Periwinkle’s Five Favorite Video Game Writers

Occasionally on my days off from scrubbing the pool floor, changing filters, getting Chlorine in my eyes and falling off ladders trying to replace the festive holiday lights permanently fixed to the tiki bar I get a chance to spend some time on things I actually love.

And I’m not talking about spending hours alone weeping and pulling my hair out questioning poor level design, awful difficulty curves and gigantic plot holes as I play my monthly bad video games that the manager ruthlessly opens the door and tosses at me in my hut.

I’m talking about laying on the beach like an even more drunk TJ Miller sharing raw fish with my best buddy, Cookie and reading back issues of EGM. Reminiscing about Periwinkle in his naive youth. Thumbing through every single page of any gaming magazine I could afford while working minimum wage at a grocery store. Using dial up internet to keep up with his favorite writers in the gaming world. Knowing someday he too would be beloved in Japan and by a small but growing contingent in North America as a masterful script writer for an incredible Action Adventure series.

As you now know – obviously that all happened and now I’m just your typical billionaire that spends his free time in between riding in my personal jet made of platinum and naming Elon Musk’s children after cyborg angels writing for the blog because why not? I just love games.

So I guess I decided to create my own little list. I am going to briefly write about my own top five favorite video game writers. And I’m going to ask my co-conspirators on the site and YOU! (yes, you don’t be shy) to follow suit!

Also I don’t want to hear any belly aching about how, “March isn’t Video Game Writer Month” and “You can only write about your favorite writers in August!!” or any other made up blog rules because I don’t give a shit.

BUT – I do want to hear from you and your favorites! Be it video game writers, anime or book authors. Could be anyone – who cares – let’s rejoice in the people that make us happy. Alright let’s start:

These are in no particular order and this list is obviously not a proclamation of who is “the best” or any of that. Just my personal favorites.

DAN HOUSER

Known for: Grand Theft Auto Series, Red Dead Redemption series, Smuggler’s Run, Max Payne 3, Midnight Club, Bully

My Pick: GTA IV

Despite being one of the most commercially successful writers on this list, Dan Houser has always shied away from the celebrity some of his counterparts bask in. Growing up in England with brother Sam – the Housers ultimately ended up in New York creating the upstart Rockstar Games.

While not being created by the Housers they took over chief writing of the Grand Theft Auto series early on and by the third installation single handily revolutionized open world gameplay. The series has since went on to become one of the most popular video game series of all time (selling over 320 million copies). Grand Theft Auto has always been known for its dark humor, satire of American culture and homage to crime movies but with GTA IV the writing truly evolved into epic storytelling. Matching the updated and realistic graphics the gritty story followed anti-hero, Niko Bellic as an off-the-boat immigrant from the Baltics trying to start a new life in America – only to be forced into the same criminal lifestyle he led back home. It’s a mature and dark take on the American Dream and subsequently became an instant classic.

JOHN GONZALEZ

Known for: Horizon Zero Dawn, Fallout: New Vegas, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Horizon, Dungeon Siege: 3

My Pick: Fallout: New Vegas

Most die hard Fallout fans despite what system they swear allegiance to would tell you that they were giddy after Microsoft acquired Bethesda in September of 2020 because of one thing: Bethesda now being reunited with Obsidian Entertainment.

The last game the two companies worked on together was the near perfect, post apocalyptic masterpiece, Fallout: New Vegas.

The high water mark that some Fallout fans fear will never again be reached. Fallout 4 was good but it wasn’t New Vegas and Fallout 76 is unfortunately a stupid bastard child hated by all. But maybe all fans don’t know that in addition to Obsidian and Bethesda kissing and making up they will also need the help of John Gonzalez, the lead writer of New Vegas. The darkest entry in the violent series, perfectly paced and packed with exciting and interesting dialogue trees and characters, Gonzalez deserves a contract worth all the Nuka-Cola caps in the world to lead the writing team for Fallout 5.

SAM LAKE

Known For: Max Payne, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, Alan Wake, Quantum Break, Control

My Pick: Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

Max Payne was an absolute game changer for me. Revenge. One of the oldest tales ever told reinvented with style, bravado and a smoky verbosity that my friends and I still joke about to this day. The original Max Payne was about guns and Matrix-esque action sequences. In fact, they were on such a tight budget at Remedy that Sam Lake modeled for Max Payne himself, with other programmers lending their likeness for henchman and baddies throughout the game. They even used Sam’s own mom as the main antagonist, Nicole Horne.

But after Max Payne crushed it as a critical and commercial darling – the budget inflated and Lake hung up his modeling cap and turned the storytelling up to 11. The Fall of Max Payne is a masterpiece on several levels, between its submersible baddie dialogue to its expertly crafted Shakespearean-star-crossed-lovers story arc the Fall is not only a PlayStation 2 masterpiece but an achievement in story telling from an underrated modern day master.

DAVID CAGE

Known For: The Nomad Soul, Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy), Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Detroit: Become Human

My Pick: Beyond: Two Souls

David Cage is a polarizing figure. I will acknowledge that. But thats it. I am only here to discuss writing prowess and even to that end his company, Quantic Dream also draws hard lines in the sand with gamers. You either really love Quantic Dream games or you don’t. There truly doesn’t seem like very much middle ground.

My personal pick probably seems confounding. Beyond: Two Souls was by far Quantic Dream’s least successful release. It was skewered by critics and gamers alike for bad controls. But it was easy to work through these issues with Cage’s script being read by Elliot Page and Willem Dafoe. If this game doesn’t give you the feels than I can’t help you. The acting is elite and Cage’s script keeps up with his talent.

HIDEO KOJIMA

Known for: The Metal Gear Solid Series, Policenauts, Zone of the Enders, Snatcher, Death Stranding

My Pick: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The master. In the opinion of many (including my own) one of the greatest writers of all time. No one has quite mashed pop culture, action adventure cinema and overall gun powdered existentialism quite as smoothly than Mr. Kojima.

Throughout Kojima’s career one could argue no one has ever imposed a more convincing anti-war argument to teens through visual media. He may have created one of the most badass soldiers of all time but like all man made weapons of destruction he runs the film past the script end. Never afraid to challenge his own genre and medium no writer has ever been as bold as Kojima when it comes to challenging his players to look at the world around them and demand, “Why?”

ADULT SWIM HOURS

My two best friends that I constantly harass when writing any of my articles had some writers to add of their own they were mad I omitted. They know my guys. They know what games I love. But they needed the world to know:

Shigeru Miyamoto is number one. You don’t just write Mario/Zelda/Donkey Kong/F-Zero/Pikmin/Star Fox and get ignored on some idiot’s blog about great video game writers. It just can’t happen.

While that is true. A few faithful readers will remember that I’ve already been thrashed by a Twitter badass for my lack of absolute devotion to everything Nintendo as is. So I might as well continue this disturbing and challenging trend.

Also, this guy:

Neil Druckmann

This curly haired fellow? Neil Druckmann? He is solely responsible for one of my closest friends denouncing Xbox and buying a PlayStation 3. After watching a half an hour or so of Uncharted. I’d say that’s a pretty good endorsement.

Alright so… now it’s your turn.

@pinkiemon

@metalw0rker001

@foovay

@kurohanastudios666

And in addition to all of my favorite writing partners on the site I have a couple specific bloggers I follow as well. Obviously don’t feel obligated to but I’d be interested to read your favorites:

The Gamer With Glasses

Shoot The Rookie

Geeking-By

So there you have it. Who inspires you? Who are your favorites? Join the conversation in the comments below or let me know via social media at: Buffalo Retro

Pinkie’s Quest for Meat… I think : Mario’s Mystery Meat

Hello little lights, I am trying to streamline my content a bit.. focussing on anime , games and even pokémon things that might seem odd or straight up bizarre. The Princess of weird.. after all that always facinates me.. on this hunt to get a bit more focus, due to limited energy.. I encountered something very strange. A Rom-Hack unlike any others.. Join me as I play … Mario’s Mystery Meat!

Disclaimer

I am aware that the journey I was about to take would take me deep into VineSauce Lore… and I have no idea about what that entails. I assume I will move trough some very specific memes that I might not get.. but I don’t even know what VineSauce is.. all I know is they apparently have a lot of custom Mario lore. A very skillful rom hacker named Enimus decided to turn this all into a game that is more or less cohesive. Do keep in mind though that I have no idea who these characters are, I am here for the rollercoaster of weirdness that awaits me and that will be my perspective.  So please don’t yell at me for describing a character as that “duck thing” ….because let me tell you there are a LOT of “things”  in this game! It all starts with what Mario brother you play. Care to take a guess? It’s not Mario.. so the title is a bit deceptive.. Of course you are not Luigi either, you play the orange brother…. Sponge.
(Pronounced Spongée)

Mario and Luigi love spaghetti but what is spaghetti without a lot of meat. Unfortunately Mario and Luigi are always too busy to save the world to get the meat for their spaghetti so they delegated this to their third brother.. the outcast one.  Sponge is a chronically depressed man who never really goes on adventures but just on trips to the butcher shop.  However on a normal meat run.. suddenly a giant worm thing shows up , to the sound of a PlayStation One starting up. Sponge jumps in his mouth and gets transported to a strange new world.. where has to save Princess Bleach for himself.. from the evil Will Smith and get meat for Mario and Luigi by killing the giant worm. Unlike classical Mario adventures this all happens in a seemingly seamless 2d world. Though  the word world would imply this is a cohesive mesh.. but I am not full sure about that!  Let’s dive into this adventure. 

Virtual Boy… for Real Men (and Women)

Mario’s Mystery Meat, is a Rom Hack for Super Mario World, which means it can be played on an emulator or put on a fan cartridge if you find the right guy!   But it is a very special romhack, that features many different forms of Gameplay!  We are introduced to Sponge in a very classical Super Mario World level.. but very much in hte style of how a stage randomiser rom hack works.  Elongated sections of blocks and sped up enemies immediately will show you, this Rom Hack won’t be easy.  Clearing the stage will send you to a twisted Dimension and the Playstation theme boots up.. the worm thing shows upand you jump in it’s mouth. The map we got promised from the beginning is gone.. there is just one stage.. called Meat!

