to the amazing story progression that Blizzard has created.

    Subject #2: Collectibles 

    Yeah I have to say, one of the most fun things to do in this game is to collect stuff. Whether it be mounts, pets (I'll get to that later), hell even just outfits and toys, WoW has an abundance of things for you to do and goals to achieve. At most, mount collecting is almost everyone's goal in WoW, cause whats more amazing than transforming into a dragon and carrying your mate to the next raid! Blizzard even made two very unique ways to get mounts, The Riddler's Mind Worm which requires you to piece together 9 different pages that contain clues on the mount's where abouts, and the Lucid Nightmare which had the same concept but had a series of fun little puzzles to solve in order to find it, my favorite one being the endless random maze in Kung-Lai summit, easily took me three days to figure out. Even raiding has the goal of getting a mount through achievements, this of course encourages players to work together (ok to be fair, thats a bitch of a chore to do). Not to mention there are some pretty cool outfits for specific classes, even Blizzard made an mini event for it!

    Subject #3: PETS!!!

    I really didnt get too into pet battling when I first started playing way back in 2012 (I replayed Warcraft 3 multiple times before realizing there was an online world), but after a while I realized "Holy Shit its pokemon!" and it clearly shows that someone fought to have that concept in this game, and I LOVE IT!! Cause whats more fun than fighting with a mini-demon or a puppy covered in green magic? I just love it,

    Subject #4: PvP and PvE

    Yep, I enjoy slaying the Alliance in my free time. Do I gain anything from it? Not Really. Is there a reason? Nah its just fun! PvP can be annoying sometimes, but I enjoy it cause it gives you a sense of challenge. Cause I love hard shit in games, the more difficult the better (as long as the game is designed to be hard and isnt hard due to shitty mechanics. LOOKING AT YOU SONIC UNLEASHED!)

    So yeah thats why I play world of warcraft. Its fun, kills some time, story is interesting, killing shit is fun, and due to a certain level of nostalgia. 

    Not sure if I'll make more journals like this one, but really felt like sharing this just because. 


  • Designing Cooperative Games Around Cooperative Play.

    1 year ago


    A lot of people play games together.

    More than 50 percent of the most frequent gamers within the United States play games with other people (, 2015). Australian gamers also play cooperatively with 61 percent of Australian gamers reporting to play games with children and 44 percent of gamers also claiming to play with their partners (, 2015)).  It is clear with these findings that cooperative gaming and the genre of cooperative games is a huge part of the industry. Despite this however, there is not a huge pool of cooperative game design articles and research papers. This written piece will aim to discuss the customs of cooperative game design according to the findings and observations throughout the very few articles, GDC talks and the likes that do touch on the matter.

    Shared Intentionality.

    In Keith Burgun’s book, Game Design Theory it is said that any good game designer will benefit from learning about psychology as “psychology is the study of human behaviour, and games are machines for human behaviour to attach to”, when two gamers are in the mix and are playing cooperatively a designer must make many different considerations to ensure both players are getting the intended experience from the video game. Before considering what game design choices to make in cooperative game design it must be known why any two players would cooperate in the first place. In his 2011 GDC talk on cooperative game design (, 2011) Patrick Redding discusses some of the reasonings behind why players work with one another. One of the key discussion points to unpack from the conference was the idea of Shared Intentionality. Shared intentionality is a trait that allows people to collaborate in unique ways. Shared Intentionality it is a point of differentiation in humans among other species that allows for the ability to participate and collaborate with others in activities where a goal or intention is shared (South Eastern Louisiana University, 2017). Shared intentionality reflects on the basis that “players become invested in the success of collaborative partners” (, 2011).  This idea implies that “players can derive satisfaction from meaningful cooperation”, meaningful cooperation being cooperating in a way that is important or useful to the player’s success in the game and has “recognizable function in the logic of the game systems”.

    Cooperative games in the early Xbox 360 days.

    With the knowledge of Shared Intentionality and the consideration that players are more willing to cooperate if it is a key component of the game’s systems, it can be said that designing cooperative games extends further than simply adding a second player with an accompanying screen and adjusting opposition and resources/player’s tools to suit. The franchise Gears of War (, 2017) is often spoken within the same breath as the term co-op, this is because unlike developers such as Bungie, Epic Games approached their cooperative campaign with cooperative gameplay in mind rather than simply slapping on a second player to the campaign, which is what occurred within Halo 3(, 2017). It is with examples from these two core franchises and others that the elements of cooperative game design will be discussed to aid other game designers to not design a great video game, but a great cooperative video game experience where cooperative gameplay as its core focus.

    A greater percentage of players show interest in Gears of War Co-op than Halo Coop.

    The two games in question are incredibly similar, Halo 3 and Gears of War both released within a few years of the launch of the Xbox 360. They are both shooters, first and third person respectively and they have both earned an aggregate rating of 94 out of 100 on Metascore (, 2007). However similar, it is no secret that the Halo franchise is more popular than the Gears of War franchise, proven as the Halo franchise constantly out sells the other console exclusive (, 2016). An interesting finding is that despite the disparity in popularity, interest in the coop-ability of the games is far more existent in Gears of War players than Halo players. When running a Google Trends comparison on how many times the term “Halo coop” and “Gears of War coop” have been searched, Halo only takes this win by %40. This percentage may seem significant until it is realised that Google users show just under 5 times more interest in the Halo franchise.

    These findings may occur because “Co-Op play is top notch” (, 2017) and because “Co-op is a tremendous part of the Gears of War experience. (When) playing alone, it simply feels like half a game” (, 2017). In contrast, “Halo 3 is more traditional with its …co-op campaign that is fun, but not earth shattering.” (IGN, 2008). With this the conclusion can be made that out of all who play either game a far larger percentage of Gear of War players show interest in the cooperative gameplay of Gears of War than the percentage of Halo players that show interest in that respective franchise’s co-op gameplay. If the Halo franchise is so beloved, why is there so much more interest by players in playing Gears of War cooperatively? The simple answer must be in the way in which Bungie and Epic approached designing co-op play in each title.

    Designing cooperative play in cooperative games.

    When a cooperative game is released successful it usually does so if cooperative gameplay is considered throughout all aspects of the games development and design. The mechanics, the game’s story and level design decisions must all been made with cooperative play in mind.

    Within Gears of War the story and the mechanics not only support one another, but they also support cooperative play. Gears of War is a game in which the games characters comprise of a team called Delta Squad, the team must work together via cover-dependant tactics to overcome encounters and obstacles. The idea of cooperating is reinforced by it being an essential element within the game’s gameplay mechanics and the story surrounding it. In contrast Halo 3, like the two games before it, is a first-person shooter with Sci Fi elements, the main purpose of the game is to continue and complete the story of Master Chief, the franchises’ protagonist, unlike in Gears of War the mechanics and story of Halo revolve around one character, Master Chief. Despite encountering other characters, the focus is put on Master Chief’s story and his efforts rather than how well he works with those he teams up with.


    All design decisions in a cooperative game should be made with cooperative play in mind, as one of the core elements of a game is the mechanics within it, the mechanics themselves should support cooperative gameplay. Patrick Redding discusses (, 2017) the different types of “cooperative dynamics” that should be considered when implementing and designing mechanics in a cooperative game.

    Asymmetric Abilities

    Asymmetric abilities are, as the name suggests, a cooperative dynamic where players have access to different abilities. The most common way to implement this in the design of a cooperative game is through character/class selection and/or having customisation/skill trees.

    Board game developer Corey Konieczka states “that having unique characters really helps players feel like individuals (). If (players) have the same strengths and capabilities, then it is difficult for (them) to identify with anything on a personal level” (Mechanics & meeples, 2013). An example of a cooperative video game where this approach is prominent and often complimented is in Payday 2 (, 2017), “Payday 2’s skill trees and perk decks give players a wide range of defining a build that they can use” (Tim Klewitz, 2015). 

    Synergy (, 2017) between players is made possible due to asymmetric abilities as some of them may only work or will work better with one another. By designing abilities in ways where some work well and more effectively together, players will feel more inclined to cooperate in order experience the most fruitful results.

    One of the dynamics which Halo 3 had subtly implemented but Gear of War had not was asymmetric abilities. Although no perks or classes are present, in the Bungie title each player in the Halo 3 campaign spawns with different weaponry that is dependent on which character they play(, 2017). Unlike this, in Gears of War, all the players are provided with the same equipment and abilities despite playing different characters. In Gears of War, asymmetric abilities are not present until players pick up weapons as they progress. Similarly, so, the abilities only differ in Halo 3 with reference to the weaponry available that is provided to players. When this occurs and players have different weapons, the effects of asymmetric abilities are in place however “the divisions between a tank, a healer, or a damage dealer -- allows players to differentiate themselves and their behaviours from others” (Mathew Kumar, 2017) in a far more effective way than simply having different weaponry.

    Asymmetric abilities do not need to be a constant in cooperative game. When asymmetric abilities aren’t present all players are equally powerful, no one player is in more risk of death than another throughout gameplay. This may make players feel more unified. The strategies that tie along with cover based mechanics, such as those in Gears of War may allow for a lack of asymmetric abilities to not hinder the cooperative feel of the game as cooperative strategic play is still in place despite the similar move sets and abilities.

    Combined Actions

    Asymmetric abilities and differing skills are components that aid in implementing another dynamic known as combined actions. The premise of combined actions is designing encounters that can utilise multiple skill sets and/or abilities but ultimately it is designing challenges which one player cannot tackle by themselves or challenges which cooperative play compliments. (Mathew Kumar, 2017). In these scenarios, players will have to adapt to different roles. These roles may be based off the different abilities of each player’s character or are delegated due to each player skills.

    Implementing Asymmetric Abilities and Combined Actions.

    Act 2: Nightfall (, 2017) sees the players of Gears of War experiencing both asymmetric abilities and combined actions. At the end of this act the players find themselves driving an armoured vehicle with an ultraviolet light attached to it that Kryll (bat like enemies) are vulnerable to. With one player driving and the other aiming the light at the Kryll, both players have access to different mechanics (asymmetric abilities) that must be used in unison (combined actions) to progress through the campaign (combined actions). In this sequence players must divide power between the engine and the turret, this mechanic forces players to have to communicate and cooperate as they need to both murder the Kryll to avoid being killed and progress through the level.

    The final mission of the Halo 3 campaign (, 2017) finds players in a similar scenario where they must drive an armoured vehicle with a mounted weapon through a branching but linear path. The difference in this scenario is that both players can chose between the driver’s seat, passenger seat and turret, and can even separate into two vehicles if they wish. The main challenge of this segment is manoeuvring through the level, when this mission is played through separately the AI accompanying the player rarely do much and the only role the solo player can take is as the driver, in contrast when the aforementioned Gears of War mission is played through by one player, they have access to both shooting and driving as both roles are important in passing the segment.  Bungies approach to this type of mission lead to an absence of mechanic forcing players to have to cooperate, one player is driving through the level choosing the most optimum path while the other simply shoots at the Flood (swarming enemies) that they pass.

    The dialogue in this segment of game also enforces that the only real role here is driving. Even when playing through cooperatively, at the final jump the dialogue: “You’ve done it chief! Jump. floor it, right into the hangar” is heard. This dialogue not only addresses the 1st player’s character, Masterchief but it also shows no acknowledgment of the 2nd Players assistance or lack thereof.

    Exotic Challenges

    Exotic challenges are implemented when the normal camera and controls have been altered or replaced with something else.  Different and unique perspectives and controls allow for different types of gameplay, when implementing exotic challenges, the same risks and threats should still be applicable. If a player is by themselves they are at a greater risk of danger than they would be if they have an accompanying player to assist, protect and support them. A popular example of this kind of mechanic is in any situation where one player is immobile and undergoing a new type of scenario while their team mate/s protects their body. 