I am filled with confidence that I can handle whatever this game will throw at me.. and it begins with the drop in a pit! Bart Simpson pig shows up.. Peter Griffin with a mushroom cap hat.. a guy cosplayed like Simon Belmont.. and a Luigi shouting NUT! Then I fall even deeper and land back to the 2d stages… a Duck man tells me he hates me.. a duck tells me his dad is mean and so are his brothers. To the right a series of Piranha plants block my path.. so I have to go left where a Chozo statue gives me my first power up! Crying!

Crying is Sponge’s variant of the fire flower, but instead of throwing fire from his hands he throws water from his eyes if he hits something that can be hurt by his tears it turns into coins… like Piranha flowers!  I move on and get faced with an onslaught of ducks and I mean an onslaught! So much that there has been a variant of this rom where the number of enemies was turned down to a more reasonable amount…but I played the regular difficulty version, although later admittedly with save states to save me from some checkpoint tedium.  It is a stage that is somewhere of a 6th to 8th world difficulty in Super Mario Standards.  It is tricky for sure but very doable! I find the letter B and take it with me.. it has to be here for some reason right? I die a few time and can not activate the letter B no matter how hard I try.. so I take it with me across the entire stage.. until I encounter a bird tomb! Which of course is missing a letter B! I place the letter and get access to a new location!

There is some lore to be found in this next room but also a duck that is made out of five duck heads.. all of them a character from Animal Crossing, they , he, it,  gives me a quiz mostly about ducks!  I struggle with this quiz because I am not aware of VineSauce lore but luckily there is no penalty for failure other than starting the quiz over, as a bonus question I have to answer who is fatter Ringo Star.. or Mr Dink.. I chose Ringo .. because why not!  Eventually I pass the quiz and the duck lets me pass a sarcophagus.

I now am in a tomb.. filled with ducks! But everything is shown in Virtual Boy graphic style, black and red with huge scanlines and pieces of picture missing.   I have to jump on huge pigeons who are reskinned Montey moles.. dodge evil   glowey eyed pigeons and skeletal ducks! .. I wonder of this will be all ducks and immediately after. While the screen is still kind of red.. it’s not a virtual boy anymore… a strange eerie clown melody  is playing.. cheerful, almost circuslike.  So of course I get chased by Smiley faces! … This stage is HARD!  Those smiles can be quite unforgiving! By spinjumping on their heads I can avoid harm.. but they chase me hard! Think .. sun in Mario 3.. but now there is like 7 of them!  In batches of 3 and they mad! 

Stranger Things

The weirdness hardly ends there,  I go back to pigeon riding for just a bit .. but when a pigeon takes me into the darkness, I suddenly end up on Howard the ducks head.. it absorbs me… and I fall into a deep pit with no way out! A chime from game Earthbound can be heard after which Sponge hears the voice of god! He will help Sponge.. by pissing all over him. This game can be quite infantile at times, with an AWFUL lot of piss jokes! I am not sure if it is is god’s piss but the next series of stages or sections are swimming levels that get increasingly weird. The one that is the least weird has pink blocks with cute little piggies depicted on them launch pigs with lady legs swimming real fast and torpedoes like you. It is a very pink stage.. despite potentially being set in god’s urine so I did really like it. This stage feels by far the fairest in term of difficulty. Just be careful and you will get by just fine. For the second bout of swimming we now are in a very spacy environment.. besides the pigs, there are UFOs and aliens as well. It is super colourful and cute.. so once again I like it… obviously by taking a warp pipe… we would end up in a restaurant.. because that makes sense.

I am then quickly attacked by Ringo Starr.  Had I told the five headed duck from earlier I thought Mr Dink was the fattest, he would have been in the restaurant instead. So from moments like these it is really shown that this game pushes rom-hacking to the limit. The fight is completely in Earthbound RPG style as well, so not only does the game now have branching paths based on choices you made.. it also features elements from other games! Something you don’t often see in Rom Hacks which is incredibly ingenious and only further contributes to the fever dream that is this game. Ringo is defeated by crying in front of him and then giving him 1 cent.. he got what he came for and he wishes me love and peace.. as he fades into thing air. In Earthbound style Sponge Levels up and learns Crying B.. a power that now makes sure he can cry with whatever power up he is using..even when tiny! Cool! But leveling up made Sponge hungry and on the table is a plate of spaghetti that Ringo left untouched…. of course that plate of spaghetti is the next stage……

The Spaghetti stage is where things start to become a bit tedious, as it combines elements of Donkey Kong Country , with classic mario elements.. but also elements from later mario games that weren’t even used yet.. So we got Dk’s spinning barrels, now rebranded as shoes, typical mario moving platforms , now shaped like Pizza’s and the bouncy donuts from later mario games, in a almost sonic style maze, with multiple paths to take.  Not all jumps are doable it seems but across the stage you find several pools, that offer certain upgrades. Liquid Bread bloats you up like a balloon, while CBT oil makes you jump higher but more slippery, Tears make the world seem darker and Pee.. makes you curl up into a ball and shortens your jumping range.  I avoided reading what was in the white pool.. and i did not jump in it either.. I did not trust them! 

Regardless, in this stage I used save states a few times, as we get a lot of “jump chaining”  where you have to do 12 incredibly hard and specifically timed jumps in sequence and a fail on  any one will reset you to the beginning. When a lot of enemies are on screen the game can slow down a bit.. which makes precision jumping that much harder. The enemies you encounter here are pirate knives, ..which is a kitchen knife with a pirate costume, a teletubby throwing meatballs and a frog spitting bath toys at you. Oh and weaponised pizza’s!   The stage ands in a fight against an evil sausage.

Go to Hell Will Smith!

After Sponge finishes the sausage he finds the meat he was looking for and it seems my quest is over.. but the game glitches and I now have play a kids games.. Pick the Triangle.. says a kids voice.. so I pick a triangle.  Select the sun.. the kid voices tells me while I can select either a sun or a moon!  Then a Mario yelling piss, shows up and a picture of Jay Leno.. with the assignment to pick the opposite of funny! Since I assume this game thinks piss is funny… I pick Jay Leno and it is the right answer. Next random letters show up.. when I click on one the kid begins to count how many letters there are… there are 6! Six!, SIX! The kid tells me he will send me to hell and soon Sponge finds himself trapped in Hell.. I get consumed by hellfire on a auto running stage and just as I get ready to repeat this ad infinium, I find myself in an alien village that worships Hatsune Miku, the worm and Will Smith. The aliens seem rather violent minded but also to lazy to act on it.  In a bit of an adventure style, I can talk to all sorts of villagers to find out what item to use to get to the right place.  To advance the story.

The goal was to find Yoshi.. but he refuses Sponge because he is just a depressed crybaby, the only way Sponge can prove himself to Yoshi is in Gladiatorial combat against the aliens,  which unfortunatly doesn’t use any different gameplay and just uses classic Mario gameplay, with a lot of hammer brothers to fight! Overall this is all fairly doable but after this the game becomes obnoxiously hard. After getting the approval of Yoshi we have to move through another glitched style setting, trying to raise the creature up to his big form and reach the end of the stage with him. Rough edges are shown here because it is SOOOOO easy to lose Yoshi and there are puzzles to solve that can cause Yoshi to just fall through the floor and you have to start all over again. And all over this time means.. track back a stage or two to get Yoshi back. It’s more annoying than it is hard…. but we are still at Megaman 2 difficulties herre.. not the boss stages yet.. but the trickier regular stages.  If we make it through this stage we get an air combat stage that really is just the level of another game.. but the final boss has been replaced by two will smith stone heads.. with an enlarged forehead.

That stage I would say is the last one that is truly fun to play! After this the difficulty ramps up so hard that it becomes quite frustrating.  The whole sense of being on an adventure also comes to a bit of a halt as things feel even more random.. before   the weirdness had a bit of story to it and this to me is where the game derails. In the last stage that features Yoshi , I am dodging Verizon logo’s giant sorcerers and have to use the cape  and liquid platforms into enemy jumps to progress. It’s a very specific jumping style that feels so horrible.. like a nail on the chalkboard sensation of platforming. Yoshi gets lasered to death by the Will Smith castle as I answer what I assumed was the last stage. 

The first step of the castle however is quite fun!  It feels like a great final stage for a Mario game. It is challenging  by riding floating blocks.. doding will Smith shaped Twomps.. and  Will Smith shaped Lava fish and features an enemy that eats the stage! It offers some interesting jump puzzles… the second part of the castle however… made me almost rage quit. In a vertical autoscroll, race to the top against lava, filled with one block wide precision jumps, fake out twomps and trial of error segments we get a stage that is so blood boiling it almost made me quit! Savestates made this manageable.. but this is on the level of those insanely difficult Mario Maker stages.

A Mysterious Rom Hack

Through the power of artificial checkpoints I do pass this stage, but it has broken me!  I notice I do not enjoy the game as much as I did before.  With still two more stages to go the game has become a bit of a slog, yet the weirdness continues to drive me! At the end of the Will Smith Stage you find a button to rewind time.. and suddenly we are back in ancient times.. We get a stage that is entirely upside down.. as in.. you stick to the ceiling.  This is a very long stage that is filled with random shapes like roman arches etc… I honestly considered flipping my lapttop upside down because I feel like this stage could be really cool, but I could not appreciate it as much because everything is upside down for a very long stage.  It is really compelling gameplay wise but there are some rough edges.  You have to grab onto vines  and only on vines controls are inverted meaning up is down and down is up. It made things a lot harder for me to wrap my mind around.. but that could be just being a bit feeble!  What really ruins this stage is the fish! 

In this stage , if you wait too long for a jump a fish comes and eats you up, rather than outright killing you it transports you to an alternate dimension of worm things, who sing the Hong Kong 97 loop of I love Beijing Tiananmen. While I love the reference these things are a spawn from hell!  While they can be used to skip through parts of the stage they also can catch you in a loop!  So besides dying.. you can “soft die” .. the game deciding.. you went to slow.. . you have one chance to not start over at the checkpoint but somewhere in between.
I do really love how weird it is.. but it just feels to punishing again. You can’t be fast, you can’t be slow, you gotta move at just the right pace while dodging unicorn Anime girls heads and Donkey Kong heads.. Mr Dink Blueberry inflations and green things! I have no idea what they were. Why is gravity so weird, why is Sponge Naked.. and how did he get his clothes back at the end of the stage.