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (, 2017) brings the introduction to a killstreak/reward known as the predator missile/drone. When a predator drone is earned, and used the player opens a laptop, briefly loses control over their normal mechanics in favour of the ability to direct the course of a missile from a top down perspective. After sighting a position on the map, the player directs the missile heading toward the ground and ultimately at their opposition. In Modern Warfare 2 there is a mission known as Sniper Fi (, 2017) as a part of their Spec Ops missions which can be played cooperatively. When done so the dynamic of the predator missile is vastly different and utilises an exotic challenge where a player is safer when cooperating. When one player initiates the predator drone their body is unprotected as their current perspective is fixed on the predator drone, for the brief time they are in control of the drone the only way their body can be defended is if their partner protects them.

    Buffing Systems

    “Sometimes games provide players with abilities that can only be used on another player” (, 2017) these abilities fall under the cooperative dynamic known as buffing systems. Buffing systems are one of the only types of mechanics that works exclusively in cooperative gameplay, be it cooperating with other players or AI characters. Buffing Systems are mechanics implemented in gameplay where one cooperative partner makes another more powerful. Buffing systems are often voluntarily used. By having one player literally supporting another, cooperative play is not only encouraged but it provides for a greater opportunity at success.

    Team Fortress 2 (, 2017) is a cooperative class and team based shooter. Players have access to a class called the Medic that’s sole purpose is to support their team mates. The Medic’s secondary weapon slot can only be filled with weapons that have zero adversarial ability but have buffing systems in place instead. The Medic’s stock secondary weapon is a Medi Gun, “Despite technically being a weapon, the Medi Gun's chief purpose is healing injured allies and boosting the total health of the target up to 150%, also called over healing or buffing” (, 2017). When a player is buffing a team mate, not only are they aiding them but they are also reliant on them for protection as they are occupied with healing rather than protecting themselves and inflicting damage to their opponents. Buffing systems are also present in multiple of the Medic’s unlockable primary weapons. The Medic’s primary weapon is the main way they can inflict damage on their enemies, however when primary weapons such as the Crusader’s Crossbow are equipped and a player shoots a team mate, their team mate is positively affected. When buffing systems are implemented cooperating teams are given a competitive advantage and cooperating is made almost a compulsory component of gameplay as a whole set of mechanics are reliant on cooperative play in order to be effective.

    Level design

    Cooperative games should be designed with cooperative play in mind. This contention is one that is strongly applicable to the area of mechanics, as the mechanics directly outline what cooperative play takes place. No less important are the spaces and areas that these mechanics are used, implemented and introduced in. In cooperative play, multiple players are moving throughout the level. The paths they take, enemies they encounter and resources they have access to must be designed to accommodate this. Level design decisions must also be made with cooperative play in mind. The job of a level designer is a “highly collaborative job (that) demands the designer work in sync with combat systems designers, mission designers” (, 2017) and all other aspects of the games development to ensure unison in the overall product of the game. It is key that the importance of cooperative play is at the forefront of all decisions, including the decisions of level designers.


    Cédric Hauteville defines gating as “a level design technique that consists in confining the player to a small area and/or blocking the access to another area, until the player completes a given objective or makes a specific action” (, 2011).  In a cooperative campaign, unlike a solo or single player one, two or more player controlled characters are interacting with the level and progressing through it. Each player with differing skills, different play styles and paces. Gating or tethering can be used as a method of ensuring that players do not separate too much. Gating can achieve this by introducing situations where one player cannot advance without the other player being present. No one player can proceed unless all players can proceed.

    In Halo 3, when the leading player reaches a new checkpoint or loading zone in the cooperative campaign, the other players that are far away from them are teleported there without warning or hesitation. Although this may bring players physically closer together, with this method pieces of gameplay can be skipped completely by those being jumped forward. In addition, this mechanic only supports players with the quickest pace/play style.

    “In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory () and Splinter Cell: Double Agent (), dual actions enable players to do a variety of moves such as boosting or launching the other player across a large gap” (, 2017). Implementing the previously listed as well as situations where both players must be present at exotic doors in order to open them (, 2017) ensures that one player cannot advance through the level by themselves and that no player misses any of the gameplay or level. Progressing through the level is impossible without players playing cooperatively. When two players must work together to progress through a level, cooperatively play is ensured and supported. When one player is being skipped forward to the leading player such as in Halo, one player not only misses on some of the experience but only the quickest play style is supported.

    Separating Players

    In some situations, it may be advantageous to separate cooperating players to enhance cooperative gameplay. One type of Challenge that should be considered when designing levels and missions in cooperative games are Physical challenges “These challenges involve real-life physical effort. These can be used to promote cooperative play by making the challenges involve physical effort that can’t be done by a single player” (, 2017).

    The first time this type of level dynamic is introduced in Gears of War is in the aptly named level Fork In The Road (, 2017). In this mission players reach a point in the level with multiple routes, they have free choice over which route they take although they cannot choose the same one. In this mission, the split paths provide opportunities that enable players to access to angles where they can flank enemies that are preventing their team mate from progressing. If the Delta Squad didn’t separate this segment wouldn’t have been possible to pass as the path needed to be taken to unlock the doors was blocked by enemies with an advantageous view that needed to be flanked by those who took the opposing route. Both pathways were equally crucial in this segment, whether it was to flank enemies blocking the unlock button for the doors, or simply those who did unlock the doors once the enemies were flanked.


    Another way to enforce cooperative play when designing levels is via the inclusion of traps. Traps are devices or situations that “harm” or disable the player that triggered the trap. The way traps can be utilised in cooperative games is by ensuring that when one player is effected by the trap and ultimately becomes trapped they become immobile and/or defenceless. When this occurs, it will then have to be made the accompanying players responsibility and priority to help aid them and restore the trapped player’s full move set, normally this must be done so within a limited amount of time otherwise penalties, most commonly death will take effect.

    Traps are a form of punitive system (, 2017) that enforce cooperation by making it a necessity for success, punitive systems are also implemented when a player is downed but not out, such as in Gears of War. The player who is trapped (or downed) is being punished for getting trapped by losing access to mechanics, their team mate is punished if they do not aid the trapped player as this usually results in failure or will have negative effects on a team’s score. By making cooperation a priority and punishing the team as a unit, communication and cooperation become key components to ensure a maximum chance at success.

    Although also a mechanical implementation, it was a Level Designer’s role to dictate where Smokers would be placed in the game Left 4 Dead (, 2017). “Left 4 Dead is a single player and multiplayer cooperative survival horror FPS game” (, 2017) with many enemy types. Smokers (, 2017) are a type of Special infected, a greater variant of the main opposition in the game. Smokers are essentially AI with a trap-like ability. When a smoker grabs a player, the player loses access to many of their abilities and is slowly pulled toward the smoker to be either clawed at or choked to death unless they can escape its grip. When a player is caught by a smoker the quickest and most successful way the player can be freed from the smoker’s grip is by having a team mate kill the smoker or destroy the tongue, freeing the player.

    Mission Types

    The missions that take place within a game must be designed and implemented collaboratively with the designer of the levels that the mission takes place in. Some of the common types of missions that exist are protect and escort missions. Protect missions normally entail players holding down and protecting an area or the area surrounding a key object while waves of enemies attack their position. The design and implementation of missions and the types of missions in cooperative games must be done so with cooperative play in mind.


    In protect missions, one approach designers can take to encourage players “to cooperate together is by making players defend either a location, a character or even an item” (, 2017). When an area needs to be guarded from waves of enemies, having multiple players allows for multiple skills sets, at times different abilities (depending on the game) and most commonly different perspectives. In protect missions, if levels are designed where enemies enter form different routes, cooperation becomes an important component in increasing player’s chances at success. One player can only attack what is in their field of view, having two players increases the angle players have on opposition. If a player becomes overwhelmed communication becomes a key component in ensuring survival.


    Escort missions are another type of mission that can be carefully implemented to enforce cooperative play. Escort missions involve players escorting an AI character or an item across from one place to another. When items or characters are being escorted they are usually key victory conditions of the game or specific missions. The Escort archetype often coincides as a type of punitive system because often the player escorting a character or item is defenceless and therefore is reliant on their team mates for protection.

    Protect against those Escorting

    Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (, 2017) is a cooperative multiplayer first person shooter where two teams (attackers and defenders) must perform one another. One of the PVP game modes is Hostage (, 2017), in this game mode the defenders play a Protect type mission while the Attackers play a Hostage one. The Defenders have the hostage at ransom and obtain a victory if the hostage is not killed or extracted and at least one team member is alive before time runs out. The Attacker’s main objective is to extract the hostage and escort them to the extraction zone before time runs out.

    The Defending teams must cooperate in covering different angles, using different abilities and traps to outsmart their opposition. The Attackers must work together tactically as funnelling into the protected room one by one will often yield poor results.  Further, when a player is escorting the hostage their movement speed is lower and they only have access to their secondary weapon, because of this they are often reliant on their team mates to protect them as they escort the hostage to safety to obtain a victory. 

    In Conclusion

    The main factor that differentiates a cooperative game from others is its inclusions of cooperative gameplay. Because of this, when designing a cooperative game such as halo 3 or Gears of War, cooperative gameplay should be at the forefront of the game designers mind. The mechanics of the game should be implemented and adjusted to support cooperative play and the levels these mechanics are used within need to be designed with the knowledge that multiple players will be cooperating within them. The type of missions that take place in these levels need to also support the fact that multiple players will have to work together to play through them. When designing game that will be played through cooperatively with co-op gameplay in mind, it is the gameplay that will thrive and benefit. When players seek out a co-op game their focus is on cooperative gameplay, if a large amount of focus has been placed on it then the game too will be more highly regarded. When designing a cooperative game, cooperative gameplay needs to be a considered when making all decisions.

    -Dionisis Spindzos


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  • Bacrylic's Share / Squaretale Game Update

    1 year ago


    I know I dropped off for a while, but thats because I had landed some work working for another pixel game with a group local to my area. I don't have a day job so this was a nice turn of events to make some money for a change. I've only recently gotten some time to work on my own game, so here are some attack combos I'm working on. My partner and I are discussing our preferences for now. 











    Fun fact about these animations. These are all moves that I did while a friend recorded me for reference. Naturally I didn't look as epic. 

    For our purposes I'm favoring #4, but let me know which ones you like in the comments. 

    Recently seen a video discussing the importance of constant updates on social media for projects like this. I'll try to stay current. Our website still isn't up at the moment. I really need to light a fire under my partner's ass for that one.  

  • Mega Man IV Review

    1 year ago



    I’ve viewed this “drought” of Mega Man games the gaming world has been going through after 2010’s Mega Man 10 as a positive (even though in these six years we’ve had at least four games: Rockman Xover, Street FighterXMega Man, and the two Mega Man Legacy Collection games. Now don’t be thinking that I’m some die hard Capcom fan or anything; outside of Mega Man and Ace Attorney, I have basically zero interest in the games Capcom makes. During this time I’ve gone back and played many of the games from the Classic and X series and out of it, I came to two realizations: the first, as much as I enjoy most of these games on their own, when playing them all, quite a few of them felt lazy; like Capcom just made them for the sake of having one released each year. The second realization was that while I’d love to see a conclusion to the X series with an X9 or a new Legends game, I’m thankful for all the games we as a community got in this almost thirty year old franchise with 132 games in it. Plus there are plenty of fan-made games to play and games that play similarly to Mega Man like Mighty Gunvolt Burst by Inti Creates; also Mighty No.9/Red Ash if anyone still cares about them. Anyway, of these games I went back and played, one I was looking forward to was the fourth Game Boy entry in the Classic series, Mega Man IV.


    I didn’t end up playing the Game Boy Mega Man games until later, after I had picked up Mega Mans 1-10 with Mega Man: Wily’s Revenge and Mega Man II being my introduction to the Blue Bomber’s monochromatic adventures. While I thought both games were okay, it wasn’t until my third go at the portable line with Mega Man IV (or for me, Rockman World 4) where I really started to love GB Mega Man. These games were outsourced to two companies: Minakuchi Engineering and Biox. All the games except for Mega Man II were handled by Minakuchi however after the poor job Biox did with said game. I’m happy with Capcom’s decision to stick with Minakuchi since their games felt like they had effort and, as corny as it may sound, love put into them. I even think Minakuchi Engineering understood how to make a Classic series Mega Man game more than Capcom themselves did, especially when it came to later Mega Man games.