The build up to the final boss fight is hidden behind an interesting puzzle!  With multiple bad endings and a screen that is so filled with Mario love it makes up for a lot of frustration.  I just have accepted that I think this game was made with emulation’s potential in mind.. you have to cheat because I honestly see now way to do it without it!  The final Boss battle has a very cool first stage similar to Bowser final Clown Car fight.. I really enjoyed it .. especially since we return to a very black and red stage like how our journey started…. the second stage of this fight though is completely impossible to do in a very legit way!  It is just soooo hard.  I could barely even cope with safe states. Most other players I have seen this play used rewind functions and they used that to get through!  Did I miss a rewind power or was it emulation! I am not sure!  For 80% of the game we got an amazing and fascinating adventure but the final 20% is just difficult porn. That isn’t for me.. but it is a very common romhacking thing so I can see a few people get to the end with a very big smile on their face.

A Strange Conclusion

Except for the final stages this really is a great game to give a try, it’s weird, it shows a lot of style, Sponge is quite compelling and the wonderful weirdness does give this game it’s own right to exist.  This is a very good meme game, and it really feels like such a trip! I enjoyed the journey.. I just did not enjoy the car trouble I had on the final stretch and the horrible road at whatever strange place I have landed now. If you like challenging Mario games, this might be a bit too weird though and a bit too easy in the beginning. If you like weird games you will probably experience the same as me. You will love the first part and really hate the late game. The game managed difficulty quite well up untill the very end. Even the verizon stage is still kinda fair.. just with an annoying jump! Just the penalty for losing Yoshi is a bit too harsh. It seems this Rom Hack was made for a too specific audience.

Now I do not know the Mario skill of the VineSauce followers or people who made it for someone to stream or something.. I don’t know how VineSauce works or how it works.. I barely know what it is. So perhaps I am missing something and this difficulty serves the purposes I am not aware of. So honestly, this is a weird one..  in all sense of the words. Do I recommend you playing it? I’d say yes… maybe up until you defeat the sausage?! You get the meat  and you can see that as the game ending.  Up until that point it a super fun game, after that there is still some fun to be had.. but see that more as your “lost levels” Bonus content you can play!  The Princess Bleach plot line gets abandoned and the story doesn’t really resolve in any way in the end, so  there is no real ending.  So just play the game until it stops being fun for you! That is the best way to play this!

Now normally I would end with a nice picture.. but this time I wil lend with the I love Beijing Tiananmen Loop for you to enjoy! Shine on little lights. Oyasumi!

Pinkie Watches: Tropical-Rouge Precure Episode 1

So my little lights, I recently got a big medical setback! My health deteriorated quite a bit,  to a point that I am chronically fatigued due to what is wrong with me. This forces me to rethink my content and has caused me to pause the whole YouTube plan for a bit!  It will mean I am going to shift my content around to accommodate that.  Which means less episodic reviews.. I can’t guarantee consistency right now. Yet recently a show has come out that is too perfect not to talk about it! And that is Tropical-Rouge! Precure.

Re Precure!

In the past I have tried watching the first series of Pretty Cure and while I had fun watching the  first season or so, I actually binged it to much and got very fatigued by it.. there was still plenty to love, commiting to the entire pretty cure library was a bit much! Luckily this show is only on its third episode when I discovered it! So I can catch up to it and follow it in season! Imagine me.. doing something in season!  Meanwhile I will do some other anime stuff as well to create content that works with my situation!  It is time to give Pretty cure another shot!  I mean.. It’s about a bubbly girl living in a tropical paradise, fighting all sorts of tropical enemies as a magical girl… that got me written all over it!  This first episode mostly helps us establish the first PreCure.. Cure Summer.  This is the alter ego of Natsuumi Manatsu, an extremely energetic and motivated character. A young girl who is moving out of her fathers home and into her mother’s place, who works at an aquarium. This new live excites her.. but of course there is evil afoot.

We get introduced to Laura Apollodoros Hyginus La Mer, a mermaid that is swimming through a destroyed city with all fish and mermaids lying defeated on the ground.  She makes it to the queen of the city who entrusts her with a magical box to help find PreCure Summer. Their realm got attacked by the Queen of Delays, an evil entity that wants to stay the power of motivation from others and only those who can open the magical boxes of  makeup can fight this evil force. Laura gets tasked with finding the human warrior but she knows nothing of the world. It is a fairly generic plot but it works perfectly fine to tell what it needs to tell. It all is executed in a very colourful way that really fits the visual style. This won’t be subtle! 

Pretty Cure

I really like the visual style of this Precure Show, much more than the first one I watch. This one seems to have much more of an identity visually.  It’s very similar to earlier PreCures such as Smile Precure and the one with all the music stuff..but this one feels so luscious. and grand… very tropical.  Pretty Cure Summer is not very colour coded and instead has a very rainbowy vibe in it.. with a healthy dose of pink and white,  the future pretty cures look more colour coded but each one kind of looks like a tropical drink you’d just set a paper  umbrella in. I really dig the esthetic here!   This also includes the design, Laura feels so ornate and Manatsu has different levels of complexity. Monsters are simple in design and very cutesy and a bit childlike .. but in a very pleasing way. It reminded me of enemies in those free to play anime style MMOs!  The first monster faught is a palm tree that shoots coconuts and it is adorable.. the first boss-like creature is a giant crab man barbarian type thing that gets fed up easily! It’s so cartoony!! I love it!

I am not the biggest fan of the transformation scene though, it involves make up a lot, but these changes to the Precures in the facial area are very subtle, so while it is cute they put on lipstick I think I rather see gloves poof into existence as it would be a neater visual!   A few animations also are a bit weird. Manatusu in her human form tries to flail her arms at the coconut creature and you kind of can see the cheapness of the animation. I found it funny and having some kind of charm.. but I do know that  some movement could have used a few more frames of animation or something. Regardless though in a way that animation style really gave it more of that own unique flavour. I do like it a lot.. but it does feel a bit “cheaper”  than some other anime.. or more infantile.. I am not sure.. I still like it though! I think these monsters would make really good plushies. So much visual sparkly stuff as well!

HardCure Action?!

So we have a decent enough story, we have pretty visuals.. how are the scenes themselves? I think the first enemy being a palm tree is a good choice, it is the first icon I woould think of from a tropical island as well. With stuff like Pineapples and seashells being next… regardless a palm tree should come first and the abilities of the palm tree fell mostly organic. He really reminded me  of Alolan Eggexcutor but fat!  I also liked how Manatsu charged at the creature without any powers showing how little effect those attacks had.. I am pretty sure she gave it her all and it just bounced off. I like it when anime power scale like that.  I am pretty sure it will be inconsequential in the long run but it helped the transformation be just a bit more magical

What I liked less is that the search for a PreCure had a fake out with Manatsu. I do not mind the fake out itself all that much, but the fact that nothing has changed. From the moment Manatsu could not open the make up box before to the moment she can, nothing has really changed except for a more immediate sense of danger. Still Manatsu saved Laura before and could not open the box.. that felt wrong! Maybe it could have to do with Laura.. but I doubt it!  It felt like a needless sidetrack that I would have rather seen being spent on Manatsu reunion with her mother.  While very cute the reunion got played out more as a Deus Ex Machina to introduce a new setting. I do feel if I finally moved in with my mom, she would at least have taken the day of my arrival off.  So some scenes can feel a bit artificial.. but hey it’s a first episode that is a rather common flaw.

Tropical Treat

I will pick this show up for a bit!  If anything just to have something be there for me on a weekly basis.  The show seems like the perfect innocent type of fun that is great for the time that is now! I am also working on finishing a few shows and do reviews as a whole. I need to make some changes and life isn’t that amazing for me right now.. so it is nice to have something so innocent and fun around. That will just treat me to 20 minutes of pretty colours each week!  The first episode was a bit by the numbers but that can be nice as well. It does really help me get that summer feel when skies are grey here so I at the very least can say this is a perfect rainy day show!  I will keep watching this for an episode or five then I will be able to tell you if I will keep this up or not. 

I got into this thing with pretty low expectations, however they have all been met and surpassed. I had a great time, much greater than I would like to admit.. this is one of those trash taste anime that isn’t aimed at me as a demographic in the slightest but it was cute , adorable and kinda funny! Even if it was basic as heck.. normally I can’t really stomach basic all that well anymore, I can barely even look at at normal Shonen without feeling a need to gag.. yet this really worked for me.. and I am absolutely baffled! So maybe this show is actually good.. maybe it’s me being more sick than I thought , who knows! It doesn’t matter though! I had a great time with this! That is all that matters in the end!

Periwinkle’s Art of War: That Time Ghost Recon Accurately Predicted War

Years before I became resident pool skimmer at Paradise I considered myself a bit of an amateur, “fictional war correspondent”. Examining warfare video games retrospectively, weighing the odds of probability for fictional conflicts or double checking historical “accuracies” in games about real war long past. Or sometimes just noticing coincidences or conflicts accurately predicted like today’s entry. For those of you that could give a shit about history, don’t worry – this is a new and sporadic type series and will be few and far between (mainly because it requires one iota of research and I am just heartbreakingly lazy).

I will be back suffering, playing horrible games for your reading pleasure soon enough. But for now, since your here, join me while we briefly discuss the time Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon accurately predicted war.

So today we will cover the very first Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon game and how it predicted (down to the year) the Russo-Georgian War. But first a quick overview for those unfamiliar with the game series and writer, Tom Clancy.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon was released in 2001 for PC and ported to consoles in 2002. While the game series is one of the only games under the Tom Clancy brand umbrella not based on an actual Tom Clancy novel it still does a fairly decent job guessing a geo-political crisis in the near future.

Tom Clancy was a best selling author who more than likely has written something you’ve either read, watched or played. The Hunt For Red October was his first novel. Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger and The Sum Of All Fears all became commercially successful films based on his novels as well.

Somehow Tom Clancy looked exactly like I imagined he would.

The Ghost Recon video game series began development in the late 90’s into the early 2000’s and unlike Rainbow Six is not based on a specific story by Clancy but just his tactical/military based body of work.

From Wikipedia:

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is a tactical shootervideo game developed by Red Storm Entertainment and published by Ubi Soft in 2001 for Microsoft Windows. It was ported to Mac OSPlayStation 2and Xbox in 2002 and to the GameCube in 2003. Ports for N-Gage and Game Boy Advance were planned, but later canceled.[6]Unlike Clancy’s other tactical shooter series, Rainbow SixGhost Recon is not based on any of his books.

Red Storm is an American video game developer founded by Tom Clancy and his manager, Doug Littlejohns (which is one of the most ridiculous last names I’ve ever heard). 

Anyways they debuted with, “Tom Clancy’s Politika” and really broke ground in 1999 with, “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six” series.

It was also published by juggernauts, Ubisoft. The Montreal based company that has also published all other Tom Clancy titles, Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Rayman, Prince of Persia, Watch Dogs and many other titles.

Ghost Recon takes place in the near future (at the time) 2008. An ultra nationalist groups seizes control of Russia displacing its current democratic leaders and begins taking back land and countries lost during the soviet collapse. Russia quickly seizes Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan and declares itself the RDU (Russian Democratic Union) and sets aim on its neighboring Georgia.

“The Ghosts” are a fictional ultra elite United States military squad first called in to stop Russian backed rebels in Georgia. The rebels are South Ossetia separatists but what makes this case and game particularly interesting is the coincidence of time between the game itself and the Russo-Georgian War. 

But to understand the significance of the coincidence we first have to look into the history of some of the parties involved and what better way to start than examining the modern day history of the gorgeous country of Georgia. 

Georgian flag

Just south of Russia, Georgia was under Soviet control until it regained independence in 1991. Following the regained independence however a long period of political strife, bloody coup and a civil war erupted.

Noteworthy Georgians include: Joseph Stalin and the best looking chess master on Earth Sopiko Guramishvili.

Definitely NOT the best looking chess master on Earth
Guramishvili
Oh and fictional mega babe, Xenia Onatopp. Best Bond villain ever.

Considered a frozen conflict zone (Disputed conflicts and territories left over from the Cold War) Georgia has had two internationally recognized territorial disputes. One with Abkhazia and another in The northern part of the country with South Ossetia separatists. Were going to focus on South Ossetia.

In short, South Ossetians helped overtake the Democratic Republic of Georgia and in April 1922 were rewarded their own separate autonomous administration called the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. Leading up the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgian nationalism was at an all time high during the push for independence from the USSR. Tensions flared between the sides – with Russian backed South Ossetia and Tbilisi at odds. 

All a powder keg which would eventually explode in 2008 during the Russo-Georgian War. The war lasted only twelve days and is notable that it is considered the first war in Europe during the 21st century. It was also the first war to feature cyber warfare as well as traditional military means. 

After almost two weeks the French negotiated a cease fire between the two sides successfully but not unlike Crimea in 2014 Russia has occupied the territory since 2008 breaking the rules set in place for the existing cease fire.

What’s the largest coincidence?

That both the conflict in the game (between Russian backed Ossetian separatists and NATO backed Georgian military) and the real Russo-Georgian war both break out in the year 2008. The game effectively predicting the conflict seven years in advance.

The one thing the game did get wrong?

That it would take a fringe ultra-nationalist political party to oust the Russian administration of 2005. The truth being – there was already a fringe ultra nationalist in office by 2005.


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Is Pinkie a Powerful Female? Does she know any? The Powerful Female Tag

I shoot laser beams from my Antenna, I am immortal and I can flip cars with a single flap of my wings. Yet I also can not, this is only my V-persona! It’s still pretty neat in V-Reality though!  However does this make me a powerful woman?! I don’t think so.. yet Annie from Evening Tea Musing’s saw something in me that made her feel like I was a powerful woman! She nominated me for this tag and I am super grateful! Because I am a game blogger, in an anime world I decided to answer all her prompts with both a video game character as well as an anime character. Just because I Like to complicate things

Rules

  • Choose a female (real or fictional) for every prompt.
  • Tag at least one female blogger.
  • Pingback to Annie’s Powerful females’ tag.
  • Enjoy~

Name a Female Known for her Intelligence

Anime: Dragon Ball (and onwards) – Bulma 

No I shall not be calling her Bulma Briefs, because that is a dubismn, her real last name is pretty much unknown. The way her father is referred to as Dr Briefs in Japanese doesn’t mean it is his last name, in fact it seems to be quite the opposite. See.. I bet some of you did not know that!  Regardless, Bulma is a very well known character in the anime world and she is  smart as heck. She can copy technology just by glancing at it and in fact improve it.  From Saiyan space pods with artificial gravity chambers to building time machines, Bulma has the technical prowess that goes way beyond her years. Besides that Bulma is also very much in touch with her femininity and  she is clever in keeping her looks as well.  She abuses the dragonballs, using the radar she invented. However to keep her good looks, Dragon Ball Super Broly showed us that Bulma has been secretly wishing for youth as well.  To escape repercussions she has been wishing for alittle bit each time so her friends do not notice. This shows not only does she have a high IQ , her EQ and wits are up there as well.

Games: Breath of the Wild – Zelda

I do not like Breath of the Wild all the much. I think it should have been Breath of the Wild, a Hylian adventure..focussing on a new hero stuck in between times that Link is reincarnating and such…this adventure did not feel like a Legend of Zelda game to me and I did not care much for the gameplay. However this game easily has my favourite incarnation of Zelda of all times.. even though I think she should have been just a scholar with just enough of Zelda’s lineage in her blood to awaken her powers. That doesn’t change though that this character is an incredible scholar. Long before Zelda becomes useful as a Triforce user, her scholar skills help her modify and utilize the divine beasts. She is great at technology, but also botany and she also is a capable biologist. Even as a kid she was extremely gifted in polliticology , knowing exactly how and when to act like a princess. Her social skils and empathy could use some work though.. that’s not how you ask someone to eat a frog princess.

Name a Female known for her great Physical Strength

Anime: Flip Flappers- Papika

Originally my vote would have gone from Koto to Kyousougiga.. but the fact that I would need an entire paragraph just to explain who Koto is.. and which Koto I mean.. made me choose Papika instead. In many ways she is a better pick anyway! Not only is she strong as an ox, she fulfills many typically male tasks throughout Flip Flappers, while keeping her femininity still. And when I say.. Male tasks  I mean stuff like hunting, surfing, saving the damsel in distress. It is also implied that she is into characters of her own gender romantically.  Yet Papika never really falls into the tomboy trope. She still loves lots of plushies and bubbly stuff, despite having so much of the classic melee hero quirks, she veers from feeling like the classic archtype and that is why she is the one I respect the most. She does some respectable things, in her own unique way and I adore her for it. 

Games: The Witcher 3 – Ciri

Of course Ciri is more than just a woman of great physical strength, she posses ample abilities to exist alongside that, such as her abilities to travel to the world of Cyberpunk 2077 and not noticing the glitches!  Yet Ciri is above all an extremely capable warrior of great strength to me!  She can survive and adapt in any world and wield a multitude of weapons. Lifting an actual sword is heavy as heck, yet she swings it around like it is nothing.  Ciri’s physique also extends to amazing reflexes and she is rather durable as well showing once more she is super strong. Having access to royal blood gave Ciri a relatively easy way out.. but it is a path she never chose. She did things the hard way.  She honed her strength and depending on how you played through the game made some hard sacrifices as well.  Always enduring! She is a powerful woman for sure!

Name a Female who Powered through Difficult times

Anime: Sailor Moon – Usagi Tsukino

So.. this might be an odd choice! We all know Usagi is known for crying a lot and being comically frail at times. Yet I think I would like to mention her as a Powerful woman. Difficult times are often described with immense hardships, losing a relative, breaking up, losing your job. While Usagi also suffers through these, our beloved little crybaby also shows how difficult it can be at times just to power through a normal day. She demonstrates how painful it can be to fight with your friends, even if you know things will turn out alright again. She deals with a whole lot including small stuff! That is something I will always respect more than just someone being able to cope with one major thing. Usagi may be frail but she shows it that at times it is okay to cry!  It is okay to be upset at the tiny things! We don’t have to wear a mask.. if we stay trough to ourselves we can power through that way as well. That is why Usagi would be my pick!… Plus if we look at the major things happening to her… she earns it several times over anyway!

Games: Final Fantasy VI- Celes Chere

Not the only Final Fantasy Character on this list… and to be fair, I could have easily filled this post with just Final Fantasy characters.  I will stick to just two though! Celes Chere is a character that is unlocked around the ending of the first major story arc in Final Fantasy VI and probably my favourite Final Fantasy character ever.  She finds out that her loyalties have been in the wrong place, she has to deal with the terrible things she has done in the past and come to terms with her terrible history.  She could turn her conscious off for so long but now it is back.. we see Celes cope with a depression, a death wish even, thinking she is not deserving of positive things…. yet there is also a blossoming relationship in her life, which seems like a great thing.. but when you are in the place Celes is, getting affection can make you sink deeper. I have been there, where you feel so unworthy that all love feels like people are wasting time on you and you feel terrible for being in their live, for stealing their time.  Celes sees hope returning to her live.. just to see that very new world she had fought for be destroyed… literally! Then she has to fight to start over again. When you first meet Celes in the game.. she has no own theme yet.. unlike other characters.. she finds it along the way.. she is like a phoenix that rises from the ashes… and she does it twice in one game!