    Mega Man IV starts off with and intro showing the latter half of the unimportant story where Wily’s robots are scattering across the city and causing destruction. You can tell from this intro that Minakuchi actually cared about making a new Mega Man game with new custom sprites, artwork, and music. The overall presentation of the game, minus the color, looked better than what Capcom was doing on the NES with later Mega Man games. However, visuals aren’t everything in a video game; gameplay is the most important part. Minakuchi Engineering took the well-known Mega Man formula from Mega Man 5 and expanded upon it. P-Chips and a shop system in the form of Dr. Light’s lab was added where you can spend chips dropped by defeated enemies on various items like E-Tanks, 1 ups, and an Energy Balancer to name a few. Also each Robot Master stage has a letter hidden somewhere, typically in plain sight, which spells out one of two words: BEAT or WILY. Collecting B, E, A, and T gives you Beat the bird who functions the same way as in Mega Man 5 and 6. Getting all the letters to spell Wily opens up the second half of the Wily stages. While getting the Beat letters is optional, getting the Wily letters is mandatory, but as mentioned, they’re almost always in plain sight and easy to get. Passwords return in this game but unlike other Classic series games, you’ll want to either take a picture or write them down since they’re a little complicated.

    Mega Man controls just as great as he does in the NES Mega Man games after Mega Man 2; I had no trouble moving around, jumping, sliding, or charging the buster. Speaking of the buster, the Mega Buster charging mechanic that’s been around since Mega Man 4 is still present; however it has been changed slightly. When you fire a fully charged buster shot there is a bit of push back. It’s nothing horrible; Mega just nudges back a few pixels and shouldn’t result in any accidental deaths unless you’re a pixel close to falling into a pit. I don’t recall losing a life due to this push back, so I don’t mind this change and don’t view it as a negative.

    Like Mega Man 7, 8, and the previous Game Boy games, you’re open to four Robot Masters at a time rather than all eight. The Robot Masters you fight are: Ring Man, Toad Man, Pharaoh Man, Bright Man, from Mega Man 4 and Charge Man, Crystal Man, Napalm Man, and Stone Man from Mega Man 5. They behave the same as they did in their respective games and will give you the same weapons once defeated. Ring Man, Toad Man and Charge Man’s weapons received an upgrade in this game though. Ring Man’s Ring Boomerang can now grab items that are either out of reach or behind a wall. Toad Man’s Rain Flush can now douse fires which would normally be one-hit kills to Mega. Charge Man’s Charge Kick can now destroy certain blocks letting Mega Man get into hidden rooms that usually contain goodies like large P-Chips.

    Unlike the Robot Masters, the stages they are found in have been redesigned and you can see everything on screen unlike games like Sonic 2 and Mega Man on the Game Gear where there are so many leaps of faith, you pray don’t jump into an enemy or pit of spikes that you can’t see below you. Some stages even have split paths you can take to get to the boss. The Wily stages are also unique. The game also has new bosses. Mega Man IV has you fighting the third Mega Man Killer: Ballade, new Wily stage bosses, and Dr. Wily’s giant Wily Golem. A handful of new enemies appear in this game as well that aren’t reused from Mega Man 4 or 5.


    Overall, Mega Man IV provides a great challenge for new players and returning players. Enemies 99% of the time are placed in areas where they’re easy to see. The only exception are the Mizzile (pictured above) which jet out of pits when you get close and can lead to unfair deaths for first time players. Luckily, Mizziles only appear in two stages and even then, there are very few of them. Most of, if not all of the bosses can be taken out with the Mega Buster with a little practice; however, if you’re having trouble with a boss you can try various weapons you’ve gotten from Robot Masters since most bosses have a secondary weakness. Also Dr. Light’s lab has items you can buy using P-Chips you’ve collected which can help you. Progress through levels is smooth with very few long latter climbing sections which plagued levels like Elec Man and Crash Man. Stages have at the most, two mini-bosses to fight before the main boss, something I’m glad they did since Ring Man’s stage in MM4 had an unnecessary amount of mini-bosses. Unlike Mega Man III and Mega Man 9Mega Man IV doesn’t overdo it on the spikes; the challenge comes from well-placed enemies, platforming challenges, and learning boss patterns.

    As mentioned earlier, Minakuchi Engineering did an excellent job with the game’s intro sequence. They also redesigned the stage select screen, showing not only the Robot Master but an image of their stage underneath. Many parts of the background or platforms are animated. For example, Bright Man’s stage has many flashing lights and Crystal Man’s stage has large gears spinning in the background. Mega Man IV has a few cutscenes which, like the intro, use newly drawn sprites which look excellent for the Game Boy. The game runs smoothly although there are areas with slowdown that have too many enemies on screen. Graphical flicker is kept to a minimum though.

    Like most of the enemies and bosses, most of the music is from Mega Man 4 and 5. The music still sounds great and I even prefer the Game Boy MM4 music used in this game to the NES versions since it doesn’t have a tinny sound to it. Mega Man IV’s original tracks sound great but can get repetitive if you’ve been listening to them for a while. The game has four boss themes and two stage select themes whereas most other Mega Man games have two boss themes and one stage select theme.

    I find myself going back to this game or its sequel, Mega Man V the most when I’m in the mood to play Mega Man. Minakuchi Engineering managed to add new elements to the growing stale Mega Man formula with the inclusion of a shop system; which would reappear in future entries in the Classic series. Pile that on with near perfect level design, excellent presentation, and a great soundtrack and you have one of, if not the best Mega Man game; at least in the Classic series. While it may look and play like any other Mega Man game…and it does, I can feel the effort put into this game; the developers gave it their all with Mega Man IV. They wanted to make sure players had an enjoyable experience going through the game. Mega Man IV is tied with its sequel as my favorite game in the Classic line up and both games rank on my top 20 games. I highly recommend giving this game a try, especially now that it’s on the 3DS eShop.