Name a Female you want to be Roommates/Friends with

Anime: Re:Zero – Rem

Irina had the right idea when she picked Tohru… who would have been my number one pick as well.. but Senpai beat me to this post so I had to adapt.  A maid of great physical strength and love… luckily I had two other options fairly easily available to me. Rem and Ram. Since I am the pink one , I would  really prefer Rem! The likeliness of me starting a romance from friendship is a bit smaller, but Irina told me not to give up hope and since she is a powerful female herself, I chose to believe her. Who knows!  Rem seems like a great friend, that needs to be won over first.. but then would die for her friends. She sacrifice herself in many ways… so I hope that this also applies to the moment the dishes need to be done!  I doubt Rem is as good of a maid as Tohru is, she is away from her duties a lot after all,   but she is still a great pick!  I would love to see her open up a bit more and she has some fragile traits which really draws me into characters.  I may not be able to be a hard worker but I can be a great listener and I can give good advice.. I think Rem and me could have a healthy friendship…as long as all the stuff wanting her dead doesn’t visit as well.

Games: Final Fantasy VII (Remake) – Aerith

I would love to have more plants in my house, but I am not very good at taking care of my plants.  Even if I love them they grow too fast  and die because they become too thin.. or I forget which plant is fake and which one is real and  scatterbrain that I am. I keep on watering a fake plant until the one dies. I need a flower girl in my life.  Aerith also can make you smile when the sky is grey and not the faintest bit of sunshine is to be seen.  She is positivity reincarnated… and in the Final Fantasy remake she is just adorably quirky as well!  Her swearing subtle when she almost falls from some slum rooftops.. her mimicking the horse like a laugh or a crime lord.  Even when she doesn’t intend to.. Aerith will turn your frown upside down. Now that the timeline can go anywhere.. there is even hope our friendship can last forever.  It is rare to encounter such a positive soul as Aerith so I think she would make a great roommate.. I can do the cooking, Rem can do the cleaning and Aerith can do the decorating! Our home will be awesome!

Name a Female who you think is a good Role Model

Anime: Märchen Mädchen – Hazuki Kagimura

I bet non of you expected this one to be on my list, did you know?!  This anime is very under-rated  in my opinion mostly due to production delays.. but if you watch it now it is a perfectly enjoyable anime.  It’s no masterpiece.. but not everything needs to be.. if you fill in the blanks yourself and try to see the positives it actually IS a very good show!   Hazuki on first glance doesn’t seem to be a great role model,  her power is kinda weird and she is your standard klutzy magical girl protagonist. I do not like the idea of Role Models all that much, it’s a slippery slope,  many people emulate role models and it causes this behavioural bias..at least towards the more common role models.  Hazuki however is all about the idea that you should not let others determine your life. Not destiny nor the will of others. You should write your own story and if you do not like where your own story is going , you should rewrite it.. even if people think it is a classic. Hazuki is a magical girl that draws her magical powers from the Fairy Tale Cinderella.. but to accept this power she must find her prince and go to the ball… she doesn’t want that.. she doesn’t want a prince!   So she rewrites her story.
So she can be the person she wants to be.. now that to me is a great role model! 

Games: Divinity Original Sin 2 – Lohse 

If you haven’t read what I said about the anime character, let me say again, that to me a role model isn’t someone to emulate.. a Role Model is someone who inspires you to be the best version of yourself. Irina is a Role Model because I like her style.. and I want to develop my own style just as much as she did hers, I do not want to BE Irina.  Nor be more similar to her.. I just feel inspired by what she does.  Lohse is a very similar tale.  She is possessed by a demon who is trying to make her into something she is not and her entire story is about overcoming that fight! How she can escape from her destiny and walk to the sound of her own ..lute. Lohse wants to sing and perform and through the magic of video games she can fight for that in any way she wants. She can be a warrior, she can be a caster, she can be a healer…. her journey is to become herself.. and herself alone.. but along the journey you as the player can determine who that is. She by far.. and I mean by FAAAAAR is the best character in divinity and I had a little crush on her as I played trough the game. I want to be like her.. not in the behavioral sense.. but our ideals line up nicely so she inspires me!

Name a female who deserves a spotlight

You!

I can easily name some Niche female characters that deserve more attention.. but  just in being here as a female you deserve a spotlight!  You matter to me… the males do to of course.. but for this tag the females matter just a little bit more!  Whether it is because you came up with this tag, joined the tag or are curious about the tag,  you deserve just as much attention and love as the women I just shouted out.  By being here.. you  are a minecraft block in my house! If you think a single block isn’t all that important in the big picture.. build a pretty house in Minecraft.. then take out a random block and shove dirt in there!  Things do not feel right after that, and that’s why that block.. and you deserve a spotlight.  While we may only influence each other on a very small scale.. or while you may not feel you are relevant at whatever place you hold in this world… you matter!  You being there and being you matters.. in all your womanhood!   

You are a powerful woman as well, even if you don’t know it yet… well at least if you identify as a woman. Whatever the reason is I am not sure, it can be that you are a champion for following my blog for so long. Giving me a virtual hug on twitter, or inspiring me. It could also be your writing that gives hopes to others! We are never weaker than we imagine we are always more powerful!  It isn’t always easy.. and  it isn’t always fun.. but you matter girl!
Here is your spotlight!

Tags

So this one is optional of course do not feel obligated to do this.. but these are five absolutely powerful female bloggers that I think deserve this tag more than a few times over
if you aren’t there.. That doesn’t mean I think you are not worthy! I am just trying to keep the tag alive by actually name dropping a few!   If you want to partake.. read the last paragraph and know you are worthy too!

Heather
 
To me you are one of the biggest inspirations and maybe the epitome of powerful women bloggers! You deal with so much yet are always there for a kind word and your amazing blog.

Naja

If you read my post you know that walking to the beat of my own drum is very important to me and you are a credit to that cause as well. Blogging about what you love despite the gaming gate-keepers and the obstacles in your way! I respect you so much and I hope you have been tagged already.. but if not you deserve it 10x over.

Mari

I might be kind of making a mistake her, because Mari is non binary, but my brain can’t stop telling me that they should be tagged as well.. Of course if they aren’t comfortable being counted as a Powerful Female I have all the respect in the world for that but I still think they have plenty to add to this subject!  I am sorry if I made you uncomfy.. but you are very powerful to me!

Summer

Of course my blogging bestie would be on this list as well!  She is powerful, free spirited and physically strong herself.. as well as quite intelligent.. I could put her on every prompt and not be lying so that is saying something already on how much she is deserving of this tag.  I am also really interested in her answers to this so could be neat from that angle as well. She also supported my Patreon so by default she gets tagged for all these posts so there is that as well. Plenty of reasons to tag her!

Celestial Sparkles

I haven’t been visiting blogs recently much due to health crippling me, I just lack the bonus time to read around and do what I want to produce myself, but Celestial Sparkles is an amazing blogger that I feel pretty connected with, yet she is much more an anime blogger than I am and she is into a lot of different things.. but she is my Pink buddy! Gotta look out after that as well! I do think she is powerful! She struggled a lot and keeps coming back! That is power as well!

That is this post done! Stay strong women.. and men, you are pretty great yourself…sometimes! Shine on my little lights! Oyasumi!

sleeping my melody | My melody, Melody, Sanrio

Pinkie’s Vision on WandaVision

Hello my little lights! The upside of being sick a lot is being able to play catch up with a lot of content  you might have missed, and for me one of those pieces of content was WandaVision. I had watched the first three episodes and felt kinda “meh” about it but with six more episodes out there, I just had to check if that feeling had changed! At worst Wanda seemed like an excellent homemaker, so I might just learn some tricks to manage Paradise!

<Disclaimer>
This Post will contain spoilers on WandaVision and older MCU Products
<End of Disclaimer>

WandaVision: The Sitcom

This show can roughly be divided into three parts, all give or take three episodes long.  Phases as it were. The first three episodes this show presents like a sitcom. A progresive one with each episode dealing with a new decade and iconic sitcom to spoof.  Episode 1 of WandaVision is set in the 50’s and heavily spoofs the Dick van Dyke show, while Episode 2 is in the sixties , showing a lot of similarities with BeWitched. Episode 3 is set in the seventies and borrows heavy influences from the Brady Bunch.  All with just a splash of Twilight Zone mixed in between them. It’s lovely to spot all the smaller references and  even the major ones , like the tripping on the stool Van Dyke used to do.. it’s all there and done very faithfully which makes this is a great homage… yet that is also a pretty big problem for me.

The first three episode of this show seem to be the most loved among those that I follow that had anything to say about this show.. but for me it has a huge flaw. These are kind of rehashes of old Dick van Dyke Episodes, the second episode really feels like a recast of Bewitched and the third episode feels like a nuttier unhinged episode of the Brady Bunch…but because of it… it doesn’t do  that much new stuff other than blend in a mystery, yet if you have seen what happened before and if you know what Wanda can do in the comics as Scarlet Witch, the mystery is really REALLY obvious. That was confirmed to me at the end of episode 2.  Which, I must admit is one of my favourite episodes of the show overall, just because I do kind of like Bewitched.. However I do not like The Brady Bunch or Dick van Dyke and as such those episodes kind of strike out for me.

I do have to say that Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Betanny have great on screen chemistry though!  They also do the whole time skipping thing in a very funny way! There is so much love for sitcoms in this first part of the show, there is attention to detail and on a production level it works really well! The simple coloured in parts in episode two, the video effects, the fake commercials, it is all done very well. I just do not care about the subject matter of two out of those three episodes.. but I can see the good despite of it!  Clearly this is a passion product and that is the saving grace of these three episodes. This is great experimental tv, that also pays tribute to tv of the past. This is something that has been done much outside of cartoons before, and it is very unmarvel at the start making it a more intriguing product. However if you come to get your Marvel action on, you kind of can kind of  skip the first three episodes and not miss a single thing.

WandaVision: Agents of S.W.O.R.D.

The second act drops the focus on Wanda and shifts the focus to agent Monica Rambeau , who in the comics is better known as Miss Marvel 2,  Spectre of Photon. She has heavy connections to Miss Marvel and somehow became part of Wanda’s little world and in the next few episodes we find out why.  Monica Rambeau is played by Teyonah Parris and she is assisted by FBI agent  Jimmy Woo, played by Randall Park and the plucky Scientist Darcy Lewis, whom you might know from the Thor Movies played by Kat Dennings. Mostly the latter character really shines so much more for me than she did before.  Darcy here is a charming character. I am not sure if I can say the same about Rambeau, while I love that  we will get a more diverse cast in the marvel universe I could not really buy her story and her motivations. She is an extremely determined woman who lost her mother during the Blip and that makes her relate to Wanda so much that she is willing to break all kinds of rules and do her utmost to save Wanda?!  I am not sure..while acted pretty decently I felt there was a lot of forced writing. 

This is also the part where the show creators begin to do something about the whole “It’s too obvious” thing, as we are thrown for a loop on several occasions. We do establish indeed that it is Wanda who is doing all these things yet things do not always make sense. Stuff seems to happen without her intending it too. Like her dead brother showing up..strange! However he has been recast… by the Quicksilver from the Fox XMen Universe. That is hilarious! It is also what made the fanbase incredibly toxic.. They all felt that this could lead them into bringing the X-men into the MCU .. but Marvel doesn’t go that route and throws us a huge red herring, the likes of one in Iron Man 3. Fans are reacting super salty that their fan theory was not correct.. and I think heavily disagree with those fans! I LOVE that they threw some red herrings in there!  This show was a little on the nose before.. but here the creators just make it fit into the MCU in their own way.. and thus WandaVision gets more needed identity in this second part.  Even though half an episode is still clearly a spoof of Malcolm in the Middle, there is also more of an actual show moving throughout it. Albeit with a lot less mystery.

Unfortunately this is the part that suffers the most from the show just being 9 episodes.  Of which 6 episodes are only 30 minutes long. Monica and Darcy uncover things a bit too fast for my liking. Which is enhanced by the fact that most of the fourth episode is just Darcy rewatching the first three episodes on an old tv. The next two episodes add in twists and turns and change the dynamic between Wanda and the Vision, which takes away that awesome chemistry. For a large part of the second and  third act, the Wanda and Vision don’t interact with each other at all. Which dulls the experience of the third act a bit. That being said however I do really like the dynamic between humans trying to cope with a super powerful entity of questionable sanity and alliance.  You do get invested in how this situation can be resolved and you get a certain sense of dread as it seems inevitable that this show can not end with a “happily ever after for everyone” While clearly the weakest part of the show it did provide the incentive to watch on.

WandaVision: The Marvel Movie

The third act plays out as a classical Marvel movie, including the hidden endings at the end, new people getting superpowers and a colourful cast of heroes and villains ending with an epic showdown. As a Marvel fan I was kind of pleased with this part! I haven’t read to much Scarlet Witch Comics but I am fairly aware of the bigger universe, so I actually knew who the main antagonist was at the moment she was introduced. It’s a nice character to meet Wanda since the two share a mentor-student relationship from Scarlet Witch her villain days.  The character has her origins in the Fantastic Four comics though and I very much hope that they do not make that connection. After three different attempts to create a Fantastic Four Franchise, with only one of them getting a sequel,  I think we are done with them for a while. We failed too often, now we need to give it some time to breathe. However with Wanda having a limited rogues gallery, I think  the choice was nice. I allowed Wanda to blossom into Scarlet Witch finally and be a more defined character in terms of powers, mindset and her hero identity. I also like the choice to mirror this type of antagonist for Vision.  Clever and it really opens possibilities for the future. Even in the case of the Vision , introducing his rival also felt like a huge cop-out!  At least given how that encounter ended.

I think this part really does a pretty good job at making Wanda walk both the path of the hero and the villain, which is very much in line with the character in the comics. I’d say the series offers a more compelling product though, being both a hero and villain at the same time, rather than just be a redeemed character. Wanda has a darkness and an instability to her, she is aware of this and does not ask for forgiveness, instead she accepts what she has done and even Monica says she would have done the same in her situation! I really like this.. philosophy as it makes for much more compelling characters. Wanda has an insane amount of power and now that her powers have been explained to her, even more so, it makes sense that someone as broken as Wanda would abuse her powers and not just use it for good, unlike virtually every hero ….ever. Wanda feels so much more human and I love her for it. Darcy and Woo, really come alive during the last part as well and even Rambeau lightens up a bit and feels less like a Deus Ex Machina. I also liked the cleverness of the last battle. People  argue that Wanda would not know how to do what she did.. but she can create towns.. I assume she can make some things she saw as well pretty easily.

What the third part lacks for me is pollish!  Where the first part had so much love and attention to detail, that really dries up in the third part. We find out trough flashbacks that Wanda loved classic Sitcoms, but I don’t think that has  been established very much before.   We see an old 60’s tv to  depict her Sakovian poverty , yet somehow they are able to connect a dvd player to it?! That should technically not even work!  At least not here in Europe! There would not be any way to connect these two devices.. and while it is a nitpick..  the fact that they went through great lengths to duplicate sets and hairdo’s from original shows in the first part and now miss something as obvious as this just shows how the tone of this show shifts. We never seen Wanda display these traits before in any of the movies she was in, at least not to my knowledge, the Villain somehow escapes Wanda’s mind altering magic that effects everyone else, yet her entire thing is that she can steal power by being hit by a said power… so the why does not make sense. Monica gets powers and suddenly instinctively knows how to use them, a misguided cop goes from stickler for rules ot stone cold child killer in the bat of an eye…it all is epic and looks amazing and is super Marvel and satisfying.. however it all feels a bit like loose sand.   That even messes with it’s own consequences one to many times.

Wandavision: The Show of Many Shows

I had a fairly good time with WandaVision , in fact I really came out of the conclusion pretty hyped! I really want to see Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Magic or whatever it is called now, which features Wanda. However after sleeping on it for a night… cracks began to show.. WandaVision has three parts that all have something compelling to offer in their own right! We get a fun experiment with old Sitcoms, we get an intriguing mystery that is solved by scientists and detectives and the likes and we get a bombastic Marvel Movie at the end.. that seems like a pretty good three course meal! And it is!  The acting is great, the production is high level and doesn’t feel like a tv show at all! It feels movie quality almost all the way trough! Cool effects, great references, this is a great series to just geek out with! Even if it’s just for seeing more obscure marvel characters, cool red herrings that might be more.. and all that jazz. Throughout the journey I felt engaged to consume more and keep watching. Never have I seen a show that has been so many shows at once!  Because It’s not just a sitcom, it is Dick van Dyke, it IS  the Office, it IS  modern family .. but it is also WandaVision and that on it’s own even has three versions! That is something so unique and fascinating and worth watching.

Yet at the same time.. this is also the greatest weakness of this show!  Because all those versions of WandaVision don’t blend very well.  The Sitcom tone is in shrill contast with the suffering people go through in this series. Yet because Deborah Jo Rubb (best known as Eric Forman’s Mother in That 70’s show)  is type-cast as that Sitcom type character, suddenly believing this was a normal person being brainwashed.. feels… odd. Because Sitcom references are such a part of its DNA seeing sitcom actors take those roles counteracts that third act. The fact that the whole detective stuff is kind of blown out of the water by a supernatural force being an element in the third act, invalidates the second act a bit and this keeps happening. If you like the first part, the third part will feel too safe, if you mostly like the third act, the first act is bit too much out there. Especially when everything ends with basically a reset of the status quo. Except that Wanda now knows what her powers are and Rambeau will go into space.

In the end this is just yet another Marvel product where you need to have seen at least Captain Marvel, Avengers 2, Civil War, Avengers 3, Avengers 4 and kind of Spider Man Far From Home to get what is happening. You need to watch WandaVision to get full context of Dr Strange. Yet even in a 9 episode show we lack actual context. So we now know what Wanda’s power is, but have no idea why she has magic, why is her brother an Inhuman or a Mutant yet she is a witch?  If Photon, or Miss Marvel 2 or whatever else Monica Rambeau uses (as she has like 9 hero names)  gets a movie you have to also see this series, and I do not like that.

The C in the MCU stands for Cinematic and I think  the important content should be limited to cinema. Sure this allows for deeper story telling, but honestly the first six episodes hardly matter to this show’s grander story. It could all be made into a movie by Darcy watching a comedy episode showing Wanda and Woo asking her what she is watching.. giving some explanation that Wanda in her grief erected a reality bubble and they are trying to free people..but some strange force is interfering.. and we could have all fitted it in a movie. So in the end while an enjoyable experience.. something isn’t right here. Normally I end with an allegory but the perfect allegory for this show.. is this show itself. The show within the show describes all the flaws and oddities of the product we get.

While I might be highly critical of the show, I still had a good time! However I also think that the Marvel formula is wearing a bit thin. I really enjoy the MCU, and Scarlet Witch/Wanda is very much a character I adore.. but I feel like the world is getting thinner.. stretched to far.. and this series kind of confirmed that for me! Do take in mind this is just my own opinion! If you had a great time , all the power to you! If you really disliked this, I am sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea! Regardless! I love you all my little lights! Shine on! Oyasumi!

Sunny’s Six Sugoi Songs, from movies!

A sloppily wrapped package was hastily shoved in the managers mailbox. There was a lot of sand stuck to the wrapping and the faint odor fish and sandwiches clinged to the paper. Instead of a stamp it was decorated with a yellow Starfish.. that the Manager then promptly returned to sea where it was safe and sound! Inside the package was a bunch old VCR’s with sticky notes stuck to them! On the back of the envelope it read! Locked myself out of the editing room! Here is my response to your tag! Much love, Sunny!

Godzilla: Godzilla (1954)

You’ve got to know this one was coming so let’s just get it out of the way now!
All time best kaiju movie theme EVAH. Guaranteed to bring Sunny running from whatever corner of the universe I may be fishing or chasing butterflies in because… GODZILLA.
Now for the themes you are not expecting. 

Sirtaki: Zorba the Greek (1964)

Best quote of the movie: “Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.’” I love this movie. Zorba is a MAN. Proud, full of testosterone, full of love, full of life. If you’ve never seen this classic you should. Anthony Quinn, who is actually Mexican and Russian, was the perfect actor for this role, as he lived his own life very much this way. 