  • Bacrylic's Share Game Update

    1 year ago


    Hey guys. Here's a quick update on the game Brandon and I are working on. 

    #1 I realized I wouldn't be able to make the teaser trailer in After Effects. I was quality issues and there wasn't a solid fix for it. I was attempting to keep away from having to make it in Unity because its not my favorite software and we've had some bad experiences together. I went to work one day and Unity was starting a project with another man. I was devastated. I didn't think I could trust another game engine again. But we've moved past it now, and I think we're stronger for it.

    #2 I still have yet to find a personal style for this game. You could say we're not taking the traditional creative work pipeline. 

    #3 Brandon has decided to start posting visual progress of our game on the Squaretale site. As far as I know its still vacant, but I'm working on a small scene that he wants to show when I'm done. Focusing on this scene is also intended to distinguish a sense of style, fingers crossed. 

    #4 I'll be attending the IGDA meeting tomorrow. Sadly Brandon won't be joining me. He couldn't leave his shop, but I might be bringing our other Brandon. Thats right we have two. I look forward to meeting with our recent friends Lance and Clint at Duck Block Games

    Clint has been real cool about helping me understand what it takes to make a game and kickstart it. So as a shout out to those two check out there kickstarter for their game Forsaken Castle.



  • Bacrylic's Share

    1 year ago


    Story #4

    Drunk Girls in My Bathroom

    Prolly not what you are thinking.

    This story is from my college years. Now I've never really did anything remotely like the stereotype college experience. Most of my time was spent at school working on projects. There were no awesome parties or crazy nights out. 

    Despite all that, I do have a funny story to share. It was either my 21st or 22nd birthday. Now normally anyone else would probably be excited, make a big deal of it, and go out drinking with friends. On the other hand, I was feeling like crap. I didn't have class that day so I pretty much just stayed home and slept. It was actually day that I get a call from my friend Joseph. 

    I was still a bit groggy, but I answered the call. Joseph said he and some of our friends were coming over to hangout, and they were bringing some drinks. Again, I'm not a drinker. I'm just not that big a fan of alcohol. Scratch that, Joseph said they were already here and waiting at the gate entrance. If they were on their way I would've told them not to come because I felt awful, but since they made the trip I was gonna let them in. I tell him to give me a few minutes to get ready and I'd let them through the visitors gate. 

    His response was something confusing like, Oh so its ok to come? We're heading over now.'

    They hadn't left yet. They weren't at the gate. He'd just said that as joke for some reason and then took my comment as an approval to come over.

    Ten minutes or so later, they show up. I open the door to my small as shit studio apartment, and in comes Joseph followed by three girls from our class and one guy I wasn't familiar with. Side note, I never found it easy to talk to girls that I had a thing for, but in college I actually had female friends which was a new one for me. I mean, I could actually have a conversation with them without any pressure, because I wasn't interested in being anything more than friends. That was great for me, except for something that will pop up later. One of the girls was a bit closer to me as a friend. I liked her fine, but just not in that way. I'd thought about it, but realized there are certain people you can only take in doses, and any extended time after that may cause us to not be friends anymore. The thing was, is that some of our other friends noticed how we interacted with each other and kept mentioning it to me that we should be a thing. 

    This was one of those moments where something never really bothered you until it crosses your mind. Since I was overly concious about it now, it made our interacitons a bit wierd.

    Back to the party I didn't order. So group has a bag with a bunch of 4Locos and pretty much everybody gets one. I'm sipping the thing because I could care less and the two other girls at the party are finishing theirs like its a race. We start playing cards because there isn't much to do in my small room. Some time passes and my friend Joseph decides to leave and so does the random guy I didn't know. Now I'm stuck with my friend and drunk girl A & B. My friend wasn't drinking either because she was the designated driver for A & B.

    A & B pretty much go on a drunken speech about how great I am. Which is a really weird thing to hear when you're sober, but I thought it was funny. Then girl A decides she has to pee but doesn't want to go to the bathroom. We didn't know just how drunk she was. She was really drunk. Now I may not like to drink, but I love messing with drunk people. 

    She keeps saying how she is gonna pee on the floor, but I tell her that the floor is gonna drink it up if she does and that that is somehow a bad thing. Whatever I gotta say to keep her from pissing on my floor right? "The floor is gonna drink my pee!?" a sentence not many have said before. Luckily for me, my floor was safe. 

    After that girl A and girl B decide they're gonna dance in my cramped room to some spanish music. While doing this they trip over one of my laptop wires (my heart sank) and fall on a bag of dumbell weights I had in bag sitting in the corner. Don't worry they were all right. The weights I mean.

    They then proceed to go to my bathroom. Probably resolved not to pee on my floor, thank you drunk logic. Now its just me and the other girl talking. However, our conversation is being drowned out by girls A & B shouting from my bathroom. I heard comments and questions like, "Hey (my name), can I eat your shampoo?" and "This is (my name's) toilet seat right? I wonder if it smells like his ass." That last one honestly caught me off gaurd. 

    I'm talking to the other girl and I'm kind of tired and I want the girls to go. She doesn't want to go yet because girl A & B are too drunk and she wants to let them sober up before they go. I wasn't having any of that. I know it might've seemed rude, but I didn't plan for this to happen. By the way, girl A is throwing up in my toilet around this moment. I tell my friend to take the girls to go get some coffee, and just park somewhere until its out of their system. This idea seems somewhat agreeable, but she was still hesitant to go.

    Now girl A comes out the bathroom and plops on my bed, next to where we were. I'm pretty good at reading people, or at least a little bit. So girl A goes to make a comment about the awkward space around us by saying, "Wait, were you guys....." and I knew the word she was stalling on was 'fucking'. I derailed that sentence pretty quick. I said we were just talking about what to do with you two drunks. 

    A little bit later I get them all out of my apartment so I can finally get some sleep. Before that though, I had to check what kind of havoc those two caused. Surprisingly my bathroom was clean, but in the tub was a bunch of cleat marks like they were walking around in it. So I crash. 