The Rose : The Rose (1979)

Sit down, catch your breath. Prepare to be quietly overwhelmed with emotion. Like Anthony Quinn, The Divine Miss M – Bette Midler, is a huge personality with a magnificent voice and unlimited talent. In fact, she’s so awesome, maybe another dose is what we need.

I Remember You: For The Boys (1991)

If I were a Rich Man: Fiddler on The Roof 1971

What do you give the guy who has everything? Penicillin? Well if I were a rich man…. this song pretty much covers it perfectly. Not that I work all that hard but… well…

Science Fiction/Double Feature Presentation: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

You might not know this about Sunny. He’s been to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show (the original) over 500 times. The sound of this song makes him grab for rice, a lighter, a newspaper, toast, toilet paper, and a flask and a joint or two, toss them in a bag and run for the theatre.  I’m gonna give you some terrible thrills… sigh. Good times. Muwahahahahaha.

Now that’s three of us taking on this little adventure! Will Indigo and Kuro share their favourite movie themes with us well? Be sure to stick around and find out! These are the managers words by the way.. Sunny vanished again.. but some people say they saw a scruffy look boy with a face mask riding a giant fish in the sea!

Tom Hank’s War on the French

Long before I ended up traveling across the pacific on a raft with only a volley ball to keep me company I was a world renowned Symbolist. I know it sounds far fetched but it’s true. Due to this experience I almost immediately have a hard time wrapping my head around The Da Vinci codes’ main character, Robert Langdon in the video game adaption based on the best selling Dan Brown novel of the same name.

Let me explain why. Interestingly enough, both, The Da Vinci Code game and movie starring Tom Hanks were released on the same day. BUT – the game version is not based on the theatrical version at all – sticking closely to Dan Brown’s original novel. So that’s why Robert Langdon in the game has absolutely no visual similarities to Mr. Hanks. In fact he’s better looking. But even knowing that – that doesn’t mean I will play fair and not compare video game/book Robert Langdon to Tom Hanks Robert Langdon. Because I’m not fair and never have been. That’s boring. So from here on out Robert Langdon is Tom Hanks and vice versus.

There are two universal truths in this world:

  • Despite being tall I will never be good at basketball no matter how hard I try.
  • If Tom Hanks plays you in a movie you’re a smart character but you’re physically weak.

If Tom Hanks was a trading card – any simple or evolved form of Tom Hanks would give you +5 boost in intelligence and awareness but your physicals are going to plummet. Out of all his movie eras Da Vinci Hanks has some of his most atrocious stat lines:

*The -3 Strength is attributed to his horrible hair cut. Not only does it makes him much more vulnerable to attacks from behind but also attacks from the front on his feelings and judgement.

Am I actually supposed to believe that this guy can beat up anything at all? Let alone policemen? Sometimes even several at a time? The historically ignorant may scoff at a French Police Force and the French in general for being too relaxed and refined to be bothered with any sort of fist fight with Tom Hanks. Their bellies too full with delicious cheeses and wines to bother kicking the crap out of a long haired Tom Hanks but I am not one of those people. I know what the good people of France are capable of.

It’s true – the French are a cultivated and beautiful people. With a language that is smooth, enchanting and musical it is easy to forget these brave people stared directly back into the face of Nazism with no fear. And fuck, they even took taxi cabs to battle in World War I. That’s classy and badass.

So I immediately find it far fetched that any Harvard scholar, “symbolist” played by Tom Hanks could just teleport down into the center of Paris and just start throwing hands at everything. It’s one thing to suspend my reality but to imagine that is to completely disown it.

Anyways, enough about Tom Hanks fighting Frenchmen.

The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 adventure puzzle game developed by The Collective and published by 2k Games. The Collective was an American developer that developed mainly licensed games for PC/XBOX/PS2. Looks like their most successful work was the game, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb. The Da Vinci Code would be their last release before merging with Backbone Entertainment.

The juggernaut publisher 2k needs little introduction. They publish everything from the BioShock series to the WWE 2k series of games.

The game was met with pretty mixed reviews upon release. Mainly the trouble was with the combat system (very dull and hard to handle) and the graphics (which I don’t think are too bad to be honest)

The puzzles are a lot of fun and I enjoy them quite a bit. It’s everything in between each puzzle that sort of sucks.

Here’s a penis for those of you that like them.

Recently, I had read a post from a writer considerably smarter than me about Christianity in a round about way. It was really well done and despite my lack of faith in just about everything (don’t take it personally) I liked the point she made. And it inspired me. Not to make peace with God. But to do exactly what she begged people not to do in the post: Absolutely dunk on a book series without reading it or knowing what the hell I’m talking about.

So – obviously – it goes without saying I am not Dan Brown. If I was I’d be too busy swimming in my pool of liquified gold to bother with anyone BUT if Robert Langdon in the book fights as many people as he does in this stupid game than Dan Brown is a ridiculous human being.

Also back on the Christianity thing for a moment – the book is basically considered some sort of demon spawn abomination for its rewritten religious history. So I could only imagine the Catholic Church would literally do nothing short of an exorcism had it encountered this game.

Anyways, where was I. It’s impossible to not get lost in a religious tangent when reviewing this game because the entire plot is literally a series of religious tangents. Some art, some mentions of important people, an albino dickhead and a French hottie that for whatever reason feels like protecting you.

It could have just been done so much smarter. While certainly not the worst game I’ve ever played – it’s still pretty damn stupid. Or maybe I’m pretty damn stupid and if I just read the book I wouldn’t be so stuck on the damn logistics of a fighting professor.

Granted Indiana Jones was a teacher that beat ass but that was Harrison Ford. If Harrison Ford would have played this guy I’d be all for it. Harrison Ford is boss sauce. What about Daniel Day Lewis? Matt Damon? Tom Cruise? George Clooney? Literally anyone but Tom Hanks.

The corpse of Leonardo Da Vinci could kick the shit out of Tom Hanks.

Alright, I’m done here. I’m obviously not going to get past it. It’s an okay game but not great. Good bye.

(DEFINITELY DON’T) PEE IN THE POOL

As you can see – the manager enjoys gingers and fisticuffs. I do not.

Periwinkle’s Lowing Hanging Fruit Punch Ingredients

1.) A small chunk of fur from Parka (Cold Winter)

2.) A thimble of Jack Bauer’s sweat (24: The Game)

3.) A can of Reservoir Dog Food (Reservoir Dogs)

4.) A handlebar mustache (American Chopper)

5.) Blood of a Backstreet Boy (American Idol)

6.) An impossible to control Q-Tip (CSI)

7.) The tooth of a terrorist (Fugitive Hunter)

8.) One Mona Lisa Smile (The Da Vinci Code)

If for some reason you’d like to read more of my thoughts or follow me on social media: https://linktr.ee/DarkCorners

Pinkie Plays: Final Fantasy VI Return of the Dark Sorcerer -Episode 5 – A Stream of Hard Encounters – Finale

Romhacks are strange little creatures my little lights! I encountered an amazing rom hack of one of my favourite RPG’s of all time! While it shines in all it’s weirdness it also has the writing style of a 13 year old goth kid that writes fanfiction based on My Chemical Romance songs filled with “my first fantasy”  tropes!  Add in an increased difficulty and we got a Rom I both love and hate at the same time!  As we draw closer to the conclusion of the first “arc” in this game the question remains! Will we continue this journey ?  Let’s find out!

Bye Bye Butter..uh Starmie?!

Last episode we left off right before the boss fought against the Skull Train. If you want to read more about if you can find the entire series at the bottom of this post!  We need to solve a puzzle and I discover the little Onion Knight works like Celes! He has Runic.. except he has no magic.. which might make him more useless, except for a very situational pair up.. like the party I am in now… minus the Drakkar who can actually cast magic!  Regardless the Onion knight looks like he might be great for the fight against the Skull Train…. and he is not going to fight along! Great! Oh that other Reaper they talked about last episode joins in and casts doom on my best party member?! Of course!  Go right ahead… Fuuuu , this will be a hard one won’t it?!

I get absolutely destroyed within SECONDS of starting this fight, Mr Grim can burn 350 hp easily and the train can attack as well!  I get whooped so fast my doom counter did not even drop below 60!  That’s a bit ridiculous… but it turns out I forgot to heal! I was at half health…. heh! Whoops! The next fight goes a bit better, and I actually manage to win though everyone was one blow away from death and I completely drained my supplies of revives and I think potions as well! Turns out however this is a double feature!  Another Boss fight appears right after this! Luckily it’s not my main party who gets in the fight here but Arc the Onion Knight and Reaper.. the uhm.. Reaper..WAIT let’s call him Shinigami to avoid double words!  That fight is pretty easy though as I can exploit Arc’s Runic to pretty much not be touched while Reaper deals heavy damage to the evolved Mister Grim!  The fight is so easy that it is almost a cutscene.  After that whole thing the story continues mostly like normal Avalon who takes over the role, but not gameplay of, Cyan sees his wife and son depart to the afterlife with the train like normal. After literally being forced to wait for a while gameplay resumes and we can wrap up this part of the story.

The Waterfall scene! The group hits a dead end and Sabin normally solves this by jumping off a waterfall!  If Shadow accompanies you he leaves you here.. but this time his counterpart decides to come along despite refusing the parties friendship! We jump off the waterfall and get YET another bossfight this time against Starmie and Staryu, while the pokemon theme plays!  This fight is HARD! Logic dictates to take down the weaker Pokémon instead but that turns out to be the wrong strategy and I am sent to a watery grave! The second time I focus my damage on Starmie  and barely scrape by!  It was fun to hear The Pokémon Wild Encounter theme rendered in Final Fantasy Style fanfare music though. A nearby town tells me about the ravenous Pokémon! I also discover the Oboro has gone…. *sigh* just when I spend tons of money in shuriken! … Well I guess at least we defeated Starmie!

The Onion that Tracks

The new town is a sleepy little town, I stock up on supplies, buy a new weapon and give him some relics to make him deal more damage by holding a weapon with two hands.. it makes sense since he is a kid and would be small!  Lots of references in this town though! There is a Legend of Zelda II , Zelda sleeping in a bed!  There is a Miqo’te shopkeeper and some reference I do not understand.. something about being born to be a farmer.. and Luffy..  the Pirate King is a shopkeeper!  I don’t know why.. I don’t why the man gave up on his dream but now he sold me a pokey stick!  Maybe this is what he will do after he has found One Piece.. but where is the rest of his crew! The other store keeper was “some bald guy” so his Nakama are gone. Either way it is sad to see your heroes fall. So to cheer me up I decide to let Arc play some hide and seek with some local kids! I win  the game and they tell me about a diving helmet.. that the three heroes plan to use to cross yet another river to get closer to where they need to be! 

This leads to a small treasure hunt on the map to find the right location Luckily I find my location fast and Arc doesn’t take long to find the treasure either! He is such a good little hero!  The wild enemies before here I could take on with relative ease, but now that we jump into the river I begin struggling a lot!  I barely make it to shore but I already wasted a lot of my recently purchased supplies!  If the difficulty keeps up being this tedious I will admit I am going to end this series at the end of the first story arc. I don’t mind difficulty hacks  but I have trouble rhyming them with games with such a silly tone! I just wanna see all the strangeness not grind for hours on end or learn movesets by  wiping without a hint of a chance!  It’s kind of annoying that way!  If i wanted to play a difficulty hack I’d download a difficulty hack! 

The Onion Knight guides us through yet another cave and I waste a great item that gives more MP on him by accident.. whoops! I really did not mean to do that!  Might come in handy after I get some Espers though!  If I ever will.. I am kind of curious to see what they did with Espers though. I might have missed an encounter with a Mermaid but after so many pretty tricky boss fights or at least back to back boss fights I am happy that I can take it a bit easy!  I follow the dungeon and wash up in another town.. I guess this midway point was made so I could heal a bit and find an item?!  I was never really sure!  Regardless in the new city we encounter Final Fantasy VII character Cait Sith who tells us we will find a treasure, so I venture into the wild to find enemies too weak to level on and no treasure anywhere! That is a shame. I had back to town and boarded a ship towards our avenger end game reunion thing!  The little Onion Knight gets seasick and says I don’t  feel so good.. then it seems as if he dies…..but he probably is just very seasick just like I would be on a boat!  This finally ends this chapter.. that is a fair bit too long! Time to reunite with our main character!

To Boldly go where we have been before

This story bit was always my least favourite, because it does not involve a whole lot more than backtracking to areas you have previously visited. Not that long ago either!  Plenty of enemies are still the weak ones with only a challenge here and there!  We go to Fraust which is most definitely not Narshe and go back through the caves where our adventure began, with enemies at the level as if our adventure just began. I almost can not contain my excitement.. I know I asked for easier battles here but this is a bit ridiculous!  And then Gilgamesh shows up on a bridge…..not the one from Fate though which I think is a missed opportunity but it’s classic Final Fantasy Gilgamesh.. and traditionally you fight him on a bridge so I guess all is well.. the fight is challenging but fair, if not a tiny bit tedious due to his insanely large health pool. I do manage to slowly chip away all the damage though and I come out on top. Time to walk through an old dungeon again! Strangely this is the entire storyline Aurora gets.. this is it.. nothing more happens except for some plot exposition about the enemy that is coming, after this we jump straight into the arc finale!

After exposition that is almost exactly the same as the original it is time. The Blackthorn empire attacks! We have to make our final stand to protect the Esper and prevent the Magi Wars… all changes here are strictly in name only and for once I am fine with that. This is indeed the moment this arc has been building up to!  It’s okay to keep this intact as is it such a pivotal moment. After this battle i have to decide if I will continue playing or not.. but as it turns out the game has made the choice for me.  We start the battle with one of those sieges, where you move your troops to block all paths to an npc or the battle will end.  Everything goes well but these npcs are quite tough to beat and there are a lot of them. After spending about an hour on these few battles alone there is a boss that wipes the floor with me.. Luckily due to the format here I can try again . After three attempts I succeed… and then I have to beat Kefka still.

Kefka is insanely hard by now you have the ability to make 3 parties and you have 9 people.. so three people per party right? No… if we  do it this way I found Kefka completely unbeatable. He cast Confuse, he can petrify , he can silence to avoid you healing from that, he casts regenerate he casts slow.. the only way you even stand a chance it with the Onion Knight hoping to absorb his spells, but my damage output is to low if I don’t put him in the party with Ronan.. and I did not!  Kefka regenerates so fast I can not deal damage… or while I can I need to spend every other turn healing.. and that means Kefka goes back up to full again.  He has spells that halve your level so if the battle lasts too long you don’t  deal damage anyway, the only option I think is Avalon who is actually with Arc.. but I can’t keep him healthy enough to deal enough damage. I spend 20 minutes alone in this boss fight and with no way to swap your party after your initial choice I have to go through another 90 minute slog to reach the boss?! No.. this is where I am done..  already doubted to continue as it’s just worse written Final Fantasy by now.. but with this type of difficulty I can’t have fun in a weird game like this.. The fate of the world refused to change and with my game being saved at an awkward spot.. I can’t go back to fix it either..Too bad the journey ends here.

Onwards!

I do not mind difficulty in games, but I am a bit iffy about it in RPG’s! Playing a 40 minute turn-based battle, just to find out you took the wrong party members and you can not actually beat the final stage of this fight isn’t fun! Let alone if it is preceded by another 40 minute long strategy thing, that was also hard. In the end the Romhack falls into the pitfall of a lot of rom hacks, being to hard to be enjoyable. I am sure I COULD beat this.. but I would not be having any fun anymore it would become homework. The amazing encounters do look amazing later on… but the story is just to rough at other places for me to care. It is a great cross-over.. but a very mediocre game that can be insanely unfair and unfun.. even though it also shines brightly at times. Let’s hope our next adventure will be the best of both worlds.

If you have a weird or fun Rom Hack you want me to play trough let me know in the comments! Due to my health not being that great I am trying to decrease the amount of episodic content I put out, to fit my currently more “when able” upload schedule! So lots of recommendations would be appreciated! Thank you for keeping reading this blog, even while I am not producing as much stuff as normal and struggling a bit!

The Return of the Dark Sorcerer Series

Periwinkle’s Phenomenal Five: Original Movie Soundtracks

Generally when I’m doing my daily tasks like pulling out large clumps of hair from the shower drains near the resort pool or cleaning the perpetually filthy toilets I’m usually deep in thought. Categorizing all of my favorite things in sequential order. Day dreaming of a day someone will finally ask me, “Hey Periwinkle! What are your top five bands?” Or “Hey ultra cool guy. You’re so interesting! What are your top five favorite video games?” Thirty two years and thousands of cleaned toilet bowls later that day has never come. Until…now.

So this is a pretty big moment. I’d like to thank Mallow and Pinkie for the nomination. It’s nice to know that someone, somewhere out there cares enough to ask me, of all people, what my TOP FIVE FAVORITE MOVIE THEMES ARE. I appreciate it. All of this attention is already going directly to my head even as I type.

*NOTE* I’m going to try and limit the amount of Jon Brion soundtracks on here because he pretty much dominates my top ten.

PUNCH DRUNK LOVE

I have to start with this soundtrack because not only is it my favorite soundtrack from my favorite composer/songwriter/film scorer of all time (The man of unlimited musical prowess, Jon Brion) but also because PDL was written and directed by my favorite Writer/Director of all time, P.T. Anderson and thus naturally, Punch Drunk Love is my favorite movie of all time . It’s been that way for a long time and now into my thirties I love it more and more with each passing year. A quirky, fucked up little tale of a lonely loser who will face all of his anxieties and demons to keep the one woman who loves him. I know this movie gets a lot of hate but I will go to the grave defending Adam Sandler’s performance in this film. Probably the best acting of his career (just edging out Reign Over Me and in all fairness I haven’t seen Uncut Gems yet.) But still – a minimalist masterpiece from a legendary director with a charming soundtrack.

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

Another top five movie. Another Jon Brion soundtrack. While it’s the antithesis of the raw fury this Power Ranger banger my colleague prefers provides, it not only serves as a theme song to one of the greatest break up stories known to man but a soundtrack I would choose to dub my own thoughts to. A reluctant introspective with a constant sliver of optimism that the answer lay hidden in plain sight all along. Jon Brion masterfully crafts this warm, sad tune that can easily sum up the warmest of sun shower memory.

TRUE ROMANCE

Hands down the greatest Quentin Tarantino movie that QT didn’t direct himself. Even though I guess – from my knowledge that only leaves True Romance superior to Natural Born Killers which in my opinion is misunderstood. Even by me. It’s definitely not a favorite. But this star studded cast effortlessly carries a misfit love story that is a favorite of mine and the wife. I’m sure like many cult-film-lover-couples out there this is “our movie”. And while she never was a prostitute and I was never a quiet, shy and delusional comic book clerk capable of mass murder it doesn’t mean we still haven’t saved one another in our own ways. Hans Zimmer’s lighter than air theme encapsulates Clarence and Alabama Worley’s reckless abandon as two fugitive kids living and loving in the moment. You’re so cool, Hope.

LEON (“The Professional” in the US)

Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and a powerhouse debut by twelve year old Natalie Portman underscore this touching and gorgeous French action film by Luc Besson. From its exploration to adolescence to the solitude and loneliness of a professional hitman, Leon scores across the board for warm, human writing – bad ass action scenes and a gut wrenching finale. Topped off by Eric Serra’s perfectly crafted score and a lovely rendition of, “Shape of My Heart” by Sting this movie and its soundtrack can have your heart racing and aching at the same time. Bonus trivia: This movie inspired the song, “Matilda” by the band Alt-J on their 2012 release, An Awesome Wave.

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

I know, I know it’s not the actual theme. But a haunting classic to say the least. And it’s Danny Elfman. Do I really even need to say any more? Fiona Apple (who has a achieved Goddess like status in my book) took a stab at it herself. And it’ll send shivers down your undead-Christmas loving spine.


So there ya have it, folks. Those are the soundtracks that make me tick. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some rats that want me to teach them how to play harmonica. – PW
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