    I wake up a few hours later and head to the school to see who's there. Sure enough the girls are there. I'd asked what happened, and she'd pretty much took my advice to sober them up. Girls A & B on the other hand couldn't remember a thing. One of them was wondering how they had gotten a bruise on their arm (the weight bag). I told them everything that happened, and all the crazy stuff they had said. They were pretty shocked that they couldn't really remember much. 

    My birthday that year wasn't memerable, but thanks to them the day after was.       

  • Retrospective

    1 year ago

    Lpokmnj Blargh

    Or: yet another ramble from your's truly.

    Short TL;DR version: I'm feeling good. Then again, I'm sipping whiskey and just watched a movie. Hope you're doing just as well, if not better.

    Longer version, stream of consciousness style:
    Just saw the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I enjoyed it, but I'm an outlier. The story felt like it came full circle, even though like PotC: On Stranger Tides (#4), it lacked that swashbuckling adventure feeling/aesthetic that defined the first three movies.

    For the record, Gore Verbinski did those three and then went onto other movies, such as Rango and the Lone Ranger. If you liked that epic swashbuckling feel, Verbinksi has mastered it, and it shows in the Lone Ranger movie.

    Way I see the series is that Verbinski did one movie in three rather epic parts. I see On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales (OST and DMTNT from here on out), the fourth and fifth movies released chronologically, as movie installments #2 and 3. If one keeps this in mind while watching the series, OST and DMTNT become way more enjoyable to view. Of course, to the viewer I give the credit of being willing and able to try new things and not limit themselves to movies made by lens-flare-extrodinaire Jar Jar Abrahms and explosions-set-to-beatboxing-roboporn-soundtracks Michael Bey.

    Christ, I've come to dislike those two overbudgeted over-SFX'ed shitbirds. They've become the default example I use to criticize the formulaic crap getting pumped out of Hollywood for the last decade or so. But they've not crossed the threshhold I've enplaced for straight up hated territory. That's reserved for Stephen Moffat, but that's neither here nor there. Because fuck that guy. Fuck him with a cactus being used by a gorilla hopped up on amphetamines.

    Anyways, onto happier stuff. I'm nearly done with my degree, finally. After the summer, I've got five classes that I'll need to take before I can get the diploma. It's about goddamn time, my critical inner voice keeps telling me. But hey, it's something I'm finally accomplishing.

    Which is not to say I'm done with college, mind you. There's a shitload more I want to study and learn. I've got a whole list of shit of things I'd value knowing. I'll accomplish them as time permits, after I find the job. On the topic of jobs, I'm looking at postings in the greater NYC area and I find myself bummed out. It's a shit situation from this end of the table.

    Then again, I was wondering why the fuck I limited myself to the area I've grown up in. I realized I've been mentally operating in keeping that familiarity zone. This is the shit I'm used to. It's like Grif in season 1, episode 1. I took the comfortable slacker mentality.

    And I'd like to thank Grif for breaking me out of that perspective. Current season (15), episode 6, bout 8 and a half minutes in, Grif realizes the only person going to do right by him is himself. The thing that kept him with the rest of the RvB characters is inertia. Inertia is a motherfucker. A sneaky, almost innocuous, motherfucker. And it took me about a month from that episode's air date to fully appreciate Grif's departing rant.

    I've been chewing it over, mentally, playing with the countless little doubts, trying to answer all the nagging "what-if's?", etc. I could wallow in that endlessly and never accomplish anything. Or I could look myself in the eyes, via mirror of course, and tell myself one thing that's guaranteed to remove myself doubt. That is:

    "You're a goddamned paratrooper, Lpok. You've defied gravity and embraced your own mortality. If this shit hasn't stopped you, why should anything else?"

    It worked. So now I find myself trying to figure out where to go after that. The list I've come up with thus far is:

    ~ Australia 
    ~ Austin
    ~ Belfast/Dublin

    ~ Rest of United Kingdom (I'd prefer Scotland for reasons I'm not sure how to put into words)

    ~ Chicago

    ~ Denver
    ~ Philadelphia
    ~ Portland

    ~ Vancouver, Washington

    ~ The various major cities in Canada (hockey, maple syrup, friendly people, and no humidity? Fuck Yeah! )

    I've love to pick up another language or three and then head to Europe to do that. But in the mean time, I'll have to work on the languages.

    So the question is, for those of you who actually read the TL;DR portion, what insights and/or advice do you have? I know there's stuff I should know but won't think of due to whatever reason. What advice/experiences/advice/general tips do you think I should know?

  • So. Those recent Smash Leaks.

    1 year ago


    I want to believe that they're real and they do show a lot of stuff I think we can expect from a Smash 4 port on Switch (save for maybe break the targets).

    That being said. I do think they're fake.

  • Woodyman’s Backloggery #4 #5 #6 #7 – Mega Man X, X2, X3, & X4

    1 year ago


    When I first undertook this backloggery idea, I had no idea what I was getting into. I made some crazy mistakes, that made this WAY more difficult than it needed to be.

    The BIGGEST mistake I made was putting a bunch of games in a series in a row on the backlog. Before I edited the backlog list, I was originally going to play ALL Halo games in a row, and ALL Final Fantasy games I own in a row.


    The Mega Man X series is the reason I changed my backlog. These are fun games, but playing them back to back drove me a bit insane.


    That’s why I’m going to review all the Mega Man X games I played REAL QUICK!


    Review #4 – Mega Man X

    I forgotz to make an image.

    Going from the NES Mega Man games, to Mega Man X was a HUGE jump in quality. I love the NES games more just for nostalgia, but Mega Man X is the best in the series. Huge improvement to mobility, secrets, weapons and bosses. Also, the music in this first Mega Man X game is fucking amazing. I love this game!


    Review #5 – Mega Man X2


    Mega Man X2 improved Mega Man X graphically, musically, and with level design. Yet, somehow I don’t like this one as much as the original Mega Man X. It’s probably nostalgia, but there’s a charm in the original that Mega Man X2 just didn’t have for me. It’s still a great game.


    Review #6 – Mega Man X3

    Awesome game. Awesome Mega Man X game. My least favorite. Nothing stood out, I still don’t remember it, and I beat it twice.

    Review #7 – Mega Man X4

    This is going to ruffle some feathers, but Mega Man X4 is my second favorite in the series. It has the same charm as the first with fantastic level design, and also some of the best Robot Masters in the series (yes I’m calling them robot masters, I’m a Mega Man NES junkie). What I REALLY loved about this game is the ability to play as Mega Man X or Zero right from the beginning. Each level can be played with either character, and they require different strategies for each character. It’s very similar to the above games, and just as good.


  • Four in February 2017: How This Year Fared

    1 year ago

    Elusia Archmage Extraordinaire

    Now that it's March, Four in February is done for the year. On the games I planned this year... I didn't beat a single one. I didn't even play any of them except for a little bit of Shantae and the Pirate's Curse.

    What I did do however, was beat a different set of 4 games, some of which probably not many have heard of. Figured the games might be worth talking about a little bit.

    Game #1: Alwa's Awakening

    A game that actually came out during Four in February (it released February 2nd), this one was on my radar for awhile. It's essentially a slightly easier, more fantasy-themed Battle Kid - a new platformer styled like - and as difficult as - most classic NES games. The difficulty part deserves some emphasis, as there's a bit of a difficulty spike after the first half, mainly in a combination of hazard setups and a small amount of checkpoint starvation. It's not a complete deal breaker, but anyone coming into the game casually might not like it so much.

    As someone who really likes 8-bit art/music style and metroidvanias in general, I personally loved playing this one. Hoping the semi-setup for a potential sequel can turn into something later.

    Game #2: Kirby's Star Stacker


    This one was entirely on accident, cause I didn't know the game could really be beat. I always thought Kirby's Star Stacker was an endless game (there is an endless mode though). Once I found out it's just 5 runs in Round Mode though, I ended up getting through it rather quickly.

    The game's super simple - trap stars between 2 of the same animal to catch them, and collect a certain number to clear the round. It was simple enough that I beat Super Hard difficulty in minutes without losing once. The only real challenge I had was near the end of Insane difficulty, and that's only cause I never knew the mechanic for pressing up to swap blocks without rotating.

    As a cheap Virtual Console game, it's not too bad, though I'd recommend getting it at a discount.

    Game #3: Bleed 2

    Bleed 2 went by so quickly I forgot it even released in February. It was a short and sweet game, so I didn't think of counting it, but never the less it was a game I beat in February. There's not much to say outside of what's shown in the trailer. I haven't tried co-op, but it sounds like a good way to shake things up a little. The game's easily worth picking up.

    Game #4English Country Tune

    Probably the game not many have heard of in this list, English Country Tune is... interesting.Probably one of my favorite puzzle games in recent memory from how it's set up. Simple ideas are shown - push a ball into a goal, push a cube off the map - but the ways to pull off the tasks get more complicated over time. With a couple small exceptions, the puzzles changed relatively well enough that nothing felt overwhelming. Even the exceptions, once figured out, made future puzzles easier to understand.

    This was easily one the best random game I've gotten from the many game bundles I've purchased over the years.

    Game #5Wario Land 3

    ...yeah, I actually beat more than 4 games this time. Good thing too since Bleed 2 and Kirby's Star Stacker were on the quick side.

    I hadn't planned on playing Wario Land 3 for awhile, mainly because I still haven't played 2 of the games before it (I actually have the Virtual Boy one, but no system to play it on). Watching the game on a stream recently though made me want to pick it up sooner. It's hard for me to say what I think of the game mainly because of how different it felt from other platformers I've played. Being essentially immortal for the entire game - while not completely new to me (Bit.Trip Runner also has that mechanic) - felt so unnatural, yet it worked so well. The powerups were well spaced out, and the levels were well made to use them. This felt worth picking up, and makes me want to play the rest of the series sooner rather than later.

    Game #6Castlevania


    Castlevania was the one game in my list last year that I never beat. I reached Death, but couldn't beat him no matter how much I tried. This year, I decided to fix that.

    There's not much I can really say on this one except... I honestly didn't like this one as much as I thought I would. Maybe it's because I was into the later games more. I will say, I do appreciate the game for what it is.

    While my original Four in February plans didn't pan out, I'd still say this year was an overall success. There's still plenty to do for the backlog overall though. Even with 6 games down last month, there's still nearly 850 games left, with quite a few more coming in the next few days. With that in mind, I'm considering a couple games for what's dubbed More in March. For the moment, I'm planning on playing through Horizon Zero DawnHollow Knight, and Blaster Master Zero. Time permitting, maybe I'll get through Breath of the WIld and Super Bomberman R, the latter supposedly being pretty short overall. For now though, I'll at least take some comfort in knowing I made some progress on the backlog.

  • Tabletop Tales: Things Sent to the Moon

    1 year ago


    So I was bored one day and was cleaning out a few documents on my computer when I came across something fun. Back when I was regularly involved in playing Tabletop over a few systems (D&D, World of Darkness and one infamous GURPS game) I had kept track on a few things that our DM had banned from our WoD game, or as he put it: "It's gone! Sent to the Moon!"

    So without further adeu....

    Things that have been BANNED from game (WoD):

    #1 The Wasp Knife

    #2 ANYTHING resembling a Ford Fiesta

    #3 Tuck-tuck-boom-boom. That is all (It's like a Tonka Truck with a Cannon!)

    #4 The Gunslinger Merit (stop asking Jim)

    #5 Fencing Fighting Style. Seriously, WTF guys?!

    #6 Sojutsu Fighting Style. ALSO BANNED

    #7 ALL the benfits of the Stillness Shroud. Seriously, you guys only get 1 dot

    #8 Imbuing and Item as a Mage

    #9 Sasha Grey

    #10 Stacking Flamethrower Damage

    #11 Tazers and any Tazer related items 

    I should probably say most of these took place over 1 campaign.....Our group really did try out outdo themselves on creatvie ways to break the game...

    (on a side note the Moon's looking rather crowded nowadays...)